Saturday, 26 April 2014

Cosy kids

You know winter's coming when the fabric stores haul out the flannelette. In between Spotlight's usual offerings of camouflage pattern for boys and fairy princess for girls I found a cute whale pattern, and while whales aren't an animal I associate with cosiness (the insulating properties of blubber aside) I decided they would be good for K's winter PJ pants. Since R's nighties are likely to fit her for years I splashed out on some Anna Maria Horner flannel, which is incredibly soft and lovely.

K's pants are drafted from a pair of his tracksuit pants, with the addition of a ribbed waistband for comfort and some cuffs for possible length-extension. Good thing I reinforced the crotch seams...

R's nightie is based on pattern J from Girly Style Wardrobe, with the placket moved round to the front and a ruffle added to the bottom of the skirt (I had to be creative when it came to making the nightie long enough, as I was a little short of fabric). I love this style on her - so much so that I've already started making a dress from the same pattern. And as it is now customary for one of R's toys to receive a garment whenever she does, 'Daisy' has a new Lazy Days skirt

I had this great idea to photograph K and R in their sleepwear together, but in almost every one of the 100+ photos I took, someone is making a silly face or doing something bizarre. Still, they enjoyed it. And at least it was ten minutes of the day when they weren't fighting.

Now my wild ones will be warm at night, although K might need to put a top on...

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

What I made over the school holidays

In general: Treasure hunts.  Trips to the park. Rainbow loom bracelets. Kid crafts. Snacks, snacks and more snacks.

For R's birthday party: chalkboard oilcloth bunting (there is a good tutorial here but I made mine a little differently); the kids' favourite smash cake (a.k.a. pinata cake); snacks, snacks and more snacks. R's party was fairytale-themed (I bargained it down from 'fairy princesses') and she was adamant that she simply had to wear a Rapunzel wig. She also insisted on an official Disney-issue costume, and I must confess to being just a tiny bit pleased about not having to make it, despite my dislike of all things synthetic and Disney-produced - with the exception of the wig, which is spectacular.

After the big bash came Passover, then Easter, with a heap of eating but not much time for sewing and blogging. Besides, I had foolishly given my son my old computer before receiving my new one, which of course was delayed, then plagued with software issues, including the unpleasant discovery that my iphoto contained - inexplicably - pornography and other random images. There's been a lot of deleting going on around here!

I have been sewing a couple of things but they have proceeded at a snail's pace, with a seam sewn here and a ruffle gathered there. More soon, I promise!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Kids clothes week: wrap top

R has after-school dance lessons once a week, at a dance school that allows students to wear whatever they like. The girls come in their princessy, glittery, sequinned finery - it's a great opportunity to dress up. And when the lesson is over, R puts her navy blue school uniform jacket on over her fancy clothes and it looks utterly incongruous. It struck me that a wrap top would be the perfect solution to this affront to fashion, so off I went looking for a pattern. All I could come up with was the short ballet-style variety, but I really wanted something with a bit more coverage, so there was nothing for it but to draft my own.

Using the beachy boatneck pattern (I am really getting good value out of this one) I redrafted the front piece to become two angled pieces and extended the sleeves to full length. Then, after assembling the top, I bound along the neck and angled front edges leaving extra length for ties. It was so quick to draft and quick to make - which was good, since I'm very short of time this week. 

The fabric is yet another cotton jersey from the same Spotlight range. They're such cute prints, and the fabric is so soft, that resistance is futile. And no doubt I'll soon be back there for more.

Koala got a little skirt in matching fabric. Now she and wombat can hang out together in their new clothes...

Unfortunately this is probably it from me for this KCW. I'll be enjoying seeing everyone else's creations in between putting up party decorations, making finger food and sweeping dust under rugs. Happy sewing, everyone!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Kids Clothes Week: chevron top and triangle skirt

I time-shifted my KCW sewing, knowing that this week was going to filled with preparations for R's 6th birthday party (just 25 of her closest friends, plus their parents, plus R's grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins). So what I'm showing you here was finished last week and photographed today. You'd think I could have photographed it in time to get in early for KCW, but R had so many excuses for not modelling, it took forever to convince/bribe/threaten her so I could get it done (and I still don't know what she was doing in the photo at bottom right - fighting off an imaginary foe, perhaps?). Anyway, I'm relieved to be blogging this at last, in between packing lolly bags, sewing bunting and researching make-ahead finger foods. 

Here are the details:

Grey triangle skirt with elephant pockets

Fabric: cotton from Spotlight
Pattern: based on skirt C from Sewing Lesson Book, but essentially self-drafted (the Japanese instructions looked too complicated, so I just cut pieces by eye and put them together in my own way).
Result: I'm very happy with this one, especially given my very gung-ho approach to making it. It's a great fit and the big pockets are perfect for stuffing with acorns, which R can never resist picking up. 

Orange chevron top

Fabric: cotton jersey from Spotlight
Pattern: the beachy boatneck, with sleeves modified to be slightly puffy. I used this tutorial and added 2" to the sleeves.
Result: this is a good fit with a bit of room to grow. I was aiming for a little more puffiness in the sleeves, but they're perfectly acceptable as is. 

Chevron skirt (mini-me size, suitable for wombats)

R's toy wombat scored a little skirt. A wombat in a skirt is, of course, totally absurd, but that's what she went with when I asked her to choose which lucky toy would be getting new clothing. I must say, it's pleasingly fast to sew things for toy wombats, and they are very cooperative when it comes to trying things on. Unlike children.

And lastly...

I made R this fishtail rainbow-loom bracelet to match the top - the chevron shapes of the bands coordinate so brilliantly! If only I'd remembered to get her to wear it while modelling - or maybe I should have put it on the wombat...?