Thursday, 29 May 2014

Twinkle toes

I made a new ballet top for R. Although I really love the first one I made, the colours no longer go with her tap shoes - and clashing colours really bother me.

But why, you may be wondering, did the top no longer coordinate with R's tap shoes? Did she get new ones? Well, no. It's just that her tap shoes are now covered in hot pink glitter.

R's dance school recently held a weekend shoe glitterising session, an opportunity too good to miss. The process involved choosing a colour (R seized upon the brightest, pinkest shade available), covering the shoes with glue and applying the glitter. This was followed by a morning tea, plus about half an hour trying (unsuccessfully) to remove glitter from hands and clothing. The shoes were left to dry, then sprayed with fixative, although R's shoes still leave a charming little fairy trail of glitter wherever she goes. Good thing she only wears them at the dance studio... 

Here's the 'before and after':

And here is R enjoying her very favourite part of dance class: the bit at the end, where she gets to choose a snack before we leave.

Now doesn't that make you feel like covering something in glitter?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

A winter jacket for R

This is jacket Q from Girly Style Wardrobe, size 110, in a nice thick grey wool. My version is very similar to the one pictured in the book - right down to the white lace trim. The jacket would have been very plain without some sort of trim, and I knew R would appreciate this touch of girliness.

The pattern has an interesting method of attaching the hood to the back section. I probably would have been totally baffled had I not remembered seeing a translation of this part of the instructions. Once you figure out what you're meant to do, it's actually a very easy pattern to sew.

R was not happy about being photographed in her new jacket... 

...until a cat came along.

The jacket is meant to have snaps on the front, which I haven't added yet. I will get round to it this week... maybe. Melbourne has been so unseasonably mild that the winter jacket, which seemed so urgent a month ago, has not yet been needed. Sadly this weather can't last, so I suppose I'd better go hunt down some snaps before it becomes one of those almost-finished-but-lacking-one-tiny-detail projects that sits draped over a chair in my sewing room.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Bad photos of a good skirt

I made an everyday skirt in babywale corduroy, light grey with yellow spots. It was such a pleasure to sew - a welcome break from deciphering Japanese patterns. I made size large based on my measurements and it turned out much larger than required - so much so that I had to pull the elastic super tight on the back section of the skirt, which you can see below:

This resulted in an extremely gathered back, but so far as I can tell from backwards glimpses into the mirror, the skirt still looks pretty good on. It also means that the pockets are positioned more to the sides than is (presumably) intended, but they are nevertheless the best feature of this skirt, generously sized and extremely useful for tissues, bits of paper, lens caps... or just somewhere to put your hands when you don't know what else to do with them. Which I generally don't. 

All attempts to get a photo of myself in this skirt failed dismally. First there was the attempt to get my daughter to take a picture - she got lots of great shots of trees but managed to exclude me from the frame completely:

Pretty, hey? But not exactly what I was after. 

Then I tried to photograph myself in the only full-length mirror in the house:

Wow, how dirty is that mirror? I had to go get the windex and clean it.

I discovered that many of the marks were permanent.

And that I can't avoid them by photographing from different angles (well, it was worth a try).

My husband offered to take some photos. Those ones are so bad that vanity prevents me from posting them here.

Never mind. It's a practical and comfortable skirt and I already have a second one in the works, in medium. Maybe I'll even figure out how to use my camera's self-timer by the time I finish it.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Toga party

It might seem like I only ever make clothes for my daughter, but look! Here's a lovely garment I whipped up for my son - just perfect for school, sports, parties, or any occasion you could name.

If you know your ancient Greek mythology you might recognise Hades, King of the Underworld. And if you really know your ancient Greek stuff, you might wonder about the authenticity of Hades' toga, not to mention the curtain-tie-belt, Crocs sandals and glittery crown... but for the purposes of the Grade 4 Mythology Day, the outfit was more than adequate.

Unfortunately Hades lasted only a couple of hours at school before developing a temperature (which I guess can happen when you wear a toga on a cold autumn day) and being taken home, via the school sick bay. Good thing I got my photos before school, hey?

Sunday, 4 May 2014

First the nightie, now the dress

A winter dress for R, using pattern J from Girly Style Wardrobe; the same pattern I used for her flannel nightie. This time I made it with the buttons on the back, the way they are in the book. I used a babywale corduroy that I found on clearance some months ago - it's a very dark purple, so dark that it looks brown under artificial light (hence the colour disparity in my indoor and outdoor photographs). The dress is meant to be unlined, but in the interests of staying warm I lined it fully using some voile that coordinates beautifully with the little green spots on the fabric. I also added some in-seam pockets for warming hands, storing tissues and keeping treasures. Because I find pockets terribly confusing I used this tutorial, which was most helpful.

Today was a shocker of a day in Melbourne, with torrential downpours punctuated by moments of sunshine lasting just long enough to lure you outside, only to be drenched yet again. We had K's footy match to go to in the morning (sodden, windswept) and an afternoon event at my old school (wet, freezing) - and I'm pleased to report that R's new dress kept her nice and warm all day.

Getting R to pose for pictures was difficult. Her expressions ranged from the unenthusiastic (mouth hanging open, eyes half closed) to the unimpressed (mouth pursed, eyes glaring). Later in the day she was in a better mood, but ran away whenever I tried to photograph her, with the exception of the one shot above, which is slightly blurry. So you'll just have to take my word for it that this is a very sweet dress that looks a whole lot better in real life!