Thursday, 26 May 2016

KCW: Japanese culottes and a Japanese top

Started well before Kid's Clothes Week, then put on the backburner, here's a little outfit I made for R: a pair of culottes with a piped yoke (and side pockets, yay) and a simple knit top with an interesting shoulder detail. The culottes are from my newest Japanese pattern book Kids Clothes Style Book and I made them in the same beautiful Three Cats shweshwe fabric that I used for R's kimono slippers. I'm really happy with the style and the fit of this cute little skort, and it works well with tights underneath in our cool Autumn weather.

The top is pattern 8 from Fu-Ko Basics and, while it's hard to tell from the illustration contained in the book, it has an unusual design with the back piece extending over the shoulders to form an interesting seam detail at the front (which I totally failed to photograph properly). The back hem is a little lower than the front hem, which is another nice feature. For this top I used a not-too-stretchy cotton knit from Spotlight; good thing I bought heaps of it on clearance as my first top ended up too wide at the neck and I had to throw it out and start again. This top is intended to have a wide neckline, but taking a few centimetres off the neck width ended up being a very helpful adjustment.

It rained solidly all day today and the light indoors was rather gloomy, so photographing this outfit wasn't much fun. But never mind, R likes her new clothes and happily wore them for the rest of the day. Now to work on a much-needed winter coat!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

A teeny tiny sewing project

At the kids' request, we're following in the dirt-free footsteps of our Asian friends and going shoeless inside the house. We now have a shoe rack just inside the front door for easy changing over of indoor/outdoor footwear, and are in the process of ensuring that we all have slippers to keep our feet warm while inside. Just the excuse I needed to sew up a pair of Peggy Kimono Shoes, which I saw last year on Masha's blog and loved.

If you're looking for a quick-and-easy project that needs only tiny bits of fabric (scrap hoarders, give yourselves a pat on the back!) this is just the thing. I used some scraps of South African shweshwe and some bits of left-over denim for the outers, with the inside uppers made from fleece. The insoles are made from cotton batting sandwiched between two layers of thick wool and stitched together - the instructions have you sew two insole pieces together, but this proved a little thin, hence the batting and the wool. I also appliqued half a heart to the insole of each shoe to help R remember which foot is which; when she puts them together the right way the heart is complete. For the outer sole I used non-slip fabric with little rubber dots, just like Masha did. It all came together easily and I enjoyed the process.

Yay for cosy indoor footwear that uses up pretty scraps of fabric!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A long-sleeved dress in linen

I made R this long-sleeved elastic-waist dress in a beautiful subtly striped linen. "It's a Laura dress!" R exclaimed excitedly when she saw it. I wasn't convinced - after all, it doesn't have a frilly collar, a full skirt or a high neckline - but then she showed me an episode from the first season of Little House on the Prairie and to my surprise, there was Laura in an almost identical dress. The connection to R's (current) favourite character means the dress has been well-received and will probably be a winter favourite.

The pattern is from one of the A Sunny Spot books and is a wonderfully easy sew. I made two small modifications: I took a couple of centimetres off the centre of both front and back to suit R's build and ensure that the neckline wasn't too wide, and I used a snap at the back rather than a button. The dress has neckline facings that are sewn down, creating a nice stitch-line on the dress.

R was not in a modelling mood on the weekend so I had to settle for a few quick snaps outside the dumpling restaurant that we took my mum to for her 70th birthday/mother's day lunch (AND I had to crop out R's cousin, who arrived just as I was taking the photos - he is gorgeous, but I didn't think he'd appreciate being on my blog!). It was a reasonably mild day, but as the temperature drops I think this linen dress will also look great with tights and a cardigan - or maybe a coat, if I can choose a pattern from the many different ones that are calling me!