Friday, 19 August 2016

A denim skirt and a terry top

A few weeks ago I made the great trek across Melbourne to go the The Fabric Store's sale and walked out with the most stunning French terry in a magnificent, almost fluorescent, shade of orangey-red on the outside and yet another hard-to-describe shade of yellowy-orange on the inside. Not the sort of colours I usually go for, but I fell in love and had to have it.

I used it to make pattern Q from Kids' Clothes Style Book: a loose-fitting raglan-sleeved top with three-quarter sleeves and a high-low hem. Of course I had to make the most of the beautiful inside of the fabric, so I used it to make flat piping for the raglan seams and rolled up the sleeves to make cuffs.

The skirt is BurdaStyle's girls' metallic skirt, which I made in denim. Simple enough to sew, provided you don't mind making up your own instructions as the ones provided are exceptionally brief (directions for sewing the fly were particularly unhelpful). I followed 'instructions' religiously when cutting the waistband but I'm sure it's meant to be significantly wider as it turned out too narrow for a decent-sized button, and it looks different from that shown in the pattern photograph. I would have redone it, but didn't have enough fabric as I was already using leftover scraps from a previous project. I wound up using a bar fastener in lieu of a button and also adding buttonhole elastic to the back section of the waist to ensure a good fit (a wise move, as it turned out).

R snatched the skirt from me the moment it was finished, which surprised me a bit, given that it lacks colour, glitter, decoration and cat motifs. The whole outfit looks quite grown-up compared to some most of her other clothes, but happily she's still a bubble-blowing little girl whose favourite food is fairy bread and who teaches a class of Beanie Boos in her bedroom every day after school.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Pretty in poppies

Possibly the prettiest dress I've ever made, this was sewn from a Bambiblauw panel from Maai Design. When I saw these stunning panels I just couldn't resist, especially once I realised that R would soon be too big to make a whole dress from one - it was my last chance to try a panel print! Here is what the panel looked like before I finally bit the bullet and cut it up:

The cotton panels are 70cm wide and 140cm long, so finding a way to get the style of dress I wanted out of the limited metrage was quite a challenge. I cut off the skirt sections at either end, which left me with a blue centre section from which to cut a bodice. I tried out the fairy dress bodice (no) and a couple of Japanese sewing book bodices (no, no) before finding one that fit: the top part of dress F from Girls Style Book. I made a muslin first, then added a few centimetres so the bodice would end just below R's belly button. It was a rather tight fit getting the three bodice pieces from my little piece of fabric, but it worked out (just!).

Having splashed out on the stunning panel fabric, I wanted this dress to be perfect. I added lining to the bodice, took my time with the invisible zipper (as opposed to my usual slapdash efforts) and sewed the skirt with French seams. I used some of Maaike's cream piping at the waist, ending it a centimetre or so before the zip to avoid bulkiness. With the Bambiblauw fabric pretty much used up, I bought bias binding to finish the hem and face the armholes, then handstitched (ugh) the armhole facing and the lining.  The results are rather pleasing, if I do say so myself!

Conveniently, the sun came out today after weeks of wintry weather; perfect timing for a trip to the park and some photos of the dress in action!

I just love this dress, and R says she will keep it FOREVER. Poppies and winter sunshine - how wonderful!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Kids clothes week: a Bearlin skirt and a school bus tee

Recently I ordered a little bunch of goodies from Maai Design, among them a half-metre of this fabulous bear fabric. It was no easy task getting this skirt out of my little half-metre, and in the end I had to compromise by making the pocket bags white - much to my frustration.

The skirt is self-drafted, with hip-yoke pockets edged with gold piping (I just LOVE Maai Design's metallic piping), gathers at the centre front and back, and a wide waistband with an elasticised back. Apart from endless rearranging of pattern pieces to get the most out of my fabric, this was a straightforward and pleasant sew. I didn't even have to unpick anything!

To go with the skirt I made a school bus tee out of cotton jersey. This was a bit of a rushed sew, so don't look too closely at the neckband or hemming! The top looked a bit long when I finished it, so I ruched each side a little at the bottom and it turned out to fit beautifully this way.

How funny is R's face in this photo?!!

I really like these as an outfit, even if it's a little cool for bare legs at the moment. Now to see if I can finish something else before the week is up!