Saturday, 19 May 2012

The holiday clothes sweatshop

So we are off on holiday to Sardinia a week tomorrow (woohoo!).  As soon as we booked it a few weeks ago, I realised that N has no summer clothes that fit - she is basically a leggy giraffe of a child and all of last years summer skirts and dresses are verging on indecent unless worn over leggings.  SHe loves the look but it's not the greatest idea in hot weather.

I had a couple of patterns that I was planning to make and plenty of fabric from the big Fabricland sale day raid, so I got started.

Apologies in advance for crappy picture quality - by the time we got around to these photos, it wasn't really warm enough to do them outside, hence the graininess!

The best pattern so far has been McCalls 6022.  It's got loads of variations and I'm pretty sure I'll still make other tops and possibly the cropped trousers.

First of all the cap sleeve dress with hem band:

Fabric is one I bought from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton.  N picked it out as she loves the tiny little ladybirds.  I paired it with a plain cotton as I thought it was busy enough.

From the same pattern, 2 pairs of shorts (these are apparently dancing shorts rather than standing in a weird pose like the other pics!):

The bright pink gingham fabric and the pastel madras check (originally a quilt cover) were both thrifted (I'm nicking the American term - sounds much better than "found in a charity shop!").

I also went crazy with Oliver + S free patterns.  I love the Lazy Days skirt as it sews up so quickly and it really easy to make.  The ribbon hem finishes it off so nicely!

This one was a remnant I picked up in Glasgow with my mum:

I love the Michael Miller Just Stay Little fabric and I couldn't decide what to use it for - I think this is my favourite of the skirts!

Another choice by N - flip flop fabric from Fabricland.  Really like how the turquoise ribbon sets it off so well.

And finally the Popover dress from Oliver + S.  Their patterns are always so clear and easy to follow.

This was in the Russian Dolls cotton print N picked out to match her friend Milly, with blue cotton yoke and straps and some yellow ricrac peeping through on the front.

Exhausted after that lot!  Hoping to fit in another Sorbetto before I go away as I have a gorgeous floral print for it.  But I am working on the fitting from the last one ( I have even made a muslin to try and get a better idea of the alterations I will need) so no idea if I will finish before I go away!  Fingers crossed!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Must be my lucky day!

Although I love a good trawl around charity shops looking for fabric,
sheets and other bits of vintage loveliness to stop the sewing obsession
from completely bankrupting me, I have never had any luck with finding

Until today! Right at the bottom of an otherwise unexciting box of fabric
(mainly washed out duvet covers and horrible 80s curtains) I came across a
perfect condition Style 2212 cape pattern. Pattern not cut and IN MY SIZE!
And for the princely sum of 50p!

(Check the scary hair on the model in the green - I reckon they all went to
the hairdresser together and she got fried under the dryer).

I love capes and toy with buying one every winter so this year I'm going to
have to make my own!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Burda.. umm... meh

Blogging has fallen off the radar recently due to a last minute holiday being booked and N having no summer clothes that fit (not that it's been a problem with the British Summer so far!) hence I have had to bring all of my plans for her forward.    Still been reading a lot of other people's blogs but not writing much of my own!

About that Burda top I mentioned previously... As I was beginning to suspect after having battled with the horrible pattern sheet, lack of seam allowances and dodgy instructions, the top ended up being a bit meh.  As I was worried about how hard it would be to sew with knit fabric, I ended up with one that was the right weight (and I actually had no problems sewing it) but it was a very pale lilac and I don't think that helped!  It's also the kind of top where I know the facing will always pop out around the neck.  By the end of it I didn't actually bother to slipstitch the hem - i just machined it.

Although I'm not that happy with the end result I think I learnt a lot with this one.  I discovered that knits aren't as scary as I thought!    I also don't think I'll bother to settle for fabric I don't love as clearly I won't love the finished garment.  The pleated sleeves were pretty complicated, especially with the strange Burda instructions but I managed to figure it out - and also learnt the importance of pinning it all up and checking to make sure it looks right before stitching.  The seam ripper was a good friend of mine by the end of this one!  I was surprised by how big it ended up - I must have taken it down by about 3 or 4 inches all round and it's still pretty big!  I think I was between sizes and went for the larger one but I think after this experience (and reading this blog post from Gertie about pattern ease and sizing) I'll probably go for a smaller size and try to tissue fit until I get more experienced.

I wasn't actually going to post a pic but since I can't find a pic of the pattern online this is all a bit cryptic without one! So here you go:

An attempt to show the fancy pleated sleeves:

Terrible pics, but the top really doesn't warrant proper photos! 

I've got a few projects to blog about - quite a few for N and a full skirt for me which is part of my Summer Palette plans.  So hopefully more to come this week (especially if the weather behaves and I can get N to pose in her clothes!).

Next sewing project is another Burda one (I must be mad!) but much simpler this time.  A plain knit tshirt.  Hopefully it will come out slightly better!