Monday, 1 September 2014

Winning dress.

Just before we left to go on holiday I won a competition!  I love all the giveaways on the sewing blogs, and enter quite a few - and apparently if you enter enough eventually you will win something.  I won a copy of the First Day Dress pattern by Dana Made It.  Now, although I enter quite a few competitions, I don't enter for anything I don't think I would actually use.  I thought this pattern was very cute and I could see Frances wearing it. 

While we were away on holiday I got my Mother-in-Law to take me to a fabric shop in Granada - I bought a couple of pieces of fabric, one of which with Frances in mind.

It's a nice, light cotton with a border print, which is just her colours. 


I was originally hoping to make Frances the version of the dress with a circle skirt as she would love a twirly skirt, but because of the border print I decided it would be better to utilise that.  So, I cut it on the cross grain and positioned the bodice pieces so that the print on the dress flows from small to large as you get to the hem.  The skirt part I cut as a rectangle 2 1/2 times the length of the bottom of the bodice and gathered it.  I lined the bodice with some leftover sheeting, but left the skirt unlined.  I also added the cap sleeves as I think they're very cute. 

And the verdict? 
She loves it.

Now to find some fabric to make her a version with the circle skirt.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

boxer shorts

While getting back into sewing I've decided to make a really concerted effort to make things that are needed, rather than things that are just pretty or fun to make (there's a place for these, but at the moment practicality and usefulness is uppermost in my mind.  

I was going to make some boxer shorts for David for Fathers Day (back in June) - but my sewing machine was AWOL and so it never happened.  The kids did though buy him a boxer shorts sewing pattern (lucky him!).

After extensive research they bought him Kwik Sew pattern 1672 they bought this one as it has a one piece back.  (read: no annoying seam up your bum.) 

I've made 5 pairs of view A so far all from stash material - I started off with the medium size - the first pair (below) is made from an old cot duvet cover and are a bit tight around the waist.  I sewed all the seams as French seams.
The second pair are made from some black sheeting that I had around as a remnant after making a duvet cover a while back.  I continued with the medium size, but cut the elastic as a size large and this now seems to be OK.

The third and fifth pair are made from some checked cotton that I had left over from making David some PJs a few years back - I think I should be able to make him at least one more pair from this fabric. 


And the fourth pair are for me as PJ shorts:  I cut a size small and did the medium elastic - which fits nicely.  I also tried to make a PJ top using McCalls 3247 view A.  The pattern was already cut out in a size that is now too small for me, and I had to improvise the back as I didn't want it tying together like in the original pattern.  I thought I was doing OK, but when I had finished it was huge around the bust.  I'm not quite sure what I've done, and I'll give it another go at some point.  In the meantime I just nipped the excess at the sides and sewed down to the horizontal join.  They're only PJs so they're perfectly wearable like that.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Daddy Totoro

A knit I made at the end of June to compliment the rest of the Totoro family:  

May I introduce O Totoro, or Daddy Totoro as called by the kids.  I knit him using the free Chu Totoro pattern, but with bigger needles and thicker yarn to make him a bit bigger.  I also added some whiskers and a mouth.




Raveled here.  There's not a huge amount to say about the pattern - it's quite a fiddly knit, which makes it interesting for such a small knit, and the overall result is quite satisfying - and using yarn that was in my stash makes it doubly satisfying.  I was hoping the O Totoro pattern that is said to be under construction would have been released before I felt the need to complete the Totoro family as I've liked how they're written, but not to worry I think this looks fine. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Octonauts masks

These are a couple of masks I made up for the kids a while ago from scraps of fabric and some thickish interfacing I had lying around.  For anyone not in the know they are Tweak and Kwazii from the Octonauts.


They were pretty simple to do - I used this tutorial from annkelle.com and copied some printable Octonauts masks from Etsy for the shape.

I'm pretty pleased with them - the kids were for a bit (as kids of 3 and 4 are).  The interfacing in the Tweak mask isn't quite as thick so it wrinkles a bit between the eyes.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wearing what I make - fancy dress

We've been away in Spain for most of the summer - I had hoped to be able to do some blogging while I was there, but after an unsuccessful attempt I decided to concentrate on having a great time enjoying the sun, pool, and just chilling out.  There wasn't much crafting going on either - just one pair of socks knitted. 

I do have a few more pictures of some clothes that I find when I dip into my wardrobe - since I've started doing this I do feel that I'm making some progress in my wardrobe, but need to keep the momentum going.  I'm also still having some problems with my sewing machine, so I doubt I'm going to be able to make any more clothes before that's sorted.  I sat down to sew some name tapes onto clothes for first day of school the other day and the bloody thing wouldn't even stitch a proper straight stitch :-(

Anyway, back to things I made when my sewing machine was behaving itself:  I made these two for a couple of fancy dress parties I went to quite a while ago:




The first is McCalls 8108 view B. 


I was dressed up as one of the power puff girls with a couple of friends for a fancy dress party.  My hair was a lot longer then and I found a huge red bow to put in my hair.

It still fits, although the sleeves are a bit tight.

The other dress is this one:
This is view H from Vogue 2429 in size 10, with the addition of some black net underneath.
I was meant to be dressed up as Cindi Lauper - but if I remember correctly I ran out of steam getting ready before I could put on enough make up.  I think I was aiming for this kind of look:

The dress doesn't fit any more - but I like the pattern, so maybe there's some scope for its use in the future

Why don't I wear them?...well, fancy dress is fancy dress and I don't go to a lot of fancy dress parties (although I do have one to go to in a couple of weekends time with a wild west theme! - I have no idea what I'm going to wear.) 

They've now been taken out of my wardrobe and put in a box - maybe they can be adapted to be something else at some point?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Dresses for Frances and Baby Janet

The other WIP that I showed has become a dress for Frances and her doll Baby Janet. 

As I mentioned before we did some potato printing on an old sheet I had.  For Frances dress I used Butterick B5845 view A.  I sewed a size 6, which was the smallest on the pattern I have so it's turned out pretty big.  

She likes it as it reaches the floor and has a flower on.

Since taking these photos I have nipped it in at both sides by about an inch, so it isn't quite hanging off her and I also sewed the flower on a bit more so that it doesn't flop about. 
And then we come to Baby Janet.  Janet is a 30cm (12") tall doll.  I've been looking around for a dress pattern for her - admittedly not very hard - but have mostly found patterns for 18" dolls.  Then I came across this pin http://www.pinterest.com/pin/441986150903297069/ 
posted on the sentimentalbaby blog which is a dress from the 40s to fit any doll.
 
I made a dress and then to preserve baby Janet's dignity when she falls over, a pair of knickers as well. 
Janet's dress fits pretty well (better than Frances' - but then Frances will grow) - I think next time I will lengthen the sleeves of the dress and the legs of the knickers so that her soft parts are completely covered. 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Dahlia cardigan

My two WIPs I blogged about last week are now finished. 

Here is my Dahlia cardigan.... it's not really the weather for it now, I haven't quite got into the right schedule for knitting - mind you, we're passed mid summer now, so the nights are drawing in (kind of, sort of):

I'm not really sure how to wear it as it's not really the shape of cardigan, or clothes, that I'm used to wearing - I don't tend (or haven't tended) to go for anything vaguely draped.  I feel more comfortable with it pinned together at the front.

Although it looks fine open - it would probably be better with something other than scruffy top and t-shirt!  I suppose I could have dressed up properly to show off my new Dahlia, but that's not really my thing :-)

I really like the bit of lacework on the back and sleeve:



And the colour is lovely.  I think I need to use this piece as inspiration to sew some garments that will look really cool with it.  That will have to wait till after the summer holidays as my crafting time and access to the sewing machine is going to be severely diminished.