Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Tiger update

Rory's tiger costume is finally fully finished.  It's been mostly finished for ages, but he repeatedly said he wanted back paws too.

Anyway, back to his costume:

I made it using patterns in the cute and easy costumes for kids sewing book that I have.  The book has loads of simple costumes that can very easily be adapted into whatever you fancy.  I mostly used the lion costume, but used the black cat head and then the back paws are adapted from another pattern.

I found a free pattern for fleece boots/socks on Rhonda's Creative Life and made them up in some more of the tiger fabric - her original pattern calls for them to be overlocked together, with the overlocked edges on the outside.  As I don't have an overlocker I made them so that all the seams are on the inside.  It's meant that they're a little slim in the foot and leg, so next time I make them (as I'm sure he'll grow out of them before he grows out of the rest of the costume) I'll make them a bit wider. 

He then insisted they should have pads on them (like the front paws do) - I used some black sock stop to draw the shape of the pads which seems to have done the trick.
You can just see the pads in this photo.  

He loves the costume and apart from being a little confused when he's putting it on as the top fastens at the back, it's a real hit.  It even has a fantastic tail that's attached to the bottoms. 

 I think next we need some super hero costumes - but first I have some other WIPs I need to get shifted, and a dress request from Frances.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

SSS blogger challenge

I mentioned back in March that I was planning on entering the Simplicity star sewer blogger challenge - I decided to enter the Best Dressmaker Project category.  The challenge was to make up New Look pattern 6145 (which was very kindly sent for free).

At first I decided to do view A using some fabric I bought in Vietnam which is a bright teal coloured broderie anglais.  I liked the look of the softly pleated sleeves and the simple neckline.  Then to change it up a bit I wanted to add a front pocket similar to a RTW tunic I'd seen.  

I chose to make a size 12 using the fit help section of the Simplicity website.

I made the pocket by cutting the front piece in two, adding seam allowances to the cut edges and then constructing two horizontal in-seam pockets.  I also shortened the dress by 12cm because I'm pretty short and I thought I would wear it more if it's more a tunic length, but maybe not so short that I couldn't wear it with thick tights and boots if I wanted.

Here is the first incarnation.  I wore it out once like that with jeans but decided that the sleeves looked too big and puffy and 80s for my liking.

Here's a close up of the sleeve - do you see what I mean?  Frances is all about puffy sleeves at the moment because that's apparently what princesses wear, but they don't suit my head.  So I ripped them off and used the sleeve pattern for view D to cobble together a sleeve from the puffy ones.

And here it is with the less puffy sleeves.  I'm really pleased with the length, I think it looks pretty good with jeans.

Here's the back - I'm not sure why there's such a long zip called for - I didn't put it in invisibly as I don't have the right foot for my machine (it's now on my wish list though!), but it's not necessary - I can pull it on and off over my head no problem without unzipping.  Note to self - always measure the head hole before cutting out as I could have saved the complete back seam if I'd been awake a bit more.  Oh, I didn't do the back vent either - I thought without made it look more tunic-like.

The pockets work well too...

The sizing is comfortable, although as you can see in that photo there's a bit of a gape at the front neck, there's also a little at the back, but not so much.  I wonder if I'd cut out a 10 bust and graded to a 12 waist (which is what I usually do, but I was persuaded otherwise by the Simplicity fit guide) this wouldn't have happened, or if I actually need to do a neck adjustment another time. 

And here's a photo with boots and tights, just because I mentioned it before. 

Inside - I'm looking for ways to improve the neatness of the insides of what I make without buying a serger.  On this piece I bound the armhole/sleeve head seam with self-made bias-binding.  The other seams are tuned and stitched. 
I've worn it a couple of times already - so that's a good win for me :-)