Friday, July 30, 2010

Woops a daisy......

I forgot to include the details of the shorts from yesterdays post!
And because I don't believe in saying things twice (Miss C are you listening to me, I'm not going to say it again, are you listening to me!) I'll just do a copy and paste from the review at Pattern Review.

Pattern Description: Burda magazine called these shorts bloomers but if I said that to my daughter no way would she wear them! I'm calling them the puffy shorts instead.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a size 98 for my 3.5 year old and there is plenty of room, if anything they are a little on the big side.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, except for a few minor alterations.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I don't usually bother with trying to follow Burda's instructions, but there are a lot of tricky details in this pattern so I think it is best suited to sewers with some experience. I hadn't sewn bluff pockets before so I documented the steps here for reference.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the interesting details, oversized gathered pockets and the ties at the cuff.
I didn't like the fly front detail. The shorts have an elastic back waistband so I didn't see the point in putting in a fly front as well. The front pockets are quite large and there isn't much room to squish another detail on the front so I just left it out. I also didn't like the curved waistband. This also seemed unnecessary, a three year old doesn't have much shaping around the waist and hip, a flat waistband would have been better, this would have reduced the number of pattern pieces and the elastic at the back would work better in a flat band.

Fabric Used:
Black cotton chambray.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The only changes to the pattern were to leave off the fly front, no other design changes.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I will sew it again, they are very comfy and my daughter loves them. I may have a go at changing the curved waistband to a flat band, but then again I may not!

Very cute shorts that have some challenging features. These are not a quick project though, they took longer to sew than a pair of grown up pants! Also not recommended for the playground, those ties could cause some trouble!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring.....

.....and we are outta cake.

So Miss C was allowed to stand on a chair for these pics and that is something she is Not Allowed To Do. As a result I have some nice pics but have set a precedent for mucking about on chairs which is not a good thing.

Hmmm...Mum really should pay more attention to dusting these windowsills

Here is the next garment for Miss C’s wardrobe.

It’s another vintage pattern, this time courtesy of my sister whose pattern and fabric stash puts mine to shame.

I made the short version with pockets and didn’t change anything except for the back fastening.

The pattern
The pattern called for a zip down the centre back and there is no way I am putting a zip into a garment that will get worn for 6-12 months, so I just put in a button and loop (it has to be a pink button Mum, not cream!) at CB neck and cut the back skirt on the fold.

Wonder if this curtain can support 13 kilos....hang on that ric rac trim is matched perfectly at the side seam!

The fabric
A bit of cream corduroy left over from the vintage skirt and some cream and black brushed cotton, both from the opshop at some point. Plus some vintage black ric rac trim.
At a grand total of about $2.50.

There's gotta be a door in here somewhere!

The verdict
Miss C loves this top. It is a great shape and fit, and reminds me a little of the lovely Oliver and S ice cream dress so I am very happy that this one worked out. It has only one size (size 4) so I think I will make a dozen or so versions for summer in some nice breezy prints.

Trouble is Miss C thinks that ALL the drawings on the pattern envelope can be made up. She has requested/demanded that I make a pair of the orange shoes next. Not sure how I am going to tackle that one. I have got a bit of orange leather hanging around somewhere though! But maybe I shouldn’t tell her that.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Progress report

I am going great guns at the moment, three (countem!) garments finished this week and another cut and ready to sew.

Sewing for little people is so much easier than sewing for me; no fitting issues, no problems if garment is too big as she will grow into it eventually. Only problem I can foresee is that the clothes I have made so far apparently don’t pass the Snow White test. So whether Miss C actually wears them remains to be seen.

Here is what I have completed this week. Another vintage skirt, this time in black chambray, Burda WOF tunic top and Burda WOF shorts with the bluff pocket.

Now I just have to come up with another brilliant scheme to get Miss C to wear them all to get some pics. If she wasn’t such a light sleeper I would dress her in her sleep! But then I would have to iron them on her body. And I don’t think that parents are supposed to do that. Are we?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Have you ever sewn.....

...a bluff pocket? I had no idea that that was that they were called but when I did a search on invisible pocket, found this post at the always excellent Fashion Incubator site. I have always liked the look of them ie no visible topstitching, but have never had the need to sew one until now.

I am working on these shorts for Miss C’s wardrobe....

Burda WOF 03-2008

... and I *think* what the Burda instructions describe is basically a bluff pocket, so I put together a very basic tutorial on how to sew one! Please bear with me, my camera is acting the fool so these were taken on my mobile.

Step 1
Mark the stitching line for the pocket on the right side of garment piece (shorts/pants/skirt/jacket etc). Mark the stitching line on the pocket piece. This is very important. I didn’t realise this at cutting stage so had to mark a very bodgy chalk line which you can see in the next pic. A couple of notches won’t go astray either.

Step 2
Finish the raw edge of the pocket. This isn’t entirely necessary, depends on your type of fabric really. I left mine raw then decided I wanted a neater inside edge and actually had no trouble overlocking the edge after the pocket was sewn on.

Step 3
Place right side of pocket on right side of garment.

Step 4
Sew pocket to garment, following marked stitching lines and gradually bringing pocket piece around to match up notches and stitching lines.

Note the absence of pins. This is why the marked stitching line and notches are essential. You cannot actually pin the pocket in place, it needs to be brought around to meet the stitching line as you sew.

Inside the pocket.

Finished pocket. No topstitching, noice!

The Burda pocket was gathered onto the shorts so in reality this makes the technique quite easy as a few extra tucks here and there aren’t a problem. This was also a very wide curve, I expect a smaller, tighter curve would be trickier to attach so more notches would be helpful.

I was surprised at how easy this was to actually sew. I will definitely do more of these. I especially like the look in tailored wool garments where topstitching can tend to look cheap.

I wonder if anyone knows of a different method?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Burda 144-06-2009

A very quick post re the jersey top from Miss C’s cake eating ensemble (I was under the innocent impression that uni started next week but found out it is today aaaargh!).

The pattern

BurdaWOF June 2009 issue.

The fabric

Grey marle rayon/elastane. I bought this fabric specifically (shock horror!) to make this top and I am glad I did. It is super soft and it has just the right amount of stretch for this pattern. It wasn’t cheap though and I would really love to stock up on some more.

I cut a size 98 and it is a very snug fit. Miss C is a bit small for her age so if I make this again I will go up a size. The fit overall is great and the pattern is very well drafted.

I couldn’t be bothered trying to decipher Burda’s method of inserting the button placket and my sewing notes from college are buried deep in Siberia somewhere, so I took the easy option and just sewed on a decorative tab with a ric rac trim and some cute buttons.

I am yet to find a suitable way to finish edges on stretch garments and I think this is the reason I don’t sew them very often. My Bernina overlocker does have a coverstitch function but converting it from overlock to coverstitch is like reengineering the Tardis so I never bother.

I have a twin needle but have never used it (I probably should!) and I haven’t been able to find a supplier for a good fusible knit interfacing, so for the neck binding I did a little experiment.

I cut a strip of regular but very lightweight interfacing on the bias and applied this to the binding, then sewed binding to neck edge. This made attaching the binding to the edge extremely easy but did effectively negate nearly all the stretch in the neck, and even though it is cut quite low for a T-shirt, Miss C has a larger head than normal so there was a bit of squealing involved in getting it on.

I think that I will either have to swallow my pride and actually follow Burda’s advice to use Vilene bias tape (if I can get my hands on the stuff) or get used to converting the overlocker to coverstitch. What I would really like to do though is buy a good secondhand overlocker and just leave it set up for coverstitch all the time.

Overall though I am really happy with this top.
It looks great and Miss C loves it (just don’t tell her it’s a BOYS pattern!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

OOP Simplicity 8040

Here is the nitty gritty on Miss C’s groovy new corduroy skirt from yesterdays post.

The pattern
An OOP Simplicity pattern dated 1977 which means it qualifies as vintage (and so do I for that matter!).

This is my first effort at actually sewing using a vintage pattern. Yes I have a stash of them, mostly in the wrong size which means I’ll never use them, but I can’t resist the potential contained in those pretty little envelopes.
I haven’t ventured into vintage for myself because a. I’m lazy and can’t be bothered messing around with toiles and getting the fit right and b. I actually prefer modern styles on me. Vintage tends to make me look a bit too much like Minnie Mouse for my liking.

The pattern is size 5 ( I love love love single size patterns. I wish they would bring them back and ditch the painful multisize ones) so I had to grade it down (who am I kidding, I just chopped 3cm off the side seams and resized the pockets) to fit.

It has a front waistband and elasticized waist so I am hoping to get at least 2 seasons out of it.

The fabric
Cream cotton corduroy from the op shop for $1
White ric rac trim for the pockets that came from my grandmother’s stash

I was a bit iffy about combining the white trim on a cream skirt but decided that getting too pernickity about the trim on a girls skirt that will only get covered in chocolate cake and worn for 2 seasons really isn't worth any design angst.

The verdict
I love this skirt. The pattern was really well drafted, great shape and the pockets really add a great detail to an otherwise plain skirt. I like the fact that it is girly but not prissy or frilly and doesn’t scream “I wanna be a rock star and flash my bits to everyone even though I am only 3” like most chain store clothes do these days.

I can see myself making a gazillion of these over the next year or so. And I might even have a go at the shorts. Flared shorty culottes, now that was a trend that I remember all too well!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to do a photo shoot with a small child

1. Make a chocolate cake. If child is older than 3, make 2. Ice it and put jam in the centre. It doesn’t have to look pretty. Child won’t care.
2. Have washing machine break down so the only clean, available clothes to wear are the ones you want to photograph. You will have to spend the next month badgering The Bloke to fix it or spend every Sunday at the laundromat. Your choice.
3. Make up an incredibly interesting story about how much fun it is to have a ballet lesson (substitute monster demolition derby or whatever is child’s favourite activity at time of photo shoot) with chocolate cake on the verandah. Try not to mention the word ‘camera’.
4. Set up cake and music. Press play and shoot like a crazy person. Three year olds can eat cake VERY quickly. It helps if you have fresh batteries in the camera so child doesn’t demolish cake and take clothes off while you are rummaging around in the string drawer for some new batteries. This is where cake number 2 comes in handy. I learnt the hard way.
5. Post pretty pics on blog and sit back with smug smile on face. Eat cake number 2 if child hasn’t done so already.

Disclaimer: Skip step number 2 if it is summer. Child will probably prefer to go nude than wear clean clothes or any kind of clothing. Give up now.


Better get the last piece

Lazy mummy details

Looks like there is no more cake. Better hit her up for some ice cream.

Stay tuned for serious pattern review and garment details tomorrow. I’m going to have a Bex and lie down.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Giveaways galore!

It must be the season for giveaways, Toni at Make It Perfect has a super cool pajama pant pattern giveaway and Alisa at Mon Alisa Design has one of her beautiful collages up for grabs. Go check them out!.

Boy that was a fast post, must do that more often!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First cab

Here is the first cab off the rank for the Wardrobe Contest. It is a Burda WOF (I know I know I should be using the new Burda Style title instead of WOF) kids dress from the April 2010 issue.

C’mon Miss C. Let’s put the pretty dress on. Please. Pretty please. No? What do you mean you’re busy, you’re 3.5 for chrissakes! Oh well at least we have a nice pic of the dress on the wall.

Technical drawing courtesy Burda

It is made up in a grey marle cotton knit. Grey marle is one of my perfect fabrics (along with denim), as you can make it up in pretty much any design and it looks good. Have no idea why but I am not going to mess around trying to analyse it!

The dress is super easy to make up, it literally only took me a morning on the overlocker and it was done. I did ignore Burda’s instructions entirely though and changed the neck and armhole finishes.
Disclaimer: the neck and armhole bands are in a cotton ribbing. I like to apply the bands first and then sew seams, sewing through dress and band all in one go. This makes the job quick but you do have to be accurate to get a neat finish.

I traced a size 98 and mad no changes to the pattern. Miss C is currently 95cm tall and the dress is a little on the long side but I wanted to get at least 2 seasons wear out of it.
I added ½ inch seam allowances to shoulder, side seams and flounce seams.
I did not add any seam allowance to neck, armhole or flounce hems (the hems are left as a raw cut edge, but there are lots of possible hem finishes that you could do here).
I made pattern pieces for the neck and armhole bands which was the neck/armhole length x 2/3 and 2 inches wide.

1. Sew one shoulder seam.
2. Fold neck binding in half and press.
3. Sew neck binding to neck, right sides together.
4. Press the heck out of the binding, pressing seam toward dress. This is your last chance while the edge is flat to get a really neat finish so make the most out of it! Once the neck binding is in the round it is much harder to press. If you are wanting to topstitch now is the time.
5. Sew other shoulder seam.
6. Fold armhole bindings in half and press.
7. Sew armhole binding to armhole and press (see above).
8. Sew side seams and press. Sew side seams of flounces and press.
9. Sew lower flounce to hem and press.
10. Sew middle flounce to dress and press.
11. Sew top flounce to dress and press.

A closer view of the dress. Miss C promises to put it on tomorrow for a proper photo shoot. But only if she can wear her knee high gumboots and pink pom pom beanie. We'll see.

I really like this pattern. It’s frilly without being girlie and is easy to make. Miss C is pretty skinny and this is quite a good fit, the pattern doesn’t have much ease or growing room so it’s worth checking body measurements against the pattern before you pick a size. There’s a bit of fiddling around to get the flounces in place but other than that it’s a great dress. I will also use this pattern to make some variations like singlet tops for summer as the fit is so good.

I figure if I can get two garments done a week I can make the end of August deadline for the Contest.

But this may mean some Bad Mummy behaviour, as in ‘sure Miss C, of course you can watch TV all day, just help yourself to the fridge when you get hungry’.

So I may end up with a very well dressed three year old TV zombie by the end of August!!!

I wonder if that’s a bad thing?