Monday, March 31, 2014

Anyone fancy a free skirt pattern?

I scoured the local op shops on Saturday for a skirt pattern for Miss C, but drew a blank.

Lots of vintage patterns for bubbas and 3-4 year olds but not much for the older kid.

So I ended up drafting one from scratch.
Here it is, made up in what was left of the chambray spot after I made her leggings.

It is essentially a four gore skirt with a yoke and flared skirt, and an elastic waist.

This is my first version, and the pattern does need a bit of tweaking, the yoke needs to be shortened a tad, and because I was initially just making it for me to sew, there are no notches or other pattern markings.

But it is a cute style and a pretty easy sew, so I thought I might have a go at making it into a pdf pattern as a free download.

So what do you think? Any takers?

And as far as the plan for KCW next week goes, the raincoats have been put in the ‘too hard for now” pile. I made a half hearted attempt at tracing Miss C’s size last night, but realised that I just don’t have the mental fortitude to attempt putting together two jackets at this time.

So it will probably be a few more elastic waist leggings and T-shirts for Miss C instead!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

These aren't my legs.......

They’re Miss C’s! 

I cut these leggings out the other night, and seeing as I didn’t have any other sewing ready to go (I can happily ignore the mending/alterations pile for another month or so!) I couldn’t wait until the start of KCW to sew them up.

They only took a day (in between school pickup, playgroup activities and a trip to the shops that is) to make up, they fit Miss C without any alterations, and the best bit is that she thinks they are pretty cool.

I made the 116cm size for Miss C, who is actually a smidge taller but skinny, so I am glad I didn’t cut a larger size. There is a bit of growing room for her, so hopefully we will get another seasons wear out of these.

Cotton elastane one way stretch denim. This is actually a dark navy/grey in real life. 

Sewing notes
I used a zig zig stitch to sew the crotch seam, I figured that this area would need a stretch stitch! All other seams are straight stitch with an overlocked edge.
Lengthened leg by 3cm for growing room.
Topstitched outside leg seams and waistband.
I used Kathleen Fasanella's excellent waistband elastic tutorial to do the waistband. If you have always struggled with pushing a safety pin through a waist casing, go check this out!

I really like the shaped waist on these pants, the front is a little lower than the back and this gives a really nice fit. Kids are always on the move, bending, jumping, doing cartwheels in the loungeroom etc, so that bit extra at the back comes in handy!

These are described by Burda as leggings, but they are not really. More like skinny pants. Next time I make these I think I will add some patch pockets on the back and maybe a mock fly to give more of a jeans look. They would be great made up in a ponte or other knit with a bit of body.

And I have just enough of this fabric leftover for a skirt. But I don’t really have a lot of skirt patterns for the big kid, so a trip around the op shops might be in order!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kids Clothes Week: Big Kids Wardrobe

Kids Clothes Week is coming up in a few weeks, and while I have been an avid follower of the 'Week', I haven't actually sewn along as the dates have never really aligned with my available sewing time.

This time around however, KCW is the same week as the last week of school term, so I should be able to participate.

This upcoming week is also the first KCW that has a theme, and this time it is Mini Me, which is kinda cute, and sort of funny for me as Miss C is completely the opposite to me! I have cool colouring; dark hair, fair skin and blue eyes, whereas as she is warm with blonde hair and hazel eyes.

But in either a freaky coincidence or divine serendipity, Burdastyle released this pattern recently

Womens and girls raincape pattern Burdastyle 03/2014
and I just happened to buy this fabric in two different colourways at the Christmas sales.
Leopard print taffeta picked up for $2 metre....bargain!

So I think someone is telling me something: Mum and daughter raincoats!!!!!

I am planning on using the Burda raincoat pattern for Miss C's coat, but I can't see myself putting up with cape like sleeves, so mine will probably be a more traditional parka style. I will have to dig through the stash to see what I find.

And seeing as I am going to the trouble of making a statement raincoat for the kid, I may as well keep the momentum going and get a winter wardrobe happening at the same time. This is what I have pulled from the stash.
L-R charcoal grey corduroy, watermelon jersey, black chambray, grey spot chambray and the leopard taffeta... roar!
I am not sure what patterns I will use, but probably some basics like leggings and jeans to go with the coat, and maybe a skirt and T.

I will probably use mostly Burda patterns, as their fit suits Miss C really nicely, but it means a lot of tracing so I better get cracking! The plan is to trace and cut as much as I can before the Week and then sew like the wind!

Have you started planning for next season yet?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sweet Feminine Clothes Top C

Apparently The Blonde One thinks that this is the most hilarious outfit she has ever seen!

Even the back is funny!

Now can we be serious please, we need to tell people about the pattern!

The top is pattern C from Sweet Feminine Clothes. I had assumed this was designed for stretch fabrics, but when I got about half way through the project it occurred to me that it is actually designed for wovens. The clue was in the instructions, which indicated that the neck and armhole bindings were to be finished by hand. I can’t imagine that this would be a good idea in a slippery, stretchy jersey!
Top C technical drawing

Hand sewn binding instructions

I made the size 13, which is the largest size in the book and needed a bit of tweaking due to my fabric being a stretch.So I

  • Raised the CF neck by 2cm
  • Took side seams in by 1cm
  • Took 3cm off the length

Instead of handsewing the binding, I used this technique to finish the neck and armholes.

The fabric is a lovely viscose grey marle jersey that was quite expensive when I bought it a few years ago. This is the 3rd garment I have made from the 2 metres I purchased though, so I think that it has been pretty good value.

The top is lovely to wear, the flared sleeve thingy gives good arm coverage, but is still nice and cool on a hot day. Because the top is so loose and boxy I didn’t use any stretch sewing techniques, and just sewed the seams with a straight stitch and then overlocked the edges. I did use a ballpoint needle though as this fabric does snag with a regular needle.

I am really happy with this top, it is the first me make for 2014, and as it is finally starting to cool down here, some tops with sleeves are definitely in order!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The last legs of summer

While summer only officially ended on friday, the weekend has been decidedly unsummer like, with rain for nearly 3 days. Which after 3 months of “oh my goodness why didn’t we install air conditioning” moaning, was a welcome change.

And it means I only have one, well actually two, but the pants were a bit of a last minute wonder what these would be like kind of projects, summer makes to show.

The top is Simplicity1693 again, although slightly varied from the last one, and the pants are the bottom part of this Vogue jumpsuit pattern.
Vogue 1308

As much as I love my last two versions of the Simplicity tank, the CF was gaping quite a bit, not so much when I stood still in front of the mirror, but definitely during every day wear. This was also happening with my McCalls ikat dress which made me realise it was a me problem and not a pattern problem.

Being Miss Average (average height, average weight, average shoe size etc) does have some advantages, in that I very rarely have to alter patterns aside from length. I do have a sway back but because I generally don’t make anything very closefitting it’s not usually an issue.

After a bit of Google research, I came to the conclusion that I have a hollow chest. Which sounds just as bad as a dowager hump and made me feel at least a decade older than I am!

I consulted my copy of Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting to find a solution, but because I still have baby brain fog (don’t know when that is going to clear up!), doing any kind of proper patternmaking seemed a bit beyond me.

So I just took in the CF a bit. Which I am pretty certain isn’t technically the best solution, but it did do the trick for me. Instead of cutting the CF on the fold, I simply cut 2 of the front, and then sewed the CF seam using a 1cm sa. Which essentially took 2cm out of the CF. The back still sits nicely and the armhole looks and feels OK so I don’t think I did too much damage!

I also added a patch pocket, otherwise the pattern is unchanged.

The fabric? A bit of polyester that kind of looks like sandwashed silk, if you don’t get too close! It was leftover from lining another garment and because the colour was so great I overlooked the fact that it was a polyester! It is surprisingly cool to wear and the bonus is that it doesn’t need ironing.

Onto the pants.
Fabric: cotton '80's print from the op shop

These were a bit of a trial go to see what this pattern was like. I made the size 12, took the side seams in by about 1cm and voila, some comfy, casual elastic waist pants!

I do feel a bit strange about wearing these in public though. They do feel very pyjamery, and while I know that printed pants are very on trend right now, I think these would work better with a more tailored or structured top, like a chambray shirt or even a lightweight jacket and Tshirt. And maybe some shoes!

Still, the pants will get worn and the pattern is a good one, and when I have a fancy occasion to go to, I have a lovely navy printed silk stashed away to make up the whole jumpsuit.

And now the sewing table is clear, the machines are oiled up and ready to go, and next up is figuring out what to make for winter!