Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Finally, another dress for me!

It's been a long time since I've had the time to do some blogging about something I've made for myself.  I've been able to post a few things on my Instagram but I figured this dress actually deserved a blogpost.

Last year my Mum and I purchased a Pattern Drafter from Maria Boncaldo.  It's a tricky to explain, but it's basically a ruler to draft your own block pattern (or I think I've seen them called sloper) using your own measurements.  The demonstration I attended showed how to draft a whole dress but so far I've pretty much just done a bodice and sleeve.

After having just 2 attempts, with a little tweaking here and there (more with taking my own measurements correctly) I had a bodice that fit me perfectly.  I usually have a bit of gaping at my neck with a lot of patterns, but not here!  I've never had a dress fit me so well.

The next step was to play a little with necklines.  I've got a basic high neckline and then I had a go at making one with more of a v-neck.  Here I cheated a little looking using some existing patterns I had as a kind of guideline, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  

At the moment I keep using skirts from my existing patterns and matching them with this bodice.  Luckily the skirts from my Boundless Style book from Victory Patterns seem to work beautifully with my bodice pattern and that's where this one came from.  I was bit unsure at first if it was too long, but the more I've worn it, the more I like it and now want to 100 more dresses just like this one.

The fabric is some lovely Cloud 9 fabric I picked up from Spotlight.  I initially made this as a tester dress but I think the fabric suited the pattern perfectly.  I wasn't at all fussy when it came to print matching, but that hasn't mattered and it's been a great dress for Summer, in fact even one of my preps at School commented that I'm always wearing this dress.  I'd better hurry up and make another one I guess.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Denim Tic Tac Toe

I;m really kicking myself for not buying this pattern sooner!

This is the Tic Tac Toe dress from Sewpony.  I'm not sure why I didn't get this until now.  I have seen and liked many versions online but just never got around to it.  I'm certainly glad I have now.

This fabric I've had on my shelf for a while, one of those ""I like it so much I'll keep saving it".  It's some Art Gallery denim and was dream to sew with.  Although it is a denim, it's lovely and soft and has a lovely drape.  It worked perfectly for this dress.

I decided to sew up the version where the bodice is split up a bit.  There's so many different ways to put this pattern together  it can suit many different fabric and combinations.  I used just one fabric here, but I'd love to have a go at playing round with some different fabric combinations. It's a great way to use up some of those small piece of left over fabric.

I added some white piping which shows up the lines of the dress beautifully.  I love the way the piping continues down to outline the pockets.

I made a size 5 and it's a little roomy but fine.  I thought she might just grow out of the four too quickly.  Freya's on the borderline of so many patterns at the moment it's hard to know what size to make sometimes.

The pockets were a big hit!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Flowers and flutters, oh my!

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to test the new Coffee and Thread pattern, the Polina dress.

I have noticed recently that I'm beginning to sew with more and more flowery prints.  This dress was perfect for showing off this lovely dress.

There's a few options with this pattern.  This is the gathered skirt and the circular frills.  I'm not going to lie, those frills were not easy to sew.  It was worth the effort though as they look very sweet.

Olga has worked very hard on this pattern, constantly improving every little thing.  This was one of the final versions and it looks great.  I made this size 4 with the lined bodice.  Other than the fiddly frills it all came together beautifully.

Now prepare for picture overload.

I did warn you!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Freya's requested Ileana

Freya's becoming quite vocal in the things I make for her, which can lead to some fun!

After noticing she had a few cat dresses but no dog dresses she announced she needed one.  So off we went post haste to the fabric shop and found this Cotton and Steel fabric that fit the bill.  Of course the contrast colour just had to be yellow but I think it works really well.

I was then told it needed to be twirly and I decided to go with the Ileana dress pattern from Compagnie M.  I've made it before and figured it was high time for a new one.

As it was quite a directional print I went with the half circle skirt, with the raglan sleeves (my favourite!) and added the triangle pockets.  Because you can never have too much yellow when you're four I also added a belt, which I think lifts the dress nicely.

I made a size 5 for my growing girl.  It's roomy but still definitely wearable.  I had a little hiccup with the back of the skirt when I cut out the pocket shapes from that piece as well.  I was able to wrangle another back skirt out of what I had left but had to cut it in 2 pieces and add seam allowance.

Freya LOVES her new dress and I have to admit, I do too.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Purple Frederique Dress

 This is the new Compagnie M Frederique Dress, an instabuy as soon as I saw it!

It's a wrap dress, a style I've never really made before so I thought I'd get Freya to wear it for a day before I rushed out to make a second one. 

For this one I kept it pretty simple and left off the collar and sleeves.  I didn't have enough lining to fully line it as the instructions, so I just lined the bodice.  It all seemed to work out OK but there's a couple of corners and edges I'm not 100% happy with so I'll try to fully line the next one.

This is some Cotton and Steel Fabric I have sewn with before.  Freya and I liked that dress so much, that we (and I mean we!) decided she needed another purple dress as she grew out of the old one.  I'd actually bought some more a while back with another dress in mind, but luckily it's worked out nicely for this one.  I picked out some mustard for a contrast tie.

Construction and pattern wise, it's pretty good as usual from Compagnie M.  There's a few options to choose from and I liked not having to worry about zippers or buttons for a change. I made a size 5 for my growing girl and it is a little roomy but not too gapey.  It all stayed together and didn't unravel as she ran and jumped around in it, which was a little concern of mine.  When it does get cooler, I think this will layer nicely.

A certain someone also recently has been able to jump, with both feet off the ground, for the first time.  So now that's all she wants to do which can lead to some interesting photos...  So proud of this girl! A small achievement for some but huge for us :) 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The new "boring" Laure Dress

A certain someone who proclaimed this dress as being "boring"looks pretty pleased with herself in these photos!

This is the Laure Dress a new pattern by Straightgrain.  I must admit a bit of a weakness of a dropped waist dress so this was an insta-buy when it was released.  This is with the bow collar but there are also other options including a qipao collar that I'd like to try one day.

I ended up making a size 5, which is a very generous fit on my girl.  She turns 5 soon and at the rate she's growing I wanted to do some future proofing.  I had some great advice from people on Instagram regarding sizing but I figured I'd be happier with her growing into the dress, instead of growing out of it quickly.  It's not as if she has a shortage of things to wear :)

As ever the pdf and pattern went together well.  The cap sleeves were a little fiddly, but no more than any other sleeve.  There was some great instructions for the invisible zipper, especially for the top.  That's one area I'm never 100% happy with how it looks.  I used some fabric I'd had in the stash for a while (I'm not sure what collection it is) and was able to get this dress out of 1 metre.  I was pretty pleased with how it turned out but Freya proclaimed it to be "boring"and said it needs a pink collar. Who knows, I think she may be onto something. I'm really enjoying how she's developing her own taste now.

Freya was in fine form today with her "modelling"poses.  She had me in stitches! 

Friday, 27 January 2017

A pink "baking" dress

That's what Freya is calling it anyway.

This is the new Macy Pinafore from Jilly Atlanta.  I was trying my best not to buy any more patterns but I caved after seeing so many cute versions on Facebook.  The fabric is some pink cotton and steel with little pictures of bowls and jugs and other kitchen implements.  So seeing as it looks a little like an apron and has kitchen pictures on it has become known as the baking dress.

I have a bit of a mixed experience with this dress. I made a size 5 thinking it would add a bit more length so Freya wouldn't grow out of it as quickly.  As I was making it I realised the skirt was long, like seriously long, like almost to her ankles long.  I trimmed off a few inches thinking that would serve me right for picking a bigger size and then read that the pattern is supposed to have a 3 inch hem. Doh!

I also, for whatever reason, didn't interface the straps.  I've adjusted the length a few times but they still seem to slip off her shoulders.  Maybe sizing up wasn't the right decision after all.

However having said all that I really like this dress.  When I'd finished it I was looking at my fabric stash and thinking how every fabric I had would look cute in this pattern.

The pattern itself was great.  The PDF has layers and lines up easily.  Instructions are very clear with colour photos and video links to help.

Although this one may need to be hung up in the cupboard for a while until Freya grows a bit, I think I would still give this pattern another go, maybe this time in the right size.

Check out that attitude! I think she's been watching me take photos of my dresses, LOL!