Sunday, 13 August 2017

A Despicable Tinny Dress

It's another Tinny dress folks.

This is definitely my most used pattern now.  This time I've used the bow collar from the Laure Dress. I really love how some designers make their patterns mix and match. It opens up even more options than the one pattern (although this one still has plenty!)

This dress is actually based on the character of Lucy Wilde from Despicable Me 2. Everytime Freya enjoys watching or reading something now she asks for a dress. I had originally thought of making her a minion denim pinafore but she insisted Lucy was her favourite so that's what I went with.

I used a white and pink fabric for the bow as a nod to Lucy's scarf and of course the twirly skirt of the Tinny is always a winner.

I was a bit worried when I showed her while I was half-way through making it, and she said it was wrong.  But luckily she loved it when I'd finished and wanted to wear it straight away.

I was just happy to make something not based on a Disney Princess. I'm really enjoying making these character inspired dresses.  My goal is to be make wearable for everyday while still having that dress up quality. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Because one Elsa dress just isn't enough...

After seeing how much Freya loved her first Elsa dress, another Princess dress was always going to be on the to-sew list.

So I went back to Frozen for this one and decided on Elsa's coronation dress.  I used the Magrath dress pattern for this one and have plans to use this pattern to make the next Princess dress on the list (and Freya's list keeps getting bigger).

I added yellow piping between the seams which wasn't the easiest thing to do with the shaped bodice. I got out my embroidery machine for the bodice patterns. I got the design from Daisy Sprouts and it stitched up beautifully.

I changed the back to make it a straight yoke and added more piping.  I wasn't originally going to use and exposed zipper but the piping didn't agree with the invisible zipper so I went back to the original design. This is the first zipper I've ever done that wasn't invisible and I kind of like it.  It's got me thinking about using some more exposed zippers with some other dresses.

Other than the back, I didn't alter the pattern at all.  This is a size 5 and it has plenty of room.  To be honest Freya would probably still fit a size 4 in a few patterns, but I always sew up a 5 to be safe, and to make sure it will last for a while. I didn't lengthen it as I wanted this dress to be a bit more user friendly than the full length one.

The pattern was great.  The instructions were clear and had photos for each step. The PDF itself went together quickly and smoothly. 

Needless to say it was a big hit with my girl.  She's already talking about the next character dress she wants, and luckily it's not a princess next time. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tulip Dress

Last term was so busy, it's been wonderful to have a good break during the School holidays and have the chance to do some sewing.  Of course, by time I've had chance to photograph some of them it was miserable outside, so I'm afraid it's inside photos today.

One of my first projects was the Tulip Dress from kaatjenaaisels.  I'd had these fabrics on my shelf for a while and knew I wanted to put them together and finally decided to use this pattern to do it.

The pattern itself is both in English and Dutch.  The PDF went together quickly and didn't have a lot of pages.  I think a label for a zipper line was missing but it was pretty easy to figure out.  This pattern has a button or zipper option, but I've discovered Freya really likes zippers so that's what I went with.

Construction wise it all went together quiet smoothly.  As other bloggers had said the shoulder seams can e quite think as there are lots of layer to sew together, but it honestly wasn't that bad and easy to live with.  There was nothing overly fiddly and the instructions were clear.

I love how the dress has turned out.  I made a size 5 and it fits well.  She seemed to like it as well, which is a bit of a relief.  She's so unpredictable in now in dresses she likes and doesn't like.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Inevitable Elsa Dress

When you have a little girl firmly in the Disney princess stage, an Elsa dress was always an inevitability.

I'd been promising to make her one for ages and invitation to a Frozen party was just the excuse to finally get around to making it. Of course having a sewing deadline during report writing time wasn't exactly ideal, but I got it done.

I used my faithful Tinny dress by Straightgrain as the starting point. I used the Jaanu bodice as a bit a guideline and cut the Tinny bodice into the two parts.  I also added the long sleeve from the Ishi dress and used the longest circle skirt from the Tinny pattern with the size 5 at the waist. It all went together beautifully which was good as I didn't have time to make a muslin. I found this great Michael Miller fabric range called fairy frost and it was perfect for the Elsa dress.

I found this fabulous sheer fabric from Spotlight ages ago ready for the Elsa dress I would one day make. I had originally planned to sew it into the bodice and yoke seams but I wasn't sure how it was going to wash and last so instead I decided to make a separate cape. I was under strict instructions to make the cape "super long" so I used the full length of fabric and just eye-balled cutting it out without a pattern piece.  I sewed it into a detachable peter pan collar and used velcro to close the collar.  I think it's turned out to be the right decision. When she gets tired of the cape she can take it off and it's easy to put it back on.

She absolutely loves it and hasn't taken it off all weekend, even during a trip to the supermarket (without the cape that is, I'm not that patient). She's already talking about having a Belle, Moana and Rapunzel dress so I think I'm going to have my work cut out for me. At least then this dress will have a chance of being washed...

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Not just one Juliette

I'm pretty excited today to be taking part in the blog tour for the new Juliette pattern, a collaboration of two of my favourite instagrammers: Sewpony and Kneesocks and Goldilocks.

I've sewn up a few Sewpony patterns now and they are always very sweet and well drafted.  This dress was no exception.  The pattern is for a dress or top, with a neck ruffle or without, so I made dresses with both.

The first was this dress in gingham with the ruffle.  I wanted to use something simple, yet classic and you can't go wrong with gingham.  I'm not usually one for ruffles or frills but I'm always keen to try new styles and this pattern looked so sweet.  I must admit I kept second guessing myself, on whether or not to add some contrast fabric or not.  In the end I kept it simple and I'm glad I did.

For the second one I made, I left off the ruffle and used the faux button placket instead.  Again I kept on second guessing whether or not to add a ruffle or change the bias ties.  In the end as you can see I used some contrast black with the long ties.

The shape of this dress is just gorgeous and it has layered nicely too.  There's also a collar upgrade Suz has just drafted so I think I'm not done with this pattern yet.

You can see more beautiful versions of this pattern by visiting the other talented makers on the Juliette Blog tour.

Suz is also running a fantastic competition on her website at the moment, be sure to check it out!!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Take Two Dulcie

 This is the second time I've used this fabric and this pattern.

The pattern is the new Dulcie pattern which I fell in love with the last time I'd made it.  I left off the pockets this time as the print was so busy.  

I went with the turned cuff again and used a navy fabric for the lining.  Both fabrics are from Cotton and Steel.  I've made a dress with this fabric before but I liked it so much I bought more ready for when she outgrew that dress.

The dress all went together quickly and smoothly, even with all the lining up of all the stripes.

I'll try not to make this dress too often, but I can't make any promises :) 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Freya's "Party"Dulcie Dress

You know it's a good pattern when you've already planned out making it with all the fabrics on your shelf!

This is the new Dulcie pattern from Sewpony.  Suz was kind enough to make this one free for subscribers to her website.  I knew it was going to be a dress I wanted to make when I saw some sneak peeks on Instagram.

The pattern is simple, yet lovely in it's details.  You can have plain sleeves or slightly longer ones which fold back into a cuff, a square or rounded neckline, half a collar and large patch pockets.  It also has a lovely, full gathered skirt to add to the twirl factor.

Construction wise it all went together very quickly and smoothly.  I used the fold back sleeves and pockets on this one.  Any pattern where you don't have to set in a sleeve is a winner in my book.  

The fabric is some lovely Cotton and Steel fabric.  Freya's favourite animals are giraffes and her words when she saw this fabric was "please, please, please!" She calls it her party dress because they're holding balloons.

I knew I liked the dress when I'd finished sewing it, but I fell in love with it when Freya put it on.  She did too, and was so excited when I showed her the finished dress.  I have already cut out my second one and I think I have many fabrics on my shelf that would work beautifully with this pattern.

She's got the camera out again... 

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!