Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Class Picnic Top

Last year my Mum and I had a crafternoon which surprisingly turned out to be quite productive.  She put the finishing touches to a quilt she had been making and I made the Class Picnic top from Oliver and S.  We were just going into some warmer weather so I thought the 3/4 sleeves would be perfect for that time of year.  I did intend to make the shorts too but unfortunately never got around to it, I guess I'll make them next year.
The fabric is a bit busier than something I would normally use but I was drawn to it in the shop.  I originally bought it for another pattern but decided it would be better suited to this one instead.  The colours are a pink and a brown and it actually co-ordinated well with many things in Little Miss' wardrobe. (PS she started "riding" her ladybird after watching Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom.  So cute!)
Unfortunately I don't have a good shot of her wearing it as I took these before I started the blog.  The pattern went together nicely.  I think the best bit was the elastic at the shoulders.  It just magically worked and all the seams lined up nicely.  I love how Oliver and S patterns manage to do that.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Fawn Lily Dress

When Freya was in hospital I kept in touch with sewing by reading many, many blogs and spending far to much time on Pinterest. The Willow and Co pattern collection soon became something I was looking forward to being able to sew.  This Fawn Lily dress has been the first thing I've been able to do so far.

This is a great pattern with lots of different options.  You can have a gathered, plain or pleated skirt.  A button yoke or a nice crossover notion free version and different length options. You can also include pockets! I first went for the crossover yoke with a plain skirt with a dress length.
I'd actually bought this fabric ages ago with another project in mind but decided to use it for this instead.  I added red piping and the red sleeves but otherwise kept it fairly simple.  I really like this dress and I don't think I've seen anything like it in the shops.

It sews together pretty well.  The instructions are clear. I found sewing the sleeves a little tricky as you have to roll the dress up and sew the arm seam around it and then pull it through.  I was glad I have used the same method when making the washi dress with lining, as that made it a bit easier.  Although having used all that piping I had to wrestle it a little and I was so nervous about sewing over the dress.
The only nitpicking thing I have to say too is that the yoke pattern pieces are nested together pretty closely making it a little tricky when I was tracing the pattern.  I didn't have any coloured ink but I'm wondering if this is a pattern where it may be worth printing in colour.  Having said that I traced over the size 2 in a colour first and that made it a it easier.

The dress looks great.  It has a nice vintage feel with the fabric but I think the style is quite modern.  I've already started sewing my next one.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Maggie Mae

I always seem to have little self control when it comes to buying patterns online.  Although I now have a substantial collection of patterns still yet to be sewn I am always overtaken buy the urge to purchase a new pattern as soon as I discover a nice, new, shiny one.  Often those bought patterns then tend to be put on the back-burner as I sew the next new thing, if I'm lucky.

This was the case with the Maggie Mae dress from Schwin and Schwin.  I bought this almost a year ago and it has sat on my shelf quite neglected.  But then once again I happened to see yet another lovely version sewn up on Flickr and a recent trip to a quilt shop had resulted in it moving to the top of my to sew pile.  I have to say I am quite pleased by the results.
As soon as I saw this fabric I was drawn to it.  I knew my Mum was very kindly sewing a purple cardigan for Freya so I had that in the back of my mind while shopping.  As soon as I held it up to the purpley-red homespun I knew it was a good fabric combination.
I love it when you are sewing something and you see the design coming together and you just know it's going to be a winner.  That's what I felt with this dress.  It also helped that I was having one of those lovely sewing days where everything just worked.  The seams and the print just lined up nicely, nothing got tangled or off kilter and the dress just came together nicely before my eyes.
Trying to make a quick getaway
It's a bit on the big side for Freya at this moment but that's OK.  I made the tunic version and it looks more like a dress.  The pattern itself is good.  I think originally I was a bit put off by just having measurements for the skirt portion and no clear pleat lines, but it actually went together quite easily and looked great.  You know you're using a good pattern when you're already planning the next 4 versions before you've finished the one you're originally sewing.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Ice-Cream Top

I love this top.  Having said that, it's not entirely perfect but I'm still pleased with it none the less.  I sewed this up last year using the Oliver and S Ice-cream top pattern.  I've always loved this pattern, and bought it as soon as if became available digitally.  I attempted it once before but struggled with joining the back to the yoke (more on this later)
I'm usually not a flowery, girly person, but after seeing so many lovely patterns on Flickr sewn up in lovely floral fabric I thought I'd give it a go.  I found this fabric in my local quilt shop, and I'm not sure what the range is now.  It's floral without being too flowery if that makes sense and I'm tempted to go back for more.
I kept the top in the one fabric instead of using contrast fabric, which can also look fantastic.  It went together pretty smoothly until it came to joining the back up.  This is the second time I've tried and yet I still can't get it to work properly.  It's still wearable, and has gotten a lot of wear, but the perfectionist in me cringes.  I think I'm going to keep practicing though until I get it right.
The top looks great on Little Miss and seems quite comfy.  It looks great with shorts or jeans.  Sorry for the poor quality  photos, they're the only ones I could find of her wearing it.  She's grown so much since then...

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Library Dress

This was one of those occasions when I bought fabric with exactly the project I was going to make in mind.  This is some fabric from a Prints charming line in Spotlight and as soon as I saw it I knew what dress it would be perfect for.  Oliver and S had recently released the Library dress pattern and it was an auto buy for me. I love how you could mix and match prints and fabric with the band to make either an everyday dress with nice details or use something fancier for a smarter, going out type of dress.
I'd originally planned to leave off the collar but as I was cutting it out I saw I had enough fabric so I added the collar too.  Thank goodness I did because I love the way the plaid works with that detail.  I think it really makes the dress a bit more special. I
It ended up being her Christmas dress last year.  Here she is playing with her much loved kitchen for the first time.  She has that cooking stance nailed already!
The pattern itself was fairly straight forward.  Even the pleats were easy and the notches and directions in the pattern made everything line up nicely.
I sewed this up quite a while ago and posted it to the Oliver and S Flickr group.  Imagine my surprise when one day it popped up on my Facebook feed as a version Liesl highlighted from the Flickr group.  I'm not ashamed to say I was quite excited when that happened!