Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Lemon Dress

I've made yet another building block dress.

This again is one of the basic versions of the block dress from the Oliver and S book, this time complete with collars and sleeve cuffs.  The only thing I did differently was just over-locking the sleeves instead of using the sleeve cuff facing.  I wasn't in the mood for fiddly sewing that night.

I toyed with the idea of using a white contrast fabric but I'm glad I ended up going with the yellow. The fabric is some Cotton and Steel with gorgeous little lemons on it.

It looks as good as ever, the book was definitely worth every penny.  I've already had a go at drafting yet another dress.

 Still twirling!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Striped Tinny Dress

I'm kind of proud of this one!

This is a gathered skirt version of the Tinny dress by Straightgrain, a pattern I come back to again and again.

I loved this fabric when I saw one of my local fabric stores post a picture of it on Instagram.  Freya saw the picture and asked for that please, please, please.  She also picked out some orange with diamonds on from the same range. When I'd finished making it, she was very proud that she'd picked the fabric.

I've made this pattern so many times I used the cheat sheet instead of each instruction.  I knew I wanted the stripes to go different ways on the bodice and skirt.  It took quite a bit of work to get that zipper to line up, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

This is the first time I'd ever done a blind hem too. I think it's something I'll be using a lot more.

Don't you love a four year old's style?! She's got new shoes and now she won't wear anything else :) 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Pleatie dress in the Sunshine

I took advantage of a slight break in the pretty miserable weather we've been having to photograph a project I actually finished quite a while ago now.

 This is the Pleatie dress from Tadah patterns.  I'd made the short-suit version last year but wasn't thrilled with the fit so I played it safe this year with a dress.  Plus I have a dress crazy girl, so at least I know this will get worn! I love dungarees and pants but it's not worth making lots of them as she will always, always choose to wear a dress!

This was one of those times when I had the idea of making this dress but just couldn't find the right fabric.  I remember looking around and around my local fabric shop one day and nothing was really leaping out at me.  I think it was around my third time round the store that day when I spotted this lovely Tilda fabric and knew it would be perfect.  It's actually a very pale green with blue spots in the flowers but it's a bit tricky to see on the photos.  I found the perfect blue to pair with it, and that was that!

This isn't the quickest dress I've ever made but it did go together nicely, with everything lining up perfectly. I remembered to be very careful with the facing and paid close attention to when and where you fold things too, as I became a bit unstuck there last time. The instructions and diagrams are pretty clear, just make sure you read them carefully.

 I went for sleeveless as I did make it while the weather was cooler (not that it's really warmed up yet!) so it could be easily layered and still work well for Summer.

I love the details of this pattern!  The pleats are just lovely and I really love a good collar.   You have plenty of options with this pattern including sleeves, pants or a skirt, pleats or no pleats, 2 collars to choose from and whether you put the placket on the front or the back.  As you can see I went with a pointed collar and a front button placket.

 It's been a hit with Little Miss and she quite regularly chooses to wear it.  I swear she must be the most overdressed kid at Kinder sometimes, but I figure she may as well wear what she wants.  I've given up trying to save things for going out as I have done in the past, and then some things were grown out of and barely worn. Not chance of that happening with this dress anyway.

Pembridge Pinafore

You can't go wrong with a pinafore dress and knee high socks!

This is the Pembridge Pinafore from Lil Luxe Collection.  I used a simple blue and white stripe I've had in my stash for ages but just never really known what to do with it.  It's great for layering with long or short sleeves so I hope she'll get a lot of use out if it.

The PDF itself wasn't very big and was very quick to go together with everything lining up nicely.  There are two views, one with a button down back or a crossover strap.  I went for the crossover as you can see and it was a seriously quick sew! 

I made a straight size four but I''m wondering if I'll use a slightly bigger piece of elastic in the back as it does seem to be pulling a bit over the chest.  I do like how it has a high back though, that's a lovely design feature.

All in all I like how it's turned out and will probably make another one some day.  I was worried this might look a bit school uniform-ish in this fabric so I might try something a bit bolder and more colourful next time. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

No, really this is my favourite dress now!

Lately I've been on a good sewing streak and I've been really liking some of my recent makes.  It seems I keep announcing this is my new favourite dress every time I finish something.

It was no different when I finished this dress.  I used the Block Dress Book again but was a bit braver this time.  I had a go at drafting a cap sleeve and the tie collar.  I lengthened the collar by half an inch but I think it wouldn't have hurt to make it a touch longer.  

The fabric is from a Marcus Fabrics range called ''Meadow Storm".  It's a lovely subtle print with little flowers etched in to it.  The more I looked at it, the more I liked it.  I knew I wanted to sew a dress with a collar but I couldn't decide upon a contrast collar so used the same fabric.  

The cap sleeve also worked well, and it really didn't take long to draft the new pieces.  Its certainly given me some more confidence to try drafting some of the other pattern pieces.  The only other thing I did differently was to cut two back skirt pieces and overlock the back edges.  I then sewed up the back to the notch.  I then edgestitched the seam allowance down.  This was much quicker than the tricky placket but it did leave a seam line on the back of the dress.

I had to be careful with placing the snaps at the back as the collar did come fairly close to the edge of the placket.  I found though by using the centre back markings it worked well.  I also used 4 different coloured snaps for a bit of a change,

I really love how it's turned out.  The colour is great on Freya and it's a lovely Summer dress (now we just need Summer to finally arrive!)  So that's my new favourite dress, well for the moment anyways...

Monday, 24 October 2016

Red Spotty Block Dress

I was so excited when my copy of the new Oliver and S Block dress book finally arrived!

This is the first version of the dress I've made and it definitely won't be the last.  

I'm making a bit of a conscious effort to inject some colour in my sewing as I have noticed I have an AWFUL lot of blue fabric in my stash.  This was something I bought particularly with that in mind and I think it's worked beautifully.

For my first dress from the book I stuck with a very simple version.  I even left off the collar and cuffs to keep it really simple, but I also think the print was bold enough to just stand on it's own. I know I love adding collars and details but it is nice to have a simple dress that she can wear to kinder and not be the most overdressed girl in the room.

The dress went together quite quickly.  The neckline is finished with a bias strip facing.  It was just folded in half once and then sewn on which is definitely the way I prefer to use bias tape.  The trickiest bit by far was the skirt placket.  You have to cut down the centre line of the skirt and fold bias binding over it.  I had a good try but it still wasn't perfect and is something I'll have to practise.

The book itself is great.  The instructions on how to alter the pattern pieces to create new ones is thorough and provides lots of different design opportunity.  The only thing is finding the time to change the pieces myself.  I am hoping I will be brave enough to take some risks and using the features of the book, but I don't think I'll be completely giving up buying patterns too.

Freya loved the dress.  It has a bit of twirl to it so it's a winner in her book.  She actually hugged me and said thank you when she got to wear it.  I'm so glad it turned out OK.  I was felling a bit blah about it as I was sewing but when she put it on I loved it.  All in all a success and I've already started on the next version.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Yet Another Cat Dress

Because a girl can never have too many cat dresses!

This is an Oliver and S Roller Skate dress which is one of my favourites, Freya's too if I'm honest.  She loved wearing her ones from last year and I've had to hide them as they are really getting too small.

This fabric is from the Cat Lady range from Cotton and Steel.  I bought it at the same time as the previous fabric.  I knew instantly this is what I would make from it and didn't change my mind for once!  I hadn't originally planned to add the facing, and certainly not in the mustard but when I put them together it just worked so well.   

The pattern went together as smoothly and quickly as ever.  The only thing I did differently was to use the tunic length for the lining to save on fabric.  I also used carbon paper and put the stitching lines on the lining to save risking the main fabric.   It's turned out well as always and I know she'll get a lot of wear out of it.  It's such a great, practical pattern!

Monday, 3 October 2016

My First Jump-rope Dress

This is the first time I've made this pattern and it sure won't be the last!

This is the Jump-rope dress by Oliver and S.  I've been interested in it for a while but waited until Little Miss was in the larger size range before getting it.  To be honest I was a bit intimidated by the placket and other features, but the instructions are very clear and I made sure I was extra careful and it turned out just fine.

While I do love sewing quick and simple dresses, I actually really enjoyed putting something a bit more complicated together.  This really isn't a quick sew but I reckon it would be easier the next time I make it.

The print is Cotton and Steel (yes, I'm a bit of a fan girl apparently!) from the Cat Lady collection.  I bought a metre and a half and some mustard without any real plans in mind but as soon as I thought of this pattern I knew it would be a winner.

I think this would be up there with the favourite things I've ever made.  I think it looks great on Freya.  This is a size 4 which is generous on her, without being too big.  I know she'll get a lot of wear out of it.  

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Red Dorset Dress

There's nothing better than a great, simple pattern.

This is the new Heidi and Finn pattern called The Dorset Dress.  It's a simple a-line dress with some lovely details, which are my favourite kind.  The PDF went together without any difficulty and didn't use up too many pages.  

The back closes with a hidden button placket.  I really liked this feature as it was nice not to fiddle with zippers or button loops.

To be honest I wasn't sure about the button tabs on the front.  I was planning on leaving them off but then during sewing it together I was worried it was looking a tad plain.  So I ended up adding them with some blue piping for extra effect,  I'm so glad I did, but Freya keeps putting her hands in them expecting pockets.

The fabric is some Cotton and Steel I bought without any project in mind.  I've noticed I have been using a lot of blue and teal in my sewing so it was nice to give Freya a pop of colour.