Sunday, 31 March 2013

FO: Paris in Spring skirt

This teeney piece of vintage Paris street scence fabric has been lingering in my stash for a couple of years.  Too small to be a skirt for me, it was destined for Little I. 

On sunday when tidying up and seeing it still lying on my bookshelf I snapped, put the baby in the highchair, got Little I to dance in front of the baby to keep her entertained,  and pulled out my sewing machine. 

The quickest simplest skirt.  There wasn't enough fabric to use a pattern, so, just one side seam, top casing and a hem, then elastic in the casing and ta-dah!  I do like it when I finally get a lingering project done. 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

FO: The sweetest polka dot frock

cutting and taping
I am trying not to buy any new patterns but one Sunday morning, browsing sewing blogs in pyjamas was a dangerous time.  Seriously, there should have been a huge flashing sign and wailing siren as I hopped from one sewing site to another and ended up at Go To Patterns.  Then, losing my mind temporarily, I allowed Little I to choose a PDF dress pattern and clicked "buy".  It doesn't seem like spending money but it is....and she chose the Little Bow Pleat dress by Melly Sews

I have to say despite kicking myself for falling off the No-Spend-Frugal wagon, I do love this pattern.  It is super easy to sew and creates a lovely dress.  It is sized 18 months to 8 years so I am fully expecting to make it again in a smaller size for RG. 

The final dress is A line, with a standup collar, slightly puffed sleeves, centre front pleat and self fabric big bow.  I mean what's not to love here? I just wish I was almost six years old so I could wear it. I also imagine this is what my sewing friend Scruffybadger would wear if she too were almost six. 

I made it from bright pink cotton with orange polka dots bought from Clothkits. I used a discount offer so I had the fabric for £4 per metre and used about 1.50 metres.  The dress has a thrifted red zip in the back (20p). 
The most tricky bits to sew were the sleeve bands as they are so small that they are quite fiddly.  If I make it smaller I may omit them as I found them so fiddly, or try sewing them on before sewing up the sleeve.  Would that work?
fiddly sleeve band

I think it could look great in a jersey knit as it would drape so well.  

Saturday, 16 March 2013

FO: The Longest Unfinshed Object, finally finished

This little pink apron is for Little I but originally I started it for a friend's daughter six years ago.  Yes, six years.  The original recipient is now nearly ten and too tall and too old for such a pink spotty apron.   I started it, sewed the applique butterflies and then for some reason the apron was folded away and left in a box under the bed.  Is six years a record for completing an unfinished item of sewing? 

Yesterday I added ribbon ties and sewed the remaining seams and hems.  It has a blue shirting lining on the back and the ties are sewn into the seams.    
This task took about ten minutes while RG slept.  Um, yes, six years to do ten minutes of finishing off.  Can anyone else beat six years for leaving a project half done?  Come on, please confess and make me feel better.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

FO: Simplicity 2246/ Sew Lisette Traveller Dress

Oh yes, I am a cultured person, hanging around museums, and looking pensive, is my modus operandi
Finally, I finished my Simplicity 2246 / Traveller dress in dark blue.   Yipeeeeeeee.  I started this back in August I think, oh no, checking my past posts I realise I cut it out in June. so that is 10 months in the making.   

This is view A - the classic shirt dress style.  I sewed it in fits and starts from Summer to  the second week of March. It wasn't such a long time in the making because it is a hard pattern to sew, I just kept getting distracted by other projects.  It had been waiting just for the buttonholes and buttons for three months.  finally I sewed those buttonholes in half an hour one morning this week.  And then wondered why I had been putting them off for so long. 
Please note, me-made bag

Another reason why it took a long time to complete is because I made it as a wearable muslin first and so didn't have that shiny lure of a new pattern when making it the second time.
The wearable muslin version

 I  am glad I finished it as I like wearing it very much. Very much. Plus it was getting on my nerves, just hanging up in my dining room, having baby food thrown at it.  A bit like a guest who outstayed their welcome. *

 For fabric I used some blue linen look cheapy fabric from the Rag Market in Birmingham.  It was £3 per metre I think.  it was originally a brighter blue, more like royal blue, but in September I dyed it with an indigo dye as I wanted it to be a very dark navy.  I was aiming to make a very boring, plain, classic shirt dress that will be worn with lots of different accessories, cardigans and footwear. 

For some reason I made the sleeves just above the elbow.  I can't remember why now. 
I used very simple little pale blue shirt buttons, having been tempted by pretty polka dot buttons, red floral buttons and white vintage buttons, I remembered I was trying to keep it plain!

 Bad points: This fabric creased a lot by on the skirt the end of the day,  so it's a dress that needs careful ironing before each wear. 
Good points: This ticks the box for a plain dress, that can be worn in a variety of ways. making use of clothes and shoes I already own.  Not to mention my substantial scarf collection.   I think it has year round potential.  I am pleased I stuck to a plan for once and kept it simple resisting the lure of novelty buttons, piping and trims.  I am also sooooooo happy this dress is no longer hanging up half done.

I am looking a bit shifty now.  Think the attendant's coming over.  Time for a sharp exit.
Finally I have to confess in a sewing geek way, that when I can't get to sleep, I still keep planning possible ways to make version C of this dress in my head, with a fuller contrasting skirt and  puff sleeved top.  I have several possibilities in my stash. Am I the only sewing geek who plans patterns rather than count sheep?

* DISCLAIMER: Please note we do not really throw baby food or any other food at guests here, how ever long they stay.  Honest. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Recently,  this little boy (aged three in the photo) turned ten. 
 How did that happen?  And more recently:
  •  I discovered taking two ten year olds out to lunch is fun - who knew ten year olds could be such good dining companions?
  • I managed to make a Yoshi cake as requested. Not the best  cake ever but a pinnacle of achievement for me.  I now know my 3 years studying for an art degree weren't wasted - ha ha.. 
  • We survived having his best friend for a sleepover.  In fact, it was fine, no problems.  Phew.

  •    Little RG was unwell and clingy all last week but is back on fighting form now. 

  •  I have finished my Sew LisetteTraveller dress in dark blue.  I am so happy it is finally done.  It has been hanging in the dining room awaiting finishing for months.  It hung there so long that it had several yoghurt stains on it where RG had thrown her food around the room.  So, before I can show it  here it has to be washed. 
  •  I have almost finished my mystery dress - just the hem left.  Finishing a garment is soooooo good.