Thursday, 22 May 2014

Birthday spots

My darling baby girl turned two, and we gave her a ladybird party. Black and red spots were to be the theme; sadly for Immy, she got more spots than she bargained for, as she caught chicken pox from her middle brother just days before the do.

We were still determined to celebrate her reaching the grand old age of two, with a super party tea with Nanny, Grandpa and the boys.

As usual, I created a pinterest board to get some ladybird inspiration here.   So many cool ideas, but first up, I had to make a ladybird dress.

The fabric was a cheap quilting cotton, and the pattern was design A from Tuttle Publishing's Happy Homemade - Sew Chic Kids.

It's always a delight making anything for the kids, not least because you barely need any fabric.  I bought just 1 metre, and I had enough left to make quick and easy bunting to decorate her party.

The food was rather fun too, ladybird stylee, obviously.  I know it's a lot of effort for a baby girl who won't remember the day, but we will remember, and there will be rather spotty photographs to remind us too.

I do love a theme... do you?

Friday, 9 May 2014

Scrap Busting: Peacock Dress II

I had a tiny, tiny piece of my peacock fabric left, and by chance it was just enough to make a dress for my darling baby girl.  If you follow me on twitter, you'll know the little ankle-biter is poorly at the moment with chicken pox.  These pictures were taken the other day, just before we saw spots everywhere!

This is Dress A from Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids by Tuttle Publishing.  If you have children aged 2-8, you need this book - it is fab-u-lous.  Twenty designs, all with the same flair as their adult patterns.  Easy to sew but maximum style.  Love it.

This dress has the cutest little ruffle sleeves that are just so pretty.  You sew them into the bodice like a sandwich filling between the yoke and the yoke lining, then turn it all the right way around by pulling it through one of the back yoke pieces. It's like magic!

The back is supposed to be closed with matching rouleau loops, but I wussed out and used thin bias binding folded and sewn together - still looks lovely though. This version is size 2, but after making dress design J, I knew the sizing was very generous; so, I lopped five inches of the skirt pieces, but even after doing this it will fit her for ages.

All in: two rather nice dresses from 2 meters of fabric - not bad. And although Immy and I now have matching dresses, we won't be wearing them at the same time - that would be too much! 

What do you do with your fabric scraps?  I'm always loath to throw away sizeable chunks of fabric, but at the same time I already have enough clutter in my life with all the kids' paraphernalia - so, I'm trying to be ruthless: use it or lose it.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My peacock dress

Well, here it is:

I am so pleased with the result: I have a lovely very wearable peacock dress, just like my inspiration dress which I posted about previously, see here: peacock-prettiness.

It is of course Dress S from the Stylish Dress Book Volume 1.  It was not all plain sailing; the most difficult part was getting these adorable cuffs on. I looked at the pictures, read and re-read the instructions but I just couldn't do it.  It took me over an hour just to do one!

And then disaster... it didn't fit!  The cuff was so tight, it just wasn't wearable.  All that effort for nothing.  Sob, sob. I had to unpick it!  I'd cut the size six, and the dress was roomy everywhere other than the cuffs; so, I undid them and just made them about 1 cm longer, faffed about sewing the cuffs back on and finally a great dress. Hurrah!

I love the fact that this has more shapeliness than a regular Japanese-style shift dress, but without any tight fitting around the tum.

The dress was (cuffs notwithstanding) very easy to put together, and I can see more of these dresses fitting in very nicely into my summer wardrobe. If I do make another, I may just opt for an elasticated cuff!

22" zip - so proud!  I've only just stopped avoiding patterns that need zips.  It's not perfect but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

The light gathering around the bust is feminine and flattering for someone like me (with almost no bust!). Overall, I am really happy with how this project came together, from first inspiration through to wearing it out for the first time.