Sunday, 30 November 2014

More Pinnys!

Inspired by Kids Clothes Week back in October, and my little strawberry pinafore dress for my baby girl, I have two more pinnys I have been working on to show you. I cut them both out in a flush of enthusiasm weeks back, but then somehow forgot about them!  I was really cross with myself when I lifted some new fabric and found two half made dresses underneath!

This green floral dress used to be a pair of my Nan's old and faded curtains!  But the finished dress is so pretty I doubt you'd think "curtain" looking at her in it. The pictures were taken on a gloriously sunny Autumn afternoon.  I love days like this.

After taking these photos, I was concerned about those drag lines on the front of the bodice.  So I have very simply let out the elastic at the back of the dress by just over an inch and problem solved, drag lines gone, phew! Funny how you don't always "see" things until you photograph them.

On this version I have added a band of green ribbon at the hem, topped by a line of purple ric-rac. This embellishment though simple makes me positively giddy, it looks so fabulous. I also decorated the top of the pockets with ric-rac too.  Too cute.

This is her other pinny, and it started life as an adult's soft chambray skirt. I had to include the skirt's central seam in the dress in order to fit all the pattern pieces on while still following the grainline.

She loves this version as it is so soft.  It's not showing well in this photo, but I did all my topstitching in orange thread. I thought it went nicely with the blue.

The hem and the pockets tops I embellished with the cutest scallop stitch. It's a small detail but it makes the dress really special.

Baby girl particularly loves the pockets, and they are roomy enough for lots of toys! She's such a good model too - very keen to swirl and pose.

With these two dresses plus the earlier strawberry one, it makes it six buttonholes under my belt with this pattern. I've stopped being so scared of them at last. Might be time for me to tackle a blouse soon: I just need to decide on the pattern.

I've loved sewing all three of these.  They have really been fun to do.  Its especially satisfying when they are loved by the recipient too!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Asymmetric Coco

Same fabric as my last make, but a very different dress. This is Tilly and the Buttons' "Coco" and is made using that fabulous border print jersey from fabricland. I'd originally bought 2.5 metres, and that was more than enough for two fab makes.

Even though the fabric is quite striking in its own right, I feel the finished makes are very different in style and tone; this feels more adult, and I feel rather glamorous in it.

I decided to go for the basic Coco shape without the funnel neck, and although I cut out the pockets, I decided against adding them as the finished dress seems so sleek and chic without them

Construction-wise, this is really simple - three pattern pieces only! And as I had made it before, it came together in a matter of hours! Result.

I really like the pattern motif down the side; this dress makes a big statement.  Everywhere I have worn this, I've had so many compliments.  It's easy to wear, wash and care for.

Wearing this feels like a dressy garment rather than casual; my other dress with the self-same fabric feels very every-day.  Perhaps this is because this one is more fitted and figure hugging.

 I did grade out a little from my last Coco. 

This is a pattern I feel I could make again if I come across an interesting piece of double knit.  So I shall keep my eyes open.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Simplicity 1787

Thank you sewing bloggers for advice regarding cutting jersey on the crossgrain. I had a big piece of doubleknit jersey with a lovely patterned border along the selvedge, and I wanted to make the most of the great motif. Originally I had in mind to use the pattern as a hem, but upon hearing that it would stretch out of shape, I decided to play safe and use the grainline of the fabric.  Here is what I came up with:

This is Simplicity 1787 Girls. I was a bit worried as it is a child's pattern, but I fall well within the measurements, so I thought I'd go for it. And actually it fits me perfectly.

It comes with a sheet to design your fashion elements! You can add faux piping, metal chain, rosettes, etc. I added none of these as they seemed a little naff on an adult.

I'm rather pleased with this make, I think it is the trickiest I have done to date (sadly that's not boasting much as it is defined as an easy make!). The pockets are fabulous and I adore them.

I feel that the princess seams are rather flattering for me. I'd always thought you needed to be busty to look good with this shape, so I am surprised and very pleased.

The suggested fabrics are wovens but after seeing Thornberry's version that she made for her daughter, I decided to give it a go in jersey. It is so comfy, I have loved wearing it. Honestly, I am ridiculously happy about this dress, comfy and stylish, a win-win

The pattern demands a zip closure, but in jersey you do not need it. I hope to make another version one day in needlecord, and for that I would use the suggested zip. It is loose fitting, so if I curved the side seams in a little on the next version, it would be more shapely and womanly; that would obviously be a plus, but the flip side would be losing the comfiness.  One to ponder...

The yoke was a beggar to sew.  I must have read and reread those instructions twenty times!  I got there eventually, but not without a considerable amount of unpicking and some choice language! It was worth it though, the neckline looks great.

And I also have enough fabric left over for a matching Coco, which was the pattern I had in mind when I bought the fabric.