Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Where's Wanda?

Hi there, sewing peeps. Summer is here in the UK and it is hot in the South of England. I am so lucky to only live 5 minutes from the sea. Sometimes I can take the seaside for granted, so I am trying to cherish every time I get down to see the beautiful sparkling water.

When I was a teenager, I preferred the sea in the winter when it was strong, rough and climatic.   Nowadays, I can appreciate the calm sparkling summer sea: perfect for paddling in and forgetting one's troubles.

This is our local beach. It is lovely, sandy at low tide and not very busy. It's accessible via a lock at the nearby port, so it is kind of hidden and secret. Though when school is out it will heave, as everyone round here spends all summer at the beach.

Anyway, enough waffle: this dress is the pinafore pattern "G" from Stylish Dress Book Vol 2.  Easy- peasy to make up, and perfect for the heat. The pattern is five simple pieces, and the construction is simple; no zips or closures, this just pulls on overhead. The only alteration I made was to shorten the length so that it finishes just at the top of my knee. The other difference is that I haven't done the pocket yet; this isn't a design decision, more desperation to wear the dress rather than wait! It will be sewn on as soon as the dress is back out of the wash!

I had this pattern on my to-do list since I got my hands on the book.  But I was dithering between this and a similar pattern in Sew Chic. Then Blogless Anna and Marilla Walker made up my mind for me with their stunning versions. 

Anna uses a dark denim, and I think I might try that too come Autumn; for now, I wanted something lighter and brighter. The fabric is a linen-look cotton, and under £5 per metre - bargain!

The colour is beautifully bright and vivid. I have since been back and bought some more, as I think it will make great trousers.  The cotton was great to sew with, and presses really well.

I decided to use an orange topstitching thread, as it goes well with the blue, but it does show up my wonky stitching!  Accuracy is something I really need to work on.  It was a lot easier to top stitch the straps as they were interfaced; the dress isn't, but I may interface the facing next time to help with the top stitching.

I started this dress before my sewing break, and I kept fantasizing about ripping out the topstitching and starting again.  But, in the end, laziness won out!

As to the title of this post, a very dear friend of mine said "Where's Wanda?" when she first saw me in this!  Note to self: don't wear striped top with it again. The top, by the way, I found in Sainsbury's for £2.50, I couldn't even buy the fabric for it at that price. 

Hope you are enjoying the sun, or - if it's winter where you are - that the sunny pics make you feel just a little bit warmer!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Back on the sewing horse! Butterick 3772

Hi there. I finally did it! I have resumed my sewing. The stresses of the last few weeks have passed, and at last life is calm enough to crank up the sewing machine once more.

This is Butterick 3772; it was one of three patterns that came with a magazine I purchased, in an attempt to motivate myself to stitch again.
The McCall's pattern will be made up before long too, I'm sure; the tucks at the front look really interesting. But, for now, back to this little dress...
The pattern is super easy: two main pattern pieces, plus facings. It was very quick to sew.
I discovered that whilst I have to lop inches out of any pattern I make for myself, my daughter is tall for her age. Despite only just turning three, this is rather short on her! To save precious length, I used bias binding for the hem and finished it by hand so it does not show from the right side of the garment. Next time I make this pattern, I will definitely add some length.
It is a lovely loose shape, which is perfect for the current heatwave in the UK. The little girl is very pleased with it. I was worried that it would be gape excessively around the armholes - the made up examples in the magazine looked very roomy. It is loose at the arms, but you need lots of movement space when you are three for climbing and clambering, so I won't change the armcycle. 
You might  recognise the fabric - it is leftover from my Simplicity Blogger Challenge. She loves that we have the same dress. We wont wear them at the same time, though - promise!
One feature I really like about this pattern is the button on each shoulder strap. It makes for a lovely wide opening to take the garment on and off.  Perfect if you are three, and have just eaten jam in your new dress!
Not much more to say. You can knock one up in next to no time, and it demands very little attention: perfect sewing, and perfect for my first project back. 
Cheerio for now, and thank you everyone for your support when my sewing mojo vanished. I love how supportive the online sewing community is.