Saturday, 27 February 2016

Kids Clothes Week 2016

Hi there. It's Kids Clothes Week Feb 2016, the online scheme to encourage you to sew for an hour a day for one week. Having three little 'uns, I always get great motivation from this scheme to replenish their wardrobes with homemade goodies.

My little girl seems insistent on becoming huge and outgrowing everything! I know you can buy kids clothes cheaply, but it feels like an act of love making them something. And actually this outfit - or rather two outfits - cost nothing. I used an old beloved denim skirt of mine, a few scraps from the scrap basket, and a bit of curtain material from the Brighton sewing bee fabric swap!

The pattern is simplicity 1379.  I did pay for this pattern (£3.25 in a half price sale!), but I've already used it twice; and, it goes up to age 8, so I should more use out of it in years to come. I chose it for those marvellous pockets, ready to be filled with toys and tut.

Construction-wise, this was an easy make, with a lined bodice for a neat finish inside. The back is supposed to close with a hook and eye, but I haven't bothered as it doesn't need it.

I really enjoyed making these, and hope she will have fun wearing them. Knowing it's mainly recycled fabrics means I won't need to be over precious when she comes home from preschool coated head to toe in paint! Technically there is one more day of KCW left; but, I am done in, so I'm calling it a day!

Did you take part in KCW?

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Key hole blouse

Hi folks. Today's post is about a garment that is not a success, but has the makings of success!

This top is based on the free pattern that came with February's Love Sewing magazine. The illustrations looked very 'me', and I felt I just had to try it. I was a little wary however as the previous "Simple Sew" pattern I tried was a poor fit on me. As this is a loose fitting garment I felt fitting wouldn't be a problem; I was almost right!

I took two inches out of the length, and I am really happy with that adjustment. But the keyhole that drew me to the pattern does nothing for me; it is too big and gaping. I had suspected this may be the case and already shortened the length of the keyhole but obviously not by enough! I am still debating whether to keep this feature, albeit even smaller on my next make, or do it close-fronted.

There will be another, as it has so much potential to be the perfect top for me. I shall do a small shoulder adjustment on the next version. I have never done one before, but I feel the top is too wide and also needs to be a little higher at the neckline.

I chose the version without pleats, but that was less an aesthetic choice and more down to the limited yardage I had. I really love the fabric - it is so light, but with an almost crinkly texture. I think this is called a crepe? It was however a bugger to cut out. I used a rotary cutter, but the fabric tried its damnedest to shift this way and that.  I had to abandon it several times whilst cutting out to avoid swearing at fabric.

Sewing this fluid fabric was tricky but not impossible; again, it wanted to stretch and move under the needle. There were several moments when I felt I wasn't experienced enough to sew such flimsy fabric, but the finished blouse has made me want to sew with delicate fabric until I master it, as it drapes exquisitely. This was also the first project I have used my overlocker on. A first for me!

Sadly I can't wear this as the keyhole feels very exposing, but I am still glad I made it as it was a learning experience. Onwards and upwards; it is Kids Clothes Week next week!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Oh you sew, don't you?

Hello! Is it just me or does the phrase "oh, you sew, don't you?" bring you out in a cold sweat? It's usually followed hard with the likes of "could you look at this zip?" "Can you hem this for me?" "Would you mind..."

Normally I am prepared for such occasions, and deftly supply the name and number for a local alterations company!

This time however, I was caught on the hop at my daughter's preschool. Could I knock up a little bit of bunting for them? The fabric was deposited into my arms before I had a chance to say anything. And would I turn it around in four days, please, as they were having a party Monday?

Over twelve metres of tediun!
I have never cursed the making of anything more in my life, probably because I was rather ill and the process seemed to last forever! Also I got a text message asking that, for the party, the children dress as bees! Black and yellow theme, see. Somehow I managed a hurried bee T-shirt as well.

Ill and exhausted seamstress.
All done, and finished by the skin of my teeth. Phew.

Of course, by the end of the day she was filthy! I am glad I did it, and pleased to give the preschool something nice, but I am certain that I will say no next time!

How about you? Do you enjoy altruistic sewing?