Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Foxes, Cats and Totes, Oh My.

Top of the festive season to all.  Hard to believe it's going to be 2017 in a few days time.  It seems like only yesterday it was 1987.  Ah simpler times. Guess I'm feeling nostalgic after all the tragic losses of childhood icons this year.   I'm still way behind with blogging clothes but for now here are my sewing/craft projects for the festive season.  

Now that my niece has turned 1, I decided I would finally make her a frock.  I certainly wasn't interested before now as I didn't want to spend time makng something she was going to grow out of in a few weeks.  I used New Look pattern 6275 and a delighful foxy material from Spotlight.

Now I may be losing my mind, but I was sure I took more photos of this dress, but I can't for the life of me find them.  Anyway, this was an easy little dress to make.  Probably given all the panels this material wasn't ideal and the circular yoke took a while to hand stitch.  I would use the pattern again, but the next frock will be a simplier item.  I also made the little matching bloomers which took no time at all to whip up.  Might even get junior to model the finished product at some point.  

Of course now our family Christmas has become all about the small people, and this is another gift handmade by me.  This is my third attempt at a stuffed toy. And whatdoyaknow it's a cat.  

I spent almost an entire episode of The Walking Dead ramming this kitty with stuffing. 

Polly-Jean not too sure about this interloper.
I also spent an afternoon making a 3 citrus marmalade. It got some good reviews last year so I made it again.  However, due to being inpatient, I didn't allow the marmalade to thicken properly. Still tastes yum, just needs to be left in the fridge a few days.  

And finally I made my first tote bag.  One of my good friends has her birthday on 23 December so it's a bit of a challenge separating christmas presents from birthday presents.  I figured a tote that could be used as a beach bag would be a good present. Something you can fold up and take with you on your travels and a tote is pretty handy for many other things. 

I used the Purl Soho Railroad Tote . I added a few extra inches to the width and another inch to the length. I found loads of denims recently when I was tidying my spare room. I used the existing denim combined with a spot material from the Lincraft soft furnishings selection.  Am really chuffed with the finished product. Spoiler alert friends and family, now that I've mastered the tote, you will probably all be getting one in 2017.  

Sunday, 27 November 2016

New Look super and simple

I've been on hiatus from the blog for the first time since I started blogging.  All in all not much sewing in the last few months as I was recovering from an op, but still had a bit of a backlog of things to post.  

This dates back to August.  Another version of New Look 6068.  I was after something fast and simple for this particular material and remembered this pattern. 

Not much I can say about this simple dress. My previous versions have had the collars but this one I didn't even bother with an opening at the neckline as it was big enough to pull over my head.  The material is lovely to wear, soft and a nice drape.

I added this details to the sleeve.  It was a bit too boxy so I made a pleat and finished them off with a button.  I was originally going to wear it as a winter casual, but I think I'll get more wear out of it for work.  Wearing tights seems like such a long way away now with steamy summer weather upon us. Only 6 months until June........................

Monday, 5 September 2016

Simplicity 9151

I've made this pattern up before, in a brown tweed looking material and I wore it on my trip to the Barossa.  I made up this little denim number and first wore it on another little trip away.  This time I was heading south of Brisbane to a farm stay and this seemed like a comfy enough driving outfit.

I took quite few photos here in my parent's front garden, but it was hard to find some reasonably flattering photos to put into my post.  I think I needed to iron the pinafore a bit better and my post weekend indulgence gut was in evidence on some of the angled shots.

This is a great simple pattern to make. The neckline is a little snug, but that is the way with a lot of vintage patterns from the 60's and early 70's.  Because this was a larger sized pattern I cut a slightly smaller size. Turns out I cut it snugger than I intended.  But this is definitely something I will get quite a lot of wear out in the coming winters. And will hopefully be a seeing me through another trip, hopefully to Canada next year. 

And speaking of the farm stay, here is a photo of me with a cow named Dorrie. 

If you love animals and live near or are visiting Brisbane I can definitely recommend Clandulla Cottages.  My friend Lee-Anne and I went for a weekend and it was such a great weekend for animals lovers.  We were the only single ladies there as these places are usually frequented by families. Should have taken a bunch of my me made clothing and done a photo shoot.  Next time perhaps.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Quicky retro top

Sometimes you just want to make something fast and easy.  And if all goes to plan it's a very satisfying thing to complete an item in one day or even afternoon.  I am lacking in longer sleeve tops because I don't always see the point when we have such a short period of cool weather here in Brisbane.  This top was a happy compromise in lightweight gingham and a 3/4 length sleeve.  

I made some changes to a 70's peasant style blouse pattern.  The neckline and bodice are basically the same but instead of the long sleeve with ruffle in the pattern I simply cut a shorter length which left the top with a wider bell sleeve look. 

Once again I find myself saying that I should have added a few extra inches to the length of my garment. Looking at the pattern pictures this top is meant to be tucked into a skirt so it's not all that wide or long, so the shape does look a bit boxy.  I would definitely add length and more width to this next time. I also added some ric-rac to the front for a bit of contrast.  

Overall a very satisfying little make in one afternoon. A versatile base to make a few variations on the pattern. 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Alder Shirt Dress by Grainline Studios

I'm almost annoyed that this dress sorta kinda of looks good.  I almost gave up on it and wasn't even going to bother putting on the buttons. I seem to have the worst luck with these independent patterns companies and their sizing.  I do my measurements against whatever the pattern says, then during the construction process I try it on and it is generally 2 or 3 sizes too big.  This was such a drama with this dress particularly regarding it having a collar. Everything just looked like it was swamping me when I first tried it on.  And the neck band didn't quite work out as it should have.  I don't think I had any trouble making it up as the instructions were clear. In the end I added some darts to the front to take it in. Fortunately the pattern and colour of the material hides them.

I even got so far as doing buttons holes, then gave up on this dress. It sat there for months and months on my dressmaker dummy.  Putting the buttons on was a bit of a horror show.  I laid the dress out flat on the floor and marked where I wanted the buttons to go trying to cross over the front sections enough to make the neckline look reasonable.  I had to move buttons a few times. Fortunately I was on holidays when I did this so I didn't feel as annoyed about wasting all this time on a simple task. 

I am happy with how this dress looks on and I wouldn't mind trying to make another at some stage.  I just feel a certain amount of bitterness towards the pattern which I may never quite recover from.  At least it's a super comfy dress best to be worn in the cooler months with tights and maybe a cardi. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Style 1838

I bought this 1970's pattern late last year on ebay.  Even though I have already had some peasant top patterns I quite liked the dress with the long sleeves in this.  Unfortunately upon opening the packet I discovered that the back section of the top and dress was missing.  Looking at the pattern and the elastic neckline I figured I could just use the one piece for front and back.  I've discovered with some PDF patterns that some front and back sections of dresses and tops are pretty much identical. And definitely when you have to construct each piece of the pattern from the A4 print out, I try to find a shortcut. 

I went on a rayon buying spree recently at Spotlight. I do love that fabric. So light and floaty and not too crushy mccrush.  Shame I won't get a lot of wear out of this top with our short winters. Ah well it's a style I'll wear for years to come. 


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Simplicity 6103

Another little something something from my 60's pattern collection. I purchased this pattern late last year mainly for the the blouse.  I certainly wasn't disappointed with the pattern.  The pattern was very simple and easy to follow and absolutely no unpicking was needed during the sewing process. Hooray.

I can't remember where I purchased the material, but I suspect it was quilting cotton. It is the perfect material for a vintage top.  I couldn't find enough buttons in my collection so I did covered buttons. The only alteration I should have done was lengthen the body as it's quite short. Also there was no guide for the button holes but that's not exactly rocket science to work out where to place your buttons.  

I love this top and will definitely make it again.