Day 3 of KCWC
and I am cheating already. I'm only supposed to be using Japanese patterns but when I came across some gorgeous oatmeal and navy striped knit I knew I had to make it up using the Sailboat Top by O and S.
Martin's turning 3 tomorrow and we are celebrating with a pirate party. This shirt is a little more Breton than pirate but it's definitely wearable.
I do love O and S patterns
. They sew up so beautifully and the finished product is always spot on. I top stitched using triple stitch and a dark thread (always risky). It's a little wonky but hey... it adds character.
In the interest of keeping things even I am sewing for Lizzy tomorrow. I've got to say I am not feeling super inspired. I'm a bit over sewing pink dresses. If only she'd wear something else! Any ideas?
PS - Happy Birthday Martin! How are you three already my gorgeous boy?
I've been tracing patterns, trying to interpret Japanese and sewing up a storm here. I'm trying to keep things simple and wearable. While I loved sewing for Project Run and Play,
I don't think that Lizzy has worn any of the things we made for her.
Needless to say neither of my items are earth shattering, but they are comfortable and wearable.
For Mart, some simple shorts with deep side pockets (so he can carry around all the random stuff he collects instead of offloading it on me!)
and some cute little patch pockets because, well, they're just cute. I really like the fact that they have narrower legs.
I love, love, love the print I used in these shorts. It's a collection of post marks and addresses. It's a light furnishing weight, but I'm fairly sure it will soften up in the wash.
I feel really limited with what I can sew for Lizzy. In order for her to wear something it needs to be a dress, pink and soft and unstructured. It doesn't leave me with a whole lot of scope!
This dress was super easy. It's got a square neck, fluttery sleeves and a high yoke. Simple, bright, comfy and a hit with Lizzy. (phew!)
As much as I enjoyed the sewing today, the best bit was the sibling love whenI took photos this afternoon. If only they always liked each other this much...
We're so excited to have Jessica here today. She is one of the most prolific, generous and lovely bloggers we know.
Dying to find out all about her best friend? Take it away Jessica!
So it's time for my skirt tutorial. It's once again...um... fairly basic, but I really struggled with ideas for this one. Lizzy loves the finished product and has named it the lollipop skirt. That's probably because of the lollipop bribe that I had to give her so that I could take some photos.
Like Maryanne, I also decided to 'create' my fabric, then make up the skirt. Unlike Maryanne (who is the mathematical genius of the family) my fabric creation requires no maths. I sewed lots of strips together and then went crazy with the triple stitch on my machine. Complicated, huh?
The only real addition that I made were some cute (and useful!) pockets. Both my kids love pockets....
The buttons are just pretend, though. See?
If you'd like to learn how to make your own, just click on read more...
So, I have called my A-line dress re-make the Last days of Summer Dress. I like this little dress so much I really wanted to call it the "I hope she doesn't grow too much before next summer because I really hope she can where it then dress" but maybe that title is just a tad too wordy! Interestingly, today is the first truly hot day we have had in Sydney all summer, so maybe there will still be lots of opportunity to wear it.I would like to say there was no bribery involved in this photo shoot, but a picture tells a thousand words. It took a lollipop and a play with a favourite cousin to get these
pictures and even that was pushing my luck!! If you would like to make the dress that Lizzy is wearing, Caroline's tutorial is here
.In today's tutorial
I will show you how to:
Apologies and Warnings
- draft up the placket and front gathering
- draft up and sew the collar
- line the top of your dress for a simple but very neat finish
In this tutorial I use the term "Master pattern" This is just your original A-Line Dress pattern that has no seam allowances include. Trace this off and make all your alterations to this master pattern. It makes the whole drafting process much easier to not have seam allowances included. Once you are happy with the changes you have made, add back your seam allowances before cutting. I will say this over and over in this tutorial. Boring and repetitive I know, but so much better than realising you have cut out your pattern without seam allowances (I know from experience!)
Caroline apologised for her photos in her last post, I can only admit that mine a worse. As the tutee progresses you will have many insights. Among other things - I sew day and night and when desperate regularly use my flash, I am terrible at trimming threads as I go and my lawn needs some tlc and a good mow. There is photographic evidence to support all these statements! So I am really, really sorry.
Another warning. I am bilingual and ambidextrous when it comes to the whole inches/centimetre thing. I concretely use a 1cm seam allowance but in some places my brain just works better in inches. I will point this out as I go along. Sorry for any confusion!!
If you are brave enough to read on, click on the read more button...
So this is my take on the a-line dress. It's really simple to make up. So simple, infact, that it barely qualifies as being 'beyond the basics'! That's why I've called it the 'just' beyond the basics dress...
It has a gently gathered neckline and some waist ties to give it some shape. I really like inserting ties into the side seams. They stay on nicely and you don't lose them in the wash!
If you're a regular reader of our blog you'll know that my four year old Lizzy has an aversion to wearing anything other than dresses. This dress is so comfy it's our 'wear instead of shorts' substitute. It's summer here in Sydney and it's perfect for hot days - it's baggy, loose and cool. Here's
a similar one (no gathering around the neck) that I made ages ago.
I made this one up in Liberty. Every time I sew with Liberty I fall more in love with how beautifully it sews up. It's the most amazing fabric ! That said, if you want to go at having making one of these dresses, don't forget our golden rule of pattern alteration. Repeat after me 'Don't use your favourite/most expensive fabric the first time you alter a pattern.'
If you'd like to make one of your own, click on read more to find out how you can do so. It's really easy... promise!
Have you got your bodice pattern ready? Today we're going to use it make this...
If you need some more information about bodice patterns, have a look here
This tutorial has quite a lot of assumed knowledge - it's not for the complete beginner but for someone who feels reasonably confident with the basics of sewing and wants to experiment with their basic patterns a little more.
Through this tutorial I hope that you come to understand a few things about pattern alteration -
- Pattern alteration is not an exact science - there is a lot of tweaking involved. For that reason, don't use your favourite/ most expensive material the first time you make up an altered pattern. Ask me how I know!
- Know what the seam allowance is on your basic pattern is and keep it consistent with any pieces that you draft.
- Bias tape is your best friend! It's so much easier to use and so much more flexible than drafting facings and gives you a lovely finish.
- Gathered sleeves are very forgiving and perfect for the beginner.
- Most things are fixable! See how the placket in the picture is a bit wonky? It's because I made the buttonholes too big. A few stitches on the end of each button hole and voila - a placket that sits much better!
If you'd like to see how I took a basic bodice pattern and made it into the modern vintage top then just click read more.
Oh... and before you start sewing - don't forget we have a giveaway
on at the moment. If you'd like to enter, the odds are definitely in your favour!
Maryanne and I have been scheming...
We've been planning to do a blog series for ages and finally we are on track for doing just that!
While we're not pretending that we're draftswomen, we do spend a lot of time tweaking, changing and modifying patterns to make exactly the outfits that we want for our children.
Nearly everything that we make is based on five very simple patterns...
- a basic bodice
- an a-line dress
- a simple lined jacket
- an elastic waisted skirt
- simple unisex pants
For the next couple of weeks we'd love to share some of our ideas and tips on how you can take each of these basic shapes and pattern and make them into something completely unique and amazing.
There will be round-ups, lots of tutorials and maybe even a giveaway or two. Come along for the ride...It's going to be lots of fun!