Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Adventure Vest

A few years ago I made Mr. A the Explorers Vest from Oliver + S book, Little Things To Sew. He loved it and wore it often.
This the original one I made and he preferred to call it an Adventure Vest.


Well, he's grown and asked me to make another one, larger and also one for his bear, "Perfect Bear".

As good luck would have it, I had plenty of the same fabric leftover to fill the order.  I had forgotten how quickly the vest goes together and made them both in an afternoon.

The bear vest was mostly by guess .... and by golly it fit!


He wanted lots of badges, so he and gramps picked out some images and transferred them to an iron-on sheet.
 
I didn't add the extra d-rings this time around mostly because I didn't have any handy.  I didn't make the front pockets bellows either. He didn't seem to mind.


And both have the same badges on the back.

He's thrilled. I'm thrilled. Happy campers all around.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Building Block dress

Oliver + S has published a book called the Building Block Dress. In the book are basic pattern pieces and all the information one needs to create just about any style dress.

Oliver + S Building Block Dress


Caitlin saw some grey and red plaid fabric in my stash and asked me to make her a dress. Enter the Building Block Dress book.

She's size 8 for some parts and size 10 for others. So I decided to make a dropped waist dress and for the collar, make a detachable fur collar.

Here's the dress finished.
I used the bodice pieces from the pattern in the book, lengthened and flared them out at the side going from size 8 to size 10.
Also used the sleeve from the book but had to shorten the length. 


I used the collar piece from the book and added an inch at the fold. I cut the lining (cotton) 1/4" smaller than the fashion fabric which in this case was fur.


I did a fairly good job matching up all the plaid and the dress fits perfectly.




There wasn't enough plaid leftover to make a matching dress for her doll however she was keen on using some other plaid that was leftover from a table runner so she made a dress for her doll mostly by herself.
Lots of plaid going on in this photo as we play 'pin the sporran on the highlander' at our Robbie Burns dinner party.


Just look at her "sonsie" face.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sewing 2016

I was completely surprised at all the sewing and knitting projects I managed to do over the course of 2016 when I made this photo mosaic.........


There were a few other things that weren't included like making sheers for the bathroom.....


....plus a couple of other knitting and sewing items I just didn't photo document.

Two of my trusty sewing machines packed it in last year; my serger, a Bernette that had to be 20+ years old and my main sewing machine, a Husqvarna Quilt Designer that was 12+ years old.
Temporarily, I used my Husqvarna Iris, again an old machine with limited capabilities but as good luck would have it, my husband convinced me to get 2 new machines.

I took him with the sewing machine store with me because he does not recognize the value of a dollar and he loves anything techy.

When he saw the Babylock Enlighten serger (which happened to be the most expensive in the store) and the air threading technology, (which I totally did not need) he insisted I get it.
Who am I to argue?

Then I turned to the Husqvarna Q Opal 690Q for my main machine. I figured I could use the feet from my previous machine and plus the 690Q had features that I liked in the Quilt Designer.
So I got it too.


Things are looking kind of messy and chaotic on my sewing table but that's how I seem to operate. FYI, my house is perfectly tidy. Everything in it's place and not a dust bunny nor an Irish curtain to be found. It's not the same case for my sewing space.

Once I clear off my cutting table and finish some mending projects I plan to be back to some serious sewing once again.








Monday, December 19, 2016

Fairy Tale dress

The O+S Fairy Tale dress seems to be my go-to dress.
This time around I had to make some adjustments: chest, sleeves and length size 8 but waist and hip size 10.  During the summer I could make her a size 6 dress using less than a 1/2" seam allowance and basically cheat to a size 7.

She's grown at least 2 sizes since the summer. Her mom said she's eating ravenously and once produced just a stem from an apple.....she ate the whole thing, core and all. I'd say that's hungry, and no wonder she's grown so quickly.

In my stash I had 2 meters of a beautiful William Morris print and it was enough to do the whole dress and bodice lining but not so the skirt lining.


I had a chance to fit the bodice on her before completing the sleeves and skirt, and it fit. Phew!


I also had in mind to knit a sweater. Cold days are upon us and an elbow length dress made from cotton isn't exactly the warmest.
So I bought some yarn and knit the pattern 'Amy' from Sezza Knits.
However, after I washed it and set it out to block, I noticed a hole in the sleeve.


So I unpicked the whole thing and re-knit it again.


The dress needs grey stockings and light brown boots I think.

Edit:
Just got the grey tights and brown boots plus she modelled the dress and it fits perfectly.




Anyway, it's done and now she another dress to wear for special occasions.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Music Box Jumper

I'm having trouble finding time to sew. Last week, I caught a window and made this Oliver +  S pattern called Music Box Jumper.

Miss C chose the fabric from my vast stash that doesn't seem to be growing less. More sewing time would help.

Anyway, the little scamp grew 2 sizes in the past month so this pattern is size 8 for the bodice and 10 for the skirt. It's a little long but that's what she wanted ... so that what she gets.


I got the idea for this jumper from here.......


I lowered the neckline on the pattern to look like the neckline on the photo above and added the little side flaps (epaulettes?) too.


Lighting is really poor today and it's difficult to see the check pattern and colour of the fabric.
Maybe this photo is lighter?


At any rate, she loves the dress and plans to wear on Sunday.

Funny thing, I asked her to put on stockings for this photo and while she was reluctant to change from her school clothes she agreed but wouldn't take off her socks. They're underneath her stockings!
But I didn't complain, as I was happy to get a photo.
During our photo shoot, I asked her to look "pensive". Don't you think that's a good interpretation of "pensive" especially since she didn't know what I was talking about?






Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bucket Hat

Warm weather is finally here so it's a perfect excuse to make bucket hats.

Digging through my vast stash I found plenty of airplane fabric that I used as lining on Mr. A's School Days jacket I made a few years ago.






I pared it with a FQ of blue cotton and whipped up a bucket hat for my next door neighbour.

He's 7 months old and the hat is size small from the Oliver + S book  Little Things to Sew.

Isn't he just the cutest little thing? Love those cheeks .... but oooh those thunder thighs!



Because babies love to pull off hats, I put in grommets either side of the hand and a thin strap to tie under his chin.  

The tie is a little long, but mum said it was okay and it would be something he can play with.


Off to make more hats!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Report dress, again

My sewing friend Rachel from Minneapolis is the co-ordinator (gatekeeper? sentinel? facilitator?) for the Oliver + S blog and asked me if I would demo on the blog how I constructed exposed zippers on the Book Report dress.

For me it was a good excuse to make the dress again, using a different fabric and perfect the zippers once and for all.

This time around I chose a light denim fabric and I am more than pleased with the outcome.


The report, or Book Report on the Book Report dress will appear on the O+S blog in the near future, maybe as early as tomorrow?  Anyway,  I've included lots of photos and a fairly verbose step by step tutorial.

One thing I discovered when constructing exposed zippers is to use one of my favourite sewing aids, Wonder Tape......




on the backside of the zipper peep hole as opposed to putting it on the zipper tape itself.





When the dress is flipped over, I found I could fiddle with the fabric around the zipper much easier and place the edge of the fabric opening - a little bit at a time - exactly where I wanted in order to expose as much of the zipper tape as desired.


The zipper pockets are a hit with Miss C.
She can stash her dinosaur in her pocket and zip it shut when her brother comes looking for it.


I really like the Book Report dress. It's quick to sew, affords itself to some fun mods and fits perfectly.


I meant to put a little loop on the yoke back pleat yet despite having the loop pre-made and staring me in the face where it sat beside the sewing machine, I totally forgot about it. Doh.

Good excuse to make another one.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oscar knock off

Maybe a year or 2 ago I saw this Oscar de la Renta dress and was smitten.
I absolutely had to make this dress and in the same, or similar fabric.

Well, I asked my sewing friends to keep an eye out, I scoured the internet and a month or so ago I just happened to see fabric at our local Fabricland that seemed to look similar...sort of.


So I bought it and used Oliver  S pattern Fairy Tale dress pattern that I've used plenty of times in the past.



With the exception of the belt, it looks fairly close, I think.

I made pleats and borrowed sleeves from another O+S pattern called Garden Party.


I did find fabric that looks closer to the actual print of the inspiration dress but colour is navy and aqua.
Just the same, I'll make it using the same pattern because Miss C is in need of party dresses right now.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Book Report Dress

A few weeks ago, I came across the image of this dress that is from River Island, a clothing company in the U.K.


Since I had fabric in my stash that looked similar and used it as a table runner for a Robbie Burns Day dinner.....


....and since I've never made an outfit with an exposed zipper welt pocket, I decided there was no time like the present.

The Book Report dress pattern from Oliver + S seemed like perfect pattern to use. It has pocket features in the front, is A-line in style and similar similar sleeves.
To my thinking, it would just be a matter of adding a exposed zippers to the front pocket.


How something so simple in execution could turn out to be so complicated and a complete fail truly amazes me.

Here's the almost finished dress.......




......and here's what's wrong with it.

1) Where the skirt bottom sections meets the main bodice, there is a seam. In order to make the exposed zipper welt pockets sit better, the front should have been cut as once piece.
Also, it was a "b" word to get the plaid to line up along the front between the zippers.

2) The plaid main dress part doesn't line up with the sleeves. In the past, I've never had a problem matching plaids, apparently my plaid mojo is on the fritz.

3) when clipping into the little triangle of the welt pocket, I clipped too far. Doh.
Thank goodness there's Fray Check to glue the corner threads together. Globs of it.

4) Then to make matters worse, while fighting with my broken serger, the knife cut in to the sleeve. Dammit!


So I decided to abandon this project and salvage the little bits of fabric left over for a table runner for Robbie Burns Day next year.

However now I was determined to get it right.  So I got some light green brushed cotton twill, solid this time, and tried it all over again.

The front panel was cut as one main piece.

For the exposed zipper welt pocket I followed this tutorial (click here) except instead of using organza as she demonstrates, used the main dress fabric for the pocket bags.

That turned out to be a bad idea because the weight of the fabric (should have used a thin cotton) and the the weight of the zipper, tugged at the front of the dress making it sag and buckle.

Oh sure, I stabilized the welt pockets with a medium weight stabilizer, but all of that fabric and the zippers still tug on the front.


Instead of turning up the hem as per the instructions, I decided to line the dress so that the pockets and zipper tabs were encased.
I used the cotton twill on the bottom section hoping it would add stability to the front.


It turned out much better this time.
No plaids to mis-match and no knife cuts.



The dress is Size 7 and fits perfectly.

Miss C chose the white buttons and helped me sew them on. 




I'm not overly happy with the exposed zippers on this dress but will certainly use this technique on another outfit.

But I am happy with Book Report Dress pattern.

The first time I made it, my daughter didn't like it.
Miss C did, however I doubt she wore it at all.


My daughter says she likes the pattern now so I'd like to make at least one more.

I saw a dress that looked like a mash-up of the O+S Jump Rope dress on the top section and the Book Report dress on the bottom.


http://www.stevenalan.com/

Using chambray, I'd like to try to combine the two patterns and make something similar.



Thursday, March 24, 2016

Done them all! (again)

I can now officially say that not only do have all of the Oliver + S patterns but I have also made at least one view of every pattern, including the free ones.
Phew!
I'm caught up once again after a year sewing hiatus.

So here goes......

First up is the Carousel Dress.


I really like the details in the dress, especially the pockets.

Since Miss C suits an A-line style dress therefore I made View B for her, size 7 and used a very dark navy chambray.
I told her to look serious and she didn't fail with the expression :)

The dress went together rather quickly, easily and the instructions were clear.
I'd like to make this dress again if her mum wants me to.




I also like that this dress calls for topstitching details so I used green thread throughout.


Next up is the Hide and Seek Tunic/Dress pattern.


Since Miss C wears a lot of tunic tops, it was a no brainer to make the tunic version, View B with View A sleeves.


Again, the pattern went together quickly, easily and with a good result.
I made size 7 and used brushed cotton for the bodice and sleeves and a cotton twill for the bib section.  
I am thinking about using the same cotton twill to make skinny jeans to match. All in good time.




Then I made the Butterfly Blouse and Top.


I am more than please with the results of this pattern.
The skirt went together in a flash. I used kelly green linen. Size 7.
For the peplum blouse, I used a lace cotton and lined it with batiste.

She had navy shoes and a navy hair bow to wear with this outfit but the pink shoes, bow and bangles were handy and they work too.


The last item I made for her before making something for her brother, was the pattern called
Lunchbox Tee and Culottes.


The knit top went together quickly but in hindsight, should have used a heavier weight knit. I used a lighter weight ponte de roma but found more stabilizer was needed to keep the pockets from sagging.
The Tee is size 7 and it's at bit snug.



The culottes on the other hand were a complete fail.  I went by the size chart and made her a size 8. They were huge. I even cut off 3 inches from the hem.
I won't bother making the culottes until she's older. Right now, she isn't interested in that style.


Moving on to the last pattern, Parachute Polo and Sweatpants, I made something for Mr. A.


He is 4 years old and usually wears size 5 RTW, therefore I made size 5 and between me taking his measurements and making the shirt, he grew!




The buttons need to be added to this shirt but he was a willing model to I seized the moment to get a photo.

The lighting in my sewing area is not very good at all. The black collar and placket proved to be a daunting task given poor lighting and I'm not at all happy with the outcome.
Talk about using the force while sewing blind!


I want to make this shirt again however next time, make the sleeves a little longer and use a lighter coloured collar ..... or stadium lighting if I go with black again.

So there we have it. At least one view of all the patterns (including the free ones) from Oliver + S.
Done and done!