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.

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.
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!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Fairy Tale Dress

A few days ago I got a request for a few dresses to wear for special occasions.  So I quickly whipped up a Fairy Tale Dress using a pretty blue Liberty print.

But as soon as the dress was finished, it was whisked away even before I got a chance to remove the blue markings for the zipper and double check for stray threads!

Needless to say, I didn't get any photos of the dress on the hanger let alone on the wearer.
So in my best whining voice, I asked for some photos and this is what was sent to my Blackberry.

This one is blurry.

Nice shot of the oak doors.
Oh, am I whining?

Well, at least you can't see the blue wash-out pen marks around the zipper that would be more than visible in a regular photo.
As for stray threads ..... who knows?

No matter. I do appreciate that our model co-operated despite being exposed to chilly morning air and her mom (my daughter) didn't forget to send me photos.

The bottom line is you can't go wrong with a Fairy Tale dress. It's easy to make, looks good and it fits like a glove.

However it's too bad you can't see the tucked hem on the dress. The machine tucked hem saved time instead of hand sewing so I could get the dress done quickly and sent off to wearer tout suite. Hence no photos and my whining.

Size 8.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Winter Dress Coat

Once again I find myself making Burda 9727 to make a special occasion dress coat.

My friend Nicole whom I often think of as my 'shot-gun' daughter (because she was born right after I got married,  tee-hee) sent me this pattern because she thought it would come in useful. It certainly has. Thanks Nicole.

I used it to make Miss C a size 5 winter coat back in November 2013. She's still wearing it although it's really tight. Time for new one.

In my stash I have off-white textured wool and lots of Kasha lining,  Kasha is a heavy flannel backed lining, a staple in Canadian coats.

It took little time to cut and stitch together this coat in size 7 thanks to the princess seams.  In hindsight, I should have made the last size available in this pattern - size 8.
No matter.
There's still some growing room.

Besides, I do enjoy making this coat and will make it again next year.

Miss C also asked if I could make a hand muff in faux fur. Once again, I searched through my stash and came up with purple fur. Perfect for a 6 year old.

And I couldn't resist making a matching Fascinator.
I covered a hairband with fur and hot glued on a lace doily that looked like a snowflake, added some tulle and bling then voilĂ ... Fascinator!

I like the lines and the little belt on the back of this coat.

Oh, and I bagged the lining so there was little handwork to do.

She's thrilled with the outcome of the coat and so am I.
It's a good pattern, easy to follow and with excellent results.

As for making the hand muff, I simply cut out three rectangles; one in faux fur, one of Kasha lining, and one of quilt batting; placed the batting on the bottom, then fur and lining with r/s together and stitched along the long edge. Then turned it all inside out, slipped in a length of ribbon for the neck strap and carefully stitched the opening closed. Easy.

Now she's all set for any special occasion where she needs to wear a dress coat.