Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Dresses

I've been  busy this past week.

First up is Oliver + S pattern called Puppet Show Dress.  The fabric is called Auntie Grace Ties One On. I suppose it was meant for an apron, but I like it just fine made up in this little dress.  I really like the pattern and was lucky that I found it because it's out of print.

Size 2T

Second up is another pattern that's out of print.  This one is called Bubble Dress and again, I was lucky to find the toddler size pattern.  The next time I make this dress, I'm going to try and lengthen the bodice and dispense with the bubble part.

It needs a boutique bow on the front. Project for later today.

Third one up is called Jump Rope Dress, (view B). I lengthened the front placket by 1 inch making it easier to get in and out of.  I have a lot of this vintage themed fabric left over so maybe I'll make a matching hat or dolls clothes.

Ooops. It needs ironing!

This one is the tunic top from the Ice Cream Social dress pattern.  The fabric is vintage theme by Auntie Grace.  I'm not really crazy about this outcome.  But hey, I used up fabric!

Heart wasn't in this one.

Lastly, I just about used up all of this blue polka dot fabric.  I think I bought it way back when Princess Diana made polka dots popular with her fabulous outfits.  I also bought several meters of corresponding blue fabric and I plan to make a little blue jacket to go with this dress.  Oh, and blouse too, but the blouse will be white.

Tea Party Dress. 2T

On the front tab, I used a quilting stitch and added piping as I did on the Tea Party dresses I made a year ago.

Used rayon thread and quilt stitch.

So that's it for this week.  I have a few more projects in mind and plan to get started on them in a few days.   Pressure is on right now to get as much sewing done before warmer weather comes and gardening chores call.

Button Willow Cottage

There's a delightful blog I often visit. It's quiet and peaceful. No giveaways, no ads, no pop-ups and no comments either.  Just a peaceful respite.  It's called Button Willow Chronicles.

It's run by a gentle lady named Lauren. Pour a cup of tea and wander over to her cottage.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bright spring dress.

Despite setting my camera on "beach/snow' there is still a lot of glare from the snow on the ground.  While this dress is bright orange it's not as glaring as this photo suggests.  Oh well.

I was able to whip this one up in just a few hours.  The piping took the most time.

I omitted the collar as shown in the pattern.  I wasn't sure what colour the collar should be, so I just left it off.
I made Size 1. 

Here's my messy sewing room. It's been a slow process using up my stash, however, I've stumbled on another way to 'bust my stash'.

On the weekend, my son came to visit bringing three friends with him.  One of the friends, a girl, after seeing my sewing space commented on how she was planning to make a baby quilt using black and white toile. So I reached into a box a pulled out about a 1/2 meter of b&w toile as well as some accent fabric.  I was able to give her more than enough to make a baby quilt.

Then she commented on how she doesn't have a sewing machine.  So I gave her one. Plus a rotary cutter, a large quilters plastic ruler and a bunch of quilting books. I'm happy those items went to a good home!

On a sewing blog that I follow, a woman has the same type of doors (and shelves) as I do.  I'm only posting the door so she can see the similarity.  These aren't exactly your run of the mill doors, hence the uniqueness of the similarity.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ice Cream Dress

I cut out two Ice Cream Dress patterns and was able to whip one up yesterday.  The colours are a brighter than in real life and I think that's because of the snow glare. The pink in the hem and bodice isn't quite as intense as seen here.

So here's the deal with the Ice Cream Dress.... it's drop dead easy.  I was fretting about attaching the back yoke, but with a simple snip of the main dress fabric, it was easy to attach the two together.

Get out your Ray Bans.
I managed to match the pocket pattern with the main dress pattern reasonably well too.  Not crazy about the topstitching though.  As I mentioned before, my machine has topstitching thread issues pulling the thread down into the feed dogs and therefore needs to go to the repair shop.  But the repair shop guy is a long drive away in Parry Sound on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay, hard by Lake Huron. On the next good weather travel day, perhaps I'll make the trek.

My machine needs to go to the vet.

This dress was inspired by a dress in a 1925 magazine.  As good luck would have it, I've got the second dress cut out in repro vintage fabric, so it ought to look good.

 The next test is if it fits and is liked.  If so, I'll make a load of these dresses because they are so quick and easy to make plus I can bust a whole lot of my stash.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fashion show.

I was able to have a 1 hour audience yesterday to try on the little outfits I made for Caitlin.

Here's the first outfit. It's the 2+2 blouse.  Caitlin liked the colour "lellow" but her mom didn't like the style of the blouse.

She didn't want to take off her long sleeve Onsie.

The skirt fit well which surprised me because I guessed at the waist measurement. I hid little plastic animals in the pockets, so Caitlin really liked the skirt and her mom did too.

Skirt pockets were a hit.

They both really liked the School Photo dress.  It fit well, maybe a little long though.

Toy coming out of the pocket.

It's not a twirling dress but certainly a Go-Go dress!

Show me love!

Here another version of the School Photo dress which I didn't care for after I made it.  But on Caitlin, it looked much better. 

Bending makes it easier to find a toy in a pocket.

The little toy animals were a hit........

A bear! Just like at Grandma's house in the woods.

 .... as were the pockets.

The Jump Rope dress was another matter.  It was really difficult to get this dress on Caitlin.  Almost impossible.  I've made this dress before using another view (without the gathered skirt and belt) and it was easier to get on.  If I make this dress again, I would lengthen the front opening by a good inch or more.

My daughter picked out and paid for this fabric. I'm not so sure she liked the pattern I chose to make it up with though.

What's in this pocket?

I'd shorten the hem too if I made it again.  But I wouldn't omit the pockets!

Wait. There's something in here!

According to my daughter, not too many moms dress their children up in nice outfits where she lives.  At the library, gym or other mom/tot groups mostly the children wear track pants and knit tops.

 So I'm not sure if that was a cue for me to stop making any more outfits.

Oh well, I have a couple of summer dresses cut out and ready to go, so I'll finish those. As for the rest of the fabric that I'm trying to use up (and there's an awful lot of it) I'll have to dream up other projects.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tops that need ironing.

These tops aren't going to go over well with my daughter because they need ironing.  In many respects, they're just muslins until I can get better fabric.
I used 100% cotton from the line Auntie Grace's 40's fabric.

The pattern is Oliver + S.  It's size 2 of the 2+2 blouse.  The skirt is from their pattern called Music Class skirt.

Here's the first one I made which I managed to make a zillion mistakes on.  Since I couldn't find cotton in green or yellow to match the little Scotties I opted for beige.   Boring.  This fabric is from the same Auntie Grace 40's line.

I'm hoping they'll look better on, than hanging limp on a hanger.

I had a lot of problems topstitching these blouses. For some reason, topstitching thread wouldn't work in my machine.  It kept ending up in the bobbin area and clogging up the works.  Perhaps my machine needs to a trip to the Husqvarna service man.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Basic white blouse.

I happened to see a TV show that was showing how to build a wardrobe. The woman suggested everyone should have a white blouse.  Then add a basic skirt, skinny pants (black) and a trench coat. Well, that sounded fairly straightforward but I checked out this my fashionista daughter, Twin A, who concurred.

(When she was a teen and I arrived at the breakfast table wearing something she deemed out-of-style she would say to me "Mom, the 80's called and they want their clothes back.")

I rely on her for all the latest trends.  I hoping she'll tell me shoulder pads are back in style because I still have a load of them.

But I digress.

Armed with the 'white blouse' information I went to work to make Caitlin a perfect little white blouse  to be her wardrobe basic essential. 

Size 2T. White poly-cotton.

Then I  made a basic skirt.  I broke from my stash challenge rule and bought some beige twill.

Cute little pleats.

Together, the two essentials look good.  I have some plans to make a jumper that will also go with the blouse; a jacket that will go with both blouse and skirt.  If I could knit, I'd make a little cardigan.

I'm a non-knitting granny.

The pattern I used was Oliver + S,  Music Class blouse and skirt.  Once again, the pattern was drop dead easy.  However the blouse was a bit fiddly (no pun intended) as it needed many tucks.  But they weren't difficult to do by any means.

I am really happy with the results.  It looks clean and crisp. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I had some lovely French cotton that I used to make this sweet little dress about a year ago.  It turned out well and I was happy with the results.  Well, maybe not with the embroidery part as I'm still trying to figure out how to center letters.

With the leftover fabric, I made up this dress and I'm not happy with the results.

The fabric is so light, that the inside pocket shows.   Mostly, I think the dress looks like something the school nurse back in the 60's would wear.  Originally, I was going to use some French cotton that was navy, but thought it might be too dark for a toddler.  And the buttons aren't white enough. 

This fabric creases like crazy so I doubt my daughter will like this one at all.

Oh well.  Chalk this up to experience.

Monday, February 7, 2011

They'll be ga-ga at the Go-Go.

I can't stand it!  This pattern is just too .... oh.... I don't know .... Mary Quant? Oleg Cassini? Andres Courreges? .... wait ...... GROOVEY!  It makes me sing 60's tunes when I sew.  To complete the mood I even found some 60's style fabric.   And that reminds me, this dress definitely needs Go-Go boots!

When baby grows hair she'll need a 5-point cut.

The fabric is a heavier weight poly-knit-bonded-worsted whatever.  I really have no idea what it is but I know I had a dress made from this type of fabric back in the 60's.

Flower power.

Of course the pattern is from Oliver + S and it's called School Photo Dress.  I made it in size 2T.

Getting back to the fabric, it is double sided and I literally had to toss a coin to decide which side to use.

I haven' t exhausted my repertoire for 60's tunes (although I'm growing somewhat weary of music from Hair) so that means, more of these little gems will surely be on the way.  Far out!!

They'll be gag- at the Go-Go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Brilliantined, biblical hair..........

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Embossing Velvet.

Still playing with heart shaped purses, I thought I might emboss some scrap red velvet which might make for an interesting purse exterior.

I pulled out my rubber stamps and then tried to recall how to do it.  Do I wet the front side of the velvet or the back side and then press?

Simple rubber stamp from the 80's
I tried both.  Then it all came back to me.  Wet the back side of the velvet fabric, lay nap side down on the rubber stamp and with the iron set at the hottest. press down.

New iron. Woot!

However, there was another detail I was forgetting.

It worked!!

I had this nagging feeling that the velvet to be embossed had to be rayon or acetate or something other than cotton which was the type of velvet I was using.  But hey, it embossed.   I must have been mistaken.

Where did the 80's go?

Well, when I finished assembling the little purse, the embossing had disappeared into the nap.  I was right.  This method of embossing doesn't work well on cotton velvet.

Hide it with a big fake flower.

Gotta love fat q's
These little purses only take about 15 minutes to whip up.  I found some pink cotton fabric and made another one.  I've got a gold sparkle pen and maybe I'll write a message on it.  Be My Valentine.

Or maybe it should read Give Up Now!

 The little ones I made yesterday look like little vintage cards rather than purses. They'll have to do.

Well, I'm growing weary of heart shaped purses and besides,  I really don't have nice looking Valentines Day-ish looking fabric.

Therefore, it must be a sign that I need to move on.   A bunch of patterns that I ordered from Oliver + S patterns arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm keen to try them out.