Monday, February 27, 2012

3 Smocked Dresses

Thank goodness daisy print fabric is back in style.

I made this smocked dress many years ago and just found it yesterday in one of the many smocked dress boxes in my sewing room.
The pattern is Daisy May by Wendy Schoen. Size 2.

The back calls for a little buckle or a button as opposed to a long tie.

When I made the dress, I wasn't too happy with the collar as it covered up the smocking. I truly thought I had made a mistake and used the wrong size collar.  But after hours of embroidery, I decided just to leave it as is.  Way back then, I didn't know if I was ever going to be a grandma so why fret!

When I saw this article in Fancywork Magazine about the Daisy May pattern, I quickly saw that the collar was indeed supposed to hang over the smocked section.
I felt redeemed.

And later I saw the same pattern made up without smocking in Creative Needle Magazine.

Moving on to another smocked dress; this one came back for an alteration.

Caitlin had worn it but the sleeve band was too tight. The pattern is from AS&E and when I originally made this dress, long before Caitlin was even a glint in her mom's eye, I wondered if the sleeve band was too small.
Well, it's repaired and it goes back to the owner.

Because the yellow print fabric was busy, I chose to use a light coloured embroidery floss and keep the smocking design simple.

I also found this red smocked dress in the same box as the Daisy May dress.  The pattern is from AS&E.  Knowing the sleeve band would be an issue, I took the sleeves out and re-made them using the sleeve pattern from Family Heirloom Dress (Oliver + S).  Since I didn't have any deep red fabric, I was unable to make piping for the sleeve cuff.

I think I had planned to make a denim jacket to go with the red smocked dress hence the blue embroidery flowers. Plus I have enough red fabric to line a little jacket.  But that's a project for another day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Twirl Skirt

Many years ago I came across a delightful sewing website. Stop Staring and Start Sewing.

The author had just developed her first pattern called the Edith Twirl Skirt.
I just loved the photos and her smocking which prompted me to buy her pattern.

Check out the image here to see what I'm talking about.  It's just beautiful!

Well, the pattern has been sitting on the shelf in my sewing room for a couple of years now. But since I know a little girl who just loves to twirl, I figured it was time to make it!

It took me an afternoon to make it because there was a lot of gathering. But overall, it was easy and the instructions were clear and simple.

It's difficult to photograph.  Hopefully I can get my model to try it on in the next few weeks.

I followed the embroidery design as it appeared on the pattern.  Next time I will make my own design.

In the pattern are directions to fuse fabric to a t-shirt.
But what attracted me to the pattern in the first place was the smocked top which is her design and can be found here:    It's not included the pattern.

However, I have made my own version of this smocked top and that's next on the cutting table.  Well, sort of next.  I keep getting sidetracked!

Note to self:
Skirt made to fit size 3.
Waist is 54cm (21") ;  cut the elastic 7cm (3") shorter to 45cm (18")
DMC:760, 761, 3811 & 734

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Family Reunion Dress

I've been hesitant about making this pattern from Oliver + S.  The scoop neck seems rather low and I'm not so sure my daughter will like it on her daughter.

I asked others that have made this dress wondering if they had any suggestions to make he neckline less low.

Well I figured that if I simply made it up according to the pattern, which by the way was drop dead easy, I could see for myself where and what I can do to make the neck less scoopy.

Thankfully I have a vast stash of fabric I can make up a muslin from and maybe, just maybe, the fabric I choose might not be too dated and it will get worn.

I found this daisy print on the purple background. As coincidence would have it, I was in a quilt store the other day and there was the same fabric with a blue background.

Which just goes to prove the old adage, what goes around comes around. Although that adage wasn't pertaining to fabric, but hey, it'll do.

I piped the neckline in question and didn't even notice the join in the piping that is almost in the middle of the neck. Arrgh.

Oh well, it's just a muslin.

So when I make this dress again, if my daughter likes it that is, I will cut the neck portion thicker.

However, I have seen a really good addition to the neckline here (click here) and it is absolutely stunning.

This dress is size 3.
Note to self: check where the piping joins next time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More vintage fabric

Way back in the early 80's I was a Laura Ashely fanatic.

I had Laura Ashely dresses.

Laura Ashley home dec fabric.

Laura Ashley wallpaper.

And of course yards and yards of Laura Ashley fabric.

Here a sun dress I made today with vintage Laura Ashley cotton fabric from my stash.

It's Size 3 using the re-sized Itty Bitty Dress that can be downloaded here.

On this project, I got to use my ruffler attachment that's been sitting in a box for a year or two waiting for me to try it out. This skirt ruffle was set at 6 and I cut twice the hem circumference from the white fabric.

I still have lots of this fabric leftover so maybe I will make a sunhat and some undies.

FYI: Laura Ashley died in 1985 from complications after falling down stairs at her daughters country home where she had been celebrating her 60th birthday. The company is still in business but to me,  the fabrics just don't seem to be as fabulous as they were when she was the designer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Seashore Dress

Using Oliver + S Seashore dress, I made a size 3.

I used pink seersucker and piped the front, back and pocket section with white cotton piping.

The whole dress went together really quickly despite lots of interruptions.  But if I could have just sewn without having to stop, I'm sure it would have gone together in under 2 hours.

Note to self: next time try a contrast fabric for inside the pocket.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Playdate Dress

Using Oliver + S Playdate dress, which is now sadly out of print, I made Size 3.

The fabric was a powder blue pique type of cotton which I'm fairly certain my mother bought some 30 or more years ago.  Finally, it's getting used.
I found some pink cotton that matched one of the flowers in the fabric for the bib, and again, it was cotton that must be in the neighbourhood of 30 years old.
Not sure about the buttons though. I think they were a more recent purchase.
For the bib section I used a white pique that I bought last year.

The other day I found these little shoes that match the pink cotton in the bib section perfectly. So like any good grandma, I bought them!

Note to self: When I make this dress again, put a ruffle around the bib section instead of flat piping.
In the front pleat, experiment with a contrast fabric.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Music Box Jumper

I have all of the Oliver + S patterns ever made with the exception of the Sleepover Pajamas.
But I haven't made outfits from all of the patterns yet.
That will be the next goal and hopefully use up more fabric stash.

First up is Music Box Jumper using the alternate view with a single pleat in the front.

It used just over a meter of corduroy fabric and took about and hour and a half to make. Talk about easy!
But it took me a whole day to get around to sewing the buttons on,  down the back.

Size 2.
Note to self: next time don't use a plaid fabric. It required too much thinking to line up the bodice with the skirt taking the center pleat into account.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sewing mojo is back.

Slowly, I'm getting my sewing mojo back.  It's been gone for such a long time.

And for such a long time, I've been trying to get at this pattern designed by my friend Judith. It's new on the market and she gave me a copy to try it out.

 Just after my grandson was born, I cut out pants from a lightweight brown wool that had a light green fleck in the pattern, along with a fleece top in the same light green.  It looks rather grey in these photos, but it's a light minty green.

I didn't make the shirt in the pattern. Instead I took a Onesie and using steam-a-seam, cut a bow tie shape using the pants fabric and fused it in place.

Also using the pants fabric, made piping for the jacket.

The whole outfit went together really quickly. I especially like the way the pants turned out with the little faux fly front.

The pattern was easy to follow and Judith has included TONS of sewing tips, ideas, how-to's in the pattern. I made the whole outfit in just a few hours.

Trouble is,  I cut the fabric out awhile ago and used pattern size 11 lbs. My grandson has grown like a weed ... correction ... like a tank,  and he's now 20 lbs and climbing fast.  So this outfit won't fit.

But I got lots of ideas in the process.  

And I'm sure I got my sewing mojo back too!