Thursday, December 26, 2013

Art Museum Vest & Trousers

Finally! I have a photo of Mr. A wearing the Art Museum Vest and Trousers (Oliver + S) pattern.

Here he is wielding a screwdriver belonging to a workbench he got for Christmas.

The trouser leg hems need to be turned up. The measurement I was given over the phone wasn't accurate.   Also the waist elastic should be taken in about an inch.
Easy fix.

The back and lining worked well with his tie.

Lucy is sporting her new collar with iconic Hudson's Bay Company stripes.

Mr. A looks really dapper in this outfit and I plan to make more from this pattern. I've got some more suiting fabric washed and ready to go.

He wore this outfit several times over the holidays - long hems and all - but that didn't seem to stop him.
Party on dude!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snow-bound sewing.

We've received an unusual amount of snow over the past few weeks. Venturing out driving has been treacherous due to white-out conditions, and some roads have even been closed.   Usually around this time of year we are wringing our hands wondering if we'll get a white Christmas. Not this year.

So I'm taking advantage of being grounded and in between clearing snow, I've been sewing.

Here's what I've accomplished:

Three pairs of Bedtime Story Pajama's (Oliver + S pattern) I bought the fabric for $4/meter and while the fabric print isn't my first choice, the price tag was!  They are all size 2.

The pocket doesn't look straight in the photo, but it is in real life. Photography and staging photos is not my strong point.

I couldn't find navy buttons in my stash but the yellow ones seem to work.

The brown bear fabric was $2.50/m but since there wasn't quite enough for the jammie top, I had to get some off white flannel and trimmed it with the brown.

Miss C. really enjoys playing dress-up. Many of her costumes are too small, so I thought I'd make up a bunch of new ones as a Christmas  gift.

From Oliver + S book, Little Thing to Sew, I made a peacock coloured tutu. For the waistband tie, I found some silk dupioni in my stash and it worked perfectly in place of ribbon.

The air is so cold and dry right now giving the tutu a bad case of static cling. The tulle is flying off in all directions and the silk on the waistband isn't co-operating either.

I also made a matching hairband using scraps of tulle and peacock coloured feathers.

She also likes playing doctor/nurse. She spends so much time at the clinic with ear aches and chest infections that acting out someone in the medical field is a natural for her.

I used the Oliver + S pattern Secret Agent Trench Coat.  The fabric is from a cotton table cloth that shrunk after several washings and no longer fits my harvest table.

I set up my embroidery machine to stitch out her title on the coat and on one of the patch pockets used felt for the red cross.

The pattern is double breasted but I didn't make it a single thinking she might wear this outdoors over a jacket.

When William and Kate got married, Miss C was spellbound. Her mom bought her a veil that's attached to a hairband and she wears it quite a lot.  Therefore,  the veil needs a bride outfit!

She likes to dress herself, so made the bride outfit that was easy to get on and off.
For the top I used a peasant style top that is a free download pattern from here.  I attached some lace  down the front and fortuitously found some diamond looking buttons to add some bridal bling.

The skirt was based on the Lazy Days skirt pattern, only long, and with lace attached at the hemline.

Thinking about a maids outfit, maybe something Cinderella might have worn housecleaning, I found this remnant fabric: 2 meters for $3.50.  Sold!!

Using the same peasant blouse pattern as above, I simply added long sleeves.  For the skirt, I used the skirt portion from the Tinny pattern, cutting it longer and adding a frill of satin fabric leftover from a flower girl dress I made for her mother's wedding.  

The skirt will twirl which is what a maid likes to do whilst sweeping. At least, that's what I do when I sweep.

I felt the outfit needed a corset, you know, to tie it together. :) 
Using some off white silk dupioni, I applied random stitches using decorative threads and then put in grommets. I could only find rat-tail cord in my stash to lace the corset but I plan to change that to something less slippery. 

I'm glad I found a use for the stash of decorative threads I have but need to experiment more with dress-ups-corset making.

Last up, at least for now, is this hideous looking princess dress that's got a bad case of static cling like the tutu.

It's size 6 hanging limply on a size 2 dress form. It's big enough to fit over indoor or outdoor clothing.....maybe even a parka it's pink and sparkly to suit the taste for a 4 year old.

I could have done a better job sewing this, but my heart wasn't in to bubblegum pink satin - neither was spending time to get a decent photo!   

Overall, dress-up items get well used and abused. They usually end up getting covered in dirt and sand from being worn outdoors as well as getting covered in food stains. So I never spend much money or effort making dress-up clothing.

Well, that's it for my sewing.  

The cottage needs to be readied for the onslaught of Christmas guests, baking needs to get done, and most urgently, more snow has to get cleared.

Merry Christmas from my little corner of The Great White North

Friday, December 13, 2013

Art Museum Trousers and Vest

One good thing about being snowed-in is, one can get quite a bit of sewing done.  Providing the power stays on of course.  Here's is part of this week's sewing projects......

About a month or so ago, I took advantage of a 20% off Oliver + S pattern offer that appeared on an Aurora Borealis forecasting website (strange but true) and ordered the 3 new ones that will complete my collection once again.
About two weeks later, they went on sale for 50% off. Doh!
Sadly, the order managed to get lost in the mail. It's the first time that sort of thing has ever happened to me but hey, I suppose living in the middle of nowhere it was bound to occur.

I notified Oliver + S that the order was taking an unusually long time to arrive so their excellent customer service that is truly second to none, kicked in. Not only are they sending out a new order but since I was anxious to make the Art Museum vest and trousers before Christmas for Mr. A., they sent a pdf of the pattern.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I had grey wool washed (yes, I washed AND dried it in the machine because I know that's what my daughter will do when the outfit gets soiled) ironed and ready to go. I cut it out between snow blowing and shoveling (we got at least 100cm of snow this week) and made the Art Museum Vest and Trousers.   Yay! Done in time for Mr. A's many Christmas parties.

One good thing about having so much snow right outside the door, one doesn't need a white sheet for a background.

I made size 18-24 months and after reading comments made on Flickr added a little length in the vest because Mr. A is exceptionally tall for his age.

As with all O+S patterns, the instructions are clear and straightforward. I've made welt pockets before but quite liked the easy details provided in this pattern and my pockets turned out perfectly.

For the back, I used red and navy striped grey cotton fabric. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking/hoping I might be able to whip out a navy wool blazer to go with the pants and vest. There is enough fabric left over to use for the lining of a blazer.
Oliver + S don't have a blazer pattern....yet. I wish they had one!

The pants couldn't have been easier to make and the results so professional looking.

The pattern called for welt pockets on the pants back too.  Again, the construction due to the easy and detailed instructions went together perfectly.
Oh, and the pant legs are the same length in real life. My fingers were starting to freeze and didn't want to spend an more time outdoors fussing with a photo.

Once the roads are safe to drive I'll be making a trek down to the Big Smoke so Mr. A. can try on his new spiffy outfit and get a photo of him wearing it.   Meanwhile, I need to shake the snow off these clothes!

Again, I cannot say enough good things about Oliver + S patterns. They make sewing such a pleasure.  In my opinion, they are the best children's patterns in the world.  And their customer service is par excellence.

Merry Christmas Todd, Liesl, S and all the staff at Oliver + S!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Swingset Skirt for Christmas

The Oliver + S pattern Swingset Skirt, to me, is the perfect skirt pattern.   One can use theme fabric, add tulle on the lining or another kind of trim, it twirls plus it's so easy and quick to make.  So does a skirt pattern get any better? I don't think so!

There was a sale on at Fabricland not too long ago and I got this fabric for something like $4 per meter. There is enough fabric leftover for another small item - timing providing of course.  This time I used jingle bells at the end of the waist ties.

I've made this skirt before here and here and those skirts got the twirl stamp of approval!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Burda 9727

Some time ago, a sewing friend Nicole who lives in Australia, sent me this pattern. She knew I was looking for a child's dress coat.... a frock coat as she calls it ... and thought that this pattern might be one  of interest.

Before I discuss the pattern, I want to point out that when it arrived I noticed the pattern front and back were plasticized!

Now, I knew Nicole was a perfectionist particularly when it comes to sewing and especially finishing a sewing project but plasticizing a pattern is, well, it's just plain over the top.
I would be completely mortified if she ever saw my sewing pattern stash. Needless to say, Nicole has shamed me into tidying up my sewing stash.

Onto the pattern........

I used some discounted plum coloured cashmere ($5.00/meter) and lined it with grey kasha lining. It was a test run.

The pattern was straightforward as per usual Burda patterns. I made size 5 and fit's perfectly.

However, if I put in a thicker lining like maybe something quilted, the coat would be too small.

The pattern called for contrasting pocket flaps and collar but since this was a test run, I just used the same fabric.  Oh, and I squared off the pocket flaps... just because.

The back has a sweet little belt tab and that too should have been in a contrast fabric.

Moving on to the lining, I found the Kasha worked out just fine.  However I really got stuck on how the lining went together at the hem.

So I put it together the way I thought it should go but it didn't look like Tidy Heidi was a work, as Nicole might suggest.

Miss C. likes the coat and looks like a perfect little lady.

We just need to work on "don't wipe your nose on the sleeve" part.

Thank you Nicole for sending me this pattern. It worked out perfectly!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas sewing.

I was down in the Big Smoke today, although given the political circus going on down there I suspect the term 'Big Smoke' takes on a whole new meaning. Poor dear Toronto, the city where I was born and raised, is being disgraced.

Well anyway, Miss C was able to try on Christmas outfits I've made for her thus far and had a photo shoot. She is a perfectly wonderful co-operative model.

Here's how it went........

First up is the Fairytale Dress (Oliver + S).  Size 5.

I smocked the front panel using a simple 2 step wave stitch on 16 rows using DMC 989.  The bodice is lined but not the skirt.

Therefore I made a crinoline using tulle and cotton but Miss C and her mom didn't like how the dress "stuck out". So no crinoline for this dress.
For the back I made a sash but because I didn't have enough fabric, the sash isn't as wide as I would have liked it.  Just the same, it works just fine.

Regardless how warm the inside of one's home is during the winter months here in the Great White North, I still felt this short sleeved dress needed a sweater. So I made this bolero style sweater using an off white knit.
I used the Field Trip (Oliver + S) raglan sleeve t-shirt pattern and cut the front piece into a bolero style. 

Using my new handy dandy coverstitch machine I put on the bias trim. Easy!

Miss C loves her new dress and sweater and I'm happy how it looks on her.

The next item up was this kelly green corduroy Music Box Jumper (Oliver + S).
I used two different snowflake buttons on the tabs (because no 2 snowflakes are the same) that can be taken off and changed to another style of button at a later date.

Lots of buttons up the back.

Lastly, I had a wee scrap of red corduroy and made a little skirt.  I found some iron-on snowflake shapes to put around the hem.

And here's our model taking a bow. She was, and always is, co-operative when taking photos.  It's just finding the time to drive down to the city when she's available that's difficult.

I also made some kelly green corduroy Sand Box Pants (Oliver + S) for Mr. A, but he was napping.
So photos for that will have to wait for the next trip down to the Big Smoke.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Skirt and ballet sweater

The ballet sweater top is from Ottobre 4/2003 (size 98) and it's been on my "to-make" list for the past 10 years. Nothing like racing into projects, eh?

The skirt is an Oliver + S pattern called 2+2 Blouse and Pleated Skirt.  I made size 5.

The sweater pieces are 2 fronts, 1 back, 2 sleeves and 2 ties. After attaching the ties and winding them around the dress form, the sweater didn't sit properly so I put in a buttonhole at the side seam on one side of the sweater. Now when winding the ties around, the sweater sits better on the back/side waist line.

On the skirt, I left in the basted pleats. They can easily be removed if the wearer wants more twirl and less pleats.

It fits perfectly!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hopscotch Skirt

One problem with sewing something for someone who lives 2 hours away is it can't be fitted before completion.
Another problem is timing. The wearer has a very busy schedule; Jr. Kindy, tap dance, ballet, play dates, so I have to make sure to arrive during a window of opportunity.

Well today was my lucky day because she came here.  Her daddy had to pick up his boat and put it away for winter storage.

There wasn't any time to try on the Hopscotch skirt I made earlier in the week because there were chipmunks to be fed, leaves to be rolled in, pine cones to collect plus a quick walk in the woods to check on the branch lean-to fort. So we decided holding it up would be good enough for now.

It's size 4, light blue pinwale corduroy.

Something is amiss with my sewing machine and the buttonhole function isn't working properly. Argh. That means an 1 hour drive north to see the machine fix-it man.  Needless to say the buttonholes on this skirt are far from perfect.

When she got home, she tried it on and her daddy took a photo sending it to me.
The waistband needs to be taken easy fix... and everything else is perfect.

Next trip down to the Big Smoke I shall go with seam ripper, needle and thread in hand to make the necessary repairs.
In the meantime, maybe I should make a few more Hopscotch skirts. They are so easy make.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Swingset Skirt

I've had this delightfully tacky pumpkin fabric sitting in my stash for years.  During that time it's managed to get tackier to those who see it for the first time, but not so much for me because I see it often....pumpkins with their googley eyes watching me sew.
I think the fabric was $3.00 a meter and that's why I bought it thinking it would make for a fun lining in a childs outfit.

I think Miss C, who is 4, will love these silly little pumpkins on this O+S Swingset Skirt.

The underskirt is orange broadcloth with black tulle along the edge.

I have 3 jingle pumpkins; 2 Miss C uses as a necklace.  I tied the remaining jingle pumpkin on the end of the tie and her mom can attach one of necklace pumpkins to the other tie end.

Size 5. And it's guaranteed to twirl!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hula Hoop

I was lucky to get a quick but out-of-focus photo of Miss C wearing the Hula Hoop skirt I made her earlier in the week.
While she will co-operate to pose in something I've made, that posing time has a very short window.  There's just too much to do around here!

The skirt takes no time at all to put together.  Once this one was cut out and marked, I was able to sew it together while waiting for dinner to cook.
Threading the elastic waited until after dinner though.

Here's the front. Miss C is examining the front flap.

Here's the back.

And now for the reverse side.

We were making little cakes in the shape of acorns today for our Thanksgiving lunch.  This one is fresh out of the oven.

In case you missed seeing it, she's holding the little cake over her shoulder so you can have a second chance.

The skirt is size 5ish. I used  size 4 pattern pieces an added about 1/4" all around. The skirt fits perfectly plus it twirls.

Too bad the photos are out-of-focus but at least I got photos .... and acorn shaped cakes too!