Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back-to-school parameters.

Thinking about outfits that don't need ironing, are comfortable and perfect to wear for Jr. Kindergarten (i.e. easy on and off when going to the bathroom by oneself) I decided to travel down the knit fabric path.

Our model caught a nasty cold from school, so she wasn't feeling well enough for me to get photos of her wearing these outfits.  However they all fit and look really good on her.

So here are the outifts I've made so far.

First up is Shwin and Shwin's pattern 'The Eleanor Dress".
Fabric is light pink with a grey fleck knit.  Size 4.

The pattern called for 3 buttons on the collar but I didn't have 3 green buttons that matched so I made a little flower corsage using grey and green tulle, green grosgrain ribbon and a vintage pink and grey button all attached to a piece of buckram and stitched onto a safety pin.

I held the edges of the tulle up to an open flame to get an interesting effect but have subsequently bought a heat gun to use for future flower pins.

I love the pockets in this dress pattern.  Good for hiding little treats!

For the leggings, I used the pattern from Sunki by Figgy's.  Size 5/6 in grey jersey.

The dress fit perfectly and everyone liked the dress and flower pin.

The next knit item was the Cowl Neck dress from Heidi and Finn. Size 5.
Fabric is a bulkier knit in red and brown stripe, although in these photos the red looks pinkish.

I didn't make the belt as per the pattern, instead I made a little belt with a pouch pocket on the front.
Miss C likes the belt because she can keep a tiny treasure in it. Mom however doesn't like it and will use a brown leather belt instead.
I guessing Miss C will get her way and wear the one I made because I've seen her persuasion tactics in action.

Last month I bought a Janome Coverpro 1000CPX which is a stand alone coverstitch machine. It sure makes quick work of hems.

This dress was amazingly easy and quick to construct. It fit perfectly and everyone seemed to like it.
I'll be making more of these!

Out of lightweight cotton twill that I'm sure won't require ironing, I made the "Claire" pattern from Shwin and Shwin. Size 4.

Using a ruffler attachment, I added ruffles around the neck and down the back.
In hindsight I should have used piping across the front.

The pattern calls for a peplum frill added to the skirt. When I pinned the two pieces together, it seemed like such an open area between the two frills, so I cut off 3 inches from the skirt and pinned it to the top 2 sections thus creating 3 layers of frills.

I always struggle to get a good photo. It doesn't help when the dog wants my attention and photo bombs my efforts.

For leggings, again I used the pattern piece from Figgy's Sunki pattern. Size 5/6.
I ruched theside seams by shirring with elastic thread in the bobbin and added bows matching the top.

The fabric was stretchy knit-like denim. Foolishly I didn't use serged rolled hem seams therefore they are thick and difficult for our 4 year old to get on and off by herself.

But here's the catch.

Apparently all clothes worn to Jr.K have to be such that the 4 year old can get the outfits on and off by themselves in case they have to change.

The Claire top has button down the back. Doh!

The reason Miss C has a nasty cold is because her class accidentally got locked out of the school during recess and were left out in a downpour of rain.
All 20 Jr. K's were completely soaked and had to change ... by themselves ... into spare clothing.

Never mind. It's a sweet little outfit on her and she can wear it on the days she doesn't go to school.

Armed knowing all the parameters for JK wear, it's back-to-sewing for me!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fairy Tale Dress

I really like the Oliver + S 'Fairy Tale' dress pattern.
When my girls were young I made many similar versions of this dress; some with smocked bodice fronts and some plain.
As good luck would have it, I've come full circle and can make this style of dress for my daughters' daughter....lots of 'em too!

The petal sleeves on this dress are really sweet.  They sure beat the puffed sleeves on the patterns I used to use for my girls. They were a bitch to iron. I even tried using a hot light bulb to press them from the inside.
Oh, and the lace trim on the sleeve edge that was de rigueur way back then was also a royal pain to iron without scorching or melting it.

These sleeves are truly much nicer, easier to iron and of course I added piping.

Instead of a big sash, which my daughter just loves, I've been experimenting with skinny belts.  This one has thick cording running through and held by carriers stitched on the side.
I'll make a Fairy Tale dress with a big sash in due course but right now I'd like to experiment with skinny belts.

Normally, I make a tucked hem.  This time around I actually hand stitched the hem and found the process rather cathartic. Maybe I should hand stitch hems more often.

The dress is size 5. It fits perfectly and it's part of her Back-to-school wardrobe.