Monday, January 13, 2014

A couple of gifts

I've been a very good girl since my last post and have made two handmade gifts. In my house we have birthdays in January, February and March so I thought I should start early to get organised.

It's my husband's birthday next week and I told him I wanted to make him a shirt. He wanted a crazy Marvel comic or Star Wars print but when I went window shopping, I calculated it would cost over $50 in fabric to make. I'm way too much of a cheapskate to spend that much on fabric so I went to good ole Spotlight and grabbed some checked cotton from the sale rack. 3 metres for $12. Much better than $50!

I've never made a proper shirt so I used this casual shirt pattern that I purchased last year with the intention of making a shirt for my son (obviously that never happened). It's a great little pattern. My boy will be getting some cool shorts from this pattern for his birthday.


It was a super easy pattern to follow. Construction is pretty simple. There is no button placket- the front has facings instead. The collar is one piece. It was pretty tricky to put in but that's because I'm not super experienced with collars. 

Click on the photo and spot the pocket. Yep, pretty pleased with my pattern matching here!

The hardest part was the pattern matching. I made sure the pocket and centre front matched but every other seam looks crap. I probably picked a bad check for my first attempt at pattern matching- an even check would have been far easier. All in all I'm happy with it. I'm not letting Husband put it on until his birthday so this is the only pic I have of it at the moment.

Now that Birthday #1 was sorted, I was ready to start on #2- my little girl's fourth, which is in exactly a month. I decided on a dress, a hat, and a soft toy. This is the pattern I chose for the dress- I've had it in my stash for a while and hadn't used it yet.


The fabric was a gift from a friend and has been in my stash since my girl was a baby. I'd been waiting for the right project and I think I chose well.

The dress took about 3 hours all up including cutting. Much longer than I would normally spend on a child's dress! There were lots of fiddly little bits. I hated the pockets- it tells you to cut two pockets, stitch around the edge of each then fold along the stitching in press inwards. It would have made much more sense to cut four pockets and construct each one by sewing them right sides together- it would have given a much nicer curve to the bottom of the pockets. Anyway, I love it and I hope she does too! I made some little matching hair ties.

Next up is the hat which I will make this week. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Projects for 2014

I find it very exciting to think about what I'm going to make this year. I love making lists. I just find it so satisfying!If you are a list person, you'll understand.

I want to make a couple of summer dresses for myself. I haven't made a shift dress yet and I have a feeling the shape won't suit me but I'm going to try anyway. One of these two patterns that I have in my stash:

Sorry about the flash. I suck.

And this dress (main view) in some beautiful yellow floral with butterflies.

And I will have another go at the 50s mail order dress...

 And I want to make the full-skirted version of this....

Okay, that's  probably more dresses than I will actually make. Or not. We'll see.

There are 3 family birthdays coming up and I am making a few gifts. A shirt for my husband and shorts (and maybe a shirt) for my son:

(need to hurry up and start this as Husband's birthday is in 2 weeks and have never made a shirt)

An alien softie for my son and a mouse softie and hat and some kind of clothing for my daughter.

Now practical stuff. I need a simple, lined, straight black skirt. I have about a million black skirts but many of them don't have waistbands. I like to wear blouses tucked in so a waistband is essential. Will be using this marvellous pattern again:

And a couple of blouses. A plain and a print. Maybe one from the above pattern and  View B of this one:

Some smart, well-fitting black pants. They are essential for any woman, especially a performing musician who wears all black at gigs! I'm going to make the Thurlows again but in the 2nd smallest size instead of the smallest as I'm sure my ass will grow more.

Knits! I'm not going to be scared any more. I just need to find some decent fabric. What kind of knits are best for these? There are so many- it's confusing!

I should have a great, practical wardrobe by the end of the year!