Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lisette Round Trip dress

Meet my latest and most fabulous creation! I can't really describe how much I love this dress.

I bough the fabric especially for the project when Spotlight had their 40% off all fabric sale. It's quilting cotton and was reduced to $11 per metre. I bought the exact amount needed to make the sleeved dress, but ended up with about 60 cm of fabric left. Crazy! How do they even come up with the yardages - do they just guess??? I'm sure I will find a use for the remaining bit but it's annoying to have so much left when I was a good girl for once and bought only what I thought I needed!

This dress was super easy to fit. I've come to realise that with Simplicity patterns, pretty much all I need to do is cut a size 8 bodice and taper it to 10 at the waist. I made a quick bodice muslin before cutting into my Eiffel Tower fabric and didn't need to make any changes.

The trickiest part of this was facing the keyhole section, but as long as you read the instructions and have transferred all markings accurately, it's not too bad. I used a tracing wheel and carbon to transfer the markings and it's now my favourite method.

There are sweet little pleats on the skirt and pockets. I'm so used to having dresses and skirts with pockets now that it feels weird without them!

I love this so much that I've already cut out my next version, this time with the cute collar and no sleeves.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas sewing: Simplicity summer dressing gown

Another handmade Christmas gift has been ticked off the list.

This is for my mother-in-law. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter went to a 6th birthday party. It was a pamper party, with the girls having a mini day spa experience including their own dressing gown made from vintage print cotton. She loves her dressing gown so much that I decided to make one for her Gran.

I found this pattern in Spotlight. There were better options, but Simplicity patterns were two for $10 and I can't justify paying full price for Big 4 patterns, so I got this (and maybe three other little girls' patterns too...). It's very simple, with two big patch pockets, a facing (I would have preferred a contrast band, but oh well), and a belt with belt loops. The main fabric is some lovely cotton that I found in an op shop last year, and the spotty one is poplin from Spotlight.

I wanted it much shorter for summer so reduced the length by 11" and the sleeve length by a whopping 12". It came together pretty easily. I just wish I had a fatter mannequin to photograph it on as it looks crap hanging on my size 8 one.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Christmas sewing: Kitschy Koo skater dresses

So I decided that there is to be no more selfish sewing until I've finished all of my Christmas sewing. I'm not doing a whole heap as I don't want to stress myself out, but I knew I wanted to make a couple of dresses for Elizabeth. I was going to make cotton ones but then I saw some photos my friend posted on her Facebook page of some Kitschy Koo skater dresses she had made for her daughter. I got chatting to her about the pattern and she won me over by telling me how quick and easy it is to sew.

This is the first PDF pattern I've sewn and I have to admit that I found it kind of fun to put together. Cutting out and taping together all the bits reminded me of being in art class as a kid. I loved that I could just cut all my fabric on the floor using my cutting mat and rotary cutter, instead of cleaning everything off the dining table like I usually have to. It took me about 6 minutes to cut all my pieces. Win!

The first dress took me about twice as long as I read through all the instructions. My friend suggested I sew all the bands on in the round, and not flat as directed in the instructions. I find this looks much neater as the band seams are hidden inside the band.

I used my regular maching with a lightning bolt stitch and ballpoint needle for all except the side seams. All edges were finished with the overlocker and the side seams sewn with the overlocker. I hemmed the skirt with my twin stretch needle and am really happy with the result.

All in all, very cute, very quick dresses! I also bought the lady version and will be making one as soon as my selfish sewing ban is over!