Friday, September 30, 2011

Liberty for the little lady

After trekking to my shops this week to sell bonnets (I may have already spent my earnings, but more on that later), I came home totally inspired to make more pretty little things for Adele. First up, I needed to make Adele a simple skirt with Liberty fabric (Rach - are you jealous?).
I needed to bribe her with lip balm to get a photo
I saw similar skirts at My Messy Room in Summer Hill. The ones at the shop were made from the softest light grey and blue floral Liberty, and trimmed with bright red and white grosgrain ribbon. They were adorable! Stav has impeccable taste when it comes to little kids clothes and I highly recommend heading to her shop if you are ever in the Summer Hill (Sydney) area.
I didn't have any fabric similar to the ones in her shop, but I did have a little Emilia's Flowers left over from this Tova. I trimmed it with some off white lace, which has been sewn into a pin tuck that also secures the hem. I had a little more length than needed, so created a generous elastic casing with a little ruffle on top. Cute huh?

A little more cute that I spied at My Messy Room was this stunning dress by Olive's Friend Pop.
Peter pan collar, scallop detail on the bib and over skirt AND ruffle sleeves! Ack - so cute!!!!

I highly recommend visiting My Messy Room if you're in the area, or if you're not nearby, check out the online shop.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dress for Adele

I'm really enjoying fast sewing projects at the  moment. This dress was made last night for Adele. For some reason, even though I stayed up very, very late the night before making bonnets, I still found myself at the machine last night.
This simple square yoke dress is half vintage pattern, half fudged up by me. The good thing about sewing so many little dresses for little ones, is that you can just eyeball different elements of a design.
The top fabric is pink honeycomb kei fabric, one of my all time favourite pink fabrics and the bottom is some quilting cotton from Anthology fabric, which was initially purchased to make into a quilt for the boys, but doesn't look quite right. One big vintage button closes the yoke.

I love feeling like I've achieved something and I am working through some of the stash which is even better. I'm sure more fast and simple sewing will follow....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Little Red

My new favourite.
I love red with denim, and this DS Quilts red fabric has a slight edgey look with the black and hearts...
You can get yours from the shop.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tis the season to wear bonnets....

Fa la la la la  la la la la

While it's cooling down up north, it's warming up here, which means the bonnet production line is in full swing!

On my first day on uni holidays, and likely to be my only sewing day (boo!), I'm working through a stack of orders and building stock for my shops.
Mess, mess, mess!

It;s a great time to buy if you want your bonnet quick fast. Get your bonnet here!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tiny pocket tank with perfect binding

This time for me.
I made this on Saturday night. The fabric is a remnant from The Fabric Shop purchased way back in July and the pattern from Grainline. I love the simplicity of tops like this and I love that they are so cool and easy to wear in summer.

Now I know we all have our special little ways of sewing particular things, but just in case someone wants to see how I create super neat 1/4 inch binding that it sewn under a garment, I thought I'd show you how.

The tiny pocket tanks asks you to cut a 1 inch bias strip and fold one long edge 1/4 inch along, creating 1/2 inch single fold bias. Does that make sense?? If you don't have a bias tape maker, this is fiddly and I think a little messy. I sew binding on with a 1/4 inch quilting foot that looks like this one below.
The special thing about this foot is the little hole to the left of the foot. When you shift your needle position to the left, as shown in the picture, the needle sews through this hole creating a perfect 3/8 or 1cm seam. This makes it perfect for sewing bonnet (wanna buy a pattern or a bonnet?), a Tova, most hat patterns or any other pattern with a 1cm seam allowance.

This is a Janome 1/4 inch foot and I'm not sure what other brands have this, or if there are other feet which you can use in this manner. I've checked Rachel's Bernina foot and it doesn't have this little hole. Even if your machine doesn't have this, you can still use this method. I'll explain at the end.

So, on to the binding. Start by cutting a bias strip of fabric 1.5 inches and folding in half, giving a finished width of 3/4 inch.
Sew this strip on to your garment using a 3/8 seam allowance. As mentioned earlier, I do this through the little hole on my 1/4 inch quilters foot. Can you see the needle is in the little hole here?
Trim seam allowances, notch and clip as needed and press inside. Then stitch in place with your 1/4 inch quilting foot but shift the needle back to the centre position.

Press again and then admire your super neat binding.

Now, if you don't have this little hole in your quarter inch quilting foot, you can still use this method. Simply cut your bias strip to 1 & 1/8 inches and fold in half. Then you need to shift your needle position as far left as you can without hitting your machine foot to attach the binding to the garment. Trim, clip and press inside (you won't have to trim as much). Then position your needle just slightly to the right of centre and sew under.

Perfect, easy binding, even when you sew at night or after an evening vino!

Happy Monday all!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Speedy Stashbustin' Sewing

I've been sewing up a storm this past 24 hours since handing in my latest assignment. Unfortunately it's not my last!

Anyway, Adele needed clothes, I had fabric and a little time.

So far we have:
Two simple summer skirts made with fat quarters purchased years ago. I mean years and years ago.... Hasn't everyone owned some Amy Butler Belle fabric at some time??
One simple pillow case dress made from Sandi Henderson fabric.

One slightly different pillow case top made with lovely Anna Maria Horner voile.

And this final item is so super cute it you'll find yourself racing to the machine to whip one up, even if you don't have a little girl to wear it!
Look at that pose!! This ruffle halter top was made with a free Oliver & S download that you can get here.
I can't believe how awesome this little top is! The fabric is a voile from my stash called Darling Clementine. I ordered it to fill a cart, but I definitely couldn't pull it off in an outfit for me. Don't you find that with things you buy just to fill your cart?? They are never quite right...

I made a few changes to this pattern. I roll hemmed the ruffles as I'm not keen on raw edges, even on bias cut fabric. Because I'm just a little lazy, I used poly grosgrain ribbon for the tie. I also ordered the finish of the garment differently and added elastic to the back for a better fit.

I'm super happy with this top, but the weather has turned, so I'm not sure when we will be able to wear it.

Hope you all have a good weekend. I'm hoping to add more to this insane effort tonight.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


My mother in law used to buy me nice PJs for my birthday and Christmas. I was always appreciative of these gifts as I loathe spending money on clothes you don't wear out. Since her stroke 2 years ago, no one has bought me PJs and all the jarmies that I still have are becomming too indecent, even to wear around the house.

This  nighty was made with some Liberty that I'd purchased to fill my cart, but when I arrived I knew I couldn't pull it off in an outfit.
The pattern is from this Japanese pattern book, not sure of the name (ISBN978-4-8347-2548-3). As my overlocker and I aren't on speaking terms right now, I sewed french seams throughout.
I feel very posh now that I own a nighty made of Liberty!

These pants were made with some cotton poplin from stash which is left over from way back when I used to sell kids clothes at markets. I think I picked it up for about $2 per meter and I still have over 2 meters left. The patten is New Look 6948. They are also light and comfy.
More functional sewing should follow. We are running out of hand-me-downs for Adele, so I probably need to knock up some skirts and shorts for her.

Hope you have a good week and happy sewing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vintage Simplicity 3461 & 4841

This dress has been sitting around half finished for so long I was wondering if I would ever be a wearable garment. It has been worth the wait though, I LOVE this dress!
It was made with the bodice from Simplicity 3461 and the skirt from Simplicity 4841, both from the 1960s.
The fabric is a lovely silk cotton blend from The Fabric Store, purchased a few months ago on sale.
I actually purchased three zippers to make this dress. The first was too short, I had intended to move the zipper to the side, but forgot. The second was lost, but I have found my academic transcript, and this is the third purchased today.
No real modifications were made to this dress, aside from shortening it. I think I may have even hemmed the dress slightly too short, but it is fun. I may take it down. We'll see...

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tiny Pocket Tank

During my uni holidays (which seem like a million years ago *sigh*) I managed to squeeze in a little sewing for my sister Sarah, who unfortunately lives very, very, very, very far away in Toronto, Canada.

This is a guest post by her.

“The best thing about having a sister who sews is having lovely handmade clothes to wear and adorable kid clothes that are the envy of the park. Whether custom made or something that didn’t quite work for her, chic one-of-a-kind items are the best. It’s especially fun to build outfits around them.
For this top, a swingy cotton tank in cobalt and white bird print with some hit of bright pink (I LOVE the neon pink button detail on the pocket) I decided to match it with other brights. Here, in the part of Canada where I live, we’re enjoying the last of the warm sunny days of Summer. This was the perfect outfit for my casual work day and playing with my toddler.

Stretch green skinnies from Urban Outfitters
Yellow tank from unknown
Silver flats from Seychelles Footware (from a few years ago)
Necklace from tiny pretty on Etsy
Nailpolish is Cover Me In Petals in Sephora by OPI. (Don't you love all these details??)"

Thanks Sis for filling the gap while I'm busy working on crappy homework.

For the sewers, the Tiny Pocket Tank is by grainline (I've made it before and I'll make it again!) and the fabric is a lovely Japanese cotton (now sold out) by Sevenberry from Tessuti.

In other news, I've finally managed to find some time tonight to sew and have a dress that has been awaiting a zipper for over 4 weeks, but now I can't find the bloody zipper! I've been searching for over an hour and now have given up. I think it may have been a casualty of a recent clean out, along with one of my university transcripts that I now need. Damn spring cleaning!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Black pegged pants Burda 6/2010

While procrastinating over my uni work, I have managed to keep myself out of trouble sitting in front of the sewing machine. These pants are an experiment of sorts. I wasn't sure if pegged pants would be for me.
I'm still not sure if they are. I've never been one to wear cropped trousers, so they do feel funny to wear.
The pattern is #105 from Burda 6/2010. A few Aussie bloggers have made them including Jorth, Nikki and Katherine. I made mine with some poly blend gabardine purchased from Spotlight during their 50% off fabric sale.
Like Jorth and Nikki, I straightened the hem and lengthened the pants. I also modified the front pockets so that they didn't sit out so far. I just didn't think I'd actually wear them like that. I cut a size 36, but ended up taking them in over an inch on the sides. I also modified the waistband, but possibly too much as it is a little snug. Hopefully it will stretch.
I like the front and back fit, but the side view looks a little funny to me. I think I prefer trousers to be more fitted.
Cheeky monkeys stealing camera shots
Anywho, twas fun and they certainly are wearable.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Super Shorts

I often take my kids fabric shopping with me. They rarely show any interest in anything in fabric shops. Recently though, they spied some fancy fabric at My Hung. At $21 per meter, it was more expensive than I'd  normally pay for cotton fabric for kids, but  it was super hero fabric and they LOVE super heros right now. Well actually they are obsessed with superheros. Really, really obsessed.
They now both have 'super' shorts, featuring cool Marvel comic, Superman fabric. They are both very happy, even though only one kiddo would allow me to take his photo today. Although, the only good photo which is above, was taken while I was holding his ankle to keep him still. The rest are bad action shots.
I possibly need a new camera.
The shorts are based on the Oliver & S sandbox pants pattern, but I cut front pockets rather than the patch pockets and omitted some of the fiddly detail like the back pocket button and front tie.
As the fabric was so exey, I only purchased a 70cm cut to make a pair of shorts for both boys. With the contrast band and pockets made from fabric from the stash and sewing scant hem, this amount of fabric worked well and only cost $13.30 after a small discount. I guess they are still cheaper than store bought shorts.
I think you buy similar fabric from for less than $8 per yard, but your kids have to be willing to wait for it to arrive. My American followers probably don't realise how good they've got it with the super cheap fabric they can buy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finallly sewing.... Simplicity 2180

When I first spied Simplicity 2180 I knew I would make it. I've been in love with the lovely tea dresses from SoHo Mode on Etsy for some time, but my non-existent clothing budget does not accommodate purchases of this value.

This is my alternative and I love it more than the ones I've been lusting over.
The fabric is lovely Liberty and I ADORE it! The designer is Anne Tyrrell and I bought it from Shaukat. I can't seem to find the exact colourway that I purchased on Shaukat, but that link is to a similar fabric.
The pattern came together easily enough, but adding the piping did add an extra challenge. I took my time adding the piping to make sure I was able to produce a well finished, professional looking dress. I'm super pleased with the piping and I love that it means that I don't have to wear a belt with this dress.
I made the fuller skirt option from the pattern, but it isn't very full, which I'm happy about. I really love this fabric and really wanted to make an everyday dress with it, not something which is only worn on special occasions. I also didn't make the back tie option in the pattern. I think this plain 'v' back is easier to wear and I also have a little permanent ink on my back courtesy of some interesting decisions in my teens (I know I'm not the only one to have done this and think maybe it wasn't so clever afterwards...)
It feels so good to be back sewing again, even if it will be short lived. I've ignored my university assignments today to sew this, but tomorrow it's back on again. I've now finished just over 25% of my prac teaching time (not that I'm counting), hopefully the rest of of it will fly!

Happy sewing!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

They keep asking...

"When are you going to blog again??"

Soon... I think.

This is a sewing blog, not a whinging blog and there's not much sewing happening round here.

Hopefully soon... *fingers crossed*