Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Picknick Dress

The Eli Monster have released another gorgeous dress.

This time round we have the Picknick Dress.
I'll tell you all the details, then talk about what went into making this version.

There's buttons all the way down the front, with separate placket pieces (so you can mix up the colours if you like).

Ruffles around the sleeve and arm holes. While sewing I though these might be irritating for the wearer, but the height is spot on, they sit nicely and there's not too much ruffle going on.

Pockets - there's pockets hidden in that skirt (trust me). She was excited to find them when she wore the dress another day. Pockets in all the dresses!

A VERY full skirt. There's a lot of fabric in that skirt.

And it's good for twirling.

The pattern is available from The Eli Monster, and is on sale for $7 through Sunday April 24.

I sewed this dress up in a shot taffeta. At least I think that's what it is - it's definitely shot, and it's definitely synthetic. I picked it up at an Op shop (thrift store) a couple of weeks ago.  The fabric makes the dress a little more formal.  You can really change the look of the dress by switching up the fabric - a check, floral print or seersucker will make a gorgeous summer play dress.

The type of fabric meant that it was going to fray like nobody's business. So I overlocked (serged) all the raw edges before sewing (especially before gathering the ruffles). That certainly saved a lot of trouble, and I think I might have to stop being lazy and do this all the time (save all those fabric threads getting caught in the seam).

Adjustments to the fit of the bodice meant that our week's holiday in Tasmania was approaching fast. I managed to get the dress done - except for buttons and button holes the night before we left.  I messaged my sister-in-law to check she'd be okay with me borrowing her machine, packed some buttons, thread and my hem gauge, and off we went.

After reading through the machine's manual, and having a practice on a scrap of flannelette (how responsible was that!), it was buttonhole time. I'd forgotten to pack chalk or disappearing markers, so I used my version of tailor's tacks to mark the buttonholes. I haven't actually read any instructions on tailor's tacks, but I've seen a picture, so just did a stitch and a half with long threads - it worked.

Of course, in my haste, I hadn't double checked my button size. And while they were the right width, their 'height' meant that there was no way that they would fit through the buttonholes (and the buttonholes were already the full width of the placket).  So the next morning, while we were in Hobart we set off for Spotlight to buy new buttons. Well we didn't make it that far, because on the way I saw that Flash Fabrics were having a closing down sale, and had 25% off everything storewide!!! Of course, I found the perfect set of buttons (and also some lovely cotton/Lycra jersey, and other bits and bobs).

I sewed the buttons on in the car on the way back to the cabin where we were staying .... in a vineyard! And the vines looked so lovely as they were turning golden. So it was the perfect place for photos.

And in case you're wondering how this dress would look with the Konijntje Jacket, the answer is "Quite nice actually" - here's a photo

All up it was a bit of a saga, but well worth it. As a reward for making it to the end, here's another shot of the vineyard, and the dress.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Anything but Plain Jane

A little disclaimer before we start..... 

I have watched my daughter wear this dress, and I have been staring, just enjoying  the look of the dress.  The details, the vintage yet modern character. So I guess I'm a little biased.

This is Jane's Plain Tunic and Dress, by Sunday Girl Designs.

The pattern is available in two lengths.


And dress.

The dress length has pockets! Essential for any adventurous young girl.

But it's the little features that really make the pattern. A peter pan collar, scalloped hem and bias trim (with a bow!).

The arm and neck openings are finished with bias binding. The process can be a little fiddly, but if you take it slow and do everything accurately, and follow along with the detailed tutorial, it will all come together nicely.

The pattern is available at the
Sunday Girl Designs Etsy Store.  And is not sale for just $4 (US) until 10pm (CST) Sunday 17th April.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Tessa Swing Tank

Another wardrobe staple from Funktional Threads. The Tessa Swing Tank. I had the opportunity of testing The Erica Skort and the Bailey Baggie Shorts previously, and was excited to test another of Lisa's patterns.

I can see lots of this tank top on Miss 5's wardrobe when summer swings around again.

It's a quick sew. A couple of seams, some binding and you're done. 

The shoulders are wide enough to give a reasonable amount of sun protection on days when the UV rating isn't high.
The cut is just right for a nice top that's good for playing in. The high low hem is pretty cool.

There's plenty of attention to detail in the pattern. Despite the change in direction of the hem at the side seams, there were no issues folding up the hem because of the shape of the pattern at the side seams.

There have been a few changes in the way the pattern comes together. The pattern lines have a combination of both different colours and different patterns (great if you bring in black and white).  The lines are thinner - less ink. And the pattern matches up beautifully even on A4 paper.

The best part is there is an introductory price of just $1 (US).

The pattern is available via Craftsy 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Gazelle - not just leggings

When is a leggings pattern not a leggings   pattern?
When it's The Wolf and the Tree's Gazelle pattern of course.

I'm pretty excited about my new pair of leggings (tights are up next).  Pretty, aren't they.

Perfect for a trip to the park with the kids.  Something to throw on under that tunic that's not quite long enough to be called a dress (I swear it was longer when I bought it. It must have shrunk).

But I'm also excited about all the potential. Oh the potential. This is not just a leggings pattern.  This is actually a pattern for tights (pantyhose).  Or a pattern for capri pants. Or a pattern for biker shorts (totally ready to relive my 80s glory days). Or a pair of shorties (essential for very warm days in a skirt).

And there's more. There's the option for an elastic waistband or a yoga waistband. And for each of the different lengths, you can choose between cuffed or a hem.

But that's not all, not really. The sizing options for this pattern are just great. With four different rises you can choose where the waistband sits. I have tended to go for the mid rise, but have some low rise planned for tights (I'm not a fan of waistbands peeking above skirts). The pattern walks you through getting the sizing just right, to make sure you have a garment that fits your own body shape.

This pair I made using a 1m pre cut piece of cotton Lycra jersey. Yes you read that correctly, just 1m of 140cm wide jersey! And I have plenty left over for kids clothes and colour blocking.  But don't panic if you only have access to fabric with two way stretch - there are separate patterns for 2-way versus 4-way stretch. I have more of the same type of fabric I bought for the kids that may make it into my wardrobe, not theirs.

So, you may be thinking, that's a lot of plans for tights and leggings.  How are you possibly going fit in all that sewing time? And here is the great part, they are SUPER QUICK to make. I mean it. I made this pair while dinner was cooking.

There's  lot of info in there. Here's a summary:
2-way or 4-way knit fabric
5 lengths
3 rise options
Elastic or yoga waistband
Hemmed or cuffs for the leggings
Easy to tailor to your own  size
Quick to sew
Not a fabric hog

So have a look at all the tester versions and grab a copy of the pattern over athe The Wolf and the Tree

A quick update to add if you use the discount code "Gazelle"  in the shop, you get 30% off your purchase (for a limited time)
 Now I'm off to buy some sock patterns.

Friday, 1 April 2016


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I've claimed my blog on Bloglovin'

Not sure how much I'll use it myself - I already have a Feedly account, and I'm still mourning the good old Google Reader (it was so good).

But I thought I'd poke around in there and see how it all works.

I hear Ello is the new thing with social media - the love child of Pinterest and Instagram. Does anyone have an account?