Saturday, 30 January 2016

Hemd Top

I had such a good time testing for Steph at the Eli Monster (remember the jacket here), that when I saw she had a new pattern for testing, I was keen to throw my hat in the ring.

This time something for my gorgeous boy - the Hemd Top.

A slim fitting henley, just right for this beanpole.

The placket takes a plain shirt, and makes it more exciting. Even better because the placket piece doesn't use much fabric, it's great for showcasing that special print (knit or woven).

This version has snaps (I was feeling a little lazy), but buttons are also an option.

The pattern also has an option for underarm gussets (not included on this version, but planned for the next one I make) - who doesn't love a pop of colour under the arm, along with ease of movement for those active kids.

And just because I was in that  kind of mood.
And because I figure I need to make the most of it while I can get away with it.

We have ....... matching Hemds.

What's the verdict? Cute or cliche?

It's not as quick a sew as your standard tee. The placket can be a little fiddly, but with patience and plenty of pins I was happy with the result. And having the opportunity to mix up the fabrics is lots of fun.

This is a great tee pattern if you're after something a bit different, and looking for a modern cut..

The Hemd Top

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Time for a twirl

Let me introduce the Surround Me With Love Twirl Skirt from The Plucky Butterfly Designs.

Oh the gorgeousness!

The twirls!

And twirls!

The skirt is available through Craftsy or Etsy. Make sure you have a read of the story behind this beautiful skirt.

This is the version with woven panels and a knit waistband. There are also options for a completely woven or completely knit fabric.

I'm so amazed that such a quick and simple to sew pattern gives such a beautiful result.

And if you think that version looks good, check this out!

Oh the rainbows.

Oh the ribbons.

A bucket of fun trapped in a skirt.

But there's more. This version has a secret power.

Built in shorts!

The skirt with shorts pattern is due to be released later today!

Might I suggest joining the Plucky Butterfly Design Group on Facebook to keep up with pattern releases, and check out more gorgeous skirt.

The rainbow skirt has been skipping the washing basket. Straight from the line to the ironing board, ready to wear again. And with the built in shorts it passed the "messing about at a birthday party test".  I suspect there may be a few little girls receiving these skirts for birthdays this year. I love it

The pattern is on sale for a week (until Friday 29 Jan).

Friday, 8 January 2016

Getting ready for school

With only a month until school starts, it's time to make sure Miss M has all the bits and bobs she needs. First up on the sewing schedule was a lunch box. 

After trialing a variety of fancy set ups when our eldest started, the best arrangement I came up with was an insulated case and a mix of different containers.With this in mind, I decided to make Miss M her own lunch box.

As luck would have it, I had a copy of Gingercake's Love Your Lunch Box sitting on my computer, bought in a pattern bundle about 2 years ago.  Even better, I had a remnant of PUL in my stash, along with some insulbrite left over from Christmas potholders last year.

The pattern was a pretty easy and relatively quick sew. The most frustrating part was the cutting. With main fabric, lining, insulation and interfacing, I felt like I was cutting forever. One change I made was to line the side pockets, and to adjust the construction to make the finish a little better.

This was my first time sewing with PUL. I used wonder clips and pinned in the seam allowance to avoid putting holes in the fabric.  And I placed tissue paper between the PUL and feed dogs or presser foot (depending whether it was on top or bottom) to stop the fabric sticking and stretching.  The tissue paper worked a treat, especially when I had strips cut so that the 'grain' of the paper meant it tore easily from the stitching.

Finished off with a name tag attached under the flap - handsewn on cause I didn't think of adding it till the end.

I'm pretty happy with the result. Unfortunately, I should have listened to my gut .... As I was cutting, I thought some of the pieces looked a little small, and one of the measurements given didn't quite fit the pattern pieces I had.  Of course I persisted, and only tried reprinting the pattern pieces (with slightly different printer settings) once it was all finished.  Here's the difference in size:

Unfortunately there was no test square in the pattern pieces, so the problem wasn't obvious.  So while the lunch bag is useful, I guess I'll be making another, just a smidge bigger.  Or maybe two, cause I could do with a nice new lunch bag (that can be thrown in the wash when dirty). I just need to work up the enthusiasm to go tracking down more Insulbrite at Spotlight (hope I find that enthusiasm before school starts!)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

The Konijntje Jacket

Otherwise known as "Why on earth would I think testing a jacket in an Australian summer is a good idea?"

The answer...  It was just too gorgeous to resist.

I mean here's the pics I saw of the original version, via The Eli Monster.   Who could say "No"  to the opportunity to sew up one of these?

The asymmetric front, funnel collar, cropped length and over-large buttons are irresistible.

The first hurdle was fabric. Funnily enough it can be difficult to find woollen suiting in an Australian fabric store in December.  Fortunately I didn't even have to try.  For the first version (wearable muslin prior to some pattern revisions), I managed to find a rather large, long ladies' jacket at a local op shop. The fabric content was polyester, but the weight was right, so it was soon in pieces. Paired with some satin I found on the same visit we ended up with this gorgeous creation.

Before I headed off to find some more material for the final version, I was doing a little cleaning up around the fabric cupboard and found a remnant of pink woollen suiting. I don't know why I picked it up out of the remnant bin 6 months earlier, and I had a vague recollection of its existence. But I was pretty sure it wouldn't be big enough. There was only half a metre, but it was a wide cut, and I had just enough for a size 5. No doubt the cropped style helped there.

Paired with some cream and navy spotted satin from my Mother-in-law's stash, and more of the big black buttons (courtesy of  a local op shop) I came up with this oh so trendy creation.

So how does one photograph a winter jacket I summer? Aside from waiting till evening, when the heat of the day has passed and the model is less likely to suffer from heatstroke, we headed off to a nearby shopping centre, where they have a 'snow globe' set up. To be honest, it was hotter in the snow globe than the shopping centre. But my model had fun playing in the 'snow', and isn't she just too cute.

Miss four-and-a-half looks pretty stylish, and ready for some fashionable fun. She likes the jacket, but has commented that the collar is itchy. Come winter we'll pair it with a turtle neck. And when she's outgrown this one, I'll probably try a fabric without the woollen itch (as much as I love wool, if I'm honest, I do find many varieties itchy).

The jacket is fully lined. With a bagged lining on the bodice and sleeves. There's facing around the collar and along one side of the front. The asymmetric front means a bit of thinking as you're cutting your fabric - making sure the closures are on the side you want, and the lining is reversed. The technique for bagging the lining is pretty clever and gives a great finish without too much fuss. The sleeves are a bit like magic, but work beautifully. This was (just about *) the first lined jacket I've sewn, and came together so quickly.

All up I loved sewing up this jacket. I learned a few new techniques, and now have a couple of super trendy jackets ready for winter.

The pattern is available via The Eli Monster, and is on sale for $7 until Monday 4th January (after which it's back to the normal price of $9).

*my first attempt was based on a non-lined pattern where I invented quite a few of techniques to get around the previous issues I'd created. But for the record, it was wearable, and lasted through two toddlers.