May 27, 2012

Me too?

When Katherine was a baby she had so many clothes.  I didn't start making her clothes probably until she was almost 3. I know, all that time wasted!  Before I developed my sewing habit, I had a bit of a shopping habit. And now all of the clothes I bought for Katherine belong to Ellie.  And as if she didn't have enough clothes already, we've picked up a bunch of other hand-me-downs along the way too - from the girls cousins.  Ellie really doesn't need any more clothes, so I don't tend to sew for her, but I think as she is getting older she is realising that Mummy is always making things for big sis and that she might be missing out on something.

I made this dress for Katherine during the week.

The pattern is Butterick 4842, view C (the one in the main picture).  Note that although the pattern calls for a zip I used a single button closure instead because 1) I didn't have a zip on hand, and 2) I hate doing zips!  When I was first cutting the pattern out, I was pleasantly surprised to see there were only 4 pieces.  I thought making this dress would be a piece of cake!   In actual fact I had more drama sewing this than I did with the trench coat I'd made the week before!   It took me three attempts to get the flounces to sit right.  I actually ruined the hem of one so badly I had to cut it out again.  To be fair, I think that the fabric was partly to blame.  It was very slinky and slippery, and it barely even creased when I pressed it so hemming it was a nightmare. But I am happy with the finished product.  

Ellie liked the look of it too. She came out the next morning and saw it hanging on the door knob and said, "pretty dress me too?"  So I made her one that day, out of some left over fabric from this dress I'd made Katherine last year.  I didn't quite have enough for the lower flounce so I used a piece of coordinating fabric and I think it turned out ok.  I have to say that it was so much easier to work with the quilting cotton on the second dress!

The girls were happy to model their new dresses for me today in the lovely sunshine. 

Yes, the sky really was that blue.  It was a gorgeous day today.

I took a bunch of photos and totally forgot that I had actually made Katherine a matching headband for her dress.

We quickly snapped a couple of pictures of the headband, and then the girls got back to doing what they really wanted to do - playing.

May 19, 2012

The Busy Girl's Spring Trench

Ok, so I know it's still only Autumn (although the frosts in the mornings lately have been trying to trick me into thinking it is Winter). But I saw this fabric at Spotlight on one of my recent jaunts and just had to have it.  It was so bright and busy (just like my girl!) that I knew it would be the perfect fabric for Katherine's Oliver + S Secret Agent Trench.

I made the size 5 for my tall-but-lean 4-and-a-half year old, with some modifications. I was generous with the seam allowance in the sleeves and down the sides of the bodice to help slim it down a bit and I also had to take about an inch off the length of the sleeves. I kept the original length of the skirt and it sits just on the knee. I wasn't overly concerned about the length as I still want it to fit her in the Spring.

I wasn't 100% sold on the pink and white polka-dot buttons.  I did have some red ones I was thinking of using, but in the end I went with the pink ones as they were just such a perfect match for the bias I used to bind the seams with.  Plus the red buttons kind of got lost in the print.  I think I like the pink ones.  They give it a softer look.

I made the bias myself with some quilting cotton I had on hand.  I still have a bunch of it left but I am already thinking up a project to use it on.

I love this pattern - this is the second time I have made it now and I've got a couple more to make yet before I can put it away.  My sister has even put her hand up for one after I made one for my niece.  I even dreamed last night that I made one in a red and white polka dot... now there is a thought!  (Yes, I dream about sewing too, I am sad!)  It was much easier to make the second time around - I sewed it over three nights including making the bias tape and tracing and cutting the pattern. I like that it looks so much more complicated than it is!

May 14, 2012

A Winter Dress

Last week when I was in Spotlight I grabbed a pack of fat quarters in various purple fabrics. I didn't know what I was going to make with them but they called to me for some reason. And then straight after that I was doing my grocery shop at Aldi and I found a 2-pack of girls basic long sleeved shirts for $8. They were the last pair, a size 3, and purple. I snapped them up, knowing that I could turn them into perfect winter dresses for Katherine.

I cut the bottom 2 inches off the shirt and attached a basic three-tiered skirt to it.  The skirt is made from three of the fat quarters.  The offcut from the shirt, I cut into strips and ruffled them to attach to the front of the dress - the lighter shade of purple is off the other shirt in the pack.  I am going to turn it into a dress too, but I haven't decided yet whether to make it the same or do something different with it.  I will have to have a think about it, and keep an eye out for some inspiration.

May 13, 2012

Better Late Than Never...

This year I was lucky enough to spend Mother's Day with so many of the wonderful Mums in my life. I don't get to catch up with family as often as I should, as both my family and my husband's family live a couple of hours drive away. Today we decided to meet up "half way" and have brunch together. We went to this beautiful little coffee house/gift shop at Kilcoy, then went out and enjoyed the amazing sunshine at one of the local parks. The kids had a ball, and were relatively well behaved, which was the best Mother's Day gift any of us could have asked for.

My beautiful niece wore a dress I had made her for Christmas, and I took the opportunity to get some photos, as I never blogged it at the time. It was all for the best anyway, as it's a much better fit than it was back in December.

If it looks familiar, that's because is the same as the blue striped dress I made for Katherine last year. 
(Incidently, today Katherine wore the other dress in that post as well!)


Ellie also wore a dress I'd made her, and I know I have blogged this one before but she was just so cute today that I have to share some photos of her with you.

May 5, 2012

Bugs and Flowers

When we were out and about the other day, Katherine insisted we buy a packet of these cute ladybug buttons. I already had the red fabric to make my niece's trench coat with and thought to myself that if there was any left over, I'd make a hopscotch skirt for Katherine with ladybug buttons down the front.

It wasn't until after the skirt was made up that I realised the buttons were far too big. But by then I had my heart set on a ladybug skirt and so I found some cute buttons on ebay specifically for that purpose! I'm glad I did - Katherine declared the end result "so toot!" and so in the end it was all worth it.

I really love the Oliver + S Hopscotch skirt - I've made it quite a few times now.   I love how it's got a flat front and the elastic at the back. I really like the buttons down the front too.  The pockets are a bit of a pain to get right so if I just want to whip something up quickly I leave them off.  Shhh, don't tell anyone!

This was one I made out of some drill I saw in the remnant box while standing in line at Spotlight.  I think it cost me $2.  I had just enough to make the skirt - without the pockets. 

Both skirts were a size 3T with a bit of added length.  They are still a bit big on her but this way they will see her through the year.  I think the ladybug one will look adorable in winter with the tights and just the right top.  Any suggestions as to what I could pair it with?

May 2, 2012

Secret Agent Trench

When I saw the new Oliver + S patterns last month I thought the Secret Agent Trench Coat pattern was the cutest thing I had ever seen.  I snapped it up, with plans to make one for Katherine and for my nieces birthdays this year.  Ellie will miss out as I couldn't justify buying the smaller size as well - but eventually she will get to wear big sister's coat once she grows out of it, so she will have to be happy with that I'm afraid!

So Niece #1 had a birthday last weekend and as such was the lucky first recipient of this trench, which was made up in red drill. I was a bit daunted at first, tracing it off and then cutting out the pieces, as there seemed like there were so many! But it really came together quite nicely and with a minimum of fuss. I also really enjoyed learning how to trim the seams with bias tape (although after I was done I read something online about using satin ribbon instead and wished I'd seen it before I made the coat! Oh well, next time...).

Unfortuately the photos that I took weren't great.  I really should have taken some photos at home, but we were a bit rushed on the day and I didn't have time before we headed off to my niece's birthday party.  Then it was raining and so the photos were taken inside where the lighting wasn't great, and I couldn't find a decent spot as there were kids everywhere

Inside view - the jacket is unlined and the seams are bias trimmed.  I'd never done this before, and it was a bit tricky to get the hang of it (Oliver + S instructions are for the most part very clear and easy to understand, but I ended up having to consult Google on this one!) but I love the end result.

I managed to get a pic of it being modeled but the birthday girl wanted to get back to her friends and so I didn't get a good one.  But this will have to do!

Incidently, this was a size 6 on a petite just-turned-7-year-old.  I did add an extra inch on the hem as I was worried about it coming up short.  If I was making it again, I wouldn't bother adding that length in as it would have been fine without it, but at least this way she can grow into it as the weather cools down.  It is a longer-style coat though so it didn't seem too big even though it is currently knee-length on her.

The only question now is what colour trench to make for Katherine....?