Jun 25, 2012

Vintage Goodies

For a while now I've been admiring vintage style from afar. I just haven't had the courage to take that step and actually buy a vintage pattern - or scarier still, make a vintage piece for myself. But on a recent trip to my mum's place, she gave me some amazing vintage patterns that had belonged to my nan, as well as a few other goodies, and now my only problem is.... which one do I make first?

I had no idea that mum had these stashed away!  Aren't they amazing?  I have already made a special trip to Spotlight to grab some vintage-themed fabric.  Can you guess which dresses these are going to end up as?

Mum also gave me this cool thread holder - my Pop, who was crafty in his own way, actually made this for my Nan.  Mum doesn't use it so she said I could have it. Now I just have to find a spot for it to live on my craft desk.

I also scored these vintage buttons. My sister had been given these by our grandmother when she cleared our her sewing room when they downsized and moved into a little unit a few years back. Although my sister doesn't sew (yet - I'm sure it's only a matter of time!), she is also a creative type and was intending to use them in craft projects, but because she is so wonderful she has shared them with me.

You can see some of my favourites here.

I also scored some assorted fabric scraps. Because you can never have too many scraps! Haha. Well, I can't.

I'm so happy with my vintage treasures!

Jun 17, 2012

When good tutes go bad...

I'm almost ashamed to admit that this project was actually supposed to end up like the top in this gorgeous tute here, only in miniature.  I had some lovely purple paisley lawn and really wanted to make it into something floaty and gorgeous for Katherine.

So what went wrong?  Well, despite my daughter's disproportionately small head, it seems that it is still bigger than an adult head in relation to her body and hence I couldn't actually get the neck hole of the finished top over her head.  No biggie.  I cut a little snip in the back, added a bit of a facing there, and put a little button closure in.  The next issue was that the top came up far too short on her body.  See the seamline where the elastic is sitting, just above her hips.  That's where Version 1.0 ended.  Luckily I had some fabric left over, so I made a tube and attached it to the bottom of the top, and then just because I could, I made an elastic casing within the seam allowance to pull it in tighter across her hips.  Of course, then the sleeves looked a bit funny, ending halfway down the top, so I kind of tapered them in to where the waistline was instead. 

So there you have it.  It's not perfect, but I think it's still pretty cute, and Katherine doesn't seem to mind it either. 

Oh, and see those baggy jeans?  They're shop-bought of course, but yes they're supposed to be skinny jeans.  She needed this size for the length but they absolutely swim on her!  Tall and lean - she certainly doesn't get it from me!

Jun 10, 2012

My Little Ladybug

My littlest lady is turning two this week and we celebrated yesterday with a ladybug themed party.  We had already decided on a theme, and then I was lucky enough to stumble across a fat quarter of some super cute ladybug patterned faux fur at Spotlight, so I decided to make a little fur vest for the birthday girl.  Of course, the only thing missing then was a red tutu so I made one of those too (too), and then she was set!

Isn't she the cutest bug ever?  Here she is eating cake with her Great-Grandma.

And slipping into a cake-coma.  Sometimes I make this face when I eat cake too.

My sister dressed her girls in red and black, to match the ladybug theme, and so I managed to get some nice photos of Ashy wearing her Oliver + S Secret Agent Trench, finally.  And just between you and me, that grey dress of hers is currently on my "dresses to copy" list for Katherine!

It was a lovely day and we were so lucky to be able to share it with so many of the people we love.  
Happy birthday, my beautiful girl!


Jun 1, 2012

Just make it up as you go along...

That's what I like to do, sometimes.

After I made the girls dresses the other day, I had some of the fabric left over - from the bottom founce on Ellie's dress.  There wasn't much of it, more than a fat quarter but less than half a metre.  Anyway, I thought I should do something with it rather than put it back in the scrap box.  I really wanted to make it into a skirt but it was an odd shaped piece and I wasn't sure I would get a decent panel out of it.  Also, it's getting quite cold here so I wanted a Wintery-type skirt.  Something lined.

I was able to cut a few rectangles out of it, and piece them together kind of using the technique used in the Oliver + S Hopscotch skirt.  You know, with a flat front and an elasticated back.  I added a faux placket at the front, and some cute vintage buttons.  There is actually no opening at the front of the skirt, I joined it all together.  I used an old sheet for the lining (not the first time either, I have a couple of old sheets that I like to use for lining things - more economical I suppose, and I don't see the big deal in using a boring old sheet if you're not actually going to see the lining of something).  Because the back panel came up short (I didn't have enough length in my original peice of fabric) I cut some smaller strips and made a ruffle for the back. 

You can see what I mean in this photo here, with the ruffle at the back hem.  I think it looks pretty cute actually.

There must have been something interesting in the garden when I was trying to take this shot!  Four year olds are so easily distracted!

You can see I was having some difficulty getting my little model to stand still, so here's a photo of the front of the skirt to show you what I did with the faux placket.  I am also pretty happy with the way the plaid matched up in the middle.  Actually, it was just pure luck that it matched, to be honest.

I like it when I actually have the energy to do something a bit creative.  Following a pattern is all well and good, but I think it's these "one-off" projects that I have the most fun with.  They don't always work out the way I expect, but occasionally I will have a little win like this and make something I am really pleased with (and most importantly, something that my daughters are pleased with!).