Aug 27, 2012

A spot of sewing

I have been doing a spot of sewing lately, just a little bit, in preparation for the warm weather that will hopefully be coming our way soon. I was also lucky enough to have a week off work last week, so I managed to tick a few things off my to-do list.  My plan is to try to ignore the temptation of all the cute clothes in the shops (and there are so many!) and try to make most of the girl's wardrobes this season.  We'll see....

I bought this red and pink spot fabric a while ago with the intention of making a dress for Katherine.  Well, I had actually forgotten I had it stashed away, but I came across it while I was searching for some green polka dot fabric I was sure I had (which I couldn't find anywhere).  This prompted me to admit to my husband that maybe I did have too much fabric, since I am always coming across things I had forgotten I had.  I'm pretty sure he realised I wasn't being serious.  You can never have too much fabric, after all.  But anyway, I dragged this fabric out of the cupboard and decided to finally make that dress.

I used the Rosy Posy pattern from Ottobre 3/2011.  For a while I was tossing up whether to make up the Oliver & S Family Reunion Dress instead, since I haven't made one of those yet, but in the end I went with the Rosy Posy as I've made it a few times now and it always gives such a lovely result.  The only thing I like to do differently is to fully line the bodice (and sometimes the skirt, but not this time), and use buttons down the back of the bodice instead of a zip.  With this particular dress I also added a gathered sash and tie, which I sewed into the bodice/skirt seam at the front, rather than use a detachable ribbon tie.

Continuing with the spotty theme, I decided to make a beige and white polka-dot dress as well.  I was inspired by a dress I saw somewhere but unfortunately I can't remember where.  I actually thought I first saw it at Target but when I went back to have a better look they didn't have it.  So I don't know if they sold out of them or whether I saw it somewhere else.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 2683, and I made view A.  It was the first time I've used the pattern, even though I've had it for a while.  I made it up in the size 3 but with an extra half inch of length in the bodice and an extra inch or so at the hem, for my bean-pole 4 1/2 year old.

At first I was worried about the sleeves as they kind of look funny on the pattern cover.  I was almost going to make up some Rosy Posy style elasticised sleeves instead, but I stuck with the original design and I am glad I did, they are lovely.  The only thing I did differently was not line the sleeves.  I just overlocked the sleeve edge and turned it up to hem it instead.  I figured it would be cooler for summer this way, plus I didn't want to fiddle around with a lining.

Excuse the wrinkled sleeve, I haven't quite figured out how to iron something that small with that many gathers!

The dress has buttons down the back (yes, zipper phobia strikes again!) and a salmon coloured sash and tie.  I really like this dress, but the fit is snug and I am hoping she won't grow out of it by summer.  Although at the moment she only seems to be growing up so maybe it won't be an issue.

I have a couple more dresses I want to make before I'm done yet.  How many dresses should a little girl have?  Is there a limit? Or is is like fabric, and there is no such thing too many?

Aug 22, 2012

One scoop or two?

A few weeks (months?) ago I bought some fabric with the intention of making each of my girls an Oliver+S Ice cream dress. I was inspired by all of the colour block dresses that had been popping up around the place, like here, and here, and here. Oh, and there was also the one I made for my sister a little while back too.

Anyway, I enlisted Katherine's help to choose some colours and whaddya know, she chose pink for herself and blue for Ellie. The girls helped me layer up the colours and cut out the pattern - they loved it!  And they really like their finished dresses.

Katherine's pink dress was made up in size 5, but with some of the fullness taken out of the bodice (I was working with fat quarters here, so didn't have a lot of width to start with - plus she is a string bean!).  The heights of each the layers aren't cut exactly according to the pattern either, because I didn't have a whole lot of each colour, I had to use more of some fabrics and less of others.  And I also just made them with a regular old boring hem, because I didn't have enough fabric to make the double-layer hem that the pattern calls for.  Oops! 

Ellie's was the size 2T. Is the neck opening supposed to run small on these dresses? This one only just fits over her (small-to-average sized) head.

Now I wouldn't say the Ice cream dress is my favourite Oliver+S pattern, but I am happy with these dresses and I'm glad I can tick them off the to-do list.  The most important thing is that the girls are also happy with them - I'm guessing they'll get a lot of wear once the weather warms up a bit more for us (do you hear that, Spring?  You'd better hurry up and get here!).

Aug 14, 2012

Nightie Night!

Last night as I was getting the girls ready for bed, Katherine asked if she could wear her nightie instead of her pj's.  Well, she only has summer nighties, and even though spring is supposedly only a few weeks away, it's still been getting down around 0 degrees at night here.  I remember when I was a little girl, my Nanna/s (and probably mum too) used to make us these adorable "old fashioned" winter nighties that were all flannelette and lace and frills.  In fact, I don't recall ever wearing winter pajamas... probably until I was much older anyway... it was always nighties.  Or at least, it was always the nighties that were memorable!

So last night I told Katherine that I would make her a winter nightie.  I had some flannelette that she picked out at the beginning of winter that I'd previously promised I would make her some pjs out of, but I figured if it hadn't happened by now, it probably wasn't going to happen any time soon.  So I set about cutting into it - I didn't have a pattern, but took some basic measurements and borrowed some inspiration from a quick Google image search.  This is how it ended up:

The nightie is just a tad too big, but I don't think it's anything a couple of rounds in the dryer won't fix.    She insisted on wearing it tonight, so it's a big success all round!  The only thing was that I couldn't get a decent photo of her actually *wearing* it, but you'll just have to believe me when I say it looks very cute on!