Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fairy Tale Dress

The Fairy Tale Dress (Oliver + S) has become my other favourite pattern. It's a bit more time consuming to construct than my first favourite dress, the Bubble Dress pattern, which BTW only goes to size 5. Fortunately, the Fairy Tale dress goes to size 12.

I've made 8 of them since buying the pattern and every single one has turned out perfectly.  As I've said so many times, Oliver + S pattern are truly the best children's patterns. Period.

When Miss C. asked for a spring/Easter dress, she chose the pattern and the fabric from my stash. The fabric is 'Water Lily', Ginger Blossom by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller fabrics.


I also made her a spring coat but haven't had a chance to get it modelled properly. In this photo, she's sporting hair that just came from swimming class and hastily blow dried.
The hem on the coat needs to be shortened.

The pattern is from Ottobre magazine Winter 2006 Issue.


I really like the end product from Ottobre patterns but tracing out the desired size sure makes you crossed eyed.


Here are the 8 Fairy Tale dresses I've made so far.



When the pattern first came out, it was suggested to make a muslin first. I've never done that and like I said before, the dress turns out perfectly every time.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Little dresses

While the Bubble Dress pattern was sitting out on my cutting table I decided to make another. This time, the dress is size 3. It's such a quick sew.


I recently inherited fabric from a neighbours mother. She bought the fabric to make her girls dresses but like all good intentions, never got around to it. Now her daughter has a little girl, so I used some of that fabric and made her granddaughter a dress. Size 3. I used the Building Block Dress book (Oliver + S) for the pattern.
(The skirt got creased while I was carrying it and needs another shot from the iron ... ooops)


On the back, I added a big bow. The skirt wasn't as full nor as long as I would have liked.


And because I had lots of leftover yarn, knit another In Threes cardigan.  



Tidy up time again in my sewing space...............

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bubble Dress

I first made a Bubble Dress way back in January 2010. It's such a sweet pattern and while bubble hems aren't the usual these days, it still looks so cute on wee ones.

Looking through my stash, I happened to find a remnant of the fabric I initially made for that first bubble dress and made it again in the same size for a neighbours granddaughter. She is turning 1 this week.

Since I have learned to knit I made a little cardigan to go with the dress. I managed to use up all of this yarn and if you can spot that tiny bit on the right side of the photo, well, that's all that was left over. Talk about a nail biter casting off!

The cardigan pattern is called In Threes and it's my default pattern ... as in ....one I can knit fairly well.


So here's the ensemble. Dress and cardigan.


Both are size 12-18mos. I recall that this same Bubble Dress fit Caitlin when she was 13 months and she was average for her age so I'm presuming - hoping - it'll fit my neighbours granddaughter just fine.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Adventure Vest

A few years ago I made Mr. A the Explorers Vest from Oliver + S book, Little Things To Sew. He loved it and wore it often.
This the original one I made and he preferred to call it an Adventure Vest.


Well, he's grown and asked me to make another one, larger and also one for his bear, "Perfect Bear".

As good luck would have it, I had plenty of the same fabric leftover to fill the order.  I had forgotten how quickly the vest goes together and made them both in an afternoon.

The bear vest was mostly by guess .... and by golly it fit!


He wanted lots of badges, so he and gramps picked out some images and transferred them to an iron-on sheet.
 
I didn't add the extra d-rings this time around mostly because I didn't have any handy.  I didn't make the front pockets bellows either. He didn't seem to mind.


And both have the same badges on the back.

He's thrilled. I'm thrilled. Happy campers all around.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Building Block dress

Oliver + S has published a book called the Building Block Dress. In the book are basic pattern pieces and all the information one needs to create just about any style dress.

Oliver + S Building Block Dress


Caitlin saw some grey and red plaid fabric in my stash and asked me to make her a dress. Enter the Building Block Dress book.

She's size 8 for some parts and size 10 for others. So I decided to make a dropped waist dress and for the collar, make a detachable fur collar.

Here's the dress finished.
I used the bodice pieces from the pattern in the book, lengthened and flared them out at the side going from size 8 to size 10.
Also used the sleeve from the book but had to shorten the length. 


I used the collar piece from the book and added an inch at the fold. I cut the lining (cotton) 1/4" smaller than the fashion fabric which in this case was fur.


I did a fairly good job matching up all the plaid and the dress fits perfectly.




There wasn't enough plaid leftover to make a matching dress for her doll however she was keen on using some other plaid that was leftover from a table runner so she made a dress for her doll mostly by herself.
Lots of plaid going on in this photo as we play 'pin the sporran on the highlander' at our Robbie Burns dinner party.


Just look at her "sonsie" face.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sewing 2016

I was completely surprised at all the sewing and knitting projects I managed to do over the course of 2016 when I made this photo mosaic.........


There were a few other things that weren't included like making sheers for the bathroom.....


....plus a couple of other knitting and sewing items I just didn't photo document.

Two of my trusty sewing machines packed it in last year; my serger, a Bernette that had to be 20+ years old and my main sewing machine, a Husqvarna Quilt Designer that was 12+ years old.
Temporarily, I used my Husqvarna Iris, again an old machine with limited capabilities but as good luck would have it, my husband convinced me to get 2 new machines.

I took him with the sewing machine store with me because he does not recognize the value of a dollar and he loves anything techy.

When he saw the Babylock Enlighten serger (which happened to be the most expensive in the store) and the air threading technology, (which I totally did not need) he insisted I get it.
Who am I to argue?

Then I turned to the Husqvarna Q Opal 690Q for my main machine. I figured I could use the feet from my previous machine and plus the 690Q had features that I liked in the Quilt Designer.
So I got it too.


Things are looking kind of messy and chaotic on my sewing table but that's how I seem to operate. FYI, my house is perfectly tidy. Everything in it's place and not a dust bunny nor an Irish curtain to be found. It's not the same case for my sewing space.

Once I clear off my cutting table and finish some mending projects I plan to be back to some serious sewing once again.








Monday, December 19, 2016

Fairy Tale dress

The O+S Fairy Tale dress seems to be my go-to dress.
This time around I had to make some adjustments: chest, sleeves and length size 8 but waist and hip size 10.  During the summer I could make her a size 6 dress using less than a 1/2" seam allowance and basically cheat to a size 7.

She's grown at least 2 sizes since the summer. Her mom said she's eating ravenously and once produced just a stem from an apple.....she ate the whole thing, core and all. I'd say that's hungry, and no wonder she's grown so quickly.

In my stash I had 2 meters of a beautiful William Morris print and it was enough to do the whole dress and bodice lining but not so the skirt lining.


I had a chance to fit the bodice on her before completing the sleeves and skirt, and it fit. Phew!


I also had in mind to knit a sweater. Cold days are upon us and an elbow length dress made from cotton isn't exactly the warmest.
So I bought some yarn and knit the pattern 'Amy' from Sezza Knits.
However, after I washed it and set it out to block, I noticed a hole in the sleeve.


So I unpicked the whole thing and re-knit it again.


The dress needs grey stockings and light brown boots I think.

Edit:
Just got the grey tights and brown boots plus she modelled the dress and it fits perfectly.




Anyway, it's done and now she another dress to wear for special occasions.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Music Box Jumper

I'm having trouble finding time to sew. Last week, I caught a window and made this Oliver +  S pattern called Music Box Jumper.

Miss C chose the fabric from my vast stash that doesn't seem to be growing less. More sewing time would help.

Anyway, the little scamp grew 2 sizes in the past month so this pattern is size 8 for the bodice and 10 for the skirt. It's a little long but that's what she wanted ... so that what she gets.


I got the idea for this jumper from here.......


I lowered the neckline on the pattern to look like the neckline on the photo above and added the little side flaps (epaulettes?) too.


Lighting is really poor today and it's difficult to see the check pattern and colour of the fabric.
Maybe this photo is lighter?


At any rate, she loves the dress and plans to wear on Sunday.

Funny thing, I asked her to put on stockings for this photo and while she was reluctant to change from her school clothes she agreed but wouldn't take off her socks. They're underneath her stockings!
But I didn't complain, as I was happy to get a photo.
During our photo shoot, I asked her to look "pensive". Don't you think that's a good interpretation of "pensive" especially since she didn't know what I was talking about?






Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bucket Hat

Warm weather is finally here so it's a perfect excuse to make bucket hats.

Digging through my vast stash I found plenty of airplane fabric that I used as lining on Mr. A's School Days jacket I made a few years ago.






I pared it with a FQ of blue cotton and whipped up a bucket hat for my next door neighbour.

He's 7 months old and the hat is size small from the Oliver + S book  Little Things to Sew.

Isn't he just the cutest little thing? Love those cheeks .... but oooh those thunder thighs!



Because babies love to pull off hats, I put in grommets either side of the hand and a thin strap to tie under his chin.  

The tie is a little long, but mum said it was okay and it would be something he can play with.


Off to make more hats!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Report dress, again

My sewing friend Rachel from Minneapolis is the co-ordinator (gatekeeper? sentinel? facilitator?) for the Oliver + S blog and asked me if I would demo on the blog how I constructed exposed zippers on the Book Report dress.

For me it was a good excuse to make the dress again, using a different fabric and perfect the zippers once and for all.

This time around I chose a light denim fabric and I am more than pleased with the outcome.


The report, or Book Report on the Book Report dress will appear on the O+S blog in the near future, maybe as early as tomorrow?  Anyway,  I've included lots of photos and a fairly verbose step by step tutorial.

One thing I discovered when constructing exposed zippers is to use one of my favourite sewing aids, Wonder Tape......




on the backside of the zipper peep hole as opposed to putting it on the zipper tape itself.





When the dress is flipped over, I found I could fiddle with the fabric around the zipper much easier and place the edge of the fabric opening - a little bit at a time - exactly where I wanted in order to expose as much of the zipper tape as desired.


The zipper pockets are a hit with Miss C.
She can stash her dinosaur in her pocket and zip it shut when her brother comes looking for it.


I really like the Book Report dress. It's quick to sew, affords itself to some fun mods and fits perfectly.


I meant to put a little loop on the yoke back pleat yet despite having the loop pre-made and staring me in the face where it sat beside the sewing machine, I totally forgot about it. Doh.

Good excuse to make another one.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oscar knock off

Maybe a year or 2 ago I saw this Oscar de la Renta dress and was smitten.
I absolutely had to make this dress and in the same, or similar fabric.

Well, I asked my sewing friends to keep an eye out, I scoured the internet and a month or so ago I just happened to see fabric at our local Fabricland that seemed to look similar...sort of.


So I bought it and used Oliver  S pattern Fairy Tale dress pattern that I've used plenty of times in the past.



With the exception of the belt, it looks fairly close, I think.

I made pleats and borrowed sleeves from another O+S pattern called Garden Party.


I did find fabric that looks closer to the actual print of the inspiration dress but colour is navy and aqua.
Just the same, I'll make it using the same pattern because Miss C is in need of party dresses right now.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Book Report Dress

A few weeks ago, I came across the image of this dress that is from River Island, a clothing company in the U.K.


Since I had fabric in my stash that looked similar and used it as a table runner for a Robbie Burns Day dinner.....


....and since I've never made an outfit with an exposed zipper welt pocket, I decided there was no time like the present.

The Book Report dress pattern from Oliver + S seemed like perfect pattern to use. It has pocket features in the front, is A-line in style and similar similar sleeves.
To my thinking, it would just be a matter of adding a exposed zippers to the front pocket.


How something so simple in execution could turn out to be so complicated and a complete fail truly amazes me.

Here's the almost finished dress.......




......and here's what's wrong with it.

1) Where the skirt bottom sections meets the main bodice, there is a seam. In order to make the exposed zipper welt pockets sit better, the front should have been cut as once piece.
Also, it was a "b" word to get the plaid to line up along the front between the zippers.

2) The plaid main dress part doesn't line up with the sleeves. In the past, I've never had a problem matching plaids, apparently my plaid mojo is on the fritz.

3) when clipping into the little triangle of the welt pocket, I clipped too far. Doh.
Thank goodness there's Fray Check to glue the corner threads together. Globs of it.

4) Then to make matters worse, while fighting with my broken serger, the knife cut in to the sleeve. Dammit!


So I decided to abandon this project and salvage the little bits of fabric left over for a table runner for Robbie Burns Day next year.

However now I was determined to get it right.  So I got some light green brushed cotton twill, solid this time, and tried it all over again.

The front panel was cut as one main piece.

For the exposed zipper welt pocket I followed this tutorial (click here) except instead of using organza as she demonstrates, used the main dress fabric for the pocket bags.

That turned out to be a bad idea because the weight of the fabric (should have used a thin cotton) and the the weight of the zipper, tugged at the front of the dress making it sag and buckle.

Oh sure, I stabilized the welt pockets with a medium weight stabilizer, but all of that fabric and the zippers still tug on the front.


Instead of turning up the hem as per the instructions, I decided to line the dress so that the pockets and zipper tabs were encased.
I used the cotton twill on the bottom section hoping it would add stability to the front.


It turned out much better this time.
No plaids to mis-match and no knife cuts.



The dress is Size 7 and fits perfectly.

Miss C chose the white buttons and helped me sew them on. 




I'm not overly happy with the exposed zippers on this dress but will certainly use this technique on another outfit.

But I am happy with Book Report Dress pattern.

The first time I made it, my daughter didn't like it.
Miss C did, however I doubt she wore it at all.


My daughter says she likes the pattern now so I'd like to make at least one more.

I saw a dress that looked like a mash-up of the O+S Jump Rope dress on the top section and the Book Report dress on the bottom.


http://www.stevenalan.com/

Using chambray, I'd like to try to combine the two patterns and make something similar.