Monday, 30 December 2013

20/31 Little Singlets for Summer

We are going to a wedding next week, and it'll be HOT! We'll have lots of casual hang out days as well, so I'm quickly making some light cotton things for Baby Darling to wear. 

This cotton stretch knit I bought at the Fabric Store in Sydney in 2009 and made 2 gorgeous dresses for friends then, one friend a darling work colleague and another friend, a darling bloggie friend from Chippendale! The fabric is absolutely gorgeous through, light and cool feeling, so the metre x 30 cm I had leftover was just enough for childrenswear! 

I had intended to topstitch the neck and armhole binding, but I kinda like the floppy look here with the unfinished edge.

I also had just enough to make two:

So Baby Darling's best bestie will get a singlet too! None for Doris Day the Dog though:

I'd love to get more of this light and cool knit stuff! No time for shopping though, when there's so little time for sewing and packing and working and finishing off 2013!


Sunday, 29 December 2013

19/31 Placemats for Christmas

A simple sewing project, but so darling for the Christmas Table!

We set up an outside table for our Christmas Breakfast, Lunch & Tea (we don't have one set dinner, we make up several (!) small plates of food all day long on Christmas) and I quickly made some new placemats for us to dine with. I've never made them before as we are gifted so many over the years, but a new holiday season needs a few new touches and the other ones were a bit shabby and not in a shabby chic way. LOL.

The fabric I've had for a very long time... so long because I WON a voucher from a fabric shop on Myspace and bought this fabric probably in 2006? I know we lived in Sydney when it arrived. But I just didn't know what to sew with it. I adore the orange flowers, so they will be our placemats now. I made them reversible, but forgot to take a photo of the underside, but they're just small orange circles on a darker orange background.

Here's the DIY tutorial I followed, using thick & stiff interlining I had in the stash, and I was going to topstitch the edges, but instead made the iron super hot and pressed the edges flat enough and neat enough that they don't need topstitching after all.

Love that even my garden grew a few orange tinted roses for us to add to the table.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

18/31 Happy Christmas to you (and Anna!)!

Happy Chrimbo to you!

How have you spent the week? Working? Not working? Travelling? Whatever, where-ever and however you celebrate, I'm hoping you have had a relaxing holiday time! Wishing you all the best for the rest of 2013, and if I don't see you again here, a Happy New Years!

We've been very busy this week! My parents are house sitting around the corner, and we've had lots of celebratory 'CHEERS' (Baby Darling can 'ker-chink' his water bottle with us now!) and cooked up lots of yummy meals and relaxed around the house dreaming of what to do next. My apron isn't made by me, unfort, it was a birthday gift from my brother & family as I'm pretty much a domestic goddess these days. (HAHA)

I started and finished By Hand London's Anna Dress earlier in the week, and I love it! First up, I drew up a Full Bust Adjustment for the front bodice piece, following their steps in the Sewalong Blog Posts (how HANDY are Sewalongs, even AFTER the fact?) and decided to make the V Neck version to suit my petite but larger bust torso. And for a toile/muslin trial, I used this red glitter fabric (some cotton/synthetic with stripes of tinsel through it) that I got from the op shop in Footscray for around $5. There was enough fabric for the full length skirt, but somehow when I cut the final pieces (there's a LOT of skirt sections) they were a bit short, so I made it tea length, kinda and we think it looks a bit 30s now.

Dad took my photo quickly on Christmas Day, and it was starting to get HOT at this point.

For a modern pattern, I really love how simple it is to sew up and follow! I can see why the Anna Dress has been sewn up so many times! There are just so many versions online! It's really flattering to all body shapes too, I reckon!

I followed a 10 UK for the waist, and probably could try the 8 next time with less that 5/8 seams, and as for the FBA of the front bodice... I might try without that next time. The front under bust darts are very adjustable (2 darts under each boob, so you can make them flair differently really to suit your bewbshape). You can see the extra gape on the neckline here, but also the shoulder seams are a bit low for my shoulder size... so next time I think I'll make an 8 in shoulders and waist but try my FBA again.

The OTHER thing I changed was the back bodice piece, I created deeper darts up the shoulder blades, and had to created a deeper zipper seam (thanks Mum who helped pin me up to get a better fit) up the spine... so another reason to try an 8 next time too... it was really gapey at the back before and now it's just ok. Oh, aren't our bodies all different shapes and sizes? YAY for that!

But I have NO problem making it up again, it's gorgeous! I think the bodice is my favourite, so will try with different skirt styles. Maybe even trousers!? I love the kimono sleeve, it reminds me of this vintage Butterick pattern, but with a nicer cap look to them, and way easier to sew than the old pattern.

My shoes are Melissa's, of COURSE, in case you're wondering! And I did keep the slit but might sew it up if this gets another wear. I'm taking it on holiday with us, but the synthetic fabric might not feel cool, as we're going tropical! HOT AND HUMID. I'll have to fill you in soon!

Again, wishing you a lovely holiday season, and all the best and big cuddles and love and kisses to you and yours. Husbie and I enjoyed Christmas so much more this year; spending so much time with our baby... he's just a delight.


Monday, 23 December 2013

17/31 Quick Refashion Leggings

After a bit of a bad run with sewing, I just quickly cut up my Stuffed Up Leggings and made some baby toddler pants for my friend, who is 18 months old.

Absolutely straight forward, I cut the vertical crotch out from my pants, made it a little smaller by re-sewing the crotch (when you cut the overlocked seam, you cut a bit of the fabric out) ... then I made a waistband of elastic, and sewed the casing closed around the elastic (a bit of a rush job really)... for the hems, I rather absent mindedly stitched the overlocked edges up on the inner leg there, because the material won't fray... just the seam might.

ABSENT MINDEDLY, because I'd just snuck into the sewing room after lots of champagne (but not too much) for the first time in ages. Mum and I are excited and getting ready for Christmas!

Are you getting excited/ready for Christmas? ARGH! There will be so much food & drink, I can't hardly wait!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

16/31 A Sewing Fail of a Tshirt

URGH, I wanted a quickie tshirt for the warmer weather the other day here in Melbs... so I found some red stretch fabric, but I didn't really check its stretch... (you'd think I'd be aware of checking after the leggings mishap)... so cut, sewed the shoulder seams, added the bias neckline, sewed up the side seams and chucked it on.

UM, the fabric is RIBBED and therefore super wide now, everywhere:


Oh well, it's not bad for a stay at home mum look. A little Flashdance on the shoulders perhaps?!

It was a stay at home day for me anyways because of my rollers... hotter days helps set them quicker!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend! xoxo

Saturday, 21 December 2013

15/31 Refashioned Tshirt for the Toddler

I made a little toddler tshirt from my Mum's hand me down tshirt:

A refashion!

Mum bought a couple of tshirts recently from Target, and this blue stripey one was just a smidge too small... knowing I'm on a sewing saga, she left it on my machine and I had to turn it into a little boys shirt. It's lovely soft cotton stretch, so I kept the sleeve length and BeeDee can wear it when it's super sunny, and it'll be cool to wear but cover his little porcelain skin from getting burnt!

I cut the side seams of the bodice and the sleeves, and the sleeves at the shoulders/under arm bits, and then lopped off about 2 inches of the shoulders and just graded down the underarm bits of the bodice. Using the overlocker, I did the shoulder seams first (a bit dodgy below, but not really noticable on the boy) then re-attached the sleeves at the armholes (I did grade them down a bit on the shoulder making it a more toddler length) and then I finished by sewing the sides together from bodice to sleeves. 

I used the original sleeve hem, but made my own (dodgy) bodice hem... don't you hate stripes when it's hard to keep the topstitch even steven? I DON'T REALLY CARE, actually! No one will ever look this closely at my baby's hem... plus he'll only wear it for this summer as children grow!

I LOVE speed sewing for kids, so easy! xoxo

Friday, 20 December 2013

14/31 Stuffed Up Leggings

So here's another Spotlight piece of fabric that was the last bit off the bolt, that I thought was super stretchy! BUT!

It's stretchy, but not enough for my little legs! So again, like my rocketships, it must be just one way stretch instead of up and down and across...

So they are SUPER tight. They look like second skin over the thighs... but look what else? A total fabric blemish, or missprint on the fabric:


Oh well, I'll refashion them into Baby Trousers and make them a lot looser for next time... if I can! Pity as they look cute enough, the pattern reminds me of space and maps...

I didn't even hem or waistband them, just tried them on for the photos....

Oh well, when you sew quickly sometimes there are mistakes... luckily this was cheapie fabric so not an expensive mistake!


Thursday, 19 December 2013

13/31 Children's Trousers Again

These trousers are just the best to make up... I made these earlier in the month - when I made the first balloon trousers - but didn't get a photo of them. These are for Baby Darling as he toddles around, and they were super light and floppy for him in Sydney last week.

It is S.O.V.E.R.Y.H.O.T today here in Melbourne. BeeDee and I have hot red cheeks and have been keeping our fluids up a lot. He's determined to play outside though, so I'm here typing while he's pushing a toy bus around under the verandah.

Gah! Can't think of anything else to write about these pants... they're a whiz to make up and if I have the time, I'll make a tutorial because they're almost as easy as my bunting tutorial! Just a little extra fiddle here and there with the cuffs and waistband! I'm going to make another few pairs as little presents!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

12/31 Stars & Rocket Leggings

Hey again!

So my Sewing Through 31 Days of December Adventures are continuing, with my break in Sydney stopping the blogging for a bit... but not the sewing gosh darn goddammit.

These fabulous pants didn't take long to sew, they are stretch knit after all. Baby Darling was asleep & as usual I jumped onto the cutting table (our normal kitchen table at the moment, since the sewing room is such a mess/divey place) and cut cut cut. They're so quick to make up (using an old pair as a pattern), but I did make these pair after a disastrous pair (I'll blog soon the FAIL leggings) and I'm still not super happy with my instincts for fabric... you know when you WANT the fabric to work for a piece of clothing so badly, you ignore its qualities? I WANTED these to be the best pair of leggings, and did a bit of a stretch test to see they'd give enough... but they just don't give the way normal stretch leggings do. Maybe it's the two way stretch, what do you know Oh Wonderful Legging Making Friends? 

See the loosey flat bum I have with these:

And while they look sweet, I have to hike them up quite a bit (as I found today when I wore them all day). Oh well! I'm also wearing my fabulouso Floppy Top I made the other week:

Oh well. I'll refashion them for Baby Darling once I'm over pulling them up all the time.

BUT they are FABULOUS FABRICS from Adey my friend in Singapore! I love love love her and she's chosen well because my Husbie LOVES space and starships and rocketships and he couldn't believe his luck when I visited him at lunch. So thank you Adey! xoxo

 And here is an awkward sucking the gutz in photo:

Hope you're having a lovely week! I have a bit to blog about, so I'll see you again soon!


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

11/31 Cowl Scarf

Yup, we're in 'easy sewing' mode now... as we're in Sydney for a bit, and I might casually take a break from the every day blogging if I can't get online. Actually, I will. *phew* that makes me feel a bit relaxed, as I'm writing this post on Tuesday night to schedule for Wednesday while we fly, and now I'm thinking about it realistically... why put myself through deadline sewing?

It's my kickstart sewing career, not anyone else's! Great, anyways, back to the cowl featured here, it's a bit of a LOL because I needed another winter cowl because it's still cold in Melbourne every other week, and the bad thing about a scarf like this is that food and things can get caught in the layers! I've hidden away lots of goodies and found stains galore later, so my good one has been in the wash a lot, and this one is a lovely good quality soft waffle knit that I bought from the fabric store, originally to make swaddle blankets for my baby... I didn't make ANY because we had so many lovely handmedowns!

So as you can see it's cosy. But the other LOL: I left the house the other week in this outfit, then it went really crispy and windy... that's how Melbs workjs... the weather just changes!

So then Husbie and I were in a rush so I hadn't packed a cardigan, and I was like - MY COWL CAN BE VERSATILE:


A Cocoon Cowl as well? FARSHUN?


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

10/31 A Little Boy Long Sleeve T

I'm sewing a lot lately, and documenting it each day because I haven't sewn much for 2 years, and really wanted to get a kick start at the busiest time of year because January has too many Lists and Things To Do for the New Year and stuff I'm not good at, because why be positive about stuff and your life at just one time of year? I like aiming for positive stuff all the time... and I'm so happy I'm zipping up all this stuff! I've needed a new wardrobe for a while!

Today it's a long sleeve top for Baby Darling, as we're going to Sydney tomorrow and it's hotter and sunnier than Melbs and this fabric is light and floppy (you've seen it already on the weekend) and I love that offcuts can make up a baby top.

For the pattern, I've used a cut up Baby Tshirt from the Op Shop and you've seen that pattern pop up a few times here before. Just made the sleeves a bit longer... I didn't bother hemming them or the shirt part, as it's kind of floppy fabric that'll curl up instead of shed it's threads... but I did the neckline quickly with a binding bit of the leftover fabric. So a metre of this nice cotton stuff makes a long sleeve tshirt for me and for BD!



Monday, 9 December 2013

9/31 Green Party Dress

This Green Party Dress is a sad thing on the hanger, but I've wanted to get it up online quickly as this week we're going to Sydney for a little flit around before Christmas... it's a Vogue Donna Karan one, V1287 is the number, and fits well, if a little snug around the bewbs. A Va-Va-Voom perhaps?

But the dashing and darling thing about this dress, is the fabric is from Singapore from darling Sew Weekly babe Adey Lim's stash! The sweetheart sent me a little parcel a while back and I've been dying to make something with it! I'm not sure of the fabric's style but it's stretchy and yet still structured... not like cotton sateen, lighter... that's why I thought it'd suit the drapes... but it wasn't hard to sew with, or slippery... a very good blend all round! WOW I loved it, and wish for more already!

The pattern is the first new pattern I've sewn with in ages... I bought it this time last year, while a Vogue sale was on in Spotlight... because of the faux wrap front (I thought suitable for breastfeeding) and the lovely pockets. I didn't have enough fabric to do deep pockets, so adjusted them and the bodice length (usually I'm shorter from shoulder to bust) but I probably didn't need to adjust the bodice for next time... when I hopefully sew this again with more fabric.

The annoying bit was the drapery bits, the shoulders, the waist and then the skirt front was all pleated and folded this way... then that...  way then basted...  then basted a different way... And I don't like all that dicking around... I guess it pays off though.


What do you guys do for draping when it says (and shows in the diagram) that the pleats are basted vertically - like a TOPSTITCH on the pleat... do you leave it or stitch it up and then take the thread out? It said to baste each pleat, then baste horizontal over the top of the pleats (ie along the edge of the piece)... but didn't refer to taking out the stitches... and then a drawing further down the instructions didn't show the basting/topstitching. I'm confused!?

Thanks team, catch you soon!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

8/31 A Floppy Longsleeved Top

It's hard to photograph a black knit top... without looking funny and angular.

So here's another selfdrafted pattern (this week it's been non stop DIY, man) that I used with the tshirt in the first photo here, because it's floppy and lovely in the warmer weather. I got some cotton knit stuff (maybe a Japanese fabric actually) from Spotlight recently, and just copied the neckline and the width from the grey tshirt, but I wanted arms... so this tshirt is pretty much a wide rectangle, with little holes for the armholes, but instead at the underarm/shoulder, I made them just above the elbow (as you can see in the awkward/angular photo above).

URGH, hard to explain, but I think you get me, right? In ode to Megan Nielson and all the Briar tops, I made it short at the front and long at the back. I'm sure Meg's pattern is far more gorgeous, but hey, this works for now!

Hooray. Those leggings are just too good, I wore them two days in a row!

Happy Sunday to you as well! We are catching up on a few things, I'm working a couple days in a row this week and then going on a HOLIDAY with my baby and mum! I'm excited but I have realised I should make a bunch of things so I can feel good in new clothes instead of daggy Mamalyf duds. I wore my blue dress last night to a Christmas party and it was AMAZING.


Dongmen Lu Fabric Market

Happy Wednesday! Time to get some fabric inspiration from the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market here in Shanghai! Can't believe how quickly 201...