Friday, October 31, 2014

Louisa in knit (again)

I love how woven fabric dresses look but in our household knit fabrics are much more practical. I literally never iron (with the exception of ironing my stabilizer on fabric to make an application). So when I have to choose what I prefer on my daughters, a knit dress or an extremely wrinkly woven, I usually choose the knit version. I say usually because it happens that my kid goes to school in a dress that looks like she slept in it (but even if I would have ironed it is would look like that after half a day of play anyway, right?).

I love the Louisa dress, and have been planning to make a woven version for long (I even already own several fabric combinations that I picked out for this dress especially), but I have not come around to do it. Two months ago I did sew a Louisa from knit for my middle daughter. The dress was a bit wide but she likes wearing it. Yesterday I decided to make another knit Louisa, but this time for my eldest. She is very slim and I let her put on her younger siblings version and (besides the length) it fitted perfectly. I therefor reused the old cut paper pattern pieces and lengthened the whole thing to create a knee length dress (I am lazy like that remember my ironing confession). With hindsight I should have redrawn the pattern using the original pattern, the extra pieces are a bit too low. This is why pattern go through a lot of testing before they are released... Well the dress will be in rotation for at least a whole year (she can easily grow 15 cm in it so probably two years wont be a problem either) so the fit will become better in the future.

Oh and how she loves that big pocket!

This time I did use piping between the layers, instead a bias. I put an elastic cord in the piping to maintain stretch. The sewing of the pipping was quite a struggle. I first wanted to try out the pipping foot of my serger but a thick pipping in combination with stretchy knit did not work (this might be solved by practicing more). Then I tried a stretch stitch combined with my zipper foot on my normal machine. This again was not a winning combination either. I ended up using a three layered stitch on my sewing machine. This is not stretchy but it is strong and I was able to sew close to the piping.

For the fabric I used three different Lillestoffs. The relatively solid pink is a stretchy jeans look knit (ideal for winter because it is a bit thicker), the flower is organic "normal"knit and the pipping is a piece of woman's fabric I used for my I [heart] Marcel Marlier sew along dress as well (also knit).

My daughter found a weed on our usual picture spot and she (less lazy as me) had to remove it. She removed it professionally with roots and asked me if we could plant it back... My little environmentalist.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

KCW Day7: Preemie Onesie

On the last day of the KCW I drew and sewed a preemie onesie as a gift. I wanted to be so sure that it would not become too big, that there is a good likelihood the thing has become too small. I did not have any real measurements, only that a store bought size 44 was still too big. Ottobre 4/2007 contains some preemie cloths and those were my starting point. The whole thing is one piece of fabric ( besides the bias). This to avoid irritation as much as possible, which is why I also made bounded side seams. Lets hope it fits, it will not be an issue if the sleeves or leg parts are a bit short, but the "body" part has to be long enough.

I expected the whole thing to sew up very quickly due to the fact that the it was just one piece of fabric, but this was not the case. The binding of the seams took me much longer than expected and there is also a relatively big amount of "normal" binding as well. The neck turned out a bit different than I planned, but I think it does not look bad. 

The fabric is (of course) from Lillestoff, such a sensitive human being should only be dressed in organic fabrics, right? Due to the fact that the fabric print also had to "work" upside down and diagonal (the whole thing is one piece) my fabric choice was limited (still trying to sew from my stash) but I think this print is spot on (pun intended).

I started out with a size 40 (Ottobre is usually a bit bigger than a store bought item) but made the whole thing slightly less wide. I was doubting if I should add two or three snaps. Such a small baby does not move on its own and there has to be enough space for wires and tubes. In the end I went for three snaps because the parents can simply decide not the close the middle snap. I fastened and opened the snaps each about 20 times to make them a bit looser. I had to use the bigger snaps because the small T3 snaps would not stay on the thicker bias. I did not dare to put the small T3 snaps on the jersey directly. Does anyone have experience with this already? I worked a lot with the T5 size and those easily rip through your fabric.

With this onesie my first "official" KCW ends. It was nice to have a very explicit goal of sewing everyday, but it also made me a bit obsessed. I did not sew on Friday (Although I did drew a pattern and cut fabric) and I really felt I failed (which is not the goal of the whole KCW). For the next KCW I should either plan seven nice small projects which I cut before the week or have one big project. This way I can really enjoy my one hour sewing (and posting).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

KCW day 5 and 6: Onesie

I mentioned my sons sensitive skin already a few times. When he was about two and a half I bought him a premade onesie (including feet) from organic fabric to serve as a pyjama. My son did not like this addition to his nightly wardrobe, and the thing went into the closet until my middle daughter found it there half a year ago. Since then she prefers to wear the onesie all the time. She loved the thing so much that I wanted to make her another one.

I have piles of pattern magazine and many of them contain onesies, even some in her size (she has outgrown baby sizes) but none of them had feet. I started drawing an adjusted pattern a few weeks ago but I was not feeling convident enough about my adaptations. On the morning of day 5 of KCW my middle daughter looked over my shoulder into the fabric closet and pointed to a piece of fabric that I bought a few weeks earlier. It is Lillestoff, which I love, but the pattern is just not my thing. I bought it because it was very cheap, but when it came I really did not see me making something from it for outside. Do more people have this problem, when its on sale, I get greedy?

Her liking of the fabric combined with the fact that KCW is about challenging yourself, I gathered all my courage and made a new onesie pattern. I found a pattern in Ottobre 4/2012 for a right size onesie with hood, but without feet. I drew the feet based on the existing onesie and a footed trouser pattern (also from Ottobre). I used one of the zippers I salved from the pillowcases I used for two earlier KCW projects. I was out of such long zippers, which made the whole pillow case adventure extremely successful.

I had once earlier tried to sew a zipper in jersey and I was not satisfied with that result. This time I did add stabilization, but due to the fact that I decided to bind the inside of the zipper, the stabilization piece turned out to be too narrow. This resulted in a very wobbly zipper, but I was not in the mood to redo the zipper. My daughter will only wear the thing around the house anyway, there is always a next time.

My daughter wanted to show all the things she can do in her new onesie, and standing and smiling was not high on her to do list. If you are pretending to be in a circus, sometimes you fall.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

KCW day 4: Foxy Julia sweater

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I cut the fabric for this sweater yesterday. It is again from a cheap pillow case and has a big print of an animal, a fox this time. I was planning this sweater for my son, but due to him having a sleepover my eldest daughter did the posing. They kind a have the same size. My eldest loved the sweater and did not take it off anymore, she also claimed the sweater to be hers for all future wears... Lets see if hell breaks loose tomorrow when my son comes back, or if he doesn't mind switching.

I followed Mamadammeke and made a Julia sweater. This pattern is great for using a big part of the fabric. I lined the front with the same jersey, so the polyester does not tough the skin. I was not paying attention enough while sewing and first sewed lining to front without sewing the back to it as well. I was not in the mood to unpick the whole thing again and simply sewed the back to the finished front. This resulted in a bit thicker seam and a bit tighter sleeve. I made a Julia in the past and felt that the sleeves where a bit short. I now doubled the endpiece of sleeve in length. The sweater now has nice long sleeves, great for winter.

KCW day3: Pillow case dress

I am a member of a Dutch sewing Facebook group. In the last week a lot of people are sewing cloths from (cheap) animal printed pillow cases. I was not convinced from the start by after seeing some wonderful creations I jumped on the bandwagon. I just knew my kids would love them, and that is what matters most. I know there are much better and prettier fabrics out there, but I have an enormous stash of all kinds of fabrics that I have to sew up before buying new, but 1 euro pillow cases which include a zipper I could not pass on.

 On day 3 of KCW I had friends over, and during their visit I cut the fabric for this dress. Cutting is not sewing but I was planning on bending this rule a bit. But after they left, I decided to just "quickly" sew up the dress. Quickly and sewing is usually not a great combination especially due to that fact that the day was nearing its the end. This resulted in having to take out the blind zipper two times and having to unpick a seam but I just finished before midnight.

As expected my middle daughter loves the dress. The dress is a bit shorter than I planned, so it might have move to my youngest in the near future. After seeing the dress, my five year old son tried to convince me that a short dress like this could also work for a boy. We are very liberal when it comes to clothes but wearing a dress outside is over the line, even for me. Fortunately, I had already cut him a sweater as an alternative, which I will sew up tonight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

KCW day2: Rapunzel dress

The goal of the KCW is (as far as I know) to realize how much you can sew in one hour a day. Well today I managed to fully fulfill that goal. I still do not have a clear view of what I want to sew this week (I know I am late with that) and decided for a quick project for this evening. My middle daughter is in need of dresses (with long sleeves).

To follow the theme of the week I chose a fairytale fabric showing scenes from the fairy tail Rapunzel. I managed to cut the pattern and fabric in one hour (which do not really count because they do not involve the sewing machine) and I managed to sew up the entire dress in another hour! I had already made the dress (Ottobre 3/2012) in a different size for my eldest so I knew what I was doing but I was still delighted that I could make this in just one hour (of sewing).

I read somewhere a few weeks ago that if you ask kids to do different moods (sad, scared, sleepy) than their "happy" will come out automatically. I tried this a few shoots ago and since then my middle daughter and son always want to do all the moods. The not-happy once usually do not make the cut, but this time I left in my middle daughters' "sad" face, I thought it was very adorable.

This last picture shows why I love Lillestoff. Lillestoff has a great recovery which is very important, because this is a natural pose for my kids.

Monday, October 20, 2014

KCW day1: Dragon small Fry

After I made my first real trousers I was determined to make more. I wanted to make a more traditional looking trousers and started cutting the parts from one of my husbands old striped jeans. My son watched me cutting and disaproved, he did not want boring trousers (I told you he loved the others right). So while continuing cutting I thought about how to make the trousers meet both our demands.

The day before I cut the parts I had gone through my stash of scraps and came across a very small piece of Dragons and Knights from Lillestoff. From that fabric I had made him a hoodie sweater which he LOVES. He uses it as a coat and if it would be up to him he would use it way into winter. The scrap piece I had left was really small but big enough to brighten up these "boring" trousers. This time I made pockets inside the trousers instead of on them and chose to put some fabric behind the pockets. Again, I covered the back pockets with jersey and I made two applications from the only two remaining (almost) whole dragons left on my scrap.


For the pictures the trousers HAD to be paired with his hoodie. I made the hoodie (Ottobre 4/2012) last year and did not blog about it yet. It was my first jersey project involving a zipper and while sewing the zipper I realized why I should have used stabilizer. The line in the middle does not line up. I also butchered the zippers. I had cut out the zipper piece before sewing instead of first sewing and than slashing but somehow managed to make the whole thing stay in place anyway by using an buttonhole stitching all around the zipper. But like I said my sons loves the thing and I learned a lot, so I consider it a very successful project.

After I made the pictures, and the model was already asleep, I realized that the trousers were still covered in loose threads. Is it just me, or are your projects also covered in these horrible little monsters. I think hanging threads are THE thing how people can most easily spot which of our cloths are hand made. Even if I am sure that I cut and brushed everything of they still seem to grow on my garments. After I took the picture with my son it them I restored the buttonhole, it had been stretched out, making the final fit better than the one in the picture.

So I had started these trousers yesterday and had hoped to finish them yesterday as well but I missed an hour. This is why my first KCW day was spend on finishing this pair of trousers. Although I was not planning these to be part of my weeks sewing I think Dragons fit the storybook theme fine.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Janneke dress

Two weeks ago I won a piece of great fabric in a wonder full give away. The give away was connected to the one year anniversary of Mieke's blog and for this joyous occasion she also created a free baby girl dress pattern! The fabric came of the webshop LieselLove.

For next project I really have to measure twice and cut once. Although my cutting did not result in the same massacre as last week I did manage to wrongfully cut the back piece of the dress by cutting it on the fold. This resulted in no sewing allowance for the zipper. By making the back pleats slightly smaller and using an extreme small sewing allowance for the zipper I managed to work around it. The back piece is therefore still one piece below the zipper.

The one piece back of course created some troubles with the construction of the dress because now turning through the shoulder was not possible anymore. I tried two different ways of turning whilst having sewn shoulder, armholes and neck but I did not manage to find the solution (Although I feel there is one and probably will realize it after reading my Fawn Lilly instruction again). The end of the evening was nearing and I decided to just open up a shoulder and turn there. Afterwards I sewed up the shoulder by hand using invisible stitches. It worked out fine.

I love how the dress turned out. Thank you again Mieke! Based on the measurement table I chose the second size and lengthened it and the fit is perfect. On other blogs I usually love picture overloads, I hope you do too.

In case you are wondering what that box with number in her hand is... We store left over Lego pieces from Creator sets (never mind if you do not know this Lego line) together in a box with the number of the set on it. My little model was not really in the mood for smiling (or not crying for that matter) and I had to distract her. Not many things work better in at such a moment than things that make a lot of noise when shaken.