Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brueram dresses and give away

Like last time, I had the honor to test Sofilantjes newest pattern. This time she is releasing a pattern for woven fabrics, the Brueram dress. It is a summer pattern in three lengths, top, dress (high-low hem) and maxi. I preferred to try the high-low hem, I have seen many nice ones recently, like this one. For kids the low back really decreases the likelihood of underwear showing, I am a fan. I love it so much that I didn't take a break after KCW but immediately made a second Brueram dress and I already planned four others (really, no joke, literally four are on my to do list). Due to the fact that you will be seeing much more of this pattern I decided to put the test dress and the second one in one post. My 100th post! 75 Percent of those posts are written since September first 2014. As is good tradition in blogland I am celebrating this nice occasion with a gift to you, my readers, but first back to the dress.

The dress has an elastic shirred back. I shirred with elastic thread a few times before, like for this dress. If you never tried it, it really is much easier than it appears. This pattern is an intermediate sew, and shirring is not explicitly explained, but there are many tutorials out there, like this one. In the first dress I opted for two soft cactus' fabrics, one for the bodice and one for the skirt. In the tester pool I saw pictures from this creative woman of a beautiful top of which only the back had a contrasting fabric. I loved it and did the same for the second dress. For both dresses I used a soft cactus for the shirred piece. Both had a small horizontal print which made sewing horizontal lines very easy.

The dress version of the pattern has a wrap skirt of which the skirt pieces look like flower petals. I really wanted to accentuate the nice lines of the skirt pieces so for the first dress I decided to have a bias edge on the skirt. This is not an official option, but is easily done. If you want to do one yourself do not forget to remove the seam allowance from the bottom seam. Another thing which is not part of the official options is pockets, I added those as well in the side seam.

I love the length of the dress, my three year old is growing that quickly that dresses that fit her perfectly two moth ago are now on the short side. My daughter didn't take off her skirt before she put on the second dress. I noticed while I was editing the pictures. As you can see this dress hides a lot. I also like the wide shoulder straps, Dutch summer usually aren't extremely warm and the thick straps make the dress suitable for less than 26 (Celsius) degrees weather.

The dress calls for under-stitching, another technique that might seem scary but isn't and it gives a very neat finish to the dress. The only exposed seams this dress has anyway are the skirt side seams and bottom hem. All the seams of the bodice are hidden.

Like I mentioned already, the test dress was done in Soft Cactus (did you see the new line that is releasing, wow). For the second dress I used a very treasured fabric "Norwegian Woods" from Michael Miller. The fabric has such great colors and print, I am dreaming of using it  for the perfect project for months. Did you see this dress during the fall, stunning! I feel the orange and purple very well match the soft cactus' colors.

The pattern is releasing tonight (in both Dutch and English) and for two days it is almost 50% off! Check it out now. Really go and feast your eyes on the test pictures, I know I have.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is my 100th post and I am celebrating this with a Brueram pattern give away! If you want have a chance of winning this pattern you should follow me (bloglovin, facebook, pinterest, email, site member all is fine) and you should leave comment to this post. If you are the lucky winner but did buy the dress already (due to its great sale for the coming two days), I will reimburse what you paid for the pattern. You can participate until May 2nd.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

KCW day 7: Panda dress

I made it, I reached my personal goal. Make seven animal inspired clothes and post about them during KCW. You know you have a problem if you wake up on a Sunday at 7:00 h and think: "Lets get out now and quickly finish that dress before we are going swimming today". This was the last day of KCW so I can now get back to my usual sewing schedule without me pushing myself to finish something everyday. I know that I shouldn't have made a garment per day, but just have spend one day sewing, but I liked to challenge myself a bit more because I usually spend one hour a day on making clothes anyway.

When the contributors were announced on Facebook somebody challenged us to make a garment inspired by the animal that we were matched with. Mine was a panda and I took that challenge. I thought about what defined a panda and I thought about the contrasting white and black and the big belly. I translated that in a black and white bubble dress.

I started with the bubble dress pattern from Ottobre 6/2012. I flipped the curve in the bodice down, creating a "head"shaped bodice. I added arm shaped pockets and added black shoulder details to mimic the ears.

I slightly exaggerated the bubble effect by sewing a shirred elastic in the lining as well, as I learned for the Project run and Play challenge that Alida gave us.

I knitified the pattern again to avoid zippers. I used two T-shirts from my husband, one (the outer) barely worn because it itched a bit (my son gets his sensitive skin from his father). The lining is made from a frequently worn one, so my daughters skin is not exposed to the slightly itching one (in case you were wearing).

The arm holes are a bit big, but I like the dress a lot. I was surprised that my small one found the pockets by herself. I didn't make them deep because I assumed they would only be decorative. It seems that her next dress should also have serious pockets.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

KCW day 6: Dino shirt

This should have been an easy, quick, in between project for KCW. It wasn't, and this was all my own fault. The first mistake I made was screwing up with copying the pattern (Ottobre 3/2015). When I started copying the hood onto my pattern paper I was too close to the side of the paper, moved the paper and redrew. When I cut the paper piece I accidentally cut a wrong line. I noticed that the hood pattern looked a bit of, very narrow, but I assumed this was part of the pattern. When I sewed the hood to the neck I realized it would never ever fit. Then I checked the original pattern and saw my mistake...

In such cases I feel like throwing away the whole piece, but I know that I have to take some distance. An idea to solve it will come, but it takes a bit of time. The solution I came up with was putting in a contrasting piece in the hood. I could have cut a new hood of course but then I had to throw away the wrong cut pieces and that I just couldn't make myself to do that.

The second mistake, which contributed to my frustration over the wrong hood, was that I wanted a different than usual construction technique. The hood is double, it has a lining and I wanted the seam not to show. I wanted the seam to be between the hood and its lining. In the end I succeeded but realized this is better to do with a normal round neckline and not a V neck.

So I am not satisfied with how the V of the neck looks (although it doesn't really show when my son wears it ). The orange extra piece still some how didn't totally make up for the missing width making the back imperfect as well. My son is happy with shirt, which is because of the great Lillestoff design. This shirt ruined my planning, I spend more time taking apart seams than sewing them. This makes me unsure if I will be able to finish my last project tomorrow, lets see.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).   

Friday, April 24, 2015

KCW day 5 "All the skirts" "Top Stitchers" mash up

I started of this week with a top that I sewed for a double occasion. This dress tops that (pun intended), this dress fits three very different sewing challenges.

Lets start of with the obvious one, it is day 5 of KCW. This time I spun the Wild Thing theme into adding ears and with some color blocking I created a giraffe face on the middle of this bodice. I doubted for long if I was going to add eyes, in the end I decided against it. I drew on several using water dissolutional marker but noner of them really added to the look. I might get inspired later but for now it remains like this.

The second challenge this dress fulfill is that of "all the skirts" from skirt fixation. They have a great monthly challenge, check it out, the challenge is to sew all the skirts from one pattern designer. This month the designer is Oliver+s. I know I didn't sew a skirt, but the sew along allows any Oliver +S patterns sewed. At the end of last year I won a paper pattern from the hide and seek dress over at Bartacks and Singletracks. It was high time to sew one up. It really is a great pattern, I love the lines and the pockets! Oh how fun are those little welts.

The third and final challenge this dress lives up to is that of Pattern revolution's Top stitchers. There were several challenges to choose from and I choose Cinderella. This one needs a small explanation. This particular challenges called for a fabric or garment that has gone out of style and bring it back to life, better than it was. Well this dress was made from an old pair of white linen maternity trousers! We reached are dream amount of kids, so no pregnancies anymore, maternity wear has gone out of style (for me). The advantage of maternity wear it the big amount of fabric and even more so, because this pair of trousers I bought second hand and were a bit one the big side. Still I had to be a bit creative for the back skirt part, I had to add an extra seam, but it doesn't really show. This dress clearly does the fabric more justice than the too big maternity pants they were.

The yellow from the giraffe is again from the shirt I confiscated a few weeks ago. Not much is left now. I really should buy myself some of that uni-colored mustard jersey, I love to combine it with everything. The pockets (which do not have a separate picture because they are so well hidden) and the seams are made with a fat quarter of Robert Kaufman. I once bought a bundle of gold detailed fabric at modes4u. Check out the picture in which she lifts the skirt a bit, I love the look. I used another fat quarter of the same bundle for these projects.

As you might have noticed I partly knitified the dress pattern. The yoke is from jersey making a zipper or button closure unnecessary. The little white triangles I added to the yoke is from the trousers' waistband, this way the white perfectly matched the white of the linen. In the picture of the back she is a bit bend, the dress the yoke is straight.

My daughter had an eczema attack so her arms and legs are covered in small wounds. I feel for her, fortunately I know she heals quickly.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).    

Thursday, April 23, 2015

KCW day 4: Lion attack shirt

A twist on the wild thing theme this time. No actual animal, but its mark. I upcycled one of my own plain grey shirts that had become a bit short due to my post-pregnancies belly. I turned it into a short sleeved raglan shirt. The pattern is from Ottobre 3-2015. The original pattern has a raglan and a normal sleeve side. I adapted the pattern to have a raglan on all sides.

After I cut the front of the shirt I slashed eight nail marks, mimicking two claws. I put a piece of red jersey under the slashes and stitched with a straight stitch all around it, done.I got the idea from this pin.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).    

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

KCW day3: Cat outfit

Quick and easy outfit this time. I used half a meter cat jersey (bought at Stoffenelf)  to make my daughter a 5 pieces skirt. I know this is an unusual amount, but after repeated downsizing my pattern piece for a 6 pieced skirt, and seeing it still didn't fit my fabric (I only had half a meter so the pieces had to fit next to each other in one line) I just made it work. The fabric is that crowded that the seams do not even show.

The skirt has a very decent length, just below the knee. This is because she wears the waistband very low (I had intended it a bit higher, but because I just eye balling the width, it turned out a bit loose). This does mean she will be able to wear it for at least two more summers, lets hope she will keep loving cats.

Although the cutting of the fabric took a while (due to the sizing issues) the sewing was done in 10 minutes. five side seams, a waistband seam with my serger and a quick zigzag for the bottom hem. The sewing was that quick and straight forward that I needed a bit more to make in into a post.

I therefore combined the skirt with a top which is just as easy as the skirt. The top only has a front and back and is from Ottobe 1/2014. To make the shirt a bit more appealing I hemmed with green stitches using my twin needle. To finsih the cat outfit, I added a cat's face application. The fabric I used were some small scraps left from this project. I wanted the eyes to have a reflection, and not just be plain green.

Cats like to climb and usually hide in bushes, so we did the same for the shoot. Quick projects like these are great for KCW.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

KCW day 2: Snake shirt

During the previous KCW I decided to not do early morning/before work and school photo shoots anymore. I really try to step up my game on the photo front, but like usual, I make exceptions to my own rules. I almost finished this shirt yesterday evening. I still had to steam the seams, hand stitch a 2 cm seam and add eyes. My son new that I made this shirt and he was so excited that he wanted to wear it today! Having your kid excited about your sewed garments really is the best motivation. One rule that I really try not to break is letting the kids wear clothes before I make pictures, so this morning I finished the shirt in 10 minutes and shoot a few quick pics. My son doesn't like long shoots anyway.

I got the idea for this shirts when I was actually sketching (which I never do) some designs that I wanted to sew this week. I noticed that I mostly drew dresses for my girls and I wanted my son to share in the action. I wanted a garment in which my son was covered with animal, but without being a costume. I think I succeeded, although I know that the costume line is different for all.

When I showed the pics to my mother this morning she assumed that I sewed the snake on an existing shirt, but I didn't. With hindsight this might have been just as good, but I choose a different route. I taped two (front and back) shirt paper pattern pieces together, as if I made a paper shirt. Then I cut the whole thing in long stripes, like when you make your own bias. I cut the strips from jersey with a seam allowance and sewed the stripes onto each other. below you can see what I mean, there is no side seam. I didn't have to fixate the fabric so the fabrics kept all their stretch. I made some pictures during the drafting process, anybody interested in a super small tutorial on this shirt?

My son has a sensitive skin and I didn't want the shirt to be covered in serger seams on the inside. Therefore I made flat seam, faking coverlock seams. An added bonus is that the snake really lies on the fabric. I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the seams, but they look like the ladder seams in this tutorial. I tried this seam look before (last year) and realized that I get the best result if I make a two-thread seam on my serger (so I actually didn't use the information from the tutorial). For this shirt I used the right needle, next time I will try the left needle, I assume that I get a bit thicker seam in that case.

When I told my son about the snake shirt he first wanted the snake to be able to open his mouth. I had been planning to just sew the head like I did with the body. I settled our creative differences by not attaching the head to the shirt, so the snake can lift its head. This also made the closing of the shoulder seam easier than how I had first planned it so this was a clear win win situation. I added a tongue, I know it is not anatomically correct (it should be forked) but I was in a hurry to (almost) finish the shirt yesterday evening and choose the quick solution.

The fabric I used for the snake is from Lillestoff, cut in a small strip it really gives a snaky vibe, although I think nobody would think that is they would see the fabric normally.  If I remember well I bought it at Joyfits I also ordered the uni-orange fabric there. I made the eyes with silver flock foil.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).  

Monday, April 20, 2015

KCW day 1 PRP mash up: octopus inspired sling shirt

For this post multiple inspiration sources came together. I managed to sew something that fits both the Project Run and Play's monthly theme and the Kids Clothes Week's theme in fabrics from my stash, yeh!

Today is the first day of Kids Clothes Week Spring 2015. As a contributor I wrote two post that I hope inspired you to make some animal themed clothes. In the first post I wrote about patterns that could be octopus inspired. If I think of an octopus, I think about surprising patterns (because octopuses are masters of disguise). The first garment I sewed for KCW is a reversible woven top without buttons or zipper. Some octopuses can change colors like a chameleon, hence I wanted something reversible. Octopuses use very smart hiding solutions, hence the smart closure option. Octopuses are innovative tool users, Some octopuses use shells from other animals, or coconuts for their protection. This pinafore type of pattern is usually used as a baby dress so  flipping it to a shirt counts as innovative use of pattern type.

Project Run and Play's theme for April is a sling bag. Bags are great, but I prefer children clothes at the moment. When I looked at the bag I thought of a neckline, that is why I decided to make a shirt. This shirt I made is from woven fabric, like the bag. The shirt and the bag neither have side seams and are both reversible. The shirt is put on by putting the straps over the head like how you put on a bag. I was considering making a contrasting front panel, but I liked the fabrics too much as it is.

Both fabrics are from Cloud 9 fabrics which I bought at Modes4u, the fabrics are from two different collections though. I bought half a meter of both, not really sure what I was planning on making from them (I believe the leave version should have been turned into a pillow case for the livings room), but the amount turned out perfect for this shirt. One of the fabrics has butterflies on it, so a clearly animal theme inspired fabrics as well.

I drafted the shirt myself based on existing bodice pattern from the book SVDHZ 2. I took the already cut pattern pieces which I used for this dress, put the front and back bodice part down on my pattern paper with an angle that I presumed would work and drew up a pinafore pattern. The shirt has one pattern piece total, which you cut twice, one inside, one outside. There are no side seams. I am willing to write a small tutorial after KCW if anybody is interested. It sewed up within an hour (besides the four shoulder seams the whole garment is one big seam) and there was no hand sewing involved (I top stitched for a nice finish, closing the turning hole automatically).

The fit is perfect, but next time I will make a lower neckline and I will play with the overlapping pieces a bit to see if I can close the hole so that it is also reversible front and back wise. My daughter really likes the overlap as a front but I prefer her belly button not showing.

I still have to get used to the big hole in my daughter's mouth, she is missing all four of her four front teeth now.

I love to hear what you think of my creations. Feel free to leave a comment in the language you prefer (although Google translate might have to assist me if you choose something different than English, German, Dutch or Hungarian).