Monday, July 25, 2016

Charlotte dress

The saying: "a picture can say more than a thousand words" is very applicable to the pattern that I am showing you today. I can make a list of all the features of the pattern, but this first picture kind a knocks it out of the park already. Charlotte*, the new dress and tunic pattern from Bella Sunshine* has a stunning backside that is perfect for the weather that we are experiencing the Netherlands right now.

Because this is a blog post and not Instagram, I will of course also tell you something besides showing you pictures. The pattern comes in two lengths and I made (as usual) the dress length. It is stunning as a top/tunic as well though, just check out all the beautiful tester pics in the pattern's gallery*. Due to my daughter's skinny posture I had to blend sizes. The pattern contains very clear instructions on how to blend those curves, so even an beginner can totally do it. The end result looks great, she immediately wanted to wear it and (spilled toothpaste on it, but after its first wash) she immediately got several complements.

Full disclosure, like in an average fashion magazine, we slightly cheated with the first picture. On the detailed back picture she is slightly pulling the fabric on the front, to create a perfect fitting back. In the other pictures, when she is moving, you can see that she has a very little gape on the back. It still looks super pretty, but I wanted to make sure you will not be breaking your head about it later once you buy and sew the pattern and wonder how my girl could sit down. I advice to put the bodice on your girl while she is sitting and determine the optimal snap/button position from there. You do not have to cut a different size, just play with the closure position. In my experience is the chest the largest while sitting and smallest while standing up straight.

The fabrics are a lovely combination of leftovers. The turquoise were the leftover from when I re-cut a  muslin (in my size) to make this top (also from Bella Sunshine). The other fabric was the leftover from this dress. I think, I actually used more on this skirt than for the original project though, but the leftover amount as almost exactly right. I do not often use two different fabrics for the bodice and skirt part, but I think I should do it more often, I love the look. In case you are wondering if me covered the forest floor in confetti, we did not. People before us did, and although I feel a bit of anger towards the people that felt they could just leave it there, we did quickly use the scene for pics.

The pattern *was released one week ago and today is actually the last day of sale. You might have noticed I had a few other blog deadlines last week, so I have a crazy high blog post density at the moment. I am showing you this one, so closely to the others because I want you to have the possibility to buy the pattern during the sale period. Today is the last day of the 5 dollar release sale in the web shop*.

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). If you buy anything through my affiliate links (*), I get a small commission (the price stays the same for you), I am very grateful for everything that feeds my fabric addiction.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Christmas in July with EYMM

You know I love deadlines, so without much thinking I jumped on the Christmas in July blog post call from EYMM* (Everything Your Mother Made and more). I was not very familiar with the concept and enthusiastically printed the Off Shoulder Dress*, I just love the look of the huge cowl and I did not own anything similar. Then, when I finished and tried it on on one of the warmest days of the year, I instantly realized Christmas in July is about the fact that you sew for the opposite Christmas season as you are used to. Of course, I just could have gone with it, and pretended to be from Australia. The problem with that idea was that I would have to wear it outside for the shoot, and I already knew I would have a super heated face on all pictures, so I went back to the sewing machine.

For the first dress, that you will see in a few weeks or so, I adjusted the skirt of the dress to be a simple A line skirt. For my second try, I again adjusted the skirt but now omitted the cowl and made short sleeves. Normally the beautiful off shoulder neckline is not visible on the dress, but it is there for sure. I simply folded down approximately two centimeter and hemmed the neckline, without changing anything (so I actually folded down more than the original one centimeter seam allowance).

It seemed the dress stayed on like that. I debated  with myself if I would leave it like this, but I was afraid I would feel like pulling up the shoulders the whole time. So, I just added two straps (that also hide my bra straps). I stitched the straps to the neckline in the same step as I hemmed the neckline down. The whole dress sewed down super quick, if I would have to guess the hole thing, including cutting the fabric took less than one and a half hour. This red fabric is another one from the eleven meter that I bought a few weeks ago, I fully used the one meter red for this dress.

It is still 22 weeks to Christmas, which means a sea of time to one and already stress to another. To anyone this is a perfect opportunity to stock up on new patterns, because there now is a 22% discount store wide in the EYMM web shop* with the code 22WEEKEND until 7/25/16 11:59 pm PST. I already know I will wear an Off Shoulder Dress*  with cowl in December.

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). If you buy anything through my affiliate links (*), I get a small commission (the price stays the same for you), I am very grateful for everything that feeds my fabric addiction.

July 21 - Needles to Say
July 23 - Inspinration and Sewing by Ti

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Skirting the issue" blog tour: multi functional skirt

The month July is traditionally "skirting the issue" month at Simpel Simon and co. Here you can read more about the beautiful idea behind it. Project Run and Play is joining in on the fun with a blog tour on the topic.  The blog tour will feature all kind of cool skirts to get you in the mood for skirt sewing. I personally am more of a dress sewer, than skirt sewer, the project I made is the perfect compromise.

In March, I made a funny picture of my girl in a maxi skirt tied on her like a dress (pre-picture for an upcycle). The skirt had draw strings and those became the halter strings. There was a huge amount of fabric hidden on her back, but I was intrigued by the idea. For this post I therefore drafted a multi functional garment, maxi skirt and dress (earlier this week I showed you another multi functional type of clothing).

The two ways you can wear this garment is either as a maxi skirt with a double folded waistband, or as a halter dress. The neck bands are hidden between the waistband layers if it functions as a skirt. The neckband is fastened with two snaps. This way the ties did not have to be very long. I first experimented with the ties immediately going around her neck, like I did in the original pre-picture. That way the buttonholes started gaping a bit. By crossing the straps on the front that problem disappeared. If I would have angled the button holes, made them a bit smaller or used grommets the gaping would not have been a problem I assume, I do like the front cross, so it was a happy mistake.

I used the Litore* from Sofilantjes* to make my dress. I started with the maxi skirt pattern piece, you could also use this tutorial from earlier on the blog tour that explains how to draw an A line skirt. Then I cut a wide jersey band with the height of two times the bodice (without the straps). The band will be folded to create the bodice, that is why you need the Litore height two times. The width of the jersey band was the total chest width of the finished Litore dress (that was laying next to me on the floor while cutting). If you are drawing the pattern from scratch you just determine how high you would like the double folded waistband to be. That height times four is the needed height for the jersey band (plus 2 times seam allowence). For the length you measure the circumference of your child's body where you want the band to be (my girl is a just-above-the-hip wearer, so that is another measure then her waist. I eyeballed the length of the straps. You can fold your tape measure around your child to get an estimation, jersey stretches, so you have to keep that in mind.

The construction is very straight forward. Sew the two skirt pieces together. Create the strap that will form the halter. Determine the location of the button holes, they should be around the middle of the jersey band both width and length wise. I drew two marks on the back side of the fabric. Make button holes and pull the strap through the holes, close the waistband piece by sewing the short sides together and sew the band to the skirt. I tagged the neck band in place with a few stitches at the back, I already have too many strings floating around the house. Hem or leave the bottom unfinished.

Although I still love my blind hem stitch, I am also still experimenting with possible better ways to hem (still trying to avoid buying a coverlock). This time, I hemmed the  dress with a decorative honeycomb stitch, I was very satisfied with the result. The fabric are from Joyfits, I bought the last piece of the candy stripes fabric, but there are many more very dicounted fabric where this one came from.

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). If you buy anything through my affiliate links (*), I get a small commission (the price stays the same for you), I am very grateful for everything that feeds my fabric addiction. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pass the Madeit pattern Mash up

When the Fold collection by Madeit Patterns was released, I bought several of the patterns. To my shame I had only sewed one until now. The Fold collection deserves much more love, but I did not get to it due to all the deadlines I gave myself by applying to tests and competitions. Therefore, When Madeit Patterns organized the #passthemadeitpattern on Instagram I immediate started to compete. I needed that little push, and in the last draw, was allowed to play! Today I am showing you what I made.

You know I like pattern alterations and after the beautiful hacks by Solo Sewing and Jurkjesmama, I really felt the urge to come with something awesome. I decided to combine two patterns from the Fold collection into one garment. I used the Matrix Polo pattern and the Balloon Fold dress.

Two weeks ago, I checked the Pantome fall colors and bought at Textielstad the colors that kind a resembled them. The color blocking possibilities of my mash were perfect to show off a few of those beauties. The colors are not that intense as the true Pantome, but together they work well.

I was really planning to sew for another one than for my eldest, but again my easiest model got the job. This time my excuse was the minimum size of the polo. I wanted a fitted bodice and my eldest's chest was perfect for the smallest polo size. So I could not have gone smaller. I only redrew the skirt of the Balloon pattern such that it fitted the Matrix, so relatively easy mash I would say, but I love the result. If you are planning something similar, make sure you use stretchy interfacing for the collar, or else your daughter might get stuck.

I tried adding pockets, but they really distorted the shape of the dress. When my daughter was wearing the dress she told me she did not need extra pockets anyway, the skirt itself is one big pocket.

My favorite of the three ways to wear this garment is the balloon shape, so the elastic on the inside at her waist. My daughter's favorite version is the elastic on the outside. I think, I would appreciate the outside skirt version more if I had a nice double face fabric. Due to my daughter's skinny waist the maxi version is a bit constricting her movements. The elastic that fist her waist is around her ankles in the maxi version, and due to her skinny waist the elastic circle is small. The maxi might not be her favorite to play in, it is great to sit in! My kids love to put their knees in their dress ripping through all seams, with this Balloon skirt she can cover herself without problems.

In case you are still waiting to find out what that game is what I keep talking about, I will shortly explain it. If you get (randomly) chosen to play along, you will receive a Fold collection pattern for free, and you will have about two weeks to sew up your version. If you want to play, just find my instagram pic, repost it with #passthemadeitpattern and #madeitpatterns and you bought yourself a ticket.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pathfinder Vest

Although we, in Europe are moving towards summer, the other half round is gearing up for winter. Today, Big Little has released a lovely way to keep you kid warm on cold days, the Pathfinder vest. My kids love vests because they can move their arms freely, and still stay warm. For the release I made a summer vest, just two layers without batting, and all my girls love it.

Because I made a summer version, one that will not be worn over a jumper, I sized down. The advantage of having many kids, is that you strongly increase the likelihood that a garment will perfectly fit (someone). The vest fits my middle ones best, but also my eldest and youngest helped me out with the shoot. The sizing of the vest for fall/winter versions is spot on, so you normally will not have to guess of course

Lisa, the designer behind Big Little shares my love for upcycling, she has a enviously huge pile of pretty woolen blankets. No woolen blankets here, but I did have an itchy pair of woolen trousers. I truly hated wearing them (when they still fitted), but they had been rather expensive, so I felt I needed to. These itchy trousers were perfect for this vest though. The seam at the back is the original leg seam, but all the other pieces I could cut without extra seams.

I have to admit that I am extremely pleased with the embroidery. I had seen many embroidered Big Little items, and always assumed it would be so much work. It was not actually. I had the birthday party of a friend, and I managed to embroider the whole thing in about two hours. My son really loved the effect as well, so I have to find a cool boy embroidery project, maybe dinosaur bones?

The vest pattern contains two different hoods, a collar, two necklines, two lengths and a flutter sleeve, so it is full of mix and match possibilities. If you subscribe to the newsletter you will receive the FREE Crossroads front that I used for my version. The neckline of the vest matches the neckline of the Wild Things Coat, so you can easily make a Wild Things Vest as well. The vest is on sale for three days (until Wedesday midnight PST) for $ 6.50  (normally $10) in the Big Little web shop.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fjara release

You know that I like testing, and being allowed to hack in the release post makes it extra fun. Today, I am showing you Fjara tops from Pienkel. The Fjara is a racer back top, which is a perfect staple in a kid's closet. I considered making one for my son too, but I ran out of time. I think he would like one though.

I do not have decent pictures of the first top I made, but it will turn up on the blog combined with something else for sure. For this post I used the pattern three times. I made my eldest a straight Fjara.  Both the ribbing and the main fabric are from Joyfits and I already used the main fabric for this PJ. I paired this Fjara with the reversible Hiekka I made for my eldest.

For my youngest, I decided to play with the bindings. I ordered some elastic bias at Joyfits, simply because I was intrigued by it. Stretchy bias is directly stitched on the fabric, without folding, the edges are exposed. The shoulder bands are slightly puffy. It could be that I just made the bias a little bit too small, I did not really find a tutorial on how to use it. I thought it was logical to just take as much as the outer curve that you binding. Did anyone read something about that somewhere, maybe I should not use it on curves? I used the shiny side on the outside and I really love the effect. I added a bit of color blocking to the back. Marloes from Joyfits did it in several of her versions, and I just loved it! I combined it with her baby Dyyni skirt.

On the day that I was cutting my Fjara's, my middle one asked me for a sleeveless dress (with bands on the shoulders) and multiple skirts. She had seen one of her classmates wear something like that and she wanted it as well. She even drew me a picture. I asked her if the shoulder bands of the Fjara were narrow enough and they were fine. I used the free Dynni baby pattern to make the skirt. I calculated the required top width of one panel and just lengthened the top of the Dyyni pieces to get the (smaller) width I needed. The Dynni is a gathered woven skirt and I really needed to significantly narrow the pieces to make it jersey proof. I slightly shortened the Fjara pattern and added one skirt of 20 cm and one of 30 cm. The Fjara is great for scraps, thos one was also made with a fabric I used earlier.

The pattern will be €6 (excl. EU VAT). There is a 30% storewide discount to celebrate the release with the code FJARATANK30. The code is valid until Thursday July 7th midnight CET. Plus, everyone who buys a pattern (any Pinkel pattern) in July or August receives a discount code from Joyfits, for the perfect ribbing/cuff fabric (25% discount, valid through July & August on the entire selection of ribbing at Joyfits).