Sunday, January 27, 2019

She was in need of winter dresses

She told me that she needed more dresses with long sleeves. If possible she wears dresses,and ideally only dresses, so not extra layers. Oh, and "dress" of course equals one with a wide skirt (she always looks with a bit questioning eyes if I make her a tigher model and says in a I-told-you-so-before voice: "nice but, I do not like tight skirts"). Dress should equal twirl. That means, strictly spoken, she only had three suitable clothing garments in her closet, but trust me she has enough clothes to be in a different outfit each day for at least two weeks. But of course her clothes should be her choice, she should feel happy in them and I love sewing twirling dresses, therefore, last week, I sewed her two new dresses, two Foras dresses.

I picked the Foras pattern because her current favorite garment remains this dress. I made one with the circle skirt and one with a gathered skirt. I added simple side seam pockets in the gathered skirt version. Pockets are another thing high on her wish list.

The blue fabric I bought on a (small) bold, six meters and it has a fluffy back side, but not that much stretch. The print has jumping bunnies, which I knew would be a hit in our house. The Foras has a relaxed fit and therefore, I correctly assumed that the Foras would work perfect for this not so stretchy fabric.

The brown fairy fabric is a panel from Lillestoff and I bought it a few years ago. I had some cutting fear and the fabric became too small to make a full dress from it. I therefore used white for the main front pieces. The Foras has a dropped waist, creating a perfect canvas for the wings on her back. I am still in doubt if I should screen print a picture on it. For now I decided to keep it like this, but when she has created a horrible stain, which she will, I will determine an optimal print to hide it.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A new family member: softie adventure 2.0

I mostly sew clothes for our kids, but I do sometime like to sew something else, like softies. Our kids do no need any extra softies, but I just like the challenge. Sewing softies appeals to my need to create and to learn new techniques. Almost four years ago, I created this doll, and it seems that I have moved up on the learning curve. After I created these two adorable animals in the summer, I deemed myself capable of trying this really awesome doll pattern that I had bought a while ago, but did not dare to start.

In the fall the designer of the pattern created a sew along, and this was just the push that I needed. This time, I actually bought the required supplies, so not like the previous doll just use something that is around the house. I have to admit that things do become better with better material. I took it slow, did only a few steps on one day, but in the end the doll did not take that much time as I feared.

We have quite some dolls in our house, and two years ago I bought two 18" teen dolls. The dolls look great, but in that product line there are only girls. Our son sometimes feels a bit left out in our house full of girls, so I decided that the doll that I was going to make would have to be a boy. In case our son wants to join in on our girls' play. We try to raise our kids relatively gender neutral, but we do see that our son prefers to play with "male" characters, so for example we also have a bunch of male ponies from the my little pony line.

This time I am actually satisfied with the face and embroidered facial expression,. With hindsight, I should have made nose a bit bigger, but it is so much better than last time. I also learned that you should not "draw" the nose with a dark marker, I used purple and that remained visible. I tried to wash it out but now he actually got a pink nose. The kids love this element, so I just let go of my frustration about it. For the hair I used a piece of upcycled fake fur, that I used for these boots as well. So hording this stuff sometimes does pay off.

A doll of course also needs clothes and by our son's suggestion I created a bear onesie. The main requirement is that you can put it on the doll, it does not have to be comfortable, so I was fine with winging it, and it actually fits great.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Upcycling for the boy times 4

I wrote it in my previous post already, I am not sewing as much anymore as a few years ago. What did not change is my love for quick projects and today, I am showing you four long sleeves that I sewed in less than one hour in total, including cutting. They were, of course that super quick because they are upcycling projects. Sweaters from me and from my husband, that got a second live.

I love "before" pictures,  even though the quality of today's ones is crap, no other way to say so, I still added them. These four upcylces were a spur of the moment project. One evening, I was overwhelmed by the fact that there really was nothing with fitting long sleeves to be found in our son's closet. So, I pulled four garments out of the to-be-upcycled-pile (as big as the new fabric stash now a days), slapped them on my son for fun, made pictures with my phone... and adjusted the sweaters. The idea was that me and our son needed a quick fix (I my sewing kick and he clothes), so in my mind there was no time to take out the good camera and background screen. The modelled shot were made several days later, seeing as the clothes were worn before anyway he was allowed to just wear them before I made final pictures.

This heavy knitted sweater I bought for myself several years ago, I still love the style, but it just is not for me. When you upcyle such knitted fabric, a serger comes in extra handy. Jersey fabrics do not fray, but this knitted fabric will disintegrate into loose threads if not handled correctly. In the before-picture you see that the sweater's neckline is super big on our son and the whole thing is of course too long, I took off the neckline, cut a new body and sleeve pieces keeping the bottom intact and sewed back the neckline (that I had made smaller). No hemming for me on this one.

The white/blue sweater was one of my husbands favorites, but there was a  tiny hole near he bottom of the button placket. I closed the hole with a thread, but my husband did not deem the garment suitable for work anymore. He is a star in spotting small imperfections (not in me fortunately). I added four golden triangles at the bottom to the button placket. One was enough to cover the stitching of the tiny hole, but I wanted to give it an intentional look. For this sweater I actually kept the entire original neckline and just narrowed the body and made a new hem. This did of course result in a non-stripe matching between sleeves and body.

The other two sweaters got the same recipe as the white/blue striped one. I re-cut a sweater by keeping the neckline, and shoulder seams intact.The grey/black sweater was mine and by pulling up the neckline and two small hand stitched pleats keep the rather strange neckline perfectly in place. I could not save the entire text from the black sweater, the "S" from Shipyard lost it's top, in the sleeve cycle, but I think he looks fancy even with an incomplete 'S'.

Friday, January 4, 2019

On repeat, two times Orbis, two times cessim

Happy new year! I am not really one for making new years resolutions, I regularly make plans to stop doing certain things or do other things more, but I do not really connect them to a date. So looking back over the last five years, I see that I managed to change my fabric buying behavior. Looking at my actually decreased stash, there are now many uni fabrics in there that more easily combines or can be screen printed.

Another thing that changed, but not really intentionally, is that compared to the beginning years, I now regularly sew the same patterns. In the beginning, I could not imagine re-using the patterns more often, because I wanted something new everytime. I now sew less hours in a week than I did in the past, especially since I took up designing, which means that when our kids need clothes, I just take a patterns that I know will fit perfectly and will give me instant satisfaction.

Although I did not sew the Orbis as often as the Domi yet, I do think that the Orbis will take over the top spot of "my most often sewn pattern" in a few years. This fall I sewed two more and they are in such heavy rotation that I actually should sew a few more...

This year the long sleeve Fall wardrobe of our son contains several upcycles, but more about those in a later blog post. I also sewed him two fluffy Cessims. He loves being covered in soft fabric, which is also why I sew him so many Orbis and Domi pants. This time, I also made him extremly soft tops. I used the easiest Cessim options with one seam at the back.