Wednesday, July 24, 2013

KCW July 2013 - Pyjamas for James

Finally - the finished pictures of my only KCW "summer" 2013 efforts.  Some "proper" pyjamas for my nephew James:

KCW_July2013_Pyjamas for James_Full

Overall I am quite pleased with these, though I don't know if they fit him yet (arrives tomorrow!).

The top is Butterick B5586, which I picked up in a discount bin in a fabric shop in Brisvegas when I last visited (that's Brisbane to non-Australians...).

KCW_July2013_Pyjamas for James_Collar


The last PJs I made for him were the pants only, with a (purchased) t-shirt top.  Apparently he loved them but did express a desire for Harry Potter style pyjamas (everyone else hears "cute request", I hear buttonholes...sigh!).

Overall I am happy with the top:  I did lots of super finishing on it like for the pants, to make it as nice as possible.  However, the crappy fabric I used (flannel, Spotlight, nuff said...) was "out" so the lines didn't match the grain.  I could either cut with the grain and have it look out, or cut with the stripes and have it be out. Rock meets hard place.  I went with looking right and being out, but of course it doesn't quite sit right (see the pulls around the arm).  I really hope they are still comfortable!

The pants are similar to what I have done before - the Oliver + S Sketchbook Shorts, lengthened to make into pants.

KCW_July2013_Pyjamas for James_Cuffs

I decided just to ignore my mistaken buttonholes and made new ones for the buttonhole elastic.  I put them on the outside (under the theory they might be uncomfortable on the inside) and hopefully that makes them more likely to fit nicely.

I also decided to cuff the pants in the same fabric in a contrast direction - I am really pleased with how they turned out.  It looks really cool and the pants are finished very nicely (if I do say so myself!).

So that was all I did in KCW but it was all I planned to do and it turned out well, so I am pretty satisfied.  Hopefully next time (Spring for us, but it will be called Autumn KCW) will be a good time to crank out some volume of summer clothes.

Meanwhile - I am off to Melbourne this weekend for the craft fair and some gentle fabric shopping :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Not KCW (camera fail) but cute kid stuff anyway...

I wanted to share my finished pyjamas for KCW "Summer" 2013 (my one and only project).  Sadly the camera battery is beyond flat (I may have left it on....) so I have to be patient and will show you something else I have been meaning to blog.

BunnyWrappedUp

This was my present to a good friend having her third baby (a lovely little girl).

First the bunny:

BunnyFront

This is from Debbie Bliss:  Booties, Blankets and Bears.  He (I somehow feel this bunny is a boy, despite the pink accents) is made from gorgeous Milla Mia yarn, from The Stash Cupboard here in Hobart.

BunnyBum

He has a cute little tail, made with a pom-pom maker and more of that gorgeous wool.



Swaddler

I made this from some super soft knit (the outside grey and white stripe) and a snuggly flannel with sheep on it from my stash.

The pattern is simple to follow and it looks useful - I must follow up with my friend to see if she is using it (I haven't seen her as much, given the newborn baby!)


Swaddler2

The swaddler opens with velcro, which lets you make it tighter or looser easily too.

Both of these projects were really fun and quick to make, and my friend seemed really pleased.  She sews like me, so the snuggler is something she could make herself, but she doesn't knit - hence I am really pleased to have made her something she can't make too!

That's it for now - hopefully back with my only KCW project soon :)


BunnyStanding

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kids Clothes Week (KWC) - July 2013 - Day 1 and 2

I can't call it Summer 2013 as it's definitely not summer here!

I ummed and ahhed about doing KCW this time as my kids have no serious clothes needs right now. and I am in the middle of other projects.  However, my sister and nephew are coming for a visit so I decided to use the time to make him some more pyjamas.

Not long enough..._KCWJuly2013

I used a blue check flannel, which is annoyingly shown here on the wrong side.

I cut this out a while ago and I think I cut it too short, so I am also going to add a cuff, likely via the method in Sewing for Boys.

I only plan to make one item this time (well a top and and bottoms), or maybe a few - as I have some skinny flashback tees already cut out from last KCW...don't judge my extreme slackness!  Because I am not making much, I wanted to make this something I did super properly.  So I decided to concentration on the details and finish, using nicer seam treatments etc.  Here are some rather boring shots of that!


Turn and stitch crotch seam_KCWJuly2013

Here is the turn and stitch on the crotch seam.  I love this for trousers as it will be super comfy.


French seaming the inner seam_KCWJuly2013


Here is french seaming the inseam

Outer Seam Stitching_KCWJuly2013

And this is the outer seam.  The seam allowaneace was 1/2" so I pressed it open, then raw edges to middle, then back together and edgestitched it closed.  I don't know if that has a name, but it looks almost identical to the french seam on the inside.

Then, feeling very happy with myself, I put on the waistband.  After sewing the first seam, I decided to make buttonholes for elastic rather than enclosing it.  So I put those on the main leg as the waistband will fold down over that....

Mistaken buttonhole_KCWJuly2013

Except it wont.  It folds in half onto itself.  So now I have random "feature" buttonholes in the side of the hip for no good reason.  I am annoyingly dumb sometimes :)

And here they are nearly finished - renewed elastic plan and cuffs tomorrow and then I will move onto the top :) 


Nearly finished PJ bottoms_KCWJuly2012

What are you sewing for KCW?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Heidi and Finn Chevron Dress - Pattern Test

I love a good pattern test and I can honestly say all of the ones I have been lucky enough to do have been great.  I have done a couple of Heidi and Finn pattern tests before and have also bought a variety of their patterns - they are a great mix of stylish but still young and comfortable.

This latest pattern (to be released next week I think) is the Chevron Dress - and here is my version:

HandF_Chevron_8

The dress is knit dress with a lined bodice and a different take on a tiered skirt.  There is an elastic waist for definition at the meet of the bodice and skirt.   The skirt is constructed as four panels which are then sewn together.  I love the chevron look at the front and the zig-zag hem.

HandF_Chevron_7

The other versions I have seen of this dress so far are I think mostly from northern hemisphere testers and so they are summery, floaty jersey versions.  I decided to go for a winter party dress version as it's colder than a cold thing here at the moment and I wanted her to wear it now.  I plan to make a long sleeved version of the skinny flashback to go underneath this from the dark plain blue fabric.

I have very little to say about this pattern in some ways, because it's just good.  I love the skirt, I love that the bodice is fully lined and the construction was straightforward and the instructions clear. My only complaint was my choice of fabric (slippery beyond belief).  I coped but if you pick a nicer fabric this would be a nice quick sew, whereas mine was a wrangly still pretty quick sew.

The small person seems to like this dress a lot, which is great as it's not pink :)  I think the sequinned layer helped with that, as her eyes nearly popped out of her head when she saw it.  The dress seems very on trend to me, a little Gatsby and really nice for winter parties.

HandF_Chevron_3

Apparently it's hilarious having your picture taken too :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Camp Stitchalot Bag - Pattern Test

I was lucky enough to get to test one of Sara Lawson's bags from her Sew Sweetness range.  This is the Camp Stitchalot Bag (pattern available here).

CampStitchalot_SewSweetness_1

This bag is a great size for craft supplies - note my dressmaker's dummy shown above is normal size, so you can easily see how big this is!

Despite the size the bag feels compact and sturdy (compact might not be the right word - it feels neat or super organised or something...no idea if that makes sense!).  In particular some good use of a variety of interfacing and wadding makes this nicely sturdy, the bag isn't floppy or unwieldy at all.

It is designed and named for a craft retreat called Camp Stitchalot, hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics.  Given the retreat is in the US and I am in Tasmania, chances of me ever going to the retreat are somewhat slim.  However, if I did, I would take this bag!

Firstly, the bag has a bazillion pockets:

CampStitchalot_SewSweetness_3

Above are the back pockets.  There are three back pockets stacked on the outside of the back, plus a front pocket shown in the top picture which is closed over with a flap.  Inside there are two lining pockets and four, zipped vinyl pockets.  That's at least 10 pockets, though in fact as the pattern suggested I made more pockets by dividing some of them in half to form two smaller pockets.  I did this with one lining pocket and two of the vinyl pockets, in order to store smaller items.

As a craft bag this makes it super awesome and flexible, as you can tailor it to your craft type, with smaller sections for embroidery threads or smaller cut pieces for applique or felt work.  Plus larger pockets which can hold craft rulers, instructions and even one of the smaller cutting mats.

Best of all - it opens out flat.

CampStitchalot_SewSweetness_4

This makes it so easy to see what's in the vinyl pockets and get to all the pockets and the things in them.  I love that they are zippered to hold everything safe too.

This was the first time I have sewed vinyl so I approached it with a bit of caution.  The instructions in the pattern were very helpful - there are great tips and alternate options throughout the pattern to help you choose how to shape the final product into what you want.  There is a LOT of cutting in this pattern, but once that's out of the way it actually sews up pretty quickly for such a large bag.  The instructions give a really nice result - there wasn't anywhere where I felt that in retrospect I would have wanted to do it another way for a cleaner result, which is unusual (because obviously I know best...hahahaha).

The tab closure which holds it back together has several snaps on it so that you can still close it when it's rammed full of stuff :)  It needs to be tightly closed to keep the thing feeling stable.

CampStitchalot_SewSweetness_6

World's most terrible picture but you get the idea :)

I made the main bag from a duck cloth cotton from Spotlight with lovely trees on.  I love this fabric!  The pockets etc were a variety of other chosen coordinating fabrics, also from Spotlight (shock!).  I made my own bias for binding the vinyl pockets and outside edges.

Very happy with the results and the pattern itself, I really enjoyed making this one and feel super organised :)

CampStitchalot_SewSweetness_2