Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Linen and Eyelet Pinwheel Dress

It didn't quite get finished during KCW but close.  I got distracted last week making costumes for the play J is in this week.  I kind of expected there would be some last minute work to do and I'm just glad I got called in to help.  Would be slightly embarrassing to volunteer and not be given anything to do :) .

This dress is all stash fabric -- the eyelet I bought on clearance a couple of years ago planning to make a skirt for myself, which obviously didn't happen, the navy linen is left over from my souvenir blouse and the floral I bought last summer.  I loved the print but no one else in my family was too thrilled with it.  I made extra bias tape so I can sneak it in other places, too.

This is a size 7 with an extra inch in the body.  I'm glad I added it and wish I'd added two.  J. always does the bend over test when I make her a new dress and this one barely squeaked by.  (Apparently you're asking for teasing if you show off your undies at school.  But seriously, who bends over at the waist to pick up a pencil anyway??)

Judging from her reaction when I asked her to take the tunic off, I have a feeling the slip dress on it's own will get lots of wear.

edited to add some detail pictures.  Gosh, I love this combo!  And it just goes to show that I really don't need to do any more shopping until I work through my stash :).

Instead of a facing, I cut a slit and took the bias tape all the way around.  And, at J's request, instead of attaching ties, I made a buttonhole loop with one end.

eek, this is a bit blurry but (despite the unclipped threads!) I like how the inside turned out.  The eyelet had a wide selvedge that obviously matched and although I wasn't able to cut it on the bias, it was light enough to use to bind the seams.

Monday, April 22, 2013

KCW - Day 1 WIP

Last week in anticipation of KWC I cut a pinwheel dress for J. and made the bias tape to go along with it.  Even with that done, I have a feeling it's more than slightly ambitious of me to think that I can get it sewn up during the week.  It's not a difficult pattern but after all it is two separate items.  Plus all there's all that bias tape!  Not my favourite part for sure.

I also cut banyan shorts and a class picnic blouse as part of my initial plan to round out J.'s wardrobe with some much needed staples.  That plan also included a hopscotch skirt in a neutral colour and some summer pjs.  The pinwheel dress jumped the queue though because I got excited about the combination of fabrics and because J.'s got a big performance coming up -- she's an extra in a local theatre production of Wizard of Oz and I'm sure there'll be an after-party or two that will require something dressy.  She could wear her ombre fairy tale dress but that dress doesn't even make it to the laundry -- it gets hung up and worn again until I insist it needs a wash. I'm super glad she likes it but she needs some variety, lol!

I tend to do most of my sewing on the weekends so here's a shot of what I did yesterday.  Hopefully I'll find some time to do some more today:

This is totally unrelated to KCW but I thought I'd throw it in here.  Since Liesl Gibson asked for feedback about favorite outfits on the O+S forum, I've been thinking a lot about what I do wear and what I would like to wear.

I have some evenings out planned over the next couple of months and on the weekend I got myself all in a tizzy about having nothing to wear.  In a trip to the fabric shop, I found a bolt end of extra wide black/grey linen/cotton shirting in the clearance section for $3/m.  Although it wasn't what I had gone looking for (something to replicate this pretty Laurel blouse) I really liked it and couldn't believe my luck at the price.

That very same evening, I had it washed and cut and mostly sewed it into vogue 8581.  I had been meaning to try this pattern with a woven for ages but I'm not sure what made me think this fabric was the one to try with.  Yeah, it was called "shirting" but that didn't mean it was lightweight or drapey.  In fact, when I first picked it up, I was thinking it might work for a vogue 1247 skirt.   But it was only as I was gathering the neckline, that the doubt set in.  Then trying it on confirmed it -- I was fully into clown land with big puffy sleeves and a poofy chest and back.  Urrgh. 

Although the fabric was only $6, I was so ticked at myself because it would've made a great button up shirt (hmm, "shirting" should have tipped me off!).  I might be able to eek a skirt out of the leftovers but even though it was too stiff for the shirt, I'm not sure it's heavy enough for that.  Oh well, not this week anyway!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

O + S Secret Agent Trench

I've been promising J. a secret agent trench since the pattern came out but there seemed no point in making it over the winter (which feels neverending this year!).   With some tentative signs of spring in the air, I took her fabric shopping with me.  I had hoped that some bright colour or pattern would win her over but she didn't waver in her request for khaki.  A true secret agent wouldn`t wear a bright colour or a floral print as that would "blow her cover"!  And wouldn't you know it, neither fabric store we went to had khaki coloured twill.  We did find this heavy ponte de roma, though.  Even on sale it was more than I really wanted to spend.  I briefly debated about whether it would work and whether it was worth the cost but because J. was with me and eager to get the project going, I bought 2m.  I was surprisingly easy to work with and I think it makes for a super comfy coat. 

I used a stretch stitch and a size 14 ball point needle and had no problems until it came to the button holes.  My automatic buttonhole foot would not feed the fabric through.  One of the lovely ladies on the O+S forum suggested doing them manually and that worked well.  Except that I made each and every single one of them 1/2 inch too big.  Oops.  When I realized that, I only cut them big enough for the buttons, added another bartack at the right spot and removed the excess stitching.  I have a feeling I will be fixing them again before too long!

J. is super pleased with the coat, even with the fact that it's too big.  She'll be 8 in June but her measurements put her at a size 6 in O+S patterns.  I wanted this jacket to last for a bit so I made size 7 with two inches of extra length (thanks to discussion in the forum, I added one inch at the notches and one inch to the bottom).  I think I also added an inch to the sleeves, which turned out to be not necessary but J. doesn't want them fixed. 

I took a couple of pictures and then asked what a secret agent would do.  She carefully made footprints in the snow and then "tracked" them, stopping along the way to pick up a "clue".  I love this kid's imagination.  She's been playing secret agent games all week.  And we're planning a secret agent party for her next birthday.

Here`s the inside view: I didn't need to finish the seams as the fabric doesn't ravel but the pattern suggests binding them with bias tape and I think that finishes it off nicely.

Pattern: Oliver and S Secret Agent trench ordered from Sew, Mama, Sew $19.31
Fabric: 1.8m heavy ponte de roma from Fabricland $25.18
Bias tape: .25m fabric approx. $1.50
Interfacing: 1m approx $2.00
Buttons: from silver soup bowl at Button Button in Vancouver $2.96

Total: $50.95
eeek, that makes me re-think wanting to keep track of what I spend!  I definitely could have bought this way cheaper.  Oh well, she loves it and that`s all that matters!