Monday, 30 May 2016

oliver + s sketchbook shirt

When my parents visited in March, my mum made my son a Sketchbook Shirt from oliver + s. He wanted a black and white shirt ('like a zebra') with a pocket. Luckily for us, we found a lovely Japanese cotton lawn in black and white. He also wanted the band collar.

 The shirt fits really well - we made a size 5 - except for the length, which my mum felt was a bit short. It's fine for now, but given that my son's growing in length but not in width, if the shirt had been a bit longer, it probably would last a few more months.

On a recent fabric buying spree, I picked up a cute cream cotton with small red bicycles. I intended to make myself a skirt, but realised after I got home that the very nice saleslady had cut 1/2 a yard too little. Luckily, it was just enough for another Sketchbook shirt! After sewing so much for my daughter and her friend, I admit I felt a bit guilty that I wasn't sewing anything for my son.

I realise now that the unattractive green hanger isn't showing the shirt off well, but I am quite pleased with the results. I also managed to use only 1 1/4 yards (not the 1 1/2 yards indicated on the pattern). Some people commented on the oliver + s website that the yoke construction was a bit confusing, but I found it fine, as long as you follow the instructions and work carefully. I made this a size 5, but used the size 7 for length, and it fits better and hopefully will last a little longer! Next up - the Sketchbook Shorts!

The Olivia Cardigan

As a true sewer (sewist?), knitter, crafter, I have about 3 projects on the go at one time. That is probably a conservative estimate. I just cannot seem to stick to the 'don't start one until the other is finished' approach to creating things. Maybe it's the need to add variety to my life. I'd like to think it's that, and not a short attention span...

That said, I actually finished not one, not two but THREE projects this weekend. Yay me!

First up, the Olivia Cardigan from What To Knit - The Toddler Years.

I started this when A was ill with a fever that meant all I could do was sit beside her on the sofa. I think I managed to finish more than half the sweater this way. The rest knitted up quickly, even the lace pattern on the bottom. I love that the only finishing required is under the sleeves. Knitting from the top-down is GREAT! I used Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in Archangel - it's so nice to knit with, and drapes well when finished. It's supposed to be blocked, but I'm afraid to do it in Singapore where wet sweaters just start smelling funky instead of drying properly. I think it's actually fine as it is, so might just skip the blocking on this one.

My next knitting project is for me - much more complicated and requires far more attention to the instructions. I have a feeling I won't finish that one for a while...

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Purl Soho Summer Romper

On a recent fabric buying expedition, I picked up a yard of a very cute print in cotton from Art Gallery Fabrics (the Capped Biome pattern from the Forest Floor collection). I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but couldn't resist buying it. The pattern goes perpendicular to the grain (so the mushrooms are sideways), but I was sure I'd find something to make with it.

And sure enough, a few days later I discovered the Purl Soho free summer romper pattern! The mushroom fabric didn't come to mind immediately, but when I was going through my stash looking for something else, I saw it, and realised it had to be made into the romper.

I made a Size 2 based on the measurements provided in the instructions, but I think now I should have made a larger size. I don't think the pattern makes allowances for diapers! I also think my 2-year old has a long torso, so a size 3 would probably have lasted a few more months. 

I reduced the hem from 1" to just under 3/4". The larger hem was going right up into the crotch seam and I wanted a bit more room between the legs. The instructions say to sew the waistband casing into a loop before attaching it, and I personally don't think that works. I ended up taking the seam out, and then attaching it the same way you attach a bias. The instructions don't say to cut the waistband casing on the bias, but, in fact, if you're going to make your own bias for this romper (as I did), I'd just make more bias and use some for the inner waistband casing. 

Otherwise, it's a simple pattern that sews up quickly (if you actually get uninterrupted sewing time!), and the fabric is a dream. I'm hooked on Art Gallery Fabrics now...

Monday, 16 May 2016

Flutter Sleeve Dress

Thank you to It's Always Autumn for a great, simple pattern for a little girl's dress! The Flutter Sleeve dress/top was requested by my friend for her daughter M, and they found a fabric they loved on our most recent shopping expedition.

I did a trial version for my daughter a few weeks ago, and made it into a top. I modified the pattern slightly, since the free pattern online is for a 4-year old, so I thought it might be too big for my 2 1/2 year old. This time around, for M, I used the original pattern so she can use it for a long time to come.

The fabric is from Cloud 9 Fabrics, the Aubade Collection in Morn's Rays Silver. It's lovely to work with, and I am in the middle of making a diaper bag for a good friend using the Citron colourway in the same pattern as the lining. More on that soon! 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Meet Wilbur

When I bought the Sewn Toy Tales book a year ago, my son insisted that he wanted the pig, because it was pink, and at the time, that was his favourite colour. I bought the fabric (his choices) last July in the UK, and sadly it's taken me until now to finish the pig. Although pink is no longer his favourite colour (because 'it's not a colour in the rainbow!'), we're reading Charlotte's Web right now, and he's quite taken with the story and with Wilbur. So here's our version of Wilbur the pig!

My daughter insisted on the dinosaur, until she saw Wilbur. Now she wants a dinosaur AND a pig. Of course...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

oliver + s class picnic blouse

When I finally got around to organising my fabric stash recently, I found some fun floral fabric I bought on sale at John Lewis last summer. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it at the time (just giving in to my inability to resist pretty fabric!). When I found it again, it seemed perfect for a top for my daughter. I had already made A some oliver + s puppet show shorts and thought the class picnic blouse would be perfect with it.

She loves it, and the cotton fabric is light enough for the weather here. Several hours after I took this picture, she spilled cold tea on herself, so I have now been trying to take tea stains out of the blouse! Good thing the fabric is extra wide and I have enough left for another one should my stain removing attempts fail...

Colette Sorbetto Top

One of the first things I sewed for myself here in Singapore was the Colette patterns Sorbetto top. It's a free pattern and a simple top to sew. I used a light blue Belgian linen and followed the pattern as instructed. For my second one, I made a few changes. First, I lengthened the top by a couple of inches. Second, I made bias tape with some leftover Japanese lawn but turned the bias to the inside rather than having it on the outside of the top. And finally, I inverted the box pleat and created a faux button placket at the top. I found some beautiful mother-pearl-buttons at the Button Queen in London when we were there last summer and they've been waiting to be used ever since.  I used dark navy linen I found in Chinatown - hopefully it'll go well with my Everyday Skirt!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Sewing frustrations

I've hit a bit of a speed-bump in my sewing...sort of. I still have a LONG list of projects on my to-do board, and I'm chipping away at them when I can sneak in a seam or two between domestic responsibilities! But the last couple of things I've made for myself have left me feeling a bit frustrated. I bought some beautiful tana lawn to make myself the Seamwork Mojave dress, thinking it would be perfect for the Singapore weather. It was pretty quick to sew (as promised), but the shoulders were SO wide that it's sadly unwearable. I guess I should have made a muslin first, but didn't think it would be too bad, judging by the pattern. Apart from ripping out all the seams and trying to salvage it, I'm not sure what to do with it. My mother suggested keeping it intact and cutting out a dress for my daughter, which might just be the best use for it now.

Then I decided to make the Akita top, again from Seamwork Magazine. This promised to be really fast, since it's only 1 pattern piece! This time, I made a muslin. The neck and shoulders were still quite big on the size 6, but I thought it would work if I cut out a size 6 and used the size 2 marking for the neck. Well, it mostly worked, except the shoulders are still really wide and it keeps slipping off and exposing bra straps (not a look I like!). Maybe it's because I used a really fine cotton cheesecloth fabric which does stretch a bit, but even so, I'm not thrilled with the shoulders. This is the third item of clothing I've made from Colette/Seamwork where the shoulders were too big. Ugh...except for seriously modifying the pattern pieces, it doesn't seem as though there's much else to do...

So what do you do when you hit a sewing low? Why, go fabric shopping of course! My friend wanted me to sew her daughter a few things, so what better excuse to add to my ever-growing stash?! My daughter spotted fabric with Knuffle Bunny on it (from the books by Mo Willems), so of course I couldn't leave without a metre of that one...probably for a cushion!

M perusing the choices for her in exchange for babysitting, I get to sew!
On a successful sewing note, I did finish the Everyday Skirt by Liesl + Co. with a fabulous Cloud 9 fabric I found. The skirt fits well and is great for the weather here. I even convinced myself that I needed more fabric for another one, this time with bicycles on it!