Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Liesl + Co City Stroll Wrap Skirt

I've had the pattern for this skirt waiting to be cut for a while, but finally got around to it after my knit sewing spree last weekend.

I used a linen/cotton blend from Robert Kauffman and thought of lining it, but decided it was probably fine without. I made my own single fold bias tape (1" folded) from a cotton fabric I used for a (only partially successful) Colette Dahlia dress rather than cutting the facing piece from the pattern. I did think of using a large hook (rather than buttons), but was impatient to wear it and didn't have time to go and buy the right hardware, so I used snaps instead, which seem to be fine. 

It's been a long time since I wore my tops tucked into my skirts, but this one definitely looks better if I tuck in my blouse/t-shirt. After test-driving the skirt for a day, I can attest to the fact that it's VERY comfortable, and only shifts slightly as the day goes on. It is a bit shorter than I'm used to wearing, so I may lengthen it by a couple of inches next time. Then again, it's perfect for the weather in Singapore.

I made a straight size 10, but you can see that the waistband doesn't overlap quite as much as it's supposed to, so next time I might do a size 12 at the waist and grade it down to a 10 around the hips. Clearly I need to be more honest about my waist measurement...

Liesl recently wrote a great blog post about a 'core' wardrobe, and this skirt definitely fits into that category. I think I need a few more in some neutral colours! And next time I'll cut the hem facing piece - the wide bias was difficult to sew flat on the inside edge and I ended up having to take a few tucks as I sewed. It doesn't show on the outside, which is good, but I'd like a cleaner finish on the inside. My inner perfectionist is rearing its head...

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Oliver + S Hopscotch T-shirt

Like so many things, sometimes the more you know, the more daunted you feel. When I was pregnant with my son, I sewed a maternity dress in a knit fabric, not having read anything about sewing with knits (I didn't even know what a ballpoint needle was for my machine!). I forged ahead, and the finished product was fine - passable and wearable as an 'around-the-house' maternity dress for the summer. I don't even know if the pattern was meant for knit fabric!

Then...then came the endless hours of reading sewing blogs, Pinterest, and the mounting fear of sewing with knits. Ah...knowledge isn't always power. So then for the last 3 years, I've felt that knits were just a bit beyond me. Give me complicated dart manipulations any day...

Two things changed in the last month. My generous parents bought me a Babylock serger (THANK YOU!) and I realised that if I was going to venture into sewing with knits, Oliver + S patterns were the place to start. Also, my daughter insisted that I buy her knit fabric with cats.

So here's what happened:

The oliver + s Hopscotch t-shirt - my very FIRST knit fabric project! I discovered that, 1) my serger is even more fantastic than I thought, 2) my Pfaff sewing machine has a great lightning stitch for knits, 3) I really need to figure out how to use the other stretch stitches on my sewing machine, but with a serger, do I really need to?, and 4) I actually LIKE sewing with knits! I didn't have a twin needle for the hem, so I just faked it and did 2 lines of straight sewing.

I immediately made another Hopscotch Dress. How cute is this pattern?!

Then I made myself a tank top, which was a frustrating experience, but more on that later.

Now I just wish I could get more nice knits in Singapore. I guess that's what online shopping is for...

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Liesl + Co Bistro Dress

I've been forgetting to blog about this for a very LONG time. I made this dress for myself last spring, and have worn it a lot since then, but somehow the picture didn't get taken, and thus the blog post didn't get written.

For this dress, I made a muslin, then after getting my mother's expert advice via Skype (yes, Skype!), I modified the bust dart by moving it down and back (using a wonderful online tutorial on dart manipulation from Itch to Stitch - thank you so much for the clear and easy instructions!). 

As with everything from Liesl + Co and oliver + s, the instructions were clear and easy, and I really enjoyed sewing this dress. The only place I differed was when inserting the invisible zip. I really like the method taught by Devon Iott on the Colette patterns sew-along for the Dahlia dress (found here). It's worked for me on other projects, so just stuck with what I was comfortable doing.

I love this dress. My only small quibble is that the armhole is slightly too tight, as is the sleeve circumference. I have since, with my mother's help (this time in person!), modified the armscye so that hopefully in the next dress, it won't be quite as snug. I might also make it without the belt next time (right after I took this picture, the front 2 belt loops fell off!).

Pattern: Liesl+Co Bistro Dress
Fabric: Cloud 9 Wildwood
Size: Bust 6, Waist 10, Hips 8 (with added dart manipulation)

Sailboat Pants

These pants have been a long time in the making. I got the fabric (Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed linen and cotton blend) several months ago and then got distracted by other projects so this kept getting pushed back. After the guilt of only sewing for my daughter took over, I finally took out the oliver + s Sailboat Pant pattern. 

These are really quick and fun to sew (even after I nearly ruined the front piece by cutting on the wrong line...thank goodness for interfacing and the facing piece of the pants!) and look great when worn. I made a size 5, which is perfect in length and just had to tighten the back elastic to fit his slim waist. The small details (the buttons, the side vent) are a great design feature and add interest when sewing. I'll definitely make them again. I'm tempted to buy the smaller size pattern so I can make a pair for my daughter!

Pajama Time - Take 1

A common hazard of taking a 3-year old to the fabric store is that she insists that you buy a very haphazard selection of fabrics that she absolutely must have. In order to deflect an oncoming tantrum in Spotlight, I gave in a bought several metres of a fabric that I originally had no intention of bringing home.

The outcome...two sets of pajamas (many months after said purchase of unnecessary fabric). They were both a mash-up. The first set, for my son, was the Sailboat Top from oliver + s with shorts from my new Japanese sewing book (Sew Chic Kids).

The fabric for the top is a nice cotton, but the gray fabric is a poplin, which isn't particularly soft. My kids, however, are both slightly obsessed with foxes (their mutual imaginary friend is a fox) so they're both thrilled with their pajamas. My son specifically wanted shorts with a long-sleeve top. 

I chose the Sailboat Top because it should be easy to put on without help from a grown-up. I used the chest measurement as a guide, but found the top to be slightly snug. It's fine once it's on, but could have a bit more ease for pulling on and off. I did lengthen the sleeves after reading some comments from other people, but think they could be lengthened more. 

The most important thing is that they're both happy with their matching pjs! Coming up soon, when she stands still long enough, the fox pajamas for my daughter!