Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sew Over It Doris Dress

I have spent a very long time checking out the patterns by Sew Over It. Trying to decide if the style is really me. Can I pull of the retro look? Will it suit me? I almost bought the Vintage Shirt Dress pattern, and then decided to think some more. Ultimately, on our Christmas trip to London, I decided to leave the kids at home and venture out to Clapham ALONE (yay!) to visit Sew Over It in person. And...I walked away with not one, but 2 pieces of fabric, and the pattern for the Doris Dress. I fell in love with the cotton lawn first, and then had to find a pattern for it (not really a hardship!).

I made a muslin while my mother was visiting so I could get her to help with fitting issues. The dress has pleats on the front and back bodice, not darts. This was fine for the front, but I have a small back, and if I had used the ties to pull the dress as tight as I needed it, it wouldn't have looked great. So I re-drafted the pleats to make them darts and also re-drew the cutting lines very slightly for the back skirt pieces to fit the modified bodice.

The picture doesn't really do the fabric or the dress justice - I'll try to get a decent picture of the dress being worn! I cheated and didn't put buttonholes - just sewed the buttons on the front. The bodice doesn't have to open to get the dress on anyway.

This was my first Sew Over It pattern, and overall, I'm very pleased with the construction and the instructions. I would probably modify the way the invisible zip is added, but otherwise the instructions were clear and detailed.

So now I have my eye on the Vintage Shirt Dress again (having decided that it's a style I quite like, and I think suits me), and the gorgeous Atelier Brunette cotton lawn that is on the Sew Over It website. I'm trying to decide if it would be too indulgent to order some fabric and ask my sister-in-law to bring it with her when she visits us in a couple of weeks. It's really a good thing that shipping costs to Singapore are so high - it's the only thing that stops me from doing a lot more online fabric shopping!

Birthday Party Dress (the first)

I realised I completely forgot to blog about this dress when I first made it way back in October for A's 3rd birthday. She specifically requested an orange dress, and I was waiting for an occasion to make the Oliver + S Birthday Party Dress - perfect timing! And it was for a birthday party too!

I love this dress - the actual sewing was as fun as it was to see it on A for the first time. I also lucked out and got a lovely orange fabric. It's quilting cotton (I think it's Moda, although I can't actually remember). If I had a small quibble, it would be that the dress comes out a bit short, and it's hard to lengthen because it's finished with a hem facing. After 6 months of frequent wear, it is getting quite short, but A could wear it as a tunic with leggings.

I've made 2 of these dresses so far, and will definitely make more!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

On our Christmas trip to London this past year, I decided (a bit impulsively) to buy a paper copy of the Miette Skirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. I spend FAR too long looking at independent pattern companies and their patterns online, and being tempted to get a pattern and then talking myself out of it. Usually if PDF versions aren't available, it's easy to pass up since shipping to Singapore is really expensive. But I did have my eye on Tilly and the Buttons for a while, so finally gave in to temptation and brought the pattern home. I need more basic skirts, and this one seemed quick to sew (no zips! no buttons!).

I stumbled across a lovely little fabric shop in Chinatown called Fabricity and when my mother was in town, I convinced her to go with me. They carry lovely shirting fabric, some Liberty prints, and some linen blends. So this linen-rayon blend turned into the Miette skirt:

I love the red-black colour of this fabric, but it is definitely a LOT of rayon with very little linen. It doesn't wrinkle and barely needs to be ironed. All great when it comes to wearability, but sewing it was a little challenging. It stretched out of shape, despite stay-stitching the waist, and the somehow the pocket pieces grew, so I had to put in a pleat on each pocket so they'd line up. But wow - are those deep pockets fabulous! Especially handy when you have small children needing you to carry their prized possessions around!

The pattern itself is really easy to sew, with clear instructions. It would be great for a beginner who wants a pretty end product without having to fuss with buttons and zips. 

New Look 6407

Last summer, going through my mother's sewing pattern collection, I found 2 blouse patterns that I thought I might be able to use in Singapore. It's taken me all this time to decide which one to make...and as it turns out, I ended up mashing them together into one blouse!

This was another example of having fabric and needing to find a pattern that would do the fabric justice, but also use the yardage I had on hand! 

I bought this beautiful Art Gallery voile a while ago - I love the colours and wanted something with a bolder pattern than I usually wear. I didn't have enough fabric for the sleeves in the original pattern, so I used another New Look pattern to draft a sleeveless blouse and finished the armholes with a bias binding (made from the same voile). 

Overall, I'm really happy with this blouse and the fit. The darts aren't perfect, but they're pretty close. The best part is the fabric...I am in LOVE with Art Gallery voile. It's soft and luxurious to wear, and perfect for hot and humid weather. I have another yard of voile in a turquoise that I bought for my daughter but I might just steal it away for some selfish sewing... ;)

Friday, 14 April 2017

Oliver + S Hula Hoop Skirt

Which 3-year old doesn't like swingy skirts?! So far (much to my relief), my daughter hasn't caught the tutu-craze that seems to be endemic amongst most girls her age. But she does like skirts that are easy to pull on and off. Having already made her several Badminton Skorts, I thought I should try something new. And, since Miss A is especially picky about what she wears these days, I had to check the fabric choices with her first!

I picked up the red cotton when I was in London 2 years ago, and the blue chambray is from an a-line skirt that failed terribly. I kept the failed skirt so I could re-use the fabric and there is plenty for at least 2 more skirts for little girls. If you look carefully, you'll see that I made a mistake when I cut the red skirt pieces, and the direction of the print is reversed from front to back. Oops! Oh well - hopefully no one will notice! It can be part of the 'wear this skirt inside out and back to front...any way you want' look!

I love the way this skirt goes together - fast and simple and no seams to finish! I did read some comments that other people have found their Hula Hoop skirts to be quite short. This doesn't seem to be an issue for me, but perhaps that's because A pulls anything she wears (skirts, shorts) down below her belly!

I really do love this skirt, and am already going through my stash of remnant fabric to see what else I can use for another one.