Monday, 24 February 2014

An update on my latest project

I wish I could show you a completed garment, but unfortunately I am still somewhere in the middle of the project (a top with Peter pan collar for my niece).
Sewing-wise, I have done very little this week. It was half term which was meaning full and noisy home all the time, more playdough to remove from the carpet, more glue and spilled paint to wipe. There were a few friend visits, a playgroup, a birthday party and even a visit to a museum. So after all this, I was left with very little energy for something else. And when I feel tired I find that I get easily distracted by almost everything around me.
As always the most challenging and time-absorbing part was drafting the pattern. I used the new book ( 'Metric Pattern cutting for children's wear and babywear' ) to guide me through making the basic bodice, but I must say I wasn't quite happy with the result as armholes were too deep, so I had to redraw them.

Then I made a toile (a test garment). I used plain white fabric for the bodice and another fabric scrap for the collar, which was aimed to outline it so I could properly see the collar shape. This is how the toile looked.

The good thing is that a friend of mine, living nearby, has a pretty girl, who is nearly seven. I popped to her house to see how the toile fitted her. Now I am ready to start the actual sewing.

By the way I actually quite like the fabric combination of the toile. What do you think? I might make one for Eva (and maybe even one for me) when I get a chance.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Getting ready for a new project

A few days without sewing passed and I feel ready for my next challenge. For some time I have been wanting to sew something as a gift for my sweet 7 year-old niece. And indeed this would be a challenge as she lives far away, so I have to sew the garment without her being able to try it on before completing it.
I plan a sleeveless top with a simple design as I don't want to risk to do something more complicated which might not fit in the end.

It may feature a Peter Pan collar, which I have never sewn before, so here is an opportunity to try my hand at it.
I've got lots of single-coloured dressmaking fabrics, but I have my eye on these contrasting fabrics.

Do you think the design and the fabrics are a good match? I must confess I'm not absolutely sure, but quite curious to see the outcome.

I thought you might like to see the latest addition to my growing collection of sewing books. The book arrived yesterday and I am so excited. It came just on time for this project, as the book demonstrates how to draw basic blocks for childrens garments.
I will keep you updated on the project. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The first dress I sew...years ago

Has it happened to you to dig in a pile of old clothes and come across some garments that you have totally forgotten you possessed.
That's what happened to me yesterday. I came across that long forgotten dress of mine.

It was the first dress I sew. I can't remember how long ago it was, but I estimated it was 9-10 years ago. That's when I bought my first sewing machine and was so happy. I sew a few dresses and then made quite a long pause of few years. During this time I kept buying Burda magazines, but didn't actually get down to sewing. I was just taking the pleasure of looking at the designs and dreaming about sewing some of them.
I still question myself what made me so busy then that I couldn't find time for sewing. And I still can't answer it.

I made that dress using Burda pattern. The fabric and the trimming were purchased from a fabric shop in Cricklewood. That was the only fabric shop I knew. At that time I still hadn't heard of Goldhawk road as a destination for buying fabrics.
I remember that at the time of the purchase I wasn't sure how much fabric was needed for a dress, so to be on the safe side I bought three metres. So I must still have some of this fabric left somewhere.
I also remember that when I finished the dress, I was quite happy with the result given that this was my first dress. Ironically I have worn the dress only 2-3 times. I think I find more pleasure and excitement in the process of creating a garment than in wearing it.

When I came across the dress, my first thought was "Here is what I am going to wear this summer", but unfortunately after trying it, it turned out it was so tight that I couldn't imagine spending even half a day in it. For my big regret, it will have to continue sitting nicely folded in the pile of old summer clothes.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

"Flower garden" tunic

My little girl's handmade wardrobe has slowly started to grow. The new addition is the "Flower garden" tunic, which I wrote about in my previous post. If you have read it you probably have wondered which fabric I had chosen for the project - the one with flowers or the one with owls. I love both of them, but eventually decided on the flowers. I will use the owls fabric for something else, maybe a summer outfit.

I was slightly hesitant whether to make a blouse or a tunic and whether with short sleeves or long ones. I thought that tunic would be the more versatile option and as summer was still far away I thought it would be more practical to make it with long sleeves.
I feel slightly disappointed that once ready and worn the blouse turned out a bit larger. At least my daughter will have room to grow.

 As a whole making the tunic was quite enjoyable experience. Most of the steps were the same like those of "Winter fairytale" blouse, which saved time me when constructing it. I was so eager to start sewing the tunic, that I forgot to interface the neck pieces, which would have given a better shape to the neckline. I realized that too late and as I didn't fancy undoing all the work and starting all over, I left it like this.

And this time I couldn't resist the desire to make a matching hair accessory. My husband once joked that when wearing such an accessory our little girl looked like delicious cake topped with something. Now every time when I see her wearing something on the head it makes me think about this and laugh.
If you like to try to make such a fabric flower yourself, here is quick photo tutorial. It's so easy that you would be tempted to do more of them.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, 7 February 2014

My new project in development

The week has gone so quickly and I must confess I haven't done much on the sewing front. But I realized something - if you want to get some work done, do not go any near a computer, laptop, tablet, etc. Honestly! The web is invaluable source of all sort of information only at a "click" distance, which is great, but it can prove "toxic" for your real life.
Have you been in situation where you look for something on the web, while doing it you come across an article,that grabs your attention, from there you go to another one and you suddenly realize that 2 hours have passed. Web browsing and reading, as well as social media could be such time-eaters. If I read everything that looked interesting to me, I would definitely not have any time for sewing and the family would probably descend into total chaos.
This week I came across Woven Monkey. It is a fabric printing company, based in U.K. Everyone who wants to get creative and design something, could have it printed on a fabric. Isn't that great! I have always wanted to sew something with a fabric that I have designed myself. I might try it one day, but first I need to get a design software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator or any other program.
Let me get back to sewing and show you what I have been up to this week. This time I am not going to show you off a finished garment, but one still in development. That's how the first toile of the new blouse looks like.

Of course the sleeves wouldn't be like these. The pattern is almost ready and I have to choose which fabric to use for it. I am hesitating between these two. Which one would you pick?

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Kids Clothes Week Winter 2014 - a "winter fairytale" blouse

 As I have wrote in my previous post, I had already moved towards another project of mine - "winter fairytale" blouse. This name popped into my mind when I saw the blouse, maybe because of its white colour and delicate print.

This would be my second project during Kids Clothes Week (KCW), which surprizes even me. I started both projects from scratch and actually spent more time on drafting the partern, making toiles and adjusting them than sewing them. For the white blouse I had to make three toiles to get the desired fit. But it was worth it because looking at it now, I can say that I am happy with the result.

choosing which button to use
I even start thinking about trying to grade the pattern in bigger sizes. I am thrilled to see whether I could manage to do it.
Here is a little hair accessory which I made from the remaining fabric scraps. Not that any hair accessory manages to stay long enough on my little daughter's head.

And that's what my little cheeky boy did with some fabric scraps, while I was busy sewing.