Monday, 31 March 2014

Another Peter Pan top

It feels so nice to see your project finished and to be pleased with the result.
A few weeks ago I asked a friend of mine to draw a top or a dress she would like me to sew for her daughter as a present for her approaching birthday. She told me she liked the Peter Pan collar (from "Crazy Chevron" top) and that she also loved that blue fabric I had used for the "Ocean blue" dress. I had a little bit left of the fabric, just enough for a top. That's how this project started.

Her pretty daughter turnes five so I had to grade down from size 7 to size 5. This was the first time I practiced grading. I wasn't quite sure whether it would work well, but it turned out it did. The only correction I had to do was to raise the neckline.
To complete the look I made two fabric flowers. If you have been following my blog you probably know that I like to make matching accessories to the garments. It is weird because I like accessories, but rarely put any on, as I am usually in a rush and don't have time to rummage around.

The initial idea was to make one flower with one layer of blue petals and another layer of smaller petals from the other fabric on the top. But when I started making it, it failed to produce the look I wanted, so instead I made two separate flowers.
They were intended to be used for hair, but while I was taking photos of my friend's daughter, she came up with the idea to accessorize the top with them. I love it when something happens to be so versatile.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My unfinished bright quilt

The last few days I've been working on another top featuring Peter Pan collar, which I will add to the birthday present of one little five year old lady. My progress on the top has been so slow that I still can't show you a finished garment, so I thought I'd share with you another project of mine which has been waiting patiently on my 'To-do' list for nearly two and a half years. It's a quilt, which I started making and still haven't finished.

It all started nearly three years ago when I was browsing Emma's Fabric Studio online shop and admired the lovely printed fabrics there, trying to choose which one to buy. As there were lovely bundles as well, I decided to pick a bundle. After much time spent on looking and hesitating which one to pick, I chose "Happier" by Deena Rutter. At that time I still didn't sew clothes for kids as I had only a boy and somehow sewing boy's clothes never looked that appealing to me as sewing for girls (sometimes I feel guilty because of that, like it is not fair that my girl only gets handmade clothes, so I try to compensate that by sewing other things for my boy).
I thought sewing a quilt for the cot would be a good idea - functional and brightening any bedroom. I have always liked bright colours, but when I started joining the pieces for the quilt, I found it too bright and chaotic looking than I actually wanted to. I liked the fabrics separately but when mixed together, there seemed too many different prints on one place. So that was how it ended up being abandoned.

Now I plan to finish this quilt when I get the chance. I don't think I will use it as the kid's room has been recently painted in blue and pale pink tones. It feels a bit sad to make something that ends up being unusable. I hope I will find someone who will like it the way it is.

Monday, 17 March 2014

"Ocean Blue" dress

I can finally show you the dress I have been making for my seven-year-old niece. It's ready and on its way to its future owner. Now I am so curious to find how the dress fits her. I wouldn't be surprised if it is a bit large for her, but I was so concerned not to be too small, that I prefered to be on the safe side and make it larger.
For the dress I chose deep blue fabric, which I found very easy to work with. It is a good weight for a dress and drapes well. When I bought the fabric last summer I was told that it was cotton, but it looks to me more like polycotton.
This dress is one of those projects which I wasn't sure how they would end up looking. I didn't have much time to make the dress, so I decided to construct the bodices, the skirt and the sleeves and once the dress was ready to choose a decorative detail. I wanted to add a decorative detail because the dress would be made with single coloured fabric and that was a way to make it look more interesting.

I had a few options on my mind. The first option was to make a big fabric flower for the front bodice, the second option was to add some pleats on the front and the third option was to add either trimming or applique to the skirt. As you can see I chose the pleates in the end.

I opted for a back opening in order to make the dress easier to put on and also to add more effect.
You have probably noticed that all the buttons are different and the reason  is that I didn't have four buttons of this size that were the same. I actually like the look of them on the back.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A trip to a fabric hotspot

I started this week with an exciting trip to the west part of London, where along a short stretch of Goldhawk Road you can find at least ten fabric shops, all crammed with all sorts of fabrics. I have been wanting to visit this fabric hotspot for so long, but with two small children I couldn't really get myself travelling to there.
I am so glad I finally found the time to go there. After meeting an old friend for a nice chat over a cup of coffee there, I went to explore the fabric shops. I spent around four hours there digging into loads of interesting fabrics. I just wished I bought the fabrics I liked in the first two shops I visited, but because I didn't know what I would come across in the other shops, I decided to have a look around first and then to buy. In the end I couldn't go back to them, as I didn't have time.
Of course, I didn't come back home with an empty bag. Here is what I bought.
Some lovely pure cotton fabrics, which I intend to use to make some duvet covers and pillowcase for my two little monkeys. They were reasonably priced at £5.50/metre.

pale pink tulle

Flower printed cotton fabric and pale magnolia cotton fabric

Beautiful white trimming

Two polycotton fabrics priced at £2/metre, with good drape

I tried to capture the fabric's real colours, but the two polycotton ones were quite tricky. The same fabrics looked differently on the different photos.
Lately I have been drawn to mustard colour fabrics. It's strange, because it has never been one of my favourite colours before. Apparently with time one's preferences change.
What colours are you drawn to?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

"Happy chicken" project

This week I worked on a dress pattern ( I will share more on this in my next post ), sew a little Easter gift and even made a cake (which ended up looking like a big mess, but fortunately it tasted better than it looked).

Now I am at the stage where pattern is ready and the fabric has been chosen (deep blue cotton fabric). I hope that the dress would fit my niece as I skipped the step of making a proper toile this time. I intended to finish the dress first and then to move to another project, but just before starting cutting into the fabric I realized that I haven't washed it in order to avoid shrinkage afterwards. While I was waiting for the fabric to dry, I embarked on a little Easter project.

Playing with the effects on the camera

I was inspired by this decoration which I saw on I had fabrics quite similar to the ones on the photo, but decided to experiment with other colours.
I've been intending to sew something for a friend of mine as a way to say "thank you" , so when I saw the chicken I thought that would make a good handmade gift.
While I was gathering my thoughts to write this post my little son came around and this conversation followed :
My son : "Mummy, what are you doing?"
Me : "I am writing something"
My son :  "What are you writing?"
Me : "Something"
My son : "But what"?
Me: "I am writing about this chicken"
My son (laughing): "Why are you writing about this chicken?"
Me: "Well,....."
My son: "What are you writing about the chicken? Why are you writing about this chicken?"
Me: "Because....... it is a happy chicken, and funny one."
He laughed more. And now he calls it a "happy chicken".

Sunday, 2 March 2014

"Crazy chevron" top

I can finally share with you my completed project "Crazy chevron" top, which would be a present for my niece.
The pattern itself is simple but classic. I think it is the choice of fabrics that makes it different. I love to combine contrasting colours. Unfortunately the photos don't show the exact colours. The dotted fabric is actually pink colour but in the photo it looks coral.

The chevron fabric is from ADORNit and the dotted fabric is from Sevenberry.
As a whole it was an easy project and quite enjoyable as well. The only frustrating thing was that once I started to sew the pieces together, the collar happened to be too short and couldn't go all the way round the neckline. I wasn't expecting this because the pattern pieces were the same like those of the toile. And when I was making the toile the collar fitted perfectly. Anyway, I decided to leave it this way. I don't think it is that bad. I just hope that my niece will like the top as well.

This is little gorgeous Zara, who helped me with the fitting and agreed to model the top, so we could all see how the top looked when worn. Many thanks to her!
I am looking forward to making more tops like this one, but in different colours. I have to start getting ready for summer.
Before I finish a project I already find myself planning the next one. It might sound silly to you, but that process of planning makes me feel happy and excited. Now I am toying with the idea to sew something else for my niece, maybe a dress...

Before finishing the post, I will show you what me and my little boy made yesterday during a visit to the local Ikea store. We went there to buy a fleece blanket which I intended to turn into a cushion cover for my son's bed. He told me he wanted a cushion with a ship on it.
Anyway, in Ikea we were delighted to discover a table set up for painting on ceramics. We had to choose what to paint - a mug or a plate. It was free, but if someone liked he could donate to a childrens' charity. And even adults could enjoy some painting. So we both sat down and that was the result.

 I let my son draw whatever he wanted. I wanted him to do something comletely by himself. Now his drawing (which according to him features a carrot, an egg and a mushroom ???) makes me smile every time I look at the plate, but I think he is proud of it.