25 March 2012

Operation Darling Ranges Skirt

Have you ever saved a special fabric for a special project only to have it not go especially as planned? Frustration stations. This was not meant to be a skirt. Not it was not. It was supposed to be a lovely multi-seasonal Darling Ranges dress in one of my absolute favourite thrifted cottons and it was supposed to come together without a hitch. Only I cut a size too small in the bodice. Why? I don't know!  If anything I go up a size in the bodice due to amazon woman shoulders but this time I threw common sense to the wind and cut the same size all over...hmmm.  I was pretty close to finishing the whole thing when I realized she was going to be a little snug and a little low in front. Not good low either, freeze the gals off in winter low. But fret not, this tale had a happy ending...

 ...after I hacked off the bodice,  folded the rest back down and under, added elastic at the back, buttons down the front and suddenly it turned it into a very wearable Darling Ranges skirt. Arguably the best feature of this pattern are the cute- as-pie little pockets which I figured made it worth selvedging. And you know what? I'm glad I did, I've hardly taken it off! The wardrobe is crying out for separates.

Rather conveniently, the lovely Megan  is holding a Darling Ranges Dress sew-a-long very shortly. I think I'll be concentrating extra hard in the lesson on 'choosing your size'. Who knows... at the end of it I might even have a whole dress! Golly!

20 March 2012

Tribal Trending

It's come to my attention lately that nearly the entire collection of brand Wiksten has made it across into my Pinterest 'style' board. The clean lines, understated elegance and effortlessly feminine clothes sums up exactly what I'm channeling in my very wearable hand-made wardrobe. So it's very exciting to be able to get in on the action, at least in pattern form, with the Wiksten Tank pattern. And speaking of in on the action, I'm chucking this baby into the  Spring Top Sewalong pool where it can make friends with Kristen's lovely plaid version.

On a recent thrifty outing I grabbed this lonely Target blouse for about two bucks with the Wiksten pattern in mind. It says polyester on the label and I can only describe the print as a sort of early 90's geometric tribal confusion. I'm pretty sure it will get to see the light of day more in its new form. The pattern's French seams come out beautifully but I think I'll steer clear of this sort of fibre again...it's so slippery and synthetic that no matter how ferocious I was with the iron, it didn't press flat. Note wavy bottom hem. Whoever said a good workman never blames his tools, was not a sewer. Wavy hem or not, it's very wearable and feels so effortless, so Wiksten, mmm. For a little extra detail I placed the pattern on top of the blouse just over the edge of original button placket. Marvel at the stealth of the placket stealer.

15 March 2012

Blithering blazers

You can always rely on kids to bring you back to reality. I made a mini blazer for my littlest boy, who is 17 months. And when I say made, we know that's really code for slaving away, pouring love and sweat into it. I just loved it! And it looked ridiculously cute on him in the one minute he wore it before writhing about on the floor like a dolphin in a net. Funny, he had the same reaction the other day when I put him in overalls, which I thought were pretty loose and unrestrictive as clothes go. He just clawed at the shoulder straps and bleated. I think it must be the feeling of anything weighty or restrictive on him. Fusspot! So it seems stretchy/ light clothes are the way to go. I'll just take my blazer lovin elsewhere, thank you very much.

Fabric: The circus fabric I bought from Etsy from this seller and it was listed as '3-ring-circus' in blue and I think its a linen/ cotton blend and possibly Kokka. The lining is thrifted denim which was also used for the self-cover buttons. A great thing about this pattern is how much fun you can have with customizing and this time I went for a contrast colour for the collar instead of piping. Equally dapper and a different look altogether.
PatternMelly Sews toddler blazer in size 1. 

This was seriously the best we got prior to dolphin impersonation. 

11 March 2012

Pink Pony Pussy Bow Blouse

I have been dying forever to make a PBB. Okay maybe only a few months, but well worth the wait because now I have a PPPBB! And it's part one of the grand plan to start dressing like a lady and sew a wardrobe full of beautiful, wearable clothes. Last year's no-new-clothes experiment opened my eyes up to the world of adult sewing and I am never leaving. Blouses, skirts, dresses and shorts excite me but my concession is pants. I just don't want to muck around them. It would be easier for all involved if I bought some that just do what they're supposed to, and fit.

Which begs the question...how do you begin to plan a very wearable hand-made wardrobe? Time for a deep and meaningful with the closet. As suspected, it is full and I have nothing to wear. Sound familiar? There is some force that propels me towards statement dresses, pyjamas, gym clothes and swimwear and away from sensible basics and practical separates. It'd be nice to find a happy style medium between statement dresses and my everyday uniform of a little too comfy, slouchy tops ( the kind you'd happily wear to bed). A wardrobe that is comfortable, easy wearing and feminine. Chock full of skirts, casual dresses and blouses like this one.

So how does item numero uno hold up in the wearable wardrobe stakes? With flying colours it does. And galloping ponies. This lovely is Pattern Runway's pussy bow blouse in a Japanese cotton from an etsy seller. Can't say I'm especially pro-ponies but I couldn't resist the print. As for the blouse it's as easy wearing as I hoped, unbelievably feminine and has the added bonus of protecting skin from harsh Australian rays.

I wasn't sure how the collar would look since a lot of the PBB's around seem to be collar-less but the structured look of the collar seems to balance out nicely with the flouncy bow. Yes, I know I sound like an art critic but at least I didn't use the word juxtaposition. As an afterthought, looking at the photos, the bow can get a bit lost...maybe it could have worked nicely in a contrasting colour? Something to think about for next time...

Neigh! Stomp! Stomp!

07 March 2012

French Fry

There's a bit of seasonal sewing confusion around here.  I'm celebrating spring sewing along with the Northern hemisphere while also starting to think about winter sewing. Its baking outside, the boys need shirts and shorts and mummy is churning out...Manligans, again from this pattern. So I've come to the happy conclusion that I will just sew what I like when I like and count myself lucky our seasons are mild and I'm not sewing out of necessity. Just so no-one is under any illusions, these boys don't swan around in mummy's little hipster outfits all day. Mostly they prefer no clothes. Yup, I'm raising a brood of streakers.

Last week Mexico, this week we're feeling frenchy with stripes and little wooden buttons. I love this fabric, the label on the sweater says cotton but it feels like really soft wool. I'm not sure how to explain it lusciousness. Since it began as an adult sized sweater, I really should have re-fashioned it into a cardigan for me! The under shirt is also a men's tee re-fashion. I didn't use a pattern for the shirt, but chopped up one of Archie's size 4 shirts into all the parts: sleeves, front, back and neck ribbing. From there it was as simple as tracing the parts onto the men's shirt and hijacking the ribbing too, which saves effort. Go the hack job!