20 October 2012

KCWC leftovers: Geo Manligan

I swear there was every intent of starting and finishing this project during KCWC! But ya know it just didn't happen, being show time at the circus and all. Archie's teeth op went fine, naturally he thought the whole thing was pretty amusing while mummy rocked herself back and forth in the corner. With that out of the way, I've snatched a few moments at the sewing machine to transform the last few scraps of my geometric dress into a mod-manligan for Hudson, to go next to his old-manligan from last KCWC. The knit fabric is light enough for spring, so I'm hoping it will get some wear before he grows / it gets too hot / it gets completely trashed. Why I'm drawn to light / white fabrics when I sew for my dirt-loving boys I do not know. Maybe its because it makes them look clean.
Pattern: Darling Cardigan pattern by Owly Baby.
Fabric: Pre-loved knit dress + ribbing.
Mods: I went for a narrow band along the bottom instead of a wide one, purely for cosmetic reasons. 
So there ya go! After this KCWC I'm having a bit of an inspiration overload so I'll leave you with some of my personal fav's from the flickr pool by some seriously creative mamas. Thanks Meg for another amaze-balls KCWC!

13 October 2012

KCWC day two & three: Geo Tees

  In an act of random loveliness I received a copy of Figgy's Banyan pattern from flickr member and KCWC regular Fabricate. I love free stuff. Especially free patterns that I actually want to buy!  I decided to make a couple of summer tees for Archie and went to town on my pile of to-be-re-purposed clothing. Right now I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself that both of these t-shirts are made entirely from pre-loved clothing items. Sure, there's the eco factor, but really I get a kick out of seeing Archie walking around in stuff that frankly, in my opinion, looks pretty dang fabulous, rivals anything store bought; knowing it's made from old shirts. 
The Banyan T-shirt has lots of possibilities for personalizing. You can make it as subtle or loud as you like, whatever your boy style may be. The little pocket on the front is a nice feature and I also like that the neckline binding can be made out of the same fabric as the body of the tee, rather than ribbing. Here I've used a handed down spearmint t-shirt of daddy's and a re-tired el-cheapo dress of mine, that was $5 new and really too small but I bought it anyway for obvious geometric fantasticness.

For this one I wanted to make a plain tee with a party on the pocket. The geometric fabric is from a thrifted sweater, also seen here on these pants. And the grey is another daddy shirt. My favourite thing about using old tees to make a new tees is the time you save by not hemming by lining up the pattern pieces so they sit over the already hemmed parts of the tee. I did this with both the sleeves and the hem on both tees and so they took under an hour each. I have plans to a whole heap more, they're just so fun!

I thought I'd play around with a little feature at the bottom in an attempt at a high low hem. I think its pretty cute and any sort of top stitching really adds to a plain shirt like this. 

12 October 2012

Sew Yummy Series

Today I am taking a little mid-KCWC detour and visiting Craftstorming to take part in Laura's enticing Sew Yummy Series. Where baking meets sewing and falls in love and has lots of little sewing-baking related babies. There's been some spectacular posts so far like a pleated bundt pan pillow, these cute saucepan handle covers and I think I am going to have to hold some sort of sewing party just to have an excuse to make some of these sewing cupcakes. I am sharing an easy peasy kid project for those little helpers around the kitchen, or the play kitchen. It's a mini-mitt to hold hot %&$t. Check it out...

Sew Yummy Button

09 October 2012

KCWC Day one / Black-bird-butt sarouels

Today marks day one of the Elsie Marley Kids Clothing Week Challenge! Not next Monday. As I thought this morning when I woke up, casually, sauntered downstairs, casually, had a semi-casual breakfast, then sidled over to blogger, where I noticed every second post had 'KCWC' in the title. Still casually, I thought: 'wow everyone is really getting into the preparations this time' and then I read 'KCWC day one' and realized mid-mouthful, and less casually that KCWC begins today.  So first, the bad news: Preparation is nigh. But the good news: I didn't choke on my poached egg. And it's actually a good thing that I didn't spend a week cutting things out and setting myself for an epic KCWC (which I can't help). Between Hudson turning two this week and Archie having some dentistry done under general anaesthetic next week (quietly fretting), mama is full to the brim with life 'stuffs'. So by default I'm happily taking the no-plans-see-what-gets-done approach.

  To eeeeassse into things I decided to attend to these half finished Sarouels which were abandoned for lack of blue thread and an inclination to get more. I used the same tutorial as these Sarouels which have both been worn to death (literally, they are filthy) all winter. I used ribbing for the cuffs and drawstring and got the rest of it out of this men's tee. As far as plans go for the rest of the week, I'd really like to use up some more of these thrifty finds for re-fashions.

04 October 2012

Peplum while they're hot

At least, peplums were hot when I began thinking about this top almost two months ago. Are they still hot? Does anybody know? Anyway, I knew I wanted in on the action. I also knew the high necklines of these peplum patterns Vogue 8815, Burdastyle, Salme just weren't going to cut it for my broad shoulders. If you remember this chat, and this one about the virtues of sweet heart necklines it will make sense that I pinned, this anthropologie number as inspiration for my ultimate peplum top. As for putting it together, the plan was just to borrow the bodice of my wiggle dress, Vogue 8280, make the sleeveless version, and, you know, simply move the zip from the back to the side and pinch the peplum from the Salme pattern. How hard could it be, right? Right?!

Dantela Corset Top
It's come to my attention that the last three garments I've sewn have all had some mods from the original patterns. It's been thrilling plotting ideas and just kind of sewing by the seat of my pants with a vague idea about the construction. But meltdown is never far away. Changing the hemline on this top went pretty smoothly, adding a side cinch to the Mission Maxi was manageable but let's just say my trusty 'how hard can it be attitude' only goes so far. Peppi nearly killed me! The truth is, it didn't actually take me two months to sew. At least one of those was spent avoiding it like the plague.

 The nitty gritty
I followed the instructions for the lined sleeveless version of Vogue 8280 and lengthened the bodice by an inch. I was originally going to leave the peplum unlined but this beautiful Nani Iro Double gauze 'Pocho' dot is quite see-through and flimsy so I decided to line after all. That's where things went rather pear shaped for a while. I attempted to bag out the hem but then I couldn't turn the top back out the right way. I would have laughed but I was crying at the time. Unpicking followed, along with profanities as the delicate fabric threatened to disintegrate with every un-pick.  I couldn't figure out the best way to hem so upon the advice of the girls at work, I basted the lining and the gauze together, folded over once and serged, which made for a super floaty finish. I attempted to put the zip in a few times before I was happy with it and ended up hand-stitching the lining to the zipper. It could also have done with some interfacing through the flange sections for support. It's a hand-wash only garment!

So despite some tricky bits, it really turned out beautifully. And like childbirth as soon as I cradled Peppi in my arms I forgot the agony and just wanted another. But there's too many new patterns, see here, to go back for seconds so soon. Besides I just want to follow a regular pattern from start to finish without any brain-straining modifications. Oh wait, that will have to wait until after my placket-less, lowered-hem, capped sleeve version for the Megan Nielsen Banksia Sewalong. Sigh...

We spent the weekend in beautiful Byron Bay, and finally had a chance to take some photos of the top. I have to say there were a lot more people around than I'm used to. Normally I like to go about it all as if reclining on crates, or sidling up to suspicious looking plants is just the most appropriate thing I could think to do at the time. But there were noticeably more 'special' faces to crop out in this lot so I must have been feeling the pressure.

03 October 2012

Low n' Lazy

 Hello! Long time no see. Today is a special day. Firstly, I'm super duper excited to be sharing a brand new tutorial over at Elsie Marley in lieu of Kids Clothing Week Challenge. And today also marks my return to the blogosphere after a um, little 'blogcation'. Maybe you missed me, maybe you didn't (just pretend you did, ok?), but I sure missed you! Lets just say I got caught in my own sew storm.

Now, Kids Clothing Week Challenge has quite the reputation in our little online crafty community as a not-to-be-missed event in the sewing calendar! It's sure a highlight in my year, each time! Those close to me tend to be a bit mystified by KCWC. I get 'So you're doing that KFC thing again?' a lot. As they witness a cyclone tear throw my sewing nook for a week. But as for why, hmm, no-ones exactly sure. Something to do with sewing, that's a given.  How do you explain the thrill of the challenge, the endless lineup of inspiration in the KCWC flickr pool and the second to none sense of community wherever you are in the world? Guess you just have to be there!

So how about you? Will you be there? Do your family think you're cray-cray?