Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tea party sundress

This is a bit of a continuation from my previous post. If you have read it you will know that I made my friend's new baby girl a sweet, white lace blouse on her arrival. I also wanted to make her something completely different that was a bit more 'fun', and the tea party sundress by Oliver + S fitted the bill.

My mum has a fabric business and one of the huge benefits for me is the regular buying trips she makes to Japan. She got me a heap of stuff in January - mainly Lecien - for about $4 a metre. Crazy! I would really love to get over there one day, but I digress.

One of the fabrics she brought back last time was two metres of Cosmo Textiles dolly print. It's ridiculously cutesy and girly, with little dolls in Paris printed all over it. I decided to use this print for the yoke and centre panel, with a plain fabric on the outside to tone it down a bit.

The basecloth is actually a really unusual colour, it looks cream, but is actually the faintest blush pink, and it was really hard to match. In the end I chose a cream and red pin-prick polka dot from Sevenberry - another great Japanese fabric company. The red and cream kind of gives the illusion of pink, and I think it works quite well with the dolly fabric.

I decided to go ahead with the optional flat piping and am glad I did. I think this dress really needs it, or it would risk look a bit washed out.

The pattern was a dream. This was one of the first Oliver + S patterns I ever bought (along with the Birthday Party dress) although I have never made it until now. I originally bought it in the larger size range and had to purchase the smaller sizes as I really had my heart set on making it in a tiny size. This one is size 6-12 months.

The dress came together easily, as is the case with Oliver + S patterns. I sewed it in a night, after a spectacularly rubbish day at work. It was so lovely surrounding myself with a gorgeous pattern and lovely fabric, knowing that it would work out. I felt so much better by the time I went to bed that night.

I quite like the flared skirt but think that next time I will tone it down a bit, particularly as I will make it for an older child (my daughter!) next time.

The finished dress. I'm glad I went ahead with the piping as I think it makes the dress.

Yoke detail. I used basic red plastic buttons. I did actually cover some using the Sevenberry dot fabric, but it didn't look right. And that hazy area on the left of the photo is my daughter's fingerprint on the lens. She has a toy camera, but mine is far more exciting.

The trademark O+S faced hem. This was a little different to the faced hem of the birthday party dress as it's understitched. I like it.

Music class blouse

It feels like a long time since I posted. Life has been busy over the last few weeks, with me returning to work and both the kids and myself getting sick. It's left precious little time for sewing but I've had a few late nights so I can squeeze in some me/sewing time (same thing really).

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that two friends from my mothers group were due with their second babies. Well one of them has now given birth to the most precious baby girl named Ella. She's lovely, with dark hair and chubba cheeks! I spent my last afternoon of maternity leave getting some lovely newborn snuggles from her.

My friend didn't know she was having a girl and was very excited when she was born. She has a home sewing business - making cot linen - so is very aware of all the gorgeous girly fabrics out there.

I decided to make her a couple of pieces using Oliver + S outfits, as they never fail to impress.

The first was the recently released Music Class blouse. I hadn't given this pattern much attention before, so it was nice to have an excuse to sew it. I decided to use a very soft and sheer Broderie Anglaise (eyelet lace) for the fabric, as my little girl had a similar blouse when she was about 6 months old and I loved her in it. A little lace blouse looks so sweet all dressed up with a skirt and tights, or just with a denim skirt.

The pattern was great, similar in construction to the Sketchbook Shirt I made recently, although using a much sheerer fabric made the trickier bits (the collar and setting in the sleeves) so much easier.

The Music Class blouse has little pintucks on the front and back and they're very sweet. I've never made pintucks before and was pretty pleased with how they turned out... although sewing them on the embroidered fabric was a bit tricky. This pattern also has a lovely little inverted pleat detail on the sleeve cap that I forgot to photograph in my rush to get the blouse to its new owner.

I made this blouse in a size 6-12 months, so it's pretty tiny. I didn't want to muck around with tiny buttons, so used press studs (snaps) for the first time. I used ones with a pearly top that mum bought for me in Hong Kong recently, and think they're perfect for the shirt. However one of them shattered as I put it in and there were some tense moments in this household as my husband tried to remove it without damaging the blouse.

I really love this little blouse. I have already bought some lovely turquoise rainspot dobby to make one for my little girl this Summer.

As usual I have waffled on so will create a new post for the other piece I made for Miss Ella.

The finished blouse. It looks very blue in this photo but you get the idea...

Pintuck detail. I love the little snaps I used too - and so much easier than sewing on buttons!