Thursday, December 23, 2010

More apples for Christmas

I blogged about a week ago about a dress I made my almost three year old for Christmas.

My little boy now has a matching shirt in the green colourway of the same fabric! It's my usual shirt pattern (sketchbook by O+S) with pearly snaps instead of buttons. I made the collar and placket cream so it's extra matchy (and naff!) on Christmas day.

When I went to cut out the shirt I found I had nowhere near as much of the green fabric as I thought. The very lovely Emma came to my rescue with some yardage from her stash - you can check out her amazing blog here. Thanks Emma!

Merry Christmas everyone, hope you all have a happy and safe holiday.

Shirt for my 15 month old. He'll wear it with some store bought shorts as I ran out of time to make some. They're beige with apple green trim.

To match this dress for my nearly three year old.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Robots for Christmas

Just finished another night's Christmas sewing. This time it's an O+S sketchbook shirt and a MIP lazy day hat for my nephew.

If you read this blog often you'll know that I've made both of these patterns before and love them both. They're simple and look great.

The fabric I used is by Kokka - I have used it before in a different colourway to make shorts for my son. I really love it. I think it might be a bit busy for this shirt, but if anyone can get away with a busy shirt it's an 18 month old.

The only thing I did differently when constructing the shirt was to cut the collar interfacing along the collar fold line (a tip I got from the Oliver + S forums). This makes the collar much easier to fold, especially as I used quite a thick fabric.

Excuse the dodgy photos, they were taken at night, using a flash, as I need to wrap and post this present first thing.

The finished shirt. Quite busy, but I like it!

Inside. Constructing the yoke is fiddly but the results are so neat.

The hat. This pattern is really well suited to cotton canvas.

Fabric detail - because I love it!

A few of the robots got a head transplant where I attached the pocket.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Apples for Christmas

One week til Christmas eve - hurrah!!!

I wanted to make my kids something to wear on Christmas day. Using overtly Christmas prints on clothing isn't really my thing, but I still want them wearing clothes that are festive on the big day.

I have previously made view B of the jump rope dress by Oliver + S, and loved it (everytime DD wears it we get asked where we got it). View A has been on my wish list for a while, so I thought I'd make one up for Christmas.

I had a couple of yards of Sandi Henderson's apple dot in red in my stash, and the colours suit my DD and Christmas, so I decided to use that. As the print is quite busy I constructed the placket and collar in a plain cream cotton to break it up and frame DD's face. If I had enough fabric I probably would have made the sash up in cream too... But I didn't, so apples it is.

The pattern was just what you'd expect from O+S - clear and easy to follow. This is quite an involved pattern though, lots of little elements that take more time than you expect (the placket, sleeve tabs, pockets etc). This dress took me three nights to make (one night cutting and another two nights sewing) so I am pleased to have it finished.

I need to make my son something for Christmas now. I am considering a sketchbook shirt in co-ordinating green apple dot fabric. What do you think - too naff? I am so tempted.

The dress! I think this fits the brief of being Christmassy without being *too* Christmassy.

Placket and collar constructed in cream. The buttons are the same white plastic button I used for the Swingset tunic.

The pockets. I think I should have made the top part up in cream...

The sleeve tabs are made up in cream too, and finished with the same style of button as the placket, but smaller. I love these sleeves, so cute. They'd work well on a boys' shirt too I think.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Little stockings for little elves

I adore Christmas. I really, really love it. I event wanted to give my daughter 'Christmas' as a middle name, but my husband vetoed it (much to the relief of pretty much everyone I know).

Growing up, Christmas was a big deal in my house and we had a heap of little family traditions. One of my favourites was digging out our Christmas stockings on Christmas eve and leaving them out for Santa.

My childhood Christmas stocking was beautiful. Mum made it by hand and it's gorgeous. I have brothers either side of me, both very close in age, and we each had our names appliqued onto our stockings and I thought it was just wonderful.

When we were a little older, my little sister was born. I always felt very sad that she didn't have a Christmas stocking made by mum (mum had enough to keep her busy with 4 kids under 6). She did get her own special stocking from I think Disneyland of all places, but I always felt a little sad for her on Christmas eve. I don't think she ever cared, especially as her stocking was bigger than ours.

When I had my first baby in 2008, I remember being very excited about being able to make her a stocking and starting our own little family tradition. Back then I had never used a machine, so decided to make her a stocking by hand. I ended up spending close to $100 at the fabric shop - I bought enough fabric to make a stocking for my little girl and 3 potential siblings!

I stayed up late each night for a month, hand embroidering the baubles and stiching silver ribbon down the stocking. I loved being able to use it for her first Christmas.

My son was born last year, in 2009, and to my disappointment I did not get the chance to make him a stocking before his first Christmas, due to him being a refluxy baby who needed to be held for every.single.sleep until he was 4 months old.

This Christmas I have a 1yo and a 2yo and they now each have their own, personalised Christmas stocking. Now that I can sew (hurrah!) I made my son's on the machine, and it's all machine embroidered. Much faster!

Hopefully, in 2011/2012 I'll have another little elf to make a stocking for. I'm already planning what it will look like (little gingerbread men, perhaps?)

Merry Christmas!

The finished stockings. The one on the left is made my hand (inc applique) and the one on the right is done by machine. Both are fully lined.

Their names are blanket-stitched using silver thread. I traced the font directly from my computer screen onto vliesofix. The font is Cooper Black.

My daughter's stocking is decorated with Christmas baubles. I used Donna Hay cookie cutters to get the shapes. The neck of each bauble is appliqued with thick silver ribbon, and each is 'hung' using narrow silver ribbon. The cutters are no longer available but you can get a similar set here.

My son's is decorated using different sized snowflakes, some stitched in silver, others in red and white. Even though they were machine appliqued it took a long time. A definite labour of love!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Double gauze for Summer

Yet again it's been a long time between posts. I've been busy altering and hemming bridesmaids dresses (the silk chiffon nearly drove me to drink) and have quite a few little outfits on the go, which I just need to sit down and finish (you know - hems and buttons and all the fiddly bits).

But on to my latest project.

My friend recently asked me to make a new top for her daughter. As she is very fair-skinned, she wanted something with long sleeves, but still cool enough to wear in the heat.

Oliver + S's 2+2 blouse has never been my favourite pattern, but I did purchase it recently to make a short-sleeve version for my little girl this Summer. I thought the gathers and relaxed neckline of the 2+2 would be perfect for a Summery top for my friend.

I decided to use double gauze for the main fabric. I own perhaps 10 yards of double gauze but until now have never sewn with it (oh the shame!). For this top I used the blossom print in blue from Cosmo textiles. I adore this fabric, and raced out last week to buy the same print in a different colour for my daughter.

The double gauze was extremely soft and lightweight. It was lovely to sew (although it does have a life of its own at times) and it irons beautifully. If you are using it I would recommend drying it flat. Mine stretched a little on the clothes line.

I am really happy with the finished top - in fact I love it and am now a 2+2 convert. I really enjoying constructing it, I feel like my sewing IQ is a bit higher after seeing how the neck opening was formed.

I decided to leave the ties off this version, finishing the neck binding as per the back, and keeping it unfastened so it falls open like a kaftan/tunic.

I also made a Sunday Brunch skirt (also by Oliver + S) in navy cotton to match the trim on the blouse. The pockets are lined with the double gauze. I love little hidden details :)

Finally, I made a sunhat to finish off the outfit and keep her little face protected from the sun. The pattern is the Make it Perfect Lazy Day hat, which I have made before and just adore. I was worried the gauze might be too floppy for the hat, but with a stiff-ish interfacing adhered to it it worked beautifully.

The complete outfit.

Blouse detail. I left the ties off. When worn, the neckline hangs open a little like a kaftan/tunic.

The Sunday Brunch skirt. Can't wait to make lots more of these - have some cute ideas for my daughter.

Little detail: the pockets are lined in the double gauze.

Fully reversible sunhat.