Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy birthday baby!

My wee boy turns two on Friday and I can't believe it! It really does feel like he was born a few months ago. I'm feeling it even more acutely with the impending arrival of his little brother or sister in a few weeks.... I think he is too. Last night after his bath I wrapped him up in his towel and gave him a big cuddle. He rested his head on my cheek and said 'I'm mama's baby'. Eek! I think we are in for a few interesting months ahead.

I really wanted to make my little guy something special for his birthday. I wasn't sure about his initial request for a 'cookie monster dress', but I let him choose some cute Kokka cars fabric from my stash which he just adores, and decided to turn them into some shorts for him. He hasn't seen these finished yet, but got very excited when he saw me sewing up the fabric. He should love them.

They're pretty much the same as the helicopter shorts I made recently. O+S Sketchbook pattern, without the pleat, with a flat front, and two rows of topstitching on both sides of the fly, up the rise, on the pockets and up the outer seam. A few minor alterations that gave me the casual look I was after.

I also wanted to make him a shirt, and as usual turned to my O+S Sketchbook shirt pattern. I've made this several times now and am always looking for ways to make it a bit different. In the past I have monogrammed and also embroidered the pocket. This time I decided to applique a little dinosaur peeking out from under the pocket, as my wee guy loves dinosaurs, and I was keen to avoid using a dinosaur print (I love novelty prints, but need to draw the line somewhere!).

I sketched the dinosaur freehand onto some vliesofix then blanket-stitched it by hand onto the shirt. The eye is satin-stitched. All in all it only took about 20 minutes and I really like the lift it gives the shirt.

I also used the spotty fabric I used for the dinosaur on the inside of both plackets and the underside of the collar. It's not immediately obvious but peeps out hen the shirt is being worn.

All in all I'm happy with this shirt. The fabric was a bit of a nightmare though. It's lovely to look at - a very fine striped aqua and white cotton, but it's very, very crisp and creases so easily.

I'm wrapping these up for the little guy to open on Friday. Happy birthday baby!

Dark and blurry sorry, but here's the finished shirt.

Dino detail! T should love this.

The inner plackets and under-collar both have the same spotty fabric I used for the dinosaur, to tie everything together.

T's brm-brm shorts.

I did two lines of top-stitching on both sides of the fly, pockets and outer seam (plus the rise, which you can't see here).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Japanese jumprope

A year or so ago my mum bought back a whole heap of fabric from a trip to Japan. One of these fabrics was a $4, 1.1 metre remnant that I fell in love with instantly. It was a lilac-grey linen and cotton blend with little bunches of deep pink and red flowers and strawberries scattered all over it. I knew as soon as I saw it that it would eventually become an Oliver + S jump rope dress.

I made view B of the jump rope last Summer and it was hugely popular with Sweetpea and me! In fact I think that dress may be one of the most favourite things I have ever sewn.

This year I sewed up a size 4, which has a fair bit of growing room for the rest of the season. I also added a wee bit of length for my beanpole.

The plackets, sleeve tabs and pocket trims are made up in a hot pink pure linen. Gorgeous fabric but it has a life of its own and slipped all over the place when trying to sew it.

Not much more to say about this - love the pattern and love the fabric, so am pretty happy with this dress. I am still sewing & nesting like mad, and now have two new baby girls to sew for ASAP before my own baby arrives in (hopefully not less than) three weeks.

Sorry for the shocking photo... here's the dress!

MOP buttons (which I think are a little too big?) and pink topstitching on the collar.

I think the pockets really make the dress.

My mum is fab: she watched the kids for me a few weeks back, and when i came home she had folded a flower hairclip out of the dress scraps.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Otto shorts

One of the hardest things about sewing for boys is the lack of variety. There's just so more choice when it comes to patterns and fabrics for girls. Having said that though, there's a lot of brilliant stuff out there and I can usually find inspiration on other blogs or Flickr.

I'm still trying to get most of my Summer sewing done and that includes lots of shorts for my little guy, who wears little else over Summer. I have a few patterns, but am reluctant to buy more as they're all just variations on a theme. That's why I like Ottobre magazine so much, lots of boy patterns every issue that I probably wouldn't purchase individually, but really appreciate.

These shorts are from Ottobre 3/11. I like the way they're a bit shorter than most of the other patterns out there, and the little cuff detail is something a bit different (to be honest I wasn't sure about it, but was itching to do something 'new', and I really like the end result).

This is only my second Ottobre attempt. On one hand it's kind of refreshing to have minimal instructions - there's certainly no hand-holding! On the other hand the finish isn't quite as polished as you'd get with say an Oliver + S pattern. I learnt a few new tricks making these though - constructing the waistband without having to thread through elastic on a safety pin was a revelation... sooooo much easier than the way I usually do it!

I sewed them in navy and white seersucker with red topstitching. There's a lot of topstitching in this pattern - two rows on most seams. I love topstitching though, although using such an obvious colour made me a bit more cautious than usual. The seersucker was from my stash (leftover from this shirt) - if I had purchased fabric for these I would have gone with a broader stripe, but I'm trying to chew through my fabric stash at the moment.

I made these in a 92 and they fit beautifully on my big, little boy.

The finished shorts. They've got patch pockets with a little flap, faux fly and a little crossover cuff detail.

*sigh*. This is the best photo I could get of my little guy wearing them. You are growing up too fast mister.

The fly with bar-tacks.

Cuff detail. Didn't like this initially but do now.

Pocket detail. I like the diagonal buttonholes, and chose red and white contrast buttons.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Popover squirrel dress

I've been sewing Oliver + S for as long as I've been sewing, yet it's taken me until now to sew the (free) popover sundress pattern. Why? I have no idea. I think i just run out of time each Summer, and there is usually a new whizz-bang pattern that takes priority over this one.

This year I have made a head start on the kids' Summer sewing, and was recently given some gorgeous Echino fabric that suits this pattern perfectly.

I matched the Echino with some linen scraps I had left from old projects, and trimmed the yoke and hem with some cotton lace I had left over from making a friend's bridal garter a few months back.

I added a little squirrel pocket to complement the dress. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I cannot - I took the idea from this Etsy store. Making the pocket was easy. I traced a squirrel clipart directly onto the linen from the computer screen, then fused another layer of linen to the back using vliesofix. I then sewing around the edge using a very short zig zag stitch, clipped around the edges and straight stitched it onto the dress.

This is such a sweet pattern and so quick to sew up. I hope to make a few more, as it suits our hot Summers.

The finished dress. Size 4 with extra length. It's a little roomy, but will be nice and cool to wear.

I love the Echino with the linen and lace. If you haven't seen this fabric in real life, it's a much softer purple than it looks here.

Lacy hem.

Squirrel pocket

Pockets are always a hit with my wee girl.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nesting, getting a head start on Summer and stash busting

I've been sewing so much lately, churning out clothes for the kids daily. Part of it must be nesting, part of it is getting a head start on their Summer wardrobes before baby #3 comes along next month, and part of it is stash busting (I have a LOT of fabric on its way to me and need the room! I also have lots of one yard cuts that I need to use before the kids get too big).

These little shorts are one of my favourite recent pieces, I adore them, and so does my little boy.

The fabric is Echino (my mum loves Echino as much as I do and is always picking up bits and pieces for me, this one is no exception) and the pattern is the Oliver + S sketchbook shorts.

I have made this pattern once before, but am much happier with this attempt. This time I made a few alterations:
  • omitted the pleat to make them more casual
  • top-stitched the edge of the fake fly and added an extra row of top-stitching to the curve of the fly
  • top-stitched the rise from the bottom of the fly to the back waistband (again, to make then more casual)
  • added a bartack to the fly.
I also gave them a flat front this time, with the elastic only at the back and sides. I added a button to the top of the fly (after finding my mother-in-laws old button box - treasure!).

All in all, I love them, and when I next make these shorts will make the same alterations.

The finished shorts. I really like them with the flat fronted waistband and without the pleats.

Fly details, you can just see the extra top-stitching either side and bartack.

The back: rise top-stitched all the way along the seam.

My wee guy modelling them. These are a sz 2 for a very tall almost two-year old. They fit beautifully at the moment. We're not going to get more than a season's wear out of these :-(