Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The cutest pattern in the world




 The cutest pattern in the world, according to me anyway.  It's the Oliver and S School Days Jacket and this is the second time I've made it up.  The pattern comes together much more easily than it looks.  I made this size three with cotton that was supposed to be made into curtains.  Then we moved house and I'm now left with 6 x 1m x 140cm pieces of natural heavy weight cotton!  Now there's only five pieces left that look destined to become little boys clothes.  I used quilting cotton scraps to line the jacket and some acetate lining scraps to line the arms.  I put a contrast cotton at the bottom of the sleeve lining because I knew I would be turning up the sleeves.  I kind of wish I'd made the arms even shorter - I think it's designed for places that actually get cold, like a real cold and the sleeves have to go over the hands to keep them warm.  I used plastic snaps instead of toggles and although they don't look as interesting as toggles, they are far more practical. I left off the pockets as Owen doesn't seen to interested in pockets at the moment and I also shorted the length of the jacket because he's a shortie.  You can't really see it in the photos, but I did all the topstitching in a bright blue thread to match the snaps.

Pattern: Oliver + S digital school days jacket and coat pattern, size 3
Fabric: recycled heavy weight cotton, cotton and acetate scraps for lining
Alterations: arms shortened, length shortened, pockets omitted

Here's some pictures of Hugo in the jacket I made for Owen two years ago.  This is the size 12-18 months and I didn't make any alterations to the pattern.  Since taking these photos, I've added some snaps hidden under the toggles because the toggles have a bad habit of coming undone.  Don't you reckon a cute pattern?  I'm already dreaming of what fabric I'll make the size 2 and 4 in next winter.



Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Liberty shirt

After a muslin success with this shirt, I was confident to chop into a piece of Liberty Mauverina gifted to me from my mum after a London trip.  Definitely my kind of souvenir.  It is a directional print so I made sure I was feeling fresh when cutting this out.  I was sure I double checked all seam matching but I still stuffed up the side seams!  (You might be able to notice in the last photo).  As the print is busy I'm sure no one will notice but the perfectionist in me is a little annoyed.  I will give myself a pat on the back though for the pattern matching at centre front.  This time I straightened the sleeve seam which was slightly billowy in an eighties way.  Comparing the photos I can't really see that this made a difference though. I'm kind of regretting the purple contrast now.  I don't love the colour and the cotton just doesn't feel as nice as the lawn.  As anyone who has sewn with Liberty before probably knows, the lawn was lovely to sew with and even nicer to wear.  My mum also brought home a piece of Liberty for a shirt for my husband and two boys.  I'm almost finished hubby's shirt, but Liberty for a one year old and three year old?  Almost seems disrespectful.  Perhaps I'll leave it in the stash until they are a little bit less grubby!

Pattern: McCall's 8040, size 12, 1982
Fabric: Liberty lawn in Mauverina, Purple cotton contrast
Alterations: Straightened the sleeve seam, cuffs made longer 


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

So that pattern from the eighties...



Around the same time I pulled McCall's 8040 from my mum's pattern stash, I was noticing some pretty cool tapered, loose fit pants around the place, on blogs and IRL.  And what do you know, the '80s pattern came through with the goods again!  The pants in this pattern have wide straight legs but I thought I would easily be able to taper them in.  I had to smile to myself when I pulled out the pattern and it already had hand drawn lines on the pattern tapering the width!  In 1982 my mum had a 3 year old (me) and my 2 year old brother and here I am thirty-ish years later with a 3 year old and 1 year old making the same pattern with the same alteration.  I'm still a little bit blown away by that.  Clearly this is a mum-friendly pattern.

The pattern also had sections to lower the waistline and shorten the length to a petite fit which I did because I do not like the way high waisted pants feel (see how high they are in the photo).  Unfortunately they still sit a little high for my comfort, but I can just turn down the elastic waist and its perfect.  I could unpick all the stitching and redo the waist a little lower, but you'd just turn the waist over too, hey?

I checked out East Coast Fabrics at Burleigh for the first time and was pleasantly surprised.  Not many rolls of fabric had tags with the fabric details so I was a little nervous approaching the counter.  I got about 4m in total of 3 different fabrics plus elastic and thread and it came to a grand total of $29.  It does mean that I don't really know the content of the fabrics but they feel nice and I think I can guess what they are.  I am guessing that this fabric is a rayon judging by the drape and the fact it can withstand a pretty hot iron.  The pants feel lovely - unfortunately not quite warm enough for this winter at the moment but will get a fair bit of use soon.

I can't believe how gold McCall's 8040 has been!  I am keeping it forever.  Do you have some vintage pattern gold?

Pattern: McCall's 8040, 1982
Fabric: rayon from East Coast Fabrics, Burleigh
Alterations: petite adjustments on pattern, tapered the legs


Thursday, 3 July 2014

A shirt with a history



I was pretty keen to get my hands on the Archer pattern after seeing so many awesome versions around the blogosphere.  But before I spent precious time taping up a PDF pattern, I thought I'd browse my mother's pattern stash and came across McCall's 8040 printed in 1982.  In size 12.  Already cut.  Looks pretty similar, no?  Ok, it's pretty hard to tell from the cover art.  Trust me it's similar.  It also had, what is now a prerequisite for me, a collar stand.  I had some Liberty lawn given as a gift that I wanted to make into a shirt but given the eighties nature of the pattern I thought a wearable muslin was probably wise. 

This gingham is pretty old.  I believe it started life in Betty's stash, then made its way to my mum's, then to mine.  It smelt old.  And the checks didn't look exactly straight.  And it was only 90cm wide - a sign of age right?  While you may think the floral contrast on the cuffs and collar were a creative choice, it was actually because I didn't have enough fabric.  The yoke lining was some leftover chambray too.  Anyway, I made it up exactly from the pattern, which was only in size 12.  The only modification was to make the cuffs a little wider (longer?).  I did all the french seaming, flat felling, placketing and top stitching I learned when sewing my first shirt.  I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and now have the confidence to chop into the precious Liberty.

Pattern: McCall's 8040, size 12, 1982
Fabric: gingham cotton, floral lawn (possibly from Spotlight - stole from sister)
Alterations: cuffs made wider - actually I think I made them longer.  I don't know.


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Another year, another stash of shorts

I made these shorts a bit earlier this year when three year old O grew out of his shorts made last year.  I used the pattern I drafted and gave it an extra 1cm or so on each seam which I think makes it about a size 3.  I guess I'll be doing this each year - at least I can do it pretty quickly now!  I happy to say all of these shorts were made up of stash fabrics.

Some hat sewing



I have come to accept, that kids lose hats on a regular basis.  Therefore, I have a new aim to makes as many hats as possible out my scraps so there is always one on hand.  I have also come to learn that many RTW hats are a totally crap style and rarely fit / stay on the head (a possible explanation for lost hats). I fished out Butterick 6613 from 1993 now OOP.  Back in the early nineties I used to make hats like these with the brim turned up and a flower stuck on it.  SO stylish.  20 years later, I'm making them for boys, sans flower.  I tried the style with the flatter brim in the smallest size with red fabric and elephant fabric from the stash.  It's reversible.  It was way too big!  Next I tried the bucket hat in duck print cotton and took 1cm off all seams and it turned out pretty cute I reckon.  Also it's the right size for Owen. 

Pattern: Butterick 6613 OOP
Fabric: cottons from stash

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Back to sewing with an Alma

Hello!  I've been on a sewing / blogging hiatus while I concentrated on studying for (and passing) exams and then packing up and moving house.  Phew.  But I've dusted off the sewing machine and it's happily whirring away again.  I've made up the Alma blouse before and raved about the pattern at that time.  Unfortunately I had to set that first make free.  The sleeves ended up fraying and once I'd set in new sleeves it was too tight across the back.  It's nice to finally get around to making another one - without maternity adjustments.  I kept it pretty basic with no collar or neckline notch and bought a shot cotton from Spotlight in 'Oyster'.  The fabric has a nice feel and I like the colour but I absolutely cannot iron out the creases!  I think it's time to stop buying cheap fabric.  Once again this pattern was lovely to make up and I think it will become a go-to pattern for me.

Pattern: Sewaholic Alma Blouse, size 6
Adjustments: did not sew the front darts as I prefer the boxier look, bias binding on neckline instead of facings, omitted side zip
Fabric: shot cotton in Oyster from spotlight
Elk necklace