Monday, 27 October 2014

Kids clothes week oct 14 -wrap up

Today I finished off a hat I started on Day 5 of my sewing week and stalled because of work.

A bucket hat from the Oliver and S - Little things to sew . It's reversible with my choice of the grey adorn it floral on one side and 

G's choice of red cotton gingham on the other.

Then I came across the cutest free shorts pattern from the purl bee called the city gym short
I Couldn't resist 

These are a really simple and quick pattern, I can see these being a summer favourite.
I think the wardrobe is full now . I have some selfish sewing plans for me - the Anna dress and a needle cord jacket.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Day 4 KCW - fox cape

Today's cape is supposed to be a fox - inspired by the childrens book - Rosie's walk

It is made using the Oliver and S cape pattern ( from the book Little things to Sew by Liesl Gibson)

The outer fabric is orange needle cord - more of a pumpkin colour orange than it looks in the photo
With linen for the cream parts. The lining is a patchwork mix of cottons from my stash ( the greys are from the adorn it range ) it's a light weight, spring /summer cape.

I used black buttons for eyes and hand embroidered the whiskers on , because it looked like a deer according to G.

here's what the lining is like, it takes a surprising amount of fabric to make - 2 metres lining , which is why I did different fabrics as I did not have enough of any one colour in my stash. Aside from the many seams (7 panels in the body for both the lining and main colour ) it's a super easy sewing project.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

KCW - day 3 and the miffy dress

Inspiration today was the miffy books. Georgie wanted a dress with rabbit pockets so I did a quick pinterest search and using the sailboat dress again in stretch lightweight denim came up with something we are both happy with.

I also made another pair of tights - full length this time

The sock choice is hers

A close up of the dress pockets

As we walked into school I looked at what other kids her age are wearing - track pants or tights and sweatshirts mainly ,not many girls in dresses and I realised that soon she won't want cute clothes . She must have done the same appraisal , as we dropped her bag off in the cloak room she suddenly stopped and whispered that she wondered if the other kids would tease her about the rabbit pockets.  I replied that I thought not and she went off happily , I asked how her dress was at the end of the day and her reply - "great" , so no teasing but I am sure her requests for clothes will start to change soon.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day 2 of KCW Oct 2014

I had a little teaser picture yesterday but today have the complete outfit.

I bought this fantastic trio of fabrics on etsy here, the pattern is the Oliver and S sailboat top which I lengthened and added a little width to at the bottom and some side seam pockets. The pockets don't quite work as well as yesterdays top - they sit out a little but I think that's prob just me being fussy and no one else will notice. The sleeves are 3/4 , and the tights just below the knee. The buttons could actually be omitted for knit fabric as there is enough give to get it over a head without undoing them , but I like the detail so I left them in.

I think this dress will get lots of wear - comfortable and seems popular so far. I have another Oliver and S tunic cut out and ready to go for tomorrow but in a stretch cotton drill insteas.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Kids Clothes Week - Oct 2014

It's been weeks since I have been in this space. Lots of work, mega amounts of sewing for an ice show , school holidays....too much to write about .  I signed on late to the Kids Clothes Week  which starts today - prompted by many pairs of leggings with holes in the knees that need replacing. The theme is storybook but I haven't had any particular inspiration on this yet , maybe later in the week.

My first project was a T - shirt hack job

This favourite long sleeved T - now too short in the body and arms, became a tunic/dress

Complete with cute little side seam pockets I found a tutorial on pinterest for.
The coordinating floral fabric was just a lucky match from my stash - yes eating into that pile!
I used the stripe from the body of the top to line the pockets and shortened the sleeves to 3/4 for cooler spring days.

I then drafted a leggings pattern off an old pair - not really going with the dress but G is happy.

G was off school with the tail end of a vomiting illness and luckily was entertained with a French knitting spool I had - she spent hours making a scarf for each of her dolls

So I did lots of cutting and made a second outfit that she is wearing in the picture - no other photos yet - more tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

I Knit

In my absence I have been knitting . I tend to knit a lot for two reasons - grieving and procrastination - fortunately it is the later reason I have done a lot in the past couple of weeks. I have other things I should be doing - reading a very dull manual for a course coming up, making ice skating costumes, cleaning our windows - the list goes on. Instead I cast on a vest for her and I procrastinate - I'll just knit a few rows and then ...., hours later here I am still knitting.

Actually the wool does not really do it for me - the colour that is, but the texture is nice and those fancy needles are really nice to knit with. Forced to buy a new pair as I could only find one the right size in my collection - I splurged and now I am ruined - I love those needles and I want more. Truth is I am desperate to finish this vest so I can selfishly cast on something for me - yet to decide what but I am thinking about a cardigan in a green colour.

I have done a little making, I made a skating dress:

Sorry a fuzzy photo ( note those little clenched fists waiting to do her routine) is the only one I could find, but you get the idea. And you know what - lycra is ok to sew and it was surprisingly easy. So much so I plan to try to make swim wear this summer - there are some cute little girls patterns out there like the  cosi. I have seen some really nice plain ones with ruching and without the leg frills - watch this space.

I have also done mega mending, see those long limbs above , she just goes up not out and all her tights have holes in the knees but are otherwise fine and still fit. So I had a play around and tried to do some creative mending.

The rectangular patches on the merino weren't quite so successful, hand sewing them on first might have got a better result but I am getting good at coloured spots on knees.

Which brings me to my year of not buying clothes - half way there and only one real slip up - Lululemon opened a new bigger store - new exercise tights , a sports bra and a top later I walked out. No regrets though as I have worn them all several times a week since I bought them. I have however had to buy knickers and socks - what is it that they all fell apart within a few weeks, Still I haven't bought any fashion items at all - only what are wardrobe basics.

I have noticed - my bank balance is much healthier - no surprise, and I don't go near the shops nearly as often ,unless I have a reason , therefore I  don't see things I like and feel I need/want new clothes.  I can feel another wardrobe purge coming on as there is still lots of stuff I don't wear hanging there. I have been reading practising simplicity and thinking a big spring clean sounds good, it is so much easier to go through clothes each season - I can hardly remember what I wore in summer so I need to do it at the end of each season.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Knitting took hold

It started when the cat got sick a few weeks ago. I woke at 3am on Sat to the sound of him vomiting and that was the end of my sleep as he continued alternating between vomit and diarrhoea ( thankfully this was in the litter box) and I cleaned up after him. After a trip to the vet the next day, armed with cat electrolyte and a large weekend call out bill, I decided to go through the knitting box for a tidy up.  I came across a partly knitted cardigan I started for myself two winters ago, I'm not sure why I stalled as I had done the hard work in the yoke and all the increase and decrease rows were done.  Anyway in between hourly syringe feeding the cat I picked up my cardigan and started knitting. 

The cat proceeded to get sicker and to top it off so did our daughter. Come Sunday morning my husband took our cat back to the vets for a very expensive vet hospital stay ( iv fluids/ antibiotics...) and I went off with our daughter to get treatment for her croup ( keen to avoid her a hospital stay - we've been there before).

The short story is I spent 4 days inside looking after the sick occupants of our home, in front of the fire and I got back into knitting. Yesterday, 3 weeks later,  all members of the household well again,  I cast off and finished  - the pattern is Madelinetosh - Tea leaves . I opted for a short sleeved version with 3 buttons instead of two. I used a Noro wool/silk mix.  Now I am a bit ambivalent about this cardigan - it's maybe a little bit hippy for my current taste and it's just a tad big - but after 2 years in the making I can live with that rather than a re knit.

( oops I reduced the Picture  size to put on the blog just a bit much and now all is blurry )

That's why I prefer to sew, so much less time invested - so much easier to move out of my wardrobe.

On the wardrobe front - 2 other tops I have made, drafted off a favourite hoodie I have and given a cowl type neck. In light stretch these 2 tops have been in constant rotation - I am thinking of making a plain one too.

Both are super long , like the original, so great for winter as a layer under heavier tops.

But now knitting has taken hold I have the urge to put sewing aside for a while.
As per normal I have too many options , the following are on my list:

A simple vest for G, wool in her choice - purchased last year and yet to be started.

A hat from this book, purchased today in a weak moment when buying needles to make the vest for G. ( randomly - I could only find one of the correct size despite turning the house inside out). All the hats in this book are beautiful and good stash busters for scraps.

This knitbots book has several things I like, from Quince and Co - I especially like the jersey at the top and the draped cardigan at the bottom.

Lastly I like this cowl from the Molly Makes magazine - also from Quince and Co

I am going to need back to back winters for the next 5 years to get anywhere near knitting all these - sigh.

While I debated the next project we made the most of the warm afternoon and headed outside.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Disco Dress

Friday night was the school disco.
Georgie has little silver rabbit shoes she wanted to wear.
I had a vision of a silver dress/top to go with them, slightly Abba.
As we walked up to the school hall, she stated she didn't want people to stare, or to stand out.
Now this  was not a wall flower type of dress, so I said  that sometimes it was fun to stand out,
that being an individual and not the same as anyone else could be good.
I thought to myself that this dress was either going to make me the coolest mum ever
or she would never ever let me make her anything again.

After the disco I met her with her bag for a birthday party sleepover
as I buckled her into the birthday girl's car with her 6 little friends, one girl said
" I like Georgie's dress , its really cool", and another chimed in
"Yeah - it's really cool , where did you get it?"
My Mum made it for me she replied proudly.
Long may Mama made clothes remain cool!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Simple Wardrobe pieces

In the process of cleaning out my wardrobe I looked at what I wear the most, items that last for several seasons before they wear out - my basics and realised most of these were simple pieces in plain colours.  Not buying anything for a year was a challenge in Singapore - I did fall off the wagon just a little bit - I wandered past a Camper shoe shop with 50-70% off and it was too hard to resist.

I have had my eye out for a pair of black flats for summer, I had saved a few on pinterest with ankle strap, but I have narrow feet and hadn't found a pair to fit. I saw a pair exactly the same as one on pinterest at Camper for 50% off and they fitted - enough said.

Leather lined and super soft - I've worn them twice before winter has really set in and I am back to my basic black boot. I'm really happy with these though as they are perfect for work - flat and comfortable.

I then had a little sewing binge and made myself 2 tunics, one in the Chambray I bought in Singapore

I used Vogue 8805 ( I moved on from the staple dress and back to this pattern!) with a few modifications. I made the neck a bit lower ( I know it still looks high and I cut it down 2cm) and as a result the neck opening is bigger so I gave up in the button in the back and cut it in one piece like the front so it just pulls over my head. I put patch pockets on to copy the Toast one I liked.

Version 2
In a stiffer grey cotton, I wore it all day before taking the picture so it's a bit wrinkled but you get the idea. I've been wearing them with tight, boots a scarf and cardigan. The 3/4 sleeve works for me , I find a longer sleeve gets in the way unless it's tight fitting.
Then I taught myself to crochet again
Simple seems to be my theme - cotton dish clothes
My plan is now to copy a couple of my favourite knit tops as the originals are in constant rotation and starting to look a worn. I have also been eyeing up a dress pattern Anna Dress. I have one full length black dress which I have had for about 10 yrs and thinking maybe it's time for something new.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

April Making

It's a picture heavy post today, over a month of living and making. The April blur was 10 days of work straight , followed by a 6 day trip to Singapore , school holidays, and a few days in bed with the Flu - all of which meant I didn't get much sewing in. But I did get around to making two Bimaa tops for G - love this pattern so quick and easy.

Version 1 is a soft European jersey knit I bought on Etsy, G's favourite because it is so comfortable to wear. Both versions have the same cowl neck which is really popular but I can see a hoodie version for the 3rd version.

The 2nd one ( excuse the blurry night time shot) is made of a thick cotton sweatshirt material from my local fabric shop and I think will be a good winter basic. It is more a tomato red than the pink it looks in this shot.

The rest of our making has been more of the craft variety - this is potato print paper for gift wrapping.

The Singapore trip was by myself - so easy to travel alone after our Feb trip in which we passed through Singapore for 2 nights, jet lagged and struggling with the heat after winter in Europe. I really enjoyed Singapore - I did a little fabric browsing in the Chinese district ( got the chambray I had been looking for - yay), checked out the trendy Haji Lane and local design shops, visited the spectacular Gardens by the Bay and bought 15m of Curtain fabric at Ikea - what was I thinking! Now I have to make it up - on the May sewing list but may take a while longer to get around to it.

Now I am on pinterest looking for denim tunic ideas - liking some of the Toast ones - especially the Brigette.