There are a gazillion tutorials on the web for these dresses so I won’t bore you with the details (unless you’d really like me too then I’d be delighted), so straight to the pictures for the first of 3 shirred tops/dresses currently being made.
This one was cut down from a dress of mine that whilst I loved the fabric always felt indecently short.
I kept the pintucks from the original dress at the bottom
and did 12 rows of shirring at the topTie shoulder straps give plenty of growing roomThe little cardigan is from Asda last year and the butterfly sandals are in Next now.
More of the stash has been used up this week, this time for linen shorts for The Boy.
He’s abed at the moment (though not asleep, the little beast) so I’ve taken pictures of just the shorts so I can post about them today, and wrap up April as well.
I used Simplicity 2907:This is well drafted pattern and set of instructions, although you’d hope so with just 3 pieces for the shorts, but you never can tell! I’ll definitely be making these again, and wouldn’t mind making the other pieces as well. These shorts are great for beginners as they are so easy to construct, and if you’re a little wary you could leave off the pockets and cut down on the top-stitching to make them even simpler.
I used left over pieces of linen from making lounge pants for Mr S quite some time ago:The lighting is atrocious but the pair on the left are a heavy black linen and the ones on the right are an olive/grey lightweight linen.
So, all in all, despite the bunnies-that-weren’t, this has been quite a successful month…1 interlined Linton Tweed cape and 2 pairs of linen shorts, and the stash reduced even further. Squeeeeee!
I can’t believe it’s May already. As the weather is still lovely here, top of my list are 2 sundresses and a top for Button, followed by a top and a pair of trousers for myself, which will reduce the stash even further. The items for Button are just shirred at the top so no pattern there. The top and trousers….I haven’t decided yet. So watch this space.
Merry Christmas, Alice-who-isn’t-a-cat.
Finally, the Linton cape is finished.
It’s been a bit of a bear to sew. The pattern itself is really straightforward and the instructions are clear, but, as always, I made a bit more work for myself by interlining it.
I don’t mind telling you that Linton tweed and lining fabric do not make for simple sewing.
If I’d been making this for myself it would never have been finished, thats for sure!
But the result was worth the effort:
The self fabric covered buttons were super easy to do as, even though I lightly interfaced it, the loose weave of the fabric gave the teeth of the button something to hang on to:The only thing I wish for this is that I’d had enough fabric to really match the checks, but I think because they are a broken check, I can just about get away with it. Let’s face it, it’s only us sewers who are so hyper critical of our projects, and I’m not going to be stopping passers-by, pointing at Alice and saying “look how those checks don’t match”.
Honestly. I won’t. Pinky promise!
You’ll remember that Ma and I were going to The Patchwork Chicks for a bag making day for Mother’s Day.
Well, it was fabulous.
Despite Button’s best attempts to stop me getting out of the door…you know, screaming, shouting, stamping feet, the usual toddler delaying tactics…we still managed to get to Barrowford in time for tea and a very tasty bacon sandwich at the little cafe across the road, the name of which escapes me.At the appointed hour we liberated machines and sewing supplies from the car and headed on in.
There were four of us in total and we all got on famously from the get go.
First we cut out little house shapes and a base from fabric and interliningstitched them togetherthen we lined them, topstitched them, et voila!Of course, before you add cord they also make splendid hats
It’s finally done.
I should have gone with a purchased pattern in the first place and saved myself some time, but I’m counting it as all part of the learning curve. And apologies for the dark pictures. It’s a very cloudy and gray day here but I simply couldn’t wait for the sun to return before I share this with you.
As you know the pattern used is the Chic Everyday Coat Pattern from Heidi and Finn on Etsy. Obviously I’ve had to shorten the coat to make it fit on the fabric and I’ve straightened the A-line somewhat for the same reason. I made the 3T size deliberately to make this too big so she’ll get extra wear out of it. To make it fit for this season I’ve shifted the buttons to make this Chinese inspired style. I’ll just move the buttons across as she grows into it. We’ll get lots of wear out of this beautiful coat, which I’m very happy about.
She’s so pleased that I’ve made her a coat she insisted she wore it to visit Grandma this morning so she could show it off. Makes it all worthwhile. I’ve a feeling this won’t be the last of these I make, but next time I’ll make the size smaller. I also think there’ll be plenty of Heidi and Finn patterns in our future too. They are delightful.
For The Boy’s adoption day I had been frantically sewing in an attempt to get the Linton Tweed dress finished in time.
So much so that on Wednesday evening I sat with Alice-who-isn’t-a-cat and a glass of wine watching masterchef and frantically stitching bindings into place.
And I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this dress.
I cut the size 18 with a larger waist (as I don’t have one at all) and could have cut a 16 I think, as I ended up taking it in a bit. I find this truly surreal as it’s not that long ago I was cutting the 22. Anyhoo, because the pattern has different cup sizes there was very little else for me to alter. I added three inches to the skirt length and next time out will add perhaps 1/2″ to the bodice.
I also took up the shoulder seam by about 5/8″ and pinched out another 1/2″ all the way down the back to stop it bagging on me.
The only thing I’d change for the next iteration is that the front neckline needs a tiny dart folding into the pattern to reduce the neckline gaposis. But again, it’s livable with this one.
After my near disaster with the preshrinking, and after much steam pressing, I managed to restore the fabric almost to its original texture. However it was still very wonky on the table so I’m amazed that the pattern matching came out so beautifully:
There is a seam there, I promise…you can just about see it down the middle where the horizontal stripes don’t quite line up, but full length, you ain’t seeing nothing, I can tell you!
Because the fabric is so unstable, I interlined the whole thing with an inexpensive black cotton, overlocking all the pieces together before I began construction:
With the exception of the neckline being slightly squiffy at the top of the zip (and I’ve seen that on ready to wear costing hundreds of pounds so am cutting myself a little slack), this dress is just perfect.
It was inspired by a dress I saw last season in LK Bennet which was the same style but a dark raspberry colour and cost about £200. Mine cost about £25! And it fits! Which is truly a testament to doing things properly…making a muslin, taking time to press everything properly as you go, measuring seams, etc! I’m a convert, and I will be making this dress again.
It’s such a simple pattern which makes up in no time at all.
I’m sure you’ll recognise that the navy dress is the last of the nasty polyester. The pink is a piece of floral corduroy given to me by Himmelbjerget.
with armhole and neckline facings which you can just see peeping out on this picture.
and the pink hem has the best top-stitching I have ever achieved. I’m mighty chuffed with it:
The stash gets smaller!
I realise that my blog posts are a bit like buses this week…you wait around for ages and then they all come at once.
It also looks like I’ve been awfully prolific this week but the knitted items were started before Christmas, so really are sneaky finished objects for 2011.
But without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you Multnomah
This pattern is quick and simple and the yarn is just luscious. It’s a joy to wear as it’s so soft and warm. Perfect for these chilly days. The bottom picture best shows the colour but in real life it is more citrussy still. The colours have a huge amount of saturation and vibrancy.
So now, I have nothing on the needles although I do have a pile of yarn to crack on with and a large parcel of yarn en route to knit a late Christmas gift for Mr S. I may browse some patterns this afternoon and cast on some of the stash yarn.
I also have the last piece of the hateful blue polyester on the table. I think the best use for it will be to make a wearable muslin of a different pinafore pattern for Button, and maybe squeeze an elastic waisted skirt out of it. That way she’ll have plenty of school clothes for this academic year and I’ll be rid of the awful stuff. Also, if the pattern fits ok, I have two other pieces of fabric to whip up into pinafores for her too. They shouldn’t take a great deal of time.