Monday, January 27, 2014

KCW 01/14: Day 1

This Kids Clothes Week is technically Winter but I am calling it 01/14, as it was over thirty degrees here today!  My mission is only to make one thing - a new raincoat for Issy.

I did some prep before the week started - cutting out the main fabric.  I went away across the Australia Day long weekend so I knew I would only have a scant hour tonight.

KCW Jan 2014: Day 1 - O+S Raincoat Hood

The main fabric is a soft greyish purple laminate I got from the Kelani fabric stall at the Melbourne Craft Fair last year.  I am using the Oliver + S School Days Coat pattern, which I have made previously for her.

In the hour I managed to cut the lining and sew the hood.

KCW Jan 2014: Day 1 - O+S Raincoat Hood

Annoyingly I even got the stitching around the edge done which looked great, but then I turned it over and I had managed to catch the lining folded over in the topstitching.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

SO I unpicked that (with no small amount of swearing) and then decided to call it a night.  I could imagine irritably resewing it and doing the same thing again if I wasn't careful :)

KCW Jan 2014: Day 1 - O+S Raincoat Hood

So far so good!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Go To Patterns - Casual Lady Dress

I liked the look of this one when it was released and bought it not soon after.  Lots of reviews saying how quick and easy and flattering this pattern is.

It took me a while to get around to making this - I did the pattern piecing, tracing, adjustments and cutting in a short time, then of course got distracted by other things.


Here is my first go at it.  Of course with my figure, this wasn't a quick and easy make at all.  I made the following adjustments:
  • A full bust adjustment
  • Added some extra width in the back (am not just large in the chest, I have big shoulders and a wide back - it's a winning combination...)
  • Added some length (not enough, from the looks of these pictures)
At that point, I sewed it up roughly (no facings, no finishing, long stitch) and tried it on.  HIDEOUS.  Like a big maternity sack thing.  In no way flattering or even comfortable.  I was kind of expecting this, as the difference between my waist and chest measurements is massive - like four Australian dress sizes.  Annoyingly, this is too much just to take off the side seams without some really odd results, so I added two darts in the front and two in the back to remove the excess where I really needed to remove it.  I also took the sides of the skirt part in from the hips down - I am fairly hourglass shaped but the future time is definitely larger than the elapsed, so I usually have to grade down a bit around the hips also.

You can see those darts better in the picture below:


I am not sure if those darts are as well executed as I might like.  They certainly add the right shape and remove the fabric as I expected, but the fabric doesn't really hang as I would like and so they look a bit obvious I think.

I am not sure whether that's because they are too long, too wide (I think too wide) or am just not used to darts in a fabric like this.  I think (from the shot below) that they should be slightly narrower and slight longer - to taper to nothing more effectively.


This poorly captured back shot shows what I mean about the darts looking awkward.  Not hideous (they actually look better in person than in these pictures) but not great either.

SO.  What do I think of this pattern?  I think I will always have fit issues with a dress and no dress pattern will ever prove me wrong :)  This pattern seems quite flattering and comes a lot closer to being something I will feel comfortable wearing than anything else I have made myself in a dress (this is the one exception - I LOVE this dress, though the style isn't really casual).  I imagine a few further small adjustments and this could really be a Go To pattern for me, so that's a plus.

I do think there are still some oddities in the dress (not sure if they are mine or the patterns).  If you look at the pictures of everyone else who has made this dress, there is a funny crease from the side of the arm to just above the breast.  I don't really have that crease but I do have a bit of an excess of fabric in that area (again - that bit could me but everyone else has a fitting weirdness in that spot also...).  You can see the excess in the picture below:


I am not sure what the deal is there.  I actually feel like the cap sleeve is a little tight so I might try and play with that (maybe turn it under again?) to try and release the tightness and also get rid of the fabric there.  It could well still be my FBA, which to me seems to sit a little low...I might also take it in a teensy bit more at the hip and thigh area, which could help with the dart draping.  I didn't press the side seam before these pictures, which makes it look more oddly hanging than it really is.

All up I think I would happily wear this dress as is, though I really want to sort out the back darts.  It's hot here today and I nearly wore it out, but I feel like just a little bit more effort when I get back tonight will nail it as a bit of a wardrobe staple.  Am already thinking of a few top versions, perhaps a colour blocked version and a winter heavy weight version for layering.  The GoTo bit seems an apt name in this case!


What do you think?  Flattering or in need of more work than I think?

Friday, January 10, 2014

KCW: "Winter 2014"!

So from this point on, I will be calling it January 2014 KCW and NOT winter 2014.  While the Tasmanian weather has being doing it's best to convince us all it isn't summer, it has finally relented this week and we are getting some summery action!

Having said all that, I have a single, rather wintery mission for this KCW.  I am going to make Issy a raincoat.  I will finally get around to using this fabric I got from the Kelani Fabrics bargain bin at the Melbourne Craft Fair last year:


It is a lovely laminate in a soft grey (I think it looks more brown and darker than it really is in this picture) and should make a very stylish raincoat!

I will be using the Oliver+S Schools Days Coat Pattern which I have a paper copy of (I think it's now only available digitally).  I have already made this coat once, which was this version:

As you can see it was rather large when I made it, and in fact this still fits perfectly now.  I will put it on her again before I cut into the fabric to make sure.  I am thinking maybe only a slight sleeve or length adjustment might do, as she really hasn't grown in width at all, even though this was nearly two years ago.

I am heading off to beautiful Bruny Island for the Australia Day weekend and coming back on the first day of KCW so I hope to do a lot of prep before then to make sure I am ready to rock.  I will try the coat on her, check the sizing one more time and then dig out the pattern (hopefully it's already traced from last time!).  I will cut everything out, make sure I have thread and notions etc.  There is a detachable quilted lining which might be handy for really cold and wet days, though to be honest we don't have a whole heap of those down here so am not sure if I will bother with making that (I didn't last time as the main shell was wool anyway).

My only question for anyone is - do I line a raincoat?  I think I will as it's going to be a longer lasting, less novelty character kind of thing.  Marcus has a Spiderman one which isn't lined (I didn't make that...) and I kind of shudder every time he puts it on :)

Am quite excited for KCW with a single, dedicated mission.  Usually I flail about a bit and end up feeling like I made way less than I *should* have.  Quality not quantity this time!  What are you making?  Are you going for lots of items or just one or two?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas PJs

I loved the Elk Grove range by Jay-Cyn for Birch Organics, so soft and pretty (Here:, if there is any left!).  I decided to make some Christmas PJs for the kids and their friends from the range.

I used the Alex and Anna Summer PJs for Marcus, and the GoTo Patterns Signature Dress for the nighties. I tried to talk them into some shirring at the waist, but apparently the victorian look is cool with six year olds :)

They also swapped nighties just after the picture, as they apparently both preffered the other colour. Whatever keeps them happy...