Saturday, 25 May 2013

Friday, 24 May 2013

Tova Shirts

After last weeks sewing disaster I chose the much safer Wiksten Tova pattern and made myself not 1 but three of them. Long story short - the larger gingham needed a pre wash and I wanted to make one NOW so I used the smaller check, then I liked it so decided to make the larger anyway.

I made the collar on the smaller check narrower but then decided it sat better with the wide version so went back to that for the next one. 
Then I wanted a tunic and since this pattern is fast and easy I made the Tova dress too

 Sorry about the crappy pictures taken late at night with low light.
But you get the idea from the mirror shot what it looks like on, vaguely sack like but in the nice wool mix I bought at global fabric I think the drape is ok. Much happier about this look than the previous tunic top.
Now I have managed to get hold of the Lisette Portfolio tunic pattern
I'm going to make the tunic length one ( in green on the packet) in a grey wool mix - here is hoping that it has some shape.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Step away from that pattern

Sometimes I make things I know I shouldn't : case in point is Simplicity 2147.

I wanted a tunic - something I can throw on with tights and in winter with a long sleeved top under it - simple and easy. I may have been looking at too many Japanese sewing books with this style and cute tunics. I should have known better - cute on the 25 yr old models with no bust does not look so good on the over 40 mother. I liked the look of the green dress on the top left.  But those pleats across the bust - alarm bells should have rung. I did a quick trawl of flickr and saw several versions I liked. A few had taken the pleats out of the back as found it too full and some wore it belted and I thought it looked pretty good. I really wanted to try the Lisette Portfolio tunic ( Simplicity 2245) but could not get a copy in my size and I wanted to make it now! So I thought I would give this pattern a try.

I didn't want to buy new fabric so chose a soft green cotton with a white floral print from my stash. I did wonder about the drape and thought something in a rayon may have been better - I should have stepped away from the pattern but no I decided to make it.

The result on me - a green sack, not cute , not flattering. And the arms -like little wings they are ( that may be the 2 layers of fabric with my modification below) So I tried it with a belt:
Now I look like Robin Hood, accentuated by the bust - again - not good.
Good points - an easy pattern to sew and even though I modified it a bit by putting a full lining in the top yoke it was still really quick. If you have a small bust and very soft light fabric then yes this pattern may work for you.  Like I said I have seen some versions that looked good on flickr. You may still want to take some of the fullness out of the back though as even with no pleats it has plenty of room. Also I measured up a full size bigger than I ended up making - its a roomy fit if you go by the size you measure on the pattern . Will I make it again - no, will I wear this - no . Fabric is destined to become a child's skirt I think.
I am thinking I will end up making a Tova  dress by Wiksten, I have made 2 shirts here
 and here . Yes it has a few gathers on the bust but it hangs a lot better than it looks in the photos. So I am thinking a dress version in denim or a winter wool may be the way to go.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

KCW - the aftermath

After the frantic activity of last weeks sewing binge - a big tidy up along with some finishing was this weeks agenda.

I had started another Oliver and S ice cream dress - a colour block version:

I added some pockets as they were a hit on the corduroy one. The fabric was a cotton with a satin type finish  and has a bit of stretch which I like for kids clothes. I am hoping it will last for summer as it's a little bit longer than the first version. I think this my favourite item I made from the week.

I deliberated for ages about the sleeves on the jacket I made:

Not just that they were a little long for Georgie but they looked out of proportion long compared with the length of the coat. By the time her arms were longer the body of the coat would be too short.  Much as I liked the cuff detail - it just didn't work for a kids - I couldn't roll up the sleeve as it was too bulky and I could see they would get covered in food and general kid grubbiness.  So I unpicked, removed them and shortened the sleeve just about 1cm .

It's much more wearable and I think the plain sleeve is better.
Now she has stacks of clothes for winter and I am surfing the net for a tunic pattern for myself.
Anyone with the Lisette portfolio tunic pattern( Simplicity 2245) in the smaller sizes who wants to sell their copy? (or loan), as it is now out of print.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Learning to sew

Last week's sewing frenzy has renewed Georgie's interest in sewing.
We found this little kit when picking up supplies last week:

I forgot to take a picture before we made the doll, but essentially it was a printed piece of fabric with a cutting guide and simple instructions.

I helped guide the machine as the curved seams were a bit tricky for a beginner. Georgie stuffed it and then I stitched it shut for her.

Pretty good for a first effort:
Georgie was very pleased with the end result - I liked that it was quick too.
I think she needs a bit more straight stitching practice before she can make one by herself but it has motivated her to sew more .

I think we might paint some fabric and try sewing up some little cushions for her dolls as practice, but I can see we will end up with another kit as Georgie planning another one!