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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Planning...and planning....and then making!

This year I established a sewing goal to work on some techniques such as knit bindings, and perfect the fit of a few much needed basics. Then I got sidetracked into swimsuit sewing, because we are going on vacation in 2 weeks. Then, I discovered a new blog and decided I needed to make colourful dresses!! See a problem here?

Sewing takes time, and creating a put together wardrobe takes focus.


That means finishing what I start, and learning from it. Putting together a sewing plan, before I dive in and cut out yet another project that doesn't get finished, or gets hurriedly slapped together.

So with that in mind, I've searched out some planning tools. I really like the Wardrobe Architect series on the Colette blog. The entire body of work on the blog is guided toward sewing development, including educational patterns and techniques, to the wardrobe planning tool I mentioned.

The series is from 2014 but still relevant to those of us who have just discovered it.

I downloaded the first worksheet and will be using it to plan items for my post-vacation sewing.

I'm starting a sewing and wardrobe binder, to organize my plans and techniques.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Noelle Bra turned into a Swimsuit Top

Today I'm sharing some tweaks I made to the Noelle Bra by Madalynne, a free pattern on her blog. Madalynne has a beautiful site with loads of inspiration and free patterns! She also sells kits to make the Noelle bra! Definitely check it out.

I've wanted a halter-style swim top since last year, and this bra had everything I wanted! I love the racer back and the underbust band, as they really enhance support. In addition, there is no back closure so that makes construction much easier than a traditional bra/swimsuit top. I recommend this if you're sewing swim or lingerie for the first time.

I followed Madalynne's directions for order-of-assembly, but used rubber swimsuit elastic instead of lingerie elastic, sewing it first to the wrong side with a serger, then folding under and sewing from the right side with a triple-stitch.

I also made my own straps from swimsuit fabric and rubber elastic to use in place of bra-straps.

Here are the additional changes I made, to make it into a swimsuit top:

-altered the top corners of the halter to accommodate ring-tabs.
-added channels on the side seams and inserted boning.
-inserted bra cups.
-lined the band with power mesh for extra rigidity.
-I made the band quite snug and stretched the halter top to fit.

You can see in the picture below how I extended the top corners in width and length so that after the elastic is attached and sewn under, there is a straight tab that can be folded under with a ring.

I cut the lower band pattern, in size small. I cut the lining from power mesh, using a small rotary cutter.

After the halter back and front are sewn together and the elastic attached to the neck and sides (as per the instructions) I inserted foam cups between the two. My thought was to sew the cups right into the seam where the bottom band attaches, however I did run into a few problems. It might have been my method, or it might have been that the cups were too large! They kept getting in my way, tee hee.

The bottom band main fabric and power mesh lining sewn with the halter sandwiched between the right sides.

 These are the beautiful rings that I scavenged from a thrift store swimsuit!!

And here she is, my trendy new swimsuit top, paired with bottoms that I made several weeks ago using the Beverly Twisted pattern by Named Clothing.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Fall cape - the Go To Cape for Girls

It took some looking but I found the perfect pattern for a girl's cape. I wanted something that my girl could easily put her arms through. I found the Go To Patterns Cape for Girls and my wishes were fulfilled.

The pattern covers a large size range, and has varied options for front closure. My favourite feature however, is the front slits for little hands to fit through. Most other capes and ponchos I found didn't include this feature and children would have to lift up the cape to reach or hold things. Plus, the slits are created by two panels on each side, so the shaping is much nicer than most circle type capes.

My inspiration for a cape came when I found a beautifully textured sweater knit at my local fabric shop. The fabric features a beautiful quilt-like design that require a simple shape to showcase its full beauty.

 I lined the cape with a cozy cornflower blue plush fabric, for extra warmth and to add some colour.

The buttons are vintage buttons from my trip to France two years ago. They will get snipped off and added back to the stash when this cape is too small.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Waterfall Raglan Dress

Last winter I started sewing alot more for my girl, and now I'm catching up on blogging about the cooler weather items. My favourite is the Waterfall Raglan dress/top by Chalk and Notch. As you will see, I've made this several times in different lengths and fabrics. Always to great success! Its so wearable. Comfortable but also very modern.

My first time out I used a royal blue velour from Fabricville. Its absolutely sumptuous fabric, it feels so soft and comfortable I bought 6 more meters in other colours. None so nice as this blue!

You can see the fullness of the skirt in the photo below.

Did you happen to notice the furry collar? I made that as well with faux fur using a Peter Pan collar pattern available free from Colette Patterns! I love this collar, and will feature more on it later.

As you can see in the picture below, a detached collar on a child doesn't always stay put!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Kitty cat birthday decorations and free printable download

I made a cute kitty cat banner, buttons and placemats for the party that I am happy to share.

The PDF file can be downloaded here: Kitty cat banner, button and placemat

Friday, 13 October 2017

Party ideas

We are having a birthday party this weekend! Lots of fun and planning, my girl wants a kitty-theme. How cute are these cat-themed ideas?

Balloons give you a lot of bang for your buck when decorating, and many times they can be decorated. I did Elmo balloons for a 2 year old party, and this weekend we will make cat balloons with some ears and whiskers! It looks like these whiskers are stuck on but it would be even easier to use a marker. Kitty balloons

DIY cat balloons very cute by @deliacreates seen via @lisafrankparties

I printed out the template for this banner, and will use it to cut out construction paper "kitty faces" and make a garland.   Kitty face garland

Celebrate your favorite cat lady/guy/kid in fabulous feline style! Make a happy string of super-cute kitty cat garland with this easy-too-follow tutorial.

I made a two layer marble cake, and I plan to decorate the top of it like a kitty face. This Cat face cake is an inspiration. Its simple enough to do.

You need to make this kitten party cake right meow. It's perfect for birthdays, baby showers, or just because. How adorable!

And finally some easy kitty cat face painting!

Children In Pictures, Universal Child, Children's Health Fund ...                                                                                                                                                                                 More

So I will let you know how it turns out. Meow.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Color mixing

Still searching for a basic "go to" dress, I had a fun brown and pink print that I wanted to use. I picked up a cute McCalls pattern to try out. After all, the model even looks like my T! Would it become my "go to" pattern? Maybe, with a few adjustments.

The fun part was finding an unusual coordinating fabric! I popped into our local boutique fabric retailer, Patch Halifax. The owner helped me pick out a gorgeous Robert Kaufman in a mustard/lime colour that really showed beautifully with the print. So exciting to stray from the obvious choice of pink! The fabric has a fantastic textural appeal as well, due to a slightly different warf and weft.

I had to modify the bottom band, as the pattern called for a circle cut and I didn't have enough fabric. I added a slightly ruffled band instead. And...pockets!

I used a wonderful pattern and tutorial offered by Tie Dye Diva, found here. You will be seeing it again!

This might become a regular pattern, if I adjust the bodice fit. Its not as fitted as the pattern picture shows, and I added ties onto the back.

I do really like the sleeve method, and the circle skirt is lots of fun! As you can see.