Monday, June 29, 2015

Box Pleat Tunic plus separate Ash Pants.

This top, or more precise the bow on this top, is a good example of sometimes mistakes happen for a reason. I will explain a bit further down in this post....

This top is from one of my newest purchases of Japanese sewing books (at least until those 3 news ones I have ordered arrives, ahem! Yikes, I might need an intervention, ha).

It's pattern b Box Pleat Tunic from the English translated books called Girly Style Wardrobe by Yoshiko Tsukiori. HERE is a link to the great blog Japanese Sewing Books that always makes great reviews/presentations where she goes through the book style by style.

The book is one of my favorites simply because I actually want to make a big number of the styles. Some of my books I just enjoy as inspiration and eye candy and then there is maybe one or two I want to make but this one is really worth the money.

The style is simple. A raglan style top with wide sleeves, a big center front box pleat and then the cute bow.

The printed fabric is THIS cotton poplin from Organic Cotton Plus.
The baby pink in the bow is a cotton voile and the mustard is a viscose found in my leftover bin. Actually it is a leftover from my first STYLO contribution which you can see HERE.

So let's talk about the mistake which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I had a hard time deciding which fabric to make the bow with. And I didn't have enough of the printed from the bodice so that was out of the question. In the end I decided to go with the mustard and then I made a piping with the pink. First mistake since the piping made it all too bulky! Second mistake was not to put interfacing on the mustard viscose. I had one of those discussions with interface or not to interface....and I guess the lazy gambler won....well, until I finished sewing and it just looked so bad.
 Overall the finish just looked...not very good. BUT lazy still won and I went on with it....until I had to rip up some of the very last stitches from when I closed the bow by sewing in the ditch from the front, catching the inside of the bow. Well, it had slipped a few places and when I ripped up the stitches to try again I somehow managed to cut a hole in the fabric. And THEN I finally decided that enough was enough and start all over again with a new bow, ha.

This time I swapped the colors so pink was the dominant and mustard the 'piping'. Except this is a faux piping which is part of the bow and the inside of the bow is mustard too. Together with some added interfacing this created a result that was SO much better it is almost incomparable.

The morale of the story:
Yup, cutting holes in your fabric sucks but sometimes it's just the universe trying to tell you that you should not have gone down this road in the first place.
(Okay, I made that up, hehe).

And then we have these lovely, loose and easy (in every way) pants. The pattern is the pants from the Ash Jumpsuit from Petit a Petit Patterns. The patterns comes with a separate top and pants pattern pieces too so you do not even have to make a pattern is all being served to you for the low price of $10.

I made these for spring but they ended up hanging in my sewing room for like two months before I came around photographing them. Jeez! Well, they will be perfect for fall too!
Actually W is wearing them again today since we are having a just-hot-not-scorching day which means we take advantage of the opportunity to wear someting else than shorts and t-shirts. 
Yeah, boohoo I bet you feel really sorry for us and our semi-tropical temps, haha.

These are made with tencel denim which means this is the third post in a row I'm giving you made with that material. I told you I was not quite done using it, ha.

The style is ultra simple which is exactly what you need sometimes (both to wear and sew!). An elastic waist and hem plus some side inseam pockets. Clean, simple and ultra comfortable, ahhhh!

There was something about this photo above that just screamed black & white to here you go. I hope you agree?!

Thank you!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Soft Denim Overalls

It does not take a lot of browsing around to notice that denim overalls are all the rage these days. And the cool things about kids is that they (together with adult supermodels) actually looks great in them. So yeah, I'll admit it...this post is a projection of what I really want to wear myself but know not to do. Oh boy, I would look so ridiculous, especially in the loose baggy version I have made today, ha.

These overalls are from the Japanese sewing book called Boys and Girls Clothes and Goods. Or at least that is what the Etsy shop calls it...what do I know since it is all in Japanese.
I bought the book at the Etsy shop called Pomadour24. I can totally recommend that shop. Tons of different books. Unfortunately does it seem like this book has since sold out. But here is a photo of the book cover and the style that I made in case you want to start searching for it elsewhere or ask if they can get more. The service is great and friendly there!

I have to make the dress version too. So so cute!!

I did have some problems with the fit.
The biggest size in the book is 130 cm...and since W is around 123 cm that should not be a problem. But when I did the first fitting halfway through they were too short. We could choose between the pants being pulled up way too high (the style is obvious meant to be loose fitting and low hanging so that looked ridiculous since the crotch is fairly long) or we could keep the crotch loose and low hanging and then the front flap would stop somewhere mid chest...and that looked ridiculous too.

Luckily the pattern had me adding 3 cm seam allowance to both the top of the pants and the bottom of the front flap which later was suppose to create a casing for the tie band. SO I ripped that seam up again, sewed the waist seam with 1 cm (so I lengthen the pants overall with 4 cm) and then I quickly drafted and cut a separate casing to sew on afterwards. Before I finished I did another fitting which was lucky because it turned out the sides of the front flap was now too long. Gah. SO I ripped up some of that waist seam again and curved the bottom of the front flap so the center part stayed long and the sides pieces were shortened with 2 cm. and THEN things finally started looking okayish.

What's the morale of this story? Doing a midway fitting if you are sewing a new pattern is a very good idea...even if it means you won't finish the garment that day!
Yes, yes I'm patting my back for remembering it this time, hehe.

As you can see here it is a very loose style. And if I ever made another pair (if she wanted to wear them, wah) I would probably add even more length to the back so they were even more hanging in the bum area.

I decided to add an elastic too in the casing so it was not only the tie band that should gather the whole thing. I think that gives a better control of the gathering.

I love that the pattern comes with a gathered front side of the front flap and a non-gathered piece for the inside so you do not add unnecessary bulk there. Good pattern making there!

The fabric is tencel denim that I also used for my Ishi Dress. See it HERE.
Perfect for this garment.

The t-shirt is another Celestial Tee from Figgy's Patterns. You can see my previous version HERE.

And I have made it in this ultra lovely soft stripy bamboo knit from Fabric Depot's webshop.
When I grabbed the link for this post I noticed it was on sale. I might need some more. It really makes stunning garments because it is oh so soft and the drape is simply perfect!

So yeah, I might love this outfit but W's facial expression clearly shows her opinion about the pants. Ugh. I kind of knew it beforehand but hey it was worth a shot. And the t-shirt has been worn a lot already, soooo I guess that is something.

Thank you!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Ash Jumpsuit Turned Dress.

I have the ultimate summer dress for you today. Okay, actually it is a top and a skirt but worn together they certain look like a dress.

I love the Ash Jumpsuit by Petit à Petit Patterns and I have always wanted to try to remix it into a dress somehow. And here we are over a year later.

It has been done before. Check out THIS amazing version from the wonderful Inês / La Folie Sewing Booth. Love the idea with the shirring!

The original pattern can both be made as a whole jumpsuit or as separates. From the beginning I was planning on making it as a whole dress but when I did the first fitting I realized that separates looked just as good and for sure has more options in the long run, right!

HERE is a link to my original Ash Jumpsuit Pattern post by the way.

I still absolutely LOVE that elastic neckline.

The back is real pretty too. For school I would just add a neutral tank top under. No big deal.

And then we had our little garden hare join the photo shoot. Awww.

I love this fabric SO much. It is quilting cotton but soft and totally works for this style. It is Anna Maria Horner. Honor Roll, Overachiever, Burgundy. The colors are so unexpected and goes so well together. You might remember that I used it for my STYLO spread too.

The skirt is self drafted but is basically an a-line skirt which has been added a tiny bit more width (with the slash and spread method). You can read all about that method in THIS post. I used this 1 3/4" wide gold elastic from Dritz as a waistband and it really does not get more easy than that! I have promised a tutorial when I posted a sneak peek on my Instagram page and I am still planning on doing that. Just give me some more time!

I hemmed the skirt with a gold bias tape and as you can see did I take tons of photos of that detail....not.

That is it! Happy summer!

Get your own copy of the Ash Jumpsuit Pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Ishi Dress by Straightgrain Patterns

Since An from StraightGrain announced The Ishi Contest today and I actually sewed and took photos of my version of the Ishi Dress the other day, I thought it would be fitting to move this to the front of the blogging post line. And yes, I actually have a blogging post line in case you wondered, ha. I'm trying not to bore you by overposting so I'm keeping some of them back for the coming weeks.

And I have a funny story for you further down so keep reading......

I'm still obsessed with the multiple color block denim trend and I feel like I still have a few garments left to make before I get sick of it. And who cares about trends, right. If you like it, make it! And I certainly like this dress and I wish it was mine!

Both fabrics are tercel denim and oh boy that fabric is quite revealing for any little sewing mistakes.

The pockets, neckline and sleeves are hemmed with denim bias tape (from Jo-Anns) and I might have tightened it a tiny bit too much because afterwards all those seams had tiny little 'waves' above them no matter how much I pressed on them. Argh.

I thought it was acceptable though - especially since it is a loose when An first saw the dress and declared that she LOVED all the gathers I added to the style I couldn't help laughing and laughing. It was just a hysterical funny situation and poor An was mortified that she might have offended me, when she learned that I had in fact not added any least not on purpose.

OF COURSE I was not offended. She did not in any way mean to fact she thought I was a genius for those gathers, I'm starting laughing again. 
But maybe I should make another one with real gathers?!

See E is laughing too. She loves this dress. I made a size 6 for my 5.5 year old and I think it is perfect. A tiny bit too big (room to grow in) but no risk for drowning.

The bias tape in the neckline is actually solely decoration. I still used the facings that the pattern provide for finishing the neckline. I didn't think I could do a nice enough finish with just the bias tape since it has a invisible zipper center back.
So I ironed out one side of the bias tape and sandwiched it between the bodice and facing's neckline seam and then stitched the other side of the bias tape to the dress.

But the pockets and sleeves are hemmed with the bias tape. I used THIS tutorial...scroll down to the 'hemming with bias tape' part. The tutorial is for homemade bias tape but of course works for store bought too!
And do I have to remind you not to pull too much in the bias tape when you sew it on!? Agree, I think this dress is enough reminder, right hehe.

Just like with my previous post I do not have a lot to say about the pattern because it is very good. Yay!
The pattern also have a buttoned back option and I will quickly admit that I did not even look at that one since I decided right away to make this clean and simple...and what is more clean and simple than an invisible zipper, right!

Now go read all about the contest and the insane prizes (click on the graphic above). I almost regret accepting the job as one of the judges because now I can't enter myself. Buuuut I probably needed to make another one for that anyway....maybe with gathers?! (Okay, I cannot get any more out of that joke now. I'll promise I'm going to stop now!).

Go get your own Ishi Dress Pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Antalya Dress by Kid Approved.

Okay, I'll admit it.....when I suggested we went strawberry picking for Mother's Day it was (also) because I could really see this dress go well amongst all the strawberry plants. 
Yeah, I know, yikes the woman has gone mad!
But I promise we had lots of fun and the photos were just bonus and W aaaaalmost didn't notice that I took them, ahem.

The dress I'm talking about is this stunning Antalya Dress. A pattern by my good friend Olga from Kid Approved. You HAVE to check out these two versions that she made HERE. GAH, beautiful!!

I already knew that the pattern was good (yeah, I'm psychic like that) so I went straight to my absolutely favorite piece of fabric that I have just looked at with heart emoji eyes for years and NOW was the time to actually cut into it.

So the thing is that Antalya is actually made for woven and the dotted fabric is this thin lightweight knit (printed insanely off grain, grrrrr) totally worked out, phew.

For the sleeves I used this very lovely and lightweight black voile from Organic Cotton Plus. It is quite see-through so I decided to cut my side/sleeve pieces double and that worked out great.

Since I made most of my bodice in knit fabric I decided to skip all the beautiful back opening options that the pattern has and simply sew a knit rib in the neck opening. Even that worked too - I feel like this dress and I are on quite good terms at this point, ha. Thanks for cooperating!

I love the lines of this dress. It's calling for some serious color I right or am I right!?

One last change I did was adding a bit to the length. I'm not sure it was necessary though since the knit already stretched a bit. I made a size 7 for my 7 year old. But now it will definitely be long enough to use in the fall too with tights and a cardigan. 

I don't have a lot to say about the pattern because it is GOOD...very good! You are in good hands when buying and sewing this pattern.

Get your own Antalya Dress Pattern HERE.

Thank you!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stylo 4 - Sun Kissed

I have been counting down to this day. 
Today is the release of the amazing and inspirational online sewing for kids magazine STYLO. It is the 4th release and I could not be any prouder so say that I am amongst the group of AH-mazing ladies that has been invited to make a spread this time. That was a question I did not hesitate for a second to say yes to when I was asked by the two wonderful editor-in-chiefs Celina and Jessica.

I made my girls two outfits each and these two dresses above are what I consider my showpieces. Understood in the way that these dresses are more meant as inspiration than as actually everyday kids clothes. Especially the dress for my big girl is more 'show' than 'let's go and play at the park' reality. That is why doing STYLO is so fun because it has room for it all.

They are both made from The Sunki Dress by Figgy's Patterns.

The one above is from the original pattern but with pieced curved side pieces.

The incredible flower printed fabric (which was my initial inspiration for this whole spread) is by Anna Maria Horner from the collection Honor Roll. This print is called Overachiever and comes in 3 color ways and I absolutely LOVE this one. Just plain yum. I bought mine HERE.

And as soon as I decided to use this fabric I knew I also wanted to make a non-printed dress for my other daughter but in the same color ways. And the first thing that popped up in my head was to use Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics.
It comes in a plethora of amazing colors and I had a very hard time choosing - which is a good problem to have in that situation!

And here is my heavily remixed Sunki Dress. My inspiration started at this beautiful Pinterest STYLO inspiration board made by Celina that was presented to us when we got invited. There was a dress with a big circle that caught my attention and The Sunki Dress was the logical pattern to use as a starting point. Especially since I have always loved that dress but at that point had never made it. 

So I extended the half circle side pieces to full circles. Removed the sleeves and used the rounded shoulder overlaps to create separate oval shoulder pieces. And then I added those lower side pieces to add some more volume in the lower part. The hem is'wavy' and high-low. I made a big circle 'keyhole' opening in the back which I closed with an oversized bow made of pink and beige striped grosgrain ribbon.

The dress is solely made from Cotton Couture by Michael Miller.

The finished dresses gave some heavy 60s and 70s vibes and the hat and glasses were no-brainer-accessories for the photo shoot.

In my other two outfits I wanted to create a contrast to the two dresses and go big on the wearability but still cool of course, ha. And still in the same colors.

I really want this outfit for myself - although I wouldn't look quite as cute.
The top is a pattern U from the Japanese sewing book Happy Homemade, vol. 5.

And the shorts....THE SHORTS..... those I really want for myself. They are the brand-new-releasing-any-day-now Morocco Pants (and shorts) by Petit a Petit Patterns. They are shock full of lovely details such as back welt pockets, side pockets, belt loops, zip fly and the ultra cool color block option you can see above. I choose to make part of my front in the same fabric as the back. But you can also make the side stripe stand out which will create a tuxedo pants effect - I knoooow, so good!
If you scroll down to wednesday on Celina's Sewing for Kindergarten post you can see her version. I love them SO much!

They are not a fast project BUT they are something even better - they are a truly satisfying project and you might learn a new trick or two.
All three fabrics used for these shorts are from Michael Levine Fabrics. Burgundy denim, baby pink stretch denim and stripy denim.

For my youngest daughter I made my own remixed sweatshirt version of The Mulberry Tunic from Kid Approved Patterns. HERE is a link to the post about this remix.

The lovely and on the heavy side of medium weight stripy cotton sweatshirt fleece is from Girl Charlee. The black and cream is since sold out but HERE is a link to the same fabric in heather grey and black stripe.

The skirt is a slightly remixed version of pattern N from the Japanese sewing book Girl Clothing by Akiko Mano.
I added the separate back ruffle after seeing THIS dress.

The fabric is more Cotton and Steel double gauze goodness from Michael Levine.
Cream double gauze from Imagine Gnats Shop just for the back ruffle.

And here you see my two happy bunnies posing and turning towards the camera but I think you can see on W's smile that something was up....

....and the whispering started.

I honestly have no idea what happened but oh boy these photos makes me so happy. 
I was stressed out of my mind during the photo shoot to get the photos right and at the same time try to take advantage of the sinking sun. But I'm glad that they at least had some fun, haha.

Oh, you can see the back welt pockets here. Woohoo.


I want to give a big thanks to the fabric shops below for generously sponsoring part of the fabric for this spread. 

New customers get 10% off their first order.

Get 10% off your entire purchase when using the code 'STYLO4'

And thank you Figgy's Patterns for The Sunki Dress pattern, Kid Approved Patterns for the Mulberry Tunic pattern and Petit a Petit Patterns for the Morocco Pants pattern.

Now PLEASE go check out the full magazine HERE. The other editors have shared sneak peeks of their work and I PROMISE you that you do not want to miss it. They are all SO very talented and I am very honored to be part of this High Fructose issue.

Thank you!!

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