Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas apron

This is the Sunday dinner apron from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book. I've sewn it in Xmas fabric to be a Xmas apron, which I will hopefully wear while baking my intended Stollens, Xmas cookies, etc. Anyway, its a good excuse for another apron, and kind of sets the mood for Christmas baking. The pattern was easy to follow. It seems a bit short though, and I think I sewed it slightly longer than the pattern said. I´d definitely add a few inches onto the length next time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas countdown numbers

Christmas countdown numbers. The idea is to start on 1 December and have the blocks showing the right dates up until December 25. They hang on the wall. I made two 1s, two 2s, and one 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. They are about 5 x 7 inches in size. I got the idea from an old german Brigitte magazine, although they had theirs made of wood. Its taken me quite a long time to do them, because I usually only have time to sew one seam at a time. But I'm glad I finished them in time for this Christmas. They are a bit wonky in parts, but they are made for kids to handle, so I wanted to make them fun-looking rather than formal.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nikolaus bags

On 6 December, Nikolaus leaves chocolate, nuts & bikkies etc in the shoes that children have cleaned and left outside their front door (German custom). Apparently, according to Brigitte magazine, Nikolaus will, if pressed, leave these goodies in goody bags too. So this is a Nikolaus goody bag. Now, 3 more to go...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Funked Out Peasant Blouse

Here is another go at Lila Tueller's Funked Out Peasant Blouse. I really like this pattern and this one only took me one of my baby's sleeps to make. Its super comfy. The fabric is kind of a semi tie-dye pattern - hard to see in the picture. The camera doesn't seem to like to pick up reddish colours. I think I'll make one more at some point, if I see some more good fabric at Spotlight, but first I'll do the Summer Blouse from the Weekend Sewing book.

Weekend Sewing pants

Here are some more pants I made for my 4 year old from the pajama pants pattern in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book. These are some cotton drill pants (I made 2) and I also made a couple of pairs of pajama pants. Really useful pattern. Next I'll make heaps of shorts for him for summer from this pattern.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Funked Out Peasant Blouse

This was my first go at Lila Tueller's Funked Out Peasant Blouse. I don't think I'm quite up to using the multi-colours that everyone else has used yet (although I think their blouses look superb), and I've always wanted an embroidered but plain peasant blouse. So I just used one colour, which probably un-funks it.
I didn't do a side zip, as I found that I could slip it over my head, just. The pic on the right how I originally made it (a year ago now), with an inch added to the length, which I think was a mistake. Also, I added a couple of inches to the upper bodice for bit more gathering. The big pic on the left is a slightly altered version, which I think suits me better (less blessed up top than I´d like to be - I lowered the centre bodice neckline by an inch, and made the lower bodice length the length originally in the pattern.

Having messed up a few McCalls M5050 peasant blouses in the past, I trimmed, serged and sewed the sleeve seam flat on this one. This made threading the elastic around the neckline heaps easier.

Apron from Simple Sewing book

I wanted to make something for a friend of mine who just miscarried, and I thought an apron might let her know we were thinking of her. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing book. I didn't have alot of material, so I didn't include the side panels, I just did the centre panel. I'm not sure it even needs the side panels.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend Sewing drawstring bag

I meant to make a few of these drawstring bags from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book before the baby was born. I've cut the material out, but have only made 1 so far. They are so quick to make though. I think it only took me 5 minutes to do. At first glance I thought the pattern was justa a page filler, but having tried to make one a few weeks ago without refering to a pattern or instructions, I had made a mess of the drawstring closure at the top. It was good to have a pattern to follow from the book and to not have to think about it. Trying to live in a plastic bag-less house as much as possible, I know I'll use these wee bags lots and lots. Keeping baby socks etc etc etc in. I think I'll make bags like these out of those test-muslins of shirt patterns etc that I don't need any more.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Jalie 2787 nursing top

Here is another Jalie 2787 nursing top. Its hard to lay it out right when I can't bend over (like, the sleeves are actually even - I just didn't lay it out evenly). One more week till baby is born. This top is made from quite thin, very stretchy light lycra again, which is a bit slippery to sew. It came together OK though, but I prefer sewing it with slightly thicker t-shirt material. Also, I took the sides in slightly (0.5 cm either side) because the very stretchy lycra seems to have the effect of making the shirt one half size too big, imho. Really useful pattern. Now if I can find some polypro at Spotlight, I'll make some short or long sleeved versions for hiking in.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waterproof baby car seat covers

Here are a few baby car seat covers for our rented baby car seat. They are just as simple as possible so no thought is required to slip them in and out. I made them from old pillowcase covers, and they have unwanted batting (2-3 layers), fleece, and a layer of our leftover thermal curtain (which I figure might stop a bit of water leaking through). If I wanted to really make them waterproof I would have used a layer of PUL, hemp, and microfibre inside, but I wanted to recycle what I had on hand in the house for free if possible. I'll keep the spares in the car to use if a nappy leaks while we are out and about.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jalie 2787 nursing top

I made another Jalie 2787 maternity/nursing top, this time with long sleeves. I added 2 cm to the top of the lower bodice, which makes me less nervous about my tummy showing (as otherwise the clearance between the nursing panels and the lower bodice was a bit too close for my liking). I used the elastic length recommended in the pattern and that was better this time. T-shirt material is nicer to sew with than this light lycra, although both worked OK for the pattern. I'm a size 12 and I made a Y size, which fitted fine., even having quite a bit of give. I probably could have done a smaller X size instead - I'm not sure whether the give in the Y size will be too much once the baby is born. I can always take it in though.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jalie 2787 nursing t-shirt

This is my first go at the Jalie 2787 nursing shirt. I had to order the pattern from Australia. I cut the sleeves short so that they are just normal adult t-shirt sleeves. It came together really well and was easy to sew and make. I used feather stitch along the bodice edges, and should have also done so for the bottom hem. I'm really happy with it. I'm going to make a couple with long sleeves now.

Butterick 4549 View C muslin

I tried Butterick 4549 View C this time. I did a size 14 this time. The test fabric was red, but the camera couldn't capture it so I greyscaled the photo. I've realised that View C it is just a sleeved top without sleeves, whereas I think I true sleeveless top needs to be slightly more shaped. The neckline again seemed very high or close, and there seemed alot of fabric over the shoulders. For the final version I'll (1) take 1 cm off the outside top of the armseye (at the shoulder) and adjust the armhole curve accordingly; (2) take a 1-2 cm off the inside neckline where it meets the shoulder and adjust the curve along the back and bust accordingly. I also think that in adjusting the curve I might make the final curve resemble the curve line in the Amy Bulter Cabo halter a bit more. I pinned the sides up, but didn't sew them as I won't go any further with this muslin and the invisible zip cost would more than the $1/m fabric.I tried putting a collar on a bit like version D to see if a collar made a difference, but it didn't.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Butterick 4549 View A muslin

Not a success, this one. I did a test muslin version of View A of Butterick 4549 (B4549), with a $1 fabric. For this muslin, I've stoped before sewing the sides up (as the invisible zips cost more than the fabric). I can already see that I won't go any further with this View.

This pattern seems to run true to size. Unfortunately, I made it one size too small as every other pattern I've made lately seemed to turn out so enormously bigger than the size would warrant. So next time I'll make it a size bigger.

The neck line is really, really high. On a very small size, this probably wouldn't matter, but on a size 12 it ends up making the bodice seem too covered in material. A bit like a nun's habit? I would cut an inch off the neckline, not just at the front, but all the way around. I also used quite stiff interfacing on the collar, which made it sit stiff like a uniform, so next time I would either use no interfacing or a really, light one. I also found that on this view, the sleeves (which are just basted or pinned on at the moment) somehow made it look stiff and formal, rather than like a casual top, although they might have seemed better if the neckline wasn't so high.

Finally, I added 1-2 inches onto the lower bodice, which I do for pretty much all patterns I make. I would definitely do that again, as it would have looked very, very short without it.

I'll try View C, or D next. Hopefully they will turn out better.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Blouse - zipped nursing version

Here is my first go at the summer blouse in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book. I just used a sheet for this go. This is a version for nursing, with the front opening with an invisible zip.

I split the front in two down the middle, so there is a seam going down to the hemline. I cut the placket to suit the zip length, rather than using the placket pattern in the book. I used this tutorial for putting in the invisible zip.

Sizewise, its a small (I'm a NZ 12-14, and would normally be a medium), and although I took it in on the sides (and lowered the neckline, of course) like everyone else when cutting the pattern, I can actually put it on even though I'm eight months pregnant. So, lots of taking in and darts to do after the baby is born.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jansdotter Baby Snuggler

Here is my first go at the Lotta Jansdotter Baby Snuggler from her book Simple Sewing for Baby. Although I'll be ordering the book (its not distributed here in NZ as far as I can ascertain), it can take 7-8 weeks for books to arrive in New Zealand from Amazon in the USA, and my baby is due in 7 weeks. So I just did the pattern from the podcast. I enlarged it until the snuggler measured about 48 cm from top to bottom, as my first son was 55 cm (head to toe, stretched right out) when born. So this is a newborn size snuggler. Although there were no instructions on the podcast that I could find, and I couldn't figure out which issue number the magazine was (to even start trying to find it to buy it), I had no problems sewing it together. Although, note for next time, I think the two velcros labelled "left outside flap (prickly side)," could do with being moved an inch towards the outside edge of the flap. It felt like in their current position, it was in the smallest setting, and I'd have preferred to allow a tiny bit of room for growth without the velcro showing out the edge as bub gets bigger.

A Church near Porangahau, North Island, New Zealand

Monday, May 18, 2009

Simplicity 3750 top

Here is a test size 12 version of the Simplicity 3750 top. (Version E) I made it as a "muslin" but I like the fabric, so I would wear it as is. I made it as per the pattern, but added a cm to the length of the bust. The neckline is straight, its just me standing wonky (I can't be bothered taking another photo). Again, I had only expected to be able to pull it over the bodice, but I was suprisingly able to pull (albeit tightly) the lower bit over my 7 1/2 month pregnant tummy. Not that I would wear it tight like this for now. So I'll leave off hemming it until I'm wearing normal clothes again after the birth, as I may end up having to take in the sides. It took quite a while to make, but there was nothing too hard in it. I usually skip through instructions and sew whichever way I prefer, but with this pattern I had to actually read the instructions carefully and plod through all the steps. The instructions were really good.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another child's apron

Here is another child's apron, this one with ruffles along the edges, which I made this morning for a 2 year old's birthday today, along with an eco-friendly bag to wrap it in.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fleece hat for 3 year old

With winter coming, I made a fleece hat from this pattern for my 3 year old. That's almost the end of the old fleece bedcover now. It was great to be able to make something that fits him exactly, rather than getting a one-size fits all child's hat, which never really fits right. It was really easy to make, and the pom pom on top is not separate but is just the fleece at the top cut into strips. Couldn't be easier. I'd also like to make this pattern one day soon.

Amy Butler Lounge Pants

I had a go at the Amy Butler Lounge pants from the In Stitches book. They were easy to make. I loved the versions everyone else made on flickr, but I'm not so sure these pants suit me (and not just because I'm 7 mths pregnant). I feel a bit like I'm wearing clown pants, and they don't feel very flattering. I am glad I didn't buy expensive fabric for this test version - it is just a secondhand sheet. I also should have tried them on before sewing the waistband, as the rise feels a little bit too short, and I could have compensated for that at the time. I just turned the waistband over the usual amount one does, rather than following the pattern exactly at that point, so the fault there is of course mine rather than the pattern's. I'll unpick the waistband and add one made of extra material to add length to the rise once the baby is born. Nevertheless, I think I prefer the Heather Ross Pajamas for Everyone pants pattern (which I'll make in the right size next time!).

Wellington Harbour on a stormy day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Weekend Sewing pajama pants

I've made a couple of more pajama pants from dinosaur patterned-flannel for my son. I used the Weekend Sewing pattern, but used the instructions for the wide-leg pajama pants in Amy Butler's In Stitches book for sewing the pieces together. I liked the order of piecing better. I added cuffs & also sewed all the seams with a wide stitch on the overlocker, and then sewed them flat on the sewing machine (see pic of crotch seam right). I'm hoping this will make the pants quite a bit more durable and comfortable.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Burdastyle Desira top

I was curious as to how the Burdastyle's free pattern Desira top would turn out, so I got right onto it. This is a sort of test muslin top from a secondhand doona to test out the sizing etc. I'm very happy with the pattern & size. I think it will fit fine once the baby is born. My only change would be to take 1.5cm off the width of the shoulder bands (so they don't stick out so far), and perhaps an add an inch longer on the armholes. I'd like to try one with long/half sleeves. Oh, and better fabric, of course.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another kimono bathrobe

I had a proper go this week at the Amy Butler kimono bathrobe from the In Stitches book. It was good to have made a muslin version first. I added width to the front and length, as I'm planning for this to be one of those bathrobes that I wear on its own for hours around the house.

I would like to make something similar in a shirt version, as I think it would make a good nursing shirt, and plan to make the free Desira pattern on the Burdastyle website sometime soon (I've since done this).

Sunday-dinner Hostess Apron

Next on the list was the Sunday-dinner Hostess Apron in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book. My son wanted an apron, and liked all my fabric scraps (otheriwse I would have chosen more boyey fabric!), so I made a miniature one for him. He puts his cars in the pockets. He wants one for his teddy bear too. Its my sister-in-law's birthday (today actually), so I'd like to make a grown-up one for her as well. It was really fun to make because there are no rules when making an apron. I used lots of clashing fabrics and thread colours where I felt like it.

Market-run Checkbook Cover

I thought I'd have a go at some of the non-clothing items in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book, or maybe just start from the front of the book. So next up, was the Market-run Checkbook cover. I'm not even sure what a checkbook is - would we call it a cheque book in NZ? Anyway, I made one for my cheque book, but I made it smaller than the pattern to fit my own one.

I also find that all my bus timetables just float around my handbag, so I made another square one to fit those. They were really quick to make, although I did make it a tiny bit wonky in parts. Who cares. It was nice to by some different tiny scraps of fabric to work with.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cheery cushion covers

I made some cheerier (but not too girly and flowery) cushion covers for our 60 cm sofa cushions. I really like them. However, I didn't notice when I bought the material that it had quite some stretch to it, as it just looked like cotton poplin. When I sewed the zips they puckered quite badly. They look pretty awful actually. I did try the zip method from the Bend the Rules Sewing book, which I think on normal fabric would have worked just fine. My husband has promised to halt the cushion police at the door if they ever turn up to inspect the cushions.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

McCall 5050 peasant blouse

I've been looking at this M5050 pattern, and decided to make it, even though I'm 7 months pregnant, so I could wear it once the baby was born. I made a medium (I'm normally a NZ size 12/14), and I'm a bit surprised that it not only fits me with room to move, but also covers my tummy. I had intended to make a non-maternity shirt, and thought that I would only be able to put it over the top bodice at this stage. It also gaped quite a lot at the back neck, which I took in by about 2-3 inches. I added contrasting fabric on the cuffs. It was quick and easy to sew though - only took about an hour and a half.

So notes for me next time, for making a non-maternity shirt once the baby is born...
* make a Small size
* move the waist gathering down by 1-2 cm.
* take a cm off the front side (only-not the bottom side) of the arm seam when cutting the pattern (where it meets the bodice)
* reduce the width of the back by 2-3 inches.
* sleeve length was good.
* reduce the amount of elastic recommended for the neckline by about 2-3 inches.

[written a while after] I really like peasant blouses (done in appropriately hippy material), but I'm wondering whether Kwik Sew 3062 might be a better peasant blouse.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Windproof fleece baby sling

I finally finished my second baby sling. I made a cotton one about a month ago (the white and red one), and then today I finished the orange windproof fleece babysling (as my baby will be born in July, which is winter here). The two layers of fleece, plus the windproof material, ended up being quite thick. I think it will be nice and warm, but it was a bit hard to sew so many layers on the seams. I had to make the seam in the curve lie flat rather than be the french seam in the pattern. I can't remember which pattern I used. I think it was either this one or this one. Here's hoping baby likes being carried in a sling!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Embroidered Everything Tote

After a pretty unsuccessful attempt to repurpose some curtain fabric to make an Everything Tote from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing, I had another go with an old thick-weave navy tablecloth. To liven it up a bit I had a go at sewing a pattern on with variegated machine embroidery thread. Although I only used straight and zigzag stitch. I put the variegated thread in the bobbin, so I could draw the pattern on the back of the fabric with a fabric chalk pencil. That's probably not how its supposed to be done, but it worked for me. I just had to hold the fabric flat and stretched while sewing, so it wouldn't pucker. I'm really happy with how it turned out, because I've never drawn my own picture before (I've always copied off something from a book) and I'd never done this sort of machine embroidery/sewing before.

The tote pattern was easy to follow, although I'd lost some enthusiasm over my previous poor fabric choice. I also made the binding bands a bit wider (1cm for the little binding, and 2 for the handles), as I found from my first go that the binding seemed to get very thin very quickly with thicker fabric. I wanted my binding to look like the picture. Also, I did the handles on the grain, not on the bias, as I find bias handles just stretch too thin when carrying something heavy, although I'm sure doing it on the bias would have looked smoother. I really like the bag, and I will make more. The size is great and it will hold alot. Although, I wouldn't mind making a few from thinner fabric, just to see how they turn out.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend Sewing inspired sock(s)

Its coming on winter here in New Zealand and my feet are cold! I like the glove pattern in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book, and thought about applying the same principle to a pair of polar fleece socks. So I drew a line around my feet and heel, and here is the test sock. I just need to make the final pattern a tiny bit looser around the heel join. I learnt how to sew flat seems on stretch sock on you tube. Its amazing what you can pick up on there. Although I used the same general principle on making the sock pattern as in this tute, the polar fleece I'm using doesn't stretch much, so a bit more give needs to allowed for when tracing a foot pattern. It is at this point that I realised I really need to make a second sock - left foot is still cold. But I was tired and went to bed instead.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Coasters from scraps

I enjoyed reading Amy Carol's Bend the Rules Sewing, and thought I would put some of my scraps to good use and make the coasters project. Although I've been sewing for years, I picked up alot of good hints and tricks from it. Unfortunately, this means I can't throw away any scraps larger than 10cm square now... ;o) I have a big bag of old curtain material, so I used that inside the coasters, and then the backing was from a never-ending navy valance from our old, smaller bed. The tops were made from some scraps left over from making the BurdaStyle Charlie grocery bag. I've made about 15 of the Charlie grocery bags now, so too many to take photos of. But here is one to the left.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Amy Butler Kimono Bathrobe

Here is my first thing from the Amy Butler In stitches book. I made the medium size, again from the op-shop doona cover. I hope I use it up soon, otherwise everything I own will be green ;o) I think I have to stop making clothes now, because its hard to see how things fit and drape with a huge 6 1/2 months pregnant tummy in front! I look 9 months pregnant already. The pattern fitted OK, but I think it would sit better with slightly thicker fabric - the doona cover fabric was a bit thin. [Here is the final version]