Sunday, 24 November 2013

Tutorial: How to Line a Sleeveless Bodice

I love to line my clothing, I don't like seeing seams unless I have to, and usually then I'll French seam them anyway.

Often bodices can be fiddly to line but I recently found a way that has made my life so much easier in regards to lining bodices. It takes a lot less time too!

This tutorial is for a sleeveless bodice where the back piece is in TWO sections [not one]. I haven't tried it for a one piece back yet, but I'm not sure if it will work.

 Cut out your bodice pieces in your chosen fabric. Cut them out again in your chosen lining fabric. You should have two front pieces and four back pieces all up.
Back bodice pieces [left] and front bodice pieces [right].

 Sew the back bodice pieces at the shoulders, press seam open. Repeat with lining.

Place lining onto outer piece, right sides together. Stitch neckline and back bodice centre seams, matching shoulder seams.

Stitch arm hole seams, matching shoulder seams together.
Ignore the flipped up section of the fabric, make sure they are together.

 Clip or notch curves to create a smoother look once turned out the right way.

Turn right way out. I find it easiest to push the back bodice pieces through to the front. Press edges and [optional] top stitch the neckline/back bodice seams ONLY. Don't top stitch the arm holes yet.

So now we are going to stitch the side seams. You need to match the two armhole seams right sides together. They are marked by the white dashes. 

Nest the underarm seams together, so the seam allowances from the two underarm seams go opposite ways to each other. This reduces the seam bulk.

Pin and sew the seam.

 This photo give you an idea of what it looks from the outside before stitching. The green pin by my thumb is holding the outer front and back bodice pieces together and you can just see part of the blue pin at the base of the arm hole.

 Turn out the right way and press. Now you can top stitch the arm holes if you wish.
 Finish off according to your pattern's instructions.
Back pinned closed.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Patchwork Clothes

I love the look of patchwork clothes, they just have this certain feel to them. They make me happy!

On Wednesday I went to a local quilting shop Cotton Stitches for some inspiration, and collected up a couple of charm packs. I don't tend to use charm packs to make quilts, but turn them into clothing. Today I created this gorgeous little patchwork dress with a charm pack of 'Honeysweet by Moda' fabrics.

I've been doing a number of little patchwork skirts lately using charm squares as well. 

Fabric ranges [L-R Top to bottom] are 'Mind Your Ps and Qs', 'Flirt', 'Flirt' [again] and 'Oh Deer'

The bodice is lined in cream to hide the seams of the squares.

The little monkey loved wearing this dress! Why oh why does she always love the ones I make to sell, but isn't so keen on the ones I specifically make her?? Funny girl!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

Hope you all had a fun halloween! We went out with friends to a dessert cafe called Eggless, who do wonderfully delicious desserts! On Halloween they do special spooky desserts available to those who dress up!

Ember was a redback spider, I went as a cobweb and my hubby went as a fly! 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

A Little Backpack

Ember is getting to the age where around eleventy billion toys must come with us, no matter where we go! So instead of them bouncing around in the car, getting lost, I decided to make a backpack for her to carry them in.

I designed it up myself, and I am super happy with the results. It needs a few tweaks, mainly as I forgot to allow for the zips! Ooops. It contains over 40 pieces [including interfacing and straps] and took about 6 hours for me to complete...with a fair bit of unpicking!

It's fully lined inside. I didn't add any pockets but it wouldn't be too hard to add them if I wanted.

The straps are padded and can be adjusted.

 The underneath contains a third zip compartment and also a D ring. These are here for MY benefit! Ember has become a bit of a bolter and she is super fast! The idea is that I can attach a 'leash' to the D ring whilst she is wearing it and keep her from running onto the road or something!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Weekend Baby Quilts

It seems to be that time of the year again! Lots of people I know are expecting babies over the coming months. Perfect time for me to start working on some quick and easy baby quilts for them!

So far this weekend I have started and finished two!

I collect a fair few premade cot panels and they often float around my stash for months [or years!] before I use them.

The first is for a good friend of mine, who isn't finding out if they are having a boy or a girl. I used a lovely woodland creatures panel with a yellow backing to create a bright and happy unisex quilt.

For interest I added a strip of a co-ordinating fabric in the middle of the backing piece. I bound it with another co-ordinate from the range which was really similar to the panel.

The second is for a colleague and his wife, who are expecting a little girl in a few months. I thought this Bambi cot panel would work perfectly!

I backed in a light pink and a strip of the co-ordinating Bambi fabric and bound it off in white.

I do hope the recipients like these quilts as much as I enjoyed making them!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sari Dress

Recently I popped into an op-shop and picked up the most gorgeous chiffon fabric. Five metres for $5!! It really reminds me of Indian saris.

I wanted to create a dress that captured the floaty feel that you get from a sari. This is what I came up with.

A fully lined relatively fitted bodice with a zippered back and a gathered ankle length skirt which is also lined. The sleeves on the lining are normal cap sleeves, the chiffon sleeves are too, except for the under arm seams, which instead of being sewn together are just hemmed separately so they are loose.

Two side ties pull it together at the back so it is slightly more gathered at the back. For interest I made the back neck line plunge in a V to the zip.

It's lined with a 4 way stretch jersey in orange to lift the vibrancy of the reds and yellows. The lining skirt is hemmed about 2 inches shorter than the chiffon skirt [which I still need to hem...I'm so lazy!].

I'm so happy with how it turned out, and I think I only used just over a metre of the fabric, so I can make more pretty clothes out of the remainder!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Pattern Testing! Elegance and Elephant's Pleated Playsuit

This week I was given the opportunity to test a pattern from the lovely Heidi at Elegance and Elephants. It's called the Pleated Playsuit and is being released on Friday 31st May as a complimentary pattern. So keep an eye out for it!

There are two versions to the Pleated Playsuit, a short and a long pants version. Being almost winter in Australia, I immediately went for the long pants version. I made the 2/3 size, and it fits really well on Ember who is almost 19 months-with plenty of room to grow.

For me, this pattern really screamed for something big, bold and colourful. The main fabric I chose is from the collection Super, by Gudrun Erla for Red Rooster Fabrics. The contrast is some blue floral quilt backing I had left over from a quilt...which is still sitting rolled up waiting to be quilted!

Wider shoulder ties
I changed a few small things, firstly I made wider straps. I'm not a huge fan of thin straps and I kind of cheat when it comes to making straps! I have a bias maker which makes 1" double folded bias, which when sewn up makes a really nice 1/2" straps that are just perfect for kids clothing.

The other thing I had to change was the pant leg length! Although my daughter is smack on average height for her age, they were way too long! In the end I think I cut off 2 1/2" before attaching the cuffs. This then made them the perfect ankle length needed. I highly recommend testing the pant length on your intended wearer before sewing the cuffs on, just in case some modifications are needed.

Faux piping on pockets [please excuse the grubby marks]
One of my favourite features are the pockets. The faux piping looks great, although with the bold print it does get lost, but on plainer fabrics it just adds that great sense of detail to the finished garment. The other thing I love about the pockets is that they are a great size for kids to fill with rocks and other treasures! Often my peeve with children's patterns is not having pockets or having teensy pockets you couldn't fit a frog into!

Overall I found the pattern very easy, the instructions are well explained and have clear photos. I do not doubt a beginner could accomplish this pattern with minimal problems.

It looks great with a long sleeved top underneath too, so we'll get plenty of wear out of them over the colder months. I'm also going to attempt them in some thicker, warmer fabrics and see how they turn out. I also have a few ideas for modifications up my sleeve which I'm going to try out when I have a chance, so stay tuned!