Thursday, 24 April 2014

Weekend Adventures

My lovely husband and I have been bitten by a most dangerous bug: the photography bug!  Although both of us have enjoyed photography for a long time it seems that this year we have really found our love for the art.  As a result we have spent many of the past few weekends out "shooting stuff" and exploring some of the interesting places in and around Perth Western Australia.

 I am still learning to use my camera and the best way for me to learn anything is just to jump in the deep end and have a go!

I have still been sewing away and making some autumn and winter clothes for Miss Loofie and I hope to share some of what I am making soon.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cheeky Fox

 I have been so busy with school holidays I wasn't sure if I would get this finished in time for the final week of Project Run and Play, but with some rushed sewing here is my signature style entry into the sew-along group.
Earlier this year Miss Loofie came home from school talking about a "fox song" I had no idea what she was talking about so I looked it up and discovered a very silly song; for those who haven't had the... er pleasure here it is in all its strangeness.

It is funny the way inspiration can strike, but as soon as I heard this song I had an idea for an outfit for my little girly.  I had some Lillestoff Fox fabric (from the ever wonderful Crafty Mama's Fabric) tucked away in the stash just waiting for this project.
So cute!

For this project I decided to turn Ottobre Magazine for some suitable pattern; Ottobre Magazine is a Finnish sewing magazine that publishes patterns for both children and women, I have subscribed for a number of years now and I love having a library of sewing patterns to turn to when I am making clothes.  Here are the patterns I ended up with.
  • T-shirt: Ottobre 4/2013 pattern number 12 "Fall Basic"
  • Mini skirt: Ottobre 4/2013 pattern number 34 "Tangent" (I had to grade this pattern down so it would fit Miss Loofie)
  • Leggings: Ottobre 1/2014 pattern number 23 "Wild Stripes 

This outfit has so many elements of my personal style for kids clothes: I love the bright patterned fabric, applique and machine embroidery, the ruched knees on the leggings and the denim pleated skirt. I feel that this is a fun outfit and one Miss Loofie can happily wear to the park for a play or to the Cafe for lunch.

The T-shirt was the the starting point for this outfit, I made it will the Lillestoff fox fabric I mentioned above, I also used another Lilestoff fabric in red for the contrast pieces. I finished the neckline with some ribbing.  The fancy font on the embroidery came from Urban Threads (Love this store!) the speech bubble came from an Esty seller Big Dreams Embroidery and it stitched up beautifully (I am sure that this will get a lot of use in the future).

The skirt is made out of dark denim and had a cheeky little fox appliqued onto it. I cut the fox applique out on my Silhouette Cameo.

The leggings were so quick and easy to make and they look great! I have a hard time finding leggings that actually fit Miss Loofie: they are either too short or too loose. This pattern makes a gorgeous pair of ruched leggings. I made these out of a red cotton Lycra from Spotlight.

Loofie was SO excited to be able to finally wear this outfit and she really loves it!  I can recommend Ottobre Magazine enough, the patterns are great and there is such a variety that, combined with my collection of Farbenmix patterns, I rarely sew from any other patterns. 

Thank you to all those readers who left such lovely comments on my last few posts, I really do appreciate all of them :) 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Ahoy There Matey!

My adorable little nephew turned one late last year and I just had to make him a outfit to wear for his birthday party. My sister also asked me to help out with the party so we put our heads together and came up with a nautical theme and that could only mean that little Mr Ruby needed a sailor suit.

My inspiration for the sailor suit was this portrait of Prince Albert Edward (the future King Edward VII) isn't he cute? what's not to love about little boys in sailor suits.
Prince Albert Edward (the future Edward VII of the United Kingdom)

My fist hurdle came in finding a suitable pattern, there is a very cute sailor suit in Ottobre 3/2013 but it was too big for Mr Ruby (drats) after much searching I found a vintage pattern: Burda 6927 in the right size range all I can say is thank goodness for eBay!

I decided to make the sailor suit out of cotton drill; drill is a hard wearing fabric that is great for kids clothes, like denim it has a obvious diagonal weave but comes in an amazing array of colors, it is easy to sew and easy to clean.  I decided to make the shirt in white with a navy blue bib and the shorts in navy blue (the shorts being more likely to pick up dirt since Mr Ruby was still crawling at the time)

Here I must say a few words about actually reading the instructions that come with the pattern, especially with vintage patterns.  I omitted this step and had to cut the pattern out twice, I foolishly assumed that the pattern included the standard seam allowance like most of the big pattern companies; it didn't and I had to re-cut the whole thing.  Seam allowance is the area of fabric between the stitching line and the edge of the fabric, you can see the borders around the pattern pieces above  that is the seam allowance.  European pattern manufacturers  do not include seam allowance to their patterns and I prefer this way of working. I would like to say that I have learned my lesson and will alway read instructions first... but that would be a total lie.

The next step was to add the only decorations to the sailor suit: white grosgrain ribbon and here I must introduce you to the most amazing and fantastic foot in the universe 

Bernina's edge-stitch foot!
I think I use this foot every time I sew, it is especially good to sew nice straight rows of stitching close to the edge of ribbon or other trims- and if you have seen my Princess Seraphina dress you will see I do a whole lot of attaching ribbon to fabric!  I also made use of Stylefix tape to hold the ribbon in place while I was sewing. 
Since this was a special gift for my nephew I decided to use the piece of red Liberty lawn that I had hoarded hidden in my stash to make some piping for the bib collar and to make a little tie thingy. 
The bib collar was probably the most difficult part of the whole outfit,  I really like the striking white, navy and red.  The rest of the outfit was pretty quick to come together, I used some lovely shiny brass buttons I had left over from a Hobbit costume (it is normal to have shiny brass buttons hanging around in case you need to make a hobbit costume or a sailor suit right?)  I also made the little guy a hat, because everyone knows that a sailor suit includes a hat; I used a pattern from Ottobre 3/2011 for the hat. 

So now all that is left to do is to show off my very cute little nephew Mr Ruby in his sailor suit.

I hope you enjoyed this little look inside my sewing room.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Dress for Princess Seraphina

I had so much fun making this dress, everything about it is just my style: bright, fanciful and colorful!  Thankfully Miss Loofie LOVES this style as well. This is the second Feliz dress that I made for my Farbenmix challenge (the first dress is here)

The overdress is made with nice sturdy denim. This makes a great base for kid’s clothes, as it is easy to wash and is very hard wearing; I wait for the sales and buy in bulk.  I have embellished the over dress with lovely ribbons, pom-poms, rickrack and a beautiful machine embroidery by Urban Threads. The bottom hem is finished with some red lace. 

The under-dress is made with a gorgeous Lisette patterned cotton (poplin) from Spotlight, the bottom hem is finished with a rainbow ruffle. The back of the dress is, well a rainbow of ruffles! I finished the bottom of the ruffles with a rolled hem on my overlocker (serger).   I really love the way the black rolled hems on the ruffles turned out; it reminds me of Spanish Flamenco dresses. 

Miss Loofie says that, although she loves both dresses the Princess Seraphina dress is her favourite; perfect for my little dramatic girl! The best thing about Feliz is that it can be paired with a long sleeved T-shirt and leggings during winter (well at least winter in Perth) or just worn on its own during the summer months.

I have had so much fun making these dresses and I can't recommend Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn enough; it is a fantastic book and so far Miss Loofie has indeed LOVED everything I have made using the patterns in this book. 

I would like to say thank you for reading along and for all the lovely comments in my previous post; I am still very new at this blogging thing and it really means a lot to me to hear from you all.