I decided to make a pair of pants for Mango. In the hot weather we're getting I've been dressing her in long tunic tops, but they're not quite long enough and I've been thinking crisp, white cotton trousers.... So I set to work, glancing at the clock as I did and seeing it was 2:18am. Ah, it'll only take an hour and I'm in the mood thinks I!
I drafted the shape off a pair of pajama bottoms of hers and to speed things up, I placed the lower hem against the selvedge edge so they were ready hemmed! I cut them on a fold so I only had to pieces of fabric to stitch together. I also wanted to do something decorative to the bottom and being keen to practice pin tucks on the overlocker, I went with 5 rows of tucks on the bottom of each hem. It wasn't easy, it should have been, but a combination of inexperience and weariness made a bit of a botch job but it looks passable if you practice the 3 foot rule and I've decided it looks better than no detailing! The weariness factor also caused me to somehow (and I really don't know how) stitch the crotch on the right side of the fabric - twice!! I also had a nasty incident with the overlock knife shearing off into the leg which was only fixable by taking a good half inch off the fabric (luckily Mango is a skinny'un). Apart from that, it was a fun little project, mostly because it is so satisfying making stuff for her and I'm pleased with how they look (I can live with the pintucks). Mango wore them today and did a good job polishing the kitchen floor with them so they've had the wash test on my stitching tonight already!
One of her favourite hobbies is emptying boxes, evidently we don't pack them correctly. First the pasta packets on the floor, then the contents of the washing basket. Cherub.
Simplicity 9064 - Evening Dress converted to multi-purpose dress :-)
At the time I was I playing with plaid for my walkaway dress, I also made up this dress from the below pattern. The original pattern was for a rather swell looking evening dress but I have turned it into something that could be worn day or night. The kind of thing that you could wear to the office and the add some jewels to go out after work in, say if you didn't want to carry a change of clothes.
Its a very straight-forward simple design. the pieces are cut in the fabric, then in the lining and these two layers are stitched together in individual pieces and then stitched together to form the dress as opposed to having the dress and lining separately. I chose suit-weight polyester in dark navy (I've lightened the photos below to make it clearer) and replaced the metallic braiding with blue and green tartan ribbon around the bodice line and neckline. The ribbon quite subtle and pretty but now when I look at the dress I'm tempted to take it off and replace the bodice ribbon with daisy chain, what do you think?
The Walk-away Dress - Butterick 4790 Retro 1952
This dress has much fame which I did not know about when I commenced this project, I just though it was unusual and pretty and I love the way the straight skirt and full skirt are all part of one dress the goes over the head and wraps around the waist.
A few years ago I went to Ceilidh event in Scotland and we were instructed to dress in tartan. Not owning anything appropriate and wanting something that would benice to dance in. I chose this Butterick pattern because I wanted a vintage style dress with a skirt that would twirl beautifully. I liked the underskirt of this dress design thinking it might protect my modesty if the skirt twirled too high and as it doesn't have a seam at the back it doesn't restrict movement.
I found some great linen in a cream and black plaid print which is very cool on the skin and easy to sew and teamed that up with a gorgeous black jersey crepe which swirled wonderfully (unfortunately it proved a little too heavy and I now have to do some repair work to the bias binding at some point). If you want to read my review of making up this pattern, go here.
Pictures of the (almost) finished item:
Edit 26.06.10 I have just blogged about this dress here. Issues included the dress pulling down at the back, the pencil skirt riding up at front, bunching in the bodice. I thought I should copy it across but it is a critique of the pattern that I didn't put into my review at SPR, although I might change that now:
I gave this dress a pretty sharp review at Sewing Pattern Review then felt a bit guilty and softened it up since it had so many fans.
I made mine in a heavy jersey crepe for the full skirt and linen for the pencil skirt dress and despite putting all that weight into the full skirt do not have these probs but I have others!. I am thinking why and I believe it is because:
a) the waist curves round and fastens exactly on my waist and there's a good 11 inches between that and my hips (I am hourglass) so its securely held in place. Also I am only using a button and loop on the back so its not too tight around the hips which would cause it to rise up. The under-dress fits me like a glove actually, I'm thinking of converting it into a dress of its own.
b) the front and bust darts are in line with my apex - a fluke due to being low-busted - and my full bust fills the bodice with no FBA done. I can see why that would be a problem for someone who is small busted, masses amount of extra fabric. The problem I have with the bodice is above my bust there is excess fabric but that is a very simple fix, I just shorten it at the shoulder seams and voila, perfect fit.
The issues I had were:
While the underskirt fitted perfectly, the waistline of the full skirt appears to be slightly lower (shoulder seams are in position, I think it is because I am slightly short-waisted). This meant that when it is wrapped round front it is too low and awkward and the gathering at the waistband added a lot of unflattering bulk at my hips. To resolve this I pull the full skirt part up a bit but then that causes the armholes to gape. This was already a slight problem because of the extra length in the bodice and the pattern might benefit from the bust darts being angled down from the lower armhole instead of where they are (change bust-dart to armhole darts).
I had fabric related issues too. The weight of the crepe pulled the dress apart at the bias tape and the hooks and eyes on the front so I have to repair the bias tape trim and find a different fastening (I originally intended to do buttons and loops but ran out of time so probably will do that with black elastic loops and an inner ribbon for support).
On the plus side, when I dance in it (for a ceilidh) event, the full skirt swirled out beautifully with the underskirt protecting my modesty. However I was concerned at times that the underskirt doesn't quite extend enough round the back an I might flash a bit more flesh than I'd like when the full skirt drops away...
In summary, if I remade the dress I would extend the front panel of the full skirt where it meets a little to prevent this strain and then trim it back as necessary and instead of bias tape loops I would use elastic to make loops. I would extend the sides of the underskirt to provide more coverage at the back and if necessary add horsehair braid to the full skirt hem to keep it down and wrapped round. I would also move the bust dart to the armhole and shorten the bodice at the shoulder seams.
The Button Hat Project
So I wanted to enter cute kid into a super cute photo contest ruling that she must look "cute as a button". So adding my twisted logic into the equation I took a cereal carton, scissors, masking tape, an awl, poster paint (coloured with food colouring!), a length of cord and my child and created this:
It didn't win any prizes but sure was fun to make!