Saturday, 28 June 2014

Happy Homemade pirate top

Pattern N from Happy Homemade vol. 2: a smock-style top in linen, size 110 with size 120 length as usual. 

I made this for R to wear as a 'pirate shirt' to a friend's dress-up birthday party, but since it's such a lovely pattern I hoped that she would wear it again on non-piratical occasions. Unfortunately, when she took the top off this evening she announced that it should go in the dress-up box.

Me: 'But it's a lovely top! You can wear it other times, too - not just for dress-ups.'
R: 'It's a pirate top.'
Me: 'No it's not, it's a real top that you can wear!'

So I don't know if I'll have any luck getting her to wear it again. Which is sad, because it's a beautiful style. I love the sleeve frills and the little lace tab under the placket. I totally stuffed up one button-hole (and tried to unpick and re-sew it, thus making it even worse) but luckily it's barely noticeable. And I must say, this top looks terrific both with and without pirate sash and sword - so versatile!

For the record, although R chose pirate over mermaid (the invitation having given those two options) she refused to wear pants - it was skirt or nothing. She might be a stubborn little pirate but she knows what she likes!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

sweet girls' clothes

I feel so much better having got those sewing mishaps off my chest. In the interests of staying positive, I won't tell you how I've somehow managed to lose the beautiful wool jacket I made for R, just as I finally found the right snaps for it - I'll try to be resilient and get over it. And on the positive side, I'm very happy with the first two things I've made from one of my recent sewing book purchases, Sweet Girls' Clothes by Yuki Araki. I have to say, I really love this book and can see myself sewing almost everything in it (if someone doesn't stop me, because R definitely doesn't need that many new clothes).

The bottom layer of this skirt is shot cotton and the top layer is Japanese lawn. It's a sweet and feminine design, and R is very happy with it. I made size 110 with 120 length so it has a bit of growing room.

I was also quite taken by the pattern for this v-neck top with ruched sides, which I made in a cotton-spandex (or perhaps it was cotton-lycra - can't remember). What on earth is this colour called? It's kind of purple, kind of grey, kind of mushroom. Whatever it is, I like it a lot. And it's very similar to the one used for the dress on the cover of the book:

Now I do realise there's a bit of ribbon overload going on in this combo, and I didn't intend for these clothes to be worn as an outfit, but I was trying to minimise the time spent modelling - R's not big on wardrobe changes unless they involve donning wings and picking up a wand.


Both the skirt and the top were very straightforward to sew, apart from the v-neckline, the construction of which was initially baffling (but then, I am easily baffled). I messed up the overstitching a bit, but as I'm attempting a positive focus with this post I won't dwell on it. Onward and upward!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

A stuffed up skirt and a sack-like dress

The skirt: Simplicity 2451

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. Here is a list of my transgressions:

I sewed up a skirt after discovering I'd bought the pattern in the wrong size, hoping that the sizing was generous and that a medium would fit me (it didn't).

I improvised, adding panels in an attempt to enlarge the skirt, only to find that it was now too large.

I hurriedly and shoddily cut it down and re-sewed it, resulting in a skirt that fits, but that is so poorly finished on the inside that I have to avert my eyes when putting it on.

I recklessly trimmed the hemline by eye and must now suffer the indignities of a crooked hem.

For these sins, I am truly sorry. Especially as I like this pattern, and the linen-rayon fabric I used, and think that it will look quite nice when I make version 2, using the correct pattern size and sewing exactly as instructed by the good folks at Simplicity. May I say in my defence, though, that I did use perfectly-matched thread, which made all my unpicking work that much more challenging.

The dress: Liesl + co Weekend Getaway dress 

I made the dress in a soft, almost slippery thin cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics, which has a subtle check and, conveniently, a splotchy pattern resembling what my clothes often look like after attempting to drink coffee from a poorly-sealed Keep Cup on the way to work. I love fabrics that camouflage stains!

I figured there was a good chance this style would look stupid on me, as I'm short and lacking a waist, but I forged ahead anyway, just because. I was thinking that if it looked monumentally silly I'd just cut it down to blouse or tunic length and wear it that way. And maybe that's what I should do - because to my eye it looks kind of sack-like, especially from the back. And quite a lot from the front. And definitely from the side. Or is it just a little too long? It looks quite respectable with a long cardigan over it, but I'm on the fence when it comes to whether I can take that cardigan off. I keep thinking of that song from the 1950s:

You can't do the bop in the sack
You can't tell the front from the back
You can't do the bop in the sack
Take that crazy gown back!

I realise this is an appalling photo, but what do you think, readers? Sack, or satisfactory? Cut or keep?