Saturday, 27 June 2015

KCW: a woollen coat dress

Thanks to two birthdays, a guitar concert, a sick child and a busy last week of school, Kids Clothes Week hasn't been working out very well for me this time. This is going to be my one-and-only contribution to the pool: a coat-dress (pattern O) from Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids. Although the book specifies linen for the dress, the design really lends itself to something warm and cosy, so I used a pure wool fabric from Kim Anh, with some black linen for the facings. It's a sweet and simple design, with tucks at the front and back and a nice long row of buttons at the front (where my daughter says buttons should ALWAYS be). Seven buttonholes, seven buttons... I totally failed at spacing them evenly and had to re-do a few. Unpicking buttonholes is so unpleasant, don't you think? Good thing I bought myself a brand new unpicker along with the fabric. And although the dress looked a bit scrunched up between the buttons in these photos, I promise it hangs beautifully off-camera!

I made a few alterations, one of them inadvertent: I was forced to cut the back bodice in two pieces due to not having bought enough fabric (it's fortunate that R has long hair so nobody will ever notice the mismatched pieces). And since R's waist measurement has remained unchanged for years (the only things that grow on this child are arms, legs and hair) I added cuffs to the sleeves so they can be lengthened as she grows. Unfortunately I managed to make the dress rather short - I was aiming for just above the knee but I have a knack of stuffing these things up - so it might be more of a tunic by next year. It does have a decent hem on it, though, so I guess I should unpick it and hem it with facing or something... but I'm probably too lazy to bother at this point.

R is unwell today and wasn't exactly enthused about modelling, so I had to rope in my lovely feline assistant. Please note that no cats were harmed in the taking of these photos; Morry just loves getting into suitcases!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Sailor top

I didn't set out to sew exclusively from Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids, but it does seem to be working out that way. This is the sailor-collar pullover (pattern T) and I'm not done yet - I have at least one more garment from this wonderful book in the works.

This is really not the kind of thing I expect R to get much wear out of, but since it looked like a quick and easy sew, and since I already had the perfect pale blue linen for it, I just went ahead and made it anyway. I added piping to the collar (using finely striped linen leftover from this jacket) and - having wasted far too much time attempting to find the perfect buttons - made matching buttons from the same fabric. Piping really makes the collar stand out nicely, I think.

R was in fine form for today's modelling assignment, thanks to a free Rainbow Loom from Spotlight, which provided rather handsome compensation for ten minutes of her time. After a few poses she started doing a weird kind of chicken dance, collapsed into giggles and that was the end of that.

I'm pretty happy with this top, even if linen isn't quite the thing in our chilly winter weather. Coming up next: something cosier. From the same book, of course.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Cousins in capes

A few weeks ago I sewed capes from this book for R and her little cousin M. As my sister and her family live out in the country, I had to wait (impatiently) to see them and to give M her new cape. Happily, they came to stay with us this weekend, and at long I was able to see the cape on its owner.

It took a whole day to persuade M to be photographed - she's going through that stubborn three-year-old phase (at least, we think it's a phase...). Eventually the gift of a plastic ring did the trick, and it was well worth the wait. The cape is a perfect fit and looks incredibly cute. As for R, she wore her lovely soft cape all weekend while she played with lego, coloured in, scooted, chased cats and played in the park. I began to feel a little jealous of its blanket-like cosiness, and wondered if I could get away with wearing one (I think the answer is no - so I'll just have to go for a woolly shawl instead).

The book calls this garment a 'poncho' but I think of ponchos as things without front openings, so I'm dubbing these 'capes' instead. The capes have snaps down the front and a removable button tab at the top. They are unlined, but I modified the pattern a little to include a hood lining in cotton, which I attached to the facings so it's set in a few inches from the edges. This makes the hoods look much better when they are hanging down.

R's cape is a lovely soft fabric which was sold as wool, but which I suspect has some polyester in it; M's is pure wool. Both are from the wonderful Kim Anh Fabrics in Oakleigh.

Isn't M the cutest? I hope she enjoys wearing her new cape. Now, what should I sew next...?