Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

More Barbie Clothes


I have a problem with throwing even the tiniest bit of fabric away!

So here are my latest makes for the tiniest people I know. :)

You may remember I used this shirt and this curtain..


To make this dress.


 Well here is the tiny version.


And my latest offcuts have also fallen victim to my tiny clothes syndrome!

My humongous Burda top actually had a bit of fabric left over from it.


That went into making this top and skirt.


The skirt is lined with a curtain that I last used to make bags in 2009.


I love how it has made the gathering at the top of the skirt more interesting.


Finally, my latest make...


Which you may recall was squeezed onto the width of the fabric when cutting out.  Well, I still had tiny offcuts which I made into this top and trouser set.


Complete with a teeny tiny waistband.


I don't need to ask who wore it better.  Barbie all the way! :)

Friday, 22 July 2016

Practical 'Companion' Pattern No. 7001


It's a boiling hot day here in Wales, and as I type this, seagulls are flying above my seaside home making quite a racket.  Welsh seagulls are tough as old boots let me tell you - a fact I found out to my cost when one snatched a whole pasty out of my hands as I was about to enjoy a picnic on our local beach.  Needless to say I always eat indoors now!

Anyway, I bring up the subject of seagulls as I purchased this stretch cotton from the Remnant House in the UK.  


It turned out to be a little thinner than I had anticipated but just right to make this skirt...


It is called a companion pattern because there are skirts and blouses in the same range that fit together so that you can make them as a dress.  Sadly, most of my paper companions had left the envelope before I took possession of this pattern.   It was just me and the two darted version of the skirt left in the corner of the room making small talk. :)

I really wanted to make a version with side pleats - but after resizing the skirt it became clear that there was no extra fabric available at the sides to make the pleat.


This is a wide fabric as well!   I obviously shortened the skirt by quite a bit and I cut myself a new waistband as that had also left the party early.


Back of the skirt.

I consoled myself about the lack of side pleats by making myself a headband.  There was enough stretch for a nice fit.


It is just two tubes of the fabric interlocked and fastened together at the back.

Another one for the vintage pattern pledge!


“#VintagePledge

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Burda 07-2011-116 (and a walk!)


Confessions of a Sewing Novice recently made the above pattern.  Prompting me to remember I had a copy of the original Burda magazine it appeared in.   I recognised it as it was such an unusual shape, and I liked Sewing Novice's version so much I thought I would dig out the pattern.  I traced it.  Then I stopped laughing long enough to ask Mr HoffiCoffi to take this next photo.


That is the back pattern piece of this top!  I am holding my metre ruler along the entire width.  This was going to be interesting...  The result?


Oooh look at this pretty picture of the Welsh countryside!

I am stalling... well, it's ohhh kay....


The thing is, I knew it wasn't going to be the most flattering thing I have ever worn.  As a pear shape I know to avoid baggy tops as they just make me look humongous, but this top was such fun to make and so easy to wear.  Do I really have to look nice as well?


I feel the old 'arms outstretched - look at how wide this top is' shot is obligatory in these circumstances.  The neckline was a great fit using my upper bodice measurements, I just had to widen the bottom hem to accommodate my hip measurement.  I know - on a pattern piece that big.  Sigh.  It does mean that the fit is as indicated on the model which I very much appreciate.

Anyway, I'll leave you with some more shots of our lovely family walk.







Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Tablecloth Skirt


I purchased this round tablecloth recently for the princely sum of £1.99.  It was folded up on the hanger and I didn't check its condition.  This is because, weirdly, I was hoping it would be damaged because otherwise it was too lovely for me to cut up.


Look at those little birds!

So, I handed over my money, probably being the only one who has ever shopped there hoping to discover a stain on their purchase!


On getting it home and laying it out onto a small round table in the house I discovered a slight rip in the hem - which I fixed before I put it in the washing machine.

Also...


Taa daa!  Not only a stain - but the perfectly placed stain.


As you can hopefully see in the above picture it was a small, neat, stain that I could hide in the side seam of the skirt - and also I did not have to cut through any of the birds to do it.

This was going well...

... until I did another classic cutting error which I appear to be so fond of!


I had checked two sources (one magazine, one online) and found my waist radius was 12 cm.  I therefore used my very clever marking ruler (pictured above).  I placed my marking pencil in '12' and off I went.  Only to realise after cutting it out that it didn't fit, because it was an imperial ruler and obviously the markings were going up by half inches and not centimetres!  So I had cut 12 half inches - 6 inches - just over 15 cms.  So I had to hack a wedge off the skirt each side of the seam I had made to make the waistline fit!  Although, funnily enough, I still didn't chop any of the birds in half as it all landed in the reeds pattern - which was nice.


The good news was that I could now make a zip placket from the circle I cut out - because it was huge!  Also, I used some of the fabric I cut out of the side seams to make a waistband - I had previously thought I would need to find a contrasting fabric in my stash.


Anyway, long story short I'm pleased with the result.  I love the birds that are flying around the waistline.


And all the wading birds seem happy enough. :)

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Butterick 6495


Sewing this dress was not without its problems - but they were all problems of my own making. :)


I purchased this 1970's pattern off Ebay.  It was complete, which seems rarer for children's sewing patterns because of all the little fiddly pieces that can easily go astray - the bottom of the envelope was also split so it was even more of a surprise to find it complete!


It should have been fairly easy to construct - but my first mistake was snipping into the facing fabric when trimming the neck seam.  My finger points to the evidence above!  I decided to cover this with some ribbon I had that I think previously had been used to wrap a present.  I did however justify doing this as facings are a pet hate of mine - they always seem to poke over to the front of the fabric as catch stitching at the side seams never seems to be enough to anchor it.  Well these are well and truly anchored now.


The second thing that had me flinging this dress across the room was its three inch hem allowance.  I cannot sew a wide hem onto an a-line dress/skirt.  I can't.  I tried gathering, steaming, tiny darting, just 'going for it' (my preferred method) and it all looked like a dog's dinner.  I gave up after the third attempt - trimmed the hem allowance down to an inch and did a narrow turned up hem.  I have since researched wide curved hems and I could have tried cutting out notches out of the wider turned fabric and closing them in with a whipstitch.  Any other tips gratefully, gratefully received.


Despite all that I love the finished dress.  How can I not - it's a teeny tiny cherry dress.   It consists of the simple (hah!) A-line dress and an apron that is fastened onto the front bodice with buttons.  The buttons used were from my charity shop button tin.


The apron then ties at the back. 

 I did try and produce a nice finish to the garment as I am giving it to my local school for their school fair raffle.


I put in a handmade label....


...inserted a lapped zip...


... and french seamed all of the seams, apart from the centre back - which I finished with a binding.


I printed out a label for the dress and I hope it raises some funds for the school.  A special thank you to my sister who gave me the fabric. xxx



Friday, 10 June 2016

Circle Of Geese


Foundation piecing is not my favourite way of making quilt blocks.  I have a hard time getting my head around the technique of flipping the fabric over so that it covers the intended shape in the block plus the seam allowance.  I have tackled this in the past by using huge pieces of fabric and trimming them afterwards, but for this wall hanging I cut the pieces with 3/8's of an inch seam allowance instead of my usual quarter inch and it worked - save for a few hairy times when it only juuuuust worked!

Much as I complain about this technique I can find no other way of getting accurate points every time in my piecing.


Those coloured triangles would not be that crisp for me any other way.  I am hoping the more I make blocks this way, the more comfortable I will get with it. 


I did some research into how to ensure that my wall hanging did not have a wavy edge.  It is only a 12 inch block so there is not much chance of it going wrong but you never know.  I found the best way to get it to lay flat is to pin it down, steam it with an iron (without letting the iron touch the fabric) and then letting it dry.  It did work well so I will try it on a larger scale next time.

The completed wall hanging was given to my friend as a present.  The lovely hanger, by the way, was from the CottonPatch website in the UK, and the block can be found here.