Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A dress for my niece

I was asked if I would mind making a dress or two for my niece for Christmas.  I made one a-line dress but for the other, I thought I would make something a little fancier.  I used Simplicty 2677.

I picked a pretty blue floral print from Spotlight and teamed it with a crisp white for the contrast tie.

I think it turned out great.  I just hope it fits!  :)

A-line dress bonanza!

I managed to get a few A-line pinafores done for Christmas.  One was for my niece and the other two pinnies were for my own girls.  I used Simplicity pattern 5489, which is about as easy as it gets.  Although you do have to do two buttonholes, the bane of my existance!
I basically followed the pattern, just made each dress a little unique. All fabric was from Spotlight - they have a fabulous range at the moment. I hope they all fit now!  :)

Sneek peek at niece's dress
Pink and purple flowers, with purple batik border

Samantha's dress
Pink with a ruffle hem

Love the buttons!

I used an iron-on butterfly motif to give it some interest
Asha's dress ...
It's all in the fabric

what else but hooty owls for Asha?  :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cargo pants for a boy

For my nephew, I am making some cargo shorts for his Christmas present.  I bought the Inside-Or-Outside-Pocket-Pants pattern from Fishsticks Designs through Etsy.  These pants/shorts have side leg cargo pockets, inside pockets at the waist, a flat waist band at the front with an elasticised waist at the back. This was the first time I had ever used an e-pattern, so I was a little nervous.  Stick-taping all the pages together was very easy and the pattern came up a treat.  I traced it out, cut the fabric and away I went! I started this last night and finished it today, so it's been pretty quick.

Fabric was all bought from Spotlight - I just picked up some soft cotton drill.  Since I was making two pairs of shorts, I picked a blue camouflage fabric for one set of shorts and a skull & crossbones fabric for the other pair.

Here's the camouflage shorts.

Front view

Back view

Detail of cargo pocket on the leg

pocket off the waist band

Finished product!
And the other shorts are here ...
Front view

Back view

Close-up of the back pocket

Cargo pocket detail

Viola! Ready to wear!!

I'm really pleased with how they turned out.  I just hope they fit now.  :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tutorial - a petal pin pocket

A few months ago, I made a petal pin pocket for a friend.  Since then, I've had a few people ask me how did I make it.  Actually, it's very simple, so in response I thought I might try to make a quick tutorial.

What do you need?
- fabric 25cm x 50cm (or two pieces, each 25cm x 25cm)
- pellon 25cm x 25cm (pellon is lightweight fusible wadding)
- felt 20cm x 20cm (buy at Spotlight, Lincraft or a craft store like Riot)
- a small button
- pins
all the necessary 'ingredients'
Drop me a message for the pattern pieces (I don't know how to attach a PDF to this blogger page) and I will email them through to you.  Alternatively, let me know how I can attach a PDF to this post!

You need to cut of two pieces of the main petal pattern from the fabric.
pinned and ready to cut
Once that's done, you will also need to cut a main petal pattern piece from the pellon.  Fuse the pellon to the wrong side of one of the fabric pieces.  This piece will be the outside fabric for the pin pocket.
Left piece has the fused pellon attached, right piece will be the inside fabric
On the fabric piece that does not have the pellon, mark the centre on the right side of the fabric (I use a chalk pencil for this).  Then, make a  2"-4" (5-10cm) cut around the centre of the piece (not on centre that you have just marked, just close to it).  This is what you are going to use to pull the pocket through after sewing it together, so try to keep it as small as possible.  Keep the cut smaller than the felt piece, as the felt will go over the cut so you will never see it.
After the cut has been made
Cut the felt piece out.  Mark the centre. Now you are ready to sew!

Putting the right sides together, sew around the two large fabric pieces using a 1/4" seam, backstitching at the start and end of the sewing.  (Hint : the pellon is on the outside while you are sewing.)

Once you have sewn around the outside edge, you will need to trim and cut the seam allowances back. Use small sharp scissors to take notches up to the stitch line but take care not to cut through the stitch line.  Once you have done that around the entire edge, pull the pocket through the small cut you had made on the fabric without pellon, taking care not to rip the cut further.  Roll the edges between your fingers to help it sit flat and then press with an iron.

Now match the centre mark on the felt with the centre mark on the fabric.  Pin the felt in place, matching the curves.
Showing how the felt is pinned down
(orange lines indicate where to sew)
Now sew from one side to the other side, four times.  This is what provides the petal appearance and gives the 'fold' lines for the pocket.

Now, on the tab, sew a button hole, measuring the button you are going to us to give you the length required.  (I love an automatic button hole!)

Once the botton hole is done, sew the button on the outside, on the edge opposite to the button hole.  And viola, you're done!  Put a few pins in it and it's perfect as a small gift.

Variation - if you don't want to do a buttonhole, it would be easy enough to use a small loop of hat elastic.  Put this in as you are sewing the two fabric pieces together (would be on the inside while you are sewing).  If you do this, I would probably cut the tab off and re-shape that side to be the same as the others, in terms of continuing the curve.

I reckon all of this can be done in about 30 minutes.  Too easy! :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mount Bunting!

A few friends have had babies lately and another baby turned 1 recently.  I decided to sew some personalised bunting flags to celebrate.  It became a mountain of bunting flags!

I started about a month ago and have been chipping away at it slowly.  The applique was the most time-consuming - tracing all the letters, attaching them letters on to the flags and edge-stitching each letter.  The easiest letters have straight lines, the letters that were fiddly had lots of curves.  :)

So, I ended up doing bunting flags for five children - Polly, Jacob, Grace, Brennan and Spencer.  Fabric for the boys' flags was bought from Spotlight, fabric for the girls' flags was bought from my local quilt shop.

Here's some of them on display ....



And all of them (close-up shots)






All of these flags will be sent to families this week - I hope they like them!

As an aside, take a look at my home-made "lightbox" that I used to trace out the letters.  It worked a treat!