Saturday, 27 January 2007

My first ever blouse!

I'm trying to extend myself a bit at the moment with my sewing. It would be very easy for me to just make skirts and dresses, but I wanted to try a blouse. I bought a Burda pattern during Spotlight's half price pattern sale and came up with this:

As you can see, I totally stuffed up one side of the placket (is that what it's called?). That's what you get when you don't read the pattern instructions and make it up yourself! Oh, and completely ignore the pattern markings you so diligently transferred to the fabric! Anyway, I decided just to proceed anyway, and did the second side correctly. I've added this ric rac to make it look like I meant it! Do you think anyone will be convinced?LOL
Still, I think it's wearable (Louisa has a red skirt and a green skirt which match the ric rac), and I'm pretty happy with the rest of it and am happy to try again in some more exciting fabrics!

Thursday, 25 January 2007

The 'disco' dress - & bought clothes!!

My bargain hunting streak is showing through again. I could say I was after a retro '70 style look for Louisa, but honestly, I'd bought some fabric for $3 and had to then think of what to make with it. So it became this shirred dress. Louisa loves it because it's red and sparkly, and I like it because it's cool for hot days and cost next to nothing. I'm not quite sure if it will get a run in public, or only at home. It's very different from most of the 'little girls' clothes I seem to make!

I went shopping this morning with the girls. We'd had a few days at home, most activities still not started up yet and it's been too hot for the park or bike riding. We were going a little stir crazy, so to the shopping centre we went. It's quite a small centre at the moment, but it won't be for long. There's a flurry of building activity and it looks like it's doubling in size! So I guess that means more shoppers in the future, unfortunately.

Anyway, I know that the fashion police may not approve, but I bought some cheap and cheerful tops for the girls. The Hula top was only $5.51 at Target, the other two were $7 at Best n Less. I love those prices! So although I haven't bought any clothes for the girls since I started sewing, I couldn't resist.

I'm still working on a blouse - a few dramas with buttonholes and collars. It's to be expected for my first time, I guess. I better get back to it.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

My fabric stash

Everyone talks about their 'fabric stash', and going through the plastic tub that holds my sewing stuff, I realise I now have one. I thought I may as well catalogue it all, if only to get it clear in my own mind what I'll use it for:

Top left: a navy satin, and a Hello Kitty flannelette, both destined to become PJs eventually, and both bought on clearance at Spotlight.

Top Middle: my latest purchases at SL, the first too are quilting cottons, then some pink and red poplin and pink drill. The first one (which was half price!) is very pretty, not sure what I'll use that for. The ladybug one is going in the 'when I get brave enought to start a quilt for Louisa' pile. The others - maybe some pants?

Top Right: Mum has given up on sewing long ago (she was never really very keen), and this is some fabric she had lying around. It's not really my style and I have no idea what to use it for. Any ideas?

Middle left: Another quilting cotton bought on clearance, but I'm considering a dress or skirt for myself

Middle middle: Some purple cord(again from Mum), and two lots of drill. I'm considering some pinafore dresses for Elizabeth when the weather cools down, and as well as pants for both of the girls.

Middle right: Stretch knit - maybe pants and shorts for the girls

Bottom left: Just a close up of the Hello Kitty - so cute!
Bottom middle: Two summery cottons that I'll probably do something with eventually, but I'm a bit 'over them' for some reason.

Bottom right: Gingham! My grandma used to make these funny crossstitch apron things (I'll try to dig one up for a photo) They raised a lot of money sold on stalls for her two favourite charities: Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the local old people's home. So some has come from that, and some bought on clearance.

So there you go, that should keep me busy. I'm going to try and avoid buying more fabric until most of this is used, but I'm hopeless when I see 'clearance', 'sale' , 'bargain' etc.
On the sewing front, here's Louisa's plain white skirt. Not too exciting, but it will go with pretty much everything, and I may add some trim later. But for now, it'll do. It's made with a shirred cotton, which pretty much gathered itself, and my third time I've made the skirt so I found it easy, even french seams everywhere.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Another tiered skirt

Here's Louisa (and Elizabeth's hand) talking to the girls next door through our fence, wearing another of my sewing efforts.

It's from the same tiered skirt pattern I used to make her red dotted 'Christmas skirt', this time in a cute pink paisley print. I choose it because of the border. It makes such a simple skirt look lovely. I was impressed with myself for using french seams on the side seams, but then got too impatient to finish and left the gathered seams raw. Annoyed with myself. I would normally zigzag the edges (no fancy overlocker here, I'm afraid).

One of the EB girls, Marie suggested using french seams on the gather. It hadn't occured to me, so I did this on a second skirt, this time a plain white one.

I'm having some problems transferring the pictures from the camera (a common thing with our new camera. Grrr..Okay so it's nothing fancy, but I'd still like to be able to do something with the photos once I've taken them) . So that can be for another post.

Here's some more shots of the girls instead:

Friday, 5 January 2007

Shirred dresses

I decided to have a go at shirring, and I'm glad I did. It's liberating to make something without any kind of pattern! I first made Elizabeth's dress. I'm not that in love with the fabric, but it was inexpensive and I thought the checks would give me a line to guide me. There also wasn't much on offer at my local fabric store the day I decided I wanted to try it. It was a good learning experience - I now know to hem the top of the dress before you sew the shirring!

Next up was Louisa's strawberry dress. Another cheap fabric, and it has small green dots which served as my lines to follow. I have a very basic sewing machine, without any fancy stitches, but it does have a shell tuck stitch so I experimented with that on the bottom hem. Although I was a bit wonky in one section, I'm reasonably happy with the end result.

Getting ready for kindy

I have already made this set, well, I didn't make the top just appliqued a butterfly onto a Target Tshirt.

I have also finished her kindy sheets, the project that intiially got me back to sewing. My mum is quite surprised that kindergarten kids would need sheets, but apparently they do. Perhaps something to do with Qld kids starting at a younger age?

Anyway they were very simple - just a couple of hemmed rectangles with elastic straps on the corners of one to go around the mattress. If only all sewing was that easy!

I used a bright, very girly fabric which Louisa loves and also thinks is great as a convertible dress. I think I have a fashion designer in the making!

Christmas is over!

Dear Stepson flew home today, so it feels like Christmas is officially over. So I may get more time to sew now, and to get on the computer also.

As you can see, Santa was pretty good to the girls, a new bike for one and a trike for the other!

For Christmas day and pre-Christmas parties, I made a couple of outfits for the girls, but, of course, on the day Louisa decided to wear her new Charlie and Lola Tshirt (which actually looked great with the skirt), and I decided it was too hot for Elizabeth to wear the matching red pants with her holly leaf top!

I also made a skirt for myself but didn't get it finished for the day, but here it is finally finished: