Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lekala #4679 The dress that nearly wasn't!

Our first Lekala flop...
The ability to move one's shoulders is advantageous.
Let me explain.
Liddy needed a black dress and a white dress for a play.
Rather then sew costumes I thought I would get a jump of her Summer sewing.
Zara gave her some black, floral poly/rayon she had grabbed from the $2 bin at Eliza's, in Melbourne.
(It is not a 'good' fabric, I will sew some float-y beach pants out of the left overs but I don't think it will wash well so I won't invest too much time in it. That said, it is pretty and falls nicely)
Lekala#4679 gave her the float-y sleeves and she liked it.
I put in her measurements, adjusted the pattern for wide shoulders and sewed it up.
We tried it on once the side zipper was set in, gorgeous!
I attached the flounce and thought it looked a bit hinky so we tried again before adding the straps.
Bugger.
Not. Going. To. Happen.
I emailed the company but needed to have a fiddle myself due to time constraints.
Now, I am a reasonable sewer but pattern maker, I aint'.
#patternhackfreezone.
I fiddled with the flounce, cutting it out in increments and then tried the pattern piece on Lids.
It still didn't look right.
I then cut the flounce and added a bit.
Still wasn't right.
So I cut it again, added another bit, lined up the grain lines, redrafted the curve and crossed my fingers.
It worked and I will blog the next dress soon!
What to do with the dress to hand...
Whilst we were fiddling we realised if she pushed the arm flounce up on her shoulders, it worked.
As the edge of the flounce is bound, it is quite firm and sits nicely.
I trimmed the front corners (where the straps would extend from) and turned it under and hand stitched it in place.
The whole thing rolls nicely and just sort of works.
~Lidia's Verdict~
When we  first tried the dress on I was a little nervous as it did not fit over my shoulders.
So we ended up lifting the flounce over my shoulders so that it made a gorgeous floaty neckline.
 As soon as it was finished I wore it to my friends house. It was so light and cool to wear and I didn't even get hot although it was rather hot!

~My Verdict~
Not quite sure what happened here. I checked my measurements and they were fine.
The dress is also far more fitted then the diagram, that dress shows a great deal more ease.
I have emailed Lekala and left notes on the website so hopefully, someone will work it out.

The next dress, with my adjusted flounce, looks much more like the diagram.
But, do you know what? I am not holding one, slightly dodgy pattern against them.
Maybe Liddy's measurements blew up their pattern making algorithm.
As Tim Gunn advises, we made it work.


Liddy's play went well, it was over an hour long and the students did a great job.
Trixie amused herself by flicking every single seat down (very quietly) in the town hall but did disgrace herself yelling out 'Liddy, its me, Trixie' when she spotted her on stage.
I was mortified but Liddy assured me Sophie had forgotten her lines and was glad of the distraction. 


Thanks for reading xx N

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Vintage Cape Part 2- The Replacement

Do you remember the navy cape Tilly gave to her special friend?
I finally finished the replacement.
Just as sweet the second time around.
The original was a navy cashmere blend and while I did not have any of that left I did have some nice navy wool coating that would suit.
But she wanted something different.
Some woollen coating from Eliza's in Sunshine, the same cloth I cut Zara's soft jacket and Hugo's Peacoat (WIP). 
$12/m, very wide and not too many flaws.
The fabric is very cheap (from Eliza's) but can have flaws or small holes, I generally hang my cuts in front of the window and mark the imperfections, before cutting.
This was a much easier sew and my bagging of the lining was very successful.
My last one was a bit dodgy, the cashmere 'grew' as I sewed it.
As for the lining...
Feast your eyes on this me-laddies!
Tildy chose this remnant of cherry coloured red stretch satin for the lining $2.
~Tildy's Verdict~
I absolutely love the epaulettes.
I also love the cherry red lining.
The buttons on it are super cute with the pretty pattern.
The colour on the fabric is perfect to match the cherry red lining.
It makes me happy when I wear it because I gave my other one to my friend.
The red lining makes me feel happy and reminds me of flowers. When I wore it to school my teacher and my friends all liked it.
When I wear it out I feel special.
~My Verdict~
The sewing was so much smoother this time around. I was able to properly bag the lining with a good size 'lip' around the hem.
Slashing the inside lining to make the hand holes was still utterly terrifying.
Tildy chose some heavy metal brass buttons, I wasn't keen, I wanted brown knotted leather but once again, my clever children were right.
They are perfect.
Although it looks straight forward it is a reasonably complex sew logging in 6 hours sewing time.
I just wish we lived somewhere posher to warrant making another.

Thank you for reading
xx N

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lekala #4491 for Zara

Have I ever told you just how much I love sewing coats?
It is a lot.
The pressing, the gorgeous fabric, the fact that they last f o r e v e r makes them such a satisfying sew.
I did some serious #ninjacutting with 3 1/2 metres of grey heathered wool coating that I purchased on my Melbourne shopping trip, $12/m.
I got Tildy's cape (to be blogged), a peacoat for Hugo (WIP) and this coat for Zara.
It is Lekala #4491 . They call it a 'cape', I say 'soft jacket', Zara says 'coat'.
Who gives a whoop? It is gorgeous.
The original has a hood but I just couldn't quite get that out.
It suggested lining fabric in the notions but when I printed it, no lining.
I emailed the company (they have great customer service) and it did not, in fact, have a lining however they did talk me through adding one.
Using some gorgeous copper coloured stretch satin (Eliza's Fabric $10/m) I cut the lining from the main pieces, adding a deep tuck at the centre back for ease and laying the sleeve pattern pieces together, cutting the sleeve as one.
The pattern called for the outer edge to be sewn, folded in half and the the raw edge covered with binding.
After bagging the sleeves, I sewed one edge of the outer edge to the inside, easing through the curves.
On the right side, I top-stitched the edge in increments, sewing the long straights first and then hand gathering the curves, removing the basting after top stitching.
The welt pockets took a little fiddling (well, the first one did) and I used one of my labels to cover a little mending where I snipped too far.
The sleeve detail is natty but very firm, okay for me, I have small hands but it is almost too tight for Zara.

So, couture sewing, it aint but a serviceable, fashionable, wearable piece, it is.
The copper satin is apparel not lining quality but is so lush and really does up the ante of the garment.
The back view really sells the custom fit of the Lekala patterns. This jackets hangs limply on Liddy and me but Zara's gorgeous derrière fills it out as per measurements.
~Zara's Verdict~
This coat is absolutely beautiful.
It's so stylish and sophisticated. I feel every bit an adult instead of a goofy teenager (when I am wearing it)

The fabric worked so so well and the lining that Mum managed to create herself is just mind blowing.
~My Verdict~
When Zara said she wanted the leftover from Hugo's peacoat I was expected her to want something similar or a bomber jacket. I was pretty surprised by her choice and wondered if the style was a bit old for her.
She showed me lots of pins on Pinterest and I was convinced.
The long strips leftover from my previous projects worked out just right (except for the hood but I am not sure how that would have worked with our mods, anyway).
The sleeves were very narrow and my sewing brain struggles with the straight edges sewn to a curve, I think it falls in a odd manner but she insists that is exactly what she wanted.
She be happy, I be happy. 

Thanks for reading xx N

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Vintage Pinafore Simplicity 7197

On our way home from our last holiday we did an Op Shop crawl.
In the Horsham St Vinnies I found this gorgeous little number.
I had some odd pieces of denim left from sewing some Hudson's pants for Elsa and an apron for Sarvi.
To try and reduce the stash and to have some projects ready-to-go I have begun the practice of using up the whole piece of fabric.
It is working well, I sew a garment and offer up the leftovers to the Fab Five.
It is quite fun to watch the scrabble.
I find the best way to 'modernise' a vintage pattern is to sew it in solid.
This is a light weight denim that I picked up a few years back.
A 30 m roll purchased on eBay for $30. It bleeds like a stuck pig for the first few washes but does settle nicely.
I used some cute stylised bunny buttons I picked up on my Melbourne trip.
I actually like the pieces best, separately.
The dress was so long I did a huge hem.
I had to piece the skirt of the pinafore but I don't think you can tell.
How cute are these buttons?
How cute is this child?
Those shoulder ruffles!
And the bow!
~My Verdict~
So. In. Love.
The dress was a quick sew, the pinafore was reasonably complicated but so worth it.
I love sewing vintage patterns, I feel quite an accomplishment as they use skills that I don't use as frequently with modern sewing.
Did I mention how much I love shoulder ruffles?

Thanks for reading.
xx N

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Vintage Overalls

Another gorgeous remnant from The Drapery
Some luscious cotton velvet, another fabric gift from Beamish.
Tildy immediately claimed it and requested overalls.
So she would feel like a baby seal.
I tossed around the Loveralls but the velvet was rigid and they really need a stretch fabric.
I had a look though my vintage patterns and found...
Tilly fit in the chest measurement just fine and there was little shaping to the legs so I just added length, folding back the bell bottom to more straight leg.
But I forgot about the straps.
I forgot to lengthen the straps again.
Luckily, I remembered before I had finished the front facing so I added an extension at the front.
To try a make a mistake into a feature I used some fancy buttons I picked up in Melbourne.
The very simple design lets the velvet do all the talking.
I do love my little girls in overalls.
The back elastic help with the fit, the shoulder straps are stitched in the middle to stop them twisting.
~Tildy's Verdict~
I love the buttons and how they are adjustable. (The straps)
The pocket on the front is very cute and my tiny hands fit in there perfectly.
They are very warm and snuggly and also very fluffy to play in.
They so fluffy and I love them so much.
~My Verdict~
I think I got very lucky with this sew. I can't believe I forgot the straps a second time.
Although it is simple pattern it did sew up nicely and Tildy finds them very comfortable.
I reversed the nap of the velvet (A Liesl tip) for an extra lush look.
The puff sleeve blouse is sewn from another Drapery purchase.
A double gauze-type stuff with a abstract copper coloured dot.
Very soft and silky.
I used the same pattern I used to make Trixie'sbut sewed it up in a size 8.
It is a bit big but that is okay!
Jed has been ringing around the Spotlight stores in Australia and has got Tilly 2m of copper coloured denim for shiny, shiny overalls for next Winter, there should be enough left for a shiny, shiny skirt too.
It took some serious #ninjacutting to get this blouse out of the metre cut.
I did end up with a 'blank' strip down one side of the zipper but I think it is fine.
Again, I left out the stiffening from the sleeve cap and let the gathers fall softly.
This 'statement piece' style of blouse works well under pinnies and dungarees.  

Thank you for reading xx N