Monday, 13 June 2011

Weekly Sewing News

As promised here is the first of my sewing updates.

As I had a few months off blogging there are various garments that I made that I haven't yet blogged about - these I will pick up over the course of this month when they are worn for the Me-Made-June challenge.

These weekly (or so) updates will focus instead just on what I have been up to over the last week (or so), sewing wise. That, of course, means that sometimes they will be packed with photos, information and new projects. Other times the content will be fairly light. Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way let us proceed!

I have already posted about the Sobretto tops I made last weekend (click here if you haven't already seen them) but you may also remember the summer dress hanging in the photo with the tops.

This is one of a number of dresses I have made with the same pattern (albeit with a couple of tweaks here and there).

First I made the Blue dress, shown here on day 11 of the Me-Made-Challenge.

The pattern is from the Sewing in No-Man's Land blog (the Bottom Mellow Dress Pattern) and features a yoke made up of a back piece and two front pieces that meet at the centre with gathered short sleeves. The bottom part of the dress is just a front and back piece stitched up the sides and attached to the yoke. There are no fastenings as the dress is easy to slide on and off. The pattern provides for small facings for the front central yoke pieces but for this Blue dress I made proper front and back facings. I also added a button at the centre bottom of the front yoke and rather than gathering the hem of the sleeves I made a small pleat on each sleeve and again added a button.

The yoke and sleeves are made from a retro cotton fabric with  a small blue and red pattern and the bottom part of the dress is navy blue jersey fabric.

I cut the bottom pieces of the dress slightly wider than the pattern suggested and made an inverted box pleat in the centre at the front and a pleat on each side to accomodate a blooming waistline (obviously the jersey fabric also helps). I did, however, end up taking it in by a couple of centimetres on each side so the added width was probably not necessary.

Once finished this Blue dress just left me with scraps of the blue jersey - not really enough to do anything with - except, the yoke of another dress just the same!

Again I used a complete front and back facing to add structure to the yoke but this time I used the same fabric as I used for the skirt section for the sleeves - a Liberty of London floral print in blue, orange and yellow.

Rather than pleat the front and back skirt sections I gathered them - with the front gathers going right across the front. As I cut the back skirt piece slightly less wide than the front section the gathers at the back are just in the centre.

The third and final dress using the same pattern is altogether more summery. Rose print cotton for the yoke and white eyelet for the skirt section.

For this dress I went back to the pleat detail when attaching the skirt section to the yoke and I also used the same fabric for the yoke and sleeves.

So after three Sobretto tops and three simple dresses I was on a roll of quick and easy projects. 

This time last year I was waiting for my youngest niece to be born and so now her first birthday is fast approaching. As she is coming here for three weeks in the summer I thought she is probably in need of some cool summer dresses so out came the pile of pink and other girly fabric and here is what I came up with:

The pattern is another free downloadable pattern this time from Oliver & S. The pattern actually starts at age 2 but I just downgraded the sizing a little. The first dress is in pink cotton gingham and the trim at the yoke is white cotton lace. 

The second dress is in a cotton floral fabric with white ric rac trimming the yoke. 

For both dresses I made matching bloomers - using the pattern from here.

Just as I was finishing up I happened to peruse and saw the free pattern for the Rae blouse (see here). Sundresses are all well and good but a girl needs a little cover up to protect from the burning sun or at the end of a hard day at the pool doesn't she so I used the remains of the white eyelet fabric to make this

A three quarter length sleeve blouse in white eyelet with pleats at the front and a button back. I used some of the pink gingham for pockets. The pattern calls for the neckline to be bound in bias binding but instead, to keep the clean line of the white eyelet fabric I drafted a facing for the front and back necklines.

The next photo shows the pleats and the square neckline

The gingham contrasting pockets

I was going to cover buttons for the back using the scraps of the pink gingham but then when fabric shopping on Tuesday I saw these and so saved myself a job!

Needless to say, I also made matching bloomers - this time with bias binding round the leg holes and waist and with a ruffle on the bum!

Finally - yes it really has been an exceptional week, sewing wise, I made myself the Liberty blouse seen on day 9 of Me-Made-June.

The pattern for this blouse came from the Japanese pattern book Les Couleurs Francaises- and is the top part of the shirt dress pattern that I used last year to make this dress (posted about here).

This time though I made it blouse length, cutting it off just under where the buttons stop, I added the sleeves - short gathered sleeves, also with gathering on the sleeve hem and added elastic in the hem to stop the bottom billowing out in a nasty tent style way.

Given that with the dress I only ever undo the top button and slip it on and off over my head I also sewed up the last few buttons on the blouse using a contrasting red thread as a sort of design detail and for the top two buttons I used red spot buttons. I used another Liberty bias to bind the hem of the sleeves.

Bias bound sleeve hems

Red spot buttons

Sewn down buttonholes

I like the detail of this blouse - the gathering at the bottom of the yoke on the back and the gathering on the hem of the sleeves and I might well make another - maybe making the next one a little bit longer so it could be worn as a tunic.

Gathering at back yoke

Elastic in hem

Well, that is all for this week. But I will leave you with a peak at what is on my cutting table for next week....

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