Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Belated 'Back-To-School' sewing

In my haste to get the kids back to school, I forgot about sharing quite a few things with you all So if you need inspiration come NEXT year's back to school, here it is!!

1. Art Smock, size 7
2. Pencil Case
3. Kindy Cushion
4. New Pre-primary cushion cover

Art Smock

I saw Squirrel and Fink's beautiful art smock on Facebook, which reminded me that Keegan needed an art smock this year. He chose these fabric (with only the smallest amount of guidance, he really didn't actually care what it was made from). The check is a cotton drill, a little thicker than the cotton sleeves. I did think about putting clear vinyl on the front, but honestly couldn't be bothered!

I used a pattern from a Japanese Pattern Book that had raglan sleeves and a button front that I just turned back to front.  I scalloped the front pattern piece to give a 'tulip-like' closure to the now back. Because the sleeves weren't symmetrical front and back, they are a little odd, and really should have cut the 'back now front' piece with the front sleeve slopes. But for an art smock it doesn't really matter. I used a wide bias binding around the neckline then threaded it with elastic. 

A personalised pencil case for Keegan Quite some time ago, I bought some fabric from a local quilting fabric store, purely because I spied Keegan's name in it. Never did anything with it, but now I have! A tiny piece, cut right out of the middle! He came home from school yesterday and informed me that Kayla and Dylan would both like a pencil case  because their names are on the material too. It's quite a small pencil case, since that was the size specified on the booklist.

I love this fabric. I knew the boys would too, given their love affair with How To Train Your Dragon movies.  It's from an Alexander Henry line called Monkey's Bizness The Dragons. There were vikings too, which I looked lovingly at. No idea what I will do with them, but something will present itself eventually!!

Keegan asked for the red dragon to be on his pencil case and was even more pleased when he realised there was almost "three whole dragons on the front AND a black dragon on the back"! 

If you want to make your own pencil case, you can buy a kit from Hunting for Ladybugs that actually gives you a the instructions and everything you will need...the fabric, zipper, interfacing AND cotton that will be delivered to your door. No need to visit Spotlight to get a matching zip or thread.  But if you have a healthy fabric supply already, there is a tutorial on the Make It Perfect blog which I  used to make zippered pouches for our teachers last year ...which I just realised I STILL haven't blogged about either!!   On the 'dreamy topics to blog about' list.

 The Kindy Cushion

I can't take the credit for making this cushion though. If you follow along with me on Instagram (@chellby18) you may remember Keegan wanted to do a bit of sewing. He has never used the sewing machine before, but watched me plenty of times and had lots of practise putting the presser foot up and down for me. He wanted to make a cushion for Anya. (Not my idea) So he chose the fabric, cut this out (I drew lines) then pinned and sewed this ALL BY HIMSELF! I did help tell him when to start, stop, backstitch etc, but he controlled the whole lot. [Proud Mum moment!!]

He put his old kindy cushion inside it, for his little sis.
And then we realised it probably did need a button. Mum's maths weren't so great on calculating the overlap. So I did the buttonhole and sewed the button on. He'd had enough by this stage. There was no seam finishing to the inside either, so hopefully it holds up at kindy OK this year.

Pre-Primary Cushion Cover

All year last year, I promised this kid I'd make him a motorbike cushion cover for his kindy cushion. Every school holidays came and went with no cushion cover making. AND THEN we discovered Nathan's name in the fabulous name fabric too, so that prompted out little stitchup of this cushion cover. We discovered that he didn't actually need a cushion for pre-primary, so it now takes pride of place next to his pillow every night.

 Did you have a favourite back to school sew this year?

Happy Sunday,

Monday, February 9, 2015

{Kids Clothes Week} Unicorn Moku Skort

A little unicorn love for you today. This fabric is from Heather Ross's Far Far Away collection, purchased from Muddy Ruffles Fabric Addiction (and these fabrics just happen to be on sale right now!). I made Anya a Fawn Lily Tunic with the blue colourway here which I now realised I still haven't blogged! She wore both skirt and tunic together together today, because they matched!

I did get sewing most days for Kids Clothes Week. I had intermission mid week to finish a bag off (which I'll share tomorrow), but resumed for the rest of the week. I didn't quite get an hour every day, but close to it.

This is Anya's favourite new skirt/shorts=skort! This awesome pattern is by Tadah Patterns (formerly Fresh Patterns) and is a super duper quick sew. It can be found in the One Thimble magazine (Issue 5) or bought separately here. I would highly recommend it as an easy sewing pattern, suitable for beginners. But if you're not a beginner, don't let that stop you! There is nothing like quick satisfaction, with a winner result for girls who love to twirl!  

I didn't read the instructions while I was sewing it up, so the elastic goes all the way around , instead of just through the back waistband. Doesn't affect the function of the skirt, but I would do it properly next time!

Pattern - Moku Skort, by Tadah Patterns
Fabric - Far Far Away Unicorn Green from Muddy Ruffles

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

{Kids Clothes Week} Upcycled Bee-utiful Hemp Racer Back Singlet

Kids Clothes Week is back and this time I am determined to finish the whole week!!  Just one hour of sewing each day, for kids. Then next week I'll do things for me [wink].

I am so so pleased with how this Bee-utiful Hemp racer back singlet turned out. Not just with my sewing skills but with my newly found shit hot pattern making skill!

This is what happens when:
A. the power is out and you can't sew your ALREADY cut to sew pile, which you have done in your attempt to actually succeed at Kids Clothes Week
B. there is a whole box full of clothing that you just can't bear to throw away, even things Mr Toffee Tree has discarded them from his wardrobe several years earlier (or that you have purchased from the salvos for upcycling)
C. you don't have a pattern and can't just download another one because of problem A.
D. you have enough determination to get ONE THING FINISHED.

Had the power been on, I perhaps would have downloaded the Doli Tank by Lou Bee Clothing. Or maybe the Shandiin Tank. That's pretty cute too. Anya pulled this bee fabric out a few days ago and asked me for a bee top. She is now completely fussy and doesn't always want to wear what I make her.

How did I do it? 

I took the Fawn Lily Tunic pattern pieces in a size 3 and pattern hacked it, flipped it & made it mine. I like the hemline on this pattern and the fit around the chest is pretty good for Anya, so I knew I wouldn't have to alter too much. I laid the front pattern pieces together, traced around them and voila, a front singlet piece. Truth be told. It wasn't exactly voila. I did what I have never done before and made a muslin! I didn't want to waste that precious hemp shirt!! 

I did the same for the back piece, sketched out my own  racer back, making sure the top of the straps on each front and back piece was the same width, and that the arm to hem length was the same on front and back. I cut and pinned up the muslin. I did need to do a little bit of armhole and neckline tweaking (a few times x a little bit), but I'm happy with what I ended up with.

By this time (and yes, I'd used up my one hour for the day) the power was back on, kids were home from school and while I was supposed to be cooking dinner, I sewed up the muslin. There was only unpicking of the side seams once before finally hacking up the back panel of Daddy's hemp shirt to put the 'real one' together.

One of the things that didn't appeal so much to me about the Doli tank pattern, and perhaps why I hadn't bought it before, was the armholes look enormous and a bit gapey. So I tried really hard not to make them huge on this top. They are probably still a bit big, but that's the trade off when sewing with a woven fabric - you still need to be able to put it on and take it off comfortably.

I love the curves to the bottom of the hem. The original hemp shirt had a curved hem, which I kept when I cut the fabric. I ended up folding this under because the whole top was a bit long. I could have made it shorter again, but it really is fine. I like kick out at the bottom of the A-line bodice. It's cute, it sits and swings nicely when Anya runs around! There is a tiny bit of high-low hem happening too.

And I'm not totally sure what I did with the racer style back - it's not quite symmetrical. I suspect my cutting wasn't quite perfect *shock*, rather than the sewing. I noticed it before I stitched the bias trim on it and thought maybe it would even up after it was sewn on. Didn't. I'll probably cringe every time I look at Anya wearing it now.

She's pretty smitten with it at least!

Have you got a stash of old things to magically turn into other things? Want to join me for Kids Clothes Week? Click on the link to the right and go sign up to see what everyone else it making!

If you have made something for Kids Clothes Week this week, be sure to let me know and leave a link to your blog in the comments!

x Michelle