Sunday, December 5, 2021

Lekala #4936 Dress with Ties for Lidia

 #campsewing.


Over to Lidia.


A sweet cotton sundress Lekala #4936 


Lidia found some gingham in my stash, that was very light and airy.

It was so delicate I decided to drop in a lawn lining.


This all went a bit pair shaped.

I drafted a piece to match the front facing, lined the skirt with lawn and then the sleeves and bodice with self fabric. Then I attempted to sew...


I got is such a muddle!

I had great intentions of having all the seams enclosed but I just couldn't make it happen.


I ended up sewing the back together with raw edges on the inside, then constructing the front, turning and pressing the ties. I then sewed the shoulders, attached to the front and then set in the sleeves.

Next time, I would sew the main, then the lining and then sew the two together.

Liddy chose river-stone, flower shaped buttons. My dress ended up double breasted, I am not sure why, possibly her measurements threw out the pattern algorithm?

So fresh and pretty! 

We shortened the dress to make it more youthful and I put up the hem by hand, for a bespoke finish.


The custom made Lekala pattern fit her like a glove with no alterations.


~My Verdict~

A lovely dress that I over complicated by trying to be clever! I will definitely sew this one again but not attempt to 'bag' the lining. I am not sure why our pattern ended up with 'double breasted' front but I could easily trim that back. 

It took me 5 hours to sew but I definitely could make it quicker if I simplify the construction.

They were typical Lekala instructions, you do need a degree of sewing skill and the patience to 'nut' the pattern out. Well worth it for the price (around $4.50) for a custom fit pattern.

~Lidia's Verdict~

 I really wanted a yellow dress and was overjoyed when Mum made me one, even prettier than I imagined. 

I love everything about it! 

The gingham is gorgeous and the perfect shade of yellow. The style of the dress is perfect as it is sun safe but still really fun.  I haven't been given too many opportunities to wear it out yet but I can't wait till I can. I feel as though I've already worn it so many times because I am always trying it on.   I can't help it, I put it on and just immediately feel so happy! 

The fabric that I chose and the pattern I loved didn't quite work together. The fabric was too thin and needed lining and the pattern didn't call for one. This meant Mum had to work her magic and make a lining for the dress.   

I am in the process of convincing mum, that as I turn 18 in February the perfect present would be 18 new dresses made over the summer, this being the first. Please help me convince her! Then I get 17 more gorgeous dresses, and you get to read about them!

Oooh, she is a try-er!
Thank you for reading .... xx Nicole 


Friday, December 3, 2021

Lekala Blouse with Tie Collar #2346 for Matilda

 Please vote for me here  , thank you!

Camp sewing.

In the Keller household, it has become a tradition.
New clothes, new underthings (purchased) and a big ol' batch of biscuits are almost mandatory.


Tilly was very prompt in pulling her patterns and fabric.
Tilly really wanted a peasant blouse and I suggested Lekala #2346
I saw this sew as a 'wearable muslin' in some leftover cotton/linen, and I am glad I did as I made a very silly mistake.
I gathered the back yoke.
If you scroll back to the pattern diagram you will see it is NOT meant to be gathered.
Le sigh.
Lekala can be a little intuitive with their instructions. I should have looked at the diagram a few more times,
The gathering should have all been on the sleeves.
Tilly has narrow shoulders but it even pulls back a bit on her.

Tilly says she likes it but I think she is just being sweet.
This may be donated or given to a smaller friend.
I am still glad I made a muslin. It is a very pretty blouse but could do with a few more tweaks to make it work better for us.
The front neck is finished with a facing but it could be lowered a tad.

The arm cuffs are a smidge too tight as well.
Tilly is petite but works on the farm and is quite buff, I need to give her extra bicep room.
The opening is bound with a bias strip so you could leave it open.
Tilly chose faux tortoiseshell buttons.
You can tie the bow but I don't think we will.
As my Mum would have said, 'We are up to pussy's bow tonight'
The embroidered flowers are from deep stash. They were given to me with a bundle of sewing notions and are at least 40 years old.

They worked so well with her fabric that she chose to base her fabric selections on.
The fine cotton pinwale was from Spotlight but it is now sold out.
~My Verdict~
A sweet blouse that I think could be really lovely.
With a few tweaks and the right fabric, it would make a swing-y, cool but elegant Summer blouse.
In a rayon or silk, it would look snappy tucked into a pencil skirt (I would add some length).
I would also suggest lowering the front neckline a little. (You would need to alter the facing as well).
The blouse has very neat construction, with the raw edges caught inside of the neck tie. (I did sew bar-tacks at the seam where the tie meets the blouse neckline to reinforce it.
~Tilly's Verdict~
I love the colour and how it works with my skorts (to be blogged).
I do like how flow-y it is around the bottom. I like the ties left undone.
The flowers were a lucky fine, they work quite well.
The cuffs are a bit tight, done up. The neck is a bit high, it feels too small against my throat.
I don't think I would have another one made, but thank you so much Mumma, it is amazing.
Teeny, tiny Tilly!
I can't wait to share my other sews for camp with you, as always, thank you for reading.... xx Nicole 

Monday, November 29, 2021

OOP McCall's 3636 Bustier and Butterick B6338 Overlay skirt for Lidia

 It's that time of the year.... Formal Sewing.

I love this sort of sewing. It is completely unpractical and you often spend longer sewing the garment than they spend wearing it but I love it, all the same.

This years theme was such fun!
Lidia wanted to look like a fairy.
Image from Pinterest.
After discussion, we decided to make the top and skirt separately (so pieces could be used again).
I found this petticoat skirt on eBay.
For the corset top, Lidia chose OOP McCall's 3636, view A. This pattern was extremely good and I recommend searching for it online (it's OOP) if you want to sew something similar.

Lidia chose a pretty piece of Duchess satin (thicker and more lustre than regular satin) remnant from my beloved Elizas Fabrics, and I had enough to self line.
To start with, I sewed and altered the lining to fit Lidia. I drafted the size 10 per her measurements and it wasn't a bad fit, it just needed some shoulder height removed and the side seams taken in a bit. I didn't remove this excess as I figured it would allow for a slight adjustment for a future wearer.
Once I had the fitting sorted I attached the boning. I did shorten mine sightly as I was concerned it would poke into Lidia's stomach. I had a boned top that was very uncomfortable when seated and the formal has three course meal.
Lidia wanted some extra padding around the bust so I used some bust inserts from an old sports crop top and trimmed them to the right shape. Once I had the position correct I hand sewed them in place.

The outer layer is equally labour intensive.
The pieces are interfaced and then a cotton under-lining is cut and each piece is basted together before constructing.
I fitted this again and was very glad I did as it would have been too small if I used the lining. I assume the cotton under-lining made it more rigid.
An open ended zipper is used to close the bustier. I did debate hand-sewing the zip but has it require a fair tug  to do up I didn't want to risk it splitting.
The instructions for final construction are excellent. The outer and lining are sewn in increments and the the shoulder straps are put together via the bagged lining. There is very little hand sewing and the garment feels extremely sturdy.
The overskirt is made from a costume pattern, Butterick 6338 in green stretch satin that we purchased from a fabric sale at Lincraft in Mt Gambier.
I have not been to Lincraft in years but I was trying to source black denim and Spotlight had nothing suitable in stock.  I popped into Lincraft on the off chance and they has a huge sale (50% off all prices) and I snagged some bargains!
The skirt has some serious pleating and gathering (like fabric origami) 

The skirt pieces (and some tulle, not visible) are attached to a waist band.
It is definitely an overskirt (you couldn't wear it alone).
I think it will be a very handy addition to the dress up box. Lidia is planning on being Marie Antionette for Book Week, next year, and I have 10 metres of blue satin that would make a perfect full skirt!

Operation 'Fairy' successfully achieved.

Plenty of poof! 
Lidia looked like a dream and she had a wonderful time.
I really appreciate the online colleges making a effort to plan events such as the formal, as it give the country students a change to mingle.

Thank you for reading... xx Nicole 






Monday, August 2, 2021

OOP Butterick 3642 Top, McCall's M7843 Pants, Zara XMAS

 I like to make my chaps a sewn gift each for Christmas, but fittings and keeping something a surprise can be tricky so I have to rely on good measurement taking. (Not to mention them not being available for said fittings)

I wanted to make Zara some pretty, fun pieces. She changes her 'aesthetic' frequently so I chose fabrics that I thought she may like but Liddy liked as well so if Zara didn't want them, it was not a problem. I guess I considered the garments 'wearable muslins'.

I love this pattern so much!

It needs to be sewn in a very, stretchy knit. The neck is fully faced, with an interfaced piece and you are also instructed to apply interface to the main top. This keeps the neck from pulling out of shape and prevents tucks when sewing an interfaced knit to an un-interfaced knit.
The bottom of the top has a slightly gathered elastic casing and I decided to do the same to the sleeves hem (gather, rather than leave floaty).

For the bottoms I used McCall's M7843 view D.


I shortened the legs by a few inches (at the shorten line) and also tapered the legs in at the knee and kicked out a bit more at the hem to exaggerate the bell bottom.
The seperate waistband give a smart finish to an elastic waist pant.

I used the leftover fabric from Zara's 21st dress (to be blogged) a very soft and pretty knit from Spotlight.

For her second outfit I made her a blouse and skirt.



The blouse is a similar style to Matilda's top 

I used some pretty, apple green cotton gingham from deep stash.

I decided to gather the sleeve cuffs with elastic rather than leave flounced.
For the skirt I used Lekala #5984 in a stretch cotton drill from Massdestash on eBay 
I shortened the hem and raised the splits slightly.
Zara requested the next one a little shorter and the splits a bit higher but the fit was perfect!



~Zara's Verdict~

(Couldn't pin her down) 



~My Verdict~
I had a lot of fun sewing these pieces up for Zara. I doubt she will pair any of them as outfits (although I loved them on her) but I hope will wear them with other things.
As wearable muslins, they were a great success. I am so happy with the fit considering they were all sewn by measurement only.
Lidia was very taken with Zara's top too and has requested her own versions.
It's a reasonably complicated sew, very much a 'top' not a 'tee' but the results are worth it.

The pants were a very quick sew and now I have a pattern sorted I shall be able to sew them on demand. I think they could make a nice trouser look bottom in a ponte or heavy weight jersey too.

The blouse has won my heart! I could see it in eyelet, soft denim, lawn... the list in endless and as it ties, it is adjustable.


I nailed the skirt (If I do say so myself) and I think this will be very handy for Zara as a work skirt (as is) and a shorter version for fun!
Lekala rarely lets us down.

Thank you for reading .... xx Nicole