Thursday, January 28, 2016

You Can't Win 'em All.

Sewing for teenagers is tricky.
 Sewing for Elsa is always hard.
Out of all my children, I have the most sewing fails with her. We are both trying hard to keep communication open and work together.

She is always polite, it just doesn't get worn.
I have been there.

After a few sewing no-wears I tend to only sew things Zara will wear as a default.

But this backfired this time.

It wasn't the Twins turn but was their 16th birthday so they got to choose a piece to have sewn.
Elsa wanted this pattern. 
The peplum top, to be made in a shifty fine silk charmeuse.
She requested the peplum so to be higher waisted so I used the petite lines to shorten the body length.
Her measurements didn't really work with the sizes.......
So, I made a muslin.
I use calico to make muslins and put my seams on the out side for easier alteration.
I was pretty happy with the fit.
Elsa wanted it tighter.
Like this!
Which looked great but I had doubts about a flimsy satin.
We discussed it, I made suggestions, she considered them but we were really not getting any where.
Then Zara offered up her black neoprene.
Win, it looked amazing, sewed up like a dream, was perfect.
No, she doesn't like it.
I was gutted but to be fair, it wasn't what she really wanted.
Zara quite likes it, so she may wear it.....
I think it looks beautiful.
Oh well.

The nitty gritty kitty.

I like this pattern, it went together well and had good instructions. It was a nice sew and the neoprene made up nicely. I did use an invisible zipper instead of a regular but otherwise stuck pretty much to the pattern.

I would happily make this again, if anyone wants it, Le sigh.....

xx N

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This is Not Just a Post About Sewing.

Just before Christmas, Elsa and Zara spent $3oo of their hard earned cash on swimwear and I was very happy with that.

'Couldn't you have sewn something for less'? was a family comment.

I possibly could have, but when? It is not their turn yet and won't be, for at least a month.

Swimwear fabric can be hard to source and the good stuff is definitely expensive.

I would have to alter a pattern, not a problem as such but definitely not quick.

They are a 'brand', it was a 'surf shop' perhaps they were 'paying for the label' but do you know what? A majority of the pieces were sewn in Australia so I have hope the machinist received a proper wage for their craft.

Besides, part of working is enjoying the fruits of your labour. The labour being cleaning our  house once a week. The fruit being cash.

Do you know what you cannot put a price on? Their utter utter delight in trying on dozens of bathers and my delight in them wanting me there to share it with them.

Jed made a special trip so they could do this and he played with Trixie so I could focus on just them.

After the Surf Shop, we hit the Mall and both girls tried on outfit after outfit but didn't buy a thing.
Why? Because Mum could make it and make it fit better.

Major buzz for Mummy.

Zara fell in love with a natty little outfit, shorts and a top but neither piece fitted that well. The XS was too big in the top and the M shorts were too tight around her derriere but too loose at the waist.
And it was $230 for both pieces.
Jed offered to take her on to Mt Barker, to Spotlight, to look for some similar fabric.
And we found it, on sale, $20 for 2.5 metres of glossy stretch drill.
I already had a suitable pattern in my stash.

Roll forward a month.
Zara is not so sure she will get this made for her next turn, she thinks she has other things she needs more and she is not sure where she will wear it, so this fabric may sit in 'her' basket for a later sew.
And do you now what? For $20 it doesn't matter.
For a $230 purchase it would have mattered a great deal!

Jed and I would not have stopped her buying that outfit, we didn't stop her, just advised her to have a good look at the fit and have a good think about where she would actually wear it.

But she got the thrill of planning and making a small purchase.

I refuse to have guilt over buying fabric, I tend not to impulse buy but if I do, I am going to comfort my self that it is much less then an outfit.

Have a lovely day!

xx N

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Next for Liddy.
More Big Sister clothes.
First up an Oliver+S Sketchbook shirt
Which I may have sewed a few times.....
In Lidia's signature Liberty.
(If you know what this print is called may you let me know in the comments, thank you)!
Now this is one heavily modified pattern.
I cut (at the side seam notches) and added 6 inches to the front and back pieces.
I also added and inch to the sleeve length, adding this at the cuff end to taper the sleeve more. I narrowed the cuff pleats.
I do find the front facing needs to be sewn with a 1cm seam allowance or it becomes too narrow.
For more tips on this shirt have a look here
This pattern is a great gateway into sewing shirts. It only goes to size 12 and by then, a two piece collar is probably more desirable any way.
Lidia chose the Mandarin collar and her signature square MoP buttons sewn with cherry red thread. 
As usual, custom fit clothing looks really odd on a mannequin.
But perfect on.
Long, cool and elegant.
The next item has been long requested, jeggings.
So, I decided to try out the Playtime leggings
Times two.
I added a few inches to the hem of the size 12.
(Lid's measures more a size 8 but jegging cloth is really firm. I mean Zara-wearing-my-Megan-Nielson-jeggings firm)
I also added pockets, just a square with a triangle at the bottom.
To get the position right, I sewed the back seam, tucked the back waist into her knickers and the pinned them in place.
I am glad I did as my 'guess' was way off.
I am not usually a fan of leggings but I do like these.
~Lidia's Verdict~
I love the Liberty material in my shirt. I love that mum used my signature buttons.
The jeggings are so stretchy, I love the fabric.
I think the back pockets are awesome, they look really cool and I can use them to hold things.
This outfit is gorgeous but casual and comfortable. 

Thanks for reading Peeps.

xx N

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Let me see your Shimmy....

It started with a pin.....
'Oooh, Mummy. I love it so, so much, puh-lease make it for me for Christmas Day'

Well, Trixie and I were ill just before and over Christmas so it didn't get finished.
Better late then never.
I is proper proud of myself.
We went with the O+S Roller Skate dress.

Which we made very successfully once before.
Lidia is just out of the size 12 measurement, but with the built in ease the 12 still fits. I added a couple of cms to the hem.
I noticed Lid's looks a little awkward in her yellow number so I lowered the elastic casing by 4.5 cms.
I purchased the fringing from Spotlight. It comes with a holding stitch at the bottom which helps keep it together when sewing.

It was a lot of fun removing that when I was finished.

I won't fib, the fringing was not the easiest to apply but I took my time and gave myself the evening to just attach it. I covered the top edge with some linen webbing and I think that blends quite well with the cotton/poly linen look fabric (that needs minimal pressing).
The velvet ribbon is divine, cotton-y velvet lushness.
I hand sewed the hem, not a finish I normally employ but I felt the dress deserved it.
As the dress would be tricky to iron I used a poly/cotton poplin for the lining rather then voile (which would need pressing)
The button is a pretty ceramic, hand glazed, all the way from Canada, jobby.
Thank you Suzanne #sewingfriendsarethebest.
I *love* it on her.
I highly recommend dropping the waistband.
Don't you just love how the fringe sits?
Let me see you shimmy!

~Lidia's Verdict~
"This is now my favourite going out dress. It is comfortable and easy to move around in.
It is really pretty and I love it. 
If I was to change anything about it I would have all fringe, top to bottom, front and back.
But I would keep the ribbon tie.''

Thanks for reading Lovelies and double thanks if you have time to leave a comment.

xx N

Gifts and Such

I don't sew many gifts anymore.
Not enough time.
But I do make exceptions.
 Tilly had a birthday invite and badly wanted me to sew something for the wee host.
Luckily, I had a Music Class blouse cut and not sewn for Liddy that fitted the Kardashian' look as per request.
The fabric is a very sheer voile with a delicate gold foil finish.
I went with the pin-tucked, Mandarin collar view.
And MoP buttons, of course.
This wee puppy dog bag (and its precious contents) has visited me before
My lovely Health Sister, Jane, had a sister who tragically died from breast cancer leaving three young daughters.
Jane had the lovely idea to make her nieces keepsakes from their mothers wedding dress scraps when each of them was wed.
She was keen for a jewellery roll and when I mentioned this in the O+S forum this pattern was suggested.
Just the job!
Craft is not my thing.
But Jane was happy and that is all that matters.

I hope the bride has a lovely day.

xx N