Forest Birds – A Wildwood Blog Hop

The air is crisp and the leaves are falling. So it’s the perfect time for a fall blog hop.

Fabric from the Wildwood collection, sewing by The Finished Garment.
Ready for the world.
Fabric from the Wildwood collection, sewing by The Finished Garment.
The whole look.

The Warp & Weft Sewing Society have all pitched in to showcase the latest fabric collection by Canadian surface designer Elizabeth Owen. The collection is called Wildwood, and it’s a really quite pretty. The inspiration for the collection was the wild woods of story books, so I was excited to see what would be in my Warp & Weft delivery.

I decided to start with the story of Hansel and Gretel for inspiration, and so I made an outfit for my own “Gretel”, Kid No 1.

Fabric from the Wildwood collection, sewing by The Finished Garment.
I really like this colour combo.

I made a simple panel skirt in Essex linen. The pattern is from Collection privée filles & garçons by Atsuko Maruyama and Noriko Onoda (a French translation of the Japanese pattern book シンプル&デサイン おんなの子服 おとこの子服 ). The book contains 27 patterns available in sizes 90-140 cm. I made the “#12 Jupe à panneaux” (panel skirt) in size 120. Then I used the Wildwood print to make a matching blouse, McCall’s 6388, using some blue solid for contrast.

Fabric from the Wildwood collection, sewing by The Finished Garment.
I really like the buttons on the blouse.
Fabric from the Wildwood collection, sewing by The Finished Garment.
The skirt is a simple panel skirt, and linen has just the right weight.

And of course Gretel needs a bag to carry her breadcrumbs, so I added a small satchel, the “#7 Sac tube” (tube bag), also from Collection privée filles & garçons. The bag is made in linen and lined with the Wildwood print.

A simple bag from a Japanese pattern book, sewn by The Finished Garment
I love the simplicity of the bag.
A simple bag from a Japanese pattern book, sewn by The Finished Garment
Hey, what’s in here?
Bird ornaments, from Last Minute Patchwork Gifts, sewn by The Finished Garment
Look what I found!

That meant that only one thing was missing – birds! I couldn’t count on the local wildlife to pop in for my photo shoot, so I made three little birds using the pattern from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, and the leftover scraps from the other pieces.

Bird ornaments, from Last Minute Patchwork Gifts, sewn by The Finished Garment
I like the blue bird best.
Bird ornaments, from Last Minute Patchwork Gifts, sewn by The Finished Garment
These are quite small, and the pattern is quick, but a little finicky.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to visit the other amazing sewists on our blog hop!

Warp & Weft Sewing Society
A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project

Warp & Weft Wildwood Blog Hop

September 26 – Carla from My 1/2 Dozen Daily
September 27 – Cynthia from Cynthiaf
September 28 – Lysa from Lysa Flower
September 29 – Cathy from Blueberry Patch
September 30 – Esmari from Warp & Weft
October 1 – Me!
October 2 – Heidi from Elegance & Elephants
October 3 – Sherri from Thread Riding Hood

Bird ornaments, from Last Minute Patchwork Gifts, sewn by The Finished Garment
So small!

Summary

Patterns:

  • Blouse: McCall’s 6388 available in sizes 2-8, but now out-of-print. I made the size 6.
  • Skirt and bag: From Collection privée filles & garçons by Atsuko Maruyama and Noriko Onoda (a French translation of the Japanese pattern book シンプル&デサイン おんなの子服 おとこの子服 ). The book contains 27 patterns available in sizes 90-140 cm. I made the “#12 Jupe à panneaux” (panel skirt) in size 120, and the “#7 Sac tube” (tube bag).
  • Bird ornament: From Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

Fabric: 

Sewing Level: Confident beginner.
Modifications: I shortened the skirt, by 2″.
Results: Great!

Indigo Linen Jump Rope Dress Redux

Does this dress look familiar? If you read my blog, it might.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
Another jump rope dress, this time for Kid No 1.

This is the Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S. The shirtwaist dress features cuffed sleeves, gathered patch pockets, collar and front placket. I made view B which has long sleeves and an a-line shape. I made the size 7.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
I used contrasting fabric for the placket and pocket trim.

This is the second time I’ve made this dress, and this version is almost the same as the last one, but larger and with different contrasting fabric. The main fabric is a cotton linen chambray. I really like that the pattern and fabric work well both for summer and winter.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
Love the pocket style.

I only made two changes. The dress was very long, so I turned up about two inches and made a wide hem that I can lengthen later. I also finished the cuffs so that they are wide and can be turned up with a nice seam finish.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
I made wide cuffs that can be turned up until she grows.

This dress is part of the Kids Clothes Week  Winter Challenge,  and the Stashbusting Sew-Along (The Love Challenge), and the Sewcialists’ Blue February Sew-Along.

Summary

Pattern Review: Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Cotton linen chambray in Indigo Washed by Robert Kaufman. The contrasting fabric is  FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Size: 7.

Sewing Level: Intermediate to advanced.

Modifications: I made a wider hem and cuff and used contrasting fabric for the pocket binding and inside front placket.

Results: Great. This is the second time I’ve made this pattern and I will definitely make it again.

Linen and Butterflies

I can’t believe summer is  almost over. This morning when we all got up in was only 10 degrees celsius. Brrrrr.

So I thought it would be good to clear my summer blogging queue, and make room for the fall sewing.  This is one of my last summer sewing projects – two sets of the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as tops) and the Puppet Show Shorts, in sizes 4 and 7 for my bigger girls.

The Ice Cream Dress I’ve made before, twice. It’s just as cute as a top and even easier to sew. Since I was making matching shorts, I didn’t do any colour blocking this time around.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top) sewn by The Finished Garment.
Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top).

I love the way these turned out. The fabric, some quilting cotton,  was chosen by the kids. I picked this up at one of the local chain stores. I figure these will look good with jeans and they can wear them through the fall layered over t-shirts.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top) sewn by The Finished Garment.
Close up of the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top).

To go with the tops I made the Puppet Show Shorts, also by Oliver + S. This was my first time using this pattern, and I made it in one of my favourite fabrics, Cotton Linen Chambray from Robert Kaufman. I originally planned to bind the bottoms of the shorts in the linen, but working with linen on the bias is tough. The binding stretched out so much the shorts were barely gathered at the bottom. So I ripped it all out and started again. Still looks cute though.

Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts sewn by The Finished Garment.
Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts.

Now, some of you Oliver + S fans may have noticed that the Puppet Show Shorts do not come in size 7. I graded these up two sizes from the largest available, size 5. I also added two inches to the length, which is a little better for my 6-year-old. It wasn’t very difficult.

Pocket detail of the Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts sewn by The Finished Garment.
Cutest. Pocket. Ever.

I love the pockets on these shorts. Adorable.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
I tried an indoor photo shoot on the day I finished, but it was doomed. This is the only good shot I got.

These are the size 7, and she really did need those two extra inches. Next time I’ll make the binding a bit shorter so that it’s a bit more gathered at the bottom.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
We tried another photo shoot outside. This is the size 7.

I finished the outfits on a rainy day. After the first doomed indoor photo shoot we waited for a sunny day and had much better luck. But would the two kids pose together? “Nooooooo!” So you’ll just have to trust me when I say I made two whole outfits.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
This is the size 4.The button was left from my stash. There were only two but they are a perfect match. Meant to be.

This post is linked up to Make It Wear It Thursday.

Summary

Pattern Review: Ice Cream Dress (as top) and Puppet Show Shorts from Oliver + S.

Fabric:

Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler for Robert Kaufman.
Indigo Washed Cotton Linen Chambray from Robert Kaufman.

Sizes: 4 and 7. The dress comes in sizes 6 months – 12. The shorts come in sizes 0-5

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None. (Shorts were graded up a size to size 7).

Results: Great. I would recommend both patterns and would make them again.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
Another shot of the size 4.

Indigo Linen Jump Rope Dress

It’s been so hot in Montreal lately, the perfect weather for linen dresses.

This is the Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S. The shirtwaist dress features cuffed sleeves, gathered patch pockets, collar and front placket. I made view B which has long sleeves and an a-line shape.

The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S
The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S (view B)

My daughter is between sizes 3 and 4 at the moment, so I made a size 4, which was a little long and slightly large, but leaves room to grow. The linen fabric doesn’t have a lot of give, so making it larger, rather than smaller seemed like a good idea.

Ack! So cute!
Ack! So cute! (The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S)

As with all Oliver + S patterns, the instructions are great, but this is not a pattern for beginners. Oliver + S patterns are rated by difficulty on a scale of four scissors, and this one gets three. It’s not really a difficult pattern, but it does have a lot of finicky details.

More cuteness!
More cuteness! (The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S)

It’s made like a proper men’s shirt, minus the collar stand. The instructions for the front placket, for example, take one full page of the pattern instructions. On the other hand, the results were great. I’ll be making another. Seems kid No 1 wants one too.

Curved collar and front placket
Curved collar and front placket of the Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S

The only change I made was to the hem. The pattern calls for a narrow hem, but the dress was just too long for my little girl, so I made a wider one that I can always lengthen later. I also used contrasting fabric for the pocket binding and inside front placket. I’ve seen other versions where the entire collar and placket were in a contrasting fabric and that looks really nice as well.

Contrast fabric on the inner front placket.
Contrast fabric on the inner front placket.
Folded cuffs on the sleeves.
Folded cuffs on the sleeves.

I have been hoarding this fabric forever, so it was time to get it sewn up. The fabric is a cotton linen chambray in Indigo Washed by Robert Kaufman. It has a really lovely sheen, and the colour is beautiful. It handles like a linen, which means it’s a little stiff at first, but also stretches a little while sewing. The key is lots of pressing. It has to be my favourite fabric ever.

The fabric has a beautiful sheen.
The fabric has a beautiful sheen.

I love how this turned out. It’s cute and easy to wear, comfortable for the summer, nice enough for school and quite durable. I really love the pockets.

Patch pockets with contrast bias binding.
Patch pockets with contrast bias binding.

This dress is part of the Kids Clothes Week  Summer Challenge and the Stashbusting Sew-Along.

Summary

Pattern Review: Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Cotton linen chambray in Indigo Washed by Robert Kaufman.

Size: 4.

Sewing Level: Intermediate to advanced.

Modifications: I made a wider hem and used contrasting fabric for the pocket binding and inside front placket.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and will definitely make it again.

Barefoot for summer
Barefoot for summer in the Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S

A Linen Kelly Skirt

The Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen
The Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen.

Have you seen the Kelly skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen? It’s quite cute.

The Kelly skirt is a softly pleated, button-up skirt. It’s quite flattering on a variety of figures and according to the pattern designer, “created with the beginner sewer in mind”.

I’ve seen several cute versions online, but my favourites are by Adrienne at Stitching on the Edge, and Andrea at four square walls. Both used piping and linen, and I thought I would do the same.

My fabric is Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn-dyed cotton-linen blend in black. I’m a huge fan of linen, and this fabric is amazing. It’s a bit heavier than your standard linen and has a really great, slightly nubby texture. I’m already dreaming up new clothing I can make with it.

I bought the pattern online from The Workroom, and the fabric online from Mad About Patchwork. Both are Canadian. You can find a big list of online Canadian fabric stores here.

I used store-bought black piping from one of the local fabric stores. I really like this look, but when I was trying the skirt on, I found that in real-life wearing of this skirt, I would probably go with a longer top, which necessarily covers the piping detail. Oh well. I know it’s there.

Kelly Skirt
Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen in linen with black piping.

I fully lined the skirt (I’m not sure what the lining fabric is), mostly so I could wear it in the winter with tights. It makes for a warmer skirt, with smoother lines and fewer wrinkles in the fabric. The pattern does not come with instructions for the lining.

Kelly Skirt
My Kelly skirt is fully lined. I have no idea what the lining fabric is.

The pattern and instructions are great. It’s an easy pattern (only 5 pattern pieces) which really is great for beginners. I’m not a beginner, so the whole project went quite quickly. I especially like having the instructions in a booklet. The pattern is printed on thick paper, so you need to trace the pattern onto tracing paper. Both the booklet and pattern are quite durable, which is always nice with a pattern you intend to use multiple times, which I do.

Kelly Skirt
Piping detail on the Kelly skirt. The piping lines up nicely in real life.
Kelly Skirt
A better shot of the piping on the Kelly skirt.

I only have two complaints. The first is really very minor, nit picky even, but when constructing the skirt, it’s a good idea to baste the pockets to the side seams before joining the front and the back. It keeps the pocket from rippling. It’s a very small detail, but one that would probably help beginners.

The other problem I had was with the sizes. In the US, the average waist circumference for adult women is currently 37.5 inches. In the UK, it’s 33 inchesIn Canada, it’s 34 inches. This skirt fits waists between 26 and 34 inches (66-86 cm). In commercial pattern sizes, that translates roughly to sizes 12 to 20. That is a pretty good range, but it would be nice if the pattern were available in an even larger range of sizes.

I recently had my fourth baby, and although I would normally be a size large in the Megan Nielsen size range, my waist is (temporarily I hope!) larger than the largest size included in the pattern. I graded the pattern up a size, which was quite easy, but not something that every beginner will be able to do.

Despite my small complaints, I thought that overall this was a very good pattern and it makes a very wearable, flattering skirt.

Kelly Skirt
This is how I would normally wear this skirt, which means that you can’t see the piping. Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen.

Just before I made this skirt I got a belated birthday present in the mail. Can you identify these presser feet?

New presser feet.
Can you identify these presser feet?

One is an invisible zipper foot, the other is a sew-on button foot. I was so excited when I opened these up. I know, I’m such a sewing geek.

I’ve been sewing for years, but on a very basic machine. It was one of the first purchases I made when I moved out on my own. It’s a basic Singer, with no special presser feet. Having this machine has meant that all the finishing details of my clothes were done by hand. I had never sewn on a button by machine. I had also never made a blind hem, any way except by hand. I once made a formal gown for my sister. It had a floor length, full circle skirt in satin, with layers of tulle underneath. I hand-stitched the entire blind hem. It took ages.

Kelly Skirt
Kelly Skirt in linen with black piping.

A couple of years ago my husband bought me a much better machine. One of the most eye-opening things for me is trying out all the special presser feet. It has made sewing much easier and much more precise, though I still like the look of hand-finished details.

This is the first time I’ve machine sewn buttons to a garment. I like it a lot, especially for casual clothes. With a coat, I would still sew on the buttons by hand. I’ve been looking at Colette Pattern’s Beignet skirt for a while now, but the number of buttons was so discouraging. I think I see a Beignet skirt in my future now.

Kelly Skirt
The Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen.

This is also the first time I’ve made a blind-hem by machine. I’m not sure if I’m a fan. From the outside it looks perfect, of course. Though I’m not used to seeing all the stitches on the inside. When you hand-stitch a blind hem, it is invisible on the inside as well. On the other hand, the lining covers the hem, so I’ll never really see it.

Kelly Skirt
The machine-stitched blind hem of my Kelly skirt.

Summary

Pattern Review: Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen.

Fabric: Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn-dyed cotton-linen blend in black.

Size: XL, graded up a size.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: I added piping, a full lining and graded the pattern up a size.

Results: Good. I would recommend this pattern and would make it again.

Kelly Skirt
Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen in linen with black piping. I promise I am much more impressed with this skirt than my facial expression might lead you to believe.