The air is crisp and the leaves are falling. So it’s the perfect time for a fall blog hop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to visit the other amazing sewists on our blog hop!
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).
Does this dress look familiar? If you read my blog, it might.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love the pockets on these shorts. Adorable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just before I made this skirt I got a belated birthday present in the mail. 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.
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.
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.