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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Holiday sewing part 4 - vintage Liberty Fi Fi

On to the fourth and final holiday sewing project (there would have been many more but I ran out of time!).  I'm obviously hoping for hot weather and I have found the Fi Fi pyjamas from Tilly and the Buttons I made back in February to be perfect for Summer.  I decided to make another pair to take with me as we are away for a couple of weeks. 

My Mum was given some vintage Liberty fabric a while ago. She made my sister a Summer dressing gown with it for her birthday and gave me what was left. It is beautiful tana lawn, but the design probably isn't something you would make blouses or dresses from as it is a bit dated. However, it is perfect for sleepwear so I decided to use this for the Fi Fi. It is pink floral, so I bought some pink bias binding for the straps. The pattern includes self-made bias binding but I was up against it, time wise, and I also like the look of contrasting straps and trim. 

This is a relatively quick sew due to the small size of the camisole and shorts, despite quite a few details. As it is the third time I have made this (I also Mae a set for my sister for her birthday), I managed to sew it pretty quickly.  For some reason, the French seams really flummoxed me this time. Every time I went to pin it, I reminded myself to sew wrong sides together, then went on auto-pilot and sewed right sides together. I think I ended up unpicking 4 or 5 seams in the end. I'll put this down to rushing and possibly being distracted by holiday packing stress!  The pink binding looks good, but I ordered it online and it is much thicker fabric than I would ideally have used, so I'm a bit concerned about how comfortable it will be - hopefully it will soften in the wash. 

Although the fabric isn't necessarily something I would have chosen, it looks good made up and definitely has a retro feel. It was lovely to sew with (as all Libert fabric is), and will be comfortable to wear. Here is the finished result:

I was very excited to see that it matched my holiday nails too:

Right then, just need to get all this stuff packed and survive a long haul flight with two small children then I can relax and enjoy my hols!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Holiday sewing part 3 - Playsuits!

The holiday sewing continues at pace. This week I decided to try out the short version of the Poppy playsuit which is the newest pattern from Sew Over It. When the pattern was released, my sister sent me a message within minutes asking if I was planning to get it. Silly question really... I got some half price cotton lawn from John Lewis a couple of weeks ago especially for this project and also decided to make the drawstring romper for Polly in matching fabric from the One Little Minute blog. I saw this tutorial on Facebook a while ago and saved the link as I loved it. 

The Poppy playsuit is yet another pdf pattern (sort of getting used to them now).  Strangely, the sizing was different to other Sew Over It patterns and I fell between the 8-10 and 10-12 sizes so went for the larger one, which was probably a mistake in retrospect. I am planning to make the long version for nights out in the Autumn and will go for the smaller size as I think the larger one is unflattering. It is very comfy though and will be perfect for holiday.  

The playsuit was an easy sew, with elasticated waist and hook and eye fastening at the back. It took a bit longer than an evening as suggested, but not much. 

Polly's romper suit was more fiddly, although all quite straightforward.  It was the first time I have made rouleau straps and it will be the last until I buy some kind of tool to help turn them out. As it was, I used a chopstick and a lot of patience (and mad Gareth take over when I got too frustrated).  It was all worth it when I saw Polly wearing it - chubby baby cuteness overload!!

Here we are in our matching Playsuits:

And one of those chubby baby legs:

Monday, 11 July 2016

Holiday sewing part 2 - another Bettine

I'm marching on with the holiday sewing projects - nothing like a deadline for motivation (or fear that I'll have nothing to wear on my hols!).  I took a trip to John Lewis last weekend as I'd heard they had a sale on in haberdashery. It wasn't my usual store and the fabric selection was much smaller with not much in the sale. I did pick up some cotton lawn for another project, but then got tempted by some beautiful (non-sale) Amy Butler cotton. It was more than I had planned to spend but Gareth wasn't around to see and I knew it would make a fabulous Bettine!

The cotton is thicker than I would normally use for this dress but it still has some drape and the design is really striking. Following some advice I learned from the Great British Sewing Bee (congratulations Charlotte btw - you were my favourite from the start!), I refolded. Before cutting so the main flower design went centrally down the front and back bodice and skirt pieces. I'm so pleased I heard this tip - it's obvious really, but I've always tended to just go with folding selvedge to selvedge and the design looked so much better this way. 

I chose to make the version with pockets (always love a pocket) and sleeve tabs as I love the extra details. I remembered it was possible to squeeze it into two metres of fabric from my last Bettine and made sure I added the right seam allowance for the facings this time. The fabric was a dream to sew with, it is so soft. 

It was worth treating myself to this fabric as the end result is great and it's so soft and comfortable to wear. Now onto the next holiday sewing project!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Holiday sewing part 1 - Tulip Skirt by Sew Over It

I'm off on my hols soon (super excited!), and in the past I would have spent a lot of time and money shopping for a holiday wardrobe. Not so now - I can sew myself one instead!  I've got a few projects in mind for my holiday, and I'll be stitching like mad over the next couple of weeks to get them finished in time. 

The first item on my sewing 'to do' list was the Tulip Skirt from Sew Over It. I bought the pattern when it was first released and had earmarked some lovely nautical fabric bought at the Handmade Fair to make a summery skirt. I love this fabric so much that I'm planning to make a bag and possibly even a hat as well if I have time with the leftovers. 

I was nervous about making a tulip skirt as I worried it would be unflattering, given my shape (post two v big babies!).  I usually fit a size 10 in the Sew Over It patterns and I cut this out without thinking or measuring - oops!  After putting in the pleats and back darts, I fitted it to my dummy and realised there was no way this was going round my waist, despite the fit being perfect everywhere else. I almost gave up, then remembered some advice my Mum gave me ages ago when I made a dress too small by accident- take out some of the darts. I took out the wider two back darts and cut a new waistband. Yay - it worked, and had the added benefit of making it stick out less at the hips, which is more flattering for my shape. 

The invisible zip was pretty much the best I've sewn, and I managed to get the waistband to sit perfectly level either side - something I normally struggle with. I took an extra centimetre off the length when hemming as I'm so short. 

Overall, I'm pleased with this and will definitely make it again, probably in the shorter length to wear with tights in winter. I haven't got a photo of me wearing it (pasty legs and bad hair on the day I made it), so here it is on the dummy: