Saturday, 14 January 2012

Rock and Roll Backpack

As a birthday present for my older son, T.  I made a backpack based on the Penguin backpack in the Oliver and S book, 'Little Things to Sew'
He wasn't overly inspired by the penguin rendition in the book, so I used this as a basis for making one more to his interests.

As I've mentioned previously, letting the cherubs help choose fabric can be a bit hit or miss, and the 'rock and roll' fabric I used to line his backpack is what he chose to have a shirt made out of! (Incidently, the shirt is cut out, but still requires finishing in time for his birthday too)

Given the 'vibrancy' of his fabric I went for something a little plainer for the outside and used a royal blue pinwale cord. 
I simply appliqued his initial on the front, and used a little of the lining to bind the ends of the shoulder straps.

This was another great Oliver and S pattern, with well written instructions and diagrams to help you along. 
I made it slightly harder for myself by making it plainer, as the directions are very much written assuming you are making the penguin. 
It just involved a bit more thought to figure out which bits you didn't need to cut, and then which parts of the instructions to skip past. 

In conclusion, another winner from the 'Little Things to Sew' book.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Colette Crepe

I recently made a muslin of the Colette Patterns Crepe dress, to check it for fit and alterations needed, before moving on to some rather special fabric I had in mind for this pattern.

It is described on the Colette website as 'A sweet and easy wrap dress with no closures to sew. The dress wraps in back and has cap sleeves. The wide ties encircle the waist for a comfortable dress with a fitted look'. 

I used some fabric that I suspect was destined for bedsheets sometime in the 60's, as it looks very similar to some my Mum has lurking in the back of her linen closet.

This dress was very easy to sew, rated as a beginner pattern by the designer, and had extremely well written instructions complete with diagrams. As with all Colette patterns, the instructions are in a wee bound booklet with a pocket in the back that the pattern tissue slips into.

In all, I am very happy with how my muslin came out. My only minor adjustments I would make for next time, are to cut the neckline a size smaller, as I feel it sits just a little too wide on me, and to raise the waist seam by about 1" .

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Keyka Lou Camera Case Wristlet

This is my first make of the Keyka Lou Camera Case Wristlet

It has one main pocket for your camera, plus a small pocket in the back for other useful bits. 

Instructions for the wristlet strap are included, which I think is a great feature. The strap is long enough to fit over your wrist (or use as a hanging loop), but the case is small enough that it can be easily carried in the hand. It has the added security of a velcro fastening too.

The pattern instructions include the use of batting to provide some protection to your camera. I did not include the batting this time as I was trying out the instructions, and I planned to give it to my niece as a small handbag.

 The fabric I used was a cotton for the main fabric, and a jade poly/cotton for the lining and straps. 
I used black thread throughout, thinking the contrast on the straps would be a nice touch, but on seeing it finished, I think next time using a matching thread would give a nicer finish.

This was another great Keyka Lou pattern. The instructions are well written and easy to follow with plenty of diagrams to help you along, and you finish with a nicely made wee bag.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Bucket Hat and Skort

I recently received the Oliver and S book, 'Little Things to Sew', and the first project from it I tried was the Bucket Hat pattern. 

My niece had her 2nd birthday coming up, so she was the recipient of the first one.

The hat brim IS even - just doesn't look like it with the jaunty angle teddy wears it!

As we do not live near by, here it is modelled by one of the teddies. The hat is reversible, so can be worn either way.

Along with this I also made a skort using a Scientific Seamstress pattern. I used the same lime green gingham poplin as for the hat.

This pattern is a downloadable PDF, with extremely clear instructions and diagrams, and individual pattern pieces for each size. The only alteration I made was to insert adjustable elastic into the waistband, as my niece is quite small.

I would definitely recommend these patterns and have a couple more I intend to make soon.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Colette Macaron

I finished my Macaron dress, by Colette patterns a wee while ago, but have only recently worn it again to get a photo or two.

Pattern Description: A flattering and curvy dress. Includes a bodice fitted with darts, along with a contrasting top yoke, sleeves, and narrow midriff band. Short sleeves are gently scalloped along the sleeve hem, echoing the shape of the bodice. Skirt has large pleats, with pockets hidden in the front pleats. Closes with an invisible side zipper.

Pattern Sizing:Size 0 -18. I made a 14 in the bodice, transitioning to a 16 in the waist and hips.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, pretty close.

Were the instructions easy to follow?As with all Colette patterns, the instructions were extremely well written with lots of helpful diagrams.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that there was the opportunity to try out different fabric combinations, and that the design of the dress lends itself to being dressed up or down depending how you style it. I have worn it with heels and a wrap for a wedding, and also with tights and boots as a more casual outfit.

My only minor dislike was the facing around the neckline won't stay put very well, despite stitching it to all available seams inside. Next time I may just use binding as a facing.

Fabric Used:The main fabric is a stretch cotton sateen, and the contrast sleeves and yoke are a poly/cotton poplin.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As previously mentioned, I made the bodice a size 14, and transitioned to a 16 from the waist down. 

If I were to make this again, I think I might omit the waist band, and sew the skirt to the bodice, as I feel the waist might be a bit low. Also next time I would keep the waistband at a size 14, thus getting the bodice to fit a little better.

The shoulders are also binding a little bit, if I try to lift my arms too high - not sure if this is just the style of sleeve, or how I would go about fixing this for next time. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would like to sew this again, once I figure out how to fix the few quirks I found. I would definitely recommend this and other Colette patterns, particularly if you are of a more curvy persuasion!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Keyka Lou Keychain Clutch

I recently came across the lovely patterns by Keyka Lou, and as a first foray into these patterns I tried the Keychain clutch.

Image of Keychain Clutch PDF Sewing Pattern

This cute little clutch is about the size of your palm. They sew up very quickly and use just the smallest amount of supplies. These are perfect for using up your scraps! 
The approximate finished dimensions are 4" wide x 2.75" high x 1.5" deep (10 x 7 x 4 cm). This is a cute wee size for attaching to your keys or in your handbag for little bits you don't want to lose.

The instructions were extremely well written, with photos and diagrams. I used quilting cotton for both the focus fabric and the lining. 

I have now made four of these so far. My only minor change was that I accidently left off the tab for the keychain split ring, on one of them!

They are quick and easy gifts, and would also be great as a wee purse for a little girl.