Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Norah Dress - Max Style!

Long time no bloggy right? It's okay, I missed you too ;)
These last two months have been HECTIC.

I've been super duper busy, but I'm so happy to bring to you today my version of the Norah Dress! Seen it around? Probably! It's brought to you by the talented Hayley of Welcome to the Mouse House. It's a sweet little dress pattern, with a fun feature collar. However it's also one of those pattern where you have a myriad of options. You can have it with no sleeves, long sleeves or short sleeves. You can have it with the collar (piped or without?), collar with the ties, collar without the ties, or heck no collar at all if you want? Oh you don't want a dress? Then make it tunic length. Seriously. I love patterns like this. 

The back has a neat little closure. Simple to look at and simple to sew too I promise! I love when you use a pattern and you learn how to do new things! This time it was that awesome back!

It sewed together like a dream, the instructions were so simple and very clear to follow. After cutting it all out, I swear it didn't take me longer than an hour to sew it all up. I used some rad Batman fabric in my stash and paired it with some black I bought from the op shop a little while ago. The lining is a really pretty teal cotton that I think is my favourite colour. I need to get more of it! I used an orange button that reminds me of an actual orange slice. I can't remember where I got it from, but I will link to it in a future post if I remember!

You know when you use a pattern and you really like it a lot? Well this is one of those pattern I really LOVE a lot. From piecing the pages together to make the pdf-printed-out-pattern I knew I was going to enjoy this! The pieces go together incredibly easy, everything is explained so perfectly in the instructions. In fact if you have never sewn using a PDF pattern before, I would actually highly recommend this pattern, even if just for the instructions Hayley gives you about printing it out and piecing it all together. 

I didn't remix the pattern really, and I think that is testament to what a great pattern this really is. Why change something when it already looks exactly what you want to make? And the absolute best part? My favourite part of any pattern? The size range! 12months to 12 years! So for the next 10 and a half years, I will have the perfect pattern to make Edison ridiculously cute shift dresses and tunics. The collar looks tricky, but it's so simple to do! There is a middle section that I left off this one, but it looks like a big bow!

You haven't seen the last of the Norah Dress and Tunic on this blog!


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Vintage-esque Sweet Bonnie

I was lucky enough to do some pattern testing for Shwin Designs a few weeks back! She needed some super fast pattern testing for the Sweet Bonnie Top in preparation for the Pattern Anthology Winter Wonderland release and I managed to have this printed out, cut out and sewn up over the course of the day.

It was a long-sleeved pattern, but I made it short sleeves, and there is an optional pocket which I left off (although a red pocket on the chest would be totally cute). The fabric was half a metre of this cute vintage-inspired quilters cotton I bought from Spotlight before I decided to never shop there again. I managed to have some scraps of red that were just enough for the collar.

I love the exposed zipper feature in the back, and I used a navy metal-toothed zip from my zip stash. I really need to beef up my zip stash!

The Sweet Bonnie top is a raglan sleeved top with a peter-pan collar, exposed zipper and the long sleeve version has cuffs. The neckline is fully faced, giving it a beautiful professional finish on the inside that is quite simple to do. I really loved sewing up this pattern! It reminds me of the Secret Garden Dress that I made Eddie before she was born :D

The sizes go from 12 months right up to 8 years. I'd love to lengthen this into a tunic and pair it with little leggings in the Autumn! You can buy this pattern from Shwin Designs


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Star Wars Pants

It must have been about a year ago now that I got an amazing little care package all the way from Portland! My darling Kat sent me a bunch of lovely things, including a yard of this amazing Star Wars blueprints fabric. I got all heart eyes and squealed and Vincent did the same so when I made these Surfer Slacks for Vincent, I expected him to love the heck out of them!

I did use some of the fabric leftovers to make this Roly Poly pinafore for Edison when she was little, and it has taken me this long to take pics of Vincent and actually blog about them! I added side-seam pockets, and changed the butt pockets to little rectangles. I love how they camouflage into the fabric!

The cuffs and pocket linings are from blue tartan.

So you think Vincent loves them? Guess what. A big fat. Nope.

He has worn them once for these photos, and once on a cold day at kindy when I had to practically force him to wear them.

What's so bad about them? I absolutley LOVE the Surfer Slacks style on him, it really suits him, and it;s STAR WARS fabric! What's up kid? (Check out his other pair of Surfers Slacks here!)

He prefers skinny jeans, or leggings these days. Sometimes even his skinny jeans are too baggy and he freaks out. One day he wore a pair of tracksuit pants to kindy that elastic in the ankles and he was SO irritated at how it bubbled out above his ankle.

I love him, what a crack up!

So the only pants on him these days (not that it's going to be cool enough to wear pants for a while!) will be leggings. Until he sorts himself out and lets me put him in Surfer Slacks again! Lucky for me the pattern goes up to a size 6, so I have at least 2 more years for him to embrace the Surfer Slack!


Friday, 15 November 2013

Oh Deer & a Coupon Code from Casa Crafty!

Kelley from Casa Crafty asked me if I wanted to be a part of her little series showcasing the laminated fabrics available at her shop and I said yes! Want to see what you can make from laminated cotton?

I used the Echino Decora laminate of these cute stags! The fabric is black with white polka dots, and features white stags all over them, but some of them are hipsters and are wearing red glasses! Actually, maybe they're not even hipsters, maybe they just can't see very well. I'm sorry stags, I shouldn't have been so quick to judge. I was sent a fat quarter of the fabric, and the challenge was on!

So you know, knowing me, I didn't want to stick to what you should probably make out of laminates. Why CAN'T you wear them? Not just raincoats, or things that need to be wiped down or protected, why not make it the *feature* of your sewing? It IS fabric after all, let's use it!

The cool thing is that you can draw on the wrong side! I traced around my pattern pieces. You see I wasn't going to make just ONE thing with laminated fabric. Nope I had plans on making LOTS of things out of it. As you can see above, I traced out quite a number of things, and there is still a good chunk of the fabric left that was free for *something* which made me excited.

Unfortunately time sucks and I didn't get to finish everything I wanted. I did however get to finish two of the four projects I had planned, so let me show them to you!

First up here is a pair of little ballet flats I made Edison. They took me just minutes to make, which ROCKED. They're lined with black denim from a pair of jeans and the outside of them is the laminated echino. I used the Charlotte Mary Janes pattern from I Think Sew. I omitted the strap, and kept tham as ballet flats. I've made this pattern a few times now, I just love it. And Eddie has finally sized up from the size 3 to the size 4. 

For Vincent I made another Arsenic Tee, this time short-sleeved, I made the neckband a tiny bit too short so it pulls on the shoulders a bit, but he can still get his big brain in through the neckhole so no worries. The fabric is this thick but very stretchy purple knit I got from the op shop and I used the laminated echino decora as the shoulder panels. I was worried at first about using non stretch on the shoulders, but I did it in the original Arsenic Tee and didn't have any problems

I have a cap and a shirt for Eddie cut out and will be sewing it up this weekend so keep your eyes out for Oh Deer Part Deux!

Kelley sells loads of cool laminate fabrics, pocket books (IE wallets) and pretty bias tape!

You can get 25% your total purchase at the Casa Crafty shop with coupon code: MAX25! It's valid until the end of November.

I think this one is my second favourite!

Check out Kelley's blog, Casa Crafty, for other cool laminate projects!

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Thursday, 7 November 2013

How to paint skeleton feet shoes

 Yesterday I showed you  the little co-ordinating outfits I made Edison and Vincent (also check out my girl Suzanne's post the other day about taking photos of your kids! She also talked about outfit co-ordination!). Today I'm going to show you how to handpaint some canvas shoes for your little man!

 One day I am determined to make rubber-soled shoes from scratch! However, until that day, let's just customise store-bought shoes! I got these for $10 at Big W and I picked up a tube of acrylic paint for around $1. I like to use Kaiser brand, but any acrylic paint will do!

I googled "Skeleton Foot Stencil" and found this great picture as a guide. At first I was scared about not having an actual stencil on the shoes, having to free-hand it. But you know what? Why couldn't I do it? I hadn't even tried! So I tried. And it's not perfect but they look amazing!

Grab some tailor's chalk and start drawing little toe bones. I started with the toes, then worked my way back up the rest of the foot. If you make a mistake, just lick your thumb and rub at the mistake to erase the mark and go again.

Using a fine tipped paintbrush (I had to use this kiddy one and trim the fibres with scissors to get them thin!) start carefully filling in the areas you marked out with your chalk.

I had to do two full coats of paint on the bones, with another layer of just touch ups. You can do both shoes at once, or do one then the other. I didn't mind about them being perfectly symmetrical so I painted up one shoe before I did the markings on the second.

You could spray them with Scotchguard to make them waterproof, but I don't really think these are in danger of washing out. They're now Vinnie's favourite shoes!

 If you make a pair of skeleton shoes, please share them in the Flickr group! I would LOVE to see what you make!

Tomorrow I'm going to show you more of the shoes I made Eddie


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Pattern Anthology Tour: How to Co-ordinate Sibling Outfits

When sewing co-ordinating outfits for siblings, there is one thing that is not my thing and that is super matchy matchy. If I ever make Vincent and Edison matching outfits it will probably only be as a Phil and Lil costume, or Thing 1 and Thing 2, or something ironic. Even sewing stuff for Eddie and her friends and cousins, I've always tried to keep things co-ordinating but not identical. (yes I know this is coming off the back of the Rockabilly Bubble Tops I made Eddie & Mega). It's just not my jam. If it's yours and you think it's adorable, then that's awesome because that is you! However when I want my children to look like they're a set, I don't make them identical. This is probably because I have a boy and a girl and they are three years apart!

 If you haven't seen around the blogosphere already, the ladies behind the collective Pattern Anthology have just released their third collection! Since it's heading into Winter in their hemisphere, the collection is called Winter Wonderland. Fortunately for us Southern Hemi's, the patterns have plenty of wiggle room to transform them into some Summer duds for the kids!

The patterns I used are the Sweet Bonnie Top, the Johnny B Good Hoodie (or as I like to call it, the Johnny B Goodie) and the Tree Climber Trousers (the TCT's!). Want to see what I did with them?

Colours are probably my go-to for figuring out a sibling look that isn't identical. I went with solid colours for this look, however usually I have some awesome prints as the common theme pulling the outfits together. It wasn't hard coming up with this combination. I have just unpacked all my fabrics into my brand new sewing room and the plum, mustard and black were all folded up neatly on top of each other. They are all similar weights (the plum and mustard are broadcloth), and not as tightly woven as ordinary cottons. I'm not sure what fabric the black is, it was an op-shop score!

Find fabrics that go well together, whether they are similar hues, warmths or textures. Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith and try and mix things that at first might not seem to go together. That leap of faith is usually the turning point in creating something that is "great" into something that is "AWESOME!"

I decided that the black could be the base colour, and with the kids both wearing black but not identical pants, they would go together. Edison's is a self-drafted pattern with skeleton bones stencilled on to the fronts, and Vincent's are the Tree Climber Trousers (I rolled them up in a few of the photos to make them ankle skimmers). They are designed by Andrea of Go To Patterns.

The TCT's feature front patch pockets, reinforced knees for adventure and have two waistband options. I was going to make them all contrast knee panels, but I thought with the shirt it would be too much contrasting, so I saved the surprise for Vincent's back pockets. I used the plum broadcloth for the pocket flaps and the waistband.

Sewing these up was much easier than I anticipated, they were the last piece I sewed up and I really enjoyed making them. I was hesitant that Vincent wouldn't wear them though, as he is SO fussy when it comes to pants. Before I even made them, I promised him that if he wore them for the photoshoot then he didn't have to wear them again and we would give them to one of his friends (or save them for Eddie!). To my surprise, they came out a comfortable slim fit, and I had high hopes for Vincent's opinion.


They're absolutely perfect for him.I lined the knees in scraps of batman pyjamas, so he loves the insides too! They are a size 4, and although he is quite slender and leggy, the fit could not be more perfect.

The beltloops! OH the beltloops! I don't realy enjoy making beltloops, so tiny and fiddly, but Andrea's method for them and the waistband had me sailing through the loops and deciding that I was going to, in fact, belt loop all the things.

There are so many customisation options for these pants, and I am excited to sew them up again as shorts, *real* ankle-skimmers, and with various knee features and waistbands.

I decided that the plum and mustard fabrics would be the main fabrics for the shirts. I brought them together by using plum in Vincent's shirt to go with Edison's, and added the contrast shoulder patches (and hood) on his shirt to go with the contrast sleeves (and collar) on hers.

Edison's shirt is the Sweet Bonnie top, designed by Shwin Designs. I was able to test this pattern before the tour (which I will show you in a few weeks!) and I just L O V E D it. The Peterpan collar is always a big YES in my non-existant book of sewing for Eddie. I love exposed zippers, so the zip down the back as well as the raglan sleeves kept checking all those boxes.

It's a very straightforward pattern to sew, and I love the way Shauna teaches me new ways of sewing things that I would never have thought of - the facing was constructed in a really clever way! I sewed up the short-sleeved version for my little babe, as I don't think we will be getting much use out of long-sleeves for a while down here! I stitched hers up in the size 12-18month size, and although she is chubby she is a little short for her age, however I do love the length of the shirt on her.

 She really enjoys hiding her chins in that collar too...

I added a random pyramind stud to the centre of her collar, I had intentions of adding some to Vincent's shirt on the shoulders but I thought that there might have been too much going on there. When I changed my mind, I forgot to add them aha.

My zipper is longer than the one called for in the pattern, I just made the zipper facing longer which was quite simple! The main reason I used a longer zipper was because it was the only one I had in my stash that went with the fabrics I had chosen!

I made her a little bandanna out of the mustard broadcloth to work her outfit in more with Vincent's.

Don't you think the Sweet Bonnie top would look super cute as a dress?

Last but not least is Vincent's totally amazing shirt. It's the Johnny B. Good Hoodie by Shwin Designs. The pattern has the optional shoulder patches, short or long sleeves, and a collar or a close-fitting hood. Guys, I cannot stress enough how much I love patterns that have so many customisation options (And even if they don't have the options, if the potential is there I'm going to take it and run!)

I made the shirt up in the mustard broadcloth, using the plum as contrast for the shoulder patches and the outside of the hood. This shirt has a really cool rockabilly vibe to it, which is something I used ot be pretty obsessed with, so it's a nice little throwback to my early twenties life with Tim!

I also did the back yoke in the plum as well!

 Check out the other Winter Wonderland Pattern Tour bloggers here! (there's 44 of us!)

Come back in the next few days for a tutorial on Eddie's bandanna and Vincent's shoes!

You can buy the whole collection for $39.99 which includes the patterns I used above (Tree Climber Trousers, Sweet Bonnie Top and the Johnny B Good Hoodie) as well as the Berkshire Blazer, Amaryllis Dress, Juliet Capelet, Holly Trousers and the Aviator/Trapper Hat patterns. Or you can buy the Boy or Girl Collections of four patterns each for  $24.95. The collection as a whole is only available for 2 weeks, and then you can buy the patterns individually and at their full prices on the designers websites (Shwin Designs, See Kate Sew, Go To Patterns, Blank Slate Patterns)