Thursday, 29 May 2014

Summer of Soleil

The theme for this summer has got to be showing off cute little baby backs (ribs?). Unfortunately for me it's autumn here! Except that it's been a really weird autumn (classic south east Queensland style really) and it's been beautiful perfect sunny weather. Apparently it's an Indian Summer. Which is awesome, and perfect for a Soleil dress don't you think?

I'm lucky enough to have been asked by Lauren of Selvage Designs to sew up her newest (and first?) pattern the Soleil Dress! Here's the part where you get to see the baby back I was talking about:

Delicious! This pattern is such a lovely and simple sew, not as technical and confusing as it might seem! I'm really disappointed in myself with how I sewed this up though, my mind has been elsewhere and I made a few mistakes but they were easy to rectify! For one I forgot to sew the pocket bags in until after I'd sewn the ribbing in. Ugh I felt SO stupid. But I managed to fix it and it looked just fine :)

Also I screwed up the neckline and armholes, I serged everything there instead of using my sewing machine and the stretch stitch so the seam allowances around those areas are way smaller which makes the pieces much wider! Mistakes aside, and mistakes you probably wouldn't even notice if I hadn't have pointed them out to you, this dress was just lovely to sew up! The fabric I've been saving since Project Run & Play, I can't remember whether it was from Girl Charlee or the Fabric Fairy (sorry! I feel terrible) but I looked for it on both those places and neither of them sell it anymore anyway!

It's beautiful but very slinky and was really hideous to cut out. You know when you cut fabric and everything moves and you get thee great jagged lines around the curves? Ugh, yeh that! I complained the entire time to Kat about it and she never gave up on me even when I was like I HATE THIS FABRIC and then 20 seconds later I was done and I was like I LOVE EVERYTHING. Yes it can be traumatic to be the person that listens to me when I'm sewing, but Kat is very sympathetic haah!

Check out her mad kicks she wanted to wear. You cannot come between this girl and her shoes (it was her first word for goodness' sake!). Her leggings are made from my leggings pattern, in the biggest size (9-12mths I believe?). They were originally a pair of leggings I got for myself from Jessica Louise, but when I put them on I was really peeved that there was minimal difference between the front and back rises. Sooo I wasted a lot of money on something that I usually never splash cash on and the leggings sat around unworn because they feel halfway down my butt everytime i thought to give them another go. Eventually I just cut them into leggings for Eddie! They look super fly with her Heart of Gold dress!

I sewed this dress up in the 18 month size because Eddie is short and chunky and my little miss piggy. She's almost 2! I also took a good four inches of the hem to make it sit mid-thigh, but you know I saw a maxi dress of this and LOVED it (by Heidi & Finn) and originally when I was thinking of how much shorter I should make it I was thinking a little peplum top would be cute too! Check out other dresses also by going through the instagram tag #soleildress!

Oh and look what I found after I took my last photo?

Scroll up to the second photo and see if you can see it! I freaked out, I remember mum making Betty & I try things on a kids and we'd always get pricked by the pins, lol. Luckily there wasn't even a little red mark on her perfect skin and she didn't even seem bothered by it, even though she wore the dress in the car! 

You can pick up the Soleil Dress Pattern right here


Monday, 26 May 2014

Bantha Hoodie: Sew Geeky Episode II Part 2

While we were planning our original second episode of Sew Geeky, Kat and I and our special guest Tara had a hard time narrowing down our ideas to just one each. We decided that we shouldn't have to narrow our down choices at all and so we decided on a mini Sew Geeky for Geek Pride Day (May 25) and showcase our Creatures of Star Wars ideas!

I wanted to make Vincent a Bantha hoodie! I have a bit of a love for the Tusken Raiders (the sand people) in Star Wars, and I really love the big huge hair elephant cow animals they sort of domesticated. However Vincent was like "Really? A bantha..." not in those words exactly but it was pretty much his thoughts that out of all of the cool creatures in Star Wars (Ie Wampa or a Rancor) that I wanted to make him a hairy hoodie. HOWEVER unfortunately for Vincent, this hoodie is more of something I wanted to make for Sew Geeky and for the hell of making it, not for an actual winter necessity (although now I see the hoodie in action I do feel that a fluffy bantha hoodie is actually very important for each child to have! It's so fluffy!).

What the heck is a Bantha? They're like the cow of the Star Wars universe really. They carry heavy stuff and make blue milk. They're super hairy and an elephant was actually cast to play the Bantha in A New Hope! In some shots you can see her trunk. How cute is that? 

Okay down to business! Using Kitschy Coo's Reversible Zippy Hoodie pattern the only thing I changed at all with the pattern was adding horns and the 'saddle' on the back! And that's more of an addition to the hoodie rather than an alteration of the pattern. Although she is a porky little piggy, Eddie is quite short for her age. She's almost 2, and the size 18months of the pattern fits her perfectly! The Reversible Zippy Hoodie pattern is my go to pattern for all of the kids hoodies now. It goes right up to size 8 too so it's going to get lots of use in my family! This hoodie isn't reversible, and neither is the other one I made (featured in the first Stylo magazine)(which I still need to write a behind the scene post for!). However even though this particular hoodie is not supposed to be reversible, it means the insides are so neat and perfect! Not a raw seam to be seen anywhere! She COULD wear it inside out if she wanted to.

I used brown soft fake fur for the exterior of the hoodie, and lined it with brown fabric from a pair of tim's thai fisherman pants that he never never ever wore. Waste not want not!

The back features the little 'saddle' blanket thing that was flung over the Bantha's back for the riders to sit on and to tie their cargo to.

I made the spiral horns from some leftover fabric that is like a linen-type thing. I top-stitched each piece to signify the 'knobs' on their horns before sewing them together and stuffing them. Two little slits cut into the exterior of the hood were made so I could slip the horns in and I stitched the slits closed. I also stitched the extra seam allowance part of the horn that was inside the hood forward, which made the horns lie back a bit. They were a little floppy otherwise and dangled around.

She loves her hoodie so much. She was so stoked when she realised she matched her baby Bantha toy (I bought it from NeoTokyo in town which is this cool asian pop culture store that sells manga and anime and heaps of cute soft toys. I'm pretty stoked that they stock some Star Wars stuff too). They also have a Rancor and a TaunTaun I plan on getting as well!

You've probably realised that Vincent didn't end up with the Bantha hoodie! Rather than fight him into a photoshoot wearing something he didn't want to wear I decided to make the hoodie for Eddie. Also it's smaller so less fabric was used! HA! Of course though, when Vincent saw it he wanted a Tauntaun hoodie, he's even drawn a little sketch for me and stuck it to my design wall in my sewing studio so I don't forget ;)

Baby Bantha's need all of the blue milk they can get so they can grow up big and strong!

Her jeans are mini versions of the ones I made for Vincent when I made him his Lego Indiana Jones outfit. The pocket linings come out a little bit which is irritating, but they're nice beige little pants that go well with lots of her cute shirts and hoodies. It's hilarious how much she doesn't grow. I made these in October and they still fit her.

She suddenly remembered halfway through our little shoot that she had horns on her head too and tried to grab them and pull them down so she could see them. She is turning into a good little model just like her beautiful big brother!

I wanted so bad to make her do the lips like her bantha toy, but this shoot had to be super quick because even though it's ona  gravel road, it is pretty popular out in our little country town (is it even called a town? We have a corner store, a hall and a school...) Everytime I heard a car I'd look around (it's just off the main road into town) and we'd scooch off if someone wanted to use it.

Awww bantha love

Blue Milk Moustache!

Don't forget to head over to Sew Chibi & Girl Like the Sea to see a 'Rain'cor poncho and a Wampa play mat! Thanks for celebrating what has probably been the geekiest month of my life with us! ahha.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Sewabration: Post-Apocalyptic Scavenger

So my darling friends the Shaffer Sisters have invited me once again to be part of their Make for Mom series, except now it has been renamed to the very apt Sew-a-bration of Womanhood. Last year I made the 12 Parsec dress tutorial, today I went a little more epic than a t-shirt surgery and made an entire outfit. It's been a little while since I've felt so much muse, and I really ran with it!

Inspired by post-apocalyptic movies & fashion (check out the Sew Geeky pinboard where I've been collecting my Post-Apocalyptic fashion ideas here), I made this outfit consisting of legging, cowl-neck shirt, hooded cowl scarf and a jacket. It's by no mean finished at all, there's plenty of customisations and add-ons I'd love to make in the future but for now I think I have a great base outfit. Each piece is easily mixed and matched with jeans & tees for every day wear too!

If you fancy a little music while you check out the post, this Spotify playlist is one that I found that I played throughout my sewing of this outfit!

So when I was designing the pieces I wanted for this outfit, the one thing I kept in mind was practicality. I created a character in my head of a scavenger girl, she's probably in some sort of tribe but during the day she's out and about alone searching for items and scrap she can use or trade.

My boots were $19 from Kmart. They're actually rainboots! I wear them everywhere though. The legwarmers were made from knitted jumpers cut into rectangles and sewn up. I have a tutorial for some similar here.

The jacket I made by tracing around a hoodie that used to be Tim's when he was a teenager and kicking butt in karate. The shoulders are dropped, the armholes are quite straight and square which was pretty cool for this style jacket I was making. Inspired by several different jackets, I knew I wanted a huge hood on it and a sort of revere thing going on. I wanted it to just tie together by one fastener at the waist, and when I saw this bronze kilt pin in my sewing box I knew it was the one. It's simple but practical for a girl who has probably just found the jacket in an abandoned shack.

I lined it with pink fleece because A: you're not going to ever see it and B: it's all I had. It's so warm! I was trying it on as I was making it but having to take it off again real quick because the fireplace was going and I was dying of heat! There are pocket in the sideseams because I love a good pocket. On one of the sleeves there is two black bands. I'm not sure if it's like a mourning thing I was going for or like maybe it represents the tribe she is in. Either way it's cool. The other arm has a pocket and an army patch I scratched up and coloured in with a black marker to stop it looking so shiny!

The hood is huge, I love it. I took an iphone pic of all three of the hoods up and my head looked tiny and lost in there! haha. I've had a thing for oversized hoods for a little while, so being able to just go wild with this really made me happy!

Ordinarily I would have preferred using a khaki or a black fabric for the jacket, however I didn't have that much of either fabric. What I did have was a camouflage-print doona cover I bought at the op shop before Supanova when I was originally going to make Edison an Endor Leia poncho (I'm still totally going to do that!). Eventually I'd love to add old patches and badges to it, random little knickknacks so it turn into a really ratty junky piece!

You know how sewing for yourself is all about sewing for your body type? Yeh sewing this jacket does me no favours. People are always like "Ari you've got a great figure!" but really I just have long legs and know how to dress to my shape and put all the attention on those pins! I never wear shirts that are too tight (well, except for in this photoshoot omg hypocrite!) or too short. My shirts always fit me really well and cover the fact that I have a muffin top and a mummy belly. I'm not sure if I wear the correct size bra, you know how they always say that like 75% of women are wearing incorrect bra sizes? I'm pretty sure I'm in that percentage, but in the end the bras I wear make the puppies look better than they really are.

So you see it's all optical illusions! BUT this jacket is ginormous and bulky and doesn't take away the fact that I have a short and squat torso. I don't mind though, I love it! (The jacket, not the torso)

Under the jacket I made a huge over-sized hooded cowl scarf. I actually had to make the hood SMALLER because it was wayyyy too massive. Again I'm in love with it's massiveness. I know it all seems totally crazy and excessive and plain weird to a lot of my lovely blog readers who are probably like "What the hell has happened to Max California?" but then I guess if you've been around long enough this doesn't really surprise you. At all!

The hooded cowl is a big hood shape made from black fleece, but then extended rather long and sewn together to make a big loop.

Evidence of too tight top right there ^

I made myself an adult-sized Bimaa Sweater! Ha! Yeh you thought my Bimaa-love was contained in shirts for only Edison & Vincent? Puh-lease!

Using Kitschy-Coo's Lady Skater pattern, I made the top of it (obviously leaving off the skirt bit!). Making a giant rectangle for the hooded-cowl (it's not shaped like the Bimaa), I made sure it was big enough to it over my head like a hood. It was a fun time in draping actually!

I added a zip instead of a seam, meaning that this shirt can be worn with the cowl down, with it up as a hood, with it unzipped up it looks like a regular hoodie and with it unzipped and pulled down and out it looks like this...

 Yes I love this shirt so much! I want to make a zillion of these, or at least one in black so I can wear it with EVERYTHING. The fabric is super slinky and combined with the colour it really shows every little lump and bump underneath.

Doesn't matter because I was wearing it under the mega jacket!

OH and it has thumbholes! Which was fun to make and I plan on making thumbholes in the cuffs of everything long-sleeved now. They're a little tricky at first to get your head around, but pretty rad and totally worth it!

 The leggings and the shirt are both made from this lovely slinky stretch fabric I scored from the op shop for about $4. I got several metres of it, which rules! The leggings were drafted from a pair of my Black Milk leggings, which are a fit I love and know flatter me! I added ankle cuffs and a fold over waistband but you can't see them in any of these photos ahha.

Are you into post-apocalyptic fashion? Seriously let me know because I feel like I'm the only one in bloglandia that loves this kinda thing! My muse goes crazy when I look at photos of people dressed up or when I watch movies like Waterworld (favourite ever), Mad Max, oooh even Book of Eli! I want to do a Dystopian Future episode of Sew Geeky one day but Kat thinks I'm the only one who geeks out about this. Please prove her wrong :P

Thank you so much Shaffer Sisters for inadvertently pushing me to commence making an outfit from my dreams! Check out the rest of the sew-a-bration at the blogs below or go straight to Shaffer Sisters Sew-A-Bration posts to see them all in one spot!

 The Life Of A Compulsive Crafter | Serger Pepper | House of Estrela | sewVery | Our Busy Little Bunch
Falafel and the Bee | Lexi Made | Winter Wonderings | Kid Approved | Scientific Seamstress
Becca DuVal | Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop | The Berry Bunch | Little Kids Grow | leighlee
Feathers Flights | That's-Sew-Kari

Jacket:: fabric - doona cover, pattern - self-drafted
Shirt:: fabric - taupe unknown stretch, pattern - self-drafted
Leggings:: fabric - taupe unknown stretch, pattern - self-drafted
Hooded Cowl:: fabric- black fleece, pattern - self-drafted
Leg-Warmers:: fabric- two reconstructed knitted jumpers!
Accessories:: feather - from my chickens, finger bands - black electrical tape


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Jungle Girl Shandiin Tunic

A little while ago I was able to do some testing for EmmylouBeeDoo's newest pattern in the works: The Shandiin Tunic & Tank! I made two, but this one was the only one I managed to get nice-ish photos of. Unfortunately it's starting to get cold here in Australia so either I get my Shandiin fix by making them a size larger for Eddie to work it in December, or I just wait until it does get warmer!

The Shandiin Tunic & Tank is a cute little pattern in several lengths and with several features including a button front or an elasticated waist. I'm really excited for this pattern to be released to see what you guys come up with! The customising options are endless and I've seen some really inspirational ideas already for it.

The little jungle girl one I made is made from Robert Kaufman fabric. Honestly I'm not a big fabric snob, I don't name-drop fabric designers because A: I don't know that many and B: most of my fabrics are thrifted and also C: I don't really care a lot ;) HOWEVER in saying that I am a fan of Robert Kaufman prints, they're totally up my alley! I've made Vincent a pair of simple pull-on shorts made from this fabric which are pretty fun and I loved using up the rest of it for this tunic!

The peek-a-boo back is probably the cutest part of this tunic, I just love baby backs and I love the shapes and the style and just everything about this pattern! It's surprisingly very simple to sew, don't be intimidated by it!

This pattern is about to drop REALLY SOON. It's actually quite simple to sew up, and very quick to make (like all of LouBeeClothing's patterns really!). Keep an eye on Sarah's blog or facebook page to get the news when it's out!


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Sew Fab Sale Blog Tour: Seraphic Pants

Hello! It's that time of year again! Yeh the Sew Fab Sale!

I got to sew up the Seraphic Pants pattern by Figgy's, and while I own a few patterns by them already, I have yet to actually sew anything up! I had plans of doing the Banyan pants and top a little while ago, and I also have the Scirocco dress and the Nituna jacket but I just haven't sewn them! I have no idea why, I know I was waiting to do the dress for when Edison was actually old enough to fit into it.

SO, sewing up the Seraphic Pants was a new thing for me to check out how Figgy's put their patterns together, reading the instructions etc. Every designer is different, and there's a few designers I love over others, just for their ease of use. Figgy's are now right up there for me! I can totally see why everyone raves about them now!

He wanted to do this pose okay? lol
Printing the pattern? Easy as pie, and piecing it together was even easier. Maybe it's because I glue pages together and cut patterns out so much more these days than I ever have, but it all went together very easily.

Using the size chart on the pattern instructions, I sewed up these pants for Vincent with a size 2/3 width but a size 4/5 length. I know that sounds a little strange for someone not familiar with it, but basically when I cut the fabric out I followed the 2/3 line but at the waist and ankle I extended my cutting so it hit the 4/5 line.

The result? A pair of really awesome pants! I did not confer with my son about these, as I sewed them up when he was at school. It was a gamble! The guy is picky over his apparel, and pants have to tick off all these requirements I will never ever understand. When I was finished I asked him if he could model them for me and he like, flipped out (in a good way). He LOVES his new pants. They're comfy, he can run and jump and climb. They're not as skinny as he usually likes but he didn't even mention it!

His beanie is the one I made him when he was a toddler (tutorial here) and I made his motorcycle vest during Project Run & Play! I was so stoked both items still fit him, and that he was well pleased with his outfit. it was even deemed good enough to wear to his sleepover at his Nanny's house!

I really love the pockets in these pants! In fact, I just love everything about these pants. They're quick and easy, and even though they are panels they look fantastic sewn up in just one colour fabric. I opted for two because I can't help but be different to what I see. It's just me ;) haha. No seriously,the tartan is stretch fabric (recommended fabric for these pants) that I picked up at the op shop for a few dollars. The black is cotton poplin, non-stretchy (sewing rebels holla!). I was a little concerned that maybe I was about to make pants he wouldn't fit into, since I wasn't doing recommended fabrics (seriously if a pattern says stretch you definitely need stretch! Don't make a t-shirt out of non-stretch ahah!) BUT as I was sewing they looked totally okay, in comparison mentally to the millions of other pants I have made the little punk.

And they fit so perfectly. They're baggy but not too baggy, they're comfortable and he loves them. Also I mega-failed with my pattern-matching on the tartans there so let's scroll quickly past this photo yeh? Not being able to match patterns drives me INSANE when I see it. Ugh! Pet hate.

I didn't alter these pants at all. For the first time in a long time I followed the instructions from A to Z and left them the way they are. Why mess with perfection?


This pattern is part of a huge bundle of patterns you can buy for $29.95 through the Sew Fab Pattern Sale! There's a list of designers & their patterns below so you can see what you get! There's only 3 days left!

"He looks like a bank robber. A cute one." - Banners

You can purchase the Sew Fab Spring Pattern Bundle for $29.95 this week only! The sale ends on May 13th, and once it's over, it's over. You can support independent pattern designers by purchasing the bundle from any of the designers below.

Sew Fab Spring 2014 collage

(Designers in order from Top left to right) Greenstyle Creations, Handmade Therapy, MODKID, Everything Your Mama Made, The Scientific Seamstress, Figgy's Patterns, Two Sweets Patterns, Things for Boys, Patchwork Posse, Betz White, LBG Studio, Mouse House Creations, Gingercake, Heidi & Finn, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Terra's Treasures, Paisley Roots, Molly Blossom Designs, Sewing Mama RaeAnna. Sale sponsored by The Southern Institute.

Vest: heavily altered from the Basic Blazer by Melly Sews
Pants: Seraphic Pants pattern by Figgy's Patterns
Shoes: Pumpkin Patch on sale
Shirt: Big W
Beanie: Handmade
Swag: Model's own