Sunday 29 March 2015

Tutorial: High-Low Play-time Dress

I know that high-low dresses and skirts have been around for ages, and to be honest I haven't really liked them until now ... well lots of them anyway, especially the ones where the front is VERY short, and the back is VERY long.  Just not my cup of tea ... maybe a little too much like a mullet haircut... you know the old 80's business in the front, party in the back.  Hmmmm!  Anyway, I've seen a few high-low skirts and dresses in the shops with a much more subtle high-low effect, and decided I really liked them.  It's fun when my tastes change and a whole new world of sewing options open up!  I've also found my fabric-matching taste changing lately.  I never would have put stripes with a busy fabric like this before, but I just love this combo right now.
Anyway, so I decided Bethany needed a new dress (stop laughing ... I know my girls never really NEED a new dress!), and one that will hopefully still fit next summer seeing as our warm weather is slowly coming to an end.  I wanted a quick project, and a dress that would be comfy to wear, but also cute for going to a birthday party or out for lunch.  This is what eventuated... The High-Low Play-Time Dress, and Bethany's a HUGE fan.  She loves this dress, and if it's clean and hanging in her wardrobe, she will most likely pick it to wear for pretty much any occasion.

Monday 23 March 2015

Twirly Tiered Skirts

Do you follow me on Facebook, or on Pinterest? (Yes, I'm really broadening my social-media horizons lately ... I'm on Instagram too ... totally out of character for me, but I'm having fun with it so far!  I'm definitely a newbie, but you should totally come follow-along!)

Anyway, back to the topic ... if you follow me on Facebook or Pinterest, you may have seen when I found this adorable tiered skirt pattern, offered so generously and for free from Mama Says Sew.  I'd been thinking about making Hannah a tiered skirt as she's just such a girly, twirly, dress and skirt-type munchkin of late.  Tiered skirts are just so cute on little girls of any age too, huh!  I had planned to just take some measurements, do some math and figure out a basic tiered skirt design, but what I love about this pattern is that this lovely Mama really has done ALL the work.  I mean, there's waist and length measurements for 11 sizes ... yep, 11!!!!  And there's also measurements for cutting each of the tiers for both knee-length and maxi-length options.  Something about re-inventing the wheel popped to mind, and I decided I'd just grab some fabric and give it a whirl, or a twirl or something!
And here's what eventuated.  I spotted these lovely quilting-weight cottons at a recent fabric-shop peruse ... I know right, as if I'd ever be in a fabric shop ... cough!

Anyway, these fabrics were stacked together, and are a little fabric line, and I knew they just needed to be a tiered skirt, so home they came.  I decided to use the finest print at the top, and graduate down tier by tier to the largest print ... kinda like the heaviest flowers dropped to the bottom.  Squeak ... so adorable.

And what does Hannah think?  Well I think the twirling says it all!!

Now for the other half of this project.  Bethany, who received her very own sewing machine for Christmas, and is sewing like it's going out of style at the moment (which of course it's absolutely NOT!) decided that she'd like to make one of these skirts for herself.  (Just hold on while I wipe away my proud Mummy tears ... Ok, good to go!)  She decided to make the maxi length, and given free choice of the stash, she chose to use the exact same fabrics, only Bethany decided to use hers in a slightly different order.  I think she did a fabulous job, especially considering she's only 6. (OK, so she's 7 in less than a week, but Mummy's still in denial about that!!)

She needed help with the measuring, and I helped with pinning the seams and with ironing the waistband and hem to make sure they were straight.  I also overlocked (serged) the raw edges for her, but she totally sewed every seam, did the gathering stitches, sewed the gathered tiers together, topstitched and threaded her elastic.  Not to mention that she can now set up and thread the machine and wind a bobbin all by herself.  She's doing so well, and I can see many a sewing afternoon in our futures.  Do you like what she made?

Bethany's got some gorgeous new lace-up ankle boots ready for winter which is fast-approaching here in Australia.  I think a pair of tights and her boots will look so adorable in winter with this skirt.
Oh, and the amazingly generous Mama from Mama Says Sew is also kind enough to allow small-scale sale of products made from her pattern.  I had such a ball with this pattern, and my girls love their skirts so much that I sewed up a couple of extras and added them to my Etsy Shop.  There are only 2, so be quick.  I made up a size 2 and a size 4.

Well, that's it, except just one more pic, because these two just melt my heart!

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Dragonfly Love

Who loves cheap fabric?  Um, silly question ... I know!! It makes my day when I'm perusing the fabric store for on-sale fabrics.  My local fabric shop often have a discount for end-of-bolt fabrics, and they also have a sale table of fabrics.  That's my go-to section as soon as I enter the fabric shop .... cough ... not that I'm ever distracted by anything except what I went in there for, huh!!

Anyway, one particular day a couple of months ago this happened, and I picked up this adorable purple dragonfly fabric.  There was just a smidge over 1 metre left on the bolt, and I picked it up for $4.  Pretty happy with that.  This one didn't even make it into my stash.  It was sewn up immediately into a gorgeous little Rainbow Pieced Peplum using this amazing pattern from Shwin and Shwin.  These girls are very clever and creative, and have a whole bunch of free patterns too, most of which are in my to-do file.  They're very generous.