Heart jersey love and a colour palette study

So this is yet another post about New Look 6016. I will be completely knit-weared out by the time we hit the runway. Although I do have to say that this is one of my favourite makes in this pattern. The fabric is just divine and the fit is great, even if I am not entirely sure it is the best colour for Miss Five (she of the newly gappy smile).

The fabric is a gorgeous remnant of heart jersey that I picked up at Tessuti Fabrics. I can’t quite remember what it is exactly. It feels a lot like viscose to me but I could be wrong. In any case, it is a drapey, delicious feeling fabric that is clearly great for dancing.


My modifications to the pattern:

  • graded up to a size 5
  • added 2cm to the length
  • lengthened sleeves by 1cm. I probably could have gone longer.
  • added a gathered skirt which I finished with a narrow hem on my serger

Having read a post by Busy Lizzie in Brizzy the other day, it got me thinking about colour palettes and what I should be dressing my daughters and myself in. She pointed me in the direction of Thewallinna and Other Creatures. I was interested to find that I fit pretty squarely into the Spring palette. It makes sense that I’ve never been able to walk past blues, turquoises and watermelon reds on the remnant table. Which is fine for me (and my two youngest daughters of the same fair skin and blue eyes). But out of habit, I think I am subconsciously choosing this palette for everyone in my family.

Spring

When Miss Five (and hubby too), based on her slightly coppery hair and warm complexion, belongs with an Autumn palette. There is a little bit of crossover but there are differences, even in the similar looking colours.
 

Autumn
Which leads me to her second outfit of the day. The colours don’t fit her palette perfectly but they are much closer than her first outfit was and I think they showcase her skin and hair a little better for this reason. The photos were taken in the same spot, on the same day, and within five minutes of each other. Don’t you just love using your own children as guinea pigs?!
 
I’m going to start paying more attention to the colours I am using for this little girl. She has such striking colouring and sparkling green eyes, but I’ve always wondered why they showed up in some photos and not in others.
 
The pants were designed by me, using some of my pretty $10 chambray roll from Tessuti Fabrics. They are simple but comfy.
 

 


  
 

New Look 6016 tights and top

I feel the deadline looming when I will need to pack away my sewing machine for the trip ahead. Has anyone else travelled with a sewing machine? I’m actually a little worried about keeping it safe. But I have found myself two big foam boxes (used by cafes/restaurants to pack veges) which I think I will join together by taping around the machine’s hard cover, and I am hoping that this will be enough protection. I might box it up in cardboard too.

But in the meantime, I am working my way through what I would like to call my ‘rainy day’ stash. These are the lengths of pastel viscose and knits that I have purchased with my daughters in mind; snaffled up from the remnant table at Tessuti Fabrics knowing that they would best suit simple swing dresses, tops or tights (for little girls), all the while knowing that I would never get around to sewing them. Selfless sewing if you will.

I made a few modifications to New Look 6016 when making Miss Four’s outfit. The pink, long sleeve top is a size 4.

 
  • I widened the sleeves (made them straight, not tapered)
  • added cuffs
  • added 2cm to the hem (she is very tall)

The latte ponte pants are also a size 4, but I added a bum ruffle (bum flare sounds a bit rude!). I’m not completely happy with the bum ruffle. I’d make it much smaller and higher next time, or add one in the front too. But I AM pleased to say that this feature had the desired effect in terms of wearability to Miss Four. She LOVED the bum detail. In fact, her song throughout the photo shoot went a lot like this. “I look so cool. I look so cool. I look so cool”.  Accompanied of course with the requisite bum wriggling. I am optimistic that these will be the first pants she is happy to wear this winter.

Little Miss Two’s top is a size 2, with the same modifications on the sleeve as the other top. I didn’t change the length (she is tiny!) but added a bottom ruffle just because I could. You might recognise the ruffle fabric from here. Drop waaaaaiiiiiist!



Little pink drop waist in New Look 6016

After months of requests for a pink winter dress, I finally relinquished. I feel I should apologise for yet another drop waist, but at the moment, with all the crazy packing and organising going on for our move, I feel like I need to stick to simple and necessary sewing. Of course drop waist dresses are necessary! How could anyone possibly question this fact?!

 


I dragged out New Look 6016 again to make this dress. It was made with a beautiful pastel viscose which came from Tessuti Fabrics. The skirt was made with a little leftover Lisa Ho cotton/silk from The Fabric Store. This Lisa Ho fabric is amazing, so light and silky, and perhaps a little bit too special for a four year old. In my pre-blogging days, I made a pair of Suzy pants with it, and more recently a pair of boxers for hubby.

As usual, I made several modifications to this pattern. I started with a size four.

  • lengthened the top by 4cm
  • widened the sleeves by about 2cm each side to eliminate the taper, and added cuffs (I didn’t shorten them at all)
  • added a gathered skirt (I always aim for 2 x the width of the hem I’m attaching it to, but as I generally use scraps for these skirts, I use what I have)

This is actually one of my favourite knock ups. The drapey viscose worked out so much better than I anticipated and I much prefer the top with cuffs. I can see myself making a few more of these little dresses in the winter months, mainly for my girl who flatly refuses to wear anything but dresses. As you can see, it is the perfect dress for twirling and practicing magic with your spoon-wand.

 

The Rigel floral bomber

Oh, this Tessuti fabric just made me swoon at first sight. Kirsty from Top Notch obviously thought the same, as I spotted her lovely O’keefe skirt in it the other day. No wonder it sold out so quickly! Mine has been in my stash for some time, just waiting for that perfect project to come along. And it finally did, as soon as I laid eyes on the Rigel Bomber by Papercut patterns.


Given the unfitted nature of this bomber, I threw caution to the wind and jumped right into stitching it up. Now the sizing appeared to be working out pretty good, but I was far from happy with how the insides of this jacket were looking. It is meant to be an unlined jacket and of course, it could look wonderful as such had I given some forethought into binding the seams. But I still don’t think the internal pocket construction (with the fusing and multiple raw edges) could be tidied up to an extent that would make me happy. Or maybe it could…

So after completing the outer shell (sans ribbing), I made a snap decision to line it. Luckily, I had the perfect remnant in my stash (another Tessuti fabric), a silky, silvery viscose that just feels delightful against the skin. All I did to line this jacket was cut lining pieces of the back, fronts, and arms, sew them together, and attach the intact lining to the jacket exactly as you would the facing (according to the instructions). I then basted the free arm hem edges and bottom hem edges of the lining to the jacket fabric so that I could sew them together as one to the ribbing. It didn’t take that much more effort and I am SO delighted with the results. It has turned a rather nice bomber into a luxuriously decadent bomber. The lining adds that little bit of extra weight and warmth. The silkiness of the slippery viscose also makes putting it on over other clothes much easier.


I should also mention that I nearly doubled the length of ribbing for the arm cuffs, which by the way, is a beautifully robust double sided cotton ribbing I picked up as a remnant from The Fabric Store.

I love my fabulous new jacket! Now I just need to sew some more monotone separates or I will start giving my neighbours a headache with all the gorgeous prints in my wardrobe.


This dress was made for twirls!

 

I’m actually very comfortable with how I look now. I can’t change who I am and I love myself exactly as I am (although this wasn’t always the case!). Some people would say I am incredibly lucky. I am blessed with those tall, lean genes that we see in so many magazines, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamt of being smaller or curvier, or bustier in the past. As a dietitian and mother, I spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to convince girls and women that they can’t all look the same and to love the body they were given. Make it healthier, yes! But to love and embrace themselves for the way they were born. 

Having babies, in particular girl babies, played a massive role in making me reassess the way I judged and treated my own body. I realised that if I couldn’t speak aloud about the things I loved about myself, to accept my flaws, as well as compliments with aplomb, then how was I ever going to teach my daughters to do the same. Every time my daughters call me a princess or tell me I am pretty, I make sure I say thank you and agree with them wholeheartedly. Over time, you start to believe what you say. But what makes me the happiest of all is to hear my daughters talk about themselves and their bodies with such love and confidence. I know they are young yet, but I am hopeful we are getting off to a good start for a body-loving future.

Now, the point of this post is not to analyse the intricacies of body image, but rather, to introduce you to my latest creation…the product of my fabric splurge! How I got off track in the first place was because this dress is just made for curves, of which I clearly have none. It is a significant departure from my usual style of relatively fitted clothes. But it is also a style of dress that I have secretly always wanted to own. Slinky, trapeze dress, thank you for finally finding me. I think we are going to have lots of fun together. Especially since I have discovered that I can solve the problem of my missing curves by swishing and twirling and never allowing this wonderful dress to sit still. So if you see me twirling down the street, you will know why. This dress is made for curves or failing that, big twirls!


 


On the sewing side of things, I was a wee bit nervous about getting stuck into this project, not only because of the decadent fabric I was using, but because the type of dress I was making was outside my comfort zone. Most things in my wardrobe are quite fitted. I also wasn’t entirely convinced that my fabric choice was going to be able to sufficiently ‘modernise’ the vintage pattern I had chosen to use. View B by the way! But with a lowered front slit opening instead. I am still thinking of adding a little seed bead cord/tie to fasten or loosely tie the front edges. I love the sleeves at the moment but I can convert the dress back to a sleeveless option if I want. It has fabulous big pockets and I love that it is tea length. Although after seeing my photos, I realise I should have made mine a smidgen longer. 


Making the dress was a great experience. I learnt a few valuable lessons. Viscose is tricky! At least, long lengths cut on the bias are tricky, but not unmanageable. I needed to take my time, pin carefully and baste often. I also learnt about the power of patterns. NEVER, ever disregard the pattern. Now I knew this gorgeous fabric had a pattern, but I thought it was random enough to skip matching the circles. I also didn’t think I would have enough fabric to match them. But now I look at my completed dress, and the mismatched pattern is a little bit of a disappointment to me. At the very least, I should have thought to reposition the blues and greens at the centre front instead of the sides, since they are my favourite colours. You can see my mismatch below.


But on a positive, I also learnt how to fit sleeves into the armscye better, specifically fitting them for my own body shape. Sleeves have always been a great source of frustration to me. No matter how carefully I attach them, they still never quite fit me properly. So I referred back to a great little book I had read in the past. Apparently, with forward pointing shoulders like mine, I need to rotate the sleeve cap forward a bit and redistribute the ease accordingly. Amazing! This was one of those lightbulb moments that make all the frustrations of sewing worthwhile. Now, I finally GET it and will look forward to lots of perfectly fitted sleeves in the future! 

 
 

Fabric splurge

This is a short post because I am still having heart palpitations over my fabric splurge yesterday. I did go to Tessuti Fabrics with the good intention of spending the remainder of my $500 voucher on some practical linen for summer staples. However, I walked away with something a little different. My third place prize in the 2013 Tessuti Awards has now been spent in its entirety…it didn’t take me long!

Thanks to this dress here:

 
and here:
 
 
I was able to purchase 4m of this dreamy Italian viscose.
 
 
 
It drapes beautifully, is machine washable, non-directional in print, and in my absolute favourite colours. I can’t even breathe how much this cost me per metre, but let me just say it is nearly double the amount I have ever paid for fabric in the past. I actually have a dress in mind for it (which is why I needed so much) but I suspect it is going to sit in my stash for a long time until I can work up the courage to cut it!