If it seems like I only own two patterns at the moment, well that is probably not far from the truth. Even my mannequin, Alice, is wrapped in plastic and ready to take her (rather undignified) place amongst the boxes we have chosen to store while we are away.
Of course, I actually have two large boxes crammed to the brim with sewing patterns, but half of them have already made it to Kansas and the other half are boxed up for storage. Choosing which ones to take and which ones to leave behind was quite a big task. I dread the thought of carting around unused baggage for the next few years, nearly as much as I dread missing that painstakingly custom modified pattern that I unfortunately decided not to take with me.
I currently only have a small selection on hand (that will also come to Kansas with me later). New Look 6016 is one of them. I have lost track of how many times I have used this pattern. Most recently, I am finding it exceedingly useful in making simple knit tops, dresses and tights for ALL of my daughters even though it only goes up to a size 4. But I do find the sizing to be extremely large, something I am still muddling my way through in terms of fit. The problem with children, well my girls at least, is that apart from the standard chest and height measurements, any other fitting efforts are near impossible. It is like pinning a dress to a live eel! So I pretty much rely on my best guesses as to whether I should lengthen, shorten or slim down any parts of the pattern.
I think this dress worked out reasonably well. The wool will keep her warn and it looks like it will allow a little room for movement and growth. It is basically a modified version of the long sleeve top in the pattern. I used up all the scraps from my recent makes (here and here), as well as my last little bit of Lodden Blue Liberty. For the neckline, I found a band of black bamboo ribbing in my stash (If I ever have any little sraps of ribbing/stretch knit, I always cut a few neckband/cuff width strips and store it away like this for convenience. One of these bands came in useful for this dress because I simply didn’t have enough fabric for a matching neckband.)
I started out with a size 2 and made the following modifications:
created a mid panel, purely because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the entire bodice as one. The top panel is a heavier wool ponte and the mid panel is a lighter weight wool jersey. I used the lengthen/shorten line as a seamline
lengthened the arms by 2cm and added the curved panels at the end of the sleeves
lengthened the entire top to the Size 4 guide
Added the Liberty of London ruffle to the bottom hem
And here is a still shot of the dress from the back. The front had too many dribble patches on it from our brief photo shoot!
I think it will look better with tights but I couldn’t subject Miss Two to long pants in our summer heat. I’m actually surprised I got any decent photos today. Most of them were like this, but blurry. She’s only little but she sure can move.
Boy this Vogue 8805 is getting a workout! Here it is, slightly modified, in yet another (gasp, horror) DROP WAIST DRESS. Seriously now, it is starting to look like I have a problem. But in my defence (if I can call it one), this was not meant to be the next dress of my series, AND I actually don’t know where this dress came from. I didn’t plan to make it. There was no vision in my head. I just sat down with some fabric that I wanted to use up from my stash and suddenly a drop waist started to appear.
I used the leftover cotton ribbing from my Rigel Bomber in the sleeves. This makes the dress lovely and comfortable. The rest of the dress was made using a Liberty of London called Lodden Blue that I was lucky enough to pick up as a remnant from Tessuti Fabrics a while back. Unfortunately, as I look at the photos, I can now see that I cut the back a little off grain, bah! All the worse because I had this sinking feeling as I was cutting it. I knew I shouldn’t have cut on the fold, but instead drawn up the full pattern piece to cut as one.
I was inspired to use the Liberty in this dress after seeing Emilie’s creation, as posted on Sew Tessuti a while back. I probably wouldn’t have thought of using Liberty otherwise, and can you believe it, this is actually the first Liberty print dress I have ever sewn for myself?! So here is a little happy twirl to celebrate this beautiful Summer fabric!
The modifications that I made to Vogue 8805 were:
shortening the sleeves (back to 2cm from the yoke seam)
shortening the middle panel by about 5cm
Adding a ruffle panel of 2 x widths of Liberty
I took about 2.5cm off the neckline all the way around and then added a band
Now I fully realise peplum is a little last season, but it is such a flattering style and I had been wanting to make myself a peplum top for a very long time.
I delved into my stash for this project, using the last of my Liberty from Coco’s recent playsuit and a little leftover linen from another project. The linen was from Tessuti Fabrics and is really quite special. It is a coated linen and the grey is actually printed on. It looks and feels amazing.
The design is my own. The top is self-faced, with an invisible zip centre front. It is probably a little looser fitting than it needs to be, but I was aiming for comfort and coolness with our long hot summer on the way.
Did I mention that I purchased 3m of that Marc Jacobs cotton knit fabric?! It would have been a good amount if not for the leg placement disaster of my own playsuit. But as it happened, I had enough for one more little top dress.
I had been eyeballing the Little Truck Stop Top for months but finally decided to get out there and purchase it, even though I knew it was still going to be a few sizes too big for my littlest girl.
As I’ve already mentioned, this little project was to use up the last bits of my Marc Jacobs knit. I also pieced together about six tiny lengths of some Liberty leftovers to make a beautiful bottom ruffle. I am a little obsessed with Liberty of London cotton right now so it might feature again pretty soon.
I cut the pattern to a size 7. It is way too big but it doesn’t gape immodestly. Miss Coco has not yet decided whether she will wear it as a dress or a nightie to rival her swishing sister.
And by the way, I managed to ‘roll’ the neck binding beautifully this time. I was so pleased with how it turned out after my earlier efforts, that I decided to push on and bind the sleeves before I went to bed. Wrong! I was obviously sleep-sewing. As you can see, I bound them the wrong way again so this is why there is no lovely ‘roll’ on the armscye.
After such a great success sewing my Hannah top, I was quite keen to get stuck into another Salme sewing pattern, in particular the kiddie kimono sleeve playsuit. Well, it turned out an absolute treat! I really think I am developing a soft spot for Salme sewing patterns. The drafting is impeccable. The only complaint I have is that seam allowances aren’t included in the pdf downloads, meaning a bit more time is spent on my hands and knees tracing around the pattern pieces when I would really just prefer to cut and go. But maybe this feature would come in handy if I decided baste in my seamlines by hand for that extra special project.
The gorgeous Liberty of London I used is from Tessuti Fabrics. I only needed a mere 70cm to make this playsuit in a size seven for my little Miss 5. She’s quite tall for her age, so I knew I would have to size up in order to get the length right.
I would recommend putting three snap fasteners in the front instead of two to prevent gaping. And do you like my first attempt at beading? The fabulous gold sequins came from the Fabric Store.
It’s a bit wonky but I am so pleased with myself for finally having a go. I think I will practice a bit more on kiddie clothes before I jump into that special beading project. Thank you Laura Mae from Lilacs and Lace for putting together this little beading tutorial. It has been on my want-to-learn list for positively eons. And I have had a bag of beading stash under my sewing table waiting for me to get started for at least that long too.