It’s not that I don’t want to make any more, but I just don’t need any more two pieces. I’ve made a few this season already.
But what’s one more between friends?
This glorious maxi skirt was only intended as a separate. My plan was to wear it tran-seasonally, paired with my oversized wool jersey top and possibly some tights underneath.
The skirt is a simple, self-drafted number. It’s hard to make a mistake with something so simple, but I did forget to put in pockets. Side pockets would have made this skirt perfect. Of course, being floor length, my girls swooned at the sight of it. Miss Four put in her order for an identical copy. I had just enough left over to do this.
The little mischief is wearing her hand-me-down Liberty playsuit in these photos. She was perfectly mirroring all my poses behind the tripod so I said she could jump in and join me for the last few. Her one goal in life right now is to be inside the TV.
The top is a design you’ve seen before. It’s made up to the same pattern as my white version (here). I just skipped the peplum. I really love this little top. It’s so cool and comfortable, and just the right cropped length for me to feel comfortably covered. I can see myself wearing it a lot with jeans.
This year, my big girl celebrated her birthday in Spring. It probably didn’t mean a great deal to her. Spring in Kansas is still a LOT colder than a Sydney Autumn. But despite this, I still took it as a great excuse to make her something summery to wear for the days ahead. We may have had a little glitch in our Spring a few days ago (snow!) but the sunshine returned on her big day, which gave us the perfect photo opportunity. I should also point out that I don’t have a great say in her styling. Just check out those fuschia sandals and headpiece!
I’ve made this sweet little Salme Kimono jumpsuit before. Last summer, I stitched it up in some gorgeous Liberty print for Coco. I loved it on her and surprisingly, I think she loved it just as much. The simple style of this jumpsuit is perfectly matched to a pretty and lightweight Liberty cotton. I know it must have been a favourite, because I saw myself hanging it on the clothes line every second day!
It was such a perfect fit on Miss Six last year that I knew I’d be making another for her very soon. I passed her old version on to Miss Four in the slim hope that it will be loved as much….but I have serious doubts that Lady Ballerina Tutu will give it a second glance in her wardrobe.
For this version, I lengthened it to size 9 (the largest size) but graded both the bodice and the shorts width down to an 8. I was generous in my estimation for her, because I didn’t want her to outgrow this one as quickly as she did the last one. You can see that the fit is roomy, but not overly so. The torso length was the part that Miss Six outgrew first, although it is worth mentioning that she is currently on the 90th centile for height. So if you are using this information to choose a size, Coco’s height is roughly equivalent to that of an average seven year old, but she still quite lean. I would suggest going up one size for age in this pattern.
I used some beautiful cotton from Tessuti Fabrics. I purchased it months ago, specifically with Coco in mind. Her ONLY favourite colour back then was red, and this lovely Liberty-like fabric just grabbed me. I can’t remember it’s origin. It might be Japanese…but it feels and behaves a lot like the tana lawn that is used for Liberty of London (but without the same price tag!).
So on that note, I would like to wish my one and only big girl with the amazing curls, a very happy SIX birthday. We all love you to bits! x
There isn’t much to say about my Salme flared mini skirt. It is such a simple pattern that I actually feel a little silly about purchasing it. But you know how you feel when you’ve just finished completing a big project, and all you want is a little mindless escapism sewing that will lead to a foolproof outcome.
This skirt is the rom com of the sewing world. It is literally two pattern pieces plus a waistband. I made mine in some lovely wool twill I picked up as a remnant from Tessuti Fabrics. I toyed with the idea of lining it, but as I didn’t have any suitable lining on hand, the decision was made for me. As I write this, I can’t quite remember which size I chose, but it ended up being a fraction too big. Had I not already serged the side seams, I would have taken it in. So instead, I decided to ease the skirt into the waistband somewhat. This worked well enough but I know the skirt will look a little less ‘full’ next time when I fit the size better. I’m still pretty happy with it though as I don’t mind the idea of a little extra wool around my hips when I’m headed for a ‘POLAR VORTEX’!
Now this fabulous top is an entirely different story. I purchased some lovely firm black ponte from Tessuti fabrics specifically for this top. This ponte actually reminds me a little of neoprene, although I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it has a bit of that synthetic look and structure, but obviously it’s thinner with more drape.
The top was made using Vogue 8840. I have Nikki to thank from Beaute Jádore for pointing me in the direction of this pattern. She’s made several versions of this pattern herself with her own creative modifications.
I didn’t veer too far from the original pattern.
I made the longer version but shortened it by about 2cm. I wanted it to hang longer over my flared skirt for a drop-waist sort of silhouette (yes, I am a little obsessed!)
I topstitched all bar the front and side seams
I added an invisible zip centre front instead of the back opening (purely to accommodate the apparently never-ending breastfeeding in my world)
I used scraps (literally!) of leather for the arm panels. They were the leftover pieces from my leather pants. You can see from the photos that I had to piece several small bits of leather together for the arm warmers and even then, I had to use a piece with an imperfection. But that’s nothing compared to the scorch mark from my iron on the back neckline…arghhhh, what was I thinking! Anyway, I am choosing to ignore these issues, and maybe leave my hair out when I wear it!
Now as I was salvaging all my leather scraps and joining them together, I realised that I might just have enough (with a little creative engineering) to make some of Nikki’s leather arm warmers too. She has some instructions on how to do so here, but she also sells them on Etsy.
Mine aren’t made exactly to Nikki’s specifications because I was extreeeeemely short of materials and I was going for a slightly tighter fit on the upper arm.
I shortened the leather panels quite a bit (you can see I had to stitch odd strips of leather together just to come close to having a reasonable amount)
I would probably widen the leather panels a bit in the upper section next time. My arm warmers are snug, particularly around the elbows (I’m not entirely sure I got the measurements right…it was late at night!).
I added cotton ribbing as cuffs. Now I would have preferred my ribbed cuffs to be a little tighter (poor measurement on my behalf) and twice the length (lack of fabric).
Instead of wool for the upper arm, I used a ponte knit because that was what I had in my stash. I took about 2″ off the width so it fitted close to my skin.
I love the idea of these arm warmers. I don’t think they show up as well with a top already trimmed with leather, but I can see them turning up the heat in an ordinary cropped sleeve jacket or top. And if you are wondering why all these photos are cropped so you can’t see my feet, this is why (all my shoes are en route to Kansas!).
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.
Remember my first fabric dyeing foray here? Well, I finally found a use for the smaller remnant. I always had a top in mind for it, but it took me a while to decide on exactly what to sew. But the other day I stumbled across Salme Sewing Patterns and the lovely Hannah top. Immediately I was smitten.
My fabric was silk crepe de chine from Tessuti Fabrics, which worked beautifully with the design. This particular top was also a muslin of sorts for me since I wasn’t ‘in love’ with my dye job and figured near enough would be good enough with this loose fitting style. However, now that it has been put together, I really like the pattern, especially the way it comes together on the back.
My Hannah is a fraction too big for me (just in that little area between my bust and armpits) but nothing I can’t get away with, especially if I stand up tall and stick out my bust! I will definitely sew this top again (maybe with the last little bit of my fabric splurge!) but I am not sure if I should do a small bust adjustment or perhaps nip in each side seam by about 1/5 cm each. Doing this might lift the armscyes a little too which wouldn’t hurt. What would you do?