Me Made May 2015: Days 11 – 31

Why doesn’t WordPress have an autosave function? Why don’t I save draft posts while I write them? Why does my laptop never crash when all I’m doing is binge watching Revenge? Anyway, last weekend’s MMM15 post disappeared with a blue screen of doom, so now there is one mammoth update for the rest of May.

Day 11 - 12 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 11: Viscose dress (pre-blog)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Black, blue & yellow floral viscose
Sewn: Spring 2014

Day 12: Lace contrast yoke top (unblogged)
Pattern: Rub off from RTW top
Fabric: Aqua jersey and cream stretch lace
Sewn: April 2015

Day 13 - 14 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 13: Denim skirt (pre-blog)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Denim
Sewn: Spring 2014

Day 14: Contrast yoke, wrap back top (unblogged)
Pattern: Hacked from RTW rub off
Fabric: Upcycled black jersey & zebra print jersey from Ebay
Sewn: April 2015

Day 15 - 16 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 15: Floral shirt dress (pre-blog)
Pattern: Vintage
Fabric: Floral viscose & purple viscose lining
Sewn: Spring 2014

Day 16: Shirt dress (unblogged)
Fabric: Upcycled men’s shirt
Sewn: January 2015

Day 17 - 18 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 17: Repeated Lady Skater from Day 5 (pre-blog)

Day 18: Contrast yoke, faux back button placket top (pre-blog)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Black viscose, black linen, black & white floral chiffon
Sewn: Spring 2014

Day 19 - 20 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 19: Denim skirt (unblogged)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Upcycled denim from unworn dress, white cotton lining
Sewn: May 2015

Day 20: Handbag (unblogged)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Mystery 50p/m green loose weave fabric, stash scraps of pleather, polycotton lining
Sewn: November 2014

Day 21 - 22 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 21: Upcycled skirt (pre-blog)
Fabric: One of my mum’s old skirts
Sewn: Spring 2014

Day 22: Repeated jersey peplum from Day 1

Day 23 - 24 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 23: Floral dress
Pattern: Hacked Simplicity 2444
Fabric: Floral viscose & plain poly crepe du chine lining
Sewn: June 2014

Day 24: Floral dress
Pattern: Hacked Simplicity 2444
Fabric: Floral polycotton
Sewn:August 2014

Day 25 - 26 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 25: Underwear (unblogged)
Pattern: RTW rub off
Fabric: Cream stretch lace & jersey
Sewn: April 2015

Day 26: Repeated Ava from Day 2

Day 27 - 28 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 27: Repeated floral peplum from Day 3

Day 28: Jersey dress (unblogged)
Pattern: Lady skater bodice & self drafted skirt
Fabric: Zebra print jersey & upcycled men’s t-shirt
Sewn: Summer 2014

Day 29 - 30 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 29: Repeated lady skater from Day 4

Day 30: Upcycled white lace dress (pre-blog)
Fabric: My Nan’s wedding dress – I took a few inches off the skirt and lowered the armholes, and considering it’s nearly 60 years old and originally handmade, I think it’s in amazing condition and totally wearable today. I haven’t worn it many times, thinking it’s too precious and I should save it for special occasions, but that feels a bit silly now.
Sewn: 2012

Day 31 | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Day 31: Collared top (pre-blog)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Mystery silky, slightly textured fabric
Sewn: 2012/13

Phew. I’m kind of surprised I managed Me-Made every day with only one use each of the underwear/handbag cheat, and not too many repeats. I thought I’d be frantically sewing mid-month, but with work being busier and several projects for my nephew, I’ve only been working on one dress (still unfinished, grr) in the last half of the month. I think trousers and more work appropriate dresses should be on my sewing list; as much as I love my floral cotton dresses from last summer, they are mostly relegated to weekend wear now. Jersey is the new cotton, and solids/prints the new floral. Well, maybe.

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Me Made May 2015: Days 1 – 10

As promised, here is my first batch of (dodgy) MMM15 photos.  MMM15 | Pattern . Paint . Pan Day 1: Grey feather jersey peplum top (unblogged)
Pattern: Hacked from the Lady skater dress by Kitschy Coo
Fabric: Upcycled men’s grey feather print t-shirt & dark grey jersey
Sewn: April 2015

Day 2: Floral Ava dress. Pink cardigan (not me-made, but knitted by my Nan for my Mum over 20 years ago)
Pattern: Ava by Victory Patterns

Fabric: Floral polycotton & contrasting broderie anglais
Sewn: Spring 2014

MMM15 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 3: Floral peplum top
Pattern: Simplicity 2444 hack
Fabric: Floral polycotton remnant
Sewn: Summer 2014

Day 4: Floral lady skater dress (unblogged)
Pattern: Lady Skater by Kitschy Coo (with altered neckline)
Fabric: Grey and black fleece backed jersey from Birmingham Rag market. The print is on the fleece side.
Sewn: Winter 2015MMM15 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 5: Feather jersey lady skater dress (pre-blog) & Gaptastic Cowl (pre-blog)
Pattern: Lady skater by Kitschy Coo
Fabric: Grey, navy & green feather print jersey
Sewn: Spring 2014

Day 6: Black & white print jersey skirt (unblogged)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Black & white textured heavyweight jersey from Bham Rag Markets
Sewn: April 2015

MMM15 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 7: Upcycled skirt (unblogged)
Pattern: Self drafted – box pleats, exposed zipper, faux waistband, lined
Fabric: Gathered skirt from an ancient Primark dress I never wore because the bodice had weird pleats on
Sewn: May 2015

Day 8: Knitted hoodie
Pattern: Divi hoodie from Ravelry
Yarn: Super cheap acrylic
Knitted: Feb – Sept 2014
This is definitely my most delayed blog post item, purely because after finally finishing it (my first proper garment), I realised just how crap the sizing really is and I didn’t really know how to fix it. MMM might finally make me attempt to make it wearable.
MMM15 | Pattern . Paint . PanDay 9: Floral Ava dress (& another Nan-knitted cardi that I’ve permanently borrowed from my Mum)
Pattern: Ava by Victory Patterns
Fabric: Floral and navy polycottons
Sewn: Summer 2014

Day 10: Floral strappy top (pre-blog)
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Floral cotton
Sewn: Winter 2014

So far, so good. I haven’t had to resort to bags and underwear to get my 1 handmade item in, nor have there been any repeats. That no doubt will change over the next week!

Selfless Sewing: Baby Boy Rompers

Baby Boy Rompers | Pattern . Paint . PanTwo of my closest friends (who’s wedding I made this dress for) recently welcomed their first child, which of course is the perfect excuse to make more tiny clothes.

Annoyingly I didn’t have access to a printer, so I spent a while drawing out a pattern from a downloaded PDF on my tiny netbook screen. I based my pattern off this baby boy romper by Melly Sews, which is available as a free download (if you sign up to her newsletter or have a Craftsy account) in age 0-3 months, and in her shop in larger sizes. I did make some changes though:

  • Rounded the corners of both front and back straps
  • Eliminated the side seam between the front and back leg pieces to make a single leg piece
  • French seamed the front and back crotch seam
  • Added a doubled over strip for the snap closures instead of turning the edges under
  • Finished the leg hem with binding

The construction is simple enough, not that I read the instructions. I was pretty worried about the sizing because they simultaneously looked too small and too big, but my sister half convinced me they were ok.Baby Boy Rompers | Pattern . Paint . PanThe first fabric is Jungle Animals from the Makower Jungle collection that I bought from the Remnant House in Bude last summer. The shoulders fasten with buttons, and the crotch with snaps.

Baby Boy Rompers | Pattern . Paint . PanThe second fabric is A Musical Affair by Fabric Freedom in the blue colourway, from Mo’s Fabric and Dance in Rugby, my new local fabric store. I wanted something slightly less traditionally baby-ish, and had seen this guitar pattern months ago in Birmingham, but unfortunately could only find the burgundy colourway in Rugby, so ended up with the musical notes instead. I added some coordinating teal for the pocket, initial tag and leg binding. The shoulder straps are also closed with snaps.

I used sew on snaps, which is probably my only regret; I should have been organised enough to get some hammer on ones as I think they look much neater. Plus I kinda wish I’d redone the topstitching on the front pocket. But overall, they’re pretty cute. Though not as cute as their recipient!

Me Made May 2015

MMM15I am officially the crappest blogger ever, but I shall attempt to catch up with my recent makes as part of Me Made May 2015. In 2014, I completed my 15 days of wearing at least 1 handmade item, so despite my sewing being a bit sporadic since my move, my possibly unachievable but definitely belated pledge for this year is:

‘I, Briony of Pattern.Paint.Pan, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear 1 item of handmade or upcycled clothing or accessories each day for the duration of May 2015’.

There will most definitely be repeats and the accessories part is totally my cop out for the days when I want to wear RTW items, but hopefully the challenge will inspire me to wear some items that just sit on my shelves, finally start some of the planned pieces from stash fabric and highlight what I’m missing/wear most/don’t need to keep. Hopefully there’ll be weekly updates, but who knows, maybe it’ll be a mid June whole month summary again.

Christmas 2014: Sewn Gifts

Apologies for the complete lack of posts recently; life, and a dodgy internet connection have gotten in the way, but hopefully I’ll be better at posting now.

I’ve split my handmade Christmas gifts into a few posts (all with equally dodgy photos taken too late at night before my mad wrapping session).
This post involves needles, thread, fabric and lots of buttons.

Heart Cut-Out Girls Dress

Heart Cut Out Dress | Pattern . Paint . PanI told my only niece that I’d make her whatever dress she wanted, and this is the (slightly toned down) result! I self drafted a bodice and added a heart cut out at the back, slightly squared off neckline and flutter cap sleeves with a scalloped skirt hem to make a dress that’s wearable for more than dressing up!

Heart Cut Out Dress | Pattern . Paint . PanThe main fabric is a cotton and the skirt and sleeve lining some kind of poly, both from a visit to Tahim’s Drapers in Coventry (online store here), with a scrap of pink cotton from my stash for the bodice lining and hem, and a navy scrap for the waistband and sleeves. I used pearl-ish flower shaped buttons on the full length button placket at the back.

Berkshire Blazer

Velvet Berkshire Blazer | Pattern . Paint . Pan This is my 4th Berkshire, and it’s definitely my favourite yet! However, it’s been over 6 months since I last sewed this pattern and I had totally forgotten how annoying the pattern is. Seams don’t match and there’s so much ease in the sleeve cap. Anyway, I’ll draft my own pattern next time. This is navy cotton velvet from the same trip to Tahim’s Drapers, with navy and white striped polycotton lining and some ancient store bought navy satin bias binding trim. I decided to use the bias binding as I thought it would make the welt pocket easier as it’s so much thinner than using velvet for the welt flaps, and it worked; I think it’s probably my best welt pocket yet. I added the bias binding to the top of the patch pockets and at the sleeve hem too. Velvet Berkshire Blazer | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Campervan Shirt

Campervan Shirt | Pattern . Paint . PanAnother nephew is campervan-crazy and saw this cotton fabric while we were at the Birmingham Rag markets back in the autumn. I didn’t buy it then, but found it again when I visited Tahim’s Drapers. The pattern is a RTW rub-off I made for the first time last Christmas but that still fits now. I tried to make it easier for myself by not having a proper button placket and didn’t add a back yoke or front pocket as I thought they’d just get lost in the print.

Campervan Shirt | Pattern . Paint . PanThe underside/inside of the collar, collar stand and cuff, and the cuff placket is plain blue from some ancient Ikea fabric, and the button placket on both sides and bias hem is a scrap of cream polycotton. I really thought it’d be way too crazy, but I think it’s actually quite cute, and I’m quite happy with all my pattern matching, despite the headaches it gave me at the time!

Personalised T-Shirt

Personalised T-shirt | Pattern . Paint . PanThis was meant to be a super quick make to use up some iron on letters my sister bought years ago, but due to my serger refusing to serge more than 2 layers of fabric, it turned into one of the most rage-inducing projects ever! I nearly chucked out the whole thing since I was pretty sure my sister had totally forgotten about the existence of the iron ons, but I eventually persevered, mainly because I really liked the personalised back yoke. I used grey jersey scraps and a navy t-shirt in my up-cycle box, so essentially this was a free project!

Christmas Pyjamas

Boys Christmas Pyjamas | Pattern . Paint . PanThese weren’t a Christmas present as my sister bought the brushed cotton stag fabric and asked me to make my nephews new pyjamas for Christmas Eve. My guestimating on how much fabric I needed (£3 per metre from Birmingham Rag Market back in the Autumn) meant I needed to add contrasting panels using some dark grey jersey I’d bought to make myself another Lady Skater variant, but I think they actually look better with the stag pattern broken up a bit. I drafted a cross over neck design into the front yoke, and a matching back yoke. I learnt my lesson and serged all my pieces before sewing them together so my serger couldn’t have a sh*t fit. The sleeve hems are finished with self fabric bias tape, and the leg hems are turned up twice and machine stitched. The trousers in the photo are pre-elastic which is why the waist is so straight. Apparently they are the most comfy PJs ever, so that’s a definite win!

Almost Ava Again (and DIY piping cord)

Ava | Pattern . Paint . PanMy last Ava is probably one  of my most worn Me-Mades despite it’s issues because it’s looser fit makes it so comfy and it also seems less dressy than my various Simplicity 2444s. So I thought it was about time I took a break from S2444 and re-tried Ava. This is some cheapo (£2.18/m) floral polycotton and contrast navy polycotton (£3.06/m) from Trago Mills (just for a change!). I still have over 1/2 a metre (of 2m purchased) of the floral and 1/2 of the 0.5m of the navy left, so the dress was £4.83, plus a £0.04 Malaysian zipper from my stash.

Even though the sizing guide gives finished garment measurements, when I measured the actual pattern pieces, I found there was a massive difference, which would explain why my first dress was so loose. Here’s the sizing chart from the pattern:IMG_6424a

However when I measured the pattern pieces and minused the seam allowances (5/8″ or 1.6cm), the finished garment size for the size 12 was 113cm at the chest and 86cm at the waist. What??Ava | Pattern . Paint . PanSo I decided to go down two sizes and make the 8 this time. I also redrew the seam line between the back upper and lower bodice to be a straight line as I think the original curved line kind of emphasises the curve in my spine.Ava | Pattern . Paint . PanI also decided to try my hand at piping, but as it was all a bit of a whim I had to DIY some piping cord by twisting 4 strands of the yarn I’m using on my jumper (yes, it’s still in progress, 1/2 an arm and the hood to go) then using my widest zig-zag stitch to bind them together. I haven’t used piping before so I can’t comment on how it is in comparison, or how it will wash (cheapo acrylic yarn that’s meant to be machine washable at 40), but I like the effect. From a distance the piping matches up either side of the zipper, but up close the bottom line is out by a few mm’s, but not enough that I could be bothered to redo it.Ava | Pattern . Paint . PanI had to re-sew the centre of the ‘v’ between the two front bodice sections because I stupidly thought I could get away with not stay stitching and just pinning loads. It made a nasty, wonky ‘v’, but once I stay-stitched the ‘v’ on both pieces, they came together well are are pretty even. Ava | Pattern . Paint . PanInstead of doubling over my bias binding the neck and arm holes, I used the bias binding as a sort of reverse facing. All the interior seams are serged because I was being too lazy to french them, and the hem is serged, double turned under and machine stitched. I made covers for the top and bottom of the zip to stop any scratching and look nicer!Ava | Pattern . Paint . PanAs you can see in the top zipper cover photo, I ended up having to increase the SA at the top of the bodice by 1.5cm, tapering into the original seam line about 5cm above the waist, as there was still a lot of gape especially if I raised my arms. And I couldn’t be bothered to trim and re-serge the edges obviously.

Altogether, despite how grumpy I look in the photos, I’m pretty happy with this version; it is a better fit, but then I can’t be  fatty and eat too much, and I’m not 100% convinced about the fabric. I think something other than floral should be next…except I have one last piece of floral in my stash to use up.Ava | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Same Same But Different

Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanI think I’m definitely getting my money’s worth with Simplicity 2444. It’s the perfectionist in me wanting to get it as close to right as I can figure out how to. I really thought I’d nailed the chest bagginess this time, but perhaps changing the neckline brought a bit of it back.Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanAfter my last version, I overlapped my adjusted pattern by 1cm at the neckline and added it to the waist darts, before redrawing the neckline to be lower and wider. Now I think it should be a couple of centimetres lower.Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanI also decided to try an all-in-one facing rather than fully lining the bodice for two reasons; 1) I’ve not done any kind of facing before, and 2) I was getting fed up of having to trace, pin and sew 12 darts for every lined bodice. I interfaced and overlocked the facing before attaching to the bodice. I did sew the original pleat skirt but it just wasn’t looking right, so I ripped it off and just gathered it. I did my second blind hem by hand because I felt like doing some hand sewing (that lasted about 15 minutes max).Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanFor some reason, this is the first time I’ve sewn pockets into any of my dresses, which is wrong because pockets are virtually essential.Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanThe fabric is a polycotton I had on my Ebay watch list but then found at Trago Mills for less (£2.18/m) and as a double bonus, I was only charged for 1m of my 2m (I later found out there was a patch about 2cm from one selvedge edge that was mis-printed for about 5cm, so perhaps that was why, but it was small enough not to effect my cutting out). It’s definitely not great quality fabric, but it’s fine for a £2 summer dress. You can’t get a dubiously produced budget high street dress for that!Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Pattern Hacking 2444

Hacking Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanI debated whether or not to post this dress, but in the interests of being unbiased and sharing my not-as-successful projects too, here it is (plus the unfortunate sight of me without makeup).

I’d been interested in having a go at rotating bodice darts, and seeing as Simplicity 2444 was the closest, well fitting pattern to me at that precise point when motivation struck, that was my base. However, it presented problems due to the original dart positions, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if what I did a) was correct or b) would work. I didn’t take photos of my steps as I went, but this is what I did to produce 2 darts that both point towards the bust point (as opposed to the 2 diagonal darts, neither of which point exactly to my bust point):

  1. Found the bust point by trying on my white & blue S2444 and then marking this point on my pattern copy.
  2. Mark the middle of each of the original darts at the bodice bottom.
  3. Draw a line between this middle point and the bust point. Repeat for 2nd dart.
  4. Measure 2cm down from the bust point to mark the dart apex point.
  5. Draw lines between the dart apex point and the original ends of each dart leg on the bodice bottom. (Think how clever you are and how you’ll never have to buy another pattern ever again).

I then rotated one dart to be a waist dart with a vertical central line and the other to be a bust dart with a horizontal central line.   Hacking Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanBut then, after all that faffing around, I chose to use some gingham fabric that has a bit of stretch to it, so in the end, I can’t really tell exactly how well my alterations have worked. Fool.

I bought this brown and cream gingham fabric from a fabric shop on Ebay and I’m pretty sure they mistyped the price, as when I purchased it, it was £0.99/m with free P&P. To be fair, I did wait a few days to see if they noticed and changed the price, but then saw that other people had bought some so thought I might as well and could just use it as a muslin. It was advertised as a brushed cotton, but I’m not convinced at all. On the plus side, it’s quite thick so no see-through-ness is going on. The stretch did give me a bit of trouble with pattern matching in a few places, but I was also pleasantly surprised as most of it does match up (although some of my top stitching leaves a lot to be desired).Hacking Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanI also drafted a peter pan type collar and a-line, curved hem skirt, both finished with a binding, and a faux placket that I haven’t got around to adding buttons to. As the fabric was so stretchy, I didn’t need to add any fastenings, however when I cut out my pieces, I forgot to minus the centre back seam allowance before I cut it on the fold, which also doesn’t help me see how my alterations fit!Hacking Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanI think in a different fabric, it could be wayyyy better, but in this I kind of feel like a dinner lady or a cleaner. It’s been worn around the house a few times because it is comfy and a decent length, but I’m not convinced it’ll ever be worn in public! However, I have another dart hacked 2444 peplum pattern drafted, but it also involves stripe matching and so far is proving to require too much brain power to cut the fabric. Sometime soon!Hacking Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Scrap-busting Handbag Organiser

Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanMy handbag is a black hole. Forget the billions spent on space exploration and CERN experiments, just come study my bag instead.  I think it’s shape is partly to blame, plus the fact that I feel like I must carry loads of things because one day I might need them. The only reason I can find my wallet is because it’s pretty massive, but trying to find anything smaller is a right mission, and always a million times worse when there’s any kind of urgency (ringing phone, keys in the rain etc). And forget choosing another bag instead, this is my AUD$8 real leather Op-Shop bargain from Albany, WA back in 2009 and I am never parting from it.Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanI did a bit of googling, and even made a pinterest board, but then got distracted. In frustration last summer, I tipped everything out and made a list of what I apparently ‘need’ in my bag but then got distracted. This was repeated again in April, when I also measured everything and made some scale plans…and got distracted. So on Tuesday I finally decided I had to do something about the mess, pulled out all my fabric stash and stared at it for way too long trying to find some inspiration. I decided on using all my green/aqua/blue scraps of various patterns (which make up a high percentage of my total scrap pieces) plus a piece of heavy white upholstery type fabric, some black linen type fabric, cream polycotton, black and white Ikea duvet cover and white winceyette. Score for a totally free project!Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanI was having trouble figuring out which part of my organiser to make out of which fabric and keeping track of how many I needed to cut of each pattern piece, so I drew out each rectangle on some wrapping paper and layered the pieces up as the organiser would be. Then I wrote the fabric type and number of pieces needed on the front and back of each paper piece which made cutting and then assembling much easier. Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanI reinforced the two large sides and the base with some plastic sheets I recycled off a ring bound folder thing. Together with the pretty heavy upholstery fabric I think it gives an OK level of stiffness while still being flexible. I used the winceyette to line the pockets for my kindle and phone, to hopefully give a bit of screen protection, and lined the make-up pocket in black to hopefully hide any marks better. Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanThe sewing was pretty simple. The only trouble I had was right at the end, when I tried to attach the base piece to the sides, as by that point there was up to 15 layers of fabric! I broke 3 needles before giving up and hand stitching the remaining 3 sides to the base (my fingers were not impressed especially as I don’t have a thimble down here!). I then hand stitched the bias binding to the edges as my attempt at machine stitching it was hideous. Also the flaps on one side are rather useless as I didn’t take into account how much longer they’d need to be to fit around the items in the pocket. I changed the direction of the centre pocket to make a closure tab as the weight of my kindle was pulling it out of shape.Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanSo what do I think I need to carry in my bag?Handbag organiser | Pattern . Paint . PanOverall, when my stuff is in the organiser, there’s definitely less space for additional items (before I could cram my netbook in there if I needed) but hopefully the organised-ness of it will outweigh that. I’ll have to see how it works out!Handbag Organiser | Pattern . Paint . Pan

The Tiniest Clothes

Little Geranium Dress & Perfect Diaper Cover | Pattern . Paint . PanI’m one of 5 girls and 2 boys, but that trend seems to have been reversed in the next generation as I so far have 5 nephews and only one niece, who I was 9000 miles away from when she was a baby.

So when one of my closest friends had a baby girl, my plans to make burp cloths from some Makower jungle animals fabric went out the window when I realised I finally could make tiny dresses!Little Geranium Dress | Pattern . Paint . PanI settled on the free Little Geranium dress by Made By Rae and Perfect Diaper Cover by Dana Made It, with some mini blue and white floral cotton from Trago Mills. To be honest, it was a bit of a mission choosing fabric, trying to take into account my taste, my friend’s taste, my friend’s husband’s taste and suitability of colours and patterns for a tiny baby, but at least I’m happy with it!

I followed the directions for the dress despite my normal construction method for a lined bodice being different, and next time I’ll go back to my old way as I just find it easier. My skirt gathering was a little crap as I stupidly didn’t mark half and quarter points to line up with the bodice. I used sew in poppers instead of button holes as apparently they are easier to un/fasten than buttons. Overall, it wasn’t as fast to sew as I thought it would be, but this was down to the fiddliness of sewing something so small when I’m more used to sewing for at least an age 5. It’s a great basic pattern with big potential for variations, and is also available in larger sizes (0-5 and 6-12years) for $10 each size group.

Perfect Diaper Cover | Pattern . Paint . PanThe instructions for the nappy cover are equally easy to follow, but this time I did ignore them for the leg binding. I did try it Dana’s way with folding the fabric in on itself to make a tube for the elastic, but I couldn’t get over how unpretty all the wrinkles were. Instead I made some bias binding, sewed it to the wrong side and folded it all over to the front. I actually prefer the look of this as then the inside only has a row of stitches and no ridge of fabric that could rub the skin. I french seamed the side and crotch seams. I’m not sure how what size little I is now, but her birth weight was about average, so I used the amount of elastic given in the instructions.

I’m really happy with how my gifts turned out, and I’m just hoping they fit for at least a little bit. I don’t know how practical they are really, but every girl should have a pretty dress, even if she’s not yet 3 weeks old! Now to find more baby girls to sew for…

(Apologies for the dodgy photos, these were the trial ones to find which background was best, but I was so excited to get it in the mail that I forgot to take proper photos the next day, duh.)Little Geranium Dress & Perfect Diaper Cover | Pattern . Paint . Pan