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!

Advertisements

A Tale of Simplicity 2444, Part 4

Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanIf you were wondering if I was ever going to sew a pattern as it had been designed, this is the dress. I finally got around to altering the bodice pattern to get rid of the upper chest bagginess, and the skirt is shorter than drafted, but other than that, this is the real Simplicity 2444.Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanPinching out the excess fabric at the neckline of my blue floral 2444 showed me I needed to remove about 4cm, or 2cm from each half of the bodice. I followed the info in this post from Bernie and I to remove the excess as follows on both the front and back:Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanThe fabric is upcycled from a hand-sewn thick cotton sheet I got at a charity shop for £3.50 a few months ago and the lining is once again polycotton from the Remnant House in Bude. Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanI decided to push the boat out and hand stitch an invisible hem (my first) and I’m pretty impressed with how invisible the stitches are. Maybe I should have french seamed things, but the overlocker won out for speed. The OCD part of me is really annoyed that the bodice darts and skirt pleats don’t match up. When I remake the skirt then I’ll alter it so they do, and also see if I can make that centre pleat lie better as this version sticks out a bit on the left.
Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . PanI drafted a simple a-line skirt for the skirt lining, which due to my lack of fabric (seriously, I need to learn to buy more than 1m of lining fabric) is a tiny bit tighter than I’d like, but still wearable. Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . Pan I think my upper bodice adjustment worked well, although I will take out another 2cm (1cm each side) next time as there’s still a little excess fabric. I do love this dress, but it’s just so white, I’m not sure it’ll get as much use as I want it to!Simplicity 2444 | Pattern . Paint . Pan