togs for Thailand – part 3

So Melbournians, are you feeling even colder each time that I post the bathers I have been making or mention our imminent trip to Thailand?  We are getting VERY excited now – less than a week before we leave!  Part 3 of togs for Thailand are the one-piece swimsuits that I made for Clare and for Stella.

IMG_0863

These are Clare’s. Once again the fabric was from Rathdowne Fabrics. The pattern is the All 4 one Stylish Swimsuit, available on Etsy from Coles Creations. I found the instructions very straightforward. The binding was time consuming, but otherwise these are pretty easy to sew.

IMG_0864

The swimsuit straps can be crossed over and stitched into place, attached straight, or tied in a halter neck. Clare elected to have hers crossed over. She chose the skirted style with a frill along the bodice triangles. We used one fabric throughout because that is what we had!

IMG_0866

The small floral is very pretty. I sewed size 8/9 for Clare, which pretty much corresponded with her measurements, although she will possibly only get one year’s wear from it. Bathers degenerate pretty quickly with chlorine exposure anyway.

IMG_0862

Surprise surprise, Stella chose exactly the same style as her sister, except in a different print (but also from Rathdowne fabrics). However she decided to leave hers to tie as a halter neck.

IMG_0865

And somewhere during the construction process I forgot to line the bodice. Oh well! This fabric was slightly beefier than the one I used for Clare’s bathers. This time I made size 6/7, which appeared to be too big for Stella but in reality seems to fit quite well. Sometimes it’s just worth giving things a go!

IMG_0867

I use the overlocker for some of the construction, but much of it is on the machine with a zig zag stitch. I have started to get a little obsessed with sewing bathers, and have started trawling Etsy for women’s patterns from the 80s and 90s, many of which appeal to me much more than those available today. Speaking of women’s bathers, I still have a “togs for Thailand part 4″ blog post in the works – a Bombshell swimsuit for me!

new togs for Thailand – part 2

I wasn’t the only person in need of new togs for Thailand.  Both of my daughters needed (wanted) some too! This time it was Kwik Sew 3605 to the rescue.

Kwik Sew 3605

These are for Clare. Boy leg bathers bottoms, and a coordinating tankini top. The bottoms were made from scraps, and the top from a small piece of fabric that someone had given me. I had to cut the straps from another swimsuit fabric that was in stash.

Kwik Sew 3605

The pants are super simple. Cut two of one pattern piece, seam the inner legs, then seam the crotch. Add elastic to the leg edges and the waist then you’re done! The pattern has great instructions that include the elastic measurements and how to apply it. I used the overlocker for seaming, but the machine for applying the elastic.

Kwik Sew 3605

The cups are lined, and the upper back and underbust seams are reinforced with elastic. After the success of this pair I decided to make Clare a second pair that she could mix and match with the first.

Kwik Sew 3605 for Clare

This pair uses the same fabric as I used for the straps of the first pair. It’s from Rathdowne Fabrics, and the colours in the stripes really speak to me. Sadly I didn’t pay as much attention to matching the stripes while sewing as I should have, although I did pay attention to it when cutting.

Kwik Sew 3605 for Clare

Oh, those slightly misaligned stripes are going to drive me nuts every time that I look at these bathers! Clare however couldn’t care less. I did a better job on the top.

Kwik Sew 3605 for Clare

Stella didn’t want to be left out either. She has been asking for a pair of bathers with an attached skirt for a while now, and finally got her wish.

Kwik Sew 3605 for Stella

This fabric also came from Rathdowne Fabrics. There are metallic dots in various part of the print, which she loves. The pattern has a separate skirt, but I just basted the top of it to the top of the pants and treated them as one.

Kwik Sew 3605 for Stella

Kwik Sew also tells you where you need to stretch the elastic – around the bottom of the briefs – and where to have it in a one to one ratio – around the front of the legs. That is SO helpful! The first few times I made bathers I overstretched the elastic. Remember that bathers are usually made with negative ease, so the elastic will be stretched on the body anyway. It’s just around those more definite curves where you might need the elastic to pull in just that little bit more. They just aren’t comfortable if the elastic is too tight and digs in!

Kwik Sew 3605 for Stella

The construction of the top for Stella was exactly the same as the construction for the other two pairs of bathers. And guess what….there is a “new togs for Thailand – part 3″ blog post in the works!

Swoon Patterns Scarf Neck Cardigan

Well, it’s Sunday night.  And instead of rushing around the house getting ready for work tomorrow I am browsing the weekend newspapers, checking out instagram, and uploading photos taken over the weekend.  Best holiday of the year tomorrow – the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday!  How lucky are we to get this day off without any obligation.  I love it!

2014-06-08 12.27.24

I’m trying to get pre-Thailand sewing finished at the moment, but yesterday afternoon realised that I had the correct colours in the overlocker to assemble a Swoon Patterns Scarf Neck Cardigan for Clare. I cut this out a few weeks back, so the actual assembly was very fast.

2014-06-08 12.26.43

The fabric is an acrylic sweater knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I have used it before to make a cowl necked tunic for Clare, and was able to cut out this cardigan from the leftovers. I sewed up the size 9/10 for Clare, and used a 6mm seam throughout. It was very straightforward to make. From the pattern description:  An open-front layering cardigan made with lightweight knit, featuring form-fitting princess seams, a draping scarf neck, and an irregular bottom hem. Features full length sleeves. This cardigan is very easy to sew, great for beginners, and takes no time with a serger. Instructions are included to sew this together with neat french seams if you are using a regular sewing machine instead. Sizes include 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 and 9/10. Includes sizing chart.

2014-06-08 12.26.07

Clare discovered that she could get an alternate look from wrapping and tucking the fronts. And did I mention that this pattern is free? And comes in adult sizes as well as children’s sizes?

2014-06-08 12.27.22

Construction was done on the overlocker and hems with a simple zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine. I particularly like the fit obtained from the princess seams.  This cardi is definitely a success. And isn’t Clare looking so much older! I’m almost starting to acknowledge that she is in high school next year….

2014-06-08 12.27.20

Clever Charlotte Olivine

I generally sew each of my daughters a dress for their birthday (and one for Christmas).  They really enjoy having input into the fabric selection and into the pattern that is used.  Last year Stella chose some fabric for the Clever Charlotte Olivine dress.  I cut it out, but never sewed it up, as I was less than enamoured with her fabric choice.  Since then she has hassled me on a regular basis to finish her birthday dress.  Finally I acquiesced and it was finished just in time for her birthday this year!

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

It is a really pretty style. The contrasting pleats in the skirt and the radiating tucks in the bodice are so lovely! However, that fabric. You can see the issues – so incredibly awful to sew and to press in particular. Plus it shows every single crease. She had only had it on for about half an hour when these photos were taken – it looks like she’d been wearing it all day!  It came from deep stash and was originally given to me from someone else’s stash – I have no idea of the composition.

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

Now that I have ranted about the fabric, some discussion of the pattern. It is a beautiful pattern, and everything fits together just as it should. The instructions are comprehensive. The description from the pattern says: Plenty of pleats make the Olivine Dress our fanciest look yet. She’ll look great at holidays, birthdays, even sashaying down the aisle as the scene-stealing flower girl. What fun color combo will you choose to show off the contrasting pleats and pockets on the skirt? The lined Dress has an A-line skirt with a center back zip and full, gathered sleeves.

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

Now, as far as I am concerned those sleeves aren’t gathered, but are eased. The sleeve cap has lovely fullness, but is quite smooth after the sleeves are set in. The centre back zip is an invisible zip. The dress is fully lined, in quilting cotton in this case. That’s what Stella chose!

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

This is a straight size 6, with no alterations. I should have understitched the bodice facing/lining around the neckline, as it is rolling to the outside a little. And I had a hell of a time getting the pleats and tucks to look decent where they met. The fabric completely worked against me, and the shine of it makes it all look a bit dodgy in that part.

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

We really do like the effect of the contrasting fabric in the skirt pleats, and it’s not difficult to do that part. I used the blind hem stitch and foot on the machine for the skirt and sleeve hems of both the dress and the lining. So overall, this wasn’t a quick sew, but it was satisfying. Just don’t use a slippery shiny fabric like this one if you want a happier time during the process!

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

Happy Birthday my gorgeous girl – the years are flying past almost a little too quickly! And finally you have your birthday dress.

Lucy La La skirt

Anna recently alerted me to the presence of the free Lucy La La skirt pattern by The Surly Seamstress.  As luck would have it, the measurements looked as though they would fit Stella, so I popped the pattern into my Sewjourn packing.  Luckily for me Rachel was giving away a few remnants that included some lovely denim with small pink spots.  The perfect fabric to make a new skirt for Stella!

Lucy La La skirt

This is a very straightforward pattern, which made is fast to sew yet surprisingly effective. I decided not to topstitch the seams,due to sheer laziness, but the next time that I make it I will definitely either topstitch them or pipe them. The flounce flips out beautifully to allow for movement and the elasticised waist makes it easy to put on and to wear.

Lucy La La skirt

As the skirt flounce is quite flared, I decided to blatantly copy Anna and finish the hem with some pretty printed bias binding that has been sitting in my stash for some time. I also finished all the raw edges by overlocking with contrasting pink thread. A little bit of fun!

Lucy La La skirt

This is a nice basic pattern with that extra little bit of style. It’s only in the one size, around Australian size 6, but I highly recommend it if you have a little one who is around those measurements.

Lucy La La skirt

Go To Patterns Belinda

Although I had primarily planned on selfish sewing when I was away at Sewjourn a couple of weeks ago (yes!  It’s already two weeks ago – time does fly and all those cliches) there was no way that I could envisage coming home without one thing for each of the girls.  So I sewed Clare a dress and coordinating leggings.

Go To Patterns Belinda dress and matching leggings

The dress is the Belinda dress from Go To Patterns, and the leggings are the Go To Leggings.  The stripe was from GJs, and the print from Anna‘s stash.  The pattern description from the website is as follows: A girls’ dress sewing pattern designed with comfort in mind! This adorable dress has a fitted knit bodice, puff sleeves, a gathered skirt, banded hemline and a fun kangaroo pocket.

Go To Patterns Belinda dress and matching leggings

This was quite a straightforward sew, although gathering always takes a little bit of time and there were gathers at the sleeve head, at the waist seam and at the hem band. I used my usual method of sewing two parallel rows of stitching with a long stitch length, and drawing up the gathers to fit. The majority of the construction was on the overlocker.  There is a little bit of topstitching on the neck and pocket bands, but that is all.

Go To Patterns Belinda dress and matching leggings

Clare enjoyed working out what fabric she wanted where, and the end placement of stripe versus print has worked out quite nicely balanced. Both fabrics were of a lovely quality with similar amounts of heft and stretch. This was a pleasure to sew. And check out the front pocket – it goes right through, as well as down to the hem!

Go To Patterns Belinda dress and matching leggings

I sewed the size 8 for Clare, which the pattern says is for a 26″ chest (she measures 25″). Clare is 136cm tall, and the fit of the size 8 is good. The leggings are cut at size 7/8 width, with 9/10 length. The construction is fairly standard for garments of this type. And yes, I did match the stripes where needed!

Go To Patterns Belinda dress and matching leggings

Cosy, warm and comfortable. A definite hit for a winter dress!

Nessie top for Stella

Anna has churned out a plethora of Nessie tops recently.  A great simple t-shirt style, but with the added interest of a curved front yoke seam and a gentle flare. And what am I if not a follower?

Nessie Top

Stella was in full “modelling” mode when I took these snaps – I have a myriad of rather hilarious shots! Her Nessie top is made from Spotlight printed sweatshirt fabric of the same type as Clare’s Perri Pullover – smooth and printed on one side, thick and fleecy on the other. Perfect for winter! I paired it with some cream loop-backed knit that I had in stash. It’s more white than the cream part of the printed sweatshirting so doesn’t match exactly, but I figure that it “tones” (and beggars can’t be choosers. Have you tried matching whites or creams lately? Aaarrrrggghhhh).

Nessie Top

The hem curves up a little at the sides, so down in the centre front and centre back.

Nessie Top and Go To Leggings

After measuring Stella – who has also grown considerably over the last year – I decided to make this in a size 6 throughout to allow for the relative firmness and thickness of the sweatshirt fabric. She measured about a size 3 in width, and in retrospect I should have probably made this in a size 5 length with size 4 width. But at the rate she is growing it won’t be long before it fits a little better.

Nessie Top

Aren’t those deer and rabbits sweet! I stitched a contrasting pink ribbon and braid trim from stash along the top of the curved yoke seam before sewing the side seams, and used pink thread in the twin needle to topstitch the hems and around the neckband.

Nessie Top and Go To Leggings

While I’m at it, I’ll give a call out about the Go To Leggings pattern. It’s such a great basic one piece legging pattern. I made the striped leggings in size 4 width with size 6 length for Stella, and they are pretty much perfect. They were actually made to coordinate with the bands on the Perri Pullover that I made for Stella but haven’t blogged yet.

Go To Leggings

The leggings are in a lovely pink/grey marle viscose/spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics. Stella loves the feel of this fabric on her legs, and Clare has requested something (anything!) made from the same fabric. My girls know their fibres! I might have to go back and get more of this stripe. And no, it wasn’t on the discount table.

Nessie Top and Go To Leggings

I’m really on a roll with knit sewing at the moment. I have a Sewjourn trip coming up in just a couple of weeks time, and have been cutting out loads of knit garments for winter.  Oh, the instant gratification!  It all makes for plenty of blog fodder – I just need to remember to get the photos taken and blog posts written.

Nessie Top and Go To Leggings

Perri Pullover for Clare

Often it’s the simple sews that are the most effective.  The Perri Pullover from the Cali Faye Collection seems to be popping up on a few blogs.  It is a very simple sew, but has quite a lot of impact!

Perri Pullover

I have read conflicting things about the sizing for this top. The description says The Perri Pullover is the embodiment of comfort and style. With a slight fishtail base, and its loungy aesthetic, the Perri Pullover will pair fabulously with leggings for a look that will never go out of fashion. But what your child will love more than how adorable they look is the pockets! The photo on the pattern page definitely indicates a large, slouchy style. With that in mind, I measured Clare, (yes! She has grown two inches since this time last year!) compared her measurements to those listed in the pattern, and cut a straight size 8.  The finished pullover looks to fit her just as per the description.

Perri Pullover

At first Clare was pretty unsure about the width of the neckline and the tendency for it to slip off her shoulders. A bit too Flashdance, maybe! But then she changed the top she had underneath to a racerback tank and suddenly her opinion changed too. Now she loves it!

Perri Pullover

The fabric is gorgeous printed sweatshirt knit from Spotlight – smooth and printed on one side, and quite thick and fleecy on the other. This means that it could easily get a bit bulky, so I used a medium weight navy ponte for the contrasting bands and for the pockets. According to the instructions the neckband should be folded in half again to be about one inch wide then stitched down to cover the seam – as you can see, I didn’t do that and thought it to be an unusual instruction. The bulk of the neckband would be four layers thick! Also, the width as I left it matched the other bands. I notice from the photos of other Perri Pullovers on the internet that most people appear to have done exactly the same as I have and have left the neckband wider.

Perri Pullover

This would also be nice made in a soft, slouchy fabric such as a brushed jersey, where it would drape more closely to the body. As it is, Clare thinks it is an excellent addition to her winter wardrobe. And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve made one for Stella as well. And have one cut out in the Adult version of the pattern for myself! Matchy matchy…..

Chelsea “capelet” for Clare

When the book Crocheting Clothes Kids Love was published I snapped up a copy quite quickly.  There is much in the book that appeals to me, and luckily there is much that appeals to both of my kids!  They spent quite a lot of time looking through it selecting projects for me to work on.  I started off with the Chelsea Capelet, for Clare.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I’m not sure why the publishers called this a capelet – as far as I am concerned, it is a vest. Front joined to back, with armholes. Either way, I love it on Clare!

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

As written, this vest is cropped, and flared a little at the bottom. Clare wanted it longer, so after working the flared rows, I added quite a few inches until it was the length that she wanted. It is worked from the bottom up in two pieces, front and back, then they are seamed together before working the collar and edgings. I measured the length from the underarm, and it has worked well.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I checked Clare’s measurements and ended up crocheting the size 8 for her. The yarn was from stash, and you may have noticed that the body of the vest is a slightly paler cream than the trims. That’s what happens when you stash bust! I had just enough of the Cleckheaton Country 8 ply for the body of the vest, then switched to the Country Yarn Collection Pure Wool 8 ply crepe for the cowl and edgings. And for the decorative flowers on the front!

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

The combination of yarns has worked out fine, and it has removed them both from stash. Around 200 grams of yarn can be an awkward number – enough for a scarf, but not usually for a garment. Combining the two lots of cream yarn gave me enough for the vest.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I really like the cowl neckline. It was worked after the front and back were joined, and is essentially lots of chains with single crochet stitches to give structure. It gradually grows in size, which is why it rolls over itself so nicely.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I’ll definitely be crocheting more from this book. Actually, I might even check out what else is in my stash right now! More details and photos on Ravelry  here.  And a Flickr set of all the photos I took of the vest here.

Figgy’s Celestial Pullover

One of the reasons why Clare wanted a simple, fitted long-sleeved tee was so that she’d have something to wear under her new jumper – the Figgy’s Celestial Pullover.

Figgy's Celestial Pullover

Clare chose the acrylic jumper knit when we were in at Darn Cheap Fabrics a week or two ago. The original plan was for her to sew it herself, after having a lesson on using the overlocker. In the end she chose to make yet more bracelets from rainbow loom bands, while I sewed it for her.

Figgy's Celestial Pullover

Like the other pieces I’ve sewn from the Figgy’s Heavenly Bundled Collection it was very fast to cut and construct. One pattern piece for the front, one for the back, one for the collar. Oh, there is also a pattern piece for side seam pockets, but Clare didn’t particularly want those, which made it even more speedy to sew.  I’ve now sewn five of the seven patterns included in the Collection, so it’s been well worth purchasing.

Figgy's Celestial Pullover

Clare’s jumper is size 8/9, the largest size, with no alterations. Construction was all on the overlocker, with hems finished with a simple zig-zag on the machine. I like the longer back hem length, as does Clare.

Figgy's Celestial Pullover

I hope that this has kept her cosy during her week away on camp – she’ll be home in a couple of hours and I’m so looking forward to seeing her and hearing all about it! I collected Stella from her Grandparents’ house this morning, and it is wonderful to have her home too. Although my husband and I have had an enjoyable time eating out for dinner while the girls have been away (Lebanese one night, Thai the next, Moroccan the day after) the house has been terribly quiet without them. It’s been great to have them so well looked after while we worked the first week of school holidays, but it will be even better for me to have next week off to spend some time with my girls.