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.

simple stripes

Another simple long-sleeved tee to add to Clare’s winter wardrobe.

Crafty Mamas May-Belle Tee (with straightened sleeve)

It’s a beautiful quality cotton/lycra knit that Karen gave to me. You have seen it before – Stella has a top in it.  The pattern is the Crafty Mamas May-Belle, but with straight sleeves. That was easily done by laying the gathered lower sleeve pattern piece at the end of the upper sleeve pattern piece to see how much length needed to be added, while keeping the lines of the sleeve slim..

Crafty Mamas May-Belle Tee (with straightened sleeve)

It’s a nice slim fit without being tight, which is great for layering. Construction was the usual overlocker tee method – one shoulder seam, attach neckband, other shoulder seam, attach sleeves, sew up the side and sleeve seam in one pass. I secured the hems and the neckband with a simple zig-zag. Not much more to say about this one really!

Crafty Mamas May-Belle Tee (with straightened sleeve)

Figgy’s Seraphic Raglan

Clare has been growing!  Getting older, getting taller, and growing out of many of last winter’s clothes.  Not the width, but the length of the sleeves and the lengths of the hems.  So I made her a couple of new long-sleeved tees.  The first was the Figgy’s Seraphic Raglan.

Figgy's Seraphic Raglan Tee

This is a straightforward raglan tee with a small chest pocket. The sleeve seams are very nicely shaped, and I always appreciate the ease of sewing sleeves into raglan tops! I simplified the pocket even further from the pattern to make a straightforward patch pocket with a slightly curved bottom, and attached it to the tee with a simple zig zag in a contrasting thread.

Figgy's Seraphic Raglan Tee

I used the same thread and simple zig zag to secure the neck band after attaching it with the overlocker (all construction was done on the overlocker) and used the zig zag on all the hems as well. My machine skipped a few stitches while zig-zagging, which didn’t make me very happy – and it was even a new needle! It might be time for some machine maintenance again. Time to defluff everything and to get out the machine oil!

Figgy's Seraphic Raglan Tee

This is the size 8/9, with no alterations. The white knit was somewhere in stash, and the stripes were a beautiful quality knit remnant from one of Anna‘s projects. A very satisfying make.

Figgy’s Celestial tee

It really doesn’t take long to fall behind with blog posts.  Last weekend away with the school mums, followed by frenetic school related activities, and then  a couple of days of gastro for both the eldest daughter and for me, and all of a sudden days and days have passed by without anything being blogged.  And I do have quite a few projects to show you – all as a result of my knit mania a couple of weeks back.  Honestly, a straight forward knit top really does only take an hour or so to make.  And actually, this Figgy’s Celestial tee that I made for Clare yesterday only took around half an hour to make!

Figgy's Celestial tee

The fabric was purchased from Darn Cheap Fabrics in the afternoon. (And I finally ran into Sarah while I was there – I knew that it would happen eventually!  Hello Sarah – so lovely to finally meet you in real life!) Clare has a “Fluoro Disco Party” to attend later in the week, and this fabric really did hit the mark.

fluro poly/spandex knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s very fluid poly/spandex, but worked quite well in this pattern.  I made the size 8/9 for Clare, which is the largest size that this pattern goes up to.

Figgy's Celestial tee

Sorry that the photos are a fraction blurry – light was fading rapidly when I snapped these photos. This tee is quite basic, but has some nice features. There are three pleats at the centre front, and a high-low hemline.

Figgy's Celestial tee

The sleeves are simply cut on, and there is a narrow neckband attached. I used the overlocker for most of the construction, with the machine to finish hems and top-stitch around the neckband with a simple zig-zag.

Figgy's Celestial tee

And of course, we made a matching headband! Clare is very happy with her new fluoro top and guess what – there is plenty of fabric left. Hmmm, am I too old to wear fluoro?

Figgy's Celestial tee

Stradbroke top

See, you all really like knit dresses too, don’t you?  Thanks for the lovely comments on my Jessica dress.  I think that next time I make it I will cut it shorter, and shorten it a bit through the torso.  My usual short person alterations!  But in the meantime, I really like my wearable muslin.

And guess what – my Lekala-along jacket is finished!  But you’ll have to wait for modelled photos, I’m afraid.  Once I had it all cut out and started sewing it came together quite easily.  Having a dedicated craft room really helps in that regard, because I did a lot of the sewing in fits and starts between doing other things (like working and caring for my family) and I could just put things down and pick them up again.

In the meantime, I have a bit of a backlog of finished projects just waiting for their opportunity to be blogged.  Thank goodness for Ravelry as a repository of information!  It says that I finished crocheting Clare’s Stradbroke top on the 18th of January, after starting it on the 1st of November.

Stradbroke top

This is a cute style by Deanne Ramsey, also known as Addydae Designs.  I have crocheted quite a few of her designs now, and have enjoyed all of them.  She is an Australian designer, so many of her patterns work well with yarns that are readily available here, such as the Bendigo Woollen Mills Spring Cotton that I used here.

Stradbroke top

The top buttons at the front. After making it and Clare trying it on, we decided to stitch the straps on permanently rather than having them adjustable, as they were pulling a bit and looked awkward. We left the buttons in place for a decorative touch. Clare later decided that she also wanted a ribbon threaded through the bodice for extra security. She is possibly likely to wear this layered over another top more than on its own in any case.

Stradbroke top

The straps come from the centre of the back, so don’t have any tendency to slip off shoulders. I crocheted this in the size 6-7 for Clare. The top of the bodice is elasticised, with four rows of shirring elastic threaded through the post stitches on the wrong side, which brings it in to fit around the chest but then allows it to flare through the skirt. This could easily be lengthened into a dress if you fancied.

Stradbroke top

There are a couple more crochet projects in the works at the moment, one for me and one for Clare. Neither are progressing quickly. I have a “school mums” weekend away coming up soon, so will take my crochet along with me then and hopefully get through a bit more hooking. More details on Clare’s top are on Ravelry here.

Stradbroke top

Celestial skirt

One of the patterns that came in the Figgy’s Heavenly bundle was the Celestial Maxi Skirt. Just one pattern piece. Cut two on the fold. Super simple, super quick.

Figgy's Celestial skirt

First comment – there is nothing Maxi about this skirt. It has a dipped hem that is shorter in the centre front and back and longer at the sides, and is really a Midi length. There are lines marked on the pattern piece for shortening or lengthening, so it would be easy to adjust either way and make it into a maxi if you wished, but it isn’t a maxi in it’s current form.

Figgy's Celestial skirt

The fabric is viscose knit from Spotlight, which were scraps left from a Cherish dress that I recently made for my Mum (unblogged). Because I was working with scraps I had to cut the skirt with centre front and centre back seams, and the pattern doesn’t match terrible well either. It’s a scrap skirt. I finished the hem with the rolled hem setting on my overlocker. The waistline is a simple turned over casing with elastic threaded through it and adjusted to fit.

Figgy's Celestial skirt

This is a size 8/9, the largest size offered, but would be simple to alter. I will remake this pattern in a better fabric, but Clare is still happy enough with her wearable muslin. I wonder how it would be for a winter skirt, layered with leggings? Hmmmm.

Figgy's Celestial skirt

There are other patterns in the bundle that will be good basics.  I’m looking forward to making the raglan tee and the pullover – with a winter-weight skirt!

Figgy’s Ethereal dress

Ah time, you keep on running away from me.  At the moment I am continually torn between slower, more complicated sewing (and crochet) projects and those that can be completed relatively quickly.  The Figgy’s Ethereal Dress fits into the relatively quickly category.

Figgy's Ethereal Dress in Spotlight rayon

Figgy’s recently released a group of patterns that are very straightforward to make and fit right into current fashion trends. Fitting into current fashion trends is becoming more important as Clare enters the tween stage, especially because she is so small in size but doesn’t want to be mistaken for (or treated like) a much younger child.  I liked these patterns – as did Clare – because they are similar to those being worn by other tweens and teens but are still in small enough sizes and the appropriate shape to fit her.

Figgy's Ethereal Dress in Spotlight rayon

Actually, the largest size in this pattern collection is size 8/9. So that’s what I made for my petite eleven year old daughter. She chose the knee length, sleeveless version of this dress – it can be shortened to a top or tunic, or made calf-length, and can have sleeves. What makes it special is the flounce on the front, which is an overlay that becomes part of the front neckline and one armhole. I finished the edge of the flounce with the rolled hem setting on my overlocker.

Figgy's Ethereal Dress in Spotlight rayon

The fabric is a printed rayon from Spotlight (current range – they have some Denyse Schmidt County Fair printed rayon that also leaped into my stash) that was quite pleasant to sew and easy to handle. It’s a medium weight rayon, and drapes nicely in this dress. The button is a vintage one from my stash. The bodice of the sleeveless dress is fully lined, so it was straightforward to make in terms of edge finishes. The skirt is not overly gathered; rather it is just enough for some fullness without become too little-girly.

Figgy's Ethereal Dress in Spotlight rayon

But now to the criticism of the Figgy’s Heavenly collection. The patterns are in pdf format. But for the Ethereal dress the pattern pdf is FIFTY-THREE PAGES!!! The first thirty-eight are all instructions, and the actual pattern pieces are on pages thirty-nine to fifty-three. Don’t print the entire pdf – only print the pattern pieces. You really need to just read the instructions on a screen. Although it is nice to provide so much information and loads of accompanying colour photos for new sewists, I really wish that there had been a one or two page precis of the instructions as an alternative for printing. But other than that – it’s a lovely frock, and I’ll be making more for Clare from this collection.  (I say for Clare because Stella doesn’t need ANY new clothes – she has everything her sister has grown out of as well as her own things).

Figgy's Ethereal Dress in Spotlight rayon

Edited to add: I just realised that today is my seventh bloggiversary!  See, time does run away with me.  There have been many changes in the world of blogs over those years.  I think that the rise of Instagram, Twitter, and other social media have been detrimental to the world of sewing blogs, but I still enjoy having this record of “what I have made” and the opportunity to share this part of my life with others who are interested.  Thanks for being there over the last seven years, which has seen 1,597 blog posts and over 12,000 comments!

reversible roller skate

The hot weather continues in Melbourne, although we are currently in the middle of a 48 hour respite period.  Hot weather requires cool clothes.  Viscose/rayon is one of my favourite fabrics for hot weather, and Clare really likes to wear it too.  So I made her a simple Oliver + S roller skate dress, in rayon.

Oliver + S Rollerskate dress size 8 for Clare

The roller skate dress is such a simple pattern, and it can be sewn in around an hour and a half, just in time to wear to church on a Sunday morning. Ask me how I know! It just consists of two dresses, an outer and a lining, an elastic casing around the empire waistline, and a button and loop closure at the back.

Oliver + S Rollerskate dress size 8 for Clare

If memory serves me correctly the floral rayon is an Amy Butler design, that I bought online from the USA. The reverse/lining side is a textured viscose gingham from Rathdowne fabrics. Because the lining is exactly the same as the dress, I chose to keep it the same length and hem the two skirts together to make the dress reversible.

Oliver + S Rollerskate dress size 8 for Clare - reversible!

See? Same dress, inside out! I’ve made a reversible version before for Stella (although Stella has decided that she doesn’t like hers, for some reason. Grrrr.) and Clare was very happy to choose two coordinating fabrics. I sewed this at size 8, and she’s happy with the fit. I think that we’ll see this dress quite a bit for the rest of the hot weather. Although I wonder which side she will favour?

class picnic blouse

The Class Picnic blouse is an Oliver + S pattern that has been in my stash for quite some time.  Now that I have finally used it, I am wondering what took me so long!

Oliver + S Class Picnic blouse

As per the Oliver + S pattern description: the raglan-sleeve pull-on blouse includes gathers at the yokes, elastic at the shoulders, three-quarter-length sleeves, and wide hems.

Oliver + S Class Picnic blouse

The only real difference between the front and back of this blouse is that the back is ever so slightly higher. I sewed a label inside the back yoke to make it easier for Clare to know which way around to wear it. The fabric is Denyse Schmidt Greenfield Hill voile, and it was beautiful to sew. It is super smooth and silky to the touch with a tight weave, much like Liberty tana lawn really, so required a new sharps needle and a freshly cleaned sewing machine (wow, what a difference oiling your machine occasionally makes).

Oliver + S Class Picnic blouse

This is quite a roomy design and I sewed up size 8 for Clare (134 cm tall, aged 11 years). This is a straightforward style to construct. I really do wonder how it is that Liesl Gibson comes up with such lovely and individual designs while keeping them so straightforward to make and with such clear instructions! Definitely a special talent.  I reckon that she could upsize this blouse and add it to her women’s range.  Maybe I should suggest it?

Oliver + S Class Picnic blouse

I’ll be making this pattern again. And maybe the coordinating shorts, that look really sweet on the pattern envelope. In the meantime, I’m wondering how to track down some more of that Greenfield Hill voile. It’s quite a few seasons old now, but I really do love it. And last but not least, thank you for your beautiful (and educational) comments on Clare’s vintage Butterick dress! It seems that this has been a satisfying make for all of us.