Ellie

Stella has been sick with a head cold since Thursday (we got the phone call to come and collect her from school after she fell asleep in the classroom….) and we really didn’t think that she would make it to the book week parade this year.  In the end she perked up just enough to go in to school for an hour and join her friends to show off her costume, talk about the book it was from, and share some alliterative poems that she had written.  The kids were all SO excited; it was lovely to share in the fun with them.

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

Stella has enjoyed The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley for a little while now. Our version is a 1986 hardback with beautiful illustrations by Anne Grahame Johnstone. (You might also remember the 1978 film of the book that mixed live action and animation – you can find it here on YouTube if you are interested).  The little girl in the white dress – Ellie – was the character that Stella wanted to be. Originally I hoped that we’d be able to cobble together a costume from existing clothing, and that in combination with the mob cap she would look the part. But then I got mother guilt over all the time that I’d spent on Clare’s costume, so on Thursday morning I decided to make a new dress for Stella too. She was VERY pleased that I did, so I got some mummy points there.

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

On to the pattern details! I used two vintage patterns that were in my stash, Simplicity 8576 and Style 4247. The dress is mostly the Style pattern (the version illustrated in green), but the sleeves are from the Simplicity pattern. I also made the matching pantaloons from the Style pattern, but Stella refused to wear them as they were “wide” and chose to wear leggings instead. Righto. I used size 6 for both the dress and the sleeves.  It’s roomy, but not ridiculously so, and Stella is rather skinny.

Ellie from The Water Babies costume - sleeves from vintage Simplicity 8576 and rest of dress from vintage Style 4247

And the fabric? Would you believe that I didn’t have any crisp white cotton in stash? So I used an old sheet. And the more eagle eyed of you will have already noticed that it is not a consistent shade of white around the dress. Should have bleached it first. That is what you get for using an old sheet. The parts of the dress cut from the edges of the sheet (utilising the selvedges so I wouldn’t have to finish the edges) are a lovely crisp white. The parts cut from the centre? Not so much. Is that too much information for you?

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

I cut the skirt in one piece utilising the sheet hem as the hem, and added the tucks and the lace as per the pattern. Cotton is so easy to work with, and having the skirt already hemmed saved a bit of time. The laces were all in my stash, and were mostly vintage as well.

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

I did take some short cuts. This dress is meant to be fully lined; I left out the lining entirely. Seam allowances were either not finished at all (if cut from the edge of the sheet) or they were pinked or overlocked. And the bias neck band had one edge overlocked so that after it was attached I could just turn it to the inside them top-stitch it in place knowing that there would be plenty of fabric to be caught in the stitching. This is something that I would usually turn under and hand-stitch on the wrong side of the dress. By hey, this is a costume – and one with a deadline!

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

I used an invisible zipper in the centre back seam to close the dress – and hey, check out how well I matched the waist seam across the zipper! I shall blow my own trumpet on that one! But don’t notice that it needs a hook and eye at the top of the neckline. I didn’t add one. Lazy.

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

The sleeves frankenpatterned in very easily. The notches matched perfectly, and then I just gathered the sleeve cap in to fit. I took another short cut with the sleeves though. The puffed upper sleeve is meant to be sewn to a stay, to maximise the amount of puff. I left the stay out, and simply gathered the upper sleeve to the lower sleeve and to the armhole. The upper puffed part of the sleeve is cut on the bias, so using the stay would be a great idea for extra puff and I’ll remember it if I use this pattern again. There is also an elbow dart in the lower sleeve to make it conform more nicely to the body. I have to say that I love vintage patterns for those sorts of details. They’re not hard to do and make things fit so much better. The main dress also includes darts at the back shoulder, with the same pleasing result for better fit.

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

The mob cap was made from a small remnant of embroidered cotton that I had in stash, with pre-gathered broderie anglaise sewn to the edges and pink ribbon for trim. It is double layered with elastic threaded through a casing. I used this tutorial which removed the need for me to think.  Sometimes I like not to have to think (maybe because I am coming down with a cold as well).

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

Cost wise, this dress was essentially “free” as everything came from stash (or the linen cupboard). Time wise, it possibly took around six hours to make, including the cap and pantaloons. I do wish that I’d realised that the sheet wasn’t a consistent colour before I started sewing, but will give the dress a good soak in some bleach and see what difference that makes. Some of the other school mums thought it would be ideal as a first communion/confirmation dress – but as we aren’t Catholic, that isn’t likely to happen!

Stella as Ellie - book week 2014

I’m glad that Stella got to join her classmates for the fun of the book week parade, but as you can see it wasn’t long after we got home that I found her on the couch like this. Poor little mite.

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Eowyn

“I am no man”.

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

You know, I used to be a major Scrooge about things like dress ups and costumes. But things have changed, and in recent years I have actually enjoyed making my daughters their book week character costumes. And I have to say, I think that this year is my absolute FAVOURITE.

Clare as Eowyn from Lord Of The Rings

Clare chose Eowyn as her character months and months ago. Let us confess right up front here that Clare hasn’t actually READ the Lord of the Rings trilogy – but she has read The Hobbit, and there weren’t any female characters in it that she was interested in going as (I did suggest that she didn’t have to go as a female character, but she would have none of that). So Eowyn it was. Clare googled images from the movies, and had a clear picture in her mind about what her costume should be like. She wanted it based on the green dress that Eowyn wore in The Two Towers. Enter Burda 2463 for the dress and vintage Style 1034 for the collared undershirt.

Eowyn costume - vintage Style 1034 heavily modified for undershirt and Burda 2463 for dress

All the fabrics and trims came from Darn Cheap Fabrics, with the fabrics from the $2 per metre table or the remnants bin. The dark green woven appears to be a cotton blend and was very easy to sew, gather and press. The lace overlay is a stretch lace. Originally I was looking for a jacquard, but after cost comparisons decided that the lace worked well over the green anyway. The undershirt is a black chiffon base with gold printed all over it.

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

We mixed up the pattern views a bit, using the double layered skirt from one view with the longer sleeves and plain upper sleeve puff from the other. The lower sleeve was lined with the stretch lace, and the underskirt has a stretch lace overlay. This gave a similar look to the film photos, remembering that we were inspired by the film for the costume but weren’t trying to reproduce it completely faithfully. Lace trim was zig-zagged to the neckline after the bodice was constructed – it is fully lined – but before I inserted the lapped zipper up the back. There was only just enough of the trim to get around both the neckline and the waistline. It was meant to be!

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

Halfway through constructing the dress I realised that I had only cut out one lower sleeve, and was out of the green fabric. So while I was at work, I sent my husband back to Darn Cheap on a mission to buy one more metre. Luckily they still had it in stock! He also went on a sword hunting mission, locating this rather appropriate piece of plastic at a $2 shop.

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

The overskirt at the front was lifted at two points and secured under the lace trim with a zig-zag. Fortunately this also provided a handy place to store her sword. Who’d have thought!

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

The undershirt is a modified version of the vintage Style pattern. I cut it off at hip length, left off the sleeves, sewed up the centre front to the bottom of the collar rather than using a zip, and kept the collar edges with one point instead of being notched. Clare could just slip it on over her head, then use a safety pin to adjust where the collar meets in the centre front once the dress was over the top.

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

Clare centre parted her hair damp last night, and slept with clips keeping each side in place. We spent half an hour or so with the curling iron in the morning, and before long she was looking a lot like the Eowyn we know from the films (if anyone knows Miranda Otto and wants to send her a link to this blog post, please do!). She still had some henna painting on her hand from an Indian themed night at Guides a couple of days earlier, and thought that it added nicely to the overall look.

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

Overall, this costume probably cost us less than $30 in materials, including the pattern, zips and other notions. The dress used loads of fabric, but that’s not a problem when it comes from the $2 per metre table! But in terms of the hours spent making it? Possibly about 8 hours in total, I suspect. It could have been a little less. I didn’t really keep track.  In terms of sizing, the undershirt was size 8 and rather roomy, and the dress was in size 9 which matched up with Clare’s measurements.  It is a great fit.

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

I love that Clare chose such a gutsy character to dress as for book week, and that the entire family enjoyed the dressing up process so much. She’s really finishing off primary school with a bang!

Clare as Eowyn book week 2014

yet another StyleARC Laura dress

It seems that the StyleARC Laura dress may become my go-to pattern when I have small amounts of fabric that need to be used.  I still haven’t got the fit quite perfect, but it’s getting better every time.

StyleARC Laura dress

This recent incarnation is a combination of black/white knit jacquard from the Darn Cheap Fabrics remnant bin, combined with Rathdowne Fabrics orange merino jersey scraps.  And yes, that dress is SHORT!  The length was entirely determined by the size of the remnant.  And as you can see, there wasn’t much of it!

StyleARC Laura dress

There is not a great deal more to report about this pattern.  It is very straightforward but always has pleasing results.  This is size 12, but with the back pieces enlarged considerably by cutting the back piece down the centre and spreading it as much as possible.  This keeps the dress fitting snugly around the shoulders and upper chest while allowance enough room to fit around my girth.  It could still do with a short back adjustment – I forget to do this every time!

StyleARC Laura dress

I did seek some instagram input on the type of neckband to use.  There was the option of plain orange, the black/white print, or the two together.  As you can see I eventually decided to keep things simple.

StyleARC Laura dress

When I asked Clare if this dress was too short, she said that it was fine as long as I wore stockings with it.  So I am following her advice!  I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable in anything any shorter.  It is surprisingly warm to wear due to the merino yoke and sleeves.  This pattern will definitely get another outing.

StyleARC Laura dress

My previous Laura dresses can be found here.

 

winterised Colette Myrtle

I have a confession.  I am not a huge fan of Colette’s women’s patterns.  Not because I don’t think that the styles are gorgeous and the instructions are excellent – because they are both of those things – but because they generally just aren’t MY style.  But it seems that I have to make a massive exception for the patterns designed for knits.  I have made a number of Mabel skirts now, really like my Moneta dress, and now I have to add the Myrtle dress to the list of Colette patterns that I really, really like!

Colette Myrtle dress

As with both the Mabel and Moneta, I wasn’t all that excited by the Myrtle when I first spotted the pattern, but it grew on me. A sleeper pattern, maybe! And there wasn’t much to be lost by giving it a try with some boldly printed knit from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. So I gave it a go. I decided to cut size Large, based on my measurements and on prior experience with Colette patterns. I didn’t make any alterations. This style is designed with positive ease, mainly being brought closer to the body by the elastic around the waistline.

Colette Myrtle dress

Hang on a minute, I did make one alteration – when I cut the back bodice piece I moved it in about 3/4″ at the upper edge, effectively removing an inch and a half from the centre of the back neckline. This was a good move – it sits nicely against my body around the back. I left out the inseam pockets too – I don’t tend to use them in knit dresses, as I find that they just weigh things down. This left just four pattern pieces – front skirt, back skirt (which is meant to be cut as two pieces with a centre back seam, but I forgot to do that and cut it on the fold instead), back bodice and self-lined front bodice.

Colette Myrtle dress

The bodice is very nicely constructed. The back bodice neckline and armholes are turned to the inside and finished with the twin needle, then the shoulder seams and side seams are sewn with the back sandwiched between the front and front self-lining. Then you stitch the front armholes together, turn it all the right way out and voila! The front neckline drapes beautifully with no chance ever to flip out, the armholes are smoothly finished, and you have an extra layer smoothing over any lumps and bumps at the front. And all the bodice seams are completely enclosed inside between the front and front lining. Fantastic! The casing around the waistline for the elastic is also nicely done, with the elastic being fully enclosed. I could have made the elastic a little tighter, and might go back and adjust it. But I might not.

Colette Myrtle dress

This is the longer version of the dress, and the waistline is lower on me than on the model and the pattern illustration. This is possibly a combination of me being short-waisted and the elastic being a little on the loose side, so be aware of that if you want to make this dress. I quite like it in this location, but may petite the bodice a little the next time that I make it. Now, as you know it is winter here, and this is actually a sleeveless summer dress. But with the addition of stockings, boots and a long-sleeved tee underneath, it winterises very well! I actually wore it with another layer over the top. I’m rather impressed at how well this bold, extremely large-scale print fits in with the rest of my wardrobe (and yes, I have more….)

Colette Myrtle dress

Next time that I make this  I might give the size Medium a try.  However, that would require reprinting and retaping the pattern.  Actually, my biggest gripe with the Colette pdf patterns that I have made has been that the pattern pieces could be SO much better arranged for printing.  The page margins are huge, so they take massive numbers of pages, and the larger sizes are grouped alongside the smaller ones on what ends up to be a massive pattern sheet.  It’s hard to work out which pages you do need to print for your size and which you don’t.  I think that I had to discard about half the pages I’d printed!  Pdf patterns don’t just have to be a tiled version of one huge pattern sheet – there are a number of pattern designers who have realised this and arrange pattern pieces so that they fit efficiently on to a smaller number of pages, where you only need to print the pages of the pattern pieces that you need for the size and variation that you want to make.  In my opinion, Colette patterns needs to improve in this area (but they’re not the only ones)!  Okay, rant over.

 

McCalls 6844

McCalls 6844 was released a couple of years ago, and was one of Pattern Review’s Best Patterns of 2013.  When I last checked there were over 70 reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review, so I assume that there are countless versions that have been made!  I was a little slower on the uptake than most.  There are a few variations of the pattern in terms of length, whether to include a peplum, and whether to have a straight or high-low hemline.

I threw caution to the wind and decided on view C, with both a peplum and a high-low hemline.  I was dubious about whether I would like this style on me, but I don’t really want to restrict myself to one silhouette in my wardrobe either.  So, the finished jacket!

2014-08-11 17.21.38

This was actually really easy to make. I petite-ed the pattern, shortening it through the body above the waist. I used size Medium throughout. The fabric is from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and is a fairly thick knit jacquard. It was most definitely NOT on the $2 table.  How do they make these knit jacquards?  I’d love a trip to a factory to find out.

2014-08-11 17.16.28

Despite being designed for a knit, the pattern pieces include 5/8″ seam allowances. This actually worked well for this spongy knit, as I sewed it on the machine then pressed seam allowances open. I did use the overlocker to construct and finish some seams, but mainly this was sewn on the machine. I used my twin needle for hems, including the peplum hem after just turning the edges once to the inside and securing them with Vliesofix tape.

2014-08-10 17.03.32

The collar is the same pattern piece, cut twice. With a fabric of this thickness, turn of cloth became a problem. You can see it in the above photo, along the seamline where the collar pieces are joined. If I made this jacket again (and I might well do that) I would shave quarter of an inch or so off the under collar piece. As a fix for this jacket I topstitched along the collar edge, rolling the seamline to the correct place as I went.

2014-08-11 17.21.44

The shoulders could be a little narrower, and I may yet to some sneaky catch-stitching under the collar where it meets the peplum and down to the bottom hem to keep it sitting nicely. But these photos were taken after a full day at work, and I think that it’s looking pretty good! I received some unsolicited compliments on it from random people at work, which was nice, and it met my essential criteria of being comfortable. I can see why this pattern is so popular!

2014-08-11 17.22.03

I was rather impressed that it coordinated with one of my Mabel skirts so beautifully.  The top is a Renfrew that needs to be retired due to pilling.  Black is such a harsh colour on me, but I will still need to replace this top.  Maybe with a long-sleeved Tessuti Lola – the scoop neck will keep that black away from my face.  What other coloured tops would work under the jacket?

 

 

Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil dress

The Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil dress was the first thing that I made when we returned from Thailand.  It was in my “cut out and ready to sew” box, and I hoped that because of its simplicity it would get the sewjo flowing again.  And it did!
Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil Dress

The Maria Denmark website description is as follows: The Pernille Pencil Dress is a perfect blank canvas for an everyday dress.
Winter-friendly with the long sleeves and the relatively high boat neck – and very comfortable made in a knit fabric such as sweatshirt fabric or ponte knits.
Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil Dress

This dress is all of those things. I made mine in a textured knit from Super Cheap Fabrics in Sydney Road, Brunswick. It’s got a rather high synthetic content, and is an interesting construction with two thin layers of knit joined together in a way that creates the texture. At $3 per metre it was a great option for a hopefully wearable muslin.

Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil Dress

I made size Large, with the C cup option and without the back darts. I don’t need shaping added to my non-existent waist. However, I forgot that Maria Denmark patterns need seam allowances added, so the resulting dress is a little smaller than the size Large but seems to fit me quite well. Construction was very straightforward.  I used the overlocker for most of it, but secured the neckline facing with a twin needle on the machine and hemmed the sleeves and skirt with the twin needle as well. I took a fairly deep hem at the bottom, which adds weight and improves the way it hangs.

Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil Dress

Unfortunately I forgot to stabilise the neckline before sewing the dress, and it stretched out a little in the process. This has made it wider and deeper than the pattern.  I added strap keepers to the shoulder seams on the inside which proved to be effective at keeping it on my shoulders and stopping straps from showing. There’s really not much more to say about this dress – it’s a wonderful basic. I’ll tweak the pattern a little and take more care in cutting and construction the next time that I make it. And this is how I wore it:

Maria Denmark Pernille Pencil Dress

Foxy Simplicity 1787

Clare’s fox dress is Simplicity 1787.  This pattern has been in stash for a little while.  It starts at a girls size 8, and that’s what I made in width.  I used size 10 for length, both for the sleeves and the body of the dress.  Clare thinks that the sleeves could have been a little longer still.

Simplicity 1787 for Clare

I had plenty of black corded piping in stash, so used it to highlight the front princess seams and the yoke. (Yes, it’s a yoke – not a yolk. Sewing spelling pedants unite). Because I was using a stretch fabric I eliminated the centre back zip, and cut the back yoke pieces on the fold without the centre back seam allowance. Clare can get the dress on and off without a zip without much trouble, but if I use the pattern again in a woven I will include the zip. The centre back seam is slightly curved, so retained it rather than cutting on the fold. A little bit of shaping is a nice thing when you are a tween!  The fabric is from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and is the same as Stella’s dress from my last blog post.

Simplicity 1787 for Clare

Now, before someone else notices, let me point out the lack of proper pattern matching. Yes, I managed to get a line of foxes centred nicely down the centre front piece, but I failed to match the lines of foxes nicely elsewhere. It really needed cutting out as a single layer, but because I was trying to conserve fabric so that I’d have enough left for a dress for Stella, I didn’t pay as much attention as I could. It is annoying me a little, but it’s too late now! And go on, only half of you noticed anyway.

Simplicity 1787 for Clare

The outer yoke pieces are interfaced, and the facing pieces are not. I did understitch the facing so that it wouldn’t roll to the outside around the neckline, and it is also secured with a row of stitching hidden under the piping around the yoke curve. I must use piping more often – it adds such a lovely detail. One of the other nice details about this dress is the cuffs. There are three tucks at the bottom of the sleeve that bring it in to form mock cuffs. I sewed these with the sleeve pieces flat, so they were easy to assemble, and because I was using a knit I sewed the sleeves in to the body of the dress flat as well. Construction was shared between the machine and the overlocker, with the twin needle coming to the fore again to topstitch the hems of the sleeves and the skirt once they had been secured with Vliesofix. But Clare’s favourite detail has to be the pockets.

Simplicity 1787 for Clare

See how they sneakily fit into the curved princess seams? This is very much like the Simplicity 2245 Lisette Portfolio dress, and it’s new updated version the Liesl + Co Cappucino dress.  They are surprisingly straightforward to make.  Just follow the instructions!  Actually, that’s possibly the only point where I did pay a great deal of attention to the instructions.  The rest of construction was straightforward and what you’d expect it to be.

Simplicity 1787 for Clare

This is another pattern that I’ll definitely make again, and it might even be before winter is over! An excellent tween style, in my opinion, and in Clare’s.

Foxy Figgy’s Ethereal dress

The Ethereal dress by Figgy’s is recommended for use with soft, delicate fabrics.  Cottons, rayons, voiles, gauze, other similar wovens.  You know, fabrics that are a little bit ethereal!  So I made it in a lightweight ponte-style doubleknit.

Figgys Ethereal Dress for Stella

This is a pattern that I’ve used before, so I was familiar with the shapes of the pattern pieces and was pretty confident that it would work for winter as well. It’s just a straightforward front and back bodice, front flounce overlay, simple straight sleeves and the same A-line pattern piece for the front and back skirt. Oh, let’s not forget the neck facing. Nothing too complicated! I left off the buttoned opening at the centre back, figuring that in a stretch fabric it would pull on over Stella’s head without much trouble. And it does.

Figgys Ethereal Dress for Stella

The fabric came from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and is currently available both in store and online. I just couldn’t resist those foxes any longer! In fact, I bought two metres, which turned out to be enough to make a dress for both of my daughters. It’s wide fabric.

Because the top of the skirt piece isn’t all that wide and I was using a knit, it eased rather than gathered into the bodice. Still rather effective! I used both the sewing machine and the overlocker for construction, depending on what seams needed to be sewn.

Figgys Ethereal Dress for Stella

The edge of the flounce was finished with a simple rolled hem done on the overlocker. The skirt and sleeve hems were twin needled in contrasting red thread after securing them with Vliesofix tape. The facing was understitched to keep it from rolling to the right side, and was also stitched down along the shoulder seams and underneath the front flounce. It still looks to have flipped up a little in the photo above, but I didn’t notice that happening while Stella was wearing it at any other stage today.

Figgys Ethereal Dress for Stella

I sewed size 4/5 in width but size 6/7 length, cutting the skirt off at the knee length option. This was a very straightforward garment to sew, and that flounce combined with the foxes just make it a little more fun than usual! Definitely a success.  I spent some quality time in my sewing room this weekend, also sewing a foxy dress for Clare, doing general tidying up and sorting out, and production line assembly of pairs of pants for me.  And mending – lets not forget the mending!  The sewjo is back – just in time for a very busy period at work.  Oh well!

Figgys Ethereal Dress for Stella

City Girl tunic

I have made plenty of cowl neck tops.  Ergo, I have plenty of cowl neck patterns in my stash. But I still find it hard to resist a new one.  Call the the appeal of the “new and shiny”.  So earlier in the year I sewed up the City Girl top.

City Girl Tunic by See Kate Sew

I used a dark grey marle mid weight viscose knit that may have come from Darn Cheap Fabrics, I can’t actually remember! It was a terrific weight for this top. I’m guessing that I sewed the Medium, although it could have been the Large. Too lazy this morning to trek up the stairs and find where I’ve put the pattern away to check it. I did the 3/4 sleeve version, in the tunic length. There is a lot that I really like about this top except for one thing – have you spotted it already?

City Girl Tunic by See Kate Sew

See those folds just above the bust? This top has a curved yoke with a centre pleat, and I think that there could be an issue with the interaction of the yoke curve, the armhole draft, and getting it all to fit smoothly over the bust. At first I just thought it might have needed a FBA, but that is quite unusual for me in a knit top. Then I looked at photos of City Girl tops that others had made, and almost all of them have exactly the same issue. They disappear if I pull the top down hard:

City Girl Tunic by See Kate Sew

But as soon as I move, those folds appear again. I like the fit elsewhere however. The sleeves are slim, which I prefer in a looser bodied top, and the shoulder seams are pretty much on my shoulders.

City Girl Tunic by See Kate Sew

I constructed this on the overlocker, with the machine used to secure the centre tuck in place and to topstitch the hems. I used bright green for the twin needling for a contrast. No, in reality I used it because it was already threaded up in the machine. But I really do like the contrast! So, would I make this again? Actually I wouldn’t. Those folds above the boobs really annoy me. I do wear the top, as it layers nicely, but the drafting clearly does not work for me (or for lots of other people, judging from the photos).

City Girl Tunic by See Kate Sew

Nessie dress for Stella

Thanks to all who responded to my last blog post – both to those who added to the discussion about fit and flattery and to those who left such flattering comments on my Mabels!  And guess what – in the last two days I have sewn TWO THINGS!  Admittedly, both were cut out weeks months ago, and both were extremely straightforward.  A dress for me, and finally a second pair of school pants for Clare.  They really needed to be sewn, considering that she finishes primary school in December!  In the meantime I can finally share another garment I made ages ago.  Once again my photography of Stella had an ulterior motive – to get photos for the blog, not just to get photos of her having fun drawing chalk pictures with friends!

Nessie top as dress

This is the Nessie Top pattern, lengthened to become a dress. I also added a yoke to the back in order to take advantage of the gorgeous Babushka fabric that Anna had given me. Despite being a knit, the skirt fabric isn’t terribly stretchy.  It does however have a loop pile back, and is nice and snuggly for winter.  The fabric I used for the yokes and sleeves is a cotton/lycra knit from the depths of stash. I bought a LOT of this once upon a time.

Nessie top as dress

Now a confession – I did a terrible job of aligning the yoke seams at the sides. There is about two centimetres misalignment at the side seams. Shoddy. I remember that I was making this in a bit of a hurry and I didn’t actually draft a new back pattern divided into a yoke and lower back – I just held the front yoke pattern piece near the back piece and chopped away accordingly. Learn from my mistakes people!

wet chalk painting

I originally used the tiny remaining scraps from the skirt to bind the neckline, doing a double folded band. It looked really cute – but wouldn’t actually stretch enough to go over Stella’s head. It was rather entertaining while I tried pulling it on and it just wouldn’t budge over her ears, but clearly something else needed to be done. I chopped off the neckband and cut another from the same cotton/lycra knit that the yokes and sleeves were made from, using the 7/8 of the neck measurement rule, joined it into a circle then quarter marked the folded band and the neckline to match them up then seam them together. This worked well.
Nessie top as dress

The length was determined entirely by the amount of fabric that I had available. It still has the gentle high-low hemline of the original top pattern. I think that I sewed this up in size 6, but don’t hold me to that. Construction was all on the overlocker, and hems were all twin-needled. We already had leggings in the drawer from a previous make in the same fabric. What coordination!

Nessie top as dress