Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel: A Celestial tee and some Hosh pants


Hi there:) Today I am sharing a little outfit I made Isabella with two great patterns - The Celestial tee by Figgy's and Hosh pants by LouBeeClothing.  These patterns are two of the five that are bundled by Perfect Pattern Parcel.   

The patterns included in PPP #2 are:
Celestial tee by Figgy's Patterns
Hosh pants by LouBeeClothing
Hanami top and dress by Straightgrain
The Caroline party dress by MouseHouseCreations
The September Tunic by Too Sweets Patterns

PPP is a new company that allows the buyer to select what they wish to pay for the bundled five patterns.  A percentage of the sales goes to the designers of the patterns and the rest goes to charity. If you pay more than $24 you will 'unlock' the bonus pattern - the Prefontaine shorts by That Moxie Girl.


I used a cream jersey I had in my stash for the tee.  I changed the neckline a little - made four exposed pin pleats instead of the three inverted ones.  The pants are made from a funky printed stretch cotton drill.  I found it at Lincraft.  It reminds me of little sequins. As you can see from the photo above, it is autumn here in Australia! Our property is looking beautiful with green grass, falling leaves, ripening pomogranates and birds galore!


Both patterns are great, quick and easy.  The hosh pants have no side seams which is cool. I love the general shape and how smart they look.  The tee is feminine and I like the uneven hem...it reminds me of a ballerina t-shirt - one to be worn over a leotard by elegant dancers!


Isabella was happy for me to photograph her on this particular afternoon as long as I capture her and her new talent - finger knitting! 




Make sure you head over to Perfect Pattern Parcel if you would like to pick up this bundle as it expires in a couple of days...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

When we were young: La Gang a Nat

It's time for When we were young again....I hope you love these posts as much as I do!  Today's guest is the lovely Natalie from the French Canadian blog, La Gang a Nat.  Natalie is a lawyer by day and mad sewer by night! She has become addicted to sewing for her three beautiful daughters and loves to share her creations on her blog.


Today she is sharing some great pics and stories from her childhood and a very nostalgic creation for her second daughter, Alix....

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Well hello sewpony readers! I am Natalie from La gang à Nat and I am quite excited to be here today to share with you a tiny bit of my youth.  I am very much smitten with this series created by Suzanne... it's been lovely taking a peek into the childhood of fellow bloggers, and then seeing the wonderful creations inspired by their youth.

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I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Ontario, Canada, who's main industry was a pulp and paper mill. (Don't worry, this post is NOT about pulp and paper mills!). Our little town was, and still is, primarily francophone. I did all of my schooling in French, including high school and university. In fact, even though I grew up in an anglophone province, my English was quite limited until I started university. Today however, I am fluent in both languages and can slip from one to the other with ease, with only a slight trace of a French accent.  I grew up alongside my younger brother Alain, as well as a succession of family pets: a bird, a cat, two dogs, a few hamsters, loads of fish, even a chicken family at some point! We lived in the countryside, on the shores of a lake and spent amazing summers swimming, snorkelling, water skiing, fishing, and playing in the woods. As my parents were both high school teachers, we travelled quite a bit as well during the summers, even crossing the entire country in our camper one year. Winters were spent cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, skating, and as a teenager, snowmobiling on the lake and on forest trails. I have three girls now and even though they are all very different from one another, I see bits of myself in all of them. Maïan is sensitive, intuitive, empathetic... she's also insecure at times when she definitely shouldn't be (as she is quite amazing!). Alix is strong, determined, stubborn even, yet she is incredibly caring and nurturing and nobody makes me laugh the way she does! And little Gaëlle is calm, happy, at peace with life... but step on her toes and she will let you know you are out of line! Pushover she is not.

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Here are some pics of me taken when I was three years old. I'm actually quite fond of the little outfits I'm wearing in all of them and had difficulty picking what I was going to reproduce from one of my girls. That little romper above would make for a great modern pattern don't you think? Oh, it certainly looks like polyester was the fabric of choice back then, haha!  Here I am, celebrating my third birthday... gosh I loved that Fisher Price camper!

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And here I am, ready to head off to my first day of school. 
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This yellow jumper dress is the outfit I decided to recreate for my little 2 year old Gaëlle. Only when it was all done, I realized that it was way too big for her! But lucky me, it fit perfectly on 4 year old Alix! Phew! How did I screw up that sizing so badly?? Oh yeah, my fabric has stre-e-e-e-e-etch!!!! Ooops!  

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The bodice is based loosely on the Perfect Little Party Dress by Heidi and Finn. The attached jumper skirt is self-drafted. The yellow mustard fabric is Ponte de Roma from my local Fabricland, an appropriate fabric to reproduce 70s fashion as it is basically 100% polyester. I totally forgot to note what the floral fabric was but it is definitely in the silk family... perhaps charmeuse?  As a first prototype, I did make quite a few mistakes on this dress (the stitching on the pocket is OH SO BAD!) but regardless, I am still very happy with the overall 70s vibe that it projects... And I love those big handmade fabric buttons! 

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I was hoping to recreate the image of happy 3 year old me sitting in the stairs... but unfortunately, Alix was in no mood to model for me. She was refusing to give me any smile whatsoever. As I mentioned earlier, she is by far the most stubborn of all of my girls, hahaha! So I simply followed her around for a bit and decided not to push things... Not identical but close enough! How do you like that red shag carpet??? 

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I haven't quite decided on how to finish the back yet. I am debating whether the straps should be stitched at the shoulders to keep them from falling down? Or perhaps sew together the straps where they meet in the back? I suppose I would need my little model to try the dress on again to help me decide... hummm hummm....

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Et ben, merci beaucoup Suz! It was lovely being here again on sewpony! I really hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of my childhood in Canada, circa 1975!

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Thank you so much Nat!! This is gorgeous Nat, I love it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Take one dress guest post


I am guest posting today over in the UK at Victoria's blog, As it seams.  Victoria started a fun series a few months ago where she shared a dress that she loved to inspire another blogger to create something, then the second blogger shared her creation a month later and passed on a dress to inspire yet another blogger!!

Head over to Victoria's blog to see this full post and to see what inspired me to make this dress and also the inspiration I will be passing on...


Sunday, April 6, 2014

An unexpected day at the beach


April in Victoria is usually not a beachy month.  Mid autumn, we are usually swapping cotton sheets for flannelette.  But we have had lovely weather lately where I live and last week we had two days well above 30 degrees.  I sometimes have ulterior motives for outings...taking photographs!  I wasn't going to let an opportunity to photograph my girls at the beach in their new bathers in warm weather go to waste!  So here are some happy snaps of our afternoon...

 
 

You  might notice that Juliette's bathers look a little different.  I noticed the stretch lace trim that I originally put on the suit (here) was rubbing on her legs.  I unpicked all of it and replaced the trim with a gathered frill around the legs.  I like it better this way and clothing being uncomfortable is not on.


And here is little Emily...she is not wearing a homemade bikini (hand me down third child), but she was certainly having a ball!



Thankfully, I got a decent photo of both girls (front on) that will be my pattern cover...yay!!!  I have my blog tour sorted and am hoping this pattern will be ready for release on May 5th!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1st....Secret Squirrel

Happy April:) Today is my Grandfather's 91st birthday.  We visited him today with cake and he asked who I was.  He has lost lots of his memory but he is happy:) 

April first is also the next stop for Secret Squirrel!  He has travelled across part of the European continent this month after Annika from Nah - Connection in Germany passed on these five acorns to our next blogger....


Neuschwanstein Castle, Elephant, Spring, Jersey, Astrid Lindgren

An and I have had a sneak peak and the outfit looks fabulous...to see who Secret Squirrel has visited and to perhaps host Secret Squirrel for next month... please click HERE.  Remember to leave a comment to let this blogger know you would like to take on the challenge!!




Sunday, March 30, 2014

A little black dress


Last weekend my girls woke early and after my morning coffee, I started drawing in my sketch book.  By the time my husband was up an hour later, I had drawn up this bodice and sketched out some options for a new dress design.  This is the first dress that has come of the sketches and drafting and I am really happy with how it came out.


It features a cross over v-neck with flat rectangular collar pieces which are caught in the shoulder seams.  I need to fiddle a bit with the bodice line as when it is worn on the body the dress curves upwards a little, whereas I want it to appear straight when worn. These sleeves are three quarter with a small bias cuff which is top stitched in the ditch of the seam.  The skirt is gathered and the dress closes with three buttons at the back - with extra opening down the skirt.  This makes the dress super easy to get on and off - sort of the way you would donn an art smock.  I find I tend not to grab the dresses of the hangers that are not easy to put on and off as I hate trying to squeeze my little girls arms up into armholes through tight waistlines!



Below you can see how the collar does not extend all the way around to the back.  The bodice pieces are lined.  I have already cut out view two of this design in a gorgeous loose weave vintage style blue and white spot with a little bit of black. 

  
As you may have read here and here, I am busy working on a bathing suit pattern, but I think this one is next in the queue.  Other options will include:
- sleeveless
- flutter sleeves (what can I say, they are so pretty!)
- curved pockets with bias trim
- tunic/shirt length option



I sort of love black floral...well a nice one is hard to find, but I have been wanting to sew with one for a while.  I bought this one at good old Spotlight (well, my local store is 3 minutes from my house so I am pretty much there every week for bits and pieces!). 

Do you like this dress?  I look forward to showing you the other two views over the next few weeks...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Swimsuit number 2


I finished view two of my (work in progress - early stages) swimsuit pattern today.  


This one is also a one piece - with no central seams, featuring adjustable crossed back straps and a peplum frill. I was inspired by this pin my friend Mie from Sewing like mad pinned last week.  I was already planning on making the swimsuit without central seams and ruching and with the adjustable straps but the frill just got me excited!! The peplum frill will be an option to add to all one suit views (of which there will be three - ruched centre pane (like this one) l, flat centre panel, no panel - seen here). 



I was also excited to see if I could locate this bird print that I found at my local spotlight a few weeks ago.  I had noticed it on the clearance table but had no project in mind for it.  But since deciding to  work on this pattern, I thought the bird print would look great.  If you love this print as much as I do, keep an eye on my blog and facebook page as I will be giving away a metre along with my pattern when it is ready for release.


The strap construction had me taking my bra off to examine how the loops were configured! Perhaps I will include that tip in my finished pattern!

I will leave you with Isabella and her best blue steel impersonation!!


I hope you like this version!  On to the ruched two piece next - this time for Emily.  I am also very excited to show you a new dress design I came up with over the weekend!!


Monday, March 17, 2014

A swimsuit....a pattern in the works???


If you have been following sewpony for a while, you might have seen a few versions of a dress and tunic pattern that I was working on last year.  I have stagnated on this pattern, and although I would love to finish it, I just need to put it aside for now as I have made several versions already and need a break from it so that I can be excited about it again.  I might look at it again towards the end of the year.  

So, that said, I had a brainwave the other night that the sewing world needs more swimwear sewing patterns for kids.  I have made a few pairs of bathers (Aussie word for 'bathing suit') for my girls and they were a very satisfying sew.  I was sure I had seen a pair on pinterest somewhere that I had pinned of a rouged/gathered centre panel but after searching and searching, I could not find the image that inspired these bathers...perhaps I dreamt it instaed?  Anyway...here is a hopeful pattern in the works.  A one piece and two piece pair of bathers.


My first prototype features:
one piece
halter tie neck
gathered centre front panel
fitted body
low cut leg line
elasticised lace trim
fully lined


Here is a close up of the gathering - I love the effect.  I might make it a bit more gathered for the actual pattern. Do you also notice my tres awesome wallpaper?  Orla Kiely - Linear stem in stone.  I LOVE it.  My sister helped me put it in last weekend. 


I am not sure if the trim should just be around the legs?  Anyway, people can decide where they would like to put it.

The two piece variation would look as though the one piece was chopped in half - it will have an elasticised hem under the chest and high waisted briefs with an elastic casing.  I used rubber elastic around the top and legs but think regular elastic would have been fine.  The rubber elastic is twice the price. I will probably not have the neck ties as long, but I am not sure...


So it might seem a bit strange that I am drafting a bathing suit pattern when we are in autumn here in Australia, but my girls have just started swimming lessons and will be donning their bathers weekly this year, so these babies won't go to waste!

I have a HUGE list of things to sew over the next five weeks but I am really excited to work on this pattern. I would love to release it in May in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer.  I am also working on another dress pattern...but with three kids - two at home, school drop offs, pick ups, swimming, painting the house, playgroup, coffee dates, hanging out with my Mum and other busy things, I need more hours in the day!

I would love to hear what you think of my first version...any suggestions?  Have you sewn bathers before? Would you buy a PDF bathers pattern?  Thanks and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these vintage inspired bathers/swimsuit/bathing suit!!