Saturday, December 13, 2014

FO: Otium

Once again I was thrilled to get the chance to test for Annemeike from Sofilantjes.  I love so many of her patterns and this one is no exception.  Otium is a sweet wee top with lots of options.  It has the choice of three sleeve lengths and can be made as a plain top, with a large diagonal cross front feature pocket or with a scoop back and bow feature.  This comes in both girl's (12m to 14y) and women's sizes (XS to XXXL) and they can also be bought as a bundle :-)
I made the plain short sleeved tee for Miss M in a size 2 with 4 length.  I'm hoping Miss M will get a lot of wear out of this if summer ever decides to arrive because it really is a sweet wee top.   It has a lovely relaxed fit but with shaping through the body in the larger sizes it doesn't end up looking big and boxy - woohoo.  And with a neckband and hem band it is a super fast sew.  I broke out the twin needle to hem the sleeves and then decided I'd use that to topstitch the neckline too and I'm really pleased with the result.
And here it is on Miss M, she does love it but was just tired and not really in the mood for modelling even with bribery :-)  The fabric is some I got in a massive destash a couple of years ago, it's a cotton jersey and I used cotton lycra for the bands.

I can see this top being a staple here as the fit is fantastic and the sleeve options mean it can be sued throughout the year.  Now I'm just waiting for the Christmas chaos to die down enough for me to make one for me.  Congratulations Annemieke on another fabulous pattern!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Treble Clef Christmas Decoration Tutorial

As we head rapidly towards christmas and the end of the year here in NZ we are also heading towards the end of the school year which means teacher gift time.  This year Mr A has been learning piano from a lovely young lady and I wanted to make a wee something to say thanks and Merry Christmas. As a result I've come up with this paper treble clef christmas decoration.


Materials Required:
Scrapbooking Card
Guillotine or Rotary cutter (or scissors)

1. Cut a 1.5cm strip down the length of a 12"x12" square of scrapbooking card.  In this case I have some I had left over from craft projects last year that is patterned on one side and white on the other.  I used a guillotine for this step but you could easily use a rotary cutter or scissors.
2. As my paper was plain on the back I then wrote a message on the back of the card.

3. Using the template as a guide make small marks down the sides of the strip of card at the distances shown from the top, you don't need to label these as shown in the template but the labels will be referred to later :-)  Be sure to mark the top three positions on the ride hand side of the card and the bottom three on the left hand side as shown.
4. Now make a small cut at each of the marked positions from the marked edge to just past the centre of the card as shown.
5. Fold the card (white or wrong side up) so that the C and D positions match up and slot the two cuts together.
 6. Now fold position B round to slot into the cut at position F.
 7. Next match up position A to position E in the same manner.  At this point you can put a slight curve into the inner end of the card to continue the curve if you want to.
 8. Take the straight end of card and curl it around a pen to give a curved tail.  And you are done!

I used a needle to thread a hanging loop through the top of mine so that it could be used as a tree decoration.

This makes a quick, easy and cheap gift that your children can even make.  I love giving handmade gifts and I think the personalised message adds a nice touch.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you decide to make some decorations of your own :-)

Modern Belle : Lil Luxe Collection Holiday Blog Tour.

I have been dying to try many of the patterns from Lil Luxe Collection for some time now so I jumped at the chance to take part in their Holiday Blog Tour.

First up there are 2 things to note, I received a copy of this pattern in order to write this review but the comments here are entirely my own, secondly while this wasn't my first choice of pattern I am actually thrilled I tried it and in all kinds of love with this dress.
The Modern Belle dress has very sweet simple lines and just enough features to make it extra special but very wearable.  Here in New Zealand we have Christmas in the middle of summer (although noone has told our weather that yet) and most people don't go all out with special christmas themed outfits.  Because I wanted to make a dress that was able to be used throughout summer not just over the holiday period, but still had a holiday feel, I chose some lovely green whimsical fairy fabric and paired it with red/white spots. :-)

So the pattern? This went together really easily from pattern piecing, to cutting and sewing.  I was very impressed with the tutorial which covered everything thoroughly.  I love the detail of the lined bodice and the gathered side panels hang so nicely in this quilting weight cotton.  There are two options for the side panels (one being more full than the other) and I chose the less gathered version simply because I was running short of the spot fabric.  The dress still has a nice wee twirl though and it got approval from the small girl child.

It just so happened that as this photo shoot was needed we were also invited to meet Miss M's daycare class in the city and visit a local christmas shop and window display, so I took the opportunity to get pics at the same time.  It wasn't the best weather but she was a real trooper.
I'm really pleased with how I managed to fussy cut the fairies onto the sleeves :-)
On our adventure we checked out some local sculptures...

 ..and shook hands with one of them.
The kids all loved their visit to the christmas shop,
and then had a picnic lunch in the park.

If you have fallen in love with Modern Belle as much as I have you can purchase it here and until 11 Dec it is available at 30% off with the code "blogtour".  Also don't forget to check out all the other amazing creations in the blog tour and be inspired to sew for the holiday season.

Blog Tour schedule:
Monday, Dec. 1 - Rouche & Division Top

Wednesday, Dec. 3 - Peek A Boo Hoodie

Thursday, Dec. 4 - Alley Cat Romper

Friday, Dec. 5 - Reversible Crop Top & Dress

Monday, Dec. 8 - Modern Belle Dress

Tuesday, Dec. 9 - Socialite Peplum and Dress

Wednesday, Dec. 10 - Two Haute Shorts

Thursday, Dec. 11 - Starlight City Dress

Along with the blog tour there is an amazing giveaway going on for you all to enter:
Here is the Giveaway Info:
$25 from Owl and Drum Sew very Modern (LIKE on Facebook entry, Follow on Instagram entry)

$25 from Bobbie Lou Fabric Factory (Follow on Instagram entry)

$25 from Imagine Gnats (LIKE on Facebook entry, Follow on Instagram entry)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally Jess from Lil Luxe Collection is starting a Monthly pattern of choice giveaway.  Every month she will choose one winner from her Instagram followers.  Followers must tag @jessbluxe with their Lil Luxe Collection pattern creation.  A winner will be chosen every first of the month Starting with January 1, 2015.

So with those formalities out of the way all that remains is for me to say go forth and read, be inspired, shop, sew and have a fabulous holiday season.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

FO: Blue Sky and Rainbows Tallulah

Once again I am lagging behind but I did want to share this gorgeous wee cardy I made for Miss M as a test knit recently.  It's the Tallulah by Sezza Knits and it's a fab wee pattern.
A while ago Miss M asked for a light blue cardy and not long after the tester call came out for this pattern.  After a friend very generously offered to dye some yarn for me (as I couldn't find any I liked) I knew I was going to love the result.
Tallulah is a fabulous wee cropped cardy perfect for over summer dresses.  It is knit in DK weight yarn and can be made with short or long sleeves.  I love the touch of feminine lace on the sleeves and the long fitted ribbed section through the body (in fact mine isn't quite as long as it should be due to knitting while watching tele and not paying attention, oops).  The cardy is knitted top down and in the round with the sleeves worked via the contiguous method to give a set in sleeve rather than a raglan construction.  I've done this a few times now and I love the result.  This pattern covers sizes nb to 10y and I made a straight size 3 for Miss M and it only took 150g (approx 300m) of yarn, so it's also really economical. :-)  I also let her choose the buttons and love how happy the wee rainbow love hearts are.

See it's sweet isn't it?  A perfect wee cardy for any wee girl :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

FO: Seena Tops

This is a long overdue post that I keep forgetting to write, but the pattern is well worth the wait!
I was very lucky to test both the kids and adult version of the Seena Top by Gracious Threads.  This was offered free for a short period as part of a "New to knits" sewing challenge and it is the perfect pattern for those who are new to sewing with knit fabrics or feel intimidated by it.  The pattern piecing is a breeze, the tutorial very clearly lays out each step and explains all techniques to give you a top with a great finish :-)  It is now available to buy in her shop and if you follow the link above you will find the bundle listing of the kids (size 2T-8) and adult (size XXS-XXXL) patterns but they are also available separately.

Cut in just 2 pieces (front and back with sleeves attached) and with bands on the bottom and sleeves the only thing that is slightly tricky for a beginner is the bound neckline (but the pictorial directions even make that super easy)
So here are the versions I have made.  First up a size 3 with 4 length for Miss M.  This fabric drove me a bit mad as it wasn't printed straight but you can't tell once it's made up thankfully.

One thing that really impresses me with this pattern is that it doesn't end up wide under the arm which usually puts me off the dolman style of top.  You can see here where Miss M is being a monkey striking a pose.
Also apparently it works well of being a butterfly!
I also tested the top for myself making the XXS women's size grading out to the XS as the hip.  Again I found the fit great in both the tops I made.
The first one is a cotton jersey with limited stretch.
The second is some kind of poly knit that is very stretchy and slippery, this gives a looser fit due to the amount of stretch but I still like it.
So if you want a fast, easy but stylish top pattern this is it!  I can whip up one of these in about 20 mins start to finish.  Also if you want a cheat for the binding I posted one a wee while back here ;-)

Happy Sewing!