an accidental perfect fit

September 11th, 2014

Following on from my last post, there was such a great response to sharing the in-progress-not-quite-right side of designing, that i thought you might enjoy seeing another design that didn’t turn out as planned on first go. I drafted these pants for Buddy, and when i tried them on him i found that i had included too much ease. They were just too baggy in every way. I was upset because i didn’t want to adjust the pattern, i was tired, and had used up all my freetime for a few days on them. BOO> But then Bunny declared she loved them, tried them on, and low and behold they are perfect for her. The fit is exactly what i had wanted for Buddy. Cue angels singing, and happy smiles all over.

Which of course leaves me in a really nice situation, i know where to go from here. Now i know the size I drafted is actually perfect for her measurements, and i can grade down to get Buddy’s size. Easy as pie. It doesn’t normally work out this well, so i kind of happy danced afterwards!

So for now, until i find some time to grade the pattern down for Buddy, i know someone will be enjoying these lovely pants! I might even make Bunny another pair with heart knee patches, as the last heart patch pants i made for her were so well loved (read: worn to death).

first drafts

August 30th, 2014

One of the big mistakes i see home sewers make is beating themselves up for a garment not turning out “perfectly” the first time they make it. If you have that attitude when it comes to sewing, you will be constantly disappointed, and will imagine that everyone else is better than you. That is not the case. The best attitude you can have with sewing is considering each “failure” as a draft along the way to your final garment.

You’ll see people call these muslins or test runs or toiles. It’s all the same thing. A practice run. You try something, and it wasn’t right the first time, so you learn from it and make a new one.

So today i have an example for you! This is a nursing tunic that i dreamed up with i was pregnant with baby bird. Here is the sketch, ahhhh so cute yes?

The idea was to have slits up the side of the tunic for easy feeding, and also for the front piece to act as a bit of a nursing cover. I planned to wear it over leggings & jeans with one of my many nursing tanks underneath (love those things to death). I was envisioning comfy but cute postpartum wear for that period after baby is born and you feel like a gross blob.

So this was the first draft. It seemed pretty good when i made it, so as per usual i put it through my wearability test. I’ve worn it for almost 3 months like this, and have found that this first draft needs some tweaking. It looks very cute and perfect when you stand still (See above), but if you move a little too vigorously or dare to pick up your cute baby. DRAMA. The front and back pieces get caught (sometimes separately often at the same time) rather unattractively exposing your entire behind and/or midsection. And the seam of your tank top which you tucked into your leggings (it was comfy okay?) making it look like you have VPL when you don’t. Ummm no, not a good look. See the below exhibits:

Obviously changes will need to be made. I am very happy with the length, so i’ll keep that, but for my next draft i will either add another layer underneath to bridge the side gaps, or i’ll cross over the front and back pieces under the arms. Perhaps i’ll do both. We’ll see.

So as you can see, this one little design will be going through a lot of changes before i’m happy with it. I will probably make this top around 5 times to perfect it for my personal use. If i decide to release it as a pattern, there will be more drafts as each size and variation would need to be tested.

So if you take out a pattern for the first time, or draft a little piece of awesome to sew up for yourself, and it doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped the first time, take heart! It will never be perfect the first time! The Briar and Virginia both took years of development before i was completely happy with them. Consider this a first draft, make your notes, implement your changes, it WILL be better next time. That is what sewing is all about. It is a craft because it must be worked at it, it is not magic my darlings.

Frozen Elsa costume

August 28th, 2014

SO i made Bunny an Elsa costume… and then i photoshopped her into a frozen poster (poorly). yeah that happened. hehehe.

Much like every little girl who has ever seen Frozen, Bunny became obsessed with Elsa. She would watch it on loop every day if i let her. She was singing Frozen constantly, and her pretend play Elsa games were lasting like a whole day. So i knew it was time to make her a costume.

Since baby bird was still teeeensy tiny at this point, i tried to make it as simple as possible. The main body of the dress is some cheapy satin, which is shirred with elastic thread. I should have shirred all the way down to her waistline if i was being really true to the story, but i was tired, and i think empire waists are cuter. The cape is just a blue netting/tulle thing with spots all over, and i attached it to the top of the dress before adding the sparkly arms. It’s joined to one line of shirring to gather it up. The sparkly arms are made from a white and silver sparkly spandex, and i literally just used the top part of a stock standard tshirt pattern i have. I didn’t even hem the neckline or sleeves. naughty meg.

So that’s it! It was super quick and Bunny was over the moon. Cue epic “Let it Go” concerts in the backyard all winter (without shoes of course… this is Australia after all!). The only adjustment i had to make was adding the slit in the side seam, as after i gave it to her i was informed that unless you have a slit you are nothing. I had no idea the slit was so important to Elsa’s aesthetic! It’s so adorable the stuff kids notice.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, and Bunny uses it constantly. Even better a few weeks later one of her friends had a Disney princess themed birthday party and Bunny was able to wear her costume out of the house, which i think basically made her whole year hehehe. And here’s a photo of the dress on its own on instagram.

And after all that, i got a little crazy with photoshop and plonked her on a Frozen poster hehehe. I’m a good amount of crazy. But i must admit, it took ages and i got tired, so the rest of the photos after the jump are unedited in our backyard. Sorry hehe. Gosh i love how much she enjoys her costumes!



rope bowls and baskets

August 23rd, 2014

This was such a satisfying project, i’m now more than a little obsessed with making these. A while ago i saw this tutorial on A Pair and a Spare and knew it would be a perfect project to create pretty storage in baby birds room. I kept things simple leaving the rope natural and using a rosey pink thread for the stitching. I experimented with using a thick rope and a thin one, and i definitely like how the bowls/baskets made with the thicker rope look much more. Plus they were quicker to make (ha! i love quick!).

If you’re looking for a quick and pretty DIY storage solution, i would definitely recommend checking out the tutorial here.

Bunny’s Perri Pullover

August 16th, 2014

I can’t remember exactly where i first heard about the Perri Pullover, but it’s been on my sewing to do list for Bunny for ages. It’s a oversized tunic style sweater, and its about the cutest thing ever with leggings. I had a really specific idea in my head of what i wanted to do (not unusual) so i had all materials and the idea set aside for my “ready” moment. So after our little sunshine arrived, I started working away at it slowly. Cut out the fabric one day. Add the Rabbit another. Sew a seam here. Sew a seam there. It was a really unusually slow pace for me, but it was nice and manageable. Usually i sit down and do everything all in one go, but i think i’m going to have to learn to do things more in stages from now one. That’s ok :)

The Rabbit was a really easy addition, and i think it really makes the look. I literally just printed an image on iron on transfer paper and ironed it on. Voila! The fabric is this really drapey soft sweatshirt jersey – i’m so addicted to this fabric that i bought it in bulk and in 4 colours. I know. I have a problem. Don’t judge.

I really wanted to share a photo of Bunny wearing it, but it’s in such constant rotation in her wardrobe, that it’s been near impossible to find a time that it isn’t in the laundry hamper, or currently on her body and covered in the remains of a chocolate sundae. When i do finally get that magical moment where it’s clean and i have my camera ready, i think i’ll do an update post. Because hey, i really love this jumper!

It was really nice working with someone elses pattern for a change. It was just so much less work to start with a pattern, than work from scratch as i usually do – i think it made the project more enjoyable and certainly shorter. I think next time i make this pattern i will use a more stable/structured knit fabric, as this fabric is so drapey that it almost looks too oversized. I’m pretty sure it’s because of the fabric, not the sizing. If there is one thing i know for sure, using a fabric different that what is recommended will always get different results.

So i guess that’s it! A Bunny for my Bunny! It’s nice to be sewing again :)

zip front Eucalypt dress

August 12th, 2014

So excited to show you my latest make! I’ve been looking at all my Eucalypt dresses longingly for weeks… but my life is all about baby feeding friendly attire these days, so something had to be done! I have tonnes of button front dresses (i’m pretty sure i have the worlds largest array of Darling Ranges dresses), so wanted to try something a little different. Enter the zipper.

I used my Eucalypt pattern, and a metallic open end zipper and i couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out. Magically i somehow managed to guess the exact length of zip i’d need. I know. It made my day.

A lot of people have asked me about this fabric. It’s a digitally printed japanese linen – and i bought a tonne of it plus some other fabrics to list in the store – so once i get my butt in gear and list them i’ll let you know :) i’m so slow paced these days. If you’d like to make your own zipper front Eucalypt – i used the seam front version of the pattern and left the zipper exposed. Easy peasy.

In other news, my trusty little Buddy helped me with my photos again today – and i think we’re becoming quite the team hehehe. That kid loves the remote, there are ridiculous number of photos. And possibly too many of us giggling uncontrollably. But they won’t be posted, as they were not flattering by any means hehe.

[Make this Look]
Dress: Megan Nielsen Eucalypt dress with zipper front // Get the pattern here
Shoes: Dolce Vita
Jacket: Country Road
Cute boy: not sold in stores