January 2012 archive

The Saffron Romper


You might have read in my last post that I’m considering making myself a romper.  I think it will be ultra sexy in a laid back beach way, or a total mistake and just make my tummy, boobs and bum look bigger than they are.  I also wonder about getting completely undressed every time I have to go to the bathroom…  Not that convenience should ever get in the way of fashion!  Anyway, I decided not to waste nap time today with further pondering and at least make a start with a little girl’s romper.

I bought the Saffron Romper awhile ago, the picture on the PDF file is super cute and I’d heard it was a pretty easy pattern to make.  It was SUPER easy.  Definitely a good one for beginners.  It isn’t perfect, for example she doesn’t give you guidance on finishing your edges and the pattern calls for a 5/8″ seam, which in my opinion is a waste of fabric.  I didn’t attach the frill.  I cut it out, hemmed it, held it up to the front top piece and decided it looked clown-like.  Plus, I might be a little over ruffles.  Well, not completely, but I don’t think they’re needed on a romper.
I made a size two, the shorts fit my petite 18 month old (she was wearing a very trim modern cloth nappy) but the top was too large.  I would say the top is true to size but the shorts need to be scaled up.  She doesn’t tell you how to finish the elastic casing on the waist, her instructions are to trim one seam (which is then caught in the casing) but she leaves the casing piece with a raw edge.  I think that it would eventually fray as you would be tugging at it every time you take the romper on and off.  I over-locked the top of the shorts and the bottom of the top separately and then sewed them together, but you could probably sew your pieces together then over-lock them, then sew your casing.  Confused yet?  It’s easy, just finish you seam :)
Next time I make a romper I will make the shorts bigger and add snaps at the crotch to make nappy changes easier.  I think I will also put the casing on the outside (or an additional casing on the outside) to run a tie through.  I think a nice simple tie would finish it for me.  Or maybe I’m just thinking about a romper for me!
I love the fabric that I used, but it is too pale for my Little Miss so I’m thinking of giving it to a friend for her daughter.

To romp or not?


I’ve spent most of this week pondering what to sew and very little of it sewing.  I thought I would make Little Miss the Saffron Romper as I bought the pattern a while back.  Then I thought, hmm, she has more clothes than me, how about a romper for me?  Surely it will look better on me than her, for a start I don’t wear a nappy…  Am I just getting carried away with the Indian summer?

What do you think?  This is the Doryon from Burda Style.  I also found a great tutorial on drafting your own romper pattern here, a very easy looking tutorial for a romper at The Fabric Worm here and an inspiring version of the Doryon here.

I’m all keen but then I think about my frame in a romper and I’m just not sure…  And then which fabric to use?  I should wait a few more days as my lovely Mother-in-law has posted a few patterns that should be arriving any day now, but they’re all dresses and now I think I might need a romper…  I’ve just started wearing a bikini to the beach again, is a romper taking it one step too far?  I’d love your thoughts (be kind!)…

A pretty dress for my Little Miss


So yesterday didn’t start out so well.  Our planned snorkeling date was nipped in the bud by Mr Husband’s work, so in order to get over that disappointment I decided to use my cutest fabric to make a dress for Little Miss.

What do you think?  It is “The Brooke Dress” by Brynnberlee Designs.  I don’t normally go in for cutesy cupcakes, but like I said, I was having a bad day.

How awesome a job did I do of matching up the pattern on the bodice and the skirt?  AWESOME!

And here’s the back.  I couldn’t find a pair of cute buttons in my stash so I made some fabric covered ones.  I love fabric covered buttons and these tiny ones are just so cute!

The pattern was very easy to follow.  My only criticism would be that she didn’t tell you to finish off the edges when joining the bodice to the skirt.  I just used the over-locker and then top-stitched on the bodice.  You shouldn’t need to be told, but I’d hate a new sewer to not finish the edge and have their creation fray.  I can’t wait for Little Miss to wake up from her nap so she can try it on.  I think she might wear it to playgroup tomorrow.  A girl can party anytime she wants, right?


Post script

I would definitely say this pattern is on the small side.  I made the size 2 for my petite 18 month old.  It fits her perfectly now, usually size 2 billows on her.  It is also short, but I don’t mind short dresses on her as we live in the tropics and we need to keep cool.  I would recommend making a size up and adding length to the skirt.  I will try and post a photo of Little Miss in it soon :)

Post Post Script ;)

So, after having worn her new party dress for an entire day I would say that the sizing is spot on but this dress is short in style.  So I would go with the size you normally do and just add length to the skirt.  I won’t change my mind again, I promise! :)  And here are a few pics of Little Miss in her pretty dress…

This is a size 2 on my petite 18 month old.

Little Miss not in the mood for posing!

Getting to know Delilah, my Bernina 440!


Have I mentioned my Bernina 440 before? ;)  I’ve been trying to give her a bit of a workout, trying different fabrics and stitches.  It is a learning process and I’m enjoying it.  Today I made this strap-on pincushion.  I’ve seen a few machine pincushions before, but they all have elastic, I wanted to be able to remove it in a hurry if Little Miss decides she can’t resist, so I made straps with velcro at the back.

Before you look too closely, yes, there are imperfections.  In fact I nearly ditched it and started again as the small zigzag stitch made the applique a bit messy.  But I decided that this is part of the learning and creative processes and it will do me good to have an imperfection close by.  These are scraps of some of my favourite scraps (you might recognise some of them from my scrappy coasters) and I love how bright and sunny it is.

After I had done the C and the R I remembered reading that you need to thread the bobbin thread through a little hole on the bobbin when doing buttonholes to improve the tension.

I did it and voila! The rest of the zigzag has noticeably better tension.

Notice how messy the C and R are compared to the rest?

Next on my list is a pincushion to sharpen my needles, but I need to gather some supplies first.

So, what have I learnt about Delilah recently?  She didn’t come with an invisible zipper foot.  I was able to insert an invisible zipper using the open toed embroidery foot, but I think it would be much easier with the right foot as I had to feed the zipper under the foot and it was very fiddly.

Bernina 440 open toed embroidery foot

I knew that the Bernina 440 comes with an automatic button foot and had tried it out on scraps.  Beautiful, just beautiful!  Then I tried to do one on a pinafore.  Hmm.  The automatic buttonhole foot has a little scanner thingy that reads the threads/weave of the fabric.

Bernina 440 automatic buttonhole foot

So if you’re fabric ain’t perfectly flat, or if your buttonhole is on an edge it won’t work.  So I had to do manual buttonholes but they were still lovely.  Again, Delilah didn’t come with the manual buttonhole foot but I was able to use the open toed embroidery foot quite easily.

The manual buttonhole after a few wash and wears.
The pretty pinafore on Little Miss

One thing I have come to appreciate VERY quickly is the amount of foot pressure that Delilah has.  FANTASTIC!

Sewing for me!


I’ve recently started a new board on pinterest and am quickly filling it up all with pretty things to make for me!  Hooray!  I made this dress the other day, sorry for the poor photography…

Vogue V8724 in a size 14 but with about 1″
 taken off each side seam

It’s super comfortable, hides my leftover baby fat, is easy to breastfeed in, and heck, I think I’ll make another!  It was such a success that I’m keen to make some more dresses for myself.  It is so hot here at the moment that dresses really are called for.

In my quest to source patterns online (there are a bazillion ones for little girls, but not so many for the ladies) I have found a couple of fantastic online resources.  BurdaStyle.  Right, we’ve all heard of it, but did you know they have some free patterns/projects there.

I’d come across Sew Weekly before, but not their “make this look” articles.  So help me God, I think I’m in heaven!  You like the dress?  They list a commercial pattern that makes a very similar item.  Forget hours of searching through patterns online.  These are what you want now!  Trust me, if you want to sew for yourself, this is the place to go!  There is also a forum for asking questions such as “what is understitching” (I must admit I had to think it through the other day when making a different dress as the instructions were rather confusing).  You need to sign up for a log in with BurdaStyle to download any of the free patterns, took me awhile to figure that out…

I’ve also been trawling through Vogue, Butterick, Simplicity and McCalls.  Yet to buy a pattern from any of them, but I have a few here that I would like to make.  I’m almost finished another dress, but I don’t like it so  it’s been sitting on my “recent projects” chair.  Hmm, I don’t really want it on that chair.  OK, I’ll take a pic and share it, it’s not hemmed yet and I have to take it around the waist (unpick the zip first of course…).  Here tis…  Brown ain’t my colour….

Vogue V8489 (style A) in size 14.  I had to
take it in a lot (3″ or more) at the waist and
a fair amount off them hem.

Sewing in a digital world


Do you like this little Birthday Brooch?  I’ve been planning it in my head for awhile and really did not plan to make it until closer to Little Miss’s birthday in August.  Well, I’ve recently joined a number of online sewing groups and all of a sudden I was making this little party themed item on Saturday night.  The group that gave me the motivation is a 52 challenge group, members are challenged to make one item a week for 2012 with one week a month having a set theme.  Week one was “party” and as I joined on the day that the first challenge closed I had to make something pretty quickly.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

Another sewing group that I’m enjoying being part of is The Sewing Library on Facebook.  They are a really friendly, helpful bunch and a great place to go to get your sewing questions answered.  They are also having challenges this year (but by no means are members required to participate) with the first being zips.  I don’t find zips difficult so I’ve decided to do an invisible zip in a satin dress.  We’ll see how it goes, at this stage it might not fit until I’ve lost a little more baby weight…  Or maybe I’ll be putting a few zips in it!

There are also lots of fantastic sewing blogs, online tutorials, ebooks and all sorts of digital-based sewing resources.  As an avid sewer living on a small island in the Pacific I really appreciate these resources, and possibly secretly fantasize that one day my little blog might become just as successful :)  In the meantime I’ll keep buying patterns from etsy, fabric from fabric.com and drooling over pins in pinterest and the creations of all the wonderful, crafty bloggers out there!

Pinterest is one of my favourite online resources.  I’ll warn you in advance, it is hugely addictive, but gee it is fun!  You can find me here.  It sure beats the messy excel document that I was keeping all of my links in.

I’d love you to share some of your favourite online sewing/crafting/creative space!  Some of my favourite crafty blogs are; Sew Mama Sew, Made, Skip to My Lou, From an Igloo, NoodleHead, Sewing In No Mans Land and Tip Nut.  There are so many more, but these are a few that I find myself going back to again and again.  Kelly from Sewing In No Mans Land really is one of the more talented dressmakers I have seen in blogland.  Just gorgeous!

OK, back to the real world and this mornings play date :)  Happy sewing!

The Big Christmas Sew


So, I apologised a couple of days ago for only posting once in December.  I was so frantic sewing for Christmas, packing for our holiday, catching up with friends and family on holiday, flying home and unpacking that I didn’t get to post any Christmas sewing posts other than my first one here.  I think all of our gifts were handmade except for the annual family calendar and a couple for Mr Husband and the kids.  Not forgetting my lovely new sewing friend, Delilah, that Santa brought me, you can read about her here.

Anyway, I’d like to share some of the gifts that I made with you.  One of my very favourites was a set of scrappy coasters that I made for some wonderful friends.  They accompanied a lovely bottle of wine.

I used up all of my favourite scraps from 2011.  Next time I make them I won’t bind them.  I really loved them before the bias binding was sewn on, I still love them now, but they lost a little something.  In fact, I loved them so much that I made another two sets for my sister-in-law and her partner, and a childhood friend and her partner.  I didn’t have time to be cutting and sewing scraps so I appliqued some really funky fabric onto a soft linen.  The first lot of coasters were reversible and accompanied a set of glasses.

Back (sorry about the poor photography, it was all rather rushed!)

The second batch were not reversible and were just a little something to accompany a bigger gift.  I was just trying out a few different styles :)  I’m not sure which I prefer…

Coasters have become a firm favourite of mine.  You can be as creative as you like, they are quick and simple, and, best of all, I used up supplies that I had sitting around.

My Sewing Space


Well, technically it should be called, the dining room, but hey, needs must!

As you know Santa brought me a new Bernina 440QE for Christmas.  I LOVE her and have tidied up my sewing space as she is just too beautiful to be sitting amongst all the stuff that was strewn around.  I think she has a name now… Delilah!

Anyway, I wanted to share my sewing space with you :)

A big improvement but don’t look too closely!  And here is the sewing corner all tidied up and ready for the room to be used as a dining space :)
Please don’t comment on the hideous lamps.  They come with the house and whilst I would love to banish them to the basement, they actually provide really good light in the evenings.
Mr Husband is ecstatic that this space is now clean and tidy.  Let’s see how long it stays that way…

Guess what Santa brought me??


Sorry for the lull in posts.  We had a bit of a family holiday and I was overrun with last minute Christmas sewing so I didn’t even get time to put up the fantastic post I did on sewn gifts for men.  I’ll save it for Father’s Day :)

Anyway, I’m in the midst of cleaning and rearranging my sewing space (also known as the dining room).  It   has only taken 2 days and I still need to finish tidy up the last random bits as well as neatly fold my gorgeous fabrics.  Once I started I realised that all three bedrooms also needed a major reorganisation, so it has been a whole house tidy up.  I’ve lost my mojo so thought a blogpost was in order ;)  I definitely haven’t lost my sewjo though!  Look what Santa brought me =D

Can you guess what was inside the box?????

And under that?

Isn’t she pretty?  Just gorgeous!  She doesn’t have a name yet.  Any suggestions?  I need to call her something when I’m whispering sweet nothings to her (let’s hope not swearing at her in rage!).

To be honest, she is the reason that I have tidied up the sewing room and the entire house.  She deserves it!  And yes, there will be a few more posts on my delicious Bernina 440QE :)

Here I am setting her up for the first time at the house we were staying at when I bought her.  It is difficult to describe how nervous I was packing her up to fly back to New Caledonia and how relieved I was to see her waiting for me in the baggage collection hall.

Any suggestions for my first project with her?  I’m thinking a cover for Mr Husband’s kindle that I gave him for Christmas.  Bit boring really…  Maybe a pretty dress for me?  Or something for the kiddies?  But first I have to finish tidying up this space so it is just perfect for my new girl!