Sunday, 24 July 2011

Printed jersey top

I have had this printed jersey fabric for a while now... Didn't have anything in mind when I first bought it but I just knew I can do alot with it... As soon as I saw this top in Burda Magazine 5/2011 style 107 I knew  it would turn out great with this fabric! I love the gathered front in this pattern... The pattern also has a twist in the straps... My first photo is with strait straps and the second one has twisted straps... I haven't decided which one to go for yet but I quit like the straight straps:

I have mostly used an overlocker to sew the pieces together... I had to use some iron on vilene bias tape for the neckline and the armhole edges to make sure it will keep the shape and not get stretched out of place... I decided to cut my own on bias, it just work out much cheaper...

Here is the top in Burda magazine in plain and printed fabrics:

Would love to know what you think! Leave me a comment!!!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Dresses! Dresses! Dresses!

I had this burda pattern for a while now but I have been looking for the right time and the right fabric to make it... I was in the mood for it a few weeks ago and i started cutting! Its a Burda magazine issue 5/08 pattern 114. The dress is made of so many layers of fine chiffon... They have used a printed layer first, then backed it with plain chiffon, and added the lining and interfacing (were needed). The top part is gathered across and the skirt is very flawy...

I had a lot of plain pink chiffon lying around so I made the dress in plain chiffon only...  I bought matching pink lining to back the chiffon pieces and added some satin for lining the bodice of the dress. The original pattern used ordinary lining, but I decided to go with some lovely pink satin.

Lots and lots and lots of cutting first!

Then I had to baste around a few pieces and treat them as one... just to dive more body to the chiffon and to help it hold the gathers a bit better...

Lots of gathering and hand stitching!!! Lots and lots of it! Every part of the top is made 4 layers of fabric, one gathered chiffon layer, one flat chiffon layer, one lining and one iron on interfacing.... after sewing the top completely will also need to finish it off with a satin layer! Upeeeeeee!
This is the top front part all gathered up!

Back top bodice all gathered:

Since my top chiffon layer was plain, I decided to add some beads to follow the gathered front... Yep! more hand stitching!

Back view with an invisible zipper:

Overall I am very pleased with the result! There was lots of cutting and hand stitching involved in this dress so it did take a long time to finish (with 2 kids running around, things only got slower) but its done now and I can tick that pattern off my list!

I had done another pattern from Burda with lots of gathers years ago, and that really encouraged me to go for the new pink dress... It is worth posting here, Burda 7919 in plain and embroidered taffeta:

The pattern is made of two separate pieces, the top part is gathered and do need a bit of hand stitching to hold in place but it was way less than my recent pink dress, partly because taffeta is much much easier to work with than the crinkled chiffon... 

The other great thing about this dress is that since its made out of two pieces it can be used as a top only on a pair of pants in less formal occasions.... I absolutely love this dress and highly recommend it!!!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Superman cape

I was in the middle of so many unfinished projects, I hardly had time to even think about what will be next! But you know what? sometimes you don't really know whats ahead of you until you see a need for it! Somehow my daughter has been introduced to this superman idea! So you can imagine how she would use her imagination and pretend powers to turn anything to a superman cape! Table runners, my scarves, her brother's blankets, dad's shirts,... They all had a turn!

So, here I was making two superman capes for my two superkids! (Forget about my other lying around projects, this one was urgent! LOL!)

Here is the way I cut the fabric to get a large flawy circle:

First fold the fabric, then measure 18cm from the pointy edge and mark to form a nice curve. We will be cutting on this line to form the area around the neck. But don't cut it yet! Depending on the child's hight ( I made them in a 70cm (for a 4 year old) and a 50cm (for a 2 year old) hight) make a few marks on your fabric as you did for the neck line. Make sure you still use the point of your fabric as a reference, that will help you get a nice round edge. If you measure from the first curved line, its more likely to have an uneven circle.

In the image below the top point is were you should start all your measurements from, The right side is the folded edge and the left side of the photo is the open edge. So once you open it in to a single layer of fabric, you should get a nice 1/2 circle.

I have also rounded the lower front corner of the open side of the cape for a smoother look, and to make it easier for me to overlock it. If you don't have an overlocker, you can just turn it in and use a straight stitch to go over it or use  a fine zigzag stitch. I have used an overlocker on rolled hem settings. Very quick and easy to go right around the cape.

Then we will need to make some sort of tie bands for the cape. I have decided to use velcro here fo a few reasons... First of all, I think velcro will be the safest around the kids necks.... You really don't want them to pull the cape when the cape is hanging to their neck with a very tight knot! 
and secondly, I just wanted to avoid "Mum can you tie this for me?", Then two minutes later, " Mum can you take it off now?", 30 seconds later same story again! They can just do and undo velcro as many times as they need to with no help! Although its a bit tricky to sew than the normal two long strips of fabric, but i think I prefer the velcro!

So, to add the neck tie, we will need to measure around the neck and allow for some extra moving space around it... Then we will need to cut (on bias) two long strips with the correct measurement (depending on child) and with the width that will allow for out velcro to fit in nicely... remember to leave extra space for seam allowance. Now sew the velcro pieces as seen bellow:

Gather the top edge of cape and fit on straps, allowing about 5cm on each side of strap to stay free.

To attach the cape to the top part, I am going to sandwich the cape in between my two long strips of fabric:

Then put the second strip of fabric and stitch over it... Making sure you  have the velcro in correct spots.

And here we go! Super-kids all ready to go!!!!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cozy Blankie!

I realised my one and a half year old son needs a new blanket, when I noticed his blanket is going missing in the middle of the night! He was using his sisters blanket (which I thought she was over it now!) Turns out she still wants her blanket and would happily take it back when ever she feels like it! fair enough, right?! So I added "New blanket" to my never ending list of things to make!

I got some cute fluffy snow like fleece fabric in blue and white, then I cut squares of the snow like fabric (sorry! not sure what they are exactly called! but you will know what I mean when you see them!) and sew the seams together (alternating the colour). The size of the squares really depends on how much fabric u have and how big you want your blanket to be... 

Here is a view of the reverse side:

Then I just had to add some embroidery to it and the first thing that came to my mind was a penguin!

 I would have liked to add some more but for my size blanket I think 3 is enough. For the backing I used a thick plain fleece fabric. With the right sides of fabric together, I went right around the blanket with a straight stitch and just left a 10cm opening for turning the blanket inside out. Then just had to pin the opening together and sew a straight stitch right around the blanket about 1cm in. That will help to keep the blanket in shape! I used a walking feet on the machine to sew the blanket. Since there are layers of thick fabric being sewn together, the walking feet will feed the fabric from the top as well as the usual feeding of the machine underneath. That will help to have an equal feed and will avoid lots of problems! If you use it once you get addicted to it!

 And here is the finished view. I am very pleased with the result, but if I was to make it again I would get more fabric to make sure I can have the correct grain of the fabric when cutting and sewing... The grain is all over the place here but I am sure my little boy won't really mind that! 

A special quilt for my little girl!

I have been thinking about making a quilt for my daughter, have thought about the design, fabric, patterns, etc for a long time now...
Finally I decided on making an applique quilt with cotton batting and adding an opening at the back to make it a quilt cover as well... That way it can be used in any weather really! Its just a matter of with or without the quilt insert...

It took me over 6 months work to finally finish this quilt... It would have finished much earlier if I could only work on it instead of all the washing, cooking and nappy changes I had to do... But any way its done now and thats what matters most! BTW there will be a surprise at the end! hold your breath!

I decided to go with the red and yellow combination to match her room colours... and since I was going to have applique animals on the quilt for her, I thought I might go with the plain fabrics and considering prices I went for the ordinary cotton fabric(non quilting ones). I pre washed the fabrics separately... then I realised I better prewash my cotton batting as well... And that was an interesting experience on its own!!! (with the cold weather it took AGES to dry and my husband had the honer on turning it from side to side a few times a day!).

Here are some photos, all the designs have been done using an embroidery machine:

 The giraffe has a special fringe mane and tail.

 Here is a full view:

The back of the quilt- lower edge:

Not bad ha?! I was pretty happy with the result! Now here is the surprise! It looked great until I washed it!!!! When I opened the washing machine, all I could see was pink! pink! pink!YEP!!!! The red fabric was not colour fast!!!! why do they even make non colour fast fabrics????!!! I have used many non quilting red fabrics before and they were fine but this one just spoilt it all :( My daughter found it funny when it turned pink and red.... I was not feeling good that night! Still not over all the hours I spent on it! 

It has lost the crisp white look... Can you see the annoying shade of pink in this photo? Since I can't do much about it, I'm just going to have to live with it! I know it could have been worse, at least I can still use it...

The appliqué designs on the curtains are done using a sewing machine but the ones on the quilt are done with an embroidery machine. I made the curtains years ago when I only had a sewing machine, otherwise I would have done it the same way as the quilt.
I have used the same fabric combination I had for the curtains with different designs just so that its new and fun for the kids. Here are a few other photos of the room.