Thursday, 18 April 2013

Addicted to patterns

Hi, my name is Brenda and I'm addicted to new patterns. 

Since pdf patterns have arrived on the scene, it's just too easy to buy them, print them off and sew them. Normally I would have to drive an hour to even view a pattern book, so having the internet on my lap daily is not helping my addiction. 

It also doesn't help that all these lovely pattern designers are having sales all the time, tempting me with their low cost, beautiful designs and easy downloading. 

I joined a support group but that just encouraged my habit even more. Now I have folders full of these amazing patterns that I can mix and match and sew at a moments notice. In fact some nights I'm so intoxicated on them I don't go to bed until the wee hours ;-) 

I walk through shops, comparing the drab offerings to my amazing fabric stash and don't buy a thing. Then I come home and create a new dress or top that makes my heart sing... I think I need to see a Doctor.... 


Monday, 15 April 2013

Tutorial: Doll's cot fitted sheet

It's my daughters second birthday next week and my husband made her a gorgeous wooden dolls cot which meant I need to dress it.

After making a mattress out of an old lilo pad and some batting I started work on a sheet. But what 2 year old knows how to tuck in a flat sheet, so the idea formed to make a fitted sheet. But not just a normal fitted sheet with elastic, a shirred one!

Now I know that some people are scared of shirring, as was I last year, but it seriously is the easiest thing once you get over your fears, and what better way to try it out than on some scrap material to make some doll's bedding!! (if you need shirring instructions, there are many many tutorials on the web if you search on google or youtube)

Here's what you need:
- 1/4 yard of fabric (I used some old flannel from my mum's stash)
- cotton thread
- shirring thread
- ruler
- pins
- sewing machine and/or serger

1. Lay your piece of fabric on the table and sit your dolls mattress on top. Cut out fabric approximately 2"/ 5cm* wider (on each side) than the mattress. If your mattress is extra thick, you will have to add on more excess to make sure the sheet fits. (* if you aren't planning on using a rolled hem on the raw edges, you will need to add another half inch.)

2. Cut 1.5" squares out of each of the four corners.

3. Take the two edges labelled A and B, and with right sides together sew along the short line, making a box corner.

4. Hem: Serge a rolled hem around the entire raw edge. If using a sewing machine, fold over 1/4 inch to the wrong side, iron and sew. Repeat.

5. Time to shirr. Make sure you are sewing on the right side of the fabric. Sew right next to the rolled hem, all the way around the sheet, don't forget to backstitch. Then using your sewing foot as a guide, sew another row of shirring around the entire hem. Use the steam setting on your iron to shrink the elastic of your shirring and put your new fitted sheet onto your doll's mattress.

Congratulations you're done! How easy was that!

Sew glad you stopped by.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Pattern Review: Kyoko by Modkid

PATTERN: The KYOKO pattern by Modkid. Paper pattern, which I have transferred to tissue in a few different sizes.

WHAT: Asian inspired shirt and dress for girls, featuring an obi-sash, which I am in love with.

SIZE: This pattern is from size 2T through to 7, but I know Modkid makes a similar tween pattern and a women's pattern - exciting!!

FABRIC: As you can see I've made at least 5 of these dresses/tops so far using a myriad of different fabrics. Fabrics of note: Riley Blake Tonal Chevrons, Michael Millers ta dot and lush and Patty Youngs Textured Basics. Every dress I fully lined the bodice with plain white cotton. I've used quilters cotton for each of these and wouldn't really recommend anything too thin, although a thicker fabric would make this a lovely warm dress for winter.

PATTERN PIECES: Pattern pieces include sleeves, front bodice, back bodice and obi sash. The skirt of the dress/top are given in cutting measurements. I chose to try a few different styles including one that isn't included in the pattern. The pattern gives options for a one colour skirt or a 6 panel skirt.

I tried a stripwork skirt (top, middle photo) and also left off the sleeves for a different look. Perfect for winter if you want to wear a long sleeve tee underneath.

The pattern includes pieces for short or long sleeves. I haven't tried the long sleeves but I love the look.

ILLUSTRATIONS/INSTRUCTIONS: This dress would definitely suit a beginner as the instructions are very clear and there is nothing too challenging, especially if you use store bought bias tape.

SPECIAL TECHNIQUES: Creating my own bias tape was a new skill I learnt using this pattern and I was thrilled with the results and can't stop making more.

CONCLUSION: I love this pattern, it's easy, quick and fits girls of many sizes easily with it's loose fitting nature. The obi-sash cinches in the dress to make it look fitted and unique. I can't wait to buy some asian printed fabrics to really give it an exotic look.

I'm very into asian inspired clothing this year, watch for a review on a women's top/dress coming soon.
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