Monday, 30 September 2013

Birthday Dress from a "Japanese" Sewing Book

Birthday Bubble Dress by Cicely Ingleside

Hey all, if you are wondering why the title of this post says that this week's sewing project is from a "Japanese" sewing book in quotation marks, it is because it is from a sewing book from Japan, but I can't claim credit for following Japanese instructions; I used an English translation.

(As an aside, this reminds me of when my husband and I lived in Montreal in the early 2000s, near a Rona hardware store. The slogan on the store was "Au "service" de notre clientele", which, translated, means "At the "service" of our clientele." We used to wonder and joke about why "service" was in quotation marks. Were they being facetious?  They didn't really want to be of service?  Okay, truthfully it was probably just a French language subtlety that escapes me, but at the time we sure thought it was funny.)

Back to the point of this post, it is week 4 of Project Run and Play, and the theme is "Your Signature Style". I decided that I would post this to the Sew-Along, because polka dots are definitely one of my favourites, and I love bubble skirts - I even have one myself.

Recently, it was my daughter's 4th birthday, and I wanted to make her a pretty dress, but one that she could still wear regularly.  Here she is on her birthday:

Birthday Bubble Dress by Cicely Ingleside

I had always wanted to try a Japanese sewing book, because they have very cute, minimalist, tasteful and sort of voluminous or puffy styles. (I can't figure out how else to put it!) Although with bizarrely somber child models - no cracking of smiles there! But I was just not up to trying to broach the challenge of a sewing book written in Japanese. 

Then I was at the bookstore and came across one translated into English - score! It is this one: the Girls Style Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. 

I swear I did not intend to make the dress on the cover so exactly. I bought the book here in Newfoundland, and then I took a trip to New York, where I visited the wonderful store Purl Soho.  (Now, I swear, a year ago before I got into all this sewing whoo-haw, I would have sought out cool clothing stores on my first trip to the Big Apple. But now, this was pretty much my most exciting destination - what a gorgeous store with such gorgeous knitting and sewing supplies!) I saw this Nani Iro polka dot double gauze fabric and decided to buy it in blue. I must have had the book's front cover, which shows this dress in blue with white polka dots, in my subconscious.

I also made the matching headband, but my daughter didn't want to wear it for long:

Birthday Bubble Dress by Cicely Ingleside

I was proud of myself for figuring out the book and the pattern (even though it was in English). However, I am always nervous about making things too small, and so I ended up making it a bit too big. Since it has lining and I had sewed on the ribbon by hand already, I thought I'd do more damage than good if I tried to take the dress apart to make it smaller. So I just added some tucks around the bodice to tighten it up. It's still a bit loose, but she will grow into it, and will probably wear a long-sleeve T underneath for the winter.

Here she is in action, playing with a ball and scoop and looking stylish.... (The party shoes were quickly abandoned.)

Birthday Bubble Dress by Cicely Ingleside

Happy birthday, my sweetheart. xo

Monday, 16 September 2013

Welcome to the Candy Shop!

Hey there! This week is week 2 of Project Run and Play, a blog event where the very skilled and impressive sewing-blogger competitors have a kids' clothes sew-off, and the rest of us normal sewers vote and maybe participate in the sew-along. I decided to pick one week to sew along, and chose the week whose theme is Candy!  Yum. 

The idea of Candy just invites over-the-topness, I think - like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Katy Perry outfits. I had some elaborate ideas but eventually settled on something that will be more wearable. I invite you to visit our candy shop....

Candy Shop clothes by Cicely Ingleside

Sorry, the kids already ate all of our wares.

First off, our candy counter attendant Mr. N.:
Candy Shop clothes by Cicely Ingleside

N wears a shirt with Baby Star Wars characters I made and blogged about here. The apron was made by his friend's mom, and decorated by him as a Christmas craft. Pants are model's own.

I made his 50's style diner hat using Simplicity 3836. The pattern didn't have head measurements and so I guessed and made a medium for this 6 year old, which was too small. Ay yai yai. But he took one for the team and wore it for the phptoshoot. (Anything for candy!)

Now, the candy inspiration for the dress was...
Candy Shop clothes by Cicely Ingleside

colourful candy sprinkles!

I used the Tinny dress pattern by StraightGrain, and did some splatter-painting to make a sprinkles-inspired look.

Candy Shop Sprinkle Dress by Cicely Ingleside

I'm a big StraightGrain fan, and this pattern was very impressive. The engineering that must have been involved in getting the measurements to work out so precisely, especially with the collar, dress and facing, is impressive. And in following the instructions, I sewed what I think was the first decent zipper ever. I almost wimped out and put on buttons, but I'm glad I tried it because now I feel much more confident about zippers. I followed the pattern but added a slightly longer blue skirt layer underneath.

Candy Shop Sprinkle Dress by Cicely Ingleside

How (Not) To splatter paint:

1. Pick a rainy day to do your project. Decide it is a good idea to start this when the rain stops and it is dark outside but soaking wet everywhere and windy.

2. Place pattern pieces on old waterproof-ish tablecloth outside. Start splattering fabric paint onto pieces. As pieces blow away, keep weighing them down with various items you have around, only to have the other sides of the pieces blow away and spread paint everywhere.

3. Eventually realise that painter's tape would solve this problem. Tape down the pieces and have more success in splatter painting. This part is fun. Find that Tulip-brand fabric paints make better sprinkles, and the thicker screen printing fabric paint makes better long streaks.

4. Come back two hours later. Discover that the wet ground soaked through your (presumably) waterproof tablecloth and soaked the fabric. The paint has started to spread out into diluted circles. Fortunately, I liked this effect.

5. Find that snail has taken up residence on your bodice piece. Try to remove snail without touching it (due to personal squeamishness) by shaking it off, getting paint everywhere. Bring tablecloth inside, along with numerous earwigs. Kill earwigs and squeal a bit.

6. Let dry.

Candy Shop clothes by Cicely Ingleside

I hope you enjoyed your visit to our candy shop!  Please come again when the staff stops eating the merchandise.

Candy Shop clothes by Cicely Ingleside

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Back-to-School Clothes: Girl Edition

Well, it is fall and time for sleeves and long pants (sniff!). As promised last time, here are the girl clothes I have made recently but been slow to post I made specially for the back-to-school period, all purposeful and organized-like.

Little Red Riding Hood Tunic made by Cicely Ingleside

This is a top made using the Shwin Designs Maggie Mae Tunic/Dress pattern. I really like this pattern - almost more so after seeing my daughter wear it again. The cute rounded shape of the bodice is very unique.

The fabric is a Little Red Riding Hood themed linen I bought on Etsy - previously used for her ruffled skirt. The floral fabric is from my local fabric store at least a year ago! This photo below is of the shirt back. I am still amazed that I found buttons that match perfectly - light brown with red flowers. Unfortunately you can't quite make them out in the photo.

Little Red Riding Hood Tunic made by Cicely Ingleside

Actually, my lack of good pictures is probably my primary reason for not posting these clothes earlier. I had one photo shoot where I got some great poses! .... but had my finger in front of the lens!  I tried again with mixed results:

Little Red Riding Hood Tunic and Red Button jeans made by Cicely Ingleside

Above is my best shot - yes she's on the floor. What is hard to see is that she is wearing a pair of Lovely Rita skinny jeans - which I also made using a Shwin Designs pattern.

Here's a close up. Boy, that's some quality photography.

Red Button jeans made by Cicely Ingleside

The pants are great, though. Very cute. I will definitely use this pattern again. Without the button tab on the bottom, they are a basic skinny jean. 

Pink Squirrel dress made by Cicely Ingleside

I made this above dress recently when my daughter E had her cast on, and needed more dresses, as she couldn't wear pants. I showed her my fabric stash and asked her what fabric she wanted.  She picked this fabric called Squirrel (Sunset) by designer Tula Pink, which I had ordered online from the Ottawa store Fabrications. It is an incredibly cute fabric, and might be best as an accent fabric, or combined with a neutral, but I think you can get away with 'busy' when you are three and a half years old!

The pattern I used is the Zig Zag Dress pattern by See Kate Sew. The thing that I really liked about the pattern is that there is extra volume in the front of the dress - it's a loose style. Hard to tell because I couldn't get any standing photos. And buttons in the front instead of the back make it very different.

I learned to use piping with this pattern! V. exciting.

Pink Squirrel dress made by Cicely Ingleside

Here is a photo of E in the dress, with me holding her for balance due to the cast. Thank goodness it is off now! (The cast, that is, not the dress.)

So there, now we're all ready for back-to-school-daycare.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Let's Pretend These are Back-to-School Clothes Instead of Me Being Slow to Post

It's the first day of school here in Canada, and my son N just started grade 1 today. My daughter E will be in Kindergarten next year. Where did the summer go?

I thought I would catching up on posting some clothes I made a month or two ago, and pretend they are fall back-to-school clothes and that I am that organized. They are the most recent things I made, but it just takes me forever to do pictures and post them!

First up are some jeans I made my son:
Fluorescent stripe jeans by Cicely Ingleside

I thought I'd try and find a boy way to get in on the fluorescent craze, and added fluorescent yellow strips up the sides. 

Fluorescent stripe jeans by Cicely Ingleside

The pattern I used for the pants is the Shwin Designs Number 9 Trousers pattern. I made the shirt using this tutorial by Cirque du Bebe with a purchased T.  I purchased the cool image download from Madame Bricolage on Etsy, printed it on Lesley Riley Artist Transfer Paper, and ironed it on. It worked well, but I will warn anyone who does not have an inkjet printer!  I knew when I bought the transfer paper that it only worked with inkjet printers, and I have a laser printer. I figured that I could go to Staples. But no, Staples does not have inkjet printers for use!  Who knew?  The woman there warned me that it would melt in a laser printer so not to try it. (Now I kind of want to, just to see if that's true.) And the public libraries did not have inkjet printers. I ended having to ask a friend to print them for me. Thanks, Kumi and Mark!

Now here is a top I made my son with a kind of 'bowling shirt' aesthetic:

Bears and Bowling Top by Cicely Ingleside

It is the Shwin Designs Maxwell Top Pattern, using the fabric Kokka Trefle Mustaherukka Blackcurrant purchased from Miss Matatabi. I love the cute bears on it, and it's a nice cotton/linen blend.

I'm finding that I learn something different from every pattern-maker I try. With the Shwin Designs patterns, I have come to appreciate what a difference top-stitching makes. And I learned how to install snaps with this top pattern too. I really do think I am learning way more by using blogger-made patterns like these because bloggers are so thorough in their explanations, and everyone does things a little differently - unlike big commercial patterns.

Bears and Bowling Top by Cicely Ingleside
Not sure what he is doing in this pic. Dancing?

Bears and Bowling Top by Cicely Ingleside

That's it for now!  Next post I will catch up on the girl clothes I made recently. Happy September!
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