Friday, June 3, 2016

Fairies garden 

I stilll hope sumer will eventually come to Belgium this year so the girls will be able to wear all the summer dresses I'm planning to make out of the beautiful summer fabrics I have stashed.

Today I just finished this fairy dress for Ekaterina.

The fabric I bought in the Stoffenstraat shop in Kasterlee which remains one of my favourite places to buy fabric and it's a Michael Miller design. It has some subtle silver glitter accents. Also, around the waist I made a belt of a thin ribbon with a pattern of tiny frosty sequins. The dress is all lined with a super thin and soft white cotton fabric which used to be a scarf.

The pattern is the Lisa dress from the Zelfgemaakte Kleetjes book, also a favourite.
I took my attention for detail to a next level and managed to let the print run continously around the skirt, so no half fairies:

Today, just after I finished it, I also made a tule underskirt for it. It can be worn with or without it, The skirt is totally an apart piece. 

Tu-tu-tu-torial part I

Actually today I am not going to make a tutu but a tulle underskirt. If i would make it shorter and wider it would be a tutu.
I never did this before, not this way, so it is an experiment. If you see this post it means it's been successful.

What you need:

+ Tulle - 2 X desired lenght + 2 cm. The width will be the one of the fabric but for a fuller result it can be made double or even triple. You have to buy the desired lenght plus a reserve of at least 20 cm because in some shops they tend to not cut the tulle very carefully so you might have to remove quite a lot when you straighten it.

+ Elastic band for the waist. the elastic will be visible so it should be a bit showy. You have to measure the lenght of the waist of the girl and cut exactly that lenght of elastic (no seam allowance).

+ A ribbon of very stretchy and supple fabric, as long as the elastic and the width of the elastic plus  1,5 cm. It has to be cut so that it stretches the most.

+ Double needle

+ Scissors, sewing machine, thread, a washable thin felt pen..

First I straightened the horizontal edges:

Next, i removed the loom edge. It's optional but I find it ugly.

I folded the tulle along the center fold and stitched the 2 edges opposed to the middle fold together. I got a cilinder double the final lenght of the skirt. The seam can be ironed open with the ironing machine on nylon setting.

I set the stitch lenght on 3.5 and the thread tension on 5 and sew, without turning back at the ends, the double edge that will be attached to the elastic 2 times: once on at 1/8 and once with the first stitch at foot distance (between 3/8 and 5/8 from the edge). the point is that one line has to be a bit less than foot distance and the other one, a bit more.  Don't cut the ends of the thread! 

When you are done, you should get this:

Don't forget to bring the settings of the machine back to the default ones.

I cut a piece of elastic the exact lenght of the waist (56 cm in our case) and a ribbon of very soft, thin and stretchy viscose tricot. The elastic is 2,5 cm wide and the ribbon of viscose is 2,5+ 1,5 cm = 4cm.

With a washable pen (thin felt pens for kids are great for drawing on fabric and wash out completely even on cold wash) I drew a line along one of the edges of the ribbon at 0,75 mm distance from the edge.

Time to switch to the tread in the colour of the elastic.

I sew together the ends of the elastic and the ends of the ribbon respectively, and got 2 circles:
For the elastic: let the ends overlap a few mm and sew over, on the good side, with a wide zig-zag stitch a buttonhole stitch lenght. Trim on the back if needed.

The ribbon  has to be stitched together in a circle.

Time to install the double needle.
With the double needle, I stitched the ribbon on the elastic, elastic a bit overlaping the ribbon, on the pen line.

I locked with knots all the thread ends excepting 2, one next to the edge and its pair. I pulled those 2 together gently until the tulle skirt got as wide as the elastic band.

I locked the ends of thread with a pin and spread the folds evenly.

The tulle skirt has to be carefully pinned all around against the good side of the ribbon edge and stitched together with a single needle. Remove all the stitches which were meant to keep the ruffles in place by cutting the threads from place to place and pulling on it. It should look like this now:

Fold the elastic over the raw edge, pin it and stitch it closed with a double needle or with a stretch stitch.

It should look like this:

All the inside soft waist band thing can be skipped, and that would save a lot of work, but I wanted to do it to avoid the scratchy tulle edge coming in contact with the skin. I think it's worth the effort. Now it's soft and nice to wear.
This is how it looks under a dress:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Autumn in June

This is my first coat. I actually made it one year ago, when I was still e beginner, so it is one of my early projects so-to-say. It's been waiting one whole year in the closet because I didn't dare to make the buttonwholes. It's a thick but wobbly velvet and it is difficult to stitch. Stitching it on the slippery lining was even more difficult but that's another frustrating story... One day I just decided to make the buttonwholes by hand - and this is how it got finally finished.
Because of the difficult combination of fabrics, it also took me one day to make only the side pockets:

...And another day for the rest of the coat.
The lining is a rare shade of rosé with a golden shimmer, a fabric I used in many other projects and I am sad that it's finished:

Around the waist there is a ribbon with metal decoration. I also had to sew it on by hand.

It is not perfect but I learned a lot by making it.
The pattern used is simplicity 2534. It's a beautiful pattern and it's going to be used again for sure, but with some "normal" fabric. This mama is never going to sew a plush coat again. Ever.
The only problem is... Ekaterina hates it. I only convinced her to wear it once. better said, I tricked her. Emilia loves it but she has to grow 2 sizes. The advantage of having more girls: for everything I make there will be always at least one to like it. I'm sure Ekaterina will love it too, but after she will be grown out of it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Millie is also a princess

Our little Millie (2.5 yo) needed a princess dress. Ekaterina, the oldest, always gets the beautiful dresses so Emilia was on the point of starting a riot - so I had to improvise out of the princess fabrics every sewing mom with girls should have in the house and I got this:

The colours of the fabrics are very tricky, so i took pictures in 2 completelydifferent lights, but none of them shows the real colours: 

In real it is less blue.
Maybe you think this is a party dress. Well, Millie doesn't. She went to the market dressed like this, like it was the most natural thing to do. 


I threw this blouse together out of some scraps of tricot and a bright printed tiny cupon I got for free at a fabric market. It's so much fun messing around with irregular pieces of colourful stuff.