Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Balloon dress in lawn cotton

One of my favorite Japanese sewing books is Jolies Tenues pour Fillettes Coquettes by Akiko Mano. The cover alone is to die for: a beautiful picture of a gorgeous girl in a smashing balloon dress. Yes, the adjectives are on sale today.
As a self-confessed balloon dress addict, the first pattern I used from this book was, of course, the balloon dress featured on the cover. In contrast to the bubble dress I drew myself, this one does not have a separate bodice and skirt.
When Norah was younger, I made the dress a couple of times in midweight cotton. This time, a chose for a very thin lawn cotton: Nippon by Nani Iro. The fabric is a bit of a mystery to me: it's an atypical design and material for Nani Iro, and when I search for it on Google Images, the only pics I find are from the Etsy shop where I bought the fabric (Kicoli). I don't know from what year it is, or from which line.
The important thing was cutting the pieces in such a way that the half circles would match on the sides of the dress. This was quite the challenge, as the half circles are irregular in shape.
And the best thing: the fabric looks just as good in wrinkles as it does ironed.
By the way, Norah really liked her new dress, even though the pic below might suggest otherwise.

Friday, June 22, 2012

On Parade!

On Parade by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller must be one of the cutest fabrics ever designed. I bought some of it last year in this shop and counted the months until it was finally time to make a summer's dress out of it.
Because the design of the fabric is so amazing, I (1) wanted to use a very simple pattern - no ruffles, puff sleeves, or other details that would distract attention from the gorgeous fabric (2) I did not want to combine it with other fabrics. I knew that combining it with pink or blue fabric would only make this classy fabric look cheap.
For the top, I used this pattern. For the bottom part, I used one rectangle of the fabric; not my regular way of working, but it allowed me to "close" the parade without any overlap.
I actually made the dress a couple of weeks ago already, but was waiting for some nice weather to take good pictures. Yesterday, I gave up - took Norah outside for some snapshots, and used Pixlr to deal with the grey weather. Guess I should have photoshopped the raindrops on the tiles too?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A bassinet for Norah's dolls

Last week, I decided to make a new bassinet for Norah's baby dolls. I wanted to keep things simple and geometrical, and it had to be machine washable. I used half a yard of Anna Maria Horner's LouLouThi Buoyancy I had lying around, and combined it with some affordable grey linen.
I also made a little tutorial for the crib. It's the first tutorial I ever made, so please let me know if anything is unclear (or wrong). Making the bassinet takes about 3 hours. Making the tutorial took... well, a lot longer. ;-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Echino balloon dress

- Balloon dresses are my favorite dresses.
- Double gauze is my favorite type of fabric.
- Etsuko Furuya of Echino is my favorite fabric designer.
Do I need to explain that I was pretty eager to make a balloon dress in Echino double gauze?
The fabric is Echino Chelsea Lion in grey, and I must say, double gauze turns out to be a great fabric to make balloon dresses in. It falls very... balloonylike.
I drew the pattern myself, recycling the pattern from the Nani Iro Pocho dress I made earlier.
And if now, we could finally get some nice weather here in Belgium, so that Norah can wear her dresses outside as well? Thank you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dress in Nani Iro Pocho

I bought a small piece of Nani Iro Pocho fabric months ago at Miss Matatabi, and had been dreaming about turning it into a cute bubble dress ever since. Unfortunately, no matter how I twisted and turned the fabric: not enough fabric for a bubble dress. So the bubble dress became a regular dress, made with a simple, self-drawn pattern.
The dress is a bit big for now, but she'll grow into it before the Summer ends.
For the back, I used one button and a button loop, and I cut the two pieces in an angle, so as to create a little peekhole.
One of the extras of this fabric is that it goes very well with the mosquito bites on her face.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pyjama bags

An age-old problem: clean clothes go in the dressing/closet, dirty clothes go in the laundry, but what do you do with clothes you want to wear a second time, like pyjamas?
We used to hang them on hooks in the hallway between the bathroom and the dressing - untill I got fed up with this unaesthetic solution, and decided to make some bags in pretty fabric left-overs. Behold: the before and after!
The left bag was made from Sarah Jane Children at Play On Parade, combined with pink paspoil and some cheap greengreyish fabric I found in Rotterdam (Schröder). The right one combines Tree Meadow from Birch fabric with Lotta Jansdotter's Ruta Sarsaparilla.
Age-problem old problem solved! Next assignment: figuring how to make better-quality photos in such badly lit places. Sorry.