Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dandelion dress

About a year ago I bought the Japanese sewing book Girly Style Wardrobe, after seeing this fabulous blouse. Since then, the book was translated into French (as 'Little Girl' - I guess Japanese English and French English are two different things), so I should have had a bit more patience.
This week, I finally made something out of it: pattern C, which is the dress version of the Fabulous Blouse. As it was the first time I made it, and as I had to resize the pattern from 100 to 92 myself, I decided to use cheap fabric in case anything went wrong. And it kind of did, because I made a complete mess of the resizing, and had to add some pleats in the sleeves. And now it is still too big. Oh yes, I'm a real pro. I made the dress a bit too long, so Norah could wear it next Summer.

As I was already experimenting anyway, I thought I'd just take it a step further and use textile paint for the first time. After some failed attempts with a brush on a fabric leftover, I bought a textile marker, and that went a lot better.
After much thought, I decided to go for a dandelion. Thank you, Pinterest!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Lotta for Norah

When I first saw Lotta Jansdotter's debut fabric line 'Echo', I had such a hard time choosing. Each of its fabrics is just soooo beautiful... Eventually I made three picks: Sarsaparilla Ruta, which I used in this bag; Ironwood Aneta, which I haven't used yet, and Apricot Moira, which I turned into a balloon dress (Edit March 2013: the bubble dress pattern is now available here).
Yes, another balloon dress. I can't help it that Norah looks cute in them, can I?

Friday, July 13, 2012

From duvet cover to dress in 3 hours

When I was shopping for sales a few weeks ago, a gorgeous duvet cover for a baby bed was screaming my name. Originally €32, the thing was now on sale for €3,20 (yep!), and I immediately saw a nice summer's dress in it for Norah. At home, I googled the brand - Serendipity - which turned out to be a hip organic brand from Denmark.
For the model, I started from the pattern of this dress, to which I added folds in the front, and piping around the waist. I made the piping from leftovers from this dress, using Emma & Mona's tutorial.
I made a little tutorial which shows how you can adapt a simple pattern into a dress like this.

Friday, July 6, 2012

V is for Vintage

When I saw the announcement of a new book called "Couture Vintage Enfants", I was super-excited. Published with Hachette, the company who translated many of those gorgeous Japanese sewing books to French, this one couldn't be bad! I ordered it the day it came out, and was all set to start sewing a wardrobe which would turn Norah into the 2-year-old version of Sally Draper
I was a bit disappointed with the styling of the book: they could have made more of an effort to inspire the photographs and choice of fabrics on the 1950s-60s and 70s style the book aims at. There's this thin line between old-fashioned and vintage...
But then again, who cares about the styling of a book - it's the patterns you buy, not the fabrics, right? The first dress I made was pattern J, 'robe with pleats'.
The original dress, as pictured in Couture Vintage enfants
The pattern  and instructions contain quite a few mistakes (e.g., the diagram of the pattern pieces show a clearly different piece for the back and the front panels of the skirt (each to be cut 2x),  while the actual pattern shows one piece for both (to be cut 4x)), but nothing which could not be solved. Originally, I made the dress with the sleeves, but I took them off again as they turned out to be way too small (odd, given that I used the 4-year old size of the sleeves and arm opening for my skinny 2.5-year-old). As I was too lazy to draw new sleeves, I used bias to finish it off.
I used Kona cotton (Robert Kaufman) for the first time, and I must say: it's not overrated! It's so soft, and a joy to work with. I added piping to the dress to give it more of a vintage look. Both the fabric and the piping (La Droguerie) are from Julija's brick and mortar shop.

Monday, July 2, 2012

From fat quarter to skirt in 90 minutes

In a typical absent state of mind, I accidentally bought a fat quarter of Nani Iro Fuwari Fuwari Orange at Miss Matatabi. Apparently, the promise of "free shipping" is enough to make my buy almost anything. Including a piece of fabric so tiny that you cannot really make anything from it. Except for a simple skirt for a tiny toddler.
A blind zipper, some pleats, and bias was all it took.