Clementine dress

I already posted about my friend Thouraya’s awesome pattern the Clementine dress a few weeks ago. I wanted to show you a few of my end results! And I thought I’d mention a couple of things about this pattern I noticed as a total novice.

First, I loved making it! I’m not great at making garments, so I thought this pattern looked fairly simple to sew. Simple in a good way! It was so fun and fast to make, I promptly made a second a day later.

Second, I made two size 2′s, and something awesome about that size and lower is that you can cut out a whole dress from a generous half yard cut, (19inches) or easily into half a meter. This is PERFECT for me, as a quilter I often buy half yard cuts of fabric, so I have LOTS on hand, all of it super cute, I want to make a million little girl dresses.

Third, while Thouraya’s pattern does mention the best fabrics to use, I used quilting cotton. It might not be the ideal fabric to use, but I quite like the heavy drape (and it’s pretty much all I own). Only thing that I changed while making my second dress, was to definitely use a light fabric for the lining, otherwise you’re getting some bulky seams if you layer two lots of quilting cotton as dress and lining. That being said, I think it wouldn’t be awful to wear either way.

Fourth, I sewed the back seam halfway up, then did two buttons at the top. I’m not sure this was a good idea, but I didn’t have enough buttons so I figured with the nice flared fit of the dress, it should fit over a little head with just a couple buttons. I like the way it looks too, because the buttons are on the lined part of the dress and the rest is neatly seamed away.

I really enjoyed making the collar, I trimmed mine really close to the seam as opposed to clipping it on the inside, mostly because I wanted it super round, but we’ll see how it holds up! The second dress was made without a collar, just as a test to see how quick I could whip one up! I’d say if you’ve never sewn before, use Thouraya’s instructions and not mine though!!

I wish I had my little niece here to take photos of her in person wearing them! But those pics will have to come later. Also it’s Autumn in Australia now, so she’ll definitely have to layer these dresses with some cardi’s and leggings : )

If you have littlies who like to wear dresses, do try this pattern. It’s so satisfying and cute, and comes in a big range of sizes from newborn to size 10.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy making some too.

Moda Love Quilt

I thought I’d share the free quilt pattern pdf from MODA for their ModaLove quilt. It’s super easy and really fun to make in a bunch of different sizes and colours. It’s a pretty good beginner quilt, so if you’re in the mood, give it a go. I made mine a little bigger than the charm square version. My blocks were 6″ instead of 5″ making them 5.5″ finished. The whole quilt is 44″ square. Just quilting it now.

And I’ve just washed, packed and shipped a little beauty that I can show you soon. It’s made for an extremely special baby, whose shower I can’t attend, but hopefully my quilt will wrap them in tons of love.

Sneak peek

Sew it alone

This week and next it’s just me and the dog, so while I’ll be insanely busy with work and a dog (yes owning a dog is a ton of work, no I’ll never call him my ‘child’ but he is a big high energy responsibility!) It also means I can sew aaaaall day on the weekend! Pretty excited to just put on trakkies, eat only when necessary, make a million cups of tea that I will drink only a few sips of and sew a lot!

I’ve started a number of projects lately and finished none! However one project that I’m really excited to make on the weekend is my old friend Thouraya’s lovely pattern, the Clementine dress. I wrote about Thouraya before, we worked together at the National Gallery of Australia a long time ago now, fun times telling people where the bathrooms and ‘Blue Poles’ were. I’ve loved seeing the Clementine dress sew along she’s had on her blog and instagram lately. Looks like the perfect pattern for showing off some cute fabric with a pretty friendly looking pattern (as in, not too complex, although if anyone can overcomplicate things, it’s me and the seam-ripper.)

I did finish this quilt, I made the top ages ago, but I always choke on the binding, not my favourite part!

It’s almost spring, we’ve seen some good days, but they get pulled away quickly by some horrid weather. I’m always dying for spring warmth and green this time of year, makes me wish I could pop down to the beach with my sweet niece for a quick swim. But it’ll be here before I know it!

Don’t forget to April fools your friends and family : )

 

Happy Spring

Ok, I guess I took my bike out a little early. I have been working on an extra special baby quilt for one of my favourites the last few weeks! Another secret, which never makes for good blogging – secret quilts! I can reveal it soon though, sending it off asap. And good news, I can finally add, I’ll be making another baby quilt for in the family this year too! Another niece or nephew for me coming in September ♥ yay!!

I’ve had this pattern for a Cooper bag from Colette patterns for a while now. I don’t like attempting sewing that might make me frustrated, aka sewing anything in 3d or curves, so it sat on the shelf for a while. But I need a backpack this year, the tote carrying on the bike just kills my shoulder, so after a while online shopping for backpacks, I remembered that I had this pattern! Really the pattern is so beautifully written and arranged in the little book, I have to try it. So I have some denim and fabric for the contrast, wish me luck : )

(photo: Colette blog, click on image to go there!)

And hopefully in the next few weeks spring will actually arrive, it’s been an OK winter, but I’m still ready to be done with giant coats and boots. What are you working on?

Monkey

Happy Chinese New Year! This is the year of the monkey, those born in this year are curious, fun and clever. Their lucky flower is a chrysanthemum. Do you know your year? You can look it up here, mine is surprisingly accurate which is more than my Capricorn horoscope manages. Do you make New Years resolutions? I don’t usually, but I think I might start.

It wasn’t just the Christmas flu I got last month or so, I also had salmonella poisoning and another bout of sickness when I returned to Montreal which wreaked havoc on my first work weeks. Plus I’m prone to getting cold-sores when blowing my nose, so throw a few of those in for good measure. Gross, thanks a lot body. All that to say, Ange and I decided to restart the new year with China, so 2016 is going to be ace! Happy new year!

Plans

I’ve got some good quilt plans in the making for this year! A few very close friends having babies in 2016 so I’m really excited to make some new little quilts for them. I think I’ll be using made up patterns and also some from the book I mentioned late last year in this post.

I haven’t been buying fabric much, due to the insane exchange rate in the US right now- whew! That gladly forced me to buy from Japan instead : )

I am a huge sucker for constellations! My favourite thing, I’ve got a pretty good cotton constellation collection now, but this fabric is a gorgeous double gauze – that’s best to wear!! I can’t see myself making clothes again, been there, tried that (disliked) but look at this little dress!! I want it. If only Japanese patterns weren’t so hard to follow. Plus this is a mystery pattern anyway, but my perfect dress style (those cuffs ♥).

Maybe you have to be Japanese to wear something so cute successfully. Or at least someone who wears/owns dresses? I think I’ll work on that this year. Yeah dresses… I still have to make that little one for my niece, that’ll be good practice for my dreaded sewing in 3D!

January

While I know it’s been a while between posts, most of you know that my last project was a big one and a secret one at that. Which really doesn’t make for interesting blog posts does it!? So finally the year ended with a woosh. Did yours? I worked like a fiend trying to fit everyone in, before I flew home once again for a glorious Christmas and New Years in Australia. Of course upon arrival, I got the flu and spent Christmas day feeling lagged and gross, but who cares! I was on holidays. At least it was warm and not busy!

Canberra skies are really lovely, you forget sometimes when you live there, but they’re something special for sure. I spent time with my wonderful family as well as a few good catch ups with friends, but mostly I hung out with my niece, Lois. Which was the best.

And finally for Mums big 70th birthday I got to gift her and Dad the quilt that’s taken up most of my life for the last few months. It was a gift for both of my parents birthdays, but my Dads was in October and I was nowhere near done then. Plus it was fun to just pop it on their bed and then bring them upstairs to see it.

It is really hard to photograph a king sized quilt. Ha, my poor sisters standing on chairs with their arms in the air! It’s much bigger than it looks!

As usual I’m feeling mixed emotions about returning to the other side of the world. It still amazes me that you can travel that distance in a day or two and fly so far so relatively easily. Happy 2016 to you all, bring on the projects : )