Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A hybrid top

As I mentioned in my last post, I loved the way the Topkids 63/3 top came together, but felt that sleeves were in order.

I'd love to learn to draft patterns, but the idea of drafting a sleeve pattern is just way too daunting (or perhaps, just a little time consuming) for me at this point in time.  I pulled out the trusty Simplicity 4243, and found to my surprise that in fact the two tops have a very similar cut.  I overlaid the two pattern pieces to redraft the sleeve shape of my Topkids pattern, and was then able to use the Simplicity View E sleeve.  I also shortened the pattern by 14cm whilst I was at it.  All in all it was a pretty simple process once I remembered that the Simplicity pattern uses a mixture of seam allowances.  Not at all like my previous experience of trying to merge two patterns together for myself!

I'm really happy with the result, and am already planning another from my stash.  I think I'll round the back neckline this time too (I might just use the back pattern piece from the Simplicity pattern).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pillowcase Dress #3: Topkids 63, Design 3

Here's the first of my 'Pillowcases 6 Ways' dresses for the upcoming spring and summer:

I finished it today, on what has to be one of Melbourne's most wintery days in what feels like the coldest and wettest winter for a long time, so there won't be any modelled shots for some time!

The pattern is from a Topkids magazine.  I discovered these magazines at my local library a few years ago, and subsequently bought some used ones on e-bay.  They've been out of print for some time (from what I can ascertain most of mine date from the late 1990s), and whilst some of the designs are a bit dated, plenty of them have appeal.

I found in using the first dress that the blue pattern on the pillowcases fades as it is washed (great if you've embroidered over it, but not so good if you're relying on it for decoration), so this time I used part of the patterned section of the pillowcase and selectively embroidered it using a simple backstitch.  I'm banking on the blue you can see fading within 2-3 washes.

The ric-rac is unforgivingly narrow, and comes from the stash I inherited from my Grandmother.  There's loads more of it, so hopefully I'll become more skilled in sewing it on accurately with practice.  The buttons were from the op shop, giving the dress a total purchase price of 30 cents!

The pattern came together quite well, however I have noticed that I already have several sleeveless tops/dresses for A for this spring/summer, so I'm thinking of making another version with sleeves.  I think I'll also make it tunic length, to make it easier for her to crawl in when the time comes.

The background and my 'rules' for the Pillowcases 6 Ways challenge can be found here, and my previous creations are here and here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gran's Creative Space

This week's Creative Space is brought to you by my mum.  I promise I have been creating myself though, and will return next time around with some of my own work.

We had a special 'dedication' service for A at church last Sunday.  Its a bit like a christening, but without the water - the Cyclist, the boys and I got up the front and publicly thanked God for our Newbie, and promised to raise her as best we can with the help of the assembled family and friends.  In celebration Mum gave her a blanket to represent the love of her extended family.  Mum would probably say she's not into patchwork, but she has an embroidery machine and can crochet (check out the combined work in both!), and the result certainly looks like a twist on patchwork to me.

Each square is of polar fleece, with a backing of flannel for added warmth and to hide the back of the embroidery.  They're overlocked around the edges, then joined together with several rows of crocheted cotton.  There are nine different bears, plus one square with A's name and birth date.

The blanket's spent the week in the car and the pram, getting maximum exposure on the school run and generally being loved (snuggled into, played peek-a-boo with and drooled on) by its young owner.

Thanks Mum!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The "Big Boy's" Creative Space

My eldest has declared he wants to be known as the 'Big Boy', even though he knows that within a couple of years his younger brother (by three years) will be taller than him.  Being school holidays, today's Creative Space is all about the Big Boy.  Here's what he came up with yesterday:

Pikachu from Lego

 3D hand picture inspired by this Pin.

He's thrilled with both, and now wants to do more drawings of his hand and of other shapes (a hot air balloon is next I understand).

There's also been a whole lot of CS Lewis (he's made a Lego Dawn Treader and associated paraphernalia), interspersed with Nintendo, going on here.  How are your holidays panning out?  Does a break from school mean more or less creative time for you?


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