Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flip This Pattern: Tinny Party Dress

I had so much fun last month participating in the Flip This Pattern Series on Frances Suzanne, I couldn't resist joining in again. This month is the Tinny pattern from Straight Grain. This cute little dress has been on my "must buy" list since I first laid eyes on it and this series is the perfect excuse to buy it and make it. 

It's a tricky one to flip because it comes with so many options already in the pattern. I drew my inspiration from this pretty blue broderie anglaise fabric. I bought it for another project but didn't get around to using it. I wanted to make a party dress. Something pretty and girly. 

I decided to "flip" the pattern by taking off the sleeves, adding piping to the armholes, lining the bodice, exchanging the zip with buttons, adding an underskirt, adding a piped removable sash and I made a tulle pettiskirt to tie in the pink and give it extra "party". I chose the asymmetrical collar because, lets face it, it is adorable!! I also chose the gathered skirt option because the blue fabric has such a beautiful edge and I wanted it to be a feature. I made the skirt pieces extra wide to get a very full effect. I took some dodgy phone photos along the way so if I get a spare sec I'll post a more detailed explanation of my modifications.

And this is how it turned out... (I can't wait until I get my mannequin , it will be so much easier to get shots of the little things I make)

See the pale pink and white striped piping I made (yes, I have become obsessed with piping :/)

Look at the little pale and dark pink buttons I found!

 And my irresistable little girl (I am biassed, I make no excuses). All dressed up ready for a party

Poor little girl with her red nose. We have a nasty virus doing the rounds and Eloise is all snuffly.

Such a cheeky little miss. She is just so much fun to be around, always happy and that twinkle she gets in her eye... How can you not smile?

Like all good party dresses it stood the test of Eloise climbing up onto the fort and going down the slide.

 A sneak peek of the decking Linda is making in her garden.

 The Tinny was a really easy pattern to follow and like I said, it comes with lots of sleeve, collar and skirt options I made the 12 month size because that was what the measurement chart indicated and it was spot on. 

Once again I have had fun taking an awesome pattern and putting my spin on it. I may need to make a hundred of these in every colour combination. I want to try out some of the other options and maybe make up a peplum and a front opening version... we'll see... I have more ideas than time :/ I can't wait to see all the other flips popping up on Frances Suzanne through the rest of the month. 

Flip This Pattern

And this one again because... I can't stop looking at it. Where did my baby go? She's turned into a little girl!!

Thanks for stopping by. Please let me know what you think?

Kerry xx

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Flip This Pattern - WINNER!!

I'm so excited to share some great news!!! My entry in the July sew-along for Frances Suzanne's Flip this pattern was chosen as the winner! I am lost for words (well close, I mean to be honest I could probably talk under water ;)). I can't wipe the smile off my face :D

It was my reversible roller skate wrap that was chosen.

So I am planning to make another one in different fabrics and when I do I'll do up a tutorial on how I made the changes and how I put it together.

Huge thanks to Emily and Ashley from Frances Suzanne for hosting this fun series. I am having so much fun with it and it is definitely pushing me to develop and grow my sewing skills. Also a big thanks to Liesl from Oliver + S for creating the pattern we flipped. It is perfect for injecting some personal creativity into. And for the prize... four Oliver + S patterns!!! I had fun choosing those. I have loved watching through the month as more and more people flipped the pattern. There were some fabulous ideas among the sew-along entries and I think I'll have to try some of their ideas for myself.

I am madly thinking up ideas for the August Flip. It is the Tinny dress and I have been drooling over this one for ages. This series is the perfect excuse to buy it and make it :) It will be a hard one to flip as there are so many options included in the pattern already... I love that this series makes me think hard and be creative. I can't wait to see all the flips.  

Thanks for stopping by :)

Kerry xx

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

RainBoo! Bright Pinny Tutorial

I was very excited to make the RainBoo! Bright Pinny and even more excited that it turned out how I'd hoped. But, wow, the positive feedback I've had from the online sewing community has been a bit humbling. So I decided to do up a mini tutorial to explain how I made it.

I made the 18month size but you can certainly use the same idea for other sizes. I'll explain how I worked it out. Warning... there is a little maths involved (but super simple maths).

First... You need the Boo! Design Your Own Pinny Pattern

For the ruffles on the straps.
I wanted to use the same colours as the skirt and make double sided gathered ruffles on the straps. So I cut little rectangles of the fabric and pieced them together. For mine I used pieces 3" x 4" and sewed the 3" sides together in the order I wanted, then folded them in half and ironed them. Then used my overlocker to gather them.

The skirt:
You need to decide how long you want the skirt and how many tiers you want. I wanted there to be 5 full tiers and one half/ruffly tier at the bottom. To be honest There was a degree of guess work that went into mine. I knew I wanted the skirt to be about 10" long and I initially planned 5 tiers (then decided, rather than hem it I'd add the half tier ruffle along the bottom).

So, we need to calculate the height of the strips for the skirt.

height of strips =  (finished skirt length ÷ number of tiers) + (seam allowance x 2)

So for mine:
height of strips = (10" ÷ 5) + (0.5" x2) = 3"

(Amusing side note. I am Australian and use the metric system for everything but sew using imperial measures?! Mostly because that's what markings are on my machine and quilting rulers and a lot of the PDF patterns I buy)

Then we need to calculate the length of the strips.
I used the measurement of the front waistband as the starting point and multiplied by 1.2 for each tier thereafter.
waistband = 18"
tier1 = 18" x 1.2 = 22"
tier2 = 22" x 1.2 = 26"
tier 3 = 26" x 1.2 = 31"
tier4 = 31" x 1.2 = 37"
tier5 = 37" x 1.2 = 44"
tier6 (half tier) 44" x 1.2 = 54"

(I know this maths doesn't quite add up. What I did was to punch in the first number to my calculator then i rounded each answer but multiplied the un-rounded amount left on my calculator - but, IT DOESN'T MATER). This is not like quilting where if you are off by 1/2" it might throw out the whole thing. You can gather more or less to make it work.

This is what my strips looked like (there is two of each and they are folded in half):
(I must have taken this shot prior to deciding to add the blue ruffle at the bottom)

To assemble the skirt.
I started at the bottom and I made the front and back as two separate parts. First I made my bottom ruffle strips (mine were in two pieces (44" and 11")) so I sewed them together ironed the seams open then folded the ruffle along it's length. The I used my overlocker to gather it (leaving long threads to adjust). Then I pinned it to the next bottom piece and sewed them together (then overlocked to finish the seam). I ironed the seam towards the top piece and topstitched it. Then I gathered the top of that piece and attached it to the one above... and so on until I had an identical front and back skirt piece.

In order for it to all line up the back piece has to end up longer than the front. So I cut a piece of fabric, the same fabric with the same dimensions as the front waist band and attached it to the top of the back skirt without any gathering.

Then I just followed the instructions for the pinny and treated the skirt pieces as though they were single pieces of fabric. I took special care to line up the tiers along the side seam when I got to the last part of the pattern. 

Those who have made the pinny before will notice I have made a slight change to the pattern. I actually made the back waist band shorter than the pattern calls for (ie. I made the width of the front and back the same). I was able to do this because I was making it a bit big for my daughter anyway and I knew there would be plenty of gather at the back without as much gather from the back band piece being wider. I kept the elastic measurement the same as the pattern size. If you'd prefer to make the back waist band the same as the pattern (ie wider than the front) you can. You'd just have to do the maths for the back separate to the front and cut wider strips for the back. (My way was the lazier way and it worked out).

Now if working all of this out is not your cup of tea... I think (though I haven't tested it myself) that if you used the rainbow twirly dress pattern  and just shortened the tiers or used fewer tiers it would probably work the same way. Another option is to get the twirly skirt pattern make up a cheerleading skirt and add a couple of tiers to that and use that as the skirt. Don't hold me to it...just looks as though it would work. Then Kristie has done all the maths for you :)

Wow...that ended up being very wordy... I made it late at night so I stopped taking photos as I went in exchange for getting it done as quickly as possible so I could go to bed :/ Feel free to ask questions if it doesn't make any sense (likely). I'm thinking of making another one but in a different colour way, if I do I'll try to take more photos and update this tutorial :)

Such a practical dress. Miss E was happy to play in the rock garden, ride bikes and play trains while she wore it

I should mention I am not affiliated with Boo! Designs I am just a big fan. I have never been disappointed with any of the projects I've made using these patterns.
Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to leave a comment or question :)

Kerry xx

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Few New Friends

So I thought I would share my recent work with you all.  It began a few months ago when I was asked to make some party decorations for a friend to put up at her children's birthday party. I popped over to Bunnings (our local hardware) again and picked up some sheets of plywood. I drew up a sketch with chalk onto the board, then I grabbed my trusty jigsaw and began cutting it out. I sanded the board, and then spent several nights painting my design onto the timber until I was happy with the result. This is what I made for the party - 

It was a big hit with everyone and so I decided to test my creative skills to see what else I could make. 

This was my next 'little friend' and she was decoration at another birthday party & was a hit with the little ones. 

Then I got busy (distracted) by the organising of Master G's birthday party. I love having projects on the go and when his party was finished I turned again to making some timber decorations for our friends and family to use. 

Firstly there was another pig duo to make
Here is my little man modelling with them.

Then there was this clever bilingual girl -


Followed by one of master Griffin's favourite owls -

My nephews went to the movies in the recent school holidays and haven't been able to stop talking about these little yellow guys. So I took inspiration from their current interest in the movie and made this guy - 

These figures are all drawn freehand and as such they have been created with my 'artistic interpretation' of kids characters that you may recognise. I begin with a blank piece of plywood and using chalk I sketch my idea out. When I'm happy with how it looks I begin cutting them out. They aren't photocopied or photoshopped, and they are individually handmade and have unique floors & little mistakes ;) 

What do you think? Do you have any ideas or suggestions of what I could make next? I'm always happy to hear what you think.

With thanks,
Linda x

Happy 2nd Birthday Griffin

I can't believe that 2 years has passed since my baby boy arrived. Gosh that time has gone quickly. This year we had a "Little Man" party for my special little man. 

I love turquoise and red together so it was decided that these colours would be perfect for his decorations. 

Off to Bunnings (our local hardware store) we went to purchase some sheets of timber and a big terracotta pot. Now this is the fun part (and where my half of Sutures & Sandpaper comes in), I cut the timber into a giant number 2 & the letter 'G' for Griffin. After lots of sanding and painting I think they looked great.

The terracotta pot I painted to use as a cake stand, like this -

In keeping with the theme, I cut out top hats, moustaches and bow ties from timber to hang up with the party decorations. (Did I mention that I love working with my power tools ;))

We had a heap of mens ties, bow ties, work shirts, hats, glasses and some crazy stick on moustaches for our guests to dress up in. 

My little man dressed up in his shirt and vest and was ready to party with his friends.

Griffin and his cousin Sethan preparing for the party the day before.
Xander in his 'old man' dress ups

Griffin had a wonderful party, dispute being a little tired from missing his daytime nap. He was full of "wow" and "cool" as he admired all of his lovely gifts. A huge thank you to all our friends and family that celebrated with us xo

With thanks, Linda x

Monday, 15 July 2013

RainBoo! Bright Pinny

I LOVE the Boo! Designs patterns. My favourite is... don't make me pick a favourite. The best part of the Boo! patterns is the Boo designs facebook group. Kristie is very approachable and there is soooo much talent and inspiration in there. Amazingly it is so friendly and there is always someone around to offer the solution to a question, no matter how basic.

I have made a few twirly skirts, some bubblealls (as intended and some modified ones) and before this I'd made two pinnys. They are all so easy to follow and the sizing is great. 

For this Pinny I wanted to mix the pinny with the concept of the Rainbow Dress.I didn't actually use the pattern for the rainbow dress.  I drafted up the pattern for the skirt part myself (have I mentioned I love maths ;)). I wanted it to be short enough that Ellie could still go about her normal playing/climbing/etc. I wanted the rainbow colours to be soft and pretty rather than bold and bright. The picture in my head reminded me of the colours from Rainbow Brite, which I enjoyed as a little girl. I suppose that dates me a bit? I had a Rainbow Brite Doll and her horse Starlight and her little friend Twinksprite. Yes, I can remember it well...
(Not my image, I found it on a google search)

I ended up making the 18 month size so it will fit her better when the weather warms up (which just happens to be birthday season for many of our friends and family). I think it will make a perfect party dress.

This is what I came up with...

I really wanted a top view with her feet under the skirt but she had other ideas. Those feet had to be poking out :/

Love this little girl so much :)

And of course, some twirling....

and more twirling...

Looking at herself (well, kissing herself) in the mirror

Now, I know that is a lot of photos but I had so much trouble cutting down. At least there weren't 400+ photos?

I love this little pinny. I think Eloise does too. She said "Wow" when I put in on her and couldn't stop playing with the skirt. 

The great thing about all of the Boo! patterns is that they allow you to add your own spin and make it your own. There is a Pinny challenge happening at Pattern Revolution and there are some cuuute pinnys linked up.  
(I should add, I am not affiliated with Boo Designs or Pattern Revolution, just a big fan of both).

I'd love to hear what you think, leave me a comment :)
Kerry xx

UPDATE: I have made up a tutorial for this adaptation here. :)