Saturday, June 28, 2008

Harry's Retro Overalls

I have finally made my first garment for Harry! I used one of my Red Cross "20 cent" patterns for some retro overalls, the pattern is from the 1970's. My sister recently gave me a pair of black crosshatch jeans that were brand new that didn't fit her. I wore them a couple of times but they were a bit big for me too, so I used them to make the overalls! Thanks Dort!

I lined the top of the overalls with some left over brown check fabric from Rose's dress (see below) and found an old badge to sew onto the pocket. Unfortunately when I used my Elnapress to iron it, I forgot to cover it with a cloth so the badge has a few marks on it it now! Haha. :-)

I am pleased with how they turned out and was very surprised at how quick and easy they were to make. I especially like the wide leg on them! I lengthened the hem so they can be worn turned up if neccesary. I think I need to move the buttons down a bit in order to do this as at the moment they fit Harry fairly snugly in the body length.

Photographing a toddler was difficult but you get the idea! :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My first applique!

For a few weeks I have been admiring gorgeous applique work on children's clothing but it looked far too difficult to contemplate! I decided to take the plunge and after an Internet search, had a basic idea of how to start.

I made two baby girl outfits in the 0-3 month size, one for my cousin's new baby girl and one for Rose's kindy friend's new baby sister. I found a Simplicity 'Easy' pattern for a baby kimono top (which I am yet to try) and pants. I bought 2 plain white Cotton On long sleeved tops, some pink whalecord and a vintage look pink floral from Spotty.

Last night I made the heart set and this morning I made the bird set. Instead of a traditional zig zag, I used the blanket stitch on my sewing machine to applique the shapes. When I am braver, I will use the zig zag stitch! I was surprised at how easy it was and look forward to trying more applique soon.

My pattern search...

Lately I have developed an obsession with finding a vintage Simplicity pattern which I saw on someone else's blog so each week I search and fossick through the pattern selections at various local op shops in the hope that it might be my lucky day. They have usually been picked over a thousand times by other hopefuls so there isn't usually too much choice left.

This changed however when I stumbled across a Red Cross shop last week! I hunted my way through the shop looking for the elusive "pattern box" and spied a tatty cardboard box underneath a shelf in the corner. It was retro pattern heaven! There were lots of kids patterns which was particularly what I was after. I made a small pile and took one to the assistant to ask how much it would be. She replied, "I don't think we charge much for old patterns, 5 cents". When she saw me come to the counter with a pile I think she wondered if she had given the wrong price (especially since 5 cent pieces don't exist anymore!). She said "I better check the price dear". Another lady came and said "10 cents each". I was still happy with that!

I popped down the road to get some cash (one of the few op shops that don't have Eftpos these days) and they must have discussed it while I was gone as by the time I got back the price has risen to 20 cents each! :) Never mind, I still got a bargain and can't wait to try some of these out.

I am still searching for the Simplicity pattern......

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


In keeping with the dress obsession, Rose loves her nighties and finding Winter ones in NZ is near impossible. After mentioning this to a friend (from Canada!) she very kindly gave me two of her daughter's ones and they immediately became favourites. It was actually these two nighties that inspired me to sew again!

I went and found a similar pattern and some flannelette (fairies, unicorns and ladybugs) and made three more. Rose loves how they "twirl"....

12 Dancing Princesses

Rose's favourite movie at the moment is Barbie's 'The 12 Dancing Princesses' and from the moment she gets up till the sun goes down, she wants to be dressing up as a princess and dancing non stop! Yesterday her dress up fairy costume (which gets put over the top of all other clothing!) was in the wash after a Milo incident and I had no end of complaints, so last night I decided to quickly do up a costume for the interim period while the other one was in the wash.

I used an old white singlet and some pink spotty net type fabric (not stiff like tulle) which I got from the Spotlight $1 Clearance (naturally!). I got a large amount to use as a tablecloth for her upcoming birthday and used a portion for the overskirt. For the extra 3 layers underneath I just used an old organza curtain from our last house and gathered them all together with the pink spot and attached it to the singlet top. To finish it off I Googled how to make a fabric rose and made one out of the scrap spotty fabric and attached it to the bodice. She was so excited to see it hanging in the lounge this morning, all ready for more dancing adventures now!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My sewing related bargains for the week!

I got three great sewing bargains this week. :-)

1. Touchwood rimu change table for $20 which I am using as my storage trolley for fabric.

2. My very favourite, an Elna Press for $25! It is in very good condition and apart from being a little musty smelling (I think it hadn't been used in years!), works like a dream. Pressing anything is a joy on this thing! :-)

3. Clearance fabrics for $1 per metre at Spotlight. I bought a few large pieces and have no idea what I will do with them but I couldn't pass them up. I also got some great zebra print remnants to make some buggy liners out of.

Rose in "the new dress"

Rose enjoyed wearing her new dress today. I think she would have preferred it to be pink (of course!) but I was going for more of a 'Mill and Mia' look like you see at the gorgeous shop, 'Child' in Ponsonby. :-) A pink one will be on the agenda soon.

My first dress!

Well, I have finished my first dress!

I have been to Spotlight a few times now, looking for just the right pattern but have been disappointed with the selection. I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted (after a couple of long nights browsing Etsy!) but just couldn't find what I wanted. In the end I used another dress of Rose's as a rough draft pattern for this one. I bought a whole lot of fabric at the Spotlight $1, $2, $4 clearance sale, (thank goodness for stocktake sales!) and chose these fabrics to make my first dress as I figured if it flopped it wouldn't be huge finacial loss. :-) I used a brown check for the bodice and sash and a brown and white vintage look floral for the underskirt. The denim overskirt and straps were made from fabric left over from a skirt I made for myself about 4 years ago.

All in all, I am pleased with how it turned out! I learnt three new things when making this dress.

1. How to use a gathering foot on my machine (thanks Karen), a blessed discovery indeed.

2. How to do buttonholes, I was feeling the love for my machine after this!

3. I made my first covered buttons! (Now I think I am addicted to covered buttons) :-)

The dress bodice gaped a bit at the back (the sash helped draw it in) so next time I am going to have to think about how to rectify this. Perhaps using a proper pattern, rather than guessing might help!