Monday, October 13, 2008

Maxi 'Bump' Dress

Finally, an adult garment!

Nellie wanted a Maxi dress that she could wear while pregnant with her "bump", and also afterwards. With only 3 weeks to go until her due date, finding a suitable pattern was a challenge! I thought that a pattern for a knit dress would be best as her shape will be changing a lot over the next 2-3 months and a cotton dress would be too restrictive on terms of sizing.

We went on a search around Hamilton for the perfect pattern. There was only ONE Maxi dress pattern for a knit fabric in all of the pattern books, regardless of brand! Of course, the pattern was sold out in all of Hamilton, and as it turned out, all of the Auckland too! As luck would have it, Nellie was travelling to Rotorua for work a few days later and stopped into the Fabric Barn...they had the pattern!

We used $5 per metre fabric from Spotlight (purchased before we had the pattern) and my estimation skills were quite a way off so we got 5 metres. In the end the dress only needed 2.5!

It was a very simple style and "should" have been reasonably straight forward, what I didn't count on was how difficult this fabric was to work with. It was extremely slippery and time consuming to work with! I learnt a good lesson in following patterns too. I tried to follow their directions and was VERY confused. In the end I decided to unpick a lot of it and sew it intuitively, I didn't have any problems after that. It may not be assembled in the same way as the pattern but the dress still looks the same from the outside. I also had my first lesson in adjusting a pattern to fit. This wasn't a maternity pattern so I had to play around with the sizing a little.

Overall, I guess I am pleased with it and Nellie looks GORGEOUS in it. She has bought more fabric for the next one!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The "GGGRRRR" Dress

I have called this the "GGGRRRR" dress as this is the sound I often made when making it last night! It started out as a simple project but due to my inexperience with shirring, took quite a bit longer than I anticipated.

I used some pink unicorn fabric that Rose chose a while ago, and pale pink gingham Treehouse (South African designer children's fabric) material for the hem and ties.

I basically hemmed a tube of fabric and set out to shir the bodice in several rows. After sending out an emergency text message to Karen for help, I was able to get started but my first shirring attempts were disastrous. It was far too loose and I just couldn't get the tension right. Several times during the night I was about to give up and just as I really WAS about to give up, I decided to give it one more go. I adjusted the bobbin tension (yet again!) and I finally had success.

The shirred bodice went relatively smoothly after that, it was the hem that was to be my next stumbling block! I initially made a pink gingham gathered frill to attach to the bottom. I was overlocking the frill to the dress and didn't see (it was late!) that there was a fold in the fabric and the overlocker chopped a hunk out of the dress! The only way to salvage it was to cut it much shorter and add a much wider band at the bottom to give it the extra length it needed. It was too late to bother with gathering so I made it into a plain band, which I now love.

When I finished it I felt a great sense of satisfaction and was glad I persevered as I learnt a lot from making it. As a bonus, Rose really loved it! I think I may make a few more for the summer months ahead.

My 'Spotty' P&T!

After spotting a great bargain on Trademe, I was able to upgrade my old, well used Phil & Teds to this gorgeous new P&T in Apple Green, with no monetary outlay! I sold my old one for the price I paid for this one. It was a lucky find!

I wanted to make some matching liners for it so went fabric shopping on Saturday and picked up this great spotty material from the craft print section. I made the liners reversible so the other side is a bright fire engine red drill. At the moment I am loving the spotty side! I am pleased with how they turned out.


There are a number of people at work who are having babies in the next few weeks so that has meant baby showers galore!

I decided to make them some bibs as a practical gift, you can never have too many! I used a favourite bib of ours as a pattern, chose some cute prints and used plain flannelette or fleece on the reverse sides.

I have made over 20 of these but due to having such a busy term, they were often made the night before the shower so I didn't have a chance to take photos.

Here are two that I had left over! I have been using metal press snaps from Spotlight and they do work well...when they work! They are quite fiddly and I have wasted countless numbers of pronged pieces by not getting the alignment exactly right. They are too expensive to keep doing this so I am planning on investing in a snap press and some plastic snaps, available from, suppliers of materials required for MCN making. This means 'Modern Cloth Nappies' to the uninitiated! :)