Tag Archives: bright

New for spring…and a call-out for San Francisco local knowledge

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the HedgerowInspired by an upcoming blogger’s weekend in Paris (more on that very soon ūüėČ ), I decided to make a spring ensemble to rival the sunniest day!

Early tomorrow morning we’re off to San Francisco (eek!!!) – and right now it’s 10.30pm – and I haven’t packed yet – so this will be a brief post filled with brightly coloured pictures and me looking a bit awkward in front of the camera (out of practice!!).

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

The Skirt…

…is the A+ skirt by Make it Perfect patterns. ¬†It’s a classic a-line shape with a top yoke and different versions to include pockets, button placket, or ribbon detail. ¬†Overall the pattern is well-drafted and clearly explained. ¬†Just a few things to note:

  • The top yoke is unlined. ¬†I thought this wouldn’t have enough structure so I added a facing using the same pattern piece as for the yoke itself. ¬†I also used some fusible interfacing on the facing piece. ¬†A quick fix for a more structured waist.
  • I lined the skirt. ¬†I attached it to the seam line of the yoke/skirt (wrong sides together) and this worked well.
  • My measurements were in between a small and medium and I made the medium. ¬†Now that I try it on I think it’s a bit too big. ¬†With a skirt like this you want it to be pretty snug so it stays in place.
  • I love the pockets on the skirt but I find them a little too low.
  • I do love an a-line shape in skirts but, for me, this one is a bit too flared. ¬†I’m being really picky because it’s only marginally wider than I would like.
  • The zip insertion and instructions are great. ¬†I almost always do an invisible zip but¬†I think I now might be a convert to the lapped zip!

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

To make this my perfect a-line skirt, next time I would use the facing and lining as described above, make the yoke piece slightly narrower which would bring the pockets up a bit higher, size down to small, and make the a-line shape a little less pronounced.

The cardigan…

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

…is the Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations. ¬†This is the second time I’ve sewn this pattern. ¬†This is the first version I made.

julia-cardi-title-image-21This is one of my most-warn cardigans (and that’s saying a lot considering it doesn’t even have pockets!!). ¬†You can read a full pattern review here.

With such a love for this pattern,¬†I didn’t change much in this version. ¬†In fact, the only thing I changed was the sleeve length (long sleeves to 3/4 length sleeves). ¬†The fabric itself is much thinner so it drapes a bit differently but I think I’ll love this one just as much.

Overall, I love my new cheery spring outfit. ¬†I can see many sunny days sipping cocktails in the sun…

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

And now onto our holiday…

Yup, we’re off to San Francisco. ¬†I’m American, I live in England, and everyone I meet here assumes I know San Francisco like the back of my hand. ¬†The truth is I’ve never been to California at all! ¬†We’re visiting some dear friends but that’s not to say I won’t have plenty of time for fabric and haberdashery shopping! ¬†So, do any of you out there have any not-to-be-missed suggestions (fabric or otherwise)?! ¬†Where to get the best Japanese food? ¬†Is Alcatraz worth doing? ¬†Any good day trip ideas with kids? ¬†If you want to follow any of our shenanigans and discoveries make sure to follow on Instagram.

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks to you all for reading and here’s hoping that spring and sunshine will be filling your days!

Laura x

 

A wild interpretation for the Take One Dress Series

Tinny Dress // Behind the HedgerowI am currently taking part in Victoria’s (As It Seams) fun and fresh sewing series Take One Dress. ¬†The idea is that each month a sewing blogger sews a dress inspired by the previous month’s inspiration piece and then passes another inspiration piece to the next blogger. ¬†It’s pretty addictive viewing!

Last month Tasha from Glitter and Wit set my challenge and today I’m sharing my interpretation of that challenge. ¬†You can see all the photos and read all about it over at As It Seams.

Another Simplicity 1652…in Liberty of London (*swoon*)

 

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Make this pattern if: you want to spend the time to get a nicely fitted bodice.

Don’t make this pattern if: you’re larger than a D cup (the pattern only goes this high).

My youngest brother got married last month and I had a very short window of time to sew something to wear.  The call went out on Instagram and some helpful blogging buddies helped me decide what to make.

I’ve never duplicated dress patterns before but, since I cracked the “amazing fit” aspect of this pattern (well, almost), I decided to take it out for another spin. (Plus, since all the pattern pieces were cut and ready to go I was already ahead of the game).

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Simplicity 1652 is part of the Amazing Fit collection. ¬†The idea behind these patterns is that you choose your dress size and your bust size and then mix and match the pieces to make a dress that’s perfectly fitted to you. ¬†I must say, it’s a pretty good system (as long as you fall within the A – D cup range). ¬†I made a size 12 with a C cup.

My first version of this dress was made from a linen-cotton blend and can be seen here. ¬†(You can also read the full pattern review is this post so I won’t repeat everything here). ¬†I love this dress. ¬†I wear it often as it strikes that perfect balance between easy-to-wear yet still smart and stylish. ¬†This version, with the Liberty of London fabric, takes it up a notch in the ‘fancy’ stakes. ¬†I’ve worn it once since the wedding but it’s not something I’d throw on for a wander down the shops for a pint of milk.

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Like the first time, I made view A.  For the back I made view A (closed back with invisible zip) as opposed to view B (cut out back) that I did the first time.

simplicity-1652-back-view1

Of course I forgot to photograph the back – it’s just like the one above but with the cut out bit filled in. ūüėČ

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

The whole sewing process of this dress went really smoothly – it’s amazing how much repetition improves our skills! ¬†I was a little nervous cutting into that lush Liberty (which was destined for Margot’s Ash Jumpsuit) but once the first snip was made I settled into it nicely.

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

So there you have it Рanother summer dress.  Makes a nice change from all those skirts, right?  I have Simplicity 1882, another one in the Amazing Fit collection, in my stash so really must give that a go next.

Simplicity 1652 in Liberty of London // Behind the Hedgerow

What are you making now that summer’s hotting up (or things are cooling down if you’re Down Under)? ¬†We are T-minus 13 days to our house move so please forgive me if you don’t hear from me for a short while. ¬†I plan to document the move over on Instagram so if you’re at all interested in the transition from city-living to country-bumpkin then please follow along!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

 

Sew a summer skirt 101 [Minerva Craft Blogger Network]

Simplicity-1616-front-looking-down

Sometimes I wonder exactly who you are. ¬†Yes, you! ¬†Perhaps you’re all seasoned sewists who check in on me now and again in an “awww, isn’t she cute trying to sew” kind of way; or maybe you’re absolute beginners looking for a little guidance from a fellow sewing enthusiast (and I sincerely hope there’s a lovely mix of both types out there).

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Whatever your level or background, we all love a simple skirt, right?!  Well, that is exactly what I have to share with you this month for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network.

The Pattern

The pattern is Simplicity 1616. ¬†Yes, it’s as basic as they come but it’s also an incredibly useful staple. ¬†It has versions for both knit and woven fabric and, especially if you’re new to sewing, it walks you through the (very few) steps to create the skirt – sew side seams, sew on waistband, hem, DONE! ¬†It really is that easy! ¬†I made this skirt in way under an hour and still had time and fabric left to make a matching one for Margot.

The waistband is a fold-over yoga-style which means you can throw this baby on in a seconds flat…and it’s ridiculously comfortable!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

The Fabric

If you’re going to make something as simple as this then it’s important to consider the fabric carefully. ¬†A basic solid colour skirt would be acceptable but this techno-bright digital floral graphic is waaaay more fun, I think you’ll agree!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

This is a heavy(ish) weight polyester/spandex jersey fabric. ¬†The print is fun and vivid, the feel is slippery yet weighty and it’s listed on the Minerva Craft site as Scuba bodycon – which I found somewhat scary and slightly intimidating. ¬†I had to double-check with Minerva to make sure it would be suitable for a simple skirt.

It turns out it’s perfect for this skirt. ¬†I made view A but shortened it by 15 inches. ¬†For Margot’s skirt I used the skirt part of the pattern from Kitschy Coo’s Skater Dress and drafted a waistband based on her measurements. ¬†Again, easy as pie – and one happy girl!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

One word to the wise, especially if using this fabric for children’s clothes, it will pick quite easily so, if such things bother you, take care.

I’ve crossed a line

This innocuous little project has also seen me cross a sewing line that I thought would never happen Рmatching mother/daughter clothes!  I cringe even when I type out the words!  What have I done!?

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Well, if I’m totally honest I can’t say I’m that surprised. ¬†Ever since I’ve seen Trine (Groovybaby…and Mama) sew up some fabulous ensembles for her and her daughter I knew that matching clothes could now officially be classed as cool and acceptable (at least in my world of what’s ‘official’ and what’s ‘cool’). ¬†What about you?! ¬†Are you rushing out to buy bolts of fabric destined for matching outfits or are you currently un-subscribing to this blog with the mere suggestion of such a fashion faux-pas?

Sum up

These things are true:

  • Summer is around the corner (at least for us Northern Hemispherers)
  • Time is always the most valuable commodity
  • Swishy skirts add fun and frivolity to life
  • If you have a daughter, you can now be twins!

Do you need any more persuading! ¬†It’ll be the best 45 minutes you’ve ever spent sewing something so simple!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

PS – Have you noticed some changes around the blog?! ¬†I have now moved from wordpress.com to wordpress.org! ¬†Way-hey! ¬†There will be more changes in the coming days and I’m working on my own little giveaway as well! ¬†Stay tuned and in the meantime feel free to have a fresh look around.

 

The Willow & Co ASH Jumpsuit

ASH Jumpsuit - Willow & Co patterns // Behind the Hedgerow

Willow and Co is coming!! ¬†Have you heard of this new pattern collective?? ¬†It’s run by a small group of skilled and creative independent designers and their first collection, Wanderlust, will be released for sale next Tuesday 22nd April. ¬†These are all brand spanking new patterns and, let me tell you, each one of them looks pretty irresistible for the coming summer months.

I was lucky enough to be a tester for Celina Bailey’s Ash Jumpsuit. ¬†This is a one or two piece pattern that ticks all the boxes for comfort and style. ¬†Celina’s attention to detail is impeccable and it really was a joy to make.

ASH Jumpsuit - Willow & Co patterns // Behind the HedgerowI actually bought some Liberty lawn to make this jumpsuit but I chickened out at the last-minute! ¬†Since the pattern was still in the testing phase I was worried that I might inadvertently ruin my fabric. ¬†In hindsight I shouldn’t have worried – Celina had it all under control. ¬†You know what that means though, I just have to make another one! ¬†How many jumpsuits is it acceptable to have in one’s wardrobe?!

ASH Jumpsuit - Willow & Co patterns // Behind the Hedgerow

I made the one-piece version just for the sheer novelty of it! ¬†I love that, like a dress, it’s just a throw-it-on-and-walk-out-the-door kind of outfit. ¬†I tell you – that makes mama and daughter happy!

ASH Jumpsuit - Willow & Co patterns // Behind the Hedgerow

There were a few goose bumps in this photo shoot – warm temps haven’t quite reached us in Belgium – but once they do this will be a wardrobe staple.

ASH Jumpsuit - Willow & Co patterns // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks to Celina, as well as to all the other designers, for coming up with such unique, versatile and fun patterns. ¬†Which do you like the look of? ¬†My boys are crying out for some new duds so I think I’ll be trying the Kudzu cargos or Hawthorn zip-up sweatshirt next.

ASH Jumpsuit - Willow & Co patterns // Behind the Hedgerow

So, set your alarms, mark you calendars and get ready for next Tuesday! ¬†You’re bound to see lots of these patterns popping up in the blogosphere – it’s futile to resist!! ¬†In fact, you can already see some more Ash Jumpsuits here, here,¬†here¬†and here.

And the final test….the jumping….

ASH Jumpsuit - Willow & Co patterns // Behind the HedgerowThanks for reading,

Laura x

 

It’s Spring – time to get outside! {A Mailbox Surprise creation}

Bias-trimmed gardening apron // Behind the HedgerowToday I’m guest posting at Compagnie M. as part of the Mailbox Surprise Series. ¬†This series has seen fabric parcels being sent to talented sewing bloggers all over the world to be used to make wonderful creations for the little people in our lives.

I sent Ana Sofia (S is for Sewing) this parcel back in December…

…which she then turned into this:

Pretty fun, right? ¬†(And pretty cute – well, just plain pretty!). ¬†Today it’s my turn to share the creation I made using fabric sent to me by Suz (Sewpony).

Bias-trimmed gardening apron // Behind the Hedgerow

I’ve enjoyed this whole project because:

  • The sun is out!!!!! ¬†Can you see the light shining on the apron at the top!! ¬†I haven’t seen the sun in months!
  • The photo shoot did NOT take place in front of my white brick wall!! ¬†Shock, I know! ¬†So, where did we venture? ¬†Click over to Compagnie M. to find out!
  • The photo shoot required exactly ZERO bribes and no tears were shed.

You can read all the details and see many more photos over at Compagnie M.  I think every girl deserves an apron to get mucky in!

Bias-trimmed gardening apron // Behind the HedgerowThanks for reading!  I have something BIG to share on Monday so please stop by!

Laura x

Three scrappy quilts – six lessons learned

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

Six days to go, folks!! ¬†This is my first Christmas season of tackling holiday sewing as well as blogging. ¬†It’s killing me, guys!! ¬†I don’t know how everyone does it. ¬†Whenever I have a moment to check out my blog feed on Bloglovin’ I’m totally awed and put to shame by the amount of sheer productivity out there. ¬†The online sewing/crafting community never ceases to amaze me.

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

Tomorrow my family and I leave Belgium for the UK so today is my final day to complete all my Christmas sewing (I have been strictly forbidden to bring my sewing machine with us!).  But guess what?  I did it!  I completed the three quilts I started in early November.  They are done, done and done!

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

Because I have about four hours of awake time to start and finish packing for a family of five for two weeks away from home, this post will be light on words (unusual for me, I know!) and heavy on photos.

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

Details

  • Quilt top – well, scraps, obviously! ūüôā
  • Quilt bottom – some lush¬†double gauze from the Imagine Gnats shop.
  • Batting –¬†Quilter’s Dream Cotton Batting¬†purchased from The Village Haberdashery
  • Binding – shop-bought bias tape which I machine sewed (I’m sure this breaks at least two quilting laws but that’s the beauty in sewing something you know nothing about – you don’t feel that you have to conform to the established rules).

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

Lessons Learned

Like any new project, mistakes are always made and lessons are always learned.  Let me share a few with you so, if you happen to also be new to quilting, you can at least avoid these six pitfalls.

1.  Buy lots of thread

Sound obvious? ¬†Well, my progress was scuppered at least three times by running out of the correct thread colour late at night…and we all know how annoying it is to be forced to stop sewing when we’re on a roll!

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

2.  Alternate the direction of sewing when doing straight line quilting

I used straight line quilting Рessentially lots of looooong straight(ish) lines.  I found that alternating the direction of sewing each line made for a bit less distortion and shifting.  Also, take the time to get your stitch length and tension correct before quilting that first central line.

3. ¬†Use a walking foot. ¬†But, then again, maybe don’t.

Everything I read said a walking foot was essential for quilting. ¬†I used mine for two and half of the quilts and then forgot for the last half. ¬†And, would you believe it?, the normal foot gave a smoother finish! ¬†I’d try it both ways before starting.

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

4.  Be prepared for a workout

All the pushing and shoving of the quilt through the machine is tiring!  I did the entire first quilt in one sitting and then wondered why my upper arms were sore the next morning.

5.  Hand stitch the binding

I know, I know, I just talked about how liberating it was to just sew it with my machine but, if you look closely, my binding is pretty much a mess. ¬†Next time I will do the first line of bias stitching with the machine, then fold it over to enclose the raw edge and hand stitch it in place. ¬†I just didn’t have the time this time (and somehow I don’t think the kids are going to notice).

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

6. ¬†Don’t sew when you’re tired or rushed

Let me tell you a little story. ¬†I was sewing the last row of binding on to the last quilt. ¬†I was rushing and totally ready for it to be finished. ¬†When I looked underneath tons of stitches had been skipped and it was a huge mess. ¬†I pulled it all out (took forever), re-sewed it and the same thing happened. ¬†I decided to just live with it. ¬†THEN at the FINAL snip of the thread I¬†cut straight into the binding! ¬†THEN somehow I managed to unknowingly cut my finger which I only discovered when I was¬†dripping blood all over the quilt! ¬†Take your time! ¬†Don’t rush!

scrappy quilts // Behind the Hedgerow

Wrapped and ready to go under the tree.

What I loved most about making these quilts was seeing all those lovely fabrics again. ¬†It was like a little walk down sewing memory lane. ¬†If you’d like to go on that virtual journey with me, here are some items I’ve made with these fabrics…many made long before my blogging days. ¬†Do you recognise any of these fabrics? ¬†Have you sewn with any of them??

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO GO STRAIGHT TO BLOG POST (OR FLICKR IMAGE IF IT WAS PRE-BLOGGING)

geranium dress owls- margot


geranium dress fawns - margot

valentine post 5


geranium dress pink - front


bbq shirt - g wearing Banksia top with text _edited-1 simplicity1800 (7) flower circle skirt hanging

oliver+s bow hair tie (wearing) fairy tale dress, sleeve - KCW Spring 2013 circle scarf - all 5, close up


banyan shorts - t-shirt and shoes Scout tee - wearing white fairy tale dress - front collar detail


ring bearer's pillow - carrying

red riding hood - reverse Bess Top V2 - wearing, looking down 2_edited-1


Niveole blouse - pleat detail Jacob Trousers - front view from waist downAnd finally, I just want to wish you all the merriest of festive seasons. ¬†2013 has, for me, been the year I started blogging. ¬†I’ve loved every minute (well, apart from the blood on the quilt perhaps), every comment and every opportunity to do more sewing and sharing. ¬†Thanks to you all for coming on this journey with me. ¬†I can tell already that 2014 is going to be even better!!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

Minerva Craft Blogger Network – Simplicity 1666, Lisette Attache Dress

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the HedgerowOK, so here’s what you fabulous sewists should do – stop all that holiday sewing and make a dress for yourself!

I know, it’s a bit indulgent at this time of year and, to be honest, I know for a fact I wouldn’t have taken on this project right now had I not already committed myself to the Minerva Craft Blogger Network.

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the Hedgerow

But here we are, two weeks before Christmas, the dress is done, and I love that I have something new, special and versatile to wear to all the holiday outings.

The Dress

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the Hedgerow

For my second month as part of the Minerva Craft Blogger Network I’m sharing with you the Lisette Attache Dress (Simplicity 1666). ¬†I made the dress (view A) but the pattern also includes a peplum top, a straight skirt and a bag. ¬†After all my blathering on last month about pushing ourselves with our sewing projects, this month I took it a bit easy (I was accurately predicting my mild panic about getting all the Christmas sewing done). ¬†You can’t go wrong with Lisel Gibson’s Lisette patterns (or her Oliver+s patterns for that matter). ¬†I knew I was in safe hands as far as the construction goes.

The challenging part of this project came in the¬†style. ¬†The shape of this dress is not something that I would usually go for – my default dress is boxy and rather shapeless. ¬†The Lisette Portfolio Dress (Simplicity 2245) that I’m wearing in that little image up there on the right is pretty much my perfect dress. ¬†I also recently purchased The Camber Dress pattern by Merchant and Mills which I can’t wait to try out.

This Lisette dress is more hourglass shaped and I even wore a belt! ¬†I¬†never wear dresses with belts. ¬†I mean never! ¬†I bought this belt about five years ago and this is the second time I’ve worn it.

The Fabric

The fabric for this dress is an aubergine crepe¬†(but comes in ten different colours). ¬†It was a bit of a challenge simply because it was new to me. ¬†As it turns out, it was easy to sew and quite forgiving (although does fray quite a bit – make sure to overlock or zig zag your raw edges). ¬†It drapes really well and has a lovely weight to it (I didn’t find it necessary to line the dress).

Construction

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the Hedgerow

Do you like it better with or without the belt??

I was feeling a bit reckless when I started this dress and took two shortcuts that I normally wouldn’t do (but thankfully turned out ok).

  • First, I didn’t make a muslin. ¬†I just couldn’t face making the dress twice and I’d made other Lisette patterns in size 14 so felt fairly confident it would fit.
  • Second, instead of tracing my size onto pattern paper and then cutting out, I just cut my size straight from the printed pattern. ¬†Maybe you all do that anyway??

To make the dress I followed the instructions pretty closely – it is Liesl after all. ¬†It consists of six panels which give the dress a lovely shape – it skims the body without being overtly fitted. ¬†Also, with these panels it’s quite easy to make adjustments to the size in just the right place.

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the Hedgerow

The only two alterations I made (and these are tiny!):

  • I used an invisible zip instead of a normal zip and installed it using this tutorial from The Coletterie (by far the best tutorial I’ve come across).
  • I planned on hand stitching the hem on the sleeves and at the bottom but, after doing one sleeve, the fabric looked puckered and bumpy so I opted for machine stitching instead. ¬†If you sew with this fabric be careful as it doesn’t crease when ironed so you have to persuade it to behave.

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the Hedgerow

Sizing and Fit

My measurements fell in between size 12 and 14 and went for the 14 (always better too big than too small, right?). ¬†I basted the side seams to start with and was so relieved that it fit on the first try. ¬†After taking these pictures and wearing the dress all day I realise that the fit isn’t actually perfect – there is a bit of gaping between the top of my bust and shoulders. ¬†Even though overall I’m happy, I’m curious to know what a size 12 would look like. ¬†There is a bit of stretch in the fabric so perhaps I could have got away with a size smaller. ¬†What do you guys think? ¬†Does it look too big?

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the Hedgerow

Final thoughts

I am happy with this dress. ¬†I’m still not completely comfortable with the whole belt thing but, I must say, it does feel decidedly grown up! ¬†I was sort of swishing my way through the day with purpose and determination!! ¬†It’s a dress that gives you confidence! ¬†If you like what you see here you can buy the full kit – fabric, thread, zip, and pattern – over at Minerva Crafts. ¬†Made in black, this dress would be endlessly versatile and even kind of sexy. ¬†Go on, give it a go!

Simplicity 1666 // Behind the HedgerowThanks for reading and here’s hoping you find the time to sew yourself something fabulous for the holidays.

Laura x

Mr Green Jeans – KCW Fall 2013

Banyan trousers photo collage

If you are reading this and are interested in sewing for children then I’m sure you’re already aware that we’re in the throes of Kids Clothes Week Fall 2013…day two to be precise. ¬†I’m working away on many projects and trying to squeeze them all into this one little week. ¬†I find that the sewing is manageable – it’s the photographing, editing and writing that sucks away all the time.

green banyan trousers - title image

So, in the interest of high sewing productivity, this post will be short and sweet.

green banyan trousers - back view

green banyan trousers - side view

These jeans are made from Figgy’s Banyan Pants pattern. ¬†I’ve made the shorts version once before – you can read the full pattern review here¬†(and I’d forgotten until now just how detailed it is!). ¬†Just for a point of comparison and to give you an idea of the different direction this pattern can go in, here is a pic of the shorts version.

banyan shorts - t-shirt and shoesThe construction of the trousers was identical to the shorts so there’s not much to add to the pattern review. ¬†Here are the particulars of this version.

green banyan trousers - hanging

  • Size. ¬†My son is almost 9 and very, very skinny…like green bean skinny…I guess these trousers are rather appropriate! ¬†I made a size 6/7 for the trousers but extended it to the length of size 8/9. ¬†This worked well for trousers (so glad I didn’t go any bigger) but they’re still a teeny tiny bit too short. ¬†He can wear them for now but I’m going to have a think about how to lengthen them – with the cuff at the bottom it’s not as simple as just letting down the hem.

green banyan trousers - cuff detail

  • The fabric is a green denim that I bought from Jo-Ann’s while I was in the States this past summer. ¬†This was my first time sewing jeans. ¬†I used a jeans sewing needle (that sucker is thick!) and, for the most part, it was no more difficult than quilting-weight cotton.

green banyan trousers - stylin'

  • Since discovering flocking (read all about it here), I want to add it to everything. ¬†George liked the idea of a lightning bolt so we worked out that part together and added it to the back pocket. ¬†It’s very hard not to get carried away with it!

green banyan trousers - back pocket detail

  • And finally, I added petrol blue piping to the slanted pocket seam. ¬†I think it’s subtle enough for a 8-year-old boy to get away with and still satisfies my craving for adding details.

green banyan trousers - piping pocket detail

I’m happy to tick this off my sewing list (it’s been on there since buying the fabric in July). ¬†George is happy with his new pair of trousers and, if we’re lucky, he can wear them a full week before he grows another three inches and they sit in my ‘repairs and alterations’ box patiently waiting for some length to be added!

green banyan trousers - sitting

Onwards and upwards!  Next up РOliver +s Book Report Dress and Go To Patterns Leggings.

Hope you’re all enjoying this week of frantic kid sewing – all the photos in the KCW Flickr pool and on the KCW blog and beyond inspiring – I literally have to drag myself away from the computer and into my sewing room!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

The Skater Dress: a Fall/Autumn staple

skater dress - www.behind-the-hedgerow

Sometimes the simple, easy-to-wear sewing projects are the most successful.  As case-in-point is this dress:

skater dress - full front view 2

The Skater Dress pattern by Amanda of Kitschy Coo

Oh-so-many dresses have been sewn in the house in recent months and have included everything from collars, plackets, darts, zips, pleats, buttons, gathers and ties.  These dresses are all great in their own way, but with the starting of school and subsequent darker mornings and cranky, tired kids, things are starting to get real!

My first bleary-eyed task of each school day morning is choosing clothes for the kids to wear (try as I might I never get my act together to do this the night before) and what do I always reach for? – something comfortable, weather-appropriate and easy to put on. ¬†In other words, clothes for a morning that doesn’t involve protests, tears or tantrums!

skater dress - neckline detail

This dress ticks all those boxes and has the added bonus of being funky and stylish. ¬†It’s the kind of dress I have to force myself not to choose every day.

I decided on this dress as part of my attempt to get over my fear of sewing with knits without a serger (which has included go-to-leggings, a hemlock tee, flashback skinny tees and, currently on my sewing table,¬†Named Clothing’s Blair Batwing Shirt).

skater dress - hem detail

The fabric is a most-scrumptious Liberty print jersey from Ray-Stitch.  The whole dress takes less than a metre of fabric so it actually feels like a bargain Рeven with Liberty!

I made size 5/6 for my five-and-a-half year old. ¬†After some unorthodox pattern fitting…

…I decided it would be right! ¬†In fact, the fit is great. ¬†It looks good now but is still roomy enough for some growth. ¬†In fact, the pattern specifically states that it’s designed to last two years and I can see how that will be the case.

skater dress - full back view

The instructions are clear and easy to follow, accompanied by lots of photos.  This Liberty jersey is quite stable which made it my easiest knit project to date.  Just a few things about the process:

  • Be careful with the neckline binding. ¬†The instructions tell you to sew one shoulder seam, attach the binding, then sew the other shoulder seam. ¬† I wasn’t careful enough when attaching the binding to the open neckline so that when I sewed the second shoulder seam the two ends didn’t match up. ¬†I wonder if it would be easier to sew both shoulder seams first and then attach the binding – this is how I’ve done it in other t-shirts. ¬†Thoughts??

skater dress - neckline flaw

  • There are no pockets. ¬†This dress is so perfect in every other way that I don’t even mind. ¬†I considered adding some in-seam pockets but wasn’t sure if they would make the dress too bulky.
  • The pattern gives quite a bit of detail about how to achieve a smooth hem. ¬†In the end I used a double stretch needle with a stitch length of 3.0 and a tension of 3. ¬†I then trimmed the excess fabric on the inside – not totally professional but very passable.

skater dress - inside hem

Perhaps you’re reading this and thinking that it’s soooo lovely you would like one for yourself?! ¬†Well, don’t despair, Amanda has made a grown-up version as well! ¬†I haven’t tried it yet but would love to hear if you’ve made it.

skater dress - full front view

So, what have you all been sewing for Autumn?  Any plans to take part in Selfish Sewing Week?

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

PS РI won this pattern as a prize in the Shorts on the Line Competiton.  As always, all opinions are my own.