Tag Archives: leggings

The 12 Days of Christmas = snuggly pjs, dressing gowns and food!

12 days of christmas sewing series // Behind the Hedgerow

Why are these kids so darn happy!?  Come on over to Sewpony and find out.  Today I’m sharing some Christmas clothing for my kids as part of The 12 Days of Christmas sewing series.  Plus, I’ve included a fail-proof recipe for something delicious to add to your Christmas morning breakfast.

Danish Pastry Recipe // Behind the Hedgerow

I hope you’ll stop by and say hi!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a my Minerva Craft Blogger Network offering – Lisette 1666.  I can’t wait to chat to you all about this dress because, I must say, it’s really surprised me!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

Oliver+s Book Report Dress and leggings – KCW Fall 2013

Book Report Dress - title image

Guess what guys?  It’s my birthday today and I’ve been given a strict order from my family that I will NOT spend all evening on the computer writing this post.  Jeez, what kind of family is that, wanting to spend time with me and all?!?!  With gifts and dinner being prepared for me (cuttlefish with capers and harissa followed by a celeriac and mushroom torte, in case you’re wondering…oh, and cupcakes…big ones filled with dulce de leche….and some divine dessert wine we picked up this weekend in Germany) I couldn’t protest too much.

book report dress - back view at bug house

So, let’s got on with it.  This is a straight-up all-girl, ultra-useful Autumn outfit.  The dress is Oliver+s’s Book Report Dress and the leggings are from Go To Patterns.  I feel a bit lame and unhelpful by saying this but both these items sewed up without any hitches (apart from a minor sewing machine error – skipped stitches and the top thread occasionally breaking…any thoughts on a cause?!).  I didn’t even alter or change a single thing.  It was such a treat to be in Liesl’s good hands while sewing that I decided to just follow the instructions and not tax my brain too much on alterations.  Plus these patterns are pretty much spot-on so why mess with a good thing, right?

book report dress - action 2

Book Report Dress

book report dress - action

This dress is rated as two scissors.  All other dresses I’ve made from Oliver+s have been three scissors and I really could tell a difference.  This one just came together so easily without any hiccups but without sacrificing any of the subtle details, professional finishes and overall style that we’ve all come to expect from Oliver+s.  To be honest, the most annoying part of this project was step one – making and sewing the button loops.  I don’t know why I find this process so tedious.  I even tried to use a tube turner which is a long skinny thing you put through a tube after you sew it right sides together.  It’s meant to turn the whole tube right side out but I can never get it to work.  Has anyone had any success with one of these?  In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it looks like this:

The black fabric is from The Village Haberdashery.  The mustard yellow is Kona cotton from my local fabric shop.

I sewed a size 6 for my 5.75 year old.  I knew it would come out big (some of her measurements put her in size 4) but I have an awful habit of making things too small so I was fine with a bit of growing room.

book report dress - neckline button detail

Overall, I do like the dress but I can’t say it’s one of my favourite pieces ever.  For me, the jury’s out on the shirt hem.  My favourite features are the hidden pockets along the front horizontal seam, the contrast yoke in the back and the button opening along the neckline.

book report dress - pocket detail

Go To Leggings

This is the second time I’ve made these leggings from Go To Patterns.  You can read about the first pair here.   With only two pattern pieces to work with you can sew these in an evening and be done in time to catch the news with a cup of tea.  Again, I made no changes or alterations – aren’t I boring today?!

book report dress - back

The petrol blue jersey is from Kitschy Coo and it really is a lovely colour – I’m wondering if I have enough left to make a pair for myself.  I had the size 5 pattern piece cut out so used that but just made it slightly bigger when cutting out the fabric because the first pair are already getting small and I was too lazy to trace the size 6.  This worked ok.

I’m being called for dinner so I’ll leave you to sip my champagne and enjoy!

book report dress - cuff detail

Realistically I will get one more KCW item sewn.  Let’s hope I can get it up before Sunday.

And, as Margot’s expression tells us, I think we’re finished here.

book report dress - final

Thanks for reading,
Laura x

Top 10 Autumn selfish sewing patterns

Top 10 - Autumn Selfish Sewing Patterns

Vintage sewing machine image courtesy of Elisandra Illustrations (http://elisandra.com/)

I love writing these lists because it forces me to deviate from my well-trodden internet browsing paths and to seek out something new.  By the time my list is compiled, I always end up with a few more inspiring blogs in my Bloglovin’ feed and often chat with some of the creators.  This makes the whole process very fulfilling.  Now for the really fun part – sharing it all with you.

With Selfish Sewing Week nearly upon us, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my favourite seasonal sewing ideas.  I won’t possibly be able to sew them all myself (oh, if only I had the time!!) but I find them all drool-worthy and would love to see what variations you all come up with.  And, as always, let me know if I’m missing something fabulous.

10. Simplicity 1882

I was originally drawn to this pattern when Karen from Did you make that? was giving a copy away on her blog.  Sadly I didn’t win the pattern but I couldn’t get it out of my head so picked one up from Jo-Ann’s in the States.

I think you’ll agree that Karen’s version is fantastic (especially with those shoes!!).  The thing I love most about hers is the simplicity of the design.  I am usually a sucker for piping and contrast but I actually prefer this dress with just one well-chosen fabric (and boy are those tulips well-chosen!).

9. Roxanne Top (Victory Patterns)

I’ve been reading lots about Victory patterns at the moment and they all look pretty enticing.  I think this one is my favourite though.  I’m aiming to make the long sleeve version with the AMAZING collar.  Anna’s version is pretty much perfection for me.

It’s so lovely I had to share two photos – I just want you to appreciate that collar.

8. Vogue 8805

Now that I’m conquering my fear of knits, I’m starting to think of knit dresses for myself.  I’ve had my eye on this lovely, simple Breton knit dress from Toast and I think that this pattern could be adapted to make something similar.

In fact, I think this pattern has a lot of potential for customisation plus the construction is quite simple – win, win.

7. Leggings – self-drafting tutorial

With all these tops, tunics and dresses we all need a good, well-fitted pair of leggings, right?  I recently discovered how easy and satisfying it is to make children’s leggings (if you’re interested, check out the Go To Leggings pattern).  That got me thinking that it couldn’t be tooooo hard to do the same for adults…but then I thought, no way!, as simple as they are to sew I had visions of saggy knees, pulling in the wrong places, etc.

Well, fear not!  Etsy has come to the rescue.  This Etsy tutorial walks you through all the measurements you need to take to get the perfect fit (and there are LOTS of measurements needed…more than you would think…but that reassures me and makes me think they’ll fit well).  It’s possible that this could be the most useful pattern of the season (and I love getting out the ruler and doing some technical drawings!).

6. Butterick 5639

“Why is she including a summer dress pattern?”, I hear you ask.  Yes, indeed this is intended as a summer frock but then I came across this version.

It’s made from linen but you could get the same look with a light-weight wool.  With a long-sleeved shirt underneath, a cardigan, some tights and boots and you’ll be kicking up fallen leaves and warming your hands by a fire before you know it!

5. Wong-Singh-Jones Mandalay Jacket (Hot Patterns 1131)

Hot Patterns are new to me….which is surprising because they have an awful lot of styles out there.  Have any of you sewed from them?  I like the shape and placement of the pockets on this jacket.  I’m envisioning a tweed version and I may even go as far as adding leather or suede patches on the elbows…oh, and with a funky, bright lining.  I’m loving the idea of this more and more as I type.  This is a good starting point for overall style.

4. Elisalex Dress (By Hand London)

A beautiful dress for a special Autumn outing.  I adore those pleats in the skirt and, when made with the right fabric, it hangs so beautifully.

To read a full review, and to see some more Elisalex eye candy, check out the review by the fabulous oonaballoona.

Oh, and the patterns come is such loverly packaging…

3. Archer Shirt (Grainline Studio)

Now, here’s a solid wardrobe basic for you.  With two versions possible, you can make it a quite conservative button-up shirt or go for the gathered lower back detail.

There’s also been an Archer Sewalong which is a great resource in case you get stuck on anything.

There are oodles of wonderful versions of this shirt around (do a search – you’ll see what I mean).  My current favourite is Emily’s version – I’m in love with the fabric and expert finishes.

2. A+ Skirt (Make it Perfect)

Maybe all of you out there already have a go-to a-line skirt pattern (if you do, please tell!), but I always struggle to find a good, basic skirt pattern.  This one looks like a winner – instant download (I know, I know, printing, taping and cutting – but there can’t be too many pieces…), lots of variations, clear instructions.  I also like that it’s quite narrow through the hip.

1. Sol Hoodie (Jamie Christina Patterns)

I fell in love with this pattern instantly.  Just recently I came across Heidi and Finn’s Slouchy Cardigan sewing pattern (for children) and a lightbulb went off in my head – I can make knitwear without actually knitting anything!  I can sew it!  Genius!

Now that this proverbial pin has dropped, I envision many more ‘knitted’ garments on my sewing table.

Bonus!! Blair Batwing Shirt (Named)

I just couldn’t leave this one out!  Named is a new independent pattern company by Finnish sisters Saara and Laura Huhta.  It’s sleek and modern…in fact, so sleek and modern that I’m not sure how (if at all!) it fits into my lifestyle.  That’s not to say, however, that I don’t appreciate the beautiful silhouettes and the obvious dedication it’s taken to create this collection.

The Blair Batwing Shirt jumped out at me as something I would love to wear.

And here’s a peak at the whole collection – for those of you who live sleeker, more modern lives than myself!

And, if you like what you see here you can read an interview with the designer sisters Saara and Laura Huhta at House of Pinheiro.

Another bonus!! Thread Theory

Thread Theory

Yup, another bonus…consider yourselves spoiled…although this time it’s not selfish.  If you feel ambitious enough to sew something for the man (men!?) in your life, why not have a look at Thread Theory with their choice of fine men’s sewing patterns.  Choose from Newcastle cardigan,  Strathcona Henley and T-Shirt, or Jedediah Pants and Shorts.  If you choose the Jedediah pants or shorts then check out the sewalong for help along the way.

So what are you waiting for?!  Go on – get excited and make things…

Image courtesy of Elisandra Illustrations

…and then tell me all about it.

So the Top 10 is a Top 12 today.  What takes your fancy?  Have you already made some of these?  What am I missing?  Come on – join in the conversation.

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

Let’s have a pyjama party!

summer pjs - title pic with textOver the past few weeks my daughter as been asking begging for comfy summer pyjamas.  I decided to dig into my stash of knits, put aside my disputes with sewing with jersey, and get something done!
summer pjs - all on wallI poured my (not insubstantial) pile of ribbing on the table and let them choose their own trims which lead to the techno-colour feel of this sewing adventure.

summer pjs - planningThe idea for these pjs was simple – flashback skinny tees (altered to short sleeves) for the top and short leggings for the bottoms.

Pyjama t-shirts

summer pjs - neck and shoulder detail (pink)

The tops were quite simple – I’ve made enough of these to know my way around a flashback tee; serger or no serger!  I made size 4 for my 3.5 year old, size 5 for my 5.5 year old and size 7/8 for my (very skinny) 8.5 year old.  These sizes worked fine.

summer pjs - neck and shoulder detailIt was only when it came to hemming the t-shirts that I encountered problems.  You see, I usually make these tees from upcycled men’s t-shirts and I always incorporate the existing hem into the new shirt.  I considered adding another band of ribbing around the bottom of the shirt but thought this might not be so comfortable to sleep in so this time I had to do proper hemming.  I folded the raw edge to the wrong side just once and then sewed with a double needle.  I did my best not to pull or stretch the fabric but it still isn’t ideal.  The bottom has a kind of rippling effect.  I think next time I won’t bother hemming at all – just let it roll up on itself (this is one method Rae recommends in her pattern).  How do you guys usually hem t-shirts??

summer pjs - hem detail

See that stretch-out, ripply hem?!

summer pjs - back to back

Pyjama leggings

summer pjs - leg detail

The leggings gave me much more of a challenge.  Guess what?!  This is my first time making leggings!  Everyone says how easy and satisfying they are to make so I jumped right in there with drafting out my own pattern and getting to work.  My idea was to draft one pattern and then just tweak it for each kid.

With the first (pink) pair, after sewing up the front and back seams and then folding them together to do the inseam and crotch, the lengths didn’t match up – like, they really didn’t match up.  I just about got away with it for the first pair but then had to start again.  This time I did my proper research and figured out the problem – my points for the crotch and bottom were not on the same plane so when I folded them together the lengths were different (pretty obvious, I know).  See this illustration below – those two points are exactly opposite each other! (I look this image from onelittleminute where she gives a way to add a cool tuxedo stripe to leggings!).

image from http://www.onelittleminuteblog.com/2013/04/simple-handmade-tuxedo-stripe-leggings/

After a pattern re-draft I was back on track and the rest was pretty smooth sailing.

Overall, this was a successful ‘sewing with knits’ project but it was more time-consuming than I imagined (well, actually, everything is more time-consuming than I imagine so I should never be surprised!).  The kids are happy with them – they can move, they can sleep, they can…wrestle…. (what did I expect when I told the to jump on the bed and have some fun!?)…

summer pjs - wrestling 1summer pjs - wrestling 2

summer pjs - wrestling 3It always seems to end up in wrestling in this house!  Eventually they calmed down…

summer pjs - all 3 sitting

And even did a puzzle…summer pjs - with puzzle 2 summer pjs - with puzzleSo, there you have it!  Easy (even if not particularly quick) summer pjs.  I challenge a kid NOT to enjoy sleeping (and wrestling) in these!

And thanks to my three sardines for letting me take like a gazillion pictures of them. 🙂

summer pjs - 3 sardinesThanks for reading,

Laura x

summer pjs - all 3 hanging