26 August 2013

All Black Geranium

A friend of ours is due to have a baby daughter at the start of next month, and knowing how keen he is on his rugby there was an obvious choice for a present for the new arrival. To welcome her to the team. I'm sure her Mum will hate me for it, but the thought is there!

So, I started by cutting a stencil out. Trust me. Don't do it! Such a fiddly motif! Then as I was applying the second coat of fabric pain The Boy got a message... "Shes on her way!". Perfect timing or what! Luckily the Geranium dress is a quick sew. Especially the 10th time :) Sadly I had to photograph it really rapidly for my records, as I was hemming it before baby yoga on Saturday morning and the new father was potentially coming round when I was out, so these are on the sofa in the dawn light!

See why her mum might hate me?
Hopefully the (black) flutter sleeves and the white underskirt take the edge off!
For all the fiddling, the Fern turned out quite well. Its not the smoothest, clearly stencilled not screen printed, but the overall look is exactly what I was hoping for.

The dress is fully lined, which gave me a headache attempting to figure out how to make the opening in the back work. In the end I sewed the outer and inner dress together, leaving the opening clear, then sewed the outer and inner together around the opening, leaving the top 1.5cm on each side open so it can be attached to the bodice. Once turned the right way round and clipped and ironed it seemed to work. 

It was all sewn up as rapidly as I could justify, as we were due to see the father the next day (all going well with the birth) so it needed to be ready to go! And there was me patting myself on the back for starting it early. Thats babies for you!

13 August 2013

A new toy and a new challenge

I've been telling the Boy for a while that I wanted to get an overlocker/serger to add to my collection. It was on the list of baby necessities ;) Seam finishing can be awkward enough, never mind on teeny tiny baby clothes that will (hopefully) be put through their paces in terms of washing and wearing. And I hate sewing stretchy fabric on my machine. It just never seems to work for me!

So when I saw this Toyota overlocker (SLR4D) on sale for half price at Spotlight last week, I knew it would be mine. Toyota arent exactly the brand that come to mind when you think of sewing machine creators, but I've had my sexy black Toyota sewing machine for a couple of years now, and its a dream to sew with, so off we went!

It took a few plays to get the hang of it, and its still a bit (hugely) scary that it has the potential to cut a big hole in what ever I'm working on, but I'm in love. I've used it to finish off seams on a few prototype baby garments, and sew another little onsie, but my first big adventure was with my first attempt at a maternity top. Sewing to fit a rapidly expanding stomach... Whole new challenge.

I roughly followed the tutorial by Zoe on how to transform a t-shirt pattern into a maternity top, using the Burda Sadie as my base (I some how stashed this one away for free a few years ago, but had never actually tried it).

Here is what the pattern looked like after I'd hacked it up, adding extra length between the "extend here" lines and the waist:

Can you guess which one is the front?! And then I made it up, folding the excess fabric into 4 pleats on each side.
Then I decided it was time to have a play with what else the overlocker could do, so I switched to 3 needle mode and finished off the bottom hem in as a lettuce hem, or what ever its actually called. Stretched out and encased. Then I did the arms and neck to match, since it was just a muslin and since I've still not really mastered the technique for adding neck bands. The arms stretched out more than expected in the process, so I took about an inch off under each arm to fit them again, and we were done. 
The whole thing took maybe 2 hours, from printing out the pattern to putting it on.

Its still got quite a lots of growing room in it, which is lucky since my baby bump is still very small!
I'm calling it a win and sorting through the relatively large stash of stretch fabric that I've picked up on sale or from the OpShop over the last few years and getting some variations planned out so I'll be prepared once it finally stops raining and starts to warm up!

06 August 2013

A little sewing dare

So, this dare was set unknowingly for me by The Boy.
I saw this fantabulous surfing space robots poplin in Spotlight, but the Boy said it was too Boy for our neutral baby, so I decided to girlyfy it. Regardless of what the baby turns out to be I'm sure it'll find a home somewhere.

So Voila!
A teensy tiny 0-3 month Geranium dress in the top length, and some of SeeKateSews Baby Bloomers to go under. I'm sure that this will get worn at most once, if ever, but I really enjoyed the process of making it. 
To add to the included ruffles of the bloomers I added an extra orange bias tape ruffle across the bum.
I didn't close up the elastic holes and cut on the extreme side, so they can be let out or taken in as needed once I have someone to try them on!

I think these might be boyish enough to work regardless of gender, though I'm sure The Boy will disagree! I will admit that the other pair I made are a little too far on the girly side due to the massive rufflebum:

This will be a summer baby, so will probably live in singlet and nappy covers or onsies for the first few months of its life, so thats where My sewing focus will lie.
But sometime you just have to give into the dare!

02 August 2013

I finally sewed something!

Using this tutorial from SpaceFem. I reused an old t-shirt, making the most of the already finished neckline and the hem for the sleeves, which left me to simply bind the bottom opening. It went together like a dream, despite my bit of hacking to be able to use existing features.

I've made some baby clothes before, but never onsies.
Who is this one for, you ask?
Hence the lack of sewing for the last few months. I didn't want to jinx my self by sewing maternity or baby stuff, just in case, and I didn't want to sew clothes that may never fit again depending how much damage this baby causes to my body shape on a long term basis!

What have I doing instead? Mainly sleeping.
But a couple of weeks ago we finally went on a road trip I've been wanting to do for a long time, all the way down to Esperance- 2000km all up. But you can see why it was worth it, even if it was a bit chilly.

And we finally stopped in a Wave Rock... the most underwhelming tourist destination in all of WA.
Cue surfing the rock photo.