School's now well and truly out for Summer here in OZ (big sigh of relief). An end of year task I was dreading but which turned out to be surprisingly easy and fun was putting together this Fifties themed "Grease" outfit for the school dance.
Note: way too much red lipstick and nail polish was worn (but I was too tired to protest).
If you've ever typed "girls circle skirt tutorial" into Google you probably know that all roads lead to this tutorial on MADE blog. I followed the instructions with the exception that I added only 1 inch instead of the recommended 2 to the waist measurement when calculating the radius for the waist circle. Making the skirt itself was quick and easy and only required a bit of patience when sewing on the 4 metres (!) of lace trim to the hem.
The fabric is a "double crepe" from Spotlight and the drape and texture worked really well with this design.
And the result: perfect twirl-ability.
I did have good intentions of making a coordinating top but I ended up buying one (in a womens size and altering it) as I couldn't find the right sort of knit fabric.
Hope you are enjoying your week and the countdown to Christmas..... xox
Until now I'd never made a sample of my Ruffle-cious Skirt pattern in lawn. An oversight on my part, of course, because its lightness and "gather-ability" makes it the perfect fabric for this design.
As predicted this bright floral print tana lawn, hot off the cutting tables (!) from the recent visit to Liberty, was a breeze to sew up.
Two features of this skirt which I now always incorporate are:
The faux rolled hem (done with a regular sewing machine foot) as outlined in option no. 2 of Megan Nielsen's tutorial here.
The double row of elastic for the waist. I do this for most of my elastic waisted patterns now because I think it gives a neater and more professional finish. I posted about this method (which is simple and probably quite self-explanatory) previously here.
Also, I'm trying to remember to use more of my Wink Designs clothing labels for a nice finishing touch (and so the girls can work out which is the back......)
Our European trip starts tomorrow and I want to enjoy our time away without feeling the need to be constantly tied to a device. So rather than trying to manage the shop on the go, I've reluctantly decided to put it on vacation mode for the next 6 weeks.
The good news is that you can still head over to one of these stockists, all which have the full range of Wink Designs patterns:
Thank you so much for your support of Wink Designs. I'm looking forward to releasing the leggings and other knit basics patterns in the next few months (and I also have another few pattern ideas up my sleeve)....
It's a small detail but one which, as a pattern designer, has been playing on my mind. Pattern instructions usually state that fabric should be folded right sides together prior to pinning and cutting pattern pieces. The pieces are then either cut on the fold or in layers. At the same time, there seems to be no reason given as to why this method of folding is important.
If you're like me and like to bend the rules, you'll know that folding wrong sides together (as in my little diagram below) usually gives you the same results. So why the insistence on folding in a certain way?
My searches haven't returned much concrete information on the topic but what I have found all seems to boil down to this:
Folding right sides together allows you to transfer any pattern markings more easily onto the wrong side of the fabric. Which is where they should be. Apparently.
Is this a compelling enough reason? I would vote no because:
Many of us use modern independent patterns which are more pared down and simplified than traditional commercial patterns. They have minimal or no pattern markings (especially for children where there are no bust darts, for example).
Folding the fabric wrong sides together allows the pattern design to be seen when pinning and therefore allows positioning of the pattern pieces to best effect.
What about you? How do you fold and do you think it matters? Are there any important reasons I've missed here for folding in a certain way?
Because she bears more than a passing resemblance to Alice, the little one decided she wanted a made-to-order Wonderland costume for her first ever Book Week at school.
I used the Wink Designs "Madeline Dress" pattern as the basis for the costume. The "Madeline Dress" is sleeveless so I did a bit of mix and match on the pattern piecing and used the sleeve piece from another pattern - the "Simply Sweet Blouse" - to make a short puff sleeve. Luckily, with a bit of gathering over the sleeve cap, it worked really well.
I drew up a simple pattern to create a tie-on apron and appliqued some playing card shapes onto the front. A bit of frilly trim later and we were there!
Big sister went as the Mad Hatter but put her outfit together from bits and pieces in her wardrobe. Was thankful for that as two handmade costumes probably would have pushed me over the edge! (Especially as I managed to lodge a pin in the metal plate of my sewing machine and had to finish the apron ties with fusible hemming tape.)
Blouses, I guess, are the perfect mid-season item and I really enjoyed sewing this one. I haven't made the "Simply Sweet Tunic Top", for a while so it was fun getting back to it.
One of my Top 10 sewing tutorials is this one from the Haby Goddess blog: I always refer back to it when sewing bias onto a project. Catching the bias evenly on both sides can be hard and there are some excellent pointers in the tutorial on how to nail it. It helps get the perfect finish on the neckline on this pattern.
The fabric is from an Aussie shop called Monsoon Weave. The owner, Anna, was super-helpful and has amazing fabric in the kind of Indian prints I love. I have to tell you that these are some of the softest and loveliest cottons I've sewn with.
Because the fabrics are quite lightweight, I lined (or rather, double-layered) the yoke and the lower blouse but not the sleeves. I wouldn't have done that for summer clothes as the weight is perfect for hot weather but I just wanted to add a bit extra for the cooler months.
While Cee Cee was shopping at Typo I picked up these great heart shaped pins. I probably need to rethink my fabric pinning method as I've bent or broken so many of my existing pins (not to mention the machine needle carnage!).
As usual I'll post some more photos after final fit and hemming!
Based on measuring various Size 5 to 6 t-shirts and other stretchy dresses in Miss Wink's wardrobe I figured it would be fairly easy to whip up a pattern for a basic a-line t-shirt dress in no time.
It took three attempts and I'm still thinking the neckline is a bit more "boat-neck" than I wanted so it'll be four before I'm completely happy. Still, it's a good investment of time as I'm hoping I can now grade it up for the big girl. Nothing like a knit dress for a great cool weather basic over leggings.
This fabric is an exellent quality with a nice weight and 2-way stretch. I bought it online from Crafty Mamas last winter. It did, however, have that rolling thing going on at the edges which drove me a bit crazy at times.
I've Googled this problem and learned that people use spray starch or scotch tape amongst other things to stabilize the edges. Any other ideas on this?
After much pondering on how to finish the neckline, I decided to use a long bib-style facing which makes the dress look from the outside as if it's lined. It's also a bit dressier looking (and easier!) than adding a neckline band. I then used my twin needle to finish the neckline, wrists and hem.
I also had fun using my old "Wink Designs" sew in labels: it's been a while since I've used them but really should do more....