FINISHED! Splattered Turia Dungafores

A few weeks ago the very lovely Mel was visiting Canberra and a few of us were lucky enough to catch up with her for a little bit of local shopping at Addicted to Fabric. It had been a while (days? weeks?) since I'd been to Addicted to Fabric and so there was quite a few new pieces of fabric to peruse. The one that caught my eye was this one called Ricochet. (97% cotton, 3% spandex). At first I thought I'd make a dress out of it, but it is quite thick and very quickly my mind turned to the pinafore dungaree, which Pauline had just done a tutorial out of the Turia pattern. Egged on by Amanda's new coined phrase, the dungafore, I was on my way, crossing off the current trends of painted fabric and overalls all in one hit.
This week I finally got around to making them.  Well, correction, this week I became obsessed with making them. Every night I sewed for hours, quietly chipping away at them, fluctuating from love to fear back to love. Would they be too 'out there', 'not age appropriate', blah blah blah. Now they are finished I love them. (Although after looking at a lot of photos taken of me wearing them I wish I'd got that print placement a bit better in the front !!! Damn!)
I made this pattern, the Turia up in the long version previously as a tester.  I love those and wear them on the weekend heaps, but it's not my best sewing so on these I made sure that the stitching on these is much sturdier. I ensured that I overlocked every edge, rather than just folding and stitching.
I also cheated a little bit and I only did fake flat felled seams: stitching the seams together, overlocking then double stitching in place. This is easier but the main reason was that I can get a much neater finish on the outside with my twin needle.
I like my dungarees a bit loose so after reading that Sasha (via Ninie (who also made the cutest pair of short dungarees)) didn't need a zipper in hers I decided that I didn't either. They pull on easily because of the stretch in the fabric.
Pauline in her tutorial reminds you to add extra length onto the pattern if you are making a pinafore, but clearly I didn't add enough on.  Ben liked it the length it was, but it just seemed way too short, even for me who doesn't mind showing the old pins.  I rectified this afterwards, with a design feature additional panel to make them more a decent length!
I am super happy with my dungafores (print placement aside) and cannot wait for the weekend to come around so that I can wear them, with any number of striped tops in my wardrobe(!), my favourite neutral, before this fad disappears.

FINISHED! Girl Friday Anna and Boy Silk Culottes

Second only to my love of drop waists dresses is my love of culottes. Debbie must be sick of me saying that I'm a culottes fan and how I'm going to make a pair, but never do. Well, finally, here is my first attempt.  The pattern is the recently released Girl Friday culottes by Liesl & Co. The pattern provides for a pair of culottes with a reasonable amount of volume.
The pattern itself was well put together with good instructions, but I was punching above my weight the whole way with this make. It was foolish to think that I could try a new pattern, with a check silk.  I bought the fabric from the The Fabric Store in Surry Hills when I was there with Emma, Amy and Maria in January this year.  It is an Anna and Boy silk, which I noticed was still there in September. Uurgh, silk. I always want to buy it but in reality I don't really enjoy sewing with it.
I hate to have things too tight around my waist and the pattern didn't provide for finished measurements so to be on the safe side I went up rather down where my waist measurement fell between sizes (though to be honest it was closer to the lower size). The result was that the waist was enormous.  I ended up altering both the front and back darts by an additional (whopping!) 7cms each.  I could have taken more in except that I was worried about how the silk was hanging at the darts and I didn't want it to pull. I still have significant ease in the waist and as a result they slip around a bit.
The other issue I had was the pockets which are supposed to be nicely hidden in the sides aren't quite perfect on the left hand side where the zipper is. I put this down to slippery silk and sewing or probably a cutting error.  I will have to put my hands in my pockets when I'm wearing them so it's not so noticeable.  I managed to get most of the stripes lined up so thank goodness for small mercies. 
I interfaced the waistband with a lightweight interfacing but in hindsight wonder if it couldn't have used a slightly heavier one.  The waistband is supposed to close with a trouser clasp but I really hate those and find that no matter how I put it on the fabric flaps a bit. I ended removing the clasp and putting a button on. The waistband and hems are hand stitched.
I kind of like these but I found most of the making of them a bit of a chore (silk not pattern issue). I think they are more flattering in real life (maybe?) but regardless, they will definitely go on the work wear rotation as they will be breezy and I hope fun to wear as we move into the warmer months. For my next pair, I definitely need a different fit in the waist and for a heavier fabric - a little less volume. 

FINISHED! A stripey spring skippy dress

When I first started out sewing, one of the first patterns I ever bought was the Little Explorer pattern by Make it Perfect, to make little pants for Elliot. I loved this pattern and made it up a number of times both for him and for others.
It was with excitement then that I got an email from Toni Coward from Make it Perfect, asking if I'd like to be a part of a blog tour for her latest pattern, the Skippy.  The Skippy also has a little girl variation, the Joey, which Renae made a super cute version during testing.
It has been great to reconnect with this Australian pattern company and discover and rediscover the many patterns that Toni has released. If you don't already know about this company, you will find a plethora of patterns there for the whole family!  Anyway, I couldn't say no to the Skippy.. let's face it... it is a drop waist! And the gathered sleeves add such a cute touch.

The PDF was a cinch to put together and I really liked that pages were only joined for a particular piece of the pattern. I am the biggest fan there is of the instant gratification of the PDF, but it can be a little bit annoying taping a lot of pieces together and ending up on the floor because the result doesn't fit on any table. The instructions are thorough and were easy to follow.

I set off to find the perfect fabric but struggled as I didn't want it to be plain (no surprise) and I couldn't decide whether I wanted to make a spring version or a winter version. I do love the winter version with the twisted cowl neck. In the end this stripey ponte won out and a spring skippy it is.

The fabric choice however caused it's own problems, as a heavy ponte from spotlight (this is my favourite stripe ever but it is so hard to find it anywhere in a deep blue,so when I saw it at spotlight I had to pick it up) it has very little stretch, almost none. It is a heeaavy ponte.  I love the result on the fit and the way it hangs, but obviously such a fabric isn't great for attaching a neckband, unless you use a different fabric. 
I did the neckline an embarassing amount of times. First with the neck band, but it didn't sit flat and was never going to with so little stretch so I unpicked it and opted for the turn down approach, with some clear elastic and the twin needle. As the hours progressed I got fussier and fussier and unpicked and resewed and unpicked and resewed. With relief I can say I'm happy with it now. And I'm surprised at how much I like this scoop neck on me. Quite a different style.
The gathered sleeves went in well. I've always covetted the sleeves on this dress of Tilly's and I think next time I might make them a bit like that - especially with such a heavy knit. 

I took about 2 inches off the length of the bodice to account for my short stature, and I took a substantial amount, about 15cms off the hem.  I left the arms long and didn't cuff them but just turned them under and twin stitched. Same with the hem which I twin stitched after overlocking.
Now that it's made up this dress ticks all the spring dress boxes.  Thick enough to add a bit of warmth,  but an opportunity to get the legs out for the first time in months. I love the slightly loser fit in the top and the kangaroo pouch which could hide any lunchtime sins. This skippy I know, is going to be a workhorse during spring!