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Ruffled pink girlie dress

I hadn’t planned on making this dress, but I suddenly remembered it was our neighbour Matilda’s fourth birthday today so I went over and took some measurements yesterday, and chose dress #6 from the Fall (Herfst) 2008 Knippie idee magazine:

Remember back at Christmas I made this as a top for my niece? You might also remember Matilda from the knit balaclavas I made her at Christmas

This time I made the smallest in the size range, 98, after measuring Matilda (who’s turning 4), whereas I’d made the biggest size, 128, for my niece who was barely 6 then.

Here’s the dress, front and back, laid out flat:

Cute stuff and red cords

I had quite the busy weekend! On Saturday, my neighbour Veda came over with her new book, Cute Stuff, and we had a sewing lesson all afternoon. She recently turned 11 and asked for sewing stuff for her birthday (getting that same awesome Chinese-themed sewing tin, too!) so I said I’d let her rifle through my scraps and we’d make something.

So she chose the pocket tissue holder from the book, and we went through the instructions, step-by-step and I taught her how to press and pin, knot the thread and tie off, and how to turn corners. It was loads of fun, and in the end we embellished little faces onto our holders like they do in the book so it looks like the holder is eating the tissues (they come out its mouth!).

The book is really well written and illustrated, and (as you’d expect from the title) full of really cute projects. I don’t think Veda will have any problems doing most of these on her own soon. I should offload way more of my scraps onto her, come to think of it!

As for myself, after the intellectually- and technically-stimulating green silk dress, I needed something brainless and easy, so I made BWOF 08/06 #109 in red corduroy (again!). Seriously, I’ve made this pattern so many times I could sew it with my eyes shut now, but these just fit me so well that my wardrobe is constantly crying out for more… I made a pair of these red cords over a year ago, but the corduroy I’d bought blind off the internet was way too thin for trousers and wore out after only a couple months’ wearing. Boo!

What I gave…

The tree and the outdoor lights are all taken down, the chocolates have been scoffed, and the last of the pine needles are being hoovered off the floor… My Christmas sewing was in overdrive this year, but it’s not until now that I really get to see how everyone liked their gifts!

My neighbour Jamaica was telling me months ago how impossible it is to find the cute little jersey balaclavas her 3 year old daughter loves, so she lent me one to copy after I had a good look at it. It’s really just one pattern piece, cut four times (two in each fabric) and sewn together along the back/top seam and also on the lower neck seam. You can see the pattern piece in the side photo on the left below (the right photo is the front view with the hole for the face). Then I connected the two around the face hole, turned them right side out, and serged the bottom edge together and left that raw (like the RTW one, which is just peeking out below on the left).

Christmas gift – Hannah Montana pink outfit

Oh yes, my niece is so lucky that she’s getting not just one but two Hannah Montana outfits this Christmas (even so, I’ve still got leftover fabric in my stash…)!

From the Fall (Herfst) 2008 Knippie idee magazine, I made #6 and the knit trousers from #19:

You’ll notice that #6 is actually a dress, but I saw the potential here for a great, basic long sleeved teeshirt by simply chopping off the pattern at the first frilly tier. Since my sister-in-law said that Megan’s not into frills anyway, this seemed like a perfect solution!

Christmas gift – Hannah Montana polo dress

No, you did read that right – it’s just not for me! Luckily, my niece Megan will be receiving something that ticks two boxes off her Christmas list: “5. New Dress” and “Hannah Montana stuff”. We should all be thankful I didn’t attempt “8. bird costume with bird shoes”!

I found some fantastic Hannah Montana cotton knit from Crybaby’s Boutique and teamed it with some 100% cotton interlock in “rosepink” from Pennine Outdoor to break up the print a bit, then went looking for some nice kids patterns.

Mini me!

After the success of my green Patrones hoodie I thought that I’d make something similar for my nephew Logan’s birthday using the same fabric. I liked the look of #7 from Patrones Ninos 271 (Patrones magazine is normally all womenswear patterns, but they have two special childrens issues each year).

Even though it’s modelled on a girl here, it’s definitely a unisex style, and I thought the dark green sweatshirting was definitely more of a boy colour anyway, and this was much nicer than the other styles for boys his age in this issue. So I sewed this up on my overlocker in a few hours, and now it’s off to the post office in time for the big day! Unfortunately my would-be model neighbour girl has gone away for the past few days so I’m limited to a flat photo until Logan wears it himself…

Crafting for Christmas

It may only be mid October, but preparations for Christmas are already well underway at Chez Fehr. The electricity feeding my sewing room was out all weekend due to a bunf junction box (fixed by James’s dad yesterday, hurrah!) so I took the opportunity to do all the non-machine prep possible while that was out.

The craft table in the saloon is usually pretty clear as it’s where I do my cutting (conveniently, I can stand down the steps at the end so I’m not bending over too much) but right now it’s full to bursting with upcoming Christmas gifts:

Everyday superheroes

We’re off to Dublin for a week’s holiday from Wednesday and since we’re staying with some of James’s relatives, we wanted to give them a nice little hostess gift for putting us up (and putting up with us!). We thought about the usual stuff, but then instead decided to make something fun for their little boy (aged 5) instead.

So he’s going to be the recipient of this cape:

It’s nice and recycled – it’s made from a blue cotton tablecloth that came with our hotel boat when we bought it, the silver silk dupioni is offcuts from this shirt, and the velcro was from the shoulder pads I purchased for my tuxedo jacket (since I was sewing them in I wisely removed the velcro for later use). I just freehanded this so I can’t recommend a pattern, but if you’re making your own please make sure the neck fastening uses velcro or snaps instead of ties or buttons so you don’t end up gifting a choke hazard!

Yikes! Stripes!

I wanted to make a few gifts to give to my niece and nephew while I was visiting in America, and a friend gave me the idea of making sock monkies out of really long knee socks. So when I was at Glastonbury I had a look around and picked up two striped pairs for the monkies, then stitched and stuffed them by hand over the course of two evenings (one spent in the A&E waiting room!). I added some button eyes and packed these guys in my suitcase…

Rainy weekends

Yesterday I mostly finished my current project, dress #5 from the April 2007 edition of KnipMode (the John Galliano knockoff), but I lost my enthusiasm when it came to hemming it, seeing as how it’s been rainy and cold for the past week and this is a sleeveless summer dress. Ho hum. I’ll finish the hem at some point this week and brave the goosebumps for a photo shoot.