I wasn’t a big fan of frills but now I love them. Isn’t this dress adorable? It ticks all the boxes: pink, frills, elephants and teeny buttons down the back. I made this dress for my friend’s toddler having made this dress for her little sister. I used a Burda pattern – #139. It has only three pattern pieces which lulled me into thinking it was a quick sew. It wasn’t. The first hurdle was locating the pattern on the massive scribble of pattern markings which are standard on Burda pattern sheets. It didn’t help that I was doing this past midnight in bad light.I didn’t follow the instructions from the magazine as they were patchy and because I changed the pattern slightly. I decided to sew the frill only at the front, so I shortened the frill and tacked it to the front shoulder seam before finishing the shoulders.
Sewing the frill was tricky and I basted it first before sewing it in. With the second frill I had the brainwave of drawing in my stitch line with a wash away pen. This helped with getting the stitch line even as the gathers distorted the edge somewhat. I wasn’t sure how to finish the point of the frill and the instructions didn’t go into this. So I folded the point back on itself, trimmed it and hand sewed the bottom of the frill to the dress to hide it. I don’t think it looks too bad and the stitches hold the frills flat to the dress.
The armholes and neckline line are finished with self bias as per the instructions, which was a pain especially on such a small pattern. Facings would have been much easier and quicker. So whilst this pattern looked fairly simple, there were a lot of time consuming processes. I finished the neckline before finishing the button band as this produced a neater finish on the corners. If you’ve made Tilly’s Mathilde blouse, it’s the same method.
Check out those rows of elephants!
I used a cotton poplin from Saeeds which was easy to handle and press. It’s so lovely and cool and would make a great pair of PJs. I cut a size 98 which I guessed would be the right size for a 3 or 4 year old. I love how this turned how despite it taking double the time I thought it would. Now the hunt is on for adult patterns with frills.
I love sewing presents for kids as the finished makes are so diddy and cute. I made this hat using the reversible bucket hat pattern from Oliver and S. This is an easy pattern and it’s FREE.
I made a small and hope this is the right size for a 2-year-old. I guessed the age with a rough calculation. Anyone else bad at remembering how old friend’s kids are?
I wanted to make a dress to match the hat and used this NL 6578 toddler pattern I’d sewn before. If you want to make a present for a little girl in a jiffy this is your go-to pattern. I think this took less time than the hat which involves some hand sewing. The size here is a 2.
It’s easy to get a professional finish with this pattern if you don’t have an overlocker. I french seamed the side seams and the bodice facing takes care of the neckline and armholes. I used a different fabric for the facing as I love to contrast prints. I only got the overlocker out to finish the edge of the facing but a narrow fold works too.
The fabrics are quilting weight cottons from Saeeds Fabrics in Walthamstow. They have a great selection of children’s fabrics. Unfortunately, I passed by a few other fabric shops on the way to the station and picked up some goodies for myself. Sorry not sorry!
On top of wearing an item of handmade everyday in May, I challenged myself to make a pair of trousers by the end of the month. I confess I had intended to make a Burda pattern but the toile was an abomination and required far too many changes. So for plan B, I went with this easy pattern which I finished just before the last day of May, yay!
It’s the trouser part of the jump suit from the Great British Sewing Bee’s Fashion with Fabric book. Same pattern with just a lower cutting line for the waist. The trousers were a straightforward sew and I made very few changes to the pattern. I pegged the trousers too much, so they’re a bit tight round my calves and will stick to the original stitch line next time. I eyeballed the pattern placement and it looks great from the front but was a bit tardy with the back. But it’s at the back so out of sight and mind!
These trousers were a quick sew and I love this pull on elasticated style. Funny how tastes change. I used to associate elasticated trousers with frumpsville, polyester and beige.
I wanted a light pair of holiday trousers and used this graphic print viscose from my stash. They are perfect holiday wear and the only thing missing from them are pockets. I’m glad I got round to sewing this pattern as it’s been on my to sew list since I got the book last year. It’s now a TNT. Who knew that quick sew trouser patterns existed! I’m planning more iterations in solids for work.
Self drafted skirt
I thought I’d write a post on #mmmay16 as it’s helpful to document what worked and what didn’t for next time. I challenged myself to wear an item of handmade clothing everyday AND make a pair of trousers by the end of May. I’m pleased to say I accomplished both, pause for fist pump moment. Check out Instagram to see more of what I wore.
Bettine and self drafted Mexican oil cloth bag
Being on Instagram made it so much easier to document my daily outfits. I also loved getting feedback and seeing what everyone was wearing. I failed to complete Me Made May last year as I couldn’t be bothered taking photos for the blog. I know it’s not about the pictures but documenting it on IG did help me finish.
BHL Victoria Jacket and SOI Ultimate trousers
I tried not to have too many repeats and wore stuff that doesn’t normally get a lot of love. I fell in love with a few oldies and have made mental notes to revisit some patterns. That’s the genius of MMMay, you often rediscover old gems as well as the gaps in your wardrobe.
Simplicity 2451 – must make more!
So how did I find it? I have a wardrobe full of me made clothes so it wasn’t hard to find something to wear each day. I’ve ventured into making trousers and outerwear so there was more variety this time round. I’ve added Lindens to my arsenal of Plantains and Renfrews for weekend wear. I didn’t wear many me-made outfits as my wardrobe is a riot of print and colour so definitely need to sew more solids. I wore over 20 tops so need to sew more bottoms.
Port Elizabeth top – was a bit meh about this but it got a lot of likes on IG
The patterns I want to revisit are Simplicity 2451 skirt, Simplicity 2418 cowl top and the Lisette Portfolio top. I really enjoyed the challenge this year and will definitely do it again. How did MMMay go for you?