Sunday, 3 June 2012

Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions...or not!

Disaster struck last week when my computer video card decided to lay down on the job and die a noisy but non visual death.  I am of course blaming the cats for this - a couple of days of slightly cold weather and voompa, there goes the winter coat that they shed everywhere and that naturally finds its way into the computer and kaput...there goes the video card.

However, you can still sew without a computer and this week, in fact the month of June, is all about the nieces that is.  I have a little niece Penny turning 3 in the middle of June and my little niece and gorgeous muse Audrey turns 2 at the end of June.   So naturally they are going to get their very own "Aunty Pammysarry Couture Collection" (feel free to interchange the word Couture with Rustically Homemade)

In preparation I dusted off my tried and tested NewLook toddler patterns and then happened to stumble upon these fantastic Japanese kids clothes book with patterns down in Brisbane in one of the few remaining physical bookstores left in the Universe.  In truth I was looking for another crafty Japanese book that fellow sewing engineer Katy was lucky enough to score on her birthday. 

Practical and so cute!!
What with the tonnes of cat hair that seems to be generated in my household each week, this could be the start of a new business venture.  Make Loki and Milly earn their keep.....the could pay off the new video card in no time.

Alas I could not find it but did find two Japanese kid clothes books each with about 20 different patterns.  The patterns are all printed out on 6 huge sheets of paper so its also like a puzzle to figure of which belongs to which pattern
This book is 'Girls Style Book' and is sitting on one of the pattern sheets.

Armed with my new and old patterns, Ripley the unpicker and another roll of baking paper I was ready to go.

This weekend was all about Penny who lives with my brother, his wife and their gorgeous new baby girl Gina Faye (4mo) up in sunny warm Darwin.  

Penny's Bridle Collection (think horsey, not wedding)

1.  Handbag
Taking on Simplicity 2205 pattern again, I shrunk it down by about 1/3 to suit a 3 year old, replaced the 'super heavy duty, you need pliers' magnetic clasp with velcro and used two Michael Miller Pink Cowgirl fabrics for the outside and lining.   This bag is so easy to make I may be tempted to make myself one....though there is a high probability it won't be in pony print.
My little pony.
Different fabric lining on inside and requisite designer label.

2.  Butterfly Dress
NewLook pattern 6578 is one of the best beginner toddler outfits that I have tried and the feedback I got was that it is a really wearable dress.  Easy to get on and off toddlers, really doesn't need any ironing, and with a bold print is sure to get a lot of good comments.  So I went with a similar print by Momo for Moda (they call it tomato in colour, I will just call it a weird shade of pink).  I used a plain pink homespun cotton for the back and front facings.  As I mentioned last time this pattern is great to practise your french seams on and it makes for a really neat finish inside.

3.  The twirly whirly giddy up skirt
This is from Happy Homemade vol 2 by Ruriko Yamada and is outfit 'P' -the tiered skit.  This was definitely a new way of doing patterns as you have to add your own seam allowances and the instructions are not overly verbal but there are enough drawings and the outfit is so simple that constructing it was a breeze.

The only changes I made was to french seam the sides and I decided to seam the tiers separately before sewing the tiers together as I was worried about getting my horizontal alignment correct if I did it the other way round.  You know how harsh a critic a 3yr can be about construction techniques......

the wingspan on this skirt is HUGE....Can horses fly...these guys will!

French seams and tiers seamed separately.

4.  The Top with an identity crisis
From Girls Style Book, the very first pattern 'A' - must admit when I first saw it I thought it was a top.  When I looked at the pattern it said it was a dress.  I had leftover fabric from making Audrey's NewLook 6974 dress but it wasn't going to be enough for another dress so I modified the pattern to make it a top.  Not having a live model to try this out on, it still feels like the length is somewhere between a top and a tunic and I have a sneaking suspicion that these pattern sizes run extra extra large (bear in mind that I did the size 2 pattern) so will have to wait to see finished product on Penny before submitting final verdict.

I love the neckline on this top and construction was again really easy.  Can't wait to see it on Penny.
print is full of butterflies, birds and flowers, oh so girly.

inside look at neckline ruffle.  The length of the ruffle is about twice that of the elastic to give that ultra gathered look

There's a lot of satisfaction in making kids clothes, it doesn't use a lot of fabric, you can use some really out there prints, and there is no major fitting concerns to worry about and most of the construction techniques are great for beginners.

For now I will wrap these up and post them off and next week, its Audrey's turn.

Simplicity 2205
NewLook 6578
Happy Homemade Vol 2 Kid by Ruriko Yamada - pattern P
Girls Style Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori and H.H - pattern A

Title ref:  Dreams, By: Stevie Nicks


  1. Wow you have been busy, I love the book you picked. I am still collecting cat hair to try crafting with it, need more cats! I adore the little pony bag.

    1. ha ha, can't wait to see your first cat creation. I read the blurb for the book and it even mentions making a lovely winter coat (think you might need a herd of cats to generate enough cat hair for that one). The kids book definitely gets the thumbs up and it has patterns for sizes 2-8 so should be handy for a long time to come.