Thursday, October 18, 2012

Figgy's Nituna Jacket as a Winter Coat

Well, being totally on top of things like I am (insert sarcasm here), I'm getting around to blogging about the fall Kids Clothing Week Challenge (KCWC) that I participated in.  I worked on a couple different projects, and here's one of them.

I loved the Figgy's Nituna Jacket pattern as soon as I saw it.  I thought it would make a really cute little winter coat, and I have had a piece of magenta wool in my stash for some time that I thought would work perfectly.  When I finally got around to digging it out, it was a little lighter weight than I had remembered it being.  It wouldn't have made a very warm winter coat, but the color was really great.  So I decided to interline it with flannel, as well as lining it with flannel, so I would get a double layer of flannel warmth.

To interline it, I just cut a piece out of the outer wool fabric, then an additional piece out of a piece of plaid flannel I had in my stash, then placed the wool (right side out) on top of the flannel.  I then pinned them together and basted them on my sewing machine, using my walking foot so the layers didn't shift.  You could also hand baste the pieces together.  I then sewed the jacket, treating the basted-together pieces as one.  The light blue patterned flannel you see in the photos is the lining, which is another layer.  The flannel interlining isn't visible in the photos.

The sizing of this pattern starts at 18 months, and even though Miss S is 22 months, she is a little small.  I looked at the measurements on the pattern envelope and decided that the 18 month size would be too big, so I graded down a size.  I think that was the right choice, because this size seems plenty big.

I chose to do the lined version of the jacket, not the reversible version, but used the patch pockets rather than the welt pockets.  It is actually really a simple pattern to sew.  There's nothing tricky about it.  You essentially sew two simple shells (lining and outer fabric), then sew them together using the bagged method described in the instructions.  The instructions are good and result in a well-finished product.

I also chose to topstitch around the hood and outside edges and hem at 1/2", rather than edgestitching as the pattern instructed.  The pattern includes a Figgy's "Made with Love" label, which is a cute touch.  I also used covered buttons on this, same as I used on the Sunday Brunch jacket.  I just kind of love the look of covered buttons.  It gives such a nice finish.

I would have loved to include some model photos, but I have a rather stubborn little model who wouldn't have anything to do with this coat.  I'm hoping she gets past that, because I'd really prefer that she actually wear the clothes I sew for that too much to ask?  Anyway, we'll see how things go :)

I've got a couple other things I finished for KCWC that I'll post soon...I know, I'm totally on top of things ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress: Dorothy Version!

When the Fairy Tale dress came out as part of the new fall pattern release from Oliver + S, it immediately went on my list.  It's classic shape and adorable details caught my eye.

Since Miss S doesn't know much about Halloween yet, I can still decide what she'll be, rather than hoping she'll go along with her mother's suggestions.  I've been planning to dress her as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  I figured this pattern, with it's classic details would perfect for a Wizard of Oz dress.

Since it's a quite involved project, being a fully lined dress with crinoline, I didn't want the dress to be just a Halloween costume.  I wanted her to get some additional wear out of it, too.  I plan on adding a little ruffly white pinafore or apron, along with a basket and little dog to finish the costume out.

I don't know if I'm getting away with doing double duty, but she did wear it to church on Sunday and only one person mentioned that it looked like a Dorothy maybe I'm not getting away with it.  Oh, well, I'm going to pretend that Dorothy wasn't the only one who ever wore a blue and white gingham dress and  keep dressing her it anyway.

What do I have to say about this pattern...well, it's a little time consuming, but the end result is so adorable I think it's worth it.  It almost kills me with cuteness :)  It seems simple, but is so well designed.  The proportions and shape of the collar, the fullness of the skirt, the wide hem, the tulip sleeves, the built-in crinoline, the trim and bow at the waist all add up to a really special dress.

The pattern says it is a fitted bodice and recommends making a muslin, but I didn't (I'm a risk taker ;)  I made a size 12-18 months, even though Miss S is 21 months, she fits into the 12-18 month measurements better.  I actually ended up cutting about an inch off the bodice length.  I'm happy with the fit of the bodice, but I wouldn't call it fitted.  In fact, I'll bet Miss S will be able to wear it next spring as well.  So if you're unsure or if you do want a fitted bodice, I'd definitely recommend making a muslin.

I used a lightweight cotton voile for the lining and a light blue tulle for the built-in crinoline, which you can see in the picture below.  It adds some nice fullness, but is not overly exaggerated for everyday wear.  It reminds me of a classic little girl's dress from the 50s or 60s. I think I'll definitely make it again, sometime, because the result is just so darn cute!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gray Velveteen Sunday Brunch Jacket

The Sunday Brunch Jacket and Skirt pattern was one of the first patterns that caught my eye from Oliver + S.  This was before I had any kids, and was not interested the least in sewing for kids (oh, how times have changed :).  I saw this pattern, and the Jumprope Dress, though, and couldn't help but notice how adorable they were.

So it's been on my list to make for a long time.  I was a little intimidated by it, but I shouldn't have been.  It's just as well drafted and has just as excellent instructions as the rest of the Oliver + S patterns, so even though it appeared trickier, it went together beautifully.  I used a charcoal gray pima cotton velveteen that I purchased from Fashion Fabrics Club.  This velveteen is absolutely gorgeous!  When it arrived, it was a little stiff, but after a trip through the wash, it came out incredibly soft and plush.

It has the added bonus of having a beautiful print on the back side, which worked out perfectly for an unlined jacket like this.  It's got a little burgundy, mustard and cream rose print, which I think adds a nice detail.  I know no one will see it, but I still really love it.

The plush velveteen will also make it a lot warmer to wear, even though it's not lined or insulated with anything else.

Because of the reversible print, I went to the extra work of binding all the seams.  It wasn't difficult, but definitely took longer than if I had just serged the seams.  I do love the extra touch it adds, though.  I bound all the seams with a warm yellow polka dot quilting cotton I had in my stash.  The instructions for the bound seams are great and result in a very professional finish.

I really debated what to do with the buttons.  I knew I wanted fabric covered buttons, but had a hard time deciding between covering them with the velveteen side of the fabric, covering them with the reverse printed side, or covering them with the yellow polka dot.  In the end, I decided on covering them with the velveteen body fabric, because it just looked so luxurious.  I think I made the right choice, but I may end up making a little flower pin for the outside just to add a fun touch.

I'm really pleased with the final product.  I think it will be a great fall jacket and, being a neutral, will go with a lot of different outfits.  It will also be practical for an almost-two-year-old, since it's cotton and can just be thrown in the wash.  I kind of wish I had one myself :)