Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Spring Skippy

 Thank you to Toni of Make It Perfect patterns for inviting us to take part in her Skippy and Joey Blog Hop!

I loved the look of these patterns when they were released, and with those names, well... what's that Skip?
"tch tch tch... tch tch tch tch!"
You're saying since Toni gave me a free copy of the Skippy, I'd better sew it up right away?
"tchtch tch!"
 Fair enough Skip, I'll do it!

To be honest, when I first finished this dress I was not really 'feeling it'. My fabric choices had been dictated by what I felt I could take from the shop without depleting precious knit supplies, and the grey contrast parts were due to there being not enough of the green stripe. Plus, I was feeling frumpy, the weather was cold, and I had just been told I was very low in iron and a bit anaemic. I wasn't sure about the puff sleeves on me, and the hem wasn't behaving well (although I hadn't tried pressing it). Also, I'd made a Size L on top graded out to XL at the hips and it still seemed a bit huggy in the wrong places. I draped it over the end of the bed to think about itself for a while.

But. Isn't it marvellous what a bit of spring sunshine and some iron supplements can do?

Boing! I put Skippy on this morning and felt... good! I still haven't pressed the hem but who cares?
 And here's the side view, you know, in the interests of showing a bit more of how it fits someone with a few curves. What is that pose? I have no idea.
Speaking of curves, I would love to see the Make It Perfect patterns increase their size range. I think Toni's patterns appeal to a broad range of ages, shapes and sizes and it would be great for the patterns to be accessible to more people.

In summary:

PATTERN: Make It Perfect 'Skippy'
FABRIC: Lillestoff organic cotton/spandex knit, grey marle cotton/spandex knit
I was sent a pdf copy of the pattern, and while I'm not normally a fan of that format, I really liked how the pattern pieces went together individually rather than one massive great unwieldy, taped-together sheet.
I find the pocket hand holes sit a little high for me to naturally want to use the pocket a lot. The holes could easily be cut down lower.
Instructions were good and it came together well - most of this dress was sewn on a regular machine with ballpoint needle and Gutermann Sew-All poly thread.

Sing it with me:
Skippy, Skippy, Skippy the bush kangaroo.
Skippy, Skippy, Skippy our friend ever true!

- Jane x

Sunday, September 7, 2014

KID Shorts by MADE in Cotton + Steel

At The Drapery we're always on the lookout for patterns that are reliable basics that you will return to over and over. Also, patterns that make great beginners' projects: easy to tackle but also skill-building. The KID Shorts pattern by MADE (Dana Willard) is only available as a pdf download - you can't buy it in our shop - but it's such a good one we don't hesitate to recommend it. Make it up using some of our fabrics, of course!


This is the size 6 (on my almost 7y.o. who is on the slightly spindly side), with the options of boy length, flat front, 'racer' trim and front pockets. There are so many options with this pattern that allow for so many different looks. All these options have their own beautifully clear instructions on the MADE blog with Dana's bright and inspiring photography.

 Fabrics are this adorable little tiger print on Japanese linen/cotton, by Alexia Abegg for Cotton + Steel (half a metre), and natural linen scraps for the pockets and binding. (Binding is 2" strips cut on the bias and pressed using the blue Clover Bias Tape Maker.)
 They have the running, jumping, playing weekend seal of approval, although Mr-Almost-Seven noted that next time I could make the openings of the pockets a bit higher up 'so stuff doesn't fall out'. Can do.
- Jane & Fiona xx

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cake Patterns 'Espresso' Leggings

Leggings, leggings, leggings. If these two pairs look a  little rumpled and well-loved, it's because they have been in constant rotation all throughout the colder months. This is a fabulous pattern that we've been waiting a long time to share with you because of some shipping mishaps. Meanwhile my test pairs of leggins have been tested, and tested, and tested! (And passed with flying colours!)

 Cake Patterns is the creation of Stephanie Cousins, a US expat living in Brisbane. She is very dedicated to creating wearable, comfortable clothing patterns for a wide range of women's shapes and sizes.

The Espresso Leggings are custom-fit, meaning you follow the instructions to take a bunch of your own measurements, plot them on the pattern and 'connect-the-dots' to create your own personalised pattern piece. This means a great fit that should hug but not constrict in all the right places and won't have you hitching up and readjusting all day long.

The instructions for sewing up the leggings are excellent, right down to the suggestion to use a piece of ribbon as a tag for the back so you can instantly put them on the right way.

  • When measuring yourself for the front and back rise heights, you'll be sitting on a chair as instructed. Measure from the point on your body straight down to the chair seat. Don't follow the curve of your body.
  • After your first pair you may want to tweak your pattern piece a little to perfect the fit. I found my front rise a little high and the back rise a little low so adjusted that to suit.
  • We have recently stocked up on some 1.5" wide soft knitted elastic which is a great option for a very comfortable waistband. This is wider than recommended for the pattern so you may need to add a bit of height when you cut the top of your leggings pieces.

This pattern makes it so easy to whip up custom-fit leggings of any length. 3/4 length under skirts and dresses is great for our current 'in-between' weather!

I've sewn this pattern on a regular machine with zigzag stitch and a ballpoint needle, and with an overlocker, both of which worked equally well.

Some fabric suggestions:
These Art Gallery Fabrics cotton/spandex knits:
 Ripples in Charcoal
Navy & White Tomahawk Stripe
Flutter Folds in Spark
These organic options:
Soy/Organic Cotton/Spandex in Coffee Bean  (as seen in top photo, back pair)
Soy/Organic Cotton/Spandex in Gull
Australian-Made Organic Cotton/Spandex in Charcoal

With the width of these fabrics, you'll generally only need about a metre for a pair of leggings. Once you discover how easy it is, you won't stop at just one pair!

- Jane & Fiona xx