A few weeks ago, Maaike of Maai Design asked me to join a blog tour to showcase her latest fabric collection, how could I refuse? I love the fabric, it has a cool European feel, probably because Maaike is a cool Belgian and all the fabric is European! Belgium seems to be producing some good stuff of late, Matthias Schoenaerts being a firm favourite (swoon)! I digress…
The biggest hurdle for me was deciding which fabric to choose. My shortlist included some polar bears, beetles and boats.
There is clearly a blue theme going on here. In the end I chose Seashore Shelly turquoise. I love the vintage look of this fabric and chose a co-ordinating plain rusty red fabric to work with my piece.
I had a couple of projects in mind when I chose this fabric. Both my little nieces, Jessie & Robyn were April babies so it’s birthday time again and I love the idea that they will have matching fabric in their outfits.
For Robyn, turning four, I decided to make a pair of Moon Pants from Made by Rae. I make a lot of dresses for Robyn, but some light trousers for an English Spring seemed like a good idea. I also love this pattern as it is an easy one to make and they are comfy to wear.
For Jessie, turning one, I decided to make a Henry Dress by Brooklyn Pattern Co. Surprisingly, she doesn’t own one yet. Hard to believe as I think I have made about 20 of them! I am running a Henry Dress sew-along workshop on the 20th March and I needed a sample and so ‘two birds, one stone’…
The make – MOON PANTS
I am not actually sure you can call them Moon Pants. The ‘moon’ element of the pants is basically the crescent moon-shaped pockets. I have made these before and I loved the look of them. Here they are made from a soft charcoal chambray (leftovers from my Lobster dress) and some small fabric pieces I found in the charity store.
What I am basically saying is that I redesigned the pockets. I wanted to mirror the shell shape of the fabric design in pocket form.
I made up a couple of samples of the shell shaped pocket. I tried to produce it in one piece (as above) but it wasn’t all that successful. It looks like a cloud and when I turned it out, it wasn’t very crisp. I then turned to a quilting book on my book shelf, A Passion for Quilting by Nicki Trench. I am not a quilter, nor am I ever likely to be. I love the look of quilting but I don’t have the patience for it.
Once I had blown the dust of this book, I found exactly what I needed in the Dresden Plate place mat. It gave me the construction tip I had been looking for. So, instead of making it in one piece, it became a four piece pocket, plus the lining which I interfaced to give it some structure.
The element I hadn’t considered was the pattern matching. As this pattern is basically 2 pieces (the front and back are one piece) there wasn’t a great deal of pattern matching to consider. The front and back seam melt together quite well.
The Make – HENRY DRESS
When I choose fabric it’s an aesthetic and so I don’t often consider how it will work in construction. So with the Henry Dress, there was some serious pattern matching to be done. I am not ‘big’ on pattern matching, I usually just fudge my way through it. The moon pants worked out OK, but the Henry Dress was another issue with 2 seams to match on the front and 2 on the back.
If I were to make them again I think I would have been more vigilant and perhaps do some proper reading up on pattern matching techniques for small scale patterns. But, a bit of trial and error and I think it’s OK (don’t look too closely!) I love how the pockets cover most of it though LOL!
This is the smallest Henry Dress I have made so far. It’s a size 18 months, it’s ridiculously cute. I am really pleased with this one. The contrasting rusty red pockets really work a treat here.
If you are interested in any of the fabric, and there is an abundance of yummy fabric on her site, Maai Design is offering a 10% discount to all my readers, just use the discount code: maaidesign10% (valid until March 26th 2016). There are some other lovelies joining the Maai Design blog tour, check out all of these fantastic makers.
* In the spirit of ‘blogging friendship’ I actually met Caroline from Usefulbox for a coffee yesterday. It’s always great to put a face to a name and we enjoyed a few hours of sewing chit chat. As usual I was over excitable and very animated (I like meeting sewing peeps!) Poor Caroline!