Seashore Shelly pants & the mini Henry (try saying that after a wine!)

blog tour

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.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks to Roxy, my very capable model who wanted ‘baby’ to join in!
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Here you can see the pattern matching at the front, all in line but not complete shells.

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Again, pattern is in line but not perfecto!

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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!

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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.

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The hemline is hand stitched, I think it looks better with this pattern.
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I used the rusty red fabric to face the neckline, I like the flash of colour here.
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The sleeves are hand stitched, I think it’s a nicer finish on this sleeve.

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.

March 8th – Suz from Sewpony
March 9th – Caroline from Usefulbox *
March 10th – Kate from Sewing With Kate
March 11th – Allison from The Tall Mama
March 12th – Suzanne from Dressed in Pretty Little Things
March 13th – Toni from Make It Perfect
March 14th – Natalie from Sew Outnumbered
March 15th – Jenya from While she was sleeping
March 16th – Nicola from Create.nic
March 17th – Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack
March 18th – Maaike from MaaiDesign

 

* 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!

 

 

12 thoughts

  1. Love the pockets on the pants! Nice indeed! And the dress is perfect. I think your pattern matching on the dress is wonderful. Love the contrast on the pockets 🙂

    Like

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