The sweater dress re-run

I try not to make the same pattern over and over again.  This is mainly due to the number of awesome pattern makers out there who design such beautiful patterns, most of which, I am desperate to try.

However, I made an exception here.

I made this dress for the first time last winter when I was freezing in Sydney. ¬†No-one ever believes it’s cold in Sydney. ¬†I suppose by the Northern Hemisphere standards, it’s not. ¬†It’s just that we aren’t set up for it and it often takes us by surprise. ¬†We are also often without central heating which means I needed to wear a blanket the entire time just to function.

This is the equivalent of said blanket, you can read all about this make here.

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Onto my latest make.

The fabric:

I spotted the fabric in Faberwood’s online shop and ordered it after seeing Fiona (Queen Faberwood) wearing this pencil skirt. ¬†Check out her blog post all about it. ¬†How cool is that?

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Photo: Faberwood

I am generally not a stripe kinda girl (I am sure there will be a collective intake of breathe here). I like a stripe but I don’t often wear them. ¬†This is a stripe fabric that I could not resist, a stripe on the diagonal. ¬†It has that Scandinavian contemporary cool feel about it.

The quality is exceptional. ¬†Something that I can always rely on with Fiona’s collections. The fabric is by Finnish brand, Ikasyr. It’s an organic jersey, mid weight stretch with great recovery.

My favourite part about this transaction was that Fiona delivered it to my Mum’s house in the UK (our Mum’s live minutes apart!) ¬†It was then passed to my in-laws and then brought over to Australia on their recent visit. ¬†It’s amazing what my family will do for my love of fabric.

The sleeve fabric was from The Cloth Shop in Melbourne, a super yummy grey stretch. I bought this piece many moons ago. ¬†It’s such good quality, I am kicking myself that I didn’t buy more.

The pattern:

The Sweater Dress by In the Folds¬†(for Peppermint Magazine) is a favourite. ¬†It was designed specifically with me in mind (it wasn’t, but I like to think so). ¬†It’s such an easy dress to wear, an easy dress to make and it fits me just perfectly. ¬†Oh yes, and it’s free!

As this is a re-run, I made no changes.  I cut a straight size 10.  I would normally grade out to a 12 but there is some volume around the hips which works for me.  It also has pockets and as with my first attempt, they sit flat!

Here it is;

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It’s such an easy dress to wear, I put a layer or two underneath for extra warmth.
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No pattern matching here!

 

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Super happy with the fabric and the sleeve fabric matches a treat.

The added extra:

There is always the odd off-cut or scrap piece.  This is particularly helpful when you have a 5 year old.  He asked me for a Batman outfit for the school disco, who am I to refuse?

I managed to get a pair of True Bias, Mini Hudson shorts and a Titchy Threads, Safari Raglan tee¬†from my scraps. Of course, there was no pattern matching, nothing like it infact. ¬†The stripes are going off in all sorts of slightly odd angles. He doesn’t care and so neither do I.

I even rolled out the freezer paper and dabbed on some fabric paint for that Batman logo. ¬†Such an easy process, it’s quite addictive. For a quick ‘how to’ check out Wendy’s blog and for some major inspiration, check out Shelley’s blog, she is the master of freezer paper stencils.

Of course a little cape was required so I added some velcro to the tee and some elastic to  the arms so he could do some proper flapping,  which he did, endlessly!

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Here he is with his buddies at the school disco (thanks for the photo Kristie!)

Maybe just one more sweater dress before the winter is out….

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Hat + ears = cuteness overload!

I love this hat pattern, the Cosy Winter Hood from the book¬†Oliver +S “Little Things to Sew“. ¬†Really what isn’t to love about it, it’s a hat with ears! I have made this hat many times over. ¬†The first time I made it was for Bertie when he was about 18 months old. ¬†I found a tweed skirt in my local charity shop and I was off, you know I love an upcycle. I lined it with some bamboo fleece from Bamboo Fabric Store¬†and it became the cosiest hat around. ¬†How cute does he look? He was cute once, that was before he turned 3!

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Once, he was cute!

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We then moved on to a super hero obsession so I converted the design into a bat hat! I redrew the ears, making them slightly more pointed and placed them backward, not anatomically correct but they looked more batman-esque! I used a black denim and lined it with some charcoal fleece. The denim wasn’t as successful as the tweed, there is no ‘give’ in the fabric. It doesn’t fit as well as the original.

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Here in his homemade batman costume!
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On second thoughts, is it more donkey than bat??

The third one I made was from a beautiful piece of blue wool I found at the charity shop, I tried it in the medium size this time (kids 4-6). It was way too big for Bertie, so it’s mine now! I love the contrast with the white bamboo fleece. I have to say, I haven’t been game enough to wear it out yet!

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Bertie & me!

I have also taught one of my students to make this hat. It’s a great project for an enthusiastic sewer and not all that hard. It teaches sewing curved seams, lining a piece and basic construction. She did an awesome job with it. ¬†She also insisted we wear our hats to all future sewing lessons – well at least I am game for that!

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Sewing up a storm in our hats!
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My student rocking her hat!

What I love about this hat is the options for adaptation. Playing around with the lining colour can totally transform this hat. It has a huge scope for upcycling anything at hand like a shrunk sweater or heavy wool skirt. But the most fun you can have is changing the ears, long skinny ears for a bunny, triangular ears for a cat or the best type of ears – bat ears, for your inner super hero!

To infinity and beyond…

This was my first ever attempt at making a costume and to date, I think it’s the best one I have made.¬† Bertie was only 2 when he told me in his jumbled language that he wanted to be Buzz Lightyear.¬† I haven’t had a kid who was interested in dress up until Bertie came along, so I was up for the challenge.

Like the Captain Barnacles suit (see: Let’s Dress Up!) I used a mixture of patterns.¬† The pants were my very favourite Parsley Pants by pattern designer Made by Rae.¬† The easiest and quickest pants to make.¬† With the top, I decided to add a velcro strip down the back for getting it on and off quickly (catering for the whims of a 2 year old).

I used a cheap white poly cotton and lots of lovely coloured felt. I love using felt, it is so easy to cut and apply. I used both iron-on glue and a row of stitching on each piece.

I also made a jet pack, I found a lovely homemade version on Pinterest.  A couple of bottles, some coloured card, glue and a scalpel knife and there you have it.

The whole project was a real labour of love, but worth every minute – if nothing else, just for these cute photos of Bertie!

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I hot-glued a red bike light to the sleeve, just for that authentic laser beam (hours of fun!)
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A very proud Buzz Lightyear
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The homemade jet pack – I will thank Bertie’s godmother for the tonic bottles!

The Captain Barnacles Suit

Bertie and I are off to see the Octonauts stage show this week. In honour of this epic event in our social calendar, I made him a Captain Barnacles outfit! ¬†It was a real mishmash of patterns, the top is part of a girls dress and the pants are my favourite ‘Parsley Pants‘ pattern from Made by Rae. I used poly cotton for the main pieces in the two blue colours and decorated¬†with wool felt. ¬†The zip is by far the best feature, it’s a 1960’s zip found in a charity store in York (UK) for 50 pence. He is pretty pleased with it, having slept in it for days!

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