Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sewing for my girls

If you remember this post you'll remember that I had a list of things I wanted to make by the end of March. Well, I have managed most of them.  Unfortunately I had to give up on the quilt in favour of finishing other things....hopefully I'll be able to work on it again later this year.
The list included an outfit for Katie to wear at my cousin's wedding.  Here's the bonnet.  I was quite scared about making it as I'd imagined it would be fiddly and tricky - it proved to be remarkably simple.  I think that is thanks to a very well written pattern from Made by Rae.  On the basis of this bonnet I'd definitely recommend her patterns.  The Big Butt Baby Pants have always appealed to me and she has some other lovely ones too.

I'm afraid I got rather carried away taking photos of Katie and her hat - and showed no discipline in deciding which to upload into this post.  Well, some discipline, as I took even more.  My only excuse is that I think both are very cute.  Having a baby model on hand is so much fun and very useful - a gorgeous chubby assistant with me 24 hours per day.  I nearly wrote glamorous assistant but I think that would be stretching even maternal blindness!
I also wanted to make her a dress for the wedding (to match the hat above and the bloomers I blogged about here).  The dress proved far more troublesome than I anticipated.  Firstly, I could only just squeeze Katie into the 6 to 12 month size.  Now I do realise she isn't the slenderest of babies but she isn't the biggest either and she's not even 7 months yet. Luckily I became suspicious quite early on and checked the bodice on her before going further.
So I had to start again and make age 1-2.  I was seriously annoyed as I found the sleeves were a real faff to sew and I only just had enough fabric to make a bodice in the next size up. Anyhow I worked out I could unpick the sleeves and reuse them (but I still had to do the fiddly bit of sewing them into the new bodice - boo hiss) and I just had to line it in a plain fabric.

I had also already cut the skirt to the 6 to 12 month size and had nothing like enough fabric for a new skirt in the bigger size (which would be way too long anyway).  The skirt should have lots of pleats and I probably could have resized them (smaller) to fit round the bigger bodice but that would have required some painful mental I just gathered it and think it looks okay.  I think the cute little cap sleeves have suffered from all the unpicking and man-handling they have received.  Never mind, I don't suppose Katie will care.

But all in all it was a fairly frustrating experience from beginning to end.  I think the pattern and dress design itself is pretty good.  The instructions weren't that clear but were fine with a bit of time and concentration.  It is the Wonderland Dress by Make it Perfect.
I had a sudden urge, not sure why, to make Islay a papoose for her dolls.  I think it may have been because I had been thinking about what toys she could take away with us, how to transport them and how to minimise luggage.
I remembered seeing a papoose in Growing Up Sew Liberated.  I do love this book.  It's the third pattern I have used from it (the others being sleep gowns and baby bubble pants) and there's more that I plan to use.
The papoose came together really well.  Or really well if I discount the bits where I didn't concentrate and follow the instructions.  I had a fair bit of unpicking but that was entirely my own fault and because I was rushing things.

Islay loves it and so does Lola and Bun Bun.  And she has a book in the front pocket too.

And this is what Katie thought of me taking photos of Islay instead of her - 'lets see if I can work out how to escape'.  She is spending a worrying amount of time on her tummy........I really don't want her to learn to move (I guess it is inevitable but I'd like to delay it as long as possible!).


Jen Walshaw said...

Oh that bonnet is adorable as it Kate. I want one, the child that is not the bonnet!

I love the growing up sew liberated book too and have made the cape for Mini from it.

Julie said...

Jen - it is a lovely book isn't it? I love her outlook on life and bringing up children. Juliex

Bluebell said...

Katie's gorgeous, I'd have struggled to show restraint with the photos too :)

Love the bonnet and the dress is cute too. I think you may have more patience than me though ;) x

Julie said...

Kate - I'm not sure I have much patience, I'm just stupidly stubborn and don't like admitting defeat! Juliex

Country Girl said...

Makes and models all gorgeous!

Mrs. Micawber said...

The bonnet is perfect (as is the model).

Funny about the little dress - when I sew things for my little nieces using commercial patterns they're almost always too big (the patterns I mean).

I think the dress looks great, including the sleeves.

leslie said...

everything turned out so wonderfully in the end! i love the little dress, would never know it caused you so much grief ; )

amanda claire said...

Oh I have missed so much! Cannot believe our little ones are over 6 months already!! The bonnet is gorgeous (as is Katie - no maternal blindness there!)

I've been having problems getting clothes to fit Oscar (he's already outgrowing some 9-12 month clothes as he's on the 98th percentile line for weight and off the chart for his length). Added to that we're using cloth nappies and so bottoms don't fit properly. I'd love to have a go at making an outfit for him as we're going to Glastonbury and will be there for the Beltane/May Day celebrations. But a) I've never made clothes before and b) he'd probably outgrow it before I finished it :( But maybe one day...

I love the papoose, how lovely. Your kids are very lucky to have such a crafty mama xx

Julie said...

Dawn, Sue and Leslie - thanks! Juliex

Julie said...

Amanda - I'd try the Big Butt Pants from Made by Rae as they are designed to go over cloth nappies. I haven't used cloths so much for Katie which makes me feel bad but I did use them for all the other three. Juliex

Down by the sea said...

I love the pictures of Katie and Islay! Your sewing looks so impressive.
Sarah x

Locket Pocket said...

Your girls and your sewing look delightful!!! Lucy xx

...Tabiboo... said...


Your girls are gorgeous and I love, love, love the bonnet you made.

Nina x

Wendy said...

What a beautiful outfit. The bonnet is just adorable