Sunday, 27 March 2016

Jump!!! For My Love .....

Soooo, Happy Easter everyone and I hope you aren't suffering too greatly from the hour less of sleep last night.

Just a quick post today to share with you the Easter present I made for the other niece:

This is the McCalls M7151 Jumpsuit, with modifications . . .

As you know from my previous post, I usually make the nieces pyjamas for Easter, but this year, the youngest (aged 8) asked for a jumpsuit.  I did spend some time trying to talk her out of this, but in the end I'm glad I failed on that one.

The pattern calls for a knit fabric, but I didn't have any in my stash and was a bit too cash and time poor to go shopping for some.  What I did have in my stash was some vintage stretch cotton (I think) which I bought from a vintage fair in Ilkley a while back.  I was going to use it for a shirt dress, but I think this use is waaay better.

I didn't quite have enough fabric to make the full-length trousers, so we went for knee-length.  I did this simply by shortening the pattern.  I toyed with the idea of a lace insert at the side, but in the end decided that nothing I had looked right, so I just left the side seams with a little split in.

Construction was pretty straight forward.  The only thing that really took me any time to figure out was how to attach the straps at the back.  I got there with it in the end . . . with a little help from hubby  to decipher the instructions.

The pattern does call for a bow made from the same fabric.  I did try to do this, but then got annoyed with it so added a little ribbon bow at the front of the elasticated waist.

I took it to Evie last week, and she insisted on wearing it there and then . . . well, the weather was quite nice that day.  We went to the park and it held up well to playing and she has asked for some more for her summer holidays.  I'm sure I can manage that and I keep looking out for some awesome jerseys.  I might also try out some wovens.  

I posted the pic on facebook and a friend has already asked me to make some for her girls.  If you want to see the playsuit in action, check out my Instagram @HolzMolzPolz, where you will also be able to see the niece's questionable styling choices.

In the meantime, I am waiting for another nice day to get some pics of my latest make for myself, and I am on with the most gorgeous dress for a 3-year old.

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Fantastic Miss Fox

Soooo, today I would like to share with you a bit of slow sewing I have been doing.

Usually, I am in the habit of rushing through my projects, but after the stress of panto costumes and having to rush through those, I thought I would take my time over this project.

These are the Carolyn Pyjamas from Closet Case Files, and this particular set are for the eldest niece for Easter. 

Let me explain why she isn't getting an Easter Egg (which would be waay easier and cheaper) . . . . Many moons ago, when she was about 5, she declared that she got enough eggs, so could I please buy her some pyjamas for Easter instead . . . not a problem said I (I didn't sew then, and I could easily go buy a pair) . . . fast forward a few years, and pyjamas for Easter are now a tradition for the nieces.  Some previous sets for le nieces can be found here and here.

Anyway, Georgia is now nearly a teenager, and hates pink and frills, but does have a thing for black and fox motifs at the moment, so when I saw this fabric I knew that it was going to be made into something for her.  I decided on the Carolyn pjyamas.  I had come across these when I was following the online sewing match thingy last year and liked them . . . I liked them muchly and lots, but were a pattern I had not got around to buying.  Making these for G remedied that.  I was going to buy the paper pattern, but was impatient so bought the PDF version and got the lovely guys at Hobbs in Leeds to print it off for me - they even delivered to my office,  to save my little legs, bless them.

G's measurements put her in a straight size 0 (oh, how I could hate her . . . but I don't as she is nearly as awesome as me!) so I spent an evening tracing onto tissue and then cutting out.

I then started construction. which took me two weeks, but as I said, I was not rushing these and I was catching an hour or two here and there and also doing another project inbetween, so in all, they probably took me about 10 hours total.

I chose View C (shorts and short sleeves) as it is supposed to be nearly summer, even if the weather is having issues remembering this at the moment.  I decided to add piping and bought some lovely satin rainbow piping from eBay.  I wasn't sure if I had enough to pipe everything that was piped on the illustration, so I decided to do the cuffs on the shorts and sleeves and the pocket cuff.  With hindsight, I certainly had enough to do the collar, and I could have done short pockets, which were not on the illustration but could have looked quite cool.  Also with hindsight, I think I should have done the topstitching in rainbow  too, rather than black, but we live and learn don't we.

I followed the instructions very carefully and found that construction was pretty straight forward.  I even pressed everything as I went . . . I was definitely taking my time over this.

Anyway, other than a blip with the button hole setting on my machine (human error), all went smoothly, and I finished the shirt with some buttons I found in Boyes.  I wanted to continue the rainbow theme and have each button a different colour, but that meant I had to have different shapes too, but I think it goes well with the overall theme of the PJs.

I will definitely be making these again . . .  I'm thinking flannel plaid for myself . . . .  The other niece doesn't want PJs this year . . . she wants a playsuit (of course!).  I have tried to talk her out of this, but to no avail, so I had best get on with that now. . . .

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Doe A Deer . . .

 . . . a female deer . . . ray, a drop of golden suuuun . . .

Soooo, I have been singing Sound of Music songs ever since I went to see it at Leeds Grand with my fellow musicals geek, Lauren, back in July, and I think this is what might have finally decided to make me take the plunge and download the Deer & Doe Plantain Tee, which the blogosphere raves about.  I think Amanda at Bimble and Pimble may have originally brought the pattern to my attention, but now I see it everywhere.

So, I downloaded the pattern, and ........................ then did nothing with it.  I did, however, do some other projects, some of which can be found here here and here, and which also have some explanation as to why it has taken me so long to get started on this one.

Anyway, I was looking for a basic t-shirt pattern from which I could make some black lace stretch tops for Panto.  These were for the 'ratlings', the minions of the baddie, Queen Ratifa, and were to be played by some of the older girls in the chorus.  The director had requested something a bit glamorous, rather than a bog-standard rat costume, and I wanted to echo Ratifa's costume, which was red and black and contained lots of lace (and can be found here).

So, to start with the costume I decided to make some giant tulle skirts, which used up 200 metres of tulle.  I alternated black and red tulle and added sequins.  Simple enough, if a little time consuming.

Then, I ordered some black stretch lace from White Tree Fabrics and remembered that I had downloaded the plantain tee pattern.  Perhaps this pattern is not designed to be made up in stretch lace the first time you try it out, but I never did do things the easy way - baptism of fire is my usual method when it comes to sewing.

Anyway, I was not to worry - this is one of the easiest patterns I have sewn and I love it!

I cut the smallest size out, and although they are a teeny bit big, they looked good on (over some black vest tops of course!).  I was using my mum's machine at this point so I used a small zig zag stitch for the seams and then cut the seams down to as close to the stitching as I dare, as I didn't want giant seams showing through the lace.

I may have found this pattern so easy as, due to the lace, none of the edges needed finishing - no neck band of hemming the sleeves and bottom of the to.

This has to be one of my fave costumes, if one of the simplest, and I topped it off with some glitter mouse ears I found on ebay!

Anyway, the eldest niece (who seems to be turning into a goth) has requested a version of this top and I think I might make one for myself, and then some more versions in other colours and fabrics . . . 

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Four Skirts and a Kim

Soooo, today I would like to share with you some costumes from le Panto that seem to have been a bit more appreciated that some of the others I have shared with you so far:

I enjoyed making these ones as my friend's daughter had the part of Alice, and I enjoy creating for those I know.  It also made it easier for me to discuss ideas and what she would like with her as I see her and her mum on a fairly regular basis.

Anyway, first up and the first outfit she wore - this was for the London and shop scenes.  This was one of the first ones I designed and I think I put it on Instagram.  I designed it in red, but after speaking with Katie/Alice, her favourite colour is turquoise so we decided to go for that.

I toyed with the idea of making a proper dirndl, but quickly dismissed that idea - she was on stage so no-one was going to know any different and I really didn't have the mental strength for such escapades.  So this outfit is actually in two parts - the dress part is the By Hand London Kim Dress with the full skirt and square neck.  It was made with some lovely gingham from White Tree Fabrics, which was an absolute dream to cut and sew and when it was hanging on the hanger in my sewing studio I decided that I would quite like to sew one up for myself, but would that be just plain weird?  I decided not and I think I am going to make myself one in purple gingham.  I am also thinking of making some of these to sell in my HolzMolzPolz shop.

I think I can now make the Kim dress in my sleep so the sewing together was pretty straight forward.  In fact, I had my favourite Kim dress on when I was sewing this up and when I went to show Katie the dress.

Anyway, I digress as usual.  Instead of lining this Kim, as per the patter instructions, I decided to bind the edges of the armscyces and the neckline with some self-bias.  I then changed by mind and bought bias.  Et voila!  One dress.

Now, to make this look like my design, a blouse was needed.  Katie had specifically said when I showed her my design that she liked the puffy sleeves, so I had to find a pattern with puffy sleeves.  I decided to go down the peasant top route, as I thought that this could also be used for another scene and therefore save Katie too much changing of outfits.  I finally found McCalls M7163 and chose View A in a white polycotton from Boyes.  Apparently my predecessor sourced almost everything from Boyes - I think I  only sourced about half, but I do love a good online shopping spree.

Anyway, I thought this would be a quick and simple make, and I was half right.  It would have been very simple if I could follow instructions about sewing the neck casing, but I got there in the end.  My anticipated two hours sewing (the pattern said 'easy') turned into nearly two days sewing, but never mind.  I was flooded in at the time (not a road or train track in or out of Ilkley was open) so it didn't matter too much. 

To finish off the outfit for this scene I used the left over white cotton to make an apron, which I made up as I went along.  I might, might, do a tutorial for this  *if I get chance).  It was ridiculously simple.

So, moving on . . .

The next in El Panto was a boat scene, so I knew that I would be going along the lines of nautical red, white and blue for everyone in this scene - preferably a bit of all for each person.  I decided that Katie/Alice could use the same white blouse worn for the previous scene and have a blue circle skirt with a red sash tied around the middle.

To make the circle skirt I used some blue and white polka dot polycotton from my stash.  I think I originally bought this to make some curtains for the shed at our old house, but as I never did and now we don't have a shed it was surplus to requirements.  I was going to use the By Hand London circle skirt app to draft my own pattern, but then remembered that my lovely Ruby dress has a circle skirt (I was wearing a Ruby at the time) so I just stole the skirt pieces from that pattern. 

I decided against a waistband and instead used some blue bias binding from Le Statsh on the waist.  I was going to bind the hem, but then remembered just quite how long hems are on circle skirts and just turned it up instead.

I am definitely going to make up some more of these to sell in the HolzMolzPolz shop, as I also made two of these for one half of one of the comedy acts - Jilly, who was played by my friend, Maz.  Maz's skirts were made in some multi-coloured gingham I found in Boyes and a plain red polycotton.  I gave Maz my red pettiskirt to wear under her skirts and she loved swishing about in it,  I would like to point out that at this point that Maz is the mother of Katie.

Anyway, I digress as usual . . . The sash for Katie was a simple make - I didn't even do it - I got one of my helpers to do this (I did need 27 of the things so I wasn't doing them all myself).  These are made from some red satin cut into 150 x 30cm lengths then folded lengthways and sewn along all edges, leaving a gap for turning.  A good press et voila!  I had loads of red satin in my stash, but still had to go buy some more too - a total of 9 metres was needed for these sashes . . .

Moving onto the finale . . . I actually ended up buying Katie's dress for the finale due to the time constraints, so I won't go into detail on that, but I did make Maz's skirt, using McCalls M6706 View E, which I love so much I didn't claim the pennies back for it so I could keep the pattern and then I bought the pattern in my size too.

Anyway, the theme for the finale was (in the end) black and gold, so I used some of the black taffeta I had used for Dick's finale costume, along with some of the gold taffeta I had bought to make waistcoats for the finale, but didn't turn up on time.  The skirt was a fairly straight forward make, if a little time consuming because of all those stripes to sew, and then I didn't read the instructions right and ended up making the waistband waaaaaaay too long, but I decided to make this a design feature, so the skirt now has a bow at the side!

The only other alteration I made to this is to use an invisible rather than a lapped zip because a) that is what I had available to me at the time and b) I prefer invisible zips (I know I am strange in that respect).

So now I come to a problem - I forgot to take a photo of this skirt, and I loved it so much.  I will make more versions and share them . . .

Anyway, I think I have a couple more costumes to share with you, so I will do that soon, and then I might even share some none-panto makes (only might).

Happy Crafting!

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