Mother-daughter gingham shirtdresses

ginghamdresses1

With hand, foot & mouth disease reaching epidemic level here in Singapore, my kids’ have been staying home these two weeks. That meant lots of fun drawing, coloring, playing and very little sewing. But, I did manage to whip up my Miu Miu … Continue reading

The 40s spring floral dresses

Spring floral mother dress

Yay! I finished sewing the 40s mother-daughter floral dresses last week and am almost done with a chiffon top to go with my lace shorts (yes, another UFO out of the way!). The patterns I used for the dresses were … Continue reading

Making up for Nautical and the Keyhole Mod Mini

Kids in Vintage

I missed the nautical theme week on The Sew Weekly as I was on vacation and decided to make up for it with a middy top and dress. They were not for me though but my kids. I showed the cover of Simplicity 2402 to my son and he immediately told me he wanted his outfit exactly like View 4. I’m not surprised since his favorite color is red. So, I bought some red and white stripe seersucker fabric from fabric.com and sewed the outfits for my kids to wear for a National Day gathering at a friend’s place. (Note: Red and white are our national colors) 
Here are my kids in their matching sibling outfits and the result of my very first attempt with kids vintage pattern.

The pattern used for my lil princess’ 1940s sailor dress is Simplicity 4246.  The collar is embellished with red and white polka dot bias tapes.  My lil prince’s middy top is from the 1958 Simplicity 2402. His collar is also embellished with bias tape but in gingham. He’s only 5 but tall for his age so I used a size 6 pattern. It was good that the 1940s pattern was unprinted while the 1950s one was so it minimized my confusion when sewing these up since I cut the pieces together. The 1950s pattern also contained both girls and boys versions so I hope to sew the girls’ version for my princess when she’s 5 or 6 years old, only if she’s still willing to wear the stuff I sew.

The princess was in one of her moods and not very willing to pose for photos, but the happy older brother was pretty enthusiastic about it so here’s his solo shot. To allow his gigantic head to go through, the vestee was designed to be attached to the neckline with buttons but instead of creating a buttonhole under his collar, I used snap buttons. I finished all seams with french seams and was happy with the technical construction of both pieces. However, I do think that the outfits look too much like uniforms.

Wished I had some of this irresistible buttons to adorn them with so that these outfits look less uniform like.

The kids, especially my lil prince, love the outfits so I’m consoled with that thought. Since I know these fit them well, I hope to find time to make another version which is more fun and less uniform looking and with cute buttons too :)

I have not sewed for the kids for sometime and just got reminded that small pieces can be harder to sew. Especially these things called sleeves :P

The Keyhole Mod Mini

This week for The Sew Weekly Challenge, we are sewing up a 70s storm. You can find my post here and more fun photos below. These were taken at the outdoor play area at Vivocity, a mega mall in Singapore.

The plaid fabric is from Ikea’s home decor department and the side front panels were cut from remnant denim. The keyhole opening created an interesting neckline to an otherwise simple design while the contrasting side panels creates the illusion of shape and slimming effect to the wearer.

The thickness of the fabrics and interfacing made it really tough to top stitch the keyhole area and I think I managed to do only an average job with this. Before top stitching I have already changed the machine needle and loosen the thread tension so I am not sure how I can improve on topstitching such thick fabrics. Any tips?

The pattern used was Simplicity 9014 from the year 1970, two years before I was born. The instructions were clear and simple and even taught me how to sew my very first dart seam. My only deviation, as with most 70s pattern, is to under stitch the facings to the interfacing instead of stitching the interfacing onto the bodice. The dress looked rather shapeless and wide on the pattern cover so I was surprised that it was actually quite fitting and yet still comfortable.
I hope you are having a great day! Have a blessed week!

Welcoming the Year of the Rabbit!

Happy Year of the Rabbit! I didn’t expect to but I have a couple of hours of free time today and decided to upload some photos of the festivity.

Day 1

As per our family’s yearly tradition, everyone gathered at my uncle’s (mum’s eldest brother) place for a potluck lunch feast. Hubby and I couldn’t resist posing in front of my uncle’s neighbor sparkling silver ferrari for a pic. My lil princess ran in and held my hand at the last minute which is why the photo turned out this way.

I wore the Mademoiselle dress but had a really hard time getting my relatives to believe that I made that dress or my lil princess’ reversible retro dress or my son’s robot shirt or my dad’s Peacock Jakob shirt. It was actually rather funny but that became quite an ice breaker and I had to convince them that it was my new found hobby. One that I grew really fond of.

I didn’t have a chance to snap photos of the robot shirt and the Peacock Jakob beforehand so I took the opportunity to document them yesterday. Here are the kids with their cousin. The boys kept making cheeky faces! Boys will be boys…

My lil prince is wearing the Robot shirt which I made last week using burda magazine’s 5/2010 Boy’s shirt with Mandarin collar downloaded from the burdastyle website. I gotta let you know that I am so glad I just completed the JJ Blouse and shirts because the steps given in the boy’s shirt instructions didn’t help at all. There was also no information on sizing either. This is probably the last time I will be downloading a burda magazine pattern online. In the end, I ditched the instruction sheet and relied totally on what I’ve learnt making the shirts to sew this garment. When I finished sewing it, my son asked me to add some buttons for him just because he liked them. I agreed though I knew he wouldn’t be able to button up so instead of a traditional buttonhole, I sewed two buttons, one on each side of the shirt and looped them together with a knotted elastic band. A fun buttons and knot combo!   As for dad, he was *ahem* too preoccupied to pose for any photos as you can see below.

But I managed to snap a closer view of the shirt he was wearing without disturbing his social activity. The fabric is Alexander Henry’s cotton lawn in Regent Peacock and the sewing pattern is burdastyle’s Jakob. Just like hubby’s shirt, all seams are finished with french seams and rolled hems.

Day 2

Today’s lunch was Henghua mee suan which my aunt (dad’s older sister) cooked for the lot of us at her place. It has to be the most delicious noodles on earth and something my hubby looks forward to every year:) My kids are wearing fusion traditional today. Actually, they were supposed to be wearing traditional costumes but my son preferred wearing the traditional top with jeans. He spent half an hour lamenting that the blue top is ugly and he wanted to wear only red tops as red is his favorite color. Hubby and I finally convinced him by pronouncing a mandarin collar day in which all four of us would be wearing clothes with mandarin collars today.

My lil princess wasn’t easy to handle either. She would only wear skirts so I had no choice but to layer her traditional outfit with a tutu, much to her delight.

And here’s hubby and I with our mandarin collar outfits. The Alexander Henry Jakob and “In the Mood for Love” cheongsam.I’ve learnt a few lessons from sewing some of our own new year outfits this year and thought I need to put them down just for next year’s reference sake

1. Dad has requested for pockets on his shirts as he has a habit of placing his pen and some notes in there.

2. Red shirts for lil prince but best to have him select the fabrics himself. Save ourselves from all that whining.

3. Hubby has suggested that I sew lil prince and him some dad and son shirts so they could wear the same print out. That sounds like fun and I would really wanna try creating them.

4. Mum is still really fussy as I have yet to see her wearing the Liberty JJ blouse. The Lunar new year celebrations is for 15 days so let see if she does.

5. More skirts and dresses for lil princess. No pants. Tutus make her smile.

6. Dad and hubby loved the cotton lawns and commented on how comfy these are.

7. For some weird reason, lil prince is into family fashion themes. Figure something to minimize potential issues.

Looks like I’ll need to start planning and sewing for the year of the dragon a little earlier:)