Friday, January 25, 2013

Dresses and things from the last few months

Sadly I have neglected my blog for the last few months. It's a great record of my sewing achievements and also an excuse to take photos of Alyssa, so after a motivational boost from my Mum hopefully I'll be right onto it for the New Year.

I started a Facebook page called Liese & Alyssa. I have given a couple of dresses to my friends children and also sold a few dresses to a boutique! The lovely lady at the boutique thoroughly inspected the dresses and decided that they were up to her impeccably high standard and that she "had to have them". (A proud moment!) I also bought myself a new Bernina 530QE sewing machine, a step up from my secondhand Brother machine.

Summertime Dreaming Dress
Fabric: Children at Play by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller
Pattern: Elsie Dress by Sew Sweet Patterns

I love this dress probably because of the fabric. Alyssa has had so much wear out of it too. The pattern is so easy to make. The only tricky thing is getting the shoulder frill the same on each side. The instructions on stitching up the back seam were kinda confusing so in the end I braved it and installed a (not so) invisible zipper. 

Lucy's Parade Dress

I wrote a post on this dress when I made it for Alyssa. I got a few compliments so decided to make some to sell.

I launched my Facebook page with three of these dresses for sale. Possibly I priced them too high and coupled with a tiny audience (about 30 likes) I sold none. haha. Then after admiring the dresses for a month or so and almost deciding to just keep them all my Mum made me take them into the boutique. Is is weird that I get totally sentimental and don't want to give them up?!?

The Fawn Dress
Fabric: Vine in Pink for Woodland Tails by Sheri Berry Designs
Pattern: An adaptation of the Raven Dress by Sew Sweet Patterns

I really wanted to try printing onto fabric. After some research into printing directly onto fabric and wondering how I'd fit all the fabric of a bodice through my printer without it ending in tears, I decided to try Lesley Riley's Transfer Artist Paper.

Basically you print your design onto a sheet of this paper, cut very carefully around the design and then iron it onto your fabric. I am a web designer/developer so it was easy for me to scan part of the fabric and trace around one of the animals using Photoshop.

Lesley Riley's Transfer Artist Paper is expensive so you can't really afford to have any trial and error. For a basic design with one solid colour it worked well. I wasted four sheets on a subsequent project because I wanted to attempt a much more detailed design which failed miserably. There were cracks all through it.

I like the idea of creating my own unique fabric and then using it for a little dress or onesie. I have some fabric paint to try and now just have to decide on a cool pattern.

Just Stay Little Dress
Fabric: Just Stay Little in Turquoise by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller
Pattern: burda 4082 (pretty sure this one is not available anymore)

Last year I raided my mums pattern collection. She used to sew for me so had a loads of little girls patterns.

This was my second time following a commercial pattern. For a beginner sewer they are so intimidating especially one this old (my mum would have purchased it about 25 years ago).

I made a size two so its a bit big on my model. The pattern had no seam allowances but it did provide info on what they were. However I did find that very annoying/frustrating. I had to trace over the pattern with tissue paper and then draw on the seam allowances to make sure I didn't accidentally forget while cutting it out. It seemed like there was too much fabric for the frill for the armholes (they stick out a bit) and then not enough fabric for the frill around the bodice. The frill for the bottom of the bodice was also two separate pieces and to begin with I couldn't decide if it was supposed to go right the way around, or just along the front of each side. There is also a seam down the front skirt which was supposed to be a kick-pleat, or something. My Mother in law who sews professionally was confused by the instructions for it, so together we had to improvise.

Overall I was happy I finished it. It looks terribly big on my model but will fit her eventually.

Santa sack
Pattern: The characters are from:

I wanted to make a Santa sack for Alyssa. Something that she could use year after year.
I had no pattern but wanted to make something interesting with lots characters and layers but eventually got sick of all the 'free-motion embroidery' that really wasn't so free (without the correct foot it was a nightmare!).

There is a penguin, a bird and mistletoe on the other side. It's packed away now so no more pics till next year.

My new sewing machine has a special BSR foot which is designed to regulate the stitch when free motion quilting. I wonder if it would have been useful for this project. It's still in its box. It looks very intimidating, as does the walking foot and all the buttons etc on my 'fancy' computerised sewing machine. eeek I am not allowed to say I preferred my manual machine, am I?!

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