I’ve recently been wanting to do a lot more sewing, and I’ve definitely come to the realisation that these days with a busy toddler in toe it’s not something that will just ‘happen’ – I have to consciously dedicate and set aside sewing time, priortise it and make it matter…otherwise it just doesn’t happen. When we were passing through Broken Hill on our travels a few months ago I stumbled across a beautiful little homewares shop, which just so happened to sell gorgeous fabrics also. Uh-oh… I couldn’t walk out without a white and purple fabric with a young girl riding a horse, with plans to make my horse obsessed niece Chloe a top for a special upcoming birthday, her 13th – a teen!
October is a big month for birthday’s in our family, another niece near Chloe’s, another niece at the end, Matt’s sister and brother-in-law, me… I thought I’d better strike while the iron was hot with sewing, so whipped up a simple Halloween inspired dress for our ‘little witch’ Violet as well…
I had Chloe’s top in my mind when I bought the fabric – a wrap around style with side tie and peplum skirt. Finding teenage sized patterns can be slightly tricky, but I found one just like I had imagined on Etsy…unfortunately it was quite the saga trying to interpret! Not at all straight forward, much head bashing on my sewing table, unpicking, muttering under my breath, deep breaths and honestly nearly giving up entirely. It took me five times longer than I thought it would. I got there in the end, but it just goes to show how important a simple and well written pattern is! I’m all for singing the praises of products or services I love, but I’m also not in the business of naming and shaming ones that don’t float my boat. Nobody wins there. This pattern I think will be sitting unused in my patterns folder though I’m afraid. In the end I winged it a lot and basically hoped for the best, I figured it would turn out better finished a bit rough and ready, rather than not getting finished at all…right?! I do love the peplum skirt, the top is one whole piece that simply crosses over and ties at the side.
After that headache, I went back to basics for a simple dress for Violet’s 4th birthday a few days after Chloe’s 13th. I am a huge fan of Tadah Patterns (formally Fresh Patterns), and my experience with my random Etsy pattern purchase was proof just how well written and professional Lauren’s patterns are. I think I am definitely spoilt, with the majority of my sewing is done using a Tadah pattern – I just didn’t realise it until I strayed and tried another pattern!
Violet had been planning her Halloween outfit for months, October must seem like one big party to her. I saw this Halloween fabric at Spotlight recently and loved the purple colour and the little witches, pumpkins and cats on it. Although Violet’s got her ghastly ghoul outfit sorted, she can keep the Halloween feeling happening with a ‘bewitching’ play dress too. A super easy, quick and simple ‘Seaside’ dress took me half an hour to whip up – such a pleasure after the angst of Chloe’s top!
In hindsight I wanted the dress to look a little ‘nicer’ so wish I had done the flutter sleeves…so with sewers-regret I made a little headband to go with the dress to jazz it up a bit. For Violet’s headband I purposely positioned the fabric to capture some of the witch and cat in the bow part of the headband, but when I was wrapping Chloe’s top up I noticed my brilliant positioning on the back – almost perfectly matching up to make a whole horse! Brilliant. Completely meant that… (could not have even tried to plan that!)
I also had lots of the horse fabric in odd pieces left over (with a peplum/circle skirt this is often the case) so with a $3 Kmart t-shirt I made a more horse-wearing-appropriate top for Chloe with a simple circle applique using some co-ordinating purple embroidery thread. I generally like to hand sew applique, with a thicker or stronger thread, as well as using an iron on adhesive.
Two October babes, hopefully happy with their Aunty Em’s patch of purple sewing – one project so simple, easy and a breeze…the other painstakingly slow, frustrating and headache inducing! I definitely think I have found my sew-jo again though, just in time for pretty Summer dresses and cute shorts for Eleanor.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what a photo shoot in our garden looks like, this is how you’ll find me pushing Eleanor’s ‘farm pram’ around our yard with camera in toe…