One of my 2017 Make Nine patterns is the Gigi dress by Olive Ann Designs. I made this for little niece Greta and was very happy that she chose to wear it for a family lunch at our house.
The back of the dress – which is what attracted me to the pattern – is gorgeous. Pleats give fullness, and the bow is so pretty.
I was a bit worried about the front. The high neckline and short sleeves didn’t look very comfortable, but they are needed because of the low back. Greta seems to like it though, and the only problem is that the dress becomes quite short when she lifts her arms. Leggings or little shorts solve that problem, and I’ve made both for her from this bright pink jersey.
She has worn this with a little denim jacket over the top, and it looked adorable – she’s a stylish girl.
A pattern for a matching doll’s dress is included but that looked far too fiddly to make and play with. Maybe when Greta is older!
New Year, new challenges – there are so many interesting ideas around, and I’d like to join in with lots of them, but I must be sensible and not over commit!
The nine I’ve chosen to sew this year are a mix of patterns I’ve had for ages, a year old UFO, some which need me to learn new sewing skills and a few for my smallest niece and nephew.
1. This Burda 6987 coat has been hanging unfinished in my wardrobe for over a year! Top priority.
2. Another Banksia top – I loved the first one I made, but the fabric wasn’t great. I have a beautiful soft chambray for this.
3. Vogue 1395 – one of the many patterns I bought with great enthusiasm, and didn’t make up.
4. Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers – I haven’t made trousers before, and these have had great reviews. I love the shape.
5. Colette Beignet – bought it, didn’t make it. I have some denim for this and the trousers.
6. DKNY Vogue 2941 – the skirt is a beautiful shape, with a gathered hem. I like the camisole and kimono top too…
7. I’ve had Girls Style Book for ages, waiting for tiny niece Greta to be big enough for the patterns. There are some beautiful things for summer, including this dress, some bubble shorts, a wrap back top – I like almost all of them.
8. Burda kids 9482 – I want to use up some of the larger knit remnants I have left over from other projects. Hoodies seem ideal, and it’s nice to have a pattern for nephews too.
I have masses of other patterns I would like to make, and plenty of fabric to make them, but if I can make these nine I’ll be very happy.
I’ve been too busy to do as much sewing for Greta as I’d like, but I thought you’d like to see her in a couple of quick patterns I have managed to make.
It’s also a chance to share this beautiful photo, taken by my sister, Jo. She looks like a little fairy!
The dress is the smocked one I made at the beginning of the summer, here, with a matching pair of shorts from McCalls 5416.
Next is the free halter dress pattern from Prima Magazine, July 2015.
Doesn’t she look adorable? The fabric is a Tilda quilting cotton, and Jo says it’s a really useful dress. Very quick to make, so a pattern to keep and make again for next summer.
There is an adult version too – I’m going to try out this for our summer holiday!
I’ve been thinking about printing my own fabric for a while, and came across Jane Foster’s courses while googling one day. I love Jane’s work, and the chance to learn from her – too good to miss!
Jane is based in Kingsbridge – about an hour from me – so I drove down there on the most beautiful day. There were four of us, and I think we were all a bit nervous!
It was fascinating to hear from Jane about her career and life as an artist. And I fell in love with screenprinting on my first try. I’m not very good at drawing, but the process makes simple designs look great, so it’s ideal for me.
I designed a flower using paper cut outs and round stickers, and struck with that for my one and two colour prints.
We printed three bags, some scraps of fabric, and paper. I also made tiny niece Greta a bag.
She was a bit confused there was nothing in it (she had a very good look to make sure!), but soon came round when we showed her how to put toys in there. (Also, she’s wearing the smocked dress I made – my sister knows how to make me happy).
Whenever I go on courses I am amazed by the variety of work produced – here is one bag from each of us. Could they be more different?!
You can find out more about Jane and her work at www.janefoster.co.uk – course details are in the Shop section.
Tiny niece Greta loves Peppa Pig, so I’ve been doing some Peppa knitting for her second birthday.
A toy Peppa – the pattern is from Woman’s Weekly –
A Peppa jumper. I used a pattern from the Sublime Children’s double knitting book, and found a chart on flickr here .
It was too hot at her party to try on the jumper, but she seemed to like it. “Mine” she said.
And she loved her toy. I wish I could wear a pink tutu on my birthday!
Peppa even got in on the candle blowing!
The fabulous Muddy Puddle cake is by my sister, Jo. It was delicious!
Ahh, little girls’ summer dresses. I’m planning a few different styles for tiny niece this year.
This one is the Purl Bee Smocked Dress & Shirt pattern which I received for free when I signed up for their newsletter.
I think I did some smocking at school, and it was fun to try it again. I say fun – I decided to use polka dots rather than the gingham they recommend, and it took a few tries to get it right.
It’s a lovely pattern. The smocking produces beautiful pleats at the neckline and a gently gathered full skirt. The binding finishes the arm edge and extends to form straps.
The only thing I will change next time is the width of the binding. I found 1 5/8″ rather narrow and fiddly, and the inside isn’t as neat as I would like. I think making the binding a little wider would make the dress much faster to sew.
On Monday, I’ll show you how I did the smocking on polka dots. It’s very easy but might save you some time if you’d like to try it!
The pattern for this little rabbit comes from Toy Knits by Debbie Bliss.
The book was published in 1995, and I bought it soon after, which means I’ve been making this pattern for nearly 20 years! I think the first one was for a sweet little girl called Eleanor, who is now a beautiful twenty-something.
There’s something about this cute rabbit in an oversized sweater that makes me come back to it again and again. The sweater is knitted from two strands of DK yarn worked together, so I sometimes make a matching cardigan as a baby gift.
The pattern taught me how to increase and decrease, and to use smaller needles (3.25 for DK) so the toy stuffing doesn’t show through.
Here is Greta measuring her new rabbit (I’d just measured her for a dress). She looks like a natural!
Do you have a pattern you’ve been using forever?