Girl’s Dress PDF Pattern

About a year ago I drafted some patterns for little girls’ dresses with a view to turning them into PDFs.  Unfortunately,  just as I had finished about six months worth of work to achieve that the EU, in it’s wisdom, brought in new rules for VAT regarding selling PDF patterns to European countries making it unfeasible to continue.  Luckily, I kept all my work (I could easily have thrown it all in the bin at the time) because Etsy recently emailed me to say that they had put a system in place whereby they would be responsible for collecting and making the VAT payments to the various countries – hooray!!

So, I immediately dug out all my sketches, photos and drafts for the first dress I designed and it is now available in my shop  I’m really excited about this as it’s my favourite out of all my designs so far and  I really hope other people like it as much as I do.

I’ve given all my lingerie and dress patterns Cornish girl’s names.  This one is called Caja which means ‘daisy’.

The Caja dress has a curved bodice at the front and a gathered skirt which makes a very flattering look for a little girl.

The instructions with this PDF pattern include the finishes that I would normally use on a dress, i.e. french seams, deep hand stitched hem, lined bodice with the raw edges concealed within it, rouleau loop (although I often make my button loops from thread) and a covered button to make a very special garment.  Although, obviously you can use any finish that you want.

Machine Embroidery Art

I’ve always loved to embroider, it’s something I was taught to do when I was very young.  Over recent years I have seen more and more embroidery done on a machine.  I did think this was cheating to start with and have continued doing it by hand, although a lot of my quilts do have applique that is machined.  But I have become more aware of local Cornish artists such as Poppy Treffry Freehand Machine Embroidery: Learning to draw with your machine who uses machine embroidery to sew seaside scenes onto items such as bags and cushions with ancient Singer machines and thought that maybe I should give it ago before dismissing it.

I was also really inspired by the work of a freehand machine embroiderer called Abigail Mill ( not Cornish) whose embroidered artwork I discovered online.  (I do make it sound as if I spend all day looking online for inspiration which isn’t the case.  Well, maybe it is.)  She uses a white piece of organza for the base of each piece and then layers it with different organza to create the background sky and sea.  This gives a real illusion of depth and it’s something I had to try for myself.   Despite spending a lot of time looking at her art work online I couldn’t quite see how she achieved her results.   So I bought her new book  Applique Art: Freehand Machine-Embroidered Pictures (The Textile Artist) .  This book is beautiful.

I began my machine embroidery with layers of organza and even before I had done any embroidery it looked really effective.  I am not entirely pleased with the background now that I have embroidered it with my machine.  Maybe machine embroidery is not quite my thing!  However, I shall reserve judgement until I have added all the details and have a completed picture.

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The initial plan with this one was to applique a seal onto this and maybe a Cornish gig .  However, when we were walking home from lunch the other day we saw a pod of dolphins stranded in the creek next to our house.  Several people had gone in to swim them back out to deeper water and didn’t look in any rush to get out (any excuse really).  It was a hot day and I wouldn’t have minded going in myself but walking home in wet clothes wouldn’t have been as much fun!  So I think I’ll have to put a dolphin or two on my embroidery – when I get around to it.

 

Lowen Fabric Baby Booties Pattern

A few weeks ago I said I might make a sewing pattern for some fabric baby booties.  Well, here it is.  I have called it ‘Lowen’ which means happy in Cornish.   They can be made from very small amounts of fabric and a short piece of elastic, are equally suited to a boy or a girl and they stay on!

Plenty of Etsy sellers have handmade fabric baby booties in their shops, but few seem to want to sell their patterns.   (I can’t blame them; they can sell the finished booties for quite a lot of money and, once you have a pattern, they are not that difficult to make.)  The Lowen Baby Booties pattern is available in my shop in a printed paper version and also as a PDF.  These baby booties can be made in sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months.

No more baby booties patterns planned (for a while anyway) as I need to get back on with knitting my way through my stash and I don’t think baby booties are going to make much of an impact on that!  I have said before that my stash contains about a year’s worth of serious knitting but I think it’s probably nearer to two years worth.  (At least!)  I also need to make myself a dress and jacket for my youngest daughter’s graduation and there is a time constraint on that one.

 

Basic Black Japanese Pattern Book Review

I didn’t expect to be reviewing another Japanese pattern book so soon, but I found this green top which was made using a pattern from one of my newer books Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe by Sato Watanabe.  I’ve had this book for quite a while but did not notice the detailing on this dress pattern probably because all the designs are in black, hence the name.  That is really the only negative I can find with this book.  It is one of my two favourite Japanese pattern books.  It describes itself as being edgy and I suppose it is when compared to other Japanese pattern books.  I just think it is more stylish and  definitely more to my taste.  The patterns are slightly more confusing than those in other Japanese pattern books due to them being all squashed onto (both sides) of just one sheet.  But I quite like the challenge.

So, here’s my version of this pattern:

This is not at all what I intended.  I had a beautiful piece of fabric lined up.  It was a silk cotton mix in a very pale peach with a slight gold shimmer to it.  (The darts would have shown up beautifully on this fabric, unlike the patterned fabric I ended up using.).  This fabric was tricky.  It did not even like being cut.  I spent ages getting it cut out, measuring and pinning the darts (all six of them).  I was just about to start sewing when I noticed the fabric looked almost transparent in places and when I investigated, it just started falling to pieces.  Hence the change of fabric.  This one is a cotton poplin which might not drape as well as the silk mix but I knew it would stay put while I cut it and I could iron it into nice sharp darts.  Good old cotton.  I did like that other fabric though.

So, when measuring the pattern I thought the boat neck might be a bit too wide, but decided to make it as the designer intended except that I was making a top and not a dress.  The neck is a bit too wide, but still wearable.  I should have made a smaller size and will probably have to do a few alterations to rectify that at some point.  The only other modifications I made were to sew a seam up the back with a small opening and a hand sewn button fastening instead of a zip, to hand sew a rolled hem and to hand sew much thinner bias binding as I prefer a daintier look.

I want to make quite a few of the patterns in this book.

I particularly like ‘a’ the Lace Shirred Blouse, and ‘g’ and ‘h’ both versions of the Whimsical Vest.  I find the names given to the garments amusing as well.