Monday, June 27, 2011

folksy girl's tunic

girl's tunic front

This little tunic was a birthday gift for our little niece. Since I got the Hideaway fabric, I knew I wanted to pair it up with the Westfalenstoffe print to make something cute for her to wear.

tunic hem border

I like how both prints are kind of folksy and retro and really cheerful. I wanted the garment to have a retro feel as well, so I settled on a tunic style with a big pocket, like I've seen children in old photographs wear.

tunic rick-rack trimmed pocket

The pocket opening is trimmed with rick-rack to amp up the cuteness even more. I didn't find a pattern I liked for this project, so I made it myself using a basic children's top sloper. I was a bit afraid I didn't make the neck opening big enough, but it turns out it fits fine. Phew!

tunic back

I bound the neck- and arm openings with bias tape and used the button loop technique for the closure.

tunic button closure

This was a fun project and it turned out just as I hoped! The fabrics are so cheerful, just the right thing for summer!

hideaway fabric, detail

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

40ies style girl's pinafore

pinafore front

This little pinafore dress is for a friend's little girl who I'm going to meet for the first time today. :-) It's a size 80, so it's going to be too big for her, but this looks like a design that can grow with a child and fortunately it's a layering piece that's not only limited to summer. I made it using a pattern from a back-issue of Suuri Käsityö magazine (6-7 /2006). The pattern was constructed from a dress design that a woman made for her little daughter in the 40ies. With there being a shortage of fabric at that time, this pattern makes the most of a half-yard.

pinafore back

My friend loves vintage style and the colour blue, so I thought this pattern combined with the lovely Little Folks print would be perfect for her daughter. It also was perfect for me, since I only had a half-yard of the fabric ... ;-)

pinafore bodice back

My favourite feature of the dress is the back closure. (Please note the mismatched print in the back ... I decided it gives the dress character and charm ... ;-)) The thriftiness of the pattern designer really shows here, because with the use of button loops there is no need for the fabrics overlapping, resulting in saving fabric.

button loop

Also, the look is very retro to me and goes really well with the rest of the design. It was really fun making the loops, I followed the tutorial at the Oliver+S blog. I used thicker than regular thread to give the loops some sturdiness.


AND: I love these buttons! Another friend of mine gave me two of these little retro boxes for my birthday! We had buttons like this on our duvet covers and pillows when I grew up and they also remind me of my great-grandmother who still wore my home area's traditional dress (the style she wore is the Marburg protestant traditional dress you can see in the first picture of the link) every day of her life.

The construction of the dress is very interesting, there are no exposed seams. Every thing is either hemmed, lined or, in the case of the waistband, covered with a strip of fabric.

pinafore construction detail

So, there's only simple straight stitch needed, no buttonholes, no zigzag, no serger. I love how this fact also reflects the time the dress was designed in.

pinafore ribbon detail

In the spirit of thriftiness there was no ribbon on the original dress, but I couldn't resist. This yellow folksy ribbon just was so perfect for the project.

yummy colours

I love all these primary colours together, it's just so cheerful! J. found the old fruit drop tin while cleaning out the attic. It's so pretty. Why does it seem that packaging was prettier in the past?

I'm really happy with the dress and I hope my friend will like it, too! It was such a pleasure to sew with the voile again! I ordered some yardage of Loulouthi voile for myself, so I'm looking forward to making something nice for myself some time! :-)

We're having really beautiful weather here, so I leave you with some pics of the flowers on our balcony. Because I (finally) can!!! ;-)

dahlia blooms


Have a good day!