I tried this pattern last year when I made the owl bag but this frog is sew much better!
This is the prefect hand luggage. It's made from beautiful shiny turquoize butterfly fabric, royal blue suade and fake leather.
There are lots of pockets, one on each side about the right size or a small mobile or change and a larger pocket in the back, big enough for a passport but not, it turns out, an ipad.
The strap is held on by a lobster clip. It's a single strap, long enough to go across the body. Sewing the leather was so much easier on the new sewing machine and using a number 16 needle.
There's a front pocket big enough for a wallet.
And really cute dangly arms!
I love the leather mouth! A much more awesome alternative to a handbag and I'm sure Ernest's future aunts in law would agree!
I'm not a fan of swimming costumes but I really like the Edwardian swimming dresses. The only problem with them is that they are made of linen and so are quite heavy when wet and don't dry quickly. So I decided to make a swimming dress from board short material.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find the material for sale in the UK so I bought four pairs of extra large board shorts and cut them up. I was hoping to get an Enchanted-style holey curtain shot but there wasn't any material left by the time I'd finished!
I used the top of linen dress and a pleated netball skirt to cut a basic pattern in tissue paper and then adjusted it on my mannequin. It turns out Miranda, the mannequin, has a much shorter body than me so I had to make a belt strip in the middle to join the two together.
Despite using all the material, the skirt was a little tight around the bottom... of the skirt and so wouldn't have been good for swimming as I wouldn't be able to kick. I cut open the pleats and inserted a strip of aqua lycra which would stretch with the kicks. I plan to make a matching bikini out of the lycra to wear under the dress.
Throughout the construction of the garment, I tried to keep it in theme with the boardshorts it came from: all the seams are top stitched with twin needles and the hem of the skirt and arm holes is a double hem. I put pockets on the sides to make it look more like a pair of swimming trunks but I also found that the trunks were pretty badly made and every time I unpicked a pocket, there was a giant hole made when the sewing machine had finished the stitches. I mostly managed to hide these holes in the new seams but there was one massive hole in the centre of the back so I stuck a pocket over the top. I'm going to call it theme-ing. I made the middle band more like the waist band of a pair of swimming shorts by unpicking the elastic from two truncks and making a double band at the back. It's sheared over the top of the elastic. I took out all of the darts in the top once I added the elastic and this will give a bit more space when swimming.
I was going to put in sleeves but I decided that would hinder the arm movements too much. I was also planning for the collar to be larger but I think that too could get in the way of turning your head to breathe.
All in all, I'm looking forward to hitting the beach this summer in my new outfit!
A friend held a Mexican Fiesta the other day so what better outfit to go for than a spicy chilli dress?
The diagonal chilli tail was made by drawing a spiral around a plate on top of the two sides of the other t-shirt. The spiral makes it longer at one end and drawing it around a circle will make it fall in a more crinkly way. I then gathered it and sewed it to the dress.
The dress is made from two red XXL men's T-shirts from Primark. I used the top band from the first T-shirt as the band for a strapless dress and then sewed the side seams to fit to the body. I turned the sleeves into the frilly shoulder sleeve and the strap on the other side.
The hat is made from a cereal box cone, some glue gun, left over t-shirt fabric and some green felt for the stalk. Ascot ready!
And to finish the outfit.... some chilli polymer clay earrings.
A full spectrum of pantaloons for the fairies in the school play, made from 2m of silk dupion each, about 70cm of 1" elastic for the waistband, and 50cm of 6mm elastic for the leg bands.
I used bobinfill as thread and a size 9 needle so the silk didn't pucker. The material frayed a lot so I used french seams. The bands and hems were hand stitched.
And here is the sexy pattern should you wish to recreate these babies!
It's another Famous Frocks dress, this time a little disco number in honour of Diana Ross. I opted to go for the slightly more modern version.
The variation has cuffed sleeves. I also lengthened the dress by 4", added some beautiful gold tape around the edges to make it a bit more glamourous, and made the keyhole a lot smaller (between top two notches).
This dress was very easy and quick to make. It took 2m of black stretch cotton jersey and 6m of gold and black tape.
The pattern comes in four parts but I cut out the back as one piece, removing the seam allowance. If I hadn't put in the keyhole I'd have done the same with the front as seams on a tight fitting dress look clunky. You can cut them on the fold.
I sewed the side seams as princess seams to keep them neat using a stretch stitch.
For the hemlines at the skirt, neckline and sleeves, I folded the fabric over once and used a stretch zigzag stitch. This could have been made neater by folding it over twice: I was worried that would make it roll over but the gold tape was strong enough to stop that.
One of the bad things about the Famous Frocks book is that the inside of the dress looks very messy. They recommended sewing both halves of the sleeve on at once. Instead, I sewed one end of the cuff to the sleeve and then under stitched the other end of the cuff to the sewing line so you can't see the seam or the gathering.
So with the final piece, I'm all ready to party this festive season! Although I am developing a blister from hand stitching 12m of tape- next time I'll use the sewing machine!
You rip what you sew!