Monday, 30 September 2013

Monet and Munch for the gifted child

It seems to me, that many parents today want to raise gifted children.  There are a zillion different books, DVD's and websites on the subject.  Apparently, exposing children to fine arts at a young age helps to develop the right-sided brain abilities like creative problem-solving, enhanced photographic memory, visual and spatial thinking, musical talent etc etc etc.

So, I thought I'd help out some of my friends who recently celebrated the birth of their daughter by getting her started on the journey to unlocking the right side of her brain....

At my favourite on-line fabric store,, I discovered Edvard Munch's the scream and Claude Monet's water lilies

Foolishly, I only purchased a fat quarter of each fabric in the organic knit.  Thus, I was only able to create a sleeveless top in the work by Munch

Front - the neckline doesn't look even but it is just the way the top is placed on the hanger

size 74cm


The pattern is "Diamond Deer sleeveless jersey top" from Ottobre 3/2011.

Of course, the observant will note that I overlapped the front and back pieces incorrectly.    I blame my sister: I was trying to multi-task, chatting to her on the phone and sewing at the same time...   However, I obviously need to pay more attention when it comes to overlapping shoulder seams because this is a common problem for me!

For the water lilies, I used the Oliver + S hopscotch top pattern.  I knew that I wasn't going to make any amateurish mistakes with this pattern.

size 6-12 months

Dad told me they really liked BRIGHT fabric so I also made a little dress for the new baby (just in case Munch was too much for these new parents...).  I used another favourite Oliver + S pattern: the music box jumper (view B).

 size 6 - 12 months

I lined the bodice with a dotted off-white quilting cotton, and used some decorative mother of pearl buttons.

So here's hoping that these are a hit (or should that be a scream?) with Mum and Dad.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

An Oliver + S weekend

I expected all of last weekend to be taken up with a work activity. It didn't eventuate, so I spent the weekend in my sewing room with my Oliver + S patterns instead.

The first item I made was the book report dress.  I wanted to make it all in one colour and I made a few little alterations to the pattern based on this t-shirt from Daks that I bought at Christmas time

Note the zipper and the quilted shoulders and sleeves

So I borrowed those ideas and incorporated them into my dress:

Size 4

I quilted the fabric onto a fusible batting first before cutting out the back yoke.  It was surprisingly quick to do and produced the result I was after.

It really isn't that wrinkled in real life!

I inserted invisible zippers at the front and back yoke shoulder seam.  They are not perfect but I think they will look OK once the  dress is on.   Perhaps next time I will make the zipper more of a feature like the Daks's t-shirt

The only other modification I made was to use the "burrito method" to enclose the stitching for the  back yoke and its facing just like on a man's business shirt.  The batting added quite a bit of bulk which made this a little bit more of a fiddle than it might have been but it turned out looking very tidy on the inside.

And to finish off, I found a little sparkly button in my button box that matched the dress colour perfectly.

Although the photo is out of focus

On Sunday, I made a skirt using the rather appropriately named Sunday brunch a-line skirt pattern - although it would have been a very late meal if it had been needed at the time suggested by the pattern!  

I cut up an old Anna S dress that I bought for about $5 at a school fair several years ago and tried to recreate something a little like this skirt that I snapped in Tokyo last year.... while trying to not look like I was stalking the child

this skirt


Ok, so this looks nothing like the little girl's skirt but you gotta work with what you've got!

And then in the second half of the day I whipped up a roller skate tunic from a Nano Iro print, and some Japanese lawn from Spotlight

And I bundled these up to send to Rosa with yet another Sailboat top I recently completed.  I think I have probably had the knit fabric for at least ten years!  So, another successful stash bust here and therefore time to buy more fabric....

And look!  I managed to get the shoulder pieces overlapped the correct way again

Now, that was a much better way to spend a weekend than doing paper work....