Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The blog post where we all got lucky....

I don't usually rate my chances when it comes to blog giveaways. I don't use Facebook enough, or instagram at all, in order to do the rafflecopter ones to any great degree. But when the entry is just by leaving a comment, and I wanted to comment anyway, then I'm in. Plus, there's no way of NOT commenting when it's Supergail sewing an Oliver + S pattern in some gorgeous fabric.

The short of it; courtesy of Chio at Llama Fabrics I won 3 yards of fabric of my choice. I'd pretty much sworn off quilting cottons, but I'd heard only great things about the Art Gallery line of cottons.

I very quickly received an email from Chio, and when she didn't seem horrified at having to post to Australia, let me package up my 3 yards however I liked, and posted them so promptly, I thought I'd better make something right away!


This first Art Gallery fabric is Wild Beauty (in Saffron) by Pat Bravo. The pattern (of course) is the Oliver + S Garden Party dress, size 3 with size 4 length at the hem. The only change I made was to add piping to the yoke and waistbands. I just happened to have some teal green batiste that matched nicely.
 
 
I already had a very similar looking pattern to this one in a Japanese sewing book, so I thought long and hard about purchasing this one. That was a waste of brain time. As always, an Oliver + S pattern is worth owning. It's lovely to sew, the instructions are very clever and perfectly written and the result is a really nicely shaped party dress. I'll be curious to sew the Japanese pattern for comparison one day (only I have to add seam allowances to that one. Boring).
 

 
We found the perfect little button for the back. I might be alone in saying this, but I really like thread chains. It's a series of hand ties that I do in surgery all the time, so the technique is familiar and I'm pretty quick at it. They look really sweet and delicate. Although, looking at that picture I probably should have started at finished at the same point. Next time...
 
And now for my Wild Beauty modelling her dress.... We got pictures of empty space where she had been, pictures of her tongue sticking out, her legs in the air. It's not easy as you probably know! (right, Tara?)
 
 
The fit turned out to be perfect. I'm glad I chose a bit extra length as I've just had to retire quite a few dresses that were getting indecently short. As I was sewing it looked as if the bodice might be too big but it's just right for a bit (or a lot) of movement yet not looking shapeless or boxy.
 
 
And yes, the Art Gallery fabrics are very nice to sew. The wind is making it look stiff in that picture, but the fabric really does drape nicely and is much more like an apparel cotton than many quilting cottons (which shall remain in the stash until I work out what to do with them!). If you're ready for some pretty sewing, go check out the fabrics, there were so many I liked I really struggled with picking just one.
 
I didn't only pick one though... I figured with a yard and a half each, both kids could have something new.
 
 
For P, I chose Spirodraft (in Carbon) by Katarina Roccella. The pattern is NOT the Sketchbook shirt, surprised right? This time I did do a comparison with a very similar pattern from a Japanese sewing book. This is "boy's shirt" from Happy Homemade Vol II. I have the earlier English translated version. You may now find the same book referred to as Sew Chic Kids.
 
Here's a little sanity test for you: look at the picture below and imagine cutting a clothing pattern from the fabric...
 
 
If you thought "ooh, that looks like a fun challenge", then you too are f'ing nuts. We should be friends! :)
 
The layout and cutting was definitely most of the work (oh, and the pattern tracing and having to add seam allowances). When it came to the sewing, the diagrams and instructions were sufficient (and that's as much as you should expect from Japanese patterns). The instructions suggested hand basting the inner yoke at the shoulders then topstitching. I avoid functional hand sewing at all costs (decorative and pointless, sure I'll go there), so I did pull out the Sketchbook pattern after all and use the yoke instructions from that.
 

Otherwise the only difference in the shirts seemed to be the collar. This one has a separate collar stand and a more generous shape to the front collar. It was my first time sewing a two piece collar and I really like it. I didn't get any modelled photos but this straight Size 6 fits P perfectly and is a touch longer than the Sketchbook. This one could be the go to boy's shirt pattern for the next little while.
 

I found these perfect grey buttons with a tiny splash of blue, and while I didn't get a clear photo of it, the bottom most buttonhole is sewn in matching blue thread. Remembering to do little "pro" things like that makes me ridiculously happy.
 
Thanks again to Llama Fabrics and Probably Actually.
 
 
 

32 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your win! I'm with you on the rafflecopter thing....

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    1. Thanks Ann, I did feel especially lucky as Probably Actually gets a lot of comments and mine was just one among many.

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  2. ahhhh shelley, this post makes me so happy! i love what you chose and both garments came out beautifully. what awesome button down shirt fabric! and the garden party dress in all one fabric like that is a really good look, especially with that piping. lucky everyone indeed!! :)

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    1. Thank you thank you thank you! You have to believe me that I was so close to choosing the exact same fabric and making the exact same Jump Rope Dress as yours! As much as I say I've gone off quilting cottons, when I see a dress like that one I find myself browsing the online fabric shops almost immediately. :)
      It was a really nice change to make a flowery dress, that I knew she'd love, out of a beautiful, easy to manage fabric with a great pattern. I should do it more often!

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  3. You blew me away!!! I have the same shirt made for my hubby, with long sleeves. But not that perfectly matching like yours!!!Great work!!! <3

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    1. Ha ha, thanks Katarina. I'm a real sucker for a pattern matching challenge. It's really nice to find a great boy fabric and my son has just started playing with spirographs in his drawing so this fit the bill perfectly. I did notice that it would be very dangerous to try and make a women's top with this fabric. There is no part of the pattern that wouldn't look weird positioned over the bust apex! Just a warning! :)

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  4. Missy is growing up so quickly, lovely sewing, I do like the collar on the boys shirt.

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    1. Thanks Nicole. She is looking so much more like a kid and less of a toddler these days. We had a theatre outing on Sunday so the collared shirt was just perfect.

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  5. I've also only heard great things about Art Gallery fabrics (I'm also sensitive about using quilting cottons for apparel sewing) - I might need to try these one day. Their prints always look so lovely.
    Nice job with both pieces - the boys skirt is so beautiful :)

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    1. Isn't it true, the Art Gallery fabrics seems to use all those lovely colours and prints that are just subdued enough for people like me who are alarmed by the loud quilting cotton prints. Thanks for the compliments.

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  6. OH what a gorgeous dress! I bet the shirt was fun to make ;)

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    1. Thanks! I was a bit out of practice with flowery dress sewing, but figured the less is more of using all one fabric and only a bit of piping would be OK. I'm very happy with how it turned out.
      You know, the shirt really was fun (I am a bit weird like that). I dedicated one evening to cutting alone, and since I had plenty of fabric it wasn't so bad (compared to my last shirt which took a few days to nut out the cutting layout) and then it sewed up relatively quickly.

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  7. Congrats on your win, and well done negotiating the spirographic fabric (which reminds me of a traumatic encounter I once had with a Burda magazine pattern sheet). The shirt is fantastic and the dress is lovely too - such a nice print, colourful but not too girly.

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    1. Ha, it does look a bit like the pattern sheets in a Japanese sewing book doesn't it?! Thanks, the kids are both very pleased with their new clothes, and all for the price of the buttons. can't go wrong with that!

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  8. Such a worthy winner:) Congrats on the fabric win, and so glad to hear the Art Gallery fabric is up to the apparel sewing standard. I've not tried it yet, as I"m trying so VERY HARD to sew through my stash (or at least some of it) before buying more. Your dress is delightful! That fabric is so perfect for it, and I love the detail the teal piping adds. Kudos on an amazing shirt as well - you always amaze me with your skilled sewing precision. Must be that medical background:)

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    1. Thanks Lucinda. I'm also making some feeble efforts not to add to the fabric stash but when it's a win like this I couldn't say no. With all the knit sewing I've been doing it was really nice to go back to cotton and press those seams!

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  9. You are such a good mum to choose something for both your kids and not blow the whole 3 yards on something for yourself! I love the dress, my daughter always chooses large scale florals whereas I shy away from them. But this I really like. Congratulations on your win!

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    1. To be honest Katy I'm still scarred by some quilting cotton maternity dresses I made four years ago. They were all sorts of wrong. It will take a while before I sew a woven cotton for myself again!
      I don't naturally go for big scale florals either but I sometimes see other people get it right and think that I should be bolder. Was to do when the colours are so muted and tasteful as in this Art Gallery line!

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  10. Oh, these are both fantastic!! I too am f'ing nuts, we totally should be friends (I suppose we are in a way, or I feel that we are!), cuz that second fabric is to die for. It totally looks like a pattern layout in a Japanese pattern book or an Ottobre magazine, and it's just the cutest shirt ever. But I also love Art Gallery fabrics and that might be one of my favorite versions of the Garden Party dress ever! Also, I too love useless and decorative hand stitching, but useful and functional, not so much. While I love making things for my kids that they will wear, when it comes to handwork, it's all about the useless and pretty and fun (like making stuffed animals, or embroidering, or joining hexagons, or crocheting granny squares).

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    1. I just reread my comment and it doesn't even make sense. I need more coffee! Or something!

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    2. Made perfect sense to me, and I was enjoying a coffee while reading it! Definitely friends!

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  11. Don't you just love it when you get lucky?

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    1. About as much as a bit of double entendre! :)
      Was that you in "Carry On Sewing"?....

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  12. Absolutely gorgeous, Shelley! And I love hearing your thoughts on this fabric line, thanks!

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    1. Thanks Rachel. I would have loved some of the knits, like you used for Indigo's top. Guess I'll have to purchase some!

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  13. I already said I loved the dress, but I love the shirt too. Funny I have the book, pore through it often but never noticed it before. But now I am on a look out for boy patterns so will go back to it again. The fabric choice for shirt is perfect, and I can imagine the fun you had cutting it :-)

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    1. Boy sewing is so much more enjoyable than you'd imagine. Maybe it's just that my son is so much more appreciative at present. I forget about this book too, the patterns initially look too simple to bother with, but they're actually very well done. At least the few I've made...

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  14. The dress and the shirt are fantastic. I love the piping on the dress. My son would love that shirt. Congratulations on your prizes. It is so fun to win!!!

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    1. Thanks Christine. Both garments have been big hits with the kids, so I feel like a winner once over again!

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  15. Love the dress--especially the piping.

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  16. YES, now i remember you making this button down - I'm totally trying this one next time. Thanks Shelley!

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