Christmas makes revisisted

Well, Christmas has been now, so in lieu of a proper post (due to me still not having made anything, despite my fantasy of a week of sewing, ha ha), I thought you might like to see some of the Christmas makes being modeled…

Reading one of the many new books in her new spotty skirt (I also made the headband a while ago).

Reading one of the many new books in her new spotty skirt (I also made the headband a while ago).

The spotty skirt has been worn but as I suspected it is too big – not big enough to fall down but big enough to flash underwear. At my mum’s suggestion I tried putting a tuck in the waistband at the back. This has made it smaller, but it’s apparently bulky and uncomfortable. So I’m going to have to unpick the waistband and elastic and resew it, as by the time the waistband fits the skirt will be way too short.

Posing in his new t shirt at Grandma's (with me, collapsed on sofa in background)

Posing in his new t shirt at Grandma’s (with me, collapsed on sofa in background)

As the boy is watching over my shoulder as I type, here’s his review of the top “perfect. Not too outstanding,
not to dull(wearing right now.)” (I think outstanding is used to mean bright in this instance.)

ahh

ahh

I think his long sleeve t shirt might be one of my favourite makes of late, and I’ve got the size a lot better this time than the one I made in the summer (which only just fit).

Princess Anna

Princess Anna

And the Anna dress has been worn to watch frozen, and to dance and sing in. But she’s requested a long sleeve blue t shirt to wear under it (who’d have thunk it).

Never Say Never

I promised myself that I wouldn’t be up late sewing presents on Christmas Eve this year, not after last year and the shirt for the boy.

In theory I didn’t need to be. I’d already made the boy a top and the girl a skirt and as I still haven’t finished that darn waistcoat I haven’t started a new thing for the man.

But then, not long before Christmas, the girl met Father Christmas and all she wanted to ask him for was an Anna dress. How could I let her down?

ugh

ugh, bad photo of bad work, taken just as the skirt was falling down.

This sewing has not been my finest, I had to force myself to do it, I’m still feeling pretty ill. But, mainly on the 23rd, I cranked out a black velvet t shirt with puffed sleeves (all from good old Simplicity 1573), with an altered hemline and neckline (done by eye, it looked a better shape before the binding smoothed my curves out, oh well), trimmed with gold satin bias binding and with a really wonky badly applied vaguely Anna like ribbon design and some sparkly jewel like giant sequin things added in for good measure. Anna has a bodice on her dress and wears it over a pale blue long sleeved top (as far as I can tell). The girl does not do layers and I’m not mad keen on sleeveless items (as she will wear just this, even in January), so I made a t shirt and I thought the puffed sleeves (which I realised are an option in the pattern envelope) might make it more Princess like (she is a princess, right?).

And tonight, with 45 mins to spare, I ham fistedly put together a long blue skirt, rectangle, elasticated waistband, with pockets (last time I made her a fancy dress item she wore it for a whole day out and complained about the lack of pockets, not doing that again), made in lining fabric (2 layers, plus a 3rd layer around the top few inches as the fabric allowed to help keep things decent). The fabric was horrid to work with as each layer just wanted to roll up. Urghh. It has a shiny ribbon around the bottom, not very Anna like but I kind of hope that I can make a blue top and this can mix and match with that to be an Elsa dress. (I also have some fantastic Elsa cape fabric that I want to use).

So, I won’t say I won’t be doing this again next year, cos I probably will, (lets face it, if I’d’ve finished this earlier I’d’ve been making the boy trousers, or both of them pajamas, there’s always just one more thing to make) but I can dream….

Oh, happy Christmas to you all, may the sewing fairy bring you lots of time for making, ensure your bobbin never runs out at inopportune moments, keeps your seams straight and your stitches true.

Last of the Obligations

Some time ago I promised to make my neighbour a Presido Purse for her to give her daughter for Christmas, so her daughter would stop trying to steal the one I made for her.

front view

Spot the front patch pocket (flukily passable pattern matching as I didn’t even attempt to pattern match)

Well, today I finally got it done. I’m not sure how long it took in the end, because I started it before I was ill.

side view

The fabric is more red than the orange it shows here, darn you northern hemisphere lack of daylight winter necessitating many rubbish indoor photo shoots

But she has it, and she’s pleased (she threatened to keep it for herself and gift the old bag) and she even payed me money for it.

Outer Fabric: Upholstery remnant, loose weave, frayed like anything, the side seams are zig zagged (not in instructions) to try and stop it coming apart.

lining and inside pockets

lining and inside pockets

Inner fabric: 2 different types of lining fabric (as not enough of either in my stash, but I quite like the contrast) dark brown for the main panels, pale brown for the sides- all french seamed as I was also worried about these fabrics fraying.

Pockets – my usual design alteration of putting the inside pocket on outside. The inner pocket and pocket lining has tractors on. The (dark) lining has a plain (pale) patch pocket and a small (dark) welt pocket in one (pale) side.

The piping is green, I nearly used some siver but I didn’t have enough.

Zips: shorter one reclaimed from hubby’s old coat, longer one reclaimed from a shopping bag I had that disintergrated (the bag, not the zip).

secret tractors

secret tractors

Major mess up: deciding I didn’t need to interface the handle. Which I didn’t for strength, because it’s really stiff fabric. But I forgot that Erin has a neat trick to sew the interfacing to the handle to finish the raw edges and I didn’t read the instructions, so I ended up with a lined main bit of handle and then some rapidly fraying pieces to attatch it to the bag with, arghh. So really I did need to interface the handle. My solution, turn the ends under, pin it on, sew it all on with a wide zig zag. It ain’t pretty but I think it’ll be ok. Actually, it isn’t too bad as the red thread sinks into the fabric well. I did attatch the handle before the zip (different order to the instructions), which means it’s attatched to just the outer fabric and not the lining (as the zip stage is when/where the outer and the inner get joined together). It’s possible to do this and still turn the bag if you’re careful and it means my messy zig zag stitching doesn’t show on the inside and isn’t going to mess up my welt pocket.

So, now no more makes that I feel obliged to do before Christmas. Of course, there’s still the little matter of an Anna dress….

Oh, and if anyone wants to pay Spot the Presido, when I was ill I started sorting out pages of my makes by category (mainly to help me find stuff), so you can now see all the bags I’ve made since I’ve been blogging on my imaginatively titled Bags I’ve made page…

Apron

Starting to feel better. Wanted to slum around the house in my Lola dress today (it may not be as stylish as I’d like but it’s still comfy), but that required some leggings. Found a pair on the mending pile, large holes, so I got the sewing machine out.

Apron

Apron against rare backdrop of clear living room carpet (cleaned enthusiastically by kids in anticipation of putting the Christmas tree up later)

Then it was out, and so later, when The Amazing Man took the Kids out, I thought I’d do a bit more at the apron I was making for a friend. She is so endlessly helpful to others that I couldn’t turn down her request to make a shorter than average apron (as she couldn’t find one for under £30!) to give as a Christmas gift, even though I wanted to make too many things already. It was started before I got ill and before I realised she could just have bought an apron and I could’ve shortened it. Oh well. Anyway, I thought I’d get a bit more done and then I got sucked in. I had to take breaks cos the fabric made my eyes go funny, but tis done. And there is a bit less guilt lurking about, so I can enjoy a nap now before the rest of them get back.

  • Design spec: An apron for a less than average vertically endowed person who wants to be able to walk and protect her clothes.
  • Fabric: £4.99 for a metre from the shop down the road. Easy job. I had been given free reign fabric wise and this stuff just screamed “apron” at me. Now to hope the Boy doesn’t ask for trousers out of it.
  • “Pattern”: I drew around an apron we already had (turns out my mum made it, I never knew) and shortened it several inches.
  • Neck Loop: Made adjustable with some bits from an old rucksack, as my research (i.e. asking my Mum, who has the same name and build as the intended recipient) revealed that a loose neck loop (what is the proper word for that) is the worse offender for causing a low hanging apron that gets in the way of your knees walking.
  • Twill tape: from my grandmother in laws stash. Red would’ve been more practical but the white was free.
  • Most techincal bit?sewing 2 parallel lines of stitches around the curves before folding and pining to help with the double turned hem finish on the curved bits.
  • Mojo:Still low, but rising
  • One. More. Done. (Just).

    Is there a competition for the worse blocked scarf ever? If so, I have an entry.

    tis done

    tis done

    A DNA double helix cable scarf (that I’m sure I first saw made up on the Seamstress Erin blog but I can’t find it now so maybe I imagined that), started for Christmas 2013, in a mystery grey/black yarn I inherited that I think has wool in. My first attempt was ripped out as the needles were too small for the yarn, I think they could have done with being larger still actually, that plus the marbled yarn does not show up the cable at all well. Oh well, tis done and the recipient wears only black with the occasional grey anyway. She does, however, have a biology degree, so will hopefully get what it is, if she peers closely enough.

    This may be my last make completed before Christmas as I feel utterly rubbish, with flu (although I did manage to persuade myself it was shingles earlier) and doing much more than sitting in bed waiting for people to write sewing blog posts for me to read is out of the question, and after a couple of hours of that I need a nap. Plus it’s the last day of school term for the kids tomorrow. ugh.

    Creeping towards Christmas

    So, the other brother just left this morning. That’s 9 days straight of visitors in this house. Which is not good for my ever growing list of Christmas makes. However, I did selfishly get on with some stuff in the evenings whilst they were there, making anyone who wanted to talk to me sit in the dining room. The talking slows down the sewing and the machine interrupts the talking, but still, I got a top made for the boy.

    And then yesterday I got ill. I woke with a nasty cough but otherwise felt fine. By lunchtime I felt rotten, had to get driven home early from our family day out and was simultaneously far too hot and far too cold. Yuck. Lots of sleeping later and I’ve progressed to feeling rough. I’ve even managed to do a bit of knitting and some washing. So, before I go back to bed to recover from the exertion, I thought I’d better review my list to help me focus on what I need to do between now and then, once I feel better.

    First off, the completed pile:

    • A spotty pleated milkmaid skirt for the girl.
    • The top I made for the boy.
    • A special door stop for my nephew
    • A rather fragile bag for his “little” sister
    • And this morning I finally finished the scarf for their other sister that I’ve been knitting for over a year. As she was also staying I didn’t have much chance at the weekend. Now it just needs blocking, once I figure out how.
    • Oh and I sourced and posted a present for my Curvy Sewing Swap Christmas partner. This was more nerve wracking than I’d anticipated. (Will she like it? Will she have it already?)Then the priority makes:
    • A short apron that I’m making as a favour for a friend to give to her mother in law. Apparently short apron’s cost considerably more than long ones. This is cut out and shouldn’t be too much work.
    • I’ve started a Presido purse/bag for my neighbour to give to her dauhter. I was going to make 2 to give her a choice but that could be a bit optimistic.
    • And I really want to finish the waistcoat that started out as hubby’s Christmas 2013 present. I think I’ve sorted out the collar issues with some tacking and a lot of pressing, now I’ve noticed the outer is longer than the lining at the back and is hanging funny, so I want to sort that out before I sew it up and do the buttonholes.Followed by:
    • The girl asked Father Christmas for an Anna dress. I’m not sure if she realises that has a black bodice. What I’d like to do is make a blue long sleeved top, a black Anna style t shirt (in velvet? with embroidery??) and a blue skirt that will go with either of them. Their last day of school is Thursday. This is not going to happen.
    • Of course, if I make her 2 things, I have to make him 2 things too. Priority trousers, as he’s been having existential trouser crisis recently (no, I’m not joking). There was not much choice in trouser fabric tough enough to stand up to 8 year old boys, so I got some khaki stuff and have plans to paint it. Oh, such a quick job…
    • Tartan brushed cotton, floral brushed cotton, boiled wool and some khaki twilly stuff

      Tartan brushed cotton, floral brushed cotton, boiled wool and some khaki twilly stuff

      https://prolificprojectstarter.wordpress.com/wp-admin/revision.php?revision=1981

      And if I have time:

    • I accidently bought some brushed cotton for the pajama’s I don’t have time to make.
    • The Man was with me when I was shopping and took a shine to some green boiled wool, so at some point he may get a second waistcoat (that implies I’ve finished the first one).
    • And then, after Christmas, I feel it may be time to make some stuff FOR ME.

      PS, sorry, wordpress is taking out my bullet points and messing around with the formatting and I feel too rubbish to work out how to fix it.

    The Good, The Bad and The Frantic

    The Good:

    The front - you can also see the hastily added hanging loop so he could tell which way round it went as I'd forgotten to sew a ribbon label in

    The front – you can also see the hastily added hanging loop so he could tell which way round it went as I’d forgotten to sew a ribbon label in (and this time I lowered the front neckline slightly)

    I made The Boy a top. Another thing crossed off my Christmas Makes List (which is good as more things keep getting added all the time). And he was very keen to have something made from the left over fabric from some mad leggings I made that I just realised haven’t been blogged yet – can you tell which of the two fabrics I’m referring to? I used the green as it’s a similar weight and toned it down a little. The pattern, a slightly modified version of a raglan t shirt that I drafted before, but a little longer and slightly wider and with long sleeves. I compared it to some long sleeve t shirts already in his wardrobe. I think it will fit. Oh and I curved in the raglan seams a little as suggested in this tutorial. I never knew you were supposed to do this.

    The back, no that much difference. The neckline and caffs are just folded over and stitched down by the way, lazy me.

    The back, no that much difference. The neckline and caffs are just folded over and stitched down by the way, lazy me.

    The Bad:

    I can’t find the leftover spotty cordrouy fabric. Which is annoying as I want to use a bit for something. I’ve searched in all my various piles of fabric. I must have put it in a safe place so The Girl didn’t see it. Grr.

    The Frantic:

    There are two extra big people staying in the house. They came the day after the last one left. This is good, I like family, but it does generate a lot of washing, more things to do and less time to do them.

    Oh, and I nearly forgot The Complicated:

    The Girl met Father Christmas today and told him that she wanted an Anna (from Frozen) dress for Christmas. I have already bought fabric to make an Elsa dress and worked out how to do it. Hurumph.

    Mesenger bag of Doom

    Grab yourself some sunglasses and turn the brightness setting down I used the garish VW tablecloth fabric to make a messenger bag, another thing from my ever expanding Christmas makes list, this time for a young woman who once foolishly told me that she likes camper vans.

    all finished bar the button

    all finished bar the button

    It should have been a fairly straightforward make. I decided on some approximate dimensions, sketched a plan, nearly everything was rectangles and the fabric had big squares printed on it, what could go wrong?

    and what a button

    and what a button

    It was the fabric. Cheap, cheerful, misaligned prints, non square squares, and it’s not strong. I thought I was being cleaver, marking it by folding it (it holds a finger crease), using selotape to hold it together, where necessary pinning in the seam allowance (pins/needles leave holes), but it simply wasn’t up for the task.

    turn and tear

    turn and tear – my not so invisible “mend” runs down from the orange square on the left into the white one with a camper van on

    My first indication was when it tore slightly next to the corner at the bottom. At the time it was inside out, lining not inserted and I “mended” it with gaffer tape on the inside. Then, once I’d attached the lining and tried to turn it through the 5 1/4″ gap that I thought was generous, the fabric simply wasn’t flexible enough and it ripped.

    More gaffer tape was applied on the inside, the mend was not too bad, I topstitched the top down and thought it would do. Then hubby tried it on and the strain from the strap (which I had attatched to just the outer fabric) ripped it there too. Arrgh.

    Rippage

    Rippage

    That was harder to fix with gaffer tape and not as neat. I then restitched the tape for my d rings so it went through the lining fabric too, hopefully that will give it some strength. However, I’m not confident on the robustness of this bag nor the fact there are small patches of gaffer tape on the outseide I’m going to give it anyway, as I think the fabric will cause a smile, but I’ll add in my plan B present.

    side view

    side view

    The lining is some random orange fabric that came in a pile of stuff a neighbour had rescued when her friend was having a clear out.

    pocket peeping

    pocket peeping

    It has several pockets, 2 square ones in the waterproof fabric that sit under the flap and a large one (more of a compartment divider really) and a pen one on the inside that are made out of a shirt my husband was given but for some reason never wears.

    pen pocket

    pen pocket

    The strap and fastenings are from my box of dead bag salvage bits and its adjustable, clips on and off and has a soft shoulder pad bit. It’s way classier than the rest of the bag.

    So, experiment 1 in waterproof bag making – cheap table cloth fabric is not really very suitable. Hopefully lesson learnt.

    Making the obvious

    So, I decided to work on another of my Christmas makes list at the end of last week. I’m prioritising things for my brother to take back up to his branch of the family in Scotland after his visit, which starts tomorrow evening, eek. Now, as my brother is loads older than me, my neices and nephew are all grown up. I was pondering what to give my nephew. The answer is obvious, a job that utilises his shiny new masters in animation, as this is clearly what he wants at the moment. However, my magic wand has gone AWOL, so I had to think again. The next obvious choice seemed to be a Pikachu Doorstop.

    Ok, I confess, it’s not that obvious a choice.* I don’t know if he wants/needs a door stop. He did have quite a soft spot for Pokemon back when he was 9, but that was a while ago. However, once the idea got in my head it wouldn’t leave. So a Pikachu door stop it was to be then. I also got him a little something else sweet and edible, cos the shop had some.

    https://i2.wp.com/fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/225/f/7/pikachu_colored_by_puppet__sasori-d56ia33.png

    However, when I went to refresh my brain on what Pikachu looks like I was horrified that he was a really complicated shape with sticking out ears and arms and legs and a tail. Eek. Much more shapely than the blob like Totoro. Had I bitten off more than I could chew?

    http://benmayfield.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/totoro.jpg

    Once under the spell of the fabric shop Undaunted I bought half a metre of yellow fleece. Bright, cheerful, close enough weave to stuff with sand, doesn’t fray so no seam finishes required. Yay. Then I did some searching on the internet.

    As well as lots of tutorials on how to draw Pikachu I also found there were a lot of people making Pikachu inspired cosplay, such as this modified hoodie. I also found a hat tutorial. There is an amazing downloadable papercraft model that someone had used to make a giant plush toy. However it looked a bit complicated for what I had in mind and I couldn’t get the template to print properly. I did discover the out of print McCalls 2512 that includes a Pikachu plush, but it was too far away and too much. I was beginning to wonder if it was doable, but then I found this kawai cubed Pikachu tutorial which is very simple and looks amazing, which restored my faith.

    In the end, I went with my original plan. First I drew an oval the size I wanted the base to be. Then I measured half way around (from one side to the other). I drew this distance as a straight line and made it the bottom of my simple Pikachu shape. The tops of the ears didn’t fit on the paper but that was ok as they needed to be black anyway.

    My sketched out pattern piece

    My sketched out pattern piece

    I cut out two of the main body pieces and one oval. Don’t forget to add seam allowances (ask me how I know).

    pattern pieces with seam allowance ready to cut out

    pattern pieces with seam allowance ready to cut out

    Next, to make Pikachu’s face. I found some red felt and some scraps of black fleece from the spider costume and cut out circles and stiched them down. I was heartened that the red circles immediately made the character recognisable (I did them first to avoid having to change the thread more than necessary). As neither fabric frays, I just used a straight stitch, but I did use a short stitch length to help turn the tight circles.

    applique added

    applique added

    Then I used a fairly short stich length zig zag to add some features and imply limbs. I used a washable fabric pen to mark them out first. I also added the ear tips by cutting an overly large piece of black fleece for each one and sewing in place, then trimming to the right shape.

    DSCF7228

    Then I added a tail to the back with more zig zag embroidery. The back should have a couple of brown stripes (she says with her new found Pokemon anatomy knowledge) but I didn’t have any suitable fabric and they were a bit wide to machine embroider so I decided to cheat and leave them off. After all, his (?) back should be against the door.

    tail applique

    tail embroidery

    Finally I added the white (actually pale pink, it was what I had) dots to the eyes. I’m showing you a separate pic so you can see what a difference this small detail makes.

    front all prepared

    front all prepared

    Then, I put my two pieces right sides together and stitches all round, except not across the base. At this point I had basically made a glove puppet and was having doubts that it would turn out 3D. But I soldiered on and cut across the top of the ears (just above the stitching) and cut a few notches on the concave curves to help with turning.

    glove puppet stage

    glove puppet stage

    Then with the main pieces still inside out I attached the base. I pinned it first and left a gap of a couple of inches so I could turn it inside out. As the gap gets handsewn shut and my handsewing is not amazingly neat I made sure my gap was at the back to one side, where it would show the least.

    about to sew the base on

    about to sew the base on

    Then I just needed to turn it out through the hole.

    turning

    turning

    And I had a Pikachu shape that almost stood up on it’s own. I used a chopstick to turn get the end of the ears turned out.

    ready to stuff

    ready to stuff

    And then came the waiting. Because my sand was damp. Last time I ignored this and then had to keep turning my door stop to let the base dry out, so this time I had a cardboard box with sand spread out in it next to the radiator for a couple of days until it was dry enough to stuff my Pikachu. Except of course there wasn’t enough so I had to dry some more and try and keep the kids away from the 3/4 stuffed one held together with a peg. But eventually, it was done and Lo, I had made a Pikachu door stop.

    Finished door stop I love how you can manipulate his ears into different positions

    Finished door stop AKA chu ate all the pies. I love how you can manipulate his ears into different positions

    I’m pretty pleased with this one. Obviously it isn’t a proper 3D Pikachu shape, but it’s recognisable, it’s functional and it’s fun. Will my nephew like him? I don’t know.

    Obligatory back view. My glamorous assistant found this concept amusing and insisted he stand in the corner like he'd been naughty, but I think it looks more like he's playing hide and seek

    Obligatory back view. My glamorous assistant found this concept amusing and insisted he stand in the corner like he’d been naughty, but I think it looks more like he’s playing hide and seek “coming ready or not”

    *
    As an aside, I think I know where the idea came from. Recently I made a much needed door stop. I made a cube, because I couldn’t decide on anything more exciting to do. I know shops sell little house shaped ones (too twee for me) and I’ve seen union jack bulldog shaped ones (definitely not my thing) but all I could think of was a cube. Even after making it, I still kept musing on what more interesting shape I could make. I realised if I tapered the door stop up to a flat top (i.e wide and fat base but basically traingular sides so the front and back meet at the top) then I could mitre the corners and make ears. This reminded me slightly of Totoro. We have the film, My Neighbour Totoro (a present from a different uncle) and no-one I’ve met in real life has ever heard of it. But it kept cropping up on blogs. I saw Totoro costumes on Cherie’s You and Mie blog and Totoro inspired outfits on Beth Being Crafty. They all looked really cute but I couldn’t imagine my kids in them (my 6 year old has very definite idea’s on what she’ll wear that don’t involve grey/black and my 8 year old is getting a bit big for dress up). But a totoro doorstep for their room, that could be good (and hopefully slightly less likely to go missing than the wedge one they have at the moment). So it got put on my mental to do list but I haven’t got round to it yet. So, that’s a long way of explaining how it resurfaced as the “obvious” present for my nephew.

     

    Maids a milking

    So, what do you do when you’ve finally dusted off that work in progress, had a burst of energy on it and nearly finished it bar buttons and buttonholes? Why you put it on one side and start something new of course.

    spotty cordrouy

    spotty cordrouy

    I bought some lovely spotty needle cord in my tourist visit to Guthrie and Ghani – I had the girl in mind when I got a metre (I nearly bought the pink). I decided to make a skirt like a shop bought one she already had.

    The shop bought skirt she got for Christmas last year

    The shop bought skirt she got for Christmas last year, also spotty needle cord. I always felt this one was too full for the length though

    Luckily the Milkmaid skirt tutorial was just what I needed and I liked the look of Justina Maria Louisa’s pleated version.

    So, some lovely toning needle cord from my stash for a bit of added interest, some pocket linings (the side you don’t see) squeezed out of leftover green satin from the waistcoat and a purchase of some bias binding later (oh and a bit of sewing) and I’ve completed something from my Christmas makes wish list. (Yeah, I know it’s possible to make bias binding, I’ve even tried the continuous loop method. I can make a halfway decent bias strip that way, but when I try and turn it into binding it ends up looking like a dogs dinner, trust me).

    front view

    front view – the purple binding is brighter in real life and looks lovely and brings out the purple dots in the fabric. I almost wished I had more to sew some peaking out of the bottom of the waistband but adding extra fabric there would’ve been madness anyway.

    back view

    back view

    If anyone is interested, for the pattern piece – I drafted straight onto the fabric (hurrah for symmetric prints that make straight lines easier). I loosely based the measurements on the skirt she already has, as fittings were out of the question for a surprise present. The skirt front and back panels both had a length of 15″, were 28.5″ wide at base and 22.5″ wide at top with 17.5″ between the pockets at the front. (I did them the same width as I was planning on putting pleats in the front, the tutorial has the back panel 2″ wider than the front). I put 4 pleats in, after which my front was 14.5″ wide at the top. I sewed the pleats down for the first 2.5″ to help hold the line. (I was winging it a bit, I don’t think I’ve ever done pleats before, so these may not be “right”, but hey, they look like pleats).

    Waistband wise I made the front 14.5″ section wide like my skirt (so it would have a flat waistband at the front like Justina Maria Louisa’s) and the back 15.5″, so the back of the skirt was gathered into that. I sewed elastic into the back section, I tried to work out how long to make my elastic from the existing skirt, but I think it’s come out a little big. Still I’m not going to adjust it until she’s tried it on as it might be ok and I might make it too small. I’ve never made a half elasticated waistband before, I found a very complicated tutorial and in the end just cobbled something together.

    Waistband, folds pressed in, attached to skirt

    Waistband, folds pressed in, attached to skirt

    The front of the waistband was sewn on first, right sides together, all the way around. Then for the back section I fixed the elastic to the wrong side of the portion of the waistband that would be the inside. I zig zagged the ends in place and sewed through the middle too. Then I folded my waistband down (with seam allowance tucked under) and top stitched from the outside. I hope that makes sense if you’re trying to figure it out, or maybe you know a better way? Anyway, it looked ok to me, just a little baggy.

    Elastic in place, ready to fold over and stitch down

    Elastic in place, ready to fold over and stitch down

    I’m quite pleased with this make, it just remains to be seen what the Girl thinks. I like the contrast colours and the finish. The pocket bags could do with being lots deeper though, they’re only 2″ below the bottom of the pocket opening so much more than a tissue is going to fall out of them (not that they really need to hold much more than that). Now I look at the tutorial photo’s again it’s obvious they should’ve been deeper, oh the perils of not drawing out your pattern piece in advance.

    Mini version

    Mini version

    Oh and I made a matching skirt for one of her dolls (confession time, it was meant to be for a bigger doll but I messed the measurements out), hopefully that will win me extra brownie points and she wont complain I didn’t make a doll sized pocket. So we will have a quarter of the quorate number of maids decked out for milking.