Last Minute Shenanigans

A present for my daughter’s friend, finished just a smidge too late whilst they are out at the birthday party.  It’s hanging up waiting for them upon their return. (Hence no modelled shots. Also, it is currently absolutely tipping it down with rain and dark and grey, not ideal light conditions for a last minute photo shoot).

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It’s not the right time of year to make a cape. All the appropriate and even vaguely appropriate fabric that was in my local shop a few months ago is now in their warehouse to make way for the summer stuff. So I ended up with this cute denim fabric with an all over cross stitch design. Which is a little on the stiff side, but I think it’ll do.

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The pattern is the Oliver and S Forest Path Cape, which I have made two times before.  This time I skipped my collar hack, as I didn’t think it would work in this stiff fabric, and I didn’t make an inside pocket, as I ran out of time, but I did include a hanging loop.  Oh and I definitely didn’t do pom poms, too much with this fabric.

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Actually the whole thing ended up a bit rushed as my son has been ill and my mum is in hospital with a broken leg, serve me right for leaving things to the last minute. Still, it is a quick and easy make, especially third time around. My machine passed it’s first post service buttonhole test (hooray) and I sewed the buttons on with a cross stitch, it was meant to mimic the fabric, not sure it quite does, but the contrast thread still looks good.

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In an ideal world I would’ve got some turquoise lining fabric, but I made do with this polyester shirting instead, due to budget constraints.

Right, now to await judgement from the 9 year olds…

Tsarina Cape

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Arty shot of The Girl putting her finishing touches on a birthday card before this cape got wrapped and taken with the card to a party.

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A less arty shot, but a better representation of the colour and you can’t see the fact I had to piece the back of this Forest Path Cape in this shot.

I was inspired to make this one after seeing her friend slyly feeling the pom poms on her Princess Anna Cape, the red elephant cord was lying around in my stash and I was in the mood for making. I found the rainbow stripe polyester shirting in my stash too and it thought it would make a great lining. This time I added a welt breast pocket in the lining because every Tsarina needs a pocket, right? Talking of Tsarina’s, that wasn’t the look I had in mind, I mean I knew it would have to have pom pom trim, but I didn’t expect the girl to choose such shiny gold buttons (which were a pig to sew on).

I drafted a mandarin collar the same way as last time and used this braid chosen to match the buttons. There was just enough left for a hanging loop. Anyway somehow the thick red stripes of the cord manage to combine with the trim and buttons to make a very regal, opulent looking cape, despite the fact it’s machine washable. Hopefully it’ll get a lot of wear.

me-made-may'16

Oh, and I nearly forgot, it’s the first of May today. Which for LSH meant getting up at 4.15am so that he could be morris dancing on top of a hill when the sun rose. (The rest of us caught up on some sleep prior to a day of visitors, birthday parties and cooking). Anyway, for me, the first of May means Me Made May of course. So I better sneak my Crafting a Rainbow pilfered inspired pledge in on the line.

“I, Prolificprojectstarter, do pledge to wear something I’ve made each day in May 2016, to keep a track of my colour palette and to mend at least one thing each week”.

I wasn’t sure how to up my ante from just wearing a thing I made each day like last year, without making it too difficult (I’m not up for a huge challenge right now), but keeping track of colours will be interesting and I’m also keen to tie in with Jen’s Mend It May.

So, for the record, today is brought to you by the colour blue, I’m wearing navy jeans a mainly blue (with a hint of yellow) drapey top, and a navy and green stripe top from Seasalt.

So, bright May Day greetings to you, and for those with an extra day off due to the Bank Holiday in these parts tomorrow (assuming you’re not having to work it), I hope you make the most of some extra free time tomorrow.

Anna inspired cape

Hi there, how’re you doing? I hope the sewing gods have been keeping your bobbins full and lining up your pdf’s for you.

This week I have (probably unrealistic) plans for 3 woolly things with linings. This is the second started and the first finished. As The Boy decided to make his sister a dress for his birthday (blog post coming soon, well, as soon as he finishes it), I ditched my original idea of making her a dress (I didn’t want the competition!). Instead I decided to use the Oliver and S Forest Path cape pattern

Princess Anna is Elsa 's younger sister, Dez's Cousin and the main ...

to make an everyday wear cape that was inspired by Princess Anna (from Frozen of course)

Any resemblance?  (excuse the photobomb)

Any resemblance? (excuse the photobomb)

I couldn’t find the fabric I wanted locally, so after a lot of dithering I bought some wool suiting online. Turned out I did too much dithering before purchasing, as it only got here the day before her birthday. Having given up on it getting here in time, I then rushed out to gather the other supplies needed and planned an evenings sewing to get it finished in time. Only to end up falling into a deep sleep before the kids bedtime due to unexpectedly having to take medicinal antihistamine (note to self, don’t believe the manufacturer when they say they’ve listed all the potential allergen ingredients in bold, read the non bold items too, just in case). Probably a blessing in disguise as there’s less pressure to rush when you start a project after the deadline.

The fabric is from Remnant Kings and is described as “Colourful cerise lightweight coating wool. Ideal for a light summer coat or suit … 30% Wool, 70% polyester … Dry Clean Only”. It was more than I normally spend on fabric, but I only needed a metre and I’m really happy with how the end garment looks. Note to self, sewing with decent fabric has the potential to make your creations look more professional. However, the fabric doesn’t seem so very different from the cerise boiled wool available locally at half the price. I’m not sure how different as having initially dismissed the boiled wool, I’m loathe examine it in more detail only to discover it’s the same stuff. Oh well, like I said, I only bought a metre.

side view

side view

I also washed it on a wool cycle in the machine. Despite it being dry clean only. I was using Lladybirds theory of treat it how you want to treat the garment before you start. It seems to have survived fine although it stank of germaline when wet, presumably something they’ve treated it with.

Attatching the bobbles

Attatching the bobbles

I put bobbles on to mimic Anna’s cloak. I nearly didn’t, because they are so twee, but I knew my daughter would love them. They were the end of the roll and not quite enough, I thought I got some matching ones at another shop, also the end of a roll (hmm, local shortage of pink bobbles suggests that I am not the only person to be making something like this), but when I got them home they were bigger and orangier and clearly didn’t match. However, this lot went from the centre back to the curve at the front, so I decided that looked intentional. I attached the ribbon in my seam allowance, bobbles facing inwards, before sewing the main cape and lining together, like you do with piping. It went ok, but then when I clipped my curves I must’ve clipped the tape because one bobble each side under the arm had a snipped through thread and fell off, so I had to reattach them by hand. Other than that they went well.

Nearly there

Nearly there

The lining isn’t “proper” lining fabric, but a heavier fabric that colour matched better, possibly polyester satin, but I’m guessing here. My fabric knowledge is pretty low and the shops I use often have no labels on their fabrics. Anyway, it wasn’t as bad to work with as I feared and has added some weight to the lightweight wool which I think works well. I was good and tacked it in place before pressing it. My old sewing teacher would’ve been proud.

Mandarin collar

Mandarin collar

I used this tutorial to draft a mandarin collar. I figured I could always remove it if it didn’t work, but I’m really pleased with it. It’s 2cm high rather than 1″ as suggested, to scale it down a little (and because I had metric graph paper to hand 😉 ) and I changed the height by .5cm rather than 1/2″, but other than that I followed the tutorial exactly and it was remarkably easy. I didn’t bring the collar all the way to the front due to the overlap and I curved the end down. I also stitched some “stuff” on to make it look more fancy (no idea what to call this, not normally by cup of tea). I like how it came out. I was planning to put more “stuff” around the edge of the cape but the Girl vetoed it and I think she was probably right. Sometimes less is more. So now I have several metres of this “stuff” leftover and something similar yet different I bought in green (silly me, shopping without fabric samples so I bought both).

understitching on collar and hanging loop in action

understitching on collar and hanging loop in action

The only other change I made to the pattern was to add a hanging loop to the facing, because why wouldn’t you?

chic

chic

The buttons are just perfect, large, dark wood with a snowflake design painted on. I was so pleased to find those. (Yet I failed to get a decent close up of them sorry). I sewed them on with some vintage button thread I inherited.

Moon spotting

Moon spotting

I’m really pleased with this make, it’s come out better than I’d imagined and looks really smart, like something that you’d find in a trendy kids clothes boutique (with associated price tag). As we’re coming up to spring here I’m hoping it will get a lot of wear and will take less persuading for her to put on (she doesn’t like layers, but I’m hoping the Anna factor will win her over, combined with the fact that its not fitted in the arms, a coat over jumper is a major uncomfortable issue with that girl!). I’m not likely to make this pattern again in a hurry (I don’t think she needs more than one cape) but if I had a timemachine the only thing I might change is to add a pocket. I realised at the end this doesn’t have one. I think you could get away with a welt breast pocket on the lining.

I think she likes it!

I think she likes it!

The pattern is a super easy make and comes together quickly. The instructions are good and cover things like gathering the seam allowance of the curves before bagging it out to help the lining lay flat – I would never have thought of that. And, with a few minor tweaks, I reckon it makes a good practical every day dressing up item too.

What’s your favourite every day dress up make?