Fancy Dress Costumes – Part Two – ‘Yes little Cinderella, you shall go to the ball!’

Fairy/princess type bits and pieces for my children!

P1300129_2This is the second installment of my Carnival makes for my children although this costume isn’t so much of an outfit, more a collection of accessories that can be worn together or played with separately.

P1300162 The main piece is this tulle skirt. I used the tutu pattern from Liesl Gibson’s book ‘Oliver and S Little Things to Sew’ to make this and followed the instructions pretty much word for word. Although I may have skipped a couple of steps such as finishing the ends of the ribbon because my little daughter was so desperate to wear it that she literally ripped it from the sewing machine mid-sew!

It was easy enough to make but it has five layers of tulle all folded double so ten layers effectively and one of my layers had a sparkly treatment to it which makes it a bit thicker than the other tulles and when layered up, this tulle put up the fight of its life to escape! I learnt that working with tulle requires the patience of a saint which evidently I don’t have!

P1300064 To accessorise the skirt, I made my daughters a crown each. As with the previous costume, I used wool felt for the band reinforced with a hat band inside and with an overlap and velcro fastening at the back. I used up trims from my stash to embellish them. This was the first time I’d sewn sequins but I found this YouTube video really helpful.

Sewing on sequins by hand is easy and surprisingly addictive! Sewing these led to this!

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Every fairy princess needs a wand so that was the final piece of this outfit. I used wooden sticks 6mm in diameter bought from my local DIY shop to make the main handle of the wand and two star shaped pieces of wool felt sandwiched together to make the wand tops.

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I sewed the sequins on before I sandwiched the pieces and sewed them by machine together and hand-sewed the bells on last. The wooden stick is encased in a grosgrain ribbon that was folded over and sewn together to make a tube which encases the stick.

I enjoyed making these pieces even though they took a fair bit of time and my little daughters were really happy to receive them. My little daughter was whizzing down a slide in her tulle skirt shortly after she first put it on – I’m learning that you can’t be too precious about things you make for children!

Ahh Carnival, we’re going to miss you – till next year!

Minikrea Anorak 30500 review

It feels like a while since my last post and honestly I don’t seem to have had much time to sew or blog since the new school term began! It’s getting closer to winter every day and I haven’t even really begun my autumn sewing!

But onwards and upwards as they say. No time to dwell on what’s not been done! So I’m reviewing a kid’s pattern that I actually made last year, although these photos of my daughter were taken about a month ago.

The sleeves aren't quite as long as they appear here, it's just my daughter being an uncooperative model and keeping her hands inside the sleeves.

The sleeves aren’t quite as long as they appear here, it’s just my daughter being an uncooperative model and keeping her hands inside the sleeves.

This is ‘Anorak – 30500’ by Minikrea, a Danish children’s pattern company. Minikrea have a large selection of kid’s patterns and this is the first that I’ve tried so far. The patterns are written in Danish but you can download English instructions from their website – http://www.minikrea.dk.

‘Anorak’ is a hooded pullover or dress pattern that comes in sizes age four to ten and I made the size age four.

More like a sweatshirt dress than a top

More like a sweatshirt dress than a top

As you can see in the photo, the sizing is quite generous. My daughter’s five and half and it’s more of a dress on her than a top.

I think the pattern makes a cute sweatshirt dress for girls. My daughter isn’t very keen on dresses at the moment – she’s into climbing trees and other not very dress-worthy activities so she insisted on wearing trousers under the dress so she can break out into action at a moments notice!

Practical hood

Practical hood

This dress is ideal for active kids. The styling of it reminds me of Finnish kid’s clothing brand, ‘Finkid’ which I love. The pattern’s designed for fleece or sweatshirt knit fabrics and is simple to make.  It’s practical and cosy with the hood but with some cute details too, like the front patch pocket.

Patch pocket

Patch pocket

I used a natural coloured organic sweatshirt-knit from http://www.lebenskleidung.de to make this. It’s a heavy duty sweater knit fabric and is super fluffy on the inside making it really cosy and warm. I bought ten metres of this last year when there was a sale on with the intention of dyeing some but I haven’t got round to that yet. I have made a pair of pants for me and a sweatshirt from BurdaStyle patterns from last year and they are really comfy to wear at home.

If you haven’t already checked them out, I highly recommend a virtual visit to Lebenskleidung or an actual visit if you happen to be in Berlin, Germany. The company is German but all the staff speak English and the website is also available in English.

I first met them at Munich Fabric Start, (the twice yearly fashion industry fabric trade fair held in Munich) and whilst most of what’s on offer at this fair is beyond the scope of the home sewist – unless you’re in need of a few thousand metres of fabric of course which is quite a few maxi dresses – but there are some gems within our reach and Lebenskleidung is one of them.

Lebenskleidung is a retailer of organic fabrics, both woven and jersey knits which is primarily for B2B but the minimum order is five metres so I think that it is also within the reach of the rest of us. It has a vast variety of fabrics on offer at reasonable prices.

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I used some of their cotton batiste woven fabric on the inside of the hood and on the front pocket on this sweatshirt dress to give it a bit of detail. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

organic cotton printed batiste used to add detail inside the hood and on the patch front pocket

organic cotton printed batiste used to add detail inside the hood and on the patch front pocket

Lebenskleidung have an interesting system for ordering new fabrics too. They have a regular stock of basic knits and woven fabrics and they also offer group bulk buys on other fabrics. You can chip in with a minimum individual order of five metres and be part of a larger group collective order. If collectively enough people place orders to reach the minimum amount needed for production then the order is successful and is processed but if not enough people collectively want it, then it doesn’t go through to production.

The company also actively encourage and showcase new emerging German designers who are using their fabrics and you can check them out on their website. I tried to persuade them to release patterns from these new designers when I met them this year at the fair. Of course I was only joking with them but maybe if enough of us ‘lobby’ them, then it may happen!! They were wearing some very cool knit tops from German designers, when I met them, that I would love to make!

Anyway back to the dress. I also used natural coloured organic cotton rib knit (also from Lebenskleidung) for the cuffs.

Organic cotton rib knit used for cuffs

Organic cotton rib knit used for cuffs

I’m no expert when it comes to sewing with knits, they still intimidate me a lot if truth be known, but this was really easy to sew and with good results I think – even my daughter likes it and she’s particularly difficult to please!

Have a great week,

Christine

Citronille patterns no. 181 ‘Susanne’

I mentioned the French pattern company Citronille in my last post and so I thought I’d add a quick review of their dress no. 181 ‘Susanne’.

I have this pattern in the children’s and adults version.  The children’s sizing ranges from two years to eight and the adults one in French sizes 36 to 46, although I’ve only made this up in children’s age two and four so far.

The pattern is really simple and easy to make and the instructions are available in French but they also have an English version.  I have the pattern in French and even though my French isn’t that good it doesn’t matter – you don’t need to be fluent in the language to be able to make sense of the patterns because the instructions are also illustrated for most of the steps.

I’ve made this dress several times mainly because it is so quick to make and easy for the kiddies to wear but I only have photos of one of them to share with you here.

Citronille pattern 'Susanne' Japanese double gauze cotton

I believe that the sizing is a tad on the small side because I think that this was the age four size and here it’s being modeled by my not-yet-two-and-a-half year old!  So the sizes run from age two then four, six then eight so I would suggest that if you are between sizes then it may be better to size up.  The only issue that we’ve experienced with this, is that the dress is just a little too wide across the shoulders and slips off a bit but she’ll grow into it soon, right!?

I made it up in this double gauze Japanese cotton designed by Kayo Horaguchi in the pink colour-way. I really love this interesting double border print with its crazy mix of giraffes and climbing foliage and leopards and think that it suits this dress design really well.  What do you think?

If you want to find out more about Citronille patterns, you can check out their online shop and also there is a blog for fans of their patterns – Citronille fanblog.  This is useful if you are thinking of purchasing these patterns because the blog is organised in such a way, that there is an easy reference column where you can see all of the different patterns available  – arranged by pattern number and in alphabetical order of the pattern names – and then you can click on each model and view all of the posts relating to that pattern and get an idea about what it is like when it is sewn up – as well as being able to get some design and customising ideas and tips from other makers of course!

The patterns cost around ten euros each and are available to ship internationally.

That’s all for the ‘Susanne’ dress.

I’ll be back soon with a bunch of jumpsuits to show you, of all things, that I’ve been busy making. In fact, I may need an intervention to stop me making these – I’ve made three so far and I’m day-dreaming of a fourth! Don’t ask me why, I just like them!