17 June 2016

The very hungry caterpillar baby sleeping bag

Baby sleeping bags the best and would be my number 1 recommendation to any new parent. I don't know how new they are but our lives changed once we got Master Fox into his first sleeping bag. One of the biggest problems we had with him at night when he was tiny (especially as he's a winter baby) was that he would wake as soon as you tried to put him back in the cot as he missed the warm temperature of your body and didn't like the cold sheets. Sleeping bags eliminate this completely as they keep all their snuggly heat inside their snuggly little sacks.  

This sleeping bag is made using the Lua Sleep Sack pattern which I bought as a PDF download from Straight Grain patterns. Its a lovely pattern and I really wish I'd bought this when Master Fox was a lot smaller so I could have got more use out of it, but never mind, I am sure there will be more people in my life having babies so we know what they are getting as a gift. It was a really pleasant sew, and the instructions were really clear. I really like the piping detail (and the excuse to get more practice with my hated piping foot) but this detail can left out and there is the option to not have the contrasting top panel.

I think it's the fabric that makes this sleeping bag so amazing though. We all love The very hungry caterpillar, its been a part of all of ours, and our children's lives and its just so iconic. I also love how clear the print is its just so fresh and eye catching.

The fabric has officially licenced hungry caterpillars on and comes from Makower studio. There are 10! different patterns in this collection so even the spotty section at the top of the bag is from the matching set. I bought mine from Ebay as it was the easiest place to find the patterns I wanted listed together but it is also stocked in other online stores. The lining is just some plain green cotton which I bought from my local fabric shop in Beeston and I added self cover buttons as they just look so much nicer on hand made items like this.

As you can imagine the sleeping bag is quilted. I wanted this to be a lighter weight quilt for the summer months as Master Fox has grown out of the last one so I bought some 100% cotton batting from Cotton Patch. Its lovely and soft, its thin but also warm and being 100% cotton it shouldn't get too warm in the hotter weather. I haven't actually quilted the sleeping bag just stitched the edges so I will have to report back after its been through the wash but fingers crossed it will be fine, I did pre-wash it.

I hope you like it, I LOVE it! Mr Fox is to thank for the fabric choice, I was going to go for some dinosaurs so I am really glad he picked this one instead, The very hungry caterpillar is his favourite book to read to little Master Fox.


10 June 2016

Bettine wearable toile: AKA the Robin Hood dress

Sorry to start with such a posey photo but its quiet flattering so I'm rolling with it! This is my first version of Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress which I made as a wearable toile (something you are getting used to seeing me doing here!). Its actually a pretty good version and my god this dress is easy to wear! Its made from some green viscose that again I just bought off eBay.

I have been wanting to make a green dress for ages as green really suits my colouring but is not a colour I would normally be drawn to when clothes shopping. I really like this shade of green, its a sort of emerald colour and it goes really well with the pink (that pink belt is an awesome pairing though I'm not sure everyone would agree). However the first time I tried this on after making it Mr Fox turned round to me and said 'Oh hello Robin Hood, you look like your getting ready to star in a panto'! I don't really think that was a compliment but do you know what I know exactly what he means, it pretty much summed up what I was thinking as without the belt it does look a bit like that.

But anyway lets not let that deter from this actually being a dress I really quiet like. This is an amazing pattern, really simple, easy to follow (as always from Tilly) and really quick to make. I made it much harder by using french seams rather than the overlocker (something I probably wont bother with next time) but it still came together really fast. Tilly has said on a number of occasions this is the most comfortable dress you can wear and she is not joking! You just slip it over your head and head out the door. The top is drapey giving lots of room for movement, the elastic belt helps flatter your waist and the fitted skirt makes a lovely shape around your bottom half. I sewed a straight size 3 because there is lots of room in the top for me to not need a FBA.The sleeves are perhaps a little tighter than they should be and its a little snug in the seat but I don't think I will bother making any adjustments for the next version. Its summer after all I'll just finally try and get round to loosing that 3lb i've been meaning to get off for the last 2 months (as much as you can 'mean' to loose weight whilst eating chocolate!).

As mentioned above the fabric is a lovely drapey viscose. I chose viscose as the fabric I have for my proper version is a polyester crepe so I needed something which had a lovely drape and viscose does that. It does however have a tendency to fray so I used lovely french seams throughout. The other issue with viscose is it has a tendency to stretch when you sew it. I didn't use interfacing on the facing piece as suggested because I wanted to keep the bouncy nature of the fabric so I self faced it with another piece of viscose. This did mean my inside facing is not as neat as I would have liked but it was a lesson for making up my crepe version.

The other odd thing I thought about this dress as soon as I put it on was 'do you know what this dress really needs? Pockets'. I can totally see why the pattern comes with a pocket variation I would love to just sink my hands into a lovely deep pair of pockets on the front so I definitely need to plan making one of these vertions. I have some lovely Atelier Brunette fabric which I think would suit this pattern very well. I think this dress is something which definitely benefits from a print fabric.

So on that final note I am giving some serious thought into adding some kind of embellishment to this dress, its something I don't normally do (hand sewing urgh!) but I am not really sure what or where to start? So if you have any ideas of how I could embellish this dress to make it a bit less plain then PLEASE leave me a comment. I am possibly thinking of a sort of black floral trim around the neck with maybe some pink sequins/beads hand sewn on?
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