Orchid Midi for Minerva Crafts Blog

Today I am sharing, over at Minerva Crafts Blog, a summer dress, made using a fabric with lovely drape from their shop.

The pattern used is the Orchid Midi by Chalk and Notch and the fabric, a wonderful Floral Print Viscose Challis Dress Fabric.

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You can read all about the dress and changes I’ve made to the pattern, as well as the fabric used, in here.

 

Hope you’re having a lovely week 😊


April Dress for F

As I mentioned in previous posts, F grew out of most of her summer clothes and I’ve been trying to build her a new summer wardrobe for this year. I always like the girls to have in their wardrobes a couple of classic dresses, having in mind their particular taste and that F still enjoys wearing this style quite a lot, I will make her dresses for as long as she wants me to.

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A couple of months ago Children’s Corner Patterns released a new pattern, that I really enjoyed but wasn’t sure the girls would be willing to wear. So, before buying it, I asked if F liked it and F said she did very much 😊. I waited until it was available in the UK, at the House of Smocking, to avoid expensive shipping and tax fees, as it is a paper pattern. Update: The April pattern is now available as a PDF. Such great news!

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The April pattern has a sweet vintage design, with side ruffles, an optional smocked insert and also optional sash, that F said she wanted. The bodice is fully lined and it closes at the back with buttons.

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F’s measurements are size 7 for chest and waist but her height is a size 10 so, I cut a straight size 7. This pattern has a large hem so I knew I could use it to adjust the height to make it work. She asked me not to make the dress on the short side because she wants it to last and for that reason, I made the hem only 1+1 centimetre. Hope it lasts all summer!

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I really liked the neat finishing in this pattern, the way the buttons placket is made and I also handstitched the bodice lining. It’s a lovely dress inside out.

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The main fabric is Liberty Tana Lawn in Betsy Mint from Alice Caroline and the lining is cotton voile from my stash.  I had made her a dress in the same fabric last year that is being used by M this year.

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For those who believe that little girls can’t play freely while wearing this kind of dresses, fear not, they can.  😉

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A New Summer Outfit

This outfit is one of those that make me smile while wearing it. I’ve been wanting to make the skirt for a long time and in fact, both the pattern and fabric have been waiting for quite some time in my stash. The blouse pattern was a more recent purchase but, I’ve been keeping an eye for a pattern in this style for some time and in my opinion the patterns are a good match.

Starting with the blouse. I used a Butterick vintage pattern, 5580, that unfortunately does not mention the year it was released, although my guess is around the 50’s, both because of the style and for not being printed. Well, the instructions are printed but the pattern pieces are already cut and have different sizes perforations and notches to guide. It took me a bit to get used to it.

As usual in vintage patterns, this one only had one size available, size 14, 32” bust and that’s exactly what I made. I choose option A, without changes at all.

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The instructions suggest to cut the fabric in bias and that is what I have done. As it is a quite fitted blouse it helps the way it is cut. The way it fits is one of the things that made me choose this pattern and to achieve the fit it also has 10 darts. Two diagonals in the chest area and the remaining 8 at the waist, 4 in the front and 4 in the back.

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The waist darts are a little unusual to me and I don’t think I’ve ever made a blouse with such kind of darts. I did try to find how this kind of darts are called but failed. If you happen to know it, please do share 😊

The blouse has no buttons and to help with the dress/undress it has a side zipper (I used an invisible one). The armhole is finished with bias binding and to add a bit of colour, I used a self-made bias using a floral fabric. I do adore to add small details even if it is in the garment’s inside.

One of the things I like particularly in this version is the collar although version B also looks really nice… might have to make another version sometime. In order to keep everything in place, I handstitched the collar facing at the neck and shoulder.

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The fabric used is a shirting fabric from Mike Tecidos and it worked as expected but a fabric with some drape must work lovely as well.

To go with the blouse, I also made a skirt that was in my “to do list” for such a long time. The Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe.

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I made version A in size 36, based on my waist and hip measurements, using a linen/cotton fabric bought some three years ago and although the photos seem to indicate otherwise, I did iron it.

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My only change was to shorten the skirt 5 centimetres. The pattern is lovely and I have intension to make more but I intend to use an invisible zipper next time, instead of a regular one. That would be my only change and that is just a matter of preference.

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Although it has a few inverted box pleats, it is a fast project and the result is (as my girls like to say) so satisfying. Let’s be honest, it is a pretty skirt and it has pockets.

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The instructions recommend finishing the hem with bias binding and that is what I’ve done. This time I did not made the bias, instead I used a bought one that have a satin finishing and a very similar colour but some stripes that make a subtle contrast. I’m happy with the result and used it as well in the facing.

 

This is turning out to be a long post… Summarizing, I am really happy with how both patterns turned out and how well they worked together. I have intention to use them again.


Summer Tops for F

During Eater break we had some lovely warm weather and that was when we realised that F had barely anything to wear!

As usual in the UK, the good weather did not last long and it gave me the perfect time to sew a few tops for F. I also realised that she is growing out of quite a lot of the girls’ patterns I own, as well as some of my Japanese Sewing Books…

Also, I wanted to use some fabric scraps with less than one metre each, that were left from previous projects and these tops proved to be the perfect project for the effect.

The first top I made was the Eloise Gathered Top by Townmouse Patterns. I’ve made this pattern before, three years ago for M and really like it but, unfortunately, F has now outgrown it. To make it work for her I used the size 8 (her chest measurement) and added 5 centimetres to the length.

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The fabric is Liberty Tana Lawn in Betsy Denim from Stragier. This print/colour is so beautiful! I also added a cotton lace trim to the front to add some interest. Not that it needed, as both print and fabric are quite beautiful but, I just couldn’t help it.

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The second top is also a repeat from one I’ve made previously for F. It is the “Le Haut à Encolure Volantée” from the book “Nouveaux Intemporels pour Enfants”. I made a size 8 for width with 10 for height.

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This time, she chose the fabric and picked a Liberty Tana Lawn Ella and Libby bought ages ago (literally). Such a summery print!

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The last top is a really lovely top from the Japanese book “A Sunny Spot”, pattern #10. This is a simple boxy top with just a couple pattern pieces, however, the elastic at the armhole gives it a cute look and adds some interest. I really like how it turned out, simple but cute.

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Of course, I had to use F’s favourite print/colour, Liberty Tana Lawn in Capel mustard. I made the size 140 thinking that it would be fairly large on her as she is not 140cm tall but was surprised to find out that it fitted rather well.

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All the tops can be easily paired with jeans, shorts or skirts, so that they will have plenty of use and as I made the tops on the large side, fingers crossed, they will last until the end of this summer!



Girls’ Easter Dresses

Easter is always a good reason to make new dresses for girls, don’t you agree? To be honest this year it was actually a necessity for F as she outgrown almost everything she owned! But as I had enough fabric, I didn’t want to leave M without a new dress as well (nothing to do with my “necessity” to see my daughters matching).

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I had a couple of patterns, bought some time ago already, that I never had the opportunity to make and really wanted to, before the girls outgrow them. Patterns and fabrics were chosen with the girls as their approval is essential at this age if I want the clothes to be used. Pre-teen these days…

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For F we decided to make a vintage Simplicity pattern (bought from eBay) that dated from 1968, in view 1, size 8. The dress is actually quite simple the interest of it being the front tucks and for this view, I also particularly like the sleeves.

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As usual in vintage patterns, there was only one size available so, I did not mix different sizes as I usually do nonetheless, the fit turned out good, no adjustments were needed. A straight size 8 and didn’t even changed the hem.

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The only thing F asked was not to use lace at the neckline. I also used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one (as suggested) and I think it turned out adorable. I might have to redo the sleeves hem by hand as the inside doesn’t look brilliant, but for Easter Sunday I did not have the time and had to go as it is.

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For M I also used a pattern that have been waiting for a long time to be used, the Mary De from The Children’s Corner Patterns. This pattern has been revised recently but I own the previous version in sizes 7 and 8.

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The original is a smocked dress/pinafore but, as I never learned how to smock, I made a few changes. First, I used the lining front pattern piece to cut the front piece, in order to eliminate the smocked part. Second, I used the back-skirt pattern piece and cut the fabric on fold to make the front skirt. Third, I took 4 ½ inches from the skirt length.

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Now, I made a mistake and cut a size (or two) too big. As you can see in the photos, the pinafore is quite large on M. She still played, had an egg hunt and jumped on the trampoline without complain but, it would look better if I had cut a size 7 instead of size 8. I intended to cut a size 7 but, I was running out of time and did not pay attention as I should and instead, I’ve cut a size 8 as I usually do for her. Good thing it is big and not small! She will grow and it will fit, eventually…

I really like the back of this pattern and that it can be used as a dress on its own or as a pinafore with a blouse underneath. Also, that it’s a simple design as M prefers but with some interest.

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The fabric used is a light twill bought at a stock out from a Portuguese children’s clothes company by some of my thoughtful Portuguese sewing friends. For the pinafore bodice lining, I used a cotton voile from my stash.

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Now it’s time to sew for the girls’ summer wardrobe 😊


M6696 A Summer Dress

Hope you’ve had a wonderful Easter break. As I am writing this post, we are enjoying our last few moments of holidays, before returning to school tomorrow. It was a lovely break with some days of wonderful weather that, made the summer dresses come out of the closet… except for F, who has barely nothing to wear as she outgrown almost everything in her closet! Need to fix that ASAP!

In any case today, I am not here to talk about my girls’ clothes. I am here to share with you another summer dress I have made.

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I bought this pattern last year but, didn’t managed to actually make it until a couple of months ago as part of one of my projects for Minerva Crafts (I’ll share more about that later) and I liked it so much that I made it again, this time using a different fabric.

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The pattern is the McCall’s M6696, made in version B. The sizes for these patterns are slightly different from most Indie designers I’ve worked with but, I used my measurements to choose the size and did not have any issues. So, I made a size 8 graded to 10 at the waist/hip without any further adjustments, except taking 4 centimetres to the skirt height. Also, I omitted the pockets only because I did not have enough fabric.

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I found this pattern very complete offering three different cup sizes options, also three sleeves and 2 skirt options, including as well a slip dress to wear under in case it’s needed. I opted for the short sleeve and pleated skirt option. In fact, the pleats are one of my favourite things in this pattern.

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The fabric was bought without a specific pattern in mind (that’s why I didn’t had enough for the pockets!) and it’s a recent product from Stragier, Liberty’s Double Gauze. Yes, it is as good as it sounds! It has only a few (but all gorgeous) prints available and I bought the Felicite one.

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The fabric worked very well for this project and was nice to work with. When I work with double gauze, I always prefer to use a walking foot. Do you use a regular foot?

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I am so pleased with this dress! I really like the details in the pattern, how comfortable it is and, of course, how pretty it looks.



Butterick 6446 A New Summer Dress

Sewing for Summer is my absolute favourite. It might not be the wisest, as we only get about 2 months of it, but still it is what I like to make and wear the most. So, it seems only right that I started sewing summer dresses back in February, right?

This particular dress was made recently and I really hope the weather will warm up so that I can wear it, even if a cardigan is needed.

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I made the Butterick pattern B6446, view A. I believe this was my first time working with a Butterick pattern for myself, so I choose the size according to my measurements and made a size 8 graded to a size 10 at the waist and hips and just in case, made a toile using the lining. This might sound lazy, but not only saved me some time but also some fabric.

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I did not made changes to the pattern, however I made the sash that is supposed to be for views B and C. No idea why as I really like the bow!

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Although, I did not made changes to the pattern, I did to the construction and used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one, as it looks much better or should I say it doesn’t look… Sorry this might be a bad joke! But you know what I meant, a clean look is so much better and I thought an invisible zipper would give a neater finish. Also, I changed a bit the way the lining was attached so that the waistline seam would be enclosed and handstitched the lining. Much better in my opinion!

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Of course, these are just personal preferences and do not change the way it looks or the fit but I do like a clean finishing.

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The main fabric is a cotton print from Fibers to Fabric who kindly gifted it to me in exchange for my honest opinion, which is really honest. So much so that, I already bought more fabric from them. The fabric is a lightweight cotton (lighter than quilting cotton but heavier than lawn) with gorgeous colours as you can see (I did not edit the colours of the photos). It was a pleasure to work with and although it was actually cold when I took the photos, I can feel it is breathable and perfect for summer (can’t wait!). Like I mentioned, I already bought from them after and the shipping was fast (considering it comes from India) and they do have a lovely selection of fabrics. For the lining I used a cotton voile that I had in my stash.

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I really like the way the bodice drapes and must confess that I was not so sure if the skirt would suit me well, but actually I quite like it. Oh! It has pockets!

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I still have a couple more dresses to share with you but, for the moment I must start the girls Easter dresses as it’s only a week away. Better hurry!


A Sewing Update

Hello! It’s been a really long time since last wrote or share anything in here.

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that I am still sewing and that I made a few changes recently.

The most obvious change was the name, as the blog is no longer called “Fairies, Bubbles & Co.” being now called “A Pinch of Sewing”.

The thing is, when I first started sewing I did it exclusively for my girls and never thought that one day I would be sewing for myself. At that time the name made sense for us but then the girls grew up and no longer believe in fairies (maybe they still do), bubbles are not as fun as it used to be and I started sewing more for myself so, a new name was needed and as it happens while cooking, a pinch of the right ingredient makes everything taste better. So is sewing!

I am also changing the visual part of the blog but that still is a work in progress…

Although I haven’t shared much in here lately, I have been sewing and some of the projects I’ve made are part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. That means that the posts are being published in their blog but, in the future, I will share a few photos here as well, with the link to the main post.

If you would like to have a look, these are the things I’ve made and were published so far:

Christmas dress using the patter New Look 6723 in cotton velvet. I absolutely adore this dress!

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This is my second McCall’s 6996 cardigan, this time made in a lovely wool and viscose jersey. So good, you can read more about it here.

 

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I’ve also made a few more things that I’ve shared on my IG page if you would like to have a look. I do tend to share more there than in here.

Hope you like my new name! Let me know what you think or if you have suggestions regarding the kind of content you would like me to share in here. 😊