Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Liberty's day out

Where should a five-year-old wear his brand new Liberty shirt?

To see prize-winning alpacas.

To exchange gazes with poultry.

To eat his first-ever, much-anticipated bag of fairy floss (in the cow stalls).

To milk a cow.

And see cream churned into butter. 

 To watch the wood chopping from the safety of his Dadda's lap.

And of course, to roll about inside a large inflatable ball on water.

We all spent a great family day at the Royal Adelaide Show, and a certain someone had a pretty fabulous time until of course there were tears and a fair old meltdown and we made our way homeward.

The shirt, which I finished the night before at Clem's insistence, is from the Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt & Shorts pattern. I made the size 6 which fits this 5 & 3/4 boy well, except I would add a bit of length to the body next time. Instead of doing a full button front I cut the front piece on the fold and added a small placket up the top so the shirt just pulls on over his head. The placket was actually cut from the sleeve placket pattern piece of my Hawthorn dress! I made it a bit longer so the opening was a bit bigger.

The outfit Clem put together for our day out also included his 'animal and fruit shorts'. "You see, things from up in the air on top, and on the ground down the bottom!" was his logic. Couldn't really object to that.

The shirt fabric is a Liberty Tana Lawn from the shop, and it goes by the curious name of 'Ranga'. It's from their seasonal range. I was cutting a dress for myself from the fabric (you know, shop sample of course) and Clem begged and begged me to make him a shirt out of it too. Eek. He'd better not develop too much of a taste for Liberty! But he loves it, and I love him in it.

- Jane x

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Me in the Colette Hawthorn

Spring has come on crazy sudden here. It's been 30 degrees the last two days. Cool change blowing through right now. But today was perfect, simply perfect, for wearing my Colette Hawthorn in Liberty Tana Lawn to the shop. I asked Fiona to take a few photos of me betwixt the linens and the hemp & organic cottons.

The hills are alive....

It's so twirly!

My version is a fair bit less fitted than many versions I've seen online, but the Liberty has zero give in it and ... I have probably a little too much give these days, ha. Anyway I think it has shape and comfort in really good balance for my liking.

I made a muslin in size 10 and made a few adjustments to fit: raised the waist, let out the side seams and front bodice darts to widen the waist (tapering up to nothing under the arms) and took a wedge out of the bodice centre back where it meets the skirt to fix where it was scooping down a bit (I guess a kind of sway-back adjustment). If you look at the first photo in particular, I think I should have shortened the sleeves by the same amount as I shortened the bodice (I didn't adjust them at all). They're more almost-full-length than 3/4.

I cut the skirt back on the fold, since my print was directional and there were no fabric savings to be made by cutting it in two halves running opposite ways. I also sewed the collar with a 1/4 inch seam allowance as per comments I'd read from other Hawthorn sewists. It seems the pattern was accidentally made with only this narrow allowance on the collar rather than the 5/8 inch allowance elsewhere. Anyway with the 1/4" s/a it worked just right.

I added a waist-stay of cotton twill ribbon, sewing it to the seam allowance and finishing with a snap closure behind the button placket at the front. This may have been a bit of overkill given the lightness of my fabric, but on my bedsheet muslin, the weight of the full skirt pulled oddly at the waist.

I also added a little hook and thread loop helping stop any gaping at the waist. Buttons, not that you can see with the busy print going on, are assorted vintage clear glass.

I did a little bit of swearing when I cut the front bodice pieces upside-down on the print and there was not enough fabric left to re-do. But, it's such a busy print that you'd barely ever notice. I think it's a William Morris.

I felt great wearing this dress today. It made me feel a bit 'dressed up' but not inappropriate for just an ordinary day. I can definitely imagine another Hawthorn or two in my future... maybe in a plain fabric that would show off the cut a bit more.

I was thinking of making a very plain self-fabric tie belt to go with this one. What do you think?

- Jane x
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