Tuesday, 19 August 2014

.Skippy with a cowl neck.

Sorry for the overload of Skippy and Joey posts, but they each have a lot of variations and it is my job to show them all to you - we are slowly getting there!
I know I play favourites a lot when it comes to me-made clothing, but this new Skippy dress tops the lot for my Winter wearing.
I only made it two weeks ago but I have to have a quick think as I go to get it out of my cupboard each time to make sure I haven't worn it too many times in a row...don't want to get a reputation as the girl who wears the same outfit over and over again!
So this variation of Skippy features long sleeves and a cosy cowl neck. The method used to sew this cowl neck onto the dress results in a twisted, drapey look. I wanted to make sure that it didn't end up looking like a skivvy and this method gives a more sophisticated finish. Of course, if you wanted it to look more like a skivvy, you could always attach the cowl in the same way that all of the cuffs and bands in the dress are attached.
The fabric for this dress is really lovely. A nice mid-weight jersey with loads of stretch that my friend bought for me from The Fabric Store in Sydney. I love it and am glad that I choose it for this cold-season Skippy dress.
These photos were taken when I went away for a girl's weekend with my Mum, sisters and sisters-in-law. We stayed at Low Head in these cute Pilot Station cottages and had such a lovely getaway - free from all home responsibilities. We went on slow walks, lounged around, laughed so much our tummys hurt, ate way too many treats, went out for a fancy dinner, took fun photos at the lighthouse and even played some funny games of sardines in the dark and reverse charades! It was a great weekend spent with special ladies at the most beautiful place.

And incase you were wondering...you can do awesome cartwheels in the Skippy dress!

Monday, 18 August 2014

.Sidekick Tote.

Last week we said goodbye to the our lovely family daycare lady. Once my kids stop day-time naps, I send them to her house once a week so that I can squeeze in a work day amidst the business of life with four kids. She isn't just any family day carer either - at Cindy's house the kids do the most amazing things! They get dirty (like really dirty!) discovering all sorts of things about nature, they make their own paper and do crafts from recycled materials, lots and lots of cooking, felting, the most imaginative role play including a special fairy who steals children's lunch boxes and hides them around the house and so much more. Going to Cindy's house was such a treat for my children and we were sad to see her retire.
I wanted to make Cindy something special to say thankyou and goodbye and thought that she might like a new bag to tote her belongings around in...one that is big enough just for her stuff now that she isn't carting around nappies and wipes and drink bottles for the littlies!
After a quick look through my patterns I settled on the Sidekick Tote from Noodlehead. I made a Sidekick Tote for myself a couple of years ago and still use it all the time.
I made the large sized bag with the flat front pocket. For the exterior fabric I used some linen/rayon blend fabric with shot cotton on the top section to add a colour pop. The pocket fabric is an oldie by Echino and the bag is lined in the same. Once again, the recessed zipper top (that Anna does so well in her patterns) is my favourite feature of the bag. The only thing I did differently is to use cotton webbing for my handles because I really don't like making bag handles from fabric! And I don't think they look good after lots of use either.
Noodlehead, Sidekick Tote pattern
Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer linen blend in natural
Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in eucalypitus
Echino Bonbon in green

Thursday, 14 August 2014

.A Winter weather Joey dress.

I'm back with another version of the Joey dress today. This one is made with long sleeves and a snuggly cowl neck. And you know how much we love our cowl necks around here!
This dress is really cosy, and that Heather Ross strawberry knit fabric is so soft and cuddly.
The hem of the long sleeves are bound with a strip of fabric, I like being able to use a contrast fabric for the binding for a more playful look - the contrast suits this particular dress nicely. The contrast fabric is a solid from Lillestoff. I can't remember the name of it now, but it is a lovely deep plum colour.
The Joey pattern is avaliable at a bargain price of just $10 until 8pm tonight so get in quick if you want to save yourself some dollars! This is such a great dress - with short, 3/4, and long sleeve lengths it is definitley a pattern you can sew all year 'round!
Make It Perfect, Joey sewing pattern
Heather Ross, Briar Rose knit, Strawberry in lilac
Lillestoff solid plum 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

.Knitting project: Zigvest.

Hey, hey! I knitted something! It only took me a year and it's not a Honey Cowl (there have been 10 of those)!

This pattern is the Zigvest from TiKKi.  It's a beautifully written pattern, but boy did I experience some grief with it! All problems caused by my own inexperience and foggy mindedness, but I got there in the end!! I used some Luxury 8 ply yarn in Koala from Bendigo. This is a good, economical yarn...personally I wouldn't wear it directly on my skin, it's a bit too itchy for me, but I'm pretty picky about how fibers feel on my skin. Great for a vest that will be worn over other clothing though.
This vest is definitley the most advanced pattern I have knit. It was all good until I had to split for the neckline and then for some reason I just couldn't get the zigzag pattern to continue properly all the way up to the shoulders. I tried at least 10 times to get the pattern to continue, with no luck. I even had help from my clever knitty friend and my Mum and I just couldn't pull it together! I think that the main problem is that I left the vest unfinished at this point for many months because I had hit a roadblock, then every time I picked it up to try and finish it I became more and more confused because it had just been so long since I had worked on it!
I was determined to just finish the thing and my Mum suggested that I stop the zigzag pattern at the neckline and just knit some plain rows up to the shoulder seams in place of the pattern. I was a little apprehensive to start with as I thought it would end up looking tacky but the back of the vest is all plain and I don't mind the look that I ended up at all. And....I FINISHED IT!

Tommy is so skinny that his chest measurement came in at the size for a 3 year old. I didn't think to add length to the vest (duh!) and there was a growth spurt somewhere there in the 12 months that it took for me to finish it, so I don't think we will get more than one Winter's wear out of it. At least I have Harvey to hand it on to in a few years time!

As painful as it was to finish the vest off, the bulk of the knitting was smooth sailing - I was so proud of myself for getting the zigzag pattern to look as good as it does...not a bad effort for my first attempt! I did learn a lot, it is very wearable and Tommy loves it so that's all that matters, right?!
So, now that I have finished this vest, I'm trying to decide what to cast on next...I have a strict "one knitting project at a time" rule which is great incentive to finish something off! I'm leaning strongly towards a shawl - maybe this one or this one. But I did just look through TiKKi's patterns as I was linking to the Zigvest and am feeling tempted by her new Posy cardigan, or perhaps the Ferris Wheel or even something for me - maybe a Summer Festival or Lizzie cardi? Decisions, decisions...

Have you knit any of these??

Monday, 11 August 2014

.A long-sleeved Skippy.

Today I want to show you one of the sleeve variations that comes with the Skippy dress pattern. The pattern includes three different sleeve lengths - short, 3/4 and long. I have already shown you the 3/4 length and this dress today shows the long sleeve length. 

I made this dress from a merino wool knit, it is a little more turquoise in colour than the photos show and it is the warmest fabric to wear. A friend picked it up for me from a local fabric store so I can't really tell you much more about it other than it is merino wool. I was expecting it to be a bit itchy, but it has quickly become my favourite knit fabric for sewing special garments with. Although the fabric is quite thin, the warmth it gives is unbelievable. When I first made this Skippy dress, it was a frosty morning the next day for school drop off. I wore my dress without a jacket and was surprised at how warm I was. Because the merino wool knit is super stretchy is it also really comfortable to wear.
I didn't have enough merino for the skirt of this dress, so made the skirt using a Lillestoff print that is another one of my favourites. I love this combo, and I love the way that by combining two different fabrics for the skirt and top pieces, the dress actually looks like two different items of clothing! I have had many people tell me that they "like my skirt" when I'm wearing this dress! This one has also made it into the "favourites" category and is in heavy rotation in the wardrobe!

Remember, both Skippy and Joey are avaliable at a special introductory price for just $10 until Wednesday, so if you want to pick up these patterns at a great price then don't miss out!
Make It Perfect, Skippy pattern
Merino wool knit in turquoise
Lillestoff, Smila Roses in petrol

Friday, 8 August 2014

.Skippy & Joey: having fun with prints.

Thankyou for your lovely comments and excitement on Facebook, Instagram and the blog about my new patterns, Skippy & Joey. I'm excited to see you guys take these patterns and turn them into great dresses for yourselves and your girls!  
The Skippy dress pattern was actually written up over 3 months ago, and in that time I've had a chance to make quite a few variations for myself, sisters and friends. This is one of my favourites.
I'm a sucker for prints and patterns in fabric. For kids, this is great, but clothing for myself requires a bit of thought and planning to create a garment that incorporates my favourite prints but doesn't look like it belongs to a little kid! This Lillestoff raindrops print is one of my absolute favourite jersey knits and I've been saving it for a special occasion.
Now, a dress made entirely of these raindrops would feel a bit like a nightie to me! But to incorporate it into a very wearable dress, I simply cut the front top piece out of the raindrops and everything else from a dark grey solid jersey.
I love love love this dress - it's definitley in my favourites and does it pass the wearable test? Well, I've been wearing it at least once a week for the last 3 months so I think it gets a big tick in that department!
These kangaroo pockets are becoming a favourite of mine too. I can easily stash my keys in them during school drop off with Harvey on my hip and I find it comfortable to have a pocket to stuff my hands in too.
The gathered sleeves add a pretty touch too, taking the Skippy dress to another level and giving you the chance to create much more than just a tshirt-style dress.
For Lil's Joey dress, I choose a fun print for the main dress and sleeve pieces, but used a solid hot pink for all of the trims. 
I love how the solid pink breaks up the busy print and adds a bit of extra detail to the dress.
The triangle jersey came from Ixat, but not sure if it is still in stock? It is a gorgeous print, the fabric is a little thin but fine for this dress though.
I love how you can change the look of these dresses simply by being creative with your fabric choices. There are lots of different pieces involved in these dresses, so the options to mix and match fabrics, prints and colours are endless!
Make It Perfect, Skippy pattern
Make It Perfect, Joey pattern
Lillestoff raindrops jersey knit
Charcoal jersey knit
Pink triangles on grey jersey knit
Solid hot pink jersey knit 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

.Hello JOEY! {A new girl's dress pattern}.

Welcome back for the release of my second pattern! After designing Skippy I knew that this style of dress would be perfect for little girls too. I made a few trial versions for Lil and was so happy with them that I got to work on creating the girl's version of this dress...
A mini version of the Make It Perfect women's Skippy dress, Joey is a pretty, everyday dress for little girls made with your favourite stretchy knit fabric.
There's plenty to smile about with its pretty gathered sleeves in a choice of three lengths, an optional cowl neck and a swingy skirt.
Joey has a great, everyday shape featuring handy kangaroo-style pouch pockets. 
Make it in a solid colour or mix and match prints and patterns for endless different looks.
Easy to put on, comfortable to wear and perfect for play. Joey is a dress for all tree-climbing, puddle-jumping and bike-riding adventures! 
Seriously...this dress on little girls is the cutest thing ever! My testers have made up some awesome dresses, each of them with unique fabric mixing and matching - I'll share them soon! I love how Joey suits all ages too, from tiny 1 year olds all the way up to a size 10, it is such an adaptable pattern. And with three different sleeve lengths and an optional cowl neck, you can make a dress to suit any weather and any occasion!
When it came to naming both the Skippy and Joey dresses, I really struggled for awhile. My Mum and sisters were brainstorming with me one afternoon and I suggested that maybe the name should refer to the influence of the kangaroo-style pouch pocket and we (okay, Mum!) remembered watching Skippy the Bush Kangaroo on TV as a little girl and I was sold! I love the iconic Aussie reference, being an Aussie pattern designer and all.
I stole my cute niece Michaela one afternoon when she was visiting us from Sydney last month to be my model. (Much to Lil's disgust...maybe she wont complain when I ask her for a photo now!) Michaela  was a trooper - it was really cold and she kept smiling and playing in between her chattering teeth!
I can't wait to show you more variations of the Joey dress, knit fabrics are becoming more and more popular and we are lucky to have a growing amount of great quality fabrics to choose from now. And for those of you scared of sewing with knits...I'm going to be posting some detailed information about sewing with knits using only your sewing machine very soon. You don't need anything fancy and once you've got the hang of it, I promise there will be no stopping you!
Joey comes in two size ranges (0-5 and 6-10) and you can purchase a PDF copy here. For the next week, Joey will be on sale at a discounted introductory price of just $10! (Sale ends Thursday 14th July.)
Paper copies of Joey will be arriving in stores very soon. Check out my stockists to order if you prefer a paper pattern.
I've been sewing a mountain of Skippy and Joey dresses so will be sure to flood the blog with them over the next little while and show you lots and lots of different options! 
Make It Perfect, Joey pattern
Lillestoff organic cotton jersey in petrol
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