Saturday, April 19, 2014

Green linen skirt + white sundress = iPad cover

In need of an 8th birthday present for Ellie's friend Tana, I whipped up an iPad case. Ellie chose the fabric - an op-shop deep green linen skirt that I have worn a few times, but it was just a bit tight for comfort. Here's Ellie hiding behind it to make it float...

To make the case I just layered long rectangles of the linen, some quilt wadding and a fish-print lining fabric (which came from a preloved cotton sundress given to me by my friend Marg). 

Sewed the three layers together and turned right side out, then topstitched and added some Velcro. Super-easy. Ellie wanted to 'help', so she wrote his name on it!

I had to hand-sew up the sides, as I had not left enough room for the iPad plus its leather cover (I'd calculated size based on a 'naked' iPad). Looks a bit crooked in the picture but I think that's the camera angle. 

It just fitted! Here's a pic of it closed. I had to double sew the velcro and zigzag it, because the first time I tested opening the bag, the velcro ripped straight off! Whoops. If I learnt something from this project, it's to buy decent-quality velcro - the stuff I have came on a big roll and was cheap as. 

The birthday boy seemed happy with it. Good idea if you are stuck for a present and have only about two hours to make one!     

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Partly upcycled Belladone

Ok, this is not totally made using recycled fabric. But it's cute. It's a Belladone dress by French designers Deer and Doe.  

The blue fabric came from my Mum's stash and the binding I made myself using strips cut from a shirt from one of the Yass op shops. It was a lovely blue green colour but hideously ugly, with 'Fiji' printed across it in several places. Sorry, no photo!

Here's the back view. It has a really interesting back neckline with overlapped sections (which I overlapped the wrong way: sssshhh!)

A close up of the binding. This was the first time I used a Clover bias binding maker for this job, and it does save a lot of burnt fingertips and time, though I had so many joins in the strips that it was a major pain in the bi-as to pull them through.

This was the first dress that I actually made a muslin for, as it looked pretty tricky to fit. I was right to do it, as I had to lengthen the bodice and widen the waistband. Unfortunately I didn't fit the back too well, so on this version, I had to add four extra darts to the upper back to stop it gaping. You can see two of them in the closeup below (the ones that angle 45 degrees to the zip). The other two are hidden under the overlapped section, so it was lucky in the end, that I stuffed up there and did the overlap back to front!

Although I bothered to unpick the binding and zip when I did the visible darts above, I was too lazy to unpick the binding from the second lot of hidden darts. So, they are slightly bodgy. However, my extra darts did not prevent me from taking out FIRST prize at the Gunning Show. Yes, you read correctly. First prize, and I am not telling you how many other entries were in that class...  

I do like this dress, but the pattern instructions, translated from their original French, were not the most user-friendly I have seen. There was no mention of how to finish the zip at the top, for example, which was tricky, as the binding is added before the zip. I emailed the pattern designer and they just said to cut the top of the zipper straight across. That seemed highly dubious to me. I ended up folding the ends over and sewing into the binding when I replaced it. So thanks to Lauren from Lladybird and Jo from Bubula, who have both made this dress and gave me advice on finishing the zip.