Names in the (wandering) hat...and....Giveaway winners announced...

Thursday, 25 July 2013


Sometimes everything seems to come together with perfect timing....
Only to be washed away again on the incoming tide.

It's been hot and sunny for weeks now, and Missy has gone nowhere without her rather pretty (shop-bought) hat. Until last week, when I came home to hear her say "Mummy, I lost my hat."
I was only momentary sad, because the little sewing-addict inside my head was leaping up and down shouting 'hurray, now you can sew that lovely sunhat !'
And the need was urgent - we were heading for the seaside just a few days later.
So, out came the free Oliver and S Bucket hat pattern, and a smallish piece of grey/blue polka dots, and plain blue cotton.
A couple of evening's sewing and ...ta...da.... new sunhat for Missy completed in time for our seaside holiday!

I added piping (those who read As it Seams regularly, will not be surprised) and used the last scrap of bias to make a dress-makers pink bow (which was perhaps a little kitsch and a step too far, not sure).
I was even more pleased with myself as my little hat was also ready in time for 'names in the hat' for the Tinny Giveaway.
Thank you to all who entered my Giveaway for Straight Grain's lovely Tinny pattern.  The name plucked out of my new hat creation is Toni-Maree at Sew Jereli.

Now we're back from our few days on one of England's most beautiful and secret stretch of coastline, North Devon.
And guess what...I'm unpacking the bags and I can't find the new hat! 
I have a very sad feeling that it is floating in a rock pool somewhere at the mercy of the incoming tide.
The little sewing addict isn't leaping for joy this time - because she's got lots of other ideas in the pipeline...and would really rather not be sewing another hat....

Making a Sunshine blouse for the frill of it....

Monday, 15 July 2013


A few weeks ago I had a vision of making a blouse that screamed 'Summer.'

I was thinking of a 1970s, hippy chic Californian vibe that would brighten dull English skies.

And I loved this fine cotton from Art Gallery Fabrics, designed by Pat Bravo from her Summer Love collection, and bought from Laughing House.
It is certainly says 'summer!' 

I also wanted to experiment with blouse patterns. I took the same Burda blouse pattern used for the Common Blouse and 'flipped' it about  -  a lot!

I swapped the back yoke pattern piece and used it for the front yoke, and then used the same pattern piece cut half, to make a back-opening blouse. I also cut the yoke wider, as the Burda pattern is getting small on Missy

I cut a square-ish neckline into the front, used a small amount of interfacing around the neckline, and lined the yoke in cotton voile.


Blue bias binding  was perfect for piping. I think the blue makes the orange really sing. (The binding was bought from the WI stall at our local market for 10 pence! It's an absolute treasure trove)

The neckline is finished with three rows of top-stitching. I was tempted to stitch in blue - but resisted...




The mother-of-pearl buttons are stitched with blue and, again, I made embroidery thread blue button loops , (as used here and here).

 

The sleeves were a real experiment - and a fiddle. I wanted kind-of-floaty bias frills. These are cut on the bias, after a lot of late night faffing about. They are lined in cotton voile. 

They are a lot frillier than I anticipated! I was tempted to unpick them and start again, but couldn't face it. 
The look is a bit more 'Marie Antoinette' than I envisioned! Advice on how to do floaty bias frills most welcome!

Now our grey skies have turned blue and sunny, my sunshine blouse seems to have done its job!

STOP PRESS - Win A Tinny dress pattern! Deadline extended to midnight on Wednesday night GMT, visit I'm a Princess post to enter!


A Mini Tinny - and the Giveaway's still open!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

IF every girl needs a "I'm a princess" dress, then, so does Dolly!
So, in what might have been a moment of sewing madness, I created a mini-Tinny!

The mini Tinny is, of course, based on Straightgrain's versatile vintage dress pattern - See below for chance to win one!


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-C_meZN05r2A/UapHNDghDbI/AAAAAAAACkw/r0t0TZw1acI/s1600/pic+wit+groot.jpg



And Dolly had to have a circular skirt!
So I found the biggest circle in my kitchen cupboard - a tin tray and drew round it for the skirt.
The mini-Tinny's bodice is a simple square, with a crossover back - and is fully lined!
I wasn't quite crazy enough to make a peterpan collar for Dolly! Broiderie anglaise inserted in the seams was more than enough!
And another  embroidery thread button loop (really must get round to doing a tutorial on making these loops).


My mum used to make all my clothes - and then my grandma would make something for my dolls with the scraps of fabric. I have a very faded doll's skirt, which my grandma made from one of my old nightdresses - a teeny scrap of fabric which connects me to the seamstresses of my past!
So I'm planning to do the same!


Now I still have a Tinny pattern to giveaway - for full size girls!
An's Tinny dress pattern, size 1 to 6,  is available to buy here. But she's also kindly letting me give  one away , to be emailed  directly to one  winner as a pdf file.
To win simply;
  •  follow my as-it-seams blog on blogger, bloglovin or by email. 
  • Or 'like' and 'share' the as-it-seams facebook page.
  • Then leave a comment on this post, or the I'm a Princess post to let me know you're a follower, or if you prefer, email me or put a message on my facebook page to let me know you'd like to be in the draw!
  • thanks!
If you're already a follower, you can enter too, simply comment below, or on facebook, too! 

Winner will be picked at random on Saturday July 13.
STOP PRESS - I'm extending deadline to the end of Wednesday July 17, midnight BST, to allow last minute visitors a chance to enter!

"I'm a princess" - Tinny dress and a Giveaway!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

"I'm a princess!" declared missy as she swirled in this dress.
This is the well-documented power of the circular-skirt, as also recorded by the ever-inspiring An of Straightgrain, here.


And I was as excited as a 'circular-skirted-three-year-old' when An asked me to test her gorgeous new Tinny dress pattern. Especially as it was a lot of  'firsts' for me. First pattern testing, first blind zipper - and now first giveaway!

I loved Tinny's nostalgic look, but also the simplicity and versatility.

Would you like your skirt circular, pleated or gathered ? Notched or petal sleeves? Four different collars... A browse through Straight Grain's archive will reveal An's many and lovely versions...

That's a pattern with a lot of choice in one classic idea.
With An's sewing deadline to meet, I had to focus my ideas for the Tinny.
What I really wanted to do was create a dress that was perfect for spring, and find this exact fabric - as used by mum in 1970something for me...


But sadly it was not to be. I had to meet An's pattern-testing deadline, and couldn't search for online fabric. I had to rely on my local fabric shop.

No bad thing - sometime less choice, and necessity, are forces for creativity. So this daisy print with a kind of psychadelic swirl would have to do. And it's certainly retro.



This was only the second digital pdf pattern I'd used (the first was Straight Grain's bubble dress pattern as used here. And watch this space for another version to come).

An's instructions and lots of photos made Tinny an easy project, particularly inserting the blind zipper, which I'd never done before.  But, predictably, just as I raced to finish the dress to deadline, my sewing machine  decided to jam up. It limped its way to the end of the Tinny dress - before being taken to Sewing Machine Hospital - but lots of details aren't as neat as I'd like, particularly my zip.



I added yellow piping to the waist, for extra vintageness, and (despite my piping-addiction) resisted adding it to the collar and cuffs. The clean lines of the petal-cuffed sleeves worked better and they seemed so appropriate for my daisy fabric.
This is size five - I always make things big - so the bodice looks a little boxy. But missy is growing fast!

What I love about digital patterns is that they can be used over and over again. This was easy to do - printed out on A4 paper.  So next time I can find the print of my dreams - and make the notch collar!




And dear readers... you too can create vintage loveliness for little girls!
An's Tinny dress pattern, size 1 to 6,  is available to buy here. But she's also kindly letting me give  one away , to be emailed  directly to one lucky winner as a pdf file.
To win the chance to experience the princess effect, simply;
  •  follow my as-it-seams blog on blogger, bloglovin or by email. 
  • Or 'like' and 'share' the as-it-seams facebook page.
  • Then leave a comment below to let me know you're a follower, or if you prefer, email me or put a message on my facebook page to let me know you'd like to be in the draw!
  • thanks!
If you're already a follower, you can enter too, simply comment below, or on facebook, too! 

Winner will be picked at random on Saturday July 13.

STOP PRESS - I'm extending deadline to the end of Wednesday July 17, midnight BST, to allow last minute visitors a chance to enter!



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