Inari Tee Dress (and some thoughts on the fashion revolution)

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I’ve jumped on the Inari Tee Dress bandwagon! And what a ride it is too! This is my first foray into the world of Named patterns and so far I’m pretty impressed. When you make this dress it’s easy to see why it’s been so popular – it’s been on an almost constant wardrobe rotation since I finished it because it’s just so dang comfy and that has to be a sure sign of success in anyone’s book. I often make items that only get worn the odd time because they’re not casual or comfortable enough for a day running about with the kids but this dress is all that. It’s a very simple unfussy shape which I like but the addition of the curved side seams and dropped back hem elevate it from boring to cool immediately.

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I used denim blue cotton jersey fabric from Remnant Kings. It’s a stable knit with minimal stretch but it’s ideal for this dress as the shape is so roomy. I’ve read others saying that they’d size up for a woven fabric but as this size works with this very unstretchy jersey I think it should be fine with woven. I’d like to try viscose or a soft linen next for summer (though perhaps unnecessary – we had snow yesterday. In April!)

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Last week I was really happy to be able to tell anyone who would listen that I make my clothes. It’s not something that I generally waffle on about (more to do with the fact that few people I know sew) but last week I felt that I was allowed to be, or even meant to be, evangelical about it because it was Fashion Revolution Week. I sew because I enjoy making things. I studied jewellery design a long time ago and around that same time I also learned to sew (because you can never learn just one craft, right?!) Sewing quickly took over and now I make a lot of my clothes and my kids’ clothes too. I don’t manage everything – far from it – but it has taught me to be much more considered in my shopping habits as I have come to appreciate the time, effort and materials that go into making clothes. I know that for something to be that cheap there must be a pay-off somewhere. When I look at the high street I can’t help but imagine the hot, noisy sweatshops and the people who slave away in them for a meagre wage, the mountains of discarded ‘one-offs’ filling landfill and the variety of pesticides, chemical dyes and finishing agents bearing down on the environment. They say that ignorance is bliss and to me that can be the only reason that many shoppers continue to consume fast fashion in the levels they do. Maybe if we spent more time being evangelical about the dark side of fashion we could change a few minds. I’m working on it anyway.

Fashion Revolution Week has inspired me to keep sewing and to keep talking about it. I loved reading others’ opinions about the fashion industry and why they sew and, of course, seeing their makes. Sewing has become a much more exciting hobby with the advent of social media. There’s much more choice in patterns and styles and so much to be inspired by – my list of patterns to try and clothes to make grows ever longer! But for me Fashion Revolution Week and all the chat about avoiding fast fashion has legitimised the different forms of making and buying fashion that I do. So here are some of them…

I enjoy a refashion…

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I shop on Ebay for second hand fashion…

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I use organic cotton whenever possible…

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And I make fashion.

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And always be learnin’…

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Happy Friday x

 

 

Wee Football Star in a Football Shirt (of sorts)

I love children’s clothes but I’m not hugely keen on the gendered offerings available in most high street shops. Everywhere I look boys’ clothes are covered in cars and trucks or ridiculous statements like ‘Here Comes Trouble’ that subtly suggest to boys that we expect them to be troublesome or even find it cute when they act boyish (or boorish). And girls’ clothes! All that pink and glitter and princessy, image-obsessed nonsense. (Don’t get me started on Frozen! Yes, I get that its supposed to be one of the good ones with an empowering female message and all but they’re still bloody princesses and there’s no need for their faces to be plastered all over clothes and toys. Give us a break. Please!) I’m quite particular about how I dress Wee Guy – I like simple shapes, comfortable fabric (cotton, always; organic, if possible) , colour and fun prints. It sounds easy, yes? Well its not. But it’s okay…I can make my own!

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I’ve sewn this pattern before. Many times, in fact. But who cares? Wee Guy needs new clothes and this is his ideal style. It’s my modified Mushroom top pattern from  Ottobre Design mag 4/2014, also seen here and here…oh and here too! I clearly love this pattern. What makes it so good though is that it’s the perfect simple shape to show off lovely fabrics. This one is Shalmiak’s Soccer Star which Wee Guy saw and immediately wanted for obvious reasons. It’s beautifully soft and stretchy and amazing quality. That and the ribbing, also Shalmiak, are from my Etsy shop. The grey fabric is organic cotton jersey from Organic Textile Company available here. Even the wee strip of blue covering the innards of the neck seam is organic but I can’t remember where  it’s from. That means the whole thing is organic! (Okay, except for the thread, damnit!) Wee Guy’s skin is quite sensitive so I try to use organic with him as much as possible but if I’m being honest the more I read about the cotton trade and the garment trade the more I feel compelled to buy organic. I feel uneasy when I think about the harm that the chemicals used in growing cotton and manufacturing fabric are doing and I’m not sure I want to contribute to that. That’s not to say I have fully committed to only buying organic yet but I’m definitely becoming more aware of the issues and my choices as a consumer.

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The entire thing was constructed on the overlocker except for the neck binding and the hem which were done on the sewing machine. I’ve said it before but I’ll say again…I love the jersey stretch stitch on my Bernina! (as seen in the following picture). It has stood up to the demands that both of my children place on their clothing and those are big demands – Wee Guy has developed a sudden interest in climbing trees, need I say more?!

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One happy boy! Will I make more of these? Er…yeah!

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The Ladybird Dress – A Puperita Appreciation Special

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It’s the spring holiday fortnight in Glasgow. Schools and nurseries are closed and I am off work but someone forgot to tell the weather gods and in typical West coast of Scotland holiday fashion it’s a wash out. So, what do you do on a drookit fortnight in Glasgow when it’s too wet to go outside and play? Make summer dresses of course! We live in hope…and in the meantime we are good at layering!

This is the Hula Hoop dress by the wonderful Puperita, an Etsy shop that specialises in clothing patterns for babies and children and today is the day that the very talented lady behind Puperita, Annalisa, is being celebrated by a variety of maker/bloggers who want to collectively show their appreciation and admiration for her and her amazing work. The patterns range from the whimsical to the everyday but every one is crafted with practicality and comfort in mind so that children can do what children do – move! (Sounds obvious but not all clothes for children are comfortable for children!) Annalisa is always on hand with advice and encouragement through her Etsy shop and Facebook group which makes the Puperita experience unlike any other. When you can ask the designer a question about fabric choices, sizing or for help with construction and receive an answer quickly you know you are dealing with someone who really loves what they do…and it makes all the difference. And the Puperita community demonstrates how popular Annalisa and her patterns are – lots of people eager to share pictures of the clothes they have made and to complement and find inspiration in others’. Puperita is a very popular pattern brand and it’s easy to see why when you make up one of the patterns.

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For the Hula Hoop dress I used this beautiful cotton ladybird print that my mum picked up on a holiday in Brighton in Ditto Fabrics. It’s quite a hefty cotton but nevertheless I fully lined the dress in more white cotton because it’s never that warm here, even in summer. The dress will get much more wear this way. I used a fuchsia pink cotton for the piping and cute wee green heart buttons that I had in my stash. The dress is fairly sturdy with all that fabric but as it’s cotton it’s breathable and very comfortable. Wee Gal rolled around all day yesterday in it and it did not restrict her movement in the slightest. I think I’ll make many more beautiful dresses from this pattern.

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This is only the second pattern I have made up by Puperita. You can see the Mini Tulips pinafore dress here but I have cut out the fabric pieces for the Lil Critters pinafore so that will be appearing on the blog soon. Thank you Annalisa for making such wonderful patterns and please know that this is one Mum (and one Wee Gal) who loves and appreciates what you do!

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To see who else has participated in this Puperita appreciation day follow these links and enjoy…

 

Emi ~ Just Add Fabric     Jaime ~ Made By Jaime

Janice ~ So-Cal Sewing Mom     Soso ~Moineau & Petit Pois     Ula ~ Lulu & Celeste

Nuala ~ clootie dumplings     Pam ~ Threading My Way     Maria ~ Fairies, Bubbles & Co.

Shelly ~ Sew Shelly Sew     Chari ~ Take time to smell the rose     Helen ~ The DIY Fox

Karly ~ Paisley Roots     Sanae ~ Sanae Ishida     Melissa ~ Rebel & Malice

Janet ~ 7 Pine Design     Jenya ~ While she was sleeping