My mum and dad are in the process of building and planting a series of raised herb and vegie boxes out the back of their house. So when thinking of something to make my dear mum for Mother’s Day I was pleased to come across this Nifty Kneeler in Kelly Doust’s book The Crafty Kid.
There was nothing too tricky about this nifty little number except the difficulties that sewing with oilcloth can cause. If you would like some tips on sewing with oilcloth check out these from Sew, Mama, Sew. Regardless I was happy with the results and so was mum … and her dicky knees 🙂
So after about 2 hours of rummaging through fabrics and patterns and the mess that is my sewing space I finally settled for a basic top from McCalls pattern M6519. I bought this black ikat print silk Country Road top (below) some months ago and I absolutely love it. It is just a simple pattern design with a cute print and so easy to wear. The kind of top that you can throw on with some casual shorts or dress it up in the evening with skinny jeans and some pretty accessories. I adore this sleeve length and it makes a nice change from the tank style that is so popular … Not that I want to diss my beloved Wiksten Tanks!
With this said I was looking to recreate this style in some other pretty prints. Obviously I could have quite easily drafted the pattern straight from the top as there isn’t a great deal to it, but I decided to try one of my newer patterns for a very similar look. McCalls M6519 has a slightly higher neckline at the front and no panel on the back. I love the high neckline with this particular print because it looks as though the top has it’s own built in necklace … which is why I have named it the ‘Necklace Top’.
I will definitely be making this style again. The most difficult part about the top was having to make my own neck and arm binding. Not usually a super skilled task with my clover binding maker but with the silky rayon fabric this lot challenged me. I made twice as much as I needed and I am glad I did because it meant I could be selective and only use the nice straight bits 🙂
Hmm thinking about what to make tonight … so many fabrics, so many ideas.
Where do I start?
Turns out I am my mothers daughter … funny that. I always remember as a kid my mum being up in what seemed like the middle of the night working away at her sewing machine. As it turns it out it actually was the middle of the night not just my childhood imagination.
I am a night owl, there is no two ways about it, always have been and probably always will be. It is hard to explain the feeling of wanting to ‘hit the sack’ (as my dad would say) at 8pm, but then suddenly finding a flurry of energy when the carriage threatens to turn to a pumpkin … but thats me.
So last night at 12:30am I decided I would re-cover a foot stool … ok so it certainly wasn’t as complicated as it sounds, quite a simple task really but none-the-less quite productive for such a late or early hour. I found this retro footstool several years ago at an op-shop, it was crying out to be de-robed of its dirty white fur coat and dressed in something pretty. Over the years I have had all sorts of fabrics draped over this simple stool whilst trying to decide what I would dress it in. As it turns out I had some retro chairs re-covered last year in this ikea fabric and so the solution now was easy, a matching stool.
I wonder what I will make tonight …?
For quite a while now I have made these adorable little bunnies, usually out of vintage fabrics, for family and friends. On Saturday I met my lovely girlfriends for lunch and gifted some of these cute bunnies to a couple of beautiful bouncing baby boys.
It is nice to know that the recipients love the bunnies as much as I do 🙂
This one was made with fabric from a vintage Sheridan beadspread, and I dare say Isaac looks pretty pleased with it.
Ok so as I mentioned I did happen to squeeze in a spot of sewing during April. In fact I actually only did one night of sewing all month yet managed to produce three cute Wiksten tanks. I discovered this pattern online a while ago and have been itching to try it out. As I was packing for my holiday to Bali last month I suddenly realised how handy it would be to have a couple of cute little basic cotton tanks to take with me. Some easy tops that I don’t need to worry about ironing and can throw on with anything…but of course they had to be über cute to boot! So in true ‘all or nothing’ sewing fashion I made these 3 tanks the night before I flew out on holidays … Yes 3 tanks in one night!
I love this tank! Such a simple design that looks so effective on and works in so many fabrics. As you can see I used contrast binding on the arm holes and neckline, this was both for added cuteness factor as well as a time saving method. The contrast binding I used was pre-made and bought from the local fabric store. I should really sit down and make my own but for this last minute project the store bought variety worked wonderfully.
I must admit that I did ‘tweak’ the pattern ever so slightly, back in March I made one of these as a toile out of some cheap cotton. I am glad I did because as a result of my ‘mock-up’ I sized down from what the sizing recommended and I also scooped the back neck a bit. You can see from the photos that the red one was scooped even more than the other two.
This adorable orange Wiksten Tank was made using some floral folk print quilting fabric. I picked this doozy up in the clearance bin at my local fabric store while I was in there looking for the contrast binding. At $2 per metre I am not complaining! Although the quilting cottons can be a little stiff when you first purchase them, after a couple of washes this one has softened up nicely. I tried to make them all slightly different so with this orange tank I added some of the contrast binding to the pocket edge.
The Red Wiksten Tank was made using a floral print Rayon that I picked up about a year ago … this fabric has been waiting for just the right project and I think I nailed it! This top is the lightest and breeziest of the lot and an absolute dream to wear. (sorry it looks a little creased in the photos) I decided to make this tank sans-pocket, for no other reason than just to change it up a little – definitely happy with my choice. I also extended the back of this one a tad, it works well with the soft way in which this rayon falls.
It is hard to say which of the three Wiksten Tanks is my favourite but if I had to choose I think this one would be it! This is a vintage piece if fabric that I picked up from the op-shop a few years ago now … the price tag still attached said $1.00. I love love love this print, at first glance it looks like a bit of a mish-mash of muted tones but on closer inspection it is full of the rich earthy hues that are so popular at the moment. I can’t even count how many times I have pulled this little piece of fabric from my stash in the hope of being inspired to create something fabulous with it … I must say I am not disappointed with the result of this one. The cute polka-dot binding adds an obvious contrast to the tropical print yet ties in nicely. This version does have a pocket if you look closely but it blends in so well that it is hardly noticeable.
Final verdict … I think there will be a few (dozen) more of these in my wardrobe before the year is out. My next projects with the Wiksten Tank pattern will include a silk version and maybe even a dress.
Ps Thanks sister-in-law for the use of the cute coat hanger that I found in your wardrobe while house-sitting 🙂