I’ve managed to sneak in a few sewing projects lately as gifts for friends and family. Since I don’t think either recipient reads my blog I think I am safe to post about these (and if they do, I hope seeing their gifts will only add to the anticipation of receiving them…I am terrible at surprises!).
The first bit of sewing I did really was just a little wee project – my very first baby dress! I’ve always oohed and awed at the adorable baby dresses my Mom and Grandmother sewed for my sister and I when we were little but have never had the occasion to sew such sumptuous and girly ruffles and frills myself. My friend in Halifax had a baby girl named Isla (isn’t that a beautiful name?) last February so I promptly cut a baby quilt for her and of course never got around to sewing it. Instead, months and months later I started on a project that I found to be much more inspiring and fun – a frilly dupioni silk Christmas dress! I had a wonderful evening of fabric choosing, ruffle making, button picking and giggling at the obnoxious cuteness of the little dress that I came up with – it is sooooooooo tiny and sooooooooo cute!
Since I am very used to sewing with reserved and muted colour palettes and paying mind to precisely square corners and the careful construction of lapels while sewing menswear, the contrast of girlish colours, sewing techniques such as creating ruffles and applying lace trim, and just how tiny and quick it was to make made this little dress a nicely refreshing contrast!
I used this excellent tutorial which included great photos and two sizes of pattern. I was unsure whether the pattern included seam allowances so I decided to assume that it did since, even if it didn’t, it was sized for a baby several months older than Isla so a slightly smaller dress would not be a problem (I hope) if it really didn’t include seam allowances. The resulting dress is so tiny and I don’t really have a lot of experience with baby clothing or even babies for that matter so I simply can’t imagine a small enough human being to fit into it! I really hope Isla will fit it, but if she doesn’t I know her mom will be able to find another more suited recipient since she is a Doula (someone who assists new mothers before, during and after childbirth) and is thus surrounded by a lovely community of new moms!
My second project is a Newcastle Cardigan for my Grandad for his birthday. He was very kind to model our sample many months ago and confessed that he would love a similar cardigan for himself (but with shortened arms and cuffs – both of which I shortened for his version).
Here is the Size Medium sample that he modelled for us:
Since then we have moved from Victoria to the Comox Valley so my choice of fabrics has become a bit more limited. I couldn’t find a loose cotton sweater knit like the one I used for our size medium sample so I instead chose this grey wool blend and some contrast stretch suiting. I love the buttons that I found but I am worried that the entire cardigan ended up quite different from his taste (maybe the stark contrast of very light and very dark grey is what is worrying me?). I will be giving it to him when he returns from holiday this weekend so we will see how it looks on him and add more photos at that point! I hope he likes it!