Sunday, March 10, 2013

Farewell apron

I was sad to learn that one of the lovely teachers at my son's daycare is leaving this week.  She is a former elementary school teacher in Japan and is just an incredibly hardworking and dedicated teacher for the children at the daycare.  My son has learned so much!  Anyhow, I had given her this apron for Christmas; she wore it every week like a pinafore under a cardigan and told me all the time how much she loved it.  I had plans to make her another one already, but when I found out she was leaving, it was an obvious, and perfect, going away gift. 
She said she loved spring colors, and green in particular, so the main fabric, from the Summersault collection by Erin McMorris, was perfect (and on sale!).  The contrasting fabric felt risky when I was picking them out, but I like the combination in the end (Frippery by Thomas Knauer).
Fabric covered pretty, so easy (especially this kind, with the teeth on the inside).
Another application for handmade bias!  I get a ridiculous amount of use out of my bias tape makers (I have two, and may need to invest in more sizes!)
Miho-san opened the gift and immediately put the apron on over her dress at her farewell party today.  I think she liked it :)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Heidi top for spring

Heralded by beautiful pink cherry blossoms in our back yard, spring has officially arrived in Northern California.  All the gorgeous wool and plaid fabrics I purchased this winter, with unrealistic dreams of making warm and toasty work clothes, must be packed away for another couple of seasons.  But remember this fabric, purchased on our trip to Zurich, Switzerland, last summer? 
With the beautiful, crinkly yet crisp texture, I envisioned a structured, yet pretty blouse.  With only one meter,  a pattern with separate sleeves wasn't an option.  So, I used the bodice of this Vintage Vogue dress pattern V1044, with cap sleeve integrated into the yoke, and drafted a basic peplum.  (Yes, another peplum.  It's really becoming a signature staple in my wardrobe and I still love them!)  The yoke lining and inside button placket were made from white cotton lawn, to get more mileage out of my meter.  Yup, mixing my units of distance right there :)
In my mind, this top reminded me of Heidi, and then I did an image search to refresh my memory.  Clearly, it's only vaguely referential (at best!), but I'm sticking with it; I like the idea of making a Heidi-inspired top from Swiss fabric.  On an previous trip to Switzerland, we stayed in Hirzel, within walking distance to Johanna Spyri's childhood home.
For the pattern, I lessened the depth of the waist darts and made some fitting adjustments (I cut a Size 10, but ended up taking in the sides about 1/2").  Overall, I like the design, but this pattern was not simple!  The pretty pleats were about the most straightforward bit of the whole top.  The directions for the button placket seemed unusually complicated, and sewing the yoke to the bodice (and then the yoke lining to the bodice) was absolutely curse-inducing. 
I used to avoid garments with buttonholes, but my new(ish) machine makes them truly effortless.  Love that. 
Super happy to have finally put this lovely fabric to the machine (and especially happy that the result is worth wearing!).  Happy Spring!