Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Challenge

I almost didn't make it for the sewing mama's monthly challenge this month. I got all the way to this week without even cutting anything out. In my defense I have done quite a lot of sewing this month but none of it was for a mama that wasn't me.

Then a few days ago I remembered that when I made my little camera case I said I was going to make one for my mom. It is the Keyka Lou camera case pattern and I love mine. We loose the camera so much less now that its in a cute little case hanging on a hook in the kitchen.

My mom's favorite color is yellow and I had purchased this fabric at some point to make her shopping bags. Since then most of it got used for a Snow White skirt but there was still more then enough for this little case.
Hope you like it. I'm not a bag maker at all but I do really like this pattern.

Friday, April 29, 2011

tank top

Its no secret that I sew more for my daughter and myself then I do my son or husband. That said any time I ask my Elijah what he would like for me to make him he says tank tops. Now I'm not a huge fan of boys in tank tops so I made these. He likes his but informed me that no that was not a tank top. Then I tried up sizing the free otto one which ended up being a wadder. Thankfully, before I had time to make another attempt the preview for otto 3/2011 came out and I saw that they had made a bigger boys tank top.
This is a size 134 with the shoulders modified from lap shoulders to regular seams and an inch or so added to the bottom.
I like the fit and it went together easily. I even figured out a super easy way to do the binding. Now that I know it works I will take pictures next time.
While I'm still not a tank top fan he loves it and one of the big reasons I sew is to make things that my kids love.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ruffle Nightie

Just a quick one to share Today. I found some ruffle fabric on sale at JoAnns for $5 and just couldn't leave it there. My plan was to make a dress but we decided that this one looked too much like a nightie.
I used the Strawberry Tunic pattern from otto 3/08 with 9 inches of extra length. I also cut the back to have a yoke just like the front. This was to add ruffles and because I just had a tiny bit of the D and G What's the Scoop fabric.
I think this has become my favorite nightie pattern. I've made 4 total at this point though so I probably won't make more for a while. I tend to prefer trying new things over tried and tested patterns.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Easter Dress

One of my goals this year was to make our Easter outfits except for Neil's pants. While Emily's heirloom dress was a huge challenge as was learning how to make a shirt for a fully grown man my dress was the thing I was most nervous about. I decided to participate in the Crepe dress sew a long on Gertie's New Blog For Better Sewing back in December. Three muslin later here is the finished product. Its a little too big but that is more bc I've been training for a 1/2 marathon so my body has changed yet again since the beginning of April.

The fabric was prefect for Easter. It has tiny little white bunnies hiding in the flowers. I had to be careful to delete a few pictures though bc my kids kept pointing to the one on my stomach and I was scared my in-laws would think we were trying to tell them something that we so were not.
Its hard for me to give an opinion about the pattern. I'm pleased with the finished result though its a little big. The directions were great. The style is lovely. It took 3 muslins. I had to move all the darts. I had to add to the bodice though I think I added too much. I had to take out some of the bust even though I'm a D cup. Then I had to redraft the facings. In short this pattern was not designed for my body type. It was designed for someone much curvier and bustier then I am. So I guess that is the conclusion its a great pattern just not so much for me without a lot of work. I really couldn't have gotten a wearable garment without the sew a long. Good thing Gertie is writing a book. I'll be ordering that one just for the fitting chapter.
Here's the back view.

You can see in this picture that it fits my form a bit better then me. She hasn't been training after all. Hope you like it. I'm sure it will get lots of wear this summer and if you want to make your own check out the sew a long. Also if it were me doing it again I'd fully line the bodice as the facings are a pain to deal with.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter PJs

The pictures of my children getting into their Easter baskets last year were awful for lots of reasons many of which are out of my control. However, the fact that Elijah was topless and Emily had on a Christmas nightgown didn't help. This got me to thinking about how much I like it when we are all coordinated in the Christmas morning pictures and that my friends is something I can control.

Thus began the quest for a cute bigger boy pj pattern that if possible did not have buttons. Elijah does not care for buttons.

I ordered this pattern from Etsy. Turns out all the seams are flat felled and the placket instructions made me want to cry. They are so cute though that I'm sure I will give it a go again. Liesl if your listening I'd love it if there were an Oliver+S pattern similar to this but with directions that didn't make me want to scream.

I like the finished product though. The placket is a little wonky but you can't really tell on him. The fabric is pale yellow with frogs and lily pads. He still really likes frogs so he likes the print even though it isn't over the top.
I love this picture of them. I know they look silly but its also very much them that that you see in this picture.
Emily's nightie is the Strawberry Tunic from otto 3/08 with 10 in added. The fabric is really sweet and happens to be on sale. The only down side is it is stretchier vertically then it is horizontally. It worked well for this though.
She is a much better model then he is but I figured some action shots would still be fun. I've made several more of these nighties and am done with them for a while. I will be trying the pj's again soon though. The original owner of this pattern had left tuck pinned into the pants pattern and I like the fit of both pieces.
Hopefully I'll get some cute pictures tomorrow. I'll try to post an Easter wrap up later in the week with model shots of all of us. My dress has been done for a while and will get its own post next week I just haven't taken pictures in it yet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Otto 80s Dress

This is the Verona tunic from otto 2/2011. I added a good bit of length to the skirt pieces but none to the body. I probably should have measured as I think the drop waist is a little too long and the skirt was also a bit too long. As I was holding up the skirt trying to decide how much to take off the bottom I decided I liked the look of a little gathering on the side so I sewed a bit of elastic into each side instead. I'm still not completely sure about the overall look but its super comfy and I've gotten some really nice compliments on it so it will be around for the summer at least.
Here is a closeup of the side. Nothing fancy but I thought you might want to see what I did.
There are several tops in this otto with the same neck line construction. I was a little nervous about trying this at first but with interfacing and some careful pinning I think it is lovely. It has also kept its shape through several wearings and washings. I think I will have to make the 3/4 sleeve top version for the fall.
Lastly, the dress on the hanger. Thank goodness it looks better on right?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Little Red

I called this Little Red because the fabric features Little Red Riding Hood picking strawberries.
The dress is the Savanni tunic from otto 3/2010 lengthened into a dress. It was one of those patterns that did nothing for me when the issue first came out. I think mostly because they used orange and brown fabric and those are not colors that I am drawn too. Then I saw one someone else had made in pink and green and simply had to make it even though it only goes up to a size 92. Good thing Emily is really a 104 in length only. I added 5 inches and am reasonably pleased with the fit though I might make some red bloomers to go with it. That is another can of worms though as she is being really difficult about bloomers and leggings over her panties these days.
The instructions for this one were particularly bad though. I had planned on taking photos to break down the process but stopped half way though when I realized that the instructions for putting the two layers together just produced something that could not be fully turned. I also could not do the cute sleeve detail because my under fabric had a front and back.

For what its worth here is what I should have done. I should have left the side seems of both layers open and sewn the arms of the under layer with the print facing down right side of arm to wrong side of body piece. Then I could have sewn the neck and sleeve ends together, turned the dress right sides out,sewn the side seems from the outer layer to half way down the lining with the right side of the outer layer together, and then flipped the seams to put the right sides of the lining together for the second half of the lining. Then hemmed both layers, finished the back placket, and done the cute flipped up sleeve detail. I didn't figure this out until I was almost done though so mine is not done this way. If I make another I will take pictures but I have too many things I want to try to make any promises.

I do like the finished product quite a lot though. As Emily has moved up into larger sizes so many of her outfits make her look like such a big girl so having a younger looking dress makes me happy. Now here are a bunch more pictures. She was being a good little model when we took these.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Market Skirt take one

I'm a huge fan of Oliver+S patterns so it should come as a surprise to no one that I was excited to hear that there was an adult line coming out. I was even more excited when I found out they were coming out through Simplicity and would be on sale for 99 cents. At that price I bought 3 of the 4 Lisette Patterns.

I decided to start with the market skirt. This one is made out of some denim that I bought to make myself a skirt last year and then never quite got to. The sizing seems pretty good to me. I cut a 16 which was actually supposed to be an inch small in the waist but fine everywhere else. I basted the main pieces together and tried it one just to be sure and liked the fit so I went from there. If anything it may be just a touch big but the fit is how I prefer to wear my skirts so I'm calling it good.

Forgive the model shot I'm just not a fan of getting my picture taken.

I followed the directions pretty closely since this was my first run at the pattern. The only thing I'm not thrilled by is that there doesn't seem to be a great way to finish the seams. I ended up just pinking most of mine. I used extra wide single fold bias tape instead of twill tape at the waist. The only change I plan on making next time will be using an invisible zipper instead of a regular one. I just think they are easier to install. At some point I may also try one with two short slits in the back and no pleats. We shall see though. I plan to make a market blouse next and then on to the portfolio tunic with lots of kids sewing sprinkled in of course.

Oh on an unrelated note I'm thinking of doing a sew a long for something in the newest otto. Any requests?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Emily's Easter Dress

I've always been impressed by heirloom quality gowns. Truth be told heirloom gowns and smocked dresses are two of the main reasons that I started working on my sewing skills again after my daughter was born. Smocking I got to pretty quickly but heirloom was just too intimidating.

While many people like Samantha and the ladies at Elegant Stitches have been very supportive I ran across one local lady who made some rude comments about my ability that left me afraid to try. Isn't it funny how even amongst a lot of support one person's catty comments can put you off.

All that said I got up my nerve and took an heirloom sewing by machine class at Elegant Stitches this past fall and have been practising on nightgowns ever since. I also bought French Hand Sewing by Machine and decided to bite the bullet and make Emily and heirloom gown for Easter. I used several different laces and did all the embroidery by hand.

I wanted to do somewhat whimsical embroidery so I ordered this book. The dress has bunnies, flowers, butterflies, chicks, and lambs around the bottom all in pastel colors. Now on to a whole bunch of pictures. No model shots till after Easter though. I let her try it on but I don't want to let her wear it outside for pictures. Usually I'm not that protective of what I make but I worked on this on and off for several months.