Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweet Sisters

Remember a few months ago when I made Birthday dresses for Emily little friends Abby and Ella.  Well their totally awesome mom gave me some pictures to share.  Both girls did a great job posing don't you think?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shoe Love

I haven't done many tutorials on my blog and if I'm continuing to be honest with you I have to say that I probably won't be doing a huge number in the future.  The truth if I have way too many patterns so most of the time it makes more sense for me to dig thought my patterns till I find what I want then it does to make it up myself.  I do have a cute and easy little upcycle for you today though.

I don't buy much clothing for Emily anymore.  I sew too much for clothing shopping to be important and we get hand me downs as well.  I have a bit of a weakness for the cute little embroidered Gymboree shirts though.  I found this one at the end of season sale last year.  It says "Shoe love is true love," which is funny for Emily bc she likes trying on shoes but not wearing them.  Its a 4t so it fit her around but would have been a belly shirt by the end of winter. In short it needed to become a dress. 

I started by laying a jumper that I knew fit her well over the shirt to see about where I wanted to cut.
Then I used the bottom part of the shirt as a pattern for the waist band.  I added 0.5in seam allowances to all sides though I ended up cutting off the top and bottom ones bc that made the band seem a bit too wide for my taste.
I had some pink ruffle fabric on hand for the skirt.  I don't love sewing this stuff so I cut one piece the skirt length I wanted and the full fabric width.  Rather then measure I just use the ruffles as a guide on this stuff.  I also baste the ruffles down on the sides before sewing seams. 

Then I sewed the band together...

and to the bottom of the shirt.

Matching the ruffle fabric is a lot like matching stripes that's part of why I only did one side seam.  Trust me you really can't tell when the dress is in motion which it pretty much always is on Emily.  Then I gathered the top and sewed it to the band at the bottom of the shirt.  Its not perfect but Emily loves it and I think it was a good use for the fabric.  Be warned though this stuff picks really easily so things made of ruffle fabric will not look new for long.  They will be cute but if little runs and picks are going to bother you give this stuff a pass.

Emily likes this one a lot.  Hope you do to.  I also wanted to add that while I haven't been doing a lot of in the process pictures and tutorials lately if there is something you'd like to see let me know and I'll see what I can do.  I'm always open to requests its just easier to put in the effort if I know someone is going to be looking at the results.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scrappy Boy Shirt

Its no secret that I sew more for myself and my daughter then I do my son but I still want to sew for him. Most of the time he also really appreciates it when I make him things. Lately I haven't exactly been batting a thousand though. I made this shirt to test out the fit and look of the Literature T-shirt from otto 4-2011. I had him try it on when it was almost finished and he asked if it was a pajamie top. I don't think it looks like one finished but we shall see if he wears it. I do like the fit though and have another version all ready to be worn.

At least he had a good time taking the modeling shots.

All the fabric is leftover from this that and the other.  Both of the blue fabrics are really soft which I think is why he thought it was a pj top. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sassy Tink

When Emily was tiny I was a little or maybe a lot obsessed with Tinkerbell fabric. My plan was to make her a Tinkerbell outfit every season. That has not quite happened but the goal caused me to simply have to buy a yard of this fabric when she was a baby. When it came though the scale was a little big for someone so little and I could not decide how I felt about the fact that it said sassy all over it. Fast forward to an almost 4yo Emily and I think it is both perfectly appropriate and an accurate discription.
I picked up the pink on pink stripe fabric at my first ever Chez Ami sale and am truly glad to be done with it. You see fabric at their outlet comes in 3 yard cuts and while most of it is lovely this stuff curles horribly and doesn't stretch so much. It did match the Tink fabric well though and after using it in several projects its all gone and now that I know more about knits I'm a lot more careful about what I buy.
The skirt is from a free tutorial on Lil Blue Boo.  I love it so much I've made it twice.  Its great too bc it looks fussy but really isn't hard to put together.  The shirt is design 19 from otto 6/2010.  I changed it up a bit though bc I did not want ties on the sides so I made a little casing and sewed in the elastic before hemming the shirt.  I also did a 98 width with a 104 length.  The only down side is that the neck is pretty small.  I actually had to take it off and put a bigger one on after taking the pictures.
I think this is a great little bit bigger girl outfit. I'm just having to adjust to Emily being a little bit bigger girl.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back to School

I've gotten a bit behind on my posting lately but Emily went back to school last week and of course she needed a new dress. I actually had a back tie bow dress all planned out when I went to parents night and found out that she is in the apple class this year. I was really tempted to just buy this dress but lately everyone assumes that I make all of Emily's clothes and I guess I wanted to keep the streak alive.

I found a scrap of partially eaten apple fabric in my stash.  I remember my mom buying it at Walmart back in the day.  She is a school teacher and had planned to make a shirt but never quite go to it.  We all know how that goes right?  Anyways its salvage claims that its Joe Boxer fabric from 1991.  I only has a bit left though because I used most of it for teacher gifts a few years ago.
My original plan was to make a back tie bow dress but I did not have enough of either fabric.  The red is left from this dress.  I know I could have just gone out to buy some but I'm trying to be better about sewing from my stash.  Since I was in the process of sewing this dress I had my trusty Tea Party Dress pattern sitting out and I realized that I almost had enough fabric to piece one more of these little jumper dresses together.  I just had to cut the back panel in two pieces.
At this point I really can't say much more about the pattern.  I promise this is the last one of these for a while but I'm sure there will be more at some point in the future. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Asymmetric Top

This top is my second Burda Style Magazine creation. No its not from the same one as the bubble dress but it was also an impulse buy. This is the asymmetric top from 07/2011. Its also online though I bought the magazine. I wasn't sure about the line drawing but liked the pictures so I decided to be brave. I think I like the results though I'm still deciding.

The top was easy to make.  You just have to pay close attention when you are tracing and mark everything well.  This is a case where right, left, front, and back matter much more then usual.  The only change I made was to put elastic in the bottom instead of doing a bottom band.  I'm not 100% pleased with this though and am seriously considering just taking it out and doing a rolled hem at the bottom. I think I liked the way it hung better without the elastic.  Opinions?

Just for fun here's an action shot.  I bought the white fabric right after we decided to go on our cruise.  It just felt tropical to me.  I didn't get any great modeling shots on the ship but I do have it on over my swim suit here.  Plus you get to see the cool turtle.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dolphin Friend

I'm pretty sure that Emily's favorite part of our entire cruise was swimming with her dolphin friend in Grand Cayman. We all had a great time but she was so excited she couldn't contain herself.

We got both kids tee shirts. Don't worry I know that Emily's is way too big. I'll make it smaller next summer but right now I'm not fixing it bc I want it to fit her again next summer and simply can't predict how she will grow.  I'm hoping for some added width as well as height.

Emily decided she wanted a blue skirt to go with her shirt. Now you know good and well I couldn't simply make a plain blue skirt and call it good right? Add to that the sewing mama's challenge this month was to either start a quilt (which I did but no pics yet) or make something completely out of scraps. So this skirt is made completely out of scrap fabric. I dug through my bin and pulled out everything blue. Then I figured out what combination would work for the Insa pattern from Sewing Clothes Kids Love. I really like this pattern. This one is a little big though bc silly me assumed Emily had gone up a size without measuring her. As it turns out she still has a 20in waist and is down to a 19in chest. Not sure what to make of that but I suppose that's a post for another day. Hopefully, it will fit for a while at least.
You may recognize some of the fabric.  The bottom layer is left over from Neil and Elijah's Easter shirt.
The dark blue is left from my shorts project.  The light blue is also a scrap but its from a dress that I made a few years ago.  It did not go well and the dress is gone but I had a touch of the fabric left.
I did some decorative top stitching but the to layer still looked a little plain so I decided to add some freezer paper stenciling.  To make things even better I had blue fabric paint leftover from another project.
I took these pictures to show you that I did the stenciling before sewing the last side seam.  I find this is the best way to embellish this pattern.  Really its easier to embellish anything if you can still lay it flat.  As a super awesome bonus this fits this weeks Sew Weekly Challenge.
Last but not least here is Emily swimming with our dolphin friend Alegra.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I may have a slight addiction problem regarding the Oliver and S Tea Party dress. I've got one more cut and started but after that I promise to step away from the cute little jumper pattern for a bit.

This past week the Sew Weekly Challenge was plaid. I do not like sewing plaid fabrics. As a result I had a grand total of 2 pieces of plaid fabric in my stash one of which was a scrap.  My initial plan was to skip this week but then Emily found a scrap of gray and pink Haloween fabric that I made a skirt out of last year. It wasn't enough for anything by itself yet by some miricle it matched this pink and gray plaid scrap perfectly.
Of course I grabbed the tea party dress pattern again because I was going to have to squeeze the dress out of a small amount of fabric. Plus the weather around her can be unpredictable in October so jumpers are a great option since they can go with long or short sleeves.
I cut the top part on the bias and did my very best to match the plaid down the sides.
I'm really like how this one came out. Hope you do too.
Just one more till spring I promise.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Butterfly Bubble

About 2 months ago I discovered that my Barnes and Noble carries Burda Style magazine. Talk about a great spontaneous purchase. Its so nice because I can sit down and look at all the pretty glossy magazine pictures before I decide that I simply must have it as I will no doubt make every single crazy more fashion forward then I will ever be item. While that hasn't quite happened this dress if my very first Burda Style pattern. Its the Twisted bubble dress from 06/2011 and it is also available online.
Being my first experience with this magazine I was not prepaired for how hard the tracing would be. I trace Ottos all the time but these sheets are not as nice and it was headache inducing. You also can't tell from looking at the dress but the lining is fitted and has I think six different pieces. That part actually took some fitting but all the seams run from top to bottom so it was easy to take a little out here and there.
How were the directions you ask? Well, someone really needs to figure out a good way to add laugh tracks to blogs. I tried to attach the two parts together following their directions three times and it did not go well.  Finally, I decided that the under dress was so much shorter then the outer that the seam could just be on the outside. So I just pinned them how I wanted them then sewed the two together finished the seam and got on with my life.  It looked cute just the same and you couldn't see the seam.
I bought all the fabric for this dress at JoAnns. The outer is sort of see through and the inner is super cheap knit. I didn't want to spend too much since I knew it would not become a wardrobe staple. I felt really pretty in it on the cruise ship even though it tried to ride down a bit so I would not wear it without a good strapless bra. I can't wear anything without a good bra though so that doesn't matter so much to me. I won't be wearing it again though. Emily loves the butterfly fabric so I'm saving this dress and the scraps to make her a pretty dress out of next summer.