Monday, December 31, 2012

47 through 50

These are my final 3 creations of 2012 leaving my totals at 63 patterns used for the first time, 50 reuses, and 4 purchased patterns.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  I'm not sure what the big take away was yet but I have enjoyed the process and I still have quite a few projects that I would like to get to.  I think my goals for 2013 will be to complete a specific projects.  If you want to know which ones you will have to stop by on about Jan 3rd once my parents have gone back home.

This is the skirt from Sewing Clothes Kids Love I've made this pattern a number of times and I always love the results.  I actually cut this one for a Sew Weekly challenge this summer but never got around to the sewing part.  I decided I didn't want to go into 2013 with it still sitting on my UFO shelf.  Its a wardrobe orphan right now though so I'll have to make something to go with it.  Any suggestions?  I'm open to them I don't really have any fabric to go with it either so I'll have to figure something out.
I made this nightie using my brand new cover stitch machine.  We are still making friends so a nightie was the perfect choice.  Its the same pattern and type of fabric as the brown one from a few days ago.  I've got one more of these cut out and then we will have 3 soft nighties.  Hopefully that will be enough to get us through this part of winter because I'm ready to make some lighter weight ones.
This is Emma's Cinderella dress.  It came in the same pattern as her Sleeping Beauty dress.  I like how it turned out and it went together more easily then the first one did.  I also like that part of the skirt is stuffed.
OK, that's it for 2012 I'll see you in 2013 with a goal list and hopefully some neat new projects. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cozy and Fuzzy

One thing that both of my kids absolutely get from my husband is a true love of all things soft and fuzzy.  See  Neil's adult blanket sleeper as an example.  Emily also loves all things soft and fuzzy and the sleeves on really all of her winter night gowns were getting a bit or actually a good bit too short. 
I've been feeling tempted by this pattern ever since I bought Emily's Christmas dress but I didn't feel like waiting plus I figure I must have something similar in my pile of ottos.  I was about to give up hope when I gave the Amima tunic from otto 4/2011 another look.  I left off the pockets, narrowed the arms, and added a good 5 inches to the bottom and here you have it.  I wouldn't use it for a dress without some additional color blocking but it makes a great simple night gown.
The fabric is sweatshirt fleece that I picked up on clearance back in January.  I don't love the seam down the back but since I had less then a yard of fabric it was unavoidable.  Emily loves how soft it is though.  Good thing I have a bit more of another print.  I'll have to get on that pretty soon since she has worn this one every night since I gave it to her.  

Little Green Frog Overalls

Two years ago one of my lovely next door neighbors gave me a bag of patterns that she no longer needed for her grand-kids.   Some of them are still too big for Emily and some I have already used but these little overalls simply had to be made.  The pattern is from the early 80s and if its not the same pattern my mom had back then its awfully similar.
The great thing about overalls is they are easy to play in. 
The frog fabric is some of the kids bottom weight fabric from Joanns.  I bought it a few years ago with plans to make a feliz dress then never quite got to it.  They are underlined with hot pink flannel.  The flannel is her favorite part since she loves all things fuzzy.  Underlining them was pretty easy except that I didn't fasten the pieces together first so they slipped around a bit.
I even had to big pink flower buttons that I bought a while back so I didn't have to buy anything to make these.  We even had the hot pink shirt in our hand me down trunk.  I'm saving the pattern bc it also has a short version that I may make this summer.  The only alterations I made were add a few inches to the straps and not putting elastic in the cuffs.  If I make them this summer or next fall though I will need to add length in both the body and the legs. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2 more for Emma

My initial plan was to make Emma the doll a bunch of new clothes for Christmas but that got derailed for several reasons.  First of all, Emily is in and out of my sewing room constantly and I think she can smell when I'm working on doll clothes.  Secondly, I had what we will refer to as a little too much fun shopping this year.  Lastly, we really need to come up with a good doll clothes storage system before she gets many more outfits.  I did get these two finished and then delivered into her hot little hands though.
I'm sure I mentioned it in the original post but one thing I love about Carla C patterns is that they come with an 18un doll version.  I mean seriously all Emily really wants is for me to make Emma an exact replica of everything I make her.  That will not be happening but from time to time I pull it off.  This was made out of the very last few scraps of the fabric for these jumpers.  The only difference is that Emma's snaps at the shoulders instead of buttoning. 
I had to share this pictures too.  I asked her to hold Emma so I could see her dress.  Not quite what I meant but oh well.

When my friend Angela got me the pattern to make her daughter's doll a cheer costume she decided I also simply had to have the princess dress pattern.  What a nice friend right?  This Is my first attempt.  I'm not too sure what to say about this pattern.  Its one that makes me wish pattern review had a this pattern was fine option.  I guess what I will say is if you have some basic sewing skills its not bad except that like all doll clothes its tiny and flitzy but if your new it might be frustrating.  I have two more of these cut out Belle and Cinderella but I don't know exactly when I will get them made.  By the time you read this my parents will be using my sewing room as a guest room so I have a good bit of cleaning to do between now and then.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Looking Forward

Will there be a pattern buying frenzy on Jan 1, 2013 when I'm no longer trying to abstain?

The short answer is no.  The longer one is that I have a list of patterns that I'm interested in on pinterest and I'm sure that I will buy some in the coming year but I'm going to try to restrain myself unless I'm ready to start a project using that pattern.

I've also learned a lot about looking at line drawings this year and am committed to continuing to check my entire stash for similar patterns before buying new ones.  It really is amazing how many patterns are just basic designs dolled up with designer fabric and fancy photo effects.  Lately, when I need something I've been opening my Otto's to the line drawing page and looking there to see if the issue has what I need.

As for the year in review I think I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I learned from that.  Mostly, that I'm not a big fan of ironing and should focus on knit wear.  I also realized that I need to focus on sewing projects that I really want instead of participating in as many challenges as possible.  Don't get me wrong I still like Sew Weekly and Project Run and Play but I realized that many of the things I made for these challenges have not proven useful.  Instead I will be focusing on projects that I simply want to make.  Hopefully but Jan 1 I will have a better idea of what this will look like.  One thing is for sure though.  I will still be sharing my sewing adventures here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

New pattern 60

I didn't make this dress.  Remember back when I made Emily's father's day dress and said one day I would really buy a Lil Blue Boo dress well one day came on a very frustrating Wednesday a few weeks ago.  Its no secret that I've been busy with other things and not sewing as much as I would like.  Well about the time that I was stressing out about the fact that the Christmas top that I thought would fit Emily did not Ashley posted these cute dresses on facebook and I just couldn't resist.  I even bought the matching one for her American Girl Doll.  Honestly, is beautifully made and she loves it so I have not guilt about the purchase and I got a 5/6 so it will probably even fit next year.  I also feel much better about buying her dress from another mom (all be it one with a huge following) then I would have buying it from say Gymboree.  The only down side is it has left me seriously considering buying one of her patterns as well.  At this point I can hold out till 2013 though and I will probably try adapting my own from an Ottobre pattern first.
I did make these leggings though.  I even used a pattern that I had never used before since I was so close to 60 new patterns for the year.  I did not start the year out with a specific number in mind but once I got to 59 I just couldn't reuse a legging pattern when just about every issue of Ottobre has a slightly different one.  So these are the Cinnamon leggings from Ottobre 1/2011.  The only problem is I can't remember if I added extra length when I was cutting them out or not and they are just the perfect length .  They are also made from the last of the awful red tubular knit that I bought before I knew better.  Too bad I just found some of the same knit in navy blue. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Go Alphas

A few months ago my friend Angela asked me if I would consider making a cheer uniform for her daughter's American Girl Doll to match hers.  Now personally I'm not a fan of cheer leading but I am a fan of challenging new sewing projects like say a tiny little color blocked shirt with ribbon detail.  
For a reference here is what their uniforms look like.  Angela got me the Simplicity pattern that had the cheerleader uniform but I had to modify it pretty heavily to make the top.  I used my Silhouette to cut the letters and sewed them on by had.  This thing really was a pain to make but it was so much fun to take figure out.  I'm still very glad that my daughter is a swimmer though.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pink Fluffy Jacket

This is the jacket from Simplicity 4786.  I like how the fluff is just fleece though if I make it again I will do 3 layers for each bit instead of just 2 so that it can be even fluffier.  Emily things its great though and it used up the last bit of pink minky.
Emily called these fuzzy socks and that is what they look like and fit like.  The pattern calls them boots.  They are not boots but they are cute and since Emma doesn't do a lot of hiking it doesn't really matter that much.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wearability November

These are so recent its still hard to be sure but I wanted to go ahead and go back over November as well.  The best thing about November is the SWAP post I know I keep saying it but I really love this style of sewing.  I'm already looking forward to doing something similar for spring and summer. 
I think Emily's favorite SWAP piece has to be the pink minky pants.  My favorite is the shirt with the glasses.  All the pieces are getting a good bit of wear though and I'm loving that all the tops and bottoms go together.  My least favorite piece is the princess and frog top and that's bc I didn't really pay attention to the directions and made the neck way to wide.
Emily has worn her jumper a few times and I hear her little friend likes her's so all is well.
I also made some more doll clothes and the Village Frock but those are just way to recent to have much to say about.  They are all cute but its too soon to tell.  I'm also realizing that there are a few things I've photographed and never blogged about so I should have a bit of new content up in a day or two as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wearability October

You will notice that there are no Halloween costumes this year.  That's because we bought them.  I go back and forth on costume making but we were having a busy fall and I decided to just let them pick out of the catalog.
I love this jumper.  She has worn it some but was getting frustrated bc the buttons in the pack were coming undone.  I just sewed them up a bit so I'm hoping that will help.  Its also one of those dresses that will fit for a few years so I'm not that worried.  I doubt that I will make this particular pattern again only bc she only needs so many smocked dresses and I'd almost always rather try something new.
The hot pink one piece suit was getting too small and she wanted a new one for swim practice.  I like this one and so did she but she wore it about 3 times before she started getting so cold in the pool that we had to switch to her wet suit.  Oh well hopefully it will fit this summer.
This is one of 3 pairs of the same pants so I'm just going to talk about them one time here.  For the most part we like all 3 pairs the only complaint is that the ride down a bit.  If I  had them to make over again I would have added about an inch of rise to the back at least if not all the way around.  The studs are still on after multiple washings though so that's good news.  Now I just need to add them to more things so that the applicator doesn't feel like such a gratuitous purchase.
These were cute and easy to make.  The rise is a little high but other they that they are good.  I did have to add a lot of the fun details myself but I think that is one of the things to remember with big 3 doll patterns.  The bones of most of them are fine they just don't add the cute bits so you have to figure that out yourself.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wearability September

I think I'm still figuring out how some of these pieces are fitting into our lives.  I still think they are worth a run through though.
This works well with some of my winter clothes and the fabric is a texture that is nice for this time of year.  I like the fit of the pattern as well.  The waist sits nice and low these days which I really like and it flairs out enough but not too much.  I'm hoping that it will become a wardrobe staple.
The sparkle line in the fabric is itchy so she won't wear it.
She has worn this some but its not her favorite.  I'm not sure why she just doesn't pick it often and I haven't really felt the need to push it on her.  I does look cute with brown leggings though.
She likes it and it fits pretty well she just doesn't like dealing with the zipper and button on the pants.  I really like the top and will probably use that pattern again I'm not sure about the pants pattern though I doubt I will give it another go.
These are cuddly and warm.  I'm still on a bit of a sock kick.  These were the tester socks for one of my knitting books now I'm working on using tiny needles and sock yarn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wearability August

Underwear I'm guessing you won't be shocked to hear that these get a lot of wear.  I will say though I prefer the ones made out of cotton lycra to just jersey knit and I like fold over elastic (the good stuff not the JoAnns stuff) better then picot elastic.  I'm sure that I will be making more of the Emily sized ones since she is starting to outgrow some of her 2011 panties.  Much like with swim wear I recommend using the 3 step zig-zag stitch.
I like to make matching dresses for my friend Meridith's girls each year.  This year I made Emily a matching dress as well.  From what I hear the girls wore theirs a good bit and Emily wore her's as well.  I'm hoping that Emily's will fit next year.  I did mess up on Emily's a bit and put her name stencil wear the E fell on a dot of the exact same color so be careful with your stencil placement ladies.
I combined the patterns from the first two suits for this one and it didn't really work as well as I had hoped.  She wore it but the top elastic flips out.  I used wider elastic then I should have and it just didn't work super well. 
The look on my face sort of says it all here.  This was one of the patterns I bought this year and it really wasn't worth the purchase.  I did wear the blouse a bit but its a bit of a bear to iron and the pattern needs some serous tweaking if I want to make it again.  Oh well live and learn.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wearability July

Its Super Emily in another cute knit dress.  I had fun mixing prints on this one and my husband had fun making a comic book out of the pictures.
These were cute they just had to be ironed along with the top they match so they didn't get worn as much as they could have.  It wasn't hard to change around a basic pattern to make the ruffle detail but I still find the nice already drafted patterns tempting.
This is the dress from the Burda Style book.  I tried the challenge myself to wear it a bit more often.  One of the challenges that I run into as a seamstress is that the patterns I'm drawn too aren't always or even often for garments that I'm used to wearing.  Hopefully going back though all of this will help me figure out a balance between the two.
I love it she wore it some but thankfully it will fit for a while.  I'm hoping that this summer when its not quite so long she will wear it more.
I like these little shorts.  Sadly these are the largest size the pattern comes in.  I don't think they will be long enough next summer but I'm hanging on to them bc I plan on adjusting the pattern so that I can make more shorts.  They are just so cute and the little side pockets proved useful on more then one occasion.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wearability June

I'm not going to highlight every June post.  In addition to sewing the kids and I tried some of the kid activities I'd been pinning.  I think the big takeaway from June is that I really do like a good knit dress for myself and for Emily. 
I made this dress during my short lived love affair with the wider double needle.  You see it looks a lot like cover stitching but its done on a regular machine.  The problem is it pops more easily then most things do.  I do like the dress and pattern and I do still have this one but some of the top-stitching has not held up super well.

I really enjoyed wearing this dress this summer.  I'm going to have to take the sides in a bit for next summer but I'm sure it will see a good bit more wear.  It looks nice and is super comfy what more can a girl ask for?

This was a copy cat dress and became one of her favorites.  I did have to redo the neckline though since it was done with a double needle as well.  If your interested I've started using a 3 step zig zag on necklines it doesn't look as much like rtw but it holds up to a lot more wear.  This has become even more necessary since Emily got her ears pierced and has started yanking necks even more then usual.
I made several swim suits this summer the big thing I learned was that my machine has a spandex stitch and I should use it.  Lesson here read you manual.  I also learned that 2 piece suits are better for long pool trips.
Here's another swim suit.  It was actually the first one I made and was not lined.  She wore it but I prefer lined suits.

Emily wore this dress for her last day of school.  She wore it some this summer but not as much as I would have liked.  I think the summer is when her style really started to grow up a bit.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wearability May

I'm still a bit miffed that I made this one.  I bought the fabric to make an black maxi skirt.  I'm sure that I would have worn a black maxi skirt quite a lot.  I made this circle skirt for a Sew Weekly challenge and it just doesn't work for me.  Some of the problem is that it doesn't stay up well even with an elastic waist but the bigger problem is that I simply can't figure out what to wear it with or to.  Oh well I think it is still in my closet but that is only bc I haven't purged in a while.  It will be moving on next time I do.  It was fun to twirl though.
Some of you may remember that I added the fabric to the bottom of a smocked princess shirt that we have had for some time to make this for Emily.  I'm sure no one will be shocked to know that she liked it quite a lot.  I doubt that it will fit her this summer so I will probably turn the bottom of the dress into a skirt and make a new shirt.  I do still have the smocking plate after all.  I like to think that this is one of my funny sewing quirks.  While I don't love upcycling form the thrift store I very much enjoy finding ways to extend the life of things that I make for her.
This was too droopy and is gone.  Sigh.  I liked the sleeveless version of this pattern but the cap sleeve one was huge.
I made this little cape using a pattern from a library book.  The library really is the best place to get some of these cute crafty books that really only have one or two patterns you want anyways from.  Fill out a little paperwork and you can borrow books from all over the country.
I wore this dress so much this summer that it is starting to wear out.  I'm sure I will use the pattern again at some point.
I ended up not liking this top at all.  It got all twisted up when I tried to sleep in it.  I guess I'm just a knit tank top girl.  The bottoms are OK but the rise is a bit high.  I need some more pj shorts but I think I will try to copy my favorite pair next time instead of using this pattern.
She wore this outfit some this summer.  My plan for next summer is to make mostly shorts so I'm sure this pattern will make a number of appearances.  She's still young enough that we prefer things that are easy to pull up and down.  I also like that there are multiple options for the pattern.  The directions stink though so I took some pictures of the process.
This one just didn't go well.  The fabric was awful to work with, the pattern was a size too big, and I rushed the process.  I wore it one time for my mother's day dinner and it is no longer with us. 
This is a cute shirt made from the Sorbetto pattern  too bad it wads up like an old rag in the dryer.  If it was in my closet and ironed I picked it often but it was usually sitting on the ironing board in the sewing room.

The neck line of this one is really wide and the fit is not perfect.  I love the sleeves though and the sheer fabric was a dream to wear on super hot days.  Plus like I pointed out in the original post not much goes with florescent pink shorts.

Not a big lesson but at least three of the things I made this month would have been better off if I hadn't been rushing.  Now if I can just remember that as I move forward.