Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simple Bunny Dress

I could have also called this the "Emily loves bunnies" dress because that is why I made it. I got a Silhouette cutting system for Christmas and wanted to do a simple dress with some stenciling. I had these two pieces of purple knit that sort of went together and were not big enough for much on their own and well Emily likes bunnies.
The dress is number 18 from Otto 6/2011 also known as my last new Otto for at least a year.  Its all gray and black in the magazine so you really couldn't see the details but I thought it would be fun and liked the line drawing.  I did the usual so 98 width with 104 length.  I wish I had added even more to the skirt but hopefully she will wear it as a tunic next year.  I  like the pattern but the neck doesn't seem to sit super well so I doubt I will make it again.
The stenciling was fun.  I used my new machine to cut the bunnies in freezer paper then painted them with fabric paint.  Its holding up reasonably well though I think I prefer acrylic paint with textile medium mixed in.  I'm also having a great time with my new toy.  I'm looking forward to doing some fun miniboden inspired dresses and tees this spring.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Loft Like Pants

For the first 2 Sew Weekly Challenges my post didn't go up until Saturday so this week when I started getting emails about comments on Sunday I thought for sure I had messed something up.  I hadn't though I was just towards the beginning.  Our challenge was to make something that was a close copy of a RTW item.  I decided to do a pair of pale pink skinny cords similar to these from Loft
I picked these because as much as I love the idea of pink pants Loft pants just don't fit me well.  I've tried all the fits in several sizes and they are all too tight, too loose in other places, or both.  Oh well, learning to make my own pants has made me so judgmental of RTW pants its hardly worth the effort of entering the dressing room these days.
These are made from the Jalie jeans pattern.  The same one my made my jeans from.  I had to take them up and awful lot this time though.  I actually took them in more after these pictures so I decided perhaps I should take my measurements again and it turns out I need to try tracing down 2 sizes.  I'll get to that at some point.  I but 17 yards of denim when it was on sale for $2.79 a yard so I certainly have plenty to work with.  These are made from a super soft stretch baby whale cord that I got for Christmas though.
Here are just a few more reasons I love making my own pants.
  • I can fit as I go.  My husband likes this too bc it means I spend a lot of time with my bottoms off sewing.
  • I can add enough length.  My short friends won't get this but its a big deal to be tall and have your skinny pants rumple around your ankles like they are supposed too.
  • Cute flowered pockets.  
  • Fun topstitching.  These have flowers down the outseam and I've got rainbow thread to make a fun 80s inspired pair in the future.
  • Finally, they simply are not that hard.  It seems like something that would be but trust me its much easier to make a pair of jeans that fits well then it is to find a pair that really truly fits well in all locations at a store.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Umm Knitting

When I was pregnant with the above little bugger I became nearly obsessive about knitting and crocheting.  I only knitted in the round and only made hats and longes but I was a woman obsessed and in love.  I dyed my own wool and everything.  Then Emily was born and I stopped.  So imagine my near panic when a few months ago I really wanted to knit again.  Thankfully here are no more of these little things on the way.  I think it was just a reaction to all the cute stuff on pinterest but she did get a super cute tunic out of the deal.

Just for kicks here's a picture of Emily in a pair of longies I made her while I was pregnant.
This little tunic is made from a free pattern I found on pinterest.  Its all knitted in the round and was thankfully very easy.  I made the 2/3 size with a good bit of extra length. Its done from the top down so I just added till I was happy with how long it was.

Its made out of pink sparkly yarn.  I'm pretty sure you can guess who picked that out but it was also on sale and we're both pink fans so it worked.  Since the making of this I have not knitted anything else.  I kind of want to make myself this cowl but we'll see.  At the moment I'm smocking for Easter.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not Quite Plain White Tunic

This is my second completed Sew Weekly Challenge of the year.  This weeks challenge was buttons or well more precisely button holes.  Now I'll be honest with you here and say that I could never make button holes with my old machine but with my Bernina they really are no big deal.  I welcomed the challenge just the same though bc I tend to shy away from collared shirt type things because they are time consuming. 

I've had this navy and white fabric for about 2 years now.  When I bought it I planned to make myself a more interesting version of a white dress shirt right away.  So I washed the fabric, put it on the shelf, and let it sit there for way too long.  I'm glad I did though bc I wouldn't have made a tunic if I hadn't waited until after I bought jeggings.  Yes you read that right I bought jeggings.  They are not as bad as your thinking I promise.  They are made out of real denim with 10% spandex with real top stitching and well a real think elastic waist at the top.  For me this means my tail needs to be fully covered and as it turns out I didn't realize that I don't exactly own a lot of tunics until after the jeggings arrived.

Enter View C of McCalls 6167.  These tucks gave me fits.  I'm used to doing double needle ones which are much easier  since I do them before I cut the fabric and my foot has a guide for spacing.  I spent about 2 hours one evening sewing and removing them until I got them nice and even.  At that point I could no longer bear the idea of them just fading into the shirt so I did a wave effect to make them fancier. 
Not sure what I thought was so funny here.  Maybe this was the moment I realized that I bought jeggings. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I love the 90s

I mean seriously ladies cozy flannel shirts, long underwear instead of leggings, great music, and moshing what's not to love? Maybe its just that I went to high school in the early 90s but when I heard this was pick a decade week on Project Run and Play I just had to do the 90s. I mean don't get me wrong I love a 50s style party dress as much as the next girl but its winter and baby girl needed a nice new snuggly flannel dress.

I used McCall's 6156 to make the dress and long underwear.  The dress is a size 3 with the length of a 5 and shirred sleeves because Emily likes for her sleeves to stay up when she pushes them up.  Truth be told this is the type of top I would have loved back in the day.  Its plaid flannel but still purple with ruffles. 
The long underwear are upcycled from a pair of xxl fruit of the loom ones.  I used the legging pattern from the envelope but added the cuffs from the original bottoms to complete the look.
Here's a closeup of the front and a few more pictures.  I like that its more of a big girl dress then some of her stuff.  Without being inappropriate for someone her age.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Purple People Eater Skirt

This was the last pattern that I purchased in 2011.  I bought it on the evening of December 29th.  It is the Viviene skirt from Violet Field Threads.  I haven't been all that into boutique patterns lately because so many of the patterns are very similar but this one was love at first sight.  I tried to talk myself out of it for a while because I was sure I could figure it out on my own but ultimately I decided to treat myself since I would be going a full year without adding new patterns.
I'm sure you will be shocked to hear that Emily picked out this lovely purple fux fur leopard print fabric.  I had hoped that she would forget about it until a yard was not enough for anything but dolly clothes but alas she saw it on the shelf a few weeks ago and fell back in love.  The ruffles on this one are purple nylon chiffon.  I have a huge amount because I was planning to make her a purple petti during her very short lived purple faze.  I'm sure I'll get to using it all eventually.  It was nice to use for the ruffles here but it gathers up really rightly so it took more fabric then the pattern called for and the top ruffle only goes half way around.  Its lined with navy blue broad clothe.
So what did I think of the pattern?  Honestly, there are parts I like and parts I don't.  I have trouble judging sizing since Emily is hardly average but I will tell you her skirt is a size 4 with 3 inches added to the outer skirt and 2 added to the inner.  I didn't want quite so much ruffle hanging out of the bottom.  I do not love how the outer skirt is made and will just fully line it next time for a cleaner finish.  I also don't love how the waist band is done and choose to do it differently in order to achieve a much cleaner finish where the top seam is completely concealed in the casing.  I am glad I got the pattern though and have plans to use it at least two more times so I will get my moneys worth.

Just FYI I also put this in the Skip To My Lou linky party , and Oopsey Daisy.  What can I say linky parties are fun.  I've got some new posts coming but my little model has been sick this week.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

As Promised Beads and Bag

As promised here is a post about my first Sew Weekly challenge as a contributor.  This year there are well over 100 contributors so if you haven't wandered over there yet you totally should as there are a whole bunch of great posts.  I wasn't one of the 5 featured posts this week but I did get to be in a bigger box on the front page for a while yesterday which was pretty exciting.  I'm pretty sure I won't pull off doing every single challenge this year but I'm hoping to do as many as possible though some will be sewing for other family members.
Anyways enough blah blah blah this week was the first official challenge and it was a tough one for me.  We were asked to create something to go with an accessories.  Now those who know me well know that unless your willing to count my wedding rings I'm rarely wearing any accessories but I pulled together this set with not one but 4 (6 if you count the rings).   The idea actually started with the beaded necklace though.  I bought it more then a year ago to go with a dress that it did not work with the neckline of.  I turned out to not work with the neckline of anything else I tried making it perfect for this challenge.
I started by making an almost plane Colette Meringue Skirt.  I say almost plain because I used my super cool safety pin fabric for the hem facing.  I made a 12 all over in this pattern and am pretty pleased with the fit.  I probably could have gone to a 10 in the hips or maybe a 10 with a large waist adjustment but I played with the back darts a bit and I think it works.  A word of warning if your planning of making this one though.  Mark your front and back pieces.  You'd think that they would be easy to tell apart but they are actually quite similar.  I lost a good bit of sewing time trying to figure this out.  I imagine that I will make another one of these one day though.  I wore it for 3 days straight last week and received quite a few compliments.  It also goes with most of my wardrobe making it a great addition.
The shirt is a remake of my purple shirt.  I tried to like it really I did but I knew that it would just hang in my closet if I didn't do something.  I ended up taking the neck binding off and adding a front and back seam to slim it down a bit.  Then I used this pattern to adjust the side seams to be more fitted.  Now its a nice simple top that has a great neckline for this necklace and matches the purple beads.  It also matches my purple boots and bag.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Look at Me

I'm up on the Sew Weekly page. I hadn't told ya'll yet but I'm a contributor over there this year. Don't be too impressed I think she took everyone but its still really a cool thing to be a part of. I'm not allowed to post things here until they apear there so I'll pop back in here tomorrow to give you a full blog post. I just needed to yell look at me first.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Doll Clothes

If you haven't fallen down this particular rabbit whole yet let me save you the trouble and let you know that making doll clothes is a bit additctive. You see one of my friend's daughters got and American Girl Doll for Christmas and since I grew up with a sewing mama if feel that dolls need larger wardrobes. Plus these little clothes take almost no fabric and very little time. I bought two McCalls patterns and used two Liberty Jane patterns.

This outfit is made using the tee shirt and pants from M6006
This outfit is also from M6006
These leggings are from M6005 but the dress is the a Liberty Jane pattern.
This jumper came with my CarlaC aline pattern.
This is the night gown from a doll making book.  I really didn't care for the pattern though.
This top is the free Liberty Jane top.  The leggings are from M6005.  The tutu is just made up using scraps.  Its based on the one from Little Things to Sew though.  Honestly, I liked this top pattern a lot better then the other one.  If I make more long sleeve tops I will probably just make the sleeves on this one longer.
Then there is this outfit.  It was meant for the American Girl Doll as well but Emily saw it and thought it was for Bitty.  I just didn't have the heart to take it off of Bitty.  After all Bitty needs nice things too.
The jumper is from M6005 I just didn't do the bubble hem.  The blouse is from a Simplicity pattern that I can't seem to find right now.  I don't recommend collared blouses for dollies though.  The collar was a pain to sew and then it stuck up so badly I had to tack it down in the front.  Emily and Bitty don't seem to mind though.

There you have it. I really liked the Liberty Jane patterns and I'm sure I will buy more in the future. Not this year though. I had a great time making these clothes. It sounds a little crazy but I think I may start a hope chest for Emily's future American Girl Doll. In the mean time I'm sure that Bitty would like some more clothes and that Beca would not mind more for her doll either.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Its Cold Tunic

Well at least is was cold outside for a few days this week. Every time we have a little cold snap I remember that I don't really have many sweat shirts. 

When I saw Simplicity 2054 this fall I had to have it right then.  Thankfully, I saw it while thumbing through a pattern book because they were on sale. I still had to have it though because of the cool elbow slits.  If you look really closely at the photo on the envelope you can see what you can see more clearly here and that is that the slits are not really centered over the elbow.  This is fine but if I had realized I would have shifted them closer to the side seam to position them a bit better.  I also added a bit of length to the upper arm.  I have long arms though.  I still think they're a fun detail though the do not help much in the keeping warm department.
This one is made out of wool faced fleece that I got from a coop planning to make Elijah a jacket.  When it arrived I decided it really wasn't winter jacket material but it washes and dries well and makes for a nice warm slightly nicer top.
I cut a 14 in this pattern because several reviewers felt like it ran a bit wide in the bottom. It works though I might would have liked a bit more room if I were making a dress. Its hard to be sure though because this was some think fabric. The real win for this one is that I LOVE how the shoulders and arms fit. I seriously think I will be using this one to help me make tees that fit better in the future.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Franken June

This is going to be my entry in the Project Run and Play Sew Along Challenge for week one.  The challenge was to remix the June Bug Dress from Craftiness is not Optional.  I spent a good bit of time daydreaming and ended up doing a serious frankenpattern job.
The top part of the over dress is the June bug top morphed into a bit of an a-line using the Carla C jumper pattern.  I used the bib part to make the crossover bodice.  Then I merged that with the outer skirt for the Violet Fields Vivienne Skirt (better known as the last pattern I bought in 2011).
The under dress is the Fabernmix Olivia merged with the Vivienne under skirt.  I had to add an extra ruffle to the underskirt for length.
I hope you like it.  Here's a gratuitous number of pictures just to make sure you can see it from every angle.  It came out a bit fluffier then I had in mind but Emily is thrilled to pieces and that's really what its all about isn't it?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

No New Patterns

Welcome to 2012 everyone. I'm not sure where the year has gone but here we are. I've enjoyed my first year as a sewing blogger and truly appreciate those of you who stop by to see what I have to say. I've been pondering my goals for this year and I decided to have one big goal instead of a bunch of little ones so here goes.

For one full year I am buying no new patterns. None. Don't worry things will still be entertaining around here as I have way too many patterns. I love patterns. I love the possibility that comes with a pattern. I buy them and dream of what I will make the problem of course being I don't always get to the making part. So I bought 3 patterns on Friday and now I'm done for a year.

I'll get a counter going to let you know how many patterns I've used this year. I'll also get one going if I slip but I hope not to slip. I'll also be doing some giveaways as I sort my collection. Hopefully this will lead to me doing some other things like finishing (OK starting) my bombshell dress and really learning to modify patterns but no promises. One big goal is enough for me this year.