Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vivienne My Way

The Violet Fields Vivienne Skirt pattern was my last pattern purchase of 2011.  I loved the style of this little skirt so much but was not in love with the way she put the pieces together.  There was nothing really wrong with her way I just prefer my way so I thought I'd show it to you.  You really will need the pattern to use this information though.  Which is how it should be.

The big change I made was to sew the front and back outer skirt pieces together without lining the front.
The fabric I used for this skirt was heavy enough that I didn't bother with a lining.  Curves can be hard to turn though so I made it easier by finishing the edge with my serger and then adding ric rac.
This made it easy to turn and top stitch the whole curve.  I used a double needle for fun but a regular one would be just fine.
I followed the directions for the underskirt and then sewed the two skirt together with the right side of the outer skirt facing the wrong side of the underskirt.  This allowed me to sandwich the elastic casing between the two skirts.

This seam makes to top of the elastic casing.
I just sewed another line of stitching across the back about an inch under the first and threaded the elastic between the two skirts.  This was also good for us bc I only had to pick out a few stitches when I realized Emily needed her elastic tighter.
Here are some modeling shots.  I made her a 5 because I wanted it to be long enough and was hoping to give her a little more run and play room in this one.  In some pictures this looks like an aline pattern but it is decidedly a straight skirt with elastic in the back.  Sizing up helped some but she still can't sit criss cross applesauce without showing her panties.

She's showing you that her favorite part of the whole skirt is the horse  fabric.  She doesn't ride but her friend M does.  I actually made M the same skirt in her size for her birthday I just have to get around to putting the applique on her shirt.  Good think for me her party isn't for another week.

I was going to make Emily a matching shirt but then we found this Gap Red shirt in the hand me down bin and she loved it.  More proof that I can't always predict what this kid will like.
Here's a close up of the skirt.
Here's what she thinks of doing modeling pictures.  Oh and just in case you couldn't tell from the other pictures Stride Rite finally had Hello Kitty Keds in her size and she is insisting on wearing mismatched socks.  I think this is pretty cute plus it means socks are still usable even when their siblings get lost.

I hope this was helpful. Its funny when I first started sewing I treated directions like they were the law now I don't even read them sometimes and at most treat them as strong suggestions. Don't get me wrong this attitude has totally bitten me in the butt before but its also allowed me to figure out what works best for me.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Boy Shorts

Spring is in full swing here and I've noticed that some of Elijah's shorts are a little on the small or well at least low rise side these days.  I'm going to need to make a few pairs.  So far I've done one.  Its made from the same pattern and fabric as these jeans.  He says he really likes them and they went together pretty quickly even with the real fly and all the top stitching.  You'll have to take my word for it when it comes to the top stitching though since you can't see most of it in the picture. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Mad Men Dress

I the name of honestly I'll begin by saying I do not watch Mad Men.  I've tried twice now and I just don't enjoy it.  If you would like to talk Being Human, Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, or New Girl to name a few I'm your girl but there's something to real and sad about Mad Men for me.  The dresses are beautiful though so when Sew Weekly decided to celebrate the show this week I had a great time going though images.  I was tempted to order a real vintage pattern or buy a reproduction but I stuck to my goal and dug through my stash instead.  I ended up deciding to do a shirt dress similar to the ones so many of the housewives wore in season one and used Simplicity 2246 View C.
I bought this pattern for the other two views so I wasn't sure how I would feel about this one finished but I'm loving it.  I cut a 16 in the bodice, 18 in the sleeves, and a 22 in the skirt to make it as fuller.  I basted the top together and decided to back the darts out a tiny bit.  I shouldn't have though.  I forgot that the button band would add more width.  Oh well I don't mind the bit of extra room. 
I bought the fabric on clearance.  Truth be told its a color/print that I wouldn't have gotten if it hadn't been cheap but now that I've got it I really like it.

Hope you like.  I'd love to hear what you think even it its just to say you can't believe I don't watch Mad Men.  I'm not sure how many of the upcoming challenges I'll be doing.  My son is in need of shorts that don't ride up so I need to get to work on the needful sewing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

oh Gwen

I seem to have a weakness for Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini Collection or at least some pieces of it. The problem is that a lot of the pieces are more grown up then I like for Emily. I wonder just a bit if she would have designed things differently if she had girls instead of boys but that is neither here nor there.  So I've solved this problem by making pieces to go with the pieces I like. 

Emily saw this shirt at Target and really wanted it.  I mean is Strawberry Shortcake only cooler.  I was not in love with the little red bloomer like short shorts that it matched.  Add to that Emily's lack of love for skirts and it didn't take much to convince her to go to Joann's instead. 

The fabrics we picked were both from the tutti frutti line.  They are almost all poly but they don't wrinkle and wear like nails so I'm working on getting to like them.  I made it a little long on purpose because the shirt is a S not an XS so I'd like for both pieces to fit for a good while.
I also loved this little navy maxi skirt but didn't care for the top.  I just got a stripped top and freezer paper stenciled the star on.  I lucked out and got the star for free from the silhouette store.  I couldn't find paint that was quite dark enough but in person the two blues are much closer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


When I posted my resolution update MySummerTouch asked if I had taken count and I said no and I don't want to.  I still don't know and I still don't totally want to but I here's a little update.  I have 88 somewhat standard size ie Vogue or smaller patterns in my stash.  That's not all though.  I have Ottos, sewing books, larger patterns, and pdfs.  I may count them all at some point but not today.  The real reason I stopped buying was bc I had way more then I need.  I'm still at 0 new for the year its getting a bit harder though.  I really love this new pattern and he 25th anniversary Sew Beautiful is out.  I sort of feel like that last one shouldn't count but I'm still trying to be strong as I'm sure there will be at least one pattern in it. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

vintage purple dress

First off I'd like to report that I'm in a much better mood today.  I got some rest, had a cupcake, and did some sewing.  Now all is well here.  Well I guess daylight savings has us dragging but other then that all is well. 
My usual vintage pattern behavior is as follows.  I sew one vintage pattern remember how much I love them and spend about a week going through all the patterns on etsy and buy 3 or 4 more.  I bought this one at some point last year because it reminded me of a picture of my German mother in law when she was a little girl.  The pattern is not that old though its McCall's 2661 from 1970. 
In addition to the overall look there are a few things I really love about this pattern.  First off it has two length.  I made the longer length or Emily and it should be long enough all summer.  I also like that slightly higher neck line.  Its such a sweet little girl thing.  The little vest is may favorite part though its the part that kept me from making the pattern the moment it arrived.  You see I thought the lacing in the front was done with buttonholes which don't scare me at all anymore (they used too terrify me) but instead its done with eyelets.  I'd never done eyelets before and I as sure they would be hard.  I bought the basic kit at Joann's and it turns out they are actually super easy.  All you really do is cut a little hole, line it up with the guides then hit it with a hammer.
This fabric fall into my stupid lesson learned category.  I few years ago I was at Joann's well after Easter and saw this fabric thrown on a rack with nothing that matched.  I figured for sure it was on super clearance since the holiday had passed.  I was wrong.  It was full price.  The lesson here being to ask the price before you get your fabric cut if its not clearly marked.  At least its cute though and Emily loves bunnies so she'll wear it a lot.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just a little blue dress

Hi everyone.  I'm going to continue being honest and tell you that I'm feeling a little blue as I write this post today.  Sort of fitting that its a little blue dress I guess.  I think its just a lot of silly little things coming together.  It was my Sew Weekly art week dress and I didn't even get to see it in one of the little featured spots.  Not a huge deal but since I've never been featured I like to catch my creations when they're a little bigger.  I also wasn't one of the top 6 Protect Run and Play auditions.  Again not a huge deal but it still made me a little sad to not be on the list.  Add to that my kids have been  making me a little crazy lately and I can't seem to find the tee shirts I need to finish a project and there you have it.  So all is well I'm just a little blue in what my not be as cute of a way as Emily's little dress.
This dress is made from the Oliver and S family Reunion Dress pattern.  It is a size 4 with 3 inches of added length.  I added a lot of ric-rac to enhance the details.  I also used my pin-tuck foot for the bottom tucks instead of following the directions.  The to tucks were a bit of a pain but I like the effect just the same.  For the most part I liked the pattern though I'm not in love with the may the neck line comes together.  If I make another one I will probably change that a bit though I'm not quite sure how yet. 
The challenge this week was to make something inspired by a work of art.  Now its not that I don't appreciate art I do but only in a "I think that's pretty/neat" sort of way.  I also knew I wanted to do something for Emily since its warming up around here and she needs a spring/summer wardrobe so I did a google image search for girls in art.  Not such a great idea if you were thinking of giving that one a go.  It did bring up a Normal Rockwell image that I've always liked though which lead to me going through a bunch of his work and noticing a trend.  He put most of the girls in blue not pink dresses.  Shocking I know. 

We went to a local museum to take pictures and I'm glad to report that the dress worked well for climbing, digging in the mud, eating a red Popsicle, trying to get butterflies to land on your finger, and yes even dinosaur riding. Needless to say it was filthy when we left. Thankfully it washed up just fine though.

Hope you like it.  I'm a big fan of Oliver + S patterns but don't have a lot at the moment because she is about a 4 in their sizing and that is where the size bracket break is.  Since this one ended at a size 4 I cut it instead of tracing it which felt down right scandalous.