Monday, April 30, 2012

Blue Pjs

If you haven't guessed this yet let me go ahead and tell you that Emily prefers pink. If something can't be pink she would like for it to be purple. Except for one funny outlier. She loves blue fabric with flowers.
I got both of these fabrics in a scrap box with The Fabric Fairy was changing hands and the box was free for shipping. She latched on to this blue print immediately but it was only about 3/4 of a yard if that so I wasn't sure what to do with it. Then my Mom got me some pretty pj's for my birthday and Emily decided she needed something similar. I picked the patterns and told her she could pick any knit fabric from my stash. She didn't even have to ponder she was dead set on this.
I didn't actually have a shortie pj pattern but even if I were buying patterns this year I wouldn't have gone shopping. Instead I thumbed through my Otto's and decided on two designs from Otto 3/07. I picked designs 9 and 10. The Sleeveless knit to and the Knit shorts. I jazzed both of them up a bit though. I added light blue ric-rac to the bottom of the shorts and elastic to the waistband. For the shirt I left of the ruffles but added ric-rac to the neck line and sewed a sweet little pink rosebud on the front. I also added a ruffle to the bottom because her favorite part of my jamies was the bottom ruffle. I used a 98 width with added length for both. I think I went all the way to the 110 length for the top bc I wanted more of a tunic.
This is going to be my contribution to the Project Run and Play sew alongs this week. I think it counts as an outfit inspired by a specific color. I'm sure there will be fancier things this week but honestly I'm a little tired after going all out the first three weeks and I just didn't have it in me for this week. Plus I'm trying to make things we actually need and this was something we needed. I have a fun plan for next week. Let's just hope I get it done in time. We have family here this weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Little Details

This week Project Run and Play a is celebrating Earth Day by upcycling or using green materials. I decided to upcycle even though that is not my strong suit.
I wasn't sure where to begin so I started with a shirt I bought for Emily this fall that I really loved. Too bad she never liked the skirt I made to go with it and almost never wore it.
I started by splitting the bottom hem with my stitch ripper. Then I did a rolled the top piece and added wide lace to the bottom. I had to laugh though because I added the lace the heirloom way instead of just sewing it on. I didn't mean to but that is so ingrained in my sewing I did it without thinking. At the moment this is enough length to cover her tummy but I feel like I'll be OK with it at the end of the summer even if it doesn't with the lace.
I cut the sleeves at a bit of an angle, rolled the hem, put a little pleat in the top, and added a pink ribbon flower. Then I added a flower to the hem and then one to the front of the little fairy on the shirts dress.
I made a skirt from a navy shirt I bought at GCF. Emily has been really into long skirts lately so I made it as long as I could. The bottom tier is from the underarms of the shirt to the hem. I wanted to keep the pocket so I made the top tier out of that part of the shirt and the waistband out of the arms. The tabs are from the cuffs. At first I was going to keep the original buttons but I decided that I had to have pink glitter buttons to go with the shirt. Then I added ribbon roses to the top button and the top of the pocket. None of the bottoms are functional so the back is elastic so she can just pull it on and off.
I also stenciled fairy wings on the back with pink pant and then two shades of pink glitter.
I like the way this turned out. I think the key for me was added lots of little details.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DVF for GAP dress

I didn't know that Dian VonFirstenburg was doing a line for Gap Kids until a friend posted on Facebook that she wished she could wear some of it. Since I knew Emily didn't need anything I ignored this information   I went right to their website to check it out and immediately fell in love with the dress you see below. (image from
About a week later I was standing in Gap Kids holding the dress in my hot not so little hands in a 5. Honestly, the only thing that really stopped me from running to the register whipping out my credit card and buying it was the fact that my mom was with me and I wasn't ready to tell her I had just spent $78 dollars on a dress for a 4 year old that probably wouldn't even fit her all that well. Most ready to wear clothes are too wide and short for Emily and this one was definitely going to be at least one but probably both. So I came to my senses, looked at a bit closer, and said "Wait a sec I could totally make this." After all its really just a simple little aline dress.
I started with design 21 from otto 6/2011. Its just a plain zip up the back dress. I traced a 98 width with 110 length and the slashed and spread a bit because Emily likes to twirl. Then I drew a curve on the front and the back similar to the DVF dress.
The colors of mine are almost the same. I decided to use purple and white stripe at the top instead of blue and white because I had a men's shirt here that I had been meaning to upcycle forever. I also used white lace fabric that came from my mother or maybe grandmother's stash rather then trying to find a closer match to the lace. Oh and I used pink ric-rac instead of pink bias binding because I really like ric-rac and had some on hand already.
The original dress is sold out so I can't show you a picture of the back but I will tell you that it had a white exposed zipper. My local sewing store has a display of pretty zippers so I got this lovely purple one to match the top fabric instead.
Not that you can tell from the pictures but the other two pattern changes I made were cutting the dress on grain instead of on the bias and facing the top instead of fully lining the dress. I made both of these decisions because I had limited fabric. Well that and I added ric-rac to the bottom because who doesn't like a little ric-rac at the bottom.
I hope you like it as much as Emily does. I'm planning to enter it in the Ready To Wear contest on pattern review as well. I don't really expect to win but its fun to participate just the same.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hanna Play Dress

This week's Project Run and Play challenge is sports wear not active wear. I really wasn't sure where to begin with this one. I don't like the sports wear section of the adult pattern books for the most part. So I let my mind start to wander a bit and the same image kept popping up. The Hanna Anderson Its a Playdress its a Daydress. Around here that counts as an iconic piece of kids-wear. Now Hanna dresses are well made and great but they don't actually fit my daughter all that well and they are expensive so I decided to try my hand at recreating one. I started with the bodice of the farbenmix henrika but really any tee shirt pattern would work. Here's a quick breakdown of what I did. I sort of stopped taking pictures part way through the construction so I hope these are helpful.
First I marked where I wanted to cut the front and back. Just make sure the sides are the same length.
Add 3in to the center front for the placket.
Mark 1in increments on both front pieces.
Add interfacing to both front pieces.
Fold over twice to form placket.
Sew the shoulder seams. Fold binding around the placket as shown and stretch it just a tiny bit as you sew it on. I added the button holes first. If I make another one I will put the top hole closer to the top though. Baste the bottom front together then put it together like a regular dress. The skirt is just two gathered rectangles. I made mine 1.5 times wider then the bodice but if you want it fluffier just use more fabric.
As you can see Emily play tested it well. Its great for jumping, swinging, and all other forms of 4 year old activity.
I don't think they show in any of the pictures but just like the Hanna dresses are paired with coordinating bike shorts this dress is too. Here's are brown stripe to match the neck binding.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

linen and lace

This is my Sew Weekly contribution for the week. The challenge was to make something inspired by a childhood photo. After going through a few photo albums I settled on making something inspired by the dress I wore for 8th grade graduation. Looking back it turns out I wore a lot of really awful things but this dress was beautiful. It was white linen with cut work lace.
I didn't have enough fabric to even consider recreating the dress so I decided to make a blouse instead. I used the Favorite Things Classic Shirt pattern. This was my second time making this shirt. I really like the princess seams and bust gathers. It worked well for this project too because it has a lot of small pieces so I could use three different fabrics without having to alter the pattern.
Speaking of fabrics these were all in my stash already. I purchased the white linen last year before we went on our cruise but never got around to using it. The white eyelet was from the remnant bin at JoAnns. The white embroidered fabric was reclaimed for this shirt that I made last year. I did like the shirt but the exposed shoulder meant I had to wear a strapless bra with it and that turned out to be a deal breaker.
I hope you like it. I wore it yesterday for Elijah's student lead conference. I think it will also be useful during Me Made May. Oh and I have an extended stupid lesson learned for this one. The first time I made this shirt I made a 14 and it fit well as does this one so when I wanted to make the Prairie Girl Dress I decided just to cut the same size. The problem was that I thought I made a 16 in the top and never checked. As I'm sure you can guess the dress was an awful tent that couldn't even be altered to fit. So the lesson is even if you think you know what size you made before check.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A little housekeeping

No I have not been doing extra house work I'm just calling this a housekeeping post because its a bit of a catch-up post.
This is the outfit I made Emily's friend M for her birthday this year.  This year she is into horse back riding.  Last year was soccer if you remember.  Thankfully, I also had enough of the fabric to make Emily a skirt too because she really wanted it as soon as she saw it.  Its another Vivienne from Violet Fields Threads. This was also the first time I used my Silhouette to cut fabric. I like the results but learned how important it is to remember that I have to sew around all those little turns when I use woven fabric.
This is a close-up of the smocking on Emily's Easter top. This close up you'll be able to tell that my work is not perfect but I'm pleased with the overall results.

I hope you like the tidbits.  I promise the next post will be something truly new.  After all I've got something for both Sew Weekly and Project Run and Play this week.  I'm pleased with both projects too so I can't wait to share.  I have to though because PRP is not quite done and SW has to go up over there first.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Hey all no new project to share just my  Me-Made-May pledge.  I'm excited though bc this will be my first challenge of this kind.  I'm not going to get pictures every day but I'll try to get a few.  I'm also going to keep track of which pieces I wear so I'll share that information at the end of the month.

I, Stephanie Ejegmama, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavor to wear at least one self stitched item each day for the duration of May 2012' I don't have enough items to do just self stitched but I'm hoping that this will help me figure out what I like and what I need.
14 April 2012 14:06

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dirty Dancing Shorts

These were sort of a combination of a Sew Weekly challenge and a wearable muslin. You may remember that after I made my pink cords (which had to be taken in quite a lot) I took my measurements and realized I needed to drop 2 sizes. Well I wanted to test that size out in the waist and hips so I pinned the legs up to cut off length and made these.
They are quite fitted but I like the fit. The rise is also a bit lower which will take some getting used to but is really just fine. I also used my jewel tone rainbow top stitching thread. I really like it as well. I'm guessing that's left over from being a kid in the 80s when it was all the rage.
This is city inspired week on Sew Weekly so these fit into that as the Lake Lure shorts because of course that is where Dirty Dancing was filmed. I guess that might be cheating a bit but I did need to test the pattern and I'm pretty sure I will wear these this summer.  My contribution for next week is a bit more fancy though and I promise to make anther dress soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brighter Then The Sun

This is my first offering for the Project Run and Play sew along challenges this spring. This week we are refashioning a basic circle skirt. Mine is a dress with the top of the Olabethe Emily cami, grass, flowers, and even flower pockets that were inspired by this tutorial.
Initially it was just supposed to be a green and blue dress with flowers. I cut my circle skirt pattern to make a green band at the bottom for grass. I also put green ric rac between those two layers.
Then I remembered having seen a tutorial for a skirt with flower pockets and simply had to add those. I made mine a little differently though because I wanted them to almost blend in with the other flowers.
Speaking of flowers. All my flowers were cut with my Silhouette. I'm so loving that machine.
So why is it the Brighter Then the Sun dress?
Because I have had that song stuck in my head for weeks and I decided a dress with grass, blue skies, and flowers needed a sunshine as well. I did this by making the front of the bodice yellow trimmed with orange ric rac.
I hope you enjoy the ridiculous number of pictures to follow. Emily says this is the best dress I've ever made her. I like this one too. All the flowers took a long time but it was nice to stretch myself a bit.