Tuesday, February 26, 2013

worth the wait jumper

I don't know if you will count this as worth the wait or not but I made this dress at the beginning of last winter and never actually got it posted.  I called it the worth the wait jumper then because it was one of my favorite patterns 6/2008 when I first got the magazine but Emily had not grown into the pattern until last fall.

The nice thing is she looks cute in it here but she wore it ti school today and still looks cute in it now.  I would have taken a picture for you but its pouring rain here and we both got soaked at pick up time and had to change clothes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sweetheart Dress

I few years ago Emily was big enough for her first / my first dress swap.  I was so excited and there was one dress that I wanted from the moment that I saw it.  Sadly I was not the only one that felt that way and while I got some beautiful dress I did not get that particular one.  I was able to buy the same fabric panel though.  I meant to use it that summer, then that fall for back to school but I found out her class was the apple class and had to change plans. I also meant to use it last Valentines Day but accidentally bought the fabric for this dress instead.  I finally got to it this year which is a good thing considering  how hard it was to get a dress out of such a small amount of fabric.  Thankfully when I want out looking for a coordinate I found one that worked perfectly. 
I used the knotty variation of the basic dress pattern from Little Girls Big Style in a size 6 better known as the largest size in the book.  Sob
This was my favorite part of the whole panel so the dress was planned around it being center front on the skirt.  It says "I Love You". 
I think knotty jumpers were very popular a few years ago but I had never tried making one.  Its cute but I probably won't to it again.  You have to untie the knots to get it on and off and she can't do that on her own.  I'm glad I did it on this one though because I couldn't find any buttons that I liked with the finished jumper.  I guess I used up all my luck when I found the fabric for the ruffle and lining.  It matches perfectly in real life.  I also like that it says sweetheart on the front.
Here's the back.  Its says cute and has fairies, shoes, and cupcakes.
Just one last shot mostly bc she still looks little in this one.  I've got a few more things in the works.  My peplum top didn't work out.  I'm OK with that though.  I thought I could modify a pattern that I had to make one but the proportions were off.  I got that fixed but then it had been hacked so much that it was wonky.  I may pick up the Vogue pattern later this year but for the moment I'm just moving on to another project that I want to do.  I also started smocking Emily's Easter dress so hopefully that will be done in plenty of time.  I'm using fabric that Neil got me for Christmas I think last year and its way more expensive then anything I would pick so I will have to say a little prayer before cutting.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Signature Style

Its Signature Style week over on Project Run and Play and while I know I said I wasn't going to sew a long this year as I was working on this project I think I figured out my signature.  I've struggled with this concept before so imagine my shock when I figured it out by accident.
Let me give you just a moment to digest why anyone would show you this dress as their signature style and then I will explain.
So here is what I've figured out about my sewing style.
  1. I like to make things my kids really want even when they would not be my first choice.
  2. I like a good pattern.  Its not that I can't alter bc I can but I think there are quite a few lovely wheels out there already so I have no desire to recreate them.
  3. I don't mind using crazy character fabric.  Sometimes I even like it.  My favorite is when she wears something like this and other little girls stop her to tell her how much they love her dress.   To me that's better then when adults do.
  4. I love to try new patterns, styles, and techniques.  
This is the Oliver and S book report dress.  My husband got it for me for Christmas and truth be told I was not thrilled at first.  You see if I could have told you the one Oliver and S pattern I didn't want this would have been the one.  He picked it though and Emily loved the cover art so a few weeks ago on an icey weekend we decided to give it a try.  She also picked the fabrics.  I really wanted to do red dots instead of green but she was sure the green would be best.
I ordered these cute little strawberry buttons from Etsy.  The only design choice the little fashionista left to me.
All in all I'm happy with the finished project and so is she.  The pattern was a dream to work with.  I had forgotten how pleasant it is to sew something that is truly well drafted with well done directions.  I guess that's why I'm willing to pay more for these little patterns.

Oh and just for fun here's my tutorial for letting a 5 year old design an outfit.
  1. Take the little bugger to the fabric shop and let her pick out one thing.  
  2. Bring it home and hide it in your sewing room for a few months bc you have no idea what to do with it.
  3. Buy one or two equally wild fabrics that cordinate with the original or dig through your stash to find them.
  4. Let the little bugger dig through your fabric one day when you really want to finish another project.  Trust me she will find the wild and crazy fabric she picked out a while back and bring it to you.
  5. Feel a bit guilty and present her with a pile of patterns to go through plus some coordinating prints.  Let her pick while you continue to try and finish whatever brought you to the sewing room in the fist place.
  6. Listen to her as she tells you what she wants, suggest other options, and then do what she asks.
  7. In the end be glad that you followed steps 1 though 6 bc it ends up being a really cute dress and we all know that you can only get buy with some looks for so long.
Hope you like the dress.  In the end I certainly do and while it may not win any contests its just what Emily wanted and that's more important to me any day. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

polk a dot pants

I made these to replace the black skinny jeans that just don't quite fit Emily anymore.  They are the same pattern as these ruffle pants.  I wanted something quick, easy, but also cute plus the pattern was already traced so that saved some serious time.  I picked up the fabric out of the sale room at my favorite local store since Emily's love of polk a dots persists. 
For this pair I decided to do a paper bag waist.  It made them a bit shorter since I didn't decide to do it until after I had cut everything out and done most of the sewing.  I like the waist though and one of the things I like about ruffle pants is that they can be just a touch shorter without looking bad.  Hopefully we will wear these into the spring as cropped pants.
She is decidedly her mama's girl though bc the little bugger would not make a cute face with her shirt tucked in.
I'm going to get a bit more sewing done this week.  I have started her Valentines day dress.  I've got a hoodie cut out for myself and I'm dieing to make a peplum top.  The peplum might have to jump the cue after the V-day dress.  I also did my instructor demo today and it went well.  I should be doing some team teaching by next month and then we will see. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ruffle pants

I know I've mentioned it here before but both of my kids are swimmers.  Usually this have very little to do with sewing but this past week it lead to a bit of a sewing emergency.  You see swimming does a few things to kids but mostly it leads to skinny kids with muscular legs.  For Emily this also lead to all three pairs of skinny jeans that I made her this fall becoming a bit too tight in the legs while all the ready to wear pants at Target were still too big in the waist even in an xs.  I guess that's what I get for trying to just go buy something when I have plenty of fabric here.  For the first pair I decided to do a plain pair of basic ruffle pants.
I used the ruffle pants pattern from the book Little Girls Big Style.  Sadly, the book only goes to a size 6 and that is what I cut.  I really should have done a 4 or 5 with added length though so hopefully I get a bit more use out of that book.  It really is a good super basic boutique pattern book and I like that it gives quite a few modifications for each pattern so you can get most of you boutique type clothes out of one book.
Emily likes them so much she is jumping for joy.  I don't know how much longer she will be able to get by with ruffle pants but I hope she can for a while still.

I used a heavy weight jersey knit fabric for these.  I've had it in my stash for quite a while.  I bought it at the Chez Ami warehouse sale right after I really got into sewing for her but before I understood knits.  So its a great fabric for bottoms but is not very stretchy and does not work for things like fitted tops and neck binding.

OK off to practice my stepping.

Monday, February 4, 2013

the purple dress

I've wanted to make myself a somewhat slinky crushed panel dress for a while now.  I hope that it looks nice on.  It looked great in some of the pictures and not so great in the others but that's par for the course.  I mean let's be honest here I'm in good shape.  I even have an almost flat tummy but at 5ft 9 and 1/2 and wearing a 14 in most sewing patterns I'm hardly a slip of a girl.  My body type has also changed a good bit over the years so often I feel like I'm just guessing at what will and won't work.  All that said I think this worked pretty well for a date night outfit. 
The dress is a combination of the v neck top from sewing with knits and Simplicity 2054.  I had made the Simplicity pattern before and knew that I liked the fit so I just borrowed the neck line from the tee.  Surprisingly to me at least the tee pattern was a good bet narrower then then dress pattern.  I decided to go with the width of the dress after trying on last year's tunic to confirm that I was still happy with the fit.
The neck of this one didn't turn out quite as well as the last one.  It looks fine standing up but gapes a bit on the right side when I'm seated.  It also drove me crazy riding up due to static cling even with a full slip so I'm not sure how much wear it will see but then it wasn't for everyday wear anyways and I had so much fun wearing an almost all purple outfit.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

a tiny B-day gift

Here's what happened.  Emily has a little friend C who just turned 5 today.  C has a great mom who likes for people to bring items for the food bank instead of gifts.  I totally get this really I do its a great way to teach children about charity and a great way to keep your house from getting filled to the gills with useless plastic crap and glitter lip gloss.  I really planned to just bring some lovely instant scalloped potatoes but then yesterday I remembered how C had asked me to make some clothes for her doll months ago and the tiny gift idea was born.  I mean Barbie clothes are incredibly tiny after all.  You're following my logic right?  That said being tiny also makes them really hard to sew and since these were for a 5 year old I did not want to make anything with lots of little darts and itty bitty sleeves.  I also didn't want to make something super skimpy so here is what we  have.
The top is from this tutorial.  Its not written for a Barbie but it was fairly easy to adapt.  In addition to making it much smaller I added Velcro to the back so that it would be easier to get her arms into those narrow little arm holes.  I should remember this one.  Emily has been asking for more dresses for the Lala's and they have huge heads with tiny bodies so this would work.
The skirt is from this tutorial over on craftynessisnot optional.  She did some really cute fabric combos but I kept it basic.  Neither piece is perfect but hopefully C will like them.  I also had Emily draw her a pretty picture. 
I know I probably shouldn't have made anything since I wasn't supposed to bring a gift but I just couldn't quite help myself.  I really wanted to make a dress for C so in comparison this is much smaller and was made from scraps and free tutorials so it was practically free.