Monday, April 29, 2013

Altered for Spring

When I made Emily's SWAP back in the fall I was so sad that she was in the largest size for the Otto Muffin Tunic.  Now I realize she is also starting to out grow that particular style so I decided to modify it for spring/summer so it could get a bit more wear before going into the hand me down bag.    I also made little bike shorts to go under by shortening this pattern.  Not that you can tell in the pictures but they are there so I'm OK.
All I did was cut the long part of the double sleeve off about 2 inches from the short part and then I folded it under as a binding.  This tunic had fax double sleeves.  It looks like a puff sleeve over a long sleeve but they are really just sewn together.  Anyways now its a sweet little short sleeve tunic that will hopefully take here through the summer.
Prof that she is wearing shorts.  They were squeezed out of a scrap of cotton lycra from my stash.  If I'm being completely honest they are not a perfect match but they are awful close and allowed me to use something else up.  I think the rise on this pattern might be just a little high on her but I'm not sure if I will bother to fix it next time since she wears leggings and bike shorts forever.  I'd rather have them a little high now then a little low later.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fishies and Whales Dress

I little while back I took Emily to my favorite local sewing/quilting shop and let her pick out one fabric.  She's getting a bit picky so if I'm buying anything new I like to have her along for the ride.   Shocking in a sea of lovely flowers, sweat girly prints, and even her beloved polk a dots she picked a blue sea life print with sharks, whales, octopuses, and all sorts of other fish.  Um OK so just when I think I've got the little bugger figured out she throws me a total curve ball.  Well sort of at least seeing as while I'm typing this she's insisting that a sleeveless polk a dot tunic will be fine today even though we are in the midst of a cold snap.

Seeing as this fabric was not going to coordinate with really anything else in her spring/summer wardrobe I decided it needed to be a dress.  I also wanted a simpler patter since its a pretty busy print.  I decided on the Oliver and S Croquet Dress.  It was in my stocking this Christmas and as you may or may not recall one of my goals for this year it to use all of my Oliver and S patterns.  I've used quite a few of them this spring and let me tell you that makes for some relaxing sewing.  The directions are always good, the pieces fit together, and as long as I make the elastic tighter Emily is pretty much a perfect size 5.  Her waist is a little smaller so I have to tighten the elastic.
The pattern was pretty easy to sew.  It does have a lot of pieces to keep track of and while I can be lazy about marking notches this is one of those times where they really matter.  I also cut the front tabs upside down the first time and had to recut them.  Not a big deal but with a directional print you would need to pay attention to that.
I made the casing and sash out of a grey with polk a dots fabric from my stash.  I got it to coordinate with some other fabrics.  Hopefully, I will still have enough of it whenever I get around to using those but it was perfect for this.  The pattern calls for so much of the coordinate because both the casing and the bow are cut on the bias.  I did this because I had enough fabric but truthfully if you were careful to keep on grain I think you could get buy with using less fabric and not cutting them on the bias.  I also sewed the bow tied.
My only complaint is that the dress does not button up the back.  It has a small neck slit with a single button and has to go on over her head.  This is mostly fine but it was really hard to get back on a wet shivering Emily after swim practice even though her chest is about 2 inches smaller then a size 5 calls for.  If I make it again (I so will one of these days) I will modify it so that it buttons down the back at least till the casing so she can just step in.
One last picture since I really like this one.  I've been sewing more then posting lately so hopefully I'll get a few new things up in the next little bit.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Badminton Skort

I find myself buying patterns for all sorts of different reasons.  I tend to be inspired by pictures of things other sew-est have made.  Sometimes I see a ready to wear garment and find myself looking for a similar pattern.  Rarely, do I see that a pattern is coming out and immediately want it for my own.  That is exactly what happened with the Oliver and S Badminton Skort pattern though.  When it was first listed I just loved its scalloped little hem.  Its just the perfect mix of big girl and little girl style for Emily who currently insists on being called a medium girl.  It was one of the first patterns I bought myself in 2013.
I made a size 5 with no alterations and the fit is pretty great.  As always the directions were well done and easy to follow.  I did leave off a bit of the top stitching on the undershorts and did top stitch the scallops because I'm really hoping to not have to iron them.  I also used my blind hem foot to sew the facing to the skirt part rather then had stitching.
I picked up this fabric at an end of bolt sale a while back.  I had initially planned to make her a romper out of it last summer but she was still not really wearing anything that didn't twirl so I waited.  I'm glad that I did because it worked very well for this pattern and will match or at least go with most of her summer tops.  Its a high quality quilters cotton which seems to work well for this pattern.  I think if I were to make one out of a thicker fabric I would probably make the shorts and waistband lining out of something lighter so it didn't end up being bulky and hot.  At the moment though we will be sticking to cute prints since we have so many of those hanging out here at the house already.
This is just a pretty picture.  I almost forgot though the other big change I made was adding a cargo pocket to the side.  Did you know that you can make this has free patterns.  You have to join the free pattern club but whatever.  I used the cargo pocket from this multi pocket pattern and it was quick and easy.  Highly recommended.  One of these days I'm going to need to make the super cute cupcake pockets on something.
That's it I guess.  I absolutely love this pattern.  I already have another skort cut and plan to make the dress for Emily's preschool graduation.  Oh and on the pattern buying front Emily is begging me to buy the pinwheel tunic and slip pattern.  We will see I was going to skip both of the new ones but now I'm not so sure.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

little smarty pants

When I started my quest to find a cute girl shorts pattern the Favorite Things Little Smarty Pants pattern came highly recommended so I decided to pick it up during a pattern shopping spree.  When I was a good bit heavier, no I do not have a picture to share, I made myself a few pairs of the grown up Smarty Pants so I already knew a bit about the pattern.  I let Emily pick the fabric which is how we ended up with pink polk a dots.  Seriously, who's shocked by that?
I made these during spring break so I decided to make the capr length.  I used the cute little waist tabs, cuffs, and side pickets from the shorts pattern though.  I also left out the pocket facing pieces since I was using the same fabric for the pocket linings.  These are a size 5/6 and I'm quite happy with the fit. 
Here you can see them all nice and ironed.  Emily also picked the big pink flower buttons for the tabs.  I do think they would hang better made out of a bottom weight fabric but its hard to find prints the little girl loves in bottom weights so sometimes I just use quilters cotton.
Here's a full on action shot.  These pants play very well.  I'm also pleased with the pattern.  The directions are pretty good, the fit is nice, and it goes all the way to a girls size 14.  I also really like that flat front with the elastic back.  Emily is still pretty little to have to fool with a button and zipper when she's in a hurry but I don't so much like the look of all around elastic on kids as the get a bit older.  That's just one of my quirks I guess.
Then she was done and ready to go in.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

asymmetrical leggings

I've been on a bit of a pattern buying spree lately.  I still put a lot more thought into most purchases then I used to but I've also enjoyed the freedom.  This one was on sale a few weeks ago and despite having a few legging patterns floating around I liked the funny square flounces and didn't care to draft them myself.
These are from the Lil Blue Boo Asymmetrical Leggings pattern.  I made a 5/6 width and cut the 3T length so they would be capri length.  I sort of have mixed feelings about this pattern.  The fit is great, they went together well, and they were quick to make so I really don't have any complaints but....  It was a royal pita to tape the pdf together and I didn't like that it was billed as being two length and they were only 2 length in that she tells you to just cut a shorter length for capris.  So should you buy it?  I don't know?  Its a very good basic leggings pattern though and the ruffle things are super fun.  The directions for putting them together are also very good. 
Here is a close up of the ruffle things.  They really are not ruffles bc they are not gathered but they are super cute.
I used cotton lycra from Sewzannes for these.  I bought it to make a new dance leo but since she is totally over dance I decided she can make do with the leos that she has until June when she is officially done.  The too is from Target.  She has been pretty into graphic tees lately so rather then fight it I've been focusing my efforts on making cute bottoms. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

new nightie

One great advantage to raising string beans is that they rarely need new jamies.  I mean nothing really gets tight on them you just look over one day and realize that that nightie is too short or those pants used to be full length.  As it turns out this has been happening a good bit with Emily's spring nighties and since I also have some knit fabrics in my stash that she is a bit old to wear as dresses I decided it was time for a new nightie.
I made this one using the Miss. Madeline pattern from The Handmade Dress. Some of her favorite nighties are peasant style and I had used this pattern before so I knew it would be quick and easy.  The only problem was that I forget to check for supplies before I started and didn't have the right width of elastic.  I ended up leaving the sleeves loose and shirring the neck.

Just for the sake of the flash back here she is in one of the dresses I made using this same pattern when she was tiny.  I really like it as a dress as well.  Perhaps I should add that to my never ending list of projects.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Outfit Completed

I cut this little skirt from the last bit of my Heather Ross Rapunzel fabric last summer but never sewed it together.  I came across it again in my sewing room a few months ago and decided I'd better get it sewn together if there was any chance of it fitting Emily.  When I got it together it fit well unfortunately she had nothing in her to wear it with so it still sat around in my sewing room.  I actually bought the Oliver and S Classic Picnic pattern for the shorts but the blouse has charmed me in the end. Here's the first one.  Its like a more tailored peasant top and I think its just perfect for a 5 year old.
 I let Emily pick the fabric for this one.  My only rule was that it had to be orange to go with the skirt fabric.  I wanted a lovely orange and white baby gingham.  She picked orange with darker orange polk a dots.  Raise your hand if your shocked.  I swear we should have named this child Dotty.  It turned out to be just perfect.
Since this was my second run at this blouse I made a few pattern alterations.  I shortened the sleeves by a few inches to make them more of longer short sleeves then 3/4 sleeves.  I liked the original style but we live in the South where it will be hot very soon.  I also added a bit of width to the gathered section.  The first shirt fits well but is a little hard for her to get on and off so adding a little extra fluff helps with that.  What can I day she is a string bean but she has some long arms.  I also played with the construction order a bit and changed a few techniques since I have a serger for seam finishing and such.  Plus I had forgotten to bring the directions with me when I snuck up to get a little extra sewing time.
As a funny side note this is the pose she strikes if she sees me taking her picture these days.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Its no big secret around here that I've been busy with many other things this spring and not sewing nearly so much as I would like.  The good news on that front is that I have officially completed all the steps and have been hired as a step instructor.  That really just means I will be using a good bit of my free time putting together combos for my first class.  It is super exciting though.  I still had to make Emily an Easter dress though right?  OK truth be told if I hadn't made the insert and cut the fabric back in February I would have just used to cute outfit from the bunny pictures and waited another year for this one but I'm glad I didn't wait since this turned out beautifully.  I also cut the largest size in the pattern and while it will probably fit next year I'm not totally sure it would have and I am sure the bodice would be a pain to alter since it does not have side seams and the facing is built in.  Read as there are 2 seams in the entire bodice one on each side of the insert. 
This is the Heidi dress from issue 81 of Australian Smocking and Embroidery.  It was one of my few pattern purchases last year because I loved this dress.  I made a size 5 which is the largest size and while there is plenty of extra room I'm glad I didn't put it off for a year.  I followed the directions for the bodice except for leaving off the top ruffle.  I like it though it turned out a little wonky due to it being one piece.  I thought I was precise when I put in the insert but apparently not quite precise enough.  Thankfully it looks good on but if I were to make this again I would adjust this to be several pieces for easier adjustment and assembly.   I cut the skirt per the instructions and it was going to be way to short.  I also did not love the puffing insert in the fabric I was using so I ended up just using a large gathered rectangle instead.  I kept the bottom ruffle and added some pretty trim that coordinates well with the embroidery.
Here is a sort of close up of the smocking.  I added an extra row of zig zags to each side so there would be less puffing in the middle.  I also used embroidered my roses instead of using ribbon.  I think they look just as pretty and I didn't have the time or desire to track down silk ribbon.
She accessorized with a blazer from Hanna Andersson since it was chilly and raining here on Easter morning.
You may be asking yourself what type of review I'm trying to give this pattern.  Here's the deal.  I think its cute but I don't think it was well drafted and its directions were confusing and a bit of a mess.  Its not a bad pattern but it also isn't great plain and simple.  Now just for fun here is a pic of both kids.  Elijah is wearing clothes he had on hand.  I actually did buy him a new outfit but it was not warm enough to wear that one just yet.