Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pierrot Tunics

 Baby in her new tunic tapping the window pane to get the dog to come to the door!
 I've been working on some tops to layer over the girls clothes on cold days and I used the Pierrot tunic pattern from Made by Rae.  Its a very straight forward and simple pattern but I think it makes a cute tunic that looks free spirited.  I made the baby's from flannel as an experiment and it turned out pretty well.  The pattern is for lighter weight fabrics than flannel but I still think it turned out pretty good.

Big girl's is made of linen/cotton chambray.  Admittedly it looked pretty much like a plain old sack with out the kitty pocket which was her suggestion for making it look better.  She really didn't like it at first and now she is sort of ok with it.  You win some you lose some, hoping I can coax her into wearing it some time for more than ten minutes.    

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Handmade Christmas

I have been cranking out the handmade Christmas gifts once again this year (and I think every year that I won't do so much and I do anyway).  This is the Annabelle jacket from Peekaboo Patterns.  Its for the 17 month old.  I always try to make my girls at least one handmade garment for Christmas.    

Details on the pattern:  She's slim through the torso so I made a size 12 month with lengthened sleeves.  I just eyeballed how much extra sleeve I thought she'd need and it was perfect.  I like this pattern pretty well but I goofed the ruffle using the piece that was intended for a tie belt instead of the ruffle piece.  I actually think it turned out better than the ruffle piece would've because it made the ruffle more full.  A couple of small gripes about the pattern are that there are no button placement guides and the bottom portion doesn't overlap as well as I'd hoped it would.  Those details are for anyone who hopes to make it!  Also it is made in a plum baby cord from Hancocks and some flannel I've had in my stash for a while.  

Over all I think it came out pretty adorable, reminds me of Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club.  Its great for church when you need something a little dressier than a play coat.  For some reason these days this girl does not like a coat and shoes put on and she wrestles with me endlessly.  You can imagine I'm sure, you get one arm in and then they bronco kick and out it comes, you get one shoe on then they claw at the floor and screech and scramble out of reach.  Whew, counts as a work out in my book!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Modified Briar tee, Victoria Blazer, and Flashback tees

I've been sewing this summer (just not posting on the blog) and here are some of the results.  I've really wanted to do some variations of the Megan Nielsen Briar tee and here's one I finally conquered.
   It is made from a somewhat sheer knit from Denver fabrics.  I can't say that I highly recommend Denver fabrics and lets just leave it at that.  But the top has a ruffle made from a circle skirt tutorial from Burda.  I tried a ruffle for the first crack at this top and it was awful.  So I cut it off and tried again with this ruffle.  Much better.  Its basically a bias cut peplum.  The skirt is me made too from an out of print McCalls 6290.  A very basic a-line from a thrifted bottom weight twill.  Now for the Victoria Blazer.  The blazer is basically a wearable muslin since it turned out pretty good, a little big so I'll go down a size next time but still very wearable.

You can't tell from these pictures but the mosquitoes are eating my legs alive.  I even sprayed before I went out and I think I had six bites from about 15 minutes of being outside.  They are ridiculously terrible in our backyard.  We fogged one day and they only stayed away for thirty minutes.  Ugghh, definitely summer in the south- you take the good with the bad!  Here's one more shot of the blazer for those of you that might want to make it.  I know I always appreciate multiple views of something I might want to make.
And finally a Mother/Daughters sewing project.
These were all made from a me made maternity skirt with really nice rayon knit from Joann's.  Since I had to squeak out three shirts from the skirt I didn't do the hi-low hem on my tee and didn't bother matching the stripes on the kids tees.  The Flashback tee is a great kids pattern, a little tight for my taste but that is easily fixed with some added seam allowance.  It is easy to whip up and easy to make out of repurposed tees of your own.  Hopefully I can get back soon with some pictures of new dressed for the girls!  Until then, happy sewing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Its been quiet on this blog which means we've been busy with the summer.  I've been sewing but documenting it has just fallen down the line of things I want to do lately.  I recently finished reading Overdressed and it was a good, informative look at our attitudes toward clothing in the U.S.  Its good for self reflection and good for the sewist since it helps you think critically about the things you purchase and whom they might influence/effect.  The next book I hope to read is Where am I Wearing? , another book addressing the question of where our clothing comes from and what the global cost of clothing truly is.  Just trying to live responsively in my small corner of the world!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New top and skirt and I love them!

We've had a pretty epic bout of illnesses here, hence the silence on this blog.  Big girl was sick first then little baby had croup followed by a nasty virus with a really high temp and now this week big girl is sick again.  AJ  has some virus but is feeling much better this morning.  Crossing my fingers that baby and I don't catch it!  Whew. Even so I catch a minute here and there to sew for my sanity and have completed two new patterns that I've been really happy with.
This is the Briar tee from Megan Nielsen.  It is a great sewing pattern for first time knit sewist (like me).  This top is actually a repurposed maternity skirt I made when pregnant with baby G.  I added leather patches at the shoulder and have just loved the top.  It has a high low hem which is great to cover the back of your pants as you bend to help little ones.  I have made two other Briars one which is pictured with the Cascade skirt from Megan Nielsen.
I struggled to get a good picture of this skirt and these were the two best shots.  It is kinda awkward to take pictures of yourself for these posts.  I love this skirt because of the flowy nature of it and how feminine it feels.  It is made from rayon challis.  The Briar tee in this picture is made from some poly/cotton jersey from Hancocks and it was very affordable.  I was skeptical about the quality but it has held up well.  

And finally for the Grandparents here are a few shots of the kiddos.
AJ with Micah in the rain!
AJ made this crown of jewels and I cut it out and taped it together for her.  She wore it to church on Sunday with a dress I made her.  She has developed specific opinions about her handmade clothes these days so needless to say my tastes in children's clothes have been shelved for the time being.
This dress is the appropriate colors and design for her aesthetic, pink and floral!  You gotta go with what works, right!?
And finally some quiet sister time looking out the window, but no illusions here it lasted probably all of two minutes!  Kiddos on the go!  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

One pattern four fabrics

I wanted to show one more of the Laurel tops I had in the works.  It is a linen version.  The top part of the shirt was cut from a thrifted linen sheet and the bottom was cut from a big linen dress, the buttons were from a thrifted dress. The lace was given to me by my Mother in Law (thanks Dixie!). I've really wanted to use a lot of my notions lately and this was a perfect spot to highlight them. You can't tell from the picture but the buttons have butterflies on them.

I wanted to use this pattern to experiment with the drape of fabrics and how they perform with the same pattern. Its something I've been trying to learn more about lately. Drape and weight of fabric can really make or break a look. 
This is what I discovered about drape and weight of fabric with the Laurel pattern... 
Linen:  The linen top is a size 6 (a perfect fit for me) and it felt comfortable in linen, although the drape wasn't as pretty as the rayon.  I did fudge the back a bit because I cut the back on the fold but forgot to omit the seam allowance, nothing that an extra seam couldn't fix.  The sleeves are drafted longer and have elastic at the cuff to mimic a peasant blouse.  The linen stands out more from the body but has a pretty, classic shape with the pattern.
Rayon:   I found that the Rayon (below in a size 6) has draped the best for me.
It fit the best in the shoulders and bust area and draped beautifully.  It hugs the body in a forgiving way when combined with this pattern(important when you had a baby 10 months ago).  The sleeves are shortened a bit here.

Cotton:  The gingham (cut in a size 4) is a shirting weight and like a lot of medium weight cottons it had a tendency to stand away from my body more and look (of course) more structured. This was a size too small for me but perhaps it will fit after I stop breastfeeding.  I made the size 4 based on a rayon muslin and quickly learned that the rayon fitting did not translate to a cotton fitting.   The rayon has a tendency to give more and stretch out during construction therefore it can alter your results and its even more important to stay stitch while you sew.
The next cotton was a quilting cotton(below).   
This was a straight quilting cotton made in a size 6 and fit perfectly.  As you can see the drape is different from the rayon and linen.  The cottons, as opposed to the rayon and linen, don't move with my body as easily. 
This has been a fun experiment for me and really solidified the idea that matching pattern with the right fabric has a big impact on how much I want to wear the garment and the look of the finished product.  The Laurel is a pretty quick pattern to sew up thats why I was able to crank out so many and when I finally got the fit right it was a pleasure to sew knowing that the fit would be flattering as well!  I see myself using the pattern many more times in the future.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A pattern for Rudolph!

I've had this length of Rudolph fabric for a while now and while it makes me smile everytime I look at it I couldn't figure out what to do with it.  So now I've finally found a pattern for it and I love it.  I used the Colette Laurel pattern and it has been great to work with.  I felt this fabric might really put it to the test since it is so busy.  I was smiling the whole time I was cutting it out and sewing it.  It just makes me that happy to sew Rudolph fabric.  I may even have to wear it this summer, it makes me that happy. 
You can see all the scenes and characters, theres Yukon Cornelius (smak, smak, smak aahhh nothing), Rudolph (Put her down!), Herbie (I'm am not just a nitwit), the island of Misfit Toys (Even among misfits you're a misfit), the Abominable, snow man guy, Santa(lets hope he grow out of it).
Anything that makes me smile this much shouldn't be put away until Christmas right?
The pattern has been great to work with, the only change I made to this one was to move the darts down a bit. Well early Merry Christmas to all and to all a crafty night!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Self-printed rayon and Laurel pattern

This whole project is a result of my not paying attention to the heat setting of the iron and scorching my entire yardage of red rayon.  The scorches where faint but at the right angle you could see the pattern of the iron...ugghhh.  So I was motivated to make the fabric a print and also had a good excuse to paint it since I really had nothing to lose! 
I used some fabric paint that I've had in my stash for a while. 

AJ really liked this heart print and wanted a dress for herself from it! 
The stamps were made of craft foam cut into shapes.  Its the craft foam that all those kids stickers are made from, know the one's I mean Holly? 
So here's the shirt and I used the Colette Laurel pattern.  Its a fairly simple pattern with lots of room for embellishment and alterations. 
Here's the close up of the neckline.  I've been trying to stash bust my trims and laces.  This is a tiny black loop trim.  Its hard to see here but I love the simple effect.  Hopefully I can get some pictures of me in it soon.  I also made a dress from the heart fabric but it didn't turn out as well so we'll see if I have the courage to put it out there!  Happy stitching!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter dress #2 and how i get things done...

Easter dress for little G is finally finished.  It went slower, teething baby plus spotty sleep for Mommy means that there are lots of stops and gos for a dress project.  Also at one point I thought I was all done with the dress, photographed it and looked at the picture scratching my head thinking "whats missing."  The next day realized that I'd forgotten to read all the sewing instructions and left out a pleat at the bottom of the dress.  I guess when you've been sewing long enough you just toss the instructions but when you combine that with sleep deprivations things might get left out.  So I will show you the dress before the pleat was added and after.
And after the pleat and some lace detail:
Looks better right? And here are some detail close-ups.
And this is how I got the dress done:
In the far background is where AJ played with littlest petshopsand my vintage She-ras ;) and Little G played with everything else. Notice the pillow set up as a barrier between the toys.  Little G is getting better and better at manuevering herself around to get what she wants.  At one point she was layed over the barrier pillow whining to get to the petshops.  Poor baby, its so hard to be a baby.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Easter dress #1

I completed one Easter dress today!  I love doing Easter dresses each year and try to always pick a pattern that has a sewing element I've never tried or that looks fiddly.  I get a little frustrated at times with fiddly dress patterns but see Easter as a special time to put forth more effort with the fiddly things.
Its hard to tell from this picture but the waist of this dress has three tucks.  They were indeed a test of patience trying to first trace them with worthless tracing paper and secondly trying to line them up!  But its all worth it for Easter!  AJ said she loved the dress and wants to wear it which is great!

Heres a close up of the bodice.  The pattern is a Butterick but I don't know the number off the bat.
And for the Grandmothers heres some kiddo goodness.
A much neglected doll finally getting some love.
 AJ playing in her corner by the window.  She likes to look out the window for "red robins."
And AJ midtwirl declaring last Sunday night as "the best night ever" because Aunt Mimi and Nana were visiting.  Happy sewing!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Clothing labels, getting ready for summer wardrobe

I've been getting inspired about sewing for this summer and now that I have two girls to sew for I feel like I need further out to plan. As I've been gathering fabrics and sewing patterns I've also been making clothing tags. Going through AJ's old clothes and trying to figure out the sizing has been a real guessing game when trying to dress baby G. So I thought I should start putting tags in the clothes. I used some screen printing paint, rubber stamps and unfinished biased tape.

The finished product turned out pretty good.

 AJ fits into some fives and some fours so next up are some four tags. I anticipate baby G being in 12 month clothes this summer. She's getting longer!
Also here's a link for giggles have a great day! Elmo Pizza Box dance Love that Sesame Street.

Friday, February 22, 2013

New curtains

I have been slowly working on the baby's room to make it look more circus themed and its a slow evolution but I'm pleased with some of the results. This week I finished her curtains. I even added some blackout backing to them to make her room darker for naps. The pictures turned out dark because of the blackout fabric. AJ told me the curtains remind her of a cake because of the ruffles. Also our other news is that AJ lost her first tooth this week. She was eating her "cheese between" breakfast sandwich and came to me and said "I think my tooth fell out!" She said that at first "I thought it was a hard piece of cheese and spit it out to ask you if it was my tooth." Much excitement! While one looses a tooth the other one is getting a new tooth. Good times.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Finished project for me and some works in progress

Here is the finished project that was solely for me. I love selfish sewing like this and this is the first piece of satisfying sewing I've done for myself since our little baby G was born.
Granted these pictures are terrible but you get the general idea of the peter pan collar. I would have used the timer on the camera but those pictures were even worse. And for good measure here is some baby goodness enjoying her time on the deck in the sunshine.
Her hair was blowing in the breeze and super adorable but I couldn't catch a good shot of it for the blog. Finally here are two works in progress that I hope turn out well. One is for the baby's circus themed room and the other is for a place in the house yet to be determined. I loved the shape of the lamp but it needs paint or polish, not sure which one. The carousel is cute but I think it needs to be painted white. I'll let you know how they turn out.