Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 - The September Tunic and Hosh Pants

The days of the Perfect Pattern Parcel are winding down - only 3 more days to purchase this collection if you're interested...

Next up on my sewing list was the September Tunic and the Nosh Pants.  These are two patterns that I had never attempted, so I was eager to give them both a go.

The September Tunic is a pattern by toosweetpatterns on Etsy.  I had actually never heard of nor seen this pattern sewed up.  When I got the Pattern Parcel, however, I was pretty sure that this would be right up my child's alley.

I chose a Kokka double gauze fabric from the shop.  It's nautical themed, which I love, and it's in kind of muted tones - grey, and pinkish and bluish tones.  As double gauze is really soft, I knew it would give me exactly the drape I was looking for to show off the adorable bell-sleeves on the tunic.

I had never made the Hosh Pants before, although I'd seen them all over Instagram.  They're a straight leg, flat front pant with buttonhole elastic in the back.  They're made from one pattern piece for the legs, so no itchy seam on the outside.  I had to actually go shopping to find a stretch bottom weight - the pattern indicates that knits would not be among the recommended fabrics.  I found some great Robert Kaufman stretch sateen that I loved.  So much that I bought several colors.....and, then, ordered some for the shop (coming soon!)....

Some tiny changes/additions I made to the patterns:

The September Tunic - I decided not to have it button all the way down the back, and just stitched it up to the yoke at the back seam.  Less buttons, less buttonholes.  I added a bit of eyelet lace to the sleeves and bottom.  I'm not really an "eyelet" person, but I think it works.  The kid liked it.

The Hosh Pants - I unfortunately couldn't find a lick of buttonhole elastic in my stash, and made a special trip to the local Joann's to find some.  They didn't have any either.  So, I just stitched in the elastic.  I may un-pick it when I find some buttonhole elastic as I think it would work better the way the waistband is constructed.  I added a couple of patch pockets on the back, with some nautical inspired embroidery from Urban Threads.  A seriously dangerous website if you have an embroidery machine.  Actually, it's not at all expensive, and they frequently have specials on designs that are $1.49.  So, expect to see more embroidery from me in the future!

Don't forget to check the "Julia's Views" page for the lowdown from the 4 year old!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 - The Hanami by StraightGrain

When I got the email asking me if I'd participate in the blog tour for Pattern Parcel I was absolutely delighted!  First of all, that they even asked me.  Then, when I saw the list of patterns, I knew I'd have some fun.

The first one I sewed was the Hanami Pattern by An, from Straight Grain.  I was one of the testers for this pattern, so I know it well.  I also know that it is one of my kid's faves - the dresses she pulls from the closet first when I let her choose.

For this version, I decided to make the most absolute simple version of the dress.  I wanted to use a Yuwa lawn from the shop - for some unknown reason, called "Thrilling Black".

The photo doesn't show the selvedge on the fabric - it's pretty wide, so I decided just to use it as a contrast band along the botton.  

This is the first - and not last - I've ever sewn with a lawn fabric.  It's super easy to sew, as it's 100% cotton.   Washed up great as well.  And, best of all for the kid, it's really light weight.  

So I went a bit crazy with the photos, so get ready....

Our dog willingly came along for the photo shoot, and I actually think she liked it!

I used the cross back option, and this time (as opposed to the other times I made the pattern) I actually paid attention to the buttonhole placement.  Makes it much neater in the back!

Now that I've actually put in two invisible zippers, I'm going to make up a Hanami version with a zip and the adorable little collar.  And, I still haven't made the tunic version.....

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 is only available for a few more days, so go check it out!

Ok, one last photo of my kid.....and, check out the "Julia's Views" page for her thoughts on the Hanami!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 - What I Made!

So, I'm sure by now, pretty much everyone in the sewing blogosphere has heard about Perfect Pattern Parcel, but if you haven't, here's the scoop:

You get a bunch of great patterns by some great designers.  You choose your price.  You support indie designers, AND support children's education through Donor's Choose.  Seriously.

Here's the patterns from Parcel #2:

Hanami Top or Dress by Straight Grain Hosh Pants by LoubeeClothing Celestial Tee by Figgy’s September Tunic & Dress by Too Sweets Patterns Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations BONUS pattern: Prefontaine Shorts by Made With Moxie

And, here's what I made:


Seriously, I made all these great looks (two dresses, one tunic, one top, two pairs of pants and one pair of shorts) from some seriously great patterns!

Here's a few photos from my bazillion I took over this past week - also with Kids Clothes Week going on:

I'm going to do a separate post for each pattern/pattern combination, so stay tuned for a lot more pictures and details of my sewing experience.  AND, a new "feature" on my blog posts - Julia's Views.  Yes, you'll get the scoop on what a 4 year old thinks of her new outfits.  Unfiltered and unvarnished.  Wait for it!

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

Thanks so much to the folks at Perfect Pattern Parcel for asking me to contribute - I so enjoyed it and am happy to be a teeny tiny part of their wonderful program!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Spinny Tinny

So my daughter named this the "spinny" dress.  Aptly named.

I've been working on this one a while.  Not because it was hard, necessarily.  I've been doing it bit by bit, and FINALLY finished.

The pattern is the Tinny dress by Straightgrain.  I've made her Hanami dress a couple of times, and they're some of Julia's most worn dresses.  The Hanami is a pretty basic sew, but the Tinny is definitely more detailed.  There's tons of options, and one of these is a circle skirt.  Knowing my kid, I knew that the ultra spinny circle skirt would make her happy.

I was right.

Yup, she loves it.

The sewing details - the dress has options for the collar, the sleeves, and the skirt.  It has an invisible zipper in the back - the first time I've ever done one in all my many years of sewing!  And, yeah, what was I waiting for.....looks SO professional, and was really easy.

I used some 100% cotton from Riley Blake - a little floral from their Matryoshka line from my shop.  I thought it went with the retro vibe of the dress. 

Problem is, for some reason, I thought I should start making size 5's.  Well, I was wrong.  The bodice was way too big.  So, I put a couple of pleats in the back and took in probably about 4 inches.   It fits much better, but for sure next time I'm going to make a size 4.  I added a bias strip at the waist, mostly because my husband said it needed something.  I think I like it.  I would have added it all the way around the waist, but I was literally looking in the trash for more scraps of the contrast purple.  It just wasn't meant to be.

So, a highly recommended pattern!!!  I'll be making another one soon.....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An Easy Peasy Party Dress

Lindsay at The Cottage Mama has a free pattern on her blog.  You just sign up for her newsletter, and you get it.  Easy peasy.

It's really a basic bodice dress that you can really do anything with.  I made it up as part of her testing process, but really, once you get the size down, you really could use your imagination and make this into any type of dress for your kid....you could make it a tunic, lower the bodice and make a drop waist dress, add a collar, sleeves, or whatever.

Here's my pictures from testing....

The fabric is from Robert Kaufman, from Laurie Wisbrun's Perfectly Perched line.  

After taking these pictures, I decided to remove the sash and added a white grograin ribbon across the front with a small bow.  A bit more practical for day-to-day wear, and just as cute.

Thanks to Lindsay for a really versatile - and FREE - pattern!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Raglan Re-Do

Over at the Oliver + S blog, they've been doing a series of posts about changing up their raglan t-shirt pattern.  There's a whole bunch of great ideas there, but the one that got me going was the color blocking one.

Now, I've made probably a bazillion raglan t-shirts in my sewing career.  I've sewn with knits for years, and the raglan t-shirt pattern from Kwik Sew (my back-up go-to pattern company) was a staple of mine.  There's something really satisfying in making up one of these t-shirts; they're so quick, and I've never had one rejected by any of my kids for not being comfortable/stylish or any other reason.

Well, one of my co-workers went on a six-week visit to her home in India.  Lucky woman.  I really don't even know how you return to work after being gone 6 weeks.  She brought me back a lovely bag:

I, however, am not a funky bag type of person.  I have one purse, that I use until it dies.  Then, I buy another.  I don't change bags to go with what I'm wearing - I generally wear black, and my purse is always black.  Yeah, boring, I know!  Well, when I looked at this bag, I thought about what I could turn it into....and, after cutting it up into strips, came up with this:

My original idea was much more ornate, but when I put the trim on the sweatshirt, I knew simple would be better.  I used some wonderful cottony sweatshirt fleece.  I bought it at least 19 years ago from a shop in Toronto.  I used to go there all the time, and bought many, many meters of his wonderful fleece.  I still have about 3 yards of a light blue left, but this little bit of the off-white is the last of this.  I really feel like I'll never find fleece as nice as this ever again.

I added a hood to the size 6 t-shirt.  I knew I had to go up a couple of sizes to accommodate the heavier fabric.  I also made a bit of a high/low hem to make it a bit more girly.  I used a hood from a Kwik Sew pattern I had for my older kids and the size  6 hood fit EXACTLY in the neck for the raglan.  Yes, meant to be!  I lined the hood with some random cotton print I had, and I think it works.

The sweatshirt is perfect for a gray morning on the beach.  I walked along the beach with Julia this morning, and based on her request, I may add a kangaroo pocket to the front.  I believe I can squeeze one out of the remnants.

I'm really, really happy with the way this turned out!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tulip Tunic and Dress

Heidi and Finn Patterns came out with a new pattern - it's for knits, and comes with the option for a tunic or a dress.  Really cute.  It's their Tulip Tunic and Dress pattern, and you can get it in either sizes 12 months - 12 years, or if you prefer, for sizes 12 months to 5T.

I got the opportunity to test it out for them.  I previously tested another of their patterns, their Ballet Sweater, which Julia wears to dance class all the time.  So, I knew their patterns fit well, were really well thought out, and were a great result.

This was my first version, before she revised the sleeves.  Some of the testers cut a bunch of inches off their sleeves, but maybe my kid has long arms because they were really just about an inch too long.  Once people started submitting their test photos, a bunch of people mentioned that the pattern would easily be made into a dress, so Christine adapted the pattern into a dress length as well.

Here's my next versions - you can see the great bodice detail better with these fabric combos:

Really cute, eh?  No sleeves to set in - by the dress version, I think I cut and sewed it up in less than an hour.  The fabric for both tops were interlock jersey from my stash, and the dress version is velour on the top, and sweatshirt fleece on the bottom.  So, really, you can definitely use different weight fabric in this pattern.  I was also thinking of trying using a non-knit for the bottom part, and maybe making a tunic without the bottom band....so, another versatile pattern that I'm sure I'm going to be getting a lot of use out of!
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