Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Bedford in Double Gauze...

I have been sorely neglecting this little blog lately....I have been sewing, but not doing such a great job of documenting.

I have lost a bit of my sew-jo - at least for right now.  Julia will be going to a public school next year (kindergarten - finally!) and they wear uniforms.  Navy blue, white.  The end.  Nothing else.  I went to my local shop and bought some white blouse fabric, and a bunch of navy in various substrates - very nice, but boring nonetheless.

I recall when I sewed for my older children, school uniforms really became the demise of my sewing.  Once they wear school uniforms, and are involved in sports, really all they wear are athletic wear and uniforms.  For a while, I sewed my older daughter's gymnastics leotards.  Then, I took about a 10 year sewing hiatus.....

Anyways, I've been working slowly on a super-cute top for the past couple of weeks.  It wasn't difficult; I just get interrupted and side-tracked very easily.  The top is the Bedford Top from Brooklyn Patterns.  This is their second pattern release - previously, they opened up shop with one pattern - the Franklin Dress.  I bought that pattern as a result of the many cute ones on their blog tour...but haven't had a chance to sew it yet. 

The Bedford Dress and Top has an amazing back - even my daughter said to me that she loves the back and that the people who made it did a really good job on the pattern.  Now that's a serious compliment!

This is a size 4 with 6 length.  Seriously, this back!

The pattern is drafted very well - line drawings, not photos in the instructions.  I'm personally huge on line drawings and not a big fan of photos in instructions - but that's just my personal preference.  I spent a good deal of time putting in the zipper.  I actually hand-basted it in because I wanted to get it just right.  When you have a bold feature, you want to make sure it's not wonky!

I actually intended to make the dress, but due to a cutting error/fabric miserly mistake, I ended up with the top.  The fabric is a Kokka double gauze from my shop - it's really Julia's favorite fabric substrate. 

How goofy is the child??

Ok, just a couple more photos.....

There will be more sewing soon - and I hope it's not all navy blue and white!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Spring 2015!!

*****The giveaway is now closed - thanks to all who entered!******

Thanks for stopping by!

Here's the scoop of what I'm giving away - a $40 gift card to my shop!

Yes, I not only sew most of my 5 year old's clothes, but I also have an on-line fabric shop, Urban Sew.

These are all items I made with fabric from my shop....if I only had more time to sew!!

We carry quilting cottons, garment fabric including linen and double gauze, Japanese fabric like Kokka and Yuwa, and knits - something for everyone!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter my giveaway - the only thing you must do is the blog comment, the rest are optional for additional entries.  Good luck, and have fun with all the giveaways!

***Please click on the Rafflecopter hyperlink below for the additional entries; for some reason, the widget doesn't always show up!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tula Pink meets Oliver and S for Kids Clothes Week

In the next late-blog post that should have been written last week....

Here is an ADORABLE skirt that has already been worn twice since I made it -

This skirt - the Oliver + S Hula Hoop Skirt.  It's reversible.  It's girly, but not frilly.  It has a drop waist, and a flounce that shows off the underside accent fabric.  Enough said?

Once I figured out where the notches go, it took me no time whatsoever to put this together.  Since I made this one, I slapped together another one that is waiting patiently to get photographed....

The fabric is quilting cotton from Tula Pink's Elizabeth line from my shop.  I love using a bold print for a skirt; it doesn't overpower the kid and you can be as funky as you like.  And, I seriously love some funky prints....obviously!!

And, yes, you can dance in it!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

First up for Kid's Clothes Week Spring 2015....

This is how blogging during Kid's Clothes Week ends up - a back burner to the actual sewing and photographing.

This dress was made probably in 5 minute spurts; lots of them.  This was actually how I used to sew in the "old days" when my 3 older kids were little.  I would just leave a project out on the sewing table, and every time I walked by, I'd sew a teeny bit.  Things actually did get made that way.

This dress started because we got a bunch of really nice linen in the shop.  Now, when I was a kid, and I would shop with my mom, she would always tell me never to get linen because it wrinkles too much.  Since learning more about fibers, and kids clothes, I think that linen is perfect for kids clothes.  Yes, it wrinkles.  Yes, you can both wash and machine dry it.  You can iron it.  It's super durable.  So, if you can stand an imperfect slightly wrinkled look on your kid (which I actually like) then linen is for you.

This pattern is the Little Ellie dress from Peach Patterns (formerly Wink Designs).  It's a really sweet pattern - what I absolutely love is the round yoke.  The directions are excellent, and the yoke kind of goes together like a magic trick with no exposed seams anywhere. 

So, the red linen is a great dress weight.  My child likes breezy dresses, and this is what she gets.  The print fabric is a quilting cotton - a very large scale print by Jane Sassaman's Wild Child collection.  I'm a huge lover of large scale prints, but probably not on an entire dress.  When you cut it up as an accent, it's pretty much perfect.

See the butterfly?  So, it works for Kids Clothes Week theme of Wild Things, right??

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Oliver + S - All The Skirts (by me!)

Have you been following along with the ladies' at Skirt Fixation and their quest to sew All The Skirts?

Well, they asked me to round up the Oliver + S skirts I had sewn - it was quite a little trip down my sewing-memory-lane...

The absolute first pattern I bought and garment I sewed using an Oliver + S pattern was the Sailboat skirt - I combined it the Hopscotch top for an adorable outfit for my then 18 month old:

When girls are still little, they have a combination of diaper butt and protruding gut that makes skirt wearing (in my opinion!) a bit of a style challenge.  But, not to be deterred, I made another:

I have made a few of the Lazy Days skirts - a FREE, and totally simple skirt with an ingenious hem finish:

Another pattern that I've made multiples of is the Hopscotch Skirt - I made a denim version with no pockets, and a linen/cotton one with pockets.  For both, I didn't do buttons down the front; I just sewed the buttons on through all layers.  The skirt pulled on easily, so for my kid's shape, functioning buttons were not necessary.

Another super cute pattern that I need to re-visit is the skirt from the Sunday Brunch pattern...

I have an idea to make this in a knit - I think my daughter would really love it in a comfy fabric.  It's a great pattern!

I've also sewed multiples of the 2+2 skirt - a great pleated skirt pattern - can't go wrong with a pleated skirt!

It seems as if I rarely pair the skirt/top from the same pattern - which really shows you that the Oliver + S patterns are very versatile and can be paired up any way you like.  My daughter wore the skirt from the Clippers outfit to death - she really liked it!

Last, but not least, was a kind of bold-colored corduroy Music Class skirt - another ingenious pattern that I need to re-visit!

So, I've not made all the Oliver + S skirts - I don't own the Badminton Skort pattern (no clue why!).  I took advantage of the discount code offered to buy a Hula Hoop skirt pattern.  And, I own, but have never made, the Swing Set skirt (although I've made the top). 

So, pop back over to the Skirt Fixation blog, and enter to win Oliver + S patterns and gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop!  And don't forget the discount code for the Oliver + S site - I know I didn't!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tula Pink Meets Oliver and S

When new patterns are released by my fave pattern company, I always read what the designer says about them - one of the things that struck me when the Hide and Seek Dress and Tunic was released was that the designer indicated that the yoke would be a great place to feature an unusual or special fabric.

Well, I bought that pattern.  Never made it. 

Then, the Elizabeth Line from Tula Pink arrived.  What to do with a beautiful portrait of a 16th century Queen Elizabeth?  Well, put it right in the middle of my 5 year old's chest, what else!

We will be taking a quick trip to the east coast in a couple of weeks, and my daughter's wardrobe is not ready for this.  I decided to make this pattern in tunic length out of a fairly substantial knit - magenta ponte de roma double knit from the shop.  I'm SO happy with my decision....

Seriously, who else on the planet will have a tunic like this one??!!

She likes it, and already got unsolicited compliments from her father and older sister, so success!

Note on the pattern - this is a size 4 with three inches in length added.  She can definitely wear this for at least a year, I'd imagine.

Monday, February 16, 2015

February Free-For-All - Popover Sundress Inspiration

Welcome to visitors from the Frances Suzanne blog - what a great idea they had to showcase free patterns!!

Where do you get inspiration for your sewing?

I *used* to rely heavily on the now near-dead Flickr website.  When I started sewing for my youngest, I got tons of inspiration there - I "favorited" items to document where I'd like to go with my sewing.  When I started a new creation, I'd go there to see what other people had done with similar patterns.  I joined groups, made friends.

Then, Flickr pretty much died.

Now, I get lots of inspiration searching Instagram.  But, unless people hashtag correctly or in a predictable manner, it's tough to really keep track of what you like.   I've never been much of a Pinterest person.  So, when I signed on to showcase a free pattern, I - of course - chose an Oliver + S pattern, then went back to my old friend, the Flickr group.  A group of folks who do seem to still hang with Flickr are the O+S people - which is a good thing.

I chose the Oliver + S Popover Sundress.  Even though this is a free pattern, it includes all the high quality finishes you expect from an Oliver + S pattern, including a bonus doll pattern.  Little things like a beautifully finished yoke, and a reminder to iron down your stitches to set them really set Oliver + S patterns apart.  In my opinion!

I had made this previously for a charity event making dresses to send to Haiti, but never for my child.  When I'm searching Flickr for inspiration, I search first the pattern name within the group, then refine by "interesting".  Who knows exactly how Flickr determines interesting, but it definitely gives you good results.

When I searched the Flickr pool for the Popover Sundress, I found some interesting trends.  It seems like some of the most popular sundresses were:

  1.   made from large scale prints
  2.   made from plain fabric, with lace inserted in the yoke
  3.   made from a border print or applique

So, in the spirit of trying to be interesting, I made 3.

Here's my large scale print...

For this version, I used some very interesting Kokka double gauze from my shop.  I shortened it into a tunic.  Since this was a woven, I decided to try a size 5.  Probably a bad decision.  I used foldover elastic for the straps - a good decision.  However, this particular FOE was a bit too narrow.  Still, in spite of the pitiful look on my child (stomachache) she does really like this top.  A lot.

Here's a phone picture later in the day to prove it!

I was struggling for inspiration for a border/applique version.  Then, sadly, I got inspiration from my old dog Luther.  Luther went to doggie heaven this past weekend.  A very, very tough weekend in our house.  I decided to do a black lab version of the Popover Sundress - more for my benefit than anyone else's.  (If you'd like to see photos of Luther in his heyday, you can check my photo website here: - Luther is the black lab mix.)

For this version, I used some more fabric from my shop (yes, more shameless promotion!!) - a ponte de roma double knit.  Seriously great fabric, seriously great to work with.  Since the Kokka top turned out big, I sized down to a size 4 with 6 length.  This one worked perfectly.  Until......the kid put it on and FREAKED OUT about the ties at the shoulders.  No, those are NOT going to work for her.  After the photos, I cut off the ends of the ties.  She seems to be ok with it.

Last, but certainly not least, I made a basic black dress from more ponte de roma double knit with some very nice organic lace from Organic Cotton Plus at the bodice.  Really, this dress can go anywhere. For this version, I used a wider foldover elastic - much better.

Julia wore this black dress out to dinner tonight - at the restaurant, she told me that she wants more dresses like this - oh yeah, success!

Thanks to Ashley and Emily for asking me to participate - such great inspiration from a bunch of very talented bloggers!

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