A Hanukkah Show Playdate....

Monday, December 10, 2012

My daughter goes to a Jewish pre-school.  We're actually no religion, but certainly celebrate Christmas....so, she needed something to wear for the annual Hanukkah show - which will feature Julia's rendition of "Latkes and Applesauce" along with her classmates...sneak preview here:

Click here to watch the video:  Julia sings...

I wanted to make her a dress using the Playdate Dress pattern from Oliver + S.  I made her one previously, and she hated it.  So, not to be deterred, I tried it again:

It's made from very dark navy blue stretch velvet left over from my gymnastic leotard making days....the yoke is linen, with a lace insert.  I considered doing embroidery on the yoke, but I'm glad I didn't.  I don't even have buttons for it, and I may just leave it like this.

It's a size 3 with about 3 inches added to the bottom.  A perfect fit.

Talk about hard to photograph.....

Anyways, here's a couple of modeled shots....I asked her if she'd like to wear it for her show on Friday, and she said yes.....so, we'll see!

Success on several counts....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I'm making a concerted effort to:

- use up fabric that I've had for more years than I want to own up to,
- use my machine's embroidery features,
- take into consideration Julia's "style" and what she likes and wants to wear (regardless of my "style")

This one worked for all three:

It's made from purple velour that I've had in a Tupperware bin in my garage for at least 17 years.  I know this because the tag from the moving company is still on the bin from when I moved from Canada to California in 1995!

I used the Oliver + S Class Picnic top pattern.  I saw this modification on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/disdressed/6949853281/in/faves-janice4839/ made by the maker of the Oliver + S pattern, so I know it would totally work!  It's simply elongating the torso, and adding a ruffle.  Easy, except that she recommended that the ruffle should start halfway between the wearer's waist and hipbone - since I couldn't find either Julia's waist, nor hipbone, I kind of just punted!  It actually came out kind of long, but she loves it:

It spins!!!

Once a dress passes the spin test, and it has no tags to itch, and soft fabric, she might just wear it!  Time will tell!

I used some variegated thread to make the snowflakes - I was very pleased the way they came out.

I made this in a size 4, and since it's pretty long, I have hope that she may be able to wear it again next year....

I'm just about to get started with some Christmas sewing.....I have lots on my list, including a baby gift for one of my co-workers....should be a fun month!

Soft, Cozy, Bedtime Story PJ's

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Oliver + S Bedtime Story pajama pattern was one of the first I wanted, and of course was out of print before I discovered O+S patterns.  It took a while to hunt it down, then, for some reason, I never sewed them....

My kid actually needed pajamas since the weather FINALLY turned a bit cooler.  I chose some really sweet flannel from Riley Blake from their Alphabet Soup line.  I love the colors.

They are a size 3T, with plenty of room to grow.  I'm sure I can use this pattern for another year, and lengthen it before I need to buy the size up.

It really makes a huge difference getting flannel that is bit more expensive, rather than buying the crap sold at Joann's.  I've purchased flannel from there before - on sale - and it was a huge special - like $1.97 a yard or something.  Well, they got all pilly, and rough.  So, what was the point of saving a few dollars....

Here's the pajamas...

And, some modeled shots with the actual morning-hair!

She likes them - proclaimed them "soft and cozy" - and volunteered for photos.  What more can I ask?!

She is kind of a nut sometimes.....

Apple Picking Dress for the birthday girl!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

So my daughter turned 3 this week.  It's seriously hard to believe that she's been on the planet 3 years.  Since she's the 4th (and for sure final) kid, I'm savoring every single minute with her.

I made her this dress last weekend from an Oliver + S pattern - the apple-picking dress in a size 3T with 4T length:

The fabric is corduroy, from Westminster fabric, from my shop.  It's really soft, and a nice shade of pink.

I really wanted it to be something that she liked - girly, spinning, pink, soft fabric.  So, I chose carefully.   I chose buttons carefully, and embellished with some variegated thread using my machine's decorative stitches.

Then, the weather turned 95 degrees....

So, she didn't wear the dress on her birthday, as planned.  We had a small family party.  Her brothers and sister chose gifts for her - her architect student brother bought her Legos, her gymnast sister bought her a Gymnast Dora doll, and her athlete, cool kid brother bought her jewelry and clothes.  Very appropriate gifts from her siblings, and she loved them all.  She also got an easel, Peppa Pig characters, and these boots and umbrella combo.

We managed to take some pictures this morning to send to the grandparents of the newly 3 year old girl....

She's not a big fan of the tie at the neck....for some reason, she is bothered by certain details and says they're scratchy, or uncomfortable.  I may have to think of some way to modify the neck closure on this, because it really is a beautifully put together pattern.  The placket is wonderful really.

So, more sewing for cooler weather this long weekend.....and, more walks at the lagoon for sure....

Two Ice Creams

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This weekend, we have a very special birthday to go to - my daughter's former babysitter's daughter's first birthday.  So, another opportunity to make a gift using an Oliver + S pattern.

I made her an Ice Cream dress, in size 12-18 months.  I've made 3 of the tops previously, and they go together so nicely, with all the seams either enclosed or finished. 

I used a really cute Robert Kaufman print from their Urban Circus line.  I really like it with the green - I used corduroy - and the gift recipient is a blond, blue eyed adorable baby, so I think these colors will look great.  This was the first time I made the dress, and I think I put together the hem facing upside down, and I didn't notice the instruction to understitch the facing.  

Next up was another one, this time for Julia.  I'm trying really hard to consider what she'll actually wear, as opposed to what I think I'd like her to wear.  At this point, she really doesn't want to wear pants.  Or even leggings.  Or t-shirts.  Only pretty dresses.  That's the bottom line.

I made this one out of an absolutely screaming print I've had in my stash forever.  It's from Alexander Henry, and I know I've had it for about 10 years.  I actually love the detail in the print, but even I have to admit it's pretty screaming.  I paired it with a red corduroy, but after I actually put it on my child, I realize that the red is too much of an orange red.  So, next time, I'll seek out a more blue toned red.  This is a 2T with 3T length.  No notches in the neck or pockets, cause, I'm lazy sometimes.

Still, when I finished it, she put it on with absolutely no fight, and cooperated with me taking photos.  Success!!

 I had a hard time with the levels in the photos because it was a pretty gray day, and the red and all the other colors were really bold.  Still, I like the way the photos came out - especially since the kid was cooperative.

We really don't get a lot of rain around here, so she got  a chance to do one of her favorite thing....jump in muddy puddles!  (We're big Peppa Pig fans around here...)

I love the lagoon across the street from us - we see the coolest birds!!

KCWC - Days 6 and 7....and, Success!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

For the last of KCWC, I made a jacket from a pattern I had downloaded from Etsy, from Dear My Kids.  This was the first time I tried one of their patterns, and it won't be the last because I now own 6 of their patterns....

The pattern came together well, but there were a couple of spots I didn't get.  For example, the back isn't cut on the fold, rather pieced together so there's a seam down the middle.  The pleat then is sewn about an inch from the seam.  To me, unless there's something I'm missing, it would look so much better without the middle seam.  So, that's what I'll do next time.  And, I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to attach the sleeves at the hem when turning the jacket right-side-out after sewing the lining.  Other than that, the pattern went together beautifully.  I thought I'd have more issues with the curved yoke, but it fit perfectly and looks really nice.  I have another jacket planned with this same pattern in a light blue corduroy lined with some of my hoarded Cape Ann fabric.

Here's the jacket:
It's a size 4, which turned out HUGE!  I was thinking that I should make it big, because I want her to wear it for a while, but I'm thinking she could wear this til she's in kindergarten!  I'll definitely sew a 3 (if not a 2) next time.

The fabric is a Kokka canvas, or so they call it.  Canvas, to me, is hard and scratchy, but this is not.  I washed it and line dried it, per the manufacturer's instructions, and it's really soft and comfortable.  It's just not heavyweight.  The lining is shot cotton.  It's a pretty lightweight jacket, but definitely good for an outer layer.

Here's all the things I made this week....I'm pretty damned pleased with myself!!

KCWC - Days 3 & 4 - Beaucoup de Flashbacks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

So, days 3 and 4 of KCWC are workdays.  I work about 10 hours per day, so there was really not a lot of time to sew.  What I did was use a pattern I had purchased a while ago, but not used to make a bunch of shirts - something my kid actually does need.

I was lucky enough to be a tester for Made By Rae's Washi dress, so I know how much thought and detail she puts into her patterns, especially the sizing.  So, for the Flashback Skinny tee, I trusted Rae and measured my daughter and decided to use a size 2 pattern, but lengthen the body by 3 inches.  It worked perfectly.

I was able to make all these shirts using only fabrics I had in my stash.  My oldest daughter is/was a gymnast, so I've got tons of cotton lycra left over from leotards.  Both of the floral shirts are the really stretchy knit with spandex.  The turquoise stripe and the Minnie Mouse fabrics are both interlock, and the grey is a really soft rib knit.  I applique'd the bold "J" on the stripe because after I put it together, I thought it needed something extra.

They're not hemmed yet because my plan is to take out the twin needle and hem them.

Here's the individual photos:
My favorite is the peach floral, but the gray one is a shirt that I'd wear for myself.

Now, on to the last project (or two)......

KCWC - Day 2....Sunday Brunch and a Flashback

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I took off sick (cough, cough) and was able to put together a skirt and a knit top for the fall.  My idea for this outfit is to pair it with some grey tights, and some black boots to complete the outfit.

The skirt is a canvas-weight cotton from Kokka.  I would say it's a bit lighter than denim, but not a fabric that's going to be a flow-y, spinning skirt that my 2 year old likes.  I think this fabric would also make a really cool tote, or backpack.

I'm really lucky to be able to personally go to the one distributor for Kokka fabric in the U.S. as they are based about 15 minutes from where I live.  I get to go, and browse through all the Kokka, Nani Iro, etc. fabrics and order for my shop.  It's very dangerous, as much as I love Japanese fabric!

The fabric designer is Yusuke Yonezu.  Here's more info about the fabric line:  http://www.trueup.net/2011/quilt-market/fall-quilt-market-2011-kiyohara-nakaniwa-by-yusuke-yonezu/

Here's the skirt:
There's little things about Kokka fabrics that I love - here's a picture of the selvedge:
I have no idea what I'd ever do with that selvedge, other than maybe a label or a trim, but it made me happy.

The top is the Flashback Skinny Tee from Made by Rae.  This is a really nice, downloadable pattern.  I've made about a bazillion t-shirts for my older kids (usually using Kwik Sew patterns) so I'm not afraid of knits and know how to apply ribbing.  I used a really soft grey knit, and I think I may make another in a turtleneck out of the same fabric.

My next project for KCWC is several more Flashback Tees in an assortment of fabrics and colors....stay tuned!

KCWC - An Early Start

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm really ready to go and get a good start on my fall sewing.  I've been organizing, and planning for a couple of weeks.  Since I never know during the week when I'll get time to sew, I started today.  I sewed both this morning, and during afternoon nap time.  I managed to make a really cute outfit:

I used the Class Picnic top from Oliver + S, plus the music class skirt.  I made the top this morning, and since it was the third one I'd made, I had no problems with the sewing.  What I did have, however, was problems with the cutting.  I really can't explain what I did, but I did have a plan with the fabric, which is a Nani Iro double gauze.  I planned to cut the top yoke, and the top of the sleeves from the predominantly white part, and have the more orange part at the bottom of the sleeve and the front/back.  What I did, somehow, and I really don't know how, was I used the bottom pattern piece twice, didn't cut any sleeves, and then when I figured out what I did, I cut the sleeve upside down from what I had intended.  Yeah.

Regardless of my errors, I still love the top.  The fabric is just so soft.  It really is just a joy to sew with.  And, this top works great with the fabric...as it's kind of a loose fitting, flow-y top.

I then, during afternoon nap time - about two hours - made my first music class skirt.  I used orange corduroy from Freespirit.  The pattern is really clever how it's put together and it has pockets on the sides which my daughter really liked.

My daughter woke up from her nap and actually volunteered to put on the outfit and take some photos....which explains the hair-do!

Since lately picture taking has been like pulling teeth, I didn't want to worry about her hair.....
This reminds me of the semi-pouty models you see in magazines......anyways, I'm really happy I was able to fully complete an entire outfit today - and one my kid actually likes!

Prelude to KCWC

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I (along with a bunch of really talented and inspired sewists) are participating in the upcoming Kids Clothes Week Challenge on the Elsie Marley blog.  Toward that end, I'm trying to finish up some sewing I've begun, but not totally completed.

Here is my last UFO - a Family Reunion dress from, of course, Oliver + S patterns.  It was another pattern I had purchased, but hadn't gotten to yet.  No reason why, because every time I see one in the O+S forums, I absolutely love it.

This is made from a Kokka medium weight cotton.  It has a really nice drape; not too lightweight, so Julia can wear it in the fall, with a yet-to-be-made lightweight jacket.  The piping is some Kaffe Fasset shot cotton that I had leftover from another project.  I made it in exactly a 3T, no modifications.  I'd say it fits pretty true to size as Julia will be 3 in about a month.

Julia got new sparkly shoes yesterday, so she was ready to walk across the street and model her new dress with the new shoes.
Yeah, not exactly my taste in shoes, but I've got to let her express herself!

I had Julia help sew the buttons down the back, so here's a picture to memorialize her first sewing project:
I absolutely love this pattern; as with the Playdate pattern, I find that it is a beautiful frame to a child's face; I wonder if that was what Liesl was thinking when she designed this pattern...

I'm also taking pictures to make calendars for Christmas gifts for the grandparents, so here's my artsy shot for the day:

Now, on to planning, shopping, and organizing for KCWC!!!

Fall Wardrobe....in 97 Degree Weather....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I long for fall.  Real fall, with leaves turning, and apple picking.

Instead, I get 90 degree days and walks on the beach.

I do know that the weather will turn here (at some point) and my kid will need more clothes.  So, I'm trying to plan outfits that go with shoes, and outfits that have coordinates.  A lot of Julia's clothes will be various shades of purple and teal this winter.

I started with actually the first Oliver + S pattern I ever sewed, the Sailboat top.  I made this in size 18-24 months just over a year ago, and I made this on in a 3T which is the largest size in the pattern.  I'm sure I'll be purchasing the larger size because I love the Sailboat top.  In fact, I'd like one for myself.  In fact, I'd like this exact top I sewed for Julia for myself.  I'd totally wear it.

I made this in a teal knit, 100% cotton, from Free Spirit/Westminster fabric.  The fabric is conveniently located in my shop, so I have to try some out.....it didn't shrink barely at all in the wash (when I pre-washed it) and the color stayed vibrant.  I used a woven for the facings, from Eleanor Grosch's, also from Free Spirit/Westminster.  The way this pattern is put together makes all the insides seem so, well, finished.   I opted to roll up the sleeves, bartacked one seam, and put a button on the cuff.  I thought it was kind of a cute look.

And, the skirt.....it's another Oliver + S pattern - the 2+2 skirt.  I've made the top a bunch of times, but never made the skirt.  Well, silly me for waiting!  It's freaking adorable.....for some reason I avoided pleats in the past, but after this, I'll be making a lot more.  The skirt has a flat front waistband, and an elasticized back.  It's got a really well put together side placket, and a button loop closure.  All really nice touches.

I tried on the outfit for fit, but since it was so hot out, I had a less than cooperative model.

The skirt really looks adorable on...

I'll definitely be using both of these patterns more....

An End-Of-Summer/Back-To-School Tea Party

Monday, September 3, 2012

So, continuing on with the "Make It While It Fits" challenge, I decided to make a Tea Party dress for my daughter for her first day back to preschool.  While I long for turtle neck jerseys, and wide wale corduroy pants with a blazer, it's not realistic around here as it's typically still really summer temperatures here for a very long time. 

Going along with the ideas in the Oliver + S forums with people giving their thoughts on how to get their children to actually wear the clothes they make, I decided to let Julia select the fabric.  Well, this is what she chose:

It's kinda screaming.  I won't lose her in a crowd.  It's definitely suited to her personality.  She immediately chose to wear it, and asked to go to the beach.  Success! 

I made a 4T, thinking that she could wear it for maybe this month, then I would put it away for the spring.  She's got room in it (she's still only 2) but the length works for right now just fine.

I love the pattern, but had a bit of a glitch when I was finishing the seam allowance between the bodice and the skirt, and my serger bit into the piping.  I really need to go un-pick it and re-do it, because there's a little spot that's making me crazy where the piping is uneven.
The fabric is a Robert Kaufman cotton, from Amy Schimler's Fly Away line.  It has a coordinating stripe, which I was originally going to use on the bodice, but that was really too much, even for me.  I used the stripe for the lining and the adorable hem facing.  The bodice is actually pink very soft corduroy that I know I made my older daughter some pants with probably when she was 6....and she's now 22.....

I added covered buttons with the lime green in the fabric.  I used to use covered buttons all the time - I should use them more, cause I really like the look.

So, quite the success - another pattern that I know now what to expect from....next time, I might actually trace out the size 3 and add a bit more length than the 4....

So, back to school and back to work.