Sunday, December 8, 2013

Back in the saddle....

I feel like I haven't made anything for such a long time....

For the past two months, I've been working a ton, and our little fabric business has been very busy.  Since I'm a person who definitely needs 8 hours of sleep, something had to give.  Unfortunately, that was my time for sewing....

But, I managed to find time this weekend to make a quick t-shirt for my kid to wear for the Christmas season.  I used the Oliver + S Field Trip raglan because I've made it previously and I know it fits perfectly.  I'm kind of a sucker for red and pink together, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to actually work in an embroidery design.

Had I given it more thought, I would have added about 3 inches in length in the hopes that she could wear this again next year.  This is a size 4, and there's plenty of room in the width, but the 4 is the exact right length now...after taking this lovely picture, we proceeded to make homemade fudge, so now the shirt is in the washer in hopes that chocolate will come off.

Next on my agenda was an outfit for another member of our family - our little terrier, Sadie.  Since the weather got freezing cold - 50's - by California standards, and it actually rained yesterday, Sadie needed a jacket.

I made her a little sweater last year, but it's no where to be found.  So, she gets a lovely pink one made from fleece remnants left over from last year's Christmas pants I made my older daughter.  The dog is less than impressed, and has spent the rest of the morning in my closet....

I finished off a skirt that I started about a month ago - a very clever pattern from Wink Designs.  It's a faux wrap as the inner skirt is all enclosed.  I made this in a size 4, and in this case, I think I'm going to re-make it in a size 3, as it's all over too big.  It's really, really clever, and I'm definitely going to make another!

Hopefully, this little bit of sewing will get me back on track!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

KCW - Day 7 - Go Bold or Go Home!

So, I absolutely didn't finish all that I had planned for KCW, but I definitely consider it a success.

I made one complete outfit (hopscotch skirt and top), a volcano costume, and today, I finished up a new pattern from Oliver + S - their Playtime pattern.

So, I can't even describe how much I like this pattern.  I used some extraordinarily bold fabric - from Zen Chic's Comma line from Moda.  I loved this fabric the first time I saw in, in fact, I have a couple of requests from the men in my house wanting shirts made from this line.

This is the tunic version, which matched perfectly from some leggings that I purchased.  Yes, occasionally, I do purchase clothes, but not too often.  I made this in a size 3 with 4 length, after actually measuring my kid and realizing that she still measures within the 2 for width, but is in the size 5 length-wise.  I think this size fits perfectly.  The dress version moved up rapidly on my to-do list....


I just love the topstitched details.  Seriously love.


The cut of the tunic is perfect for the budding ballet dancer's moves....

Yes, she likes it!!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

KCW - what day is it??

So, I guess this is officially day 6 of Kids Clothes Week.  Somehow, a few days went past with NO sewing whatsoever.....

I jumped back in the saddle this morning after a failed attempt to go to work....oh, so sad, the freeway was closed, so I couldn't get on anywhere, and traffic was totally backed up....so, I made the command decision to turn around and spend some time at home! Good decision, I think!

I had completed a Oliver + S hopscotch earlier this week, and this morning was able to complete the matching top, and get some modeled shots from my fairly cooperative kid...I added a bit of lace between the neck binding and the top - I really like the look and will do it again, but next time will do a better job!!






I made a size 4 in both pieces....next time, I'm going to make a size 5 maybe in the top, and a size 3 in the skirt.  She's got a TON of room to grow in this skirt, in fact, she's now wearing the skirt below that is a size 2 - my goodness, she looks like such a baby in this picture!!!!!:
I'm still cranking away, hoping to complete one more thing by the end of KCW....we'll see!!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

KCW - Day 3 - The Volcano!!!

My kid is obsessed with volcanoes.  We watch youtube videos of eruptions, we read books about them.  We talk about them.  And talk, and talk, and talk.

When I asked Julia what she wanted to be for Halloween, she wanted to be a princess.  I asked her again - and again I got "princess".  So, I kept asking until I got an answer that I liked!  Finally, she said, "how about a volcano costume?"  I immediately went to work....

I made this using the Oliver + S Bubble Dress pattern.  I used some very old black corduroy for the body, I used two pillowcases to cut the lining.  I lined the body with fleece.  All these things were from my stash.  I had some random gray coarse fabric that I used for the lava.


Julia and I worked together to paint the flame/lava running down the volcano.  Anytime I involve her in the process, it makes her that much more excited to wear what we've made.

I made a flame-crown out of several layers of fabric and used Wonder Under to stick them together.  There's also a layer of heavy interfacing between the layers that I had left over from some handbag making.

When the costume was almost put together, we decided that it needed more body.  I put a hoop made out of wire coat hangers in the bottom, but still it needed more body.  I tore the bubble hem apart, and stuck a bunch of bubble wrap we had lying around up inside the body.  It totally did the trick!

I'm so happy I was able to put this together for my daughter - who will NOT be the same as every fairy princess trick-or-treating this year!  Hopefully, she won't be in years of therapy as a result!!


I wonder if we'll see any other little volcanoes running around this Halloween!!

So, that's what I finished off on day 3 of Kids Clothes Week!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

KCW - Fall 2013 - Days 1 and 2....And The Plan

I love Kids Clothes Week!

This time, it came at a very tough time for me.  I knew in advance that I was going to be working a minimum of 60 hours this week.  And, planning a birthday party.  And attend two birthday parties.

I decided that this week will be devoted to those already cut out projects sitting on my sewing table.  And a Halloween costume.

On my table, I have:

Two Oliver + S Hopscotch skirts
Two Oliver + S Hopscotch shirts
One Oliver + S Apple Picking Dress
One Oliver + S Sunday Brunch Jacket
One Clever Charlotte Chickadee Skirt
One in-process Volcano Costume

I worked yesterday and today on the first Hopscotch skirt - it's made from a linen cotton blend from Westminster fabric....I made a size 4, which I think will be worn for a very long time...

I actually brought the whole thing to work today, and sat in my car at lunchtime and sewed on the buttons...


Don't you just love these pockets?  And, ignore the blue marking pen.....

I should have modeled photos tomorrow - and hopefully, more to show!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Madeline Dress

So, I just stepped back and thought about this - I've tested patterns for pattern designers in Belgium, Portugal, and Australia.  How cool is this internet-world?

I got an email recently from Marina who has an Etsy shop - Wink Handmade.  Her patterns are well-written, well-thought out, and as a bonus, she lets you sell products made from her pattern if you happen to have a shop.  She wanted me to test her upcoming pattern - The Madeline Dress.  Since my kid is a dress-lover, I jumped at the chance....

The pattern is really sweet.  An adorable Peter Pan collar - what a great frame for a little girl's face!  I decided to add flat piping around the collar and the pocket flaps.  I'm not a huge expert on flat piping, but it certainly worked out well.

I made this is a straight size 4.  Marina (based on the testers) added a couple of inches to each size.  I thought it was a bit short, so I added a hem band, which actually brought together the colors and didn't look like an "add-on" at all.




I think when I make this pattern again - and I will! - I'll use a size 3 and the length of a size 5.   The fabric is a random, unknown fabric I bought for about $2/yard.  I've had it for a while, waiting for the perfect project.  I just loved the way this turned out - thanks to Marina and Wink Handmade!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Doguincho's Bubble Shorts

One of the cool things about the sewing/blogging world is making new acquaintances.  My shop recently gave away a prize over at Frances Suzanne's Flip This Pattern series.  The winner of the prize was Marta, who blogs at Doguincho.  She won for her absolutely adorable flip of Elegance and Elephant's Bubble Shorts.  We corresponded a bit about her prize, and I drooled over her blogged creations.  Then, she asked me to test her very first for sale pattern - Bubble Shorts!



She sent me the pattern, and I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use - there was some Kokka Kiyohara seersucker with adorable giraffes calling my name that I had in my shop....

I used another seersucker from Kokka previously, so I knew that it washed great, it stayed seersucker-y after ironing, and seemed really comfortable to wear.

The pattern sewed up very easily; I had asked Marta about the sizing, and she mentioned that the undershorts ran a teeny bit small, so I chose to use a knit for the undershorts.  Good decision!  It was no problem using two types of fabric in the construction.  The pattern went together beautifully; all the seams are enclosed nicely, so the inside looks as good as the outside.


I paired the shorts with a super-easy raglan tee - the Field Trip raglan by Oliver + S.  You really can't go wrong with their patterns.  I used one of my husband's well-worn t-shirts for the white jersey, and the same light blue jersey that I lined the shorts with for the sleeves.  The giraffe was made from a scrap of fabric leftover from my last project - I just love it when you can make an entire shirt out of scraps! 

I appliqued the giraffe from a coloring book clipart that I easily found in Google images - a great source of applique ideas if you are ever in search of.  I used an old embroidery trick, and used a brown sharpie to color in the spots and his eyes....much easier than trying to stitch them on!

My kid really liked the entire outfit and was in the mood to model, so get ready for photo over-load...






Thanks Marta for asking me to test these for you....now go buy her pattern!!



Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Jammies!

My kiddo is turning 4 in about two months.  It makes sense that she wears a size 4 now....so why am I so sad?  She actually out-grew a size 3 Oliver + S Bedtime Story PJ's pattern....luckily, once I discovered Oliver + S patterns, I made a point to stock up on the larger sizes, knowing that ultimately, this youngest daughter of mine would grow up....

I used some really soft, cozy flannel - one from Riley Blake, and the other from Westminster.  Both are conveniently located in my shop, which makes it really easy to choose for my kid's wardrobe!  In fact, even she knows where to look when we're talking about a new dress....just this morning, she suggested I make a new dress for her, and she headed off toward the bolts of fabric....smart girl!

I've made pajamas from this pattern before, and I knew how easy it was.  Julia really likes them; I think it's kind of like wearing a nice, cuddly robe....the pattern is no longer in paper version, but you can still download it from the Oliver + S site

Here's the result of my weekend sewing:




I've got one more pair of these to sew, and she should be good for "winter" pajamas. 

I've got a TON of stuff cut out and ready to go....now I only need the time!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Baby Gift for a Laker Fan....

I'm a huge basketball fan.  I played basketball my whole life, played on my college team.  (Don't be impressed - we were horrible!)  I'm originally from Boston, home of the Boston Celtics basketball team.

Every morning, I get up wearing one of my many Celtics shirts...

I drink coffee from my Boston Celtics mug.  Then, I head off to work, where I work in the land of Laker fans - our arch-rivals.  See, I live in Southern California, where 75% of the basketball fans are Laker fans.

So, here's the reason for this dress...

A Laker dress, for one of my Laker-loving co-workers.  This is going to the my friend Guillermo's beautiful daughter Alyssa - the much awaited first grandchild on either side of the mom and dad's family.  I figured that I would wait before giving him a baby present, as they were inundated with shower gifts when the baby was born.

 It will be presented in this bag: 

A Laker color bag.

The dress is one of my go-to patterns the Ice Cream dress from Oliver + S.  The floral fabric is from Robert Kaufman, and the solid is Color Weave from P&B Textiles.  Totally not colors I would ordinarily use....

The bag is another go-to pattern - the drawstring bag from Little Things to Sew by Oliver + S. 

It actually pained me to sew this outfit in these colors, and it even pained me to insert a photo of Kobe Bryant into my blog!  But, I know my friend will absolutely love this dress for his much loved little girl...she is 8 months old now, and the dress is 12-18 month size, so I think it will be perfect sizing for the on-set of the NBA season - where, both of our teams are going to be horrible this year, so we will commiserate together!




Monday, August 19, 2013

Testing....The Hanami by Straightgrain!

Do you follow An from Straightgrain?  She blogs from Belgium, and makes the most adorable clothes for her daughter.  I think she likes the same type of fabrics and style for her daughter as I like for mine.  Her Tinny pattern is being "Flipped" over at Frances Suzanne this month - there's some amazing flips, and great creations in the Sew Along....there's still time to enter - and I happen to be one of the judges!

Well, An put out a call for testers for a new top/dress pattern that she was working on, and I was lucky enough to participate!  Here's the top, modeled by her absolutely adorable daughter - in some beautiful Nani Iro fabric no less:


She sent us off the pattern, and I got to work....so, what fabric to use?  Well, I knew that I was for sure going to be doing the flutter sleeve dress version for Julia, because that's what she likes.....no tunics for her!  

I chose a Japanese fabric from my shop - it's from Westex, and it's totally cool - there are bears, owls, squirrels, birds, mushrooms, bats....but, at the same time, it's very tastefully done.

Anyways, here's the modeled shots of my version of the Hanami dress - this is a size 4, and she definitely has room to grow, so this will last a while:







The dress, while simple to make, has two sleeve options, the length option, and ties on the sides.  I decides on a screaming orange contrast, mainly because, well, I like orange, plus my kid has some orange sandals.  She LOVES the dress - so much, in fact, that I made another:



 
This time, I used an aqua baby-cord that I had in my stash.  I added pockets on the sides, and a really bright pink bias contrast.  I was, again, very pleased with the result.  I think my favorite detail of this dress is the sweet "v" in the back. 

So, two dresses that my kid really loves - success!

Thanks An for letting me test the Hanami!  I bought the Tinny pattern before it was even getting "Flipped" at Frances Suzanne.  I'm going to make the circle skirt version real soon - just have to decide on fabric!




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