Happy Homemade - A Beachy Pull Over Parka...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

So there was a sew-a-long going on over at You and Mie and Elsie Marley.  I'm not a huge sew-a-long person, but this one made me FINALLY break out a Japanese pattern book and make something.

Granted, I bought this book in English.  I have a ton of Japanese pattern books, and have yet to make a thing from them.  Mostly, it seemed like so much work - hunt out the pattern pieces, trace, add seam allowances, try to figure out the directions.  Well, now, having made one pattern from a Japanese book (even if it was in English) did make me really want to actually use the books I already have.

The pattern they chose was the Pull Over Parka.  I had seen this pattern made up tons of times in blog-land.  I was always kind of wishy-washy about it.  But, I really wanted to sew along, so I decided to make my kid one that's kind of beach inspired.  One of the things that Julia and I really like to do together is go to the beach and walk, and collect shells.  So, obviously, she needed a big pocket.  That's the inspiration.

I used some Riley Blake fabric for the contrast, and whale embroidery.  The main parka is made from white linen - yes, I'm a brave woman - white linen on a 4 year old...

So, my thoughts on the pattern - the neckline bugs me.  It's too low.  Other than that, there's things I really like - I like the bound neckline.  I like the drawstring waist.  This is a size 110 and it fits perfectly.  I like the ability to make a sweatshirt-type garment from a woven.

All in all, I'm really happy I did this.  There's other super-cute dress patterns in the book and now I won't be intimidated to try them at all!  Thanks to Meg and Cherie for organizing the sew-a-long and giving me some inspiration!

A Tried and True Favorite

Monday, June 9, 2014

If I had to choose a pattern that gave me the most sewing-satisfaction when complete, it would have to be the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress.  If you've made this pattern, you know what I mean.

I've made view A:
and view B.

I don't think she really ever (willingly) wore the view B.

The seersucker Jump Rope view A was worn until it turned into an indecent mini-skirt.  I thought it was time for another.

I used some Hello Petal by Aneela Hoey (shop link).  I really like her teeny flower illustrations.  I made this over a couple of days - this dress isn't really one to rush through.  I love the placket.  Seriously.  It makes you look like you really know what you're doing.

This is one of the patterns from that only went to a size 3, so I had to buy the bigger size.  This is a size 4, with 5 length.

I really love it.  Julia and I went to the beach for a nice long walk this late afternoon, and when we got back, she agreed to do some modeling.  The light was really funky as it was a kind of weird overcast evening.  Nonetheless, I (of course) have a bunch of photos to share....

I hope she loves this one as much as she loved the seersucker one.....only time will tell...but, I do have some green seersucker in my stash that I could use to make another. 

Lotus Pond Meets Oliver + S

Thursday, June 5, 2014

When the fabric line Lotus Pond came out from Rae Hoekstra (shop link), I was immediately struck by the color palette.  I knew I had to test it out, you know, so I can vouch for it if someone asks....

I started with one of the more subdued prints, called Fluttering Fields.  It's a really sweet peachy pink, with teeny butterflies and flowers.  I knew the look I was going for; I wanted to make a 2+2 Skirt from Oliver + S.  I thought and I thought about what type of top - in the end, I decided with a modified Oliver + S Class Picnic top.  The top fabric is a really nice white cotton from Robert Kaufman - really, really nice quality.

You can clearly see my crappy ironing job at the bottom; I swear, it looks better in real life!  I used a blind hem stitch, and I really need to do some better steaming along the hemline.

Julia actually chose the really short sleeve length on the top, and I agree with her.  I'd wear it.  I added some decorative stitching around the bottom, because, really, I just can't leave well enough alone.  I was going to add butterfly embroidery (in lieu of the decorative stitching) but in the end, I like the way it looks.  In fact, I'm going to make a pair of leggings to go with the top to get some extra wear.

The 2+2 skirt is a size 3 with about 5" added to the length.  She's still wearing a couple of old size 3's and it fits her fine, but the length is super short.  I like the 2+2 skirt with the pleats stitched down, and not ironed like crazy.  Kind of more of a dropped waist effect.

As always, here's the overload of modeled shots....

We're getting near the super-crazy end of school here - school play, dance recital, and the start of summer activities - beach, concerts in the park, all the good stuff!