Sunday, November 11, 2012

Explorer Vest and Another Art Smock

The pattern is the Explorer Vest from Liesl  of Oliver & S in the book "Little Things to Sew."  I made it as a birthday present for a friend in S's playgroup.  The plaid is DS Quilts from JoAnn's.  I chose to place it on the pocket bellows and the flaps.  The main fabric is a dreamy Lisette chambray also bought at JoAnn's.

Here's the back view.  Easy peasy project, and even with the bellows and the lining, it took me less than 3 hours to sew.

Here's my goofy girl modeling yet another birthday present for a friend, this time it's the Art Smock also from "Little Things to Sew."  Can you tell I love that book?  Not sure what the fabrics are, but they all came from my stash, which I am trying very hard to shrink a bit. 

Christmas is fast approaching.  I have a few things I'm thinking about making.  Ah, so much to do and so little time.  If only I didn't have to sleep....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Butterfly and a Bee

These butterfly wings were made using Martha Stewart"s tutorial found here.  Since it seemed like the original pattern was too big for my 4 year old, I shrunk it by a couple of inches, which also meant that I had to redraw the inside design to fit the smaller wings.  Once the pattern pieces were all cut out though, it was a pretty quick sew.  I used wool felt and one inch foam.

And here's our cute little bee. The Oliver & S Bubble Dress pattern was pretty much perfect for this costume.  I cut up the skirt portion into black and yellow stripes but was too lazy to add seam allowances, so the dress ended up a little short on her.  Both the tights and wings were bought at JoAnn's on super clearance.  The antenna headbands I made myself out of pipe cleaners and yellow pompoms.
Happy Halloween to all the other little insects out there!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall KCWC: Days 2 & 3: Butterfly Tweed Sunday Brunch Jacket

I've made this jacket before, back in the spring.  S soon grew out of it; the sleeves are now almost elbow length.  So this time around, I made a size 5.  It's now available as a digital pattern on the oliver & s website. 
It's a little big on her, but I expect she will grow into it soon.  One end of the selvage on this wool tweed has embroidery and butterflies, I used that end for the bottom of the jacket.  I think it softens this rather grown-up gray. 

The whole outfit together reminds me a bit of a Maoist uniform.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall KCWC 2012!!!! Day 1: Sunday Brunch Skirt

The first day of KCWC went pretty well.  This skirt was constructed in a little bit under two hours and was a breeze to make.  The pattern is the Oliver & S Sunday Brunch.  I made this skirt in size 4, and although it fits pretty well now, I can tell that she will outgrow it soon.

I love the pockets and the slight a-line.  And what about the little kick pleat in the back? 

   The fabric is a wool tweed that I've had in my stash for years now.  Next up on my list is a matching jacket.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Princess Birthday Tea Party Dress

Yeah, that's S wearing a poufy, pink princess gown.  One of her best friends had a princess themed tea party and this is what I came up with.  You can't really tell from this picture, but it's pretty sparkly too.  I used the cinderella simplicity pattern to make the bodice and for the skirt, I followed this tutorial from girl. inspired.  But then I went over the top and added a sparkly trim to the neckline and little pearl flowers for the skirt.  The fabrics I used were stretch panne velvet, glitter tulle, and costume satin.

I made an identical dress for the birhday girl too.  A tiara and big princess hair added to the look.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

oh hello

hey i'm back. we've had a fun and busy summer.  i'm sad to see these lazy crazy days at an end.  but then there is the lure of routines, a slower pace, and, dare i hope, time to sit at my sewing machine.

today is the first day of another year of preschool.  s has a new dress, made from the oliver & s bubble dress.  it's now available as a digital pattern.

that's a size 4 she's wearing.  a little short maybe?  the pattern only goes to size 5, but i think that if you lengthen the skirt and/or the bodice, you might be able to eke out another year or two.
 i added ready-made piping between the skirt and the bodice.  i like that the piping is subtle but defines the waistline.


b had to get in on the action too.   a matching dress in size 2, but with pink piping instead of white.  the fabric is by dear stella that i found at cool cottons.
so another dress, and a new school year.  it's only a little sad this year.  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cutie Capris Pattern Testing

I recently had a chance to test a new pattern designed by the super-talented Jennifer of Un Petit Design.  There are a bunch of dress and skirt patterns out there, but honestly, I've had terrible luck finding a pattern for pants that fit my little girl.  Well, this pattern not only fits perfectly, but the cut and style is seriously adorable.


See what I mean? I love the pleats and double waist-band. 

And there are even pockets too.

The Cutie Capris pattern can be found here.  Thanks for letting me test out your pattern, Jennifer! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gifts for Teachers

Why do I torture myself by waiting till the last minute?  I started these totes the day before I was supposed to deliver them.  Seriously, I was up till the wee hours of the morning finishing them up.

They are part of a gift set that me and a couple of other moms put together for s's teachers as an end-of-the-year gift.  The totes were filled with summer essentials including flip-flops, sunscreen, and a bottle of wine.  The other two moms also made handmade items:  personalized cups and journals and bookmarks made from vintage books.  I wish I had taken pictures of the gifts once they were put together. They were truly amazing.
   As a former teacher, I am happy to show my gratitude to those who have dedicated their lives to nurturing other people's children.  I know from first-hand experience how hard they work.
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox and let you in on the deets.  The pattern is The Jane Market Bag designed by the super-talented Alicia Paulsen of Posy Gets Cosy.  By the way, I am also happy to support our local (Portland, OR)  artists and businesses.  It's an easy and quick tote, no pattern pieces, just dimensions that you measure out yourself.  I changed a few things though.  First, I only had pockets on one side because I cut out two pocket pieces and sewed them together thinking that they were lined, then I was in too much of a hurry to pick the seam apart and decided that the bag only really needed the one pocket anyway.  I also added a double-stitched seam about two thirds of the way down from the top of the pocket; I just felt that the pocket was too deep without the seam.  Another modification that I made was to sew the handles between the lining and the top layer for a cleaner look.  The handles were ready-made nylon straps, a nice short-cut which I am sure saved me an hour of so of work.  
The lining was made from laminated cotton that I had laying around and the outside fabrics were duck cloth for the solids and outdoor canvas for the prints.  The laminated cotton was kind of a chore to deal with.  I had to pull the fabric through the feed because it kept getting stuck.  I believe that a teflon foot would have helped.  Or maybe tape under the foot?  And a word of warning on sewing with outdoor canvas.  Make sure that your iron is not too hot or you will burn a hole through the fabric.  I found this out the hard way.

The pattern's instruction in regards to the pleats on the sides of the bags was to put together the whole bag first, then sew a seam down the side, catching the lining in the seam.  Because I was using heavier fabrics than the calico that the pattern recommended, I felt that this was not feasible.  So before joining the lining and the main bag, I sewed the pleats on the outside only; the lining was left unatached except for the top. 

On a final and somewhat related note, I will leave you with pictures of S on her first and last day of preschool, wearing her Oliver and S playdate dress.

First day of school (above).  Last day of school (right).
Look how much she's grown!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

a pirate's life's for me....

My baby turned 2 recently!  We had a little pirate-themed party to celebrate.  I found the pink skull knit fabric at Mill-End and made both girls pirate dresses for the occasion.  The pattern is Lil Blue Boo's Racerback Tunic Dress.  I've made 3 versions of this dress, the first one I blogged about here.

This pattern is so quick and easy I've got it down under 2 hours from start to finish.  With leggings or shorts it is the perfect summertime playdress. 

You can tell what a mischievious little monkey she is!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Itty Bitty Baby Gifts

I went to a baby shower yesterday.  After about the 10th time (no exaggeration!) I was getting tired of my usual go-to gift for expectant moms, the Amy Butler Everyday Diaper Bag seen here.  Then I remembered that while pregnant with B, I really wanted to make her Made by Rae's  Itty Bitty Baby Dress, a free newborn baby dress pattern. 

I used fabric and trims I had in my stash.  The hem is actually grosgrain ribbon, not bias tape that the pattern called for.  The fabric is by Liz Scott.  It came together really fast
I also made a peekaboo bonnet to match, another pattern by Rae.  I had made this pattern before, last summer when B was still a baby  .  

Again I used grosgain ribbon for the ties.  I was too lazy to make my own bias tape.  I also stitched in the ditch instead of hand-sewing the two sides together.  The result wasn't too awful.

Here's the reverse side.  The fabric is a purple moda bella solid which I also used for the lining of the dress bodice.

Here's the whole outfit together and below is  a detail of the bodice. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Rainbow Dress

I've been building up my stash of knits for a couple of months now, mostly through on-line stores like the Fabric Fairy.  Last weekend, though, I finally made it to Mill End on the West side and found a whole bunch of pretty cute knits.  And they were all 25% off, yay!
a saThis particular rainbow print was only $5.00 a yard plus 25% off.  I found it in the flat folds section and bought a yard and a half of it.  At 60 inches wide, there is plenty left.  A matching dress for B is in the works and who knows, maybe a top for me.  Hmm, would a rainbow shirt be appropriate for someone my age????

Here are the deets: the pattern is the Bloom Dress from the book Sewing ModKid Style by Patty Young.  I left off the flower appliques on the sides and added a tiny pocket and ribbing on the sleeves.  I made a size 4 and as you can see it fits S perfectly. 

Sewing with knits is really addictive.  I have to say that with my serger everything comes together so fast and easy.  And even the top stitching that I had to do on my sewing machine came out looking pretty darn good. 

And on the plus side, S is now claiming that she loves everything I make her.  More knits to come!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lil Blue Boo Racerback Tunic or How we survived our vacation

We just got back from a week in San Francisco and Disneyland, Californina.  Today we are all exhausted and just happy to be back home.

What a week.  First off, we went to San Francisco, one of my favorite cities in the world, I think because parts of downtown reminds me a lot of Portland.  We were there for just a couple of days and nights and didn't get to see or do much this time around, mainly because we had two sick kids with us.  S had a cold when we left Portland, then by the time we hit San Francisco, B had caught it too.  So we mostly hung around our hotel, The Fairmont, which was beautiful by the way.
We did manage to spend a brief afternoon in Chinatown, which was only a couple of blocks from our hotel. 

The girls are modeling crocheted owl hats, probably hand-made by someone in China, ha. 

The next morning we walked to Union Square.  The girls and I went to Britex, the huge fabric store in San Francisco.  We were there for about 5 minutes then B decided to throw a huge monumental tantrum as soon as we stepped onto the second floor.  It was with great sadness that we left after a saleslady suggested that B might be happier outside of the store.  After that we decided to give up on sightseeing and holed up in our hotel room for the rest of the time we were in SF, hoping that the worst of their colds would be over by the time we arrived in Disneyland.

We flew to Disneyland the next morning and settled into our hotel.  That day and the next seemed to go well.  S and B still had coughs but they seemed better.  In fact, S's low-grade fever finally broke the first night we were in Disneyland.    We went out the second day, still taking it easy, coming back to our hotel room for long naps in the afternoon.  It wasn't till the evening of the second day that S's symptoms got worse.  It began with coughing and throwing up phlegm and kept getting worse in spite of the rescue inhaler we gave her.  She ended up in the Emergency Room at St. Joseph's in Anaheim.

We were very lucky that our hotel had an in-house nurse and EMT.  They were there within 5 minutes of our call to the front desk.  Then the ambulance came and took her to the hospital while B and  I waited at the hotel.  They gave S steroids to get her through the next few days and we continued on with our vacation without further incidence.

Sooo, anyway, this is turning out to be a loooong post.  In spite of sickness and a visit to the ER, we still managed to have fun.

And oh yeah, before we left for our trip, I made a few racerback tunics from this Lil Blue Boo pattern.

This is now S's favorite dress.  Note the rainbows and stars.  I got the knit from the Fabric Fairies.   They have really cute knits that are pretty affordable.  The pattern is super easy to follow and a breeze to sew with my serger.  The pattern called for serging the hem, which I did, but I think that next time I might play around with coverstitching the hem on my serger instead. 

I'll leave you with one more shot of S and her princess hair.