Monday, April 21, 2014

Bohemian Babydoll Dress - Made From Scraps!

I was lucky enough to be selected to test the newest pattern from Elegance and Elephants - the Bohemian Babydoll Dress.  I first saw pictures on Instagram and knew that this was one that would be a hit with my kid.

The pattern is a no-closure, breezy, over-the-head, tunic or dress.  All features my kid loves.

The sewing took maybe a couple of hours.  The fabric and embroidery selection - well, that took WAY too long!

When I saw the pattern, it just reminded me of summer.  I wanted to use something that reminded me of summer on Cape Cod....well, this plaid that I had in my stash from long ago totally worked.  I believe I used it to make a shirt from my son back in the day.  I had a teeny bit of lightweight denim leftover from the first dress I made Julia when I finally got a new sewing machine - I think she was about 18 months old.  Then, the embroidery choosing.....I went back to the Urban Threads website - my new absolute favorite source for designs (now that I've figured out how to download to my machine). 

This is a size 4 with 5 length.  According to the pattern release, she made some tweaks to the bodice size and neckline size.  My kid loves the way it fits, but I may try it again with a size 3 bodice (and the same length).

A seriously cute pattern - I can also see this in corduroy, with a turtleneck under it in the fall.....thanks to Heidi for letting me test!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 - The Caroline Party Dress

So this is the last day to purchase from Perfect Pattern Parcel #2.

Here's the scoop on The Caroline Party Dress.  Now, this is a dress pattern that I had never seen before.  When I received the patterns, I knew it was one that my kid would like.  She's definitely a girly-girl in spite of my best efforts to make her less girly-girly.

I had a great border print in the shop from the Grand Hotel line from Jenean Morrison.  Check out her art sometime - very cool stuff!  I knew the border print would work well for this dress, but I didn't want to use up a ton of fabric, so I cut carefully.  I made sure to line up my pattern pieces so that the horizontal patterns would line up. 

The pattern has several options, and I opted for the easiest version.  There are options for a fully lined dress with a tulle underlay, and although my kid would have loved that, I went with the simpler version as this was my first go with the pattern.  There's also an invisible zip in the back, and I wasn't really confident with my ability to insert that in a fully lined dress.

I made the dress up really quickly.  The zipper instructions were great, and the pattern went together beautifully.  I had left the hem/border very long, and tried it on the child.  Big mistake.  She then got crazy attached to the dress that was almost down to the ground.

So, here's the dress-drama....

I ran out to the store.  When I got back, the kid was in tears.  My husband said there had been a problem....apparently, Julia was running around the house in delight wearing the dress.  As it was a 90 degree day, she got sweaty.  Well, she doesn't like to be sweaty.  So, apparently, she actually tried to remove the dress by tearing at the neckline, and she tore a 5" hole in the dress.  The poor kid - she realized what she had done, and melted down in tears.

I of course told the kid that I'd fix it - not a problem.  So, there's the story of the neckline cutout added to the Caroline Party Dress....not a design feature at all!

I'll be making this pattern again for sure!  This is a size 4 on my 4 year old - the fit was perfect!

We even have color coordinated finger nails courtesy of Julia's big sister....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 - The September Tunic and Hosh Pants

The days of the Perfect Pattern Parcel are winding down - only 3 more days to purchase this collection if you're interested...

Next up on my sewing list was the September Tunic and the Nosh Pants.  These are two patterns that I had never attempted, so I was eager to give them both a go.

The September Tunic is a pattern by toosweetpatterns on Etsy.  I had actually never heard of nor seen this pattern sewed up.  When I got the Pattern Parcel, however, I was pretty sure that this would be right up my child's alley.

I chose a Kokka double gauze fabric from the shop.  It's nautical themed, which I love, and it's in kind of muted tones - grey, and pinkish and bluish tones.  As double gauze is really soft, I knew it would give me exactly the drape I was looking for to show off the adorable bell-sleeves on the tunic.

I had never made the Hosh Pants before, although I'd seen them all over Instagram.  They're a straight leg, flat front pant with buttonhole elastic in the back.  They're made from one pattern piece for the legs, so no itchy seam on the outside.  I had to actually go shopping to find a stretch bottom weight - the pattern indicates that knits would not be among the recommended fabrics.  I found some great Robert Kaufman stretch sateen that I loved.  So much that I bought several colors.....and, then, ordered some for the shop (coming soon!)....

Some tiny changes/additions I made to the patterns:

The September Tunic - I decided not to have it button all the way down the back, and just stitched it up to the yoke at the back seam.  Less buttons, less buttonholes.  I added a bit of eyelet lace to the sleeves and bottom.  I'm not really an "eyelet" person, but I think it works.  The kid liked it.

The Hosh Pants - I unfortunately couldn't find a lick of buttonhole elastic in my stash, and made a special trip to the local Joann's to find some.  They didn't have any either.  So, I just stitched in the elastic.  I may un-pick it when I find some buttonhole elastic as I think it would work better the way the waistband is constructed.  I added a couple of patch pockets on the back, with some nautical inspired embroidery from Urban Threads.  A seriously dangerous website if you have an embroidery machine.  Actually, it's not at all expensive, and they frequently have specials on designs that are $1.49.  So, expect to see more embroidery from me in the future!

Don't forget to check the "Julia's Views" page for the lowdown from the 4 year old!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 - The Hanami by StraightGrain

When I got the email asking me if I'd participate in the blog tour for Pattern Parcel I was absolutely delighted!  First of all, that they even asked me.  Then, when I saw the list of patterns, I knew I'd have some fun.

The first one I sewed was the Hanami Pattern by An, from Straight Grain.  I was one of the testers for this pattern, so I know it well.  I also know that it is one of my kid's faves - the dresses she pulls from the closet first when I let her choose.

For this version, I decided to make the most absolute simple version of the dress.  I wanted to use a Yuwa lawn from the shop - for some unknown reason, called "Thrilling Black".

The photo doesn't show the selvedge on the fabric - it's pretty wide, so I decided just to use it as a contrast band along the botton.  

This is the first - and not last - I've ever sewn with a lawn fabric.  It's super easy to sew, as it's 100% cotton.   Washed up great as well.  And, best of all for the kid, it's really light weight.  

So I went a bit crazy with the photos, so get ready....

Our dog willingly came along for the photo shoot, and I actually think she liked it!

I used the cross back option, and this time (as opposed to the other times I made the pattern) I actually paid attention to the buttonhole placement.  Makes it much neater in the back!

Now that I've actually put in two invisible zippers, I'm going to make up a Hanami version with a zip and the adorable little collar.  And, I still haven't made the tunic version.....

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 is only available for a few more days, so go check it out!

Ok, one last photo of my kid.....and, check out the "Julia's Views" page for her thoughts on the Hanami!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 - What I Made!

So, I'm sure by now, pretty much everyone in the sewing blogosphere has heard about Perfect Pattern Parcel, but if you haven't, here's the scoop:

You get a bunch of great patterns by some great designers.  You choose your price.  You support indie designers, AND support children's education through Donor's Choose.  Seriously.

Here's the patterns from Parcel #2:

Hanami Top or Dress by Straight Grain Hosh Pants by LoubeeClothing Celestial Tee by Figgy’s September Tunic & Dress by Too Sweets Patterns Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations BONUS pattern: Prefontaine Shorts by Made With Moxie

And, here's what I made:


Seriously, I made all these great looks (two dresses, one tunic, one top, two pairs of pants and one pair of shorts) from some seriously great patterns!

Here's a few photos from my bazillion I took over this past week - also with Kids Clothes Week going on:

I'm going to do a separate post for each pattern/pattern combination, so stay tuned for a lot more pictures and details of my sewing experience.  AND, a new "feature" on my blog posts - Julia's Views.  Yes, you'll get the scoop on what a 4 year old thinks of her new outfits.  Unfiltered and unvarnished.  Wait for it!

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

Thanks so much to the folks at Perfect Pattern Parcel for asking me to contribute - I so enjoyed it and am happy to be a teeny tiny part of their wonderful program!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Spinny Tinny

So my daughter named this the "spinny" dress.  Aptly named.

I've been working on this one a while.  Not because it was hard, necessarily.  I've been doing it bit by bit, and FINALLY finished.

The pattern is the Tinny dress by Straightgrain.  I've made her Hanami dress a couple of times, and they're some of Julia's most worn dresses.  The Hanami is a pretty basic sew, but the Tinny is definitely more detailed.  There's tons of options, and one of these is a circle skirt.  Knowing my kid, I knew that the ultra spinny circle skirt would make her happy.

I was right.

Yup, she loves it.

The sewing details - the dress has options for the collar, the sleeves, and the skirt.  It has an invisible zipper in the back - the first time I've ever done one in all my many years of sewing!  And, yeah, what was I waiting for.....looks SO professional, and was really easy.

I used some 100% cotton from Riley Blake - a little floral from their Matryoshka line from my shop.  I thought it went with the retro vibe of the dress. 

Problem is, for some reason, I thought I should start making size 5's.  Well, I was wrong.  The bodice was way too big.  So, I put a couple of pleats in the back and took in probably about 4 inches.   It fits much better, but for sure next time I'm going to make a size 4.  I added a bias strip at the waist, mostly because my husband said it needed something.  I think I like it.  I would have added it all the way around the waist, but I was literally looking in the trash for more scraps of the contrast purple.  It just wasn't meant to be.

So, a highly recommended pattern!!!  I'll be making another one soon.....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An Easy Peasy Party Dress

Lindsay at The Cottage Mama has a free pattern on her blog.  You just sign up for her newsletter, and you get it.  Easy peasy.

It's really a basic bodice dress that you can really do anything with.  I made it up as part of her testing process, but really, once you get the size down, you really could use your imagination and make this into any type of dress for your could make it a tunic, lower the bodice and make a drop waist dress, add a collar, sleeves, or whatever.

Here's my pictures from testing....

The fabric is from Robert Kaufman, from Laurie Wisbrun's Perfectly Perched line.  

After taking these pictures, I decided to remove the sash and added a white grograin ribbon across the front with a small bow.  A bit more practical for day-to-day wear, and just as cute.

Thanks to Lindsay for a really versatile - and FREE - pattern!
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