Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer KCW - Day 1 - Cotton + Steel + Oliver + S

Seriously, unless you've been hiding under a fabric rock for the past months, you, like me, have eagerly been anticipating the arrival of Cotton and Steel to your favorite fabric shop. 

Well, my favorite shop is my shop - but, unfortunately, our order to Cotton + Steel has not arrived yet.  They told us when we went to their office and ordered that it would be a bit later as we ordered a bit later....oh well!

Lucky me, I won a little $25 gift card to the Fat Quarter Shop.  It came last week, concurrent with their arrival of Cotton + Steel.  I knew what I had to do....

The fabric I used is actually my absolute favorite of all.  But, did I order some for my own shop - no.  We went with kind of a mini-collection of fabrics that kind of coordinate with each other (guided by the lovely sales people at Cotton + Steel).  The beautiful border print by Melody Miller didn't make the cut.  But, I knew I had to have it.....so, here it is!








The pattern is the Garden Party dress from Oliver + S.  Seriously, a great sew.  One of the good things about it is that there's no notions really needed; just a button.  No zipper, no elastic.  The things that I'm always missing and need to run to the store for!  I actually had some white fabric cut out as the contrast....I re-thought that and I'm glad I did.  The red really pops.

Day 1 of Kids' Clothes Week a success!  A completed project and a blog post to boot!  Now, to get back to work for day 2....

Monday, July 14, 2014

The "Claire" Pajamas

I got to test a very sweet pajama pattern for Lindsay Wilkes at The Cottage Mama.  As they're being released tomorrow, I don't know exactly how she is going to describe them, but I would say they're a very cute, fairly girly pajama pattern that includes both a nightgown, and top/bottom.  I jumped on the chance to test the nightgown, as that's what my kid really prefers.

Sometimes, when you do testing for a new pattern, the pattern is off.  Things don't add up perfectly, seams don't match, directions are lacking.  Well, this one went perfectly.  I made my daughter a size 4, with 5 length, which is what I am making her in everything right now.  The fit is spot on.  They went together perfectly.





Super-cute, eh!  These are made in some Riley Blake flannel from my shop.

Seriously, Riley Blake flannel is amazing - washes up really soft, doesn't pill.  It's not like it's super-expensive, but it's not $1.99/yard like you can get flannel at some of the big box stores.  To me, it's worth it if I'm going to spend the time making something, I want it to last.  And, my kid will not wear it if it's not.

For another go-round of this pattern, I'm going to leave off the neck ruffle.  My daughter is very sensitive to anything coming anywhere near her neck, and even though it barely touches her neck, and the fabric is very soft, I prefer to avoid any issues!

And, the pattern comes with a matching doll pattern!  Once it's released, you can get it here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Skirt Fixation Fabric Swap Challenge - Linen Edition

I was asked by the lovely ladies over at Skirt Fixation to participate in their very interesting challenge - a fabric swap!  A very cool idea so I signed up for the linen edition.

I'm a big lover of linen - it's all natural, very strong, and easy to wear.  I got my swap fabric from Jenn at A Jennuine Life.  I don't know if she looked at my blog/sewing stuff before she sent the fabric, but she chose a color palette that I absolutely love!



The print is a linen/cotton blend from Westminster by Amy Butler in her Hapi line.  I love the boldness!  The solids were a beautiful complement.

The fabric screamed "make me a bag...", so I did!

I used a child's bag pattern from Ruby Jean's Closet - the Ready Set Go Overnighter.  It's a perfect size for kid-size stuff, and for the kid to actually carry it herself.

A very cute bag, yes?!!  I made a couple of teeny changes as I made the pattern - I changed the handles a bit - I actually had some black ultra-suede lying around in my stash - who knew! - so I used that for the bottom accents and the handle holder.  I used black nylon web that I also had lying around in place of the fabric handles.  The pattern also calls for some adorable blows on the straps - and, for the life of me, I couldn't make a decent bow, so I just gave up! 

The other linen pieces met their destiny as a dress for my kid - I used my much-used and much-loved Tinny pattern by Straightgrain.  I think this is the 4th I've made, but sadly my little girl is growing too fast; I had to size up to the size 5.  I'm still in denial.....


I changed up this pattern a bit as well - I added the lighter color pink inset in the bodice, piped with some cotton couture in teal.  I (obviously!) added a contrast bow at the waist.  Instead of gathering the skirt, I made pleats - pleats that will probably last an hour or so in the linen, but I love the look nonetheless.

Thanks to An at Straightgrain, I actually have the ability to insert an invisible zipper and have it be invisible!!











Thanks to Skirt Fixation for asking me to participate - it was really fun!!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Homemade - A Beachy Pull Over Parka...

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!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Tried and True Favorite

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. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lotus Pond Meets Oliver + S

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!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sew-A-Bration of Womanhood

Have you been following the Sew-A-Bration of Womanhood over at the Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire's blogs?  Well, they were nice enough to ask me to participate.

The purpose of this series is to celebrate womanhood and our "common threads"....seriously, it's amazing when I read posts from bloggers all around the world, we really do have way more in common than we have differences.  If only sewing bloggers ruled the world....

Since the theme of this is to sew either for yourself or someone you love, I realized that I had the perfect person to sew for.  If you've read my blog, you know I sew for my youngest daughter, Julia.  Well, I do have other children, so today, you get to hear about my older daughter (and former middle child until Julia came along) - Melissa.

Melissa was born at 2 pounds 2 ounces.  Surgery, etc.  Weighed about 1 pound 13 ounces at one point.  But, literally from the get-go, this kid wouldn't give up.  See, Melissa is a fighter.  A competitor.  One of the absolute hardest working people you will ever meet.  And, one of the nicest.

Melissa was a gymnast her entire life.  It really defines who she is.  Now, she's graduated college with a degree in exercise and sports science, works as a certified personal trainer, and a gymnastics coach.  The kid works her butt off.

Melissa is engaged.  Yes, she is.  To a super-nice, just plain old good guy.  Aren't they cute?

So, I decided to take this opportunity to celebrate the day when my child will be starting her own house/home.  And, since she lives currently in my house, she seriously has no "house stuff".  So, I thought I make her some.

I started with the Divided Basket Pattern by Noodlehead.  Really, who doesn't need some containers in their life?  I knew that I wanted to use some very cool fabric - it's called Comfort Words from Yuwa.  It has a whole bunch of very positive expressions and words on it, and I really thought it would be perfect for just about anywhere in their house.




I also wanted to make some things for her kitchen, so I made these as well:


Have you ever made an oven mitt?  Well, I hadn't until this project, and now I'm going to be making a TON - super easy, and now I've got no excuse for having pitiful potholders/mitts in my kitchen.  I just used a tutorial I found somewhere (which I lost the link to...sorry!) - but putting the band on the bottom was an absolute bear, so I think I'd put it together differently next time.  The towel is a purchased one with a strip of fabric sewn on - how ridiculously easy?

To me, there's nothing that celebrates womanhood more than the anticipation of starting a new and exciting chapter of your life, so I'm glad this gave me a little bit of a push to make something for my older daughter!

Thanks to the Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire for asking me!

Here's the list of folks participating - definitely, go check out their blogs as well!


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