Wednesday, October 19, 2016

4 Skirts

  I keep forgetting to write about these! For Skirting the Issue this year, I made 4 skirts- 3 simple knit ones and a slightly more detailed denim one.

  The knit ones are basic circle skirts. I made two matching ones with this knit from Nick of Time Textiles, with a simple yoga waistband and a lettuce-edged hem. Please excuse the wrinkles... they sat folded for a few days before photographing, and I didn't have time to press them again.

  This gingham knit (also used here) has very little stretch, so I made the waistband larger than the intended waist size (these are all a standard girl's size 10, and just below knee length) and put elastic in it.

  And the other skirt I made was from stretch denim. It's a 4-paneled skirt with an elastic back and flat front, belt loops, and top-stitching, along with a tatted heart and some couching.

  I tatted the heart with some variegated crochet thread using the free pattern at the very bottom of this page. I hand-stitched it to the skirt with regular sewing thread. I didn't have thread in all of the colors, so I just used one that matched the lightest blue. The tatting was too tight to comfortably stick a needle through, so up close the stitching is a little more noticeable than I'd like:

  But it isn't bad from a distance:

  I also couched some of the same thread around the hem in a wavy pattern. I zig-zagged over it by machine, but I couldn't figure out a good way to keep enough tension on the crochet thread without pulling it away from the curves. Maybe gluing it first would have fixed that... or a couching foot.

  I wish I'd picked it out and re-done it! But overall I think the skirt was still pretty cute.

  And that was all I made this year... maybe next year I'll manage 5 skirts. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bow-Back First Birthday Dress

  My littlest daughter turned one a couple of weeks ago!

  As usual for first birthdays, I cut apart a large t-shirt and used the fabric to make a little dress.

  I've been waiting for an opportunity to make the Bow Back Beauty again, after making one for my niece earlier this year, so I decided to use that with some modifications.

  I used the plain back along with the bow back piece to close up the opening, and swapped the circle skirt out for a pleated, double-layered one that fit the width of the shirt I was using.

  In addition to the magenta shirt, I used some white knit that I bought from a Facebook group last year... it was sold as 'white burnout' and was supposedly 'very stretchy' but while there's a slight burnout look to the fabric, the design is a stiff, almost-sticky white paint... and it only has 20% stretch. So I hadn't found a good use for it until now!

  Based on Foof's measurements, I used the 3-6 months size in the pattern. However, I wish I had gone up one size. It turned out a little tight, and the bodysuit portion was a little short.

  The proportions also looked really wrong to me once it was on Foof, and I wasn't happy with my wobbly sewing on the bodysuit portion (or anywhere really, but that was the worst section):

  So I unpicked the waist seam, got rid of the bodysuit section, and raised the waist seam two inches. This time I gathered instead of pleating.

  I'm much happier with how this looks:

  I also made a little headband to go with the dress, just a simple rolled-edge strip of fabric, gathered and fussed with until it looked a bit like a flower, and hand-stitched to another rolled-edge strip that fit Foof's head. I think it's super-cute, but of course Foof thinks it's a floor decoration! ;-)

  This little girl has the brightest, most sparkly-eyed smile I've ever had the pleasure to behold.
  She's a little talker, and is always proud and delighted when I understand what she's saying.

  She's fascinated with books... with or without pictures!

  Besides being snuggled, one of her favorite past-times is throwing every single book she can reach into a pile, then sitting on them and laughing.

  She adores her family, but especially her papa. She bounces with delight when he comes home from work every day!

  I love to watch Foof toddle around just doing things... there's always something going on in her busy little world!

  We just adore her!

  In addition to the dress and headband, I made a cake for her. I've had a rough time with most of the cakes I've made in the past year, so I decided to keep this one simple- it's a classic from-scratch white layer cake, with vanilla buttercream frosting. I froze the cake layers before doing the crumb coat and it really helped! Then I piped large dots in columns, and used a spatula to drag each dot out before piping the next column. I did a sort-of spiral of dots on top of the cake the same way. I had to wipe the spatula on a damp paper towel between each dot or they just looked really messy, but it was a pretty simple, if time-consuming, way of adding texture and interest to the cake!

  Then I colored most of the remaining frosting lavender, and piped drop-flowers on parchment paper. I froze them, then added them to the cake, and finally added leaves and centers with the last bit of frosting after coloring it green. (I meant to make the flower centers yellow, but I forgot to save out some of the frosting before coloring the rest green.) I'm really happy with the end result!

  And that's it for this little darling's first birthday!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sullivan School Dress

  A couple of months ago Abby from Sew Much Ado came out with a really cute new pattern. I tend to wait some time to buy new releases, but I liked this one enough to buy it immediately!

  I initially wanted to make this up in some soft pastels, but when I had a chance to sew it a few weeks ago I didn't have any light fabrics that I liked together for this pattern... so I took a totally different direction and used some pretty fall tones.

  Beckers usually fits in 18 month or 2T patterns as far as chest width, but on this size chart she was a 3T, and a 4T in height as usual. I sewed up the 3T and added 2" of length to the skirt hem- it fits her really well! (Or, it did when I sewed it. Since I took these photos she's grown a couple more inches and now it's a bit short.)

  I wasn't sure what to expect, since this was the first pattern from Sew Much Ado that I've sewn, but it was good! This one has illustrations to explain the steps, which is my preference, although I think her other patterns use photos.

  I was delighted to discover that the sleeve cap and armscyes are NOT symmetrical from front to back! There are still some wrinkles are the back armscye, but the front is just about perfect, and I love the sleeve detail:

  The scalloped layer of the bodice floats freely over the lining layer, and there's an elastic casing on the lining layer where the skirt attaches.

  Most of the edges are trued, with the exception of the lower bodice edge for the scalloped version (although the bodice layer is trued for the plain-edge version) and the scallop facing. The scallop facing is really the only thing I disliked about the pattern... it has a double-fold hem at the top edge, which seems unnecessary to me, possible even detrimental to helping the scalloped portion stay in place, and was also slightly difficult to sew with the dip at the side seams there. Next time I would true that edge, and do a serged edge or a single-fold hem there instead.

  The pattern suggests a flat-felled seam for the lining side seams, but I did a regular seam and serged the edges... with the waist seam and sleeve seams also being serged, it made more sense to me to also finish the lining that way.

  The back closure is a keyhole with a button and loop. I used an interesting button that I found at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.

  The red fabric is Moda Bella Solid Country Red, leftover from the girls' Christmas dresses, and I think the print is something I picked up at a yardsale a few years ago, but it could also have been gifted to me. The selvedge says 'The Whole Country Caboodle by Leanne Anderson.'

  I promise I pressed this dress! Those wrinkles just did NOT want to come out, even when I used starch. I suspect that my iron isn't getting quite as hot as it used to.

  Anyway, I will definitely be using the pattern again, I think it's adorable! And when asked if she liked her new dress, Beckers responded, "I DEW!" =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Yoked Daisy Swing Top

 Several months ago I was doodling and came up with a few knit shirt ideas I wanted to try out. This is the first of them!

  I'm considering turning this one into a multi-sized pattern, so I started by drafting a knit tee block in a standard size, then altering it into this design.

 I lengthened it a couple of inches at the hem for Booper, who is a bit taller than average for a six-year-old.

  I love yokes on little girls! I made flat piping from some mustard ponte I had leftover from other projects (also used here and here) and inserted it between the yoke and main body.

  The main body portion is very flared, for a fun swingy silhouette.

  The sleeves are gathered, and I used elastic thread an inch above the hem for a ruffled look:

  The hems are lettuce-edged, of course. =)

  I wanted to keep pattern pieces to a minimum for this, and I think I succeeded in that... there is a yoke piece, a sleeve piece, and a body piece. It's the same in the front and back, so it could be worn either direction.  Well, except for the label I sewed into the yoke! I bought mine from The Dutch Label Shop. Isn't that fun? I just wish I'd sewn it on straight....

  The fabrics are all from Girl Charlee... the floral is a rayon-blend jersey (no longer available, but this one appears to be a different colorway of the same print), the mustard is a ponte knit bought a couple of years ago, and the white is a basic cotton/spandex blend.

  I am really, really happy with how this one turned out! It's even cuter than I expected it to be, and I love the way it hangs and moves!

  And somehow I managed to make it, from drafting the knit block to weaving in the serger threads, in only about 6 hours! Quite a contrast to my current project, which I started months ago.

  It's also Booper's new favorite shirt! Why? Apparently it's very comfortable!

  I want to make a Foof-sized one of these next, but in dress length! Hopefully that ends up as cute as it is in my head!

  I've also got a few ideas for variations on the yoke and sleeves... If only I had time to sew them!

  My usual sewing time has been reduced to a mere nubbin lately, and I've been too tired to do much in the remainder. I need to figure out a system that works better for us! I suspect that the solution lies in a much earlier bedtime and morning for me, so I can sneak in some sewing before the girls wake up.

  That's also why I haven't been posting as often.... I can't write a full post in 15 minutes! And when I spread it out over several days I have a hard time making it cohesive.

  But I'm happy I had some time today! =)

Thanks for stopping by,