Friday, April 27, 2012

KCWC Day 4 - Balloon Bubble Shorts

My younger daughter M will be turning 2 in just under a month, sob.  My little baby is growing up so fast and I can’t believe it.  But, I am so excited for her birthday and knew that I wanted to make her something special to wear on her big day.  It has to be comfortable, cool and easy to play in because she will be at preschool that day. Going with the birthday theme I decided to use a couple of fabrics from the Children at Play line by Sara Jane Studios by Michael Miller. 

For the bottoms to M’s birthday outfit I picked the Oliver + S Puppet Show shorts which are some of my favorites.  They are super easy to sew up and look so cute.  A lived in these shorts last year and those were passed down to M for this summer.  I decided to use the balloon fabric from Sara’s fabric line and I think they will match the top that I have planned perfectly. 

These took me about and hour and a half to get done and I really wanted to start on the top as well but had to work on a few computer things for my husband.  There are a few little boo-boos (pocked binding was sewn on wrong and one of the leg bindings is sewn with the balloons going the wrong way) but I still think they turned out darling. 

Tonight is the Swingset Top in the Parade Print.  SO excited to see how this is going to turn out!!!



Thursday, April 26, 2012

KCWC Day 3 – Clever Charlotte Flutter Blouse

Well, I finally tackled a project that has been cut out and ready for over a month. 

It all started when I won a giveaway on the Clever Charlotte web site for a copy of the Spring/Summer 2012 Stitch Magazine which included their Flutter sleeve blouse.  The blouse is perfect for Spring and Summer here because it is so light and loose on the body and I knew that I wanted to make one for A right away. 

I got to looking in the stash and found a yard of the blue with white and green dot Lisette Lawn that I had picked up from Joann last summer and knew it would be perfect with how light and soft it is.  It cut into it right away and then it sat in my To Do pile for over a month.  I looked at the pin tucks and got nervous, I looked at the facing and got nervous, and I looked at the keyhole back and got nervous.  But I wasn’t nervous because of those things I was nervous that I didn’t have the skills to do them and I would mess everything up. 

Luckily I jumped in after getting some encouragement from another blogger and it turned out great.  It took me about an hour and a half to get it all sewn up and that is with chasing A around trying to get her in bed.  I think the sleeves look a little off with the shirt on the hager but I am sure they will look much better on a little girl (or I might have sewn them on wrong, who knows). 

There are supposed to be three buttons on the front of the top and one to hold it closed on the back but I do not have the right buttons in the stash.  I can’t decide if I should go with white, green or maybe even some covered buttons.  Of course this means a trip to Joann this weekend to check out what they have!  I am so excited for this top and can’t wait for A to try it on.  I see many more of these for the summer for both the girls.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KCWC Day 2 - T Shirt Dress x2

I am not sure what came over me when I bought these shirts.  Now I remember, they were on the sale rack at Target.  The green is a pretty but an odd color and once I got home I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to match them up with something.  As luck may have it I bought some of the Tula Pink Price Charming fabric line not even thinking about these shirts and when I went digging through the stash I found that they matched up perfectly. 

Originally I had planned to make either a skirt or pair of shorts to match the top but A has been on a dress kick recently so I though I would make my girlies some matching dresses.  Oh, I have to fess up.  I also have one of these shirts in a size 5T so I will probably make some matching shorts for A when she grows into that size and has decided that she wants to wear shorts all the time. 

To cut the shirt I measured 4” down from the armpit and then cut it all off with my rotary cutter and ruler. 

To figure out the length of the skirt portion I just measured a dress that fit each girl from the chest to the bottom of the skirt and added 2 inches for hemming and attaching to the shirt. 

I used the full width of the fabric and positioned the seam in the back.  If you are making this in a bigger size or want the skirt to be a little fuller you can take 2 pieces of fabric and just have the 2 seams on the side matching your shirt.  Just and FYI: I usually use about 1.5 times the width of the shirt to find my measurement for my skirt fabric.

I serged and hemmed the bottom of the skirt and then gathered the top up to attach to the t-shirt.  I attached the skirt and top with a straight stitch on my regular sewing machine and then I used my serger to neaten up the edges. 

For the sash I just used white Kona cotton that I had from my stash and cut three 3.5” pieces the width of the fabric.  I took the first strip and cut it in half and sewed it together on the long sides.  I turned it right side out and pressed it flat.  This will be the main part of your sash that goes across the front of the dress.

The second two strips are going to be used for ties on each side of the shirt.  I cut each one of the straps in half, cut one end on an angle and then sewed them together leaving just the short flat end open.  Cut the seam down along the angled end and turn your straps right side out and press. 

This is the only place that gets a little bit tricky.  I measured the center sash to fit the front of the dress just covering the seam where the shirt and skirt match up.  I added about ½” to each side and then took each side sash and attached it to the center piece. 

I pressed the seam allowance towards the center strap and then pinned the center sash on the dress just covering the skirt seam.  I stitched along the perimeter of the sash on all 4 sides attaching the center sash to the skirt panel and to the shirt making sure to keep the seam ends tucked under towards the center. 

I finished both of the girl’s dresses last night and it probably took me about 45 minutes for the each dress. I will probably sew some white bike style shorts for A to put under her dress when she wears it to school and make a matching diaper cover for M.

Tonight I plan to start on the Clever Charlotte Flutter blouse.  I have been putting off sewing it because it seems like it might be a little above my head but I am jumping in with both feet and ready to start it up. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KCWC Day 1

I had all of my fabric, thread and other notions ready for the start of KWCW yesterday.  I decided that I would start with a fairly easy project that I could zip through and have at least one thing done for the week!

I started with the peasant dress that I had planned for A in size 3T.  I used the Leila and Ben Sweet Little Dress pattern.  This pattern is so cute and can be used for so many different outfits.  I have made several types of tops and dresses from this one pattern because it is such a great base for a peasant style dress or top.  I got the idea for this dress from a kit that was being sold at a fabric store online.  They had a dress in tan patterned fabric with an inset of polka dot fabric along the front center panel.  I thought it looked so summery and beachy but wanted to jazz it up a little bit. 

For the main fabric I used a quilting cotton that is printed to look like linen.  It looked so cute but would also be comfy for A and have none of the scratchy issues that linen can sometimes have. 

For the ruffle I just cut 2 strips of fabric 42”x3.5” sewed them together and then turned it right side out.  I ruffled the fabric and then sewed to the center front of my dress. 

This was a pretty quick project to get the creative juices flowing and gave me some confidence for the week.  Because I had this cut out and all ready to go it only took be about an hour to get it all finished. 

Of course it is supposed to be rainy with cooler temps today so A decided to wear it with some leggings underneath.  I didn’t get a chance to take a picture but hopefully I can snag one tonight when she gets home.

My plan is to work on the Tula Pink t-shirt dresses tomorrow.  I really want to get these done and think that sewing them at the same time will help get it done a little quicker.  I’ll be back tomorrow with an update of how things are coming along.



Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Sewing & KCWC Prep

This weekend I got quite a bit of sewing and sewing related activities done. 

I finished up a special order for the shop and liked it so much that I am going to offer it in the store permanently.  It is a dress in the same style as the top from the ruffle outfit and a matching diaper cover with a Mickey appliqué on the bottom.  I love all the ideas that my customers come up with and can’t wait to get this new one in the shop. 

This weekend I also prepped for KCWC; pulling out all of the fabric that I want to use, cutting out patterns and putting directions and notions together so I can get as much sewing time in as possible.  If you don’t know about KCWC it is hosted by Meg at Elsie Marley and it is a commitment to sew 1 hour a day for 7 days for your kids.  I am so excited to be able to participate this year and have a lot planned.

Top Row (left to right)

Leila & Ben Peasant Dress - Linen look cotton with polka dot ruffle down the middle
Camo knit dress pink ruffle accents
T-shirt dresses with Tula Pink Prince Charming fabric
Ivory gauze fabric for an elastic shirred top
Oliver + S Swing Set Tunic – Children at Play Parade fabric

Bottom Row (left to right)

Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts – Navy Twill fabric
Oliver + S Swing Set Tunic – Red, White & Blue fabric
Clever Charlotte Flutter Blouse – Lisette Lawn fabric
Oliver + S Class Picnic Tunic – Lisette Sateen fabric
Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts – Children at Play Balloon fabric

I know that there is not possible way I could get this all done in a week but I wanted to have plenty of options if something went wrong or I get tired of working on one thing.  There are a few items for each girl and hopefully this will help kick start their summer wardrobe!

The items high on my priority list are:
Peasant Dress w/ Polka Dot Ruffle – 3T for A
Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts & Swing Set Tunic in Children at Play fabric – 2T for M’s Birthday
Tula Pink T-Shirt Dresses – 2T for M, 3T for A
Clever Charlotte Flutter Blouse – 2T/3T for A

Oh, I finished a couple of tops for myself but those will have to wait until after KCWC is over.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ice Cream & Weekend Sewing

Ok, so I know this is a day late but I do have some fun things to share.  The weather this weekend was so nice and we had a great time outside with the girls.  We washed cars as a family on Saturday and the girls had a blast helping us; mainly splashing around in the soapy water!

There was a little sewing going on this weekend but most of it was for orders from my shop.  I started a Sorbetto Top from the lovely Sari at Colette Pattern Company.  I am using a light pink texturized voile that I picked up from a while ago.  The fabric was not what I pictured when ordering but it is perfect for this little project.  I did make a few changes on the pattern but I will go into more detail when it is all finished and I have a chance to show it off.   

I have decided to participate in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at Elsie Marley.  Meg hosts this awesome sew along twice a year to help motivate us all to sew more for our kids.  When you commit to being part of the sew along you are saying you will sew for your kids an hour a night for a whole week.  This year KCWC will be going on April 23rd through the 30th and I have committed to participate.  My plan is to have all my outfits cut out and ready to go so I can start sewing right away.  This will give me more time to finish outfits instead of worrying about prepping.  If you have any little ones you would like to sew for you should really participate.  It's so fun seeing what others are sewing and getting such great ideas for your next project.

In tune with KCWC I just picked up the Charlie Tunic and the Charlie Dress Add-On from Rae at Made By Rae.  I have been waiting for her to release the Dress Add-On for a while and I am so excited that it is here.  I have great visions of a short sleeve summer dresses and some fun fall dresses for both the girls from this pattern.  Now I just have to decide what fabric I am going to use for my first dress.

I started and finished two tops that were not on the to-do list but have been on my mind for a while.  I picked up the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress pattern about 6 months ago and was a little intimidated by it.  I was worried my take on it would not look as good as all of the other great dresses and tops out there.  I should have never doubted Liesl because both the dress and the top came together quickly and the directions were very easy to understand.  My Mother in Law gave me these cute coordinating green floral fabrics to go with a specific top pattern for one of my girls.  I liked the top that she originally had in mind but could not stop thinking about how great these would look as Ice Cream tops.  

I decided that I would make M an Ice Cream Top in size 2T with the main floral fabric.  The top for M took about 1.5 hours total to put together and it was all finished in just one evening.  The top turned out great and has been worn a couple of times already.  I used a flower shaped shell button for the closure in the back and it looks so cute matching the flowers on the fabric.  I was a little worried about the neck opening because some of the other ladies on the Oliver + S forums have mentioned that it was hard to get over their kiddos heads but this went over without any issues.  I would only change one little thing and that would have to be the length of the top.  M has a little round belly and this top is on the verge of being almost too short.  When I make it again I would probably add about 2" to the length of the top to help with this.  She is just starting to lose her baby fat so this might not be a problem for much longer. 

For A I wanted to make the Ice Cream in a tunic length top with the main floral fabric for the body of the top and the lighter green fabric for the shoulder/sleeve area and the bottom band.  This took me a little bit longer than the top but it I still finished it up over just two nights of sewing.  Right now A is so happy with anything that I sew for her.  She is always asking me about what I am working on and if it is for her so she was so excited when this was just for her.  I ran into a small snag when sewing up the bottom panel of the tunic  Somehow the band was much wider than the body portion that I was sewing it to.  I am not sure why this happened but I think it has something to do with the fact that I used the shirt size for the body of the fabric and then jumped to the band from the dress pattern.  Instead of taking the band apart and cutting it down to size (which I should have done because it is bugging me now) I just made a little tuck in the band fabric on each side.  It is almost unnoticeable and really blends into the tunic especially because of how the fabric flows.  I picked a plain button for the back so nothing too show off but the top as a whole looks so good. 

This pattern is so versatile and I can't wait to make more of these for the summer and for fall to layer with long sleeve tees.  I already have another top planned for A in some Valori Wells Karavan. 
Project List for the Week

Lil Blue Boo Perfect Shorts – For A 3T – Michael Miller Hot Pink Interlock Finished – Just need to take pictures
Sorbetto Top – For Me – Texturized Pink Voile – Just need to finish bias binding!
T-Shirt Dress – For A 3T & M 24m – Tula Pink Prince Charming – Cut out
Clever Charlotte Phoebe Flutter Blouse – for A 2/3T – Lisette Lawn Fabric – Cut out
Oliver + S Class Picnic Tunic - for A 3T - Lisette Sateen - Cut out

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dancing Princess

I bought the fabric for this outfit over a year ago and have been thinking about it ever since.  This pink princess fabric made its way into my stash when I was shopping with A at Wal-mart and she made it known that she could not live without it.  I bought just a yard because I was not sure what I was going to do with it.  I had visions of a peasant dress or just a simple peasant top but was not sold on either idea.  I knew wanted to make her something fun but also something she could wear to school so she could enjoy it any day of the week. 

I decided on the Swingset Skirt from Oliver + S after making one earlier and loving it.  It has just the right amount of swing to it and it is so easy to make.  I cut the main fabric like normal but decided to hold off on fully lining the skirt.  It gets very hot here in South Carolina during the summer and I wanted to make this skirt nice and light.  Because the lining for the skirt is also what makes the waistband I decided to cut the top 4 inches of the lining fabric in white batiste and sew it up like normal.  Instead of hemming the bottom of the lining I serged the bottom and sides before sewing it together and will just leave it as is.  The exposed ends are enclosed in the waistband so there is no reason to worry about fraying. 

The top is just a purchased tank top with a scrap of the princess fabric cut out in a bib shape.  I inserted some white ric rac around the outside of the bib for an extra little frill and just ran a satin stitch over the top. 

A was so excited when I finished this outfit and she made sure ask about wearing it to school the next day.  Well, A wore her outfit to school yesterday and it was a big hit.  The outfit came home in one piece but was well loved with dirt, grass and cookie stains.  I have to go and do some stain pre-treating but hopefully it will be as good as new and I can take some pictures of her actually wearing it!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter is Here!!!

We finally made it to Easter and as promised I took some pictures of the girls in their Easter dresses.  I went with the grey ribbon so it would stand out a little more than the pink and instead of tacking the whole ribbon on I used the suggestion for making thread chains to hold the ribbon on the sides.  A big thank you to Liesl and the ladies from the Oliver + S forums for giving me such great suggestions and to help my dresses look the best.  The girls looked so cute and loved their new dresses.

My Easter Skirt/craft fail was not meant to be for this year.  I have it sitting on my sewing table and plan to get to it in the next week or so.  Hopefully I will have a great summer skirt to show off but I did not have enough time this past week to get it finished.  

I wanted to show some outfits that I made the girls pre-blog.  I picked up these shirts at Wal-Mart last year when they were marking down all of their long sleeve shirts to get ready for summer.  I made some ruffled capris for the girls out of a Easter printed fabric from Hobby Lobby and just embellished the shirt with a ruffle from the same fabric as the capris.  I think they turned out pretty good and they were perfect for Friday outfits to school.  The weather cooled down here a lot Friday and Saturday morning so I was happy to have something a little bit warmer for the girls to wear to their school Easter parties.  The capri pattern was from Violette Field Threads and was a quick sew.  This was the first time I have sewn with one of their patterns and I was very impressed. 

The project list has been staying the same for the past couple of weeks.  It seems like every time I think about getting one of the items done another sewing job or project pops up.  It is driving me crazy but hopefully I will get a couple of these done this week.  I will be participating in Elsie Marley's Sewing Clothes Kids Week starting on April 23rd and have a plan to finalize some items for the girls summer wardrobe. 

Project List for the Week

Lil Blue Boo Perfect Shorts – For A 3T – Michael Miller Hot Pink Interlock
Sorbetto Top – For Me – Texturized Pink Voile
T-Shirt Dress – For A 3T & M 24m – Tula Pink Prince Charming
Clever Charlotte Phoebe Flutter Blouse – for A 2/3T – Lisette Lawn Fabric
Oliver + S Class Picnic Tunic – for A 3T – Lisette Sateen



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Whitney Dress from Grits & Giggles – Pattern Review

I was SO excited when Jenilyn of Grits & Giggles asked me to test her newest pattern.  I ran across Jenilyn’s blog over a year ago and have been reading it ever since, you know us South Carolina girls have to stick together!  Other than the SC connection I could connect with her in other ways: she is a working Mom, has a super cute little girl and is a crafter. 

Jenilyn had me test the Whitney Dress and let me tell you it is darling.  There are so many options that it is like getting 4 patterns for one price.  You can choose to make it with a halter strap or shoulder tie straps and have the option for a ruffle or fabric band along the bottom.  I chose to go with the shoulder tie straps and fabric band so that A can wear it to school and it would be easy for her to play in. 

This dress is made with elastic across the chest for a comfortable fit that stays in place for ANY type of play or movement.  I used the pink and white polka dot for the main part of the fabric and the pink and white damask for the top casing, straps and bottom band.  You could use 2 or 3 contrasting fabrics for a funkier look or use some of your scraps for the band, casing and straps. 

This dress would be a great beginner project for someone new to sewing and is an easy project to whip up for an intermediate or advanced sewer.  It took me about an hour from start to finish and that includes cutting.  I have a serger but decided to just pink the seams because I didn’t have the right colored thread on my machine.  I plan on making several of these for the summer months because they are so cute, comfortable and easy to make. 

Please go check out Jenilyn’s blog and watch for the Whitney dress in her Etsy shop soon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Craft Fail

Craft Fail

Well, I got a few things finished over the weekend but nothing to shout from the roof about.  Both of the girls Bubble Easter Dresses are finished and with help from the ladies on the Oliver + S forums I decided to go with a grey grosgrain ribbon and make a thread chain/belt loop for each of the sides.  This will allow me to take off or change the ribbon if I want to because it will not be permanently attached.  I promise to show pictures of the finished dresses being worn by the girls after Easter.

Now back to my craft fail.  I had big plans to make a skirt from an online tutorial that I found a while back.  I wanted to use a grey sheet that I picked up so I could somewhat match the girls for Easter but also have something to add to my wardrobe for the summer. 

There were several problems with this skirt:
  1. I measured myself back in August when I first planned to make this skirt and then cut the fabric out to match said measurements.  I am pretty sure that the August measurements are not correct now.
  2. I measured so that the waistband of the skirt is on my hips not at my waist; this means that the gathered portion of the skirt starts right at my widest point making me look HUGE.  Also, because the skirt is so low it makes my top half look much longer than it already is. 

I worked on the skirt for about an hour last night to get it finished up and when I tried it on I almost cried.  I decided to take it off and just put it aside for a while.  I knew something was wrong but could not put my finger on what needed to be changed.  Thinking about it overnight helped me and I figured out what I need to do to fix it.  The waistband should really be up at my natural waist instead of low on my hips.  If I take the waistband off and measure so that it fits at my natural waist it will sit better and not flare out at such an awkward place.  I might have to take a little in on the sides because I am shortening the waistband but it should be a pretty easy fix once all of those stitches are picked out.  The good news is that I put my first invisible zipper in and it was pretty painless. 

Here’s to a week of much sewing and less undoing!

Project List for the Week

Fix Easter Skirt
Pattern Review – I just need to write this up, the garment is already sewn up
T-Shirt Dress – For A 3T & M 24m – Tula Pink Prince Charming
Clever Charlotte Phoebe Flutter Blouse – for A 2/3T – Lisette Lawn FabricOliver + S Class Picnic Tunic – for A 3T – Lisette Sateen