Thursday, July 9, 2015

Red White and Blue


Last week we celebrated Independence Day.  We went camping.  Before we left, I made Miss E and I some red, white and blue clothes.  A dress for her and a shirt for me.


I used fabric from Girl Charlee.  I really like that Girl Charlee lists the weight of the fabric (i.e. how thick it is), because white fabric can be really transparent when it is thin, and I wanted something with enough coverage.


I modified a dress pattern for Miss E's dress.  The pattern (Simplicity 9497) was for woven fabric, and had a ton of ease, so I sized down a couple sizes for width and eliminated the seam in the back.   I also ignored the skirt pattern, and just used up what was left over from my shirt.


For the shirt, I used a pattern (Butterick's B5215, view B), but I've found that the neckline is really high, and the sleeves long, so I modified those.  I also added some length to the back, and split the side seam about an inch.  Taking care of kids means I need all the length I can get.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  We are celebrating with lots of pie (and other food) with family and friends.  And then the mad rush to get all the sewing done for Christmas will continue, not because there is too much (although that might be an optimistic assessment) but because I want to be done getting ready, and to just enjoy the season.  I want presents wrapped, stocking stuffers bought, watch as many Christmas movies as I can peace on Earth.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Maxi Skirts

Maxi skirts have been big for a couple years now, and I've sewed myself a few.  My first attempt was after reading about Kelli over at True Bias making one.  It seemed simple enough, and I decided to try.  I gave my first one a yoga-pants style waistband, hoping that would eliminate the need for elastic (I ended up adding elastic anyway).


For the second I used some fun chevron fabric, (and since I'd bought so much fabric, I also made another maxi for Jeanie, and a shorter skirt for Miss E).  This maxi had less gathering at the top, and it's super comfortable.  I made them right after I got my serger, and they sewed up fast.  Sewing the waistband with the elastic already inside also helped speed things up.  I don't usually sew the elastic in while sewing the waistband, since it requires some extra finagling while sewing.  But it does eliminate several steps.


The last maxi skirt I've made is actually the bottom portion of a maternity dress.  I attempted to alter the top, and it was a complete disaster, so I chopped it off, folded over the top, and added some elastic.  Easy-peasy, and then I had a great new skirt.  It was great to wear while I was transitioning back into my regular sized clothes, since loose skirts are forgiving.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Big & Little: Nightdresses

This past summer I was wanting a new nightgown.  I'm 5'9", and pretty much all dresses are too short at the store, since they're usually made for women who are several inches shorter than me.  (Except wedding dresses, which I've heard are made for women my height.)  So I actually buy very few dresses, since they are always too short; I got into sewing for myself because I wanted dresses to wear.
 

So I bought some pretty voile at JoAnn's.  I had a pattern at home (Simplicity 4048), but either forgot to check how much fabric was needed, or I just bought some extra, because I ended up with almost a yard left over.  Enough to sew a matching nightgown for Miss E, who loves nightgowns.  I used See & Sew B4893 for hers, which is actually a shirt and top pj pattern, but the top is ridiculously over-sized, so I just added a few inches to the bottom, and took in the sides some.  I used lace that I had on hand for both nightgowns.  I also added a placket down the front of mine, just as I did on the other nightgown I shared, since I sewed it up right before having Little A, and wanted to be able to nurse in it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Another Owl and an ANNOUNCEMENT

Big W really likes both the owl doorstop and the large yellow owl I made for Miss E, so I whipped him up his very own owl.  If you want to make one, too, just check out the tutorial and FREE pattern I posted last week.

I used some corduroy (which used to be a pair of pants, and then was a shoulder bag for some time) which is nice and soft and fuzzy.  I included the feet this time, and I found some great owl eyes in my button box.

And now for the ANNOUNCEMENT:  I also got some sewing done for my shop on Esty, which is now open for business again.  AND I started a Facebook page for my shop.  So check them out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Winter Boy PJs

I made some winter pjs for Big W in my post-baby sewing kick (thanks to my maternity leave).  I used Simplicity 5317 for both the top and bottom; the top is supposed to have snaps at the shoulder, which I left off.  I meant to compensate for that when I sewed it, but the neckline is so big on him, I think I might have forgotten too.  Oops. It's pjs, so it isn't such a big deal.  The top is a little short his long torso, but the pants fit great.


I used a waffle knit I found at Girl Charlee for the top.  It has little cowboys and stars, and it's just a little thin, but Big W gets warm easily, so it should work.  If not, then I'll just use a long sleeve T instead.  The pants are made from a flannel I found at JoAnn's, in the remnant bin.  If you have a very small child and a large remnant, you can get away with this, and they're always at least half off.  Bonus.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Big & Little: Pants

While I was still pregnant, Kelli at True Bias released the Hudson Pant pattern.  It is a knit pant (although you can use woven fabric if you size it up).  I found some french terry cloth at Girl Charlee (my favorite source for knit fabrics) and waited until after I had the baby, so I would be sure to make the right size.  They are comfy, and light enough to wear during the hot summer, and I think they'll be nice in the winter as well, with some boots.  They have pockets, and are a little roomy above the knee, which is nice.  I was between two sizes, and went up to the bigger size, and they turned out perfect.


I ended up with some extra fabric (since Girl Charlee only sells by the yard), enough to make some pants for Emily as well.  I used Simplicity 5317; I made them a couple sizes smaller than called for, to eliminate some of the ease, and I lengthened the leg.  This is just a simple pant pattern, so it sews up really fast.  But, I think I'd prefer to find a better pant pattern if I'm going to keep on making pants for her.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Upcycled Capri Pants

This was a quick and easy project, born out of neccesity.  After I had Little A, I didn't have any shorts that fit.  I did have quite a few pairs of jeans, so I chopped the legs off below the knee on a pair that was getting scruffy at the bottom anyway.  I cut a little below where I thought I should, since you can always cut higher but you can't un-cut material, which ended up being the right spot to cut.  Then I added some calico fabric to the bottom for a fun boarder.


I did something similar in high school; it was actually one of the very first things I sewed for myself to wear, and I sometimes remember those capris with fondness.  And now I have another pair. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Seersucker Romper

Little A was blessed at the beginning of August, and wore his white romper I made before Big W was born, and Miss E had a white dress to wear.  I wanted Big W to also have an outfit for the special occasion, so I sewed him a yellow seersucker romper and little white shirt.  I used McCalls M6304 for both the romper and the shirt.


This outfit was also special, because I made Miss E and Baby T matching dresses from the same yellow seersucker when Miss E was almost the same age as Big W.  I've been holding onto the last yard or so of the fabric, planning to use it for something special, and this was the perfect time.


The romper has lots of extra ease, great for Big W.  The legs are a little short; I hemmed them with a very narrow hem, and they are barely long enough.  I will probably add an inch or two if I make the romper again.  I might also add an inch to the torso, since Big W has a long torso.  I lined the entire romper instead of using the recommended facing, but that was mostly because the seersucker was a little sheer.


For the shirt, I used some stretch poplin I picked up when I made the little white romper Little A and Big W were both blessed in.  The shirt is very fitted, with a sweet curved collar.  The sleeve seems didn't sew flat; they kept on puckering.  The shirt is also a little short, which is fine under a romper, but it can't be used without it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Owl Doorstop & Toy


We don't have air conditioning.  Which means that when the doors and windows are all open, the door to my bedroom sometimes slams shut.  After Little A was born, I decided I needed a doorstop, so I could hear if he was crying, and so he wouldn't get woken up by the slamming door. I checked Pinterest, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I created my own doorstop pattern.  And a mini owl as well, since my daughter also loves owls, and she wanted one too.


I am sharing the pattern for the owl.  Just click the link to download.  You will need about a quarter yard of fabric total, including contrasting fabric for the mask and belly, and the feet and beak.  In addition, you will need two buttons for eyes, and stuffing.  If you wish to make a doorstop, you will also need about a pound of dry beans.


Applique mask and belly to the front of the owl body.  I like to do this with the sewing machine (by zig-zag stitching around the edge) but Miss E helped me handsew the mask on her toy owl.


Sew the beak pieces together, making sure to backstitch the ends.  All seams are a 1/4 inch.  Clip the corner after you sew.


Stuff (I used a cotton ball) and handstitch to the owl face.  Sew on the button eyes as well.


Sew the wings and feet, leaving the flat side open.  Clip the corners and curves, and turn.  I like to use a dowel to turn and press corners out.


Pin the wings and feet in place.  I didn't make feet, because my little girl doesn't like them on her toy owls.  (She has an owl her Aunt Jeanie made that has no feet.)


For the handle, cut out a piece of fabric 3.75 inches by 8.5 inches.  Iron the handle in half lengthwise, and then fold the edges in and iron again.  You should have a long, narrow piece, about 1 inch by 8.5 inches.  Topstitch along both edges. Pin the handle in place.


Sew the bottom to the back piece.


Sew the back to the front, leaving a hole for turning.  I left a hole on the bottom for the toy, but for the doorstop I left a hole at the top, which made filling with beans easier.  (I only added beans to the neck, and then filled the head with fluff.)


After stuffing, handstitch the hole closed.