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Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm moving!

We bought our first house!  This is exciting for us because we've been moving every couple of years for the last 8 years.  Things have gone awry with our rentals (owners selling, moving back in, deciding to rent to their children, fires...) so we are over the moon to finally have a place to truly settle into (we've already slapped some paint up on the walls!).

Unfortunately, that means another move.  This time, we're only moving a little ways, instead of across the state through a snow storm of doom, so things are looking up.  But, that means that sewing frenzy of procrastination needs to come to an end and I need to actually pack for my move next week.  Yeah, I said next week.

I'll be gone for a bit while I get things sorted out and put away.  Try not to miss me too much.

Last night I packed up most of my sewing room.  All of my fabric is in boxes.  All of my sewing notions are tucked into littler boxes inside bigger boxes.  All of my patterns are taped up and filed with all the other boxes against the wall.  I shall be wearing black until all is unpacked and I can back to what I love.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lily Bird Studio Birthday Dress

I've sewn many patterns by Lily Bird Studio.  I love how well they're written and I love how well they fit.  I haven't blogged about all of them but I hope to do so in the future.  You've already seen a couple versions of her summer blouse in pink and cream.  I've also sewn her cuffed shorts and a couple of dresses.  I own most of her patterns outright :)

Did you know that one of these fabulous designer's patterns made it to the final four for the flip this pattern tour by Frances Suzanne?  Voting is still open!  Go take a look at all the wonderful designers and vote.

This is the birthday dress.  It is offered in infant sizes in one pattern in 0-24 months and older girls in 2T-8.  I love that this is available for such a large range of sizes.  

The dress has a button placket in the back, flutter sleeves, a lined bodice, empire waist, and sweet narrow belt.  The pattern also has a bottom ruffle, but I chose to leave it off to showcase the print on the dress.

The pattern has you use a narrow hem to finish the edges of the sleeves, but I chose to line mine with gold shot cotton to add some color and to match the belt.  I used the same fabric to line the bodice.  I thought it added an unexpected flash of color to the inside and it made me happy.  I usually use muslin batiste for my linings so I was branching out.

I sewed this up in a 2T and it fits beautifully with no alterations needed.  I did add a thread chain on both sides to hold up the little belt because it kept slipping down to her waist without it.

A perfect summer dress for my fun loving girl!

  1. Pattern : Birthday Dress by Lily Bird Studio
  2. Fabric: Aneela Hoey Meadow Daisy and Kaffe Fasset Shot Cotton in Squash

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pretty Peach Pinafore: Persnickety Knock off

I couldn't resist the alliteration.

So, this outfit was inspired by Persnickety.  I couldn't afford buying theirs so I made my own. I especially loved the apricot underdress.  So perfect for warm summer days and it layered beautifully with the pinafore.  I was smitten!  It's not the first time I've had to make my own Persnickety dress.  I made a pin tucked jumper last summer.  I might have a problem.

I used the bodice and sleeve pattern from five and ten designs to construct both pieces.  I also made my underdress 100% reversible.  The inside is pink chambray and the outside is apricot shot cotton.  I forgot to get photos of the pink dress, but it's pretty basic.  The apricot is my favorite anyway.

I scooped the neck on the bodice and brought it to a subtle "v" in the front.  I also brought in the shoulders a bit so that the whole thing would look more fitted.  Nice and simple but the shot cotton adds texture to the dress and spices it up.

Since I wanted the dress to be reversible, I had to sew on an exposed zipper.  I used a brown one to compliment the orange dress and then layered pink lace over it.  I also ran lace down the back seam of the dress.

I love how the lace and exposed zipper makes an otherwise plain dress a bit more exciting.

The pinafore's sleeves are trimmed in cotton lace and the neck is bound with matching apricot shot cotton which comes around the back to form the ties.  Little Miss has demanded a pocket.  She was sad that there was nowhere to store her treasures.

The back is left open.  You can see the zipper on the under dress.  It ties at the top and the waist with apricot ties.  I think it's cute, but it reminds me a bit of a hospital examination gown.  I'm toying with the idea of putting a button on the top but I'd have to add extra width to the back (perhaps a tab would work?)  If I do that, I'll add a bodice lining as well and lose the bias binding at the neck.

Little Mis prefers the under dress without the pinafore.  I might too.  I have a pair of linen shorts in the works to put under the pinafore for warmer summer days.

  • fabrics: Kaffee Fasset shot cotton in apricot and Art Gallery Reminisce
  • pattern: five and ten designs modified

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Easy Heart Skirt Tutorial

Do you need a quick themed skirt for a holiday or event?  I have a very simple tutorial for you today.  You can add this to any any existing skirt or whip up a simple elastic waist skirt.  I won’t do a tutorial for making the skirt itself since there are a lot of great ones out there (like this one), but I will show you how to add these cute felt heart embellishments but you use any shapes you'd like.  Shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day.  Bunnies or easter eggs for Easter.  Maybe balloons for a birthday.  Have fun with it.  If this looks familiar, it's because it was originally written for Sewing Rabbit but I'm bringing it home today.
  • Skirt
  • Several colors of felt.  I used red, dark pink, bright pink and white.
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
You could hand sew these as well, but a sewing machine makes it go much faster.

Start off by drawing some heart templates on paper in three different sizes.  Stack them up until you like their sizes relative to each other.  It sounds complicated but just play it by ear and have fun with it.  These are what mine looked like when I was happy with them.

Next, trace them out on your sheets of felt.  I traced 3 of each size in each color just to make sure I’d have plenty.  There is no set amount that you’ll want.  It depends on the size of your hearts, the size of your skirt and how many hearts you want on your skirt when you’re done.  Felt is cheap, cut as many as you want.  If you have too many at the end, you can use them as embellishments on something else later.  My daughter made some cards for her brothers out of some of our leftovers.

I used a dark sharpie to trace these so that they’d show up for the photos, but I’d suggest using a color that closely matches your felt.  That way, it won’t show up on your final project.  You don’t finish the edges and some of my hearts look a little too “homemade” for my taste with their dark sharpie edges, if you know what I mean.

After you cut out all of our hearts comes the fun part.  Stack them all up and make them pretty!  Play with your color combinations until you think they look good and have the variety you’re going for.  My daughter had SO MUCH fun helping me do this part.  She painstakingly arranged and rearranged these hearts until they were just right.  Look at all of those pretty stacks!

Pin them onto your skirt in whatever configuration pleases you.  I liked mine a bit asymmetrical and clustered them toward the left of the seams.  When pinning, keep the center of the heart clear because that is where you’ll sew them down.  I found that two pins was plenty to keep them in place.

Now, start sewing.  I had a two layer skirt, so I sewed these starting at the tip, but you’ll get a better point if you start at the top of your heart and sew toward the tip.  Because of the construction of my skirt, though, this was a whole lot easier for me.
Don’t forget to anchor your stitches with a backstitch at the top and bottom.  Go around your whole skirt and sew them all on.

The last step is to fold all of your hearts along the seam to make them stand out a bit, but you can keep them flat if you’d like.  It’s up to you.
DONE!  Easy!

  • Fabric - Shot cotton by Kaffe Fasset in Latte
  • Felt - Walmart craft felt
  • Pattern - Self drafted

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Craftster best of 2013

What the WHAT?!  I took a craftster sabbatical a while back and when I went back today, I discovered this beauty!

Craftster Best of 2013 Winner
I'm a Craftster Best of 2013 Winner!  

Read more:

Looks like I won their "Best Of" award in January.  Somehow, I had no idea.  I'm so amazed and humbled and a little embarrassed that I only found out now.  Well, better late than never, right?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Easter Dress: Amelie and Henri Esmee

I finally made an Easter dress.  Every year, I intended to, but I always found a dress on the rack that I fell in love with.  Since Miss grows slowly, I often get two years wear out of them!  Last year and the year before, she got to wear a beautiful Janie and Jack dress.

easter 6
JJMall 6
She was so tiny!  To be honest, she's still tiny.  I just sewed up a size 2 dress for her to wear this year.  She's wearing an 18-24 in both of the previous photos.  I do like that she can wear her clothes for several seasons.  Other years, she's worn Children's Place dresses.

I've always loved the idea of a brand new, fancy, Easter dress.  As a girl, I always wanted to have the fanciest dress there was ( I secretly wish my mom sewed), but for some reason, I've never sewn Miss an Easter dress before.  When I saw this dress on Janie and Jack's website, though, and fell in love with it's shape, I almost bought it.

Then, I remembered that I had a pattern almost identical in my stash already!  I'd purchased the Amelie and Henri Esmee Cottage Dress several months earlier and had tucked it away somewhere.  The pattern has a two piece bodice with a lovely pleated detail, but I left that out because I didn't want to cut  the toile.  The scene is so big, I wanted to let it shine so I made my bodice all one piece.  Everything else is by the pattern.

The skirt is VERY full.  Each panel is full selvedge width, one front and one back.  That is four panels in total and a whole lot of hand gathering.  I'm surprised at how heavy this dress is, but it drapes very nicely.

Please excuse my sad, wonky bow.

I love the scoop back.  It's the feature that I loved about the Janie and Jack dress I almost bought.  The fit on the dress is really good too, especially considering how wide the scoop is.

I added a couple of bright pink buttons with gold sparkles to close it up.  Not my best button hole work, but I can't go back now.

I added two layers of topstitching to the top of the dress for interest, one in light pink and one in dark pink.  The light pink didn't show up too well in the photos.  It's subtle in person too.  Also, how cute is this fabric?

I really like the ticking stripe with the toile.  The sash is topstitched right above the skirt seam.  This was really tricky to do because of the bulk of all the gathering.  I may undo my top stitching and try again.

The underskirt is trimmed with the last of my vintage eyelet.  I will miss it, but it has been well used.  I may tack the underskirt up at the waist because I think it hangs a bit low.  I'll see how it all falls after it hangs for a couple of days.

Thanks for looking!  Hopefully, it will be warm enough this year to wear this with no sweater.  I don't think we have a pink cardigan in the closet!

  • Fabric: Cape Anne Indian Summer 
  • Pattern: Esmee Cottage Dress by Amelie and Henri

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sally Dress from Very Shannon part 2

The second Sally Dress I made, I sized up on.  This is a size 3 and the other dress is a size 2.  I sized up because the 2 fit perfectly and was just a little difficult to get off and on.  This 3 has a bit more room.  I love, love, love this dress.  I think this is my favorite thing in her closet.

It is a little bit wide in the shoulders, but it stays on and it's comfortable.  I made it from a mid weight cotton and it's perfect for year round.  There is enough room underneath to layer it over a top but it's thin enough easily pair with a cardigan (which I did).

Miss loves that she can carry treasures with her, such as her little pet fox, wherever she goes.  We threw on a cardigan and Mary Janes and took a trip to the park on the first sunny day in what felt like ages.

Miss and foxy were the best of friends.

They went down slides

Rode dinosaurs

Watched clouds

and read books together.  Even though you can't see him in this photo, foxy is helping her pick out a book.  He's just in the other pocket.

Fabric:  American Jane Potluck, Yellow Chicks
Sweater: H&M
Tights: Next Direct
Shoes: Primigi
Glasses: Claires.  These are fashion glasses, not prescription.