Friday, February 28, 2014

Experimental Tee Dress

  This dress came about because I was wondering about full skirts, no waist seam, and knit fabric.

  I was pretty sure that if the skirt portion had no curved waist seam that the fullness would all tend towards the side seams, so I decided to test it out and see.

  With only 5 pieces (front, back, sleeves, neckband) this sewed up really quickly. I used a tee pattern for Booper that I'd previously drafted, cutting it off at the waist and adding a very flared skirt. The sleeves and hem are finished with a serged lettuce edge, but since this knit barely stretches, it didn't ruffle much.

  I'm not really happy with the neckband... this was as short as I could get it and still have it fit the neckline, and it doesn't lay flat. I could have made it narrower.... that might have helped. =)

  As I suspected, you can't really tell that the skirt is full when it's wearer is standing still, which would probably look great for an adult but isn't my favorite look for an almost-four year old. Luckily, Booper doesn't stand still much.

  She loves this dress! I'm glad I made it for her even if it's not quite what I was envisioning. =) The knit is from Girl Charlee a couple months ago and is lightweight but barely stretchy. The exact knit I bought is all gone, but this new one has a very similar print.

 I have a grey corduroy dress for Booper done too, and am debating adding a sash... that one should be up soon! =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pink Eyelet Baby Geranium

  I've meant to make another tiny Geranium for a while now. Sadly, Beckers outgrew the free version of the pattern by the time she was 3 months old, but I have a little niece on the way, so I made one for her while I put off buying the multi-sized pattern.

  This one is pink eyelet, underlined and lined with white muslin in the bodice and just lined with a sturdier white cotton in the skirt. Once again, I hand-sewed the bodice seam so it looks just as pretty inside as out:

  I didn't add a regular hem band... instead, I extended the skirt lining by 4 3/8" and sewed it right-sides together with the main fabric,

  Then pressed and top-stitched toward the white. Once the lining and eyelet were matched up at the waist that resulted in a 2" white hem.

  I also added a 1.5" waistband from the white.... I wanted the whole dress longer, since Becker's version was tunic-length an entire month before she grew out of the width. I put a thin satin ribbon around the waist as well, both glued and stitched down, and tied it in an offset bow:

  I used my favorite plastic snaps again in the back, this time white hearts that I bought from this Etsy shop:

    I edge-stitched around the opening of the skirt, so things can't drop down between the eyelet and lining fabrics... I've seen dresses where that was a problem. ;-)

  Of course, the back looks nice from the inside too:

  The bloomers started with a free pattern from This Mama Makes Stuff, but as usual I made a few alterations. I overlapped the side seams and taped for a one-piece pattern, and added 1 1/4" to the bottom so I could enclose the elastic but still have a small ruffle. I just serged the inside of these.

  I also added a tiny bit of ric-rac in the back waistband since otherwise it's hard to tell which side is the back and which is the front, but it does make a difference in how they fit.

  I also made a little headband with some pretty elastic and a bit of eyelet. I wish I had made the bow a bit fatter, but it's still cute:

  I love this outfit! And it's really a good thing that I made it in the 0-3 month size, because I would absolutely be keeping it for Beckers if it was large enough! I have enough eyelet left that I may be able to make one in her size too... it just depends on if I want to repeat the outfit.

    The tiny baby shoes I made recently go with it beautifully, making it even more irresistible. =)

   I thought about making a white, lace-trimmed, puff-sleeved onesie to go with this outfit, but I decided against it. I'd rather spend the extra time making things for my own little girls, especially Booper, who has grown out of most of her clothes lately. I did add some store-bought white tights to the package though. =)

I've been making other things lately in addition to this outfit, but I'm not ready to share those for another week or so. Maybe I'll share my maple-strawberry Chex mix recipe. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Husband Hoodie

 I've had black sweatshirt fleece sitting in my fabric bins for nearly two years, waiting for a chance to be made into a hooded sweater for my husband. That sweater has been on my to-sew list for over two years... but it finally got done last week, in perfect time for his birthday!

  It's just one layer, and most of the seams are serged, pressed open, and topstitched.

   I drafted it using a shirt that I thought fit Joshua well, but that turned out to be one that was too small. I made a muslin, and had to widen the upper back, sides, sleeves, and add length. The muslin was only worn for about 40 seconds while seated, so I failed to notice that the neck is too small to be comfortable, but as long as the zipper remains partially unzipped it is still wearable.

  It's pretty loose, and the hood is over-sized, but those were requested alterations, and the end result is husband-approved. I left a space for a drawstring in the hood, but I haven't been able to get to a sewing store and buy some small grommets to thread it through yet. I could do buttonholes, since that function now works on my machine, but I want this hoodie to be as durable as possible, and grommets are better that way.

   The pockets were the most frustrating part of this project.... I cut the first pair too small, then cut a second pair with the intention of adding width while cutting so I didn't have to draw a new pattern piece, and (of course) forgot to add width. Then I cut one properly, and cut a second one to match it, when I intended to mirror it! Quite a bit of fabric was wasted on pocket iterations, which goes to show that I should not try to cut things properly while on the phone. I'd hoped to have enough fabric left for a sweater for me, but there's only a child-sized portion left.

  There is also a smaller pocket hiding on the inside behind the main pockets, another husband request. I had to be really careful in placing it so the stitching for it doesn't show on the outside, but is hidden beneath the front pockets.

  It was also at Joshua's request that I left of the classic ribbed hem and cuffs, and did a basic serged and folded hem on both.

  Other than the too-small neckline, there is only one thing I'd really change, and that is the zipper. I chose a heavy-duty separating metal zipper, but it's just so blingy! I'd probably create an overlap that snaps down over the zipper so it isn't as in-your-face, and maybe an under-lap so it isn't as scratchy inside.

  I don't know if the photos are showing up as terribly on your screen as on mine, but if they are, blame Blogger. They look fine on my computer, and I even tried uploading them in facebook with no problems, but in this post they are all kinds of awful.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pink Bow Baby Shoes

  My sewing machine is fixed! I finally got to bring it home on Saturday. In addition to the tension being back to normal, my buttonhole foot works now!

  This is the first thing I've made since getting it home... little baby shoes:

  These are the Natty Janes pattern from my friend Delia, but with a bow instead of the cap toe. =) Admittedly, mine are a little less natty and a little more sweet, but I love them just the same.

   I was impressed with the number of tips included! Even if you've never sewn with leather before Delia makes it achievable with plenty of advice.

For once I followed the directions, but next time I would change two things... the sequence of sewing, to see if I can't make that back seam line up a little better (I unpicked them each three times before deciding that enough was enough):

   and I want to see if I can hide the raw edges that are inside the shoes... even though they are felt and leather and aren't going to fray, I don't much like raw edges.

  Do you remember this maternity tee I posted last year? The sister-in-love I gave it to is due with a girl in April, so these are the newborn-sized Natty Janes for her. I have enough leather that I'm planning on making a pair for Beckers too. =)

  The leather unfortunately isn't the best quality, but I was having a very difficult time finding pale pink leather at all, so this is what worked. Most pink leather is bright bubblegum pink.

  I've mentioned before how much I love plastic snaps... I used some white heart-shaped ones on these shoes:

  I found out recently that not all plastic snaps are created equal, however. All the ones I've used have been KAM brand, and bought on Etsy, but my sister-in-love bought some about a month ago that were from Joann's, and they were awful. For every snap successfully installed, 2 or 3 broke into little bits. I definitely do not recommend that brand. =)

 And now to sew up the other 8 projects that I have cut out. I'll probably finish most of those before I allow myself to make another pair of baby shoes. =)

  Thanks for stopping by!