Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lace Angel-Sleeve Top

  Last year, I bought a few yards of a beautiful royal blue stretch lace from LA Finch Fabrics, thinking I'd sew myself something from it. Then, in March, my mother-in-law had a birthday! And of course, being in the habit of using my personal fabrics for gifts, I made her a shirt from said lovely lace.

  I used Jalie 2805, and starting with elbow-length sleeves, flared them to add some interest. I hemmed the lace on the sleeves using some tips from Sew Fearless, and they didn't turn out too badly! I used a single needle for this, as the sleeves have enough fullness that they don't need to stretch.

  I lined the whole shirt with plain white knit, and since I've never seen the recipient wear anything sleeveless, decided she might like the coverage of some cap sleeves under the lace sleeves. I wanted the lining separate from the lace at the underarm seam and side seams, so I sewed both sets of sleeves separately, then set them in the round once the body was sewn.

  I left off the neckband, but didn't raise the neckline to compensate. Since the neckline of this pattern starts out quite high and tight that didn't cause any issues, and I really think the slightly wider and lower neckline looks better with this fabric. A little top-stitching around it would have helped to keep things in place, but clearly I didn't do that!

  I hemmed the white layer just shorter than the lace with a twin needle, and used Wonder Tape and wash-away stabilizer to try to prevent the lace layer from tunneling when I twin-needled it. It worked until I soaked the stabilizer away, then tunneled, so next time I think I'll try to find some sort of sheer knit that I can leave in the seam to stabilize it. It looked a little worse in real life than in these photos, but it still looked better than a lettuce-edge or rolled hem would have.

  I did my best to line up the lace 'stripe' along the side seams.

  I have no idea if this one fit or not... I really hope it did! Isn't that lace pretty?

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Isla Dress And 7 Years Old

  All the way back in March, Booper turned 7!

  We didn't plan a party for her this year, but I did make her a dress and a cake! I'd been seeing all kinds of cute versions of the Simple Life Pattern Company (SLPCO) Isla's Infinity Tunic and Dress around, and just loved the heart in the back- but I knew Booper wouldn't be comfortable with an open back.

  However, I won a giveaway that Sweet Red Poppy hosted on Instagram for a pattern of my choice from SLPCO, and decided that a closed back wouldn't be so hard after all, and chose that pattern!

  I sewed this one size up from Booper's chest measurements, in hopes that the shoulder width would work for her, and added an inch to the straight bodice length (and wish I'd added another!) and a lot of length to the circle skirt hem. I added a third layer in the back so I could keep the clean finish around the heart while closing up the back. I used the elbow-length sleeves with a bit of extra length, and added the flutter sleeves.

  I used this beautiful cotton spandex knit, a print from Sincerely Rylee last year called Eden, to sew it- I was hoping to use a piece of Art Gallery knit that I'd bought earlier this year, but I didn't have nearly enough. The coral is from Girl Charlee, and I used it for the lining, pockets, and flutter sleeves.

  The pattern wasn't fantastic... things aren't trued, the shoulder is consistently too narrow (not just for Booper, but in quite a few of the pattern listing photos), the armscye is very long and narrow, and the shoulder seam is pushed toward the back quite a bit to make the sleeve, which is identical front-to-back, work.

  That being said, the instructions were pretty good... the method for sewing the heart cutout results in a very clean, pretty finish. I did that part differently though, to add the third layer... I sewed the heart as instructed, then turned it right side out and treated those two layers as one for the rest of the bodice construction, with a third layer acting as the actual lining. I was a little concerned that Booper's sisters would decide the bodice back was a pocket and stretch it out of shape, but that hasn't turned out to be a problem at all, although I did have to hand-stitch a portion of the heart back together after some of the stitches popped in the wash.

  Booper loves the pockets- I used the coral in an effort to save as much of the expensive print as possible, but I kind of wish I hadn't, as they are very visible!

  I hemmed the main sleeves with a twin needle, but used a lettuce-edge for the flutter sleeves and hem.

  Needless to say, Booper was delighted with her new dress, and it has become a staple in her wardrobe since I made it!

  It's kind of hard to believe she's already seven... most of the time she's very mature and people often guess her age as a couple of years more than it is, but it hardly feels possible that she's been a part of our family for so long already!

  She's a quick learner, and in addition to beginning her first real year of school last fall, has started taking piano lessons and is really enjoying them.

  She's a great reader, and goes through chapter books in just a few days. She loves to play pranks and surprise people, and comes up with as many jokes as her humorous little self can!

  Booper is very responsible, and is diligent in getting her chores and homework done each day, without complaining. She loves games of any kind, and spending time playing them with just about anyone is one of her chief joys.

  We are so happy that she is a part of our family!

  Her favorite colors right now are mint and pink- I was very happy I had some fabric that included both! I also made the cake in mint and coral!

  I bought some Russian Piping Tips from Craftsy in their Black Friday sale last year, and finally got a chance to use one of them on this cake. They definitely take some practice, and some very stiff frosting! Mine was a little too soft even after adding several extra cups of powdered sugar, so the flowers are a little droopier than I'd hoped, but I think the cake turned out lovely anyway.

  I also used a drop flower tip, a leaf tip, and a small round tip. I just did a basic white cake with basic buttercream icing, and didn't worry too much about getting the base layer of frosting perfectly smooth. I had a lot of fun making it!

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dotty Party Dress

  I found this dotted corduroy fabric at JoAnn's last October, and it was just perfect for Gaiw, so I decided to buy a piece, along with some coordinating coral corduroy, to make the Oliver + S Birthday Party Dress.

  I finished it in the end of February, just in time for the weather to warm up and make it uncomfortable to wear, oops! I swapped out the armscyes for the ones from the Building Block Dress while making the shoulders wider, and added long sleeves with a wide ruffle.

  I should have made the sleeves a bit longer, and top-stitched the ruffle seam so the ruffles wouldn't flip up!

  I also lengthened the dress a few inches. Because I added sleeves, I changed the sewing order up to match, but forgot to modify the facing! At least there's no chance of it flipping outward this way...

  The facing would have worked better in the coral fabric, as the dots peek out more than I'd like where the tops of the pleats fall open. I did use the coral for the hem facing though, and hand-stitched the top of that in place:

  I made this for Gaiw, but it's a little on the small through the shoulders for her, and since the sleeves are also a little too short, it works better for Beckers. I don't think it's the fault of the pattern- I just didn't widen the shoulders enough when I swapped out the armscyes. I'll probably use the pattern again, with or without modifications... it's a good quality pattern, if not the twirly style that my daughters prefer!

  I used a pink button to match one of the dot colors on the tabs, and sewed it on with coral thread:

  The back is done up with aqua-colored, heart-shaped KAM snaps.

  Next time I use corduroy I really need to remember to interface the inner AND outer layers of the button placket if I'm adding snaps. This fine-wale stuff is just not sturdy enough for snaps without that interfacing! I also need to work on lining the snaps up properly...

  In spite of all of the 'should have's, this dress fits my initial vision pretty perfectly, so I do like the end result!

  Also, for some reason this dress, shoe, and hair (her hair just grows like that! I've never cut it!) combination is giving me a vintage vibe...

  Hopefully this dress will fit Beckers next fall, but if not there's another sister or a couple of cousins to hand it down to... after all, it's barely been worn!

  I don't think Gaiw will mind passing it on- she loved the dots at first, but it just wasn't twirly enough for her! I'll have to find another dotty fabric to make a twirly dress for her.

  Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, April 17, 2017

Plumber Presents

  My husband is a plumber. For his birthday in February, I made two shirts for him.

  The first is black:

  As usual, I used Jalie 2918 with a slightly narrower neckband, and the fabric is the same 12oz cotton spandex blend from Nick of Time Textiles that I was using last year.

  My husband thought this was really funny! I used tan heat transfer vinyl for this one.

  As usual, I twin-needled the hem:

  The second one is blue, with white heat transfer vinyl:

  Same pattern, same fabric but in a different color, once again with a twin-needled hem:

  He had requested this saying on a shirt sometime last year, so he was very happy with this shirt too!

  I've made these shirts so many times now that I don't really have much I can say about them! Joshua says that the shirts I make for him are by far the most comfortable that he owns, so there will probably be even more in the future.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, March 31, 2017

Floral Dress and Hooded Raglan

  My youngest sister's birthday was early in January, and since I follow her Pinterest boards, I knew that she wanted a mid- or full- length dress from a large-scale floral. After making this dress last year, I bought a few more yards of the same print for myself, but it was just perfect for my sister, so I turned it into a dress for her instead!

  I used the same pattern as last time too, the Lady Skater dress from Kitschy Coo. I lengthened the bodice by 1.5" and added a lot of length to the hem, to make it mid-length for my tall sister. I used the 3/4 length sleeve, but hemmed it instead of banding it, and raised the neckline. I also added pockets again! I had a really difficult time top-stitching the pockets this time, so the final result is a little wobbly, but I didn't want to risk stretching it out by re-doing it.

  I sewed the neckband in the round instead of the flat, and added a tag. The main reason I like adding tags to gifts is that it helps differentiate the back of the garment from the front! ;-)

  She loved the dress, so I'm quite happy about this one!

  One of my sister-in-love's had a birthday in January too. She thought my hooded raglan was pretty cute, so I made a similar one for her. I used the Hey June Lane Raglan pattern, and I remembered to size up for hers, so it would fit even though the fabric wasn't particularly stretchy! She's pregnant, but since her belly was still pretty small at the time I decided not to make any maternity modifications, in hopes that she'll be able to wear it after the baby is born too.

  I used pink for the accent color on this one, and went with plain cuffs and a hem-band.

  I also lined the hood- the pattern has an un-lined hood but I really prefer the look of a lined one. The pink rayon French terry is a lot stretchier and has more drape than the floral polyester French terry, so I used a wider seam allowance along the center seam, and ended up trimming some excess fabric from the neckline edge of the lining so it would match the outer. I stitched in the ditch between the lining and outer to make the drawstring casing... that turned out to be really difficult with the stretch and wobble of the fabric, so I think I'd try something different next time!

  I added a matching pink drawstring from the pink French terry after taking these photos.

  I'm happy to report that this one fit, and was appreciated as well! I am always delighted when the gifts I make are used and loved!

  Thanks for stopping by,