Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Samantha's Crossover Dress

  I mentioned a couple times that I was working on sewing a dress for a friend... this style. Well, it's done and I have pictures! Samantha (who may be the sweetest, most gentle person I have ever met) chose to use a knit sheet set from Wal-mart for her fabric as well, in an oatmeal color.

  I was a little worried about the fit when I made it, because Samantha didn't bring a well-fitting t-shirt for me to make her pattern from, and I didn't have my measuring tape with me when we met. We had to go with a tightly fitting jacket and a scrap from the sheet to measure the skirt length and overlay length, but the only place that didn't fit perfectly was the shoulders... I should have cut them just a tiny bit wider. And that mistake was made because the jacket's shoulders were too wide, and padded, and I over-compensated.

  It was really interesting to see how the same style of dress looked so different on our different figures... if I were to make this for Samantha again, I would lower the waistline a few inches to de-emphasize the bust.
(The sleeves do fit right. Just the pose causing the wrinkles. =))
  I went ahead and did two layers on the overlay instead of one, sandwiching the ruffle between them, and it did help a lot to keep the ruffle from flipping the wrong direction. I also did two layers in the back this time, since the oatmeal-colored knit is a little more transparent, and we didn't want any show-through issues. It also helps to keep the weight of the skirt from pulling the back waistband down, although apparently it made the dress a little too warm as well. I made two other minor changes- Samantha's sleeves are a touch longer, but still have the split cuffs, and her dress does not have the nursing openings.

  It was fun to make this for someone beside myself! Although, I admit it didn't hold my attention as well this time... it feels a little tedious to make the same thing three times. Which is why the next version I make for myself will be altered enough that it will be a different dress. ;-) (I'm thinking half-circle skirt, more of a wrap bodice, different ruffles, and ties... but I'm not making it any time soon!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Leaf-Print Fall Dresses

  I was in the middle of sewing a dress for my friend last week, in the middle of baking pies for Thanksgiving, and for some reason I can't remember, I decided that both girls NEEDED new dresses for Thanksgiving. Also, in the midst of my enthusiasm, I couldn't just use plain fabric... it had to be leaf-printed. So I pulled out some knit scraps, a leaf stamp, and some paint. Amazingly, I managed to finish both dresses without staying up past midnight! =)

  I used Rae's free Itty Bitty Baby Dress Pattern in the toddler size for Booper, and downsized it a little for Gaiw (although I didn't downsize it quite enough, width-wise).

  I wanted the fabric to have a natural fall leaf look to it, so I started off with cups of acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium in a few different colors: a green (that I mixed myself), crimson red, yellow ochre, and vermillion.

  For each leaf, I would lay the stamp out, face up (The stamp is from Hobby Lobby... it came in a set with several other leaf shapes and has a cling backing):

  And brush on a thin layer of a couple colors:
In this picture... vermillion and a touch of crimson
 Then I would flip the stamp over, press it firmly on the fabric:

 And voila!
Okay, so I didn't press firmly enough on this leaf, but you get the idea, right?
  Every leaf is unique, and I love that. I didn't worry about brushstrokes either; I felt like they just added to the natural feel. I do wish my green had been a little... greener. Less blue.

  Also, I think it would have been better if I had cut the pattern pieces first, and stamped second, because now I have odd-sized scraps of printed knit that I have no idea what I want to use for. It would have meant a lot less stamping too. =)

  I used a thrifted knit skirt for the brown contrast... I didn't actually make piping with it since I wanted to keep the stretch, so the waist section is just a 1.5 inch wide piece, folded in half and sewn in in the seam.
I love that I caught Gaiw pointing in the back of this picture. =)


  I am super-happy with how these turned out... the print came out just how I had imagined it! And I am very happy that I finished these up in time, and the littles got to wear their new dresses at a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. =)

Thanks for stopping by!
PS: If you have never tucked a bit of Nutella in some pie crust dough, baked it, and ate it, you have missed a delicious piece of life. Try it!

Linking up at Make It Wear It

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful And A Baby Dress

   A couple years ago I was introduced to the concept of up-cycling... taking material intended for one use and recycling it for a better use. Among many other things, that is a concept that I've been very thankful for lately... turning sheets into dresses, used containers into useful dishes, and more. I'm also thankful for my two little girls, who get to pass along the handmade items I've made, and enjoy them twice over. This is the first dress I ever made for either of my daughters, up-cycled from a worn skirt I discovered at a thrift store. Booper wore it when she was about 9 months old:
The buttons were also from the skirt... the button loops were not. =)

Wasn't she the funniest, most adorable baby?
  And here it is on Gaiw yesterday, at 11 months old:
Sorry the pictures are a little washed out! I changed some settings and forgot to change them back for these pictures.

  So today, along with the other wonderful things God has given me, I am thankful for little girls, up-cycling, and handmade dresses. =)

Thanks for stopping by! (And to all you Americans, Happy Thanksgiving!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Baby Sleep Sack

  Just popping in to show you something I made recently for Gaiw. See, our house gets pretty cold at night in the winter, and that little one hasn't learned how to pull her blankets back up after she kicks them off yet, so she also gets really cold. To make it a little easier on myself, so I don't have to wake up and fix her blankets every few hours, I sewed up some baby sleep sacks. Like this one:

  They are pretty much just fleece rectangles, with rounded edges and an opening for the head. I left a large space next to the neck opening to slide her in, and added buttons and buttonholes right there so she can't crawl out. Gaiw has been using these for a little while now, and they really help to keep her cozy enough. Here are all three sacks I finished:

I made one with several colors of fleece, but only because I didn't have any one color big enough... I think it came out pretty cute though! The entire back of the sack with the blue buttons is of yellow fleece, again because I didn't have enough left of the grey. And on the multicolored one I got smart and left a space below the lowest button, since she tries to stick her arm between the buttons to suck her thumb and gets stuck. I love how cute my little blob looks in these:

  So that's what I've been up to lately! I've also been cutting out a dress to sew for a friend and recovering from a month-long virus. I should be back with pictures once I've finished the dress I'm working on. =)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Jess Dress

  Remember how I dyed those buttons? I finished up the dress I wanted them for a few weeks ago... the day before the Kids Clothes Week Challenge started, actually. I was planning on making a matching dress for Gaiw, so you all could have a tutorial, but I've run out of steam and don't feel like repeating this dress right now.  Anyway! Here it is:

  You can see from my initial sketch that this didn't turn out quite like I was hoping... the sleeves don't have enough puff and I made the bib quite a bit too big.

  Still, it is really cute on Booper and she loves it. =)

  This is named 'The Jess Dress' because it was inspired by Jessica at Craftiness is Not Optional... she is always adding sweet little details like the ric-rac and pin-tucks on the bib to the adorable dresses she makes for her equally adorable little girls. Truly, if you get a chance you should check out her incredible tutorials page and see all the sweet things she has made.

  So this dress has a pin-tucked bib and ric-rac around the bib, cuffs, and waistband. There is a circle skirt, buttons I dyed myself on the bib, and button closure down the back.

  It's light and floaty and drape-y and twirly, what more could a little girl ask for? =)

If I ever get the energy again, I'll give you a quick rundown on how I made this, along with some tips for a lined bodice with no raw edges and no hand sewing - with sleeves. =)

Thanks for stopping by!