Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Butterfly Dress And Party

  Booper turned 5 in March! As a reward for getting so old she had her first 'real' party. ;-) I started with an idea for the dress I wanted to make her this year and extended it to everything else, so the theme is butterfly with a color scheme of purple, green, and pink. I tested out a few different color ideas, and my favorite was the teal and turquoise scheme, but Booper liked this one best, so we went with it.

  I was busy with a bunch of other things and realized the week before her birthday just how soon it was going to be... so I didn't add nearly as many details as I was originally planning to, and I had to make do with what I could find locally as far as party supplies. It still worked though! The focal point was the food table, which included sandwiches, Chex mix, Skittles, cake, punch, ice cream (not in the photos because I didn't want it to melt), cups of celery and carrots with ranch, fruit salad, and a tray of sandwich toppings.

  I planned to include a whole lot more butterflies in the backdrop, but with only a few days to prepare (and trying desperately to finish the dress in time) I was scrambling to put this together, and was still tacking up the butterflies when the guests arrived. I cut them with my Silhouette Cameo, and used a combination of double-sided tape and thumbtacks to get them on the wall.

  Incidentally, the last-minute scrambling is why there aren't a whole lot of photos, and why they aren't very well-lit....I took them after the guests arrived! Next time I'll plan a little better. ;-) I suppose for putting it together in just a few days, completely by myself, it's not too bad though. =)

  I made the cake the night before... a basic white cake with basic buttercream. Honestly, I'm not all that happy with how it looked. I added too many little things, and I think if I'd stuck with a more basic design it would have been prettier.

  The thank-you cards (made using my Silhouette again) turned out darling though! =)

  The dress.... I didn't finish it in time. And since I had no deadline once the party was over and was pretty wiped out from this pregnancy, it didn't get finished at all until this past weekend! I'm really, really happy I took the time to finish it nicely though. I love how it turned out!

  I used the Georgia Vintage Dress pattern again, with a few changes.

  I added sleeves again, which nearly ended in disaster as Booper told me two days before I finished the dress that she doesn't like puffy sleeves. Luckily she decided it was beautiful once she saw the butterfly applique!

  I also swapped the gathered skirts out for circle skirts, and finished the interior waist the same way as last time. This dress is beautiful inside and out!

  I used Kona quilting cotton in Spring green for the sleeves, bib, and top layer of the skirt, as it was the only woven I could find in the right color.

  I've never used Kona cotton before, and I was surprised at how much heftier it feels than most quilting cottons! The weight almost proved to be too much for the shirring on the sleeves, but it ended up all right.

The rest of the fabrics are broadcloth found at Jo-Ann. I had to double-layer the white for the sash front- it was rather sheer!

  I used some pretty trim along the edges of the bib and white heart KAM snaps atop it. =)

  The back is also closed with white heart KAM snaps... at this rate I'm going to need to buy another pack of 100 soon! =)

  The most time-consuming part of this dress was the hand-appliqued butterfly I added... it took at least 8 solid hours of hand-stitching! I'm really happy I didn't skip it though! It's my favorite part of the dress. The antennae are embroidered using a stem stitch and black floss.

  I haven't done a lot of hand-applique, and last time (I still adore that dress) I ended up with some unpleasant bubbling, so this time I interfaced all of my pieces before sewing them together and to the dress. In retrospect, starch probably would have worked just as well. It's kind of fun how you can see the shapes of the applique from the wrong side of the skirt. The back of the applique before sewing it to the skirt was pretty interesting too... you can see it here. =)

  Booper had too much fun wearing her butterfly dress with her butterfly wings (a Hobby Lobby find) and antennae... I made the antennae with pipe-cleaners, pom-poms, and a headband. =)

  Please excuse the wrinkles in some of these photos... I took a bunch of these after a 45-minute drive to visit the grandparents. =)

  I do love the change of pace with the background!

  I think I chose a size 5 width and 7 length for the bodice this time, but I honestly can't remember for sure at this point.

There were a few more discrepancies in the pattern in this size than in the 18 month size. 

  Luckily, they were simple problems to fix and don't affect the finished garment! =)
  For some reason I was having heaps of trouble with the thread this time... it kept snarling and snapping at seemingly random moments.
   I tried all sorts of things with the tensions and bobbins, and finally figured out that it was the spool causing the problem! I ended up winding the thread off to a bobbin and using that instead of the spool, and had no further troubles. =)

  I guess the only other thing to mention is that the bodice interior is finished using this technique

  Thanks for stopping by! =)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Baby Gifts

  My sister-in-love is having her first baby next month! I decided to make a dress for my new niece... and somehow ended up making her a dress, bloomers, bonnet, toy, and card. (I had pieces cut for a pair of baby shoes too, but didn't end up finishing those.) I bought her a book too, which was requested in lieu of a card at the baby shower. I ended up missing the shower due to a hospitalized relative (who is home now and doing much better), but decided to gift the book anyway. I'm really happy with how it all turned out. This post might end up long, but here goes! =)

  Here is the whole gift set!

  First, the dress. Seeing the beautiful Fawn Lily Tunic that Terra of Mama Says Sew made reminded me that this pattern goes all the way down to a 0-3 month size, making it perfect for a new baby gift. I spent several hours (no, really) agonizing over fabric combinations and finally landed on this one.

  The green is a quilting cotton from Joann's a couple of years ago, the pink is a fun seersucker sent to me by my Grandma about 5 years ago (I used some in another colorway here) and the yellow is another bit of the really pretty sheet that I picked up somewhere... I also used it for this skirt.

  I went with the button-front, cap-sleeve, gathered below-the-knee skirt options this time. I still love this pattern! I used a really short stitch length for the sleeves this time and didn't snip quite as close to the stitching, and didn't have any problems with the stitches pulling out this time. It was really difficult to wrestle the whole dress through those tiny sleeves though! I went ahead and just serged the interior again. My serger was NOT happy about those gathers, but otherwise it went well.

  I hand-sewed the last open bit of the sleeves, rather than edge-stitching the whole sleeve. I also made a few tags with some white fabric and printable iron on transfer paper (affiliate link),and hand-sewed one in the back of the dress.

  I used heart-shaped KAM snaps for the front closure (as usual) and I think that's all the details for this dress! =)

  Next, I made some bloomers. I used this free pattern from This Mama Makes Stuff again, which just happens to be a 0-3 month size. =) I added an inch and a half to the hem to make room for a casing, and taped the pieces together to remove the side seam.

  The insides are serged, and these also received a tag. =)

  The bonnet is the Peekaboo Bonnet Pattern from Made By Rae.

  I also made this in a size 0-3 months, although the sizes go from newborn to child's large. I used up all of my white bias tape to make the white piping (because I was out of white fabric at this point) and realized later I needed some for the ties! So this one didn't get finished for a bit while waiting for a chance to go to the store.

   It's reversible though! Making it with the piping on both sides entailed quite a bit of hand-stitching. It took me 1.5 evenings to finish it all, but I'll admit I'm still a slow hand-stitcher.

  The pattern was pretty decent. There are no notches, but Rae does mention marking the midpoints of each piece. Also, the curve of the brim is not notched in the instructions before turning right side out, I notched it anyway, since there was no way it was going to lay smoothly otherwise. There is no mention in the instructions of how to finish the ends of the binding for the ties, and the bulk of the piping definitely needs to be clipped away before applying the binding. Otherwise, it was a good pattern, and the results are darling.

  The toy! I am ridiculously happy with how this turned out! I used the Flower Power Rattle Pattern from While She Naps, and while I was buying that I also picked up the rattle inserts, along with some safety eyes and squeaker inserts. The green fleece is a blizzard fleece from Joann's, and the pink and yellow are from Hobby Lobby.

  I was planning on using the safety eyes for the rattle, but after a long internal debate and after realizing just how difficult those little things are to apply, I decided to embroider eyes on instead. I embroidered the mouth before sewing the rattle together, and next time I'd embroider the eyes beforehand too.

  I totally forgot to add the crinkle to the petals... oh well! The pattern suggests using a dab of lipstick for the cheeks, but I don't own any, so I used pastels instead. It will probably rub off pretty quickly but it looks adorable for now!

  The pattern is a good one, although with all the layers of fleece around the face I wouldn't recommend it to beginners. My machine was struggling with all of that!. There are no placement notches for the petals, but markings for where to start and stop sewing are included in several spots. I included a little tag on the handle/stem. =)

  Beckers is absolutely in love with this rattle! She calls it 'baby rattle' and begs to hold it every time she sees it. I may have to make her one too. =) Also, I didn't realize when I bought the pattern just how big this rattle is... it's about 9 inches tall! Here's a photo of it with Beckers, who is a size 2T, for reference. It might be a bit too big until the baby is about a year old, but I still love it. =)

  On to the card... the card was made with my Silhouette Cameo using this cut file. I changed it up a bit by not cutting the holes behind the window, adding a blue circle behind the window, changing the 'ABC' blocks to be larger and say 'GWEN' and adding white squares behind the blocks to make them stand out more. Isn't it cute?!

  The cardstock is from Hobby Lobby. =) I kept the outside simple, since the inside is so detailed, and just re-used the wainscoting piece along with the word 'Baby' cut in 'Callie Hand' font.

  Finally, the book! When I was young my mother gave me a copy of 'The True Princess' by Angela Elwell Hunt for Christmas. I've cherished it since, to the point where my sisters remember it a bit... resentfully... because I wouldn't let them touch it for fear of ruining it! It's perfect for any little girl, and happily I found a (paperback) copy of it on Amazon (affiliate link). =) And check it out... the colors go with the rest of the gift!

  Now, just because I'm so happy with how it all turned out, a couple more photos of the outfit:

  And guess what... I just happened to have a coordinating gift bag to package it all in! =)

  I hope my sister-in-love likes the gifts! =) And my niece too, of course. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by,