Sunday, April 29, 2012

KCWC Days 5 + 6

Whew, still chugging along for KCWC, but I am running out of steam. After all the irritations of the badminton skorts, I moved on to a new pattern, the Oliver + S after school pants. Now that I think of it, every piece I have sewn this week is an O + S pattern, and that is because I love them. I had my first sewing success with their patterns and they haven't steered me wrong yet. I hadn't yet sewn up these up so I was hoping everything would go smoothly, and it did! Pants usually are pretty straightforward, but you never know.

However, these pants are crazy! When I saw this striped corduroy on clearance earlier this fall I thought it would be perfect for these pants, and I was either very right or very wrong.  I cut all the contrasting fabric bits going horizontally, to add some "interest" although I don't think these pants needed anything extra interesting, I still like the effect. I originally planned on doing the girly version with ruffles at both the front pockets and the back seams, but I decided to nix back ruffles as I saw how crazy these things were coming. Other than my interesting fabric choice these really did sew up fast and easy, a great pattern with simple clear directions. 

For some reason these pants remind me of outdoor music festivals and the grungy snowboarders that trickle down from the mountain. I made a size 2 for my 3 1/2 year old, and they fit great in the body but with virtually no growing room in the waist.  She does still have a round little tummy, so it's possible that if she grows an inch or two I can let down the pant hems and these will fit better than ever.  It is impossible to buy anything but stretchy leggings for this girl from the store, everything in 2t is slightly too tight and still too long, and she swims around in 3t. 

For day 6 I sewed up the class picnic shorts, also for Isla. (I sew a lot of bottoms for her, as mentioned above) I definitely put my time in on these as they took me about 3 hours to make, but I think they were worth it! I love the cute retro look to them, and they fit great. The pattern is really straightforward and easy to figure out, but I spent a lot of time trying to get all my white facings perfectly prepared so they would look as awesome as possible. Mission accomplished?  I did get some puckering where I attached the waistband to the shorts, which irritates me, but not enough to unpick and try again. I used the same linen I did for the badminton skort, and it has a looser weave and stretched out a bit while I was sewing it on I think. Someday I will invest in the $175 walking foot for my machine and then maybe I won't have these little issues. We don't really tuck in her shirts so I figure nobody will probably see/care about my little mistake.

Not much to say about these shorts, except for that I think they are super cute, especially paired with a blonde cutie in a black sabbath t-shirt of mine I cut up to fit the girls a few years ago. Yes, my girls are awesome, I know.  Only one more day of sewing and then KCWC is over until fall. It has been fun, but I am ready for a break from kids clothes!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

KCWC Day 3 + 4

Alternative title, the skorts that were almost more trouble than they were worth.

I had cut out two more badminton skorts for the girls and naively thought I could get them both sewn up on day 3 and maybe even have time to move onto another piece. Um, no. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  Which I find really interesting, as the first time I made this pattern I had no problems at all, it was like a dream. Why is it when I remake a pattern I often make tons of mistakes I never made the first time around? I must be very arrogantly thinking that I don't need to check the directions or what side is facing what exactly because this always happens to me. Anyway, the blue skort was sewn up first, as I had blue bobbin handy so I figured it would be a good place to start as any. Things were actually going pretty well until I sewed the skirt portion on wrong, so the inside seams were facing out, not pretty. So after I ripped it all out and fixed it, I put it on little sister and it was huge! I shortened the elastic to fit her waist and also noticed I made a mistake when sewing the legs together, and the crotch seam is also on the wrong (and I mean right) side. Oh well, too bad.
 I was done with that skort, and not looking back. Time to work on the yellow one for big sister. Then I realized that I had actually sewn up the 4t for the 3 year old and that was why the fit was so bad. More seam ripping, new elastic and a big headache later and it was *really* done this time.
This is her smarmy face
       I would like to say that I got all the problems out on the blue skort, but alas, that was not the case. First I sewed the waistband on backwards (@ # $ %! More seam ripping) then I completely botched sewing the skirt on again. It was even worse than the first time, I made a mistake sandwiching the waistband, it was like some sort of fabric origami gone terribly wrong. MORE seam ripping. Then I gave up and went to bed. Got up and resumed seam ripping, and finished it right. Whew. In the end they are adorable and I like them, but they totally gave me hassles. 

The hem isn't really uneven, it just kept slipping down the hanger

 I made the blue out of a linen (blend?) I got from last summer for a song and stashed away and forgot about, and the yellow is twill from Lisette at Joan's. I added an extra two inches in length and almost 3 in width to the skort pieces. I obviously didn't do the scallop bottom and left out the hem facing, just folding under and sewing. I added the width to make the skirt more gathered and twirly, and while it's a sound concept I think my materials were a bit too stiff for it to look as nice as I liked.  Overall, I still love this pattern, I just need to check the directions more, pay less attention to Doctor Who on the television, and not be sewing past 11 pm before I make another one!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KCWC Day 2

Still sewing along for KCWC and today I again only managed to sew one Oliver + S Ice Cream shirt, which actually was supposed to be a dress. I had traced off a size 4 last year and never got around to sewing it, so I found the old tracing and got to work. Since I didn't remember why I traced it off in the first place I definitely didn't remember that I traced the top and not the dress, and naturally still didn't realize this until I was almost ready to attach the hem facing, which would have made this the most ridiculously inappropriate mini dress ever. I was pretty bummed as I think this would have made an awesome dress, but wasn't about to go back to the fabric store to buy more fabric to remake it, when the top is still adorable.  

Lily is doing robot arms, whatever that means

The fabric is Blue Mumsy by Dear Stella with coordinating Blue from their solid collection. Dear Stella is a pretty new company and I am going to out on a limb and say that every design they print is awesome. I'm usually attracted to one of two prints out of a collection, but I would buy every single print from collection if I wasn't on a self imposed fabric diet.  Not sure if I am going to go with the chevron or the peacock print for my next purchase, but pretty sure either one will make something amazing. 

I cut this in a 4t even though Lil will be 5 in June, but I was able to get away with it since this is quite a roomy top to begin with.  I am definitely getting to the end of squeezing her into the high end of the smaller pattern sizes and am going to have to save up and buy the next sizes in my favorite patterns, she has grown so much since this fall it is amazing, and just a little sad. But I don't want to leave you on a down note, so here is a picture of Lily's own styling of her new top. Yes, those are clothespins in her hair, and she is making that face on purpose. Life is all about compromises, no?

KCWC Day 1

I'm participating in KCWC over at Elsie Marley, and on day one I sewed up an Oliver + S Ice Cream top in Denyse Schmidt Greenfield Hill Voile. I bought a yard of this awesome print last year when it was on clearance for $5 and have been wondering what to do with it ever since. I initially thought it would be too much for a child's outfit, but after seeing the sophisticated prints Figgy's has been using in their new pattern line I had to go for it. I think it works, do you? (As was linking to Figgy's it appears they have announced their newest patterns, available in May! I'm not usually a big jumper fan, but Zephyr looks awesome!)
I sewed up a 3t with no modifications ( I forgot to add the extra 2 inches I always add in length, my kids have long torsos and round tummys that usually need a little extra coverage) but I think it fits great and should last all summer. The voile is soft and breezy, and didn't need to be ironed when I pulled it out of the dryer, so that is always a plus.
I Have some charcoal linen that I am thinking of making cordinating puppet show shorts with, maybe I can finish them by the end of KCWC! As always, more pictures in my flickr stream.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring KCWC!

I'm sewing along this year! Prepare to be inundated with copious amounts of children's clothing!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just learned it is "badminton" not, "badmitten"

When Oliver + S announced their spring patterns I knew immediately I would be sewing up a few
badminton skorts. I had been tossing around the idea of frankenpattern-ing a skort for a long time but was too lazy and now someone has done it for me! Which really is best because I could fiddle around for ages and not come up with such a solid pattern as this is. I even did the previously unheard of act of purchasing the pattern for full price plus shipping directly from the website. I usually wait and buy it from my LQS but knew from past experience it would be early summer before they got it in and I just couldn't wait that long! (Luck would have it they did have it in stock last time I visited, but whatever, I regret nothing)
 The skirt itself is adorable and sewed up fast and with no tricky little bits to make me mad or force me to get out the seam ripper, which usually happens the first go round with a new pattern. Truthfully the scallops are a bit shoddy, but I am going to blame the fact that I was using the dress scallop tracing template instead of the skirt without realizing it, and had to fudge it when things weren't matching up. Thankfully I am not a perfectionist so I don't care! I bought the smaller sizes of the pattern, hoping to squeeze both girls to one pattern sheet so I wouldn't have to buy both sizes off the bat. Big sister L really could have used the 5t for a bit of growing room, but the skirt fits fine, and I'm hopeful it and future versions will last her through the summer.

 Most importantly she loves it, although she keeps pestering me for the white top with pink trim she ordered to go along with it.  I know I will make this pattern over and over again, with scallops, without scallops, and I'm thinking of adding a bit more width to make it more twirly, an important factor for all little girls.
While I would have bought the pattern for the skort alone, lucky me it also came with an adorable dress/top pattern too! Those little shoulder ruffles kill me, both literally and figuratively, the whole yoke deal gets a tad bit tedious, but the end result is so worth it I plan on subjecting myself to it again. Even with so much going on up there the directions are very clear and I was able to whip this up in one night without touching my seam ripper once. Once again, shoddy shoddy scallops, but this time I couldn't find my water soluble pen and thought, what the heck, the skort scallops didn't look that bad, and plowed ahead just eyeballing it. While we are at it, I know you aren't supposed to point out your flaws, but who else noticed that I totally cut the ice cream cones going across the dress instead of up and down? Facepalm. Just when I think total newbie mistakes are behind me I go and do that. I definitely wasn't going to trash a yard of fabric for nothing, so I went ahead and I'm still proud of the end results.
This is her smiling nicely for the camera face

 It looks adorable on my little ham and I am so pleased. I'm thinking of hand stitching the bow closed as it didn't take long for it to come untied, and am planning a clever elastic hack on the next one inspired by this version on flickr. I've already got endless versions of these pieces in my brain, now I just have to buckle down and sew them up!

I am soo in love with my new dress

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hunger Games

I read the Hunger Games trilogy last year and really fell for them, so naturally I was excited to hear that a movie was being made about them. A few days after seeing the movie I was puttering about the house and got a wild idea to see if I could make up a Katniss costume for my toddler using things I already had around the house. By the end of the day, I had pretty much every last detail planned, with a bow and arrow in the mail from  Then I realized that I couldn't leave out little sister, so I naturally had to make a Primrose costume for her as well, and I think that turned out pretty darned cute too.

Every girl needs a sweet quiver and a wraparound belt and game bag

I had grand plans of traipsing about the woods taking photos of my little rebels until I was struck with a bout of the plague and the photo shoot was scrapped for a few weeks. We finally made it out today and played around in the gorge in some rare Oregon sunshine.

I took a toddler Simplicity pattern for the pants, cut two sizes smaller than she measured, and then took another inch off the seams in order to make that lemon of a pattern fit. I made her black hunting shirt out of some black stretchy jersey I have had sitting around, I used the tee for two pattern from Patterns by Figgy for that, and the neckband is atrocious, but don't look, okay? The funnest part was making the quiver from some old cardboard tubing, corduroy and woven webbing. I think she looks pretty legit, no?

I'd volunteer as tribute for that face too...

Isla's Primrose costume is made from the Music Class blouse and Sunday Brunch skirt, both Oliver + S patterns. Since I already owned both of those patterns, I allowed myself to go buy some fabric inspired by the movie to make them up. I think you can see the resemblance to the movie Prim, but yet I know she will be able to wear both these pieces and no one will think they are costumey, so win-win. More photos in my flickr stream.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hello World!

Wow, I have been signed up for this blog since August 2009, and am writing my very first entry in April 2012. Going on 3 years to write my first post, how unlike me! Or not. Anyway, tough part is over, here we go!
My Nerds