Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring KCW: Bicycle Top

My next Kids Clothes Week project is one I've been looking forward to. I found this cute orange bicycle fabric in a sale remnant section a couple months ago. I knew I wanted to make a top for Miss H with it, but I didn't know which pattern. I chose this Oliver + S 2+2 Blouse (I have a paper copy, not digital) last weekend. I made a few of these last year, but they are now too small. This is a 2T, which has plenty of growing room. The only modification I made to this top was to use snaps for the back closure instead of buttons.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring KCW: Knit Sailboat Top

Here is my second completed Kids Clothes Week project. I am so so so happy with it! I have been wanting to sew more with knits, but they are expensive to buy, and I have loved the way this Oliver + S Sailboat Top pattern looks for a few years. The pattern is retired, which means it is now only available in digital form. I don't usually like digital patterns because of the extra work involved in taping a million pieces of printer paper exactly spaced together. I have had my eye out on etsy and in local shops for a physical version of the pattern, but never found one. Sooooo, I gave in and bought the digital one.

I used a size small women's Forever 21 sweatshirt that I got at Value Village for $4. It was in great non-pilled condition, 100% cotton, and not stained. Plus the owls are super cute. The blue lining for the neckline and hem line came from an Old Navy shirt that I have cut pieces off of for other projects. I should have found something a bit more sturdy. The blue fabric was too stretchy and flimsy. I had to make a couple extra tucks in it to help it fit in a few places.

I sewed this shirt using both my sewing machine with a ball point needle and a serger. The sewing machine with the ball point needle worked well for the lining seams, and the serger was great for the arm and side seams. I need to learn more about adjusting the serger's tensions to keep it from stretching the knit as it sews. I usually don't care for contrasting top stitching color, but because the lining was somewhat visible, I decided to use teal thread to help tie it together.

Rather than buttons on the shoulders, I used my favorite snaps.

I cut the sleeves for this top out of the original arms with the elbow patches in place. I was a little worried that they would be way too big. They are not as bad as I had envisioned! 

This is a size 2T, which looks like it will fit Miss H for a while. The is room to grow up and out, and room for longer arms.

I will certainly make this pattern again!

Spring KCW: Class Picnic Top

This week is the spring week of Kids Clothing Week (KCW). I participated last fall, and loved getting ideas from the things other people sewed for their kids. This Class Picnic Top from Oliver + S is the first of my projects.

I made a size 2T. Modifications: lengthened the pattern about a half inch (only had 2/3 of a yard to work with), shortened the hem by an inch, and made short sleeves instead of three quarter length. After I had it cut out, I realized the fabric could look pretty silly and old on a little girl, so I decided to add some piping. I couldn't decide which color piping I liked better, so in the end I used both! When I made this dress into a nightgown, I remembered how hard it was to tell the front and the back apart. I added a loop of peach ribbon into the back yoke/arm seam to distinguish the back.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sewing Stream: Easy Dress

I saw this dress pattern (Sweet Little Dress) used over at Craftiness is Not Optional a few months ago and loved it. It looked easy and it had cute sleeves, so I decided to try it. It is very very easy! There is not much to say about the pattern, except that it uses less than a yard of fabric. I will make this one again too!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sewing Stream: Roller Skate Dress and Top

I am always excited when Oliver + S releases new patterns. Their spring line this year is awesome looking. I ordered the Roller Skate pattern the first day it was available on their web shop. I knew I wanted to make Miss H's Easter dress with it.
I started with a top before the dress just to make sure it made sense and that it would fit the way I wanted. I just love the whale fabric. At first I didn't love the V-notch collar, but now I think it looks great. The 2T fits well with room to grow.
I made the same size dress, but modified the collar a little bit. For some reason the dress seems much larger than the top, even though I used the same length of elastic around the middle. I am wondering if the shape of the neck makes the fit change. It was a little big looking, but again it is for a little girl who is growing quickly.
This is an easy pattern to sew and understand. The most time consuming part I have found is transferring the elastic casing stitching line markings. I couldn't figure out how to get the bow on the dress tied horizontally to save my life. I would love to make more of these, and will probably try to modify the pattern a little bit again so that I can have different fabrics on the top and bottom of the dress.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tulips and Daffodils and Tractors

Last week Halcyone, Tom's mom, and I spent the day up in the Skagit valley. We walked around La Connor, ate a great lunch, and wandered around the tulip gardens and daffodil fields. Halcyone thought she wanted to walk in the puddles, but didn't care for the slimy mud that sucked on her boots in the bottom of them. While we were walking around the fields, a tractor drove past us to pick up fresh picked flowers. Most of the amazed faces you'll see on Halcyone below are due to her love of the tractor. Should probably would have stayed next to it for a very long time before admitting she was hungry or cold. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sewing Stream: Ice Cream Tops

The Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress and Top pattern is one of my current favorites. It takes minimal fabric for a shirt, and is pretty quick to both cut and sew.

I made the yellow top first. The floral fabric I bought a few years ago on a local shop hop, and the yellow is a Kona cotton. I was hoping to put some green or pink piping across the seam where the two fabrics meet, but couldn't figure out how to make it work without an awkward seam in the sleeve. In the future I will make the lower part of the top longer to better accommodate wear with leggings and a growing girl.

The second one is probably my favorite top. I just love the fabric with the little girls, red accents, and pennants. I did make this shirt about 2.5 inches longer than the pattern indicates. Rather than a hem at the bottom, I made some red double fold bias tape to make the color pop a little more. Because the little pennant fabric on top is directional, I had to cut the yoke in 2 separate pieces and sew them together. at the shoulders. While I was finishing up the button, Halycone came to see what I was doing and announced, "I do love that dress!"

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Last month Tom built some raised beds in the front yard for Halcyone and I. Halcyone has a nice little square bed. Last week she and I planted it. She likes purple flowers in particular, and has also requested to grow vegetables. Great Grandma Luce gave her a little pansy plant for Easter, which she planted quickly. She also planted seeds to grow chamomile, sweet peas, carrots, and cauliflower (which she calls snow). 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sewing Stream: Little Things

The following projects are all from Liesl Gibson's Little Things to Sew book. They were all pretty basic sewing and were quick to make.
Art Smock
I made the smallest size, which still has lots of room for a growing girl. I had looked at a few stores for an art smock, but the only thing I could find were big bibs from Crayola. I knew Miss H would need the long sleeves for painting. The front of the smock is made from Anna Maria Horner oilcloth, and the sleeves and back of the smock were made from half yard solid scraps I had in my cupboard. This was very easy to make. As usual, I closed the back with snaps, rather than buttons.

Bias Trimmed Apron
This is probably the easiest kid thing I have ever made! I was able to cut it quickly and sew it together in about an hour. I used some canvas-type Lisette fabric that I got on clearance from JoAnn last fall. The small size used just over half a yard and just over a package of pre-made double fold bias tape. Next time I may make my own bias tape just so it will be cuter. Again, I used snaps for the back closure. Miss H loves it!

Bear Carrier
This is a great scrap project. I have owned this book for a couple years, but held off making the bear (baby) carrier because I thought it would be too big for her. It is still a little on the big side, and it is too confusing for her to put it on by herself, but she loves it!