Monday, December 12, 2016

2016 Christmas Dresses

I am over the moon happy with these dresses! Miss H loves hers, especially the pockets and pom-poms, and says she is happy to have a dress with red and green for Dressember. She and I are wearing dresses each day this month for a fundraiser called Dressember, which advocates for freedom from human trafficking and provides funds for rescue missions and rehabilitation of women who have been enslaved around the globe. (You could make our day and donate to our team here!)

I had purchased some discounted Cotton + Steele fabric to make Christmas dresses for Miss H and the little baby girl we are caring for right now, however when I was home and shopping with my mom in October, I fell in love with the Scandinavian look of the Kate Spain North Woods line. I decided to save the C+S for later and bought a few yards of the Multi Snow print from North Woods. For a while I thought I would do some paper piecing for the yokes of the dresses, but in the end I decided I didn't have time. I was unable to find a red fabric that I liked locally (one store showed me Grinch fabric when I asked for their Christmas selection, and the other store I had shopped at in the Bay Area closed their physical location) so I described what I was looking for to my mom, and she bought and sent me a yard of some fun geometric reds from a previous Kate Spain line called Jingle.

Two years ago I made the same Oliver + S pattern dress for Miss H for Christmas. I didn't want it to be a repeat this year, but I love the pattern and I decided my fabric was different enough that it would be alright. This is the first time I've made it in a tiny size, and although I chose to just make plain short sleeves and leave off the pockets for the baby, I still love it.

Pattern: Oliver + S Hide-and-Seek Dress
Fabric: Multi Snow from North Woods by Kate Spain and Crystal in Crimson from Jingle by Kate Spain
Size: 6-12 months and 6 (the baby size runs pretty long!)
Changes: I used snaps in the back rather than buttons, and I added some deep red pom-pom trim across the front for fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Little Laura Outfit

Miss H decided that it would be fun to be Laura Ingalls Wilder for Halloween this year. Because we had a bit of a time crunch, first a move and then a vacation, right before the outfit needed to be done, we chose to use a dress she had in her closet. I made an apron and bonnet, and we used some prairie style boots. Her costume was a hit, although many people were confused and thought she was Holly Hobby.

Apron Pattern: Violette Field Threads Rosemary Pinafore (the October 2016 updated version)
Fabric: Red on Salmon Tiny Flower Stripe from Little House on the Prairie by Andover Fabrics
Size: 6
Changes: I lengthened the longer version of the skirt of the pinafore by about an inch and a half.

Bonnet Pattern: Prairie Bonnett by AdoriesDesigns
Fabric: Blue Packed Daisies from Little House on the Prairie by Andover Fabrics
Changes: I used some pretty stiff interfacing on the bonnet brim, none was recommended.
Notes: I wouldn't recommend this pattern. It was the only pattern I could find last-minute in my daughter's size. The pattern writing, grammar, spelling, and instructions are atrocious!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Petal Girl Dress

My husband's brother got married in October to a fantastic gal, congrats guys! Miss H got to be their petal girl (translated: flower girl) at their beautiful wedding on the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. It was chilly and looked exactly the way fall ought to look. I had a few months to think about what style dress to make, and I wasn't happy with anything I was coming up with. I purchased some deep blue sort of stretchy lace at Fabric Depot in Portland on our drive back home in July, and I ended up with some buttery soft double gauze solids to pair with it.

I sketched out an Oliver + S Hide-and-Seek dress, but couldn't decide if it looked fancy enough. I spent hours trying to figure out how to make a dress with long sleeves look the way I wanted, and a friend suggested I look at the Violette Field Threads patterns. I ended up picking the Maisie Dress after she showed me some examples with fancy exposed zippers.

I ordered the zipper I wanted from Etsy, and went to work washing and cutting my fabric. Mid-sew we moved, and I worked hard to keep all the pieces, directions, and my sewing equipment together and clean. Our move was a week before we needed to leave for the wedding, and I panicked and ordered a back-up dress from Amazon. Three days before we left I was able to do the actual sewing, but my zipper still hadn't arrived! My husband found and ordered a 50 pack of various colors of lace zippers from Amazon, which did arrive in time, and did have one of the color I needed.

I still wanted to make the dress a little more fancy feeling for Miss H, so I ordered some hot fix Swarovski crystals and learned how to use the hot fix bejewler tool that Tom gave me for Christmas last year! It was so much fun that it made me want to immediately affix crystals to everything.

I'm very happy with the final dress, and will probably make more of them. The lace wasn't too bad to work with, and the double gauze was a dream.

Pattern: Violette Field Threads Maisie Dress with full skirt
Fabric: semi-stretchy lace from Fabric Depot, Robert Kaufman double gauze
Size: 6
Changes: I lengthened the skirt a bit, and I added a hook and eye at the top of the zipper.

Some Bicycle Sewing

Over the summer, I found some fun bicycle fabrics that I knew I wanted to use to make a gift for my good friend who was getting ready for her third baby to join their family. She has two older children that I wanted to make something special for as well. While we were home in the Seattle area in July, I found the Cycles of Life line of fabrics at my favorite little shop in Bothell.

In the end, I made a quilt for the baby, a shirt for big brother, and a dress for big sister. This was the first time I've made a button (or in my case, snap) down shirt with a collar, and I'm thankful it turned out well enough to gift! I found this tutorial by Nicole at Five and Counting to be a huge help!

Dress Pattern: Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress
Fabric: Cycles of Life by Kristen Berger for Maywood Studio and some yellow plaid from my stash
Size: 3
Changes: none

Shirt Pattern: Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt
Fabric: Cycles of Life by Kristen Berger for Maywood Studio and some unidentified chambray from my stash
Size: 3
Changes: I used snaps rather than buttons.

Quilt Pattern: 10" Twister Template
Fabric: Cycles of Life by Kristen Berger for Maywood Studio, red prints are from Bonnie & Camille

(I'm sorry for the poor colors in these photos, I had a hard time with the weather that day!)

A Cloud 9 Hide-and-Seek Dress

This post is a couple months overdue, but I still wanted to share this project because I love it so much! I think I could make the Hide-and-Seek Dress over and over again without tiring of the way it looks. This is the first time I've made something with Cloud 9 organic fabric, and I'm very pleased with the results! It washed well, held its color, and is soft to wear. Miss H loves the dress too, and wears it eagerly, which says a lot about the way the fabric feels.

Pattern: Hide-and-Seek Dress by Oliver + S
Fabric: Foxglove by Cloud 9, organic quilting weight cotton
Size: 6
Changes: none!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: Roller Skate High-Low Top

This post is a little late, but it was actually finished last week! I made this pattern as an Easter dress last year, and the armhole ripped out after a couple wears. I saw the exact same thing happened to Gail's dress, and came to the conclusion that maybe I shouldn't clip the curves so closely. Because of the early demise of the dress, I have been hesitant to use this pattern again, but my 1 yard stash busting plan won out.

I wanted to make this top a little more interesting, but didn't want to spend the time embroidering anything. I decided to attempt a high-low hem line. I used the original length of the top for the front center, and tapered down with a small curve to about 3" below the original hem line. The back is pretty much just 3" longer straight across. I wasn't sure as I was putting it together if it was enough of a difference to be noticeable in the finished top, but thankfully it is! I like the finished top, and so does Miss H.

Pattern: Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress + Tunic
Fabric: Priory Square Clover Field from Art Gallery Fabrics
Size: 6
Changes: I used a snap rather than a button closure in the back, and I created a high-low hemline.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: Class Picnic Blouse

As I was looking through my bins of stashed fabric, I kept finding that many of my pieces are only a yard long. I used to be able to make a dress for Miss H with just a yard, or maybe a yard and some contrasting solid pieces. Now it takes closer to 2 yards. After looking through my patterns, I realized I can make tops out of single yard pieces. It's been about 3 years since I've used this pattern, so it was fun to resurrect!

Pattern: Oliver + S Class Picnic Blouse
Size: 6
Fabric: Alison Glass Handcrafted Plus in Strawberry for Andover
Changes: none!

Miss H loves this shirt, I think because it is pretty loose and doesn't have exposed seams around her neck. She asked me to make her a couple more just like it.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: An Ice Cream Dress

It's been about 2 years since I've made an Ice Cream Dress for Miss H, and this fabric was screaming for one when I saw it. Miss H loves the loose fit and the lined yoke that hides the "scratchy" seams.

Pattern: Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress
Size: 6
Fabric: Doodle & Buttons from the Noteworthy collection by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit
Changes: Just my normal button to snap conversion
(Sorry for the front porch pictures, that's as far as we could go with a sleeping baby!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: Mini Southport Dress

I haven't sewn much for the kiddos this spring or summer because we have had a new-to-us foster baby for a few months. She has had a lot of appointments, and keeping up with house stuff and trying to finish kindergarten has taken most of my "free" time. I've had a few piles of fabric eyeing me for a while, and some slightly less busy evenings that have enabled me to sew a little the last few weeks!

Kid's Clothes Week is being run by someone new, and the dates were hard for me to find, so I actually started sewing last week and finished a couple dresses for Miss H before I realized I was a week off. My first dress this time is a Mini Southport, which I love! It is pretty easy to sew, with fantastic instructions, and it doesn't require a lot of fabric in big girl sizes.

Miss H likes the loose, easy fit of the dress, but she still finds Moda fabrics to be "scratchy" to wear until they have been washed a few times. These photos are from our weekend trip to Point Reyes National Seashore at the Marconi RCA Wireless Radio Station.

Pattern: Mini Southport Dress by True Bias
Size: 7 (Miss H wears a 6, but my notes from last time told me this pattern runs pretty small.)
Fabric: Leis in Hibiscus (main) and Lanai Shirt in Hibiscus (bias trim) from Aloha Girl by Fig Tree for Moda
Changes: Based on my notes from the first time I made this, I shortened the elastic length in the waist band so that we won't see it peeking through with the front ties. Also, I used snaps rather than buttons and button holes down the front.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: Ayashe Blouse

I decided to end Kid's Clothes Week with a new, non-Oliver + S pattern. This is one I bought at a fabric shop in Portland almost 2 years ago, called the Ayashe blouse. It only takes a yard of fabric!

The sizing is a little different than I'm used to, so I made a 6/7. I opted to make the Mandarin collar version, and used a drawstring in the bottom rather than elastic. The pattern instructions are poorly written with few illustrations. I ended up making the yoke without directions, then following Nicole's directions for collars from her Sketchbook tutorial, and then I finished the rest of the blouse using tried and true Oliver + S methods (iron the sleeve hem, attach the sleeve, then sew the entire side of the blouse and sleeve in one seam). The sleeves were actually not long enough to hem the way the pattern suggested, and the blouse hem was much deeper than it needed to be for a drawstring or elastic casing. I added button holes in the front center of the hem for the drawstring. This shirt seems to run small, as it looks like it may get too short quickly.

Pattern: Ayashe Blouse from Figgy's
Size: 6/7
Fabric: Oh Happy Day Sprinkles by Dear Stella
Changes: Assembled differently than instructions, shortened the blouse hem and added buttonholes for the drawstring.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: Croquet Dress

This may be one of my favorite dresses I've made in a while! I made one when Miss H was a toddler, and it didn't fit her very well. I recently found the next size range in this pattern on sale and have been holding onto it for a few months, working up the courage to give it another shot. A couple days ago I was going through my fabric and patterns, trying to come up with my next Kid's Clothes Week project, and nothing was working for me. Eventually I found this cactus print at the bottom of a bin, and some coordinating solid coral. Because Miss H has grown so much recently, our pattern selection in her size is limited, so we landed on this Croquet Dress pattern. It fits sooooo well!

Pattern: Oliver + S Croquet Dress
Size: 5
Fabric: Cacti Field in Festival from Morning Walk by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery, and a solid coral from American Made
Changes: I added 2 inches to the bottom of the skirt length. Next time I will top stitch the collar down around the edges. I thought about it this time because I was worried that it would pop up or wash funny, but talked myself out of it. It does pop up funny on the initial wearing, so we will see how it washes.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: Swingset Skirt

A couple weeks ago when my parents were visiting, we went to a little town called San Juan Bautista to check out a little quilt shop. While we were there I found this cute colored pencil fabric for a clothing project! I bought it and some solid yellow that coordinated for a skirt for Miss H, but wasn't sure which pattern I'd use. Here is what I came up with. It fits well, and she loves that it twirls!

Pattern: Oliver + S Swingset Skirt
Size: 5
Fabric: My Pencils in Natural by Alexander Henry, and an American Made yellow cotton
Changes: I added 1.5 inches to the length of both the skirt and lining, and I changed the drawstring a little by using a zigzag stitch down the middle of it rather than the strait stitch I've used in the past. I've had trouble with the strait stitch breaking when you tug and tie the drawstring.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: A Hopscotch Dress

Here is another one of my favorite Oliver + S patterns, the hopscotch dress! I have made many of them in different sizes. They are very very quick to sew, and they fit my skinny girl well. I feel like this dress can easily look like a nightgown, depending on the colors used. For us, the darker colors look good as dresses, and the lighter colors look like night gowns (at least in the non-toddler sizes). I picked this fabric because it was on sale and because it looked like it would be fun to make something to wear on Saint Patrick's Day. Don't worry, it will get lots of other wear as well!

Pattern: Oliver + S Hopscotch Dress
Size: 6 (this dress runs smaller than most O+S patterns)
Fabric: Pretty Potent Interlock Knit in Grass by Anna Maria Horner
Changes: I added 2 inches in length to the bottom of the dress.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kid's Clothes Week: Garden Party Dress

I haven't participated in a couple of the recent Kid's Clothes Week seasons, but the timing for this one is perfect! Miss H has outgrown all of the warm weather dresses I made last year, as well as her skirts. I've chosen to ignore the suggested theme of toys (how do you make that into clothes?).

This dress is my first Garden Party dress, and I am in love with it! It was fun to sew and it fits very well. Grandma brought this fabric last week when she visited, and it is a hit!

Pattern: Garden Party Dress by Oliver + S
Size: 5
Fabric: Climbing Trees from the Tiger Lily collection by Heather Ross, pale green contrast is a Kona solid from JoAnn
Changes: I added 2 inches to the dress length at the bottom of the skirt. Also, if you are making the sleeveless version of this dress, note that the pattern length for the bias armhole binding is about an inch too short, so cut it longer!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sewing Stream: A Winter Dress

This winter in the Bay Area has been very different than last year weather-wise. In December 2014 Miss H and I wore our flip flops and sundress with t-shirts for most of the month. There was then a brief time in January where the temperatures almost got down to freezing at night. This year, there have been multiple nights that we have tented our citrus trees, quite a few days of rain, and we haven't seen the 70s since October. This means that we are almost exclusively wearing long sleeves! Miss H has grown out of all of the dresses I've previously made for her, except her Christmas dress, so we decided it was time to make something new!

After looking through my box of fabric for her, I chose a newer piece of Riley Blake knit that I got at Hart's Fabric the last time we were in Santa Cruz. I'm very pleased with the speediness of this project and the final fit! It took me one sewing evening to put this together, using a jersey needle on my sewing machine. (I am having problems getting the serger tension and threading correct right now!)

Pattern: Oliver + S Hopscotch Dress
Size: 6
Fabric: Knit Vintage Floral Navy from Vintage Market by Tasha Noel
Changes: None!