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!