Thursday, January 30, 2014

pr&p week 3 - the refashion challenge

I just made it with my Project Run & Play look this week!  I think I actually have a few more hours so maybe I should procrastinate a bit longer :)

Just in case you don't know, this week's theme was refashioning.  And although I love a good refashion, I rarely have much extra clothing laying around.  Luckily I had just been to a local thrift shop a couple of weeks ago on 5 for $5 day and picked up a couple of turtlenecks and a sweater in this lovely coral color.  I also raided the last of the maternity items I have stored in the basement just for this purpose and came up with a pair of grey jeans and a dark coral t-shirt.  The last item pictured is a velour dress that Ruthie outgrew last year. 

And now I have to explain why you will never see that coral sweater in any of these pictures :)  I cut right into the ribbed sweater with reckless abandon and pretty much watched it fall apart right before my eyes.  I tried to salvage it with clear elastic along the edges, but it was a lost cause.  So on to plan B which happened to be the navy velour dress.  And it turns out I like this look better anyway :)

For the cardigan I use the Greenpoint Cardigan by Hey June which was part of the SewFab bundle earlier this year.  I sized down to a size 1 (but kept the size 2 length) since I wanted a slightly more fitted look.  I used the existing hem of the dress and omitted the bottom band called for in the pattern.  I was impressed with how quickly this went together and plan to make a few more!  The cardigan has the only non refashioned component - the grey velour that I used on the sleeves and neck trim came from my existing fabric stash :)

Both the sleeveless top and the jeans were self drafted patterns.  For the jeans, I traced a pair of pants that fits Mae well ... which is just about the only pair that fits her newly potty trained booty :)  And the top is just a variation of my Basic Bodice pattern sized down to an 18 months with bands added to the neck and sleeves.  I did end up using a grey jersey fabric for the top that was a stretchy baby carrier in it's former life :)

When I first decided to only make practical clothes at the beginning of the year, I was afraid I would get bored.  But instead I discovered that I have a lot of fun designing and making things that Mae will wear every day, not just on special occasions :)

Do you every wonder what your kids are thinking when they give you weird looks?  Sometimes I wish I could read their minds, but then most of the time I'm sure I don't want to know!

Monday, January 27, 2014

izzy top testers needed sizes 6 - 12 :)

The larger sizes are ready to be tested!  I need 2-3 testers for each size - 6, 7, 8, 10 & 12.  If you are interested, please check out my Facebook page here.

Based on my initial test of the size 8, there are a few small changes I will probably make, but I'm going to wait to see what everyone else says first.

Floral print - rayon challis also used here

Friday, January 24, 2014

pr&p week 2 - let's go to the movies

You know that saying about the best laid plans?  Well, that's exactly how my week went :)  I really did plan to submit this outfit into the sew along for Project Run & Play.  I even finished it a while ago and was ready to take pictures when life got in the way.  So, although I did not submit this before the deadline for PR&P, I figured I would share it anyway :)

My movie inspiration is the Shirley Temple movie Bright Eyes.  I really wanted to make the leather jacket shown a few minutes into the movie, but leather and toddler does not equal practical, which appears to be my theme for the year :)

Since the leather bomber jacket was out, I opted to make a variation on the chambray romper and smock that she wears a little later in the movie.  But instead of a romper, I chose to make pants and a top that give the appearance of one piece.  Mae is newly potty trained and very independent (like most 2 year olds!) so rompers are a no go.

For the pants I used pattern #20 from this Japanese pattern book.  I love this pattern with it's cute gathered back pockets!  The results look professional and it wasn't very difficult as long as you can find the correct instructions to follow :)  For some reason steps 7 & 8 in the pattern were not with the rest of the instructions and there was no page number listed for reference like I've seen in the other Japanese patterns I've used.  So I had to flip through the instructions until I found what I needed in another pattern from the book ... pattern #11 just in case you want make these :)

The top started out as the Jocole Endless Dress pattern.  I used the waist length size 2T pattern piece and added 1" width along each of the shoulder seams.  Then after I sewed the shoulder seams, I sewed three pintucks across each shoulder so they wouldn't be too wide.  For the sleeves I cut the 3/4 sleeve pattern but eliminated the tapering along the seam and added a cuff.  I also gathered the bottom of the bodice and added a 2" band.

Mae got an easel for her 2nd birthday, and I love the idea of an artist's smock. So when I saw the one Shirley Temple is wearing in Bright Eyes, I (I mean Mae!) had to have one!  I drafted my own pattern, and at the last minute (I was already sewing it together) decided to add pockets to make it more functional.  And both Mae and I love the result!

Contrary to the pictures, this was not a fun photo shoot!  Mae always has an opinion these days and is very vocal when expressing them.  You should notice that there is not one single picture where she is looking at the camera.  That was not on her agenda today :)

Materials:Pants & Top - Robert Kaufman Yarn Dyed Essex Linen in Indigo from
Smock - Alexander Henry "what's your number?"
Smock lining/accents - Anna Griffin Elsie's Kitchen
Snaps - Kamsnaps

Thursday, January 23, 2014

pattern review - jocole endless dress

Today is just a quick review of the Jocole Endless Dress pattern that was released this week.  I was going to save this post for later and do a tutorial for the bow at the waistband at the same time, but my Project Run & Play look for tomorrow uses this pattern, and I wanted to do a review of the basic pattern before showing the modified version :)

The Endless Dress pattern is wonderful.  There are many, many (did I say many!) options including three sleeve lengths plus a sleeveless version, two bodice lengths (empire and waist), two skirt lengths (tunic and knee length), an optional collar and an entire add-on pack (included with pattern) with several more potential additions to the pattern!  The toughest part of this pattern is figuring out what to make :)

I chose to use the waist length bodice with 3/4 sleeves and a tunic length skirt.  The dress went together very easily and has a lovely fit.  I found that is runs very true to size.  Aside from the addition of the bow at the waist and the cuffs, I made no modification to the dress because honestly, none were needed :)

As I said above, I already used this pattern again for my PR&P look, and I have plans for at least two more ... and maybe more than that :)  My favorite thing about this pattern is that it is a great basic with truly endless options to make it unique!

Plaid - Joann's
Bow/Cuffs - Cotton broadcloth
Pants - Cotton velour

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

izzy tester roundup

It's a bit intimidating to ask for testers for the first time, having absolutely no clue what the response will be.  But I was pleasantly surprised how many people were generous enough to volunteer :)  So I want to officially thank all the amazing testers of the Izzy Top pattern!

Made by Olu

Made by Abby

Made by Natalie

Made by Marianne

Made by Denise

Made by Julia

Made by Susannah

Made by Ana

Made by Cherie

Made by Kerry

Made by Meri

I apologize if I missed anybody - please let me know if I did :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

snowflakes & lace series - treasure pocket

I am so excited to be posting as part of the Snowflakes & Lace series hosted by RaeAnna from SewingMamaRaeAnna and Veronica from SewVery.  As soon as the series was announced, I knew exactly what lace I needed to use.  Several years ago I bought this unmarked role of vintage lace trim.  I have absolutely no idea when it was manufactured or material content or anything of the sort, but I own about 75 yards of it, so I really need to use it more often :)

The inspiration for the rest of the color scheme came from looking out my window.  I live in Michigan which is very grey and snow covered in January.  I would love to move south, but for the time being, I have decided to embrace the monotone vista :)  I used pattern #6 from this Japanese sewing book for the dress.  I made a couple of small modifications for the lace overlay, but overall, it's pretty true to the pattern.  I really like the fit and can see myself using it again.

Mae's favorite part of this outfit was the treasure pocket.  And in her case treasure = Dora the Explorer lip balm :)  After we finished with pictures, she kept playing with the pocket for a while until she got frustrated when she couldn't open and close the snap by herself.  I have to be honest, I was tired of opening and closing it for her, so I was glad she moved on to newer and better things!

If the top of this outfit resembles grey skies and falling snow, the bottom is the snowdrift that I seem to loose my boots in at least once every. single. year.  These leggings were upcycled from the sleeves of a shirt I found at Salvation Army.  They are so thick and fuzzy that Mae's legs look about twice as thick as they normally do :)  But at least she is warm!

Since I promised myself that (almost!) everything I make this year will be practical, I figure I may as well hold myself accountable for that promise on my blog.  I see Mae wearing these leggings throughout this winter and possibly even next year if she doesn't grow too much. The top is great now with a sweater and will work well in warmer weather as well since it's linen.  The treasure pocket only used scraps, and although it's not the most practical object, I think Mae will use it quite a bit.  If not, it may end up being a gift card holder for my purse instead :)

Top - Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black
Lace - Vintage
Bottoms - Upcycled fleece shirt

Make sure to check out the great projects from everyone in the series:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

free treasure pocket pattern and tutorial

The Treasure Pocket is a great place for little ones to keep all their tiny treasures!  The finished pocket measures 3 1/2" high and 3" wide (the perfect size for a tube of lip balm!) and is designed with a single back loop so it can be attached to a belt or ribbon.  It's a fun project for those left over scraps we all seem to accumulate :)  To get your free pattern, click here.

*** After you click on the link for the Treasure Pocket pattern, make sure to open it with Acrobat Reader before printing.  For some reason the pattern does not print correctly directly from Dropbox in certain browsers *** 

  • 9 1/2" x 4" scrap for lining
  • Three 4 1/2" x 4" scraps for main pieces
  • One 2 1/2" x 4" scrap for flap
  • One snap
  • All seam allowances are 1/2" 
  • If you use a light weight fabric, you may want to use interfacing on the lining piece
  • In the final topstitching step the bobbin thread will show on the front of the pocket so choose the color accordingly
Cut the pieces to the following dimensions:
  • Lining (cut using pattern)
  • Front, Back, Back Loop - 4 1/2" (height) x 4" (width)
  • Flap - 2 1/2" (height) x 4" (width); use lining pattern to create top curve

1. Place the 4 1/2" long sides of the back loop right sides together and sew seam.  Be sure to backstitch at both ends.

2. Turn the back loop right side out, position the seam on the bottom and iron flat.

3. Center the back loop on top of the back piece with the right sides of both pieces facing up.  Place the flap piece right side down matching straight edges and sew.

3. Press the flap up.

4. Place the front piece right side down on top of the back piece (with the back loop sandwiched in between) and sew.

5.  Press the back piece down.  You should now have a main piece and lining piece that are the same size.

6.  Place the lining piece on top of the main piece right sides together.  Sew around the edges leaving approximately a 2" opening along one side for turning.

7.  Clip corners and trim curve close to the seam.

8.  Turn right sides out and press edges.

9.  Flip over so the lining is facing up. Fold the bottom up along the seam and press.

10.  Flip over again so the loop is facing up.  Stitch from one bottom corner around to the other making sure to close the opening along the side.  Backstitch at either end so the seams don't tear.

11.  Add the stud half of a snap approximately 1/2" from the top of the flap and the socket half approximately 1" down from the top.  The measurements are approximate to account for variations in sewing.

12.  You're done!  Now you can let your little one enjoy it or you can do what we did at our house and turn Buppy the kitty into a carrier kitty :)