Tuesday, March 3, 2015

craftingcon - once upon a time meets family history

This month's theme for CraftingCon (to see my post, click here) is Once Upon a Time, which, in terms of the competition refers to anything more than 100 years ago either real or fictional.  In other words, pretty much anything you can dream up is fair game :)  And since I haven't sewn a single thing since November, I had way more ideas than I needed tumbling around in my brain, and I had a really, really hard time focusing on only one!

Mae is three, and she has really embraced all that is unique about that age from telling me to "Go away! I do it myself" all the way to "I'm too little, you do it" usually uttered in fairly quick succession and often referring to exactly the same thing ;)  Along with her need to only do the tasks that she feels are not beneath her is her belief that no clothing at all is totally the way to go.  She informed me just the other day that she wasn't getting dressed because she doesn't like clothes any more ;)  But, since we live in Michigan, and the day I took these pictures the windchill was -25, I'm pretty sure clothing is a necessity! So I made Mae an outfit with a bit of attitude (just like her!) with a nod to her Norwegian heritage.

I had only sewn one Ottobre pattern prior to this outfit, the sweatshirt from this post, and I loved the pattern, so I decided to sew a few more.  If you are interested in learning more about Ottobre patterns, check out this post from Rachel at Stitched Together.  It does a really nice job of going over what to expect while sewing Ottobre patterns.

The first pattern was for this top which is a modified version of pattern 12 from Autumn 4/2013 in a size 92 with the 98 length.  I started by creating a short sleeve from the original long sleeve pattern.  Then, since the faux leather I used for the sleeves had no stretch, the shirt would not fit over Mae's head without some type of opening, so instead of cutting the back on the fold, I added 3/8" to the center back and cut it in two pieces in order to add an opening at the top.  I finished the opening with a leather tab that buttons on to the back of the shirt.  The final change I made to add a band to the bottom of the shirt simply because I wanted it a little longer than the original pattern.

My husband's family is Norwegian, so I decided to add a nod to Mae's Nordic ancestry by appliqueing a crest to the front of Mae's top.  Originally I was going to use the family crest, but I ran out of time, and the family crest is quite complicated, so I drew a simpler shield using the cross design on the Norwegian flag.  I'm sure I would have liked the family crest if I had gone that route, but I kind of prefer the simplicity of this one instead ... maybe because it feels a bit more modern and bit less oak tree and acorns with hearts and a knight's helmet ;)

The second pattern I used was for a pair of boy's corduroys, pattern 14 from Winter 6/2011 in a size 98.  I omitted the side cargo pockets and modified the front of the pants to make the knees look like their are knee pads.  I did have to cut the back waist elastic about 1" shorter than the pattern calls for, but other than that, the fit was perfect without any changes to the pattern pieces.  I will admit that these jeans took quite a while to make, but they were definitely worth the time and effort!  Please ignore the fuzz all over the pants in the next couple of pictures.  The faux fur vest had a tendency to shed a bit and the fibers seemed unusually attracted to the jeans :)

The details in this pattern are wonderful!  I added the knee detail, but the rest, such as the v-shape created by the front hip pocket and the back panel, are included in the pattern.  All of the topstitching and bar-tacks add to the professional finish as well.

The last two patterns I used are the vest and the arm covers.  The vest is pattern 22 from Winter 6/2011, using only the front and back bodice pieces.  And the arm covers are pattern 20 also from issue Winter 6/2011.  I chose to line both pieces with faux fur.  If you haven't created a fully lines vest before, I would suggest this tutorial which happens to be the same method I learned many years ago.

For the arm covers I just winged it and I wasn't incredibly happy with the results. I'm not sure if lining it made a huge difference to the size or if my daughter just has bizarrely large hands, but I used a narrower seam allowance than the pattern called for and it was still a tight fit to get them on. Plus the shape is a bit off.  And then when I went back and looked at the finished pattern in the magazine, it looks like someone cheated a bit and rolled the thumb and hand openings to alter the fit, so I may not have been the only person who found the arm warmers to be not quite right ;)

My inspiration came from the character Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon. If you want to hear more about why I chose this inspiration, you should go read my CraftingCon guest post over at Mae&K since that's pretty much what it's about!

I thought you all might need some evidence that I have a "threenager" in the house.  Every one of these pictures were taken after me telling Mae to smile for Grandma :) Enjoy!

Everything is from Joann's
Top - Ponte knit
Jeans - Stretch denim
Faux Fur
Faux Leather


  1. This entire outfit is AMAZING! I'm in love with those jeans, and that shirt! I love the details. I was just telling my husband about this phenomenon known as the threenager....truth right there.

  2. This is so so so amazing Teri! Those jeans are flat-out gorgeous with all that detail and the shirt is adorable. I kinda want a leather and fur vest for myself now! Thanks so much for playing along with us!

    1. Thanks! The level of detail in the Ottobre patterns is wonderful. The time and effort required to construct these jeans is well worth the end results.

      This was one of those outfits that as I was sewing it I kept asking myself why I was making it for a three year old ;) I would have gladly worn it myself!

  3. Super! I mostly use Ottobre patterns and I think they're great. The posing is very recognisable, even with my 5y old :-)

    1. I can see myself using mostly Ottobre patterns as well. They fit so well and the finished detail is just lovely. I already have 12 more patterns traced and ready to go! Now I just need to find a little time ;)

  4. So glad you're back to sewing:) Your posts have been missed! What a fun outfit - I especially love the jeans and all the detail work you put into them. Well done!

    1. Thanks Lucinda! I'm not sure I'm entirely back to sewing yet. But hopefully this April, once things calm down a bit at home, I will be able to find some more time. I'm really looking forward to it because I miss sewing :(