Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hearts for FrancesSuzanne

Here is a top for Stella to wear to preschool this Fall (that was long time in the making).

I got the pattern a couple years ago on sale, but didn't make it because I was afraid of knits and the fit issues I often have with McCall's patterns.

But, I've gotten over my fear of knits and it landed on my Fall sewing wish list. Next came fabric choice, and after much waffling, I remembered this polka dot ponte de roma from Girl Charlee I bought a year ago. Unlike the other pontes I've sewn with from them, this is nice stuff and feels like it will hold up well.

The top sewed up quickly and fit well (and I'll admit I didn't read the instructions so I can't comment on them), but it needed more. I had wanted so badly to participate in August's Project Run and Play, but didn't get the chance. And then I read Ashley and Emily's (of Frances Suzanne) tragic news and my heart has been aching for them. So I appliqued hearts onto the top.

The embroidery isn't up to FrancesSuzanne standards, but it's my first attempt at anything like this. I've no idea if I did it right, but while I worked, I thought and prayed for those three little girls, their momma and their aunts. These hearts are for them.

She wanted me to take a picture of the hearts so she's sticking out her chest :)

It's strange how we get to know each other in the blogging community by reading each others' posts. I appreciate the honesty with which bloggers share their lives, but sometimes I feel like I'm watching through a living room window. Like I'm invading their privacy. But as I sat and cried through Ashley and Emily's post, it felt nothing like that. It felt like someone in my community suffered a massive loss. Three little girls lost their dad, a wife lost her husband. I'm glad that the blogging community could offer support and send up prayers on their behalf. I'm so glad I have the chance to offer my support and prayer, even though I've never met them, and am all the way out in Oregon.

Details on shirt:
- Pattern: McCall's 6785 view A (only modification was unintended - I made the hood double-layered because that's how the Bimaa is and I didn't read the instructions on this one. Whoops.) I made a size 3 and don't remember if I added any length for my tall 4 year old with chest/waist/hips measurements of 22"/21"/23".
- Fabric: Ponte de roma from Girl Charlee (out of stock) and Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey knit in Cherry (accent)
- Pellon (Ek130 Easy-Knit) knit fusible interfacing on applique
- Black DMC embroidery thread (I used 3 strands)

They both wanted to show their ponytails.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Skirting the issue

Simple Simon and Company holds an awesome blogosphere-wide event in July called Skirting the Issue where sewists make and donate skirts for foster kids. I finally participated this year with two Oliver + s music class skirts. I've had the pattern for awhile (bought for the shirt), but haven't sewn the skirt because it's not twirly. Alas, skirts and dresses that aren't twirly are rejected around here. It was great to get the chance to sew it! The corduroy I used (from Joann's) worked great.

(I think I need to clean my lens.)
I knew I wanted to sew a couple skirts, but I really struggled with deciding what to make. I wanted to make sure whatever I made looked professional and would be something a girl would want to wear. So I thought about it for about a month, and finally started cutting and sewing the last couple days of July.

Love the side pocket!

Hey, I remembered to put a size tag in this one!
Melissa from Melly Sews has put together this round up of sewing related charitable organizations, because sewing for charity feels fantastic and shouldn't be limited to sewing skirts in July (or August)!

In non-sewing related business, summer has been fantastic. I'm officially a registered nurse, and will start my new job in a just a couple weeks. Nursing school was three very long years, but it's over!

The girls are wonderful, and awful. Thankfully, Stella's pulling into a better stretch with more obedience and less constant whining, and is always so fun. It's good, because Charlotte is starting to be less fun and more willful. She surprises me with her helpfulness, though. I can usually distract her by giving her a task. Which is awesome.

Charlotte LOVES her some fresh corn on the cob.

Stella is so beautiful! (And she got glasses in May.) 
Charlotte is also so beautiful :)

They are pretending there are baby kitties under the stool. They play together so well and their imaginations are fantastic!

Here Stella is showing me one of her baby kitties. So sweet.

(This post is linked up over at straightgrain's sew and show.) 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

KCW Wrap-up

This was the first KCW I've been able to participate in. It was productive! Most days I spent much more than an hour, but a couple days I just spent an hour. It was a bit disheartening at first because 4 of the 5 pairs of pants had issues. But they were worked out and lessons learned for next time.

The theme this season was "traveling". The only way I followed it was by sewing only comfy clothes!

Days 1 and 2: Cut out and sewed five pairs pants. Three Go To Leggings (shorties in same fabric as capris not pictured), capri length and modified shorts Ananda Pants.

Capri length with calf cut out option in size 4T. The cut-outs would not be even! I have some running capris out of the same fabric and Stella has been asking for some so I was happy to oblige.

Full length leggings in size 12 mo width, 2T length (with even more width taken out for my skinny legged girl).

Capri length Ananda pants in size 4T. (This is the 4th pair of these pants I've made, and I love them! I got the pattern as part of a bundle and it's wonderful.)

Ananda pants cut in shorts length with regular waistband (next time I make this modification I need to remember to trim down the height of the shorts by an inch or so as they ended up quite high-waisted). I'm still deciding whether I'll hem them or not.

Fabric: Black ponte de roma from Urban Sew, pink tonal jersey and teal ponte de roma from Girl Charlee (not there anymore), heathered teal performance knit from Jo-Ann's, purple ribbing from    Jo-Ann's

(Side  note: I love Urban Sew! I emailed them to ask about the quality of their ponte because I was so disappointed by the quality of the stuff I got from Girl Charlee, and they offered to send me swatches for free. I got the charcoal, black and white and washed and dried them with every load of laundry for a couple weeks and they were great! They aren't quite as soft as the pontes from Girl Charlee, but they didn't pill at all. Consequently, I ordered 5 yards of the black and 3 of the charcoal along with other goodies. Plus, they donate a buck from every purchase to help out foster kids.)

Day 3: Cut out pattern and fabric for Oliver + s Ruffled Halter.

Day 4: Worked on halter

Day 5: Finished halter and cut out Uptown/Downtown Dress

The ruffled halter is full of cuteness! (Between size small and medium.)

Fabric: Blue gingham upcycled from curtains from my old kitchen (from Walmart originally), and stolen from my mom's stash (I'm pretty sure). It ironed like it had polyester in it so I'm hoping it won't wrinkle very much.

Day 6: Finished Oliver + s Lullaby Layette Bodysuit for a friend. Size 6-12 months and my own version of flutter sleeves. They were 75% completed before KCW. There should be an unfinished project KCW!

I couldn't decide what color so I did three!

Fabric: Lisette poplin from Joann's red tag section

Day 7: Finished Uptown/Downtown Dress. It was a pretty slinky sweater knit, and the neckline is a bit to low to wear in public until Stella's a little bigger. I made a 5T according to her measurements. It'll work for a nightgown for now! Other than the neckline it fits well, so I've already cut out a modified version.

Fabric: Sweater knit from Girl Charlee (not there anymore)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

First dress for me!

Pattern: Myrtle dress by Colette Patterns

Sizing: I sewed an x-large and it fit like it was supposed to.

On our kid-free trip to Olympic Peninsula and Victoria.
 Material used: Jersey (maybe with rayon in it?) from Girl Charlee Fabrics (looks like it's finally gone!). It was slightly flawed and I got three yards for $3/yard. Since I made both girls skirts from the leftovers, that means I got a dress for me and two little girls skirts for $9 plus the cost of the pattern which was on sale for 30% off.

Notions needed: Elastic for the waist. I used 1/2" elastic instead of the recommended 1" elastic and like the look better.

Appropriately rated: Yes. Rated beginner.

Time spent: It was actually pretty quick. Just a couple hours, then I waited until the day I wanted to wear it to hem and finish it. It just wasn't exciting enough to have it ready to go.

Modifications: Used 1/2" elastic instead of 1" elastic in waistband. I didn't make a muslin, but next time I will try to prevent the upper back from gapping by taking out a wedge, and try to make the shoulders more narrow.

Comments: I had a completely different idea of what this dress would look like. It was pretty disappointing when I initially tried on the bodice, I thought it would be more form fitting! So I went back and looked at the pictures better on the Colette website and the blogosphere and the idea I had in my head was totally wrong. After it was all done and my idea had adjusted, I liked how it looked.

Totally tried for some subtle waist-whittling with switching the directions of the triangles.
I think eating less ice cream would work better.
And those are all the photos I got! Maybe after a couple more articles of clothing I'll become more comfortable with modeling :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pattern review: Oliver + s class picnic blouse

So this isn't a KCW was actually sewn in May. I'm just now getting it posted, though, because I'm bad at posting stuff.

(About KCW where you sew an hour a day for your kids for a week - I'm actually participating this time! I'll do a wrap up post at the end of the week.)

I can't believe it took me this long to sew this pattern! Thankfully, the sizing is generous so I should be able to squeeze a year (or two) out of it for Stella. (More about the shorts here.)

pardon the wrinkles

Partners in crime.

Just catching butterflies...or Marvin the cat
Both the shorts and blouse were nice happy sews that didn't require too much thinking or learning any new skills. The blouse especially would be good for beginners. However, I wouldn't recommend sewing it up with this fabric combo for beginners. It made me swear a lot. (Although, since I sewed the bulk of it when the girls were awake, the swearing was unfortunately silent.) Shifty little....

After I finished it up on Memorial Day, Stella and I went on an adventure to a nursery and got some veggie starts and smelled all the roses, then we went to the grocery store and got supplies for a (just our little) family BBQ. It's fun to have unhurried adventures with one daughter at a time!

She picked snapdragons for her plot in the garden.

Unfortunately, while I was planting the veggie starts, I looked up to this:

Dirt angels and dirtcastles in case you were wondering. 
Amazingly, I didn't freak out, just reminded her she should also take off her new shorts. I still haven't washed them yet, they're sprayed with oxy-clean and I'm a little scared. Why must she immediately ruin clothing? Oh yes, because she's three. I keep reminding myself that being clean is not a high priority right now, and she keeps reminding me that she's my daughter. (I do remember a fun afternoon spent sliding between muddy rows of green beans when my dad questioned why we kept our clothes and rubber boots on and we had to be sprayed off with a hose outside. Oh, it was fun when the irrigation was close to the house.)

Pattern: Oliver + s Class Picnic Blouse and Shorts

Sizing: The shorts were spot on and the fit of the blouse was generous. I added an inch or so to it, but it didn't need it. (I sewed a 3T in the shorts and 4T in the blouse because Stella has a long torso and a little butt.)

Material used: Lawn (maybe?) and voile from a Lisette line at Joann's a couple years ago for the blouse and chambray from Joann's for the shorts.

Notions needed: 1/4" elastic for the top, 3/4" elastic for the shorts

Appropriately rated: Yes. Rated advanced beginner (although I think the blouse is beginner appropriate).

Time spent: Shorts were a two evening job, blouse a one evening project.

Modifications: None

Comments: Such a nice pattern! The shorts are worth the extra effort for the facings. The fit of the blouse was generous. It's a wonderful summertime outfit!

And now for some pictures of Charlotte since she gets pretty jipped as the receiver of hand-me-downs.

So full of spunk
Did you know this was a Carhartt ad? I wish.

Up, please! All. the. time. But she's so very cute...

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Monday, May 18, 2015

More shorts...

I've been wanting to sew up this pattern for awhile, and Stella is growing out of the size range I have so I thought I'd better hurry! So after much hemming and hawing over fabric choice I finally fell on a lightweight chambray and a Lisette voile, both from Joann's a couple years ago. The chambray is going to wrinkle horribly...errgh. The waistband facing is another Lisette print (maybe a lawn?). A coordinating Class Picnic blouse is in the works (now blogged here).

View of the back of the shorts
Front waistband facing
Every time I see this pattern sewn up in the blogosphere I want to make it! Two of my favorites are these by probably actually and these by skirt as top. The Oliver + s flickr group has a ton of great ones, too. I've always been turned off on it because the hem facing looked like it took forever. It turned out to sew up faster than I thought it would. The pattern and instructions were great and completely up to the usual Oliver + s standard.

I remembered to add a size tag!
I sewed a 3T because I want them to fit now, but probably should have sewn a 4. Hopefully they'll make it through the summer. Stella is refusing to model clothes for pics lately and it's not worth the fight. Thankfully, she still likes wearing them! Little sister is also a fan of trying on big sister's clothes.
Why yes, that is a Christmas rug next to the sliding May.
What our living room looks like 90% of the time. Card tables make the best forts!

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