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!

Thanks for stopping by! Follow me on bloglovin' or by email (over on the sidebar).

Linked up over at:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pattern review: Banyan shorts by Figgy's

Let me say, I love how these shorts turned out. They are perfectly what I wanted and there's a working zip fly! Woot woot! Check another skill off my imaginary sewing skills I've been avoiding list (I also recently checked off double needle so there's that).

I love the style of Figgy's patterns. This is the fourth I've sewn (Nituna jacket, Sunki dress, unblogged Scirocco). So... I should know by now not to rely on instructions in a Figgy's pattern to learn a new skill. Sigh. The additional instructions on the blog weren't helpful either. The zip fly was rough and required ripping out stitches and googling "how to install a fly zipper". I ended up following the instructions on the Ginger Jeans sewalong from Closet Case Files and they were so much easier to follow. And it looks great and works!

Also, I'm not sure if I was just supposed to pleat the front pleats like the diagram indicated or sew on the markings as per the written instructions (it looks like bloggers have done it both ways and they're both cute). I figured I would sew them as instructed and rip out the stitches if it looked funny. I'm on the fence.

(Update: I ripped out the stitches so now they're pleats and fit better. I'm 90% sure they are actually supposed to be pleats.)

I totally put the bum pocket on the wrong side. Ergh. If it bothers me too much I actually cut out two and I might just add another.

Check out that frog peeking from the pocket. So darn cute. I couldn't resist adding this fabric to my last order from Urban Sew. It was on sale after all, and you get free shipping once you get to $100.

PatternBanyan Pants and Shorts by Figgy's

Sizing: Since the other Figgy's patterns I've made run a bit wide and I'd like these shorts to fit now, I sewed up a 2/3 (which was about where Stella's measurements put her anyway) with no modifications. They fit! I also have the failsafe of another little girl not much smaller than Stella if they were too small.

Material used: Twill from Joann's Fabric bought for another project I never got to.

Notions needed: Interfacing (medium weight was overkill but I was out of anything more lightweight), a zipper (leave the bottom stop intact and cut the excess off the top unlike me so you don't have the end of a zipper sticking out. I'll probably cover that with some fabric.), 3/4" elastic (not 1" as listed in the supply list) and a button or snap.

The inside of the fly.
Appropriately rated: No rating, but I would say intermediate with ability to google more instructions or previous experience with fly zippers.

Time spent: A couple hours cutting and taping pattern pieces (which went well, I always appreciate that) and cutting fabric. A couple evenings figuring out the instructions and a looong afternoon (I really wanted to get them done).

Modifications: I topstitched the side seams. It seemed right. As with many Figgy's patterns, the finishing instructions left much to be desired and I often guessed at when and how to finish seams. A few places that I felt it imperative to finish seams without any directions to do so were the pocket (I pinked the edges), the zip flap (finish before topstitching, but before starting the zipper would be ideal), and where the cuff attached to the pants (I trimmed it first).

Comments: I would absolutely recommend this pattern based on the finished product, but with the reservation that the instructions will leave you guessing and doing it differently at times. (The waistband?! I'm pretty sure I didn't do that as intended.) This would be a bad beginner project.

Thanks for stopping by!

Linked up over at:
Nap-time creations

Friday, May 8, 2015

Minky, minky everywhere...

A couple months ago, on the day Stella had an appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon, her favorite twirly skirt was dirty. What's a sewing mom to do? Whip out a new one of course! We went to the stash and I let her pick out any knit fabric she wanted (I didn't want to hem or finish edges). She ignored my urgings of one of my more normal knits and chose this light blue minky. Now, I can't blame her, it's incredibly soft and cuddly and the aqua color is gorgeous.

So anyways, I churned this sucker out in 10 minutes. (Don't look at the sewing too closely, speed was important, not quality.) It's a normal circle skirt with an elastic waistband. Here is a good circle skirt tutorial for woven fabrics. For knit I've used the Figgy's circle skirt tutorial in the past (but can't find it now). Both the minky and elastic are from Joann's.

After her surgery I found out that normal sleeves just wouldn't fit, I saw the opportunity to finally sew the red riding hood cape from the oliver + s Little Things to Sew book. I used the minky again and some thinner pink fleece from 'da stash (bought a couple years ago from the Rain Shed) that Stella also got to pick out. I put buttons on both sides so it's reversible. It's lovely! I'm glad I had a reason to sew this pattern.

Stella didn't want to model it, but Charlotte did!

Hey, that's a cupcake. I need to eat that.

Yep. Tastes good.

Often people look at me in amazement when Stella tells them I made something she's wearing and say, "When do you have time for that?" I usually just give a non-committal stutter and say something like, "Oh, well, you know..". The truth is that I make time for it. It's important to me and makes me happy, so I make time for it. I don't really understand why sewing in the evenings when my hubby's at work, or squeezing in a seam here and there throughout the day helps me feel better. You'd think getting adequate sleep would be a better option. Ha. Before we had kids, gardening filled that creative/constructive role for me, but gardening is much harder to do after the kids go to bed (or with the kids awake). I feel like I'm spinning my wheels when all I get done is cleaning a house that will get dirty again, fixing meals that will need fixing again and washing endless laundry. Truly endless laundry. I don't really enjoy that stuff anyway, and, consequently, I'm not very good at it. But sewing? I have great love for the struggle and triumph of sewing.

Where was I going with that? Ah yes, sewing these items helped me cope with my baby breaking her arm and having surgery for placing pins. Man, that would have been a faster way to write that.

(She's doing great now and all healed up.) Here's a couple extra cute kid photos just for fun.

Blurry, but sister love is so cute!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Easter duds: Bess top and Garden Party dress

One more sewing resolution is in the books! I made a Bess top for myself and finished it up the night before Easter. Earlier that day, I decided Stella needed a new dress. Yeah, sometimes I'm irrational. It was mostly done by Sunday morning, but done enough to wear. The ridiculous thing is that one thing lead to another and we didn't even make it to church. Boo! We were running normally late and then Charlotte got into the ashes in the fireplace and made a terrific mess. So we just wore our new duds to the family celebration.

Here's some pictures of my Bess top (there's a mini pattern review at the very bottom):

A close-up of the neat shoulder construction.

A back shot. I had no idea my elbows looked like that. Weird.

And some pics of Stella's late night dress.

And I've started just painting the size on my handmades with fabric paint. As my sewing is getting more prolific, I'm not remembering what size stuff is and that makes organizing it for Charlotte to wear trickier. Tags are needed. I made a bunch of tags by painting (with a toothpick) on twill tape I got from piggy and dirt on etsy, then I realized I could just skip the twill tape step and mimic store-bought clothes. We'll see how it holds up in the wash.

 Check out the first thread button loop I've ever made. I liked it as a closure! So delicate.

As with all Oliver + s patterns I've made, the Garden Party dress was pretty wonderful and has a great shape. This one was a fairly fast sew, too. I made a 3T width with extra length and added pockets. The floral fabric was won in a giveaway from Climbing the Willow awhile ago and it just screamed, "Make me into a garden party dress for Easter!" When fabric screams, it's good to listen. Also good to go to bed.

Here's a couple (okay, a lot) of Stella wearing the dress and the girls hunting Easter eggs (actually the the next Sunday. Charlotte is wearing one of my faves (from Ross) that Stella also wore for Easter one year.
That is the only way Char would hold her basket. It was so cute.
(She's putting more in her sister's basket, not stealing them.)

And a failed family selfie...

Mini pattern review: Bess top from Imagine Gnats

Size made: 12 (I measured a 14 but the consensus from the blogosphere indicated that I might like the fit better if I sized down and it proved true.)

Time spent: Three evenings. One for pattern and fabric cutting, two for sewing.

Fabric and notions: Lisette voile from Joann's clearance rack (score!) and ancient bias tape (I didn't have any matching jersey).

Thoughts: This was a lovely pattern to start my handmade wardrobe with! I will certainly use it again, and I'm not pleased with my bias binding skills so I might try the jersey binding technique the pattern recommends. I cut a tunic, but it was a bit too shapeless, so I trimmed it to a tee and like the shape on me better. I think it would be really fun to add a front placket using the nursing top modifications you and mie used.

Thanks for stopping by!

Linked up over at: