Sunday, July 28, 2013

Seaside Sailor

I have been sewing up a storm but unfortunately don't have pictures of my recent projects to share yet. I didn't want to post just for the sake of posting, so I was happy to find I had a legitimate past project to share. (Although I have no clue how I forgot to post about it before!)

This is the Seaside Sailor dress by Tie Dye Diva. It was a pattern test I did a couple months ago, and, honestly, the first pattern I've used of Jen's, though I had purchased a few of her other patterns. I can't believe I waited so long to try a TDD pattern--they are fantastic!!

The instructions are exceptional! They are clear and well-written and provide lots of details without being overly wordy. She explains the reasoning behind many of her techniques and, best of all, anticipates and addresses questions someone might have as they sew this garment. And the fit? Oh the fit!

One of my biggest pet peeves lately is that it's taken for granted that there isn't a lot of "fit" involved in making children's clothes. That's garbage--I want my kids to wear clothes that fit them, even if they will be changing sizes in a few months. I want their clothes to cover them properly and I don't want big gaping armholes. I want my daughter's dresses to come down to her knees--this means she can wear them longer and she's 4, bloomers peeking out the bottom of her dress won't fly at this age! The fit was great with this pattern, and when I made pants for Samuel's dedication outfit, I used a Tie Dye Diva pattern because I was confident they'd be drafted properly and I only had enough material for one shot.

Finally, I really liked the finishing and details in this garment. The ties are attached under the collar so you don't have to worry about them being a choke hazard, and they fit through a loop in the front, so you don't have to try to keep them tied. I'm not sure how many sailor dresses one needs in their daughter's wardrobe at one time, but you can't go wrong with this pattern! Oh, and for the littlest ones, there is now a baby version of this pattern--it's too cute!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Almost Instant Gratification

I haven't fired up my embroidery machine in a while (in fact, I'd have to dig through my blog archive just to find the last time I used it). But I got antsy this weekend as none of my sewing projects were working the way I wanted them to, and I switched gears. It felt SO good to knock some projects out quickly!

First up, I added baby Andrew's name to a set of dinosaur burps I had already appliqued. These are going to my sister's friend (whose first son, Adam, received these burp cloths).

Font used is "Burst" from 8 Claws and a Paw
Brontosaurus and Triceratops appliques are from Planet Applique

I wasn't going to tilt the letters at all, just place them along the dinosaur's back, but the "d" didn't want to play nicely that way. So I rotated a few of the letters just a tad to make them fit better.

I also added a little friend's name to her beach towel. Soleil turned 2 recently and her mom brought this over for me to add her name to. I recognized the "hello kitty" font immediately and knew I had the font to match it. I decided to curve Soleil's name around the sun and thought it was especially appropriate as her name means "sun".

Font used is "Mandi" from 8 Claws

I used the capital "L"s for more depth. In order to position the letters, I measured the circle and made a shape in my digitizing program to use as a baseline. Then I removed the circle and saved the file with just the letters in her name. I was pretty pleased with her it turned out.

It felt really good to finish up two projects in less than the time it takes me to cut out some of the stuff I sew!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Popover Sweetie

My friend Jodi stopped by this weekend for a refresher on her sewing machine and when she snuck away to go do a lactation consultation (try saying that 5 times fast!), I sewed up a little Popover Sundress I had already cut out. It didn't take long at all, and I had it ready for her to take home to her daughter by the time she got back to my house. Jodi, being as awesome as she is, sent me some pictures:

I love the photos she sent and I'm thrilled the dress fit. (It ties at the shoulders, but this little lady is a very petite 5.)

This little girl is a doll and her mama said she loved the dress

The dress pattern is a free pattern from Oliver + S and gives you a great sense of what their patterns are like. Even though it's a simple dress, the way the yoke is "lined" makes a nice finish on the inside and is an example of some of the wonderful construction you can expect from an Oliver + S pattern. But enough about the pattern, here's another picture of Jodi's beautiful girl:

How cute is she? And how great is that backyard for photo shoots? The wood fence, the beautiful pool tile--I've already invited myself over to take pictures have Jodi take some pictures for me there :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Items for Sewing To Rebuild

Sewing to Rebuild has been done for 2 weeks and I just got my box sent off today. Wow. I didn't mean for it to work that way, but I ended up getting a stomach bug not once but twice over the past two weeks. I'm feeling better now and managed to finish up most of the items I had cut out.

For boys, I made some Comfy Shorts using the pattern Designs By Moo provided for this project. I didn't care for the size of the pockets, so I left them off most of the pairs I made. I managed to get 5 pairs done, ranging from sizes 4 to 6.

2 pairs were done in a fun states print and 3 were done in "boy" chevron from Riley Blake. I got a ridiculously good deal on fabric recently and grabbed a dozen yards of chevron prints. I don't know the fashion status of chevron (though it seems to still be in) but I love stripes, and chevrons are like stripes with extra fun and a little spunk.

I also made some elastic-waisted skirts in "girl" chevron. It's the same print I used for dresses for my nieces, but this is new yardage since the other was gone. I tried to make the most of my yardage, while still making the largest sizes possible. The skirts are sizes 6, 8 and 10.

I was originally just going to stick to the skirts, thinking the style would be quick and the fabric would make it cute without embellishment. Well, I started getting distracted and ended up cutting out a couple dresses. I only got one finished in time (I use that term loosely, seeing how I was 2 weeks late), and it was the Nelle dress from Brownie Goose in a size 4.

The yellow/white are skirts, the yellow/aqua in the middle is the dress

Brownie Goose patterns are super popular on Facebook right now, and I do think the styles are cute. There were some things I didn't care for about the pattern though. Once I add a review of it on Pattern Review, you can check it out--it will show up in the widget to the right.  The quick and dirty was that there were a lot of conversational style instructions to read through just to get to the actual steps, and the armhole needed to be raised as it was too low and gape-y as directed.

I managed to stick to my original plan enough to get 2 pairs of ruched shorts and 1 hi-low skirt made. The hi-low (not pictured) was size 11/12 and the Dora shorts were size 2 and size 4 (they take hardly any yardage at all!)

I did get quite a lot made (though not as much as I wanted to) and it was such a joy to sew for others. The final tally was 5 pairs of boy shorts, 2 pairs of girl shorts, 1 hi-low skirt, 1 Nelle dress and 6 elastic-waist skirts--that's 15 kids who hopefully will be happy to have something handmade. I should rephrase that--that's 15 more kids, as the Sewing to Rebuild project collected over 600 items to help those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. That is awesome!

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