Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer/Fall "Dragon" Wardrobe

I've done more sewing in the last 15 days than I have in the last 15 weeks! I've posted pics of some of the wardrobe as I've gone along. Here it is, all together now that I finally, I got it done. 

It's all knits, but they vary a bit in type.  There are 3 nice cotton jerseys (though the magenta is a really heavy one).  The pink floral top is a slippery, poly blend with very little in the way of stretch. The dress is a lycra blend with lots of stretch in all directions, for a sporty feel, which makes a great play dress.
If you look carefully, you'll see that she posed her toy dragon for each different shot.  He was her "accessory".

Here is the composite, showing all 7 looks we got from the 5 items made.  I hope it all lasts her well into her next school year!
For information on sewing any of these, please check out my review HERE.

 This outfit seemed to bring out her inner Movie Star.

 Here she is simply having fun and playing with her favorite toy, Icy the Dragon.
This dress is certainly her favorite piece of the wardrobe (and she's happy to wear it alone or with leggings)

 I loved sewing this matching outfit of gathered sleeves and gathered leggings from the same pattern.  The fact that both of these fabrics were actually in my stash made me even happier!

She also really loves this top.  It's long sleeved, so will hopefully also serve her into winter and possibly even next spring!
 Here you can see the sleeve gather detail.

And here is the outer leg gather.  There is an inner leg gather as well.
So there it all is.  I'm really glad I took the time to do this for her, and I'm so happy there was a great contest out there to help inspire me when my sewing mojo was low!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kids pick the darndest fabrics!

First off, I'd like to say how happy I am to be back at my sewing machine!  And with a new serger to use on knits, making Liz a 5 piece all knit wardrobe is proving to be fun AND a good learning experience with the new machine.

So you can see here the second fabric Liz picked out at Joanns. It's pretty crazy, but really pretty too.  There are lots of colors to mix and match in it, so it goes with a lot of other things.  I felt pretty lucky to have the magenta in my stash (thanks to my great aunt Barb!)  I have enough of it left (and more of this magenta solid too) to make one other item out of eventually.

I lengthened the sleeves and added a contrasting cuff so this will hopefully work well into fall and winter, but still be useful on the random cool summer days and evenings.

I also made the back leggings, another piece of fabric I've had in my stash from Aunt Barb.  These turned out great, and will be useful with so many things!  I expect she will get a LOT of wear out of them.  No, they aren't that exciting, but they are super practical for a girl who is suddenly into leggings with everything.

I was originally going to make the leggings in grey, and I still may do that, though I have a magenta pair (yes, THAT same magenta) already cut out.  You'd be surprised at how much of her existing wardrobe matches that bright magenta, lol.

Well, I'm off to cook dinner, and then back to my machine,  Yay!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer knit dress, she loves dragons!

Here is Liz's new summer dress, part one of her Summer/Fall wardrobe I'm hoping to make her this month.

While out doing errands the other day, we stopped by Jo-anns to pick up some thread for another project, and I noticed they had a McCall's pattern sale.  I told Liz she could pick a pattern, and I would pick one for myself.  She selected McCall's 6915.
I realized I didn't have much in the way of knits in my stash, so and looked and saw their fun knits were on a good sale.  Liz picked 2 fabrics, one a purple and pink crinkle dye that she says looks like a dragon egg (looks like an Easter Egg at least.).  The other she selected is the crazy bird and floral pattern which will be my next project.

So she wanted the pink and purple made into the dress, and the other into a shirt.  I started with the dress, and saw that a previous reviewer mentioned it runs large.  I have about 4 yards of this plain grey knit, so I decided to put it to good use making a wearable muslin before cutting into the fancy fashion knit.

I'm so glad I did, the muslin was quite large.  Wearable, but wide in the body. 
After measuring the amount I needed to remove, I graded the pattern down to a size 2 in the shoulders, and 1 in the body.  The pattern only goes down to a 3, but I just kept going.
This meant I had to add a lot of length to the bodice, 2".  I left the skirt length at 6.  I think I should have added 3" to the bodice, and added another inch to the skirt.  The length is ok as it is, but I had to make a narrow hem to prevent it from being too short, and there is little room for her to grow taller in it.  Though one can always add ruffles, lol.

I didn't like the idea of the tied ribbon (it would just come off an active child), so I told her she could pick a knit trim.  Well, she picked this crazy sequin stuff because it looks like dragons scales to her, and has purple and pink in it to match the dress, and I do like the final effect.

She is so into dragons right now, this outfit may not look like it at first glance, but was entirely inspired by dragons, and mostly designed by Liz. :)

I finished hand sewing on the knit sequin trim early this evening, and we went outside to take pictures.  Ahh, summer.  Long afternoons, still warm and light outside at 7pm.

I think the back illustrates how much I improved the fit of the body.  That and the fact that she wanted to wear it to bed!  lol.  I had to tell her no (mostly because of the sequins in bed...seems less than comfy), but she can wear it as much as she wants in the daytime for the rest of the summer.

It's really good to be back to sewing.  Last month I started on a jacket for myself.  I got the base part assembled, but stopped at the point where I would start attaching the lining.  I think the heat killed my desire.  I hope to finish it next month though.  I hate UFO's.
But my spirits are really up, and I'm enjoying making this wardrobe for Liz.  I'm especially enjoying using my new serger!  I got it for Christmas but haven't had much opportunity to use it.  the next 5 projects are all knits, so it should get a lot of use.  I even broke a thread right after I started using it, and was able to re-thread it correctly!  That makes me feel much more comfortable with it, which is great because I'm still a little intimidated by sergers.
Here is my Pattern Review of the dress, for more technical sewing information.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Birthday Dress, Liz is Elsa!

My little girl is turning 7! Where does the time go.  I mean seriously, I have "Sunrise, Sunset" going through my head tonight, lol.

So Liz requested a costume party for her birthday, and she wanted to dress as Elsa from Frozen.  She said she wanted it for her birthday, and then for Halloween as well.

To start with, I had to learn how to French Braid (that's right, I'm almost 40 and have never learned how).  But a few Youtube tutorials and about 10 practice sessions later, I got the hang of it enough to pass at least.  Liz also found these AMAZING snowflake beads at Joans, and we wove them into her braid.

This posed a number of challenges for me.  First, I wanted to make her something comfy.  second, I wanted to make her something warm (I learned my lesson with Tinkerbelle, she WAS Frozen in that costume!  Poor thing.)

So I set about drafting a simple knit dress that would both look enough like Elsa's ice dress to make her happy, but also be comfy and warm enough to keep her happy. :)  I feel like I succeeded.  It's not the best looking or most accurate costume I've ever made, but Liz loves it and that is what really counts!  See, she's already pretending to do magic. :D

The final product is intentionally a bit large, as it does need to still fit her in 5 months for Halloween.  The cape isn't to extreme, as I wanted her to be able to run and play without tripping.  But it has some swing, and lots of sparkle!

I asked her to pose for me, and somehow she ended up looking like a runway model.  Just a chance of photography, but striking.

So, happy birthday to our little girl!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Girl Scouts, no time to sew!

Hello everyone!  Some of you may have been wondering where I have been, and why I haven't posted anything recently, or apparently done much sewing for months.  Or maybe you haven't, but I'll tell you anyway.  :D  Two Words:
Girl Scouts

Back in October, my daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts (she is in 1st grade now), and there were not enough local troops for all the new girls who wanted to sign up.  So I thought I could try being a Girl Scout Leader.  Whew boy, it takes up a LOT more time than I realized it would.  I love it though!  I wish I could do again next year, but sadly just one year of this makes me realize I am not (currently) able to handle this much volunteer work.

So for October through about Christmas, I still managed to have a non scouting life, and even sewed my daughter a new long sleeved knit top, and started a dress for myself, but then Cookie Season arrived, and really...just wow.  For over a month, my life was overtaken by Girl Scout cookies.  Yes, I have a cookie mom, and I owe her a lot for storing them and helping with booths and deliveries.  However, the rest of the work was still quite overwhelming. I could hardly wait until it was over and we were just back to the fun of meetings and outings and earning badges. :)

Thousands (literally!!) of boxes of cookies later, I'm still kicking.  It took a full week to recover, but I finally feel like looking at my sewing machine again! I'll need it to let out some pants; I think I put on 5 lbs eating all those delicious, delightful, but argh is it over yet? cookies. 

So that dark green jacket made from the lovely denim that Marec so kindly sent me WILL get made.  And I'll finish that white dress that has been sitting on my sewing table for something like 3 months.

Fabric stash, here I come! :D

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fall skirt, and happy Thanksgiving!

Do you have fabric stashed that you consider "too special" to use on just any project?  Is it sitting in your stash area just waiting for that perfect pattern or idea to come along?  Has it been there for years??  Me too!

Last year for my birthday, my Great Aunt Barbra (who just celebrated her 93rd birthday this year!) gave me a couple of large bags of fabrics she would never use.  Some were remnants, some whole pieces.  
There were 2 lovely Challis', one deep blue with scattered golden flowers (untouched, about 3 yards), and the brightest fall colored piece, also about 3 yards.  I loved the colors of the fall piece; flowers in yellows, golds, oranges and reds all on a black background with paisley here and there to accent.  I was thinking about a dress, but then my wonderful father gave me boots for my birthday (he called them my wicked witch boots, lol), and now I have something to wear skirts in fall with!  I recently found McCall's 6799, and the line drawing as well as the model picture showed such a lovely drape, I just had to try it, even with no previous reviews to guide me.  I plowed on, and am glad I did!

Mark my words, this will change my wardrobe. :)

I originally intended to make an entire Thanksgiving outfit, appliqueing the remnants to my own black long sleeved tee, but I just couldn't find time before the holiday arrived.  Still, I am thrilled with the skirt alone, and I think I will get a lot of wear out of it, hopefully for may autumns to come.  

I've always been a fan of maxi dresses and maxi skirts, and the flow of this one is amazing.  This is the first project I've ever cut on the bias, and it really makes a difference in how it fits, hangs, and moves.  I love it!  It was a little trickier to cut, and much trickier to hem, but not too bad really.  And well worth it!  I also love the yoke, which hides the tummy pooch....

The back has a slight tacky spot, but I don't think it is noticeable unless you know what to look for.

I hope no one finds it inappropriate, I was just having fun showing off my boots, and got kind of a old time teaser shot on accident.  I thought it was kind of cute.  Looks like I'm about to do the can-can!  lol.

I wore this all day Thanksgiving while cooking the turkey, potatoes, casseroles, etc, and it was comfortable and I felt lovely dressed up, but not too much.  

I hope those of you that celebrate it had a wonderful turkey day!  And that like me, you find the right pattern for those "special" fabrics in our stash!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Liz's little suit

I made these pants for Liz for her Girl Scout uniform (I wanted her uniform complete for the Veterans Day Parade), so I bought a few yards of this soft, faux suede (khaki is the official color...close enough!).
I had enough left over material to make this little jacket, as long as I made the facing from a different material.
 I let Liz pick a fabric from my stash for the facing. :)  Thanks dad, and my dads friend Jay for this lovely found fabric!

Here you can see the facing is not a full lining, just partial.

The back of the jacket has a set of ruffles on it, I made them in the same contrasting fabric as the facing.

The pants are such a great fit!  The darts in the front and back, and the partial elastic waistband make for a very nice fitting yet comfy pant for an active kid!