Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BTB - Christmas Dolly

It's before the blog - Christmas edition!  (Previous installment here.)

Every baby girl needs a look-alike dolly.  This past Christmas my baby girl got hers.

I pinned a few dolls I liked, drew up a plan/pattern, picked my fabrics and there you go.

The main dress was a fat quarter I got at Joanns a while back.  The underskirt and tights are a favorite polka dot print I also used here.  I used a double layer of knit fabric for the hair and shoes instead of felt (I was trying to avoid pilling).

A lovey for my lovey.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

KCW - Fuzzy Shoulder Swing Tee

I feel a little ho-hum about what I've put out over the past week overall.  Individually, I like the pieces, and they're good staples that will get a lot of wear, but I felt like last KCW had more pretty to show for it.  I felt really proud of what I put out last KCW, and this week - just kind of ho-hum.  UNTIL TODAY.

I had no idea what my next step was going to be after I finished the last swing tee.  I still wanted to try to use a little trim as I had previously challenged myself to do, but was not feeling inspired.  I decided to make another swing tee.  Then thought of embellishing it somehow with some trim.  Then *kabam* - inspiration - shoulder patches!  (My 80's childhood keeps rearing it's tacky head and making me type "shoulder pads")  I've been wanted to try them for a while...perfect opportunity!

The tee is actually fabric from a men's sweater.  There was a collar on the sweater - the edge of that became my neck band.  

The furry shoulder pieces were cut from what looks like it was some kind of collar at some point.  I don't know where it came from.  It was knit on the back so, instead of setting it in, I just top stitched the four sides on.   No worries about bulky seams that way, too. Easy peasy.

I just love the shape of this top so much.  Swingy, loose, but not oversized looking.  Comfy, cozy, casual but not lazy.  Two would probably be enough...but since when is "have enough" a reason not to sew something new?

If you've been playing along here, you'll probably notice that I was once again able to get pictures without my phone in her hands.  Two in a row - on a roll!  The secret this time?  Yogurt covered raisins (hence her full cheeks in the top photo) and a little spider known as itsy bitsy.  He sure does love climbing up that waterspout...

Isn't this what makes sharing our sewing adventures so wonderful?  I was stuck, I was uninspired, I was even a little down on sewing.  The shoulder patches weren't even the highlight of that post that got me going (those pants totally stole the show).  And I've seen a million and one other fabulous shoulder patched garments online and in person in the past.  But the right image at the right time helped me make some magic.  Inspiration is a great gift - thanks to everyone who puts it out there.

Linking up to KCW here.

Also linking up to No Big Dill's Sew all 26 here: F if for Fuzzy shoulders!

Friday, October 25, 2013

KCW - Long Sleeve Swing Tee

Last KCW I made not one, but two swing tees for Lisi Loo using this pattern & tutorial.  I loved (still do) them and they got a lot of wear over the summer.  Unfortunately our warm weather has passed so they're not very practical anymore.  Solution: sleeves!

The body and neckline are true to the original pattern, but I opened the arm holes, narrowed the shoulders, and also added a slightly angled seam to the shoulders.  Oh - and I added sleeves of course.  They are pleated at the shoulder just a little.

I was pretty proud of myself for getting a few shots of her without holding my phone today.  Do you even recognize her?

It was thanks to "If You're Happy and You Know It".

If you're happy and  you know it spin around!

Then she realized the music was coming from...my phone.  Doh.  Let the begging commence.

Back to the drawing board.

Because you can't really expect me to say "no" to that??  Can you?

Linking up to KCW here.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

KCW - Annabeth

Why am I calling this top Annabeth?  It may or may not (but totally does) have something to do with the Hart of Dixie season 2 marathoning I was doing while drafting it.  It doesn't remind me of the character, per se.  It's just the name that kept popping into my head every time I tried to think of a label for my pattern pieces.  So Annabeth is is.

I have mixed feelings about this top.  I was so excited about it when I was drafting the pattern, cutting the fabric, even sewing it up.  Then once it was finished and on her...I just felt kind of meh about it.  Definitely cute - but I'm not in love.

I think I'm going to try again with a few tweaks.  Maybe open the neckline a little, lengthen it a bit (maybe make it a dress?), and change the sleeve openings (I like the contrast with the bias tape, but I think I'll put the elastic in the hem, instead of a separate casing - it's reading a little "clown costume" to me).  Also, I really like this fabric (red tag clearance at Joann) but I don't think, as garment fabric, it's really "me".

Enough with the negatives...just because I don't love this top doesn't mean I don't LIKE it, after all!

I can't believe how well my invisible zipper came together!  I still can't believe I was scared for so long.  What a shame.  The bib/yoke/facing with piping turned out pretty cute, too.  I won't be changing that.

So we'll call this Annabeth take 1.  Any suggestions for take 2?  

Linking up to KCW here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

KCW - Cords & Cardi

While these next two projects are great staples in Lisi Loo's wardrobe, they aren't especially exciting so I'm putting them together in one post.  Another pair of Lovely Rita cords...

and another up-cycled cardigan (sorry for the lint - I didn't notice it at the time).

The only part that might be considered a tad bit exciting is that fact that I somehow made the sleeves crazy long.  I realized this before I even finished sewing it, but wanted to keep the original cuffs so I knew I would have to fold them up.  I decided to take advantage and added a little interest to the seams with some iron-on hem tape I found in that crazy box of bias tape I picked up this summer.

There's not much else to say so I'll leave you with the rest of my photos.

Linking up to KCW here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

KCW - Elbow Patched Cardigan

Next up on my Kids Clothes Week list...a new cardigan with a little something special:

But before we get to that...can we just take a moment to address Lisi Loo's new glasses?

We're still getting used to them and I find them both adorable and ridiculous...in the most adorable way, of course.  The selection of tiny glasses, as you might guess, is very limited.  Add to that that she's sort of between baby size and kid size, and that she's still at an age where her head is growing at a decent pace, and that we do have good vision insurance that allows her a free pair (to a certain cost) every calendar year but requires us to shop at a few specific locations - and you get a Mama who just wants to go back to bed.  She'll probably look back at these pictures when she's grown and ask me what was wrong with me...but I kind of love them.  And general consensus based on reaction by strangers on that street is the same.  

Okay...back to the sewing.
Last fall I made Lisi Loo a few cardigans and she ended up wearing  them constantly, so I decided she needed a few more for this winter.  Again it's a self-drafted pattern.  I used cardigans from the thrift store which makes this a SUPER quick sew - no hems, no buttons, no button holes - and I usually try to find a tighter knight that won't fray so I don't even have to finish the seam allowances (although I did on this one).

(I'm a little disappointed I didn't get a better shot with it straightened out, and maybe buttoned more, but as my pre-schooler told me the other day: "You get what you get and you don't get upset!")

I wanted to spice it up just a tad and have been looking for an appropriate project for elbow patches for a while.  Plain cardigan + flowery elbow patches = perfect pairing!

The floral was an old shirt from my up-cycling dresser and is pretty thin so I used some fusible webbing and some plain white t-shirt knit on the other side to stiffen it up.  Worked perfectly.

It ended up a little bigger than I intended, so for future sweaters I may have to draft a 3rd cardigan pattern somewhere between this one and the one from last year.  Worth it.

Linking up to KCW here.

By the way...the second picture in rotation on the main Kids Clothes Week page is MINE!?!?!?  How nutso is that?  I am so flattered - and proud!

Monday, October 21, 2013

KCW - The What-IS-this-color? Dress

Kids Clothes Week!  It's finally here!  And so is my first finished project.

First things first: I admit I started this over the weekend.  It has been all cut out and just staring at me and I couldn't help myself.  I did spend my Monday morning finishing it today, though.

This fabric is so weird.  It's some kind of synthetic knit with an interesting texture/pattern. You can see it best in the picture below.

 I was worried that texture might make it a bit see-through, and possibly a little itchy, so the dress is fully lined (even the sleeves) in plain white jersey knit.  

Even weirder is the color.  It makes me crazy in these pictures...but really it's just as strange in person.  At first you look at it and it's red.  Then it looks orange.  Then it looks orangey-red.  Then you go cross-eyed and have to look away.  

The pattern is self drafted and I'm pretty tickled with how it turned out.  It should work just fine with a single layer of a sturdy knit or even a woven fabric - I may just have to try both.

I don't know what's up with me - but I'm CRAZY excited about all this sewing this week.  Or as my kid would say: "Super duper ooper frooper crooper excited!!"  Totally.

Linking up to KCW here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Birthday TeePee

Looky looky...

This was my boy's birthday present.  TeePee's are all over the place.  There are a lot of options online but they're expensive.  After making one, I know why!  ha!  Worth it, though.  I love this thing - and more importantly, so do the kids.  It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it's the perfect size for a bunch of pillows and blankets, a boy, a girl, their mama, and some story books.

The basic details: they kids' Poppy assisted again - he cut two 8 foot 2x6 boards into three pieces each and drilled a hole in one end of each 12 inches from the end.  I strung a rope through the boards and tied them together.  I set it up the way I wanted it, making sure to evenly space the "legs" - except for the front two since I wanted the opening a little bigger.

Then I made things hard on myself.  There are plenty of tutorials online for draping your fabric and trimming it to fit, but I wanted a casing around each post so that the cover was attached to the boards and I could just fold it up, move it, and unfold it again without worrying about making adjustments or re-wrapping anything.  I also wanted to make sure it looked neat (as in not messy) and I was able to figure out how to get all the raw edges on insides of the casings.  Took forever, and as my geometry is a bit rusty, I was holding my breath when I finally finished and got the thing up.  PERFECT FIT!  

This is my favorite view:

No...wait...THIS is my favorite view:

Right now it's living in the family/play room next to the play kitchen but eventually it'll be moved up to his bedroom - he's excited to "camp" in it at night.  He's going to have to wait a little while though...I'm not ready to stop staring at it across the house all day.  So.Much.Work.  Worth it.