Sunday, April 26, 2015

KCW - Flamingos!

I think this was the first fabric/pattern decision I made when I got the Garden Girl collection.  I showed Lisi Loo the fabric, assuming she would love it because...well, flamingos.  Also, this is one of her favorite books lately.  Her reaction was surprisingly something along the lines of, "No way am I wearing flamingos!".  Extra surprising since the most negative reaction I ever received before this incident was indifference.  But I stuck with it, hoping to win her over with the finished Stella Tunic.

All throughout the creation of this, whenever I would hold it up and ask what she thought, she continued to say she did not want to wear flamingos.  I was discouraged, which is probably why it ended up taking so long to get it finished, but I kept hope alive.  And I'm glad I did, because I sewed on the last button, held it up one more time, and it was like she was an entirely different girl - or I was sewing an entirely different top.

She loved it.  "Is it a PINK FLAMINGO shirt?  For ME?!?!?  Yipp-EEE!!!"  (She really does say yippee, by the way.)  Crazy three year old.  I don't even try to keep up.

So back to the pattern: it has the high low hem, the optional collar, and has no sleeves as opposed to the cap sleeves I used last time.  How amazing is that racerback?  I'm so obsessed.

The flamingo fabric itself is vintage - in that it is approximately as old as I am.  My grandmother (not the one I'm always saying passed some fabric on to me, but the other one that I actually only have two or three special cuts of fabric from) used this fabric to make matching two piece bathing suits for my cousin and myself when we were little.  She lined them with terry cloth but, yes, woven bathing suits are unfortunately as uncomfortable as they sound.  Oh - and it fits the KCW wild things theme!  Coincidentally as I cut this out weeks ago...but still...

So that's it for my KCW sewing this season.  Not my most prolific but I'm still really pleased with the results.  As is Lisi Loo's closet.

Linking up to KCW here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

KCW - A Jane Top

I know I promised the other Stella Tunic yesterday, but it actually feels more summer than spring to me and I've had a hard time staying motivated to get it finished and photographed.  It'll get done, it just hasn't happened yet.

In the mean time, I whipped (and I do mean whipped - quick sew, made quicker still by using an existing hem) up another Jane Top for Lisi Loo to wear to pre-school today.

This time I made a size 3 and it fits great, too, with a little room to spare.  Obviously I made the short sleeved version this go around.  The only change I made was to replace the facing with a full lining since we don't need to be seeing her belly through those eyelets. 

This top (like the Stella I posted) is made from an old skirt of mine.  She loves that the embroidered/eyelet details look like wheels.  Whatever makes her happy to wear it is okay by me.

The length is actually a tiny bit longer than the size 3 top version because I used the existing hem but cut the full length of the pattern piece.  More room to grow!

So there it is: 2 versions of each of the new Garden Girl Collection top/dress patterns.  I really need to take a break now, but all the fabric I look out I now see is Stellas, McKenzies, or Janes!  ha!  It's not the worst problem to have, is it?

Linking up to KCW here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

KCW - A Modified Stella Tunic

Last up from the Garden Girl Collection is the Stella Tunic, with a small change.

The original pattern has a cute high-low hem but this top is made from an old skirt of mine and I just didn't have enough fabric.  When I first realized that, I just moved on and cut out a different one (which you'll likely see tomorrow - just finishing up the buttons), but I couldn't get the picture of this fabric in this pattern out of my head.

Then it occurred to me that I could just modify the skirt to be the same length all the way around and, like magic, we were back on track.

I love a pattern than you can, with just a little tweaking, use to make different pieces that LOOK different, as opposed to looking like the same pattern in different fabrics.  Other than my own skirt modification, the pattern has this cute cap sleeve option or a sleeveless racerback option, as well as a pointy optional collar.  (The other Stella I'm working on is sleeveless with the collar.)

I'm so glad I made the impulse decision to get all three patterns in this collection - I love each one more than the next!  And they're all patterns I see myself making over and over - actually I already am!  Two McKenzies and two Stellas so far.  Guess we need one more Jane to even things up.  I don't hate that math.  ha!

Linking up to KCW here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

KCW - A(nother) McKenzie Tunic

I know it's a little too soon for a repeat of a pattern I just posted about less than a week ago, but I was sorting through fabrics for a different pattern, and this combo jumped out at me and requested to be a McKenzie Tunic.  I make it a rule to always listen when my fabric speaks to me.

It's a similar concept (floral bodice and hem band; solid skirt) but feels a little more casual than the last one.

The floral is from a thrifted sheet, and the pink is some sort of linen blend, I think, that my grandmother passed on to me.

There's not much else to say that I didn't say the other day.  I still love this pattern, and I look forward to making more in the future...but maybe not next week.

Linking up to KCW here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

KCW - A Madeline Dress

First day of Kids Clothes Week!  Woo-hoo!  Unfortunately, that's the most excitement I've got for today.  I finished up a spring wardrobe piece I started previously - a Madeline Dress by Me Sew Crazy (a FREE pattern!).

It looks pretty cute hanging there, right?  The reason for my lack of enthusiasm is that, for the first time in a while, the finished garment turned out too small!

It's not unwearably small, but it's clearly more a "top" than a "dress".  I went by the size chart and made a size 2, but clearly that was the wrong decision.  Or maybe I need to double check her height.  Or I made a mistake in my tracing and/or cutting?  Anybody's guess at this point, really.

It does look cute with shorts, and will probably work with leggings, too, so it's not a total waist.  And in a few weeks when it's officially too tight under her arms we'll just save it for her baby sister.  No big loss.

The pattern itself was pretty easy to follow, although my choice of this sheer fabric for the outer bodice, while very pretty, made things a little more difficult than they needed to be.  I'm sure I'll try it again at some point.

Linking up to KCW here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A McKenzie Tunic for Spring

Next up in our Lisi Loo's new spring wardrobe is my second sew from the new Garden Girl Collection by Shwin Designs (first was her Jane Top): the McKenzie Tunic.

When I first cut this out I had a brown linen to go with the floral.  It looked okay, but I just couldn't get excited about it.  Then I remembered I had this ivory linen and that all changed.  I LOVE this pattern even more than I thought I would!

Sure the ivory isn't as sandbox friendly as the brown would have been, but worth it - right?   (The floral was a bit of what I had left from this top.)

I made this in a size 2, and the fit is perfect.  Once I finished it I was worried it looked to big for her shoulders, but once on her the fit turned out to be just perfect.  I love the square neckline, that the square neckline in the back is dropped down lower (no buttons!), the big pleats and the band around the bottom that is the perfect balance to the bodice top.

I (for once!) made zero modifications to this pattern - it's just so great as is.  Sewed up really quickly, too, which is never a bad thing, is it?

Kids Clothes Week is coming up next week.  Luckily I was not as productive as I had hoped this week and so should have plenty to keep me busy for an hour a day next week.  And if I happen to run out of work, I may just have to add another McKenzie Tunic to my list.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Floral Tank for Spring

The next item up for Lisi Loo's spring wardrobe will also carry nicely into summer as well: a light but layerable sleeveless floral top.

This is the same self-drafted pattern I used for her Christmas dress (as well as several other tops and dresses that haven't ever been properly blogged).  The basic pattern has two necklines (rounded here, squared on the dress) and five sleeve options, including sleeveless.  If I ever do decide to try digitizing patterns, this will definitely be top on my list.

She was in quite the sassy-pants dancy-dance mood for these photos - we're all so excited to FINALLY be getting outside this week, I think we're all in that mood, even if she's the only one bold enough to show it off.

One of my criteria for choosing patterns for this spring wardrobe was that, those that weren't long sleeved, be layerable.  This sleeveless version is so cute under a cardigan, although I failed to get a photo so you'll just have to take my word for it at this time.

There are those sassy-pants I was talking about.

The main fabric was a pillowcase I picked up at an estate sale a while back.  When I was doing all my planning/measuring/drafting/cutting a few weeks ago I must have mis-measured something somewhere along the way because I didn't end up with a long enough skirt to add a thick hem like I usually do, so I used some wide pink bias tape I had in my stash instead.  Problem solved.  

Hooray for Spring!  

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Jane Top for Spring

I sewed!  Not only that - I'm posting about it!  And it's not even Kids Clothes Week!  ha!  Now that we've got that out of the way...

A few weeks ago I set out to outfit Lisi Loo for Spring.  They tell me it's coming, although we've yet to see it - which is a good thing since life got in the way of my outfitting goal and I have a lot of little piles of cut-out garments and partially-completed garments but very few wearable spring clothes completed.  It's supposed to warm up and I'm determined to get this wardrobe put together over the next couple weeks.  First up, the new Jane Top (and Dress) from Shwin Designs.

Isn't it cute?  She agrees - and has been wearing it all day.  So please excuse the paint from preschool and the wrinkles from her nap in the photos below - signs of a well loved top (and a busy morning).

For the first time since I started sewing for my kids, I'm setting out with a big picture attitude, as opposed to the impulse sewing I usually do.  Also for the first time, I'm sewing with the clear objective to save money.  I'm usually pretty thrifty when it comes to sewing, but I'm also, as I mentioned, impulsive as well as opportunist.  I'm not buying any fabric, and I wasn't going to buy any new patterns...then the Garden Girl Collection was released.  I couldn't choose, and once I did the math (there are three top/dress and a legging pattern included) the initial sale price was too good to turn down.  The Jane Top is the first I've completed from the collection.

Her measurements put her in the size 2, but in hindsight I probably should have used the size 3 arm length (the pattern also has a short sleeve option).  Luckily it's a top for spring - too short sleeves look more intentional!

On this sew-a-wardrobe mission I told myself I would only sew patterns as written - no modifications.  I did break that rule for this pattern slightly, but not in any way that added significantly to the construction time or mental energy required.  The main fabric was Daddy's old button-down.  The pattern calls for both the front and back to be cut on the fold with facings on the inside.  Since I didn't have enough shirt to cut both on the fold, the button placket from the original shirt is now in the back of her top and I bound with bias tape at the neck so the existing button holes and buttons could be used without alteration.  I also used bias tape at the hem, but only because I wasn't paying attention to the button placement at the bottom when I cut and didn't have enough to fold over twice.

The collar is an option in the pattern, and truthfully I'm not usually a fan of collars on little kids clothes, but I stumbled across this fabric combo in the planning stages and couldn't say no.  I'm still not a total convert, but it is a really cute touch and she loves the flowers.  The floral fabric was an estate sale find from a couple of years ago.

This is actually the second of our "Spring Collection" to be completed, but first to get fully photographed.  I have another completed and mostly photographed, another completed but not at all photographed, and two or three that just need little things like button holes, buttons, or hemming.  Hoping to get some momentum going - the weather's supposed to be turning around this weekend so maybe that will be the motivation I need.  If not, Kids Clothes Week is coming up again - just in time!