Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Building Block Dress book tour

I was so, so excited when Liesl asked me to join in on her virtual book tour.  From the minute she explained what the book was about and included a little preview, I knew it would be love.  It's no secret I am a huge fan of customizing patterns; in fact check out the tutorial section on the blog, I have written a few posts over there.  I was so excited to learn the correct way to alter patterns, because let's be honest, I was just guessing and hoping it all worked out correctly.

As soon as I opened the first few pages, I was hooked- look at all the eye candy!  The book is beautifully executed and photographed.

There are quite a few pages just of inspiration. I waited until the kids were in bed then pored over every detail slowly and carefully before moving on to the next page, I wanted to take my time and take it all in.

It includes the layout of instructions that we all know and love about Oliver and S.  I love that it was a familiar look, because honestly I was a little nervous at first.

But then I quickly realized, if anyone was going to be able to teach me the correct ways to customize and then sew my customized pattern, it was Liesl.

Each element is broke down in to it's own chapter; sleeves, silhouettes, pockets, collars and necklines, finishes: hems, closures and linings.

There is so much information packed in to this book.  Even if you don't have a little girl to sew for, this book would still be very useful in altering other patterns, I love that I know it will work for me long after the twins outgrow the patterns (hopefully a very long time from now, ha!)

I decided first to sew just the absolute basic dress, no alterations to the pattern.  Well, aside from doing elbow length sleeves, but that is so simple that I hardly can call it an alteration.  I wanted to make sure the fit was what I expected (it was) and that I was familiar with the steps before moving on to more challenging details.

This is the size 5 for reference, I currently make a size 5 for the twins in all my other Oliver and S patterns, also.

Once I had a feel for the pattern and the layout of the book, I moved on.

Normally when I make something, I pick out the pattern and then the fabric.  This time I used the worksheet layout included in the book to really think it through, I picked out my fabrics first and then read through each chapter, picking each element carefully trying to decide which would work best to highlight my fabrics.

Abby is on the high end of the size 12, but as soon as she saw the book she begged for me to make her something, too.  She currently isn't a huge fan of dresses, so she and I chose a sleeveless tunic length, swingy top made from rayon challis.  I followed the instructions on page 82 for an a-line dress but added a bit more width between the slices for even more swing, knowing my rayon challis would lay and hang nicely.

It isn't easy to see in the pictures, but I actually added a half inch to the front center and cut two fronts, sewed together and then topstitched down each side to give it a fun little detail.

I went to page 135 and added a key hole back opening since she isn't generally a fan of button backs, but doesn't mind a single button.

For Elizabeth's dress, I used the basic bodice, collar and the flared gathered a-line skirt found on page 73.  I love the fullness of the skirt and so does she.

For the hem, I used a gorgeous crochet edge bias tape I found on etsy.

I used the bell sleeve found on page 57 and added an elastic casing to the hem, I love the look it gives.

The back is a button down, per the basic building block dress.

For Georgia's dress I used the empire waist found on page 57 with the flared a-line skit on page 72.

I again used the keyhole opening on the back, found on page 135, and added lace to the hem of the skirt.

I actually really like the bias binding for necklines lately, so that is the method I used for all three makes.

I chose elbow length sleeves for this dress also, I find that my girls like to wear them year round, so I figured I get to use the cute elements like an elastic casing or a sleeve cuff (it's hard to see on this one, but it's there) and they will get loads of use.

I also cut a piece a couple inches wide and added a narrow white bias tape to the edges to tie in the tiny bit of white in the print and the lace on the hem.

So basically to sum this all up, I really, really love this book.  I have a stack of papers already filled out waiting to be sewn in to reality and that is just touching the surface of the possibility that comes from the book.  The book is so well written, not that I would expect anything less from Liesl and O+S, but I feel it will become a very valuable tool in any sewing library whether you sew for a little girl or yourself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

First day.

I realized today the big kids start school tomorrow, Abby has her outfit chosen, but Jack didn't.  I haven't made him anything for a while because he still fits most of his handmades, but I figured the first day of school deserved something new.

I pulled out a couple twill colors and paired them with a couple of knit cuts and let him choose, he picked well.

The shirt is the Oliver and S School Bus T-shirt, my go-to, in a size 8 with a little bit of length added.

The pants are the After-school pants, also a size 8, but I added 2" to the length.  He is only 1/2" shy of the top height in the 8 and I want them to last a while.

I really love these pants, and so does he.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hide + Seek.

I have used this combination of fabrics a couple of times recently (not blogged yet, but grammed) and thought it would be perfectly perfect with the color of Izzy's hair.  The color of the blue/green is hard to capture, it is a little more greenish in real life.

I used this tutorial on the Oliver and S blog to add a cheater pleated bodice to my Hide + Seek dress.  I like the result, even if it did make things a little bulky.

They still wear their other Hide + Seek, it is so faded and soft at this point (and getting too short) so I knew it would soon need to be replaced.

I just love all the details in this pattern and I love that it seems to fit for so long, ha!

This time around I made a straight size 5, no modifications aside from the pleated bodice.

Class picnic times two.

Abby is headed to 6th grade in a few days, that seems so crazy to me!  I figured it was about time to fulfill some of her requests (the paint splatter blouse) and finish up a few UFOs.

I used the Class Picnic Blouse in a size 12.  She is a little above the size 12 for her chest, but this one is nice and roomy so I didn't hesitate when she requested this pattern.  I added 2 1/2" to the bottom of the blouse, and kept the original hem depth.

I added a piece of dainty lace in the front yoke of this oh so soft Robert Kaufman floral lawn.

I picked up this Art Gallery from my LQS at least a year ago, maybe more.  She has been asking for something made from it as soon as I brought it home.  I hesitated to make her something from it, because she wasn't a fan of handmade there for a while, and especially not anything made in woven.

The last couple of months she has decided having mom-made clothes is actually pretty cool, because then she doesn't show up to school in the same top as anyone else.  So I decided it was time to make her request.

I really love these two on her, and I am really sad these will be the last two she gets now that she has sized out of the pattern.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Morrison Tee.

I have been working on Abby's back to school wardrobe (T minus 21 days until the kids go back) and the Morrison Tee came along at the perfect time.  

This view is hands down the quickest and easiest.  Cap sleeve, regular hem.  I think I knocked it out in twenty minutes, granted that didn't include pattern taping and cutting.

I bought this fabric because I loved it at first sight, but I didn't think I could pull it off, haha!  So I crossed my fingers Abby would say yes to it, it turns out she loves it and this is her new favorite shirt.

I love the boxy look on the profile of this pattern.

For my records, I made her a size 14 and that's exactly what she measured in to for chest and height.

The tie didn't grab me at first, but Abby wanted one with it, and I wanted to try out the genius facing Adrianna came up with for it.  It worked out perfectly and gave it a nice finish on the inside, too, because I know it wont always be tied perfectly and the inside is surely going to be seen.

Abby designed this one on her own, well, the fabric and view.  She requested the hi lo hem to go with the tie.

This last one is a super soft knit I actually found at walmart for like $1/yard a long time ago.  I bought so much of it, hahaha!  So I took a chance on this color without asking her, but she loves it.

P.S. Not affiliated in any way other than selfishly wanting Adrianna to design allllll the junior patterns, but her whole junior line is on sale through the 25th, no code necessary. Here's the link to her line. I have made all of them so far and Abby has worn each of them to death.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Classic picnic.

These are what started my back to school sewing, but I have been waiting for modeled pictures to document them here. 

They are Classic Picnic blouses, both in a straight size 5.  Iz measures in, and George is just under a 5.  I love this pattern but it has been forever since I've made them.  I love that these tops seem to last forever, Abby wore her last one for two years.

Both of these were made with Art Gallery prints, I really love the feel and they have the cutest prints.

I was excited to find something that took only one yard, I need to hurry and use my stashes of yard only cuts before it is too late.

These two are going to be super styling kindergartners this fall!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mini Sutton.

I have started on the kids back to school wardrobe, this year I will have 4 (!!!) in school.  So I figured I better start sooner than later.  

I don't recall how I ran across the mini sutton blouse but I found it recently and couldn't stop thinking about it, so I finally gave in and bought it.

I made a size 5, Izzy (not pictured) measured right in to the 5 and George is a little bit under.  I need to try it on Iz before I cut another one, but she fell asleep after dinner so that was a no-go tonight.

It is a really simple pattern to put together, even still I managed to make a bunch of stupid mistakes.

The sleeves and neck are finished with bias tape and there are instructions for french seams on the shoulder and front.

I didn't get a great picture of the buttons, but I used these cute black and white stripe buttons, a subtle pattern mixing that makes me happy.