Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Maggie Mae.

A while back I tested two patterns for Shwin&Shwin designs (the Sadie tunic and Nowhere man pants, both great patterns!) and in return for testing I got to choose two other patterns I wanted, so I chose the Maggie Mae as one and finally got around to making it! This will be the pattern I use for Abby's Easter dress. Usually I go over the top frilly, but I have been drawn away from that since I found my new bff Oliver + S patterns. It is funny how quickly my tastes have changed to the more simple lines and patterns, not to say I wont go super frilly again, but for now this is what I am loving. So anyway, back to the pattern. I tried it in a 7 and I can't decide if I want to go to a 6 or not. On the one hand, it would fit better for Easter, but on the other a 7 will fit longer. Hm. The girl was already at school this morning when I finished it (finished except for hemming) but I tried the bodice on her last night and it looked pretty good. This was another remnant I picked up, love when I can do that!

The top is cream, though it looks kind of white in the picture. The pattern can be a top or a dress. I chose dress (obviously:), and the pattern calls for a band of the bodice fabric around the bottom, but my cream was VERY see through and I didn't want to line it. Though I really like it this way.
I just love the curved bodice, and the pleats! Oh, how I love the pleats! It has a button placket down the back, more pleats and pockets for treasures. I love the bodice, wouldn't it be great to line the curve with piping? Or embroider the top? Oh the possibilitles!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday party dress.

I am a procrastinator. I know it, and I own it. I have had the fabric to make all the kids Easter outfits for a few weeks now, and I have done NOTHING with it. I haven't even pinned down what I want to make exactly!! AGH! So in my hunt for the perfect dress I decided to try out the Oliver + S birthday party dress to check the size. I made a 6m and it is roomy on George, I haven't tried it on Iz yet. It was the most intense thing I have made in the last few months, I finally had to only sew it when the kids were in bed, because I was having to use my seam ripper too much. Not the pattern's fault, I just needed to concentrate a little more than I could with four kids running around. I really do like the dress even though I am thinking I did something wrong on the pleats, and I definitely did something wrong on the shoulder seams. Well, not wrong on the shoulder seams, but not how the pattern was written. I am not sure if this will be the winner for the twins or not, but I will make it again another time, if not for Easter.

Yeah, I should have checked my pressing before taking a picture of the pleats:) I made it with a pretty light blue flower print that just seemed so feminine and delicate to me.

Poor girls are both fighting ear infections, so she wasn't very cooperative, and this may or may not have been the only non-crying picture I was able to get... okay, it was...
I just went simple with the buttons on the back 3/8" plain white. I thought it went well with the delicate print. She just looks so sweet in it. I can't wait to try it on Elizabeth, aka the big twin, and see how it fits her.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The girl's first sewing lesson.

Abby was upset I wouldn't let her go to her new friend's birthday party she just met yesterday. A little background, we let the girl and her friend come over to our house about 4 then at six I tried (key word tried) to return them home so we could eat dinner. Buuuuut, the parents were gone!! Who does that?? Leave their kids with strangers and not say a word!! I was pretty angry. We finally returned them at 730 so our kids could get ready for bed. Then today she got an invitation at 120 for a birthday that "would probably be from 2-5" and under RSVP it said "but you already know that". Um, what? So I said no, there was a lot of crying, arguing and stomping of feet. So to take her mind off it I told her I would let her help sew a skirt. She was sold, and never mentioned the party again.

I let her pick the fabric and then found some coordinating when she decided she wanted a two tiered skirt like another one I had made a while back for her. I taught her wrong side/right side, how to pin, how to measure and how to use the machine.

She pinned the side seams on both layers, then she stitched (well, she guided the material while I pressed the pedal) the side seams and the hems. I serged and ironed... we don't need any burns:) Then when it came time for the waistband casing Daddy and Jack got home from the library and ice cream, so she lost interest. But she enjoyed herself, and I didn't get nearly as frustrated as I thought I would.

I measured off a pair of shorts she was wearing today as the guide for length, but I think it ended up a little too short. Pretty much a mini skirt. I will probably go back and make another one while she is at school and save the mini one for the twins when they get bigger.

She was mad the sun was in her eyes...

(Ignore the random spray paint can, I am re-painting my kitchen table;)

The skirt is perfect for jumping,


And falling:)

She reaaally wanted to pose herself, so I humored her.

This was her favorite pose... but I couldn't see the skirt;)
All in all, it wasn't so bad for a six year old's first project and short attention span! I just may have to let her do it again. She is so excited to wear it to school. Luckily we have some capri leggings or I would be in trouble!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A bonnet for the park.

The girlies finally fit their Oliver + s sailboat skirts I made a few months ago!

Love me some chubby baby legs!
The city built a park a block from our house, so we have been going every now and then when the girlies cooperate. I hate putting sunscreen so close to their eyes and in their scalp, so this is my solution. It is the peek-a-boo bonnet from made-by-rae. I made the size 1t to test the size, and it fits Izzy's giant head, but Georgie needs the smaller size. It is a really great pattern, and if I wasn't in such a funk after a veeeerrrryyy loooonngg day it would have been so quick. I had to unpick quite a few times, and the piping ended up on the outside instead of the inside, though I kinda like it that way!

She kept in on for a while with the ties, but then she realized they were there and tried getting it off. I think if we are outside and she is distracted she will leave it alone.

I have located the ties...

Pull, pull pull!

Yank it as hard as I can, maybe I can get it off...




Hm, I am done with it now...

Take it from here George...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I found some fun places on line to buy knit fabric at great prices! I was thrilled. I loathe Joann's. Not so much their fabric, though I would much rather go to Hurst or Quilted Works, but I can deal with them. But their employees, ugh, I hate having to deal with them. Not very nice people (at least the ones that have helped me). So even though I would much rather spend my money in town, I haven't been as far as knits go. Plus, Joann's has a crappy knit section.

I let Jack pick one print he wanted, and he picked robots. He was so excited when the box came yesterday!

The light was kind of crummy by the time I finished, and he was covered in chalk, so I will have to get one with him in it later. As usual, this is the made-by-rae.com flashback skinny tee, size 4t with added length. The last one I made still shrunk even though I prewashed it. So I prewashed twice plus made it a bit longer, so take that fabric! I will thwart your evil plan of shrinking too much. I really do have other tee patterns, but I just love this one so much! It is so easy and looks great every time.

I am so excited! Not that I don't have a huge list that NEEDS to get done, (Easter outfits for the four kiddos, yes, I am attempting to make all their outfits this year! And three skirts for Alli's wedding- once I get the measurements) but I will probably get distracted by these... Top row are all jersey knits from girlcharlee.com and the bottom two are swimsuit lycras also from girlcharlee.

These are from printknitstudio.com. The one on the left was picked by Abby:) The one on the right is how I came across the website, I saw it on flickr and the lady was nice enough to post the link, so I snapped it up as quick as possible! It is so hard to find good boy prints. He wasn't as excited as I had hoped, but that's okay.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hopscotch tops for the big girl.

I wish Abs would wear dresses or skirts, but she wont. She says they are too hard to play at school in, well I can't argue with her there. So it is a good thing I got brave enough to dive in to sewing knits, now I can make play-worthy clothes for her.

The first hopscotch is from a upcycled shirt I bought from Wal-mart on closeout for $3 (I think... maybe $2) I made a 7 even though her measurements put her in a 6. Poor girl is overdue for a growth spurt, she has worn the same size for the last 1 1/2 years. In fact, she is still wearing clothes I bought her to start kindergarten.

I really like the stripes on the bodice that go the opposite direction. And the white neck binding. I just love it all. Since it was a thrifted shirt, I used the existing hem on the bottom. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as Abby always says.
The next one is another knit from fabric.com. I saw a hopscotch dress in this fabric and knew I wanted it! I had also ordered a raspberry knit that happened to match, so I used that for the neck binding.
I drafted it a little longer so hopefully it will last a while longer. She wore it immediately, and the next day. At least I know she liked it.

Some more tees.

I have read on flickr about so many people who just love the Oliver + S knit fabric, so I threw some on with my last fabric.com order. So glad I did!! It is an absolute dream to sew with, it is so soft, yet isn't fiddly when you are sewing. So first up was a made-by-rae.com flashback skinny tee, size 12m.

Elizabeth and her squishy baby belly. I will need to lengthen this tee next time I make it for her. It fit Georgie just fine. She is my skinny minnie.
Going with my theme of coordinating, but not matching tops for the girls I tried out the envelope tee from the book, growing up sew liberated. I bought the book hoping the pattern went up to Jack sizes. Sadly, it didn't. The tee only goes up to... 24 months, I think. Dana-made-it.com has a tutorial to draft your own, but I am not that brave, yet. I first tried to make a raglan from a tutorial on craftinessisnotoptional.com but failed miserably- I was drafted my own and it looked nothing like it was supposed to. And I *gasp* used my beloved oliver + s knit. Luckily it was just a little.
So I made this in 6m, but lengthened the pattern to the 12 m size. My kids all have long torsos. It fit so nice, and I will definitely make more!

So, George will get the skinny tee and Iz will get the envelope tee... and then George will get the envelope tee once she grows a little, ha!

The engagement skirt.

A friend is getting married, and she asked if I would sew a skirt for her engagement photos I would be taking later that week. She brought swatches to my house and we chose these. I don't know how sure she was that they would go together, but she trusted me. I quite like them together. I loosely followed the vintage skirt tutorial from noodle-head.com. I have made it before for myself and wasn't too pleased with it because it was too full. I can't pull off a really full skirt. So when I made hers I went with 1 1/2 times the waist instead of 2 times. Unless you are a runway model I don't think I would go with 2 times, but that is just me.

Oliver + S has forever changed the way I hem my clothing. I loooove the look of their hem facing.

Flashback skinny tees.

After the hopscotch tops I was pretty confident in my knit sewing so I decided to purchase the made-by-rae.com flashback skinny tee pattern. I thought it would be a good staple for Jack as he is starting to grow out of his shirts. So I used some kiddie print from my stash and made him pj's.

Can you tell he loved them?? Luckily this was a quick sew, because he sat next to me the entire time asking "now are you done... can I try them on yet... how about now?" Oh my sweet little boy, at least I knew he loved them. I was meaning to add red to the sleeves, but he was so excited to wear them to bed, I couldn't deny him:)

Another flashback tee. I am not happy with where the applique ended up, so this will also be a pj shirt. He is already requesting more and telling me exactly which colors he wants. Both were made size 4t.

Hopscotch dresses.

I originally bought the Oliver + S hopscotch pattern just for the skirt. It also comes with a top/dress, but I had a fear of knits for some reason. I had been reading about them for a while, made-by-rae.com did an awesome knit-erview series where she interviewed bloggers about their experiences, hints and tips about working with knits, so I was warming up to the idea. Then after discovering Oliver + S patterns I knew if anyone could explain sewing with knits, it was Liesel. I was right. This dress was a breeze!!

Another I have had in my stash for ages. A long time ago I thought I could sew with knit, and I tried, and failed. But I made this one, then the next day made two more. All in size 6m.

This is a really soft knit from Joann's, one of their higher end knits, not their brand. It is so soft, and it was a little harder to work with, but I love it. And I really took my time and matched up all the little stripes.

Sweet thing had just woken up. She is my only out of the four to take a pacifier. It is kinda nice.
I bought this ages ago to make a cardigan for myself, that never happened, so I turned it into a dress instead!
Ah, Elizabeth, she has figured out how to transition from sitting to her belly, so it is much harder to get a good shot of her. This is the first time I have captured her two bottom teeth:)

Tea party for two.

Oliver + S Tea Part Sundress, both size 6m.

This one has ready made piping between the seams. The pattern calls for making your own, but I thought I could skip a step... not really, it ended up throwing my seams off and instead of being smart and accounting for that, I didn't and ended up trying to hide a few pleats to make it fit correctly. I find that I am the hardest critic of my work, I wanted to unpick it and fix it all, but I didn't. And ya know what? No one else has noticed besides me! That is the way life goes.

So the next one I skipped the piping and resulted in a much smoother experience.

My two girlies in the dresses before church.
I just loved this capture! She makes this face a lot and I captured it just at the right time, in focus even!

Hopscotch skirt.

Oliver + S hopscotch skirt, size 6m. The pockets are what sold me on this pattern. Ben says "babies don't need pockets, silly". I disagree, they may not need them for traditional use, but as an embellishment they are just lovely.
The day was kind of gloomy, so the picture isn't the best, but it works. It is a soft grey and white and the main skirt has pink dots too. The buttons aren't really that dark, but again, cloudy day = bad exposure.

Here is a close up, you can see the pocket and the pink detail better.

I went back and got more of each of the fabrics to do the opposite for the other baby. I like them to coordinate, but not match. Weird, I know.

Sailboat top.

This is the Oliver + S sailboat top, size 6m, made in a cotton from Joann's. I really like the buttons at the shoulder and the hem detail.

I really like this top, but it is a little hard to get on wiggley babies. I have seen it on flickr in knit and think I will go that route next since it will be easier to get on:)

Modeled by my sweet little Georgia in her bumbo, before she could sit on her own:)

2+2 blouse.

For my birthday I ordered some Oliver + S paper patterns, after seeing how well they were written and drafted I knew I wouldn't mind paying a little extra for the paper patterns. I was ordering the Ice cream blouse and it asked if I wanted to add the 2+2 for a discount. Honestly, it wasn't one I would have normally ordered, but I threw it on anyways. Oh.My.Goodness. I am so glad I did! It is such a sweet design, I just love it. The first one I made from the same fabric as my tohoku tote.

Size 6m. Sweet little Izzy, this is when she first learned to sit, I snapped as fast as I could hoping she wouldn't face plant it. She did pretty well:) She is my chunky monkey, so the sleeves were a little tight on her, but they fit perfect on Georgie.
The ties and patch detail.
This one is 12m size and the sleeves fit much better for Elizabeth.