Thursday, December 19, 2013

A party dress.

I have had this crazy idea in my head for a while now.  When the Playtime dress/tunic was released I immediately thought of a shirt I had seen in Target that had a faux collar of sequins.  The original plan was to make a deep plum version with some white shiny flower sequins that Abby had picked out.  Well, I never got around to it.  To be honest the thought of sewing on a thousand sequins wasn't my idea of fun.  Then I needed a dress for a wedding (that has recently been postponed) right after Christmas and I began to think about my plan again, this time for one of the twins (smaller collar=less sequins! HA!)

My original plan was to make a black dress with silver sequins, but then my local shop didn't have any black tulle (yep, added some lots of tulle too), so I went with gray.  I really love more "adult" colors on kids.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for bold and brights on kids (obviously) but there is something about the more muted colors.

These dang sequins took f-o-r-e-v-e-r, I didn't pay really close attention, but somewhere in the ballpark of 4 hours.  But I think it was worth it.  At first I was trying to sew two on at a time to save time, but then they didn't lay right so I went with one at a time, and by the end I had mastered picking the sequins up with my needle so I was able to work a lot faster.

Sweet little George, I put the dress on her and she immediately declared, "I a princess! I Cinderella!" and "I so pretty!".  I think it is safe to say she loves the dress.  I need to figure out other shoes to go with it though...

I was struggling with a button choice, I was trying to use what I had on hand but couldn't find anything "just right".  I have had these in my stash for years and always wanted to use them but never knew what for, I think I like them here (too late now, ha!), but I am still undecided.  If I didn't need the dress in two days for a party I may have held off and just went to the store.  The pop of color is kind of growing on me though.

After seeing A little Gray's version the other day I decided to copy compliment her's and use bias on the sleeves.  I had been thinking it would be cute with short sleeves in the summer but thought I would need to add length to account for the hem, but the bias is just brilliant!

I also added 4 layers of tulle and a lining for the skirt.  I am undecided as of now on the length of the tulle though, and may end up cutting it so as to not poke out the bottom, hm.... Or maybe I will just be lazy and leave it, ha!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two geraniums.

These Geraniums have been in my head for a while.  I mean, a really, really long time, August.  So I finally got around to making them and am so happy I did!

They are both size 2T, tunic length with a bit of length since the girls are the height of 3T.  I probably should have made a 3T for Elizabeth for growing room, but they tend to fight over clothes (already, *sigh*) so it is best they are the same size because you never know who will want to wear which one on any given day.

The fabulous Justine uses a lot of hot pink for linings, something I absolutely love, so the linings are totally inspired by hers.  It makes me happy when I catch a glimpse of the pink.

The girls weren't super cooperative, so you get two back pictures.  One has a yellowish/mustardy set of buttons...

And pink for the others. 

As soon as Elizabeth saw the one she is wearing she started shouting "my triangle shirt!!", so I am pretty sure that is her staking her claim.  Makes a gal feel good when her hard work is appreciated;)

I have made this pattern enough that I didn't even glance at the instructions, which saves a ton of time, but I also forgot whether the pleats were supposed to go towards the center or away, so I did one of each, ha!  Though Georgie's pleats show up way more than Izzy's, I guess her fabric is too busy. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas skirts.

My friend who commissions me from time to time reached out to me again this time requesting Christmas skirts.  She saw this one that she really liked on Pinterest, and of course it was from long enough ago that those fabrics were no longer available.  I did find some similar, though, and she liked them when I showed her what I had found locally, so I went ahead and made them.


So here is my take on that skirt.  I like it because it is similar but not exact.  One is approximately a 12 month and the other is 5t.  I say approximately because I am not positive on their current RTW sizes, I just worked with their waist and length measurements.

Here is a closer, more detailed shot, and it looks like that ribbon in the middle could use a good ironing.

There are six ribbon casings with two ribbons each.  Basically a 2" rectangle, serged on the two long sides and folded under on the hem line (the skirt was hemmed pre-casing), the top of the casing is flush with the top of the skirt so the raw edges were enclosed with the waistband. 

Speaking of the waistband, it is a flat front skirt with an elastic back.  I love the look of flat front bottoms. 

So there are lots of layers here (the waistband was a nightmare, so bulky! )  The white word layer, a lime green with the red ribbon, black tulle (it doesn't translate well in pictures, much easier to see IRL) and then the final lime green layer- don't want that itchy tulle touching kids skin! 

I showed my friend and she said she loved them, so mission accomplished:)  Can't wait to see her cute kiddos in them!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A little more birthday sewing.

Abby was invited to a birthday party today, and in typical me fashion, I waited until the last minute to make a gift! (I actually had bought something yesterday when I didn't feel up to sewing and wasn't thinking I would want to today either, so that will have to be returned now.)  I find it hard to buy gifts for girls from 7-10 years, are dolls to babyish?  Nail polish and lotions to grown up?  Is handmade lame?  Abby plays with this little girl quite a bit and so I asked if she had an 18" doll, yes, she did.  So why not make a couple of outfits for the doll?  M'kay.  Abby was supposed to nonchalantly ask after her doll, if she likes to play with it as much as Abby does, but I am guessing it wasn't so smooth and it probably raised her suspicion as she had just invited Abs to her birthday.   Oh well. 


First off, I hate doll hair.  Hate it with a flipping passion.  It is gets so yucky so quickly! 

I used this pattern but quite modified the construction.  I lengthened the skirt, left off the overlay, flower and waistband as I was strapped for time (also no cool overlay fabric)- but this isn't what changed the construction.  I read through the instructions and knew there was a better way to put it together.  I pretty much put it together like the Geranium Dress (which I am long overdue making another one or five of those!), the only difference being I made the opening all the way down the back so as to be able to dress her by putting her arms in the holes, not over the head.  Clear as mud?  I have a picture later to show what I mean.  Though I am totally thinking of making it a true mini geranium, cap sleeves and u-notch, anyone?

So I heart this fabric.  I first used it waaaay back when, when the twins were only nine months (and I still had a crummy camera that sucked indoors).  I saw it a while back on clearance and bought up the rest of the bolt, like 4 yards, so it will be seen again.

So this ended up really short.  I am thinking it is because I left off the waistband, probably is... I think... because it wasn't this short in the pattern picture. 


M'kay, here is what I was talking about.  The geranium dress only opens a little under the bodice and I made mine open to the bottom, again, for easy doll dressing.

Also, my way (okay, Rae's way) of construction just leaves such a nice finish on the inside.  Perfect for gift giving.  (the pattern instructions weren't so nicely finished on the insides, at least the side seam for the arm holes). 

So randomness, the girl whose birthday it was is also named Georgia.  When we picked that name we looked it up on the social security website and it was like #750 something in  popularity so I didn't think I would ever meet anyone else with that name!

I have managed to misplace my hot glue gun or I would have made her some dolly headbands too, so I dipped in to my stash of purchased doll accessories and also packed a pair of shoes and a necklace/bracelet set.  Gotta love $2 Wal-Mart doll stuff.  Abby said it the gift was well received, so hopefully they will get some use!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

For the boy.

I haven't felt up to sewing lately, and it's killing me!  I wanted a quick project to get me back in to it, and that way if I still wasn't feeling it I wasn't halfway through a project that would become a UFO. 


I recently made a purchase from girlcharlee and threw this moustache print in crossing my fingers Jack would like it too.  I showed him a few months back and he said "no way!" but he tends to like things after they are made, so I took a chance.  Speaking of, remember these red After-School pants?  Yeah, how he REFUSED to wear them ever.  Guess what have become his most worn pants in his closet? HAHAHA!

So, the pattern! It is the Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan, size 5, which turns out is too big for him, hence the weirdness at his shoulders.  I really should have made a 4 with length but I was being lazy, also they were made while he was at kindy so I didn't have his current measurements handy.  And it looks like I could have lengthened his sleeves, oops.

I love this boy.

I ask him for a nice smile and this is what I get! 

Also a permanent silly face when the adorable little photobomber showed up.  She still refused to look at the camera even though she demanded to be in the picture. 

A little ribbon tag, so Peta :)  He said it was his favorite part, ha!

This one is also a size 5 and both knits are from girlcharlee.  For our annual group family photo (Ben's side) the colors this year are red, black, white, gray and blue jeans.  I am thinking I may be a rebel though and have Jack wear these pants.  The twins will be wearing dresses with leggings, so they will be "cheating" too, hm...

Being I haven't been sewing and it got cold here suddenly I had to go out and buy all the kids some long sleeve shirts.  When sweet little Jack came home from kindy and saw his two new shirts he told me "I love the clothes you make me most of all, Mom!  Store boughts are okay, buuuut I like yours best!" Awww, he is my favorite son;)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Better late than never.

So, I did make a little bit of Abby's Halloween costume.  Then I got a whole bunch of photo sessions (newborn in the hospital, class Halloween party, 2 weddings and newborn at home)and the pictures were lost somewhere in a folder on my computer and I made myself edit like crazy before I did a blog post (because paid work comes first, sorry ;) )

On  to the costume!  Abby has been reading the Harry Potter books and watching the movies (1+ 2 so far) so she had Hermoine Granger on the brain.  

I found a legit Gryffindor cape and Hermoine wand on ebay, purchased white shirt from Kohl's, Dad's tie I bought for him on year for family pictures he refused to ever wear because it looked too "Christmasy" and some Gryffindor socks Abby found on a trip to the Halloween store with Grandma.  What does that leave besides the shoes?  Her skirt of course!

I used the Oliver + S 2 + 2 pleated skirt in a suiting from Jo-Ann's.  I made a size 7 as she measured in to a 6, but alas, it didn't fit.  You are supposed to add snaps to the placket of the skirt, but she couldn't snap them closed and I put the button as far to the edge as I could.  It worked, she wore it 5 times for various parties and the actual trick-or-treating, she just wore some white undershorts (that she always wears under skirts anyways for modesty on the playground). 

I so want to make another one of these skirts though!  I thought looking at the pattern it would take foooorever, but it really was a pretty quick sew!  Wouldn't the twins look adorable in a little pleated skirt??

Here are all the kids together, a moody Hermoine ( Iz stole her wand) Mickey and Minnie and a classic ghost.  Love these kiddos!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mickey and Minnie.

Ah, it's that time of year again, the time when I put off the making of the costumes until the last.possible.second.  I had intentions of starting them on Thursday and easily finishing them in time for the annual Halloween party on Monday.  Well, that didn't quite happen.  Between family things and being unable to move my right arm (at all) for two days (no idea how that happened) I ended up making three pieces of costume Sunday and Monday.  So I finished about two hours before the party which is better than last year's , that was 30 minutes before, ha! 
I am finding it pretty impossible to take the girls photos together lately.  Usually I can get at least George to look at the camera, but not today!

Though they are pretty cute, so I wont complain too much.

But look!  Here's one... that George is out of focus in, sigh. 
Oh well. 

Okay, so the deets on the patterns; For Mickey aka Georgia I used the Oliver and S Sailboat Skirt size 2T with a slightly stretchy, slightly shiny bottom weight from Jo-ann's.  I was going to make the pants, but shortened, then I figured why not make something she can wear more after Halloween?  Chances are she still would have fit in the shorts next year since she still fits her 6m (!!!) Sailboat pants, so after the festivities are over I will switch out those big white buttons for four of something.

Izzy is wearing the Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress size 3T.  She was asleep when I chose her size so the 3T is a little big, but growing room is never a bad thing since she can also wear this one after Halloween, though it will always look like Minnie Mouse to me, ha!

I also made Abby a 2+2 skirt for her costume, more on that later since the few photos I got of her didn't quite turn out as we were in a hurry to get to the party. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


So I was so excited after wearing yesterday's Weekend Getaway I knew I wanted another. Immediately.  So last night I cut one out of some yummy Lisette Lawn I had in my stash.  Originally it was bought to be a Washi, but I have managed to misplace my pattern (downside of paper patterns).  I have the red and blue colorway, but I thought the blue looked more "fallish", the other reminds me more of spring. 
I had left all my supplies sitting on the counter and had already finished the front facings, the darts and the back the night before.  I tend not to sew while the girls are awake, with two of them I need eyes on them at all time (BIG troublemakers).  Well, I left one in the kitchen while she was eating breakfast and changed a diaper, then switched girls for the next diaper.  When I put them down for naps and went to sew on my front facings to the front bodice, I noticed 5 giant triangular marks.  Scissor points, to be exact.  Sigh.  Luckily I had enough to cut another front bodice (only one was destroyed), so I sewed on the facings and went to the next step- sewing the shoulder seams.  I was crushed to see there were also cut marks on the back of the blouse (and the pattern instructions).  Again, sigh.  I did have enough left to cut another back- barely.  Moral of the story?  Keep scissors away from the two year olds. 
So while it seemed like the blouse was doomed, I am so, so happy I had enough (as this fabric has now been discontinued), and so glad I didn't use the red color way because no way I had enough of that!  

Okay, after my long, sad story, a reminder that I made the Liesl and Co Weekend Getaway.  I again made the size 14 and was lazy enough to skip the FBA that I *should* have done (remember the first one?  I took a smaller side seam allowance to make up for the FBA laziness).  After wearing the first blouse for a few hours I realized I would like it a bit longer, so this one I lengthened by 2" (5'4" over here).  I don't mind the length of the original pattern, but while chasing twins and getting up and down from playing toys I just felt like I wanted a little more coverage.

I was also too lazy to take up close pictures of all the other details since I did that yesterday, plus the fabric was really hard to photograph in the mirror.  In case you haven't seen the fabric before, the white dots have green spots inside them. 

So, have you bought the pattern yet?  If not, you should! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Weekend Getaway.

I realize most of the online sewing community are spending all their free time this week trying to make a bunch of clothes for their kids, and don't get me wrong, I am sure at some point this week I will sew for them (Halloween) but I sew for them all.the.time.  So I decided to be a rebel and make something for me!  I am getting a little more confidence in sewing for myself after two successful skirts (here and here) so I decided to try another one of the fantastic Liesl's patterns, the Weekend Getaway Blouse.  I found a soft pink gingham check shirting that has been in my stash foooorever, because then if it didn't fit I wouldn't be too sad! 

But guess what?  I love it!  I made a size 14 and while I should have probably done a FBA, after talking to Nicole about her dress (and now blouse)  I curved out to a 3/8" seam around the bust rather than take the time to adjust my pattern- but there are fantastic FBA instructions included in the pattern. 


I did mess up the box pleat on the inside a little (top right corner of the picture), but that is the only thing I wasn't happy with, and I could have unpicked it but I noticed after the back facing was attached.  I do like the nice clean finish on the inside. 

Speaking of the pretty pleat.  It gives the back a nice shape.

I chose the 3/4 sleeve (view B) since it is fall and I pretty much love all sleeves 3/4.  It may be hard to tell, but the sleeve is folded up 2" to create a cuff.  If you go with the short sleeve option there isn't a sleeve piece- does that make any sense?  It is a kimono sleeve so nothing to set in or mess with unless you go with the 3/4.

So all in all, I like the blouse.  How great would it look with the Everyday Skirt??

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Hello again!  After making my last skirt, I knew I would be making more (many more), but up first I started with a gray corduroy.  (I used the Everyday Skirt, size Large). I was a little worried about how it would hang since it was heavier than the plaid homespun I used for my previous skirt.  While it is a little bulkier, I don't mind it, plus it is perfect for fall... if it ever shows up in my part of the world! 

Yep, headless selfies again.  So I can't decide, brown boots...

Or black?  Can you believe I have never actually owned a pair of boots?  That is, until today!  And now I own two pairs.  I think I like it better with the blacks (and the cardi).
So anyways, not much to say that wasn't said in my last post, love the skirt and expect to see some more of them soon:)  I have another cord cut, this time in a flower print and lighter weight than this one, a denim and a gray mystery material (those last two are in the was being prepped before cutting).  Hey, with that list I will almost have one to wear everyday, ha!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Everyday skirt.

Are you ready for a set of slightly awkward, headless shots?  Yeah, I am not a fan of getting my picture taken and guess what? No one was home to take them for me anyways since Ben was at work and big kids were at school.  So I guess I should say, no one I would consider letting touch my camera. 
Okay, with that disclaimer aside, let's begin.  Have you heard the awesome news??  Liesl of Oliver and S fame has come out with patterns for women this fall! You have probably noticed (if you are a regular reader) that I don't really sew for myself, only a handful of times over the last year have I made anything for me.  But, they really appealed to me!   So I snapped up the skirt and the tunic first thing and got started on the skirt.  I saw the plaid version (scroll down a little) on the blog and knew I would be shamelessly copying complimenting her take.   

I have a thing for purple lately, first the pants, then the coat and now this skirt!  Either that, or I am getting really good at using what is in my stash! (You're welcome, Ben)

I cut the side panel on the bias, and also the pockets, not that you can tell because they are pretty much invisible (which I love).  But trying to match plaids makes me want to bash my head in.

So can I just profess my love for the skirt and get on with things?  It is so comfortable!  I love Liesl's description of it, a lazy days skirt for grown ups.  That is so true.  I could see myself wearing this skirt all.the.time. (means I will have to make a few more!). 

Yes, I found a kids chair to stand on in the bathroom and photograph myself so I could show the length.  'Cause I am awesome like that.  (just kidding, I am a nerd).  I am 5'4" incase anyone out there is wondering.  Also, the skirt is size Large. 

I don't typically wear my skirts this high (at my dropped waist), I typically keep them on the hips, but this was really comfortable here- though I am pretty sure I wont wear it with the shirt tucked in.

I love the waistband.  Flat front with two rows of elastic (1/2" wide) in the back.  The construction is basically the hopscotch, I love it, such a nice, clean finish on the inside. 

So in reality, this is how I will wear it.  Still at my dropped waist, but shirt untucked. (and probably slightly wrinkly, just like the pictures.  Keepin it real here)

So normally I am not a fan of pockets, I never use them and don't like the added bulk.  Well, guess what?  I love these ones!   They are practically invisible- and fairly deep too! 

I am already dreaming of another skirt in gray cord, a denim one, maybe a mustard color... I really should have been Halloween sewing (or cleaning house) but those other things just didn't sound as fun...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A coat.

After last week's cold snap I knew the twins needed another jacket.  And after Izzy fitting last year's Secret Agent Trench I knew I wanted to make another one to be sort of matchy, plus I love that coat. 
So I started thinking about how I wanted to go about it,  I had seen an adorable coat on a friend's girl (hi Chiemi!) that had a beautiful bow on the back and was dyyyying to try it.  But the girl's coat was a tighter fit with princess seams, so that wouldn't really work for the Secret Agent.  Then while searching pinterest I found this coat.  LOVE.  I only wish I could have found a color that gorgeous.  (though I am happy with the color I used). 
Nicole had just made a gorgeous dress with the same bow I wanted to use, and she was sweet enough to help me in the construction. 
Then, while chatting (in the pinterest comments) with Susanne about that gorgeous collar, Lotta chimed in that she knew of a tutorial that could help me figure out what I needed to do. 
And finally, Collette and Mcholley suggested gray buttons when I was stuck on which color to use. 
This coat was a team effort, ha! 

I am so happy with it! 

I didn't want to take the time to alter the front pieces and the facings, so I ended up with a collar in the middle rather than the side like my inspiration coat. 

She wouldn't hold still long enough to get a good collar shot.  Oh well. 

I made an 18 month, because that is what the one that still fits from last year, plus I still had all the traced pieces saved, ha!  I probably should have added  some length to the sleeve, oops. 

This makes me so happy!

I also added ruffles to the back, I nearly didn't, but so glad I did.  P.S. here is my tutorial to add ruffles to the pattern. 

Now Abby wants one, but first, Halloween costumes must be made!  I can't procrastinate until the last minute like always, ha!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Silver dots.

Georgia, dear Georgia.  She is so hard to photograph lately.  

She tried oh so hard to get back in the house.  For some reason she can open the door to go out, but not to get back in.

Though every now and then I can manage a semi-decent shot.  (would have been a good shot if she had been looking, but she knows where the camera is and seems to avoid looking that direction). 

So she spent her time running from pot to pot trying to pick a flower.

And I caught her red-handed. 

But she's lucky she's so cute, she didn't get in trouble (plus the trailing verbena grows like a weed!  A pretty weed though).

The pants look very linty in this picture for some reason.  Hm.

Anyways, the pants.  They are the Oliver + S After-school pants size 18m lengthened to a 3T.  I added the ruffle to the pocket, but not the back of the pants.  While cute, the material was hard to gather so I didn't bother trying again. 

I cut all my pieces out then used a pencil eraser to randomly stamp silvery metallic dots on the fabric.  I'd like to say I purposefully left the yoke plain, but the truth is I misplaced my painted yokes.  Sigh.  That's okay though, I kind of like it plain. 

I managed to mess up pretty bad though.  Instead of sewing the angled piece correctly (the point towards the back) I thought I was smart enough, since I had made them a few times before (one, two, three, four times before) to not need the instructions for that step.  I realized I had messed up after sewing the seam, serging then two rows of topstitching- on both sides.  Lesson of the day, notches make a difference! I didn't bother notching since I was lengthening and didn't know if they would line up anyways.  Oh, and read your instructions;)  So because of my mistake the pants ended up narrower than they would have and only George can wear them (believe me, Izzy tried to get them on).  The yoke is a little messed up, but they are still wearable. 

I was unsure about the paint as the pieces were all laid out on my counter top, but I am happy with how they turned out.  She looks so cute running around in them.