Sunday, April 26, 2015

KCW: Final

This week has been a whirlwind for my family. Two trips to the hospital and two play performances for my girls meant less time to sew than I'd hoped. So while I finished these:
I didn't quite finish this:

It still needs sleeves, snaps, and hems
This is made from the Man's Shirt Baby Romper Pattern and Tutorial from Feather's Flights. It's easy to follow and I modified it to work with all new fabric rather than using a man's shirt. It'll be darling once it's finished. Video Game seems to like it too.
Blue Eyes got the Front to Back Panda Shirt. Given time I'll put the panda stuff on the front as well.
Front... back
Pink Blur loves her Tiger Lily shirt. I've made this pattern for her in the past but with the bow option like on the panda shirt. She refuses to wear it, so plain back it is. If I can ever find a premade rhinestone iron-on that says "Fierce" I really will get it and put it on the front.

Q-balls shirt is the only one I made this week that I consider truly finished. My plan with all the kids' items was to make clothes with fabric from my stash. I was successful in that attempt but I had to be creative in how I tied it to the Wild Things theme. I call this shirt The Mighty Hunter for a touch of irony. I suppose I could have called it The Mighty Bird Watcher but it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Finally, there's Video Game's romper, titled "Wear All the Wild Things!" The fabric is leftover from Q-ball's nursery textiles. There was plenty of this particular fabric leftover and now it has a project. Had time not gotten away from me it would all have been finished with time to spare. I even had an idea for another dress which never got past taping and cutting the pattern paper. C'est la vie. But though I leave you with an unfinished project, I will not leave you without cute baby pictures.

He is clearly the most charming baby boy in existence.

Friday, April 24, 2015

KCW: Days 3 and 4

This hasn't been the best week for me to try to spend an hour a day sewing for the kids. But I do have something to show for it. This is what I have so far:
The middle shirt shows the back. The black bow with a white knot is my nod to a panda face.
I would like to add more embellishment to the pink tiger and the panda shirt but we'll see.It's been crazy. The plan had been to do a freezer paper stencil on the front of the black and white shirt but ended up rushing to the emergency room with Pink Blur instead. Nothing ruins plans quite like a child who was fine at bedtime and  can't breathe an hour later. She's fine now (it's croup) but it scared me half to death! So instead of freezer stenciling I sat with my girl in a little room watching TV. Pink Blur is now convinced we need a 1 Second Slicer and she also learned a new song. I think I would rather have cut out freezer paper. Or my eyes.
This is her tiger face.
The pink tiger and black and white panda shirts are the Otium tee. Blue Eyes wants a picture on the front and I'll do that when I get around to it.

Q-ball's camo shirt is the free Day Camp tee. He is not impressed that I made him something but at least I got him to put it on. He smiled when I bribed him with a cookie. Pink Blur had already gotten her cookie in the shot below.

Originally I thought maybe I would like to write out "Fierce" in rhinestones across the front of her shirt, but it probably doesn't need anything else.

The hope for day five is to get Video Game's outfit done. It's a super busy day so we'll ust play it by ear and hope it works out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

KCW: Day Two

Day two ended up being better than I expected. Most of the day was spent like this:

He wasn't always this happy but at this point the fever had broken. We had a cute photobomber too.
The Hubs stayed home from work so I could focus on taking care of the baby and we spent a lot of time looking at fabric online. Once I was able to actually put the baby down after bedtime I was able to get around to cutting out the fabric for the baby's outfit. We'll see how many we can get through on day three. That will depend on how well the baby feels and how well I can get to all the other things I've been neglecting while he's been sick.

The only kid left who needs an outfit is Q-ball. He says he doesn't want me to make him anything. He also just turned three so...  Anyway, I have these two fabrics that would be perfect for the theme. The problem is that I'm not sure I love them. They are KnitFix fabrics (which I talk about here) and the trading and selling is in full swing on the Facebook group. I can't seem to commit to either of them but I can't make myself let go of them either. Sigh. Maybe by the end of day three I'll have decided. Or not.
Can't live with them, can't live without them

Kids Clothes Week: Day One

For the first time ever I a participating in Kids Clothes Week. That is to say, I've thought about it and prepped for it. The first day was spent going to the doctor's office and the hospital with a sick baby, so sewing just didn't happen. While those aren't my favorite activities they kind of take precedence over sewing.

I had two things already cut out and ready to go so I'm counting that as what I did (didn't do) today. Because I'm currently on the couch nursing the aforementioned sick baby I will share with you a sneak peak of what I have planned. I'm using fabric I already had on hand, so the sneak peaks come from previous projects.

For the Pink Blur:
From the Leading Lady look
 For Video Game:
From the $0 Nursery Project
There will also be a panda inspired project for Blue Eyes. Betcha can't guess what colors I'm using for that. *wink* That leaves out Q-ball but I do have a loose idea of something I can put together for him. This, of course, assumes that the baby will allow me to put him down for any length of time. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Peacock and Pleather Easter Outfit

Business first. I made this outfit for the Girl Charlee Easter Sewing Contest. Both of the fabrics I used came from their fabulous site. I assume the winner is by luck of the draw, so let's hope I'm lucky. Either way, I absolutely love this outfit.

The top is Simplicity 1613 and made up with this terrific peacock feathers fabric. I'd seen it before in a different colorway I wasn't too crazy about. This set of colors? Love it! 

Blue Eyes wanted to join in the picture taking fun

As for the pattern, I love that too...with modifications. When I say "modifications" I mean altering the pattern to fit my body and give me my desired level of coverage at the neckline. And by "desired level of coverage" I mean "not cut down to my navel." More or less. I'm pretty confident in my pattern drafting and alteration skills but I knew it would be a tall order to fix everything that needed fixing without a mockup. I will spare you that picture, but include the shot of a few of the pattern alterations I ended up with.
So many alterations, so little time
The result was well worth the effort. The neckline is now wearable and sufficiently modest. If I make again I'll choose a fabric with more stretch. 
Of course I examine my hem frequently. Don't you?
Now the skirt. Hehehe! I have been excited for this skirt for years. No joke. I've had the pattern, Vogue 8750, for at least two years. I've made it three times for other people, but never for myself. It was time. I decided to really spice it up with the fuchsia vegan leather. It's so fun!

Just loving on the skirt
The trick about this skirt is the topstitching. This fabric does not glide under the presser foot. At all. As I don't have a walking foot I had to be a bit more creative about how to get the topstitching done without the seams curling into oblivion. Add to that the curved seam on the side and the fact that once a needle goes through the fabric it leaves a hole and you've got a recipe for making me brag. I used strips of pattern tissue directly under the presser foot to help the fabric move along. I've also heard you can put tape on the bottom of the foot to achieve the same result but I haven't tried it.

Not perfect, but pretty darn close.  Brag. Brag, brag, brag.

I installed an invisible zipper (insert more bragging on account of the you-can-only-sew-it-once factor) and used leather glue for the hem. That's a new trick for me. I'll probably try it again in the future but I find I prefer to just hem things on the machine when I can.

I may not be wearing this outfit for Easter (we're watching General Conference instead, yay!) but it'll look great at church the next week and every other time I happen to wear either piece.

Friday, March 20, 2015

She Stitches Snappy Stuff

Blue Eyes got a sewing machine for Christmas (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!). This one, in fact. I love that it's a real sewing machine and not a toy. She loves it because it's Hello Kitty and is of the opinion that there's pretty much nothing better than that. Six year olds are awesome.
Diligently working on her very first project
Two projects have now been sewn with it. Blue Eyes first made a drawstring backpack that she made away as a birthday gift for a neighbor. The second was a dress for this month's Project Run & Play

The drawstring backpack
The pattern for this month is the Knot Dress from Jess at The Sewing Rabbit. I decided to keep the pattern mostly the same because this was only the second sewing project ever for Miss Blue Eyes. I had previously purchased some Hello Kitty fabric so that was definitely the material of choice.

Red + Hello Kitty = a very happy Blue Eyes
Because she was the one who did most of the sewing, I'll let Blue Eyes say a few things about her dress.

I like Hello Kitty. This is my favorite dress and I made some of it. My favorite thing about sewing it was when my mom helped me with the twists and turns.

Aaaaaand that was all I could get out of her. Blue Eyes is six years old and not big on sharing much if she doesn't feel like it.

Back view
As for the changes that were made, I closed the back, traded the knots on the bodice for snaps, included a band at the waist, and just used the width of the material for the skirt rather than measuring panels.
The heart snaps are super fun. Just in case you were wondering
I was very proud of Blue Eyes for getting through the stitching of the top of the bodice with all the curves that went into making the straps. There were some pretty tight curves with the straps. I had to stop her quite a few times to help her get the seam allowances even.

Two snaps per strap to keep everything nicely in place Those curves really were deadly.
Blue Eyes stitched the side and back seams on the skirt, as well as the side seams and neckline of the bodice.  I can't say enough how impressed I am that she did such a good job attaching the lining at the neckline. She rocked it! I aided the project by doing the understitching, attaching skirt to bodice, and hemming. Blue Eyes would have done the hemming if I had not put the dress on the back burner for over a week before remembering the Project Run & Play deadline was looming. The final touch was adding the iconic bow.

I added fleece interfacing to the bow for extra puffiness
While I was pleased with how well Blue Eyes did with her dress, I'm thinking her next project will be sewing quilt squares together to make a pillow or a lap quilt. That was how I learned and it helps a lot with getting used to making completely even seam allowances.
She was more interested in playing on the tablet than posing for pictures
I think Blue Eyes has a great sewing future ahead of her. I'm so happy we can share this. The trick for me is trying not to hover and correct every stitch. She's doing great.

Rocking her dress and her new glasses

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Emily Culottes Blog Tour and Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to see my phone telling me there was a call to pattern test the Emily Culottes from Itch-to-Stitch patterns. Before doing the testing I was unaware that culottes are making a comeback. That may have been the best news I've gotten this year. Culottes give the coverage I appreciate from capris with the added bonus of the fullness for comfort and air flow. Even better was that I immediately knew which fabric I would use. I got some lovely eyelet for 75% off then hated every idea I had for what to do with it. The culottes were a perfect project.

The pattern comes with plenty of options for whatever makes you happy. I opted for the welt pockets and lining to eliminate the peekaboo factor of the eyelet. I already had some knit fabric for the lining that matched beautifully.

My lighting is off...which is to be expected I use my phone for pictures. Which is always.
Working with the Emily Culottes pattern was a pleasure. Several digital patterns I have used in the past left something to be desired. I didn't feel this way about the Emily Culottes. Not even a little. The pattern is sized well, the instructions are clear, and the sewing techniques are professional. I was very impressed with the quality of the pattern. It was plain to see that a lot of care and skill went into its creation. Coming from me, that's saying a lot.
I always lean against the wall on my porch; don't you?
One portion of the patterns that is pretty great is the welt pockets. The welt pocket instructions were different than I had used before, but every bit as effective. I was able to squeak out just enough fabric from the unembroidered selvage edge to make the welt flaps. Pants without pockets are pretty useless to me so I was glad they were available. Patch pockets are also included in the pattern.

Some of the other options I used were the front pleat and lengthening the culottes. I added five inches to the length so they will be appropriate wherever I go. We're putting in our backyard this year and I look forward to going outside to play with the kids. With the culottes I'll be able to horse around with them while still looking pretty and keeping my underwear covered at all times. And that's to say nothing of the bike rides I have planned for our little family.

I love the drape and flow of the culottes. It's so feminine and comfortable.
I'm very happy with the way the culottes turned out. They are comfortable, cool, and pretty while allowing me all the movement I need as a mom of four. I already have another pair cut out in denim and just waiting for the serger to come back from a tune up. I'm fairly certain I'l be living in culottes this summer. And I'm okay with that.
I mention summer in the text yet I'm still standing in the snow. In my sandals.
Kennis from Itch-to-Stitch is giving away a copy of the Emily Culottes. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! If you're not feeling particularly lucky or just want to get a jump start on your spring and summer wardrobe, the Emily Culottes are on sale for 20% off. Grab a copy, get sewing, and spend the summer wearing culottes. a Rafflecopter giveaway