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a double gauze geranium -- probably actually-2

We’re at that point in the summer where despite the heat, sewing warm weather clothes doesn’t make much sense anymore. Kindergarten starts in less than three weeks, and the list of things I want to sew for fall just keeps growing. I guess this is sort of an in-between dress – the navy feels like fall, and the double gauze is light and summery. And Rae‘s all-mighty Geranium Dress pattern is just right for every season, of course.

a double gauze geranium -- probably actually-5

The Geranium is far and away Lila’s favorite dress to wear. These two (and especially that first one) have been in constant rotation for a full 18 months now. Her devotion to that Amy Butler number has been especially unwavering – we’re talking at least once or twice a week – pretty much whenever it’s clean and I’m not able to talk her into something else. They’re both nice enough dresses, but it’s seriously starting to hurt my eyes to see her wear them. They’re just a tad short, too, like about three inches above the knee. It’s been time for new Geraniums for a loooooong while.

a double gauze geranium -- probably actually

I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but those cute little faux cap sleeves, but this time I sewed view A from the waist down – gathers and patch pockets. Gathers seemed like the way to go with double gauze.

1 double gauze geranium -- probably actually

The bodice is lined with Art Gallery Pure Elements in Sweet Mint, which I dare say is the perfect shade of mint green. And mint buttons to match.

double gauze geranium -- probably actually-3

I found the double gauze (made by Pickering International) at a great little local shop called Josephine’s Dry Goods. It’s beautifully soft and reverses to white with navy dots on the other side. I only bought one yard, but luckily it’s 56″ wide and I was able to squeeze a size 5 out of it. Just barely.1 double gauze geranium -- probably actually-3

Anyway, there’s not a whole lot I can say about the Geranium pattern that hasn’t been said before – it’s great! Your kid (if she’s anything like mine) will love it! I’m off to make a few more.

double gauze geranium -- probably actually-5

 

herringbone sketchbook shorts

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-6

I cut out these Oliver + S Sketchbook shorts for Oscar at the end of July, then realized that shorts season is rapidly coming to a close and I better sew them up. The fabric is Bradford Herringbone from Robert Kaufman (purchased locally, but it’s available at Imagine Gnats) – it’s a cotton/linen blend and has a nice weight for something like this – I might have to pick up a little more to make a pair of Art Museum trousers for the fall. Lila also got a pair of shorts from this fabric (seen in this post) but the pattern is still in the works so my lips are sealed. It’s a good one though!

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually

I went back and forth between making an 18-24 months and a 2T – but since they only needed to fit for a couple months at most, I went with the smaller size, and they seem to fit just right.

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-11

Anyway, the Sketchbook pattern is really simple and great and all, but I managed to make things complicated and I’m going to bore you with the details. I made the same mistake as last time and cut the “pocket lining” pattern piece from a print, and the “pocket” pattern piece from the main fabric, when it should be the other way around. I mean, it had been two years since I made this particular mistake, but it sure did annoy me to have made it twice. But that was really no big deal considering the sizable hole I cut into the butt with my serger knife while finishing the final inside seam. I should have just scrapped the whole thing, but I had just enough fabric to cut one more back panel, so I picked apart three serged seams to remove the damaged piece and reattached a new one. So yeah, hardly worth it for a boring old pair of shorts, but they’re done now.

And there are some pretty cute dinosaurs hidden in the pockets. RAWR.

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-3

In other news, Oscar loves this baby doll just as much as his sister ever did. Also pretty cute.

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lions on rollerskates -- probably actually

I really missed the boat on summer Kids Clothes Week. We were camping in the Redwoods at the beginning of the week (who plans a camping trip during KCW?? Not me, I assure you) and then Lila went to the beach with her grandparents for a few days, leaving me without a model for the one thing I made. But let’s just pretend I’m not a day late and a dollar short and focus on this lion-clad Roller Skate dress.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-4

The print is from Sarah Watts’ August collection for Cotton + Steel. How great are those lions? Plenty great, I say.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-5

For my past two Roller Skates I’ve added the optional neck facing – I really like how it looks, but it would’ve decapitated those poor lions, so I skipped it this time. It’s kind of a big scale print, so I tried to center the heads on the bodice in the front and back – this dress has a seam down the center back, so I lined things up horizontally, knowing I couldn’t match both the side seams and the back seam. Not perfect, but not too distracting, I hope.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-9

I really wanted to bring in one more color with the coral and navy combo, so I used a yellow button on the back and lined the dress with some soft Kaufman cotton lawn, also in yellow.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-3

Because you know, those yellow Salt Waters…

lions and rollerskates -- probably actually

This is a size 4 with an inch of length added to the bottom, which I creatively forced into my one yard of fabric. The 4 is still really wide on top, which eases my panic for the time being about sizing out of at least one of my patterns.

lions and rollerskates -- probably actually-2

Okay, that’s it. Hopefully I’ll make up for my lack-luster summer KCW performance when the fall edition rolls around. Fall sewing is my favorite anyway…

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Today I’m sharing my part of a collaborative effort on behalf of the wonderful Rachel of Stitched Together.

little dress -- probably actually

Rachel’s blog is one my favorites. It’s full of beautiful and inspirational sewing, glowing photography, and some of the sweetest models in blogtown. Rachel is expecting her fifth child any time now, and Victoria of As it Seams has organized a group of Rachel’s admirers to create a mobile for the new baby. The idea came from the mobiles Victoria and others have put together for the babies-to-be in their circle of friends. And while our group is composed of virtual friendships, each of us wanted to contribute to this exciting event in Rachel’s life – a new baby girl!

little dress -- probably actually-2

With three daughters and a fourth on the way, Rachel is the queen of dress making, and her girls wear them so beautifully. This baby has it made when it comes to stylish hand-me-downs, and I thought it would be fun to add a little dress to the mobile. This one is made from Essex linen, with batting in the skirt, a felt collar, and a few scraps and running stitches. I left the armholes open to slide a little wire hanger inside, which can be used to hang the dress on the mobile.

Congratulations Rachel, and enjoy these final anticipatory days as you wait to meet your new little girl. She is so lucky to join your beautiful family. I hope you both enjoy our collaboration!

You can check out the rest of mobile pieces via the links below!

victoria | as it seams // kristin | skirt as top

sanae | sanae ishida // suz | sewpony // nat | la gang a nat

 an | straight grain // heidi | elegance and elephants

an urgent swingset tunic

swingset tunic -- probably actually

It’s been hot hot hot around here. Time for some summer clothes.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-6

Seeing Lucinda’s latest Swingset Tunic in all its summery, polka-dot glory got me thinking about Swingset pattern, and then in walks that awesome Abe Lincoln Swinget Tunic that only Tara could’ve come up with. And despite the fact that Lila has a closet full of Swingset Skirts (1,2,3,4,5), I had never really considered trying the top. Why?? I dunno, but there was no time to waste, because this pattern maxes out at size 5.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-8

I’ve been having these moments of panic lately about Lila sizing out of almost every single pattern I own, especially my Oliver + S patterns, which I’ve spent years collecting in the smaller size range. If only I could magically trade them in for the bigger sizes. I feel the need to make everything one last time, (or for the first time, as the case may be) before all is lost. Dramatic, I know.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-2

I chose this little floral print called Ladylike Black Tea from Pat Bravo’s Carnaby St. line (purchased here). I’m pretty much basing all of my summer fabric choices on these yellow Saltwater Sandals.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-4

The bodice is lined with Michael Miller Cotton Couture, in Citrus I believe.

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Speaking of the lining, the only thing I didn’t love about this pattern was how the bodice was finished inside – it wasn’t quite as neat and tidy as other Oliver + S patterns. I really like the top though – I can’t believe I waited so long and missed out on years of Swingset Tunics. Clearly Lila is in despair over it, too.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-5

The good news is that the size 5 came out pretty roomy, so maybe it’s not the end of the road for this pattern after all. Kids mostly grow up and not out at this age anyway, right?

a swingset tunic -- probably actually

Okay, that’s it for now.

I leave you with two kids in a tub of rainbow rice.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-12

And in other news…

Last week’s Make It Perfect pattern giveaway goes to #91, Patricia! Toni will be in contact soon to hook you up with your free pattern.

And if you’re fabric shopping this weekend, LiMa Sews has a 20% off sale going on through July 21st with the code “JULY2014″ – good stuff over there, check it out!

 

 

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I have a long-time affinity for Make it Perfect Patterns. Over the past several years I’ve made the Uptown Girl Jacket, the Serendipity Coat, the Frothy Skirt, the Mini Shearwater Kaftan, the Zip-It, and now the Mini Poppy. See? I’m a fan! When Toni asked me to join her pattern parade, I knew I wanted to make the Mini Poppy – I’ve had the pattern traced and ready to sew for over a year, so this was the perfect opportunity. Of course now I had to trace the next size up, but luckily it’s just four pattern pieces!

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-4As the “mini” suggests, this pattern is based on Toni’s Poppy Tunic pattern for women. And if I ever sewed for myself I’d make one of those, too.

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-14

Once again I used Andover Chambray, in Navy this time. I’ve now sampled four of the 25 colors and have no plans to stop there. The contrast fabric is Sprinkles in Indigo from Dear Stella’s Oh Happy Day line, purchased at Bolt. I love those sprinkles – Lila still wears her Sprinkles Swingset skirt and I had no idea this print came in another color until I saw it on the shelf. Pretty much any fabric covered in colorful spots is right up my alley, so I had to have some.

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-2

This is a size 5, and it’s pretty roomy, but I think it will make a nice fall dress with a shirt and leggings underneath. Unfortunately I mixed up my tracings and cut a size 4 skirt, so I moved the hems around a little to add some length, but it will certainly work as a tunic as she gets taller. Like most of Toni’s girls’ patterns, this pattern is available in two size ranges: 0-5 and 6-10.

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-8

So I think the reason I sat on this pattern for so long is that I have a bit of an aversion to making bias tape, and there’s quite a bit to be made. It always ends up being worth the effort, but I kind of hate the whole process – I find it tedious and time consuming and it just fills me with all-around dread. Those Clover bias tape makers do expedite things, though – I have them in two different sizes, but not the size I needed for this project. So I made it the old fashioned way, with burned fingertips, and in 90 degree heat. But I really do love how it looks – it frames the yoke so nicely, and the front ties are awfully cute as well. Don’t be scared off. :)

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-13

Would you like to try a Make it Perfect pattern? One lucky winner can choose any PDF pattern from Toni’s vast collection. To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post (you can tell me which pattern you’d choose, or whatever). The giveaway is open through this Friday, July 11th, and I’ll pick a winner sometime next week.

((Giveaway is now closed!))

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-5

For lots of great Make it Perfect pattern inspiration, check out the rest of the tour, which is going on through the month of July.

MIP Pattern Parade Button

The Make It Perfect Pattern Parade Virtual Catwalk introduces…

 

Did you sew along last week?

abutton

I’ve had my copy of Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids (the English version of Happy Homemade, Vol.2) since Christmas, but despite the translation, I’ve been too chicken to try anything. The hoodie was number one on my list, and as with every new pattern I make, a thorough inspiration-seeking Flickr image search was performed. I discovered through some comments that the neck facing had tripped a few people up, so I emailed Shelley of Bartacks and Singletracks for some pointers. She kindly passed along all her helpful notes, and then a week or so later, Cherie and Meg announced they’d be hosting a Happy Homemade Kids sew-along with that very pattern. And so, no more excuses, here I am.

I actually sewed a little bit each day, right along with their schedule. It’s rare I sew that way, but I really enjoyed pacing myself.

a happy homemade hoodie.jpg

I wasn’t sure I could sell Lila on this pattern, so I made the hoodie for the less opinionated of the two.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-9

The fabric is from Dear Stella’s Sunburst Stripes collection. I really like these stripes – the range of colors is great, and basics like this are so useful. Mine came from LiMa Sews, where you can find four of the colors – I used Smoke.

Both Meg and Cherie added kangaroo pockets to their hoodies, and they obviously know what’s up, so I did the same.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-5

I cut the pocket with the stripes going in the opposite direction, but it’s not very noticeable since they’re so thin. Please go ahead and notice it, though, because the whole thing came out a little plain in my opinion.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-6

The hood didn’t end up being all that functional – it doesn’t come forward far enough to fit properly, and it pulls at the back of the parka when it’s up. Meg angled hers forward for more coverage, which I’d recommend if you want it to serve as an actual hood. I don’t so much mind a decorative hood, though – it looks pretty cute just hanging there.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-7

I probably would’ve lined my hood had I used some other fabric, but I couldn’t come up with a good match for the stripes. Plus, I finally got my serger going (another Christmas gift that went too long unused), so at least the inside is properly finished.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-3

The patterns in this book are made for kids aged 3-9, but the smallest size (2) fits Oscar, who’s an over-sized 19 month-old, relatively well – it’s definitely on the big side, but totally wearable.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-4

I love the designs in this and other Japanese pattern books, but I have to say, I’m not a huge fan trying to make sense of sparse directions – I’m pretty sure Liesl has completely ruined me for sewing with Japanese patterns! And I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why any pattern wouldn’t include seam allowances. So yeah, I’d have to be really motivated by a great design (of which there are many, admittedly) for this type of sewing to become a regular thing. Or maybe I’ll just join in on another sew-along – hopefully there are more to come!

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-2

Anyway, thanks to Cherie and Meg for walking me through my very first Japanese pattern! Check out the Happy Homemade Kids sew-along if you’re like me and don’t want to bumble through these cool patterns on your own – it was really helpful and fun to join in!

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