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carousel dress -- probably actually-1-10

I cannot tell a lie, I didn’t sew this dress during Kid’s Clothes Week, not by a mile. But the pattern (the Oliver + S Carousel Dress) was just released, so while I continue on with Halloween and birthday sewing, I thought I’d share the tester version of the Carousel Dress I sewed over the summer. When I saw the sketch of this pattern, I immediately wanted to color block it – the hem and sleeve bands, the neck binding, the pockets – all nice spots for solids.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-2The Carousel Dress has a simple, relaxed style and features raglan sleeves with shoulder darts and wide hem and sleeve bands. The front is made up of three panels, and the pockets are neatly enclosed in the seams. Because of the way the dress is pieced together, this pattern has lots of potential for combining fabrics or highlighting all those seams with top stitching. There’s also a ruffle hem option, if you’re into that sort of thing.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-8The keyhole opening at the back closes with a button and thread chain – a nice, simple closure. I’m all for leaving my buttonhole foot in the drawer.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-4So back to the color blocking – the coral is a Modern Solid from In the Beginning, and the other two colors are Honey and Peach Sherbet from Art Gallery. The Art Gallery solids come in such beautiful colors and are some of the nicest quality solids I’ve found.carousel dress -- probably actually-1

I sewed a size 5 for Lila and it seems a little big – I think she can still get away with a 4 in the patterns with a more relaxed fit. If in doubt, I might recommend sizing down (and adding length) with this one.

You can read more about the Carousel dress and see the pattern made up several different ways in Liesl’s introduction post. And there’s another new fall pattern – The Lunchbox Tee and Culottes – to check out as well!

0314-300-bear

fall kcw :: seal pajamas

It’s Kid’s Clothes Week again, and I’m knee deep in two Halloween costumes (I’m stealing someone else’s great idea this year) and a couple of welt pockets for Oscar’s birthday trousers. But today I bring you some baby seal pjs.

baby seal pjs -- probably actually-1-12I’ve made so many of these sets (Oliver + S Bedtime Story pajama bottoms with a doctored-up, store bought T-shirt) that I won’t bore you with the details. BUT, these pants are double gauze, and double gauze = special! Every time I sew with double gauze (which happens to be all of thrice so far) I’m reminded that it’s the dreamiest fabric on the planet.

baby seal pjs -- probably actually-1-2

baby seal pjs -- probably actually-1-3These were a third birthday gift for our very special (and therefore deserving of double gauze) next door neighbor friend, who you may remember from here and here. She’s pretty into sea animals and the color blue, so when I remembered Anna’s beautiful baby seal lap duvet, I went searching for the fabric. It was still available on Etsy, so I ordered a yard (which tragically arrived in the mail 15 minutes before the party started, but that’s another story).

baby seal pjs -- probably actually-2Oscar modeled for me before we wrapped them up. He wears a size three pretty well these days.

baby seal pjs -- probably actually-1-9

Pattern | Oliver + S Bedtime Story Pajama pants

Fabric | Seals on Blue by Cosmo Textiles + Carolyn Friedlander’s Crosshatch in Gray

0314-300-square-green

 

franklin dress -- probably actually-3There are so many kids’ clothing patterns out there. I mean so, so, so many. I get dizzy just thinking about it, so I usually just stick with the ones I know and trust – Oliver + S, Made by Rae, Make it Perfect. There are other good ones, of course, but I get nervous – sewing is such a huge time commitment, and I have no extra hours or patience for things to go wrong. So I tend not to stray. But when Erin of Brooklyn Pattern Company contacted me and asked if I’d like to try her first pattern, the Franklin Dress, I have to say I was intrigued. She has a 15 year background as a patternmaker for Broadway, ballet, theater, and circus, so while she’s new to kids’ clothes, she’s certainly been around the pattern making block a few times. I decided the Franklin Dress was worth a shot, and I joined the tour.

FranklinDressTour

I’m glad I did! The result is a sweet and simple dress with some really nice little details, like a pleated, button-up yoke, gathered sleeves, and side seam pockets. Sizes range from 6 months to 8 years. Lila fell into the size 4 range, but I chickened out and made a 5 – I think either size would’ve been fine.

franklin dress -- probably actually-1-5

I totally had my heart set on making this dress in baby wale corduroy, but I checked two local stores, and the color options were abysmal. I gave up and chose a Kaufman chambray shirting, this one I think. The shirting is soft and lightweight, and has a kind of sheen to it. I used the reverse for the bodice facings and pockets.

franklin dress -- probably actually-1-3

franklin dress -- probably actually-1-11

The trim at the hem is one of Anna Maria Horner’s new designs for Renaissance Ribbons – they have an amazing selection of ribbons by some really great designers, and I’m always looking for an excuse to use one.

franklin dress -- probably actually-1-8

Before I added the buttons or the ribbon, Lila was skeptical. Here I was thinking the chambray highlighted the pleats so nicely, and the best she could say was, “Hmmmm. It’s really…..this color.” Which I guess it totally was. Kind of dark, kind of plain. But hopefully the shiny pink buttons and the trim jazzed it up a little. A zinnia probably couldn’t hurt, either.

franklin dress -- probably actually-1-9

About sewing the pattern – my experience was really good overall. The dress came together without any hitches. Taping the PDF together was a breeze, and all the pattern pieces fit together just right. There were dots and notches, hallelujah! It was polished and professional, and I think the design and the fit are spot on.

franklin dress -- probably actually-1-7

I’d say there were a couple spots in the directions that were a little sparse, and a few places where an extra illustration would’ve been helpful. I made a few inferences, and they happened to work out just fine, but I could see where that could cause frustration. From Tara’s post it sounds like Erin is very receptive to filling in those gaps, which is so great.

franklin dress -- probably actually-2And one thing the pattern didn’t say (but I would suggest) is to add interfacing beneath the buttonholes. My machine makes much prettier buttonholes with interfacing, and luckily I remembered to add a strip between the bodice and facing before turning the bodice right side out. And I’ll admit that I longed for buttonhole placement markings on the pattern pieces – I’m not a big fan of measuring and drawing them in myself because chances are I won’t place them correctly and I’ll have to rip out a buttonhole. Or two buttonholes, as the case may be.

franklin dress -- probably actually-1BUT, like I said, everything came together quite nicely, and I love the end result. If you’re a fan, there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway on Erin’s blog for a chance to win a copy of the Franklin Dress pattern. I’m really excited to see what Brooklyn Pattern Co. has in store for us next!

 

 

Well these were supposed to be for fall, but fall just keeps on not coming. It’s been in the 80s, hence the flip flops and sleevelessness in this post. Not quite how I envisioned these skirts being worn, but I can hardly complain – the weather is beautiful, and it can’t possibly last much longer.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-4By now it’s probably pretty obvious that I love the Oliver + S Swingset skirt pattern. Last week I retired some of the first ones I made (two years ago to the day for that last one, and a sunny day at that!) – those size 3s still fit in the waist, but the length has become completely indecent. It’s been time for a new crop of size 5 Swingsets for awhile now, and when Cotton + Steel came out, I knew there were a few good skirt prints in the mix. And then Tara made these two skirts with their brilliant chambray waistbands, which gave me the idea to modify the Swingset pattern.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-2

It’s easy to do, and the modification I made applies to all sizes of the skirt, since the waistband’s finished width (1.25 inches) doesn’t vary between sizes. So I’ll give you my numbers just in case there’s any interest. Just create a new waistband pattern piece (it’ll be 2.25 inches wide after you add a 1/2 inch seam allowance at both the top and bottom), then shorten the skirt pattern piece at the top by 1.75 inches (1.25 inches for the waistband, plus a 1/2 inch seam allowance). The lines are on a curve, so you can use a ruler to draw a series of dots your given distance away from the curve, then cut on the dots.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-10

Then sew your two new pieces together and follow the normal directions to finish constructing the skirt. Pinning and sewing on a curve like that is a little tricky (hence all those pins), but mine fit back together just fine, no clipping necessary.

_.c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1

I feel like I picked two of the most obvious Cotton + Steel prints – there are many more subtle but just as awesome choices in this huge collection, but I like skirts in bold prints like these. Plus what girl doesn’t want a skirt covered in horses. Anyway, LiMa Sews is carrying all five collections if anyone is in the market for some Cotton + Steel.

_c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1

The Arrows (from Melody Miller’s Mustang collection) skirt is lined with Kaufman’s Cambridge lawn (left over from this dress)

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-9and the Mustangs (from the same collection) are lined with an aqua Cotton Couture. I prefer the lawn as a lining, but Cotton Couture is the next best thing – it has a nice smooth texture and lighter feel than a lot of other solids. The chambray is by Andover, in Navy.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-12So…my love for the Swingset skirt continues. The pattern only goes up to size 5, but I’ll be lengthening these babies for years to come.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-3

And finally, here’s Oscar, tromping around in his Sketchbook shorts and his new boots. It’s crazy how happy a pair of rubber boots can make an almost two year old. He’s super proud of that Hello Kitty tattoo, btw.

oscar, almost 2 -1

 

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-10

I cannot tell a lie, I didn’t sew this dress during Kid’s Clothes Week, not by a mile. But the pattern (the Oliver + S Carousel Dress) was just released, so while I continue on with Halloween and birthday sewing, I thought I’d share the tester version of the Carousel Dress I sewed over the summer. When I saw the sketch of this pattern, I immediately wanted to color block it – the hem and sleeve bands, the neck binding, the pockets – all nice spots for solids.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-2The Carousel Dress has a simple, relaxed style and features raglan sleeves with shoulder darts and wide hem and sleeve bands. The front is made up of three panels, and the pockets are neatly enclosed in the seams. Because of the way the dress is pieced together, this pattern has lots of potential for combining fabrics or highlighting all those seams with top stitching. There’s also a ruffle hem option, if you’re into that sort of thing.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-8

The keyhole opening at the back closes with a button and thread chain – a nice, simple closure. I’m all for leaving my buttonhole foot in the drawer.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1-4

So back to the color blocking – the coral is a Modern Solid from In the Beginning, and the other two colors are Honey and Peach Sherbet from Art Gallery. The Art Gallery solids come in such beautiful colors and are some of the nicest quality solids I’ve found.

carousel dress -- probably actually-1

I sewed a size 5 for Lila and it seems a little big – I think she can still get away with a 4 in the patterns with a more relaxed fit. If in doubt, I might recommend sizing down (and adding length) with this one.

You can read more about the Carousel dress and see the pattern made up several different ways in Liesl’s introduction post. And there’s another new fall pattern – The Lunchbox Tee and Culottes – to check out as well!

little joey dress in squares

Behold! A knit dress.

little joey in squares -- probably actually

It seems the selection of good quality/well designed knits has been growing by leaps and bounds lately. Especially at Art Gallery - I’ve wanted to try one of theirs for awhile now, and my opportunity arrived when Toni of Make it Perfect asked if I’d like to sew up her new pattern, the Joey Dress. I love the style and knew Lila would be into a comfy dress like this.

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-6

This print is called Threaded Shreds Mamey from Katarina Roccella’s Indelible line, which includes several knits (this one is really cool, too). The fabric is so super soft, and has 5% Lycra for a nice stretch. I’d hoped to use a solid for the bindings (like Kristin’s – so cute), but I couldn’t find a good match (coordinating solid knits, please, Art Gallery!) so I used the print for everything. You can definitely go either way with this pattern – I especially love Toni’s solid blue version.

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-3

My main complaint about knits is that my finished product is never quite up to my quality standards. Each one acts a little differently depending on its makeup, and while I’ve tried every sewing-with-knits tip known to man, I still haven’t cracked the code. Because of that there are some problems with this dress, but nothing too tragic – I think I stretched the neckband a little too much, and a few of the seams are a little wavy.

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-8

I love the dress though, I mean I really love it. How it feels, how it looks, how it fits, the sleeves, the pocket, everything. Well, everything except the fact that she looks so grown up in it. Five going on 15.

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-2I live in fear of things coming out too short, so after reading Sanae’s Big Joey post, I added 1.5 inches to the size 5, just to be on the safe side. I hemmed it before she tried it on, and it’s too long – I think I prefer it just above the knee like Toni’s. Maybe I’ll hem it up another inch or so, or maybe I’ll leave it alone and she can wear it until she’s seven. I’m even semi-happy with how the hem came out – I used twin needles for the first time and it really did help to combat the waves.

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-7

Anyway, yet another great Make it Perfect pattern – I want to make a bunch of Joeys! Thanks to Toni for the pattern and to Linh for the beautiful knit! Good stuff, all around.

NEWS FLASH :: Toni just announced that Make it Perfect PDF patterns are 50% off for two days!

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-4

origami oasis kite dress

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually

I first discovered Tamara Kate‘s fabric last winter when I stumbled upon her Gem print – it’s an all-time favorite of mine, and I used a little bit to make a Roller Skate dress for Lila. Not long after, I received a very sweet email from Tamara saying she’d seen the dress and asking if I’d like to sew something from her new line, Origami Oasis.

origami oasis header

I was immediately drawn to Mountain & Valley – I love a good colorful, geometric print like this, and Tamara designs them so well.

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually-5The diamonds reminded me of kites, so I picked Dana’s “kite dress”, which is the A-line version of her First Day Dress pattern.

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually-9

The pattern was a new one for me – I’ve had my eye on it for awhile and talked myself out of buying it several times (how many patterns can one girl need??), but I’m glad I finally caved! It went together quickly and easily. There were a couple places (pinning the sleeves and sewing the back keyhole opening) where I longed for some markings to make things just a little more precise – years of Oliver + S sewing is certainly to blame/thank for this. But I really liked the pattern overall – the PDF went together perfectly, which always makes me happy. And the directions were thorough and well organized – there are several different options to choose from (blouse length, swing dress, peplum top, faux placket) but it’s easy to follow along and find what you’re looking for. The A-line version is fully lined, and the lining is hidden in the hem, which is a nice touch.

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually-4

Lila’s body measurements matched up with a size 4, but when I looked at the finished measurement chart and compared it to a few other patterns that fit her well, I realized the 4 would’ve been too small on her. I made a 5 instead, which fits well, although on the slim side – I’d advise sizing up with this one if you’re in doubt. Also, the A-line version is designed to hit way above the knee, but it’s very easy to add length to the bottom if you want it longer – I lengthened the size 5 to a size 9 here.

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually-7

The lining is Michael Miller Cotton Couture in some shade of pink that I can’t recall. Obviously there was no shortage of lining colors to choose from to go with this print!

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually-11

You can check out Tamara’s blog for more Origami Oasis inspiration – there’s even a fabulous Jump Rope dress in the mix, and you know I’m partial to the Jump Rope dress :)

first day dress in origami oasis -- probably actually-6

 Happy Friday!

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