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Archive for June, 2011

I made my first pair of Oliver + S sailboat pants in April, and they’re by far the most practical and worn piece of clothing I’ve ever made for Lila. They’re comfy and they go with everything – if they’re not in the wash, she’s wearing them. I’ve had all sorts of ideas about what the next pair might look like, and as soon as I saw these beauties from Cirque Du Bebe, I fell in love. I had to try piping this time.

This is such a great pattern. You end up with a pretty cute pair of pants without doing much work at all. These are 2Ts, same as the first pair. The rise is a little bit low, and the fit is much better without a big cloth diaper. I’m sure this yellow print won’t get the wear the first pair gets, but you can’t be practical all the time.

Lila spent the afternoon on our neighbor’s front stoop, pestering Ruby the cat. Ruby is a very good sport.

I made the hat back in April, too – it’s the Oliver + S bucket hat from Little Things to Sew. The fabric for both the pants and the hat is Denyse Schmidt, from the DS Quilts collection.

The pants end up looking plain old yellow from far away, so maybe they aren’t all that impractical. And they match the neighbor’s house really well….

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fancy dress recipe

That’s the name of this pattern. For reals.

In the days leading up to KCWC on Elsie Marley, I read this interview with Yasuko from Dans La Lune. I checked out her patterns on Etsy and really liked the simple design of this little dress. I didn’t get around to making it for the challenge as planned, but it’s been at the top my list ever since. It turned out to be a pretty great recipe, all in all – everything went together quickly and the instructions were very easy to follow. I’d make it again.

Here’s how mine came out:

The bodice is gathered in the front and the keyhole neckline ties with ribbon. The arm and neck openings are finished with bias tape.

This was a test run so I decided to use something I had on hand and wasn’t too attached to, which turned out to be a couple dollars worth of yellow seersucker from Joann’s – I’m not super excited about this version of the dress, but I do think the pattern has potential. It’s simple enough that you could get creative with embellishment, and it could be cute with a shirt underneath in the fall, maybe in corduroy or something. The downside to the pattern (besides having to wrap my brain around centimeters) is that each size is sold separately, so I only got the 2T. But I think adding some length to the bottom should make the pattern usable for quite awhile.

Here are a couple more shots (mostly to show off her shiny new Saltwater sandals):

And here are our first juicy strawberries of the season, dribbled down the front….

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rainbow sprinkles

I first spied these rows of little stitches here and here, then again here. And I thought they were awfully pretty every time. So I gave it a try:

I used white (perfect for toddler clothing, right?) cotton because it was the only solid fabric I had on hand, but I think linen or voile would have been nice. It’s just ten rows of running stitches, with 1/4 inch between rows. I marked and stitched the rows before assembling the skirt. It’s a pretty mindless and relaxing activity, and a nice change of pace from sitting at the sewing machine.

The plan was to turn it into a Lazy Days skirt or to use the Simple Skirt tutorial from Made, but I’ve sewn up lots of both and I wanted to try something new.  I was hoping to find a tutorial for a skirt with a flat front waistband and elastic in the back, but nothing came up in my search. Then about eight hours later, Anna from Noodlehead posted that very tutorial for Skirt Week on Crafterhours. Amazing, I tell you. Thanks, Anna! I had a little trouble figuring out the elastic in the back, but it all turned out fine in the end. Since I was making a toddler-sized skirt, I shortened the height of the waistband pieces one inch from the tutorial measurements, resulting in a 1.5 inch waistband. Here’s the flat waistband, along with some tummy:

Now I’m picturing these rows of running stitches on everything – dish towels, napkins, pillowcases, curtains….

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jump rope love

The Jump Rope dress is the first Oliver + S pattern I ever purchased, and it’s always been one of my favorites. I’ve put it off for the last seven months, I think because I was nervous about the placket and collar. When I was finally ready to try it, it took me another month to commit to fabric (I have serious problems in this department) – this was the third fabric purchased specifically for this dress. It’s Alexander Henry’s Colour in Stripes in Dove from the Matisse collection. It kind of says Fruit Stripe gum to me.

I know you should always err on the side of too big when you sew kids’ clothes, but after working on something for hours and hours (and hours and hours), I really want the gratification of it fitting RIGHT NOW, not six months from now. Especially something that’s season-dependent. So based on her measurements, I made the 18-24 month size.

The length is just right, but the bodice is on the narrow side. Actually, the fit is perfect once the dress is on, but getting it on and off is a challenge. The only way to do it is with her arms straight up in the air, and even then a little maneuvering is necessary. After I finished the dress I read here that the smaller pattern sizes do indeed run snug. Oops. Maybe it’s time to start sizing up. I should probably make a 2T while it’s all still fresh in my mind, but that would require tracing something like 11 more pattern pieces. Which got me thinking….what if patterns came with all the pieces pre-cut for every size? Can you imagine? Someone should look into that.

Anyway, here it is:

And here are some of the little details that make me love the pattern:

cuffed sleeves with tabs!

   cute little pockets!

a sash!

and the placket and collar, which turned out to be no big deal at all….

If you’re at all hesitant about trying this pattern, you should check out the Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along from last fall.  It guides you through the entire pattern step by step, with lots of photos and helpful tips and tricks. I referenced it several times along the way. That said, the instructions and diagrams in the pattern itself are wonderful (as is true with all Oliver + S patterns), and that’s what made it possible for me to sew something I thought was going to be way too complicated (but totally wasn’t).

And back to the sash for a minute – the center seam is driving me crazy:

See how the stripes didn’t match up? The stripes were otherwise very forgiving – I didn’t even consider matching them when I cut the pockets or the placket, but I don’t notice them there at all. It really sticks out on the sash though. I don’t have enough fabric left to cut another sash, so I’m trying to ignore it and I hope everyone else will do the same. Thanks.

And while we’re on this photo, I’ll mention that I cut half an inch off each belt loop. They just seemed really long for the bodice of the dress, and the sash fits through just fine without that extra bit of loop.

Okay, final photo….

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