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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 :)

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 Happy Friday!

a 2+2 for kindergarten

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually

She needed something wear on her second day too, right? I’m not usually one for themed fabric selections – I tend to avoid Santa faces on my holiday clothing, and I’ll be the first to admit that colored pencils on a back-to-school skirt is maybe a little on cheesy side. But cheese or no cheese, these pencils were calling my name.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-10

I’ve had the Oliver + S 2+2 pattern forever (and made my very first Oliver + S garment with it, almost four years ago!) but I was never interested the skirt – I think the ironed pleats were too formal for my taste. But after seeing this version in the Flickr pool I realized it could have a softer look, and I was immediately sold.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-2

Unfortunately, I only have the smaller size range in this pattern, which goes up to 3T. I debated buying the larger size range, but the pattern pieces are all rectangles, so in the end I cheaped out and just tried to size up from the 3T. I added 1.5 inches to the length and an inch to the width, and then attempted to do some math to move the dots and notches around. I’d say I was semi-successful.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-13

The fit came out right, but I ran into some problems with the placket and ended up doing way more seam ripping than if I’d just used the real size 5 pattern pieces. And now that know I love the pattern, I’ll probably invest in the real thing so that I can avoid doing any math whatsoever when I make the larger sizes.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-3

And I really do love the pattern! True to Oliver + S form, it was simple and straightforward to put together, but full of professional details – the pleats, the side placket with a button and loop waistband closure, the flat front waistband, and the wide two inch hem. The placket itself closes with sew-in snaps. I don’t have much experience with these, and apparently sewed them in completely wrong (my mom was appalled and showed me the light, aka resewed them for me). The snaps work well, but I really like Justine’s version with the buttons on the outside of the placket. I might try it that way next time.

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The only thing I did differently was to add interfacing to the waistband, because I hate a floppy waistband. I should’ve just added it to the front, though – it got a little bulky when I pulled the elastic through the back.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-6Anyway, this skirt makes me happy – I just love it when a previously dismissed pattern suddenly becomes a favorite. That’s Oliver + S for ya.

Thanks to everyone who entered the Llama Fabrics giveaway, and I truly appreciate all the teacher gift advice! The three yards of fabric go to commenter #22, Lightning McStitch!

 

jump rope in glow -- probably actually-10

So, Kindergarten. In two days. I can’t decide exactly how to feel about it, but like all milestones, it makes me want to sew. The first day of Kindergarten seemed like a good excuse to break out my favorite Oliver + S pattern, the Jump Rope Dress. I made it here and here, but I especially love this pattern for a back-to-school dress. It’s the same one I used two years ago for Lila’s first day of preschool dress, which she wore the first day and then pretty much never again. Maybe we’ll have more luck with this one.

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I’ve already publicly declared my love for this pattern, so I won’t go into the full spiel here. But I will confirm that even after a two year hiatus, I’m still completely enamored with the Jump Rope Dress – it’s all those great little details, and Liesl makes it so easy to execute them. This is view A in a size 5 – it came out just a little big, but after three nights of work, I think I’d prefer to err on that side.

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I’m always on the look-out for good Jump Rope Dress fabric, and this one (Amy Butler’s Quarter Moon in Mist from her new line, Glow) fit the bill for me. It came from Chio of Llama Fabrics, which brings me to the giveaway – who’d like to win three yards of fabric from Llama Fabrics?

llamafabricslogo

The shop has grown by leaps and bounds since last year (and has a great new logo!) – if you take a look around, you’ll most definitely find something (probably many somethings) to your liking. The selection includes lots of Art Gallery fabrics, which are some of my favorites. Chio ships quickly and her prices are among the best – it’s a great place to shop!

jump rope in glow -- probably actually

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post. (Speaking of comments, if anyone needs a comment prompt and has ideas for teacher gifts for a male teacher, I’d love to hear!) The giveaway will be open until the end of the day Sunday, September 7th, and I’ll randomly select a winner next week. And if you want to keep up with Chio’s sales and new additions to her shop, you can follow @llamafabrics on Instagram for a second giveaway entry. Just leave another comment here letting me know you’re following. The giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere!

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Happy back-to-school!

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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.

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-10

 

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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