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First grade!

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Lila’s first day of school came and went almost two weeks ago. But the day after Labor Day will always be the real first day in my book, so I’ll commemorate it by sharing her first day dress today. The Oliver + S Jump Rope dress has become our tradition for the first day of school – she wore it the day she started both preschool and Kindergarten, so I figured we might as well just keep on going.

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The truth is, her Jump Rope dresses tend do a whole lot of hanging around in the closet and not much else. She didn’t wear last year’s more than five or six times, and the one before that, even less. But the other truth is, I don’t care. I love making this dress, and I love seeing her wear it, even if it’s just a handful of times. It’s still worth it. And the pattern only goes up to size 8, which means I may only have two more first days left! I better start searching for a replacement pattern.

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This little floral print is Kimberly Kight’s Clothesline in Periwinkle from Cotton + Steel, which I ordered from Llama Fabrics. It’s been on my radar since Cherie used it here, and while I’m not a purple person, there’s something about this combination of colors that I really like.

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My love for this pattern was officially declared here, and if you have any doubts about making this dress (I had many before making it the first time!), there’s a decent little pep talk in that post that I hope might convince you to forge ahead. I must say, sewing it this time was the best yet – the pattern is so well constructed that you can undoubtedly make a beautiful dress the first time around, but it sure does come together like butter the sixth time.

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Happy official first day of school!

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mini southport dress -- probably actually-1-2Summer is almost over. Someone thought it was a good idea for school to start early this year, on the 27th, instead of after Labor Day like usual, and that means we only have five weekdays left at home together. I feel cheated. I’m not ready. Booooooo. I have Lila’s first day of school dress cut out and ready to sew, but I can’t seem to start on it. I think I’m in denial.

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So for now I’ll show you a summer dress, the Mini Southport from True Bias. This is my first time sewing one of Kelli’s patterns. I don’t get tempted by a lot of patterns anymore, but I couldn’t get this one to leave me alone – I kept going back and looking at it until I finally buckled and bought it. And I’m so glad I did. I’m really happy with the end result and it was an all around great pattern – well-designed and easy to follow. I was impressed.

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The bias bound arm holes and neckline took some time but came out looking so clean and professional. And the fit was spot on. I made a size five but lengthened both the bodice and the skirt to the six lines, and it’s just right. When I finished the dress it looked so short on the hanger! I was worried. But I love the length on her – definitely shorter than I’m used to, but I think it suits the style of the dress really nicely. I’m glad I stayed true to the pattern instead of adding a bunch of extra length.

mini southport dress -- probably actually-1-4The fabric is Star Chart in Turquoise Metallic from Lizzy House’s Natural History collection. I bought it locally at Cool Cottons, which has long been one of my favorite places in town to shop (and they sell online now, too). I love those gold constellations, and I always love to match my fabric to the current year’s Saltwaters.

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I kind of love this dress, although it’s another one that makes her look way too grown up. Or maybe she’s just growing up.

mini southport dress -- probably actually-1-13Okay, I’m off to start on the next dress, time is ticking away…

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Make it Perfect has a new pattern, the Scout Skirt and Sweatshirt, and I tested the skirt back in June. I always look forward to Toni’s pattern, they’re some of my very favorites. This one is no exception – a super simple, swingy knit skirt.

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You can’t get much faster or easier than a skirt like this – a couple side seams, elastic in a knit waistband, and a hem. Speaking of which, I think I finally managed to figure out hemming knits on my machine – the twin needle really makes a world of difference.

PicMonkey CollageI don’t have a lot of knits on my shelves, so I went to my local Fabric Depot to pick something out. This is a Windham knit called Sunshine Serenade Soire. I’d never seen this print, but it jumped out at me with its water color-y look and bright colors. A print like this goes with almost every solid colored top Lila owns, which is a plus. I made this skirt over a month ago and it gets chosen from the (sizable) skirt pile quite often – it’s comfortable and easy to wear and I can see myself making this one over and over again. This is a size 6 with no adjustments, and the fit is perfect.

scout skirt  -- probably actually-1-3 You can see Toni’s versions and read more about the Scout pattern here. I hope to try the sweatshirt too when the weather cools down. And check out the new Make it Perfect blog and shop – the site got a beautiful new make-over!

Enjoy your weekend!

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Here’s that stuff I meant to make for KCW. Turns out all I needed was three extra weeks!

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First up, Oliver + S Class Picnic Shorts.

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It’s true, Oliver + S patterns are spendy, but this one has definitely been worth its price tag. I’m on my fourth pair of Class Picnic shorts now, and I plan to keep making them for as long as she’ll wear them. This pair is pretty similar to the other ones I’ve made – I love these shorts in neutral fabrics so they go with everything. I decided on a size 5 based on her waist/hip measurements, thinking I would lengthen them, but as I was tracing the pattern pieces I realized I had absolutely no idea how/where I would add length. The curves, the facings…it was too confusing. They’ll be just fine for this summer but with a little more length they could’ve maybe gone another year.

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The main fabric is Andover chambray in Navy (great stuff, from LiMa Sews), and the facings are Kaufman’s cotton chambray with pin dots in Indigo. I bought the dots from Jones & Vandermeer but it looks like it’s out of stock now. It’s a great neutral (but still interesting) fabric and it’s lightweight with a nice drape. I decided to interface (with SF101 Shape-flex) all the facings pieces with the thought that the added structure would mean less ironing. The shorts haven’t been washed yet so my theory is untested, but I have high hopes. I also interfaced my main front waistband piece for a little more structure there, too.

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Now on to the top: The Oliver + S Swingset Tunic, the companion to my favorite skirt pattern.

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This pattern rather tragically only goes up to size 5, so I felt I had to squeeze one more in. Last year’s tunic still fits perfectly, so I just added a 1/2 inch to the length this time. The bodice construction on this one isn’t the most intuitive, and the finish inside isn’t the neatest, but you still end up with a pretty cute little top, so who cares. The triangles are Mojave in Aloe from Leah Duncan’s Morning Walk collection. Her stuff is always my favorite.

Okay then. Shorts with different top!

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Top with different shorts! Braids!

triangle swingset tunic -- probably actually-1Bonus hug photo!

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The end.

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passport lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-4I picked out a couple simple projects for this edition of Kids Clothes Week. I had a plan, I really did. But here it is, Wednesday night, and all I have to show for myself is a skirt I made last week. Seriously, I’m having the hardest time getting my act together lately.


BUT… I did manage to accidentally fit things in with the traveling theme, and I do love it when a KCW button matches my skirt. So I’m pretending all is not lost.

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Anyway, this map fabric, I love it. It’s from Moda’s Passport collection, which includes maps of New York City, Paris, Tokyo, and London. Each one is beautifully detailed and comes in several colorways. This one is my favorite – perfectly muted blues and greens and grays.

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I went with another Compagnie M Lotta skirt, but changed it up a little. Lila’s first Lotta ended up needing elastic for a better fit, which means the zipper doesn’t get used at all. So this time I scrapped the zipper and made it easy on/easy off with just elastic in the back. I cut the back piece on the fold and added extra length at the top so I could fold down a back waistband and thread elastic through it (if you’ve ever made the Hopscotch skirt, same idea). Unsurprisingly I made some mathematical errors that complicated the process, but all in all, it was a really simple modification. This skirt pattern is becoming one of my favorites.

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In other news, there’s only one thing growing in our garden, but it’s one very delicious thing. This time of year is the best.

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Q: What do you get when you cross Alison Glass’ Handcrafted fabric with the Oliver + S Hopscotch skirt pattern?

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A: The only article of clothing I’ve sewn in a month!

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Okay, there’s my icebreaker. Now we can get to the skirt. This yard of the Plus print in Strawberry had been burning a hole on my shelf for some time, I just couldn’t decide how to put it to use. I hope I did it justice. The whole Handcrafted collection is stunning, the colors really glow. It’s hard to capture, but I think these photos are the best representation.

handcrafted hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-4I’ve made the Hopscotch skirt several times, so there isn’t much I can say about this pattern that hasn’t been said. I love the style, though – simple but sophisticated, and the elastic back waistband makes it practical to wear. And of course, the pockets are genius.

handcrafted hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-1I’m feeling inspired to sew some summer things for Lila, more skirts for sure. And last week I bought this pattern to sew for myself. There’s an 83% chance I’ll chicken out on that one, though. We’ll see.

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Kids Clothes Week spring edition is officially over, but I’m back with one more project I finished last week.

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I knew I must have something on my shelf to go with this KCW’s Wild Things theme, and it turned out to be these dinosaurs. After a couple nights work, they became a little Sketchbook shirt.

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I made this shirt in the smallest size when Oscar was 7 months old – I was so excited for him to wear it, but it never really fit right. This one is better, but not perfect. I made a size 2 (lengthened to 3), and I’m wondering if I should’ve slimmed it down to 18-24 months, because it’s a bit too wide in the shoulders. And there’s something not quite right about the sleeves, I had trouble getting them to lay flat in the shoulder seams.

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But it’s still a decent little shirt, all in all, and the dinosaurs are pretty cute…even if that red one on the sleeve happens to be breathing fire. (?)

dino sketchbook -- probably actually-1-8Maybe I just need to play around with this one a little more, but are there other button down shirt patterns people like to sew with? If you know of one with a great fit, I’d love to hear. I do love a little boy in a button down…







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