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Posts Tagged ‘cotton + steel’

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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Oh hi, I’m back from my month-long vacation on the couch. Pretty sure I watched more TV in the past 30 days than in the last four years combined. But anyway, here’s what I have to show for myself – an Oliver + S Library Dress.

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I made one from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s 1000 Cranes fabric last fall, and I’m not sure if it was the fabric or the pattern or the combination of the two, but that dress was one of my very favorites. Lila liked it, too – she wore it long after the length became indecent (which happened pretty quickly – this dress runs shorter than other Oliver + S patterns, be warned), and I was so sad to retire it. So here’s version 2.0 – more Rashida Coleman-Hale, this time in Tangrams from her Cotton + Steel Moonlit collection.

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I love the colors in this print, and I picked a coordinating Cotton Couture solid for the band (Peony, I think). I went with View A again (short sleeves and collar) – I always feel like I should try the other options when I make a pattern the second time, but then I never do. If it worked out the first time and was well received, I usually just stick with it. The only thing I left out this time was the flat piping – I love how it looks but couldn’t come up with a fabric I wanted to use. And I remember from last time that with the collar and the bodice and the band and the piping, that seam gets really bulky. It was a bit more streamlined this time.

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This is a size 5 lengthened to a 6, which I think came out about right. I can’t say that this closure method is my favorite – 9 buttons/buttonholes! But Lila doesn’t seem to mind it, and that V in the front makes it easy to get on and off without unbuttoning more than one or two buttons.

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I don’t know, is this a stretch as a holiday dress? I sewed it in December, so I sort of want it to count. We’ll see, there could still be time for something slightly more festive…

Thanks to LiMa Sews for this beautiful fabric!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Because you know, those yellow Salt Waters…

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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.

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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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