I managed to make something last week, something I cut out last fall and then left on my ironing board for eight months. It’s a Make it Perfect Joey Dress, a favorite pattern of mine, and of Lila’s, too. The orange one I made when she was in Kindergarten rivaled that first Geranium dress as her most loved and most often worn garment.
I have no idea why this sat for so long. Once I started it, the top half was finished in a couple hours, and I would’ve happily kept sewing if I’d cut out two skirt pieces rather than just one. Instead I had to order more fabric – thankfully Llama Fabrics still had this print (Morse Dot from Katarina Roccella’s Imprint line), so it all came from the same bolt, and I got right back to work when the new fabric arrived. Started on day #1 of Kids Clothes Week, finished on day #7.
The fabric is an Art Gallery knit, same as my first Joey. I like these knits for their quality and great range of prints, and because they have enough stretch to make bindings. My only complaint is that there’s some fading, especially with the darker colors.
I remember thinking she looked so grown up in that first Joey dress. Same with this one, only about a year and a half growner-upper.
‘Tis the season for monkey bar callouses and backyard raspberries. Happy almost summer!
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As soon as I saw Kaufman’s Lush Velveteens, I knew I wanted to sew this dress for Lila. The Geranium Dress pattern was an easy choice – it’s fast and simple, it always fits well (this is a 6 with some added length), and most importantly, it has Lila’s long-standing seal of approval.
Velveteen is great because it feels a little bit fancy while still being 100% cotton, which is really what I prefer to use for kids’ clothes. And I couldn’t resist this color. I decided to go with blue and gold and get it finished in time for Hanukkah so she could wear it all month long, which she did.
The bodice is lined with Morn’s Rays in Gold by Eloise Renouf for Cloud 9 Fabrics – I wanted something with a little metallic gold in it (of which there are many great options these days) to go with the sparkly gold trim, which I found locally at Fabric Depot.
I added the trim after the dress was finished and tucked it under at the back edges.
Lately I can only get motivated to sew when I have a very clear vision of what I want to make and I’m fully invested in the end result. It doesn’t happen as often as I want it to. I had every intention of making Christmas pajamas this year, but I ended up buying them. It wasn’t that I ran out of time. I spent hours looking at patterns and fabric, but I couldn’t pull the trigger – nothing was really doing it for me. I don’t want to make just for the sake of making, you know? I want to sew something I’m really excited about, something I can’t wait to see come together. I definitely sewed less this year and that trend will probably continue, but I’m hoping what I do sew will be well thought out and satisfying.
I hope everyone’s holidays were wonderful. Happy 2016 from these guys!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy official first day of school!
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Summer 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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
Okay, 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.
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.
I 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.
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!
First up, Oliver + S Class Picnic Shorts.
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.
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.
Now on to the top: The Oliver + S Swingset Tunic, the companion to my favorite skirt pattern.
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!
Top with different shorts! Braids!
Bonus hug photo!
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I 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.
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.
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.
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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