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Posts Tagged ‘sewing for kids’

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

dino sketchbook -- probably actually-1-6

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.

dino sketchbook -- probably actually-1-2

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.

dino sketchbook -- probably actually-1-4

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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We had a short bout (now over) of beautiful summer weather, during which I learned two things: Oscar is low on warm weather clothes, and he looks awfully cute in his sister’s old elephant pants.

stripey blue sailboat pants -- probably actually-1-2Sailboat pants appear to be the only usable hand-me-down among the our stacks of outgrown handmade clothes – he’s now worn the elephants and these (from 2011!), and since it’s Kids Clothes Week and all, I thought it might be nice for him to have a pair of his very own.

railroad stripe sailboat pants -- probably actually-1-4

The striped chambray (from Kaufman House of Denim) had been earmarked for several different projects, but I decided to just use it already – it’s neutral and plain, which is normally how I like my Sailboat pants. I did turn the stripes sideways for the side panels though, to keep things interesting. And anchor buttons, because obviously.

stripey blue sailboat pants -- probably actually-1

It’s been almost three years since I’ve sewn a pair of these, and I had forgotten how much I love this pattern – the construction is smart and simple, and they’re surprisingly quick to sew. There are some nice little details, too, like the side vents and the button panel, and they’re easy to get on and off with the elasticized back waistband. Plus: cute. And unisex! When people ask which Oliver + S pattern to start with, I usually recommend this one.

stripey blue sailboat pants -- probably actually-1-5I will mention though – I made a size 3, and the placement dots for the bottom buttons seemed way off to me (which I think I faintly remember from last time) – my advice would be to make your buttonholes (as marked), then stick a pin through the hole to mark where you want to sew on your buttons. And if you happen to have a paper copy of the pattern, check the errata on the website – there are a few (fairly obvious) little things that need correction.

railroad stripe sailboat pants -- probably actually-1

Anyway, that wraps up my first days of KCW. The theme this time around is Wild Things, and while there’s certainly nothing wild about these pants, I’m hoping to sew another warm weather item for Oscar that might fit with the theme a little better. We shall see. Happy sewing!

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Today I’m joining the It’s a Small World (blog tour) After All to show you a little bit of Rae‘s new fabric line for Cloud 9, Small World. It’s here, it’s great, and it’s corduroy!

a small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-2

Corduroy makes such a wonderful garment fabric, but the selection of prints has always been pretty dismal. Until now! It’s so exciting to see these bold, bright, Boden-esque prints on super soft, baby wale, organic corduroy. Rae did a beautiful job with these, and I really hope this substrate starts popping up more often.

small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-2I think skirts are a great place to use a bold print (this one is City Streets), and I knew right away it had to be the Compagnie M Lotta skirt, which I’ve wanted to try for the longest time. Marte of Compagnie M designs some really cool and unique patterns, and they always seem to catch my eye.

small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-2The Lotta is a simple gathered skirt with a flat front waistband and invisible zipper back closure, and the cutest little fold-over pockets you ever did see. The Lotta skirt comes in women’s sizes, too, and there’s also a Lotta dress for girls.

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I made the skirt in a size 5 (lengthened to 6) and added the optional adjustable waistband in the back. I ended up having to cinch it up quite a bit, so the waistband ended up a little bunchy – I think that’s just what happens when you put .75 inch elastic in a 1.75 inch waistband. It’s not a huge deal since her shirt covers it up, but next time I might just size down in the waist so that it fits correctly without any adjustment, or else scrap the zipper entirely and just elasticize the whole back waistband (like the Hopscotch Skirt, for example).

a small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-4

The corduroy worked really nicely for the skirt, though – it’s a perfect weight for apparel and is light enough to gather beautifully.

a small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-5

For more inspiration, check out Kristin and Tara and Rae‘s delightful Small World creations, and there’s more to come in the tour as the week goes on!

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Small World is available around town and online, and Jones & Vandermeer has the whole collection in stock if you’re looking. Speaking of which, thanks for all who entered last week’s giveaway! The winner of the Jones & Vandermeer gift certificate is commenter #20, Sarah M. Congrats!!

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sevenberry garden party -- probably actually-1-5 This weekend we had special dress-wearing events for both Passover and Easter. With a birthday in late March and a dress to go along with it, I don’t usually sew something new for Lila to wear for the spring holidays. But I had to make an exception this year after her birthday dress, only a few short days into rotation, was tragically disfigured at the local bounce house joint. Avert your eyes if you wish, this ain’t pretty: rip I’d never seen a dress rip like this, but Rachel told me she had a voile Rollerskate dress do the same thing. I don’t know if it’s just the lightweight fabric, or maybe a combination of the fabric and the snipped seam allowances in the curve of the armhole creating weak spots? I can’t decide if the dress is salvageable (probably not, right?), so instead of trying to fix it I’ve mostly just been staring at it in disbelief. OH WELL. It’s sad, but in the big scheme of things, a ripped dress is not such a big deal. And at least she got to wear it for her birthday. And for a day and a half after that. So anyway, the point is, the birthday dress was clearly unavailable for this weekend’s festivities. Luckily I like an excuse to sew a new dress, and I happened to have some beautiful Japanese lawn on my hands. So I made her an Oliver + S Garden Party Dress. sevenberry garden party -- probably actually-1 I made my first Garden Party dress last year around this same time – for some reason it didn’t get a whole lot of wear, but I really like this pattern and I felt like it was worth trying again. This time I used all one fabric instead of a contrast for the waistband and yoke pieces. It changes the look of the pattern a little, but I think I like it. sevenberry garden party -- probably actually-1-7 This is a size 5, lengthened to 6. I finished the bias inside the armholes by hand – I tried it by machine when I made the dress last year, and I wasn’t happy with how it looked. It came out much cleaner this way. sevenberry garden party -- probably actually-1-2 The fabric is a Sevenberry cotton lawn and came from a new sponsor, Jones & Vandermeer. Have you heard of this shop? I stumbled upon them two years ago when I was on a mad hunt for a specific Nani Iro double gauze print (this one) – they were the only place that had it, and I snatched it up right away (along with a few more yards of double gauze that are still sitting on my shelf – it’s so hard for me to cut into that stuff!). sevenberry garden party -- probably actually-1-8 Since then I’ve visited their site often. They offer “100% curious goods” from around the world – it all began with yarn, but the shop now includes lots of unique and gorgeous fabrics, as well as other wonderful things for sewers and crafters. Their collection of fabrics is so beautifully curated – Liberty lawns, lots of Japanese prints from Yuwa, Nani Iro, and Echino (to name just a few), plenty of double gauze, and these super cool French lawns I haven’t seen anywhere else. There’s also a great selection of sewing patterns, tools and notions, and buttons (mother of pearl cloud buttons from France? I die.). And then there’s premade Liberty bias tapes, plus lovely ribbons, twill tapes, and other trims. You get the idea – there’s a little bit of everything, and all of it is thoughtfully hand-picked. Sorry to go crazy with all the links, there’s just so much good stuff. I’ve been a fan of the shop for some time, so when they inquired about sponsorship I knew it would be a good fit – it’s the type of shop I’m happy to share with everyone. sevenberry garden party -- probably actually-1-9 And now for the giveaway – Jones & Vandermeer is offering up a $35 gift certificate to spend on anything in the shop! To enter, just leave a comment on this post by Friday, April 10th – any old comment will get your name in the game, but if you need a prompt, you can always tell me what you’d choose if you win. I suspect you’ll have fun browsing there, I always do!

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party dress -- probably actually-1-3Lila will be six years old tomorrow. She has turned into such a kid this past year – jumping rope, rollerskating, writing stories, sounding out words and spelling them in that totally wrong but adorable way that kids this age do. The stuff of kindergarten. I love witnessing her attempts to master each new skill. It doesn’t all come naturally to her, but she’s got major sticktoitiveness, this girl. Such focus and determination, and such pride in each small victory. Her palms are raw with callouses and blisters from the monkey bars. Her handwriting is already better than her dad’s. And just like every new age, I can’t wait to see what six brings.

party dress -- probably actually-1-7I haven’t been sewing much lately, but I’m always up for a birthday dress. This year I chose the Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations. My use of this pattern was 100% inspired by Tara’s recent birthday dress for her newly six year old. Tara’s was the perfect combination of fancy and simple and delicate and beautiful, and I decided that six was the year the birthday dress should close with an invisible zipper.party dress -- probably actually-1-8

The shape and construction of this dress are very similar to Rae’s Geranium dress, – gathered empire waist, faux cap sleeves, side seam pockets, lined bodice. The major differences are the invisible zipper (which somehow equals fancier to me), and a few other options, such as a collar, a full lining, and a tulle underskirt. I skipped the tulle but did a full lining, which adds some nice volume to the skirt.

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It also helps that I accidentally cut my skirt pieces to a size 7 width – that’s what happens (to me anyway) when you have to make your own rectangular pattern pieces and you’re trying to do the math on combining two sizes – all the measurements kept running together. But it just meant some extra gathers, which isn’t the worst thing when you’re making a party dress. I ended up with a size 5 bodice and a skirt somewhere between a 6 and a 7 – it’s long, but I like the fit.

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The main fabric is a Japanese seersucker lawn, bought last May from Miss Matatabi. I’ve lusted after so many things from her shop, but this has been my only purchase so far. I fell in love with this one immediately – the colors, the crinkly texture, the triangles. It’s no longer available, but the shop is full of the most amazing Japanese fabrics and is worth checking out if haven’t already.

party dress -- probably actually-1-11 The lining fabric is Watermelon shot cotton, which I also used for the collar. Based on Rachel’s lovely version, I cut the skirt lining a little longer than the outer skirt so it would peek out at the bottom.

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This dress feels wonderful – both fabrics are very soft and light, but it’s a lot of yardage (three in total) – so it’s weighty, but light and flowy at the same time. It’s a little bit dressier than what I usually make, but hey, turning six is a little bit special.

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I went back to look at each of Lila’s handmade birthday dresses. We’re six for six. My mom made the first two (back when sewing a dress seemed way out of my league), and I took over from there.

onetwo threefour fivesix

one | two | three | four | five | six

I hope there are plenty more to come.

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Well, I sewed one thing for this round of KCW. It felt like a major accomplishment! I must be getting lazy in my old age. Here it is, a new-to-me pattern, the Oliver + S Nature Walk Pullover.

nature walk pullover -- probably actually-1-2

I never really gave this pattern much consideration, but over the summer I fell in love with this version from the Flickr pool and became obsessed with making it for Oscar. It never ceases to amaze me how one person’s interpretation of a pattern can have that effect. Anyway, I immediately traced the size 2 but didn’t get around to it until now, so, tragically, I had to retrace the whole thing in a size 3. Maybe I could’ve gotten away with lengthening the 2, but bigger is my rule of thumb for this kid.

nature walk pullover -- probably actually-1-3

I can’t say I love the fit. The arms are too long and the shoulders are big, and it’s a little hard to get on and off unless his arms are straight up over his head, which was same problem I had with Lila’s first Jump Rope dress. Is that just the nature of a garment with an opening like this?

nature walk pullover -- probably actually-1-6But on to the fabric – I really wanted to make mine exactly like Audrey’s, I loved it so much. The sleeves are designed to be made with two different fabrics, but I joined those two pattern pieces and cut each sleeve as one piece, like she did. My plan was to use chambray, but then I found this Kaufman Shetland flannel in Denim – it’s textured and looks like chambray, and it’s the softest flannel I’ve ever felt. So I used that, and for the neck and pocket facings I cut into my precious half yard of Heather Ross moons. I wasn’t sure how much they’d show, and in the pocket facings they really don’t. But because the V opening is so low, they show plenty there. I top stitched everything in a heavy weight gold thread.

nature walk pullover -- probably actually-1-4I took a couple of days making this, but the sewing was straightforward and easy, and everything was textbook Oliver + S, a.k.a a total pleasure. And despite the fit issues, Oscar likes it and I like it and sewing for boys is fun. The end.

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Oh, and the winner of the Sewing to Sell giveaway was Lori! Thanks to all who entered 🙂

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These were made (patterns traced, fabric cut, pants sewn) with lightning speed, in assembly-line style, on the 23rd of December. If you’ve left your Christmas Eve pjs to the last minute, this pattern is your friend. Inseam, Inseam, cuff, cuff, rise, waistband. Done! charley harper pjs -- probably actually-1I bought both kids $4 Old Navy t-shirts and just left them as-is this time (except for the addition of some running stitches on Lila’s pocket) – bare bones, people. PANTS ONLY.

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The turquoise birds (Red Eye Vireo) are from Birch Fabric’s first Charley Harper line, and Oscar’s penguins (Murre) are from the new line, Nurture. The Birch poplin has such a nice feel and sheen to it – it’s smooth and crisp and a little more substantial than your average quilting cotton…if that makes any sense. There are so many cool prints in these two Charley Harper lines, and you really have to see them up close to fully appreciate them.charley harper pjs -- probably actually-1-3

I used Moda’s Indigo Pinstripe for Oscar’s cuffs and waistband, and the green contrast on Lila’s is one of the Cotton + Steel Basics, Dottie in Picnic.

charley harper pjs -- probably actually-1-4The Oliver + S pajama pants are always a hit around here, but I do feel like I’m in a bit of a rut with them. Next year maybe I’ll try knit pjs (Flashback Skinny Tee + Fancy Pants leggings like Elizabeth’s), or maybe a nightgown (did you see Rachel’s?) for Lila. Or, more likely, it’ll be these again on the eve of the 23rd.

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As I was going through my photos from the year, I realized I made not ONE SINGLE THING for myself in 2014. Terrible, I know. The truth is, I did sew a few things, just nothing worthy of sharing – I made a Wiksten Tank and the Liesl & Co Bistro Dress, and while they were both great patterns, neither was especially flattering on me. I’m still trying to figure out sewing my own clothing, and clearly it isn’t going all that well. Maybe 2015 will be my breakthrough year.

So what did I sew? Well, Lila scored a few new dresses. Fifteen to be exact.

lila's dresses 2014garden party | hide-and-seek | jump rope A | franklin | jump rope B | library B | hide-and-seek | mini poppy | carousel | roller skate | first day | roller skate | little joey | library A | geranium

The dresses definitely won out in terms of sheer numbers, but there were a few other things for Lila:

lila's stuff 2014swingset tunic | school bus tee | sleepover pjs | 2+2 skirt | bucket hat | swingset skirt | swingset skirt | shearwater kaftan | bunny pjs

Oscar wasn’t fully ignored:

sewing for oscar 2014bow tie | happy homemade hoodie | bucket hat | hawthorn sweatshirt | small fry skinny cords | sketchbook shorts | field trip raglan | bunny pjs | dmk peacoat | art museum trousers

And there was an assortment of gifts and other random things:

2014 sewing, the restbaby girl’s coat | lullaby layette | ice cream dress | seal pjs | square floor cushion | lap duvet | divided basket | emmeline apron | rain cloud costumes

These were my 2014 personal favorites:

my personal faves 2014

I learned to use and love my serger this year (it only sat in the box until April – not half bad, right?), and I learned to love boy sewing just a little bit more. And what I already knew was reinforced: making dresses sure is fun. The truth is, I don’t have any huge goals for the new year. I just want to make pretty things and then marvel at my kids as they wear them. I know it isn’t much, but that’s what makes me happy.

So anyway, Happy 2015 from these two, my reasons for sewing.

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I tried to keep my December sewing to a minimum this year, which was really very nice. Christmas clothes weren’t originally on my list, but then I saw the adorable plaid Art Museum vest Elizabeth (of the lovely blog Lizzieville) made for her little boy. She mentioned in the post that her daughter asked for a dress to match, and suddenly my kids needed matching Christmas outfits, too. And so, I sewed.

christmas attire -- probably actually-1-2 Elizabeth was actually the inspiration for the dress, too – I really loved her Library Christmas dress from last year, and I also came across this beautiful corduroy/Liberty version via my Oliver + S Flickr group search. So, despite having just made a Library dress (and swearing off this view), I decided on View B in baby cord with a floral band…but then I never found a good floral. I almost scrapped the whole thing, but at the last minute I looked through the piles of fabric already on my shelf and found this striped shot cotton.

christmas library dress -- probably actually-1I can’t recall why I bought this fabric in the first place, but I’m pretty sure it ended up lost in the stacks because the colors reminded me too much of Christmas. So anyway, long story short, I ended up with dark gray Kaufman cord, some forgotten striped shot cotton, and flat piping in a green Modern Solid. I sewed a size 5 lengthened to a 6, and also lengthened the sleeves by an inch. Lila isn’t a big fan of 3/4 sleeves so I wanted to pass them off as long sleeves. She won’t wear them rolled up, but I do love the notched cuffs.christmas attire -- probably actually-1-3

There wasn’t enough corduroy for the facings (I squeezed the whole dress into a wide yard of fabric with some very careful planning), so those are cut from the shot cotton. Luckily Liesl has you understitch all the facing seams, so there’s no chance they’ll be peeking out when they shouldn’t. But they do make for a nice surprise inside.

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Having made both views, I think the collar must give the neckline a little more structure and hold it in place, because the neckline on this dress gapes a little more than the collared version. Nothing too serious, but I did notice a difference.

christmas library dress -- probably actually-1-2And again with all those buttons down the back. But I was happy to find these little black and green ones.

Now, on to that bow tie.

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I read through just about everything the internet had to offer on the topic of making your own bow tie, but in the end I used Delia‘s free Mix and Match Bow Tie pattern and tutorial. I knew I could trust Delia. It was super simple and quick to sew – in fact, I bet I spent more time learning how to tie it than actually sewing it. But thanks to YouTube and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Lila and I must have watched this video twenty times, she thought it was hilarious), tying a bow tie is now on my list of life accomplishments.

christmas bow tie -- probably actually-1

Apparently bow ties are usually cut on the bias, but since shot cotton already has some stretch, I cut it on the grain. And I used velcro as my back closure method rather than swim suit hooks, just to make sure it was good and adjustable. It’s a little droopy (interfacing could have solved that) but I love it just the same.

christmas bow tie -- probably actually-1-4Who knew I’d ever get so excited about a bow tie? And to think, I was so broken up about not having two girls to sew for…this is totally just as great. Maybe even better. Maybe. Sort of. Whatever, it’s great.

christmas bow tie -- probably actually-1-3They were pretty cute together. I’m officially a fan of coordinated holiday attire.

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There were also some eleventh hour semi-coordiated Christmas pajamas that I’ll share just as soon as I can get my children to cooperate for photos. Hope everyone’s holidays were happy – enjoy these last few days of the year!

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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.

moonlit library dress -- probably actually-1-2

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.

moonlit library dress -- probably actually-1-7

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.

moonlit library dress -- probably actually-1-8

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.

moonlit library dress -- probably actually-1-6

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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