Posts Tagged ‘shot cotton’

Lila graduated from preschool yesterday.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually

It seemed like a pretty big deal, so I made her a new dress.

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It’s her second Oliver + S Hide-and-Seek dress – we’re both really fond of the first one, which has been in heavy rotation since March. This is very much that same dress – chambray, size 4 (this time I added a 1/2 inch in length), short sleeves, no notch – it all seemed to work last time, so I didn’t want to risk it by making too many changes.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-15The fun thing about this pattern, though, (besides the genius welt pockets) is that you can do something special with yoke, which is framed so nicely by the side panels and skirt. The yoke on this dress was pieced from a striped shot cotton (Kaffe Fassett’s Broad Stripe in Bliss), which I purchased at Bolt a few months ago with this very dress in mind. Rather than cutting the front yoke piece on the fold, I cut two pieces on the bias (with an added 1/4 inch seam allowance on either side) and pieced them together to form the V.

1 rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually

Now, I’m no quilter, and while I suppose point matching isn’t rocket science, I did manage to butcher my entire 1/2 yard trying to get those stripes to line up just right. My first attempts were laughably off, and even when I got the pieces cut out correctly, they didn’t especially want to match up – shot cotton has some stretch even on the grain, so it wasn’t terribly cooperative on the bias. But I tried, tried again, and it all came together well enough in the end.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-9And happily I was able to use the few remaining scraps to eke out some striped pockets.

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I used the same Andover chambray as the last dress, this time in Denim. There’s so much to love about this fabric – the weight, the drape, the texture – it’s great for clothing and I pretty much want to use it to sew all the things. Luckily it comes in so many great colors that maybe nobody would notice if I did? The thought has crossed my mind.

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So that’s it. Lila’s career as a preschooler is officially over. We went from this, her first day of preschool two years ago:


To this, her very last day:

last day -- probably actually

She had such a happy year at school, and is so ready for Kindergarten, whether I’m ready for it or not. And no graduation is complete without a cheesy senior portrait to commemorate it all. It would’ve been better had she been peeking out from behind the tree (or maybe side lying with a tuba), but this one will have to do…

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I finally finished up the third of the spring Oliver + S patterns, the Lullabye Layette. Just one of the many things I had planned for Kids Clothes Week but didn’t make – that’s always the way.

lullabye layette -- probably actually-15

It’s such a sweet little set, and I was so happy to see a little baby pattern from Oliver + S. The sizing goes up to 24 months, but to me this kind of thing is cutest in the tiny sizes (and for girl babies!), so I opted to make it in 3-6 months as a baby gift. Good thing other people keep having babies so I don’t have to miss out on sewing stuff like this.


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The pants are shot cotton, which I chose for its baby-softness and orange hue – they’re light and airy and they feel great, but I should probably apologize in advance to their recipient because I have a feeling they’ll end up a wrinkled mess out of the dryer. It’s love/hate with shot cotton, I tell ya.

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I added a little band of the shirt fabric on the back pockets by making some single-fold bias tape from a one-inch strip (cut on the grain). And I swapped out the snaps for buttons, only because I had three matching buttons in the correct size, which was too good to pass up. Otherwise I followed the pattern to the letter, and no surprise, it all came out just right.

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Originally I chose the print (Leah Duncan’s Gentle Breeze from her Meadow line) for Lila’s Hide & Seek dress, but after I got it home I decided to set it aside for the layette. It’s such a delicate little print, it seemed just right for a baby girl.

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Oh, and I forgot to mention that the pattern comes with two addition garments, a sweet little jacket and a bubbly bodysuit. I highly recommend the Lullabye Layette, both for its undeniable Oliver + S quality and its squishy-baby cuteness. Thanks to Liesl for sending it my way!


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Lila is now a full two weeks into five.

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I must say, I felt differently about five than I did about the proceeding birthdays. I’ve always been the type to get a bit nostalgic and sad around birthday time, trying to hang on to those final days of each year before they’re gone forever. Five, though – I’m just plain excited for five. Every year has been pretty extraordinary, of course, but I have these wonderfully high hopes for five. I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

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One thing it’s brought already is a late birthday gift – a Purl Bee lap duvet made with double gauze and shot cotton.

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There are so many great Purl Bee blanket tutorials, and when Anna posted her lovely baby seal lap duvet I remembered that I had some double gauze (Nani Iro’s Melody Sketch in Pastel) in need of a project. This is such a wonderful, cozy blanket. The double gauze and shot cotton are both extra soft fabrics, and the wool batting makes it so warm and lofty – I used a crib-sized Dream Wool and tacked it down by machine every six inches.

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I really intended to give this on time – it looked like a pretty simple project, so I started it a couple nights before her birthday. After spending an entire evening trying to lay two pieces of fabric on top of one another without wrinkling (I’m not kidding – why was this so hard for me??), I got tired and gave up. The main problem, aside from general unwieldiness and ineptitude, was that the backing ended up two inches shorter than the double gauze, and I couldn’t bear to cut into that precious double gauze. The whole reason I was using it for a blanket (after hoarding it for 13 months) was to avoid taking a scissors to it AT ALL. But in the end it seemed silly to buy another piece of shot cotton just to save two inches of Nani Iro, and I was already a week behind schedule, so I proceeded.

a nani iro lap duvet -- probably actually-3

I ended up taping the fabrics to my kitchen floor prior to pinning, and besides not being the cleanliest option, it worked out alright. Both fabrics have some stretch to them and I never really got things to lay straight and even. My finished rectangle is a little wonky, but it’s passable. And what it lacks in mathematical precision it certainly makes up for in cuddleability.

nani iro lap duvet -- probably actually

The tutorial calls for 1.75 yards, and I only had 1.5 yards of double gauze (making it even harder to chop off those two inches!), but it’s still a good sized blanket, even for me. I didn’t have double gauze for the backing so shot cotton seemed like a good alternative. There were so many color options to go with those dots, but I eventually settled on Quartz – I’m not a big pink/purple person, but Lila likes it, and I found this shade to be wholly non-offensive.

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I added (as I do) a little embroidered tag to the back.

a nani iro lap duvet -- probably actually

And just a few more birthday things to show – the traditional invites:


A birthday banner (which just came down today):

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And she requested a birthday crown like Oscar’s – I used the tutorial from Heidi & Finn. They’re so quick and simple to make.

birthday crown -- probably actually

We thought about doing something more elaborate, but decided to keep it simple and have a little birthday party with neighborhood friends like we’ve done every year. She chose ice cream sundaes for the party – those little polka dot cups are filled with kid portions of the toppings, in a futile attempt to minimize sugar overload. Adults were free to make their own bad decisions. Not pictured: salted caramel sauce and hot fudge – both excellent recipes if ever you’re looking.


And on the real day, we had a gummy bear adorned chocolate cake. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll never use another chocolate cake recipe as long as I live (I like it with plain old vanilla buttercream, though).


We fulfilled (in the loosest sense of the word) her wish for a pet with a betta fish. It’s not the most exciting animal – in fact it’s hard to tell if he’s dead or alive or part of the plastic plant or what, because he almost never moves. Not exactly the rabbit she asked for, but what can I say, we aren’t pet people. And that big box in the back is her very own Janome Hello Kitty sewing machine (it was quite a bit cheaper in the store, just FYI). This thing is the real deal – it’s a great little machine. I don’t know, five is probably slightly premature for a sewing machine, but I got excited about the idea and couldn’t help myself. She loves it and is doing great so far, I just wish we had more time to use it together. But alas, the presence of a toddler in the house makes most activities utterly impossible. Still, it’s an exciting new development, and just one tiny part of why five is looking like so much fun.

birthday sewing

So there you have it.

F I V E.


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I just completed my first Figgy’s pattern, the Ayashe. At first I was all excited that I could finally cross this one off my list, but now I just want to make another, so back on the list it goes…

This version of the blouse was my inspiration – I loved the solid with a pop of print inside the collar. Alas, I had no Liberty to use, so I settled for the Kaufman lawn I used for my Playdate/Puppet Show dress.

And since the outside was pretty plain, I did the front top-stitching in orange.

The fabric is shot cotton in ice blue. Shot cotton makes for such a soft and wearable garment. It’s really hard to capture this shade in photos – it ends up looking white instead of icy blue most of the time. But it really is pale blue, I promise.

I made the 2/3 and added one inch to the length, based mostly on the fact that I hate it when things come out too short.

I was really pleasantly surprised by how quickly and easily this came together – and I have to give credit to Kristin for passing along some tips from when she made her lovely Ayashe. There were a couple tricky parts she figured out so that I didn’t have to – nothing major, but it’s always nice to have someone blaze the pattern trail for you!

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Time to wrap things up for KCWC! It’s been fun. This is my final project for the week, and I’m pretty excited to take a break from sewing for awhile. And I apologize in advance for way too many photos – I somehow ended up taking 192 of them this morning, and editing down isn’t my strong suit.

Anyway, this skirt popped into my head in the middle of the night last night, and annoyingly, I couldn’t get rid of it for two hours (I could’ve had it made in that time!) – I saw a print awhile back at Land of Nod and I thought maybe I could recreate the textured leaves in shot cotton…one track mind with the shot cotton, I know.

Fall Foliage Leaf Wall Art (image source: Land of Nod)

So I’d been thinking about making something based on this print, then forgot about it, then remembered again at the inopportune hour of 1:00am.

The skirt has a simple elastic waist (a la the Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt or the MADE Simple Skirt – both can be found for free online) and a one-inch hem.

And after a three day hiatus from chambray, I went back to it – the texture is similar to shot cotton, with two colors woven together, and it seemed like a good neutral background for the leaves.

And she likes it!

She thought hiking it up was pretty funny, too.

Anyway, making this was the easiest thing ever. After you have a few simple elastic skirts under your belt, they only take maybe 30 or 40 minutes to sew.

And the leaf shapes are cut from double stick fusible web (Steam-a-Seam 2), positioned along the stitching on the hemline of the skirt, ironed into place (the fusible web makes them stick – no pins!), and sewn around the edges. Just your basic appliqué with fusible web. The leaf edges will fray a bit in the wash, but I don’t mind that look.

My color palatte is kind of haphazard – I bought several 1/4 yards of various shot cotton colors when I was working on Lila’s birthday Ice Cream dress, not really knowing what colors I wanted to use yet. So I cut the leaves from every color I had on hand – scraps from that dress, and from the orange dress I made this week, then all the random colors that hadn’t been used for anything yet.

And of course I couldn’t resist a little leaf tag in the back:

Okay, that’s it. Just two more photos, I promise.

Pattern: Simple Skirt from MADE or Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt (minus the ribbon hem)

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Carolina Chambray in Light Indigo Washed and various Kaffe Fasset shot cottons.

Now that I’m finished sewing I get to catch up in the Elsie Marley Flickr Pool and see what everyone else made! I love that part the best 🙂

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Blues and greens are definitely my favorites, but I do love this orangey color combination, too:

our fiestaware * a little knit dress she wore twice* our wedding dahlias

So last night I made Lila a simple little dress from orange shot cottons. My local fabric store carries the entire color range of Kaffe Fasset’s shot cotton, which is both amazing and completely overwhelming…but mostly just amazing. I can’t get enough of the stuff – I have stacks and stacks of prints but all I want to sew with these days is shot cotton!

The pattern is Leila & Ben’s Sweet Little Dress, which I’ve made countless times before, though never in solids. There are lots of simple peasant dress patterns out there, but I find this one to be pretty much perfect.

I added the gathered pockets from the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress (view B).

Pattern: Leila & Ben’s Sweet Little Dress, size 3T

Fabric: tangerine and watermelon shot cotton (and an unknown, accidental third color for the pocket binding)

That’s it for today. Back to blue tomorrow!

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Oh, this dress.

It’s consumed a lot of energy, mental and otherwise, but I’ll spare you the details. This is the finished product, and I’m sticking to it. It’s not the finished product I’d envisioned, but it’s been a good lesson in being okay with things as they are, and not making myself crazy. Because I think it may have been heading in that direction.

The pattern is the Oliver + S Ice Cream dress, minus the notches, in a 2T. I made the shirt version last spring and have thoroughly enjoyed the pattern both times – it’s so smart and simple, with lots of fun possibilities for variation. This time I used various shot cottons (aqua for the dress, steel for the band) and pieced the pocket yokes (in steel, sprout, mushroom, ice, and raspberry). The shot cotton is soft and light and flowy, which fits with this pattern, I think.

Here it is before the madness began. I had a million different ideas for how to finish this dress, and tried several of them, but nothing really worked.

Then I got tired of thinking about it and added the gray band to the bottom. Lila’s happy that her dress is blue and has treat pockets, and that’s good enough for me!

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