KCW: bellatrix geranium

At E’s school, each classroom is represented by an animal.  E’s room is the bats and she asked if I’d make her a bat dress.  I ordered some Alexander Henry fabric called Bellatrix the Bat and decided to make another Made By Rae Geranium dress.

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This is my favorite dress pattern and I knew I had to make at least one more in size 5.  For fall and winter wear I wanted to add sleeves, as I saw Rae do here.  I wasn’t sure how best to approach sleeves in a lined bodice so I asked Rae for help and was kindly pointed in the direction of this tutorial.  I used the sleeves from the Oliver+S library dress in size 4, adjusting the armhole openings to match, and it worked perfectly.  I do really hope that Rae puts out an expansion pack for this pattern as she hinted in her recent post.  Sleeves, collars, and closure options for this pattern would be so fun.

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The bodice pieces are a size 5 with 1 inch of length added.  I also added extra length and width to the skirt pieces and used a 2 inch hem which hangs very nicely.  I used almost all of my 1 1/2 yards of fabric and didn’t have enough to match the prints, but oh well.  I know this is a pretty wild dress, but I love the colors in the fabric and E was happy with the results.  She has decided (as of yesterday) to be a bat for Halloween so this dress will be a  good base for her costume.  I’m thinking a headband with bat ears and some quick wings like here will finish off the outfit.  Until then, E thought it was perfect for dancing around and book reading.

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On a side note, we just finished reading Gooseberry Park and its sequel by Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard, featuring a lovely cast of quirky animals (including a bat or two).  We thoroughly enjoyed both books, as we do the Mr. Putter and Tabby series from the same duo.  With kindergarten taking up so much of E’s time I’m always happy when we can squeeze in some extra book reading.  And on that totally unrelated to sewing note, I end my KCW.

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KCW : mini hudson + rowan

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It’s Kid’s Clothes Week, fall edition.  The theme this time is disguise, perfect for Halloween. Unfortunately my children are indecisive about what they want to be so I’m just making some basics that can also be used as costumes.  Last year’s costumes (Anna and a moose) are still getting quite a bit of use as both regular and dress up clothing.  So I’m hoping to repeat that this year, making costumes that are really just things the kids need anyway.  Come to think of it, that’s kind of double disguise.  And a two-year old with no interest in standing still for pictures, even with help from his sister.

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O may or may not be a cat, so I figured a gray top and bottoms would be a fine base. Both are made from Kaufman laguna jersey knit in heather gray with heather pepper trim. The pants are another pair of True Bias mini hudsons, this time in 3T.  I finished off the waistband mostly as recommended (the elastic on his other pairs tend to flip so I wanted to try the topstitching this time) except I ran twill tape in one buttonhole and directly out the other and tacked it down rather than running it all the way through.  The heather gray jersey felt particular soft and lovely and I much prefer the drape and fit of jersey to the french terry and sweatshirt fleece I used before.

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The top is my first try at the Rowan Tee from Titchy Threads.  I made a 2T with a little length added to the sleeves and hem.  This is a roomier fit than the flashback skinny tee  and the extra length was not really needed.  But this should ensure it gets a lot of wear and it even fits over a tshirt as in these pictures below.  I love the little shoulder band option and am imagining other fun color combinations.  This pattern has an impressive number of options and sizes.

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For digging in the garden, being a cat, or whatever other costume they dream up at the last minute, this will at least be mighty comfy.

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KCW : badminton dress turned nightgown

One last Kid’s Clothes Week project to share.

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I bought the Oliver+S badminton skort/top/dress pattern for the skort.  The top/dress wasn’t quite my style so I had no plans to make it.  But somehow knowing that E was about to outgrow the pattern, I felt this urge to sew up all the options.  I figured that a simplified version of the dress would work well as a summer nightgown.

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This is a size 4 with added width and length, no hem facing/scallops, and no bow detail across the bodice.  I really love the little shoulder ruffles.  The fabric is Botanica from Felicity Miller.  The colors and print are lovely but I miss the lightweight drape of the Heather Ross fabrics I’ve been working with lately.

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Even with the added length this dress is on the short side, although just fine for a summer nightgown.  I can definitely move into the size 5 Oliver+S patterns now.  I’ve been saving up a few patterns in the larger size range and it will be fun to pull them out come fall.

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I think that’s all for Kid’s Clothes Week, although we do have a sudden need for some new summer hats.  And I’m trying another sewing project for myself, after seeing all the fantastic Me Made May creations last month. We shall see!

KCW : strawberry skirt, strawberry bows

0315-15-sum-button3 This one has nothing to do with the traveling theme, but at least I made it this week.  This is the simple skirt from MADE.  It’s my third time with this pattern, after making two unicorn skirts before.  This is such a fast sew.  Perfect for this, a birthday gift for one of E’s preschool friends. skirt and bows : Lizzieville 3 I used the full width of the fabric, 15 inch length, and 1 inch elastic.  Nothing much to say about this one except that I do love this strawberry fabric from Heather Ross.  Lovely and light and the colors make me so happy.  To go along with the skirt I whipped up some hair bows from the free Oliver+S pattern.  Super fast and super easy. skirt and bows : Lizzieville 2 skirt and bows : Lizzieville 4 Kid’s Clothes Week summer edition + strawberries seems pretty perfect. skirt and bows : Lizzieville 1

KCW : sailboat set

0315-15-sum-button3 It’s Kid’s Clothes Week, summer edition!  I don’t really take part in many sewing challenges or sew alongs but this is one I really enjoy.  I’m starting off the week sharing something I finished up last week because my plan-trace-cut-sew-photograph cycle is really slow. Plus it’s Oliver + S sailboat top and pants, which fits so nicely with the traveling theme. Sailboat set : Lizzieville 7 The sailboat pants are a size 2T in Kaufman double cloth.  This is such lovely and soft fabric but it was not a great choice for these pants because it added a lot of bulk.  We’ll see how it wears.  I skipped the side vents due to a tracing error and didn’t make button holes, just sewed the buttons through all the layers. Sailboat set : Lizzieville 3 I’m having a little trouble figuring out the sizing on these pants.  O is currently wearing his old 18 month pair, this pair, and a size 3T passed down from his sister.  The rise is kind of screwy on all the pairs and they tend to fall off when he’s wearing disposable diapers.  But they do look pretty cute with his little belly. Sailboat set : Lizzieville 5 Sailboat set : Lizzieville 6 The style of the sailboat top never really caught my eye, but I figured I should give it a try. I repurposed an Old Navy tshirt and modified the size 2T pattern in a couple ways.  I slimmed the arms and reused the sleeve hems.  I eliminated the front hem facing and curve to be able to reuse the tshirt hem and also added 2+ inches to length.  I also used snaps at the shoulders instead of buttons.  You need to unsnap all the snaps to take this on and off and I’m hoping that the snaps will hold up better than buttonholes. Sailboat set : Lizzieville 8 Sailboat set : Lizzieville 2I was not expecting to like this shirt pattern.  But in the end I am much more satisfied with the shirt than the pants.  There’s just something cute about little boys in stripes, trying to sneak into the chicken coop.  Love this little guy. Sailboat set : Lizzieville 4 I have been putting in my hour of sewing a day and hope to report back soon with some other finished projects.

KCW : bias-trimmed bee apron

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E has needed a new art smock for quite a while now.  She’s worn this art smock from Little Things to Sew for almost three years and has completely outgrown the size small. Her previous smock has been so well-loved and heavily used that I was planning to make her a size up in the same pattern.  But after flipping through the book E decided she preferred the bias-trimmed apron instead. bias trimmed apron : Lizzieville 6 bias trimmed apron : Lizzieville 2 I made a medium (sizes 3-6) and it is plenty roomy on E.  Since the theme of Kid’s Clothes Week this time around was Wild Things I searched in my stash for some more animal fabric.  I came up with some more Heather Ross, this time two different bee-themed prints.  I had a fat quarter of each print and was able to squeeze this one out, just barely.  I love the vibrant colors although it’s definitely a bit wilder than my normal. bias trimmed apron : Lizzieville 5 I used skinnier-than-called-for bias tape and I like the more delicate look it created.  I hand finished most of the bias tape because I like how clean it looks.  I ran out of bias at the end so I just hemmed as usual.  Hopefully this will protect E’s clothes for the next three years. She’s such a busy artist these days and it’s so fun to watch her create. bias trimmed apron : Lizzieville 4 I think that’s it for Kid’s Clothes Week this time around.  Next up, some sewing for O.

KCW : unicorn skirt

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Kid’s Clothes Week is off to a slow start around here so I’m sharing something I made a few months ago but finally got photographed.  Bonus, it even fits this week’s theme of Wild Things.

unicorn skirt : Lizzieville 1I actually made this skirt twice.  The skirt above was made for E’s little preschool friend and our neighbor.  I used the simple skirt tutorial from Dana and added four little pleats to the bottom.  I had a yard of the Heather Ross unicorn print and was able to use the other half to make a similar skirt for E with three deeper pleats.  Such a simple skirt but this has gotten so much use and is one of E’s favorites.

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unicorn skirt : Lizzieville 3These pictures also show you E’s style these days.  She loves bright colors and pattern mixing so I’m trying to follow her lead with my creations.

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I have to admit that sometimes I feel frustrated with my sewing.  It’s slow.  The kids reject the things I make or it’s the wrong size.  But yesterday, totally by chance, we headed down the street to preschool with so many handmade things getting used and loved.  It was good motivation to keep going.

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Hope to be back soon with more KCW creations.  And if you’re sewing along, hope everything is going well!

KCW : corduroy overalls

Kid’s Clothes Week winter edition ends today and I have my second project to share.  It’s a good one to round out O’s winter wardrobe.

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Last summer I made O some poorly fitting overalls and I asked for pattern recommendations.  One suggestion was the adorable spruce suspender shorts that I made for O’s first birthday.  I got another suggestion to try a Citronille pattern which I still hope to do some day.  Nicole was kind enough to look through her pattern stash for overalls that might fit O.  A bit later a lovely little paper package arrived all the way from Australia.  It was so thrilling!  And inside was this pattern for O (Simplicity 9044) and a girls overalls pattern for E that I’m excited to try out soon.

corduroy overalls : Lizzieville  4I haven’t used many vintage patterns so I was a bit cautious.  This turned out to be a straightforward sew and I found that directions to be completely adequate, although without the chatty hints and tips of an independent/Oliver+S pattern.  The main fabric is corduroy from my mother in law, likely 20+ years old.  I didn’t have enough corduroy for the linings so they are quilting cotton.  I’m not sure about my choice of yellow buttons but they’re what I had on hand in the correct size.

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corduroy overalls : Lizzieville  1

I figured that these were going to be on the snug side for O so I skipped the second set of strap buttons and the side tabs that are intended to tighten things up if the overalls are a bit big.  It turns out that the fit is great with lots of room for O’s toddler belly and big diaper.  The length is perfect now but I wish I’d added a bit more with a cuff now, just to prolong the wear.  I love him in these little overalls.

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O is growing up more than out so this pattern should still fit come spring.  I’d love to make him another pair with the short length option.  Next time I’ll add the little side tabs because I do enjoy those vintagey details.  Thank you Nicole for such a sweet pattern!  O has decided that these are perfect for his favorite activities-  playing in the dirt, picking up rocks, eating rice crackers, and jumping in puddles.

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If you chose to participate in Kid’s Clothes Week I hope that your sewing went well!  I am happy with two projects complete.  Now time to start dreaming big about spring sewing.

 

KCW : bimaa bubble dress

It’s Kid’s Clothes Week, winter edition.  I considered not sewing along since the kids’ winter wardrobes are in good shape and I have so many other things on my sewing list.  But I just couldn’t let the week go by without sewing at all.

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So I decided to spend seven hours sewing and see what I could get made.  Honestly I did most of the sewing last week because sewing, photographing, and writing posts all in one week is too much.  But anyway, for today, a report on my first few hours of sewing…

For hour one I prepped pattern pieces.  I traced the size 5 pattern pieces for a dress bodice and drafted a skirt pattern pieces based off one of E’s dresses. I got completely sucked into figuring out the math needed to lengthen the skirt and keep the same proportions as the original dress.  First hour, gone in a snap.

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In hour two I cut out the dress for E and a pair of overalls for O (to be shared soon I hope).

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To start hour three I forget to pull the thread holder part of my serger up into place before sewing which unthreaded part of the machine.  After battling the threads, the tweezer, and the vague instruction manual I had time left to sew the top of E’s dress

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Hour four, finished a dress for E.

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And then I convinced her to take a few pictures on a cold and foggy morning.  She also picked the accessories, in case you were curious 🙂

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For this dress I was inspired by a Tea Collection dress E loves.  When I saw the bubble skirt on the dress I realized this would be a way to avoid hemming a skirt and give the skirt a little more body.  For the top I used the bimaa sweater pattern with the shawl option.  The striped fabric is an old maternity shirt, sticking with the upcycle theme of the week.  The shirt is a cotton without much stretch or recovery (I guess you’d say).  It ended up making a top that was much too big on E.  The neckline is indecently low (I pulled the dress up for the pictures but it tends to slide down).  E wore the dress today with a tshirt underneath which doesn’t look great but at least covers her chest a bit better.  I’ve made the hoodie option in a size 4 and it’s getting snug on E so I’m going to blame the fabric on this one, not the sizing or the pattern.  Next time I’ll use a fabric with a bit of spandex and something less floppy for the neckline.

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For the skirt and shawl I used the same gray knit I used on E’s previous bimaa sweater.  It’s quite thin and so I figured it would work best doubled up anyway.  The fabric has little painted dots which were fine to sew with except for the skirt gathering portion, where the thread wouldn’t slide through the dots.  In case you wanted to make a similar skirt, here are my jotted down dimensions:

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This dress definitely didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped.  The front is too low and open.  The entire dress ended up on the short side despite my attempts at lengthening.  I should have curved the bodice bottom a bit.  I’m not wild about the fabric combination.  But I think it was a good first try and I hope to come back to this idea later.  I’ll probably use a flashback skinny tee for the top since I’m more confident in the fit.  And while I wish this had come out exactly as I’d imagined the first time, I know this is also why I keep sewing.  I just keep trying to get it right.

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KCW : elusive moose

I spent most of Kid’s Clothes Week working on O’s Halloween costume and finally got it finished up and photographed to share.

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The theme for this week was “Storybook” so I figured a book-inspired costume would be perfect for O.  One of his current favorites is The Elusive Moose by Joan Gannij and Clare Beaton.  It’s a charming little story and I quite like reading it to both kids.  The illustrations were created with felt and embroidery and little notions and O likes pointing at the different animals.  E loves finding the hidden moose in each picture, and I’ve even shared this book with my 2nd graders and they enjoyed it as well.

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I figured I could make something moose-like for O that could be reused beyond Halloween.  And so, my little moose:

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I made a “cozy winter hood” from Little Things to Sew with enlarged ears and added antlers. The outside fabric is one of my old sweaters and the lining is shot cotton.  The antlers are felt and it took some trial and errors to get them to not flop over.  This is a straightforward pattern but I ended up spending quite a bit of time with the seam ripper.  I think the super-stretchy sweater is partly to blame but listening to the Serial podcast while sewing may also have been a factor.

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The sweater is the Oliver+S lullaby layette pattern in size 12-18 months, using the same recycled sweater and shot cotton as the hood.  This is a lovely little pattern, although I really want to try it with an added hood and maybe a reversible zipper or some elbow patches.  It is supposed to close with 3 snaps but I was completely out so I added a sew-in snap below a single button.

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The pants are from the same lullaby layette pattern, size 18-24 months in Kaufman corduroy.  This is my third go at this pattern and I like the fit and the off-center seams in the front.  My only wish is that the waistband piece were a bit wider to make a taller casing.  The elastic is always rolling around, although I did tack it in a few places which helped a bit.

I also made a tee shirt using the Made By Rae Flashback Skinny Tee pattern in a size 18-24 months.  This is an old maternity tee and I intended to reuse the cuffs and bottom hem but then sewed the arms on backwards.  So I chopped the hem off and added cuffs, which ended up working nicely to tie in with an orange neckband.  This moose is my first freezer paper stencil.  I’ve long been intending to try freezer paper stencils but I am a slow mover.  I couldn’t find freezer paper locally and had to order some online.  I had also forgotten to buy fabric paint so I used a fabric marker instead.  I’m curious to see how it will last once washed.  I do love this flashback skinny tee pattern and I’m excited to make more for O.

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And with that, our costumes are complete.  If I can convince O to keep his hood on.

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My little monkey moose boy.