Little plaid vest

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I had big plans for holiday outfit sewing but, as always, I’ve gotten more reasonable the later we get into December.  And so for O I made a little Oliver+S art museum vest.

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I made the 18-24 month size but wish I’d sewn the 2T or maybe even the 2T with added length.  The vest feels a bit short to me.  But mostly, I just wanted to name this post “I made welt pockets!”  And they weren’t even that tricky.  A few more steps than other pockets but nothing too technical.  I almost skipped the pockets (which would have made this a very fast sew) but decided to give them a try here before trying them on the matching art museum pants pattern.  I love tiny pockets.

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I made two modifications- I used snaps as a closure and didn’t make the back tie.  This made the vest reversible so he can wear the blue striped side after Christmas.  This is such a darling little pattern and I look forward to trying it again soon.  We need to find some more vest-appropriate occasions to attend in the near future.

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Capturing pictures of a 15 month old who just wants to spend all day climbing (and eating play dough) is a bit tricky.  This guy is ready to live it up this holiday season.

DSC_0537E saw the vest and asked if I could make her a dress in matching fabric.  Trouble is, I only have a couple small scraps left- enough for maybe pockets and a little trim or something. The fabric is probably a couple decades old and from my grandmother so I can’t buy more.  Anyone have a good pattern/main fabric idea??

Library dress, knit style

library dress : Lizzieville 3E is crazy about dresses and tights these days.  While searching through my patterns I considered making her another Oliver+S library dress because I love the style and the slim fit.  But I remembered that this pattern takes a long time to put together and it buttons up the entire back.  I don’t like finding buttons, making button holes, sewing on buttons, and ending up with a dress that E can’t get into or out of by herself.  E also hardly wore the other one I made.  But Melissa from Meow Made created the perfect pattern modifications that address all my concerns.  She shared her tutorial here to use knit fabric and four of the library dress pattern pieces to make this comfy dress.  It has no closures and uses less than a yard of fabric.  The tutorial is very clear and the sewing process is easy and surprisingly fun.

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Better yet, E absolutely adores the dress and digs through the clean laundry to wear it immediately out of the dryer.  The fabric is a thick, cheap cotton-rayon blend that was easy to work with but hasn’t washed well (it’s already pilling quite a bit).  I figured this was a muslin using what I had on hand but it works nicely as a play dress and I like the festive green color.  Next time I’ll either use a print or contrasting fabric for the waist and neck bindings.

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I used the size 3 pattern pieces (modified following the tutorial directions) with some extra length.  It is a nice snug fit.  I ordered some more knits to make this up again and I may trace out the size 4 to get longer wear. I also might decrease the width of the neckband and not overlap it quite as much so that the neck isn’t as high/tight.  But even as is, this is one of the most most-loved (and easiest) dresses I’ve ever made and I can’t wait to make a few more.  Thank you Liesl and Melissa for such a clever dress!

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And it’s perfect for showing off your dance moves.

Sunday brunch

The Oliver+S sunday brunch jacket was one of my first sewing projects for E.  I was so unsure of myself that my mother in law kindly made the button holes on the coat because I was so nervous I’d mess everything up (little E wearing her jacket here).  I made the size 2 and she’s worn it up until this fall, despite it being short.   It is one of the most-worn items I’ve ever made and I just love the pattern.  With the bias binding inside it feels so lovely and finished even without using a serger.

My pattern only goes up to a size 3 but I figured that E could still squeeze into the jacket if I made it right now and added length.  I’ve been thinking about this jacket since the summer.  Contemplating fabric choices.  Decided how I wanted to alter the pattern this go around.  And now I finally got it made. 
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I love the original pattern but I always felt it would be nice with a hood.  I love hoods.  So I used the hood pattern from the Oliver+S school days coat (size 3).  I deepened the neckline a bit and rounded out the front sections of the bodice in a very unscientific way to make the hood fit.  I also added 3 inches to the length and 1 inch to the sleeve.

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The main fabric is Andover Chambay in eggplant with Heather Ross Far Far Away for the lining and shot cotton for the bias binding.  I really like Andover Chambray-  the colors are gorgeous and it doesn’t wrinkle as much as similar fabrics.  The buttons are sort of eccentric and from a local yarn shop.  Why is it that yarn shops have so much better buttons than fabric stores?

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About halfway through applying the many pieces of bias binding (I even did those arms!) I realized it would have been much easier to make a complete lining and would have given the lightweight chambray a bit more heft.  But I do like the little pop of green that the bias adds and it feels like a signature part of this pattern.

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I’m happy to have made this pattern twice before E outgrows it.  With the added length this jacket should last a while.  Which is handy since the weather has turned downright chilly this last week.

sunday brunch : Lizzieville 5 And now, on to holiday sewing!

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.

KCW : a kinda-sorta Anna costume

We were seriously late to the Frozen party, but ever since seeing the movie this summer E has been smitten.  Despite some initial talk about being Glinda from The Wizard of Oz, she  eventually decided to be Anna for Halloween.

I had such a hard time getting motivated to make this costume.  Finally I just decided to make something Anna-like, using patterns and fabrics I had and enjoyed.  It may be lacking in authenticity, but E is happy enough.  Which is good because oh my goodness, did this costume ever take a long time!  And technically speaking it was completely before Kid’s Clothes Week, but I’m breaking the rules a bit because my only other project (O’s costume) is also taking a very long time.

Anna costume : Lizzieville6Anyway, the details.  I decided to make a dress and a pinafore for the main costume.  The pale blue dress is the smock dress (pattern E) from Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids.  I like the sleeves and the front detail on this pattern and it also comes with sweet little pockets that I might add later.  It is size 110/4 with the equivalent of an 8 in length.  The main fabric is Kaufman pinpoint shirting with some Kaufman lawn for the bindings.  The shirting is quite lovely and I can see using it for other projects.  I completed this piece first and E thought it looked like a nightgown and wore it to bed for quite a few nights.  I agree that it definitely has a nightgown vibe (which seems common in Japanese patterns).

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The pinafore is a modified Made By Rae Geranium dress using the scallops from the Oliver+S badminton pattern for the skirt trim/facing.   I used ric rac trim (instead of the gold ribbon on the original) because that’s what I had on hand.  I’ve never added trim/piping to anything before and it wasn’t actually that difficult.

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At this point the costume wasn’t looking much like the movie, especially since I decided to skip the flowers on the bodice and skirt edge because I didn’t feel like dealing with fabric paint.  So I decided to buy some cheap fabric for the cape from Jo-Ann.  I used a bit of a Japanese pattern for the cape but mostly made it up as I went along.  There is a little shot cotton for the trims because that polyester was depressing to work with.

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And there you have it.  One Halloween costume complete!

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Catching up: sewing for E

I have one more catching-up post before Kid’s Clothes Week begins tomorrow.  These are all things made for E over the past few months.  Sorry for the long post, but there were some fun ones (and some good learning experiences) here and I wanted to record my notes.

geranium cape shirt : Lizzieville3Last spring I made E a cape shirt following this tutorial by Tara from Girl Like The Sea.  It is a very easy tutorial to follow and the results are so fun.  I used a flashback skinny tee as the base.  The tshirt fabric is from an old maternity tee (no need to hem- love!) and the rainbow fabric was a very thin knit from Girl Charlee.  This shirt has gotten a lot of use in our dress-up box lately and I’ll definitely be making more of these as gifts and for play.

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I also made E the wide leg pants from the Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids book last spring, but she didn’t wear them until this fall.

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This is an easy, stylish pattern and I do like the back pockets.  I think these are the size 2 width and size 4 length.  They are already getting short on her and the wide legs are a pain to stick into her boots for preschool.  So, I have some other patterns on my to-make list for E as we move into the rainy season around here.

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I also returned to one of my very first Oliver+S sews, the Class Picnic Blouse.  I decided to try this in a knit fabric to maximize the changes of it actually getting worn.

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This is a french terry, which ended up being a bit too heavy-weight for this pattern but sure was easy to sew.  I also successfully used the double needle on the hems, which felt like a big accomplishment since the double needle broke last project.  I used a size 3 with quite a bit of length added to make a tunic-length shirt.  Knits stretch so much more than wovens, so I should have used a size 2 as a base.   It’s in the too-big box right now as the neck is especially large.  But I do think making this pattern in knits has potential!

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And finally, I made an Oliver+S badminton skort.  E wore skorts constantly this summer so I figured I should really give this pattern a try.  This is a size 4 with one inch of added length.  This pattern never felt full enough to me, so I added width to the skirt piece by comparing the pattern to one of E’s other skorts.  I ended up using almost the entire width of the fabric.

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This is such a practical and cute pattern and I’ll definitely be returning to it next spring.  My fabric choice on this, unfortunately, was not great.  I think normal denim would be fine, but the denim I used (same as her coat here) was quite stiff because of the painted spots.  You can see how the skirt sticks out and the seam connecting the skirt and shorts will not lie flat despite topstitching.  The shorts are french terry and I used a light-weight shirting for the skirt facing:

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I was going to skip the scallops but E wanted the pattern as shown on the envelope.  I recently introduced her to the Oliver+S paper dolls online.  For whatever reason I didn’t think she’d have much interest in them, but she loved playing with them.  I also printed/copied off the patterns I owned and made her a paper set of clothes and dolls. We’ve had so much fun, and she now asks me to make patterns by name.

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And now I am finally caught up!  Thank you for reading!

KCW : an outfit for E

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It’s Summer Kid’s Clothes Week again.  This time around we were camping for most of the week so I only have two things to share.  I hope to squeeze in my hour of sewing tonight and get something for O completed.  Until then, E has some new summer clothes:

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The top is blouse A from the Japanese sewing book Girly Style Wardrobe, in size 110.  The exterior fabric is quilting cotton from my grandmother, likely part of her collection of 1930’s inspired fabrics.  The print is actually a bit bizarre- some kind of Jack and Jill crossed with Humpty Dumpty, I suppose??  I used a light-weight red cotton for the lining.

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This is a very simple pattern but I ended up making a few modifications.  I skipped the pockets and topstitching and added a full lining (rather than partial as in the pattern).  I also added to the length, but next time I’ll add to the middle (Liesl explains here) rather than adding on at the bottom, as this made the top really flare out.  In Japanese patterns I think E actually needs size 100 width and size 120 length, as this is too big on top.  But hopefully it will last until next summer.

My sewing pal Christine and I both had this book and we decided to try out one of the patterns together.  Her version is so sweet and I loved sewing together.  We’ll have to try something again soon.  It was also reassuring to have a buddy as this was my first Japanese pattern that wasn’t from a translation.  It turned out to be a fairly simple sew, apart from the fantastically crazy pattern sheet.

The shorts are Oliver+S class picnic shorts, size 4, in a lightweight denim.

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I love this pattern.  I have already made two pairs of shorts (blue linen and modified green terry), and two blouses (umbrellas and flannel, some of my first sews for a tiny E).  I do feel like these shorts are a bit wide and too short on her.  She could probably fit into the size 4 again next summer if I lengthened the pattern.  Which is great because it makes me so sad that she is outgrowing all my Oliver+S patterns that end at size 3 and 4.  There are so many left to make or remake.  Sigh…

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But we’ll enjoy them while we can.  And at least I have something to show for Kid’s Clothes Week.

Baby bibs, three ways

Now that O has joined the dinner table I thought some new bibs were in order.  First, a messy kid bib from Little Things to Sew:

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I used a snap for the closure as O rips off velcro bibs.  The front was made using iron-on vinyl, as suggested in the pattern.  I did manage to get a few stray threads stuck between the vinyl and the fabric so I’ll be more careful next time.  And I’m not sure if I picked a lower-quality vinyl but it tends to wrinkle up quite a bit with use.  Nothing like ironing your child’s bib.  But I do like the large size and this has become our go-to bib for O.

messy kid bib :: lizzievilleI also made a bapron from the Craftiness is not Optional pattern:

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This pattern is very clever and O makes zero attempts to pull the bib off.  You can see below how the bias tape wraps around the arms and ties in the back.  I made the smaller size, suggested for 6m-18m.  I wish I’d made the larger (24m-3t) size because this is snug.  I will make this pattern again in the larger size but with vinyl, as the shape is perfect but wipe-off bibs get more use around here.

bapron back :: lizzievilleBoth of these patterns were very straightforward.  My only frustration with both was on the bias tape application.  I’ve gotten into the habit of hand-sewing the finish on my bias tape because otherwise I can’t get things lined up nicely.  The stitching wavers and ends up missing the tape entirely in some places and running too close to the middle in others.  I applied the tape fully by machine in both cases and it is not pretty.  But functional for a bib, I suppose.

Finally I made an art smock, also from Little Things to Sew.  E wears her smock so much I figured O needs one too.  While she uses the smock now for cooking and art projects, when E was little we often used smocks as a bib because they stay put and have better sleeve coverage.

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I made the small (fits up to size 3).  It is way too big on him now.  When I put it on him, E informed me that it looked like a dress.  I’m sure he’ll grow into it soon.  The only change I made to the pattern was adding length to the neck elastic as E’s has gotten a bit snug.

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O was done cooperating with photos by this point and tried to crawl away.

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I love the finish on this smock.  It is such a satisfying sew that I was going to make E another one in the next size up.  Then she saw the bias-trimmed apron from the same book and requested that instead.  Maybe that will be a good opportunity for me to conquer bias tape application.  It would also give me one more project (previous projects here) before the Little Things to Sew: Cover to Cover Challenge runs out at the end of August.

Plaid and chambray bucket hat

I had originally intended to do a roundup of our handmade clothing from the past week but I ran out of motivation to get pictures each day.  O repeated the same few items of clothing and E is not particularly interested in cooperating for any photographs.  So instead, I bring you O’s new hat.

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This is the reversible bucket hat from Little Things To Sew.  I made a size medium (3-5y, 20″) after trying on his sister’s hat and discovering that it fit just fine.  O’s head is big but I also think the sizing on this pattern might run small.  I didn’t add any inches to the brim this time but I wish I’d added at least a little.  This isn’t the best for actually keeping the sun off his face (and cheeks).  The hat is andover chambray in blue with a plaid of unknown origin for the reverse.

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With E’s hat I added straps after the hat was finished and was never happy with how this looked.  So for O’s hat I cut out two fabrics strips (about 1.25 x 17 inches each), double folded as if for bias tape, and stitched along both edged.  I attached them to the hat after finishing Step 6 of “Making and Attach the Brim.”  I also made buttonholes so the straps could switch sides and the hat would still be reversible.  If you’re adding straps in this way I’d suggest assembling the less-busy side first (for me that was the solid blue) so that your hand stitching and the strap through the buttonhole all happen on the busy side (for me, the plaid).  You can see the strap attachment during construction here:

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A few months ago my husband taught O to play peekaboo where he puts his baseball hat on O’s head and O pulls it off and laughs hysterically.  It is an adorable and fun game and we all love playing it with him.  Unfortunately this now means that O thinks any hat on his head is a game.  To slow him down a bit I made the straps extra-long to tie, rather than using velcro as I had on E’s hat.

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While I was trying to get pictures O was busy pulling off the hat and crawling off the blanket.  

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This little baby is growing up.  But at least he now has a hat for the summer.

 

Made For Kids Month : Week 3

Week #3 of Made For Kids Month nearly complete and we mostly had repeat handmades around here.

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I didn’t document the repeated clothing items but do have a few new things to share.  E wore her Oliver+S field trip tshirt that I originally made last winter.  I’d added a cuff to the bottom and the sleeves to avoid hemming knits.  But the neckline got so horribly stretched out while sewing that the shirt was unwearable.  I fixed that problem by chopping off the neckline and adding a bimaa hood.  Which pretty much makes this a bimaa sweater with raglan sleeves and a roomier fit.

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You can see it better in these pictures I took a few weeks ago.

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It’s always nice to salvage something from the rag pile.

And this week I finally got around to making O his first Oliver+S clothing.  I can’t believe it has taken so long.  Here he is wearing his plaid sailboat pants.  I made a size 18 months for him (he’s huge) and they fit nicely over his cloth diaper.  The pattern is for cropped pants so these are a bit long but work well enough.

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I love this pattern and look forward to making O many more pairs.  The top does pull a bit funny though and I’ll try to adjust my button placement a bit on future pairs.  Or maybe it’s just the big belly/diaper combo.  Either way I just want to squish him all day.

Sailboat pants : Lizzieville7 Sailboat pants : Lizzieville8 I have a whole bunch of other Oliver+S pants patterns to try.  I’m thinking that 18 month with a 12 month length may work.  Anyone have experience with the different Oliver+S pants patterns and their roominess?  Any advice greatly appreciated.