Holiday attire

I did hardly any sewing for the holidays this year.  But E requested a red dress and wasn’t happy with any of the store-bought choices we found.  So I let her pick some red fabric (Riley Blake chevrons for the main fabric and floral print for the band) and got to work. This dress is loosely based on the Oliver+S library dress.  I started with the size 3T pieces and modified the heck out of them, somewhat using the tutorial here that I’ve used in the past.

holiday attire : lizzieville 2 holiday attire : lizzieville 1 I added the fabric band around the entire dress this time and cut two of each bodice piece to create a full lining.  I knew with the wild chevrons I wanted the front to be as simple as possible and I wanted to give the thin jersey a bit more substance.  I also added quite a bit of length and some width to the skirt pieces so that I could gather them in the front and back.   E was happy to have her red dress and wore it on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   I was making this one up as I went along and was so happy that it fit!

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For O, I finally got around to trying out the Oliver+S art museum trousers.  I loved making these pants and he loves wearing them.  Despite being fancy they are very comfortable and easy for him to pull on and off with the elastic waist and faux fly.  The fabric is Kaufman shetland flannel in gray and this fabric was just as lovely as others have found.  It was admitidely not the best choice for pants as it’s getting rather fuzzy, as to be expected with flannel.  But it is very cozy and I like that it looks a bit like wool without the hassle.

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I made these in size 2 and they are plenty long on this tall guy.  No need to add length to this pattern.  O is embracing his 2-ness and refused to wear these pants on Christmas, but he happily wears them for all other occasions.  I want to make this pattern again immediately.  Maybe in a corduroy.  I love those little welt pockets.  And the side pockets.

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And his belly!

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That’s a wrap on my holiday sewing.  Hope your holidays were magical!

Bicycle pajamas

O was in need of some new pajamas so I turned to my favorite combination of Made By Rae flashback skinny tee and Titchy Threads fancy pants leggings.  These patterns are well used around here.

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pjs : lizzieville1

I had one yard of this Birch print and I knew O would love the bicycles.  The fabric is a lovely thick interlock that was delightful to sew with and is so cozy to wear.  I used kaufman laguna knit jersey for the cuffs, knowing that interlock is not great for ribbing.

bike jams : lizzieville 1

I was able to fit 2T pants and a 3T shirt out of the one yard of fabric.  O is solidly in 2T sizes but the flashback is a slender fit so I sized up.  I also added a band to the shirt instead of hemming.  The shirt happens to be on backwards here as O prefers to dress himself these days (and I also forgot to add a little tag to the back neck post-serging).  O is on the move as always but he’ll stand still for a moment if you ask him to find a bicycle.

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So bicycle pajamas, ready for snoozing.  Now I should get started on some holiday sewing.  I have a few yards of shetland flannel and some corduroy for O and a request from E for a red dress.  Hard to believe it is almost December!

KCW : mini hudson + rowan


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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Sandbox (+hudson) pants

O needs some new pants, so I’m trying out some of my pants patterns to figure out what fits him best.  First up, Oliver+S sandbox pants in Kaufman corduroy with navy knit for front pocket trim and waistband.  I actually made a pair of these in a smaller size a year ago and they were a complete disaster, not even remotely fitting over O’s diaper.  This pair was more successful, but not without some frustrations.

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I made a couple modifications to the 2T pattern:

  1. Skipped the button on the back pockets
  2. Used the mini hudson pockets as a guide to replace the patch pockets
  3. Used the mini hudson pattern to make a knit waistband (using 1 inch elastic and no drawstring)
  4. Serged and sewed down all seam allowances like Rae describes here.  This is the best way I’ve found to get sturdy seams and I like the extra stitching lines it creates on something casual

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I like the knit waistband on these and I think they’re more comfortable and easier for him to pull up and down (we’re in the middle of potty training) than a drawstring.  I love the little back pockets, but overall the fit on these feels a little funky.  The rise on the back seems too high and the pockets too low.  I think 2T Oliver+S are designed to fit over diapers, and O is wearing a disposable in these pictures.

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O is tall for his age so I should have added length as they are just barely long enough.  The pant legs are also fairly wide, which is tricky with boot season coming.

sandbox pants : lizzieville 4I contemplated trying the pattern again with a longer/thinner fit and shorter rise/higher pockets.  But with many other pants patterns to try, I think I’ll just move on.  So, more boy pants, Halloween costumes, and KCW prep up next.

Bucket hats, take 3

This is my third summer making Oliver+S bucket hats.  This year I made size large for both kids as they outgrew the size mediums from previous years.  O’s head is large for his age, but this pattern also seems to consistently run small.  I made the hats identical (andover chambray on one side, white with black dots on the other) as O loves hats but would always prefer to take E’s hat off her head.  I’m hoping that matching hats might make sharing easier.

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I added one inch to both brims to get a bit more sun protection.  I didn’t have any sew-in interfacing so I used fusible fleece for the brim and also used some lightweight interfacing on the crown.  These hats are so big, I felt they needed a bit of extra structure.

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I used the no-handstitch method from A Little Gray and it worked like a charm.  Normally I’m a big fan of hand stitching but loved the machine finish here.

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The kids will probably reach for other, store-bought hats most of the summer.  These tend to fly off in the wind or with much movement and they’re fairly heavy and hot compared with the nice fast-drying and lightweight fabrics from our REI hats.  But for now, matching hats are pretty fun.

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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.

Mini mini hudson pants

I wanted to make these pants as soon as they were released.  But the sizing doesn’t start until 2T and E doesn’t wear pants anymore, so my mini hudson dream had to wait.

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But now O is wearing 2T pants and so I repurposed a sweatshirt (plus some kaufman laguna knit for trim) to make a pair.  The sweatshirt fabric did not have the required stretch and so these are quite tight on O’s chunky toddler legs.  The style is supped to be somewhat fitted at the bottom, but not to this extent.

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But even with a less than ideal fit these have been great pants.  They’ve held up to lots of wear and they were easy and fun to make.  And I just love those pockets!

So I made another pair.  For this one I used french terry knit (this but in navy).  I skipped the front tie (as I did above) and widened the leg of the pants a bit.  I also made the leg cuff skinnier.

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O has zero interest in standing still for pictures these days but I got a few shots while he helped in the garden, wearing a winter hat.

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This pair gives a bit more room but, looking back at the pattern pictures, not nearly as loose as designed.  I’ll probably size up to the 3T next time because this little guy just keeps growing.

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.


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.


Belated Christmas sewing

I have two little projects to share today.  Both were intended to be Christmas gifts for the kids but I ran out of time before the holidays .  For E, I made a little sleeping bag from the Flossie Teacakes pattern.  I’ve wanted to make this for years, even since seeing them on Gail‘s blog.  Then a friend reminded me about the pattern and it finally moved to the top of my to sew list.  This is the smallest of the three sizes, to fit her little pups.

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It’s a bit of a tight squeeze to fit in both pups so I’m tempted to make another one with different dimensions.  It would be easy to alter the pattern to be extra wide and not as long.  This pattern was so easy and fast that I decided to make another one.  We’ll probably use this one as a gift for one of E’s preschool friends.  I love the Red Riding Hood fabric, leftover from her Red Riding Hood Cape.

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For the record, it is a little tricky to get good pictures of stuffed animals.  Especially given the serious (melancholy? sleepy?) expression on these little pups.  But she loves them so.

sleeping bag : lizzieville4For O, I finally got around to making him another bapron from the Craftiness Is Not Optional pattern.  This is the 18m-3T size.

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Last time I made bibs I struggled a bit to get the bias tape lined up correctly.  So this time I tried Rachel‘s suggestion to finish the binding with a zigzag stitch.  This was quick, has held up well so far, and I like the look on a bib.  Thanks for the suggestion, Rachel!  I’m also hoping to try Shelley‘s suggestion soon, as I was able to find some quilter’s fusible edge.

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My favorite part of this bib is how well it stays put.  O makes no attempts to take it off. The bib itself is a great size and provides good coverage.  The armholes are a bit too large, so for kids on the lower end of the size range it might be worth trying on the bib before applying the bias binding.  I’d also love to make this again with laminated cotton or iron-on vinyl so that it can be wiped off between uses.

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O was happy with it.  Especially when I gave him “more” pears.  I love his little signs.

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Christmas pajamas (and happy new year!)

I decided that it would be fun to make Christmas pajamas for the kids this year.  I actually got them made before Christmas and even got a few pictures taken but then our computer died.  Ack!

christmas pajamas : Lizzieville 3My husband tried all kinds of strategies to fix it but ultimately we had to buy a new computer. Thankfully he’s great about running multiple backups so nothing was lost.  And now that we’re back in business I have a few 2014 projects left to share before doing a year-end roundup.

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So, the pajamas.  I used the serger so these were pretty fast to whip up.  I’ve found that serging the seams (without first stitching on my normal machine) holds up fine through lots of wear and washes.  Admittedly, it doesn’t look as nice because you can see the stitches when the seam pulls a bit.  If I owned many colors of serger thread and took the time to change between projects I guess this would be less of a problem.  Maybe that will be a 2015 sewing goal.  But given the nature of holiday pajamas and time constraints I was happy to serge away with my white thread.

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For the tops I used the Made By Rae flashback skinny tee in sizes 2T and 5T.  For E I added both length and width (this tutorial was very helpful for adding width properly). For O I added a band to the shirt hem, thus avoiding any top stitching. I left E’s dress unhemmed. She told me she likes how it rolls up and I was happy to avoid pulling out the double needle.  I love the fit on this pattern-  just the right tightness to show off baby bellies and not be too baggy on my girl.

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The pants are both Titchy Threads fancy pants leggings.  I made a shortened 2t for O and straight size 4 for E.  I think this pattern runs long because it is rare that size 4 pants are long enough on E, but these are perfect. I love this pattern. Especially the contrasting back panel.

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I had originally intended to use the red polka dot with green accents for E, and vice versa for O.  But this felt a bit too Christmassy and a bit too matchy.  I finally settled on this gray fabric for the accents and I like how it toned things down and let them match without being over the top (I hope!).  Both these patterns have many pieces, offering endless room for mix and match.  On a side note, the Riley Blake polka dot fabric was the best to work with, and worth the slightly higher cost per yard.

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And so in the end we have two happy kids. I do wish E’s hadn’t looked so much like Minnie Mouse, but there you go. There’s always next year to try it again!