Friday, January 31, 2014

P is for Peachy Pants and Top

It'll be interesting to see how far I continue with the No Big Dill's Sew All 26 challenge. The end of the alphabet is going to be more and more challenging. I had all kinds of "P" ideas but finally settled on being Practical. Boring, huh? I am Predictable if nothing else. I have no thoughts yet from W onward though.

I scored some peach denim at the thrift store last week. It's brushed on the inside and oh so soft and warm. The peach color will give us some feeling of spring to come but still be nice and warm because it won't actually be warm around here until April most likely. The peach gauze for the top also came from the thrift store a long time ago. It's so thin that I doubled every piece. It too is very soft and with 2 layers, it's warm enough to not need any extra layers under or over for my hot blooded hooligan.

The blouse is McCall's 6388 again. The same as the apple dress back in the fall. This time with the long sleeves that I was smart enough to omit the first time around and will probably not do again. Ever. Those sleeves were a pain in the rear. In the end they were so balloon-y (is that a word?) that I had to narrow them a little. Then I sewed elastic to the seam allowance of the upper part because they hung down so loosely on her noodle arms and overwhelmed it all. They could use a little more pressing of that seam allowance but I think they're pretty cute now.

The pants are a basic flat front pant of my own doing (a blend of a few patterns and what I would call a 2-1/2T with 3+T length). I hemmed them a little and then a lot and they are ready to let down when needed. Elena has only grown upward, not outward in the past year. In fact, in a year, she has only gained 1 pound! That's it. 1 measly pound. But she's grown several inches taller. (Did I ever mention that I have an 8th grade son who is already 6 foot 3 inches tall?! And still growing.)

Elena rarely stands still.. The only way to get pictures of her is to distract her. So here a bunch of pictures of her at the library, again. One of our favorite places. I think you can see most of the details but you have to look hard for the 2 pockets on the front of the top with more decorative stitching.

Who knew the soles of her shoes would match?

I absolutely love the curves and gathers here. So sweet.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Coco MIttens

I got hooked on Downton Abbey last year when a couple friends recommended it. I watched the first 2 seasons thanks to my friend Sally who owns the DVD's. I finished just in time for Season 3 to air. Then I was shocked to hear that I'd have to wait a whole year (almost) for Season 4. I was so immersed in Downton and felt like a part of the family that it was hard to wait for Season 4 to start a few weeks ago. Then Charming Doodle started her incredible Downton Sewing Series and I was truly in heaven. I was reading her blog daily, staring at the pictures, and rewatching the recorded episodes a few times each. There is something about it all that just completely captivates me.

You can't imagine how I happy I was then to win one of Charming Doodle's giveaways!!!Yay!!! I won a yard of fabric from Andover Fabrics and it arrived today!!! Gorgeous! Too many explanation points, I know, but I'm so happy :-) I also won a really cool pattern - Coco Mittens from Violette Field Threads. So cute fingerless mittens to make out of either upcycled sweaters or knit fabric. That was truly lucky because the PDF arrived in my inbox the evening before my 15 year old daughter was leaving for a couple of days in Washington DC. She had seriously just asked a week earlier about making some for her. What amazing timing.

I made her the knit version in an Adult medium in the long length. I used the same olive green sweater knit from Joann's that I used for this top for her. It took less than an hour to print, read the instructions twice, and then go sew them up, complete with bows. The thumb part is a little tricky and you have to be careful and precise there, but I really enjoyed the process. I have said before that I am spatially challenged and I'll say it again. I simply cannot picture things sometimes and see how it's possibly going to work. It makes it that much more enjoyable to flip it right side out and see that it really does work. Just awesome.

That is my ugly hand, not hers. They are a tad big on her so if I make her more, and I'm sure I will, I'll use the small for her. The medium fit me well and this fabric is so soft I can see why she wore them a ton those 2 freezing cold days while she was at the March for Life in DC. They make it so easy to use a phone or other device.

Sadly, she thought the bows were cute, but not for her. So they are rather plain, but she likes them like this.

I thought Elena would like some too so I made hers in the sweater version out of thick anti-pill fleece. Embellished with lace trim they are sweet and practical. I had to choose between 12mo-2T or 3-5 so I went with the smaller but added about a 1/2 inch to the width. I used the medium length again. These match her Zermatt Bow Swing Coat which only has 3/4 length sleeves so this will fill the gap a bit.

I love it! So, so cute. And pretty handy for my little thumb sucker!

You can see that the one on the right is a little narrower than the left. I made the one on the right first and couldn't believe that it would actually fit Elena. I know she's thin, but it seemed soooo skinny and she was in bed so I couldn't try it. When I sewed the next one I used a slightly smaller seam allowance so it added about another half inch. Both fit her just fine it turns out. I wish I could have gotten her to pose cute with them but man, she is so uncooperative lately. 

 I made a quick beret using Simplicity 2745 and the same fleece. I made a flower, and sewed it on with more lace and some pearls but it completely overwhelmed her a little head. She has such a tiny face. So I took that off and made a simple lace bow and it works much better. She still wouldn't pose though. More frustration. Trying not to let her see it because I swear it fuels hers stubborness.

I hope you can just imagine how cute it's going to be all together with this jacket.

I am planning another pair of the mittens for my niece's 10th birthday. I have a purple sparkly sweater to use for those and it'll match her coat. Sewing for other people always makes me nervous, especially when it'll be opened in front of a crowd so wish me luck, please.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PRP Refashion Week

Take one old maternity tank top and one of my teenage daughter's old tops and what do you get?

This is the Lucille top from ShwinDesigns in a 2T. I shortened the sleeves to elbow length out of necessity. That's how refashions go sometimes. It worked out great because this will carry into spring nicely. 

The Lucille top is a very cute raglan sleeved tee. There are two little pleats at the front and back of each sleeve and the "V" shape color blocks make it lots of fun to combine fabrics. I was a little worried about sewing those angles, but the pictures in the instructions are nice and clear and make it easy. I think it turned out great and I know I'll make more of these. My teenager wants one too so I'll have to try to adapt a pattern to fit her since this one only goes up to a girls size 8. 

 I had to pick off some of the metal discs in order to hem the sleeve and sew the sleeve seam. That gave me the idea to replace them and use more of them on the front and other sleeve. I destroyed a couple of finger nails trying to get those things off. I hope the glue I bought works as well as the original stuff did!

That glue was so fun. I might get carried away and start bedazzling everything now!!!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Snowflake Dress

I found this snowflake print fabric at the thrift store this fall. I've been planning on making this dress for a long time. I thought it would fit nicely with Katy of No Big Dill's Sew All 26 challenge for "S" week. Who knew it would also work out for a Project Run and Play sew-a-long for week one's theme - Winter Wonderland. Yay!

The dress is from a McCall's pattern 6785. I used it before for this tunic. It's a raglan top with some variations. I'm going to use it again to make a few more tops for spring. After I finished the bodice, it seemed like it was going to be a little short so I added the yellow knit band around the middle. I love gray and yellow together. It injects a little sunshine into typical gray winter days. The pattern doesn't line the hood, but I added gray knit for a more professional look. It would like pretty cruddy without that I think.

I made the vest by starting with the Zermatt Bow Swing coat pattern that I used here before. I left off the sleeves, extended the shoulder out to a cap sleeve, and left off the bow. I still used the facings and then added a lining of more of the bright yellow cotton lycra from Girl Charlee. I opted to close it with a painted button and loop of elastic sewn under a piece of the snowflake fabric. The vest fabric itself is from a hooded fleece scarf my mom passed on. Not much fabric to work with and wouldn't have worked for anything bigger than this 2T. Actually, I had to use a different fleece for the back facing and shorten the whole thing by a couple of inches. I love seeing the yellow peeking out at the armholes.

The white leggings are my own pattern and are made of cotton lycra from Joann's. Nothing exciting but very useful. And very dirty after the outdoor portion of our photo shoot. Oh well. Thank goodness we took some pictures inside first.

And now the pictures of Elena enjoying the new outfit on a rare sunny day.

Once I attached the skirt to the bodice, the weight of it pulled the whole thing down making the yellow band hit a little lower than intended. I still love the color pop but I may go back and shorten the bodice an inch. What do you think? The overall length is good, but the waist is a little low, right? Although Elena loves it and wore it all day and she is not known for keeping her clothes on, so that must mean something!