Monday, March 31, 2014

Nature Inspired - Ready for Spring

I was so excited to learn about Skirt Fixation's Challenge Create - Adult Edition! I need clothes and now I have some motivation to make it happen. Sew-a-longs are so much fun. I like the themes, the creativity, and the sharing with the link ups. I really look forward to seeing other people's interpretations of the themes.

For week 1's theme - Nature Inspired - I wanted to make something I can wear all day in hopes that I may just feel like working out at any moment. With spring on it's way (sort of) I'm hoping for more opportunities to be outdoors and get more exercise so I need clothes that multitask. Ya know, something I can drop and do push-ups in at a moment's notice. I have been know to do squats, lunges, etc while my toddler plays on the playground. I obviously don't mind funny looks from strangers or I wouldn't have had my husband taking pictures of me down by the river today on a lousy 40 degree overcast day with lots of joggers and dog walkers wondering what on Earth I was doing. (We are expecting 4 inches of snow later today by the way. Ugh.)

I started with the free Deer and Doe plantain tee and added circular pockets - more on that later. My first thought was to add a hood, but then, being ever practical, I thought, "Hoods are cute, but do you ever actually use it? And they take up so much fabric- twice as much to line it and make it look nice and then it just hangs there looking cute but not adding much function. What else can I do?" The neckline on the tee is quite low so I thought it would be nice to make an infinity scarf for while it's still chilly around here. After I put it on, and loved it, it occurred to me that I can pull it up over my head like a hoodie! Yay for happy surprises! And maybe I live under a rock or something because that was a novel idea for me but after a quick search, I see that I am not the first to think of that. Oh well.

 On the tee, I used 3 cotton/spandex fabrics from Girl Charlee - a charcoal on white floral print and a green and a "prussian" blue. The stripe for the scarf is a lighter weight cotton blend from Girl Charlee last year. They are all wonderful - soft, stretchy, nice recovery. So comfortable.

The infinity scarf is made from 2 pieces that were 15" x 58" - the full width of the fabric. I sewed the two long sides first and then turned it right side out. Slide one short end back through the tube to meet up with other end right sides together. Sew around that circle leaving a 3-4" opening for turning. Turn it and slip stitch the opening closed. So so easy. I watched this video first to get the basics.

To add pockets to the shirt, I went with a kangaroo style but it's behind the front layer. Take your front pattern piece and cut a semicircle out where you want your pocket on the side seam.

Do you like my pattern weights? They're ceramic coasters.

I used the 80% rule to determine how long to cut my banding strips for the pockets, but it depends on how stretchy your fabric is. Measure your semicircle and multiply by .8. For the width, I used the same as the neckband for a congruous look. Sew them on, trim the excess and topstitch the seam allowance down to the body of the shirt.

The pocket piece is the piece that will show in the openings and run the width of the shirt. I used my original pattern piece and traced from the bottom to about 2 inches above the top of my pockets. I matched that fabric to the elbow patches again for continuity. I used my lightening bolt stitch to attach it across the middle of the shirt. The sides will get sewn into the side seams and the bottom into the hem.

On this damp, cold day, I was ever so grateful to have a scarf, a hood, and pockets to keep me warm.

And now the really good news, I wore this outfit all day and I did workout a little. Besides running and pushing Elena around on the merry-go-round at the park, I did some planks during commercials while watching TV and some yoga poses too. It's a good start.

Monday, March 24, 2014

PRP- Put Me In The Zoo

Season 9 of Project Run and Play is here, and I think we're going to see some amazing clothes from these amazing contestants. Their combined creativity and sewing skills means this is going to be so inspiring. I am going to sew along for some (or maybe all) of the weeks. I made some New Year's Resolutions about not spending money on fabric for clothes that Elena doesn't need so I will try to adhere to that. But if the fabric was free to me, or the clothing is something she needs, or if I can refashion something, then game on!

Our Put Me In The Zoo look is inspired by Elena's recent discovery and love of Disney's 101 Dalamatians.

The tunic length top has a nice swingy shape and contrast button placket down the back. I combined a few different basic bodices to get the shape. The neck and armholes are finished with matching bias tape and the ruffle cap sleeves are attached following this method explained nicely last week on You and Mie. 

This fits with my resolution requirements because the rayon fabric was repurposed from a top I made myself last year but didn't like. (Not sure what I was thinking with this print.) I was even able to reuse the bias tape and make some more. The solid black was gifted to me from my mom's destashing last year, the buttons too. The capri length knit leggings were also given to us and now they are useful because we have something to wear with them. 

Make It and Love It

Friday, March 14, 2014

X is for Crossback Tunics

crossback tunic by

I first came across the No Big Dill blog back in the fall and immediately joined in on the Sew All 26 Challenge. Katy is truly an original - creative, inspiring, and beyond talented. I started with letter G and have done every letter since. We are nearing the end of this series and I will really miss it.

My big kids had another snow day yesterday, but we are dreaming of summer over here. I look so forward to walking out the door without boots, hats, gloves, coats, scarves... I seriously can't take much more of this.

So anyway, "X" is for crossback tunics for Elena and her "dolly". I wish you could hear her say it. It is so stinking cute. The pattern for Elena's top is McCall's 2213 but there are plenty of versions of this out there. The lucky part was that just the other day, a free doll sized pattern was posted by A Jennuine Life as part of her teaching kids to sew series. Elena is just 2-1/2 so I whipped one up myself while she was napping (She did nap that day- it's not so reliable anymore. boo hoo)

crossback tunics by

The shorts are my knock-off of the famous Elegance & Elephants bubble pocket shorts. What can I say, sometimes I buy patterns and sometimes I like figuring things out for myself. They are such a cute design and Elena loves how much stuff can fit in the pockets. Today we have a couple strawberry marshmallows of course.

Kind of wish I hadn't added extra length to the size 2 top because now you only see the shorts from the back or when she reaches way up high. I still struggle with what size to sew this girl. Her chest and waist say she should wear 12 months a lot of times or 18 months but that just seems too crazy to go along with. I think this top will fit her for at least the next 2 summers, or until she's 6 maybe.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The "V" Dress The V Dress

I am continuing to sew my way through the alphabet with Katy of No Big Dill. She sews amaaaaaazing clothes and is a true artist. I don't know what I'll do once we reach the end of the alphabet. Plus the link ups are a lot of fun. That is why I started a blog afterall - to share and join the party. The V Dress

I used the same book as for letter U last week. This one has a V-neck and an upside down V at the bodice/skirt seam. I changed it a little to line the bodice and I added side-seam pockets. I used the lining fabric,which is white with orange polka dots, for the pockets to make them easier to find. She's getting better at it and should be a pro by summer.

Found them!

It is actually snowing here today - such a bummer:( I just keep popping vitamin D pills and thinking of summer. If I'm ready for it, maybe it will come. Maybe it's like a rain dance. I hope so. Elena too.

We'll be able to wear this with layers before summer!

The fabrics for the bodice and skirt were purchased at Joann's. Yep, that's right, I actually purchased fabric for this. It is hard to believe. I wanted a vertical stripe to get another V in there. It's a seersucker and I love it. I also love that the gathers are limited to a small area on both sides on the front, but they do go all the way across on the back. 

Just a few more pictures since she was so cooperative - again thanks to the strawberry marshmallows. 

My W project is almost ready since it's a failed U project that just needs some tweaks to become a W. Aren't you curious now? See you next week!