Tuesday, February 17, 2015

PRP February: Mademoiselle Muscle Tee Again

We loved our first Mademoiselle Muscle Tee outfit so much, we needed to make another one for Project Run & Play. Needing a smaller size than Living with Punks offered, I used the Tinley Tee this time by Get Your Crap Together Designs. It has a nice straight design with lots of sleeve options. I kept with the wider neckband of the Mademoiselle but used the flutter sleeves of the Tinley. The fabric is an old receiving blanket in great condition.

As per my usual way of thinking I'm so smart, I changed the flutter sleeve slightly. Instead of having the sleeves wrap all the way to the bottom of the arm, I gathered them more and stopped them short of the bottom of the armhole. I used a strip of knit to finish the armhole edges. This shortening up made them fuller, but I don't know if that was a good thing. That along with hemming them, makes them stand out a bit too much. Next time, I'll put them down further and not hem the edges so they hang softer. There will definitely be a next time too. I love a simple tee like this for summer. Cool and breezy like a muscle tee with just a bit of sun protection for the shoulders.

And yes, we needed another skirt to wear with it. This too is a refashion. Originally a vintage sheet, I had made myself a skirt with this floral border print. That was a few summers ago so it was already in the refashion pile since last summer. It is such a pretty print and color palette.

I added some bits of lace and eyelet to make a shabby chic look. You can't get more feminine or springy. 

Thank you so much for stopping by my little blog. And thank you to the ladies of Project Run & Play and Living with Punks for this fun challenge. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

February PRP: Mademoiselle Muscle Tee

This month's Project Run & Play challenge is to use the free Mademoiselle Muscle Tee pattern from Living with Punks. I'm completely ready to start thinking about warmer weather so here's Elena in her muscle tee.

Since the Mademoiselle pattern comes in a 5T and I need a 3 at most, I had to use another basic tee pattern. I chose the Otium from Sofilantjes because I've used it recently, it has similar lines and it has a surprise in the back. (More on that in a minute.)  I used the Mademoiselle tutorial's dimensions to make the wide bands at the neck and arms to add a pop of color. All of the material is re-purposed from 2 hand-me-down tees.

Here's the surprise: the bow on the back! This is one of the cool features of the Otium pattern and I think it girls this shirt up just enough.

Can you believe I had 2 tees in my stash that have the same green? Crazy.

And then, we needed a skirt to go with the top so I used this purple fabric I had been hoarding. This cotton is from Andover Fabrics and is part of the Downton Abbey collection. It is soooo nice. I only used about half a yard so I still have enough to make the bodice of another dress I had been saving it for. 

The skirt consists of 3 tiers. I based the measurements on a ready to wear skirt Elena likes. Between the bottom tiers, I added a strip of that same knit used on the banding of the shirt. It is sewn into the seam and then folded upward and top-stitched down. It also holds the seam allowance up and in place on the backside. I wavered back and forth about adding that in, but looking through Elena's wardrobe, I was shocked to see that she has several other tops that will also coordinate with this. Who knew we had so many wild colors in her closet?

So that's our outfit. the skirt is just full enough to be twirly for Elena without being obnoxious or too revealing. She wore it straight off the sewing machine until it needed to be washed and then photographed and still has it on now. Oh how I wish it were more than 20 degrees outside so we could take pictures outdoors. It's currently -4 so 20 would feel balmy. Come on spring, hurry it up please.

Hope you had a great Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Caroline Party Dress & McCall's 6914 Mash Up

Sometimes sewing is so much more than sewing. It's therapy, right? It's a way to do something useful but also a way to escape, to spend time alone (if you're lucky), and to be in the moment. Writing blog posts is also more than just the facts about patterns and fabrics and techniques. Sometimes it's a way of remembering and recording.

I made a modified Caroline Party Dress from Mouse House Creations. I've had this pattern for a year and love the design. I've been meaning to try it but I wasn't sure about what size to make so I kept putting it off.

I had a great friend in college. Her name was Caroline, just like this dress, and she played guitar.We sat on our front porch playing and singing, mostly John Denver for some reason. I had never felt comfortable singing in front of people before but Caroline convinced me I could and that no one would laugh. Or maybe a couple of drinks convinced me (it was college after all), but we had fun. I made Elena her own cardboard guitar to play with.

Caroline liked strong colors. In fact, her bedroom was painted black. Even though she hated pastels, I think she would like this dress's colors because they are strong and fun.Caroline was all about fun. She could make everything fun. The fabric is a fine wale corduroy from Joann's at least a year ago. The bodice only is lined in some pastel pink cotton. Sorry Caroline, Elena doesn't hate pastels.

Back to sewing facts, the Caroline Party dress bodice married the pleated skirt of McCall's 6914 which I used to make Elena's Christmas dress. A match made in heaven because the bodices were the exact same width making the skirt an easy swap. I added the Caroline side seam pockets back in for fun. The bodice is a 3T and so is the skirt width. I went with the 4 for length because the McCalls hits at the waist whereas the Caroline is a higher waist/empire top. I love the length of it and hope it lasts us a couple of months. This girl has grown one whole inch in the last month alone!

My friend Caroline was not only fun and a talented artist and musician, she was kind beyond words. She put people at ease and made them feel special. She accepted people as they were, appreciated people for being different, and opened herself up to people too. She taught me a lot and I am better for having known her. I do wish it had been for longer though. She would have been an amazing mom I'm sure. She passed away in a car accident on her way to work one snowy January morning 14 years ago. I will never forget her though.

Just a few more pics to finish up and to show you my zipper. I know zippers aren't really all that hard but they still stress me out big time. I thought this one went in pretty well with the pattern almost matching up. I was worried about using this fabric to make a dress with a pleated skirt and a separate bodice. There is just no way to match the stripes from top to bottom and I thought it would bother my symmetry-loving brain, but it doesn't bother me at all when viewed as a whole. (It does bother me in the close-up picture below though.)

We are pretty well in the late winter to spring dress category now so we'll have to think about what to sew next. Probably something for the Project Run & Play challenge.

Friday, February 6, 2015

KCW Caroline Party Dress from a Valance

Last summer I found a window valance at the thrift store. It was made of such adorable fabric and it was half price day so I took it home. I finally put it to use during this upcycle themed Kids Clothes Week.

This is what I had to work with. It is only 16.5 inches high and the gingham was so small it was useless. Fortunately for me, I had some of the very same gingham in my stash already from some pillows I made about 15 years ago. I believe these are Waverly prints and they might be called something to do with "Country Fair".

Isn't that fabric adorable? There wouldn't have been enough without the gingham insertion on the front. As it is, the skirt is about 8" less in width than it should be, but it's still full enough.

I made one other change that I am kicking myself for. It was snowing like crazy and the big kids were home again. I didn't feel like trying to drive to Walmart, my nearest source for a zipper. I thought it would be no big deal to change it to a button placket. The sewing was the easy part. The button holes proved to be impossible however. After ripping out 4 attempts and stomping my feet like a child, I gave up. I ordered snaps online and will finish this up next week when they arrive.