Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Denali Jacket for spring

More pink and purple coming out of my sewing room. Elena needed a new jacket with sleeves long enough for a monkey armed girl. She loves fleece jackets and I wanted to make one with buttons. So this jacket is the answer.

 I went to Joann's and bought some antipill polar fleece in colors I knew she would like, but that would include some colors I like. It's all about compromise with this opinionated girl. The pattern is the Denali Jacket by GYCT Designs. I believe I won this pattern in a contest in her Facebook group. It is a very useful pattern with options for a solid front, a color-blocked front, or like this version a color-blocked and gathered front. There is also a choice of a 2 piece or 3 piece hood. I went with 2 piece. I lined the hood and did the facings with jersey from a tan t-shirt. Not exactly "glamorous" like she would pick, but stable and it does match a color of the fleece print.

She is getting good at buttons, but you can see she's putting some stress on the top buttonhole. I think that's because she can't see that one since it's high up and she forgets which way the hole goes. It is well interfaced so I hope it holds up. The buttons are thick for little fingers to grab easily. They came off of an old jacket of Olivia's.

She really likes it and is wearing it a lot. The poor kid spends a fair amount of time in the car every afternoon driving the teenage siblings around so a light jacket is all that she needs for that or she gets overheated. Andrew has changed swim teams so now our afternoon drive for him is down from just over an hour to only 40 minutes. In a couple of weeks (after spring break) it will be 15 minutes so YAY! For all of us.

I do really like this pattern and can fully recommend it. I had no trouble with it and think it produced a nice jacket. I'm also thinking that if I sized up, I could make it in a woven, maybe even a raincoat type fabric. There are side seam pockets but Elena finds those kind hard to find usually. I was thinking of adding a vertical seam to the front panel so I could move them there, or I could bite the bullet and learn how to make a welt pocket. Hmmm. But this version is great for playing outside on the warmer days we are starting to get.

Of course she chose pink pants and pink shoes to wear it with. I could gag on so much pink but she loves it. The top she is wearing underneath is swirly pink and purple. Oh my goodness.

I'm still trying to de-emphasize clothes and blogging for her, so this wasn't an official photo shoot. We were just playing outside and I took some occasional pictures. I like this last one shot through the toy barn we were playing My Little Pony with. She was being so silly and cute.

I had been hoping to make her an Easter dress, but 1) she doesn't really need one, 2) I don't have any fabric she likes for a "glamorous" dress and 3) I'm running out of time so it isn't going to happen. How about an Easter t-shirt? Is that a thing? If she isn't careful she is going to wind up exactly where her picky older sister (who turned 18 last week!!!) is - not on my sewing list at all. I have a long list of sewing for myself and so I hope that the next thing I show you is something for me. Take care everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Peplum Top and Leggings

Today's outfit was made at least 6 weeks ago. We were blessed with another beautiful spring-like day so we had a chance to take pictures outside. It was full-on sunshine and quite windy and then it started raining huge drops for a few minutes, but then it cleared up quickly. You've got to love the weather around here in March and April - it's crazy.

The top was made using Simplicity 1435 with one minor change to extend the sleeves to full length. I used a womens' tee from the thrift store for fabric. I thought Elena would like the little birds, but alas, there is no pink or purple so she doesn't love it. She might not like it at all and may only be wearing it right now because of a bribe of Hello Kitty fruit snacks.

The leggings are from the same pattern, but for skinny mini, I have learned to adjust the width. I taped a fold down the center of the pattern piece to take out 1 inch in width. This pair was made from a pair of Forever 21 leggings Olivia didn't want anymore. They are a ponte knit.

So the fun is in the details. The leggings got the addition of a triangle of crochet lace added to the bottom. I just sewed it on with a tight, narrow zigzag stitch. It's certainly not a new concept, but it is the first time I did it.

I do enjoy a little hand embellishment, so the top got some blanket stitching around the neckline and bottom hem. The bows were made from scraps and tacked on heavily from the back because I hate when bows are only attached at the center and curl up instead of lying flat. They are made from a sweater knit so I don't think they will crumple up like jersey does.

The whole outfit is a little big on her as you can see above. She looks like she's wearing football shoulder pads. I've used this pattern before but with a cotton lycra and this is just an interlock so I guess that's the difference. I'm hoping that it will still fit her next fall. At the rate she is growing lately, the sleeves will be 3/4 length, but I think the rest will actually be better then. And maybe she'll be over the purple and pink infatuation by then. I can only hope.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hack 'em & Mash 'em - Make it your own

First off, I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted anything. I didn't realize it had been quite that long. I have been sewing a lot, just not blogging. So what have I been sewing? I'm continuing on with the capsule wardrobes for Elena and I. These pieces I have to show you today, go along with lots of Elena's other pieces and were made completely from scrap fabric. Bonus pieces!

This cardigan is hack of the Aster Cardigan. I shortened the bodice pieces making the side seam 5" long and added a gathered skirt. I also spaced my buttons out a bit more. Otherwise, the construction is according to the pattern. This sweater knit is super stretchy so I used a piece of neutral jersey for the neck binding. I also stabilized the shoulder seams with hem tape.

Elena definitely needs more practice with buttons, which reminds me I need to show you her new fleece jacket for spring. It has buttons too, but that will be another day. We took advantage of a warm day to take pictures without a jacket so that's how we chose this outfit. I'm telling you, we are way behind on blogging (and shopping for spring shoes.)

I bought 3 yards of this fabric last fall. I believe it cost less than $20 at Fabric.com. It has now become my Jalie drop pocket cardigan, a hooded Bimaa for Elena, and this Aster. That's so crazy. I have nothing left of it. I would have made the skirt portion an inch or 2 longer if I had more fabric, but I'm glad it's not any fuller. I just wanted a few gathers. 

Did you recognize the skort fabric? I used the bitty sized scraps of Stenzo jersey I bought from Mabel Madison last year. It's such nice fabric that I had to find a way to use up the last bits. Plus this way, all these pieces mix and match. We now have a dress and skort from the stripes, and leggings and a fringe tee and parts of this skort from the blue. 

This skort is a mash up of 2 patterns - the skirt and waistband pieces are from the Sofilantjes LIV skirt while the under-shorties are from the Hey June Monkey Bars Skirt. Both are free patterns from a couple of really great designers who have lots of great knit patterns. I've made the LIV skirt before with it's cute circle pockets, but I kept it simple this time while adding the shorts underneath. 

There's no elastic in the waistband so it's super comfy. It took no more than 10 minutes to sew this up and then another 10 to set up and hem with the double needle. It's so quick and easy I was tempted to whip up a half a dozen, but how many do we really need? That's the hard part of the capsule wardrobe and being creative and resourceful. Just because I can make them easily doesn't mean I should. I'm trying to stick to my plans and keep a limited wardrobe for her.

I'll be back with more as soon as we can get more pictures. I have so much to show you and a couple pieces I'm working on for myself that are close to done.