Friday, September 28, 2012

Runway Looks: Bonnie & Camille/Moda Knot Dress & Peasant Top

My final runway look was a bit of showstopper, if I do say so myself :)  I paired a knot dress with a peasant top for that super boutique look and came up with this piece of gorgeousness.

The fabric is Bonnie & Camille for Moda's Ruby collection and let me tell you, it is absolutely beautiful in person.  

 For the knot dress, I paired Swoon in Gray with Sundae in Lime.  

 The coordinating peasant top fabric is called Quirky in Cream.  How totally lovely is that?

I love this look because it shows the versatility of a knot dress.  It's fun, summery and casual on it's own.

When paired with a peasant top, you get that boutique look that is just so classic and pretty.

This is definitely one of my favorite looks and the girls will be wearing it all fall and winter and then again next summer as separate pieces!  The patterns are both Little Lizard King again and the complete outfit is available in my Etsy shop.

I hope you've had fun seeing my choices for a fall fashion show and maybe found some beautiful new fabrics to love!  We all need more fabric, right???  All our husbands collectively groan...

Have a lovely weekend!  (Yes, there is pretty much always at least one picture of my "models" running away!!)

{All photos courtesy of Shannon Miller Photography}

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Runway Looks: Joel Dewberry Heirloom Knot Dress

The third look for the fashion show last weekend was this gorgeous knot dress!

The fabric is from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom collection and is called Rose Bouquet in Sky.  The trim and ties are from the same collection and the fabric is Ribbon Lattice in Fuschia.  

I love those little knot straps!  The pattern is once again from Little Lizard King and I have the dress available in my Etsy shop.

Knot dresses are so great because the straps really adjust to fit your child perfectly.  I love how you can get a really comfortable fit and adjust how high or low the neckline is.  

This dress has a nice and full gathered skirt and the girls love twirling around in it!

Pretty, pretty, pretty!  Knot dresses are also really versatile because you can wear them like a sundress or layer them up with a long sleeved top and tights or leggings for fall and winter.  We'll be doing that this weekend with another Joel Dewberry print dress I made that I'll share later!  Bye for now :)

{All photos courtesy of Shannon Miller Photography}

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Runway Looks: Amy Butler Lotus Pillowcase Dress

Continuing with the fall fashion show looks, I presented this lovely pillowcase dress.

The fabric is from Amy Butler's Lotus collection and is called Wallflower in Sky.  The coordinating trim is from the same collection and is called Full Moon in Slate.  The gray and blue combination is so pretty and very soothing.  Definitely a departure from the normal pink girly stuff, but completely feminine and lovely.

I love pillowcase dresses because they are so comfy and cool for summer, but transition great into fall by adding a long sleeved tee and some leggings.  The day we did these photos, the younger twin was having random moments where she did not want to be cooperative.  Apparently the woods were a bit scary?  She still showed some sass, though :)

I guess she felt happier with her sister nearby because there are some darling shots of them together.  The older twin is also in Amy Butler Lotus.  Her fabric is called Morning Glory in Linen and is equally lovely.  Both are available in my Etsy shop.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Runway Looks: Alexander Henry Peasant Dress

I wrote a little bit before about being asked to participate in a fashion show and charity auction benefiting the Salvation Army.  This week I'll be sharing with you the four looks I sent down the runway!  It was such a fun event and really an honor to be asked to participate.  

The first look is a fall peasant dress in Alexander Henry's Mocca fabric!

I've had this fabric in my stash for awhile and I decided to use it this fall for dresses both for the girls and for my Etsy shop.

I used Little Lizard King's Brooke peasant dress pattern and I'm super happy with it.  I made the long sleeved version with gathering at the elbow.

The little girl who modeled it was absolutely adorable and her mom told me afterwards how much they loved the dress!

I think this is such a perfect fall fabric.  The colors are just lovely and I love the bold, modern print.  

If you would like one of these dresses but don't sew yourself, I have it for sale in my Etsy shop :)  I love that there are lots of sleeve options, so it makes a really versatile pattern.  It was really great to watch it go down the runway!  I'll share my other 3 looks this week!

{All photos courtesy of Shannon Miller Photography}

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Flower Girl Dress

I recently had the pleasure of making a sweet little flower girl dress for fall!  The bride has chosen a barn wedding with vintage details and colors of burnt orange, tan and brown.  The flower girl's mom is a bridesmaid and they were having trouble finding a flower girl dress they really liked and fit in with the look of the rest of the bridal party, so she asked if I would make one.  Of course I said yes!  

She wanted an ivory dress and we had talked about doing a lace overlay for the skirt, but then I found this gorgeous embroidered cotton at JoAnn's and she and the bride both loved it!  It's a bit hard to capture the details, but here is a close up of some of the lovely flowers on the fabric.

I once again used The Party Dress pattern from Lindsay over at the Cottage Home (previously used on the girls' Easter dresses).  It's such a perfect pattern for special occasions and you can do so much with it.  For this version I omitted the bottom band and just hemmed the dress.  I also fully lined the skirt because the embroidered cotton fabric was a little sheer.

I do love a ginormous bow on a little girl!  The flower girl just turned a year old, so I had to modify Lindsay's pattern a bit to make it fit.  I ended up taking off about 1/2" all the way around on the bodice, but since I wasn't using the bottom band, I did use the 18-24 month measurements for the skirt pieces.  I used some of the embroidered parts of the fabric when making the fabric covered buttons.

One of my favorite parts is the little pleat in the side of the sash.  It's such a small detail, but it is lovely.  The sash was made from one of the bridesmaid's dresses that was shortened.  

I think the flower girl might just steal the show!  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Vintage Boho Top Tutorial

A little while back, I shared with you the absolute beauty of a vintage sheet I found on a thrifting trip.  I've been pondering what to do with it for some time, thinking it would probably become a dress.  Then my mom and I found these adorable little gray pants at Carter's and the idea for this top was born!

The print of this particular sheet lent itself perfectly to this shirt, but it would look beautiful in so many different fabrics!  It absolutely needed a Peter Pan collar.

It buttons up the back in keeping with the vintage vibe.

I adore the bell sleeves gathered at the elbow.  Definitely one of my favorite details and super easy to make!

The girls love it and didn't want to take it off!

Want to make your own?  For most little girl sizes, you will need:

- 1 1/4 yards main fabric

- 1/3 yard lining fabric (more if you also want to line the bottom part of the shirt)
- scraps for collar fabric (I just used my white lining fabric)
- 3 coordinating buttons, size of your choice
- 1/4 elastic
- sewing stuff (coordinating thread, sewing machine, scissors or rotary cutter/mat, hand sewing needle)

To get started, we'll need to make a quick bodice pattern.  You can use any basic sleeveless bodice pattern you have on hand or you can make your own by tracing a well-fitting t-shirt.  I suggest using one that doesn't fit too tight or too loose and doesn't have a lot of distracting details like big gathered sleeves or a ruffled top.

First, fold your t-shirt in half and lay it out on some paper.  I just use plain white copier paper.  Trace around the outer edge of the shirt, adding seam allowance as you go.  I suggest using 1/2".

Now trace your front bodice onto another sheet, but this time use the back neckline (usually a couple of inches higher than the front neckline) and also add 1" to the fold side so you have room for your button flaps to overlap on the back.  Mark your pattern pieces with size, fold marks and seam allowance info in case you use it again in the future!

To draft the sleeve, pattern, take your front bodice pattern piece and lay it at the edge of another sheet of paper.  You will probably need to tape two pieces together so you have enough length.  Trace the curve of the armhole onto your new sheet of paper.

Lay an existing well-fitting sleeve on top and mark the length, making sure you add enough length to hem it (usually 1" is plenty).  Also mark the approximate center of the sleeve, where the child's elbow would be.

Now if you've made sleeve patterns before, here is where you're going to think I've completely taken leave of my senses and this is never going to work.  I assure you that while I probably lost my senses long ago, this will work!  Draw a line straight out from the top of the sleeve to your final length marking.  This will be the fold line for your sleeve pattern.  Where you marked for the elbow, make a mark about 8" away from your top straight (fold) line.

Now connect all the lines together by making a large swooping curve down from the bottom of the armhole to your mark, then head straight out to the end.  Also make a line to connect the top and bottom.  We need all this extra fabric to make the sleeves bell at the end and to gather them up at the elbow.  I know it looks totally weird, but it will work!

Mark and cut out your sleeve pattern and cut two sleeves on the fold (sorry, no picture).  Also cut your front bodice pieces on the fold, one of main fabric and one of lining fabric and cut your back bodices (not on the fold), two of your main fabric and two of your lining fabric.

For the collar, lay your front bodice out on a sheet of paper and trace the neckline curve and the shoulders.  Also mark the center of the front neckline on your paper.

Curving down from the center mark, draw a Peter Pan collar shape extending up to the shoulder.  Remember you'll need seam allowance, so don't make it too small.  You might have to play with it a few times until you like the shape.  You can see I had to!  I felt like it was too small at first, so the line farthest out is what I ended up going with.

Cut 4 of your collar pieces, right sides together if you are using a printed fabric.

With right sides together, sew two of the collar pieces together along the sides and bottom, leaving the top (neckline curve) open.  Repeat with the other two pieces.  Flip the collar pieces right sides out and press well with your iron.

Take your main fabric bodice pieces and sew them right sides together at both shoulder seams.  Repeat with the bodice lining pieces.

Pin your collar pieces to the right side of your main bodice piece.  The inner edges of the collar should just touch.

Now lay your bodice lining on top, right sides together, matching up the shoulder seams.  Carefully pin the two layers together with the collar sandwiched in between.  Pin and sew around the entire neckline and the inside edges of the back bodice.  Do not sew around the armholes or the side seams.

Flip the entire bodice right side out and carefully press with your iron.  It will take a bit of work to get it to lay flat, but take your time and really press everything neatly.  The collar should lay flat.  If you are having trouble getting it to lay down, flip it up and topstitch the neckline seam underneath the collar. 

Next take your sleeves and line them up with the armholes.  Pin the sleeves into the bodice armholes, right sides together and sew.  

Finish the seams by serging, zig zag stitching, or trimming with pinking shears.

Find the center point of your sleeve.  Cut two pieces of 1/4" elastic, each about 9" long.  Use a disappearing fabric pen to mark a line straight across at the center point of your sleeve.  Pin the elastic at the start and end of this line.

Stretch the elastic all the way across the sleeve and sew it down.  I would suggest using a zig zag stitch when you sew over elastic.  You may have to stretch and hold it in sections, but make sure it stretches all the way across.

Once your elastic is stitched down, it should gather the center of the sleeve up like this.

It's a good idea to make your buttonholes before moving on.  Mark and make buttonholes according to your machine's instructions.

To make the main body piece of the shirt, measure across the bottom of your bodice.  Mine is 13".

For the front, cut a piece that is 3" wider than your bodice measurement (so 16" for me) by however much length you need (don't forget to add allowance for a hem!).  My front piece was 16" wide by 12" long.  For the back, cut a piece that is the same width as your bodice, so for me that was 13" wide by 12" long.  I also chose to line my piece because the vintage sheet was a bit thin, but for most modern fabrics, you shouldn't need a lining piece.

Mark the center of your front piece and then make a mark 3" away from both the right and left of center.

Run a gathering stitch (longest machine stitch length) between these two marks and pull the threads to gather the fabric until the width matches your bodice.

With right sides together, stitch the bottom piece to the bodice.  Finish the seams using your preferred method and press the seam up towards the bodice.

Do the same with the back piece, making sure when you overlap your buttonhole area that the buttonholes are layered on top!

Lay the shirt out right sides together and match up the bodice seams, underarm seams and elastic ends on the sleeves.  Pin and sew both sides of the entire shirt together, starting at the bottom of the shirt and going all the way down to the end of the sleeve.

Turn the shirt right side out and topstitch just above the bodice seam, all the way around the front and back of the shirt.  I usually start under the underarm just to hide the beginning and ending point of my stitches.

All that's left is to hem the sleeves and the bottom, sew on your buttons and you are done!

Pick some of the final summer flowers for your hair and enjoy the cooler weather!  Remember if you make one, I'd love to see it in the flickr group!