Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Dresses 2013

Happy Easter!  Despite the winter-like days we've been having recently, it's actually in the low 50s here and we are ready for Easter weekend!

I am really happy to have finally made the Coraline Dress!  This adorable tutorial from Jess over at CINO is another winner!  I've had the fabric in my stash and the tutorial bookmarked for quite some time and I love how it all came together.

There are some beautiful details on this dress.  It's very feminine with the ruffles but they aren't overwhelming.  The bodice of this dress takes a bit of time because of the ruffles, bias bindings, the button placket, etc., but it's so worth it!

We may have to sport leggings and "regular" shoes this weekend, but come summer, this will be such a lovely and light dress.  Also good for baby karate?  I'm not sure what this pose is!

The fabric is a quilting cotton from JoAnn's and even though I've had it for awhile, I think I've actually seen it there recently.  Tiffany blue and pale pink?  Definitely perfect for spring!

So, we photographed a couple of different outfits this day and while sometimes this super cuteness happens...

Most of the time, this happens.

Happy Easter, everyone :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dressing Up Dolly Guest Post: Hooded Sweatshirt and Yoga Pants Free Pattern and Tutorial!

I had the opportunity to share a guest post over at Naptime Crafters during Amy's super fun Dressing up Dolly series in February!  Here is the cute and comfy outfit I made for 12" dolls.  There is a free pattern download and tutorial for this outfit!

Hi Naptime Crafters readers!  I'm so thrilled to be here with you today participating in the Dressing Up Dolly series!  My name is Amanda and I blog over at Double Stitching.  My hubby and I make our home in the midwest and we are parents to identical twin girls who will soon be turning 3.  The girls are my main sewing inspiration, although I love to sew for pretty much anyone!

Amy has put together such a fabulous series!  It drives me crazy to see those poor baby dolls laying around with next to nothing on.  For Christmas, my girls received baby dolls and doll strollers and they are loving this new stage of pretend play.  I decided to make a comfy cozy little outfit for the dolls based off some of our wardrobe favorites around here.  The girls have some gray yoga pants that are worn at least once a week and they are often paired with a warm hooded sweatshirt.  They pull the hoods up and say "I look like a princess!"  I don't quite get the correlation between hoods and princesses, but it makes them happy!  :)

You can download a free pattern for this outfit here.  This should fit most 12" dolls.  For larger dolls, you can try enlarging the pattern on a copier or in photo editing software.  

Materials Needed:

- Knit fabric (old t-shirts work great, but if you are using yardage, 1/4" yard is plenty)
- Small scraps of hook & loop tape (Velcro)
- Coordinating thread
- Ballpoint machine needle
- Sewing stuff (machine, scissors, pins)

Seam allowance is 1/4" unless otherwise noted.

Let's start with the hooded sweatshirt.  You will need to cut 2 front pieces, one back piece on the fold and two sleeves on the fold.  We'll cut the hood in a bit.  One major benefit of using old t-shirts is that you can use the factory hem and skip hemming!  If you are not using t-shirts, turn up the bottom edge of each piece 1/4" and hem.  There is no need for a double folded hem since knit won't fray!

Take both front pieces and fold the center edge under 1/4" and press in place.

Cut two scraps of hook & loop tape about 2" long by 1/4" wide.  You will position the hook and loop tape just above the hem.  On the doll's right front piece (your left as you are facing it), unfold the fabric you just pressed back and stitch the hook side of the tape to the right side of the fabric.  On the doll's left front piece (your right as you are facing it), leave the piece folded back and stitch the loop side of the tape to the right side of the fabric.  The photo should make this more clear!

Flip the hook side back into place and topstitch so the fabric won't flap out.  

With right sides together, sew the front pieces to the back piece at the shoulders.

With right sides together, fit the sleeves into the armholes, pin and stitch in place.

Place the whole garment right sides together, matching up the hems and underarm seams.  Pin and stitch each side seam from the bottom hem all the way to the sleeve hem.

For the hood, cut two hood pieces (A).  With right sides together, stitch the hood pieces together along the entire curved area (B).

Fold and press the front edge of the hood under 1/4".  Hem in place.  I used two lines of stitches because I like the look and my daughters can be hard on things, but one line is fine!

With right sides together, fit the hood to the neckline of the sweatshirt.  Pin and stitch in place.

Flip everything right side out and your hooded sweatshirt is complete!

For the yoga pants, cut 2 leg pieces and 1 waistband piece.  Again, it is helpful to use old t-shirts so you can reuse the factory hem.  If you are using regular knit yardage, turn the bottom edge of each leg piece up 1/4" and hem in place.

Fold each leg piece in half with right sides together and stitch up each straight edge (stop at the bottom of the curve).

Turn one leg right side out and slip it inside the other leg so they are right sides together.

Stitch the pants together along the rise (curved seam), matching up the crotch seams.

Flip everything right side out and you should have what is starting to look like a pair of pants!

Take your waistband piece and fold it in half, right sides together.  Stitch up the short sides, forming a tube.

Now fold the piece in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.

Mark the waistband and the top edge of the pants in quarters using pins.

Slip the waistband over the pants matching up the pins and the raw edges.  You will need to stretch the waistband to fit the top of the pants.

Stretching the waistband as you go, sew the waistband to the top of the pants.

Flip the waistband up and you have pants!  They can be worn with the waistband extended as on the left or folded over as on the right.  If your doll has a thinner waist than ours do, the folded waistband will help hold the pants in place better.

You're done!  Now dress that baby!

I think she's ready for a stroll!  My girls always say they're taking their babies shopping at Kohl's.  Ha!  I guess you know what we like to do!

I hope everyone has warm and cozy baby dolls now :)  I'd love to have you visit me at Double Stitching for lots of little girl tutorials and other fun things too!  Thanks so much for having me, Amy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Appliqued Burp Cloths & Chevron Bibs

While I was on my short blog break, I sewed up some little baby things.  A dear family member has a baby shower to attend for some twins who are on the way!  I think you all know how I feel about sewing for twins, so this was a fun project.  These twins are going to be boy/girl so it was a new challenge for me to pick out coordinating pink and blue fabrics!

I found some fun polka dot flannel at JoAnn's and appliqued the babies' first initials on a pair of coordinating burp cloths.

I also made a pair of my favorite pocket bibs with some lovely Riley Blake laminated chevrons.  I love the tone on tone chevrons!

I hope the new mama and her babies enjoy their little gifts!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pattern Review: Whimsy Couture Overalls

A little while back, I was so excited to actually win a giveaway (seriously, I never win anything)!  I won a 6 pack of PDF patterns from Whimsy Couture.  I'd had my eye on a few of their patterns, so I was really happy to have the chance to try them out.  One of my first projects was a set of overalls for the girls.

I have to say, I'm loving this look!  It's just so adorably retro.  Maybe it just reminds me of something my mom would have put me in back in the early 80s, but it still feels like the perfect piece for a little girl today!  I had this really fun pink corduroy fabric printed with little brown buttons that are made to look like flowers and it just seemed like a great fabric for this pattern.

So, on top of the cuteness factor, I'd definitely recommend this pattern.  The instructions are super easy to follow and the pattern is simple to put together.  Like all PDF patterns, you have to tape together oodles of sheets of paper, but it's not that bad.  

So, funny story...I cut a longer length hoping the girls would be able to wear it for the remaining cold weeks of this winter plus next winter as well.  I guess I went a little overboard, because when I first put it on one of the girls, the ruffles went down to her toes.  Whoops.  So, I hacked off a few inches and rehemmed the ruffles and we're good to go.  I saved the excess in case they grown 4" by next winter (entirely possible with my amazon children) and I figured I could add another tier of ruffles if needed.

Okay, on to the meat of the review!

The Pattern:  Whimsy Couture's Girls/Boys Overall
Sizes Included: NB - 5T
Size Made:  A 3T/4T hybrid (my girls are very tall and very skinny, so I cut the 3T width but the 4T length)
Fit: Pretty much spot on, aside from me cutting it a leeeetle too long for my girls.  The legs are wide, so if you don't like that look, you may want to remove an inch or two from the width of the leg.
Fabric Used: Lightweight corduroy
Difficulty: Intermediate
Special Techniques: Buttonholes, Gathering (optional)
Pros: The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.  The top of the overalls are finished by using a facing, so for those who are unfamiliar with this technique, it adds one more trick to your sewing repertoire.  There are 3 length options (full, capri and shorts) with optional ruffles for the girls version.  There is also an option to add snap tape for smaller sizes to facilitate diaper changes.  If you aren't adding the ruffles, it sews up pretty quickly!
Cons: The length options are kind of up to you to figure out - it's a full length pattern piece and you have to know your inseam measurement to get the shorts or capri version cut properly.  The pattern does offer a general guide to getting the right length for shorts and capris, but it's not exact.  PDF patterns do require printing many pages and cutting them out and taping the pattern together.
Overall: A great staple pattern with lots of ways you could customize it!  

Also apparently great for munching on a plastic cookie!  The girls have picked these out pretty much every week as soon as they are out of the laundry, so they are a hit with mamas and babies alike!  I'm looking forward to making a capri length pair for spring...stay tuned for those!

All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for this review.  I won this pattern in a giveaway and chose to review it for personal reasons only.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday

It's the time of year again for the semi-annual children's clothing and equipment resale for the local Mothers of Multiples Club that we're in.  Since I'm slightly obsessive about matching the girls' clothes, this sale is a great chance for me to unload my matching stuff to twin mamas who I know will appreciate it!  

When it comes to the girls' store bought clothing, I don't really get attached to anything.  They've had some incredibly cute outfits, but nothing I felt like I absolutely needed to save.  Their handmade items are a different story.  Not only have I invested time and money into making these outfits, a lot of love goes into them as well.  

Some of the more "everyday wear" shirts and skirts don't really tug at my heart when I pull them out of the boxes, but then there are those special dresses...the ones I really worked hard on, or the girls wore them for a special occasion, or they are just favorites to us.

These are outfits that will not be sold at the resale.  There is no way I could tag them for a few dollars and let them go.  Eventually I will steel my heart a bit, put a price on them and sell them to friends.  It will hurt a bit, but I know I can't keep everything or I will end up with boxes and boxes of keepsakes like some crazy cat clothing lady.

So, how about everyone else?  Do you have boxes of the clothes you've made your kids that you just can't part with?  Or do you sell it/give it away without a second thought?  Are you overly attached to clothing items?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  

In other news, the girls are turning 3 next week and aside from the resale, we have their birthday party, 3 year checkup with the pediatrician and the actual big day of birth itself, so I'm going to take a bit of break here to focus on all of that.  I will be back on March 18.  Until then, I hope you all have a lovely couple of weeks!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thinking Summer: Joel Dewberry Sunsuit

I had a special request from an Etsy customer for a little romper or sunsuit to coordinate with the dress I was making for her older daughter.  I've had this Little Lizard King sunsuit pattern for awhile and haven't had a chance to make one yet, so this was the perfect opportunity!  I have to say, I die a small death of cuteness overload every time I look at it!

I used one of my favorite fabrics of all time - Joel Dewberry's Ornate Floral in Amber paired with Tile Flourish in Amber from his Heirloom Collection.  The front is ridiculously cute and then you turn it around and see the back...

It's a stunner, that's for sure!  I really enjoyed this pattern, too.  Little Lizard King patterns are really simple fabric cuts, usually with just one or two pattern pieces.  This one has a crotch cut out piece and the rest are just rectangles of fabric!  I'd say this is best for an advanced beginner because there is a lot of ruffling involved, but the pattern walks you through each technique step by step.  

The cut neck strap measurements make a shorter strap and smaller bow, but she also includes directions for making a really long strap and big bow, which of course I went for!  A huge bow really makes an outfit for me :) 

There are two different options for the bum ruffles - regular ruffles that are hemmed on the bottom and sides or ruffles that you serge on the top and bottom and stitch on through the center.  I opted for the first style, but I think either one would be adorable.  I can't wait to make this one again!

I was not compensated in any way for my opinions here.  All opinions are my own and this is strictly an informational post on a pattern I enjoyed making!