Monday, April 29, 2013

KCW Spring 2013 Wrap Up

I love Kids Clothes Week!  Whether or not you got your one hour a day of sewing in or not, I think it's a great motivator to get moving on some projects!  It's also such a fun way to share with like-minded people...people who think making beautiful, handmade items for our littles is fun, important and rewarding!  

Although I didn't sew on Thursday or Sunday, I definitely managed more than 7 total hours this week, so I'm calling it a success.  I also got a few things crossed of my sewing to-do list, which is always a good feeling!  I finished a sweet baby gift for a dear friend.

I got the girls ready for pool season with some Old Navy knock-off swim cover ups!

I even pulled something from the dreaded mending pile and got it fixed and back into circulation :)

And finally I got the girls into one more set of spring/summer dresses that will get tons of wear this year!

Overall that's a total of 5 complete garments, one headband and one mended pair of capris.  Not bad for a week's work!  I hope everyone had a super successful Kids Clothes Week!  Browsing the flickr group has been amazing this spring!  Great work, everyone!  Now it's back to our regularly scheduled sewing...of kids clothes, haha!  Actually I have something on the docket for myself, which is amazing.  I'm really trying to make an effort to make more things for myself.  If you haven't checked out Project Sewn yet, it might be just the motivation you need to move away from the kiddo sewing pile and make something lovely for yourself!  Have a great day!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

KCW Day 6

My final look of the week!

Day 6 was a super productive day!  I absolutely had to clean and oil my sewing machine and serger after all the terry cloth mess from the bathing suit cover ups.  I got that done and then set to work on these adorable pillowcase dresses!  I was a little surprised when I actually got them finished in the afternoon.  I guess having the pieces all cut makes it go super fast!

Since they were done, the girls got to wear them to church today.  It was pouring down rain when we woke up, but it stopped a bit so we snapped a few quick pictures!

White sweaters from Carter's.  You have to dress in layers around here!  The fabric is a Richloom quilting cotton print purchased at JoAnn's last fall.  It's such a pretty salmon pink color and I like the green and white dots with it...I think it adds a bit of lightness since the print is pretty heavy.  

This will be the last of my KCW sewing.  Sundays are for church, family and relaxing so no sewing here!  In fact, it might just be naptime right now :)  I am looking forward to seeing everything in the flickr group!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

KCW Day 5

Neatly mended!

I promise, it did NOT take me an hour to mend the tabs on these capris yesterday!  However, after the terry cloth adventure of the swim cover ups, my sewing machine and serger are in serious need of some TLC.  Lots of lint brushing and oiling are in order, as well as a serger re-thread.  Since that will take some time and I felt more like indulging my girls in shopping and outdoor playtime since we FINALLY had a gorgeous day, all of that will wait until later!  I also had a project I needed to finish for a customer, so that kind of took precedence while the girls napped.  Small people sewing will resume during naptime today!

Friday, April 26, 2013

KCW Days 3 & 4

Day 3 was a good solid workday for me.  I actually put in a little over two hours since I knew I couldn't sew on Thursday, so this counts for days 3 & 4 :)  I finished up the bathing suit cover ups, just in time for a visit with my parents and some pool time!

The girls were beyond excited to be going swimming, so when I said "wait, I just need to take a couple of pictures first!!" my words were not met with enthusiasm.  I did managed to get a couple of quick shots and then they were gone.  Also, apparently one of them became a stork somewhere in the process, haha!

I am really pleased with the final result of these cover ups!  They are a little big, but that's what I was going for.  I made a 4T because these girls grow like weeds and I am really hoping the cover ups will last for this summer and next summer.  I used this free pattern and just added the ruffled neckline myself.  I love how fun and cute using the variegated thread for the rolled hem turned out the ruffles!  You'll never find that in a store bought garment!

It's a kid-approved garment, too.  The girls didn't want to take it off after trying it on, so that's always a good sign.  It will be nice and cozy when they get out of the pool this summer.  Are anyone else's kids always totally shivering in the pool?  These two need some body fat to keep them warm!  Well, that's one very useful piece of clothing made!  This weekend I'm going to work on some pillowcase dresses, which aren't truly a necessity, but they'll be cute :)  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

KCW Day 1 and 2

So for Day 1 (Monday), I did accomplish my goal of getting all my pattern pieces cut out.  Yay!  That pretty much took my hour but yielded no interesting photos whatsoever!  

Day 2 (Tuesday) was spent making the pillowcase dress for my friend's baby along with a matching headband.  I finished that in about an hour and since my girls were still napping, (seriously, the younger twin slept for over 3 hours!  Growth spurt, anyone?) I decided to keep working.  Tuesday was a seriously productive day!

Exhibit A, one extremely cute pillowcase dress and matching headband!  I love this fabric.  Michael Miller's Lil Plain Jane in Aqua in case you missed the piles of fabric prepwork post :)  I have this dress in my Etsy shop and one of my favorite pictures is this one that my BFF and uber talented photographer took..

copyright Shannon Miller Photography
As usual, I digress.  Back to current projects!  Once I finished up the pillowcase dress, I jumped into the swim cover ups.  This resulted in a shower of terry cloth confetti all over my sewing area, but I did make quite a bit of progress!

Like I said before, I'm basically recreating the girls' former swim cover ups, which were these cuties from Old Navy.  Since I'm making the whole thing from pink terry, I decided to add a little fun by putting swirl thread in my serger and doing a multi-colored rolled hem on the ruffle.  After doing a rolled hem on 100 miles of terry cloth, I then gathered the aforementioned 100 miles of terry and got the ruffles basted to the front of the dresses.  

After that, I just left the swirl thread in my serger and decided to finish all the seams with it!  It's fun and they're 3 so they can get away with stuff like that!  While we're on the exaggeration train, I also made 100 miles of bias tape to bind the neckline and armholes, but I'll have to get that sewn on tomorrow.  Really it was only 5 yards, but when you're ironing all 5 yards, it really feels like 100 miles.  I need to get one of those fancy machines.  Also, have you tried the 5 yards of continuous bias tape from a fat quarter method yet?  If not, you really should.  It's life changing.

So that's Tuesday's progress!  Wednesday I plan on finishing up the swim cover ups.  Thursday I will not be able to sew, but I hope to have pictures Friday of the finished cover ups and then it's onto the weekend!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kids Clothes Week is Here!

Woot woot!  It's time once again for Kids Clothes Week!

Not sure what it's all about?  Head over to the Kids Clothes Week Blog to find out more!  Basically you set a goal to sew kids clothing for one hour each day for seven days.  If you haven't been following along, there is a fun change for this year!  There will now be FOUR Kids Clothes Weeks throughout the year!  Each season will have it's own week.  Basically every week of the year is Kids Clothes Week for me, haha!  I sew almost daily and it's usually kid-related, but this is a good week to set some goals.  I tend to sew whatever I feel like sewing...even if there is something more pressing at hand!  This week I picked 3 pieces of clothing that need to get made plus one thing that needs to be mended.  My goal is to use the Kids Clothes Week to make sure these items get finished instead of just picking and choosing what looks like the most fun from the endless sewing pile!

First up, I have a bundle of pink terry cloth that needs to become a pair of bathing suit cover ups for my girlies!  They've had these adorable ones from Old Navy for the past couple of years but they have outgrown them and it's time for some new ones.  I'm going to try and recreate the style because the girls LOVED those cover ups.  Also in this photo is my very minor mending project - the little metal tab on these capris came loose, so I need to stitch it back on!  Should be a piece of cake, but it seems like those little projects always end up at the bottom of the pile!

I also need to get a few more dresses done (shocker).  On the left is the super fun Michael Miller print Lil Plain Jane paired with Dumb Dot in red.  This is going to be a pillowcase dress for a dear friend's new baby girl!  On the right is a gorgeous pink and green paisley paired with a green dot print that my mom and I picked up at JoAnn's last year.  I held onto it all winter since the colors were so springy, but I'm finally cutting into it and making some dresses for my girls with it.  

I mentally went through several different dress designs for the pink paisley but in the end I decided the busy print would look best as a nice simple pillowcase dress.  What's on your list for the week?  I can't wait to see what everyone is making!  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Top Sew-Along 2013 - My New Top!

In the flurry of getting spring/summer dresses and clothes made for the girls, I decided to take a short break and sew something for me!  Really there's no better excuse than the super fun Spring Top Sew-Along hosted by Made By Rae!

Earlier this year I made New Look 6892 for my sister-in-law for a family photo shoot.  I used view B for her and it turned out so cute.  I liked the pattern so much, I decided to use it for myself!  

For my top, I used view C.  I omitted the elastic casing in the sleeves because I really liked the fluttery look!  

The elastic neckline is great for an adjustable fit.  I actually found the recommended elastic length to be perfect, but I've seen a few reviews that said they preferred to cut a shorter piece so it cinched in a little more.  I think it would be so cute with a big chunky necklace in a soft coral or peach color!

I'm trying to decide if I prefer it with or without the belt.  Thoughts?  I think it's cute either way!


Either way, I definitely like this top and this pattern!

The Pattern: New Look 6892 (I used view C)
The Fabric: A lightweight rayon blend...sorry, there was no selvage info on it so I can't help there!
The Good: A super quick and easy top to sew.  The pattern pieces are pretty straightforward and if you have sewn up peasant dresses/tops for little girls, you really don't even need to read the directions for this one.  The elastic casing at the neck is easy to lengthen or shorten to fit to your taste.
The Bad:  I personally felt like the pattern was a bit short (although I do have a long torso).  I added about 3" to the front and back pattern pieces to ensure it would be long enough for me.  Commercial patterns can be tough with sizing because the measurements are often so different from "real world" measurements.  I pretty much guessed for myself and it just happened to fit perfectly.  
Overall: If you need a top very quickly that will flatter most body types, this is a great staple pattern to have on hand.  It's a good versatile top that you can easily dress up or down and can be made from many types of fabric.
I would definitely make this pattern again!  There is a cute version with a ruffled neckline that might be in my future!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So the 80s Called...

These capris...they are wild.  I'm pretty sure people are either going to love them or they're going to tell me that 1987 called and it wants its artsy, primary floral print back.  

I'm seeing all kinds of crazy printed pants out there right now, though, so maybe I'm just super trendy?  Probably not, but I really do love these capris and so do my bright, happy girls!

I suppose if you're going to go bold you can't quit halfway, so I also made this extremely red top to match!  Both patterns are from Whimsy Couture.  I've been on a kick with their stuff lately, I guess!  The top is the Terrific Tee and I just added a couple of simple fabric rosettes to make it look a bit less boyish.  

The leggings pattern comes with combinations of sizes, so this is a 3T/4T.  It actually works out pretty well for my tall, skinny girls.  I leave the length as is and just shave off some width.  I probably took off more than 1" from each leg for this pair, so they fit nice and snug.  Perfect for running around and playing with your sister!  Today's choice: Ring Around the Rosy :)

I was in the mood for spring sewing long before spring hit, so I can't wait to get the girls outside in this outfit. Apparently it's comfy because a lot of this was happening while I was trying to get pictures!

Warm weather, we anxiously await you!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Little Cupcake Child's Apron Tutorial

Today I have a fun little tutorial for you!  As I mentioned, the girls were a bit obsessed with the cupcake situation leading up to their birthday party.  Every other party theme I suggested was rejected.  They wanted cupcakes and that was it!  Last year for their 2nd birthday they received a little play kitchen, so I thought it would be fun to make them some aprons to use while they pretend to cook and they can also use them when they "help" me cook!

I found the perfect pink cupcake printed fabric at JoAnn's and created a full apron for my cupcake loving children.  Needless to say, they were enormously popular with these birthday girls!

They LOVE to wear their aprons when they play with their kitchen!  Plus they are super easy to make and don't take very much fabric!  I used 1.5 yards to make both aprons and that includes matching bias tape.  The apron ties in a nice big bow in the back and there are two ruffly pockets that are optional.  Well, not really optional if your girls are like mine.  These two love pockets!!

This apron will fit most toddlers and preschoolers ages 2-5.  To make your Little Cupcake Apron, you will need:

-3/4 yard quilting weight cotton fabric
- 1 pkg. extra wide double fold bias tape or about 40" of handmade bias tape
-coordinating fabric for pockets (optional) - 1/4 yard is plenty
-coordinating thread
-sewing stuff (machine, scissors or rotary cutter/mat, pins)

To get started, first cut the main apron pieces. 

Bodice: 1 square 8" x 8"
Skirt (not pictured below): 1 rectangle 12.5" tall x 21" long (you can shorten or lengthen as needed)
Waistband: 1 rectangle 4" tall x 9" long
Ties (folded in half widthwise below): 2 rectangles 4" tall by 26" long

Also make about 40" of bias tape if you are not using store bought bias tape.

For the pockets, cut two U-shaped pieces about 4" wide and 4" tall.  You can also use your child's hand as a guide.  Cut two strips for the pocket ruffles 2.5" wide x 22" long.

To prepare the pockets, first serge, zig zag stitch or trim all the edges with pinking shears.  Then turn the edges under 1/4" and press in place.  The curved bottom can be a bit tricky, just do your best to keep the curve smooth.  You may have folds or tucks and that's fine!  Once all the edges are turned under, topstitch the top edge in place.  Do this for both pockets.

For the ruffle strip, first iron the short edges under 1/4".  Next fold and press the entire strip in half lengthwise.  Then topstitch the two short edges in place.  Do this for both ruffle strips.

Run a gathering stitch (longest stitch length, highest stitch tension) along the raw edge of each ruffle strip.  Pull the bobbin threads to gather the strip to match the outer curved edge of the pocket.  Pin the strip to the pocket.  You can baste it to the pocket if you like.  I'm too lazy to baste, so I just pinned it well :)

Decide where you want to place the pockets on the skirt.  Remember, kids are small so they don't have to be very low or very far apart.  Mine were about 3" from the top edge and equally spaced out from the center of the skirt about 3" apart.  Pin the pockets to the skirt.

Now topstitch the pockets in place just around the curved portion, making sure you are catching the ruffle strip as you sew.  When you are done, the pocket and ruffle should both be securely on the skirt.

For the waistband and ties, stitch the two long ties to the waistband at the short sides, with the 9" waistband in between the ties.

You will be preparing this piece as if you were making bias tape.  First fold and press the entire piece in half lengthwise (top of photo) and then unfold and press each long edge into the center (bottom).

Now fold each short edge under 1/4" and press (top) and then fold the entire piece in half lengthwise again and press in place (bottom).

Run a gathering stitch along the top of the skirt piece and gather it until it fits the 9" part of the waistband.

Slide the skirt up into the waistband and pin in place.  Starting at one short end of your ties, begin sewing along the open edge.  Sew all the way down the ties, sewing the skirt into the waistband.  At this point you should have a very cute half apron!

To add the bodice, first take an 8" piece of bias tape and attach it to the top edge of your bodice square.  

Cut another piece of bias tape about 26" long.  You can shorten or lengthen this as needed for your child.  Starting at one bottom corner, pin the bias tape up the side then leave a long piece for the neck strap and then attach it down the opposite side, ending at the other bottom corner.  Sew the bias tape to the bodice, sewing up all the open edges around the neck as well.  To finish the bottom edge of the square, serge, zig zag stitch or trim it with pinking shears.  You could also fold it up 1/4" twice and stitch it in place if desired.  

Working from the wrong side, lay your bodice square on top of the waistband.  The bottom edge of the bodice should be right on top of the bottom edge of the waistband.  Pin in place.  

Flip the apron over and topstitch along the top edge of the waistband to secure the bodice.  For extra security, stitch in the ditch (that is, stitch right over your existing stitches) along the bottom edge of the waistband.

Done!  Time to play!

Does this mean they can make dinner for us now??