Monday, 28 October 2013

Another Skirt

 I made another Everyday Skirt this weekend.  This one is grey chambray.  I took these pictures after I wore it for a few hours so it is a LITTLE wrinkled.  This fabric makes the skirt very practical and easy to pair with tops and boots.  As you can see, my foster dog (who will soon be our forever dog since we have been fostering her for over a year and no one has applied to adopt her) stayed about a foot away from me for all the pictures.  That is pretty much how it goes all day around here.  She has attached herself to me pretty well!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Liesl + Co Everyday Skirt

I had a feeling I was going to like this skirt when I saw the Liesl + Co Everyday Skirt pattern.  I tend to buy fitted skirts because I feel like full skirts add too much bulk to my hips but the way this pattern is constructed prevents that.  There is gathering in the front (attached to a flat waistband) and gathering in the back (with elastic so no closures are needed), but the side panels are flat.  Also, there are pockets and I love pockets!  I was determined not to buy new fabric until I knew if I liked the pattern so I made my first version from this quilting cotton I had in my stash.  I think the print and color say "fall".  

 The side view.  See the pockets and the flat front waistband?
 And then my hair elastic fell out so I called it quits.
I am definitely making more skirts with this pattern.  I have some charcoal chambray on the way and I am hoping to make one in lightweight cord as well.  I made the medium this first time but I might try the small next time.  I had to gather the elastic quite a bit in the back and with cord, I don't want it to end up too bulky.  If you are looking to start sewing some wardrobe basics for yourself, I recommend giving this one a try.   If you have sewn a few simple projects and you are relatively comfortable with your machine, you will have no trouble with the directions.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Bimaa Sweater

I bought the Sew Fab epattern bundle and here are my first two Bimaa Sweaters.  The pink is a size 5 in a lightweight jersey blend.  The blue is a size 5 too sort of.  I accidentally cut it in a size 5 instead of the 3 I intended.  It turned out to be a good thing since the fabric is not super stretchy and if I had made it in the 3, I don't think she would have been able to get it on.  I realized my error the second I finished cutting and so I simply shortened the sleeves and the body.  It came out just how I wanted!  I love the pattern.  I will be making a few more of these - I actually have a dress in mind based off of this.  THe rest of the bundle is pretty great also - a purchase that will get a lot of use.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Texture - Denim, Linen, and Lace

 I almost didn't complete an outfit this week.  Work has been intense.  Sam has been pretty intense too.  One thing I tried to do for sewing along with Project Run and Play was to use different textures.  I used very little basic quilting cotton (really just week one) and I worked to branch out a little.  This week I used stretch denim for Maya's wide leg pink pants- my serger handled it well!.  Her top is embroidered white linen.  It has a raglan-style sleeve edged with lace.  I added lace to the bottom as well.  I made a wide neck that I gathered with dark pink elastic with a tiny lace edge to it.  Maya looks very sweet in it.  My signature style?  I like to make comfortable pieces from fun fabrics.  I like simple details. And, as I found out these past few weeks, I really like trying different types of fabric.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Plaid Week

 I was very excited to learn that one of the themes for PRP this season is plaid.  This heavy flannel plaid caught my eye over the summer but I needed a good reason (and a good coupon) to buy some.  Luckily I got both!  I don't know the exact term for it but this is a plaid in which the plaid in woven into the fabric, not printed on top.  It makes a nice, heavier weight flannel.  The top is the Geranium Dress shortened to a top length.  I added a bow in the front.  The buttons in the back are cute little purple flowers.  I made the sleeveless version to be worn as a layering piece in the fall and winter (since the fabric is too heavy for summer)

The pants are the Parsley Pants pattern.  I made the flat front with pouch pockets.  The fabric is a bottom weight twill and I broke a needle trying to sew through the elastic, pockets, and the waistband.  I was using a needle for heavy weight fabric.  Any tips on that??  They came out great though  - roomy and comfortable.  
 They are a little dusty because Hannah decided to roll around on the floor before we took pictures.

Monday, 16 September 2013


The theme for Project Run and Play this week is Candy Inspired so here is my project:
This fabric reminds me of a gum ball machine full of brightly colored spheres.  Gum balls always catch my eye because they just look so bright and cheerful but when I actually think about what is in them, I cringe. Luckily this fabric doesn't make me cringe and the dress makes me smile.  As soon as I finished it, Maya put it on and deemed it her new favorite.  She even wore it for her first day of kindergarten.

The fabric is and interlock knit I had in my stash.  The pattern is a slim cut peasant style with a ruffle at the bottom and a sash/belt in a coordinating jersey knit fabric.  I upcycled the fabric for the belt from a dress of mine which was way too short and low cut to be appropriate for me.  The belt is stiched tot he dress at the side seams so it doesn't shift around.

I broke out the double needle for the hems on the ruffle and the sleeves.
Maya likes to end every photo session with a twirl shot.

Monday, 9 September 2013

High-low Popover with Pockets and Elastic

I wasn't planning to sew along with Project Run and Play.  The timing was just wrong for me.  The project weeks are right at the start of school (I am a teacher) and a lot of the prep would need to be done  at the end of August when I have minimal services available for my developmentally disabled son.  Then I saw three things that made me change my mind.  1st - only 4 weeks long this time!  There will be fewer projects to ooh and ah over but it makes it easier for people like me to sew along on our own.  2nd- plaid week!  I have had my eye on some really nice plaid and that gave me an excuse to buy some. 3rd - The Popover Dress Remix!  I love this pattern.  It is one of the first dresses I made when I got into sewing for my kids.  It is a wonderful pattern for a simple, comfortable sundress. 

I know everyone approaches a remix differently.  Some prefer to just be inspired by the pattern and take off from there.  I prefer to start with the physical pattern and make changes to customize and give it my own touches.  I made two Popover Dresses for this week.  

This first one has a high-low hem (higher in front and longer in back), Regular straps (no ties), a ruffle on the bottom, on-seam pockets, and elastic across the top.  The elastic was needed for my girls because with the original pattern the straps slip down a lot.  See the first picture - that is a popover dress I made earlier this summer.  

Original Popover                                                                                 Remixed Popover

 High-Low Hem

 On-seam pockets and elastic casing 

 Elastic holds the straps on the shoulders.  The elastic also adds stress points to the garment though so I added extra stitches to reinforce this area.

Here is the second dress I made.  She didn't want pockets and instead of a ruffle she has tiny purple lace trim along the bottom.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Sewing for Fall

I found bottom weight knit fabric on sale at Joann's and I made some the pink and purple leggings for the girls.  The polka dot fabric was leftover from a skirt I made myself a while ago. There are two pairs of doll pants in the pile there:

I also got this cute Michael Miller fabric and made another Charlie Tunic for Hannah.  It looks a little clown-like to me but it is for a 2 year old so I am not that worried!  Maya thought it was cute so I made a skirt with piece I had leftover:

I made this flannel nightgown for Hannah from a vintage pattern.  Right after I cut the fabric I lost the directions and I had to figure out on my own.  It is basically a modified peasant dress but instead of elastic there is an opening in the front and a ribbon tie through the neck.  The original pattern looked like a strangulation hazard so I gathered the neck and stitched down the ribbon so it can't pull too tight.  You can't tell but there is tiny lace trim at the bottom.

I have done some sewing for myself this summer as well but I haven't photographed any of it yet!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls

So the Waldorf doll making is taking off.  It has been years in the making.  Sometimes things just happen like that - and idea crosses your path and it just keeps coming back to you until you act on it.  A few years ago I heard the term "Waldorf Doll"and I looked it up.  I instantly loved the look of them but when I read about making them, I thought it looked too hard (too much hand stitching!!!).  After that I started to notice images of them on various sewing and crafting sites and I couldn't shake the idea of trying to make them.  I stopped and started a bit until finally, by this past winter, I had 4 dolls made (why start with just 1?).  I LOVED the process (even the hand stitching).  I made more and still more.  I sold some locally, donated to charity auctions and I am currently prepping an Etsy store.  I don't have dreams of this getting big but if I can sell a handful every year, I will be happy.  There is something very rewarding about watching a doll come together.  And when a doll gets her hair- whoa!  It is so fun to see.

This one went to a Waldorf play space.  I am so excited she will be loved there.

Here are a one that will be on my Etsy site soon.  I have started using the stitched down hair method for some of my dolls.  I still love the crochet cap wig because you get the crazy full head of hair but the stitches down hair is much nicer than I expected.  See how her hair can stay flat?  And when you take the pony tails out, her hair still provides good coverage because it is stitched down in layers. I expect I will use both styles along the way, depending on the look I want.

I have also been knitting up a storm because doll sweaters are so satisfying to knit.  The are done in a couple of days and there is none of that drag I get when I am halfway through an adult sweater!  I can follow the kids around outside and get a few rows done here and there.  

In addition to the doll making, I have made a few things for the kids lately.  Here are two Geranium Dresses:

Some pajama pants for Sam:

Saturday, 13 April 2013

New Waldorf Dolls

This doll is from my own pattern and I love how she turned out.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about the mohair yarn for hair but I really love it. It was much harder to crochet the cap for the wig because the stitches are hard to see.  The hair is sooooo soft though and it was worth the trouble.
Here she is with her hood up.  The mini cape is also my own pattern.  I am working on a longer version.

Here is my FAVORITE.  Her hair is fantastic and I think she just has a great look about her.  Her hooded sweater is hand knit from Cascade 220 superwash.

Here is one I made prior to the other two.  She os from the first version of the pattern  tried.  She is lovely as well with her super soft mohair hair and a hand knit hooded sweater.  Her body is thinner/more slender than the other two dolls.  After making both styles, I think I prefer the fuller body.  It costs a little more to make because it takes more wool stuffing to fill but I like the end result.  The doll below is still one of my favorites though.  SHe doesn't show well in the photo due to my poor digital photography skills.  This picture makes her look washed out but her skin tone is more peach than it appears here.
All the dolls have wool felt shoes from a pattern I made as well.  I like how they turned out because the tie style makes them good for feet of varying sizes.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Waldorf Dolls

I have been thinking about making a Waldorf doll for a while now.  I finally set a goal of making one for Hannah's 2nd birthday.  Then I realized that I really needed to make two because Maya will NEED one too.  Then I thought I should make one or two extra while I was at it (maybe I can sell them??) so I decided to make four.  Here are the first two:

The dolls have:
-knit cotton "skin"
-pure wool stuffing
-wool-stuffed and sculpted head
-hand embroidered face
-cheeks blushed with an all natural beeswax crayon
-crochet cap wigs to which each hair is hooked - each head of hair took a full skein of yarn but I love the result - much nicer than those that have hair just stitched on for a particular style but can't really be re-styled
-hand made doll clothes - grey jeans with pink trim, cotton blouse with velcro closures, charcoal grey wool felt shoes.

The process was a lot of fun.  I used a kit for the first two and then I went "off book" for the next two.  I went on to order supplies to make a few more.