Saturday, 16 February 2013

Doll Sweater

I knit my first doll sweater using the Hazel's Hoodie pattern.  It is meant for a Waldorf doll (to be pictured soon) but it fit an 18 inch American Girl doll as well.  The sides actually DO match up although the picture suggests otherwise.

This was my doll when I was little.

Maya doesn't like it because it isn't pink.  Oh well.  

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Nice and Cozy

The last theme for Project Run and Play is "your signature style".  I don't think I have been sewing long enough to have a clear signature style but I have noticed a few traits of what I like to do.  My nearly 2 year old captured it best when she told my 4 year old who was running around half naked to get her pajamas on so she could be "nice and cozy".  Pajamas and nightgowns are some of my favorite things to make.  I love the image of my babies cuddled in bed wearing something I made for them.  Plus, so many store bought pjs are made of cheap polyester and covered with tacky characters (don't get me wrong, we have a few of those but I really hate them).  I enjoy making day clothes as well - the girls have dresses, skirts, and pants I have made- but pajams are a special favorite. 
I love interesting prints but I am not a fan of combining too may busy prints togther.  I often pair a nice print with a solid to balance or just work with one print.  These pajamas are a dark pink (although they look red on thecomputer) with a grey fox print as an accent.  I fell in love with the fox print when I was looking at sale flannel a few weeks ago.  I thought it would make great pjs on its own but there was nowhere near enough of it left to make even a single pair. Then I spied a solid dark pink that matched the dark pink fox EXACTLY. 
I started with a vintage Simplicity pattern but I made a few changes.  First, the pattern was a 4 which is fine for Maya but I had to size down to make a pair for Hannah.  The bodice is lined and I used flannel so to reduce bulk, I changed the puffed sleeve to  plain sleeve.  I had made the nightgown version of this pattern before and I knew the pajamas come out very roomy so reducing puff worked out well.  I added a patch pocket to use a little more of the fox print.  It fits a My Little Pony.  We checked.  Because the pocket was on the front, I didn't add the ribbon the pattern called for.  I thought ribbon would make it too busy. The girls love them.

Silly before bed:

Cuddles (every time they do something like this I take a picture because I like to look back at the pictures when they are fighting!):

The back has a slash edged with bias tape and then buttons on bodice.
Bias tape for the elastic casing:

Great for playing around in before bed:

Little Red Riding Hood

These photos are from a day a little while ago (about a week?) when we had a little snow.  Maya really wanted to wear her Red Riding Hood Cape.  This cape is red fleece lined with quilting cotton.  I used this tutorial and modified it to make a hood instead of a collar.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Dad's Shirt to Baby's Pajamas

When I saw that Project Run and Play was going to include a men's shirt project, I decided I had to get to the thrift store to look for some men's shirts with interesting patterns or colors.  Between work and the kids, I never made it.  About two weeks ago I sheepishly asked my husband if he had any shirts he doesn't use any more.  To my surprise, he had this charcoal grey one that he hasn't worn in years.  It has a slight stain on in that keeps him from wearing it to work.  He kept thinking he might get it out someday but he decided to hand it off to me.  I love a nice grey but Maya is a pink and purple girl.  I started brainstorming pattern ideas and I kept getting stuck.  I thought about painting on the shirt, adding ribbon, color blocking - all kinds of thing.  My mind was stuck on the idea of making a dress for some reason.  Last week I realized this shirt was destined for someone else - Hannah!  She hasn't gotten picky about colors yet.  I really didn't want to change the color of this fabric.  It doesn't show well in in photographs but their is a black thread woven into the broadcloth of this shirt and it is just lovely.  At the exact same moment I realized that this shirt wasn't going to be turned into a dress.  I was looking at the cuff and all of a sudden I saw them as the cuffs to a pair of pants and PAJAMAS popped itno my head. 

I used one of many pants patterns I have cut to get the shape of the front and back curve for the pant legs.  I kept the sleeves intact otherwise - I just made sure the length was right using a pair of existing pants.  I sewed the crotch seams, folded over the top and added 3/4 inch elastic.   
For the top I used an existing top made from woven fabric to mark the shoulder and the arm holes.  I kept the curved hem of the shirt and I made the top long enough to be more of a tunic length pajama top.  

I used some bias binding I got on etsy to finish the collar and the sleeves. It is grey with samll off white circles that look like tiny bubbles.  At first I cut the neck line perfectly round but as I started to add the bias tape, I didn't like the look of it.  I went back and cut it down a little so that the front has a slight crossover look to it. 
The sleeves were cut from the sides of the body of the shirt so they have the side seam of the shirt along the top.  I like the stripe effect it provides.

Hannah is not the biggest fan of having her picture taken.  She has had the flash go off in her eyes one too many times!

Here she tried to run away:
Don't judge my floors.  My autistic son went through a stage in which he spit on the floors constantly (it was gross) and the damage to the finish is pretty bad.  We are waiting for a wining lottery ticket to re-finish the wood!
Finally we got a smile:

Another look at the bias tape:

Just to re-cap:
The pants were cut from the sleeves
The body of the baby's shirt came from the lower center of Dad's shirt
The sleeves came from the side of the body of Dad's shirt
Everything came from 1 shirt (probably an XL but the size tag only had a neck measurement) and the pajamas are probably a 2T-3T