Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gray, Black, Cream and White. Dressing for Cool Weather.

Does anyone else have trouble narrowing down pictures? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Sometimes there are just so many adorable pictures that it is hard to choose! So be prepared for lots of pictures.

I'm so happy that it is fall. Although it won't really feel like fall for another month. But I will take advantage of cool days when I can. We can wear our tights, boots, sweaters and coats. And I'm so happy about that!
Size: 5
Fabric: Outer is a home decorating cotton (not sure of the name). Lining is a cream colored cotton.
Adjustments: Took up the sleeves about 4 inches. Added thick piping to the collar and waistband. I love how it looks!
Details: I tested this pattern a few months ago. When the weather was in the 90s! I wanted to wait until it cooled down so I could take some pictures with tights and these adorable boots. Its still not "cold" here in SoCal, but the weather was nice for these pictures. This pattern is great. Easy to follow instructions, a fully lined coat, pockets and it looks just adorable!

Dress/Top Pattern: Vintage McCalls 2635, View B.
Size: 4 and its a perfect fit.
Fabric:  Main, gray and white gingham. A pillowcase I found at Ikea for $.99! The collar and sleeves are a solid gray cotton. The lace is vintage from a recent estate sale.
Adjustments to Pattern: I omitted the bow and went with buttons instead. The lace and collar makes this top pretty frilly so I didn't want to add to much more.
Details: I found this vintage pattern awhile back and decided to sew version B. Its supposed to be a dress but the length is perfect as a tunic. I love the bones of this pattern and I was a bit overwhelmed by the lace and large collar. Until I paired it with the rest of this outfit and now I love it!! Miette, however, is not a fan of the elastic in the sleeves. So we will see if she actually wears this.

Shoes: I need these in my size. Gray chukka boots from a company called Montana Enterprises. Found on Zulily. So cute.

Shorts Pattern: Bubble Pocket Shorts by Elegance and Elephants
Size: 5/6
Fabric: Essex yard dyed linen, in black, by Robert Kaufman. Vintage gray lace detail added to the pockets.
Details: This is my 5th pair of these shorts that I have made. And for some reason, I made so many small errors! But they still turned out adorable. I think they are my favorite pair yet.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cashmere, Cardigans, Elbow Patches: These are a few of my favorite things

I'm so happy to be part of this wonderful series "Family Photo Stitched with Love" hosted by the sweetest sewing sisters Shaffer Sisters. 

I was just thinking today how blessed I am to have family surrounding me. Both my family and my in-laws are wonderful and we can drive to visit them anytime. My parents live 5 minutes away and my in-laws are only 25 minutes away. So my kids get to see their grandparents (and great grandparents) quite often. Brothers, sisters, nieces, much love! And my own little family makes me so happy. My husband and I have been married almost 15 years and we waited 10 years before having kids (no one believed we would wait that long!). We look at them daily and can't believe they are ours! They make me laugh, cry, frustrate me, amaze me, challenge me, encourage me and I love them to pieces.

These past 6 months instead of buying clothes, I have been exclusively sewing clothes for M (excluding a few basics that I just don't feel like sewing). And I have been sewing quite a few things for H as well. So when the opportunity came up to sew some things for fall, take family pictures and share it with you I said YES!

We live in Southern California and as is typical we just had a heat wave. 97 degrees this past weekend. So even though I would love to make tons of cozy thick sweaters, hats, scarfs, etc. I have to remember where we live. Layers are important. The mornings are chilly with warm afternoons and a cool down in the evening. I also decided that I would sew mostly from my existing fabric stash and try not to buy any additional patterns. And I'm happy to say I only needed to buy fabric for H's cardigan and I bought the Maggie Mae pattern on sale! Hooray for a very affordable new outfit for both of them.

So I knew that I wanted layers for both kids. I was looking through all my fabric and found a vintage sheet. Floral with gray, orange and brown. Perfect. I found a lot of coordinating fabric and then it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to make for each person. I kept adding to the outfits and started running out of time to sew. I really wanted to make a shirt for my husband but I needed to make a muslin and ran out of time. But I will make him something. Very soon!

H is just getting his walking down so was a little wobbly on his feet. He had more fun finding leaves and trying to sneak a few nibbles. 


We ended up going to the pumpkin patch later that day and were able to get a family shot. The kids had a few wardrobe changes but they were still in entirely handmade outfits!

I had a lot of fun designing these outfits and it makes me so happy seeing the kids wearing (and liking) the clothes I make for them. I've listed each item, in detail, below.

Outfit Details for M
Cardigan, Fabric: I used a gray cashmere sweater that I picked up at an estate sale for $2. Its so soft and in such great condition. Size 5 and I'm happy that there is room to grow!
Cardigan, Pattern/Tutorial & Size: I used this tutorial for the cardigan and I cut my pattern pieces from the Hangout Hoodie. I used the sleeves, front (with modifications) and back pieces only. I was able to use the ribbing from the original cardigan so I didn't need to hem the sleeves or bottom!
Cardigan, Details:  Let's talk about those elbow patches. How cute are they? I'm obsessed and want to add them to all of their sweaters. I found this tutorial and I didn't sew them on, just used a heat 'n' bond and ironed them on. So easy!

Shirt, Fabric:  Main fabric: The gray, brown and orange floral is from a vintage sheet, I found at an estate sale. So cute, right? Accent fabric: A tan linen-blend.
Shirt, Pattern & Size: I absolutely love this pattern. Its the Maggie Mae and it is amazing! I made a size 5 and it's generous in size so should fit her for awhile! Hooray!
Shirt, Details: My first time making fabric covered buttons and I am so happy with how they turned out. A friend gave me a huge box of buttons and in it were the button templates. So I was happy to try them out. So easy to do and it makes the shirt look so pretty.

Knickers, Fabric:  Main fabric: Brown linen. Ruffle fabric: Tan linen-blend I used in the shirt.
Knickers, Pattern & Size: Daphne Knickers pattern (my second pair) but this time I made a size 6. The first pair I made was a little snug so I wanted these to last her through the winter.
Knickers, Details: I used a contrast fabric for the ruffle to match the shirt and I also used fabric covered buttons.

Outfit Details for H
Pants, Fabric: I've been hanging on to a pair of pants that I used to wear. I knew they would make a great pair of kids pants. They were from Anthropologie about 10 years ago!
Pants, Pattern & Size: The Inside or Out Pocket Pants. Size 2T. They are a little big on him but fit perfect over his bulky cloth diaper and should fit him for awhile! And look at those pockets. How cute are they?

 Shirt, Fabric: Cut out both the orange and brown from men's t-shirts I found on clearance. I kept the original hem for the sleeves and bottom.
Shirt, Pattern & Size:  The Charlie Tee. Size 18 months. I've made him a few t-shirts using this pattern and they come together so quickly! And my husband was so surprised that I made it, thought I bought it at the store. That made me feel good.

Cardigan, Fabric: Main fabric: From a thrifted dress. Sleeves: A stretch corduroy I had in my stash. I didn't have enough of the main fabric so I searched around and found the corduroy fabric. I just adore how it looks! I also used the buttons that came on the dress. Total price: $1.99
Cardigan, Pattern & Size:  The Greenpoint Cardigan. Size 1. Such a great pattern. My first one was for Miette and I have a few more in mind for my little man!

Outfit Details for Me

Shirt, Fabric: An orange sweater knit from SAS fabrics in Hawthorne. This turned out to be a nightmare to sew! I made it work but I think the rest of the fabric will be turned into infinity scarfs!
Shirt, Pattern & Size: The Seafarer Top. Size S. My favorite pattern. This is my third Seafarer top and I've made Miette about 4 of the Skipper Tops. Both are amazing patterns and so simple to sew.

I have been busy sewing even more clothes and I can't wait to share those with you! In the meantime, 
be sure to check out all these wonderful bloggers and see what they have stitched for their families!
October 8: Bethany from I Married Superman
October 9: Jo from Shaffer Sisters
October 10: April from Modern Homemade
October 11: Al from Shaffer Sisters
October 14: RaeAnna from Sewing Mama RaeAnna
October 15: Jenn from A Jennuine Life
October 16: Heather from Feathers Flight
October 17: Olga from Kid Approved
October 18: Rebecca from Rock the Stitch
October 21: Scary from Shaffer Sisters
October 22: Highlights from the Flickr Group

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tribal Print Knit Dress

I used to be terrified of sewing with knits. Hearing all the horror stories about the fabric curling, puckering, getting wavy, I just didn't want to try it. Then I stumbled across medium weight knit and it was so easy to sew. After finding a lot of tips online, and practicing a lot, I have to say that I now love knits. Its comfortable for my kids and there are some adorable fabric choices out there!

So, this dress. Where to begin. This dress has been in my mind for awhile. After I bought this amazing tribal knit fabric, I knew it would look adorable as a simple dress. I looked for patterns and tutorials online but just didn't find exactly what I was looking for.
Remembering that I had some printed patterns, I started searching and found this pattern in my stash (picked up at estate sale) and it was perfect. Vintage-ish. Produced in 1990 but the style definitely works for today. Dropped waist, gathered skirt, sleeveless. And the size 5 was even cut out and ready to go. So far, so good.
Turns out I didn't have enough fabric to cut as instructed so I had to improvise. Not ideal but easy enough to work around. I could live with the pattern not lining up or matching perfectly (sort-of). Both kids were napping and I sewed this up in 2 hours. Hooray!

It looked great but also looked big. How big? About 2 sizes too big. I should have looked at the sizing a bit closer and made her a 3 or 4. So, my seam ripper and I got real cozy. I took apart the skirt, took in the side seams, added a pleat to the back, a few details to the front to fix the low and loose neckline, and traumatized my daughter by having her try it on so many times!
All that and I must say that I love this dress. So simple, casual, comfortable and just perfect for my active girl. And the bow? Her favorite part! Oh, and there are pockets. Though, since I lengthened the bodice, they are a bit out if her reach. But I have a feeling she will have a growth spurt pretty soon and it will be perfect!
 Lesson learned? Always double check the sizing on all patterns! And make sure there is enough fabric.

The Pattern: McCall's 4806, View A
The Fabric: Gray and beige tribal knit. From SAS Fabrics.
The Size: 5, adjusted to about a 4T
It looks cute with sparkly shoes and it's even perfect for playing at the park!


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