This is my favorite of the three dresses I made this week. Probably due to this gorgeous fabric I bought at bolt on Monday. I really didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the time, but as it sat on the cutting table all week it became very clear on Friday morning that I would use it for this last frock.
Do you see the rounded shoulders? Someone was not happy about modeling last night.
Whew! I am feeling so satisfied with myself. I don’t think I have ever sewn three items of clothing in one week. And miracle of miracles, the house is not trashed, the kids’ soccer uniforms are clean and ready and I got at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
I am going to say it’s because I used this one pattern for everything. I didn't have to trace nor did I have to read instructions after the first one. Using knits for all items made things quicker too. The other great thing about using one pattern as the basis for everything was that it forced/allowed me to be more adventurous and creative. What a great week of sewing. I may not be able to continue with the challenge over the weekend, what with work and lots of things on the social calendar. Thanks, Meg for hosting the always inspirational Kids Clothes Week Challenge!
What started as a basic knit dress intended for lazy summer days has turned into something rather special and elegant. I used the FBST as my base pattern, added length to it and width at the bottom, like this. I also widened the neck and sliced the sleeves up the middle a bit and tied them. For the finishing touch I cut a piece approximately 9 x 24 for the sash.
These photos make the dress look like a true red but it’s really more of a coral. Reds are so difficult to photograph.
Someone is very happy. It’s a really good thing she’s got a Father Daughter dance coming up.
Hello, friends! Things have been so busy around here. We just returned from an idyllic spring break in southern California where we soaked up some sunshine and took the kids to Disneyland for the first time. I realized just before we left that it was our first real family vacation; one that did not include family or friends (as wonderful as those both are). It was different to be just the four of us. And good. It was very good for our little family to have this time together.
Will summed it up nicely when he said: “Disneyland. Where parents make friends with their kids.” Awww.
In other news, I have started working part-time at Bolt Fabric Boutique, the best little fabric store in Portland! Stop in to say hello if you are local. I will also be contributing to the Bolt Neighborhood blog if you care to check out what’s going on over there.
The new Figgy’s patterns are brilliant. Completely brilliant. I ordered every one of them as soon I found out they were available. This pattern, the Sunki dress, is one I fell in love with right away. It did not disappoint. The design is ideal for my girl: it’s feminine without being too girly and sophisticated while still being youthful. Perfect. I have enjoyed seeingothers’ versions around blog-land—everyone seems to agree that it’s a winner. This review is excellent as is this one (I agree the pockets could be deeper). I may try that modification next time—and there will be a next time. Be sure to check out the tutorials on the Figgy’s blog for some of the trickier aspects of this (and other) patterns—they are very helpful.
The leggings are also sweet. Lauren wears hers a lot, although not with the dress. She prefers wearing jeans with it. Cute!
Oh, improvisational piecing, where have you been all my life?
Last summer I had the good fortune to attended a workshop at PNCA with Denyse Schmidt. It was fantastic! Denyse is a very inspiring person and thoughtful artist and I highly recommend this workshop. My kind table mate and others in attendance have written about the experience eloquently here, and here. (I concede I am a little late posting about this now but better late than never, right?)
Working intuitively this way is definitely my cup of tea. For me, it’s very much like painting, only with fabric. Playing with color, scale, pattern and composition and letting the piece grow while making decisions about the design along the way rather than starting with a plan, is a very satisfying way to work. Since that wonderful weekend, my blocks have been sitting around my sewing room, waiting patiently to become something. Last month, I was finally able to make that happen in the form of some quilted pillow covers for our living room. I think they turned out pretty great!
Will’s and Lauren’s main Christmas gifts this year were bean bag chairs, which I made. They were really fun to make and have been a huge hit around here.
They have also become, for me, an excellent reminder of my theme for change in 2012, which is generally to simplify, reduce waste and clutter, and to make or use what I already have for the things we need.
For these bean bags, I used Dana Willard’s awesome Rolie Polie pattern. The interior bags were made with some IKEA curtain panels I bought on clearance a long time ago (which I have used a lot for bags and pillow cover backs but still have lots left over). For the bag covers I used some very old faded cotton velvet drapes which which I overdyed turquoise blue and emerald green. The only things I spent money on were the zippers and the beans to fill the bags, which I found on sale locally. It felt so great to give them gifts that were thrifty and fun.
No packaging! No batteries! No assembly! Great for fighting!
Yesterday was good to us! I finished these sweet pants after dinner while the kids were waiting (nagging) for me to come upstairs and watch a movie with them. The pattern is Favorite Things’ Little Smarty Pants which I bought ages ago here.
I can’t say this is the best pants pattern I’ve ever used (okay, I haven’t made a lot of pants) but I found them to be less than a perfect fit for Lauren’s shape. Through the butt and legs they are perfect but around her waist they were too big. They’re supposed to have a nice smooth waistband in the front, with elastic in the back—a design feature I love—but I ended up having to insert some elastic in the front waistband as well. I also found the construction and shape of the front pockets to be fussy. Ultimately we are happy with them; I am happy because she gladly wore them to school today. And she is happy because they are not only cute, but comfy as well. Lauren is not a lover of pants—fashion-wise—so I knew I would have to make them irresistibly cozy to entice her. I did this by lining them with some awesome stuff I got at Mill End last fall called cashmere cotton flannel. It’s unbelievably soft and drapey. Almost like a rayon—but it’s not, it’s cotton.
Anyhoo. I took a ton of notes about what I’ll change on this pattern and plan to cut today and sew another pair tomorrow. Until then…
The Kids Clothes Week Challenge starts today! I’m trying to keep my goals manageable: two pairs of pants and a skirt for Lauren. If time allows, I may squeeze in a lightweight jacket or hooded cape. I intended to trace and cut over the weekend, but spent yesterday working on my Tea Leaves (almost finished!) and making two of these for gifts. So, today will be tracing and cutting. Oh, and agonizing over fabric choices…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mother’s Day was awesome, by the way. The kids put these on my door:
We did our eggs using natural dyes this year. I used this as my inspiration and loose guide. (Really missing that blog). The results thrilled me to no end! And it has got me super excited about this workshop I am taking next weekend.
Pattern is view 8 from this book. I modified it by making short sleeves, shortening the ruffle along the button placket and using a grosgrain ribbon for the belt instead of making one from the main fabric.
Brunch and an egg hunt at our friends’ house made for a lovely day–even though I spent a lot of it in bed with a chest cold. Poor me.