Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another Baby Dress

And an announcement. . .
(No neither Michelle nor myself is expecting)

We have graciously been offered a spot at a friend's Apple Festival booth!
So if you are in need of itty bitty baby dresses, aprons and whatever other miscellany we can come up with between now and then, come on out and visit us! And buy some jewelry from Dawn too, just to say thanks for being such an awesome friend and encouraging us to step out and do this scary "craft fair" thing.

And now, the dress that is so "me" it could almost convince me to have another child.
And then I remember diapers. And no sleep. And diapers. And nipple cream. And diapers. And teething. And DIAPERS.
And I think I might be convinced to part with this sweet dress.  Yes, yes, I'm sure I can.
Pattern is the Itty Bitty Baby Dress courtesy of  Rae Hoekstra of made-by-rae.com 
Fabric is some random yardage I picked up.  It reminds the hubby of salt water taffy. Yum!
Photos are from my handy dandy cell phone because Lindsay is too impatient to take photos to wait until I get home and can use the big camera.
Desk is mine, at the library, just to prove I really do have a day job.  And because I'm pushing the envelope with my cutting edge photo styling.

And this somewhat unclear photo is evidence of the finishing.  The skirt is finished with French seams.  I swear there is one in the picture--look over to the right. The bodice is lined and hand stitched down to cover the seam. I know how tender newborn skin is and I don't want any nasty rough seams causing trouble for your little one.

I really enjoy taking the time to make my garments well. These may be simple patterns but you can be sure much care has been taken with every detail.

So visit 402 Center Street Designs at the Nappanee Apple Festival. Get your apple dumpling first (priorities!) and then stop by. If we don't have what you are looking for, take a card, send us an e-mail. We are always happy to do custom orders!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Apron Knot Dress Part 2

And this is why I love to sew.
How amazingly beautiful is this sweet girl? I couldn't have asked for a more perfect model.

As suspected, the bloomers were a total bust. Even though I took them in quite a bit the waist was still to large. Epic fail Simplicity. I'm questioning why I ever trusted you.

But the dress? Perfection.
I think I'm going to making a lot more of these!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Apron Knot Dress

After a friend asked me to make one of these dresses for her daughter, I bought this pattern from Little Lizard King.  I thought maybe I could wing the pattern myself, but sizing always makes me nervous.  So I talked myself into buying a pattern.  I liked the look of this finished dress better than some of the other apron knot dress patterns on Etsy but I was a little nervous buying a pattern cold turkey.
But I was pleasantly surprised.  The pattern was very thorough and had lots of pictures illustrating each step. I think traditional pattern companies could take a lesson from these modern PDF pattern makers.
The dress went together really well.  I used French seams throughout. Next time I think I will forgo the French seam to attach the skirt. It's just a little bulky.  I don't like having raw seams visible though, so I would lengthen the bodice lining so I could just iron the raw edge under and hand sew it down to cover and finish that seam.
The only issue I had was with the buttonhole foot on my machine. It kept coming up against the bulk of the skirt seam and getting stuck. I know my sister loves that foot, but dang, I just never seem to get it right. No problem though. In the end I decided to just hand finish the button holes with a bit of embroidery floss I had lying around.  I really like the way it looks and after the frustration with the buttonhole foot it was nice to just slow down a little and do some handwork.

I happened into JoAnn's $1 Simplicity pattern sale this weekend so I picked up a baby dress pattern with bloomers (among other patterns! One dollar is a STEAL!!).  Here is where my frustration really comes in. After using the PDF pattern, the standard pattern was a real downgrade. I am so spoiled by the photo heavy on-line patterns and tutorials. And it seemed like their sizing was WAY off. Twenty-two inches of elastic for the waist of an 18 month pair of bloomers?? Um, no. I cut it down to about 18" but even so the bloomers look large. I guess we will wait and see if they fit and go from there.

This dress is a special order for a friend but I think I be making more.  I'm thinking a Christmas dress for the Bug is in order. Though Little Lizzard has a new pattern coming, The Little Princess Ruffle Dress, that is speaking to me. I can just see all those ruffles in silk duponini some other such luxurious fabric. So we shall see. A girl can never have too many cute dresses, right?



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Go! Backpack

I promised the Bug a backpack for her first day in the threes class at daycare. It didn't happen. Homegirl refused to go to bed Sunday night and seriously cut into my sewing time.  But I burned the midnight oil last night in order to have it done for her second day.

She was thrilled.
Although other than this slightly blurry attempt above all of my other photos look like this:

Little Miss Attitude was "cold". In August. Whatever.
Let's just look at the bag itself shall we?
I used the "Let's Go!" backpack tutorial on Sew Mamma Sew for this.  I don't know if it's just because it was late and I was tired, but I found the tutorial to be a good guide but inaccurate, a little mixed up and unclear in spots. After reading through the comments, I'm guessing it was operator error on my part. I need to go back and read through it again when I've had more sleep.
At any rate, there were some new techniques and methods I learned. Like this drawstring casing. I like that it is a separate piece of fabric, sewn in as you are finishing the bag. I wouldn't have thought to do that on my own but I like the way it accents at the top.

I will eventually make a fabric drawstring for it. It's just, at 11 pm I was looking to cut corners to speed the process along and that cotton twine was looking mighty good.
I've never done adjustable straps so that was a good learning process.  In hindsight, I should have made them shorter. Even adjusted to their smallest size they are still to big for the Bug.  All I had was gold hardware. I don't love it, but it works.  I wish I could find the plastic stuff.

Overall, I'm pleased with the back pack. I wish I had used a simpler print for the front of the bag.  I think that "Chocolate Lollipop" piece paired with the "Hunky Dory" is just too busy.  I had a hard time visualizing how the pieces were going to go together as I was cutting them out. In hindsight, I should have laid all the pieces out once they were cut just to get a visual of the final bag. But again, I was in hurry. My bad. I'd say, "lesson learned" but it probably wasn't.

But, the busy patterns are fitting for a busy almost pre-schooler and the Bug loves it. That's what really matters in the end.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Itty Bitty Baby Dresses

I needed a gift for a baby shower this weekend.
Embroidering teeny weeny onesies is not my thing.

Lesson learned.

But Itty Bitty Baby Dresses? Perhaps I've found my baby shower niche.
Thank you Made by Rae.
I love the pink and green combo of this first one.
This little flower is removable and can be repositioned anywhere on the dress or on the accompanying stretchy headband that I made to go with everything.
I heart gingham.
I like the color combo on this one. It didn't turn out like I had in my head but it's still cute.
Little vintage flower button there to accent the bodice.
Another removable flower. A rose this time. (It's just left-over gathered fabric from the ruffle at the hem, all twisted and sewn to resemble a rose) Don't you just love the little mice? This was from a vintage piece of fabric from grandma. It was sewn into an adult dress. I can't even imagine. But it works well for a baby.
I thought this fabric was super cute. I bought 3 yards of it at a local store that is closing down their fabric section.  I got the pink floral there too. I'm sad they are closing out their fabric, but super happy that I got some cute stuff pretty cheap.
Piping around the middle.
Love the bright pink lining.
Little appliqued stripe of pink around the bottom.
And here's the flower for this one, attached to the headband. This is my favorite flower of the bunch. I'm thinking I need to make lots more of these.

These dresses were such fun to make and so stinking tiny and adorable when they were finished. It was big payoff for not so much time invested. Gotta love projects like that!



The Girl Creative

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dewberry Quilt

My current project.
A small lap quilt made from Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley, Tarragon pallet.

The quilt pattern was one from a book I checked out at the library. I don't have the details handy right now but I'll try to cite it when I post the finished quilt. It was a super easy to follow pattern. Not nearly as complicated as it looks.

Forgive the photo quality. I took the picture on my phone because I was just too excited about the whole thing to take the time to run downstairs for the real camera.

It's almost ready to sandwich. I bought some fusible bamboo batting to test out this time. I'm super pumped to see how it works. If I could avoid the basting phase. . . shear heaven. . .

But then I need to figure out how to quilt it. I'm puzzling over that one. I'd really like to try this AMH method but I'm not sure I've got the time to commit to hand quilting the whole thing.  Maybe a cross between tying and hand quilting? We'll just have to wait and see.

I bought this book over the weekend and I am just overflowing with new ideas.  It's not a very modern book but it is proving to be a very helpful reference tool. 

Also on the "to do" pile?
A couple Itty Bitty Baby Dresses for a shower I'm not able to attend this weekend.
A back pack for a certain little Bug who has the audacity to start Pre-School next week.
An apron knot dress for the daughter of a friend.

I feel like maybe a vacation day is in order.