Thursday, January 27, 2011

Little Lizard King Pattern Tests

One of the things that has forced me back into the sewing room has been these few patterns tests that I committed to do for Little Lizard King. I'm so thankful I had them to sort of give me a little push. Sewing is such great therapy.

The first one was for this sweet little ruffle skirt. . .
Isn't it darling?
It's just the perfect little number for this newly mobile little lady.
How darling is she?
I knew if I showed you that photo first you wouldn't even be looking at the skirt.

I found this pattern pretty simple to sew. The most time consuming part was those ruffles. But they are so darn cute I don't mind the extra time placing them and sewing them down just right.

The latest pattern test was for knickers.
If you don't know what knickers are, don't Google Image search it.
You've been warned.
Knickers (the non-undergarment kind) are short pants that draw in right below the knee, sometimes with a cuff, but in this case with a little elastic and a ruffle.

This pattern was so easy and simple, it didn't take me long at all to sew these up.
I'm trying to withhold judgement until I see them on Baby Girl. Something about the bright primary red and yellow combined with the bagginess is currently screaming "clown" to me.
Poor fabric choice perhaps.
We'll see once my little model gets them on and struts her stuff. I may well change my tune.

I also tested the size 5 of this pattern. Though I have to be honest, after seeing these all put together in the 9 month size, I wasn't quite sure how they would work for an older kid. I can't imagine the Bug in them and I wasn't being inspired by any of my fabric options on hand.
Then I remembered this super soft grey wool from Grandma's stash. 
And inspiration struck.
I left the elastic off of the cuff (though keeping the same measurements as I would have for the elastic casing so as not to veer too much from the pattern) and they became lovely walking shorts. 
Then I added a couple of faux cargo pockets (thanks for the suggestion Jessica!) and I think these are just darling.

Only problem is, they are too big for the Bug. So I need to find a true size 5T model to test them out for me. The Bug is more of a 4T pants girl right now though I've been sewing skirts, dresses and shirts for her in 5T so she can wear them longer.

Neither of these patterns are in the Little Lizard King shop just yet but I'm sure they soon will be. But, I will strongly recommend any of her other patterns. I haven't made them all, of course, but the ones I have used have been very well put together with great step by step photos and well thought out instructions. Most are simple enough for the less experienced sewer. Yet the more experienced sewer won't be bored because they are great basic patterns to build on. I'm already imagining those knickers with a flat waistband and pleats on the front and a cute little button cuff at the knee.
Oooh and slash pockets.
And appliqu├ęd.

Thanks LLK for the opportunity to sew up a couple more of your creations and for providing me with the gentle push back into the sewing room that I needed.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Been sewing up a storm!

Thanks so much for allowing us some space to grieve the passing of our grandmother. She was such an important part of our lives and we were so blessed to have her with us for as long as we did.

Poor Michelle is in the thick of tax season. She got the first couple of weekends off for grandma's death and memorial but now she's back at it, six day weeks and crazy hours. But be assured, she is my silent partner. While she may not be sewing she is listening to my sewing project jibber jabber and giving me feed back on all manner of things.

And while the first few days after grandma's passing I found it difficult to even glance at my sewing room it didn't take long for me to find solace once again in the hum of my machine and the piecing together of fabrics. I have so many things to show you!

So soon and very soon I promise you some picture laden posts. I need to get organized and back into a rhythm. Thanks for hanging in there with us.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sewing is hard these days. . .

Grandma passed away last weekend.
Everything in my sewing room reminds me of her. Three quarters of it was once hers.

So please excuse our absence from blogging for a bit while our hearts heal.


Friday, January 7, 2011

A Pair of School Bags for some special young ladies

Back in October I got a request from a mom at church for a couple of school bags for her girls this Christmas.
I sent her to an on-line fabric store to give me an idea of what fabrics she thought her girls would like and we went from there.
For the Junior Higher we have this messenger bag with these cute little birdies. I had the best time picking out coordinating fabrics. Miss B is in our youth group and it was so fun to make a bag that I thought reflected her spunky personality. If anyone can pull off this bag, it's her.
The bag pattern is my own.  Though it's probably a stretch to call it a "pattern" since I created no pieces nor wrote anything down. Will I ever learn?

I made it nice and big, with plenty of pockets to hold all the books and papers she needs to tote home every night. It also had a nice thick interfacing to add a bit of strength to the fabric since I'm guessing a bag this size could get pretty heavy.
The floral lining fabric was my personal favorite. Those colors are just so crazy but so cool.
Miss B. I hope it serves you well. It was a pleasure to create with you in mind.
Second school bag on tap was a backpack for Miss B's little sister Miss D.
The primary request was PINK! so I did my best to comply.
They picked out the peace sign flower fabric and I thought it would be so easy to pair up with other fabric in my stash but for some reason, nothing I had on hand was doing it for me.
Then I came across this floral dot in hot pink at JoAnns and I knew it was perfect.
This pattern is the Let's Go Backpack like I made for the Bug earlier in the year. I found it went together much better this time. Amazing what a difference not being rushed (or sleep deprived) makes in my understanding and ability to follow directions.

Anyway, Miss D's a fun girl so I decided no ordinary topstitching would do. I really like the wavy blue line. Subtle but fun. And it works with the print so nicely.
Inside Miss D. got loaded up with pockets--even one with a zipper. Yeah, I was feeling adventurous and voluntarily sewed a zipper that was not required or even suggested by the pattern.

She caught me in church the Sunday after Christmas to tell me how much she likes her new pink back pack.
So cute. So sweet.
I'm glad you love it Miss D.

It was such a fun challenge to start with a requested fabric and work in others to accent and compliment. It really stretched me since neither of the two fabrics they chose would have been something I would typically gravitate towards buying. But I loved it. And I love the finished products.
Thanks Momma M for commissioning this project! It was a real joy.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Teacher Gifts

It's always hard to figure out what gift to give the teachers in the Bug's life. Being the daughter of a teacher, I know how the apple nick nacks and the hand lotions can get to be a little much so I like to give unique, handmade gifts when I can.

This year, the Bug's daycare teachers got reversible lunch bags filled with painted Nativity cookies. I tried to think of each lovely lady as I chose the fabrics and buttons from my stash.
This one was for the daycare director. She's had kind of a rough year personally and I wanted something bright, cheery and girly. I love that Jennifer Pagenelli paisley print. Why oh why did I not buy more of it?
This one in bright primaries was for the assistant director. I love the bandanna kind of feel to both prints. The top one is from the Make Life line from Sweetwater--a scrap left over from this quilt--and the bottom one is a rockin' vintage print from grandma's stash.
This one was for one of the Bug's 3 year old class teachers. She collects owls so I sketched out this little fella and did a freezer paper stencil on some neutral linen I had on hand. Very similar to the squirrel bag. Same fabric, same paint, different woodland creature.  I lined it with this vintage woodsy looking print.
I love all four bags but this one is my favorite I think. And it has everything to do with the buttons. The red with white daisy up against that teal and green? LOVE. That plaid is from Urban Chicks, 1974. Have I mentioned how I love those Urban Chicks? I don't think they've done a single line I'm not in love with.

The lining fabric is another favorite (that I should have bought more of), it's Heather Bailey Pop Garden Peonies. I love the bright colors and bold graphic design.

All in all it was a fun project that made great use of some of my yardage and had me digging through all my vintage buttons for just the right one.