Monday, December 16, 2013

More footed pajamas

I wasn't necessarily going to blog about the other pairs of footed pajamas I made...
 but then this happened...
Oh my goodness.
Cuteness overload. That's my little niece being held by her "big" brother. They are the sweetest little cherubs are they not? Footed pj's were made to match the pair I made for The Bug. (Because, why not?)
I also made another big girl pair of pj's for the daughter of a friend.
You can't look at these without singing... right??
This sweet little fox says "Zzzzzzzz..." He's sleepy fox.
I found this fleece at JoAnns. It appears it's gone now. I'm guessing it was quite popular. So sad! The Bug requested a second pair in this fleece. Guess that's not happening.

On this pair, I used jersey for the neck band and the cuffs.  I'm not sure which I like better. The jersey was certainly easier.

So there are a few more cute kiddos that will be warm head to toe this winter. Again, I highly recommend the Classic Footed PJ pattern from Peek a Boo patterns. It's so fun to see it all come together and it doesn't take as long as you might think. Plus, the results are professional looking, which I love.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gift for a Special Teacher

The Bug had her last ballet class of the fall semester this week. Her teacher has just gone above and beyond for her so we thought a special thank you gift was in order.
Several months ago I bought some customizable cups on Pick Your Plum thinking they'd be handy for just such an occasion. Lily was thrilled and jumped at the chance to make a ballerina cup for Miss Ali.
She did such a lovely job!
I hope Miss Ali feels as special as she's made the Bug feel.
I'm not an affiliate for Pick Your Plum or anything, I just like their stuff and wanted to share. Teacher gifts can be hard and these make such a nice personalized one.  The deals change daily but right now they have these cups and some travel coffee mugs available at a super great price. Pick up a few and keep them on hand. You'll be glad you did! (Today is the last day for free shipping, guaranteed by Christmas, on orders of $25 and up so don't delay!)


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dolly and Me Gymnastics Leotards

You know it's nearing Christmas when there is much sewing and little blogging.  But here's a project that's safe to post.

A friend asked if I could make a leotard for an American Girl Bitty Twin doll.  My theory is, whenever possible, if doll clothes are sewn there should be a matching little girl outfit.
So I ventured onto Etsy in search of PDF patterns.  I am always amazed at the variety of things you can find there. 
While finding a leotard for a 15" doll proved difficult but I found one for the 18" dolls that I was able to adapt.  I added a bit to the sides of this Stacy and Stella pattern because the bitty babies are wider and shorter than the full sized AG dolls. 
I also didn't do the contrast panel and finished the neck and legs with fold over elastic.
It wound up being much easier than I'd expected. My sewing machine didn't try to eat the slinky knit fabric even once!
The big girl leotard was made from this pattern from Etsy seller TumblenTwirl.  I did view A which had no contrast panel.  The pattern was different from other PDF patterns I've used but once I figured out how everything worked it was really great. The instructions were pretty clear and there were plenty of tips for sewing with athletic fabrics and even how to embellish.
My fabric felt a bit thin to me so I opted to line the whole garment (well, not the sleeves) with swimsuit lining.  That part wasn't covered in the pattern instructions but it was a pretty easy adaptation.

I'm thinking a ballerina version of both of these is going to be in order post-Christmas for the Bug and her AG doll, Emily.
 I hope this sweet little gymnast will love these super star leotards come Christmas.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Classic Footed Pajamas

I'm loving this pattern for Classic Footed Pajamas. I used it for the first time a few weeks ago as the base for the little mouse costume.

The Bug requested a pair for herself so I got some fleece and set to work making a pair for her and a pair for each of her two younger cousins.
I asked her to work the camera. This is what I got. Check out that hip action, that attitude...

 I wouldn't have started this as soon as I did had it not been for the sew-a-long hosted by Peek a Boo Patterns. It was just the motivation I needed to get to work.
I made the Bug a size 7 hoping it would fit for a long time. They are really roomy. I probably could have gotten away with a 6 but this works.

The fabric is blizzard fleece from JoAnn's. I thought it would work well for Christmas pj's without being too over the top.
When I came home from work today she was already in her pj's sitting at her table, crafting. If that's not a vote of approval I don't know what is.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Hangout Hoodie

In my quest to make the Bug some more winter appropriate dresses I decided to attempt a cute pattern that's been in my stash for a while, the Hangout Hoodie from Peek a boo patterns.
The Bug picked out her own fabric when I was doing a little on-line fabric shopping. This is "Color Hearts" from Girl Charlee. I was excited about it because it is listed as a medium weight knit and so many of theirs are a lighter weight (which are so comfy but a bit harder to sew with).  

When I got it in my hands I was little disappointed. The weight was fine but the texture was just a bit rough. I thought laundering it might soften it up but it didn't.  For a normal kiddo, I'm sure it would be fine, but my girl has sensitivity issues when it comes to clothing.

The grey knit is jersey from JoAnn's. In contrast to the hearts, it is super soft and buttery. I love it.
The placket is what makes this hoodie unique. I think I did o.k. for my first attempt. I got a little bit of bunching going on there in the corners but it's not super noticeable.

The button is one I bought at JoAnn's ages ago. This side is actually the "wrong" side of the button but I liked the way it looked better than the "right" side.
I love the fun, sporty, casual look of this little dress. It really is just about perfect for Fall.  The Bug likes the look too she just can't handle the texture. Can't win them all. We'll be passing this dress on to friends who no doubt will rock it, and I will try this pattern again in something softer.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Go To Signature Dress

Somehow the Bug is lacking in cold weather dresses.  Actually, not somehow, I know why because I see a dress in the store and I think "I could make that" and then I don't buy it. For some reason, that's my reaction to a dress 9 times out of 10 but not for shirts, pants, etc.

So church time comes and I realize she has no dresses to wear and this is a dress loving girl... the situation needed to be remedied. 
Enter the Go To Signature dress. I've made this pattern once before with not the greatest results. The Bug loved it but I did not (so I never blogged it).  I think it had more to do with the fabric I chose than the actual pattern. I like this stripe much better. It's one the Bug picked out herself from Girl Charlee. I was kind of surprised that she liked it because I love it!
I paired the wide, bold stripe up with a more subtle monochromatic stripe for the long sleeves, the elastic casing and the neck binding. I love the way the two stripes look together.
I chose the maxi dress length because if there is any way to 100% guarantee the Bug will like a dress, it is to make it long.  I also opted for the double sleeves, a cap sleeve with an elastic hem over a long sleeve. Though the fabric is a pretty lightweight knit, I think it will serve her well these cooler months.

The pattern calls for the elastic casing to be sewn on the inside of the garment, but I chose to move it to the outside. I like the way it breaks things up. It's barely noticeable in the photos but the stripes on the casing go vertically.  I love playing with stripes like that so I'm glad the fabric had decent 4 way stretch so I could.

I also added inset pockets because pockets are just awesome.
I boogered up that last pleat on the neckline, of course in the front. I didn't notice it until I was far enough along that it would have been a pain to rip out and do over. I still could I suppose. We'll see how much it bothers me.

She loves the dress, wonky pleat and all, so we are calling this a success.
This is a great pattern with tons of options and fairly easy to follow directions.  It is rare that I sew up more than one garment from any tutorial or pattern but so far, these "Go To" patterns are living up to their name. I've made two of these Signature Dresses, several pairs of Go To leggings and two Anywhere Dresses and I'm leaving the patterns out, not filing them away, because I foresee making more in the near future.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Little Mouse and Madeline

I made a few other costumes this October.
A friend of mine had her baby a bit earlier than expected. When I found out, I knew she needed a mouse costume so she could hang out with big sister who was going Trick or Treating as a cat.
The hat was made from a free on-line pattern/tutorial here. It was very simple to put together and so adorable!
The sleeper is adapted from Peek-a-Boo patterns Classic footed pj pattern. It was surprisingly a pretty quick and easy thing to sew--even with the zipper! Hooray!  I added in the pink tummy and we made the pads of the feet pink as well to make it extra mouse like.
Obviously a mouse needs a tail.
I wanted Momma to be able to use this outfit as a sleeper after Halloween so I attached the tail with a button so it could be removed. Easy peasy.
I'm smitten with it and can't wait to see how it looks on.
The other costume I made was for this little sweet pea. Her Momma requested a Madeline dress and I was happy to oblige. 
The dress pattern is Debbie's Birthday dress, View 2.  I just left off the pocket and added long sleeves and a red bow to make it a bit more Madeline-like.
I think it turned out super duper sweet, didn't it?

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween! We have thunderstorms predicted here so we are scrambling to find indoor options. It's a real bummer! But we are making lemonade out of our lemons. I think we are going to head to the local assisted living center to visit the residents and hand out apples.  It may prove to be the most fun Halloween yet!



Monday, October 28, 2013

Monarch Butterfly Costume

The Bug requested a butterfly costume for Halloween this year. I thought for sure she would want to be a pink, purple and blue butterfly but she surprised me and requested a Monarch. 

I used the costume at iCandy for inspiration (despite her warnings that it was labor and glue gun intensive).
The wings themselves are made of felt and glued onto a lightweight foam board. The spots are outlined in sequins, black on the front and orange on the back since I ran out of orange and didn't have time to order more. As often happens, I kind of like it and I'm glad I was forced to make it work.

The whole thing is held on by a couple of elastic straps that are sewn onto a piece of felt. I was afraid it would be too heavy and she would object to wearing them but she loves them.

The dress is from the Anywhere Dress pattern.  The fabric is a strange knit. It's like ruffle fabric, but it's not ruffled. I bought it in the remnant section so I don't know the make up of it or the intent. It may even be swimsuit fabric. It's fairly thick though and it has a very fun texture to it.  I added a grey knit band on the bottom just for a little bit of interest. I'm hoping she can wear this dress after Halloween.  I may yet add grey cuffs on the sleeves.  

The leggings are from the Go To Legging pattern. They are so simple and so quick to sew. I made them out of some sweater knit I had in my stash.  I love both of these patterns.

The boots... well those are from Target and they are ALL the Bug.
The orange felt pieces were attached with spray glue so I was working fast. Thus, they aren't perfectly symmetrical.  It bothers me. But not enough to fix it.
Her antennae are simply styrofoam balls covered in glitter and attached to a black headband with pipe cleaners. I love how they kind of droop.
And did you notice Emily? Yes, Emily has her own set of wings. 
This is what happens when I finish a project ahead of schedule. I think of other projects. But I had felt left over. It would have been a shame to let it go to waste, right?
And this? This says it all.
This is why I do what I do.  I love that toothless grin.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kids Clothing Week Days 1 & 2

Kids Clothing Week Day One found me sick as a dog, hopped up on cold medicine and going to bed early but not falling asleep until 4 am.  Day Two? Feeling a bit better but still not to be trusted around a sewing machine.  So I glued.

The Bug asked to be a Monarch Butterfly for Halloween this year. Rather than leave well enough alone and just buy the girl some wings, I remembered a tutorial for Monarch wings that I'd seen on iCandy last fall. I couldn't get it out of my head so that's what I worked on last night, gluing all those little puzzle pieces of orange felt onto the black background of the wings.

She was so excited that after ballet and before bed she requested I take a photo and post it to "the facebook".  Dress and leggings are made by mom too.  Anywhere Dress pattern and GoTo Leggings... more details at a later date since those were sewn pre-KCW.
(my apologies for the fuzzy, out of frame photo but you get the gist, right?)

The wings still need sequins. I added a bit last night after the Bug went to bed but have miles to go. 10 yards of orange sequins doesn't go as far as you think it might.

Once the sequins are on, I need to figure out how exactly to work the structure of the wings. I'll glue the felt onto foam core once I've got them all embellished and the foam core will be attached to a back piece. . . it all seems rather complicated but I'm sure it will work out once I actually start doing it. Right?


Monday, October 14, 2013

The AnnaBelle Jacket

Having faced my fear of sewing swimwear this summer, I thought a sewing challenge was in order for Fall.
I have so many cute jacket patterns but until now I've been scared to try any of them. I am a fan of Peek a Boo Patterns for their ease and the clarity of instructions so I decided the Annabelle Jacket would be my first jacket attempt.

 I am quite pleased with the results and so is the Bug.
Ultimately the ruffle collar is what does me in. The cuteness of it is almost too much.  I kind of want this jacket in my size. Exactly the same, right down to the buttons.
I've never been into the matching Mommy/Daughter look but this jacket. . . well perhaps I could change my tune.
The buttons aren't bad either. The four on the bodice have a sweet etching of a flower. The button tabs on the sleeves are just simple, but that sunshiney yellow just pops.
The fabric on the outside is a very fine wale corduroy in blue jay. It is like buttah . . . it's so soft!  The lining is a lovely Coreopsis print on velveteen by Anna Maria Horner.  I caught these both on sale (Hallelujah!!) but it was still more than I'm used to paying for fabric. 

It's totally worth the splurge though. Outerwear needs to be made of sturdier fabric. This jacket should stand the test of time. (We're hoping to hand it down!) 

I sewed it up in a size 7 hoping it would work this spring as well. It's got just a little room to grow, so hopefully we don't have any crazy growth spurts.
The jacket came together so well. It was a bit more time consuming than what I usually sew but I still was able to finish in a few evenings.  The directions, as I suspected, were very clear and walked me through the parts I was nervous about.  The only issue I had was with my machine not wanting to make the button holes. It kept getting caught up on the bulk of the seams.  Had I placed the button holes differently it probably wouldn't have been an issue. After a couple of botched attempts and maybe a few tears, I finally just opted to sew the buttonhole with a tight zig zag stitch.  It worked and no one but myself will probably ever notice.
An added bonus we just discovered, this jacket lining is finished so nicely that the coat can be reversible. It's not something I'd planned for, so if she opts to wear it this way, she won't have pockets on the outside, just "hidden" secret inside pockets. But I don't think that's a big deal and it doesn't seem to bother the Bug.

She actually kind of prefers the jacket this way. I can't say that I blame her. That print is stunning, isn't it?

I always had so much fun finding unique jackets for her when she was a baby and toddler. Now, I'm thrilled that if I can't find something in the stores that we both like (why are "big girls" clothes so yuck?) I can just sew her something totally unique and "her".  Hooray for another item ticked off the sewing "bucket list"!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Jeggings. . . and all sorts of awkward photos. . .

The Bug loves jeggings and leggings. She pretty much lives in them in the cooler months. They are worn on their own or under skirts and dresses but rarely a day goes by she isn't wearing them.

So I was thrilled when I saw jegging knit at JoAnn's.  I thought about making a pair of skinny jeans with them, but instead opted for a very simple pair of Go To Leggings.
I'm loving them and so is she. Such a rare combination these days. Isn't her shirt super cute? She fell in love with it at H&M and for $5 I could hardly say no. It's probably a good thing we don't really live close to that store.
I can't explain this child other than she goes completely weird and awkward when I ask to take her photo. She is a mini me. As for the flip flops, it's going to be a sad sad day when they have to be retired for socks and more sturdy shoes. There may be a riot.

The Go To Leggings pattern is awesome, not just because it's well illustrated, clear and put together but also because it has so many options! I chose probably the most simple option for these jeggings but there are plenty of variations to keep me from getting bored with this pattern.
More awkward. . . and she's not even looking at the camera! Be normal girl!! O.k., maybe this IS normal. Sigh. . . That part is TOTALLY her dad's fault.

Another thing I like about this pattern is that it has a HUGE range of sizes--from 12 months to 12 years. As the Bug grows I'm noticing more and more of my favorite patterns only go up to 5T or 6. Since she's in a 6 now, that poses a problem! Either I need to get serious about learning pattern grading or she needs to stop growing! I'm guessing the later isn't going to happen, which is why I'm thrilled when I find a pattern like this one that has larger sizes. Probably by the time she is 12 she will either be sewing for herself (a mom can dream!) or totally disinterested in having me sew anything for her (more likely since we are already headed in that direction).

At any rate, it's a quick simple project with great results. As we head into Fall I see more of these variations becoming wardrobe staples.