Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Heidi and Finn Ballet Sweater Pattern test

This weekend I had the opportunity to do a pattern test for one of my favorite pattern makers, Heidi & Finn.
To say I was excited about this one would be an understatement.

You see, I take these two little beauties to ballet and tap every Tuesday and more often than not their practice room is shivering cold.  Add the practical aspect in with the fact that these are just too darn cute and I jumped at the chance to make them each one.
And my models jumped at the chance to show off their moves at the barre.
There may or may not have been payment in the form of gummy butterflies involved.
I made each of them a 5T.  You can see the difference in fit on the two girls. My Bug would be on the large side of 5T. Most of her clothes now are in the 5/6 range. Ugh. Have you tried shopping in the "big girls" department? That's a rant for another day.  At any rate, the Bug's friend, K has a more slight build and is pretty much a more standard 5T.
So K has a bit of room to grow, but that's o.k.  since they both INSIST on growing. Sigh. . .
This is the first one I made so I went entirely "by the book". I found the sleeve length to be a bit long so on the next one I turned up the hem an additional 1/2" and that took care of it.
The Bug picked out this really thin, soft, tissue weight purple knit. I'm sure it is super comfortable but it was a beast to sew.  Thankfully there were hints and tips apleanty in the pattern, which reminded me to increase my stitch size if I was having problems. 

Funny how sometimes I need to be reminded even of the simple things.
But that's one of the things that make Heidi & Finn patterns so great.  They are very simple and modern and they do an exceptional job of photographing each step in the process.  So even though the instructions themselves are incredibly clear, for more visual people, you also have that visual cue.
This was a quick and simple sew.
It's hard to say how long it took since I never sit down and sew a whole garment in one sitting. But it was no more than two hours. . . and that includes time spent pouring over the pattern itself looking for grammatical and spelling errors.  So I'd say, for a confident seamstress you could whip one up in an hour and a half easily. But I think the pattern would be easy enough for even an advanced beginner, someone with a bit of experience sewing knit.

I highly recommend this pattern and any of the others by Heidi & Finn.
So far, I've made their Bubble Dress and their Cowl Neck Dress. Both are favorites of the Bug AND me and that rarely happens any more.

I just realized all three are purple. ha! Total coincidence. Perhaps that does have a bit to do with "favorite" status in the 5 year old's book.

The pattern will be released soon in big girl sizes too, so keep an eye out!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Holiday nightgowns

I knew I wanted to make the Bug's Christmas jammies myself this year. I had pretty much settled on a pattern for a two piece knit set when I saw the Sugarplum nightgown pattern at Peek a Boo patterns and I immediately changed my plans.
The fabric is flannel from JoAnns. I was a bit worried because I ordered on-line and it was deeply discounted but I couldn't have been happier when I recieved it and felt the weight and quality of it. Not to mention, they sent me a little extra fabric because my cut was at the end of the bolt! Bonus! 
Once it was pre-washed it became so soft and snuggly that it was tempting to keep it for myself.
I'm so glad I didn't though.
My girl. . . she pretty much lived in this nightgown the whole of Christmas break and I don't blame her one bit.  It's floor lentgh so to a 5 year old, it's not pajamas it's a princess gown.
It's such a sweet little garment. Not difficult to sew but enough neat little touches to make it feel heirloom quality (like the button placket, gathered sleeves and the lined bodice). The instructions were thourough and easy to follow and the fit is good.  I made the Bug a size 6 and I'm pretty sure she'll be able to wear it still next year.

I am smitten with her in it. It has such a timeless quality about it and it just feels so appropriate for a little girl.

When I bought the pattern I showed my friends and told them my plans and one friend asked if I'd have time to sew up a second one, in red, for her daughter. Of course I had to! Besides, if I'm making one, I might as well make two!
Isn't she stunning?
The nightgown is just as beloved in red. Perhaps too beloved?

A few days before Christmas break Little Miss told her Momma they had pajama day at school.  She was so excited to wear her new nightgown.  Her uncle took her to school that day and sent her Momma the following text message.
Sweet girl FAKED a pajama day just so she could wear her nightgown.
I can't tell you what a compliment this is to me as the maker, and it still makes me chuckle.  Sneaky, clever little girl! (and smart uncle to have a change of clothes on hand, right?)

Moral of the story: This is an awesome nightgown to sew up for a special little girl, but if they claim a pajama day. . . you might want to check with her teacher first.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Dress

Did you think I forgot about this blog? Whew! Between secretive sewing (for Christmas gifts), general seasonal running to and fro and being sick I have been gone far too long.
The good news is, I have a bit of a stock pile of posts.
If you've been here any ammount of time you know, this is kind of how I roll. Feast or famine.

Well, feast your eyes on this. . .
The Bug's Christmas dress this year was a bubble dress. I used the pattern from Heidi and Finn and it couldn't have come together any easier. And I'm in love with the results. This may be the Easter dress as well. I like it that much.

I feel inclined to add, the headband is from Crazy 8 and it's a simple fabric rosette (that I totally could have made myself but sometimes you need to know when to say when). In these pictures it resembles a tea cup and saucer, which is kind of whimsical and fun but not really the look I was going for.  The tights are grey with silver sparkly stripes that we found at Target. They are "itchy", so be forewarned.  She tolerated them for the sake of fashion but I'm not sure they will be in frequent rotation around here.
The back closes with a simple tie.
I like the simplicity of it (no buttons or zippers? I'm in!) and it brings a bit of interest to the back of the dress.
The Bug loves it.  We've had such unseasonably warm weather this winter that I didn't really think about it being sleeveless until the 11th hour. 
So I thought a quick cape might be a good solution.
I had the perfect piece of purple wool in my stash of fabric from Grandma.
I used the Simple Simon Audrey cape tutorial. I think I should have made the smaller version. This one was a bit big on her.  And somehow my collar was too small. Still. . . it turned out super cute.
I think my favorite part is the vintage button.
It's so fancy.

Turns out, the Bug was not as enamoured with the cape as I was. She wouldn't wear it at all. She said it wasn't warm. She's probably right. I lined it with lining fabric so it was slick and cool inside. I should have used cotton or flannel for added warmth. Live and learn.
She did like it a tad bit better when she realized it spins. So there was at least that.

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