Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Swimming Suit

It's not like the Bug needed a swimsuit.
Well, she kind of did. She needed one to take to daycamp with her. One she could easily put on herself--her other suit has a halter top and she can't tie that herself--and one that could stay in her backpack and just go back and forth with her every day. So there's my justification.
In actuality, I was looking for a challenge. I wanted to attempt something I've never sewn before. And guess what? It's no where near as difficult as you might think. I shouldn't have waited so long to try it.

I was just going to wing it and trace an existing suit to make my pattern. But I was a little nervous about that, so I bit the bullet and bought the LaJolla One Piece Swimsuit pattern from Peek a Boo Patterns.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for a coupon code! And I really love Peek a Boo Patterns, they are one of my go to PDF pattern companies.
It was kind of tough to choose, there are a lot of swim suit options at Peek a Boo. Ultimately though, I'm all about the modesty of a one piece. As long as I have that control, I'm going to exercise it. And this one had the sew in straps with no tie which makes putting it on easy peasy for her. Also, it's kind of a blank slate. I can see lots of potential tweaking and making this pattern my own.

Like all Peek a Boo patterns I've tried my hand at, this one was well put together with clear and easy to follow instructions that are well photographed. The pattern instructions make things so easy I really felt foolish for waiting so long to give swimsuit sewing a whirl.
The only thing I would change about the pattern is the top. I'd like it to come up a bit further on the Bug's chest. It wasn't immodest or anything I just felt it was a bit low for my taste and it would be more interesting with a bit more shape there. The leg rouching was a cute touch. I left off the bows at the hip, I just didn't think they added anything to this suit.

The fabric is swimsuit fabric I found on the clearance rack at JoAnn's. Super cute polka dots, you can't go wrong. And since it takes so little fabric to make a swimsuit she just might get another suit in the same fabric next summer!  The whole thing is lined as well, with swim lining also purchased at JoAnn's.  I didn't find the fabric difficult to sew at all. It was most definitely easier to sew than some of the tissue weight knits I've sewn with. It was comparable to any other knit really and having the lining there with it help tone down the slip factor.

The Bug loves it. She loves a halter style more. . . I think it makes her feel more grown up. . . but she really likes that this is easy to slip on and I think she's a little proud that her Momma made it.  This won't be my last swimsuit sewn. I'll be coming back to this pattern again and again I think.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sheet Skirt

I can't remember when I made this skirt. It's been at least a year ago, maybe two. It's been in the Bug's drawer but she hasn't given it a second look until for some reason a few days ago she came downstairs wearing it and it's been in constant, almost every other day, rotation since.  She pairs it with the most random shirts and I kind of love it.
It's a simple elastic casing waistband which I created to have a slight paper bag effect.
The fabric is a vintage sheet I picked up at a thrift store somewhere. It has the softest most amazing feel to it.  I went the super easy route and used the wide sheet hem as the skirt hem. Hooray for easy!!  I felt like the sheet on it's own was cute but a little blah so I put this band of wide ribbon around the bottom. I wasn't sure about it at first but now I am in love.  It adds just the right amount of "quirk".
I used the full width of the sheet which makes it extra spectacularly spinny--which I'm sure is the reason she loves it.
I'm glad this skirt is finally getting some air time with her. It's such a nice breezy summer skirt. It should fit for awhile yet, which is the glory of a simple elastic waist... just so she doesn't go getting too tall. . .


Monday, July 22, 2013

3rd KCW Finish. . . The jury is still out. . .

 Bolstered a bit by the apparent success of the "simple" shorts I went back into the sewing room to attempt a third pair, with adapted "smaller" pockets.  The fabric is a green and white striped upholstery weight fabric that I bought from to make a bag out of. I did make the bag but I had a good amount of fabric left over.
I really like this pair of shorts too. I like that the pocket stripes are opposite the shorts stripes. If I look at them too long on my computer screen my eyes go all buggy but I promise it's not that way in person.
 I was super thrilled when I looked at this up close photo and saw how nicely my stripes matched up at the crotch seam! Go me!! Perhaps that will detract your eyes from the fact that the stripes on the left pocket are a bit wonky and not so horizontal?
Look! These stripes match nicely too! (Have you forgotten the crooked pocket lines yet? No? Come on!)

While these shorts did not receive a resounding hurrah! They were not immediately rejected, which sometimes is the best I can hope for. She says she will wear them "someday" but not today which is why you have photos of the shorts on the grass.  We do what we can. Today was not a day to push with her.

And my KCW sewing momentum has died down. It's been a long day. I miss my husband. I don't feel like sewing. So I'm cutting myself a break tonight. Back at it tomorrow perhaps.
Good night all!


2nd KCW Finish

After the disappointment of my first shorts attempt being rejected by the Bug, I went back at it and made the simplest pair of shorts imaginable thinking she'd see the light and realize pockets are a good thing.

These are a very basic, flat front with elastic back pair of shorts. I made them out of a cute little retro quilting cotton I had in my stash.  Again, made from the Kids Shorts pattern from Dana.

She put them on immediately and wouldn't take them off. She loves them sans pockets. Of course she does. I don't hate them. I'm just disappointed she loves them because they are so plain. Oh well. She is the one wearing them after all.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kids Clothing Week (KCW) Fail

Plural, actually. . .

Fail #1--I totally misjudged the amount of time I would have to sew this week. I thought KCW was the week my husband was going to be away (thus giving me lots of guilt free sewing time).  I was one week off with my timing. So my time to sew early this week was more limited. Oh well. I'm making a go of it, I just started my "week" on Thursday and will end on the following Thursday, not big deal.
My first KCW finish is this pair of shorts made from the new Kids shorts pattern from Dana at MADE. Wonderful, versatile, simple pattern. These shorts sew up super quickly and they are cute.
The fabric is an upholstery weight from IKEA a few years ago. I love the colors.
So the fail here?
The Bug hates them. She took one look at them and said, "Those pockets are too big. I will never, EVER wear those."
The good thing about big pockets? They hold lots of bribes. She agreed to put them on for a photo shoot only because the pockets were stuffed with gummy worms. (The gummy worm bribe was not enough to bargain a matching shirt, combed hair or a washed face)

We've discussed, for future reference, what makes these pockets "too big" (they extend up and over the waist band) and how to improve that on future attempts (shorten the top part). I think I've got it. Just another reminder that my sewing efforts need to more collaborative now as she is getting older and has so many opinions.

As for these shorts, they will find a new home where they will be worn. So all is not lost.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Independance Day

This may be the Bug's new favorite dress. Which is good because her old butterfly dress is beyond worn and needs to be retired.
I used the pattern for the Josie dress in the book Girls World.
The thin straps are one of her favorite parts.
That and the length. I think she feels very fancy in this dress.
This one is a size small which the book says would be about a 4/5 but you can see that The Bug, who normally wears a size 6 has room to grow yet in the bodice.  Moment of truth: This is the second version of this dress I made. The first time I made a 6/7 without taking her measurements just assuming it would work. She LOVED the dress but it fell right off of her. Thank God I had enough fabric to eek out a second dress the next size down.
The butterfly fabric is a bit heavier than I'd normally use for a dress like this. You can tell in the bodice gathering, it's just a bit thick. It was a bottom weight I found on clearance at JoAnns.  The stripe is a remnant my grandma purchased for me at a garage sale.  I'm glad I had it on hand to help stretch the butterfly fabric. I know the Bug would not have liked this dress nearly so well had it not been maxi dress length.
I like that she has a sweet little festive dress to wear this week that's not so over the top patriotic that she can't wear it any other time. Because I think this little dress may be in constant rotation. The pattern may be too. It comes together easily and the finishing is quite nice with a fully lined bodice and invisible zipper. Goodness knows I could use some zipper practice. The instructions are quite clear, I'm just beginning to think I'm zipper impaired.

At any rate, Happy 4th of July to my readers in the States! Enjoy the extra time with family celebrating. I know I will.