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.