Sunday, June 28, 2015

kid's clothes week: lemon drop geranium dress

I did it again... I'm telling you, I just cannot resist the Geranium Dress. Since I've already sewed this pattern so many times (seriously, check it in my search bar!), I'll skip the details and just give you a quick rundown:

Size: 3T
Fabric: Small World Organic Corduroy in Lemon Drop by Cloud9 Fabrics designed by Made By Rae
Changes to pattern: Yellow piping around bodice, french seams

So summery! I just love this one so much!




Friday, June 12, 2015

urban garden dress

I was fortunate to be able to help test the new Urban Garden Dress and Tank by Terri of Sew Straight and Gather. After testing several new patterns in the last several months (see here and here and here and here), I can honestly say that one of my favorite parts of testing is that it helps me branch out and try new patterns and techniques that I may not have chosen on my own. Sometimes I get into a bit of a sewing rut and only sew things that I know or am comfortable with. Testing encourages me to try out a pattern I may not have otherwise... and who knows? It might even become a new favorite!


I think it's safe to say this is one of those times! The Urban Garden Dress and Tank features an optional neck ruffle, a racerback design and a high-low hemline. The bodice is designed for knit fabrics and the skirt can be sewn with either knit or woven fabric. It is cute, comfy and super trendy!



It sewed up pretty easily. The knit binding around the neckline and arms was a bit tricky and time consuming, but beyond that it was super simple and straightforward. My daughter loves it and after trying it on for pictures, she insisted on wearing it all day! I think I'll be making the tank version next!


The Urban Garden Dress and Tank is on sale now at the Sew Straight and Gather shop - only $6.00 until next week!

Friday, May 1, 2015

popover fireworks dress

For my second Kid's Clothes Week make last week, I sewed my daughter an Oliver + S Popover Sundress. It's a free pattern and super cute and simple. I will definitely be making more because it went together so quickly.


Originally I had other ideas for the pattern... plans that were more in line with the season's "Wild Things" theme. But I was having trouble getting excited about starting it, so I ended up going in a completely different direction.


I used navy blue linen for the main dress fabric, and some vintage red and blue plaid for the yoke and ties. I also added a piece of vintage eyelet trim to the yoke for a bit of interest and I think it really makes the dress. I sewed a size 3 for my tall girl and the fit is great. I also used french seams (my new favorite technique - I use these everywhere now!) so there are no exposed seams.


Then at the last minute I decided to add some hand embroidery to the bottom. The dress was definitely veering in a patriotic direction with its red, white and blue colors, so I decided to just go all out and add some fireworks. I got lucky and found a cute (and free!) fireworks embroidery pattern from Mollie Makes that worked perfectly.


My daughter loves here "fireworks dress" and I can see her wearing it a lot this summer. The fourth of July is still a little way off, but I guess she can wear it for Memorial Day too?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

a trio of bucket hats

I do have a couple more Kid's Clothes Week projects to share, but I haven't photographed them yet, so you'll have to wait. It has been so dark and rainy around here lately!

To tide you over, here are some hats I made a few weeks ago using the FREE Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat Pattern.

My daughter has outgrown all her baby sun hats, so I've been thinking about getting her a new one... Plus, a friend was coming to town with her two daughters and I wanted to give them a little something... VoilĂ ! I decided to make a trio of hats!


I sewed these hats assembly-line style, only switching out thread colors when absolutely necessary - for top stitching and such. That said, it would have gone a lot faster with no thread switching, so if you are thinking about sewing several of these at once, it would benefit you to think about using thread colors that will match all the hats!

I sewed two Medium size hats (ages 3-5 as per pattern) and one Extra Small (6-12 months). It was a great project for using up small bits of cute fabric left over from other projects.


It was a relatively easy pattern to follow, but I was on a bit of a timeline and we all know how that goes... nothing was going quite right but I didn't have time to fix it all. The curves were a teensy bit tricky to keep neat and tidy. My hand sewing was a bit of a mess. (Yes, there is a bit of required hand sewing!) It was super hard to line up the final bit of edgestitching since you can only see one side as you are sewing. This wouldn't have been as big of a deal if the hat wasn't meant to be reversible, but as it is, I ended up with one good side and one bad side. And because I was meeting my friend THAT DAY, I really had no time to do any damage control. (Also, why you only get to see one side of the first two hats!) Luckily, I think two of the three hats (the cats and the whale pictured above) will probably only be worn with the fun prints on the outside, because what 2-year-old would want to hide that? And the baby sized hat (below) could actually be worn on either side because that one turned out the best.


My daughter's hat fits perfect (but no photos because she refuses to wear it... oh, 2-year-olds...!), and hopefully my friend's daughters' hats fit as well.

I will probably try this pattern again, but take a little more time trying to make it perfect. It is a relatively quick sew, though not quite as quick as I was expecting. The second time around will probably go much easier, though!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

kid's clothes week: butterfly swing top

I know I keep saying this, but I think I might have (another) new favorite pattern. 


It's the LOL Swing Top pattern by Jennuine Design. It is the perfect swingy summer top and on the reverse side the racerback with gathered skirt is adorbs. Yes, I said that.

You know how some outfits look cuter on the hanger, and others look cuter when they're being worn? This one looks way better on a little girl than on the hanger... but with that warning, I'm showing it to you on a hanger anyway so you can see the details a bit better.



For the fabric I used Wingspan by Art Gallery Fabrics for the front and a coordinating minty green cotton from JoAnn for the back skirt and bias tape. I adore this fabric and am tempted to buy some more to make a top for myself! Though that has a history of not going too well...


The pattern uses quarter inch bias tape (read: really narrow!) and recommends using store-bought, but I decided to be a rebel and make my own because I really wanted the color to match. It worked out fine, but next time I will try store-bought tape and see if it goes any easier. There were a couple spots I ended up having to hand sew because I just couldn't get the the bias tape to catch. 


This pattern can be sewn with either woven or knit fabric and the woven version has a cute button closure on the left shoulder. I used a vintage clear glass button and think it's a cute touch.


I couldn't wait to try it on my daughter and it certainly didn't disappoint. So cute! I think I'll be making a couple more of these to round out her summer wardrobe. Perfect for the Texas heat! (Though I am trying to pretend that isn't coming soon... ugh.)


kid's clothes week

Check out the Kid's Clothes Week website to sew along or make plans to sew next season! It's lots of fun and just requires an hour of sewing each day for a week!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

cousu top

I promised I'd be back with another example of the Cousu Top and Dress and here I am... finally!


This is a top that I made in size 2. It is looser fitting than the dress I made, but I think that is due to the very thin knit fabric that I used. The fabric was also harder to sew with and doesn't look quite as neat and tidy as the dress... but still turned into an adorable, very-wearable summer top. Side note: she is wearing the Puppet Show Shorts I made for her last year! Might have to make a couple more pairs for this summer - I love that pattern!


I don't really have much to say here except that this is a really fun pattern to sew. Even if you are new to knits, it is not too bad. Because there is no binding or hemming on the neck, sleeve or waistband, it really cuts out a lot of the typical "sewing-with-knits problem areas", if that makes sense... In other words, it allows you to get a very professional-looking product without being super experienced with stretchy fabrics. Jump in and try it - you won't regret this one!


The Cousu Top and Dress can be purchased in the Sew Straight Pattern Company Shop, both separately and as part of the complete Cousu Collection.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

cousu dress

The Cousu Top and Dress is the third and final piece of the newly-released Cousu Collection by Terri of Sew Straight and Gather and I can wholeheartedly say it is another winner. (Also see my Cousu Gauchos and Cousu Coat.)

The Cousu Top and Dress is knit pattern that can be either dressy or casual depending on styling and fabric choice. The square neckline and inverted pleats give it a look that is classic yet unique... I have not seen anything similar in independent children's patterns.


There is an option to add a bottom band, which gives it more of a bubble-look, or leave the band off to make the top or dress more flowy and a-line. Unlike the Coat and Trousers patterns, the Top/Dress sews up quite quickly and simply. The pleats go together much faster than the darts in the other patterns and the recommended sewing level for this pattern has been adjusted to "Confident Beginner."


I tested the dress version in size 2 using an aqua knit fabric. I sewed the option without the band, but rather by accident. To be honest, I was planning to add the band, but I liked the look so much without that I decided to just hem the dress and be done with it! This turned out so adorable that I have decided it will be my daughter's Easter dress this year... isn't it perfect?!


I love, love, love this pattern. I know I said that about the coat, and that is still true. But... this might be my favorite out of the entire collection. I love that it is such a quick project (I do love instant gratification!) and I love how different this pattern can look by by using a variety of fabrics. (Plus, can we say CUTE??!) Because of these aspects, I know I will be sewing a lot more of this pattern as my daughter grows. In fact, I've already sewed a second version of this pattern that I'll be sharing with you next week!


The Cousu Collection is on sale at the Sew Straight Pattern Co. Shop through April 4. Patterns can be purchased individually or as a set.