Sunday, May 15, 2011

KCWC Spring 2011 Wrap-up

No more finished projects for me for KCWC.  I traced the Hot Scott Cargo Shorts pattern for O. yesterday, but my dad was visiting for the weekend, so I didn't want to ditch him for sewing.  I haven't gotten my hour in today, and it's not looking likely at this point!  I ran a half marathon this morning, and I think my bed is calling to me.

So while I didn't get as many things done this week as I hoped -- I never do! -- it was much more productive than an average week around here.  If you missed any of the projects, there were linen bermuda shorts, a knit tunic, and a peasant dress, all for Miss E. Thanks to Meg of Elsie Marley for hosting the challenge!

The cargo shorts are going to have to wait for a while, as I have an Abe Lincoln costume that need to be finished by the 25th.  One of my friends pointed out that I could probably have put out a call for and O-sized black suit on Facebook, but since I've already bought the pattern and the fabric, I might as well carry on with my original stress-inducing plan, right?

Friday, May 13, 2011

KCWC Day 5

Woot!  I finally completed an entire project in one day, tracing and all.  Of course, it only had two pattern pieces, but whatever.

The pattern is Miss Madeline by The Handmade Dress.  This is another one that I've made before.  I used grosgrain ribbon for the waistband, rather than a coordinating fabric, and did a 3/4" hem instead of 1/2".

Does the print look familiar?  I used it for a play sling last month and said I hoped I'd sew the rest up into a dress for E. soon.  I'm sort of shocked that it actually happened in a timely fashion.  Yay for KCWC! 

KCWC Days 3&4

I was only able to get in the bare minimum of sewing time on Wednesday and Thursday, but have a finished Fishsticks Designs Emmy to show for it.  I've had this Emmy planned for so long that when I went to cut it out, I realized I'd only traced the long-sleeved pattern piece.  So much for it being a winter dress!  The spring version is short-sleeved and tunic length to go with the linen shorts.

I made two minor changes to the pattern.  I cut the cuff half as tall as specified, to give it more of a ringer tee look, and instead of hemming with a half-inch double fold, I serged the edge and just folded up the full inch.

I really love this pattern, and have made it three times before.  I'm sure there are many more in E's future, since it's so quick, comfy and cute.

Proof that she does smile, just not at the camera these days!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

KCWC Days 1&2

So, remember way back four days ago when I said I learned my lesson about having matching thread before starting a project?  I was totally kidding!  I'm calling my dark brown topstitching a design detail.  Yep... planned it like that.

I spent the first day of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge tracing and cutting and today sewed up some linen Favorite Things Little Smarty Pants Bermuda shorts for E.  Does it make sense for a three-year-old to have linen shorts?  I'm hoping they look good even more wrinkled that this:

I really liked the pattern. Quick to put together with some nice details.  I especially like the flat front and the way the cuffs are sewn, almost like a tuck.  I had planned to make the button tabs on the waistband too, but I did a terrible job of topstitching (very "Becky-homecky," as Michael Kors would say) and abandoned that idea.

I'm fairly certain the legs are actually the same length!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Balloon Wreath

When I saw this Celebration Balloon Wreath tute, I thought it was pretty much the cutest thing ever, and perfect for O's birthday.

This project was not, however, as quick and easy as I was led to believe.  I think my balloons must've been much smaller than she used, because I had to put them a lot closer together and even though my wreath was the same size, after I finished up my three bags of 100 balloons, I was only a bit past halfway done. There were only two bags left at the nearest Hobby Lobby, and one of those bags had a handful of oddly shaped ones that I couldn't use, so I ran out before making it all the way around.  I wrapped it with ribbon to hang and called it good.  I may go back and add more later, but not until after my fingers heal! My tips of my thumb and index finger are pretty sore from pushing in nearly 500 floral pins. (BTW, the giant bag of pins shown in the tutorial is $4.99 at Hobby Lobby and I have tons left over.  My JoAnn's only had packs of 25 for $2 or thereabouts.) 

Friday, May 6, 2011

¡Feliz cumpleaƱos!

I'm seriously considering renaming the blog "Desperation Sewing", as nearly every post includes some reference to my being stressed about a project because I procrastinated for too long.  This week's lesson: If waiting to start something until the day before it needs to be mailed, make sure you have enough matching thread, or you'll have to do most of the sewing on the designated mailing day and will have to drive way across town to the one post office that accepts mail after 5:30pm.

On to the project!  A birthday dress for the younger of my two nieces, who turns nine on Sunday.  This is the Feliz from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.  It was also available as an individual pattern from Farbenmix, but I believe they discontinued it when the book was released.

I had wanted to use the outer print for E's birthday dress, when I was going to make her a Kyoko (which just came out in tween and misses sizes, btw.  I think there are matching dresses in our future.  Yes, I'm a nerd.  And I'm cool with it), but I couldn't find a coordinating fabric that I liked.  I was excited to find this fun floral this time around.

Overall it went together pretty smoothly.  I did get confused about the straps, which were the second-to-last step, when I thought I was nearly done.  There is a front and back piece, as well as facings, and I wasn't sure if I was putting them together the right way.  This sewalong was incredibly helpful!  I think next time I'll eliminate the seam at the shoulder. I assume it's there for some reason dealing with the grainline, but I didn't really care for the bulk the seam allowances.  After that I had trouble with strap placement.  The line drawings in the book don't show the straps in the same spot as the mark on the front bodice.  Fortunately the photos of the dress showed that part pretty clearly (the mark is correct).  And then I didn't have the back strap placement marked at all!  The notch is only marked on the largest pattern size, so if you make it in a smaller size, watch out for that and make sure you transfer it.

I didn't make any changes to the pattern, but did include two optional features.  One was to have a few inches of the sash, which is sandwiched between the two layers of the dress, be elastic, so the wearer doesn't have to retie the sash every time she puts it on. I thought that was a clever idea.  I also included the facings on the back sides of the overdress.  It seemed more finished with them, rather than just hemming the sides.

I think this is the kind of dress that really needs to be modeled to not look like a sack.  It has a lot of twirl factor going for it! When I asked O. if he wanted to see the dress before I packaged it up, he misunderstood me said, "I'm not putting that on!", so no action shots.  Hee.

Next week is the Kids Clothes Week Challenge.  I have a couple of spring/summer outfits planned for E.  The boy doesn't need much, but he does have some buddies with birthdays coming up, so I'm going to see what he thinks about making them fun tees.  I wanted to make a shirt for myself for the Spring Top Sewalong, but it's not looking likely, as it's O's birthday tomorrow, and I also have to make an Abe Lincoln costume in the near future.  ?!?

P.S. Anyone know why my first two pics look so blurry?  They're really not.  They're clickable, if you want to see them in their larger, non-blurred glory.  Found a fix here, although it's a bit of a pain to have to edit the HTML.


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