Friday, December 20, 2013

A Christmas Kyoko

I have a to-do list about a mile long, so now's the perfect time to ignore it and blog, right?  Just a quick post about E's Christmas dress, which she wore yesterday when Santa came to her class Christmas party.  It's the Modkid Kyoko in a 3 for width and 5 for height, which worked out perfectly, just like it did for last year's Sydney that she still wears.

I made my own bias tape again, because I'm a sucker for a perfect match, even though I find it annoying to make.  For a solid top, you could probably just get away with turning the hem under and topstitching it, but I wanted that little bit of extra detail.

I mostly followed the directions as written, other than taking the easy way out by applying the bias tape to the neckline and hem just by topstitching instead of doing it the "right" way.  I did do the sleeve binding as instructed and it was pretty slick.

 I made a self-fabric bow for the obi instead of using ribbon.

This is probably the most accurate color-wise.  It's a bit of a darker red.
I also thought it called for some fancy-schmancy hair clip of some kind, so I made a fabric flower like this with a fabric-covered button for the middle.

She wore the pantalets from her Raggedy Ann costume underneath for some added warmth.  The top comes down pretty low on her, so she wore a long-sleeved tee also.

Time to get cracking on my list!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Visit from St. Nicholas

I seem to remember that after last year's sewing of the Christmas jammies from St. Nick, I decided it wasn't worth the time and effort to sew footie pajamas.  But then I found this super cute Charlie Brown Christmas fleece and couldn't pass up the opportunity for the kids to have matching PJs, so I found myself working on them at the last minute once again. 

I don't learn.

The Peek-a-Boo Classic Footed Pajamas pattern has been updated since last year, adding more sizes and a half-zip option.  The full-zip is easier with E, so I made that version again, but I think the half-zip would be much simpler.  I ripped out the part on the leg where the end of the zipper meets the inseam three times.  When my fourth attempt was still puckered, I decided that no one else would even notice, so I left it.

O's pants are also the same as last year, just a size bigger.  They're the large (size 10) pants from Kwik Sew's Sewing for children, with the side seam eliminated and the legs widened 3/4" on each side.  He's a huge fan of all the Charlie Brown specials, so he thought they were pretty cool -- as far as pajamas go.

Have you ever sewn footie pajamas?  Worth it or not? I find them kind of putzy to sew, but think they're just so cute when they're done, so I'm currently undecided.  I guess if I stick to just making them once a year, it's not so bad.  Ha.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Super Totes!

I feel like there should be some sort of superhero theme music playing... SUPER TOTES!

Anyway.  E's teacher (this is E's third and final *sob* year in the same early childhood classroom) went on a trip last month and told me how well the Noodlehead Super Tote I'd made her worked as a carry-on bag.  The para then said that she uses hers as her everyday bag, and then I realized that I never blogged about the bags, which were their end-of-school gifts from us.  Weird, because I LOVED them.  So, so much.  Even though I started them much too late and ended up practically pulling an all-nighter.  So I was happy to hear that they're holding up well.  Late night sewing can be suspect.

The pattern is pretty awesome. I had no problems with it, despite my lack of sleep.  It does require quite a few pieces and a lot of interfacing, which added to my time crunch.  Well, and my usual procrastination.  One thing I will mention is that the recommended interfacing was super expensive compared to my usual stuff.  I'd never used anything like it before; it reminded me of a fusible muslin.  It was nice, but considering E's owl bag was made with considerably cheaper interfacing and is holding up great on its third year of daily use, I probably wouldn't spring for this stuff again.

The main prints are both home dec fabrics.  The red and brown are linen blends, and the linings are quilting cottons.  There was much agonizing over fabric selection.

I didn't make many changes.  Instead of piping on the outer pocket, I just used a strip of contrasting fabric.  I'm pretty sure I swiped that idea from one of the bag testers, but now I can't find where I saw it (one of the perils of blogging about something months later).

Love magnetic snap closures!  You can also see the non-piping trim.

 I only put the elastic pockets on one side of the inside, purely for time-saving reasons.

The recessed zipper top might be my favorite feature.  It was easy too, so I'm sure I'll add it to other totes that don't have a zip-top.  I seem to manage to tip over my bags regularly, so secure closures are much appreciated!

I  actually cut other another one for O's teacher, but he wanted to give her a gift card to his favorite frozen custard place instead.  The pieces taunt me regularly, so I'll have to sew it up soon.  I think I've finally recovered from the panicky night sewing to attempt another one.  Ha.  He actually has the same teacher again too (his school combines 2nd & 3rd grades, as well as 4th & 5th), so maybe I'll see what he thinks about it for a Christmas gift.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rockin' Baby Gowns IV & V: Wisconsin Sports Edition

The Rockin' Baby Gown has definitely become my go-to baby gift.  One of my college roommates is a serious sports fan (they had the most awesome baseball-themed wedding), so as soon as I received an invitation to her baby shower, I knew exactly which shirts I needed to find to refashion into gowns.

Both tees were adult smalls, which weren't big enough to cut the sleeves from, so I dug in my stash for coordinating colors.  The Brewer blue is a closer match to the printing in person than it looks in the photos.

I'm not quite as crazy about the yellow sleeves, but anything's cute on a baby, right?  This was the first time that I just hemmed the neckline with a zigzag rather than finishing it with ribbing.  Generous use of spray starch made it go smoothly -- much better than I'd anticipated.

The Brewer gown was pretty much the same as the ones I'd made previously.  I really like the look of the sleeves and neckline in this color combo.

My friend's husband is a Yankee fan, but he'll just have to deal.  ;) 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Harry Potter Halloween: 2013 Edition

Happy Halloween!

O wanted to do a family theme for costumes this year (yay!), and we kicked around a lot of ideas, but finally settled on Harry Potter again.  It took a while to decide on characters, since we didn't want repeats -- although O went from "generic Death Eater" to Lucius Malfoy specifically.

After much debate, we picked Crookshanks for E.  O thought we should really have a Hermione if Crookshanks was part of the group, but eventually came around to the idea.  A cat is perfect for her anyway, since she and our cat are BFFs.  Well, more like frenemies, but they are pretty much inseparable.

The cat costume costume is from Butterick 3238.  I made a 5, which is what she wears in RTW (albeit a slim in pants when I can find them).  It was roomy, but about what I expected.  I wasn't crazy about the fit of the hood, but it got the job done. 

I'd found some more cat-like faux fur at Joann's but they were 1/2 yard short of what I needed, so I ended up with this rather vibrant fleece.  At least it was cheap and super easy to sew.  My primary goal this year was to not stress about the details, especially for E's costume.  It's highly unlikely it will be worn again, hence the stash muslin lining for the hood rather than buying matching fabric.  I also didn't bother with shoe covers for the same reason.  And I may have run out of time to make those. Whatever.

O's cloak is McCall's 5952 and some cheap cotton/poly bottomweight fabric also from Joann's.  It also went together easily, although I should have checked the sizing before cutting it out.  I made his RTW size (8), and ended up taking 2" off the sleeves, leaving them to hit in the middle of his hand for some growing room, and 4" off the hem.  I really should have taken even more off the hem, since it dragged in the back if it wasn't situated perfectly and it's been raining all afternoon and evening, so he came home from trick-or-treating with a pretty soggy cloak.

I really liked how the neckline was finished with bias tape.  I'll have to remember that for other things that don't call for it in the directions, but could really use a cleaner finish. (I'm looking at you, Modkid Sydney!)

The only other modification I made was to curve the bottom of the sleeves so they weren't so pointy.  Lucius doesn't seem like a pointy sleeve kind of guy to me.  Actually, he probably would have a  tailored sleeve, but I wanted to make it a pretty generic cloak.

One of the things O really wanted to have was Malfoy's walking stick.  Since we weren't about to spend nearly $100 on a costume prop, we made our own out of a big dowel, clay, adhesive "emeralds", and some paint.  It's a little lumpier than either of us would have liked, but considering he's eight and I spent my semester of high school pottery drawing instead of actually touching any clay (my small-town school was not overly demanding -- ha ha), we did okay.  He was quite happy with it overall, and it was a fun project to do together.

Ray and I were Hagrid and Professor Trelawney, respectively.  Our costumes were primarily from our existing wardrobes and thrift stores.  I did buy some cheapo prescription glasses from Zenni Optical, since I have a few more future costumes in mind that would require similar frames.  And then I bought Ray's wig/beard combo from one of those pop-up Halloween stores.  The "Jesus" wig was the only one that was suitable, and I felt all weird buying it, wanting to tell people that we weren't actually going to use it for Jesus (I didn't, because who would actually care?!  They're all in there looking for sexy policewoman costumes or whatever, so I doubt they're judging me and my Jesus wig).  Can you tell I have a hang-up about religious costumes?  Also Native American costumes, but that's a bigger issue than I really need to get into at the moment.  Back to secondary Harry Potter characters!

We had a fun Halloween, and it was relatively low-stress. That doesn't mean I wasn't sewing the hem of O's cloak this afternoon, of course, but it really wouldn't be a holiday if I wasn't scrambling to finish something up at the last minute!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

KCW Day 4: Pompom Poncho

Woo-hoo!  An actual completed project for KCW.  I'm not counting costume sewing, since nothing I've made will be worn other than for Halloween. [Edit: I just saw that the KCW blog featured costumes today, so I guess that was a made-up-by-me rule.  LOL]

I noticed the other day that E's poncho for the car was getting too small, so a new one was my first priority.  I've made so many of these from the Sew Baby Poncho Pizazz pattern that I've completely lost track of how many exactly.

I made my usual modifications for this one: adding elastic to the center front of the hood and overlapping the hem of the hood when sewing it on, which seems to make it sturdier.

I also added a fleece pompom from this tutorial to jazz it up a little, since it was made from a plain stash fabric.  I am desperately trying to sew down my ginormous fleece stash!  My camera has issues with blues and purples (or I am inept, whatever), so I tried to color correct it to close to the right color.  It's actually a really pretty cobalt leaning slightly towards purple.

I think she likes it.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mother/Daughter Emmeline Aprons

I'm currently avoiding cutting out more Halloween costume stuff, so am posting the final aprons as a semi-productive form of procrastination. 

I made my sister an Emmeline for her birthday back in the spring.  Well, technically her birthday is in the winter, but I didn't give her the apron until spring.  Not my proudest sisterly act.  It's a good thing she loves me anyway.

Tardiness aside,  I really, really loved how it turned out.

Side A

Side B
The one good thing about waiting so long to deliver the gift was that I got to give it to her in person.  This was especially advantageous because my niece LOVED it, and she had a birthday coming up, so her gift was a no-brainer.  She turned 11, so I made hers a bit smaller, but not a lot.  I think I cut the pieces 2" narrower and the skirt part of the apron 2" shorter.

Side A

Side B
You can't tell in the full-length photo, but the black and pink print has glitter in it -- perfect for a bling-loving tween.  The close-up also shows that despite declaring after the first time I made one of these that I would hand sew the final bits next time, I didn't.  I did discover that generous use of a fabric glue stick kept things lined up well enough for respectable machine-stitching.  Yay!

Okay, back to the costumes. I had hoped to get them pretty much finished this weekend, but am not even close.  After looking at all the things on our calendar this week, I don't think I'll get nearly as much done for KCW as I'd originally planned, either, but I'd like to get a couple of things made after the costumes are done. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Butterick 4945 Apron II

Not the cleverest of titles for this post, huh?  At least it's descriptive. 

I made another Butterick 4945 view D this summer for our friends' mom's 60th birthday.  She's pretty awesome and threw herself a big party, because she knew her husband and sons wouldn't think of it.  Ha!  We've spend a lot of time at their house, especially before we had kids, and we adore her, so I was happy for a reason to make her something.  She's a fantastic hostess and great cook, so an apron seemed like a perfect fit.  Through a chain of texts (Ray -->  older son --> his dad, who we suspect just asked her), I found out her favorite colors and picked out this cute paisley print.

Oh, summer and sundresses, how I miss you both!
I made the same minor modifications as last time, mostly just adding a ton of topstitching.  I was quite happy with how this one turned out, especially since I sewed it up the morning of the party, as usual.  The flounce at the bottom is my favorite part.

Two more aprons still on the to-blog list!  I also need to finish up (er, start) Halloween costumes and get ready for the fall Kids Clothes Week next week.  Are you sewing along for this round of KCW?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Raffle Aprons

As I was finishing up an apron to donate to a raffle basket at E's school, I realized I hadn't blogged yet about the last apron I sewed up for her school.  In February.  And then I remembered that there were three other aprons I made this year that haven't made an appearance on the blog yet either.  So it's going to be aprony around here for a while.

Up first is the one from February (Early Childhood always gets assigned kitchen things for their theme.  The apron from her first year is here).  This was view D of Butterick 4945, which was a gift from my friend Carrie.  I used two coordinates from Hobby Lobby that had been hanging out in the stash for a while and made the largest size, thinking an apron can't really be too big.  Or at least not if you're as messy as I am.

There were some issues with the facings at the arm edge being too long, but that was about it.  I also changed the waist ties to be turned and topstitched instead of hemmed and added additional topstitching in several other areas.

O. took this before school one snowy day in February, so less than ideal lighting conditions.
I really like this apron style, as you'll see when I get around to blogging the second one I sewed up.

E's school added a Fall Festival this year and moved the raffle baskets to October.  This time I chose the Urban Wrap Apron pattern again.  Stash fabric for this one too, including the fabric for the bias tape.  I always read the tutes that say, "You'll never buy bias tape again!" and get suckered into making my own, and then remember that my least favorite parts of sewing are cutting and ironing.  Which is basically the entire bias tape making experience.  Oh well, at least it's cute, and I have quite a bit left over for something else.

This apron is super quick to sew up, or would be if you purchased bias tape.  I also like that it's very adjustable size-wise.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

E's First Day

E had her first day of Early Childhood this morning.  I planned for her to wear an outfit I'd made during Summer KCW, but some of you may have seen my panic yesterday on Facebook about how it was going to be too cold to wear it.  I considered sewing up something warmer, but decided in the end to go the more sane route and just add layers.  I rarely make reasonable decisions when it comes to last minute sewing, so maybe this means I've turned a corner.  Not likely.

Last week when it was 90 degrees every day, I was thinking she'd wear her yellow Ottobre tank with her bee skirt -- she loves her bee toy so much that she even has one at school for motivation, so I knew her teacher and para would think the bees on her skirt were fitting.  It was much too chilly for that this morning, though, so she wore a white Jalie tee under a RTW knit blazer, and we added some tights as well.

She's also on her third year of using the owl bag (tutorial here).  I am beyond thrilled with how well it has held up! 


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