Nov 192015

Today I’m posting over at imagine gnats about the Darling Ranges dress I made in double gauze.
darling ranges dress in double gauze

I went through about 14 muslin versions of the bodice — my floor was covered in discarded bits! And this was right after I read a post on Sew Mama Sew advising sewers to avoid muslining in order to be less wasteful. >_< It turned out that the first 12 or so versions were due to my shifting my darts incorrectly; once I followed an actual method (instead of winging it), I only needed one muslin to get the darts in the correct place and a second one to adjust the dart height. gahhhh.
darling ranges dress in double gauze

The coral stripes are a little outside of my comfort zone, so I was nervous about using the fabric well and actually sketched a bunch of options for the stripes to go on the dress. Could you tell that I tried to make the front chevrony? ๐Ÿ˜€ The back is pieced to be chevrony too, but I regret that a little because it’s always covered by my hair, and now I’m worried that the bias edges at the waist will stretch out funny.
darling ranges dress in double gauze

I wonder if next time, I should lower the neckline a skotch? It maybe looks like I was a little too aggressive in raising it… In any case, I definitely like it better belted. ๐Ÿ˜€
darling ranges dress in double gauze

Oct 302015

Sunshine wanted to be Yoshi for Halloween, which I was excited about because there are already a lot of costumes to “be inspired by” (copy). ๐Ÿ˜€
yoshi costume

Just like with Cosmo’s hydreigon costume, I made the basic hat with the template I made following Stitched by Crystal’s dino hat tutorial — it was even the same template as Cosmo’s because their heads are practically the same size. Yoshi’s features are all stuffed circles or ovals, and I guesstimated the sizes to make them by making round shapes with my fingers and holding them over the hat. heh! (oops, I took pictures on two separate days, and the lighting was obviously quite different.)
yoshi costume hat

The shell is made of a large white circle that I gathered and stuffed around the edges to form the shell ring, and then a red circle (I can’t remember if it was larger or smaller or the same size as the white circle, oops!) that I gathered into a sphere, stuffed as a ball, and then squooshed down to stitch onto the white part to form the poofy shell.
yoshi shell

Yoshi’s clothes are the Oliver + S field trip raglan shirt and Peekaboo Pattern’s Coastal Craze Baggies; I like that he can just wear these normally after Halloween! Husbo especially requested the brown boots so we bought them just for this costume; he also wanted to get long green socks, but those were surprisingly hard for us to find (so we didn’t hahaha)!
yoshi costume clothes

Sunshine kept asking for Yoshi’s egg (and tongue and tail! — but I refused those), so at first I was planning to make him a trick-or-treat bag in the shape of and decorated like a Yoshi egg, but that was stressing me out too much so I just made a regular stuffed Yoshi egg. I was super lazy and bought PlanetPlush’s Yoshi egg pattern, which makes a perfectly nice, throwable egg. (The kids have been having a lot of fun playing catch with it.) I don’t have an embroidery machine, though, so I had to figure out my own green dots. :D:D
yoshi's egg

I’m super thrilled with this costume, mostly because Sunshine loves it and wore each piece constantly as soon as I finished them! :)
yoshi costume and egg

Oct 272015

I didn’t ask Glowbug what she wanted to be for Halloween because I didn’t think she’d have an idea (though now that I think of it, she probably would have said Dora, oops!), so I tried making her a costume that was twirly but not princessy: Rainbow Brite! I also found old episodes for her to watch on youtube so she’d (hopefully) get excited about it… and now Sunshine asks to watch Rainbow Brite. hah!
rainbow brite costume

I used Hey June Handmade’s Edelweiss dress pattern with just a few modifications. I wanted Glowbug’s costume to have a slightly higher neck, so I cut straight across the highest point of the bodice (the pattern scoops down a little). The sleeves are half circles with cotton batting inside, and they’re holding up nicely at least for this Halloween! I think they might droop a little after the dress goes through the wash. Finally, I took up the skirt an inch, in addition to making the hem deeper.
rainbow brite, running

The button closure for the back is nice for adjusting the fit. I made the 3Y size and it was a bit too wide, but it was easy to have Glowbug try it on first and then sew the buttons further over than it was marked on the pattern. I sewed the buttons on a little crooked, but I was too lazy to fix them because I’d already sewn them on twice. ๐Ÿ˜€
rainbow brite buttons

For the star applique, I used Wild Olive’s you are my lucky star pattern printed at 200%.

At first, Glowbug haaaaated her costume and cried when I wanted her to put it on. But we’ve been wearing her down, and the other day she wore it without complaining for her grandparents, so yay! :D:D
rainbow brite star

Oct 212015

Cosmo told us that he wanted to be a hydreigon for Halloween, which I thought was crazypants at first (too hard!), but then google and awesome cosplayers came to my rescue. Yay! Here’s Cosmo’s you-have-two-siblings-so-nothing-is-going-to-be-super-complicated hydreigon costume:
hydreigon costume

I used Stitched by Crystal’s dino hat tutorial to make the basic fleece hat, then attached fleece shapes for the nose, teeth, and frill thingy, and then used felt for the eyes. The frill thingy has Soft & Stable sandwiched inside to keep it upright.
hydreigon hat

I didn’t do anything fancy to attach the frill — I just stitched it onto the back (kind of wonkily). While I was working on this hat, I found out that one of our kiddie-sized basketballs was the perfect size to act as a hatstand!
hydreigon back

Cosmo’s clothes are the Oliver + S field trip raglan shirt and Peekaboo Pattern’s Coastal Craze Baggies (which I found out about through Handmade Boy‘s fantastic versions on The Pattern Exam).
hydreigon costume, grawhr!

I worked on his gloves last — they’re extra heads; see ’em? I used 30 Minute Craft’s hand puppet tutorial for the basic idea, then added an extra layer for the mini frills. They’re not as fancy as fireflytwinkletoes’s mittens, but Cosmo’s been having fun with them!
hydreigon costume: mittens

Mike’s thinking about making cardboard wings for Cosmo, but my part is done! …except for the pokemon ball trick-or-treat bag. >_< hydreigon costume

Oct 202015

I decided that I’d give my nieces and nephews daddy dollies for their 2nd birthdays, so here’s the latest one. Guess what my niece’s name is!
daddy dolly

To make the shirt, I printed out an I Love Lucy logo and used a lightbox to trace it onto some jersey with a gelly roll pen, and then I heat set it with an iron. I read somewhere that once you heat set it, the gelly roll ink is permanent, and although I haven’t run anything through the wash yet, I did try scrubbing at it with a fels naptha bar, and nothing came off. I’m optimistic! I like gelly roll pens because they’re easier to use (and a lot cheaper) than micron pens. :>
daddy dolly

I put this doll’s arms in wrong again (like the last one)! I hope I don’t make the same mistake again the next time I have to sew one of these. >_< daddy dolly

Oct 032015

I’m posting over at imagine gnats today about my favorite things to wear: basics! I just realized that I forgot to mention the sizes I sewed on my imagine gnats blog post, so I’ll note them here. :}

I made a Deer & Doe plantain tee (size 36, Art Gallery strawberry, no alterations) and Sewaholic’s Thurlow shorts (size 4, Kaufman houndstooth twill, increased crotch depth and length by 1/4″ on both the front and back pattern pieces, but that didn’t really work out).
plantain tee and thurlow shorts

And then I also got to make Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi tank (size 4 bust graded to size 10 waist and hip, Art Gallery air brush flight) and Megan Nielsen’s Brumby skirt (size S, Kaufman Swiss dot chambray, version 3 with version 2’s pockets).
mission maxi tank, brumby skirt, uptown/downtown tank

Finally, I made Glowbug a matching outfit with leftovers! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ For her tank, I used Sew Straight & Gather’s Uptown/Downtown dress with no sleeves, and I straightened out the sides since it flares out going into the skirt. Her skirt is a simple gathered pair of rectangles… somehow, I thought it would be more flarey if I put two layers of Swiss dot and one layer of lining, but you can’t even tell that the extra layers are there. hah!
matchy matchy!

More information (and nicer pictures) are on the imagine gnats blog, so maybe go take a peeky… :)

Oct 012015

A little while ago, I was lucky enough to get to test Taylor Tailor‘s first pattern — the Desmond backpack!
Desmond backpack (in the tangerine tree)

Now, if you look at Taylor’s versions (and probably all of the other testers’), you’ll notice that theirs don’t look as much like demented monkeys as mine does. I’m missing the rectangle rings for the roll-top straps… I found out at the last minute that the ones I had were too big, and I couldn’t find the correct size locally in time for the testing deadline. Derp!
Desmond backpack (in the octopus tree)

I added the dark brown bottom accent because the two bolts of light and dark brown looked so nice next to each other in the store. This was mostly a matter of looking at the pattern piece and marking a line that was as high as possible without having to make the zippered pocket two-toned; my brain broke enough just having to make the slip pocket two colors. ๐Ÿ˜€
Desmond backpack - bottom accent

I couldn’t find matching dark brown webbing so I made the straps… which made me really irritated at myself when I was almost done and got out my too-large rectangle rings, because if I’d just checked the size first, I could have made the roll-top straps to fit. !!!

Can you see what an awesome shape the shoulder straps are? I’m pretty sure I made an undignified noise when I finished sewing them because they looked so great — totally due to the great pattern pieces and not any skill on my part.
Desmond backpack - back

I had a lot of fun making this backpack, especially because Taylor’s diagrams are so good. Seriously, SO GOOD. Also, the format of the backpack instructions make it super super super easy to notice when he’s talking about pattern pieces, which I love because I’m a huge instruction-skimmer. The pattern is incredibly professional-looking and I adore the version I got to sew up. Congratulations on your first pattern release, Taylor!
Desmond backpack (by the aloe)

Sep 172015

I’m posting over at imagine gnats today about the Vogue Ralph Rucci top (V1437) I made recently with Rachael’s awesome rayon challis!
ralph rucci top vogue v1437

I made a wearable muslin beforehand using cheapie stuff from Fabric Mart, and this is just the straight size 6 with no alterations. The upper back was quite tight, which made it hard for me to reach forward. Fortunately, I had planned to wear this at work, and I don’t move around much there! ๐Ÿ˜€
blue Ralph Rucci top vogue v1437

Even though I feel a little impatient while I’m making practice garments (since I don’t bother with proper muslins, hah), it sure is nice ending up with two wearable items instead of just one!
blue Ralph Rucci top voge v1437

Sep 102015

In order to practice for an upcoming workshop, I made an Amy Butler weekender bag I don’t need. hah! My old one is still perfectly fine even though I use it almost every day, and I’m not ready yet to give up my funny ducklings and homelike kitties. ๐Ÿ˜€
lion weekender bag

Anyway, I needed to write down the modifications I made the last time I used Soft & Stable, so I scrounged through my stash and came up with a me-typical mish mash of fabric loosely themed around felines… the wolves are roughly the same shape, yeah?
lion weekender bag, inside

My piping turned out pretty wrinkled because I got confused again about whether to pull the bias tape taut or leave it slack. I tell myself again: pull taut on bags (convex curves) and leave slack on clothes (concave curves)!!!
lion weekender bag

I’m not sure what to do with this bag, now… on one hand, it would be nice to keep because I like how it turned out, plus I love the zipper. (It has two pulls! And it opens so easily! And it’s pretty!) On the other hand, I wouldn’t use it for a while yet, and I hate having bags sitting around and getting crumply. Plus, it makes me feel like I’m being greedy. A family friend jokingly said she’d take it, and I would actually send it to her if I knew how to mail it without costing an arm and a leg or squishing it too badly. People who make custom bags for reals don’t end up paying $40 for shipping, do they?
lion weekender bag

In any case, while I fail to do anything to figure this out, here’s a picture of my lion weekender bag with a six year-old for scale. :)
lion weekender bag, to scale

Aug 282015

Today is my stop on the Urban Scandinavian Sewing Bloggers’ Book Tour! The book tour runs for two weeks through Monday, August 31, and along with other talented sewing bloggers, I’m sharing Kirstyn Coganโ€™s new book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing, available for purchase at C&T publishing and Amazon.

I was excited when I was asked to participate in the blog tour — the book has a wonderfully clean aesthetic that I can only aspire to. (Glowbug is in her color-everything-when-I-can-get-ahold-of-crayons phase, and that includes walls, bookshelves, couches, and sheets. >_<) Urban Scandinavian Sewing

The Winter quilt grabbed my attention first; I love the cheery pink and orange with the cool grey and expanse of white! Every once in a while, I feel like I should practice using colors that I don’t choose on my own, so this quilt became my must-use-hot-pink project.
Urban Scandinavian Sewing: Winter quilt

I was also working out of my stash, so I had a pretty limited selection of coordinating colors. I think I ended up with a (less-mature) fall version of Kirstyn Cogan’s sophisticated winter quilt. hah!
my teen fall quilt, hehehe

You may notice that Husbo is having trouble holding the quilt up nicely — it’s because this quilt is pretty big! I did skip all the intermediate trimming steps, so mine is more like 92″ x 86″, but that’s not so far off of the pattern’s intended dimensions of 88″ x 80″. It fits nicely on a double bed!
fall version of the winter quilt on a double bed

I thought that one portion of the cutting section could have been written out more clearly, but other than that, the instructions are great! I followed them almost exactly — the only other ways I deviated were:

  • I left out the muslin when creating the three separate quilted panels. It’s less work to baste two layers than three, and also, my cheapie self cringed at the thought of buying six yards of muslin that I could get away with not using. :>
  • I topstitched vertically along the three panels’ joining seam allowances at the very end, after the backing was already attached and turned. I was worried about the backing bagging and billowing if it was only attached around the border.

fallwinter quilt with kids

I had fun making this quick quilt; it took me about a week to finish, which is pretty fast for me. Now I’m looking forward to trying the fun recipes that are also in this book — especially the Swedish meatballs and glogg! hehehehehe…

I’m at the tail end of the blog tour, but if you missed the other posts, you should definitely go back and see the fun things the other bloggers sewed! Hereโ€™s the book tour schedule:

Week of August 17

Nicole from Modern Handcraft
Hilary from Young Texan Mama
Nicole from Snips Snippets

Week of August 24

Jennie from Clover & Violet
Tessa from The Sewing Chick
me, from here! ;D

Be sure to also visit Kirstynโ€™s blog as sheโ€™ll be sharing round-ups of all the stops each week so youโ€™ll be sure not to miss a thing!

Enter to Win A Copy of Urban Scandinavian Sewing!

As part of the book tour, Kirstyn is giving away copy of her book and a FQ bundle of her new fabric line, Urban Scandinavian, that is shipping to fabric stores near you next month, to two lucky winners! Enter below in the rafflecopter giveaway, open through midnight, August 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway