Sunday, April 13, 2014

KCW Day 6

Yesterday was day 6 of KCW and the day that gave me the most trouble. The week had been going well. I sewed three items that all wound up getting good reviews in the end from the kiddies. I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't sure what to sew for Day 6. I went into KCW with no real plan at all so I decided to pull inspiration from fellow bloggers. As I read through my blog feed, I came across this really cute knit Geranium dress (and hilarious post about photographing her adorable littlest) by my friend Monica . Perfect! The first Geranium dress that I made I actually did in knit so I figured it would be super easy, right? I even had two old tee shirts of mine in my up-cycle pile that I could use for the project - score! Everything was coming up Millhouse until I started to sew.....

Okay so it doesn't look terrible.  But the sewing of it kinda was. I originally planned to make this a short sleeve top. And I even sewed sleeves onto the top. I even sewed one sleeve on twice (that happens when you don't realize you have NO thread in your bobbin!) Seriously, how the heck did I not realize that?! Anyway, I re-thread the bobbin and added the sleeve. Then I tried the bodice portion on Erin and it looked terrible with the sleeves. I didn't adjust the pattern for adding sleeves so it was too wide and looked awkward, So I cut them off, leaving a little bit of the sleeve so I could create a facing to finish the armscye. Okay not the look I was going for but it looked better without the sleeves.

So then I go to attach the skirt to the bodice. I gather the skirt a bit, pin it to the bodice and baste it on so it will stay in place so I can serge it. Somehow, after basting, there are puckers and pleats created in the bodice because I appartly gathered the skirt too much but didn't realize it when pinning it on - really at this point I should just give up. But no...what do I do? I decide the heck with it and just serge the damn skirt anyway, thinking, oh I don't know, that it will miraculously make the pleats and puckers go away. Yeah that worked well - smh!
I decide to just shut everything off, pour myself a pint glass of wine and go catch up on CSI on my DVR. But the top is staring at me, laughing if you will, that it has defeated me.  So back on the machines go and out come my scissors to cut the skirt from the bodice and re-sew. I didn't even pin this time, just matched the side seam of the skirt and bodice up and fed it through the serger. Turns out I didn't need to gather the skirt at all. It was pretty much the same size as the bottom of the bodice.
Thankfully I didn't need to hem the skirt since I used the existing hem from the tee shirt. I could only imagine what would have gone wrong next if that had to be done. Erin got to try it on this morning to take some pictures. And while it sort of looks like it fits her here:

You can tell here that I need to take it in like an inch on each side.....sigh
(side note: Erin sang and acted out Let It Go during the entire photo shoot.)

The Details:
The Pattern: Geranium Dress size 4t  (should have done the 3t)
The Fabric: Green knit - old J. Crew tee, Navy blue knit - old Gap tee
Trims/Notions: Just some thread

Notes: I created a facing for the neck opening instead of lining the bodice like the pattern suggests. For the skirt I just cut the bottom of the shirt off about two inches under the arms.

So I think I'm going to take it in on either side to make it a little more fitted. Or I just might let it go.....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring KCW Day 5 continued...

So, I was able to finish the dress yesterday that Erin had turned her nose up at the other day. I am happy to report that she has decided she will wear it for Easter - yay! My time was not wasted after all! Which makes me very happy since I reeeeeally want to make Jack a matching tie with the left over fabric.

The Details:
The Pattern: Classic A-line dress with collar option from Sew Classic Clothes for Girls size 2T width and 6 length
The Fabric:  Kona Cotton in Teal for the collar, DS Quilt Collection Croquet Daisies Brown for the main dress and an old cream colored sheet for the lining

Trims/Notions: Button from my stash purchased from Joann and brown Wright's piping and brown hair elastic for button loop

Notes: I made a long sleeve version of this dress back in during Winter KCW that was a bit too big on Erin. So I sized down this time from a 4 width to a 2 width. I think the fit is perfect now.

I really love the back button. I need to improve on my sewing of the back slit though. I always sew it too wide so there is a gap. It looks even more exaggerated in this photo too because the collar is tucked under the button a bit. The button isn't really that close to the edge.

Despite that fact that Erin has decided she will wear the dress does not mean the photo shoot went that great. The top few pics are the best I could get. The rest of the shoot went like this:

Oh least she is going to wear the dress!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring KCW Day 2-5

Yikes! Okay so today is officially day 5 but I never posted about the last few days so here goes:

 Day 2: I sewed up a Recess Raglan for my little slugger. Jack starts tee ball in a couple of weeks and is very excited about it so I thought this would be the perfect shirt to make and it has been on my to do list ever since I purchased the Alphabet Collection from Pattern Anthology back in August. (Hello my name is Meghan and I am a pattern hoarder)
And here is another before school photo shoot - please ignore the water spots on his shirt from him brushing his teeth. I'm just glad they are not tooth paste gobs like usual.

raven photo bomb

this is his "up to no good" face - we see it a lot around here

The Details:
Pattern: Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew from Pattern Anthology's Alphabet Collection size 4
Fabric: two of my husband's old shirts
Trim/Notions: thread (so exciting!)
Notes: I used the existing hems on both shirts for the hem of the shirt and sleeves making this a very quick sew.

Jack loved his new shirt. I hardly ever sew for the poor boy so when I showed this to him Wednesday morning is face lite up as he said "This is for me?!" So cute! Unlike his sister who is harder to please these days, which brings me to...

Day 3: And nothing to show but this pic from Instagram.

I spent the hour tracing out a pattern and cutting out the fabric for a sweet little dress and was about to start sewing when Erin came over and said "Umm I don't know if I'll wear that"
Seriously kid?! So I put it aside feeling a little defeated. But I am going to tackle it today and hope that once it is all done, Erin might feel differently about it. Fingers crossed.

Day 4: I hemmed some pants for my friend's son. Not really what the whole idea of KCW is about but I sewed for a kid so I'm counting it.

 Day 5: I am going to work on finishing that dress in the hopes that Erin will at least wear it so I can take pics. Wish me luck....

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring KCW Day 1

Hellooooo out there! It has been a long time since I blogged. To be honest its been a long time since I sewed anything either. Kids Clothes Week was just the kick in the pants that I needed to restart my sewing mojo. And what better way to start the week than with an outfit that I originally cut out for Winter KCW. Luckily, it is still a bit chilly out and the outfit I made for Erin has three quarter sleeves so I think it is still good for spring. Plus, it is a bit big on her so hopefully it will still work for her in the fall, I'll call that a win.

The Details:
The Pattern: The Perri Pullover by CaliFayeCollection size 2 width and size 5 length

The Fabric: Gray reversible knit fabric from Joann
Notions/Trim: gray thread

This dress sewed up pretty quickly and the instructions were easy to follow. The dress has pockets which Erin loves. This is the first pattern by CaliFaye Collections that I have sewn and I definitely would like to try some others, especially this Cadet Coat. I think it would make a great coat for the fall for Erin. I originally bought this fabric with a shirt in mind for myself but with the high low hem on this dress, I thought it would be cute to use since you could see the reverse side a bit on the inside back hem. I think I still have enough for a shirt and in the spirit of this season's first ever theme of "mini me" I'll definitely try to sew one up with a bit of variation so we are not too matchy matchy.

I used the reverse side of the fabric to create the sleeve cuffs for a little bit of interest. For the neckline, I did not fold the hem over to cover the seam like instructed in the pattern. This fabric is a bit thick and I think it would have been a little rough to sew through so I just serged the seam and left it as is. I think it still came out okay. I also think it would have made the neck too wide if I did sew it over. This fabric seemed to stretch out a lot and the neckline looks wider than it should. I had Erin wear a tank top under the dress in case it slipped over her shoulder at all. But like I said, since it is a bit big it should last until the fall.

This was a very quick photo shoot right before the bus came this fact this is the last picture I took which is of Erin saying "Mom the bus is here!" Good thing the driver waits ;)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Books and Bedtime

The sewing around here has been seriously lacking.  I have not sewn a thing since I finished the quilt. I am hoping to get some sewing in this weekend. I have a bag for myself that I need to finish, especially since I started it last May (yikes!) and also a dress for Erin that is all cut out just need to sew it up. The lack of sewing as been because of this stack:

Plus five other books on my Kindle. In the beginning of this year, I decided to challenge myself to read 50 books before the end of 2014. So far I'm on my 15th book, which does not include Stuart Little, that I am reading to my littles. So, I've been spending all my spare time reading. Some of the books I read a lot faster than the others. I went through the Divergent series in about 4 days. I am really looking forward to the movie coming out next week.  It was my favorite book of the series, to tell you the truth I didn't like the third book very much at all but I powered through it anyway. I'm currently reading Of Blood and Honey which is okay. Not awesome but a pretty good read so far. I'm really looking forward to reading Sharp Objects and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. They are next on the list along with about a dozen other books that I have in my stash and have not yet read. I kinda hoard books like I hoard fabric. Books are my first obsession :)

I did sew a pair of pjs for Jack back in January that I never did share so I decided to take a break from reading and share my books and these fun pjs that I sewed up for Jack. The little man was very excited when I gave them to him since most of what I sew is for his sister....I really need to remedy that.

such a serious little model

The Details:
The Pattern: Flashback Skinny Tee size 4 for the top and Fancy Pants Leggings size 4t
The Fabric: Firetruck Jersey fabric from my local Joann and for the cuffs and neckband Laguna stretch knit in red from
Notions/Trim: 1" elastic for the waistband

This was my first time sewing the Fancy Pants leggings by Titchy Threads. I really love how they came out and they were very easy to sew. There are two different waistband options and I used a combination of the two. I created a waistband from the firetruck fabric and then added elastic to the inside to help keep the pants up better. The firetruck fabric would not have worked by itself to hold up the pants. I also used the cuff detail to finish the bottom of the pants but there is an option to just hem them. Jack is a fan of his new pjs because they have firetrucks on them and I am a fan because they were quick to sew and actually fit him (his store bought pjs are starting to get a little small - which means there needs to be more of these pjs in the future!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brave Like a Tree

Over President's Day weekend, my sister-in-law Keri and I embarked on a 10 hour road trip to visit our friend Kara. We had a blast driving through the night just cracking jokes and singing along to music, drinking more coffee than two people should probably ever consume in 10 hours and just chatting. This trip was very exciting and special to us. We hadn't seen our friend in several months, as she lives in North Carolina and we are both in New York, but more than that, this trip was special as it was a way to physically show our support for Kara. Kara was diagnosed with breast cancer in early November 2013 and is currently undergoing chemo. You can read about her journey on her blog, Brave Like a Tree, where she gives a very honest approach to her diagnosis and treatment in hopes that others who may be going through something similar can find comfort and guidance. Her writing is really wonderful! It would mean so much if you could take the time to check out her blog :)

Keri, Kara and me

Since Kara is in the process of getting chemo treatments, I wanted to make her something that she could bring with her to keep her warm, remind her of just how loved she is and to remind her that even though I can't physically be there with her, I am with her every step of the way. So, the Brave Like a Tree quilt was born. I have always wanted to make a quilt and thought what better reason to try one than to give as a gift of comfort and hope and love. I spent a lot of time considering what fabrics to use and what pattern to follow. I definitely needed to follow a pattern for this since I had no idea what I was doing when it came to quilts! I found the pattern that I wanted to use by browsing Maureen Cracknell Handmade. Maureen just makes the most beautiful quilts. It's a free pattern that she created for Cloud9 Fabrics called the Soaring High Quilt. I just loved the flying geese and thought it would look nice with the awesome fabric that I had picked out. I went with Pat Bravo's Indie collection in the Midnight Temple colorway. I looove this collection and Art Gallery Fabrics are so lovely.

This quilt took me a good week to complete. I would work on it for a couple hours a day. Sewing a quilt is so different than sewing a garment. There was no way I could procrastinate until the eleventh hour and still manage a decent looking item. I took my time and enjoyed the process. I did have to improvise in a couple of places due to the two embroidered squares that I added to the quilt and some how I managed to have 9 1/2" x 10" squares when I was done trimming instead of the 10"x10" that I should have had, so my blocks could only have geese flying up or down instead of to the side. I just love how the embroidered squares came out. My friend Angela of Little Miss A Designs did the embroidery work for me. I found the tree of life design on etsy and ordered it and then chose from the different fonts Angela had for the "Brave Like a Tree" block. There is one other block that is different than the rest as well. I miscalculated on the number of flying geese blocks I would need and was short a block so I just created one without the geese. You can see it in the picture above.

I created a little block for the back of the quilt as well. I just did straight line quilting down either side of a row of blocks. It was very hard to get the quilt to move through the machine and it shifted in a couple of places which made binding the quilt tricky. I followed this tutorial on how to machine bind which was great but it is something that I think I need to get the hang of before it comes out the way it should. My stitches are noticiable in the front where they should be hidden, partly due to the fact that I had to move the binding over the back side of the quilt more than I should since the back shifted during quilting. Oh well, quilt and learn.

I love how the quilt came out but I do realize I have a lot to learn still and will need a whole lot more practice before I am any good at quilting. What matters the most is Kara loved it. It was such a great weekend. We had so much fun!! We went shopping, alligator hunting (Keri loves alligators. Sadly, it was too cold to find one), ate a ridiculous amount of salty fried food (or "fried salt" as we started to call it), tried on Kara's wigs and convinced half of her Facebook friends that Keri cut and colored her hair and just laughed and enjoyed being around each other. This trip was good for the soul. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter KCW - day 1 & 2

Today is day 2 of KCW. I spent day 1 cutting fabric for two items I'd like to sew for the week. I even did prep work on Sunday - go me not procrastinating this time! I usually have grand plans of what I am going to sew during KCW and never manage to sew everything I want, so this time I'm keeping it simple. I only have plans for sewing three items and if I sew more - awesome. But if I only get to the three things I planned on that's okay. I need to stop stressing about sewing entire wardrobes in one week and just focus on the joy of actually sewing. And I really enjoyed sewing this first item, mistakes and all:

Looks pretty good on the hanger, right? Oh wait, what's that pleat in the back? Oh yeah, I didn't take into account that there was like zero stretch in the fabric I used for the cowl piece and had to create a pleat in the back bodice to help make the cowl line up so I could sew it on. Okay not a horrible disaster.....and then Erin came home from school and I had her try it on:

Uhhh... it's a wee bit too big on the tiny lass! I cut a 6, I really should have cut a 5 - then I could have used the 6 cowl piece and I probably wouldn't have had a problem. And hindsight is 20/20.

So the overall fit isn't terrible. The sleeves are too long but I'll fix that (who am i kidding here). The back doesn't look fabulous. The pleat makes the sleeves too pulled in *sigh*. I had similar fit issues last week with this peanut. I really need to pay more attention to her measurements when selecting pattern size. Please don't let my mistakes fool you - this is an AWESOME pattern!! The instructions are great and the sweater sewed up pretty quick. It's also the first time I used my serger for the entire garment construction. I usually baste with my machine first but that just adds unnecessary time. I was always scared of attaching sleeves using just the serger but I went slow remembering to remove the pins before they even got close to the knife. Despite my miscalculations, I really love this sweater! I love it so much I wish it came in my size. I am definitely thinking of ways to use the paisley for a shirt or shift dress for myself.

The Details:
The Pattern: Bimaa Sweater by LouBee Clothing patterns size 6
The Fabric: main sweater - Sew Classic Knit Interlock in Tile Blue from Joann Fabric and for the cowl - Sew Classic Peachskin in Ocean Paisley from Joann Fabric
Trims/Notions: none

Pretty good start to KCW despite my lame sizing for my little girl. I hope to not make this mistake again. I just get so nervous that if I modify the pattern too much it won't fit or sew up right. Ugh, anyone else have these issues?

Thanks for stopping by!