Friday, December 13, 2013

Truffula WHAT??? A Modkid Quinn!

So, first things FIRST:  I think this dress is beeeeeyond cute!  Second things SECOND:  I think there some details/construction ideas left out in this pattern, which is a first for a Modkid pattern for me.  But I could be nutso; there is always that.

I did do the size 4 in the Modkid Quinn, as chest size-wise (23 inches, finished measurement), it should have been the right choice for Camden.  However, this sucker isn't going to fit her for very long, sadly.  (Interestingly, I feel the back fits quite well - just that the bodice pieces should have come in more, and I'll remember this - I hope! - when I make her next version.)  It's quite snug, and one thing I did to try and fix that problem, though it may have been silly, I suppose, is to widen the button band that is attached to the main dress.  And speaking of this very button band, I do think the attachment method is weird.  From what I understood in the pattern, it is to be attached, right sides together, then turned out, away from the dress - the seam serged...?  Not sure if that was clear.  I chose to attach the button band, widened, as I mentioned, pressing down the back side of the band and top-stitching it closed, after fold it to meet the original seam line.  That is much neater in this sort of situation.

Also, I do think this dress should have called for interfacing, which it did not.  If I had been foreward-thinking when constructing the bodice, I just would have added it, per the norm.  Not sure why I didn't think of it.  I DID think of it when I stared at the skirt, which is ONE layer, and realized I would be attaching BUTTON HOLES to that sucker!  :O  Well, that's no bueno at all, in my humble opinion.  So, I created a wee facing, which isn't the prettiest thing, but it'll do.  My machine would have eaten the fabric ALIVE, wasting Seuss-like resources, if I'd added button holes to ONE LAYER.  (Not sure if you are reading my amazement at this oversight in pattern construction!!!)


Other than those issues and the fit issue, it is SUPER cute.  I'd had this Seuss fabric since the early Spring, I believe, and I'd used some of it on another Modkid pattern, the Bailey, which Camden loves.

I do prefer adding elastic in the arms to get the desired ruffle effect, rather than using elastic thread in the machine - it's longer-lasting, and neater, I find.  The general construction of the dress is clearly super easy, and I have actually had the dress done for a couple weeks, buttttt.....!!!!  I was moping about, thinking I HAD to suck it up and buy buttons from a big chain store, when it came to me!  I messaged Tessa Ann on Etsy to order Lorax buttons - holla and hello!!!  They were able to make some super cute teeny Lorax and truffula tree buttons for the dress, and they came out soooo well-done!

So, I squeezed Camden into this sucker, and she had a grand time, jumping about in the melting snow!

And.....looking at these last several pictures, you can't TELL there is snow, aha!  Maybe a wee bit ;)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fiona - A Wee Pinafore Dress

And....almost back in blogging action!  I feel I haven't written in AGES....not that I haven't been sewing, but because I have partially-finished projects lying around, waiting for this or that.  I actually have three Violette Field Threads Josephine creations, also, so, look for that post soon!  I love them!

As for today, I've had this outfit done for days and days, it seems, but the weather turned to *^%$ last week, and it was too cold or cloudy or snowy for pictures.  I made Camden brave the cold today (it was totally in the 30s, I promise!) for pictures, as the ones I took the other day at the library were $*&%, just like the weather.

I chose to make Camden's second-ever Figgy's Fiona.  If you can get a hold of it, it's a great little pattern, and there is a version for boys, too!  Those two-for-one deals can be hard to pass up ;)  I did find ONE listing at THIS shop on Etsy, so, research is done for you, LOL.

This is the version I made for Camden soooooo long ago!!!  :O  

Clearly a TINY child back then!
This time, I opted for classier, rather than zany, and reversed the solid/print.  I was super awesome (one of those YAY ME moments) and used corduroy from my stash (I'm telling you - I have NO idea how much I had originally ordered from, but lawds...I've gotten two pairs of pants out of it - and this!) and contrast from my stash.  You can applaud if you want ;)  I also happened to have a few buttons - thankfully, as I am po' right now, folks! - on hand to use.

I will say it was tricky for me to get decent photos, as I was rushing it because of the cold - and I DID press the dress immediately beforehand (and pull off any loose threads/bits that I could see), but man!  It's tricky to capture corduroy the right way in a photograph...for a genius photograph, such as myself.  Also, I likely should have used a darker gray for the buttonholes, as they seem to glare at me in the photos, though in real life, they don't look too bad.

The one detail I didn't get on camera, as it wasn't working out, is that in the shoulders, going from one pleat all the way around to the other, right in the ditch of sewing, is a peek-a-boo of contrast fabric underneath the corduroy, which is a nice touch, I have to say.  

Construction of the pattern is super easy, though if I'm remembering right, the instructions for how to have a clean pleat don't seem AS clear to me, but I knew what to do to make them prettier this time around, as I'm just more experienced now.  Also, I will admit to being confused this time by the hem (as it's fully lined ) - and just doing what I wanted, probably out of laziness, aha!  Don't hate.  I probably made more work out of it, sadly.  Such is life.  I did do the size 4/5, which I think fits perfectly well on Camden.  

Some twirling

The poor child had fallen, not dramatically...yet always looks this way when her bare hands touch snow!
Overal, super cute dress, great for cooler weather/layering!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two Times the 2 and 2 by Oliver and S

It happens to be super early, Thanksgiving morning.  I have cupcakes to bake in a few hours, but while everyone sleeps, I thought I'd whip up this blog post before our fun weekend ahead.

A bonus of sorts...and a mini catastrophe:  I did manage to use fabrics from my stash - for allll four pieces - SCORE!!!  I also managed to cut one of the tree blouse pieces UPSIDE DOWN - NOT score  :(  You will note this creates a bit of a problem when using a fabric from your stash....this print is no longer available (and in my searches to replace it, I found the other coordinating prints from that line - who knew?!).  I finally found it on Craigslist, with the help of some other "researchers"  ;)

Yesterday, I managed to snag a few pictures of the Oliver and S blouse and skirt set - the 2 + 2.  I tell you WHAT:  It is MUY DIFFICULT for me to take pictures of pleats.  I probably should have taken a non-action shot, so, don't hate on my complete lack of photography skills.  These were rushed, LOL, and my child, when presented with a camera these days, has to be either a "monster" or she has to tip her head sideways and look other places, rather than at me or the camera.  It's a tough break for me ;)

The pattern itself is lovely and easy to follow.  I do have ONE beef, which could be entirely just ME, still not sure about that:  The directions have you but the button loop on the wrong skirt piece - like, the directions and the picture don't match up.  So, I attached it to the back piece on the first skirt, the minty one, but I did it the other way on the second.  Anyway, I did silly things to make up for the button placement on the green skirt, so, ignore my tomfoolery there.

Can't believe I'm showing this photo, as it drives me NUTS...both the buttons and the topstitching!
Otherwise, the pattern itself is lovely, naturally.  I will say I wish my rectangles had come out prettier, which you will notice in the photos.  My top stitching is even, but when I turned the piece/s out, I guess I was a bit lazy, though I swear I tried to make them look nice.

I did the size 4, and the skirts are definitely big on Camden, both in waist and in length - this is the first skirt that doesn't involve any sort of elastic, so, the poor girl with no bum has to keep pulling her skirt up, aha!  I think the short-sleeved version looks less sloppy on her for the reason that there is just less fabric overwhelming her little 3.5 year old body.  As I alluded to above, pleats are tricky - they were pressed out super neatly five point two seconds before I took pictures, but she sat down for a minute, and it was all over for the red skirt, aha!  The green fabric is just quilting cotton, but the red is a cross-weave or something - and neither will hold up to bum-smashings.

Lastly, I included some super fancy hand embroidery ;)  This is definitely something that slows a person down, as I also wanted to hand stitch the hem of the skirt to cover the back side of the embroidery - and because I didn't want to have a a visible line of edge stitching on the right side for this particular skirt, as I think it would detract from the overall look.  My French knots look better than they did on my first embroidery project, but the trees overall look a bit of a garbled mess, aha!

These are trees - CLEARLY....LOL, and they are pretending to match the ones on the blouse

I did a running stitch here

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Figgy's...Once Again! (But Kicking it Old School)

So, gosh....these are my baby girl's (I know, I know...a BIG GIRL!) third and fourth Jane dresses (though one is clearly a Jane top).  This pattern is from back in the ye olde days from Figgy's Patterns.  So, I hate to say it, but it's no longer available, unless you can find that crazy, sneaky copy still left in your local fabric store - not sure if Bolt in Portland would have it, but it's always worth checking!

I had done the size 2/3 many moons ago, when Camden was just over 1, and you can see how big it was on her then - and she can STILL squeeze into it!  Silly me, though:  Last year (maybe summer 2012), I decided that since the other one WAS getting a big shorter, I'd the 4/5, and it didn't fit THEN and doesn't fit NOW.  It is so excessively long, though I can't wait for her to wear it, because I did the cutest machine embroidery on it, LOL.  My computer ate the pictures of the green dress, but here is a progression of her getting older in the linen one with Liberty contrast:

This time around, I decided to do the size 2/3 and lengthen the dress - and naturally, I thought I'd lengthen the shirt, though I wonder if next time, I would only lengthen half the amount between a 2/3 and a 4/5...and also shorten the waistband, as I find it a bit long on the vertical (and while we're at it, I should have lengthened the sleeves, but ah, well...)  I still love it!  I'd been holding onto this fabric for a year or so, and it was perfect for this blouse!  You will find in the pictures that I used shot cotton for the green dress version - and for the waistband, etc. on the blouse, which is one of my FAVORITE lining fabrics for children's wear.   The color has a nice depth, and the fabric is pretty lightweight (definitely pull out the size 70 needle for this stuff - and be ready to use your straight stitch plate, if your machine has one, as my wide stitch plate loves to suck this stuff down into its gullet).  It does clearly wrinkle a bit, but no mind!  I can handle that.

What is going on here???

Reading 100 Angelina Ballerina books, LOL
Anywho - the blouse is constructed with French seams, which are so super easy.  I'm a bit nutty about making them look good, so, after I do my first 1/4 inch stitching of wrong sides together, I press the seams open THEN together.  I then trim that seam allowance down and flip the fabric out so it's right sides together, and I press it again before doing the next 1/4 inch stitching.  For French seams, it's usually best to have a lighter weight fabric, as it can get HIGHLY annoying to stitch them if the fabric is heavier.  The directions for this pattern are great (again, I apologize that I'm doing an old pattern, but it's worth it if you can find it!) - and the dress is a quick sew, which is nice!  Also, the dress has pockets, which Camden always finds fun!

Clearly, these are octopus hats!
You'll also note in the photo above that she's been getting some wear out of those leg warmers, aha!

Lastly, a couple randoms - at the park on Sunday was such a NICENICE day!  She is wearing a mish-mash of things, LOL.  Her Celestial top by Figgy's, her Color Me Pretty sweater by Elena Nodel and her Nozky leg warmers.  The second picture is from today - we like to LAYER whenever we head out on the bike now, so, her Pepper sweater is peaking out from under her Molly jacket, along with a random scarf - my second I ever knit.