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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Wee Post: Nozky Leg Warmers for the Chilly Air!

Lemme just say - it's effing freeeeeeezing, Mr. Bigglesworth!  Well, cold enough that a bike ride in the 32 degree (into the wind, I might add!) isn't exactly the coziest 25 minutes of my life - times two.

Anywho....cold is the word!  So, in these tough times, LOL, what does a 3.5 year old need?  Too right!  Leg warmers!  Luckily, this is one of those times when I did something as exciting as a free pattern - the Nozky by Monika Sirna.  They're cute and simple, and the directions are well-written.  Also, Monika was super fast to answer a question the other day in her Ravelry group, which I appreciated!  They're a quick knit....unless you're, as usual, like me, and do silly things (with this pattern, on the green pair, I thought I'd try to knit the same leg warmer twice, for some reason, so, there was some ripping out.).

I finished the orange pair first (Tomato on Madelinetosh DK), then I did the Jade pair.  I should have done the orange pair on size 5 needles, but I did not.  Ah, well - still cozy and warm, even if a bit loose.  I will say I also did NOT do the knitting with elastic in the top ribbing, as I'm lazy and figured they'd work fine enough.  Definitely not fine enough for gymnastics, but for the love of fashion and warmth, they'll do ;)

As I have a bajillion other knitting projects to do, these might be Camden's only two pairs of leg warmers this winter (Yikes!  I still want to do SOCKS!!  When will this allllll ever happen?!), so, I hope she enjoys.

I haven't yet blocked them, so, here they are in all their glory - unexciting photos notwithstanding.

And here she is because it's her REAL smile, and there is more knit-wear featured...LOL (though she is presently playing a RECORDER in her bedroom - NOT laughing about that!):

A test hat pattern that I'm totally blanking on - and her Magical sweater

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cowl Neck Loveliness from Figgy's - A Pattern Test!

Let's just be honest:  How is this not the COOLEST cowl-neck top on the planet???  I'm so glad I was able to test the Celestial Pull-over for Figgy's Patterns.  It is a pattern that I can easily go to again and again.  I truly do think it's funny when people say that, but with a simple knit such as this, it's quite possible to WANT to sew it up time and again.

The pattern came to me already written up in an easy-to-understand way, so, it's perfect for a beginner.  The shaping is great, and it is the right length for my 3.5 year old.  I did the size 4/5, and while she's not tall at all, she has that wee belly, which means tops always come off a bit shorter on her.  I can tell I'd want to lengthen this some months from now - but keep the chest size the same.

I'm quite a fan of tops/styles that are a bit hip but still meant for little kids.  I'm always wishing to see more of that in the sewing pattern world, and Figgy's Patterns is right in tune with my needs when it comes to that, as evidenced by patterns such as the Ayashe set, the Banyan set and the Sunki dress.




Camden loved it and loves the second one even more so, which is funny, as it's the knit that doesn't work as well for this pattern.  I have to say that people definitely need to be particular when choosing knits, as super light-weight knit blends don't work.  A knit with a bit of structure works great, and there are tons of offerings at Girl Charlee; just be sure to always check the content of the the knit and how much stretch it has.  Never JUST choose something for the cute factor.  And when in doubt, get a feel in person for the type of knits you are looking for, then feel free to order on-line.  A thinner knit sort of sits all loosey-goosey.  I can't wait to find some more great knits, though, to turn into a Celestial Pull-over!!

Here, you can see how the knit is way too loose, so, it's important to choose the right knit for the project
Go grab the pattern now while it's on sale, peeps!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DMK Cape Dress or Where Is My Kid Hiding???

My long-awaited (awaited by MYSELF, if you must know) cape dress is alllllll done.  Well, Camden's, though I clearly put in all the hard work.

Looks innocent and NOT HUGELY GIANT here, LOL

And by hard work, I mean that I cut the outer cape pieces a couple months back, and they've been sitting, gathering dust, as I had no lining fabric to match, and I must have some sort of silk/cotton-silk as a lining in this sort of project.  As lack of luck would have it, Mill End had NO cotton-silk blends in stock that were wide enough for this pattern - as you can see, it's QUITE voluminous (let's not beat around the bush here, people).  Granted, I cut a size 5, for some reason, but I do wish the pattern had overall better shaping, including in the neckline.  A size 3 would fit better, as long as the neckline was lower and the chest was big enough around.  The top of the back, though, seems quite snug, so, I don't think the size 3 would have fit well in that department.

Snugaroo, eh???

The pattern is the Cape Dress (not sure of exact name - too lazy to go look!) by DMKeasywear (Dear My Kids) on Etsy.  I'd link the exact pattern, but I haven't seen that particular one in the shop for a while.  (Is there a reason for that????)  I HAVE done one other DMK pattern at this point - this one, and I do love it:

Anyway, it's generally a quick sew, though I naturally made it take longer by not using my cabeza and sewing the hem in a way such that I couldn't turn it right side out.  No idea what I was thinking there - so...had to take out the 3853976 stitches and re-do it.  The wool didn't press too badly, and the silk was lovely enough to work with, so, all was well.  I'm not normally a HUGE BOW person, as many know, but eh - it'll work for this.  If I'd known THEN what I know NOW, I would have done a size 4, for REALZ, and I would have scooped out that neckline a bit more.  It's intensely high/tight.  I'm not sure that doing a size 3 would have worked - not sure if the chest circumference would have fit Camden.

The pattern itself, besides being quick, is written well and is super easy to understand!  I also think the pattern pieces are done well - that is something I appreciate, as I'm not a huge pdf person.

Here it is in all its gloriousness ;)

Don't be toooo afraid of this volume, y'all!

And how about this cuteness after story time yesterday???  This is Camden's friend, and they were racing around, getting a bit more energy out, naturally :)