Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Simplicity 1724

Okay, so this blog hasn't been updated in a while.  The tiny little Tinkerbell below is now a rambunctious three year old.  She is a most definitely a force to be reckoned with.  A Tiny Tornado.  I have made her (and the rest of us) other things in the two years since I last blogged, but never found the time and energy to blog them.  Sometimes I didn't even take a picture.  Hopefully, this will be the re-start of regular sewing blogging again.

I don't know what's up with that face she's making

It's Jungle January!  I actually bought this fabric, I think, two years ago for my then one year old.  I was bound and determined to finally complete it for January.  This is Simplicity 1724, View D.  I did not do the applique.  The fabric had a lot going on and wanted the jungle hearts to stand on their own.  I do believe I saw a jungle heart at Joann Fabrics that matched, but that was two years ago.

The pattern has two jumpers, C and D.  The view I chose, D, has more of a ruffle skirt.  Whereas C has a straight skirt.  I will definitely go back to this pattern again.  It was a quick cut and sew and I think it looks really nice on.

Pay no attention to the shoes on the wrong feet. 

Mistakes:  (Because I always talk about them and obsess)  I, for some weird reason, cut a size 4 last week.  I don't remember what I was thinking because kids' patterns from the Big 4 always seem too big anyway.  I was worried it would look like she's drowning in it.  I actually think it looks okay and I'm actually glad that she will be able to wear this next year as well.  So, I guess it was a mistake, but I'm happy about it. :)

I also had a hard time with the button holes for this jumper.  I may have just been out of practice with making them.  I spent most of today ripping and re-doing the button holes.  As I was working on them I thought maybe next time I will just use large snaps and a button or flower instead.

But, she likes it a lot and that makes it a success.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tinkerbell and the Great Not Really A Fairy Dress: Halloween Part 2

I love Disney.  Although I was frightened at the prospect of having a daughter I have had thoughts of Disney costumes for little girls dancing in my head since we found out.  She was born in October and was very small so last year she just wore a Carter's ballerina themed outfit while I wore her in the Bjorn as my son Trick or Treated.  (I was recovering from surgery so I feel I may get a pass on that Halloween.)  This year my daughter was going to be a year old so I was excited to work on my first little girl costume.  I decided to go with Tinkerbell.  I had picked up two patterns:

Because why make one Fairy pattern when you can make two and confuse moms

I asked my friends and the consensus was the fancier Simplicity 1792.  I was game.  It looked a little harder, but I was totally up for it.  I look at that picture and I think "Tinkerbell".  She's a little fancier than the Ms Bell in cartoons, but Tink nonetheless.

At the fabric store I was concerned about making it too dark.  In my rush I went, in my opinion, too far the other way.  I think the green is called Celery.  I wanted to go with a subtle pink too.  On the bolt and in a pile with all the other fabrics they both looked more vibrant.  Instead once the dress was finished the celery looked very pale and the pink almost white.  I bought the Organza in colors that looked almost identical to the Satin.

Since Tinkerbell is the main Fairy I made the mistake of not really paying much attention to what View it was on the pattern.  You would figure Tink would be View A.  It even says A by her little foot on the envelope.  You, and I, would be wrong.  I completely constructed the top bodice using the instructions for View A which is the Blue (Silvermist-ish) dress.  This only became apparent when I went to put on the numerous tiny flower petals I had cut out and realized that I had completed and lined the top of the bodice.  I could have fixed this, but it looks complete and finished the way I sewed it so I let it be.  I was on a time crunch at this point so I was just happy it looked completed and a little relieved I didn't have to mess with all the petals.  I did, however, attach the petals at the bottom of the bodice.

At this point I was a little impressed with myself.  That looks pretty good.

Next is the skirt.  The underskirt is more Satin and the overskirt is Tulle.  So much Tulle.  Over six yards of Tulle for such a tiny little dress.  Needless to say, there was a lot of gathering involved.  I still managed to pull this off quite nicely.

Lastly, was the zipper.  Up to this point the dress, in my opinion, looked pretty amazing.  The problem came at the zipper (which is kind of a theme with me at this point).  The bottom of the zipper ends in the skirt.  The issue I had was trying to make it look neat while not completely ripping and destroying the Tulle in the back.  I don't have a picture of the finished zipper area in the back, but although it was a challenge it doesn't look too bad.   When we put the dress on her we only zipped it down to the waist.

The last part of this dress is the wings.  I thought they were going to be harder than they were.  The insides are made of a stiff netting and the outsides are the green organza.  The directions have you use pipe cleaners in a pattern on the outside of the wings secured with nylon thread.  I attempted this, but I couldn't get the pipe cleaners in the right pattern.  Ultimately I just went without and let them be a little floppy.  They fasten to the back of the dress with Velcro.

The sizes for this pattern start at 1/2 and then go to size 1.  My daughter is small.  She's started to become average height, but she's tiny otherwise.  I was paranoid that 1/2 was going to be way too small.  I should have done a quick muslin.  Instead I just made the size 1. Bear looks like she's being eaten by fabric.  I added a plain white onesie underneath for modesty.

Doesn't she just look thrilled with it?
Something I hadn't thought of was that the volume of this dress was quite impressive. (All that Tulle.)  So much so that we had problems buckling her into her umbrella stroller.  So my poor husband (seen here wearing his Jedi costume from a few years ago) had to carry her all around the Magic Kingdom.

Here's another thing I didn't think of and it became a missed opportunity.  The dress is so long on her it looks less like a Fairy costume and more like a ballgown.  Once we started wandering around the Magic Kingdom it became obvious her dress didn't look like all the other Tinkerbells.  It did, however, look like another Disney character's outfit....

Princess Tiana

If that had occurred to me before our vacation I so completely could have accessorized her better!  I could have added a flower and maybe made her a tiny crown at the very least.  Heck, if it had occurred to me before that night I could have bought her a Prince Naveen frog.  I can't believe I didn't see it before!

I really liked this pattern.  I don't think I would do it for a Fairy again, but as I was making it I was thinking about what a great Cinderella dress it would make.  I think I will make the wings again at some point.  It also made me more confident about making something more formal.  I think if I continue to make things like this I can definitely make formal dresses for her to wear for occasions when she gets older.   (If she lets me.)  I was really in love with this dress.  If it had fit properly and I hadn't had issues with the zipper I would say it was one of the more perfect things I've made.  Even without the petals at the neckline.  I may make her something simpler next year though and work back up to this again.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mario Madness: Halloween Part 1

Blogging Halloween 2013 in January 2014.  Better than never, right?

I truly love making costumes.  I've heard the argument that it isn't worthwhile to make a costume that will be worn one night and then tossed aside forever.  I'm sure one year I will probably feel this way. (I know some kids like to play dress up so those costumes aren't discarded.  My Allie-gator has never rolled that way.  Maybe my Little Bear will when she's older.)  However, this was not the year.  The last couple of years our Halloween festivities have included being at Walt Disney World so I have made costumes for the whole family while we visit Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  That alone would make it worth the time and effort.  Add to that the fact that I actively seek out costume wearing opportunities for my kids.  Library story times, community Halloween trails, anything where it looks like they can wear their costumes I make an effort to take them to enjoy.

My son is now seven.  This means he now has not only an opinion about Halloween costumes, but that he has more of an interest in having a "cool" costume to show his friends.  He requested a Skylander costume.  I had an idea for Tree Rex costume I was all set to start on.

Pic from wired.  This is the same look Bear gives when she misses her nap.

However, he finally, out of nowhere, decided he wanted to be Race Car driver.  No idea where that came from, but I was going with it.  On a Saturday we visited Joann Fabrics to pick out the fabric.  I was debating satins (manly satins) when Al saw the display of Halloween Patterns.  What should his wandering eyes see, but.....MARIO!

McCalls M6814 View A

Al loves video games.  Almost all video games.  I'm quite the fan myself.  I was immediately on board with this idea.  When I was a kid we had a Nintendo and one year my oldest and middle brothers went as Mario and Luigi and I was Princess Peach.  This was something easily made with the very cheap and plentiful broadcloth in easy to find blue and red.  Plus, the pattern looked simple.  (When you see the costume for my daughter in part 2 you may understand why that was important this year.)

I didn't take my usual dozen pictures of the costume from every angle.  I really had to look to find one.  We scored some fake facial hair at Target dollar area so we added a mustache and eyebrows.  My son has a thing about paint anywhere on him (no face paint, no temporary tattoos, etc.) so the fake hair worked for us because he could take it off easily.  Here's the best picture I could find:

Not pictured:  Pirates that had raided our hotel room and left that mess.
The outfit has the zipper in the front in the center of the jumpsuit.  I found, even with my zipper foot, this was hard for me.  Unlike a shirt of a skirt there isn't an opening on both sides.  The zipper also goes from the blue to the red so I had to either switch the threads while I was sewing or stick with one of them for the whole process.  I went with the red because it would look better on the top half.  I felt awkward about it though.  Even from a distance you can see the red thread on the blue.  The bib instructions were a little confusing for me.  I liked watching the hat come together.  On the pattern it just has a circle (trademarks, man) so I had to free hand the M. 

Here's a big ol' mistake I made.  When hemming the pant legs I wanted to put it on my son to get the right length.  I was working hard into the night.  My son was already dressed for bed (some of you can see where this is going).  I measured without making him wear full pants or, more importantly, shoes.  Once we got to WDW and he put on his costume it became apparent that it had been hemmed WAY too short.  Luckily, I had packed him some black boots that went passed his ankles so it was passable.  There were like at least three other Marios at WDW that night (and they all greeted one another every time they passed one another with "Hey, Mario!") and, in my very biased opinion, I think his costume looked just as good as their store bought ones....from afar.

When we came back to TX it was reasonably chilly for Halloween so he wore jeans instead of the shorts he wore on vacation.  I buy him boot cut jeans so he had about an inch or two of jeans passed where his jumpsuit pants ended.  He still didn't care.  He just liked showing his friends his costume and shouting "It's a me, Mario!  I'm here for some candy!".

I still really liked this pattern.  My kid was really happy with it (which is most important).  If I was going to make it again I think I would try to alter it so that the pants and top of the jumpsuit snap or Velcro together so if he had to go to the bathroom he wouldn't have to take the whole thing off.  I might skip the zipper and go with Velcro there as well.  The Buzz Lightyear costume from a couple of years ago used Velcro for the jumpsuit and I liked how that came together.  Just for my personal preference I might put elastic in the cuffs of the sleeves.  My favorite part of this outfit was the hat.  Which I wore on my own head whenever he wasn't looking.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My First Baby Girl Outfit

I'm back!  I had a baby girl!  She's amazing!  We also moved back to Texas!  So much excitement!

It was a rough year.  I'm not a good pregnant woman.  I get cranky.  And I sleep a lot.  Combine that with a three story townhome and I don't think I even opened my front door after six months.  (UPS guy knew to just drop it and go.)  Then, there was the newborn stage.  Also, not my best time.  Then, we moved across the country again.  We obviously are gluttons for punishment.

I had made a couple of maternity tops while I was pregnant, but I was so out of it I didn't blog them (obviously) or even take pictures.  Now, however, we are settled.  The newbie is almost nine months and we are settled in to our new rental home.  I can finally breathe!

As the mom to a new girl I was dying to make her something.  I've been Pinning lots of girl ideas.  For my first project I went with Smashed Peas and Carrots Little Girl's Crossover Pinafore.  It says it's for 6-12 months, but I was jazzed by the pictures of her daughter still wearing it a year later as a shirt.  My girl will be nine months next week, but is petite.

I bought the fabrics at Joann Fabric after Valentine's Day.  They are Paris themed.

After I finished them I realized I need she was going to need bloomers to go underneath.  Not just any bloomers!  Bloomers with ruffles!  I went with Bella Bama's take on MADE's bloomers.

Unfortunately, even at nine months my little lady was still to small for them.

Put a onesie on for modesty
Just a little big
Thankfully, kids get bigger so I'm sure it will fit her soon.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of my return to sewing.  I already have something quick on the machine that, regretfully, need to be seam ripped apart and then re-sewn.  I'm confident it won't take me too long though. 

Here's a parting shot of my youngest cutie:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Big Change Of Plans (And Momentum)

So I entered February very excited to be working on Family Fleece and thinking about my lovely simple wool coat.  It was cold outside.  I was pretty jazzed.  Then the second week of February my plan got derailed.  That Friday I started feeling so sick I could hardly stand it.  I think you know where I'm going with this.  I had been told the week before (when stuff was already going on unbeknownst to anyone) by a doctor that although there was nothing wrong with my husband or I that we may need some fertility help.  We couldn't afford it so I was trying to reconcile myself with waiting till next year to start a fertility treatment plan.  Big, happy, welcome surprise.  God Is Good!

Today marks the start of my 12th week.  I know my second trimester is a week or two away (depending on who you ask), but my sickness seems to be gone.  Now that my days are being spent upright again (instead of face down in bed) I went down to look at my sewing stuff and discovered that I still have the family fleece cut and ready to sew.  Alex's is almost done (minus a sleeve and bottom hem), but Brian's and mine are just cut.  I'm feeling Spring so I think they may go on the shelf to be worked on when it's actually cold.  Luckily, plus size patterns lend themselves to lots of material in the mid-section.  (I won't find out the sex till like June so I don't want to work on baby stuff yet.)

Hopefully my sickness will continue to leave me alone and I will FINALLY get back into my sewing room to do some damage!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Simplicity 2743- Little Man Vest

Simplicity 2743 is the latest thing off my machine.  I actually had this project cut out before we moved from West Virginia.  Lucky for me pattern sizes run big.  I chose a very boy-ish sweatshirt fabric covered in skulls for the vest.  Alex can be kind of tough to please.  Sometimes he loves the things I make and sometimes I have to chase him running and screaming to even get a picture.  He wasn't with me when I bought this fabric, but he loved it when I had him try the vest on.  He's also really excited about the next project I have for him, but more on that later.

Here is the vest:

You can see that there is an issue with one side being longer than the other lengthwise.  Yesterday I thought about seam ripping and trying to fix it, but he was so excited to wear it I just let him go to school in it first.  The top edge and the separating zipper line up nicely so the only fix needed is to adjust the hem.  It has seam tape on the inside of the pockets, the armholes, and the collar so it looks nice on the inside as well.  It's another case of ninja pockets, but if you look closely you can see them.  They definitely blend in.

When I had bought the notions for this project I had mistakenly (drunkenly?  j/k) bought a regular zipper instead of a separating zipper.  I don't know how I made that mistake, but c'est la vie.  A few weeks ago I went and bought the 22" separating zipper called for.  It was huge!  For a regular zipper I would have probably just adjusted it, but with a separating zipper I would have had to gotten all frustrated with the needle-nose pliers.  I was feeling lazy so I went out to see what more appropriate size I could find.  I was hoping for an 18", but I only found a 16".  I think, if you disregard my mistake with the hem, that 16" worked in this case.

I know I haven't updated in a while so I want to include some (badly taken) photos of some projects I have finished since my last update.

Here is an outfit for a friend's little girl from an out of print Simplicity 5374:

I had purchased the pattern and fabric when my now five year old was a toddler.  When I was unpacking I found the pieces already cut out so I completed it for my friend's daughter who was of the approximate age.  My friend lives in another state so I could not adjust the straps correctly.  I'm not positive I would make the jumper again because I don't like the way the straps come together and I really don't like putting buttons on kids clothes (I kept panicking and redoing them over and over).  If I made it again I would do faux buttons and probably Velcro or snaps.  I did really like the bloomers.  It was a bit of challenge trying to pull elastic through an edge so tiny, but other than that I really liked them.

I also made Halloween costumes.  My son was Woody from Toy Story.  I bought the hat, the t-shirt and the bandanna.  I used fabric paint to do the plaid on the shirt.  I used Butterick 3244 View B for the vest and View C for the boots and belt.  I omitted the fringe on the vest and just left the fabric whole.  It ended up being too short and I had to add another piece at the bottom.  Alex was pretty tickled with the costume.

My husband and I wanted to kind of match with our son so we did Simplicity 2172 and Simplicity 4083 (View C).  We were in a time crunch because I was making them as we were preparing to go to Walt Disney World so I skimped on the buttons and do-dads.  I have them so next time we want to wear the costumes I can add them, but for this occasion Velcro was our friend.

That was probably not the best pose for me to do.  I cut the jacket too small and it really shows here.  I was too tired/lazy to add the accent around the neckline (again, I have it in case I want to add it).  It's Velcro-ed closed.  The skirt was bought because I could not get my skirt to fit together.  Something went wrong somewhere and the pieces just weren't matching up.  The part I really loved about this pattern was the corset.  I LOVE that corset.  It was a lot of pieces and a lot of work, but it looks fabulous.  If I could figure out a way to work them into my daily wardrobe I would make like 20 of them.

Here you can see that my husband is a nut.  And his costume.  Those are his own pants and bought goggles, but I made the dickey, the vest, and the jacket.  He really really liked them.  He was very proud of my sewing abilities and he had a really great time wearing it.  His costume was cut correctly (hint of jealousy on this end) and he wore it well.  He's a sexy beast anyway so I knew he'd look great.

Now looking forward to the future projects.  It's still cold here in VA and it's supposed to stay that way for a while.  It seems to me like it took a long time to get cold so I'm hoping it will hold out.  Next project I'm thinking of tackling is one of these two:

Guess which one's mine
A fleece jackets for all of us. Or:

Just a simple yet kind of fancy coat for myself.

I'm not a 100% sure which I'm going for just yet.  I think it's going to be the family fleece, but I am really excited about the simple coat.  We will see.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

I remembered to take a picture before I gave it away!  Hooray!  The last thing I made was a Cars shirt for a friend's little boy, but I forgot to take a picture before I gave it away.  That was months ago.  I really have been in planning mode more than actual sewing mode.  I've been tracing pieces to cut out in fabric at a later date and washing fabric, but the two haven't met in weeks.  It's almost time to put away the summer sewing and begin the Fall/Winter sewing.  Thankfully, I have a fabulous issue of Ottobre Woman to get me through the transition.

My son is starting Kindergarten next week.  He's excited and plans to make tons of friends.  I, however, am not as excited.  There have been a couple of mornings with tears in my Frosted Mini-Wheats.  Shortly after we moved to VA I enrolled my son in the local Gymboree.  An art class at first till they opened a School Skills class.  For a while we were there 3-4 times a week.  We even had his 5th birthday party there.  He's had two wonderful teachers that have always been really sweet to him and who he really loves.  Today is his last day so I wanted to make sure they knew they were appreciated.  Thanks to Pinterest I was able to make something really cute for them.  Totebags and a snack!

These totes are from the directions from Skip To My Lou. I was already subscribed to this blog and saw this a while back, but when I did a search for teacher gifts this came up and I knew it's what I wanted to do.  The outer fabrics are from Wal-mart on clearance.  The inner fabrics were from Joann fabrics remnant bin.  The directions were from reversible totes, and they are, but the inner fabrics are just plain white and beige.

Inside I put a special snack gift.

This is the idea and tag from Domesticated Lady.  She did it in a smaller form, but I wanted to do it a little larger.

Both teachers seemed to really love them!