Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ileana dress

I tested a pattern back in July that I'd like to share with you. It was the Ileana Dress by Compagnie M. I was under a little bit of a time crunch as we were getting ready to leave for vacation, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to test this beautiful dress!

Since this dress was released a couple of months ago already, there are many lovely pictures of it that you can find online through a Google search, but I just want to give you an idea of the many, many different options that this dress offers! There is a raglan bodice or a regular bodice, three pocket options, four collars and three faux button placket options. There is also the option to mix the pattern pieces with Compagnie M.'s other patterns: the Louisa Dress, the Mara Blouse and the Lotta Dress. Like I said, TONS of options! It was a little overwhelming sitting down with the pattern the first time and having to choose!

I ended up using the raglan bodice with half sleeves and half circle skirt, the floral collar with accent on hemline and no pockets or button placket.

The dress features an invisible zipper. It was only my second time installing one and I didn't have an invisible zipper foot, but I think it turned out pretty well given the circumstances.

Here is a bit more detail of the adorable floral collar option.

I sewed a size 3 for my daughter and it fit a little larger and longer than most size 3s, but I know a size 2 would have been too small. I think it may even fit her next year, but that is just fine with me. However, after mine was sewn up the pattern was adjusted slightly and the sizing may be closer now. I haven't gotten around to making another Ileana dress to find out how much the fit has changed. Another thing that has changed is the sleeves... my sleeves are a bit too large and the pattern has been adjusted to make them not quite so wing-like. :)

Working with Marta from Compagnie M. was a great experience. She is Dutch, so it was wonderful having the chance to test along with sewists of a wide variety of nationalities and languages. I loved the chance to try out some new techniques and challenge myself to work on a timeline to sew something new and different. My favorite technique was learning how to hem a circle skirt using bias tape. Unfortunately there is no good photo of it, but let me just say, this is an AWESOME trick! I will certainly be using it lots more!

Thank you, Marta, for having me! I look forward to the chance to test for you again!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Iowa trip memories

It's been another busy summer. A couple of long trips. Not too much sewing. Lots of heat here in Texas... 

Blogging has taken a back seat, but I have found that is true almost every summer. The heat does not inspire me, lol.

Anyway, in an effort to "catch up," here are some of my favorite photos from the trip I took with my daughter to Iowa in June. Outdoors, family, fun... all of my favorite things wrapped up into one great trip! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

kid's clothes week: lemon drop geranium dress

I did it again... I'm telling you, I just cannot resist the Geranium Dress. Since I've already sewed this pattern so many times (seriously, check it in my search bar!), I'll skip the details and just give you a quick rundown:

Size: 3T
Fabric: Small World Organic Corduroy in Lemon Drop by Cloud9 Fabrics designed by Made By Rae
Changes to pattern: Yellow piping around bodice, french seams

So summery! I just love this one so much!

Friday, June 12, 2015

urban garden dress

I was fortunate to be able to help test the new Urban Garden Dress and Tank by Terri of Sew Straight and Gather. After testing several new patterns in the last several months (see here and here and here and here), I can honestly say that one of my favorite parts of testing is that it helps me branch out and try new patterns and techniques that I may not have chosen on my own. Sometimes I get into a bit of a sewing rut and only sew things that I know or am comfortable with. Testing encourages me to try out a pattern I may not have otherwise... and who knows? It might even become a new favorite!

I think it's safe to say this is one of those times! The Urban Garden Dress and Tank features an optional neck ruffle, a racerback design and a high-low hemline. The bodice is designed for knit fabrics and the skirt can be sewn with either knit or woven fabric. It is cute, comfy and super trendy!

It sewed up pretty easily. The knit binding around the neckline and arms was a bit tricky and time consuming, but beyond that it was super simple and straightforward. My daughter loves it and after trying it on for pictures, she insisted on wearing it all day! I think I'll be making the tank version next!

The Urban Garden Dress and Tank is on sale now at the Sew Straight and Gather shop - only $6.00 until next week!

Friday, May 1, 2015

popover fireworks dress

For my second Kid's Clothes Week make last week, I sewed my daughter an Oliver + S Popover Sundress. It's a free pattern and super cute and simple. I will definitely be making more because it went together so quickly.

Originally I had other ideas for the pattern... plans that were more in line with the season's "Wild Things" theme. But I was having trouble getting excited about starting it, so I ended up going in a completely different direction.

I used navy blue linen for the main dress fabric, and some vintage red and blue plaid for the yoke and ties. I also added a piece of vintage eyelet trim to the yoke for a bit of interest and I think it really makes the dress. I sewed a size 3 for my tall girl and the fit is great. I also used french seams (my new favorite technique - I use these everywhere now!) so there are no exposed seams.

Then at the last minute I decided to add some hand embroidery to the bottom. The dress was definitely veering in a patriotic direction with its red, white and blue colors, so I decided to just go all out and add some fireworks. I got lucky and found a cute (and free!) fireworks embroidery pattern from Mollie Makes that worked perfectly.

My daughter loves here "fireworks dress" and I can see her wearing it a lot this summer. The fourth of July is still a little way off, but I guess she can wear it for Memorial Day too?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

a trio of bucket hats

I do have a couple more Kid's Clothes Week projects to share, but I haven't photographed them yet, so you'll have to wait. It has been so dark and rainy around here lately!

To tide you over, here are some hats I made a few weeks ago using the FREE Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat Pattern.

My daughter has outgrown all her baby sun hats, so I've been thinking about getting her a new one... Plus, a friend was coming to town with her two daughters and I wanted to give them a little something... VoilĂ ! I decided to make a trio of hats!

I sewed these hats assembly-line style, only switching out thread colors when absolutely necessary - for top stitching and such. That said, it would have gone a lot faster with no thread switching, so if you are thinking about sewing several of these at once, it would benefit you to think about using thread colors that will match all the hats!

I sewed two Medium size hats (ages 3-5 as per pattern) and one Extra Small (6-12 months). It was a great project for using up small bits of cute fabric left over from other projects.

It was a relatively easy pattern to follow, but I was on a bit of a timeline and we all know how that goes... nothing was going quite right but I didn't have time to fix it all. The curves were a teensy bit tricky to keep neat and tidy. My hand sewing was a bit of a mess. (Yes, there is a bit of required hand sewing!) It was super hard to line up the final bit of edgestitching since you can only see one side as you are sewing. This wouldn't have been as big of a deal if the hat wasn't meant to be reversible, but as it is, I ended up with one good side and one bad side. And because I was meeting my friend THAT DAY, I really had no time to do any damage control. (Also, why you only get to see one side of the first two hats!) Luckily, I think two of the three hats (the cats and the whale pictured above) will probably only be worn with the fun prints on the outside, because what 2-year-old would want to hide that? And the baby sized hat (below) could actually be worn on either side because that one turned out the best.

My daughter's hat fits perfect (but no photos because she refuses to wear it... oh, 2-year-olds...!), and hopefully my friend's daughters' hats fit as well.

I will probably try this pattern again, but take a little more time trying to make it perfect. It is a relatively quick sew, though not quite as quick as I was expecting. The second time around will probably go much easier, though!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

kid's clothes week: butterfly swing top

I know I keep saying this, but I think I might have (another) new favorite pattern. 

It's the LOL Swing Top pattern by Jennuine Design. It is the perfect swingy summer top and on the reverse side the racerback with gathered skirt is adorbs. Yes, I said that.

You know how some outfits look cuter on the hanger, and others look cuter when they're being worn? This one looks way better on a little girl than on the hanger... but with that warning, I'm showing it to you on a hanger anyway so you can see the details a bit better.

For the fabric I used Wingspan by Art Gallery Fabrics for the front and a coordinating minty green cotton from JoAnn for the back skirt and bias tape. I adore this fabric and am tempted to buy some more to make a top for myself! Though that has a history of not going too well...

The pattern uses quarter inch bias tape (read: really narrow!) and recommends using store-bought, but I decided to be a rebel and make my own because I really wanted the color to match. It worked out fine, but next time I will try store-bought tape and see if it goes any easier. There were a couple spots I ended up having to hand sew because I just couldn't get the the bias tape to catch. 

This pattern can be sewn with either woven or knit fabric and the woven version has a cute button closure on the left shoulder. I used a vintage clear glass button and think it's a cute touch.

I couldn't wait to try it on my daughter and it certainly didn't disappoint. So cute! I think I'll be making a couple more of these to round out her summer wardrobe. Perfect for the Texas heat! (Though I am trying to pretend that isn't coming soon... ugh.)

kid's clothes week

Check out the Kid's Clothes Week website to sew along or make plans to sew next season! It's lots of fun and just requires an hour of sewing each day for a week!