Striped Maxi

The 10-minute maxi.

If you’re a mom to little kids, it’s more like the 22-minute maxi.

Either way, it’s fast.  Why didn’t I make 5 of these at the beginning of Summer?

I followed Sew Caroline’s tutorial and it really does take no time at all.  I did add an extra couple of inches to the length- which was good because after I tried it on, I was able to really get the exact length I wanted by cutting it right across the bottom with my rotary cutter.

 No hemming here!  Boom.  Skirt.

Oh, I also used 1″ elastic in the waistband (instead of 1/2″)… which I think gives a better fit to most elastic-waisted things.

My fabric is a striped bamboo knit from Girl Charlee, though I believe it’s a goner… but there are lots of others to choose from.  It’s really soft, but still substantial enough and stretchy without much curling up.  I love it!

We’re at the beach now, and I decided to be a good blogger and schedule this post for today… I’m probably wearing this baby as we speak, strolling on the boardwalk and picking sand out of my hair.  Surely this skirt will end up balled up in my suitcase (er…laundry basket- anyone else travel by basket?  My husband thinks I’m nuts) but that’s what I like about it- no fuss!

-Erin

Polka Dot Peplum + giveaway

Hello!  Today is a good day.  Dana of MADE has released her much-anticipated First Day Dress pattern!

:::::APPLAUSE:::::

Caroline and I were excited to be testers for this pattern, because… well, duh… it’s Dana- need I say more?  But, for me anyway, her blog was literally the FIRST sewing blog I had ever stumbled upon.  Like, I didn’t even know about you people or your cool sewing blogs, or that this community even existed.  I was googling sewing patterns late one night 4 years ago, and came across her Market Skirt tutorial and then spent the next several hours poring over her beautiful, bright and cheery site.  I was amazed that a person could make these things at home!  Not to go all cheese-fest here, but you could say that she changed my creative life!  Aw….

Onto this GREAT pattern.

There are several options.  I’ll let you hop on over to her site to read all about them, but for my version I chose to sew the peplum top.  I’m pretty sure Caroline is with me here… we are not peplum people.  I have seen them all over the sewing world over the past year, but haven’t jumped on board until now.

Something about my fun little Coco-girl inspired me to give it a whirl.

And I’m so glad I did.

I made a size 2 for my newish two-year old.  Guys, the fit is PERFECT.  I was nervous that this would be to small on her, but as soon as she got it on, I was just doing a crazy dance.  Those little capped sleeves, the adorable swingy peplum skirt, the polka dots… this is a happy project.

I found this great charcoal/silver polka dot fabric at Joann, and snatched up three yards of it.  Luckily, I barely had to use much for this pattern- since I might see a size 6 dress version in my future!  The back closes simply with a single button and elastic loop.  I used one of my favorite buttons from my stash, and I like you could have some fun with a colorful, bold, or special one that you love.

Like I said, there are plenty of options here.  Even when it comes to the lining…you can choose to do a partial lining- just at the bodice, or a full.  I fully-lined mine with some mint voile.  I love the glimpse of color that pokes out when she’s boppin’ around.

Or balancing on her brother’s cute bum.

This pattern is very thorough, with great photos and detailed instructions.  I think it is such a sweet tailored shape, and after making so many dresses with a gathered skirt, this top seemed to come together in a jiff.

I made one particular note to myself that I’ll share with you about this pattern:  while this top really does fit peeeerfectly, it took some care to get off of Corinne without inducing a full on mid-removal arms-stuck meltdown.  If your kiddo is well endowed in the noggin’ department, I’d consider cutting your back slit 1/2″ longer, or cutting the neckline a hair larger.  Just in case y’all.

Now.  Which one of you kind readers would like to win a copy of this pattern?  Okay!  Leave me a comment telling me which option is your favorite, and I’ll randomly pick a winner by the evening of Thursday July 3.

**Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to #13, Jo!  Hope you enjoy your new pattern!**

And come back soon if you don’t win because sister Caroline (!!!) will be back with a totally different look and another chance to win!

Thanks to Dana for the awesome pattern- it’s obvious to see how much work went into creating this one!

Goodbye and Good Luck!

-Erin

hummingbird

I have been sewing like a crazy person, a.k.a. Jesse Spano, a whole lot this past month.  Like cutting out several projects in one fell swoop, labeling fabrics, staying up late, watching 19 Kids and Counting (OH C’MON… you watch it too)/Intervention (the girl who huffs computer duster. YIKES.)/Inside Amy Schumer, and sewing until my back hurts.  Hey, sometimes you got it and sometimes you don’t.  It’s rare for me to be on a straight-up sewing binge, but currently I am.

(And lest you think all I do is sew and watch trashy TV all night…I don’t.  Though sometimes I accidentally put on Peppa Pig, not realizing that my kids are in BED and ASLEEP… and it’ll just play for like 10 minutes before it occurs to me.  Do you ever do that?  Turn on the old boob tube after the kiddos are down, and immediately hit up Nick Jr? What the?! Anyway, I also enjoy the occasional TED talk or Creative Bug on youtube… I love the meet so-and-so videos.  And sewing in the daytime calls for Pandora.  Moving on.)

One pattern that I’ve been pretty smitten with lately is the Hummingbird dress by rabbit rabbit creations.  I stumbled upon it one night while searching around on Etsy and I bought it right away.  I’ve already sewn several variations, but this one here is a fave.

p.s. that mole in the middle of her back is also my fave. :)

I love the fitted bodice and the elastic casing in the back which adds comfort and a casual vibe.  There is the option of adding flutter sleeves to the straps, but I am all for the clean look of this for now.

As for the fit, it’s just perfect.  I sewed a 6 (Ell is a new-ish 6 year old), and it’s right on the money.

(update: there are couple of glitches in this pattern.  first, at the back bodice piece- which is a long rectangle- a 1/2 should be added to the width (not length!) of both the outer and the lining back bodice piece,  because when attaching it to the front bodice at the underarms, it is too short and doesn’t quite match up with the width of the front bodice piece, which then requires you to adjust some things when attaching the skirt to the finished bodice. second, the instructions suggest that you can enclose the gathered skirt piece into the bodice and the bodice lining so there is no raw seam inside… however, this is incredibly hard to do once the elastic is already in the back bodice piece.  I recommend you try attaching the skirt to the bodice and lining first, but leave the sides at the underarms unattached- then thread your elastic in, and finish enclosing the rest of the skirt. I decided to just attach the bodice to the skirt without enclosing and I am more than happy with my result, but I did want to include that in here for you in case you make this dress and want a very professional look inside!)

I’ve been really drawn to color in the last few months… I used to buy a lot of prints, but realized that I tire of them really quickly and they don’t seem to get much play at my sewing machine.

You already know that I’m a cotton couture lover (no really, Michael Miller… where’s my sponsorship?!!).  It’s just the perfect weight, has some sort of sheen to it, and if you look closely and compare it to say, Kona cotton, it seems more tightly woven, which really seems to give it this softness factor.  I used it here in watermelon for the skirt, and in gold for the sweet little straps.  The bodice is a solid voile in coral (lined with cream cotton), I’m sorta/kinda/alotta in love with this combo.

This dress is actually not for my Ellery (Sorry, kid).

  But more on that soon…

-Erin

 

Ruby

Anyone out there sewing for Spring Top Sewalong?

I am excited to do some sewing for myself for a change, and hoping that I actually wear the items I plan on making this time.  It’s a problem of mine.

This Ruby top is definitely one I will rotate through the ole wardrobe cycle.  It is comfy to the max!

I used a basic white cotton for the yoke, and a really lightweight blue and white striped cotton from Joann.

I decided to line the yoke because I thought it would yield a more professional looking finish, as opposed to the bias tape.  There is a great series of videos that Rae put together for you to follow if you’d like to do this, and honestly, I recommend you go that route too.  I set my iPad up on my sewing desk and spent a couple nights hanging out with Rae as she walked me through each step.  Easy.

 

I cut my pattern between the M and L lines, and followed the Large size when it came to length of all pieces.  Next time around I’ll add 1/2″ to all the shoulder seams so it all hangs lower- It’s a teensy bit to high up under my armpits (you can kind of see in that picture)- BUT… this shirt is so comfortable, I will not reject it as I have some other handmade items (a-hem, a-hem)!

 I think the nice thing about sewing for yourself, is that you can fix/tweak those things to custom fit your body.

I’ll also add a full inch to the length next time too- even though I used a 1″ hem as opposed to the suggested 2″.  I’m 5’11” and I’ve never owned a shirt that wasn’t too short!

#tallgirlproblems.

If you want a pretty easy sew, and a comfy relaxed fit, you should make a Ruby.

I’ve also heard it makes a GREAT maternity shirt!

Ha. Gotcha!  I’m not packing a baby in there….it was a windy day!

-Erin

KCW: hide and seek tunic

Hold up.

Before reading this post, you need to open another tab and play this song because I had it playing in my head on repeat for three days while making this top.  By the end of those three days I was singing this one… which will just make you f-ing crazy.

Still, I gotta take inspiration where I get it, and the dress on the cover of this pattern had me thinking about kaftans and boho Krishna-types, and then reminded me of an old top of mine, which reminded me how much I love to upcycle stuff, and you get it….

so here we are.

This lovely pattern is the Hide and Seek dress + tunic.  One of three newly released ones from Oliver + S.

 

If Oliver + S were to design a pattern just for me (HA.), this would be it.  I love the shape, the looseness of it all, the gathers just at the center front and back panels, the size of the yoke… I really dig it.

This round of Kids Clothes Week has the optional theme, Mini Me.  So, I had fun trying to recreate my old top into something cute for Coco.  The yoke is cut from my former shirt- it’s really neat, with a ton of stitching up and down in black, red, blue, yellow, and mint.  But the white fabric was so thin and gauze-like, and showing some wear.  So I used some lightweight white cotton from the ‘ole stash.

Here’s my former top worn by me a year ago:

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(I’m not posing coyly… I’m holding a phone.  Important business call (NOT.) before delicious meal. Thanks for the pic Amanda!)

I finished this tunic yesterday afternoon (no jesse spano this week- I’m sticking to the minimum KCW requirements of sewing one hour a day) and we snuck outside in the evening to capture some photos of Corinne in the late sun.

Oh, how I’ve missed you, magic hour!

I neglected to see that on the sleeve pattern piece there is a cutting line for the tunic version, which is a few inches shorter than what you see here.  I made the top and then was scratching my head, remembering that the tunic option has short sleeves.  I do kind of like the 3/4 length though, but I may end up cutting and re-hemming.  We’ll see.  Decisions, decisions.

The jade buttons were ripped off (literally) of this skirt that I never wore out of the house.  One of those things I could not stand to look at after a while.  What a waste of many hours!

The bloomers (what you can see of them anyway) are self-drafted and one of several pairs I made a couple of months ago and am still playing around with the fit.

 These ones are made from cotton couture in Mist or as my husband would say, Lime Pudding.  I say pistachio.

Coco’s all, “what does the fox say, mama?!”

 

Hare Krishna y’all.

-Erin

 

geranium in washi + gold

First, I just want to thank you guys for your kind and thoughtful comments on our last post.  Caroline and I both felt the love!  You guys are the best.  Wes has responded really well to chemo so far, and it was a pleasure to get to see him this morning in his own house, being silly and adorable.   A few weeks ago, I threw all sewing stuff to the wind.  I couldn’t really do anything but think about my sweet nephew and how I could help my sis.  But, sewing is therapeutic, and it felt nice to pick up some fabric and make something out of it.  So, while I had some time on my hands yesterday (thank god for children who still nap!), I decided to finish up this little outfit that I’ve had cut out for some time.

This fabric has certainly seen its heyday- Rae made it iconic with her original Washi dress… But I’ve been sitting on a yard of it for almost 2 years.  So, while you sewing blog readers are probably sick of seeing it, well…. sorry!  But, I think it’s the perfect kid fabric with it’s vibrant colors.

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Nothing is easier than using a pattern you know well.  The Geranium is tried and true.  This version is the tunic length, with ruffle sleeves.  I usually use gold thread to finish the zigzag edge because I’m all for a little understated bling.

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The bubble bloomers are self-drafted.  I’ve been working on perfecting the fit, and I’m almost there.  I think they are a nice staple to have in a toddler wardrobe.  And when you make them out of cotton couture,  well… they are almost luxurious.  Rich in color, soft and they almost have a sheen to them.

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This set is not for my darling dear Coco.  Instead, I enlisted her modeling help (in exchange for 2 Cadbury mini eggs… ’tis the season!), and then packed these up to be shipped to a little friend up north today.

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Yesterday it was in the 70’s here.  I hope you are experiencing some signs of Spring wherever you are!

-Erin

KCW: The End

Like I said the other day, I’m feeling super-charged this week.  Kind of like Jessie Spano on the Saved by the Bell when she was on speed for 72 hours straight… (“I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m… so…. scared!”)

Only, I’m not high on speed.

I’m high on knits.

(and if you know the episode I’m talking about, let’s be best friends.)

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So, I’m back with a couple of outfits for the kid who needs them the most.  Ellery is growing out of pretty much everything.

Above is yet another Flashback tee.  Yup, still addicted.  I modified it to be A-line, and also cut it about 3-4 inches longer.

Then.

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The Geranium hijacked the Flashback.

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I used the ruffle sleeve pattern piece from my beloved Geranium pattern (zigzag’d the edges with gold thread) and basted it to the curve at the top of the sleeve, and then continued on as usual.  The fabric is Cotton Couture in Cinnamon and it’s really a neat neutral, but still interesting, color.  I like the contrast of it with the eggplant jersey (from Joann) and the greige (grey-beige y’all)sleeves- repurposed from a top of my own.

The leggings are made with the same brushed knit I showed you the other day.  They are so cozy. I’ve been calling them her Polar Vortex leggings.  Oh, and in true Ellery style, she slept in them last night- which is always a good sign, right?

I used the Oliver + S Playtime Leggings digital pattern, and I’m in love!

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Now.  Do yourself a favor: buy this pattern.

(It’s now being offered as an individual pattern, so you gotta check it out!)

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I cut a size 6 for Ellery, and I would say they are a pretty perfect fit, though I’m not sure it’s the perfect legging fabric.  It didn’t seem to bounce back quite as well as I’d like, but still totally wearable (and sleep-able!).  And hey, if these end up as pajama bottoms…it’s okay because I’ll probably be spooning her whenever she wears them.

Moving on to outfit number 2.

Remember the other day how I said I’d be taking care of Ellery’s high-water leggings with the worn-out knees?

I think these are a pretty great solution.  What do you think?

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Things really started clicking as this pair came together.  Great stretchy fabric, not to thin. And concise, straightforward directions that Oliver + S fans have always raved about.  Sewing is fun.  Sewing leggings is the most fun.

Oh, and can I mention how FAST they are to sew?  I started this pair at 2:15 one day (I distinctly remember looking at the clock) and by 2:35 when I walked down the driveway to get Ellery off the bus, all I had left to do was pull the elastic through the casing and sew it shut.  Boom.  Leggings.

With heart knee patches!

Here’s a quick look at my patch placement in case you’re interested:

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(My heart patch is about 3″ wide at the widest part, and about 3 1/2″ long.  The point is about 7 3/4″ up from the bottom edge, and about 1 1/2″ to the left of that edge on the right.  I fiddled around with an old pair of my daughters leggings to get an idea of where they should go, but maybe this could be helpful if you’re making a size 6 as well. note: I cut my pattern a tad longer – maybe 3/8″, though I think it’s plenty long as it is.)

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The knee patches are 2 layers of red cotton knit just stuck on there and top-stitched.  We have thrown out several pairs of fairly new pairs of store-bought leggings (I’m talking to you, Old Navy) because of holes in the knees.  Just thin fabric I guess.  Or maybe she plays too hard.

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For the tee, “I took a little help from the store”, (as Rachael Ray would say with her pre-shredded carrots) and bought one from Target.  I then thought of a fun V-day saying, then I googled it to see if I was clever enough to have invented it (no, I’m not), and freezer paper stenctiled away with some gold, red, and black fabric paint.

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I printed the I’M WITH on my computer and traced it, but tried my best to free-hand the Cupid and arrow.

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Oh, hey! Cupid’s awake!

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I think the only way for me to participate in KCW (and what I did this time around) is to plan ahead, cut out fabric, set aside patterns in the days before, so all I have to do is sew.  It’s just too much of a disorganized mess if I go between cutting to sewing to cleaning up… etc.

I hope you all had fun sewing along for KCW, and if you didn’t, well… there’s always the Springtime!

-Erin

**Oliver + S kindly supplied me with the Playtime Leggings pattern.  Several patterns are not being offered as single PDFs.  You can check them out in their shop!**

KCW day three: linen apron top

I’ll keep it short and simple today since I have a sick baby to tend to (well, she’s five… but aren’t they always babies when they’re sick?  I mean in like a sweet, helpless, cuddly way of course!). We also had a snow day today so we’ve been cooped up inside making a mess of the place.

Here’s a top that I’ve made a couple times before, so it was fairly quick for me to put together with the pattern already cut out in Coco’s size.  The most time consuming part was making the bias tape, which I needed about 3 yards of.

This is a bit large on Corinne, but she’s pretty slim.  I’m sure she’ll be able to wear it over a shirt and leggings for an entire year.

I call that a win!

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Pattern: Butterick B5019

Fabric: Yarn-dyed Essex in red

Size: 2

As always, thanks for stopping by our blog!  Happy Sewing…

-Erin

KCW day one: flashback skinny tee

Another KCW is upon us (or as Caroline refers to it, “Neglect Your Household Week”), and I am jumping right in.  My plan this week is to sew things I know my kids will wear.  Comfy, practical stuff.  I spent a few hours this weekend cutting fabric and setting aside patterns.  You know, gathering my Mise en Place.

Up first is a flashback tee for Corinne in some incredibly soft brushed knit, size 2T.

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GRANT PHOTOBOMB! (he reeeeally wanted to take a “bwog” photo too. hehe.)

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GREAT pattern.  This would be the first time making this pattern using yardage… the past couple of times I sort of cheated by using my husband’s old shirts and keeping the existing hems.  This time around, I put it all together with the serger, and then switched to my sewing machine with a walking foot and zigzag stitch to hem the bottom and to attach the neckband (which came out hella perfect if you don’t mind me sayin’).  I might break out my twin needle sometime this week, but I do like that walking foot/zigzag combo.  So what if it isn’t totally profesh!?

Also, I would like an entire wardrobe made out of this fabric.  It’s fabulous stuff, I tell you.

See you tomorrow!

Erin

(p.s. Caroline is busy this week making NINE little minion outfits for Jet’s Despicable Me-themed Birthday party this week!  Good Mama right there…)

Popover Top + Bubble Bloomers

Whew.  Christmas came and went, didn’t it?  I really felt the busyness of it this year- the school parties, the teacher gifts, the shopping…

I’m exhausted.

I did my fair share of sewing this December.  If you missed it, you can check out the Christmasey duds I made for my kiddos earlier this month over at Craftstorming.  Besides all that, I kept myself busy at the machine this month making DOLL CLOTHES.  But more on that in a future post.

 For now, I’d like to show you a little non-Christmas outfit I made for a little friend.

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Coco got her first real invitation to a birthday party this month for her pal, Elliot- known to most as “Elles”.  Her mom Jenny and I have been buddies for a while, and Jenny has always been so complimentary of the clothes I make my kids- she is truly one who appreciates all the time it takes to make something special!  In fact, this post is all about her. This past Summer, I met up with Jenny and Elles at a park, and Jenny handed me one of her favorite old dresses that had seen some better days and asked if I could use it to make something for Elliot.

Here is a horrible picture of the old dress:

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 I’ve been hanging onto it ever since.  Elles’ birthday was the perfect push I needed to transform Jenny’s dress into something new.

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This is the Oliver + S popover dress  pattern (tunic-fied) in a 2T, and some (mostly) self-drafted bloomers.

I wanted this to be nice and flowy like the old dress, so I cut the front and back pieces several inches wider than the pattern, and gathered them at the center where they meet the yoke.  I used the lining from the original dress to add a lining to this one.

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The yoke is my beloved AMH square dance voile- y’all know I’m a fan of that fabric!  I love the little pops of color it adds.

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I had intended for this to be a dress, and had it all finished (and photographed for the blog) and ready to go when I noticed a small stain a couple of inches from the hem.  So, I grabbed a wet washcloth and gently started to clean it and rrrrrrrriiiiippppppp!!  This fabric is incredibly thin and it tore as soon as I started dabbing.  SO… I had to cut off the hem and shorten it a bit into a top.

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But mistakes can often be a good thing- because without the rip, I wouldn’t have thought to make the cute bloomers!

I started with the bloomer pattern from Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing, but had to modify it since they were HUGE at first.  So, I ended up cutting off a couple inches at the bottom, gathering just the outer sides, and adding a 3/4″ cuff.  They are still a bit big on my model, 21 month old Coco… but they’ll be perfect on 2 year old Elles this Spring/Summer.

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I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Gold, same fabric for the popover straps.

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I love this last picture of Corinne… just as she was starting to melt.

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Happy New Year to you all!  Tomorrow I turn 34 and get to start a new year at a new age, it always feels like a fresh start.  I have no resolutions yet.  Any ideas?

-Erin