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

January Junebug

 Happy New Year Gungie readers!  Resolutions anyone?  Mine are mostly just project lists for each room of our house.  The challenge for me, since I seem to have design ADD, is to just commit to one room, and finish it.  I’m starting with the parts of our home that are exposed to the most general traffic.  I think that’s a smart way to begin.   Hopefully, I will have the nerve to show you the progress as things move along.

As for sewing, well, isn’t it always about stash busting?  Use what you have, and avoid spending on new fabric!  Also, pattern busting for me.  I have been psyched to buy several patterns, but then I strangely avoid them.  I don’ t know why.  My Washi pattern is giving me the stink eye right now!  I’ll get to you, dammit!

First up for both pattern and stash busting is the sweet, vintage inspired, Junebug Dress.  Sewn in Tanya Whelan Delilah Dots, and lined with some pretty floral that I can’t place.

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This was my first time sewing one of Jessica’s patterns.  It went perfectly!  Really well written with lots of pictures.   I sewed the 18 month size  for a dear friend’s first baby, with the thought that she can wear it next spring when she will be walking.  That must be such a strange thing to imagine for the mother of a two month old!  Her teeny little girl will be up and walking this time next year.  Its wild!

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I definitely considered doing the bodice in the floral print, but I waited until I had all pieces constructed to decide.  It came down to the piping.  Doesn’t it always?  I loved the turquoise piping with the turquoise buttons, and those features just wouldn’t pop against the floral fabric.  So red dots all the way!  

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I was hoping Corinne would be up for modeling this, but I caught her too close to nap time.   Wes was my next choice, but I just couldn’t do that to him again.  It’s still too soon.  So, on the hanger it is.

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Ah, it feels good to have one sewing project under my belt in the new year.  What will be next?  Unfortunately, I think it will have to be some theme sewing for Jet’s 7th birthday party.  I haven’t yet seen fabric Minion bunting on Pinterest yet, so I’ll have to think it up myself.

Tell us what projects top your 2014 list!

~Caroline

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

Return of the Rookie

I’ll admit it guys, I’m in the weeds this holiday season.  Weeded.  Wee-to-the-DED.  And not in a good way.  If you know what I mean by “in the weeds”, you have probably worked as a server in a busy restaurant.  If you haven’t, then I don’t know you.

Basically, I’m overwhelmed.  Who isn’t?  The lofty plans I had for handmade do-dads for every teacher and person my kid high-fives are probably not gonna happen.  The cookies?  Sorry, you’ll have to settle for chocolate dipped pretzel rods… and I’m pretty sure my girl had her tongue in sprinkles before they were sprinkled.  Handmade dresses or jammies?  Maybe in time for Chinese New Year.

Ya, sure, we celebrate that.

I think I’m starting to get that if you are a parent of children (sorry, dogs don’t count) then you’ve got to get your Christmas act together in September.  Get organized, and get cracking!  Or, you can just be normal, and chill out and relax.  But no!  I can’t!  Jessica said it first and said it best, “Craftiness is Not Optional“.  Best blog name in blogland.  Cause its so freaking true.

Crafters are just not normal.

So, I figured that instead of blogging about sewing bias tape on a tree skirt, *yawn*, I’d introduce you to a little someone special…

Our new nephew, Brady!

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Isn’t he adorable?  He arrived 5 weeks early (November 3, MY birthday!), and was healthy, and cherubic even!  We really hope to get our hands on him soon.

You might remember meeting Brady’s Mom, our big sister Erika, in this post from a while back, when she surprised, okay, shocked us all by learning how to sew during a summer visit.  Since many of you have wondered what became of the “Rookie Seamstress”  (okay, well at least Kristin inquired ;)- girl you always got our back!)  I’m here with the update!

Guess what?  She made this.

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A hospital gown so that she could deliver Brady in style!

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Over the course of a year or so, Erika has sewn a little with her machine- more bibs, a pair of toddler pants.  But, when she found out she was expecting #2, she was on a mission to duplicate a handmade hospital gown that she was given a few years ago before her #1.  Erin and I each borrowed said gown for our #3s.  It really does make you feel special to change into something with a pop of color while you are snuggling up to your brand new baby and paparazzi is in full force.  There’s a little Kardashian in all of us, no?

In order to create this green gown, Erika pretty much deconstructed the gifted one to get a basic pattern.

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Its a pretty basic shape, but, she had to figure out the snaps and openings which got a little tricky for her.

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Erika got some help from our mom with the finishings, and she might have declared that she would NEVER SEW AGAIN, but seriously, how good is this? Please help us convince her not to Craigslist her machine!

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By the way, these photos were taken this summer when E was visiting.  I wanted her to guest blog like she did the first time, her perspective is so blunt honest, but she just kept avoiding me when I’d ask.  Its not for everyone.

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Maybe looking back on this project after its been a few months, will help her to realize how great of a job she did.  Its empowering to make a wearable garment!  Awesome work Erika- on that gown, and even more so, on this little guy!

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We love him already!

~Caroline

Modern Folksy Bunny + a giveaway

When Virginia of the Gingercake blog + shop emailed to see if we’d be interested in sewing one of her patterns for her Holiday Gifts Sewing Series, it immediately conjured up memories.  Every Christmas, my mother tied wide red velvet ribbons around a few stuffed animals and set them in little wooden chairs on either side of our fireplace.  They only appeared at Christmastime which made them seem extra special, and my favorite one was a small white puma.

I just loved it and every time the boxes ‘o decorations made their way from the attic down to the first floor, I would find it buried somewhere and call it my own- If only for the month of December.

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So, when thinking about which pattern in Virginia’s shop that I’d like to sew up, I kept coming back to the Modern Folksy Bunny.  It reminded me of those sweet little stuffed animals that my Mom put out, and something I thought my own children would love to see re-appear at every holiday season…

So this little guy is staying in the family.

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I wonder who will call dibs?

The girl with the matching pants, of course!

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Corinne was pretty taken with this bunny.  She looked at it for a while, but then began to pick at the button eyes and the floppy bow.  She hugged it tightly, threw it on the ground, picked it up, put it in her shopping cart and rolled it around the kitchen… you get the idea.

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(This would be the second bunny I made- I made an ear-error on the first one, but I may finish it up today and show you that one later this week so stay tuned for that…)

This little bunny takes a nice shape thanks to a couple of well-placed darts and a little boxed corner at the toe.  Nice little details that I never would have thought of on my own.

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The body is made of Essex yarn dyed linen in black.  For the ear lining and bow, I used some red tartan that has been burning a hole in my stash for three years.  This might be my new favorite fabric combo, fyi.

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  Those bell-bottoms that Coco is wearing, were made for my older girl back when she was a toddler.  sniff sniff.  I found them the other day in a box of Winter clothes and I knew we had to include them in this photo shoot!

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My favorite part about making this bunny would have to be that cute pom-pom tail.  It was the first one I’ve ever made and I could seriously get hooked!  I used a basic white yarn and wrapped it around my hand old-school style- though I’ve heard there are pom-pom makers out there.

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Would you like to make your own folksy bunny?  Virginia has kindly offered up one Bunny pattern for one of you cool readers.

 Leave me a comment below!

Giveaway will end on Sunday 11/17 at 9 pm and a winner will be chosen at random.

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Be sure to check out all the other great PDF patterns in Virginia’s shop- tons of cute stuff there perfect for a handmade gift!

Happy (Holiday) Sewing!

-Erin

p.s. You can *like* Hungie Gungie on FB now and be up to the millisecond on any breaking news we may decide is important to share.  j/k. you’ll be lucky if we ever remember to post over there.

… hittin’ the big time y’all.

felt + fabric crowns

A few weeks ago, I gave you guys a little peek of what’s been keeping me busy these days.

And I’m here today to show you more!

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I’ve been into all things floral lately for some reason.  And I love a good felt project.

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And Ellery’s birthday is this week….(our theme is garden-chic.  Okay, I just made that up)….

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So I combined all those things and came up with these sweet crowns to be given as favors at the beginning of the party so the girls can have fun wearing them together.

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They are pretty quick to make, fairly inexpensive, and something that hopefully will get worn over and over again!

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I’m really loving them (so is Ellery), and I thought you might too!

So, read on for a step-by-step tutorial:

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First you’ll need some fabric strips.  Obviously, you can use any type of print you like… I used anything in my stash that was floral, including some vintage pillowcases.  This strip below was cut from the edge of a pillowcase.  I love the subtle colors.

Anyway, your strip should be about 4 1/2 ” wide and about 18″ long.

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Cut a piece of lightweight or medium-weight interfacing and iron onto the wrong side of your fabric strip.

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Make a little crown template on a piece of paper.  Mine is 4 1/2″ wide and 9″ long… this will be cut on the fold, fyi.  See below.

Draw any type of crown shape you like.  I made my center point right on the fold, slightly taller than the other 3 points.

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Trace the shape onto your folded fabric strip.

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Cut it out.

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Lay your fabric onto your felt strip. (I’m using a wool felt blend from Ohma- it has a nice weight to it and I highly recommend that you steer clear of the acrylic stuff for this project.  It’s too flimsy for this.  This yellow felt came in a large square so I was able to get a nice long strip from it.  Oh, and the color is called ‘Butter’… It was meant for me.

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Stitch the points to the felt.  Leave the sides and bottom open for now….

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 Now, I did not get all crazy-good with my top-stitching, and that does not bother me for this project…or, any project for that matter.  I’ve realized that I’m just not a perfectionist no matter how hard I try.  ;)

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Cut the excess felt away, but leave about a 1/8″ border.  Makes everything pop!

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Play around with any trims, lace, ribbon, etc… that you like for the bottom edge.  I’d say about 1 1/2″ high of embellishment is good.  I used 1″ grosgrain ribbon, and some lace.  Just stitch it on however you like, leaving a little overhang at each edge. **i love the look of gold thread, so if you have some, use it!

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I added some skinny ivory ribbon too….

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Cut an 8″ long strip of 1/4″ elastic- that’s a good length for 3-5 year olds I’d say, but if your kid’s noggin is handy, maybe do a little measuring and adjust that by 1/2″ or so either way.  For projects that have thin elastic that is visible, like for a button and loop closure here, or on a bag or the back of a dress, I usually buy swimwear elastic from Joann becuase it’s softer than regualr elastic and it’s not stark white.  It just looks a little more natural.

But, use whatever you have.

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Fold the elastic in half and slip the raw edges into one of the sides between the felt and fabric.

**If you only have wide elastic, like 3/4 or 1″, maybe just use one 4″ long piece instead of folding it in half… and don’t use a button.  Just insert the elastic and both ends and stitch.**

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Go ahead and fold your ribbon trim edges to the underside of the felt.

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Stich the edge down, and stitch the elastic in place.  I’m leaving the fabric edge raw all over.  If you are worried about fraying, dab a little Fray Check on the edges.

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Your crown shold look like this.  Minus the baby-photobomb!

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Next, find a medium to large button that you like.

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Sew it onto the other edge of your crown, so it sits just slightly above the ribbon.

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Almost done!  You can stop there or you can add a cute little ribbon rosebud right to the center.  Or a little bow.  Or whatever strikes your fancy.

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Try it on your kid!  Ellery would not look at me for these photos.  She loves to play hard-to-get.

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Grant wanted in on the action…. I’ve got to make him a boy version ASAP.

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Here’s Ellery “organzing” the crowns and choosing which ones her friends should have.  SUCH a first-born!

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This girl will be FIVE in a week!  No one is more excited than her.  She asks me at least 20 times a day who is younger than her… and squeals with delight when she gets to a kid who has a May or June or July birthday.  Seriously, I’ll be in the other room and I’ll hear her say, “Mommy?” and I’ll start mouthing the words she’s about to say:  “Am I turning 5 before _______ ?”

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“YES, ELLERY.  YOU ARE TURNING FIVE BEFORE ______.”

“heheheeeee yyyeeeeesssss!!  weeeeeee!!!”  :::happy dance::::

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Let me know if you decide to make one- don’t let my long tutorial fool you… they are so fast to make if you have everything on hand!

And I hope all of you KCW -sewing Mamas have fun this week and don’t putter out before the week is over!  I simply cannot get my act together to participate this time around…I am here cheering you on though and can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

Ciao!

-Erin

vintage floral crowns

Hey y’all!

Just popping in to share with you what’s been consuming my evening sewing sessions lately….I’m not sure what inspired these crowns, but once the idea came to me there was no stopping the production!

vintage floral pillowcases + wool felt = soft, sweet, and subtle crowns perfect for Spring.

(side note- no matter how much you wash a vintage sheet, it still smells OLD.  or, seasoned as i like to say….)

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The above fabric is from the same pillowcase that this dress was made from.

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These are going to be for a certain special girl’s 5th birthday party coming up in April.  I am making one for each of her little guests.  Hence the production line!  We’ll be having a little girl’s luncheon in our backyard garden and I’m excited to plan for it- I’m usually not big on birthday hoopla for little kiddos (a ton of work/stress/money- plus all three of my babies have birthdays within a month of each other!) but, now that Ellery is old enough to help me with ideas and planning, it’s actually something I’m looking forward to!  Except that every day she tells me EXACTLY what she’d like her cake to look like… different every day of course!

I like that these crowns (which they can wear for the party AND take home…) don’t cost a lot, but are made with a lot of love.

More to come!

-Erin