Peacock Feather Skater Dress

Behold!  This is the skater dress pattern by Amanda of Kitschy Coo.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen this pattern circulate all over blogland many moons ago.  I have admired the simple, practical style of this pattern- it just seems like the perfect dress for a busy young girl.  It’s comfy, it’s a little swingy, and cute to boot!

I’m so happy I finally made one.

So, this pattern is sized in 2 year increments… 3Y/4Y. 5Y/6Y. 7/Y/8Y, etc… My kid is 6 and almost a half and pretty average, so I drew my pattern lines right between the 5Y/6Y and 7Y/8Y.  I think it’s just perfect- she will be able to wear it next year too.

The peacock feather fabric is from Girl Charlee, though it looks like it’s out of stock. Sorry peacock feather lovers (Caroline)!

The crazy-blinding-coma-inducing-neon pink binding is from a mistake purchase never-worn tank of mine (yikes.  what was I thinking?!?!), and I think it completely overshadows compliments the feathers fabric.  Am I right?

I sewed this entire dress on my regular machine, a pretty basic Kenmore from Sears that I’ve had for 4 years and not ONCE had an issue with (LOVE you, Kenny!! mwah!). I used a jersey needle using my stretch stitch, and I’m really happy with the result. I haven’t had the best luck with my serger for knits because the seams just don’t feel as sturdy. I haven’t found my serger groove yet I guess.

Oh, and using a little spray starch helped immensely when it came time to sewing the hem.  I spritzed a little on, ironed up 1″, and then sewed 2 rows of regular stitches.

I’m happy to report that this dress really is a quick sew.  The pattern is clear and really easy to understand.  I can’t wait to make more.

Ellery loves anything knit, so she immediately put it on and goofed around in her room.

Want to be hilarious?

Lose your two front teeth at once.

I can’t even look at her with a straight face.

-Erin



Peplum for Coco

For the girl who wears nothin’ but hand-me-downs…

A perky peplum!

Using Dana’s First Day Dress pattern, of course.  As stated in my last peplum post, I am not a “peplum person”.

(Quick! say that 5 times fast!)

But I deem this style to be totally adorable and appropriate for small people.  It’s just straight-up cute!  Right??!!

Minus the big wrinkle down the front.  Whoops.

The fabric is Large Flowers in Charcoal by Alison Glass and I think it’s perfect for this top.

Such vibrant color!  A joyful top for my joyful girl.

I lined it in Cotton Couture in gold, which seems to compliment the colors in the print pretty well.

I went up a size this time around, and sewed a 3T.  She wore her polka-dot one the other day and I almost had to call the Fire Department to come with the Jaws of Life to remove it from her.  Oh. My. Gersh.

Just trust me here… if in doubt, go up a size.

This top is fitted, so it does require the kid to put her arms straight up so you can tug it off, which might just be harder for a 2 year old to suffer through for more than 3 seconds without having a full-on panic attack. a-hem.

  Instead of cutting the slit in the back 4 inches, I’d consider cutting up to 5 inches next time around- and my Corinne has a skinny head.  Or, I might cut the neckline out a bit larger.  Dana does have you cut a 5″ slit for the larger sizes, but I think it might be something to consider for the smaller sizes too.

(Note: I really do love this pattern- just giving you the heads up!  Gotta be real.)

Aaaannnd a little vintage button on the back to finish her off.

Next Tuesday, Coco starts preschool two days a week.

She is SO excited to play with the baby dolls and baby strollers- her favorite things in the world right now.

And I will not lie- I am looking forward to some free time.  Strolling (quietly) through the grocery store, getting my ridiculously overgrown hair cut, sewing to the sounds Pandora, and the occasional morning nap are all on my list of things to do.

Now go forth, my people.  Sew the peplum!

-Erin

Back-to-School Babydoll

School starts on the 20th.  So soon, so soon!! Ellery will be a big first grader this year.

I wonder if she’ll be brave enough to buy lunch sometime.  Last year, she asked if she could buy lunch one day and I said, “Of course! What would you want to buy?”  Thinking she’d say, “pizza!” or “tacos!”

Nope.

“Trout Treasures.”

My kid wants trout.  In treasure form.

 Let’s talk about this dress.

Once again, it’s the Bohemian Babydoll pattern from Elegance & Elephants.

The fabric is an organic cotton designed by Carolyn Gavin for Windham.  It’s Petite Fleur in Navy, and the contrasting Citron solid for the hem is from the same line.  I kept checking out this print in my fabric closet, imagining it as a dress for the fall, layered with a cardigan and over tights… or, knee socks.  KNEE socks people.  Can we get a straight-up revival?

This is my 5th boho baby dress.

I’ve had a few custom etsy orders since my first, and I can say that I love this pattern now that I’ve decided how I like it.

This is how I like it: I cut my 6 year old a size 6 with the 7 length for the skirt… But, I still felt that this dress was a leeetle too short.  So, when I was sewing the hem facing, I decided not to fold it all the way under, and just stitched in the ditch on the front.  It probably added another 3/4″.  I love this length on Ellery and I will probably make this dress in this way again!  Oh, you know I did the “sausage step” again for the bodice- once you get the hang of it, it’s so much faster and so much cleaner!!

I am really a fan of not having to make buttonholes.  This dress is sweet and simple, and just has an ease about it that I like a whole lot.

I think Ellery will rock this all school-year long… We both love it!

I hope she rocks those knee socks too.

WHILE tearing up some trout treasures.

-Erin

Swiss Dot Babydoll

 Sometimes I buy patterns on impulse and then lose interest on the actual sewing of them. This was one of those patterns.  But then I saw Rachel’s version, and decided to give it a go while ALL.THE.KIDS napped!

This is the Bohemian Babydoll Dress pattern by Elegance and Elelphants.

My first impression as I was sewing it?  Looks like a Geranium, walks like a Geranium! (Did I really need to make another flutter sleeve dress for this kid?  No.  No I did not…)

BUT, I started to really like it more as I sewed- the curved bodice is different and sort of casual.  There is no closure at the back- which I also really liked since it’s so easy to slip on.  Also, it makes it a quicker sew.

I used an airy swiss dot fabric from Joann, and wish I’d bought more of the stuff- it’s light and dreamy.

Two things I noticed about the pattern that I’ll pass on to you: First, the length seemed way too short on Ellery- just looking at the pattern piece, I could see that, so I cut the length to the size 7 while keeping the rest of the pattern a size 6.  I almost wish I had gone a little longer, because it’s definitely cutting it close to too short.

The hem facing is a nice touch, and I think a great way to play around with a contrasting fabric.  I used a floral lawn cotton from ye olde stash.

The other thing, is the finishing of the arm holes.  To finish them, you are supposed to clip the seam allowance of each arm hole separately- the outer bodice and the bodice lining.  Then, you iron in the arm holes, fit them together, and topstitch around the edge.  This was the second pattern I’d made recently that finished them this way (Coco’s peplum, being the first I’d done like this), and I’m just not a fan of this technique- though I did follow her instructions here.  Heidi did add a tutorial a few weeks ago on her blog showing how to finish in a different way (Rae has a great video that demonstrates this- she calls it the “sausage step”!), and I recommend you try that way.  I’m making a second babydoll as we speak, and went that route this time- I much prefer it!

My baby loves it!

Adios!

-Erin

Kids in Hats

Last month I stayed up way too late making a bucket hat for Ellery.  The next day at school was “H” day- they were counting down the days of school with each letter of the alphabet- and I was damned if she was going to wear the ratty purple dollar store witch hat that she layed out before going to bed.

  She loved the hat, but wouldn’t ya know… she wore the goofy purple witch hat to school.  OF COURSE.

This pattern is a free download from the Oliver + S website, though you can also find it in Liesl’s book, Little Things to Sew.  Luckily I had this pattern cut out in every size (thanks again, old self!).  A couple of easy modifications were done: I widened the brim AND skipped the hand-stitching a la Jessica.

I used some Echino mochi dot linen in charcoal for the outer layer, and mint cotton for the lining.  I also made one for little sister using some more Echino linen.  BIRDS y’all.  Ellery got a size large, and I made Coco the medium… I recommend that you go a size up with this pattern.

This was not a day for bucket hats…

Look at that sky!

Ellery always dresses for the weather.  She looked outside before going out and decided a corduroy jacket was in order- even though it was in the mid-80’s.  Silly girl.

Oh look!  It’s my semi-annual Hungie Gungie photo of Grant!

 He was so cute trying to sneak into their pictures.  Remember the first bucket hat I made? It was for this boy when he was just a squishy little 1 year old…

This hat is technically reversible, but I gotta say, the inside is not super pretty.  I’m not very good at sewing around curves and this pattern has plenty to fit together and sew.  Plus, I maybe should’ve interfaced my lining pieces instead of the linen, because the linen was then extra thick and the lining was very thin, and it just took a lot of fiddling around to fit them together nicely without tons of puckering.

These hats are just so cute and so practical- my girls wear them outside playing all the time!

Hope you are all enjoying the beginning of Summer!

(oh, and thank you all for your nice comments about my etsy shop! XO)

-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

 

A Birthday Popover

My oldest kiddo, Ellery Kate, is going to be 6 in 7 days!  She’s been counting down for two weeks now.

I wanted to make her a little birthday dress.  Something, easy, sweet, casual, and flowy.

Enter one of my favorite little (free) patterns, the Oliver + S popover sundress.

I’ve probably made about 8 of these dresses (not including the doll version!) and it will always be a fave.  It’s such a quick sew, and can easily be modified to make it more interesting.

Here, I modified the skirt piece, by cutting pieces the entire width of the fabric and then gathering at the center where it attaches to the yoke.

I also added a lining (I hacked up an old bridesmaid dress for that- leaving the existing hem), which is very easy to do with this pattern, and I’m so glad I did.  It had to have something under the cream fabric since you’d be able to see her Anna and Elsa undies (Do you wanna build a snowman???? sorry… you probably just got that out of your head), but mostly, I wanted a more fun, billowy look for my girl.

(By the way, I originally stacked the lining and outer piece together and then gathered, but decided that gathering them separately and just sort of squishing them together with pins when attaching the yoke, yields a more fluffy look there… and that’s sort of what I was going for.)

One of Ellery’s favorite handmades was this popover in knit.  Wore the dickens out of it.  I loved the pieced look of the yoke on that one, so I did the same idea here by piecing together some of my favorite Michael Miller cotton couture solids (from left to right: violet, jewel, creamsicle, mist, fog, and wedgewood).  The straps are also cotton couture, in cinnamon… and…the main dress is made in (yup, cotton couture) cream.

Yo Michael Miller!  Can I get a sponsorship?  Or at least a WOOT WOOT!

Ellery thinks it’s HILARIOUS that we only got one long stalk of asparagus in our garden… we planted that shit 3 years ago and it’s supposed to be coming up like crocuses now.  Ridiculous.

Ell has finally started to climb the trees in our yard.  Which is good because there are like 50.

Get going, girl.

…And happy, happy birthday to my best little friend.  Love you like cray cray.

-Erin