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.

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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

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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

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

She’s an Uptown Girl

I almost feel a little silly posting about jackets today since we’re still in long-sleeve weather this week (update: I just went outside and it is COLD!).  I grew up in Connecticut, and I remember that snap of cold air that swept through in October every year.  Not so in Virginia!  It’s definitely slower paced here.  And beautiful!

Anyway, I am always so excited for Fall so it’s no surprise to me that I had this corduroy and flannel jacket for Ellery whipped up by the first week of September.

This is the Uptown Girl Jacket by Make it Perfect.

And I love it.

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The Uptown is a reversible hooded jacket that closes at the top with one button.  It has a curved yoke, and little gathers in the center back, at the top of the sleeves, and in the center of each front panel.  Small, but sweet details. This is the ‘Big Uptown Girl’ for ages 6-10, but there is a sister pattern (aptly named the ‘Little Uptown Girl’) for sizes 0-5.  I sewed a 6 for my 5 1/2 year old and the fit is spot on.

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Ellery hasn’t been able to wear this yet since for more than 5 minutes since it’s still warmish out.  Actually, I didn’t originally plan on lining this with flannel, but once I put the two fabrics together (corduroy from Jo-ann, and this Anna Maria flannel), I was kind of feeling it.  And then I decided to ‘go big or go home’ by using fusible fleece inside instead of the suggested lightweight interfacing.  Why?  I dunno… but there’s a heft to this little coat that is pretty darn perfect.

I apologize that you can’t get an idea of what this looks like from the front.  Ellery was in total silly mode while I tried to take these photos.

Girl WOULD NOT TAKE DIRECTION FOR SQUAT.  There goes her child modeling career.

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(p.s. that skirt she’s wearing is one of three circle skirts I made using this tutorial from You and Mie.  She wears one of them to school almost every day. No joke.  It’s a good thing they’re reversible.)

We still aren’t totally sure about the button (see, no buttonhole yet?).  The one below is a basic wooden one that I painted gold.  I’m still on the lookout for the perfect one- I’ve even raided my mom’s gazillion color-coded button jars and could not settle on one.  Though I did pocket some other cool ones when she wasn’t looking.  Thanks Kate! ;)

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Back to Ellery being in silly mode.  She thought it’d be amusing if she took a sip of my coffee.

She could barely swallow it since she was giggling so much.

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In the middle of sewing this jacket I knew it’d be a while until she could wear it, so I quickly started another in some lighter-weight fabrics.

Some plum pinstripe from Jo-ann (I think linen-like?) and an old stash favorite, like 3 years old, some sort of no-name cream colored poplin with stars on it.

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It was so easy to put together since I had the pattern handy.  I think I sewed most of this in under 2 hours.  And that was with a toddler at my feet.

The weight of this one has been perfect for brisk mornings on the way to school.

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I highly recommend this pattern to someone who’s had a few successfully completed patterns under their belt.  The directions are short and sweet- just the way I like ‘em.  No, telling you to iron after each little step, or to trim your seams- something I was surprised about at first, but really that becomes common sewing sense once you’ve got the all of the basics down.

Here’s Ellery trying to button it with her eyes closed.

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Whoops.

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Gotta work on that.

That awesome button above is acrylic with glitter in it.  She’s pretty into it.

I should mention that I was on the hunt for a little jacket pattern like this for ages, and was inspired by seeing Gail’s (her post shows a Little Uptown and the Serendipity coat- another from Make it Perfect) and Carolyn’s (hers is quilted!) versions within weeks of each other.

Those are two ladies whose opinions you can trust.

I was sold.

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Seeing her wrapped in mama-made warmth is pretty darn satisfying.

-Erin

Another Debbie + A Giveaway

Hello there!

Remember the  Little Debbie dress I made for Corinne earlier this month?  Well, I’m back with another one, this time for my big girl, Ellery.

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  This is the Debbie’s Birthday Dress pattern from Suz of Sewpony.

I tested this pattern in the 18 month size, but I was really looking forward to sewing one up for my 5 year old!  I made a size 6 and I think It’s pretty right on.

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I love this little pattern.  I really do.

I love how different this version is from Coco’s vintage-y one.

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I love that it’s got a sort of Fall-Mod thing going.

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But I think what I love most about it, is that it used to be my dress!

A shapeless shift dress that I wore a small handful of times, but has sat in my closet for almost 5 years.

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I made a couple of modifications to the pattern: I chose to cut my front piece on the fold to keep the print intact.  Also, since this fabric is very thin, I fully lined it, using the original lining from the old dress.  That’s not hard to figure out at all, the pattern has a bodice lining already… I just extended it all the way the length of the dress.

Suz is offering up a free copy of the pattern to one of you sweet readers!  Just leave me a comment here and I’ll randomly pick a winner next week.

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:::Giveaway is open to all and will run until Tuesday at midnight EST.:::

giveaway is now closed!  congrats to Michelle :)

-Erin

Knit Popover

We’re heading to the beach tomorrow for some Summer fun, and I was determined to finish up another KCW project before we left.  Since Ellery has gotten a lot more persnickety when it comes to the things I make her, I decided change things up by sewing her a knit dress- I knew she’d appreciate the soft and stretchy fabric since she still doesn’t like to wear my “bumpy” (a.k.a. woven cotton) frocks!.

So here you have it!

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The pattern is the tried and true (and free!) Oliver + S Popover Sundress sewn in a 5.  I extended the length a few inches, and also cut the pieces wider so I could pleat the front and gather the back so the dress would be flowy.  The main fabric is a repurposed blue jersey maxi of mine (I kept the original hem to save a step), yellow knit from Joann for the binding/straps, and pieced woven cotton scraps for the yoke.

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This is such a great little pattern- actually, it was the first dress I’d ever sewn!

I’ll end with a few of my favorite popovers.

First, this one (I swear it would be a fave even if it weren’t made by my sis!), this vintage-y top version from True, Pure, Lovely.  This one by Kristin- I  love love love the fabric she used!  And this fabulous zebra face one from Rachel… so great!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I’ll say hello to the Atlantic ocean for you.

-Erin

#allvoileallthetime

Here’s my first completed KCW Summer project.

A breezy colorful dress for my littlest gal, Coco.

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I realized halfway into sewing this that is the 4th consecutive garment I’ve made with cotton voile.  Hmm.  Might I be a one-trick pony?  Probably… but I love sewing with the stuff!  That hashtag up there? Yeah… could not get that out of my head white I was working on this.

Too much Instagramming I guess. ;)

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The pattern is one that I drew up last Summer (here and here). I’ve hinted before at a possible tutorial, but every time I make one I change it up a little and still don’t feel like it’s quite perfected!

The voile solids in Mist and Coral are by Free Spirit, that I purchased from Hawthorne Threads- one of my favorite online fabric shops.  And the AMH print is one I’ve had for a while… Actually, I kind of hoard it in every colorway, so be prepared to see it again and again.  You’ve been warned.

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The basic construction of the dress is easy.  A long rectangle folded in half for the bodice, A couple of ruffled straps, and a gathered skirt piece.

Since voile is so thin, I decided to line the bodice (that print is one piece of fabric folded over) with a piece of folded over muslin.  It made for a nice weight that hopefully will hold up better than the last ones I made which got pretty wrinkly and shifty over time.

Anyway, the straps are two pieces of voile pieced together, then folded and shifted over.  I then zig-zag the raw edges, shape them with scissors, and make a little casing for elastic.  Pretty easy.

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I love the coral peeking out from underneath the print.

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I added a couple of paper-thin white buttons that were begging to be used for a sweet dress like this.

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 And a big vintage coral button to close the back.

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So there you have it.  One KCW project down.  I’ve got a couple of pairs of shorts on my list, but Summertime has been CRAY-to-the-Z around here, we’ll see if I can get around to it.  Oh, and they won’t be made with voile.

.-0P

Not that this face would mind.

#HappySewing!

-Erin

p.s. WordPress just wished our blog a Happy 3 year Anniversary… Thank You wordpress.  And Thank You lovely readers for visiting, and all you awesome sewing peeps out there for making it fun.  :::The Hungie Gungie girls blow you kisses::: #MWA!  #sorrylasthashtag

Vintage May :: Playclothes for all!

:::This post is a part of the fabulous Vintage May series hosted by Craftiness is not Optional and Skirt as Top:::

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We are so glad that Kristin and Jess invited us to participate in this year’s Vintage May series- and wow, what a line-up of talented ladies!

We’re not worthy!  We’re not worthy!

If you are new here, Welcome!  We are so happy you’re here.

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Last year, we sewed along during Vintage May, using floral sheets from yesteryear- here and here.  This year we got our Fraulein Maria on, repurposing bed linens into playclothes for our brood- that’s 6 kids altogether!

Okay, so we were a teensy bit excited for our FIRST GUEST POST!  ::sister high-fives all around::

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Some of our looks were designed around the unique beauty of vintage bedding, and some just have touches of them, as you’ll see below.  Repurposing sheets and pillowcases is great since a lot of the work is already done for you in the form of seams and hems- just make sure to wash them up in some yummy-smelling detergent.  You might find the aroma to be uniquely “vintage” as well.  ;)

Though our photo shoot reflects some nap-time delirium and lingering (and still lingering…) pink-eye- don’t worry, it ended with a full-on Vintage May/Gangnam-Style dance party!

It only makes sense to start with the oldest… so here’s Jet!

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Caroline:  Thinking about vintage looks for the boys, I kept coming back to this child actor, who was in some of our other favorite childhood movies (Swiss Family Robinson, Pollyanna, and Toby Tyler).  You know him right?  He’s the same in all those movies- scrappy, mischevious, and somewhat annoying.  But he’s so cute in the hats and knickers and suspenders!  So for Jet, I worked up a pair of HG tour pants  using a plaid pillowcase for the stripe.  I decided to chop the pants below the knee to encourage summertime boyish mayhem.  Get it?  May-hem? I love a good sewing pun.  The suspenders are simply made with 1″ elastic, and upcycled leather + buttons. 

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Erin: I fell in love with the details and colors of this pillowcase and knew right away that it needed to be a top for Ell.  I utilized the entire thing.  Normally, I’d leave the existing pillowcase hem for something like this, but I wanted to use the yellow in the flutter straps and the chest band, so I ended up cutting off a good chunk of the bottom.  The back closes with a big vintage button and elastic loop. The shorts are E and E’s bubble pocket sailor shorts pattern in yarn-dyed Essex Linen.  I love all the buttons!  You can get a better glimpse of them up in that first picture.

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Caroline: Avery’s look is also reminiscent of Pollyanna.  If you need a fix, watch this.  I loved her drop-waisted dresses and sailor ties.  Avery’s modernized version (say if Pollyanna were to take up tennis) begins with a Flashback tee (minus the sleeves) on top and vintage pillowcase on the bottom.  I simply cut the pillowcase in half and pleated it to match the circumference up top.   Using the same pillowcase, I made bias tape and stitched it around the collar and arm holes.

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ERIN: I love the idea of little boys in vests, but it’s not a look you really see anymore.  So, I decided to try one out for Grant using Lindsay’s tutorial modifying it into a racerback… and I love it!  I made it with Essex linen (same as Ell’s shorts), and the pockets are cut from the hem of a pillowcase.  The inside is a pretty yellow floral sheet (the most masculine one I had).  Grant’s pants are based on the Parsley pants pattern, but modified a bit to make them skinnier, and of course shorter.  If we had a creek out back, you bet this boy would be wading it.

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Erin: For Corinne, I definitely wanted to keep it easy!  I love the idea of a one-piece outfit for babies, so I made some bloomers from a sweet pillowcase I had and then attached it to a basic tank onesie- I used 1/4″ elastic to gather the leg holes, and added 3 snaps at the crotch.  I thought it’d be fun to add a faux peter pan collar since, they were and are all the rage, aren’t they?  I appliqued some shiny gold fabric and added a sweet ivory ribbon rosebud in the center.  It’s pretty, but so practical for summer days.  (note to self: make more of these.)

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Caroline: Wes is wearing faux-suspenders (grosgrain ribbon, d-rings, steam-a-seam) attached to a onesie, along with pillowcase lined pants (based on A.M.H’s Quick Change Trousers).  His newsboy cap is from this free online pattern/video tutorial that I found for an adult, and eventually had success with scaling it down for a small head. 

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Do you remember this part in the Sound of Music?

Captain Von Trapp: “Do you mean to tell me that my children have been roaming about Salzburg dressed up in nothing but some old DRAPES?”

Fraulein Maria: “Mmm-hmmm. And having a MARVELOUS time!”

Duh!

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Thank you all for stopping by!  Come back tomorrow for a tutorial on Corinne’s pillowcase romper- it’s an easy one! :)

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And if you know what’s good for you, check out today’s other Vintage May post by Jessica of Happy Together.  Thanks again Kristin and Jess for letting us in on the fun!

So long, farewell….

Erin + Caroline

best. skirt. EVER.

Have you seen the movie Tangled?  It’s a favorite around here.

We love to sing the songs and I often quote from it- “Take it from your Mumsie”  and “Mother knows best…” and “I’m making your faaaavoriiite!!” are ones I frequently belt out throughout the day.  I’m pretty sure Mother Gothel has one of the greatest singing voices in the history of Disney movies.

  Anyway, there’s a part in the movie when Rapunzel is frolicking in the open grass for the first time in ages, after she repels down from her castle, yelling,

“BEST. DAY. EVER!”

 Ellery likes to use that line when she really likes something.  “Best swing/toast/piggyback EVER!”

Or in this case, SKIRT.

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We declare this the best skirt ever.

Ever!

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I used the reversible circle skirt tutorial by You and Mie, and guys…it’s a good one.  I don’t know why I’ve never tried a circle skirt before- it was so fun to make and just way easier than I thought.

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I drafted this little pattern up for a 5T, it was VERY quick to sew- with no hemming required- just bias tape around the botton. And wouldn’t you know it… It used exactly one package of bias tape- with like, 2″  to spare.

::patting myself on the back for that one:::

The outer fabric is Amy Butler water bouquet in mint, and the inside is blue Chambray from Joann’s.

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Anyway, you can see why Ell loves it!

Best skirt ever.

My new go-to for sure.

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Go make one!

-Erin