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

 

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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

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

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