KCW: The End

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

Only, I’m not high on speed.

I’m high on knits.

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

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

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

Then.

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The Geranium hijacked the Flashback.

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

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

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

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Now.  Do yourself a favor: buy this pattern.

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

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

Moving on to outfit number 2.

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

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

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

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

With heart knee patches!

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

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

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

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

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

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Oh, hey! Cupid’s awake!

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

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

-Erin

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

KCW day one: flashback skinny tee

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

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

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

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

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

See you tomorrow!

Erin

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

Bimaa in the ‘Hood

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I was so happy when Sarah of EmmylouBeeDoo and LouBeeClothing patterns asked if I’d like to join her Bimaa pattern tour.  Maybe you have seen this little pattern showing up around blog-land lately?  It’s a hot one right now!  I’m the last stop on the tour (along with Skirt as Top- no pressure, right?), and I can’t believe all adorable Bimaas that these gals have been putting out.

Sarah’s blog is such a good one and quickly becoming one of my favorites- I LOVE what she sews for her cute daughter… like this Sally dress- so great!  And this September tunic- I bought this pattern as soon as I saw her version.  Plus, Sarah is a New England girl, and grew up a New England girl, so… maybe I’m just drawn to her New Englandy-ness?  :)

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, check out Sarah’s blog and pattern shop if you know what’s good for you!!!

Now.  Onto my BIMAA!

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The Bimaa is a slim-fitting sweater with 3 neckline options: hoodie, shawl collar, and cowl neck.  There is no hemming in this pattern- just sewing a cuff band and waist band, which is quick and pretty fool-proof if you ask me… No folding up, no ironing… I love that I didn’t have to get up from my chair and iron a thing!

I made a 2T for my 18 month old and the fit is perfectly…though if you have any worries about the snug fit, just size up in the width. The only change I made to the pattern was to make a little puff sleeve at the shoulder… Just ’cause I love ‘em.  I widened the top curve of the sleeve piece, and added a little length to the top as well- gathered about 2-3 inches at the curve to create the puff, and attached!  Easy.

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This is like the 3rd thing I’ve ever sewn in knit, and I am just shocked that I didn’t have any trouble.  I did use my stretch stitch which I never had before, and it went smooth as butter.  I might try my next one on the serger though just for speed.  Sarah recommends using a 4-way stretch knit for this- I used a stretchy white velour, and a thick gray sweater knit (from an old dress of mine) for the hood lining.

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 I love sewing hoods, so I decided to make Coco one with kitty ears.  I made this before Sarah’s fabulous Add-Ears-to-a-Bimaa-Hoodie tutorial + template, so I used the instructions and pattern pieces for the Cozy Winter Hood out of the O + S Little Things to Sew book.  Both methods are pretty much the same idea.   I used a pink floral quilting cotton for the inside, and shaped my ears to create a point at the top.  Although I wish they faced the front a bit more, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. When they start to flop, she looks like a little lamb.

A twofer!

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Sarah is kind enough to giveaway a Bimaa pattern to one of you readers!  Just leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite Halloween costume was as a child- We’re still undecided here with the costumes this year, so I’d love some ideas.

Giveaway is open to all and will close at midnight on Tuesday 10/22.  Good Luck!

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Oh, and if you can’t wait that long to sew one up, you can purchase the pattern (along with Sarah’s other patterns) HERE.

(And be sure to check out my tour buddy, Kristin’s cowl Bimaa too!)

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Happy Sewing!

-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

My First Flashback

I bought this shirt a while back at a thrift store, thinking that it looked big enough to fit me.  I just loved that retro squirrel print!  Trying it on at home, I soon realized that this shirt came straight from the tween department.  It wouldn’t even stretch over my rib cage!  That’s alright, I knew I could turn it into something cute for Avery.

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Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee was the perfect opportunity to use this fun print and to get some practice sewing with knits.  The thrifted shirt only provided enough fabric for the front and back of the tee.  So, I had to scavenge for sleeve fabric.  I found a  purple rayon knit shirt that I’d never worn balled up in my closet.  (I couldn’t take it back to the store because my parents’ puppy chewed up the tags, thank you Lenny. ;) )   It was the perfect color for my sleeves, albeit, a difficult one for a novice- so thin and drapey.

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Pretty sweet right?  With all new sewing projects, you learn a lot.  Rae’s pattern is perfection, and she gives so many wonderful hints and options.  My excitement got the better of me, and I made a couple of errors.

#1. I did not pre-wash that rayon shirt!  My cuffed sleeves shrunk to a 3/4 length!  I cut them off, and may decide to turn it into a short sleever later.  For now, its cool with a raw hem.

#2.  I did not measure my child.  She is 3 1/2 , and is always 50th percentile at the doc, so I just went with the standard 3T sizing.  I should have taken into account that she “has a pot”(Pulp Fiction anyone?) and used Rae’s instructions for adding length.  Oh well, I took out the bottom hem, and left that raw too.

Now we’re in business.

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I added the stripe across the front to cover up a seam that existed in the original shirt.  The back of the original shirt became the front of this tee.  I’m kinda glad it was there because I wouldn’t have thought to add such a cute detail!

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Avery loves it!  And so do I!  I cannot wait to make another Flashback Tee!  It is just so satisfying to be able to create something as mundane as a tee-shirt.  What kid would object to such comfort?  Not mine!

Happy Monday!

~Caroline

Two new additions

Hi everyone, I’m baaaacckk!  After a long hiatus, I’m finally stepping out of the fog, and ready to introduce you to the little something that’s been keeping me so busy these past few months…

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Isn’t it the most beautiful hallway that you’ve ever seen?!  It is when you’ve been living in 800+ square feet for 6 years!  We added 3 bedrooms and a basement to nearly double our living space and create a small roller-rink below.  Slab basement for now = future cave for stinky teenagers (or home theater, mini gym, sewing studio ;)… endless possibilities).  In progress photo:

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 Living in a tiny house, I learned a lot about organization and space management.  I love getting rid of STUFF!  It is like a giant *EXHALE*

However, even with my diligence to conquering clutter, I was losing the battle.  Pei’s cookbook collection was is getting out of control, my sewing stash was bursting out of our closet, and Jet and Avery would NOT STOP GROWING!

Oh yeah, and there was this other little thing:

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Meet Wes Charles Chang, born November 10, 2012!

I’m such a slacker, he’s already 3 months old.  Best baby EVER!  Don’t tell Jet and Avery I said that.

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So, yeah, just to add to the chaos of living in our home during construction, we decided to bring a newborn into the mix.   The only thing that kept me sane through the holidays was knowing that I would soon have a walk-in closet.  And, a second bathroom! *high-fives with husband*

Slowly we’ve been moving into our new rooms, but we left a lot of the finishing work to ourselves (painting, plumbing, light fixtures, tiling).  And, as most of you know, newborns and getting-sh*t-done don’t really mix! Looking forward to sharing many DIY reveals with you in the future!

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While my sewing machine enjoyed a long winters nap, I did manage to squeak out a few holiday crafts…

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Inspired by one that I pinned, this door mat looked so cool for about 2 weeks.  I spray painted an old one with silver, taped off the triangle shapes, and painted them shades of green.  I won’t show you what has become of it.  Next year, I will leave it on the covered porch that no one uses.

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I made these beaded icicles out of a necklace that my mother-in-law made me.   She doesn’t read this blog, in case you are wondering.

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I wish I could’ve captured how beautiful these looked on the tree with the lights sparkling through.  My photography could not do them justice.

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When Avery decided just days before Christmas that the one and only thing she wanted from Santa was a rocking horse, this one, donated by a friend, saved the day!  But, since Avery was familiar with said friend’s rocking horse,  I needed to give it a new look (on Christmas Eve mind you).

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Ah, the lengths we go to in order to perpetuate a gigantic lie, I mean preserve the magic of childhood! Don’t worry, Avery doesn’t read this blog either.

I will leave you with a few more photos of our new favorite kid.  Did I just say that?  Ha! Kidding! Kind of.

14-chritmas to jets b-day jan 2013 109Wes is wearing a beautiful hand-knit Baby Surprise Jacket (a Soulemama go to), made for him by dear friend, and often-mentioned-here, Grayson Butterfield.  She also made him these:

15-chritmas to jets b-day jan 2013 114This is the Picky Pants Pattern that Grayson and I love.  Could you die?!

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Obviously we are in mad love over here, both with Wes AND our new rooms.  Its shaping up to be a fabulous 2013!  Happy Year of the Snake!

~Caroline