Another Ruby

 I’ve worn my first Ruby about 4 times already since I made it.  So I sewed up another… This time however, I decided to take it up a notch.

Literally.

The fabric is from Joann, and it’s one I always stopped to look at and never bought… Glad I finally did!  It’s quilting cotton (Denyse Schmidt), so it’s not quite as soft and light as my last Ruby.  As for the notch, I should’ve added a little interfacing before sewing that, since after a day of wear it sort of starts to flap on one side, but I like it anyway!

Happy Spring Top Sewalong-ing!

-Erin

Ruby

Anyone out there sewing for Spring Top Sewalong?

I am excited to do some sewing for myself for a change, and hoping that I actually wear the items I plan on making this time.  It’s a problem of mine.

This Ruby top is definitely one I will rotate through the ole wardrobe cycle.  It is comfy to the max!

I used a basic white cotton for the yoke, and a really lightweight blue and white striped cotton from Joann.

I decided to line the yoke because I thought it would yield a more professional looking finish, as opposed to the bias tape.  There is a great series of videos that Rae put together for you to follow if you’d like to do this, and honestly, I recommend you go that route too.  I set my iPad up on my sewing desk and spent a couple nights hanging out with Rae as she walked me through each step.  Easy.

 

I cut my pattern between the M and L lines, and followed the Large size when it came to length of all pieces.  Next time around I’ll add 1/2″ to all the shoulder seams so it all hangs lower- It’s a teensy bit to high up under my armpits (you can kind of see in that picture)- BUT… this shirt is so comfortable, I will not reject it as I have some other handmade items (a-hem, a-hem)!

 I think the nice thing about sewing for yourself, is that you can fix/tweak those things to custom fit your body.

I’ll also add a full inch to the length next time too- even though I used a 1″ hem as opposed to the suggested 2″.  I’m 5’11” and I’ve never owned a shirt that wasn’t too short!

#tallgirlproblems.

If you want a pretty easy sew, and a comfy relaxed fit, you should make a Ruby.

I’ve also heard it makes a GREAT maternity shirt!

Ha. Gotcha!  I’m not packing a baby in there….it was a windy day!

-Erin

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!**

Roza pattern review + a giveaway

I think I’m ready to venture into more adult sewing, and there’s no better way to do that than by just getting a pattern and following it, right?  So, about a month ago, I pinned this pattern to my Sewing for Me board.  It’s the Roza blouse and dress pattern by Kate and Rose.

 I think a sweet peasant top is a good staple in any girl’s wardrobe and this one looked pretty perfect.  I did some digging on the web, but I couldn’t find many variations out there.  So I emailed the pattern designer, Kati, and asked her if she knew of any examples out there in sewing blog-land to link me to.  She explained that the pattern had just been released, so no, there weren’t many variations yet, but would I be interested in sewing one up if she sent me the pattern?

Um…why, YES I would!

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The Roza is pretty much everything you’d want and expect from a peasant top – roomy, lightweight, casual but feminine.  And guess what?  It’s a super fast sew… no really, it is!  Piecing together and cutting the pattern took the longest for me, but that’s usually the case with a pdf pattern in my house – it ends up on the kitchen table along with all the other junk and then I have to re-sort through all the pages, etc… you know the drill.  But still,  it’s pretty convenient to just print something off at your house and get working when you get a burst of creative energy (even if it lasts only 20 minutes).

There are several ways to customize the Roza- short or long sleeves, cropped or asymmetrical hemline, gathered or flat front…just check it out, guys.  And if you have any interest in hand-embroidery (i love this Roza), you must visit her site.

The long-sleeves are bracelet length, and the cuffs are actually supposed to look like this:

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But I loved the look of the wide cuffs, so I decided to leave them instead of folding them in as the pattern instructs.  I believe that in most sewing patterns, there’s a little wiggle room to add your own twist.  You just gotta go with what you’re feeling.

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I sewed a Medium, but extended my pieces to the Large in length.  I’m 5’11” and often things just aren’t long enough on me.

I mean, c’mon…Do you see that wing-span up there?

I really should’ve extended the length in the front another inch or so though… I like the cropped front, but on me it’s just a little *too* cropped.

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I have never been sure about high-low hemlines- a look I feel that I’m too old for… their ‘business in front, party in the back’ attitude sometimes just plain confuses me.  Oh wait, that’s the mullet.  But, I decided to give it a go anyway.  A high-Low that is.  Not a mullet.

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  Getting time to stroll through the fabric store is a total luxury, and one that doesn’t happen often these days, so online fabric shopping it is!  I have had my eye on this print for ages – Art Gallery voile in Praline in Honey .  I love the colors, and it’s a nice yellow that actually looks okay on me (usually yellow is NOT my color!).  The cuffs are solid voile in Seafoam.

I’m really liking the contrast.

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Taking photos of yourself is a lot less awkward when there are kids in the room.  Grant was my lighting technician, adjusting the blinds every 6 seconds.

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While Ellery manned the camera remote.  It made things a lot more comfortable.

 Kinda like this top!

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Kati has been so kind to offer one of you lovely readers a Roza pattern!  Please leave a comment below and cross your fingers….

-Erin

Giveaway is open to all and will end on Saturday at 11:00 pm EST.  Winner will be chosen (probably by my kid) at random.

**Giveaway is now closed**

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Congrats to #11, Grabill!

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

Geranium in Voile

I sewed up a Geranium tunic for Corinne last week and finally cut into some much-loved AMH little folks voile.

I love how my last Geranium turned out for Ellery, and I love how different this one is.  This fabric is so nice and light, i thought it would make a nice breezy top. I’m happy that she can wear this now right on into the Springtime.

(Seriously, Spring.  Get a move on it!)

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So, I added long sleeves here – not an option in the pattern, but I figured it would just look super cute and couldn’t be too hard.

For the sleeves, I used a pattern piece that I already had handy- from the baby in the hood jacket (from this book) that I made a couple of years ago for Grant.  I added an elastic casing at the cuffs.  I did trim my sleeve pattern piece down a little bit along the sides, but I wish I had left it as wide it was- I think this shirt would be perfection if the sleeves were just a teensy bit roomier.  But, it’s totally wearable, and I’m loving it on her, so no biggie.  Next time, next time….

Here’s “Coco” (as she is affectionately known around here) and her bribery snack of choice: baby Mum Mum crackers.

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Anyway, to attach the sleeves, I didn’t really have a plan of attack since I’ve never sewn sleeves to a lined bodice.  But, I remembered Rae’s tutorial and video for adding sleeves to a Washi dress, so I followed that… I’m sure there are other ways to add sleeves to a lined bodice, but the girl knows what she’s talking about, so I let her guide me through it.  And it went very well… even though it looks all kinds of crazy when you’re sewing it up!  No really… check out that video to see what I mean.

  That’s what I love about sewing- sometimes you just have to trust the instructions in front of you and forego your own thought processes.

I always learn something.  Always.

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I made the 12-18 month size for my almost 11 month old!  11 months already?? what??

Instead of using 3 buttons as the pattern suggests, I decided to use 2 here just because I liked how it looked.  I’m really digging this pattern and have seen so many great variations in the flickr pool.

Action shot!

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Corinne has been walking since just after her 9 month birthday, and I really feel like she’s in the mix with the other *big* kids because of that..  but it’s funny because she still looks like such a baby to me… I took her to an open-gym today with tons of other kids and she had no problem leaving my side to cruise around after balls, crawl through tunnels, and at one point even walking up to some random boy on a bike and planting the biggest slobbery open-mouthed kiss on his face.

He liked it.

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C’mon, wouldn’t you?

-Erin

Washi #1

I titled this post ‘Washi #1′ because there will be a #2.  And a #3.  Aaaaannnd probably a #4.

Really.  I love it that much!

If you follow any action in sewing-blog land, you’ll have seen many Washi dressses and tunics floating around.   It’s a thoughtful pattern created by Rae.  Rae has some great patterns and tutorials out there- I’ve learned a LOT from her site, so it was no question that I’d give this pattern a try.  The back of the dress/tunic has several rows of shirring that help to keep the bodice fitting comfortable, yet snug at the same time….the skirt piece is pleated….and I’m convinced this would look good on anyone.

I solicited some advice from Kristin (thanks girl!) who’s two Washis are some of my favorites.  (You can check out tons in the Washi Flickr pool)

I especially loved her second (who didn’t?) which has a lovely scooped out neckline.  I took her advice and cut about 1″ more into the pattern and shaped it a bit wider at the bottom to give it a fuller U shape.  I lengthened my bodice 1″ since I’m tall (as in 5’11” kind of tall)… I’m so glad i did- it pretty much fits perfectly.  I also lengthened my skirt piece by a good 1 1/2 ” to hit right where I wanted it to.  Better to give yourself a little wiggle room if you’re not sure…I added 2 1/2 inches to the pattern and then cut about an inch off before I hemmed it.

 P.S., if you think you need to lengthen your bodice too, add the inch on the back piece above the highest shirring lines… the bottom shirring line should be right at the seam where the bodice meets the skirt.  It seemed to work out nicely for me anyway.

My fabric choice is one I’m super happy with. It’s Marqueterie in Berry from Pat Bravo’s Indie line. I don’t own a whole lot of floral in my wardrobe, so I wasn’t too sure when I ordered it, but it spoke to me, so I went with it and crossed my fingers. I think it’s fallish, but at the same time i think the colors lend themselves to any season. Oh, I also cut my fabric pieces out oppostie than way Rae suggests, just because I liked the flowery parts to go across my body instead of up and down, just perferred it that way when I took a long look at it.

Oh, and don’t get ahead of yourself- make a muslin to make sure it’ll fit before you cut into your nice fabric.  All you need to do is cut the bodice out and sew the bust darts…. depending on your chest size, you may need to do an FBA or SBA (as in a full or small bust adjustment).  I did not have to make any adjustments… but I’m still nursing.  Believe me when i tell you I will be making an SBA on this pattern when i stop!  Bye, bye boobage….

I would say the ONLY thing I would change next time around is the armholes, which for me and my somewhat broad upper-body, fit just a little too snug- I’ll blame that on my years of competetive (update: *cough*…highschool) swimming growing up- not the pattern!  I’ll probably cut into the armholes an extra 1/2″ next time around.  No biggie.  I’m still gonna wear the heck out of this.

It’s so satisfying to sew for ME!  I’m still somewhat of a novice sewer (got 2 1/2 years of practice under my belt)… so if I can make one of these, so can you. After the last couple of dresses for Ell got hung up in the closet- probably for good- it was really nice to focus on my own wardrobe… which is now hurting just a little bit less thanks to this shirt.  :)

I am envisioning a few more… one with long sleeves (Rae is working on that, yay!), A dress version, a mini version… yup, I said mini…. check out Kristin and Rae’s MINI Washi dresses for their girls…. riDONKulous!  The possibilities are endless, which is the mark of such a great pattern- props to Rae for perfecting the design and sharing it with all of us who love to sew!

-Erin