Swiss Dot Babydoll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My baby loves it!

Adios!

-Erin

Polka Dot Peplum + giveaway

Hello!  Today is a good day.  Dana of MADE has released her much-anticipated First Day Dress pattern!

:::::APPLAUSE:::::

Caroline and I were excited to be testers for this pattern, because… well, duh… it’s Dana– need I say more?  But, for me anyway, her blog was literally the FIRST sewing blog I had ever stumbled upon.  Like, I didn’t even know about you people or your cool sewing blogs, or that this community even existed.  I was googling sewing patterns late one night 4 years ago, and came across her Market Skirt tutorial and then spent the next several hours poring over her beautiful, bright and cheery site.  I was amazed that a person could make these things at home!  Not to go all cheese-fest here, but you could say that she changed my creative life!  Aw….

Onto this GREAT pattern.

There are several options.  I’ll let you hop on over to her site to read all about them, but for my version I chose to sew the peplum top.  I’m pretty sure Caroline is with me here… we are not peplum people.  I have seen them all over the sewing world over the past year, but haven’t jumped on board until now.

Something about my fun little Coco-girl inspired me to give it a whirl.

And I’m so glad I did.

I made a size 2 for my newish two-year old.  Guys, the fit is PERFECT.  I was nervous that this would be to small on her, but as soon as she got it on, I was just doing a crazy dance.  Those little capped sleeves, the adorable swingy peplum skirt, the polka dots… this is a happy project.

I found this great charcoal/silver polka dot fabric at Joann, and snatched up three yards of it.  Luckily, I barely had to use much for this pattern- since I might see a size 6 dress version in my future!  The back closes simply with a single button and elastic loop.  I used one of my favorite buttons from my stash, and I like you could have some fun with a colorful, bold, or special one that you love.

Like I said, there are plenty of options here.  Even when it comes to the lining…you can choose to do a partial lining- just at the bodice, or a full.  I fully-lined mine with some mint voile.  I love the glimpse of color that pokes out when she’s boppin’ around.

Or balancing on her brother’s cute bum.

This pattern is very thorough, with great photos and detailed instructions.  I think it is such a sweet tailored shape, and after making so many dresses with a gathered skirt, this top seemed to come together in a jiff.

I made one particular note to myself that I’ll share with you about this pattern:  while this top really does fit peeeerfectly, it took some care to get off of Corinne without inducing a full on mid-removal arms-stuck meltdown.  If your kiddo is well endowed in the noggin’ department, I’d consider cutting your back slit 1/2″ longer, or cutting the neckline a hair larger.  Just in case y’all.

Now.  Which one of you kind readers would like to win a copy of this pattern?  Okay!  Leave me a comment telling me which option is your favorite, and I’ll randomly pick a winner by the evening of Thursday July 3.

**Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to #13, Jo!  Hope you enjoy your new pattern!**

And come back soon if you don’t win because sister Caroline (!!!) will be back with a totally different look and another chance to win!

Thanks to Dana for the awesome pattern- it’s obvious to see how much work went into creating this one!

Goodbye and Good Luck!

-Erin

hummingbird

I have been sewing like a crazy person, a.k.a. Jesse Spano, a whole lot this past month.  Like cutting out several projects in one fell swoop, labeling fabrics, staying up late, watching 19 Kids and Counting (OH C’MON… you watch it too)/Intervention (the girl who huffs computer duster. YIKES.)/Inside Amy Schumer, and sewing until my back hurts.  Hey, sometimes you got it and sometimes you don’t.  It’s rare for me to be on a straight-up sewing binge, but currently I am.

(And lest you think all I do is sew and watch trashy TV all night…I don’t.  Though sometimes I accidentally put on Peppa Pig, not realizing that my kids are in BED and ASLEEP… and it’ll just play for like 10 minutes before it occurs to me.  Do you ever do that?  Turn on the old boob tube after the kiddos are down, and immediately hit up Nick Jr? What the?! Anyway, I also enjoy the occasional TED talk or Creative Bug on youtube… I love the meet so-and-so videos.  And sewing in the daytime calls for Pandora.  Moving on.)

One pattern that I’ve been pretty smitten with lately is the Hummingbird dress by rabbit rabbit creations.  I stumbled upon it one night while searching around on Etsy and I bought it right away.  I’ve already sewn several variations, but this one here is a fave.

p.s. that mole in the middle of her back is also my fave. 🙂

I love the fitted bodice and the elastic casing in the back which adds comfort and a casual vibe.  There is the option of adding flutter sleeves to the straps, but I am all for the clean look of this for now.

As for the fit, it’s just perfect.  I sewed a 6 (Ell is a new-ish 6 year old), and it’s right on the money.

(update: there are couple of glitches in this pattern.  first, at the back bodice piece- which is a long rectangle- a 1/2 should be added to the width (not length!) of both the outer and the lining back bodice piece,  because when attaching it to the front bodice at the underarms, it is too short and doesn’t quite match up with the width of the front bodice piece, which then requires you to adjust some things when attaching the skirt to the finished bodice. second, the instructions suggest that you can enclose the gathered skirt piece into the bodice and the bodice lining so there is no raw seam inside… however, this is incredibly hard to do once the elastic is already in the back bodice piece.  I recommend you try attaching the skirt to the bodice and lining first, but leave the sides at the underarms unattached- then thread your elastic in, and finish enclosing the rest of the skirt. I decided to just attach the bodice to the skirt without enclosing and I am more than happy with my result, but I did want to include that in here for you in case you make this dress and want a very professional look inside!)

I’ve been really drawn to color in the last few months… I used to buy a lot of prints, but realized that I tire of them really quickly and they don’t seem to get much play at my sewing machine.

You already know that I’m a cotton couture lover (no really, Michael Miller… where’s my sponsorship?!!).  It’s just the perfect weight, has some sort of sheen to it, and if you look closely and compare it to say, Kona cotton, it seems more tightly woven, which really seems to give it this softness factor.  I used it here in watermelon for the skirt, and in gold for the sweet little straps.  The bodice is a solid voile in coral (lined with cream cotton), I’m sorta/kinda/alotta in love with this combo.

This dress is actually not for my Ellery (Sorry, kid).

  But more on that soon…

-Erin

 

A Birthday Popover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get going, girl.

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

-Erin

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

kcw day five: flashback dress

 There are plenty of times (like weeks at a time) that I don’t feel inspired to make anything, or my kids don’t need anything, or I just have no creative juices.  But I’m feeling super-charged this week and I think it’s because I’m conquering my fears about sewing with knits.  And it’s mostly because I have too- since it’s all my kids want to wear.

Caroline commented on my flashback tee for Coco the other day, “Congratulations, you are now a Flashback addict.”

Yup.  I am.

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I made this late at night, and could’ve been way more precise about sewing it all, but I wasn’t.  Basically, I cut the shirt off a couple of inches under the arm pit and added a nice big gathered rectangle (I stitched that to the bodice by using zigzag stitch and then I serged it). There is some definite wonkiness (at the gathered seam, and the hem), but Ell loves it!

(a-hem.  This photo shoot was a DOOZY.)

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This rib knit was pretty stretchy and even though I cut a size 5 for my kid, it really started to stretch out by the time she got home from school when I snapped these pictures.  The gray baby rib is from Joann and it’s awesome- great stretch recovery (like all my new lingo?).  It’s great for necklines and cuffs.

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The coral floral (hehe) fabric is from fabric.com, but I can’t seem to find it there anymore.  I got it for $3.49/yard and I am willing to take my chances on cheap knit from an online store.  I am not one of those “have to see it/feel it in the store” type of people.  There is excitement in a little risky fabric shopping!  I did make sure it was mostly cotton, with a little lycra, and I think that’s a good little rule to go buy when buying for basic shirts/dresses.

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Girl is growing like a weed.  Those high-waters and worn-out knees are being taken care of tomorrow, fyi.

Stayed tuned.

-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