Millie Dress

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I feel like there are two types of people in this world.

Those who like ruffles, and those who don’t.

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I happen to love them (in the right context, that is.  I simply cannot condone these, sorrynotsorry).

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The Millie dress kept showing up in my Instagram feed in all it’s ruffled glory, and despite having almost no time to sew lately… I had to make one.

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This is a free pattern in sizes 3-6.  There are no diagrams, no tutorials to guide you- just a simple set of instructions.  But, If you have sewn a dress before, and have gathered some fabric to make a ruffle, you can make this.

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I made a size 5, with a size 6 length and am really happy with the fit- this dress is intended to be above the knee.  Coco is proving to be taking after me in the height department, so I generally have to lengthen things for her.

I chose to make a regular neckband using my usual cheater technique, since I wasn’t liking the idea of just folding the neckline under and topstitching as the pattern suggested.  I felt like that would’ve made the neckline stretch out or gape, but what do I know….

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This beautiful mustard knit is from peek-a-boo pattern shop.  It’s a cotton/lycra blend, and is really a nice weight.  The last dress I made was also made with knit from Amy’s shop, and it’s some of the nicest knit I’ve used in a long time. For $7/yard, I’d definitely buy it again.

Coco was busting out some of the Yoga moves she learns at preschool.  Girl’s got some balance!  She says this one is called Tree pose.  I’m no yogi, so I’ll take her word for it.

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Namaste, friends.

-Erin

Ballet Back Dress

Okay sewing friends, new favorite pattern alert!

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It’s twirly.  It’s comfy.  It has a ballet back.

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This is the Janie dress by Hayley of Mouse House Creations.  And the version you see here is only one of several variations you could make with this pattern.  We love options, amiright?

For my Coco, I made the gathered skirt with ballet back and long sleeves- though I cut a few inches off the sleeve because I’m into this “cropped long sleeve” that I’ve been seeing  around lately.

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I made a size 5 (Corinne is a tall and lean 4 1/2 year old) and I’m really loving the fit on her.  But, let’s talk about this darling back neckline… it’s just so sweet on her little bony body!  I’m dying…

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I used a fantastic cotton lycra knit from Peek-a-boo pattern shop.  This was my first time ordering from Amy, and along with this dark teal (i’m currently obsessed with this shade of blue!), I purchased a dark coral and a mustard color… All fabrics are vibrant in color, nice and stretchy, but also sturdy.  Sewing with it went as smoothly as I could’ve hoped.

Oh, I should mention that I didn’t completely follow the neckband instructions.  Once I added the neckband, I felt like it was too wide for a delicate little dress, so I then folded the neckband down towards the front and topstitched.  I’d say this looks more like a leotard neckband would be finished…

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A little hard to see in the photo, but I’m really happy with it.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen another version I made for big sister Ellery that has an un-gathered skirt and a cowl neck.  Really hoping I can convince Ell to let me take some pics of it on her because it’s pretty sweet!

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Speaking of big sis, she gets SO into Christmas- last week when I brought out our decorations and wrapping stuff, she immediately started wrapping up “presents” for the family and putting them under the tree.  Coco asked if she could open hers, so Ellery handed her the giant gift bag with 25 pieces of tissue paper, and Coco got SO excited.  She pulled out an old little pair of her own sunglasses, held them up, and said “ugh… this is a WE-GIFT!!!” and threw them back in the bag.

Coco is working on getting thsoe R’s right!  Anyway, it was adorable.

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Let’s end this post with a  few classic Coco faces.  She is incredibly silly and I had to weed through about 50 goofy poses and expressions to get some pics for the blog.

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Thanks for reading!

-Erin

Isla top

Hi there!

It’s been 3 1/2 months since a blog post, so I figured we’re due for one.

This is the Isla pattern from Made by Rae.

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My Isla is the peplum top variation, but I love the dress versions that Rae has made (especially this one!) so I hope to give that try too.  Anyway, it’s cute, right?  This pattern is pretty simple- I sewed (mostly serged) mine in about an hour while Coco and her cousin Wes happily played babies in the next room.

I used my easy and fast neckband tutorial for the arm holes and neckline.

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I made a size L, but as usual lengthened the bodice by about 3/4″, and the skirt piece by about an inch… I did not hem this, and there’s no way I could’ve gotten away with it anyway.  It’s definitely a bit short- the peplum piece is supposed to hit right at your natural waist, and my waist is probably an inch lower.  That’s okay though.  A wearable muslin works for me.  I’ll change it up next time around.

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Are you dying to know where I got this amazing fabric?

 WELL… I was at Goodwill the other morning- sometimes between dropping the big kids off at school and dropping Coco off at preschool an hour later, we go to random places that are open at 8 am (Grocery stores, Tractor Supply (because chickens), Lowes, or Goodwill).  Anyway, a yard and a half of this colorful print was just sitting folded up nicely on the shelf.  Mine for 20 cents.  Bada-bing!

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Made of 100% luxurious indie (not!) polyester… tee hee!

Seriously though, I am loving the drape.  So easy to sew with.  And it’s pretty darn comfortable.  I’d be nice if it were a little more breathable.

How did people survive the seventies?  GAWD!

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I like to pair this with my 100% pilly acrylic Target cardigan.

Love y’all!

-Erin

p.s. Caroline and I were recently featured on Rae’s blog for her Sewing Superstars series… We love Rae and her patterns, so we were so honored to be featured.  You can check it out here!

Newborn set

My good friend Taylor is having a baby in a hot minute, and she asked me a while back if I’d be interested in making her new little girl a coming home outfit.  Taylor and her family are some of my favorite people, and you know I love babies, so of course I was happy to.  Plus, T-bone (as I like to call her) loves handmades and has always been so sweet about our makes on this blog.  She was even like, “oh, and tell me what I owe you.”

UM… NO FRIEND.  JUST NO.

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She gave me instructions to make whatever I wanted (sweet!), and I texted her pictures of cozy organic knit fabrics.  She picked one instantly, and I got to work like 3 months later and 3 days before the baby’s due date.

Because SUMMER WITH 3 KIDS, that’s why.

I knew right away I’d be making Rachel’s newborn gown pattern.  It’s perfect in every way, and was not a long project at all.  I love the envelope neckline, and the way the binding looks so professional.  Oh and the pattern is free, so if that doesn’t rope you in, maybe getting pregnant will? 😉

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The fabric is organic interlock knit by Birch.  Nice stuff. It’s really easy to work with, and the color is a lovely peachy pink.

As soon as the gown was finished, I knew it needed a matching cap, so I scoured the internets for a quick tutorial and pattern.  There are several, but my printer didn’t like any of them so I drew up my own little pattern.

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Super easy, just serged two pieces together, turned them right side out, and folded up and stitched a little cuff.  I was originally going to tie the top of the cap into a knot, but it was virtually impossible, so I kept it more like a pixie shape.

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And, I think it’s super cute like that.

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Coco’s baby doll was a decent model.  She’s a little dead in the eyes though.

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I can’t wait to see meet baby Harris.  If she’s anything like her adorable older sister and brother, she will capture hearts instantly.

-Erin

Beatrix Top in Yucca Voile

When I made my first Beatrix top, I was excited to realize that the shirt would fit over my head without having to unbutton it- I’ve wanted a simple woven tee pattern for a while (I had been thinking of buying the Scout tee pattern by Grainline), so I figured I’d try using the Beatrix pattern and omit the button placket down the back.  Since it’s got a short sleeve option, I was in business.

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I did a couple of things here to jazz my tee up.  I added a few small pleats to the center front, and one larger pleat at the center back.  I sewed them 1/2 way down the shirt, and I like that it gives it a little more flow.

(update: I forgot to mention this originally but had a couple of comments about it… I did add about 2″ to the front center so I could make the pleats.  Also, I cut the back piece on the fold (instead of 2 pieces as the original pattern has), and basically “made up” for the button placket being gone, by putting in one large pleat.)

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Also, instead of a facing like the original Beatrix has, I used bias tape to finish the inside of the neckline. I really prefer the feeling of that to facings. They just annoy me.

Oh, and of course if you read this blog, you’ll know that (say it with me now…) I added some length because i’m tall.  🙂

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The fabric is simply lovely!  It’s from Leah Duncan’s organic voile line for Cloud 9 fabrics.  It’s dreamy.  The perfect weight for this project, and perfect for warmer weather.

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I love Leah’s desgins.  Her color combinations are interesting , and her prints are not obnoxious or in-your-face… yet there is still a lot to look at.  I feel like her prints are great for grown-ups and kids alike.  Her designs have an overall cool vibe and I need more of them in my life!

Want some cheese??

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If you don’t own the Beatrix pattern, i recommend it.  Rae has so many variations that she’s made and I love them all.  So much inspiration there.

-Erin

Out and About Dress

It’s been (purple) raining for weeks here now.

I usually love rainy days at home, but this week Coco has been sick with crazy fevers, thus hanging on me like a baby orangutan 24/7.  Like, if I move my face .07 cm away from hers while we’re sleeping together, she will sit straight up, right out her deep sweaty slumber and whine/cry/moan until I press my cheek back to hers.

Sweet thing.

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The perks are high for a sewing person when you’re stuck at home.  When Coco isn’t noticing, I’ve been sneaking back to my machine and get several things made or patterns cut out.

This is the Out and About Dress, by Sew Caroline.

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Sometimes, I’ll sit on a pattern for a long time (in this case, a year) looking at other people’s versions on a regular basis- like I’m just not ready to  “go there” for some reason.  Not that this pattern is challenging at all- in fact, it’s a great beginner pattern.  But, There was something about this dress that I didn’t love, and after spending lots of time looking around, I finally realized what it was.

The front and back necklines both just seemed to high for me.   I’m definitely not a flashy dresser, but a lot of the ones I saw just seemed… too covered up around the neck?

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Once I came across Kelli’s beautiful version, where she opened the back up more, I knew that’s what it needed.  I could’ve gone with a bit of a deeper neckline for the back actually, and I’d probably like it even more.  But, I am really happy with how this turned out for the most part.  I scooped out about 3/4″ from the front neckline, and probably about 1 1/2 inches away from the back.

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(I swear the pigeon-toed pose is accidental up there, but I know sister Caroline is loving it… right, Caro?)

Elbow length sleeves are my favorite, but I don’t own any garments that have them!  Need to fix that, stat.  They’re comfy, and I think they make everybody’s arms look good no matter what.

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I used a drapey rayon blend knit, and added several inches of length- maybe 4?  I also sewed clear elastic into the waistband when I was attaching the skirt to the bodice.  It seems to have been a smart move so far.  It just feels nice and stable.

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I’m happy with this pattern- I would probably make some minor tweaks the second time around, but I would definitely recommend this.

So far I have worn my Out and About dress out and about to several places.  One being jury duty.  Which I’ll be serving (every other wednesday) for a YEAR!!!

I know, I know.

Feel bad for me now.

-Erin

Spring Hemlock Sweater

April showers bring bad hair days for curly girls like me!   When the rain finally paused and  I found myself with a moment to take pics of my new Hemlock Tee, the frizz mop was just not behaving.  It was pretty much bee-hiving.  Ha! Good one, Caroline!

So, today’s styling is brought to you by rain and baseball.  Which works since we are at the baseball field about 3 days a week for my big boy, Jet.  He’s a Yankee this year.  (Sorry Bops and Gramma, we don’t get to choose!)

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This sweater knit comes from Girl Charlee.  I found it in the bargain lots section, which sells slightly imperfect yardage for super cheap.  I bought 3 yards of it and didn’t find a single flaw!  I must have bought most of it, because it is now only offered in that half-yard section.

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After all these years, I just now figured out how to use my camera remote.  Stoked!

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Also, pretty stoked about my stripe matching skills!

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About the Hemlock pattern, I really like it!  It’s free from Grainline Studio and kind of a one-size-fits-all guideline pattern.  I chose a length I liked, and kept the other dimensions as-is.  I did add my own band at the bottom, just to bring the width in a little bit and to polish it all up.

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  The dog is my shadow.  All day long.

You won’t be seeing the second Hemlock I made, a short sleeve version with a stretchy tissue knit.  I ruined it with my new iron- a $10 yard sale score Rowenta.  I’m so bummed!  I cut the pattern to be more narrow, and I added a half inch to the neckline.  It came out great, so I’ll be trying it again soon.  I guess should’ve paid attention to the heat settings which never really mattered with my old piece of junk iron.  The fabric melted as soon as the iron touched it.  #dammit #madeinGermany

Thanks for stopping by!

~Caroline