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.

26582862990_1da516a49c_c

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.

26761873762_92c7a3e874_c

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?

26855731275_9c03a3ce22_c

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.

26582950970_8422f7e8ae_c

(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.

26250624014_3235fec795_c

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.

26582810620_42ba37fa4e_c

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!)

8-DSC_8250

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.

2-DSC_8220

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

4-DSC_8225

Also, pretty stoked about my stripe matching skills!

1-DSC_8218

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.

3-DSC_8223

  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

 

Eleena Dress

I love to make dresses for my girls.  It’s my sewing comfort zone.  But, I really haven’t sewn many (besides a few basic knit ones) in the last several months.  So, I was excited to participate Olga Becker’s (Coffee + Thread) Eleena dress tour, and hoped it would get me right back into the dress-sewing swing of things!

Spoiler alert: it did!

24583423704_a33d36f05f_c

The Eleena dress is a vintage-inspired dress with sleeve options as well as an optional collar, with sizes ranging from 2-12.  You must take a look at all the variations here on Olga’s blog, because they are all so unique!  I was so so tempted to go the long sleeve + collar route because I just love the look, but I knew this simpler version would get more wear in our house.

25214083235_bef6864342_c

I made Ellery a size 7, with an 8 in length.  The fit is perfect, but I probably should’ve just gone with a straight 8 to give her some more growing room.

For the main fabric of my dress, I used a subtle print by Cotton + Steel (sprinkle in peaches) If you look closely, you can see the tiny white dots.  I love the inverted pleat down the front, and chose a very pale pink solid for that panel for an understated contrast, and Ellery was actually pretty interested in it- she kept asking me how I did that.  😉

Skillz, kid.

24587259663_30278a1722_c

I’ve always been a fan of flutter sleeves, and I’m so happy with the way these ones turned out.  Perfect amount of flutter, which i accented with some tiny ivory pom-pom trim.

#pompomallthesleeves!

24846392439_0dcf39451d_c

FRIENDS.

This is the first invisible zipper that I have ever sewn!  And it looks alright!  Please ignore the wrinkles- but do not ignore those little back shoulder darts up there!  i love smart fit details like that.  I found Olga’s overall instructions to be really great and thorough- you can certainly tell she’s experienced.   I checked out a youtube video for a visual for the zip because I tend to do better that way.

 Thanks again, internet.

24846386999_922dae9796_c

I added a little ribbon rosebud at the center of the neckline, and I think it’s pretty sweet and dainty.

24918465040_4fd8efced4_c

Easter dress. BOOM.

24846683659_08d8ebe52a_c

The Eleena dress pattern is on sale for $7 until March 7th.  I hope you’ll check it out!

Olga is giving away 2 of her sewing patterns and a yard of  Sarah Jane fabric, and you can enter that HERE.

 

forblog

 And, you can also check out all of the other gals and their Eleena dresses in the links below!
Thanks for reading, and many thanks to the lovely Olga for hosting this tour!
– Erin

Snow dayz

Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, that I don’t even recognize this place.  Props WordPress.

It’s not that I haven’t been sewing, every now and then I need a fix,  its just that I haven’t really sewn anything very interesting or new.  And photographing and blogging takes effort.  And also, we have a puppy.   Nuff’ said, right?  I’ll stop whining…

I loved Ellery’s stripy cocoon dress so much, that I had to make one for Avery-girl!  I think its such a cool modern pattern, by Groovybaby…and mama.  The styling, by the way, was all Avery!  02-January 2016 083

I sewed this dress during a gigantic snowstorm that dumped almost 2 feet and kept the kids out of school for 4 days in a row.  It also proved to be a real set back for puppy potty training :/.  But, with 60 degree days following, we had a fast melt and some super dangerous sledding.

01-January 2016 079

I love how the cupid ears mirror her fang teeth.  Oh, Happy Valentine’s day by the way!

This fabric came from Girl Charlee quite a while ago.  It’s a medium weight knit that worked well for this project.  Derrrr!  Just got the call that school is cancelled tomorrow!  Snow and ice storm this time.

09-January 2016 142

Love this girl.  She’s growing up so fast.

10-January 2016 149

Who wants to see some puppy pics?  Avery was in model mode on this particular day, and wanted to do a shoot with Bodhi.  This is a simple skater dress is made from some heavy red knit that I picked up in Philly’s fabric district.  (When Wes was up there for radiation treatments we would explore the city on the weekends.  I’m so glad to have some fond memories of that time.  The update on Wes is that he is doing excellent and still in remission! Woot!)

15-January 2016 178

Isn’t he cute?  We are really enjoying this new furry addition to the family!

12-January 2016 159

Again, styled by Avery.  Can’t beat the classic combo of black, white, and red!  I think my current sewing inspiration is coming from all those Facebook ads for Primary.com.  For parents who can’t be bothered with prints.  Actually I really like the concept of this shop.  Its just that I look at it all, and I’m like, “Well, I can just make that.”

14-January 2016 171

This is LOVE!

~Caroline

A Beatrix and a Barney

Y’all.

I’ve been in a definite sewing slump the last couple of months.  I’ve had the time to sew, but just cannot get my creative vibes going strong enough to start something.  I’ve made a few random knit things, and I’ve been helping Ellery get to know her new machine, but I have really been feeling out of touch!  Can’t find a fabric line that I love lately (which is usually the source of inspiration for a project for me).  You know, just feeling kind of… MEH about it all.

 Anyway, I basically forced myself last week to JUST SEW SOMETHING.  So I picked some fabric from my stash, and a new pattern, and got a crackin’.

24189436494_f0c2a0e1ae_c

This is the Beatrix top– a Made by Rae pattern.

I sewed a L, but added 1″ in length.  Remember, I’m 5’11”.  NOTHING is ever long enough on me!  Also, most of my close friends are shorties.  Isn’t that something?  They’re all short and adorable and always asking me to reach stuff.

24190771183_d84269161f_c

I think the fit is pretty great.  It’s comfy.  There are bust darts to help give the top a nice fit, and the curved hem is a nice detail.

Want to meet my awesome dog, Barney?

24522081740_f80fc6995b_c

He’s quite debonaire (hee hee. I’ve been binge-watching Mad Men), I washed him and blow-dried him this morning so I think he deserves a little screen time.

Obviously, I did not wash or blow-dry myself this morning.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

24189435594_f5aec5aa3d_c

Not this guy.

So, my fabric is a double cloth cotton purchased from Imagine Gnats.  It’s two soft layers, basically stuck together- similar to double gauze, but maybe not quite as billowy or light?  It’s nice.  The party-in-the-back placket was a random spontaneous move.  I grabbed some chartreuse-y and watermelon-y cottons and just went for it.

Kinda weird, kinda fun, eh?

24791348196_9529b4bcbc_c

I’ll end this post with a shot of me and my Coco-girl.  I love having her home with me during the day.  She loves to watch Home Alone (“the part where he wakes up!”), play picnic, and take her shirt off so her baby dolls have easy access. 😉

  She’s kind of like my button placket.  Kinda weird, but mostly fun.

24191033503_58e1ebfa48_c

Thanks for reading!

-Erin

Stripey Cocoon

It’s that time of year again, when 90% of Ellery’s clothes seem to be suddenly too small.  I’m hoping to make a few basic knit dresses/tunics that she can throw on over leggings for school.

23616778202_8858ed0650_c

 This is the new Cocoon dress pattern by Trine of Groovybaby…and mama.  A very simple design with a cozy cocoon shape and sweet (optional flutter) 3/4 sleeves.  It’s very Trine-like!  Have you ever read her blog, or taken a look at her Instagram feed?  She has such a clear style, and always chooses really neat fabrics.  She spews cool.

23097158234_dc75b688bc_c

Anyway, I made a straight size 8 for 7 1/2  year old Ell.  The fit seems just right, though I think next time around I’d cut the length to a size 7 since it’s a tad long at the back.

23616771082_9a4044718b_c

The striped fabric is a poly/cotton/rayon knit purchased locally at Les Fabriques.  It’s a nice medium weight- sturdy enough to keep the cocoon shape looking cocoon-y!

23429569470_c9990286f4_c

The ruffles and neckband are from an old shirt of my husband’s that matched perfectly.  Thank you Dean-o!

23699193266_5414d82050_c

The neckband is not part of the pattern (the pattern suggests you fold the neckline under once and topstitch, but I loved Kristi’s versions and decided to add the band like she did.  I like the added contrast.

23098206273_99f1829cd6_c

 This is a very quick sew!  Just like sewing a t-shirt.  Embrace the cocoon, friends. 🙂

 

– Erin

Bubble Skirts

22649153234_4ec5400cf8_c

I added a few little bubble skirts to my etsy shop recently and thought I’d share here in case you sewing mamas want to make your own.

23251440956_9e8b52b82d_c

I used the (free) bubble skirt pattern/tutorial by Straightgrain, which is featured on Sew Mama Sew.

22650449333_84cf81fe06_c

I love how they came out!

23195100671_b356cb6fdc_c

The separate waistband is great, and really helps to add to the overall shape of the skirt.  (note: I did make my waistband pieces a little wider- cut them 4″ instead of 3″, and I used some wider elastic.)

22981726350_509ea883bc_c

The pattern is spot on- An is pretty brilliant.  I would not know where to start if I tried to figure out how to do this on my own!  All you need to do is take a few measurements, and do some simple math to come up with the perfectly fitted pattern for your kiddo.

22650445283_0b5dc36ac6_c

These skirts are fully lined- basically, the lining is cut thinner and shorter than the main fabric, which once you attach them at the hem, is what creates the bubble.

22883456847_c135b41ecb_c

See?

22649149824_b56aede6da_c

Such a cute skirt to throw on over some tights or leggings.

You can find these three skirts (along with some other handmade garments) in my etsy shop, here.

Have a great Thanksgiving!  Eat all the stuffing!  Drink all the wine!

-Erin