Monday, December 19, 2011

Seconds on the "School Photo Dress" and "Vintage Jane"

I loved the School Photo Dress by Oliver+S so much, I made a second dress.  Ditto for the pattern from Pink Fig called "Vintage Jane."

My favorite model was very happy to show-off this dress.  The chartreuse green corduroy was a great double for a holiday dress and a plain winter dress.  My daughter can still wear her smocked Christmas dress from last year, so I didn't want to make anything fancy.  I followed the pattern exactly as it is written for the "School Photo Dress."  The front kangaroo pocket is easy and a big hit with little girls.

To make it really festive, I made a necklace for the holidays to match the dress.

For the rest of the year, I made this owl necklace to match the dress.  I decided the jewelry making class I took 2 years ago was not coming back to me quickly.  I may need to take another class before I try it again.

The above dress is "Vintage Jane" by Pink Fig.  I omitted the overskirt since this owl print was hard enough to find one other print to harmonize with it.  I love the simple lines and look of this dress.  It is a great dress for pulling on your boots and being ready to go.

I enjoyed the sale at Planet Applique near Thanksgiving.  These are a few t-shirts I embellished for the holidays.  All the designs, except the owl ( are from Planet Applique.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Bolero, Simplicity 3921

I found a perfect, black holiday tunic a few weeks ago.  BUT, it was sleeveless, which isn't all bad in South Texas.  It needed a simple jacket to make it pop and scream holiday attire.  Simplicity 3921 is the simple bolero that can be put together in an afternoon.  I used View C with a red corduroy.  I added a velvet braid around the edges and a flower from ribbon and the velvet braid that was left over.  A cheap glamour button in the center finishes it off.  

This is a great project for that outfit you need next week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Smocked Retro "Ainsley"

This dress is based on the yoke and sleeve top of "Ainsley" by Children's Corner.  I took the pattern and rewrote it into a retro dress.

This is the original pattern cover to "Ainsley."  You can see the yoke is identical and it ends quickly after that point.

First, I smocked a cute pattern onto the navy blue pique.  

I wanted a more grown-up look for my growing daughter and used some current design elements.

The sleeves are called "lantern sleeves."  I used the long-sleeve pattern from "Ainsely" from the cap to about the elbow.  Then I cut a rectangle for the "lantern."  The width of the rectangle was 1.5 times the width of the sleeve where I stopped at the elbow.  The length of the rectangle took it close to the wrist.  I used the original cuff for the sleeve and inserted elastic.

I tried adding the belt to the original "Ainsley", but it looked dorky and I took it off.  I used the belt for the back.

To add a little color at the hem, I added two pleats and used the floss from the smocking design to make a running stitch through the bottom of the pleats.

Photos of navy blue dresses are tough to take, so I hope you can see the dress and the details.

Friday, November 18, 2011

ModKid "Isabel" for My Daughter and AG Doll

I was wondering which dress to show in my blog today, when my daughter and Rebecca (AG doll) arrived at breakfast all dressed up.  My perfect answer to the day's question:

As you can see, my dress is a close copy of the original pattern.  Sometimes, it is okay to not mess with something already cute.  This dress was made during the summer, but in a 7 year old's mind, it was the perfect choice for a November day.

As a recall, the pattern was easy to put together and then I just free-handed a design for the doll.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Stylish "School Photo Dress" by Oliver+S

So many times, I buy a pattern because it is new and I collect cute patterns (with the thought that I will eventually make them all).  I bought this pattern, School Photo Dress Pattern by Oliver+S, without a project in mind.  As I went through my winter fabric stash, this corduroy jumped out at me and I just knew it was a great pattern and fabric match.  

The dress is easy to assemble.  The instructions are great.  I did drop the cute pocket in the front to eliminate cutting this fabric into smaller pieces.  In fact, I regret not matching the prints on the front bodice and dress.  The fabric is very busy, but the perfect match for this contemporary dress.  I used a regular brown polyester lining fabric for the lining.  The collar is a WINNER.  It is so cute and different from other patterns.  I highly recommend this pattern and I want to make another dress with the pocket.

My little model had to be coaxing into wearing this dress.  It is 86 degrees outside and she wore this dress to church:

The dress is Lee from Children's Corner.  The smocking plate is one by Gail Doane from Australian Smocking and Embroidery.  

The weekend has been busy.  My older sons finished 1st and 2nd in the Texas Jr. State Championship in Tae Kwon Do.  Lots of training has paid off for them and we are proud of their accomplishments.

I also finished a digital family scrapbook.  This is my first and I can't wait to get the hard-copy in the mail soon.

This is a sample.  The embellishments are from

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Smocked Top and Floral Skirt for ME

This is a great fall outfit for South Texas.  The peasant shirt is cool enough, but with sleeves to keep your arms warm.  The skirt can be worn with the matching top or a solid.

The top is NewLook 6892, View B.  I have made this before, so I felt I could pleat the top instead of gather it.  After pleating, I smocked simple stitches in cream and then copied flowers from the skirt to embellish along the front.  Instead of a turned under edge on the neckline and sleeves, I used a rolled hem from the serger.  Below are a few close up pictures.

To roll this top through the pleater was interesting.  The neckline is contoured and not on the straight grain, so don't look at the details of the smocking.  The average eye will not catch the stretching and pulling of the smocking.  This is my first smocked project for me!

The skirt is Simplicity 2410, View A.  This skirt runs very short, so I lengthened it a few inches.  My floral fabric is very busy and if I had to do it again, I would leave off the belt.  

I love the fall look of this outfit and I love the smocking details for myself!

Friday, October 28, 2011

End of Summer Shirt, V8495

I made this quick shirt at the end of summer, but it was so hot, I couldn't stand to model it with a pair of jeans.  The weather is starting to cool off a little, so my end of summer shirt:

My trendy shirt is View A from the pattern.  I did not make any changes to the pattern and didn't make a muslin.  So, if I had to make it again, I would take up a little in the front neck-line and use less fabric in the front fold.   There is so much fabric in the front fold, that the shirt borders on a maternity top from the bust-line downward.  I do like the back view with the slight curves in the shirt.

This would be a cute top to downsize and use knit fabric.  The View B shirt with the ruffles might be quit the flouncy shirt.  You can see how much my sleeves stick out without the ruffles.  

Back view
Front view

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sew Serendipity Dress - Lovin' It

I just love it when a pattern and the fabric I have chosen both turn into winners!

This peasant-styled dress is from the book "Sew Serendipity" by, Kay Whitt.  I have been wanting to sew up this cute dress since I got the book.  This is my second casual peasant dress of the fall, so I could compare patterns.

What I love about this dress:
1.  Even though it is a peasant-style, it is still fairly fitted and doesn't make you feel frumpy.
2.  There is elastic over the shoulder (not all around the neckline), which gives a good fit, but also is very comfortable.
3.  It has a side zipper which allows it to look very professional and dressy.
4.  The dress has great embellishment opportunities.
5.  This is a polished dress for many occasions.

Since I have made a few other items by Kay Whitt, I know that I wear a size L with a FBA on the front bodice.  (See below)

The fabric I used was "Oz" from Moda.  The fabric came out last year and I had been holding it for the right project.  I'm sure glad I waited for this dress.  It is a perfect match.

So, after making this dress by Sew Serendipity and "London" by Lila Tueller Designs, which do I pick?  

I thought I would see a clear winner in the two styles, but I do like things about both.

Sew Serendipity: great fit and comfy with a great dressy style
London: easy to fit and comfy, but will never be overly dressy

Let me know if you make one of these dresses!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Elsa" by Maja's Heirlooms and Sew Beautiful #124

"Elsa" was featured in a cute article called "Gypsy Rose" in Sew Beautiful #124.  It was a cute dress and looked like an easy smock and sew.  The last few weeks have been a trial of seeing how difficult I can make something simple into something very time consuming.  

First, the smocking is great and easy.  I was able to quickly smock the bodice in between delivering kids to sports events.  

Next, I had these cute prints from Michael Miller fabrics that just sung together.  I have pulled them out dozens of times to use and could never get the right look.  I thought I had it with the solid brown smocked panel and the whirl of bright colors.  What I had was a CLASH of brown and bright colors.  The top skirt panel was a brown stripe with all the matching colors.  It clashed so badly, that I had to remove it.  The other colors just fought one another.  I just didn't want to trash it, so what could I do to save this dress.  

I added brown bias strips between the skirt layers to break up the print and make it bearable to the eyes. 

Now, let's talk about helping the next soul that decides to make this dress.  I made my daughter a size 8.  It swallows her around the chest and the armholes are large enough to almost see through the dress.  Since this is pull-on dress, you can't take it in too much and I don't want to fiddle with it anymore.  So, my daughter will wear a t-shirt/turtle neck under it.  Sew Beautiful doesn't give directions to alter the straight skirt to a layer skirt, so I added 1.5x of width on each panel.  It is not my favorite dress, but it is passable to wear in public now.

My daughter thinks it is beautiful, so I guess it is a winner!