Friday, February 25, 2011

Trio Dressing.....Mom, Daughter, and Doll

 I fell in love with this cute, retro print from Fabric Finders.  I initially bought it to make my daughter a dress, then I decided that I was going to use it for myself, then it ended with a trio arrangement for all of us.

Blouse - Simplicity 2614 - An easy sew for everyone.  My biggest suggestion is to make the sleeves either longer or shorter.....they hit at the elbow joint.
Skirt - Simplicity 2451 - Another easy sew, but I chose to line it.  This pattern makes a great skirt with cute pockets.

Sunday Brunch Jacket and A-line Skirt pattern from Oliver+S - This is a sweet jacket and even sweeter skirt pattern.  My only comment is I wish I had cut off 2" off the sleeves and put 2" on the skirt.  The hardest part of this outfit is making the buttons appear in line and straight.  Some things that the ruler says are straight are an optical allusion.  My picture only makes it seem even more uneven, they really do line up.

Jacket - Empire Peacoat from Heritage Doll Fashions at Liberty Jane Patterns - This is a quick sew and a great fitting jacket for an American Girl doll.  The only change I made was to add velcro instead of real buttonholes.
Skirt - McCall's 3474 - This is an A-line skirt for 18" dolls.  A 10 minute project.  My comment to others, cut 5" of elastic rather than 5 1/2" for the back of the skirt.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Brown, Fuzzy, Comfy, ......Simplicity 2336

I have had this brown velveteen stretch fabric in my stash.  It was just calling out to be made into something.  I searched through my pattern stash and decided that fewer pattern pieces was the way to go and chose to use a Khaliah Ali Collection pattern, Simplicity 2336.  It has two pieces each for the front and back and then one piece for each arm.  A doable solution for this fabric.  The pattern calls for light-weight knit and this is not a light-weight fabric, so I was a little concerned, but it turned out great.  The couple of times I have worn it, friends come to rub the sleeve because it looks so yummy.  This fabric is so wrinkle resistant, I could throw this dress in a suitcase and take it out and wear it without a worry!

This dress came together so quickly.  The only improvement on the pattern directions that I made was to add elastic to the neckline or I had a gapping problem.  The gathering at the bust-line is very flattering and adds to the comfort.  The dress has plenty of ease and after the chest it doesn't hit anywhere making it almost like a comfy, warm robe.

Conclusion:  A GREAT fitting dress!  A COMFORTABLE dress!  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Be My Valentine.....oh, Pink Princess

What a fun adventure for Valentine's Day!  This is from Sewing Clothes Kids Love and is called the Manhattan Special Occasion Dress.  This dress has 21 pieces of cut velveteen and 21 pieces of lining/organza.  Ok, you can call me nuts now.  
I need to tell you the best things about this dress, so I'll list them:

1.  My daughter LOVES it.
2.  You could embellish it in endless combinations.  My embellishments are cheap trim from Hobby Lobby.  I hope they hold up!
3.  It hangs so beautifully and twirls very nicely.
4.  The construction of the bodice is a bit different, but a stroke of genius!
5.  It makes me so excited to make the Feliz dress out of the same book.

Items to note when you are overcome by the need to make a dress with 42 pieces:

1.  The hem would be best done as a rolled hem on your serger.  Turning under the hem is tough on such a full skirt.
2.  I wish it was longer, this dress hits my daughter just below the knee.  I love to get a few years of good out of my effort.
3.  I did not read all the directions first, so when it said to try on the bodice to make sure it fits over your daughter's head, I nearly panicked.  I was already very committed to this dress by this point and it was a close call.  I made a 7/8 for my 7 year old skinny daughter.  
4.  Either my daughter has been too rough lately or the last bodice seam that holds the sleeve to the front bodice is a BIG stress point.  The first day she wore it, she tore the right seam out.  The second day she wore it, she tore the left seam out.  I have made many items and most stress points are under the arm of sleeveless tops. (I think little girls try to force a bent arm through the hole.)
5.  Be creative with this dress, you can't go wrong!

A shot of the lining and ribbon detail.

The back ties up like a real princess.   She can't wait to wear this to a local Father/Daughter Dance for Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Retro Remake by Sew Beautiful

This is a very colorful Retro Remake that I sewed up in about 2 hours.  It is made of a cute corduroy that I found in the fall at Hobby Lobby.  The raspberry-colored corduroy is a little thicker than the print, so I did not line the top section, like the pattern calls for, but bound the neck and arm seams.  I like this pattern to whip up a quick dress, but it is very plain around the neck/chest area if you do not find a way to embellish it.  The pattern shows a monogramed button or a fabric bow.  I chose to use my new Whimsy Sticks from Kari Mecca.  See my picture below for a close up of the flower.

This shows the print fabric better.  The green turtleneck was purchased last year at Gymboree.  This pattern comes in multiple sizes for girls and adults all in the same package.  My daughter is a tall 7 year old, so I chose to make a size 8.  (The pattern jumps from size 6 to 8.)  As I expected, it is a little large.  This is the second Sew Beautiful Collection pattern I have made and I am finding they run almost as large as Australian sizing.  So beware when starting a project from one of their patterns.  It could be that moving to a size 8 is just a big jump.

The brown flower and raspberry flower were made using Kari Mecca's Whimsy Sticks and More Sewing with Whimsy book.  The two yellow rick rack flowers were made following Kari Mecca's Sewing with Whimsy book.

I have made a few dresses from Sewing with Whimsy and I have a few picked to sew in the spring from More Sewing with Whimsy.  I purchased both sizes of the Whimsy Sticks, which are expensive, in the fall and had not used them yet.  Making the flowers from Sewing with Whimsy was a time consuming and sometimes frustrating experience, but I love the flowers.  I LOVE these new whimsy sticks.  You can make a fabric flower in no time. Kari has videos on her blog to help you through the process.  I still think these little sticks are expensive, but SO MUCH FUN!