Dress testing

Last week we were at Disneyland, and TheBean asked for one of the (overly-priced, nasty-polyester) dresses in the BibbityBobbityBoutique. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Disneyland. But... ICK. She's never seen any of the princess movies (her choice! Darren has, and I'm fine with them)... But the dresses.. I see these kids at D-lamd, tottering around in uncomfortable plastic shoes, soaked in sweat in these dresses, unable to run and play and climb, and I just CAN'T DO IT.

SO. I remembered reading some blog some time ago about making the dresses from T-shirt fabrics... I searched, and couldn't find the one I remember, but it seems that it's such a smart idea that LOTS of moms have done it.

The key is to start with a simple dress, and then embellish it with enough details that it resembles the princess but is still washable and comfortable...

So this morning I re-drafted a simple bodice with puffed sleeves and a full A-line skirt.



it passed the spin test



the sleeve band was too big


the bodice was too short, and the neck too high...

that's why it's just a muslin. But it was comfy, and she's sleeping in it right now, so I can't fix it.

After looking at LOTS of pictures of Snow White (who knew there were SO many versions!?!), I'm starting with the sleeves. I'm going to reverse applique the red bits of her sleeves a la Alabama Chanin at bedtime tonight.


I'm already plotting the next dress!

(the blue is from an old t-shirt of mine, and the red is a scrap of silky jersey remnant from JoAnn)


Funbot Dress!

  I had a little bit of Funbot fabric left over after making all the stuffed robots, so I decided my Bean needed a dress. She LOVES robots.



she couldn't hold still, she was so excited.



I used my HennyPenny dress pattern, modified a little bit to have a back opening and a facing. (and, as always, I put pockets on the dress. This girl LOVES pockets as much as she loves robots)



I love this pattern because a) it's quick and easy, and b) the large pieces allow a special fabric to really shine. No fussy cutting or chopped off robots or anything.



she's a perfect size 4 (and she's 4.5 right now).  Below is a picture of her "being a robot:"



I'm not sure what kind of robot she is.


but she's SUPER CUTE!


bags and greens.


Another 2ball knitting bag (this one for my friend Liberty)


A fold-over purse, (is it a clutch if it has a handle? Mostly copied from my friend Natalie's awesome bag) is my new favorite make.


A shirt for C. Fabric is a yummy flannel from DryGoodsDesign, pattern is a Vogue pattern. Made it with short sleeves to test the fit. C has the worlds biggest shoulders, so I'll have to grade up the chest/shoulders before I make another.


The Vogue shirt got buttons within 24 hours of being made, unlike this one, which sat, WITH BUTTONHOLES, for 2 years, awaiting only buttons. Lucky C got 2 shirts this week!


And finally, the greens. I'm working on an all green Scrappy Trips Around the World at D's request. But Crockett thinks it's yummy...


Another nursing-dress muslin

I had the sick 6 y/o take these pics, so my apologies for the quality (but yay him for being my photographer!) image

I made this dress up last night, based sorta on the schoolhouse tunic I wore yesterday. it's another wearable muslin (this fabric is by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman, and is a 1930's floral ditsy print. tiny red flowers on white. LOVE it), while I try to figure out a flattering and functional fit. It felt really shapeless (despite bust darts). I think the back is still too big, but adding a "belt" (aka a strip of batik selvage tied in the back) helped a lot, I think...


or at least it did in the mirror/my head... I need to hem the sleeves and skirt, but I think this could totally work. I'm loving the pockets and the easy nursing, and it's the perfect amount of clothing for the mid-80's weather we're having.


I put a zipper in the back (an invisible one, obvi), but because of the giant slit in the front, it's totally unnecessary, so I think I'll take it out and just sew it shut.

I love this fabric enough that I think I'll keep this dress and wear it a bunch, and now I think I'm ready to start sewing "real" dresses...

Oh, and I used Built-By-Wendy Dresses as my jumping off point. the shift dress, size L.


Schoolhouse tunic

I need more nursing-friendly clothing. I emailed Meg at Sew Liberated, and she was super helpful about how to use her patterns for nursing.

So I bought the Schoolhouse Tunic, and last night I made a muslin (a wearable muslin, oxymoronical as it may be).


I think I need to take it in in a variety of places to give it a more flattering fit.


(can you tell I'm tired? Last night we had a very sick kiddo)

I made a size 14/16, based solely on my bust measurements, but I think I could easily fit into a 10/12.

But it was pretty easy to make, and works like a DREAM for nursing with a nursing tank underneath,


I added pockets in the side seams, just because I like pockets.

The fabric is red Cambridge Lawn, and I have no words to describe how awesome it is. SO soft, but still densely woven enough to be durable. Here in LA, wearing 2 layers is often too much, but a tank and a lawn tunic is JUST bearable. and it will be perfect for the colder days. I think I'll add some trim or something to the front, but as it stands, baggy and all, it's totally wearable, I LOVE the fabric and the color, and look forward to making more (smaller) Schoolhouse Tunics in the very near future.

Happy Birthday to my sister...

I was asked to make a Keyka Lou zip clutch from some new fabrics by RK, but wasn't sure about how they would appear on the finished bag, so I decided to test the pattern... I used some scraps, which happened to match this bag... image

the finished bag was super cute, the pattern was awesome, but we wound up using different fabrics to make the bag, as the original print was too large for this bag... but I highly recommend it to anyone looking to make a cute zip clutch....


since it was made in the middle of the night on my sister's birthday, it was packaged along with the big bag, and made a lovely gift for her...


unfortunately, since it was made in the middle of the night, there are no good pictures...

Crockett pants

Im preparation for the new arrival.... image

a pair of wool longies (hopefully a long size 3-6m)...

just because, I knitted the Fibonacci sequence in on one leg.... (starting on the left, with the orange: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and then the cuff...)


I also drafted out a pair of 3-6m pants, with extra roominess for the cloth diapers, made with flannel Dr Seuss scraps from the back of the pennant quilt.


I think they'll be cute with a dark blue shirt....

Final prototype

OOOOH! Squee! I am in LOOOOOOVE. My new bag is exactly what I want, and I just whipped this final puppy up in about an hour (not including cutting, which might have taken almost 1/2 an hour). Simple and clean and FUNCTIONAL and (if I do say so myself) CUTE!!!  Here it is empty:


It's still a tad stiff, it definitely needs to be broken in a bit, and the pins attaching the bag straps to the handles need to be replaced with BIG HUGE shiny gold (to match the metal zipper) O-rings, (hopefully Home Depot will have what I want?)

but it's a perfect bag.


That's my old bag (still full) stuffed inside the new one. (also my old iphone and a pen showing off the interior pockets. there's a zip pocket on the side closest to the camera, but I couldn't photograph both sides clearly). The new one is super roomy thanks to the curved and bagged bottom. The leather version is going to have bag feet, too, but this one didn't need them. it's washable cotton, after all. (BTW, the lining is some cheapo red fabric that I bought a whole bolt of at a thrift store for like 3 bucks, and am still working through. I wanted something light and not busy for the lining, and this totally works)


here's the bag exterior, unzipped, crammed with my old bag. The fabric needs to soften and slouch a bit, but it's still got a great shape, right?


and here it is all zipped up (and full.) I really like the spiky-up corners. hopefully the middle will slouch more as time goes on, but the metal zipper is REALLY stiff. I wouldn't have tried a metal zip, except that I've had this particular one for like 9 years, and never used it, and I just wanted it OUT of my zipper box.

I'm not going to cut into the leather tonight, because it's too pricy, and I need to think about cutting layout on the piece I have, so I think I'm going to go work on my TTC quilt some more (shocking, right?)

Bag planning...

We went downtown yesterday to buy leather. Man, shopping on a busy day in the garment district with 2 kids is stressful. image

the Bean talked me into that pre-ruffled magenta knit. It's going to be a very simple a-line dress.

I need a new handbag. I originally thought I might just remake this Hobo International bag that died a few years ago. (I kept it for leather instruction/inspiration)...


btw, that's the new leather on the right, and Kona Emerald on top. it's almost a perfect match.

I sketched some basic ideas outside with the kiddos this morning..


made some paper patterns from old newspaper....


and sewed up 2 different ideas (one on each side)


this has 2 handles, (one on each side), with support strips (a la my original HI bag)


and this one is more hobo-esque, with just 1 handle...

When they were laying flat on the floor, I like this hobo one better, but I decided to see them hanging:


and I don't love this hobo one as much hanging...


and I DO love this one, so this idea is the winner! I *THINK* I'm going to put a zipper closure, but I'm not totally sure yet... I'm going to go sit outside with the kiddos again, and read through Making Leather Handbags and the Bag Making Bible, and see how to do it...

(I think the final bag will be lined with this fabric, which I LOOOOOVE)


A sweet birthday present...

20120204-103738.jpg We've got some little girl birthdays coming up, so I decided to use some of my Anne Kelle lollipop and ice cream cone scraps (I think... It's all a blur from market) with some random other scraps to work on this zippered bag idea again...

20120204-104050.jpg Last time the zipper was too high, this time it's too low, but I'm getting closer.

20120204-104242.jpg I think I'll do one more... Just to make it perfect. Now I have to figure out what to stuff inside the bag....

New bag (and a name request)


I'm a total dork. One late night last week, I changed my start-up screen on my sewing machine so it greets me now. I laugh everytime I see it. 20110918-083521.jpg
Here's another quilt top for market, the Lorax in the Bright colorway... D really wants me to make him the one in the Earth colorway. Not sure when THAT's gonna happen.

Check out my new bag! I fell in love with a similar bag my friend Catey had (Hi Catey!) because of the zipper and the handle, so yesterday I drafted it and whipped out this muslin: (which is being modeled by my LOVELY friend Jenny)

I'm working on another one right now... Obvi, it has a zipper inner pocket and a cell pocket, and plenty of room for wallet, notebook, and knitting, without being too huge. I'm also gonna draft a version to make this into a toddler-mom bag. it's not quite big enough for diapers, but is totally big enough for 2 sippy cups and a few toy cars or a crayon roll up. (Julie's request. I loooove requests)
20110918-083447.jpg It could use a name though. Other than Catey's Bag, which is how I've been thinking of it. I was also thinking of something alliterative with Hobo, since it's a hobo bag. The name I like best wins the finished pattern, and the notions to make your own. (if there are multiple entries with the same best name, I'll randomly select one) Thank you!

And I said baby (baaaaaby) it's 3 am I must be lonely...

You know you're deliriously tired when you can't get old Matchbox 20
lyrics out of your head...

I started out this evening thinking it was gonna be an easy/early night... I made myself a little zip pouch/wallet-y thing as a temporary card holder to keep stuff safe from the Bean while I wait for the metal buckles and frames to arrive in the mail...

I used some denim from an unflattering pair of C's jeans, and some random scrap fabric for the inside...

Then I had C try on the shirt I made last night, for my dad, just so I could see what I needed to change for him.

well, a) I put the sleeves in backwards, so the slip/snap is on top of the wrist... oops! luckily C ALWAYS rolls up his sleeves, so if I give it to him, I don't have to fix it! b) it fit him REALLY well, (I took in the sides a bit, and shortened it so he can wear it un-tucked, but my man has broad shoulders, so I was thrilled that it fit across them!), and he asked for it, rather than give it to my dad...

so I showed C the fabric I had gotten to do HIS muslin... it's bright bright turquoise n white plaid. I LOVE it, and wasn't sure if he'd like it... I planned on making it for him (just to test the pattern) and then stealing it back...

but he really loved it... and he's leaving Tuesday very early for 10 days of filming in AZ, TEXAS, and FL.... so CLEARLY he needs more western shirts... with hand-stitching details.

but it's 3am (330, now) and I don't know which color/design he likes better, so I'll stop now and finish tomorrow... I also need to buy some of those teeny buttons for the collars...

(option a is light brown cotton floss with a little loop in the bottom of the V)

(option b is dark brown crochet cotton all the way around...)

here's the whole shirt, with mismatching embellishments, but lovely anyway, IMHO.


My first western shirt!

I finished the shirt for my dad! I need to work on snap placement/
installation, but it's totally wearable, and it IS just a muslin,
after all! I'm pretty pleased with it. I think I might need my own,
with pretty embroidery... I'm psyched, especially about the pretty
snaps. I used the Dritz #16P Pliers with white, size 16 Pearl Snap
Fasteners(all bought when the notions wall at Joanns was 50%off). I
also got a rolled-seam foot (#64 for my bernina), a per the directions
in my shirtmaking kit. I ordered the flat-felled-seam foot too (my
dealer was out of stock when I went in last week), so when I make the
real one, I'll have that to make my seams pretty.

the world's ugliest muslin

I know I've kvetched enough about how hideous this fabric is. and I should totally stop, since I'm the one who ASKED for it (my grandmother thought it was so ugly she was embarrased to offer it to me, but I said, no, ugly sheets make great muslins... but this is beyond ugly, isn't it?)

anyway, I made a muslin of these vintage pants for D.
As I was cutting and sewing, I realized that there was absolutely NO WAY I would ever let him wear these out of the house (or around the house for that matter!), I hate the fabric THAT MUCH.
therefore, I didn't worry about clipping threads, or making fancy pockets, or even putting the button/snap on the waistband.

I just wanted to see the fit, and make sure I understood the directions...
I graded the pattern up a bit, which was pointless, since the elastic back had plenty of room. all grading up really did was make the legs super baggy. oh well, luckily these were really ugly!
I didn't bother hemming, or even lining the pockets (patch pockets, after all, can look patch-like and be fine, so I just serged the edges).
So, not a waste, I'm glad I didn't use good fabric, as then I would have to take this apart and trim it down, and re sew it back together, whereas, with this piece of hideousness, it can go RIGHT INTO THE TRASHCAN! (after I take out the zipper).

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