There is nothing more satisfying than sewing multiples of the same pattern. All of the normal grunt work of preparing the pattern is what I look forward to least- determining the size, cutting the pattern out pieces out, refolding those tissue paper sheets, the overly complicated directions etc. Once you have struggled through all of that and sewn up your first item using the pattern it is such a relief! You know what you are doing, what fits, how to put the pieces together and how it all works. I always find the second, third, sometimes tenth (skater dress?) try at a pattern goes super quick. In other words, when i find a pattern that works I get ALOT of use out of it and turn to it again and again. Is it because I like the pattern, or because I am too lazy to start from the beginning and cut out another style…hmm.
Anways, my new favorite for Isabel is McCalls 6785. Why all of the McCall’s patterns lately? A very good sale at Joann’s where they were each like $1 or something- can’t beat that! Ok…so this is the pattern. Very versatile- includes two legging styles, and several top/tunic versions including hoods, pockets, ties or a cowl neck.
I bought two copies of the pattern- in a smaller range for eleanor, and a larger range for Isabel. I started sewing without measuring either one and chose the largest size of the smaller range- a 6 figuring it was bound to fit one of them since it was right in the middle of each of their true sizes. It fit Isabel…and was actually a bit large on her so I will have to save that larger pattern for a bit! For this first dress I chose view C, a long sleeve cowl neck dress. The pink/purple houndstooth is a great substantial knit I picked up on clearance at Joann’s. It was great to work with, much easier than the lighter weight non-stretch knits I have been purchasing from girl charlee lately.
Since she loved it so much I made another! This time I used this fox knit fabric I have been hoarding since i ordered it from girl charlee. Love the print, but the fabric itself isn’t my favorite- it barely has any stretch and feels like it has alot of poly in it- but Isabel still loves it. I can see this becoming a real favorite around here…she kept hugging me and dancing around in it. I have to admit I almost cried, it feels good to see her that happy!
I’d better get busy sewing something for Eleanor before jealousy sets in…
Realistic expectations. I am too busy now to particpate in an online sewing challenge. I don’t have it in me; in energy, time or motivation. I am Ok with that. Rather than being upset about how little time I had for myself this week to do what I love, I am trying to focus on the chunks of time I WAS able to carve out for sewing over the weekend. So, even if I wasn’t able to sew for an hour every day this week like the challenge proposes, I was able to sew for 4-5 hours this weekend and knocked out a few tops and a dress for the girls- yay. The most exciting part is that I finally got to use my Oliver & S Sailboat top pattern I have had printed out for MONTHS. Woo hoo. Most of my time was spent learning the pattern, but once I made the first top it was smooth sailing. There is something really satisfying about assembly line style sewing- when you repeat a pattern it goes so much faster.
For the first top I made a size 6 Sailboat top using an owl print sweatshirt knit and jersey striped facings. I love how the black and cream striped facings peak out from the neck and bottom…such a nice feature to have a surprise of a contrasting fabric. I added one large black button at each shoulder.
For the second top I used a stretchy grey/pink rose sweatshirt fabric, with hot pink jersey facings. After realizing both of my girls fit into the size 6 I kept the size the same but lengthened the sleeves about an inch to get more wear out of it for Isabel. So, for now the pink owl print is for Eleanor but they are almost interchangeable. Isabel picked light pink vintage buttons for the shoulders, and I used 2 per shoulder. Using a sweatshirt fabric for this top worked out perfectly. My girs are not sweatshirt kinda girls, neither one has one in their closet and they refuse to wear anything “athletic” or “boy”. The refined shape with the contrast stitching and button shoulders fits their style, yet still has the cozy and warm feeling of a sweatshirt. Perfect.
I don’t know whether to be excited that Isabel likes the top this much, or horrified at how she has started to love to “model”. Just be glad I didn’t post the pics where she posed at the piano- hilarious. Both of the sweatshirt fabrics were purchased from girlcharlee.com…but I don’t see that either one are available anymore. I’ve had them in my stash for a bit since I picked them up for just a few dollars on sale but never knew what to use them for- I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!
I couldn’t stop at just two tops, and spent time today adapting this pattern into a dress- to be posted later!