I have been in a bit of a sewing slump lately. So busy with work and the girls school and activities and my running that I have pushed it to the back burner…until now! I used my lunch hour at work last week to run to Joann’s to buy specific fabric to force myself to finally MAKE SOMETHING. I knew once I had the fabric and was in my space I would feel great and get my sewing mojo back. And I did!
I recently subscribed to Seamwork magazine and have fallen in love with several of the patterns and was determined to make an Astoria top and Oslo sweater so I picked up 2 yards of a few different substantial knits from Joanns and got to work. I have been incredibly frustrated with my serger not working, or seeming to work and then going to hell after 20 seconds. ARGH. I finally spent some time in my sewing studio and sat down and worked on my serger. Sewing knits on my sewing machine is a total pain for me…that little lightning stitch takes forever compared to the serger so I knew I had to figure what the hell was going on to avoid totally getting aggravated. Turns out it was my needle…or my mistake of buying the wrong needle. Once I changed it to the correct one I was all set to serge away! I am so happy it was something simple and I didn’t need to take it in for repair, but I am annoyed with myself for letting it sit for so long before I figured it out!
I sewed up a quick animal print ( so unlike me!) Astoria, and was about to make another with my new fave fabric- this amazing almost woven backed windowpane knit when I switched it up and realized I don’t really need more than one cropped sweater at this point and realized I had enough of the fabric to make my ultimate fall/winter favorite- the Lola by Victory Patterns. I am so happy with the pattern switch- and I was able to whip this baby up with a bit less than 2 yards of fabric. I love love the comfortable style, the ridiculously deep pockets and the princess seams that give it some body skimming structure.
It took much longer than the Seamwork patterns, and even though I had made it a few times before it still stumped me when trying to put it together. It is a simple sew if you actually follow directions and pay attention to what piece lines up to what- but it is constructed of many more pattern pieces than most knit patterns so it takes some patience. I am very excited that I was able to use the pattern with no adjustments this time. In my past versions I had to increase the center panel by 1inch on the fold to add 2 inches to both the front center panel and back center panel since my measurements were above the included size…but this time I did not enlarge it and it works great. I have lost almost 30lbs now and feel amazing. Running has changed my life and I feel so much healthier and strong than I have in years. Woo hoo.
I even had enough left to sew up a quick infinity scarf with the leftover fabric=easy future gift! Once I figure out what to wear with the new cropped top I will blog it- but it is a different style for me and doesn’t work with my wardrobe of leggings and slim plants at this point. I guess it is an excuse to sew some sort of skirt or get out of my comfort zone to become more comfortable wearing something that doesn’t cover my stomach and shows off my hips and waist. Hmm. We’ll see. So for now here is the Lola. Love.
Quick and easy projects seem to be the way to go these days. Trying out a new pattern requires time…time I don’t seem to have these days. So, here is another tried and true pattern- The Staple Dress. Super simple to sew up when you’ve made several already and the pattern is already printed and pieced together. All that is left to do is cut it out and sew it up! I’ve blogged about this pattern a few times, and have probably sewn at least 4 variations already.
I bought this fabric from Girlcharlee a while ago, I loved the print and colors but was unsure of the fabric since they had just started offering wovens and I was unsure of the weight/quality. Its called Vintage Confetti Crepe de Chine and is available here. It is 100% polyester, and other than the static cling that I am contending with I would totally recommend it!
It is a much bolder print than I’d normally go for, but really love how it looks paired with my everyday uniform of skinny pants, boots and a cardigan! I altered the pattern slightly as I did in this version– cutting the dress straight across the bottom and shortening it a bit to tunic length. I knew I’d never be wearing this without pants!
My sewing machine was not cooperating with me when I was trying to shirr the fabric so I opted to zig zag some 1/4 inch elastic to the inside instead and I love how it turned out- so much faster than shirring as well.
When the temps drop the girls love nothing more than staying indoors in their jammies, with some hot chocolate, popcorn and a movie. Who could blame them? Out of everything I have ever made them the handmade pajamas and nightgowns get the most wear. The dresses and tops I make them don’t always make the cut when getting dressed for school (so sad), but the cozy flannel nightgowns and waffle knit pj’s get chosen again and again. When I came across this black and white bow print waffle knit at (of course) Girl Charlee I jumped on it and bought a few yards. You can’t go wrong with the price! You can find it here.
I don’t think I would sew with this particular fabric again though- I think the bow print gummed up my sewing machine- the serger kept skipping stitches and my sewing machine broke a needle! Not sure if it was just a bad day for me or if it it was the “paint” used to make the bows (they are a bit raised and imprinted on). Either way I was so frustrated and they took MUCH longer to make than they should have- but I finished them! Seeing how much Isabel loved them totally made it worth it! I self drafted a pattern for the top using the same construction as my Skater dress pattern (but added a banded bottom), and the pants are made from my Go To leggings pattern.
Go to leggings pattern, size 5 and 7. Mini Black Chevron on Coral Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee. Perfect Halloween leggings (got both pairs from just one yard fabric!)
I swear I can take better pictures than these…yikes. A cell phone pic of a wiggly kid on a dark and rainy evening is not ideal, but you get the idea! A big reveal next week on this blog will show you what I have been super busy working on, hopefully will provide better conditions for sewing and photos. Until then, finding time to sew for this challenge on top of everything else isn’t leaving much time for pictures. Oh well.
Easy peasy no pattern needed, cozy, warm and simple legwarmers. Perfect accessory for this cool weather. When did it become fall? Wasn’t it in the 70’s just a few days ago, or so it feels. It is in the 40’s today, we have our heat on, and no matter how much I love Fall it hits me hard when the temps drop. Brrrr.
We have been walking to ballet without jackets on, with the girls in their leotards. Now it is freezing out! I whipped these up in about 20 minutes, just in time for ballet today! The fabric is a white/black mouse print from girl charlee. It is Heart Mouse on white cotton jersey sweatshirt knit…totally soft and fuzzy inside, but not much stretch. I am going strong with this 1/4 yard surprise bargain lot I ordered from there a few weeks ago…so exciting to try out fabrics I wouldn’t normally buy yardage of.
If I could only keep Eleanor still for a moment to snap a picture!
I simply cut (2) 9inch by 14 inch (length of my fabric) pieces for the legwarmer, and (4) 9 inch by 7 inch pieces for the cuffs. I serged up the seam on the length of my large pieces. Then serge the ends of the small cuff pieces together, fold them to form the cuff and serge them onto the tops and bottoms of the legwarmers. Simple. The girls may be getting a number of these…perfect to use up small pieces of knit fabric I have lying around, and great for keeping those little legs warm at ballet or the bus stop!
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was posting for the Summer Kids Clothes Week? How am I not prepared for this? I just happened to come across another blogs post about today being the first day of KCW and I was like WHAT? This is the one challenge that keeps me going and sewing clothes for the girls…I had so much fun doing it this summer and can’t believe I didn’t keep track of when the fall challenge begins. OOPS. Well, it isn’t too late- I whipped up something tonight! What did I sew with an hour before bedtime and the goal of having one of the girls model the item/take pictures/ and blog before bed? Thankfully I had a Skater dress (yes, another one!) already cut and put to the side in my pile of things that I never get to and I was able to sew it up so quickly. Phew.
Getting a decent picture of it in the dark is clearly impossible but I did my best. Thankfully, Isabel was agreeable and put it on, posed, and went to bed. Not too bad! The sleeves are a navy jersey knit from a Girl Charlee 1/4 yard surprise bundle I bought a few weeks ago and the main body is actually a navy/white striped men’s t-shirt I picked up for $1 at the Salvation Army- woo hoo. My favorite part is the contrast sleeve cuffs- so cute. I even used the bottom hem of the shirt to hem the dress=much less work. I have found hemming knits to be my least favorite thing so this saved me the time and stress. Love it.
I promise not to make another skater dress this week even though I am already behind, no planning, no cutting, no shopping done but I still think I can whip something up each day to keep my participation in this challenge strong. I am thinking easy comfy, wearable projects like leggings, legwarmers and pajamas. We’ll see how much I accomplish. I am in the middle of painting my sewing room, and I am temporarily sewing in my husband’s office-not the best. I will be busy finishing the painting, putting together my new sewing room furniture and celebrating my birthday this week (on top of all of the normal work/kids/school stuff). Yikes.
It’s a match made in heaven. Ever since I picked up my copy of Stylish Dress book I have been dying to make one with a Liberty print. So many of the beautiful prints in the book are Liberty, and much of my online inspiration has been those made out of Liberty as well. Case in point- the makesomething blog. Really? When I first googled this book to look for inspiration I found this blog and was in awe of how many amazing garments she has made with Liberty of London fabrics. I immediately felt cheap (or poor!) when I added up the cost of the fabric and the amount of it needed to make a dress- WOW. Much more money than I ordinarily spend on anything for myself at the store.
It wasn’t until much later that I realized the blog owner is also a shop owner, and a shop owner of a store in Toronto (the workroom) nonetheless! What a small world. So, of course I had to visit said shop this summer (blogged about here) and had no excuse not to pick up some Liberty fabric while I was there as well! I mean, how could I not right? I am pretty lucky that there is nothing closer than Toronto with this fabric or I would be in trouble…and broke.*
Anyways, fast forward a few months and I finally became brave enough to cut into said fabric and make myself my dress. I chose to repeat a dress I have made a few times already- I didn’t want to risk this fabric on a pattern I hadn’t tested out yet…so I chose Style A from Stylish Dress book. A simple sleeveless dress with matching bias trim and a gathered neckline and bust darts. Pretty happy with how it turned out! I followed the pattern exactly, only thing I wish I had adjusted are the bust darts…being more “endowed” than the model (obviously) I really need to lower them- but too late…I will have to work with it as is. Beautiful fabric, simple pattern and very versatile. Wish I had whipped this up earlier so that I could have worn it over the summer, but nothing leggings and a cardigan can’t fix!
I really have a hard time getting a decent picture of myself, I do not like having my picture taken and feel especially awkward posing on purpose for this blog. Apparently I can’t even keep a straight face when I ask my husband to take my picture (doesn’t help that he finds this blog incredibly strange). What am I doing here- posing like a superhero, while laughing?
It is actually a bit better when I ask Isabel to take my picture- the perspective from the height of a six year old is a bit more flattering. ha ha.
Oh well, not the best shots but the dress is done, it is comfortable and wearable. These shots were taken after a long day spent at a fall festival so ignore the wrinkles!
*well, shopping online can be dangerous as well…especially since fabric.com sells Liberty too! This print might be calling my name pretty soon.
I sewed this up a while ago, but haven’t found time to take pictures until now. Eleanor has now decided she does not like this dress, and was putting up a big stink about even trying it on for a picture…so stubborn! She finally gave in and let me take a few shots, not the best but they show how totally cute this dress is! Even if she doesn’t like it today I hope she changes her mind. I even made her a pair of matching purple leggings, but didn’t want to push it to make her put them on. It would have probably put her over the edge!
The main fabric is Bunny Rabbit Silhouette on Lichen Green Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee. Such a sweet print. Love the purple bunnies! I knew I wanted to match the purple for the trim and cuffs but didn’t want to run to the fabric store to try and find a matching jersey so I headed to the Salvation Army. Although I am loyal to my Amvets, I ventured out after I heard from a friend they have Family day at Salvation Army on Wednesdays- and I scored a dark purple polo shirt for only $1!! I was able to use it for the trim, cuffs AND the matching leggings. Sweet.
The pattern is of course the Skater Dress that I have blogged about over and over already, again in long sleeves. This is the first dress that is completely serged, I did not use my sewing machine at all-wow. Now that I have made a number of these they go so fast, I swear it takes longer to cut the pattern out than it does to sew it together. I have a few more coming up as well, I went a bit overboard and ordered more knit fabric from Girl Charlee…including a very exciting knit dress for MYSELF!
I had to include a shot up close to show the true color and print. The dark purple bunnies really pop out on the greenish background. Perhaps I should just stick to taking pictures on the dress form? So much easier to get a good shot when it is not on a squirmy little kid!
Penguins. Soft knit fabric. Long sleeves. Tried and true sewing pattern (blogged about here and here). Add all of it up and you get a simple, warm and comfortable dress for fall. My girls favorite dresses are for sure their long sleeved Skater dresses I made last year (before blogging!). I have FINALLY gotten around to making another long sleeve version of this but now that it is officially Fall I figured it was time.
I picked out this adorable knit fabric from my favorite online source- Girl Charlee. It is a sweet graphic Penguin allover print on a soft grey background. I had planned to use the same fabric for the neckline and cuffs, but after sewing the neckline found it wouldn’t work. I should have stuck to the pattern directions from the beginning and used a ribbed knit, but this is the first time making this dress that my fabric didn’t work- I have found this particular fabric to be much thinner and with much less stretch than other knits I have bought. I love the print, but the feel and weight of the fabric isn’t what I had hoped for. Isabel chose the penguin pattern, but isn’t too fond of the black knit neckline and cuffs. Picky, picky. She said it reminds her of pajamas.
Oh well, hopefully she will learn to love it. I think it is pretty cool with the black trim, especially when paired with black leggings (or shorts like today because it is so crazy warm out) I did make this a bit large for her (she seems to have stretched up this summer, is now so much thinner- she is getting big) I guess this just means she will have more time to grow to love it. You can see from her backpack she actually CHOSE to wear it to school today…that is a good sign!
Next up, a coordinating dress for her sister…let’s hope the purple bunnies I chose will grow on her. Sense an animal theme? Girl Charlee has the best knit prints out there…I have an order on it’s way right now that I can’t wait to sew up (feathers!). For me this time! I sense a knit dress in my future. Is there anything easier or more comfortable?
So, can you believe this is my 50th blog post! I never thought I’d stick with it this long, but it has been so much fun and a great place for me to keep track of what I have been doing and making. Hope you keep reading for 50 more!