Ok, I am so out of it lately. Oops. Kids Clothes week wasn’t last week- it is this week. I only realized this after I felt guilty for only sewing up one item last week and then I saw online that it didn’t even start until April 7th. Yay! So, I am not so far behind- actually ahead of the game! woo hoo.
I have sewn up a bunch of stuff this week, it has been very productive. I haven’t put any pressure on myself to do so, which has made a world of difference. You will see that all of my pictures are on a mannequin or have my faces cropped. This is not because the girls were uncooperative (as usual!), but because of privacy concerns.
I will say though that there have been events locally lately that have made me rethink this blog. Issues and fears of a man trying to lure children into his car in my neighborhood. My daughters fears of this “man” have kept her up at night and made us all alert and worried. All of this attention and discussion has had me think about privacy and protecting my girls from such predators. I have decided to stop publishing pictures of them on this blog. I know that there is no direct correlation between what happens on this blog, and what happens in my neighborhood. I have thought about this for a while…started to when random bloggers (not sewers) started following my posts. I questioned their motives, was it just for them to get more exposure or something more ominous? Either way it makes me queasy thinking about it. Although I love reading other sewing blogs and seeing the posts of the kids and their clothes, and reading into the families lives- I am not comfortable putting mine out there as well. Call me crazy, but for now I am going to retreat back into our little life and not put my girls out there for the world.
So, we will see how much longer I continue this blog given these new feelings, but for now let me brag about what I accomplished this week!
First, a tried and true pattern- Kitschy coo’s Skater dress. I cut the long sleeve version shorter at the elbow, and did a mock hem with my serger for the arm hem. Love how this turned out. You can read about the technique here. The fabric is a great knit I picked up at Joann’s recently.
Next is the same pattern, but this time I used Kitschy coo’s tute for a peplum top. LOVE IT! I think I will be making several of these. So sweet, and paired with this great print from Girl Charlee it is beautiful. I did the same sleeve version as above, and even hemmed the neckline in the same way. Best part- took me less than an hour to make, including cutting out and adapting the peplum pattern. Sweet.
Ok. I am going to be real right now. Why do I do this to myself? I don’t have time to sew- let alone pose my kids in the outfits I sew and force them to take pictures. All while I am screaming at them to stop moving as the light is fading and the sun is setting, and why oh why is everything coming out blurry? Stop moving! Why do I do this to myself, just to spend hours of my precious evening alone time sewing clothes they probably won’t even wear? Why do I torture myself like this? BECAUSE I LOVE IT.
Even though this is a recipe for torture and can be incredibly frustrating something keeps pulling me back in. Each and every time I say I am going to end this blog, to sew more for myself and less for the girls I can’t stop myself! So, here I am again joining in on the Kids Clothes Week challenge yet again. I will not put the pressure on myself to sew every day if I don’t have time. I will not post every day or visit the site. I will do what I can and that will be enough. It seems like these challenges are all that have been motivating me to blog lately. Oh well, maybe once I am off this summer I will get more inspiration and time to blog again.
Ok, so the first (and hopefully not last!) thing I made are these lightweight denim twirly skirts with stripes of fun ric rac and trim on the edges. Love them. I was able to squeak out one for each of the girls with only one yard of fabric, and the various trims I used were in my stash of vintage lace, bias trim and ric rac I have accumulated over the years. I love how they turned out and they will be perfect for the upcoming warm weather…hopefully it is here to stay! As you can see in the blurry pics the girls loved to dance in them!
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!
Sooo, today is officially Day 3 of the Winter Kids Clothes Week challenge- a seasonal challenge I have participated in for the last few seasons (since I started this blog) and have really enjoyed and used as an inspiration to get sewing and spend time doing what I love. The challenge is to spend an hour a day sewing or preparing to sew kids clothes. I say preparing to sew because that is about all I have done so far this week…nothing has been sewn yet. ugh. I blame the full time job, the fact that the kids have been on snow days, and I am just too damn exhausted once I get home from work/do dinner/ bedtime for the girls etc. Lame.
Anyways, I am determined to participate in this challenge at some point this week and blog about it and post my items to the KCW website– but this may not happen until the weekend…baby steps around here. Until then I will peruse my patterns and books for inspiration and stare at this pile of fabric I just got delivered and plan what I will sew when I get the energy!
A big fat pile of knits from Girl Charlee including some for me. That fox fabric should be motivation enough to get to work. Hey- I did prewash the fabric already so that counts for something right?
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 over! I accomplished my goal- to make one item of kids clothing every day this week, photograph it and submit it to the Kids Clothes Week Challenge website, and post to this blog. It wasn’t easy! Next time I will be sure to prepare ahead of time and work out what I am going to make, and go shopping for fabric. Can you believe I made everything this week with fabric and patterns from my stash? Well, all except for the beautiful skirt I made today using the Out to Sea fabric by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller fabric I picked up last weekend from The Workroom in Toronto. I love it, but will surely be a bit nervous about what Isabel is doing in it when she wears it- so much crisp white fabric! So pretty. This challenge was so much fun, but made much more difficult with the heat wave of this week, should be so much easier in the fall. I plan on doing a roundup post on this tomorrow, and reflect on the process, and what I was able to get done.
For today I want to show you what I whipped up this morning, I can’t believe I made this AND went to the zoo today with the family! woo hoo, super fast sewer here. Pretty damn proud of myself.
First the skirt I mentioned above- a simple elastic waist, super full, twirly skirt:
Hey, I could’ve ironed it for this but I am keeping it real- I don’t iron. Not much.
I also made the cutest pair of leggings, using the Go To Leggings pattern, a favorite. I used a white/grey striped knit fabric I had originally bought to make an infinity scarf for me but never did. I love how they turned out, and have a set cut out for Eleanor too!
I also love how great they look together…and apparently the skirt swings really well!
I think I just found my favorite spot for pictures, what a difference natural light makes. Not that I didn’t know this before, but it is worth waiting for good light rather than being so impatient and taking pics in the evening with a flash. Oh well, maybe I will be more organized and plan this out a bit better next time. I’ve got to step up my game if I want to get people to actually read this blog! That is the whole purpose of this right?