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Little bitty baby gifts

I forgot how fun it is to sew for little babies.  Now that my youngest is 5 it has been a few years since I sewed little baby leggings and they are the cutest and fastest things to sew!  I bought fabric specifically to make a matching hat and leggings set for the newest baby in our extended family but once I pulled out my go to pattern for size 12 month leggings (Go to Patterns) I realized that the scraps of Heather Ross Briar Rose knit fabric I’ve been saving would work great so I abandoned my original fabric and got to work!  The result?  Sweet little floral leggins and a matching headband.  Love them.  I used a pink and white striped jersey fabric for the ankle cuffs and for the bow on the headband to tie them together.

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I also whipped up a winter baby hood (Oliver & S pattern) made from the softest lilac angora.  This fabric is so nice and cheery and reminds me that Spring is coming…eventually.   I really hope the little recipient feels nice and cozy in her new clothes!  IMG_1528

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Kids Clothes Week…finally

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.

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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.

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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!

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Back to School: Hooked on Oliver & S Part II

Did I say I was obsessed with Oliver & S?  How many posts am I going to do on this?  Anyways, the first top today is another Ice Cream top in a size 7.  The fabric is a Robert  Kaufman light chambray on top, with Windham Fabrics Storybook Classics in Red Bubblegum Flower.  I love, love, love the storybook classics line, the sweetest cheerful vintage feedsack patterns.  The Kaufman chambrays are so nice to work with, and I bought up a decent amount- you’ll be seeing more of it for sure.  It is probably a good thing that I can’t buy any of this fabric locally- I would be in trouble!  These were purchased on my recent trip to NYC (Purl Soho!)

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Of course I had to make one for Eleanor too!  Hers is a size 5 with the Kaufman chambray on the bottom, and a pretty pink/green tree print fabric I picked up at Joanns years ago.  I can’t wait to send her off to school in this, it looks so adorable.  So strange to sew back to school clothes for Eleanor…I am really having a hard time with this one.  Although I think I will welcome some free time (for the first time in over 6 years- I will be home alone  for hours at a time!) it will be the end of an era, I have so identified myself as a stay at home Mom.  This is strange, considering I have worked the entire time, albeit part-time.  Now with both girl headed to school, my identity will certainly shift, as will hers.  Lots of changes coming up for sure!

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I have to stop myself soon, or their entire closet will be packed with these tops.  Well, maybe I’ll stop after I make a dress version for Isabel (or two). 

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Back to School Sewing: Hooked on Oliver & S

I’ll admit it.  I am now an addict.  Addicted to Oliver & S patterns.  After stalking them online and drooling over projects on blogs like Probably Actually, Craftiness is not optional and From an Igloo, I finally broke down and bought a few patterns.  My first attempt was blogged here.  I was immediately a convert!  These adorable patterns paired with my recent fabric purchases from Purl Soho (couldn’t go to NYC and not stop in at Purl!) are making some ridiculously sweet new clothes for my girls as they get ready to head back to school.  I whipped up a few new tops for Isabel and am planning out a bunch for Eleanor as well…if I can wrap my brain around the fact that she is going to school as well.  My baby!!

The first top is a Class Picnic Blouse, for Isabel in a size 7.  I had to pick up some of Heather Ross’s Briar Rose.  I have been seeing it allover the blogosphere these days, particularly the strawberry print.  I went a different route and chose a print I had never seen before but fell in love instantly- Nanny Bee in Coral.  Knitting bees- come on.  How could I resist?  So sweet.  I am hoping the deep coral/orange fabric will help carry this into fall, and the longer sleeves will help keep her warmer as well.  Nothing worse than sewing something up and having the weather turn…which it does pretty quickly around here.  It always seems to go from 80 degrees to frost before you know it!  I love this take on the classic peasant blouse, I have made more than my fair share of peasant blouses, but this is much more professional and clean with only elastic at the shoulders.  I love how it looks, and it is so easy to take on and off for her as well.  I think next time I will add some ric rac or piping to the seam at the yoke, and make it in a solid color for a good go with anything top.

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For Eleanor I made her an Ice cream dress!  I have been wanting to make this dress for years, so sad I didnt’ purchase the pattern until now.  Who can resist a little hedgehog?  Especially a hedgehog wearing a scarf?  I used a dark chambray from Robert Kaufman (also from Purl) and Michael Miller’s Hedgehog fabric, which can still be purchased here.  I opted to leave off the v in the neckline and the pockets, I prefer it without and it is easier!  Eleanor loves this dress, and it is going to be hard to make her wait until school to wear it!  It will look so sweet with tights and a little sweater when the temps drop as well.

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I can’t say enough good things about these patterns, and have been sewing up a storm with them. As you can tell from my pictures it is getting harder and harder to get pics of these kids…they certainly don’t want to stand still and are sick of modeling for me- it is hard to take a good picture when you are hula hooping or on a see saw!  Can’t blame them though!  Part II of this post is coming soon with more, but maybe I will switch to using my dress form as a “model”!

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Almost back to school time (and my first Oliver & S) !

Not that I am in any rush for summer to end, but we have ventured into that almost fall/back to school/let’s prepare territory.  When you think about it it is really unnecessary in this day and age right?  Do we really need to stock up on all sorts of supplies, buy all new school clothes and shoes and backpacks weeks in advance of the first day of school?  It is as though stores magically disappear after Labor Day- so we must go shopping NOW!  Ha Ha.  That is what the commercials and sales ads make it seem- you must rush out and spend $$.  Truth is most of us shop for this stuff all year long, just increasing our useless material consumption even more this time of year.  My girls drawers are stuffed with clothes, yet I am still determined to buy new outfits for “school”.  I’ll blame it on tradition, and ritual.  Takes me back to when I was little, and we did buy clothes just once or twice a year…making the trip to Kmart or Hills to buy new jeans or sweaters or imitation designer sneakers.  It was exciting, waiting until that first day of school to put on the new outfits or laying them out on our beds trying to coordinate as many outfits as possible out of the handful of new pieces we purchased.  Remember coming home from school and putting on play clothes so that our school clothes didn’t get dirty- do kids even do that anymore?  Maybe it is just how I grew up, much different than my girls are now.  Anyways, there is something that still excites me about back to school shopping, a new beginning, entry into my favorite season and this year especially since both of my girls are going to be in school!  A new chapter for all of us.

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Besides the back to school clothes shopping I am also working on some handmade clothes as well…and I am so excited to have (finally) purchased a few Oliver & S patterns.  Why did I wait so long?  I bought the Ice Cream dress/top pattern and the Class picnic top and shorts patterns.  I have been wanting to make the Ice cream dress for years, but now that both of my girls are within one patterns sizes I finally did and whipped up a top version for Isabel.

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So super simple, although I confess I felt like I skipped through halfof the instructions…all of that basting I totally left out.  I love how it turned out even though I cheated!   Directions are written out very well, I can see why so many people love these patterns!  The dress is so well finished inside, with french seams and a fully lined yoke.   I plan on making a few more for each girl, as well as a few dresses from the pattern as well!  The fabric is a red linen for the yoke, and a black matryoshka doll pattern fabric (from Joann’s).  I chose one of my vintage buttons to finish off the back and the result is so sweet.

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I can’t wait to go fabric shopping to pick out some other combinations…I limited myself this time to what I had in my stash.  Love it (even though the dolls are not printed evenly across the fabric…wish I had noticed that before sewing this up!)

Tired of modeling things for me, the girls decided to have some fun!Super Girls!

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Hats, Hats, Hats

Ok, so I started a bit of an assembly line today.  I knocked out three hats in just a few hours, including the interruptions of a 3 year old and coffee refills.  I finally set out to sew together my fabric I cut out using the Oliver & S Bucket Hat pattern (available free!)  I had cut this out a while ago and never got to it thinking it would be time consuming.  Any time I see interfacing in a pattern I get indimidated- a problem I am working on.  Really I think it is just the pressing I have an issue with.  My sewing dirty little secret is that I never iron or press.  I don’t even have an iron in my sewing room.  Yikes.  Major rule breaker I know.  I rarely pin either- such a risk taker.

I actually skipped the interfacing for this altogether by doing one side in a heavy canvas fabric I scored at the thrift shop a while back.  Multiple yards of pale pink and yellow canvas for $2=deal.  I made the largest size and apparently once again my seam allowances always fall short so they are pretty large, even fitting on my head but luckily my girls have alot of hair and they work well.

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The first one I made is using an Urban Circus Elephant fabric and lined it with the yellow canvas.  I had assumed this would just be a trial run or a test but it turned out so cute.  On a roll I immediately sat down to cut and sew a few more.

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I couldn’t resist doing gingham.  Gingham in summer is a favorite, and again my vintage sheets and fabric came into play.  I am going to raid my stash to find more – can’t have too many hats right?  The sunhat paired with soft floral and gingham is so sweet.  I did enlarge the brim on the pink floral one and I opted not to do the multiple rows of stitching around the brim.  Bonus- they take only 30 minutes to sew, and I made them fully reversible.  Rather than hand sewing in the liner fabric I chose to machine sew it right sides together with the brim and left a small space to flip inside out- less hand sewing for me.  I don’t understand why I would have hand sewn it but maybe I am just lazy?

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Either way, the girls love them and Isabel even wore hers out as soon as she got home from school- a sign of a success!

Next goal is to enlarge the brim even ore and pick up some linen fabric- about time I made a hat for myself I think!