Monday, July 23, 2012

Bubble Shorts for Shorts on the Line

I have been planning to make a pair of shorts for Shorts on the Line all month and have just not come up with exactly what I wanted until this past weekend.  Not that is not due to lack of inspiration, the flickr group is full of great shorts and that is how I first decided I wanted to do a bubble type short.  However, my daughter isn't big on shorts, she lives for dresses and skirts and I think that is why I hesitated for so long on sewing anything up.  I hate sewing things she won't wear! :)

 First I was going to make these adorable Oliver + S puppet show shorts, but they only go to size 5.  Bummer, not big enough of Peyton!  Then I discovered Peek A Boo Patterns made by Amy of Naptime Crafters.  And she has bubble shorts that were similar and I really liked how her's had a more finished front with the button and faux fly.  This is the fabric that came to my mind for them but of course I don't have any of it anymore and I think the print might have been to large anyway.  So I "shopped" through my stash and found the dots fabric I purchased from a trip to Hobby Lobby.  

What I liked about using this pattern was learning how to construct a faux fly and button front.  I'd never done that before and liked the look A LOT!  The pockets on the side are cute as well and I also liked how you finish the shorts with the band at the bottom.  Now for the problem!

This pattern I found to have good instructions but I really struggled with sizing and this pattern!!  With a waist measurement I decided to go with a size 6 but then use 3/8" seam allowance rather than the 1/2" the pattern directed to give me a bit more room in the shorts.  That was still not enough as I discovered when sewing them, and I had to make some modifications to get them to fit around her waist and legs.  Looking back I think I should have sewn the size 8.  Which is crazy, because she doesn't wear an 8 in anything, store bought or handmade! There was much struggling and seam ripping to get these to fit, and they still have some small issues.  Luckily I started with a yard of fabric and the pattern only needs a half so I think I'll re-make these with the other half and see if I can get all the "bugs" worked out.

They're still cute from behind, and the side too! :)

Sometimes you learn more from the problematic sewing projects than those that go smoothly and I am attempting to channel those feelings! I am happy with these shorts and I will give the pattern another try.  I am glad to have participated in my first sew along and have loved all the tutorials all month long.  Thanks for visiting! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Go To Signature Dress Review

I have another pattern review for you today!  I've been following The Train to Crazy for quite awhile now and when Andrea first started talking about this pattern I knew I'd love it!  No surprise, I think it is fantastic!  It is very versatile like she says and has a size range of 12 months to 12 years!  How great is that?

I decided to go with the regular dress length, capped sleeves since I'd never made sleeves quite like that before, a shirred waist (I've finally have conquered shirring, YEAH), and inset pockets.  Peyton really wanted it maxi length but I wasn't sure if that was a good idea for a very active four year old, but today I saw this pattern review and will do a maxi next time!  

The fabric is by Robert Kaufman and is a print of Ann Kelle's.  I bought it at my local fabric store.  I made the size 6 and it fit her great, she wears this size in store bought clothes. (She's a tall girl)  She still has a bit of a round baby tummy, though well hidden in this dress, I noticed.  So I decided to move the shirring up about an inch from the pattern. Then I did 3 rows down from there, so that the shirring would be above her tummy.  That is the only modification I had to make.  The directions are easy to follow and there are lots of pictures to help if you get stuck.

 The pockets were a hit, but her favorite part is the heart I decided to add at the bottom.  I just used the heart pattern piece that comes with the dress and traced it slightly larger than the biggest one and cut out two pieces of purple knit, which I layered together and sewed it on with a straight stitch.  I wanted to edges to curl a bit with time.

I absolutely love this dress, There are so many ways to customize each dress while only having to use one pattern, which I love!

Thanks for visiting!  If you feel so inclined to leave a comment it would make my day!  :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Birthday T-shirt

My little guy is turning one next week and I wanted to make him a shirt to wear for his party but didn't want it to scream "wearable only on your birthday".  Luckily I received a BabyCenter e-mail with different shirts you could buy at various places and this shirt was in their round up.  I fell in love immediately and, of course, pinned it! :)

What I like most is how nice and basic the design is, wearable long after the cake is eaten! :)  I originally planned to just buy a navy t-shirt and go the easy route, but I couldn't find a plain navy shirt in his size anywhere, and I couldn't find any navy fabric in town that was the right shade either! In the end I bought a XL men's shirt at Target used that.   I have been planning to buy Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee pattern and this seemed like a good reason, and I used that.   Let me just say the pattern is fantastic!  Very easy to follow and makes a very professional looking t-shirt. I will be getting plenty of use from this pattern!  

I pricked out the neckband and reused that so I only needed the shirt which I got for $5.  The orange fabric was some scrap Robert Kaufman Laguna Knit.  I used freezer paper (which if you haven't done before, try it) to make the stencil for the lettering, only using one application of paint.  I wanted it to look a bit faded.  It did get slightly off-centered but I kind of like it and you don't notice it when he's wearing it.  This was an easy naptime project which turned out just as I envisioned.  Don't you love when that happens?

It's been a fun first year and I'm looking forward to all the fun things to come...walking, talking, more playing with big sister, and of course more trouble! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One more racerback dress and a realization

Okay I'll move on now, I promise! I sewed up one more crafterhours dress and it was just as fast and easy as the first!

I did learn something with this dress, as I do every time I sew! :)  I think the pattern works better if you don't use ribbing for the neck and arm holes.  It doesn't seem to pull up as much, my arm holes were much bigger this time than the first dress, they were almost too tight on the striped dress.  You can kind of see that the arm holes are nice and generous this time.

Also I did a rolled hem lettuce edge, which I liked since the fabric has squiggles and they seem to match.  I also lengthened it even more, probably another 1.5".  So I think that is around 3" longer than the pattern. 
 I really love this dress for a fabulous summer play dress.  

And now my realization, I have been sewing some items this week for family (as in they requested and I produced) and I've decided that what drives me is learning sometime new.  I put pockets into some pants today for the first time and it went great, much easier than I thought!  I'm also working on a t-shirt for Carter's first birthday and I'm learning with it too!  (I'll be sharing that soon.)  That is what I love about sewing, the learning, and of course the part about making pretty things!  
My husband jokingly tells me that with all I am starting to know about garment sewing I'd be a nice addition to a clothing factory in China! :)  Yes, that's being supportive for him!  The growth I've made since I started sewing 3 years ago is incredible and I've loved the journey.  Glad I am starting to share it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blog Facelift

I know I have only been blogging for about a month but I am quickly becoming addicted! I updated my page today and will be doing some other updating this week. :)  Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Simple Linen Shorts

Sometime simple sewing is best, especially when it is for boys I think.  For some reason I like boy stuff, at least for my little guy, to be lots of solid colors or very simple patterns.  Anyway, he has been lacking in shorts this summer and I decided to sew a couple pair of linen shorts for him.

I just drew my pattern from already existing shorts he had and went from there.  That takes some confidence and I am still nervous when I sew that way, luckily these worked out! :)  Here are the two pattern pieces you need to make shorts.  I would say these are a 12-18 month size.  The shorts I used as a pattern were an 18 month Carter's pair, but I took in the waist since I have a skinny guy.

I chose linen because it seemed cool and I happened to be at Hancock's when they had it 50% off!  For shorts this size I only got 1/3 of a yard, I was trying to be cheap.  I really could have used a half yard as I just squeaked by with enough.   Linen shrinks a fair amount and I did pre-wash it.

The blue shorts were first and their waist is a bit small and I decided the were a tad to short.  With the khaki pair I added a 1/2 to 1" in the elastic for the waist and added a bit to the length.  I do like them more but both pairs are wearable and cute. 

I added a size tag very similar to the ones that No big dill has a tutorial for.  I'm just loving having a size tag, I'll continue for sure!

Here they are paired with a shirt I made following Made's 90 minute tee tutorial.  I'll have to show more of those shirts sometime I just love that tutorial!

One more picture!  Here they are with the envelope tee from Growing up Sew Liberated, I reviewed it here. And after having him wear it today I decided it does fit, I just want to tweak the neck next time.  

                             I can't believe he is almost one!  Where has the year gone?  Happy Friday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Striped Racerback dress

In my last post I talked about sewing up Crafterhours free Racerback dress pattern.  I loved the dress so much I quickly made one for my daughter.  I pulled out some purple striped fabric that I knew she would like and whipped one right out!  It is only 3 pieces and comes together quickly.  I did use my serger, but like they say in the directions, I think a regular sewing machine would work fine too.

This is a great pattern and makes a fun summer play dress and I will probably be making at least one more for the summer.

I love how professional the back looks and it is easy to accomplish!  I did change a few things and they are as follows.

I made the size 5-6 but used the 3-4 neckline since I thought the neck was too was too high on the first one I made.  I just scooped the neckline down when tracing the pattern but left everything else the same.  That seemed to work and I'll do it again.

I also lengthened the dress by about 1.5" lower that the pattern.  I like dresses and skirts a bit longer for my active girl and it was good but, I think I'll add another 1" next time.  I hemmed the dress with a rolled hem so I wouldn't shorten it any more, and because it is just easier with knits.  I especially feel this way when making a more casual dress like this one.  I recommend trying this dress, it is easy to make and the pattern goes from 12 months to size 8 so nice wide range! :)

Thanks for visiting!  If you like something you see I'd LOVE a comment!