07 July 2015

K is for koi, knit, keyhole

K is for Koi - last year a friend gave much a bunch of clothes she didn't want anymore.  They were too small for me, but they are a fabulous source of knit fabric.  This orange shirt was one of them - I love the fish design that wraps around onto the back.  It's a womens size small, so the neckline was the only thing too big for Cupcake.  I tore a small hole in the neckline and threaded a piece of elastic through - 10 minutes later she's got a new nightgown to wear all summer.  Too easy for me to count for my K!

K is for Keyhole in Knit - I finally came up with keyhole for K and did a quick Pinterest search for ideas.  I found a tutorial from Craftiness is Not Optional and figured I'd give it a try - it's a cute way to jazz up a simple t-shirt.  I used a pattern I already had, another shirt from that same friend, and an old tank top for the ribbing.  The actual construction of the shirt was easy, and it all came together in an afternoon, but the neckline is wonky.  It isn't so bad when Cupcake is wearing it, but it is certainly not my most successful project.  Next time I'll make sure my fabric isn't as thin and worn.

K is for Keyhole - I wanted something I was really proud of to count for my letter K, so I tried a tutorial from Elegance and Elephants for a breezy tunic.  I drafted a quick pattern - only one piece cut twice - and put the whole thing together in an evening.  I'll alter the neckline slightly when I make another, but I love it the more I see it.  The thrift store sheet has such a fabulous, summery print.  And the red bias tape is the perfect addition - I was given this, but I'm planning on making my own for future projects.

I have been on such a sewing kick lately - Cupcake really doesn't need more clothes.  Until she grows a bunch or requires a costume, I need to change things up and focus on other sewing projects.  My current ideas include clothing for myself, making ridiculous amounts of bias tape, and starting into the world of quilting.  We'll see what inspires me next!

28 June 2015

the Kaylee jumper

Last month we went to a Firefly party, and I was asked to make a Kaylee-inspired jumper for a little guest.  I was given enough fabric and patches to make two of them, and just got around to making the second.  Had to make it now while I had enough fabric to fit my growing girl!

Can't have a Firefly shoot without the ship Serenity.
Doing the zipper this time went much smoother.  The first time had too many layers of fabric, and not enough seam allowance.  I actually planned it out better, altered the lining, and made it all properly - no need for bias tape to fix my mistake this time!  I'm very happy with how easy it was.

And the pockets.  This is the first time I've made anything with pockets.  I'm pretty proud of myself because I came up with this alteration completely on my own, from idea to completion.  The lower half of the jumper is basically two giant pockets.  I think Cupcake would appreciate more pockets in future projects.

It is still so incredibly satisfying to take an idea and a piece of cloth and create a wearable garment for my daughter.  I can make clothes just for her, and add tiny details for fun (like the pink top-stitching).  Yay for being bit by the sewing bug!

27 June 2015

Inspired by Izzy

The internet is a fabulous place, full of free tutorials and patterns.  I found the Izzy top on Climbing the Willow and found it charming.  No added sleeves and an arched waistline.  I was in need of a royal blue top for a family reunion photo coming up, but the only blue I had was knit.  So I completely re-drafted the pattern to fit my needs.  

Only one pattern piece for the top, sized down, and the bottom altered to match.  It all came together so incredibly quickly.  Two shoulder seams, two under arm seams, gather the bottom (which was my husband's old shirt, so no need to hem), attach the bottom, and fold under the neckline.  Done, from start to finish, in less than an hour.

I absolutely love it!  Adorable, comfortable, and easy to put together.  I would make a dozen more, if she didn't already have too many clothes.  It may have been inspired by the Izzy Top, but to me, it will be the Reunion Shirt.  And to Cupcake, it will be the Blueberry Shirt.

Cupcake did not want to stop playing to take pictures, but I managed to get this beauty, so had to share!

grocery bags

I was given a bit of heavier fabric (canvas?) and since I usually make clothes, I had no idea what to make with it.  But a thought struck - grocery bags!  I prefer to use reusable bags, and the ones I have a ugly and dirty, and would likely fall apart when washed.  But not anymore!

Being creative is not a hobby, it is a way of life.

If eating cake is wrong I don't want to be right.

I followed the pattern and instructions from Stitched by Crystal, although I made the pattern slightly bigger since I wasn't working with fat quarters.  They were quick and easy - so easy that my sister, who is brand new at sewing, was able to make two for herself.  I had never sewn french seams before, but would gladly do them again.  

16 June 2015

Cupcake Princess Dress

 I'll admit that I made a rookie parenting mistake: 
I asked my daughter what she wanted to do for her birthday.
Every day she says we need to go to her party,
which won't be happening until the end of next month.
But at least we've got her party dress ready.

I made my princess a princess dress for this month's Project Run & Play.

Although the pattern was for an Elsa inspired dress, I didn't have the right fabric.
(I really try and avoid going fabric shopping - I tell myself I have enough.)
And I had cupcakes.

A cupcake princess dress for Cupcake's third birthday.
A peasant top with elastic for ease of access, plus extra elastic around the waist for fit.
I got some direction from the DIY Mommy.

But when I heard princess dress, I thought of this,
 the real star of the show: the hemline. 
Find tips on bustling your own dress at girl. Inspired.

Two layers of twirly goodness.  
The pink was originally too long, but I cut it off and turned it into the ruffle.
I love it when mistakes turn into blessings.

After her party she can put this in the dress-up box -
it'll be a good alternative to the Rapunzel dress she wears constantly.

Besides, this dress twirls better.
And everyone knows the first thing a princess needs is a twirly dress.

And if you are following our alphabet challenge, H is for Hemline. 

31 May 2015

41: Baked Chicken Wontons

This was a joint effort between me and Aaron, but it was something I could have done by myself so I'm totally going to count it for my recipe list.  We had leftover wonton wrappers from making jalapeno poppers (similar to this) so we had to come up with something to use up the rest.  I was saying that the poppers were somewhat labor intensive, like the chipotle popcorn chicken I made (recipe 15) and we were inspired - chipotle chicken wonton bites.  We referenced this recipe, but kept it pretty simple - shredded chicken, shredded cheese, and chipotle sauce (loosely based on this recipe).  It was fun to try different ways of folding the wrappers.  We learned that a tight roll is perfect for frying, but when baked (which is what we did for this recipe), exposed edges get wonderfully crunchy.  I look forward to trying out other wonton recipes - I found one for lasagna cups that looks delicious!

27 May 2015

Firefly Shindig

A friend of mine had a Firefly themed 40th birthday party last weekend.  What a great excuse to make costumes!

I went as Saffron.  I made my own peasant top!  After making only kid clothes for so long, anything my size seems ridiculously huge.  It doesn't go over so well for my ego, but I actually like the top and will wear it again.  

I was asked by the hostess to create this jumper for a little girl that would be attending the party.  She knew I'd be able to do it after seeing all the other sewing projects I've done.  She had no pattern for it but thankfully the girl's measurements were really close to Cupcake's, so I was able to reuse the Easter pattern.  I just HAD to add a zipper.  My very first one!  I put it in at the wrong time and had to finish it all off with bias tape, but it actually turned out alright.  I really need to remember to add seam allowance, and figure out how much to add for zippers.  I have exactly enough fabric to make one for Cupcake too, so I'll get more practice.

The most memorable outfit from the entire show is Kaylee's layer cake dress from the episode Shindig.  The birthday girl wore a beautiful gown, and I had permission to make a mini (kid-friendly) version for Cupcake to wear.  There were plans to make Aaron a gold vest to make him a proper "Captain Tight Pants" like the above photo, but it didn't happen, so he wore a blue vest we already had instead.

 I was able to borrow a serger to help with all the ruffles - thank goodness, or else I would have gone crazy.  It is now on my list of things to buy (eventually).  It was fun to learn a new machine.  Because of the weight of all those ruffles, it was much easier to make a separate skirt and shirt.  For the top, I mixed a t-shirt pattern with this ruching tutorial, and added a little leftover ruffle on the sleeves.

22 May 2015

G is for Gathered Green Gown

I found the perfect spot to take pictures.  
But Cupcake is a runner, so this was the only one I got.

I thought her new umbrella would be a fun prop, since 
she played with it for hours yesterday.  But that was yesterday.

Instead, there was lots and lots of twirling .. .

... and talking to the neighbor's dog.

I drafted my own pattern inspired by a combination of 
this pattern from Shwin & Shwin that I've been wanting since it first came out, 
and the pattern for this month's Project Run & Play from The Crafty Cupboard.

And my little girl is getting opinionated and independent.
She likes to pick out her clothes (usually dresses) and put them on BY HERSELF.  
So I made this dress roomy enough to put on easily
with no buttons or closures so she doesn't need my assistance.

As frustrated as I was, trying to take pictures, I'm happy how the dress turned out, with ducks on the top and chicks on the bottom.  I'm happy that the weather was beautiful and the grass is so green.  I'm happy that Daddy surprised us by being home on time.  I'm happy that I have a sweet, healthy and energetic little girl.