31 July 2014

sewing tally for the year so far

Seven months down, five to go.

I didn't do KCW this time because it was the same week I was planning for a friend's baby shower on Saturday at my house. It was my first time hosting a baby shower - or any kind of party besides a birthday party for one of my kids - so that took up my time and attention for the week.

I've been keeping track on a list of everything I've sewn this year so far, and honestly, with the year only half over, I'm shocked at what I've accomplished. Before July 1, I had sewn the following:

- 5 flannel nightgowns, a variation of the Oliver + S playtime dress. It's a tunic pattern and I lengthened it to the floor.
- 4 heart pillows that spelled out L-O-V-E.
- I helped a friend make 2 simple skirts out of my leftover Minnie Mouse fabric for her girls to wear at Disney World.
- 4 tier skirts and an Oliver + S ice cream dress, all with Dr. Seuss fabric. The dress was JK's birthday dress.
- JE's birthday dress: Oliver + S rollerskate dress.
- "sewing camp" for SM and 2 friends. They made dresses and square block quilts for their dolls.
- SM's birthday dress: Oliver + S music box jumper
- 9 (NINE) Independence Day skirts: all simple skirts, added pockets, ribbon trim. (That reminds me. I need to post a tutorial on the pockets. I'll make another one and take pictures as I go ... but that would mean I need to get a new camera. Mine has apparently died.)
- a t-shirt dress for TA. Attach fabric to the bottom of a t-shirt and ta da! A dress!
- jumper Sunday dress for JK. I actually started it last year from a random unknown pattern but never finished it, and I found it. I tried it on her and it still fit fine around her torso because I'd made it really big. I did have to add a wide ruffle around the bottom to make it long enough for her. It turned out awesome - I love it!
- SM's white baptism dress, from a McCall's pattern that quite frankly, I didn't really like. But the dress turned out nicely!
- 4 comfort blankets for JK, which started as a king-sized blanket on my bed that she co-opted as her "I can't sleep without this" blanket. I cut it into quarters so we would have travel sizes, and hemmed them.

That's 24 articles of clothing made for my own children, and various other items for other people and my home. AND I've fixed 14 things that are in my rather large mending pile. AND in July, I handstitched the edges of 2 flannel baby blankets to give as gifts to friends - one having her first baby, and the other having her first grandchild.

And here are pictures of the clothes I hadn't posted about yet:

SM's baptism dress. The pattern had no closures at all - it was a pullover dress. The fabric should apparently have some stretch to it but this did not so it's a little tricky getting on and off. I have to help her. The front hemline was rather odd - a weird slant to make it look like there's an overlap but it didn't really work. I added the sheer white overskirt just for fun because SM wanted it and bonus! It hid the screwy hemline.

JK's jumper. I need to get a shot with the ruffle - it totally makes the dress.

TA loves her t-shirt dress! And playing with bubbles. And her cousin Cupcake.

Like I said, I'm shocked at what I've accomplished. Here's to another 6 months and beyond of handmade clothing for my daughters (2 more birthdays still!) and just generally being creative with fabric!

29 July 2014


Saturday - I got my game plan.  Picked patterns/tutorials and fabric for a birthday outfit, plus another pair of pajama pants (from an old receiving blanket).  Made my own bias tape, and a trial pair of bloomers (modifying the pattern I use for pajama pants). 

Monday - Created the pattern for the top.  Cut out all the pieces for shirt, bloomers and pj's.

Tuesday - Ironed in all the hems and casings.  Started making ruffles for the bloomers.

Wednesday - Worked on the shirt.

Thursday - Finished the shirt.  Finally got to try it on her, and was a little disappointed with the fit.  The bias tape is a bit overwhelming, and the shoulders are too narrow to properly show off the cap sleeves. Did a quick redraw of the pattern for next time.  Worked on the bloomers a bit and finished making the ruffles.

Friday - a busy evening, shopping for the birthday BBQ, so I didn't get as much time to work on stuff.  Got further on the bloomers - pinned the ruffles on.  Need to sew them on and put the elastic in the waistband.

Saturday - Outfit finished!  Time to show it off at our birthday party.

Sunday - rest and recovery from the party.

Monday - spent exactly an hour finishing the pajama pants.  After making so many they actually go pretty fast!

21 July 2014

June holiday sewing for July

My June sewing for our holiday challenge was nine Independence Day skirts - 5 for my girls, and 4 more for cousins for our family reunion. I was blasting through finishing the skirts at 10 pm the night before we left on the trip, and ended up inserting the waistband elastic at the reunion for 4 of them. 

These shots were indeed taken on July 4 - fun day! I got pictures of all but one of the skirts, and please excuse the black corners - my camera's automatic lens cap is getting funky on me. JK's skirt (middle picture on the left) turned out a lot shorter than I was going for - I need to add a super-wide ruffle to the bottom to lengthen it, so she can wear it again without her diaper hanging out. SM's skirt was way too big in the waist - not sure how that happened because I'm pretty sure I measured the elastic on her before I inserted it. It literally fell off her when she put it on the first time, so I just pinned it until we got home from the trip and now it's in my mending pile.

The pattern/tutorial for all of them was the Simple Skirt, and I got the idea for all the ribbons from the Fiesta Skirt. My secret addition was pockets on all but the 2 babies' skirts. Instead of only one seam up the back on the rectangle of fabric, I cut it in half so there were 2 side seams, and added pockets. I saw something somewhere about pockets but I couldn't find directions again so I figured it out on my own ... and did them backwards the first time so it wasn't a totally smooth process. But they are really easy - I'll put directions with photos up here ... later. And the pockets were all fun Independence Day prints, hidden away for a surprise (except SM, who wanted patch pockets on the front so that's what she got). It was really fun to have all the little cousins in sorta-matching clothes - all the same red fabric but the ribbons were all different.

Happy Independence Day!

13 July 2014

KCW July

I just updated the KCW button on the blog.  The 21st is only a week away!  Theme: Kid Art.  Instead of just working on whatever, I want to actually take the time to plan.  I'm an artist.  What can I do to incorporate more art (whether mine or Cupcake's) into my sewing?  This week I will make a plan.  How about you guys?  Anyone else joining in this month?

It will be hard not to include some sort of birthday something since the 25th is my birthday, the 30th is her birthday, and we're having a BBQ to celebrate on the 26th.