Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Super Easy Project

Sorry for the bad picture. The photographer in our family is asleep. As is the model.
I know that those of you who don't sew hate reading my sewing posts. Or maybe just hate my posts in general. Don't worry I'm not offended.
Here is a super easy project that is so cute. You've read my posts about Oliver and S patterns right? Well, they have a freebie pattern available right now. Check out the flickr group for skirt sewing inspiration. This skirt is so simple, and the ribbon hem makes it adorable. IT REALLY IS SIMPLE! I'm not just saying this to sound cool. It took me all of 30 minutes to make. It would have taken less time if I hadn't twisted the elastic like crazy. Seriously, it's easy as the pillowcase you made in 7 th grade home ec. But maybe that brings back bad sewing memories? Sorry to anyone who had a bad home economics experience.
I might have Miss A be a witch for Halloween. I was thinking of making this skirt in a cute black with white polka dot fabric, hemmed with orange ribbon for the skirt and making some sort of cape. Or using some sort of Halloween fabric with spider webs or something. With a beauty pageant type sash that says, "Miss Halloween 2008." And striped tights of course. Or something like that. But then again, I'll probably change my mind between now and then.
Fabric: Pumpkins Gone Wild by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Ribbon Offray
Pattern: Lazy Days Skirt Pattern it's free!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dolls & Memories

I've always liked dolls. I secretly wanted an American Girl doll as a teenager. I would have never admitted it at the time! I was a little jealous of my younger sisters for having been born at a time when it was acceptable to play with them. And the thought of books that tell their stories, it couldn't have been more up my alley! My mom bought a pattern for one of the original AG doll's (Samantha) wardrobes years ago. I bought the rest of them on eBay more recently ( love eBay for that reason). I'm slowly working on them. They are amazingly difficult for such small things, but they are very fun to make. I hope I relax enough to actually let Miss A play with them someday.
I did have My Friend Mandy, Becky and Jenny as a girl. My mom made a lot of clothes for them. She also made a lot of Cabbage Patch Kid clothing. It's amazing to me how much she did sew when I was young, even though if you asked her she'd say she didn't. She got quite a lot accomplished considering all 5 children. Easter dresses, Halloween and dance costumes seemed to be her speciality. I have really fond memories associated with the things she made. I wouldn't have been able to learn to sew without her closet full of fabric and free reign over the sewing supplies that I had as a kid. She let me make a lot of crap. Amazingly she always acted excited about the junk I made.



I made this doll dress several years ago, before having an actual female child of my own to sew for. I made it during my "heirloom sewing" phase (said like I'm some sort of artist or something-ha!). There are so few boy things to make. I made a lot of dress ups/costumes and pajamas for my boys before Miss A was born, but never really felt fulfilled in that. There's just something about making an item that gets used often. My oldest child wore nothing but costumes (and actually lived in the land of make believe) from about the ages of 2 1/2 to 6. We often had to let him wear a costume in the car on the way to church and remove it before entering the building. My second child has never been much of a costume wearer. He lives in the land of reality only, and is very literal about everything.

The patterns and fabric that I was longing to create with were so feminine. I took a couple of "heirloom sewing" classes and loved learning the techniques. The patterns are usually well designed and written. I love that there is as much care taken on how the interior of the clothing looks as the exterior. I also love the great fabrics and details that heirloom sewing incorporates. I love the hand work, smocking and embroidery. I don't always like that every item I make looks like it is from another century. I find it difficult to make items that are timeless, and not just dated. I made a linen suit for my oldest once. It may have gone over well in the south in the early 1900's, just not now and especially where we live. Brent was very relieved that S never had to wear it in public. It is in my flickr group for memories sake. It will have to remain there.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oliver and S Bubble Dress

I recently realized that all of Miss A's clothing have been fruit themed this season. She owns a strawberry dress, 2 watermelon outfits, a cherry sun suit, her new citrus sun dress and an apple outfit. I almost made this dress from cherry fabric. Rather than having her closet look like a fruit salad, I went to Brooks Fabric and picked up this cute combo. I made sure I ate lunch before I went to try to avoid any prints with food themes.
I admit I'm obsessed, in a good way, with these patterns. The fall line comes out this week and I can't wait! This bubble dress was so easy to sew! And it is so darling on Miss A. She has a yellow cardigan to wear with it once the weather gets cooler. I just thought I would share what I've been doing while the boys are at school. Lest any of you think I'm watching soap operas and eating bon-bons.
Pattern: Oliver and S Bubble Dress
Fabric: Robert Kaufman (brown print) Mary Engelbreit (yellow dot) for the lining.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tea Party Sundress


Yes, more dresses to justify shoe purchases. I admit I have a problem. Well, several in fact.

This is an Oliver + S Tea Party Sundress . I love it. It was simple to sew. It has some great details like a hem facing on the dress and bias casings on the bloomers that give avid sewers like me something to be excited about. It's exciting to find great patterns. I swear a lot less while sewing since finding these patterns.

The fabric is "Fresh Squeezed" by Sandy Gervais for Moda. I love the bright citrus colors. It makes me happy to look at it. I used a diagonal stripe from the line for the lining and bloomers. It caused some grief while trying to match the stripes in the seams, but I gave up and feel ok about it. They're bloomers for heavens sake!

I'm working on a matching dress for dolly again, but my pattern making skills are seriously lacking. The fact that the dolls legs are in a permenant sitting position doesn't help any (how will I make pants for her?). I hope to have the dolly dress done before the weather gets cold, or Miss A outgrows the dress. Whichever comes first.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More dresses

Summer is almost over. The stores are advertising "Back to School" supplies, and I'm just not ready to stop sewing summer clothes for Miss A. I could attempt to guess what size she'll wear next year, but I've failed miserably at it in the past and decided to live for today. Besides, her red polka dot sandals won't fit next summer (and I'll still trying to justify to myself the need for them). So the moral of this story: If you find cute shoes that may only match a few outfits you own, buy (or in this case, sew) more outfits to justify their purchase. Then you'll feel better about owning so many pairs of shoes while the rest of the country worries about the economy, gas prices and the pummeling housing market. Think about it as a way to stimulate the economy. I'm just doing my part.
Pattern: New Look 6796 (so far so good with the New Look patterns). It was simple, straight forward, and not too ill fitting. The doll's dress is my own design made to match the Miss A's dress. I love dolly/owner matching outfits! Miss A seemed to think it was pretty cool too. She kept pointing to her dress, then the doll's dress and giggling. So cute!
Fabric: Fabric Traditions from Joann. Yes, this is the second item of clothing made from lime green ladybug fabric, but if you look closely, the prints are different. Not that you can really tell. Maybe I just have a ladybug fixation?