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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ducky designing for Dis...



Not sure where she will end up since I still have Donald, Mickey, and Minnie in their safari gear to go, but they are all going on a Pink Fig "Mish Mash" skirt. I have the skirt together except for gathering and adding the waistband once I have the appliques in place. 

The cut pieces for the skirt...waistband, pattern, and strips

Stay tuned!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Enabling alert

Today is the last day for the pattern sale at Butterick/McCall's/Vogue...and of course, they also have Quik Sew, while not on sale, included in the Club BMV discount. I caved only when I saw NEW VOGUES!

So what is headed to my house?

Kwik Sew had two must-haves:
These round nesting storage baskets are too cute - must have!

I also have a weakness for colorblocking, so I needed K3932:



Vogue 1303 (line drawing is really nice, but you can't see the details in the made-up version pictured on the cover of the pattern.

This new Vogue 1302, a Kay Unger pattern is lovely. I wouldn't mind having that fabric either!

And here's another nice color-blocking number (V8805).

I like this top pattern,V8816, as well.


Of course, while I am pleased as punch with some of the new patterns and can't wait for the ones above to arrive in my mailbox, I am baffled by several of the new ones. The first two dresses are fine - if you don't need a bra. If that works for you, go for it.

The strapless one needs to go back to the decade from whence it came...it really has the potential to make for a droopy mess.

The grey thing with the model leaning against an invisible wall is just unattractive, but the last pattern really makes me cringe.

What can I say about that white number at the bottom of the stack? It looks like a hot mess; like the designer couldn't make up his/her mind - sleeves? gathered skirt? We'll just go half and half...all good? NO...of course, what makes this even more of a winner (loser) is the potential to go wrong with no bra (check out that back), white fabric on the sample, skin tightness in places. Even better? You can also choose a different place to stick your head through. No, that doesn't work either. Will the madness ever stop?

So go get yourself some new patterns - don't worry...these last few are all still waiting because I sure didn't get them!





Friday, April 20, 2012

Batting 2 out 3...

1. Simplicity 2466 - Daisy Kingdom...fail...at least for now - going into the closet for 2-3 years until she grows. This is supposed to be a top and while the length is slightly long, it is HUGE around the shoulders.

2. Ottobre 1-2008-18 "Jigsaw" pinafore dress...win!

Alice in Wonderland appliques, fun fabric and details - this was a blast to sew. Check out that Cheshire cat - smile on front, but full on the back!

3. Finally - Little Londyn's "Posh Pixie" pattern - in progress in this first image -  for a test fit

I added pre-cut chiffon bunched and rolled into trim.

My husband thought the chiffon roll was toilet paper. I told him if he used it as such it would be the most expensive a$$-wipe of his life.

I finished this after she went to bed, so I had employ an alternate model to take pictures: Winston, our 23lb, size 5T cat.

This and the Alice outfit just need coordinating shorts. The neon green fabric seen in the background of the last photo is going to become shorts for the Little Mermaid look.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ottobre Summer preview...can I have it now, please!

So the Ottobre summer preview is up!...and I am only disappointed that I have to wait another week for my issue!

So far, I am very eager to make...

everything on this spread! I really like the bubble shorts and the ruffle bottom t-shirt.

I could see Benjamin digging an outfit like this.

The contrast sleeves on that plaid shirt are a nice touch - must sew for my boys!

Everything the smaller girl is wearing is in Gracie's size range and oh-so-cute!

This dress is simple, but very sweet with the little tucks. I think I would do it with an applique near the hem.

In the meantime, I am working on an Ottobre Spring 2008 pattern to make an Alice in Wonderland themed top for our Disney trip. Here's a sneak peek:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sewing with character

With a Disney trip on the horizon for August and a birthday party for the youngest two tomorrow, I find quite a few occasions to put some character fun into my sewing.

Matthew and Jamie are both modeling an Ottobre sleeveless t-shirt with colorblocking. The back of Matthew's Mickey Rockin' Roller Coaster shirt is solid red with Jamie's Goofy's Candy Co. shirt being a solid grasshopper green in the back. The stripe is a recent Patsy Aiken/Chez Ami purchase. Expect to see it again soon...I have lots and it is a great boy fabric. The green I used on the back pops up again on little sister's new outfit.

While Benjamin isn't wearing a specific character, I chose this colorful creature to complement some bright print twill I got an Joann's last week. I have a pair of Ottobre shorts in progress.

Gracie loves Hello Kitty, so when I found this strawberry print and the Hello Kitty applique with the strawberry, I knew it would make an adorable outfit. I also made a pair of what I call "flipper" shorts - essentially leggings with about a 3 inch inseam. So, if her skirt flips up, no one has to see if the character of the day on her undies matches her outfit. I foresee quite a few more of these items passing under my needle in the near future.


Patterns: Ottobre 2/2005-36 (sleeveless tops, 128-170cm - both are wearing a 146), Ottobre 3/2011 - 19 (blue t-shirt, 92-146cm - wearing a 122), Ottobre 3/2009 - 29 (green top, 98-146cm - wearing a 110), ZozoBugBaby "The Candy Shoppe" twirl skirt ( 12m - 10 - wearing a 4/5), "flipper" shorts - self drafted pattern based on other leggings I have made

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Smocking - up close

Gracie's heirloom smocked Easter dress - through the eye of my macro lens:
The hem - piped and stitched closely against the piping.
This shot is actually the dress upside down and inside out - used a scallop stitch to finish the bodice lining.
Close-up on the sleeve embroidery...and the back belt embroidery as well
The collar - I supposed I could have gotten the little blue flowers closer to the vine.
The bodice - backsmocked behind the embroidered section. Close-up, I see the imperfections, but I think that is part of the charm of hand work. I really like how the colors of this piece came together because I had trouble picturing it like the magazine from the skeins of floss alone, but once stitched, it is just right.

Monday, April 9, 2012

5 years old! (and Simplicity 1952)

My baby is 5 today (sniff, sniff), and is delighted to have some new things to play with. The bag is from Simplicity 1952 and is made (mainly) with remnants from Lakehouse Fabrics' "Little Lady" collection. the straps are a heavy elastic so no need to make them adjustable. The bib (which Benjamin put on his giraffe) was part of the pattern, too.

I will have to take some pics of the baby doll clothes I also made from the pattern - once my camera recharges, but here is how the backpack works with a doll. My doll loves it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Ultimate Smocked Easter Dress

A little girl is only this sweet and innocent for a short while, so making an Easter dress like this is a treat...and a ton of work. The dress is "Easter Parade" from Australian Smocking & Embroidery No. 74 (published in 2006, and picked up at a shop in Alabama while on a trip in 2009). It is smocked from the shoulder to waist and features gorgeous hand-embroidered flowers on white linen.

The sleeves are made as two overlapping petals, piped with pale blue petite piping (as is the collar and hem). The hand embroidery for the back belt, collar, and sleeves is worked on a piece of fabric prior to cutting. The directions called for backing the collar and belt fabric with interfacing prior to sewing, but I also did the same for the sleeves. I think it made it easier to work with than it might have been otherwise.

The buttons are mother-of-pearl. I almost went cheap and used something else, but when a garment requires this much effort you might as well use the best materials. I actually managed to have exactly the right amount of piping to complete it with two packages and leave the third one I bought for another project.
The embroidery took about 6 hours to complete (just the embroidery - the smocking was about another 6-8 hours total). The dress itself went together pretty easily using French seams on most parts of it. The directions called for completing the final part of the hem by hand, but I was able to fold it up neatly and use a stitch-in-the-ditch technique to secure the hem at the line of piping.

I wish I would have had time to make her a slip. White linen is fairly sheer, but given that she is an (almost) 5 year old girl, it's not too scandalous. I still think I may do it before she wears it again. Plus, I could pass that down to along with the dress. This one is definitely an heirloom.

I would have liked to have not been still smocking this less than 24 hours before Easter Services, but I got it done (and everything else that gummed up my time this week).

For this Easter, her dress, mine, and my mom's (which I made a couple of months ago) were my only Easter projects. I'm glad I bought the boys dress shirts because that would have been too much.

Now, I have a week off work and no cut sewing projects...I think I will have to change the status of that! After all, I just picked up some cute new fabric on Friday...

Happy Easter!