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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas gift sewing

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! Here are my four kids doing "reindeer antlers" with their stockings (made in 2010) before the present-opening began.

They are getting bigger and wanting more things that require charging cables or trips to stores which sell name-brand items they covet, and yes, I do indulge. I know nothing makes a teen feel more individual than wearing the same brand all of his peers Don't even get me started on Justice, but at least Gracie still loves mama-made items, too. She really liked the Frozen costumes for her American Girl dolls.

I used Simplicity S0747 to sew all four Frozen costumes. Honestly, this pattern was kind of a beast to sew. (See my Pattern Review for the gory details.) So many different fabrics, so many trims, so many details...but so darn cute!

I used fabric left from her Halloween costume to make Elsa's blue dress, but substituted white mesh for the sleeves and yoke because the pattern needed a stretch knit the costume did not.

Anna's blue outfit was pretty complicated, but doing the nordic pattern on the vest and skirt with fabric paint was a little less annoying than trying to heat-n-bond the appliques. I added a pair of black felt boots from McCall's 6480 which I embellished with gold fabric paint.

Of course, I had to make the coronation outfits as well, and they were just as much of a pain to create, but also adorable when complete. I added a hair accessory for Anna of my own design.

Since I was making these, I had to get her a big cuddly Olaf to go with the dolls' outfits, too.

The other outfit I made for Gracie's dolls was a version of Gracie's cheer uniform. There was a super-expensive official uniform replica I could have bought, but that was insane (money-wise). I bought her a beautiful blinged-out warm-up jacket...not happening for a doll. Still, this was also a hit and will probably come with her to competitions so she can stunt with her doll like some of the other little girls on her team do when it's down time.

Here's some gratuitous cute pictures of my doll baby doing her thing! The stunt picture was from UCA Smoky Mountain Christmas championship in Seiverville, TN, and the other pic of her on the mat was from Champion Cup Nationals Holiday Cheers to You in Raleigh, NC. We've been busy!
 I used Butterick 3329 as the base pattern for this outfit and traced the skating costume (view H) onto tissue paper. I skipped the collar and cropped the outfit into the top and spankies under the skirt. The skirt is a simple A-line I drafted to fit with the spankies and pull on as one unit (which is how the real thing works for all-star cheer). I sewed together the pieces of the top and then embellished it while flat and cropped the neckline to match the asymmetrical design of the real uniform. I even added heat-set rhinestones (because I wanted to try it and now know what a pain in the butt those things are). I made a doll-sized cheer bow because they are THE accessory for cheerleaders, and I purchased a little pair of all-white doll sneakers (luckily $6 with free shipping from Amazon Prime). I honestly can't wait to get some pictures of her with it when she is dressed for her next competition.

 This is a My American Girl doll that matches Gracie pretty closely - if she had brown eyes, she'd really be a doppelganger. Gracie named her Little Gracie. Her nine year old brother calls her Chucky because he finds her creepy. This doll can get big cheer hair with no hair spray...wish it was that easy for the real Gracie.
For my mom, I purchased 3.5 yards of this beautiful fabric when we were out shopping and she admired it. She didn't know she'd find it wrapped and ready for her to pick a pattern for it as a Christmas present. She wants a short sleeve spring dress - we will work on this one in a month or two.
 So, here's my newest crafting obsession - my new Silhouette Cameo 2 die-cutter. It is a super-sweet! I can't wait to try heat-transfer vinyl as well as lots of scrapbooking applications and adhesive vinyl.

I did my first adhesive vinyl project tonight and embellished this navy chevron plastic basket (purchased at Lowe's Home Improvement). This thing is going to be so much fun!

I'm not sure what my next big sewing project will be, but stay tuned!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Holiday collection

 I went traditional this year and sewed a taffeta and velvet frock for Gracie, but I couldn't resist making Benjamin this matching vest. I also sewed up Dad's tie (actually, I made two - one for each of the big brothers who were too cool to wear theirs today).
Benjamin's vest and bow tie are from Simplicity 1509. I made an 8 and it fits well through the body although I should have added an inch to the length. Oh well, once we are past this month, he won't wear it again anyway. I love this look with his fedora - such a little gentleman.

 Chris's tie is from Vogue 9073. I'm really pleased with this pattern and would definitely make it again.

Gracie is wearing a dress from the 06-2013 (#24) issue of Ottobre. It is lined in red (as are the vest and the ties) and I found a similar style dress in this McCall's pattern 6006. 
Here's another view of the collection - I used both red and royal blue shiny tulle for the crinoline of the dress. She liked how fluffy it made things.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why, yes, I have been sewing!

Ottobre 3/2010 - #34 California skirt - done in Frozen-themed fabric and fussy cut to take advantage of the character placement with fine-wale corduroy in a purple/blue ombre (reminded me of the northern lights) for the contrast gores
 Jalie 3136 leotard done in contrasting, glitzy lycra and turned into a crop top for cheer (with my go-to Jalie yoga shorts pattern #3022 for the bottoms)
 Back view - gotta love that fabric!
 Basic design with stunning fabrics - sports bra and shorts from Jalie 3247 - the shorts are made from shimmery teal stretch velvet
 Completing this cheer look for winter is Jalie
 Back view - the top is meant to be layered with the sports bra peeking out
 #sparkle - now with attitude! (from Justice...I hate sewing sequins.)
Here's the outfit in action at tumbling tonight.
Simplicity 2190 - layered skirt from scuba knit plaid (and black ponte knit - in the colors of my daughter's team!)
Kwik Sew 0155 (make-up bag (for DD's cheer competition cosmetics) - I ended up making all 4 views (need to take some pics!)

McCall's 6171 in red ponte knit and lined with zebra ITY knit - a really fun and comfy look for work

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Inspired by Disney

I had a customer request through my Etsy shop for a Frozen-inspired all-star cheer outfit & sports bra. This, in turn, inspired me...I love me some Disney! So here is the first in my collection:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cheer uniform knock-off

My little girl (who you know is obsessed with cheerleading if you read this blog), hangs out with the cheerleaders at the middle school where I teach. She goes to their practices and has pretty much become the little mascot. She wanted to match them, so I drafted a cheer uniform to match what the big girls wear.

This is the actual uniform.

THIS is what I made.

I'm pretty proud of my efforts. I have never drafted a fitted garment just from body measurements, so I was thrilled when I got the skirt to fit on the first try.

The shell took two attempts (okay, maybe one and half because I only did the top half of the front one time). I had to add some length (very creatively) and re-cut the back.

The trim was a bit of a pain. I got athletic trim from the "Team Spirit" collection at, but I had to layer it to get the same effect as the trim on the school uniforms. I also had to go with Vegas Gold instead of metallic gold, but it's close enough.

The bottom line is GRACIE LOVES IT!!!

She is ready to get her cheer on at the football game this week.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Let It Go!


McCall's 7000 is clearly an unofficial version of the beloved characters from Frozen, Anna and Elsa. Gracie wanted to be Elsa for Halloween and I thought it would be fun to be Anna. I haven't made the Anna costume yet, but Elsa was fun to sew.

The fabrics are all from Joann (avoid the nasty costume satin - I always go for the bridal stuff). French seams and narrow double-turned hems will make the sheer parts look great.

I cut a 7-8 for length, but took in the bodice a lot. Clearly, they sized this for moms who sew once a year for Halloween not to have fit issues, but Elsa is a sleek character and does not need a billowy bodice.

The crown was a Disney store purchase.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's all about the NEON!!!

Okay, between a 4 yard cut of neon pink ponte knit and a pile of beautiful, bright neon sweatshirt material I got on clearance at Hancock Fabrics (in pink, lime, teal, and raspberry), I was ready to have a massive 80's flashback, but with a 2014 style vibe.

Here's what I made:

Butterick 6053 - in neon pink and black ponte knit & full lined in ivory and peach ITY knit (ivory where it might show at the sleeve and peach in the skirt to use up a remnant)

I had loads of the pink ponte left, so I made up leggings and a top from Ottobre magazine 1/2006 issue.

Then, I dove into the sweatshirt fleece...The two layer skirt is from 1/2008 Ottobre and trimmed in pink ponte knit. It looks cute with this Tinkerbell top I got her on clearance at a Disney Outlet.
Then, I stitched up a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie from the Spring 2014 Ottobre. (Designs #20 & 30) Having all these colors made the project fun to color-block and everything mixes in well with the bright colors and glittery prints my daughter favors when we buy things at stores (like Justice - which is where I picked up the neon pink tank top on sale today).

I also used the fleece to make two trendy tops for myself. The neon lime is Simplicity 1317 (view F) with a rounded applique monogram.

The raspberry sweatshirt (also monogrammed) is Jalie 3355, but since I didn't have any ribbing to match this intense shade, I used some lycra spandex that was a perfect match!

Gracie loves her new fall clothes and so do I.

I think maybe I can now take the neon thread out of the serger and work with something just a touch more subdued. (Or at least not neon - I don't really do "subdued" a lot.)