Sunday, August 17, 2014

Explorers Vest

For Mr. A's 3rd birthday, I made him the Explorer's Vest from the Book Little Things to Sew by Oliver + S.

I left off the buttons because the vest will most likely be worn open and besides, he can't do buttons yet.

It's size 3.

 Bampaw decided to call it an Adventure Vest and using Quark, designed a little tag that was ironed onto a pocket.

Getting carried away with iron-on transfer paper, we also copy/pasted a Smokey badge. His dad loves anything Smokey the Bear so we know he'll enjoy this.

On one of the pockets, I put a little strap to hang a bug finder box.
The d-ring comes in handy for hanging a compass.

I got carried away in a toy store and bought a bunch of "adventure" items and attached them to lanyards and a big carabiner.
There's a plastic Swiss army set, a flashlight, a drink bottle, a whistle and a compass.
My guess is he'll play with these and not bother much with the vest :)

The lining sure suits the vest.

The vest turned out well and I hope he finds it useful when he goes on an adventure in the woods.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Baby Cardi's

Having finally learned how to knit I figured I ought to make a few baby cardi's to have on hand in case someone has a baby. Mostly, I wanted to practice.

The first one is called Baby Sophisticate by Linden Heflin.  It's a free download on Ravelry. I think the pattern is absolutely adorable. An old-guy sweater for a new-guy.

It's size 0-3mos according to the pattern.
It was easy and quick to make.

It's difficult to get a good photo on an overcast and dreary day.

Anyway, I used brown buttons hoping to emulate vintage leather bound buttons. Wood with a black tint button might look nice on this cardigan as well.

Being a new knitter, I had a few questions which I was able to answer for myself. A sign that either:
A) I'm talking to myself or
B) I'm grasping knitting terms or
maybe a little of both A) and B) :)

The first  question I had was; when working on yoke part of cardigan where it says to continue working in st st until yoke measures 3.5(4.5)" does that mean from the cast on edge or from finishing rows 3 & 13 3(4) times.
The answer is it's from the cast on edge and if more st st rows are required it won't be many and will be hidden under the armscye.

Second question was making the collar section where it say's to start at the bottom left edge.
Does that mean the baby's left or my left?
The answer is it's my left as I look at the sweater.

The third question was the w&t steps starting at row 5 on the collar.  If I bring the yarn forward for the w&t wouldn't that mean I should continue in a p st?
Just bring the yarn forward, turn and then adjust the yarn and continue in k st.
Oh, and use markers to help find those last 18 sts.

I couldn't figure out the bind off as per the authors suggestion and just did it the way I was taught.

Yarn used was Bernat Alpaca, (15s X 20r) colour Stone, 5mm circular needles.


The next baby cardi was also a free download from Ravelry called Garter Yoke Baby Cardi by Jennifer Hoel.

Once again getting a good photo is proving difficult.

I usually choose solid coloured yarns but this time around, used a variegated yarn from Cascade Yarns, Cherub DK  (22-24st X 4") colour 512 Lilypond and used 3.5mm circular needles.

The pattern say's it's 6-12mos but judging by Baby Sophisticate, I'd say it's more like 3-6.

Again, it was fairly straightforward and quick to make.
However there were a couple of knots in the yarn that I didn't discover until mid-row in two areas.  So there are a couple of glaring flaws in the stitches on the front and on the sleeve.

When it came to the raglan shaping beginning at rows 9 & 10, I copied the following from a comment by the author on Ravelry:

The raglan shaping will add 8sts every odd row (one m1 on either side of the k2 that forms the front and back seam of each sleeve).
Row 11: sl1, k10, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k8, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k22, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k8, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k11 (76sts)
Row 12: sl1, k11, pm, p2, pm, k10, pm, p2, pm, k24, pm, p2, pm, k10, pm, p2, pm, k12.
Row 13: sl1, k11, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k10, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k24, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k10, m1, pm, k2, pm, m1, k12 (84sts)
Row 14: sl1, k12, pm, p2, pm, k12, pm, p2, pm, k26, pm, p2, pm, k12, pm, p2, pm, k13.
Note how the m1, pm, k2, pm, m1 is consistent regardless of the number of stitches elsewhere.
I didn't use the i-cord button band as per an option in the instructions, using a basic garter buttonhole band instead. I need more practice doing those. Lots more practice.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunny Dress

About a month ago, I downloaded a free pattern from the sewing blog Sew Very. It was the bloggers first pattern and she was offering the pdf in 3 sizes for people to try out.

Well, this morning I cut out the pattern and made a Sunny Dress.

It's an a-line sundress with a little frill collar.
The instructions, which are very good, appear on her blog along with photos.  Overall, it was a very easy pattern to make and fun too!  I really enjoyed making it.

I made size 5 and since the chest measurement is an inch wider than required I cut the back elastic less and took in a deeper side seam.

If this fits (and I'm sure it will) I will make more Sunny dresses.
There are no buttons, zippers or anything fiddly.

Go to Sew Very to get the download and try it out too.
On Monday August 11th, she is going to feature some the Sunny dresses other sewing bloggers have made. There'll be lots of good ideas, I'm sure.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Maggie Mae KCW #5 6 &7

Between housekeeping, weekend guests as well as power and internet outages, I was able to sneak in one more item for KCW.

The power is back on, the internet is working - sporadically - so I will attempt to upload the latest.

It's size 5, Maggie Mae from Shwin & Shwin.

I used  1/2 meter of print fabric and made up the difference with contrast. I think the hem might be a wee bit too short. If it is, I can always re-cut and add a wider hem band.

In the winter, I bought several bags of coloured buttons. The shipment had just come off the truck during a -40C day and the bags were so cold, they were difficult to carry to the cash.
Anyway, they came in handy today for this outfit and the good news is they have defrosted!

Tomorrow Miss C can try this dress on. We'll see then if the hem is a bit short.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KCW#4 2Tee's and 3 Shorts

I had a productive day today making 2 School Bus T-shirts and 3 pair of Sunny Day Shorts.

On one of the T-shirts, I ironed on a photo I took of one of the local ships when it came in front of our cottage. Mr. A calls it the "toot-toot" boat because it toot's it's horn whenever a boat passes by.

To go with it, there are 2 pair of Sunny Day shorts with pockets but no extra stitching like a faux fly as I just wanted to get them done quickly.  The fabric for both shorts is cotton twill.

The toy ship is made from Lego.

The other t-shirt is a from the remnant bin. To me, it looks like the kind of shirt fabric an old guy would wear.
The shorts are dark navy twill with a little stretch, again, like an old guy would wear.
Yet whatever Mr. A wears, he always looks so cute. The benefit of being a young guy.

Everything is size 3T with the t-shirts lengthened 2 inches.

Meanwhile my housekeeping is suffering. The window boxes are dry, the grass is ankle high, there's laundry to be put away, a stack of ironing to do, an empty fridge to fill and a bunch of people are arriving tomorrow to stay for the weekend so I simply must whip the vacuum through.
I doubt that I'll get anything done for KCW#5 or #6 or #7 for that matter :(

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

KCW #3 Tee and Shorts

Between the power going off and the internet fading in and out today I was still able to make a School Bus T-Shirt (O+S) and Sunny Day Shorts (O+S) for KCW Day3, plus get a photo and post it.

Using iron-on photo image transfer paper, I put a Chipmunk image on the t-shirt to liven it up.

"Ready for my close-up C.B."
Gee, I love it when the local wildlife co-operates.

I made the t-shirt longer than called for on the pattern because Mr. A is really tall for his age plus his mom said she likes his t-shirts long.

Mr. A also loves pockets so I put pockets on the shorts using the tutorial from Melly Sews.
I didn't bother with the faux fly because I was on a mission … get 'er done before the power goes out again. Besides, if he wears his shirts long, no one will see the faux fly nor the pockets.

I've got more tee's and shorts on the way for tomorrow. They are fun, easy and I know they will fit.
Size 3T
Oh, and no chipmunks were harmed making this blog post.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

S3859 day #2 KCW

My daughter asked if I could start making A-line dresses.
"Sure! No problem" I said figuring I could make some during KCW.

In my stash was a Simplicity #3859 pattern and it filled the bill…or so I thought.

I made view B with white contrast hem and v-neck bodice and used a half meter of a summery greenish-aqua and white fabric.

As it turned out, it didn't fit the bill.

She didn't like the v-neck and she didn't like the bow on the bodice as per the pattern, so I took it off and plunked it on a hairband. She liked that.

When we tried it on, it was miles too big both in length and width.

Miss C usually wears size 5 in RTW but I made size 6 judging by the chart on the back of the pattern that indicated it would fit a 22inch chest and she's just shy of 22".

I didn't get a photo of the ill fitting dress because it was, well, ill fitting.
Off hand I would say it worked out to be much like a RTW generous 6X.

However the good news is she has a dress made and ready for next summer…….

…and with a matching hairband.

Monday, July 21, 2014

More swim wear

One of the other patterns I bought during a Peek-a-Boo sale was the Hang Ten Rash Guard.

It was really easy and quick to make. I made size 3. But unfortunately,  it didn't go over Mr. A's head!
I need to make the neck opening larger for the next one.
Miss C needs a rash guard too, so I'll be making two very soon.

I also made 2 pair of Seamus Trunks from Ottober 03-2009-40.  Cindy very kindly sent me the magazine so I could make this pattern. It's she just the sweetest? Thank you again, Cindy.

The trunks fit Mr. A perfectly. In fact they are completely adorable on him.
I didn't get a photo because while we were trying them on, we were all ooohing and aaahing over his adorable-ness and I forgot to grab the camera! Doh.

Funny thing about the trunks.
His mom only likes boxer style swimmers. These are more European looking and I knew I was truly testing the waters (pardon the pun) with this style of swim wear. But when he put them on and her friends and husband were squealing with delight, not to mention Mr. A who liked them too, my daughter quickly changed her mind.
The power of peer pressure!

The trunks were easy and quick to make but I did have a problem getting the piping to sit flat and not pucker. When they are worn, the puckers disappear so I worried needlessly.
I plan to make another pair but will add length to the leg.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Laguna Beach Swim Cover-up

There was a sale at Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop and among the several patterns I bought, was this one called Laguna Beach Swim Cover-Up.

Around the same time, I found 2 nice quality beach towels for $8.00 each at the grocery store where I shop. I looked earlier for towels at a bargain store but they were more expensive and poor quality, go fig.

These little cover-ups went together quickly. The pieces are simply a back, front, hood, sleeves, front pocket and front placket.
I made size 2/3 for Mr. A and 4/5 for Miss C.

The first one went together in about an hour and a half making me a seasoned pro to make the next one that took a little under 1 hour to make.

Now if the weather would co-operate and warm up to normal summer temperatures, they'll get used quite a bit.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chanel meets the Bubble Dress

This is the last of the Bubble Dresses I've made to date.  However I'm still considering making a Koos van den Akker inspired one using the scalloped sides on view A of the pattern.

I've made the Bubble dress before several times with long sleeves. This time around, I decided to channel Coco Chanel for another long sleeved version.

Using a very dark navy wool-like fabric (totally washable) I used a random long sleeve waist length bodice pattern and paired it with the Bubble Dress skirt.

For sleeve cuff inspiration I referred to an image of Coco Chanel where she is wearing white bracelets.
So I made my version with white satin petal shaped cuffs.

The skirt is lined with Bemberg making it soft and silky to wear. The bodice is lined in broadcloth.

Looking back again at the images of Chanel, she was always wearing several strings of pearls in varying lengths.

At the fabric store they sell plastic pearls by the meter so I bought 2m, cut them into varying lengths and hot glued the ends together.
I found a "C" initial in a bead store and added it to a strand.

The outfit needed a hairband, so a little ribbon tulle, some pearls, a hot glue gun and the job was done!

Channelled Chanel via a Bubble Dress!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Frozen Bubble Dress

Recently, Miss C was invited to a "Frozen" themed birthday party but all she had to wear was a well worn and grubby Cinderella dress I made her a few years ago.
I supposed there is some sort of irony with that predicament given Cinderella was doomed to wear scullery maid attire until her fairy Godmother arrived on the scene.
Well for our Miss C (the C stands for Cinderella in this tale) her grandmother arrived on the scene with an Elsa knock-off Bubble Dress.

I used aqua satin for the bodice section of the dress.
For the skirt, I used the pattern pieces from the Fairy Tale dress making the hem calf length. The outer fabric is a lacy open weave (perfect for costumes) while the lining is broadcloth.

I had quite a bit of the lacy fabric leftover, so I made a cape.
When I went to trace out the pattern from my book Little This to Sew, I discovered Pattern Sheet#2 was missing. Unable to find it, I resorted to using a commercial pattern.
Too bad as I would have added it to Shelly's"go all the way with me" LLTS challenge.

My neighbour's studio gallery is built looking like a castle. Our Elsa wanted to have her photo taken in front of the castle so she could welcome everyone to her kingdom.

After our photo shoot that wasn't much fun due to the copious quantities of mosquitoes, the dress went back home with her and from what I've been told, is worn just about every day.

Twirling Bubble Dress

It seems that I just can't get enough of the Bubble Dress.
On this one, I lengthened the bodice to Miss C's natural waistline and added a circle skirt.

There are several tutorials on how to make a circle skirt such as here and here but I used the skirt pattern from here.

I followed the instructions from the Bubble Dress for the bodice section by stitching the neck and sleeve outer and lining fabrics together and then switched to the instructions from the Fairy Tale dress for the zipper.

The dress I wore for my Grade 8 graduation was made from some sort of polyester fabric that may have been called crimplene.  Not too long ago I found what seems to be exactly the same fabric at my local Fabricland (a.k.a. the F-store) so out of pure nostalgia bought it.
It's the perfect fabric to use for a twirly version of the Bubble Dress.

My grad dress also had a strip of lacy looking fabric along the front so I added a similar strip of lace down the front of this one, again out of pure nostalgia.

Because Miss C loves to wear hairbands, using some aqua tulle, a strip of tiny beads, satin wedding roses and a hot glue gun, she now has a matching hairband.

The good thing about this type of fabric is after it's washed, it literally can be hung to dry (which it does quickly) and then it's ready to go again.
The not so good thing about this type of fabric is it doesn't breath well and it's not fun to wear on a hot, sticky day.
My guess is some major twirling will help fan away the heat if Miss C gets hot.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dropped Waist Bubble Dress

Still paying around with the Bubble Dress pattern I kept the little sleeve details and lengthened the bodice to make it a dropped waist.

On the front of the dress I added a single ruffle,  although I debated about creating a double ruffle in orange and the main fabric.
In the end, I made just a single ruffle and added a lot of mis-matching orange buttons because
a) mis-matching buttons are fun and
b) all I have are mis-matching buttons.

The ruffle is made by creating a fabric tube, then gather or ruche the centre section and stitch in place. Easy and quick.

The skirt is 2 tiers of gathered fabric.

With the leftover fabric, I made a Bucket Hat using the free download for the pattern.  I would have used the pattern that's on Sheet#2 in the Little Things to Sew book but somehow, that particular pattern sheet is missing from my book. (Insert sad face)

While this dress is a little big on her at the moment, she really likes it and wore it on her last day at school.

She told me she was so excited that next term she's going to be an S.K. girl. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bubble Dress meets Fairy Tale Dress

Since I really like the little capped sleeves on the Bubble dress I paired it with another Oliver + S dress I really like; the Fairy Tale dress.
Laying the bodice section of the Fairy Tale dress over the bodice section of the Bubble dress, I traced out a new pattern piece.
The skirt is the pattern pieces from the Fairy Tale dress.

To assemble the bodice section, I followed the instructions for the Bubble dress stitching the neck and sleeve outer fabric and lining together (after the collar was basted in place, of course) and then switched to the instructions for the Fairy Tale dress. Getting the zipper in was a bit tricky but with patience, worked out just fine.

 I made a matching hair band using ribbons and a random button.

The Bubble dress bodice works well with features of the Fairy Tale dress and I really like it with the Peter Pan collar.

For the hem, I turned it under half the amount that was called for on the pattern, ironed it well and then turned it under the same distance again, and ironed that well too. Then I stitched about 3cm (1 inch) up from the bottom edge of the last fold creating a little tuck.
Finally, I turned that last hem fold down and ironed the whole dress. The hem was now neatly tucked away.

 Miss C loves her new dress and the froggy too.

……. off to make more bubbles…...

Bubble Dresses

The Bubble Dress (Oliver + S pattern) has always been my go-to dress. The little capped sleeves on this pattern are just so sweet and the bubble skirt adds the fun.
Best of all, it seems to work with just about any type of woven fabric with any size print.

I recently found a pretty summer border print and it works perfectly. The neck and sleeves are piped in light mauve, one of the colours in the print.

My daughter found a Christmas dress she liked from Gymboree and asked me to make something similar.
I found some curtain fabric for about $6.00 in the Home Dec area of a fabric store that looked similar to the fabric of the dress she found to make a knock off.

Not knowing I had the fabric, my daughter noticed the store dress was on sale for $16.00 and thinking it was a bargain bought it.
Well, I made the knock off anyway, even though it's a duplicate.

Our model needs to be wearing some stockings to complete the holiday look but on a hot and humid day so this will just have to do.

I glued on some gems following the same design as dress in the store.

The glue instructions say it will hold after several washing. Hmmm. We'll see about that! Just in case, I have a little bag full of replacement gems.

I piped the dress using leftover satin from a bridesmaids dress I once had to make. The cording or filler for the piping is cotton yarn.

I also glued some gems onto a hairband as a girl simply needs accessories!

Gathering the skirt using the rather thick and slippery curtain fabric was difficult.
First of all, the fabric frayed like crazy, so I serged the edges.
Instead of stitching 2 or 3 rows of gathering threads, I zig-zagged over crochet cotton and slid the fabric along to create gathers.
But when it came to attaching the bodice to the skirt, the neatly collected gathers would get pushed out from under the pressure foot. The fabric was almost rubber like!
In the end, I couldn't get the gathers as even as I would have liked. 
No matter. 
The dress turned out just fine and …. oh, I can't resist …. it has a nice drape.

Back in the Home Dec section of the fabric store was a remnant of a heavy dupioni-like orchid and silver fabric. It was around $6.00 like the last remnant of Home Dec fabric and it was calling me to make it into a Bubble Dress.

But this time around, instead of gathering the skirt with unwieldy home dec curtain fabric, I decided to make pleats in the front and back.

Between the stiffness of the fabric and the bubble design of the skirt, this dress came out extra poofy. Fun!

I used pre-made store bought silver bias binding but couldn't find buttons that weren't too shiny. These ones will do until I get around to making self covered ones.

Since I recently learned how to knit, I tried my hand at knitting a necklace with 28 gauge silver wire.  The best results came from spool knitting (a.k.a. corking) and added a little initial pendant.

Since this dress pattern only goes to size 5, I traced out what I hope is size 6.
Looking at the space between the tracing lines for size and 4 and 5, I guessed at what the difference might be between size 5 and 6. I'm sure it's not the correct way to re-draft a pattern but I'm sure it's not too far off.
This dress certainly seems to be a size larger than the last two size 5 dresses I just made.

All our model needs now is some silvery stockings and a silvery knit shrug which means more knitting.

I saw this cute little shrug complete with a free knitting instructions from the blog Marianna's Lazy Daisy Days.  click here
There was a sale recently at a yarn store near here and I bought way too much yarn some sparkly yarn that will work perfectly with this pattern and the orchid Bubble Dress.

Photo from