Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Years Eve Dress

I can whip out an Oliver + S Bubble dress in no time.  From cutting out the fabric to hand stitching the bodice on the inside takes me about 2 hours.  Even modifying the Bubble Dress using McCall 5964 for the bodice and sleeves.  (Although I'm not completely happy with the sleeves.)

I've also got a love affair going with corsages.  It just seems to finish off a little girls dress.

I love how the lining floats with the outer fabric where the dress "bubbles".

At any rate, I'm sure my granddaughter will not be up at midnight with her parents on New Years Eve.  But I know who will be.....my grandson......for his 11 o'clock feeding.

Isn't he just the cutest little fellow ever?

I've got a huge container full of corduroy and his mom say's he needs overalls. Yeah! More stash bustin' projects for 2012!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas gift sewing

My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter just loves the Wizard of Oz. 

When I was her age, well, actually older than her age, that movie scared the beejeebers out of me.  The witch, her monkeys even the Wizard frightened me so much so that I hid behind the chesterfield when they appeared on the tv screen, which back in those days was black and white.

At any rate, Caitlin is not even fazed by the images in bold colour and on a huge tv screen.  She is brave like Dorothy. 
Since she loves the movie so much, for a Christmas gift I made her a dress like Dorothy's complete with (store bought) ruby slippers and a basket containing with Toto. (Yeah for on-line ordering!)

I made the dress large enough to fit over her regular clothes.

Here she is on Christmas Day wearing the Oliver + S Bubble Dress and velvet shrug I made earlier. She is opening the Wizard of Oz dress-up outfit.

Well, it was a hit and off came the Christmas bubble dress on on went the Dorothy dress!

And there she goes ..... off to see the Wizard .... or at least wade through the quagmire of wrapping.

She wore the dress all day long and through Christmas dinner.

And as for the ruby slippers, she clicked her heels together many times..........

'cuz there's no place like home!

I used the Basic Bodice dress by Collars Etc. for the Dorothy dress pattern adding longer sleeves, a zipper opening at the back and a separate waistband sash with straps.  For the collar I simply cut a strip of fabric on the bias and added ric rac. Size 2.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Dress #3

Using the Oliver + S Bubble Dress pattern for the skirt and McCalls 5964 for the bodice , here is Christmas dress number 3.

The devil made me buy this red party fabric.  It was on sale, I was convinced, for exactly the amount of spare change I had in my pocket.  And besides, it was sparkly and Christmassy looking, even my better judgement couldn't resist.

However I used black cotton for lining and black velvet for the bodice all from my stash.  Therefore, I feel somewhat redeemed.

I made a little rosette from the fabric.  I cut a strip about 30cm long (12 inches) and 5cm wide (2 inches) folded the fabric in half and ran a basting stitch using strong quilting thread along the raw edge.
Then slowly, pull on the thread at one end to gather and roll until the fabric looks like a rose.  Then stitch in the middle to hold everything together.  I put a button in the centre as well and then stitched it to the bodice.

The dress is size 2.
I only needed a small amount of the red fabric for the skirt. But all the black cotton and black velvet got used up and has made way for the red fabric that's now left over!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas dress #2

My daughter came with me to Fabricland and she picked out the fabric for a Christmas dress.
Using Oliver + S pattern, Bubble dress, here's the dress.  I'm pleased with the results.

And it looks good on Caitlin.  It's size 2.
Because it has a capped sleeve, I ordered some sage green velvet from On-line fabric  to make a shrug.

The order was sent right away and I will certainly use them again if I need to get something that isn't in my stash.
Using McCalls 5964 in size 2, I whipped up the shrug.  It's a little small, so next time I'll make size 3.

The velvet is stretchy so for the lining,  I used a stretchy fabric I found in the 'slinky' bin at Fabricland.

Mom likes the dress. Caitlin likes the dress.  Grandma loves the fabric.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Dress #1

At least 8 years ago, I pleated and smocked the front section for a dress that  I got the idea from in either Sew Beautiful, Creative Needle or AS&E.  It was so long ago, I just can't recall.

When my daughter suggested a smocked Christmas dress size 3, for Caitlin I jumped into action, rooted through the UFO box and pulled out the smocked front section and uncut plaid cotton fabric and velvet for the collar and cuff.

Using a basic bodice style pattern, using size 3, here's the completed dress.

It's windy outside so it looks a little askew.

I even had the foresight back then to include in the UFO bag the tiny little black buttons that appeared on the dress in the magazine.

I piped the velvet collar in the same plaid fabric, but used black cotton to pipe the smocked section to the front yoke.

While out shopping I came across these dear little black velvet ballet style shoes in size 7 and made 2 little bows using the plaid fabric.  They are just stitched in place over top of the existing bow.  They can be removed easily.

Cutting out the back bodice section required at little fussy cutting to match the plaid as did cutting the back skirt section so the the sides matched.

The sleeves match the front section and that was truly a fluke!  I had cut them out before realizing they needed to match but thought, oh what the heck, it'll be fine if they don't.  Go figure!

The tucked hem was a snap because I could follow the plaid lines with the iron to get the fold exact.

I am really pleased with the outcome and think my daughter and granddaughter will be too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Home Dec on Deck

The weather is beginning to turn, albeit in a roller coaster fashion going from mild to chilly and back again, but this morning there was a very light dusting of snow on the railing.  Once the sun rises, it'll be gone.  However this change in weather hearld's a new season .......  sewing season!

First up on deck is a home dec project.
My daughter bought a quilt and sham from Pottery Barn Kids for Caitlin's 'big girl bed'.  She asked if I could make two pillows to match.  I think they turned out well.

With leftover fabric I made Polly Dolly.  She is basically a stick figure; triangular dress in fashion fabric, head, arms and legs in muslin.  I made the pattern myself, it was very easy.

Polly Dolly is a sister to Molly Dolly.  I made Molly years ago. She was the prototype and a favourite doll for Caitlin when she comes to visit.

And if you ever want a friend to join you at a Tea Party in Grandma's Gazebo (a.k.a. Zee-gee-bo), then Molly Dolly is your gal!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sewing room makeover

My sewing room was taking on a life of it's own.  Despite trying to use up my stash I felt like was becoming a hoarder.

There was crib in the room too, and it was a nightmare cleaning up making sure there were no pins on the floor. 

When it wasn't being used as a nursery, it was truly a messy place.  Time for a complete make over!

The crib got moved to the Treehouse (guest cottage) and a single bed put in it's place.  I made some red plaid drapes, headboard and bedskirt. Trimmed a side table with red plaid inserts and bought new lamp.

I put some funky Canadiana folk art object in the window.  Our whole cottage has the lodge look, so this room fits in well with the rest of the decor.

Then I installed a long drapery rod and hung black drapes to hide the unsightly shelves holding the bins of fabric, notions, patterns and book.  But I can pull them back and leave them open when I'm sewing the room.

I have a card table with a large cutting board that I can set up along with an ironing board when working on a project. 
But if the bed has to be used for an overnight guest, it can all be easily put away and become a cozy room!

Now to find the time for serious sewing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rapunzel Dress

So here's the outcome of the Rapunzel Dress I made for Caitlin.
Standing in front of a full length mirror, Caitlin examines her image.

This looks good on me.

Then she checked for twirlability.

Twirls okay.

She liked the matching tiara too.  The dress was hit with Caitlin.  And mom likes it too because she can wear it over her regular clothes and pop it off when she eats dinner or goes out in the backyard to play. Apparently, she has been wearing the dress on a daily basis.

Just love my new dress!

I was down to visit the other day and stayed long enough for a spaghetti dinner.  Caitlin told me that she loves spaghetti.  I said, "then why don't you marry it?"
She said "okay", so now I will make a bride dress for her, just like Princess Kate's dress which is what she wants.
Great! Now I can use up all the leftover peau de soie, dupioni and lace I have from various bridesmaids projects.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sewing again.

I had a request for a Rapunzel outfit from 2 year old Caitlin.  In my stash I found mauvey pink dupioni silk, leftover from a Grade 8 graduation dress I made back in the mid-90's.  Then after a quick trip to Fabricland, I found some mauvey pink cuddle satin, sparkly mauvey pink something-or-other fabric and pink ribbon along with some pink rat-tail cording.

Using Collars Etc. pattern Bodice Dress, I whipped this outfit up in just a few hours.  The left sleeve looks puckered, but it's not. I overlooked fixing it before I took the shot.  Oh well.  And now that I look at the photo again, the hem looks puckered too. 

Based on the dress from Tangled.

On the sleeve, I stitched rows of pink ribbon on the dupioni sleeve portion and inserted both the dupioni and sparkly fabric at the same time.  There isn't any elastic in the dupioni cuff because Caitlin might be wearing a long sleeved t-shirt under the dress when the weather get colder.

For the bodice front, I cut one from cuddle satin and one from dupioni.  Cutting the dupioni portion in half, folding in the edges, I stitched on loops of pink ribbon so the rat-tail cord could be woven through and then basted it to the front cuddle satin piece.

The front skirt is layers of cuddle satin, the sparkly fabric and side front panels and back of dupioni with mauve lace joining the skirt and bodice.  The skirt is long because Caitlin will most likely wear pants under the dress on cold days.

Lastly, I stitched mauve lace along the bottom of the dupioni skirt sections.

As good luck would have it, I found a purple crown although it looks blue in the photo.

So now Caitlin has a fun little dress-up outfit to wear when she's in a Princess mood!

This is first sewing I've done since the ice went out last April.  Now that autumn is in the air and gardening season is just about done,  I'll be reacquainting myself with my machine.  There are lots of projects I have in mind .... right after the falling leaves get raked.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gone Fishin' (again)

I'm glad I took the time to make the little fishing game because it turned out to be a hit! 

I was worried that Caitlin might get the magnet out of the felt hook but now I'm worried she'll poke herself or someone else in the eye with her fishing pole.
Does worrying ever stop?  I don't think so!!!

I made the dress she is wearing back in March 2009 using a pattern from AS&E and the link is here.
My daughter said to make more dresses using this pattern as she really likes it.

Changed the buttons after this photo.
But all sewing projects are on hold right now.  There are just too many outdoor projects that have been waiting all winter for my attention.

So once again, I've 'Gone Fishing' !!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Speaking of fish......

While still deep in the midst of spring cleaning, I found time to make this quick little project.  I got the idea from here and here. 

It's the age old magnetic fishing game and since Caitlin is learning about colours and numbers I was able to not only use up just about all of the googly eyes in my stash but all the colours of felt too.

I simply drew out a shape of a fish and cut two of each colour.  Then sandwiched a paper clip between the two layers and stitched embroidery floss (3 strands) around the edge making sure to stitch a little extra around the paper clip to hold it in place.  Lastly, numbered the fish using a felt pen.  I tried using fabric paint in a squeeze bottle, but it got caught up in the fuzz on the felt. 

Finding a stick, attached a piece of string and fashioned a hook shape from felt.  Inside the felt hook is a small round magnet.  I made lots of stitches to hold the magnet inside the hook, but I will warn Caitlin's mom to supervise her when she uses this in case the magnet comes out.  I fret about kids and small objects like the size of this magnet.

Then I needed a fish pond.  I thought about making a cloth bucket.  Then I toyed with the idea of covering a box with the remaining felt in shapes of waves and other aquatic life.  But then I stumbled upon this basket.  Perfect!

All the fish fit perfectly inside plus there are two handles.  

If I were to make this project again I might make the fish larger in different shapes using scraps of fashion fabrics and have features on the fish like fins and gills. The fish would be stuffed too.  Little softie fish.  Instead of using paper clips perhaps use grommets.  
The fish pond would be a cloth bucket with aquatic life or maybe just shells appliqued on the sides.  Oh, and rope handles.
Okay. Back to spring cleaning...............

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Spring is here, the snow has melted, the ice is off the lake and the great outdoors is calling me away from sewing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bucket & Bubble

Today I made a Bubble Dress (from Oliver + S) and a Bucket Hat (Little Things to Sew book) and used up the remaining Amy Butler and a matching green polka dot fabric.  Oh, and a whole package of turquoise bias binding.

Used every scrap of these fabrics.

Because there wasn't a lot of this fabric, but enough to make a dress, I had to get creative cutting out the pieces.  The paisley pattern gets cut off at the top on the skirt portion as there just wasn't enough to jiggle the pattern piece any other way.  The bottom looks a little uneven, but that's just the bubble effect and it hasn't been washed yet.

Apparently, everything I make smells a little like fire.  No wonder.  We heat with wood and I usually do my hand stitching in front of the fireplace.  So this item will go through the washer and get ironed just before it leaves here.

Getting back to cutting, the bodice is also a off balance.  There just wasn't enough fabric to get the paisley pieces even.  Therefore to divert the eye, I made a big flower from bias binding, a yo-yo and a button.

Chances are, Caitlin will be wiggling and hopping around, therefore no will notice any of these details.

I stitched the bias binding into a tube shape and using a Fast Turn, slipped cording into the bias tube.  I cut them into 5 6" strips, looped them and stitched them together.

I used up all of the remaining green dot for the lining in the bodice.........

......and in the hem.

Lucy looking in.

Lastly, the hat is size small and the dress is 24 months.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another fitting trip.

Using the Children's Corner pattern Adelaide,  I made Caitlin a pretty little yellow check dress.  The fabric is a lightweight synthetic that is much like wool.

Posing for 1 nano second.

Here's a close up of the fabric while I was making the front knife pleats.

Knife pleats are easy!

The instructions for the pattern are vague.  They assume the person using the pattern knows how to sew well.  Fortunately, on the Children's Corner website, there is an instructional video to explain some of the techniques.  Go here for those instructions.


I wanted to use rabbit or chick buttons on the front but the colour buttons I had didn't work well with the fabric.  I also have white rabbit buttons but they have a shank and didn't sit well on the dress.

So I used 2 four hole buttons and made a little flower using a french knot and lazy daisy stitch in the button hole. 

A little blury.

Grandpa making her laugh.
On the piping for the collar and cuffs, I whip stitched 6 strands of floss matching the background fabric colour.  I used Tiger Tape to keep the stitches even.

Tiger tape. A stitchers best friend.

Caitlin wasn't keen to take off her stockings.  She wasn't keen on trying on the dress either, but acquiesced after much coaxing.  The dress is size 24months and it fits her perfectly, right now.  In another month or so, it'll be too tight.

Perfect dress for Easter.

The big hit was the Red Riding Hood Cape and the book.  Caitlin loved the book and asked me to read it over, and over and over while wearing her cape and holding on to the little basket.

Look! There's a little girl with a basket and red cape that looks just like me!

I thought for sure she might be frightened or become worried about the wolf.  In fact, she thought he was funny.  However, she was really concerned about the Woodsman who came in to Grandma's house to scare away the wolf.  I suppose it was his angry face and the axe he was holding that gave her rise for concern!