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!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Red Riding Hood's cape.

I made a Little Red Riding Hood cape today for Caitlin.  And I even have a labrador wolf to help with the story.

Hurry up and tell your sewing story. I want to play!

The pattern comes from the book Little Things to Sew.  I think it took me about 2 hours to cut and construct the cape.  It was really simple and easy.
However, the smallest size (size medium) fits up to size 4 and Caitlin barley fits into size 2.  So I took 5/8 seam allowances hoping to shrink the overall size somewhat.  She'll just have to grow in to it.  It's supposed to be for dress-up anyway.

About 8 years ago I found this wonderful Little Red Riding Hood fabric by Marcus Brothers.  I bought a meter hoping that one day I would be a Grandmother and I could make something with it for a grandbaby.  So when I saw the book "Little Things to Sew" I knew right away I could use that fabric for lining on the Cape pattern.

"Here Red. Take this obscure looking food to your Granny in the woods."

Why Grandma. You look an awful lot like a labrador!"

Hope this isn't poison ivy.

I even covered the button with the fabric.

Self portrait.

It's difficult to take a photo of the cape so I asked my assistant to help out.

Don't you just hate dog owners. They're nuts.

I also bought the book Little Red Riding Hood so Caitlin can wear the cape while someone reads the story to her.

It's a fun little book with pop up windows revealing parts of the story.

I want to make 3 little dolls to go with the book but like every Granny that lives in the woods, I've got some chores to look after first.

When all this wood gets split and stacked, there are a couple of little outfits cut and ready to go.

It's not such a daunting task Lucy. Your predecessor, Rosie, loved helping.


There's an on-line magazine I just stumbled upon called Sew Wow.  And WOW it is! Talk about inspiration!!  It's full of beautiful childrens' clothing (available in kits) featuring patterns from Oliver + S,  Children's Corner ... all the favourites. 
And not only is it full of gorgeous outfits, there are tips, tricks and lots of information covering topics of sewing.  In many respects, this magazine is very similar to Creative Needle.

Here are the issues and I've made a link to view each issue.  Wow!

Click HERE for this issue.

Click here to view this issue

Click here  for this issue

Click HERE for this issue.

Click on here for this issue.

Click here for this issue.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fitting trip.

We made a trip down to the city today and stopped by Caitlin's house to try on the latest items I made for her.

The Popover dress was a little too large on the front.  Both back and front upper panel sections need to be reduced by at least 1 1/2 inches.  It was little long too.  Here I was worried it was too short and added the dark green hem panel.

Chocolate treat in the pocket.

The "Isabelle" smocked dress fit absolutely perfectly. Yeah!  And it was really sweet on her too.

David Letterman teeth.

I knew the Birthday Party Dress was going to fit perfectly, and it did.  Everyone liked the big yellow bow in the front.

New haircut. No more Mullet.
I've got 2 dresses left to finish this week.  Then I plan to start working on some items from this book that arrived last week.

But I can't decide which item from the book to make first!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Smocking & Stitching

I made 3 dresses this week.  The first one is from Oliver + S called the Tea Party Dress.  My daughter really likes this pattern so naturally I made another one.

On the front facing, I pinked the lower edge ( in the middle section) so that when it all folds together at the 3 pleats, it isn't as bulky.  However I neglected to pink the front hem facing in the same spot.  The hem facing is serged, and is bulky at the 3 pleat spot.

Size 2T

Next dress was a smocked dress using the pattern Isabelle by Wendy Schoen. 
Size 1

I really like the sleeve cuff.

Here's what the pattern piece looks like.

But I'm not happy with the front smocked section.  For some reason, it wasn't wide enough and therefore the smocking became distorted when I stretched it to fit the front yoke.

I am really sure I cut the front piece to the correct size but who knows. Maybe I didn't.

Over the years I've made zillions of smocked dresses and this is the first one that's horribly distorted.  Perhaps I'm just losing it!

I used 2 strands of Floche for the smocking and 1 strand of Floche for the bullion roses.

Distorted pleats.

 The last dress is the Pop Over Sundress by Oliver + S.  It's a free download from HERE.

I didn't mean to have a green hem panel but I cut the dress short by accident therefore, I needed to add the hem section.  Perhaps I am indeed losing it!

I put an extra large pocket on the front and plan to get a little toy to hide inside it.

Size 2
I've got 2 more dresses cut out and ready to go.  Despite sewing up a storm lately, my stash doesn't seem to be depleting very quickly.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winners, Losers & Next Year.

We drove down to the city to see Caitlin and try on the little dresses I made.  We only had an hour because her nap time was looming and I also had to take my elderly mom to the doctor.

Here's the outcome.........

Mom and Caitlin loved the Jump Rope Dress.  I extended the front placket by 1 inch and that seemed to help getting the dress on and off.

How many moms does it take to dress one little girl?

I put little toy animals in the pockets, which was a hit as before.  Caitlin really likes pockets so I'll have to include them in every outfit I make.

The dress fit  perfectly.  It was size 2T.

Dollar store treasures.

 Her mom absolutely loved the Birthday Party Dress.  (Wait'll she has to iron it! tee-hee)  Caitlin wasn't too enthralled because there were no pockets.  Oh, and dig those crazy brown socks!

Now we come to the "Next Year" category.......

Mom loved the fabric for this Bodice Dress from Collars etc. She picked it out from my stash a year ago noting that she liked the colours.  However the dress is just too big.  I made size 1.

Mom loved the Puppet Show Dress, but it was also too big.  I made size 2T.  So it'll have to wait until next year to get used.
Where are the pockets?

This little dress is from Wendy Schoen and the pattern is called Jane.  It's size 1.  And it's too big. So off it goes to the closet for a year.

The beloved Bubble Dress in size 2T was too big as well.  Mom loved the fabric and she loves this style of dress. 

I plan to make it again in size 18-24months but I'll lengthen the bodice and make the skirt portion plain and not with the bubble hem or lining.

Lucy is searching for a cookie, Caitlin is searching for a pocket.

On to the losers.......

Mom did not like the Ice Cream Dress tunic top at all.  She doesn't like the neck.  The fabric was okay, but not the style.

Needless to say she didn't like the dress either.  It was also too big.  I made size 2T.

Caitlin is 22 months old.  She is in the lower percentile.  I don't get the percentile thing.  When my kids were growing they were categorized as big, like Aunt So-in-So, or short, like Uncle Ron or tiny, like Cousin John.  One thing I do know is, most size 2T won't fit her just yet.

So it's back to the sewing room, haul out the smaller size patterns, and get cracking.   I heard on the radio earlier today that the spring weather outlook for our area is for a cooler than normal spring, and arriving later than usual.  Stupid Groundhog, he got his forecast all wrong.  Anyway, it all means that I just got a few more weeks to spend indoors sewing before getting called outside to garden, paint and best of all, swim!