Monday, April 14, 2014

Rainbow Ruffle Dress

Just a little girl with an orange popsicle and a new dress. There's no way this could go wrong. 
Hey little girl, your popsicle seems to be running down your arm onto your dress. Can't See it?
Let me make it worse by trying to wipe it off.
Maybe put your hand over the wet spot so I can take another picture...
Okay, just turn around.

The Details
Pattern: Self-drafted from the bodice of this dress. Inspired by the Italia Dancing Dress from Fine Little Day
Fabric: Vintage light weight cotton from my MIL's stash. I love this fabric, its sort of a light weight oxford shirting. It's a little stiff, which worked great for the bodice, but makes the skirt a bit flatter than that of the inspiration. 
Construction: I was starting with a top that I knew fit L well. Otherwise there was a lot of trial and error. This is my first hidden zipper (actually second, if you count the one I took out of the first attempt at the bodice). The bodice is lined (the fabric is a bit see through) with the skirting fabric from L's Easter dress. The arm and neck openings are bound with wide bias tape made from the same fabric. A chunk of the front of the skirt is book matched (is that a sewing term?) on the bias, and fluffed up with wide pleats. The sides and back are one continuous piece, cut on the vertical grain, and gathered to make it full. The construction required more hand sewing (lining along the zipper, binding on the inside, lining at the waist) than I generally like to do. I was trying to avoid any distracting top stitching, that would draw attention away from the pattern of the fabric. Next time, I might lower my standards just a bit.

While Kid's Clothes Week is technically over, I've never been much for the rules. Find my entry here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Playtime Tunic + Leggings

Spring was in the air yesterday when we stopped to play in the park on the way home from school. It was so warm, I let L wear her sandals (which she's been wearing all winter indoors) out to play. She has declared her new Playtime Tunic and Leggings her favorite outfit, but knowing her penchant for floor length twirly skirts, I suspect it was the spring weather talking.

I cut this tunic out a few days after I made the dress version for last Kid's Clothes Week, but didn't get around to sewing it until just now. The buttons and floral knit are from my stash. I bought the navy pin stripe at Joann to tie the two together.
The tunic length of this pattern is so much more conducive to playtime than the longer dress. It's loose fitting, and just long enough to qualify as a dress (which L requires), but not get stepped on while climbing. See my KCW entry for a bit more in-depth analysis of the Oliver + S Playtime pattern. 



Monday, April 7, 2014

KCW: Unexpected T-Shirt Dress

This little dress came out of nowhere. The happy accident of a well stocked fabric closet, a pattern that I already own, and procrastinating the things on my to-do list. This is the very same vintage knit that I've had slated for O+S leggings, and some hot pink knit from Joann. Its the Figgy's Tee Time for Two, which I know is out of print, but is one of my favorite patterns. This is the 4T/5T t-shirt with a few modifications. I added 1 1/2" to the bottom edge of the t-shirt pattern piece, then added a 4" strip to the bottom of that. From the resulting bottom corner, I added 1 1/2" of  width, then connected that point to the under arm corner. Then made the pattern as directed.
As I was pinning the pieces together, I was thinking something along the lines of "Yikes, this pink is bright...maybe I should use blue...maybe I should go buy some heather grey...maybe I should stop thinking and just sew!?!" I stuck to my guns and saw it through, just to have something in my KCW finished pile. 
Sewn, photographed, worn. Just like that. Everything should be so easy. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Planning: Kid's Clothes Week

Normally, I stumble into kids clothes week with whatever I have on hand, and make one little thing at the last minute. I am still riding the wave of, more or less, continuous sewing since last KCW, so I am on top of this one. Here's a preview of what I plan to make.

Image by Oliver + S
Another Oliver + S Playtime Tunic (last time dress). This pattern has three big things going for it: it's fast, it's versatile, I already own it. The last one, in a sacred vintage print, was to gaze upon. This one, in navy and white pin stripe cotton from Joann, is for the playground.

Image by Oliver + S
Also for the playground are the Playtime Leggings, in this vintage knit floral. I have enough of this vintage floral from my MIL's enormous stash to make a dozen pairs of leggings, so bring on the knee holes.

Striped Ruffle Dress:
Image by Fine Little Day
At just about the time I was agonizing over L's Easter dress, I came across this little piece of perfection from Fine Little Day. When I was 6, I would have put this dress on on June 1st, and worn it until my mother wrestled it away from me to go back to school. In fact, I sewed myself a dress just like this, in two sizes of country blue floral print, when I was 10. What do we sew for, if not to perpetuate the fashion sins of the 90's on the children of today? The only way the above dress could be better, is if the stripes were rainbow. 
Luckily, Grandmom's stash does it again, with this light weight vintage cotton. So excited! I hope I don't mess it up. 

Kid's Clothes Week starts Monday, what are you sewing?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Also at the Art Museum

I was feeling just fine with my normal white background photos for L's Easter/wedding dress, but when L found out we were taking pictures at the Art Museum she insisted on wearing her new outfit, too. I'm glad she did, the wind at the top of the plaza actually worked in this (what I had been considering) sad little dress's favor. A few gusts of wind, and a well timed twirl, make it look far better than it did on the hanger at home.
This pattern was self drafted, which is to say I put a piece of paper on L's back and drew a few lines. The bodice is the same pin stripe linen from J's vest, cut on the bias. The skirt is the full width of the fabric, with a 6" difference in length from front to back. I was hoping for a paler pink for the skirt. This little number was far too last minute to find the perfect fabric online, so I bought good enough fabric on Fabric Row.

You may remember the inspiration from a few posts ago. I was most concerned about replicating the proportion, but I should have paid more attention to the simplicity.  I made a few bad decisions at the very last minute (as in bags packed, car at the curb, kids shoes on, dress not hemmed, you get the picture).  I'm most annoyed by the trim at the hem.  It's gratuitously matchy, and a bit of a distraction.

I could beat myself up about this perfectly fine dress, but I've already thought of something else to sew with my new bodice pattern, so I'm going to move on.
As a companion to J's vest, this dress is doing its job. L thinks her dress is fantastic, I will try to satisfy myself with that.