Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The OOP Oliver + S Bubble Dress Reissued!

I have always loved the O+S Bubble Dress...

But it went out of print before I had my daughter and so it was out of reach for me, until now!  The great folks at O+S have reissued this pattern in digital form.  I snapped it up the day it was announced on their blog and immediatly set to work making my daughter one of each view of the dress. 

View A is complete.  This dress has the scalloped side detail and was made with fabric from the Little Lissette line available at Joann's.   So pretty and whimsical...

I used a second print from Little Lissette to line the skirt and just plain white cotton to line the bodice:

I bought this pattern for the adorable bubble silhouette of the skirt but it turns out that I'm most enamored by the bodice.  The curve that creates the little cap sleeve is perfect.  I really loved the way that gentle curve at the shoulder turned out such a cute sleeve.  And the armhole was really fun to sew - like driving a fast car down a curvy road! 

I'm still finishing up View B, with the straight side seams.  I'm making this version with cotton voile prints from Anna Maria Horner.  That floral print is one of my favorites and I've had it stashed forever.  I can't wait to see it come to life as my daughter traipses around in her new dress!

I'm really pleased with the pattern.  Just so simple and beautiful. 

And now, a word on my works in progress.  I have 2 Sorbetto tanks in the works - one is cut and the other just needs the binding at the neckline and armholes.  I have added a back placket to one of the tanks and I photographed that process so I'm planning a tutorial in the coming weeks on how to add a placket to that popular, and free pattern.  I'm very excited to put that out there on the interwebs actually.

I have also become really, very, obsessed with the new book from Alabama Chanin and I have been working on a hand sewing project that is taking up a ton of my sewing time.  It is a hand stenciled, embroidered, reverse appliqued dress.  I am really excited about it and while I don't have a ton to show you at the moment I will give you this little peek of the dress's center back panel. 

And finally, I am very excited to say that I am going to be teaching my first ever sewing class  this June!  I have signed up to be a instructor for the Hope Refugee Sewing Project and you can bet that I will be posting about that experience and hopefully showing some pictures from the class. 

Ok, enough!  I'm going to stop typing now.  ;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Simplicty 1879: Shorts Finished!

After the work I did on my muslin was complete these shorts came together really quickly!  As I mentioned in my last post I almost never sew pants for myself so I wasn't sure what to expect but...

I really like them!  The curved waist band is great.  The side zip makes for a nice clean front.  The pleat detail is just enough to make them fun without adding bulk to the tummy. 

I cut the inside piece for the waist band from some left over pink plaid from my daughters skirt.  This is one of the great perks of sewing for yourself in my opinion - besides getting a custom fit you get to add secret prints just you will see. 

Cute and comfy!  I think I will make these again for sure once we start to see some warmer weather here.  I would love a pair in a soft, washed denim or olive drab, even a print in the right scale (similar to the garment on the pattern envelope).  If you are looking to build some summer staples into your wardrobe in the next couple of months Simplicity 1879 is a good one to try.  As for me, I think my next project is going to be some tanks using the famous, free Sorbetto pattern from Colette Patterns.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Simplicity 1879: Muslin for Cuffed Shorts with Side Zip

As I was making up my daughter's latest Music Class Skirt I realized that I have a TON of the navy cord in my stash (at least 3 yards remaining).  I started trying to think of ways to use some of it up.  I thought about maybe a skirt for me and then I remembered that I just stashed this pattern, Simplicity 1879:

This is one of the womens' wear patterns that Liesel Gibson has designed for Simplicity.  I was drawn to the shorts pattern immediately because I can never find comfortable, flattering shorts for myself in stores.  So, even though I am usually not inspired to sew pants and shorts for myself I decided to give these a try.  Because I'm not that practiced at fitting pants and shorts for myself I decided to do a muslin using the size 14 pattern pieces.  My muslin fit great in back:

But look at the front!  Unfortunate.

Wierd crotch wrinkles is not a good look for anyone.  I had to do some research to figure out what to do about those "smile" wrinkles that were radiating from the crotch.  I found a great resource for pants fitting on Coletterie.  If you are looking to fit pants start with the Coletterie Pant Fitting Cheatsheet.  I was able to diagnose the problem and then see diagrams about how to alter to fix it!  The diagrams were developed with the Collette Clover pants pattern in mind but I think they would be very helpful to anyone sewing pants or shorts - they certainly helped me!  

First I let out the side seams 3/8" on each side from the waist and tapering to nothing at the hip.  That alteration really helped but didn't entirely eliminate the problem.  Instead of "smile" lines that pulled upward I had a fold of fabric that fell straight across the shorts at the crotch.  I was able to pinch it out using pins. I folded about 1.5" at the crotch and then tapered the fold to nothing at the side seam.  Here the result (note, I'm wearing them inside out here so the pleats look a little strange):

Much better - I think that will do it.  I pulled the muslin apart and used it to make a new front pattern piece.  Here is a photo showing the original pattern (top) and my altered pattern (bottom).  The difference looks huge to me! 

The curve in the side seam and the waist is much more exagerated and the length between the crotch and waist is much shorter.   I must be a true, blue sewing geek because I find that picture fascinating!

Now what I should do next is make another muslin with my new pattern but guess what?  I'm not going to - I'm just going to throw caution to the wind and slice into my fashion fabric using the new pattern.  I'm feeling really brave since my fashion fabric was purchased on sale over a year ago and I have tons and tons of it.  Stay tuned for my finished shorts and wish me luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Music Class Blouse and Skirt Revisited

I seem come back to my Oliver + S patterns time and time again, season after season, making them up in various fabrics and ever larger sizes as my children grow.  Case in point is the Music Class Blouse and Skirt which I blogged about last August here.  My daughter has just about outgrown her old music class separates so I went back to my pattern, traced off the next size up (my baby needs a 3T already!) and got down to business.

I made 2 tops.  The first is from a white on white dot print that I have had in my stash forever.  I have always planned to make this fabric into a Music Class blouse with black buttons and I finally, finally got to it.  Won't this be cute with black Mary Janes?

I really like the classic look of the white dot print with the shiny black buttons...

And let me just tell you I was thanking my lucky stars that I had just had my machine professionally cleaned while I sewed that white top.
The second top is made from one of the "Aunt Edna" prints by Denyse Schmidt that are out at Joann Fabrics right now.  Of course I needed to pink this up a little bit with the buttons since my daughter loves her some pink. 

I made a music class skirt to go with the blue print top in navy blue pinwhale cord with pleated inset in a coordinating cotton print. 

I can't say enough how terrific this skirt pattern is.  This skirt has pockets and the cute pleated inset panel and it is so genius in my opinion because you get all these cute details out of just 4 pattern pieces.  Waist band, side panel and center panel plus a simple rectangle for the pleated insert.  Love, love. 

Next up I'm going to attempt a pair of shorts for myself using a Simplicity 1879 and some more of that navy pinwhale cord.  There will be a muslin people!   How about you?  Any spring-time sewing going on?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

McCall's 6237: A Birthday Dress

My daughter's birthday is December 26th and I can not believe she has turned 2!  How those baby-months fly by and before you know it you have a "big girl" on your hands.  I decided to make her a pretty party dress for her birthday and I settled on McCall's 6237 because it had long sleeves and a classic shape. 
But, would you look at the sample from the pattern cover??!!

It is hard to tell but that dress is made with "contrast pockets and bodice".  If you ask me that dress is NOT made with "contrast" anything, rather it is made with really similar, almost the same, black and white prints.  The skirt and sleeves print has a kind of green wash which I guess they were trying to emphasize through the addition of the acid green bow.  McCall's - thumbs down to you for your horrible sample dress!  Good thing your adorable model is a professional and can work it in any crazy thing you put on her!

Ok, now for my version of McCall's 6237, view A ...

I used a nice cotton print by Anna Griffin that I picked up at my local quilt shop.   I love the vintage feel of the print and I think it made for a really sweet, kind of casual little girl's dress.  I went for contrast pockets and bodice lining but skipped the bow and kept the bodice, sleeves and skirt in one print.  The pockets and bodice lining are from Kona solid.  I wouldn't normally recommend Kona for a garment lining but it was the perfect color, just sitting there in my stash ready to go! My daughter's favorite thing about the dress is the pockets - she loves a pocket! 

And the fact that she gets to wear her boots with it - she also loves a boot! 

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sitting Room Renovation: Window Treatments

So far my sitting room renovation has gone from this...

To this!

I've been sewing miles and miles of curtains.  I made 6 panels for this little room and these babies are 114" long.  I used a large scale print from the AMH Loulouthi line - it is called "Clippings" in the Glow colorway.  

I ended up using quilting weight cotton because I really wanted this print and felt I could make the cotton work as a drape as long as I used a good drapery lining. 

This is my first time hanging rods like this from the ceiling - I really like the effect that these floor to ceiling drapes have in this room.  The ceilings are 9' in this room and the drapes make them seem even higher than they are.  I think that for privacy's sake I may need to hang a sheer inside the window frames on a tension rod.  I'm not sure yet, we're going to live with the window treatments as is for a while and make a decision later. 

I have plans for a nice upholstered chair that will go near the front windows.  I have several additional print fabrics that I'll also bring into the room.  There will be pillows people!  I also have plans for little chochkies and such to fill the walls and flat surfaces.  And I have my eye on a great circular mirror with a vintage feel that will hopefully live above my fireplace someday soon, reflecting the big front windows. 

And I have to create some type of screen for this:

This fire place is original to the house (1910) but it hasn't been in use in the last 50 years or so.  I would love to have some sort of gas insert put in (since the last home owners refurbished the chimneys) but the reality is that won't happen for years.  So for now I need to hide this insulation some how.  I'm thinking an upholstered board of some sort that would sit inside the grate.  Maybe? 

It's not done yet but I'm very happy with the way this room is turning out.  I can't wait to curl up in there with my Kindle and a glass of wine!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Yo-Yo Tree Garland in Parisville Fabrics

Let the Christmas Chores oops, I mean Cheer, begin!

I'll give you fair warning that usually Christmas is not my favorite holiday.  I've been told that I have certain tendencies reminiscent of you know who:
I find Christmas to be a stressful time of year.  There is the shopping, the decorating, the cooking and baking.  I always feel like I have a Christmas-related to-do list that is 1 mile long and I never can get it all done. 

However, this year I'm kind of excited to decorate the house and start the Christmas countdown.  I'm not sure what brought about this change.  Maybe it's because my kids are old enough to really know what's going on at Christmas time and get frantically excited.  Maybe I have a little more energy this year because I'm not pregnant, or nursing, or pregnant and nursing as I have been for the last several years. 

As evidence of my Christmas-y spirit I give you this tree! 

This Christmas tree is at the end of my counter top in the kitchen.  I made the yo-yo garland over my Thanksgiving break using tiny pieces of Parisville fabric that I had in my stash (plus a solid in pink) and one of those Clover yo-yo maker thingies.

In addition to the yo-yo garland I tied some of the branches here and there with little strips of fabric.  The ornaments are all Wizard of Oz characters that I've had for years.  I'd say roughly 50% of my Christmas tree ornaments are Wizard of Oz themed.  I love the Wizard of Oz.  Alot.   
I'm really just down to scraps of the Parisville line at this point.  I'm consoling myself by stocking up on some Prince Charming while I wait for Tula's new line due in April 2012:  Nightshade!!!  Exactly what the doctor ordered for this Halloween-lover stuck in Christmasville.