Saturday, March 30, 2013

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

 I came across these recently: Poppy Field dress by Groovybabyandmama during Kid's Clothes Belgian Style series hosted by Straightgrain.  It was so inspiring, it was contagious ~ I just had to make one, too :)

The pattern: Oliver+S Fairy Tale Dress, size 5, no sleeves, no collar, no bow

The fabrics: Poppy Field by Michael Miller and the lining is 100% cotton voile in white

The mods: I raised the waistline up 3 inches and widened the neckline. Also the width of the skirt is 44 inches (which is the entire width of the fabric) and not the 52.5 inches that is needed in the pattern (so the skirt is not as full)
PS I'm really getting my money's worth out of this pattern ~ this is the 6th time I've used it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monet Wearable Art

 Project Run and Play All Stars is going on right now and for Week 1 the challenge is Inspired by Art. Last week I saw this flickr photo: Tribute to Monet fabric Rollerskate Dress by megamora16.  I loved the fabric so much, I bought some online and when it arrived in the mail, I sewed up this dress!

The pattern: Oliver+S Fairy Tale Dress, size 5, no sleeves, no collar, no bow

The fabrics: "Tribute to Monet" designed for ExclusivelyQuilters and the lining is 100% cotton voile in white

The mods: The width of the skirt is 44 inches (which is the entire width of the fabric) and not the 52.5 inches that is needed in the pattern (so the skirt is not as full)
Monet is one of my favorite painters. During the 3.5 years during which I lived in France I took advantage of the opportunity and was fortunate to visit as many Claude Monet art exhibits and museums in Paris as well as his house and gardens in Giverny. So needless to say I was super excited to discover that Monet fabric existed.

These are totally my colors and I decided to keep in simple and let the fabric speak for itself. It is the perfect dress for spring and summer.
So there you have it wearable art!

PS I sure have been getting my money's worth out of this Fairy Tale Dress pattern, this is the 5th time I've used it, you can see the previous 4 here, here, here, and here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Basket Dress

 Easter dress sew and tell here today...

The pattern: Oliver+S Fairy Tale Dress, size 5, sleeveless, collarless, no bow, no crinoline (there is a tutu under the skirt for fullness)

The fabrics: bright green and hot pink, Timeless Treasures Fabrics

The mods: Easter basket bodice (I got this waist weaving detail idea from cathgrace). 2 Easter egg pockets (egg-shaped hole pockets, they are inset pockets (floating) with visible pocket lining in pink). And that is not all my friends, no that is not all… teeny tiny bunny hidden inside a pocket!

 After assembling the bodice, I put it on the dress form, and weaved 1.5 inch wide ribbon on it to see if that would be a good width for all the basket pieces. It looked fine, so I decided to make the basket pieces 1.5 inches in width.
 I cut out 13 pieces at 3.5 inches X 5.25 inches and 2 pieces at 3.5 inches X 27 inches.
 I used a circle cut out of cardstock to get the curve on top and sewed all those pieces together.
 I tacked down the tops (hand sewn) and baste stitched around the bottom.
 I added 3 box pleats to the front of the skirt.
 Drew an egg shape on white fabric for the lining of the pocket.
 Sewed along the line and cut through both layers in the middle.
 Clipped the curves.
 Pushed the white fabric through the hole, topstitched it, then attached pompom trim (hand sewn).
 Added a loop of ribbon along the seam of the bottom of the pocket.
 Here is the loop at the bottom of the pocket, this is where the teeny tiny bunny is attached (so it doesn't get lost).
 The knitted bunny is attached by crochet chain, so it is removable because we don't want the bunny going for a ride in the wash machine :)
 The bunny is her favorite part and mine, too.
 I put those loops at the bottom of both pockets, so she can decide which pocket the bunny will go in.
The teeny tiny knitted bunny is a free pattern, she was knit with 2 yarns: Alpaca Silk and Brushed Suri leftover from my scoop neck vest I knitted for myself over 4 years ago. She is a very fortune bunny having 4 knit dresses! It's another free knitting pattern called itty bitty dress.
 Here's another idea... add pompom trim to the neckline and arm holes... this was actually my daughter's idea, she took some pompom trim and placed it on the neckline (on the dress form).
 A Blessed Easter to all of you who celebrate it. Here is Frozen Ice Block, Minnesota this is what Easter egg hunting will look like this year... kids diving into the snow in order to dig out those Easter eggs!!
PS this is the 4th dress I've sewn using the Fairy Tale dress pattern, see the others here, here, and here

Sowing While You Sew

 This was originally posted a couple of weeks ago at Daisy Chain Creations, bringing it back home today...
Sowing While You Sew is such a great series, I'm so glad Sally invited me to contribute. You know, when I was growing up I learned many types of sewing skills (hand embroidery, cross stitch, machine sewing, quilting) during 4th and 5th grade summer school (which was free). I also took some sewing classes during Junior High School. Nowadays I don't think many schools offer these types of classes anymore, so if we want our children to know some basic sewing skills, like how to sew on a button, for example, we have to teach them ourselves. And what a perfect opportunity to do to some sewing projects together would be during those 3 long months off of school during the summer, just something to keep in mind when you're making those plans for the summer.

Anyway, today I'm going to share with you what I've done to teach my son how to sew.

Back when he was 4.5 years old, I cut out a piece of burlap from an empty rice bag, and placed it into an embroidery hoop.

 Besides sewing, I also knit, so I always have some yarn and a tapestry needle (thick blunt metal hand sewing needle) on hand.
 He took these tools and materials and hand sewed a yellow flower and white star.
 Fast forward 5 years to now when I recently told him: "I'm going to teach you how to sew. You can use my sewing machine." And my 9 year old son said: "Finally!"

The whole goal was to start out simple and teach him how to sew a straight line on the sewing machine ~ he started with a very easy instant gratification project called: canvas loose-leaf paper project.  It's such a great little project, it is simply sewing one red, then many blue straight lines on a small size rectangle canvas fabric. In the end you have a piece of fabric that looks like a piece of loose leaf paper!

The first couple of lines I placed a strip of yellow tape that he used as a guide...
 then the rest of the blue lines he used the edge of the presser foot as the guide. He quickly discovered that the harder he pressed on the foot peddle, the faster the sewing machine went and there were smiles and laughs when he went really fast!

 So after he got some practice done, it was on to the drawstring backpack. I wanted to make this fun for him, so I made sure to include his favorite colors. Solid yellow pima cotton fabric and red thread were used for this project. I also thought that a darker thread on a lighter fabric would make it easier to see what he was doing. This is a simple flat tote where the drawstrings are also shoulder straps. The 2 drawstrings are anchored in the lower corners and gather in the top hem channel. In case anyone is interested, this drawstring backpack is made out of only one piece of fabric cut 12"X32" and two cords that were cut 60" long. After sewing several straight lines, he was done! A drawstring backpack is a perfect beginner sewing project, I had no idea that it was so easy to make.

To add to the fun factor I made a teeny tiny sized drawstring backpack for his favorite tiger stuffed animal. 
 My son also created a LEGO sewing machine!
I gathered some resources that might be helpful with sewing a drawstring backpack:
Gifts are for giving, so I encourage you to pass on your sewing skills onto your children. Have fun sewing with your kids!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sew, Mama, Sew! Guest Post

Happy Monday everyone !

I am over at the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog today sharing how I used dental floss when sewing a little girl's patchwork skirt. Please join me.

Dental Floss Skirt Tutorial by Rachel of nest full of eggs for Sew, Mama, Sew!

It's a fun and cute little skirt. One thing that's really great about it is that there is absolutely no waste fabric (every single little square inch of fabric is used).

PS They also posted an intro about me, you can find that here.

PPS What are you sewing this week? These past few days I have been working on an Easter dress for my daughter, I hope to be able to share it soon...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sowing While You Sew Guest Post

Today I am visiting Sally at Daisy Chain Creations for her Sowing While You Sew series. Come on over and see my guest post to see how my son has been learning how to sew. Be sure to check out the other posts in her series, too while you are over there.

Daisy Chain Creations

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Striped Dress

 I came across this striking green and white striped dress of Swedish design, it's from Anive for the Minors for their spring and summer 2013 collection. I looked around to see where it could be bought, but there's no place in the USA that sells it and the 2 Swedish websites that sell that line of clothing don't sell that dress.
Purple Rose Party Dress free pattern and tutorial
 I realized I could sew up a very similar one using my Purple Rose Party Dress pattern with minimal adjustments. Would you like to sew one, too? Here's what I did…
Purple Rose Party Dress free pattern and tutorial
 Striped Dress free pattern and tutorial

What you need:
  • 2 yards striped fabric (2 yards was just enough, to be on the safe side 2.25 or 2.5 yards would be better, if using thicker striped fabric I recommend 2.5+ yards)
  • 1 yard lining fabric
  • 1 invisible zipper (the length of the zipper I installed was 10 inches)
  • Purple Rose Party Dress free pattern and tutorial
  • Quilting ruler that has a 45 degree angle on it
  • Rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • 1 inch bias tape maker

Quick explanation of how I adapted my Purple Rose Party Dress pattern to create this striped dress:
  • omit the front bow sash
  • cut the front bodice pattern in 2 separate pieces
  • cut an extra circle skirt 6 inches in length
  • fully line the bodice and circle skirts (omit the French seams)
  • omit the bias tape trim on the hem of the circle skirts

Now for the more detailed explanation with photos of how I executed this look. Warning: To obtain perfect 90 degree angles (in the final result) extra precision is needed when cutting out every piece. Following the photos is very important for this tutorial. Please refer to the Purple Rose Party Dress tutorial for information and basic construction steps that I might have missed here.

First of all add .5 inch to the center of the front bodice piece, this is for the .5 inch seam allowance. The front bodice is cut in 2 pieces where the stripes are cut at a 45 degree angle.

 I put the first bodice piece on top of the fabric (right sides together) to obtain a perfectly symmetrical piece.
 Cut the back bodice pieces at a 45 degree angle, making sure to line up the stripes (and form a 90 degree angle) with the front bodice pieces.

 Sew the front bodice pieces together with a .5 inch seam allowance, press seams open.

 Finish sewing together the bodice pieces and the bodice lining pieces, press seams open.
 Moving onto the circle skirt of 6 inches in length. Cut out four 10 inch squares at a 45 degree angle.

 Sew them together, press seams open.
 Cut out a circle skirt of 6 inches in length in the lining fabric, place it on top (right sides together) of the large square you just sewed together.
 Cut out striped circle skirt, sew together using .25 inch seam allowance. Clip edges all around, turn right side out, and press.

 Repeat this for the circle skirt of 10 inches in length, but this time cut out four 14 inch squares.
Using .5 inch seam allowance attach the 2 circle skirts to the bodice.
Cut 3 yards of bias tape, 1.75 inches wide for the 1 inch bias tape maker (I made three 1 yard pieces of bias tape).

 The dress is just as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside being fully lined and also with the bias tape trim on the skirt/bodice seam.
 All that remains is installing the invisible zipper and sewing on the bias tape to the arm holes and neckline.
 Maybe you would prefer to have a 7 inch and 9 inch skirt lengths, for example. So depending on how you want the proportions of the 2 skirt layers, you can make the circle skirts at different lengths and here is what you will need:
  • 6 inch length: four 10 inch squares
  • 7 inch length: four 11 inch squares
  • 8 inch length: four 12 inch squares
  • 9 inch length: four 13 inch squares
  • 10 inch length: four 14 inch squares

 Isn't it incredible how the same sewing pattern can be used to create 2 completely different looks? That's what I call versatility!

I hope you enjoy sewing your striped dress!

PS Cost estimation: for 3 yards of fabric and 1 invisible zipper I spent $18.50

PPS If you like striped dresses you might also enjoy sewing my Purpledicular Dress