Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jump Rope Dress.....finished!

Remember the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress I was working on?  Well, I am very happy to say I am  done with it!

It went together really quickly and easily!  I think I worked on the actual sewing part about 6-7 hours?  Printing and piecing the pattern was additional time, but I figure if I re-use it, then that time gets diluted and shouldn't be added to this project because then it would mentally hold me back in the future. 




Here's how it looks:

Oh!  I also learned a great tip from some of the ladies at the Oliver + S forums.  They trace the pattern pieces onto freezer paper and then iron them onto the fabric.  No need for pins!  Wha...????  LOVE this tip!  It really sped things up for me.  I detest pinning.  Always have.  I just wanna cut my fabric out and get on with the fun know?

I lengthened this pattern to fit my girl.  It only goes up to a size 8 and she's wearing size 12 slim.  I used the finished garment sizes to determine if it would fit and thought there would be enough room for ease.  It fits her, but just barely.  I doubt she'll be able to wear it into the summer.  I should have also widened it a bit.

Still a great learning experience, though.  I now know that I need to modify View A if I expect her to get more wear out of it.

Overall, I really like the finished product!  It's cute, but not too cute (she is nearly 10, after all).  Ava chose the fabric and contrasting placket fabric herself.  I can picture it in denim, corduroy, 1930's print, or even something big and bold from Amy Butler.  Love those little pockets!  They look like itty bitty purses!  So cute and girly :)


I love that she has Transition lenses most of the time...........but, NOT when we are taking pictures outside.  I often grab her old pair of normal glasses so I can see her eyes, but forgot them here.  It was so bright and windy.


I even managed to line up the direction of the fabric quite well!

My first experience with Oliver + S was a very pleasant one!  This is a garment I am PROUD to say I made!  Based on this pattern alone, I highly recommend O+S!  Liesl gives very clear instructions and great ideas for finishing seams neatly.  This has been my biggest hindrance in sewing clothing.  I don't have a serger or even pinking shears.  I still did fine!

If you've not sewn with Oliver + S before, give it a try! 

I actually wrote this post about a year ago and never posted it because I didn't take pictures!  She is now almost 11, and the dress used to come just below her knees!  But, obviously, it still fits her--so my comment about it not fitting into the summer was wrong!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Every SuperMom needs a cape!

Back in December I was tickled to get to be a pattern tester for Liesl Gibson, pattern designer for Oliver + SLisette, and Liesl & Co.!
The pattern I sewed is for the Liesl & Co. line, and is now available as a digital download--how great is that?  It is called Woodland Stroll Cape and  was so easy to sew! 
I'll be honest when I say, I wasn't exactly in the market for a cape.  I tend to shop very "safe" and don't branch out very much.  Geez, I make it sound like this is a real psychadelic superhero cape!
What can I say?  I think my wardrobe is rather boring much of the time!  I NEED more stylish items like this cape!  And so do you, my friend! 

Truly, I spent less than 4 hours making this.  4 HOURS.  And I am probably quite slow!  I think I was rather horrified to realize I could have been making myself awesome pretties like this all these years and have not done so.  Let's just say a light bulb went off!
I really can't wait to make another in a more casual fabric.  Perhaps I'll make it a few inches longer, as well, as I am a bit tall.  Maybe a dark brown or charcoal plaid.  And then one for Ava.  Oh, didn't I mention it is available for kids, too?  So adorable.
I chose a faux suede from the Christopher Lowell decorator line at Joann's.  I couldn't find the label when I bought it, and one of the employees said it was a moleskin.  When I went back a couple weeks later, the label was there and read "Suedecloth".  So there you go.  I thought it felt a smidge heavier than moleskin.

Showing the tobacco colored lining.  Please ignore my lounge wear!!!
I wanted mother of pearl buttons, but these were the closest I could find that day.  The color is close enough and I am pleased with them.  I love the color.  The color of the suede, the color of the buttons, and the color of the lining!  It's just lovely and I'm so glad I was driven out of my little "box" and tried something new!
It feels very luxurious to wear! I've already worn it several times and received some very nice compliments!

It was such a fun opportunity to test this pattern for Liesl, and I hope for the privilege again in the future!
If you still haven't checked out her patterns for kids and women, please do yourself a favor and go do it now!
Be brave.
Branch out like I did and make yourself a psychadelic superhero cape!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sew Lisette...........the Souvenir blouse

Ah, I finally made up something for myself!  I nabbed this black floral quilting cotton from Hobby Lobby for $2/yd! 

Initially, I set out to make the Portfolio dress first, but Joann's did not have that pattern when they were on sale!  Boo!  They also didn't have the Itinerary dress, or Market patterns.  It appears they are all 3 out of print with Simplicity, and possibly will not be available anymore.  But, wait!  Last week, you know--AFTER the Simplicity sale was over, I found them all at a Joann's across town!  Yay!  Now, to wait for them to go on sale again..........

So, I decided to start with a pattern I DID own, and chose the Souvenir blouse.  I ran into a huge problem with the sleeves not lining up AT ALL with the underarm/yoke.  It was such a huge difference I didn't know what to do.  I think I measured over an inch that the sleeves were too small and there was no way to stretch the fabric that much.  I tried.

See that gray bias tape?  That's the top of the sleeve-the shoulder.  The front of it comes down to meet the lined yoke--which is opened up in this photo.  The sleeve should meet the seam of the two yoke pieces.

After checking and re-checking the pattern pieces to make sure I 1) cut out the same size for both the sleeves and the bodice; and 2) made sure I didn't put the wrong sleeves on the wrong armholes; 3) stitched my seam allowances correctly; I finally gave up and decided to just take in the extra amount under the arm and see how it went!  So, the picking began..........

It went fine!  The seams do not line up like they should, but it's black, it's under the arms, and no one will ever notice.  And if anyone is ever examining me that close............under my arms............well, let's just say they deserve to be disappointed!

The top still goes on over my head just fine, and I think it probably fits better with the extra 2" taken in.  This blouse in this fabric seemed like such a good idea when I started, but after I put it on, all I could think of was, "Muumuu."  I KNEW Matt would take one look at it and think the same thing.

It had to have a belt.  I wore it with jeans and that belt around my waist and a tan crocheted open sweater to church.  It was quite comfy!  But, as soon as I got home, I shed those jeans and put on my black stretchy pants as I knew we would not be getting out again that day.  That is why the photos are cropped.  Because NO ONE sees me in my stretchy pants.  NO ONE.  Except the kids.  But, they don't care.

I should also mention that I ended up making the dress version, just without the ruffle.  I'm 5'8" and needed the extra length.  RTW shirts are always so short on me.

Would I make this top again?  Absolutely!  Even though I still have no earthly idea what I did wrong, it was easily fixed and it wouldn't bother me to have to do the same thing again.  Next time maybe a smaller floral, though?  Or denim...........

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fun Fridays: New Oliver + S Patterns!

Yay, for Fridays!

I always want to bust out of the house and just go do SOMETHING on Fridays. 
Today I took the kids with me to run a few short errands.  The weather is just BEAUTIFUL!  Nearly 70 degrees!  After all the cold, yucky rain we've had over the last few days, it was welcome.  

So, after our errands were complete, we stopped at a park and the kids just ran and ran and climbed and played.  :)

And look what came in the mail for me!

I have been wanting the book Little Things to Sew and several Oliver + S patterns for a time now.  The patterns you see are Sleepover Pajamas, Ice Cream Dress, and School Photo Dress.

So happy they came!

I have a little problem with the book, though.  It is supposed to come with a dust jacket with paper doll clothes on it that you can use with the paper dolls in the book.  Mine is missing the dust jacket.  Boooo!
Ava likes paper dolls and was wanting to play with them.  

I've sent an inquiry in to the company I bought it from, Fabric Depot, and am waiting to hear what will come of it.  But, I hesitate opening up the pattern sheets inside until I know whether or not they will want me to send it back.  Blast!

So, I wait!  In the meantime, I've already began cutting out fabric for the patterns, along with some other O + S patterns I've had.  Here's what I'm cutting:

1 Jump Rope dress, size 12
2 Field Trip Raglan tshirts, sizes 8 & 10
2 Field Trip Cargo pants, sizes 8 & 10
1 Scool Photo dress, size 12
3 pair of Sleepover Pajama bottoms, sizes 8, 10, & 12
1 Ice Cream dress in a Valentine color block, size 12

That ought to keep me busy for awhile!  At least, until the Lisette patterns go on sale this weekend!

I linked to the Lisette site, but the sale I'm talking about is at Joann Fabrics.  They will have all their Simplicity patterns 5 for $5!  I plan to snatch up every one of the Lisette and Little Lisette patterns, probably in both size options.  I can't wait to sew some new things for myself!

First up on my list for me:  The Portfolio Dress

You can see dresses that have been made up by others at the Sew Lisette Flickr pool.

What are you doing for fun today?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

oliver + s field trip raglan shirt

Happy 2013 to you!  I feel like I hardly know what day it is, we've been so sick over Christmas and New Year's.  It started with the boys getting the flu, then Ava, then Levi and Ava both developed bronchitis.  Then I did.  Nasty stuff that caused us to not be able to keep our Christmas Day plans with family, but hey, life happens.  Other than that, we had a very nice Christmas!

So, I am branching out in my sewing abilities this year.  I have been quilting for over 10 years and now have been bitten by the clothing bug.  Last year about this time I made a dress for Ava using the oliver + s jump rope dress pattern

I never blogged about the finished product, though, because I'm bad about blogging.  I'm trying more to view it as "scrapbooking" instead of blogging since I don't scrapbook anymore.  Maybe that'll help.  :)

Anyway, the dress turned out lovely and I will post about it sometime when I take pictures.  That successful project encouraged me to research and learn more about sewing apparel.

I bought the video Apparel Sewing Basics with Liesl Gibson last week and watched that. 

I wasn't sure I would learn much from it as I have been sewing a number of years, but was hoping to pick up a few tips for clothing.  And I did!  It was a worthwhile purchase and I promptly went to JoAnn's to pick up a list of notions for my apparel sewing arsenal.  Along with some flannel and knit fabrics to make up some jammies for the kids.

I was SO excited to learn to sew with knits!  It was rather ridiculous, really.  Ava kept laughing at me until I explained how much I like to learn something new.  I think she got it.

I started with the field trip raglan shirt by oliver + s

I carefully cut out my fabric and started sewing in the middle of making dinner because I was just SO EXCITED!  I finished everything but the sleeve and shirt hems and needed Evan to try it on for me.

Something I figured out during my sewing was that the fabric was not very stretchy width-wise.  I hemmed and hawed over this a few minutes but decided to proceed as the fabric was already cut and there was really nothing I could do about it.  But, in the back of my mind I was worried it would be too tight in the arms.

It's fine in the arms, but too tight across the shoulders.  Hmm.  I was disappointed.  Not too terribly, but still.

Now that I've posted the picture of it, I see you really can't tell.  It looks great!  But, it is too tight.

So, I hemmed and hawed again over what I had done wrong and contemplated what to do.  I only spent $6 on the fabric, so I could go get more and start all over without too much regret.  I did learn something, after all, and that alone is worth $6.  Do you know what I did wrong?  I bet some of you do!

I bought too little fabric--1/2 a yard of each fabric instead of 3/4 of a yard.  What can I say, I didn't have the pattern with me, I had 3 kids in the store with me who were all about to DIE from boredom, and I was running off my memory--not a wise decision.

So, after washing my 1/2 yard cuts and seeing how much they shrank, I had to fold the fabric the opposite direction from the way it comes on the bolt to be able to fit the pattern pieces.  You know, cut edges together instead of selvedges together?

Problem?  Yes.  This knit only stretches in the width.  Not the length.  Those shoulders would have been fine if they were cut on the grain.  As it is, the shirt will not stretch at all in width, but you can stretch the daylights out of the sleeve length and shirt length. 


I don't give up that easily!  I plan to pick out the sleeves and neckband and replace them with a new cut of fabric.  Back to JoAnn's!  I think the body will be fine without the stretch, because it is roomy on Evan.  I have already come up with a solution for Levi's shirt, as well, without needing to buy more fabric.  It will just not be quite as long, and I will make short sleeves.  This really makes sense anyway, as those boys get hot at night and don't need long sleeves.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they shed their flannel bottoms by morning.

So, there you go.  I've already learned something new this year!

A little off-topic, but my sewing goals for this year are:

Sew 2 articles of clothing each month
Make 2 quilts (one for Evan, another just for fun--hopefully a Bargello in there somewhere!)
Sew doll clothes from the list Ava has made :)
..............and blog more.  Not that that has much to do with sewing.

Pretty simple, but I find I need to aim a little lower than my ambitions want me to if I expect to fulfill any of them.  You know.  Because life happens.

I'll post an update and let you know how the shirts turn out!