Thursday, December 4, 2014

Princess Knit Dresses.

This Thanksgiving we went on our first ever trip to Disney World.
There was just about a thousand things I did not know about Disney World and one of those things were that it is quite common that little girls that are into such things dresses as princesses when they visit. 
I can't say I was surprised but had I not seen THIS post from the goddess of all sewing bloggers Jessica from Me Sew Crazy my knit stash would still had been packed with knit in all these questionable colors and my girls would have worn leggings and t-shirts or something else non-princessey (ay ay ay).

The girls got two each (W got Sleeping Beauty and Arial. E got Rapunzel and Snow White).
The funny thing is that when I read Jessica's post, she says that she could have just kept sewing them and I remember thinking 'Yeah, right....really?' And suddenly I found myself surrounded by knit in all colors and I made them all in just a few days. They totally were super fun (and easy!) to sew.

I have a post about the original pattern HERE.
My skirt is simply the peplum with extended length. The bodice is the original pattern (though color blocked at the front). The biggest change I did was to the sleeves. First I added puff, both at the top and bottoms and afterwards cut the sleeve pattern into 6 panels for stripy sleeves.

They absolutely LOVE their dresses and E has already worn her Show White dress to preschool after we came home.

These photos are taken in front of The Grand Florian Resort in Disney. 
We were there for a character breakfast which was so much fun.

Everyone told me to book those character dining events a LONG time ahead if we wanted to do that and yet I called 3-4 weeks before we left - gah. Everything was of course booked.....buuuut the nice lady managed to get us a reservation via someone else cancellation at this Mad Hatter breakfast and I'm SO happy we by coincidence ended up there.

The place is STUNNING.
Here is a photo from the foyer - gulp.

SO we meet Mary Poppins - the ONLY character on the whole trip that E wanted to have her photo taken with.
The other characters at the breakfast was Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland and of course the Mad Hatter.
And do you know what....the food was good too!

And then it was time for Magic Kingdom.
I don't have a full photo of E's Snow White dress. The temps took at giant dip down that day and we wore several layers of our too-cold-summer-clothes to keep warm.

But I do have THIS photo that I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago.

For W the number one priority was to meet Arial - yes, because she has red hair too. And luckily it was the first thing sweet Arial noticed, phew.
W is wearing a cardigan under because of the cold weather and that worked great.

Man, those princesses are just the sweetest. Looking every child in the eyes, giving them big hugs. W's face here says it all! Wow, just wow!

We have watched Princess and the Frog more times than I can count and she was so fun to meet. Her first comment to W was about how she liked her dress and who made it. When W said her Mom made it, she asked if her Mom was a seamstress (like Tiana's Mom back in New Orleans). Yes, yes she is! FUN!

I never expected Magic Kingdom to be so beautiful.

We were lucky to see it all dressed up for the holidays.

Okay, that it for my mini recap of our trip. We also visited The Kennedy Space Center and Epcot - both AMAZING places!

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pretty in Peplum Dress by Sew Much Ado

Little miss Toothless would like to present you her two new Pretty in Peplum Dresses
She loves those dresses and so do I. 
The pattern is designed by the lovely Abby from Sew Much Ado and she has done an amazing job making a pattern that is not only super pleasant to work with but also results in a dress that is comfortable to wear but looks super stylish.

I made her a size 7 and since she turns 7 in 2 months I would say the fit is perfect.
Overall this pattern is simply perfection. Honestly it is not very often I come across a pattern where I don't want to change a thing.....this is one of them. Go Abby!
Okay, I would love for the seam allowance to be metric instead of imperial but that barely counts as a complaint, right haha.

Do you know what I really really love? That the peplum is made in one piece - no side seams. Cool! And if you extend the peplum you suddenly have a full circle skirt (which I used to make knit princess dresses for our upcoming Disney trip but that is another story for another post!).

The fabric for this version is mostly from Organic Cotton Plus. The blue is organic interlock and the skirt is organic thermal knit. The printed knit is something I had forever and I have no idea where I bought it. But it is thin and has a drape that is perfect for peplums.

Both the organic knits are soooo lovely in the quality but I need to tell you about my mistake working with thermal knit for the first time - just so you don't do the same mistake.

This thermal knit is quite a thick quality but it is also lovely soft and stretchy and look what happened when I tried to hem it with a stitch on my sewing machine:

Yeah, arghhhhh is the word you are looking for.

This was after sewing and then trying to smoothen things out with some good ol' pressing....that did not help things either like it usually does.

The waffle texture in the thermal knit simply stretched out and flattened and looked like.....yeah, not good!
I don't want to say it it the fabric's fault because honestly the quality is super yummy and as you can see the side seam was sewed together and pressed easily (because it was along the grain and not against it). Sometimes there is just certain things you can't do with certain fabrics. A cover lock might have worked too (just guessing here) but I don't have one of those machines so that was not an option.

So what fixed it? Cutting a new skirt and hemming it by hand. If you want to make t-shirts in this fabric (which is normally what thermal knit is used for) I would suggest you hem it with a knit rib cuff. Also be careful when you press. Lots of steam but lightweight weight when you press. Problem solved.

I did one tiny change to the pattern. I changed it from a straight skirt to an A-line skirt. I wanted to take it one notch closer to an everyday dress and to me this was the obvious solution.

Below there is a ultra mini tutorial on how to do that.

I aligned a long ruler with the hip and then added 4 cm/1.5" to the bottom and remembered to raise up the bottom hem so the corner stays 90 degrees. Make a new smooth curved hem that meets the original center front/back hem.

I also made another version in cotton sweatshirt fleece. Both coral and indigo from Girl Charlee. The stripe was another mystery fabric from the stash.
The sweatshirt fleece barely has any stretch - like that type usually never has but it still totally works. She has complained a tiny bit that it is hard for her to get in and out of but she has still managed to do it on her own so I'm not too worried. She wore it today to a birthday at a science museum and it was so so perfect. She has worn it to school too - it's a winner!

And did the official double needle hater (or actually I think they hate me) change her mind? Nope, I just stitched too times, ha.

Get your own pattern HERE.

Oh, and there is actually a Pretty in Peplum tour going on right now with some aaaamazing dresses and tops. You can get links to them all right HERE at Sew Much Ado.

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bubble Shorts by DoGuincho

Shorts in winter? Mais bien sûr!
It's all about the styling!

I have made a pair of DoGuincho's Bubble Shorts.
Beside it being an awesome pattern, it also gives a great result. Two equally important things when we talk sewing patterns, right!

I love that it looks like a skirt but it is really shorts. E never ever wants to wear shorts but these she had no problems sporting.

In fact we had our best photo shoot yet and I saw tons of silly moves and happy smiles.

I originally made these for my almost 7 year old but on a whim decided to photograph them on my almost 5 year old. My girls are basically same size except height so I was not surprised that they fit little sister great too.

It also made me realize that making them longer for winter totally makes sense. In other words I was totally smart without knowing it, ha,

I made them with this knit that I never thought I was going to use for anything. It was one of those online purchases you would never have bought if you had the chance to touch it and realize how thin the quality really was.

The pattern recommends thin and drapy fabric that does not wrinkle too much (because they are almost impossible to iron without ruining the bubble effect). 
HA, this given-up-upon fabric was perfect!
I used navy cotton voile for the lining and elastic waistband.

I would love to make them with some super thin wool too. One day!

I paired them with a long-sleeved t-shirt and jacket from crewcuts, thick sparkly cotton tights from Target and grey boots from the Danish brand Angulus. And the sequin actually mine and I have totally forgotten where I bought that, sorry.

I think that covers it, right!
Or maybe I should add that these are SUPER easy and fast to make. 

Buy your pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Monday, November 3, 2014

I (heart) Marcel Marlier

I have not participated in a sewing series for awhile (for me they equals a deadline that equals stress) but this is a great one and I could not say no.
I'm sure you have already heard about the I (heart) Marcel Marlier-series arranged by the two amazing blogs StraightGrain and Sewpony....and if you have not heard about it, well you have some catching up to do because I am closing up camp today together with the amazing Dutch blog Emma & Mona.

Marcel Marlier was a Belgian illustrator and especially his illustrations to the Martine-books (or Debbie in some places of the world) became very popular.
I had never personally heard of them until Suz from Sewpony released her Debbie's Birthday Dress (they have never been translated to Danish which might explain my lack of knowledge but 15 minutes with image Google and Pinterest and I was totally up to speed on the style.
Clean lines, colorful, happy and looking at it today obviously super cute vintage style (he started illustrating the books in 1954).

Funny enough I asked An if it was okay to transform the vintage style and make something more modern for this series (that was totally okay)....but looking at the photos I am sure you can see that the final result ended super vintage inspired. The brain works in mysterious ways I guess.

I choose to make something that was inspired by Marcel Marlier's style in a more general way, not from one specific outfit. But I think the dress above is what got me started. I love the navy blue and black combination with the tiny white collar put into this ultra golden fall setting.

I wanted to make an outfit in those colors but in the end I did not have the right fabrics.
Let's take a look at what I ended up with instead.

I used a Japanese pattern from THIS book by Akiko Mano - pattern D in the book. Their vintage vibe and clean lines are perfect bases for this style.

Above is the original pattern and I did the following changes: Lengthened to dress length, Lengthened the sleeves and made new cuffs, changed the shape of the collar to pointy (on a whim while cutting) and sewed in pieces of elastic in the sides of the waist to give the dress some shape. 
The reason why I only did elastic in the sides of the waist and not all the way around is because of the button placket which can easily be pulled apart by elastic. And I like it as a fun alternative too.

I decided on the blue metallic cotton first and as earlier mentioned meant to pair it with some sort of black fabric but did not have any I liked the pairing with in my stash. Then I found this narrow striped cotton poplin and I loved that fabric combination....but now I had another problem....making sure the dress did not end up looking like a nightgown, ha.
It was a hard balance act because at the same time I wanted to maintain the clean look of the dress. I will let it be up to you to decide if I succeeded but personally I do like the result.

One of the things I did to pull the dress away from nightgown look was to curve the hem upwards in the side seam (a classic shirt detail).

The cuffs are super simple - almost like casings sewn to the end of the sleeve and then a wide elastic pulled through. 

Here is one last look at the back. I should clearly have put in the top button closer to the top but I knew this would mean endless complains from my sewing machine. Like so many other domestic sewing machines does it make beautiful buttonholes when there is nothing in the way but as soon as there is an extra layer of seam allowance then hell breaks loose.
The insanely cool stripy buttons are from Lots of Buttons by the way.

The other day I heard someone ask whether to put interfacing on collars on the outer or inner layer. I'm not going to claim there is one strict rule to that but personally I always put it on the outer layer because it hides the seam allowance better and well I like the look of interfaced fabric in more structured pieces like collars, cuffs etc.
Just thought I would mention it here since I have a post with a garment with a collar.

All there is left to do now is to enter the big giveaway and win some gift certificates from these two great fabric stores.

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Mulberry Tunic Turned Sweatshirt.

Except for my raglan-sleeved knit dress, I don't think I have ever made so many different versions of clothes from the same pattern as I have with The Mulberry Tunic Pattern by Kid Approved.

and now I proudly present you: 

The sweatshirt version.

You know me and my kids' love for knit so it is no surprise that I wanted to try a knit version of this pattern.
I decided to use very classic sweatshirt details such as a kangaroo pocket and hem with contrast colored knit rib but everything else is from the original pattern.

I did not change the sizing at all since this is an interlock fabric and therefor not that stretchy.
This is a size 5 on my fairly tall 4-turning-5-in-January-child.

The yoke fabric is woven fabric (Waterfront Park by Violet craft for Michael Miller) which I received in the goodie bag from the Girl Night Out I attended in LA. 
The cream and navy blue stripe is this ultra soft and lovely Saint James interlock knit (you can buy it HERE) that you might recognize from the Look book from Willow & Co Patterns' first collection. 

I just received a ton (okay, maybe not a ton) of organic sweatshirt fleece and French terry from Organic Cotton Plus (they also have GREAT interlocks by the way - I'm waiting for the grey melange to be ready for delivery) and I just want to make like 10 more of these. I LOVE the combination of knit and woven....even though the endless possibilities sometimes overwhelm me when I trying to decide on what to do next, ha.

The original pattern has a sort of rounded hem (who gives an almost slit effect at the side seams) and you obviously have to skip that if you want to hem with a knit rib but that is an easy fix to the pattern.
The kangaroo pocket is also easily drafted and the same height as the lower front piece and is sewed in the seam under the front placket and at the bottom to the rib.

You can carry around a lot of exciting things in a big pocket like that!

Yup, this pretty much illustrate how much she loves her new sweatshirt!

Buy the Mulberry Tunic Pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wolf Costume - Halloween 2014

Yup, there is a wolf on my blog.....

W wanted to dress up as a wolf for halloween (I think she got that idea after our visit to Great Wolf Lodge, ha) and even though I showed her a great costume online for $38, she wanted me to sew it. Dang, they know what buttons to press, right. How can you say no to that!?!

I was totally dreading it because I don't enjoy making costumes but who knew that a trip to JoAnn's would turn that around!
I arrived early monday morning and they had just opened. There were barely any customers and the employees were more than happy to help - and I did not even have to wait to get it.
At home I had seen this perfect brown/grey fake fur fabric and their website said it was in stock in my local shop.....except it was nowhere to be found when I arrived. Back to the help that was willing and accessible......she knew exactly what I was talking about and went out back and checked the fabric they were unloading from a truck right that moment and came back with a giant roll of EXCATLY-WHAT-I-WAS-LOOKING-FOR....and it was on sale. Yeeeees.
She also informed me that some of their patterns was on sale for 99 cents and I started looking around and found THIS pattern from McCalls.....not that much on sale but pretty much what I was imagining drafting myself - but why in the world do that when someone had done the job for me!! (Except when I came home I realized I accidentally bought a adult size L and not the kids size 6-7-8 like I needed - silly me thought you got ALL the pattern sizes in one envelope). Oh well, that is why we have Amazon Prime and two days later I received the pattern in the right size....and I was started to feel at bit excited....because this could actually be quite an awesome costume, ha.

The only changes I did to the pattern (besides making it quite a bit more narrow) was to add the white contrast piece to her belly, draft a wolf tale pattern piece, add white felt 'claws' to the tip of the spats (I learned a new English word there!) and to the gloves plus I also made the gloves fingerless. The fingerless part was actually W's own idea which I thought was kind of genius so she can way easier do what you do on candy :-)

Yup, we did some face paint too. I can't draw at all (okay, I probably do not even have to explain that small detail after this shot above haha) but we have a little book that followed the face paint set we once bought and luckily there was an example of a wolf too, phew.

The hood is separate and closes at the front of her neck with velcro. I put some grey knit inside to make it comfortable. The suit itself is unlined and mostly with raw seams.
It was actually super nice for once just throw all intentions about nice finishes etc out the window and just and easy....ahhhh. 
Maybe I do enjoy sewing costumes a tiny little bit now.

And in case you wonder what Littlesister is going to wear this year you can see it HERE.
If I was really cool I would of course have convinced her to be Little Red Riding Hood but hence the not-loving-to-sew-costumes-so-much I was more than happy to push a costume we already had in the house.

For those of you who celebrate Halloween:
Happy Halloween!

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Elm Rain Poncho by Petit a Petit and Family

Even though I was the controller on Willow & Co Patterns' first collection, I was not able to actually sew all the patterns before the release. I'm only human, right! 

Today I'm ticking off another pattern, the amazing Elm Poncho Raincoat by Petit a Petit and Family.
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