Friday, April 26, 2013

KCW: (Day 2, 3, 4 & 5) Top and Shorts.

Seriously there are people out there who sew an outfit a day during KCW. What? I am ehhhhhh not one of them. This top and shorts took me four days...and we were even stuck in the house tue- and wednesday because E had a fever, ha I guess I am taking a break from that super fast sewing I used to do. Well, at least I am super happy with the result. 

The top is a bit of a remix. Two Japanese patterns both from THIS book. Most of the top is from pattern D but the sleeves are from pattern K and since both D and K are made from the same bodice you don't have to change a thing. Score!

Love those little pockets.

The shorts are the newly released Bubble Pocket Shorts from E&E Patterns (I tested them HERE). This time in the classic version (I tested the sailor version).
Since I already made them in same type of fabric only in green I had no intentions of making another pair in same fabric. BUT after sewing the top my eyes fell on that blue fabric and it was just oh so perfect for it. AND W complained that the green ones were scratching her so I don't have much hope for her wearing them. The fabric is quite soft and I have no idea what she is talking about but you all know that when a child has that opinion about some clothes then that's the way it is. Argh!

So I decided to fully line them which was actually super easy. Simply cut the shorts pattern pieces twice and of course skip the pockets for the lining fabric part and you can also skip the waistband facing all together because you can simply just sew the outer and lining fabric together at the waist. Agreed it would of course be even prettier if the waistband facing was there and the lining shortened to start under the facing but since the whole point of this lining was no outer fabric touching the skin I skipped it.
I had to change the leg cuffs a bit because they originally just are double height folded and again that would mean outer fabric against the skin. So I folded the leg cuff pattern piece in half lengthwise added seam allowance and cut two in outer fabric and two in lining fabric and voila the shorts are fully lined.

And I am happy to report that she has worn them all day since the photo shoot this afternoon so I think they are approved, phew!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KCW: Summer version of My Inner Grandma dress.

As you probably know KCW (Kids Clothes Week) is here. To give a super short introduction: Meg from the great blog Elsie Marley came up with an idea to get of the sofa and into the sewing room: creating momentum by getting all interested to sign up to sew kids clothes 1 hour a day for 7 days straight. I think the success even surprised herself and it has turned into a seasonal sewing challenge with literally hundreds sewing along. In other words lots of fun!

My little distracted least she stood still!
I started with a summer version of my self drafted My Inner Grandma dress. Short sleeves and some thin sooooft jersey from the amazing knit only webshop Girl Charlee Fabrics. I love that leopard (but okay I kind of love all leopard so no surprise there).

Now we just need the summer to come back to North Carolina because the last couple of days has been so cold I had to turn the heating back on.
Oh and just in case you, this dress did not just take one hour to make, ha!

You can check out my Instagram for my next project. (See sidebar).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

E & E Patterns' Bubble Pocket Shorts

I have been lucky enough to test another pattern from the talented Heidi from Elegance & Elephants.
The Bubble Pocket Shorts.

Oh boy are they super cute or what!

I did not get a photo of them from the front that gave them enough justice so I also want to show you Heidi's own versions. As you can see the pattern comes with two varieties. With a simple bow or the more advanced sailor version. Love those colors by the way!

I made my version in this bejeweled metallic cotton (well, that is what they call it at and since I personally have no idea what to call it in English I will just use their title).
You make them really pretty inside with contrasting bias tape and waistband facing - don't worry Heidi will give you all the information you need to do it. The sailor version also have an adjustable waistband which is always a big advantage when we are talking kids clothes, right! 
All in all a great pair of shorts with lots of possibilities. You should also check out THIS post where Heidi is showing off all her tester's work. So many great pairs.

The pattern will be for sale from HERE friday the 19th of April.
Go for it!
And congrats on another great pattern Heidi.

Monday, April 15, 2013

W's dream dress

Don't say I did not warn you (in THIS post) that another item made from a Japanese Sewing book was coming up. Aaaaaand here it is.
It is even so super coincidental that this dress fits perfectly with Project Run & Play's fourth and final week's theme: Spring Formal Wear. So this post will be linked to their sew along link party.

Japanese Craft book. Girl's clothing #2890. By Akiko Mano
It is from this book and yes that is that dress from the cover.

Bubble dress with a completely simple upper bodice and some cute side pockets. And yes thank you for noticing how the squares on the pocket and flap matches up. Usually I forget those small details before I am half way through sewing it. 

Oh, and I guess I should explain why this is W's dream dress. Okay, it might be a slight exaggeration but she has been asking me to sew her something in this fabric for a long long time. And this fabric combined with a princess type of dress will always be a winner for my little-getting-SO-big-and-starting-in-Kindergarten-soon W. 
This fabric has woven in some type of fibers that gives the fabric a shiny surface effect. Quite cool. Hard to see on these photos though, argh!

The dress can totally be used without the belt and I am kind of annoyed with myself for forgetting to take a photo without it. Oh well!

I will try to stay away from those books for a little bit to not tire you out...but I am not promising anything!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It is all in the details - another Japanese pattern.

If you hate Japanese patterns you should probably stay away from my blog for a while because, well here is the second one and the third is already done too...just waiting for the model to be ready to be photographed in it...and the blogger to write the post about it! Like I said on my Facebook page....I am officially obsessed with Japanese patterns. They challenge me without being directly difficult.

Now take a look at this top for instance...I mean how insanely cute is that?! With the little ruffle wings sleeves and not to mention the cross over open back that is still very child appropriate. The top is cut at the waist and both top and bottom part are gathered but the model is still very loose. It was actually too loose for my taste. The technical drawing in the book told me to gather the waist seam on each (front and back) piece to 37 cm (74 cm/29.1 in. all the way around) but when I tried it on E (after it was totally done incl french seams and all the gathering threads was taken out - ahhhhhhh) is was just too wide. So I simply took a narrow elastic, measured it on E to my desired width (68 cm/26.8 in. all the way around), devided the elastic and the waist seam in 4 and sewed it directly on the outside of the french seam. It was not much it took but the result was MUCH better! 
See a better photo where she is standing up further down in the post.

This is the book it is from. This one does not have a English title written on it but Amazon said this: Japanese Craft book. Girl's clothing #2890. By Akiko Mano.
If I should compare the two books I have (see the other one HERE) then I would say that this one is styled quite oldfashioned. The photo on the front is actually not a very good representation for the rest of the book. I am just talking inspiration wise because the patterns/models themselves are just as great as the other book. Most of the clothes is sewed in linen and the colors are grey, beige and white with a few exceptions. I know many people will find that fabric and those colors the exact reason to buy it but it is just not my style. BUT I do have my imagination to see the styles in other fabrics so it is really not a problem. The third item I have made is by the way the dress on the front you can see above, in a fabric Wilma has been coming back to and pulling out of my stash many many times. Now she finally got her dress in it and she is very happy. You will soon see for yourselves. Time to press that Bloglovin button (see right column) so you don't miss it, right!

When we are talking details you know I am obsessed with making things just as nice on the inside as on the outside so I put a neon orange bias tape on the edge of the neck facing and on the inside of the sleeve opening. And, like I already mentioned earlier, the whole top is sewed with french seams.

There is pattern info to make the tie band but I decided that a neon yellow grosgrain ribbon would be absolutely perfect. Again a nice little detail. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Leggings bombardement.

Okay, I might have went a little overboard but they are kind of fun to find color combinations for.....AND the kiddos needed leggings (well not any more thanks to freak Mom!).
I am sure you remember THESE pants...and I have already made them in a skirt version and then the other day (when I was thinking that it was too bad W was not wearing them that much) it hit me that a legging version would be way way more practical. My kids, like most kids, LOVES leggings.
I already had a previously made legging pattern for each of them so it was just a matter of putting on the lines and then trace AND add seam allowance (yes, Olga that was for you my friend ;-) to each piece individually.
And choose, cut, sew, (photograph if you are a blogger) and done!


Any favorites?
The match the top version is by the way another sneak peek of my second item from a Japanese sewing book. Such a cute cute top.
Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My first dress from a Japanese pattern book.

Did you follow the Japanese Sewing Book series at the great blog you & mie ? (Nope nothing to do with me....Mie is her Japanese middle name, cool huh!)
Well, I did. I read every detail in every post because I had just ordered my two first Japanese sewing books. I first got introduced to one last summer by my very good friend Rikke and later I have seen several very cool styles here in the blogosphere, fx at Sew Country Chick and you & mie and I loved the simple yet cool styles I saw. BUT also extremely intimidated by the Japanese. SO when Cherie (from you & mie) announced her series I ran to my computer and ordered two books. The series ended this friday and I made this dress this sunday. Yes, I was pumped and ready to go.

And here I am with the result. W choose the model...well, actually she choose a different one with long sleeves and my plan was just to shorten them but then I realized the same model but with short raglan sleeves was there too and I made that instead....she did not notice, phew!

The dress is from Happy Homemade, vol. 5 by Ruriko Yamada.
I am not going to give you all kind of tips for sewing with Japanese patterns because really you & mie and her guest bloggers did it SO well. There was no doubt that the process of making this dress went WAY easier because I had read that series. I knew the sizes, that I have to add seam allowance, where to look for cutting instructions and so on.
The only things I don't remember reading in the series was how smart these patterns are build up. It might just be this book but I have a feeling it is not. Many of the base patterns are the same just with length variations, with or without ruffles etc, so that means you can actually mix and match the styles without changing the patterns pieces. Clever! 

I also knew the models are roomy - this is a size 110 cm (W is 112 cm tall - ahhh, what a relief to work with cm again - America could you pleeeeaaase consider changing to the metric system ;-) But the fact that most tops and dresses are roomy is for me part of the charm and style of the Japanese patterns. The styles are very simple and to me the roominess is simply part of the design. And since I made this dress in a very thin - almost cotton voile type - fabric I resisted putting any type of elastic in the waist. I also 'resisted' to iron the dress before the photo shoot as you can see, ahem!

A few close ups of the top of the dress. I can't wait to make more styles from this book.
I loved that the sewing techniques they show with very clear illustrations were the same ones that I would have used if I made these styles. It always makes me trust patterns more when that happens. So maybe we are both wrong but at least we agree on it, haha.

And a little sneak peak of the next post here on Sewing Like Mad. A leggings version of the Celine pants I knocked off in THIS post.
I have plans of making a whole bunch (I already made another pair last night) and show them all in one post.

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