Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Girl Pleated Winter Skirt Tutorial, part two.

 This post is part 2 of my October post for the Sewing Rabbit Creative Team.
Part one on Me Sew Crazy is a full tutorial to this easy pleated winter skirt plus another version with grosgrain ribbons. You can catch up HERE.

This version is made in this pretty soft cotton (from Jo-Anns) and you can see how the pleats drapes down soft and wavy. As opposed to the one from part one.

A closer look.

And from the side. You can always makes more pleats if you want them on the side too.

My team mates and I have had a little talk about serger thread colors and I am the type who mostly matches my thread with my you can see above.
The photo also shows that this skirt has lining.

Okay, I think that is all for me this time

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Go to Patterns' Tour - Study Hall Jacket.

Andrea, thank you for inviting me to Go to Patterns' tour.

So as you might remember from a certain Project Run & Play finale this is not my first Study Hall Jacket.
Buuuut my bog girl needed a new jacket too so here we go. And she wanted a pink or a purple one - oh so girly classic.

Luckily I had this pre-quiltet purple fabric in my stash. It is one of those fabrics I like but I can't really put on finger on why, ha.
The rib is a dusty cotton rib and I lined it with a navy french terry to add an extra warm layer. 
This is of course meant as a fall/spring jacket, not a winter jacket. And this is perfect for that.

I kept the hidden zipper feature but did a bigger overlap so there was room for snaps too.

One of the pattern's pocket options are these AMAZING ruffle welt pockets. I absolutely love them.

I am not going to say that welt pockets are easy to make but these ruffled ones are not harder than normal welt pockets. And the instructions in the pattern is nice and clear so go for it.

A look at the french terry lining. This is the not very stretchy type so I was not so worried about mixing it with woven fabric and it worked great.

I love this hood with the elastic in the outer edge. It just gather it slightly and it stays up on the head perfectly without having to fiddle with tie bands.

If you want to make your own Study Hall Jacket you can buy the pattern HERE.

Thank you for coming by!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

The Olivia Dress - a pattern review and a GIVEAWAY.

So you know the blog Craftiness is not Optional, right!? Of course you do! So that lovely talented lady Jess has made another pattern - The Olivia dress/top. Woohoo!

It is a cute, no fuss pattern with lots of options. Dress or top length plus three sleeve lengths - well technically sleeveless and then two sleeve lengths. It has a comfortable loose fit but not too loose.

What I love the very most though....the professional way this pattern is made. The instructions are super clear and all the pattern parts are there for you. You don't have to make any yourself after given measurements. You just print, put it together, trace your size, cut your fabric and sew your dress. Ahhhh, love it! 

I am doing a bit of an experiment with this dress. Evelyn is always choosing her own clothes (while I am choosing other battles) and her knit dresses win 9.5 out of 10 times. But I would obviously love her to use all the clothes I am making for her - and sometimes that is woven dresses - so I was wondering if it was the sleeves in woven fabric that makes it that tiny bit uncomfortable for I went with the sleeveless option - even though I personally LOVE the little puff the sleeves has -  and then we will see.

Update: She chose it for school on monday. So far so good, yay. And proudly told people that complimented her that her Mommy made it - awwww.

I am not normally to these novelty prints - does this even fit into that category? Anyway.... there was just something about these purple haired ballerinas that just won me over. (maybe because I had hair that color once - yes, really! And no, I am not posting a photo.) The fabric is Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman. Collection 'Girl Friends'. The other two fabrics are 21 wale cotton corduroy from also from Kaufman. And my favorite snaps from SnapSource.

And YAY you can win a copy of this pdf pattern (size 6 months to 8 yrs) too.

Earn your entries in the Rafflecoptor below and check back in a week. The lucky winner will be announced during the weekend of 26-27th of October '13.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure you don't miss the rest of the tour.

And if you just want to get started with this dress right away you can buy the pattern HERE.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Five and ten Designs, Volume One - pattern eBook review.

Gosh, this is a bit, no not the dress - I totally love that - but the amount of time it has taken me from I received my five and ten designs, Volume one eBook to me actually blogging about it. Red cheeks for sure over here! In fact it was the only thing on my looong to do list that I failed to do before the Project Run and Play madness started. So obviously it was first on my after-PRAP to do list.

And the really sharps ones might wonder what took me so long since PRAP ended like two weeks ago (well, at least for the contestants.) Hmmmm, let me just say this dress has caused me A LOT of problems....all my own fault....argh, don't you just hate when you don't have anyone to blame for your own problems, ha!

But let's start with the beginning.....the who's and what's. 
Five and ten Designs is founded by some very talented ladies: Jess - Craftiness is not Optional, Heidi - Elegance & Elephants, Stef - Girl. Inspired, Jessica - Me Sew Crazy and Delia - Delia Creates.

They have created a basic bodice pattern, graduated the pattern to size 12 months - 10 years old and then put it all together in an eBook together with two fully photographed and very well explained tutorials from each designer, on how to turn those bodice patterns into the cutest dresses. Together with the front and back bodice pattern also comes some sleeves, collar and pocket patterns used in the tutorials. 
SO five designers and ten pattern alterations = five and ten Designs. Genius!

Above you can see all ten looks.
You can read more and purchase the eBook HERE on their website.

I choose to make look number 5 by Delia - Delia Creates. I don't even have to explain why, right. Yeah, color block...still obsessed!

The basic pattern and all alterations are meant for woven fabric and this is where I made my first mistake....a mistake I always tell everyone, who wants to listen, not to not make a knit dress after a woven fabric pattern. Knit requires totally different sewing techniques and sizing usually ends up different. Well, I thought I was prepared for these differences being an experienced seamstress but I guess this fabric had other plans! YES, let's blame the fabric!!!

Let me say it this way....where are very few seams on this dress that I only sewed once...several up to three or four times. I have never been so close to giving up and cutting a new one in woven fabric but ahhhh, I just loved this combination and I know Evelyn totally prefers the knit dresses compared to the ones in woven fabric. So stubbornness won.....and at least I can say, now that it is done, the result was worth the trouble. I absolutely LOVE it! And so does Evelyn. Look at that smile. Every time we had a fitting (and there have been countless) is was a battle to get it back off her because she wanted to keep it on. And after the photo shoot she insisted on keeping it on.   

So the sewing started out well actually. The original also has buttons in the back. Because of the knit fabric I choose to put snaps in and no problems there.

The original have a lining. I obviously skipped that since I was sewing with this great soft French Terry. But now I had to find another way to finish the neck and sleeve openings. I choose to make bias tape with my stable contrasting fabric...the neon dots. I was a bit skeptical if this would work in knit but funny thing was it worked like a charm on the neck line. Sleeve openings? Ohhh, here comes trouble....

But before I tell you about my ridiculous fight with a sleeve opening, let me tell you about the little ruffles. The original have a little cap sleeve and I simply extended that and then gathered it. Easy peasy. Before I started sewing it, I wondered if I should put any interlining on but decided not, since it had not been needed in the neck opening. BIG mistake. It looked horrible and I had to rip off bias tape and ruffles again - oh wait, before I did that I also tried to put some elastic in the bias tape casing with no luck in the looking-good-department. So no other way around than ripping everything apart so I could put a strip of interlining all the way around the sleeve opening. Then onto sewing again and when both bias tapes were on again I realized I forgot to sew the ruffles on first. Yes, really! At this point I seriously considered to skip the ruffles but off the bias tape came again.
Phew, but I really love that peek of neon dot you get there.

But what gave me the most problems was the waist. Ohhh, I start sweating just thinking about how many techniques I tried before it finally worked. So with woven fabric you simply gather your skirt and sew it on your bodice, overlock, iron, done.
Hmmm, yeah I wish!

Both my fabrics are very soft and have a ton of stretch in it and it just looked super bulky and the bodice stretched by the seam because of the gatherings. My usually useful trick sewing elastic on the seam did not, not even ripping it off and tightening the elastic did work. Whole skirt off again and then I tried making pleats instead of gatherings and that certainly helped but still not perfect. Then I tried gather the waist - now with pleats - with some shirring - nope, did not work. SO I added this bias tape casing and pulled an elastic through it - which I also had to do twice because the safety pin broke mid casing the first time - I mean SERIOUSLY!!!). But THAT worked, yippie!

The original have pockets in the front seam between the two colors but I wanted them in the side so I simple cut the side skirt piece in two halves, added seam allowance and added my side pocket there. Again love the peek of neon dot.

Lastly hemming knit can be problematic and - of course - it was. This solution worked perfectly though. A bias tape folded and simply overlocked on and then stitched 1 mm from the edge to prevent it from flipping upwards - especially after washing.

And there you have it. My knit version of look number 5.
Now that I have made all the mistakes you can, the next ones will be a walk in the park. And I really want to make more. Many more.
You should ...(and you can) too. But maybe start out with a woven version just you know for your sanity's sake.

Oh, and the very best twirls....yay!

Thank you ladies for providing me with your fabulous eBook and so sorry for the insanely long expedition time.

Go to the five and ten Designs's site HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sewing for Kindergarten - sew along winners!!

WOOHOO! Starting up a series is fun but wrapping it up and tying the loose ends is certainly also a nice feeling. 

So we had an amazing giveaway, four weeks of unbelievable and inspiring guest posts and then we had the sew along on the side line where everyone interested could upload school clothes to the three Flickr groups:


I asked the guest posters plus a few more blogging friends to help me decide the winners in the three groups.....and let's get to it shall we!

The WINNER of the PRESCHOOL sew along group....and this was pretty much unanimous and my personal favorite too: 


Teri from Climbing the Willow 
Absolutely love love LOVE this dress!

Now to the WINNER of the ELEMENTARY group. This on the other hand was very very close. Two entries was one vote apart and the winner is:

Kristy Keely with her three well made Oliver+s models.

Last but not least the WINNER of the MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL group.

The oh so great knit dress.

There are many more great ones. You should check it out and show them all some love.

And what have the three winners above won?
Oh, you know...just one of each of everything below from the amazingly generous sponsors.

Yeah, CONGRATS again...I am kind of jealous myself.

So that's it...Sewing for Kindergarten is done for this time.

THANK YOU guest posters, sew along'ers, sponsors and not to forget all you lovely readers and supporters.
See you next year?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Project Run & Play, week four and final. "Oh, Just ZIP It!"

Can you believe it? It is the fourth and final week of Project Run and Play and I am still here. 
What a trip this have been. As fun as it has been, I can't wait to return to regular living life. You know where you take your kids to the playground, make dinner (okay, at least a few times week) and get a shower every day. Yup, after a crazy period your normal boring life always seems more attractive. In other words it is always good to have things put in perspective!

This week is signature style week.

So what is my signature style?

Cosy and comfortable clothes with clean, urban lines that looks stylish by focusing on a great fit, quality materials and techniques plus a few smart details here and there. 

Yup, that's it! That is the way I dress both myself and what I make for my kids.

To me knit dresses is really the essence of comfortable and stylish clothes. Everyone looks AND feels great wearing them. Of course an adult woman has to find the model that fits her specific body type. But kids they can pretty much wear anything, right. My kids certainly love wearing them. 

And when they can twirl like this one - SCORE!

The back has a rounded yoke.
I love the look from the back. You can so clearly see the lines of the dress.

I made this simple scarf with a sweater knit from Jo-Ann's.
The green cotton knit is another buy from Fabric Weekend, LA.

This is actually the very first knit dress I ever made. I mean, not this particular one of course, but the design with the significant and contrasting front V, the long raglan sleeves and the almost full skirt. Originally it was of course a woman's dress because I did not have kids back then and therefor (apparently) no interest in kid's clothes. And I gave it the very obvious name the V-dress....yeah, I wonder why too, ha.
It is really a mystery to me why it has taken me so long to make it into a kid's dress. Oh well, it is here and Wilma has already ordered one too.

The navy knitted belt is by the way from the original adult dress. I have a friend with a knitting machine and he knitted belts to the first ones before I had it produced.....all this a looong time ago. (Did I just make myself sound a 100 years old or what?!) 

Nothing can add style to an outfit like a great jacket. 

I choose to make the Study Hall Jacket from Go To Patterns because it has a relaxed look and fit.....but still stylish! But also because it is such a great basic with potential for the smart features that I have added.

The original pattern have long sleeves but I really wanted to make a short sleeved jacket because it would be perfect with the long sleeved knit dress under. But let's be honest....short sleeves kind of limits the wearability and we are talking kids clothes here. 

Soooo what will satisfy both the designer and Mom in me? Long sleeves with zippers that easily transforms them into short sleeves course, yeah!! I must say I am pretty happy with that detail!

I hid the zipper under a little flap. I think that looks the best.

A detail shot inside the short sleeve.

And the long sleeve attachment. 
And Celina actually said something really clever when she saw this coat. You might actually be able to stretch this coat's use for two years because usually it is the sleeves that becomes too short on the growing kids and with this detail you can simply just make new and longer sleeve attachments. I mean...hello!

The other big thing I changed - and this is more of a design feature than a practical reason - I changed the front of the jacket from an exposed zipper to a build-in hidden zipper.

This requires quite a few changes to the pattern but I thought it was worth it.

Love that the zippers are exposed in the pockets though.

I decided not to put a patch of the wool on the visible part of the pocket bag like you normally would, because I really like a peek of this striped lining. 

Which is also visible in the hood so it all makes sense.
The pattern suggest to put an elastic in the hood opening which I think is a really neat feature to keep it in place when it is up.

Woohoo, facings and lining.

And there we have signature style!

And let me give the last words to Evelyn (and Celina):

You can vote HERE.


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