Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015 - Bubbles costume.

Oh, hey there, it's me with a rare weekend post. 
You know that you are not a serious blogger when you post costume posts on the day of halloween. Who is going to be inspired by that? If you don't have your costume ready by now, you are probably not going for this one, haha. It's not really a last-minute-idea. BUT there is always next year!

And besides we all know I'm not a serious business blogger!

SO big sister W wanted to be Bubbles. I was like "WHO?" 
Apparently Bubbles is a cape wearing dolphin from the (awful) Spongebob movie. That movie was one of those times where I rented a movie for my kids so I could do something else in peace and quiet. I cannot handle Spongebob's annoying cackle laughter, ugh.

To my knowledge you can't actually buy this costume (yet) so there was no way around making it. I did buy this dolphin tail though and that seems like a great supplement for a reasonable amount of money.

The 'real' Bubbles is wearing a long cape but we decided to make a short one so she could show off the tail and fins more. Plus it would be easier to wear.

My starting point for the dolphin hoodie dress is of course my favorite hoodie pattern - The Rowan Tee by Titchy Threads.

The blue sweatshirt fleece has no stretch whatsoever so I made it a bit roomier and added length to turn it from tee to dress.
I made a muslin especially so I could make the hoodie as fitting to her head as possible and then I started building the dolphin layer afterwards. My goodness that was hard and I ended up making 5 (yes f.i.v.e.) muslins before I got it right. And it would never have happened without your help. Thank you social media, phew.

I think I put a bit too much filling in between the fitted inner and the dolphin outer layer because the hoodie kept moving backwards (away from her face as you can see above). Oh well, at least it stays on her head!

I made the collar and the cape separate and just like with the musketeer costume is the cape attached with velcro for safety reasons.
I can't believe that I took all these photos and not noticed that one side of the cape was flipped (because of the gold ribbon) throughout ALL the photos, haha. Now I just wanted to reach in on the photos and fix it.

The sunglasses are not part of the costume but simply us (me) trying to get through the photo shoot. The sun was smack in her eyes so we improvised with Mommy's sunglasses.

She is very happy with her costume and I hope she is not going to get too tired of answering the question "And who are you dressed up as my friend?" tonight when we go trick or treating.

Okay, I will finish up and go carve those pumpkins with the kiddos.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween 2015 - Girl Musketeer.

I feel like the older the kids get the faster time goes.
We were well into October before I realized that we really needed 'the talk'.....the one where we took the final and unchangeable decision on halloween costumes that is, hehe. 

This girl musketeer costume has seriously been one of the most fun things I have sewed in a long time. It was one of those lucky projects that just worked. Sometimes you rip every seam and sometimes things are just flying along.....this was the last kind which is probably why it ended up much more elaborate than I originally planned. I don't think I ripped a single seam during this project. Which is not normal for case you wondered, ha.

When E decided she wanted to be a musketeer (after getting a mask with a big feather - I'm still mystified on how she made that connection. She says "she just knew.") I of course started googling for inspiration. I found a pretty good girl musketeer costume but I was too cheap to buy it SO I went to Jo-Ann and bought materials for nearly the same amount. Great! Of course this is way more fun plus it is hopefully sewed a bit more long lasting and with a perfect fit.

I realized I needed a dress pattern with a basic bodice plus a circle skirt as a starting point and since An from StraighGrain has just relaunched her Tinny Dress pattern (with more sizes and endless new and amazing details and variations) that pattern was the first one that came to mind and it was the perfect base!

I just drew a line (and added seam allowance) on the front bodice for the center insert plus I added the gathered extra skirt piece and sleeve flounces (both self-drafted).

 Easy peasy!

And then I drafted a cape pretty much out of the blue and how I imagined the shape to be. In other words, it was not difficult and didn't involved much math or technicalities.

Since the outer layer of the cape is made form stretch velvet and the inner layer is a much thinner and non-stretchy viscose lining, the outer layer becomes a bit longer when it is hanging vertically. I should have made the outer layer a tiny bit shorter but I didn't, ha. It's really not that much and it is only center back and I can totally live with it. I hope you can too, hehe.

It is only for her back and it is attached with velcro on the back side of the shoulder seams.
I might be overprotective but it feels good to know that if the cape catches on to anything it will just be ripped of instead of potentially choking her.

After seeing this photos - more specifically the hem of the cape, especially left side - I had to go back and look at the actual cape because in the photo it looks crazy bulky and gathered and just plain awful and I didn't remember any of that happened while making it. And I do not know why it looks like this in the photo (maybe something with velvet and the way it catches the light??) but you just have to take my word for it because it looks fine and smooth in real life. Haha, I just needed to let you know!

The leather belt was a bit of an afterthought. She needed a loop for the foil (in between fencing matches you know. Or maybe to have hands free to shovel in candy while trick or treating) and it was easier to tie a string to a belt than sewing it into the dress' waist seam and it adds a great contrast to the fancy dress if you ask me.

Another detail is the musketeer 'boots'. I bought some knee high black socks. Then I sewed a flounce on a 2 cm wide elastic measured to fit under her knees, added a square gold 'buckle' made from gold pleather and boom, you got faux musketeer boots.

The hat is mine and with a gold ribbon, a wild turkey feather from our last vacation and a hand drawn fleur-de-lis cut in gold pleather it became the perfect musketeer hat.

She is thrilled with her costume and she loooves her fencing foil.

This silly girl is SO ready for halloween!

I'm off, I have another costume to finish and this one is in a WHOLE different direction.
Thank you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Tip Top and Morocco Pants by Petit à Petit Patterns.

I have been SO looking forward to post this....even though you wouldn't think so considering that I took these photos over 3 weeks ago. Phew, time flies!

It's Celina from Petit à Petit Patterns two recent patterns The Tip Top (which also comes as dress) and The Morocco Pants.

Let me just make it clear from the start both patterns are AMAZING!
It's funny because the top looks like a lot with the extravagant sleeves and yet it is a super fast and simple sew. 
And the pants look pretty straight forward but they are not a one hour project (okay, nothing is a one hour project for a slow-sewer like me but you know what I mean, ha). As with all Celina's patterns they have a million options so you can make them more or less advanced. I have made a pair (not blogged) with all the bells and whistles (see them HERE) so the pair I'm showing you today is one of the more simple options with elastic waist, faux zip fly and faux back pocket flaps.
 Okay, I'll tell you more later on. I want to talk about the top first.

I'm obsessed over this top! 
I have said it before but managing to make loose and 'oversize' styles look flattering is an art form and Celina has done exactly that with this pattern.
Those sleeves are just incredible and the option with a double layer is just gorgeous and opens up for a lot of fun fabric pairing ideas. The option of hemming with bias tape adds another dimension.

The patterns has lots of options.
Gathered or pleated neckline, elastic or fixed neckline, dress or tunic, welt pockets, side panels etc etc.
I'm dying to make a dress with welt pockets from this pattern but for now I have forbidden myself to sew more for my kids. Mommy needs new clothes now! 

Both fabrics are cotton voile and the rusty red was so thin and sheer that I cut the center front and back pieces double but simply treated them as one layer. That worked great and didn't cause me any problems.

The sewing step you will spend most time on is hemming the sleeves - especially if you choose the double sleeves (obviously) but again do not fret. The patterns has several options for you depending on your sewing level or temper, ha.

I choose the gathered/elastic neckline. I made my own bias tape and for extra effect sewed it on so it's visible from the front side. The bias tape also works as a casing for the elastic.
Super simple and super smart!

Let's move on to the pants!
Oh gosh, another favorite!
This pattern is a $10 sewing lesson in classical dress pants. Really!

Zip fly (regular or faux), waistband (3 different kinds), belt loops, front side pockets and back welt pockets (regular or faux) all done the classical way with facings and beautiful finishes and illustrated in the pattern's tutorial. Excellent!
Seriously, you will learn so much sewing these. Or if you already know these things it will be such a lovely and relaxing sewing experience.
Nothing in this pattern is really difficult but like I already mentioned I would be lying if I said it is a quick least if you want a nice result. So take your time, check your work after every step and you will end up with a result that might even surprise yourself, ha. A pair of beautiful and pro looking pants.

I absolutely love the tuxedo stripe option but the pattern also comes with a fully classical pants version without the stripe. And the best thing is that you can easy print which option you need without having to print the whole thing.

You know my obsession with this gold elastic from Dritz (and I just saw they made it in silver too - woohoo) so even though the pattern already offers 3 waistband options I decided to make a fourth (because that's what make sewing fun, right!). That worked pretty well. The way I make it (yeah, I still haven't made the tutorial but it's on it's way, promise!) hides the seam but it also means it's double folded and that became a bit bulky because of the front pocket and my medium weight fabric. But the result was good enough for me to keep. And my daughter totally loves her gold elastic waist pants and these are no exception.

The floral fabric is a printed denim from Hancock Fabrics (It seems to be sold out online) and I think I bought the blue solid denim at Michael Levine. Both fabrics has a bit of stretch.

I sized these pants up a lot compared to the previous classical pair I made (that kind of became too small the week after they were finished, wah) so these are a size 8. That explains the baggier overall fit but I love them on her and I love that they will definitely fit until next summer...and maybe next fall too, who knows!? 

I emphasized the bagginess by hemming the pants with elastic. Not super tight, just a bit of gathering. I used my Cover Stitch and it was soooo easy that way but you can of course do this with a sewing machine too.

And yeah they are a bit long at this point...I don't have to mention kids grow like weeds, right ha!

Here are the faux back flaps. And I promise I sewed them on symmetrically, ha. She is just twisting in this photos so it looks like one is placed higher than the other. 
Everything is faux about these. I even just sewed the buttons on afterwards. No pesky button holes to fight with.

That's favorite outfit I have made in a long long long time.

Get your own Morocco Pants Pattern HERE and your Tip Top and Dress HERE.

Thank you!!