How I don’t really have a plan for KCW

kid's clothes week

So yes, as I mentioned before, Kid’s Clothes Week is this coming week- Monday through Sunday. I have every intention of participating in this challenge; however, I have a slight confession to make- I don’t have my project list finished or my work prepped and ready to go. I’ve decided to take it a bit more stream of consciousness this year and see where the week takes me. It’ll be fun, right? (says the girl who lives by her lists!)

But really, I get so inspired from the Flickr group every challenge season that I want to give myself a little more freedom this week to come up with more ideas as the week progresses. I know that I want to make a Bimaa hoodie for Oliver and perhaps one for Eliot too. I’ve got that pattern printed and taped but still need to trace out my correct sizes. I’ve got a pretty stack of washed and folded knits calling my name (purchased from the Fabric Fairy with some giveaway winnings). And I am excited to see what I can accomplish this week! What about you? Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of sewer or do you prefer to have your lists all made out and everything prepped the week in advance? Whatever happens, it’s sure to be a fun week and I look forward to seeing everyone’s accomplishments throughout the week!

Kid’s Clothes Week Winter 2014

kid's clothes week

Just popping in to remind everyone about KCW coming up next week! I am pretty excited about this coming week because I have some kid sewing projects I am really looking forward to and need this push to get started on them! I’ll be back later in the week to share my list with you…have to finish it first. I hope that many of you will join in with me. The goal is to sew one hour a day for 7 days. Doable for anyone, right? I just love the community that KCW brings and how I get inspired with everyone’s creativity. For more info check out the KCW blog. And this week is giveaway week so you may want to check out some of the cool things they are giving away this week over on the blog as well!

Ruby Top #2

I have a fun selfish sewing project finish to show you today! This top was started back in the fall and then shelved when I got so busy with Christmas orders and presents. The first of the year, I was really wanting a quick and easy project to finish for myself and pulled this semi-completed shirt out of the works-in-progress bin. About an hour later and I had myself a new top!

ruby top

The bottom fabric is from Jeni Baker’s Color Me Retro line for Art Gallery Fabrics. It’s quilting cotton but Art Gallery fabrics are a lighter weight quilting cotton so it works for this pattern. I have loved this fabric ever since it came out and finally snatched this up during a fabric sale (I can’t remember where). Top fabric is a Robert Kaufman linen.

ruby top

The pattern is Rae’s Ruby Dress/Top and it’s my second Ruby top. This is such a fun pattern to mix and match prints and solids. And it’s also a quick and easy sew- perfect for beginners. Really the thing that takes the longest is binding the sleeves and neck. The actual construction of the top takes like 30 minutes. I love how I can layer this top underneath a sweater right now and then wear it alone later when the weather warms up.

ruby top

Handmade Christmas Wrap-up

Well I meant to get a few more things blogged over Christmas break but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men….ย I am embracing the clean slate of a new year and hoping to settle into a good routine of sewing/blogging/home and family management and check in here more regularly than I have of late. Now that the little man is 7 months old, I am losing my excuse for not getting things done!

Here’s a few pics of the remainder of my handmade Christmas decor…including cute baby, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚ Next up are a few of my handmade Christmas gifts- yes they actually happened this year- along with a semi-fail that I am sure you will be interested to see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

of course E had to have one of my reindeer onesies...sold quite a few of these over the Christmas season- aren't they just so cute?!

of course E had to have one of my reindeer onesies…sold quite a few of these over the Christmas season- aren’t they just so cute?!

Some stockings I made for us a few years back using the rag quilting method...I made an extra that didn't quite turn out as planned and guess it worked out because E got a stocking too this year. Maybe next year, he'll get one that coordinates better with the other three.

Some stockings I made for us a few years back using the rag quilting method…I made an extra that didn’t quite turn out as planned and guess it worked out because E got a stocking too this year. Maybe next year, he’ll get one that coordinates better with the other three.

monogram ornament

A few of the monogrammed ornaments that were so popular in my shop this year. So popular in fact that I sold the ones I made for the boys!

A few of the monogrammed ornaments that were so popular in my shop this year. So popular in fact that I sold the ones I made for the boys!

Anniversary Negroni

I am SO PROUD of this shirt! I cannot believe I actually sewed a men’s button-down shirt and it hasn’t fallen apart yet! Several years ago I promised my hubs I would make him a button down shirt after seeing Rae’s version of the Negroni for her husband. But it wasn’t the top project on my list and kept getting bumped for other things. Every now and then, he would remind me about my promise, and I would make note of it and then completely forget about it. July 18th was our 5 year anniversary, and I really wanted to do something special for Ian since he has been such a huge help during and after this difficult pregnancy. I am well known for deciding such big things right before the occasion comes up and then never finishing said project. But this time I determined it would be different! And it was; I actually had a semi-finished shirt for Ian to try on for our anniversary day. The best thing was that this shirt was a complete surprise for him!

Negroni

Pattern: Negroni by Colette Patterns. 2 thumbs up for the pattern! The shirt came together so much easier than I had anticipated. Only hard part were the cuffs which I had to redo several times because I made some mistakes and didn’t understand directions. Also I put one of the cuff plackets on the wrong side so one placket is facing the inside of the sleeve and the other faces the outside but no one notices this so it’s not a big deal.

untitled-6

Material used: a shot cotton I picked up at a fabric sale for super cheap a while back. This was my “wearable muslin.” This fabric works great for the pattern and I’m already planning on making another one in a dark green shot cotton. However, I must tell you, just like my Ruby Top, I ironed the shirt before our photo shoot and it’s still wrinkled. Ian doesn’t mind the wrinkled look, but if your husband is picky about that you may want to consider using a different fabric.

untitled-5

Other notes:ย I used one of Ian’s dress shirts as a size guide, and he happens to be a perfect medium! The shirt fit great with no needed alterations. Next time I think I will try to install a traditional collar rather than the camp style collar but every thing else I will keep the same. I found some tutorials on the traditional collar insertion so I will read up on those before I attempt it.

Ruby Top

ruby top

I recently had the opportunity to test a pattern for the amazing Rae from Made-By-Rae. I made the dress version for testing but chopped it off into the top later. Dresses are just not practical for this nursing mama right now.

ruby top

I love how this top turned out! In fact I’ve been wearing it and my Tiny Pocket Tank almost non-stop this last week. I really need to make a few more of these tops. I chose the size M, even though my bust measurements indicated I was a L. Because of this, it’s a teensy bit small across the bust/shoulders area- you can see a bit of the pulling in the pictures. However, in my current stage of life I like to make things a little small so that they will continue to fit as my body shrinks back to its normal size.

I have it on good authority the pattern will be released any day now and I highly recommend you try it out! It’s the perfect pattern for the beginner seamstress because it is not complicated and results in a super cute garment. Rae is well-known for her well-written patterns, and this one does not disappoint!

ruby top

I love seeing everyone’s different combinations of fabrics in the Flickr group and already have several ideas in mind for my next one! I used a voile for the top and shot cotton for the bottom. One note about the shot cotton- I actually ironed this shirt for the photo shoot (my mother would faint at this news ๐Ÿ™‚ ), and it still looks wrinkled, but I’m ok with that since I’m a wrinkle embracer myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

ruby top

Tiny Pocket Tank

I have been searching for a cute tank pattern for a while. I have been debating on the wiksten tank but from the ones I have seen produced, wasn’t certain that would be a flattering pattern for me. Enter the Tiny Pocket Tank. I starting following Sew Caroline on Instagram a while back and love all the TPT versions that she has sewn so I decided to take the plunge. By the way if you need any selfish sewing inspiration, she is amazing!

Tiny Pocket Tank

The Pattern: Tiny Pocket Tank from Grainline Studios. Highly recommend Grainline Studios Patterns after trying two of them. (Review of Maritime Shorts pattern here.) I really want to try the Archer and Lakeside Pajamas patterns also but am resisting the urge to buy more patterns right now. We shall see how long my self-control lasts.

Fabric: A Joel Dewberry Voile I picked up for ridiculously cheap at a fabric sale. I have determined voile is the perfect fabric for the tank! I only wish I had more voile because I want to make a ton more of these tanks! I have worn this one almost non-stop since making it!

Tiny Pocket Tank

Other comments: I made a size 12 based on my bust measurements. I recently bought some Swedish tracing paper (Amazing stuff, my friends!) and used it as my muslin. When I did, I realized that the back would gap at the top and the sides were too billowy. But thankfully the bust darts were good. When I cut out the shirt I moved the back pattern piece over 1 inch, angling down to be even with the fold line at the bottom and that made the top perfect. I took in the sides a bit as well- basically graded them down to a size 8 at the bottom. It’s not perfect, but it works. I am still learning how to fit myself up top and could really use a class in that!! Wishing we had someone in town who taught classes like that…so jealous of those living up in Ann Arbor and attending all the cool classes at Pink Castle Fabrics’ new digs!I see myself making quite a few more of these tanks to wear under cardigans this fall! Hopefully I will get the fit even better with the next ones.

 

 

Maritime Shorts Version 2

I have so enjoyed the “selfish sewing”ย  streak that I have been on recently! These shorts are probably my favorite thing I’ve sewed to date. You may be wondering why I am calling these version 2 when you haven’t even seen version 1… well version 1 has yet to be photographed so in this case you get 2 before 1. ๐Ÿ™‚

maritime shorts

In version 1 (which was my wearable muslin), I made a size 6. They ended up being too small in the waist for my after-baby body. I did a rough guess of how much more I needed in the waistband and decided I would try to combine several different sizes for this second pair of shorts. I began with a size 8 at the bottom of the shorts and graded up to a 12 in the waist. They ended up a perfect fit! I am now in love with sewing shorts for myself because I really struggle with finding clothes to fit my lower body- in order to fit my waist, most things end up being way too big in the legs. I know this problem will go away as the baby weight comes off but it’s nice to have cute things to wear now.

maritime shorts

Pattern: Grainline Studios Maritime Shorts. I am falling in love with Grainline Studios! Her patterns are easy to follow and result in super cute garments. (Another pattern review coming soon for her tiny pocket tank.) Also for most of her patterns she has a step-by-step picture tutorial that is very helpful. Not sure I could have inserted the fly zipper without this. Did you catch that? I inserted a real fly!! I love conquering new sewing techniques!

maritime shorts

check out my cute photo bomber ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Fabric: Duck cloth found at Hobby Lobby. It was so cute that I couldn’t pass it up. This fabric is a great weight for shorts but is a bit rough on the inside for my super sensitive skin so if I use it for another pair, I will try lining them.

Final comments: The pictures were taken after wearing the shorts all day (and part of a previous one ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so they are a bit stretched out looking in the back. The leg is a bit wide with the size 8 so I may take it in a tad if I make another pair, although maybe not because I kinda like the look it gives them. Also these pictures were taken during our recent family vacation to Hilton Head Island, which if you follow me on Instagram you got an overdose of this weekend…highly recommend this beach to anyone in need of a relaxing place to take your children!

 

Kid’s Clothes Week Wrap-Up

Day 4

Flashback tee- birthday

At least one part of his body always seems to be in motion!

As I was debating what tee to make Thursday, I realized that Oliver “needed” a birthday shirt for his 2nd birthday on Friday. I had a super soft brown thrifted women’s XL shirt that I was saving for an appliqued tee and decided to use that for my shirt base. Once again, I used the trusty flashback skinny tee pattern. Since this was my 4th flashback tee, it came together super fast. I am really interested to notice how the different knit fabrics look different with the same size pattern- because this was really stretchy and soft material, it fits quite a bit bigger than his other shirts.

Flashback tee- birthday

I spent forever trying to decide what kind of birthday applique I wanted to use. In the end, I spelled out TWO on his shirt because now it’s a shirt he can wear the entire year, not just on his birthday. It would have been easier if I had found a font I liked and traced the letters, but I can never do things the easy way so I free-handed the letters and took quite a while getting them just right. I used heat n bond lite to applique the letters to the tee and sewed around them for added security. I really like how this turned out! Of course Oliver did not cooperate super well for our mini-photoshoot but I have a few useable shots for you.

Flashback tee- birthday

enjoying his yummy birthday cake ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 5: Oliver’s birthday. I had planned to do a little sewing during his nap but after making his cake and playing with him all morning, I was too wiped out to sew and ended up napping myself. Oh well. We had a really fun day together and doesn’t that cake look good!? My car loving little man thought it was great.

Day 6-7: Had a reaction to something I ate on Friday night and had horrific indigestion/heartburn for 2 straight days….meaning no sewing or anything else for that matter. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Getting ready to get this little brother out into the world so my body can go back to normal- only 5.5 more weeks!

Day 8:

I really wanted to complete a pair of shoes for the baby during KCW so I decided it could last one more day in order for me to meet my goal. I was going to use the shoe pattern from Handmade Beginnings, but found this adorable tutorial for TOMS and decided I must try it out using my leftover red denim from the boys’ pants. These took forever! I enlarged the pattern to where it should have been a size 6-9 months, but they ended up so tiny I don’t know if they’ll even fit a newborn. Fingers crossed this baby doesn’t have the gargantuan feet his older brother has! I know I’m a bit slow now with my pregnancy brain, but I really did not like this tutorial. I found it hard to follow, and she left out some details that would have been helpful. I also don’t like how it ends up with exposed seams in the inside of the shoe. Seems uncomfortable for a baby. I had to do lots of seam ripping with these shoes because I made so many mistakes, and in the end, I still ended up with 2 left feet. Oh well. Hopefully they’ll fit the little man for a few days at least so I can get some cute pictures. And maybe, I’m just super slow these days and the rest of y’all will have no problems following this tutorial! Let me know if you do try it!

And that wraps up another KCW… Total of 4 tees, 1 dress shirt, 1 pair of quick change trousers, and 1 pair of baby toms. Not too bad of a list in my opinion.

baby toms

Kid’s Clothes Week Day 3: Another Flashback Tee


Day 3:

  • Finished Dress Shirt from Day 2: hemmed sleeves and finished off all side seams
  • Blue Stripe Flashback Tee completed

FST Blue Stripe

Sure hope you are not tired of seeing these flashback skinny tees because I am most definitely not tired of making them. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have been so blessed to have quite a few clothes passed down to us from various people, but as I was going through Oliver’s summer wardrobe, he really does need some dressier tees and dress shirts so that’s what I am focusing on this KCW.

FST Blue Stripe

This blue stripe tee is one of my faves so far. It’s from an old tank top that I picked up at a thrift store a while back in order to have practice knits. It’s a nice thick jersey material but super stretchy, so it definitely was the hardest knit I’ve worked with yet. I had barely enough fabric to make this tee…had to do some creative layout and cutting to get my shirt.

FST Blue Stripe

Thankfully I was able to use the existing hem for the bottom of the shirt and only had to hem the sleeves. Also because this is super stretchy, I could use the fabric itself for the neck binding, and it fits over Oliver’s head! I was debating on adding a pocket to the tee but as I was cutting the pocket out, nap time ended so I decided that was my sign to be done with the tee. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tomorrow my goal is to attempt a polo refashion. Wish me luck!

FST Blue Stripe

FST Blue Stripe