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Today is my last day of vacation before starting my new job. I thought I would take  virtual stock of what I managed to sew during my vacation. Most of these items are long gone from my home because I like to make tiny clothes and I don’t have kids!

I really liked the circle dress/top pattern by that*darn*kat. Or maybe I just wanted to sew it without making any errors! Either way, I made five: two size 3 dresses, one size 2 top and two size 2 dresses. I opted to use prints for the body and solids for the neck and hem. I also prefered the look of a single button on each shoulder instead of two. I think it is easier to get done up and you don’t have to worry about getting the wrong button hole!

Here are my blog posts on these dresses:

I like all the prints for these dresses, but my favorite is the Giant Octopus in Natural. In fact, I love it so much I bought some more for my stash!

The most involved project was definitely the Octo Reversible Jacket for my nephew. The lining and arm also featured octopi.

Another ‘boy’ project was the Lion Kimono. I don’t understand the issue with dressing little girls in blues, greens and other ‘boy’ colours. I am sure my niece will rock this kimono if it survives her brother.

Vacation Creations

1. Bird Dress – Acorn Button, 2. Octopus Dress – Button, 3. Mushroom Top, 4. Bird Dress 2.0 – Acorn Buttons, 5. branches dress buttons, 6. Octo Jacket – Blue Front, 7. Octo Jacket – Brown Side Open, 8. Mushroom Diaper Cover, 9. Lion Kimono Front, 10. Echino Pillows, 11. Tea Cosy, 12. Sophie’s New Seat and Cover

Non-clothing projects: Pillow covers, improvised tea cosy, bike seat cover, scarf

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My vacation is coming to an end! I start work Monday. Today I sent off a package of mostly little clothing to my sizzler for my niece and nephew.

Package Prep

Containing:

I hope they all like it!

Today I gifted my first quilt to my friend. He is having his first baby in October and today was his wedding.

Another little dress for baby F! It is a size 2 dress, but I bet she can wear it this summer while still a baby. The size 2 shirt was a bit short for the dress so hopefully this dress will (sort of) fit for the summer.

I really like the fabric, Through the Forest in Grey by Studio E House Designer. It is a bit classier than my usual choice for little clothes; I could easily see this print on an adult. The solid is Kona Cotton in Paprika I believe.

Branches Dress

There are a few birds hidden in the branches.

Branches Dress

The buttons are a simple dark wood.

Branches Dress Back

The gathers on the back are slightly concentrated to the left. Oops! I’m not sure if other people would notice.

Hello Lion Kimono! You are AWESOME! I would like to take full credit for the level of awesome achieved by this kimono, but 90% of it comes from the fabric. The fabric is a double gauze Japanese import from Echino. Bright turquoise, yellow clouds, hidden birds and, of course, lions!

I have made this pattern before from Habitual. In fact, it was my first time on a sewing machine.

I made it size 4T to leave some growing room for my little lion aka 2.5 year old nephew. Recently he climbed a rock hill and roared, scaring the nearby drinking teenagers. I hope he likes it!

Lion Kimono Front

I think the lion placement works well. Using such a large scale print would be difficult for a baby sized kimono.

Lion Kimono Back

And two lions on the back as well.

Now that I know how to properly sew on binding, it was much easier to sew the binding around the shoulders compared to my last try.

Lion Kimono - Detail

Sneaky hiding bird!

I used linen for the ties. It was my first time using linen and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. It was also my first time using double gauze. All my troubles sewing this kimono resulted from my lack of experience with the materials.

Notes on double gauze and linen after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »

I got my first sewing commission to make a size 2 bird dress. The first bird dress was my first dress. I can definitely see the improvement in my sewing skills! This time I put green binding tape around the arm holes instead of a tiny rolled hem.

Bird Dress 2.0

I still really like the acorn buttons. I think I might have to buy more just in case I need to make another bird dress.

Bird Dress 2.0 Buttons

I still love love love french seams! I used them for all the dresses I have made and I don’t plan to stop!

Bird Dress - French Seams

I don’t have a serger so the quick alternative is a zig-zag stitch. I did use that for the seams in the diaper cover because they only touch the diaper, not any skin. The only downside (besides taking extra time) I have found for french seams is the extra bulk created when hemming. A better sewing machine wouldn’t notice the extra thickness, but mine is very basic.

Since the mushroom top (size 2) worked as a short baby dress, I decided a diaper cover was in order. I used the free pattern from Prudent  Baby.

Mushroom Diaper Cover

The result! I still have to try it on the baby…

Mushroom Dress

I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but these baby thighs are huuuuuge!

To accommodate her thighs, this 7 month old baby wears 24 month capris for jeans. They will slim out when she start running around, but I increased the elastic length for the leg holes so they won’t pinch this summer.

I did have to make one modification to the pattern. My left over fabric wasn’t big enough for the full back piece (it is bigger than the front to allow for diaper bum). I added a small crotch piece, shown in the picture below.

Diaper Cover - Crotch

My only trouble making this cover happened when trying to feed the elastic in casing around the first leg hole. I could only get the safety pin over the seams in the direction they were pressed! Otherwise the seam would get bunched and I hit a dead end. This issue wouldn’t have been a big problem if I just had the two seams, but the extra seam due to the extra crotch piece was in the wrong direction.

I had to sew the casing again, leaving the hole to feed the elastic at the extra crotch piece. It worked!

In other news, I hate when I have to “fold over 1/*”, press, fold over another 1/*” and press again.” It is especially annoying on small curved parts. In better news, I have noticed my sewing machine skills have improved drastically over this past month!

The babies came to visit! I turned over my stash of handmade clothes. The dresses are too big for baby, but the mushroom top and octo jacket were put to use.

Mushroom Shirt in Action

Here is 7 month old baby F rocking the size 2 mushroom top over a black onesie. Plenty of room to grow.

Mushroom Top

Chilling on the traffic quilt.

As expected, the 2 yr old was slightly harder to pin down for pictures. He put on the jacket and at first all I saw was…

the back!

the back!

See what finally slowed him down after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »

I picked up the fabric for this shirt from the Fabricana (Coquitlam, BC – review to come) customer appreciation sale for 25% off. I had a vision of the buttons and I had to have them. I picked them up at Button Button (Vancouver, BC – review to come).

Mushroom Top

Mushroom Top - Front

I made this shirt a size 2. My 7 month old niece is coming to visit today, and I will see how the sizing works for a baby dress. My niece is a giant baby but I think the  arm holes might be a little large.

Mushroom Buttons

button love

Buttons frustrate me! It is so hard to find the right colour, size and style. But when you find the perfect button, it makes the hassle worth it. I can now sew on buttons like a semi-pro. Maybe I should try zippers next?

Once again I used french seams because they rock my world! I just wish I had a better machine to zip over multiple layers. I have feed issues when I hem over the french seams; I end up feeding it along by hand in those areas, but it doesn’t always work out.

I finally bought a printer so I can print out patterns at any odd time. The first time I made this dress style I had printed out the pattern pieces on a printer that messed with the size. Check the damn scale when they tell you people! Everything was printed slightly small so I used the size 4/5 pieces for the neck/hem for a size 3 dress. This time I had a correct size, but it didn’t make too much of a difference. This time I squared off the yoke corners because I didn’t care for sewing the curve and I don’t think it is that noticeable.

Octopus Dress - Front

Front

This time I put bias tape around the arm holes because tiny rolled hems are EVIL. I just couldn’t get it to happen over the seam. Maybe it is harder with french seams? Once again I used french seams because I think they look and feel great.

I thought I was so cleaver with the bias tape, so of course I messed it up! I thought I could get away with just sandwiching the tape over the raw edge and sewing everything together in one go; some of the raw edge of the dress peaked out. I didn’t notice this until I have done both sides. I am becoming a master seam ripper.

The better way to sew on the bias tape:

  • Unfold the bias tape
  • Pin the bias tape around the armhole with the raw edges of the tape and dress touching, right side to right side
  • Sew together along the crease closest to the edge (for 1/4″ tape it is 1/4″ from the edge). This point is how far the tape will show on the right side.
  • Fold the tape over the fabric like a little sandwich. The back side should meet up with the first line of stitches.
  • Sew down the whole fabric sandwich close to the edge.

That’s it! Sure you have to sew twice, but the raw fabric definitely won’t peak out plus the tape is held down to the very edge on the right side (unless you do it backwards in which case the inside will be nicer – oops! I did that once).

Octopus Dress - Button

Front - Button Detail

I go crazy trying to find good buttons. Whatever colour I am looking for seems to be the only one not available. I ended up going with simple 20mm yellow buttons.

Octopus Dress - Back

Back




Bird Dress Progress

Originally uploaded by craftytalk

It is coming along nicely even after the pattern scare. My printer printed the pattern a bit small. I guess you really should check the square to make sure it is an inch. Oops! I tweaked the sizing a bit so hopefully it will turn out a reasonable size. I was making size 3 but it might end up a 2/3.

Work through the pain.

Flickr Photos

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