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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…

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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


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


I finally finished the epic octopus jacket! I made it for my nephew (2.5 years) to pass down to my niece (7 months) when it gets too small. It is about a size 5, but I think a smaller kid could wear it with the sleeves rolled up. My nephew is big for his age so it will probably fit in the fall.

It was somewhat difficult and time consuming because it was my first time doing a jacket, sleeves, appliqué, collar, lining… you get the picture. It was originally supposed to just be a blue jacket with octopus lining, but after a few people told me they thought the octopus print should be on the outside, I made it reversible.

Next time I would zig-zag (I don’t have a serger) the edges of the curved parts of the sleeve before assembly. I found it awkward and impossible to fully zig-zag the armpit area for the canvas after it was together; I ended up doing sections by hand.

At first I thought setting the sleeves was going to be impossible; the sleeves seemed to have too much fabric. It ended up being simple if you pin the top and bottom first and then distribute each side of the sleeve separately.

Octo Jacket- Blue Front

Blue Front

At first I bought some brown buttons, but I ended up going with the orange with brown edges vegetable ivory (expensive) buttons. I went with two extra buttons for decoration because the blue is quite plain. The octopus wraps around most of the sleeve. It was a pain trying to sew around all those legs!

Octopus Applique

I tried to use very flat buttons so they hopefully won’t be annoying on the inside.

Octo Jacket - Blue Side Open

Blue Side Opened

This printed fabric is so soft, I think it would feel much better against skin then the blue canvas.

Octo Jacket - Brown Side

Brown Side

I only put 2 buttons on the print side. Next time I would put some fusible interfacing between the layers where the buttons go.

Octo Jacket - Brown Side Open

Brown Side - Buttons

Which side do you prefer?

Work through the pain.

Flickr Photos

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