I see London, I see France

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Sometimes it’s the practical things that demand to be sewn, and I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of sewing practical things. So when my daughter had need of new underwear I went and bought her a set rather then having to sew them. And what do you know, the fit was awful! Those undies would stretch out and be around her ankles in 15 minutes. I resolved it was time for some practical sewing.

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The pattern I used is called Classic Panties and Camisole by Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop. I sewed them in size 3/4 in Heather Ross’ Briar Rose knits and one pair in Baby Nay butterfly knit. I actually sewed seven total pairs of underwear but the two I left out of the pictures are a repeat of the calico prints. Yes baby girl, seven pairs of underwear for you. Seven pairs of insanely cute non-ankle undies. ❤

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I made some alterations to the pattern. First, the pattern has you cut the whole thing as one piece rather then a separate back and front. I wanted my strawberry print direction to be upright on both the front and back so I cut the undies in two pieces, seaming them were the pattern is cut when you print it out before taping the pattern together (on the bum).

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Since I had a seam I decided to do the lining differently as well. Instead of folding under and stitching the lining in place at both the front and back (which would create visible stitching lines), I serged finish the front edge and left it free-floating.

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The back edge got trimmed by about an inch to meet the bum seam and then I serged it right side of the lining to wrong side of the panty back while sewing the panty front and back together. When I flipped the lining over it sandwiched the seam inside, creating a nice finish and making it comfortable to wear!

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Here’s a better picture of the lining modifications I made. I think next time I make these I’ll use elastic lace around the legs and waist instead of ribbing. I don’t mind ribbing for toddler underwear but by the time she needs a new set she won’t be a toddler anymore!

These undies are so so cute on. But I’m afraid you’ll just have to take my word for it! No underwear modeling shots for my daughter 😉

What kinds of practical things are you sewing for your kids? Do you actually like sewing them or do you do it because of fit issues?

 

 

Calico jump rope dress

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It’s summer! Nothing said summer to me as a child like spending the days outdoors playing and getting sweaty, caked in dirt and tree sap, and usually coming home with my pockets stuffed with treasures from the forest. Now that I’m grown I try to refrain from gallivanting through the woods all day long, but it’s fair game for my kids! And that means lightweight practical clothing that won’t get in the way of the fun.

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The Jump Rope dress from Oliver + S is a perfect example of summer play clothes. It’s functional and comfortable while still being a dress, for which my daughter is eternally grateful 😉 I sewed view A in size 3 width 4 length from Heather Ross’ Briar Rose collection in the lilac calico print.

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I decided to sew the collar and front placket in white to offset the busy-ness of the calico, and I love the simple beauty a white collar adds to the dress. The buttons I finally picked are a lovely shimmery peachy pink, and let me tell you it took me forever to figure out those buttons! I bought four separate sets before I finally was happy with how these looked on the dress.

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There are so many lovely features included by Oliver + S in this pattern, like the wonderful little pockets on the skirt with a surprise top opening.

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And I just love the belt-loops and sash.

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Plus it looks great on! There will be lots of playground visits in this little number for sure.

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There is always some dancing involved in photo shoots with Lily 🙂

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What a great way to kick off the summer!

What about you, what do you have on your summer sewing list?

 

 

Happy Homemade Sew-along

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This past week I’ve been participating in this sew along hosted by Meg and Cherie of elsiemarley and you&mie. Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids is a Japanese sewing book that has recently been translated into English and was the book we used to complete our project. I’ve had another Japanese sewing book in my stash for three years that I’ve never been able to figure out well enough to actually sew anything from! So when this sew-along was announced I positively jumped at the chance. Not only would it be my first (finally!) Japanese sewing book project but I hoped it would pave the way in helping me understand my other book well enough to start sewing from it.

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The pattern we sewed was the Pull-over Parka. It’s a great gender neutral piece, workable for just about any season depending on how you execute it. I decided to make one for my daughter since I had just finished a pull-over for my son.

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For my daughter’s parka I sewed it in size 110 (which is like a 4/5) out of Nani Iro fuccra rakuen and Robert Kaufman chambray union cotton in color indigo, with the pocket lining and drawstring cord made from ivory linen. I’m in love with this chambray! It’s lightweight, supple, soft, and simply wonderful for summery projects.

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I did make a few alterations to the pattern. First I pieced together a sweetheart seam on the front of the parka and a scoop seam on the back. I like the interest they add plus it saved me from using a ton of my precious Nani Iro ;). Next I lengthen and flared the sleeves a bit so that I could gather them at the wrists with elastic. I also added some side seam pockets since my daughter has very little appreciation for anything I make her that doesn’t have pockets. Girl needs to store her treasures somewhere!

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Finally I lined (a modification Cherie showed us how to do) and then quilted the hood. I just couldn’t get the idea of quilting something out of my head, so I did a little to satisfy my perfectionist… I mean artistic.. bent.

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Sweetheart seam <3. I didn’t ask her to smile. Want to know why?

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This is the face I get if I ask  ;D Like an adorable little pirate, Arrrrrrrrr.

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Trying out her pockets.

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I love that hood. So glad I listened to the crazy and quilted it!

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Out for a stroll in her new parka. I’m really thrilled with how it turned out, and that I understood what I was doing the whole time! Of course having my hand held by Meg and Cherie made it just about impossible to mess up. I can’t wait to apply my new knowledge of Japanese pattern books to the one living in my stash. Yes, I think it’s time 😉

Anyone else conquer the mysterious Japanese sewing book, or any other trial in sewing you thought you just couldn’t ever get past?

 

 

 

Reversible nature walk pullover

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Something very cool about flat felled seams is how it can make a garment reversible. I had been brainstorming how to implement this feature for a while, and finally landed on the idea of a reversible color-block pullover. To say I love how it turned out would be an understatement!

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The pattern I used is Oliver + S nature walk pullover size 2 sewn in Robert Kaufman chambray double cloth in color indigo. This fabric played a huge part in the inspiration of this pullover! It is basically two-sided chambray double gauze, so it is two thin gauzy fabrics that have been stitched together. It is soft and fluffy, and after washing and drying it became a fluffed up crinkly cloud as double gauze tends to do. I ironed it out to sew it, but I plan on letting it fluff and crinkle after the next wash.

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I made a few modifications to the pattern. First I added a pocket panel to the reverse side so that there would be a kangaroo pocket on both sides of the pullover. Next I finished the hem and sleeves folding into the layers of fabric rather then to one side to keep it looking truly finished and reversible on both sides. For the sleeves I had to pull apart the double gauze to fold the seam to the inside, but on the hem I simply tucked the seam up between the bottom edges of the two pocket panels. Lastly I added a button on both sides of the neck plus a chain loop to close it with. I’ve seen another gorgeous nature walk pullover in the flickr pool with a button closure like this one and I love the look so I followed suit.

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Here’s some shots of my boy wearing side “A”. Plus his rock. ❤

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This was a fun project to do, although a bit of a brain bender! Anyone else try their hand at making a pattern reversible?

 

 

Summer pjs

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The kids are growing and the weather is getting warmer; time for new pajamas!

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The pattern I used is Alex & Anna Winter PJs from Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop. I modified them by making them short sleeved and made two out of the four bottoms into shorts. Peek-a-Boo patterns does offer summer pjs in this style however if you don’t feel like modifying the winter version.

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I’m very happy with the pattern and the finished product. These pjs look like I bought them from the store! Check out that neck finishing! I’m still only a novice..maybe intermediate knits sewer, and I pulled this off. Anyone with a twin needle on their sewing machine can make some great looking pajamas using this pattern too!

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For my daughter I sewed her pair in size 4. She picked out the fabric she wanted from a huge tub of knits I still have from my closed cloth diaper sewing shop. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough of this print so the back is done from the pink fabric I used for the binding. I think it still works and my daughter loves them 😉

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For my boy I sewed his pj’s in size 18 months and they fit him wonderfully! I also used stash fabric and got to use up a few of my favorite prints. NASA? Yes.

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This print is by David & Goliath. They have some very witty and downright awesome fabrics that are great for sewing kids clothes from. I love this “Far Out” print and it’s probably my favorite of the bunch!

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If you’re looking for organic knits, check out Lillestoff. They are a maker of very high quality imported fabrics who just keep cranking out the cutest prints. “Night Fox” is one of my favorites.

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Some “Ring around the rosies” pj action 🙂

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And of course a pj dance party!