Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

I know, I know. It’s been quite a while hasn’t it? It’s amazing how a tiny embryo can sap your will to live plus any and all desire to sew. Well now that I’m in the second trimester (yup that was a pregnancy announcement if you didn’t catch it!) my urge to puke has finally gone and the sewing bug has come back in full force, and thankfully it was just in time for my Christmas sewing! So without further ado, here’s what I made my family for Christmas.

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For starters I made a zillion aprons. Ok, it was only four but if felt like a zillion ūüėČ For the pattern I followed this tutorial from Purlbee.

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All of them were made from medium weight 100% linen fabric from Joann’s and the pockets made from scrap fabric from my stash.

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I just knew all those little-but-too-big-to-throw-away pieces would come in handy! The aprons went to my parents and in-laws.

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For my sister’s boys I made them Star Wars pj bottoms since¬†she told me they are very into all things Star Wars right now. The fabric was from Joann’s and the pattern was a free one from fabric.com. Overall quite simple and very cheap to make (and my sis tells me they were a hit!)

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For my sister’s teenage girl¬†I made her a teenage mutant ninja turtle cross-body purse. The TMNT fabric and the ribbons were from Joann’s, and the denim from my stash. The pattern is a free tutorial here.

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I had a special request for this cloak from my sister’s younger daughter. She had seen this one I made for my daughter on her birthday and requested one in purple for Christmas. And so here it is!

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The pattern is the Red Riding Hood cloak from Oliver + S book of Little Things to Sew. I used a stretch purple crushed velvet and shimmery berry lining fabric both from Joann’s. To make it extra special I added some beautiful gold trim to the hood, also from Joann’s. I’d have to say I love this cloak for dress up! It always turns out so stunning.

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For my two young nieces on my husband’s side I made some hand-kites using wooden teething rings from etsy and different colored satin ribbons which I simply knotted on.¬†I also personalized them by writing each girl’s name on it. I love this gift so much for young kids! Beautiful, fun, cheap, and easy!

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My daughter had requested a dress-up dress for Christmas. A PINK dress-up dress. She doesn’t know about Frozen yet but I thought this free tutorial from Peek-a-boo patterns was just perfect anyhow! And so I ransacked Joann’s and Hobby Lobby for all the shimmery pink¬†fabrics I could find and put together this little number. What I ended up using was a shimmery white spandex for the yoke/sleeves, a glittery light pink stretch velvet for the bodice, pink poly satin for the underskirt, pink iridescent tissue lam√© for the over skirt, and shimmery white organza for the cape.

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Not only is it bursting with glittery pink spectaular-ness but it’s also stretchy and very comfortable which is perfect for play clothes!¬†This is hand’s down her most favorite thing I’ve sewn her to date!

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Lastly I made my son a backpack. I’ve made quite a few of these over the years (five others actually!) and they’ve always been a huge hit.

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The pattern is a Made by Rae pattern which you can find¬†here. For the fabric I used a Japanese “hungry wolf” light-weight canvas from this shop on Etsy.

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I love this fabric so stinking much! The colors! The wolves licking their chops! Just perfection. For the contrast fabric I used some teal cotton twill from Joann’s.

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I lined the inside with a bright red cotton to match the wolves tongues. Not creepy at all right? Right.

Well there you have it! I wanted to get so much more done for Christmas, like outfits for the kids, but I’m just glad I was able to get all the gifts completed. Did you sew gifts for Christmas or do you prefer to take a break for the holidays?

Project Run & Play – 80’s cartoon inspiration

Have you heard of Project run & play? It’s a seriously fun sewing challenge inspired by the popular show Project Runway, but it’s for moms and their kids! I’m not sure how I only just discovered them since they are in their 10th season! Oh well, better late than never ūüėČ The challenge has several chosen participants who battle it out over several weeks until there is only one victorious, but anyone can sew along, and that’s what I’m doing this season. I’d love to be one of the participants someday! (Edit: The Berenstain Bears is also a book! And so I’m also including it in the Sew Many Books sewing challenge)

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This week’s challenge was to sew an 80’s cartoon inspired outfit. That theme is awesome, and there’s a ton of great cartoons to choose from that seriously take me back to my childhood. I decided to settle on The Berenstain Bear’s sister bear. She has some pretty awesome elements to her outfit that I used as inspiration, namely a pink and white polka dot shirt, and pink ruffled shoulders on a pinafore. I know sister bear wears overalls but I¬†decided to sew a¬†pinafore instead. In hindsight I wish I done overalls but hey, you live and you learn.

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For the top I sewed it from this Japanese sewing book in size 110 from the beautiful Nani Iro Pocho double gauze. The polka dots are metallic coral pink which is extremely awesome according to my daughter ūüėČ Also, that shirt was my first ever project from a non-translated Japanese sewing book!

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The pinafore is from this Japanese sewing book which has been translated into English and is a great place to start if you want to get into Japanese kids sewing. I sewed it in size 110 from Kaufman newcastle denim, Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in color mushroom, and I added a pocket on the front from some brushed cotton Nani Iro scraps I had left over from this dress.

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I seriously love the details of Japanese patterns. The peter pan collar, the shoulder ruffles, the puffed sleeves! All just perfection.

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Here’s a better shot of the polka dot print. Those metallic dots are hard to capture!

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For the buttons I used mother-of-pearl buttons I found on Ebay.

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Size tag!

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Pocket detail.

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And now for a few modeling shots!

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80’s cartoon inspired success! On to sewing for next week’s challenge ūüėČ

Have you seen the great outfits sewn by the competing participants for week one? Check them out here!

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 ūüėČ

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

 

 

 

A Washi dress

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I don’t do much sewing for myself. In fact I think I’ve made a total of 3 practical things for myself in the last 20 years! I’m so glad I decided to¬†change that.¬†This is the original Washi dress sewing pattern by Made by Rae which I sewed in Nani Iro Little Dot brushed cotton. I LOVE this dress. I think I’ve worn it just about every day since I’ve made it.

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I’ve seen this dress done in this fabric before and I think it suits it perfectly, so I didn’t mess with perfection.

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Sorry for the chopped off face. My eyes were closed and I am too lazy to take another! I did make a few modifications to the pattern. First, I scooped out the neckline a bit to make it slightly deeper and wider.

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Next, I lengthened the bodice front as well as extended the back waist by two inches, and added several more rows of shirring on the back so that the bottom line of shirring matched my new waist seam.

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And last I cut the skirt out in a size larger and added several more pleats into the skirt, including one in the center front, and changed the direction of some of the pleats so that they all went in the same direction.

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I love this dress pattern¬†and can’t wait to try out the expansion!

 

 

4!

My little girl is 4 years old already! I really can’t believe it. How time flies…

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To celebrate I sewed her a few fun birthday gifts. First up is a dress-up cloak sewn from the Oliver + S Book of Little Things to Sew. I have a separate post about it here¬†if you’d like more details on it. As you can see from the picture, this girl loves her cloak! I can’t believe I hadn’t made her any other¬†dress-up stuff before now. I think more will be in order soon!

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Of course I had to sew her a birthday dress and what birthday is complete without Nani Iro? I made her this gorgeous little number which you can read more about in my previous post here.

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Next up is a new outfit for her waldorf doll “Pearl” whom I made for her birthday last year. Poor thing had been sporting the same outfit for a whole year, so a top and pants were much needed and highly appreciated by my daughter who has finally gotten into keeping clothes on her dolls. The top is made from Liberty of London from my stash and the pants are from a linen/cotton chambray by Robert Kaufman which was leftover from a skirt I had made my daughter a few seasons ago. I love using up scraps ūüôā

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Pearl’s new clothes!

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Last, but not least, I made her a doll carrier from the Oliver + S Book of Little Things to Sew. I just love using whimsical, dreamy fabric on little projects like this! Plus I’ve had this fabric living in my stash forever! So glad I found a good project to use some of it up.

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The fabric is from Heather Ross’ Far Far Away 2 and 3 collections. I’m addicted to Heather Ross in case you haven’t noticed ūüėČ ¬†She is one of my favorite fabric designers.

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Close up!

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Lamby love.

Happy birthday sweet Lily!

 

Easter pants and a birthday dress

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Easter and my daughter’s birthday tend to line up pretty nicely in terms of my sewing schedule as they are usually about a week apart. So instead of two separate dresses I sew¬†her one special Birthday Easter dress to be worn on both occasions. I just love how this years dress came together!

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The sewing pattern I used is called “Adria full circle dress pattern” by AmelieClothing on Etsy. I knew I wanted a dress with amazing spin factor and since I had no patterns on hand that fit the bill I just browsed on Etsy until I saw this one, which fit my vision perfectly!

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I sewed the dress in size 3 width and 4 length in Nani Iro Fuwari Fuwari double gauze with the lining in Kaffe Shot cotton color pudding. I did modify the pattern some by lengthening the bodice by 1 inch so that the waist hit more at her natural waist. I also added a single layer of tulle between the lining and the skirt top to prevent the layers from sticking together and falling flat.

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I love the sweet v-back and the shoulder ties!

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Plus the spin-factor is a 10!

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Easter for my boy means new Sunday clothes and so I decided to make him a pair of dress pants from the Museum Trousers pattern by Oliver + S. I sewed them in size 18-24 month in the fabulous Herringbone Railroad Denim Deluxe in color Indigo by Robert Kaufman. This fabric is seriously dreamy; soft, supple, sturdy, and gorgeous! Please ignore my wonky leg length in this photo! They really are the same length but are hanging weird.

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Adorable welt pockets! I was a bit intimidated to try them but Oliver + S patterns make them so approachable. Give them a try!

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For my contrast fabric I used some Heather Ross’ Nursery Versery collection called This little piggy.

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Welt pockets in action ūüôā

Happy Easter!

A winter coat

I would say that I finished this coat late except for the fact that it is snowing outside right now. *sigh*. As my husband said “Winter and spring are having a battle and right now winter is winning, but not for long”. He’s from Montana and perhaps it’s that mentality that keeps Montanans from going totally bonkers while waiting for spring to finally come, and stay, for keeps. Well at least my son will be able to wear this winter coat for a bit longer this season.

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This is the Oliver + s School Day’s Jacket sewing pattern in size 2. It’s pretty huge on my son which is exactly what I wanted since I was sure it wouldn’t be done for this winter and it would need to fit next year. Well looks like the snow is sticking around and he can wear it for both!

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The coat is made from a lovely 100% melton wool in dark gray from http://www.nyfashioncenterfabrics.com  They really have the most fabulous wool! The lining is Meadow Friends from the Storyboek 2 collection of organic fabrics by Birch.

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I decided to do the removable quilted lining with sleeves because, let’s face it, it get’s COLD here. I quilted together Nani Iro pocho double gauze in color soda and Foxy Floral also from the Storyboek 2 collection. The binding is Moda Bella solids in Steel.

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I finished the shoulder seams in bias binding as well to give it a more finished look.

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And of course, the finishing touch, a little hand-stitched label for my Mr. Fox ūüôā I think this is one of my favorite projects yet!

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