Aztec Floral Zsálya Top- Pattern Parcel #6

Another Pattern Parcel is here!! This bundle of PDF patterns from indie designers, available for two weeks, is all women's patterns and all fabulous! As always, you can choose your price when you purchase, and all profits are donated to the charity Donors Choose, which provides supplies for classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

The patterns included in Parcel #6 are: Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren Hudson Pant by True Bias Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl/Selvage Designs Zsálya Top and Dress by Kate and Rose

aaaand a bonus pattern, if you choose a price of $32 or greater, the Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll! It's a star lineup of patterns, folks! Some I've been pining after for a while, some are completely new to me, but I can see myself wearing every one of them.

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win I chose to sew the Zsálya top first. This is a risky move for me, I have to admit. I have a pretty petite/narrow frame, so while I love the look of loose and drapey tops they rarely look good on me. My shoulders are narrow and generally can't balance out a voluminous top. I decided to sew it anyway and hope for the best because I love that crossover front detail so much. It reminds me of a grown up Fawn Lily pattern, which I've been eyeing for my girls.

Totally works, right?! I love to layer in fall, especially since our weather is pretty temperate. I can start the day with a cardigan over the top and take it off when things warm up in the afternoon.

The fabric is refashioned from a Laura Ashley dress I bought at the thrift store. Charly was bemoaning me for cutting it apart. Apparently 90's fashion is her jam.

I chose it because of the funky floral. The flowers have an aztec sort of styling to them that for some reason spoke to me. The dress is a lightweight cotton that doesn't wrinkle, making it the perfect mom top. Aint nobody got time for ironing. I love that it dresses up my normal t-shirt and jeans look but isn't too fussy- no closures, high neckline that can't be pulled down by tiny hands exposing me to the other parents at the children's museum... you know, all the important things. And comfy. Did I mention that?

And it looks good with my favorite boots, which is requisite for any fall staple.

Back yoke, so pretty.

You can see the aztec-ish floral on the sleeve detail here. And speaking of sleeve detail, I love the gather and the shaping of the sleeve!

I'd wanted to use piping to accentuate the crossover detail but I didn't have any and I was antsy to get started. Next time.

I cut out a small and ended up sizing it down later. I should have cut an extra small (I was on the border size wise, and should have known from past experience to size down on these sorts of tops) but I solved it by holding the taped together yoke and front bodice pieces over my sewn together top (sans sleeves), shifting them over about an inch, and literally drawing a new side seam and armysce based on that. It's a bit of an unconventional solution, but it worked like a charm and meant I didn't have to worry about changing the sleeve shape any.

As for the pattern, I'm in love. I love the pattern diagrams- very clear and easy to follow. The pattern had great pointers and explained things really well. I really loved that they gave two methods of finishing the yoke so you can choose if you want the easy way or the more polished way. It's a pattern that can teach you something while you sew, and I love that! Everything came together relatively quickly, although I did have to think through the bodice/yoke sewing method a few times before I figured it out. The sewing was made quicker by reusing the existing hem of the dress I refashioned. Hooray for up cycling!

So sewing friends, do you want these patterns? Head over to Pattern Parcel to purchase this bundle before it's gone!

Blingin' Prefontaines for Perfect Pattern Parcel

I'm so so excited to be sewing for Perfect Pattern Parcel again- this time for Parcel #3. Not sure what Perfect Pattern Parcel is? Here's the gist of it, straight from their own mouths...er...keyboard.

"Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we've raised almost $4,500 towards eliminating educational inequality."
Pretty great, right? It's a fabulous way to support indie pattern makers (which I love!) and teachers and children (which I also love!) while getting some fabulous new patterns. I love buying pattern bundles because I end up with patterns that I otherwise may not have sought after, but sometimes those end up being ones you love the most. Parcel #3 includes these awesome patterns:

Pattern Parcel #3

When I first saw which patterns were going to be included I picked out 3 immediately that I knew I wanted to sew up. The Prefontaine shorts were not one of them, which just goes to show how awesome it is to get a bundle of patterns, even if every pattern isn't one you think you'd buy on its own. But enough words, how bout I show you what I made?
So here's the deal: I don't do shorts. I wear shorts when I run, and I have one pair of knee length jean cutoffs I wear when I really really have to. And that's it. But I was walking around Hobby Lobby and I spotted this gold bias tape, and it was like I had a vision. Gold trimmed linen prefontaines. Perfection. Maybe a little crazy or maybe super chic? Hard to say, but I knew I had to make it happen. I snatched up the bias tape and made my way to the thrift store hoping to find a linen dress I could dissect to make these shorts. The thrifting gods looked kindly on me and sent this 100% linen dress that was perfect. Plenty of fabric, very few seams to worry about.
Please forgive my poor phone photography!

So the pattern. It's simple, just a few pieces to cut out, and comes together very easily. The most time consuming part is the trim, but even that wasn't bad. If I wasn't confident using bias tape to finish edges before, I am now! I got lots of practice and perfected some of my technique. I finished them up but wasn't totally happy with the fit- I'd done the longer inseam and they just felt a little frumpy. 

Let's ignore my unmade bed. And brassiere.

But the thought of removing all that trim to shorten them... ugh. So I played around with it a little and realized if I shortened the rise of the waistband and overlapped the side seams a bit more I'd end up with a more fitted, but still loose and easy, fit. I lowered the waistband by 2" in the front and 3/4" in back, then overlapped the side seams (at the bottom circle, for those who have/are making the pattern) by 2". I made sure to taper up so I wasn't taking in any extra up near the bum area, just down in the leg.

 
 
After those alterations the pocket needed to be shortened (since the rise was lower) and moved so it was better centered to the new shape. I just safety pinned it on where it looked right, tried it on, and finished it up. And then I fell in love with them and we lived happily ever after.
 
 
We are living with my in-laws right now, and their neighborhood has a super awesome pool and splash pad that is a ten minute walk on a wooded path from our house. So shorts to wear to the pool, if nothing else, will get lots of use this summer. Oh, and I've made something else for our swim days, too. Do you spot it in these pictures? I'll be sharing it in a couple of days!
 

Are you convinced you need these patterns yet? This parcel is available until Friday, June 13th at Perfect Pattern Parcel! Check out the posts by these bloggers over the next two weeks for more inspiration! Parcel #3 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, May 30 Sew Busy Lizzy || Pienkel || SeamstressErin

Saturday, May 31 Design By Lindsay || the Brodrick design studio || Cookin' and Craftin'

Sunday, June 1 Diary of a Chainstitcher || a happy stitch || Disaster in a Dress || sew Amy sew

Monday, June 2 Idle Fancy || Casa Crafty || Kadiddlehopper || Dandelion Drift

Tuesday, June 3 Our Family Four || Casa Crafty || Cookin' and Craftin' || a happy stitch

Wednesday, June 4 Lexi Made || The Quirky Peach || Stitched || a happy stitch || Casa Crafty ||

Thursday, June 5 verypurpleperson || Casa Crafty || sew a straight line || Sewbon

Friday, June 6 Shawnta Sews || Mama says sew || a happy stitch || Cookin' and Craftin'

Saturday, June 7 Casa Crafty || sewninestitches || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Sunday, June 8 oonaballoona || A Stitching Odyssey || Sew Charleston

Monday, June 9 Sew Sweetness || True Bias || Ozzy Blackbeard

Tuesday, June 10 Welcome to the Mouse House || Sew Caroline || Adventures in Dressmaking

Wednesday, June 11 Peneloping || YoSaMi || sewVery

Thursday, June 12 la inglesita || La Pantigana || Sanae Ishida

Friday, June 13 Seamster Sewing Patterns || Paunnet

Fashion Revolution- a guide to a more ethical wardrobe on a budget

My Photo for the #insideout and #handmadeinsideout
Today is Fashion Revolution Day- a day to remember the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh just one year ago, and a day to ask the question, "Who made my clothes?" A day to bring awareness to sustainable fashion and make us all think a bit about where our clothes come from, and who makes them, and how they are made. Because it matters. And if you don't know why yet, watch this five minute op-doc about the Rana Plaza collapse. It's good. Really good.
I've had sustainable fashion on my mind for a bit now, ever since I came across this article- 6 Things You Should Know About Your Clothes- in my facebook feed. (You should really read it, and the follow up post, 4 Things You Should Remember Every Time You Shop for Clothes). Here's the thing- I've always been a seeker of bargains. I pride myself on finding a good deal, but this article made me rethink the cost of those "deals.'  I'd started to see the light on quality over quantity (as a twenty something who naturally wants ALL THE THINGS this is a slow going change) but I'm more committed to that change every day, as I'm learning about the options I have as a consumer. I'm on a tight budget, which means I can't afford to buy all organic cotton, sustainably sourced, ethically made clothes for myself and my family. I'm using this fantastic and lovely graphic by Sarah Lazarovic, along with the ideas in the articles linked above, as my guide to navigating a more ethical wardrobe, on a budget.

source: http://longliveirony.com/?p=575 by Sarah Lazarovic

1. I'm gonna use what I got. When I look through my closet there are always those things that I pass by because they don't fit just right, or a button needs to be replaced, or there is a hole somewhere. Well guess what- clothes can be fixed! Mending and alterations can extend the life of clothes you already have. I do mine myself, but when I don't know how I usually search the internet for a tutorial or video. If you want to learn how, the information is there! And if you don't want to learn how, find a tailor or someone who can do the work for you. Costs range on this quite a bit, but it never hurts to ask, right?
Matt and I both had holes forming in the crotch of our jeans a few months back. I finally convinced myself to try patching them because we just couldn't afford new ones at the time. That was 5 months ago, and we are both still wearing them with no signs of them wearing out, and the patches aren't even visible!
2. I'll borrow and swap when I can. I don't have a clothes borrowing friend near me now, but when I did I loved it. For family pictures or a special occasion, raiding a friends closet can give just the extra something you want without purchasing anything. I've also borrowed maternity clothes. Pregnancy can be a tricky time for clothes, so borrowing makes so much sense. Something you wear one week may look terrible or not fit the next, so borrowing from others was a great way for me to have a wardrobe I wasn't sick of by the end of my pregnancy. Oh, and kids clothes? Borrowing saved us from having to buy a new infant wardrobe, since my girls were born in opposite seasons. Moving forward I'll try to lend more, too.
3. I'll keep on thrifting. Its no secret that thrifting is one of my true loves. Sometimes when I need to get some "me time" at the end of the day I'll leave the kids with my man and go to the thrift store. Yeah, I know how to party. Needless to say I'll continue to thrift for my family's wardrobe- and alteration skills come in handy here too- and thrift for pieces to upcycle or refashion. Which brings me to the next part of my plan:
4. Make, make make! Wearing something I've made makes me happy. Seeing my girls wearing something I've made makes me happy. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm betting seeing Matt wearing something I've made would make me happy. I'm going to try to add to all of our wardrobes with handmade when I can, using lots of thrifted materials, and try to use patterns by indie designers (my fave!) whenever possible. For anyone who doesn't sew but wants to, the online sewing community is one of the nicest and most helpful out there! There are tutorials! Patterns! Bloggers galore! So many resources to help anyone, at any skill level, hone the skills needed to sew. It doesn't take a special talent, just patience and practice. If you've ever thought about learning to sew, DO IT!
5. I'll put my money where my mouth is. Yes, I'm sure I'll still be buying lots of things, but I'll try to do a little research and buy less 'fast fashion' and more quality products from companies who treat their makers well. Because I sew, so I know the skill it takes to make clothing. I want to show, with my dollars, that I value that skill in the global market. I'm not promising to only buy from a certain company, or to only buy organic, but I am going to be a more conscientious consumer. Because it matters.
So what about you- how are you going to be part of the fashion revolution?
Check out Behind the Hedgerow, Petit a Petit and Family, and Things for Boys for more info on #handmadeinsideout

Kids Clothes Week Spring 2014- Days 3-7

As always, I lost some steam at the end of Kids Clothes Week. I put in the time, for sure, but my projects just didn't go as smoothly. Does anyone else have that happen- great momentum in the beginning of projects and then.... ya know? Anyway, I finished up my last two garments yesterday, so here is what I spent the last part of Kids Clothes Week working on:

The bloomers are made using the Hosh Pants pattern-and hey! Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 is still available until Friday, and the Hosh pattern is included! I got my inspiration from this post by Monica of Adirondack Inspired and decided to give the adjustable, flat front waistband a try with a bloomer style short for Caroline. I reworked the pleats a couple of times and I'm not 100% happy with these. I'm picky about bubble or bloomer shorts- I don't like too much volume, and I'd say these are borderline for me. Oh, and yeah, they were supposed to be for my 1 year old, but clearly my three year old is modeling them, so they turned out a liiiiittle big. I almost want to try again to get the proportions more to my liking , because I really do love that waistband and pleats. Anyhow, they are comfy. And perfect for transitioning from spring with tights/leggings underneath, to summer worn with a tank or tee, and all the way through fall with tights again. The fabric is a chambray bought at Joanns a couple of years ago.

And this shirt- quickly becoming my favorite make of the week- a pippa peplum with a double layered flounce and freezer paper stenciled cat face. I wanted to have something Charly could help me with as I spent some extra time on projects last week, and freezer paper stenciling is just so darn easy. This is a great tutorial, although I used screen printing ink (found at Hobby Lobby) rather than fabric paint because it softens up much better in my experience (and because my talented friend Mel told me to). Charly enjoyed it, and c'mon. Cats!

Will pose for marshmallows.

The fabric is a knit interlock remnant from Joanns. The slightly thicker knit and half sleeve make it great for cooler spring days. I think the extra layers at the waist seam are making it bow out a little at the waist despite using elastic thread in my bobbin, so I'm considering sewing some elastic right at the seam to bring it back in. I probably won't, though. I'm feeling kinda lazy after all this.

And that is that! My goal of 7 finished items wasn't met, but I can be happy with 5 in a week. As always, my head is reeling with projects I want to make. My creative juices are flowing, but time, that dastardly device, never seems to be on my side. Oh the wonderful clothes I could make for my children if I didn't have to take care of my children all day! I kid, I kid. But really.

Kids Clothes Week Spring 2014- Day 2 & 3 (and a half!)

I've done fairly well keeping up with a bit of sewing each day, and I've even managed to get outside with my kids and make dinner. Let's not talk about the state of the laundry, though. I have a goal this KCW of using stuff I have- refashioning, upcycling, or using fabric from my (small) stash- rather than buying new fabric. It is time to clear some things out and make these piles of junk into something useful! So, for day 2, I refashioned (or upcyled... I really should find out the difference) this shirt I picked up at the thrift store a while back. If you haven't seen a rhyme or reason to my thrifting yet, I'll let you in on a secret. It's all about the fabric. If I'm looking for something for me then yes, I'm looking at fit and lines and all that stuff, but if I find something with a fabric I just love I know I can usually make it into something cool. Which is exactly why I bought this shirt that I knew I'd never wear- at least not in its current state.

It had a deep scoop back that meant there wasn't enough fabric to make it a little dress, so I finally decided to lop off the bottom as is and gather it into a skirt. It was basically the easiest thing I've made in a while. I used some fabric from the top to make a flat front/elastic back waistband, gathered the bottom portion and sewed it on. Easy as pie and my little lady is in love.

But then I didn't have anything she could wear with it, so I figured for day 3 I'd take a swing at the Celestial Tee from Figgy's that is included in Parcel #2 from Perfect Pattern Parcel. I had a cream tee I bought on clearance for $5 to work with. I loved it in theory, but the pleat detail on the front did a weird something over my boobs that I just wasn't digging. The problem is, this shirt wasn't quite wide enough to fit the pattern piece. I thought I'd try doing a contrast sleeve band like this, but it wasn't even wide enough for that. So I thought and thought and wasted way too much time brainstorming (I'm an overanalyzer- like bad) and came to the conclusion that I could try making it a raglan style sleeve, using another shirt to create a contrast sleeve. I literally just cut the pattern from the armpit diagonally to the neckline and added seam allowances. I also brought the back hem up for a less dramatic hi/low hem. Once I sewed the sleeve to the main bodice I followed the pattern. I wasn't sure how the pleats would look with the raglan sleeve, but I'm actually really loving that they seem to have the same angle to them, which makes it look intentional.

I toyed with the idea of using a linen with metallic stripes, but wasn't sure how a woven would work with a knit pattern. I used a thin knit with some texture instead (from a hand me down base layer type shirt), but now that I've sewn it up I'm pretty confident this pattern is loose enough that a woven sleeve would be just fine.

I didn't have enough fabric for a neckband so I cut the original hem from the main shirt and used that. It made a more narrow band but it worked! Talk about using what you've got!

I'm wishing I would have made a size smaller, since this pattern has a lot of ease and Charly is skinny as a rail. I guess she'll get to wear this for a long time:)

I finished the hemming on the shirt this afternoon, which brings us to today. I'm currently working on a pair of bubble shorts for Caroline and have another peplum top cut for Charly. My goal is 7 items this week- fingers crossed!

In the mean time, we are enjoying some fabulous weather, and it is all I can do to not skip naps and spend the whole day outside. Once summer hits the humidity comes with it, so these nice spring days are a precious commodity! Today we managed to get out for a run this morning and spend the late afternoon doing sidewalk chalk.

This goober declared herself "a ragamuffin princess" and I'd have to agree!

Sewing for Perfect Pattern Parcel #2- Charly's Spring Look

Here is part 2 of the looks I created using the patterns from Perfect Pattern Parcel. If you missed it, the first one is here. I couldn't stop myself from making more than one of these great patterns- so I used two to make Charly this outfit.

Charly always gets more home sewn stuff because she is the oldest and doesn't have hand me downs. Thus, every season change (or growth spurt), I'm brainstorming things I can make for her. These days all she wants are dresses, but she also thinks shirts that are flowy or have a little flounce are dresses. I knew the Hanami top would fit the bill for a "dress" and I was dying to sew up some Hosh pants. The Bimaa is one of my absolute favorite patterns so I figured I'd like another LouBee pattern.

I scoured the thrift store for some fabric and wound up finding this gem:

It is rayon, which I thought would make for a nice flowy Hanami, and I like the small print. So 90's, but hey, thats coming back right? Right? Or did I hear that wrong? Anyway, there's enough fabric left for a whole other project, so you may be seeing this again soon.
The top sewed up beautifully. I opted for the crossed back to give it a little something something. I love the look, but the buttons are a bit hard to reach on the inside flap. I lengthened the bodice and skirt each by an inch for my tall skinny gal. I also opted to leave the sleeves unlined and just serge a rolled hem on the edges to make them a little more drapey.

I used a lightweight apparel lining rather than another layer of rayon. I love the finished look of the fully lined bodice, and the edge stitching keeps everything in place nicely.

The pants are a stretch twill from Joanns. I love the pop they give with this neutral top. I neglected to measure my little lady before cutting and sewing them. Oops. They were baggy and the bum was saggy so I had to make some alterations, but I'm confident that if I'd followed directions they would have been fine as is. Just as I suspected they were simple to construct and came together so fast. The adjustable waistband saved my bacon and is great for my skinny kid!
I'd definitely make both of these patterns again. The Hosh is a great staple skinny pant that can almost pass as leggings but has a more polished look. Charly is suddenly vehemently against jeans, so I'm happy to have a pants pattern with a bit of polish but lots of comfort, too.
So... are you convinced that you NEED these patterns yet?

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

Get all five (and the bonus shorts if you pay $24 or more) by clicking the link below.

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

Want to see more? Check out what these bloggers are making with the patterns!

Kids Clothes Week Spring 2014- Day 1

And all of the sudden I'm back! Posting for Perfect Pattern Parcel earlier today (and again tomorrow) and now Kids Clothes Week is upon us and I'm hoping to stay somewhat up to date with my projects this week. Yesterday was day 1, and since I'd done a bit of prep work by cutting a couple projects out, I managed to finish one of them.

This peplum top was made using the Pippa Peplum pattern from See Kate Sew. I used this pattern to sew a couple dresses for someone recently but this was my first time sewing up a Pippa for one of my girls. Charly gasped when she saw it this morning and immediately declared it was her Snow White dress. I have no idea why she's calling it that, but I couldn't have asked for a better reaction!

I made it using this shirt that I bought for myself at the thrift store a couple of years ago. I have no idea why I bought it. I don't usually wear those colors or that silhouette, which is why its been sitting in my dresser nearly the entire time I've owned it. Lucky for me neon is in and this bad boy was just big enough to cut a top for Charly out of. I was able to cut the bodice and sleeves out of just the fabric from the sleeves of the original shirt!

I used the bottom of the shirt as the skirt portion of the top by measuring the height of the peplum pattern piece and cutting that much off the bottom of the shirt, following the curve. Because of that the bottom has a bit more fullness than the original pattern but it saved me the pain of hemming. Hooray!

So that's day one of Kids Clothes Week for me. I've got two more patterns cut and ready to sew, and about 20 more I want to make. I'd love to make one thing each day, but I realize that may be a bit ambitious for me at this point. Can't hurt to try though, right? Wish me luck!

Caroline's Blessing Dress

I recently happened upon these pictures of Caroline on her blessing day (similar to a christening) and realized I had never posted about her dress. I made it! I made Charly's (and the pictures of her wearing it are here) so I figured it would be a sweet little thing for each child to have their own handmade by me. Of course, in the three years since Charly's blessing day my tastes have changed some and my skills have improved, so they look very different from each other. It's kind of fun for me to see the difference in difficulty and style after so short a time, not to mention seeing how much this little lady has grown- her blessing was nearly seven months ago!

I made this dress using Made By Rae's Geranium Dress pattern. It's one I know and love- and bonus, the newborn size is available as a free download! I Used the newborn bodice from the download, drafted a flutter sleeve based on the one from the paid pattern (since the free one is sleeveless) and altered the skirt portion to be pleated instead of gathered. Oh, and did I mention it was a refashion? Yep, I made it from this shirt a friend passed on to me. The cut didn't look very good on me but the fabric was too too perfect for the occasion. So ethereal!

It's hard to see in most pictures, but I kept the original hem because I loved that pleat detail. And it saved me the pain of hemming such slippery fabric! This is the best picture showing the entire dress.

Of course, that was before I did the embroidery. I did a self- drafted design (ok, I was winging it) of french knots in a sort of starburst coming from the neckline. In gold embroidery floss, which I previously didn't know existed but I absolutely love the look of. I used it on this dress too. If you are so inspired to use it, be warned; it is tricky. But worth it, I think. Also worth mentioning: embroidering a traced-but-not-cut pattern piece would be infinitely easier than embroidering a sewn garment. Just sayin.

I've been anti baby bonnet in the past, but the Storybook Woods Bonnet changed my mind. I love the look of this little cap. I think it is simple enough to be masculine for a boy and easy to doll up for a girl. I loved it enough to make a winter version, even. This one is made from the same lightweight cotton I used for the lining of the dress. I added a simple flower with more gold french knots, and just the tiniest bit of pink for the flower center.

Naturally, I was finishing the buttonholes just hours before her blessing was to take place. I just hate buttonholes so so much. Anyone with me? They shouldn't be that difficult but for some reason they are. I seam ripped right through the stitching, making a tear in the fabric that I could only sort of fix. You know how the Amish intentionally make quilts with imperfections? Something about acknowledging their imperfection before God... does anyone know what I'm talking about? Anyway, we'll say that's why it's there. Keep me humble, haha.

For the sake of documentation, here is our little family of four on Caroline's blessing day (which was July 28, 2013- also for the sake of documentation). It is mind blowing to see these little people change and grow.

We sure love this sweet little lady! She's bigger and crazier but just as sweet today.

Thanks for reading!

Green and Gold (AKA The Tiana Dress)

I sewed this dress up over the summer, took pictures in the fall, and now here we are in December and I'm blogging about it. Better late than never?

This is another Geranium dress I whipped up (and yes, that is the right term- it sews up so fast!) but this time I added some embroidery. I was inspired by this picture (uploaded to Pinterest, so I don't know the original source- sorry!) of sashiko- Japanese embroidery- and decided to try my hand at some simple line embroidery.  Charly is my little princess lover, so anything I make is automatically beloved if I can link it to a princess. Green dress= Tiana dress. Logical. I'm just grateful she has a good imagination and doesn't require it to look exactly like the dress from the movie. You'd better believe she runs and sings (screams) songs from The Princess and the Frog every time she wears it. My favorite is "tuh-RIALS and trib-uh-lay-shuns, yuh know I, had my SHAAA-are!"

Gold shoes are a must. One advantage to living in such an ethnically diverse area as DC is that gems like these are readily available, even at a thrift store!

THE FABRIC

Green Kona cotton from Joanns, and lined in the same. The embroidery floss is gold metallic and a pain to work with, but my isn't it pretty?! The buttons are from an antique store in Leesburg, VA.

THE SEWING

The embroidery, as I mentioned, was made more difficult by user error- why did I not think about how difficult it would be to keep that cut pattern piece in an embroidery hoop?! I made it work though, and the rest came together easy breezy.

This dress has gotten tons of wear, and I've finally learned the trick to making things my daughter likes. Tie it to a movie and she's sold!

KCW Day 4: Cashmere Winter Bonnet

Plugging right along today, I finished up the bonnets I had in the works this afternoon when my kids should have been napping. Just in time to sneak in a quick photo shoot with my gals. Charly played the part of the unwilling assistant by being bribed with the return of toys that had been banished for being left out. It was frigid out today (finally! some fall weather!) so we kept it short and hoped for some good pictures. And surprise- they were great! Lucky day!

These bonnets (I made two- one to donate to the non-profit I used to work for to auction at their upcoming fundraiser and one for little blue eyes over here) were made using the Storybook Woods Bonnet pattern. I used it once before when I made Caroline's blessing dress, which I realize now I never posted about. Hmm. I'll put that on the list. Anyway, I've never been much of a bonnet person, but I got the hankering for one of this style when I made her blessing dress and I love that it looks a little vintage, or maybe Scandinavian... I don't know.

The fabric is a tweed that I either thrifted or managed to acquire from some kind soul. I remember it smelled a little like moth balls when I got it, so it definitely wasn't new. The lining is a cashmere sweater that had a hole in it. I've been hoarding that in my box of misfit clothes as well (anyone sensing a theme here?) so I'm happy to be able to use it up. It makes me feel justified in having such a box when I actually use stuff out of it.

The flower is my own addition to the pattern. It was made by cutting petal shapes from the tweed and machine stitching around it to prevent fray, then hand stitching each petal to the outer fabric. Both were finished off with a vintage button from a local antique store.

I'm taking a detour from my planned projects this week to work on halloween costumes. We've talked for weeks about all dressing up from the movie Tangled, but until now hadn't committed (mostly because I didn't want to make all the costumes) but now I'm on board and we are making it happen. I really only have a few items to make between the four of us, so hopefully I'll get to squeeze in at least one more item of kids clothes before the week is up. I've got Caroline's Pascal the chameleon costume partially done, so fingers crossed I'll be able to finish it up tomorrow and share!