Wildewoman Cardigans

wildewoman cardigan2 As long ago promised, I finished up these matching Aster Cardigans from Kid's Clothes Week! I finished them up a few days later but then we've had snow snow snow and I don't have a good inside picture spot yet at this house so I had to wait until the snow melted and it wasn't 20 degrees out.

As with most clothes I make for Charly, I try to think of a reason she'll love it to convince her to wear it. It doesn't matter if she loves the fabric and helps choose the pattern, it's still a 50/50 chance she'll want to wear it after the first day it's finished. So I try to give my handmade stuff a boost by connecting it to stuff she loves, like princesses. Sometimes it works.

Anyhow, Charly's favorite band is Lucius. Go check them out if you aren't familiar with them. No really. Go. Treat your ears with this one, or this if you don't have the time for the full Tiny Desk Concert. Or there's this song, which made me fall in love with Lucius when I first saw them open for The Head and the Heart in Richmond. 

The two lead singers always dress alike, so when I planned to make matching Aster Cardigans for Charly and Caroline I knew relating it to Lucius was a golden plan. Plus the Aster Cardigan pattern totally goes with their retro vibe. It worked like a charm- she loves wearing it! It doesn't hurt that it coordinates with her Mushroom Skirt, probably her favorite thing I've made in the history of ever. Wildewoman is the name of their most current album, and also one of Charly's favorite songs. I need to record her singing/dancing to it sometime. The internet needs to see it! These pictures don't do it justice, but this is Charly getting her groove on in the backyard as Matt plays Wildewoman on his phone.

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"It's written in her blood oh it's written in her bones!"

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As for the pattern- it's a win! I love how these turned out! The fabric is an upcycled, thrifted, textured/quilted knit, originally this oversized beaut:

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I was just barely able to eke both cardigans out of it with my mad pattern placement skills in overdrive. WORTH IT.

The collar binding is from another upcycled t shirt that got some holes in it. I've been hoarding it forever and I'm so happy to use it- you can just barely see that lime green and white diagonal stripe peeking out of the collar.

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The buttons are another hoard- I bought them at an antique store in Downtown Leesburg where we used to live when Charly was a baby.

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This picture was completely unintentional, but it totally reminds me of a Lucius photo...

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So I couldn't help myself. Enter bad photoshop skillz...

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THE HAIR. It couldn't be a matchy matchy photo with just Caroline's little sprout now, could it?

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If only my photoshop skills would have gone to work on the tarp over the neighbor's wood pile...

With spring (HOPEFULLY!) coming these are going to be in heavy rotation I am sure!

Here's my review of the Aster Cardigan from LBG Studio/ Willow and Co. Patterns

Sizes: 18m and 2t, both lengthened

What I loved:

  • the fit  is superb- trim but not tight
  • clear instructions walk you through every detail of a nicely finished collar and button placket

What I changed:

  • lengthened both cardigans for my tall skinny girls
  • changed the method for lengthening a bit- tracing down to the 4t line doesn't actually give you a 4t length because of the way the pieces are nested with equal amount of space at the top and bottom of each piece. I traced the top half of my size (2t) then shifted it until the bottom of the armscye matched the bottom of the 4t armscye and traced from there down to the 4t line.

What I'll change next time:

  • use a thinner knit for the underside of the collar- since my fabric was so thick the collar doesn't lay well. I think one less layer of thick fabric would have helped with that.

Fabric & Notions:

  • upcycled quilted knit
  • upcycled green and white striped knit
  • vintage buttons

What do you think, friends? Have you made an Aster Cardigan before? Do your kids need convincing to wear their handmade duds? Do you love Lucius as much as I do??

Such a Sweet Pea

sweet-pea-cap_0029 PONY EARED HAT.

That's what this is. I love hats with ears, don't you? I wish there were more adult hats with ears. For me it's the perfect amount of whimsy without having an embroidered Winnie the Pooh on your denim overalls- not that I'd know anything about that. (And don't ask my mom for my 4th grade class photo, please and thank you. You won't find embroidered Pooh-alls on me, nope nope.)

But yes, whimsy but not juvenile. Not that there's anything wrong with juvenile- we are talking about children's clothes after all- but it's not really my jam.

SO! Pony eared hat. It's actually called the Sweet Pea cap. This is part of the Haven Acres Mini Collection that I've been testing for Jennuine Design. I kinda sorta forgot that I still needed to sew up the final version until last night, so this got bumped to the top of my Kid's Clothes Week queue. I also forgot to have Matt print it for me (for some reason we keep putting off buying a printer because every printer is the worst ever) so I hauled both kids to the library today to print and magically found out that we get 10 free pages each day. TEN PAGES FREE WHY HAVE I BEEN PRINTING AT OFFICE MAX WHYYYY! Don't remind me about the time I forgot to specify black and white printing and it cost me twenty dollars to print it in color and it was a test version and the version changed before I got the chance to sew it. Just don't remind me.

Can you tell I've been cooped up for two days with sick kids and haven't gotten out except for said library trip? I'm feeling a bit chatty. Craving adult interaction.

Cut the jibber jabber, right?

Here are some pictures of a kid posing for cookies.

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This hat took me 2 hours from tracing the pattern to placing the finished hat on her head. Well, almost finished. I still have to hand stitch the opening at the back closed. Don't tell. That's a nap time project! And the pattern pieces are all small so it is the perfect project for scraps or upcycling! I used fabric that I bought from the Habitat ReStore like 5 years ago, so although it isn't a true upcycle it kinda feels like it. The fabric still smells like mothballs when I iron it, so it has that pleasant "thrifted" smell, haha! Charly has now requested that I make a Pinkie Pie and a Rainbow Dash hat for her, which makes me wonder why I didn't think of that before. Add it to the list!

I call this one: Galloping Gang Signs

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And this one: Of HORSE You Can Have A Cookie

(stop me now)

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Pattern: Sweet Pea Cap by Jennuine Design

Size: Medium (her head measures 51cm)

What I loved:

  • it's a fairly quick sew!
  • using up scraps feels so oh oh good
  • the suggestion of using cheap plastic cutting mat for the brim stabilizer is so perfect. It's a game changer for future hats and bags!
  • pony ears. duh.

What I changed:

  • not a change, per se, but I opted for the bias cut pieces and faced lining (both options given in the pattern)

What I'll change next time:

  • I'll stay stitch my bias cut pieces- you can sort of see that mine got a little warped. That is now suggested in the pattern!
  • I may try a My Little Pony version- put a cutie mark on the side of the hat and a corresponding mane

Fabric & Notions:

  • Tweed from the ReStore
  • scraps of red linen
  • cheap plastic cutting mat for the brim

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Can I just say, our new yard is like, the best for pictures? We've got great tree coverage so it looks like we're in a forest instead of the burbs. Bad news is the pine trees kill grass so this moss is all we get. The kids seem to have endless ideas for how to play with moss though, so I can't complain too much.

Thanks for reading, friends! Let's chat again soon, huh? And maybe next time I'll let you get a word in :)

Tree Hugger Top

tree-hugger-top_0109 This, my friends, is the project I was most excited about for Kid's Clothes week. I've been hoarding this plaid linen dress in my refashion box for a couple of months and man am I happy to have used it. This is the top I had in mind when I made the Colonel Mustard Skirt- and I love love how they look together!

The fabric reminds me of a lumberjack shirt, but my little gal would be the one in the tree trying to save it rather than the one cutting it down, so Tree Hugger Top it is!

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The pattern I used is the Haven Acres Blouse pattern, soon to be released by Jennuine Designs. I've been testing for her so I get an early stab at it, lucky me! I've made a couple already and I've got another one planned. I made some modifications to it for this top though, which I'll detail below. But first, a before:

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and after:

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Pattern: Haven Acres Blouse by Jennuine Designs

Size: 3t

Things I loved:

  • intuitive construction
  • simple, feminine shape
  • accurate size- her measurements landed squarely in the 3t range and it fits great!

Things I changed:

  • lengthened blouse by 3in to make it more of a tunic
  • cut the back on the button placket of the dress instead of a fold
  • cut the front bodice over top of the back panel to use the bias cut panel as a design feature
  • omitted keyhole (to feature the bias panel) and bound neckline with a clean finish on the back instead of ties
  • narrowed the sleeve by 1.5in. Since the shirt buttons down the back now less fullness is required in the sleeve for comfortable dressing. If you make this top with the original design and don't have buttons down the back be very cautious that you don't make it too hard to put on by not allowing enough ease in the sleeve!
  • omitted the sleeve elastic
  • bound the hem in bias tape

Things I'll change next time:

  • I've made it following the pattern exactly and love it that way, I'm sure I'll make another like that!
  • I'm toying with the idea of making one in the same mustard sweatshirt fleece as this skirt

Notions & Fabric

  • thrifted linen dress
  • navy single fold bias tape, ironed in half to make it a narrow double fold bias tape

I'm excited for this pattern to be released! I'll be sharing makes from this 3 piece collection soon- but I'm feeling oh so lucky to have the pattern in time for Kid's Clothes Week!

In other news, we're getting better at the whole photo taking process. Less grumpies (treats are always involved) and I'm getting better shots quicker. Plus these two hams like to pose, so there's that :)

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Goofballs. Anyway, I'm feeling good about the photography retreat I went to. Maybe I'll share some pics from that one day- although I think it will just make you all hungry:)

The Colonel Mustard Skirt

colonel-mustard-skirt It's that magical time again, friends... the time when I sew my heart out and actually blog about my projects before moving on to the next ones... it's KID'S CLOTHES WEEK! The theme this go around is up cycling. Um, yes please? If you've been around here for any length of time you know I LOVE to up cycle/refashion/scavenge. So obviously, I must OWN this Kid's Clothes Week!

I like to start the week off with a quick and easy project to help keep me motivated to make more. Enter my first project of the week- the Colonel Mustard Skirt. It had humble beginnings as a 2XL mens sweatshirt rescued from the thrift store:

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I forgot it was supposed to start on Monday, so a little Super Bowl night sewing (watching the series finale of Parenthood and not the Super Bowl because duh) and I drafted and sewed this simple skirt in an evening.

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I kind of winged it, which is something I haven't done in a while. I have so many patterns now that I usually have something similar to what I want and don't need to draft my own. This was simple enough that I thought I'd give it a try. I'm also taking the Pattern Workshop course from Lauren Dahl right now so I figure I need to get brave about drafting myself.

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It's a fairly simple skirt- a couple of rectangles, pocket cutouts, waistband and hem band from the bottom ribbing of the sweatshirt, and elastic at the waist to keep it up. I made the whole thing on my serger except for the topstitching on the pockets. Once I buy another double needle I'll topstitch the waistband and hem band, too. I did end up lowering the front waistband after trying it on her today, so for anyone thinking of drafting something like this you'll likely need to scoop that front waist down some.

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Here's the pocket lining detail. I used this fabric from Finch Sewing Studio. I had the pleasure of stopping in to their shop on Saturday and just couldn't leave empty handed!

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I always forget size labels so I made do with a simple ribbon tag and fabric pen.

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If I were to sew it again I think I'd add some pleats to the front. And the little lady? Well, she likes it alright. It isn't twirly, but I have plans for a top to go with it that will be plenty twirly, so hopefully that will redeem it!

Who else is sewing along for Kid's Clothes Week? I wanna see what you're making!!

(Details on the coat are in this post)