Monday, September 30, 2013

Summer Sweater Knit Along

I did it!  I completed two sweaters for Luvinthemommyhood's Summer Sweater Knit Along.  One was a baby sweater that was gifted and one was a man sweater.  I've made a couple of toddler sweaters before but never one for myself (except a mini bolero) or for my husband.  It was a little shocking to buy 7 skeins of yarn at the shop instead of just a couple.  To be honest, I'm pretty sure I can buy a nicer quality sweater for less in the store and will never make him one again, but at least I finally made him something!  He feels a little left out sometimes will all my sewing and knitting for the girls.

Look at that uncomfortable goofy grin.  He's so happy (not).  I think I got more of a kick out of him modeling than he did.  :)

The sweater pattern is Brownstone by Jared Flood, but I like to call it the Man Sweater.  I debated naming it the Sons of Anarchy Sweater since it was knit almost exclusively while watching all of the old seasons of the tv show.  That was some serious bonding with the husband.  The sweater pattern wasn't super complicated, just a ton of knitting.  I was so happy to finish it and stop carrying around a giant sack of yarn everywhere I went.

Nice back view ;)

The yarn is wool - Cascade 220 Heathers in Dune.  I don't love it, it's a little scratchier than I thought it would be.  It was the only manly color in the yarn shop that wasn't brown, black, or grey.  The greenish-yellow-grey suits him though.

I left off the optional toggles for a more casual look.  And really, I wanted to be done!

Every pose would look like this if he had his way!  I can't blame him, I'd rather be goofy in pics than serious too.  Funny thing - it was super difficult to get the kids to understand they weren't to be photographed.  Usually they run from the camera.  Maybe we should pretend it's daddy's photo shoot every time.

Lastly, here's my itty bitty newborn sweater made for a friend's baby.  The yarn is Plymouth Merino Superwash in coral.  I LOVE this yarn for baby items.  It knits up so well and is meant to be machine washed.  The pattern is from one of my books, Leaf and Lace patterns designed by Jeannine LaRoche. I use these patterns often for the bonnets and hats, but this is the first time I made a sweater from it.  So easy once I look my time counting.

I look forward to the next knit along.  Hopefully some works in progress are included again because I have a few that I need some motivation to finish!

Signature Style - PR & P wk 4

I most often sew dresses for the girls, but lately I've been making them more casual attire such as tshirts and leggings for school.  So I'm not completely set on what my "signature style" is with sewing.  I don't think I ever truly will be - it's always evolving.  What I do know is that I love clothes with color!  I like to mix colors and patterns together that don't necessarily match.  Most of the time I can't resist adding some trim.  My biggest challenge with sewing is to not overdo it or get too costumey.  There's always another element I want to add to the design but my husband helps me edit it. 

I also love using awesome patterns and manipulating them into looks that I need right now.  That is what I did for Project Run & Play's week 4 challenge, signature style.  I took the Sweetheart Dress by Very Shannon and used it to make some adorable princess dresses.  

But before I made their "pretty, pretty princess dresses", I whipped up a Sweetheart Dress according to pattern directions for fit.  While I was putting it together, I decided I just HAD to add trim.  The black and white fabric didn't have enough pizazz and the heart cut out needed to be highlighted.

The lace makes me swoon.  

This penguin button I had in my stash was just too perfect with the dress.  She thought it was hilarious to have a penguin on her back. 

The neon hearts on the black fabric really pop!  You might recognize the fabric from this skirt.  And of course I'm loving gold piping with black and white right now, as evidenced here.

Rock it girl!

On to the princess dresses...

Once upon a time.....I bustled the Sweetheart Dress using a tutorial from The Girl Inspired.  The girls saw a picture of the dress and requested it for their birthday.  Who am I to deny such requests!

I added some pink beaded trim and puffy sleeves to the pattern to make it extra princess-y.  The tutus underneath gave the dress great body.  I could watch them twirl in these dresses all day.  So freaking adorable.

Okay, okay, I guess that is enough pictures for one post!  I love these dresses since I made them according to my signature style (vibrant colors, trim, pattern remixing) while toning it down to produce some timeless dresses.  I'm pretty sure these are the first dresses that I've ever made in a solid color.  I like the result and am going to try to remember to keep it more simple every now and then. 
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Tasteful Tuesday

Friday, September 27, 2013

Joscelyn Skirt Pattern

I was lucky enough to test another pattern recently called the Joscelyn Skirt (designed by Rosalie and Me).   It is a 3-tiered skirt that comes with the option to sew it to knee length or maxi length. Sizes are 6 months - 10 years - huge range!  This was a very straight forward pattern that resulted in a fun skirt the girls are in love with.


The pattern also has the option to add pockets hidden in the side seams (can you spot them?)  I've made a couple tiered skirts before, but not one with pockets - genius!  The skirt went together smoothly and I didn't have to get out the seam ripper once.  What a great feeling to get something right the first time.  It was also so much fun to go through my stash and figure out a color combo - in the end I came up with something that accidentally matched one of her Skipper Tops (score!).

Now, lucky for anyone reading this, you can get your pattern for the next week on sale using coupon code JOSCE20 for 20% off, making it only $5! (Regular price is $6.25)  Run over to get your skirt here - tell your best friend :)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Clad in Plaid - PR & P wk 3

Yes, my post title is silly and rhymes, but I just had to do it.  And it is very true - this outfit is plaid just about head to toe.  I had several inspirations for Project Run & Play week 3 sew along that mish-mashed into this look but it all started with the fabric, as most sewing projects do. 

I had this blue flannel that was left over from a couple projects last year that I am in love with.  I wanted to make a shirt or dress with it but found out that I only had a scrap of it left.  It recently reappeared on JoAnn's website but is not in stock at my local store yet so I had to change directions (you can bet I'll be hoarding a few yards when it gets in stock).  So I looked through my stash and remembered I had some black and white fabric from JoAnn that kinda looks like plaid and was calling to be made into W pants for the past few weeks.  To my surprise, I had just enough of the blue flannel to add a contrasting yoke to the black/white pants!

Btw, this was my first time making the W pants and first time attempting a functioning fly.  I calmly (though skeptically) followed the pattern directions and it worked!  Sort of makes me feel like I can attempt anything now.  Next time, welt pockets!

Nothing goes better with bright blue to me than equally bright pink.  This shirt was inspired by the Pear Picking Tunic tutorial from Schwin & Schwin.  I just added the shirring lower down on the waist for this shirt.  I made a few of the tunics last year and they are possibly my favorite things I've ever made.  So easy - a must try if you haven't!

I'm really into gold accents right now after years of avoiding it, so I accented the back yoke of the pants with gold piping.  Some gold triangles painted in a plaid pattern on some inexpensive shoes completed the look.  The shoes were inspired by a recent post by Delia Creates

I think she sort of likes the pants, mainly because they look like the kind of pants her best friend at school (a boy) would wear.  She usually prefers skirts or dresses, but I try to encourage her to wear leggings or shorts with them.  That's because one moment she'll be pretending to put on makeup and the next she'll be jumping off the top of the couch yelling "I'm Batman!".  She's a very active (these calm looking pics are deceiving) and sometimes rough toddler with a love for all princess.  I'm really curious how her tastes are going to develop throughout the years!

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

PR & P Week 2 - Candy Inspired

How many people ate their candy inspiration while sewing for this challenge?  That certainly made all the hiccups and seam ripping along the way easy to deal with.  I don't eat much candy now, but I used to be addicted.  I picked some of my favorites for sew-along inspiration during week 2 (candy inspired) of the Project Run & Play challenge.

I'm not sure if my look obviously relates to this candy, so I'll point them out.

Lemonheads were my main inspiration, picking the color theme of blue, white, and yellow from the box.  I then went through my fabric stash and picked this white and blue spotted fabric that reminded me of the fizz of Pop Rocks.

I continued on with Pop Rocks as inspiration of the shirt design.  I chose to mix up the Recess Raglan tee and add pin tucks up the center in the design of a shooting star (a little tough to photograph).  Then I added Lemonhead candy-like buttons.  The Recess Raglan pattern was perfect for the sheer sleeves I wanted to add and this is also my way of participating in the FLIP this pattern September sew-along.  What a versatile pattern to flip!

The super bright yellow leggings are accented with a braid up the side, representing the Twizzlers.  I stretched the braid as I sewed it down so that the results were a cool ruching effect.  The braid also reminds me of arrows - a fun trend I'm loving right now!

I finished off the look with a bow tie hair clip, Lemondhead inspired again, and braided hair (Twizzler).

I'm really happy with the look, though it took way more thought than expected.  I spent FOREVER just on the sleeves.  I picked a tough to work with sheer fabric that loved to fray.  I couldn't figure out a clean way to finish the edges and get the flowy/wavy look I was going for.  That is until I broke out the lighter and found out the edges melted beautifully!  I might of done a little happy dance.

Btw, who else loaded up their model with candy hoping for some good pics?!?  This was the first time she had tried Pop Rocks and was pretty fascinated with how it makes your tongue feel.  If only every photo was this easy to take!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

The Popover Falldress (Sundress Remix)

I love Project Run & Play and am very excited for the current season!  This is the first time I'm sewing along instead of watching.  The first challenge of this season was to remix the Oliver + S Popover Sundress.  With summer ending and fall creeping in, I came up with a remix perfect for the cooler temps.

So, what did I change?

  • Used knit fabric
  • Moved up the neckline to make it bateau style
  • Added sleeves
  • Shirred the waist for shape
  • Paired with leggings

Not too many changes.  I thought the most recognizable part of the original design was the bias tape shoulder ties.  So I kept that part in, just added it across the neckline instead of the armholes.  

The sleeves I drafted by modifying the Sally dress sleeve pattern to fit the Popover sundress pattern, and giving them more of a curved bell shape at the opening.  I really wanted to add keyholes at the shoulders, but decided that may not be appropriate for a preschooler (she'd get bored and rip the holes bigger for sure).

All of the knit fabric is from Girl Charlee.   The flower fabric is super soft!  The mint chevron fabric turned into an awesome arrow design when used to make the leggings!  

This was a tough photo shoot.  She wanted to take pictures inside and I prefer outside.  Then once outside, I couldn't get her to stand still.  Most of the pictures were similar to this:

Maybe I mentioned this was for Project RUN & Play and she got confused?  har har :\  No, this is just typical.  Maybe she'll be more excited to model the upcoming candy theme, considering the props that may be involved!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Skipper Top => Skipper Dress

As you may have seen from this post, I made a lot of Skipper Tops a few weeks ago.  When I was testing the pattern for the top, all I could think about was how easily it could be made into a dress.  

I kept visualizing the banded version of the Skipper Top turned into a drop waisted dress with a drawstring waist.  Since the girls didn't need all the 10 tops I had made during testing, I decided to turn a couple into dresses by adding a little more knit after the bottom band.  

These dresses with the short sleeves are perfect for the upcoming fall weather.  I love knit dresses since the girls are comfortable in them and I don't have to think too hard when picking out their clothes (don't have to dig out a matching top and bottom from their eclectic collection of clothing).  

The result was not quite what I had visualized, but still pretty cute!  The ruffle knit I used adds a little bit of fun to the look.  I love the flow of it when they are running around.

Anyone else out there mixing up some patterns or altering existing clothes right now?  I'm in the middle of figuring out how to remix the Pop-Over Sundress for the upcoming Project Run & Play sew-along.  Changing up patterns is one of my favorite things about sewing!

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