Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Dear Little Deer Dress

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Last month when Heidi from Elegance and Elephants was running her Knock It Off Series, I saw this guest post from Jo of Dotta. She did a knock off a cute little dress from Tea Collection and offered the free pattern in a 2T. Just Elena's size!

I found this knit jersey fabric at the thrift store this summer. The black pieces are from an outgrown pair of yoga pants from my teen daughter. The deer silhouette was found on Pinterest, the source of all sorts of wonders. I like that the paisleys look like little leaves for the deer to eat.

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That mess she's watering is asparagus, in case you were wondering.

Like Dotta, I left mine unhemmed. I like the rolled edges, but I don't like that it isn't rolling at the side seams, so I am going to go back and hem it.

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I plan on using this pattern again. I love it when fellow bloggers are so generous and share their work with all of us. That is just so cool. (I have a free training pants pattern, by the way if you are need.) I also have some ideas on how to change this dress up a little based on other images I've seen. I've seen some similar dresses where the vertical seams come down deeper and curve and have pockets there. That would be fun. I also think the back is a little dull so I'm thinking of splitting it in half and widening the bottom half to gather it on (and match the front at the side seams of course). And did you see how Dotta embellished hers with paint? It's even better than the Tea Collection original.

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Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

One Week One Pattern 2014

Handmade Jane  hosted the 2014 edition of One Week One Pattern this past week. The idea is to wear variations of your favorite pattern every day from Saturday to Saturday. Or maybe not even different variations, but just different ways to style those 2 or 3 items throughout the week. So at first, I didn't think I could do it because I haven't repeated too many patterns for myself. But what a shame, because there are some truly amazing prizes up for grabs. At the last moment, last Saturday morning, it dawned on me that I have made several versions of the free Plantain T-Shirt by Deer and Doe.

I started off by wearing my previously blogged prize winning nature-inspired tee to the football game Saturday night with black yoga pants and the coordinating infinity scarf.


Sunday was the navy dress version I made this spring and blogged about here. I wore it with a belt and ballet flat just like in the orginal photos. 


Monday I wore my test version that is made out of a thrift store knit sheet. I used the pillow case for the sleeves so they have that wide hem of a pillow case. It was only meant to be a muslin but it is one of my favorite ones. I have only this horrible selfie to prove it.



Day 4, Tuesday was my short sleeved and appliqued version worn with a skirt. Again, I have a bad selfie but I have better pictures from when I blogged about it here.


Wednesday, I had a meeting in the evening so I went with the dress again, but this time wore it without a belt, with a big chunky silver and blue necklace, and silver sandals. I hope you can picture that, because I forgot to take a picture. oops.

Thursday my oldest had a varsity volleyball match. I bought the Panthers volleyball t-shirt but I look truly awful in box t-shirts so I cut it up. Which felt weird to do to a brand new shirt, but I did it. I couldn't mess with a nice professional neckband but I cut up the rest and redid the front, back, and sleeves with the Plantain pattern. It hardly showed, but then again, it only took 10 minutes to do (I didn't hem it), and I felt better in it so it was a win for me. (The team, however, lost in 5 sets.)



Friday I wore the nature inspired one again with jeans and no scarf, and I forgot to take a picture but I promise I wore it. And today, I was glad to get to choose something else entirely. I did enjoy the challenge. I'm trying to think about what I would do differently next time. For my stay at home lifestyle, a t-shirt patterns worked well. I wear skirts and dresses a few times a week on average, but definitely casual ones. If I'm planning ahead, I should find a new knit pattern and make a few. I have a cardigan pattern I've been wanting to try so maybe that's a good idea. 

Monday, Project Run & Play starts so I'll be back to children's clothes, but there will be more sewing for me starting soon!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Greenpoint Cardigan - Modified and Dip Dyed

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I finally got around to taking pictures of my modified Greenpoint Cardigan. (See my previous one here.) What made this project fun was that the whole thing was an experiment from start to finish. After assembling the front, back and sleeves, I left the rest open to options. First, I added the ruffle cuffs. They are folded in half and then gathered so I could avoid hemming.

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Then I tried to add a ruffled neck band, but I didn't like the way it was laying so I unpicked it and set it all aside again. After much deliberation, too much really, I went with the pattern piece but made it narrower since I didn't plan to do buttons all the way down. I used just one button and a loop to close it at the chest so she can do it herself.

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I knew from the start that I wanted to use this piece to try dying something for the first time. Yep, I was a total virgin. I read up a bit and decided go with simple RIT in navy. I knew the risks of unpredictable results, but I was willing to take that risk. Purple was not in the plans, but it's fun and she loves it. I have to thank Karly from Paisley Roots for her very well-timed post on dip dying. I figured it was meant to be and followed her directions. I think it turned out pretty darn good. I tell you what though, you almost need to be an octopus to hold onto the bodice and each sleeve and try to keep things level.

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I forgot to mention that the fabric is from Girl Charlee. I think the color was called sand and it's a cotton lycra. Her t-shirt is a refashion previously blogged here. Don't look at the jeans, they're for a future post.

I'm not sure how many more things will get dyed in the future, but it was fun to experiment. This turned out to be another useful piece of comfortable knit clothing for Elena. We are well on our way to an almost completely homemade wardrobe for her, and I'm pretty happy about that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Project Run & Play Wk 1 - Rainbow Brite Inspiration

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80's cartoons? What? I was in high school and college for most of the 80's. Yes, I'm that old. So thank heaven for Google and Pinterest. I discovered Rainbow Brite and thought I could work with that.

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On my list of fall clothes for Elena I had wanted to make pieces based on a sweatshirt fleece skirt at H&M (not listed on the website now so sorry, no picture) and this vest on Pinterest. Rainbow Brite's skirt and sleeves are the same shapes as my inspiration pieces so by incorporating some rainbow colors in a shirt, wa-la - it's Rainbow Brite!

The skirt is a 1/4 circle based on her measurements and using sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee. After cutting it, I stitched lines about 5/8" apart on 45 degree angles across the whole thing to give it some dimension. I sewed up the back seam, hemmed it, and added a knit waistband using leftover navy cotton spandex also from Girl Charlee.  

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Elena chose the shoes, not me. I wanted her hot pink crocs.

I made the reversible vest using basic dress bodice pieces and some almost semi-circle pieces for the sleeves. I again, did the stitching on the fleece after cutting each piece, before assembling. The reverse side is a floral/leaf print flannel. It ties shut with fleece tubes. I debated adding rainbow colored beads before the knots, but wanted to keep it neutral and versatile. 


Since I love to refashion, the t-shirt is made from 3 t-shirts from my stash. I wanted to incorporate some rainbow colors without actually making a rainbow. If you've been reading my blog lately, it won't surprise you that I went to the CINO Nessie top pattern. Again. Great shape with color blocking built right in. Another easy and useful piece for her fall wardrobe. (If you'd like to see some of my other versions of Nessie, try here, here, and here.)

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I think that Rainbow Brite is represented in color and shape and playfulness without being too literal.

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But here is the best part. The skirt and vest are so useful in other ways too. Elena has lots of different tops and blouses already in her wardrobe that look cute with this, but I did make one more blouse for fun. It's a peasant style with a ruffled collar made from lightweight cotton.

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But this next one is my absolute fave. I paired it with a homemade puffed sleeve tee and the reversed vest. This one could have been used for my signature style as well. This one melts me. 

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This was such a satisfying project. I'm soooooo ready for fall so my sweetie can start wearing these pieces.

Besides all of the fabulous inspiration provided by the Project Run & Play contestants, my other favorite part is learning of new bloggers to follow so there are links at the top of the sidebar if you 'd like to follow me by e-mail or Bloglovin. Thanks for stopping by and see you next week for some serious refashioning of hand-me-downs!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nessie Rides Again!



Another Nessie top? You bet. It's my go-to t-shirt pattern for Elena. Why not when it's so perfect.


This one is made with some mystery knit from the thrift store. I bought a large zippered comforter bag full of random cuts. I kid you not when I say that I got 4 yards of this, 3 yards of black velvet, probably 8 yards of some purple toned camouflage stuff, and some vintage green polyester double knit for $5! $5 folks! That's crazy. The velvet was what I was really after, but the rest (except for the green) is cool stuff too. This is probably a poly-cotton blend jersey. It doesn't have much stretch to it, maybe 25%. Like I'm some kind of knit expert now. :-P


This time I added 3 inches of length to the bodice below the armpit to make a tunic to wearing with leggings. The leggings are homemade from last summer and are bordering on too short now. They are out of a cotton lycra purchased at Joann's. I have more so I'm thinking a new longer pair is in order soon.


I added flat piping instead of color-blocking this time. And I did the neckband in white for contrast too.


Another pop of white at the wrists to add some girlishness and sweetness. 


Ready for action.





The white background is just boring to me. But I do love the blue we found on a warehouse. When we pulled up, it was break time and all the workers were outside for a smoke, so we sat in the car waiting for them to go back in before we crept up to the building for some pictures. It was so windy that this last one is the only usable one, but I really like the color combination.


I discovered some other interesting colored buildings to use as backgrounds in the future. I'm feeling really inspired by a black tiled building so now I have to figure out what to make to go with it. Hmmm. Something to think about while doing the dishes, washing the floor.... get back to work, lady.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Preschool Sewing Again

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What are the best characteristics of preschool clothes?

  • cute and fun to wear
  • comfortable for any activity that may come up
  • functional -for play, for learning, for going potty without needing help
  • modest - when sitting on the floor, or climbing on big toys, or whatever
  • little concern for ruining them with paints and other crafts


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Most of these fabrics are knits from Girl Charlee. The stretch lace is from a thrift store top, and so is the FOE elastic on the neckline. Knit is just the most comfortable and practical material. Ever. There may be $5 worth of materials in this outfit, so that covers not caring if they get messy. There are no buttons, snaps, or zippers to make it hard to dress/undress herself. She looks cute, will stay covered and can do anything in this.

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The leggings are a copy of Carter's 3T leggings that fit her well, with added length. You can see that I didn't bother hemming anything. I never used to do that, but I must be getting even lazier, because I find myself doing it more often. And I can honestly say that sometimes I really like the rolled up edges better than a hem.

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The bodice began as a dolman sleeved top, but I didn't like it and decided it would be easier to layer if I just cut those puppies off and hemmed them. So much cuter this way.

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These are basic pieces to mix and match and add or remove layers. We like options around here. 

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Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewing for Preschool


It's hard to believe that I am sending this little one off to preschool next week. If you know me, you know I'm not big on preschool and that my other kids either didn't go or only went one year. I think it's necessary in this case so that Elena gets to spend more time with kids her age instead of her teenage siblings.


She is definitely looking forward to it. She asks every day if she gets to go to school today. I hope she is still so excited after a couple weeks of actually going.

So the clothes are nothing too exciting, but I have been absent from this blog for a couple of weeks so I wanted you to know that I am still here and sewing (a lot actually).


The pants are from last year, but with the hem let down. You can still see the line, but I'm hoping that will fade with a wash and steaming. I double hemmed them last year, so it was as easy as unpicking the one line. The pattern is a slightly upsized DanaMadeIt Kid pants - the free 2T version. I added patch pockets to the back with some decorative stitching. They have no pockets on the flat front. The fabric is a super soft denim from my thrift store stash.


And yep, that's another Bimaa. I have even made one previously for her friend in this very same fabric. You won't see anymore of this fabric because I used every last inch and had to use some plain white for the bottom band. The cowl is also an inch or so shorter because of the small amount of fabric available. The fabric is from Girl Charlee at least a year ago, probably more. It's pretty lightweight so that makes it nice and drapey and also not too hot for fall.



I think she certainly looks old enough to go to school. Time keeps marching on and I guess I have to roll with it. Today is also a very big day for my son who starts high school. He leaves the comfort of the private school he attended for 10 years (including preschool) to enter a very large, urban, public high school. He is ready for it, but again, am I?