Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Raquelle gets ready for a day at the races!

FYI: This post contains pictures of a Barbie doll wearing lingerie. If you happen to have a curious child looking over your shoulder, and don't want to answer awkward questions, you may want to stop scrolling down when you get to the stars. She's not doing anything inappropriate, but she is scantily clad.
I know I said that the next dolls to get new clothes were going to be Dana or Katniss, but I'm still awaiting some accessories for Dana, and this dress just didn't suit Katniss. And I really wanted to make a cheerful Spring dress!
I really love the way the bodice wraps to form the halter on this pattern (Burda 6960). It reminds me so much of the Sewaholic Lonsdale. The Lonsdale isn't a dress that would work for me, but in keeping with my Barbie fantasy sewing, I thought it would be fun to make for my vinyl friend. I spiced up the bodice with a little brooch made of a scrap of the stretch lace I used on the skirt, and a few small pearls. It is hand stitched in place.
Once I finished the dress itself, it was a little meh. So I polled my online hive mind, and got some great ideas, many of which I incorporated into the finished look. I decided to pull out all the stops, and build an outfit that would work at the Opening Day of the Kentucky Derby, complete with over the top hat, teeny bag and a bit of bling. I thought it would be fun to do a little photostory of Raquelle getting ready for her day at the races.

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It's a beautiful day to Open the Kentucky Derby!
Raquelle has been looking forward to today for weeks, but boy. Sometimes it is hard to get out of bed!

Raquelle's bra and panties were designed and sewn by me out of scraps of stretch lace trim. All the stitching was done by hand, as my machine just wanted to eat these teeny bits of lace.

Here's my dress!! My seamstress worked on my outfit for weeks and I love it so much!

Raquelle's bra straps cross in the back. Since the lace is stretchy, no closure was needed. Her panties are a full coverage bikini that utilize the natural decorative edge of the lace as the waistband. The leg openings are unfinished.
Don't you love my dress? The matching belt makes the look.

Raquelle's belt is a length of ribbon, stitched to a jewelry ring. It closes in back with a snap.
And here's my hat! You have to have a fabulous hat at the Derby!

Raquelle's hat was self drafted. It's a basic bucket style with some lace trim and a very wide brim. I didn't interface the brim at all, as this fabric has some body, and I wanted to be able to shape the hat around her face.
Well, the dress went on perfectly! Now to see if I can manage this hat. My dressmaker had to fix it for me last time! I'm impossible with it.
Ok, almost ready! Now, where is that other shoe...
Ooops! I almost forgot my bag! Can't have that. My betting money is in here.

Raquelle's bag is two circles of fabric, stitched and turned. The "flap" is just the upper 1/3 of the circle, stitched down with a decorative pearl "closure". The strap is made from embroidery floss.
Does my hat look right? I sure hope so, because it's time to go! This is going to be so fun!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pattern Parcel #2: Hanami Top and Hosh Pants

I had so much fun sewing my Dandelion Top for the first Pattern Parcel, it was a no brainer when Jill asked me to participate in the blog tour for the second one. A collection of cute girlie clothes? Yes, please!!
Perfect Pattern Parcel #2
Hanami Top or Dress by Straight Grain Hosh Pants by LoubeeClothing Celestial Tee by Figgy’s September Tunic & Dress by Too Sweets Patterns Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations
This parcel is seriously not to be missed if you are sewing for little girls. I really had a difficult time decided what to sew for the tour.
So difficult a time in fact, that I decided to make up two of the patterns.
Seriously, are the Hanami Top and Hosh Pants not made for each other??? I love this sweet little outfit so much!
The Hosh Pants by LouBee Clothing are an old favorite around here. This is my third pair and it won't be my last. Myra adores these pants, and I love how quick and easy they are to sew.
One of the super star features of the Hosh Pants is the adjustable back waistband. The method for inserting the elastic is not only easy, it looks great. But I've already made several pair, so for this one I didn't make it adjustable. I inserted the elastic prior to sewing the waistband onto the pants and added a line of stitching through the center of the elastic. It give a nice flat appearance to the back waist that I like.
You can see the wiastband a little better here. As well as my other modification. Pockets!! Myra likes to have a place to stash essentials like Barbie shoes and chapstick. I embellished one pocket with a teeny bit of embroidery from the top. I like that it ties the pieces together.
The fabric for these is a powder pink stretch sateen from FabricMart. It's perfect for this design, and Myra loves the color and the slight sheen.
This was my first time making the Hanami Top by Straightgrain. It won't be the last. Myra adores this top. The flippy little peplum is her favorite thing.
I cannot get over the cuteness of the wrap back and sweet little gathered tulip sleeve. Precious.
The top has a side closure. I used snaps that match the darker pink in the watermelon embroidery. Myra can actually pull the top on without undoing the closure, but I'm glad it's there. She'll need it as she grows.
The top is a great length and the peplum makes it cool and comfortable. It's a great shape for an active kid, but so much cuter than a tee shirt!
The construction method for this top is absolutely fabulous. The bodice and sleeves are fully lined, and the only exposed seam is the waist, which could easily be bound if you don't have a serger.
The fabric I used is an embroidered cotton seersucker that I found years ago at Hancock Fabrics. I'd been saving it for the perfect project and this was definitely it. I lined it with china silk that has been in my stash a while.
I made this outfit a couple of weeks ago, and it has passed the wearability test with flying colors. Myra wants to put it on as soon as it comes out of the wash. The pieces mix effortlessly with her wardrobe, so she wears one or both of these every few days. Perfect.
Perfect Pattern Parcel #2
Now head over there and get yours, if you haven't already. You've got less than a week to get this amazing bundle, name your own price, and donate to kids in need. It's a win-win-win situation!

And while you're at it, go check out the other bloggers on the tour. Seriously. Talented. Folks.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Prefontaine shorts and a little sneak peek

I know it's been a little bit quiet around here lately. I've actually been doing quite a bit of sewing, just mostly of the super secret, pattern testing variety. But it's Kids Clothes Week, and I had to share this outfit with you.
I had high expectations of cuteness, but it turned out even better than I imagined!!
It started with the adorable Prefontaine Shorts by Made by Moxie. I received these as a part of the second Perfect Pattern Parcel. You'll hear all about my "official" PPP make tomorrow, but I just HAD to sew up these shorts, too! Consider it a Pattern Parcel preview.
The fabrics I chose are a kind of eclectic mix, at least for me. I'm not very good at print mixing, but the hive mind collective of IG, Twitter and Facebook opined that this was a match made in heaven, and I think so too.
The plaid, which makes up the body of the shorts and the accent on the top, is a lightweight cotton/linen blend from IKEA. It wrinkles like crazy, but it is super breezy and comfortable. The floral print that forms the body of the top and the binding on the shorts is a vintage cotton which was given to me by the lovely and generous Carrie. I've been hoarding it for the perfect project, and this was definitely it.
So, the pattern. So cute! All the details are here - complete down to the stitched down, bound pockets. My hubby (who has an interest in the runners and their history) recognized the style immediately, and even opined that Pre would probably have liked them in plaid.
Up close, you can see that the pocket is bound, as are the side seams and hems, in a contrast binding. The pattern is suitable for either knits or wovens, and the pattern includes great instructions for upcycling an old tee shirt for use as binding material. Genius! The pocket bag is a single piece, topstitched to the fronts. Very streamlined, and nice not to have a flappy pocket bag in there.
These shorts are so quick and easy to assemble. They're great for a quick summer staple. I'm definitely going to be sewing these up for all 3 of my kids. And as an extra bonus, you can get this pattern RIGHT NOW on top of the 5 fabulous patterns in the Perfect Pattern Parcel! If you chose to spend more than $24 for your Parcel, you'll get the Prefontaine Shorts pattern totally free!!
OK, but I'm kind of being a tease with this top. This is a tester version of the soon to be released Shandiin Top by LouBee Clothing. Sarah is still hard at work perfecting it for you. It's absolutely adorable, and I think you're going to love it. I definitely do.
I just love a look with back interest, and this top has it in spades. That cut out with the contrast panel?? I die. I'll let you in on all the details once she is officially released. You'll get to see the 4 (and counting) that I've already made.
So, Prefontaine + Shandiin = Cuteness overload. And that is Myra's summer wardrobe sorted.