Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ottobre + Ananda = One Smooth Criminal

This year is probably the last year that Duncan won't have an opinion about his Halloween costume, so I kind of struggled with what to make for him.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Duncan is something of an escape artist. We talked about several variations on that theme, but finally settled on classic jailbird stripes.
It's also a plus that this is basically a sweatsuit with stripes. Super comfy and cozy for trick or treating or just hanging around the cell block.
The shirt is from the 01/2010 issue of Ottobre. I made the size 98 because I already had it traced and his 92s are all too small. It looks like the sleeves are a little long, but I kinda like the ragamuffin look it gives.
The pants are my new favorite comfy kids pant, the Ananda. They are so comfy and go together so quickly. And since they don't have side seams, I only had to match the stripes on the inseam and crotch. Bonus!
I made the waistband (and the cuffs and neckband of the shirt) from a white rib knit. I wish it had slightly better recovery, as the pants got a little saggy with wear, but I think that was also because I hemmed them a little too long so he was stepping on them.
Wasn't it nice of him to mark the new hemline with mud? Considerate kid, I tell ya.
Even though this is "just" a costume, I did go to the trouble of matching the stripes across the seams. I didn't have quite enough fabric to match the stripes across the sleeves, but he moves so much, I don't think anyone would be able to tell either way.
The fabric I used is a soft sweatshirt fleece from Nature's Fabrics. You may have noticed that it isn't the traditional black and white stripe. I could pretend that I did that on purpose so that he could get more wear out of the ensemble, but the honest truth is that I just wasn't paying attention. I still think it gets the point across and he actually will at least be able to wear the sweatshirt after Halloween, so whatever.
Better move fast, Copper! He's outta here! And as you all know, #childproofingisfutile .

Friday, October 18, 2013

Emma's Winter SWAP: Outfit #2

The second part of Emma's SWAP also coordinates with the charcoal wool pants from yesterday. She needed more tops than bottoms, so that's what I've been focusing on.
But seriously, when I put this outfit together, I wanted it for myself! The purple wrap sweater is so cute! The pattern is from the 04/2006 issue of Ottobre, style # 19. I made it from a soft rayon/cotton rib knit that has a lovely sheen.
The pattern has some really cute details. The hem edge is finished with a lettuce edge flounce, which is topstitched down. All of the other edges are simple coverstitch hems. My coverstitch machine kept trying to eat this fabric, but I'm glad I fought the good fight. The end result is adorable. The pattern calls for twin needle stitching on the ties, but I decided to use a decorative stretch stitch on my regular sewing machine instead, since both sides will show. I really like the result.
Underneath the wrap sweater is a simple black turtleneck. I made it out of a buttery soft bamboo jersey from FabricMart. It's so silky and lovely.
The pattern (Ottobre 06/2008-19) has a pretty gathered detail at the neckline. This is the smallest size available, and I think the gathered effect is a little skimpy. It's probably more obvious in the larger sizes. It's still pretty though, and a basic black turtleneck is a wardrobe staple every woman needs.

I have one more outfit to add (which will also coordinate with the purple wrap sweater) but it is a super secret project at the moment. But you're gonna love it! I promise.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Emma's Winter SWAP: Outfit #1

Since I only have one little girl child, and her wardrobe is immense and mostly handmade, I've been in the habit of passing down Myra's clothes to her sweet little cousin. It makes me happy to think that the item that I crafted are of use to her. This winter, Myra has apparently been unusually hard on her clothes, so there wasn't much to send. I decided to take this week to make a few things just for Emma and to try my hand at my first kid SWAP (sewing with a plan).
And here is Emma's first outfit! I think it turned out really cute. Each piece was intended to be a useful individual wardrobe basic as well, so hopefully she can mix and match them a bit.
The first thing I made was the red tee. It is a simple long sleeve, cuffed tee. The pattern (and all of the patterns for this outfit) comes from the 01/2010 issue of Ottobre. This is style #22. It's a great wardrobe basic. Emma is an icy blonde, so I thought this saturated pinky-red would compliment her coloring.
Of course, I couldn't stop at "basic" and added a line of hot-fix crystals to the neckline. Every girl likes a little bling!
Since Emma lives in a colder climate, I also wanted to make her some layering pieces. I was thrilled that I had enough of this awesome cheetah corduroy to make this jacket! The pattern is # 19 from the aforementioned Ottobre. I lengthened the sleeves for warmth.
I also added some curved patch pockets. Kids need pockets.
The edges are finished with a topstitched facing. I like the clean lines this gives. I used covered snaps for the closure. I really agonized over the closures and went back and forth over several options. So, I did what any Sewcialist would do - I polled Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The vote was unanimous in favor of the snaps! And I love them. Thanks, y'all!!
The final piece in the SWAP which works with both outfits, is a basic pair of pants. This is design #13, a simple elastic pant which I've made twice for Myra. I love the shape of it. I made this out of a wool poly suiting with a thick, sweatery feel. It's really the loveliest fabric and should keep Emma nice and cozy. You'll be seeing more of it, since both Myra and Logan requested pants from it when they saw Emma's!

Satshbusting bonus - except for the snaps on the cheetah jacket, every single thing for this ENTIRE SWAP came from my stash!!! Woo hoo!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bimaa Sweater Blog Tour: Bad Boy and Girly Girl style

When Sarah invited me to participate in the Bimaa Blog Tour, I was beyond thrilled. Her designs are so fresh and original, and her sewing is gorgeous, no matter what she's making. The Bimaa sweater is so fun and funky, but still totally practical for everyday kid wear. I totally love it.
So naturally, I made it twice. These two kids couldn't be more different in temperament or style, but this pattern works perfectly for them both. Gotta love that!
I made Myra's first. If you can't tell from the pose, Myra is all girl. She loves pink, princesses and all things girly. 
But she's still a kid, and her clothes still have to take a beating. Myra's Bimaa started with this fun pink cheetah/heart print french terry. I got it from a couple of years ago, and I've been saving it for the perfect project. This was definitely it!
I made Myra the shawl collar style and made no size changes. The pattern is designed with a slim, sleek fit, and that is exactly what I wanted for this top. Myra and I both love how it turned out, and she wears it constantly.
Then there's Duncan. He's my tough guy. A man of few words, he prefers to speak with his fists.
This skull print french terry was a perfect fit for his personality. Mix it up with the hoodie variation of the Bimaa, and it's exactly him.
To get a more manly fit for Duncan, I used a size larger than his size based on his measurements. Since the pattern is drafted to be long, I also shortened it to the next size smaller. For Duncan, who is a size 3T, I made the width a size 4T and the length of both the body and the sleeves at the size 2T.
I also widened the cuffs and waistband, which I made out of this awesome chunky sweater-y rib knit. Isn't that stuff great? Super tough, right? But also super warm and cozy!
But can we talk about this hood for a minute? Seriously, it is the best thing ever. You may recall my singing its praises when I made Myra's Trixie costume, but it is just as amazing for an everyday hoodie. I lined Duncan's with a supersoft rayon jersey, and it is so cozy.
You know, if I can ever talk him into wearing it for more than 45 seconds... Seriously kid?? That's the snuggliest, best fitting hood ever!
The other feature of this hood that I really love is the way it wraps to the front to fill in the neckline. You can see that it doesn't bind at the neck at all, but lays nice and flat against the chest, but still with a nice smooth line around the face. It's really beautifully designed.
So, there you have it. Two Bimaas - one slim, sleek and girly, the other big, buff and manly, both from one awesome pattern. 
What do you mean you don't have this pattern already?? Run over to the LouBee Clothing shop and get it!
Big, bad Duncan is waiting... 
And while you're at it, be sure to check out the other bloggers participating in the tour! There are some seriously talented ladies here. I am truly honored to be among them. I'm sharing today with Alida Makes, so be sure to hop over to her blog.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lady Skater: Sakura Blossom style

Ever since I saw Amanda's Sakura Blossom Skater peplum, I've coveted this fabric. I finally sprung for it, and less than a day after it arrived at my door, it was a dress.
A crazy fabulous dress!! Lady Skater all the things!!
This time I went with the long sleeve, since we're getting winter here in the mountains now. The fabric is from Kitschy Coo's shop, the Sakura organic cotton jersey, and it is luscious! I had 2 meters, and would have had no trouble getting the long sleeve dress from it had I not been an idiot. As it turns out, I am an idiot, but since this lovely fabric has equivalent stretch in all directions, my error was not fatal.
In fact, my skirt hangs and twirls perfectly, despite the fact that one of the panels was cut on the cross grain. Bet you can't tell which one!
Here's a hint. It's back here. Don't feel bad - I can't tell either. Awesome fabric.
It's been pretty chilly here the last few days, in fact it was 42F during my shoot, so I'm styled for the cold with a hand knit cowl, fleece lined tights and knee high boots. I'm actually perfectly comfortable. It's amazing how cozy this dress is.
I also really love the snug fit of this sleeve. Isn't it gorgeous!? As with the other sleeve lengths, it is finished with a band, which gives it a very nice, snug fit and a very clean line.
This marks my 14th Skater dress. And it won't be my last. Have you sewn up the Lady Skater yet?? Why not???

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bimaa Sweater + Ananda Pants = The Great and Powerful Trixie!

Myra spent a lot of time debating which My Little Pony she was going to be for Halloween. When she finally decided on The Great and Powerful Trixie, I was a little surprised, but thrilled that I wasn't going to have to sew Princess Celestia's wings and golden hooves. Once I pinned her down, it was time to choose patterns, and the SewFab bundle had just been released. The Bimaa hoodie and the Ananda pants seemed like the obvious choice! And they were.
Myra LOVES her Trixie costume, and I'm pretty thrilled with how easily it came together. For the top, the Bimaa sweater pattern is absolutely perfect for adding ears. The hood has a center panel that is seamed right where a pair of ears would sit, so you don't have to manipulate the pattern at all.
For her horn, I elected to use a separate headband. The horn itself is just a piece of fleece that I twisted around itself and hand sewed to the headband. Super easy. For her mane, I did add a center seam to the center panel of the hood, and inserted the mane just below the ears. In retrospect, I sort of wish I had continued her "hairline" a little farther forward, and trimmed the from shorter to simulate a forelock.
The main body of the costume is poly fleece to keep her cozy on Halloween night. For the mane, tail, hood lining and waistband of the pants, I used a cotton-lycra jersey from Chez Ami. The mane and tail are cut into thin strips to simulate hair. I love how it curls up on the ends, just like Trixie's hair.
Trixie's cutie mark is a magic wand with a "swoosh" of magic sparkles. For the wand, I used more of the same jersey and painted the stick part with fabric paint. The "swoosh" is a bit of silver sparkle knit, appliqued in place and decorated with some glitter star buttons.
The Ananda Pants are so perfect for this costume! The pant has a nice easy fit, and the waist is finished with a knit waistband. Since Myra is carrying around that heavy tail, I did reinforce the waistband with some 1 3/4 inch wide elastic, which I just inserted into the knit waistband itself. It's still super comfy, but it holds up the extra weight well.
From the back, you can see I just inserted the tail into the center back seam of the pants. I seriously love how well that waistband covers Myra's lower back! She has a bit of a ghetto booty, but these pants are perfect. She asked me to make her another pair in pink to wear to school, so I know they are a winner.
Now we just have to wait for Halloween! Are you ready to rumble, Twilight Sparkle?! Trixie's coming for you!