Geranium Dresses For All And The Baby

Actually, I made 4 Geranium dresses for 3.  My oldest daughter got two, my youngest got one and my niece got one.  It felt like a whole lot of geranium dresses though.  All this sewing occurred around Easter.  I know it’s been a while since then, but I didn’t get a chance to blog about it because I was very pregnant and tired and then I had a baby!  He has been taking up every bit of my free time and I love it!  Check him out:

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Gus at 2 weeks old, yes that’s an Orla Kiely boppy cover.  It’s not the most masculine print, but more so than the pink floral one I had before, and I really wanted it!  He got the Orla Kiely bibs too!

In the picture to the right he is a week older and being held by his oldest sister.  And he has on the exact same outfit in both pictures.  The girls love that dinosaur onsie and constantly request that he wear it.  Both girls are so sweet to him, it melts my heart.

So, I made my oldest a Geranium dress a few weeks before Easter and she wore it to the Easter egg hunt at our church.  I had already decided to make them Easter dresses this year and chose to use the same pattern.  Since there are several variations, I don’t think the dresses look that much alike.  For the first one I used the cap sleeves, the yoke neckline and pleats at the waist.  The Easter dresses both have flutter sleeves because I feel like they look a little more fancy.  They both have a gathered waist, but I tried the v-neck version on one.  As for the necklines, I am not going to make another v-neck until I read some more about the construction, or I talk to my mom about it.  The fabric bunched a lot a the point, but I was too scared to cut it any closer than I did.  It looks just fine from a distance and still decent up close, but I know the struggle I went through with that v-neck (it was real).  The yoke neck was easy enough too, but better for the non-Easter dress because it is a more casual look I think.  Here are some quick pictures I snapped on my phone:

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Then somewhere in there, I squeezed out another coordinating Geranium dress for my niece, but I never did get a picture of the two of them together with the matching dresses on.  I was running short on the both the patterned fabric and the solid pink, but I think I made it work well enough.

The only thing I didn’t love about the pattern is the way the skirt attaches in the back.  I sewed the lining down by hand and by doing it that way I could cover up the seam at the waist very neatly.  But if I had needed to do that part on the machine, which is an option per the pattern, there is no way it would look as good.  I marked the problem area with a blue circle in the picture below.

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But, that is my only very minor complaint about this pattern and its not like I came up with any better way of attaching the skirt or anything.  I really love this pattern.  I found it to be very versatile and the instructions were great.  Even though I’ve already made four of these dresses, I think there are more Geranium dresses in my future.

Here are some more photos of my girls in their Geranium dress.  The first one is just my girls playing outside in our back yard with a stuffed animal.

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Geranium dresses are good for twirling too!

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Happy sewing!

Sara

 

 

 

A New Bicycle Dress

I bought an inexpensive dress at Target last spring for my oldest daughter and it turned into her favorite dress by the end of the summer.  So much so that she continued to try to wear it long after it was no longer appropriate for the weather.  The dress in question was a gray jersey on top and purple bicycle print on the bottom in a quilting weight cotton, a.k.a. the bicycle dress.  In order to appease her love for this dress, I had to promise her that I would make her a new bicycle dress.  There were a few bicycle fabrics in print last year and I chose the Michael Miller print called Bicycles from the collection Mod Prints in the color Bloom.

Although I chose a fabric with a similar color palette to the dress my daughter loved from last year, I did not choose a sewing pattern similar to that dress.  I really love all of Mouse House Creations children’s clothing patterns and picked one of my favorites to use for this dress, the Norah Dress.  I wanted something that wasn’t too fancy to wear to school, but with a pair of dress shoes she certainly can wear it to church on Sundays.  This is a really versatile dress.

I have a few thoughts about constructing the dress.

I really like the collar and I wanted to make the cincher for it when I saw the pictures of that version in pattern instructions.  But, I also needed to make the cincher.  Maybe I was just sloppy when I cut the collar out but it didn’t look great when it was all sewn together and pressed.  The cincher added an element of interest to the look of the dress and solved for me an appearance problem with the collar.

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Secondly, I had to rip out the hem of the skirt.  Olivia was a being a bit wiggly when I had her try the dress on to confirm the length prior to hemming and it ended up slightly higher in the back than the front.  It was noticeable to me, so I had to fix it.  Since I had the hem out, I decided to take the sides in a little bit.  Before hemming the dress it seemed to hang well on her, but afterward the added weight and stiffness of the hem caused the fabric to point out in the middle front of the dress instead of the volume being spread evenly across the front.  You can see this effect in the picture above.   Not that it didn’t look acceptable before, but it does look better after this alteration.

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She looks happy wearing it!  I think this dress will get a lot of wear over the summer.

Happy sewing,

Sara

Here Comes 2015! My Project List For The New Year

I am excited for 2015.  My baby boy will be born in May; that’s #1 on my list of awesome things that are to come in 2015.  #2 is that I am actually going to buy the printer I need to digitally print fabric and sell it to all you lovely people who love to sew.  There will be so much more that goes into that venture than just purchasing a printer, but I’ll get into all that as it’s happening.  #3, my oldest daughter is going to kindergarten next fall!  I can’t believe she’s already that old.

I could talk about that printer and the business for days, but right now I want to talk about all the projects I on my “To Sew” list for the coming year.  I have bought so much fabric recently and I intend to sew it up!

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Not in order of the picture arrangement, but by when each item will be sewn:

My oldest daughter got a few pajama sets this fall that came with flannel pants.  Both of my girls love the soft pants and want to wear them a lot.  So, I think they would like to have a few more.  I need to get going on these since it will be too hot for them to sleep in once weather changes, which happens earlier here than in other parts of the country.

Last summer, my oldest daughter had a dress from Target that had bicycles on it.  She LOVED it.  She continued to try to wear it long after it was too cold for short sleeves.  I eventually ended up having to hide the dress from her, but I told her I’d make her another bicycle dress and I found this super cute bicycle print by Michael Miller to use.  I love the color palette of the print; the bikes are pink and white and the background is gray.  I am using the Norah Dress pattern by Mouse House Creations, which has a retro vibe to it, so I think it will look great using that fabric!

Each year I buy cover ups for my girls to wear to the beach and the pool.  I came across this pattern for a children’s robe from Dana Made It and just loved it.  I bought a bunch of hot pink terry cloth at Mary Jo’s recently for this project.  Of course, I already had plenty of cotton fabric with pink in it to use for the hood lining and all the binding.   So, I let each girl pick out their favorite cotton fabric and they chose the two in the picture above.  I think they will really like wearing these.  Since they are taking swim lessons throughout the rest of winter, I also need to go ahead and get this project completed so they can wear the robes to the aquatic center.

I will probably make the sundresses before my due date, which is May 5th, just because I want them ready for summer and I may be not be sewing for the month or so after the baby is born.  I bought several yards of Wee Wanderer last fall (who doesn’t adore that fabric line?  I sure do!)  and saved it to make sundresses for my two girls and my oldest niece.  If I have any extra fabric left I will try to make some baby clothes for my younger nieces, but I find sewing tiny arm/leg holes to be very tedious and difficult to get the seams straight.  So aside from baby clothes made for a specific event that required a special outfit, I waited until my girls and niece were are at least a size 2T before I started making clothes for them.  However, I may have to suck it up for the baby boy and sew him some john-johns and other things.  Boy clothes are so boring and drab, I will probably need to make some especially cute outfits for him.

After I have the baby, I know I am going to want some new clothes that are figure flattering.  Both the Staple Dress by April Rhodes and the Washi Dress by Made By Rae should be perfect to mask my post-baby body shape since they are both high-waisted.  I have a new love for Art Gallery Voile and have bought quite a few yards that I intend to use for these sewing projects.  Additionally, I want some tunics to wear after I have the baby.  Stretch pants are a “go to” for me postpartum, but I don’t have any summer tunics to go with them.  The Washi Dress offers a tunic length, so am going to make another one of those.  I bought the expansion pack for the Washi Dress so the tunic should look quite different from the Washi Dress.  I am still searching for another tunic pattern for the second tunic I intend to sew.  However, as labeled above, I do already have fabric for it.  The other one will be made from the cotton voile that looks like it is a watercolor, which is from Cloud 9.  I love organic cotton , but it’s not nearly as soft as the Art Gallery voile and the hand of the fabric is more stiff.  I still love the print though and I am looking forward to wearing it.  Side comment; I love this idea of an expansion pack!  I usually embellish any pattern that I use, but rarely go so far as to change the neckline or add a different type of sleeve.  I will probably make several Washi dresses because I love the shape and it looks comfortable to wear, but by using the expansion pack, I won’t have six of the same dress in my closet!  I love it!

My youngest daughter has a Bitty Baby that she plays with quite a bit.  Bitty Baby also has a matching set of furntiture which we got at Costco that includes a crib and high chair.  The crib came with a mat, a pillow and a blanket.  And the high chair has a fabric insert as well.  Though the set is super cute and nothing is really wrong with it, I have noticed some things I would change with the design of these accessories, plus the fabric used for these items reminds me of an outdoor upholstery fabric, but it’s slick and cheap feeling.  I’m sure it’s water resistant, which is good, but I’ll take pretty over utilitarian.  So, I’m going to use my stash of Dena Designs Tangier Ikat collection that I have been hording.  I have a charm pack, which I will use for the crib’s quilt and a bunch of yardage that I will use for the rest of the items.  I should still have plenty of fabric left over to make something for myself too.  Brynn should love it because she loves purple and that fabric line is heavy on the lavender.  I need to finish this project before her birthday in October. Love a handmade gift!

And then there is this (sigh), which I also intend on finishing this year (I have a long way to go on this project).   I am nuts about Carolyn Friedlander’s Facing East Quilt which is a pattern included in her book Savor Each Stitch.  I love the simplicity of the pattern.  Though it’s a simple shape, I find the design interesting and appealing.  The inspiration is clear and expressed well in the design.  It is my first attempt at paper piecing, but the first section went very well and as long as the circles are easy to sew in, I think this project will go pretty quickly once I start to pay it some attention.  Despite my disappointment at what very little amount of sewing I have done on this quilt, I can’t wait to have the finished product draped across the arm of my couch in the winter (or wrapped around my body)…  I guess that will be winter 2016 unfortunately.

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This list of upcoming sewing projects is long, and I even have a few ideas in my head of projects for which I don’t have a pattern or fabric yet, so I excluded them from this list.  Additionally, I am currently working on 3 Sew Together bags and a mug rug that I will have to finish before I can even start on any of the projects listed above.  I am concerned that I have put too much on my plate considering I am having a baby this year, but at it’s least something to strive for.  I am going to make a project calender to help keep me on track during the year.  If I stay focused and motivated I think I can accomplish all this sewing plus meet the goals I’ve set for my small business launch this year.  Wish me luck and check back often because I am going to write about all of this sewing, plus what’s going on with my business plan on this blog.

What all is on your “To Sew” list for this year?  I know there are a ton of washi dresses and staple dresses out there.  Is there another new awesome dress pattern that has been released recently that I should check out?  Also, do other people make a calendar and project plan for their sewing and crafting projects, or am I the only dorky one?  (I doubt I am, wink wink, …well, I hope I’m not the only one at least).  Also, please comment and let me know if you have a favorite tunic pattern that I might want to use for my postpartum wardrobe.  I’d really appreciate any suggestions.

Happy New Year!

 

Watermelon Birthday Party

For six months prior to her birthday, my now 3 year old, Brynn, told me she wanted a watermelon birthday party.  You may be wondering what constitutes a watermelon party?  I wasn’t sure either.  It turned out to be a regular backyard party with watermelon decorations.  Since her birthday was a month ago, watermelons weren’t really in season anymore.  But, I did find some at the deli counter, pre-cut.  So, I made a fruit tray featuring the watermelon wedges.  I also found a pin on Pintrest that inspired me to make some Rice Krispie treats to look like watermelon slices.  Actually, I made a whole board on Pintrest if you have interest in this party theme.

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The blog post in the pin for the Rice Krispie treats contains some directions, but I’ll give you the process I used as well.  I made two batches of Rice Krispie treats using the Kellogg’s recipe.  The only alteration to the recipe is to add food coloring to the marshmallow and butter mixture prior to adding the Rice Krispies.  I first made a green batch.  I pressed them into the edge of a cake pan, making a ring around the edge.  Then I made the red batch and pressed that into the middle.  The blog post I found through Pintrest suggested using chocolate covered sunflower seeds, but I decided to use mini chocolate chips instead.  It looked good and tasted good as well.

My sister and her girls came in town for the party.  Of course I was so happy to see her and spend time with all of them, but I am SO THANKFUL for her help as well.  At the time of the party I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy and I was still super tired all the time.  I only halfway finished almost of the the party preparations.  My sister, Kate, helped me with several things.  One of those was the other themed food item.  I made the cupcakes, but she iced them.  Half had green frosting with darker green stripes going across.  The other half were red with more of the mini chocolate chips scattered on top.  I forgot to take a picture of those, so I decided to give myself an exercise to practice using Illustrator and digitally draw what they looked like to share instead.

Cupcakes-01One lesson learned from the cupcakes was when adding food coloring to cream cheese icing, it is best to prepare the icing the day before then allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a day because the food coloring thins out the icing.  My sister iced the cupcakes a few hours before the party and though they looked good, the icing was runny and rather messy.  The kids didn’t mind of course!

The decorations consisted of red, green and black balloons, two enormous Mylar balloons that looked like watermelon slices, the banners of which I shared the digital version in my previous blog post and tissue paper pom poms that my sister made (again, she totally saved my pregnant, tired rear end!)  And again, I found a Pintrest pin that was used as inspiration.  This particular post was just an image of an item that is for sale on Etsy, so Kate had to figure out how to make the pom poms herself.  She layered the tissue paper with the greens on the bottom and pinks and reds on the top in a gradient fashion.  Instead of including a sheet of black tissue paper in the middle (as I had incorrectly suggested), she cut a few strips of the black tissue paper and taped them in place.  That way the black did not look overwhemling and the strips were placed so they looked more scattered.  The pom poms turned out great!

WatermelonParty2The HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRYNN banner was strung across those french doors in the picture.  But, it rained during the party and they got wet.  I saved the pom poms to photograph later, but didn’t save the banner.  And I certainly wasn’t going to print it all out again, because I’d probably have to buy a new ink cartridge if I did!

And of course, I made Brynn a special dress to wear to the party.  I took a different approach to a watermelon dress than the usual watermelon slice as the bodice and green seersucker for the skirt.  I used the Sunki dress pattern by Figgy’s.  I got it in the 5th Perfect Pattern Parcel sale.  It is a super cute shift dress with pockets and an interesting detail on the sleeves where the fabric overlaps.  The sleeve part was easy.  I spent some extra time on the pockets.  I didn’t have to pick out stitches or anything, but I really had to think about how the pockets are constructed, be very careful sewing the seam where the dress ends and the pocket interior begins, and hold my mouth right.  It turned out great!  I’ll definitely use that pattern again to make more dresses for my girls, especially since it goes up to size XL girls.

Four pictures of my little girl in her watermelon dress may be overboard, but that’s what moms do, right?  Also, try to disregard that I did not clean up the party aftermath in the backyard.  The kids did get a little play time before it started to rain and they made the most of it.

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Happy sewing and crafting!

By |November 13th, 2014|Garment sewing, Party|0 Comments