Monday, August 29, 2011

Ghastlies Reversible Kimono Dress

My only neice has her first birthday next month.  My brother and his wife live in a very small townhouse and I know she will be spoiled by all the family she has close by so, in lieu of toys (and since I already gave her the tag along doll I made for her!), I made her a dress.  The pattern is the Reversible Kimono Dress by ManiMina and the fabric is the Ghastlies in Smoke from Hawthorne Threads

(I love Hawthorne Threads btw -- they have a great selection, good prices and ship fast.  They have great costumer service, too -- the last time I placed an order they sent the wrong colour by mistake and when I contacted them, they put the right yardage in the mail to me right away.)
The lining and ties are made from a pink cotton lawn from  Because it's sheer, the dress is not actually reversible which, looking back on it was probably not the best choice: I love the Ghastlies but my sister-in-law may not want to dress her daughter in a Halloween-themed dress after October.  Oops.
I made a couple of changes to the pattern -- I increased the sized of the armholes so that they can put a long sleeved onesie underneath and I also added the bias tape as faux piping.  If I were to do it again, I think would take the extra step of making real piping as it would look crisper.   

My six year old was concerned that her cousin might be scared by the fabric. Although the witch is pretty mean looking, I think she's a bit young for that to be true, hehe!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tag Along Doll

I requested Wee Wonderfuls by Hilary Lang from the library months ago knowing that I wanted to make my niece a doll for her first birthday.  Well, it finally came in so I made the Tag Along Doll.  I love the pattern -- it's so cute and the instructions  are great.  I used wool felt purchased from 3 Little Monkeys for her hair, brushed cotton for her body and corduroy scraps for her legs and dress.

My only concern was durability -- the book calls for the arms and legs to be hand sewn to the body.  Since I'm giving the doll to a baby (and am hoping it will be much loved!), that concerned me.  The arms were easy enough to sew in before stuffing but I attached the legs after stuffing (and you can see I stuffed this little girl quite tightly), and I had to wrestle the doll through the machine.  I used a zig zag and still had a hard time making sure all was secure (Pardon the indecent and blurry picture of her bum) and it ended up looking quite messy.  I didn't stitch the bottom of the dress closed as I don't plan on making the apron. Maybe some undies should be next?  Next time I will sew the legs on and leave a space on the side for stuffing. 
Hilary suggests adding the face before making the doll but I threw caution to the wind and added it after.  She ended up with a bit of a smirk and her eyelashes are a bit off but I think that just gives her character.  I cut out the collar but in the end decided I liked the retro look of the dress without it.  All in all, it was a fun little project.  I have a feeling I will be making a couple more of these when my girls see this one . . .

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lisette Market Skirt

I had some fabric left over from my Lisette traveler dress (which I've worn several times now -- I can't say that about too many of the things I've made for myself!) so I made Simplicity 2211 view A.  I do love pleats but I'm thinking that I should have stuck to the un-pleated view B version -- the fabric is a little too casual and the pleats don't iron very crisply.  I still need to tack down the tabs but I think I will forgo the buttons.  I used Sew? I Knit's tutorial to insert an invisible zipper.  It was super easy and looks way more professional than a regular zipper.  I think the end result makes it worth the extra cost (in clothes I make for myself anyway, maybe not for the kids!). 

Cloud 9 giveaway win

Back in May I won a giveaway from Cloud 9 Fabrics. My prize didn't come before the mail strike in June so I expected it to turn up when the posties went back to work in July.  Still nothing.  I contacted Michelle at Cloud 9 and she immediately sent out a package with 13 fat quarters (the giveaway was for 10).
Look at these beauties:
There are fat quarters from Cut Out & Keep and Nature Walk
The softest one, however, is from a past collection, My Happy Garden.  I love these little birds!  I'm not sure yet what to do with them but there are some lovely colours for fall so I'm sure I'll come up with something!