April 30, 2012

kcwc- done! Next up- MMM'12!

The spring 2012 edition of kcwc is officially in the bag! My sewing spilled over a little bit into today, but no one said that I had to stop at day seven. Juniper, for one, is glad that I kept at it.

She's modeling Simplicity 1813, view A. It's an adorable and ridiculously easy sunsuit pattern from a vintage reissue in the summer collection. It's really just a square sack gathered with elastic and with ties at the shoulders.

I made the size small (6 months/13-18 lbs) for her to wear this summer. She's currently two months old and almost 12.5 lbs, and as you can see, she has plenty of room to fill it out. I would still like to make up a couple of the other views from this pattern before summer comes. They're so simple and quick to make, it could be an easy wardrobe builder.

I also revisited the bucket hat, as promised. The size large is a better fit for Lincoln's big ol' head, and should get him through the summer. And I couldn't decide between two combos, so I made them both. It's four hats in two! First, brown and orange stripes, just like I said I would:

This one reverses to the same khaki shirt fabric that I used for the last one:

And this adorable plane fabric was stuffed away, so I missed it the first time but couldn't pass it up this time around! It's the same print that I used to line Lincoln's backpack, and it doesn't get seen very much in there. In this application, it can really shine!

It reverses to navy twill. Simple and understated. This hat will match the other half of Lincoln's wardrobe that the brown and orange one doesn't.

Don't they look cute all stacked up? Totally copied the Oliver + S photo shoot with this one!

The bottom one has already gotten some wear on this past sunny Saturday, but I forgot to take a photo of it in action.

So, how did I do? Well, I set out with a pretty achievable goal of only three items:

  • Sun hat for Lincoln. Check! (Also, check! And check!)
  • Sun bonnet for Juniper. Fail. This one will get made though. I just love that pattern too much not to!
  • Romper for Juniper. Check!

Not too bad, and thanks to preschool photo day, I even ended up with two bonus items. Lincoln wore the blue and green Tee for Two today, and he'll get lots of use out of both of them over the next few months so I think that was a great use of my kcwc energy. 

These challenges are a great idea for a person like me. It's good for me to focus my energy on something specific for a short period of time and then move along. I get bored easily, but work really well on deadlines (even fakey self-imposed ones that are easily broken or manipulated).

So, in the spirit of that was fun! done with that! moving right along! I've decided to also participate in Zoe's MMM'12, my first Me-Made-May challenge, starting tomorrow. Here's my official pledge:

I, Tiffany of twilltapeshop.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavor to wear at least one me-made garment three times per week for the duration of May 2012. Further, I will attempt to continue to expand my me-made wardrobe by one garment per week.

I'm hoping that in wearing my rather limited selection of me-made garments, I can get an idea of what works and what doesn't, and try to focus my sewing energy in a productive direction. I'll keep you updated on my progress here, and you can check in with the other participants, including hostess/founder Zoe of 'So, Zo... What do you know?' on the flickr group, or the Facebook page. Move over April, time for Me-Made-May!

April 25, 2012

kcwc- day two & three

I pressed on after the bucket hat troubles, but veered a bit from the list in order to prepare for picture day at Lincoln's preschool today. Lincoln already has a million versions of the Patterns by Figgy's* Tee for Two, but I decided to put a fresh one together anyway. My favorite source of material for these tops is a huge stack of unloved clothes that I've inherited from various people, so I turned there to see what looked inspiring.

I picked out a soft ribbed heathered navy sweater of David's and matched it up with a spring green tank top of mine. Both garments were practically brand-new, so it's nice to give them a new life this way!

I finished it up last night, but this morning decided that it was a little big and not my fave for picture day. I ended up raiding my shop for a new shirt instead and sent him off in the "Mini Prepster" argyle tee with an applique of blue corduroy and various colors of embroidery thread:

While I was digging through the knits last night I also pulled out a striped Calvin Klein cotton knit chemise that is far too tight for my tastes but an awesome color combo for spring. It ended up being a perfect match for a yellow tissue-weight jersey hooded tee that I was given in a big batch of hand-me-downs from a friend. The tee has a hole in the front, but there is still plenty of fabric to salvage. I cut off the sleeves to make use of the cute cuff detail that they have.

I cut size 4/5 for Lincoln this time around. He's still wearing the 2/3 just fine, but I wanted to make something that he could grow into over the spring and summer. I made the blue and green one up just as instructed, but I did add about an inch of length to the neckband, as I always do with this pattern. I find it just too tight to fit over Lincoln's head when I cut it as designed.

I do like the look of the exposed raw edges, but I decided to skip it on the yellow striped one and put that one together with my serger instead. There are no visible seams on this one except for the coverstitch on the cuff detail, which was part of the original shirt I cut up, and not a seam that I made. I didn't have four cones of matching yellow thread to serge with, and that was part of what informed my decision to hide the seams inside on this version. It's also a heck of a lot quicker to stitch up this way! I put this one together in less than an hour today, from cutting to fashion show.

And I haven't abandoned the bucket hat either. In fact, when I went back to pick new fabrics, I found two combinations that I just had to use, so I have pieces for two hats in size large ready to be stitched up.

Poor Juniper hasn't seen a thing from kcwc so far, but I haven't forgotten her! The things I want to make for her will be for summer anyway, as she's got plenty to wear right now.

*Although Patterns by Figgy's is no longer, the Tee for Two pattern also appears in Sewing for Boys as the short sleeve raglan tee (easily adapted to long sleeves).

week four finalist!

My "Triple C" top was selected as one of the Top of the Tops for week four in Rae's Spring Top Sewalong! I'm honored to see my top among such lovely entries as these:

Embroidered Tova

Pretty Bow Top

Playing with Pleats

Honestly, all eighteen of this week's chosen tops are impressive, but I won't picture them all here, because Rae's already done that here! (Go vote for your fave!) Voting for week four's readers' choice award winner will be open until 1 pm EST on Friday, April 27.

April 24, 2012

a virtual planetoid*

Foiled again!

Good thing Juniper will be coming up along behind ready to make use of Lincoln's cast-offs, or I would be pretty upset about my first day's work for kcwc!

The reversible bucket hat was first on my list, and first to make it to the cutting table. I decided that I would take the opportunity to exercise my Mama Veto, and selected a sporty (not pink) stripe for one side, and a complementary (not pink) khaki twill for the other. The khaki fabric was once a short sleeve shirt of David's, and the stripe is of unknown origin. It was a fat quarter that I had hanging around. Might be Amy Butler from some old collection? Dunno for sure and I'm too lazy to research it right now.

So anyway, here it is:

Totally spent the time to match the stripes and do those million rows of topstitching around the brim. It's cute! And I love dressing Lincoln in orange and brown for some reason, he wears that combo a lot. So it's perfect for summer, except it's not.

See, I measured his head, and it was 20". Exactly. And that's the measurement that's listed for the size medium. So naturally, I cut and sewed up a size medium. And naturally, it just barely fits on his head! I was trying to replace his current sun hat (also orange and brown- see, I told you!) with one that would actually get him through the summer. And I actually took the time to measure! I didn't just guess! I measured! And still. Foiled.

But it fits for now. And I'll stitch up a large just as soon as I feel like doing tons of topstitching again (so probably this afternoon). But I'm out of stripes. Well, no, that's not true at all. I'm just out of THOSE stripes. Plenty of other stripes to be had. So watch this space for Reversible Bucket Hat v.2. Probably in more stripes.

And by the way, when I told Lincoln that I was working on a hat for him yesterday he said: "OOOH, like a PINK one??" Oh, that boy.

*bonus points for you if you recognize the reference in the title as a quote from one of my fave movies of all time: So I Married an Axe Murderer. Lincoln's head isn't exactly like an orange on a toothpick, but it's obviously not my fault that the hat was too small. Blame the kids, that's what I always say!

April 22, 2012

kids clothes week challenge

Tomorrow kicks off the Spring 2012 edition of the "kids clothes week challenge" (kcwc as the cool kids say), hosted by Meg at elsie marley! I was almost late to the party, but I decided to take the plunge and join in. The idea behind Meg's challenge is that if you can commit to just one hour of sewing (or cutting/planning/knitting/whatever) for your kids each day for a week, you're bound to end up with something great to show for it by Sunday. One hour a day sounds achievable, so I'm in!

Here's what I would like to tackle this week:

  • A little summer romper for Juniper, using Simplicity 1813, an adorable vintage reissue from the latest collection. I'm thinking view A (minus the cupcake), or D/E (love that ruffle-bum!).

Realistically, that's probably all I'll be able to accomplish, although the wish list is of course MUCH longer. The latest issue of Ottobre magazine (3/2012) arrived yesterday, and there are some cute things in there too. I really like these board shorts for Lincoln:

And this sweet little pleated dress for Juniper:

I could go on and on. The things I want to sew far outweigh the available hours! So back to the actual plan- when I asked Lincoln to pick out a fabric for his sun hat he selected a lovely pale pink floral print. Now, I'm all about encouraging him to make his own decisions and breaking down those preconceived gender rules, but really? I think I may have to exercise my Mama Veto on that one. Don't I? What would you do?

April 20, 2012

Spring tops, part deux

So yeah, I sewed some more tops (three), and I'm not 100% sure, but I might kind of hate them... Well, actually, I only really hate one, but I think it will probably be okay after I totally remake it, if I ever get around to that. The second one I'm luke warm about. It's just not really me, but I was trying new things and I learned a lot in the process, so it's a win for that. The third one I just finished and I haven't even tried it on yet (I'm wearing a sleeping Juniper in the Moby), but I have high hopes about it. Or it might be a bit referee-ish. Not sure yet. I imagine I'll have a better idea once it's actually been on my body.

Anyhoo- you can't see the first one because it's just that bad, and there's no photos of three yet due to the sleeping baby business, but let's talk about number two, shall we?

It's view B of New Look 6107:

I do like to muslin first for size, but I can never bring myself to use actual muslin. I would rather use a fabric that I'm not in love with from my rather sizable stash instead, then if the fit is wrong or I hate it, it's not a complete loss. I had this plaid that was the right weight and drape, and I thought it was worth a try. I can't decide whether my finished top is more cowgirl or camp counselor, but either way, I just don't think it's really me.

That being said, I am rather proud of my plaid matching skills, as this was my first attempt at such an adventure. This was also my first FBA, which went smoothly and I think it does improve the fit of this top quite a bit.

But yeah, seriously. Yee-haw!

And even though I had my doubts about the fabric, I still took my time to finish things nicely and I'm really pleased with the end result construction-wise.

This fabric is a vintage find from a trunk full of fabric that I purchased from Craigslist a couple years ago (yes, Margo, that one you led me to. Evil temptress!) It's nice and drapey, but loosely woven and prone to ravelling, so I was afraid if I left the edges raw all hell would break loose. And serging this old fabric just felt wrong, so I pulled out some light blue vintage seam tape that I found at the thrift store that kind of matched, and wrapped all the straight seams with that. I pinked the sleeve/armscye seam because I couldn't imagine bothering with the hem tape there.

In retrospect, this would have been a nicer effect if I could have been bothered to change the thread to match the hem tape, but as you can see- I couldn't. I did add my little twilltape tag to the neckline though, just for fun. So yeah, I might use this pattern again to make another cute summer top, but I think I've learned my lesson about plaid. Maybe a white swiss dot instead?

And even though I don't love it, I did put my top in the 2012 Spring Top pool, which is just packed full of cute spring top inspiration. Check it out!

April 11, 2012

Behind the curtain

I added a new page to my header for those of you who are like me and have a little voyeuristic streak!

One of my favorite things about sewing blogs is that it gives you a chance to not only find out what other sewists are making, but what they're making it with, and where! So far, this page includes a link to my sewing room tour as well as information about my machines and a couple of my favorite tools. This will likely be a work in progress and I can change or update it with new information as inspiration strikes or if I start feeling sharey again.

Hope you'll pop by for a visit, and maybe share something with me, too!

April 10, 2012

Juniper's first Easter dress

Juniper's first Easter- 6 weeks old

You didn't think that I would let Juniper's first major dress-up holiday pass without a bit of sewing, did you? I actually almost did, but at the last minute I decided that I just had to whip something up for the occasion. I turned to my stash, where I have been squirreling away bits and pieces scored on the cheap from the remnant bin specifically with baby girl dresses in mind. I selected a piece of eyelet and some coordinating seersucker that felt "Eastery" and dug through my patterns for some inspiration. I landed on the Puppet Show tunic/dress and bloomer shorts pattern by Oliver + S. It wasn't exactly my first choice, but it's the only one I had that is sized down to 0-3 months and I didn't have time to fuss with adjusting another pattern to fit.

As always, this pattern came together beautifully. I love, love, love Oliver + S patterns! The designs are not only adorable, but the instructions are well-written and the end result with all the attention to finishing and detail is superior. The Puppet Show pattern is rated 3 out of 4 scissors on their difficulty scale, and I totally agree. It's not super-difficult to assemble, but especially in the smallest size like I was making, it can be tough to even get to some of the seams to finish them accurately. Those tiny cuffs, for example, whoooo boy! Let's just say there was a bit of cursing and I almost sewed my finger a couple of times trying to hold things out of the way of my needle to do that edgestitching.

Because the eyelet has holes (as eyelet does), and the seersucker is so lightweight (as seersucker is), I decided to underline the entire dress with a lightweight cotton that I happened to have in a coordinating color (of course I did). Underlining involves cutting out your pattern pieces once in the fashion fabric and once in the underlining material, and then holding them together and working them as one piece. The Puppet Show pattern already has a lined bodice, and I cut the lining as well as the underlining, meaning that the bodice has three layers and no exposed seams. Sarai's tutorial about underlining the Clovers was filed away in the back of my brain, and that was what inspired my use of it here. Coincidentally, I was somehow led to Tasia's bodice underlining tutorial yesterday, and will make use of her dart treatment if I ever underline something for myself. With the tiny darts in Juniper's dress, it wasn't necessary, but I can see that extra reinforcement being useful on a larger item.

I cut the 0-3 months size in tunic length, and it was mostly a perfect fit for 6-week old, 12 pound Juniper. The cuffs are too short to button over her chubby little arms, but they looked fine unbuttoned, I thought. As you can see, the tunic length is long enough to pass for a dress, and I think it might get more wear over pants or shorts this summer if she still fits in it than a longer dress would. I had originally planned for her to wear her dress over white tights with black patent leather shoes, in classic Easter dress fashion, but the smallest tights I could find were way too big, and the shoes didn't look right over bare feet. At least she had her coordinating headband!

I also made up the bloomer shorts, but I didn't get them done by Easter (see procrastination tendencies above) and I think they look much cuter as a stand-alone item anyway on a baby this small. I can definitely see the whole outfit on a standing (or even crawling) Juniper, but at this blobby-stage of just lying around, the effect is kind of lost.

I used the eyelet for the body and pockets of the shorts, and they are also fully underlined with the coordinating cotton. The waistband, pocket trim, and leg trim are yellow striped cotton by Lecian that matches the seersucker perfectly. I also used this cotton on the cuffs and hem facing of the tunic, as it's a more stable material than the seersucker and I thought that it would be better suited to these trim applications.

I just noticed that the bias stripes on the left legband are slanting the wrong way! I purposefully applied them to the pockets so they were slanting in toward each other, and I meant to do the legs the same way but totally forgot when it came time to sew. Oops! I'm sure no one but me will notice in real life.

So anyway, lest you think I'm being totally unfair- here's some pictures of my other baby too, who didn't get a new Easter outfit this year (again, procrastination) but was happy to run around the backyard in his PJ pants and a sweatshirt to find the Easter Bunny's offerings.

And, since all the candy he scored will likely rot those tiny little baby teeth right out of his head, here's one last look at that adorable toothy grin before it disintegrates:

And lastly, my favorite recent photo of the two of them. Lincoln saw me with the camera and said "Mom, mom! Take our picture! Please!!" This is just one of many that he insisted I take:

You can just see the love, can't you? So sweet. 

And as usual, there are more photos in the Flickr stream if you're so inclined. And official Pattern Review here.