Tuesday, August 26, 2014

reversible apple pinafore

It's back-to-school week in our neck of the woods (not here for a few years yet, thank goodness!). In honor of back-to-school and almost-September, I decided to sew my daughter an apple top.

tulip pinafore by too sweets, sewed by dandelions and lace

I used the Tulip Pinafore pattern by Too Sweets that I got awhile back in one of the Sew Fab pattern sales (told you I'm a sucker for pattern bundles!). It's a cute, basic top that I think she will get a lot of use out of.

Although I think the pattern is adorable, I wasn't a huge fan of the open back in real life, so I paired it with a white t-shirt and I think it looks even cuter. Kind of like a jumper. Oh man, jumpers... I was a school uniform kid, and just the thought of jumpers brings me back to milk cartons and pencil sharpeners and four square and crayons. And crossing our fingers during the first and the last weeks of school that it would be hot enough that the jumpers could come off and we could wear shorts for the rest of the day. Anyone else with me?

Anyway, back to the the present.

tulip pinafore by too sweets, sewed by dandelions and lace

I decided to make the pattern reversible by sewing two buttons back-to-back, one on each side of the top. It works great except that I didn't realize it would make the buttons so tight that the fabric would barely be able to slide under the button to close. It's alright, but next time I would try not to sew the buttons on so tight.

The pattern was pretty easy, but for some reason the construction of this top seemed a little harder and more complicated than it needed to be. I have sewed a couple other items that are rather similar but were much simpler to sew up, so if I use this pattern again, I might play around with it and see if there is another way.

I used dark-colored denim (above) for the first side. For interest I added a few apples cut from the lining fabric and attached with fusible webbing. I didn't stitch around them, so I am hoping they will hold up well in the wash.

tulip pinafore by too sweets, sewed by dandelions and lace

For the other side I used a colorful apple fabric I found at JoAnn appropriately called "Bright Appleseed."

There you have it. A new top and a little girl who is suddenly looking way too big for her own good. Someone please tell me where my baby went!

tulip pinafore by too sweets, sewed by dandelions and lace

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

hanami top

I decided to make my daughter a Hanami Top this week and it turned out too sweet. I got the pattern from Perfect Pattern Parcel awhile ago and have been wanting to try it out. (side note: pattern collection sales are one of my weaknesses... they are usually such a good deal that I just HAVE to buy them... then the patterns languish on my computer forever. I really need to try exercising a little restraint, because I'm way more likely to sew a pattern if I purchase it individually... but that's what I say every time, haha.) Anyway. The Hanami Dress & Top pattern by An at StraightGrain Patterns is the main reason I bought this particular bundle. It is just such a cute pattern.

hanami top by straightgrain patterns, sewed by dandelions and lace

I used Sunnyside by Cloud 9 Fabrics (purchased at JoAnn) for the bodice (it has kitties on it!!!) and some matching gray cotton for the sleeves. One of my favorite features of this pattern is the crossover back, so of course I had to sew that option (there is also an option for a zipper instead). I also chose the tulip flutter sleeves. The instructions were easy to follow and overall it was a pretty easy sew - very straightforward with no particularly tricky parts.

hanami top by straightgrain patterns, sewed by dandelions and lace

Love it! 

hanami top by straightgrain patterns, sewed by dandelions and lace

The only thing that bothers me a little is how much the skirt flounce sticks out. I think I might have to go back and iron down the seams better and possibly even stitch them down so that it lays a little more flat. I've even considered taking off the flounce and turning it into a dress instead - I think I have enough fabric for that... is that a good idea or would you leave it as is? Either way, I think it looks adorable on my little Miss!

hanami top by straightgrain patterns, sewed by dandelions and lace

Friday, August 8, 2014

whale lulu top

Long time no sew... eh?

Does anyone else have trouble getting back into gear when you've been away from your machine for awhile? I took two vacations so I've done hardly any sewing all summer and I'm having trouble getting inspired to start. I know as soon as I do everything will be great, but it's that initial foot-to-the-pedal action that is evading me.

Anyway... I missed this season's Kid's Clothes Week because I was on the vacation I shared with you last week. Like, literally, I was gone for the same exact days that Kid's Clothes Week was running this summer. Bummer. But I sewed up a cute top for my daughter before my Iowa trip (in anticipation of KCW!) and still haven't shared it yet, so I thought I would today.

It's a Lulu Top by Craftiness is Not Optional. This is a fun pattern because it allows you to mix knit and woven fabrics for combos that you wouldn't normally use.

I sewed the top length (rather than the dress length like I did with my first Lulu) partly because I didn't have enough cute whale fabric for a dress and partly because my darling girl is STILL NOT WALKING. Yes. She'll be 18 months in a couple weeks so I'm really starting to get antsy. I want to make her some dresses, dangit! Plus, even though I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with her besides the fact that she's just taking her own sweet time (she's taken a couple steps in the last few days), if she's not walking by her 18-month appointment, we might have to see a specialist. Sooooo... if you have any tips or tricks, please let me know, haha.

Anyway, she LOVES her whale shirt and wants to wear it all the time. Both the whale quilting fabric and the fushia knit came from the JoAnn Fabrics remnant bin. 50% off, baby!

I do love this pattern because it is so comfy to wear and easy to make, but both times I've had a little trouble with the collar... the pattern explains how to create bias tape from a piece of knit and sandwich the collar in between the folded bias tape to sew. Sounds simple enough but I'm having a heck of a time getting it to catch all the layers and look neat and tidy. It may just be a case of practice makes perfect, but if you have any tips here I'd welcome them as well!

I have some more things in the works, just have to figure out how to get my butt back in gear! :)