Roar!!!

I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty darn pleased with myself over this one.

Yesterday when I picked Lu up from school I noticed a sign saying today would be dinosaur day at preschool and kids should wear anything dinosaur themed to school. Problem was Lu didn’t have any dinosaur clothing…yet.

But now she does!

I just happened to have a yard of dinosaur fabric from Natural History by Lizzy House. I’d picked it up after Lu started taking a big interest in dinosaurs about a month ago. And I’d planned to make a skirt, but hadn’t gotten to it yet. In fact I’d planned to do something a little fancier than this, but I had one night. Simplicity wins.

I did not use a pattern. Elastic waisted toddler skirts are not terrible complicated, but maybe someday soon I’ll do a tutorial if there is interest. And I fussy cut two pockets for the front, because a girl needs a place to hold her dinosaur friends.

Roar!!!

Hope you have fun at school today!

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Happy Home Quilt

Last week my little family traveled to Colorado to spend a week with my sister in law and I was able to unveil their house warming gift! They bought and moved into their first house last spring and I’ve been plotting a home warming gift for a couple of months. But what fabric to use? Something geeky? Something traditional?

Well, after finishing my husband’s quilt, we looked at the other half of the collection and my husband requested I use it for his sister. Sold!

So the front of the quilt features the magenta/orange colorway of the Franklin by Denyse Schmidt collection. Gah! I love this collection. So classic. So pretty. But what pattern to use? We scoured my favorite sites and decided on Suburbs from Cluck Cluck Sew. I mean, it seems like a natural fit for a house warming gift, no?

However those houses did present a conundrum. I do all quilting on my little home machine. It’s a good machine, but not one I’d use to do a heavy overall quilt pattern. And I had this idea of quilting around each house, but then there are all these blank squares that need…something. Just deciding on how to fill those spaces took a couple of weeks. I was stumped.

Eventually I decided to do a combination of machine quilting and hand tying the quilt. I had grand visions of hand quilting trees, and their monogram, and clouds, and a bunch of other stuff. But in the end the simplicity seemed to fit the quilt and my sister in law’s family much better.

But the back of the quilt. It’s my favorite part.

The backing fabric is from Natural History by Lizzy House. I love the way the homes look like they are in the middle of a night sky. A big night sky like you might encounter someplace like Colorado in the summer.

Of course the week of our visit was rainy and stormy, so no star viewing for us, but that’s okay. This California girl was happy for the rain. Too bad I couldn’t bring it home with me.

And my sister in law? She loves the quilt!

Not Quite Utopian Dress

This dress started off so well. I picked some bright and beautiful fabric from the Utopia collection from Art Gallery Fabrics. So cheerful! So summery! Perfect for a dress to wear to the office.

I dutifully picked a pattern. Something breastfeeding friendly and nice for work. Something to highlight my smallest point and gloss over my still pudgy midsection.

Then I cut out the pattern…and made the first mistake. I didn’t layout all the pattern pieces before cutting. I never do. But this time I misread the layout on the directions and had cut the pieces with the fold on the wrong edge. Which means when I went to cut the very last piece, the front skirt panel…there was no fold to cut it on. But I soldiered on and cut the skirt to have a seam down the middle. Not ideal, but also not the end of the world.

And then I sewed the dress together.

This was how it fit the first time around. Notice the gaping in the bust and the huge amount of ease in the underarm!

yellow dress bustYellow dress underarm

Okay, at this point I should back up and explain. You see when I picked a pattern the only size range in stock was the plus size version Simplicity 1653. It’s one of their Amazing Fit patterns with options for make a pattern to fit multiple bust sizes and body shapes. I had researched to see what other people had done with the pattern and seen over all positive results. I had also studied the pattern to see what size I should cut and landed on the 20W curvy fit. In theory the pattern should have come out pretty close to perfect, but as you can see the reality was different.

In order to make it wearable I took it in 4 inches overall from underarm to waist. And I took it up 2 inches in the shoulder. That made it a lot more wearable even though it also make the bust darts a little too high. Whew!

Then I started hemming the skirt and…cut a hole in the fabric. Seriously. This is the dress that just didn’t want to be.  But I was stubborn. I love this fabric. I was going to make it work.

And I did.

I even fixed the whole in the fabric pretty nicely. But when I wore the dress to work I got so annoyed with the tie. Its bulky and every time I moved or had a pumping session I would have to wrestle the dress back into shape. It was annoying.

So I took it back to the machine and took off the tie closure and sewed the wrap into the side seam.

It made the dress a tad bit tight. I didn’t have any extra fabric to extend the front panel a little bit, but at least now I want to wear the dress. Before it would have just sat around unloved. Ease of wearing is just such a deal breaker right now. Plus I wear cardigans all the time, so the pulling isn’t so noticeable at work.

In the end this is not a pattern I’ll be attempting again. There were just too many issues. But at least I got one mostly wearble dress from all the time I put into it. And with weaning only 3 or 4 months away I can start dreaming of sewing clothes without boob access as the #1 consideration!