Flower Girls

I can’t believe my sister’s wedding took place 2 months ago! Time moves so quickly and we’ve had many milestones in our family this summer as the girls move from on from their current schools to new programs.

I made the girls some pretty sweet dresses for the wedding and by now they’ve been worn on nearly a weekly basis. Gosh it is nice to see Lu and Charlie love something I’ve made them! So here is a little look at the unicorn and mermaid flower girl dresses.

For the actual wedding ceremony we all wore petticoats. The girls had poofy white versions and I added tie on gold glitter tulle overskirts. Hilariously Charlie’s petticoat was stiffer than Lu’s and Charlie’s petticoat actually stuck straight out when the over skirt wasn’t in place. Both girls had a marvelous time dancing and spinning and admiring the fluff.

Charlie is especially taken with twirly dresses right now. Everything must be pink and she declares “Mommy, I feel pretty!”. It is very sweet even if it makes dressing her each morning slightly more challenging. Lu was also a fan of dresses at 2 years old, but wasn’t quite so picky about sparkles and tulle and twirl factor.

Both girls’ dresses were made with Oliver + S’s Fairy Tale Dress pattern only with a circle skirt instead of a gathered skirt. It’s a pattern I’ve used with success twice before and suited the event perfectly. The only negative comment about the pattern is the sleeves are fiddly. Where the tulip sleeves overlap there is 4 layers of fabric in the sleeves plus gathers and that is a lot of fabric to fit into a size 18 month armscye.

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I used quilting cotton from Sarah Jane for both dresses. My sister prefers gold over silver and the Magic line of fabrics all have shiny gold over parts of the design. I picked the prints and colors based on what was available at the time. Buying fabric in the middle of Easter dress season was a big mistake. I should have thought ahead more, but I was stuck without an idea until too close to the wedding date. Oh well! It worked out.

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And as I mentioned, the girls love these dresses and wear them really frequently. In fact Lu wore hers to camp and was the fanciest kid in the group. I’m just glad to see the dresses worn and loved. I really try not to make anything too precious for everyday wear.

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I think it would would shock some to see kids go straight from church to chocolate shake, but I can’t be fussed to make good clothes and play clothes when Lu is growing so tall and Charlie wants to be just like her big sister.  Plus starting this fall they’ll both be in uniforms and I want their mom made pretties to get worn before they are too small.

Goodbye 2016!

2016 has come and gone. Last night we had storms passing through, but today has arrived cool, clear, and with a beautiful bright blue sky. Like many others 2016 was not my favorite year. Beyond the political landscape, it was just an okay year for our little family. We got by fine, the kids grew and thrived, but it wasn’t an easy year. By the end of it I felt quite worn down by the routine but also by the instability.

There was a lot of good stuff coming out of our house as well. I spent a lot of time on my sewing skills. I now have a much loved skater-style dress I make and wear frequently. I also discovered I do better when I work off the Gertie block then the Cashmerette block (for wovens). I’m sure in the coming year I will buy more patterns, but I also hope to make my own block again. I have a lot of ideas of dresses I’d like to make, but I think making my own block would really help me spend less time fitting and more time designing.

I made some misses too. A few poor fabric choices and a few patterns that just didn’t work for my shape. And sometimes things turn out okay, but they fail to make it to the regular rotation. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a sewer who doesn’t have a few flops every year.

And then there are my sweet girls! Not as much sewing for them as with previous years. Mostly because Charlie can wear so many things I made for her sister and she’s stayed quite tiny. Partly because Lu finally grew enough that she can wear commercially produced school uniforms! I ordered a select number of skirts and dresses in August and Lu’s been set for school since. I am incredibly proud of their swimsuits and plan to make them new suits for next summer. So much fun and really simple.

What’s next? I still have some quilts to finish. One for my bed and the girls matching quilts for their room. We moved all the baby stuff out over the winter break and we’re contemplating bunk beds this summer, so I’d like to get those quilts done. Otherwise I’ll just keep looking for new inspiration. I organized my fabric stash a bit this week and remembered I have fabric to make the Sewaholic Pacific Leggings, my SIL bought me the Decades of Style Lara Dress pattern, and I have more wool jersey to make a skater style dress. Maybe I’ll get to those things, but if I don’t it is okay. I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes me!

Quilting Round Up Spring 2016

Lots of sewing going on around here lately, but most of it hasn’t been for me! I got a little backed up on my quilting obligations while I made Easter dresses and and recovered from the cold from hell.

First up I needed to work on my Super Awesome Fun Times quilting bee blocks. This is  Wanta Fanta. This was my first time paper piecing and it went fine, but I have to say it wasn’t my favorite thing to do ever. So much  paper waste! A few blocks was fine, but I can’t imagine picking bits of paper out of a whole quilt top.

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Next up was a cute Wonky Star in shades of pink. This was fun to make, though I realized I’m not any better at wonky quilting than I am coloring outside the lines.

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Lastly there is this mini block. I say mini because I was testing it for my friend and she accidentally wrote it for 1/4 the size she wanted. So you might see this one again in a bit when I re-make it at the full size.

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I also caught up on the Modern HST Sampler QAL only to fall majorly behind again. Oh well! At least I got the whole first quarter of blocks done in with both collections I’m working with.

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Lastly a non-quilt make. One of my co-workers had a baby girl this week so I made her a sweet Geranium Dress as a shower gift. Thank goodness someone had a baby girl! My boy fabric stash isn’t very big since I have two little girls and everyone I knew has had boys! I usually use this print to line Lu’s school uniforms, but something school themed seemed a perfect match for a co-worker gift. (I work at an arts school.)

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I wish I could figure out what line this fabric came from. There is absolutely no information on the selvedges, but the print is totally darling.

More is in the works so hopefully I’ll have a write up soon!

 

 

Easter 2016 – Part 2 – The Kids!

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Nothing says Easter like the blur of children as they run around excited by the thought of the Easter Bunny and candy and eggs and toys!

And getting them to both sit still and look at the camera? Hahahahaha Nope.

And gosh darn it, why is the best picture also the one with our neighbor’s trash cans in the background?

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But regardless Easter 2016 is behind us and frankly I’m glad of it. I got hit with a sinus infection of doom on top of having bruised my tailbone so I ended up skipping all the festivities and staying home while my husband took the girls to Easter dinner. Oh well.

The more important part is the girls looks so darned cute in their Easter dresses!

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Lu was so darling in her Lily Dress from Green Bee Patterns. I feel like this is the first time I made her more of a big girl dress instead of a baby design and it shows. Hello my long legged girl! She’s gotten so tall!

The pattern itself was some what annoying so I’ll do a separate post as a pattern review, but the end result was quite nice on her. I am very pleased.

Charlie is a girl on the move! She was just thrilled to sit at her grandparents house and eat cheese and crackers and hunt for Easter eggs.

For her dress I made McCalls 6913 and OMG I loved it so much. This is the 1 year old size and it was still quite large (Charlie is just now out growing 9 month clothing), but that means she should be able to wear it all summer. The pattern didn’t include a diaper cover, so I grabbed one from another baby pattern. Didn’t end up showing, but oh well!

The fabric from both dresses is from the Sommer collection by Sarah Jane and trimmed with some Free Spirit Voile in this bright melon color. I just loved the way these are Easter dresses, but the bunnies are a small fun little surprise so these can be worn all spring and summer.

And now onto some other sewing. I’m not really sure what to do next. I have fabric for a couple skirts and I have some quilting to do, but for right now I think I’m happy to knit and relax while I recover from being ill.

 

 

 

Kid Clothes – Fall Round Up

I’ve been making lots of little things for my girls this fall. They are so quick to make and so satisfying. Kids just don’t have the same level of fit concern that an adult has!

So Charlie first!

She has lots of hand me downs from her big sister and she’s teeny so some of the things I made last fall still fit. So I only made a few things for her this fall. Such as this cute little cardigan she modeled on her first birthday.

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This was part of a KAL on Raverly called the Child for All Seasons. The designers put out three patterns each quarter. One that is styled for girls, one styled for boys, and one accessory. This was the Fall girl sweater knit in two skeins of very poorly matched Madelinetosh merino dk in Truly, Madly, Deeply that had been sitting in my stash waiting for the right project. This is a great littler sweater that gets worn multiple times a week!

Next is my favorite thing I’ve knit all year, a baby dress I’ve named Rainbow Brite.

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Gah! This one just kills me with the cute. I love it so very much. The pattern is the Baby Bubble Tunic and this 6-12 month size should last Charlie all winter. The yarn is something really special. Neighborhood Fiber Co. made kits called Shades of the Rainbow to celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling that same sex marriages are legal! Woot! So I snatched a kit in studio dk . Along with some leftovers I purchased from a knitting friend I have enough to make Lu something too. So more rainbows to come!

And now Halloween costumes! One of the things I just feel a deep desire to do is make homemade costumes. This year we had a baby Madeline and Frozen’s Elsa.

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Charlie’s costume is a big 4 pattern. I can’t quite remember which one. I made it with some Robert Kaufman corduroy and essex with a little red ribbon tie. Super simple and this is most likely her Christmas dress too. Lu’s costume was way more involved. I started with the Geranium Dress and re-drafted the bodice so I could sew in the cape. The whole thing is built on kona cotton to give those cheap sparkle fabrics something to hold onto. I wasn’t sure it would work, but it totally did! This costume has been worn to school, and for a birthday party, and trick or treating, and around our house and it still looks perfect. Yes! Most importantly the picky preschooler loves it.

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And now for Lu this fall I’ve been working on making her plenty of school clothes. She wears uniforms so I bought a mess of navy and red fabric have been making things as a palate cleanser between other projects.

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First up is this Music Box Jumper from Oliver + S. This is how I learned I don’t need to go so overboard on upsizing. Lu is pretty petite just like her sister so cutting a 3 with 4 length turned out kind of crazy big. But she still wears and lives this jumper.

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Next is another Oliver + S pattern, this time the Music Class skirt. It’s cute and very functional, but I will admit it is not Lu’s first choice to wear.

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Last of the uniforms is this Flashback Skinny Tee turned dress! I actually made two of these at once because I figured something this soft and easy would be a hit. It is. I will definitely be making more of these those I want to pick up some fun fold over elastic to trim the necklines.

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What uniform would be complete without a sweater for those chilly fall mornings? So now Lu has a Peachick Eyes Cardigan knit with Madelinetosh Dandelion in the Vintage Bandana color way. Another item she wears all the time. Sadly with the time change our mornings are much much cooler so another warmer sweater is already in progress.

Whew! So made kid things completed this fall with more to come, but also so much love put into clothing my girls.

Why I Knit for My Kids

Knitting takes a lot of time. After work and taking care of my family there are not many hours left in my day, but I spend much of my free time making sweaters for me and my daughters.

I hear the argument for buying kids clothes. They grow so fast. The are too messy. Kids ruin wool. Acrylic is better.

But I don’t care. Seeing my girls wearing their knits is worth the time, the money, and the love I put into them.

Lu from December 2013

And Lu today August 2015

She said she was cold and put this on despite the fact that it is summer! Looks like she’ll get a third winter out of this one and I’m glad for it. One of my favorite things I’ve knit for her.

This is the Sunday Sweater by Ginny Sheller. A sweater I loved knitting and plan to make again. Yarn is Madelinetosh DK Twist in Heuchera. DK Twist is my favorite yarn base for kids clothes. Soft, bouncy, and washes really well for 100% wool.

An Instant Favorite

I’ll admit it. When I bought this fabric I bought it because I loved it. I had no idea Lu would latch onto it so firmly. I also had no idea she’d suddenly start asking to wear a skirt every day.

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But this is easily the item of clothing she requests most often. Easily.

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It’s a tad on the large side. Lu is hard to fit in that she is average height, but quite slim, so I made a size 2T with 3T length and cut the elastic to be 2 inches smaller than the pattern recommended. It’s still too big.

But that doesn’t stop Lu from picking it first every single time I do laundry. Sadly she wears uniforms Monday-Thursday, but come free dress Friday… only umbrellas will do.

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I am preschooler and I will wear what I want!

(I also wanted to say that I still cannot tell if the fabric is printed ever so slightly off grain or if I am just exhausted.)

Almost an Easter Sweater

Well, this was almost an Easter sweater if you think finishing something almost 3 weeks after the holiday counts. Ha!

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It would have looked so cute with her Easter dress, but instead Lu will have to settle for wearing her new sparkly pink sweater over her new school dress. I think she’ll survive.

I used Brooklyn Tweed’s pattern Petal. The first minute I saw the pattern it was begging to be knit. So feminine and delicate a pattern. Something my girly girl would love. Then on a wet and soggy day I went shopping at The Yarnover Truck and spotted Anzula Nebula in Petals. Kismet? Yes, I think so.

Unfortunately Petal is kind of a pain to knit. So much patterning. Patterning on every single row. Twisted stitches. Lace. Small gauge. Almost everything I dislike in knitting, but yet the finished sweater is nothing short of perfection. Totally worth the nearly two months worth of knitting.

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Her new dress is pretty cute too! I know you cannot see most of it in these pictures because Lu was too excited about her sweater to remove it, but trust me when I say it looks and fits nicely. There are (poor quality) pictures of the dress in this post. 

For the dress I used Oliver + S’s pattern Hopscotch (same pattern as the skirt I posted recently). It is fantastic. Really I have yet to find anything bad about Oliver + S patterns in general. They are nothing but professional quality with clear directions.

Fabric is nothing fancy. I only recently started sewing with knits, so this is some inexpensive cotton/poly blend interlock I bought at JoAnn’s. I bought 3 yards and even after making a skort, a dress, and a skirt there is still more than a yard left!

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Anyways, looking back I know realize I haven’t shared modeled photos of most of my Kids Clothes Week projects! Sorry about that! We’ve had a wee bit of drama at preschool and it has been a major distraction in my life, but hopefully I’ll have more brain space for writing very soon. I’ve been sewing up a storm as an outlet for the stress.

Kids Clothes Week: Day 7!

Ta-da! Last day! Here on the West Coast I suppose I still have 90 minutes, but I’m calling it done. Today I managed to fit in one last project. Another Geranium Dress for my younger daughter Charlie.

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My friend Erica gave me a completely random package of fabric. It turned out to be maybe several eighth yards of the Moda Grunge collection as far as I can tell from what I could read from the selvedges. And I had lots of small pieces of fabric left over from the dress I made from Cotton + Steel double gauze. The little slip of Moda fabric was exactly as much as I needed to cut out the bodice of the dress.

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It was also the perfect color match. I even had buttons to finish it off and a husband who took Charlie to run errands while Lu took a nap. I almost had it totally finished by the time he returned.

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And I love that it is lined with double gauze. Nothing but softness for my pretty little baby.

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So here is the full lineup of what I completed this week.

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And everything even has buttons.

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Happy Kids Clothes Week!

Kids Clothes Week: Day 5 and 6!

Okay so late night I was all set up to make a new school dress for my older daughter Lu. And there I am tucking her into bed and telling her I’m going to start a new dress for her when she starts talking about how she doesn’t like dresses and wants a skirt. Kids. She’s slowly becoming more interested in wearing skirts and that is difficult because I started putting her in dresses because I couldn’t find pants or skirts small enough to stay on her waist. Anyways, now she likes to wear skirts more only I have all these dress patterns ready to sew for her.

Last night I didn’t sew. I knit instead. At least I was knitting for Lu so I think it still counts for Kids Clothes Week. I was able to bind off the sweater and now is only needs ends woven, buttons sewn on, and a good bath.

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This is Petal from Brooklyn Tweed in Anzula Nebula. The color way is Petals so I figured the combination was meant to be.

Anyways today I decided that I’m the parent and I know Lu has to wear navy and red to school so I made the dress.

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This is from the same pattern as the umbrella skirt Olive + S’s Hopscotch. It is made with some awful poly blend interlock I bought at JoAnn’s. I hate this fabric. I still have half of what I bought left over.

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But it will make a serviceable school dress and that’s the point. Now what do I make tomorrow for the last dat of Kids Clothes Week? I’ve made more things for my older daughter, but she was also more in need of clothes. Should I sew the baby some love tomorrow?