Kid’s Clothes Week: Part Two

I barely managed to squeeze in two more finishes for Kid’s Clothes Week by Sunday night. I have another top almost done and another couple things cut out, so hopefully I can find time over the next few weeks to get those things done. Although I’m really itching to do some sewing for myself now!

Saturday I finished a skirt using the Paris Skirt tutorial found here. I had been interested in sewing a skirt for Clementine with a flat front and elastic in the back only, and when I found this tutorial the cute pleats at the hem were just an added bonus. I used Robert Kaufman chambray leftover from my latest Schoolhouse Tunic, so now Clemmie and I can match :-)

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The skirt ended up a little big, but better too big than too small. Hopefully it will fit her next summer still. We had the most beautiful, warm day on Sunday and we ran around outside in short sleeves most the day. It was a little strange to see Clementine outside with so much skin showing, ha ha! She is so cute with her chubby toddler legs.

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Late last night I finished up another top using a free pattern and tutorial, the Reversible Wrap Top. I love the reversible sleeves! The red fabric is vintage, from my mom’s stash. She gave me a huge piece of it when I started sewing a few years ago. I can’t remember what the inside is–something modern that has also been in my stash since I started sewing.

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I sewed the 2T/3T size because I was worried the 12-24 month would be too small, as Clementine has outgrown most of her store-bought tops in those sizes. It ended up being pretty big though, so we have a while before she’ll wear it. I tried to get a picture of her in it anyway but she wasn’t having it.

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All I got is this super sad face before she tried to rip it off. And she is so attached to her Lamby lately that I can’t even get a picture without him in it!

I am completely worn out from sewing four items (well, technically four and a half) this week. The gals who sew multiple entire outfits and lots of pieces during KCW completely blow my mind.

Kid’s Clothes Week: Part One

I didn’t make many plans for Kid’s Clothes Week. Clementine has a million clothes that were handed down from her cousins and she doesn’t need much of anything at this time. But sewing little kid clothes is so much fun! So while my machine was in the shop recently, I spent my sewing time cutting up fabric instead. I originally only had two pieces in mind and thought I’d take it easy this week, but I went a little crazy and cut up some free patterns that are in Clem’s size range right now. Unfortunately I just started a new part-time job (in addition to my current part-time job) so most naptimes and evenings are spent working, leaving a teeny-tiny amount of time for sewing. So far I’ve only managed to finish two pieces, but two more are partially finished and I’m hoping I can at least knock those out before the week is over.

Up first, a Toddler Swing Tank.

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095 edit 1I used a piece of Joel Dewberry Blockprint Blossom cotton that was in my stash. This free pattern is size 2T but fits my large, almost 13-month old pretty well. It was only in the 30s (Fahrenheit) earlier this week when I finished this, so it was nice to have extra room to fit a long-sleeve tee underneath. I finished the inside with French seams and added a cute, little wooden button to the back. I love wooden buttons so hard. My (extremely loose) interpretation of the Mini-Me theme for this piece: the fabric color is “Amber,” which also happens to be my name. Yeah, that’s really pushing it…

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Next, a knit t-shirt dress based off the Flashback Skinny Tee pattern.

033 edit 1I used Charley Harper’s Twig Fall print in knit. I adore Charley Harper’s art and have a couple pieces, along with some other paraphernalia, so my Mini-Me interpretation of this piece is basically that I have projected my love of C. H. onto my daughter, ha ha! I sewed up the 18-24 month size with short sleeves and used fold-over elastic to bind the neckhole. It turned out a little wonky but I think I got the hang of it and would like to try it again. I was planning on leaving the sleeves and bottom unfinished for a casual look, but this knit fabric is rather stiff and it didn’t roll up in the typical knit fashion. Maybe it would after a few more washes? Anyway, I didn’t like the look of it so I decided to hem them. I actually just got a walking foot and it made the hemming super easy. I’m so happy with this dress! I know it’s really basic, but it’s just so comfy and our style, and I can’t wait to experiment with more pieces like this. I’m getting more comfortable with knits and am in love.

177 edit 1Finally some nice weather here–this was about the first day this spring we could play outside without coats on! I wish I could get better pictures of Clementine, but this silly little monkey refuses to stand still.

Sown: Herbs + Springtime

Finally, it seems as though spring has begun to creep out from under the rock it’s been hiding under for months and months. Forever, basically. We don’t get an ton of sunny days where we live, so the sunny days we’ve had lately have felt like medicine for my soul. We’re out every day soaking up as much vitamin D as we can get.

We had high hopes for tilling in the garden this weekend and getting some cool-weather veggies planted, but a rainy night ruined those plans. Instead I’m keeping watch over some herbs I started indoors and trying to decide where to start a new perennial herb bed. I’d like it to be close to the house, but the house doesn’t get a lot of sunlight. I will continue to spend way too much time thinking about this.

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Photo from yesterday, with only oregano and chives sprouted. Today, lavender and cilantro are up as well.

Peeks in the garden have revealed that the garlic bulbs we planted last fall are sprouting, and the perennial rhubarb (planted long before we moved here just over a year ago) is erupting from the earth.

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Garlic leaves sprouting! This is our first time growing garlic; I am so excited.

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Rhubarb is a little ugly starting out, but turns out oh so wonderful. I can’t wait for strawberry rhubarb jam.

And around the old buildings where bulbs were planted long ago, we have a few blooming crocuses along with daffodils starting up.

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Crocuses and daffodils. The hens dust-bathe in the area behind this.

I hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods as well!

Next week is Kid’s Clothes Week! Clementine doesn’t need anything for the spring/summer but my sewing machine was just in the repair shop for a couple weeks so I spent that time “getting ahead”–cutting out pattern pieces and cutting up fabric. We’re all set with a few different items ready to be sewn for her. Of course I should have spent my time getting caught up at work, cleaning the house, etc., but what fun would that have been?

Sewn: Another Schoolhouse Tunic

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I swear, this thing took me forever to sew. I peeked back through previous blog posts and saw that on February 13 I mentioned that I had the fabric pieces cut out for this project…and I think at that point they had been cut for a week or two and were just sitting there, sad and lonely. And then I found myself with a few busy weeks where sewing got pushed to the very, very farthest back burner. But I persevered, and sewed for 5 minutes here and 2 minutes there. Seriously, I would pin in a sleeve one night before scooting off to bed, then sew it in the next night, then pin in the other sleeve another night, and so on. Sew on. Anyway, here are the details:

Pattern: Sew Liberated’s Schoolhouse Tunic (my first version is seen here)

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Chambray Union in Indigo

What I changed: In my first version, I accidentally sewed the box pleats backwards–even after I pinned them in and thought, Hmm, these look weird; I think they’d look better the other way. Totally my fault and not the fault of the pattern. I made sure to correct that in this version! I also made my seam allowances a smidge smaller in the bodice to try to give a little more ease in the fit, and I believe I added an inch or two to the length so it’s probably more of a dress length. Finally, I used binding on the wrists instead of just hemming them up like on my first version. They turned out a little crappy but only if you look closely! Later on I thought of a much better way I could have sewn the binding, so maybe I’ll try that another time.

What I liked: Because of the split in the bodice, I can nurse C in this. Of course, that falls more under the category of Necessities than Likes. Also, this pattern is pretty basic and straightforward and easy to fit, making it nice for a clothes-sewing newbie like myself. Plus it’s definitely my style.

What I didn’t like: Since I’ve started getting a little more experience with clothes-sewing and I’ve been avidly following lots of top-notch garment-sewing blogs, I have also become much more interested in what the insides of clothes look like, both for aesthetic appeal and for the added durability that proper seam finishing can add. This pattern doesn’t offer too much in the way of finishing seams. I didn’t worry about it much in my previous version when I used voile, but as I find the chambray more prone to fraying I tried to incorporate some more finishing (ironing the seam allowance under and stitching additional lines on either side of the hem on the skirt, and mainly just zig-zag stitching the seam allowance in the bodice. I wish I had thought ahead and cut out the pieces a little larger so I could have tried out French seams.

I recently discovered that there is a tutorial available for making this into a sleeveless summer dress (the School’s Out dress) so I’m going to have to give this at least one more go!

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Taking pictures of myself is pretty much the worst. Here I’m bending awkwardly to try to hide clutter in the background. Can’t hide that awesome faded blue carpet though!

More birthday bean bags

Last weekend we celebrated ANOTHER first birthday–Clementine’s good buddy M. She seemed to enjoy playing with Clem’s bean bags before, so I sewed up her own set, along with another drawstring bag. Good news–I’ve now used up almost all the old lentils in the pantry!

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A heart for Clementine’s room

This new little piece of art was intended to be a valentine for Clementine, but I ended up getting distracted and didn’t finish it until somewhere around the end of February. I finally got it hung in her room recently and tonight I remembered to snap a quick photo before she went to bed.

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I used up scraps for the patchwork heart and binding, and I filled the negative space with straight lines quilted close together. I found inspiration for this wall hanging from the following photo (which I unfortunately cannot find the source of):

heart for clem's room

The scraps for the piece came mostly from leftovers from a baby quilt that I made for Clementine, which in turn was based off this quilt found at Bijou Lovely:

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I have learned so, so much about quilting since I made this one!