Monday, April 29, 2013

KCW Spring 2013 - Days 6 & 7 - Sailboat Pants

Hooray hurrah! With my one extra cheat day, I managed to finished these super cute Sailboat Pants

Sailboat Pants 

Now I can understand everyone's addiction with this Oliver+S pattern. They are sooo unbelievably satisfying to sew! Easy, relatively quick and they come together so nicely.

Sailboat Pants - pink lining

The fabric is an Italian (cotton) denim with a wee bit of stretch I picked up at my local Fabricana (note to self: I used a stretch needle when sewing this as I found my universal needle was pulling the threads in the fabric too much). It's relatively thin/light-weight, so perfect for spring/summer. I wanted these to be versatile so I went with the dark denim blue, but I didn't want them to be boring so added fuschia top-stitching and bright green buttons. C picked out the buttons from my vintage button stash and I think they are perfect :) I also used some pink floral and striped cotton scrap fabric I picked up at the latest Our Social Fabric sale for the lining/facing.

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 I made these in a size 4 which fit lil c nicely. And although they are meant to be cropped pants, these are definitely on the short side but still super cute. Again, perfect for the warmer weather we'll hopefully be seeing soon.

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So c was NOT in the mood to model these pants this morning. I think she's been feeling rather 'put upon' with having to have modeled 3 other garments this week already. But luckily this afternoon, she granted me about 60 seconds to do a quick photoshoot :)

Sailboat pants

So I guess that's the end of Kid's Clothes Week. If you sewed along too, feel free to link up in the comments. I'd love to see what you made! And for more inspiration, head on over to the KCW blog for the round-ups. Such awesome stuff on there. And now.. back to some selfish sewing for me :)

melissa x

Saturday, April 27, 2013

KCW Spring 2013 - Day 6..

Hmm, well, umm.. so I didn't do anything at all for KCW yesterday (which was supposed to be my day 6 since I started early). Instead of sewing, I opted for going out for a much needed drink with a girlfriend after the kids went to bed. And I don't regret it one bit! :)

So, I guess it's a good thing I started KCW a day early so I have a back-up day to finish up my projects before it all ends. Fingers crossed for a productive evening..

(there is no reason for this picture other than to show you my pretty kitchen tulips and the super bright plastic animals I'm having fun hiding around the house right now. Can you spot the hippo too??)

melissa x

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

KCW Spring 2013 - Day 4 - boardwalk skirt

Whew! Finished this last night with only a mild bit of cussing. This is the Boardwalk Skirt by Go To Patterns. I purchased it when it was released as a pattern collection through Pattern Anthology.

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So, I have mixed feelings about this skirt. First off, the pattern itself is lovely and very well written. But I think I have to come to terms with the fact that I don't really like sewing gathers/ruffles. Especially when the fabric I use frays like nobody's business! Seriously! There were threads everywhere it was such a pain in the butt trying to find my bobbin threads to pull. But, I do love the end result and the full-ness of the skirt. And so does lil c :)

I made this skirt in a size 4T but probably should have lengthen it to a size 5 or 6 for my tall girl. I used a yarn dyed cotton (possibly linen blend..) that I picked up a while ago from my local Fabricland. The fabric for the under-layer (petticoat) is from a vintage sheet, and the lace is from a vintage stash my aunt recently handed off to me. Because I wanted to just use materials I had on hand, I ditched the eyelet and drawstring cord that was called for in the pattern, and just did a basic elastic waist (this is an option given in the pattern as well). And of course, I also used the lace from my stash as opposed to the crochet lace suggested in the pattern. I don't mind the look of the lace but would definitely use the crochet lace the next time I make this. Or I might even rip out this lace and sub in some crochet lace. Aside from the fact that I love all things crocheted, I think the regular lace looks a little too 'lingerie-y' and perhaps doesn't suit this style of skirt very well. So overall, aside from my choice of lace, I do like how this turned out and will definitely be making it again.

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melissa x

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

KCW Spring 2013 - Day 3 - boardwalk skirt in progress

I was pretty slow moving today and didn't get much actual sewing done. I had actually had the fabric cut out already, but spent a good while trying to decide on which lace to use for the detail. The pattern calls for crochet lace (which I love and think would look adorable) but I didn't have any on hand and really wanted to just use materials I had in my stash. My aunt recently gave me all the lace she had been hoarding over the last 30+ years so I found a piece that I think might work. Hoping to finish this up tonight.. 

Boardwalk Skirt - in progress

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KCW Spring 2013 - Day 2 - raglan tee

The theme of this week's challenge for me seems to be 'basics' and trying to fill my kids' closets with clothes they will actually wear on a regular basis. I've been meaning to make some basic tees for my son for a while now (since that's about all he's willing to wear). So this is what I whipped up for Day 2:

Fieldtrip Raglan 

This is the Field Trip Raglan Tee from Oliver + S. I made the cargos already and big C loves them, so I thought I'd try the tee as well. I cut out the size 5 but lengthened both the body and arms to a size 7 (for my tall but super skinny guy). I used a thrifted Old Navy tee for the main body and some organic cotton jersey(?) I picked up at an Our Social Fabric sale last year (off the bolt for $2 a meter!!!) I love the colour combo and think this will definitely brighten up C's wardrobe :) 

Again, a super quick project made even quicker by using the existing t-shirt hem in the main body of the shirt, and just doing a simple overlock finish for the sleeves. (geez, can you say lazyyy? :))

Fieldtrip Raglan 

big C was not up for modeling this tee this morning, but lil C was more than happy to do it. Actually, she was hoping to claim the tee for herself but settled for just wearing it at home while her brother was out. Now she's demanding I make one for her too.

Fieldtrip Raglan

melissa x

Monday, April 22, 2013

KCW Spring 2013 - Day 1 - twirl skirt

So I kinda cheated and started my KCW sewing yesterday. But hey, at least I'm being honest about cheating, right? ;) I had a couple hours to myself and was itching to begin. And here's what I started with

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This is the Twirl Skirt from lil blue boo which I also made for last year's KCWC (which has been in heavy wearing rotation throughout the year). It's just so simple to sew up and is perfect for upcycling knits and using up scraps. I'm not really sure why it's taken me a whole year to sew up another one.

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I made this in the size 3-4T and cut into some of my smaller thrifted t-shirts/tanks I had stashed away. I love the apple print fabric which was from a size S tank top (pretty much used up the whole tank for this skirt), and the super soft pinstripe knit is from an XS Joe t-shirt (with just enough leftover for a doll dress perhaps..). 

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And since this skirt only took about 20 mins to cut out and sew up, I spent the rest of my hour+ tracing the pattern pieces for my next couple of projects..

melissa x

Saturday, March 30, 2013

a bear-y cute geranium dress

Two blog posts in one day?? What's going on around here?!? Well, I had intended to space them out a bit but I was just too excited to show you c's new geranium dress which I just finished last night.

Geranium dress

Crazy cute, isn't it? I just love this pattern by Rae and wanted to sew one up right away. But life got in the way and now I feel like I'm late to the party. So I won't go into too much detail about the actual pattern and sewing process because there are literally a gazillion adorable Geranium Dresses and reviews out there for you to admire and read about. 

Geranium dress

Geranium dress

To make it short, this is a fabulous pattern and it was super easy to sew up. I chose the simple scoop neckline, with the pleated skirt and side seam pockets. I made the dress in a size 4 but lengthened it to a size 5 for my super tall almost-4-year-old. I think the fit is perfect! The only change I made with to top-stitch the bodice to the skirt since my top-stitching was much tidier looking than my 'stitch in the ditch' which was recommended in the instructions.

Geranium dress - bears

Geranium dress - bears with pink woodgrain lining

The fabric (which c picked out herself) is a lovely organic cotton from the Camp Modern collection of Birch Fabrics. I first saw this bear print used in a dress over here and thought it was adorable (actually the dress is pretty fabulous too and is high up on my to-make list). So maybe I subconsciously directed c to this fabric at our local fabric shop.. or perhaps it's just because she loves polar bears (she has about 4 polar bear stuffies). But regardless, I'm glad she picked this fabric because I think it's perfect for this dress. The lining is Joel Dewberry's Woodgrain that was in my stash. A touch of pink to offset the cooler grays and blues.

Geranium dress - vintage buttons

The dress is nice and roomy without being balloony and closes in the back with 3 buttons. I was excited to dig into my vintage button stash to pick out these sweet white buttons. LOVE!

Geranium dress

And that pink toque? C picked it out at a shop yesterday and pretty much hasn't taken it off her head except to change clothes and at bedtime, although she was convinced she wanted to wear it to sleep as well. I think she looks like Strawberry Shortcake when she wears it and it makes me smile :)

melissa x


I'm not much of a knitter, although my mom is pretty amazing at it so you'd think there should be some knitty genes in me.. But since I'm a bit of a fiber addict, all those gorgeous yarns tend to draw me in every now and then.


Now as my man very blatantly pointed out to me, I don't wear hats. (I'm usually fidgeting with, complaining about or criticizing whatever's on my head), but I really liked the simplicity of the style and the slouchy, relaxed fit. This was my kind of hat!

So I bought the pattern and yarn then proceeded to stash it away for over half a year. It wasn't until fate led me to this lady (blogger, sewist, knitter and hat maker extraordinaire) who nudged me with some friendly words of encouragement, that I decided to go forth and actually make this hat (thanks again Kate :)) And I just might wear this one!

For this version (and there will be many more!) I pretty much copied the colour scheme from Jenny's blog. I even got my East coast dwelling sister to bring over some of the elusive Brooklyn Tweeds yarn that was recommended but is pretty much impossible to find on this side of the continent. This 'test' version, however, was made with Louet Gems 100% merino wool (superwash) in pure white and pewter (two strands held together) which I purchased at my local yarn shop. I was actually expecting more of a speckled look but I guess however way I held my yarn, it turned out more patchy then speckley. I actually like how this looks and think it's kind of fun to look for 'pictures' in the pattern (I see the face of a small dog, perhaps a schnauzer, in the above picture :))


I pretty much followed the pattern without any changes except for leaving off the little loopy thing at the top which is actually really cute and I should add it later on. I just wanted to finish my hat in time for the windy ferry ride I was going on last week.  


So now, as the freezy cold weather and rain seem to have let up and spring has finally arrived on the West coast, I seem to be a wee bit addicted to knitting hats. And after seeing Kate's Jul, I promptly went out and bought that pattern and more yarn (super soft alpaca this time!) and cast on for another hat. 

melissa x

Thursday, March 14, 2013

dropcloth lucy dress

I just finished sewing up a few more 'flutter sleeve' Lucy Dresses and I have to say, I am sooo in love with this fabric! It's Jay McCarroll's Drop Cloth print from the Habitat collection. I've been hoarding this fabric for a while and I'm not sure if it's even available anymore. But seriously, isn't this the best print for an adventurous little girl?!? A modern, funky print that camouflages any spills or stains that might occur in a busy day's work :) 

I also made a couple more chevron print Lucy Dresses with the 'puff sleeves'. 

These dresses are on their way to Beansprouts, a very fun and fabulous kids' clothing shop on Main Street in Vancouver. I probably should mention that I recently started selling my dresses and skirts there, which is why my etsy shop is looking a little bare right now.. So if you're local and are in need of a sweet little dress to take your mind off this rather gloomy weather, head on over! (By the way, these layer really well over leggings or jeans and long sleeves.) And if you're not local and would like a dress, shoot me an email and we can work something out. 

melissa x

Sunday, March 3, 2013

sleeveless tova

This is my second time sewing the Wiksten Tova, the first, which I'm realizing now, I never actually blogged about (but if you want to check it out, it's over here). It's a fantastic pattern and overall, a pretty quick and simple project to sew up. I had finished this sleeveless version about a month ago, but didn't get around to taking pictures until a couple of weeks ago. And then, well, I got side-tracked and blah blah blah... So anyways, here it is.

Sleeveless tova 

I used an off-white, light-weight fabric I bought at a fill-a-bag event put on by Our Social Fabric (I had also meant to do a post about this not-for-profit organization whose goal is to keep fabrics out of landfills, but I never did get around to it. If you're interested, Tasia of Sewaholic did a great post about it over here.) I thought it was cotton at first, but it doesn't seem to wrinkle very much so I'm now thinking it's a blend of some sort (I haven't ventured into any burn-tests to figure that out though). Anyways, it cost next to nothing and has the subtle stripes throughout it so I thought it would make a sweet tunic top. Although I made this Tova in the dress length, the sheerness of the fabric pretty much limits me to wearing it as a tunic over leggings or skinnies and a tank, which is pretty much my daily 'uniform' anyways :)

Sleeveless tova 

The overall construction of this dress/tunic was very simple, especially having left off the sleeves which aren't all that difficult, but a bit finicky with the gathering and all. To finish the arm holes in this version, I  just used the bias binding technique from the Wikstan Tank pattern which worked perfectly well. The trickiest part of the body is the front yoke which, again, isn't all that difficult if you just sew slowly and carefully when working around the corners. 

Sleeveless tova 

I made this in the size large (same as my flannel Tova) and didn't do any adjustments to the pattern other than omitting the sleeves. I love how it fits and looks from the front, but am still having issues with the back which is looking pretty 'tenty' (I didn't manage to get a picture of the back yet but trust me, it's not very flattering). I'm thinking I need to add some darts or cinching or something. 

Sleeveless tova

Anyways, I've been wanting to learn more about tailoring and pattern alterations, so I decided to sign up for this pattern fitting course through Craftsy. (They lured me in with the 'we miss you' super promo deal so I actually also signed up for this 'pattern drafting from ready-to-wear' course which I'm pretty excited about!) I also took out this book from the library which I haven't had a chance to really read through yet, but has a nice section on adjusting patterns to your body type. If anyone knows of any other good books or resources for altering patterns or tailoring, please share! I have heard that this Palmer/Pletsch book is great, but I haven't gotten my hands on it yet. 

melissa x

Monday, February 25, 2013

field trip cargos

Hey, did you hear? It's Celebrate the Boy time again, hosted by Rae and Dana. Since I usually end up making dresses (and dresses and more dresses), I figured now would be a good time to start working on my poor boy's wardrobe. Another thing that's been bothering me lately, is that about 75% of my kid's 'basics' (being jeans, leggings, and tees) come from the Gap. After reading this book and all the reviews and commentary that's been floating around the web (herehere and here to name a few) I decided that this is the year I'm going to end my dependence on The Gap for basics and start making more myself. So this is what I've started with:

Field trip cargos

Field trip cargos

Field trip cargos

These are the Field Trip Cargo Pants by Oliver + S. And first off, what a freak'n awesome pattern this is! I made these up in the size 5 but lengthened the leg to the size 6 (for my tall and skinny 5 1/2 year old). I sewed these up over the weekend, a couple hours here and there with many internet and snack breaks in between.. So maybe 4-5 hours total not including sewing prep (tracing the pattern and cutting out the fabric). I'm so bad about keeping track of my sewing time and am easily distracted so projects usually take longer than they should. Anyways, even though I've only sewn up a couple of Oliver + S patterns and I have to say, the design and instructions are genius, well written and so very easy to follow. They include lots of fabulous details like knee darts, a faux fly, belt loops and snazzy top stitching. And I love the fit of these 'homemade pants' which, aside from my fabric choice (which I'll get into in a bit), don't really look 'homemade' at all (at least not to me..) 

So about the fabric.. I found this organic cotton twill at my local Fabricana and although it's supposed to be 'charcoal', it looks a bit more brown to me than gray (and sorry for the crappy pictures taken in seriously bad lighting). The weight and feel of the fabric is great. They are soft and comfortable, but they kind of 'shine'. I realized after making these that most store-bought cargo pants are probably made with a brushed twill/cotton so that they look more 'worn in'. These kinda look a little too 'new' if you know what I mean, so I'm going to try tossing them in the washer a dryer a few times to see if they will look a little more 'worn in'. 

Field trip cargos

Field trip cargos

Overall, I'm super happy with the look and fit of these cargos (and yes, C likes them too!) I'm going to try to make these again in a brushed twill or maybe even a denim without the cargo pockets so they are more like a simple pair of jeans. 

Next up will be a basic tee. Thinking of either the Flashback Skinny Tee or the Hipster Henley..

melissa x

Monday, February 18, 2013

nothing but goats

Alrighty.. it's mid February and I haven't posted anything since November. So, instead of a year end review, or a slew of new years resolutions, I'm giving you this: Two minutes of nothing but goats yelling like humans. Enjoy!

I'll be back with more sewing/crafting related posts soon!
(oh, and happy new year!)

melissa x