Happy Friday + Drop Top!

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Happy Friday! Has it really been over four months since I posted something I made for myself?? Whoo-boy, it’s been a long time.

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Well, I’m bursting at the seams to tell you all about the Drop Top by Madeit Patterns today — I’ve already worn my Drop top multiple times and can’t wait to make more. In fact, I’ve made two versions already and they’ve been lifesavers for Thanksgiving dinner and a book event. It’s just the right blend of elevated casual with loads of comfort.

 

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The design evokes the patterns I’ve seen in the Japanese Drape Drape books. However, Olu and Anna have simplified the garment construction and I was able to make the top from about 1 1/2 yards of sweater knit fabric (60-inches wide). I cut the medium size, and made zero modifications.

droptop4Both sweater knits that I used (cannot for the life of me remember where I got them) are thin and super drapey, and this extremely technical term of “super drapey” is pretty important for this pattern, methinks.

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Due to my over-exposing in Photoshop, the lighter top looks like heather grey here, but in fact, it’s more of a taupe-y color with black specks. I love it.

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The darker charcoal version feels a little dressier — oops, sorry for that wrinkled hem. My ironing skillz have been underused these past few months. Whoa, I look tired. It’s been an intense year. Here I am, still exhausted in the lighter and slightly more preferred version (though I adore both):

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At first I was a little worried that the cascading folds would make me look lopsided or like an Asian dumpling, but I’m inclined to think that it’s quite flattering and it’s a fun detail that differentiates this top from all my other knit apparel. The best part is that this is a quick sew with very few pattern pieces. My kind of sewing. Verdict? Thumb’s up (K is making me laugh down there)!

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So! The ladies at Madeit Patterns are doing a special Friday giveaway and a 20% discount thru today (click on image to go to the shop). I have to confess I’m a little confused, but I think the second person who purchases the Drop pattern today receives the fabric?? I’m sure it’ll all work out…good luck!

 

 

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Petit a Petit Block Party: Tip Top

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Had it been entirely up to me, this Tip Top dress would have been sewn in a sophisticated indigo linen with perhaps some Sashiko stitching along the sleeve edges. Or, I might have just simply copied Celina’s version and made it out of buffalo checks. Those days when K was a pliable, acquiescing dress-up doll? GONE.

There are two things that ensure K will wear something I make:

  1. It’s made out of stretchy fabric
  2. It’s tight (sigh, this does not bode well for upcoming teenage years)

I figured one out of two would work, and I pulled out some knit fabric options that I hoped would light her up and she pointed to this black performance knit from here in a non-committal way. I chortled with satisfaction when “piping!” popped into my mind, thinking it would add a sportiness that would be in line with the intended use of the substrate.

tiptop2Oh my friends, she completely rejected it.

I think it’s such a cool and versatile dress, but she didn’t agree. “Only little girls wear that style, Mama,” she informed me.

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So what’s a Mama to do?

Make another one in a lacy stretch knit, of course. I figured that if a similar top from Target can capture her heart, surely a garment that her own flesh and blood has stitched into its likeness would be acceptable?

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I’m pleased to report that she wholly approves of this version. I shortened it, for starters, and also slimmed down the silhouette. As always, I did it all by feel and estimation, so I’m not exactly sure how much I modified the pattern. Because the lace knit was quite sheer, I lined it with an off-white stretch fabric for the bodice part only, leaving the sleeves to flutter in semi-transparency.

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The fact that she loves the lace version leads me to believe that it’s actually piping that turns her off because she despised this top that I made a few years ago too. Hmmm, I just noticed that there’s a piece of black thread on her tunic top. Oh well.

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The lace knit was from my stash as well, and I realized that it might be a good idea to use fabric from the sponsors. Imagine Gnats and Raspberry Creek Fabrics are the lovely sponsors for this epic block party going on in celebration of Petit a Petit patterns, and I am not one to pass up discounted fabric. K selected this fabric from Imagine Gnats (we seem to have snapped up all of it), and I was about to start on yet another Tip Top version, but then I heard a voice intoning, it would look so awesome as a tight dress with a turtle neck. The voice sounded exactly like my 10-year-old and was, in fact, her.

So I obliged (though I didn’t make it too tight).

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I chopped the bodice pattern pieces even more, and eyeballing the Linden sweatshirt sleeve pattern — incidentally, I’ve been a Linden making machine and will share them soon — I drafted my own raglan sleeve. Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

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“Love” is not a sufficient word to describe how K feels about this tunic/dress. She’s worn it multiple times already, which is the ultimate sign of approval. As you can see, the Tip Top pattern can be a great base for modification, and I had a lot of fun playing around with it.

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But really, the sewing project that steals the show is that pillow, don’t you think? K made it for me on a whim in between Tip Tops, and this was truly an undertaking filled with blood, sweat and tears. She wanted to do it solo, without any help from me. Yet, on several occasions I heard her defeatedly padding down the stairs and she whispered to me, “I think I might have to give up.” It was enough to melt the most hardened of souls, and I’m already a pushover sap.

Ultimately, I helped her finish up the heart applique and close up the pillow. She eagerly stuffed the heart section with polyfill and after the pillow was complete, we stared at it together in silence. “Does it…” she tentatively ventured, “…look like a boopie?” Indeed, the heart swelled in a distinctly bosomy curvature. We burst out laughing, and I hugged it. I love how hard she worked on it, I love how much thought she put into it, I love my boopie pillow.tiptop15 tiptop13

 

And yes, I love the Tip Top pattern too! And guess what? Celina is doing a pattern giveaway (ALL of them!!) and here’s the Rafflecoptor to enter:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s it for my contribution to the block party — check out all the wonderful participants!

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Nov. 1st – Sweetkm | Nov. 2nd – The Sara Project | Nov. 3rd – La Folie | Nov. 4th – Hello Holli | Nov. 5th – Chalk and Notch | Nov. 6th – Sewing Like Mad | Nov. 7th – Beatnik Kids | Nov. 8th – Stitched Together | Nov. 9th – Coffee and Thread | Nov. 10th – Made by Toya | Nov. 11th – Stahlarbeit | Nov. 12th – Lily en Woody | Nov. 13th – My Petite Sophie | Nov. 14th – Handmade Frenzy | Nov. 15th – Paisley Roots | Nov. 16th – While she was sleeping | Nov. 17th – My Cozy co | Nov. 18th – A Jennuine Life | Nov. 19th – Knee Socks and Goldilocks | Nov. 20th – Sanae Ishida | Nov. 21st – Little Cumquat | Nov. 22nd – Gaafmachine | Nov. 23rd – Craftstorming | Nov. 24th – Made by Sara | Nov. 25th – Buzzmills | Nov. 26th – Bartacks and Singletrack | Nov. 27th – Moineau & Petit Pois | Nov. 28th – Naii | Nov. 29th – Just Add Fabric | Nov. 30th – Mie Made Memories | Enjoyful Makes | Dec. 1st – Petit a Petit and Family

 

Happy Friday + Making Magazine

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Happy Friday! This image was shot by the amazingly talented Carrie Hoge of Madder Made and Making Magazine. Don’t you just love the neutral calmness of it all? Carrie and I are completely on the same page aesthetically, and when she asked if I would contribute to FAUNA, the second issue of Making… well, the answer was obvious. Just look at this stunning cover:

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I just received my copy of the magazine and it’s beautiful and charming and full of inspiring and accessible projects. Love it. FAUNA is now available in her shop and at selected locations!! Making the little tooth fairy pillow felt like a second chance since my attempt at a fox version for Sewing Happiness was a funny flop that I ended up loving enough to include in the book as a “dwox” (dog+wolf+fox hybrid).

I’m actually working on another post that’s coming up on Sunday, so I have to get back to that, but stay tuned. It was so so so lovely to dive into sewing and playing with fabric and experimenting. More soon!

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The block party continues
See you on Sunday!

Have a refreshing weekend, all!

Happy Friday + Grecian New Look 6297

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Happy Friday and today is the day to honor our veterans! What a week, right? I don’t talk politics in general and don’t plan on starting now, but I do want to acknowledge how heartened I was by the groundswell of positive solidarity that came out of the election results. I voted, of course, and I am a concerned citizen. Yet, at the end of the day, I feel very strongly that what we do as individuals on a daily basis matters far more than who we end up appointing as heads of states. We all have so much tremendous power within us to do good, I believe, and I’ll leave it at that. Besides, I know you’re just dying to find out about this New Look 6297 dress I made for K.

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It’s a dress that I wouldn’t have thought to sew, but it was the one K wanted pronto (remember the tween patterns I got from JoAnn’s a while back?). View C sports cut-out sleeves, an asymmetrical hem, and a gathered waist. Those cut-out sleeves were constructed by overlapping two pieces, and was much easier than I expected. I cut out a size 10 and the fit is pretty much perfect. The waist could have been lowered a teensy bit, but it doesn’t seem to bother her much.

nl6297-icyblue5The fabric is a slinky, icy blue stretch fabric of unidentifiable origin from my stash. It has a slight sheen to it and is super thin — not what I’d call easy to work with — but I can’t even begin to describe how much K loves this dress.

nl6297-icyblue11 nl6297-icyblue14She decided to wrap the waist tie around her left leg for the Greek Goddess effect and had loads of fun glamming it up with a feather in her hair and turquoise jewelry. Digging through my scarf collection, she found one that made her sway and swirl to imaginary music:

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With a more cooperative fabric, this would have been an effortless dress to make. Though I wish my seams hadn’t gotten so puckered, the obvious joy she’s deriving from the dress allows me to shrug my shoulders and laugh at my need for better results.

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She was so eager to wear the dress, she wouldn’t even let me finish the hem so it’s just raw. Already, she’s worn it twice, and it’s only been four days since I made it.

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Steadily but surely, I am relinquishing my tendency to sew only what I find aesthetically pleasing for her. We have vastly differing tastes, and that’s OK. I love that she’s her own person with her own opinions and I don’t want to ever discourage her from expressing herself. It’s very much the same process I underwent when K started assembling her own outfits. My way is not the only way.

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I thought it was hilarious that she insisted on wearing the dress even though she had gym that day. So she wore exercise-appropriate shorts and a tee that totally showed through the dress and popped on a pair of sneakers to school. I wish I’d gotten a photo, it was awesome. Ah well, at least I have about a million of these ethereal shots of her dancing about. It was a good sewing week.

Alright my friends, it’s time to call it quits for now. I hope you have a spectacular weekend, and I leave you with this poem that K wrote for me. She’s currently composing a song to go with the words. I’m one lucky mama.

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Happy Friday + Power to the Unicorn

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Happy Friday! Hello everyone, K here! Every year there’s a Halloween party at my school. Everyone dresses up in their Halloween costumes and comes for food and games (the fifth graders make a haunted house too). This year my mom made me an awesome unicorn costume with a rainbow mane and horn. I can’t wait for next year!!!

Haiku by K

Rainbow horns and mane!
Power to the unicorn…
Happy halloween!

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Well, that’s a hard act to follow, but I thought you might want a few more details about the costume?

2016-halloween-unicorn2I am dubbing this the world’s most expensive unicorn costume.

Back in late September, I was cruising through Fred Meyer (similar to Target here in the Pacific Northwest) and saw a costume that looked strikingly like the one you see above. For $14.99, I was ready to insert my debit card into the nearest reader and call it a day.

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However. My child was oddly insistent that I make her a costume because it’s a “tradition.”  Not one to pass up a tradition, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

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Goodwill was the surprising source for the horn and the wigs that became the mane and tail. They were actually new and were probably slightly less expensive than buying them elsewhere, but one wig alone cost the same as the entire costume at Fred Meyer.

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A hooded onesie was what I needed to make, and I rooted around my existing pattern stash to see what I could hack together. I remembered the puffy jacket I’d made earlier in the year from Puperita’s Tiger Hoodie pattern and knew that would be a good starting point. I decided to frankenstein the hoodie pattern with a self-drafted pant pattern based on one of her pajama bottoms. Here’s the first prototype which we call her Kermit onesie:

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The fit was pretty good though she wanted the inseam to be raised a bit which was an easy fix. Then there was the issue of ears. A few years ago I went on a hat-making bender and what made them an instant hit were the bear ears. I made K a version here. The pattern was from the Oliver + S Little Things to Sew book, and with a little futzing about, I was able to replace the Tiger Hoodie hood with a modified version of the bear hat. Voila, the Miss Piggy vest:

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It’s possible that K loves the Kermit onesie and the Miss Piggy vest more than the unicorn costume, but that’s neither here nor there.

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I felt that bling was important for a unicorn. My mom had brought me an insane gold lamé flouncy dress a while ago, and I kept it in the bin with other fabrics fit for costume-making. It came in handy for the ears and “hooves” though they didn’t hold up well at all. You can already see the gold filaments sproinging in that image above. K wore the costume twice: the first time for the school Monster Mash and the second time on Halloween proper, but by Halloween the hooves were a disgrace.

I bought 4 yards of white fleece just in case I made a mistake and couldn’t believe it when I used up almost the entire yardage just for one version. K must be taking steroids! Thank goodness that I didn’t make any obvious errors. It’s a costume, after all, so I wasn’t too concerned about prettifying the raw edges and such.

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I sandwiched the tail wig between the back center pieces, and hand-stitched the mane onto the hood. I had a momentary loss of composure when I couldn’t find the hot glue gun for the horn, but there it was right where I put it under 19 tons of fabric.

Do I wish I’d gone the store-bought route instead? Hmmmmm…I would have saved a lot of $$ and time, but the look on K’s face when she saw the completed costume was priceless. She got so many compliments that she was positively luminescent and I have to admit, she looked pretty darn magical. Oh well, I better start saving up for next year’s costume…

2016-halloween-unicorn3Have a happy weekend, my friends! See you next week!