Monday, June 17, 2013

Sweet Pickins Fairy Tale Dress

My eldest turns 8 next week and for her birthday I decided to replace her Dotty Ombre Fairy Tale Dress.  She Loves -- and I mean loves with a capital "L" -- that dress.  Wears it to all sorts of places that don't really call for a party dress -- to the ball park to watch me play softball (paired with her secret agent trench, which amused my teammates to no end!), to school where she hangs upside down on the monkey bars every chance she gets, to the grocery store, to play in the back yard.  You get the picture.

I still love the dress, too, but it makes me cringe to see it on her -- it is a size 6 and was definitely getting too small -- hard to do up and bunching around the armpits.   This one is a size 7 with added length in the bodice and skirt.  It's similar enough to the other that I hope she'll be happy to retire it :).

Changes I made: I didn't use the pattern pieces for the skirt -- just cut the width of fabric by the length I wanted, eliminating the side seams.  I left off the collar and the sleeves (obviously!) and dropped the neckline by about an inch. I had tonnes of bias tape left over from the previous dress so used it for piping around the arms, neck and waist.  I struggled with the armholes and was really wishing that I'd made my life easier by finishing them with bias tape as the pattern specifies.  I had to hand stitch the lining in place because I couldn't figure out how else to do it and trying to get it all smooth and in the right place was a complete nightmare.

The fabric is Sweet Pickins Stitched Circles in Aloe ordered ages ago from  I lined it with a super lightweight cotton voile from fabricland.  I included the tulle because I think the pouffy skirt is part of the appeal.

I'm excited to give it to her because she has no idea idea I'm making it.  I hope she'll be happy.

Fabrics: sweet pickins $8.97, cotton voile lining $8.93, tulle $0.86, yellow bias tape $1.95
Notions: invisible zip $3.55
Pattern: used before (cost per use 5.36)

Total: $24.26

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sidekick Tote

I made a purse for my mom for her birthday waaay back in 2010 and on her last visit, she said the clasp finally gave out.  She never asks me for anything so my plan is to replace it for her.  While I like the Pheobe Bag, I wanted to try something different and the Sidekick Tote with the recessed zipper and outside pocket seemed like a good option.  And since I need a new bag, too, I thought I would test drive the large size :).

I used a medium-ish weight twill I bought at Dressew in Vancouver.  If I'm shopping for RTW, I rarely buy patterned things so I'm learning to tone it down for things I make for myself.  There are so many gorgeous printed fabrics out there but if I'm not comfortable wearing/carrying something, it's not worth it!  The stripes going different directions are enough pattern for me :)

Speaking of patterned fabrics, one thing I will do differently next time is use the exterior fabric for the lining above the zipper.   Love, love, love the recessed zip but didn't think about the fact that the lining would be visible above it (duh!).

The pattern is great.  The only part I was a bit confused about was when it came to keeping the zipper end free when stitching up the lining.  I had sewed the zipper right to the end so how do you not catch it in the lining??  I just unpicked it a bit and was good to go but next time I'm going to have to follow the zipper insertion instructions a more carefully.

The only change I made was to add an interior pocket for my water bottle.  I carry water everywhere with me and I hate when the bottle ends up in the bottom of my bag (and then my bag drips all over my legs as I'm walking around, lol!).

The other thing I did which wasn't really on purpose was leaving off the adjustable part of the straps.  I could only find D-rings locally (not what was recommended in the pattern) and then couldn't figure out how to make them work.  And didn't have the patience to look it up.  So I just used the long strap and I'll have to see how it works.

I'm excited about having a bag (that's not a reusable grocery bag!) that I can carry my wallet, my water, my kobo and whatever else in.  It even fits my DSLR so my next project should be a padded caddy so I can use it as a camera bag . . . .

The details:
Fabric: 1/2 metre twill from Dressew $1.95, 1/2 yard cotton for the lining approx. $2.50
Pattern: Noodlehead Sidekick Tote $8.49
Notions: zipper $1.25
Total: $14.19

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

IKEA Birds Roller Skate Dress

When I finished the ladybug roller skate dress (that K. loves so much!), I asked J. to pick fabric for one for herself.  She was strangely hesitant, though, and I finally got out of her that she wasn't sure about the elastic empire waist. She needs a couple new outfits so I said I would make the dress and then we could figure out where to put the elastic so that she would be comfortable.  Turns out she was serious and wouldn't let me put it in at all!!  I gotta get a picture of her in it because I can't quite decide if it's more cute 60s swing dress or unflattering mu-mu (sp??).  Doesn't really matter, though, as long as she's happy.

This is such a quick sew!  I cut and sewed the entire thing in a couple of hours one evening (and I'm not quick at either cutting or sewing!).  I lengthened the dress by 3 inches and added a bartack to the bottom of the back opening but otherwise didn't make any changes.

The details:
Fabric: IKEA birds $3.39, cotton voile for the lining from fabricland $5.95
Pattern: Oliver and S Roller Skate $0 (cost per use $5.66)
Button: stash

Total: $9.34