We are already into November and the Halloween frenzy has passed so I’m going to do a quick document, since interest at this point might be a little low. We had a great Halloween with a couple opportunities for the kids to dress up in their costumes. They picked such fun ones that I decided to go all in and actually sew a bit from patterns. Behold Luke, Minnie, and Annie!
My son loves all things Legos and Star Wars currently so Luke Skywalker was his choice. Using an adult WalMart sweatshirt I just cut and hemmed it into the shape we needed and from felt and velcro I sewed the belt and bootcovers. This post here was the most helpful on that process. I hot glued lots of strips around the covers to get the details Luke’s had in our inspiration picture. I used the same process for Minnie’s yellow shoe covers. This idea is so brilliant because incorrect shoes so often ruin the costume’s look, but who wants to spend that kind of money for a possible one-time use?
The dress for both girls’ costumes was Simplicity 2989. I came across that suggestion through Google leading me to someone’s Annie dress creation on Burdastyle. It was perfect for both costumes and my youngest likes the swingy skirt so much I know if I sew from this pattern again “for real” she’ll wear it a ton, because the Minnie costume gets put on at some point most days. She’s wearing it as I type, actually. So that’s a pattern recommendation. Pattern sizing was slightly big but not too bad. I think each wore one size down. Both dresses have slight modifications, but the Annie dress more so. I added a waistband inset and changed the curved peter pan collar to more of a point, although it looks pretty curved in these shots. Since these pictures were taken I did add the white bands to Annie’s sleeves, as well, before Halloween night.
Minnie’s bloomers were sewn from SnazzieDrawers Lucia Bella Pantaloons, a pattern I already owned but had not yet used. I struck out trying to find Mickey ears around town so I ended up having to make my own. I followed this mom’s tutorial more or less with supplies I had on hand at home. I had to order Annie’s wig and it arrived just in time for the carnival. We also needed a heart locket, so my mom brought over some junk jewelry and harvested a filigree heart off an old earring and worked it with a jump ring onto a chain. Thanks mom! She helped me get this all done in one day by helping with pattern tracing and cutting while I worked away on the sewing machine. And as every crafty parents eventually discovers, you put all this work into costumes and details and by the end of a fun carnival the layers have been stripped away amid all the fun. Evidence:
I’ve been sewing! It always feels so good to be working on and finishing fun things. Here is my most recent make, an (almost) neon yellow Peggy skirt from Blue Ginger Doll.
I am in love with this pattern and, as usual, keep visualizing many different versions. It is so stylish and comfortable, in my opinion. Before I gush more about the pattern, I’ll back up and explain my color choice. This was my outfit for family photos this year. I love to have fun and play with a good color story for our photos. Last year was a mix of neutrals with mint green. This year I wanted something rich yet playful. I stopped by one of the color palette websites I like and found this one at ColourLovers called Come What Mei:
Already having the shirt in my wardrobe, I set about finding things we had in our closets and sewing what was left. Which turned out to be a skirt for me to give that pop of yellow and a shirt for my son. The girls had pretty Tea Collection dresses already, so I decided to go with that instead of stressful sewing on a deadline like last year. When this skirt was first released I almost dismissed it right away. Despite being so cute, it looked like a copy of the Colette Patterns Ginger skirt, which I already own. But after looking a little closer I really liked some of the different details and went for it. So glad I did! I definitely love the waistband options (which were what largely felt familiar to me already), but what I really love is the front pleats and the gaping pocket detail.
Look at those darling pockets! My only wish is that they were deeper. There is plenty of room to store stuff, but I can’t really STUFF my hands way down like I like to do. I had my husband snap these real quick before we left our photo location. Once we get the professional shots I may post one to show our outfits altogether. So what are you waiting for? Pick yourself up a Peggy!
These are my favorite things I’ve sewn for my girls, although I do have a tendency to say that after each project. I think that may be a part of getting better with each garment sewn. Behold the Confetti Dresses, otherwise known as this year’s Easter dresses.
Remember in my last post, I stated how I like to charmingly coordinate them without the cheesy, matchy-matchy look? Well, it turns out little sisters like to match exactly. And when I found this fabric, I could only imagine the girls in the exact same dress. And I have to say, I love it, and I’m glad I did it this way. This is the cutest fabric I have found at JoAnn. I bought enough to make myself a yet-to-be-sewn pencil skirt! How’s that for matching!?
This is the Oliver and S School Photo Dress. I was heavily inspired by this mom’s version, so I went with the same idea of the contrast yoke and sleeve. This pattern has so many delicious details. Just read this description from the O&S website: This lined, above-the-knee-length, A-line dress features a hidden, on-seam, front kangaroo pocket and an invisible back zipper. View A has a stand-away, roll collar and 3/4-length cuffed sleeves. View B includes a ruffle collar and gathered, bias-bound, 3/4-length sleeves. Above, the girls are showing the pocket which is always a hit with little kids. I just adore the gathering and binding on the sleeves.
You can see the flower bow I made using pink felt and a Snazzie Drawers pattern (she just retired all of her pdf patterns, sadly). My older daughter was much less cooperative for pictures and wanted to wear her silly hat instead, but she had a bow, too. You can see the print quite well, here, and the ruffle collars which were a bit of a challenge to get to stand up. You can see the lining wanting to roll out. But to make up for it the invisible zippers are perfect! The heavier fabrics plus lining makes these dresses warm to wear so they haven’t been in them since April for Easter and a wedding…the most kid-friendly wedding ever. There was pizza, nachos, donut truck and bounce houses. My kids had the time of their lives and my husband and I actually got to socialize. We’ve since attended two weddings where we had to explain beforehand that bounce houses aren’t usual wedding activities. I look forward to seeing these in rotation again once it cools off.
I hope this post is better late than never. I had schemed a darling little photo shoot for these girls in their Valentine’s Day outfits, but March was full of sickness and birthdays in our house and I had to let it go. I’ll hold the idea for next year. I’m just not the type A style crafter mom…lots of great ideas, but not always the energy and time to do them all. I need my sleep and down time. Despite that, look at these cuties!
I was in the mood for some hot pink and red. And I love to coordinate my girls without exactly matching them. Here we have the Oliver and S 2+2 Blouse done in a knit. I’ve been wanting to try them in a knit to skip the whole button down back, and these turned out pretty good. I had some stretching out in the neck when adding the bias ties (this is my first time sewing knit fabric), and there was some tunneling when I hemmed with my double needle. The contast ties and patches are done in heart patterned fabric from the seasonal quilting section. This pattern is one of my favorites from O&S, and I’d love to make them some knit dresses from it this fall. For the rest of the look they are wearing Gymboree headbands, Gap pants, and shoes from Ross. The headbands were Valentine sale purchases and the rest we already had.
That day ended up being such a fun Valentine’s. My son had a great party at school that I was able to help with, you see my daughter above on her way to preschool with Valentine’s in hand, and my youngest and I went out to breakfast and surprised Daddy at work with homemade treats. She still talks about sneaking into Daddy’s office.
Take a look at my choir dress!
Two years ago, I had room in my life for some classical music again. I rejoined my local Master Chorale after a long break. Of course performing with a choir group requires a choir dress within a dress code such as floor length, elbow length (or longer) sleeves, and a modest neckline…in black. What’s a sewing girl to do? Does she spend a fortune on a lovely gown that will only be worn on occasion IF she can even find one that fits the required description? Last I looked, modest necklines and long sleeve gowns were not to be found. Does she run to the discount store and throw together a cheap black maxi skirt and black top? No and no! She sews herself something fabulous. And if you are THIS she, you make this your first adult sewing project EVER!! Yes, it was definitely a risk that payed off to use Project Runway lingo.
At the time that I was pondering what to do, New Look 6000 was having its day. And it struck me that I needed a dress with the party on the top, since that’s really all that is seen by the audience unless you’re in the front row. And I rarely am since I’m tall-ish. This pattern has so many great details from the waist up: assymetric waist pleating, sleeve cuffs, and a fabulous 60s-style collar.
I found a decent wool blend from JoAnn, and used a remnant of black velvet for the cuff and collar contrasts. Being that this was the first garment I sewed for myself, I measured myself and the pattern pieces several times to make sure before cutting. To lengthen the dress and avoid having to do any kind of slit or kick pleats, I overlayed a long A-line skirt pattern during the tracing process. My mom, who owns an antique/consignment store is always a great resource and she brought over several brooches for me to choose from, and from that choice I picked buttons for the cuffs with the right amount of sparkle to coordinate. She sings in the choir with me, too, by the way. Its a fun girls night out for us, with our choir friends. That may sound a little nerdy to some, I guess. I think I figured my cost on this dress was around $32!
I was so grateful this project turned out. It is fun to wear and adds something extra special for me at performances. My husband says it is always easy to find me right away because the dress is so different from what others are wearing and the way the pin catches the light. I’m thankful for my husband, too. Despite knowing nothing about music, he comes to all my performances in support of something I love so much!