Sunday, April 29, 2012

KCWC-Sewing School Edition

It's not procrastinating if you're accomplishing something else, is it? I resolved my indecision about the dresses by letting Lexi choose the contrast fabric-done! Then I decided how many extra details by how much fabric there is-check! I just cannot bring myself to cut out those big dress panels; it's too much commitment. I'll get there.

In the meantime I decided to make some skirts WITH the girls. Something I've been meaning to do for a while. I checked out Sewing School from the library and now it's on our to-buy list. The emphasis is on the kids doing as much of the work as possible: threading their needles, tying knots, the sewing and tying off at the end. I love how it's a totally freeing book; the stitches taught are running stitch and whipstitch, no complicated backstitch necessary. There's even a chapter on mending! Another freeing thing: the results. There are pictures of actual kids and their actual projects. They are not perfect but they are cute and functional anyway. Check out their blog.

One of the projects/patterns in the book is a basic skirt. It's an a-line with an elastic waistband-two skirt pieces to cut and then the seams, hem and casing. Pretty fast on a machine. Well, of course I had to change it up. The skirt is a little long and our fabric of choice was limited. I also hate sewing a casing for elastic (and threading it, getting the elastic the right length, sewing it...). I was pretty excited to discover Dana's circle skirt with exposed elastic waist (she has lots of other tutorials, too). I made two for the girls' Halloween costumes this past year.

I got even more excited when I discovered using knit fabric or even the neck of a turtleneck for a yoga band. That's what I ended up using on Millie's Lemon Meringue skirt.

So, I altered the pattern for My Very Own Skirt by making a hem facing pattern and shortened skirt pattern. I had some fabric for the main skirt from a yard sale and more fabric from a different yard sale. This was part of a pillow case-why hem a skirt if someone's already done the hemming for you? Millie traced the pattern and cut it out:

 She pinned it:

 Then we sewed together on my sewing machine :

It's not a very kid-friendly machine but, like other Singers you can put the foot pedal up and use a knee lever to run it. So Millie got to make it go and I helped guide the fabric through. I did the pressing myself. Millie's a pretty capable, independent kid but we were pretty agreed that making a mistake with an iron is too much. After the skirt was sewed together I did the yoga band myself. Mills was pretty tired and ready for a rest by then. She had worked hard! Her reward:

That night we went out to celebrate Teddy's birthday early. Pizza, Aquarium, Clumpies. Right after we got to the Aquarium Millie got a compliment on her skirt. She was proudly able to say, "I made it myself, today!" 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KCWC-take two

Success! Daytime is definitely better for me for projects. Better light, more energy, coffee, girls gone, what more could I want? Well, perhaps decisiveness! I have all the pattern printed and cut out correctly in both sizes. Now, do I want to add a contrast band at the hem? Widen the yoke? Add with to and gather the front? Add rickrack? And which fabric for the contrast: a yellow plaid, solid yellow, green check? There are some pretty cute options out there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'd rather be gardening

Mondays are pretty busy for me so I was not sure I would be doing anything for the Kid's Clothing Week Challenge. However, there's always going to be something else to do (part of the point of the challenge) so I buckled down and attempted to get something done. I decided to start with Oliver + S's Popover Sundress pattern. There are a few things I want to change and The Haley Dress tutorial will help with that. I was going to use that tutorial and not the popover pattern but I would have had to draft my own pattern.

The Popover is a free pattern in a pdf. I opted not to print the instructions-that's what laptops are for! I noted that the pattern needs to be printed in landscape at 100%, tested a sheet, then got to work. After cutting out all the pieces and taping them together (it prints on 8.5 x 11 paper) the last piece (actually, the first I printed) did not fit! This is when I realized two things: 1. After the test sheet the rest of the sheets did not print at the correct size and 2. I cut Millie's pattern in size 5, not 6! Definitely time for bed-and it was only 10:00! I tried to comfort myself with the fact it was just the paper and not the fabric-or worse, the whole dress! Checking the Oliver + S forums someone did just that; made a tiny dress. I went to bed with plans to try again in the morning while the girls would be gone.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kids Clothing Week Challenge

I'm restarting my blog through Blogger just in time for this year's Kids Clothing Week Challenge at Elsie Marley. I have no idea what I'm doing blogging (for instance, I'd love to have a picture to go with the link) but I'm hoping it will be fun. KCWC starts the 23rd and I hope to post as I go.