Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Simple Shark Dress

After the easy construction and amazing results of my first Isla Dress by Simple Life Pattern Co., I knew I had to try again, and soon.

While I was shopping for the fabric that ultimately became my nieces' kaleidoscope dresses, I brought my daughter with me to my LQS, and she made a find: a Jason Yenter shark print, from the Return to Atlantis line. Did I mention she likes sharks?

At the time I had no idea what I would do with it, so I only bought one yard. But, it turns out the Isla only needs one yard for the skirt if you choose the gathered option. Serendipity? Perhaps. My daughter certainly thinks so.

To make this dress, I chose the drop waist option, 3/4 sleeves, and a gathered skirt. Also, I did size up a bit (6) to give my daughter room to grow. I'm hoping this will be a fall staple, even though when I sewed it temperatures were in the triple digits.

As always, there was no resisting the heart cutout in the back, which my daughter was also impressed with.  Having now topstitched the heart both with regular stitched (Dress for a Darryl Fan) and with Stretch stitches (this one), I can honestly say I like the "regular" topstitching option better.

And of course I have saved the best for last (at least as far as my daughter is concerned)...this dress has pockets! They're included in the instructions, and although they did add to the time needed to make the dress, they were definitely worth it. Just look at the smile on that face!

It's my reward for a Pocket-y, Heart-y, Shark Dress well-sewed, and I will take it.  Linking up to Let's Bee Social and Linky Tuesday to share the joy.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Even MORE Mingoes

Or, More Mingoes the encore!

Among the new babies in my life is a little sister for the recipient of More Mingoes and the Octopus Dress. I had been so consumed with making my way through Walking Dead: the Ruffles Edition that I pretty much looked up from that completed project and said "What? My friend is due in a week?" and then immediately entered a panic of "but I haven't even *thought* about what to make for her baby!"

Fortunately for me, when the baby came 4 days later I didn't *have* to think. Immediately upon learning the newborn child was a girl (my friend had declined a gender reveal at the ultrasound), I was struck by inspiration; Older sis had a flamingo dress she loved, and whenever I fussycut something, I overbuy. Did I have enough scraps to make a second dress work?

The answer: definitely yes. It took some creative seaming in the back (and a dip into my OTHER half-yard of pink Moda Marbles), but I managed a second, six-month sized Tie Dye Diva Peasant Dress to match the first. Sisters in matching outfits!

It'll be a few months before little sis' dress fits (and hopefully, older sis can still get into hers by then), but as with Zombie Ruffles, one well-loved turn deserves another!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Resurrecting the Zombie Fabric

Once upon a time, I made a Zombie Peasant Dress for a friend's one-year-old. It was a huge success, and worn many, MANY times. Beleaguered, it showed back up at my doorstep a couple months ago, with a request that I "just let out the sleeves a little bit, and maybe she can use it as a shirt."

Well, the way the dress was constructed, I would have had to pretty much take the whole thing apart to re-do the sleeves, and honestly, the way their child (now a lively two-year-old) was growing I didn't think that was going to buy them much time. I didn't want to destroy the dress - just in case its owner ever gets a smaller sibling - but fortunately, I had some scraps left over from the first run.

Not enough for another Tie Dye Diva Peasant Dress, definitely, but... hmmm. With some creative seaming, I was able to make it work with the much-more-efficient Foo Foo Threads Easy Peasant Top pattern I used for A's third-birthday My Little Pony Shirt. The FFT pattern is constructed entirely from blocks, and also has the benefit of being more "forgiving" in size since it's got a ribbon sash, ginormous sleeves, and a gathered skirt-bottom. That's helpful for a growing child.

Here's how it turned out! It took some creative seaming in the back, and the skirt isn't *quite* as full as the pattern calls for due to lack of fabric, but overall, I am very pleased with the result. It's just as Zombie-tastic, and even more femininely fun than its predecessor! I was also able to incorporate the ONE design element I loved from the Pattern Which Gave Me Such Fits - the contrast bands around the arm elastic. I think they're a really nice touch.

If I had it to do again, I think I'd make those bands just a *little* bit wider (they're 1/2" on a size 5 top), but I actually didn't miss the extra fabric in the skirt portion at all; it's still plenty ruffle-ey, and the bow tie in the back hides my extra seam. You also can't argue with a pattern that is flexible enough to be a dress while the wearer is young, and then a top as she lengthens out. Really, it's a win all around.

And, the recipient loved it! Just for fun, here's the little one in her "original" Zombie Dress (Easy Peasant Dress by TDD) ....

... and her new one made using Foo Foo Threads Easy Peasant pattern. Fabric in both cases is Walking Dead by Alexander Henry, and then a basic Kona (or maybe Michael Miller) black.

It's good to see your sewing be so well loved.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dress for Darryl Fans (Walking Dead)

I am blessed with a family that keeps on growing, so given my time constraints, I have pretty much switched from quilts to clothing items for new-baby sewing projects. And my love affair with knits in general (and Knitorious in particular) continues.

This time the lucky recipient is a brand-new niece, on my husband's side. Her father and my husband are both consummate Zombie-lovers, so when he and his girlfriend announced that they were expecting, I knew I had to do something zombie-themed. My original Robert Kaufman Walking Dead print was running out, though, so I was very, very happy to luck into this:

Honestly, I may have retail-stalked a little bit at Knitorious to score it. 

Originally, I though I was going to make another hoodie (a la Chompers Hoodie) for a boy - the expectant mother "had a feeling." but I'm glad I didn't cut in, because the ultrasound revealed that the upcoming child was very much a girl. And here's where my tendency to overbuy served me well: 

Why make a boring, gender-neutral hoodie out of zombie fabric, when you can make a delightfully tongue-in-cheek, whimsical, and maybe just a little bit frilly Zombie dress for a girl? I mean seriously: try finding that in the store! It took a fair amount of searching for the exact right pattern (and my husband nixed some of the frillier things) but once we saw the Baby Islas Infinity Dress, from Simple Life Pattern Co, we were both in love. I think it was the heart cutout in the back that pushed us over the edge. Fortunately, the reviews checked out, and I bought the pattern off Etsy.

To make this particular dress I chose the "straight" waist, heart cutout on back, a full-on circle skirt, and 3/4 sleeves. I made it in size 6-12, but since part of my learning curve on this item was learning what a "stretch stitch" is - which I only learned after sewing half the neckline without one - it's probably more of a "newborn" or "3-6 month" garment in terms of head size. Ooops. 

Fortunately for me, other than that the dress came together incredibly well. It was a quick sew, the instructions were easy to follow, and thanks to the high-quality fabric the end result looks good, feels good, and moves nicely. I cannot wait to see it on my niece!

Monday, March 13, 2017

2016 Completions

Ah the joys of a busy mom! Two kids meant not a lot of time to sew this year, and a surprise bathroom remodel (thanks to hardwood floors and a leaky toilet) meant lots of watching the kids while my husband got all the project time.

Nonetheless, I did have two milestones this year - one, my first winging it on a terrible PDF pattern (I have nothing nice to say about the Pink Poodle Reese Dress Tutorial), and my second, working with knits! Both experiences turned out alright in the end, and I think I may be turning into a knits/clothing addict, at least until my kids are more self-sufficient on the weekend. 

No quilts this year, but here's the non-quilt roundup. 


More 'Mingoes (link)

Completed: February 2016
Fabric: Novelty Print, Moda Marbles
Pattern: Easy Peasant Dress by Tie-Dye Diva

More Zombie Fun (link)

Completed: February 2016
Fabric: Walking Dead by Alexander Henry
Pattern: Easy Peasant Dress by Tie-Dye Diva

Shark Shirt (link)

Completed: August 2016
Fabric: Smithsonian print by Robert Kaufman
Pattern: Semi-Freestyle after purchased pattern left lots of holes and ambiguities
For my own Daughter

Chompers Hoodie (link)

Completed: September 2016
Fabric: "Chompers" from Knitorious
Pattern: Dragon Hoodie by Puperita
My first Foray into working with Knits; given to my son

Quilts: 0
Other: 4

WiPs that made it from 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 to 2017 with progress but no completion: Christmas Traditions
WiPs without any progress in 2016Star Wars II

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kaleidescope Pretties

This past May, a new arrival graced my brother's family - he and his wife gave birth to their second baby girl! Their first daughter, V, turned two the month before, giving me a great opportunity to coordinate their gifts.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly is probably tired of hearing me tout the Tie Dye Diva Peasant Dress pattern, but... some things are cliches because they work. At my local quilt shop, I feel in love with this Lumina Metallic print by Robert Kaufman.

Obviously, this was just begging to be fussy-cut into two different dress designs for the girls. Big sis got the medallion, little sis got the "flower," and both had the (small) lilac octagon centered on the back. I paired it with a Moda Weave for the sleeves, and little sis also got a matching diaper cover (another TDD pattern), since her dress is in the 6-12 month size.

What can I say? I love how they turned out. The TDD pattern is an old friend I keep coming back to, but with the right fabric selection, the dresses still turn out unique. I went through 2.5 yards of fabric on these guys - and in the end I used up almost all of it - but it was totally worth it.

Because as always, this dress produced happy customers again! Here are my nieces in their brand new outfits: It's almost too much cuteness to bear!

UPDATE; SIL texted me to let me know that V wanted to sleep in her dress, and wore it for two days straight after receiving it. If that's not a win, I don't know what is!