Summer Whites

It’s taken me a while to get around to sewing the Portabello Pixie Analise but I finally got to it this week and whipped up a sweet summery dress for Miss L.

I picked up the fabric from Joann’s after fondling it over the course of several trips to thte store. (Don’t act like you don’t do the same thing.) I bought it even though I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it, although I had an inkling that it would make a lovely dress. It’s a little tough to see here but the fabric is criss-crossing pintucks with criss-crossing pieces of white lace. (Here’s a close up.) Just a very sweet and feminine fabric.

I lucked out in buying yardage for this dress. Seriously. I had just enough to make it. Although I did use a plain white Egyptian cotton for the straps (also for the bodice lining). I just thought that would be more comfortable than the lace right against her skin. (See the back of the dress here.)

One thing I didn’t realize about the fabric until it was too late: the lace is polyester. Which meant my very hot iron melted it when I was pressing one piece. Fortunately, it was a very small area that’s pretty much hidden, but definitely something I paid attention to during the rest of the garment construction process.

I skipped adding a binding to the hem and just did a minimal turned hem for it. If I weren’t so lazy, I probably would have done a hem facing (and French seams) because the fabric really seems to call for more of an heirloom-sewing approach. But I really wanted to get it done so I took the easy way out.

The finished dress will be perfect to wear to her brother’s high school graduation in a couple of weeks, and then maybe for some other special days this summer (don’t ask me what; I have no clue). And maybe for her very late 4-year portraits …

Farbenmix & Fledge Fashion Show

As much fun as I’ve had with the red plaid Cardiff pants, I was itching to do a less conservative pair. I think I accomplished that with these pants.

Both fabrics are from Joann’s and part of the fall juvenile apparel line. They are a heavier weight cotton, more of a twill than a quilting cotton but not quite that heavy. They’re just the right weight, though, to hold those pleats nice and crisp.

I made these before my minor sewing meltdown, although they’re not without problems. I’d wanted them a little longer than the red plaid pair, so I added a squint to the seam allowances here and there. Silly me added the length in the wrong place! For some crazy reason, I added to the yoke/saddle, which makes the rise longer. I should have added to the upper pants leg where it meets the pleated leg panels (and probably a touch of length to those panels, too). *sigh* They’re still cute and they fit, even if I know they’re not quite right.

I’ve got quite a few ideas in mind for this pattern and can’t wait to make some more. I think I’ll even make a pair for one of my nieces, who’s a bit of a rock-and-roll princess.

I’ve had the Farbenmix Kim pants pattern forever but never got around to sewing it. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I have a ridiculous number of patterns and a “to sew” list that grows by the hour. Part of it may also had to do with the fact that I get twitchy about sewing pants with lots of parts. No particular reason why; I just do. And there are quite a few pieces to this pattern. Oh, but look how fabulous they are! The fabric is again from Joann’s (seriously, there is such cuteness there, I can’t stand it) and definitely a pants-appropriate weight. I don’t mind using quilting cotton for pants but I think it really is better to use a heavier weight fabric, especially for fall and winter.

These pants run slim, which is great for my girl. I do think I need to trim the rise just a touch. It’s a little full for my potty trained Miss L. But other than that, they’re awesome.

The shirt, on the other hand, is a mess and a half. It’s the Zoe raglan tee, also from Farbenmix, and I really should have trusted my instincts when I was working on it. I did lengthen the shirt about an inch and a half, which was the right decision. So why I didn’t cut the ribbing for the neckline differently is beyond me. (For the record, I sewed this top around the time when all of my sewing disasters were happening.) I followed the pattern instructions for the ribbing size and sewing, in spite of the fact that I *knew* the ribbing was too long for the neckline and that I always get better results serging the neckline in the round than in the flat. And that’s how I ended up with a strange funnel neck look to the shirt. Kind of makes you wonder why I didn’t rip it off, cut a new one and fix it, doesn’t it? I’ve got no answer. What I do know is that I’m going to remake the shirt before the weather changes so my daughter doesn’t have to wear that hot mess out of the house. (I think I’ll repurpose this one for a pair — or three — of the That Darn Kat panties. She can wear them under the pants.)

Sweetly Spooky

Did you ever come across a fabric and have such a gut reaction to it that you had to buy it, right then and there? That’s kind of how I felt when I stumbled upon these cute trick-or-treating bears at Joann’s. They’re not my style at all, and yet I could not resist them. Had to have ’em. Bought 1-1/2 yards, even though I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with them.

At the same time, I picked up that pretty embroidered black cotton. It’s kind of got a linen feel to it, even though it’s 100 percent cotton. I thought it would make great ruffled pants to go under whatever cute thing I made with the bears.

I think I was right.

It’s such an understated outfit but I just love how it turned out. The top is from one of my Japanese sewing books, Girly Style Wardrobe. It’s really a great basic wardrobe piece and I think I’ll make a few more, although next time I’ll add some seam allowance to the bodice. I didn’t on this one because it’s a 100cm and some 98cm are a little roomy on Miss L. This one is a perfect fit but I’d rather have a little growing room. Not as important for this set, since she’ll probably only wear it two or three times, but a must for other shirts.

Sorry for the lack of modeling shot but the aforementioned little missy is at school. Actually, she’s staying an extra hour today for lunch bunch, so I’m off to the sewing studio to work on some orders (now that I’m not afraid they’ll end up trashed by my bad sewing karma).

Don’t forget — I’m doing the Scrapapalooza drawing today. You’ve still got a little time to enter because I won’t do the drawing until after we get home from gymnastics this afternoon.

Lots of Heart

The fall sewing continues. I snuck this one in yesterday. It’s made with Katie‘s fabulous Round Neck Top Pattern. I followed her instructions for making a dress, although I added an inch to the length just because Honey and I like the Bits to wear slightly longer dresses.

I’d actually planned to use this fabric — two gorgeous babywale cord coordinates from Joann’s — for another outfit but once I had this idea in my head, I had to repurpose them.

Oh, am I glad I did! It’s such a fun, colorful dress, perfect for layering over a turtleneck or long-sleeved shirt once the weather turns cool. As it was, I had herĀ  pull on a pair of tights for our little photo shoot. Poor baby was sweating something fierce!

I drafted some pockets to add on the jumper because that girl is really into pockets these days. I think she needs a place to hide all the rocks “treasures” she insists on picking up.

If I can find the right fabric, I may make a tee and leggings to layer with this jumper. You know, because that’s exactly the kind of stuff I need to worry about when it’s 97 degrees outside.

If you’re interested, there’s one up in my Etsy, too.

Funky Pants

In between sewing some orders, I’ve been working on some fall clothes for the little miss (and my Etsy), as well as a little something for me.

It’s another pattern from my “someday” collection — those ones I bought to sew something for myself more than a year ago and never got around to it. These pants are Simplicity 4023, one of the company’s It’s So Easy line of patterns (it does appear to be out of print, however). No joke, either. I think they were done in an hour or so. Of course, they’re not quite done; I still need to hem them.

I used a linen blend from Joann‘s in one of my favorite colors, a dark teal. They are so incredibly comfortable! I want to make a complete buffet of wide-leg pants now, in every color under the rainbow. OK, maybe not every color. Black and navy for sure, though. I’m not sure how flattering they are. Even my oldest, who took this picture, said my legs looked “chunky” if I stood a certain way, even though he knows they are not. (Good save, kiddo!) I think I’ll have to wear them with a slim tee or tank to balance the volume on the bottom.

Is It Fall Yet?

It’s nearly 100 degrees outside this week and, like any sane person, I’m sewing fall clothing. What else am I supposed to do? Honestly, the little miss has more than enough for this summer; I may as well get a jump on next season, especially if I want to sew most of her wardrobe.

This little number is a pattern by Burda. (I’m too lazy to walk downstairs to retrieve the pattern envelope, and I’m not finding it on either the Burda site or If someone is really interested, comment me and I’ll dig it up.) It only goes up to a size 92 and I was a little worried that it would be too small. Nope. it’s probably closer to a 98. Yay!

The floral woven cotton is from Joann’s. I don’t recall ever seeing it before the day I picked it up off the clearance shelf and bought the last of what was on the bolt (pretty much everything you see here). I broke my own rule in buying it, since I had no idea what I was going to sew with it.

The raspberry baby wale corduroy was another bargain, bought toward the end of the winter at a fabric warehouse near my house. They have a rotating stock and you never know what you’ll find. Most of it is home dec but occasionally I find some great basics, like this cord. And for $1.99 a yard, there was no way I could pass it up.

Both the dress and jumper have zippered backs. I still need to do a little hand sewing on both to tack down facings and what not, but since she won’t be able to wear these until maybe November, I’ve got a little time.