Lizzy House+Knits=<3

My love for Lizzy House knows no bounds. In addition to being an amazingly talented artist, she’s also just an incredible human being. Smart, kind, warm. The kind of person to whom you’re just instinctively drawn.

Seeing her at Quilt Market in Minneapolis this past May was a complete surprise and filled me with such joy. It was wonderful to hug on her and catch up — including chats about her newest fabric.

Lizzy and I have chatted about knit fabrics in the past and her desire to find just the right fabric substrate for her designs. I have been stalking following along on her Instagram as she has worked with sample yardage, sewing it up into some of the cutest, most comfortable dresses imaginable.

So when Andover Fabrics asked me which print I’d be interested in working with, I replied so fast, auto correct couldn’t keep up! There may have been dancing, too. But look at these fabrics and tell me they don’t make you happy:


hitparadecollage

The line is called “The Hit Parade,” and features 12 prints on 95 percent cotton/5 percent spandex jersey. The fabric is 58″/60″ wide and has just the right amount of stretch for all kinds of knit garments: dresses, tops, skirts, leggings.

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I was only able to get 7/8 of a yard of these stinkin’ cute kitties and it took me a little while to figure out the perfect project — with Miss L’s input, of course.

She really wanted a skater-style tank dress but I didn’t have enough fabric to comply, so I instead drafted a simple tank dress. I went a little big — not enough fabric for sleeves, so I wanted something she could still wear in the spring — and skipped hemming it to allow for a little more freedom once the weather changes. The arm and neck are finished with narrow bands of the same fabric, although fold-over elastic would have been a nice touch.

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I used my serger to make this dress but just as easily could have sewn it on a sewing machine. It’s only two pieces plus the three bands for finishing the arms and neckline, so it probably only took me about 30 minutes to cut and sew it.

She layered it over her tee shirt and added her favorite boots and I can totally see adding leggings or tights as the temps drop. It’ll be perfect in the spring with sandals. As will the other dresses she’s already asking me to make with the other prints she loves.

ModKid Sew-a-thon

There’s nothing like having your child go to her grandparents’ house to inspire you to sew. And, boy, did I take advantage of the free time. I’m still having a blast cranking out pieces from Patty’s new book, Sewing ModKid Style:

A bouquet of Bloom dressesA bouquet of Bloom dresses, some with coordinating leggings

Yoga shorts/pantsStretchy and fab Yoga Pants and Shorts

A few years ago I went on a knit-buying binge — and then never did anything with the fabric. Man, is it fun to “shop” in my own stash! I wish I could share info about all these fabrics. I believe the bird print and matching orange solid came from Joann. And I think the pink/white/green stripe is Chez Ami. The rest? Not a clue.
Bloom dresses

I’ve made the Bloom dress several different ways now: With self-binding neck and sleeves, stitched hem, lettuce hem and sleeves, fold-over elastic binding. Miss L is a big fan of the “ruffles” aka lettuce hem and will request it if I ask her opinion. I’m really digging the FOE and am thisclose to trying some stretch lace trims now that they are in stock at my LQS.

For reference, L is 44.4 pounds and 3’11.75″ tall and I’m making her the size 4 in width and size 6 length for both the dress and the leggings.

The yoga pants look like the perfect item to throw on over gymnastics leotards, so I had to make some of them, too. The aqua is a cotton/Lycra blend from SpandexWorld.com and I had plenty of fabric to make both the pants and shorts from it. For my first attempt, I cut the size 4 with the size 6 length. They are supposed to be snug but I think it’s a little too snug for my taste. I used my coverstitch (Janome CoverPro 900CP) for the hems.

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The third pair I made with a lighter weight knit that obviously has some spandex in it, although I’m not sure of the blend (I picked it up at a local fabric warehouse for $2/yd). These are a size 6 in width and a 10 in length and I think the sizing is spot on.

This one got some embroidery, a sweet lotus and butterfly design from Emblibrary.com, part of my commitment to using all the things in my arsenal. I also used the coverstitch on the hem of these but stitched it so the chain would be on the outside. Oh my! Love!

Suffice it to say, I’m loving the book and can’t wait to make more from it. I’ve already picked up some swimwear fabric and keep eyeing the rest of my knit stash, trying to decide what to use next.

ModKid Style

I love me some Patty Young. Not only is she talented, but she’s super sweet. And doesn’t hate me even after I wake her up at some ridiculously early hour by sending her text messages. (Still not too good with the time zone thing.)

I have been on pins and needles awaiting the release of her book, Sewing ModKid Style, and could not wait to crack it open and get sewing. It’s chock full of great information about sewing with knits and I devoured every word, then got to sewing.

Sewing ModKid Style

I’ve amassed quite a stash of knits so I pulled out some I knew Miss L would love and traced off the Leggings and Not-so-Plain Tee patterns. My little tiny is such a pea;I opted for a 5 in the tee, even though the size chart dictated a smaller size. The length was perfect but the width a bit roomy (should have stuck with the sizing guide!). I made the leggings in a 4 with the length of a 6, which yielded a perfect fit. This is pretty typical of my experience sewing for L (I use a 4 with the length of a 6 in my own patterns) so why I deviated on the shirt is beyond me.

I used my serger to add a lettuce hem to the sleeves, leggings and shirt bottom. The Wooly Nylon is a nice touch. On the neckline, I opted to use fold-over elastic (commonly referred to as FOE) because I’ve been itching to try it and have a bit in my stash. My friend Myrinda passed along some helpful tips and I only had to rip out the elastic once.

I’m eager to sew even more from the book and hope to knock out the Bloom Dress and another pair of leggings after dinner tonight. And I’m seriously thinking a cute ModKid swimsuit is in our future. Patty just makes it look so easy!

Cozy

You want this shawl. Really.

I’ve written about Indygo Junction patterns a time or two, so it’s probably no surprise that I’ve sewn another of the company’s patterns. This is my first time sewing one with knit fabric (the gorgeous stripe is from Michael Miller) and I’m thrilled with the results.

The pattern is the Simple Sleeved Shawl and the whole thing — tracing to hemming — took about 2 1/2 hours. The shawl is unlined, which is why I chose the striped knit, since it’s yarn dyed and looks the same on both sides. The shawl comes in two lengths; this is the longer of the two and sized M/L. I think most people could wear that size, actually. When I took it to the shop (it’s on display there as a sample), it fit everyone who tried it on, all of us different body shapes and sizes.

I opted for the long vs. short because I wanted to make sure it was right for me, proportionally. I think I might go just a little bit shorter the next time I make it (yes, I will make it again!) because I did not go as deep with the hem as the pattern instructed. The extra length gives you some play to pin the front to the opposite shoulder (see photo above right), or just to wrap it around yourself for a little extra huggability.

I’m so eager for the weather to turn cool enough to wear this shawl! (Hear that? Yes, I could be tired of our unseasonable warm weather *cough*12 degrees above normal*cough*) I can just see pairing it with jeans or maybe a cute cord skirt, tights and boots.

Like I said, you want this shawl.

Skirting the Issue

I’ve had the Amy Butler Barcelona Skirts pattern for about a year, yet have never made the first one. I did trace off the pattern, and I bought plenty of fabric for making a couple of them. I just found other things to sew first. Why? The zipper. I have an irrational fear of sewing zippers, for no other reason than the unknown.

Not anymore.

In the past week, I’ve sewn two skirts and one pair of shorts, all with invisible zippers. They’re not perfect but unlike previous zipper experiments, they are functional and wearable — and they don’t look half bad. In fact, they look pretty darned good!

This is actually the second of the two Barcelona skirts I sewed. I bought this fabric when I bought the pattern, brought it home and washed it, then promptly ignored it. And that’s a total shame, because I could have been wearing and enjoying it all this time.

I made this more or less as the pattern dictated. Instead of using sew-in interfacing for the waistband of the apron, though, I used flannel. While I like the feel, it’s a bit too heavy, especially when folded over.

I also had some issues with stitching the waistband closed. If you could see it close up, you’d understand what I’m talking about. I think part of the problem was the thickness of the waistband, courtesy of the flannel. The other part? Sewing too late again. Yes, it’s the bane of my existence. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes necessary and I guess I really need to learn to keep it together when the clock ticks past 9 p.m.

I did make a bit of bigger goof in sewing this skirt that had nothing to do with the time. I thought the first skirt I made was a little on the small side, so I added a half an inch to the middle of both the front and back sections, then used a smaller seam allowance. I now have a skirt that is too big. Guess I’ll be taking it in before I break it in.

This was my first attempt at the Barcelona skirt, using a pretty blue floral fabric from Joann’s. Boy, do I like this fabric! It’s very spring-y and sweet, but not in a cloying way. You know? I think I may even have paid full price for this fabric, I liked it that much. Glad I did, too, because it’s sold out around here.

The apron was sort of a last-minute project. I decided on Saturday to make Miss L a coordinating outfit for Easter, since we were going to church the next day for her big brother’s baptism. I thought the apron would help pull together our outfits. While I got her dress finished before I went to bed Saturday night, the apron was only about half done. Woke up early Sunday to finish it before church — and then managed to leave it on my bed when I walked out the door.

Brilliant.

I opted not to make this apron reversible, and also did not use any interfacing on the waistband. Because it’s not reversible, I did need to finish the back side and bottom edges. I think it’s one of my favorite aprons, and I actually wore the outfit at left all day Monday — even out and about. (By the way, the picture is actually a self portrait. I used my handy dandy tripod and the timer on my 30D.)

The dress on the left is Miss L’s Easter dress. It’s just a simple A-line dress, fully lined, with buttons at the shoulders. I think it’s going to be a great dress for spring and summer, very cool and fun and classic. The Easter bloopers actually continued Sunday morning. I didn’t realize I’d put the dress on backwards until after lunch. Guess I need to sew some tags on it!

My little “Stinkerbell” had fun posing today, especially the photo on the right. What a nut! Tomorrow is “green day” in her class and she needs to wear something green. I recently acquired this Tinkerbell knit fabric and knew it fit the bill. I’m not big on buying anything with characters on it but I made an exception for this one because Miss L loves Tinkerbell and I couldn’t resist. The pattern is Butterick, 3316 (I think). It’s no longer in print but definitely worth searching out. It has a curved bodice, which does make it a bit more interesting than just a basic swing dress. Fun to sew, pretty fast — except when I sewed one section wrong and had to re-cut two pieces to fix the goof. When the weather warms up, I’ll shorten the sleeves so it can be worn through the summer.

This Burda pattern is another I’ve had for a while, just waiting to get up the courage to sew something with a zipper. I hate that I missed out on a year of getting use out of it, because these pants are cute as can be. I made the bermuda length but there are two other lengths, so they can be worn year round

I love this fabric, a pretty embroidered twill with bumblebees on it. I found it at Joann’s, along with two other twills. One is pink with strawberries; the other is green with ladybugs on it. I was only going to buy the pink and blue but that little blond cutie insisted on the green ladybugs.

I’m planning to make tops to coordinate with all three pairs of shorts, but I figure I’ve got a little time since the weather is not quite warm enough for wearing them. (I can already tell that t-shirt isn’t going to make the cut for summer, cute as that pumpkin belly may be.)

I’m meeting my goal of sewing more for me this year, that’s for sure. Today, I broke in my new coverstitcher with the top on the left, Butterick B5185. I made it with short sleeves with a pretty teal knit I bought at … yes, same place. (Really, I do shop other places; it’s just how it worked with this sew-and-show.) I messed up while sewing it and had to rip out some stitches and fix it. It would help to read the directions before I start sewing.

A little love for the CP900: I never thought I’d own a coverstitcher. It just didn’t seem like a must have for me, and I was making do just fine with twin needling on my sewing machine. But then I learned about a great deal on a Janome CP900 and decided to splurge. So glad I did! It’s really amazing how great it does on coverstitching knits (and it should, since that’s what it’s supposed to do). In fact, my son was surprised to learn the shirt I was wearing was made by me and not store bought — and that made my ego just swell.

On the right is my new Favorite Things skirt, the Hip Skirts pleated skirt. I used a fabric I found at Hobby Lobby that’s one of my favorite colors (aqua). I like the skirt but did not cut the elastic small enough, so it’s a little roomy in the waist. It’s an easy enough problem to fix; I just haven’t done it yet.