Friday, October 4, 2013

More Little Things

Ellie is still in whirling dervish mode when the camera comes out, but I wanted to share a few more sewing things with you today even though I didn't get anything with her actually in the clothes.

I made two "wearable" muslins to test out a new-to-me waistband and also to see just how much ruffling I wanted before cutting into my real fabric. For the waistband, basically you cut it in two pieces- half the child's waist measurement on the front panel and half the measurement + about 3 inches on the back panel. The back panel has elastic sewn into it and that's where the stretch for the skirt comes from, but it allows the front panel to stay flat. I really like the look of this type of waistband.

On the first muslin I liked the waist band a lot, and it fits her perfectly right now, which means it may not last for long at the rate she's growing.

The second one is a fuller skirt, same waistband. At first gathering the fabric seemed really time consuming, but the effect is so nice it's worth the extra time.

And after trying a few different things, I cut the real material and made: 

It's amazing to me how just a little bit of ribbon and lace can change the whole look of a skirt. As I'm looking at sewing patterns and tutorials (and collecting them on a pinterest board) I'm learning to see the possibilities from the most basic of patterns.

I used the diaper cover pattern from the tutorial as usual. I've made several of these now and they are so easy to just sit down, cut out a bunch and stitch them up, particularly with a serger. Ellie has a stack and they're going to last her for quite awhile.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Yarn Along

{Wednesday Yarn Along with Ginny. Won't you join in?}

The sewing craziness around here is almost done. A few more little things to share in this space and to finish at the machine and then I'm done sewing for the season.

I started Ellie's little Stripey Cardigan back in June, and as I've had to make design decisions about it I kept putting it down in favor of things where I could just. keep. knitting. I found this fabric while hunting down other material and immediately thought of the little cardigan and how perfectly it matched! I grabbed both fabrics and plan a little dress out of each, and maybe a skirt too if I have enough left over.

I started back to work on the cardigan after finding that fabric. I just did a bit of decreasing at the bottom of that sleeve so it won't be quite so wide and then I'm going to put a few stripes at the bottom before finishing it up and moving on to the other sleeve. I did decide that I'm probably going to go back to the bottom of the body and try seed stitch instead of the 1x1 ribbing and see if I like that better for the finished edge. If not, I'll do the 1x1 ribbing again, but not so much of it. It's not looking delicate enough to me as it stands now.

I started reading Wuthering Heights on the kindle and I'm about 1/3 of the way through. I've never read it before, and it always takes my brain about a paragraph to reset to the writing style and more complex sentence structure. The boys and I are still listening to Farmer Boy together.

What are you reading and making this week?

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Little Dress

How was your weekend?

I spent much of the Saturday sewing and finished a lot of things to share with you. Sunday saw us at church and then off to Ender's last baseball game of the regular season (still waiting to see about tournament play), home for a bit of a rest then off to the park with friends. It was at the park that things turned crazy. Ellie started to fall off a step and I grabbed her arm really hard to keep her from falling- and ended up pulling her elbow out of place- nursemaid's elbow. Fortunately Brian's hospital was nearby. We had to go to the ER to have it re-set which was a fun experience for all of us. As Ezra put it, "I was about to cry too and I wasn't even hurt!"

She's totally fine now, but I still feel really guilty. The doctor assured me that it's a common injury in toddlers, and often because of something like this very incident.

Back to the making...

I finished a lot of projects this weekend. Far more than I thought I would, in fact, and I think I also worked out some of my psychological issues with cutting fabric. The grand total for the weekend is:

1 pajama set
1 pair of pajama pants

1 pajama set
1 pair of pajama pants

2 dresses
2 "wearable muslin" skirts
1 skirt
2 diaper covers

Now, the pajama sets for each of the boys were already mostly done- I just hems, cuffs and waistbands to put in. Also, Ellie's two dresses were at least half way also. The first just needed a hem and the second was up to doing the side seams (so about half way).

I'm still trying to get photos of the kids in everything that was finished over the weekend, but it's a work in progress. Ellie is currently in that "one big blur" stage whenever the camera comes out. She either acts totally silly and crazy because she's aware of the camera's presence, or she comes racing to come and look at the picture on the camera screen. So for today, here are one of the little dresses:

The fit is a little on the big side- I purposely made them a little big so that they will fit until spring- we'll just roll sleeves for a little while. One little roll up will do it. Right now they are dress length, and eventually they will be tunic top length. In the spring as long as the body is still fitting okay I'll turn the sleeves into short sleeves to extend the life of the top.

After this latest stretch of sewing I'm reminded why I identify as a knitter and not a sewist: sewing is not a terribly relaxing activity for me. I just don't enjoy the process of sewing the way I do with knitting. Cutting material is always so nerve racking for me, and I get frustrated more frequently if things don't go exactly as planned- partly, I think, because I'm not experienced enough to know what to do to fix things if they aren't working quite right. Thankfully I have my mom (expert sewist) close by to help when my machine won't behave and I can't figure out why. I know many creative folks who are just the opposite- and feel like knitting is repetitive and boring and that fabric is where their joy lies. I love that there are so many venues to pursue what we each really enjoy.

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