Monday, February 23, 2015

Upcycled Peasant Dress

 I have now paid homage to the Raglan Sleeve Night Dress pattern from iKat bag 7 times. If you couldn't tell it's my current favorite. I am trying to squeeze every ounce out of this pattern before Hannah out grows the largest size (5). 
My number one reason for liking this pattern so much is that it is so easy and with very little modification it's versatile. I can whip one of these out in a half hour if I am making no changes. That's less time then it takes me to go to the store. 
Since I did a up-cycled dress for KCW I had my stash of old shirts out. I have been meaning to make something with this one since it hit the pile but it just kept getting pushed aside for other more pressing or inspiring projects.
I widened and lengthened the skirt a bit to maximize the shirt and give the dress some longevity for Hannah. The girl is growing like a weed.
I kept the sleeves short this time, one, because I didn't have the fabric and two, I am getting Hannah's wordrob warm weather ready.

I have thought about grading the pattern to a larger size when I have time (when ever that will be). I may just need to find a new favorite pattern.
I have several projects in the works and may not get anything else posted this week. I hope to share with you next week what I am working on.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dance Bag

This past summer my little Hannah started taking Tot Dance, It's too cute with all the little girls dressed in their pink leotards. As the weather has turned cold I have had more to lug around then just a pair of tiny dance shoe's. I felt like every time we went I we were taking up a ton of space with the coat, hat, scarf, mittens, shirt, pants, socks and outside shoes she had to strip off when we got there and no way to keep it all together. It's no surprise every week I hear some one asking if anyone noticed something they may have left behind. 
My solution to the problem a bag just for dance. It helps to keep her stuff together at class and helps to keep her shoe in one place when we are home. No more last minute searching. Hannah calls it her tutu bag. I think it is a pretty good description of this bag. I started making these bags for Halloween (see here) and had a friend request a larger non Halloween-y version be made for a Christmas gift to her Mom. I really wish I had taken pictures of that bag it was in earth tones and soft greens, so pretty. Since I did that I see all sorts of fabrics working great in this style. 
I have a bunch of these bags in a variety of colors that plan on putting together. If you are interested check back and I will have them posted to sell or send me an email if you would like to have one made custom.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Peasant Dress

I love a little peasant dress. They are so simple and easy to wear. I think I can even risk saying timeless, at least for kids. I have now made this style 6 times over the last year. 3 times with short sleeves posted here and now 3 with long sleeves (two posted here). This however, is the first time I have made it for something other than nightwear. The pattern is the free Raglan Sleeve Night Dress pattern from iKat bag. The version she has generously shared comes in two sizes, 3T and 5T, but are short sleeve only and does not include the ruffle you see here. 
I used a course grain shirting fabric that I have been hording in my stash for I don't know how long. I love this fabric mainly because of the color. The aqua blue matches Hannah's eyes almost perfectly. I have to apologize for how wrinkly this looks, I has been washed, worn and ironed several time before I could get pictures. Until you get these things in pictures you never really notice it. 

A good boot is critical to a woman's wardrobe. And little girls too too, don't you think? One of my kids favorite song is "Boots" by Laurie Berkner. So it is easy to convince Hannah to wear her super cute brown boots. They even have a cute bow to boot! (sorry for the pun ;)
Hannah didn't love this dress at first since it doesn't twirl but the boot's fixed that problem. I think the ruffle helped too.
Adding the ruffle and the length for a long sleeve is very simple. It's always a good idea to make a pattern to the specifications provide by the designer at lease once prior to attempting modification on your own. The first 3 times I did it pretty much as designed, except shorter for a night shirt instead of a night dress. So I had a good feel for how the sleeve worked before monkeying around with it. 
With this particular pattern it was easy to measure the length of Hannah's arm (neck to wrist) and add the length to the pattern by following the gradual tapering of the arm on the pattern to your desired length. The ruffle was even easier, I just cut two 3.5" strips the total width of the fabric (42" I think). Used a .5" hem (I serge the raw edges), ruffled with gathering stitches and used .5" seam allowance for a finished ruffle of 2.5" wide. Oh and I top stitched it too so the ruffle would stay down.
That makes me think of something. Now that I have been doing a good deal of clothes sewing I can't help but notice how often store bought clothes are missing things like top stitching. Now keep in mind I don't shop at super expensive stores which I am sure add that little something more to make them more expensive (at least that's why I hope they are so expensive.) It is things like adding top stitching to a ruffle or the lining of a shirt so that the garment appears right even after many washes. I am sure other sewist out there feel the same way. It's so frustrating to spend the money, even if it is a "good deal" when it is not put together right or uses low quality fabric. Sometimes I have to make a compromise which is usually when it comes to knits and jean's (oh and sweaters. I don't knit). Neither are my favorite to sew with and the fabric can be more expensive then buying ready made clothes. But when it comes to things I can and like to sew I try and make those myself.

Well I digress, I'm sorry for the rant. 

I'd love to get your opinion, I'm taking a little pole. Leave me a comment which do you prefer a peasant dress or pillowcase dress? You can like them both but which do you like better?

Thanks for stopping bu the nest!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Winter Pajama's

So winter in the Midwest is definitely here. It has not been as cold here as it was last year but my oldest son and daughter have the coldest rooms in the house. Half the time I check in on my daughter at night she has her covers completely kicked off. Even though she is sleeping soundly I can't help but what to cover her up and make sure she is warm. To combat some of my concerns with how cold they could be I set out to make them the warmest P.J.s I could. 
Hannah just woke-up, isn't she just a cutie!
I had a bunch of super soft flannels in my stash that was perfect for the task. I made two set's for Hannah. One in the pink on pink houndstooth pattern and the other a red medallion on pink. I made Samuel a couple PJ pants one in robots and another in rocket ships. (Sorry, I couldn't get him to cooperate for pictures.) I used the Taylor's Pajama Pants free pattern. I found that the pattern runs very large. I think of my kiddos as average size so I'm guessing this is the style. Personally, I don't love it. I preferred fitted but comfortable not overly baggy. So I ended up do a lot of alterations. 
For Hannah's, I used the same patterns I used for the summer PJ sets I posted here but this time I made full length pants and altered the pattern more for the top by lengthening the sleeve and adding a ruffle to the bottom. I loved how the summer jammies turned out but I think I love these even more. They just scream come snuggle me. 
And I don't worry if she is warm at night when she is wearing them. Now if I could just get her to keep her socks on!

Thanks for stopping buy the nest!

Monday, February 16, 2015

KCW Winter 2015 - Up-cycled Men's Shirt

This is the third and final item I completed for Kids Clothes Week. I know its winter but Hannah doesn't need anymore winter clothing so my current focus is to get a head start on warm weather clothing. 
This is little sundress is the free Popover Sundress pattern from Oliver+S. Honestly I have never been overly impressed when I have seen completed versions of this pattern (with a couple exceptions of remix versions). It's not because of how an individual has completed it but the pattern itself. I have always thought it is a bit boxy. Regardless, I still have had this pattern waiting in the wings to try myself.
The summary of how I chose this sewing project: KCW challenge: up cycle + I had the men's shirt to do over + I was running short on time = Popover Sundress.
This dress pattern is super simple and worked well for men's shirt make over. It is really basic and boxy just as suspected. This is not entirely horrible. Hannah will probably get a fair amount of playtime in this when the weather warms up.  Since I used a recycled shirt (no extra fabric) and I was short on time I used store bought double fold bias tape for the straps.
The fact that its so basic makes it a great pattern for newbies. I can see so many possibilities with this pattern. There are a good number of remixes of this dress out in blog-land. I have a few pin on my Pinterest boards. I particularly like this one and this one
Hannah thought it was really cool that she was wearing her Daddy's shirt. She liked the buttons and the bows on the shoulders but was a bit disappointed that it didn't twirl. I think the novelty of it being Daddy's shirt wins out over the lack of twirl though : )
I had hopes of doing something more than a simple sundress with a recycled shirt like a romper but time didn't allow for the pattern drafting. Maybe next time.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!

Friday, February 13, 2015

KCW Winter 2015 - T-Shirt Dresses

Kids Clothes Week has come and gone. I managed to complete three items this week. Two of which are t-shirt dresses. I am really surprise by the response I get when ever I make these. They seem to have that nice balance between comfortable, girly and dressed up. My daughter really enjoy's wearing them and I enjoy making them. However, these two are for other little girls whom I hope get hours of spin time out of them. 
I've been asked recently where I get my fabric. Most of it comes from my local Hobby Lobby and Joann Fabrics. Some come from on-line retailers like For these dresses all the fabric came from Hobby Lobby. I find I like the quality of most of their fabrics. They don't have a huge selection but what they do is usually really pretty, like this light teal and lavender print. 
I have also received numerous email's requesting the patterns for the four different styles I make. I have been waffling back and forth on that one for sometime and finally decided that I should do that. I'm not sure when or how it will be available but I am working on it. If anyone is interested in doing pattern testing send me an email and I will add you to the list. I sell the dresses 18 months to 5T so that will probably be the same range of my patterns.
I am sure there is a good number of sewist who have no problem reproducing these dresses by doing some basic calculations. But for those not interested in doing the math I can understand why you would like a pattern. 
As I contemplate creating patterns for these dresses there are so many possibilities on how to use these basic skirt patterns. They can be added to virtually any bodice (pre-made or handmade) or a standalone skirt. And lets not forget the embellishment possibilities.
Again, if you are interested in doing pattern testing for the t-shirt dress patterns send me an email or leave me a comment with your email address.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Birthday Cards

I know this post is a bit unusual for me. I have never posted anything about the paper crafting that I do. So far most of my posts are about sewing and recipes. Well this is another craft I like to do when I am not being a wife, a mommy or a seamstress. I usually only get to do this when I "need" to since I am rather busy and in this case I "needed" two birthday cards. 
What inspired these cards was an outfit Lady Grantham was wearing during this seasons Downton Abby (am an addict!). It was during her trip to London. She wore a striking combination of deep blue green with a coppery orange. When you put those colors together they typically put me in mind of Morocco or India and places in between. I just couldn't stop thinking about it. When that happens I know I won't get it out of my head until released creatively. This did the trick. Sadly none of the pictures did the colors justice. (I really need to come up with a better lighting strategy for pictures.)
I used my Cricut and did all of the design work in the craftroom software.  I love the fact that you can sit in a comfy spot with your laptop and come up with a complete design all at once. The you just pick your papers, turn on your Cricut and just start cutting. I feel confident that the size of my cuts are just the right size too. No more guessing the size and holding your breath. I've wasted too many papers that I liked doing that.  All that's left is gluing it together and embellishing. 

I used the craftroom basic shapes for the card base and the rectangles I stamped, The Edge to Edge cartridge for the lattice work and the Elegant Edges cartridge (my favorite cart so far) for the base of my stamped pieces. The tree stamp is Flourish Fall Tree by Inkadinkado and the "Celebrate" is a clear stamp that came out of a bargain bin too long ago to remember. All of the paper came out of the core'dinations Super Assortment Nostalgia Stack.

Thank for stopping by the nest!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

2015 Winter Kids Clothing Week

"To Kids Clothing Week or not to Kids Clothing Week?" that is the question of the weekend. I love to participate in the seasonal Kids Clothing Week and it feels like I have to miss out most the time. Whether or not that's true I don't know, I'd have to do the math. 

KCW (Kids Clothing Week) is a pledge to do at least one hour of sewing (for your kiddo) every day for one week. It is not the specifics of the challenge that I enjoy and miss when I don't get to participate, it is the community of sewist that interact with each other in a non-competitive personal challenge. I love seeing all the wonderful things people are completing and the supportive spirit. 

With just this contemplation I have decided YES! I am going to participate. It might be a little tight but I am going to enjoy the experience even if I don't produce as much as I would like. That said I am going to challenge myself to only one item for one of my kids. I guess that is the next thing I need to determine who am I going to make something for and what. 

The KCW crew as put out a challenge this time to make something up-cycled. I like this idea. Over the holiday's my husband managed to ruin not one but two of his dress shirts. One in particular that I really liked. So I think I'm going to do something that has been done a thousand times but I am going to make my daughter something with one of the casualties. Likely a dress but who knows maybe I will surprise you (& me) and come up with something never seen before. You will just have to check back and see what I manage.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!