Sunday, November 20, 2016

Avery's Favorite Dress...Ever

I feel like words don't even need to be written about this dress. Look at this girl. This may be my favorite photo of her I've ever taken. 

Lets still talk about this dress though, just for kicks. Its her favorite dress for a couple of reasons. 
#1. She has some ownership in it because I let her choose the fabric from my extensive stash (read: massive pile of fabrics literally thrown in my closet on Steve's side, no less. I have storage/organization issues)
#2. The twirl factor is perfection
#3. It is super comfy. The girl can move in this dress.

Any dress with those three elements is bound to be a smashing success.

I love this fabric so much. These pictures don't even do it justice. It almost caused me physical pain to cut into it. I've been hoarding it for a while, paralyzed by the fear of using it on the "wrong" pattern, and thereby cutting it short of its amazing potential.
Thankfully that didn't happen. Full potential reached.
It helps that I now have a "go to" knit dress pattern. Its kind of a mish mosh of a couple patterns, and some adjustments that I have made to get this look. The bodice is Boo! Designs Sleeved Leotard pattern. I made a size 5 for Avery, and her chest measures just about 22", so I sized up one size so it wouldn't be as tight as, you know, a leotard. 

Then for the skirt I used a full circle skirt, but made it extra wide so I could gather it. For some reason, the "un-gathered circle skirt" look just does not grab me. I need those little gathers.
The next modification made was lowering the back scoop to get that ballet dress look. I also used binding around the neck (instead of the method the pattern uses with elastic) cut at 80% the length of the neckline.

I have fabric set aside for at least 4 more of these dresses for Avery and Heidi. Its just the perfect everyday dress that also works for church.

My favorite 5 year old right there. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Avery's Birthday Mori Dress

Today is my oldest child's 5th birthday. Five really seems like a big jump from four. Its freaking me out, but she couldn't be happier about growing up into a "big girl."

I don't make dresses for every special occasion, because that could really get insane and stressful. But I saw this heart fabric at Wal-Mart (of all places) for a $1/yard and:
1.) I knew Avery would love it
2.) I could instantly picture using it with a pattern I owned but hadn't yet tried
3.) Five is a milestone birthday, and that deserves a mom-made dress, right?
4.) Perhaps this is the most important, there was actually a person at the cutting table! I have spent many a time waiting for some fabric to be cut at wal-mart, only to give up after waiting for 15-20 minutes. It was meant to be.

This fabric is so flowy and lends itself perfectly to the Mori Dress. I did modify the flounce quite heavily though. The original pattern has the flounce being quite wide, which isn't bad, just not quite to my taste. I made a size 3 but used the width of the 6 month flounce. Then I lengthened that flounce quite a bit, probably almost double so I could get some nice ruffely goodness. I absolutely love the end result. Steve says it is the best dress I have ever made, and I think I agree with him.

And the best part, when Avery opened it today for her birthday, it was love at first sight. She loves her birthday dress, which made it all worth it. She even got to stay up past her bedtime so we could get some "golden hour" shots in. Lucky!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Modern Belle

I sewed this dress up a while ago, but it was too cold for Heidi to wear until recently. I had no intentions of blogging about it, but the child was wearing it and she looked so dang cute, I decided to do an impromptu photoshoot. Aaand I found my new "go to" spot to take pictures of the girls. Just down the street at Big Piney Town Hall. I love me some good ol' brick walls.
This pattern is The Modern Belle Dress by Lil Luxe Collection. So classic, especially when paired with a black and white gingham. I just love this dress on my little Heidi and I kind of love how it is a little bit short, it gives it more of a vintagy feel, ya know?

This cutie was in good spirits during this photoshoot, probably because, for once, there wasn't a trace of wind. Gotta love Wyoming, haha.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Perfect Summer Nightgown

When I was a little girl I loved wearing nightgowns to bed, and basically all day too. So naturally I want to force that same love that I had, on my unsuspecting girls. Its an easy sell. Summer nightgowns are awesome.
I don't think we've seen temperatures over 72 degrees yet, but warm summer nights are coming, or so I hear. So I set out to sew my girls the perfect summer nightgowns, to keep them cool, sure, but mostly because I want them to love wearing them ;).

The first player to enter this quest of mine, was some vintage looking fabric I snagged at my local thrift store. The fabric basically told me it was meant to be made into nightgowns, and who am I to deny this fabric its true destiny?

The next player was the right pattern, of course. I searched the interwebs, mostly using keywords like "Summer PJ's" or "Nightgown" or some other sleeping attire words. I came up empty handed. Doesn't the pattern world know exactly what I have in mind?? Apparently not. Well, they do, but sometimes you have to think outside the box. I ended up turning to a pattern I already owned. The Seaside Dress by Tadah Patterns. Not a nightgown pattern, per say, but with the right approach and definitely with the right fabric it has all the makings of one.


I wanted a sleeveless option though. No flutter sleeves, no tie that could potentially choke them in their sleep, no ruffle neck. So I made my own option and it was a success! I kind of love that the more I sew, the more capable I am of modifying patterns and it not blowing up in my face. 

Enter: The Most Perfect Summer Nightgowns Ever. And the cutest sisters ever. This was my favorite photoshoot thus far. These two really are best friends, and it makes this mom's heart kind of want to explode from joy.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Love for the Satya Romper

A couple of months ago I discovered probably one of my favorite patters of. all. time. I have made a lot of patterns, so it was kind of a big deal for me, and I got slightly obsessed with it.
The Satya Romper by Jennuine Designs. 
Reasons why I love it: 
1. It is super fun to sew - it takes a bit of time though as there are lots of elastic casings to thread (that is why one should always own a bobkin, it is an amazing tool that literally saves hours of time). But regardless of the length of time this pattern takes (roughly 2 hours start to finish for me) I honestly enjoy every step.
2. The pattern pieces always seem to come together perfectly - which is probably why it is so fun to sew. Frustration free!
3. The fit is spot on. I make the same size as my kids wear in their ready to wear clothing.
4. It is potty friendly. Heidi can get this thing on and off all by herself thanks to the elasticized back and straps. That is a huge win in my book.
5. Pockets. Need I say more?
6. It is sooo dang cute! And we are pining for summer over here, so bring on the rompers!

I have literally made 10 of these. No Joke. I can't believe this is the first one I have shared. I should do a photo shoot of all 10 of them between my girls....but the thought of that many photo shoots kind of makes my head spin. So here is 1/10 (well kind of 2/10 because Avery has a red check one in her size too, twinning!)

I can't believe in just a couple of short months I am going to have THREE girls to sew for. Kind of a sewing mama's dream. Girl clothes are waay more fun that boy clothes, its just a fact. And luckily I have just enough of this red check leftover to make a tiny newborn Satya Romper, I need to get on that!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A New Romper for Heidi

I have been buying a lot of floral knits lately from a facebook group. Its bad. Like really bad. The way the sales are set up, fabric goes within minutes, so you have to make split second decisions and it totally brings out the impulse shopper in me. I told you, its bad. Anyway, I recently purchased this green floral liverpool (a type of knit that has a texture, and is really sturdy). I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, because its pretty loud. 
One of my favorite pattern designers is Shwin Designs, and she came out with a new romper pattern last week, the Magil & Lil Romper. Once I saw that romper, I knew exactly what to make with my crazy green floral. Hence, Heidi's new summer romper! She loves this thing. It looks so comfortable; I wish adults could pull things off like this. Its also 100% potty friendly. She didn't need my help at all yesterday pulling it up and down for the potty. I love it when cuteness and practicality meet.


I don't think Avery could pull this off, as it is kind of a "young" looking pattern. But I might make a couple more for Heidi in some solid colors. Winner of a pattern for sure.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dolce & Gabbana Lemon Dress Knock-Off

You know what I've decided? Its okay to not be original. I am a self declared copy cat, and I don't even care. I am not a trained, skilled fashion designer. So sometimes when I am deciding what to make for myself or the girls, I am stumped, and I often make something mediocre. 

The other day I was at the thrift store, per usual, and was perusing the curtain panels. Then I spotted the cutest lemon fabric I've ever seen for $5. Turns out it was a table runner, but there was plenty of fabric to be had once I unpicked the stitches. (And still tons left even after I made the dress)

Because I am an unashamed copy cat, I googled "toddler lemon dress" because I wanted to make something super adorable with this fabric. I came across this dress.....

Do you see that price tag??? Do people really buy things that expensive for their children?? Its ludicrous.  But the dress is stinkin' cute, so I set out to copy it.

I used a very versatile pattern, The Geranium (the first PDF pattern I've ever bought actually....I think I have bought at least 25 since then, oops)  and modified it to achieve this look. I basically lengthened the bodice by a few inches and graded it towards to waist for a more fitted look, lowered the neckline by 1/2" and took in the faux cap sleeves by 5/8" so they wouldn't stick out so much.

Then I pleated the skirt, which was an undertaking, but by some miracle my pleats matched up to the right width of the skirt, by total chance. I love happy coincidences like that. 

After all that, here is the result! 

I am in love with how it turned out. Its just screams "SUMMER!". I need little reminders that summer may actually come to this little Wyoming town. As I write this, it is literally snowing outside, not kidding. Its depressing, but this dress makes me happy, so at least I have that :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Top No. 27

Just because I haven't posted anything in the past many fortnights (I use that word as often as possible), doesn't mean I haven't been sewing a bunch. I really have. Blogging, sometimes, just isn't a priority. One thing I haven't done in a while though is pattern test. When I saw E+M post a call for testers for a super cute dolman top, I knew I had to get in on that goodness. Plus, I have tested for Allison before, and she is amazing. I love her patterns.

This is my take on Top No. 27.
 Just kidding. Not this. This is a dress I got at the thrift store for $1. I upcycled this bad girl into this.....

Heidi has the most piercing blue eyes. Steve and I joke that she has Alec Baldwin eyes. 

A few things to mention about this top. It is basically that fastest thing you will ever sew. The sizes range from 2T-10years. The instructions are crystal clear and the fit is so good. Also, this pattern is FREE! Just because its free doesn't mean that it wasn't vigorously tested and pure awesome, because it was and is.