Laura H. Saturday, April 27, 2013

Well, look at this! I'm blogging twice in a week! Who ever heard of such a thing?!

Anyway, business first! Congratulations to Emily (Pickled Weasel) who won the Doli Tank! My initial winner never returned my email, so I picked again and Emily won. Yay! She hails from a place without proper summers it seems, so I hope there will be pictures of layering goodness to arrive in the LouBee flickr pool!

I'm afraid that my turnout for the past three days has not been as impressive as the first three. At least in quantity. And if you could see the inside of one item, quality is lacking as well!

 First up today is this number. It is only two pieces, the top being reversible. That top is just a standard issue wrap-around pinafore. The shorts are my go-to shorts pattern, but I gathered the legs and added a strip of grosgrain ribbon to make them more bloomer-like. They are not legitimate bloomers, though. They just look like it. I'm not sure but once I have more black thread, I may add some grosgrain to the top, too.

 Next is this Popover Sundress from Oliver + S. I made so many last year and even though my pattern collection has grown a LOT this year, I really love how simple this pattern is. And how foolproof! Daddy-proof too. No front or back. But. I'm not completely happy with this one. Construction-wise, I'm pleased. The white eyelet outer and the green gingham (not Gangnam! Sheesh!) inner are separate pieces joined only by the top panels and bias ties. It is pretty flawless. But. I really liked it better in theory than practice. The devil is in the details, I suppose.

 And I finally made my first pattern from the Sew Fab bundle sale! It is a Go To Shift Dress from Go To Patterns. And I have to tell you that I am stupidly proud of this one. I had just enough of this fabric (it has a teeny flower print on it in white) to do something super simple with. I knew that the bias on this one would make or break it, so I went to the bias tape drawer and nixed green, red, and yellow in favor of this blue. Which I ten decided that I needed to match with some screen printed butterflies! So I added some purple to some blue until I had something close. And I simply can't believe how spot on it is! The length became an issue when I measured for the hem. Elizabeth grew last week and so my hem measurements changed from the time I cut it to the time I stitched it up. Oops! So instead of a hem, it has the same bias tape around the bottom edge. I have plans to cut off leggings into bike-shorts when the hot weather really arrives, so a pair of white shorts will set this off nicely, I think.

 I have never in all my life sewn a pillowcase dress. And the past year, I'd almost sworn it off because they have been soooo trendy and soooo all over everywhere that touts handmade items. Those two things are generally the kiss of death to me. Hip? Trendy? Overpriced boutiquey? Hand me my hatchet! But. I inherited a sizable number of hand-embroidered pillowcases from my dad's mother. And I seem to have inherited kick-butt sewing skills from my mom's mother. So I decided to bite the bullet and just do one. Next time, I won't do this style, but I WILL still use the pillowcases. And I do think this one is pretty cute.

 If you ever meet this Geranium Dress in person, do not turn it inside out. It is BAD. The combo of piping and attaching the lining separately just didn't work for me. Actually, I won't be trying to separate-step lining attachment again any time soon. Ppfftt. Really, I just don't have time for the ripping it out and redoing that it took to get it looking presentable on the outside. And the inside? I will invoke Tarder Sauce and say: NO. This is also the most expensive fabric I have ever bought! It is from the Little Lisette Collection at Joann's and I only got 30% off. But, I had to have it. And it is stinkin' cute! Elizabeth loves it too - I had to make a skirt for one of her dollhouse animals out of a scrap she found. It has about four popsicles on it but she doesn't care. 

So maybe it isn't that bad for three days work. I have another outfit that I worked on just a bit today, but it is extremely fiddly - facings, overlays, and a wave-edge hem. I may have lost my mind.


Laura H. Wednesday, April 24, 2013

** I picked the winner of the Doli Tank pattern yesterday and emailed her, but I have not heard back. Be sure to check your spam folder! If I don't hear from my winner by Friday afternoon, I'll pick someone else.**

In case you didn't know, I am an energetic seamstress and a lazy blogger.

Anyway! It is Kids Clothing Week! Yay! This kind of marks a blogging birthday for me. I've been blogging in earnest for a year now. Not bad! The only two things I've done for longer than a year are be married and be a mom. Well done me.

For day one of Kids Clothes Week, I started a lot of things but only finished one. A Skater Dress made with some of the fabric that I got at Sir's on our Day Out when the Boy Scout was sick. This was the first time I actually did the arm bands (I follow directions so very well, you know.)

And I made this one in an 18 month/2T size. It fits perfectly! The 3T/4T was a bit too long and while this one may not last all summer, it will get a ton of wear right now. It is actually in the wash pile with ketchup on it as I type.

Elizabeth loves it. And I love it because the chance of unintentional moons is slim. This is the only pattern in existence that I can still make her a 2T in and it fit. Everything else is a 3 or sometimes even a 4.

Day Two featured a little less time, but I did finish up what I started the day before.

Pardon the car-hood pic. This fabric is SUPER thin and it is really windy. This is a patternless sunsuit that I put together from an old skirt. The top and legs are shirred with elastic thread and the straps have elastic. And I managed to get some snaps in the crotch (there has to be a better word. Really. We are intelligent people. Maybe we can think of something better.)

The original skirt came from the ether I think. I know that I did not buy it for me or buy it for my pile of recycling things. So I have no idea where it came from. But, it is pretty adorable as a sunsuit.

I also don't know if it is going to fit. Being patternless, I'm really second-guessing it right now. My hope is that it is going to fit and look a lot cuter on Elizabeth than it does on the hood of my car. I did manage to hold it up to her and I *think* it is going to be okay.

I started by making a dress - shirred top and straps. Then I followed this tutorial on how to turn a dress in to a romper. Well, sort of followed it. Again, with the following directions and just not doing it most of the time.

Then I polished off a couple of more Doli Tanks. Following directions is just not in my makeup this week, it seems. I just tugged too much at the bindings and got some wrinklies and bubblies. But, that doesn't change the cuteness or the wearability at all. And Elizabeth is already fond of the purple and white. She may take come convincing about the black and orange - but thankfully summer lasts until November here.

And today, Day three is Shorts-ageddon. Shorts-isbord. I made a bunch of shorts! The brown, pink, and purple are knit. The others are various forms of wovens. ALL of them are recycled from other things. Yay! For five pairs of shorts for $4!

There was another pair of shorts but it had an unfortunate accident involving a mud puddle and a gust of wind. So no pictures of those until they are washed. But, they original pants from those were free, so that doesn't add a cent to my $4 total.

Gosh, I love being cheap! Don't you?

Laura H. Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You should be more excited about the giveaway really. Cause this pattern is A-MAZE-ING. All I do is sew.

When Sarah at EmmylouBeeDoo asked me to give this pattern a test run, I sort of wibbled then squeed really loud. I hope I kept it together via email, but come on! Who am I? I got this blog, I sew some stuff, and I am alarmingly unimportant.

And here sits Captian Hosh Pants asking me to test a pattern! You would have moistened your pantaloons too, I'm sure.

So I did. She got lucky to catch me at the beginning of the Boy Scout's days off and I whipped this thing out in a morning. Followed directions too! Didn't just *herp put stuff together derp* my way through, really properly put it all together.

Then I had to wait til after naptime for pictures. That was a LONG wait.

But here it is! Elizabeth's first Doli Tank! I didn't really have much in the way of ribbing, so I had to work backwards from what I did have. The red rib went with exactly none of my girly fabrics, so this yard and a half of cheap $1 a yard stuff that the Boy Scout picked out a million years ago was pressed in to service.

 And pressed is the truth! The creases in that thing! YIKES.

Anyway, I think I used *maybe* a third of a yard of it for this. And that includes some very lovely French seams (FANCY!) And I have to tell you, I think I'm in love with this pattern.

Knit bindings. Woven main and back pieces. No facings, no fussing, pure bliss. BLISS I SAY. Do you know how many adorable prints I have in woven fabric that are like a quarter or a half yard? They are fast becoming useless on a growing girl, but that same girl is going to have a bajillion of these tanks. Plus, way less stress than sewing knit on to knit. Only one bit really stretches!

And speaking from personal knowledge, the wide, breezy, touching-no-where-but-the-shoulders style is fantastic for summertime in Tennessee *and* big ole cloth diaper booty. And, since it doesn't touch or rub, she's not trying to strip naked! Hurrah for not being a creeper-magnet!

My fabric choice may be unconventional, but any proper princess is not complete without a few fire-breathing dragons in her story. Don't you agree?

Now, for the giveaway! Sarah has kindly offered to GIVE AWAY one of these tank patterns to someone terribly lucky. All you need to do is follow her on Facebook or Instagram, then comment here and tell me you did and under what username! Ta-da! I'll pick a winner and announce it next Tuesday, April 23.

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who participated!

Laura H. Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Well, just one to be exact.

A billion years ago (last year) I saw Made By Rae's Rainbow Dress tutorial and this year I new that Elizabeth needed one. 'Cause she's gotten in to rainbows BIG TIME. So I started with the tutorial and round about step 1/2 (before I even began) I was already derailed.

Being me, I ran with it! My tiers are all the same height because I can't do math. And that reason applies also to why it's going to be a little tight on our best girl, too. And maxi length. But it was pretty all rolled up back in January when the most pressing thing was for me to be making fuzzy warm leggings for her instead of frilly sundresses.

But now, it has turned off hot and I'm all for frilly sundress action! Ta-da!

Oh dear. Someone was really unhappy about having her picture taken. However, it doesn't compare to the unhappiness expressed when I attempted (ATTEMPTED) to change her after her nap. You would have thought I was sawing her arms off with all the screaming.

Thankfully, Daddy showed up with a kite and Mommy became chopped livers after that. Sometimes, too much togetherness is just too much togetherness.

It is a bit tighter than most of her things, but she isn't complaining about it. She's rubbed on the shirring a little, but I think that is because it feels weird to the touch, not because it's hurting her. And as of this moment, she's sitting shoeless in the sandbox in it and seems very content.

Parting shot was the first one taken and my favorite. I know my backgrounds are not plain, neutral, or non-distracting. This girl is on the move and I have to take what I can get. Especially on a Wednesday afternoon.