KCW Spring 13: All My Friends Are Dead

Allmyfriends_shirt1

Ok, so I feel like I need to tell you a little bit about this shirt.  A lot of different little factors went into the creation of this shirt, so bear with me.

So not too long ago, Hideko bought a red T-rex shirt for Yuki at the store.  She hadn’t necessarily shown too much interest in dinosaurs, but it was a cool shirt and maybe because we loved it so much or maybe because one of her classmates also had the same shirt, Yuki decided it was her FAAAVORITE shirt.  She wanted to wear it every day.  She would ask about it even when it was no where to be seen.  I’ve never seen her so attached to a piece of clothing before and I decided that I wanted to make something for her that she loved and wanted to wear as much as that dinosaur shirt.

When I was planning for KCW I decided to make her a bunch of t-shirts since that’s what she wears 90% of the time.  I asked her what kinds of things she likes or what she’d want me to put on a t-shirt.  She said . . .

1. Dinosaurs
2. Robots
3. Stripes
4. Boxes (we’re currently receiving all my sister’s wedding gifts while she’s on her honeymoon, so we’ve got a tower of boxes in our living room that Yuki is obsessed with)

But seriously – proud mama moment!!  I love this kid.  A dinosaur, robot and striped shirt!?  I can do that!!!

So I cut out 4 Flashback Skinny Tees (3 solid colors and one striped) with plans for stenciling on a dinosaur, a robot and maybe stamping some triangles on the last solid one (and the striped one would just be plain ol striped).  But when I was talking to Hideko about my plans for a dinosaur shirt, she told me about this book that one of her alumni had written, All My Friends Are Dead.

Let’s take a look at it shall we?  No really, go and google image it and you’ll be able to see pretty much all the pages of the book.  Is it not the funniest thing you’ve ever seen!?  No?  Then you should probably just stop reading and go somewhere else, cuz really?  This ish had me cracking up!!!

So then I was pretty much obsessed with making it into a t-shirt.  Totally inappropriate for a toddler?  Perhaps?  Totally awesome?  I think so!!  I love it.

Allmyfriends_shirt2

I wasn’t sure how to make it into a shirt at first – stencil it and hand paint the details?  Nahh . . . too much work.  Luckily I had some iron on transfer paper for dark fabric, so I used an image I found online and added the speech bubble myself (so I wouldn’t have to cut out the individual letters) and ironed the design on.  Looks waaay better than any stenciling/painting I would have done.  We’ll see how the transfer holds up through wash and wear.

Allmyfriends_shirt3The pattern is Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee in size 3T (Rae has a post on how to make the FBST with short sleeves).  Normally I’d make 2T for Yuki, but I wanted these shirts to last awhile and not be so “skinny” on her.  After talking to Kristin and seeing the awesome Back to the Future/DeLorean shirt she recently made for her son in 3T (our kids are about the same age/size), I figured it was the right choice.  And I’m so glad that I did!  It fits Yuki perfectly (though I coulda made the neckband a little larger) and it will hopefully fit her for awhile.  AND . . . she LOVES it!!  Of course, she has no idea what it says, but it’s a dino shirt and it’s bright pink, so she’s happy.  None of her classmates or friends can read, so I’m hoping this shirt doesn’t get me into too much trouble.  Weird looks from other parents?  Maybe . . . but it’s worth it.

Allmyfriends_shirt4I’ve still got three other shirts to assemble and paint, but those may not get done this week.  I’ll definitely share them when they are done but let me tell you, it feels so good to make something that my kid is actually TOTALLY excited about.  And maybe after making all these t-shirts I’ll finally feel more comfortable sewing knits??

Well the week is winding down for me, although there is technically two more days to KCW.  I MIGHT have one more project in me for tomorrow, but I’m not sure.  You still sewing or are you calling it a week?

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KCW Spring 13: Toddler Swing Tank and Green Parsley Pants

SwingTankandGreenPants

My third sewing project was this Toddler Swing Tank.  It’s a free pattern from true bias (in size 2T only) and a super simple sew.  Are you starting to pick up on my “super simple” theme here??

ToddlerSwingTankIt’s only got three pattern pieces (front, back and a button loop), I added the pocket myself.  It fits Yuki perfectly when it’s on but because the fabric has no stretch, it’s a bit of a squeeze getting it on and off of her.  :(

There aren’t any pictures for the pattern, just numbered instructions, but because the construction is so simple, I didn’t really need any.  I just kinda made it the way that made the most sense to me.  It’s a lot like the Wiksten tank for women.

SwingTankandGreenPants2The back is made with 2 pieces and sewn up the middle with and opening and button/button loop to close at the back of the neck.

These pants were not really meant to be part of this outfit, but they were project #4 and I figure I might as well get it all photographed at once.  In fact, these weren’t part of the original KCW pile at all, but got added to help with some last minute testing stuff for Rae.  They are the newly released Parsley Pants!  And fittingly, in green!

GreenParsleyPantsIt’s the same awesome pattern I sewed up a few days ago as shorts.  I added the pouch pockets again and this time tried the pintucks too.  It’s a fun lil detail, no?

GreenParsleyPants2The pattern is great – I rave about it a bit more in my last post and you really should check out Emmmy Lizzzy’s collection of Parsleys if you haven’t already.  My only piece of advice after sewing this pair is that if you’re going to do the pouch pockets, stick with lighter weight fabrics for the pockets (at least for the lining).  I used bottom weight fabrics for the pants and both layers of the pockets so when it came to folding over the waistband it started to get crazy thick and my machine didn’t appreciate that much!

Well I had two more versions of these pants cut out and ready to sew, but I’m not sure if I’ll get to them this week.  I’m about to attach a stack of t-shirts I really want to get done!  But I’m also starting to feel a little burn out aaaand my crazy allergies have started to morph into a cold.  Booooooo.

How you doin’?

KCW Spring 13: Little Letter Halter and Parsley Shorts

Quick post for the outfit I made yesterday . . .

halterandshorts1

I started with a super cute and simple halter top from the Japanese sewing book, あかちゃんの服、てづくりの服 (Baby clothes, handmade clothes), (also available on Amazon here).

100000009001404289_10204Robin so kindly sent me this book with the clothing swap outfit she made because her daughter had grown out of the sizes already.  It’s got a lot of baby stuff, but some great basics for toddlers too.  When I saw this picture in the book, I nearly died from the cuteness.

photo 6

So that became my inspiration for outfit number 1.  The construction of the top is very simple and I made it even more simple by using a piece twill tape instead of making the strap out of fabric like the pattern instructs you to (although I may go back and change it), so it was a really fast sew.

halterandshorts

I used the beautiful Nani Iro Little Letter double gauze fabric that I bought from Miss Matatabi (though I can’t tell if that’s the exact same color as the one I used), and I only had half a yard, but it was just enough to cut out the pattern AND the strap if I wanted to.  The color band at the bottom of the halter was a last minute add.  When I saw the picture in the pattern book, I thought the top looked a little short.  And when I was tracing the pattern piece, I also thought it looked a little short.  And then I totally forgot about it and just cut it out anyways.  Well before I was going to hem the top, I really thought that it’d probably hit just at her tummy which would be adorable, but probably too short.  And besides the length, this halter would probably fit for a long time!  So I decided to add some fabric to the bottom and luckily I had some shot cotton leftover from the dress I made Sanae’s daughter and the color (and weight) happened to match perfectly!  I’m glad I added it – it’ll definitely add many more months to the life of this top.

halterandshorts2

The shorts are from the soon-to-be-released JUST RELEASED Parsley Pants pattern by Made by Rae.  Rae was awesome enough to let me help test out the pattern and let me tell you, this pattern lives up to all of the other amazing Made by Rae patterns awesomeness.  After seeing all the versions that Emmmy Lizzzy made, especially her cute shorts, I was inspired to make some for Yuki too.

I used a linen blend, but accidentally cut it against the grain (if you look closely at the picture of the shorts hanging on the line, you might be able to see the lines on the pockets go up and down but the grain on the rest of the shorts goes horizontally).  I don’t exactly know what that means.  Will it wash up funny or change it’s shape?  Well, we’ll find out.

halterandshorts3

The pattern is fantastic.  Super simple sew, so many variations to make, excellent directions and images and great fit too.  I’m planning on sewing up a couple more this week if I have time.

So that was day one.  I only got a little bit of sewing in this morning, but here are a couple little peeks.

photo 4 photo 5I’m off to sew a little more before bed!  How was your day two?  Get much done?

KCW Spring 13: Getting ready

My partner said to me yesterday:

“I’m not a big fan of KCW . . .
except for all of the cute clothes that comes out of it.”

HAH!  Kids Clothing Week is here and it’s definitely caught me off guard a little bit.  Not because I didn’t know about it, but I’ve been so busy with other things that I didn’t really start thinking about it until the weekend and I barely had a chance to get prepped.

So I’m taking it a little easy this time (or so I say) and I’ve made three simple challenges for myself:

  • sew with patterns I already own
  • sew with fabrics that I already own
  • sew super simple projects (so far each project I have planned has only 3 pattern pieces!  score!)

And of course, hopefully I’ll be making things that my daughter will actually wear.  That basically means t-shirts and pants.  No ambitious patterns like the Jump Rope Dress or the Swing Coat this time around.

photo 3

So here’s my pile o projects.  Yes, it looks like a lot and honestly, I probably won’t get through it all.  I should also point out that 7 of the projects come from only 2 patterns.  That’s right – lotsa t-shirts and pants.

photo 1Day one was very productive!  I started with a fun but simple Japanese pattern which I’ll share more about tomorrow when I get some pics of Yuki in it.  I was able to bust out a pair of shorts too!  Sticking with simple patterns can be extremely rewarding :)

photo 2

How was your day one?

KCWC Day 6 + 7 – Striped Swing Coat and a Recap

KCWC is officially over!  I have one final project to share that I worked on over the weekend – it’s a the Stylish Double Breasted Coat pattern from Dear My Kids.

I totally stole the idea to make this coat from Jessica, when she mentioned it in her KCWC planning post.  And then she didn’t even make hers.  Hehe, I basically stole her project.  Thanks Jessica!  :P

The pattern was pretty simple and very easy to follow.  I made the coat in the 2T size and didn’t bother making any adjustments.  The coat came out super long on Yuki – It’s about the length of a dress and I have to fold the sleeves up.  I probably should have looked at the measurements and shortened everything, but I wasn’t thinking.  Now the coat will fit her for several years! :)

I made the coat in a striped knit (continuing the knit theme of my KCWC collection) and lined it with a really soft cream colored knit.  I added a layer of fleece in between and so the coat is SUPER soft, thick and warm.

Of course, with the jacket getting so thick, I did have trouble sewing some parts and in fact, I since there was no way of getting the buttonhole foot to work, I decided to hand sew the button holes.  The first tutorial I looked up was a basic blanket stitch around the buttonhole.  I kinda like it/kinda hate it.  While it’s got a cute hand stitched touch, it also looks a bit messy and frankensteiny.

I think this could be really cute on a different type of garment, if done well, in a contrasting thread for a decorative look.  I’ll try remember that for later.

Anyways, I’m done!!  I checked off the 6 main things I had on my KCWC list.  I feel a pretty huge sense of accomplishment for not only finishing 6 garments but because I tackled knits – which I’ve always been a bit scared of.  I’m by no means a knit expert now, but I feel a bit more confident about sewing with knits and won’t be scared off by them so easily.  I finally learned how to use my serger and I’m feeling more confident about using that too.  And I LOVE it!  I’ll be using it on all my garments from now on.  I don’t know why I was so afraid of it!

So here are the things I made last week.  Oh, and I should clarify – KCWC is a challenge to sew for an hour each day for a week, but since I sew that much on a weekly basis, I like to challenge myself a little differently.  Last week, I decided to make Yuki a fall wardrobe that is appropriate for her active toddler lifestyle :)  (click on the photo to check out the post)

Phew!  What a fun week!  If you haven’t already, you should definitely go check out the elsie marley flickr pool where everyone has been uploading their KCWC creations.  There is so much amazing inspiration there and browsing through all the pictures is my favorite part of KCWC.  If you didn’t participate this time, don’t worry, there will be another one in the spring!  Thanks so much for hosting, Meg!

Alright, back to work.  You’d think that after so much sewing in one week, I’d be burnt out, but I’m actually really pumped to tackle more projects.  This week I’ve got some custom order stuff I’m working on, pattern testing, a tote bag I want to make and maaaaybe something for me?  Plus I’m itching to make a dress after all this unisex knit stuff I’ve been working on :)

Happy Monday!

KCWC Day 4 + 5 – Greenpoint Cardigan

So my latest KCWC project is the Greenpoint Cardigan, a pattern by Adrianna of Crafterhours.  She recently started a new pattern shop, hey june, and this is her first pattern for sale (wow, that’s a lot of links).  Adrianna was kind enough to send this pattern to me as a gift, but all opinions are my own.

The fabric that I used was a knit from Joann’s with a gray plus sign pattern all over it.  I rarely see knits with cool prints on it, and I thought this was pretty neat.  For the wristband/waistband/neck binding, I used a tissue thin soft knit (same one I used for the FBST I made earlier this week).  This turned out to be a total mistake because it’s so thin that it doesn’t hold its shape well and sags around the chest (you can see it folded in the picture below).  Looking back at the pattern, I notice that Adrianna TOTALLY warns against using this super thin stretchy stuff, but of course I didn’t realize that earlier – I just thought it was a pretty color.  I still have a lot to learn about knits . . .

I went with the colorful buttons with my sister’s advice.  I think it adds fun and youth to an otherwise more serious print.

The pattern is great.  It is well written and the diagrams are clear.  Overall the cardigan is pretty simple to construct and sews up super quick.  The size is worked out well for Yuki – I made hers in size 2 and I can tell it’ll fit her for awhile.  The only adjustment that I made was to shorten the sleeves.  I love that it is a basic pattern with lots of room for remixing.  And I LOVE a good unisex pattern too :)  I highly recommend this pattern for your library.  It’s a great go-to pattern and I will definitely be making up a few more of these.  You can find it here.

I’ve been seeing a bunch of Greenpoint Cardigans popping up this KCWC.  You can check out Adrianna’s here and here, plus these ones on Zaaberry, Running with Scissors, and
Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

This is how Yuki smiles when I ask her to smile.  Awesome, huh?

So how are you feeling?  The week is winding down, but technically, there are still two days left of KCWC.  Are you still sewing or finishing up?  I have one more project that I want to tackle before the week is done.  We’ll see if I have it in me.

KCWC Day Three – Orange Skinnies

So I’ve gotten a little behind on blogging.  Today is day 4 of KCWC, but I’m blogging what I made yesterday on day 3.  Yesterday’s project was a pair of pumpkin orange knit pants.  They are meant to be skinny in the legs, but they turned out pretty baggy everywhere else.  I guess it’s good that they are loose enough for her to move around in.

It’s a pretty basic pant from a self-drafted pattern.  I was going to go full faux fly with a button closure, but I got lazy and switched to a flat front/elastic back waistband.  The last knit waistband I made got a little slouchy, so this time I used a couple extra layers of knit and reinforced it with a few lines of stitching.

I added some striped knit fabric in the pockets and a couple of subtle stars – just for fun.  Stars have kind of become my lil trademark.  I’ve loved stars for a long time and I think I transferred that borderline obsession to Yuki :)

Yuki’s also wearing her Crossed Shoulder Vest (I re-did the shoulders to bring them in a bit) and those shoes were TOTALLY her pick.  Guess she likes color :)

For just another pop of color (cuz this outfit didn’t have enough already), I added a bit of blue on the inside hem of the bottom of the pants that show when you fold the pants cuff up.

I realize that this is a very boy-ish outfit, but I like it.  I think it suits Yuki’s personality pretty well and is perfect for school.  It can, of course, be paired with other things if I wanted to “girly” it up a little bit.  But she approved of it – so I’m happy :)

I have 2 more things left on my list that I’m hoping to finish.  How’s your list coming along?  Do you sew all the way through Sunday to complete the full week?  Feeling tired or still pumped?

KCWC Day Two – Flashback Tee and Basic Pants

Day Two, people!  Today I have a Flashback Skinny Tee that I made on day one, and a pair of super comfy simple pants (based off of Dana’s Basic Pants) that I finished this morning.

The tee is made with Rae’s pattern and it’s my first time sewing it up as a regular tee.  The only other time I’ve used this pattern is for this cardigan.  It’s a great pattern to have in your collection because it’s such a classic style.  I can imagine making a good solid handful (in long and short sleeve) in every size – it’s a wardrobe staple.

The brown and blue knit that I used is suuuuuper thin and soft, so it was a bit tricky to work with (the machine tried to eat it several times, just like Meg’s!), but it worked out OK in the end.  And the finished shirt is really comfy – Yuki didn’t want to take it off and she wore it to bed!

The pink pocket was added for a fun splash of color.  I decided to just cut a rectangle and sew it to the shirt without folding or finishing any of the edges.  A very raw look.  I like how the top of the pocket rolls out.

The back pants pocket was originally made for the shirt, but I didn’t like it, so I used it on the pants instead.  This pocket is finished on three sides, but has two unfinished edges on the top.  Double roll.

The knit that I used for the pants is a super thick, comfy, cozy, warm, delicious white-with-gray-pinstripes knit that I got for super cheap.  It reminds me of a new sweatshirt.  I bought a lot and I’m hoping that there is enough leftover to make something for me!  So these pants are basically sweatpants, but I wanted them to look like a regular pair of pants and I think the stripes and pockets help make them look more trouser-ish.

They were made based off of Dana’s Basic Pants tutorial and pattern.  I used her pattern for the shape and then resized it to fit my tiny 2 year old.  I also added a separate waistband (on top of the original pattern, which is meant to be folded over), which was great because it added to the rise of the pant.  I feel like most of the pants/shorts I’ve made for Yuki have not fit well because there is not enough room for her enormous diaper booty, but this pant has great coverage!

The one thing that I could have changed is maybe adding another layer of fabric (or interfacing) to the front of the waistband, because it slouches a bit.  But it’s probably comfy this way and the pants stay up just fine, so it’s all good.

Maternity pants!!  She looks a few months along.  JK!  Don’t they look comfy though?  I wish I could get away with wearing elastic waisted sweat pants all day.

So I feel like I got off to a great start, but I’m already exhausted and I think I’m getting sick!!  Time to slow down a bit.  How was your day two?  Are you just getting rolling or are you already burning out like me?

Time for sleep.

KCWC Day One – Crossed Shoulder Vest

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!  And Day 1 of KCWC Fall 2012!  What a fun day it has been!  Did you get to sew?

For this KCWC, I thought for a long time about what I wanted to make.  While you can spend the time making whatever you want or need, I decided to make it a little extra fun for myself and try to pick a theme or tie all the pieces into a collection (I think I’ve been watching too much Project Runway).  I started thinking about what kind of clothing Yuki might need and I remembered her preschool mentioning that as she’s potty training, she’ll need to wear elastic waistband pants that are easy to pull off and on.  And in general, she needs some simple clothes for school that is comfortable and practical, but with some style (of course ;)).

So I developed this idea into a list of fall separates that Yuki can mix and match with each other and other things in her wardrobe.  And they will all be KNIT.  Though it’s been almost a year since my first successful knit project and I’ve definitely tried using it here and there since then, I am still pretty intimidated by it and it is certainly not my first choice in fabrics.  But it seems so practical for children’s clothing that I figured I should just tackle it head on.  Plus it’s the perfect opportunity to force myself to learn how to use the lovely serger that has been sitting around oh so long without being touched because I was too scared!

So to describe my KCWC Fall collection (which only exists in my mind at this point), I’d say – fall separates, knit, unisex, simple/classic, bold colors, solids and stripes.  I’m not going to be making anything breathtaking here, just a couple of pants and tops.  Though hopefully cute ones :)

Here’s the pile of fabrics I was considering before I started cutting yesterday.

Today I was able to get TWO pieces done!  I’m feeling super pumped.  I only photographed one though, so the other I’ll show you tomorrow.

So the first is a Crossed Shoulder Vest.  I want to make it very clear that I take no credit for this idea – I totally stole it from a Japanese pattern book called 男の子と女の子の服 (Clothes for Boys and Girls).  I actually have the book but I’m saving it for a giveaway, so instead of using the pattern, I drafted my own.  But the concept and construction were definitely taken from this book.

It was very simple to sew up and I love how it looks with different fabrics on the front and back. The only problem with the pattern that I drafted was the shoulders came out a bit too wide.  I MIGHT go back and adjust it, but that’s pretty low on my priority list – it still fits her fine.

Oooh, check out my serger work.  Actually don’t look too close cuz it’s totally wonky (I’m still getting the hang of it), but how fancy is that!?  I’m psyched.  I have a feeling I’m going to use a serger on everything I sew from now on!

Oh and you may notice no live model in these pictures.  I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this already, but the last two years of constantly putting my daughter in front of the camera has totally backfired and now she really dislikes having her picture taken.  She yells out “No pictures!” whenever we pull out even just our phones and flails her arms in front of her face and/or charges the camera.  Sooooo – to limit the torture, I’ll wait till I have a few pieces of clothing I can throw on her and photograph at the same time instead of doing one piece every day.

Woohoo – Day One went well for me.  How about you?