Birds Eye Skirt

July is a pretty busy month for me and I’ll be spending a lot of time with family and away from the computer.  So I thought it was a good time to bring some posts home, especially all the stuff I’ve been sharing on Miss Matatabi the last few months.  This one is back from February!

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I love to sew for my daughters, but recently I’ve been trying to sew more women’s clothing, so today I’ve got a skirt that I made for myself and I’m so excited to be here sharing it with you!

everydayskirt1

If you know me, you know that I’ve been a HUGE Nani Iro fan for a few years now, but unfortunately my local fabric store stopped carrying the fabric.  I had to search elsewhere to feed my Nani Iro addiction and that’s how I found Miss Matatabi.  Frances has been my official supplier ever since!  I started out only buying little bits of fabric and using it only for my daughter because it’s pricier than most other fabrics and I didn’t want to buy a large amount of yardage.  But after realizing that a toddler does not need or appreciate the perfection that is Nani Iro, I was determined to start using the fabric for me.  And I’m so glad that I did!

First of all, the prints are always gorgeous and very much my style.  It’s like the artist, Naomi Ito, reaches into my dreams and makes them into fabric!  Ok, I realize I sound a little crazy now, but that’s now much I adore her work.  Secondly, the fabric is always such amazing quality – it feels great, it looks great and it’s a joy to sew.

everydayskirt2The fabric that I used for this skirt is Nani Iro Birds Eye – C and it is a soft brushed cotton.  The print is a gorgeous mix of colors in a style reminiscent of a Monet painting.  The main color is a light lilac, but if you look closely there is a wonderful mix of mint, dark purple, tan, blue, cream, goldenrod and yellow.  It’s such a unique and delicate print – I feel like I’m wearing a piece of artwork!  This print is available in several different colorways.

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The fabric itself is unbelievably cozy and soft.  It’s a bit heavier in weight than say, double gauze or some quilting cottons, but because of the looser weave and softness, it still has a lovely drape and is suitable for sewing garments.

everydayskirt3The pattern I used for the skirt is Liesl + Co’s Everyday Skirt.  It was my first time sewing it and I loved it!  It’s a really simple pattern, suitable for beginners, but comes out looking so professional.  I love patterns that give you the confidence to sew for yourself!

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The skirt features a flat-front waistband and elastic in the back for perfect fit and comfort.  There are side panels that aren’t gathered to avoid any extra bulk in the hip area (which I think is genius!) and pockets, of course!  I really recommend this basic skirt pattern, especially if you are new to sewing women’s clothes.  I definitely plan on making more!

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When my 3 year old saw my skirt she begged me to make her one too.  She loved the feel of the fabric.  I think this fabric would be wonderful as a scarf, a luxurious pair of pajamas, a pillow case or a blanket.  In fact, when I laid my hands on this fabric for the first time, I had the urge to make it into a blanket so I could snuggle with it all the time.  But now I can wear it out and still feel so comfortable at the same time.

I also made the top that I’m wearing in these pictures.  It’s a simple knit dolman sleeve top that I made based off another shirt that I own.  I was going to make more and blog it eventually, but that never happened.  Just another to add to the “things I’ll blog about someday (aka never)” pile :)

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I love nani IRO!

To tell you that I love nani IRO fabric is pretty much as high on the list as “I love sewing” on the ‘duh-that’s-obvious’ statements about me.  I love nani IRO and that really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows me.  I found some nani IRO double gauze in my local fabric shop three years ago and I softly gasped at the beautiful painted flowers, then I sharply inhaled at the price, but then slowly sighed when I felt how soft and luxurious the double gauze was.  And I haven’t looked back since!

nani IRO is designed by Japanese artist, Naomi Ito.  I love the unique hand painted designs and the high quality fabric.  It’s really like nothing else out there.  I decided to go through and find my old nani IRO projects and round them up for you . . .

nani IRO projects by you & mie

Sweetheart Bubble Dress // 1st Birthday Dress // Floral Baby Dress
Everyday Skirt // Little Letter Halter
Signature Look Top // Foldover Clutch // A-line Tunic
Ethereal Dress // Neon Dot Double Skirt // Reversible Spring Coat

Looking back at these pictures, I noticed two things.  1. I’m really drawn to her dots and florals – she just does them so well.  I’ve never used any of her other prints.  And 2. Out of all of these projects, only ONE was for me!  I figure it’s about time to change both of those things :)

Nani IRO fabric isn’t cheap.  Before, I loved the way it looked, but could really only afford to buy little pieces, which is why it was easier to sew things for a kid, or use it for an accessory.  But after a while, I realized that even though I’d have to spend a lot of money buying several yards of fabric to cover my adult body, it would still be totally worth it.  I appreciate this fabric and will wear it a billion times more than my toddler ever will.  I spend the time, effort ,and money to make the garments – why shouldn’t I get to enjoy it?

So then I decided ALL THE NANI IRO FOR ME!  Haha, just kidding.  But you know, I deserve nani IRO, and I think that you do too . . .

The month of June has officially been named “nani IRO month” by Frances of Miss Matatabi.  She’s asked some of her friends to help her showcase the latest collection of nani IRO fabric and I’m pretty sure we all just JUMPED at the opportunity.  Be sure to check out her blog for all the latest projects being shared throughout the month.

For my first project, I chose a really unique fabric called Freedom Garden (A – France) and decided I wanted to sew something for me.  It is double gauze and comes in three colorways and the design is kinda crazy and out of control, but in a beautiful way.  I went back and forth about it – can I pull it off?  What would I make with it?  Is it too crazy?  I asked people on Facebook and Instagram what they thought I should make and I got some reeeally great suggestions.  But in the end, I decided to make a good ol Wiksten Tank.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I knew that this would, by far, get the most wear and I am in need of some basic tanks and tees for the summer and as I transition back to work.  Sure, I could have made a special dress, but honestly, I just don’t wear dresses very often.  This tank, on the other hand, I’ll reach for again and again.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

LOOK AT THIS FABRIC!  It’s like Naomi Ito just went all craaaaaazy with her paints!  I felt like I was sewing and wearing some modern art.  Should this be a museum exhibit?  I love the variety of both bold and subtle colors in this fabric.  And the interesting variety of brush strokes.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

Double gauze is dreamy fabric.  It’s soft and airy, it’s comfortable and breathable.  It’s lovely to sew with too.  The only things to look out for is that because it’s a looser woven fabric, it can stretch out when sewing curves.  And it can get wrinkly when it’s worn/washed.  But I still love it.  It just feels soooo nice.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I’ve made the Wiksten Tank before and I really like the fit.  It’s perfect up top and then conveniently covers my mid-section.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I did make a couple of slight modifications to the pattern.  I lengthened the tank by a 1/2 inch for just a little extra coverage.  I also raised the neckline by about 2 inches, because as much as I like the look of the original neckline, it was always just a little too revealing and I felt uncomfortable at work since I’m constantly bending over to work with young kids.  Since I noticed a little gaping at the neckline in the back with my previous Wiksten, I made the same alteration as Rae did to decrease that, except I only moved the pattern over by 1/2 an inch, instead of a full inch.  Worked fine for me.

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

I can honestly say, I don’t have anything else in my wardrobe quite like this!  It’s fun to have a little something different from everyone else too :)

Freedom Garden Wiksten Tank // you &  mie

Be sure to check out the entire nani IRO stock in the Miss Matatabi shop.  They are all soooo gorgeous.  I have several other prints in my stash just waiting to be sewn up, but I mostly just like to stare at them and pet them :)

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the bloggers participating in nani IRO month!  I’ve got another project coming up later this month with more nani IRO – but this time with a fabric I’ve NEVER sewn with before!  Wish me luck :)

*This fabric was generously given to me, but everything I said is 100% my own opinion – I wouldn’t lie to you about nani IRO!  And trust me, I spend my own money on nani IRO too. ;)*

Frozen’s Elsa-Inspired Dress

LET IT GOOOOOOOO
LET IT GOOOOOOOO
CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMOOOORE!

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Every.  single.  day.  Yup, we’re still living in a Frozen obsessed world over here.  You know, we actually held out (and still do) when it comes to letting her watch “princess” movies.  Frozen is the first and really only that she’s seen, but she has dove head first into obsession and we’re just kinda going with it.  What’s the point of being a 3 year old if you can’t be an awesome ice power yielding queen.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

After my last blog post, I decided that I wanted Yuki to earn the dress since she’s so used to getting things all the time and she’s starting to think that things come so easily.  So I created a little sticker chart and told her that she needed to help out around the house to earn stickers and when she got 10 stickers she could have her dress.  She did things like putting away everyone’s laundry, hanging diapers for drying, setting the table and wiping it clean after dinner, etc.  She didn’t complain too much about doing the work and was super psyched to earn each sticker.

Earning her Elsa dress with chores // you & mie

And she was reeeeeally excited to finally get her dress!

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Ok, on to the dress . . . this is inspired by the dress Queen Elsa wears when she “lets it go” and embraces her ice powers.  It’s definitely not a replica of what she wears in the movie, but heavily inspired by it.  I had a few criteria when designing the dress in my mind.  I wanted it to be knit – comfy and easy to put on and take off.  I wanted it to be easy to clean.  And I wanted the materials to be inexpensive.

At preschool, there is a group of kids that is REALLY into “dress up” and almost every time I go to pick Yuki up, she’s got a raggedy piece of tulle tied around her neck or head or wherever and she’s walking around like she’s the queen of the world.  It made me realize that these kids don’t need some fancy expensive costume to make believe – they can pick up any simple prop and turn it into whatever they see in their fantastic imagination.  So my goal was to make it special, but keep it simple.

I went to my favorite cheap fabric store, Fabrix.  It carries “off-price surplus and closeout fabrics and trims” so it’s hit or miss what you’ll find in there, but sometimes you come across something perfect for a really low price.  I get a lot of my solid knits there when I find good colors.  Anyways, I walked in hoping to score some blue knit when I laid my eyes on this:

Frozen fractal fabric from Fabrix

And the words that immediately popped into my head were FROZEN.  FRACTALS.

Now, I have no clue what frozen fractals even look like, but if you’re familiar with the song, “Let it Go,” Elsa belts those words as she is constructing her beautiful ice castle at the climax of the song.  Here are the images from the movie that I think of when I see this fabric and what became the inspiration behind the dress.

Let it Go - ice castle scenes

I actually went back to the store to see if I could buy more yardage to give away to one of you, but it was already gone!!  :(

And that’s the actual Queen Elsa dress.  So with those images in my head, I went to design a simple and kid friendly dress.  Along with two yards of that frozen fractal knit, I got two yards of whatever sparkly tulle they had and a little bit of trim, all of it costing about $2.39 per yard.  Score!  For the sleeves and top of the bodice I used leftover burnout knit that I think probably also came from Fabrix, but I used in this shirt here.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

I started with the ever awesome Flashback Skinny Tee pattern by Made by Rae for the bodice.  I widened the neckline to more of a boatneck shape, but I think I went a little too wide and deep.  I brought the sides in a little, rather than slightly flaring out at the bottom, shortened the bodice and changed the shape of the bottom to a slightly curved V.  I cut the pattern along the colorblocked lines that you see and added seam allowance to attach the pieces.  The sleeves are unmodified.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

I was just going to make the dress purely knit and leave off any tulle so that I could throw the dress in the washer and dryer without working about it.  But I worried that it looked too plain and not special enough, so I gathered some of the tulle and attached it with the skirt.  I like the way it looks, but it does make cleaning the dress a bit harder.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Watch out!  Ice power! 

With the rest of the tulle, I gathered it a bit and zig zag stitched it to a piece of sparkly elastic from Jo-Ann, to make the cape.  Elsa doesn’t even wear a crown for the second half of the movie, but Yuki wanted one, so I sewed some trim onto a piece of craft felt, and folded and sewed the bottom 1/2 inch to make a casing to slide a headband through.  Took me just a couple of minutes – yay!

She loves it.  She wants to wear it every minute of the day.  She’s started telling people her name is Elsa.  I’m happy that she is happy, but I really hope this phase doesn’t last forever because I can really only handle listening to “Let it Go” so many times.

Queen Elsa does her chores // you & mie

And the Queen does her chores.  She wore her well-earned dress to a Sing-Along Frozen showing at the Castro Theater over the weekend.  Her classmate wore a beautiful mom-made dress as well.  They got to walk across the stage in front of the entire theater with all the other kids in costumes.  She belted out the words to her favorite songs and stuffed her face with popcorn.  She said it was the best day ever :)

Queen Elsa and her baby sister // you & mie

A Floral Baby Dress and a tutorial

Today I’m sharing a tutorial on the Oliver + S blog on how to alter a shirt pattern with sleeves to a sleeveless shirt!  I modified the Lullaby Layette Shirt pattern for the tutorial, but you can use this method for pretty much any pattern.

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

Head over to Oliver + S to check out the full tutorial!

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

I made the Lullaby Layette Shirt pattern (View B in the 3-6 month size), but I made a few modifications.  Besides making it sleeveless, I decided to add a little gathered skirt.  It was actually supposed to be more of a peplum top, but I made the skirt so long that it became a dress!  But that’s ok, I think this will actually fit her for awhile!

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

Before adding the skirt, I shortened the bodice by a couple of inches and also took the sides in a bit, so it was less A-line.  I was too nervous to add snaps to this amazing fabric (the chances of me messing up and tearing a hole in the fabric was too high), plus there’s something so sweet and more vintage-y about buttons, so I went with these light blue ones.  I think I made the right call.

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

This fabric!  It was a gift from my good friend, Frances, AKA Miss Matatabi.  It’s a nani IRO double gauze and it says “Fuwari Fuwari” on the selvage, but I didn’t recognize it, so I knew it must be older than a couple years.  Well after I cut into it I asked Frances about it and it turns out it’s a super rare print from 2006!  VINTAGE NANI IRO (yes, 2006 is vintage when it comes to a fabric line).  I suddenly felt mortified that I had just cut into it!

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

But Frances said that it was probably a good thing that I was able to use the fabric without the pressure of having to create something “worthy,” and I think she’s right.  This fabric probably would have sat in my stash forever and ever, and at least this way it was used to make something special for my daughter and maybe someday it’ll get passed on or something.  Random question – do you save your handmades?  When they are outgrown, do you give them away?  Store them?  Toss them?

Floral Lullaby Layette Dress by you & mie

In other news, Kaya is getting harder and harder to photograph.  That window of time when she could sit up, but not move has been too brief.  She’s already getting ready to crawl and I can barely get her to sit still for a few seconds.  Oh boy!

Anyways, I’d love it if you headed over to the Oliver + S blog to check out my tutorial.  It’s my first time posting over there!  :)

Happy Monday!

 

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt by you & mie

Today I am part of the Straight Lines and Angles series hosted by Jess of If Only They Would Nap.  The series is inspired by the geometric shapes trend, which I have totally fallen for.

I had originally planned on a triangle print skirt, but ended up setting that idea aside and taking a different approach to the project.  Instead of making something with geometric shapes on it, I decided to make something out of geometric shapes.

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt by you & mie

I was inspired by this awesome hoodie, and decided to use straight lines and angles to piece together a skirt with pockets.  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to do some color blocking as well, because that’s always appropriate, right!?

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt by you & mie

So this is kind of like a basic rectangular skirt (tutorial here), but I cut the pattern into polygons to create the angled center piece and pockets.  Here are my pattern pieces . . .

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt by you & mie

Doesn’t get more “straight lines and angles” than that, huh?

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt by you & mie

As a finishing touch, I freezer paper stenciled a set of stars (my favorite of all polygons) in one corner.  I love stars so much.

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt by you & mie

I’ve also been having fun coming up with different and unexpected combinations of colors.  Since I’m trying to use fabric from my stash, I dug all of these up from my scrap pile.  Recognize any of them?  The center panel is a gorgeous purpley shot cotton from the Maggie Mae Tunic.  The chartreuse is from my Project Run and Play Sew-along Signature Look skinny pants.  The side panels of the skirt are a cream linen/linen blend that I used for the Art Museum Vest.  The waist band is an oatmeal colored linen, but I have no idea where it came from or what I used it for before.

Straight Lines and Angles Skirt by you & mie

When I first showed Yuki the skirt, she said she didn’t like it, or the tank top I wanted her to wear with it.  Then she suddenly changed her mind and put them on happily and wore them the rest of the day!  That was a nice surprise – I feel like I haven’t made her anything she’s actually liked in a long time.  And hey!  I like it, too!  Isn’t it nice when things work out like that?

Follow along the rest of the series here and be sure to enter the Straight Lines and Angles giveaway here!

Have a great week!

Camp Ivanhoe Inspired Divided Basket

So you all know Kristin from skirt as top, right?  Well, she just welcomed her third babe into the world a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to send her and her littlest one some love.  I was trying to think of the perfect handmade gift, but when I couldn’t decide what to make, Jessica of A Little Gray came up with the brilliant idea of a Noodlehead Divided Basket.  Kristin has made a few of these for other people already, it’s kind of her go-to baby shower gift, so it just made sense for her to receive one too, right?

Well, it turned out to be such a great idea, that Gail had the exact same one!  I finished making my divided basket the night before baby C was born and the same day Gail blogged her basket.  When I first saw it I thought, “NOOOOOOOOO!  Curse her and her adorable divided basket!”  Haha, just kidding (love ya, Gail)!  It wasn’t quite that dramatic, but well . . . maybe a little. ;)

But then I realized quickly that this was a great thing, because two divided baskets is certainly better than one!  With all the things you can do with a divided basket, we might as well have made one for every room in the house.

Camp Ivanhoe inspired Divided Basket by you & mie

The theme for the boys’ room is Camp Ivanhoe from the movie, Moonrise Kingdom.  I checked out Kristin’s pinterest board for some inspiration and picked this particular blanket to pull colors and style from.  I grabbed all of the “campy” fabrics from my stash and it turns out, I have quite a lot!  The main fabric is a wool remnant that I’d been holding on to for awhile and never quite knew what to use it for.

Camp Ivanhoe inspired Divided Basket by you & mie

BINGO.  I think it worked perfectly here.  The pocket and accent pieces are all solid quilting cottons.  On the pocket, I made some strips of fabric to make stripes and top stitched them on.  The lining of the basket is an awesome plaid flannel from Jo-Ann.

The pattern is great.  I’m thinking that Anna (aka Noodlehead) is a genius, because I couldn’t really imagine how this was all going to come together, but she figured it all out for us and it’s really kind of magical.  This is the first time I’ve sewn one of her patterns and I’d say it’s a really great one to start with.  I also really want to make a Super Tote and a Cargo Duffle, and well, pretty much all of her other patterns.

Camp Ivanhoe inspired Divided Basket by you & mie

In the directions, Anna recommends using fusible fleece to give the basket more structure, especially if you are using a lightweight material.  Well, I thought that the wool was thick enough and didn’t use any, but I wish I had.  The basket is pretty floppy and doesn’t really stand up on it’s own when it’s empty.  But even without the fusible fleece, my machine had trouble stitching through the thicker sections (where the handles meet the body of the basket), so I’m not sure if it would have been able to handle another layer!  So we’ll see.  If I make this basket again (and I assume that I will), I definitely will use the fusible fleece and just hope my machine can handle it.

Camp Ivanhoe inspired Divided Basket by you & mie

I also made a little flag garland for the room with craft felt and felted wool.  I used the template for the scrap flag garland from this book (affiliate link), except I cut the top 1/2 inch off the top of the flags and carefully top stitched baker’s twine to connect them all.

Felt Flag Garland by you & mie

Then I filled the basket with a bunch of other goodies (not the diapers shown here) and shipped it off to meet its new little owner.  I hope I get to meet him someday soon too!  He seems to be fitting in so well with his awesome skirt as top family :)  Awwww . . . you really gotta check out those sweet newborn pictures.  Is it crazy that I have baby fever already when I still have my own baby??

A Little Lavender Geranium

Just a quick post today of a dress I made for Kaya a couple of weeks ago.  Remember when we had some family pictures and the girls needed something to wear in purple/gray?  Well Yuki got her Skater Dress, but Kaya needed something too.  I didn’t want her to show up in onesie or something when I knew everyone else was going to look nice.  But it was the night before pictures and I still had to make Yuki’s dress, so I tried and tried and tried NOT to sew up something new for Kaya, especially since she’s a baby and does not need a new dress.  But in the end, I couldn’t NOT do it!  You guys understand, right?

LavendarGeranium1

So I made her a Geranium.  The perfect pattern for a quick and cute dress.  This is my fifth Geranium!  I know this pattern.  I trust it.  It never fails me.

Anyone recognize the skirt fabric??

LavendarGeranium5

Well, if you said it’s from the first Geranium I ever made, the Geranium in Eyelet, you’d be right!  And you’d have an impressive memory!  :)  I had a piece that was just the perfect size leftover from that first dress.  And that was back when I tested this pattern over a year ago!  The fabric is a dusty purple color, though it looks gray in all of these pictures :(

LavendarGeranium4

The bodice fabric and skirt lining is Dear Stella’s Polka Dot in Gray from their Mercer Line.  I love the new Mercer Line and I’ve got some fabric just begging to be sewn up soon!!  I just can’t seem to decide what it wants to be yet . . .

LavendarGeranium6

The pattern calls for buttons in the back, but since I was running short on time/feeling lazy/making this for a baby who spends so much time on her back, I decided to go with velcro instead.  May not look as nice, but it’s sooo easy to put on and I imagine, more comfy for baby too!

LavendarGeranium2

So that’s it.  Another dress for Kaya.  She was able to wear it to a bridal shower recently and hopefully it’ll fit for another month or two.  And then maybe I can pass it on to another baby, so it doesn’t go to waste.  I don’t think I need to go into details about how great this pattern is – you already know I love it right?  If you want to see the others I’ve made, here are #1, #2, #3 and #4.

LavendarGeranium7

I’m trying to clear out some of my fabric stash and I have a small cut of this eyelet fabric that I’m thinking about selling as part of a destash sale.  I haven’t worked out the details (how, when, where) yet, but I’ll be sure to fill you in if you’re interested in helping me get rid of some of my fabric.  I’ll probably do a giveaway too.  So stay tuned!

Can you believe it’s February already!?

Bess Top in Ikat

So if you’ve been following along the blog recently you know that I’m trying to sew more for myself, but since I’m nursing, anything I make has to be nursing-friendly.  I’ve got a few different styles going on, but honestly, my uniform has been button up shirts with a nursing tank or camisole underneath.  My absolute favorite shirt right now is a Converse One Star top that I got from Target and it has a placket with snaps in the front that extends below the bust for easy opening.  It’s not meant to be a nursing top, but it’s perfect for it.  AND it’s really cute (sorry, I couldn’t find a picture or link).  Then I realized that it closely resembles the Bess Top!

So when Rachael of Imagine Gnats and creator of the Bess Top pattern asked if I would be part of her pattern tour, I was psyched to have the opportunity to recreate my favorite store bought shirt!

IkatBessTop1

So the main alteration I made to the pattern is adding a placket to the front.  I used this great Continuous Placket Tutorial by Melly Sews.  Otherwise, I sewed up the pattern as directed.

IkatBessTop4

My favorite feature of this pattern is the super unique way the sleeves come together.  The back piece of the shirt wraps around to the front to create sleeves instead of attaching them as separate pieces.  SO CREATIVE.  I love how you can use two contrasting fabrics, or just one, depending on what look you want.  If you use two different fabrics like I did, you only need a little bit for the front, so you can use something special you’ve been hoarding, like this woven ikat fabric.

IkatBessTop2

Ok, I have more to share about the pattern, but can we stop to talk about this fabric for a minute!?  I bought this ikat from Michael Levine back in June when I was in LA for the Fabric Shopping Weekend and I’ve been saving it for something special because it’s reeeally gorgeous.  Ikat fabric is made up of threads that have been dyed before it’s handwoven.  Bindings that resist dye are applied to the threads before they are dyed with one or multiple colors (kind of like tie-dying, except tie-dying is done after the fibers are woven into fabric and this method dyes the thread first before being woven).  The bindings are then removed and the threads are woven creating really unique and intricate designs.  The fabric has a looser weave which gives it nice drape, but it also means that raw edges fray very easily.  Michael Levine has a lot of other gorgeous ikat fabrics in their online store, if you’re interested!

*Edited to add – I forgot to mention that the fabric that I used for the back is a black shot cotton I picked up from Stonemountain and Daughter.  It’s got a similar feel and weight compared to the ikat – I really like them paired together.*

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Where were we? . . . Oh, right!  The pattern!  It comes in women’s sizes 2-20 and in three lengths, top, tunic or dress.  There are two necklines to choose from and a hi-low hemline.  I appreciate how the top fits loosely over my mid-section – it’s meant to flatter a range of body types.  The neckline, sleeves and hem are finished with knit, which is something I’ve never done before, but really liked!  It’s like finishing with bias, but I feel like it’s a bit lighter in weight and softer too.

The trickiest part of the construction is attaching the yoke and sleeve.  I can’t help but feel like one of the markings is a little off, but I followed the pattern and fiddled with it and it turned out ok.  I might play with it a little more the next time I make this top.  And yes, I do think I’ll make another.

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Here are a couple of awkward selfie chest shots for you.  I wanted to show what the placket looks like open, and OH SNAP!  Yes, I used snaps instead of buttons.  I wouldn’t have though of it, but that shirt I love so much has snaps and it’s so genius.  When the baby is hungry, I can pop my shirt open with one hand in one second.  And snapping it back up is a cinch too.  Oh, how I appreciate anything that can be done with one hand instead of two!  I only wish I had used black snaps instead of silver, but this is what I had.

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And here it is styled differently.  90s-ikat-denim love anyone!??

The Bess Top pattern can be purchased here.  And be sure to check out all the other stops on the Imagine Gnats pattern tour showcasing all of Rachael’s patterns!

*Edited to ALSO add that Rachael is offering 20% off all of her patterns through the end of January with the code “januarytour” so if you’re thinking about buying the pattern, be sure to buy it now with the discount!*

Inder Loves Folk Art / mon petit lyons / Sew Delicious
la inglesita / Miss Matatabi / Rae Gun Ramblings
Welcome to the Mouse House / Casa Crafty
Make it Handmade / Made with Moxie / Buzzmills
girl like the sea / just me jay / Play Crafts
Sew Well Maide / Sew Charleston / Mingo and Grace
Caila Made / Sewbon / do Guincho / call ajaire
Alison Glass / a.Amelia Handmade / Bored & Crafty
you & mie / Stitched Together / things for boys
fake it while you make it / Sanae Ishida
Behind the Hedgerow / I Seam Stressed / Charming Doodle
The Crafty Kitty / Siestas & Sewing / Figgy’s

Have a great weekend, everyone!

*This pattern was generously given to me for this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.*

Super Yuki to the Rescue!

Superhero4My main Christmas present to Yuki was this superhero dress up costume, and honestly?  Best. Gift. Ever.  For two reasons – 1. it was all suuuper simple and fast to sew up and 2. she absolutely loves it.  Can’t get much better than that!

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SUPER YUKI!  Oh man, I get a pretty good kick out of this costume too, I must say!  I first got the idea to make her a cape awhile ago when Yuki started pretending that she was a magician.  But recently, she saw a few episodes of the 1980s show, Spider-man and His Amazing Friends, and got really into the character, Firestar.  She kept asking if she could be her, but she looks like this and I wasn’t going to make that costume for her.  Luckily, details don’t matter much to a three year old and as far as Yuki is concerned, she is totally Firestar.

Superhero2So there are a ton of great cape patterns out there, but this one was made with this free pattern/tutorial because I really liked the shape of it.  Though I used velcro instead of magnets and I also shortened it quite a bit.  The cape is reversible and one side is made of some sort of shiny red fabric with the felt star “logo” top stitched on.

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The reverse side is black cotton with silver stars hand stamped on.  This side is supposed to be the magician side.  She hasn’t actually used this side since she’s much more into being a superhero, but I imagine that if I get her a hat and magic wand, she might be inclined to put on some magic shows as well.  I love that this cape is reversible and easy enough for her to put on by herself.

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The mask and arm cuffs are made of felt (the red is a glittery felt) and are technically both reversible as well, though these are just yellow on the other side.  I used this template for the mask and this pattern/tutorial for the arm cuffs, though I shortened my cuffs to fit Yuki better.  I started by top stitching the yellow stars on the red layer and then sewed the yellow and red layers together close to the edges.  Sandwich the elastic in between the two layers for the mask and it’s done.  The arm cuffs close with velcro.  I think I finished these in one nap time!

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I love how she falls into character so quickly when the costume is on.  All I have to do is give a Green Goblin cackle and she’s after me like the world is depending on it!

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Stealth mode.

I just love her imagination right now.  Everything she does is so creative and intensely real and meaningful it is to her.  Sometimes it gets tiring to play the same games over and over again with her, but I also know that I’m going to miss this stage when it’s gone.  She is just always 100% in that moment.  I envy that.

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OOF – she’s just too powerful for me!  Super Yuki saves the day once again!

What was the best present that you gave this year?  This would definitely be it for me, hands down.

Pajamas for Four

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Christmas pajamas have never been a family tradition in our house, but when I was trying to figure out what to give my nieces for Christmas, my sister-in-law suggested pajama pants for the middle schooler.  And then, since I’m crazy, I decided to make matching pajamas for my both of my nieces and both of my daughters.  Finished them the night before, but they were a hit.

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The cousins are 9 and 11 and we let the 11 year old pick the fabric.  I went to Joann‘s to pick up some flannel and it was on sale for $2.80 a yard!  Score.

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For the three older girls, I used the Parsley Pants pattern, though I had to grade it up for the 11 year old.  I was pretty nervous about the fit because I had no idea what I was doing, but it turned out great!  I basically added about 1.5 inches to the top, and 2 inches to the bottom and then cut the entire pattern along the tuxedo stripe line and added an inch to the width.  Love this pattern for pajama pants!!  I’m thinking of grading it up to make a pair for me!

For the baby, I made Rae’s Basic Newborn Pants (free pattern) with a little added length.  Of course, she’s already almost outgrowing her pajamas.

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The older girls got shirts from Target and Kaya is wearing a store bought onesie.  I just added the yellow pocket to match the yellow on the pants and had to do some altering on Yuki’s shirt since it was way too big for her.

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Yuki claims these are her favorite pajamas now and I’m certain that it’s because her cousins have the same ones.  She absolutely ADORES her cousins and think they are the best.  And they are.

So Christmas pajamas weren’t a tradition before, but maybe they are now?  I admit, it was pretty darn cute seeing them all running around (or just lounging around, in Kaya’s case) in their matching PJs.

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Check out my second shooter!

Do you guys do Christmas pajamas?  Where did this tradition even come from?  Worth continuing?  Apparently some of Hideko’s high school students totally dread it.  Haha!  Were you blessed with (or a victim of) matching pajamas as a kid?