Strawberry Skaters

Strawberry Skater Dresses by you & mie

 A month ago, I talked about a bunch of clothes I had made a month before that, and well . . . I still haven’t blogged half of it.  So two months later, but here are some dresses I made. :P

The fabric may be familiar to you . . . it’s from Heather Ross’ Briar Rose Jersey Knits line.  It came out about a year ago and it was all over the place at the time – I feel like everyone was making cute things with them!  Strawberries!  Knit fabric!  Cute!  But since I’m not one to follow the crowd (*cough* I’m actually just super lame), I decided to sew with this fabric when it’s not so popular and no longer available.  Haha. Continue reading

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Fluttering Fields Sundress {tutorial}

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

I’m so excited to be posting as part of Melly Sews’ (30) Days of Sundresses Series for the THIRD time (see my previous tutorials here and here)!  A new sundress tutorial every day this month!  Keep up with them all on Melly Sews.

30 Days of Sundresses Button // Melly Sews

I’m pretty excited about sharing this project because it was one of those things that I had a vision of, but didn’t know if or how it’d work.  But then it ended up exactly how I pictured it and I’m thrilled!

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

The dress is a halter-style dress with two ties in the back, a skirt that is gathered in the front and elastic in the back and, of course, pockets.  It’s super summery and perfect for the beach or picnics or parties, or whatever else you’ll be up to this season!  Just be sure to slather on the sunscreen because this baby shows a lot of back (but not that kind of back).

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

This is currently Yuki’s favorite dress and she requests to wear it as often as possible.  We’ve also gotten tons of compliments on it, which is due in great part to the adorable fabric.  It’s part of Cloud9’s Lotus Pond Collection by Rae Hoekstra and it’s called Fluttering Fields, which is where I got the name of the dress (thanks Rae)!  I love this fabric – high quality, organic, lovely to sew and lovely to wear (I basically live in my Lotus Pond pajama pants).

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Here is Yuki cracking herself up after sticking her tongue out at me.  She thinks she’s hilarious . . . :P

Do you want to make a Fluttering Fields Sundress!?  It’s really not very difficult at all!  Full disclosure here though – when I sew, I kind of make things up as I go and hope it comes out ok.  I often make changes along the way and later wish I did things differently or wonder if I did them the “right” way.  Luckily, things worked out pretty well with this project, but it certainly isn’t perfect and I’m going to tell you what things I discovered along the way or would do differently if I were to do it again.  It’s all about learning here, right?

Ok, here’s what you need:

  • Fabric (1-2 yards depending on the size)
  • Basic front bodice pattern
  • 1/4 inch wide elastic

For your fabric, I recommend a light to mid-weight woven fabric like quilting cotton, shirting, chambray, linen blend, double gauze, etc.  I’m pretty sure you could even use a stable knit, but I haven’t tried.

I started from a basic bodice pattern that I already had (from the Geranium Dress), but you can also draft your own from a shirt or dress that fits your child or use a different dress bodice pattern.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Taking your front bodice pattern piece as a starting point, I’m going to show you the edits I made to form the new bodice pattern for this halter style dress.  Some of this will depend on personal preference and the specific bodice pattern you’re starting with though.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

First I dropped the neckline slightly and created a new curve to meet the original neckline.

Now here is where what I did and what I wish I did start to differ.  I lowered the bottom of the armhole by about 1/2 an inch.  In hindsight, I probably didn’t need to do that.  What you need to know here is that whatever the measurement of the side of your bodice is (marked in turquoise), is going to be the width of your ties plus your seam allowance.

Mistake #2: I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance, which works out fine, but I do find it easier to work with at least 3/8 of an inch seam allowance.  So in all the pictures and directions, I’ll refer to a 1/4 inch seam allowance, but at the pattern drafting stage, I recommend you work in a larger seam allowance.  It’ll make the construction a little easier and when you construct yours, remember to substitute your seam allowance measurement whenever I say a 1/4 inch.  Got it?

So measure down about 2 inches from your armhole and if you need to shorten your bodice, do so.  The Geranium bodice is quite short as is, so I didn’t adjust the length.

That measurement you took (the turquoise line), that is going to be the same as your shoulder seam measurement (magenta line).  It just makes it easy to have all of your ties be the same width.  Rather than angling down, the shoulder seam needs to angle up so that your neck ties will point inwards.  Make a slightly curved line from the outer tip of your shoulder to the bottom of the armhole to create a halter shaped bodice.  The other thing I would change here is the depth of this curve.  You can see in the finished dress that the bodice cuts in quite a bit, so if you want more coverage, make the line straighter.

Phew!  Are you still with me?  Trust me, that was the hardest part!

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Next, we need to create the pattern for the ties.  You will use the same tie pattern piece for both the neck ties and the back ties.  In my second version of this dress, I followed the formula, but the back ties were too short.  I’m updating the directions, but I haven’t tested it out yet.  If I make a third dress, I’ll let you know if this works.

To determine the length of the neck ties, I calculated 3/4 of the total bodice width.  To do that, first measure the bottom edge of your bodice pattern then multiply that in two, since that pattern is only half a bodice.  For example, say your bodice pattern measures 6 inches across the bottom, that means the entire bodice will measure 12 inches.  Take that number and multiply it by .75 to calculate 3/4 of the width.  In my case, that is 9 inches.

For the back ties, take the length you just calculated (9 inches, in my case) and add 2 inches.  So your neck ties will be 9 inches long and your back ties will be 11 inches long.

*I have not tested this formula with any other sizes than this one, so I can’t guarantee this will be the right length, but I’m fairly certain that it should work.*

The width of your tie pattern will be the same measurement as that turquoise and magenta line up there, somewhere around 2 inches (mine is narrower because of the small SA).  Cut out a strip of paper with your measurements, fold it in half lengthwise and taper one end starting 2 inches from the tip.  I drew and cut one side, then folded it in half to trace the other side so that it is symmetrical.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Here’s what my pattern pieces looked like.  Ignore that middle one because it ended up being too short :P

Did I tell you that I was working things out as I went along?

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Skirt pieces!  You’ll need two rectangles for your skirt front and back.  To determine the width of a gathered skirt, I usually take the child’s waist measurement and then use that for one skirt panel.  For example, if the waist measurement is 20 inches, then my skirt panels will each be 20 inches, for a total of 40 inches, that will then be gathered to just the right amount of fullness (in my opinion).  You can add or subtract width according to your preference.  The length will depend on the desired length of the dress.  Be sure to leave room for seam allowance at the top, hemming at the bottom, and I throw in an extra inch just in case (you’ll need to trim the skirt front to match the back in a later step).  Set one of your skirt panels aside.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

For the back skirt panel, I added a slight curve along the top edge.  Fold your fabric in half (so the side seams are lined up) and cut a subtle curved line from the raw edge (side of the skirt) toward the folded edge, 1 inch down from the top.  I wanted to create a slight opening in the back, but knew that the weight of the elastic and fabric would pull the skirt down, so this cut can be very minimal and possibly eliminated altogether.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

So here are my cut pieces.  You need:

  • 2 bodice pieces
  • 4 pocket pieces (I just drew this shape to create my own pocket pattern)
  • 8 ties
  • 2 skirt panels (one rectangle and one with a lowered top edge)

In this lovely picture you can see another X.  I accidentally cut my first set of ties too long.  I used them anyways, but I would have been better off using a shorter tie (in the pictures, the back ties are triple knotted and still too long for my taste).  So ignore the different length tie pieces – all 8 of yours should be the same length.

We’re finally ready to sew!!!

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Pin the ties to the bodice sides and shoulders, right sides together.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

*VERY IMPORTANT* When you sew the sides, do NOT sew all the way to the bottom.  Stop a 1/4 inch from the bottom (If you are using a 3/8 seam allowance, stop 3/8 inch from the bottom).  Be sure to back stitch at each end.

Sew shoulder seams all the way across.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Press your seams open.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Your side seams should look like this, with a little opening at the bottom.  Repeat with the other bodice and tie pieces.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Place your two bodice pieces with right sides together and pin all the way around starting from the side seam (pink arrow) and going all the way around all four ties and the bodice, back to the other side seam (other pink arrow) and sew.  Do not sew the bottom of the bodice during this step.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

This is what it should look like, with your stitching beginning and ending at each side seam.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Cut notches in the curved sections of the seam allowance and cut off the excess fabric at the tips of each tie so it will look nice and flat when you turn it right side out.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Turn the bodice and ties right side out (I like to use a mechanical pencil or chopstick to get those ties turned and the tips nice and pointy).  Give it a gooooood press.  Fold the bottom edge of one of the bodice pieces towards the wrong side by a 1/4 inch (or whatever your seam allowance is) and press.  This side is now your bodice lining.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Take your back skirt panel, the one with the curved edge, and create a casing for the elastic by folding it a 1/4 inch and pressing, then 3/8 inch and pressing again.  Pin and sew along the folded edge.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

To determine your elastic length, take the waist measurement and divide it in half and subtract one inch.  So if the waist measurement is 20 inches, divide that in half to get 10 inches, then subtract 1 and your elastic length is 9 inches.  You don’t want to err on the side of excess length here.  If your elastic is too long then the back of the dress will gape open and hang too low.  You want this to be nice and snug against the back.

Thread your elastic through the casing (a safety pin is super helpful here).  As the end of the elastic is about to pass through the opening, pin and sew it in place so it doesn’t slip into the casing.  Continue to pull the elastic through to the other side and pin and sew it in place.  Trim any elastic that is sticking out of the ends of the casing.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

If desired, finish the curved edge of each pocket piece.  On your front skirt panel, place one pocket, right sides facing, 2 inches down from the top edge.  Pin in place.  Repeat on the other side.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

You’ll do the same for the back skirt piece except you’ll place your pocket pieces a 1/4 inch higher (or your seam allowance measurement) lower.  So while my front pocket pieces are placed 2 inches from the top, my back pocket pieces are 1 and 3/4 inch from the top.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Sew the pocket to the skirt (you can finish the edges of the skirt here if you want) and press the pocket out.  Repeat with the other 3 pocket pieces.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Place the skirt front and back right sides together with pockets lined up.  The front skirt piece will extend a 1/4 inch higher than the back.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Sew the sides of the skirt together going around the pocket (pink line).  Press the side seams toward the front of the dress.  Turn right side out and press.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Next we’ll gather the front of the skirt.  With a basting stitch (set your stitch length to the longest setting, do not back stitch and leave a tail of thread at the end), stitch two rows along the top edge of the skirt from one side seam to the other.  I find that I get the nicest looking gathers when I have one row of basting stitches above the seam allowance line and one below.  So I stitched my basting rows about 1/8 inch and 3/8 inch from the top.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Pull one thread from each row to gather the skirt until it is the same width as the bodice.  Distribute the gathers evenly.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Pin the bodice to the gathered front skirt piece, right sides together.  Be sure the bodice lining and back of the skirt are pulled aside when you sew.  The seam allowance from the sides of the skirt should be folded inwards toward the gathered skirt and will be sewn during this step.  Sew bodice and skirt together.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Press bodice and seam allowance up and remove thread from the basting stitches.  Woohoo!  It’s looking like a dress!

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

You can attach the bodice lining one of two ways.  The first is to hand sew the lining in, enclosing the seam allowance and stitching the lining to only the top layer of fabric.  This takes more time, but creates a clean look with no visible stitching.

The second method is to pin the lining down so that it covers the previously stitched line and then, from the right side of the dress, top stitch along the bottom of the bodice.  While you’re at it, you can top stitch along the bottom and all the way around the ties and neckline, if you want to.  It’s purely up to your personal/aesthetic preference.  I opted for the hand sewing.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Now all you need to do is hem!  The front of the dress is going to be a little longer than the back because I didn’t take into consideration the difference the casing would make.  Yeah, oops again.

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Even out the lengths and fold twice towards the wrong side to your desired length and sew along the folded edge.  And you’re DOOOOONE!!

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Fluttering Fields Sundress Tutorial // you & mie

Gahhhh!  Love this little sun-kissed back!

Yuki’s worn this dress a bunch already and I’ve had to wash it a few times.  The only problem is that the ends of the ties have come out of the wash wrinkled, but luckily it’s just that part of the dress and it’s very easy to press (it takes one minute).

I realize that this tutorial is long and possibly hard to follow along, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you!  I really hope that some of you give this a try because I’d LOOOOVE to see your versions!  Be sure to share them with me via email or load your pictures into the you & mie flickr pool!

Thanks so much for stopping by and be sure to check in at Melly Sews for a new sundress tutorial every day of this month!

 

 

 

Color Blocked Soleil Dress

Color Blocked Soleil Dress // you & mieA month or two ago, I would have said that another dress is the last thing this girl needs.  But recently, she’s been choosing dresses more often, especially the knit ones, and she was thrilled to add this one to her wardrobe.  She already wore it on Monday and asked me if she could wear it again today (but it was in the laundry).  The pattern is the Soleil Dress by Selvage Designs/Lauren Dahl.

Color Blocked Soleil Dress // you & mie

A few things that I love about the pattern . . .

The design.  I think the dress is adorable.  I love that it’s knit – comfy and easy for my daughter to put on and take off herself.  I think the cut-out back is cute and unique (though a closed back option is also available).  I love the contrast binding and the opportunity to play with different fabrics in one dress.  I just think that this dress is perfect for the summer!  Just remember to put sunblock on your kid’s back if they’ve got the cut-out!

The pattern itself.  Lauren has recently released an online course called Pattern Workshop to teach people how to create PDF patterns.  So I was very curious to see how her pattern was – ya know, being a teacher and all, I would hope it was good.  Well, it’s good.  It’s quite beautiful, actually.  It’s super clear and organized and easy to look at.  The charts are neat, the diagrams are neat, the pages print neatly and all the pieces fit together neatly.  It’s just kind of a sigh of relief for someone who’s a bit anal, like me.  And though I didn’t try it, apparently the pattern comes in layers so you can print out just the size you want!  So you don’t have to carefully track which dotted-dashed line or shade of blue is the one in your size.  It’s all explained in the directions.  If only I had bothered to read those beforehand . . .

The size range.  The pattern starts at 12 mo. and goes all the way up to 12.  That’s a HUGE range.  This pattern will last you forever.

Color Blocked Soleil Dress // you & mie

I made a few modifications to the pattern to add some extra color blocking.  First I took the front bodice pattern piece and drew a curved line that mimics the curve in the back.  Then I cut the pattern in two and added a 1/4 inch seam allowance to attach the two pieces.  I also added a band along the bottom because I didn’t have enough of the pink fabric for the length I wanted.  Adding the band also means no hemming!  Bonus.  Unfortunately, the band was a little short and I had to stretch it to fit the bottom of the skirt, so you may notice it’s narrower than the skirt.  Oh wells.

I also used a regular knit jersey fabric for the binding instead of the ribbing or fold over elastic that is recommended.  This was a little bit of a gamble, but I stretched it a lot while sewing to make sure that it would not be saggy.  It worked pretty well and think it’s fine for this dress, but I don’t think it has as much elasticity as the recommended fabrics, so I’d probably stick with those for future dresses.

Color Blocked Soleil Dress // you & mie

A couple of extra notes . . .

The directions in the pattern are clear, but in some places I feel like they are a little brief.  I guess I’m the kind of person who likes thorough descriptions and if you’re a beginner, there isn’t a lot of hand holding.  I think this pattern can be for beginners, but if you’ve never sewn with knits before, be sure to read up on some of the great knit tutorials available online first for helpful tips on how to sew with knits.

*SEE ADDED SECTION BELOW!*
The tricky part for me, was attaching the binding to the wrong side of the dress.  This may have had something to do with the fact that I used jersey instead of the recommended fabrics, I’m not really sure, but when I flipped my binding to the wrong side of the garment and top stitched below the binding like directed, I had a really hard time catching the fabric, even when pulling it quite a bit.  I’m thinking that what happened is that when I stretched the binding, it lost some of it’s width, making it harder to wrap around.

Color Blocked Soleil Dress // you & mie

So you can see in the picture above, the neckline just barely was caught by the top stitching line and in some places didn’t make it at all, so there are a few places where it’s not attached.  I tried a couple of times and then gave up.  I’m hoping those sections are small enough that they won’t make a difference.  So when I did the armholes, I made my binding wider by 1/2 an inch and then trimmed it after sewing.  I’m curious if anyone else had this problem, or if it was just me.

*AHHH!  I did this step wrong!!  Heidi kindly explained to me that I was supposed to fold the binding in half lengthwise (this part is stated in the pattern) and then sew the folded binding, with both raw edges to the edge of the dress and then flip that open and sew the seam allowance down.  THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.  I went back to the pattern and honestly, it’s kind of unclear the correct way to do it, since the directions are minimal, but I I’m pretty sure Heidi is right.  The reason why this changes everything is because I’m actually missing about a half an inch of fabric on all edges (arm, neck and back cut-out) since I enclosed the seam allowance in the binding instead of adding width of the binding, if that makes sense.  I really wish I had done it the correct way!  Well, now you know . . .

Color Blocked Soleil Dress // you & mie

This is what I got when I asked for a smile.  Despite her lack of enthusiasm for modeling, she really does love this dress.  When I asked what her favorite part was she said, “the pink and yellow and all the colors” and “the back pocket” which of course is the cut-out that she kept trying to stick her hand through.  Yeah, didn’t get any pictures of that unfortunately.  I think she loves that it’s knit and comfy and those pockets!  Who doesn’t love deep pockets!?  She actually tried to smuggle about a million mini hair rubber bands to school that day, so I suppose I don’t love deep pockets. :P

I think this pattern would be fun to hack into a bathing suit or leotard! Maybe a future project??

Thanks Lauren for providing me with this pattern to review!  And if you’re interested in seeing other versions of this dress, Lauren has been doing round ups of Soleil dresses being made by other bloggers and you can find them on her blog.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaways currently open.  You have until Friday evening!
Four Seasons Pillow Cover Giveaway
Quilter’s Delight Fabric Bundle Giveaway

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!

 

Figgy’s Ethereal Dress

EtherealDress1

Have you seen the new Heavenly Collection by Figgy’s?  The collection is made up of 7 super unique and stylish patterns for kids and some of them for young adults.  When Shelly contacted me about being a part of the Heavenly Tour, I jumped on board immediately.  I was drawn to the Ethereal Dress & Blouse.

EtherealDress6

And what a sweet little dress this is!  The construction is a very standard bodice with a gathered skirt – the frill is what makes it so special.  It can be made in shirt, tunic or dress length and with long sleeves, short sleeves or no sleeves.  The dress came together really easily and adding the frill was pretty straightforward.  The pattern directions were clear and easy to understand and produces such a unique little piece for your kiddo’s wardrobe.

EtherealDress3For the sleeveless and short sleeved version, the bodice is fully lined and is finished with a technique that looks great, but might be a little confusing if you’ve never done it before.  Shelly has broken it down a little bit more in this post here and Rae of Made by Rae has a fantastic video for lining a Washi dress bodice that is the same technique.  I recommend checking those out if you’ve never finished a lined bodice like the pattern instructs.  Super helpful!

EtherealDress2

And what fabric could be more ethereal than some Nani Iro double gauze??  You might recognize this Nani Iro Melody Sketch from this A-line tunic I made a couple years ago and I said it then, and I still think even now, that this is my favorite fabric ever.  I have a little bit leftover from the tunic, but not enough for a whole dress, so I used it for just the frill.  The rest of the dress is made from a really lightweight shot cotton that I used on a dress for Sanae’s daughter for the clothing swap last year.  I love these fabrics together – both so airy and soft, yet  clean and crisp.

EtherealDress4

*Edited – I wanted to mention that I decided to do some understitching along part of the front neckline.  Understitching is a line of stitching attaching the bodice lining or facing to the seam allowance and prevents the lining/facing from rolling up and becoming visible.  This helps give any garment a clean and polished look and was especially important here since the bodice and the frill are different fabrics.  Without the understitching, the bodice lining was rolling up and I could see it at the neckline.*

I’ve found that Figgy’s patterns run pretty large, so be sure to check the size chart and not just choose the size by the kid’s age.  I made the 18 month size for my 3 and a half year old and made the “full length” dress version but shortened it by a few inches.  It fits great and the bodice even has a little room for her to grow into!

The back has an opening with a button and loop closure.  So simple and so sweet!

EtherealDress5

The Ethereal Dress & Blouse pattern can be purchased individually or with the entire collection.  I like a lot of the patterns in the collection, but I definitely want to sew up the Stellar Tunic/Dress next!

Shelly is also hosting a huge giveaway on the Figgy’s blog with the prize including fabric, sewing supplies and the entire Heavenly pattern collection.  Check out all the details and entry information here!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the other stops on the Heavenly Pattern Tour throughout the month of February.

Can you believe Valentine’s Day is this week!?  Doing any special sewing for the lovely holiday?

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

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!?

Hanami Dresses and a whole lot of thanks

Hey friends!!  How are you doing?  I gotta say, I totally miss being here.  I definitely miss sewing, but I’ve been able to sneak some in here and there.  Blogging is fun because I get to share with you, hear what you’re up to, and get your feedback – I’ve been missing the community!

I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family last week and took some time to reflect on all the things I’m thankful for.  There are so so many things that I’m grateful for, I consider myself a truly lucky person.  This year I’m especially thankful for our newest addition, Kaya, and that both of our girls are so happy and healthy.  But I also wanted to take a minute to acknowledge how blessed I feel to be able to do the things that I love, like sewing and blogging, and that I get to be part of such an amazing community of inspirational and awesome people!  I’ve made such great friends here, and even to those of you who I don’t know – I appreciate you just stopping by!  This blog would be nothing without you readers.  So thank you!

Like I said, I’ve been able to get a little sewing in recently, but first I wanted to share a couple of dresses that I made back in August.  Yes, over 3 months ago.  Don’t ask me why it took so long to blog these, because I really like them!  The pattern is the Hanami Dress/Top by Straight Grain.

Hanami1

Back in July, An of Straight Grain put out a call for pattern testers and after seeing the adorable versions that she had made, I jumped at the opportunity!  The pattern comes with several variations – crossed back or invisible zipper, flutter sleeve, tulip sleeves, peter pan collar and, of course, length – either dress or top.  I love a pattern with endless possibilities!

blue hanami

I signed up to test the pattern in size 3T since Yuki was about to turn three and had recently started wearing 3T store bought shirts.  But after looking at the measurements, I knew it’d be too big, which is really no surprise because Yuki is super petite for her age.  But I went ahead and made the dress in size 3 and had a friend’s daughter try it on for the testing.  I chose the unique crossed back and tulip flutter sleeves and used Wild Carrot Blue, by Violet Craft for Michael Miller.  I picked this up from the remnant section of Britex.

The name of the pattern, Hanami, is a Japanese word meaning “flower viewing.”  In Japan it is a custom for people to gather and picnic under the blooming cherry blossoms and enjoy their short lived beauty.  It was something I got to experience when I lived there.  So with that name in mind, I couldn’t shake the image of flowers so naturally when I went to my stash to pick fabric, they both ended up being florals.

blue hanami2

I made one addition to the dress which is a bias tape “belt” around the waistline.  I just wanted to add a little contrast to the dress and thought this finished it off quite nicely.

So after I made the first dress in size 3, I really wanted one that would fit Yuki, so I made another Hanami in size 2 and it fit her perfectly.  I chose this watercolor floral fabric that I bought at Ikea awhile back and I love the way it came out!  I decided to do the regular flutter sleeves, but stuck with the crossed back that I love so much.  But do you notice anything interesting about these pictures?

Hanami2

Hanami3

She’s wearing the dress backwards!!  When I was making the dress, I was trying to be thoughtful about which parts of the fabric I was cutting for each piece, but when it was all done I realized that I liked the back better than the front.  So when I put it on Yuki I tried it on backwards to see how it’d fit her and I loved it.

Hanami4

I added a strip of thin black bias tape around the waist again for a little contrast (no bow this time) and I really like how it separates the bodice from the skirt.

Hanami5

The pattern is great.  Well written step-by-step directions with color photos for every step.  These two versions of the dress I made are very spring/summer appropriate, but if you are looking to make a holiday dress, this would be a great pattern to use as well.  In fact, if I have time, I’m hoping to make a holiday version for Yuki later this month.  If you’re interested, you can buy the pattern HERE along with An’s other great patterns.  And if you want to check out my absolute favorite Hanami of all time, see Stitched Together’s version.  You won’t regret it :)

I hope you are all doing well.  I’ll be back later this week to share a fun new book with a giveaway!

Miss ya!

My Little Flower Girl

FlowerGirlThis past weekend my sister got married and if you follow me on Instagram (@youandmie), you’ve probably seen some sneak peeks of the fun and beautiful weekend.  The entire week before the wedding was pretty much devoted to wedding prep – I had wedding projects piled up all over the place.  Menus, table numbers, escort cards, signs, and of course, the flower girl dress.  But it all got done and everything went so smoothly – I really don’t think it could have been any more perfect.  The lovely bride and groom put together a really amazing wedding weekend and was surrounded by all of the people who love and support them – it was a really awesome thing to see.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, so I can’t show you all of the little projects that I worked on, but as I collect pictures from friends and family members, and of course, the professional photographer, I may be sharing some of those with you.  My only big sewing project for the wedding was Yuki’s flower girl dress.  Since I didn’t get any pictures of her during the wedding, I made her put the dress back on yesterday and quickly snapped some new ones.  Amazingly enough – she really likes the dress!  She wore it for 9 hours straight on Saturday and never once complained or asked to take it off!  And the truth is, I like it too!

FlowerGirl1The pattern is the Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress.  The dress is simple in it’s design (which is great for special occasions or for adding embellishments), though it is not necessarily a simple dress to construct, BUT the result is pretty stunning!  The pattern comes with two views: sleeveless and sleeved, with two different kinds of collars, an optional sash or waist tie.  For my version, I made it sleeveless, but omitted the collar and added a ribbon sash instead of the one included in the pattern.  I did, however add a lace overlay and my fabric choices, though they ended up looking exactly how I envisioned, made construction a bit tricky.

FlowerGirl2I made the dress in size 2T and it fits Yuki perfectly.  The bodice (for sizes 2T and up) have darts in both the front and back, which make for that perfect fit and professional look.  It has an invisible zipper in the back and is fully lined.  It also has an optional layer of tulle for skirt volume.  As you can imagine, there are a lot of steps to constructing this dress and I did quite a bit of hand sewing to give it a truly professional finish.  It takes time, but really, I think it was worth it!

FlowerGirl6All the materials besides the lace, I bought at Britex Fabrics.  I decided splurge on something high quality for this special occasion dress.  The main fabric is a synthetic satin in eggshell and is pretty thick.  I think this also made construction a bit trickier in places (the pattern calls for light to mid-weight fabrics) but I really love how well the fabric holds it shape because of the heavier weight.  I used a polyester lining that was a pain in the butt to work with – it was soooo thin and slippery and shifty.  Probably the right choice for this project, but still no fun to work with.  The ribbon is a double sided satin ribbon that was chosen to match the color scheme/bridesmaids dresses.  The lace was a last minute decision and I picked that up at my local Joann’s.

FlowerGirl3The flowers in these pics are not her actual bouquet from the wedding, but rather those from a table at the wedding.  The flowers for the wedding were done by my sister’s friend, Jaclyn K. Nesbitt Designs, and they were all soooo gorgeous!  I wrapped these up in some ribbon so Yuki could have another bouquet.  I think the flowers were the most exciting part of the flower girl job for Yuki!

FlowerGirl5And she was such a trooper the entire wedding.  She didn’t have any meltdowns, she kept her dress on (and UNSTAINED) the entire time and escorted me down the aisle during the ceremony.  She had to leave the ceremony towards the end because she was starting to get bored and when she watched the wedding party walk back down the aisle at the end she started getting really upset saying she “didn’t get married” because she was “too loud.”  Omigosh, it was too cute.  She thinks that all of us who walked back down the aisle got married and she didn’t get to because she was making too much noise.  Poor sweet thing.

FlowerGirl4Anyways, this dress was definitely a labor of love and I don’t even know if she’ll ever wear it again, but I think it was worth it.  She was the cutest flower girl I’VE ever seen and I think she felt pretty darn special.  I think I will use this pattern again, though in more casual and lighter weight fabrics.  I’d definitely recommend this pattern for a special occasion dress!  Like all Oliver + S patterns, it is a high quality pattern with clear instructions and great diagrams.  You know the techniques are legit and you always end up with a professional looking garment.  I feel like I give this same shpeal every time I talk about O+S patterns, but it’s always true – you really can’t go wrong with them!

So it’s been pretty busy around here and just when you think things might settle down, KIDS CLOTHING WEEK rolls around!  :)  Can you believe it’s already next week?  I honestly haven’t given much thought about what I’ll be making and I probably won’t be quite as involved as I have been the last 2 rounds, but I am looking forward to getting some good ol’ kids clothes sewn.  If you don’t know what KCW is, check out all the important info here and know that it is a TON of fun.  And it’s not too late to get in on the action!  Coming up later this week, I’ll be posting on the KCW blog about one of my favorite patterns, so be sure to check that out :)

Oliver + S Spring Pattern Preview: Pinwheel Dress + Tunic

Pinwheel1Last week I got to share my version of the new Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress + Tunic.  This week, Kristin, Jessica and I are sharing the Pinwheel Dress + Tunic (both patterns are available for sale on the Oliver + S site now)!

This is the 2nd of two new patterns being released by Oliver + S this spring.  This pattern comes with two pieces, a tunic and a slip dress, meant to be layered or worn separately.   Jessica blogged her awesome combo of the two pieces yesterday.  And Kristin made a cute summery sleeveless tunic for her little one.  I went with the simple slip dress with no modifications.

Pinwheel2The slip dress is a pretty fast and easy sew.  The way it is constructed with straps sewn in between the dress and the facing is pretty brilliant – I love learning new things like that!  The hardest part for me was attaching the flounce to the dress, but just follow the directions, take your time, and snip the curve a TON (this will all make sense when you’re sewing it :) ).

Pinwheel3To take my Pinwheel in a different direction from the other girls’ versions, I made a sweet and simple linen version in ivory.

Pinwheel4For the bias tape, I used this gorgeous Nani Iro double gauze Little Letter bias that I bought from my favorite Nani Iro supplier, Miss Matatabi.  I had been saving it for the perfect project and I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to compliment the clean linen with this sweet floral trim.

Pinwheel7I made the dress in size 2T and it’s a tad bit roomy on her.  It would probably look better if I had gone a size down, but I’m positive this will fit her for a looong time!

When I first saw the pattern, I could definitely see the appeal, but it wasn’t necessarily my style.  I’m so glad that I had this opportunity to sew it up though because I ended up really enjoying both picking out the perfect fabrics to make the garment “me” and the whole sewing process.

Pinwheel5

When this picture was taken I had just asked Yuki what she thought of the dress and she looked down and said, “It’s beeautiful!”  Hee hee.

Pinwheel6This pattern is now available in paper format and PDF so head over to the Oliver + S site to get your copy now.

Sweetheart Bubble Dress and GIVEAWAY {closed}

Sweetheart5Sweetheart7The Sweetheart Dress is a pattern I’ve had my eye on for a long time, and what better time to sew one up than just in time for Valentine’s Day!?  What, you may ask, is so “sweetheart” about this dress?

Sweetheart6Well what is NOT sweetheart about this dress?  It’s seriously adorable from the front and then BAM! – that heart cutout in the back is just pure sweetness!

The Sweetheart Dress pattern is designed by the super kind and talented Shannon of luvinthemommyhood.  If you ever go around her blog, you know that she is such a warm person and not only does she sew, but she’s a crazy amazing knitter too!

This pattern is a relatively quick sew, probably appropriate for an intermediate beginner.  It is a PDF pattern, so you can download it to your computer and print it out at home.  The pattern has very few pieces to cut and none that have to be taped together, so that made things even simpler and quicker!

Sweetheart1The way Shannon instructs you to construct the bodice was completely new to me.  I like learning new and different ways to do things.  Though I have to say, I had some trouble getting my arm holes top stitched nicely and looking clean.  It’s probably my least favorite part of the dress (I know you probably can’t tell from here, but if you looked close up, you’d see some slightly wonky stitching).

Sweetheart2

There are a couple of modifications I made to the pattern.  The most obvious change was making it into a bubble dress!  I know bubble hems have been popular for a long time now, but I never really had any desire to make one until I saw this dress by An of StraightGrain (she has a free pattern for a bubble skirt)!  After I saw the Sweetheart Dress pattern and picked the fabric, it seemed like it was just begging to be a bubble dress!  I’ll explain more about how I did it below.

The other things I did differently was to sew the skirt to the outside of the bodice with piping and then I hand stitched the bodice lining to the inside of the dress.  I just knew that with the double gauze fabric, it would probably look cleaner without the extra top stitched line.

Sweetheart3For the closure at the back of the dress, instead of doing a button with a loop, I hand stitched hook & eye closures to the inside of the dress.  Great idea, in theory.  It looks nice, but because the back of the dress is so open, it moves around a bit and the closures kept coming undone.  Soooo, probably don’t try that one folks.  I ended up adding a fabric covered button and button loop the way Shannon instructs (after these pictures were taken) – which looks just as nice.  Shoulda just listened in the first place . . .

EDIT!  Veronica from SewVery said that she used hook closures and it worked beautifully!  You can see her dress here.  Maybe I should have just used some pliers to close up the hooks a little.

Sweetheart4So to make my Sweetheart Dress into a bubble dress, I used An’s tutorial for reference.  You’ll want to cut your main skirt piece exactly the way the Sweetheart Dress pattern instructs you to.  Then you’ll need to cut a lining skirt piece.

bubblelining2(like my awesome graphic?)

Basically, I cut 2 isosceles trapezoids with the following measurements.  The bottom of the skirt lining was 10 inches less than my main skirt pieces.  So since my main skirt piece was 29″ wide, the base of my skirt lining was 19 inches.  The height was just one inch less than the height of the my main skirt.  The main skirt piece was 15″, so my lining piece was 14″.  The width at the top, is the same as your bodice piece, so use that for reference.  Here’s what my lining pieces looked like:

bubblelining(disclaimer: these measurements worked for me, but I do not guarantee that this formula will work for other sizes.  sorry!)

Once you have your pieces, sew up the dress using Shannon’s directions for the bodice and An’s directions for the bubble skirt.  Pretty easy modification – super cute results!

Sweetheart10I made this dress in size 2T.  It fits wonderfully when on, but the bodice is a bit snug getting her into it.  Because of the design of the dress, I’m not sure how you can open up the bodice any deeper.  Maybe place the heart cutout lower?  Otherwise, it looks great on.

The fabric I used is Nani Iro Pon Pocho.  It is double gauze and I loooooooooove it.  I picked it up during my trip to Japan over the summer.  I still have quite a bit left, so I’m excited to use it again.  Doesn’t it just kinda make the dress?  The only thing that I’m a little baffled by is that after washing and drying the dress, everything just looked flat and smushed (look at the very first and second photos up top – see the difference?)  Is this normal?  Does it have to do with the fabric?  Any way to get it to fluff back up??

ANYWAYS.  This dress is perfect for Valentine’s Day which is coming up SOON.  And not just that, but it’s an adorable party dress, so I’m sure your little one could get plenty of use out of it all through spring and summer.

Sweetheart8If you’re ready to buy the pattern and sew it up right now, head over here to purchase the Sweetheart Dress.

OR if you want to try and win a copy of this pattern for FREE, Shannon is so generously offering the Sweetheart Dress pattern to THREE lucky winners.

TO ENTER: {GIVEAWAY CLOSED – find out if you’re a winner here}

  • Leave a comment on this post.  You can leave a comment about anything, but if want a prompt, how about:  Who do you want to sew this dress for and what kind of fabric will you use?
  • One entry per person.
  • Winner will be picked at random.
  • Open to US and International residents.
  • Giveaway will be open until Sunday, February 10 at 11:59pm PST. Winners will be announced on Monday, February 11.

So go ahead and buy your fabric this weekend, then come back on Monday to see if you’re one of the winners!

Sweetheart9Wheeeee!

This pattern was given to me for this review.  All opinions are my own.
I am an affiliate of Go To Patterns.