A Joey Dress

**I just heard that Toni is having a HUGE sale on all Make it Perfect patterns – 50% off!  You’ve got about a day left to take advantage of the sale!**

Joey Dress by you & mie

Awhile back, Toni of Make it Perfect contacted me and asked if I wanted to try out one of her new patterns, the Joey dress for girls.  I dunno if you’ve noticed, but Yuki is aaaaall about the knit dresses so I was excited to add another knit dress pattern to my collection – and this one is so cute!  I love that kangaroo pocket and the different sleeve lengths, making this pattern great for all seasons.

The pattern comes in several size ranges: Little Joey (0-5 years) and Big Joey (6-10) and even in adult sizes as the Skippy Dress (XXS-XXL)!  The dress is simple, but has that fun pocket and a fitted waistband.  I love the gathered sleeves – I think it adds a cute touch.  There are three sleeve lengths – short, 3/4, and long.  I made the “3/4 length” sleeve, though I think “elbow length” would be a more appropriate name.  It also has a cowl neck option along with the regular neckband finish.

Joey Dress by you & mie

If I’m going to be completely honest here though, I did not have the easiest time sewing up this dress.  And I can’t even figure out why, which is the most frustrating part.  Was it me?  Was it the pattern?  Was it printing problems?  It seems like everyone else who has made it had no issues, so I’m not sure what went wrong!  But I emailed Toni and she responded so sweetly and quickly trying to help me through my issues – it made me feel a lot better.  Though I still am not entirely sure what the problem was . . .

The part that gave me the most problems was that darn pocket!  For whatever mysterious reason, my pocket was just too small and Yuki’s hands would never fit through the openings.  I couldn’t get the binding on correctly either, they weren’t wide enough.  So after trying it twice, I decided to draft my own pattern piece for the pocket and attached the bindings the way you do a neckband (not as directed in the pattern directions).  I’m seriously baffled though, because not one person who has blogged about this dress has mentioned problems with pocket size.  I’m thinking it was a printing issue?

Joey Dress by you & mie

I made this dress in size 2 based on Yuki’s chest measurement and it fits perfectly.  I probably should have gone a size up to make it last longer, but it’ll at least last this season.  I was worried a little bit about length, and also feeling too lazy to hem the dress, so I added a band at the bottom instead.  While I think the added length is good, I don’t really love how it came out.  The aqua fabric I used here is a french terry that is thick and cozy, but a little too thick for this.  Folded in half as a band basically created a hoop at the bottom of the skirt, so the shape looks a little funky.

Joey Dress by you & mie

The main fabric that I used for the dress was purchased from fabric.com after seeing this adorable tee by Erin of Hungie Gungie (unfortunately, not available anymore).  The fabric was sooo cute and soft looking, I couldn’t resist!  I hoarded it for a long time, thinking I might make something for myself, but never figuring out what.  I finally decided to use it for this and still have plenty left over.  The fabric is very soft and stretchy, but I did have some issues sewing with it because it was a bit flimsy – it would get eaten up by the machine and then it would also stretch out like crazy.  After washing it, it pilled up, so now I’m rethinking sewing something for me.  I wouldn’t be able to stand the pilling, unless it was a pajama shirt or something.  But it’s fine for a kid’s dress and still super comfy, which is what matters most for Yuki.

Joey Dress by you & mie

Despite my difficulties, I DO love the way this dress came out and it looks great on my little one.  Plus she loves it, and that’s definitely a win in my book.  I definitely think I’ll make it again and just play around a little with the shape and length of the skirt and try different sleeve lengths, etc.  It’s just such a fun style while being comfy and practical too.

Thanks Toni for giving me this pattern to try out and for being so helpful and responsive.  If you’re interested in buying the pattern, you can find it along with all the Make it Perfect patterns!

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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?