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?

October is here!

So I’ve had a ridiculously crazy past month – with all the back to school craziness (I work at a school, so the beginning of the year is HECTIC), plus 3 birthday parties (Yuki, Hideko and my sister), and a horrible streak of bad luck (dropped my camera and broke the lens, slipped in the shower and smashed my back on the edge of the tub, AND someone used 3 of my photos without my permission to advertise their own product on Etsy and eBay – UGH!!), I feel like I’ve been drowning a little bit.

There certainly were some great moments in there, like 3 successful parties, getting to see some old friends, the blog turning one and working on last week’s film petit!  Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments and feedback on those last 2 things, by the way.  You really do make this blogging thing SO much fun 🙂

But September is gone and most of the bad things are far behind me (except I still need a new camera lens) and October is here!  I’m determined to have a better month and it shouldn’t be too hard.  I love the fall and my birthday is coming up and that’s a fun way to start off the month.

Another great thing that’s coming up next week is Kids Clothing Week Challenge, hosted by Meg of elsie marley!  Basically, the challenge is to sew children’s clothing for at least one hour a day for one week.  I’m sure I sew more than 7 hours a week on a pretty regular basis, but this is so fun because you’re doing it with hundreds of other people.  It’s so motivating knowing that a ton of other people are working their tails off too, and you get to share all of your work in the flickr pool and there is SO much inspiration and encouragement.  I participated for the first time last spring (you can see a recap of my week’s work here) and I was not only super productive, but had a lot of fun.

This time around, Meg has created a KCWC board on pinterest and it is TEEMING with gorgeous kids clothing inspiration.  It makes me wish I could sew all day every day and I feel like that would still not be enough time to make all the things I’d want to.  I’m currently trying to decide what I want to work on next week.  Fall staples?  Adorable dresses?  Patterns that I’ve bought and not yet used?  I can’t decide . . .

Are you going to sew along for KCWC?  If so, go leave a comment on this post to let Meg know that you’re participating!  She’s trying to get more participants than last time and there were 700 people!  So join in the fun!  At the end of the week, you may be a little sleep deprived and your house may be a bit of a mess, but your kid (or someone’s kid) will have something new to wear and you will be beaming with pride 🙂

So what’s on your to do list?

KCWC S12: Done!

I started one more project that I thought I MIGHT squeeze in before KCWC ended, but I realized I didn’t have the right buttons and I wouldn’t have been able to photograph it till tonight anyways.  So I’ll share that with you later this week and just call it a wrap for my first KCWC.

I finished 4 projects last week and feel like I was super productive.  Not just with sewing, but with photographing and blogging too.  Sometimes I’ll sew something and maybe even take pictures, but who knows when they’ll get transferred to my computer.  And blogging about it?  That’s a big maybe.  Writing a blog post takes me FOREVER.  So it was a good challenge to not only sew quickly, but also try and take less photos and blog faster as well.  There’s no way I could ever keep that kind of schedule up for good, but it was fun to try.

So here’s a little recap of my projects:

Shirt to Skirt RefashionOriginal pattern
Fabric: Thrifted shirt

Double Ruffle Top

Every Little Thing pattern for the bodice
Original pattern for the body + felt bow pin
Fabric: Gray and white striped cotton

Chambray Summer ShortsOriginal pattern
Fabric: Chambray

Jump Rope DressPattern: Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress
Fabric: PR426 from the line Maya by Leah Duncan for Anthology Fabrics

Phew!  KCWC is certainly a nice way to whip up a new spring/summer wardrobe for your little one!  Thanks to Meg from Elsie Marley for hosting such a fun and motivating sewing event and to all the other participants for SO. MUCH. AMAZING. INSPIRATION!

Alright, now back to sewing . . .

KCWC S12: Day 6 – Jump Rope Dress!

It’s finally done!  I finished the Jump Rope Dress for Yuki and I love it!

This was my first Oliver + S pattern and it was a great experience.  I can see why their patterns are so popular!  The directions were extremely clear, the pattern was precise and the techniques are legit, so you end up with a great looking, high quality piece of clothing.

I worked on the dress in steps on 4 separate days (over 6 days).  The collar and the placket were definitely the most difficult and time consuming, but once those were done, the rest came together very quickly.

The only changes that I made to the pattern was shortening the belt loops like Gail did by 1/2 inch (on each belt loop) and I also hemmed the skirt much shorter than you’re told to. Yuki is such a shorty and the skirt would have been down to her ankles!  I kept all the fabric though, in case she grows up and not out and I want to lengthen the skirt at all.

We didn’t have a very good photo day because Yuki was feeling a bit under the weather.  But I can’t wait for her to wear this dress this spring/summer.

Isn’t this fabric awesome?  It’s PR426 from the line Maya by Leah Duncan for Anthology Fabrics.

So now that I’ve made this pattern once, I assume it will be easier the next time.  Which is good because I’d love to try View B, plus I have some ideas for making collared sleeveless or short sleeved summer tops too.

It’s the last day of KCWC!!  I started working on one last project but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it in time.  Even if I don’t, I’ll still be proud of all that I accomplished this week.  I think the motivation to get so much sewing done this week, really made it go by so fast!  Part of me wishes it wasn’t ending, but the other part of me (the extremely sleep deprived, mess of a person me), is definitely in need of a break.  How are you doing?  Glad it’s over?  Wish you had more time?  Get as much done as you’d hoped?

KCWC S12: Day 5 – Progress

After skipping TWO nights of working on my Jump Rope Dress, I was determined to do some serious catching up today.  And I made some good progress!

Since last time, I top stitched the collar, added the sleeves and tabs, made the skirt pockets, belt loops and attached the skirt to the bodice.

I’m almost done!!  All I have left is the sash, attaching the buttons, making buttonholes and hemming the bottom.  I’m hoping to finish it up tomorrow and then I’ve got ooooone mooooooore project I’m going to try and slide in.  Although, it’s a slightly more complicated one that I’m starting from scratch, so we’ll have to see if I can finish it before KCWC winds down.

How are your projects coming along?  You burning out or pumped for the weekend?

KCWC S12: Day 4 – Chambray Summer Shorts

The sun has been playing a bit of hide and seek this week.  We’ve had a few gorgeous days, some fogginess, some rain and back to sunny again.  We’re not quite there yet, but I can’t wait for shorts and sandals weather!

I finished these chambray shorts today and the sun came out so Yuki could actually wear them today with a tank top.  They were supposed to be a knock off of these cuties from J. Crew:

I was trying to recreate them exactly, but it was way harder than I thought!  I think these are the first pair of shorts I’ve ever made and since it’s based off a pattern that I made, the shape is way off.  I used the pattern from Yuki’s track pants and just cut them shorter.  But I didn’t realize how straight the legs were around the thigh and I wish I had made them a tad roomier.  Also in the rise and bum.  I always underestimate the breadth of her big cloth diapered booty!

The welt pockets ended waaay too low.

Overall, I like them though.  The only thing I purposely changed is that instead of making them drawstring shorts, I put elastic all the way around for practical reasons (you know that drawstring isn’t staying tied).  Then I just added the twill tape for looks.  Pretty convincing, no??

I think the longer length is probably good for her and I like the little paperbag-ish waistband.

And I love the chambray!  I have admired chambray clothes for a long time and I don’t know why I haven’t sewn with it sooner, but it really is gorgeous.  It’s totally comfortable and casual, but it looks so nice!

We’re ready for summer!

Don’t forget to check out all the amazing stuff people are cranking out this week for KCWC!

So no Project Run & Play entry this week for the “Earth Day Challenge.”  It would have been so easy to incorporate an upcycled outfit into my week of sewing, but for some reason I was completely at a loss for what I wanted to make.  Since I was uninspired and had plenty of other projects that I was dying to make, I decided to sit one out.  And look, that’s fulfilling one of my goals!  🙂  I already have ideas for the next two challenges, so if all goes well, you’ll see me in that flickr pool again in no time.

And I didn’t work on the Jump Rope dress AGAIN tonight, so now I’m two steps behind.  Luckily, I’ve finished the 3 smaller projects I had planned for the week so I have a few days I can just focus on the dress.  And maybe one more small project . . . 🙂

Anyone else feel like this at some point this week??

(This is how I know the photo shoot is over :P)

KCWC S12: Day 3 – Nothing

So I didn’t complete anything today.  I had a bit of an off day.  Spent all my sewing time before work having a major disagreement with a welt pocket.  I’ve done a couple before and I thought I knew how to do it, but I should have just looked up the tutorial from the beginning.  I had to undo and redo and undo and redo it soooo. many. times.  Grr!

So this evening, instead of working on the Jump Rope Dress, I decided to make the other welt pocket for these shorts before I forgot how and though I’m done with the pockets, I’m not done with the shorts.  And now I’m a little behind my Jump Rope Dress schedule, but I’m not going to stress about it.  Hopefully I can do steps 3 & 4 of the JRD tomorrow to catch up.

My finally conquered welt pocket.

Any projects gone wrong on your end?  Still chugging along?

KCWC S12: Day 2 – Double Ruffle Top

I got more done than I expected yesterday!  I whipped up this little ruffley top before work (I work in the afternoons, by the way).

Now, if you’ve been following me for a bit, you may have noticed that ruffles are not really my style.  Not that I have anything against ruffles!   Because I think they can be pretty darn awesome and, in some cases, they can truly make an outfit (here is where I’d include a lil round up of ruffley things I like, but alas, no time).

Anyways, for whatever reason, I usually just stick to simpler lines and don’t think to embellish with ruffles.  But I had this idea to use a striped fabric and mix up the directions of the stripes to create an interesting look (I think I saw a kid run by me wearing something similar – that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration). Plus with RUFFLES 2012 going on over at See Kate Sew, I guess I was hit with a bit of ruffle-mania.

The top came out pretty fun, though I don’t know if the different angled stripes POP as much as I thought they would.  It’s pretty girly and flouncy huh?

I used the Every Little Thing pattern for the bodice because I’d used it before and I knew it’d fit.

Either way, Yuki’s got a fun new (slightly dressy?) top for the spring/summer.  The felt bow is a removable pin and was a last minute add.  I thought the shirt needed something to lighten it up and add some interest (the fabric/color is a bit serious for a toddler, no?).  I seriously just cut 2 pieces of felt, grabbed a glue gun and a pin back and threw that bow together in 2 minutes.  And without any burns!  I always seem to burn myself when I get out my glue gun . . .


Looking at the back, I bet I could put this top on her backwards with the buttons in front and it’ll still fit/look cute.  Fun!

In the evening I worked on step 2 of my Jump Rope dress: the collar.  It took FOREVER.  Mosty because I’m slow and there was hand stitching involved.  But it’s so exciting to see this coming together!  The placket and the collar were definitely the two most unfamiliar pieces to me so it feels good to have those done.  And how handy are those skills?  I want to put a placket and collar on everything now!  (well, not really – they were both pretty hard :P)

Hand stitching damn near killed me!!

Collar looks uneven, but don’t worry, it’s not 🙂

Oh, and someone asked me what fabric I’m using for the dress!  I’m always so bad about paying attention to the fabric designer and line and that seems unfair!  Their art makes ours what it is!  So this awesome fabric is PR426 from the line Maya by Leah Duncan for Anthology Fabrics and I got it on my trip to Britex with Kristen.  In fact she picked it up first and I stole it from her!  Hah!

Part of me feels like I’m moving quickly through my projects and I might even be able to add one more to the list.  But I’m also pretty tired and today’s project is a bit trickier, so we’ll see.

How are you doing?

KCWC S12: Day 1 – Shirt to Skirt Refashion

Made it through Day 1 of Kid Clothes Week Challenge Spring 2012!  Did you know that there are 550 640 people participating!?!  You should check out the flickr pool to see all the amazing clothes being churned out this week.

I’m really excited to be getting around to some projects I’ve had floating around my head for awhile.  I’m MOST excited about the Jump Rope Dress!  I decided to get this pattern because it was available as a downloadable PDF pattern from the Oliver + S site and I have a minor obsession with PDF patterns.  Plus I’ve heard so many amazing things about O+S patterns that I thought I should try one.  Then I saw Gail’s Jump Rope Dress and it is perfection!!  The thing I love most about it, is that I would never have picked that fabric for this dress, but Gail did, and I LOVE the way that it came out.

So I made myself a little schedule for KCWC, especially for the Jump Rope Dress.  Gail pointed out that they did a sewalong for the dress on Sew, Mama, Sew, awhile back so I looked at their schedule and they broke it up into 7 days.  The first day was tracing your pattern and cutting your fabric, which I’ve already done, so I figured I could just do the other 6 parts over the next 6 days and have a pretty little dress at the end of the week!  Well that’s the PLAN anyways.

I still have about 3-4 little projects that I’ll work on each day on top of the Jump Rope Dress and we’ll just see how much I can get done.

I’ll just say upfront though, that I plan on spending more than an hour each day sewing.  Even today’s project which was supposed to be a super simple refashion took me about 2 hours.

I bought this shirt at the thrift store because I really liked the fabric.  From far away, it probably just looks grayish, but it’s actually got super colorful and super tiny stripes.

At first I was just going to cut out a rectangle over the pocket section of the shirt, hem it and make an elastic waistband and call it a day.  But of course, I like to complicate things.  I couldn’t use the section with the pocket because the sleeves started right there.  So I removed the pocket and sewed it back on right above the bottom of the shirt (yay, no hemming!).  Then came the idea for the pleats in the front, which I thought would look better with a flat front waistband and I didn’t want to fold over the pleated fabric, so I made a separate waistband.  A few mistakes and some ripped out and resewn seams (isn’t that the WORST?) and 2 hours later and I have this little skirt.  AND it somehow turned out too big!  I had to pin it for these photos, but I’m sure it’ll look great on her when she’s a bit bigger (like when she’s 4) 😛

I really do love it though.

Today’s task for the Jump Rope Dress was to make the placket.  Pretty intense, but following the sewalong post was really helpful.  I’m proud to say that I did not totally screw it up!  Plus, I have the hard part done and hopefully the rest will come together pretty smoothly.

I’ll try post an “in progress” pic of the dress every day that I work on it so you can see it come together.

Day one.  DONE.  Hope we can keep this up . . .

(it’s a joint effort, you know)

Spring Top #2 and Prepping for KCWC

So after I finished my Wiksten Tank Top I was motivated to try more sewing for me and I even had a vision for my second Spring Top Sewalong entry.  I finally got around to sewing it, and just barely made the deadline.  And you know what?  I don’t like it.

(trust me, it looks worse in person)

I’m not going to get into the details, but I’m pretty sad that I wasted so much time on it.  I threw it in the pool just for the hell of it, but I doubt I’ll ever wear it.  Does anyone recognize it?  Yup, it’s the adult version of the top I made Yuki for my signature look for the PR&P Sewalong last season.  I think I’m better off sticking with kids clothes.

And speaking of kids clothes, KCWC is here!!

This is my first time participating but I’m super excited.  I LOVE that so many people in the online sewing community are participating.  I see almost all my favorite bloggers talking about it and I haven’t seen that kind of across-the-board participation in other events.

So I’ve got my list of projects – 1 big one and several small ones – we’ll see what I actually finish.  And despite a hectic weekend, I was able to get some prep done.  No thanks to this little “helper.” 😛

I haven’t quite figured out my schedule or plan of attack.  Do I spend a little time each day working on the big project plus one small project?  Or should I try and tackle the big project first and then get done what I can after that?

I’m thinking I’ll go with the former, because I’d like to have at least one or two things done by the end of the week and who knows if I can even complete this big project in one week.  The big project, in case you’re wondering, is the Jumprope Dress by Oliver + S.  My first O+S pattern!  Can’t wait.

And I’m going to try to take pictures and blog about it as I go, but man, it’s feeling pretty ambitious.

Here’s a sneak peek of my fabrics.  Pretty drab for spring kids clothes huh?  What’s up with that!?

Sooooooo . . . what are you going to be sewing??  What’s your plan of attack?