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?

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Little Hawaiian Dress

So here’s one from July when we went to Kauai.  Oh wait, did I tell you we went to Kauai back in July??  Well we did!  For a week.  And it was the best vacation EVER.  We hung out at the beach and ate fresh fruit ALL. DAY. LONG.  I mean, I don’t think it can get any better than that.  It was our first time going to Kauai and it was soooooo beautiful.  Truly truly gorgeous.

Anyways, my mom had brought me some fabric from Hawaii from one of her previous trips (her family is partially from Hawaii so she goes every year) and I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to use some of it.  I wanted to make her a little dress to wear on the beach so we could pretend she was a little Hawaiian girl (like a little Hawaiian girl would be wearing a dress like this, while her weirdo mom snapped a bunch of photos of her on the beach – yeah . . . not a tourist at all).

I liked this simple yellow fabric with leis on it – not too gaudy or over the top.

The construction of this dress is a little funky.  I made it right after I made my Washi in Blue and I was super pumped about my mad shirring skills, so I was determined to use them here for the bodice.  But then I decided I wanted to add a ruffle around the top too and that’s where it all got crazy.  If I had planned on doing the ruffle from the beginning, I probably would have just done a simple elastic casing, but since I didn’t really think it through, I tried to shir a bunch of ruffled layers together and let me tell you, it doesn’t work.  So that’s why the top of the dress is a bit wavy, but overall I got the little sundress I imagined.

Besides the shirred ruffled top of the dress, the body is a simple rectangle, with ties for straps.

This girl was in paradise.  I swear she could live on the beach and never leave.

And you know, I wasn’t complaining much either . . . 🙂

In more current news, I’m starting to nail down my to do list for KCWC.  I’m pretty excited about it, but I haven’t even gotten my fabric or done any prepping or cutting yet.  I am psyched to hit the thrift store and fabric store today for some material.  You getting ready?

film petit: fantastic mr. fox

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I’m so thrilled to be a part of film petit this month, a ridiculously awesome series hosted by Kristin from skirt as top and Jessica from A Little Gray.  For the series, Kristin, Jessica and a guest choose a favorite movie to use as inspiration for original children’s wear.

These ladies have fantastic taste in movies and incredible vision and sewing skills, so if you haven’t checked out the first two installments, A Life Aquatic and Amelie, check them out here and here.

When we were discussing movies for this month’s film petit, we were all drawn to several Wes Anderson titles (really, which Anderson film aren’t we inspired by??).  But we couldn’t deny how perfect Fantastic Mr. Fox would be for this season.  Not only is it a witty, well made, hilarious movie, but we loved the warm, rich, golden tones of the film, the amazing world of fantastic creatures, the apples, the farms, the fields – all of it, just screams AUTUMN!

The movie is about Mr. Fox, a reformed squab thief who has left his wild days behind for a life of domesticity when his wife, Felicity, announces that she is pregnant.  After living a responsible life as husband and father for 12 fox years, Mr. Fox finds himself wanting to provide more for his family and buys a gorgeous tree home despite how dangerous the location was for a family of foxes.

Life in their new home may not be as satisfying as Mr. Fox had hoped for and he finds himself restless and craving adventure again.  He cannot resist the temptation of a few nearby farms belonging to Boggis, Bunce and Bean, full of poultry and cider for the taking, and quickly dives back into the world he promised his wife he had left behind.

This movie is FILLED with amazing characters.  Though the title character is certainly fantastic, he shares the spotlight with a huge cast of hilarious creatures.

I feel like I could talk about all these characters and the movie for a long looong time, but this is already getting long and I haven’t even talked about my outfit yet!  Between Kristin, Jessica and me, we had so many ideas inspired by the movie that we could have easily outfitted a small fox army.

But what I was most inspired by was the gorgeous setting of this film.  The opening scenes of the movie show golden rolling hills and fields and the warmest yellow, orange and gold skies and fields.  I wanted to try and capture that feeling in my outfit.

I love the Felicity Fox character, and as one of the only females in the film, she has to represent.  She’s a pretty kick ass lady and definitely the “brains behind the brains” as they call her.  She’s an artist, a landscape painter obsessed with painting dark and stormy thunderstorms, and also a strong wife and mother.

(some of Felicity’s paintings)

The opening scenes of the movie show a younger Felicity Fox, still the calm, patient and rational Mrs. Fox, but with a slightly more free spirited artist look.

I decided to try and capture these looks into a dress.

I used the Charlie Tunic pattern by Rae (thanks for the idea, Kristin!), which has that awesome neck facing and bohemian vibe.

Of course, I had to include the iconic tree that catapulted Mr. Fox back into the crazy life of crime and became the battlefield between the animals and the farmers.  So I appliqued it onto the dress, and it added a nice pop of color.

The main fabric for the dress is a linen/cotton fabric in a light brownish gray, which was a nod to Mrs. Fox’s gray stormy paintings, but without making the dress too dark.  I pieced together some golden yellow fabrics to try to recreate the gorgeous hills from the movie (the striped fabric is hand painted).

I lengthened the tunic ever so slightly (though I realize now that it needs another couple of inches) and I added pockets.  My little sneaky fox LOVES filling her pockets with as many rocks as she can find.  This tunic pattern is really great (like all of Rae’s patterns), so definitely check it out if you’re interested.

So that’s my clothing interpretation of this fantastic film, and seriously, I have ideas for a few more outfits still!  You absolutely MUST go and check out the most awesome shirt of the most awesome game EVER on A Little Gray and the ridiculously cute, straight-out-of-the-movie PERFECT Mr. and Mrs. Fox outfits on skirt as top.

But before you go, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how amazingly awesome Kristin and Jessica are.  Not only are they amazing artists and sewists, with the most brilliant visions and ideas and MAD skills, but they are sooo much fun to work with, hilarious, humble, and extremely helpful, encouraging and sweet.  If you aren’t already following these gals, you absolutely must do it now.  Everything they touch turns to gold – they are definitely ones to keep your eye on.  And since I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of some film petit conversations recently, I happen to know that there will be a lot of AMAZING stuff coming up over the coming months that you will not want to miss!  I truly wish I could be a part of film petit every month!  So a huge thank you to Kristin and Jessica for letting me be a part of this series and being such awesome friends!

No go check out their awesome work and be in awe of their fantastic-ness and happy autumn to you all!

Sora and the Cloud (and more painted fabric)

So speaking of old projects, here’s one that is loooooooooong overdue.  Do you remember Katy’s Once Upon a Thread Chapter 3?  Back in May?  Like 4 months ago?  So this project is from then.  And I’m not quite sure why I haven’t blogged about it yet – because I like it a lot.  I made this hat and backpack in May, photographed them in July and now I’m blogging about them in September.  Yikes.  I was tempted to just save them for the next chapter of OUT, but I probably would have completely forgotten about them by then.

Anyways!  If you don’t know what Once Upon a Thread is, it’s this amazing series that is hosted by Katy of No Big Dill, where she and her awesome guests take their favorite children’s books and make literature inspired sewn creations.  Well she has an OUT flickr pool where anyone can sew along and add their creations, so I thought I’d join in.  Of course, the last “chapter” of the series has long come and gone, but I’m going to post my submission anyways.

The book I chose was Sora and the Cloud by Felicia Hoshino.  The book is written in both Japanese and English and it has the most AMAZING illustrations.  It immediately drew me in, with the warm, soft, dreamy pictures that looks like a combination of drawing and watercolor.

The story is about a curious boy named Sora, who loves to climb.  “Sora” means sky in Japanese.

“Little Sora loves to climb.  As he grows, he climbs over everything in his path.”

“He even climbs people!”  (Hmmm . . . sounds like someone I know . . .)

“みてみてー!”
“きをつけてー!”

“Then one day Sora climbs a tree.  Up he climbs, higher and higher, as if there is no end.  Peeking through the branches at the top, what does he find?”

Sora finds a napping cloud and cannot resist climbing aboard and they embark on an amazing adventure together.

They travel above the city discovering new and old things together from a magical perspective.  I won’t give away all of their adventures, but I’ll tell you, it’s like this story is straight from my dreams!

The character Sora, reminds me of my daughter, Yuki, because she LOVES to climb just like him.  As Yuki grows up and her personality starts to really show, I definitely see her as a curious, adventure seeking girl.

When I first saw the book, I wanted to recreate Sora’s entire outfit from the cover – I think it’s adorable.  But at the time that I was working on this, it was spring, and the outfit was too “fall.”  So I opted for just the bucket hat and a little drawstring bag that Yuki could tote around as she set off on her adventures.

I am really into the Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paint that I used for the Painted Purple Cardigan and the idea of painting my own fabric.  I wanted to try to recreate the soft and warm, watercolory look of the book illustrations.  I was particularly drawn to this page and all the colorful dots that were part of the amusement park.

So I decided to paint dots in similar colors on muslin.

It took me quite a bit of experimenting to get the right colors and the right amount of water (you can see a lot of bleeding with some of the dots, but I decided to just go with it).

I used the Oliver + S Bucket Hat pattern to make a reversible bucket hat with the colorful dots on one side and a tan home decor fabric on the other.

I used A Little Gray’s tutorial for making the hat without hand stitching.

For the drawstring backpack fabric, I was inspired by the inside cover of the book.  It is based on a traditional Japanese sashiko embroidery pattern, but with a touch of soft color.

(The author is local and was at a fair selling these books, so my sister bought the book and had the author/illustrator sign it for Yuki!  Cute huh?)

I was considering trying my hand at actual sashiko embroidery, but I thought sticking with stamping and painting fabric was more up my alley.  It was so much fun and turned out looking exactly how I wanted it to!  So here is how I created my faux sashiko.

First I saturated my fabric with water (I used two pieces of muslin – one for the front of the bag and one for the back).  Then I used some watered down blue and green and painted all over so the colors blended together.

When it was dry, I heat set it by ironing it.  I set one piece aside for the back and only did the sashiko print on the front.

I created the “embroidery” print with a handcarved stamp.  You’ll need a carving block and a carving tool.

1. Draw a circle on your carving block (trace something circular if you’ve got it).
2. Carve away everything except for a thin outline of the circle.
3. Create a dotted line look by carving away small, evenly spaced pieces of the circle.  Trim the block as close to the edge of the circle as possible.
4. Using a ruler, stamp a row across the bottom of your fabric using fabric paint with the edges of the circles touching each other.  Place the ruler along the center of the first row of circles and add your second row of circles staggered from the first row.

Your first three rows should look like this.

Repeat until the entire fabric is filled.  (Oooh, the difference between natural and artificial light!!)

The last touch that I added was some color to try and resemble the page in the book.  I watered down the paint quite a bit so that the color would be subtle.

Here, the paint is still wet.

And dry!

Then I used this Drawstring Backpack tutorial from Prudent Baby to make the small backpack.

And there’s my little climber – ready for adventures!!

Phew!  Feels good to finally have that posted!  These pieces were super fun to create and I love that they are completely original because I created my own fabric prints.  I really can’t recommend these watercolor fabric paints enough.  The possibilities are absolutely endless!

Thanks for letting me share this out-of-date project.  I’ve got lots of old and new ones to share over the coming weeks, so please bear with the back-and-forth time jumps, season switching and hair style changes you may be seeing a lot of 🙂

Happy Hump Day!

(Hey!  You know what tomorrow is?)

Tutorial: Braided Beach Maxi

Here’s another summer addition for your wardrobe and you can make one for your little one too!  This was for Melly’s Sews’ 30 Days of Sundresses series.

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Children’s clothing is kinda my thing, so I naturally started brainstorming lots of cute summer frocks for little ones.  But for some reason I landed on an idea for a women’s sundress and I couldn’t get it out of my mind!  So, enter my beautiful little sister who is modeling for you the Braided Beach Maxi Dress!

The best thing about this is that it is super simple with very little sewing!  It’s made of knit and has a few unfinished edges which makes it very casual and perfect for a bathing suit cover-up.  I got this knit for $2.39 a yard, so it was very affordable too!

And just in case you were really hoping for something for your little one, don’t fret!

Yup, I couldn’t resist.  After the first one, whipping up a mini version was a breeze!  The tutorial is for the adult maxi version, but you can alter this to fit just about anyone!

So here’s what you’ll need:
– 2.5-3 yards of knit fabric
– 1/4 or 1/2 inch wide elastic for the waist
Sewing essentials

I used a plain white knit to make the dresses and then dyed them afterwards.  This tutorial will not include instructions for dyeing, but if you’re interested I’m sure there are tons of resources online.  Otherwise, use any solid or patterned knit fabric and you’ll be done even faster 🙂

To make your front pattern piece, grab a knit (stretchy) camisole, fold it in half down the front and trace the neckline and armhole.  From the armpit, draw the side of your pattern into an A-line shape.  You want the dress to fit nicely around the chest and then widen from there.  I only drew the top part of the pattern, but keep in mind that the dress will extend far past the bottom of this pattern.

To draw the back pattern piece, lay your front piece down on paper and trace it from the armpit (tiny yellow star) down the side and across the bottom.  Trace along the other side (marked “fold”) stopping about 2 inches from the top of the pattern.  Remove the top pattern piece and draw a curved line to connect the sides.

Now, if I were to make this dress over again, I’d want the braided straps to be thicker, so I’d make this next measurement bigger.  But for the sake of this tutorial, I’ll just describe it the way I did it and you can make adjustments accordingly.

Measure 1.5 inches in from the “fold” line of your pattern and make a mark.

Extend both the “fold” line and the mark that is 1.5 inches in a few inches.  This is going to become the braided racerback and straps.

Your pattern pieces should look like this when cut out.  Keep in mind that when you cut your fabric, it will extend past the bottom edges of the pattern and for the back piece, the strip coming off the top will also be much longer (see the red arrows).  I made my patterns like this to save paper, but don’t cut your fabric like this or you’ll have something very very different!

To cut the front piece of the dress, fold your fabric in half lengthwise.  Measure the desired length of the dress from just below your armpit and add a few inches.  Place your pattern on your fabric accordingly.  From the bottom of the pattern to the bottom of the fabric I just cut in a subtle curve getting wider and wider towards the bottom (I tend to “just wing it” A LOT.  Thank goodness knit is so forgiving!).

To cut your back piece, fold your fabric in half lengthwise and place your front piece on top.  Now you can’t see it in this picture, but my fabric extends for another yard above.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  You’ll need all that extra fabric above the pattern piece to cut your strap material.

Now trace the entire side of the dress from the bottom up to the armpit (red line).

Remove the front dress piece and place your back pattern piece lining up
with the armpit.  (You like how many times I’ve had to use the word
armpit in the tutorial??  I probably should have said “bottom of the
armhole” or something.  Ooops, oh well).

Trace the pattern along the curved edge and up the straight line, then use a ruler to extend the line all the way to the edge of your fabric, keeping it 1.5 inches from the folded edge the whole way.  I had a little less than a yard, but I wish I had had more.  The longer you have, the more you can do with the straps later.

The hard part is over!  Now it’s the fun part 🙂

Open up your front and back pieces and place them right sides together lined up at the armpits.  Pin along the side of the dresses and sew.

Now find where the smallest part of your waist it (you may need to hold the dress up to your body or try it on) and mark a line 2 inches below that on both sides of the dress (wrong side is still out).

Cut your elastic to your waist measurement.  Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/2 an inch and sew them together to create a loop.

Slide the dress through the elastic loop and pin the elastic to the dress on the sides.  The dress will be wider than the dress, so you’ll have the pull the elastic as you so.  Go slowly and make sure the elastic right on top of the line that you drew.

Right side out:

Now take the long strip of fabric coming out of the back of the dress and cut it into three even strips.  Mine was originally 3 inches wide, so I cut it into three 1″ wide strips.  Braid the strips for about 2.5 inches.

Then, cut those strips in half, so you now have 6 strips.  Take three strips and braid them all the way to the end, then tie a knot to secure the braid.  Make another braid with the other three strips and you should have a nice braided Y like below.

Flip the dress over to the front and making sure the straps are not twisted, pin them to the front of the dress.  Sew the strap to the front of the dress.  Go back and forth a few times to make sure they are secured firmly to the dress.

This is optional, but since my knit was so stretchy, I decided to bring the neckline in a bit with some gathers.  Using your longest straight stitch, sew along the edge of the neckline without back stitching at either end.  Pull one of the threads to gather the fabric for a few inches in the middle.

Pin your excess braids along the neckline of the dress and do a quick whipstitch to attach it.  Make sure to catch only the back of the braid so the stitching does not show in the front.  For the adult version, I brought the braids to the center and overlapped them.

For the kid version, I had more braid to work with so I brought one side all the way to the other and tied a bow.  I’m sure there are many options for what you can do with the neckline here!

Now just trim the bottom to the desired length.  I left the bottom unfinished, but you can hem it if you want.  The armhole/back of the dress is also an unfinished raw edge.  I like the casual look (and the fact that it requires less work).  But if you want a more finished look, you can attach bias tape from the front along the armhole and then work the extra fabric into the braid.

You’re done!!!  Now throw this baby on and go frolic in the waves!

I really hope you guys give this a try!  Doesn’t it look fun?  If you do make a Braided Beach Maxi Dress, please add it to the you & mie flickr pool so I can see your awesome creations!

Before I go, I just wanted to say a big thank you to my sister for being my lovely model!

Take it easy, everyone!  Happy summer and happy sewing!

Tutorial: Summer Breezes Top

I thought I’d bring some guest posts back to the blog, in case you didn’t catch them earlier.  This one was for Project Run & Play’s Flickr Friends series and it’s a great addition to any summer wardrobe.  I recently was sent a photo via my FB page by Tina who made one for herself!

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Summer weather is upon us and my daughter needs lots of warm weather tops for outdoor play this season.  I’m going to share a tutorial for my latest top, the Summer Breezes Top.

I saw a tank top in a store about a year ago that used this type of “wavy pleats” (as I like to call them).  I knew I wanted to copy the style, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it.  Recently, this technique started popping up around blogland and I decided it was time to share my take on it as well.  The waves created by the changing directions of the pleats reminded me of a summer’s breeze, hence the name of the top.

The top is made of white linen, which at the time seemed like the perfect simple breezy summer top.  But now I’m kicking myself wondering what I was thinking!  A white top for a messy, dirt-loving toddler made of linen, the most wrinkly fabric ever?  Awesome job, Cherie.  Nice.  So I’ll let you choose whatever is appropriate for your kiddo.

This top is finished off with bias tape, so feel free to make your own or use store-bought in either a matching or contrasting color/pattern.  Feel free to brighten it up with some colors!

Ok, let’s make one together!  Here’s what you’ll need:
– 3/4-1 yard of lightweight fabric
– A few yards of bias tape (store bought or homemade)
– Sewing essentials

First you have to make your pattern.  I have to admit, I don’t have an exact science for this, so I hope you can experiment with drafting your own.  To keep it simple, I made one pattern to use for both the front and back of the top.

I started with a straight vertical line which is the center fold of the pattern piece.  Then I used a top that fit my daughter and traced the neckline.  Mark the bottom of the arm hole and draw a curved line up to meet the neckline.  From the bottom of the armhole, draw a line (I flared mine out slightly for an A-line shape) that is the desired length of the top.  From there, draw a slight curve back to the vertical center line.  You will not need to add seam allowance to the neckline, armhole or bottom since we’ll be finishing these off with bias tape.  You will want to add seam allowance along the side seam.  And there’s your pattern!

Now we’ll make the pleated placket (I’m not really sure what else to call it).  Cut a rectangle out of your main fabric that is at least 8 inches wide and a couple inches longer than the length of your pattern.

Find the center of your rectangle by folding it in half lengthwise and marking it.  I wanted my pleats to be 1 cm each, so I made 7 marks on either side of the center, each 1 cm apart.  Do the same on the bottom of the rectangle.

Starting from the left, make your pleats.  Folding your fabric with wrong sides together, the first and third marking should match up and the 2nd mark is where the fold is.

Press your fold and sew along the length of the fabric 1 cm from the folded edge.

Press your pleat and fold it down toward the right.  Make your next pleat using the next three markings and continue until you have five pleats.

When they are all pressed down toward the right, they should look like this.

Sew a line across the top of the pleats about 1 inch down from the top.   Change the direction of your pleats by folding them towards the left.  Mark a line 2 inches down from your first line with chalk and sew.

Continue changing the direction and sewing down the pleats every 2 inches until you get to the bottom.

Cut out two pieces of fabric that are each larger than your pattern piece.  We’re going to attach the pleated placket before cutting out the pattern piece (less math).

Trim the edges of your placket piece to about 1/2 an inch on either side.  With right sides together, sew the placket to the edge of one piece of fabric, and then repeat with the other side.

On the wrong side, trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch and finish by serging or zig zag stitching.  Press away from the placket, then on the right side, top stitch along the edge of the placket.

Fold your fabric in half, making sure to fold right down the center of your pleated placket and trace your pattern piece.  Cut it out.  Cut out the back piece from a piece of fabric as well.

Pin the sides of the top, right sides together, sew, press and finish edge.  Repeat on other side.

Baste the pleats along the neckline of the top to keep them folded in the correct direction.

Open up your bias tape and pin it along the edge of the neckline, right sides together.  Sew along the fold closest to the edge.

Fold the bias tape over the edge of the neckline, press and pin.  Make sure the edge of the bias tape is covering the stitching on the wrong side.

Top stitch just above the edge of the bias tape making sure to catch the edge on the wrong side.  Trim off the extra bias tape and repeat for the back.

For the armholes and straps, we’ll do the same thing.  Leave about 12 inches of bias tape for the strap then start pinning the open tape to the edge of the armhole.  Measure another 12 inches of bias tape when you get to the other end of the armhole and cut.  Sew the bias tape along the armhole, fold the bias tape back up and when you get to end of the straps, fold it in about a 1/4 inch before folding it up.

Sew the ends of the straps closed, then top stitch along the edge of the bias tape closing up the straps and finishing the armhole.

For the bottom of the shirt, normally I’d just hem it by folding it up twice, but with all the extra pleated fabric, I thought it’d get too thick, so I finished it with bias tape as well.

Done!

I hope you enjoy some nice summer weather!

Guest Posting at Melly Sews: 30 Days of Sundresses

Have you been following along the 30 Days of Sundresses on Melly Sews?  From June 1-30, there is a new sundress EVERY DAY, even Saturdays and Sundays.  That’s inspiration and tutorials for 30 different dresses!  For babies, kids and adults too.

Today I’m sharing my Braided Beach Maxi Dress modeled by my lovely sister.

It involves very little sewing and was so easy that I whipped up a matching one for Yuki!  But you’ll have to go over there if you want to see it 🙂

How are you doing?  Able to put it any beach time?  I am ITCHING for my summer vacation to start!!  Just one more week . . .

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 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)