Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Graduation Ayashe Set

 This big girl is graduating Kindergarten next week!  I wanted to make her a fancy dress for her graduation or "congraduation" as she calls it, but she did not want a fancy dress.  Instead we settled on this Figgy's Ayashe Set.  I made her the longer sleeve version of this top (in the very same fabric) this past winter and she loved it, wore it every week.  So when we were working out (negotiating) what I would make her for "congraduation" she saw this fabric and wanted a summer version of the top.  I was good with that, plus I knew I had this pink cotton/linen blend that would work well for a skirt.  So I called it fancy enough and know that she will get a lot of wear out of this outfit this summer.
 Pattern: This pattern, oh this pattern, I love the resulting garments, but the first time I made the top I found some of the instructions a bit confusing.  This was the third time I've made the shirt and I really only glanced at the instructions.  I will say though that I have come to expect a little more hand holding type instructions from Indie pattern designers and this was wasn't quite up to that standard.  In a few places I'm pretty sure I found some errors but am too lazy to really go back and study the instructions.  I do know for sure that the outside packaging calls for 1 inch elastic for the skirt and the instructions within say 3/4 inch.  Just a heads up to anyone out there, the garments are adorable- in particular we LOVE the top but the instructions might be a bit confusing or sparse for a new sewist.

The top comes together pretty quickly and easily and I do need to note that the instructions have you set the sleeves in after the side seam is sewn up and really this isn't necessary, you can set them before you sew the side seam.  If you wanted to, this top would be a great showcase for an alternate fabric on the yoke or ties.  Lots of cute potential and its a woven, which I love.   The tie on this one is one of two options for the neckline, this winter I used the mandarin collar finish and I think I like this tie better. 

The skirt is kind of a fussy little make.  You are supposed to make buttonholes for your buttons but since the back waistband is elastic I found working buttonholes unnecessary and just sewed the buttons on.  BTW the elastic back waistband is a fantastic idea and Figgy's has you extend your elastic a bit so that as your child grows you just let the elastic out.  I left off the optional belt loops, she never wears belts.  I added about 1 1/4 inches to this skirt and only turned it up 1/2 inch total to hem it so if your child is on the tall side you may want to add length too.    

The necktie makes a cute bow!
 Fabric: The top is quilting cotton from my stash and the skirt is cotton/linen blend I've had for ages. 
He's been her constant playmate for her entire life!
 Will she wear it? She loves it, wanted to keep it on to play in, however we are going to try to keep it clean until "congraduation" and then she can wear it until her hearts content.  Its always so much fun when they love wearing what you make them.  I find that these days its probably better to get some input from her before I make anything for her. 

On another note, the pictures of this girly with her dog just make my Momma heart smile.  She loves our dog and he loves her too.  Such sweet pals.   
These two have a special bond.  We sure do love our dog Buster.

Monday, May 11, 2015

M6991-Undecided and M6729-Swimsuit Success

We are having a hot pink week around these parts.  I don't know what that's about, mostly me just trying to stash bust and match appropriate fabrics with appropriate patterns- an exercise in concentration for me.  I've had both of these fabrics in the stash for more than over a year.   

Pattern:  The M6991 Wrap Front top.  I read the reviews of this pattern on Pattern Review paying careful attention to learn from others who've made it before me.  I went down to a size 8 as per others suggestion.  It does indeed run big, because I think even in a size 8 the shoulders are pretty big on me and the sleeves were very big as well.  I ended up cutting the sleeves off as seen in the pictures because the volume of the long version was pretty silly looking on me.  If you make this pattern be sure to mark your fabric carefully and note that the front is twisted back on itself- so you definitely need a fabric that is the same on both sides.  I can't say that I am sold on the shape of this top, it looked funny when paired with my black pencil skirt.  I just don't know about adding volume around my tummy and hips, I usually try to avoid things like that.  

One thing that I didn't notice in the other reviews about this top was that the center front is pretty high up, meaning there is real potential for flashing your tummy whenever you raise your arms.  That's what I'm trying to demonstrate in the picture below- dangerously close to coming up above my jeans.  I am not a fan of that so I will have to wear a tank underneath this top.  
Fabric: This fabric is a very thin rayon challis from Fabric Mart.  I bought it ages ago and it is a J Crew fabric.  I originally bought it thinking I'd make a skirt from it but when it came it was so sheer that I didn't know what to do with it.  So this top was perfect because of all the folds in the front of the top you can't see through the front.  I am really wondering what this shirt will look like after I hand wash it, will it go back to a pretty shape?  To avoid washing it a lot I might put it away until fall when I can comfortably wear a t-shirt underneath it.

 Styling: As you can see I really didn't style this top, just put it on for pictures.  I'm guessing it might be good for work with black dress pants, as I stated above, it looked pretty weird with my black pencil skirt.  I may have to wear it a few times and play with the styling before I figure out what it pairs best with.

Now to the thing that I am most proud of today....I MADE A SWIMSUIT!
 Pattern: This is McCall 6729.  I have seen this pattern and doubted my abilities in the past but this was the year I was determined to make my girls swimsuits.  I thought this pattern would be a good starting point and it was.  I knew it would be too short for my tall 6 year old gal so I slashed the pattern at the waistline mark and added a little over 1 1/2 inches to the suit, then after holding the pattern up to my daughter's torso I added a little over 1/2 inch to the very top neckline.  If you use this method, note that the crotch wraps around from the front to back.  It turned out to be the perfect length.  You'll have to take my word for it.  To get the estimate I needed for length I also measured a swimsuit my daughter tried on at a store.  It always pays off to keep a tape measure in my purse!   

Plus I added a bit more coverage to the bum, but it wasn't necessary.  I added about a 1/4 inch to the back leg curve and then used 1/4 inch elastic instead of the 3/8 recommended.  Next time I will cut it out as the pattern indicates and then just use 1/4 inch elastic to finish the leg openings.  

I fully lined the suit in polyester swimsuit lining. I didn't want there to be any exposed crotch seams so I layered the pieces this way, Front of suit right side up, back of suit wrong side up, back of suit lining right side up and then front of suit lining wrong side up. I pinned them all together at the crotch, stitched and then flip the front lining up and over the trimmed seam. Worked great. 

Fabric: I have had this floral swimsuit fabric for over a year and bought it at 90% off the original price at Hancocks.  Its perfect for my daughter who loves bright colors and pink in particular.  The lining is just plain white swimsuit lining and I lined the front and back of the suit.  The elastic is 5/8 inch fold over elastic from Hobby Lobby.

Will she wear it? Yes!  She likes it and its perfect for swimming lessons.  Has more than enough bum coverage and chest coverage!! Yippee!

So there you go, making swimsuits is very doable!  Don't think I will go back now!

Linking up to Sew it Chic in a Week.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Vogue 9091 or Let the Summer of Culottes Begin!

Big girl had to get her photo bomb moment.
 I have joined the culotte fan wagon!  I was very uneasy about how these would turn out- one never knows with something like this- will the sizing be ok? will they look completely goofy, what is a culotte anyway??  I had lots of uneasy feelings while sewing these, therefore it took me much longer to sew them, I just had a hard time motivating myself.  But when I put them on I instantly loved them and need about four more pair for the summer.   Btw you may notice a few photo bombers, they were in full tilt while I was taking these pictures.  
 Pattern:  Vogue 9091 view B.  I should say that I have very specifically included which view I made because I made a muslin of view C and it was pretty awful on me.  It would probably work for someone who hasn't had two children and is still toned in the lower abdomen but for me, no way.  The reason I like view B is because the pleating in the front lies down well and is smoothing for that area.  I sewed a size 12, for reference my hips measure 39 inches and my waist 29.  The waistband is snug, but not uncomfortable at all.  One change I made was to attach the waistband to the culottes with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  I just wanted a smidge more height on them.  The hips are loose so with sizing there is wiggle room there.  Pattern went together fine, no problems with pieces lining up or strange directions.

Why yes that is a floating pillow next to me, two guesses who's holding it!
Fabric: This is more rayon challis from Hancock, I used it not long ago to make palazzo pants.  I love this print.  
Can you spot the kid?  In fact there are two kids here- find them?
 Styling: Oh my goodness I really searched through pinterest to figure out how to style these since it was new to me and had the potential to go really wrong.  I noticed that some were paired with heels, others with flats and some with booties.  I chose my wedge sandals in the hopes that it would make them look summery.  I like the pairing.  Will probably have to wear flats for work.  The tee I'm wearing here is another me-made.  Its the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee which is a free pattern you receive when you sign up for her email newsletter.    It is such an easy make, can't even tell you how fast this one was, I didn't even finish any of the edges because the fabric is nylon spandex and in my opinion looks fine as is. 
So there you go, another work appropriate outfit to put into rotation this summer.  This will not be my last pair of culottes, I'm a convert to them!  Anyone else out there coming over to the culotte dark side??