Mackadoodle Mermaid

mermaidstand

Saturday night I tucked my daughter in to bed. I said goodnight and stepped out of her room. As soon as I got the door shut I hear “Mommy?” I go back in.

“Mommy… You make me a mermaid?”

“A mermaid?” I ask

“Make me a mermaid with a mermaid dress”

“Ok, go to sleep sweetie” I shut the door.

“Mommy?”

“yes?”

“Mommy I help you make it, it be our project?” awwwwww

“Ok, goodnight sweetie”

Normally I might have blown her off and told her we’d talk about it tomorrow. I couldn’t do it this time. She had just come home from preschool the day before with this heart meltiness. Mermaid dress is a go.

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I am not a fan of working with costume fabric. I usually avoid it at all costs. I knew I could work out something that would meet her mermaid needs and not make me cry while making it. I decided to go with knit and turn to my Swiss Army Knife of patterns, the BurlapButton  Charlie Mack-a-doodle.  I love this pattern, and its companion the Tummy Topper to pieces. You can get them both in a bundle here. I have made play dresses, tshirts, and a tooth fairy costume from it. The combinations are endless and its a perfect canvas to get creative.  It’s so versatile and easy to make and looks completely adorable  every time. I decided to use the Mack-a-doodle bodice and drop waist. For the skirt I would use this awesome mermaid skirt tutorial from Girl Inspired.

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The next day we set about to make our project.  I printed out the pattern in her new size, she ran off with the pieces.I cut out pieces of fabric, she decorated the dog with them. I sat down to sew, she dumped out all of my buttons and trim and pushed half of it under the bed. Despite me being completely frazzled the whole time, she was super proud of our mermaid dress.

I thought it was cute, but there were a few problems as a result of my distracted sewing. I cut out two back bodices instead of a back and a front. The skirt ruffles I gathered up the wrong side.I knew I could do better and now that I was really in to the project I wanted badly to create what I originally had in my head. I almost immediately cut out new fabric to sew up a second one after her bedtime.

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The new dress turned out perfect =) I love the colors and the fabrics which I got from the amazing L’ouiseau Fabrics. I love how the flutter sleeves echo the ruffles on the skirt.

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Despite the skirt being maxi length, the front slit for the mermaid goes above the knees so she can run and jump around without any problems.

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She was over the moon about this one and it made me very proud. I let her wear it to brunch on Mother’s day. The hostess said that she liked her dress and she looked just like a little mermaid. My daughter replied beaming ” I am a little mermaid and this is my mermaid dress my mommy made” Mission Accomplished =)

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Adventures in proper fit

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I have some nice fabric set aside to make a new summer wardrobe. After Kids Clothes Week I thought it was time for me to work on some of these grown up clothes. It started with a bang. I knocked out a Greenstyle Amy Maxi that was perfect right off the bat. I will cover that in a later post.

I moved on to tops. I started working on a few muslins to decide what patterns I would use for some of my nice fabric. I had a couple that were success right away or just needed a small tweak.

One pattern I really wanted to try was the Jolijou Joana. It’s a German pattern. I knew I would need to trace it and add my own seam allowances. I would also need to find a size chart in the pattern, translate, and convert my measurements to cm. I wouldn’t do all that for a complicated pattern but this one is simple construction so the little extra effort I thought would be worth it.

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I started with an XL. As you can see it was too small =( I loved the shape so I thought I would just go up a size and be golden.

way too big

Well, that didn’t work out as well as I hoped. The next size up was way too big.

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I took in the side seams some. This is defiantly wearable but still imperfect. The neckline and sleeves are still big for my liking. I have been reading about FBAs (Full Bust Adjustments) and had already decided they were something I should consider when making tops for myself since I am a DD cup. FBAs are hard to get my head around. I will be practicing more on proper ones but in the mean time I found a cheater method said to work well with knits. Here is a demonstration on a Jalie Pattern

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So I started with the smaller XL size. I graded the front pattern piece out to the XXL (minus a seam allowance because XXL was still a little big in the bust on me) back to the XL through the waist and then out again for the hips.

I’m pretty happy with this and think I will go forward with it. I believe the only alteration I still need to make is add a tiny bit of room to the back pattern piece in the hips.

This week is Selfish Sewing Week. I intend to take my newly altered pattern and churn out a couple of fabulous tops

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The Egg Hunt Dress – Modkid Cece

2014.04.18 Easter Party Day

My daughter is in preschool and each year they do an egg hunt before Easter Weekend. I like to make her a fun dress or outfit for the occasion. A few months ago I spotted this amazing Quiltgate Little Rabbit border print at one of my favorite shops Bunny’s Designs. She carries a huge variety of the most amazing Japanese import fabric.

2014.04.18 Easter Party Day

As soon as I spotted this fabric on her site I knew I wanted to use it. I wasn’t sure what pattern I would use or what I would need to coordinate. Bunny’s Designs has in the past been an Online only shop, but opens up for special occasions. Going into her shop is really a treat. It’s the most adorable fabric shop I’ve ever seen. It’s like stepping in to this magical little fairytale land of happy, chock full of the most amazing fabrics. I’ve always thought it was such a shame that it wasn’t open for walk ins all the time so more people would get a chance to experience it. She just recently announced she is open every Thursday now. I could not be happier.

It happened that the Austin Shop Hop was coming up and Bunny’s participated in that so I decided to look for a pattern and then pick up the Little Rabbits fabric and some coordinates when I visited her store at the Shop Hop.

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During the wait until the Shop Hop the Modkid Cece was released. I instantly knew this was  the dress. I love Modkid patterns. They always produce fantastic results. This is a lap dress that slips over the head. I loved everything about it. The bias tape edging, the big bow belt. I got it as soon as it released. Armed with my pattern I picked up the bunnies and coordinating dots ….and maybe a huge bag of other fabrics…during the Shop Hop.

I didn’t get to this dress during Kids Clothes Week and after sewing every night for a week I was in procrastination mode this week. Thursday night (the night before the egg hunt) I made the dress. I cut it out after dinner then made the whole thing after kiddos bedtime. The pattern sewed up like a dream. Super easy and I was instantly in love.

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She loved it too. She was so proud of her dress and big pink bow. It’s one thing to satisfy yourself when you make something cool, but to have your daughter squeal with delight, that’s what it’s all about.

The bow belt construction is pretty genius and uses a couple snaps to make it adjustable. My daughter is a little smaller around the middle than my mannequin so the belt was a little loose. It was going to be a quick fix just to add on another snap. I felt like Super Mom  as I ran into the sewing room to quickly add a snap with my Kam snap pliers 5 minutes before time to leave. I felt a little less like a Super Mom when I accidentally added a male snap instead of female and didn’t have time to fix it =( Her belt was a little loose and she didn’t keep it on all day. I’m going to fix it now so she can wear it more. Such a cute belt to pair with other things too!

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When I picked her up from preschool she was all partied out and sugared up. Fun times for sure!

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I was in such a rush getting this made and getting her dressed in the morning I really didn’t get a chance to admire how cute this is as an everyday dress without the belt. I love how easy it is to get on and off. I also love that it has an unlined option. Lining is great a lot of the time but its nice to be able to make an unlined dress for our 100+ degree summers. I will be whipping up a couple more of these in the near future sans belt as play dresses for summer.

 

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Kids Clothes Week Outfits – Lots of ham and cheese!

2014.04.13 outfit

While I did not finish all of my Kids Clothes Week projects that I had planned I will still call it a smashing success. I sewed for at least one hour per day for 6 out of the 7 days. It was a lot of fun and we have several new spring outfits to enjoy.

We had a busy weekend last weekend. I wanted to take some pictures of my completed outfits and decided the best approach would be to just let her wear them and try to take some pictures as we went along with our plans.

First up, the Raglans! You can read about the Raglans in more detail in my Shirt Day post.

2014.04.12 outfitWe wore the Gnome short out to dinner paired with the red and pink Brassie pants. I love this combo. Perfect weekend wear.

2014.04.12 outfitDinner was loud and a little too long for her attention span. At one point she stood up in the booth and exclaimed “I’m getting emotional!!!!” We decided to  hang out outside while Dad paid the bill.

Photo Apr 13, 10 34 08 AMNext up was the Kaleidoscope Raglan also paired with Brassie Pants. I thought the gnome shirt was going to be a clear favorite of mine but I really love the pink paired with the green in this one. She decided this outfit needed accessories. She started with a hat and a crazy print scarf but we discussed and decided the hat was enough.

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This outfit went to Trader Joes where we finally let her push the “Shopper in Training” cart. I had a separate cart. She wanted things she declared as “hers” in her cart. Note there is no lack of mini ice creams =)

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Last up was the dress. This is discussed in more detail in the Sally Dress Post. This dressed turned out so pretty. I adore the neckline on this and the huge pockets are all kinds of adorable.

We wore the Sally on our Sunday afternoon walk on our neighborhood trail to blow bubbles and hunt fairies. She loved twirling around in it and collected a couple of pretty rocks for her pockets. It was a perfect spring day. We made lots of bubbles but sadly no fairies were spotted. She didn’t seam to mind =)

2014.04.13 outfitKids Clothes week was challenging for me. I usually sew 2-3 times a week and try to limit myself to one or two projects. There are nights schedule wise that are very difficult to fit sewing in. I didn’t make it to the Easter dress though I did complete it this week. The preparation I put into KCW helped a lot. I think next time I will start off with the more challenging projects and save the easy knit stuff for the end =)

 

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Kids Clothes Week Sally Dress

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The next item I made for Kids Clothes Week is the Very Shannon Sally Dress. This is a must have in my daughters wardrobe all the time. It has no closures of any kind, just slips over the head. It is such a sweet dress. My daughter and I both love the huge pockets. It’s also nice and twirly =)

The pattern instructions are very thorough and show you how to make a beautiful fully enclosed lined bodice with inset sleeves. I’ve done several of them and it always produces a gorgeous dress both inside and out.

This time, I didn’t do that. I was working on this dress late at night after a full day of work, and inset sleeves just weren’t going to happen. It usually takes me a couple of unpicks to get a perfect sleeve. Add exhausted to the mix and there is no telling how many times it would have taken me to get them in to my liking.

I decided to baste the armholes and then sew the sleeves in flat. It still took me twice to do one of them , I was that tired =) I finished all the seams with my serger and then attached the bodice, serged that seam , and topstitched. It’s not near as pretty on the inside as it would have been if I followed the instructions but I don’t think my 3 year old is going to make much of a fuss over it.

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The fabric I used for this dress if from the Birch Organic Storyboek line. I love the colors in these prints and the little woodland animals. So perfect for spring. I think we might have to carve out a little time this weekend for a  walk in the woods while wearing it =)

 

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Kids Clothes Week Finish the Izzy

Izzy TopDay 2 of Kids Clothes Week was a challenge. This was another night I knew I would be on a tight schedule. It became even tighter when my daughter randomly stayed awake an hour later than normal.

This is a top I’ve been working on for a month. I am not one to drag out a project, especially one as simple as this. I  usually sew something from start to finish before I even cut the next project. Somehow sewing emergencies or acts of impulse sewing kept slipping in front of getting this one completed.

This is the Climbing the Willow Izzy Top. It’s a free pattern and tutorial available on her blog. It’s very easy to sew up and great for a beginner. I love the simplicity of the design. It’s so cute on. I usually pair them with skinny jeans.

This one I made in an older Stenzo Cord I picked up on clearance a long time ago at Eurogirls Boutique. I got a half yard each of three prints. The corduroy is so soft and lightweight. It even works for Texas summer. These small pieces of corduroy were my first introduction to Stenzo fabrics. I hoarded them for a long time but when this top pattern came out, I knew it was a perfect match. I made 3 of them out of the three extra wide half yards I had. I did have to take some fullness out of the skirt but I think that worked well since cord is a little bulkier than quilting cotton.

Izzy Top

Despite how easy the pattern is and that I already had the bodice complete and skirt cut out I managed to take an hour and a half to gather the bodice, attach it to the skirt, and do a hem. I”ve made four of these tops and can usually make them up start to finish in an hour. I was really off my game last night.

Today is a new day. I have a lot more time and a project that will span a couple of days. Happy to slow down and enjoy the process for the rest of the week =)

Izzy Top

 

 

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Kids Clothes Week Shirt Day

2 Shirts

I’m starting to make my way through my Kids Clothes Week baggies. I knew that Day 1 was going to be hard to fit in. It was my night for bedtime routine with my daughter and we had recorded the Game of Thrones premiere the night before. I really needed to see GoT before the whole internet spoiled it. AAAhhh conflicting priorities!

Despite the tight schedule I wanted to work on something that would make me feel accomplished so I deemed it Shirt Day.

The pattern I used is the See Kate Sew Recess Raglan . I love how these fit on my daughter. They sew up quick.  I made them both with the hour.

kaleidoscope shirt For the first shirt I used a Stenzo kaleidoscope Cotton Lycra and Stenzo Raspberry Dots both from Loiseau Fabrics. My daughter is in a big pink phase right now as is common with three year old girls. I really loved the greens in this print and chose to pull them out with green bands and cuffs. Happy Kid, Happy Mom.

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For the second shirt I used Stenzo Gnomes on the Go as the main fabric also from Loiseau Fabrics. The sleeves are a pink and white cotton spandex I picked up at Chez Ami. I used red ribbing for the bands and cuffs to contrast the sleeves.

My daughter “helped”  me cut this one out. I called attention to the fabric having Gnomes! on  a Bus! and then next hour was spent with me cutting out clothes while being serenaded to “The Gnomes on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round”  I have a feeling I have not heard the last of that song =)

I’ just love how these turned out. They will go with a lot of bottoms but I’m especially eager to pair them with the Greenstyle Creations Brassie Pants I posted about here. I made them a little big so they can get a lot of wear. The fabric is such great quality they will last and get passed on for someone else to enjoy.

I will keep you posted on my progress throughout the week . I think I’m going to keep everything hidden from my daughter until the weekend and then do a big reveal, with pictures of course =)

 

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Kids Clothes Week Ready, Set….

gnomesTomorrow kicks off Kids Clothes Week, a challenge where you sew for your kids one hour a day for seven days. In the past I have participated passively. This is the first time I’m challenging myself to do the whole thing and submit my projects to the Kids Clothes Week site.

I usually start with lofty goals and complete about half the days. The first day gets approached with gusto. The second day after working a full day, dinner, then my turn for kiddo bedtime, I’m usually faced with one of my non-preferred sewing tasks. It’s hard to get excited about taping together a pattern after a long day. I end up skipping out and then the week ends with me getting in three good sewing days.

This time I’m trying something different.  Baggies!

baggiesI’ve been working the past couple of weeks to tape patterns, cut fabric, and load them into plastic bags. Now all I have to do is sew for an hour all week long. How fun is that?

Here is a rundown of what I will sew this week. I have some super easy projects for nights I can only fit an hour. I have some more time intensive projects for nights I don’t do bedtime.

Izzy Top

1. Climbing the Willow Izzy Top – This is an unfinished project I’ve been dragging out for a month. I just need to complete the skirt and attach to the bodice.

 

Sally DressVery Shannon Sally Dress – This is such a cute summer dress with elbow sleeves and huge pockets for treasures.

 

Recess RaglansSee Kate Sew Recess Raglans – It’s April in Texas and we have no short sleeve T-shirts that fit.

 

Apple LoungewearShwin and Shwin Apple Loungewear Tops – I cut out four of these. I made them extra long so they can be sleep shirts. This is another critical need as the long T-shirts I was using for this purpose, now show belly.

 

Modkid CeceModkid Cece Dress – This is going to be the Easter dress. Bunnies and Bows!! I have not cut this out yet but plan to get to it this evening.

I’m not sure if I will make it through everything but I am excited about the prospect of trying. I will cover the projects in more detail as I get them finished up.

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Brassie Pants

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I have such a hard time with pants for my little one. I get the length right, then she grows a couple of inches within weeks and they are high waters. I get the waist right, and that couple of inches in height slims out her middle and then they are falling off. My kid is also rough on pants. She climbs, kicks, and and falls down a lot and her pants need to move with her.

When Greenstyle Creations came out with with these Brassie Pants, I knew I had to have them and that they would be a solution to many of my pants woes. I was not wrong.

Yoga Waist

The pants can be made from knit. They can also be made from a woven fabric with knit cuffs and yoga waist. The woven is my favorite option because I like bottom weight fabric for pants. I also like the the way the woven fabric gives an extra little poof to them. They have optional belt loops and sash which I love the look of but omitted because belts are a little tricky for my newly potty trained three year old right now. I look forward to using them in the future.

Pantlegs

They can be made capri or shorts length. I chose the capri. We love capris because they can fall at different lengths on the leg and still look fantastic. They are sized in groups of two from 18mo to 14 years. I made the 3-4 for my daughter who is just starting to wear 3s on bottom. They fit great and I can see them fitting for a couple of seasons. Oh how I love when you can get a long life out of kids clothes.

My first go I cut out two identical pairs. One for my girl and one for a friend the same size. I used this super cool red/pink twill from Chez Ami and a pink cotton lycra for the bands and cuffs. I sewed up both pairs in less than an hour!

Pants Hanging

The pattern calls for elastic thread. I’m not a huge fan of shirring. I don’t like all the fidgeting I have to do with my machine to get the elastic thread loaded up. I was so appreciative that she provided an alternate method that didn’t require that. It was a piece of cake!

Pants Costco
Once I confirmed that these pants were indeed awesome and would fit for a long time, I decided to break into my stash of Stenzo corduroy from L’oiseau. This fabric is truly stunning. It’s a lighter weight cord, softest I’ve ever felt. The colors are so bright and beautiful. I was able to make these with a half meter and still have leftovers for another project.

Gorgeous combination. I cannot get enough of these.

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These pants are made for play!

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My daughter loves them, It’s the only pants she wants to wear right now. I have to make more. I already have my next pair planned. Stenzo Butterfly Denim Swoon! I think the shorts version would make such adorable “bloomers” for under dresses and the all knit version for pajama/lounge pants.

Kid Smiling

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