Apparel: August 2012 Archives
Once again I am going to give raves reviews for our new Create Kids Couture Free Pattern Download: the Millie's Schoolhouse Skirt. This skirt is, of course, totally cute but also great for any girl given the options to customize it. You can just go with the skirt, add suspenders or tie on the sash. Anything goes. It is great. It also doesn't take that much time to make. By the time you can get your kids in the car with all their gear/snacks/toys, drive to the mall, unpack everyone, get them to the store and try on clothes, then get everyone and everything back in the car, drive home and unpack, I guarantee you can make this skirt. All in the comfort of your home, with a nice cup of tea by your side and maybe your kids watching a movie so you can relax. Which sounds nicer to you?
I made my Millie Skirt ready for fall in some nice Gold, Garnet, and Raspberry tones from Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy Legacy Collection. You can find plenty more fall collections in our Holiday Section. Just click on Quilting Cotton on the left sidebar and look for the Holiday Fabrics section and fall is nestled in there with Halloween, Christmas and Chanukah. I opted just for the 3 prints and ordered ½ yd of each and found that by mixing up the patterns I could get 2 skirts from my fabric purchase.
My skirt is just the skirt since my daughter while a big twirling advocate will climb into a skirt readily, but once she has one layer of clothing is off to play. Any additional layers can only be added via fierce negations in which I often concede more than I gain or tears are involved. She loves the skirt though since it looks like a bell and twirls nicely. It is a size 4T since she will be 4 in the winter and the fit is just right. I love where the skirt hits at her knees; it will look great with leggings once the weather matches my fall fabric choices and the gathered waist means I can tuck her shirt in, leave it out or add a sweater without too much bulk.
I was able to practice more with my serger on this skirt and loved finishing my edges as I sewed up the skirt. I did have some trouble when it came to adding the waist band so I left the hole open, added my elastic then sewed it closed with my sewing machine then went over it again with my serger to finish the edge.
You will love making this skirt and your little girl will love wearing it. It goes on with a quick tug for those learning to dress themselves and is easy to remove for potty breaks. And if you want to pair it with some shorts for playtime, the Create Kids Couture Aiden Shorts fit perfectly underneath this skirt!
For my first project, I sewed black velvet ric rac to a satin ribbon as a base. I ran two lines of stitching down the middle section.
Next, I plugged in my hot fix rhinestone applicator and some jet rhinestones, and added a little off-center sparkle to each interior arc of my ric rac. The glittery result would be great as an embellishment for holiday party wear, I think.
The second approach I took was to intertwine two different colors of ric rac, and stitch them together, picking up clear seed beads in my stitches. I love the combo of pink and black, because it always makes me think of Art Deco design. This trim makes me think of beaded handbag ideas ...
Next up is a project I like to call the nature stack. Since autumn will be here soon, my mind is already on the changing of the leaves. I selected three colors of velvet ric rac that reminded me of fall. I machine stitched the bottom two layers together, and then used a needle and thread and seed beads to assemble the last layer of the stack. I think I'm going to use this trim on autumn home dec projects like plump pillows and table runners.
The last trim treatment I came up with turned out to be my favorite, and it's so, so simple! I used a bit of 1/4" ribbon, and carefully wrapped it around the ric rac, ironing it gently as I went. (NOTE: Velvet ric rac does NOT play nice with the iron! You need to keep the heat fairly low and iron from the backside.) Because the pile of the ric rac is not terribly deep, I didn't bother with a velvet board or towel for pressing. Here's the backside of the twist method in process:
When I first found out I was pregnant back in January, one of my first objectives was maternity/baby items search on Etsy and wouldn't you know what the top maternity item was at the time: Hospital Gowns. Apparently moms are tired of looking washed out and plain in these first pictures with baby. New moms want to look as fabulous and glamorous as they do every other day, despite the fact that they are in a hospital. So the market for designer hospital gowns took off. I put a designer hospital gown at the top of my "To Make" list, found this pattern by Lazy Girl Designs and quickly decided on my fabric. I choose Spot On Mini Dots Navy Quilting Cotton for several reasons:
1) I love polka dot right now and it works well with everything. I certainly don't want to clash with hospital issue receiving blankets should I forget to swaddle my little one in my own first.
2) Navy is a good color for me; It won't wash me out.
3) Navy should be easy to wash because, let's face it, this gown is going to get dirty. I don't want to ruin 3 yds of Amy Butler fabric and I don't want to spend my first few days at home trying to rescue my hospital gown with delicate washings to remove stains
Now you may think why would you spend all this time on a gown you will wear once? Well, just like your wedding gown it is mostly about the pictures that you will cherish for a lifetime and you want to look good! But also after careful thought I figure that I can wear this gown many times the first few weeks or even months. It will make a great nightgown until baby gets a night time schedule. It will make night feedings that much easier and comfy. I can certainly wear it at home the first few days until I am feeling better. And afterwards I can use the fabric to make a memory quilt or some other small project. This pattern only required 3 yds of Designer Quilting Cotton so making your own is cost effective and fun!
Even more appealing for all you non-pregnant folks out there is that this free pattern is not a maternity hospital gown but just a regular hospital gown pattern that can be adapted for maternity use. I cut mine out with two left sides for the back and it fits me perfectly being 8 mos pregnant. You can make this gown for any loved one with an upcoming hospital stay. It is a great way to brighten up what is sure to be an anxiety-ridden adventure. My only changes would be to recommend lowering or widening the neckline. It is a lot too modest for me. Not that I want to look like a vixen in the hospital but I don't like my neckline crowding me. I like to have plenty of room around the neck in case I sit on my gown funny or it gets pulls accidently. I am going to lower mine at least 3'' and make it into more of a scoop neck just for the extra room for movement in the hospital bed. I do love how this pattern does away with all the gathers and frills of most maternity gowns. I enjoyed only spending a few hours on this pattern instead of several days. As stated earlier, yes I want to look good but this is not a wardrobe staple so I want to invest just enough time to look good with it being a time suck. The Velcro at the shoulders was a blessing over the snap tape I see in most hospital gown patterns. I want the quickness of Velcro over the precision of a snap. I also used self fabric to interface at the shoulder seams for looks and added double folded trim at the shoulder edge and neckline. I cut six 1 yd 2'' strips from the scraps cutting out the gown and pressed 4 of them into double folded trim. The two strips I didn't press I pinned RS together on my shoulder edges and stitched on. Then I pressed the seam towards the gown and folded the trim towards the gown and topstitched in place (see picture above). Then I added the Velcro. I omitted the button because I am not really sure of its purpose but I can always add it later. I also serged the sleeves, back edges and bottom hem to save time and because I just received my new serger and I am LOVING it! I was also able to use the remaining strips as back ties. I will add one more to just above the rump so I don't have my bottom poking out when I walk around.
Overall, I really enjoyed this pattern. It was quicker than I anticipated, looks more fabulous than I expected and it comfy, comfy comfy. I recommend it for any expecting mom or hospital go-er!
Thank you Lazy Girl Designs for your wonderful pattern!
I didn't want to use a zipper on this dress -- my goal was a pullover garment. But, this dress is somewhat fitted, so I needed to come up with a solution that would keep the look of the dress, but would allow me to pull it on without fuss. So, I cut the pattern one size larger than my true size, and I added ties by stitching them into the darts on the back. Problem solved!
I have mentioned on previous vintage patterns that they sometimes call for a technique that isn't often used today -- an overlay approach to stitching pieces together. Instead of sewing the elements right-sides together, you prepare each piece, pressing under the seam allowance on the piece that will be on top, and then place it on top of the other section to sew it, stitching very close to the folded edge. It feels weird to work this way initially, but I find I really like it. The S-curve at the front of this dress would be really difficult to assemble without this approach. Here's a close-up of three of the pieces coming together this way (the two front bodice pieces and the skirt):
I'm pretty pleased with this little experiment. I like that I can wear this dress on its own through the summer, and then layer it with a long-sleeve undershirt or cardigan and boots for cooler weather. Versatile is always a win in my book!