Denim Dress-FI

This week’s challenge for Project Run & Play was to create a look for a child out of denim. Let’s just say, I was not enthused by this one. All I could think of was this:

*shudder*

So, I started perusing fabric.com and discovered something called Tencel denim. I obviously couldn’t touch it to get a feel for it, but I saw that the weight was only 4.5 oz and I was starting to envision a little denim Oliver + S Jump Rope dress. I took the plunge a bought a couple yards. Let me tell you…this stuff is so beautiful! Tencel denim is made with lyocell which is made from wood pulp! It is very light, but strong, has a lovely drape and is super soft. And it was a dream to sew with! I think it was just the right fabric to use to make my first Jump Rope dress. Having nice fabrics really does make a difference! It is really a beautiful fabric and I am totally making myself a skirt with the leftovers.

Dinah’s school has a “uniform” policy which in reality is just a really strong dress code. I love this and so does Dinah…she loves her shirt dresses and jumpers. At least for now she is enjoying dressing up a bit for school. So, this challenge was the perfect way to stitch up a little dress for her to wear to school.

Denim Dress-1

I sewed the size 6, which as you can see here is just a smidge too big, which is perfect for her to grow into. The Jump Rope has two view options, one with a gathered skirt and this a-line version. I love them both for different reasons, but this silhouette was simply more appropriate for the fabric.

Dinah chose the accent fabric for the placket and pockets from my stash, and I have to say I love her choice. It makes this the perfect fall dress.

 

And speaking of plackets! Look at that beauty!

Denim Dress-9

Liesl Gibson (who I got to meet a couple weeks ago!) from Oliver + S created a beautifully designed placket with wonderful directions. I never thought creating a placket on a dress like this would be so easy and turn out so nicely. Part of the appeal of using this pattern for this dress was to give myself a challenge and to work on a new skill. There is part of sewing that takes talent, but in reality you won’t be good unless you practice, practice, practice and stretch yourself when you find yourself getting complacent. I am so happy with the way this dress turned out and I can’t wait to make another one!

 

 

Just Like Daddy-FI

This week’s Project Run & Play challenge was to remake hand-me-downs into something new. I was feeling uninspired by making something for my girls for this challenge, but I thought it might be fun to take one of my brother-in-law’s old shirts and make it into something for my brand new nephew.

I have not done a whole lot for boys yet. I’ve made a couple vests and pants for Benjamin, but I have not attempted anything like a button down shirt for a boy yet and it was overdue.

I used Kwik Sew 3730 and sewed it exactly like the pattern. For my first time sewing something like this I just needed to follow the directions and not get too carried away.

Daddy's Hand-me-down Shirt-6

I do love some the small details on this pattern though…in particular the bias cut panels along the front. And the cute little pockets. Oh, and for the practical mom it closes at the bottom using snap tape so it is easy to make diaper changes.

It was a fairly easy pattern to make. Some of the instructions were a bit strange and I would do things in a bit different order next time, but it turned out really cute. I already have plans to make another for a friend.

Okay, I know everyone is waiting to see pictures of the tiny baby…so here he is!

Daddy's Hand-me-down Shirt-11

I made a 0-3 month size and as you can see it is still just a bit big on him, but as he is only 6 weeks in these pictures he should fit into it well very soon.

Isn’t he a cutie??

Funny story: he was being cranky about being set down for the pictures, so we tricked him by having Amber put her arm under the blanket to hold his head up and make him feel like he was being held. You know, like those creepy Victorian pictures of children.

 

 

Care Bear Family FI

Hello friends! I am back for another season of Project Run & Play! The first challenge this cycle is one of my favorites from all the cycles…Eighties Cartoons! There was so much to choose from and I knew I would be able to come up with something fun from lots of different cartoons.

However, after thinking about it I decided that the Care Bears were really the only way to go for me. I am still a kid at heart and enjoy watching the cheesy eighties movies with my girls. And there is lots of inspiration with all their colors and markings. But it was Christian (as always) who helped me with the major breakthrough. He suggested some sort of curved bodice created by the rainbow and that set me off  with lots of creative ideas for the others.

So, we’ll start with Cheer Bear Esther since that was my jumping off point.

Cheer Bear-Esther

I used the Oliver + S Tea Party sundress for this dress and a created a pieced rainbow bodice and a pink skirt. I added white corded piping to the front seams (not the back because I think that would be too uncomfortable to sit in) and to the seam between bodice and skirt. Let me tell you…corded piping on this dress is a beast! All the curved seams! Argh…it was crazy and very time consuming because I just had a hard time getting close enough to the piping when sewing my seams. Apparently I need a piping foot and that will change my life. So, make a note for Christmas people!

I also made Esther’s (and Miriam’s below) a size too big so they can wear them next spring. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time creating sundresses in the fall. So, for Esther I sewed up a 4T with no alterations. However, I should have made it with a 5T length. I always forget how long her legs are and she gets too tall for dresses well before she gets too wide for them. So, this dress is the appropriate length now, but a bit big around. In the spring it should fit a bit better around the chest, but will be more like a tunic than a dress. I’ll probably sew up or buy some white capri leggings to go with it and that will still look really cute and not be so scandalous.

Funshine Bear-Miriam

For our little Funshine Bear Miriam, I also used the Tea Party. This I wanted to look like the sun with the rays peeking up over onto the bodice. My machine has this random satin stitch line setting and I just used that to create the rays on the bodice.  She also has piping at the seams to help create a uniform look across all the dresses.

This kid is hilarious…we love our happy baby. 🙂

Friend Bear-Dinah

Now for our Friend Bear Dinah.

I had a harder time coming up with something for Dinah. I initially wanted to use Tenderheart Bear and do some sort of school uniform-y kind of dress. But I just couldn’t bring myself to make a boring brown dress when the other two were getting such happy dresses. So, I went back to the research and settled on Friend Bear. She is a peachy-orange color and has two criss-crossed flowers and I thought this would be perfect for my friendly Dinah. (Dinah constantly is making new friends…she has no barriers and it is one of my favorite things about her.) She also looks good in orange and yellow.

I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the flowers into the Tea Party and then I realized that the pattern doesn’t go up to a size 6 anyways, so I switched to the Seashore Sundress which I just love on her. I designed this to have a scalloped edge skirt like flower petals. And then when I was at the fabric store I found the perfect buttons…Cute little yellow flowers! I also used piping along the front seams for synergy with the other dresses and to give it a bit of visual interest on the front. I made this one to fit her now because she won’t grow as quickly between now and next spring and I think this would be cute with a white blouse for a school uniform dress.

(*Side note: I promise I did iron these dresses before I took pictures! This is why I don’t normally sew clothing with quilting cotton…it is so high maintenance after washing! And then if you sit in it for 5 seconds creases everywhere!)

 

So, just before I started sketching out my dress ideas the girls randomly got really into Care Bears. So, we’ve watched both the original movie and the sequel (prequel?) a few times recently. Which made our photoshoot today really fun.

Care-a-lot

Care a lot! We care a lot! (Random cheer…song…thing from the second movie…they are obsessed with it.)

And of course…

Care Bear Stare

And my sweet girls really do care…a lot.

Care Bear Family

 

Frozen Play Dresses-FI

Hello friends!

I am back! I took my customary summer hiatus so I could focus on getting our church’s VBS ready. We had a great space themed week and I will share pictures of our decorations from our event soon. And then I have been spending the last few weeks preparing everything to transition out of my job as one of our Children’s Ministry directors. It has been a great 3.5 years, but it was time for me to take a step back and just focus on what is going on with our family and my personal pursuits…SO, that means I will hopefully be around here more!

And now, on to this week past week’s sewing project…

As one of our last “hurrahs” of the summer we wanted to take the girls to Disney’s “Frozen Summer” at Hollywood Studios. They are typical little girls and therefore they just love the movie Frozen and each have chosen one of the sisters as her favorite.  When we were making our plans I thought it would be fun to make some simple Anna and Elsa inspired play dresses that they could wear. I am firmly against letting them wear the big polyester princess dresses to Disney when it is hot. These little sundresses were so much more comfy and still let them feel like a princess for the day.

So, some details…

Dinah’s favorite it is Princess Anna and she asked for her coronation day dress. Now both of Anna’s main outfits in the movie are beautiful and have really fun details, but Anna’s coronation day dress is so complex! Looking at pictures and video, it looks to be a box pleated circle skirt, with a contrast color inset in the pleats. AND it has all the embroidery detail. It is really a work of art. Trying to translate this into something more casual was quite difficult. I wanted to include enough of the detailing for the dress to actually reflect the original, but I didn’t want to create an intense amount of work for myself.

Using the Flashback Skinny Tee I drafted up the sweetheart neckline bodice top. It is fully lined and I just used a lightweight interfacing along the sweetheart to give it some structure. (Sidenote: As I was tracing my pattern onto the fabric I freaked out that it looked too small so I added a 1/4 inch to each side of the pattern piece…and that is almost exactly how much too big it is for her. I wanted it to fit a bit more snugly, but it was fine and she will only grow.) I found an embroidery design on Etsy that is actually pretty close to the exact design on the front of Anna’s dress.

 

(Dinah was being a weirdo for some of these pics…she was distracted by all the cool stuff to see in Oaken’s Frozen Funland.)

For the skirt, I went back and forth. My original design was to do a simple circle or 1/2 circle skirt with the designs painted onto the fabric using a freezer paper stencil. But then I thought that I should do the box pleats too with the designs going down the pleats. However, the math to figure out how to do a box pleated circle skirt was too much for me and I decided to just go for a straight skirt with the box pleats. I am so glad I did! This way was really easy and looks really great on her.

For the skirt design details I created a simple version of the original in Illustrator and imported it into the Silhouette Studio software. I used a Silhouette cameo to cut out the design from freezer paper. I cut the designs into strips and ironed those strips on to the fabric. (I had pre-marked where the pleats would be…lots of measuring once and twice to make sure it was right!) Then I just used stencil brushes to paint the fabric with fabric paint. (I had to mix my own colors…I couldn’t find anything *justright*)

This was a little time consuming, but totally worth it! I think the designs turned out so well and had just the effect I wanted. Since I’ve already done all the work, I thought I would share that Silhouette design with you. This design has four strips that are roughly 1.5 inches x 18 inches long. If you need to make the strips smaller or bigger, that should be really easy if you are familiar with the Silhouette software. I have the 24 inch mat, which helps with cutting large pieces like this, but you could easily edit the file to cut on a smaller mat.

Anna Coronation Day Dress Skirt Design

Esther’s Elsa dress was actually much easier. I used the dress pattern I had already made from the Flashback Skinny Tee, but did a lined bodice instead of binding. I embroidered a silver snowflake on the front and called it a day. The skirt portion is a blue knit overlayed with a sheer knit picot. I cut large snowflake freezer paper stencils (I used a design I purchased from the Silhouette Store) and painted them with white fabric paint. While the paint was still wet I sprinkled it liberally with fine glitter. (Which is now everywhere!) I used my serger and woolly nylon thread to create a rolled hem on the “cape.”

The girls loved their dresses! And I loved how cool and comfortable they were for our HOT day doing Frozen Fun.

Frozen Play Dresses-16

And for third children out there…(ahem, Auntie) Miriam wasn’t completely left out! 🙂 I made her this cute little tshirt with a snowflake and Anna and Elsa themed Mickey heads.

Frozen Play Dresses-13

 

 

Summer Shirt Tutorial-FI

For Throwback Thursday I thought I would “bring home” a tutorial I shared over at Project Run & Play two years ago! Dinah barely 3, Esther was practically still a baby and Miriam was just a twinkle in our eyes. As a matter of fact…Esther should fit into Dinah’s shirt and Miriam is close to fitting into Esther’s!

Hi, everyone!  My name is Harmony and I have been blogging over at Sew in Harmony since last fall.  I am a wife and a mommy (to two precious but BUSY girls) and I also work at our church part time coordinating our children’s ministry.  Sometimes I sleep, but I rarely clean anything…that’s how I get it all done!  I am ecstatic to be guest posting here at Project Run & Play!  I have been following along since Season 2, but this past season was my first season to SEW along.  It was really fun and challenging.  I brushed up some old skills, learned some new ones and discovered what my style really is.  For the Signature Style Challenge I focused more on my “dressy” style, so for my tutorial I wanted to share a signature look that is a bit more casual.


Materials
Fabric (about 3/4 yard)
Matching thread
Coordinating Piping (optional)

 

Math
(All the math in sewing!  I wish I paid better attention in geometry!)  You will need your child’s chest (C), hip (H) and strap (S) measurements.  Place those numbers into the following formulas to get the measurements for the cuts you will need to make.  All seams are 1/2″ seams (Except where piping is used).  If you want a looser fit, simply increase the ease in each formula.

Front Band Width (FBW) = (C ÷ 2) + 1” (ease) + 1” (seam)

Back Bands Width(BBW) = (C ÷ 4) + 0.5” (ease) + 1” (seam) + 1” (button placket)

Body Height (BH) = Desired length from chest to hip + 1.25” (hem allowance)

Body Width(BW) = (H ÷ 2) + 5” (ease) + 1” (seam)

Strap Length (SL) = S + 1” (seam)

Ruffle Length = S x 1.5 (gathering ease-increase or decrease as desired)

 

My measurements (approximately 4T size)

FBW = (22 ÷ 2) + 1 + 1 = 13”

BBW = (22 ÷ 4) + 0.5 + 1 + 1 = 8”

BH = 11 + 1.25 = 12.25”

BW= (22 ÷ 2) + 5 + 1 = 17”

SL = 8.5 + 1 = 9.5”

RL = 8.5 x 1.5 =12.75”

 

Cuts to Make

Front Band: 3” x FBW (Cut 2)

Back Bands: 3” x BBW (Cut 4)

Body: BH x BW (Cut 2)

Straps: 4” x SL (Cut 2)

Ruffles: 3” x RL (Cut 2)

Note:  For my 18 month old, I shortened both the band and the ruffles to 2.5”

Make Ruffles

Round off the ends of each ruffle piece.  Remember to make them mirror images of each other.  (I simply used the edge of a plate as a template.)

Finish the rounded edge of the ruffle using a narrow hem or rolled edge.

Gather the unfinished long edge of the strip.

 

Make Straps

Fold strap pieces in half lengthwise and press.  Reopen and fold raw edges into center and press.  Press strap closed.  Should be 1 inch wide.

Mark 3/4” up from each end of the straps.

Sandwich the gathered edge of the ruffle pieces between the strap pieces and pin.  Make sure the hem of the ruffle matches up with the marks.

Stitch strap closed close to the edge and top stitch along the opposite edge if desired.  Press.

 

Make Bands

Sew back pieces to front pieces along short edges for both outside and facing. Press seams open.

Optional Step: Attach piping to the outside band.  Stop piping 1½ inch from the left bottom edge.

 

Attach Straps

Safety pin straps to facing wrong side to right side in the location you want them…I angled them in just a bit in the back.

Try this on your child to be sure straps are the correct length and in the best position.

Baste straps to facing in seam allowance.

 

Finish Band

Place facing and outside bands right sides together.  Pin top edge and sides.

Stitch from bottom of curved side all the way across the top and down the other edge.  Leave the bottom open.

Clip corners, turn and press, making sure that facing is completely invisible from the front.

 

Sew Shirt Body

Place body pieces right sides together and sew both side seams.  Finish your seams and press towards back.

Gather the top edge of the body piece.

 

Attach Shirt Body to Band

Place bottom edge of the band and top edge of the body piece right sides together and pin.  Match up side seams and adjust gathering as necessary.

Overlap ends of the band. The end of the band with curved piping goes on top.

Stitch body to band, making sure to stich very close to the piping.  Note: It was a little finicky for me when I got to the overlapped ends.  Just go slow and double check that you are stitching close enough to the piping.

Finish seam and press up toward band. (I didn’t take a picture of this because my serger was being grouchy and my “finished” seam looks terrible.)

 

Finishing

Along the hem press under 1/4 inch and then fold up another 1 inch and press.  Stitch close to the fold to secure the hem.

Mark your button placement and make your buttonhole(s).

Attach your buttons.

 

Finito!  Now you have a sweet little summer shirt.  Perfect for picnics and popsicles!  I would love to see your creations!  If you make one of these sweet shirts or a variation thereof, please come add it to my new (very new) Flickr group…Sewing with Harmony.

As a bonus, I have a quick tutorial on how to add a gathered cuff to an existing shorts pattern.  Come on over to sewinharmony.com to say “hello!” and check it out!

 

Thanks to LiZ and Elizabeth for the invite!  So glad I was able to join in the fun!  I hope you all have a lovely summer!