A theme that will probably pop up regularly on this blog is my craziness. Even though I was already stressed out by all the balls I had in the air, I decided to throw in one more last week and make fall dresses for the girls in time for our family pictures that we took on Saturday.
Crazy. Christian just shakes his head at me.
It all really started back in August or so. When I walked in the door at the fabric store they had some fall fabrics out and I saw this fine waled corduroy and just fell in love.
It is brown with little lime green pears and turquoise polka-dots. Too cute.
After eyeing this fabric for many weeks, I decided to grab it while on sale a couple weeks ago. It sat there until I lost my mind.
So, next I had to decide what I wanted the dresses to look like. I wanted them to be simple so the fabric could shine and I wanted the construction to be easy since, you know, I’m crazy.
I settled on using the pattern that is the basis for the shirt dress over at MADE. It perfectly fit all my criteria. I took her pattern sketches and made my own patterns for each girl. (I do this with a program called Microsoft Visio. It is actually for creating floor plans and flow charts, but I have found that it is great for pattern making and quilt designing.)
These dresses were so easy to put together. The raglan style sleeve on them means there are very few seams and no fussy armholes to deal with.
As I was constructing Dinah’s I decided the front was just a little too plain and I wanted to add a faux placket and some buttons. I looked through all the buttons that my grandma had sent me, but nothing seemed right…so back to the fabric store we went. (Side note: Dinah both loves and hates the fabric store. She wants to touch EVERYTHING, but I inevitably take too long and her little toddler mind breaks down. So I bribed her. She could pick what she wanted from dollar bins from the front of the store. She chose pink mittens that she wants to wear around everywhere…even though it was still 80+ degrees here until yesterday. Of course she is not still long enough for me to get a picture.) I settled on doing some fabric covered buttons with the pears and dots from the fabric. I never knew how simple it was to create your own fabric covered buttons. This is now my new obsession…what else can I make and add fabric covered buttons? I love them.
The final step of the dresses was the hem. In order to get both dresses cut from the yard and a half of fabric I needed to shorten the skirts a little more than I wanted. I made up for this by using bias tape as hem facing. This allowed me to still get a nice chunky hem, but only lose about 1/4″ of my dress length. It also adds a nice pop of color on the inside of the dress.
And as if I wasn’t crazy enough, I decided the girls also needed new bows to match their dresses. So, I made some.
Is that a ribbon covered button? Yes, yes it is. Obsessed, I told you.
Now the girls have new beautiful fall dresses that were great for our family pictures. We haven’t gotten those pictures back yet, but I’ll post them for you all when we get them.
Before I got started on Christmas presents I was distracted with sewing for the Georgia-Florida game. I decided to make a red dress for myself. This process included making and adjusting at least two “muslins” before even attempting the final product. I came to a couple conclusions through this process…1.) Traditional patterns have lots (lots!) of sizing issues and 2.) I didn’t really love sewing for myself. Since then I have made a few more things for myself, but they were from simple tutorials and much smaller projects. At this point I would rather do my “real” sewing for other people.
Here is the red dress…
The other project I did was small and really an excuse to use my new serger. I cut two onesies in half and serged them together to create a couple Gameday onesies for Dinah. Too cute!
After I had Dinah I was home from work for three months of leave and I started thinking about a hobby for naptime. I also knew I wanted to make her baptism dress so I dusted of my sewing machine and reacquainted myself with it. I had sewed some in college while working in the costume shop, but I didn’t do very much and that was already 7 years in the past. My first project was this little dress.
I was wandering the Joann’s and totally fell in love with this fabric. It is a textured, lightweight yellow with sweet little cherries on it. It was perfect for a little summer dress. I recently pulled it back out for Esther and it was just as cute, but I noticed that my construction skills have really improved since then. That was encouraging!
Shortly after that I had to go back to work. So my revived hobby had to take a back burner. That lasted all of three months before we decided it would be best for our family if I stayed home with our new baby girl. Dinah’s baptism was right around the corner so I knew I had to get cracking.
In looking at baptism or christening gown patterns I decided I didn’t like them. Too frilly for my tastes. And then I found this cute pattern with vintage baby designs and modified it just a bit to make it longer and more “baptism-y.” One thing I loved about this design was the little embroidery detail.
It had a been a loooong time since I had done any hand embroidery, but after doing this little bit I fell in love with it. These little flowers add such a sweet touch and detail that was needed to keep it from being too plain. I also made a little bonnet for her. I loved it, but some people just had to point out that it looked like a little Amish bonnet. I still think it is cute.
So, those were my first real projects in my modern sewing career. After this I decided to be brave and make, yes make, everyone’s Christmas presents that year. Stay tuned…