Sunday, August 18, 2013

A new outfit worthy of her first trip to the theatre

I've been meaning to post this outfit for a couple months and I thought I could play it off like I just finished it, but looking at my last post I realize I can't--Lucia has changed so much in just a few months.

The teal fabric was the inspiration for the whole outfit and is pretty special.  Lucia's two teachers in her last classroom were always commenting on the clothing I made for her and one day one of them offered to bring me some fabric.  It was fabric she had brought back from India and she specifically told me to use it to make something for Lucia.

When I saw the embroidered borders with the lovely lace scallops I knew exactly what pattern I'd use.  It needed to be something that would show off the border.  So I made the skort from this Japanese pattern book.  Not needing to hem anything made it super quick.

For the coordinating top I made the Hopscotch Dress by Oliver + S again but this time I finished the neck edge with a bias strip from the skirt fabric.  I've been wanting to try a woven edge on a knit so this seemed like a good idea.

In case you want to try something like this, I took a 1 inch bias strip and sewed a zig zag along both edges.  Then I folded it in half and serged the folded edge to the neck edge stretching the shirt slightly as I went along.  Then I folded it up and top stitched.

And the play, a sweet version of Charlotte's Web.  Just right for a three year old.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My favorite color is yellow.

For about two weeks way back in April almost every other thing she said was, "my favorite color is yellow".  She got excited about every yellow car or food or anything, she saw.  And so I started on this little outfit that had been on my list of things to make for a long time.

Unfortunately, I just finished it last night.  I guess it got pushed back in line behind Elena's fairy tale dress for one, but the biggest drawback was with my equipment.

The skirt is the Oliver + S Hopscotch skirt again.  This time with the take out box pockets (which I love!).  It all went smoothly until I went to cut the last buttonhole, or the top one last rather.  And this happened.  The seam ripper sliced right through the buttonhole and I ended up with a huge hole.

The shirt is the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress.   I wanted to try it in a knit and bought the pattern with this top in mind.  I debated whether to make it lined, like the pattern or to use binding at the neck and opted to line it.  That was a disaster.  The yoke and skirt seam was so wavy.  I thought it would be okay, until I had Lucia try it on, and it just looked terrible.  But I had done all that work so I just decided to cut my losses and hem it, knowing I still had to go back and fix the skirt.   That's when I put a double needle in my sewing machine, pressed on the foot peddle and heard a terrible sound.  I broke the single stitch lever on the throat plate (I have a Janome Horizon).

This happened sometime near mid-June.  I took my machine to the shop and was without one for about three weeks while they repaired it and replaced the throat plate.

I got my machine back just in time to fulfill a special order for my shop.  I fixed the waistband on the skirt (I simply cut a new waistband that went all the way to the corner to include the top button).  But when I tried to sew the buttonhole the machine stopped working.

So back to the repair shop for another two weeks.  It came back home on Friday.

In the meantime, I decided to cut a new yoke for the shirt and try the binding this time.   This time it worked much better.  So last night I finished the shirt, sewed the buttonhole on the skirt,  and cut it open with my new buttonhole cutter.  Then sat down to watch Project Runway.  After watching Dom's critique with Top Gunn (I mean, Tim Gunn), I decided that the front skirt piece in the shirt needed replacing--the stripes were crooked.  So, I stayed up a little more and replaced that piece.  So, of the original shirt, only the back skirt and arm bands are in the final top.

The back doesn't match perfectly and there's a little bubble and iron stain on the left--but after the problems this shirt gave me, neither of those things bother me. 
Here's a little more info about what I did to alter the pattern for a knit.  I wanted 1 inch bands on the sleeves, so I reduced the sleeve length by 1 1/4 inches.  Since there isn't a lining in the yoke I sewed the back up to the dot then ironed the seam allowance open turned it in and sewed it down all the way from the top edge.  I then serged binding around the neck opening and sewed that down with a little button loop on one side.

So, maybe it wasn't the easy, quick project I envisioned, but it sure was satisfying.  The best part, Lucia loves it.  She sat on my lap for a little while yesterday while I worked on the shirt, so today she told everyone that she helped make it.  I love that. Even if she declared today that her favorite color is... purple.

This photo reminds me of a Japanese pattern book.  The kids look a little distraught, but the clothes are cute.