Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013: Chancho

Elenita is dressed as her little piggy, affectionately known as "chancho".  I made it a year ago and pretty quickly had to make a second one so she had one at school too.  It's quite loved (and chewed on).

The pattern for the sweatshirt is the Bimaa sweater which I hadn't seen until last week's KCW and it was exactly what I had in mind.  In fact, I was planning on making my own pattern with raglan sleeves (that's where this one is a little different), and a three piece hood--this one was perfect.  The fabric is sort of a stretch terry and it's the same fabric her stuffed pig is made of.

The ears, nose and tail come from the Abby Glassenberg Lovey pattern--I just made the ears and nose a little bigger but left the tail the same size.  I also decided not to stuff the tail and I think it works a little better that way.  

As you can see, Elena loves her chancho costume.  So much so, she kissed the snout as soon as I showed it to her the first time.  

Happy Halloween everyone.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween 2013: Mad Bird Judge

I guess it plays out this way for a lot of parents and kids at this age (check out this volcano!). 

I knew this would be the first year she would have an opinion about what she would dress up as for Halloween.   She started talking about it about two months ago.  A princess.  A “princess of the sea”, aka mermaid.  A pirate.  It changed so often that I figured we would just let her pick on the day of and use her dress-up box to make the costume.  But then one day she came home from school listing a bunch of things she could be, a doctor, a judge…  I jumped on it.  A judge, for Halloween, cool! 

Her first image about a judge was from a Bible book but then I showed her a clip of Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor on Sesame Street several times and she was very excited to be that kind of judge.  I listened to her autobiography earlier this year and I truly admire her—so this costume really makes me happy.

I used Juan’s graduation gown but only the middle placket-thing is really left from the gown. 
The costume uses a rough combination of the Oliver + S Ice Cream dress and the Hopscotch top.  Basically I made the bodice of the Ice Cream Dress turning it around so the opening is in the front for the zipper.  Then I placed the Hopscotch pattern on top and used that to cut out the armscye.   The sleeve is the Hopscotch top too but several inches wider.  I used several rows of gathering stitches on the sleeve head before I sewed it to the bodice. 
The lace at the front is a doily I bought at a garage sale sewn in half to a piece of elastic.  One side is sewn down and the other forms a loop that attaches to a button on the inside. 
She wore it to Halloween party this weekend, it was a hit. 
Oh yeah, the “mad bird” part.  That was her idea just after we agreed to the judge.  She loves Angry Birds even though she has no idea what it is (she calls them Mad Birds).  So to appease her and give her something to do, I printed out an a coloring page of one on card stock and made her a mask after she colored it in.  So now she is a Mad Bird Judge.  If she adds her fire fighter hat she is going to be a “mad bird judge fire cheater”. 
Next, Elena as chancho.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

100% Recycled Cardigan & Headband

We were in the library last week and Lucia received a compliment from an elderly gentleman on her sweater.  That’s when I knew I got the look I was after.

Recycled wool: This little sweater was made from a sweater vest Juan’s ex-girlfriend gave him.  Obviously, I don’t get jealous easily, because when he was ready to throw it out I put it aside for a future project.  No good fabric, especially wool, gets thrown out in my house.    Since it was a vest, I barely had enough fabric to make the sweater and that also meant I had to make a seam down the middle of the back.  

Recycled leather: The purple leather elbow patches came from this funny purple purse I bought at a thrift store.  I meant it for the dress-up box, but one day I decided to cut it up.  I actually made the flower for this headband out of the leather first.  The pattern comes from this book and I loved how it turned out.  I was looking at all of the oversized flower necklaces in various catalogues and planned to make several for a necklace.  But after one, I was done and it sat in my drawer until the sweater was done and the idea for the headband came.

Recycled buttons: Buttons don’t get thrown out much either.  These came from one of Juan’s old shirts.  I actually planned to make leather buttons from the same purse, but after trying one, I gave up.  Maybe a punch would work—but that would require a purchase, which this project was not about.

Recylced pattern: Actually, I didn't really use a pattern for the cardigan.  I used the armscye from this pattern and one of Lucia's jackets to figure out how long and wide to make the sweater.  Now I need to trace the sweater onto paper so I can make a second one.  
What do you think?  Any other elderly men out there?  (If so, what are you doing reading my blog?)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sewing in black and white

I often find myself sewing in all white thread.  It's convenient because then I don't have to change the thread on my machine or my serger.  But recently, it's been all black around here.  Maybe it's due to the change in seasons, or maybe it's just coincidence.  Either way, here is a sneak peak at a few of my works in progress.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Oliver + S in Dewberry, Take 2

Back when I was pregnant with Elena, I made this dress for some friends as a baby gift.  It was the Oliver + S Puppet Show tunic and shorts.  The fabric is Joel Dewberry Heirloom Voile in Opal and a yellow linen.  I loved how it turned out so much that I knew I wanted to make a second one for my own little girl.  I made the shorts at that time and ordered the fabric, but it just sat there along with all of the other projects in my studio waiting to become reality.

A couple weeks ago, we received a note from daycare that picture day was coming up.  I decided it was a good time to make that little top.  But I've made the Puppet Show tunic a bunch of times and I hadn't yet tackled the Family Reunion Dress so I decided to make that instead.

This pattern is quite a bit simpler.  Fewer pieces. so less matching. The neck is a little wide, but I do really love this design.

Wanna play soccer?

Eating figs straight off the tree.

To make it even simpler and avoid problems matching, I cut the back in one piece and used a placket instead of the back button band. 

Here mom. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lucia and the three pairs

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Lucia.

Her mother decided she needed new undies and stitched her up a pair, size 6.

But they were too big.  
So, her mother made her another pair, size 4.
But they were too small.
So, her mother resized the pattern and made size 5,
And they were just right.

And then the real work began and she made 8 more.  Because no little girl (or grown girl for that matter) can survive with just one.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The specifics for those who care:

The pattern is That Darn Kat's Childrens Undies pattern.  It's a great pattern, but it would be nice if it came in every size (it comes in 2, 4, 6,...).  The fabric all came from my stash, from my friend's scraps and from old onesies.  The last pair has decorative elastic, because I just couldn't do one more pair.

The funny thing is that, even though Lucia wears them, they are really for Juan.  I'm pretty sure that when I first made her a pair a year ago it was the most excited I've ever seen him about something I made.  What can I say, he's practical.  And, the underwear you buy for little girls is so skimpy.  That said, I will not make another pair of these underwear until I own a new serger with a coverstitch (Juki, if you're listening, I would be happy to review the Juki MO-735).  

What's the most practical sewing you've done lately?