Apr 17 2015

16-52

16-52  I made Lucy an adorable kimono style jacket and tried photographing her in it this week.  Wouldn’t you know it, 1.5 year olds don’t stat still long enough to take pictures!  It’s hard to tell in this shot, but it’s longer in the back.  I plan on putting a little tie in the front because it kept sliding off her shoulders.

Also…I may or may not have made a matching one for myself.  I don’t plan on wearing it at the same time though.  Pretty sure that crosses a line…haha.

I’m aware that this blog has been pretty sparse lately with the exception of the 52 Project.  We are just at the tail end of our house hunting process.  I’ll be sharing about that in due time, but for now we are very much in limbo so blogging has taken a backseat.

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Aug 14 2014

Product Review: First Baby Shoes

A while back I was contacted by “First Baby Shoes”, a Polish company, to review a pair of their baby shoes.  What’s unique about them, is that it’s a shoe making kit that they send you with all the materials and instructions!  I decided on the yellow “Karo” shoes, because I thought the colour would be nice in the autumn for Lucy.  One thing to note right off the bat– they are only made in one size.  They have picked the average size of foot for a baby who starts walking, which is 12cm long (I’ll talk more about this later).

The shoes arrived very fast!  I was surprised, considering how crummy Canada Post is.  Usually they end up losing my stuff or forgetting to tell me that it’s at the post office.  They are great that way.  But this isn’t about Canada Post.  I digress.

They came in a cute little box all perfectly packed with all the necessities.  I was pretty excited to start, but I had to wait for Lucy to go down for a nap before I could get anything done.  Once I started, I quickly realized (surprise surprise) that I’m terrible at reading instructions.  This was never my strong point in school…I learnt by doing, never by reading.  Thankfully, they have video tutorials on their website that show all the separate steps.  Those were lifesavers for me.  I’m pretty sure the shoes would have gotten sewn backwards if not for that.

The first shoe took me about 45 minutes to sew, but keep in mind I was also learning and following video instructions.  Once I figured it out, the second shoe only took me about 15 minutes to sew.

Below is the finished product!  Aren’t they flippin’ adorable?!

Here are a few things that I have to say about the shoes now:

PROS:

1. The obvious: They are adorable.  The colour is perfect and the styling is classic but still unique.

2. The leather is very high quality and soft.

3. They have a nice rubber sole, so that when Lucy starts walking her feet will be protected.

4.  Also, there’s a padded insert for extra comfort.

5.  They were fun to make!  I would definitely recommend these to other crafty mamas.

CON:

1.  Poor Lucy has teeny feet.  These actually won’t fit her probably till late winter.  My face was very sad when I put the shoes on her feet and they just flopped off.  I kind of wish they had different sizes…at least 3 to cater to small babies, average babies, and big babies.

That’s about it!  I can’t wait till they fit Lucy and I will be sure to post a picture of her wearing them as soon as they fit.

Visit their website here for more information: “First Baby Shoes”

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May 12 2014

sew: boys button up shirt to baby dress

I’ve seen a couple pins on pinterest showing how to make a toddler dress from a mens button up shirt.  I liked the idea, but wanted to make something a bit more detailed.  I was also frustrated with the lack of blue girls dresses, as well as dresses without cartoon characters, logos or words.  I found this boys size small button up for $2 at the thrift store and loved the blue gingham, and lucky for me, a boys size small neck fits my chubby baby girls neck perfectly!

This DIY is great if you are already pretty familiar with the sewing machine.

Here’s what I did:

Step 1:

Measure where you want the waistline to sit, and cut.  Try to be mindful of where the buttons will go.  I cut just above a button so that when I sewed the waist, there would be a button just at the waist (to avoid puckering)

Step 2:

If you want to avoid what I did in the first picture, get your screaming baby to stop crying first.

And then cut the shape pictured in the second image.  My pieces ended up being side panels (and I cut the pieces from one of the arms)

Sew the sides (obviously leaving the armholes open!)

Step 3:

Sew a baste stitch along the top of the skirt section and gather to fit the bodice.  I did this in panels (the back, and the two front panels) in order to keep the gathering even.  Pin to the bodice, and sew.

Step 4:

Finish off arm holes.  I also hemmed the dress (but left the fabric).  I left some room to take out the dress at the sides, as well as the bottom because I want the dress to grow with her.

I also used bias tape to finish off the seam at the waistline on the inside, as well as in the arm holes.  I like to have baby clothes as sturdy as possible, because they need to be able to get thrown in the washing machine without me worrying about the edges fraying.

*OPTIONAL*

The sash around the waist was an afterthought (so I didn’t photograph instructions).  I noticed the cuffs from the arms had a smaller gingham fabric and thought that it would be cute to use as a sash.  I cut them off, opened up the seam to remove the raw cut edge and re-sewed it shut.  I then sewed them together at the from, and used the button holes to attach an adjustable tieback.  I sewed on two of the buttons down the front of the sash where the seam was.



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Apr 25 2014

lucy’s easter dress

I never got to make a dress for Lucy’s first Christmas due to our lives being complete chaos at that time.  But I was determined to make her something sweet for Easter.  I have a ton of this fabric that I bought to use in her nursery, and only lined the back of a bookshelf with it.  I may make something else next summer for her out of it.  The dress itself is designed to grow with her.  I did an elastic waistband that can be let out, as well as a tie on the back to fit the bodice.  The arm holes are adjustable with the ties at the shoulders.  I hope she will wear the dress all summer.

I had planned to make something different (and had even started a different dress) but it didn’t work out so I sketched out the shape of this one on the fabric and just kind of improvised from there.  I’ve been getting a lot better at doing the finish work in dresses as well, and this has a fully lined bodice, french seams and a proper hem (no exposed edges on the inside) Essentially, the dress looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside.

I made two headbands for her–one is the small one that she wore all day on Easter, and the other is the “extended version” that fit in with it that I used just for pictures.  Those were just simply cheapo silk flowers that I hot glued to felt (as a base) and decorative elastic.

Is she not the cutest thing you ever did see?  She’s gotten so good at sitting on her own since these.  This was the first time she sat by herself long enough for me to take her picture.

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Oct 19 2012

sew. much.

I’ve been sewing a lot lately.  Just before my birthday, I had mentioned to Dave that I wanted my birthday present to be a shopping trip to get some new things that were a bit more versatile (classic basics, if you will).  So I started to search the interwebs and had some ideas pinned on Pinterest, when I suddenly realized how expensive my birthday request was potentially going to be.  I decided that many of the things I wanted could be easily made, so I took birthday money from my parents and bought as much fabric as I could possibly muster (you can get a lot with a little if you search long and hard).  Also, because patterns are friggin expensive, none of these were made with a pattern.  Everything was drafted by me.

The first outfit is something that is inspired by a 1950′s tweed suit that I already own (much like this one, but it has a velvet tie at the neck, and the skirt is a circle, not pleated)…but it doesn’t fit me anymore (goodbye 16 year old figure).  I decided against a jacket though, because A) Too tricky without a pattern. and B) I just really wanted a tweed vest.  The fabric I found had wrinkles added to it, and I’ve yet to get them out completely (the vest is a little smoother than the skirt…but that’s because it’s a LOT of fabric to iron. PS if you know how to get out stubborn wrinkles from wool…telllll meeee.)  I still have a bunch of this fabric left over and I plan on making something like this dress ( I actually have a pattern for this).  The blouse was one of my birthday presents, and is silk…and lovely.

This skirt was inspired by one from modcloth.  But it was to expensive for my liking, and I I knew it would be easily made.  It was originally supposed to be a full circle, but I didn’t get enough of this fabric, so it ended up being a half.  The top was one of those things that just emerged as I sewed it.  It started just as a t-shirt…then I decided to add the peter-pan collar (it’s hard to see, but it’s cream lace).  And then I gathered the sleeves and added a cuff, and then added the buttons to complete it.

This next top was based purely on the fact that I can’t get enough of blouses with bow ties on them.  End of story.  It’s a simple blouse with flutter sleeves (they look funny in the picture..erg.)  The black circle skirt is probably one of my favourite most versatile things I made.  It falls just below the knee (which is my favourite length for skirts) and it is so flipping fun to wear.  It’s impossible to not want to spin in circles when you wear this thing.

I made this outfit in September, but I haven’t shared it at all, so I’m including it.  I was inspired to do this skirt by something I saw a girl wearing at the beach in the summer (mostly because it had a big bow in the back and I loved that).  It’s a dirndl skirt (a big rectangle, gathered at the waistband).  The fabric I found at the thrift store, and had bought it originally to do pillow covers.  So I now match with my throw pillows.  Heh.  This blouse took me about an hour to make and it came from not wanting to wear what was in my closet.  I had this fabric from the thrift store and thought this would be the perfect project for it.

The back bow tie is my FAVOURITE part of this silly skirt.  Love it.

And finally…this blouse was inspired by this top from modcloth.  Much like a lot of the things I make, it changed as I made it.  I hate making sleeves, so I just left them off, and then ended up liking the silhouette they made.  I had these black buttons and black seam binding leftover from another project and used it to finish the top off.  The fabric is a cotton remnant that I got for $3 (I still have about 2 meters of it left).
Altogether fabric for all of this totalled about $70 (that is also including thread, zippers, lining–which I also used to re-line my vintage coat).  I have a bit of fabric left over even!  Most of these projects didn’t take me very long either.  I finished almost everything within the week of my birthday (with the exception of the orange and teal outfit).  So in the end, my birthday shopping trip was a lot more focused on a few small things that I needed (cardigan, shoes, silk blouse and a hat).
Whew!  This makes it seem like all I’ve done is sew lately.  Well…partially true. ;)  But it’s a fun hobby.  And I’m pretty sure I’ve saved about a million dollars too, so that’s a bonus.

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