Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sweating Refashion

This week is the third week of Project Run & Play - refashion themed.  I've had an idea for a while of what I wanted to make, but not much time.  Life has been busy, but in the best ways so I'm not complaining.  I did however barely manage to make this outfit.  But one of the best things about refashioning items is that you can save time using features like cuffs and hems that already exist.  This also means for me that there are less things to mess up late at night when I have no business sewing in my sluggish haze. 

This outfit comes from two small sweaters and a tee shirt that I actually really liked, but am not sure that  I'll ever fit into again.  So there's no point in letting them sit around unworn until I get my butt working out again.  Plus I knew a little girl that would LOVE the purple and blue colors in the shirts.

The striped sweater I made into another Cool Cardigan with heart pockets.  I want to make 10 of these! I didn't have enough ribbing for the entire collar so I made it into a shawl style without buttons.  I love the casualness of it.

The purple shirt I made into a Skipper top, and used the cuffs and neckband of the blue sweater to band it.  The rest of the blue sweater I made into a little skirt.  It is soooo soft, and makes me want a sweater skirt for myself!  Are those even a thing?

And then there's the UNICORN.

This kid loves unicorns and has asked for several unicorn shirts.  So I made a freezer paper stencil for the shirt.  I used both pink and baby blue paint, trying to go for an 80's style airbrushed effect.  Cause unicorns are kooky like that and remind me of my childhood in the 80's.

I think I totally got her personality with this refashion outfit.  Maybe next time I should put a pirate eye patch and a tiara on the unicorn and watch her flip out over all of her favorite things.  That would be one cool unicorn.

Btw, her sister made it her job to photobomb every picture.  She almost succeeded.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Princess Anna Cape and Hat

What's a Princess Anna dress without her cape (cloak) and hat to keep her warm?  During Anna's adventure to the North mountain to find her sister, she dons a pink cape with pom-pom trim and a cute hat with purple accent.  

Capes are awesome.  Every kid loves them.  Why wouldn't they?  
Your Frozen fan would love one too!

Here's how you can make one for them.  It's really not too difficult, but does require some prior experience cutting out circle pieces.  You'll need about a yard (depending on your child's size) of fleece or felt.  These fabrics are great for holding their shape during playtime.

  1. Use a loose fitting tee for a template to cut out two front vest pieces and a back piece with a curved hem.  
  2. With fabric right sides together, assemble the vest pieces at the shoulders and side seams. 
  3. Add trim down the front.  You could continue the trim along the hem if you want the cape to look more like the movie outfit.  Some ideas of trim include a strip of fleece, lace, or jumbo ric rac.
  4. The top part of the cape is made just like a circle skirt, except the circumference in the middle is the neckline instead of a waist.  Measure from the shoulder to the middle of the neckline.  My number was about 4 inches.  Use that number for the middle circle cut out.  Then measure either 9 to 11 inches from that and cut out the outer circumference of the circle.  Slice the circle down the middle in the front.
  5. Pin the right side of the circle cut out to the wrong side of the vest.  Start at the middle back and work your way out.  There will be excess of the circle cutout.  Trim to the desired width.  Stitch the two layers together
  6. Flip the top layer back over the vest.  Stitch it down and add trim around the neckline.  Sew on a clasp at the neckline and pom-pom trim around the top layer's hem.  Add any other trims or embellishments to the cape.

And now you have a cape!

How about a quick hat?

Cut out two rectangles.  Mine were about 9" x 11" for a toddler hat.  Also cut out two strips about 1/2" x 15" and a piece of purple fur 4"x 6".  Sew a curve on the rectangles as seen above.  Cut the front opening for the face about 6" from the back.  Attach the two strips at the base.  Finally, fold the fur trim in half with the right sides out and sew it along the wrong side of the hat where the forehead would go.  The picture should explain it all.  This may require some redesign depending on your own child's head.  I recommend making it larger than you think needed, and then adjust through some fittings.  

Good luck sewing!  I'm happy to answer any questions you have if you try this out!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Frozen Inspired Everyday Dresses

We love the newest Disney movie Frozen (if you couldn't tell).  I think it really hits home with the girls because it features two sisters.  Though their favorite duo in the movie is actually Olaf and Sven (the snowman and reindeer).  You've already seen the costume-y Elsa dress I created - but I also made them a couple practical dresses for everyday wear out and about or to school.  Both dresses are peasant style.  They're starting to dress themselves so I'm making more easy on/off outfits lately.  

Let's start with Elsa, the beautiful snow queen struggling with her powers.

 With ombre chevron bodice and icicle-like trim…

 that's accented with a shimmering snowflake.

This is just one way to interpret Elsa's dress into practical wear.  I've had a hard time restraining myself from making every design that's been jumping into my head.  Probably because these are my favorite colors.

And then there's the sweet Princess Anna.  The fearless girl who never gives up on her sister.

Her dress features an interesting vine and flower design that I replicated with dimensional paint (if only I had an embroidery machine!).  You can get the same look with a stencil and paint or appliquéing fabric scraps, but I wanted some texture to the bodice.

Anna wears a distintive outfit while off on her adventure to reach her sister.  Here's a sneak peek.  I'll be showcasing it tomorrow and including a tutorial, so make sure to check back!

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Queen Elsa - Frozen Inspired

If you haven't seen Frozen yet, get your butt to the theater.  I think I enjoyed it better than the kids, but I'm a sucker for most Disney movies.  This dress fits a couple bills - makes my kids happy to have a Queen Elsa costume, and is also my sew along look to Project Run & Play's week 2 theme (movie inspired).

Confession.  This was supposed to be my week one winter wonderland look.  I was planning on making Anna Kendrick's outfit from the opening scene of Pitch Perfect (and it would've been perfect).  But this winter wonderland look was starting to look way too similar to Elsa's dress so I moved it to this week.

In case you haven't seen the movie, here's Elsa's dress:
And here's my more wearable interpretation:

The dress is a modification of the Bimaa Sweater pattern.  I redrew the neckline and didn't add the cuffs to the sleeves.  I then cut the bodice into a V and added a gathered skirt with tulle overlay.  The bejeweled tulle just meets in the middle but doesn't connect, so that the beautiful stretch velvet fabric can be seen.

The top part of the dress is white stretch lace and metallic blue fabric.  The bodice is a slight sweetheart with silver piping.  I added a shiny brooch to complete the top.

Instead of attaching tulle at the underarms like the movie inspiration dress, I made her a cape with the jeweled tulle and some sparkle teal tulle.  It ties at the neck with a silver ribbon.  I preferred to make a cape so that she can take it off and wear the rest of the dress whenever she wants, not just when playing dress up at home.

The fun sparkly silver fringe at the waist reminded me of icicles.  Perfect for a little ice queen!

I had so much fun making this dress that I've worked up a few more practical Frozen inspired dresses that I will show this week.  I'll also share some Frozen inspired crafts.  Might as well declare it Frozen week over here!  In the meantime, make sure to check out the other movie inspired looks over here.

And a little sneak peek at tomorrow:

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Downton Abbey Inspired Dress

Have you seen the Downton Abbey inspired series going over at Charming Doodle?  Several bloggers have been posting their take on all things Downton and 1920s, including fashion, sewing, and food.  I just couldn't help but sew along.  I love the show and the era that they're in.  
This girl was ecstatic that I made her this dress, which is unusual.  Must be the full moon!  
No bribing for photos necessary this time!

I would love to make myself a dress like this, but I already had this beautiful material on hand and just enough for her size.  The dress is made of the same stretch velvet as this shirt (and you'll see it again next week).  I drafted the dress off of her measurements into a slight A line.  The drop waist was gathered using a couple rows of shirring, which I was surprised worked so well with this material.

When I was dreaming up a design, I knew right away that I'd make pleated shoulder straps that formed a V in the front.  A lot of the Downton Dresses are straight silhouettes with detailing at the neckline.  There's often a sheer overlay going on around the shoulders and embellishments like beading and lace.

I had the toughest time with deciding the trim!  I had this trim from JoAnn and knew it'd be perfect.  Elisa also used this lace when showing different 1920's trends, so I almost didn't use it, but I'm glad I did!

I made her some matching lace gloves, but they are way too large.  I would've easily fixed that but she will not take them off!  I'll have to wait until she's sleeping ;)

The headpiece she has on is one that I had knit for myself during the last season of Project Sewn.  One day I'll use the pattern right and make the entire hat…

This sure was a fun one to create!
Make sure to check out the series and all the awesome 1920's creations!  Also check out the Snowflakes and Lace series going on at SewVery and SewingMamaRaeAnna to get more ideas of how to use lace trim.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cool Cardigan

In case you missed it, last week I was over at GotoSew talking about the Cool Cardigan!  I'm completely in love with the fox fabric, but the one with the heart pockets might be my favorite.  Great idea for Valentine's Day, right?  

Here's my review I did for the pattern - 

I'm so happy I got a chance to sew up and review the Cool Cardigan, a Blank Slate Pattern available with Go To Patterns.  It's a versatile pattern that works with both girls and boys.  Here's my "boy" version, though worn on one of my girls.  

This pattern printed off and pieced together wonderfully. I love when pdf patterns are organized well so that less paper is required to be printed. I made the cardigan in a 3T, which is what she wears commercially. The fit is spot on with a little room to layer. Both the Fox and the the Houndstooth fabric are from Girl Charlee and are the perfect weight to sew with. I was totally singing that song (What does a fox say?) while sewing this. It’s one of the girls’ favorite songs right now, so of course this fabric was a hit.

The cardigan can be sewn by using a serger and leaving seams exposed or with a regular machine and seams enclosed.  I tried all methods discussed in the pattern and I preferred to sew it up with seams left exposed.  It was incredibly fast with a serger!

The most difficult part of the entire pattern is the button placket for me.  My machine is a little finicky when sewing the buttonholes and likes to eat up the knit.  I would suggest adding some light interfacing to the waistband corners (similar to the what you would use in the placket) if you have experienced similar issues.

And because I make at least two of everything, especially when I find a great pattern, I made a "girl" version of the Cool Cardigan.  It compliments the Sweetheart Dress she's wearing perfectly and reminds me of a 50s cardigan that belongs with a poodle skirt.

The baby pink fabric is from a women’s medium sweater that I upcycled. I added some white stretch lace from JoAnn Fabrics to make the contrast cuffs, collar, and waistband.

Instead of knit pockets like the other cardigan, I crocheted two hearts and sewed them on as pockets. I also only added one button closure to the placket so more of the dress could peak through.

Hope these variations inspire you to make your own Cool Cardigans so your kids can look "cool" like these jokers!  (her cool face)

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Wonderland

The season 8 of Project Run & Play has started today!  I can't help but sew along each time.  I love themed sewing and there are four in this season.  This week is Winter Wonderland - a winter inspired look.  It's a really great theme, especially since it is winter for us now.  Unfortunately the beautiful snow we received last week has melted, but it is still plenty cold - my model kept hiding her hands in her shirt and shrugging her shoulders every time the wind blew, so these photos were taken super quick!

My look is made up of a few things that come to mind when I think of winter clothing - fur, blue/white, and layers.  Let me break down this outfit:

Shirt -  I started with redrafting the Bimaa Sweater pattern with a basic neckline and then omitted the cuffs at the waist and wrists.  The shirt is made with stretch velvet and feels so wonderful.  I couldn't pass it in the fabric store without petting it and ogling the pretty color.

Skirt - The skirt is a faux fur bubble mini skirt!!!  I had some leftover fur from the vests I made and thought this would be really fun - it was really quite simple to make based off of her measurements.  It's not as wide as a bubble skirt made with lighter fabrics because the fur is very bulky when gathered.  I attached it to an elastic waistband.  The lining is a chevron knit from Girl Charlee (you can see it in the first pic).  

Accessories - 
First up is the scarf - I took some scrap plaid and knit and sandwiched a fun metallic trim in between to make an infinity scarf.  The trim reminded me of icicles!  I think it looks best long like a necklace and the kids agree - they aren't big fans of scarfs looped close around their necks yet.

I layered it with a white pom-pom necklace that is tied in the back with a silver itty bitty snowballs :)  Her head is topped with a snowflake clip I crocheted.

Finally, I took a silver sharpie to her leggings to make little pin dots.  A fun way to customize boring tights!  However, my arm is still covered in silver dots from making them - great conversation starter… ;)

So, what do you think?  The scarf may be a little too much, but I just love all the mixing and layering of materials!

I've been so inspired by these colors and materials that I'm pretty sure the rest of my sew along looks for this season will be coordinating like a collection.  How crazy would it be if that was another requirement of the competition - joining four themes into a cohesive collection!  Anyway, check out the competitors and sew along participators here!
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