4.10.2014

Hanami #2 (We Should Probably Just Start A Running Tally)


You didn't think that I would make just one Raccoon Hanami, did you?  Oh no!  Each girl has to have her own, of course.  So allow me to introduce you to Raccoon Hanami #2 - worn by C at her second birthday party.


In cutting out these two dresses I had a realization as to why I end up making the girls so many matching items - you need much less fabric to make two dresses out of the same fabric than you do out of two different fabrics because if you cut them out at the same time you can squeeze in the little pattern pieces here and there and save a bunch of fabric.  And I'm all for saving a bunch of fabric.


There is a downside to this, however, and that would be that if you don't label your  pieces correctly you could end up cutting out too many size four bodices and not enough size two bodices and then you might end up lining your size two bodice with a size four lining (after all your piping is sewn in and your seam allowances are trimmed) and then you might wonder why your lining isn't fitting properly.  And then, once you figure out what went wrong, you might slap yourself and realize that you're an idiot that apparently can't count correctly.  This is all just hypothetically speaking of course.


So, yes, the front lining of this dress is a bit bumpy and lumpy inside, but you can't tell from the outside so I'm going to pretend that that problem doesn't exist.  Denial, people.  Embrace it.  It's your friend.


So for this version of the Hanami I decided to leave off the optional collar and sleeves and to instead add piping to every seam in sight.  One of the things that I really love about this dress is that it's really easy to add piping to the waist without worrying that it'll interfere with the zipper because of the placement of the zipper.  Unfortunately I still worried about this in adding piping to the neck and because of all my hand wringing I cut one side of my piping too short.  Oops.  We'll just keep C's hair nice and long so nobody sees that mistake.

And I don't know what it is about piping, but it just makes everything better.

Oddly enough, I feel the same way about butter.


And here's one of my favorite things about this version of the dress - the contrast back panels.  I should probably admit that this was born out of necessity since I mixed up how many size four and two pieces I needed out of each fabric and by the time I realized my mistake I had run out of fabric but the contrast back is actually one of my favorite things about this dress.  Well, that and the piping of course, but that's a given, right?


The pattern is one of five patterns (with a bonus 6th pattern if you pay $24 or more) offered as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel, but don't forget that it's only offered for a limited amount of time so go check it out!

4.08.2014

September Tunic


I have to admit that I rarely buy clothes for my kids.  Not because I'm some sewing badass that has handmade their entire wardrobe but because we have been the lucky recipients of many hand-me-downs from family and friends.  And because I rarely purchase any clothes for my kids there's not a whole lot of though about how I would like my to dress my them, but in case you were ever wondering,  this is how I would like to dress my kids.


Comfy but cool.  Stylish but still age appropriate.  Unique but something that she won't refuse to wear (because girlfriend's definitely got some opinions when it comes to what she will and won't wear).


The top is the September Tunic (that can also be made into a dress) and it's currently available as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel.  The fabric is a swiss dot fabric that is leftover from my most recent Tova Top.  Based on the pattern recommendations I made a straight size five for my almost five year old and the fit seems to be right on.  The front has a pretty high neckline and as I was making it I wondered if that would drive her crazy but I'm happy to report that it doesn't seem to bother her at all.


The pattern calls for binding to finish the neckline but since I'm not a big fan of store-bought binding I ended up using some leftover binding from this project.  I find making binding to be kind of a pain in the butt so I always try to keep leftovers in the hope that I can avoid making binding for some other project.  The pattern construction is pretty straight forward so there are no real surprises in putting it together.  The pattern recommends finishing the hems with a blind hem and considering how I spoke of my love of blind hems just the other day you might find it ironic that I just finished all the hems on this top with top stitching.  I figured that there was already some top stitching down the back for the button plackets so some additional top stitching would fit in perfectly.  Oh yeah, the button plackets.


Bam!  Look at that!  Buttons down the back!  I love that detail!

And I love the look of yellow and green together. 

And I love O in this shirt.


So much love, so little time.

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

Be sure to check out the other bloggers who are part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel tour!

Shawnta Sews // P comme Plimplim // CailaMade // While she was sleeping // YoSaMi // stitched together // Sew Like My Mom // Marina Bebe // lexi.made // sewVery // Call Ajaire // I Married Superman // Girl like the sea // Stitched // Compagnie M. // Buzzmills // floating world // fake it while you make it // Sewing Mama RaeAnna // Our Chez Nous // NeurosesGalore // Behind the Hedgerow // Needle and Ted // Kadiddlehopper // 2 little hooligans // Max-California.com // Siestas & Sewing // So Cal Sewing Mom // lauren dahl // La gang à Nat // Frances Suzanne // Radiant Home Studio // Modern Handmade // A Jennuine Life // It's Always Autumn // lea & lars // I Seam Stressed // So, Zo... What do you know? // Andrea's Notebook // Steph Skardal // Nutta! // Sewpony Made With Moxie // imagine gnats // Inder Loves Folk Art // Pienkel

4.05.2014

My First - But Definitely Not My Last - Hanami


Remember back in March when the Perfect Pattern Parcel offered a package of women's patterns from indie designers? Well, now it's the girl's turn! And I have to say that I was beyond excited to see what was included in this bundle. Now I should probably warn you that because I was a bit overly excited about the included patterns I made not one, not two, but three items from the bundle.  But rest easy, folks, because I'm only talking about one of them today - a Hanami dress that I made for O.


You've no doubt seen many versions of the Hanami dress floating around the internet (many of my favorite versions are made by Rachel) but what you probably don't know - unless you've already purchased the pattern - is that this is a fantastic pattern.  Yes, yes, the dress is gorgeous, but the really clear and well-written instructions are equally awe-inspiring as is the fact that there are a couple customizable options included in the pattern.  Excuse me while I give a big fist bump to An who is the lady responsible for writing such a fantastic pattern. 

** Fist bump **

Now let's talk about fabric selection for a little bit because while making this dress I realized that as much as I want to be the gal who has a simple, minimalist aesthetic I am so not that gal.  I mean look at this fabric?


It has raccoons all over it!  Racoons!  What four year old doesn't want a dress covered in raccoons (and what grown woman doesn't want to sew a dress covered in raccoons?).  I debated on what version of the dress I wanted to make but in the end I chose to include the peter pan collar and at the very, very last minute I decided to also include the flutter sleeves.  It was so last minute in fact that those were actually cut out for C's version of the dress so those are actually a size 2 sleeve stuck on a size 4 dress but I think it worked out just fine. 


I tried to cut the collar and sleeves so that they would have little raccoon eyes or faces on them and as a result O is now basically surrounded by little raccoons.  Fortunately, I happen to know that she loves this because I  often find her lifting up her arms and kissing the raccoon faces on her sleeves.


The bodice of the dress is just made out of a coordinating cotton quilting fabric and the lining of the bodice and collar is made from Anna Maria Horner voile left over from this project.


When I first started sewing I thought that hand sewing was the devil and I went out of  my way at every turn to avoid sewing anything by hand, but over the past year or so I've come to appreciate - if not love - some aspects of hand sewing, especially when it comes to making a blind hem on a dress like I did on this one.  Ah, blind hems, you do make me smile.


Want to make your own Hanami dress and pick up the other great patterns included in the Perfect Pattern Parcel or just find out more about this venture that includes a component of "pay what you choose" and donating to charity?  Check out the site - but just remember that the bundle is only available for a limited time.  And remember that if you pay at least $24 for the patterns you get a bonus pattern for free.  Woo-hoo!

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2
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