Monday, March 2, 2015

Getting things contest at a time...

Lately my motivation, time and energy has just waned a bit so it seems to take a contest to get me moving.  Pattern Review is having a Travel Wardrobe Contest and I didn't think I would get everything done but amazingly I did!  Sometimes with sewing you end up doing the same kinds of things over and over with little variation, say for example, cute dresses are easier for me to motivate myself to make but really their versatility can be limited.  So its good to have a contest like this to help motivate me to think outside my usual sewing box- plus its great for stash busting my fabric.
I made five garments total for the collection, that sounds impressive but the knits I chose were straightforward and fast to sew.  I loved the idea of making a collection of clothes based on the theme of a trip, my trip is a fictional one, its called "Elizabeth's (Momma needs a vacation) Fabric Tour of the South East."  You are supposed to see how many outfits you can make with six garments.  I made nine!    

Simplicity 2054: Knit dress designed by Cynthia Rowley.  I made this from stretchy french terry that I bought with a gift certificate from Fabric Mart.  I was a little stumped by the four way stretch and have ruined four way stretch fabric in the past so I was careful about pairing pattern and fabric this time.  This dress is super comfy.  I made a size 8 and the shoulders and graded to a 10 for the rest of the dress. 
Sew U Built by Wendy book A Line Skirt pattern: This is the only pattern I've ever used from this book (I need to make the others!) but I love it, I consider it a tried and true pattern for me.  I first made it for the Pattern Review Sewing Bee the link is here. It has all the construction details for this skirt.  This is such a comfy skirt too.  The fabric was the last yard of sateen I had in this print.  I love this print (thanks Mom for showing me its potential) and made this dress out of it which I love to wear.  So it made sense that I needed to get this fabric in my clothing rotation. 
  McCall 6965: I have wanted to make palazzo pants for a while and I don't think I'll stop at this pair.  Now to be fair I'm sure this style isn't for everyone, in fact my husband (whom I consider a beacon of fashion sense har har) calls them my "Hammer Time" pants.  However, sometimes you make something because YOU like it.  I made changes to the pattern, lengthening the crotch seam (I wanted them higher waisted), taking some of the volume off of the side seam and as far as the fit, I measured for a size 14 but most certainly could've gone down one size and maybe even two.  The hips are very roomy. 
Simplicity 1468: A disclaimer on this one, this is a maternity pattern, but no I am not pregnant.  I like the designer of this pattern and knew that I would be able to alter her design to get the aesthetic I wanted in a wrap style cardigan.  I wanted a cardigan I could throw over tops for warmth, so I used sketched/drafted long triagle-ish shaped wrap ties and sewed them to the side seams.  I used a spandex blend from Hancock fabrics from my stash.  I didn't do any finishing to the raw edges but I might go back and finish the neckline a bit.  I kind of winged it with this project but really love the result.
Grainline Linden: I made this piece with sweatshirt fleece using the fuzzy side as the outside of the garment.  This is such a quick make and comfy sweatshirt.  I always love Grainline patterns and this one is no exception to the rule.  I used a size four at the shoulders, size 6 at the bust and 8 at the waist.  I probably could've made the waist a size 6 as well since it turned out a little bigger than I anticipated but I still love it.  I might have to hand wash this one simply to avoid pilling.  I made another sweater out of this same fabric using the right side out and it kind of pilling up, not terrible but enough for me to notice and start obsessively picking the pill off, not good.  The fabric is from Hancock Fabrics. 
So there's my collection for my imaginary "Elizabeth's (Momma needs a vacation) Fabric Store Tour of the South East.  In case you're interested here's a few places I'd go, Alabama Chanin in Florence Alabama,  Fabric World in Stone Mountain Georgia, Gail K fabrics in Atlanta, and Textile Fabrics in Nashville TN.   A Momma's gotta dream right?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Warm Coat with McCall 6641

This bitty girl is growing all the time and she really needed a cozy winter coat, especially to wear over dresses on Sundays.  After making a winter coat for my big girl last year (found here) in this same fabric I thought it would be fun to see if I could make one for my two year old as well.  The length of plaid I had left was on the smaller side so a pattern with less design lines was in order. 

The Pattern:
Here enters McCalls 6641  sadly its now out of print, but its a straight forward pattern with minimal style lines which made it easier to match plaids.  One thing about the pattern that bears mentioning is that the facings on the front of the coat are designed as a kind of overlay rather than sewn as part of the lining.  That bugged me because its just less finished looking and messy so I redrafted the facings to be a part of the lining.  Sounds complicated but only a little more so and it makes the inside look so much better. 

I used the size 3 (she's 2 1/2) since that is as small as the pattern goes that's what I used.  The sleeves are a bit long and the shoulders a bit wide but its nice to know it can go through two winters especially since winters here are so mild.  
 We keep our dog's food in a small trash can and one of her jobs is to feed the dog.  This is how she spends about a third of her outside time, reaching down into that can to get dog food. 

The Fabrics: 
The fabrics are from Hancock Fabrics, the plaid from last year is a wool blend.  One side of the plaid is kind of fuzzy like mohair and that's the side I used for this coat.  I have to say that matching plaids is easier to me now that I've done it over and over and over.  If you're new to matching plaids I recommend this post.  It never hurts to have some good tips on plaid matching. 

I used a black fusible tricot interfacing that is very pliable on the cuffs, facings and collar.  I purchased mine at Joann fabrics but you can pick it up at Hancock's too.  Suffice it to say it is superior to the cheaper, stiffer interfacings I've used in the past.  I don't think I'll go back to the cheaper stuff anymore!

The contrast black fabric was bought out of necessity,  I ran out of the plaid fabric!  The black is a polyester suiting from Hancock Fabrics.  I wanted a wool blend but it was no where to be found so this had to do!  I also used it to make the fabric covered buttons.  One thing I have learned about making coats for children is that there's a lot of struggling to get the coat on and off and buttonholes may not always be a very prudent choice.  A better option is to sew in these large snaps.  
 This avoids the stretching out of buttonholes and is so much easier to put on and take off quickly. 
Here's a pocket peeking out!

Momma's made with love tag.
 Will she wear it?
Weelllll considering that she is 2 1/2 and doesn't like change she puts up a little fuss when I want to put this coat on her.  She now prefers the plaid cape I made her in the fall (since that's what she knows) but I think once the newness of this coat wears off she'll like it just fine. 

In all this is a simple and sweet pattern for a child's coat and I can see using it for many years to come- that is until she sizes out of it!  We get good wear out of little warm coats like this since I encourage them to wear them any chance we get- what I mean to say is that I don't save coats like this for Sunday, we wear them on a daily basis if its cold enough.  The fabric is durable enough and its just so fun to see them in handmade garments.   

She loves to pull the berries off the trees and "feed them to the birds." 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Dress for my 6 Year Old

One of my sewing goals listed here was to sew Christmas dresses out of taffeta for my daughters.  I've never sewn with taffeta and have wanted to try it for some time.  I've also never sewn an overlay or a tulle underskirt so there were several unknown variables for me in this make.  One thing I love about sewing garments is that there is always something new to learn- be it a new fabric, a new technique etc and that keeps my mind whirring- in a good way.  

The Pattern:
This is the first of the two Christmas dresses and I used Simplicity 1507.  I made a size 6 and changed the length of the skirt.  I was going for tea length instead of the longer length featured on the pattern cover.  I used another pattern with the skirt length I wanted to help decide how much to remove from the length.  I think I removed about 4 1/2 inches.  I also wanted the overlay and skirt to be about the same length rather than the way the pattern had it with the overlay noticeably shorter.  Construction wise, I don't know if it was me or the instructions but in some places I had a bit of a tough time discerning the directions.  Granted some of these technique's are new to me so something new always sounds foreign at first.  The skirt has quite a few layers to contend with (overlay, skirt and lining with tulle attached.)  I was confused by the directions when referring to the lining because they call it both a lining and a slip.  This isn't a difficult dress to make just fiddly which is to be expected with the floofiness of it.  

My favorite features of this dress are the collar, the tie back sash and the sleeves.!  I wasn't sure how they would come out but they are beautiful.  They have this tulip like feel to the gathers at the top that are so sweet and the cut out shaping is gorgeous.  Now I want sleeves like this on a dress!  The collar is also adorable in my opinion- one thing to note the instructions don't tell you to interface the collar- so interface the collar.  It needs it.  Believe me, I didn't and had to tack the collar down in a few spots because it looked a bit floppy.  I should've trusted my intuition to interface it but oh well.  I love the sash but I always love sashes on girls dresses.  My only beef with this one is that the placement markings on the bodice pattern piece that are supposed to correspond with the front sash don't line up properly so you are left to guess at the correct placement.  I think I could've moved mine a smidge down toward the waist but I was worried it would then get caught in the waistband stitching.  

The Fabric
The taffeta is from Hancock Fabrics and I prewashed it in a cool wash and tumbled dry low. I read about taffeta in my Vogue sewing book and it was somewhat helpful.  I was really careful to take my time when making the dress and to serge any of the taffeta's raw edges because taffeta likes to fray.  It frays into this webby type stuff that sticks like mad to dry winter fingers. ugh.  I used the smallest needle I could find to sew and in a few spots if you held the fabric toward the light you could see minuscule thread catches.  It was so minor I didn't worry about it but it made me wonder what professionals use since the size 8 needle was the smallest Hancock had in stock.  I wouldn't have thought to go down that small but one of the ladies who works at Hancock's suggested that I do.  One other note about taffeta is that if you baste and remove your basting stitches you might have some small evidence in the fabric.  So baste inside of the seam lines and you can avoid those holes.    

The overlay and tulle I hand washed before using as well.  The overlay is a delicate mesh, I think nylon but it said on the bolt to hand wash it.  So if this dress gets dirty I will have to hand wash it- but that's to be expected and I don't mind hand washing, its dry cleaning that I loathe. The overlay is also from Hancock Fabrics.  To hem this overlay I stitched 1/4 inch from the edge then folded on that line and then once again and stitched down the roll.  So in essence a rolled hem.  I lined the dress with some poly lining from Joann Fabrics and the tulle is from Hancock too.  What can I say Hancock's is down the street from my house!  

Will she wear it? 
Lately when I blog I've been using the headings "The Pattern, The Fabric, Styling" but I think now for kids clothes I won't worry with styling but instead talk about weather or not I think my child will wear it.  I ALWAYS wonder that about the things people sew for their children because, quite honestly my daughter would NOT wear some of the adorable artsy stuff I see people sew for their kids (I've tried it to no avail).  So for me figuring out if my child will actually wear the garment is part of the puzzle.  You won't see a lot of artsy, edgy stuff from me here, it never leaves the dresser drawers in our house.  

So all that to say, yes, she will wear it to church, she begged to play in it after we took pictures and I made her put her hand over her heart and swear not to roll around on the floor in it and to try to the best of her ability to take care of it.  She laughed but there was no rolling around.  She played in it for a while and tested out the twirlability and loves it.  She said she feels like a princess.  And that is just what I was hoping for, its the whole reason I picked out that glittery overlay because I knew she would love it.  She stood in the sunshine and said "I sparkle!"  It makes it sooooo worth it when she loves a dress and feels special in it.  She is a great muse for me since I probably wouldn't have picked that sparkly overlay out without her preferences in mind and it really jazzy's up the dress.          
 A few more shots of the skirts.  Below is the skirt under the overlay.

The lining with two rows of tulle attached for floofiness.
So one taffeta dress down and now one to go!!!  Fingers crossed this next one won't be quite as fussy but hopefully just as adorable!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Dress for the Surprise Sewing Bee

Well I made it to round three of the Surprise Sewing Bee at Pattern Review!  The challenge this week was to make a dress using the Winter Street Dress Pattern.  I'm not really sure why but this challenge was even harder for me than the last- maybe it was the knits? maybe it was the restriction of pattern choices? maybe it was the pressure of knowing there were 24 other sewists working as hard as me to get through...(nail biting!) anyway it was a little tough.  

 I think at first glance it looks like I didn't make many changes to the pattern but oh no my friends, I made a lot of small changes.  I really wanted to preserve the basic pattern pieces but tweak them to fit my shape well and be fairly easy to duplicate for anyone out there looking to get a better fit.

The Fabric: 
Both of these knits are from Hancock fabrics.  They were on the value fabric table and when I placed them next to one another they really jumped out at me.  This is not a typical fabric combination for me but I wanted to get outside of my usual comfort zone.  Royal blue is one of my favorite colors and I love the print on the bottom of the skirt.  The striped fabric is a poly knit with two way stretch.  The skirt is poly/nylon spandex something or other.  Slinky feeling but easy to work with.  I tried the skirt of this pattern in a ponte as well and the look of it was completely different so the fabric choice can really change the shape of this dress.  I also did a test run for fit on the top using some gold spandex and it looked great too.  For the stripe I worked hard to get all of the stripes to line up.  My method is to fold the fabric over and tediously pin each stripe line together matching them all up.  Then I cut out my first pattern piece and use that piece as the base for the placement of the other stripes.  I also lightly trace the stripe pattern on the first pattern piece I cut so its easier to match the others.  In the picture below with my arms raised you can see the stripes are matched all the way around (pats self on back). :)

 The Pattern: 
For my first test run of this pattern I lengthened the bodice and back to make a long sleeve top and I love the fit of it and will make more!  I used my favorite Target T-shirt to get the bodice fit just right. I folded the T in half and traced its fit on the waist area, small changes but perfected the fit.  I made the shoulders XS and from the bust down a size S.  The fit was great.  For reference my bust is a 34 but my shoulders are smaller.  I also changed the sleeve head on the pattern.  I have a winter top with small gathers at the sleeve head and love the touch of femininity it adds so I slashed and spread the pattern to get the amount of gathers I wanted.  In the picture above you can see how these small gathers make the sleeve head stand up slightly- which I love.
I also altered the skirt.  For one, I flipped the pattern piece upside down.  The dress was originally to have a tulip shape with box pleats in front and back but I have been there done that with box pleats see here.  I found that changing them to tucks and gathers much more flattering for my pear shape  So in the front there are tucks and in the back there are gathers.  But back to flipping the pattern piece.  I wanted more of an A-Line shape for my skirt and as I studied the pattern I could see there was already an A-Line shape to the pattern piece- it just needed to be flipped.  Worked like a charm and no pattern slashing necessary!      
The directions for this pattern were pretty good, they call for clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder and waist and that worked great.  I tried clear elastic in the past and failed but this time it worked great.  I think that maybe my fabric was more cooperative this time hence the success.  The method for finishing the neckline was new to me but it achieved the cleanest knit neckline finish I've ever done. There is a youtube video of Deepika (the pattern creator) showing you how to use this method here.  
I used a zig zag stitch on my machine rather than the serger because I wanted the option of unpicking any mistakes easily.  I loathe picking out serger stitches- ugh.  I also use a lot of steam on the seams to get everything nice and smooth.  I used a wet pressing cloth most of the time to protect the fabric and get extra steam.                                            

So I was hoping to make a dress that in theory could be worn to church or a Christmas party.  I think I achieved that!  It has enough dressy-ness for either.  I am wearing my usual bootie boots and tights with it.  I really wanted a cute necklace to go with this dress and wanted something that would pick up on the colors of the dress.  I dug through my abandoned beading box and embroidery thread and found some gold embroidery thread and a strand of royal blue wooden beads.  I kept digging and found some cute owl beads from my Mom (thanks Momma!) and put together this tassel necklace for the dress.  I love the necklace and don't get many opportunities to make jewelry anymore.  This was kind of thrown together in the chaos of my kiddos discovering the secret beading going on in my bedroom and going bonkers because- I mean BEADS!- kids love little beads.  However, I do not like cleaning up beads after my children tear through them so they stay hidden away most of the time.  

I have to say this is a really comfy dress and I have had a great time participating in the Surprise Sewing Bee.  I don't know if this dress will get me through to the next round- there are so many great sewists in this round- but I've had fun creating it and will get a lot of wear out of it.  So many wins here!  So fingers crossed maybe they will put me through to the next round!

In closing I will include a couple of technical shots of my process since someone out there may find them helpful for their own alterations!  
Shoulders XS bust S.  used favorite Tshirt for shaping and length to make Shirt.

Slash and spread of sleeve head for gathers and a bit of volume. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Jacket for the Surprise Sewing Bee

Last week I entered my plaid A Line skirt in the Pattern Review Surprise Sewing Bee contest merely for the fun of it.  I was thrilled to be one of 56 entrants to move on to the next round of the bee.  This contest is inspired by the British show "The Great British Sewing Bee" and if you have never seen this show and you like to sew you really should watch it on youtube.  I loved it and would love to see the second season as well.  So I was pretty excited when I realized I could participate in an online sewing bee of sorts!  

Our second challenge was to make a garment from men's shirts.  My mind instantly went to Simplicity 1688 which is part of my Big List 'O Cool Weather Sewing Plans.   I love this little jacket and even though I think it was designed for warmer weather I was determined to make it cool weather appropriate.  In order to do this I thought of the kinds of shirts I would need and I thought of the shirts my Pa Pa used to wear in the woods, they were quilted on the inside and flannel on the outside.  I hit several thrift stores (with 2 year old in tow of course) and found the shirts pictured below (didn't end up using the X out one).   

The Fabric: 

The two I ended up using are the pale striped denim and the flannel quilt lined plaid shirt.  I could just picture the jacket in my head and traced off the sketch from the pattern and added my own coloring to it to get an idea of what it might look like.  
I wanted the sleeves from view A of the pattern and the bodice from view B.  The quilted fabric and the denim would be alternated on the bodice.  I also did something to the denim that I've never done to a garment before- I quilted it so it would match the weight of the navy quilted fabric.  To do this I just put a layer of quilting batting behind each cut out denim piece and sewed a longer stitch of lines about 1 1/3 inches apart.  So its totally quilted on the inside- which ended up giving it the structure I wanted.  Since this jacket was designed for lighter fabrics I graded the heck out of the seam allowances to reduce as much bulk as possible.  For the inside of the jacket I used bemberg rayon- slippery as all get out but wonderful next to your skin- and at the bottom of the lining I added part of the flannel shirt.  I also used the flannel shirt for the decorative piping around the jacket and the pocket on the front.  

The Pattern: 

I have one thing to say about this pattern and that is "Holy pattern pieces Batman!"  To make the coat the way I did took 14 pattern pieces (and if you decide to make the sleeves striped you can add 5 pattern pieces to that number).  But this is also why this was a good pattern for piecing together two shirts.  As far as the fit goes I love the way it fits.  My bust is a 34 and I sewed the size 10.  I sewed the side seams up with 1/2 inch seam allowances for a little more wiggle room.  I also lengthened the bottom of the jacket by 1 1/2 inches.  Aside from those changes I did not alter the fit in any other way.  Its a pretty boxy jacket but I love that.  As far as the construction methods in the directions, I only used them to keep track of my pieces and the order in which to assemble them.  I used this Grainline Studio Tutorial for bagging the lining.  I really can't give a fair judgement of the directions since I diverged from them so greatly.  


I searched Pinterest for inspiration on styling and found these jackets: here, here,  and here.  I didn't realize they were such a thing but all these versions are beautiful.  Mine is a little less patterny than the examples I showed but that same quilted, boxy, cropped style that I really liked.  You can see I'm pretty safe with my styling- standard jeans, tee, belt.  I'm also thinking a fitted white button down with cuffs rolled up would be cute too.  Or better yet over a simple sheath dress!

In conclusion I'm already wearing this jacket around and lllooovvving the snuggly feeling the quilt batting lends.  One jacket down....a bunch on my sewing list to go!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rescuing Plaid

If you're familiar with our blog you will know that I like to rescue fabrics from thrift stores.  This is one such fabric.    
The Fabric:
I found this length of wool plaid and just couldn't pass it up because of the beautiful saturated colors.  There's always a risk with wool that it will most certainly have some moth holes and this one really did.  You can't see it in this picture but I held the fabric up to a window and put a blue chalk X on each moth hole.  As if plaid matching isn't hard enough I had to plaid match around all the moth holes as best as possible.  I think I did pretty well with only one pattern piece having some moth hole damage that I repaired with tricot fusible interfacing applied to the wrong side of the fabric.  I don't know if that's the "right" way to fix a moth hole but it worked for me. 

I have to say if you are going to match plaids that my tried and true method is to cut each piece separately unless you have a piece that must be cut on the fold.  Then I match up the lines using pins to hold the fabric together before I pin my pattern piece down.  I also always examine the notches of the pattern to see if the placement matches.  There are a lot of sewing blogs with more detail than I'll offer here on how to match plaids, if you do a search you're sure to find one.  A few of my favorites: here,  here,  and here.  I also like to read my Vogue sewing book for things like this.     

I used bemberg rayon for the lining.  That stuff is a slippery little booger but it makes the inside of your skirt feel so wonderful.  I picked mine up at Hancock fabrics, occasionally they carry it there so when I found this gray bemberg on sale I grabbed several yards. 
The Pattern:
The pattern is from the Sew U Built by Wendy book released some time back.  I'm noticing that there is a copy for dirt cheap on Amazon right now and if I were a beginning sewist I'd snap it up.  I have had this book since it first came out and this is the first pattern I've used from it.  I like the book for the sheer inspiration but I now like the book because this skirt turned out well!  Now I'm kind of itching to make the other two included patterns in the book. 

I made a size Medium from the skirt pattern and my waist is 29 inches and hips 39 inches.  I did however sew the side seams of this skirt with a 3/8 inch seam.  I was worried it might be too tight and have pulling.  I probably could've used a 1/2 inch seam on the sides since the skirt is a smidge loose.  I added a waistband to the skirt as per this tutorial from Colette.  It worked great.  However next time I might widen the waistband about half an inch and then add belt loops.   
She's back there saying "where's my play shoes?"  She's obviously ready for us to go outside. 
I can't decide how I like this skirt best.  I tried it with my tall black boots and with my bootie boots (is that what you call them?).  I think I'm leaning toward the booties but I would like to get more wear out of the tall boots.  I am no styling expert but I think either pair of boots will work.  I also think that this skirt could be styled with a nicer t-shirt or a white button down.  The top in these pictures is a thrifted Ralph Lauren sweater.  I also think that it works well with the top tucked or out.      

Yes that is a baby-doll behind me.  There was playing going on back there.

I'm entering this skirt in the Pattern Review Surprise Sewing Bee Contest going on right now so I had a few parameters that they require you to follow.  My personality is kinda "meh" about parameters- blame it on the "P" in me from the Myers Briggs.  But I am glad that I made this wool up into this skirt because I am going to love wearing it.  The contest had several specifications for your project: A-Line Skirt, Zipper, Closure, Hem, Lining.  So one good thing about all of these specifications is that this is probably the nicest skirt I've ever made.  
See the plaid matching across the side seam!

I've never lined a skirt (a dress but not a skirt) and I did that here.  Makes it muuccchhh nicer.  I used this tutorial to figure out the lining.  I did vary with the zipper since I didn't have an invisible zipper.  I just hand sewed the lining to the zip at the end of the assembly.  I also made sure the hemline was finished well, I serged the edge of the hem and then sewed lace tape to it and hand stitched the hem lace in place.  One other detail is that I used a vintage metal zipper.  It is bright red and sooo cute.  I always love a good excuse to use a vintage notion. 

Over all I am really glad for making this skirt with the right attention this fabric deserved I know I will wear it a lot this winter and it makes me so happy to rescue some sad moth bitten fabric and turn it into something classic.  Its also nice to pull out all the stops and pay attention to detail with a project- a quick make is sometimes what you need but a make with a little extra TLC makes you feel special when you wear it. 

Here's a few final insides pictures for those who might be curious.  
Vintage zipper here. 
Hemline here. 
These are the moth holes that couldn't be avoided.  I just fused them with tricot interfacing.  You can't detect them from the outside of the garment.  
Well if you made it down to the bottom of this post thanks for reading to the end and happy fall sewing!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Spooky Stash Bust.

I love Halloween and I have loved listening to the NPR show Snap Judgment Spooked V this week.  If you need some spooky ghost stories to get you into the Halloween spirit, you should listen to this program, or if your a big scaredy cat at night like me, then, maybe not!  Anyway today I wasn't sure what was scarier in my real life, a two year old that won't nap or working with a super nice wool fabric I've been hoarding for years?  

My first make here is the Oliver and S Family Reunion Dress made in a size two.  The size two is quite roomy on my 28  month old and the neckline borderlines way too big.  The pattern is a bit fussy but came together just fine.  I am always a little puzzled by the hemline technique of Oliver and S patterns but they always look great if you hand stitch them.  Even though you can't see it I added the five rows of stitching at the hemline because I thought the stiffness might make the dress stand out a bit.  I did this as the pattern suggested and the plus is that I didn't have to hand stitch the hem!  

I used quilting cotton from my stash that I bought two fall's back at Hancock Fabrics.  I also used pearly shell buttons from my stash for the back of the dress and cotton lace around the neck facing.  

It was quite difficult to get clear pictures with all the two year old movement and me just plain not understanding my camera so this is the clearest shot of the back of the dress.  The lace blends in but I still think its pretty sweet. 

The second make is the Oliver and S Forest Path Cape.  I made a size two in this pattern as well.  There are techniques in the pattern to help coax the lining into submission and not peak out from under the top layer and even though I used all suggested techniques the lining still peaks out, so word to the wise, choose a lining that you don't mind seeing peak out of the cape.  The pattern came together easily and I used a tailors ham to iron the shoulder seams and a damp cloth to steam my wool into place while trying not to melt the metallic fibers in this fabric.  

The fabric is a wool blend I've saved literally for years and funny enough had totally forgotten about until I reorganized my fabric recently.  It was a one yard remnant from a nice shop in Kansas City and although I loved it I was scared of using it with the crazy plaid and the loving it so much.  But I saw the Fear Fabric Challenge  over at 110 Creations and decided it was time to cut into that beloved wool.  With just one yard I knew that the best thing would be to use it on the tidbit since she only needs a tidbit of fabric.    

The lining is some poly lining that funny enough I was about to donate when I realized it matched this fabric exactly.  Another stash bust!  The buttons are leather covered and from Hancock Fabrics- I dug them out of their clearance buttons and that paid off since they were originally 3.00 for two and on clearance were .60 for two! 

When I told little bit that I made her a cape (without her seeing it) she said "me not like it."  And that about sums up why it is spooky to sew nice things for a toddler!  But she wore it for these pics and had no complaints so I think it will fly after all.  

I wasn't able to line up the plaid on the shoulder seams but got it lined up in the front where it matters most. This cranberry color is one of my very favorite for fall and I'm really pleased that I got the sewed up finally.  I have to thank Stitch 56 for this pattern.  It was one of two patterns I bought with my winnings from their Alder Shirtdress competition.  Helene provides excellent customer service and is so very nice.  I have nothing but wonderful things to say about her and her online shop.  If I lived in Australia I'd be all over this print.  

Well Happy Halloween tomorrow and may your plastic pumpkin overfloweth with treats!