Friday, October 30, 2009

Enchanting Woodland Fairy

I had most of Miss M's Halloween costume done a while back...just never got around to taking pictures of it until now.  It's based loosely on McCall's 5732, but I really only used the pattern for the vest...and even then I modified it.   For the shirt I used an Ottobre raglan pattern (I'm not even sure which one), but added width so it'd be a bit fuller.  I made it out of light green silk.  The vest as made of darker green twill and lined with brown flannel for warmth.  I patchworked together a bunch of faux suede pieces of various shades of brown for the pants and kind of made up the pattern as I went...based on the McCall's pattern style, but not using their pattern pieces and making it a separate rather than a one-piece with the top.  I used elastic in the legs and a drawstring at the waist so she can keep wearing it as dress-up clothes for a while.  I completely made up the pattern for the wings and they turned out amazingly like what I envisioned and far better than I thought I'd actually be able to pull off!

I took pictures of her in the fallen leaves in our backyard.  Somehow, looking at them on the computer, I would have sworn the entire thing was fake...fake grass, fake leaves, printed backdrop. It all looked too perfect.  But, it's not fake! It's real!  Those are real fall leaves under our sycamore tree and there was a real nippy breeze blowing as I snapped some quick shots.  She blends in so nicely...exactly what I was going for, but not at all expecting to actually be able to do!

I know I'm completely biased, but I think she's just the most enchanting creature I've ever laid eyes on!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Cinderella dress

After going through two prototypes (here and here), Miss M's Cinderella dress is finished!  Her birthday isn't until mid November, but I really wanted to have it done as soon as possible since we don't know when this baby will decide to arrive.  If he's on the same schedule Miss M was on, it could be as early as next week!  (And as long as he's healthy like she was, I wouldn't mind a bit!)

Little Cinderella

I wasn't originally going to make the dress lace up in back, but I'm too cheap to use a zipper.  A zipper = $4 or so and you can buy a whole spool of ribbon for $0.50!  Besides, I'm going to use some scraps of the blue satin to make a cord for it...and this way it'll fit her longer because even when she's a little too big around for the dress, I can just tie the laces a little looser et voila!

The other change I made to the pattern, besides getting the fit of the bodice right, was to add an underskirt or crinoline of bleached muslin and tulle to give it extreme poofiness.  I think I went a little overboard because it is ridiculously poofy.  She is absolutely adorable in it!  Sometime between now and November 19th, I guess I need to buy some black velvet ribbon for a choker and find a suitable pair of "glass slippers."  I'm thinking some of the silver sparkly shoes I saw at Target will work just fine.

Does it ever bother anyone else that when you watch Disney's Cinderella the dress the Fairy Godmother makes for Cinderella is so obviously silver and is only tinted blueish because it's nighttime?  But somewhere along the way Disney decided that Cinderella's dress is blue.  It bugs me.  A lot.  Hubby just laughs at me though and tells me to just go with it.  Besides, how can I convince Miss M that Cinderella's dress isn't really blue when every illustration she sees has Cinderella in a blue dress!?  So daughter and husband are happy and I'm the odd man out.  I don't really mind least it's not pink!  And she is seriously adorable!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Second dress prototype

My first Cinderella dress prototype was a big hit with Miss M, but unfortunately it didn't fit her properly.  I scrounged up some more fabric scraps my mom gave me a while back and came up with a second prototype.  This one fits much better!  I also took the time to do a few details that came to me a bit late in the making of prototype #1, namely tucks in the skirt, eyelet lace peeking out from the hemline and echoed at the neckline, and a lace-up back.  (I do need to get a more appropriate bit of ribbon since this sheer stuff is a little too fragile for an energetic toddler.)

Making these is dangerously fun!  I have a feeling there will be more incarnations in the future.  Why, oh why does everyone I know have boys instead of girls!?  How many princess dresses can one little girl handle anyway?

Oh, and yes, it was raining when I took the pictures...and the cement was quite chilly for bare feet!  But Miss M thought it was the best fun she'd had all week to go out in the rain.   I could hardly get her to come back in.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dress prototype

Miss M has been promised a Cinderella dress for her birthday.  Knowing that McCall's and Simplicity patterns tend to run super wide for my slim daughter, I decided to do some pre-measuring and a prototype before cutting into my "good" fabric.  As suspected, it came out wide...but it definitely passes the 2-almost-3-year-old test.  She declared quite vehemently, "I'm going to keep wearing it. It's clothes."  (Can you tell she is frequently told to put "clothes" on and not stay in her pajamas all day?)  I haven't even hemmed it yet...and it's too wide so the sleeves slip down her shoulders giving it a decidedly naughty look -- not the look I'm going for on my toddler!  But, for this evening, she's a happy peasant-princess.

Miss M loves to dress up.  Today she told me she wanted to be "a super" with a cape and a mask.  She frequently plays as a magician, a princess, a butterfly, a bird, or a ballerina.  That's when she's not busy being a Mommy to her "baby brother" doll.  (She's still doesn't quite grasp the concept of brother/sister, so all her dollies came out of her tummy and are her baby brother...even if they're girls. Tee hee!)

Since this dress doesn't really fit her, I'm thinking about listing it up on Etsy...any tips on how to improve it beforehand?  More embellishments?  Obviously I'll hem it.  Should I add an underskirt trimmed with some of the same lace that's on the front of the bodice?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ninja baby!

After finishing 18 cloth diapers, I was a bit tired of them -- the repetition gets boring after a while.  I wanted to sew something else, so I traced off Ottobre 1/2009 numbers 1 and 2, the Nuppu wraparound jacket and Nunnu knit pants.  I cut them out of cheerful green double knit I got a Hancock Fabrics a few months ago.  I used size 50 (the smallest size) and the finished product is comparable to the 0-3 month store-bought outfits we've been given.

I couldn't decide which pieces I wanted to be stripes and which solid, so I enlisted Hubby's help. Turns out he had very strong opinions about which parts should be which, so it's a good thing I asked!

 He was also quite adamant about wanting a ninja embroidered on the front (once I shot down the Gears of War logo and Batman symbol).  This little guy from How to Draw a Cartoon Ninja fit the bill nicely.  I got an awful kink in my neck while working on it, but I'm pleased with the end result.

I sewed it with the triple stretch stitch on my sewing walking foot or anything, just the regular ol' foot and lots of patience.

This was the perfect opportunity to try out my new double needle (I finally remembered to buy one the last time I was at JoAnn!), but I only had a teeny tiny bit of green thread left...not enough for two needles!  So I did all the hemming with a small zig zag instead.

In other sewing...

Yesterday I finished three diaper covers, two fleece and one from a felted sweater to go with my diaper stash.  I used Katrina's Quick Sew Soaker Pattern.  The preemie size seemed most appropriate for my newborn sized diapers, but I plan to make some of the newborn ones too, just in case.

Almost two weeks ago a friend of mine was here for a visit and mentioned that she wanted to applique a number 5 to a t-shirt for her daughter's fifth birthday.  I decided to undertake the task myself, only I decided to do a whole dress instead.

My mom had given me this very girly fabric and it was perfect for this project! It was a big hit with the birthday girl!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Newborn size cloth diapers

After making the decision to cloth diaper, it took me a bit of time to get going on the sewing side of things.  But...a little over a month later...I've got my first 18 newborn sized diapers finished! I plan on making 6 more to have a full 2 dozen, plus 2-3 covers.  I'll get started on the covers today.

As you can see, no two are exactly the same.  Although, three of the green ones come pretty close.

Once I finish the set, I'll wash 'em all real good a time or two before baby arrives.  I'll probably do an absorbency test too, just for the sake of curiosity.

Then it'll be time to resize the pattern again for when baby outgrows these!  Ahh, the sewing never ends...  :-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Completed Fall SWAP

I finished my SWAP according to the September 21st deadline and am just now finally getting around to posting the complete ensemble here.  I really enjoyed the entire process.  It was especially great once everything was cut out because when I had a few minutes to sew, I could sit down, grab something, and sew!  I'll definitely be using this method again in the future.

I'm so glad I didn't try to do full length pants (except for the leggings) because Miss M seems to be sprouting up overnight these days.  I had to go out and buy her a package of new socks because her feet are getting too long for her old ones...and I had to get them from the little girl's section, not the baby department!  She's got long and narrow feet like me.

I'd still like to add two pairs of leggings (off-white and dark green) and 2-3 pinafore dresses for layering.  I have fabric already, I just need to do some other sewing first.

Hubby's work had a surprise baby shower for him on Friday.  Going through a bunch of new baby things has made me feel like the new baby's coming is a lot closer.  Right now I'm at 32 weeks and Miss M was born at just over 36 weeks; if this little guy keeps to the same schedule I've got about a month left.  So I'm going to put in some time sewing baby diapers and maybe a few sleep sacks.  Oooh...wanna know what's really scary?  I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday and he specifically instructed me not to get the swine flu vaccine and to stay away from anyone who gets it for the first 2-3 days.  He said that he and his staff won't be getting it, that it's a nasal spray that contains live virus and could be dangerous to pregnant people, and that they don't want to risk exposing their patients to it.  YIPES!  If that isn't enough to make your skin crawl...  And this is something the government wants us to give to our children?  He said I could get the regular flu shot, but I probably won't...I've never had it before and haven't gotten the flu since I was in high school and my immune system was already compromised with mono.  Plus, I'm really not out and around people all that much, so there's not a great chance for exposure.  I am taking a vitamin D supplement since there are some convincing studies out there about it's use in preventing flu.