Saturday, May 15, 2010

as promised

I am happy to present Hana's Jump Rope Dress!!! She loves it and wore it all day today! She reports that it does improve one's rope jumping "a lot, Mom!"Most of the time, when I choose clothes (to buy or to make) for Hana that are simple, stretchy, and colorful. However, when/if Hana chooses, she goes for buttons, belts, and bling (I can usually talk her down. ;) With this dress, we have found perfect compromise! There are many great details to this pattern, and they're all worth the extra work and time (and they're all explained beautifully in the instructions). Most important in Hana's view, the belt/sash; I think it makes her feel a bit grown up. The button tabs on the sleeves and pockets are just a sweet way to add detail and another yummy button!Here are one pair of the gauchos I made from an old t-shirt of mine. I turned an existing pair inside out and traced the silhouette of one whole leg/side onto the fabric. I used the hem of the t-shirt as the hem of the pants. This particular t-shirt was very boxy, so I was able to create a very full leg style without seams on the side (I love that for kid's clothes ~ I'm not sure why). I turned over the top to make a casing for elastic. Ta-da! Pants! I had two of these shirts, this pink and a dusty orange, so now Hana has two of these pants. Woo-hoo! She really likes to layer these (I like it too); she's got leggings on too in the picture below, and if you look closely at the first picture of her dress, you can see these pants peeking out. She wore all this all day today! She cracks me up! Hopefully, I'll have more to add tomorrow. There was no sewing today. Lots of playing and lots of sunshine though. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Ooooh, look! Knitting!This little dress is for our son's former teacher-of-eight-years' granddaughter's first birthday. (Is there a gramatically correct limit to the number of possessives one can use in a sentence?) It is a modified version of Magda by Tora Froseth (detail in my Ravelry). Now there is a serendipitous story about the yarn. I bought it from HandsandNotions, an Etsy store (suprise, suprise!) in February '09 thinking the colors would be sweet for the baby girl who was expected in May. When May rolled around and baby Isla (eye-la) arrived, I had been inspired to knit her a pair of booties and vest of other yarns; the inspiration for this yarn had not yet struck me. The skein of sweetness sat on the shelf waiting. One day I was looking at the tag with its details, wondering about yardage when I noticed that Faun, the artist behind the yarn, calls this colorway Isla! Isn't that a wild coincidence?! I guess it was meant to be!So, did I distract you? Did you forget for a moment that I'm supposed to be blogging about Kids Clothes Week Challenge? Kids Clothes Week Challenge?! What Kids Clothes Week Challenge?!

Just kidding! I've been sewing or performing sewing-relating tasks for at least one hour each day since Monday, however until today, the weather here has been dismal; rainy, grey, windy, and chilly. Not photo-shoot friendly by any means. (And the disassembled dress parts were not inspiring a photo-shoot just laying there on the table.) Today was a beautiful sunny day, but we were either busy away from home (picture day at dance class!) or working/watering the garden when we were home, and I simply did not think to bring the camera outside. Tomorrow promises to be another beauty, so I'll get some pictures for sure.

So far, I've finished the knit gauchos made from repurposed tees and the Jump Rope Dress. One of our errands today was to the fabric shop for buttons. {I feel very virtuous for not needing to stop at the fabric cutting table for new fabric acquisitions; it was hard.} I underestimated the amount of time the sewing would take; there are a lot of sweet details to the dress, and the details took a bit of focus and sometimes when I reach the end of the day which is when my sewing times fit in the schedule, my buckle-down-and-focus-energy eludes me. So it took me four evenings, but I'm very happy with the way the dress turned out. What else will I finish from my List? Time will tell, but since pj pants for the Boy are super quick and the Ice Cream Dress is already cut out, I have a fighting chance at those... Please, stay tuned!

Monday, May 10, 2010

kids clothes week challenge

I am participating in Kids Clothes Week Challenge! This should be fun. So far, I've made two pairs of knit pants for Hana from two t-shirts which I don't wear anymore. I used a pair of existing pants as the pattern, and I'm happy to report that they turned out well. I'll post pictures later this week.

I've cut out two new patterns from Oliver + S: the Ice Cream Dress and the Jump Rope Dress. I really enjoyed sewing the Birthday Party Dress for Hana over the winter, so I'm looking forward to these projects. Whenever I've used an Oliver + S pattern, I learn a new technique or tip. Did you know that I have a jig that I dance whenever I learn something new? It's called "The I Learned Something New Today Dance" and I sing the title to the tune of Camptown Races complete with "Doo dah! Doo dah!" Some of you may have been lucky enough (!) to have witnessed this. ;-)

Any way, here's the list for the Challenge:

* knit gauchos/pants for Hana

* the Ice Cream Dress for Hana

* the Jump Rope Dress for Hana

* pj pants for Koji (two pair if I can find "acceptable" prints in flannel ~ he's a teenager ~ tough

* a slip for Hana (if time allows)

All this thinking about sewing has really got me itching to sew for myself, but I'm going to try to focus on the kids stuff this week!

Are you sewing along? What are you making?

Friday, May 7, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A single, special, extraordinary moment. A moment that I want to pause, savor, and remember. This is my contribution to Amanda's {this moment} photo project.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


In my last post, I captured a highlight of last week: rollerskates! Good ol' 4-wheelers! (I learned they are referred to as "quads" in the sporting goods world.) Oh boy, are we having fun with these!So, what I wanted to tell you more about was Hana's new sweater. I purchased the yarn online at The Knitting Garden. Buying yarn from Elizabeth is always a pleasure, and the yarn is the softest that I've ever knit (that's saying a lot!). The style is simple; sometimes with all that is going on with her other clothes "stylistically" (ahem), a simple something on top is nice (necessary!) She has worn it everyday that's been cool since it's been finished! She reports that it is soft enough to wear with short sleeves; she's happy that the cuffs don't need turning; the buttons are easy; "I love my new sweater, Mama!" And for that sweet comment, she's probably going to get a variation of the cover sweater come autumn...
I'll tell you about the skirt too. It's a Lazy Day Skirt from wonderful Oliver+S. This pattern is a freebie from the blog (over in the sidebar). I've made this skirt a bunch of times, always with easy success. I've taught to friends with happy results every time. The main fabric I used this time is from CottonBlue at Etsy. CottonBlue is full of beautiful Japanese fabric & zakka (= useful goodies). Each of the little matroyshka dolls is a bit different from the other; one holding flowers, one with a bird, one with a flower in her hair, one with a bundle of hearts. I really like prints with a bit of a story to tell, sometimes if the mood is right Hana will spin a little tale from what she sees in a special piece of cloth. The pattern teaches a clever hem technique which calls for ribbon. If I don't have a ribbon that I like with the fabric, I fall back on this huge roll of chambray double-fold tape I made thinking that I was making double-fold bias tape (much grumbling upon that discovery). The tape has turned out to be very useful, so it wasn't a complete loss. For Hana, I can still get a below-the-knee length skirt from a half-yard of fabric and a half-hour of sewing time! Truely a happy bargain.
Have you heard about Kids Clothes Week Challenge? Meg of Elsie Marley is sponsoring a challenge/sew-along for the second week in May. The challenge is to commit at least one hour each day to sewing some kids clothes! Awesome, right? I want to play!!! Wanna'?!