Sewing Up A Storm

*All professional photos in this post were taken by the very talented Brandi Hoffman Photography.

I haven’t been sewing up a storm, per say, but I have been busy sewing. And now that it is the Christmas season my sewing list just got longer. I did manage, however, to sew a dress for the Doll Face for our family pictures.  The last family pictures we had done where when I was pregnant with her, so it was long over due. I really wanted to make something special for all the kids, but time was not my friend and Doll Face was in desperate need of a wintery dress so she won out.

Earlier this summer Violette Field Threads released the Matilda Dress and the Rosemary Pinafore and I knew immediately that I needed to make one for Doll Face. It is not in my usual style of dress, but there was something vintage about it that I absolutely loved!

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I thought I was going to make a mustard yellow polka dot dress with a navy blue pinafore but found this gray damask in my stash and knew that was it. It took me forever to decide on the lace trim though. Should I add it, should I not. I couldn’t decide. I had never sewn with it before and I had a hard time visualizing it with the damask, but once I bit the bullet and bought the whole spool (yikes!) I knew there was no turning back.  The directions for both the dress and the pinafore were easy to follow and I adore how it turned out. And I’m happy to say that I am not as afraid of lace as I had been.

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Here is our whole family, including the Honey Bear. Don’t ask how we managed to get everyone looking at the camera because it was no easy task, especially with those hay bales temping my little dare devils. The top I’m wearing is the Parisian Top by Go To Patterns. I made it last winter and it has become a quick favorite. I used a thick knit I found at Hancock’s so it is nice and warm. I’m not a huge fan of 3/4 length sleeves, and I don’t know why I made this top knowing this was the sleeve length, but I really like the way this looks on me. I may just start wearing more 3/4 length sleeves.

Currently, I am making lots of angel and shepherd costumes for our kids program at church, then it is back to my Christmas sewing and a coat for our oldest, Buddy Bear. If I manage to get all my Christmas sewing done in a reasonable time, I will be sharing a tutorial for this fox dress I made early this fall. If not, be on the look out before the new year!

Foxy Dress

Until then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mama Bear

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It’s Been Scary Around Here!

I have been a very busy lady lately! After a very busy birthday season, I made this Olaf quilt from Shwin & Shwin for an auction, sewed some dresses for my nieces, and I had to get started on Halloween costumes.

Olaf QuiltBusy Lizzy Dress

Side note: I cannot, and I mean cannot, spell Halloween with out singing this song. It’s seriously the only way I can remember how it is spelled.  I literally sing this song in my head as I spell. Thank you 1st grade for this and my hate of Green Bay. Sorry Green Bay fans.

Any who, I asked the kids awhile back what they wanted to be for Halloween knowing full well that I would be sewing a costume, and Paw Patrol won. And it won big. Doll Face wanted to be Skye, Big T wanted to be Ryder, and Happy wanted to be Marshall. Paw Patrol

I’m so thankful that Happy decided to be a Nuni Nuni NG Turtle (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) instead since his Mamaw got him a shell and mask for his birthday. With that and his shell shirt, he was set! One down, four to go!

Happy Turtle

First up, Big T as Ryder. Only problem is that you can’t find a Ryder costume. Ryder is the main human character on Paw Patrol and the only costumes I have seen have been of the pups. So I had to make one and this is where the fun started. I used the Lizzy Peplum pattern (free!) from Shwin & Shwin. But this is a girls jacket? Not any more! This jacket was also designed to be a knit jacket and I wanted to use twill. Twill does not stretch like knit so I went up a size to give me more room. I should have gone up two, but it still works. When I traced my pattern for the jacket, I included the length of the peplum, and found out later that I didn’t need to do that. I also narrowed the top of the sleeve to remove the gather. The original pattern did not include a collar so I pirated one from another patter. I’m so sneaky. Ha!  To finish it off I added cuffs, a bottom band, and pockets, but those are faux. All in all, I really like the way it fits Big T.

Big T Ryder

Now miss Doll Face. Her costume was the easy peasy! I spent a total of 20 minutes making this. I’ve never made something that quick, but there isn’t much detail involved in this one. My sister sent her an outfit for her birthday that had a pink hooded vest and I knew it would be perfect for Skye. I made up a “jet pack” out of some scrap pink and grey fabrics. It wears like a back pack with ribbon straps and the wings have an elastic loop to go over her wrists.  Stretch those arms out and that pups gotta fly!

Skye Wings

Bubby Bear was General Grievous. Again. For the 3rd year in a row. This was not his choice and I feel bad for him, he wanted to be Anakin Skywalker but he didn’t tell me in enough time to make him anything. I’m just thankful the costume still fit and he didn’t complain one bit. Next year Buddy, you’ll be the first one done. I promise.

General Grievous

Mister E doesn’t need candy and would be wearing a jacket anyway, so I put him in his geek onesie and jeans. I was a bad mommy and didn’t take any pictures the night of our Trunk-or-Treat so I took all these yesterday. Thankfully they love wearing their costumes and didn’t pitch a fit. Now to turn an old coat into a coat for Doll Face.

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Boo!

Mama Bear

Game Day Dress

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Around here, college football is huge. HUGE I tell ya! Once you cross the border to reside permanently in this state, you are almost required to declare which team you are supporting. While I grew up pseudo-supporting The Ohio State Buckeyes, (my grandfather played football there, Go Bucks!) my hubby is a Alabama fan all the way. As such, our children are almost required to have their own game day attire. This is easy for the boys, especially since I have 7 years worth of boys clothes that inevitably include at least one Alabama shirt in each size. But Doll Face is a different story. Our budget can be tight and new, pre-made clothes sometimes don’t fit in. Or I just don’t find anything I like. So I went to my fabric stash and found some hounds tooth and some red knit fabric and decided to design a dress for her. Whoa there!! Designing my own dress!?! Yep, I sure am. I’m taking a big leap and doing something I’ve only read about on blogs. I never thought I would be sewing sans a pre-made pattern, but here I go!!

I had an idea of what I wanted the dress to look like and I sketched out a plan. I scoured my existing patterns to see what I could hack and searched Pinterest for more inspiration. Much to my surprise, I discovered an adult dress with the same general idea I had for the dress!

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Now I had my pattern for hacking, a general tutorial for construction, and a plan. I used the Flashback Skinny Tee from Made-by-Rae for the top, and, of course, there were a few modifications. I was going to add a little gather at the neck and the top of the sleeves for a little feminine touch, but instead I changed the collar and added a ruffle similar to the Pinterest dress.

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I also cut the bottom 6″ off the shirt and added a 3″ band of black knit to mimic a sash. I wanted the waist to be a bit higher than where the shirt fell.

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When I drew up my sketch, I couldn’t decide how to construct the skirt. Should I pleat the skirt or just gather it? While gathering it would be quick and easy and certainly less stressful, I really wanted a box pleat. I fiddled around with it until I got it where I liked it, which took what felt like forever. I attached the top and the skirt and had Doll Face try it on. The top was great but the box pleats were not working for me, so I undid the whole thing and gathered it instead. This was a good idea since the pleat did not allow for the stretch in the knit like the gather does.

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Finally, I added a decorative stitch to the hem and that was it! I may add another row just to make it show up a little more.

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I did it! I made a dress that I thought of all by my lonesome and I love it! I like that there are no fasteners on this dress. It just slips on over her head. I’m so happy with how it turned out and now Doll Face has her own, one of a kind, made by mommy, game day dress!

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Roll Tide, y’all!

Mama Bear