Friday, August 10, 2018

Some Tops for Jane

My girl is about to start kindergarten!  I can't believe it.  She is so ready.  And fortunately for me, she's coming to my school.  We are so excited to go to school together every day.  I might even have her in my art class, as long as she doesn't get the traveling art teacher.  Will she call me mom? Who knows.  The other kids slip up and call me mom all the time anyway, which always makes me giggle.  I decided to make her a few new tops for school.  I like to save larger scraps of fabric from my projects thinking I can make something for Jane.  It's about time I actually got around to it.  The two floral pattern tees are actually recycled from two of my old tees.  And the black and white fabric is a piece I saved specifically to make her something.  Now that I've made these cute tops and have worked out the fit, I need to see what other knit scraps I've saved and make her some more.  Kids clothes are much faster to sew than adult size things. And she's very appreciative at this age.

Pattern Description:  I used McCalls 6947, which is unfortunately out of print now.  I've had it in my pattern stash for a while.  I actually used it last year to make her a dress (the patch pocket variation), so I knew what the fit was like. It's a pattern with lots of options for dresses, tops, and even leggings, which I have not made.

Pattern Sizing:  The pattern is sized 2-5.  I used a size 5.  I made a size 5 last year, too, and it was big then. I figured the five would be a better fit now.  Jane is a pretty standard size 5 in rtw except she is long.  Long though the body. These three tops are still running a teensy bit big in width, but that's a good thing as she'll grow in to them.  I added a bit of length to the bodice from the get-go, maybe a half inch.

Fabric Used:  The two floral fabrics are recycled from two of my tees. Of course I didn't take any 'before' photos.  Do you remember when Uniqlo had the Liberty collection?  I bought three tees then and only ever liked one enough to wear it.   The fit was off on all three.  The fabric, however, was beautiful.  So I saved the two tees with the intention of using the fabric for something.  Jane got a glimpse of the one with the rainbow colors in it and was all about it.  Anything rainbow these days.  Both fabrics are a cotton/viscose blend.  The black and white fabric is a remnant from a rayon knit I bought at Joann's.  I'm pretty sure it was one of their Nicole Miller fabrics.  I wish they'd bring back the Nicole Miller stuff.  It was decent quality compared to the stuff I've seen there lately.

Alterations/Deviations:  I used the bodice and sleeve pieces from view A but the gathered portion is different on all three.  I used the pattern piece as a general guide but the fact that these were all made from smaller pieces of fabric dictated the length and width.  I made the rainbow floral one first.  I used the bottom of the top (it was a swingy tank top) for the gathered portion after I cut the bodice and sleeve.  I really wanted the sleeves on this one so I sacrificed a lot of length.  It ended up very cute, but short.  I added the navy lace trim to give it a bit more length and I think it's my favorite part.  Though she won't be able to wear it much longer before it's a belly shirt.  The pink floral top came from a tee (front was floral and back was that solid oatmeal color). No sleeves so I could get all the length.  I went a little longer on the length so it's more of a tunic.  Both of those don't have all the width due to fabric constraints, so not as much gathering.  The black and white version is the actual length and width of the pattern.  I did a regular tee shirt neck band on all three instead of a binding.

Likes/Dislikes:  I really like all of them and so does Jane.  Of course the rainbow one is her favorite, although she really likes the pink floral one, too.  No dislikes.  The black and white top is a super stretchy fabric, so I bet she can wear it for a couple of years.  All in all, it's a nice, useful pattern.  I actually am sewing her another variation right now from some recycled fabric and have a dress planned if I have time before school starts  She's starting to make requests.  Good thing she's fun to sew for!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Fringe Dress X 3

Pattern Description: The Fringe Dress from Chalk and Notch Patterns.  I don't normally purchase pdf's, but I decided this one was worth it.  And it was.  I made my first version (the black floral one) two days before Easter in a mad dash because I had nothing that fit my lumpy postpartum body.  It's a perfect nursing dress with the front button closure.  I liked my black floral one so much that I immediately cut out the orange and blue zig zag version.  I only recently made the blue and white stripe goldfish version with some changes, and I don't love it.  It's currently on the chopping block.  It might become a top.

Pattern Sizing:  Pattern comes in sizes 0-18.  I made a 10, which lined up with my bust measurement but not my waist measurement at the moment  I gave myself a little more seam allowance at the bottom of the bodice just in case, but I don't think I needed it since the bottom of the bodice hits very high on me. And as an aside, I'm definitely in the midst of the normal postpartum body struggles since I had a baby five months ago.  I'm at that point where I really don't know what size I am and nothing fits.  And being a second baby, I feel like the weight is just hanging on for dear life.  I'm still nursing, though, and I've decided to be kind to myself until I'm done nursing.  I'm sucking in like a champ in these photos. Ha!

Fabric Used:  The black floral version and the blue and white stripe goldfish print are both rayon poplin from  It's one of my favorite fabrics to work with.  The orange and blue zig zag print is a rayon I bought from Hancock right before they closed down.

Alterations/Deviations: I lengthened the black floral version to a maxi after reading the tutorial on the Chalk and Notch site.  No other changes.  The bodice hit me just under my bust line, so on my second version I added about 5/8" to the bodice.  After looking at pictures, I can't decide if I like the longer bodice or not, but I do get a slight maternity vibe from the black floral dress.  For the last version, I roughly went up a size by adding to seam allowances when I cut the fabric.  Not the proper way to do it, I know, and I just eye-balled it.  I thought I wanted a more relaxed fit.  I also added some more width to the the hem line by pivoting from the back and center front.  So the skirt has a bit more flare.  All three versions I did the button front because I'm nursing a baby.  I did the elbow sleeve and sleeve tabs on the orange and blue version, which is a nice design feature.  I put the ties on the first two but left them off the goldfish version.

Likes/Dislikes:  The pattern is great.  The design is really easy to wear and like I said before, it's a great dress for nursing moms.  The fit is really spot on according to my measurements, though having the higher waistline helps.  I wore my first two versions weekly when I went back to work at the end of the school year and they made me feel good and like I actually had myself together, even though I sure didn't!  I love the black maxi version the best.  In fact, I'm thinking about making another maxi version before school starts back again in a couple of weeks.  I like the orange and blue version a lot, too.  I spent forever on pattern placement.  I actually had the back piece cut horizontally like the front but discovered I had a slight tilt when I started sewing it together.  I had just enough fabric to go back and cut the back bodice the other direction instead.  I knew having one side that didn't match up would drive me nuts.  I'm not in love with the blue and white stripe goldfish version.  Even thought the fabric is supposedly the same substrate as the black floral, it's much thinner and lighter weight.  It's slightly see-through, too, so I'll have to wear a slip to wear it to work.  I'm also not a fan of the more relaxed fit, although that could have something to do with the fact that I added to the size just by winging it.  I think it's going to get chopped shorter and become a top.  I also have some pulling at that first button that I need to try and fix.

Conclusion: Great wearable dress!  Skims over my lumpy, post partum mid-section and cinches in the smallest part of my waist.  As much as I hate taping together pdf's, this one was worth it!

Side note:  Baby!  I haven't been on here much (ummm, last October) but for a very good reason.  I can't go without mentioning the new little brother in town, baby B.  He was born February 15th and is just the perfect missing piece to our family.  I have really been soaking up this time with him, especially since I wasn't sure we'd ever get to have that missing member of our family.  I'm not sure how many people are out there still reading my blog after all this time, but if you recall, my husband has chronic myeloid leukemia.  He was diagnosed shortly after our daughter was born five years ago.  With the crazy medication he takes, we weren't sure we'd be able to add to our family.  But long story short, we did :).  And he's here.  And we are just so lucky!

I don't post much here anymore (obviously) and I skim through my blog roll only occasionally when I get a chance.  I do, however, spend more time on Instagram.  In fact, I find that most of my blog reading comes from following a link from Instagram these days. I like that I can click through to get the whole story since Instagram is really just a quick snippet.  So if you are on Instagram and I don't follow you yet, give me a shout.  My account is lizajanesews.