It’s kids clothes week again! I can’t wait to look through all the exciting projects on Flickr. So much goodness! I’m working on a last-minute birthday gift with a looming deadline right now, so my opportunities to join in are limited, but at least I’m inspired to finally post this little dress, which admittedly was finished a couple of weeks ago. Here’s my hand smocked dress! Ta-da!
I recently saw a Polo smocked girls dress for something like $150 in a department store. $150 for baby clothes! So when I spotted this unopened McCall’s 4508 pattern at a thrift shop for 50c I really wanted to try it out. Unfortunately it is a size 5 and with all that pleated fabric I wasn’t sure about grading the pattern down for my nearly 16 month old. Of course, Pinterest was able to help and I found a gorgeous and free pattern here in size 18 months.
To hand pleat the fabric, I drew a grid on the back of the fabric and stitched the pleats as shown in this tutorial. My smocking was slightly less complicated than the pattern due to time limitations, but isn’t it cute! The possibilities with this are endless.
When I first started sewing the dress together it seemed so large I thought it was going to fit me! The sleeves are oh so puffy. And even with the tie at the back it is a loose fit, so I added a tuck just above the hem to let the dress grow with her.
I love it on her so much, it’s no wonder they call these heirloom dresses. But I think that with a little patience and some time, anyone can do this! I know I’ll be returning to the view E dress on that McCall’s pattern in the next few years too.
Fabric: Japanese tana lawn from Spotlight. Yes, it is upside down! Oops!
I can’t quite believe Easter 2013 has already been and gone! We had a lovely, busy weekend, with family, good food and lots of egg hunts.
The eggs were placed inside these beautiful silicon bubbaccino cups from hookTURN. My two love their homemade babyccinos! I added some easy washi tape bunny ears to the eggs to dress them up.
For the littlest, no-chocolate eating member of the family I made a little bunny hat, which he promptly fell asleep in. Aw. Love those sleepy little bunnies!
This week I found myself inspired by this rayon/silk blend tank from Country Road, so I decided to try the wonderful (free!) Sorbetto pattern from Colette and sew something for myself.Of course I couldn’t find a snappy geometric print like the inspiration, but I like that at a glance this print could be birds or butterflies or berries. (I think it is actually just splotches of colour.) However, it doesn’t really press well, so I gave up trying to make 3 yards of folded bias tape and just pretended to sew along a fold. But I am pretty happy with the result. I think it will be perfect for transition to autumn, if that ever arrives! Also happy to finally use the dress form I was given for Christmas!
Fabric: Rayon blend from Lincraft.
Is there anything more squeezable than a baby with a ruffle-y bottom? So cute.
Before I get to the bloomers, I want to introduce my new baby! I feel like my sewing has suffered lately because of my machine, which was an ultra-basic Brother from a discount department store. It was functional, but noisy and I knew it had hit its limit when it started to have trouble sewing a straight line on a single layer of fabric. Since a service was nearly as much as the whole machine originally cost to buy, I dragged the family over to Hobbysew to have a look at some shiny new machines.
This one came home with us. It’s a Brother Innovis-600 and it blows my socks off. Auto needle threading, thread cutting, hands-free presser foot lifting, multiple button holes, more stitches than I could ever use and if the kids are playing around my ankles I don’t even need to use a pedal! Finally I am sewing in the 21st century! I wonder what my grandmother would make of it.
I immediately whipped out a few toy-organising drawstring bags to get used to the machine and test it out, but I really wanted to test the little extra I snuck in – this ruffler. It’s a little beast of a foot and very complicated looking, but it is straightforward to use and it certainly does its job. So I made these spotty bloomers using Dana’s perfect diaper cover. Baby girl is 14 months old, but I made size 2 for extra bubble. I stitched three strips of ruffly cuteness onto the back after cutting it out and then followed the tutorial. And then I took far too many photos of that little booty. Love! Now I sort of want some in my size, ha ha!Fabric: Cotton polka dots from Spotlight.
I just love wrapping gifts. Aren’t they pretty?
The card is a beautiful letterpress from Aussie company Bespoke Letterpress bought at Berkelouw Books.
The tissue flower was my husband’s idea, using the accordion fold method that he learnt from Dorothy the Dinosaur at the Powerhouse museum’s Wiggles exhibition! Basically, you layer a few squares of tissue paper, fold accordion style, tie in the middle and fluff! So easy a toddler could do it!
The pom poms took seconds to make too. Wrap, tie, cut, done!
This is the third bear carrier I have made from Oliver+S Little Things to Sew and I love it just as much as the first two. This one is for a third birthday boy, described by his mother as very loud, busy and dirty (aren’t they all?) and his beloved bear. Surprisingly patiently modeled here by my son with a different (smaller) bear.
It’s made from corduroy left over from another project, which is almost teddy-like in itself. Although it was not intentional, I decided to leave the pocket askew in acknowledgment of the messy little owner.
Inside the pocket is a secret horse you can only see if you are wearing the carrier.
The pocket lining and reverse is cut from a repurposed quilt cover given to me by a friend. I think it is a very ‘boy’ version and hope it will help to keep that precious bear out of the dirt! Happy birthday T!
Fabric: Cord from Spotlight, repurposed quilt cover lining.