Black and white and a little dressy

Back in the summer I made my girl a dress that I thought would work for her choir concerts this year.  Nope!  The girl needed a black bottoms and white top for her choir concert, so back to the sewing machine I went.

She said she wanted a “flowy” top and I got to choose the type of bottom.  I decided on a cape top and fitted pencil skirt with a flounce.

These two pieces were actually fairly easy to draft up and make.  I got it done in about two nights.

I thought the top turned out pretty cute.

She didn’t like it.  She was not a fan of the cape, and she wanted it not fitted at all, like this:

So…next time it will be a different top.  For now…she had to wear this.  Poor thing. 😉

At least she loves the skirt!

City stripes

I love the fact that I am at a place in my sewing that I can have an idea and be able to draft patterns to what I want.  This doesn’t always mean the execution is easy, though!  This jacket was a huge pain the butt, and took most of a day, but I love it.

I was going for cool jacket vibe here.

These were most of the pieces (just missing the pockets):

The fabrics I used here were:

Fabric Anthropology – Red City Stripes (currently on Pre-Order until November 15).

Nature’s Fabrics – Black Bamboo Stretch Fleece 300gsm

Nature’s Fabrics – Dark Shadow Bamboo Stretch Fleece 300gsm

All these fabrics were fantastic to work with.  I received the FA sample for free, but purchased the sweatshirt fleece fabrics.  I used brushed poly for the FA fabric, but I think their French terry would have worked great, too.  I think having BP in the back panel that gets cinched in worked very nicely since it has more drape to it.  The FA brushed poly is nice and thick, so it worked well to mix it with sweatshirt fleece.

This how you know what the heck you are doing with sewing.  Sewing these points in fabric has gotten much easier now that I figured out how to do it.

The back has a faux leather with some eyelets I put in it them.  The eyelet setter has some crappy reviews, but it was easy to figure out and use.  Not sure why someone would need instructions.  I used black elastic in the cinching so it would be comfy to wear.

I widened out the back in order to have a nice body to it when cinching it up.  The top yoke helped to keep the extra width corralled.

The hood and the front middle sections are fully lined and enclosed.  It looks pretty good on the inside.  The hood has five pieces to it.  My biggest angst was figuring out how the heck I had to put on the hood.  Oh, and the fact that I ran out of Wondertape in putting in the zipper.

All in all, I absolutely love how this turned out!  Check out the links for the fabrics if you like them.  It is so hard to find good sweatshirt fleece, and this fleece feels fantastic.  I also just love the FA brushed poly.

My next sewing projects are going to include a few more watercolors from FA when I get them in the mail (girl is getting more fun stuff), and I also need to make a black and white choir outfit for her, too.  I’ve got a great idea for it, and I think she will look very pretty in it.  More drafting ahead!

Winter leotards and movin’ on up in gymnastics

The colder weather has come to the Northwoods, so sending Little Miss into the big ole warehouse facility at gymnastics can be a bit chilly for her.

I bought some dancewear velour (thick, 4-way stretch velour and *SHINY*) during my summer shopping excursion up to the northern suburbs.  It is again…expensive…fabric.  I bought just enough to really make her a long-sleeved leotard and a pair of booty shorts.

The leotard pattern is Kwik Sew #2679, with just a few modifications.  The booty shorts are just a shortened version of a leggings pattern I drafted.  The waist has to come down and the inseam has to come up for what I did for her in the 1st pattern.


This newest session of gymnastics is a bit harder on the girl.  She moved into an Intermediate class, doesn’t know any of the girls and they are several sessions ahead of her.  The first class I was basically cringing the entire time, waiting for her to hurt something.

The teacher was telling her to do things she hadn’t even tried yet and wasn’t spotting her.  I was afraid she would break her neck!

That weekend after the first class we spent several hours working on just one move: handstand to bridge, with a kickback into standing.  After about two days of working on it, she was finally getting the landing on the bridge.  I am so proud of her!  She really worked hard to get it and didn’t give up.  She definitely has perseverance. 🙂

New cushions due to [child error]

[child error] is the excuse of so many mishaps in the house, isn’t it?

In our three season porch we have a “wicker” couch and chair set that we bought at The Home Depot.  It is wicker looking (i.e. a woven plastic of some sort) and the cushions were a nice plain utilitarian beige.  Unfortunately, when we were moving stuff off our deck in preparation for the painting, I had put a old citronella candle on the table next to the couch.  It had been occassionally melted and occassionally rained on with a few leaves in for good measure…and was an absolute mess.  I should have just thrown it out.  Hind sight being 20/20, of course.

Someone small, blonde and cute tipped the candle bucket onto the bottom couch cushion.  Big yucky stain full of citronella goo.  I tried to wash it, to no avail.  The giant waxy stain was not going away.

I discovered this a few days before our big BBQ we were hosting (of course), and I figured it wasn’t something I could hide.  We needed all the chairs we had.  I purchased some $5/yd duck cloth from my go-to fabric shop and recovered that cushion.

Of course having just one cushion redone seemed a bit obvious, so then I proceeded to redo the bottom cushions on the chairs the day before the party.  I need to get a bit more fabric and then I can redo the cushions on the foot rests, too. 

It’s a bit of a wild pattern, so I am going to leave the top cushions beige.  The pillows came with the set and seem to match nicely.

In order to make them, I ripped apart the old cushions and reused the zippers.  Once I had the pieces all apart, I used them as patterns to cut the fabric.  I did it a little different than the original cushions, and didn’t use piping.  I was working on a limited time schedule.  It didn’t take me too long to make them, though.

They are less than perfect in construction, but I’m sure I’m one of the few that will notice the imperfections.  And I’m okay with that. 🙂

I did get the teachers’ gifts done for Kailan’s class on Sunday.  I will get them up soonish.  I’m sure everyone else has had them done already because our kids are so late in getting out of school.  I’m hoping they like them when Kai gives them out on Thursday.