Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gracie's Christmas Dress [Refashion]

Last year I poured my heart and soul into a special glittery Snowflake Dress for Grace's first Christmas.
Pretty Baby last Christmas :)
As I'd hoped, it did still fit this year. Unfortunately, the proportions were just funny. The high yoke with the super full skirt underneath looked too "infant" for my walking, talking little girl. But I'm mad in love with this fabric and concept - I'm not one to let it go to waste, especially 2 days before Christmas when my fabric budget is empty and the stash only holds cotton and a couple scraps from last year.
This year. Fits - but doesn't look good

So what's a good seamstress to do? Why, fussy cut a new bodice and replace it, of course! There was just enough satin fabric to pull this off. I literally had nothing worth keeping left - the last scraps went into the trash can. The sleeves are cut against the grain, but it's not enough to notice. I had to lose a couple inches of skirt at the waist due to the previous scalloped front, but it's still plenty long enough (maybe even for next year? A 3 year dress!)

Singing in the Christmas program
The bodice is the back-button shirt pattern with short sleeves taken from Heirloom Sewing for Jack and Jill by Martha Pullen. I was pleased that the "short" sleeves are elbow length - I prefer this look. I used bias cut strips of the cream from the underskirt to bind the sleeves and neckline. Since I only had the 2 buttons from the original bodice, I used those as decoration on the front and hid black snaps in the placket on the back. This is the original skirt which, after trimming off the scallops and arm holes, is just a big rectangle gathered on.
 My only disappointment is that in my haste to finish, I only used my pinking shears on the seams. Apparantly that isn't a good solution for satin - it frayed out and part of the waist seem has pulled separate at this point. Thankfully that happened right as we were packing into the car for home on Christmas eve, so she got through both church services without her dress falling apart. I have a couple scraps of satin bias left, and of course tons of cotton, so my plan is to go back after New Year's and encase the seams in bias. That should keep it sturdy - right? I'm pretty new to this whole satin thing. Cotton is definitely my friend.

Removing the stickers the big kids were to stand on
Oh! Can you see her giant hair flower? It's scrap organza from the skirt. I melted it over a candle. Way too much fun. Directions are here for my pyro friends with small girls. Or big girls - I made one for myself too so we matched :D

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vintage Inspired Bias Trim Dress

I made up this sweet little number during my very long blog break then came across the photos again as I was doing prints for Christmas. It's too darling not to share with you! Even if it was made in September.

 This is use #3 for this fabric. First it was a bedsheet that I picked up somewhere. Then it was a dress for me - way back in 2009! That dress didn't fit me after having This Little Miss and just wasn't getting worn, so I repurposed it one last time (maybe) into something for Sunshine.

I followed the Delaney Dress tutorial written by Shannon of luvinthemommyhood and hosted as part of the Melly Sews sundress series. It's so simple, anyone could do it. Basic bodice (I patterned mine off a t-shirt) and a gathered skirt. There's not even any closures - can you see the deep v on the back? The neck is finished off with bias tape, plus more bias tape decorating the waist. And... since I forgot the shirt I was using as a patter is a knit, and this fabric definitely is not, bias trim decorating my several inches of widening at the front so it would actually go on (oops!) I left the back patch untrimmed. Although the original didn't call for it, this is fully lined with plain white muslin except for the sleeves. You can see the shadow of the pintucks I put in the under skirt to help it stand out.

And, of course, a bow :) Left over bias trim stitched onto a plain barrette. Sunshine refuses to leave the house without a bow!

LOVE this tutorial. I will definitely make more dresses like this for G in the future. Since she pretty much hates all pants except her jammies, we'll be needing many dresses come summer time.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Very Crafty Christmas

It seems to be my nature - every time I turn around I have a new project underway. Some I finish right away. Some may never see completion. But I love Christmas crafts most of all! I have an abundance in various stages of started. Hopefully the gifts at least will get done!

My husband asked for a cookie tray to take into work. My mom is a crazy cookie decorator :) so Grace and I went to visit her for the day to get her assistance. I did a lot of the piping myself this time! Cookie baking will never become one of my "main" hobbies, but aren't they cute?

6 different styles
 By special request, a Ginger Man. Apparently redheads have no soul, or so my husband tells me... which is why he is sad. I don't get it but the guys at his office had quite a bit of fun with this one I heard.

Have you seen the new mesh/lace yarns available? I LOVE this stuff! I knit two scarves, one in coffee colors and one in ocean colors. It's just a simple garter stitch, but the way the mesh is woven makes these lovely ruffles. I'm totally making one for myself after Christmas!

More cookies, this time boxed up for neighbors. Do you like the tags? Grace and I made them each out of salt dough. That is so easy and cheap to mix up, and the results are darling. Easier than the cookies, that's for sure! 

We're actually using these ornament tags for all our gifts this year. I'm wrapping in brown paper grocery bags flipped inside out, then tying on one ornament and one heart to each gift. The heart will have the recipient on the back.

I'm still working on Gracie's quilt. I have 4 butterfly motifs yet to do. The girly better like this - it's more than likely the only quilt I'll ever hand quilt! Way too time consuming for my taste. I really enjoy piecing the tops of quilts, but I really dislike quilting. Anyone the other way around? I'll trade off with you!

Also to finish:
  • Woodland playset carved by my husband, still in need of painting and waxing
  • Reworking Grace's Christmas dress
  • Stitching down the yarn ends on the scarves
  • A table runner (fabric is washed and ready to go, but this probably won't happen.
May all your Christmas crafts be completed in due time!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Family Picture Dress

 It's that time of year - family pictures! There is a reason I only try to get us all in the same place at the same time with coordinating outfits once a year. I seriously think I'm going to have my husband swap faces around using his editing software. In every picture, at least one person is grimacing, has their eyes closed, or is looking completely the wrong way. But! Gracie looks cute in a new dress!

Nice and long - this will fit forever!
 I drafted this jumper myself off of one from her closet. The only thing I changed was making it all around larger and longer so it will fit for a very long time. There is a yoked bodice that ends half-way down the armholes, then the skirt is a simple rectangle gathered onto that yoke, with scoops cut to complete the armholes. A ruffle at the bottom adds some fluff and weight to keep the dress down.

Giant pink buttons make me smile
I've had my eye on this cut of corduroy for a couple years, but I knew it was too juvenile to use for myself. Tada! It has now found a purpose in dressing my small princess. It's hard to see, but the flowers are actually tiny pink buttons. I'm planning on making a big hair flower to match with a large pink button center.

Oh... and in case you were wondering, this is the winner. Really.
The best of over 100 terrible pictures