Archive for the ‘kids clothes week challenge’ Category

kcw day three [spring 2013]

fairy tale dress: bodice and bow

Hour #3

1. bodice: Here we are at hour number 3 already and there’s hardly been any sewing! Well that’s about to change. The first bit of sewing I tackled was the bodice. That went so fast that I didn’t even photograph it–and I even made two bodices (one for the main dress and one for the lining).

2. bow: The pattern for the bow on this dress seems hilariously huge. Once you’ve folded it over and sewed up it, the bow takes on slightly more normal proportions. Then you have to gather the ends and place it in just the right place on the bodice.

fairy tale dress: skirt

3. skirt: The skirt on the fairy tale dress is a giant rectangle. This make it easy to sew up (and to hem later), but to attach such a large rectangle to the bodice requires lots and lots of ruffles.

fairy tale dress: skirt

4. attaching the skirt to the bodice:  I have to admit gathering ruffles is one of my favorite bits of sewing: pinning two very different lengths of fabric together and gathering the longer one to magically match up just right.  And look, they match!

fairy tale dress: bow

Success! The bow didn’t even get caught all crazy in the seam. I had to pat myself on the back for that one!

fairy tale dress: dress and lining

Day three and I’ve made the main dress and the lining of the bodice. Looks like the dress is practically done, but we’re not even halfway to the finished product!

Tomorrow: more polka dots!

 

kcw day two [spring 2013]

pattern cutting

Hour #2

1. laying out pattern pieces: I think laying out pattern pieces to use the least amount of fabric is a lost art. I am certainly no good at it. And I find many new patterns I buy don’t even include a layout diagram!  Oliver + S does of course. I tend to use freezer paper for my patterns so I don’t have to pin anything. This photo is right before I ironed all the pattern pieces down. And right after I took this picture I thought, “wait! I should really make a muslin.”

making a muslin

2. making a muslin: this photo should be titled “trying to sew a muslin while carrying on a conversation with a 3 year old (about snacktime) and a 6 year old (about what a muslin is) simultaneously.” The title explains why the darts are on the outside and why one shoulder seam is right and the other so wrong.  It did fit–it may not look like it in the photo, but trust me it fit.

fairy tale dress pattern pieces

3. cutting the fabric: now this took me the whole hour. Every piece up there is double (either folded in half or two pieces stacked on top of each other).  This is how 6 yards of fabric comes together to make one little dress!

collar and bow

The fairy tale dress (view B) is mostly one color, but the collar and bow can be a contrasting color. Well, obviously you can do whatever you like, but two fabrics are suggested (and it’s a good suggestion). I was going to find a sweet floral print for the second fabric, but then I discovered this vintage sheet in my fabric stash. White swiss dot for the main fabric and multi color polka dot for the contrasting fabric? I mean come on! It’s perfect!

 

kcw day one [spring 2013]

Kid’s Clothes Week has started! We will be featuring beautiful handmade clothes everyday on the kcw blog. There are already some lovely things to see on day one!  In the past, I’ve tried to have a new garment to show you each day, but this time I’m going to do something a bit different.

printed pattern

We like to talk about the process, but tend to only show the finished product. The finished part is pretty, the seam ripping and the swearing not so much. I wanted to take this week to break down a project into all its parts. Kid’s Clothes Week says to take an hour each day to focus on making kid’s clothes, so each post this week will be how I spent that hour. And by sheer luck I chose a project that took me a little over 7 hours.

pattern tracing

Hour #1 :

1. printing out the pattern: I’m using the Fairy Tale Dress pattern by Oliver + S. This is my first pattern by them (I know, I know) and I chose it because I wanted something complex but totally clear. Also, my daughter’s first communion is at the end of kcw and she need a dress for the occasion. It’s true  Oliver + S patterns are expensive, but when I saw this beautiful dress on flickr made with the same pattern I knew the pattern would be used for years to come.

I purchased the pdf version of the pattern because none of the shops in my area had it in stock (and I didn’t plan ahead). Instead of printing and taping all the millions of pages together, I sent the pdf to my local print shop. They printed it out on one giant ream of paper. It was slightly more expensive than I hoped ($12) but it also saved me a ton of time. I was in and out of the shop in 5 minutes.

2. tracing the pattern: I could have just cut it out, but that seemed too wasteful. I’m starting to warm up to tracing patterns. Armed with a hot cup of coffee, I might even say I enjoy it.

ironing fabric

3. ironing fabric: ironing on the other hand, not so enjoyable. For a size 7, the fairy tale dress pattern requires almost 6 yards of fabric. Crazy, right?! I was lucky to hit Joann’s on a 50% off sale day. The main fabric is a pretty swiss dot ($4/yard), the contrasting fabric (for the collar and bow) is a sheet I got at the thrift store long ago, and the lining is simple white shirting ($3/yard). I wanted to do it in eyelet, but I had no idea eyelet was $20/yard! I love the fabrics I ended up using, but they wrinkle easily. The ironing took me at least an hour if not more!

Stay tuned tomorrow for hour #2. It will be riveting, I’m sure!

 

making a home for kid’s clothes week

sketching the kcw logo

 

Five years ago, I sat down and wrote a list. I decided I was going to really do this sewing thing, even if my brain kept telling me I was no good at it. My plan was  to focus on sewing kid’s clothes one week, then move on to sewing something else the next week and so on down the list. Well, I never got to the second thing on the list. Sewing kid’s clothes took over! Took over and became Kid’s Clothes Week.

Now it has grown into this amazing community of sewers, all motivating and helping each other. It has gotten so big, it has outgrown my blog. I told you a few weeks ago about kcw’s new blog and I hinted at something even more. Dorie and I are building a new website for kcw and it’s going to be awesome! The website will be a place to go for inspiration, and help with patterns, and discovering new people and blogs. And all of it will be about making kid’s clothes. There are a few good sewing communities out there, but sewing kid’s clothes is always tucked away in a dusty corner.

We want the new site to be for you, and by you. Over on the kcw blog today, we’re asking for your suggestions. What do you think the new site should look like? What do you think it should do? What features are necessary? What ones aren’t? This site has the potential to be a really fantastic place and we’d love your help making it.

And if you want to do more than suggestion box stuff, we need that too! We’d like a group of people to be the first registered users and do a little hammering and sawing on our new home. We built this amazing community together, we can build and amazing site together too! Head on over to the kcw blog and check it out!

kid’s clothes week spring 2013

kcw spring 2013

 

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, which means it’s time for another edition of Kid’s Clothes Week! Kid’s Clothes Week is a community event where you to commit to sew children’s clothes for an hour each day for 7 days. This spring KCW will be the last week of April.

dates for spring 2013 kcw

I’m so excited to tell you about all the new things coming to Kid’s Clothes Week! Some you might notice right away, like where did the last C in KCWC go? Well, kidsclothesweekchallenge is quite a mouth full. I wanted something shorter and snappier for the bigger and better KCW. After going through many, many new names (a lot of terrible puns, some just terrible), I finally settled back on the original name, only a bit shorter.

kcw for all seasons

Even though the challenge is gone from the official name, kid’s clothes week is still a challenge. Actually there are even more challenges! Starting this year, KCW will take place four times a year: winter, spring, summer, fall. This way if you have to miss one, you won’t have to wait half a year for the next one.

It gets even better. I have teamed up with the amazing and talented Dorie from tumbling blocks to build KCW a site of it’s very own. We have all built this amazing little community while sewing for our kids, and I think it deserves to have a home of its own. 2 We will need your help, but more on that next week :)

KCW button

For now all you need to know is: new and exciting things are in store! I know you are itching to start planning for spring. To sign up for KCW Spring 2013 head over to the official KCW blog and leave a comment on the very first post.