kcw spring 2014: outfit #2

April 9th, 2014

spring kcw: outfit #2 on elsie marley

I am particularly excited about this dress. Mostly because I drafted the whole thing myself (pretty much on the fly) and it turned out even better than I imagined. The satisfaction of dreaming something up, struggling with it, and then making it work is like no other. And it is why I love sewing.

triangle dress on elsie marley

The inspiration for my daughter’s Easter dress was this amazing Marimekko dress.  You know those pictures that you keep returning to again and again (on pinterest or in magazines or wherever it is you find your inspiration)? Where each time you see them you fall in love with them all over again. The picture of that dress was like that for me.

triangle dress on elsie marley

It’s simple, but quietly stunning; playful, but still super stylish; clever, but not show-offy. I wanted to make it in gray, but what little girl wants a gray Easter dress? That’s rather depressing. Then I thought I could use a narrow stripe–maybe have the stripe go one way on the bodice and another way on the triangle bit. I almost went with the stripe, but then I remembered Rashida’s fabric collection, Tsuru, and the gorgeous triangle print in it called Motif Madness.

triangle dress on elsie marley

I ordered 2 yards of it and thank goodness I did because I only had a handful of scraps when I was done. You should probably draft your pattern and then cut it out, instead of trying to do both simultaneously :) I also did a bit of fussy cutting (that triangle at the top of the pocket) which took up a bunch of fabric.  I was worried that the triangle pocket would get lost in all that print, so I added some orange trim. I wanted to use piping, but I couldn’t get the piping to be pointy at the top. So I bound it like a quilt! A little odd, but it worked.

triangle dress on elsie marley

For the back I used an invisible zipper and a hook & eye closure. It might have even looked professional, had I matched the print. Whatever, the zipper works and doesn’t look like hell. I’ll take it. The whole dress is even lined! The fabric was pretty thin and see-through, so a lining was necessary.

triangle dress on elsie marley

I couldn’t be happier with this dress. And as an added bonus, she loves it too!

kcw spring 2014: outfit #1

April 8th, 2014

kcw theme: mini me

Sorry I’ve been away from this space for a while. Preparing for KCW and entertaining my children during spring break ate up all my time. But haHA! I started my sewing early this KCW, so I’ve got outfit #1 all sewn up and ready. But why are there 3 stylish ladies up there? For this KCW, Dorie and I decided that we should have a theme: MINI ME. The theme is optional, of course, and you can interpret it however you like.

I looked in my closet for inspiration and found none. My clothes are rather basic: gray, gray, gray, and sometimes navy. But I like to dream about wearing stylish clothes, so I looked to my pinterest clothes board for inspiration. I picked these three images: a Merimekko dress, a J. Crew (I think) ensemble, and a Madwell outfit. The dress is inspiration for my daughter’s easter dress and the other two outfits I mixed and matched for my sons’ easter outfits.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

This is my youngest’s outfit. Originally I was going to sew the shirt with  black and white gingham just like the picture, but then I liked the grid print (like in the Madwell outfit) with this outfit better.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

I used the Johnny B. Good pattern from Shwin Designs and I absolutely loved it.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

It was my first time doing sleeve placket and cuffs and I have to say,  I’m pretty proud of them. Shauna’s instructions are great. She doesn’t coddle you, she trusts you. This means a little more thinking on my part, which in turn means I really understand the construction of the garment.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

I was going to make a proper tie. Then it got all nice and springy here and I couldn’t stand to go down in my basement studio and sew. I’ve used the little boy’s tie tutorial on Purl Bee before (here and here) and cannot recommend it enough. It takes more fabric then you think a tie would need (a whole yard!) and a fair amount of ironing, but in the end you have a beautiful tie. I used this quick skinny tie tutorial and it worked ok, but it’s really meant for a toddler. I did lengthen it. Still it was a bit too short for my 4 year old.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

I could not find any mint stretch denim anywhere, so I went with this sort of dark sea foam green stretch twill. The material is great for spring and for the pattern–Small Fry Skinny Jeans. I had a great time sewing these pants, but I think the rise is a bit too high for my kids. I noticed it last time, but though I just sewed a size too big. These come up to his belly button, but the fit is great everywhere else. I think if I take an inch off the yoke and maybe an inch off the front they will be perfect.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

 

Still not bad for an easter outfit. Pretty stylin’ even. What do you think?

posters for baby’s room

March 19th, 2014

DIY black and white nursery posters on elsie marley

A year or so ago I was invited to join a facebook group filled with mothers, bloggers, sewers, bakers, and makers of all types. The idea behind the group was to have a place to talk about blog things, get support when we needed it, and have a sounding board for new ideas. The group is absolutely amazing, and the women in it doubly so.

DIY black and white nursery posters on elsie marley

Two of those women, Carla and Lacy, are pregnant and due any day now! We’ve come together to throw a kind of virtual baby shower. Some people make decorations, some people make the food, some make gifts, and then we send it all to the pregnant ladies. It’s like an awesome party via post. I signed up for decoration duty. Right away I knew I wanted to make large-scale posters. We peeked in their pinterest boards and discovered Lacy was digging a cloud theme, and Carla was more for the moon and stars.

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lucky buttons tutorial

March 16th, 2014

lucky buttons tutorial on elsie marley

One of the odd, unwritten blog rules is “thou shalt not blog on weekends,” but I’m crazy like that I guess. Besides tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. And one of the unwritten rules of having school age children is “you must participate in every holiday no matter what.” Pi day? Talk like a pirate day? 100th day of school? Grandparents day? Crazy sock day? I have celebrated them all.

lucky buttons tutorial on elsie marley

I have also prepared for all of them frantically the night before or the morning of said holiday. If you are nodding in agreement, this craft is for you. If you are throughly prepared with crocheted red beards and cardboard leprechaun hats or if you are genuinely Irish and have been corning your beef for weeks (or however it’s done) then you don’t need me and my slap dash craft.

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spring KCW 2014

March 14th, 2014

spring KCW dates // are you in?

Did you know? Have you heard? Kid’s Clothes Week is coming up! Yes, it might feel like winter KCW just happened, but spring KCW means that spring is really actually truly coming! This spring KCW week falls on the week before Easter, so I might just get some Easter outfits sewn (for once).

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