Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Customizing with Oliver + S

Want to know how I made the Class Picnic Blouse into a spaghetti strap top? Pop on over to the Oliver + S blog to find out!
If you're visiting here from Oliver + S for the first time, Hello! My name is Cindy and I sew for myself and my four kids known as K, P, BK, and MG here on the blog.  As the kids grow older, I'm finding that I'm not sewing quite as much.  Time to sew is hard to come by with four active kids who always seem to have a practice or activity away from the house.  My productivity may be way down but I did manage to sew an Oliver + S outfit, Jalie running shorts, swimsuits and more swimsuits, and tops for my girls and myself this summer.  Hopefully, with all the kids back in school in a couple of weeks I'll have more time to sew.:)  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hot Pink Ruffle Shorts

The last time I sewed Class Picnic Ruffle Shorts, BK wore a size 5.  She outgrew them at least a year ago.  They were always a favorite so it was time to sew up a new pair.  This time with a few more modifications to make my girl happy.  The shorts are also one of my entries in the Shorts on the Line 2014 sewalong contest.  If you'd like to participate, more info is HERE.

pattern:  Oliver + S Class Picnic Shorts
size:  8
fabric:  hot pink twill
mods:  A lot!  Zip fly, added 1" in length, added 1" to the front panels on the side, squared off the front panels, put darts in the back for some shaping, topstitched the crotch seam, added raw edge ruffles, and made the fit a bit slimmer  Whew!

Customized Class Picnic

I used my Zip Fly Tutorial to add the zipper and loosely followed my original Ruffle Shorts Tutorial for the rest of the shorts.  I wanted a bit of a slimmer fit so I sewed the inseams and zip fly first and then had BK try on the shorts so I could adjust the fit.  BK's ready-to-wear shorts that she likes have a leg opening of approximately 18".  Based on that and BK trying on the shorts, I ended up cutting close to an inch off the back panels to get the fit I wanted. 

pink ruffle shorts4

I wanted the back to hug BK's curves so I added 2 darts for shaping.  The back waistband does still have buttonhole elastic for sizing flexibility.  I really like the raw edge Hosh Pants that I made for MG back in the spring so I decided to leave the ruffle edges unfinished.  There is a line of stitching about 1/2" from the edge to keep the fraying in check.

The top is also from the Class Picnic pattern.  I wanted to sew a top to coordinate with the shorts and was wishing that BK still fit into the Swingset Tunic.  A lightbulb began to flicker over my head and I decided to try and make a spaghetti strap Class Picnic blouse. 
pink ruffle shorts7
 I finished the armholes with bias tape and then added the straps to the front and back bodices in a similar method as the Swingset Tunic.  I'll post a tutorial when I make the next one.  There are a few snags I ran into that I need to address first.;)  I'm not the first to make a sleeveless Class Picnic, Jessica at A Little Gray made one with bias tape ties last year.
pink ruffle shorts8

This is the perfect summer outfit for my active girly girl!

pink ruffle shorts jump

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shorts on the Line: Jalie 3351

This post is part of the Shorts on the Line sewalong.  Shorts on the Line 2014 is sponsored by: Britex FabricsHawthorne Threadsmiss matatabi, and Soak Wash.  Hosted by imagine gnatssmall + friendly, and Kollabora.
My turn, my turn!  This year as part of the Shorts on the Line sewalong, I'm sharing what I did with the Jalie 3351 Swim Shorts pattern.  While I'm going to make a pair of swim shorts eventually, I decided to make...
...running shorts!

pattern:  Jalie 3351 
size: O
fabric:  Heathered Quick Dry Performance Fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric
mods:  eliminated the inner brief, cut the waistband elastic longer than the recommended length
*There is an error in the printed pattern instructions so you should refer to the downloadable instructions HERE when attaching the waistband to the shorts and briefs.
I'm not the first person to think that the swim shorts pattern would make good running shorts.  Per the pattern description..."They are also very comfortable for running (especially with mesh briefs) or tennis."  Also, Dawn at Two On, Two Off made running shorts here and here.
K goes running pretty much every day.  I've been slowly adding to her running clothes so that laundry doesn't need to be done quite so often.  I've discovered that quick dry fabrics are the way to go as cotton shorts tend to develop embarrassing sweat marks on long or hot runs.  I found some performance fabric at our local Jo-ann Fabric store that is very similar in feel to a pair of Soffe Dri Shorts that I recently bought her.
jalie 3351 pockets
The shorts fit great and have a neat side detail with pockets! Though, if you wanted to leave the pockets off and have a more conventional side, you could easily lengthen and square off the side panel pattern piece and skip the pockets.

The side panels and separate waistband are great for color blocking.  I left out the inner briefs as K has never cared for how they feel.  The recommended elastic length for size O was too tight for K so I ended up cutting the waistband elastic 2 inches longer.
jalie 3351 smile
 After pictures, K went for a 5 mile run to test out the shorts.  She came back with a smile on her face saying that they worked well.  I'll definitely be sewing more! 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Swimsuit Catch Up

Thanks to my fabulous in-laws we were able to spend a week at the beach with my husband's side of the family.  His parents weren't able to come down until Tuesday because his father had been in the hospital with pneumonia.  Luckily, my father-in-law's health improved enough that he could fly down and spend the rest of the week with his 3 kids (+ 3 spouses), 12 grandchildren (+ 5 spouses), and 6 great-grandchildren!

meinen group 2014

The little girls needed wanted new swimsuits for the beach house so I pulled out all my swimsuit patterns and fabrics and let them choose.

tankini beach week 2

BK really wanted another one piece but I convinced her to go with a tankini to make it easier for bathroom breaks. 

patterns:  top- Ottobre Design 03/09 #38 "Seahorse" swimsuit  bottoms- Kwik Sew 3998, view B
sizes:  top-128  bottoms- M 7/8
mods:  a bunch!  see below

tankini beach week 1

Since BK is so enamored by Kwik Sew 3998 I modified the pattern to make the bottoms.  I used pattern pieces 15, 16, and 17 and then added a waist band with elastic.  I could have made the tankini top with the same pattern but I wanted to use an old favorite...Ottobre Design "Seahorse".   Last time I sewed this BK was in a 110!  I cut the pattern off right above the leg openings to make it into a top.  The straps are also applied a bit differently than the pattern calls for.

tankini beach week

BK chose a pink/white polka dot tactel/nylon from my stash and I paired it with a solid pink that Rachel Le Grand from Nest Full of Eggs so kindly sent me.  Thanks, Rachel!

bikini beach week

patterns:  top- Jalie 2564, view B  bottoms- Kwik Sew 3605, view C
fabric:  swimsuit fabric from Hancock Fabrics
sizes:  top- I  bottoms- small
mods:  didn't do the adjustable straps on the top

bikini beach week 2

Jalie 2564 is out of print but it includes a long camisole with shelf bra, double front pull on bra, and bikini or brief underwear.  I originally purchased this for the long camisole but the pattern sat and sat until I this past year when I pulled it out to make underwear for the little girls.  I've made 11 pairs (I think!) and the girls love them.:)  Back to the bikini, MG requested a bikini top that was straight across.  I debated drafting one but then realized that I could use the Jalie pull on bra pattern.  I did add elastic to the binding to ensure a snug fit.

bikini beach week 1

I added a little green tie to the front of the bottoms so that they tied in with the top better.  If I had had more time while sewing these, I would have added a green waistband.  MG loves the Kwik Sew boy wedgies when you jump into the pool! 

pool jumping 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Captivating Comino Cap Top & Dress


Comino Cap Top
Amanda, the guru behind Kitschy Coo, has released another fabulous knit pattern! This one is called the Comino Cap Top & Dress.  There are 4 different variations:  a sweetheart seamed top, a single piece cap sleeved top, sweetheart seamed bodice + a-line skirt dress, and a single piece bodice + a-line skirt dress. 
comino cap top
I always look at pattern testing as an opportunity to try new fabric combinations.  K has a lace back white t-shirt that she dearly loves but it was showing it's age.  So, my first size 1 try was a sweetheart seamed top with lace for the upper bodice and back.  Sadly, that one didn't fit K (luckily it fit her friend) so no pictures for the blog.  When it came time for me to sew one of the last pattern revisions, I pulled out some of the stretch lace and paired it with a black cotton/poly interlock.  I love the finished top!  It's a dressier version, something my wardrobe was lacking.

Comino Cap Top
This one was my first Comino Cap Top in a size 4 and one of the earlier versions of the pattern.  The flower print interlock was leftover from a birthday gift I sewed a few months ago.  Not my usual style...I definitely wear more solids...but it makes a cute summer top!
Day 29 #madeforkidsmonth
While digging through my fabric stash, I came across this interlock print that I had picked up several years ago from Hancock Fabrics.  It was on the clearance rack and a steal at $1.99/yard.  K asked for a dress from it so I did the single piece bodice + a-line skirt dress.
comino cap dress
I may be a bit biased but I think she looks gorgeous in this dress!  I sewed a size 1 for her. 
sweetheart dress back

I really like the Comino Cap dress and tops that I sewed.  I'm sure they will become a staple in both mine and K's wardrobes.  I'm looking forward to experimenting with the pattern and doing a bit of customizing.  Maybe even try a maxi dress length like some of the other testers.  You can get your own copy of the pattern at Kitschy Coo's online shop
*I was a pattern tester so I received a copy of the pattern for free.  However, I fully endorse this pattern and would absolutely buy it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

First Set of Swimsuits for 2014

It's a summer tradition for me to sew new swimsuits for the girls.  This year, MG chose a bikini with boy shorts and BK chose a one piece with a skirt. 

pattern:  Kwik Sew 3605
size:  small (6)
fabric:  Tactel-Nylon from Chez Ami (these 2 prints are no longer available)
I've sewn this pattern many, many times but this was the first time making the boy shorts and bikini top.  The top closes in the back with a swimsuit hook which was a new to me.  MG loves it and it stays in, win!

pattern:  Kwik Sew 3998
size:  8
fabric:  tactel-nylon from Chez Ami (no longer available)
mods:  added an inch in length to bodice fronts and back
I've sewn this pattern one time before for MG last summer.  I added an inch to the bodice length since BK is so tall but I think I would have been fine with out it. 
I can't say enough good things regarding Kwik Sew swimsuit patterns.  I've even used an adult one to make K a tankini top to wear to Daytona Beach (no pictures yet, I'll have to have her wear it around here sometime).   The instructions are clear, the construction methods give a good finish, and the fit is always spot on. 
I tried a Jalie pattern to make boy shorts for me this morning and have to say, it's giving Kwik Sew a run for the money.  I didn't follow their instructions (or even read them for that matter) since I was changing them up a bit.  But the fit is really good.  I'll have to get one of the kids to take a picture next time we're at the beach or waterpark!
Sewing swimsuits is one of my favorite things to sew!  It's nice to be able to get a spot on fit especially since my girls never seem to quite fit in to what's available in RTW. ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breeze Top Tour

Breeze Blog Tour Pic
I recently had the opportunity to try out* a new tween/teen pattern called the Breeze Top designed by Shannon from Little Kids Grow.  Shannon has older kids herself and knows how hard it can be to find sewing patterns for that age group!  Scroll on down to the bottom of the post for a coupon code and a chance to win your very own copy of the Breeze Top.
While MG is a tween by age she still fits into children's patterns so K (my 15 year old) was the guinea pig this time.

size:  12
fabric:  cotton/lycra rib knit and Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush voile
mods:  due to lack of yardage the top is shorter, I didn't cover the elastic in the back

The Breeze Top can be made out of a knit, woven, or a combo of the two.  I chose to sew a knit bodice and a woven 'skirt'.   Per the pattern, there's a back band that you insert 2 cuts of elastic in to gather the back on either side of the racer back.  But I had this soft elastic in the perfect width that was teal.  I couldn't bear to cover it with fabric!
I serged the bottom of the racer back and the top of the back 'skirt'.  To attach those to the elastic, I laid the elastic on top of the serged edges and used a zig zag stitch to sew it on.  The zig zag stitch stretches with the elastic and doesn't pop like a straight stitch would have. 
 A cotton/lycra jersey would be a better choice than the hefty rib knit I used.  But there again, the color was spot on so I couldn't resist using it.  Shannon recommends sewing a muslin of the bodice to double check fit.  Tweens (and teens) body shapes can vary so much even if their measurements are the same.  I confess, I didn't make a muslin....and I really should have.  The shoulder seam doesn't hit on the top of K's shoulder like it should.  If I had made a muslin, I could have corrected that before cutting into my good fabric.  Live and learn! 

I love how light and airy the voile is.  It's the perfect fabric for summer time and hot weather.  It also gathers effortlessly. 
Be sure to check out the other bloggers that are participating in the pattern tour.  There are so many other fabulous versions of the Breeze Top.  Pockets, ruffle fabric, dresses, swim coverups, lattice back, piping...there are all kinds of creative customizations!  Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win a free copy of the Breeze Top, Shannon has graciously provided a discount code.  Use "BREEZETOUR" for 25% off the pattern.  The code is good through 6/27/2014 at 11:59 pm.:) 
*I received the pattern for free but as always all opinions are my own