Hot Air Balloon Peasant Top

This is the top that I mostly made on the last day of Kids Clothes Week. I had finished all but the hand stitching on the applique which I finished up Monday morning. Naturally, it is Friday before I manage to take pictures and post. 🙂

I love all the things I made for KCW, but this one really expresses my true aesthetic more than the others. The very neutral base fabric, with just a small pop of muted tones, throw in a little imperfect hand stitching and I am smitten.

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The main fabric is a cotton that I picked up at Hancock’s on super sale on MLK day. I think it was 2 something a yard. I’m not even sure what it is except that it is 100% cotton. It was next to the muslins, but looks so different and was the only one that seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. Perhaps it is just a looser woven muslin. I don’t know, but I love the loose nubby texture going on.Image

The fabrics for two of the balloons are Hello Pilgrim Jewels in two different color ways. The largest balloon is a scrap of silk that I dyed eons ago in college.

I really enjoyed KCW. It was a great motivator to make some things for Norah, and hopefully next time around I’ll make some things for the boys as well.

KCW- Modified Peasant Top

This top has been in the works for some time. I’ve been trying out different ways of modifying the basic peasant top/dress. I love the ease, but wanted to try and get a more polished look without upping the work too much. I have gotten a couple of looks I like now, but I’m not sure I succeeded in keeping the work low!

I initially intended to put a rounded collar on this, just like the Little Folks dress, but once I got the main body sewn together and saw it hanging there I knew I wanted a more square neckline. I turned to bias tape and between this top and another similar one that I’m working on for my niece I must have attempted to put on binding at least 6 times! Of course I had to rip it out each time. I don’t have to tell you how fun that was, right? If I weren’t so in love with the way this fabric comes together in this little top or if I had enough of the fabric to just start over I probably would have cut it into scraps long ago. It’s not that I’m a quitter, I just don’t have time for all these little hiccups!

So, I still don’t know exactly why the bias tape didn’t work, but I finally gave up and just made a fitted squared piece. I kept it pretty thin so it wouldn’t be that different from binding.

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It’s not perfect (so don’t look too close!) but, I do adore this little top. I had no idea what I was going to do with this fabric when I bought it, but now I want to buy more! It’s from Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Voile and it comes with 4 large squares (the front and back) and 8 little squares (sleeves) per yard. I just love looking at it and thinking about how those squares might come together in different projects.

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So this wraps up KCW for me. I did start on another peasant top last night, but didn’t quite finish. It’s totally sewn together, but I decided to do a bit of hand stitching embellishment while watching Sherlock. Perhaps, not the best idea if you really want to finish, but what a great show! I’ll be sure to show the finished top here when I finish it, hopefully soon.

KCW Day 5- School Photo Dress

Today is actually Day 7, the last day of the challenge, but this dress was finished on Day 5, hence the title.

So, I love how this dress turned out! I wanted to used this beautiful brown wool suiting that I had, but I was concerned about it irritating the little girl’s skin. It’s not terribly rough, but I didn’t want her to be uncomfortable. The bodice of the dress is lined so that wasn’t a problem, but the sleeves and neck are not. I opted to use some very soft voile for the lining, the sleeves, and the neck. I was going for the look of a jumper over a blouse and I think it worked out pretty nicely. There is another option for this dress that I actually prefer with a looser sleeve and a not gathered neck. I decided to go with this view because I felt it looked more like a blouse under a dress. I’m happy with how it turned out.

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There is one thing I would have liked to have done differently. I would love to see this dress with a peter pan collar. I knew it would take more time to get it all figured out and this was my first time using this pattern so I went ahead and did it as written. Here’s the back.

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One of the reasons I wanted to make this dress was for the invisible zipper. I don’t love following patterns, but Oliver + S patterns are so well written and often include techniques and explanations you don’t see in other patterns. Anyway, I know I have put in an invisible zipper before (it might have been about 8 years ago), but a few weeks ago when I attempted one on a pillow cover I ended up with a big mess which is now buried at the bottom of the fabric bin! If it hadn’t been some of my natural dyed fabric I probably would have chopped it up for scraps, but instead I determined that I must be doing something wrong and put it away until I had time to figure out what that was! There is some puckering around the zipper from the stretch of the wool, but I don’t think it looked as bad on her as it does in that photo.

Here’s a shot of the kangaroo pocket. My seams didn’t line up perfectly on this, but I didn’t stress over it, because I know that it’s never going to just lay flat when she’s wearing it. Lot of mistakes get covered up by children who are too busy to slow down!Image

Now here is Norah in the dress. She seemed to be pretty comfortable in it and it didn’t restrict her movement at all.Image

Unfortunately all the pictures of her standing in it were quite blurry. She was more wobbly than normal during the photo shoot. Here’s one of the blurry shots so you can see how the dress fits.Image

I’ve got at least one more post coming to show you what I finished up last night and possibly another if I get in a quick little hour project sometime today.

KCW Day 6- Little Folks Dress with Gathering Pocket

Day 3 and 4 were a bust for various reasons, but day 5 I made a comeback and finished the School Photo Dress! Unfortunately, I am not showing that to you just yet, because I want to get pictures of it on Norah. Instead, this post is about another little dress that I finished up today. It was actually pretty well along before KCW, but it’s just been hanging on the wall until I could find the motivation to finish it. Today, I put on the pocket, hemmed the sleeves and bottom of the dress, and traded out the button I had previously put on it.

I sort of drafted my own pattern for this. I started from a basic peasant dress pattern and made adjustments to put in the yoke and the button back. Here’s the front.

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The inspiration for the pocket was little girls everywhere lifting their skirts to gather shells or rocks or acorns. There is elastic along the top so it can actually hold a bit more than if it were just totally flat.

Heres the back.

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I’ve been having a lot of fun with several fabrics from the Little Folks collection that I picked up after Christmas. The sleeve fabric is actually Joel Dewberry and I think it works really nicely in this dress. I think it’s from the Heirloom collection, but don’t quote me on that.

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The first button I put on was a cream cut-out octagon and it was so very pretty, but it was difficult to slide the ribbon loop over. This one will be much easier in use. Hopefully this will fit Norah this summer, but I’m not too worried about when it fits her. There’s bound to be a day she can where it in just about any month. After all, it was 63 on this February 1st in Tennessee!