Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hopscotch Shirts

I made two more pieces from the oliver + s Hopscotch pattern, this time shirts, both upcycled from my old shirts. Neither were actually very old, they just had stains that I was able to work around when sizing them down for Louisa.

The stains on the turquoise one prevented me from using the factory hems so I cuffed it with the oliver + s city weekend interlock that I used for her dress. I cut the bottom cuff a little short and stretched it to fit the bottom of the shirt to give it a little bubble effect.

I was too lazy to change the thread on my serger for the purple version, so it's got pale pink seams, but it's just a play shirt after all.

I highly recommend this pattern! By my third time I barely even had to look at the directions, and since I was able to use the factory hems on this one for the sleeves and bottom, it took me less than two hours from start to finish.

Looking forward to making the skirt some time, too. Louisa will love the pockets.

I think Leo's trying to tell me he's due for the next shirt...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Made by Rae Showoff Bag

This Christmas we travelled to the Dominican Republic with my in-laws for a week. It was my first trip to the Caribbean, my first trip to the beach during winter, and our first time traveling internationally with two small children. It was not easy, but it was really nice to enjoy some sun and warmth during December, and to spend some time with AJ's siblings who all live far away from us.

A few days before we left (while I was scrambling to finish a lot of work, pack, and wrap all our Christmas presents since we weren't returning til the late afternoon on Christmas day), I decided that I really needed a bag to carry. I debated between noodlehead's 241 bag, and her go anywhere bag, but I didn't have all the supplies on hand (the two zippers, the magnet closures) so I ended up deciding on Made by Rae's Showoff Bag.

Ironically the idea behind the bag, according to Rae, was to "show off" some special fabric, and instead I used some old curtain material that my mom just found in the back of a closet she was cleaning out.

Moreover, the top panel and straps are out of an ikea curtain panel that I wasn't using anymore, and I lined it with a thermal curtain from target that I burnt a whole in (trying to keep it pulled back by draping it across a lamp for a few minutes one day).

I downloaded the pattern and printed it at home, had some scraps of heavy-ish interfacing and the small old zipper... so my only cost was the $8 for the pattern itself.

It was pretty quick and easy. I made the zipper pocket with this tutorial that someone else had linked to somewhere.

The only problem was my failure to follow directions (maybe it was the Malarone). Despite Rae's helpful diagrams of suggested topstitching, I somehow missed that step and didn't topstitch around the top of the bag but instead added a second line of stitching down the straps attaching them to the top panels. It looks super messy up close.

But, oh well, I can add the topstitching when I am not feeling lazy, and I might make the bag again and spend more time on my fabric selections and use some even heavier interfacing for the top panels. You definitely need some stiff fabric up there. I thought my curtain panels were heavy enough with the interfacing, but it is still quite floppy.

But the colors were great for the beach and I fit a ton in the bag. The pockets were essential.

I miss the ocean already!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hopscotch Dress

Another great pattern from oliver + s... the Hopscotch Knit Dress! It was my first project ever with knit fabric, and it actually went really quickly and easily. Love that there were only five pattern pieces to cut.

The fabric is oliver + s city weekend park ramble in pink (the same fabric that is on the pattern package--how creative of me!) I bought it (and the pattern) a whole year ago on I made a size 4.

I used my serger for the whole thing, except the basting/gathering stitches and to hem the sleeves and bottom edge. The places where I had to use my regular machine were actually the most difficult. I think I will have to buy a walking foot if I want to do a lot more of these kinds of projects. This fabric was pretty stretchy though, so maybe that was part of the issue.

It looks a little bit like a nightgown, but it is super comfortable and Louisa actually wanted to wear it right away, and the next day, too. Pretty nice when that works out.

Knits are awesome! No buttons, zippers, fraying... plus, they stretch!