First Champagne.

Friday, March 30, 2012

If you're a fan of The Sound of Music, as I am, you're already singing the part of So Long, Farewell where Leisl asks her father, Captain von Trapp, for champagne.

So long, farewell
Au revoir, auf Weidersehen
I'd like to stay
And taste my first champagne

The Captain, of course, answers with an emphatic, "No."  Different story at my house, where Big Sister recently tasted her first champagne. 

Before you start dialing CPS, rest assured that we don't serve our kids real champagne.  Sparkling wine is just fine for them.  Totally kidding.  It was sparkling peach juice in a very fancy bottle.  For a kid who's never cared for sodas or anything carbonated, this first taste of "champagne" was a big deal.

Yes?  Really?  Dada, you're supposed to say no.

Okay, cheers!

Should I really do it?  I'm not so sure.

Here goes...

That was fun.  More, please!

What was Little Brother doing during all of this, you wonder?  He was doing what all superheroes do -- putting on his underwear OVER his pants.  Naturally.

Spring Peasant Dress.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Now that spring has sprung, I've been on a mission to master the peasant dress.  Peasant dresses are quick and easy.  I like that.  The simple style works well for busy, fun fabric (especially fabric with glitter!).  I like that, too.  And I really like that I can still, just barely, squeeze a peasant dress out of one yard of fabric. 

After looking at a million photos of peasant dresses, I decided that there are two things I consistently see in peasant dresses I like.  One is a narrow, trim bodice.  I have a great pattern with a narrow, trim bodice, which I've sewn a few times before -- the Sweet Little Dress by Leila & Ben.  The other is a sleeve that's not too long and not too puffy.  Although the Sweet Little Dress sleeve is great when finished with elastic, I want to find the perfect, non-puffy sleeve without elastic.  This is my first trial run, modifying the Sweet Little Dress sleeve by shortening it a bit and narrowing the width of it quite a bit.

I wish you could see the glitter in this Japanese import fabric (by Kokka, I think).  It's so cheerful, perfect for spring!

I think this sleeve is a good start.  The length and angles are just right, but next time I'll take out a bit more in width.  Then I think it might be perfect. 

But this is a solid start, and I'm sure this one will be worn plenty.

Next up -- peasant dresses with border print fabrics.  Happy Spring!

Kate's Dress.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Trees are blooming, temperatures are back to the 80s.  Time for Spring sewing!

I finished a cute dress for Big Sister a few weeks ago.  I love projects like this -- divine fabrics, well-designed patterns, skill-building, and a great fit.  

This is the Kate's Dress pattern by Lily Bird Studio.  The pattern contains sizes from 12 months to 8.  I made a 6, because I cut it out ages ago and didn't get it sewn until recently.  Thankfully it still fit my fast-growing girl.  I added the band at the bottom, because I was concerned about length.

The instructions are very clear and never confusing, and the dress goes together very well.  The seam allowance included is 1/4 inch, which seems unusually small for a woven garment, and it doesn't leave any room for adjustments.  It also doesn't leave much room for serging edges, but I made it work.  Next time I make the pattern, I'll probably add a little to the seam allowance -- maybe use a 3/8-inch seam allowance.

I love that you make piping for this dress (and you don't even have to cut on the bias!).  I've sewn with piping before, but it had never occurred to me to actually make it.  And it's easy!  Surprisingly easy!  I could probably still use a little more care with stitching in the ditch on the curves, but I love the texture that the piping adds.

The back is super cute and easy, with buttons.  I adore these handmade buttons from Etsy's from the red kitchen.  The details and colors are great, perfect for this cute little dress.

I used a Moda cross weave fabric, in grape.  I'm not sure if you can see it in the photos, but it's made with bright blue and magenta fibers, which together look purple when woven together.  It feels wonderful, and it's great to work with.  It's a fairly light fabric, so I added a voile lining, sewn right onto the bottom of the facing.  Worked beautifully.  The accent fabric is Lecien Petite Fleur in lavender, which appears to be sold out, but I've linked to a similar one.

Funny facial expression, but you can see the fit.

I think this pattern is worth every penny.  You can achieve totally different looks by putting the accent fabrics in different places (piping only, on flutter sleeves, etc.).  And there's another, more square-shaped bib piece included.  The design reminds me of some of the dresses in Japanese pattern books, but much more cost-effective, and the pattern is in English.

I've got my eyes on some other Lily Bird Studio patterns.  Can't wait to try them out!