Happy Skater Dress.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I was embarrassingly impatient to get my hands on Kitschy Coo's skater dress pattern.  Amanda, who does fabulous things with knits, kept teasing with photos of skater dresses she'd made for her too-cute-for-words daughter.  Then there were teaser photos from pattern testers.  It was almost more than I could bear.  But now I finally have the pattern in hand, and it's every bit as great as I expected.
It pains me to buy a pattern that Big Sister is already at the top of size range in, but there was never any doubt that I'd buy the skater dress pattern the day it was released.  After all, this is exactly the sort of comfortable and fun dress that every girl loves.  And because it goes together so well, it's exactly the sort of dress sewing mamas love. 
I made the size 7/8 for my big kid, and I'm relieved to say that it fits well.  It's also really nice that Amanda included a line and instructions for lengthening, to help make the pattern last as long as possible.  Rest assured, though, that I'll be experimenting with sizing up, because I know we'll need more skater dresses as this kid grows.
Note that I made one change from the pattern.  Inspired by Emmylou Bee Doo's waist detail, which looks almost like piping, I sandwiched a little band of white ribbing between the bodice and skirt.  Then I stitched that white band down with a narrow zig-zag stitch so it will lay nice and flat.

That fun floral jersey fabric is from Ixat, which I've mentioned over and over on this blog.  Unfortunately, I'm not seeing it for sale anymore (though there are lots of great fabrics that would make lovely skater dresses).  It's got a bit of a Boden look to it, doesn't it?

The skater dress is a big hit.  I'm not sure this kid will ever skate in the dress, so I'm thinking of renaming it the Happy Dress.

Heidi & Finn PlayDay Dress.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

This time of year, my kids seem to want to play outside all day.  So when I found a new Heidi & Finn pattern in big girl sizes (love that!) called the PlayDay Dress, I knew I had to buy it.  Although most of the examples I could find of this dress were in solids or very minimal prints, I pulled some Chez Ami knit fabric out of my closet and decided the pattern style was perfect for a 1960s retro look (Mad Men, anyone?).

I'd been meaning to try out Kitschy Coo's knit binding method for ages, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  It worked beautifully, and I love how it hides the raw edges and gives such a clean, tidy look on both sides.  I did find that it can create a bit of bulk at seams (mostly where the edges of the pockets fold over), but it wasn't anything my trusty Pfaff couldn't deal with.

I love the shoulder detail on this dress.  It's easy to do, gives the opportunity to use fun buttons without messing with buttonholes, covers the bulky seam, and seems to transform a dress that might otherwise look like a nightgown into a fun retro shift dress.

I made the size 8 for my six-year-old because she's enormous.  It fits just right.

She loves the pockets.  Actually, I do too.

Huge thumbs up for this pattern.  I definitely plan to make more PlayDay dresses.  I might even try coverstitch binding on the next one.

My first quilt!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Okay, that's a bit of a stretch.  It's actually a very small quilted wall hanging, definitely nothing like a full-blown bed quilt.  But it involved batting!  My first experience with batting!

Poor Little Brother inherited the gender-neutral farm animal wall hanging that was his sister's when she was a baby.  It hung in his room for way too long.  Time for an upgrade!

So I bought a couple of vintage Superfriends pillowcases off Etsy.

I opened up one of the pillowcases, removed the hemmed edge, and winged my way through creating a mini-quilt.

I quilted around many of the larger stars and around the superheroes.  Batman and Robin!


Wonder Woman!

And this guy!  (There's debate in our house over whether he's Flash or Captain Marvel.  Truth be told, I have no idea who Captain Marvel is; apparently he wears a cape...?)

Although I dreaded doing binding, I found a cheater method that worked like a charm.  I followed this tutorial from Prudent Baby, featuring Rae from Made by Rae.  The backing fabric is wrapped around to the front, folded, and sewn.  I highly recommend it.

In a short time, Little Brother's room was transformed from baby nursery to preschool boy pad.

Unfortunately, I waited too long for the project.  It seems he's moving on from superheroes to bigger and badder things like transformers and Star Wars.  At least now I know how to turn a pillowcase into wall hanging, right?