Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sewing: Blue Gingham Button Back Bateau (KCW Spring 2014)

Do you ever need a quick fix between big projects? I should be working on Easter dresses right now but I'm using Kids Clothes Week as an excuse to tie up a few loose ends instead, such as this blue gingham Button Back Bateau Neck Top.

I cut out this blouse for Audrey late last summer but didn't get to it and it seemed more suited for Spring anyway, so I pulled it out this week. Audrey helped pick the vintage buttons for the back. I love the pop of yellow.

I added some side vents, but other than that this is a straight sew of the button-back version of my Bateau Neck Top pattern. The button-back version is suitable for wovens!

I think this top is perfect for Audrey. Actually, I like it for myself too. When is "sew for yourself" week?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sewing: Romantic Dresses for Three (KCW April 2014)

I am not always able to sync up my sewing and sharing with Kid's Clothes Week, but it looks like I've got something to show after all! Yippee! Of course it helped that I'd already sewn Audrey's Romantic Blouse (for Katy Dill's Sewing All 26) and Scarlett's Romantic Dress (to wear with her Winnie Shrug), so this was really about a Romantic Dress for Tess! (Nice rhyme, eh?)

I've been working on this pattern for a bit now (hoping for a May release) with a bunch of variations in the sleeves and lengths and even a bottom ruffle option, and as I am wont to do, I wanted to get all three girls dressed up and get some photos. Maybe because I relish the difficulty of coordinating the three and the fraction of shots that turn out and the incredible bliss I feel when I get one or two good ones!

It was nice to find this lush patch of periwinkle flowers to motivate me.  It goes so nicely with all of this Anna Maria Horner fabric. (Tess's addition is Field Study Fine Feathered in Denim Blue.)

Looks like Spring is truly here! 

Hope yours is off to a good start!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sewing: Faux Leather and Fleece Bateau Neck Top

I have some looming deadlines I've created for myself: it's Spring of course, which means Easter is approaching, and a birthday for Audrey, along with big sewing expectations. And I've got a couple other project deadlines thrown in the mix. But, that shouldn't mean I can't dally in a just-for-fun project, now does it?

I have been wanting to add some (faux) leather accents to The Bateau Neck Top, and thought it would be a great pairing with sweatshirt fleece. (And a bunch of other fabrics such as sweater knit or boucle or boiled wool or a medium weight tweed--especially in the button back version.)

Audrey insisted I line the Kangaroo Pocket with the reverse side of the fleece so it would be cozy to use. Smart idea.

I used elbow length sleeves, because that length is my latest favorite. Great for transitioning to warmer weather. Audrey chose to wear it with her camo shorts (from Old Navy) and her new coon skin hat. She's been wanting one and cashed in some tooth fairy money when she spotted it during our Spring Break road trip. A lot of discussion has followed about the differences between Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. Further research is required...!

I purchased the sweatshirt fleece from Harts Fabric last summer (sadly it doesn't appear to be stocked right now). The faux leather was purchased at Joann. It's got a bit of stretch, which is nice for wearability. I used my Bateau Neck Top pattern with the elbow length sleeve, which is part of the Bateau Neck Dress pattern extension, and my tutorial for adding a Kangaroo Pocket.

Just for fun. Hope you are having some fun this Spring too.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Craft: Rainbow Felt Birthday Crown (Tutorial and Free Pattern)

I have made felt birthday crowns in the past, for Audrey and her cousin, and a couple nephews. I love celebrating a birthday girl or boy with a crown. (I've made a flower version too, now that I think about it!) And it's a great keepsake too. So I thought a crown was in order for Scarlett!

It had to be rainbow themed of course. I came up with this rainbow and clouds design on a blue background. And I included Scarlett's initial in the middle so there was no mistaking it was made especially for her.

I think it worked perfectly! I've got a free template/pattern and tutorial here if you'd like to make a rainbow crown too. Click through for the details.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sewing: Winnie Shrug Testers

Spring is officially here, which means summer is just around the corner, and that is why I love this little madras Winnie Shrug sewn by one of my pattern testers, Robyn. I wouldn't have thought of this fabric but it is darling, especially layered over the chambray blouse.

I'm sharing more great versions of this new pattern sewn by my testers after the jump.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cooking: Rainbow Number Birthday Cake

Scarlett's Rainbow Birthday Party wouldn't be a rainbow party without a rainbow cake! I love the rainbow and ombre layered cakes with tinted batter and frosting but I opted for colored candies in rainbow stripes. I used Sixlets purchased in bulk from a local party store and Scarlett was super thrilled about it! She told me over and over again how much she loved her cake!

The cake itself is an almond buttermilk cake with almond flavored buttercream frosting. Definitely over the top and yummy in a rather mind-blowing way, if you are into almond, which I am! I formed the number "5" on top It was definitely a highlight of the party. 

I'm not sure you need it, but I've got a bit of a how-to for making a rainbow cake, and the recipes, after the jump.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Invitations: Rainbow Birthday Party (Free Printable)

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I would exclamation point that, but to be honest, I don't feel all that excited about it. Not trying to be a spoil sport. I just find I can't celebrate all holidays equally. My girls on the other hand... They were very easily amused with some of the mischief they discovered in our house this morning. Crazy Leprechauns. And we did share some corned beef yesterday with family. And we made green rice krispie treats. That ought to be enough I think!

The holiday seems like a good excuse to share this printable though! A rainbow birthday party invitation. I made it for Scarlett's birthday last year, but it was late enough in the season I thought I'd wait for this Spring to share it. So get ready for some rainbow posts.

You can find this free 4x6 printable here on Google drive. It's a PDF, with a backside you can edit with your party details in Adobe Reader. (The front text can't be edited in Reader--too tricky with the color and font changes--but if you have the skills you could do some pasting over with a graphics program.) Then take it to a local printshop, print double-sided, and trim. 

I hope this will help if you have a rainbow party in your future!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sewing: The Winnie Shrug (Pattern!)

Today I'm releasing a new Wee Muses Sewing Pattern: The Winnie Shrug

(And you're getting a not-so-sneak peek at my next pattern: The Romantic Dress. It's sewn in another beautiful Anna Maria Horner design: Field Study Sinister Swarm in Blueberry.)

The Winnie Shrug was inspired by two great British icons: Winnie the Pooh and Queen Elizabeth I! An unexpected blend of childhood memory and staggering fashion: E.H. Shepard illustrations meet Alexandra Byrne costuming. Which is perfect, really, for a well-dressed young girl and her fashion conscious mother. 

This little piece is simple to sew and simple to wear. It's a great piece for transitional weather and layering any time of the year other than the hottest months. It closes with one over-sized button and stands straight up off the shoulders, framing your sweet girl’s face with a bit of drama. Make it out of some of your favorite fabrics--cozy boiled wool (such as this light blue variety I purchased here), a sweatshirt knit or even shearling

Keep it simple, line it with a contrasting fabric (such as this Heather Ross Briar Rose Jersey), add a seam in back, or make it reversible. Whichever way, she’ll make it her own.

The Winnie Shrug is a 31 page PDF file with full photo tutorials for each of the options, but you only need to print the 5 pattern pages. This pattern was tested in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia and is fit to print on letter-sized or A4 paper. 

As with all of my Wee Muses Sewing Patterns, The Winnie Shrug is a premium sewing pattern that: 
  • is digitally graded and drafted for the greatest accuracy
  • includes markings and guidelines for easy pattern printing and assembly
  • includes full-color photo tutorials and step-by-step sewing directions
  • has been heavily tested by seamstresses of a variety of sewing levels.
My great testers unanimously agreed it was a very easy piece to sew with professionaly looking results!

The pattern includes sizes 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18months-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10 years and I've included all pattern specifications in the traditional English units (yards and inches) as well as metric units (meters and centimeters)--hooray! I've also got a section called "Fit Tips" for extra advice on getting the perfect fit.

The pattern includes options for sewing:
  • The Winnie Shrug
  • Seamed Winnie Shrug
  • Lined Winnie Shrug
  • Reversible Winnie Shrug

I have posted about The Winnie Shrug quite a few times before. Scarlett is wearing a teal boiled wool version above with her peacock Skater Dress (from her Halloween costume), but she also wore this in a Winter Wonderland ensemble you can view here.

The very first Winnie Shrug was part of a Once Upon a Thread post. You can view it here and find the original tutorial for an unlined baby sized shrug (with hand drafted pattern for what would be a size 6-12 months in the new digitally drafted pattern).

You can also view a shearling version on Audrey here, and another boiled wool Winnie Shrug appearing in Audrey's "R" outfit (with the blouse version of the upcoming Romantic Dress) here.

I hope The Winnie Shrug will fill a gap in your little girl's wardrobe! You can purchase it in my Etsy shop here.

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