Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sewing: Opera Collar Halloween Cape (Tutorial)

If you've been following, you'll know I don't get as excited about Halloween as many do. When people learn I love to sew they assume that includes Halloween costumes, but for some reason it hasn't. Maybe if Audrey had agreed to be Little Red Riding Hood... Anyway, I haven't been inspired about sewing costumes for it for a variety of reasons, but it changed this year. Scarlett wanted to be a peacock...

I immediately thought of a cape I'd sewn for Audrey one Halloween (my only other foray...) when she wanted to be Dracula and I wanted her to look like a sweet little girl! 

It was a full black cape lined in her favorite color of silky fabric--purple--with an over sized "opera" collar and black satin bow. The cape has been a staple in our play room. It works for all sorts of adventures. And it was really simple to sew.

If first got the idea for the Opera Collar Cape after seeing the Costume Cape made by Amy. She made hers in a fun Halloween print it looks to be the perfect accessory. I love things you can throw on over your street clothes and be the good sport on Halloween.

So I thought my little peacock could use a cape. Something to spark her imagination, which would allow her to fan her wings, provide a bit of warmth on a cool Halloween night, and most importantly, be played with again. It makes for a very theatrical look, don't you think? I love it! Maybe not such a literal interpretation...maybe she's a Peacock Soprano!

The base of Scarlett's costume is peacock dress. Because, again, I like the idea of putting effort into something she can wear again. This is the Little Girls' Skater Dress pattern (which I'd been looking forward to trying, and I loved it!) sewn with some beautiful lycra knit fabric found through this Etsy shop. It is so silky (which also made it a bit slippery but it was ok). I knew Scarlett would love it.

I made her some leggings to go under. These I drafted off a pair that fits her well and sewed with some performance knit I found at Joann. (Another first--leggings. So easy!)

The peacock Opera Cape was sewn with Northcott Peacock Feathers fabric (it has some fun metallic printing) purchased from this Etsy shop and lined with a silky teal fabric I found at Joann. I think it is intended to back baby blankets as I found it near the flannel. Scarlett chose gold for the ribbon at the neck and I think it's just right. And then of course the finale is really that mask! I found it as a mask/fan set here. It's meant for adults but it worked.

Been dying for an Opera Cape? Did I mention this would fit just about anyone?  It's about waist length on an adult. I need to make one for myself for next year. I've got a tutorial here for you in case this is just what you need for a last-minute costume, or maybe it's something to Pin for next year.

Happy Halloween!
(click through for the tutorial)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Party: Flower Crown Birthday Party for Tess

Our sunny Tess turned three at the end of the summer. I had been thinking of some ideas for her party and was leaning towards an intimate tea party colored in greys and fuchsia--a pretty and sophisticated event. 

Then I came to my senses. Tess is so saturated! She needed a party with bright happy colors to equal her personality.

So we threw a dinner party for family with pink, fuchsia, yellow and gold, lots of fresh flowers, and topped it off with flower crowns

I had some Moroccan tea glasses in gold and fuchsia, which I had been saving for some summer occasion, and I thought they were just the thing to group with other glass vases to display flowers on the serving and eating tables.

I found a great linen fabric with oversized orange and fuchsia flowers at Joann to use on the serving table. This is such a fun retro print and it was the bold look I wanted. I'm trying to decide what to do with it next!

I think flower crowns are the ultimate compliment for a young girl--so pretty and feminine and nothing frames the face in the same way. So I made one for the birthday girl and some ribbon crowns for her girl guests. You can find the tutorial here.

We served poached chicken with charmoula sauce, couscous, a chopped salad with red and yellow tomatoes, feta, almonds and this lemon vinaigrette, and grilled bread spread with heirloom tomatoes.

The grilled bread was my favorite! (Though it was all pretty and tasted good.) And it turns out it's a new "like" for my girls, which is a really nice bonus. 

For dessert I made mini bundt cakes. I used an almond cake and almond-flavored butter glaze so they were totally over-the-top if you like almond cake. And I do! I know I just mentioned a favorite, but these little cakes were the real hit!

I served them on colored glass cake stands--one purchased and two DIY (tutorial here)--and there was barely a crumb leftover! Tess probably ate the most, as was her right, being the birthday girl!

I of course couldn't resist sewing dresses for the girls to wear for the party. For Tess I made a Prairie Rose Dress with Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks Voile Coloring Garden. You may recall me sharing a few birthday outfits from this pattern-in-the-works previously (here and here) and it's finally going into testing this weekend! (Update: the pattern is available! Info here.) Scarlett wore the pretty dress, "Look Five" from Five and Ten Designs, which I shared here earlier this summer.

Audrey wore a new design I sewed with Alexander Henry Urban Garden in Lemonade (the perfect name for this party!) and a Lisette cotton print I found at Joann. I love it when you find fabrics that work together this well!

I used another cotton voile Lisette fabric paired with the Little Folks voile to create ruffled table runners for the eating tables. Seemed indulgent to use those beautiful fabrics this way but I just couldn't find something I like equally well! I wanted a full, bright, feminine look and came up with a method for sewing these that wasn't much trouble. I'll have to share it.

It was a fun, beautiful way to spend a late summer evening. An appropriate way to celebrate another year with Tess.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sewing: Hodgepodge Rainbow Bateau Neck Top

Maybe it was due to my unfulfilled grade school longing for one of the three-quarter sleeve rainbow t-shirts (the white ones with the rainbow across the chest and down the arms--anyone remember?) that I was so excited about making a rainbow shirt for Scarlett. 

It's interesting how clothing is iconic of an era. I remember girls at school wearing those rainbow shirts with Ditto jeans, which had seams running up the back of the legs and over the backside (sort of like another rainbow). Wow. Maybe I should have made a rainbow shirt for myself!

This shirt is different though. Scarlett loves rainbows! And picks out rainbow, or multi-colored, fabric often. It's difficult to find good prints in this category, in my opinion. So I was excited to spot this rainbow stripe at funkalicious fabrics Etsy shop. I thought it would be perfect with the happy aqua cloud fabric from Euro Girls Boutique. And it is! 

So there you have it: a hodgepodge rainbow Bateau Neck Top. I love mixing the fabrics this way. I made this top for Scarlett, wrapped it up, and suprised her with it on her birthday. Something handmade just for her. Sewing is so great that way.

Hope you are having a "happy clouds" day.

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