Nov 28, 2013

a confession and a cutie

Let me begin with a confession (because it makes me feel better): I am terrible at balance.  Not only do I frequently fall over with only a slight push, but I also allow one part of my life to take over at the expense of other parts of my life.  I am deeply thankful for Thanksgiving because it has given me a much needed break from my job, which has been rudely demanding more than its fair share of my time and attention lately. When this happens, there are other things that get pushed to the back of my skull.  One of those things happens to be haircuts.  Cara can go for a while without incident, but Colin has this crazy mass of stick-straight blonde mop that really needs a cut about once a month.  The other thing that I forget about is picking up toys.  Why should I pick them up when I know without a doubt that the children are going to wake up too early the next morning and pull them all back out?  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result or some other pithy something-or-other...anyway, there are other things I would rather do than spend my time putting away toys.  I say all of this to explain the pictures that follow.  The boy is cute regardless.

Even though being a teacher is sucking away my time, I have stolen a few moments to sew up the Art Museum Vest and Trousers by Oliver and S for my boy.  This might be my favorite Oliver and S pattern yet, and it's not just because the resulting garment is amazingly professional.  It's all about the welt pockets.

This was not my first welt pocket experience.  I attempted two single welt pockets on my Sweet Shorts, but they felt too complicated and the final result was far from perfect.  Wearable, but not perfect.  However, the Oliver and S method for welt pockets is perfection.  Trust me on this, you can do it.  Even though I knew some of the basics of sewing when I started out, I feel like I learned to sew from Oliver and S and developed the confidence to start sewing for myself.  Liesl Gibson is a genius at writing pattern instructions.


Colin is a big fan of layers.  I cannot believe that this boy has clothing opinions at 20 months, but he does.  In fact, his teachers at daycare have to bribe him to take off his coat in the mornings.  I placate him with old man cardigans and now, vests.  A whole new world of layering.  We love it.

The vest is definitely the wow factor in this pattern, but the trousers are not too shabby.  They have lots of professional details like back welt pockets (!!!), front slant pockets, and even belt loops, which I skipped because Colin does not yet own a belt.  

The details:  I used a super soft corduroy for this outfit, and I'm really happy that I bought way too much...Simplicity 2451, I'm looking at you.   I cut a 2T because Colin's last little fall outfit is just barely hanging on at 18-24 months.  This vest would not have buttoned if I had not sized up, but Colin is a delightfully chubby toddler these days.  I chopped off three inches from the length of the pants, and they fit perfectly.

One word of warning...little boys who know they are cute will get into lots of mischief.  Just so you know.


Nov 2, 2013

a princess and a tiger

I spent most of October resolved not to sew any Halloween costumes.  Costumes are too temporary for me to feel justified spending hours and hours putting them together, right?  Well...guess what I ended up sewing at the very last minute?

This is what I like to call an "Ariel-inspired" princess gown.   After Cara and I went to see my school's fantastic production of The Little Mermaid, Cara was sold on Ariel as her Halloween costume.  I assumed we would be able to find a lovely Princess Ariel dress at a reasonable price, but I was sadly mistaken.  None of the Ariel costumes we found were lovely or reasonably priced, and then PJ pointed out that if I made Cara a princess dress, she could wear it again when we head to Disney World later this year.  Cara loved that idea.  And so the brainstorming began.

Cara made it all sound so simple.  "Mom, all we need is a green fish tail and little purple seashell boobies!"  *Ahem.*  I decided I wanted this to be a full gown that hinted at the mermaid tail without looking too fishy.  I ended up hacking the Leila and Ben Sweet Dress pattern, adding an elastic casing at the waist and just below the knee.  I also left out the elastic at the bottom edge of the sleeves.

I used about half a yard each of teal satin, purple satin, and some sheer sparkly purple stuff.  I layered the purple satin and the sparkly stuff for the bodice and left the sleeves sheer and fluttery.  

At the bottom, I used about a yard of tulle, layered and lightly gathered.  I used some ribbon to create the casing for the elastic and cover the itchy raw edge of the tulle.  This ended up being a quick, easy project, and I was quite pleased with the results.  

Cara was quite the happy princess.

Colin got a hand-me-down tiger costume, bless his heart.  When he can tell me what he wants to be, I will gladly sew up a custom costume, but he was perfectly happy to be a tiger this year.

a slightly drooly tiger...blame it on those tiger teeth

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