Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Weekend - Not EVERY day is meant for sewing!

Raspberry trifle our family loves!

Dots and Circles

(Post revised to reflect changes to dress number 1.)

I wanted to make my great-niece a sundress/jumper from the light weight corduroy.  She's a pink girl, and loves polka dots.


Front yoke detail:  I had thought I might leave it plain, due to the highly patterned fabric, but it was very strange.  It looked absolutely blank, so I decided to embellish the yoke.  I wanted "stones", but buttons have to suffice because I couldn't find what I wanted.  First I tried some dark green buttons, but they were shiny, so I went back to the store and got these.  (The color is not really true here, especially for the buttons.)

Later I decided I just couldn't handle those buttons, so I got some varigated glass beads of avocado and cream.  Somehow I failed to take a photo of those, which I regret because I preferred them.

Then I showed it to my daughter who declared the avocado circles were NOT avocado; she said they were taupe.  (I still disagree.)  So we went back to a bead store and found these.  (By this time I had put four sets of things into the yoke and was getting quite concerned about all those holes.)

Front number 4 (final):

It looks nice, and because of the busy print, it is somewhat a shame that anything was required on a garment for a 5-year old.  It will have to do.

Final finished front:

There were small pieces of fabric left over, so I decided to see if I could get a similar dress for a small sweet girl I know out of the remainder.  Sure enough, I could get pieces long enough for a top, and across one end was just enough to make a "lower skirt".

I attached the "lower skirt" and put a row of baby ric-rac over the seam.

When the skirt was done, I found I had enough length to turn it up to meet the seam (completely hiding my hem stitches).  First I put a "permanent hem" in at the bottom, then turned it up and used a "knot stitch" to attach it to the back of the seam where I attached the "lower skirt".  I steamed it a little and pressed down with my hand, but I did not "press" down the hem with the iron, in hopes of causing fewer issues later when it is lowered.

When she grows, her mommie can take out the knot stitches.  If she wants the full length, the hem is already finished.  If she wants less, she can hem it where she likes.  I included the remaining ric-rac so she could cover the line it will leave where the current hem is folded.

I added ric-rac on the yoke to match the skirt. 

Back view:

For this one, I used matching pink buttons to embellish the yoke.  (After my long tale, I rather wished I had used pink buttons for the one for my great niece, above.)

Finished dress:  (This is probably the truest color.)

I like them both!  I already know the little one's mommie loves the dress, and I know my niece loves the fabric, so maybe it's a winner...

[My niece says her daughter likes the dress; I'm not so sure the Mom is crazy about the finished garment.]

Horsies and Cowboys

So, I started out to make a pair of cowboy corduroys.  I was working with denim so I experimented with decorative stitching using 'Jeans' thread.  It worked beautifully, so I purchased the colors I wanted for the corduroy.

First I sewed the fronts to the backs, in anticipation of doing a sort of ropey-lariatey kind of stitch.

Then I began to experiment with scrapes of the actual fabric.  This is the really light weight corduroy and it simply WOULD NOT WORK!  I tried various things on the back, including wash-away and non-soluble stabilizer.  I had no intention of actually sewing it with the non-soluble type as I must keep the back as soft and lump-free as possible.  But the non-soluble kind was only a marginal improvement over the wash-away; the stitches still rose up and sat on the surface.  It was strange.  

My bottom line was:  NO decorative stitching.  So I went to my stash and got the cowboy applique patches I had been saving for some appropriate moment.  

I decided to make a knee patch (again to strengthen the fabric) and applique the horses on to the patch.  I intended to applique the patch BEFORE sewing the patch to the pants, but I forgot.  It is stronger this way, but might be a tiny bit scratchier on the inside--not much.

After I stitched the horse, I ran a row of loopy stitches (rope theme) around the edges to strengthen the patch.  This stitch worked better because it was going through two layers of fabric.

Back view, finished pants.

Front view, finished

After completing the pants, I made a cute top, which has enough room for a long sleeve tee shirt underneath--thus achieving the "look" on that company's website where they stitched a long sleeve tee shirt sleeve into a top exactly like this.  Meanwhile, it has all the flexibility of being a summer top, and with a short sleeve tee shirt, it becomes literally a year-round garment.

Close-up of the cowboys...

Back with zipper

Front (she LOVES the horses!  Didn't mention the cowboys...)

Then I asked her mommie if she'd like a pair of shorts as well, because it's still hot here.  I decided to make these longer than normal, but I didn't know just exactly how long to make them until I tried them on.  Both the young lady and her mommie liked them as long as I had cut, so they are just below the knee.

I decided to use my other cowboy decorations in the knee area near the hem.  (Pant fabric color is true here.)

Top with shorts

Top with long pants

Now I have to decide what pattern to make her other horsey top.  I thought of making a long sleeved dress, but that isn't so flexible, so I will complete this post when I figure it out.



I finally decided to make another sun top/jumper top out of this one.  The pattern is very simple and plain.  I used before here:



This top also matches the pedal pusher/shorts and pants above.

When she got the whole set, she immediately fell in love with THIS one because there are baby horsies with their mommies.  (I should have guess that one...)