A portrait a week / week 15 of 52

week 15 of 52/ adirondack inspired

Conner, watching the sun go down.  This boy, who notices every little change of Spring.  We had a lot of doctor appointments this last month, and as we would drive out of town, he would notice that you could see grass in those towns.  When he noticed it, it wasn’t some offhand comment, like ‘look…grass!’  It was an accusatory, glaring “Hey!  They have grass here!”  In the same tone he uses if, say, his sister has a lollipop and he doesn’t.

A couple of days later he informed us that he doesn’t want to live on a mountain…because then spring would come.  He’s right, of course.

It is a time for patience in the Adirondacks.

 

 

 

Sewing: Geranium dress in knit (!!!!!)

I didn’t think I could love the Rae’s Geranium Dress pattern more than I already did.  The Geranium pattern was the first beautifully-finished sewing garments I made, about a year ago.  I remember looking at my daughter, thinking ‘I made that?’  It was a catalyst into the ‘what’s possible…’ arena of home sewing.   I would dress this girl in a Geranium dress three days a week, but like many kids, she prefers knits.  (honestly, she prefers pajamas over anything)

But in a lightbulb moment, I decided to attempt a Geranium out of knit fabric, and it just may be the best decision I’ve ever made.  Dramatic wording completely necessary.  I LOVE this dress.  Hard.  It is the perfect every-day-play dress.

Unlike the original, this bodice is unlined.  Instead, the neck and arms are finished with bands of the knit.  Oh yeah, and it sewed up in about ten minutes.

And just for fun, let’s go through how a photoshoot works, shall we.

anatomy of a toddler photoshoot

First, said toddler has to agree to be photographed.  Toddler always has the option of saying no, running away, falling on the floor in a heap of strong will.  Sometimes toddler is deceptively agreeable, nodding her head and saying ‘pretty dress, pretty dress.’  Don’t be fooled.

Next, consenting toddler has to show you that she really doesn’t want to be doing this, but will suffer for the treat she knows she’ll get when it’s over.  The shoot begins a little like this.

11 (Custom)

“I’ll stand on this stupid box, but I am not going to look at you.  I’ve changed my mind and I want my jammies back on.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Okay, maybe I’ll uncover one eye…but just one.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Mom, stop making pretend toot noises…you are not funny…and I am trying to pout.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Whoa.  Hold the phone…there’s a DOG on this dress?”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Hey Chloe!!  There’s a DOG on my DRESS!”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Oh, look, something shiny.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Haha, nails on a chalkboard is hilarious!  Well, your reaction is hilarious.  Muahahahahaha.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“My feet are pretty cold.  I think I’ll sit just like this for the next five minutes.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“A little constructive criticism for you, Mom, this dress could really use some pockets.  Maybe next time?”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Fine, fine, I’ll turn around.  But I probably won’t ever turn back around.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“Unless, of course, it’s to scratch the chalkboard with my tiny, evil baby nails.”

sewing the geranium dress in knit fabric / adirondack inspired

“I’m done.  All you’ll get from here out are glassy, unfocused stairs. Where’s my chocolate?”

And scene.

What are your photoshoots like?  Any tricks you have up your sleeve?”

sewing: pattern testing for LouBee Clothing

Hot off the presses!  I was lucky enough to do a little pattern testing for  LouBee Clothing line that is almost ready to be in your hot little hands any day now…  It is the latest of Sarah’s hip and modern clothing line, and I can’t wait for warmer weather so the girls can show these tops off.  I’m a bit of a LouBee fangirl, I can’t lie.  I won Sarah’s first pattern last Spring over on Call Ajaire (who’s currently in PR&P, where she does crazy things like make her own fabric!!) and I fell instantly in love.  A trend that is continued one year later, with the Shandiin.

shandinn sewing pattern / adirondack inspired

And the back…  I threw in a little piping here.  It’s such a small little space, perfect for piping.  I have some mini pom-pom trim that I’m dying to use on one of these tops!

DSC_1360_2

How sweet is that cut out?

I haven’t made this girl clothes in awhile, because…well…she doesn’t always seem that excited about them.  She wholeheartedly approves this top, however, and was asking for the photoshoot.

shandiin sewing pattern / adirondack inspired shandiin sewing pattern / adirondack inspired

 

shandiin sewing pattern / adirondack inspired

The box pleat in the front of this is actually how I fixed a botched cutting job, but I wound up loving it.  Happy mistake.

shandiin sewing pattern / adirondack inspired shandiin sewing pattern / adirondack inspired

I love snapping shots of this girl and her missing tooth.

Hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek of the Shandiin…I have a feeling you will be seeing a lot of them all over the place.  As you should!

So, what patterns are you eyeing this summer?  I could use a couple recommendations… !

Details:  I made a size 3T in 4T length.  I can’t remember the exact measurement of her chest, it was a bit over 21.”  Fabric from Jo Ann’s, leftover from this project.

 

 

sewing: japanese clothing patterns

Time to return to sewing some Japanese clothing patterns!  I have been sewing my way through Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids little by little (see here and here), and today is the tiered blouse, lettered G in the book.

This is my favorite item yet.  I love how it looks on her little frame, so floaty and sweet.  Every time I see her spinning and running, it just makes me happy.  She loves this one, too, which is always a nice bonus.  The closure is a fabric tie looped through, and you can tie it at the shoulder or back.  A very sweet design, but instead of leaving it loose, I tacked it down and I loved the fit even more after that little adjustment.  I made the 2/4 in size (her chest is 19 1/2 inches), and if I made it again, I may add a little length just to make sure I got the most where possible out of it.  There is another version that is a dress, So I may be trying that one out soon…

sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspired sewing japanese clothing patterns / adirondack inspiredSlapping up some pics and heading out…because it’s KCW.  I’m not off to sew, more to do a couple loads of laundry before the kids run out of underwear, and maybe wipe down a counter or a kids face.  Something like that.

(Except now all I want to do is sew a little pair of undies…)

Happy sewing everyone!

 

Sewing: Figgy’s celestial tee

Kids clothes week…here again!  I feel like we just did this…probably because my sewing area is still a mess from the last time. Here we go… figgy's celestial tee by adirondack inspired I sewed up Figgy’s celestial tee over the weekend.  It’s part of the PPP#2 that I posted about earlier today, but I kind of messed up the neckline and didn’t want to post it as part of a ‘hey, look at this pattern!’ kind of thing.  I used some interlock that was so incredibly beautiful to sew, with lovely crisp lines after ironing, but not a lot of stretch recovery.  And I stretched this neckline, then seam-ripped it and stitched it again.  For some reason my pleats were crooked, and I had to fix them, which is why I bothered to seam-rip a neckline (blech).  Except that, honestly, I don’t think it would have been that noticeable, as the pleats are such a subtle touch and this print is a tad lot busy.  The only trouble I had, is that my stitches seemed to pull at the pleats a bit.  I may shorten the stitch length on those next time.  I love that this pattern told you want to set your zig-zag stitch at, I’ve never had that recommended before, and I certainly wasn’t sewing with these guidelines before.  Love me some indie pattern designers, you get a pattern and a sewing lesson in one. celestialtee5 celestialtee3 I sewed up the 12/18mo version, or maybe it’s 18/24…?  It was the smallest pattern size.  My daughter has a 19 1/2 inch chest and a 19 3/4 inch waist.  I had to lop off a lot of length on the back, and as you can see it’s still kind of long.  I took off length to the front too, but a little too much.  I always think I’m going to go back and fix mistakes like this, but mending is a rare and boring use of the sewing machine.  Besides, a little baby belly never hurt anyone. figgy's celestial tee by adirondack inspired Oh, and I blocked it, using a solid gray to mix it up.  I like the effect.  These bright colors are making up for our lack Spring we experience in our little corner of the world.  Sigh.   I want to try this shirt out in some drapier fabric, as well. figgy's celestial tee by adirondack inspired

Hosh pants-to-shorts tutorial and PPP#2

Hi there…today I’m over at Imagine Gnats, celebrating the Perfect Pattern Parcel #2!

hosh pants bubble shorts tutorial

Last time around was a collection of women’s patterns, this time we are doing a children’s version.  This parcel is pretty amazing, I can’t lie.  Unfamiliar with the PPP?  It’s a sewing bundle where you choose how much you can afford to pay.  Seriously.  And not only are you buying yourself some goodies, you are supporting indie designers and charity.  More here…!

Oh, yeah, and it’s Kids Clothes Week…so I’m calling this part of it and making myself feel all kinds of productive!

 

 

 

A portrait a week / weeks 12 and 13 of 52

We finally feel like we may be breaking free from winter, it’s hard to believe that a couple of weeks ago, we had this.

A portrait a week with Adirondack Inspired

And then, from last week, this gem.  This is just one of those moments, that when I look back, I will think yes, this is what life was like.  This boy is always all over his Daddy, sitting or standing on his shoulders, climbing up his legs, jumping off him, super-man style above him…  It’s such a part of our every day that I don’t try to capture it.  I think ‘how will I ever forget this?’  But I will.  I’ll forget.  My daughter used to be the same way, and fearless, and that phase ended…when?  Months ago…years ago?  If it is already all faded, watercolor memories, what will it be like when the kids aren’t 2, 5, and 6, but 12, 15, and 16?

a portrait a week with Adirondack inspired

 

Handmade Wardrobe: pre-schooler casual

Continuing on in my quest to sew a wardrobe for my youngest.  Why my youngest?  Because she’s my favorite.

lily

Ha…I jest. (Of course)  Okay, maybe it’s because she requires the least amount of fabric and harbors the least amount of unsolicited opinions on the finished product.  At least, she has the smallest vocabulary.  Not to mention that when I mentioned sewing my oldest daughter’s concert dress, she fell into a heap of bitter tears.  Moving right along…

This little one was quite happy with her new ‘birdy shirt.’  If she sees it, it is what she’s wearing that day.  And I don’t blame her, I love this fabric, and had trouble deciding what to make with it, so in the end it came down to necessity.  Girl needs some t-shirts for the warmer weather that is surely (let’s be optimistic) on its way.  I used the Flashback Skinny Tee pattern and widened it a smidge.  So I guess we’ll just call it a Flashback Tee.   Because if I’m hand-sewing this girl a wardrobe, I’d like it to last more than a couple of months.  I also added puff sleeves to the FBST, and then top stitched a peter pan collar shape, but seriously, you can’t even see that.  I like the concept, in theory, but it really is a non-existent feature here because the pattern is so busy.  Honestly, every time she wears this, I picture it as a little tee and shorts set of pajamas.  I have a feeling they are in her future.

Adirondack Inspired FBST with puffed sleeves Adirondack Inspired FBST with puffed sleevesAdirondack Inspired FBST with puffed sleeves

The pants are another pair of Hosh pants (see here, and here).  I made this pair straight leg, and sized up to get a lot of wear out of these.  I will probably have to go in and shorten the elastic once she is out of diapers, though…the extra padding is definitely helping these babies stay up.  (The pattern calls for buttonhole elastic to make them adjustable, but I just sewed in some regular, old elastic.)  I also added little pockets to these pants after the fact, which was a little slapshoddy and a total hack, but sometimes that method works just fine.

Adirondack Inspired / Hosh Pants with pockets Adirondack Inspired / Hosh Pants with pockets Adirondack Inspired / Hosh Pants with pockets

I love these pants with other, less colorful and patterned, shirts.  A nice hot pink pop with her more neutral shirts is fun to see after this marathon winter.

Adirondack Inspired / Hosh Pants with pocketsAdirondack Inspired / Hosh Pants with pockets

The quick and dirty details…

Patterns:  Flashback Skinny T (3T), Hosh Pants (2T)

Measurements:  Her belly measures at 19 1/2 inches.  (She will be 3 in May)

Materials:  A pink bottom weight, bird and flower patterned knit, and purple ribbing…all from Jo Ann’s.

Notions:  Thread, one-inch elastic

Difficulty Level:  Both beginner friendly, and a more advanced seamstress could sew it up in an afternoon. If you’re a beginner, the most difficult elements would be the neckband of the t-shirt and making the waistband on the pants.  Neither are especially difficult, but they take time when it’s a new concept.  I can’t visualize something until I actually do it, so even though the waistband is not at all tricky AND the pattern has step-by-step directions, the first time I still needed to take my time.  As far as necklines go, they take practice.  Mine is pretty disgruntled and wonky, but at the end of the day it’s just a practice thing.  If you’re new to knits, look for interlock, it’s like sewing a woven!

Oh, and don’t forget to pay your model.  Preferably in chocolate.

Adirondack Inspired