Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My First PR Contest, in the bag...

Today was the final day of the PR contest: Sewing For Children.

I was excited to be able to participate and entered 12 items.

From top left: Jalie 2805 Modified, Simplicity 2193, McCalls 5793
From Bottom left: Simplicity 2193, Vogue 1237 Modified, Simplicity 3859

This was my first contest on PR and it was a lot of fun to work on these and to see all the other kids clothing entries!

A Long Story for a Little Jacket

One day earlier this summer I was sitting at my laptop in our family room, scrolling through the review gallery on PR. I came across this review of Vogue 1237. SewWil did a fabulous job and I sat and admired.

My husband came by so I turned to him and asked what he thought of the dress. He replied (in typical male fashion) that it was fine. Up walked one of our daughters. Husband picks her up to show her the screen and asks "Isn't this a pretty dress?". To which my daughter (the shorter one with the dark, wild hair) exclaimed "YES!!" with an unreasonable amount of glee in her voice. (You see, she LOVES fashion, so give her a chance to oogle over pretty clothes and she gets giddy). Husband next asks her "Should Mommy make that dress?" "YEAH!!" she screeches!

"For Mommy...?" he clarifies.

"NO!!! For ME! A little one!!" she pleads with her giant brown eyes.

Husband and I both laugh, then he turns to me and says, "Well, could you? You could make a little version of that, right? And the adult one for you - you could make matching dressing for all three of you!"


Seeing an opportunity here, my response was "I could, but.... I'd have to get a few things. I'll need to go to the fabric store" (hehehe...)

And that is promptly what I did. I picked up the pattern, seven yards of a beautiful, buttery yellow poly/rayon blend that had a linen look to it. Lining, zippers and matching thread. That was a fun day at the fabric store!!

Then I set out to create a mini version of V1237. At first I contemplated finding a toddler pattern for a woven bolero with a similar shape. However, most of the Big 4 offerings just didn't seem right to me. So after lots of though and analyzing the Vogue pattern pieces, I knew what I was going to do. Scale the original adult pattern down to a toddlers size 3!

To accomplish this, I traced of the size 10 pattern, the size I had determined for myself. I taped down all of the traced pieces onto letter sized paper and cut along the paper lines. I scanned them all into Photoshop and saved each sheet as a pdf.

Then I determined my scaling amount by comparing the bust for a size 10 to my daughters. Per the envelope back, the size 10 fit a 32.5" bust. My girls both measured at 21.5 around the chest. 21.5 divided by 32.5 equaled 66%. I set my printed to scale down to 66% and hit print. This is what I came out with after piecing everything back together:

(the difference is admittedly hard to tell in the photo, but the set on the right is tiny compared to the set on the left)

I really wasn't sure this was going to work for two reasons, 1) I've never scaled any pattern to any size at all, let alone full grown adult to toddler, and 2) simply reducing the whole thing by one strait percentage just seemed to good to be true.

But I really couldn't think of any other way, so I set out to make a muslin. Lo and behold, It worked!! It was a perfect fit. I was thrilled. With the 66% scaling, it worked out beautifully to make the regular 5/8" seam allowances only 3/8".

I got myself in assembly line gear and cut three jackets with their linings plus all three dresses and got to work. Normally I don't have any trouble with this type of sewing; it's just a given that I'll be sewing two of everything when it comes to my girls. But this was challenging to put it mildly. Not only did I sew three muslins (two times to check fit for the girls and once to check fit for myself) but I had three jackets of fashion fabric, with three sets of lining. All told, I constructed this jacket nine times. AH! I was happy to be finished with them.

I paired the girls jacket with view E of Simplicity 3859, a simple A-line dress that I had sewn up once (read: twice) previously with fit adjustments.

The only difference in construction between these and the adult version was my inability to understitch the lining. It was just too small to get in there, So I top stitched these to keep the lining inside and laying flat.

Headbands to match of course!

No more pictures, I'm done! - OK, ok.... I'll just take pictures of your sister with never-ending poses.

And yes, I did make the Vogue dress and jacket for myself too. This is the only shot I have of all three of us together, taken at a convention we attended earlier this month.

My dress took a lot of altering, I half debated after the first muslin to just scrap it and make a different slim fitting dress from another pattern. But I stuck it out and in the end, I felt as though the end resulting dress did not even compare to the original pattern pieces. But I was happy with the fit. More on my dress and jacket in a later post.

Never thought I'd be the mom with matching mother/daughter dresses. If it hadn't been for my husband, these outfits wouldn't be. But now I think I may have to make this a tradition.

Pattern review for the jacket here and the dress here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Long Time Coming - S2193 Final Version (for now!)

I teased a while back about a piece of fabric I had been saving for a while. Saving for a very specific dress for my girls.

I muslin-ed that dress a few months ago and worked out the kinks in the pattern so I was ready to combine the two!

I sewed up these dresses at the end of July, but I got so busy with tons of other sewing that I haven't yet had a chance to photograph or write about it till now.

These dresses were especially made for a three day convention our family attends every summer.

I added a lining to the skirt in addition to all the other changes I made to the pieces and construction from last time. I also widened the skirt by two inches (one inch more that last time) to ensure a nice flowy skirt. I think two inches at CF and CB was perfect.

(Inside lining - nice clean finish!)

(Back button closure)

And of course new dresses need new accessories! I made these headbands to go along...

...the girls really love the headbands.

I paired it all off with these shoes.....
... which all made for some pretty cute little girls!

Pattern Review here (original review here).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Long time, no posting

Whew! It's been a while since posting anything. I've been sewing up a STORM and have lots of great new things to share in the coming weeks.

I'm also getting ready to send one of my twins off to school and will have some school clothes to sew for her soon as well. Please stay tuned!

Giveaway from Monaluna at TRH!

Head on over to Tea Rose Home to meet the designer of Monaluna organic fabrics and enter to win a fat quarter bundle.

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