reiny days and mondays


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Valentines shirts

If you know me or have been a reader for any length of time, you’ll understand why I needed to make Liam a Valentines’ Day shirt. It’s because novelty cotton prints are my life.

We’ve been snowed out a bunch lately – yesterday was a snow day (I am able to do work from home though) and today I decided to leave a bit later to allow for the icy roads to melt some. Of course both days I woke up before 7am anyway. After nearly three years of being a mom, I am simply incapable of sleeping in.

So naturally, this morning I woke up and sewed up a shirt for Liam! I may have been feeling guilty because I made a shirt for myself yesterday (scroll down to see it!) instead of making valentines for his little friends at daycare. (Because of the snow day(s), they’re doing the party on Monday so SCORE, I get the weekend to make valentines!)

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I used the Oliver + S Sketchbook pattern that I’ve used a million times.

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The fabric is from (where else?) Jo-Ann’s and is probably on sale/will be on sale soon. I believe I paid around $3 a yard a few weeks ago.

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I decided to finish the hem and armholes with bias tape. I think it is especially helpful for the curved hem of the Sketchbook – I often have trouble making the hem lie perfectly flat by just folding twice and sewing the them down.

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I took a few shortcuts because (a) it’s a novelty shirt, and (b) I was short on time!

1. I didn’t use any interfacing. The shirt seems fine without it: the placket is stiff enough, and the collar is a bit floppy but suits the casual nature of the shirt.

2. I used pearl snaps instead of buttons. I’ve fallen a bit out of love with the snaps since I finally learned how to do button holes, mainly because my snaps pliers are pretty unreliable. I think I ruin 3 snaps for every one I actually get to attach properly. I will probably replace the snaps with real buttons.

3. I didn’t attach the pocket but may do so later!

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I cut a 3T and added an inch to the bottom because this boy is getting so tall! I just the let the hem out of those gray pants a couple of weeks ago and I think I have to do it again!

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Sorry, you’d think I’d clean up a bit for pictures… but no,  you’d be wrong. But THAT SMILE THO.

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Obviously I made myself a shirt with the same fabric. This is the Laurel top, except I redrew the side seams  for some extra ease and added another inch to the hem. Super comfy!

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For some reason Liam was happy to pose this morning! Success!

valentinelaurel3Happy Valentines’ Day, friends!

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Laurel Top in Rosebed Pomegranate

I’m officially a Laurel convert! I loved the fit of my Laurel dress so much that I had plans for a top immediately after finishing it! I was surprised the top had no closures and, while I should have made a muslin, I decided to just go ahead with it and add a zipper if necessary.

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It fits! And it’s really comfortable.

I used bias binding to finish off the neckline, sleeves, and hem and machine stitched them on rather than by hand. It’s not as fancy-looking but I don’t think it really has to be for this top.

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This fabric is Rosebed Pomegranate by Juliana Horner for Jo-Ann’s. This line is just so good.

I did lower the bust dart points two inches and I think they’re perfect now.

I almost always use french seams when I sew up the shoulders. Super neat! I rarely have the patience to do that for too many seams though… not when my serger is so handy! I did serge the back seams separately and pressed them flat.

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Love this top! I really want to make a few more. I will say that since I started sewing for myself, I’ve made almost exclusively dresses and well… sometimes a girl just needs some separates.

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I Heart Laurel!

It’s been a long time coming, but I love Colette Patterns now.

I bought the Laurel pattern half a year ago and had grand plans to make it in a gray shot cotton. Unfortunately I didn’t realize how SHIMMERY the fabric was when I ordered online, and the more I sewed, the more the dress started to look like something Donna Summer would have worn at one of her concerts. I tried to tone down the nightclub feel by cuffing the sleeves and adding pockets but I just was not feeling it. It was my most embarrassing UFO (and trust me, I kind of looked like I came from a UFO when I tried it on) and I just shoved it to the bottom of my scrap pile.

The silver Laurel has since been Frankensteined into several beloved pieces – soon to be blogged! – but I have revisited the pattern and did it RIGHT this time. And I love it!

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I found this pretty hunter green fabric at Jo-Ann’s – I think it’s elegant and sweet at the same time, which I don’t find too often there. Even Kevin commented that he thought the fabric was nice! Win!

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I think the sleeves are just perfect. I love the slight puff, and the length is exactly what I want on all my blouses/dresses. I don’t like sleeves that are too loose, nor do I like super tight sleeves (ok who does?)

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Once again I think this is a dress that looks better belted on me. I would probably take in a bit more on the back darts if I wanted a more close-fitting dress that I would always wear unbelted. One other note for my next Laurel – I want to shift the bust darts down about an inch as I think they hit me a bit high.

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I bought enough fabric to self-line the dress and I think that was a good choice! Not that anyone will ever see it, but it looks so beautiful on the inside too! The doubled fabric also gives the dress a lovely weight that makes it feel more substantial and a lot less “homemade”. I took care and did ALL the handstitching that was recommended in the instructions – the bias binding on the sleeves, neckline, and the lace hem tape – and it looks amazing. Good call, me.

I DO need to get an invisible zipper foot! I did my best with a regular zipper foot and it’s not terrible but certainly not invisible either. Of course I didn’t get pictures of the back but rest assured, you don’t need to see my backside after Thanksgiving.

Anyway the reason why I finally pushed myself to get the Laurel done is because I’m planning on making the Albion coat for myself! Now that I’ve made a wool duffle coat for Liam and sewn another Colette pattern, I think I’m as prepared as can be for the Albion. I’m sure I’ll be too busy with other projects in the meantime so I’m waiting for the sew-a-long that I hear will be happening after the holidays. Can’t wait!