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kcw spring 2014 :: cozy raglan sweater

12 Apr

i had to skip posting yesterday to start/do our taxes (bluuuuugh), but i did have this finish i’ve been excited to share.  it’s so soft you guys!

upcycled raglan sweater

this week’s “sew my upcycle pile” theme stemmed from me sorting through and getting rid of a bunch of stuff that i knew i’d never sew with.  i have a small sewing room and there was just too much STUFF in there.  while i was sorting through it all, i found two banana republic sweaters of mine – they were short sleeved, crew neck sweaters that i wore a ton when i was pregnant with this little miss, but not since because they were all stretched out and not very flattering.

upcycled raglan sweater

however, the material is great – it’s a cashmere/acrylic/other blend that is washable, super soft, and warm.  i had a cream one and a purple one whose colors looked nice together….and the perfect amount of fabric for a new color blocked raglan sweater for the girlie!

upcycled raglan sweater

the pattern once again is the Oliver + S field trip raglan (quickly becoming my most-used O+S pattern!).  i made a 4T for her (cut to full length even though i used factory hems for a little extra growing room).  i tend to use my t-shirt patterns a lot for O but not much for E, but i’m trying to change that because she loves picking out her own skirt/top combos these days.

upcycled raglan sweater

i made her skirt a while ago but never blogged it – it’s just a quick no-ribbon lazy days skirt in Heather Ross’ Far Far Away iii linen/cotton blend.  i was excited to spot it at Center Diamond last spring and it’s such wonderful apparel fabric.  oh and did you see Heather is re-releasing Far Far Away with Windham soon??  can’t wait!!

upcycled raglan sweater

as you may have noticed, i added a self-drafted kangaroo pocket to this sweater.  Liesl talked about doing that here – i think it’s a cute addition to make it look more “sweater-like,” and kids always love pockets!

upcycled raglan sweater

i backed the pocket with a scrap leftover from this dress - a woven so it’d be more stable to work with.  i sewed around it right sides together, trimmed seam allowances and turned it through an opening i left, then topstitched the curvy hand openings.  i figured out placement on the sweater and marked each point with water soluble fabric marker, then covered each of those marks with 1” squares of interfacing on the inside so the weight of the pocket wouldn’t pull and create holes in the sweater.  then i topstitched it on around all but the curvy hand openings.  i used my walking foot for it all since the sweater material was very stretchy and a bit thick.

upcycled raglan sweater

this is the type of outfit that gets worn around here a lot during Portland springs/summers.  our mornings start cool but afternoons are nice and warm, so we layer a lot.  she has a couple cardigans in her wardrobe but no pullover sweaters, so it was a nice addition.

honestly though, i’m kinda bummed this new-and-improved version isn’t my size!!

you can see all my kids clothes week projects here.

kid's clothes week

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kcw spring 2014 :: postman shorts

10 Apr

i’m just gonna start off with the silly photo.

postman shorts

this guy’s a pro.  in about 30 seconds he goofballs his way through a photoshoot and then he’s on with his day.  such a crackup.

postman shorts

anyway what am i talking about?  shorts.  he doesn’t want to wear anything but shorts.  this started in february or so, the daily fight to get him to wear pants.  at least now temperatures are high enough that shorts are acceptable and i don’t look like a terrible mother for occasionally giving in when it was only 45 degrees outside and raining (he’d gladly wear a giant winter coat and thick socks as long as he could wear his beloved shorts and he’d NEVER say he was cold…kids are so weird).

postman shorts

the pattern is Dana’s kid shorts, a great pattern with lots of sizes and options for girls and boys.  it’s only $8 but super versatile, sews up fast, fits great, and i love it.  he’d long grown out of the ones i made him last year, so i upsized to a 3T and these are too big.  oh well.  pretty sure he’s in the middle of a growth spurt so i’m sure they’ll fit fine by the summer.

postman shorts

the fabric is upcycled, once again, this time from a pair of my old gaucho pants.  remember those?  it was a super unflattering style on me and i didn’t wear them much, but it gave me tons of soft corduroy fabric to work with here!

postman shorts

i wanted to add a little extra detail, and he STILL loves to wear his mini kingsley zissou outfit, so i added some bias tape from my grandma’s stash centered on the side seams to try for a similar look.  when i was done i realized they reminded me of US Postal Service uniform shorts.  but they’re still cute on him, i think?

postman shorts

didn’t add anything else…just basic, comfy shorts for him to grab and put on in the morning.  he usually comes out of his bedroom fully dressed these days, such a funny kid!

by the way, do you remember which outfit his shirt came from?  the answer!

you can check out all of my KCW projects here.  i’ve got some girl sewing up next!

kid's clothes week

kcw spring 2014 :: baseball raglan

8 Apr

i think we can all pretty much agree that the best part of sewing for our kids is indulging their idiosyncrasies and obsessions, right?  for instance, if your kid insists on dressing like a “sports boy” most days but thankfully doesn’t know about brands yet, you can go ahead and make him a shirt with a baseball on it and he will be one happy camper.

baseball raglan

i upcycled my old tank top plus a maternity shirt whose blues complemented each other nicely.  since this KCW has a “mini me” theme, i’ve decided to use fabric from my upcycle stash as much as possible this week.

baseball raglan

the pattern is the Oliver + S field trip raglan tee (available with cargo pants or standalone) sewn in a 2T…but i used existing hems and still cut the shirt body to the cutline (even though i didn’t have to hem it) to gain a bit of length and make it fit more like a 3T.  i also cut the sleeves to be short sleeves (the pattern comes with long sleeves) and preserved the existing hems there too.

i only had the baby’s naptime to sew and he’s an unpredictable napper, so even though i should’ve made the 3T outright, i sewed what was already traced out on my table.

baseball raglan

aren’t those blues nice?   i love that raglan tees make color blocking so fun and easy.

baseball raglan

on the front, i freezer paper stenciled a baseball.  O is quite the little t-ball player (in our backyard) and i knew he’d like it.  i just sketched it super quickly onto freezer paper (after my basketball and soccer ball attempts didn’t work), drew over it with a sharpie to thicken the lines a bit, then quickly cut it out with x-acto knife.  i wanted it to look a bit messy/sketchy like i’ve been seeing around the Pinterests lately.

baseball raglan

i showed it to him and he said “oooh can i put it on right now?!”

woo!

baseball raglan

now maybe i can clear a couple 18-24 month shirts that he still squeezes himself into out of his drawer?

baseball raglan

the littlest fella actually napped long enough for me to start some shorts for O, too.  i went into this KCW cold (nothing cut out or prepped and only vague ideas of what i want to make) so i’m just taking it as i can.  if the baby sleeps in his bed for any stretch of time, i’ll sew like the dickens!!!!!

kid's clothes week

seersucker bodysuit

4 Apr

are you ready for a generous friday serving of chubby baby legs?  thought so.

lullaby layette bodysuit

those adorable gams belong to my nephew, who is once again modeling a pattern i tested for Oliver + S – the bodysuit from the Lullaby Layette Set.

lullaby layette bodysuit

the pattern recommends light to medium weight woven material (though it can also be sewn in knit too as Tara shows!).  i knew i wanted it in a lightweight fabric, so i used an orange and gray plaid seersucker from Hancock Fabrics (with Jess again!) and tried to cut carefully because I still want to make a shirt for O with it too.  it’s a great summerweight shirting.

lullaby layette bodysuit

i made size 3-6 months for my 4 month nephew (just like with the jacket) and it fit him pretty loosely.  in my opinion the tester version’s shape was a bit too bubbly for boy babies and think it may have been slimmed down a bit in the final version, but i’m not sure.  it still looks mighty cute with pants!

lullaby layette bodysuit

all the snaps (6 here, 3 on the jacket) got me pretty comfortable with those even though snaps have been a dreaded technique of mine forever.  i think the fact that i sprang for these pliers (affiliate link) made a huge difference – they work way better for me than the plastic snap set you have to hit with a hammer and just feel more accurate, too.

lullaby layette bodysuit

while i always seem to take forever to sew plackets, the instructions on this one were clean and clear (of course) and the elastic casings at the legs were frustration-free too.

i think this bodysuit would be super cute sleeveless in stripes for summertime like a little old timey strong boy, or with a little peter pan collar added (for girls, obviously).  also if you didn’t catch Cherie’s tutorial for adding ruffle sleeves, go check it out!  so cute.

hey spring kids clothes week is next week!  did you sign up yet?  i can never help myself and always end up sewing for KCW, even when my sewing time is super scarce like it is these days.  might just need to keep it simple again.  O had a growth spurt which has made getting him dressed in the mornings a bit difficult, so he’s sort of my priority #1, though it’s always hard to resist pretty dress sewing too!!

postpartum pencil skirt

1 Apr

the annual fundraising auction for Em’s school was a week and a half after C was born.  we hadn’t planned on going because it was just days from my due date, but they offered up a bunch of much-needed volunteer hours just for attending and since C arrived a bit early, we decided that i could snuggle him in the moby wrap (affiliate link) and he’d sleep the whole time.  we figured we could just bolt outta there if things got to be too much for me or the little guy.  this is the sort of potentially delusional confidence you get when it’s kid #3 i guess.

i THOUGHT i had a dress that would fit and look halfway decent on my newly postpartum figure while also allowing me to still nurse C if the need arose, but i did not.  nope.  not at all.  so of course – i sewed something!

gray knit pencil skirt

this is the outfit i wore that night, though the photo was taken over a month after the actual event.  my belly still looked about 4 months pregnant the night of, oh so cleverly hidden by the wrap/baby/flowy shirt combo.  oh and i wore flats for comfort/safety that night but in the photos i’m wearing heels because they look better.  ha! the immediate postpartum period is a very hormonal and delicate time – you’re not pregnant but still look like it and it can lead to a lot of self-consciousness, ya know?

gray knit pencil skirt

the pattern is megan nielsen’s awesome ruched maternity pencil skirt.  this time i made a medium, and i once again skipped the ruching.  i put my striped maternity version on, then folded the top down to where i wanted it to hit my not-pregnant-anymore waist (eliminating the belly panel and high back).  i marked the desired waistband with pins, then carefully took it off and laid it over the pattern to determine how much to chop off the top, while still leaving room for the elastic and seam allowance.  then i just constructed as usual, which takes no time at all.  i think i made it in about an hour the day of the auction while my husband held the sleeping baby.

gray knit pencil skirt

the fabric is a midweight super soft gray pinstripe knit from Hancock Fabrics that I got in California last fall while visiting Jess (we both got some – she blogged about hers here with better lighting!).  the forgiveness of the knit made up for my slapdash pattern alteration, i stayed super comfortable, and felt as cute as i possibly could’ve that soon after having a baby while still giving me the function i needed.

gray knit pencil skirt

thank god i how to sew.  this quick and easy project saved me some major “GAH MY BODY IS WEIRD AND NOTHING WILL WORK – THAT’S IT WE’RE STAYING HOME!” hormonal tears for sure.  and seriously – knit pencil skirts are so cute and SO comfy.  i wore that maternity one way more than i expected i would and always felt great, even at 30+ weeks.

i sewed this skirt out of necessity weeks ago, but recently i’ve really been feeling the urge to sew more for myself again as i’m starting to look and feel a bit more normal.  why does this always happen to me right before kid’s clothes week??

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