Two of my first projects of this year were, maybe not complete failures, but certainly a chance for me to eat my words (I had told my SIL over Christmas that my sewing is going great and things are generally turning out as I intend them to). I rarely sew for my husband, so I figured for his birthday in January I could whip up a quick pair of grey sweats to replace his favorite, completely worn out, pair of Champions. The combination of that zero stretch sweatshirt fleece (which caught me off guard, I didn't realize there wasn't any stretch at all in something so comfortable) and the fact that I was sewing for him and not a five year old girl really got me off my game. I did finish them and he wears them daily, but they required a full crotch adjustment, several mouthfuls of words I don't want my kids to learn and about five times as much time as I thought I would spend on them.
I am also in the midst of sewing myself a pair of jeans, which I thought I could wing using a pattern I have for stretch pants. Alas, I added much more than necessary to the pattern when I cut it out, used flat felled seams for the crotch when I started sewing and already put in a fancy false zipper with the double needle and have come to realize that the fit is terrible and I am going to have to seam rip those nicely finished areas to make up for it. Ugh.
So I hope these things can just come in twos and that I don't have a third sewing disaster in my near future. In the meantime, I had the excess black stretch denim from my jeans lying next to a spontaneous purchase I had made of a couple yards of this lovely peony print knit that was on a sale rack by the cutting counter (I am such a sucker for this; I just about always impulse buy a yard or so of something whenever I go into JoAnn's). They looked so nice together, I figured they would be making an appearance sooner or later. Then I went back to JoAnn's to take advantage of a sale to get set up for another project I have been dreaming of, and the remnants were 50% their 50% price, so ....
a yard and a half of this lovely stretchy white lace made it into my basket. I also had a red knit shirt in my repurpose pile, which capped off my pile of inspiration (I LOVE being inspired by fabrics):
With all of this coordinating fabric I started planning a mini collection instead of just one item.
So far I have complete three of these items, so without further ado:
Mes Deux Demoiselles
Althea (on the right) is wearing a dress with the muscle tank as the bodice in black stretch denim and an a-line skirt made from the peony knit.
The bodice has one of the peonies cut out and appliqued to it (with a straight stitch since the knit doesn't fray) on top of an appliqued lace heart (attached with a zigzag of white thread).
The neck and arm trim is sewn on in the style of quilt binding, meaning that I folded a strip of fabric in half, and first sewed it to the inside of the garment instead of the outside. Then I folded the trim out and over the seam line and sewed it again from the outside of the garment, there by enclosing the seam. (The denim would have frayed otherwise). I used the salvage for the bottom hem of the dress - I like how there is a thin edge of white along this edge (only the opposite salvage bore the designers info).
As you can see, she can move really well in it!
Fern is wearing two items: a Mademoiselle muscle tank with the front and back pattern pieces cut and pasted a bit. She also has a simple half circle skirt with a two inch waist band.
Worn with the skirt, I think it looks best tucked in.
The lace on the shoulders and the back bodice are all one piece: I folded down the arms on the front bodice and cut out the red knit like that. Then, I trace the folded section onto a separate piece of paper, cut it out and taped this onto the back bodice piece. (I know it would have been easier to cut the pattern piece itself, but now I have it still in one piece for next time)
Well, now I know for next time! This is a great pattern that my girls are still growing into - it fit a little larger than expected on them, but I would always rather have it that way then too small!
They love their "rose princess outfits" and now will get to enjoy them for years to come!