Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Margot Dress and Daphne Knickers

I mentioned the other day that I scooped up multiple Violette Fields Threads patterns during their summer sale. I've got two more of them in action today. One is the Margot dress and tunic, which is one of the few VFT patterns drafted to be used with knit fabric. Since I have been on a knit kick this summer, I felt I needed that one. It is typical VFT in that it is a simple pattern that is dressed up with a few key details that make it special. Margot has a high-low hem with an added ruffle on the bottom and comes in two lengths; tunic and dress. It also has a fancy french cuff sleeve that can be made to coordinate with the ruffle for lovely additional detail. The cuff and ruffle are great places to mix in some woven fabric. I made my version in the softest, most gorgeous french terry fabric from Knitpop however, and I wanted to wrap her in as much of this luscious fabric as possible, so I made the long sleeve version with no cuff. For the same reason, I made the dress length. 

I fully intended to do some selfish sewing when I bought this fabric, but the girls couldn't stop petting it and raving about its softness, so I ended up sewing small clothes with it instead. 
I can make a single yard go much further when it is in size 5t however. She got a matching pair of Bonny Leggings by Made for Mermaids to complete her outfit (they really love having super coordinated clothes in ways that almost make me cringe; I wasn't really thinking these needed to be worn together, but she feels otherwise. The ruffle helps me with this; breaks up the visual a little bit so it doesn't appear quite as pajama-y or jogging suit-y or something. Honestly though, I understand why she loves to dress head to toe in this fabric. She is awful huggable in this!)
 There will be more of these dresses / tunic in our future for sure. 

The other pattern I used recently was the Daphne Knickers. 
Cue googly eyes! I love this pattern. These little pants are so cute. They create the perfect balance of a structured pant with gorgeous details, whimsy, vintage charm and comfort. 
The pant is drafted for woven fabrics and can be made for all season depending on the thickness of your fabric selection. I actually used a knit fabric though, because I had this lovely liverpool (from a knitpop scrap pack)that I felt needed to be used for this. I didn't adjust the pattern at all to account for the stretch in my fabric, because I used a woven fabric to make the ruffles and I sewed the ruffles on with a straight stitch that won't stretch. It worked out fine. 
The one thing I would do differently next time, is probably not make the ruffling strips quite as long. Lining them up and sewing them onto the cuffs and waist was by far the most challenging part of the whole process. 
I actually made two pairs, one for each of them, and they both enjoy wearing them.
 They are soft on the inside and have a comfortable elastic waist which is key in getting these girls to enjoy a pair of pants. We inherit so many pairs of adorable jeans / corduroys / pants with fly's that go unworn. 
It's a comfort thing. I get it. 
I love the compromise these pants provide. They have a button cuff on the bottom that adds a structured detail to the pants without hampering the all important comfort of the waist. (I just sewed the buttons onto both layers of the cuff and omitted the buttonholes. They slide on over their little legs with no problem, and I avoided sewing several buttonholes- hurray!)
 I might even go back and top stitch the cuff down completely instead of leaving the buttons as the only thing holding the cuff closed. Then there will be less of a chance of a button popping off and the cuff flapping open. 

So there you have it! Two of my new favorite patterns for kids.

 I kind of want to make myself a pair of knickers like this, but I haven't convinced myself I can pull it off without looking like I'm off to a renaissance fair. But who cares, right? If I want to wear it and think it is cute, why not. I specifically remember discussing with friends while in high school my style goal for myself: to be able to pull off anything. I wanted to be able to rock any trend no matter how extreme or mundane, no matter what decade it was popular in. 
I think it is probably rare that we look back at the wisdom of our high school selves, but I am going to try to draw inspiration from her on this one. 
I did make myself an adult romper. I am actually wearing it right now, and wore it out in public already today. 
I will have to share that with you soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Love for Violette Fields Threads

     Well, it happened again. I got busy and neglected my blog. Here we are at the end of summer and a wonderful summer it was. We stayed busy for sure, and I even did some traveling with my husband sans kids. We made sure to really appreciate the kid-free aspect and to pack our days with long hikes that the kids wouldn't have been able to handle. But man, I missed those girls. I've been married to this amazing man for ten years this fall though, so it was good for us to go off the two of us like newlyweds, visiting friends and family and both familiar and new exciting places along the way.
      I have actually heard from a friend though, that she has been missing my posts. I have a reader. That feels quite special, thanks Amy. And my sewing machines have stayed a-whirring so there are always things to share. 
       Since I had been showing some love for my favorite sewing businesses when I left off, I figured I would continue in that vein with the always lovely Violette Fields Threads pattern company. I could spend hours scrolling through their website admiring not only their patterns, but their adorable models, the gorgeous photography, and especially the fantastic vintage / bohemian vibe in which it is all styled and pulled together. Even if you don't sew, you will appreciate the gorgeous looks they create for little girls and come away with some style inspiration.
          Most of their patterns are for woven fabrics as opposed to knits, which I think is where most people begin their sewing adventures. This is also nice because it enables a good deal of upcycling vintage fabrics, i.e. pillowcases and table cloths. Most of my good upcycle scores are wovens, I know that. Plus, it can be sew hard to resist the wild and wonderful prints that they put out on quilting cottons. While these fabrics have terrible drape, VFT offers many patterns that feature a panel in the bodice or some other just right place to include quilting cottons and incorporate them into a more complete garment that utilizes different appropriate fabrics in other areas. 
        In case my ramblings are getting confusing, I will try illustrate my point. 
     The Matilda pattern is your basic peasant dress. It has an oversized raglan style top with an elasticized neckline and waistband fitting it to size. I have made dresses like this before without a pattern. But VFT's version has a flutter sleeve option that I was drawn to, along with multiple other sleeve lengths and I have really been appreciating having pattern pieces to trace instead of revisiting tutorials and repeating math and guessing at armscye curves. Plus, they had a sale this summer, so I scooped up a few patterns that I had been ogling. 
       I'm not sure you can do better for a basic summer dress pattern. I always feel like the girls need a fun new dress each summer. We have been heading to a bluegrass festival each year, and it is such a good deadline / excuse to sew each of us something fun to dance in. 
Two Matildas
      Althea's dress is a great example of using a quilting cotton mixed with other fabrics. I could not resist this lilac print when I saw it. 

I also new that I had this purple cutout fabric sitting around waiting to be turned into something, so it didn't take much to succumb to the lilacs. 

I did restrain myself to a 1/2 yard of the lilacs though, and it worked out perfectly for the bodice and flutter sleeves of this dress. It is lined from top to bottom with the (nice and soft) old bed sheet that I used for Fern's Maid Marion dress and I was able to reuse the hem on that. 

The bottom of the punched purple fabric was not going to fray, but didn't look very polished, so I added a purple grosgrain ribbon that I had as a bit of trim detail. 

Since the bodice has black and dark colors and two layers, the dress can get a little hot when it is 95 degrees, but Oh. My. Word. Both she and I LOVE this dress. 
         It has been a go-to for her all summer long and she wears it at least 3 times a week (for part of the day anyway; my kids are outfit changers!) Sure makes a sewing mama's heart smile.
     It's not bad for twirling either.

         Fern's dress worked out better in the heat. A white dress is really the thing for summer time. Especially when you are camping and dancing and sweating for 5 days straight. The thing about white of course, is that it gets dirty. There is no difference between the front and back of this dress however, so she took advantage of that by putting it on backwards for this dress's second showing at our festival! Smart kid. This is a really fun fabric that I bought at Knack, a great little store in my area selling repurposed craft materials. They sell fabric by the pound. Which is amazing. I got yards and yards of this awesome white stuff with teal flowers embroidered on it for about $5. Totally guestimating there, because it has been a while but I'm telling you, this is a great place to find treasures and deals.

Anyways, I did the short sleeved version here. The dress is unlined and I cut the skirt on the selvage to avoid hemming. Man, I love doing that. This had a plain white selvage that worked perfect.

 And I think this became the perfect dress for strumming a ukulele....

Or for watching Rushad Eggleston with your girlfriends...

Or banging on a drum with a large kitchen spoon with your sister...

Or giving said sister a bath with a bubble gun.
Reinventing the bubble bath right here. 

    I will continue with some more VFT love in a more fall related fashion. Soon. I promise.
Thanks for stopping by!