The Cutest Romper That Ever Was!

After sewing the knot-tie dress for my older daughter, I was itching to do something in similar colors for my younger daughter, but since she is just starting to walk, I needed something that wasn’t going to trip her up. So I thought I would revisit McCalls Pattern #M4424 that I used to make this romper with. It’s great to use a pattern you have already used before: firstly, all the pattern pieces are already ironed and cut, and because you’ve already done it once, it’s easier the second time around…which isn’t to say I didn’t make any mistakes this time around…but nothing a seam ripped couldn’t fix…ahem…

But really any romper pattern with a separate bodice piece would work for this.

A few weeks ago Hancock Fabrics was having one of their sales, 30% most fabrics. I lugged a whole lot of fabric to the cutting table, and got 1/2 yard to 1 yard of various cute prints to stick in my stash at home. After cutting one particularly cute print, the Hancock’s employee announced the price: about $10 a yard. Me: What? Huh? It was supposed to be 30%-40% off! Her: Nope, not this fabric. Me: Wah! Her: Well, don’t worry, you don’t have to take it. Me: Um, no…my fault, I’ll take it.

It was a super cute bird print and I just vowed to make something worthy of the $10 I paid for it. That’s a lot of pressure for a little romper.

I made some minor modifications – pretending to be the Sandra Lee of home sewing:

- I sewed piping between the pant bottoms and the bodice with the help of The Cottage Home’s tutorial.

- I added snaps at the back closure instead of buttons, saving myself sewing two buttonholes and buttons on: I like the detail of the pearl snaps, but I do admit to having my frustrations with attaching snaps as well.

- I added little side pockets before finishing the bottom of the romper. In retrospect, I wish I placed them higher up on the romper. I followed ikat bag’s fabulous tutorial. If you would prefer another type of pocket, check out her amazing quilt with 26 different pockets including how-to’s.

This is my little one post nap modeling the romper….it’s a pretty difficult task taking a decent illustrative picture of a toddler.

But I think she pulled it off well, don’t you?


Tie Knot Dress & Mea Culpa

I feel bad that I’ve neglected my little bloggie for so long…but I have been sewing…just not posting. Boo! However, I’m super excited about what I’ll be posting about next: This super cute tie-knot dress. It’s a real easy project. One of those dresses that looks really detailed, but is easy-as-pie to make. And it’s very forgiving size-wise: because you can adjust the shoulder straps with just a knot and it cinches around the waist. So I’m sure my Ellie-Bellie will be wearing this dress for another 2 years…when her younger sister isn’t wearing it, that is…

I can also see it as becoming one of my go-to gift sewing project and I can’t wait to whip up a few more of these.

I promise I won’t wait too long to write up a tutorial!

3-in-1 Circle Skirt and Ruffled Halter Top Tutorial

Project Run & Play‘s first challenge was a Remix of Dana’s Circle Skirt. Funnily enough, I had already done my own remix a while back, making a bubble skirt out of it. But this time I wanted to do something a little different, but didn’t change anything about Dana’s pattern. I was inspired by this tutorial (and btw, isn’t the skirt in that post gorgeous?)

Instead, I just added little snaps around the inside of the bottom hem of the skirt, and put the other side of the snaps about 4 inches up on the inside of the skirt.I sewed a total of 16 snaps (which meant 32 pieces in total…arg, it was long work…let me just say, I was able to watch 2 hours of Hoarders while doing this…). Continue reading

Matching Outfits and Photo Shoot!

I can’t remember exactly what was running through my head when Abby was born and the nurse said: “it’s a girl”…but I’m pretty sure that a few seconds after learning that I now I had two daughters, I was already dreaming of matching outfits for the girls.

And the first such occasion was for a family photo shoot this past weekend!

I used McCall’s sewing patterns: LolaLou for McCall’s Patterns M6271 Children’s/Girls’ Top, Dress and Shorts for the dress and Laura Ashley Infants’ Dress and Romper Pattern #M4424 for the romper. I had purchased both of these at a recent Hancock Fabrics sale where they were selling patterns for $1 a piece. So when it was time to sew, I just looked into my pattern stash and found these two. They were both pretty easy to make.

What I have found since getting into sewing is that the actual prep work of sewing is far more laborious than the sewing part. With pattern sewing, I unpack the pattern paper, iron it flat, then cut out the individual pieces. Since the patterns were so cheap, I don’t think it’s worth it to trace the pattern so that I can use it for a larger size…I figure that if I want to make this particular pattern again in the future in a larger size, I will just wait for another $1 pattern sale. Then I lay out the pieces on the fabric and cut. After that, the sewing is almost a breeze…especially once the garment starts taking shape.

For Elle’s dress, I deviated from the pattern directions in that I just used two fabrics, because I loved the flower print I had so much, that I didn’t want to use a contrasting fabric for the bodice…I also didn’t want to have a front brand covering any part of the bodice. I just made the neck straps out of a contrasting chartreuse-like green. I made the shorter dress, but opted to not make the shorts, but instead made matching a underwear/diaper cover out of the flower print.

For Abby’s romper I followed the directions for rompers F and D, but didn’t use any of the embellishments of ruffles or bows.

Here’s a picture from the shoot…just a sneak peek that the photographer, Mary, sent over already…I can’t wait to see the rest!


Ruffled Shoulder Dress for Project Run and Play

Eeeek, so I’m doing it: I’m throwing my hat in the ring for Project Run and Play! I had toyed with the idea for a few weeks after discovering Project Run & Play towards the end of their last season. The thought of competing in such a competition has me almost petrified, but excited at the same time! Sewing a complete outfit in just a few days, taking pictures and posting it online? So I thought I would just join the Sew Along in the upcoming season…but on Monday morning, I went to the PR&P website and saw all the entries and suddenly I wanted in too! Continue reading

The No-Fail Bubble Skirt Tutorial

My quest for the perfect bubble skirt pattern/tutorial has been something like my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I even thought I had hit upon it, and posted a tutorial a few months back…but it really wasn’t perfect. But now I’ve found it, and have used it a few times, and am happy with the results each time. So this time I documented it. Regrettably, the fabric mixture I chose was kind of a circus tent/court jester fail, but the tutorial still works. Here are some other ones I made for my nieces for Christmas, in normal fabrics (one of them was using that cool new ruffle fabric they have) and they came out super cute:The fit depends on the length you choose and how much gathering you want, but this is how mine looks on me (photo taken by my 3 1/3 year old…thought it was pretty mad skillz for using an SLR for the first time…that was his first and last shot…decided it was good enough, as it was a little too scary watching him manhandle the camera).: Continue reading

American Girl Doll Matching PJs

Lately it seems that many of my projects have been gifts. They give me great practice and “fund” my hobby, because otherwise I would be buying a gift. With the exception of my attempt to make this for my sister-in-law – a fiasco my husband dubbed the “Ghillie scarf” because it looked like it might belong on a Ghillie suit and would probably make a good submission to CraftFail – they’ve turned out pretty well.

One of the most recent things I’ve made was for a friend’s daughter, who was turning 7. I knew that she had recently gotten an American Girl doll and thought a matching outfit might be nice. Initially I was thinking matching dresses, but then I defaulted to an easier project.

I don’t have many pictures of this, but I’ll try to be as descriptive as possible. Continue reading

Bubble Skirt Tutorial

Update: I’ve since made the skirts a different way, which came out better: putting a line of thin elastic inside the bottom hem and using less fabric on top…Here’s a link to the tutorial.

Bubble skirts are so cute on little girls…especially girls around 5 years old…which means I have another 3 years until the first of my girls will hit her bubble skirt wearing prime! So I’ve got some time to practice my bubble skirt making technique. I had researched a few tutorials online, but didn’t find anything I thought would give the skirt the correct body and bounce, so I tweaked a circle skirt pattern to make the skirt I envisioned…and it came out pretty nicely, if I may say so myself!

I took a circle skirt pattern, then created a tube like inner lining out of a knit. The inner lining would draw the edges of the circle skirt in to create a bubble, but it would also have enough give, so that the wearer could still move around.

What you will need: Continue reading

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