Friday, April 26, 2013

KCW Part 2

You know what I love about Kids Clothes Week? Everyone approaches it differently. This is the first time I've ever made it past 2 garments in the whole week. And I made it pretty far past, because now I have 8 finished garments and there are still 3 days left. For me, I had to figure out a way to build momentum and not lose it. I am slowing down a bit, but I think I'll finish at least 2 more things.

I've kept some guiding principals all week, and I think that's what made it successful for me:

  • Only using materials I already have. I love using up stash. Takes away the guilt when I go to buy more later.
  • Only sewing patterns I've sewn before and already had traced. I know a lot of people love to use this week to try new things, but this has been a huge factor in my productiveness. I've modified some things to keep it interesting or sewn different views. I even drafted a quick tank pattern one night, but that was pretty mindless. Point is, it's the brain extension that really leads to burnout. (And too much tracing. That definitely leads to burnout.) Use your hands, not your brain or knees.

Sailboat skirt in corduroy

  • Sewing things that are really needed. I've mostly sewn staple items for Elsie because she really doesn't have much for the coming warm weather. Filling needs motivates me. 

Voile peasant top

  • Blogging and modeling just get in my way. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying reading some of your blog posts and the clothes are always cuter on the kids. But Elsie is really into "NO!" when it comes to photo shoots, so they eat up a lot of time and stress. Plus the actual post writing on top of that. If I had tried blogging daily, I woulda been done on day two. Kaput. I love you guys for reading here, but this week has been for me and my family, not the blog, and that feels great!
  • On the other hand, the social aspect of KCW is very fun and a great motivator. I like to be stroked as much and the next guy. I'm posting every garment to IG (alittlegressica) in real time and then to the Flickr group right from my phone. So glad they improved the flickr ap for iPhones by about 538%. I can take a little break and look at every new thing popping up there easily on my phone for insta-inspiration.

Tiny pocket tank

  • Don't plan too far ahead. I think that's what killed me in the fall. I had all these things cut out and ready the week before, and then it didn't seem as exciting to sew them anymore. This time, I've left myself more freedom. I sew what I want!
  • Finish things. I like to finish things. 

O&S Sketchbook shorts

  • Never waste time on pedestrian tasks like laundry folding or floor mopping. Do waste time going outside with your kids or taking the occasional power nap. 
  • Coffee. Ungodly amounts of coffee.

Lazy days

You can click on the pictures to go to my Flickr and get more pattern information for each one. It's turning out to be a very Oliver & S week for me, which is great. I love to use the few patterns I have of theirs over and over. (Love or laziness?) 

I'll be back Monday to share several more KCW finishes and wrap it all up. What have been your secrets to success this week?

Monday, April 22, 2013

KCW: Liberty Ice Cream Blouse

Whenever I make big plans for Kids Clothes Week, it never works out that well. So this time I've decided to keep expectations very low and just sew what I can sew. Sounds like good clean fun to me. 

But the part that really kills me is trying to photograph and blog things. That NEVER happens in a timely fashion. So I'm getting rid of that pressure too and I'll probably just post one or two fuzzy instagram pics here. If I actually spent the time trying to get good pictures of projects, I would not have time to sew the next one. And this week is about sewing, because my kids really need some warm weather clothes! If you are horrible at following blogs (like I am), just keep up with me there- alittlegressica. And of course, we'll all be having a party in the KCW flickr group. 

I actually finished this Oliver & S Ice Cream blouse on Saturday because yesterday was our joint birthday party for Hendrix and Elsie. I can't believe I now have a 4 year old and a 2 year old!

I used my favorite print from Bloomsbury Gardens by Liberty LIfestyle. I got it at Sewn of course, and now I want to sew all her clothes in LL. It's just so soft and gorgeous for garments. My friend at the party told me she could tell I made it just because it looked like such quality fabric. And of course, this pattern is one of my favorites. This was my first time making the blouse view and it's very quick.

Do you like her matching mustache?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Film Petit #8: Back to the Future

Wait, stop. Press play:

  The Power of Love by Huey Lewis & The News on Grooveshark

Ok now you are ready for this, on your mental skateboard.

Like many people my age, I watched this movie a lot as a kid. I remember once when I was four years old, I was watching my two preteen brothers have a mostly friendly wrestle in the living room. This was not an unusual sight in my house, but for some reason I decided to feign indignation at these shenanigans. I marched right up to them and pointed one finger out in front of me, leaning my whole body into it like a blossoming little George McFly. "Hey you! Get your damn hands off of him!" I don't think I knew which brother should get their damn hands off of which, but I knew I was keeping the peace and standing up for justice and possibly saving people in photographs from being erased. Of course a discussion followed, and my mom wanted to know where I heard that word. When she heard my answer, I wasn't really in trouble any more. Then I told her she was my density.

 Ok, maybe the density part was a stretch, but I remember being a pretty cool four year old, so it's entirely possible. The rest of that story is completely true and one of my earliest memories. It seems likely that this movie taught me how to measure a movie's worth for the rest of my life. The gold standard.

So this is my little Doc Brown. I wanted to do Doc all along, but at first I was thinking of Hendrix. Obviously, Elsie is much more Docish. It shoulda been the obvious choice. 

Crazy hair, naturally, but check out the crazy eye:

Is an all-white summer jumpsuit that zips up the front the most practical Film Petit clothing I've ever made? No, probably the least. But it cracks me up, so I'll still find occasion to make her wear it. I started with the new Oliver & S Pinwheel tunic and then extended the top straight down into shorts instead of the a-line shape of the pattern. I installed the zipper in front, trimmed the neck and sleeves in bias from orange Lizzy House Jewels, and then sewed some thin elastic into the waist. I made the whole thing from an old men's button up in the closet and the rest of the supplies I had on hand, so at least my impracticality didn't cost anything.

The 88 is embroidered on the front pocket in black perle cotton from Sewn. Of course, this is the exact speed required for a DeLorean to time travel. (Everybody knows that.)

The radiation symbol was painted on the back with a freezer paper stencil. Without it, this would just be a pretty cute little romper. The fit needed a tad more length in the body, but that would be easy to fix and make her one out of pretty fabric. I love the ease of the zipper in front. 

I took these pictures in the middle of the square in our neighborhood in Cincinnati. There is no clock tower, but it's kinda got the quaint small town thing going on, and the 20th Century Theater in the background is very retro. I could totally picture an Enchantment Under the Sea dance being held there. 

My favorite scene in Back to the Future is at the dance when Marty gets on stage and starts playing metal for the high school kids in 1955, and they all just stare at him like he has three heads. I may have fallen slightly in love with Michael J. Fox.

"I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it."

Now go see Kristin's very creative interpretation of the DeLorean! I love that she picked the time machine as a character. It looks very BTTF, but not like a kid dressed as a car. Well, just go see.

And we have had so much fun working with Dana from Made on this one! She brought her usual clean and stylish skills to Film Petit and her little Owen is the perfect Marty McFly. Thanks Dana!!

If you are new to Film Petit, here's how it works:

  • Roughly once a month, Kristin and I will post FP on the same day, along with one special guest. We all choose a movie together and sew clothing for our kids inspired by the characters or something else in that movie. They are not kids movies, they are just movies we love to love. 
  • We usually don't tell the movie until the post goes up, but we love for people to sew along and make stuff from their favorites too. You can post your photos in the flickr group.
  • You can see all my past Film Petit posts right here, and Kristin's here
  • Next time we are being joined by Delia! We love Delia!
  • We have the most fun ever. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bag for Shit and Stuff.

I feel like I should preface this post with some sort of "sorry if this word offends you..." type of thing, but I won't. If I was truly sorry about that, I wouldn't post this creation here. In reality, I think this word is one of my favorites and I make no apologies for that. (But I am sorry if you accidentally read this in front of your 7 year old and didn't really feel like explaining to them why this is funny for people who can yield such words responsibly. Don't worry, it will be good for both of you.)

The CinciMQG had a challenge this month to make something that was up cycled. I've had this set of hand embroidered linens from an antique show forever ago, and I've only used one piece. (But that one piece won me my sewing machine!)

So between me wanting to use those again, wanting a wide pouch for my sewing shit, and always hearing Rachael tell everyone to "go make shit," this bag practically made itself. For the main body, I used a texty Mama Said Sew print and of course Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets for the lining. I love how great these fabrics look with the vintage bit.

But I'm most pleased with how right-at-home the embroidery looks. Almost like it's always been there on that vintage shit.

Come back Thursday for a new Film Petit! It's gonna be the shit! (Sorry, I seem to have opened the floodgates.)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What I've been working on

Now is one of those times when I have a project in just about every stage of production. Except the finished stage. But when I've been sewing these past couple weeks, it's been only to enjoy the process. I sew when I have time. Other times I read a book, or obsessively watch through the first four and a half seasons of Breaking Bad with my husband. No sewing for deadlines. (Although there are a couple deadline-related things that I really need to start on- ahem, Film Petit!)

Here is a peek at my current do good stitches bee quilt, as I was basting it yesterday. I went lazy and sprayed. I feel like I should have strong feelings one way or the other on the whole pin vs. spray debate, but I don't. I just do whichever I feel like. Excited about finishing this all-geese quilt though. Aren't the colors great? I'm usually not prone to use so much white background in a quilt, but sometimes that's just the best choice for this bee. And I hope all the white will be striking in the finished quilt.

I occasionally get the chance to plug away slowly at my oldest WIP, the Swoon. I started it at the beginning of last year. This is block #5, although probably only counts as 4 because I have one I really don't like. We'll see if I change my mind about it when all the blocks are done. I first blogged about this project here

Since I was feeling good about finishing a couple tops up, I cut a new one! This will be simple patchwork squares for a picnic blanket. I've had this particular fabric stack pulled and waiting for at least a year. Glad I still like it as much now as I did back then. 

These were last month's do good stitches blocks. I should really try to show you these more often, but I am always so rushed in making them that I never get pictures. This was a really fun tutorial to follow.

 And!!!! I finished my ginormous scrappy trip along top!! (First blogged here.) I basically pulled every single blue FQ off my shelf and started cutting and stitching. That was back in January. I stalled out for a while in February, but then got a new fire under my tush to finish all 56 blocks. I'm going to use a long arm quilter to finish for me for the first time ever, so I'm excited about that.

This is me showing it at our Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting last night, with Christine's help on the right. I recently became the president of our guild, and I am so thankful to have this group of creative friends. We have too much fun. Tonight, we are having a Modern Meet-Up event in downtown Cincinnati as Nicholson's Pub. If you are in the area, I'd love to meet you! More info on that here. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Green Pants and a Cardigan for the Boy

I didn't realize until looking at these pictures now that this whole outfit is just a variation on the Ferris Bueller look. I must have subconsciously needed to reproduce one of my fave Film Petits. It's the same two patterns- the Cool Cardigan from Blank Slate, and the Oliver & S After School Pants.

These are my favorite boy pants right now. Back in the fall, I made Hendrix several pairs that were skinny style. Cute as they are, they didn't last into the new year. Not only is this relaxed fit more practical for growing kids, it also has more give for wild boys who run, dance, jump, and climb 90% of their day. Harder to wear through those non-tight knees. And these aren't so relaxed that they look goofy. They are just cool pants. I also love that they have a pro-looking back yoke and back pockets but are still a full elastic waist.

The fabric is Robert Kaufman fine wale corduroy in kelly from Sewn Studio. And I used a scrap for the pocket linings, just for fun.

The cardigan was mostly made back in September I think, when I tested the pattern for Melissa. I loved it, but never added buttons and it sat in an unfinished pile all winter. What a waste! I made it from two old sweaters, the gray one already had those pockets, which I kept in front. You can see that I had to piece the navy together in some places for the neckband and waistband, but it worked. The buttons, which I finally stitched on last week,  are my favorite. I found them in the box of vintage goodies my mom gave me. I was disappointed there were only two because three really would have been perfect on this sweater. Still little-professor-chic though. 

I got it into my head to make these pants for St. Patrick's day, but I don't even think he wore them that day... or maybe I just didn't finish them in time, which sounds more likely. Good thing green cords are fantastic for any day.