Monday, December 30, 2013

A Holiday Playtime Tunic

I hadn't planned on making any sort of Christmas-y apparel for the kids this year. But I wanted to share my method for making the Oliver & S Playtime dress and tunic with facings on the outside, and I had this yard of deep red snowflake fabric that wasn't going to get used for it's original intention. So a little holiday dress happened! And I'm really glad it did. She wore this everywhere in December and it ended up being the perfect little garment to dress up or down. And I feel like she can still get away with wearing it throughout the winter. I may be sold on holiday dresses for Elsie for years to come.

This version of the pattern also has the sleeves left off and bound in bias tape. I love the way the bodice looks with the little cap sleeves. If you are interested in putting the facings on the outside as a contrasting collar, my tutorial is here on the Oliver & S blog. The first time I tried this, I made it look like a little faux Peter Pan collar in black, which you can see here.

The back with these facings is such a pretty surprise. It really adds interest to this simple and versatile pattern. I love a pattern like this that has so much room for fun and creative options. 

We hope you had as great a Christmas as we did. Elsie is happy as can be playing with her one and only wish this year- a Jake and the Neverland Pirates Boat. Except when she is stealing her brother's Transformers!

We got to take these pictures at my workplace, Sewn Studio, with a beautiful backdrop made of Megan Frock's work. Definitely check out her stuff and her gorgeous new embroidery book

You probably noticed that I also got fancy on the hem with some fun pom-pom trim! It totally takes this tunic up a notch on the festive scale. Would you be interested in a mini-tutorial of how I did this? It's one of those things that isn't super complicated, but a little trickier than you think it will be... I'll work on it for you. 

Remember, you can keep up with me and see a lot more of my sewing over on Instagram. Follow along @alittlegressica. 

Have a happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anchor's Quilt

I made this quilt for my good friends' baby who was born just a couple weeks ago. It was her third baby and second boy. Their other son received this quilt, (which I just realized has a kind of similar HST design) but I wasn't quilting back when their first kid was born, so I guess I owe her something! To me, there's no better satisfaction than giving a baby quilt. I just love being able to make something that can literally wrap them up in homemade love. And also be rolled around on and spit on and drooled on a lot. 

These fabrics all came from my stash. The color scheme started out with me trying to use up some of my orange. I've found that I like the idea of orange sometimes, if it's a good print I like, but then I have a hard time using it. All but two of the orange prints I started with ended up being edited out, but I love the resulting orange/yellow/gray/teal/navy scheme here. Each of the 9 blocks only used (2) 10" squares. I put them together using this method to get (8) 4.5" HST's. It was the fastest way to do it I've discovered yet, and we all know there are about 79 different ways to make them. And the little size chart is so helpful! My original plan was to make a 9th of each set to go in the middle of the block, but I took the lazy route and decided on white in the middle. So the "window" design was kind of accidental, but I really like it. Add 2" strips of white sashing, and the quilt is about a 44" square.

So after I already had the top of this quilt done, I found out that they were going to name this baby Anchor. ANCHOR! Not only is it a badass name, but one of those pesky orange fabrics I had kept in the line up has tiny anchors all over it! Now I couldn't wait to finish it up and send it. 

At that point, I knew I had to include a little nod to the two siblings' names with these scraps added to the back. I'll just let you guess what those might be  :)

I finished it up with my favorite straight line quilting, about a .5" apart all the way across. I took these pictures before washing, but after I did it crinkled up so softly.

The binding is a Lotta Jansdotter stripe that I got at Sewn Studio. At first I was disappointed that the wavy lines went in the same direction as the binding instead of across it, but the end effect is pretty cool. Stripes in either direction are a always a win for binding.

Now I have two quilt tops done that need quilting before Christmas. Totally seems doable, but then I remember all the other Christmas stuff I have to do! That's all part of the fun of it though, right? (That's what I keep telling myself.) Are any of you still trying to finish up gift quilts this close to C-day?

Monday, December 9, 2013

All My Christmas Tutorials!

Since I haven't updated the organization, or tutorials page, or anything really on my blog in probably 2 years, (yikes. slacker.) I figured I'd help direct you in the right direction for some last minute holiday crafting. 

Last year I made all of these because I was participating in Meredith's Holiday Craft Bash event, which was so much fun. And even though it seemed like a lot of work last year, this year my family was so excited to get out all these things. They've changed the whole feel of our Christmas around the house!

The most popular has definitely been these Peanuts ornaments. They are just too cute and nostalgic, everyone loves them! I'm actually selling sets of them right now in my Etsy shop. But I've kept my pattern and tutorial up as well. (Just please don't sell on Etsy? Ok, thanks.)

All of these have pattern pieces you can print for the felt shapes. So enjoy!

I guess I'm also late in picking a winner for the Gingercake Organizer pattern. 

So congrats to Anne!
"I have a bunch of gifts to make in the next 3 weeks. This would be perfect for my quilty friends"
I'll be emailing you Anne.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gingercake's On the Go Organizer (Giveaway)

I hope your Thanksgiving was as great as mine. Last week was full of carefree family time and high-calorie meals. But when I woke up back at home Monday morning, I realized it was December 2nd, and I was completely unprepared for it. Damn you, late Thanksgiving! I'm not usually a person who lives my days in checklist form, but now it's time to get serious. 

At least now I have one gift checked off, thanks to Virginia of Gingercake (and a second cut out!) This is her On the Go Organizer, which might now become my go-to quick gift this year. It was so fun to pick out coordinating fabrics from my scrap pile and come up with a really polished finished product, thanks to a thorough and enjoyable pattern. I found this old piece from AMH's Innocent Crush line which is probably one of my favorite prints ever. I had just enough for the outside of my organizer.

The inside pocket is RK's Essex linen in black, same as the contrast on the outside. The lining and pockets are more little scraps. I love the way the pattern has you zig-zag stitch the pockets on. So much less bulky!

This will be a teacher gift that I'll probably fill with a couple of goodies like this. There are so many different uses for an organizer like this, and I think I'll eventually need my own since I might be the most unorganized person I know. 

It's nice and sturdy with layers of interfacing and batting in the middle, and I had to use my walking foot when it came time to put it all together. But even then, I broke my needle into three pieces while topstitching and I'm pretty unhappy with my stitch consistency. This is not because the pattern uses too many layers though... I think I'm finally realizing that it's time to upgrade my machine. I think saving up money for a Juki needs to be my big goal in the new year. It's exciting to think about purchasing my own machine, because I didn't get to pick out the two I've owned so far. They've been great to me, but I do A LOT of sewing and quilting. I need a real workhorse!

Anyway, another thing I really love about this pattern is the cute button closure. I didn't have any elastic cording, so I just used this aqua fold over elastic, which worked great. I think a long piece of leather cording wrapped around the button a few times would also be really cute.

Want to win your own copy of Gingercake's Organizer PDF pattern? Just leave a comment and your email. I'll pick a winner Friday, December 6. Also be sure to check out Gail's beautiful organizers, and look around the Gingercake pattern shop for more wonderful gift ideas.