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Here’s one of many projects that has been mostly finished for a long time. It’s finally wearable! It’s based loosely on the Burda Anda pattern, like the one I made here.
As with my previous version, I petitified it using existing clothing as a guide. This version is color-blocked, obviously, with no sleeves. I used a top from my closet to guide armhole sizing. I lowered the waist a bit and used elastic on the inside, rather than an outer drawstring casing like the pattern calls for.
I also used the bias tape as a facing rather than as an exposed detail. The tutorial for doing this with the Sorbetto top was very, very helpful and applicable to any number of projects. It’s not as tricky as it might sound, if you’ve used bias tape before. I’m beginning to get the hang of the bias tape thing. It’s really handy once you get used to it.
Lastly, I made a self belt, a little wider and shorter this time than last.
The reddish linen came from the bargain booth at the Hannover, Germany Stoffmarkt last June. The cream-colored linen was a remnant given to me by a friend. Earrings by Claire’s, circa the dark ages, and the wooden beaded necklace was a gift from my Granny a bajillion years ago. I want to say she picked it up on a trip to Israel.
I have to say I’m pretty happy with the dress. Think I’ll wear this one a lot. I’ve almost finished another Anda-inspired dress, if I can find my sewing scissors, so hopefully I can share that soon.
If you want to see some of my other sewing projects, click here.
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
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Here’s one of my recent sewing projects. It’s made from the free Sorbetto pattern from Collette. It’s really a lovely pattern, well-designed with clear instructions. I used exposed bias tap on the neck and used the bias tape as a facing on the arm holes. There are no fasteners—it’s just a simple popover top with a pleated front. It came together pretty quickly and was really satisfying.
I even finished the insides properly, which I meant to show you, but oh well. The only thing I would ask is, how are you supposed to finish off the darts?
The cotton batiste/ voile (?) fabric came from an open-air market in Germany. I was in love with the print at first, but now I think it would actually make a better pillowcase than a blouse. Oh well. I’m wearing it anyway. I may make another Sorbetto in a different fabric.
Skirt by Old Navy, belt by Target, earrings by an etsy seller whose name I sadly can’t find. Necklace (a favorite) by Gaines Kiker, silversmith in Blowing Rock, NC.
I had to whip up something quick for my daughter’s Wax Museum Day at school. This is a grade-wide project where the students read a biography, dress up like their historical figure, and prepare remarks to present to visitors.
The students are supposed to stand still like wax figures until a parent gives them a ticket. Then they animate and introduce themselves as “so-and-so.” It’s so totally cute I can’t even tell you. I’m partial to the costumes involving mustaches.
Little Miss wanted to be a princess, of course, so she chose Russian princess Anastasia Romanov. We went to the thrift store and chose some pieces to alter.
The key elements, we decided, were a white flowy dress with a square neckline, plus pearls. I flipped the blouse backward, sized it down, and made a square neckline using a tutorial I can no longer find. It wasn’t as difficult as it might sound—-actually pretty easy. The skirt I just sized down but left otherwise as-is.
Then I added, at her request, a sash made from blanket binding. It was once a part of this costume but got accidentally ripped off. I also made a little medallion from lightweight cardboard and sequins.
She did a great job with her presentation and is now reading everything she can about Anastasia. I guess we should try that movie that was made in the 90s, although I’m sure it’s more fiction than not.
Did you go away for spring break? We visited family in California and went skiing. It was a blast, but coming back to East Coast time is not. Oh well, it was worth it!
* The Anastasia image is from Wikipedia.
Sometime in the last few months I got it in my head that I wanted a cashmere blanket. Like, really wanted one. I think maybe I started obsessing when I was paging through Handmade Home and saw all the cozy, cozy stacks of blankets. I just wanted to curl up with them. I didn’t want to fork over the money for cashmere, though, so I started scheming. Could I possibly find enough thrifted cashmere to make a blanket?
Sometimes it’s hard to come by, but lo and behold, there was a bumper crop of cashmere at Goodwill this fall. Some of it was in perfect condition, in my size, with classic lines. What?! I washed those and put them in my closet.
The rest of it, the out-of-fashion, the holey, the wrong sizes, I cut into rectangles (excluding the holey bits) after washing it. I added in a few washed and shrunken merino sweaters, too, to round things out and make the blanket a little bigger.
In all I used six sweaters for the blanket. It went together pretty quickly, and the kids were very excited to help place the pieces. Everyone was already fighting over it before it was even done.
I had planned to lap the edges, but kind of forgot that plan until midway through. Oh well. Next blanket, maybe. I already have some cashmere pieces waiting.
Personally I like all the little weirdnesses of sweater pieces, the rolled edges, the seams and ribbing here and there. And it’s kind of nice to have a “smooth” side and a “wrong side.” I like them both.
For sewing the pieces together, I used (I think) a regular machine needle and upped the stitch length a bit. I had no problems with it. If you want specific instructions for sewing a cashmere sweater blanket, check out Betz White’s book Warm Fuzzies.
Random: love loved this fire and ice birthday party over at elsie marley. Almost makes me want to live in a frozen place again.
Also, has anyone been watching Parade’s End on HBO? I can’t fully follow the storyline, but wow, the clothes are incredible!
And lastly, next week I’ll be introducing you to a friend of mine, artist/ photographer Dawn Hanna. So excited! Her work is drop-dead gorgeous.
Okay, folks. Have a great weekend.
I got a bunch of lovely silk remnants (crepe?) from a friend who was leaving Hannover some time ago. I’d never sewn with silk before, but it only took me two years to work up my nerve to actually run it through the sewing machine.
I thought and thought about the best thing to make with it. The remnants are lovely but a little pale for my coloring. I over-dyed some of it, which I’ve been working into a dress. I was planning to use all of it for clothes, but the camel and pale green then turned out to be just right for a throw for our “book nook.”
Ever since reading Handmade Home, I’ve been wanting all sorts of handmade throws to snuggle up with. And natural fibers! But of course natural fibers for a large project get pretty expensive.
But with gifted silk remnants, the decadence could be mine, all mine! And really, was imperfect silk sewing really better than letting all that lovely silk just sit in storage?
My original plan was to quilt the throw. The assembly part went pretty well, not as tricky as I’d feared. I used part of an old sheet for the middle layer. But machine-quilting silk was another story. I liked making crazy lines with the machine, but the silk got all slippy and puckery, but not in a fun way. So I just stopped quilting after a little while and left it at that. I would unpick the quilting, but I think it’d make it worse, and anyway, it’s just for us. The throw is a really nice weight, perfect for a little reading or a quick nap.
And I’m all about celebrating imperfections. Otherwise this throw would still be remnants in the stash box. Hopefully my gifting friend won’t see this and gasp with horror
Stay tuned for another natural fiber throw of a very different kind. And hopefully that overdyed silk dress will be ready soon. It’s allllllmost finished.
If you, too, have silk-sewing fears, here are some tips I found very helpful from Sunni of a fashionable stitch.
Have a great weekend!
No, we aren’t expecting any pitter patter of (more) little feet. Nope. No, seriously, these aren’t for our family.
I found pieces from a cloth diaper pattern I’d cut out ages ago, in a pregnant nesting phase (loooooong story), and decided they had to be made up for a certain Viking baby who was just born. His cloth diapering mama has several older boys, so I thought baby Viking needed a little something new that was just his.
Good gravy! There’s just something about itty bitty cloth diapers that I find totally irresistible. Maybe a strange object of affection, but I’m so goo-goo over these.
Below is a shot of the inside, wrong side out, before the edges were sewn. The middle rectangle is what’s called a soaker, the absorbent pad in the diaper. In this case it’s flannel and, I think, old cotton T-shirt material.
The outer yellow fabric is also flannel. The hook and loop closure is called Touch Tape and is like velcro’s much stronger and gentler brother. It rocks, basically. The blue fabric, used on the inside of one diaper, is hand-dyed terry cotton velour leftover from a semi-failed attempt at making a custom Boppy cover. Hand-dyed, because yes, I’m exactly that crazy.
Like I said, my nesting phases = long story.
Anyway, these came together pretty quickly because I’d made so many of them before. Mama-friend was very pleased with the diapers, which made me so happy. Hopefully they will fit Baby Viking for more than a few days!
If you’re interested in diaper sewing yourself, there are tons of resources out there, but here’s a free pattern for ones similar to these. I would definitely recommend having some sewing experience under your belt before trying them. They’re not really soooo involved, but they wouldn’t be a good beginner project.
Hope you have a great weekend. I’ve been getting so excited about the seedlings I’m growing for our garden. Stay alive! Stay alive! I tell them. What are you up to?
I’m just a teensy bit late with this Halloween post. Our little man just had to, had to be the green ninja from Ninjago. It was a bit of a trick figuring out how to make up the costume, especially the sword-holding thingy in the back, which, according to my son, was absolutely essential.
I bought cheap green jogging pants and used gold fabric paint (the kind you squeeze out) to make the little gold shapes on them. On the figure they’re actually silver but, whatever.
The top is a green fleece I refused to paint on since I wanted him to be able to wear it plain later. I did add black cardboard-and-toilet-paper-roll epaulets on the shoulders, tacked on with thread. These were only semi-sucessful. You can see them hanging off his shoulders. We probably should’ve skipped them.
The headpiece is another simple balaclava I made like the ones for the knight costumes, only with a silver piece sewn on. The green is a thrifted sweatshirt and the silver from the same thrifted sweater that I used for one of the knight helmets.
The black belt is actually Daddy’s bathrobe sash. Ha! And the sword-holder-thingy in back (sorry, no picture) I made by cutting slits in a small cardboard box that I painted black. Four slits for the swords, then some small holes for the ties cut from sweatshirt material. We then tied the ties around his chest to hold the box on his back.
It’s not fancy, but it worked. This is kind of my costume philosophy—-I want them to be comfortable and re-usable but inexpensive and quickly slapped together. Thrifted knits are great for this.
For other low-sew costumes with thrifted parts, check out our fireman suit, knight, and turtle costumes. Oh, and here’s a princess for good measure, with maybe a little more sewing involved.
In other news, I’ve been doing some development work on secondary characters in my novel, using this questionnaire. The questionnaire was originally written for role-playing gaming, but totally works for novel-writing, too. I’ve been surprised at some of the interesting things that are coming from it. Hope I can put them to good use.
Northern friends, I hope you’re not stuck in the snow, or at least if you are, that you’ve got power, food, and board games.
Rilla found a Winky Cherry beginner sewing kit on the shelf—one of those things I’ve had stashed for ages and forgot we owned. I used to feel pangs of guilt over forgotten acquisitions, but they so often seem to turn up at exactly the right moment, such a nice surprise. She’s busily stitching away and I look forward to a menagerie of felt critters in the days ahead. Felt is the nicest thing for a beginner, don’t you think? For both sewing or embroidery. No hemming required, overstitch looks lovely, it’s stiff enough not to need an embroidery hoop (for small pieces, at least), and no matter what you do it always looks cozy and cheerful. I love Felt Wee Folk and Doodle Stitching for ideas.
I had all sorts of little stitchery projects going before Huck was born (a mere four years ago), but I put everything aside when he came along and haven’t returned to it since. (To my chagrin: I still owe a couple of quilt blocks to certain VERY UNDERSTANDING members of my virtual sewing circle, and I never even sent out my own fabric for them to magic into something wonderful. IT’S STILL ON MY LIST OF THINGS TO DO, THOUGH.) (I’m shouting at myself.)
We had planned to go to the zoo today to celebrate Beanie’s 12th (TWELFTH!!!!) birthday, but the rain foiled our plans. Perhaps next week. Among all the other delights of the zoo, I want to give Rilla and Huck a chance to pet a real sheep, feel the lanolin in its wool, for a little sheep-to-yarn rabbit trail I’ve planned for Rilla, who got knitting needles for Christmas. With pink cats on the ends! And how’s this for incentive to pick up my own needles: I was sent a KnitCrate package to review for my subscription-box series at GeekMom—it’s loverly. The two yarns they included are to swoon for. I’ll let you know when that post goes up, probably next week.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may recognize this project. I started it a short four years ago. Four?! I finally finished it!! *Happy dance*
For those of you who are new (and btw, welcome new subscribers!) or don’t remember the project, it’s my take on an Amy Butler pattern in her book In Stitches. She calls it the “Patchwork Duvet Cover.” Mine is a bit different from the original pattern, mainly in the placement of the ovals and the background fabric.
This project took so long for many reasons. I got sick of it many times, and by the end I almost gave up because a) I wasn’t sure I liked the color scheme anymore and b) The oval appliques were giving me such a headache when I tried to sew them on.
My hubs wanted me to finish it, though, so I changed my machine needle and soldiered ahead, and now I’m glad. After putting it on the bed, the patchwork has grown on me, as out-of-favor crafty projects sometimes do. Here’s to perserverance!
For more info on this project in its earlier stages, check out this post and this one. The fabric was all upcycled, with the background made from twin duvet covers and the patterned fabric from thrift store finds, one of them over-dyed to suit.
If you want to see my other patchwork projects, check out this one and this one.
And oh yes, that painting is by yours truly. More info on it here.
Hope you had a great holiday weekend. I’ve had some unexpected sustained writing time, which has been great.
I’d been wanting to do this for ages and finally tried it. There are lots of ways it’s been done—-most notably, of course, Japanese furoshiki. And there’s lots of ways I’d like to try making wrapping cloths, but this time, I just made a simple rolled hem on rectangles of fabric. Directions for “cheater” rolled hemming here. Thank you, Pinterest for that great tutorial via Meg of elsiemarley.com.
The Santa and angel fabrics are thrifted linens (already hemmed) from my favorite thrift shop in Hannover, Germany where we lived the last couple of years. And the new green and red stripey fabric is from Joann’s.
To wrap, I just folded the fabric and held it in place with the ribbon. Easy peasy. They wouldn’t hold up to a toddler’s inspection, but they’ll work fine for us.
Meet Archie: Designer. Fashionista. Dog. Archie leads a quiet life with his faithful pet. That is, until he gets a sewing machine and his creativity starts to run wild. It's not long before Archie's nimbleness with a needle catches the attention of his friends and fellow dog walkers. Soon, the entire city is straining at the leash for one of his couture concoctions... including a queen and her two very royal corgis. This enchanting, nearly wordless picture book is a great story about following your dreams wherever they may lead...
If you liked this, try:
Sleep like a Tiger
Three Hat Day
Boot and Shoe
The New Sweater
I'm doing a lot of other things at the moment, but I just can't resist making more silly soft toys. Here he is, the zebra of the day:
Anyone remember Sally Field in The Flying Nun? It’s a ridciculous show from the late 1960s. Ms. Field plays a nun with an enormous cornette (headpiece for her habit) that, yes, helps her fly. Hard to believe it was ever made into a show.
When I first finished it, this dress looked like it was going to launch me into the friendly skies. I had sized the pattern down a bit, but I guess I didn’t size down the cap sleeves. That, and stiffness of the double layered fabric gave me wings.
So, I hacked them down. I’ve worn it several times (when it was warmer), but I didn’t get the sizing quite right and it kind of pops open when I sit down. So attractive. And I made loads of mistakes on the dress. I may retire it now, but all in all, I’m pretty proud of it. I’d never made anything with so many buttons. Or persevered through so many mistakes and such a horrible pattern. And the sizing, while off, was still a good exercise—it almost worked.
Please, I beg you, don’t ever use this free pattern from Bernina. I was going to link to it, but really, I don’t even want you to know where it exists. It costs you more time than the free-ness is worth.
I found it through Kathleen Frances’s excellent sewing blog, grosgrain. I love her Frock by Friday sewalongs, but this one, as Kathleen herself says, is just a bad pattern.
That said, I love a shirtdress, and they’re hard to find in different colors, so I may try again with this pattern. If I’m feeling brave.
Speaking of failed sewing projects, here’s one from a favorite blogger. It’s great to know other people fail. And to remember you’ll never get good at most anything if you’re not willing to fall on your face a lot.
In other news, I had some amazing baked oatmeal the other weekend at our cousins’ house. Must try. Related to that, I finally got from the library the book Vintage Cakes because of this blog post about the oatmeal cake with coconut. It looks like so my thing.
Have a great weekend!
Heads up: Johnny Tremain is today’s Kindle daily deal—only .99!
At Wisteria & Sunshine, Lesley is preparing to lead us through preparations for An Unhurried Christmas…her gentle pace, beautiful images, nourishing words, and refreshing common sense are inspiring, as always. Perhaps you could splurge on an early gift for yourself and try a subscription?
And I just saw that Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World is encouraging folks to sign up for her mailing list because she has a sale coming up. I love Wendi’s work. Her mailing list includes free sewing or embroidery lessons.
Other links I’ve shared elsewhere:
Classic Childrens-Literature-Inspired Bedrooms. Including a Great Green Room, of course.
Beatrix Potter’s Picture Letters at the Morgan. Oh I want to go!
Living Walls and Self-Healing Concrete.
Concrete is the most widely used structural material on the planet, but it has a niggling habit of breaking down over time, giving rise to cracks, pits and holes that require expensive repairs or replacement. But what if concrete could mend itself? It turns out such a material already exists — and it could be used in a building near you in as little as 2—3 years.
Street Murals Made from Sugar.
Eight Hacks to Make Google Calendar More Useful.
I never get tired of Curiosity’s Mars photos.
Bonus happy-kid photo:
My little guy (4), who has seen me make lots of things for his older sister, asked if I’d make him some pants. I was touched, but I hesitated.
“Pants are kind of hard,” I said. I mostly make really simple skirts for my daughter.
“But you could do them like this,” he said, pointing to the elastic waist of the pair he had on. How he knows anything about garment construction is beyond me, but he had a point. Why not? I started them during Kid’s Clothing Week Challenge (when I made the hats and nightdress also).
I think he even picked out the fabric, the same linen I made this dress from. I used this pattern, which is super simple and has very good instructions. I lengthened it a little (it’s a size 3 I think) and added a little width. I made a very wide hem so I can take them out again when he grows.
I’m really happy with how the pants turned out. They look so comfortable I almost wish I had a matching pair for me. They would also be really easy to make as shorts.
I just finished re-reading What Happened in Hamelin. It’s out of print now, but I’d read it as a kid and had to find it again since we are now living close to Hamelin. It’s a realistic retelling of what might have actually happened with the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Pretty dark and a bit scary, which I think is why I liked it in the first place. I was surprised at the images that had stuck in my mind for so many years—don’t want to spoil anything for you by hints, sorry. It’s definitely worth a read if you can get your hands on it. I donated my copy to the international school here.
Have a great weekend, everybody!
2 Comments on Child’s Linen Pants
, last added: 6/11/2012
The spring Waldorf basar, with crafts, kid activities, and yummy food, happened a few weeks ago. It was our last one before we move back to the U.S., which makes me a little sad. There is really nothing like a Waldorf basar, and there aren’t any Waldorf schools or kindergartens in Charlotte that I know of.
The Waldorf handicrafts are so different from what I’d seen before, so very German, and all from natural materials. The rabbits above were what I made this year. You wouldn’t believe the hours that go into making one tiny bunny.
Below are some feather babies, who are sleeping in painted walnut shells:
Bock! Bock! Knitted chickens:
and my personal favorite this year, deer:
The bunnies in front of the deer are mine, thankyouverymuch.
I just bought Stofftiere zum Selbernähen (Stuffed Animals to Sew Yourself) by Karin Neuschütz so I can make some more animals on my own. It has patterns for camels, donkeys, giraffes, pigs, everything–except deer, which bums me out. I’ll have to find that pattern somewhere else. Looks like the book is only available in German, but you really only need the patterns and a blanket stitch to make them. She does have a few other titles that have been translated, looks like.
I also just bought Hütten von Kindern Selbst Gebaut (which translates something like Huts Children Can Build Themselves) by Louis Espinassous. I think it may be originally French. Anyway it’s all about little forts kids can build out of sticks, brush, or scrap wood. For some reason, after seeing this one, I am kind of determined for the kids to have a fort in Charlotte, though maybe I just want one to play in myself.
I got some good writing done this week. Trying to get as much done as possible before our move. The weather has been amazing this week, after a long, long winter. We hope to get in some bike riding this weekend. Have a great one!
1 Comments on Waldorf Craft Basar, last added: 5/25/2012