I grew up here.
But this pointy shoreline and I, we have a tenuous kinship. I remain here because I am desperately in love with a boy that I met here and a boy that I grew here who are both blissfully entangled with the landscape and with its extraordinary occupants.
My clever, perceptive littles absorb a lot about this place that I never had the capacity to notice. My son is fascinated by the stories of old, big cargo ships. And, in particular, the Edmund Fitzgerald. Both of my littles know all of the lyrics to the song. And they have forbidden me to giggle as they solemnly sing them.
Eero talks about the "Fitzgerald" incessantly (quoting my Dad who also loves the old ships) and his kindergarten teacher even let the kids listen to the song in class today:) When he made a representative self portrait this week at school, he chose to construct the "Freedom Bell" from the book. At five he is certain that the ship is inextricably linked with who he is. And I think that's cool.
Yesterday, as I struggled to come up with an appropriate answer to the Kids Clothes Week Challenge, I realized that the answer was literally sitting right in my lap. We have been reading this book over and over and over.
I sketched a boat, then simplified the design to make it easy to print. I used a freezer paper stencil to put the boat and the name on the Oliver and S's School Bus Tee. The whole thing from print to finish probably took me two hours, although it is a little sloppy:(
I used a gray knit from Simplifi, which appears to be gone now and I am not surprised. It is the MOST BEAUTIFUL, buttery fabric that I have ever used. LOVE!
The Fancy Pants Leggings took about 30 minutes. And I made them out of a Laguna Knit from Hawthorne Threads but I must warn you - the fabric is cheap looking and faded after the first wash. Boo.
So, boom! Another Kids Clothes Week make complete. And now that I have the storybook challenge off of my chest - there is certainly NO EXCUSE to avoid the Elsa Dress that I have promised my girl any longer...
We adore knit dresses.
This season's Kids Clothes Week is all about stories and books. And for me - for our family, there could be no more apt theme. Because, although our "rhythm" (in spite of my most ardent efforts) is one of chaos and our family culture up in the air, we are a family of readers. For some reson, though, this theme has had me stumped due mostly to the fact that my kids need clothes. Staples. So, before I pump a few of those out, I feel like I can't quite attack this season's spectacular theme. But, I try to think of the Kids Clothes Weeks as a seasonal jumping off point where the squeaky wheels get greased. Where creativity is inspired anew. Maybe I'll get to making storybook clothes over the weekend...
With neccessity in mind and fancy temporarily having been set aside, I diligently carved out a couple pair of pants for the little guy, some long sleeve shirts and a Geranium or three for the girl. And I was quite pleased with the path that I had laid, predictable though it was. And then, I spied Sanae's striped Ponderosa Dress at 10pm on Monday and I was smitten. I had to have the pattern. I snatched it up, printed it out, cutit out and stitched on it late into the night. Fueled, in part, by Project Runway and the cold press coffee that I had consumed late in the afternoon - yikes.
For the most part, I dug it. Swingy, comfy AND warm with the double layer on top. I didn't love the fit though. It was just too roomy for me. So, the following night, I set to work shearing length and width off of the pattern and sharpening the distinction between the armpit and the outer layer of the dress. Essentially, I used the Flashback Tee to re-draft the entire pattern top. And I made a fuller skirt by just cutting the fabric from selvage to selvage. And ooh! We like it.
I mean, what a stroke of genius on the part of Elegance and Elephants!!! C'mon, the layered top, the swingy skirt? I die.
The pattern is good. I definitely do not think that most people will need to hack it to the extreme the way that I did. I like the first version very much too and I know that both dresses will get a ton of wear. But I adore the Flashback Tee version ADORE.
The quest for flashy boy duds continues. I think that this top counts.
I grabbed this knit from Simplifi several months ago now without really having a plan for it. When the little guy (not so little) saw it this summer he asked to have it be his and I was happy to oblige.
I did worry, though, about the busy print and wanted to man it up a little (which I am ashamed of - I see no reason at all philosophically to do such a thing) so I added these shoulder patches ala Trine. And I like the effect. The tee is the Oliver and S School Bus Tee with about two inches added to the length plus cuffs for the arms and waist.
Also, I broke the law. Well, not really and not just now. I made these for his first day of school but I haven't shared them on the interwebs yet. I think because they're so plain. But they are his favorites. I've made several pairs of these skinnies now, in harlequin here and in seersucker here and I even re-drafted the whole pattern to relax it for wovens here. Obviously, I like the pattern a great deal. But I have just a terrible time finding wovens with stretch that feel good and that would work well for the boy. So here is my solution, unlawful though it is: USE A KNIT!!! So, the pattern instructions say not to. But I'm telling you, I think that you should. I did here and I think they're quite perfect.
They've taken a few runs 'round the playground now and they're showing some wear but that is because I typically cannot separate the boy from these trousers. He LOVES them. They look like jeans and feel like fancy sweats. Perfect for kindergarten. Perfect for running and tumbling. Do it, you'll be glad you did.
Joining Frontier Dreams today over here:)
And we're off! It's fall Kids Clothes Week and I have WAY WAY more planned than could ever be squashed into one week of clothing sewing.
This time around feels particularly exciting to me because it was just after last fall's KCW that I started this little rant over here on Typepad. A year! Woot! So, if you're out there - thanks so much for following along! And if you're interested in seeing what I made last year, you can find me over here:)
For the day one extravaganza, I made the little guy (not so little...) a fresh pair of Kudzu Cargos. This is my favorite pair of boy pants to date. They take a little bit of time to make but the details make them really worth the wait. One of few fun boy patterns out there. You can see a pair that I made him last spring here. And I couldn't resist a Bimaa because it is the best although he has definitely outgrown the sizing:) This hoodie is TIGHT!!!
Her dress is a muslin for a dress that I'm working on getting just right. It's basically a little girl copy of the one that I made for myself. Hers still needs a bit of work but she was excited about it and set to work breaking it in straight away.
One of the most fun things about sewing is being able to re-create a look that you like based on ready-to-wear clothing. Earlier this fall, I spied this sweet top in Boden and was just about to press play on the old shopping cart when I realized: a) that I was unlikely to wear a top with deer on it (I'm boring like that) and b) that I could totally make this.
I made it a couple of weeks ago, in honor of Selfish Sewing Week but did not get around to photographing it until just now.
It's just exactly the kind of top that a girl needs around here on the tundra. And it was pretty easy to make too.
I used a scoopneck tee pattern to make the bodice and chopped it off just below my braline to make an empire waist. To draft the skirt, I used the leftover pattern piece (from the bottom of the scoopneck tee) and added two inches of width to the sides to make it slightly A line. I added two inches to the front skirt piece for gathering.
From the center front on the skirt I measured five inches on either side and gathered just that portion.
I narrowed the back bodice just slightly to perfect the fit. And I learned by mistake that the front and back bodices are different widths (duh), so I needed two pattern pieces for the skirt - one to match the width plus 2 for the front bodice piece and a second to match the back (narrower) bodice piece.
I love it. Although, I am on the fence about the long top over jeans trend but - I think that trend is still a go... What do you think?
This is Grainline Studio's Scout Tee.
I made it out of some silk in a faux bois print that I'd been hanging onto for a couple of years now. It could have used one more press before photos but I had a few minutes without my littles and the tee had already been languishing in the closet for a couple of weeks - plus a Sunday afternoon cocktail had me feeling like throwing caution to the wind and just modeling the dang thing already.
I really love this top. In fact, I think that I'll just go on ahead and sleep in it. The silk is super soft and although I think that the top would be a bit swimmery in a quilting weight woven, it does some really beautiful shape-shifitng in the silk.
I've had Grainline's Alder Dress pattern on my cutting table since mid-summer and this was a good way to ease back into big girl garment making before taking the plunge on the big ol' dress. Have you seen Cherie's, though? Tis' a thing of beauty.
Have you made it? Would you?
Whew! Look, I'm sewing!!! I have been into the sewing room very little over the past month or so but I do have a very clean basement and freezer. Plus we are trying something new - eating at home (picture me cringing out of guilt). We were out and about a lot this summer and it took me a bit of effort to remember how this crew eats... Don't tell anybody, ok? That I didn't plant a garden this year and that we ate a lot of pizza and deep fried fish? Just, it'll be our little secret.
I have been itching to sew some new clothes for myself, though. And, late-to-the-party as usual, I noticed that Selfish Sewing Week: Fall Edition starts tomorrow. These guys were almost finished except for the zipper and sitting on my sewing table just waiting to be buttoned up.
"Will it Sew" is a concept that Meg of Elsie Marley is dealing with over on the Kids Clothes Week Facebook page. "Will it Work" is a concept that the intrepid Tara of Girl Like the Sea often considers while testing new projects and detailing their progress on Instagram. Will it sew? Will it Work? Will it Style? These are all questions that I am perpetually aksing myself in the sewing room. And often, honestly, they keep me from sewing.
These wide leg style trousers from Burda are one of the first real garments that I made for myself, more than five years ago, just after I had my first bebe. I am whole-heartedly committed to the skinny leg trouser trend but I've noticed that Anthropologie and Pinterest users have started touting the wide-leggers again. I decided to give it another go.
I used Robert Kaufman's Chambray with stretch that I got from Treadle. I decided to skip the sailor panel that goes on the front. It was a little too flamboyant for plain old me - the wide legs feel risky enough:)
I used flat felled seams on the front panels and topstitched them. Can you see?
They're super comfy and an excellent fit around the waist and bottom. But I'm not totally sold on the trend. Do you think we're ready for the wide leggers again?
I pre-ordered this Desert Blanket Knit months ago and had planned to make something for my daughter out of it. I was picturing a set using this print for a dress and one of the others from the line for pants - to celebrate her first day of preschool.
The weather reporter said to ditch all indoor plans this weekend, though, and there just happened to be a music festival going on nearby, and some campsites left to rent. Plus we just happened to have picked up a VW camper last weekend and couldn't resist the urge to hop in it and camp.
And, I needed a dress and fast. So I whipped out another Nettie Hack.
This time, I added only 3" to the fold instead of 6. Actually, I made a skirt with 6" added and it was way to full, so I ripped it off and re-did it while the rest of the family grocery shopped. The dress is still a little hip-tastic but I really like the shape of the skirt and the freedom that a knit gives you to crawl around in the grass after kids.
Next time, I'll narrow the shoulders a bit too, as is customary when coverting a sleeved pattern to a pattern that is sleeveless. Do check out Skirt as Top's lovely maxi dress in the same print. Ooh-la-la!
Joining Frontier Dreams readers today over here.