I won!

I’m so excited! My Layered-Look Hoodie won in the sew along over at Frances Suzanne!

I’m one of “Father’s Fantastic Five” :). Their dad picks his top 5 looks from the sew along. I think it’s great to be a part of this talented set:

If you want to see the official winners of both the sew along and the designer’s challenge, you can find more at Frances Suzanne – November Flip This Pattern Winners!

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Layered-Look Hoodie {Flip This Pattern}

hood up

You know how it goes some times? You have a project you really want to do – say, a competition. And you get all excited about it and make a plan and pull the fabric and all that jazz, and then life gets in the way. And then the deadline is tomorrow and you’ve completely forgotten. Yeah… that. AGAIN.

I love Flip this Pattern, hosted by Frances Suzanne! They’ve picked the best patterns for this competition. One a month every month for a year, you take the pattern and make it all your own. Absolutely fun! Except I always forget that the deadline isn’t the end of the month – it’s in the 3rd week. I sewed along in July with my Bubble Pocket Skater Girl dress – remembering at 10am that the deadline was that very day. Quickest start-to-finish project I’ve done in a while. I’m ahead of that this time around. I actually did all my drafting with over 48 hours left, and there’s still 24 hours before the linky closes. Hey! There’s time to pull off one more!

Which is good, because I have about a million ideas for this pattern – the Hangout Hoodie from Peek-a-Boo Patterns. It’s an outfit style hoodie, which means it’s sized for thinner apparel knits rather than bulky sweatshirt material. I really like this pattern. And, Peek-a-boo has a great community on Facebook with lots of chatter, help, and inspiration. This is my second flip so far… and there will be more! The first was a fleece dress (find it here). I’m seeing one with big pockets next. But not today. Today we have this masterpiece of up-cycled beauty:

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Let me break the elements down a little:

Not Flipped:

  • Hood (only trimmed a little to fit on the fabric)
  • Long sleeves
  • Basic shape and style

Flipped:

  • Split the body into an upper and a lower; the lower has extra width gathered into it to make the top looser fitting. That seam is kind of hard to see in the print – it hits the armhole and a little above the bottom of the placket
  • Flutter sleeves with a lettuce edge
  • Color blocking to create a layering look
  • Reordered construction to accommodate existing shirt pieces

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I started with one man’s white undershirt from my husband. I have a massive pile that are the wrong size or have minimal staining on them. They’re excellent for upcycling. The green butterfly print was a rib knit tank top of mine that never fit quite right but I liked too much to throw away. It looks way better on Gracie šŸ˜€

Here are all my pattern pieces in case you want to flip it this way yourself. You can see that the lower part is directly from the tank; why hem when you don’t have to? I just found the center to cut the placket and lined up the edge for the armhole. The excess was gathered when I sewed it to the upper bodice. The flutter sleeves were the last scraps of the tank after cutting everything else. I have nothing left – about a 1″ x 5″ strip. Part of my wants to incorporate it just to say I did… but I probably won’t.

pattern pieces

I had to change the assembly order a little because of my pieces. Basically I made the whole body section (hood and all) then set the sleeves in after. Amy has you sewing the side seam and the underarm seam in one go, which is way easier but would have involved cutting those side seams open. I hemmed the flutter sleeve (this tutorial explains) and basted it onto the white sleeve, then set them into the body together. Like this:

sleeve with flutter

I made a 4T. It’s big, but I like it that way and so does Grace. She’s been against anything fitted lately. And maybe with some luck it will fit next year. It’s funny seeing her in this with dark jeans; she looks so grown up. When did my baby turn into a big kid, complete with big kid clothes? Bring back the rompers!

full body

In case you’re curious, all these pictures were taken on Grace’s bed. I prefer to do my pictures outside – except it’s November, so it’s 30 degrees and raining. Her tree is the next best thing to a real tree. With a lot of color correction in Photoshop, it’ll have to do. But I seriously don’t recommend putting a 2.5 year old on a bed and asking them to stand still. Out of nearly 100 pictures, the vast majority look like this:

bounce

I can’t wait to see the other flips! If you’re interested, you can find them here: November Sew-Along

 

Seeing Spots Fleece Dress

I know I keep saying this, but I absolutely adore fall. It’s the best. Except now we’re heading into November and it starts to get just a little cooler – coats and hats and scarves become a necessity rather than a choice. The piles of leaves get a little bigger; the trees, a little barer; and the park is a little emptier. But I wouldn’t miss it for anything! Which leaves me sewing up something that is both warm and not bulky. Something to keep Grace cozy but won’t get in her way while she plays. And as every former high schooler and college kid knows, that perfect article of clothing is a HOODIE!

front

Except, she’s 2 and a half, so it’s got to be a dress, too.

hood

I used the Hangout Hoodie from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop. Love it. Grand total construction time was less than 2 hours including printing, cutting, sewing, trying on, hemming… Everything. Of course, I didn’t do it in one sitting, mostly because I’m highly distractable.

pockets

I made a couple edits to the pattern. It’s originally sized for thin tee-shirt style knits to be worn as an outfit. I wanted it out of fleece, as a layering piece. Grace measures 18mo on the size chart. I went ahead and made a 4T out of fleece. I lengthened the sleeves in order to remove the ribbed cuff – it’s a simple narrow hem now. They ended up too long though so they’re cuffed for this season. I added 3″ to the hem (she’s so skinny and tall), reshaped the hood a little (see the picture above), and drafted rounded patch pockets.

I reshaped the sleeve cap to add some more fullness. I was worried about the fleece’s lack of stretch. I think it probably would have been ok but I really like the slight puff shape. The new sleeve looks like this:

sleeve edit

Grace was excited by her “park dress” and loved that she didn’t need a coat. It didn’t get in her way at all and I never once heard “I’m cold!” Plus since it’s neon green, I can pick her out quickly from the orange and gray world.

slide

Did you know that the Hangout Hoodie is the pattern this month for Flip This Pattern? I’ll probably go ahead and enter this, even though it’s barely flipped. Now that I’ve tweaked the pattern and know how it fits Grace, I have a REAL flip in mind. I think I can even pull it off, too, as quick and simple as this pattern is! Check back soon šŸ™‚ Now, we’re off to skip some more in the great outdoors.

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Bubble Pocket Skater Girl {Tutorial}

A few days back I showed you my contribution for Flip This Pattern July – a combination of the Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S and the Bubble Pocket Tunic from Elegance & Elephants. I still love it. Grace still loves it. She’s worn it twice more since I made it on Thursday. I’m considering fabric choices for more renditions, probably utilizing the currently popular color blocking. Combining these two absolutely lovely patterns makes for the perfect dress for my rough-and-tumble toddler.

Want to combine them yourself? I’m describing everything as if you own both patterns, which you should. They’re beautiful patterns with a lot of workable pieces, and they’re copyrighted! Therefore I’m not giving any measurements, just techniques. Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S; Bubble Pocket Tunic from Elegance & Elephants.

Here’s how it works:

1. Prepare your pattern. I love digital patterns for drafting because I can print only the pieces I need, then draw all over them, cut them up, tape them back together, and draw on them some more without losing my original pattern. Then next time I can start all over with a fresh digital print-out. For this flip, you need all the pieces from the Roller Skate dress except the yoke, unless you want that style detail. It doesn’t affect this project. You also need the side front and bubble pocket pieces from the E&E Tunic pattern. Cut each out to your needed size (Grace is a 3!)

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2. To add the pocket, we need to add a side front piece to the Skate Dress front. I sketched it onto this pattern piece – roughly straight down from the bottom of the cap sleeve. This creates a barely A-line center front piece.

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Trace your new center front onto tissue paper (I save it from birthday parties) and add a 1/2″ seam allowance. Don’t cut up the original – you need it for the lining.

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3. Now we draft the side front piece. Be brave, this is pretty simple and the patterns are forgiving. Let me show you the picture first then explain what all the different lines are:

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First, trace the side front section we drew in Step 2 onto a fresh sheet of tissue paper. You’ll want the parallel lines for the elastic casing, too. These are the pencil lines in the middle of the piece. Second, lay the E&E side front pattern under your tissue, lined up with the arm hole seam. Copy the pocket placement line onto the tissue (in pencil, parallel to the hem). Third, we’re going to widen the side front piece to accommodate the pocket. The tricky part of this is we do not want to add any width to the elastic casing area because that will mess up that step of the Skate Dress. You can see where I drew these in, angled starting at the bottom line of the casing out to meet the pocket placement line. Below the pocket I took it straight down so I’m not adding too much sweep to the hem.

Take a breath, the hard part is done! And it wasn’t too hard, was it? Add a 1/2″ seam allowance to where it will meet the center front only – it’s already included on the side seam. Smooth the lines out for easier sewing. Add a notch to help you line it up (I placed it on one of the large circles on the Skate Dress, originally to help tape the printed pattern together). You can see my final pattern piece in black marker.

4. Cut out of fashion fabric: back, new side front, new center front, bubble pocket, button loop, and yoke if you’re using it. Cut out of lining: back, original front. Start by assembling the side front/pocket section using the directions from the Bubble Pocket Tunic pattern:

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Then attach those to the center front section to get your completed front:

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And from here, follow the directions from the Roller Skate Dress to assemble the rest of the dress.

It’s such a simple alteration, but I’m mad in love with it. This is my new “perfect dress” – at least until the next one comes along!

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Bubble Pocket Skater Girl {Flip This Pattern}

Do you remember a few years ago – back before the housing market crashed and burned – when “flipping” was the big thing to do? Investors would go in and buy a house for cheap, then improve it and sell it for a profit. Bad idea, really, but it made interesting tv for a few seasons. Thankfully, there’s a much better spin-off going around blog-land these days – Flip This Pattern, hosted by Frances Suzanne! Every month for the next YEAR seamstresses will take the inspiration pattern and “flip” it – apply their own creativity to it in order to come up with a unique garment all their own. And I knew that I’d be sewing in July the moment I saw the pattern: The Roller Skate Dress + Tunic from Oliver + S.

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Now, this is not the dress I’d originally intended. But like every good episode of the flipping shows, mine was filled with a fair bit of drama. Primarily, I thought the sew-a-long closed NEXT week. Alas, no… it’s today.

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Then, my fabric was missing. I still can’t find it. Thankfully I’ve got a fairly stashified stash! The pink daisies are left over from the back of Grace’s baby quilt {which, ahem, isn’t quite done yet} and serve beautifully. I buy lining fabric by the bolt and have a button box and elastic box. Now… if only I were able to find the original fabric… I absolutely love my flip and will definitely be doing another!

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Grace is in need of sturdy cotton play dresses. She’s going through a phase of utter girliness. Yesterday she had 3 bows in her hair. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard “pitty dess!” today – the one I’m wearing, the one she’s wearing, the ones she pulled out of her closet while I was distracted by sewing… But she’s also so rough-and-tumble, getting hot, dirty, and sweaty with reckless abandon. She’s also in love with pockets which lead me straight to the newly released Bubble Pocket Tunic from Elegance and Elephants!

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That’s the heart of my flip – combining these two simplistically beautiful patterns into one “pitty dess!” that will stand up to my sweet toddler’s crazy antics.

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Like a house flipper racing to sell before the next mortgage payment comes due, I raced today. From absolutely nothing at 8am, to a drafted pattern and fabric in the dryer at 9am, I finished the hem at 4:57pm. I even kept my appointments of the day – gymnastics for Grace {followed by a blessedly long nap} and a catch-up date with a dear friend. The Roller Skate dress is *so simple* and yet *so perfectly adorable*. I can see many, many of these in the near future – probably some inspired by the other flips everyone submitted!

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{Oh and in case you’re interested, I’m writing up a tutorial for combining these two patterns. The pictures are done but IĀ  think I should cook dinner instead of writing… since I spent the day sewing instead of doing housework!} EDIT: Tutorial is here