Queen Elsa Costume

We have entered the world of pretend play – specifically, princess pretend play. And if you didn’t know, there’s a new favorite princess in town – Queen Elsa from Frozen. It was only a matter of time before Grace begged for a costume:

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It’s not an exact replica, but it hits the necessary point: Sparkly.

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Beautiful royal cape.

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And sturdy enough to climb the North Mountain.

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Best of all, it was completely free. I received the aqua fabric at a swap a couple years ago. I have no idea where it originally came from but it is so sparkly. I flipped it to the reverse for the skirt to better imitate Elsa’s dress. The white tulle cape is left over from a tutu. It’s a rounded rectangle, gathered at one end and top stitched into place along the lower elastic casing line. I made a size 5 which is pretty huge, on purpose – Grace can take it off and on all by herself and her regular clothes still fit underneath.

She spent all morning spinning in circles, “making snow” and singing at the top of her adorable preschool lungs:

“The cold never bothered me anyway!”

GracefulSnow

Details

Pattern: Perfect Peasant Dress from Peek-a-boo patterns

Fabric: Aqua fabric of unknown fiber content with foil on one side. White sparkle tulle.

A huge thank you to my awesome husband! He did all the Photoshop art on these pictures. Isn’t that snow landscape fantastic?! I love being married to a graphic designer!

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Janey Jump Around Play Dress

I know I keep mentioning this, but my kid is growing like a weed. And I’m finally getting new play clothes made for her that actually fit. I’m so excited to share a complete WIN with you today! It’s the Janey Jump Around dress by Peek-A-Boo Pattern shop… which is…. wait for it… FREE!

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Easy to assemble the pattern. Easy to follow the directions. Easy to sew. Easy to wash. Easy to wear. I’m one happy mama with a happy little girl. And this is the 4th Peek A Boo pattern I’ve sewn up in the past few months and they’ve all be like that. Sometimes the PDF pattern world can be intimidating, but I’ve been really pleased with this designer. I’m still pretty new to knit fabric so I’m grateful that these patterns hold my hand and make it not so scary for me. (It’s ridiculous – I’m more afraid of knits than I am of chiffon and satin and such).

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The faux wrap is just the sweetest thing. I love the look, and it’s comfortable to wear. Plus easier to put on a wiggly little miss. I was so glad to find perfectly matched buttons in my stash – I really have no idea where these came from, but they were the last two. I hope I can find another set, because they’re perfectly hot pink and shiny. When she out grows this dress, I’ll probably cut them off and put them on something else.

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I made a 3t with only the smallest adjustments to the pattern – the sleeves are 3/4″ longer and the hem is just over 1″ longer. Just enough for some growing room. Maybe it will last her until spring! Seriously, kid, stop growing.

Details

Pattern: Janey Jump Around from Peek A Boo patterns

Fabric: Doodles collection, stable knit, from Joann’s. Pink is some random scrap that I’ve been cutting bits off of for years.

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Kid’s Clothes Week: Monday

Have you heard of Kid’s Clothes Week? It’s an event in the blog community that happens 4 times a year – once each quarter of the year. The challenge is to spend one hour each day for one week sewing clothes for your kid (or kids). There is a host blog (Kid’s Clothes Week) where projects from the Community site are featured and give-aways happen. Within the Community site, you can post photos and pattern reviews, plus get to know some other cool people who sew 🙂 This is my first KCW but I can’t see it being my last.

I spent most of Monday getting ready: organizing patterns, deciding which fabric will be used where, and tracing off my new Oliver + S pattern.

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I decided to spend my sewing time wrapping up a couple of projects left from before. Nothing like clearing up unfinished business. Both of these were already finished except for hems and trims.

Re-purposed Overall Dress

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These started as a too short pair of Old Navy Baby overalls. Overalls just don’t make sense in our life – Grace has potty trained and she can’t get them up and down without help, but… “I DO IT MYSELF!” The end result is accidents. Turning them into a overall dress is much more our style. I cut the legs off a few inches below those cute pockets, then slit the curved part of the crotch seam and stitched it flat. Hemming with pink ribbon trim (from my stash, leftover from a different project) was a quick and easy finish – much easier than trying to turn up a hem on this thick denim. Maybe an hour of work turned this unworn hand-me-down into something Grace begged to put on as soon as she saw it. I did photograph the steps of this project – if time allows I’ll post a quick tutorial.

Striped Grand Slam Tee

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This is my first sew of the Grand Slam Tee by Peek A Boo patterns. I love it – everything matched up perfectly, which is a must when working with stripes. The fabric is a weird sweater knit remnant I found in the bin at Joann’s. It’s kind of weird, but I kind of love it. From the pattern, I made a size 4 with the 3/4 sleeves and Skinny fit. I’m hoping to make a little khaki skirt to pair with this.

My model only had one outfit’s worth of cooperation in her this morning, so we’re back to taped on the wall. You do what works, right?

KCW is just in time for me. I just had to retire 5 MORE dresses from Grace’s wardrobe for being far too short and getting tight. This is in addition to the several I’ve had to pull over the past couple weeks. My girl hit a serious growth spurt between Thanksgiving and Christmas – after not growing much in a year, she put on 2″ and 1lb in a little over a month. It’s left me scrambling for clothes – we’ve done lots of leggings under too short dresses these past few weeks. I’m glad she won’t wear pants because I don’t have any ` that cover her tummy. So for the rest of KCW, my goal is to bust out a pile of quick to sew, easy to wear dresses to keep my little miss covered. Life is never boring!

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 😀

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!

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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:

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂 Now, we’re off to skip some more in the great outdoors.

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