for Penny

Anna Maria Horner‘s Handmade Beginnings is quickly becoming my go-to source for baby gifts.  It is usually a toss-up between the Pretty as a Picture Dress andthis Baby in the Hood Jacket.

I typically don’t make clothes for babies under one year.  I just can’t bear the thought of putting a lot of time into something that is going to be spit up on and pooped on and outgrown in a matter of weeks.  This baby (Penny) will be born in late fall and when she turns one, she’ll have a hoodie waiting for her.

I knew Penny’s mom didn’t want a ton of pink in her daughter’s closet,  but I still wanted the jacket to be girly.

The solid is one of my favorite Kona colors (notice how it matches the background exactly – that’s a pillow cover I made for my living room a few years ago) and I love the way those buttons pop on that background.

The last jacket I made was for another member of my church and I got to see him wear it often.  It was a cute jacket, but it was made a thousand times cuter by the little boy who wore it.  I can’t wait to meet Penny and I can’t wait to see how much cuter she will make this jacket.

Little boy, little boy, where’d you get your britches?

I borrowed my post title from a song  by one of my favorite musicians, Adrienne Young .

I made these cute little corduroy britches for a new little one that will be born soon.  They are sized for a toddler, so he will wait a bit before he can wear them.  While I love baby clothes, I have a hard time making things for itty bitty babies because they grow so fast.  It’s hard for me to put so much time into making something that will only be worn a few months.

I loved making these pants.  The pattern is from the Autumn 2009 Ottobre. I know I’ve said it before, but I love making clothes from their patterns.  I have never had any trouble understanding their directions.  There were several details in these pants that scared me at first, including an adjustable waistband.  Now that I have toddlers myself, I understand how handy an adjustable waistband can be.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that making a waistband adjustable is very easy.

The only alteration I made to the pattern was that I hemmed the legs up a couple of extra inches because I felt like they were way too long.  However, this baby is a third child and both of his older siblings are tall and skinny so I tucked the extra fabric under instead of cutting it off so that they can be let out if he outgrows the length before he outgrows the waist.

Dear Anna Maria Horner,

Your fabric is almost too lovely to cut into.  almost……..

I did it, but I had to talk myself into it.  This fabric is called “little honey” from her Little Folks line.  It may look like honey, but it feels like butter.  It is SO soft.  It is printed on cotton voile (and no, I don’t know how to pronounce that) and it’s going to be part of an adorable outfit for a very special little girl.

A sweet outfit for a sweet little girl

We recently had  a new addition to our congregation and I wanted to make her something.  I used two patterns from the Autumn ‘o9 edition of Ottobre.

The “Lullaby” batiste blouse:

and the “Moss” pinafore dress:

Here is a close up of that lovely tree:

The tree and most of the leaves are hand embroidered and the other leaves are appliqued on.   There is supposed to be a bird in the tree.  It’s not that I didn’t try, it’s just that even after several whole-hearted attempts to make a bird, it still looked like this:

That’s right, that turquoise blob is supposed to be a bird, but each time I tried it, it looked less and less like the one on the pattern.  I couldn’t decide whether to leave it or just start over and in the middle of my indecision, I did this:

I accidentally ironed on about 4 square inches of iron-on adhesive to the right side of the front panel and this is what it looked like after about a half hour of me trying to get it off.  So my decision was kind of made for me.  I could live with a bird that didn’t look like a bird, but I couldn’t live with the adhesive mess.  I had just enough gray chord fabric left over to cut another front panel so I started over.  This time I just put in an extra leaf and left off the bird.

I am very pleased with the whole outfit.  Here is a close up of my favorite part:I just love those little tucks and the sweet frill around the neck.

Once again, I loved using Ottobre’s patterns.  A really enjoy the lack of detailed instructions.  It forces me to think ahead when I am sewing and I feel like it is pushing me to become a more knowledgeable seamstress, even with the lack of a teacher.

Here are a couple of things I learned while making this outfit:

1) Because I used baby chord fabric (which has a definite nap)instead of the linen that the pattern called for and because Ottobre does not provide a cutting layout, I had to think about the best way to lay out the pattern pieces for cutting.  Not only did I want all the pieces to fit on the fabric, but I also wanted to make sure that my finished dress didn’t  look like it was made out of two different shades of gray.  Fortunately, this is not one of those “I learned from my mistakes” stories.  I actually thought about all of this before I begun to cut out my pieces.  See Mrs. Reese, I was listening.

2) I learned what a raglan sleeves are.  At first when I read the sewing instructions I had no idea what to do.  The first sentence reads: “Pin sleeves to front and back panels, right sides together and stitch raglan seams.”  Huh? Since I didn’t know what raglan seams were, I looked it up in a basic sewing book I have and learned that they were similar to Kimono sleeves.  And if you remember, a couple of months ago, I made a pair of p.j.s for Lila that had Kimono sleeves so I just put this top together like did the top for the p.j.s only backwards.  Here is a picture of the back of the blouse, which fastens just like a Kimono:

3) I learned how to use this nifty little foot:This is my overcasting foot and it can turn this:

into this:

Here’s a picture of it in action:

It folds the edge over and zig-zags on top of the folded edge.  It’s not nearly a serger quality finish, but it sure beats cutting the edges with pinking shears.

I am excited to see the sweet baby in her sweet little outfit, but I will have to wait a little while.  She is so tiny right now it will be several months before she can wear it.

Another Round Neck Dress

for benjiI made this dress for the daughter of a friend of mine.  I think it is a little bit big for her, but she can grow into it.  I love this pattern because it can either be made into a dress or a top.  Also, it can be worn in warm weather as a sundress or in cooler weather over a long sleeved shirt. And if you make the dress, it can be worn as a top when the child outgrows the dress.   So far I have made two tops for my girls and a dress for my niece, but I have plans to make lots more.

And if you don’t mind, I’d like to take a moment to brag on Grace.  Look at what she can do:

size tagI made this tag using a scrap of fabric and one of the fonts on my sewing machine.  I just type in what I want it to say and push “start” and Grace does the sewing for me.  I sewed this one into the back neckband of this dress as I was putting it together.

round neck tag