Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Heart Summer Sewing....Do You?

Spring is newly sprung. The Easter fabric is yet uncut. Why, oh why, am I obsessed with summer sewing already? Hey, it's already hit 90 here in the sunny south, the mosquitoes are beginning their gentle song (little monsters), and Big Girl is complaining she has nothing to wear. Visions of sundresses and beach bloomers are dancing in my head. Ocean blues! Citrus yellows and oranges! Picnic greens and reds! Eyelets and gauze and batiks...


It makes a girl choke up.

But sewing is only half the fun. I crave community as much as I do craftiness, so I'm looking for fellow sun-lovin' sewists to play with me. We'll do simple. We'll do cute. We may even do practical. This would be a great way for mamas new to sewing to get their feet wet, or for fully addicted craftistas to share their tricks for the perfect summer wardrobe.

More details to come soon! In the mean time, leave a comment if you want to join in!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Is In The Air

Big Girl and Small Girl spend their evenings splashing in puddles....I've got sundresses on the brain and Easter fabric on the cutting table....the jogging stroller has been dust off and loaded in the back of the van....the azaleas are due any day.  I felt like changing the look of the blog a bit and was inspired by one of my favorite parts of spring-- the rain. I've been humming a little song the girls and I sing each time it rains.

Rain Song
to the tune of Rain, Rain Go Away 
but friendlier

Rain, rain, come and play
at my house
play all day.

Give the flowers lots to drink
Help the birdies wash their feet
Make the farmer's crops to grow

A gift from God who loves me so.

 Yay for spring!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Project Run and Play Update

The final five audition outfits have been chosen's not mine.
Ah well. It was a fun way to kick off my spring sewing. Once the PRP season kicks off think I'll try to do a few of the sew-alongs this time.

I am, however, slightly obsessed with that shrug so stay tuned for more design craziness. In the mean time, check out the final five:

Project Run and Play

Voting is open so give a thumbs up to your favorite look.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Project Run and Play Audition: The Everywhere Ensemble

At 10:30 Tuesday night, I found out about the Project Run and Play open auditions. I am a huge fan, so I knew I had to give it a try. Also, I was crazy. 40 hours to design, draft, sew, photograph, and post a whole new outfit? With three girls running around, one of which is an (adorable) six-month old mama-octopus?

I would need coffee, a handful of Dora videos, and my baby wraps.

After a two-day design sprint-- which I loved-- I am done. ::catches breath::

The outfit was designed for Small Girl, my two year old middle daughter whose nickname would be better Fierce Girl

As in "Where The Wild Things Are" fierce, not Christian Siriano fierce
 Though she can be sweet....especially when promised a Slurpee for modeling.

 I wanted to design her an ensemble to kick off her spring wardrobe-- something versatile enough for our various adventures, something free-spirited and carefree and just a little romantic. 

The Bloomers
were the main inspiration, as they are the closest Small Girl can get to being naked all the time, which would be her preference. (But then what would I sew?) When I was growing up, we wore bloomers under everything-- handmade by a friend of my mothers who sewed all our summer clothes. I am carrying on the tradition with my little ladies.

I raided my stash for some super-cute owl-print duck canvas, which would be sturdy enough for all the exploring (and the potty-training) that is in our future as the days warm up. I think I am going to make more in this fabric, as I can envision it holding steady through bike rides and beach trips and potty accidents.
Though we have very warm springs here by the beach, there are also days when the wind has a little nip to it, just enough for a little something on the shoulders. 

The Shrug

I drafted the pattern using as my guide a half-finished bodice I found in my fabric stash, and added ruffles to the sleeves. My stash raiding came up with the blue eyelet lace and some vintage trim which I will rave about in greater detail later. One of my favorite things about this version of the outfit was the view from the back: 

Where are the sand toys? I am ready for the beach!

But as much as we love carefree clothes around here, there are times when you have to put on a dress. I wanted to keep it simple and sweet. Small Girl wanted princess. Our compromise was a basic sundress that had a gathered skirt with a ribbon drawstring to show off the bloomers.

The Dress

Slightly more proper playtime. Only slightly. 

I used a brown paisley that had some peachy undertones which worked well with the owls. That fabric had been in my stash for years-- before Small Girl was even alive-- waiting for The Perfect Use.
This dress was it.
The outfit is casual enough for play but dressy enough for church, especially when you add the shrug again. 

She is now transformed from a shirtless wild girl to a proper lady, all ready to go out with her mama. 

We're going to get balloons and a Slurpee since she's been a trooper through all the "try it on again now hold still so I can photograph you" nonsense. 

I love the look of the whole ensemble but the bloomers are still my favorite part

Here is a view of the back. With balloons.

And some balloon related silliness, because who can resist, really? I can't. 

She liked the way the world looked through the pink one the best.

At play (or war?) in tug of balloon with the wind

Running is happier with balloons chasing you. 

Okay mom, enough pictures. 

Then the dress up fun was done and she wanted to go home and nap.
That's my girl. 

Design Details
My goal for this look was to make a versatile spring outfit that was girly yet adventurous. I am very satisfied with the results but there are a couple things in particular really love. Before I even knew I was making this project, my fabric fairy godmother (the same lady who used to sew my bloomers) gave me a whole bag of vintage trim, which included the lovely teal trim you see.

I couldn't get enough of how it looked against the other fabrics, which explains why I about drove myself nuts binding just about everything. 

Pictured here: insanity for the sake of vintage crafty cuteness. 

  I also loved the ruffle sleeves on the shrug. 

But my favorite design detail would have to be the bloomer-showin' cinch.
It adds a bit of practicality to the skirt but also it's just darn cute.

It's such an easy and satisfying effect that I definitely will use it again.

Making this outfit was so much fun and pushed me in new directions. I have more vintage trim from the Fabric Fairy Godmother so who knows what's next?
Thank you Project Run and Play for giving us the chance to audition!