Bee Block

Cut the following from 4–6 Main Color (number in parenthesis is how many used for each quadrant): 
6 (1.5)  2 7/8” square
8 (2)  1 7/8” square
12 (3)  4.5"x2.5”
4 (1)  6.5”x2.5”

4- 4.5” square
6- 2 7/8” square

Pairing 1 color and 1 white 2 7/8” , make 2 half square triangles. Press open, trim to 2.5". Repeat with the rest of the 2 7/8” squares.

Draw a diagonal line on the back of each 1 7/8” square. Place one on top of a 4 7/8” white square’s top left corner so that it is covering the white fabric, and one on top of its lower right, right sides together.
This photo refuses to turn, so IT IS SIDEWAYS. Please turn your head so that you see the squares on the top left and bottom right instead of top right and bottom left.

Stitch along your drawn lines. Trim, leaving a quarter inch seam. Press open. Trim to 4.5” square.

Lay one 4.5” strip over the white square’s right-hand side, right sides together. Sew with a quarter inch seam. Press open.

Sew one HST’s main color edge to the end of one of the 2.5” strips to create a long strip. NOTE THAT DIRECTIONALITY DOES MATTER, SO BE SURE IT MATCHES THE PICTURES
Stitch 1/4" seam along the righthand side.

Top: how way to match the 6.5" strip
Bottom: how to match both 4.5" strips
Press. Repeat with the other 4.5” strip and the 6.5” strip. Set the 6.5” strip aside for now.

Attach one 4.5"+HST to the bottom of the white square, matching the joins of HST on the strip to the main color strip that has already been attached.

Sew the other to the lefthand side of the white square, matching the HST to the bottom strip.

Attach the longer strip that had been set aside to the top of the square.

Repeat to make 4. Rotate blocks so that the main colored corner will not be attached to any other sides. Sew together by first sewing 2 sets of two and then sewing those together.


T Shirts!

A group of friends missed Kids Sewing Week last month, so we decided to have our own. But why limit it to just a week? So April has been dubbed Kids Sewing Month, and that seems just perfect timing as we head into a new season where everyone needs new clothes!

This time was all about the School Bus Tee!

A got a geometric pattern with lime green sleeves and an added kangaroo pocket. I originally planned to swipe the pocket from the Nature Walk Pullover, but when I took the pattern out of my library, I realized that it needed some major adjustments since the pullover is much wider and that pocket goes side to side and all the way to the bottom. So I winged the shape, and I think it turned out pretty good.

I fell in love with the fabric for Duckie's when I saw it, so I bought enough to make a few things for her. But in my head, this was the only thing I saw: a tee with a cute little peplum. After putting it together and seeing it on, I may just use the rest of the fabric for more of these in the next sizes up so that she can wear one until she is 4. Which she'd probably enjoy, as she refused to take it off when I put it over her head, side seams unsewn, to check on sizing.
I made hers a bit A line by extending under the arms about half an inch near the notches, which was where I cut off the main body piece. Then I measured that and cut a 4.5" tall rectangle 150% longer for the peplum, which I gathered with 2 rows of basting stitches.
... Then I discovered that Oliver+S's tutorial page has tutorials for both adding a peplum and for switching to A line. Oh well! I haven't looked at them because my methods worked out quite well, and I'm guessing they say basically the same thing!


School Picture Day

Whew! I decided to make the kids some coordinating outfits for school picture day. Probably a little extra stress than I really needed to take on, but I love seeing them in stuff I made and they like having something special.
I picked up a couple of digital copies, and I can see pros and cons of both. I spent time using InDesign to put the bigger pattern pieces onto ledger size paper so I could use some scrap paper from work and have fewer pieces to tape together. Took some time, but I'm happy with that decision. Plus, I could cram more pieces onto fewer sheets that way.

I started off with an Oliver+S Library Dress for Duckie. It seemed like a good choice because I could make the waistband out of a different fabric, so it would be easy to use that same fabric for a shirt for A without them being too matchy-matchy. I was also sold on this tutorial from the O+S blog about using the pattern for knits to mimic a dress from Tea Collection, a dress that I LOOOOVED when A was little and wished to have a girl for. I have plans for at least 2 of these in the future!

The dress went together pretty uneventfully. I read that the buttons weren't necessary for wearing, so I sewed the back bottom half of the dress up on the inside so that I didn't have a whole row of buttons needing to be done up and just sewed the buttons through both layers to fake it. I could have gotten away with doing most or all of them this way, but I think it's easier to have the top 3 open. Fit-wise, I made a 12–18 month, and it's slightly wider on Duckie than I'd prefer, so I'll probably bring it in for the knit ones.

Next up was pants for A, and I went back to the Oliver+S AfterSchool Pants that I'd made him last summer. Last time, they ended up being a bit tight and he got too tall pretty quickly, so I made a size 3T with the length of a 4T by adding to the front and back leg pieces and the sides (I left the yoke alone). I missed something though, because the side panels were a good deal shorter than the fronts and backs, but thankfully not bad enough to be a problem. At least if there HAD been a problem, it wouldn't have meant cutting too much extra, since it'd just be the accent panel.
A seems to really like these, so I see more in my future. They seem to sew up really quickly for all the detailing they have! I'll probably blow his mind sometime by actually using an accent fabric.

For A, I went with the Oliver+S Sketchbook Shirt. I'd picked up the pattern a while back thinking I could make him "handsome shirts" a bit cheaper and with fabrics of my own choosing this way, but hadn't gotten around to using it. I really wish I had. This shirt was almost the death of me. I made the back box pleat backward (I left it). I mixed up the plackets for the fronts and had to rip them out. The collar directions were less clear than most O+S stuff, so I didn't understand what it was talking about until I was too far to go back and do things the way they wanted me to. The sleeves were the easiest part, and setting them in was about the first seam I didn't have to rip out, and that's really saying something, because really, sleeve-setting??? On top of that, I was sticking myself with pins left and right, and I was crying in frustration and fear that A would think I loved Duckie more if I didn't finish his shirt in time. The collar is a little wonky, but A likes it and I finished in time!

I managed to snag a few pictures of them on my own camera, but good luck to me finding the time to get them uploaded here. At least I've got this one of all of the clothes together.


City Lights Laurel

I had a work event last night, and I just couldn't figure out what to wear. That's not quite true, actually, I had the perfect outfit in my head. The problem was that the top just didn't exist yet. Fortunately, I already had both the pattern and the fabric picked out, so I quickly managed to whip out a Laurel Tunic overnight!

I was really excited about this pattern when I first bought it a number of months ago. I bought a few different fabrics that I figured I would use with different sleeve lengths, etc. Then I made a cheap test version in a size large. I made it with a slinky cheap knit that was a total pain to work with that was completely different than the good ones I had bought. Then I tried it on. And I was disappointed. It fit okay, but no WOW. I thought the seam where the bodice met the skirt was too low (I had used the long torso length thinking it might be an easy way to adjust for a larger chest). That would be an easy enough fix, but the sleeves were giant in the bicep and where they met the bodice was just... odd. And I don't really have enough experience in fit adjustments in sewing to figure out how to fix it. So I let the cheap tester sit on my ironing board as a reminder of its problems for quite some time. It's still there, in fact.

I bugged my friend across the country incessantly to tell me how to fix it (or even better, just do it for me!), since clearly she could do it from 2000 miles away. When that didn't work, I just had to suck it up and hop to.

I started cutting my pattern (all but the sleeves: I figured I could worry about those later), still in a large. It wasn't until I had it all cut when I noticed the first page of the directions listed the chest measurements. I had been breastfeeding when I made my tester. At this point, I should have been making a medium. Which would also make the sleeves smaller around. My friend pointed out that you can always make things smaller, so I went ahead and got to work. I've been reading through the Colette Moneta sew along blog posts as I prepare to make one of those, and I remembered that their suggestion for the bust alterations were basically to just draw a line from under the arm to the waist for the right size. So I just did that, narrowing it as I went down, and hoped for the best. I then realized that with any luck, my bodice (and therefore the armholes!) should now be in line with the medium, so I cut the medium sleeves. Thankfully, they fit.

I haven't made the skirt any smaller. I'd already attached the pockets, and I was racing against time. It fit into the bodice without any real trouble, so I don't expect I'll be going back in to change it, though I have considered just adding an extra set of pleats in the front and one set in the back (I'd chosen to make the flat back).

I also made the flat neckband, which worked out WAY better than I expected, even though you can't see it in the picture for the precise reason I chose to make it that way: I need to stop wearing so many clothes with cowl style necks because it makes it harder to wear scarves with them. I will confess to there being one tiny pucker that would be a snap to get out, but knowing myself, I'll probably never change it. It happens to be right in the very front, so I'm hoping it comes off as intentional.


Fireworks Quilt

I just started on a quilt that is WAAAAYYYYY beyond my skill level, but it's just so beautiful, that I went for it anyway. Fireworks, by Thimble Blossoms. But I was truly astonished by the amount of fabric it calls for. I found some no waste tutorials, though, here:
No Waste Flying Geese
No Waste Long Half Triangle (Tip: I finger pressed these 2 pieces in half in order to find the middle of each to line them up right!)
No Waste Corner Block All combined, these used maybe 2/3 of the originally listed fabric? I put together a cutting list for a single block.
From the FQ: 
(4) 2.5" square
(2) 4.5"x5.25" (accent color)
(1) 5.25" square
(2) 5.75" square (4) 2.5"x3" (as written, or 3.25" x 2.5"for full 1/4" seam)
(1) 4.5" square (accent color)

From the white: 
(4) 2.5"x3.25"
(1) 5.75" square
(2) 5.25" square
(4) 2.5"x7" (as written, or 7.25" x 2.5" for full 1/4" seam)
(4) 2.5" square


Baby bonnet

I keep forgetting to get Duckie a sunhat, so I finally decided to "whip one up" during naptime yesterday. It took a bit longer than I had hoped, but I had some leftover fabric from the Garden Party tunic I made for my niece's birthday, and managed to eke it out of that. I used Purl Soho's Baby Sunbonnet pattern. There were a few things I wish I had changed. 1. Understitching would have been valuable I think here. 2. I'm still mulling over this, but I think there's got to be a better way to do the brim. I expected to put the hat together and put the brim together, and then attach the two pieces, but that's not how it's done. So the whole thing is a bit loosey-goosey. Maybe some edge stitching where the two attach would help? I suppose I'll save judgment for after I TOTALLY finish it and try it on.


I've started sewing, and I realize that I really wish I had a place to keep track of the things I make and the mods and whatnot. Similar to Ravelry, except that I think I am much more likely to make the same pattern over and over again in sewing, so I figured I'd revive my old blog.