Here are some pics of the Christmas outfit I made for Journey. I started with McCall's 6062 pattern. It's a peasant style dress. It was very fast and easy to make. I made a few changes from the pattern's instructions. The pattern called for an underskirt and an overskirt. It was a huge waste of fabric and didn't add anything to the overall look, so I omitted the overskirt and added an apron. I wanted it to look like the PortobelloPixie Claire peasant dress. I had used that pattern last year to make Christmas dresses for sale. We made the apron tie style, but found (after making MANY dresses) that the pattern didn't fit as expected, so I didn't want any surprises this year, which is why I used the McCalls pattern. The PP pattern is so cute and features a full color instruction booklet which I liked, but the end result was disappointing. Also it was very expensive!! I used the PP apron pattern piece for this one. I ended up cutting it down just a little. I embroidered the apron first, then added a lining and bound the edges. The tie around the waist is part of the McCalls pattern. I cut the ruffle using the pattern but I cut an extra piece and used the ruffler to make the ruffle. Gone are the days when I will sit and gather fabric. It's amazing what a $20-$30 attachment can do to automatic your sewing.
Since this is a winter dress, I wanted long sleeves, which the pattern didn't include so I converted the sleeve to 3/4 length. Another change I made was adding ribbon instead of elastic at the neck and sleeves. This way, we can customize the fit for Journey this year, and will allow her to wear it again next year.
Here's the back view:
I used some of the motifs from the skirt fabric to embroider the jacket and apron. This is the same owl I used to make Rylan's scarf, shown in a previous post, just different fabrics. It's featured in this month's Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine I noticed. It's from Planet Applique and SO cute. They have really cute kid's applique designs.
This fabric at first glance doesn't look "Christmasy" at all. But if you look close there's a stocking, present, snowflakes, etc.
We have professional labels that we add to garments that we sell, but I like to add a "Grandma" label and a size label to gifts too.
The jacket is a project that I've been wanting to try for over a year. The concept is basically taking a sweatshirt and refashioning it into a cardigan. I have searched high and low for a sweatshirt in a toddler size that didn't already have designs on it and couldn't find one. I finally found a fleece shirt that I could use. To make this you start by cutting off the collar and cuff ribbing, cut up the center of the front, and stabilize all edges with iron on interfacing. From there it's all design fun. I embroidered motifs that matched the skirt fabric and apron on the front and back, then made about ten miles of bias binding which took longer than anything else.
My friend Beth loaned me a book by Mary Mulari and Nancy Zieman called "Sweatshirt Makeovers for Kids" which contains some techniques and ideas. The closure idea came from her book, although I altered it just a little. It's a little flap that uses hook and loop tape (which I have in pink of course).
When I got my sewing machine I bought every accessory they made for it, some of which I still haven't used yet. I have a bias binding foot but it says it's for commercial binding, so I didn't try it out on this project. Commercial binding has one side that slightly wider than the other. Obviously my home made binding is not perfectly straight much less wider on one side... I also bought a "Ditch Quilting Foot" which I'd never used before, so I thought I would try it out. I am wondering how I ever lived without it. It made 'stitching in the ditch' incredibly easy and SO precise. Here's a closeup of the foot in action:
It has a blade that skims along in the "ditch" keeping the stitching lined up perfectly.
Nancy's Notions had a sale on sweatshirts so I bought about 6 of them to make cardigans for myself. These are nothing like Wal-Mart shirts - the fit is perfect and they are preshrunk. Stay tuned for more sweatshirt transformations.