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Day 16: Cozy

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The kids are demonstrating just how cozy they feel in their flannel jammies. I made all of them except for Baby Sprinkaan’s. Each of the girls got a nightgown and a set of button-up pajamas and Konik got two pair of button-up pajamas — his other pair has monkeys and balloons on it. Granota’s nightgown is blue with little brown owls and Rana’s button-up pajamas are hot pink with black foxes.

The boy and girl button-up pajamas are unisex, but I used a different pattern (McCall’s 6458) for Konik’s than I did for the girls (Butterick 5853) because of size differences. I ended up preferring the pattern I used for the girls because it was much more straightforward. The Butterick pattern was put out in 1998 (I picked it up at a thrift store), but the McCall’s is recent. I guess, in trying to improve on a basic pajama pattern, they went and made things needlessly difficult. For instance, the button placket on the McCall’s is a separate piece to sew on rather than just an extension of the front which is then folded over (how things like this are normally done). Also, there was quite a large cuff on the sleeve, which looked cute, but in practicality was a pain in the butt for all involved. First of all, I probably shouldn’t have interfaced it, despite what the pattern told me to do. It was just too heavy. It didn’t fall naturally on Konik’s wrist and, because he’s a 6 year old boy, he ended up tearing it at the seam. Repeatedly. I got so tired of repairing that stupid cuff seam, that I just tore the whole thing off. He was horrified and wailed and cried and told me how mean I was. He got over it after a day or two. That was on the monkey pajamas. I learned my lesson, then, for the train pajamas and just extended the sleeve length to account for the cuff I wasn’t going to put on it and just hemmed it in a regular folded hem. It works much better! The Butterick pattern was already written like that, so I didn’t have to make any modifications on the girls’ pajamas.

The nightgown is actually from a tunic/dress pattern (McCall’s 6500). It’s super simple with an elastic neckline and at the wrists. In fact, I have made iterations of this style numerous times, a several of which have already been shown on this blog. It’s a good workhorse.

There you are: a good dose of coziness and cuteness.

Day 4: white

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This swathe of white fabric kept me plenty busy this summer. I probably could have sailed a boat with it. But instead, I did some interesting Frankenpatterning to create a comic-con costume for my friend’s daughter. Any among you who are video game aficionados will recognize this character.

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The garb of Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed

Ok, so now it’s white and black and red all over.

This was a fun, yet maddening project. The fun was getting to collaborate with my friend over several weeks; each weekend having a fitting with Miss F, then sending all the kids out to play while R. and I chatted and worked on our respective crafts. Also fun was trying out some techniques I hadn’t done before, namely the slashing on the sleeves. This is reminiscent of Renaissance styling. I found a very helpful tutorial done by a woman who creates her own garb for Ren Faires and the like.

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Sleeve in process

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Slashes are cut, showing the black underlining

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Finished sleeve, ribbon details and topstitching. The garment looks rumply because Miss F is much taller than me, so it doesn’t hang right on my dress form.

The maddening part was, I had to create this costume basically from scratch, using art from the video game and a fan-drawn diagram of the key components of the costume to translate it into real life. For the hood, I used a cloak pattern that I have, but turned the hood piece around to give it the trademark point in the front. The body of the garment was a combination of the cloak pattern and a woman’s suit dress pattern from the mid-90s. Of course, neither of those two patterns truly captured the complete look, so there was a lot of measuring, drafting, sketching, and trial and error. If I were to ever do it again (which I won’t), I know what I would do differently. There’s always value in learning.

Miss F had a fantastic time at the comic-con, rocked her costume, met new friends, and even won the costume contest! She mailed me the sweetest thank you note afterwards and R. presented me with a couple of beautiful thank you gifts that she made for me. But you’ll have to wait to see those…

F Auditore AC costume

Another jam session

Summer is upon us in the Pacific Northwest! Actually, we’ve had an unusually nice June (kinda makes me wonder when the other shoe is going to drop) and the girls ditched their fleece jammies weeks ago. The problem was, they have outgrown the spring nightgowns that I made them. That was four years ago, so I suppose some growing is acceptable. {sigh} Kids. If they’re not messing up clothes, they’re growing out of them. Whatchagonnado?

Sew new pajamas, that’s what! I found this pattern from 1982 at a thrift store some time ago and snapped it up for Just Such An Occasion. After considering her options, Rana chose the babydoll set with the little top and bloomers.

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Simplicity 5949 from 1982

It was a cute pattern to work up and nothing overly tricky. The best part of all was that I had fabric in my stash that perfectly suited this little pajama set. It’s a white lightweight cotton with pastel stripes — another thrift store find that I’ve been hanging onto for years. In the pattern, the yoke of the babydoll top is cut on the same grain as the rest of the outfit. I didn’t feel like trying to match up all those skinny little stripes and have them still come out just off enough to make your eyes buggy. My solution was to cut the yoke on the cross-grain instead which sends the stripes running parallel. No matching involved and no buggy eyes. Win-win!

Ribbon shoulder ties and a sweet little ribbon rose below the yoke

Ribbon shoulder ties and a sweet little ribbon rose below the yoke

By sheer luck, the stripes on the little bloomers met just right and make me look like a genius. Thanks, stripes!

Of course I did that on purpose

Of course I did that on purpose!

On the inside of the bloomers, I sewed a little ribbon tag so that Rana could tell front from back. You can also see my French seam which I did on both garments. Rana tends to have some sensory issues when it comes to clothing and anything I can do to smooth things out and make it more comfortable is worth not having to listen to her cry and complain and eventually wear said clothing inside-out. Even though I’ve used French seams in many articles of clothing, I still have a momentary freakout when I begin sewing pieces right sides out, like I’m about to monumentally screw things up. I get a little neurotic about that.

Ooh la la

Ooh la la

And here is the full babydoll set, sans girl inside because, internet pervs.

Soft and cool for summer nights

Soft and cool for summer nights

Granota has told me that she prefers the full-length nightgown. I was hoping to make another stash bust for her, too, but I’m having trouble finding suitable fabric. I may have to break down and go buy something, but I hope not! We shall see…

Blastoff to good dreams!

It’s cold in the basement at night and I always worry about Sprinkaan staying warm enough, even in his fleece footie pajamas. He had grown out of his infant sleepsack and I don’t like putting blankets on babies while they’re sleeping. Time for a new sleepsack!

The zippers I have for the infant sleepsacks aren’t long enough to go around the outside edge of the sack in a larger size, so I had to go with a center-zip design. I used a toddler’s jumper pattern for the top part of the sleepsack and the basic flared shape, just continuing then in a straight line to a couple inches past the length of the zipper. Like all my sleepsacks (some of which are for sale in my newly reopened etsy store), quilt batting is sandwiched between the print fabric and a white lining fabric. None of the zipper edges are exposed and all seams are encased.

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Putting in the lining takes a bit of thinking where everything is inside-out and twisted for awhile.

I found a super cute rocket ship fabric and bought just over a yard of it.

The zipper is 36″ long which makes the sleepsack pretty generous, lengthwise. I put two sets of snaps on the shoulder straps to accommodate future growth.

Snaps, zipper, and a fabric tab to keep the zipper pull from poking the baby in the neck.

Snaps, zipper, and a fabric tab to keep the zipper pull from poking the baby in the neck.

I’m seeing Sprinkaan using this to at least 3 years old, by which time he’ll be able to keep his covers on without suffocating himself.

IMG_6119Back when I made this (and took the pictures) Sprinkaan was not yet walking. He does walk now and, while I don’t put him in his sleepsack until he is in bed, he does toddle around his crib in it a bit. It pulls at his shoulders a little when he tries to walk in it, but doesn’t seem to trip him up too badly. When he gets older, he’ll learn how to put his feet in the corners and walk in it like his siblings do in their sleeping bags.

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Before his curls started growing, so this was around his first birthday in November.

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Baby Easter romper

When Konik was Sprinkaan’s age, I made him a little suit coat and pants in blue and white seersucker and it was adorable. I looked at that pattern this year for Sprinkaan and I just wasn’t feeling it. Aside from the waistband on those little overall pants being a pain to put together I thought, soon enough and my baby will be wearing “big boy clothes” so why rush it? That’s why I chose to dress him in a baby outfit this year. Our babies stay babies for only so long.

This pattern (Simplicity 4243) was my go-to when friends had babies and I wanted to send a gift. Although it has been several years since I’ve used it, it was still somewhat familiar territory. I chose a robin’s egg blue poly-linen blend for the fabric. There is a zipper down the back and snaps around the inside of the legs. I chose the bear applique because Sprinkaan’s nickname is Little Bear and it’s a shape he recognizes. He probably would have preferred a car because that’s his Absolute Favorite Thing in the World, but alas, the applique selection was rather paltry. I didn’t get many good photos of him wearing his little one-piece suit because he was melting down after church.

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He has changed a lot since last Easter!

Princess dresses

Last year, the girls were not overly happy at the pattern I had chosen for their Easter dresses. With no defined waistline, they said it felt like wearing a baby dress. They’re probably right. So in an effort to redeem myself, I let them choose their pattern and fabric this year. On the plus side, they were both happy. The downside is my girls have expensive tastes. Even after I reined them in a bit! Next year I’m going to have to tighten up the parameters a bit. The pattern was Butterick 3351 — definitely a flower girl dress. The girls chose different bodice views, in which the only real difference was the straps. The pattern itself was actually quite simple to sew. Nothing tricky or unusual, just a very basic dress. It’s the fabric that sets this one apart. Each of the dresses has a sheer overlay on the skirt. In the case of Granota’s dress, it’s a lace, whereas Rana’s is just a sheer fabric with sparkles (we can always tell where she has been when she wears this dress; the trail of sparkles attests to her presence).

IMG_7028  IMG_7029 IMG_7022 IMG_7024 You may notice that Granota’s skirt is a bit fuller. She requested a “foof” to go underneath it. That’s a petticoat to the rest of us. I don’t have pictures of just the petticoat, but I used Sugardale’s tutorial and a soft nylon mesh. Rana didn’t like the idea of a foof, so I didn’t make her one. Since it is still a bit chilly here in the Pacific Northwest at Eastertime, the girls were concerned that they would be cold in their sleeveless dresses, and wearing a big coat over them just wouldn’t be right. I suggested little shawls because I am a glutton for punishment care about my children’s comfort. So in addition to sewing four Easter outfits, I was also crocheting two shrugs.

IMG_7030 IMG_7031 IMG_7025 IMG_7027 Granota’s shawl was from a book I have here at home. Rana’s was from a pattern I found online that I am too lazy to find again (I think it was off of the Red Heart site). Two more happy kids at Easter!

Little boy blue

Here are some more detailed pictures of the suit I made for Konik for Easter. The suit pattern is Butterick 6894 from 2001. I used a cotton bottom weight fabric for both the jacket and the pants. Some might think it’s cruel to make a little boy wear a suit. Let me assure you: there is no “making” here; Konik loves him some suits.

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A little twisted and rumply after a morning in church, but hey, he’s 5. It probably looked like this about two minutes after we left the house.

What is this look?!

What is this pose?!

His shirt was also a Butterick, #2164 from the ’60s by the look of the pattern art. A long time ago I had bought this at the thrift store with some other patterns. I hadn’t had a reason to really inspect the contents of this specific pattern envelope until I went to make this little button-up shirt and discovered that the sleeve piece was missing. After consulting lots of tutorials and making lots of drafts, I finally made a sleeve that would work. I wasn’t 100% pleased with it, but it worked ok. Personally, it doesn’t look comfortable, but Konik claims it’s fine. And, considering that he has worn this entire outfit four more times just since Easter, I guess he’s right because 5 year olds aren’t going to wear clothes that bother them.

IMG_7019The tie was another from Vanilla Joy’s pattern that I talked about in my last post. Konik likes that it looks like an Easter egg.

IMG_7021Still my handsome little man.