Tag Archive | easter

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.

Happy Easter 2015

Yes, I’ve been gone. However, absence here means productivity in real life! And I have most definitely been productive. I’ll write at more length later about the kids’ Easter outfits, but I know that there are plenty of people who wanted to see the outcome after a solid month of sewing (and some crocheting).

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IMG_7052Wishing you all a happy Easter!

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Easter 2014: A Dress Odyssey

It is a well-known fact that there is exactly one week between Palm Sunday and Easter. It happens every year. Palm Sunday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Easter. I know this in my head. The crafty portion of my brain is, however, disconnected from logic and basic chronological concepts (maybe this is why I couldn’t tell time until junior high? Even now, my grasp is tenuous at best). Last week — Palm Sunday — I thought, “I should make the girls Easter dresses! I’ll choose a simple pattern; it won’t be too hard. I can sew two dresses in a week.”

What a week it was.

Monday: After dropping the girls at school, the boys and I hit the fabric store. Sprinkaan slept, and Konik was engaged up until I changed my mind about the two bolts of fabric I had been carting around with us. Then I split my time between choosing new fabric that I liked better and playing hide-and-seek with the boy who had had his fill of fabric. “I wish you would have just left me in the car!”

Monday is my laundry day, so I got the fabric washed and dried while I traced off the pattern pieces for Granota and cut out the larger size for Rana. All in all, a pretty productive day.

The pattern I chose

The pattern I chose

Tuesday: This was to be my big sewing day after taking the girls to school. Right out of the gate, Tuesday did not go as planned. I had all the kids ready to go, piling out the back door as I pushed the garage door opener. When I came out, I found the kids standing in front of the open garage door with confused and helpless expressions.

 

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Houston, we have a problem

It was jammed and I couldn’t get it open more than about a foot and a half. Looks like we’re walking to school today, kids! Except that, I had allotted enough time for driving to school, not walking, so we were definitely going to be late. Also, Granota had a field trip first thing that morning. I ran inside to call the school and was surprised to be greeted so enthusiastically by the school secretary until, as I regaled her with the trials and tribulations that had beset us, she paused and then informed me that I had called the girls’ old school. We laughed and I assured her that we would not be walking the 20 miles to that school. I called the current school, told my story again and this secretary told me that the buses for the field trip would leave at 9:00, could we make it? “I think so!”

Before we could leave, I had to get the stroller which… was in the car which was stuck in the garage. So I performed a little Indiana Jones homage, belly crawling under the garage door to get it out. Then four kids and I hustled our hind ends to that school! We arrived just as the kindergartners were lining up outside for their field trip. Whew! I gave Konik a piggyback part of the way home while I pushed the stroller (and later perched him on the handlebar). By the time we got home, we were both beat and sewing was the last thing on my mind. Whether it was from that unplanned jog to school or what, Konik got sick later that afternoon, throwing up everywhere. No sewing that day.

Wednesday: I still didn’t trust Konik’s belly, so I was keeping a close eye on him; Rana woke up with a fever, so I decided to keep her home from school. But when I went to take Granota, once again, the garage door got stuck despite Mr. Gren having fixed it the night before. I told her that she would just have to stay home, too, that day. The difference between Tuesday and Wednesday: Tuesday was warm and sunny; Wednesday was rainy with two sick kids. The two sick kids perked up by lunchtime, but it was still raining, so they were all stuck inside. No sewing that day, either.

Thursday: We got smart and parked the car outside the night before so there would be no issues getting children to school. I got about a third of the way through Granota’s dress. It occurred to me that I haven’t really sewn anything in months. I felt rusty and slow.

Friday: Panic was beginning to set in. I had to get these dresses done. I finished Granota’s and, miraculously, things were moving a bit faster with Rana’s. When Mr. Gren left for work that night, he asked me how late I was going to stay up sewing. “Until I start making mistakes,” I replied. One thing that I figured was pretty mistake-proof was putting in the gathering stitches, so I took every piece that needed gathering and did that. By the time I went to bed, all the individual pieces were ready to be put together.

Saturday: Whether it was having made the pattern once already or just another Easter miracle, I was able to finish up Rana’s dress in just two more hours. I sewed the buttons on both dresses right before I went to bed. Down to the wire! I still excel under pressure, Mom.

Easter Sunday:

In the tradition of family Easter photos the world over, Rana hams it up, Granota looks stiff and unnatural and Konik wonders what's going on.

In the tradition of family Easter photos the world over, Rana hams it up, Granota looks stiff and unnatural and Konik wonders what’s going on.

The fabric for Rana’s dress was called “rose sorbet” and Granota’s was “spring medley.” Cheery, no? It’s hard to see, but there are little rick-rack-bordered patch pockets on the dresses. (I did not make Konik’s suit — it’s on loan from my dear friend, V. Thanks!)

More Easter ham

More Easter ham

Yoke detail with rick-rack and ball buttons.

Yoke detail with rick-rack and ball buttons.

All four chilluns

All four chilluns

I did make the suit that Sprinkaan is wearing; Konik wore it for his first Easter! It’s a little blue and white seersucker overall and jacket.

Sprinkaan in his big brother's Easter suit. Making it look good!

Sprinkaan in his big brother’s Easter suit. Making it look good!

And a close-up of the baby, because he’s adorable and photogenic and actually smiles for his pictures.

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What I learned last week is that I can, in fact, sew two little Easter dresses in six days, however, it’s not really enjoyable and I could benefit from a little planning ahead. Easter 2015 is April 5th (you’re welcome), so I ought to start March 5th, to accommodate sick children, garage door mishaps and whatever else might come my way. I might even have time to sew something new for myself! (Hush, Jennifer, that’s just crazy talk)

Dapper little dude

I don’t know why it’s so hard to find an actual little boy’s suit in stores these days. You would think that, of all times of year, the weeks leading up to Easter would have the racks packed with tiny suits. But sweater vest is as dressy as it gets anymore. Not knockin’ the sweater vest; I just prefer to take it up a notch. So for three years running, I’ve made my tiny guy a little Easter suit. Even sewing patterns are hard to come by, though. Anyone who has tried to sew for little boys knows what I’m talking about it. You get the baby romper patterns, pajamas, and t-shirts & shorts. (Seriously? I’m going to waste my time sewing an itty-bitty t-shirt?) Vintage and retro patterns are the only way to go anymore!

I thought I had made a pretty good score on a little suit pattern that I got on ebay for 99 cents. Then there was a whole wrong address fiasco and I wasn’t sure I was even going to see the pattern before Easter, forcing me to return to the pattern I’ve used the past two years. I found it at Value Village for 69 cents (I’d say I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it by now). For some reason, I thought I had used the largest size last year and that’s why I needed a new one. Lucky for me, I hadn’t, so one week out from Easter, I was buying fabric.

Whenever I can, I try to avoid synthetic fabrics, which tend to be the only option for suiting material at Joann’s. I had to resort to that last year, but it wasn’t my favorite and I was hoping to find something better. And then I found the linen! Ahh, so many nice linens. I really want to go back and get several yards to make myself a dress. Or two. Or more. Focus, focus! Florals will not work for a little boy!  Not only are there a dearth of boy patterns, it’s tough to find appropriate fabric, too! I finally settled on a nice tan and white stripe.

Tiny jacket

The stripes turned out to be a minor hassle. I’ve mentioned before how you have to be careful when sewing with plaid and the same rules apply for stripes. When the fabric is folded in half, the stripes should line up before you start cutting anything. Should. Unless, the stripe is not an even pattern. At first glance, mine seemed to be, but once I folded the fabric in half, I realized that the repeat on my stripes only went one direction. It’s not a big deal, but it does mean that I had to cut out the pattern pieces with the fabric laying flat. Twice as much work to make sure that both sides of the jacket and both pant legs and sleeves resemble each other, with the dominant stripe running through key spots on the body. By the time I finished cutting everything out, my brain was fried. I didn’t want a repeat of the horrible sewing experience I had with Rana’s pink dress, so I just set everything aside and came back to it the next day.

Tiny trousers with fake fly, decorative button, but real pockets.

That was the right choice! It all went together beautifully. And, since I managed to crank it out all in one day, I decided that I had time to make Konik a little hat. After all, the girls had sun bonnets, why shouldn’t he get a new hat, too? That, too, was a good choice. I mean, just look at him!

Who else wants to just hug him up?

Corduroy newsboy cap lined with seersucker and one of those do-it-yourself buttons to match.

Oh, and little man knew he was good-looking stuff today. It was so funny watching him cavort and frisk around at church. He was even shaking hands with people, this tiny little person who’s not even 3 feet tall acting like a big man.

Maman loves her baby.

Easter dresses are ready for Sunday

First up was Granota’s blue dress which I managed to crank out nearly all in one day. I constructed the entire thing and then let it hang overnight so the bias could stretch. Hemmed it and put in the zipper the next morning! The whole thing went together like a dream. Seriously, it was like an out of body experience where my spirit just watched my body sew that thing up without so much as one grab for the seam ripper. It was beautiful. It would stand to reason that, having made the pattern once, the second one would go together equally well.

Kinda magnificent, if I do say so myself.

Well, the second time was also like an out of body experience, only this time my spirit was helplessly shouting, “No! No! What are you doing?! Oh heck, you completely forgot a step! Good gravy, woman, haven’t you ever heard of a seam allowance? Ah man, not the seam ripper again!” while my body fumbled and muddled through the entire construction process. Instead of the streamlined one+ day to make the dress, it took me four days (three for sewing and one where I completely ignored it in hopes that my brain would come home to roost before I touched the dress again). It really was weird. The whole time I was screwing things up, I knew I was screwing things up. And yet, I was powerless to stop it. I may have a little more compassion when I’m watching Project Runway and the “good” designers turn out a total hack job. My explanation is that their body, like mine, was temporarily host to some kind of sewing-impaired Quasimodo. What else could it be?

It was a long, hard road, but we got there in the end.

These dresses gave me the opportunity to try some things out for the first time.

1) Sewing with brocade. I had never sewn with any kind of slippery fabric before, but this pattern was just calling out to be made in a brocade. (At some point I’ll eventually have to get up and go find the pattern to see what it is since the online catalogs are not listing it. But right now I’m comfy in my chair and don’t want to move.) This brocade is a rayon-poly blend, so it’s not the real deal silk stuff, which is completely ok with me. Knowing my girls and Easter Dresses Past, they are going to wear these things into the ground. No sense in shelling out the big bucks. I read up on important things to know about sewing with brocade and then decided I had better stop wimping out and just get to it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not nearly as finicky to work with as I had anticipated. I didn’t notice any extra slipping as I sewed. I was very careful about where I pinned so as not to leave marks. And, all my trials and tribulations with the pink dress proved that you can remove seams without damaging the fabric. You just have to be careful. Of course, it’s better if you were careful in the first place. Despite the mess-ups, which were no fault of the fabric, I really loved working with it. It’s so slinky and shiny and the colors are beautiful. I want to make everything out of brocade now.

I can't get over the color.

2) Using piping. I had never made a pattern that required the use of piping until this one, and even then, it was listed as “optional.” I opted in because I think it really completes the look. It was actually not hard to use at all. Just use a zipper foot when applying it. I loved the outcome so much that now I want to put piping on everything, too. It was actually cheaper than I thought it would be (under $2), so there may very well be more piping in my future.

Fun fact: Did you know that piping has a wrong and right side?

3) Mandarin collar. I wasn’t scared of doing this, but I was interested to see how it would come together. I really liked the process. Pretty simple and straightforward. The collar on the pink dress does not stand up in front as it should; I think I sewed it in too far. Even the blue one is a little turned out. But we’ll see how they look once there’s a neck inside them. It was fun to do, and adds another technique to my arsenal, but I don’t feel the need to put a Mandarin collar on everything.

Earlier, I mentioned hanging the blue dress overnight before I hemmed it. When a skirt is cut on the bias like this one is, letting it hang is a good practice, even if the pattern doesn’t outright tell you to do so. Fabric stretches most on the bias. If you hem it and then hang it, you’ll very likely end up with weird puckers as the fabric tried to stretch, but was prevented by the stitching. Better to just let it get that out of its system before you hem. And if you ever doubted the necessity of it, check out this picture where you can see how far past the pattern paper the skirt stretched.

Lo and behold, the skirt is a 1/2" longer than I cut it.

Convinced now? I promise, you’ll be happier in the long run if you curb your impatience to finish.

Good zipper application

Drunken monkey zipper application

One change I made to this pattern was eliminating the facings. I hate facings. They never lie down right once they’re done, making weird lines and lumps on the outside of the garment. So I lined the bodice with lightweight cotton instead (besides, it’s nice to have breathable fabric against your skin). To make the lining for the front bodice, I traced the outline of the two bodice pieces; I just used the back pattern piece as-is to make the back lining. I think the interior finish turns out much nicer with the lining. It encases the zipper edge and covers the waist seamline as well. Everything is nice and neat!

Lined bodice prior to being attached to the skirt

So there you have it, folks — completed Easter dresses. Not your typical Easter dress what with the Asian flair and all, but I thought it was a nice change of pace; we’ve been down the Puff Sleeve-Gathered Skirt road before. Next up, a little linen suit for my tiny man! I’m really hoping for another one of those sewing zen days like I had with the blue dress. Stay tuned!

Ok, so it's kind of a puff sleeve. But how cool is that piping?

Hippity-hoppity

I’m proud to introduce the newest addition to my etsy shop: an Easter bunny!

I say “an Easter bunny” because I don’t know that I can claim him the title of THE Easter bunny. Besides, I plan on making more.

Take me home!

Actually, I’m just ears and a tail away from finishing a little miniature bunny that fits perfectly in the palm of my hand. Konik picked it up the other day and said, “I like dis bunny” in his sweet little 2 year old voice. He may need one of those tiny guys in his Easter basket.