Sunday, April 15, 2012

Abbey Dress

I have what seems like a million friends currently expecting, most with girls. I thought I'd get a head start on sewing gifts. Living quite far from any stores that sell patterns, I looked online for something free.

I found this dress pattern via Pinterest, it's free and is called The Abbey Dress. This purple one is the first one I made... some of the instructions and pattern pieces on the original post weren't quite so clear so I kind of plowed through it and attempted to do my best at figuring out what was what. The dress originally ended up looking quite short, so I added an underlayer with a white fabric trimmed in the ruffled purple fabric at the bottom.  I used piping like the original blogger, but found it quite finicky to work with. 

I wanted to make some sort of a label, and this morning recalled that somewhere I had a fabric marker.   I used some letter stamps and ribbon, and voila!   I think it turned out quite nice. 

A close-up of the back of the dress.   I'm not fantastically crazy about the closure on this dress pattern, and ended up muddling the piping a bit on the lower portion there (used a zigzag stitch to save it).

Once you figure out how to correctly draw and measure the bodice piece from the original  post, and sew through the pattern once, it's pretty easy to then again replicate.  I don't have a baby around to try this on, so I'm not sure how great a fit it is.   The original post says it should fit a newborn as a dress, through to a one-year old as a shirt.  The dress can be made with a fat quarter (18"x21") if you use another fabric as the bodice lining (I have done this several times with using a plain white or tan cotton lining).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wee Little Ones

I have about a million friends who are currently pregnant. So, because I like sewing, I'm of course sewing all kinds of cute stuff! Thought I'd take a stroll here down memory lane of some of my past sewing for babies projects.

There are a whole bunch of cute free patterns on the internet these days, which is awesome. A few years ago there weren't, so here are a few of the dresses I made back then using purchased patterns:

This one was made from a brown thrifted duvet cover that I actually ended up making quite a few things from. I wish I still had some of this fabric left, it was a lovely chocolate colour and worn to a nice softness. The trim was some vintage lace I got at a little out of the way store in the middle of nowhere. I have a bit of it left in my stash but not much.

This dress is from the same pattern as the brown one, but with the addition of sleeves. The main white fabric was from a thrifted sheet that my old landlord gave me. For the hem I just used the hemmed edge of the sheet. The duck embroidery is a piece of embroidered "clear" fabric trim (what is that stuff called?) that came from the same place I got the lace above from. I covered up the edges with some yellow rick rack I got from my Gramma and appliqued the little duck at the top. I think this is one of my favourite things that I have ever sewn. This dress went to a little girl named Sophia, whom I believe is now 4 years old.

I don't have a better photo of this dress, just this folded view... on top of my old bedspread! The blue fabric was a heavier cotton, and had the chocolate brown dotted flowers that I matched to plain sleeves and a collar. I think I gave this dress to my friend Cory's little daughter Mikaya.

This dress is from the same pattern as the one with brown sleeves, and has the same lace trim as the brown duvet dress. It was made from a pale blue fabric with little white dots. I think this went to little Eva in Oregon.

I love this orange print fabric! This was one of my first attempts at machine-applique. This went to a little girl named Juliet. The other day I just discovered I still have some of this fabric left in my stash.

Recognize the fabric? This one I made a little bit longer and added some pink piping to. Tessa also got the blue/brown/white quilt from this post (and hey, you might recognize some of those other fabrics!).

And finally, an actual baby! This is Reagan in another dress I made. You will recognize the familiar pattern. The orange floral fabric is some I got from my Mom, trimmed up with some rick rack and matching orange broadcloth. The back is fastened with some vintage green and orange buttons.

I'll post some of the dresses and things I've been making recently shortly. I like how baby clothes generally take a lot less time than a full-size garment!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Orange Bento Box Quilt

This is a quilt I made a few years ago for a friend for Christmas. The orange-y fabrics are actually two different coloured satin-y type fabrics. To turn it magically into four different fabrics, I simply reversed the two oranges which turned into two other shades. The pattern was a "bento box" one I improvised after finding some similar patterns online.

I ended up tying the quilt with chocolate brown embroidery floss. It seemed like the best way to quilt it. The batting inside is a fluffy polyester one.

To determine the layout, I used my "patented" Excel technique.

For the edging and backing, I used a plain cotton/polyester broadcloth. The finished size is a nice, cozy, curled-up-for-tv-watching size.