Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Project Run & Play Sew-Along: Streak, Stroke, Stripe Part 1

Rory's 1930's Playset

 Among my vast collection of children's patterns are some treasured original vintage ones from the '30's, 40's, and 50's.  (Let's not talk about the patterns from the 1960's-80's.  They can't be vintage because that would make ME vintage, too!)  I don't have very many of these because they are hard to find and very expensive when one does find them.

But I have discovered a marvelous source of legally copied and reproduced vintage patterns on  

Frank at A PATTERN PEDDLER has an entire shop filled with gorgeous reproduced vintage patterns with envelopes just like the originals.  The copies are printed on sturdy paper and are very clear.   In addition,  all the big pieces are cut and taped together for the vintage sewing enthusiast.  I have purchased about 15 of these patterns so far and this is the first one I have made up.  (BTW:  I am not affiliated with this shop in any way, except as a very satisfied customer!)

I was anxious to make this pattern up because of those cute shoulder/arm ties!

Rory reminded me so much of Shirley Temple in this outfit and those sweet curls!

Original copyright:  1934.  From A Pattern Peddler on
Pattern:  Vintage McCall 7813, size 2.

Although the pattern has sweet little shorts included, I opted to make a pair from one of my go-to shorts patterns in Australian Smocking & Embroidery # 78 in a size 2.  (Rory is a slender three year old and these fit perfectly.)

Fabric:  Poly-cotton plisse from JoAnn Crafts purchased ages ago.

I did make one change to the pattern.  I added a placket and a ribbon tie to the back to facilitate dressing for a busy three year old.

Those curls!

Love this sweet pose!

  I have another dress I am working on to enter for this striped   
Sew-Along challenge for an almost 8 year old young lady.  It just needs buttonholes and buttons. 
 I hope to fit in a photo shoot and get that one blogged before Saturday's deadline!  

Be sure to check out the Project Run & Play Stripes challenge and Sew-Along challenge HERE and HERE.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Project Run & Play Sew-Along: Sew Your Stash Part 3

Sugar & Spice For Tatum!

What a smile this sweet little one has!

One of the things that I love to do is rescue old linens.  The beautiful hand embroidery, crochet work, hemstitching, and lace work speak to me.  I can do some of this work myself and I know the hours of careful work that is takes to do these things by hand.  It amazes me when I discover these old linens (in estate sales, antique stores, yard sales, and resale shops) that they are not appreciated by the descendants of those that made them with such hope and love.  It amazes me even more (and saddens me, too) when I come across pieces that are in perfect condition.  It means that they were not used by the needle artist or the recipient if they were gifts.  I believe in using things.  I use my Lenox china every day.  I use my linens, both new and antique, whether stained or not.  When I come across these old treasures they are washed and put in my linen closet for our use or in my ever expanding stash to be re-purposed into something else.  Vintage pillowcases make sweet dresses and tops for little girls.  You can see some of my previous vintage pillowcase creations HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

 This little pillowcase was one of a pair found in an antique store.  Although they had been used they were in perfect condition.  This time I decided to make a tunic top that could be worn with a skirt, shorts, or with jeans.  I decided to match the blues first and found some fabric that my dear heart sister Jana gave me a while ago.  It is super soft and has a lovely drape for a little swing skirt.  The shorts fabric is relatively new.  (In the stash only a little over a year or so.)  It is a floral and has both the blue and pink from the embroidered flowers of the pillowcase.

I love that this little skirt is lined!
 Patterns used:  Oliver + S Swingset Skirt, Simplicity #8347, and Kari Mecca's More Sewing With Whimsey for the shorts. All patterns have been in my stash for a long time.  I've used the shorts and skirt patterns many times but it was the first time using the Simplicity #8347.  As usual,  it ran a bit large but I really love the ruffles!
Skirt size 5.  Blouse size 4 with adaptation to accommodate the vintage pillowcase.

The shoulders are completely covered, so Tatum can wear this outfit to school!

 This little set will be great for P.E. in the hot Florida sun when we go back to school in August (with tennis shoes, of course)!

Check out all the other entries for both Stash contests at Project Run & Play HERE and HERE.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Project Run & Play Sew Along: Sew Your Stash Part 2

Summer Clothes For Sweethearts!

I am officially having too much fun!  I am sewing up a storm (sewing every day) and I am getting to have some fun with the little cuties for whom I have been sewing!  As a kindergarten teacher, my sewing time is limited during the school year.  I am having the best time creating things and getting to have photo shoots with the little girls who are the recipients of the outfits.  

Just look at the faces of these precious little girls!

Top Row:  Tatum & Harper
Bottom Row:  Rory & Rosalie (A.K.A. Honey Bee)
The little girls are the daughters of teacher friends.  I am the oldest on my kindergarten team of five.  In fact, I have been teaching at my school since 1988 when we opened.  I love teaching and I love my team and my school!  It is pretty wonderful to enjoy going to work every day.  Although I am certainly 'grandmother age', my own children are only in their early twenties and I have no grandchildren...yet.  So, I choose to sew for the children of my friends! Their mom's have more modern tastes and pull me into this decade with more boutique and casual styles and less heirloom (my preference).  I have to say, though, that I have certainly had fun making these things and getting to see them on the children. 

For this set, I used the same pattern for all four children:  Simplicity # 1472.  I have made it before several times.  The pattern goes from size 1/2 to 4.  I made Honey Bee a size 2 (age 2), Rory a size 3 (age 3), Harper a size 4 (age 5), and Tatum a size 4 adapted with added width to a size 5 (age almost 6).  I used an orange sea creatures print gifted to me several years ago for two of the dresses and Honey Bee's top.  All the contrasting fabrics are left-overs pieces from other projects.  Rory's sundress was made with three coordinating prints I purchased a long time ago.  (I can't remember when!)  Rory loves mermaids! Honey Bee's bloomers/knickers/pantaloons (depending on where they were situated on her body!) are from an old jeans dress of mine! Yay!  Re-purposed!

The hat was for Rory but I forgot to take photos of her wearing it.
  It looked adorable on her, though!

Almost all the photos of Honey Bee had some part that was blurry.
Just like a honey bee's wings, sometimes Honey Bee is too fast to photograph!

The back of this little dress is so cute and definitely cool for the summer heat!

That's a wrap!  One more Stash Busting Post to try to get finished by tomorrow night.  Stay tuned!

Don't forget to visit Project Run & Play to see all the stash designs by the official contestants (HERE) and the sew-along contestants (HERE)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Project Run & Play Sew A-long: Sew Your Stash!

Winnie the Pooh for Honey Bee

The following is an excerpt that I wrote in a letter recently to my heart sister, Jana, describing the mental dialogue I had with myself over the recent Project Run & Play sew-along contest for The Circus Theme.  (See my entry HERE.) It details how this little Winnie the Pooh outfit came about for the adorable Honey Bee (AKA:  Rosalie).  All fabrics, floss, patterns, and buttons are from my stash.  

         I am sewing a lot.  There are more ideas in my head and more fabric in the sewing room than I can put together in the time I have!!!  There is a new Project Run and Play Contest starting next week and I have ideas for the first week.  The theme is “Circus”.  (Me, stream of thought:  “Circus!  Oh!  Elephants!  Baby Dumbo!  Disney Inspired.  Marnie takes Rosalie all the time with annual pass.  Rosalie, age 2 = Dumbo!  Gray fabric trimmed in red and yellow, yellow hat, ruffle at neckline.  Oh!  Needs to be hot weather proof.  Baggy bloomers and halter top!  Hat needs to be a sun hat!”  Now heart is racing.  “Must go through patterns! Draw sketches!”) Lengthy pattern search. (Me cutting fabric:  Ah, I bought the perfect gray!  Now for the accents.  Look in stash. Which yellow?  Bright!  Good!  Which red? Yes! Christmas red!  Oh, but wait!  Rosalie’s last name is _____.  What about this red with the tiny bees?  Bespoke!  Just for her! Perfect!  Hmmmmmmmmmm……  Now what to do with the rest of this red and bee fabric?  Not much here.  Well….  Make another ‘Go With’ outfit for Rosalie that she can wear the sunhat with.  Oh!  Use the same yellow for the lining of an open back a-line pinafore dress!  Use yellow for bloomers that can be used with Dumbo top in case of accidents! “ ) Rosebud comes in and I show/tell her about the second outfit.  She says, “Oh, it looks like a Winnie the Pooh outfit, Mama!”  Now I am off on another mental tear. (What?!!  Yes!!! Disney has a whole Pooh area for little kids!  Hat is nod to Christopher Robin’s rain hat!  Yellow Pooh, red shirt = yellow bloomers and red with tiny bees dress.  Hmmmmmmm…..  tie it in more to Pooh……  Pocket with embroidered skep and tiny bees and the word ‘honey’!)  Heart is  pounding and hands are shaking! Now the outfit has taken on a life of its own and has two tops/dresses and two bloomers and a hat!  I sure hope these measurements that Marnie has taken are accurate! 
        I know, I am crazy.

But just look at her!!!

I had such fun making this outfit!  The hat was blogged about in the Dumbo blog HERE.  The lines sewn around the brim are a nod to Christopher Robin's rain hat.

I have actually wanted to make one of these wrap back pinafore sun dresses for a long time.  There are several patterns for this style in the stash that were purchased when my own twenty-four year old daughter was little.  I was so intent on making heirloom and smocked clothing for her that I never got around to making one of these.  So darling and relatively quick.  I did increase the time involved by hand embroidering the pockets and edge-stitching the entire dress.  One thing that I learned, though, was that the straps need to be interfaced in the buttonhole area.  Next time...and there will be a next time.

Fabrics:  tiny yellow cotton print from JoAnn's and the red bee mystery fabric both from my stash
Pattern:  McCall's #6303, XL  Note:  Pattern runs very large.  
This size is for a a maximum 24 lbs. child.  Honey Bee is 30 pounds and it is roomy on her.

Honey Bee loved the pockets!

Photos taken of Honey Bee with the yellow headband were taken by her mommy at Disney! 
 I was so excited to see these!

Honey Bee and her Mama

I love this action shot of the back of the dress showing those puffy bloomers!

The little Honey Bee has zoomed off!  I hope you enjoyed my rambling thoughts and the cutie pie wearing my latest creation!  Check out the wonderful creations made by the official contestants HERE and by the sew a-long contestants HERE.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Project Run & Play Sew Along: The Circus Theme


Leave it to the ladies at Project Run & Play to come up with a theme that made me gasp aloud and immediately start planning an outfit for the cutest little two year old AND decide to blog again!!!  The Circus!  Oh, my!  My first thought was Disney's Dumbo, the baby circus elephant with the giant ears.  I have always loved the story and the "Baby Mine" lullaby.  

A few of my favorite famous quotes from the movie:  

"Embrace what makes you different."
"Don't just fly, SOAR!"
"The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up."

Sneak peek of extra outfit for Honey Bee sketched on the bottom.

The outfit would be for my friend Marnie's little Rosalie.  Marnie is also a kindergarten teacher at my school and I get to see her adorable little girl often.  Rosie also has Bee in her name and she is like a very busy little Honey Bee that never stops moving.  So...I have nicknamed her "Honey Bee".  Marnie and her family have year-long Disney passes and visit the Magic Kingdom often.  I knew that the outfit would have to be hot weather and toddler friendly and made with easily cared for and breathable cotton.

The outfit had to have the three main colors for Dumbo.  Gray, of course, and red and yellow for the hat and ruffled collar Dumbo wore while performing.

I started sketching right away.  I wanted very full gray bloomer type knickers and a top with a full skirt that would represent Dumbo himself.  It had to have a red ruffle at the top, yellow rickrack, and a yellow hat with a brim that would shield Honey Bee's fair skin.  

Top:  Adapted from Modkid's "Ava", size 3 with a length of a 2, ruffle added
Knickers:  Australian Smocking & Embroidery # 53 "Child of Nature", size 18 months
Hat:  McCall's 6303, XL 

While looking through my stash for the perfect red, I found this bee print that I can't remember when or where it was purchased.  But it was perfect for Honey Bee!

 I was very pleased with the way the hat turned out with all the extra stitching on the brim. As I was making the hat my daughter happened to see the red and yellow fabric on the ironing board and said, "Oh, this could be a Winnie the Pooh Disney Inspired outfit."  Now the hat had to do double duty as a nod to Christopher Robin's rain hat and two more pieces had to be made for this precious child!  (To be blogged about next...I hope!)

We chose this past Wednesday for modeled shots of the outfit because it wasn't supposed to rain that day.  Of course, it did and we took the photos between sprinkles near and under a shelter at a park.  Honey Bee will be going to Disney this weekend and I hope her parents get some cute photos of her by the flying Dumbo ride.  I will add photos when I get them.

 Everything fit!

Back view.  I have a lot of back view photos! 
 This little Honey Bee was zooming around!

I love how the open front reminds me of Dumbo's ears!

Hat on.  Backwards.

Hat off.

Hat on the ground.

Flowers in the hat.

Hat back on.

The following is a tiny photo pictorial on how I changed the "Ava" pattern so that the seams on the bodice were hidden.  This finish makes a completely smooth (no raw edges) lining for the bodice.

I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of Disney's Dumbo for The Circus Theme!

Check out all the wonderful Circus "makes" at Project Run & Play HERE and HERE  for the Sew Along contestants.  
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