When I wrote my year-end sewing recap, I was really surprised I had made so many things. I mean, really surprised. For one, with so many people in one house, that amount of sewing doesn't go as far as one might think. But more than that, I was surprised because my sewing time is so limited.
My goal was and is to carve out a couple of hours once a week to sew. I almost never sew during the week. I would love to but I just can't seem to make it work. I'm pretty ruthless with time management. I'm not on Facebook, Instagram, and try not to stockpile ideas on Pinterest which is very tempting to me. But still, I can't seem to make sewing during the week work. So it is what it is!
After giving it some thought I realized that my style has become much more streamlined. Consequently, most of the things I sew now are very fast. Where I once spent 4-6 hours on an Oliver + S pattern, I now spend under an hour on a tshirt.
I'm so thankful for those O+S patterns, because Liesl's detailed instructions literally taught me how to sew as well as so many techniques. But now, I'm more inclined to sew things that are quicker with fewer fussy details.
Dan's uncle has an expression, "We aren't building pianos!" That pretty much sums up my sewing as of late.
And so, case in point, a couple of weeks ago I sewed this Bohemian Babydoll dress in Kaufman's Railroad Denim.
I really think this is the perfect dress pattern. It can be worn alone in the summer but layers well in the winter. I love the subtle details of the curved hem, curved bodice, and contrasting hem facing. Without any back closures like buttons or zippers, it comes together fast and yet, in my opinion isn't lacking at all in cuteness.
Following Erin's advice, I used Rae's tutorial demonstrating the sausage method for finishing the sleeves. That worked great! It's easy and results in a clean finish.
The inspiration for the dress came from this pin, but then last week I saw on the Kids Clothes Week blog that Jess had made something similar almost 4 years ago. I hope that means this is a classic style rather than that my fashion sense is four years behind! :)
I made the tshirt in this beige jersey using a pattern from the 4/2013 issue of Ottobre. It's #6 - without all the bells and whistles.
The only thing I would change next time is to make the cuffs more like a typical cuff which is folded onto itself and attached at the sleeve rather than attached to the sleeve on one end and hemmed at the other.
I was really excited to sew my first tshirt for Jude, #39 from Ottobre 4/2013! I was also grateful and humbled that he'll still accept my mama-mades. Truthfully, I have not been super inspired to sew more adultish clothing. Maybe because jeans and cords seem like too much work and tshirts are easy enough to buy. It's why I don't sew for myself much, either.
Admittedly, I've felt a bit at a loss regarding what to make for Jude, especially after he grew out of more "babyish" (in his opinion) clothing. From instance, he felt he was too grown up for this knight hoodie that I wanted to sew for him. But sewing tshirts is growing on me and while I don't intend to make all of his tshirts (or my own), I do hope I can include some in his rotation.
I'm still trying to figure out knits. I feel like I have a good handle on them, but I'm not totally there yet.
I decided to go back to 100% stretch thread (instead of in the bobbin only), but I used a straight stitch rather than a double needle. Otherwise, the stretched thread seems to tangle in the double needle which is a real pain. Also it's pretty difficult to thread. So I'm hoping these hems will hold up. Only time will tell and you don't know unless you try. (How's that for throwing two cliches at you at once?) :)
Also, I discovered a really awesome product called Wondertape. The Ottobre instructions recommended using it to stabilize the shoulder seams. While I may generally be inclined to skip those instructions (ahem), I decided not to this time and was amazed at how well it worked.
Next I decided to tried it when folding the seam allowance of the pocket and again when sticking the pocket to the shirt and it was incredible. No pins, people! I'm never looking back! ;)
And speaking of not looking back, Hazey Mae is now crawling. She's somewhere in between an army crawl and an actual one. Here I laid her on her play mat and look where she ended up! Girl's only 5 months old!
Having had three other early crawlers, I know this means one thing for certain - I will be doing a lot more vacuuming! ;)
Beautiful clothes as always!ReplyDelete
My fav method to hem knit is to use the triple straight stitch (with normal thread). I have tried the double needle, but those seams kept breaking. So now I'm back to just one row of triple straight stitch. Stretches well and is super stable.
Also, I'm really thinking about trying to do a row of flatlocking (using my serger) for the hem soon. I think it would really give a nice finish!
Love the dress! I want to find a more casual dress pattern for Aria this spring/summer than the ones I've done before. I love the ones I've done for Easter dresses, but something more every day. This one is great for everyday, but not sure it's right for a 10 year old. Any suggestions?ReplyDelete
Aw Rachel I’m working through this very same issue! It’s hard as our girls grow and start wearing more adult styles. I am often stumped with Indigo. I think the skater dress could be one option? But the bodice is quite loose - I always size down. This Bohemian Babydoll dress also comes in a sleeveless version - maybe that would be less babyish? Do you read Sanae Ishida’s blog? Her daughter is 8 and she sews clothes for her that are always so chic.Delete
Oh my gosh! Crawling already??!!! I was so FINE with my babies not crawling until much later. FINE. Especially with Maggie, because I remembered those difficult months of mobility all too well! They can get into so much trouble, and they are freakishly fast! And like you say, vacuuming! Ha. Although I figure a bit of dust and dog hair is good for the immune system.ReplyDelete
Wondertape!! I will try that on my next tee! Awesome, thank you!
I love all of these items. I must say, you make that Bohemian Babydoll dress seem like a wardrobe essential. My "no new patterns" resolution is being put to the test! LOL! But I am thrilled to see you sewing from Ottobre, because that's another of my resolutions - "sew from Ottobre rather than buying new patterns." Joe has picked out two Ottobre t-shirt patterns for me to sew for him.
Right now I have three gifts in the lineup, that I feel I must complete before I return to sewing for myself and my kids, but soon! Soon!
Oh goodness, Inder, you are preaching to the choir! It’s so much harder when they get mobile. I would have also been fine with her taking her time! :)Delete
I’m not sure how much you’ve sewn from Ottobre, but I have found taking measurements first to be key. My girls measure very small in those patterns and I always need to add lots of length. Can’t wait to see what you make!
I'm following your (classic, never belated) sense of style as I'm planning on adding a few Bohemian dresses to my girl's closet soon.
I've sewn the tunic a couple of times and love it - fast and easy sewing is all I need at the end of the day (and every girl needs an everyday dress that looks this cool, right?).
And those yellow shoes (and socks)! Love it.
Now, I just wish I could convince myself to sew more for my boys. The tee looks so great on him :)
The clothes don't look like a one hour job to me; they look like really expensive, boutique garb. Your kids are so cute to begin with that they could all wear hideous clothes, and still pull it off, so this takes the adorableness to an almost unbelievable level. So I must know if the rest of your life is as equally outrageously astounding. When you vacuum, do you have a cat that rides a Roomba in a shark costume? See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLt5rBfNucc if you don't know what I'm talking about. Best of luck with the baby-proofing.ReplyDelete
Aw, thank you so much for those great compliments! That’s really sweet. And the video of the cat was cute!Delete
I will tell you something astounding about my life and that is the laundry! With the dishes coming in as a not too distant second. ;)
Crawling already?? Oh man. Mine are later on the crawling/walking but early on the talking (omigosh C recently started shaking his head "no no" when he's doing something he's not supposed to and says "awwwww" and lays his head on my chest when I ask for a hug, and it's killing me with adorable). Totally with you on the quicker projects these days for the kids, too...I'm okay spending more time on selfish sewing but less okay with it for them! Sorry kids. That Fairy Tale Dress was worth it but really took it out of me. haha.ReplyDelete
LOVE Iris' dress and you've got me so tempted to buy that pattern! Also love that you're sewing for Jude a bit, that's so tough to get right at his age.
I think you do more sewing in your two hours then I do all week ; ) little Hazey Mae. Good thing you quit using pins!ReplyDelete
Lovely pics as per usual
I can't believe she is crawling already! ah! trouble is coming!!ReplyDelete
I read your replies to previous comments : I checkedout Sanae Ishida's blog! wow! stunning: she has such a sense of style! I am glad I discovered it.. but it means it adds to my list of sewing blogs reading!! I am addicted but there is so much talent out there and it is hard to ignore it!
and of course , you are part of the talented ladies!! this bohemian dress is perfect in its simplicity. I love your choice of fabric. I do struggle with finding patterns to sew for the winter, which is very cold around here. The socks Iris wears are the cutest things ! I need to get some like these, but Blandine is probably too old to wear some ! what a shame!
Jude looks really grown up in his T-shirt. Yes, our children are growing up and I think we realize it even more when we spend a lot of time with them and make things for them.
So, SO glad to hear (knock wood) that the flu skipped by the rest of you! Along with the lack of sleeping, getting sick probably would have done you in:( I hope that your household stays healthy and happy!ReplyDelete
Beautiful dress! I have looked at that pattern over and over and contemplated purchasing it, esp. when I see such fabulous versions like yours. But i have about 7-10 purchased pdf patterns sitting on my computer desktop that I simply cannot add to in good conscience. Plus a year's worth of Ottobre magazines that have seen little love. But blue and white stripe denim in any form gets me everytime:)
Loved reading your thoughts on time management. Good for you for eschewing FB and Instagram. Pinterest is my downfall, though. I need to start saving those many minutes for more productive sewing time. You've inspired me!
Gah - Lucinda, I know! Pinterest! So much inspiration in one place! And because I'm nursing, it's even more tempting. But I've found I'm happier when I use that time to do my reading instead. Being filled to the brim with ideas yet having so little time to execute them is kind of a downer, too! ;) But definitely all things in moderation is my motto there!Delete
Gee whiz, hazel! Trying to catch up with the siblings? Or making sure mommy doesn't get too far away? I think I need to reinstate a 2 Instagram sessions a day rule around here. Social media can really kill time like crazy. I already made myself give up Pinterest for the most part. It was too much information and ideas, and my brain just got overwhelmed. I do use it to bookmark ideas I come across, and I search it for specific things, but don't spend time scrolling through it much anymore.ReplyDelete
I've been wishing I had a subscription to ottobre for a long time. It seems like their patterns fit well and have professional detail.
I have a love / hate relationship with stretch thread. It will be sewing along beautifully, then when I look at the underside there will be one little spot of mangled thread. Ugh!! I love your clothing style! Beautiful work!ReplyDelete
I kind of do too, Courtney. What's been working for me lately is to wind the cone thread onto a bobbin rather than sew directly from the cone. Also, I've noticed that my hems sewn with a straight stitch from several months ago are holding up great! I'm wondering if my tension gets wonky when I use a double needle?Delete
Now that I have demonstrated falling from my bike hard enough to crack the inner lining—but not my head—I'm even more adamant that everyone should wear a bike helmet properly.ReplyDelete
Can Jude teach Iris how to put hers on flat—parallel to the ground—so that when she falls (yes, it's sure to be when, not if) the front of the helmet has a hope of protecting her nose. If the helmet is worn on the back of her as the picture shows, her hair might look better but the helmet cannot protect her as it should. Iris will need to learn how to get her hair out of the way because the helmet pads need to rest on skin to stay in place.
And maybe Iris should explain to Jude that helmets don't do much good unless they're buckled, but probably he just unbuckled for the picture. And good for Iris: her helmet looks as if it's buckled snugly enough to stay in place. The way to test is to have her whack the side of the helmet. If it moves, the straps are too loose. If she complains, "I can't breathe," the straps are probably right.
And when they both get this right, perhaps they can come teach a neighbor I've yet to convince.
Thanks for the advice, Connie! And yes, when Jude is biking he always buckles his helmet. We have an expression around here, "We love our brains!" My husband is in risk management and never even lets the kids ride on a tricycle or scooter without a helmet. Glad you avoided a serious injury because of your helmet!Delete
Rachel, I have lost access to my email account for a reason I don't understand. It is definitly locked. argh! it is late here, so I will have to wait until tomorrow night to create a new account. What a mess! please , do tell me you still have the ATT email about unlocking??!! I am sorry!ReplyDelete
Yes, I do! Just email me and let me know where to resend it. :)Delete
So much to love here! Super cute dress (I have a similar Japanese pattern and must make it one day), those socks, eeek!. Jude's tee, Iris's little face, the balance bike (yay! the best way to learn to ride), (but like Connie, I also wanted to reach out to the screen and bring her helmet down over her forehead! :) )ReplyDelete
I'm about to start on a fairy tale dress for an upcoming birthday. Sometimes it's the right kind of sewing, but yep, I love a quick t-shirt too!
So much cuteness, Rachel!!! Love everything about this post! Great job with the knit shirt...they do take some getting used to, but I think yours looks very professionally made.ReplyDelete
Oh its cuteness overload here ,the girl, the dress,the shoes and the socks ! Do you mind sharing the details of the fabric used for the dress and where did u get them? Thanks !ReplyDelete
Hi Serena and thank you! Sure, the fabric is Kaufman Railroad denim. You can find it here:Delete
I love it! and yes the babydoll dress is such a classic look-how can you go wrong with stripes? I just adore everything you do!!ReplyDelete