Monday, June 28, 2010

Busy busy in Dynamite land.

Summer is here in Dynamite land. My oldest child has finished first grade, my mom is visiting from out of province and we've been invited to a friend's birthday party in couple of weeks.  We will also be heading out to the beach for a few days, weather permitting.  If we go, I'll just bring my knitting.  It's much more portable than sewing machines.

We had traveling Rebecca with us for two weeks.  I'll be posting an album of her visit with us when I get time. She came to the beach with us and I made her a peasant top to take home.  Her owner has an outfit that I made but she didn't want to part with the top for the duration of Rebecca's travels. She came to us in an AG shirt with 3/4 length sleeves, so she is much more comfortable now in her new blouse and the pants I made that she already had.  She's on the far left in this picture, visiting with some of my dolls. 

The day my mom arrived to visit, this little sweetie arrived too.  I got her in a trade, for the two cardigans I knit a couple weeks ago.  She was a surprise for my mom, who also sews and knits. She came with us to the AG store in Minneapolis and told me that she really liked Felicity and Rebecca.  I decided to get her a doll of her own and #21 would be the perfect combination of Felicity and Rebecca features.  My mom really likes her and she was definitely surprised!

I've got a Felicity meet outfit on the way, with shoes coming from one person and the dress and cap from another. For now I made her a shift from Felicity's patterns, and she has a pair of Addy's birthday socks. They are close enough to her stockings for now.

The customer who asked for the sweaters has asked me to put together a mix and match outfit for her next. I put this together in between the other sewing I've been working on.  I don't think I have ever sewn this much in two weeks, in my life :) So far there is a peasant top and a pleated skirt. A brown hoodie is cut and ready to go, and I've got some nice cream colored sweater knit for leggings. In the second picture you can see I had the hem of the blouse previously folded up. I may shorten it a touch.

Next up is the kid sewing. We've been invited to a birthday party in a couple of weeks. It's for a girl in my son's class. She's really sweet and this Oliver + S ice cream dress suits her personality exactly. I bought the fabric just for this dress. The button at the back closure is recycled.  As with all O + S patterns, this was a delight to sew. Very time consuming at over 7 hours, but definitely worth it for this little girl. I'm sure she'll appreciate it.  Kudos to my big boy for modeling. It cost me a mere $4 to get him into the dress for pictures. I promised him I would not show his face. The orange in the dress is quite a bright orange in real life. The sun washed it out in the photos.  The colors and style remind me of Oilily fashions.  The dress is very sturdy and substantial. The hem is a double layer and all but the side seams for the middle part of the dress are completely enclosed.  Love those O+S patterns.

More O+S, see a trend here? I stocked up on patterns.  These are the sandbox pants. I made size 7 and they are very long for my boy. I'm anticipating a big growth spurt so at least I can be assured they will still fit him in the spring. They are that long.  They still need the buttons on the rear pockets, I'll put those on tonight. I made these from old pants. I cut a pair of my husband's old pants for the main parts of these and I had a pair of my son's old size 4 pants that had just enough usable fabric for the pockets and waist band. The waist is pieced together, it was nip and tuck. There was just barely enough fabric in the larger pants too. They are a bit stained but these are play pants, after all. I took the photos after they had been through the wash and folded. Pardon the creases. They fit really well but I'm not asking him to model anything else today.  ;)  If you've ever met my boy, you'll know he is the king of being environmentally friendly, at least among the 6 year olds I know.  I did a quick google search the evening I was putting these together and found him a recycle embroidery to spruce them up a bit.  These should be perfect for Earth day, though my son will tell you "Earth day is every day." 

The last one for today is a O+S sketchbook shirt. This one is size 4, with a standard collar. I made it for my youngest to wear to the party last week. He loved it until I told him he looked nice. Now he won't wear it, typical. :)  He picked the fabric for this too. Maybe one day he'll wear it, he does love Thomas.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oliver + S pattern love

I finished the sketchbook shirt and shorts outfit for my oldest today. He's thrilled with it, and so am I.  he has asked me to sew all of his clothes from now on.  He has been wanting more mature looking clothes for a while and this pattern is exactly right for him. I made him size 7 and it's just right, he wore the shorts to school today.  I know it's mostly doll people reading, but there are a few sewing parents out there too. This pattern is wonderful!  I'm excited to try out the school days jacket and the sandbox pants next.  Doll people, rest assured I'll be working on another custom outfit next week.  I have no idea what it's going to be, but it's coming :)

Here are a few pictures of my little model. He likes to strike a pose, what a ham!

The shirt fabric is a lycra blend.  It's a bit stretchy so it's comfortable to wear, but difficult to sew.  My husband suggested I get the walking foot I've been thinking about for a while. What a difference that makes! How did I get by without one for so long?  The hem on this shirt is a narrow, double fold with lots of curves. There is not a single pucker or crease. It's wonderful! I love when a project comes out looking so nice.  It's very true that having the right tools makes all the difference.

Oops,  I still need to remove the basting stitches from the box pleat in the back.
 Striking a pose. I really love seeing him so happy to wear something I made for him.

I can see making a lot of these shirts in the future. The pattern goes up to size 12. It's a joy to make, even the hand sewing of the collar and all the buttons.  My youngest has declared he will not be wearing any outfits that match big brother so he's getting a Thomas the tank engine shirt and khaki shorts. Good to use up the Thomas fabric before long anyhow. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Switching gears for a week or so.

I've been making a lot of doll items lately, and now it's time to give my kids some love, sewingmama style.  Doll sewing will be put on hold for a short time. I like to refresh myself a bit and make other things from time to time. Doll sewing/knitting can be quite tedious. Sewing for my kids or myself here and there helps to cleanse my crafting palate. Plus, my kids need summer clothes and I've had some of this fabric curing in my stash for over 6 years. I'd say it's time to make use of this cute stuff before they outgrow the soccer balls. It might already be too late for my 6.5 year old, but he's a dear and will wear it if I make it for him. He has requested clothes like Dad wears to work, so I'm starting off with an Oliver + S sketchbook shirt and shorts for him. We're invited to a going away party for family member who are moving out of province. This little outfit will look very sharp on him. I'm planning to make a matching set for little brother.

I'm not sure why it's sideways, it's not like that in my picture folder. Ah well.

Next up is some fabric that my youngest and I are dyeing today. It's an old PRR coordinate from my stash and some orange dylon.  It's very much orange now, with plaid design on it. Should make sweet shorts for both of them.  I think I have some yellow interlock for t-shirts to go with.

This is some more PRR from my stash. Soccer ripstop with coordinating jersey stripe. I'll dye these a mocha color when I get more salt.

One more picture. My husband brought home a new mattress set for our guest room yesterday. He's such a thoughtful guy, look what he saved for me!  This is the plastic wrapping from the mattress and box spring. He kept it in as large of uncut pieces as possible too.  When I am sewing for my kids I don't cut the paper patterns.  I trace each piece in the kids' current sizes so I don't have to buy multiples of the same pattern to get the other sizes.  This plastic sheeting is great for tracing patterns.  It's my preferred stuff to use, especially when it's free and not going into the landfill!  There is enough here to last me through several patterns in a few sizes.  Great, green score :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Navy blue cardigan

I finished the second cardigan for my end of a trade today.  I couldn't find my little black buttons anywhere so I ran over to the sewing shop and got a new packet. They only had 1 color in that size, thank goodness they were exactly what I needed. I also bought a pintuck foot for my sewing machine. I'm planning some collared, button up blouses with pintucks down each side of the front.

This is the cardigan before the buttons were sewn on.  I knit this one a bit longer than the previous short sleeved version. The long sleeves are knit "in the round" so there is no seam down the length of them.  

The buttons are fully functional. The cardigan can be closed completely in the front to keep her warm on a cool day.

She can also wear it open for a casual look.  I knit the sleeves fairly long. I don't care for long doll sleeves that don't cover the wrists, it makes them look like they are too small.

It was difficult to say good bye to this piece today, but I'm really looking forward to a super excellent trade. I've got plans to knit 3 more cardigans too, 1 short sleeve with a shorter body in a tan color and 2 like this one but in chocolate brown and forest green.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A small alteration.

I tried the blue cardigan on Rebecca this morning, it was pretty much dry.  It fit ok, but not as nice as I like. It was riding up in the back and the collar wasn't sitting perfectly. I couldn't bear to frog the entire thing so I carefully picked out the collar and picked up new stitches all along, adding a yoke to the back with short rows.  The yoke gives it more ease and a better fit. A successful rescue of 15ish hours of knitting.

I changed the collar too, I think it makes a nice variation on a classic wardrobe piece.

I started the navy blue cardigan last night, it's coming along well. There is a bit of it in the first picture above. I am making this one as a winter version with long sleeves, a longer body and slightly more width for wearing over more than a sun dress. This one will take a bit longer to make, these little sweaters are a lot of work.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Azure blue cardigan.

I've finished knitting the first of two cardigans for a customer. We are doing a trade!  I'm so tickled, I get to surprise someone special at the end of the month. This is the azure blue sweater, she also wants one in navy blue. I used the same notes/changes that I made for Davina's cardigan but this yarn has knit up into a tighter fabric. I hope the sweater fits well, it seems a bit smaller through the shoulders. It's blocking right now so I can't try it on a doll until tomorrow evening. It should be dry by then so I can sew on some buttons.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Some wool

I love working with 100% merino wool. It's buttery soft and a delight to knit up. These are the colors I bought last night at the local yarn shop. 1 skein of each color in this type of wool.  I took a guess and started knitting up my personal favorite of the bunch last night (tan.)  I finished the sleeves and started the body of the cardigan but I think this one will be for my personal collection. K. said she prefers blue, green and purple.  I haven't got purple but she can have her pick of these yarns.  I will put the tan one aside and work on hers. I'd like to get at least 1 sweater finished by Tuesday.  My Oliver + S patterns should be here then and my oldest has requested a dress shirt just like Dad's.

Friday, June 4, 2010


It looks like I'm going to the local yarn store this evening. I was contacted today by a member of a doll forum because she likes the cardigan I knit for my Davina.  I'll buy a few colors of merino wool so she can choose her favorite.  The wool I have on hand is all variegated which doesn't allow the lacework to show very well.  This cardigan will be knit from fine yarn on tiny needles so it will take me a few days to complete it. I hand wash each garment that leaves my home prior to shipping, and wool takes a full 24 hours to dry.  I also do my best to ensure nothing will bleed color onto dolls. I will knit up the remaining colors of yarn into identical cardigans. If anyone wants their name on the list send me a note and we'll discuss.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sewing challenge, Complementary colors.

On a doll forum I visit there is a challenge this month to sew an outfit featuring complementary colors.  These are colors that are opposites on the color wheel.  I chose blue and orange. Here are the results of 2 days sewing. 

The shirt is made from upcycled t-shirt fabric that I added the dragon embroidery to. I've been using rayon thread in my embroidery machine, but I'm going to try some polyester. The rayon is really shiny which isn't always ideal.  I think a more matte finish would suit this casual look best.

I put a V-neck collar on this shirt. It's placed a bit high to hide the neck seam on the doll.  I wanted the dragon up higher so the tail would be coming off the shoulder more, but with the way the orange fabric was taken from the original t-shirt I couldn't get the fabric up any higher on the hoop, there just wasn't enough of it.  I made two pairs of tights from the same child's orange shirt. it had long sleeves, but a large graphic on the front rendered about 1/3 of it useless.

I love these pants. I took an idea from a pair of my son's pants for the knee enhancing. I wanted to give a little more color detail and topstitching with my contrast thread.  I like the extra little shape it gives. I also find it ironic that these dolls can't bent their knees, yet here are some pants that give them room to do so, if they could.

Back view. I added a bit of extra ease through the thigh to give this pair a relaxed fit. My pants are usually more fitted but I wanted these ones to be more playful. The fabric is linen.

Kaya is ready for a day at the playground. Her shoes are from Julie's hoops outfit. I love these, they are the best shoes AG has ever made if you ask me.