Create Kid’s Couture: Piper’s Stripwork Maxi Dress

I can’t believe that my sweet little Hannah is turning one next month! Since her birthday is fast approaching, I’ve been slowly but surely working on the party planning. And one of the most important things to me is the dress!

As soon as I came across the Piper’s Stripwork Maxi Dress pattern, I knew that it was perfect for Hannah’s first birthday. And lucky for me, I won the pattern—and two others—in a giveaway on the Create Kid’s Couture blog! So exciting!!!!

The pattern directions were very clear and easy to follow and the dress turned out amazingly well. I am absolutely in love with this dress! A really great thing about this pattern is that it includes sizes 6-12 month through size 8. I will definitely be using this pattern many more times in the years to come!

The big difference between the dress I made and the pattern is that I didn’t use 7 coordinating fabrics to create the stripwork effect on the skirt portion of the dress. I love that look but I really wanted to showcase the beautiful flowers on this fabric.

The most time consuming and challening part of this dress for me was figuring out how to do a rolled hem on my serger for the first time. I tried many different settings but couldn’t get it quite right, so I took to google and found a wonderful mini tutorial that was a real life saver. Now I’m super excited to try rolled hems again. Anything to avoid measuring and ironing hems whenever possible!

Speaking of my AMAZING serger, I can’t help but admire the beauty that is a serged seam on the inside of a homemade garment. So much better than zig-zagging! Thanks again to my husband for getting me such a great birthday present!!!!

Boyshort Bloomers

A friend of mine from church has a cutie pie four year old who loves to wear dresses pretty much everyday but she is not exactly the dainty type. She loves to dig in the dirt and look for every kind of bug she can find. She loves to run and climb. Basically, all the things that you don’t usually do in a dress. Because she’s super active and on the go but insists on wearing dresses, her mom insists on bloomers. And it’s a win win since they’re practical and adorable at the same time!

Since this active little girl has only a few pairs of bloomers and her poor mama is constantly having to wash them, my friend asked if I could whip up a few pairs of bloomers. Since the little one loves the boyshort variety and I didn’t have a pattern that would work for that style or her size, I went in search of a good pattern at the Joann’s $1 Simplicity pattern sale where I found the perfect pattern—2461.

The pattern is actually for shorts, so when I traced the pattern onto regular paper I simply took off a few inches from the length so that they would be roughly the right length for more of a boyshort fit. The pattern calls for 1/4″ elastic, which is perfect for comfy fitting bloomers, so I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the pattern aside from length.

Because I don’t have any custom tags or anything fancy like that, I decided a little bow in front would be a good way for the little one to easily tell front from back and would double as a cute embellisment. Such an easy project! These bloomers are the first of a few pairs that I plan to make.

Sewing Supplies Cart

Over past eight or so months that I have been sewing for my little one, I have quickly accumulated a pretty sizable stash of sewing supplies and fabric. But due to the limited space in our apartment, my sewing stuff never really had a permanent or organized home…until now!

While looking for shelving units online to organize our storage closet, I came across some really great rolling carts. I realized that this was perfect for my sewing supplies! I don’t want them to be anywhere Hannah can get to—she’s reveling in this new walking phase and has used her newfound freedom to open every single drawer and cabinet and empty the contents with zeal while I chase after her trying to pick it all up—but I want to be able to quickly and easily access my supplies while I’m sewing and she’s napping or down for the night. A rolling cart is the perfect compromise. I can keep the cart in the closet while she’s up and about, then roll it next to my sewing table while she’s asleep. Genius!

My cart is part of the Antonius closet storage system from Ikea. I was originally going to get the smaller four drawer cart but my wonderful husband talked me into getting the six drawer cart. It’s lucky he did because I’ve pretty much maxed out the storage capacity of each drawer. There are a few different options: no top or hard top, plastic bins or wire baskets, with or without castors. Mine has no top, wire baskets (I thought this would keep the fabric aired out and easily visible), and castors. I also got a basket insert to organize buttons, ribbon, etc. so that my sewing table is almost entirely bare except for my sewing machine and serger.

It took me many hours to sort through everything and put it all neatly away in the drawers but it was definitely worth it. I absolutely love my sewing supplies cart! I can now quickly and easily find what I’m looking for, not to mention, remember what I already have on hand but forgot about because it wasn’t visible or easily accessible.

Blackbird Tunic To Dress

My trip to Seattle in early to mid May, which I mentioned in my Thrifting post last week, was actually to attend my grandfather’s funeral. Since it was unexpected, I only had a couple of days before I packed up the baby and headed to Seattle to help my mom with everything. I didn’t have much time to get ready but I decided I should sew Hannah a dress that would be appropriate for the occasion.

I absolutely adore the Blackbird Tunic tutorial on the blog Shwin & Shwin and decided that I’d lengthen the tunic to a dress. (There’s also a similar tutorial on the blog Prudent Baby called the Snappy Toddler Top.) I’ve had one of these on my To-Do list for ages so it was nice to finally make one.

The piping was not the challenge I thought it might be. With a little patience and my handy dandy zipper foot, all turned out well. Although the Blackbird Tunic tutorial only called for piping around the collar, I decided that it would look more complete with piping along the hem of the skirt as well. And I’ve had that black piping in my stash for about 6 months or so and I keep looking at it and wondering why I bought black. Well thankfully it worked like a charm for this little dress.

Although the dress looks really great to casual observer, there are always a few little tweaks to note for the next time around. The biggest problem I encountered was that I did not make the collar underneath the top button flap long enough. Since I didn’t want to mess with gathers or pleats—I was in a huge hurry—my dress was actually wider at the neckline than the collar piece and so it overhung the collar piece a bit. I was super annoyed that I did not see that coming. Argh! The top button flap mostly covered it, and if you weren’t looking for it, it wasn’t obvious…except to me since I have a tendency to be a perfectionist.

The other little tweaks I will make for next time: make slightly deeper arm holes and make the bodice a little less wide where it meets the collar if I’m not going to do gathering or pleating. I’d also probably line the dress with muslin to hide the piping seam allowances on the inside of the dress. I thought about doing this but quickly scrapped the idea due to my lack of time.

Overall it turned out really well, especially since I made it in one night, really late the night before we left. Being a perfectionist and procrastinator are not very compatible. Sheesh!

And in case you didn’t notice, Hannah walks and has finally sprouted two adorable little teeth!