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!


St. Patrick’s Day Skirt & Shamrock Headband

I’ve never really gotten into St. Patrick’s Day—for no particular reason, I just haven’t—but since it’s the little one’s first, a green getup of some sort was definitely a must. After all, we don’t want any pinching going on in this house!

I was originally going to make a pillowcase dress using my McCall’s 6058 pattern, but after I cut everything out and started putting the dress together, I just didn’t like it. I decided to cut off the top portion of the dress and turn it into a simple skirt instead. To add a fun detail, I trimmed the skirt with some white ric rac I had on hand.

For the headband, I used an idea I saw on Pinterest for making felt shamrocks. I spruced up the shamrock a bit by whip stitching around the edges of the leaves using a contrasting embroidery floss and then adding a button in the middle. I have been reusing the same white elastic headband for multiple outfits. Instead of sewing on flowers or bows, or in this case shamrocks, I just use a tiny safety pin and attach whichever accessory I need for a particular outfit. A time saver for sure!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Emma Dress, 6 Month Pictures, & the Runaway Headband

This past week I participated in the Emma Dress sew-along, my very first, on the Craftiness Is Not Optional blog. It was so much fun and this is the result. Although I usually gravitate toward pastel colors, I decided to go out on a limb with this bold floral pattern on a charcoal gray background. I think the little one looks super cute in it, even though it is definitely out of my color scheme comfort zone.

This project was a fun challenge. I learned so many new skills and really surprised myself with all of the things I was able to do. First off, I didn’t use a store bought pattern or a free pattern from a blog. I didn’t even modify an existing pattern. I made my very own pattern…and it worked!!! It is such a great feeling and now I feel confident enough to maybe try to make some original creations. Maybe….

Another new thing, sewing with ric-rac. Luckily it was not the nightmare I imagined it to be. I am proud to say that I never had to rip a single seam related to the ric-rac! I thought it was going to be really challenging and thought that I might have to scrap the ric-rac altogether if it got too complicated, but to my surprise, it was a total success. Yet another skill to add to my sewing arsenal : ) And one more adorable pic of my cutie pie in her new dress. (She’s looking rather mischievous in this one.) I can’t believe that she turned six months old on Sunday. How the time flies.

The real debacle in this whole sew-along and six month pictures business was not the pattern making or the ric-rac as one would imagine. It was the runway headband.

So, I made a headband for the little one. I put it in the front pocket of the diaper bag when I was hurrying out the door to get her pics taken. When I got to the studio, the headband was nowhere to be found. I went back to the car to look for it. Nowhere. I was so annoyed because a headband is a must, both for the cuteness factor and also because she doesn’t have much hair on top. I called my husband and he found it in the hallway outside our apartment.

Thankfully I mentioned the runaway headband to the lady at the studio. She told me not to worry and pulled out a whole box of different styles and colors of headbands! Photographer to the rescue! There was a bright pink bow that matched the dress. Crisis averted.

 Even though the flower headband didn’t make it into the 6 month pictures, I suppose it deserves an honorable mention.

Happy six month birthday to my sweet little girl.


Big Button Flannel Jumpers

One of the patterns that I bought when my whole sewing craze began was the McCall’s M6193. I’ve been dying to try it. It’s so simple but completely adorable! The pattern seems to be intended for fleece, but with a huge snuggle flannel sale at Joann’s on Black Friday, I went with my small stash of less than $2 a yard flannel to create some winter themed jumpers for the little one. Is she not completely adorable in this Christmas jumper and matching headband?! I love how the headband is basically across her forehead in the top pic : )

The headband was sort of a last minute thing. It’s amazing how far one yard of fabric can go with a 5 month old, so I was trying to find ways to use up as much of the fabric as possible since it’s Christmas themed. Obviously a matching headband was necessary : ) The whole red and green thing is a little over the top, I know, but why not for baby’s first Christmas?

The amazing thing about the headband is that I found it in the Target $1 isle in packs of three. What a steal! I bought a few packs of them but was a little bummed that they were too big for her. Oh well, I went for the oversized headband look anyway. I think she pulls it off well.

I also made two other jumpers, which are very cute. So far no matching headbands for these. We’ll see if I have time before Christmas travels to pull something off.

The one gripe I had about making these jumpers is that creating button holes and sewing buttons on is a pain in the you know what! Hopefully it will get easier and quicker with practice.


Baby’s First Christmas Dress

With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the cute little outfits and accessories I should make for my little one for her very  first Christmas. At the top of the list was, of course, a Christmas dress. My husband and I agreed that a white dress with red accents would be really cute.

With the color scheme picked out, I went in search of a dress pattern. I really liked the Party Dress–a guest blog from The Cottage Home on the blog Ucreate–when I first came across it a couple of months ago. When looking through all of the possibilities on the different mommy blogs I follow, I felt like this was perfect for a first Christmas dress. I didn’t actually use the pattern from the blog, though, as the patterns are too big for my little one. Instead I modified my McCall’s M6015 pattern so that the bodice wouldn’t be too wide for my petite little girl.

I used a white on white patterned calico fabric from Joann’s  for the dress and a red charmeuse fabric for the sash and covered buttons. It was amazing how easy covered buttons were to make! I think that they definitely add a little something extra to the dress. Sometimes it’s the little details that really make something nice.

Please excuse the wrinkles : )

After I finished the dress, I realized that I had a bunch of the red charmeuse fabric left and decided to make a headband and matching shoes. The headband and bow were from the McCall’s M6015 pattern. The shoes were made from the Mila Shoes pattern on the blog fleeting thing.

I think this Christmas outfit is by far the best thing I’ve sewed for the little one so far! Her Christmas pictures are also completely adorable!


Flannel Bibs

Recently the little one has started to drool, and not just a little bit, but A LOT! It’s as if a drool faucet has been turned on. She can soak the front of her clothes in a matter of minutes. So, I decided to put my new sewing skills to work making her a bunch of much needed bibs and telling you all about it.

Making a bib is pretty simple really. I used my McCall’s M6223 bib pattern, but tracing any old bib to make a pattern works. First, I folded my flannel in half, making sure that my directional patterned fabrics were facing correctly and that the pattern was centered on the fabric the way I wanted. Then, I pinned the pattern to the fabric and cut out two bib pieces. I wanted a less rounded bottom to the bibs than the pattern, so I made more of a straight cut at the bottom and then rounded the edges. After that, I pinned the fabric right sides together and stitched around the bib, making sure to leave a small part open for turning. I turned the fabric right side out, pressed, and then folded under the little bit of unsewn hem where I left an opening, ironed the hem in place, and sewed with about a 1/8″ seam allowance around the bib to finish. That’s it!!

Adding embellishments was fun. It was the first time that I used the applique setting on my sewing machine. I decided to keep it relatively simple with the applique, sticking with a small heart and a block shaped H. My favorite embellishment is the felt flower with the button. I love the bright pink and I think it looks so cute with the flowered fabric!