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!


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.