My hippie girl turned 15 last week and like most teenage girls, she wanted clothes. Only what she wanted was a little different than what most ask for at that age. She wanted hippie clothes. I’ve got to say, that girl has my style. Recently, I ran into a vintage Simplicity pattern that I remember wanting at her age and did something stupid. I used a commercial sewing pattern and didn’t even edit out the facings. Yikes! I was cussing through the entire project. It’s lucky O didn’t pick up any new words.
I have yet to get a review from the girl, but if it’s good I will make this again (with editing of course). Instead of sewing it the Simplicity way, I will sew it the me way and make proper yokes so that the facings can be eliminated. To make up for the ugly factor of facings, I was careful to make the hem extra nice.
Per usual, the cotton fabric was post consumer, but this time it was extra special. I found this piece a few months ago at the local thrift and it was a piece of flour sacking. When you look closely the printing is still visible in a few places. I tried to cut around it the best I could, but couldn’t completely avoid it. Luckily, my hippie girl digs things like that and was ecstatic when I explained the fabric to her.
I had intended to use post consumer lace on the yoke, but just about had a fit trying to find it in my stash. Then my husband reminded me that I had used it this past summer on my I Don’t Give a Damn maternity top.
Before I started this project I had grand plans to seriously edit and create this dress for myself, but now I am just over commercial patterns again. Maybe, I will revisit this idea in a few months when I start my fall/winter sewing and can justify creating a fully lined version.
Since I didn’t have the zipper I needed to make the dress I’ve been dreaming about, my weekend project end up being a few t-shirt dresses for O. The shirts were already in her closet and the fabric is a thrifted cotton/poly knit I’ve had for about a year now.
Obviously, modeling for a photo shoot or even letting me style her was not part of O’s plan for the day. I managed to sneak in a few shots while she played with the cat, hence the blue blur in her hand. I am hoping to get a few, styled shots of the second dress this afternoon.
What O did feel like, after playing with the cat, was having a snack while I made a salad for supper. What mama would complain about a kid who loves veggies?!
My Favorite Art Geek turns twelve next week and she is a bugger to shop for. There are only three things on her wish list and all are quite generic:
- art supplies
- anything red
- anything camo
Since this kid has more art supplies than I do (and that really is saying something), I decided to take a grab at #2 on her list and hopefully hit the other two in the process. My starting outline was just about a vague as her wish list: a red bag, large enough to carry a sketchbook and a few other necessities. So, I grabbed the measurements from a standard sketchbook and started pattern making. I ended up with a simple four piece pattern that wasn’t quite handbag and a bit more stylish than a tote, it was exactly what I wanted.
I’ve been the owner of a salvaged red, leather seat cover for several years now and I dug it out of the closet. The piece had always been tagged for my Art Geek, but up until now I hadn’t quite put my finger on the perfect project. I had to spend about 30 minutes cleaning the old leather and flattening out the worst of the creases. Then I was ready to sew.
My new machine handled the leather with ease and (not counting the times I was interrupted) the sewing was complete in another 45 minutes. The only hiccup came when I wanted to add the handle (previously my favorite belt-army green is close to camo) and realized that I should have done that as the first step instead of the last. I get ahead of myself some days.
For the finishing touches, O helped me apply an asymmetrical clasping system created from a vintage necklace I’ve been piecing out for years and a spring clip I salvaged from a defunct suitcase. The dangly charm is a string of beads from broken necklace. (Some days, my husbands theory about me being a hoarder doesn’t sound so far off. Who else has all of this laying around the house?)
Ever since “O” was born, I have be obsessed with little harem pants. They seem to be the ideal in cute, comfy, baby gear. The first pair I made were delicious! What’s not to love about hot pink crinkle cotton, snagged at the thrift, and a wide swaggy crotch line that encompasses a cloth diaper with ease? According to my husband, a lot. He hated those pants. So much so, that I don’t even have a photo of her wearing them. My second take was scaled back a long way to just a pair of rather wide legged pants with a slightly drop crotch (My Little Gypsy). The saying goes that the third time is a charm. Yesterday, I went for it again and made a more full legged version that is the embodiment of perfection. They have all the comfort and ease of a harem pant to please me, no swaggy crotch to irritate the daddy, and lots of movement for an acrobatic little lady. Additionally, they fit well over a pair of tights to keep little legs nice and toasty warm. For this creation, I used a 1/2 yard of poly/rayon blend I picked up at my favorite thrift store of $.50. Instead of actually drafting a pattern I just used a ruler and chalked out two rather large rectangles directly on the fabric, marked the crotch level, and cut those babies out. Very straight forward. They have only two seams and three casing, so even without a serger they took less than an hour to stitch up. Obviously, “O” loves to help me do the laundry and it proved to be an excellent diversion for photographing. It was so much easier to get a few decent shots when she had something more interesting to do than try to investigate the camera.
I started this post months ago (and forgot it in my “drafts” file), it was originally entitled “Christmas in July. Since writing a blog post takes forever with O running around like a madwoman, I decided to keep my original post, but add this little disclaimer.
This is what happens when my husband calls from work and says he needs an ugly Christmas sweater for the store competition the following day. A poor unsuspecting cotton sweater that has been in his closet for years becomes my next victim.
Bill Watterson’s epic cartoon Calvin and Hobbes.
My inspiration was the hysterically, morbid snowmen created by Calvin of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. I was originally creating zombie snowmen when hubby came home and started tossing his ideas into the mix. The results was a hideous, Snowman Assassin Sweater that although it got a lot of laughs was disqualified from the competition for being a bit off theme.
The entire creation was made with odds and ends from other projects and cost me absolutely nothing. Due to the previous wear of the sweater, it was off grain and I was unable to get the bottom panel completely even. Although I used a ruler to run a line dissecting a row of the knitted diamond texture, the finished results are quiet haphazard. It didn’t show up quite so bad laying on my work surface, but I like to think it adds to the “ugly factor.”
Finally, the top I made for Baby. With all the help O gave me, it’s amazing I got it finished and photographed. She is wearing the top over a long sleeved onesie and jeans.
This slightly blurry shot was the best one I managed to get with all of O’s assistance. Baby is a very patient little person, but with Mama setting her in a weird chair and sister constantly trying to adjust her, it had to be a very short photo shoot.
The moon phases applique (because the meaning of her name relates to the moon) and the short puffed sleeves were cut from a girls size 7, yard sale blouse. I think I spent a quarter for it a few years ago. The cotton is very dense and has a tone on tone embroidery that my machine despised. Hubby thinks the motor on the old girl is going.
The striped fabric on the bodice is a very light weight cotton denim that I picked up at the thrift. I spent $1 for about a yard and a half. I also have a dress for her in this fabric that is just waiting for the finishing touches.
Little Gypsy tunic and pants
Oddly enough, this top is made from the same pattern and size I used to make O’s Little Gypsy outfit last spring. Part of this is due to the versatility of the design, but mostly it just speaks to the sizes of my girls.
And the upside of having a toddler who makes writing a blog post into a day long event–the opportunity for an impromptu second photo shot! As it got quite warm this afternoon, we ditched the onesie and the sleeves on the blouse are much easier to see.