Sewing up a storm

A few weekends ago we had one of those weekend-long blizzards, and I spent a good portion of Saturday and Sunday in my pajamas, ignoring husband and children (and they were happy to let me play!) while I worked on a few dresses for Coco.

spring flower dress

I was tempted to do something in a spring green with that kind of frenchy-home dec type fabric, but after not feeling too inspired by the fabric I was finding, then while looking over my stash I found a yard or so of this Gloria Vanderbilt home dec weight tulip fabric, and felt inspired finally.  The fabric was purchased at a thrift shop outside of Prescott, AZ for a dollar.

spring flower dress

I used the Simplicity Project Runway toddler dress pattern #2265 and found that the pattern even mirrored the tulip shapes on the fabric.  It was pretty easy to make, although I still have to do button holes and sew the straps into place, which will require putting the dress on a wild 2 year old, so that may wait until the last minute.  I found several cute Simplicity Project Runway dress patterns, and lucky for me Joann's was having a 5 for $5 sale on Simplicity patterns so I bought 2-3 different patterns for more fun later.  I like the idea of these patterns, where they give you several different options for 'designing' the dress.  The one dislike was that it was confusing to figure out yardage because they gave yardage for each possible piece.  I did add a rayon lining and I'm thinking about making a tulle underskirt, if I can fit it in before mid April!

spring flower dress

I used lace and some pink satin ribbon to finish the skirt, and added some of the lace on the back. I used vintage Italian buttons from my stash - they are handwash only and figured that would be okay given this dress won't be worn everyday!

spring flower dress

On Sunday I turned to a new to me Oliver + S pattern, the Ice Cream Dress, to make Coco her 2nd birthday outfit.  I have enough fabric to do a coordinated variation for baby #3 (!) for the summer... let the coordinating dress planning begin, I can't resist!  I used some fabric bought on sale at Sew Mama Sew, as usual, including some of the Liberty fabric Marlyebone collection (the floral turquoise/pink).  I really enjoyed sewing this dress.  I have always liked Oliver + S patterns, but I think they get better with each new set released.  The finishing and construction on this one is so smart and neat and elegant.  It was a pleasure to sew.  This is my second item from this pattern -- I also made a tunic for a friend's 2 year old a month ago... sorry to say I was still in test mode and messed up the underarms a bit on that one, but it still turned out nicely.
ice cream dress for birthday #2

The green acrylic button is from a shrunken sweater from Anthropologie - nice to give Coco her first taste of Anthro style :)

ice cream dress for birthday #2

Finally, I made some changes to one of AJ's old winter coats to give it a more feminine look. I used some leftover fabric to make some custom buttons and added some embroidery stitching for decoration. Makes for a vibrant version of this grey coat!
refashioned winter coat with custom buttons

A Year of the Boating Sweater

A year ago, shortly after leaving New England for Arizona, I began planning a sweater for my friend Mary-Jo.  Mary-Jo is almost a second mother to me, and over the past few years she has been a friend and supporter through good times and bad.  She is also a professional photographer, and has been very generous in taking photographs of my family and children.  To thank her, I asked if she would like me to knit her a sweater!

In the warmer months she spends time with her family on their boat.  They often sleep on the boat while docked all around the New England coast.  It was her idea to do a summery sweater that would be good for breezy times on the boat.

We settled upon the Classic Silk Top-Down Pullover by Kim Barnette, and I ordered the yarn, Classic Elite Classic Silk, from WEBS in Northampton, MA.  The yarn has just enough silk in it to be luxurious but also beachy.

Well, it ended up taking me a whole year to complete the sweater!  Due to many, many transitions, changing homes, sides of the country, going back to work and getting back into a routine with daycare dropoff, and I think a needed hiatus, I knit very slowly last year.  I was determined to finish this sweater before 2011, and did so on New Year's Eve :)  Mary-Jo is now in possession of the sweater and I'm hoping she'll send me some pictures soon!  My sister Anna is my model in the photographs, it looks pretty fantastic on her! 

This year feels different. Already I am knitting like my old self.