Thursday, February 28, 2013

Oliver & S Spring Patterns: The Roller Skate Tunic

roller skate dress + tunic rolling tour

Welcome to the second stop on the "Rolling Tour" of the soon-to-be-released Oliver & S Roller Skate Dress and Tunic! Kristin started us off this morning, and Cherie will be the caboose this afternoon.

Elsie was not what you would call super excited about this rushed evening photoshoot. Not one bit. 

Mirth and excitement followed, no luck on the standing still though. M&M's can only do so much with the under 2 crowd. 

Somehow I was lucky enough to receive the brand new Oliver & S spring patterns a little bit earlier than release so I could have some fun with them. (Ahem, lucky enough= buddies with Kristin.) I love their patterns for the same reasons as everyone who sews with them- they are so cute and stylish, trustworthy, well-constructed, not too frilly, and you always learn something new using them. But also, as someone who works in a fabric and sewing shop, I don't know what I'd do without them. We carry them all, and when someone comes in looking for something to sew their little girl or boy, I can always find an Oliver & S pattern to recommend that fits the bill. And I can usually say to the customer that I've sewn whatever the particular pattern is myself as my own collection grows. They are setting the standard, and their two newest designs are just as fresh and precise as we've all come to expect. 

So this first new offering is called the Roller Skate dress & tunic pattern. I made the tunic length, without the optional yoke, so it's basically just two pattern pieces. It's designed to be fully lined, but I cut the lining to the same length, making it fully reversible. It's got an adorable built-in cap sleeve, and an elastic casing that gives it the cutest shape.

 Since the shape of the tunic or dress without the yoke is so straightforward and simple, it's the perfect  pattern for using a large, bold print. I have been dying to use this gorgeous tribal ikat-ish print we got in recently at Sewn Studio, and I'm so happy I got to here! It's called Boucherouite Blush from the Luxe in Bloom Collection by Sarah Watson for Art Gallery. This has got to be my favorite collection from Art Gallery ever. (I really can't wait for her next one, Indian Summer.) The coral pink on the reverse side is called Crystalline Reef, from the same collection. The softness that AG fabrics are known for is really great on this comfy top, and makes me wants to use them for garments a lot more.

 On the back it has a simple one button and loop closure. I used a pearl shank button from my vintage collection.

This pattern is so quick and satisfying. I'll definitely be trying the dress length, and probably another tunic with the cute v-notched yoke. I made a size 2 and discovered that you can squeeze one tunic out of two half yards- perfect.

Thanks so much to Liesl for letting us have fun with the new spring patterns! Kristin posted her super sweet dress version this morning, and Cherie has the tunic with yoke on the way this afternoon. It's our little "Rolling Tour." (GET IT?)  The pattern will be available for you to purchase online tomorrow, and at Sewn Studio (or your local shop) soon after that!

Next week I'll be back with my version of the versatile Pinwheel Pattern. Yay!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Film Petit #7: The Big Lebowski

 I can't quite remember the first time I watched the Big Lebowski. I know it was with Nick, but we've watched it so many times since then that I can't recall. It's a staple in this house... when the kids are in bed.

It's about the Dude, played by Jeff Bridges in his most memorable role ever. He's a slacker pothead in LA who spends his days bowling with Walter and Donny, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, respectively. Suddenly his routine is interrupted when a group of porn thugs mistake him for a millionaire with the same name (ahem, Lebowski) and pee on his rug. It really tied the room together.

Anyway, the Dude is enlisted by the real millionaire Lebowski to get his wife back from some Nihilists trying to make some quick cash, and Walter helps him f*ck the whole thing up. Before long, there are many shady characters after them and Donny is dead. Excuse the colorful language, but if you are easily offended by that word, then don't watch this movie. It's in there 260 times. (I found this list of f word usage in movies very interesting.) But if you like hilariously genius cult classics by the likes of the Coen brothers, then you've probably already seen it. This 1998 movie is VERY cult. There are Lebowski Fests held all over the country every year. I honestly don't know why we haven't been yet.

For the shirt and shorts I used the Oliver & S Sketchbook pattern. They are both size 5, all I changed was the color blocking on the bowling shirt. The shirt is made from a yellow and a brown Moda Bella solid from Sewn Studio, and the shorts are made from a new Moda woven we recently got in at Sewn. These checked cottons are fantastic and I want to use them for everything. The pattern is on both sides of the fabric, woven in, but it's brushed on one side so it feels a little flannel-y. So comfy for the inside of kid clothes. 

"Medina Sod" was added with a freezer paper stencil and craft paint. I was tempted to change it to "The Dude Abides," but I love how obscure this reference is on the Dude's shirt. 

The "Art" is embroidered on with brown floss. I was going to try to embroider the pocket graphic as well, but that went very badly so I needed a new plan. I just cut a new pocket and drew the ball and pins on with a thin sharpy. Then I hand painted them in. 

The scene I tried to recreate with the Folgers can is Donny's funeral. Dude and Walter take his ashes out to the Pacific in a coffee can and Walter gives a touching tribute that is mostly just about Vietnam. 

Then he releases the ashes into the ocean, except they just blow all over Dude's face. It's gotta be one of the most classically hilarious funeral scenes ever.

I was lucky enough to take these pictures in Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas this weekend, and despite  lacking an ocean, the rocks and shrubs work perfectly for this scene. (We were there for my brother's wedding- so fun.) I was actually trying to get him to rub the gray sand all over his face so it would look like the ashes, but he was way to into throwing handfuls of rocks into this little pond. I can't blame him for being distracted in this gorgeous canyon full of places to climb. But he did pretty well considering the day before was full of posed wedding photography. 


And of course we had to get a shot in the In-N-Out Burger. I totally get the appeal of this burger joint that's so popular out West. Have you tried it "animal style?" Yum.

This month we were SO lucky to have Sabra be our guest for Film Petit. We have been wanting to do Lebowski since the beginning, but knew we had to find a very specific person to pull it off and appreciate the ridiculousness of it all. She did not disappoint. She did the Dude AND Walter in the bowling alley and it's f**kin fantastic.

And since we thought the world needed at least 3 small versions of the Dude, Kristin also did one. Grocery-store-in-a-robe-Dude. I can't overemphasize how cute it is.

Like little kids dressed up like your favorite movies? You can see all my past Film Petit posts here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Simple Sewing and Upcoming Classes

Sometimes the simplest little projects have the best payoff. 

I wanted to make a little something for my kids on Valentine's Day. (Something besides the personal ads shirt.) My husband and I have never been Valentine's day people, but since having kids it's become another fun excuse to make and do little special things for them. So when I only had a little time to get together a gift, I thought of this Ed Emberley Happy Drawing cut and sew panel I bought way back when the line was first released. (I don't know how easy it is to find any more.) It has several more animals on it, but these four were perfect to make puppet-sized. 

 I just love the look of these guys, especially the frog. Hendrix asked why the frog was so sad. I think it's a more a look of confused amphibian terror, but whatever. I sewed a backing on each piece and added a pocket in the bottom big enough for little hands. The giraffe is too thin, so he has a longer pocket for a dowel or spoon.

The backs are made from a couple really old Brandon Mably prints I bought when I first discovered online fabric shopping. I think they are so cool, but these last bits were languishing in my stash for a long time. I was so happy to use the last of them, love when that happens. 

And the greatest thing about new puppets is that the kids have new found appreciation for an older handmade gift- the Little Things to Sew puppet theater I made for Christmas 2011. Also love when that happens. It was interesting to see how they divvied up the puppets. I put all four in one bag and gave it to both of them, but they quickly decided the giraffe and dragon were for Hendrix and Elsie would have the frog and elephant. No fighting or anything. (Although, believe me that it not the norm.)

Do you like those stylish eyebrows Hendrix decided to give Elsie? That's what good brothers are for, I guess.

I also wanted to let you know about 2 classes I'm teaching in March at Sewn Studio! I'll be teaching the Swoon quilt block on Saturday, March 9, and a 2-parter After School Pants class (perfect for boys or girls) on March 14 & 21. Go here for more info on how to sign up!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Sewing Compulsion

I'm sure I'm not the only one who sometimes gets that overwhelming urge to make something fairly ridiculous. This shirt was a must, a need.

Originally, I hadn't planned on making Hendrix any Valentine clothing, or maybe just doing some fun stenciling on tshirt. But then I remembered that I had a yard of this hilarious personal ads fabric that my friend Delia sent to me because she didn't know what to do with it. It was 2 days ago when I realized how perfectly destined it was to be a button down shirt for my 3 year old, and I kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner. But as short on time as I was, it still had to be done. 

I mean, is it borderline inappropriate? Maybe? I think it's in that sweet spot between hilarious and way too weird- the one I strive for :) There is nothing obscene on it, just some double entendres. And I figure there is no better time than before he learns to read, for clothing him in an outdated form of texty loneliness. (Do they even have these in papers anymore? Or is it just Craigslist now?)

The sewing is really rushed since I finished it around midnight last night. Threads hanging out, blue marks still all over it, the inside seams a bit of a mess. But I'm so happy I got it done in time for him to wear to school today. It would have been a waste after today!

The pattern is the Oliver & S Sketchbook Shirt in a size 5. He's also wearing his Oliver & S After School Pants from the Ferris Bueller Film Petit. He loves the shirt and totally thinks he such a big boy in it. That shirt is not for the faint of heart, but I enjoyed making it. It's just a lot of steps, some a little finicky, but the end result is just so great. And it's my practice for this month's Film Petit, which will need another Sketchbook shirt. (Oh no, did I totally just give away the movie?)


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

(get more Arrested Development Valentines here. and awesome Wes Anderson ones here.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meteor Shower Geranium

It's likely you've been seeing a lot of these Geranium dresses around lately, and for good reason. This pattern by Rae is fabulous. It's simple, but looks like something you spent ages making. It's straightforward, but has just enough details to make the design feel extra special. I want to make so many more now!

In two weeks we are going to Las Vegas for my younger brother's big wedding. We are very excited. Hendrix and I are both in the wedding, so we have our duds set, but Elsie needed something fantastic to wear. I knew I would make the pleated and notched version of this pattern, but I agonized somewhat over what fabric to use. I needed to avoid buying something new for this, but it had to be something that would coordinate well with my bridesmaid dress and the colors of the wedding. Luckily, this recent purchase from Fabric Shack fit the bill. It's Tula Pink's Meteor Shower in Aquarium. My dress is purple, so it works without matching. But it does match my Mom's navy dress, which she is pretty excited about since her and Elsie are best buddies. 

I was happy to get all the pieces cut out of only one yard, besides the lining. I had to do a little finagling with it so I didn't end up with any orbs cut in half on her mid-section. I was worried the bigger print might be a little too funky, but once I cut the pieces cut I knew I was going to LOVE it. On the back I used three perfect little aqua buttons from Destri. I really love buttons on the back of a dress.

Elsie is a big fan too. She's just happy any time she gets to wear those adorable sparkly shoes (Target.) I'm glad my little tomboy who prefers trains over princesses at least likes getting dressed up. Next up is a Washi for me to wear to the rehearsal dinner. If I can get to it in time... it's my year of selfish sewing right? Gotta make it happen!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Someday Scirocco Dress

As in, I'm really hoping this will fit Elsie someday.

Because I think it's a pretty sweet little dress. It's the Scirocco pattern from Figgy's. I made most of this dress back in August (!) when I thought it might be part of the Amelie Film Petit. It would have been pretty perfect for that one, with the skirt matching H's yarn-dyed black Essex vest. And of course it would need a nice kelly green or bright red cardigan over it. And black Doc Martens. 

But once I finished the bodice and the skirt, I realized it was going to be ginormous on her. It's a size 18 months, which is the smallest size. I had been so excited for her to fit into a Figgy's pattern because I love all of them. Anyway, I just never put the skirt and bodice together and it sat in the unfinished pile until a couple weeks ago.

I finished it up and it was still huge. She looked like some kinda strangely immodest nun in it. Ooooooh well... No complaints about the pattern though. That twisted back bodice was a feat of engineering. I would almost say that even if she never wears it, it was all worth the experience of seeing how that sucker came together. Genius stuff.

Maybe next year. One thing is for sure-  I can't quit you black Essex linen.