Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Little Birdie Told Me....

I've been a busy bee lately! My children's school is having a craft fair next month as a fundraiser for the PTA. For $30, you get a 6ft table and a chance to "sell your wares." I've never done any kind of craft fair before. Since this is a small one and a way to help out the school, I decided to give it a go.

But what to make?!? After much thought, I've decided to mainly make some gift-type items that people could pick up for the holidays. (More about those at a later date!)

But what I really enjoy sewing is clothes for little girls. So I'm going to make some different outfits in different sizes and have them available. I'm also going to have a "portfolio" of the different items I can/have created and take custom orders. Is this the best way to go about it? I don't know. But I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes.

So what am I making? Yesterdays project was all about rich colors and ruffles. I found this great fabric the other day and fell in love with the colors: purple, orange, green...all on a soft blue background. I'm also loving the sweet birdie print.

I decided to make a layered ruffle skirt with a long-sleeved, peasant-style blouse.

I love this skirt. It has an elastic, drop-waist and two gently-ruffled layers. It's simple to make and goes together quickly. And it would look adorable layered over some cute tights or leggings.

I decided to pair it with a loose-fitting, peasant-style blouse. I added a ruffle detail to the bottom and a "birdie" applique to the front.

I'm loving this outfit so much...I'm glad I made it in my daughter's size, just in case I decided to keep it!

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rah! Rah! Sis Boom Ba!

It's October! Fall is in the air. For adults, that means leaves, pumpkins, and cool weather. For kids, it's all about Halloween and what they are going to wear for a costume. [I wrote about last year's costume adventures here and here]

I always tell people that my goal is for my kids to be "slightly nerdy." Not nerdy enough to be made fun of, but too nerdy to get invited to any of the "cool" parties. And I go on to say that knowing my daughter, she'll go on to be the stereotypical Captain of the cheerleading squad.

Funny.....My daughter wants to be a cheerleader for Halloween.

This really is ironic. I wanted to be a cheerleader once upon a time. I was a gymnast for several years and when I was in Jr. High, I decided I would try out for the cheerleading squad. I even went to a couple of days of the "camp." Then one of the older girls who was already on the squad told me that yes, I could really tumble, but I would never make it because I just wasn't pretty enough. So I quit before the tryouts were even over. Mean girls SUCK!

Since this is the kind of costume that she will probably enjoy playing dress up in long after Halloween is over, I wanted it to be something nice. The cheerleader costumes in the store are so thin and cheap, so I decided to make it.

I dug around for just the right pattern and came up with this, Simplicity 4040

She originally wanted blue & white, but after she saw the red & white one on the cover, that's what she had to have.

I used a polyester knit, which was actually quite easy to sew with. It irons nicely and didn't give me any problems. I used a flat, white, braided-cotton trim for the white stripes. The most time-consuming part of the entire thing was the front of the bodice. Here's a picture of it in progress:

I spent and hour and a half getting those stripes just right. T-E-D-I-O-U-S!
Once I got the bodice finished, I had to move on to the skirt. I'd never made a pleated skirt before. It wasn't that bad. The pattern instructions were pretty clear. I just did a lot of pinning, pressing, and basting to get them just right.
And one other stroke of luck with this project: the two zippers were easy. I never say that about zippers. I hate zippers and avoid them as much as possible. But these went in just right on the first try. Rarely does that happen.
Needless to say, she loves it! She wanted it sleeveless, and if it's cool on Halloween (it usually isn't here in AZ), she can always wear a long-sleeved white t-shirt underneath.

Here's a view of the back:

And let's talk again about that hair. I know she loves her long hair, but does she really appreciate how great her hair is? I mean, people pay good money to get that color and body! She didn't get it from me. I'm so jealous.....

Now I need to find her some red & white pompoms...she has some old blue ones right now.
As for my son, he wants to be Harry Potter. And after pricing out how much it would be to make a long, black Hogwart's robe, I found it more cost-effective to buy a costume off of ebay.

What are your kids going to be for Halloween?