More Gingermelon Dolls!

 

I absolutely LOVE how these dolls came out and had to share!   I revisited the Gingermelon Pocket Polly felt dolls this week and finally finished these dolls for my friend’s girls.  Kind of exciting with it being my first sale, but with how long it took me to finish the dolls… I wonder if I want to be cranking them out to sell when I’m the one making them by hand.  It’s not a difficult pattern, but the embroidery for the face and adding the hair is definitely more time consuming and a bit tedious.  I worked on these dolls over the course of a *ahem* a couple months.  I cut them out and let them rest, I embroidered on their faces then let them rest, I stuffed and sewed their bodies then let the rest… you get the picture.

PicMonkey Collage2

My daughter said the dolly with the white hair looks like Elsa.   I thought about giving her an icy blue dress to really make her look like Elsa, but I think I’ve had enough “Frozen” to last me for years.  I loved the movie when it first came out but Disney went a little overboard with it’s Frozen marketing and I see it EVERYWHERE; and let’s just say I need a break from the royal Arendelle sisters.  But, we did watch Frozen Disney on Ice this past week in Oakland and of course my girls were so enthralled that it made the drive, crazy $40 parking fee, the will call, the lines, the “you’re in my seat”, all worth it.

PicMonkey Collage

I added simple details to their dresses and used shaped craft scissors to cut the hems of their dresses to give it that scalloped look.  I really like the blonde dolly.  Reminds me of a fairytale character; like Goldilocks or put a red hood on her and she’d be Little Red Riding Hod.  Just so cute!

If you missed my previous post on these insanely cute felt dolls and how to make them, click here.

IMG_2107_pm

Thank you for visiting and reading.

-Flora

Advertisements

DIY: Striped Red/White Knit Dress

Recently Updated9

Now that school is out and I have all three of my sweet, wonderful, perfect children at home (always playing nicely, sharing their toys, never whining or pushing my buttons), I can’t imagine why I have no time to sew or blog.  I never realized this end of school year period would be so busy, even with a Kindergartener.  You would think it would be wind down time, but nope.  Just the opposite.  Plus, we had my father-in-law in town visiting from Hong Kong and we got to take a family trip together to Yosemite as soon as my son got out of school on Friday.  It was the perfect place to finally relax after the end of school year fiasco was over; surrounded by nature and no cell phone reception!  I don’t know about you, but I get nervous when I don’t have reception and that’s probably a sign that I am relying too much on this “smartphone” contraption and dumbing myself down… Ode to the days when we could remember all our family and friends’ phone numbers and could actually read a map.  Speaking of maps, I was the designated navigator once we got into Yosemite Park and I panicked (secretly) when I realized I couldn’t use Googlemaps and I actually had to look around at signs and terrain to figure out where we were and where to go.  Imagine my joy when I found our location on the little loops and squiggly roads drawn on the map after confirming we had actually passed the two tunnels that the map said we should be passing through! I had to give myself a pat on the back for navigating us through the park 🙂

Now this red and white knit fabric is from my past Knitfix purchase from Girl Charlee and I must admit, I had the hardest time trying to decide what to make with it.  I finally found an inspiration for this dress after I saw this “Beachcomber” dress by Shabby Apple, which unfortunately, is no longer available.  I loved the look of the dress and how the stripes on the skirt was cut on a bias to create a unique look.  Their dress has pockets, but I didn’t do the pockets because their fabric is a lot more “drapey” and soft, while my fabric is a cotton jersey knit, therefore, thicker and has more structure.  So the feel of the dress is a bit different from the loose, soft, flow of the inspiration dress, but I still like my dress.

I drafted a rough pattern for this dress using a loose top I have for the bodice of the dress then did some math (I know, crazy) to figure out how to split my waist measurement into four pieces for the skirt while adding enough room for seam allowances.  Then I measured the length of the skirt and when cutting out my skirt pieces, I cut it carefully so I could get the right look with the stripes.  When I finished piecing all the parts together, I realized it was too big, so I had to go back, cut, rip seams, and sew it again to get it just right.

I used a straight stretch stitch on my (very basic) babylock and used about a 3/8″ to 1/2″ seam throughout.  I ironed my hems when folding it and pinning to get clean, straight hemlines.

IMG_0514

This top works perfectly since it doesn’t have separate sleeves, which is the look I was going for.

IMG_0521

Trace the shirt and add seam allowances, then cut out your piece for the front and the back. I tried to make somewhat of a v-neck for the front.

IMG_0523

Pin and sew the sides up to the bottom of the sleeve.

IMG_0522

PIn and sew the shoulder and upper sleeve part with right sides together

IMG_0525

Divide your waist measurement by 4 then add 1/2″ seam to each side of your 4 pieces and cut. I tapered each of the skirt pieces so it gets gradually wider as it goes down.

Carefully eyeball the stripes so you get the right diagonal design for the skirt. I did horizontal lines for the middle front and middle back of the skirt. Then cut on a bias for the two side pieces of the skirt.

Carefully eyeball the stripes so you get the right diagonal design for the skirt. I did horizontal lines for the middle front and middle back of the skirt. Then cut on a bias for the two side pieces of the skirt.

IMG_0530

Pin and sew all four pieces of the skirt together with a 1/2″ seam with right sides together.

IMG_0531

The skirt portion should look something like this.

IMG_0532

With the top wrong side out and the skirt right side out, tuck the skirt (bottom hem first) into the top then pin and sew. It helps to make center and side marks on the bottom hem of the top and the top hem of the skirt to match you evenly when you pin.

IMG_0927

Double fold the neckline then sew. I cut my neckline too wide and it could almost be off-shoulder… I was trying to go for the wide boatneck look with a slight V. Oh well.

IMG_0929

Hem your sleeves to desired length. I only single folded the hem for the sleeves.

IMG_0930

Double fold and iron the skirt hem then pin and sew.

IMG_0931

Aaaaaaand you’re done!!!

Hey, this dress would be perfect for the 4th of July!  I just need to add some blue and stars and I’m the US flag!  I’m excited to add this to my small, but growing, knit dress collection.

Thanks for reading!

-Flora

P.S.  Thanks for taking the time to take pictures of me modeling the dress this morning before you left for work, Ken hubby!  Love you!

IMG_0938

Upcycle: Men’s Dress Pants to Simple Boy’s Dress Pants

IMG_0334

Finally, something for my only boy!  If you haven’t noticed, my sewing projects usually consist of cute dresses or tops for my two beauties and the last time I sewed something for my son was… … … I’m ashamed.  My boy’s go-to wardrobe consists of two pairs of jeans (that he NEVER wears), sweatpants, a few “dress” pants (more like chinos and khakis), “comfortable” shorts (that he ALWAYS wears), graphic T-shirts, long-sleeved graphic shirts, some sweaters, a jacket, and a coat.  Throw in some baseball pants, caps, and jerseys and he’s all set for the year.  I’ve been wanting to add some handmade items to his wardrobe but when given the choice of making basketball shorts vs. a cute dress… well… the dress would call my name.

Recently Updated1

When my friend’s hubby fell off his bike and ripped his pants (no one was hurt in the process of acquiring these pants), she gave them to me and challenged me to give it new life.  I guess it’s happened more than once 😉 since she gave me 3 pants with holes in them.  I’ve never made pants with a zipper and fly and I wasn’t going to attempt to try just yet, so I used a shorts pattern from My Child’s Closet and made pants with a flat front and gathered, elastic-back waistband.  The back of the pants don’t look very sleek and tailored, but it’s acceptable for a 6 yr old boy to wear to church.  For those of you who don’t speak Korean, that sewing pattern book may be a challenge (to say the least), but I remember Dana from MADE has shorts patterns like the one I used, just make them longer to make pants.  You could also make your own pattern by using a pair of pants your child fits, trace it on freezer paper, and add a seam allowance.  Here’s a good tutorial on how to make your own pants pattern.

With the remaining two pairs of holey pants, I plan to make summer-dress-pants (aka: church shorts).  I know my boy will be thrilled to be able to wear “shorts” to church.

IMG_0330

Flat FRONT gives it a nice tailored look.

 

IMG_0344

The gathered BACK portion with elastic. See what I mean? Doesn’t look super sleek, but I pass it.

This pants/shorts pattern added a yoke to the back of the pants right under the waistband and I like the little detail that it adds.  The original pants had a lining halfway down the leg, which I kept and cut together with my pieces.  I zig-zag stitched the lining to the front leg pieces only and also zig-zag stitched all my pieces to keep the fabric from continuing to fray.  The pattern didn’t include belt loops around the waistband, but I just took a seam ripper to the belt loops on the original pants and snipped a little bit to fit a 6 yr. old’s 1-inch wide belt.

Recently Updated2

Click picture to see larger

  1. Use your pattern and cut out your pieces.  Remember to add seam allowance if it is not included in your pattern or if you are making your own pattern.
  2. Trace your pattern onto your fabric. Don’t forget to cut mirror images of your pattern pieces so you don’t have two front pieces for your left leg.
  3. My pattern added a little yoke to the back pieces which added a nice detail. Iron seam towards yoke then top-stitch the yoke.
  4. With ride sides together, pin your front and back piece together and sew along the non-curved, outside edge of the piece.  Iron seam open. Repeat for the other leg.
  5. With ride sides together, pin the curved, inside edge of the pieces and sew. Iron open seams.
  6. Turn one leg piece right-side out and tuck it into the other leg piece so right sides are together and the curved edges are matching.  Double-check to make sure your fronts and backs are matching.
  7. Pin the curved edges of the pieces together and sew only along the curved edge, not the waist!
  8. Turn right-side out and admire what’s starting to look like pants!
  9. Add a strip of interfacing to the waistband (looking back, I may not add it next time to the gathered back portion of the waistband).  Fold and press in half then fold and press the raw, long edges, about 1 cm, for seam.
  10. Pin the waistband, right sides together, to the waist of the pants with interfacing portion of the waistband closer to the pants.
  11. Sew along the seam fold right below the interfacing of the waistband.
  12. Measure your child’s waist and add elastic accordingly.  (I used about 9 inches of elastic for my 6 yr old).  The elastic only goes in the back half of the waist.
  13. Sew the elastic on one end of the back half, then stretch it across and sew the other end of the elastic to the opposite back, half of the waistband.
  14. Fold 1 cm seam under to conceal the elastic and make a casing then carefully sew across the back and front of the waistband without catching the elastic.
  15. You will have to pull the elastic while you sew the back half of the waistband.
  16. Hem the pants by pressing in onto the wrong side about 1 cm
  17. Fold and press again to get desired length of pants.
  18. Machine stitch hem or to get a more tailored look, hem by hand.
  19. I think it looks fine with machine stitching.
  20. You are done, unless you want to add belt loops, which I decided to do as an afterthought.
  21. I salvaged the belt loops from the original pants then snipped it to the right size and used fray check to prevent fraying.
  22. Pin it to the waistband with right sides together and spacing (5 loops) around the waistband.  Two in the front, three in the back with one centered in back. Sew.
  23. Fold the other edge of the belt loop under and pin
  24. Carefully sew as close to the edge with a machine or hand stitch.

IMG_0343

He’s a natural model.  🙂  I love my B and I plan to make more handmade items for this little boy.  They grow so fast…

Thank you for reading,

-Flora

Night Owl Projects: First Day Dress

Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.  I think I did, but then every weekend seems to be a blur of activities with the only trace of it ever happening, safely documented on Instagram thanks to my overgramming addiction.  I do recall purchasing a pattern, tracing and cutting the pattern pieces, cutting out my fabric pieces, and sewing them all late into the night, but then I didn’t Instagram that process so I can only conjecture.  *wink*  As my kiddos are getting older and participating in more activities, our Saturday schedules are becoming packed with back to back activities.  I find it quite fun and fulfilling at this point, but ask me again in a year.

I used to print patterns for boy’s shorts, neckties, skirts, etc. from Dana Made It a couple years ago and really liked all the tutorials and free patterns she had on her site.  That was when I was trying to learn how to make children’s clothes for my littles and had been scouring blogs and printing off everything that was free.  When I revisited her site last week, I found this First Day Dress Pattern that I just had to get and make for my girls.  My older girl is 5 and she will only wear dresses (as mentioned in a previous blog post) and her little sister, almost 3, is following in big sis’s footsteps.  So I have been meaning to make more dresses and skirts for them in hopes to also use up some of my hoard of fabric I have been sitting on for years.  This was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

I love how simple and quick this pattern went and love that you get multiple dress and top options.  I made the A-line dress and the Swing dress both with full linings and it got so many compliments when the girls wore them to the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

I know the navy blue one is not very Easter-y in color but I loved the little apples on it and thought it would be perfect for my my little C since she will be starting preschool for the first time this fall.  I made her dress in the size 3 and my older A’s dress in the size 5.  They fit nice but have to put it on with arms fully extended straight up and my help for now.  There’s enough growing room for them both for the duration of the year or so they wear it.  Good thing C loves hand me downs from big sis.  Such a waste otherwise.

A is loving the skirt portion of her dress and the way it can “twirl like a princess”.  They wore it all day yesterday and today for church.  I’m already thinking of making more of these.  I might even venture to add some pockets on C’s A-line dress.  We will see how that goes and I will document the process on a future post.

Thanks for reading and sharing in my enthusiasm for darling girls’ clothes!