Monday, July 21, 2014

KCW July 2014.

It has been a long time (September of last year) since I really tried to participate in Kids' Clothes Week (if you don't follow sewing blogs, KCW is a challenge to sew kid's clothes an hour a day for a week and blog about it). With a full-time job, commute, and family stuff, my weekdays are a bit of a blur! On top of that, my job as assistant city attorney requires that I attend Planning Commission and City Council meetings (and sometimes other meetings as well) during the evenings several times a month. The folks over at KCW have an uncanny knack for scheduling KCW on a week when I have not just one night meeting, but several. This summer, they've done it again - I have a Planning Commission meeting tonight and City Council tomorrow. I expect to be a limp noodle by Wednesday.

But it's all about defining your own success, right? So I decided to participate anyway - on my own terms. While I don't think I can manage an hour a day, I'm pretty sure I can manage 7 hours in the week, maybe a bit more. So that's my challenge - sew the equivalent of an hour a day for a week.

I did a little prep over the weekend, tracing some Oliver + s patterns and doing some cutting. Here's what I'm planning:

1. Class Picnic Blouse in blue gingham (with yellow piping) for Maggie. I made a gingham Class Picnic Blouse (with piping) for Maggie when she was a baby, and it was one of my favorite makes, so I decided to make another one. Same idea, slightly different colors.

2. Class Picnic Shorts in blue linen for Maggie.This will be my first time sewing the shorts, which have an adorable retro 70s vibe.

KCW/Shorts on the Line Prep!

3. Sketchbook Shorts in dark green ponte knit for Joe. Joe only wears soft knit shorts these days (he's very sensitive to comfort). We have a wedding to attend next month, and I am hoping that these shorts will be soft and comfortable, but a bit more polished than his usual knit athletic shorts.

4. Sketchbook Shirt in Cloud 9 Palos Verdes La Venta voile (currently en route) for Joe. Although I've made the shorts approximately 500 times, this will be my first time sewing the Sketchbook Shirt! Joe helped me choose the fabric, so I am hoping that means he'll be willing to wear the shirt!

KCW/Shorts on the Line Prep!
 

5. Sailor Blouse using the Croquet Dress pattern for Maggie. With so many amazing flipped versions of the Croquet dress showing up in blogsville this month, it seemed like the perfect time to try this adorable pattern for the first time. I love the turn-of-the-20th-century vibe of this dress, but Maggie doesn't really need any more dresses right now. So I decided to make a little lightweight cream linen blouse to go with the blue linen shorts. I am still undecided as to trim, so stay tuned!

KCW/Shorts on the Line Prep!


I have made two of the patterns before, but three are new to me, making a small dent in my rather long list of Oliver + s patterns bought but not yet sewn, yay me!

Of course, I realize this is an ambitious list, and I probably won't finish it all this week. I might not even finish half of it! But with everything ready to go, I think it will be fun to just focus on sewing during whatever small chunks of time I have this week. I will try to post on my progress here as well as update my projects in the KCW forum, where you can find me under the user name Inderific.

But the best part of KCW is following along with everyone else's sewing!

Are you participating in KCW this time around?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bess Top.

Imagine Gnats Bess Top

Here is my latest make - an Imagine Gnats Bess Top made up in abstract floral print and solid rayon challis, and photographed right after work right on my front steps (is that a can of WD40 - or equivalent - on the table on the porch to my left? sigh).

This top actually started out life as a Washi Dress in the printed rayon. I had high hopes for it, but when I had put everything together, and tried it on, I realized I hated it. The rayon was too clingy with the shirring in the back, and it felt frumpy and maternity with the high waist. I briefly considered throwing it in the bin and crying myself to sleep, but I decided to immediately rescue the fabric and make something lovely and flattering with it instead. And I am so glad I did. Instead of dwelling on sewing failure, I am wearing a cute new top. My fragile self-esteem and sewing mojo remain in tact!

I made the Bess Top before (I actually helped Rachael test the pattern) and I wear that top often, so I knew that it is easy to sew and the style is flattering on me. A soft drapey fabric like rayon challis is perfect for this style and complements the loose fit. The shape works perfectly as a shell under a jacket or cardigan. And it is as comfortable as a t-shirt.

Imagine Gnats Bess Top

But since my lovely printed rayon was already mostly assembled into a Washi dress, I had a limited amount of fabric to work with. So I decided to make a contrast yoke in rayon leftover from my Zinnia skirt. The pattern includes instructions on how to colorblock the top, but I must confess I did not consult the instructions for any aspect of the construction of this top. Having made it twice (once a test muslin, and once in voile), I sewed it up by memory and common sense. I self-bound the neck and arms with bias, and hemmed the top with a very narrow hem. It looks cute, although perhaps not quite as flattering, untucked, as it has a subtle, curved hi-lo hem.

I made several other changes to this version as well. I cut the bottom back piece wider than the yoke piece, and gathered it softly in the center for a looser and more blousy back. I also gathered the front pieces to the yoke instead of pleating them, a detail that is not very visible in this busy print but which softens the lines of the front of the top a little. Finally, I raised the neck (the pattern comes with two necklines to choose from). The deeper curve of my voile Bess Top tends to droop a little bit, and although I tend to prefer lower necklines as a rule, I actually think the higher neck suits the shape of this top a little better.

Imagine Gnats Bess Top


I hate sewing with rayon challis - it is so tough to cut or sew with any accuracy! But I sure love wearing it! It is soft, washes well, and seems to have magically flattering powers when worn (except in the form of a Washi dress on me, anyway!). I am already planning more rayon challis tops.


Imagine Gnats Bess Top

And here is is the rest of the outfit I wore yesterday. The top fits into my work uniform of skirt, blouse, and cardigan/jacket perfectly! (I love these shoes so much. Light blue-green goes with everything! And they are old-lady squishy and supportive.)

I think I need a few more rayon Bess Tops ... 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy birthday Maggie! Featuring cupcakes and the doll bed I've been working on for a month!

This past Wednesday, July 9th, was Maggie's second birthday! I can't believe my little Margaret Joy is two years old now. Wasn't she just born like ... last week? But she's totally on board with this whole growing up thing and has learned the word "mine!" and the phrase "me do it!" My independent little girl seems to be getting more and more independent by the day.

If I had to choose three words to describe Maggie: Easy-going (is that one word or two?), independent, curious. She really is such a delight to all of us. We love you so much, Mags!

Maggie's vocabulary is exploding right now. It's like she turned two, and she's like, "I'm a big girl and talk in sentences now." Yesterday, she politely asked Steve for "My burribo, pees?" We were like oh my gosh, here is your bean burrito!!!?!!! Officially the cutest toddler phrase of all time, right? Since Joe didn't speak in sentences until he was three (and boy did we enjoy and revel in it when he did!), I have to say that watching Maggie hit these developmental milestones at such a young age really never gets old. We are daily amazed by her (actually quite average) speech development.

It was a busy week, so we celebrated yesterday. I made lemon cupcakes with blackberry butter-cream frosting, using blackberries growing in our backyard.

Cupcake!!


I don't feel I can say "blackberries I grew" because blackberries are a pernicious weed in Northern California, and the reality is that we wage constant battles against the blackberry vines to keep them from taking over the whole back yard (and if you think I'm exaggerating, you should see my neighbor's neglected back yard; the blackberries are six feet tall and fill the whole space). These are not nice, cultivated, "no-spine" blackberries, these are giant thorny, sprawling plants that grow about a foot a day. If we neglect the yard for a couple weeks, it's not safe to walk barefoot back there anymore! Nevertheless, we love the fruit, and the bees, birds, and butterflies love the flowers (and we love birds, bees, and butterflies), so we maintain an uneasy truce with the blackberry bushes. We encourage them to grow along our fence line, where they have the added benefit of discouraging our "friendly" local junkies from hopping over the fence in search of things to steal in order to buy drugs (I wish this were a joke). They are as effective as barbed wire and a lot prettier.  We've lost some tools and bikes over the years, but hopefully the thieves got the prickles they deserved. Ah, the many different kinds of wildlife in urban Oakland! (If you live in lovely, safe suburbia, I hope I've helped you feel more grateful for it.)

Anyway, cupcakes! Lemon cupcakes with blackberry frosting sounds pretty fancy, right? Well, here's how you do it. To your standard yellow cake batter, add one tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch zest. Then, to your standard vanilla buttercream frosting recipe, add a handful of fresh blackberries and another pinch lemon zest straight into the stand mixer and beat.


Then, when your friends act impressed, pretend that it was very complicated and difficult. You're welcome!

Cupcake!!


Maggie mostly just licked the frosting off of her cupcake. I don't blame her, it turned out really yummy, with a good amount of lemony-blackberry "tang"to offset the super sweet buttercream.

Cupcake!!


Mmmmmm! Also, yeah, she likes to relax and put her feet up in her high chair.

So now I finally get to share a project I have been working on for weeks now (you may have noticed I haven't posted for a while - it's because my main sewing project was top secret and neverending - I did share a peep here).


Doll under her quilt.


For Maggie's second birthday, I custom ordered a Waldorf-style doll from this wonderful Etsy seller, Eszter Budai Nagy. Eszter is based out of Hungary, and makes really beautiful dolls. She doesn't have any currently listed in her shop, but I fell in love with one her previous custom-orders, and asked her to make something similar for Maggie, but with Maggie-like hair. I am absolutely thrilled with the doll she made. She is made from soft jersey and stuffed with wool - it's hard to explain, but she just feels so warm and snuggly. And I love her sweet little expression (I am ignoring Steve's comments about dolls being "creepy"; lalalalalala, I can't hear you!).

She is exactly what I asked for, and the craftmanship is wonderful. And Estzer was wonderful to work with and kept me posted on her progress throughout. It was my first experience custom-ordering something from an Etsy seller, and it felt really good to support another sewing/crafting mama!

Ikea Doll Bed Makeover

Once I got the doll, about a month ago, I set to work on a doll bed for her. I bought a doll bed at Ikea and spray painted it with ivory. Well, actually, I spray painted it terribly and it bubbled and dripped all over and looked absolutely horrible,  so then Steve rolled his eyes and stepped in and sanded it and repainted it properly for me, making the whole process look easy. Thanks, Steve!

Then I stenciled flowers on the bed using acrylic paint and stencils I picked up at Michael's (unfortunately I don't see the ones I used online). Again, painting is clearly not my forte, but the stencils turned out rustic and cute!

Ikea Doll Bed Makeover


The sooner I quit painting and get back to working with fabric, the better, right? So I made bedding for the bed, including a little mattress and fitted sheet (totally insane, I know), a wool blanket, and a quilt. And a pillow with a separate pillow case. Then I made a nightie for dolly.  With the end result that Dolly has a nicer bed and bedlinens than any of the real people in my household!! Priorities, right?

Dolly under the covers.
Can you tell I was a doll-lover as a little girl? I got really into this project. At various points, I considered keeping the whole thing for myself. Hehe. Since this is a sewing blog, I will share some of my work-process, but just so you know, there are cute pictures of Maggie playing with her new doll below, so feel free to scroll past the details to get to the cute baby girl pics.

Fabrics


I used all stash fabrics and notions for this project. So while it was a very time-consuming project, it was very inexpensive at least. The Ikea doll bed cost $20, paint and supplies cost another $15 (not counting Steve's nice electric sander, haha! if you know how to spraypaint, you won't need that), and the fabrics, batting, and thread were all from my stash, and used up small pieces. This is the perfect project for rummaging through your supplies and using what you have on hand.

The doll bed came with a simple plank "mattress" so I decided it needed a cushier pad on top of that. I used the little bed plank to measure and cut some cream flannel and two layers of high-loft poly batting to fit.

Measuring batting for the "mattress"


Then I sewed a little mattress/futon stuffed with batting and hand-tied it with red embroidery thread. I made a pillow from four layers of batting and flannel, which turned out to be a bit big and "out of scale" with the bed, but it's just for pretend after all.

Mattress and pillow.


Then I made a little fitted sheet from sage-green gingham with box corners and a simple serged elastic edge (I stretched the elastic as I serged it along the edge of the sheet).

Fitted sheet


Ikea Doll Bed Makeover


The quilt was a labor of love, using little vintage feedsack scraps given to me by a friend, sashed with a lovely blue. I sandwiched it with cotton batting and a piece of a thrifted gathered skirt I've had in my "refashion" pile for ages for the backing (I used the same fabric for the pillowcase, see the photo above). Then I hand-quilted it in simple diagonal lines and bound it in yellow gingham. I have to say, while this was not a quick project, it sure is faster than making a larger quilt and it's really fun to be able to use such small scraps! Doll quilts are really fun!

Doll quilt.


Finally, I whipped up a little raglan nightgown for Dolly, using the clothes she came in to eyeball a pattern (you can see the adorable clothes that Ezster made for her here). I also made a little wool blanket - I just cut a piece of wool from my stash, ran it through the washing machine and dryer to shrink it, and turned down and sewed the edges.

Beautiful Waldolf Doll


And here is what you have all been waiting for: Maggie seeing her new dolly and doll bed for the first time. Just try to resist this sweetness. On second thought, don't bother. You can't.

Maggie meets her new dolly.


Maggie meets her new dolly.


Maggie meets her new dolly.


Maggie meets her new dolly.


Maggie meets her new dolly.


Yes, you saw that right: She's reading a book to her doll. I told you it was pointless to resist!

This was such an enjoyable project for me, and I had a ridiculous amount of fun making little doll things, and spent a lot of time remembering how my grandmother made things for my dolls when I was a little girl. I don't think doll-lovers ever completely outgrow the love of dolls and miniature everything (well, if I haven't outgrown it by age 37, I think it's safe to say I never will!). But of course the best part is seeing Maggie approach her new dolly friend so gently and sweetly. And read her a book!!!

As Joe said, "Look how happy she is playing with it, Mama!! She is so happy!" *Heartburst.*

Monday, June 30, 2014

Little bathing beauty.

I signed both of my kids up for swim lessons this summer, starting next weekend!

I am a little worried about how Joe will do, since he tends to be resistant and stubborn cautious and hesitant about trying new things.  But I know Maggie will love it! That girl has no fear! And both of my children love the water and spend hours playing in our kiddy pool in the backyard almost every day in hot weather.

Joe already has a pair of swim trunks which I got in a box of hand-me-downs. And I could've sworn we had multiple handed-down swim suits for Maggie, but when push came to shove, I couldn't find one anywhere!

So of course, I had to make one.

No, really, I really did look for the missing suits! I actually went through boxes!

I wasn't just looking for an excuse to sew one.

Okay, maybe I was.

I knew exactly which swimsuit I wanted to make for Maggie. Sewpony's adorable Cosi Suit. First, I love Sewpony's aesthetic. She clearly shares my love of all things 1970s and her patterns have the sweetest retro vibe. I made her "Little Betty Top" for Maggie and loved the pattern drafting and instructions (I need to make some summer Betties!).

And the Cosi is currently on a blog tour, and if there is one unchanging reality in this uncertain world, it is that I am a sucker for a good blog tour. By the time I saw Rachel's post at Stitched Together it was a foregone conclusion.

So yeah, twist my arm. Although I have been on a fabric and pattern diet recently, and have diligently been using the materials I have on hand for the past half-dozen projects, I slipped hard and bought the pattern and a yard of emerald green spandex and notions. As far as slippage goes, it wasn't too bad - hey, I made it out of the fabric store without buying a bunch of other things! Yay me?

I think I was subliminally influenced by the saleslady's awesome emerald green hair. There were lots of beautiful colors, but I just had to have this one. When I brought it to the counter, I realized it perfectly matched her hair! The fabric is shiny and a little sparkly. "Little Serpent," "Mermaid," and "Kermit" are all descriptions that I've heard since putting Maggie in her new suit. But hey, emerald green is a great color on my Mags!

Cosi Swimsuit


I've never sewn a swimsuit before. Swimsuits are one of those things: they just seem a little intimidating. I think it's all that shiny, slippery, super stretchy fabric. But for the past couple years, it seems that everyone in blogland has been sewing their own bathing suits, and all I hear is how easy and forgiving they are! So I decided to just dive in.

Cosi Swimsuit


Since I was working with a solid color, I chose view A, figuring that the ruched center panel would provide a cute detail for the plain fabric. Based on Maggie's measurements, obtained while chasing Maggie around the house (and thus probably not precise), I cut out a size 18 months, which turned out to be on the big side (dang my girl is tiny!). I think the ruching would be cuter if the fit on the suit was a little tighter. As it is, the suit is a bit baggy and the ruching is poofy. But it will be fine for this weekend's lessons.

Cosi Swimsuit

Why the skeptical face, Maggie?

Baby swimsuits require so little fabric. It's insane. I needed some length for the ruched panel, but I still have a piece 53" by a yard left. I have enough leftover to make myself a swimsuit. Or two!

Cosi Swimsuit


I considered this to be something of a trial version (a muslin if you will), so I sewed it entirely on my sewing machine, using zig-zag stitch and no walking foot or any special tools (except a ballpoint needle). I just wanted to see how it all went together, and the sewing machine gives a bit more control. As a result, the inside of the suit is hella messy, but hey, who cares? Spandex doesn't fray, so it isn't going to get any worse. I am here to say, you can totally make this suit on a sewing machine. No serger required. I am planning to make Maggie a second suit, this time with nicer finishing, and hopefully with a better fit.

It really is a fast and easy project, just as everyone says. The hardest part of sewing the suit was applying the elastic to the legholes, stretching it as you sew. Mine is not perfect, but having done it once, I think I will do a better job next time. I have always heard it's good to stretch it more in the back and less in the front for a good fit (this is true for undies too), but this is surprisingly difficult to control while you are chugging away at a sewing machine with children hanging off of you. Still, as time goes on and I sew with knits more frequently, I have developed a better "feel" for this and I think it will go better next time.

Cosi Swimsuit






I had to finish up with this blurry but very sweet photo of my lovely Maggie McGee. Wish me luck with swim lessons!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Josephine Blouse.

Josephine Blouse


I have so many amazing indie women's patterns on my hard drive, and I'm slowly working my way through them! This is Made by Rae's Josephine pattern, of course, sleeveless and blouse length, in a Kaufman lawn from the London Calling line that unfortunately camouflages the pintucks in the front!

Josephine Blouse


And you can't see the cute little slit at the neck, either, because it stayed closed for photos! Dang! You'll just have to believe me: it has a cute little notch at the center front.

Like all of the Made by Rae patterns I've tried (and I have tried many, although not all, of them!), the Josephine pattern is extremely clear and easy to follow, and the construction of this blouse is straightforward and basic. I like that Rae often includes a summary sheet of instructions so that you don't have to consult the more detailed photographic instructions on your second, third, or tenth sews. This top uses techniques that were already very familiar to me (pintucks and bias binding at neck and sleeves), so it was easy and fast to sew.

Fitting was a bit more of a challenge, however. On the plus side, Rae provides separate bodice pieces for small and larger bra cup sizes. No full-bust-adjustment required. YAY!

But on the down side, my final blouse was really shapeless and boxy. I took it in quite a bit on the sides, and it was still pretty shapeless. I wonder if I could go with a smaller size next time. One of the issues I face with fitting in general is that choosing pattern size by my bust measurement often leads to distorted results, because my bust measurement is somewhat out of proportion to my shoulder and back width. That said, the shoulders and upper back on this blouse are perfect. It was the area below the bust that was the issue.

So initially I had not planned to include the elastic casing on the back of the blouse (it's not called for on the sleeveless version), but I ended up adding it after I finished the rest of the construction because the blouse just really needed a little more shape.

Josephine blouse


I fiddled with the length of the back elastic a little bit. Too tight and the blouse pulled in too much and it was uncomfortable. Too loose and it didn't provide the needed shape. This is what I arrived at. The blouse still has a boxy fit, but it's much improved. This is after a day hunched over at my desk so the top is a bit crumpled, of course. Taking photos in the morning ain't happening.

Josephine Blouse

Paired with skinny ankle pants, the top has a boxy 60s vibe. I'm not sure that it's the most flattering shape on me (I look better in lower necklines, for one thing), but it is dressy enough for work, modest, and looks great under a jacket or cardigan. See what I mean? And the fabric is really pretty and was surprisingly affordable considering the quality.

Josephine Blouse


By the way, yes, I wear this jacket as often as I can get away with. It is a soft rayon, very drapey and comfortable, and it is the perfect thing for those "slightly too formal for a cardigan" but "not formal enough for a suit" meetings that, being a lawyer who never goes to court, seem make up 90% of my work engagements! I've had it forever and I love it and I refuse to acknowledge that it is starting to get completely worn out because I know I'll struggle to find a replacement, so specific is my need for something casual and hip but still attorney-like and respectable. I need to start sewing blazers!

In conclusion, I enjoyed sewing this pattern! And the final result is cute, albeit a bit boxy on me, even with an elastic casing in the back. Next time I make this pattern, I will use a softer, drapier fabric, and I am tempted to modify it with a tie-neck like Teri did here to add a little more interest to the neckline. How darling would that bow blouse look with a suit? Seriously! Alternately, I could lower the neckline to a deeper scoop quite easily, since it is faced with simple bias.

Josephine Blouse


Oops, who is this? Scantily-clad photo-bomber alert!

Josephine Blouse


Hi Maggie!!

Josephine Blouse


Goofy little sweet thing! She refused to look at the camera!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sundress #2.

I liked my first version of Maggie's birthday dress, sewn from the adorable and classic 1970s Simplicity 5593, so much that I cut out a second dress immediately after I finished the first! This time in a gray seersucker with emerald green piping and bias ties for a more minimalist take on this sweet little sundress.

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


I forget why, but Maggie had been crying right before this photo shoot and still had wet eyelashes and a tear poised on her right cheek. She may not be two quite yet, but I must say, she sure acts like a two year old! Heaven forbid you should tell her not to climb the refrigerator shelves in search of berries or to poke people with a screwdriver! You will feel Maggie's wrath! Luckily she gets over it pretty quickly and is back to her usual happy self - that's the upside of the "terrible twos." Two-year-olds get upset often, but it usually doesn't last. (Whereas, three-year-olds ... shudder ... I am not looking forward to that!)

And they sure are cute! Chubby arms and necks and cheeks and winning smiles and puppy dog eyes. Nom nom nom.

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker

Once again, my only changes to this pattern were to lengthen the skirt piece and sew the shoulder ties entirely by machine. I also added piping to the neckline, bodice, and ruffle.

I seem to be going through an intense "pipe all the things" phase right now (well, okay, it's a long phase which started about two years ago and doesn't appear to be letting up!). This dress in particular really screams for piping in my opinion. The simple seersucker really lets it shine in this version, and as an added bonus, the piping helps to hide the fact that seersucker does not like to press crisply. No topstitching required to keep that neckline flat! Adding piping is a little bit of extra work, to be sure, but I really love the way it finishes up edges, preventing the lining or facing from peeking out at necklines and armholes.

I wonder if this was the primary reason the use of piping was adopted in the first place. Do you wonder why different sewing techniques were adopted during historic times? I often do. Many "decorative" details serve some function as well, I reckon.

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


The cording in the piping also adds a little extra stability and body to curved seams like the neckline and the bias edge is unlikely to fray over time (much like a bias binding on a quilt), which probably prolongs the life of the garment a little bit. (ETA: I did find some corroboration for this here and here.)


1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


On a totally different topic, I am pretty sure there is some rule that says your best photo of a child's outfit will be in front of a really ugly background. By the way, I am aware that Diet Coke is nothing but carbonated chemicals, but I love it so!

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


Here you can see the piped ruffle more closely. That ruffle requires gathering a piece that starts out about six feet long! Such a pain. You will have lots of time to ponder the historic uses of piping in garments. But it looks so good when you're done!


1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


I know I said I would make another one of these as a top, but I think I'm going to need a break and a palette cleanser before tackling version #3! Plus, I haven't found the fabric that inspires me yet. My main complaint about these old patterns is that they only came in one size! So I feel all of this pressure to make ten versions of the pattern now, while it fits. It's too much! Haha. Someone needs to put out this pattern with a larger size range (actually, the Oliver + s Swingset Tunic is pretty close and just needs tie straps and a ruffle on the hem! hrrmmm).

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


Maggie is utterly lovely even with a broom in the background. :-) I just want to kiss that little tear away.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gettin' messy shorts.

As much as I love sewing dresses for Maggie, I have to admit, she doesn't wear them that often. Girl spends most of her days wearing nothing at all, and when she does pick clothes out of the drawer, she often chooses a simple, unisex t-shirt and pants or shorts.

Her New Zealand t-shirt, given to her by housemate Rebecca, has a little sheep on it and is a favorite.

Bedhead happy morning Maggie


Bedhead happy morning Maggie


So is her Spiderman t-shirt. I don't think she's had any exposure to the comic or animated series (or the movies), but she just really likes this t-shirt.

Sunny Day Shorts


I decided that Maggie really needs some basic shorts and summer pants. Clothes for playing and getting messy in. So I whipped up a pair of Sunny Day Shorts with piped pockets.

I have a million pants and shorts patterns. I didn't really need to try a new one. But this one is free! And Oliver + s! So of course I had to try the pattern out.

Sunny Day Shorts


There's not much to say about the pattern - it's a basic three-piece pattern (front, back, waistband), and easy to put together. A perfect first time apparel sewing project for a newb. I decided to fancy mine up a bit by drafting front patch pockets and lining and piping them.

Sunny Day Shorts


I sewed these in size 18-24 months, and as I expected, they are slightly on the large size on tiny Maggie. But that's okay, they have a nice boyish (meaning, functional and not just tiny!) fit and they will probably work on her next summer too. I used green chambray and mint green piping. A simple and easy sew, and they are perfect for running at the park, making art, playing outside, trying to keep up with her very active and physical brother, you know, everyday life for an active and messy little girl!

I think Maggie needs a few more pairs of these, and maybe some t-shirts too!