japanese sewing patterns

3 Looks for Kids Spring Fashion: Kids Clothes Week 2015

3 Looks for Kids Spring Fashion: Kids Clothes Week 2015

I'm always late to the blog party lately, mainly because I just allow my kiddos and our adventures come first.  We're constantly checking off our seasonal bucket list so I blame that for my breaks between posts 😁  I decided on a whim, last minute, to partake in Kids Clothes Week this spring!  I recently flipped out when I found that my favorite sewing book, A Sunny Spot, just put out the newest edition a couple of weeks ago.  I decided to freak out and immediately order it (and another little pattern book) from Amazon Japan. 

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Sew Geeky Marvel vs DC Episode!

Sew Geeky Marvel vs DC Episode!

Good morning to you!  ^_^ It’s time for Sew Geeky’s newest episode: Marvel vs DC! We didn’t want to do just Superheroes.  We wanted to spice it up a bit, so we did a Marvel vs Detective Comics (aka DC) theme! So I decided to go with a hero vs villain approach for my outfits. I give you retro Catwoman and chibi Loki!

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a little chibi easter. 2014

So I had a crazy week last week. So crazy that, in fact, I didn't think I'd have anything special for the girls to wear for Easter!!! We're not a church going family as I have mentioned before, but we really love holidays and celebrate them thoroughly!  We do a big Easter egg hunt in the backyard (heck I was surprised that the Easter Bunny hid eggs in the front yard as well this year ;-)  And we have a tradition of hubby making authentic Italian Easter foods!  Unfortunately I am off eggs for the duration until little miss Akira can handle them in my breastmilk which made the holiday a little heartbreaking for me!  We had a lovely holiday otherwise!

The dresses.  I had much more grandiose plans for everything originally, but who would have thought it, having a newborn makes things really hard to get things done!  It's especially hard since we are an anti-pacifier family who hadn't even brought up the swing until a week ago!  We had a good run at not needing contraptions for the first month; never lasted this long before with the others!  But sweet little thing that she is, needed to be in just the right conditions for me to get some sewing done so promises could be fulfilled.

My secret to surviving that week:  swing, tucked with blankets, lights off, and Blossom Dearie on constant rotation.  Hey, you do what ya gotta do sometimes, am I right?!

So let's dissect these outfits:

Alas, the headbands and other accessories I was hoping to make proved to be impossible to finish in time.  My love of sewing occupies a vast amount of my time and mental capacities, but I allow myself to completely unwind and enjoy what's around me, which is why I am such an infrequent blogger.  Heck, I'm embarrassed to check when the last time I did a post that was not obligatory!  But I am a perfectionist about content so, blogging is an event for me every time. So no accessories :-(

Let's start with Akira

I wanted a fuzzy romper of the animal persuasion and allowed my husband carte blanche on the color scheme.  I wanted the gold, and since the colors he chose were on the more masculine side, I added pink fuzzy dots.

I also drafted this romper from scratch, having hoped to share a pattern for it but it needs to be tweaked so perhaps someday. No promises, but I really would like to.  

I wish you all could have held her in person in this thing!  It was on the snug side (fits but not gonna get a ton of wears out of it) and when you held her, it felt like you were passing around a doll or stuffed animal!  Soft, compact, and tiny...it was so amusing!

For Azriella's outfit, I started with a very basic bodice that I highly modified from A Sunny Spot.  Then I decided I wanted all the other elements:

  • concealed button placket
  • peekaboo bunny feature
  • Easter egg pockets
  • simple but outstanding colors
  • full, layered twirly circle skirt with swoops
  • drawstring open back bodice

The peekaboo bunny feature was a necessity because if it's not fun to wear then I feel a failure.  I basically did this: 

  • made a buttonhole through the bodice main and lining
  • sewed on the pocket
  • fusible webbed a bunny together and stitched a ribbon 18" long to the bottom of the bunny
  • sewed a buttonhole through the skirt layers
  • sewed the pocket on. finished the dress
  • threaded the ribbon through the buttonholes and tied a knot at the end once it was threaded into the skirt pocket.

This was the first time I had done a concealed button placket!  I feel like a ninja!

The flutter sleeves make me so happy... The yellow was a last minute decision because I had realized I cut out sleeves from two colors... looks amazing to me now!  

In fact, I have declared my new favorite color combo mint and aqua!  Don't be surprised when you see it again in a bigger arena here!

As much as I don't like to play in to the princess mentality, she was so pleased to "feel like a princess" and that makes a maker mamma's heart happy.

Finally Sephira.

In a word: piecing.

I wanted a mosaic look that utilized scraps from Azriella's cut outs and pockets that could be disguised as just part of the design.  This was mostly self drafted again, but also, once again, I used a pattern from A Sunny Spot as a platform for my vision.  For hers I also didn't want a full twirly skirt,  I wanted a more playful look.  I went with a layered half circle skirt look with a shorter length to give it a younger feel.

As always, the buttons are handmade.

I have another tradition:  Easter Egg Hunt dresses.  Time to pass the torch to Sephira!  There are a total of six pockets on her dress.  Have you find them all?

So that's that!  

  I can't believe how fast my girls are growing up these days!!!  

Only other thing I want to talk about is SEW GEEKY!!!  

Max and I are working hard to make our May Sew Geeky an Extravaganza to remember!!  And we are eager to get you all in to join the fun!!!  Email us if you would like to be a part of it in some way!  We are beside ourselves with bringing back our series!  We will keep you all posted with the goings on as soon as they happen!  But MARK YOUR CALENDERS FOR MAY THE FORCE, err, 4TH and check back here then!  

Until then!

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Shades of Me Blog Tour! A Mommie and Me Look!

Good Morning lovelies!

Wondering what's up with the orange? Well today I'm on the Shades of Me blog Tour by Celina of Petit a Petit + family and Haley of Welcome to the Mouse House.

http://www.petitapetitandfamily.com/2014/01/shades-of-me-huge-giveaway.html

I had to choose orange.  

Even if this was an adult sew along blog tour, I knew I had to make a mini me look for my princess.  Azriella's favorite color (for almost a year now!) is orange.  No lie; she proudly proclaims it if you ask her.  I am a teal lover all my life but anything brightly colored I'm a sucker for.  So as any good mother would do, I chose to make her happy since I'm an orange fan too.  

I don't ever really think of colors that look "good" on me per sa.  I love them all so much that that would never work for me.  I've always been one that likes to make your eyes explode with fun colors despite everyone else that is more sensible.  I just can't help myself ^_^!!!

Reading this neato book: the Steampunk Alphabet, at Powell Books.

So let's be honest folks, I'm not in the best shape for "me" sewing.  Being 35 weeks pregnant isn't exactly a look that gets you cat-calls hahaha.  I originally had this super cool sweatshirt tunic that I was making that was going to feature a handmade two way zipper on an asymmetrical angle, pockets and a bitchin' asymmetrical drawstring cowl....

Making the two way zipper: yeay, success!

Pulling the (what I thought was super roomy) shirt over my belly: epic. fail.  Azriella kept saying "Mommie, your belly's too big."  Yeah, kid, I get it.

But, that two way zipper is gonna be awesome for nursing once chibi number 3 comes along when the shirt will actually fit me.  I can picture it now...

I promise to post on it so you all can see!

So with that kind of EEPPP! moment, I started panicking.  I had to find something that would fit my "curvy" frame, be something I would actually wear, and utilize accessible fabric, since it was way too late to order more fabric for a top.  

name the two anime tattoos for extra points.  yes, the bottom one is a work in progress still ;-)

I scoured Pinterest for something that met my criteria, but came up zilch.  So I turned to my Japanese sewing books because, awesomesauce that they are, there's always a mommie version of one or two of the patterns in the books!  So I grabbed this one from this book and modified the back.

I used the same fabric (plus some elastic) that I used for the underlining and the leggings (from Girl Charlee) and the lace is from Joann's.  I used an electric orange broadcloth for the pocket linings.

For Azriella's shirt I used a pattern from the Pochee Pattern book, altering it to add pockets to the sides.  Pocket all things!  Always!

I think it's feasible as a cute shirt, no?  It'll be great for spring!  And those leggings are sure to get a LOT of use.  They practically glow in the dark and are so soft!!!   I have to admit: for a girl who prides herself on anti-matchy, this was a lot of fun to put together!!!

We took pictures at Powell's books (same as some of yesterday's pics) because the weather has been wet and windy... neither of which are good for pictures.  We all had a blast!  We can't wait to go back!

Even though this outing was mainly for the "orange" photo-shoot, I still have some kick-ass outtakes because of my little creepy Valentine (she fell asleep in the car before I could fix her hair) photobombing Azy and me the whole time.

Bitch-face Kat dictating how the shots are coming along!  So nerve-wracking having hubby take them and not myself!

Whoops! Let's not forget matching handmade mary-janes! (secretly her jeans are a pair of shiny denim Hosh pants I made for Thanksgiving ;-)

And check out more fabulous color fun by seeing what everyone else on the tour is doing!

Thanks for having me on your wonderful tour, ladies!!!

And thank you all for stopping by and checking out what I did!

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Who Sewed it Better? Lady Rainicorn from Adventure Time Backpack

Who Sewed it Better?  Lady Rainicorn from Adventure Time Backpack

Today is Throw Down Day between me and a couple of kick ass ladies: Jessica and Alida.  You might have heard of them if you have ever gone on to this thing called "the internet."  These ladies and I are about to get all Mortal Kombat, Sewing Style up in this piece sewing the Owl Backpack by the Sewing Loft!

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Sephira's 2nd Birthday Dress! Behind the Seams!

Earlier this month, our baby turned 2!  

Sometimes, I just can't believe it!!!

But my darling Sephira Zen is a darling little girl.  And she deserves a dress that is truly one of a kind!

A dress that is its own playmat or treasure trove of activities, if you will.

I started with a simple Japanese pattern and drafted my own dress version to fit my little chibi princess.

IMG_0554m.jpg

About the dress:

  • inseam pockets
  • hidden ball pockets
  • handmade rainbow glitter buttons
  • a peek-a-boo panel hem
  • candy hand-basted into the dress
  • an inset glitter gel playmat circle center

I'd like to note that I am not an avid designer fabric buyer.  I definitely do from time to time, but I save it only for special occasions.  Don't get me wrong:  I love certain designers with a passion and admire their work very much.  However, I tend to do some wild things and I feel mixing prints is a really tough thing to do properly and requires thoughtfulness.  I also like to challenge myself to take basic palettes and make my own completely different thing. So that's just part of my wacky sewing philosophy.  And with that being said, it was a painstaking day filled with exasperation, crying children, and whining husbands at Fabric Depot as we all searched for the perfect fabric for Sephira's special day.

I am familiar with the Alexander Henry print from some online fabric shops but haven't seen anyone out there do anything with it yet.  Personally.  And one of my biggest gripes/concerns with designer fabrics, just for me, is that once one person makes something truly notable with it, it becomes redundant.  And that doesn't work for me since 95% of the time I am trying to stand apart from the pack and that other 5% is just practical stuff.  

This was a fabric that we all agreed would be perfect.  There is so much to see and point out, and Sephira loves talking!  And the colors!.... [be still my heart]

I wanted to make sure that the elements of the dress didn't take too much attention away from the design of the fabric since it is sooo pretty.  I chose to make most of the elements almost hidden unless otherwise pointed out.  

The inseam pockets are pretty standard and self explanatory.

The little pockets were carefully cut and stitched to blend completely in to the dress.

The buttons are just glorious rainbow colored polymer buttons that I made with glitter.

I added a sash to give some shape to the dress.

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The funniest thing was when I was talking to my friend Rachael.  I showed her a picture of the dress (the picture on the hanger above) and here was how the conversation went down:

  • Rachael: AHHHHH!!!!! SO CUTE!!!! I'm not sure what you mean add candy though.... ??
  • Me: You don't see the candy?(smirk) That gel circle..... I can't even. Most stressful sewing ever. Cutting out a hole on an already finished dress was crazy amounts of anxiety.
  • Rachael: Um, yeah! that's crazy. and no, i don't see candy. am i supposed to or are you fucking with me? lol
  • Me: No there's twizzler rope lol
  • Rachael: Omg! is that what all the "piping" is??
  • Me: Yes!
  • Rachael: Omg. that's hysterical and awesome!!
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So of course that all gotten eaten up immediately and after the first photoshoot I took out all the basting stitches since they were only for that initial wearing.  Still, it was a big hit!  And no worries, she had a dentist appointment a few days later and her teeth are just perfect!  

The peek-a-boo hem was important.  I have a pretty fierce alphabet fiend on my hands and I thought it would be a great opportunity to add an element that would teach her her name.  Obviously that meant it must be appliqued upside down and backwards so she could read it.  The panels on top were cut from the same scene so that it doesn't look too obvious that those bits are separate but more like they'd seem like pleats or even nothing at all!  I used various solids and silver linen for the backing and fused them all down first then secured them with stitching.

And I saved the best element for last.

The gel playmat circle.

So the way my brain works is this:

"I gotta make a dress for __.  How do I get them to love it?"

Then I brainstorm their favorite activities.

This time, I came up with a water.

How does one sew water?  Off to Pinterest.

{insert many hours searching}

Nothing.  Nada. Zilch. No help.

I found one pin about turning a Ziploc and some hair gel into a makeshift play-mat for a toddler.  Obviously, I knew I would need to use a thicker grade vinyl.  

But besides the big question of integrating an element as such to the dress, the BIG question was:  How do I fuse the vinyl securely and comfortably while looking appealing? 

The process was going to be quite the trial and error.  And there were many tests.  

First to address the fusing issue, I turned to my fellow Go Make Shit contributors and Thomas suggested two different vinyl glues.  I don't know why I didn't realize that there would be a glue special for vinyl but there is!

First I stitched a blue piece of fabric behind one piece of vinyl so that this thing wouldn't stick to her chest.  I used a lightweight ml vinyl (I think it was 8ml because I tried it once with 12 and it was too thick for my taste).  I had a problem getting a thin enough line so I made my seam allowance a little larger to accommodate the glue spread.  A little super glue helped with the itty bitty spots that needed a touch up. Leaving a small opening I added blue hair gel, various colors of glitter glue, some blue iridescent glitter and some glitter stars. Then, switching to a 100 size needle, I added a small blue binding around the edge so the glue edge was covered up.  

Once I made a successful gel circle (I think I had about three tries at it before I was satisfied), I did part one of the two most gut wrenching, nerve wracking, oh-my-god-I-want-to-cry-while-sewing-this in-even-though-it's-going-well...parts:  cutting a perfectly sized circle out of my otherwise completely finished dress.  It was like the feeling one gets when making buttonholes but times 200.  Serious anxiety.  Circle cut out to the right dimensions, I notched and pressed under the edge just so that it matched perfectly with the binding.

Then. The true test that this was not all for naught.  Oh please let me not mess this up and ruin this dress!  

Stitching in the circle cost me one of my nine lives, folks.  I stitched one stitch at a time. Sloooooooooooowly.  And pivoting carefully.  And praying to the sewing gods that I didn't go outside the fused area.  I kept thinking: "please don't show a wet spot. please don't show a wet spot."  Honestly, I needed a shot of bourbon halfway through but we had nothing in the house! HA! 

I did an actual Happy Dance when I finished successfully.  Seriously, folks, I got up and danced.  OMG, that was stressful!  But soooo rewarding!  I think it looks so cute and that thing is durable!  You can tug it, stretch it, punch it.... it doesn't leak!  So damn proud of myself! 

I can officially check off the "sewed liquid into a garment" box on my internal sewing challenge list!

Huzzah!

Funniest part?  The diva didn't even want to wear it on her birthday!  Sheesh!  

No matter.  She eventually brought it to me and requested to wear it which is when the photoshoot(s) happened.  

 
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mommy photobomb

And she loves it!

A dress full of fun activities for my sweet, adventurous little girl.  Sephira, I love you so infinitely!  

Still so very much more to come!!!

Until next time!

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Oregon Coast Birthday Beach Trip 2013. and a mini KCWC offering

the wall they built

Handmades:

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Part Six. Japanese Sewing Books. A look inside. Autumn & Winter Lolita collection

So the final book is entitled Autumn & Winter Lolita Collection.

ISBN 9784834734881

Quick disclaimer:  I am not an affiliate for any Japanese sewing book whatsoever.  I just think these books are totally boss and wanted to share!

How droolworthy are both of these looks?!  I mean the coat on the left and that velvet dress on the right?!

How delightfully Steampunky!!

Cute corset back dress coat

Look at the sleeve detail on the dress on the left!  LOVE!

Teaches you how to make resin cabochon jewelry!!  What!?

More supplies and more lessons on the jewelry.

Fabric descriptions

color pattern descriptions. 

Let it be known that the instructions for this book, and the last two books I posted about, all have the directions to be read from RIGHT to LEFT.

annnnd the rest of the patterns look like this one in black and white.

So I hope you enjoyed/were inspired/ amused by this series of looks inside the books of my Japanese Sewing Collection!!!  I can't wait to share my creations with you and you with me!!!  

Happy Sewing EVERYONE!!!!!

A look back at the rest of the books:

Check out the introduction and first book here.

book two

book three

book four

book five

book six

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Part Three: Japanese Sewing Books. A look inside. Pochee Special

Pochee special (kids only)  

ISBN 9784529049610

Quick disclaimer:  I am not an affiliate for any Japanese sewing book whatsoever.  I just think these books are totally boss and wanted to share!

Okay, so today's is probably the most popular of the bunch.  What's cool about this one is that it's a compilation of patterns from various kids sewing books!!  There are some parts about upcycling but I didn't feel like including them.  These posts are mainly about patterns.

 

Woah!  What a way to start the book right?!  Two ultra cute looks and check out the back of the shirt on the left!  It's got a pouch!

Super darling dress on the left.  Love that!!!!

And although it's not what you'd think of being 'my style' I really like the dress on the left for some reason.  Probably because it's cute ;-)

Raincoat!!

look at that little purse on the left!! (feels like a lot of my favs are on the left lol)

Jammies!!!

Not only a mother daughter but father look a like pattern!!!  HHAAHAH for those who know, you know I will be dragging everyone into recreating this!!  Familes who stripe together stay together!!

adjustable bow ties!!!

pattern diagrams

SOOOOOOO WORTH THE WHOLE BOOK!!!  Yukatas!!!!!!!!  Heart just skipped. A. Beat.

Kimono jammies!!! And omg!! Make your own cute fans for the summer on the left!!

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