xxx ooo

a place where my heart feels the safest

xxx ooo
Halloween sewing is over, and it’s time to make a bunch of wonderful things for little people!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
Shown here: “Vesper”, a four-piece ensemble I was inspired to make based on the baby-blue eyes of this lovely little girl I know. I wanted something in winter colors – here, bluebird, deep cherry, periwinkle, and ivory.

Some sewing-pr0n pix:

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
I made little “fins” out of the interfaced jacket wool, just because. The shell of the hat is a novelty Halloween knit in olive, burnt sienna, bluebird, black, and fuschia. The hat’s cuff is in a jersey knit matching the sweater dress, and the hat is lined in the same periwinkle bamboo the leggings are made of.

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
The sweater dress was actually the inspiration piece for the whole outfit! Now, there is a time for using a serger, but… to be honest… I rarely use mine. I love the hand-finished look of (in this case) traditional zig-zag. The nubbly sweater knit is very light and semi-sheer. You definitely want a onesie under this gear!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
The coat… a Christmas coat in a deep cherry 100% wool, flecked with ivory. Bright red snaps that match the rayon/linen pocket lining and the slipper satin jacket lining. Have I mentioned how much I love slipper satin? It is one of my favorite linings to work with – and it feels wonderful!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
How tiny can I make double-welt pockets? PRETTY DERN TINY! Do babies use pockets? THAT IS NONE OF YOUR CONCERN! I am always improving my welt pocket prowess. These were made using grosgrain ribbon which allows for a very firm welt.

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
OOPS I lined the coat with faux fur! A minkee (I think) to be exact. I’m not sure where or when I got this fur – it was in the last year – but it is so very soft. It’s also very rugged as babies – let us be fair – are pretty messy!

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble
A very tiny bit of high-end sweater knit – I had hardly any left after making Phee a sweater last May – finishes the cuffs of these entirely-reversible bamboo leggings. No seams whatsoever to irritate baby’s skin. Finished at the waist with a three-step zig-zag:

"Vesper", A Winter Baby Ensemble

So… I was just wondering, was that baby cute? Maybe take another picture to see:

Smiling Babe!
Um – yup!

This ensemble is on Etsy, where a steady trickle of sales has helped us keep food in the fridge. And today I’m finishing my next baby ensemble, for a little boy. Stay tuned!

Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge

jalie hoodie sew-along post 6: Step 6 assembly

Edit November 2015: the sew-along is finished! Below you can reach the different parts of the sew-along by clicking on an image. The tagset “jalie hoodie sew-along” contains any and all posts relating to the sew-along. Enjoy!

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Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge
Hey there stitchers! Today, we have our final post. I have so appreciated those of you who’ve commented, emailed, and posted to the Facebook group. I hope you’ve had as good a time as I have!

So: onward and upward! We’re installing our inner collar, and finishing up!

sunshine

IMG_0261

jalie hoodie sew-along post 5: Step 5 assembly

Edit November 2015: the sew-along is finished! Below you can reach the different parts of the sew-along by clicking on an image. The tagset “jalie hoodie sew-along” contains any and all posts relating to the sew-along. Enjoy!

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Hey there stitchers! Time to get back to hoodie-stitching! And before we start: here’s my second version of the Jalie hoodie:

IMG_0261
I made this beauty as a cosplay piece for my daughter, at her request. Based off the iconic hoodie of emo, surly Robbie from “Gravity Falls”:

Robbie, "Gravity Falls"
So: onward and upward! We’re assembling our hood today!

Excited!

Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge

jalie hoodie sew-along post 3: Step 3 assembly

Edit November 2015: the sew-along is finished! Below you can reach the different parts of the sew-along by clicking on an image. The tagset “jalie hoodie sew-along” contains any and all posts relating to the sew-along. Enjoy!

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sal-m-3 sal-m-4 sal-m-5 sal-m-6
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Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge
Thank you to all who’ve been emailing and commenting here, and on the Facebook group. We are already about halfway through our hoodie!

Let’s get started!

CLONES

clones (We’re all)

Bespoke tailoring: yes! I found this one pair of pants – they’re Canali – and brought them into a tailor and said, ‘Clone these, dammit.’ They just do all the right things. I’ve got eight pairs in different colors and I never have to think about pants again. – Douglas Coupland

Speaking of clones, I recently re-watched sci-fi drama Moon from 2009. It did not disappoint!

Marginally less exciting, this cloned pair of shorts from a client turned out a success, too. Unlike last year’s basketweave coat clone, this was a straight-shot: no resizing necessary. I also upped the construction methods quite a bit from the original, mass-produced pair, and sent the client the new shorts as well as a pattern so she could have another pair made any time:

CLONES
CLONES

CLONES

CLONES

A button closure: perfect buttonholes made on my grandmother’s 1950 Singer!

Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge

jalie hoodie sew-along post 2: Step 2 assembly

Edit November 2015: the sew-along is finished! Below you can reach the different parts of the sew-along by clicking on an image. The tagset “jalie hoodie sew-along” contains any and all posts relating to the sew-along. Enjoy!

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Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge
Hey there stitchers! Well, I thought I’d get crackin’ on Step 2 – getting to our sleeve and outer collar! This is by far the easiest Step of the process.

Before we get started, I want to remind you there is a Facebook group devoted to sew-alongs and contests, moderated by my friend Judy. This is a closed group; you have to ask to join. Here’s the skinny, though: if you join, and finish this hoodie by October 31st, you are entered in a random drawing for an amazing price pack: a Sew Chic pdf pattern, a Thread Theory pdf pattern, a Megan Nielsen pdf pattern, a $30 gift certificate to Nature’s Fabrics – and a shrinky-DON’T, made by moi!

Please note: this post is short and sweet, and I decided we didn’t need any companion audio. If you are catching up, and/or are new to sewing with knits or have fabric questions, please listen to my companion audio from Step one.

Let’s get started!

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

a pirate, but super-adorable. you know how they are!

A couple weeks ago a parent wrote me, a little frustrated. She’d been trying to put together a dance ensemble for her child that incorporated teal and lime green – in a pirate theme. She asked if this was something I could help with. I threw up in my mouth a little (from excitement), and wrote back, YES, I can do this. I asked a few questions, put together a sketch, and we quick-shipped some fabrics my way.

My last two clients were grownups who wanted grownup things. But I think I’ll always favor sewing for kids, for about five distinct reasons. I love making something well-made that is also ridiculously frivolous in some way. More of us should dress this way ALL THE TIME!
 
In any case, this little outfit consisted of:

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
a leatherette hat with lime green sequin headband
two lace armwarmers in black
a teal-and-black striped underdress
a skull and crossbones corset top
a pair of black and white striped bloomers
a distressed lime green sequin overskirt
a double-sided blue sash (using stretch lace and sweater knit)

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
One of my favorite garments to make: simple knit dresses from high-quality fabrics. In this case, I made sure to create a dress the young girl could wear on its own, when she didn’t need the whole dance get-up. Kids in general love wearing costumes. And why not? As for dresses like these, I would love to make people packets – five different dresses in semi-coordinating themes, for the work week. They are a delight to construct, and my seam finishes are wonderful!

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

I made everything to fit – but I added some growing room in the corset top. This top should be able to last the child (or another child) several years, if they want to incorporate it into other Halloween, costume, or goth looks. It’s too cool a top to waste. Note the tension stops at the end of the laces, so the corset doesn’t easily become unlaced.

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
I lined the corset top in an organic canvas – so soft! About the last I have. I also sewed channels in the top, just like a corset – but omitted boning. I finished the corset neckline and armholes with a very thin double-fold binding. Also, the back of the corset lines up in pattern.

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)
I loved the grosgrain ribbon I found for lacing. It has a running stitch detail and is very hardy. I was sad to use it up, actually! I will be keeping my eye out for more.

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

The cuff of the gathered bloomers. One of my favorite methods of construction is matching all the serge-finishes to the garment. I like taking the time to do this, even if I’m unsure if a client ever notices.

To wit:

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

Here you see a lime-green organic cotton knit waistband – made from a soft, more comfortable fabric than the main, sequin fabric. I love mixing and matching fabrics in one garment, when we can match colors well.

And oh boy. This glue-sequin knit was literally the most challenging fabric I’ve ever worked with. It defied all my tricks. I found a painstaking workaround for constructing a garment using the fabric. I’d estimate the garment took three times longer to make. But – I did learn something new! (Which is, never work with glue sequin fabrics again! I kid, I kid!)

Pirate Dance Ensemble for S. (Teal & Lime Green)

The sash was the simplest piece but the most fun in some ways – simply matching a sweater knit and a stretch lace. I so enjoyed the combination, I am making a little cardigan/dress piece for a tot, out of the excess.

The job was a rush order; I received fabrics only a week before the ensemble was due. I made delivery less than 24 hours before it was needed for a performance. Parents and dancer seemed to love it!

It’s Halloween season here at Casa del Hogaboom, and I get to make some really fabulous creations this time of year. I will be always grateful for getting to work in my craft. 

On to the next project!

Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge

jalie hoodie sew-along post 1: fabric prep and Step 1 assembly

Edit November 2015: the sew-along is finished! Below you can reach the different parts of the sew-along by clicking on an image. The tagset “jalie hoodie sew-along” contains any and all posts relating to the sew-along. Enjoy!

sal-m-1 sal-m-2
sal-m-3 sal-m-4 sal-m-5 sal-m-6
sal-m-7 sal-m-8
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Jalie Hoodie Sew-Along Photo Badge
Hey there stitchers! Wow! Have I had a spike in interest for this sew-along. I want to thank every person who has written, messaged, or emailed me with questions.

You can share pictures of your progress here – or at the Facebook group (a closed group; you have to ask to join) moderated by my friend and sew-along compatriot, Judy! If you finish this hoodie by October 31st and enter it into the group, you are entered in a random drawing for an amazing prize pack: a Sew Chic pdf pattern, a Thread Theory pdf pattern, a Megan Nielsen pdf pattern, a $30 gift certificate to Nature’s Fabrics – and a shrinky-DON’T, made by moi! There really is no catch – it’s just for fun!

Do the the number of questions I’ve received I have put together some companion audio to go with each sew-along post. You can listen here to my first installment, which covers a little about supplies, making a muslin, and a few common questions before we get started. This recording also walks us through this very post!  

Please note: if you are still feeling nervous about fabric selection, or if you are not proficient in layout and cutting, you will probably benefit from listening to the companion audio

OK? OK!

So – let’s get started!

Cotton + Steel Octopus Dress

octo-AWESOME!

Cotton + Steel Octopus Dress
Yeah, so this happened.

While fabric shopping for fabrics I need, I occasionally find the fabric I “need”. And this, a lovely Tokyo Train Ride Lawn Octopus (Teal) by Cotton + Steel, certainly qualified. Isn’t it fabulous? Also, as a lawn: very very lightweight. A perfect summer dress!

Cotton + Steel Octopus Dress
Cotton + Steel Octopus Dress

As per usual, finishing is perfect: including an invisible zipper…

Cotton + Steel Octopus Dress

and vintage buttons from my stash.

Cotton + Steel Octopus Dress

For more, you can dilly-dally through my Flickr tagset, or read my pattern review, to know more. For now – let’s just sigh at my pretty young daughter in her pretty li’l dress!

Jury’s out on the quality of Cotton + Steel fabrics. I haven’t heard anything bad yet, and I haven’t researched. They certainly have some of the loveliest designs, at least to my aesthetic. This yardage wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last!