Indigo Linen Jump Rope Dress

It’s been so hot in Montreal lately, the perfect weather for linen dresses.

This is the Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S. The shirtwaist dress features cuffed sleeves, gathered patch pockets, collar and front placket. I made view B which has long sleeves and an a-line shape.

The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S
The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S (view B)

My daughter is between sizes 3 and 4 at the moment, so I made a size 4, which was a little long and slightly large, but leaves room to grow. The linen fabric doesn’t have a lot of give, so making it larger, rather than smaller seemed like a good idea.

Ack! So cute!
Ack! So cute! (The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S)

As with all Oliver + S patterns, the instructions are great, but this is not a pattern for beginners. Oliver + S patterns are rated by difficulty on a scale of four scissors, and this one gets three. It’s not really a difficult pattern, but it does have a lot of finicky details.

More cuteness!
More cuteness! (The Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S)

It’s made like a proper men’s shirt, minus the collar stand. The instructions for the front placket, for example, take one full page of the pattern instructions. On the other hand, the results were great. I’ll be making another. Seems kid No 1 wants one too.

Curved collar and front placket
Curved collar and front placket of the Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S

The only change I made was to the hem. The pattern calls for a narrow hem, but the dress was just too long for my little girl, so I made a wider one that I can always lengthen later. I also used contrasting fabric for the pocket binding and inside front placket. I’ve seen other versions where the entire collar and placket were in a contrasting fabric and that looks really nice as well.

Contrast fabric on the inner front placket.
Contrast fabric on the inner front placket.
Folded cuffs on the sleeves.
Folded cuffs on the sleeves.

I have been hoarding this fabric forever, so it was time to get it sewn up. The fabric is a cotton linen chambray in Indigo Washed by Robert Kaufman. It has a really lovely sheen, and the colour is beautiful. It handles like a linen, which means it’s a little stiff at first, but also stretches a little while sewing. The key is lots of pressing. It has to be my favourite fabric ever.

The fabric has a beautiful sheen.
The fabric has a beautiful sheen.

I love how this turned out. It’s cute and easy to wear, comfortable for the summer, nice enough for school and quite durable. I really love the pockets.

Patch pockets with contrast bias binding.
Patch pockets with contrast bias binding.

This dress is part of the Kids Clothes Week  Summer Challenge and the Stashbusting Sew-Along.

Summary

Pattern Review: Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Cotton linen chambray in Indigo Washed by Robert Kaufman.

Size: 4.

Sewing Level: Intermediate to advanced.

Modifications: I made a wider hem and used contrasting fabric for the pocket binding and inside front placket.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and will definitely make it again.

Barefoot for summer
Barefoot for summer in the Jump Rope Dress by Oliver + S

Shorts for the Win!

shorts on the line - a summer sew along
shorts on the line – a summer sew along

So where have I been, you may be asking? Each I year I co-organize an open source tech conference. It was on June 29-30. It is huge and crazy and getting through the pile of laundry afterwards is an amazing feat. But I am officially back in my usual, crazy, mum-of-four swing of things.

My first job has been to tame the email, and what was awaiting me there? A prize!

Yes, I am one of the official winners of the shorts on the line giveaway. My prize is the Kid Shorts by MADE. It looks really cute and I can’t wait to try it out. And since it fits kids 12 months to size 10, that means I’ll have to make four. Shorts, shorts, shorts! Thanks to Rachel of Imagine Gnats and Carla of Small + Friendly for organizing both the Shorts on the Line contest (which I also entered) and the giveaway. And thanks to Dana of MADE for donating the prize.

Kid Shorts by MADE
Kid Shorts by MADE (used with permission)

And what else did I get to now that life is getting back to normal… the fabric store!

It’s about 40 degrees with the humidex during the day here in Montreal – unbearably hot and humid. I kept seeing all the local mums in these fabulously comfortable jersey maxi dresses. I’ve been having babies for so long now that my (non-maternity) wardrobe is just pitiful, so I figured it was time for some summer sewing for me.

McCall's M 6760 Misses' Dress and Jumpsuit and some spongey bamboo jersey.
McCall’s M 6760 Misses’ Dress and Jumpsuit and some spongey bamboo jersey.

This is some really soft, really spongey bamboo jersey and McCall’s M 6760. The photo makes the fabric look darker than it is. It’s actually a medium grey and medium-weight. Now that I’ve blogged it I will be forced to sew it. No procrastinating allowed!

I know, I know, all the dresses on the pattern envelope are made of georgette or some other airy fabric, but definitely not knit fabric. But there it was on the back of the envelope, “jersey”.

And the bonus is that with jersey, I won’t need to line it or use an invisible zipper. I’m just a bit concerned that the jersey might be a bit heavy and weigh too much on the waistband, but we will soon find out. The waistband is meant to be interfaced, but then it won’t be as comfortable. Hmmm. dilemma, dilemma. I love the fabric, but I could also do a glorified t-shirt maxi dress instead. Maybe a bit dull, in grey though. What would you do? Suggestions welcome.

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Shorts on the Line

The first day of summer! And so I decided to sew up something fun.

Here is the before shot. As part of my collaboration with Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles I received this beautiful fabric. It’s Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics. I can’t tell you how long I have coveted this fabric!

Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics
I have long coveted this fabric. It’s so pretty! Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.

And since the shorts on the line sew along is taking place right now, and I’ve been eyeing the new Parsley Pants pattern from Made by Rae, I figured the stars were aligned for a pair of Parsley shorts.

These are the Parsley Pants (as shorts) from Made by Rae.
These are the Parsley Pants (as shorts) from Made by Rae, and the fabric is Bella Flower in Blue. I made the pattern as shorts, added pintucks, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband.

I am really happy with these. They aren’t your boring, everyday shorts. The pattern has a number of variations included, and there are additional tutorials for this pattern on the Made by Rae blog. I opted for added pintucks on the front and back, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband.

I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps.
I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps. You can see the pintucks here as well. I also used flat felled seams inside (sorry, no photos).

I also followed Made by Rae’s instructions for how to make shorts from a pants pattern, and partially followed the tutorial for how to make super seams where the Parsley shorts are used as an example. I used flat felled seams for the inseam on my shorts.

Parsley shorts by The Finished Garment.
I was going for a surfer girl look, and I really like how these turned out.

Here are the shorts are on my 6-year-old. I was going for a surfer girl look, and I think this is a success largely because of the fabric. It’s fun and not too precious for my big girl. I made the shorts in a size seven, though according to the pattern sizing my daughter should be in a six. But seven fits perfectly and should last the summer. I’m so glad I opted to go bigger.

Parsley shorts by The Finished Garment.
Just the right length!

I used a 2.5 inch inseam when making the shorts. They end up being long enough that the box pleat pockets have enough room, but still look girly.

I love this pattern! And kid #2 has already requested his own pair of shorts, so the kids like it too.

There was quite a bit of extra fabric, so I decided to make a headband to match. I used this German pattern from Erbsenprinzessin. But things went badly awry. The headband turned out to be way too small. We don’t have a shortage of small heads here, so I was hoping it would fit my two-year-old, but no!

Baby headband sewn for The Finished Garment.
The first headband was so small that only my smallest could wear it. And she has no hair!

The only head that would fit is my 11-month old, and she has no hair! I’m not usually one for headbands on babies (I think she looks a bit like a ninja), but since I had already sewn it up, I figured it should be worn at least once.

Kids' headband in Bella Flower (Blue).
I also made a matching headband.

So back to the drawing board! I made the whole thing again much larger and it seems to be a big hit.

Kids' headband in Bella Flower (Blue).
The headband is in two pieces with elastic in the back only.

Now that I have the sizing right, I’ll probably make this pattern again.

Summary 1

Pattern Review: Parsley Pants (as shorts) from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Size: 7.

Sewing Level: Intermediate (with the modifications below), or beginner.

Modifications: I followed the included instructions for added pintucks on the front and back, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband. I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps. I also used flat felled seams in the inseam.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and will definitely make it again.

Summary 2

Pattern Review: Haarband für Kinder  by from Erbsenprinzessin (in German)

Fabric: Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Size: one size (but I enlarged it by almost 1/2 inch in all directions).

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: I enlarged the pattern.

Results: Great, when resized. I would recommend this pattern with modifications and will probably make it again.

Parsley Shorts by The Finished Garment. Headband and shorts in action!
Headband and shorts in action!

This project is part of the shorts on the line sew along and a project for the Warp & Weft Sewing Society.

Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles
Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles
shorts on the line - a summer sew along
shorts on the line – a summer sew along

Sewing with Warp & Weft

Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles
Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles

I have some big news! As you know, I’m a big fan of Canadian fabric shops, so I am super excited to announce an ongoing collaboration with  Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Warp & Weft is a Canadian online fabric and sewing store specializing in designer and imported cotton fabric, embroidery supplies and notions for  creative sewing. The shop is run by Esmari Taylor out of Toronto.

She has some fabulous products (go check them out!), and I’ll be doing some sewing with her fabrics on a regular basis and possibly doing some embroidery (so excited!).

My late grandmother taught me to embroider as a little girl, but I haven’t done very much of it lately, and I’m looking forward to the trip down memory lane. I miss her!

Fabric from Warp & Weft
It was hard to photograph this without opening it. I “may” have ripped a tiny corner underneath to peak inside.
Fabric
So much fabric. Better get sewing!

I just got my first package, and there was some great fabric inside. I have some really fun projects in mind and I can’t wait to share.

Fun, fun, fun! These are organic cotton. It's Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics. These prints are Sea Critters, Laddies and Poppets, and The Fleet in Grey.
Fun, fun, fun! These are organic cotton. It’s Seven Seas collection by Michéle Brummer Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics. These prints are Sea Critters, Laddies and Poppets, and The Fleet in Grey.

The kids love the Seven Seas fabrics. So cute! I may need to get some more.

Floral Meadow and in the City Girl Colourway and Curvy Stripe in the Orange Grove Colourway from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics.
These two are really pretty. Floral Meadow and in the City Girl Colourway and Curvy Stripe in the Orange Grove Colourway from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics.
Monkey’s Bizness Market Floral in Bright by Alexander Henry Fabrics
This one is lovely! It’s Monkey’s Bizness Market Floral in Bright by Alexander Henry Fabrics.

There were also some pretty florals, which are great for summer.

Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics
I have long coveted this fabric. It’s Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.

I have been adding this fabric to my online shopping carts for months and then not buying it because I had no specific project for it. But now I do!

This is Essex Linen in Rose by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
I have something special planned for this one. This is Essex Linen in Rose by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

And finally, linen! I think linen is my favourite fabric of all time. I always just buy black and white, so I thought I’d try some colour this time.

So consider these the “before” photos, and expect to see the completed projects in the coming weeks.

In Other Exciting News

Honestly, the fabric is pretty exciting! But a couple of other nice things happened lately. We’ve always wanted to plant trees for each of our kids, and we’ve just been given four baby oak trees. Now we just have to choose where to plant them.

Baby Oak Trees
Baby Oak Trees

We also had a very special visitor drop in unexpectedly. We live outside of the city, so wildlife sightings aren’t rare, but the kids always seem to miss them. This time our friendly visitor stayed still long enough for us all to get a good look and for me to take some photos. Wonder if he or she will be back?

rabbit
We had a visitor of the long-eared variety.