Gecko Blanket

This year kid No 2 starts all-day kindergarten, and on the back-to-school list was a blanket for nap time. So off we went to the fabric store to choose some nice soft flannel.

Gecko Blanket (side view)
Gecko Blanket (side view)

He chose the gecko print. It’s just some bargain flannel that I got at the local chain store. I bought three meters and I think that came to about 11$ total, making this a good bargain. The school list asked for a blanket or beach towel, and at that price the blanket is softer, larger and less expensive than any store-bought towel.

Gecko Blanket (top view)
Gecko Blanket (top view)

I sewed this up in about 30 minutes. It’s just two squares sewn together inside-out. I used a soup can to draw curves around the corners. Then I top stitched once around the edge and a second time about an 1.5 inches in so that the two sides stick together properly. I also appliquéd Kid No 2’s initial on the front, but I don’t really want to publish his initial on the internet so you will have to use your imagination. The finished blanket measures just under 1.5 m by 1.5 m.

Gecko Blanket Stitching
Gecko Blanket Stitching

This is such an easy project and it’s a great way to make your own baby blankets. I’ve never made by own receiving blankets, since I was always too busy preparing for baby to do much sewing, but this is a very easy, cost-effective, quick project for even complete beginners.

Princess Leia Goes Back to School

All my kids love Star Wars, but especially my daughter. One day she came home telling me that the boys at school let her play Star Wars with them, but they said she could “only be the princess”. Hmmmm. I was not impressed.

Of course I had to explain that Princess Leia is not “just” a princess. She is a leader in the rebellion (which means she gets to tell everyone else what to do), an important diplomat and politician, a spy, and a princess with magic powers. Most of the other characters don’t even have real jobs, unless you count smuggler and rebel as jobs. Princess Leia is pretty kickass, if you ask me.

So when I let my daughter pick her own fabric for a back-to-school pencil case, Star Wars it was!

Zip bag for back-to-school
Zip bag for back-to-school

Of course the problem with Star Wars isn’t just the kids at school, it’s also whichever marketing executive is in charge of licensing their merchandise, and who isn’t taking girls into consideration.

The Fabric

The fabric I used is Star Wars Character Names in Multi from the Star Wars II collection by Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM for Camelot Cottons. It’s official licensed fabric and has the names of eight characters on it. How many are women? Just one. (Though I suppose the ewok could go either way.) I picked this up at my local chain store, but you can get it online and there are a few different prints.

At least Princess Leia was on the fabric. This summer we visited the Star Wars Identities exhibit at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. It was lots of fun. If you get a chance you should definitely go. And of course there were tons of toys for sale, since Star Wars and merchandising go hand in hand – but no female characters. There was only a bobblehead Princess Leia, (which broke on the car ride home) but that was it. Playskool makes a cute set of figurines that were for sale and that are way more age appropriate, but they make no women Star Wars characters at all.

It’s definitely something my daughter notices. She likes Cars (the movie), Planes, Star Wars, but when we go to the toy store there’s nothing for her, despite the fact that all those movies have smart, interesting female characters. But then those characters aren’t made into toys, and if they are, they are extremely hard to find. I suppose some marketing exec would argue that the female characters don’t sell, but that is especially true when you don’t make any.

So I was pretty exited to be able to make my own gear for her that was clearly for girls, and had her favourite character on it.

Nice contrasty lining
Nice contrasty lining

I used bright green fabric for the lining and solid purple to match the print for the exterior. Kid No 1 helped choose the colours. I wanted it to be clearly made for a girl, but not too girly. You really shouldn’t have to choose between solid pink 24/7 and “no girls allowed”.

The Pattern

I used the Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson! I’ve made this pattern before, but I haven’t blogged it. The pattern can be used to make three different styles of bag, all fully lined, in a variety of sizes and with different straps and zipper pulls. I made view A in the larger size with a wrist strap and inside pocket.

Interior pocket.
Interior pocket.

It’s a great pattern. It’s extremely well thought out and the instructions are exceptionally clear and well written. And it makes a really professional bag that looks finished on the inside and outside.

I know there  are lots of free tutorials for zip bags online, but this pattern is definitely worth buying.

There is also an online tutorial on how to make the zip bags using quilted patchwork panels. I’ve used that technique for a larger bag using the Perfect Quilted Totes pattern (also not blogged) and the results were really nice.

I used flannel for interlining. I used canvas last time, which makes a crisper, stiffer bag, but for a child I thought a softer bag would be better.

Check out that zipper!
Check out that zipper!

Summary

Pattern Review: Perfect Zip Bag pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!

Fabric:

  • Character Names in Multi from the Star Wars II collection by Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM for Camelot Cottons.
  • Kona solid (could this be Plum?) by Robert Kaufman.
  • Ovals in Lime from the Remix collection by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman.

Size: Large (View A)

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

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

Just to be clear: The Star Wars name is trademarked by Lucasfilm Ltd. and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The zip bag shown here is not an official licensed product and is not available for sale. But you can always buy some fabric and make your own!

Sewing Like Mad

A Summer Geranium

There is one little person who has been missing out of the handmade sewing this year, and that is my smallest. As kid number four, she has a huge selection of hand-me-downs, but it’s still nice to have something new once in a while.

As soon as I saw this fabric I knew it would be perfect for a summer dress and I knew just the right pattern – the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.

Baby dress made by The Finished Garment using the Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae and Floral Meadow fabric from the Storybook Lane collection.
This is the 12-18 month size and the length is great.

I bought this pattern way back in January, so it was about time to actually make it.

This is a great pattern. It’s cute, quick, easy to sew and comes with some nice variations for sleeves, neckline and pockets. You can also make it as a top. And it’s easy to add a personal touch with piping, rickrack  and other trim.

Baby dress made by The Finished Garment using the Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae and Floral Meadow fabric from the Storybook Lane collection.
Geranium Dress sewing pattern by Made by Rae

I chose the simple curved neckline and flutter sleeves. The pattern calls for the sleeves to be finished with a zigzag stitch, which sounded a bit odd to me. I saw some versions of the flutter sleeves online which were lined, but they looked really stiff. So I stuck with the directions and I’m happy with the results.

The bodice is lined and I used a very soft cotton batiste. If I were to make the dress again, the only thing I would do differently is to understitch the lining to better hide it. I thought about it as I was sewing, but I wanted to keep the inside nice and soft- as if a couple extra lines of stitching would suddenly make the inside unbearably itchy for my baby. The things mothers do for their little ones…

Geranium Dress sewing pattern by Made by Rae
The fabric is Floral Meadow from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics (courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles). The lining is white cotton batiste.

The sizing was really good. I made the 12-18 months size and it fits well, but will also probably last through to spring. I have a new walker, sometimes crawler here, so she sometimes finds the length a bit annoying, but I think it looks adorable.

Geranium Dress sewing pattern by Made by Rae
I love the colour. Nice and bright.

For fabric I used Floral Meadow from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics (courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles). So beautiful! It also has a great hand. I don’t think I’ve ever used fabric from Andover and I was quite impressed.

Geranium Dress sewing pattern by Made by Rae
I used simple white buttons. You can see how the fabric has a slight sheen.

The pattern calls for 1 1/3 yards of fabric for the 12-18 months size. Even though the print I used is directional, I still had a lot left over. I was even going to make a matching diaper cover, but my printer ran out of cyan ink – because you need that to print in black and white. I hate it when that happens.

This is possibly my favourite sewing project. I love the results. Super cute!

Only one thing could make it cuter… a bonnet!

Baby dress made by The Finished Garment using the Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae and Floral Meadow fabric from the Storybook Lane collection.
It’s hard to up the cute factor with this dress, but a bonnet will do it every time.
Warp & Weft Sewing Society
A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project

Warp & Weft Sewing Society

This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists  and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. You can find the fabric used in this project, Floral Meadow from the Storybook Lane collection, online in the Warp & Weft shop.

Summary

Pattern Review: Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Floral Meadow from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics. Courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. The lining is white cotton batiste.

Size: 12-18 months. (Comes in sizes 0-5 or 6-12.)

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

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

Baby dress made by The Finished Garment using the Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae and Floral Meadow fabric from the Storybook Lane collection.
Not quite steady on her feet.

Storybook Bonnet

Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles
Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles

My baby is getting so big! She just turned one and is walking and talking. It makes me a little teary just thinking about it, especially since this will probably be our very last baby. So to celebrate I thought I’d make her something sweet.

Now I am a sucker for a baby in a bonnet, so the Peekaboo Bonnet from Made by Rae was just calling my name. It’s just so cute!

But bonnets have a rather short lifespan, so there was a little time pressure.

Peekaboo Bonnet Sewing Pattern from Made by Rae
Peekaboo Bonnet Sewing Pattern from Made by Rae

No one puts a newborn in a bonnet, and once you hit two (barring historical reenactments, and fashion moments from the eighties), your bonnet days are numbered. Here in Montreal, the number of days the weather even allows bonnet wearing are extremely limited. So this is also a last hurrah to summer.

Peekaboo Bonnet Sewing Pattern from Made by Rae
So cute!

For fabric I used Floral Meadow and Curvy Stripe from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics (courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles). I love the floral meadow! So beautiful! And it has a great scale. If you look at it all spread out, it has a repeating grid pattern, but it is really easy to match. It also has a little bit of a sheen to it, a bit like cotton sateen.

Peekaboo Bonnet Sewing Pattern from Made by Rae
The fabrics are Floral Meadow (outside) and Curvy Stripe (inside) from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics (courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles).

The pattern calls for two fat quarters of each fabric, which is what I ordered. That would be the perfect amount, unless you also want to make matching piping and binding (you do!), in which case you need another fat quarter. Ooops!

I happen to be pretty economical at cutting fabric, but this was the biggest fabric test of all time. I just managed. And there may (ahem) be a couple more seams in the binding than I would otherwise have sewn.

Peekaboo Bonnet Sewing Pattern from Made by Rae
Do you think I can make her sleep in this? Just too much adorable-ness for me.

This is a really easy pattern to sew up. It’s a quick project and great for beginners. I made it in a 1T-2T, but it comes in sizes 0-8+. This was my first time making my own piping, and it went so smoothly that I will be churning out piped garments in the future.

Peekaboo Bonnet Sewing Pattern from Made by Rae
This is my first try at making my own piping. Not bad!

This bonnet also gets a lot of attention when we go out. I’ve had so many compliments! I would love a good excuse to make another, but I may have to wait for a baby shower to make this again. After all, winter is coming (sigh).

Seriously though, this kid is going to be wearing this bonnet everyday until the fall weather hits 😉

Warp & Weft Sewing Society

This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists  and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. You can find the fabrics used in this project, Floral Meadow and Curvy Stripe from the Storybook Lane collection, online in the Warp & Weft shop.

Summary

Pattern Review: Peekaboo Bonnet from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Floral Meadow and Curvy Stripe from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics. Courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Size: 1T-2T.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and wish I had an excuse to make it again.

Peekaboo Bonnet Sewing Pattern from Made by Rae
So much to see!

This project is linked up with Make It, Wear It Thursdays.

Rawwwwwr! Dino Shorts

Another pair of Parsley pants! This time with dinos!

I added pintucks to the shorts.
Dino shorts!

Last week was Kid’s Clothing Week (KCW). The idea is to sew for one hour (minimum) each day making kids’ clothing. I didn’t do too badly, but I had trouble sewing all week and blogging too. So this is the last catch-up blog post for KCW.

Dino shorts action shot.
Dino shorts action shot.

After all those dresses, a certain someone was feeling a bit left out. And I had been promising to sew up this dinosaur print that has been in my stash for ages. So this was a great excuse. Originally I was going to turn this fabric into a shirt, but it’s way more practical as shorts.

I stuck with the standard pocket placement.
I made these shorts on the long side.

These are the Parsley Pants (as shorts) from Made by Rae. They are the same as the pair I made previously, but I skipped the flat front, and this time I used an 8″ inseam. My son is a fan of long shorts, and this way he might even get to wear them next year too.

I made these shorts in a size 6.
I made these shorts in a size 6.

I made box pleat pockets, which are a big hit. The pattern says you can adjust the pockets for a cargo look, but I stuck with the standard pocket placement. I also followed the included instructions for pin tucks.

Side view of the dino shorts. I made them an 8 inch inseam.
Side view of the dino shorts. I made them an 8 inch inseam.

And again, I followed the online tutorial from Made by Rae on using flat felled seams with this pattern.

A good view of the box pleat pockets. I top stitched and edge stitched.
A good view of the box pleat pockets. I top stitched and edge stitched.

These were an even bigger hit than the last pair, but then dinos are always awesome!

Flat felled seams for the inseam.
Flat felled seams for the inseam.

Summary

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

Fabric: Dino Dudes in Navy by Michael Miller.

Size: 6.

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

Modifications: I followed the included instructions for added pintucks on the front and back, and box pleat pockets. I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps. I also used flat felled seams in the inseam. I made these as shorts with an 8″ inseam.

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

Dino shorts.
Dino shorts.