Summer PJs

Last week was Kids Clothing Week (KWC), and what did I get done? Not much. I did plan a lot of projects though, so that counts right?

The one thing I did finish, was four sets of pyjamas. The spring PJs were a big hit with the kids, and they needed more so I just did the same thing again.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
All the sizes!

The kids chose the fabrics – all Angry Birds prints. I used the Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, for the bottoms, and appliquéd an angry bird from each print onto store-bought t-shirts for the tops.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Of all the prints my kids chose, this one is my favourite.

I’ve made these pyjama pants eleven (!) times before. Yikes, that is a big number. But they are definitely my go-to pyjama pattern for kids. Quick, easy and great results every time.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Ack! They are always cutest in the smallest size.

Summary

Pattern Review: Bedtime Story Pajamas by Oliver + S.

Fabric:

Fence in White, Stars in Blue, Rainbow in Pink and Rainbow in Purple, all from the Angry Birds collection and all licensed to David Textiles by Rovio Entertainment, LTD. I bought this at the local chain shop.
Sketch in Grey by Timeless Treasures for the waistbands and leg bindings.

Sizes: 18-24m, 4, 6.

Sewing Level: beginner, intermediate if not just the pants.

Modifications: None.

Results: Excellent! I’ve made these 11 times before. I would highly recommend this pattern.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Taking photos of tired kids at bedtime is sooooo difficult!

Just to be clear: The Angry Birds name is trademarked by Rovio Entertainment, LTD and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The pjs shown here are not official licensed products and are not available for sale. But you can always buy some fabric and make your own!

Girls in White Dresses

Warp & Weft Sewing Society
A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project

Nothing says summer like girls in white dresses.

So for the last day of school, and beginning of summer, everyone got a new white dress. Well, except Kid No 2, but he’s more of a summer shorts fan anyway.

This is the first of three dresses, and it’s made with the cutest print. Who doesn’t love ladybugs?

This is one of my favourite patterns – the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern, this time in size 5.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I made the faux cap sleeves from view B of the Geranium dress.

This time around, I made the dress with the view B faux cap sleeves, but with a gathered skirt. I made two changes. I added red piping at the waist, and I added in-seam pockets.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I added red piping to the waistband for a bit of colour.

This dress was made for Kid No 3, and is a huge hit. She loves ladybugs and the colour red, and recently asked me why she doesn’t have “a dress that twirls”. The pockets are hidden in the gathers of the skirt, and she loves the “secret pockets” too.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Aren’t white dresses adorable? (also a bit hard to photograph)
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Front detail of the Geranium dress.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I used simple white buttons from my stash.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
The pockets practically disappear, but trust me, they’re there.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.

This was a lot of fun to sew. The pattern makes a really pretty dress that’s lined and nicely finished on the inside. But the sewing was quick and problem-free.

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.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
She wore this dress for two days after I made it.

Summary

Pattern Review: Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Ladybug Dots from The Red Thread collection by Creative Thursdays for Andover Fabrics. Courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. The lining is white cotton batiste.

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

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern and I would definitely recommend it.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
And yes, she got a grass stain on it the very first day she wore it. Ooops! One of the hazards of white dresses, I suppose.

Feeling Blue

Yay! My first quilt of 2014! Of course this was supposed to be my last quilt of 2013, but (sigh), life.

Anyway, this is a cross quilt, made using fabric that has been sitting in my stash for way too long. Maybe two years? I am really happy that it has finally been transformed into a quilt.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The fabrics are Kona solids in greys and blues.

The fabrics are Kona solids. I bought them as a bundle, and I had to write to Mad About Patchwork, where I bought it, to find out what was in it, because this particular bundle isn’t even available anymore (though there is one that is very similar).

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The backing is quite bright.

It seems that the colours are some of, but not all of: Snow, Ash, Medium Grey, Coal, Charcoal, Black, Indigo, Navy, Nightfall, Marine, Deep Blue, Ocean, Windsor and Delft. There might also be Slate and Pepper. That’s actually more than the number of pieces of fabric in the bundle I have, so hmmm, I am not especially helpful. But definitely some of those. Clearly I need better record keeping, and maybe a colour card.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The back is Crosshatch Sketch in Royal, and yes, it really is that blue.

This quilt is also a gift for a family member, so yes, there was another quilt dance party. Fun! Hope you don’t mind, mystery family member! The angle of the photo below makes the quilt look small, but it is actually 60″ by 67″ – a nice size lap quilt, perfect for snuggling on the sofa.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Dance party!

I used Crosshatch Sketch, which is the same print I used in my last quilt, but in Royal, for the backing. It is a very bright blue. I had planned to use the same print in the Denim colourway, but couldn’t find enough online. But, in retrospect, this blue is the perfect blue for the person who will be getting it. It really is their blue.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
I used some of the leftover squares for the backing.

For the binding, I used three different colours.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
I used three colours for the binding: a bright blue, a navy and grey.

For the quilting, I just did some simple straight line quilting. Nothing fancy. But I think this works really well with the piecing.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The colours were very hard to photograph because there was so much contrast.

Of course the kids always check my quilts for quality, warmth and general coziness.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Quality assurance testing.

And since this was for a family member there was extra-thorough quality assurance testing.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
More quality testing.

I didn’t really use a pattern, but if you are looking for a tutorial, you can find a good one online here, by Jeni Baker of In Color Order.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Outdoor shot.

Hope the quilt is a hit. I’ll find out soon.

Feeling Blue Quilt

Quilt block: cross, or modern plus.

Size: 60 by 67 inches.

Fabrics:

Kona solids. I’m not sure of all the colours, but I think these are Snow, Ash, Medium Grey, Coal, Charcoal, Black, Indigo, Navy, Nightfall, Marine, Deep Blue, Ocean, Windsor and Delft. There may also be Slate and Pepper.

Binding: Three of the above.

Backing: Crosshatch Sketch in Royal by Timeless Treasures

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Hopefully the quilt will be a hit!

“X”s and “O”s Quilt

This week I’ve been tackling some unfinished objects (UFO’s) and I am really happy that I was able to finish this quilt because it has been sitting neglected for far too long.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Red Xs and Os quilt.

I picked up most of these fat quarters ages ago, before I even learned to quilt. I remember them standing out at the quilt shop because almost everything else in this particular shop was traditional quilting fabrics – small scale florals, batiks and such. There were hardly any solids. And then I spotted these fat quarters that seemed so out of place, but way cooler than anything else I’d seen so far.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
The binding works really well.

I finally started piecing this last winter, but then other projects jumped the line. Maybe it’s the return of the fall weather, but it just feels like it’s time to snuggle up under a quilt. So I got to work.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Detail on the X.

This quilt uses a lozenge block, and you can see a nice tutorial online here, which I should have followed but did not. My quilt blocks ended up being a little messier than planned, and I had to trim them down, which works poorly with this particular block. And then I was quite discouraged with the actual straight line quilting, which looked anything but straight when I was stitching it. But a good wash and a little crinkle goes a long way, so I consider it salvaged.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Some of the blocks were a bit messy – but not this one.

The blocks are then arranged in an “X”s and “O”s  or Hugs and Kisses arrangement (well, one X/kiss) to be exact.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Some of the quilting.

I used this really lovely, pale grey Crosshatch Sketch for the backing, which I adore. I had looked for something suitable for a long time, and then was in my local fabric store, looking for something completely unrelated, and there it was.

The binding is Kona Coal. I made it a bit more narrow than planned, but it’s probably better that way, since it’s such a dark colour.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
The binding is Kona Coal.

All that black and grey make for a monochromatic back, which I love.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
There is just one X in this quilt.

The front is really bright. My husband said it looked a bit stark. “Yes, well, it’s not for you”.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Love the colours (or lack thereof).

Actually it is a gift for a family member, who I think likes stark colours, at least these ones. I hope.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
And it passes the mandatory quality inspection.

Anyway, since it was for a family member, I skipped the “Hey, be gentle with the quilt!”, and there was a small quilt dance party. But hopefully the family member won’t mind.

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
At the red quilt dance party.

X’s and Os Quilt

Quilt block: Lozenge block in an “X”s and “O”s  or Hugs and Kisses arrangement.

Size: 53 by 53 inches.

Fabrics:

Mostly unknown, but includes Michael Miller – Ring Dot Black, Kona White, Kona Red. The rest I picked up as fat quarters.

Binding: Kona Coal

Backing: Crosshatch Sketch in Mist (or is this Grey?) by Timeless Treasures

Red Xs and Os quilt by The Finished Garment
Hanging up.

My First Fabric Bundle: Snow Day

I am super excited to announce my very first custom fabric bundle! Come look!

Snow Day Bundle
Snow Day Bundle – A cool and contemporary selection of Aquas, Reds, Greys and crispy whites hand-picked by Shannon Smith of The Finished Garment exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles

It’s called Snow Day and it’s available now (and is even on sale!) from Warp &Weft.

This is the really fabulous copy: “A cool and contemporary selection of aquas, reds, greys and crispy whites hand-picked by Shannon Smith of The Finished Garment exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles”. Oh my!

When Esmari of Warp & Weft contacted me and asked me to create a custom bundle for her first anniversary, using fabrics from her shop, I was so just so thrilled. The tough part (ok, the really, really fun part) was narrowing down the choices.

I wanted something fun, and something with some sort of theme. And winter is coming (which really it always is, unless it is already winter). And of course what does Montreal have a lot of? Winter! (Gotta represent!) So a snow theme just sounded perfect.

Snow Day Bundle - A cool and contemporary selection of Aquas, Reds, Greys and crispy whites hand-picked by Shannon Smith of The Finished Garment exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles
All the prints in the Snow Day Bundle.

I am really happy about how it tuned out. Can’t you just see these in a quilt with a lot of white for the snow?

You should take a look at the other guest bundles too. Each of the members of the Warp & Weft Sewing Society contributed their own bundle. Carla’s is called Candy Floss and Cynthia’s is called On Rosamund Street. Aren’t they beautiful? And so different, like each one of us.

On Rosamund Street Bundle  Soft Pastel designs with a splash of the unexpected put together by Cynthia Frenette of cynthiaf exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles
On Rosamund Street Bundle
Soft Pastel designs with a splash of the unexpected put together by Cynthia Frenette of cynthiaf
Candy Floss Bundle  A custom selection of bold pinks and oranges and soft turquoises put together by Carla Peicheff of My 1/2 Dozen Daily exclusively for Warp & Weft | Exquisite Textiles
Candy Floss Bundle
Bold pinks and oranges and soft turquoises put together by Carla Peicheff of My 1/2 Dozen Daily

Special Discount

Anyway, enough gushing. I feel like I’ve already used up my quota of exclamation marks writing this post.

If you order any of the three bundles in the next week, they are also 10% off! Yay!

Happy Anniversary Warp & Weft! Thanks for inviting me to the party!

Princess Leia Takes Gym Class

Well, if one kid was going to have a new gym bag for back-to-school, I certainly couldn’t let the other kid feel left out. And since there was plenty of fabric left over from her pencil case, I decided that a Star-Wars themed gym bag would be a good plan.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I’m A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment

This is a super easy pattern (and free!). It’s also very quick to sew.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
I used green cording to match the lining.

I wanted to use bright colours, but I also wanted it to be practical. I think the purple should wear well.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
I used Ovals in Lime from the Remix collection by Anne Kelle for the lining. Nice and bright.

My daughter helped pick all the fabric. And I think she did a great job.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
I’m glad the Star Wars fabric doesn’t only coordinate with dark colours. Star Wars and purple don’t always go together, but they do here. Yeah, grommets!

Again, the only (barely) hard part was putting in the grommets. I did a practice run first, but these were no problem at all.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I’m A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment

Summary

Pattern Review: Jeni Gym Bag tutorial by Katy Jones of I’m A Ginger Monkey.

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.

Sizes: One size fits most. The finished bag is 14″ x 17″.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great.

The Jeni Gym Bag sewing pattern by I'm A GingerMonkey, sewn by The Finished Garment
A little big, but room to grow.

Just to be clear: The Star Wars name is trademarked by Lucasfilm Ltd. and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The gym 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!

Adventures in Pattern Testing

Way back in July I volunteered to do a little pattern testing. I’d never been a pattern tester before so I thought I’d give you a little run down on what it’s like. The pattern I had the chance to test is the super cute Sally Dress from Very Shannon (great first name!) of luvinthemommyhood fame.

Now before you look at my version, you should hop over to her site and take a look at the finished versions there, then hop back here.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Nice big pockets.

The dress is fully lined with nice big pockets (love those pockets!). It has no closures so it’s great for beginners and comes in sizes 2T to 8, which is a nice range. It also comes sleeveless or with two sleeve variations (short sleeves and elbow-length sleeves).

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
A closer look at the bodice of the Sally Dress.

This is a really cute dress and it’s very easy to sew. I think Shannon did two rounds of testing, but I was only available for the first round. So when I did my round the sleeves weren’t quite ready and the bodice was also changed in the second round. I do like the sleeveless version though.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.

Now one thing about pattern testing is that you are sewing to a deadline, which I try not to do too often. In this case my busy schedule meant that I only had one day to get fabric. And there was only one place that was open on the day I could go. Ack! So this isn’t my first choice of fabric for this pattern (I do like the prints though), but I still like the way it turned out.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.

The prints are Houndstooth and Swell Strip, both in multicoloured, from the Textured Basics collection by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics. The houndstooth was a gift from Double Decker Fabrics.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Inside out view. I lined the bodice with super soft cotton batiste.

This is the inside out view where you can see how nicely it’s finished on the inside. I lined the bodice in super soft cotton batiste.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Fun colours.

Now I have to say this testing didn’t go as easy as I would have liked. I had to resew the bodice twice, and shorten the skirt (which meant taking apart the pockets), and because I was matching the stripes, redo the pockets. Now of course, all the little problems that had me resewing were fixed and retested before the final pattern was released, so have no fear! You will not be subjected to all of that. And if I hadn’t chosen a striped print, I could have made life so much easier on my self.

But it all still went a little wrong. This dress relies on a very fitted bodice for the fit and my little one is very slim in the chest, which mean she’s floating in the dress. I made the size 7, which I always make, and it’s just too big. I probably would have been happier making the size 4, but lengthening it.

And the other thing that went wrong was that I hadn’t seen how long the dress was supposed to be. None of the photos showed the full model. Of course now there are quite a few cute Sally Dresses out there, and some are quite short, some shorter than I’d like, but all are much shorter than mine.

So I had a choice. I could rip out everything and recut, or I could just hang onto it until next spring when it will probably fit perfectly. And since my little girl loves it as is, I went with the second choice.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
A little big, for now.

I will, hover, have to try again, and maybe this time add sleeves too.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sally Dress from Very Shannon of luvinthemommyhood fame.

Fabric: Houndstooth and Swell Strip, both in multicoloured, from the Textured Basics collection by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Size: 7 (though really I should have gone down a size or two).

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Good (would have been great in a smaller size).

Disclaimer: The pattern was generously provided by Very Shannon, in return for testing the pattern. As always, my opinions are my own.

Sally Dress Sewing Pattern sewn by The Finished Garment.
Fun to twirl.