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.

Monkey Bizness Smocked Sundress

Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles
Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles

This is the fastest (wearable) garment I have ever made. I made this in about two hours, and if I weren’t a mother of four, who knows how quickly I could have done this without interruptions? The mind boggles.

This is the Heather Ross Smocked Sundress. You can find the free tutorial on the Martha Stewart website where there is a video as well, or in Heather Ross’ book Weekend Sewing (though the reviews of the book are not kind). There is also a pattern for a larger dress for women, the Mendocino Sundress Pattern available to download, also for free.

Official inspection completed!
Official inspection completed!

The main criticism of her book seems to be that there are errors in the instructions and missing details. I found the instructions for this project to be alright – I mostly skimmed them. But then I’m an experienced sewist, perhaps a beginner would find them more problematic?

Heather Ross Smocked Sundress
Heather Ross Smocked Sundress

I didn’t have any problems with the smocking with elastic thread. It was incredibly easy. My machine handled it beautifully. There also isn’t a lot of seam finishing in this dress, since most seams are enclosed or involve the fabric selvedge. Yay! And fitting isn’t that much of an issue, since the dress has a lot of give in the smocking. This dress fit perfectly.

Heather Ross Smocked Sundress
Heather Ross Smocked Sundress

I only made two changes. First, I cut the dress a bit shorter than I had intended (oops!), and so I hemmed the dress with a narrow hem, instead of the wide one in the instructions. It’s still quite long, so it should last a while.

I like the length a lot. Lots of room to grow.
I like the length a lot. Lots of room to grow.

Second, I changed the straps. The directions call for four straps that tie in bows at the shoulder. It’s a cute look, but those ties always come undone. Instead I used two straps, and fed them criss-crossed through a small loop in the centre back. I anchored the loop very securely with extra rows of stitching. This way there is one bow in the back, and it can be tied more securely.

Here you can see how I made the straps work, by running them through a small loop.
Here you can see how I made the straps work, by running them through a small loop.

Let’s talk fabric! This is quilting cotton, which is great for summer – so breathable and super easy to work with. The print is Monkey’s Bizness Market Floral in the bright colourway from Alexander Henry. I really like this print. It’s a floral pattern, but not too girly. I’m not one for ruffles and frills and bows and often floral patterns are either a little too old or a little too saccharine. This one is perfect and the scale of the print is really nice too. Even my husband said it was “so pretty” (and this almost never happens!).

I used a narrow hem instead of the wider one in the instructions.
I used a narrow hem instead of the wider one in the instructions.

Another great thing about this pattern is that it doesn’t use a lot of fabric. I only had one yard of this fabric, and I only used 2/3 of that. I did cut the straps on the straight grain though. If I had cut them on the bias, I would have had less fabric left over.

I really like the way the straps tie in the back.
I really like the way the straps tie in the back.

I’m really happy about the results. I wanted something cute and easy to sew, especially after the more advanced linen shirtdress I made recently. This was both. And my daughter really loves it and says it’s super comfortable as well. Yay!

This is a really comfortable dress. I'm seriously considering making the adult version.
This is a really comfortable dress. I’m seriously considering making the adult version.

Warp & Weft Sewing Society

This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. Esmari of Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles has some great fabrics. Lots of quilting cottons, but other things as well, including some really unique finds.  Right now there are three of us in the sewing society all creating projects using her fabrics. It’s quite fun, because we could all be using the same fabric, but of course we’ll come up with such different results – so much creativity! Be sure to check out the other Warp & Weft Sewing Society members, Cynthia and Carla to see what they’re up to.

Summary

Pattern Review: Heather Ross Smocked Sundress.

Size: (by measurements), though my daughter is usually between sizes 3 and 4.

Fabric: Monkey’s Bizness Market Floral in the bright colourway from Alexander Henry. Available from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: I changed the straps to tie in the back and made a narrow hem instead of the wide hem in the instructions..

Results: Cute. Unbelievably quick to sew.

And she's off!
And she’s off!

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.