I finally have a moment and the desire to post. Here's a short update and three mini pattern reviews.
I made dresses for myself and my two daughters for our Christmas pictures this year. (Maybe next year I can make something for hubby too!) We had a fun photo shoot and just got the edited pictures back yesterday. This is the Miss Kitty pattern by Pink Fig and I am completely smitten with the way it turned out. I have to admit that I veered from the pattern fairly significantly, some purposefully and some by accident.
I ignored the directions for the waistband and for the elastic in the neckline and armholes. I also omitted the ties in the overskirt and the tiny apron. I'm still not totally certain, but I think I may have cut the skirt pieces twice the width they were designed to be, making the skirt extra, extra full. She loves it because it's flouncy and twirly which is fine by me.
My younger daughter was the inspiration for my first try at a vintage pattern. It's a size 1/2 Simplicity pattern from the mid 70s.
Look at the inset on the front of the bodice, similar to the Miss Kitty bodice, no? I was tickled that I could find two different patterns with a similar vibe. The shape of the inset on the bodice was really supposed to be trim sewn onto the bodice in that shape. I just used the pattern markings to trace the shape onto a separate fabric and made it a separate center section.
I was kind-of surprised that using the vintage pattern wasn't much different than using any other current Simplicity pattern. I don't know what I thought it would be like, but now I've broken the ice and I'm not afraid to try more.
The little one pictured above turned two today and a few days ago, on a whim (seems like I sew on a whim a lot), I decided she needed a cute, but sophisticated coat. I searched back through my emails over the last two years to find the Heidi and Finn patterns I purchased before I even had my youngest daughter. I found the Swing Coat pattern, printed it and went to work with some soft denim that had been laying in a pile of fabrics on the floor beneath my sewing table.
It went together FAST. I loved the simplicity of it. I'm sure my skills gained by sewing more complex patterns made this one seem easier. It sure was nice not to have to sew the sleeves on after the body of the coat was sewn and it sure was nice to just cut 7 pieces for the outside of the coat. And it was really nice to be able to sew a LINED coat in just a couple hours, start to finish.
I used a big square vintage scarf I picked up at an estate sale for the lining. I think it turned out to be a perfect match for this pattern which already has it's own vintage feel.
I think my almost-4-year-old will be getting one of these come spring. There are so many more fabrics that would look darling made up in this pattern. You could lengthen it and make it in laminate as a rain coat. You could make it in velvet with a voile lining for a special occasion. And how cute would it be in kakhi with a fun cotton print on the inside, buttons all the way down the front and a tie as a playful version of a trench coat?