Moving Day(s)

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(all photos in this post are from my Instagram feed)

I may have mentioned it in passing before, but we’re moving!  It’s exciting and happy and sad and scary and stressful (and very stressful) all at the same time.  We’ve been living in beautiful London for about 18 months now and it’s time to pack up our things and ship them all back to Brooklyn and move home.  We were originally planning to stay here 2-3 years but a few things have changed since our move that made now the opportune time to move back.  I truly love it here in London and am sad to leave our friends and this amazing city, but New York is our home so off we go. More after the jump!

Quickie Makeup Bags

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Tuesday was Ellery’s last day of school (school goes much later here in London than it does in the US).  Saying goodbye to her teachers was one of our first goodbyes before we move back to NY in a little over a week.  Despite talking about it constantly, I don’t think she quite *gets* just yet that she’s not going to see her school, her teachers, our house, the lovely parks in our neighborhood, our friends, etc. again once we get on that plane.  Of course we’ll come back for visits, but I don’t think the enormity of this change has occurred to her yet.

I dropped the ball on getting presents for her two wonderful teachers, so yesterday afternoon after I dropped Ellery at school, I headed home to knock out a couple of these DIY makeup bags.  They came together quite quickly, despite the fact that I haven’t used my zipper foot since I took after-work sewing classes at F.I.T. back in 2007.  But it came right back to me once I attached the foot.  They’re made using 9.5″ x 5.5″ rectangles so it was a good way to use up some bits and pieces I had lying around.  The tutorial suggests using upholstery-weight fabric for the outer fabric, but I wanted to use these pin-dots so I instead just added some fusible interfacing for a bit of bulk.  I was rushing through the project in order to finish it in time for school pick-up, so I managed to break two needles in the process (my machine apparently does not like to sew across zippers).

I thought the bags came out quite cute, although next time I’ll try to finish the insides a bit more cleanly.  The tutorial leaves a lot of unfinished edges inside so I covered the big one with some yellow bias tape before sewing up the sides, but I’d still like to find a way to have no raw edges at all.

Then I stuck a £15 Starbucks gift card inside each and I was done!  I suppose I have many many years of teachers’ presents ahead of me so hopefully I can get inspired and give them something handmade every year.

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MakeIt Kids: Liberty Modified Edelweiss Dress

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Just in the nick of time as Kids Clothes Week wraps up today!  I didn’t get to as many projects as I’d hoped to this week, but I certainly did meet the requirement of working at least an hour a day on kids’ clothing projects.

This dress was truly a labor of love.  It’s my own twist on hey june’s Edelweiss Dress. Before delving into my version with changes, I first made a muslin of the original pattern.  I don’t always make muslins, but since it was my first time sewing with the gorgeous Liberty London Tana Lawn fabric, I felt I really needed to make sure a) I was capable of completing the pattern and b) that it would fit Ellery correctly. More after the jump!

MakeIt Kids: Sneak Peek into Liberty Modified Edelweiss Dress

SKETCH2 This is the lovely Edelweiss Dress from hey june.  I sometimes get a little carried away with different iterations of a design and this being my first time sewing with Liberty London fabric, I felt the need to get it right before I dared cut into the beautiful fabric, lest I waste even an inch.  Plus I’m a total sucker for print-mixing and this gorgeous, primary-colored ditsy floral was just asking for a simple, 2-color print to be paired with. But sometimes it’s hard to picture print mixes without having a visual so here are the options I’ve come up with.  I could’ve kept going but it’s Kids Clothes Week so I had to put down the Wacom pen and pick up the scissors and get going at some point!  The dress is nearly done and I can’t wait to reveal it to you soon. Which option would you choose? More after the jump!

Featured on Kids Clothes Week blog!

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I am so honored that my Rolled Dolman Sleeve T-Shirt Dress is featured on the Kids Clothes Week blog for day three!!  (Also aren’t those Liberty printed MC Hammer pants ridiculously cute?)  I’m feeling pretty bad that it’s more than half way over already and I’ve only done one project so far (oops!).  But rest assured I’m hard at work on a project that I’m determined to complete before KCW is over.  Stay tuned…

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MakeIt Kids: Rolled Dolman Sleeve T-Shirt Dress

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Edit 16 July 2013: I’ve just discovered Kids Clothes Week so I’m adding this project to the mix.  Hopefully it’ll nudge me to post a bit more and to get some projects done this week.  I’m currently working on a very special one – a dress for Ellery to wear to a family wedding in a few weeks, and my first project in Liberty London fabric (yum!).  Stay tuned for more…KCWC

I’m not sure if Kin by John Lewis is new, or just new to me, but I like it!  John Lewis is a department store here in the UK, I guess the closest thing I can compare it to back home would be Bloomingdales.  It’s one of those huge places that has absolutely everything and they happen to have a haberdashery department so I find myself popping into the one at Sloane Square (actually that one is called Peter Jones but it’s the same store so I don’t really know why) when I need a bit more elastic or some velcro or needles or such.  Haberdashery is conveniently located on the children’s clothing floor so I took a spin around recently and discovered one of their clothing lines called Kin.

The pieces are comfy and laid-back looking, and they look like adult clothing shrunk down to kids’s sizes.  And let’s be honest, I wish that half of Ellery’s clothes came in my size, too, so it was right up my alley.  I love this t-shirt I’d bought her from the line.  It has a dolman sleeve (aka easy to reproduce because you don’t have to set in a sleeve) so I figured it was a great template for a t-shirt dress.  I’ll definitely be making this one again – either from the same pattern or perhaps with some different design details.  More after the jump!

MakeIt Kids: Leggings

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Welcome to my first post!!

This is Ellery, my almost 2.5 year old.  About 5 or 6 weeks ago we potty trained, and unfortunately in London there aren’t too many days that are warm enough for “nudie legs” as we call them.  Her wardrobe is full of jeans but the thought of peeling off jeans after an accident wasn’t terribly appealing, so I decided to make up a quick pattern for leggings and was able to make 4 or 5 pairs in a jif.

If you haven’t ever made your own pattern, don’t worry – I’m going to go through it in-depth but it’s not actually very difficult.  And if you’ve never sewn with knits, don’t fear!  It’s scary at first and I find it a bit harder to take them apart if I’ve made a mistake, but generally knit garments are very forgiving so they tend to fit and look nice even if they aren’t perfect.  And contrary to popular belief, you do not need a serger / overlocker in order to sew with knits.  In fact, they don’t fray so if you don’t want to, you don’t even have to finish off the inside seams.

Here’s what you need in order to make your own leggings:
There’s more after the jump!