Mustang Hide & Seek

So, last spring I was so excited when the Oliver & S Hide & Seek Dress came out and couldn’t wait to make a couple for my girls.  I sewed this one up for Kiki right away.  I thought is came out so well, and Kiki was enthusiastic — at first.  But after the photo shoot, she never would put the thing on.  What is with that??  Do kids do these things to torture us on purpose? Um, yes.

What’s a sewing mama to do?  Since this dress won’t fit Lulu for another year at least, I decided to loan it to a friend whose daughter is in Kiki’s preschool class.  Guess what Kiki said when she saw the dress on another kid?  She needed another one of her own!  Ha!

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

Luckily, I still had plenty of chambray left from the original dress (which I also used for a dress for myself last summer).  Yes, sometimes it does pay to buy lots of extra fabric 🙂

Instead of exactly recreating the original, I used Cotton + Steel Mustang in gold metallic for the contrast.

For this almost 5 year old, I sewed up a 4T bodice with 5T length.  It’s still a little roomy, but not too much — and this baby should last a while.

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

Now that I’ve been at this sewing thing for a while, I’m getting more and more picky about things like matching prints in center back seams.  On this dress, I wanted to try my hand at matching the pattern on the back button placket.  Guess what?  It’s so easy to do and makes such a big difference!

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

I know it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for me.

Here’s how I did it . . . I cut the right side of the back bodice, and then placed that cut piece on top of the fabric laid out for the left bodice piece, matching the print.

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

(It matches so well that I had to draw in the white outline so you can see what’s going on!)

Then, I laid the left bodice pattern piece on top, matching the button placket notches.

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

(My Swedish tracing paper pattern piece curled up a little when I took this photo — but trust me, the notches lined up.)

All that was left to do was to carefully remove the right side bodice piece and cut the left piece along the pattern.  That’s it!  No other fiddling necessary.  Aren’t easy tricks the best?

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

The only downside of this dress is that the sleeve cuffs bunch up in the drier, and I really do have to iron them after washing.  I’m not a big fan of post laundry ironing, so that’s a bit of a drag for me.  The original version of this dress had short sleeves with no cuffs, so I was caught by surprise.  But, it’s well worth the effort — no question.

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

This time, Kiki has wised up and wears this little number regularly.

Oliver and S Hide and Seek Dress

Ah . . . life is sweet!

Deer & Doe Plantain Tunic

Due to the craziness of life, I missed the boat on Selfish Sewing Week, hosted by Imagine Gnats.  But, since I have a moment now, I thought I’d let you in on a project I whipped up a few weeks ago for myself.

Deer and Doe Plantain

Once I decided to go back to work part time, I knew that a bunch of old cardigans from Target and jeans caked with whatever was on the kitchen floor this morning would not make the most suitable wardrobe for facing a room full of undergrads.  I took a look around me to see what adults are wearing these days and headed to the mall.  I ended up with mostly sweaters and sweater dresses that hit just above the knee and leggings, paired with boots.  I really like this look — it’s stylish, easy to wear and pretty low maintenance.  It’s also ok to wear while jumping on the trampoline with toddlers at gymnastics before heading to work in the afternoon.

When it looked like I’d have a little time for sewing again, I decided to try and sew up something like it for myself to add to my new spiffy wardrobe.

Deer and Doe Plantain

I immediately turned to my favorite t-shirt pattern, the Plantain from Deer & Doe (it’s a free pattern, people!).  I’ve made several versions that I wear all the time, but have never blogged about for some reason, so this seemed like a good place to start.  The nice thing about this particular t-shirt is that it flares out a bit in the mid section, which is a plus for those of us who’ve given birth a time or two and are not, shall we say, as “pulled together” as we once were 😉

All I did to transform this shirt into a tunic was to decide how long I wanted it to be and extend the line of the pattern, following the curve.  That’s it.  I really like the result and will surely try it again.

Deer and Doe PlantainThe knit fabric here is Teagan White’s Peonies in mint from the Acorn Trail line.  I sewed up a size 42.

After making this with several different kinds of knit, I have run into problems with the neckline when using interlock, which is thicker and less stretchy than jersey.  For some reason, the neckline turns out a little bit too low for me with interlock.  Maybe the absence of any kind of spandex or other really stretchy stuff causes the neck to stretch out more — who knows?

This happened with my last version in Anna Maria Horner’s gorgeous Mary Thistle Knit in saffron, and I thought it was a fluke.

Deer and Doe Plantain

Nope, it happened again here.

Deer and Doe Plantain

It’s really only a problem when I lean over.  But still.

I really do prefer interlock for this pattern, as it doesn’t cling as much as knit with spandex.  So, I’ll just try cutting the neckline about 1″ higher next time.

Deer and Doe Plantain

My solution with this tunic and my Anna Maria Horner top is to pair it with a scarf.  Here, you see the infinity scarf I crocheted for myself last winter while I had the flu.  Normally, I am not a knitter or crocheter in any way, but Delia’s pattern that showed up on her blog a year or so ago was too tempting to pass over.  It was actually very easy and very fast to make.  I wear it all the time, and it was definitely worth the effort.

Deer and Doe Plantain

Now that the snow is just about melted around here, it’s nice to have some new clothes to take me in to spring.  I have a couple of other things on the sewing table that I hope to have to show you soon . . .