Jackets!

Yes.  The holidays are over, and it’s January already.  What better time to show you the jackets I made for Kiki and Lulu for fall?  Ha!

Jackets 1

Both of these little ladies needed something cozy for brisk, windy fall days.  And since Kiki is off in kindergarten all day now and Lulu is hot on her trail, I wanted them both bundled up in something made with love from dear old Mom.

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket

I’m way into corduroy these days, and it seemed to be just the thing for the exterior of these babies.  Both ladies chose their own colors, and both picked this fab orange.  At least I’ve taught them something!

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

For the lining, Kiki chose this Allison Cole Happy Camper flannel, which I can’t find any more of by now (since I bought this fabric back in September!).  It’s a cute print with little tents and teepees and campfires and woodsy critters — an interesting choice for a girl who lives in a decidedly non-camping family.  Oh ye gods, I hope she’s not trying to tell us something!!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

For her cozy jacket’s innards, Lulu picked the always fabulous foxes from Made By Rae’s Fanfare Flannel in pink.  I have to say that I was so pleased with this pick!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

Kiki got these wonderful green spangly buttons that coordinate with her lining.  They add a nice sparkle on a blustery day without going the way of the princess.

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

Lulu’s buttons are velvet covered and look like the eyes of the foxes inside 🙂

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

Yes, after a couple of washes the flannel pills a little.  I have yet to find one that doesn’t.  That’s life.  It’s still the coziest stuff!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

The pattern for both jackets comes from 5&10 Designs, Volume 2.

If you’re not familiar with 5&10 Designs, it’s a group of five bloggers who put out basic pattern blocks with instructions on how to hack them ten different ways.  They’ve put out three volumes, and this jacket is taken from the second volume — as was the coat I made for Kiki last year.

To put these jackets together, I started with the basic pattern block for Look One.  I made it longer and drew the sides out a little to create a more A-line shape.  I also made the facings for the button placket several inches wider.  The pattern calls for placket facings that end up being only about an inch wide, which may work for snaps but doesn’t cut it for buttons like these.  Here’s what Kiki’s last year coat ended up looking like with the narrow facings.

Five and Ten Designs Volume Two, 5 and 10 Designs Volume 2

Happily, I lived and learned.  Just look at them now!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

I wanted to be sure that these jackets would be warm enough, so I went ahead and added fusible fleece on the inside (following a tip from Hungie Gungie).  It’s so easy to do — just cut the same pieces from the fleece as you cut for the exterior pieces (not the facings) and fuse ’em on.  You’ll get a jacket that’s much thicker and warmer, but not bulky enough to make sewing difficult.

5&10 Designs, Made By Rae fanfare

If you feel like you’ve seen the fabric on Lulu’s hat before, you’re not crazy.  It’s Heather Ross Briar Rose jersey.  I made these hats from an Ottobre pattern from the 4/2015 issue.  You can also find this pattern along with a handy tutorial for free online.

Ottobre 4/2015 Beanie

This little hat is a breeze to make, especially with that tutorial to explain it all.  It could also be easily enlarged for adults.  But to be honest, I’m not in love with how it looks on.  The seam runs ear to ear, and the bulk of the seam allowances makes the shape look a little weird.  I’ll have to try this again trimming the seam allowances more to see if that helps.  I mean, it takes only about 20 minutes to whip one of these up, so it’s worth a little experimentation on some extra knit fabric.

Ottobre 4/2015 Beanie

Now that the winter chill is here, these jackets have been put away.  I’m hoping that they’ll be just a cozy on early spring mornings.

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

 

Holiday Library Dresses

Library Dress, Oliver + S

For the holidays this year, I decided to make the girls quasi-matching dresses — knowing full well that they might not get worn much.  That’s how is goes with holiday dresses around here. In order to make it worth the effort, I thought it best to take this as an opportunity to do a little experimenting.

Library Dress, Oliver + S, invisible zipper

For about two years, I’ve been itching to try out the Oliver + S Library Dress with an invisible zipper in the back instead of buttons.  There’s a great tutorial on the O+S blog that takes you through it step by step.

I made a couple changes to the method in the tutorial.  Firstly, I extended the zipper to be the full length of the bodice, cutting it off at the point where the skirt is sewn on — as it’s done in the Hanami Dress.  It’s simpler and less fiddley that way.  I also cut the back skirt in one piece on the fold, rather than in two pieces with a seam down the center back — no need to do that with a zipper that ends at the waist!

Library Dress, Oliver + S

As you can see,  I also added a sash at the back.  As much as I love this pattern, it’s always bugged me that the waistband doesn’t extend to the back.  It’s kind of a bummer.

I originally wanted to sew the back waistband into the dress just like the front.  But in the end, I chickened out for fear that the bulk of the waistband seam allowances would muck up the zipper.  So I took the easy way out and just sewed up two sash pieces and stitched them in at the side seams.  I think the result is just fine.

Oliver + S, Library Dress, invisible zipperWhen I was cutting the waistband and sash pieces for Kiki’s dress, I ran out of fabric — oops!  I ended up piecing together one of the sash pieces from the remaining scraps.  Luckily, it doesn’t show much with this print.

Oliver + S, Library Dress, invisible zipper

Kiki’s sash was also a bit longer originally.  But for some reason, this caused great distress.  So I ended up chopping off a couple of inches of sash and finishing the raw edges with a very narrow zig zag.  Not ideal, but there was no way I was going to take the dress apart to restitch the ends of that sash.  She was hugely relieved!

Oliver + S, Library Dress, invisible zipper

I sure do love the cuffs on this dress.  It’s such a great detail.

Library Dress, Oliver + S

The fabric for both dresses is Robert Kaufman 21 wale corduroy (in jade and red from Fabric.com) with quilting cotton contrast fabric from Hawthorne Threads, neither of which I can find on their site anymore.

As usual, my Fabric.com order got screwed up.  About a week after I placed the order, I got an email saying that they didn’t have enough jade corduroy in stock and that they’d send only the red.  I frantically searched for the jade elsewhere (it was not easy to find), and reordered it on Etsy.  When the Fabric.com package arrived, the jade was in there, but in two pieces.  There was more than enough for Lulu’s dress.  Why did they not tell me that they’d send the jade in two pieces, saving me the trouble and expense of finding another piece???  Why????  (Will I never learn?)

Anyway, Kiki’s dress is 4T width and 5T length, and Kiki’s is a straight up 3T.  If I had these to sew again, I’d add an inch or two in length.

Oliver + S, Library Dress, invisible zipper

(For the record, I’m not the meanest mom in the world.  Taking our photos outside in the snow was totally Kiki and Lulu’s idea.  I didn’t wear a jacket either!!)

Library Dress, Oliver + S, invisible zipper

After about 10 minutes, we were all ready to go inside.

Oliver + S, Library Dress, invisible zipper

I’ll leave you with Lulu wearing the perfect holiday accessory — Christmas ornaments as earrings . . .

Oliver + S, Library Dress, invisible zipper

Happy New Year!

Oliver + S, Library Dress, invisible zipper