KCW: A Peppa Pig Dress!

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

If there are two things my girls love, they are (a) Dressing up and (b) Peppa Pig.  Lulu needs to change costumes every hour or so, and is always asking for new dress up clothes.  One request she has made repeatedly for a long time is to have a “sparkly dress just like Mummy Pig.”

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

Do you remember this episode?  It’s Mummy Pig’s birthday, and she does have a truly fabulous dress.  It sparkles in such a hilarious cartoony way.  It’s no mystery why Lulu needs one of these.

I picked up some random sparkly pink fabric some time ago to make my daughter’s dream come true, but never got around to it for some reason.  Bad mom.  I know.

But then, Kids Clothes Week comes around again, and the theme is Wild Things.  Animal inspired clothes?  Oh yes . . . this is the moment.  It’s as if the sewing gods heard Lulu’s cries for this dress and delivered an unmistakable sign to me to get off my duff and make it happen.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

So, where’s a mom to start?  This is clearly a job for Made by Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee. I’ve made a couple dress versions of this pattern and it hasn’t failed me yet, so it seemed like a no brainer.

I dug the sparkly pink out of my fabric stash and was surprised to find that it’s quite sheer.  Hmm.  Needs a lining.  And, it’s not all that stretchy.  How shall I handle the neck band??

I grabbed some thick and spandex-y tan knit I got from Girl Charlee a while back.  I cut front and back pieces from both fabrics and started thinking about how to put this thing together.

I decided to forgo the neckband all together and just sew the neckline with the main fabric and lining right sides together with a zigzag.  I also used stretch thread in both the needle and the bobbin.  As I was stitching around the neck, I started worrying that it wouldn’t be stretchy enough and that Lulu would have a hard time getting it over her head.  So, I took a detour and sewed a little slit in the center back.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

This seemed the perfect opportunity to use that daisy button that’s been waiting in the button drawer for just the right dress.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

(Is it me, or does Lulu look like teenager in this photo??  How does that happen?)

Anyway, when it was time to finish the armholes, I decided to use Rachael‘s trick from the Bess Top pattern.  She has you use strips of jersey knit instead of bias tape.  This is such a great way to do it — the knit is way easier to maneuver around the curves.  You don’t even need to press the strips before you sew.  Just line up the raw edges on the outside of the sleeve, sew around the arm hole, overlapping the ends of the strip about half an inch.  Then flip it to the inside and sew.  You can even leave the raw edge of the knit hanging out since it won’t fray!  Hurrah!

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

In the end, I decided not to hem this dress at all.  I was afraid that the sparkly pink would melt if I got it near the iron.  So, I cut the lining to be about 1 inch shorter than the main fabric, and left it at that.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

Can you guess what Lulu said as soon as she put this dress on for the first time?  “But Mom, what about the sparkly shoes???  Will you make some for me?  Now???”

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

Licensed to Sell, Baby! — Part Two

Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve said hello over here!  The thing is that I went back to work for the first time since kids, and in a completely new job.  So, I’ve been spending all my “free time”  getting ready for my new venture.  I started last week and am still here, so that’s good.  I decided that it’s time to come up for air and think about sewing for a minute.  Yay!

This brings me back to the cliffhanger I left you with over a month ago (haha).  When we last were together, I told you about the holiday craft fair I participated in back in late November, and showed you the mess of Geraniums Dresses I made to sell.  Well, I couldn’t leave the boys out completely, so I also made several gender neutral options.  First up are three Charlie Tunics from Made by Rae.

Here is Kiki wearing a 4T Charlie in Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Stretch in Indigo with a fun print I got on sale at Hawthorne Threads last year after the holidays for the facings.  (Sadly, I can’t remember exactly what it is and wasn’t able to spot it in a quick search of the site today.)

Made By Rae, Charlie Tunic

I also used this print in a Louisa Dress from Compagnie-M last year that still that gets lots of wear.  It’s so nice to find more than one use for a great fabric.

I love those gold buttons!

Here’s Charlie No. 2, a 3T, in chambray and a random leftover from another project — from Joann’s I think.

Made By Rae, Charlie Tunic

I love this pattern.  It’s such a chic look for both girls and boys, and it’s a great way to use up the cherished leftovers of your favorite contrast fabric.  You only need a fat quarter’s worth of fabric for the facings!

Rae also shows you how to convert this fab tunic into a very fun dress with a few adjustments.  You can buy the add-on pattern on her site.   I made a couple of foxy flannel Charlie Dresses last winter for both my girls, which were cozy enough even for the dreaded polar vortex.  I’m thinking about maybe some springtime Charlie Dresses in a few months.

The last Charlie of the day is this 2T, modeled by the lovely Lulu, once again in chambray.

Made By Rae, Charlie Tunic, Indelible

I got fancy with the contrasting facings here and used Threaded Shreds in Mamey from the Indelible line.  I bought a full yard of it for this top, so I have plenty leftover for another smallish project.  Hooray!

I also made a trio of long sleeved Flashback Skinny Tees.  I’ve made millions of these and can whip them up in to time by now.  What a great excuse to try out more of these wonderful Acorn Trail knits by Teagan White, and to use more Birch Organics elk in this gorgeous saffron color.  At the sale, I actually got a “commission” for an elk tee in another size.

Made By Rae, Flashback Skinny Tee, Teagan White, Acorn Trail, Birch Organics

My last offering at the sale was this Skater Dress from Kitschy Koo in Gold Bugs Acorn Trail knit.

Kitschy Koo Skater Dress, Teagan White, Acorn Trail, Birch Organics

I actually made this dress for Lulu — and to my utter and complete shock, she refused to even try it on.  I tried quite a few times to sell her on the awesomeness of these bugs and the comfy-ness of this dress — but to no avail.  The child must be crazy to not have fallen completely in love, as far as I’m concerned.  So, I threw it on the pile of stuff for the sale, and someone bought it right away.  That’ll show her 😉

As I did in Lulu’s other, much beloved birdy Skater Dress — I cut the skirt 1 1/2 times wider than the pattern piece and gathered it, as suggested by Rachel of Stitched Together. I cut the bodice in 18m/2T, but shortened it a bit, and I cut the skirt at the 3T/4T length. I like to think that it would have fit Lulu quite well — but the world will never know.  Ha.

So, in the end, I sold about half the stuff I made.  The rest will end up in Kiki & Lulu’s closet, or in the fund raiser auction for our preschool.  I never thought I wanted to make a habit of selling what I’ve sewn, and this experience didn’t change my mind.  I’m glad I did it, but I think I’ll stick to sewing for my own little tribe for now.

But, now that I’m working (part time, but still . . . ), the real trick will be finding the time to sew at all.  It’ll happen. Everything in good time.

Licensed to Sell, Baby! — Part One

So, funny story . . . I was asked to participate in a holiday handmade sale at our local toddler playspace. It was such a nice compliment to be asked, and I was excited to take on the challenge.  Of course, things almost always turn out to be more complicated and time consuming than originally imagined — and this was no exception.  But, all in all, I’m glad I did it.

Leslie Grayson

Being a craft fair rookie, I had no idea how much or what sizes to make and what people might want to buy (much less how much to charge???). So, I did what I usually do when I have no idea what I’m doing . . I totally winged it (or is it wung it??).

I decided to go with patterns I know, and turned to the tried and true Geranium Dress and Charlie Tunic from Made By Rae. I also threw in a couple of Flashback Skinny Tees for good measure. So I bought the licenses to sell from Rae’s web site and got to work.

(Quick Disclaimer — These photos were taken on a tight time schedule in bad weather, as these duds were going out the door soon.  And, if you have preschoolers, you may know that getting them to pose for a photo in a specific outfit can be a challenge.  Try doing that with, say, six outfits.  You have been warned!)

First up is a 4T Geranium made with Cotton + Steel Mustang in Gold Metallic and Robert Kaufman Chambray Union in Indigo.  This one was Kiki’s favorite.  Luckily, I have enough fabric to make one for her, since this one sold!


I found some little brass buttons that were perfect.


There’s just something about those horses!


Here is Lulu doing her best Statue of Liberty impression (not joking), in a 2T Geranium. (Why do they always find a way to stand in front of the wall outlet when you snap the one photo that doesn’t come out too blurry???)


The fabric is a nice, lightweight corduroy print I found at the local fabric store last year. I took a cue from Gail and added some flat piping, which helped to break up the print and pull it all together.  I wasn’t sure if the corduroy would gather very well on the skirt, but it ended up working out perfectly!

This one has a homemade Flashback Skinny Tee to go with it in interlock from The Fabric Fairy.  I had designs on making a coordinating tee for each Geranium for the sale — but you and I both know that there was no way I’d have time to do that 🙂


I’d like to mention that through all my experience with this pattern, I find that attaching the bodice lining by stitching in the ditch never looks good.  Maybe it’s just me, but it’s always a mess on the inside and never quite right on the outside.  So quite a while ago, I made the fateful decision to follow Rae’s advice and hand sew the bodice linings in for a “more professional look.”  She’s totally right about that.  Yes, it takes time — especially when you’re making six dresses (what was I thinking??).  But, it can be done while waiting for the kids to finish their breakfast or watching tv or whatever.  And it’s so worth it to have a lovely looking interior!

Here’s another 4T Geranium that has been named the “Firework Dress” by Kiki.


The bodice is Cotton + Steel Dandelion in Rust, and the skirt is Robert Kaufman 21 Wale Corduroy in Ginger.  I really got into the cotton/corduroy combo here.  I think it’s a pretty cool look for fall and winter.

I have to say that the most fun thing about this project was putting together fabrics that I like and that I think will look good together — without worrying about the will of the preschooler.  And believe it or not, Kiki (my toughest customer) loved most of these dresses.  She was relieved that this one didn’t sell, and it’s become one of her favorites.

20141121_123410Here’s a 3T Geranium with a bodice in quilting cotton from Joann’s leftover from this dress last fall.

20141121_123906When looking for fabric for the skirt I had a tough time finding a good color match, and I decided that I couldn’t risk buying it online.  I found this dark grey corduroy at the local fabric store — the color is a little darker than I had imagined, and it’s a little bit heavy.  Sewing those pleats through all that thickness was not the easiest job in the world — but hey, you do what you have to do.  I think it did the job in the end.  And the dark color kind of adds to the wintry-ness off it all, don’t you think?


Nope, not done just yet.  Here’s a 3T in more Joann’s quilting cotton bought last year and not yet used.


The skirt is more Robert Kaufman 21 Wale Corduroy in Olive Drab.  This stuff in awesome — it’s the perfect weight to give a nice drape while still being cozy enough for winter.

Funny that Kiki is 4 1/2 and this 3T still fits!


Ok, last one — I promise.

Here’s another 3T in beautiful embroidered corduroy that I found at the fabric store on sale for $4/yard!  (Not sure where Lulu’s other leg is here.  I assure you that it’s turned up since.)


I never would’ve had the guts to use this fabric for one of my girls, for fear that they’d never go for the dark brown.  It was so fun to go ahead and make it anyway this time!!

I used a little package of pre-made white piping from my stash to finish it off.  And who doesn’t love pearly buttons?


Wow, I’m exhausted!  I’ll go take a nap and will show you the Charlies and the other Flashbacks next time.




Woodland Creatures? Yes, Please!

Yes, yes — I like so many other sewers have vowed to sew only from my stash and to not be tempted by sparkly new offerings from our favorite fabric makers.

That was all well and good until I came across the new Acorn Trail by Teagan White for Birch Organics.  Here you’ll find not only beautiful, vintage storybook-like illustrations in nostalgic autumnal colors — you’ll find them in luscious interlock knit! That’s right — nice, thick knit!  As the weather is turning cool around here, these fabrics were screaming to be made into something toasty for my girls.  So . . . I caved.

Flashback Skinny Tee

I ordered a yard of Acron Trail Penny’s Seasons and a couple yards of Nature Hike from Fabricworm.  When these fabrics arrived in the mail, I was all a-flutter.  They are as soft as anything you’d expect from Birch, and the weight of this knit is just right for fall and winter.  Their thickness makes them easy to sew with, too.

I tossed it all in for a pre-wash, rolled up my sleeves, and got right to work.

Flashback Skinny Tee

If I want to sew something that will surely be consistently worn by the most discriminating of preschoolers in my household, I turn to Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee. Nothing too fancy — just the perfect cozy shirt (or dress, as you will see or may already know).  

Flashback Skinny Tee

For Kiki, I sewed up a 4T, straight up long sleeved shirt with cuffless, hemmed sleeves.  The fit is spot on, and it’s pretty much perfect.  And, she wears it!

Flashback Skinny TeeThe only change I made was to use Jess of CINO’s method of attaching the neckband that I picked up from making Nessie Tops last winter. Using Jess’s method, you attach the neckband as a long strip before sewing it together into a loop, and before sewing the second shoulder seam.  This way, you don’t have to stretch it to exactly fit the already sewn together neckline.  I find that you don’t even need to pin it before you sew.  Just gently stretch the neckband and sew carefully, matching it up with the neckline as you go.

The only drawback is that you have the seam allowance from the neckband hanging out at the second shoulder seam.  But, all you need to do is tack it down right by that shoulder seam.  I think it looks just fine and is way faster and less fiddly to put together.

Flashback Skinny Tee Flashback Skinny Tee

For Lulu, I followed Rae’s tutorial on making this tee into a super chic dress.

Flashback Skinny TeeThere’s really nothing to it — just add as much length as you want, flair out the skirt a little and round the edges of the hem at the side seams.

Flashback Skinny TeeThis is a 2T, with enough length to last her a while — I hope!

One of the other parents at preschool described this dress as “delicious” yesterday.  That pretty much made my day — especially since she didn’t know that I made it (wink, wink)!

Flashback Skinny TeeThere’s more to the Acorn Trail collection.  Check out the bugs in gold and blue.  You may be seeing more of that here before long.

In the meantime, we’ll be channeling our inner woodland creature . . .

Flashback Skinny Tee

Flashback Skinny Tee