Sunday, March 18, 2012

Salsa Skirt, Child Size

After having made many of the Salsa Skirts for myself, I figured it was time to make some for Olivia. 

When I was at Swing Expo this year, I was stopped so many times while wearing my Wool Salsa Skirt and asked about the pattern.  I was a bit surprised by how many times I was stopped and found it interesting, since I wear this skirt at home all the time.  Perhaps it was seeing it in action while walking across the campus and the 'flirty, flippiness' to the hem that drew attention to it, since I wasn't wearing a coat.  Since it was obviously a favoured skirt, I thought I should make some for Olivia, so she too could have fun skipping along in a Salsa skirt.

Olivia has recently learned to skip.  She knew how to do it a bit, several years ago, but had forgotten and wanted to learn to do it and master it.  She would do a 'sort of skip' movement, but not a true skip.  For the past month and a bit, we have been skipping along where ever she decides is a good place to skip.  It took about a week of skipping through large stores and parking lots to get it down, but she has it down well, now.  Do you remember the enjoyment of skipping as a child?  I love holding hands with her and skipping around town. :)  These are precious memories. It doesn't matter to me if people think this old lady looks funny skipping around with her precious daughter, I am so thankful to be skipping with her. ;)  Olivia has some eye tracking issues which is why she is delayed in some of these activities. ;)

With Olivia's newly picked out knit fabric, I went about enlarging the children's Salsa Skirt pattern and sewed up a couple of new Salsa skirts for her.  This is the first one.  Olivia chose which way she wanted the stripes to go. :P  It was fun to have her select fabric and make decisions on the garments she wanted made up with the fabric.  She has a difficult time making decisions, always wanting what 'you' want, rather than having an opinion.  It has been fun to push her out of her comfort zone and have her make decisions. :)

Olivia thought a new shirt to go with her new skirt, using the extra fabric, would be nice.  We decided on the Oliver + S Hopscotch pattern.  I took the size 12 and enlarged it.  I found that depending on the type of knit, I needed to enlarge the pattern to have a little looser fit.  This knit is a loose knit, but I still chose to enlarge the pattern.  I added 1.5" to the length of the shirt and about 1" to the length of the sleeves.  I decided to double the width of the neck binding, which looks great.  I added a total of 2" to the sides of the pattern, which was .5" to each side seam.  The pattern is great and easy to put together.  I have made this a few other times, but as dresses, not as a shirt.  We will probably make a couple more of these to add to her wardrobe. 

Olivia put the dress and skirt to the test of skipping and twirling.  She really likes her new outfit. :)

Thanks for visiting.....


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sewing Expo 2012

Sewing Expo 2012 has come and gone and now I have a new list of things I want to make and skills I want to further learn and apply to my sewing adventures.

First off, here are some of my goodies that I purchased and brought home with me.  I kept it light, considering the baggage restrictions.  I did bring an extra duffle bag and we had extra room in Olivia's carry on bag, just in case we needed it. :)

Here are two fabrics Olivia picked out for garments for herself.  It's fun shopping for her and allowing her to pick out fabrics she likes.  We decided on a skirt and shirt for the striped, knit fabric and she wants to make a dress out of the beautiful cotton fabric.  The cotton fabric has a look and feel very similar to Liberty Print fabric, though it's not.  We have yet to choose a pattern that will be easy enough for her to sew and enjoy wearing.  Hopefully we will do that in the near future.

The other fabrics I have here are knits fabrics, except for the vinyl pieces for footing for footed pjs. :)  One of my goals for Expo this year was to learn more ways to work with knits and any techniques that would be important to know.  Several of my classes were on knitwear.

Here are some patterns for knitwear that are deigned by Canadian designer and teacher, Jan Bones.  Jan Bones in an excellent teacher.  I always enjoy my classes I take from her.  She's a 'classy' teacher with a wealth of information with a peaceful and fun spirit to her.  I truly appreciate her way of teaching and generous and gentle ways.  If you ever have the opportunity to take classes from her or use her patterns, I highly recommend her. :)

I am anxious to try the "PJs With Feet" pattern.  Making that out of lovely knit fabric would be wonderful!  These are sized for toddler to adult. :)

These next two patterns are from Canadian designer, Linda Macphee, who is out of Edmonton, Alberta.  My favourite skirt pattern the Salsa Skirt, is designed by Linda.  Linda has always kept her patterns on newsprint and has not had the most up to date covers, but she has some great patterns.  She likes to 'reuse' items for some of her patterns and has all kinds of creative ideas.  I appreciate her easy approach to sewing.  Many years ago I took one of the classes offered by her licensed instructors on how to make outerwear, it was GREAT!  It was there that I learned how to make proper winter clothing.  Don't be fooled by her simple covers or newsprint patterns, she offers some great patterns and has some lovely fabrics.  Her new pattern, "Looking Good, jacket and vest #67" was designed while she was undergoing chemo for her cancer.  A portion of the proceeds from the purchase are donated towards "Women with Cancer....a search for the cure".  Unfortunately, her website is so user unfriendly, in my opinion.  You have to go to the main page, and either type in the pattern number, or search through the type of pattern to get to the one you are looking for, it's not easy to just link to it, sorry about that.  Pattern #413 Circle Square skirt is one I am looking forward to trying.  I have seen it made up in the past and have always enjoyed what I have seen, so now it's time to branch out to another one of her skirts....though the Salsa Skirt is truly a staple in my wardrobe.

Two of these pattern in the picture are from Lyla Messinger patterns which I am looking forward to playing with.  They are designed for knits and look beautiful when sewn up.  I look forward to sewing with these, later in the year. :)

The other pattern in the picture is from Safe-T-Pockets patterns.  I am looking forward to playing with the design of these pockets in the shirt.  Having 'secret' pockets for traveling is something I want to explore if I am going to continue traveling.  This is also one of the stores where I purchase FOE (Fold Over Elastic) in the narrower width and some fun colours.  Here is a picture of the two colours I have purchased.  That red FOE is so pretty, I have a little girl who will love this. :)

Continuing with learning to sew men's shirts, I have purchased two patterns from Islander Sewing Systems that have some great tips in them. :)  With my two young men growing like weeds, I want to be able to provide them with nice, well fitting shirts.  They are looking forward to me making them some shirts in the near future.  They enjoyed the Western Shirts I made for them last summer.  I am looking forward to learning more techniques and short cuts for making nice looking dress shirts.

Last, but not least, I purchased the new Lisette Patterns.  I know several of the dress styles are shorter than my liking, but not all of them.  The ones that are short, I just add length. :)  Liesl's patterns are well designed and her Oliver + S children's patterns are a delight to sew.  I appreciate the extra structure and steps in the patterns to help walk you through the process.  She has done a lovely job to assist new sewers on creating excellent garments.

That wraps up the purchases.  At some point, I will share a bit about some of my classes and the instructors.  The Puyallup Sewing and Stitching Expo truly is a great place to take classes from some of the best teachers available.  I feel very fortunate to get to attend.  I am enjoying taking my little Olivia with me.  She comes with me on the Sunday and we go to the charity fashion show and it's her day to pick out some fabrics and enjoy seeing all the lovely shops.  It's also our day to spend with Grandma and Aunties, taking in all the fun. :)

Good-night and happy sewing,