Tuesday, December 19, 2017

New Horizons Andover Pullover

Earlier this year, my dad made a trip to Niger and brought me back some waxprint fabric. It was absolutely beautiful and I wanted to make something that would do the fabric justice. I wasn't sure what that was, so I sat on it for a while. 

While the fabric sat untouched, my dad made another trip to West Africa, this time to Togo. He brought me back a couple more waxprints fabrics and a light weight cotton piece. So now I have a small collection of gorgeous West African fabric. Thanks dad!

I wanted to find a pattern (or patterns!) that would showcase these fabrics in a way that they could speak for themselves. And if you know me, you know I wanted a practical pattern. Something easy to wear, and would be useful in Eve's closet. 

Why Eve? Because obviously Eve, my 8 year old, needed something made in at least one of these fabrics. For a while now, she has wanted to visit Africa and I hope she gets to someday. She hopes to see giraffes in the wild and she is jealous that her poppy, my dad, got to experience that when he was in Niger. Hopefully someday Eve!

When I saw the Andover Pullover and Jacket by New Horizons Designs, I knew this would be perfect! I could think of a couple patterns I could use in the summer months, but with this pattern I wouldn't have to wait for warmer weather.

I let Eve "shop" from my waxprints fabrics and she chose the brightest print, the one from Niger. Good choice!

I went with the lined hood pullover option. 

The pattern features:

 - Inverted box pleats, box pleats, a placket (pullover option), and a button tab on the front. 

Sorry it's hard to see the pleats with such a busy fabric!
- A hood with a straight edge on top, which I found to be a fun change from the traditional rounded hood.

- Front rounded patch pockets with elastic gathered opening.

Eve was cold and wouldn't keep her hands out of her pockets the whole time we took pictures. I would say the pockets are a hit!
The other views in the pattern are a fully lined zip-up jacket or a pullover with an unlined hood.

Eve and I are both happy with it! Her older sister is a little jealous, but maybe I'll have time to make her one soon.

This was my first time sewing with waxprint fabric. I normally sew with knit or drapey apparel wovens, so this was not my usual make. I'm no expert on this type of fabric, especially since it comes from another part of the world, but my description of it is that it's a heavy weight and colorful cotton woven. The front and back is the same, I honestly couldn't tell them apart. I would love to learn more about these fabrics and it's uses! From a sewing perspective, it was easy to work with. 

Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully soon I will be able to share more projects from these fabrics. Just wait until you see the giraffe print! It's a lightweight cotton though, so it will have to wait until it gets warmer. I bet you can't guess which child of mine has already claimed it! :)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Handmade Holiday Tour

The "Handmade Holiday Tour" is happening this week at Love Notions! It's full of inspiration for holiday sewing, including some fun freebies! I'm most excited about the free doll pattern: the doll version of the Lil' LDT. My girls have been asking to try to sew doll clothes, this will be perfect for them!

To be completely honest, I don't sew a lot for the holidays. This is such a busy time of the year!

That isn't to say that I don't sew anything for the holiday season. I just keep my to-do list as manageable as I can.

Last year, I made my mom a Whistler Sweater (affiliate link*) and I made my three older kids mermaid blankets. That was my entire list, definitely not too much. And it was a hit. My mom has even asked for more Whistler Sweaters, so guess what she is getting for Christmas this year? I would say don't ruin the surprise for her, but I took her fabric shopping with me, so she knows.

This year so far I have made my oldest, Kylie, a dress. That's it so far, although I do have a little more on my to-do list. (Mainly those Whistlers for my mom. Hi mom!)

Last weekend, Kylie had a regional honor choir concert and she needed a new dress. The dress code was for white, black, or grey on top and black on bottom. It could have been a dress or pants. I'm sure we could have pulled something together from her closet, but I was so proud of her for making the honor choir that I felt I should reward her with something special. 

Actually there is no way we could have pulled together an outfit from her closet, since last time I took her clothes shopping she threw a fit that I wanted to buy her a basic pair of black pants. Apparently basic black pants are terrible and I was a terrible mom for trying to buy them for her. True story.

I used the Posh Popover pattern by Love Notions (affiliate link*) and fabric from Simply by Ti. The white is stretch lace and the black is cotton Lycra

Kylie has a similar pink and black store bought dress that she loves. It's a maxi dress with a crop overlay lace shirt. The only problem with it is that it fits her more like a knee length dress than a maxi dress. This girl is tall and lanky. But she loves that style so I knew I wanted to recreate it. 

The dress that I made her is size 7 with size 12 length. To get a good fit, I lengthened both the dress and crop top, I lowered the arsmscye*, and I lowered the waistline** all to the size 12.

*The Love Notions blog has a good tutorial on how to adjust the length of armscyes. The tutorial is for a sleeveless top, so just make sure that if you are putting sleeves on that you add the extra length at the armscye seam as well. 

**The dress starts to flare out at the waistline, so getting the waistline at the right height helped get a good custom fit.

I seriously couldn't be happier with the fit and Kylie couldn't be happier to have a maxi dress that is long enough for her. 

Let's all place bets on when this dress will no longer be long enough to be considered a maxi dress on her.

The fabric was perfect for this dress. I was surprised by how easy the lace was to use, it gave me no problems at all. Besides adjusting for length, which I have already covered, the only changes I made to the pattern were:

-Understitching the seam allowance at the neckline instead of topstitching. With the lace, I just thought it would look nicer without topstitching, but it probably wouldn't have been noticeable, but I have no regrets because the neckline turned out great.

-For the hems on the lace (sleeves and bottom hem) I turned it 1/4" and then 1/4" again simply to give the open weave a little more body.

Obviously the changes I made were extremely minor and didn't change the look of the pattern, but I wanted to point them out in case anyone wanted my take on sewing with stretch lace. Everything else was sewn exactly to the pattern instructions.


Lace hem

Kylie's choir performance was beautiful. It was obvious that all of the kids who participated had put in a lot of time, dedication, and talent. The whole choir sounded wonderful! I was so happy I could make Kylie something special to wear for the occasion. 

Here she is on stage after the show:

This will also be Kylie's Christmas dress, and maybe even birthday dress since her birthday is in mid December. I'm sure this will get worn a lot this holiday season and even beyond.

Actually she will most likely wear this until she grows out of it. It's not Christmas specific, I like versatility.

So place those bets on when she will outgrow this!

Here are just a few more pictures of our Posh Popover. The pattern can be viewed here*, with even more inspiration.

*Affiliate link, should you purchase the pattern after clicking on the link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote patterns that I love!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the bloggers on the Handmade Holiday Tour, there are lots of fun ideas, inspiration, and even freebies!