Butterfly Blouse and a Swingset Skirt

I haven’t been in a very “bloggy” mood recently.  Mostly because I don’t seem to have time.  Or the energy to do so.  It’s not for lack of sewing though, that’s for sure.

I set out in the later parts of winter to sew much of Maya’s summer wardrobe.  This is just one of those outfits that I’m particularly happy with.  I think I made it back in February or March, but seeing as we didn’t get spring weather till a couple of weeks ago, this is the first time she’s actually worn it.

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The top is the Butterfly blouse by Oliver and S in a Liberty of London Tana Lawn that I purchased in from B and J Fabrics in New York City on a (sort of) recent trip.  It’s a straight up size 5 and fits beautifully.  There are flutter sleeves which I love.  This top is super cute and really quick to put together.  Like usual, I learned something new while sewing yet another Oliver and S pattern.  I hadn’t made a thread chain button loop before.  I was intimidated at the idea, and I actually left the shirt in a bag hanging in my sewing room for about a month before I actually attempted it.  But a little googling and YouTube-ing came to the rescue.  Turns out thread chains are really easy and quick to make.

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The skirt is the Swing Set skirt, also by Oliver and S in a pink Yarn Dyed cotton-linen from Purl Soho (also in New York City).  I could live in that store.  It’s so very, very awesome.  This skirt is a size 5 length and a size 4 width.  This skirt is a quick sew, complete with lining, a drawstring waist as well as elastic.  To make it even quicker, I decided to skip the three rows of casings that would normally house the drawstring and elastics, and instead made it a single casing for a 3/4″ elastic.  Super fast, and still super cute.

Bunny is part of our family. She is very well loved.

Bunny is part of our family. She is very well loved.

 

I’ve made at least 7 of these skirts in the past couple of years.  It’s my go-to pattern for skirts.  It’s such a fantastic pattern for such a great skirt.  It used to only go up to size 5.  I’m so happy that it has been released all the way to size 12 now.  It’s a twirly-girly kind of skirt.  The perfect skirt for my twirly girl.

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Hopefully I’m back again soon.

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Sharing ice cream.

Sharing ice cream.  I just love how much they love each other (usually, anyway).  🙂

 

Another Cinderella

I believe I mentioned that the Cinderella dress I made last year for Maya was not authentic enough for her.  “Her dress is all blue.  She doesn’t have any white”.   It was getting really short on her anyway, so I didn’t mind making a more authentic dress for our most recent Disney World trip.

Last year's Cinderella

Last year’s Cinderella–look how little Maya is!!

The pattern for Cinderella is included with the Snow White pattern I used here.

I made the dress extra long and then hemmed it several inches so that she will be able to wear it for several years.

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This dress came together pretty quickly compared to Snow White.  There’s no big detachable collar nor cape.  And I must say, my invisible zippers are getting easier to install.

So there you have it.  Another Cinderella.  🙂

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And here’s Mr. Jacob.  Really not impressed with Cinderella this year.  lol.

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Snow White

Maybe we went to Disney World a month ago.

So that means my kids needed some additional costumes.

Last year, you may recall, I made both kids a bunch of Disney outfits.  The good thing is they all still fit!! Thank goodness because I didn’t have it in me again this year to make all the costumes.  Maya’s grown a couple inches over the past year, so her dresses are getting shorter on her, but that is OK.  And Jacob’s were starting to get a wee bit short, but they were fine for this trip.

I asked Maya if she could have one new princess dress, what would it be.  Hands down, Snow White.  She has a dress up Snow White costume that she received for her birthday one year and she loves it.  She’s never actually seen the movie, but she knows who Snow White is.

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Maya is all about her dresses being authentic.  She even pointed out to Minnie Mouse last year that her dress was similar, but not the same (I added lace to the bottom and clearly Minnie doesn’t have lace on her dress).  So I knew I had to find an authentic Snow White pattern.

In comes Simplicity patterns, pattern 2817 to be exact.  This is my third time using a non-pdf tutorial based sewing pattern.  I’ve come a long way in the past couple of years in my self taught sewing ability, so I didn’t find it as complicated as I thought I would.  There were a couple of parts (sewing in the zipper and attaching the cape loop) that I know I didn’t do properly, but even after going back, I still don’t really understand what the instructions were trying to tell me.  So I did my own thing.

This dress has everything!  A detachable collar, cape and headband.  Except for the slight colour differences, if this isn’t Snow White’s dress, I don’t know what is.

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The bodice front and back have darts.  This was my first time sewing darts that actually gave shape and structure to a bodice.  And it was first time making my own piping.  I will be adding piping to garments from now on.  It was so simple and gives such a nice look.

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I didn’t have the heavyweight interfacing required for the collar, so I used medium weight but interfaced both sides of it, so I think the end result is the same.

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The headband is covered in fabric with a poly filled bow on top.

Maya loves this dress.  Like LOVES this dress.

Seeing as this post is about Maya’s Snow White dress, I will save Jacob’s Prince Ferdinand’s costume for another post.  But there’s a little sneak peak up there.  I may even try to add a bit of a tutorial for it.  Hopefully I can get back into the sewing groove again.  I have a whole list of things to make before Christmas and time is a tickin’.

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Till next time.  Happy sewing.

My favourite Oliver and S Pattern

A few things have happened over the past couple of months that prevented me from blogging (and sewing) as I would have liked. I had jaw surgery (I am fine, healing slowly…but at least I can eat solid food again), we took a family vacation (will talk about that in some future posts) and I was writing a post (and sewing) for the Oliver and S blog.   When Rachel asked me to contribute to the “my favorite pattern” series, I was beyond thrilled!  I even sewed 2 more after she asked.

To find out what my favourite pattern is, you’ll have to jump on over to the Oliver and S blog to see. 🙂

Back to School

Well, both kids are back to school.  I realize Jacob is only 2.5, so saying he is in “school” seems like a stretch.  But alas, they are both at school.

This year Jacob moved from the toddler program into Casa.  So he and Maya are actually in the same class.  They were both so excited to be together.  They aren’t actually together the whole day.  They have a work period with the whole class (casa 1, 2 and 3) and then they split up for much of the rest of the day.  Jacob goes to the sleep room in the afternoon for a much needed nap,  and Maya goes to the resting room. I wonder how much “rest” she’s actually getting.

Anyway, onto the clothes.

As you may recall, my husband and I went to New York City for a quick weekend getaway for our 5th wedding anniversary in May whereby I discovered the mecca of all fabric stores:  Mood Fabrics.  You could literally spend a week in that place and not see it all I think.

I bought this shirting fabric there.  It is so soft and drapes so nicely.  And though it’s 100% cotton, I don’t think I could wrinkle it if I tried.  Which is perfect, because I hate ironing finished garments.  (Just ask my husband about his button up shirts).

I think it works just as well for dresses for girls and shirts for boys.

This is the first time I’ve sewn both of these patterns.  Maya’s dress is the “Jumprope Dress” by Oliver and S and Jacob’s shirt is the “Sketchbook Shirt” also by Oliver and S.  Have I mentioned before how much I love Oliver and S?!

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Neither of them were a quick sew.  But I knew that going in.  I’ve seen plenty Jumprope dresses in blog land to know what I was getting myself into.

There’s a collar, button placket, sleeve tabs, belt loops and buttoned pockets.  Nothing necessarily “new” to me, but I haven’t sewn so many of these elements in a single garment before.

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It’s not that the pattern is difficult, it was just time consuming.  Combining the facts that the kids are going to bed later (bye bye 6pm bedtimes), I work full time and I’m trying to keep on top of all things family and home related, I don’t get as much time sewing.  So my hour or two here and there are really precious.  I think this dress took 4 or 5 evenings from start to finish.  But I LOVE it.  Like, really love it!  I kind of want one for myself.

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I may have had to cut the bodice out a couple of times because I forgot to match my plaids the first time around.  But I’m glad I noticed and that I had plenty of fabric to recut the back and match it to the front.  That’s the only problem with plaids…the matching.  But it’s not difficult to do, especially with well marked patterns.  It’s easy just to match the notches on a certain “mark” on the front, find the same repeating “mark” and place the back piece.  I love Oliver and S for that.  It makes matching patterns really easy.  As long as you actually remember to do it and don’t just put your pattern piece down willy nilly.  But enough about that.

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Maya actually likes this dress!  It’s all in the delivery.  I told her it was twirly and had secret pockets and bam! instant love.

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I decided to use pearl snaps instead of buttons.  A bit finicky, but I love the look.

Now onto Jacob’s shirt.  This was my first time making the Sketchbook shirt.  I’ve made the shorts before (here), and I have made button down shirts (here and here).  But this pattern was new to me.

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I chose to do a combination of view A and B.  The collar from A with the short sleeves from B.  I definitely chose well by making it short sleeved for several reasons.  One, it’s chilly in the morning, but still gets quite warm by noon.  Also, the kids’ classroom is quite warm and my kids are furnaces on a cool day.  But mostly because the short sleeves are simple.  A hem and that is all.  I “may” try to make a long sleeved one some day, but all the details that make it super handsome (extra buttons and plackets) are also that details that are still a bit intimidating to me.

Goofy boy

Goofy boy

My collar is definitely not perfect, and I had a bit of trouble attaching everything (seems to be a common occurance based on my research), but I still like it.  It doesn’t help when you start something the day before your child needs to wear it either.  I would recommend giving yourself 2 to 3 evenings to sew this shirt, instead of the afternoon and evening I took.

Jacob button placket and collar

I cut the placket and the back yoke on the bias.  I think it adds a little something extra.

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When I finish something for the kids, it’s always at night when they are sleeping.  I don’t sew when they are awake.  I barely get to see them with school and work getting in the way, so I always wait to sew till they are sleeping.  Because I finish at night, I like to put whatever it is on a stand or mannequin and then put it in their room so they see it when they wake.  It seems to make them really want to wear it.  The morning they saw these was extra special, not only because they had matching outfits (I’ll be sad when they don’t want to match each other anymore), but also because it was Jacob’s first day of Casa and them being in the same class.

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How have my babies grown so much!?  Wasn’t Jacob just born?!

Jacob first day of school blog

Charlie dress

Smile!

Maya has a dress from H&M that she loves.  It has butterflies on it and is super comfy.  I also paid $5 for it.  I have a problem paying $5 for something.  I basically have trouble with the idea that in order to charge $5 and actually make money on it, you must be paying your workers nothing.  So I am trying to avoid that, now that I have a better knowledge of the garment industry.  But I won’t go into ethics right now.  That is not what this blog is about.

Instead I will focus on the style of the dress.  It is a sleeveless, drop waist dress with a twirly skirt.  It looks almost identical to the Charlie dress by Mingo and Grace.  I sewed the Blake from Mingo and Grace a few months ago and loved it.  So I had no doubt I would also love the Charlie.  I was not wrong.  It may be one of my favourite dresses I have made.

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I sewed this dress a couple of months ago.  I have no idea why it has taken me so long to actually post it.  I think part of me thought I already had.  I have photos of Maya wearing this at Ikea, at her grandparents’, in Montreal on a family day trip and en route to Toronto for a weekend getaway.  Needless to say, she really likes this dress.

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It’s a pretty straight forward sew.  I love the binding on the neckline and armholes and I love how twirly the skirt is without being over the top ruffles.

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In Montreal we found a "balloon lady" who made Maya an Elsa and Jacob a monkey. They were really neat!

In Montreal we found a “balloon lady” who made Maya an Elsa and Jacob a monkey. They were really neat!

My husband is really into photography so when I saw this camera fabric I jumped on it.  I just needed the perfect project.  And this was it!

Maya and her daddy at the old Port in Montreal.

Maya and her daddy at the old Port in Montreal.

The fabric is from the Snapshots line from Riley Blake.

This is when the kids realized there were more flavours of ice cream than just chocolate and vanilla.

This is when the kids realized there were more flavours of ice cream than just chocolate and vanilla.

This is a straight up size 4.  It has a really roomy fit so I’m glad I made the 4 instead of the 5.  I’m in a bit of denial that my little girl is growing up.  Does anyone else get sad when their kids move up a size?

Look! I have bat ears!

Look! I have bat ears! At the Biodome in Montreal.

The best thing about this dress is that Maya loves it (almost) as much as I do.  It’s a dress that I will be making many times.  I wish there was a sleeve option so she could wear it in the fall and winter as well.  Who am I kidding, she will wear it in the fall and winter with leggings and a cardigan on top.  🙂

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She even wore it for her first day of school.  My big girl is in the equivalent of Junior Kindergarten (she goes to a Montessori school so they don’t call it JK)

My big girl!

My big girl!

As I was going through my photos for this post, I came across this one.  How cute are these two?  I moved Maya’s car seat to be beside Jacob’s a couple of months ago.  The first thing Maya said was, “Now we can hold hands”.  And when they aren’t annoying each other, that’s exactly what they do.

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And some more, just because.  I love how much these two love each other.  For now, they are best friends.

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A Liberty Badminton Top and Swingset Skirt

Happy Bloggiversary to me!  Is that even a thing?  Just over a year ago I started this blog.  I guess technically I started it a year before, but I didn’t actually write anything.  I had the idea and never had the time.  Then I decided to actually make the time.  That’s something I know we are all lacking.  I haven’t been writing as much lately because it’s summer.  I have a whole line up of things I’ve made that I have yet to get photos of.  I haven’t been sewing as much lately either.  I really need to get my butt in gear because I’m really hoping to make most of the kids’ fall wardrobe.  I must admit, as much as I love sewing, I also love sleeping.  And going to bed “reasonably” early has been on the agenda lately.

So anyway, back to my “bloggiversary”.  I was hoping to write about everything I made.  Turns out that’s impossible.  So, I’m writing about what I can, when I can.  I started this blog for myself.  Something that I can always go back to look at.  To document my kids growing up in terms of what I sewed for them.  I think I’m staying true to that.  Enough about that.  Onto the goods.

My husband and I went to New York City in May to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.  It was a quick weekend away from the kids.  We had a great time.  Great food, great entertainment, awesome shopping (mostly for the kids) and FABRIC!  We spend most of Friday shopping for fabric.  And that is where I purchased my first Liberty of London fabrics.  Swoon!  The florals are just so pretty.  The only problem?  Price.  These might be the most expensive fabrics I have every purchased.  And I got a lot of them.  I don’t know whether it was smart or “not so” smart, but I bought a bunch of 1/2 yard cuts.  It seemed like a great idea.  Now that I am trying to find things I can make for Maya with 1/2 yard cuts is proving to be more difficult than I originally thought.  But it’s not impossible.  I purchased all of my Liberty Art Fabrics at Purl Soho.

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Inside

Inside

Swoon worthy.  I think this is ALL the Liberty I bought.

Swoon worthy. I think this is ALL the Liberty I bought.

I started with the Badminton Top from Oliver and S.  This is a super sweet summer top.  Nothing too fancy.  And not too complicated either.  I made Maya a size 4 and though it fits her, I wish I had made it a couple of inches longer.  This will fit her this summer and that is it.  Which is really too bad, because it’s really quite cute.

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This fabric is Betsy for Liberty Fabrics.  The accent fabric is a blue shot cotton I’ve had for some time.

Tummy

Tummy

The skirt is the Swingset Skirt from Oliver and S.  I love this pattern!  It’s such a simple skirt to make.  It is really swingy and is lined.  It doesn’t take any time at all to make.  There are three casings.  Two for elastic and one for a drawstring.

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The skirt is the same blue shot cotton and though it looks great right after it’s been ironed, it wrinkles like crazy.  I knew that going into it, and for this skirt I think it works.  Especially since it is lined.  I lined it in a super soft batiste I picked up at Fabricland.

Lining peeking out

Look at that.  A swingset skirt, on the swing set.

I’m sad that this pattern only goes to a 5.  I really wish Liesl would re-release it in a higher size range.  I could probably increase it myself, but I’m not a pattern designer and I would hate to mess it up.  I think I’ll be able to lengthen it without worrying about the waist for a couple years though.  So at least I’ll “probably” get another couple of years out of this pattern.  I just love this skirt so much.

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Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!

Zebras Galore!

There was a time, not that long ago, when I decided to try my hand at sewing.  I enjoyed it right from the first stitch.  But I couldn’t ever see myself sewing a wardrobe for anyone.  Fast forward a couple of years, and tada! Maya’s closet is more than 50% filled with clothes I have made for her.  I haven’t bought her any summer clothes this year.  She has clothes that still fit from last year and she also has clothes that I bought in previous years “for the future” that now fit her.  I have no intention of making all of her leggings, underwear, undershirts or pajamas.  But dresses, tops and skirts…sign me up!

Off to the park to do some yoga

Off to the park to do some yoga

Onto the goods.  This is the LOL Swing Top by Jennuine Designs.  It’s a really loose and flowy, racer back tank top.  It’s almost a circle top…kinda sorta anyway.  It’s much wider in the back than the front which makes it super swingy.

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It’s a pretty straight forward, simple sew.  I had a bit of trouble attaching the back yoke to the front.  The way Jenn has you attach them together is clever, but I mixed my left from my right and had to unpick and restitch.  It’s just a matter of paying attention and going slowly for that step.  I’m not always the best at taking my time, especially when I tend to sew late into the night.

I just love the contrast back yoke.

I just love the contrast back yoke.

The pattern calls for single fold narrow bias binding.  I wish I had cut my own binding because I used regular double fold bias and it does look quite thick on the armholes and neckline.

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This top can be made in knit or woven.  This one is woven.  I haven’t tried the knit version yet.  Maybe next year.  The woven version has a button on the shoulder so you can actually put it on.  The knit version is stretchy enough that you don’t need it.  I used a snap that blends in pretty well with the back yoke.

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This fabric is part of the Origami Oasis line by Michael Miller.

Summersault!

Summersault!

Now for the shorts.  Seeing as I have a love affair with Oliver and S, I thought I would try the Puppet Show Shorts.

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This pattern also comes with a cute blouse.  This is one of several patterns released that only go up to a size 5.  If you want to check out the “size 5” project over on the Oliver and S blog, you can find it here.  I decided to “unofficially” take part.  Maya is in a size 4, so I still have a bit of time before she outgrows those patterns, so I plan on making them all (we’ll see if that happens).

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These shorts have a subtle bubble look.  I was worried they might be too tight on Maya’s legs, but they are absolutely perfect.  There’s not much to say about the shorts. They have an elastic waistband, and super cute bubble pockets with trim.  The hem of the shorts is gathered slightly into binding.  They are a simple sew and oh so adorable!

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And now for some photos, just because.

I love how close Maya and Jacob have gotten.  Now that Jacob is a bit older, they really play so nicely together.  Usually.  Of course they still have their trying moments.  But for the most part they are best friends.  I love watching them grow.

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Origami Oasis Class Picnic Shorts

I am determined to blog quite a bit over the next couple of weeks. I have made quite a few things over the past couple of months, and haven’t found the time to take photos or write about them. So here goes.

As you may remember from this post, the gauchos I made for Miss Maya were actually too small. I was going to try to alter them in some way to make them fit, but summer came on quickly and the kids were in shorts quite a while ago. So instead of trying to fumble my way through an alteration (which I have never done before), I decided to try a new pattern using the same twill fabric.

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These are the Class Picnic shorts from Oliver and S. They really are adorable.  I made a couple of the Class Picnic blouses a few months ago, but this is my first time sewing the shorts.

It was a really straight forward sew, thanks to the awesome instructions. The only part I found a bit fiddly, was trying to get the accent fabric curve to be perfectly smooth. If you don’t look too closely, I think they look pretty good.

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These have a flat front and an elastic back. I love the clean look of the front, with the ease of elastic for Maya to dress herself.

Flat Front

Flat Front

Elastic Back

Elastic Back

The pattern pieces look intimidating at first, until you start to put them together and it all makes perfect sense.

I decided to use leftover Origami Oasis border fabric from the Grace top for the contrast on the shorts. They didn’t turn out exactly as I had envisioned. The birds are fairly sparse on the fabric so you don’t see as many of them as I would have liked. Oh well. They’re still cute.

These shorts are perfect for all sorts of fun summer activities.  Like:

running

running

swinging

swinging

 

sliding

sliding

running up hills

going up hills

running down hills

running down hills

rolling down hills

rolling down hills

and looking at the sky

and looking up at the sky

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Happy sewing everyone!  I hope you’re having a great summer!

Kids Kaftan

I’m going to start this post by saying, it took a lot of bribing with chocolate to get Maya to even put this on.  The only reason I’m even writing about it is because we actually got some photos.  I had this rainbow fabric that I bought because Maya LOVES all things rainbow and I thought she would also love it.  I’m not sure why, she won’t give me a straight answer, but she does NOT like this top.

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I used Pattern Emporium’s Kids Kaftan pattern for this.  Talk about options.  I had a hard time deciding which options to use to make this top for Maya.  In the end I chose a keyhole opening with bias trim tie, elastic casing and a curved rolled hem.

Keyhole opening with bias trim

Keyhole opening with bias trim

Elastic casing

Elastic casing

Curved rolled hem

Curved rolled hem

This top is really quite simple in its’ construction.  Basically a big rectangle sewn up partway with elastic to cinch the waist and a tie at the neck.  It would have been a naptime sew if both of my kiddos would have had a nap.  Maya is on the “it’s the weekend I don’t need a nap” phase.  She “usually” naps at preschool.  So I’m okay with her not napping every weekend, but it sure does cut into my sewing time.  😉  All things considered though, it’s kind of nice to spend a couple of hours with my little girl without Jacob messing up her “work” (like puzzles, or games or colouring pages, or lego…pretty much anything that a 2 year old will get himself into).

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Seeing how well it twirls

Seeing how well it twirls

I made this kaftan in “beach length” thinking she can wear it to cover up her bathing suit when she goes to the splash pad at the park this summer.  She can also wear it with leggings and shorts.

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It’s such a cute, comfy top.  I really don’t understand why she doesn’t like it.  Oh well.  At least I got some photos.

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