My little sweetie is sporting the second half of my 3/4 yard fabric challenge. After cutting out her sister's skirt, I became slightly concerned because there seemed to be more pattern than fabric, but somehow it all came together. There was not even enough left of the pink fabric to pad a mouse nest.
Do you ever just need to stretch your creative 'legs' and throw caution to the wind. That feeling has been a permanent fixture in my sewing room lately. Patterns? Ha! Who needs um? I don't...well...I kinda do. I just don't have time to hunt them down. No matter! I learned a few things in design school that are serving me quite well right now. The trick is to copy clothes out of your closet - or in this case, your 10 month old's closet. You don't copy them exactly, of course (that would be redundant), but you copy them enough to get the dimensions in the tough areas. Here's how you do it and it works best with small items because they don't require much maneuvering:
As you can see, you pin around the pattern piece. The point? Underneath the shirt is a piece of paper. The pins create holes in the paper. Connect the dots, add the proper seam allowances and markings, and voila! Homemade patterns. I tried a new method with this top. Instead of creating the tiers in rectangles, I modified each rectangle so that it was longer on the top and shorter on the bottom. The idea was to create the illusion of adding to the width, without actually adding too much to the circumfrence. Not sure if I'd do it again, but it worked out okay in the end.
Pictured above was the back of the top I used as a guide. I don't like buttons on the back of clothes (seriously, they can't possibly be comfortable in a carseat), so I switched the opening to the front and made a single button closure.
Isn't that button adorable?! La mode has come out with a new line of crafty-er buttons that are totally irresistable. I saw them first at the specialty store and then found an even better selection at my run-of-the-mill fabric store....where I bought them because I had a 40% off coupon.
Fun trick I learned while making the button closure: If you put your machine on a 'satin' stitch, you can 'cover' white elastic cording with a thread color that matches your project. Custom colored cording in a snap! You can't tell in the pic, but the elastic 'loop' side of the closure is a light teal color. It's the details that count!!!
Speaking of details, I try to make clothing that looks like it could have been purchased at the store (I promise to explore that topic more someday). With that goal in mind, I've begun to take note of the things that separate store bought items from items made at home. I've noticed that store bought clothes often have subtle embellishments such as embroidery or small trims. To incorporate a subtle detail into this top, I added the lace at the neck and hem. It also added a touch of nostalgia to the design, because somewhere around this house is a Barbie doll wearing a teal dress I trimmed with that same lace....when I was twelve.
And here's another picture because she's such a stellar model:
Isn't it awesome what you can make with three 1/4 yard cuts of fabric?