Kids Clothes Week: Pleated Tee Dress

T-shirt Dress 5

It’s the winter round of Kid’s Clothes Week 2016 and today it feels like Spring in Connecticut! And that works out perfectly for me, because I’ve been sewing with Spring in mind.

My daughter indulged me in a quick photo shoot before school so I could snap up some photos of my KCW contribution. At first she didn’t believe me when I told her we could take the photos outside without wearing a coat! Then once she went outside and felt the lovely 50+ degree weather (at 9 a.m. no less), she was running around giddy with delight.

T-shirt Dress 3

The knit t-shirt dress still reigns supreme in Daisy’s wardrobe, and I should probably just accept the fact that it will probably remain that way for many years to come. Heck, who am I kidding — I’d enjoy wearing a nice, stretchy knit dress and leggings most days, too.

This dress is made from some lovely interlock knit fabric from Amy Butler’s Glow collection purchased from Hawthorne Threads. This fabric was fabulous to work with and has that nice, dependable interlock thickness to it. My fabric selection was inspired by this post by Gail of the blog Probably Actually (which is one of my favorite sewing blogs — her creations are beautiful and I enjoy her aesthetic. You should hop over there to check out these adorable robot pants she made for KCW.). Gail used the grey, woven version of this print for her daughter’s dress. I had seen the fabric before but always skipped over it in favor of the larger, louder, bolder Amy Butler prints, and her post served as a reminder that I need to expand my appreciation for the more subtle prints (and the solids!). These dots remind me of bubbles; almost luminescent floating in the sunlight.

T-shirt Dress with pleats

This dress sews up so quickly that I’m surprised I haven’t made it more frequently (I’ve made her three, but only blogged this one.). I attempted a variation on my usual version by adding a few pleats to the front of this dress. Nothing too crazy but enough to make it a bit more exciting. It looks like I need to double-check the bottom of those pleats; from the photo it looks like they may be separating.

T-shirt Dress 4

Pleat front t-shirt dress #amybutler #fabric

















Daisy was in such a good mood for the photo shoot; it was the perfect start to the day. I’m planning to carry that positive energy through the day!

Handmade Wardrobe 2016: Gallery Tunic


I am happy to report that project #1 in Operation Handmade Wardrobe 2016 (original title, huh) is complete.

Last week I participated in the Liesl & Co. sew-along for the Gallery Tunic and Dress Pattern, and it was a success. This was my first time sewing this pattern and I chose the collared tunic version (Version A), made with a lightweight stretch shirting fabric I purchased at Joanns.


The shirt has a placket front with pleat detail, and an inverted pleat in the back. It’s a relaxed fit that pulls on, without the need for any button or zipper closures.

I sewed the tunic in a size 6 graded to a size 10 through the hips based on the pattern size chart. The grading was the only pattern modification I made.  Based on the relaxed fit and a-line shape of the tunic, I may not have needed to grade out so much at the hips, but I am pleased with the fit nonetheless.


The fit of this tunic is spot on for me through the shoulders and chest.  I did not make a muslin before cutting into this fabric so I was holding my breath in anticipation when I first tried it on.  Knowing the fit is so great through the shoulders gives me plenty of ideas for using this pattern as a jumping off point for different variations. I’m already envisioning a shorter blouse-length in a crisp white, to be worn tucked in (or a half-tuck) for a more dressy look. I am also looking forward to making the dress version.


I paid particular attention to the fabric layout when cutting my pattern pieces, and I am giving myself a big round of applause for pattern matching throughout — some instances, perhaps, more luck than skill!

I have to admit I really liked this fabric print when I first saw it, but the longer I sewed with it, the more I started to doubt my selection. Is it too busy? I think it will be a fun piece for my spring/summer wardrobe, and I can always mute it a bit by layering a lightweight navy blue cardigan over it. Add some white jeans … (and by the way, who makes good white jeans, as in thick enough not to be embarrassing. Or are white jeans a no-no once you hit a certain age? Thoughts?)


For now I should be concentrating on sewing for Kids Clothes Week, but I already have fabric and a sewing pattern selected for my next Handmade Wardrobe 2016 project, so we’ll see how much kid’s sewing gets done this week.

Gallery Tunic: Joining the Sew-Along

I’ve decided I need to focus on sewing up some pieces for my own wardrobe this year. My first step in making good on that decision is joining the Liesl & Co. Gallery Tunic and Dress Sew-Along this week.

Liesl + Co. Gallery Tunic + Dress sew-along

The Gallery Tunic and Dress Pattern has been around for a while, so it’s a little sad that I am just getting around to making it for the first time. So far my sewing has been about 98% focused on projects for my children, so I have a lot of catching up to do in the realm of women’s sewing patterns. In fact, when I look at the “projects for me” list I compiled earlier this month, barely any of the projects are new patterns (and that’s even using a rather generous definition of “new”). I’d like to think I’ve selected some classics; hopefully they will be timeless pieces, and patterns I’ll enjoy sewing more than once.

For the Sew-Along, I’ll be making the tunic version of the pattern, with the full collar and three-quarter length sleeves. I’ve selected a printed stretch shirting fabric from Joann’s for my tunic; here’s a quick peek at the fabric below. This fabric is super light-weight, so the tunic is definitely destined for spring and summer wear.

Azure Tide Pool Stretch Shirting Fabric-Floral Red

Azure Tide Pool Stretch Shirting from Jo-Ann fabrics; photo credit

I originally intended to stick with solids and neutral colors for the first set of wardrobe pieces I’m planning to sew (to, hopefully, support my goal of adding timeless pieces), but this fabric really appealed to me, and it was on sale, and it seemed so fun and summery as I shopped in the dead of winter, and …. oh well, so much for neutrals on this project!

I’ll be posting updates on my Instagram account, and will post again here once the project is complete.

Interested in joining the sew-along? The discussion board can be found here.

Pattern Testing: Cali Faye Valley Blouse for Girls

I’ve been a busy pattern tester the last week or so! In addition to testing the new women’s blouse pattern, the Valley Blouse from Cali Faye Collection (blogged here), I also tested the girl’s Valley Blouse pattern from CFC.

Valley Blouse by, sewn by, girls #sewing #pattern sizes 2T to 10 in girls

After sewing the women’s version of this pattern twice the week before, I had the pattern instructions memorized by the time I sewed up the girl’s version for Daisy. This made for nice, quick sewing. And, after some minor tweaks by Sarah of CFC based on the first round of tester comments, very pleasing results!

This is such a fun blouse for a little girl. A simple, without being boring, design. A fit that is not at all fussy or confining (that would certainly never work for my little one), and can be pulled over her head as opposed to requiring her to stand still for buttoning. And a style that easily transitions across the pattern sizing (sizes 2T through 10 girls are included) without making your little one look too grown up or too young at the opposite ends of the size spectrum. I can definitely see myself making this pattern for Daisy for years to come. And heck, then making it some more when she reaches the women’s sizing!

Valley Blouse girls back view, Valley Blouse by, sewn by, girls #sewing #pattern sizes 2T to 10 in girls

And allow me to profess my fabric love for this blue shirting! I scored it at Jo-Ann’s last week (I tried to find a link on their website but struck out). It is 100% cotton and super lightweight; perfect for this blouse.

Note, the keyhole opening in the shirt front is hidden by the gathers when the shirt yoke is buttoned. You can just about see the beginning of the keyhole seam peeking out below the overlapped yoke pieces. And given how lightweight this particular fabric is, you can also see the outline of the interfacing I applied to strengthen the fabric where the buttons/buttonholes are applied. I am definitely glad I cut the interfacing straight and evenly because otherwise that would have been a messy distraction front and center!

Valley Yoke close up, Valley Blouse by, sewn by, girls #sewing #pattern sizes 2T to 10 in girls

My daughter turns four next month but is on the more petite size; although certainly not with respect to CHEEKS. Cheeks for days. I sewed her a straight size 3T based on her chest measurement (it was exactly equal to the 3T sizing). I intentionally left the sleeve length as drafted in the pattern, considering the pattern allows for a generous fit through the chest and waist and this blouse will likely fit for a good while. Left at full length, the sleeves are currently slightly too long for her frame, so for now she can wear the sleeves rolled up or just flipped up a bit for best fit. Too-long sleeves are a common problem with all her RTW garments. Perhaps I should start pulling on her limbs, or hang her upside down a few hours a day? Joking!!

Valley Blouse by, sewn by, girls #sewing #pattern sizes 2T to 10 in girls


Valley Blouse by, sewn by, girls #sewing #pattern sizes 2T to 10 in girls

So, Daisy and I recently had a conversation, inspired by a description in a story we read, about what it looks like to stand with your hands on your hips. Clearly this concept made a big impression because as we started our photo shoot, she instructed me to take the photo below “with my hand on my hip”. And then, immediately after snapping her picture, she demanded that I show her the photo on my camera. Oh my. Next she’ll be demanding full editorial rights. I can’t even begin to describe how much she cracks me up on a daily basis.

And, by the way, I can’t stand this photo because somehow she went from looking her age in the other photos to looking about 12 years old in this one. Stop the clock, please!!

Valley Blouse by, sewn by, girls #sewing #pattern sizes 2T to 10 in girls

I encourage you to give the Valley Blouse a try for your girl. If you need more convincing, you can find several inspiring versions on Instagram by searching #valleyblouse. You can purchase the pattern here on the Cali Faye Collection site, or by purchasing it through CaliFayeCollection on Etsy.