Tuesday, February 10, 2009

oliver and s and... totoro?

I've been working on an oliver and s tea party sundress for Blue. I'm not an experienced sewer, but I can usually follow a Simplicity pattern, and I am pretty good at winging it (but let's not think too hard on the Baby Jaguar pants I tried to wing for Blue).

In any case, it is not often that I am inclined to follow a pattern, but oliver and s designs are just so delicious I just had to try them. I wanted to try the Puppet Show Tunic as a dress, but when I started reading the instructions, I realized I was in over my head. So I began with the bedtime story pajamas, which turned out beautifully. Here are Ivy, Blue and Mia, my niece.

Cute as the dickens. And can you believe they sat still long enough to snap the picture? And not one moment longer.

But before I committed to making three pairs with fancy fabric, I cut my teeth on a trial pair. And that's what I'm doing now, too. This dress is a trial for the three coordinating (but not matching) dresses I am going to make for the girls and Mia to wear to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for my brother's wedding in Newport this summer.

So far, following the pattern was the easy part. Here's the dress, which is made from corduroy I found at Goodwill. Sadly, it was not until I was ironing it that I realized it was part polyester. The lining is made from a much lighter corduroy shirt I cut up. Overall, not bad for a $2 dress. Besides using corduroy, I also made the skirt two inches longer. It is wintertime after all. And I had to practice anyway because Mia will need extra length on hers.

Now, this dress is size 5 for Blue, and she has real clothing issues. Everything she wears has to be jersey knit. I hate that kind of stuff, but she has sensory issues that cannot be denied away, so for the most part I humor her. Therefore, I am always thinking of little sneaky ways to get her to wear real clothing. And a surefire way to get her to at least try to wear something is with a Totoro.

See? See how she tries it on? Amazing. And a darn good thing, too, because those Totoro (Totoros?) were not all that easy to make. They took as long as the dress to make. But I think it is going well.

Or at least it was going well until I tried to applique. I know it's hard to see, but I'm having difficulty with the tension.

And then this happened.

I can sew with the kiddos crawling up my legs and feeding me broccoli, but I can't sew with that.

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