I finally got on the bandwagon and whipped up an adorable (if i do say so myself) Gernaium dress. There’s a lot of hype online about this pattern and I now know why. Its that awesome. Truthfully, its very similar in construction and fit to the Oliver + S Bubble Dress (which I love!) Cap sleeves, gathered skirt, lined bodice… There are a few differences – the Bubble Dress has a fully lined skirt and an obvious bubble on the bottom of the skirt. And while I did love the ease of the construction of the Gernaium dress, the finished project of the Oliver + S pattern does produce a slightly more refined and polished end result. The construction of the back enclosure and the way the bodice is attached to the skirt produce a more professional looking finish, but honestly, the speed with which I was able to churn this sucker out trumps spending THAT much more time getting the more finished look. I think its worth it.
The pattern: Made by Rae’s Geranium Dress
The fabric: Wild World – Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics. Westminster Fibers – Flower Child
The modifications: I followed the pattern as written. Although, next time I will use probablyactually’s suggestions and add flat piping to the dress. Because it just looks so darn cute. But also, it will eliminate the need to stitch-in-the-ditch when attaching the bodice to the skirt. Because while it doesn’t look awful, I’m just really not digging the part of the pattern where you attached the bodice.
The Verdict: There will be more Geranium dresses in our future. Without a doubt. In fact, I already have the next version in the queue. Its a random yard of Liberty quilting cotton I picked up at my last fabric store run – it just screams fall Geranium dress to me. Paired with woolen stockings and a knit cardi perhaps?
I’m in like. Not in love. With my latest Oliver + S creation. Which is tough to say because I do so love all things Oliver + S. The fabric, the designs, the pattern constructions, etc.
And I love so much about the Ice Cream Blouse that I sewed for Quincy. All except for one tiny detail – the part of the design where the back yoke gets attached to the bodice at the center. It just looks a bit unfinished as you can see a bit of an actual unfinished edge in the construction. And normally, my confidence in Liesel and her designs is so strong that I’d label this a simple user error, but in checking online, I’ve noticed many others who have struggled with the same point in this pattern. And its a bit disappointing. Because the blouse is super cute and my love affair with Oliver + S will most certainly continue, but I’m not 100% loving this finished result. But hey, life’s not perfect and nor are sewing patterns, so for the cutenss of this latest little gem, I’m going to have to just suck it up and accept a little imperfection. Probably not a bad life lesson.
The pattern: Oliver + S’s Ice Cream Social Dress (in View C – the blouse)
The fabric: ummm, no clue. apologies.
The modifications: none, but if anyone has any tips for how to avoid that little snafu happening at the center back yoke, bring it!
The verdict: its an adorable little shirt that will hopefully fit the babe this coming winter and spring. I’m thinking it will look adorable with a long sleeve t-shirt underneath paired with a skirt and leggings in winter, and with a pair of the chambray sailboat pants in spring.
Because these sailboat pants are our most worn garment this season. Most worn – as in any garment, store bought or hand made. And with a closet full of adorable Ralph Lauren hand-me-down dresses, that’s saying a lot. We’ll pick a pair of wrinkly chambray pants over Ralph Lauren any day around here…
Before the babe was born, I was a sewing machine. Making pants, dresses, and tops to get her well thru her first year. And in my over-enthusiastic sewing endeavors, I decided to get ahead of the curve and make her Christening gown. Which I did here. And being all relaxed and pregnant, I had the best of intentions. Sewing a newborn sized gown for her inevitable Christening by aged 2 months… great idea. But once the babe arrived, this tired, cranky, sleep-deprived mama with leaky boobs and baby spit up permanently covering her at every waking (and not waking) moment couldn’t get it together to actually schedule a baptism. Yes, the dress was raring to go. But I was not.
So, the dress collected dust while I conveniently forgot that I was supposed to get this kid christened. Until month 9 when the babe finally decided to start sleeping thru the night, giving this tired mama a few blessed minutes to call up the church and schedule a Sunday in August to do the deed (well, if I’m being honest, the hubs actually called the church, but I was the one who reminded him to do it. Giving myself props for that.)
And shockingly, I couldn’t squeeze the babe into the already made size 0-3 month dress. Not that I didn’t try. But thankfully I didn’t get any photos of that fruitless endeavor because the sight of me wrestling a 9 month old into a newborn sized dress was not pretty. Or my best mothering moment.
So, I sucked it up, bought another yard of silk dupioni, and cut out the size 6-12 month dress. It was like deja vu all over again. The same dress, the same vintage lace, the same buttons borrowed from my great aunt. Except all sized up to actually fit the babe this time.
The pattern: Oliver + S Bubble Dress
The fabric: white silk dupioni (only about 3/4 of a yard used)
The modifications: I lengthened the bodice and omitted the bubble. The bubble just didn’t seem fitting for a christening gown. Especially since I wanted the dress to be a bit longer, the bubble just wouldn’t work. So I simply hemmed the bottom of the dress with the lining inside the hem. Bubble dress sans bubble.
And while I didn’t get a ton of photos of the babe in her dress, I did get a good shot of the cupcakes I made for the par-tay. Because who really cares about a silly little white dress when you’ve got cupcakes…
After tackling this Bubble Dress, I decided that I had JUST enough fabric leftover to dive into the Reversible Bucket Hat – also an Oliver + S pattern. And its just too cute for words. The pattern is a free download (available here) – a simple three piece pattern, cut out the fabric, add a splash of interfacing, and a few rows of topstitching on the brim later, I had a wee baby sun hat.
I made the extra small (size 6-12 months), which, if the babe doesn’t take after her father and have an abnormally large head (love your head, hon!), should fit her thru next summer. Fingers crossed for a normal sized baby noggin…
(of course i forgot to flip the hat inside out and take a picture of the chambray side – i blame the 4:15am wake up call by the babe. but you get a peek at the chambray on the inside of the hat in this shot. blue chambray with light pink topstitching… ’nuff said)
The Pattern: Reversible Bucket Hat by Oliver + S
The fabric: One side is the leftover fabric from this dress – a print called “Cardigan Girls” by Monica Lee. The other side is a blue cotton chambray that I bought in a quasi-bulk amount – in anticipation of lots of chambray baby clothing sewing in my future.
Modifications: The only part I changed was that I left out the last bit of topstitching (above the hat’s brim) – Honestly, I did the topstitching and couldn’t get it to lie JUST RIGHT, so I unstitched it and decided that it looked pretty fine and dandy without that wonky top stitching. Sometimes less is more, right?
(at least her desire to chomp on the baby swing gave me a chance to get a good close-up of the top stitching…)
The verdict: I’m only wishing the sizing went up to my size. Its that cute. I have to reiterate my love of all things Oliver + S… As most commenters have noted out there, the products you make with the Oliver + S patterns look REALLY finished, have an interesting construction, and are just pretty fun to stare at when you’re done.
Admittedly, this is quite possibly the ugliest fabric on the face of the planet. I know, I know, ick. But what’s a crafter to do when she’s got a project that requires a boatload of fabric, a budget that prevents her from running to the nearest fabric store to stock up on 10 yards of fabric, and two huge (yet hideous) tableclothes that she got at the william sonoma outlet 10 years ago for a song and a dance just collecting dust in the closet. Yeah, obviously there was a reason why these tablecloths were on sale.
Here’s a shot of each of the two gems:
The difficult part of this project was deciding which fabric was going to be the top side – the side on show to the world. I asked the hubs for his input:
me: “which of these two fabrics is the least hideous?”
hubs: “um, the pink side. i mean, they’re both REALLY ugly, but i guess thats the least ugly. if thats the look you’re going for.”
why, yes, yes it is.
(see how enthusiastic the hubs is to push the babe along in this hideous thing…)
Since Quincy is now sitting up on her own, I’m able to throw her in the front of the shopping cart when we’re out and about. I love having my little shopping buddy scoping out bargains at TJ Maxx with me. I’m also secretly cringing every time she puts her hands (and mouth) all over the germ-infested carts. Now, I’m no germ-a-phob mama. But watching her grab that little cart handle and then put those cute pudgy hands into her mouth, just about makes me gag. And there’s no amount of Purell in the world that would ease my mind.
(the very ingenious strap to clip her toys onto. because she’s now in that throw-every-toy-on-the-floor-and-watch-mama-pick-them-up phase.)
So, when you can’t clean it, I say cover it up! Enter the Universal Shopping Cart Cover. I used this tutorial. Which is truly ingenious. Except for the fact that it requires about 10 yards of fabric. Hence the use of the extra large tablecloths hiding in my fabric stash. Because, while I love the idea of making a cover to keep the babe germ-free at our ghetto Walmart, I do not love the idea of spending a small fortune on 10 yards of fabric.
Here’s the gist… you make two (very) large circles, sew them together, cut out leg holes and slits for safety straps, then add a pocket and some accessory straps (to clip the babe’s toys to – keeping them close at pudgy hand), and finally thread some elastic thru the whole thing. And voila… a “my-mama’s-paranoid-about-germs-and-all-i-got-was-this-lousy-shopping-cart-cover” cover.
With my sister’s third babe on the way, it was only a matter of time before I picked up the needles and cast on for a baby blanket. I briefly entertained the notion of sewing a blanket (sewing baby quilts is a bit of an addiction for me), but I wanted this blanket to get used. As in dragged around the floor,… kind of use. One that can get thrown in the washer and dryer countless times. And while a baby quilt is of course machine washable, I feel like a lot of parents view them as “too nice” to actually use. And I want the babe to actually use this one.
I chose big blocks of color. I love non-traditional type colors for babies (I don’t think I’ve ever actually knit anything pastel for any babe – funny how that works) and thought this mix would work well. Greys, blues, with just a splash of bright yellow. I contemplated throwing some green in there, but once I got thru the blues, the blanket just seemed done to me. Which is good because the babe will be here in about 2 weeks. And I got sorta sick of knitting all that garter stitch, ya know?
I cast on 100 stitches, knit each color for 40 rows (using almost the entire skein), giving me a blanket with a dimension of 30” by 30”. Just about right. Big enough to cover him in the carriage or car seat. And small enough to be able to be dragged around the house once the babe is in motion.
All this baby blanket knitting almost gets me in the mood to have another little babe of my own. That is, until its 2am and I’m up once again with my wee one and the sleep deprivation sets in and I realize how having another kiddo before the first one is sleeping thru the night sounds like a special sort of torture.
My ravelry notes are here