Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lyla's Swingset Skirt

 I've been wanting to try out the Swingset Skirt pattern by Oliver and S for a while now. It looked like it might be a nice wardrobe staple for Lyla and maybe even a possibility for Maggie. When I heard about the sew-along this week, I decided it would be a fun time to give it a try. 

This skirt came together so quickly, save for a couple of errors on my end. Lyla is a teeny little thing, so when choosing a pattern size, I decided to go with the 18-24 month for width and the 3T for height/length. I thought I took this into account when I marked the buttonholes, but they ended up too close to the top of the skirt. I was a little bummed, because you can't exactly remove buttonholes that have already been cut open. But, I just forged ahead and sewed another set in the right location, and it's not even noticeable. As it turned out, the drawstring I made turned out too bulky so I decided to omit it and just added a faux tie on the side.

I love the shape of this skirt so much! All of the skirts I've sewn for my girls have been the simple, sewn from a big rectangle type. The curved hem on this pattern adds so much to the skirt - it is more playful and twirly. I'm a convert!

The outer fabric on the skirt is a Nani Iro cotton lawn that I scored from the Imagine Gnats remnants sale. It's a bit different than other lawns I've worked with. It has a unique texture (described here) and a little less drape but is still very lovely! I was worried it would be a bit too stiff for this skirt, so I lined it with a double cloth gingham (this one by Robert Kaufman) to give it a bit more weight. I used the same gingham for the side tie.

I love the end result! It has a nice flounce to it. The combination of fabrics is so playful and I think the skirt has a bit of a vintage appeal.

Of course, Lyla styled it up with her present uniform of accessories - a giant floral headband, necklace and rain boots. I have to say, I'm embracing this age of opinions way more the third time around. Some days we're a dinosaur, some days we're the girliest of girls, and a good deal of the time we're running around outside in a leotard with no shoes on. Today she twirled and giggled down the street in her new skirt!  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Meadow Quilt

Do you remember this quilt? I love where it started from. A pretty stack of fabric that started to come to life after a trip to Duke Gardens one Spring Sunday. And, I love where it ended (over a year later), with a special lady, who loves flowers and color, and was a wonderful neighbor in the 12 years we lived at our old home. It wasn't until I knew where this quilt should end up that I actually felt motivated to finish it.

All of the details for the quilt can be found in this post. I made 12 quilt-as-you-go log cabin blocks and framed them with a bright green solid. It finished at about 42" x 54". Several people asked me how I would go about finishing up this quilt (attaching the back), so I thought I'd share what I did. Once the top was done, I simply basted the quilt top to the backing, and quilted a zig-zag stitch along the major block and border seams to secure the layers. I chose to use a zig-zag stitch because I thought it might help flatten and secure the seam. It was quick and easy method and one I've seen used by many people. But I will be honest, I didn't love the feel of the finished quilt. The seams were very noticeable and felt quite bulky. And, overall, the quilt just didn't feel quite as cozy and cohesive as a quilt finished in a traditional manner. I love the quilt-as-you-go method for small items like pillows or bags, but I don't think I'll use it again on a quilt. 

Anyway, all's well that ends well...Donna said she wanted to hang it on her wall, which is perfect! As I was finishing it up, I remembered that she helped me thread my very first sewing machine about 9 years ago. We were sitting at my kitchen table. I was pregnant with my first child. All I remember were the contractions I was having, and sure enough Maggie arrived the next day. She (and her husband) were so good to us over the years, so it was wonderful to thank her with the gift of this quilt.