Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Dr. Seuss Outfit

I am very excited to be participating in the Fat Quarter Shop Dream Big with Dr. Seuss blogger challenge, using their Dr. Seuss ABC's Fat Quarter bundleDr. Seuss's ABC's is a favorite book in our house, so I was very excited about these fabrics, and I kept having phrases from the book pop in my head as I was working with them (it's catchy!).  Fat Quarter Shop put together a video tutorial showing how to make a cute baby quilt with the bundle; I went in a different direction and made a cute toddler outfit.

seuss outfit

Esther has nearly outgrown her last set of quick change pants, so I made her some 24 month sized ones to last through the winter. The main fabric for these pants is a lightweight green corduroy that I had on hand, and I used the ABC patchwork print for the bum panel and a patch on the shirt.  Rather than making the pants reversible, they are mostly lined in upcycled flannel (from a sheet) with the yellow polka dot print just on the bottom inside to make a cute cuff.

back of pants

The alphabet bum is so cute and colorful!  In making the pants, I made the same basic modifications as my last pairs - I narrowed the outside leg seams (making the waist/legs wider) but them added more curve to the inseam to make the legs a bit narrower again.  That way they aren't too much of a squeeze to get on over her diaper bum but have a bit less of a boxy look.

seuss pants front

Not that I shy away from unisex clothes, but I thought with the boy-ish style and colors of the pants, it would be good to have a shirt that was more clearly a girls style.  I upcycled a orange shirt to make a long sleeved top with a gathered neckline (my own pattern), with yellow fold-over elastic for the neckband giving a nice contrast color.  I wanted the shirt to tie in with the pants so I put a patch on from the same patchwork ABC fabric.

umbrella yak patch

Originally I cut a patch out of the big alphabet panel to use on this shirt (with the E elephant for Esther) but it was a bigger patch and it was too stiff to work well with the gathers in the neckline.  So I picked it out and made this smaller, lower patch and am saving the E for another shirt!  I am planning to save the rest of the panel to use for applique patches for other kids items in the future - I foresee lots of cute initial T-shirt gifts.

I also made a second pair of pants which turned out even more boy-ish so I think I am going to save them for a future baby gift.

bear pants

I used the bear fabric for the bum panel on these and the green dot for the contrast cuff lining.  The main fabric for these is upcycled from a chambray shirt of Lawson's, and I actually used the reverse side which was a bit lighter.  I lined these pants in upcycled flannel as well, so both pairs of pants should be nice and warm for the winter.

flannel lining

I usually think of sewing kids clothes with fabric yardage so this was a fun challenge to realize how much I could do with a few fat quarters!

Disclosure: Fat Quarter Shop provided me with the fat quarter bundle of fabric for this challenge, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Improv I-spy Baby Quilt

Well, I just looked up and realized that after a summer full of lots of fun with a very active and mobile toddler Esther, and plenty of time crafting, I didn't manage to blog at all. Oops! Other bloggers, does that happen to you where you want to spend every spare minute squeezing in the actual crafts and so you don't make time to blog about it?

Improv I-spy 1

Now that it is really starting to feel like fall I am planning to get back in a regular habit of blogging. So I wanted to share this improv i-spy quilt that I recently finished for a friend's baby (after it sat on my design wall most of the summer - hopefully they still get some good use out of it even though he's probably crawling around more than laying on blankets now!)  I started out cutting different size i-spy squares and framing them with different widths of solid colors, making great use of jellyroll fabrics.  I originally had thought about making them into wonky stars but I decided to keep it simpler and have the i-spy squares scattered on an improv pieced background.  I used my design wall to lay it out and pulled together a bunch of different grey fabrics for the background.  It turned out a bit darker than I anticipated but I think it's a fun modern take on an i-spy quilt!

improv i-spy 3

I did a quick free motion meander quilting on it, and made an effort to avoid falling into my normal trap of tiny quilting - I couldn't believe how fast it went with big meanders, it probably only took an hour to quilt!  It was good to get some more FMQ practice, I think I should be brave and try a non-meander design pretty soon.

improv i-spy 2

I backed it with a perfect-sized australian animals fabric that I had in my stash and bound in a solid teal.  I accidentally trimmed too close to the orange block when I was squaring up the quilt - originally it was intended to be floating in the middle like the rest of the blocks - but I actually like how it turned out that that one block is against the binding.

I have been doing tons of sewing clothes for Esther (more on that soon), so I'm having a hard time focusing on my quilting projects... I always think I'll get back to them after I just sew her one more shirt, haha.  But I have another baby quilt half pieced and a bunch of similar i-spy squares started for another i-spy variation for us to keep, so I should really get back to it soon!
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