Sweatshirt Dress for Me // My Creative Process

If you read my last post, you already know that I've put myself on a fabric buying freeze.  I've decided I have way too much fabric and I need to use some of it up before I'm allowed to buy anything new. 
I had the itch to sew something for myself and grabbed this green sweatshirt fleece off my shelf.  I have a few yards of this and it's the same fabric I used to make a cardigan for my son over 2 years ago!!

Right now I pretty much live in leggings, boots, and long sweaters or tunics.  This particular sweatshirt fleece has a super soft underside and much more stretch than is typical.  I contemplated making a Lola Tunic.  I have the pattern cut and ready to go, but it just isn't quite what I want.  It looks a little oversized in it's fit.  Which brings me to my "creative process".  I have trouble following patterns because I find myself wanting to go in my own direction.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.
 I searched around and found this picture for my inspiration.  I think the result is not too far off, though I'm not sure my fabric drapes quite the same.  Here's what I did.
 I wanted the top to be fitted but also a little slouchy.  I grabbed a dolman style sweater and traced it for the top and sleeves. 
 For the skirt, I used my Dress Pockets Tutorial and Pattern.
 Because this fabric is kind of thick, I cut one of the pockets out of a lightweight knit to make it less bulky.
I also didn't want to topstitch the pocket opening, so  instead I understitched it.  If it's not a technique you're familiar with, there's a great tutorial and explanation here at Sewaholic.  The purpose is to keep a lining from peeking out without having to topstich.  Essentially you sew the seam allowance to the lining or in this case the pocket.  I'm not sure why it works, but it definitely holds the lining in.
Once I put the bodice and skirt together, I had to do A LOT of tweeking.  By the end of the night I was pretty sure my "creative process" had failed me.  I ended up having to add darts to the front and back and also took the sides in so much that the pockets openings are pretty tiny.  Good thing I have small hands, because they still fit in.
I topstitched a little triangle a the neck on the front, tried the dress on, and was pleasantly surprised.

 It's far from perfect.  The white thread from my serger (I always only use white because I hate changing the thread) peeks through in spots and some of the seams are a little wonky, but it's amazingly comfortable.
 And I kind of love this side view.
 I'm happy that so far I've managed to not buy new fabric and now have a new dress!  Win, win.


Getting Organized // New Clothing Labels

 Over Thanksgiving break, I took advantage of the extra time off and went through my fabric.  I folded and organized and put together a bag of fabric to donate to a friend's business.  I love to buy fabric and end of buying more than I actually use.  So I made a pledge to not buy any new fabric until I use a bunch of what I've already got.  Part of that means sewing up some items to sell in my etsy shop.
I did a few craft events in November and ended up feeling a little disappointed with how much stuff I didn't sell.  It's not really about the money for me, I have a full time job and don't think I'd enjoy sewing if I depended on it as my primary income.  What I do enjoy is making cute things for cute people, ie baby clothes!  My kids are getting old enough now that they are pickier about their clothes and truthfully, their clothes are big enough that it takes so much fabric to make something for them, it's cheaper to buy them things...  It's not always about saving money, but that's a whole separate post. 
 So, in an effort to use the fabric I have, I've been making lots of cute baby things that will be listed soon.  I've been wanting to make new labels for my baby clothes for a LONG time and finally took the time to do it.  I designed the label in Powerpoint so that when it's folded in half, one side has my shop name and the other has the size.
 I printed the labels on printable fabric, cut and ironed.  I think they are so cute and I'm really happy with the way they look sewn into the side seam of the baby clothing.
It's amazing how something so little can feel so satisfying!


Baby Cuteness // Lotta Jansdotter's Snuggler

All of a sudden, a number of people in my life are having babies, which has rekindled my interest in sewing for babies!  I happened across Lotta Jansdotter's Snuggler pattern, and oh my goodness, the cuteness is too much!  The pattern is a free download HERE.  Assembling the pattern is not at all intuitive, so I took a picture of mine assembled.  It might be helpful to see how it goes together, and note, there is quite a bit of overlap in the pieces.
If you're a regular reader, you know that I pretty much never follow a pattern the way it's written.  Don't know if that's my way of being a rebel or contrary.  Anyway, I decided the corners of the flaps would be cuter rounded, so I used a small bowl to round them out. 
 I also decided to sew mine from knit fabric only.  I didn't use the instructions that came with the pattern since it doesn't have many pictures and I'm a really visual person.  Instead I just followed along with this post.  These days I'd rather look at the pictures on my screen.
 I took the above picture because when I got to this point in the pattern, I was worried I had done something wrong because mine seems to look fairly different from the pattern picture.  I think mine is fine and the pattern picture just doesn't show what it should look like that accurately.  Not bashing the pattern, it's super cute and free.  Just trying to help out anybody else out there who might be struggling with it.
The end result is crazy cute!  The one on the right is the pattern as is, which seemed a bit big for a newborn.  I tried to size the pattern down to a more typical newborn size, which is the one on the left. 
 This one is newborn sized, lined with an incredibly soft microfleece, and has a matching hat!
I cannot wait to see an actual baby in one of these!  It's going to be a few months....  So, what shall I make next?