Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It's been a busy couple days.  Monday, I cut out two outfits for the girls-- for Gracie a modified version of 1983's Simplicity 5561--

I lengthened the top by four inches, which, considering that it didn't have the usual 'lengthen or shorten here' lines, was interesting. After Gracie told me it was a "baby dress", I switched out the bloomers in favor of shorts, which I modified from Simplicity 4203.  I also borrowed the pockets from the original version, in size 3, of Simplicity 2392.

It just made sense because of the color I backed it in to do a two tone pocket, and the curved upper edge was nice because it echoes the scallops in the bottom.

For Nikki, I made McCall's 2213, which I believe has been renumbered into McCall's 6303 since I bought it.  I made this one for Gracie when she was Nikki's age, and the bloomers are so poofy as to be ridiculous, so I went down a size.  It wasn't quite enough, though--the dress part was a little big this time around, so I ended up moving the buttons down so it would stay in place.

If I did it again, I think I'd move down a size, and add better contrast; Gracie's looks better simply because things don't blend in as much.  It's downright hard to see the pockets (this is view A, BTW.)  and they're easy to see on Gracie's.

This one also has the traditional bloomers.  My mother was of the opinion that i should have gone with shorts for Nikki, too, to add to the contrast, but I didn't have a shorts pattern small enough and didn't want to go hunting for one!

These are a size smaller than the pattern envelope says Nikki needs.  But as I said before--I made this pattern a couple years ago... it was completely reversible, even the bloomers.  And those, well, at the time, you could fit two Gracies in them, and I swear that she could still wear them now!

 This is still a little big and a little long.  By moving the buttons, though, I managed to shorten it by an inch.  If I manage to find the time, maybe I should redo this one smaller and with the same kind of pockets that Gracie's outfit has!

I love the scallops on Gracie's pattern.  It's why I bought it when I tripped over it on ebay three years ago.  Part of me is kind of sad that with her imminent birthday, she'll be too old for this style next year.  The shorts, though, that was what turned it from a "baby dress" to a comfy shirt.  Simplicity 4203 has cuffed shorts.  The hem allowance on them is 2.25 inches, so I cut a 4.5 inch piece of my print, and sewed it on the bottom, and then followed the regular instructions.

The fabric is so busy that it needed the plain color, and the hot pink makes the white fabric turn pinkish.  The next time I make these, I may lengthen them a bit, though.  I'm not sure.  I was afraid that the rise might be a bit too high for Grace, but she surprisingly didn't have a problem with it.  To be honest, they looked longer on the pattern picture.  And we like our shorts longer on Granny Lane--in the Georgia heat, skin sticks to things if it's not a bit more protected!

Grace loved it, as this silly picture shows!  She tried to tell me it was too tight, but when your entire hand slides easily into the arm and neck holes... (The tickle monster arrives!)  Anyway, if I make this one again before she outgrows it, I may lengthen the straps by an inch or two!  The pockets were her favorite part.  And looking at them, well, they're just a double sided round pocket that's been sewed on upside down and the round part folded down and ironed there.  I did stitch them down a little just for security.  But I did it by hand so that it wouldn't show.

Last night, after I finished these two, I cut out the next outfits.  Vacation cometh, and time is short, so I'm pretty much having my own personal marathon to build small wardrobes of handmade clothes for the girls so their Aunt Jessica can drool over them!  Okay, not only that--the stuff I make is better made, cooler, and comfy for our summers.  And you can't buy clothes like these!  Anyway, my next two projects, which are cut out, ironed, and pinned, ready to sew, are Simplicity 4203--

I'm making the shorts again, with the strappy top.  I've lengthened the top by five inches, the straps by 3.5 inches, and I"m changing them to button straps so that it's a little adjustable.  I'm also doing what I did with the shorts last time--this time they'll be regular pink, by request, with the patterned fabric working as a cuff.  

Nicole's next outfit is a Kwik Sew pattern, 3971.  I fell in love with it and just had to have it.  The main fabric is a heavy cream color with tiny pink and red rosebuds on it.  In some ways it wouldn't be out of place on vintage flour sack dresses!  The contrast, though, is leftovers from Grace's baby quilt.

I got them cut out last night, and the ironing done this morning.  Which, since the outside raw edges are bound off with homemade bias tape, there was a lot of it!

I had planned on sewing through the girls' naptime, but I'd promised Gracie that we'd play in the wading pool this week but we hadn't manage it yet.  And their parents have the rest of the week off, so we won't see them.

Nicole was really cranky when she got here, so I got Gracie changed into her swimsuit and got the wading pool out while she took an early nap.  As you can see, she liked it!  This is version B, which fits better--last time, the bottoms were so loose, I thought they'd fall off!  Version A of Nicole's suit was tried on last week, and fits fairly well without alteration.  So instead of starting on sewing together the next two outfits, I spent the afternoon playing in the water and avoiding splashes!  Hopefully, tomorrow I will have finished outfit #2.  I love spring and summer sewing!


  1. your swim suits turned out so great! Love the ruffles.

  2. Thanks! Those were really easy ruffles!