Sewing Projects

I started sewing in July 2007 after reading about custom outfits for Disney World visits. I had used a sewing machine many times in my life, but never mastered anything more than squares; pillows, napkins, and curtains. Needless to say, diving into the realm of clothing was something completely unknown to me. My machine was an avocado-green Kenmore from before I was born. I managed to sew my very first outfit on that and then went machine shopping since I was pretty dedicated to sewing the girls full Disney wardrobes for our January 2008 vacation. Turns out, I love sewing! I've only sewn kid clothes and doll clothes but am determined to make myself something this year. Below is everything I've sewn (as far as I remember) in chronological order. I've included notes on everything in the captions.

This was my first outfit sewn from a downloaded pattern from You Can Make This. Chris helped me pick out the fabric and we bought a ton not knowing how little we'd need for a 2 year old. It turning out so wonderfully helped me dive into sewing.
I used a pattern for this one but I think I went my own direction for part of it. It was difficult and my seam ripper became a good friend. I made it more difficult on myself by using Minky dots for the bodice which is a plush-like fabric.
This is my second attempt at following a pattern for part of the dress, but then doing something else entirely for another part. The bodice is exactly like the pattern, but the skirt is where I did it on my own. I also had to put a zipper in which was an adventure in and of itself.
My first thing for the big kid. These pants are a Simplicity pattern and I learned that Simplicity doesn't mean simple for a beginner sewer. Their directions were confusing and I'm pretty sure my first attempt included a pant leg on backward. The top is shirred which I thought was really easy- definitely a relief after reading some people were scared to try it. The buttons on the back are just for show as I wasn't willing to attempt a buttonhole yet.
I believe this was a Butterick pattern and it was very straight forward and simple, as far as patterns go. I don't really remember that much about sewing this one, but I do know that even looking back on it now, I really loved this dress.

This is an easy t-shirt dress but it was my first stab at a twirl dress. Since the tiers are simply applying math, this wasn't even remotely hard.

I found apple fabric during a fabric store run one day and could not resist picking some up since we were, in fact, going apple picking! I drew out the pattern for this one which sounds way more impressive than it really was. What I learned on this is cotton doesn't stretch like knit so I was going to need to put buttons, zippers, or elastic in this type of dress in the future.
Tabitha decided to be a gypsy for Halloween in 2007 and wanted me to sew it for her. I used a tutorial for the top and did a standard twirl skirt for the skirt. However, I didn't get my measurements right and the skirt was nowhere near as full as we would have liked so we added a filmy scarf thing to give it more "oomph."

The big kid also need an apple picking dress, of course. I used a peasant top tutorial and elongated it into a dress. She loved it, but I always thought it looked like a nightgown. What this dress illustrates is my first ever applique work in the apple and I had no problems with it and was very pleased how it came out.

Ah, the tulle skirts. Wow did I learn how much I hate working with tulle! Seriously hard to measure, cut and sew. But in the head, I really loved how those skirts turned out. I believe I had to make 2 for Tabitha, I think the first one wasn't full enough. Daisy's shirt is from Target as it matched so perfectly there was no reason to go with anything else. For Tabitha, I bought a plain black shirt and ordered glue-backed crystals and then connected them with silver puffy paint. I used large crystals for the outer web and then they got gradually smaller as they went in, culminating in a red sparkly to represent the spider. Though the skirt is long outgrown, she still wears the shirt and gets compliments on it.
This top is the same as the one I did for Daisy with the skulls, but in Mickey Mouse colors. It was paired with a long-sleeved shirt because our Disney World trip was planned for January. The jeans were cut off at the knee and then the panels were stitched the same way as the panel on the top. This one is a real eye catcher when walking around Disney World and she got stopped many times while we were there.
The jeans on this one were no-sew. I just cut the Mickey heads out of the fabric and then used fabric glue to adhere them.

The shirt however boasts my second ever applique. Again, no issues and very easy in that there was no piecing together.

Christmas Eve! Tabitha's dress was a simple panel, twirl skirt. The shirt is store bought and I appliqued snowflakes that were cut out of a guazy material. The fur cuffs on the shirt were a little difficult in that it was hard to fit the sleeve on my machine and the fur kept clogging the machine as well. Daisy's dress was based on something I'd seen, but I didn't use a pattern for it. The under layer didn't come out perfect, but overall I really loved this outfit. She only got to wear it 2 or 3 times but it was heavily commented on.
This is the same dress made over. I put a Santa hat on for Christmas Day, as well as a Disneyland trip and our Christmas card photo that year, and then took off the hat and replaced it with Minnie's bow. They wore these dresses on the plane and for our first day in Disney World since we took a red-eye flight and went straight to a park upon landing. The skirts are made differently and Daisy's was definitely the better one so I'll remember that for next time.

Animal Kingdom outfits. Tabitha's outfit was such a hit! I think it was the big ruffles on the pants. Daisy's skirt was rather intricate but I don't think it was noticable. Plus, I really think I should have put ruffles on her pants as well.

I've already talked about this dress for Tabitha, but here it is the day she wore it with pants I also made. Daisy's outfit is a very simple pillowcase-style dress paired with pants with ruffles. The fabric is Little Einsteins and man did she get a ton of attention! We went to Hollywood Studios on this day and had lunch with the Playhouse Disney characters and everyone fussed over her outfit. The photographers at the Little Einsteins' meet and greet took sooo many pictures and even made sure she had extra time with the characters.
I already talked about both of Tabi's outfits here. The black and white one on Daisy was a favorite of mine as it seems so classic. Same simple style as the Little Einstein's outfit with a few minor differences. The second outfit is inspired by Snow White. It mimics Snow White's dress without being a Snow White dress. Daisy loved it and, more importantly, so did Snow White :)
This was for Tabitha's violin recital. It's hard to tell, but the black fabric is covered in music notes and the red fabric has string instruments on it. I used a pattern and had a really rough time with it due to my lack of understanding something. But in the end it did all come together very nicely.
I used a Butterick pattern for this as it is the cutest pattern ever. The fabric is from a pricey quilting store and that's pretty much when I fell in love with quilt store fabrics as opposed to Joann's fabrics. I think Daisy and I both cried when she outgrew it; luckily I still have more of it left and plan to use it again. This was for Easter 2008.
The first dress here was Tabitha's Easter dress for 2008. She picked the pattern and all the fabrics. Easy to sew, but not necessarily something I would have chosen for Easter. It was a good summer dress though. I'll talk about the pig outfit below.
One of my all time favorite outfits. I actually ordered the pic fabric online from a Japanese fabric supply website. The other fabrics were found at a quilting fabric store. It's a boutique skirt- drop waist, panels, ruffle at bottom. But the ruffles are out of control on this one. The twirl factor, shown off in the last photo, was upped by the fact that I made it 3 times her waist size. Then all the ruffles at the bottom were another 3 times. This skirt gave my ruffler attachment quite the workout but the result is wonderful! The applique is just something I drew out and appliqued on a tank from Old Navy. The outfit was made for our day at the fair and is one of the few things I will put away for Daisy to grow into.

This was Daisy's fair outfit. I designed the pattern myself and really enjoyed what I did with it. However, I made mistakes and it only lasted 2 wearings which makes me sad. I always intended to sew jeans out of the same denim as the bib top and then add ruffles and an applique. Sadly that never came to fruition.

Ignore Tabitha's expression- I caught her mid-laugh. But this pic showed off the skirts the best. Tabitha's is a three-tiered twirl skirt as is Daisy's but for her skirt, each tier is made up of squares of increasing width. The shirts are embroidered, but not by me, I bought them on ebay.

This fabric with adorable monkeys called out to me at the fabric store one day. I immediately went to find a pattern and ended up with one by McCalls. It wasn't easy or hard and it made my little monkey happy.

Tabitha was invited to an Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party with costumes optional. So this is my take on the Queen of Hearts. The hearts are appliqued out of sequin fabric and the crown is a rhinestone iron-on.

Sometime in the fall, I ran across a pumpkin pattern and they looked really fun so I made quite a few them and then added a stuffed candy corn at Daisy's request.
Halloween outfits for 2008. Tabitha's skirt is two layers as the purple is a sheer fabric so needed something behind it. The top has a bat applique that is made from felt to give it a more interesting look. As you can see from the second photo, my sewing madness branched out into doll clothes. I used a doll pattern for the top which was made from knit. It was my first time using knit and did take me two tries to get it right. But the upside to sewing doll clothes is the project was done almost as soon as it was started. The doll skirt was just a length of fabric with an elastic waist. The bats were cut out of Tabitha's skirt fabric and were put on with fabric glue as I had little desire to try and applique anything that small.
Daisy's outfit mimics candy corn with it being white, orange and yellow. That happens to be her more favorite candy and is a special treat because not all candy corn is vegetarian. The white pants were knit pants that I bought and added an orange and yellow ruffle to the bottom.

Ah, my baby :) This was made for Christmas Day. I found the shirt at Target and fell in love with it. I bought it and immediately went fabric shopping. It's a twirl skirt made from rectangles with each row of rectangles a larger size than the one above.

Not exactly a sewing project. I used rhinestones to make a 10 and added an iron-on sparkly crown.
Another birthday outfit for Tabitha. This is a t-shirt dress I made sometime before this for wearing to Disneyland. In the second picture you notice I made another doll outfit. For her birthday I made small birthday hats to add to the Mickey head. I didn't applique them though as I wanted easy removal so they are merely tacked down. leggings were necessary after she grew a bit from when it was first made.

Again, not really sewing. I made a sparkly 4 shirt for Daisy's birthday.

This outfit for Tabitha was for a Girl Scout event. Her troop was representing China and Tabitha was to be in the fashion show. After searching far and wide for something to buy, we hit the pattern books at the fabric store. I had very little experience with sleeves and this top was really different than any type I'd done before. The slippery, brocade, satin fabric didn't help matters. There were definitely some issues with it, but overall I'm rather proud of how I did.
Two dresses I sewed for Daisy just because I wanted to. They actually come from the same Burda pattern. I had previously not used more than one style from the same pattern. This is the second hat I had sewn and I found out I should have made the next size. But I didn't realize that until after it was done. Still, both dresses came out really cute and can still be worn this year despite them being made in Spring 2009.
I really didn't sew much in 2009 so Tabitha's robe is actually from Christmas Day. I had to work at night so she wouldn't know, of course, so it took me a long time. But the pattern was actually pretty easy and I found out how easy it is to work with fleece since it doesn't fray. Daisy's robe was done in March 2010 and was not a surprise. Plus I learned from my mistakes from the first robe so it went rather quickly.
Again because I didn't sew much in 2009, I bought this shirt in a 4T last summer and then it sat there until this year. Finally I made myself get the outfit done. It's a t-shirt dress with rick-rack added to the sleeves. The pants are a pattern from You Can Make This. The applique is what I'm most proud of. I found several drawings of Small World figures online and let Daisy pick the two she wanted me to use. I pieced them together myself and am very pleased with how they turned out. They are definitely more intricate than any appliques I have done previously. I really enjoy it though and still want to do more.
This is another item that was promised a year previous. Tabitha got it in her head at one point that a two-tone Sleeping Beauty dress would be fun. If you are unfamiliar with the movie, two of the fairies fight over her dress and use magic to change it back and forth between pink and blue. Although I was really happy how well the white off-shoulder piece turned out, this dress didn't quite live up to my vision. I designed it myself and thought I took into account how stretchy the panne would be, but apparently did not as it's really big. The bright side to this is she will be able to wear it on our next Disney World vacation.
The most important thing is how much Tabitha loved it. All the princesses made a fuss over her, but Aurora was especially kind and really liked it.
The outfit on the left was made for a Princess and the Frog party Daisy was invited to attend. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for it, but when I walked into the fabric store they had this dress up on a mannequin. I immediately bought the pattern and brought Daisy back to pick the fabric (it's frogs with the words "Kiss Me" all over). As I made the hat I remembered how much I dislike making hats. For some reason they take me a very long time. But I got the sizing right this time and it looks good.
The outfit on the right is a Gymboree shirt I bought on major clearance. I had to buy it what with the giant daisy on the front! I bought 3 fabrics to make the simple panel skirt with a drop waist, got home, and found none of the fabrics matched properly. I took the shirt and Daisy back to the store and she found the blue and green fabrics herself. The top part of the skirt is yellow, though it doesn't show in the picture.
These two fabrics were also bought a year previous. They were quite simple to complete as they are pre-shirred. All I had to do was stitch up the back and add ties. In the case of the purple, I also added rick-rack and plan to make coordinating pants so she may wear the set in the cooler months as well.
This is my first German pattern. I simply love Euro-style clothing on kids. I had to trace this pattern out as opposed to simply cut and also while I traced, I had to add a seam allowance. I made a goof but managed to make it work out. If you scroll all the way back to the top of the page, you'll see this is the same fabric as that very first outfit I sewed. I had plenty left and Daisy was thrilled I made her another outfit with her skulls. The pattern was really quick and easy, other than tracing, and can be very versatile. I plan to use it many more times on both girls as it goes up to Tabitha's size.