Gifts for Some Special Kiddos

In between all of the garments I’ve been making for myself in the last few months I’ve spent some time working on some projects for some special young ladies in my life. Three years ago I got the amazing opportunity to start nannying for the adorable daughter of some friends of mine. M is partly responsible for the name of this blog. For some reason she initially learned my husband Martin’s name as “Match,” and it has stuck. When I was thinking about possible names for this blog I knew I couldn’t pick “Hannah Makes,” that’s already taken, and I figured “Match Makes” would be a fun way to play off of that adorable nickname.

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M was three months old when I started and just became a big sister a couple weeks ago. The first present I got to deliver to this new family of four was this whole cloth quilt. I ordered these fabrics from Etsy this fall. They’re both from the Flight Patterns collection by Tamara Kate for Michael Miller.

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This was an easy peasy project. I got a yard and a half of each fabric and trimmed those to be about 42″ long so it would be fairly square. I sandwiched them with some batting and did some quick diagonal straight line quilting. I added some straight grain binding, sewn on by machine with a wide zig zag stitch and then ran off to the hospital to deliver this to new baby A.

I made two other quick things for the new baby. I got this fabric, which is a Kaufman Laguna knit, last fall and unfortunately when I washed it it got a bit tangled with a red jersey knit that bled all over it. I washed it again and got almost all of the red out but it still has a bit of a red/pink tinge. I also decided that as much as I loved the fabric, I maybe am not the kind of person who can rock a mustache print tank top.

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It was however perfect for some baby clothes. These leggings are the 6-9 month version of the Baby Go To Leggings from Go To Sew. And the hat is the Top Knot Baby Hat from Pretty Prudent. Both of these patterns are free and they were very quick makes. I made both of these, and an additional pair of leggings and a hat, in maybe 90 minutes or so. I’m thinking I’ll try to start turning my knit scraps into baby leggings and hats because they’re such speedy projects and someday I’m going to need them for myself.

This little girl came a bit early so it’s going to be a while until she fits in either of these things but when she does she’ll most definitely be a styling lady.

My last project was an amazingly fun make. I remember so distinctly as an older sister how important it was to me when I got presents from people who were coming to meet my sister for the first time. So as soon as I knew that M was going to be a big sister I started to think about what I could make for her.

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I’d first seen this bear carrier over on Olivia Jane Handcrafted, and I knew immediately that I wanted to make it. It comes from Liesl Gibson’s book Little Things to Sew. This book is adorable and I am looking forward to making a number of other projects from it.

The bear carrier doesn’t look like much without an animal in it and without it being on a kid. But I think it’ll be super cute and I look forward to seeing M wearing her dolls and animals while her parents and I are wearing her sister.

These were all very fun, very easy projects for some little girls that are so special to me. I’m glad I got to make them and show them off to you!

-Hannah

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Finished Sutton Blouse

Just dropping by briefly to show you a project I finished a couple weeks ago. This is the Sutton blouse by True Bias. I’ve mentioned before that I have really mixed feelings about this make. This has nothing to do with the pattern, this shirt is actually really loose and comfortable. The problem has everything to do with the fabric that I chose.

The seersucker is unfortunately too stiff and just doesn't drape well.

The seersucker is unfortunately too stiff and just doesn’t drape well.

I’m honestly feeling a little dumb about this one because I feel like I should’ve known better. I thought the mix of voile and seersucker would make for such a nice little summer top but unfortunately it just does not work with the boxiness of the pattern. I also think that the neckline, which probably would work well with a much drapier pattern, just adds to the boxy, bubbly chest look that this has on me.

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It looks decent hanging up.

The color-blocking is also really bothering me. I’ve never had a lot of color-blocked clothing but when I started this project I was worried that the seersucker would be too stiff on the shoulders and thought the lightweight voile would work well. Perhaps if I’d done two layers of the voile it would feel a bit more equal to the seersucker and would flow into it more easily.

All in all, this top is just feeling a bit like medical scrubs. Not the look I was going for.

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I’m not sure I’ve ever put in a better bias facing.

I’m still on the fence about what to do with it. The finishing on it came out so well so I’m feeling frustrated and reluctant to just give up on it.

At first I thought that fixing the boxiness of the sleeves would be sufficient. I did notice someone on Instagram made the pattern with a heavier fabric and modified the sleeves a bit to make the boxiness less dramatic. So I thought I’d just give it a couple wears and try pulling some boxiness out of the sleeves if necessary. But having worn it once, I’m feeling like the color-blocking is also bugging me a lot. And that’s a lot less simple to fix. Also this top just didn’t take that long to make so it feels a little crazy to spend a lot of time trying to fix it.

So for right now I’m just going to let it hang in the closet. Maybe I’ll figure out a way to fix it, or perhaps someone will see it in there and look a lot better in it than I do. I’m sure I’ll try making the Sutton blouse again at some point but right now I’ve got other projects to focus on. It’s always a bummer when something I’ve spent time on, even if it’s not a lot of time, doesn’t come out the way I want it to. But it’s certainly helping me to continue learning about the fabric choices I make.

On to more successful makes!

-Hannah

Felicity Dress

When the Felicity Dress pattern was released by Jennifer Lauren Vintage in February I snapped it up right away. I think perhaps this was partly a desperate, “if I start making spring and summer clothes this blizzard will stop,” moment. But I was also really attracted by the gathered neckline and the swingy skirt. While I haven’t been a circle skirt kind of lady in my adulthood, there’s really something about being able to spin in such a delightfully ripply circle that feels so playful and fun and childlike in the best possible way.

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I apparently can’t spin quite as much as I could as a child, I spent the next five minutes after this photo gripping Mr Match’s arm and trying not to throw up. Whoops!

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I’d originally planned to make this dress during the sew-along and hoped to have it done for a wedding we were planning to attend this summer. But it was such a quick sew that it only took me a weekend. I made View 1 without any alterations.

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I ended up slip-stitching the neckline and armhole binding on the inside. I wasn’t sure at first that I would do it this way but as I was turning it under I was just loving how clean the binding looked on the outside and didn’t want to risk ruining it with top-stitching so I went for the slip-stitching. It took a little while but really not that long and totally worth it for high-quality finish.

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I made up a muslin of the bodice and was happy with a straight size 8. It turned out that the seersucker didn’t gather quite as easily as the muslin, not much of a surprise there, so I ended up adding a tuck on either side of the neckline to pull it flatter against my chest. I think the tucks helped enormously. I probably should’ve used Jennifer’s instructions for a smaller bust adjustment, she drafts her patterns for a D-cup which I’m definitely not. But that post hadn’t come out by the time I was working on this and I think I made it work. The gathers are pretty forgiving although I think if you have an A or B-cup a small bust adjustment would be necessary unless your fabric is light enough that it really gathers well.

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The pockets on this turned out really well. I’m a firm believer in pockets in dresses. I put them in the very first dress that I made and they’re just not that hard to do so I can’t imagine making a dress without pockets unless it really doesn’t work with the fabric. Even my wedding dress had pockets, major selling point! I think it’s possible that I didn’t cut the fabric on the right direction for the pockets, it certainly doesn’t match the direction of the skirt fabric. But I think it works. The nice thing about the narrowness of these seersucker stripes is that it looks great when they match up but it also doesn’t detract from the look if they don’t match up.

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I’d never put in a lapped zipper before making this dress. When I was first looking through the pattern I couldn’t make sense of the zipper directions for the life of me. As usual, at least for me, as soon as I actually had the fabric cut out and was working on that part it made total sense.

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All in all a really satisfying make. The pattern comes together easily and the sewing is quick work. I got to wear it for Easter dinner last weekend. It layered well with a cardigan, blazer, tights and boots. Oh New England, will you ever warm up again!! Can’t wait to wear this in real spring/summer weather. The seersucker I used is so yummy and will make for such a nice dress in the hot humid summers we get here in Boston. I’m looking forward to making another one soon!

Details:

Pattern: Felicity Dress by Jennifer Lauren Vintage

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Seersucker in Lupine from fabric.com

-Hannah

Striped Dashwood Dress

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I couldn’t help but think of Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility when I saw the name of Christine Haynes’ newest pattern. The Marianne Dress is a casual but classy knit dress with options for short or 3/4 sleeves, contrast yokes and a peter pan collar.

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I loved the look of the solid yoke and cuffs with striped main dress and sleeves so I went with version B. The fit is supposed to be pretty relaxed but I tend to prefer a rather fitted look so I sized down a bit. I think I made a straight 0 but next time might go with a 2 for the sleeves as they’re just a bit tighter than I’d like them. Still totally wearable and comfortable but something to fix next time.

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I wasn’t planning to make any alterations style-wise, I love the buttons on the cuffs but totally spaced on that step for some reason. I sewed the short ends of the cuffs together instead of folding in half length-wise and sewing the short ends and flipping out to overlap for buttons. Once I realized my mistake I decided to stick with it so I wouldn’t have to recut. I reserged the short ends about an inch in to make it fit the sleeves, folded them in half right sides together, and then attached them like regular t-shirt cuffs.

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I think this dress took me a total of 6-7 hours including cutting, possibly less. I did everything but the hem in one afternoon/evening. I hung it up that night to let the hem straighten out and then didn’t get back to it for about a week. It’s been so damn cold here that I haven’t had a chance to wear this until today. I’m so happy with it and will definitely be making more. I think I’d like a color-blocked one and maybe another solid yoke/striped main combo but with lighter, summery colors. I can certainly imagine these getting lots of wearing in the spring, early summer and early fall.

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Details:

Pattern: Christine Haynes’ Marianne Dress

Fabric: Organic Jersey from Gather Here in Cambridge, MA