In the last week I started dreaming up things to create again. It felt so good! I had quite the hiatus there, and it feels good to be getting back on the horse again.
I was very motivated when I saw this recent post by Made by Rae (just a really cute blog I found while working at the place that didn't give me enough to do and resulted in me roaming the internet for hours on a daily basis).
For some reason that little bonnet was just calling out to me. Rae didn't post a pattern, but I somehow had enough energy to just give it a whirl without any instructions. (Very brave on my part because such a task usually results in lots of swearing. And, Jesse laughing at me from the living room) But, somehow, it seemed worth it.
I have a beautiful niece who is at the perfect age for a little bonnet. And, her mother is kind enough to receive such random, handmade gifts. Perfect combination for a little project, if you ask me.
Of course, I couldn't just make a bonnet. That would be weird - and maybe a little too House on the Prairie for me. So, I added to it a little summer dress (pattern by Made by Rae) and a pair of bloomers (pattern in Amy Butler's Little Stitches book). Cause you can't have a bonnet without a summer dress and bloomers, right?
Here they are . . .
All of them made out of thrifted sheets.
Like I said, I made up the pattern for the bonnet based on the picture on Rae's blog. My first attempt was very small . . . only big enough for a newborn, and there is only one way for me to know this. Yes, I tried it on my son. Poor child. Don't tell his father.
He did respond perfectly, though, right? Anyway, I scrapped that one and made a larger one.
For the bonnet I had to "gather" fabric for the first time. I can't believe I've never had to do this before. But, I found this video on You Tube, and it was extremely helpful. So, if you're in need of a little lesson, it's a good one.
I made the dress reversible, which is not in the instructions. But, I somehow figured it out in my head and it worked! I was very impressed with myself. Okay, I still am.
My only issues with the reversibility were the side seams on the skirt. I sort of forgot about them until I was finished and turned the dress the other way around. Oops. Thankfully, I had used a french seam, so it didn't make the seam look hideous and it works out just fine. Not ideal, but fine nevertheless.
On the front side I used piping for the first time. I'm not sure why it took me so long to try out this magnificent stuff because it was super easy and it looks so professional when it's done. I loved it!
I have to mention (just in case anyone wants to try this pattern) that Rae's pattern is probably ideal for the newborn size, which it was created for, but I had to rework it a little for the 9 month size. The straps on the bodice were too wide and too short the first time around for the knots on the shoulders to work right. I ended up throwing out my first version and recreating the pattern so that the straps were about 4 inches longer and at least an inch skinnier. Worked MUCH better the second time around.
And, lastly, I made a pair of bloomers. Pretty darn easy pattern. The directions in Amy Butler's book were really straightforward. Nothing too fancy here.
So, all in all, little Jane has a new summer outfit and I learned some fun new things in the sewing department. All around success!