Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sew Classic Clothes for Girls – Pocket Smock Top

August 26, 2014

A few days after I finished the second picnic dress, I made the Pocket Smock Top from Sew Classic Clothes for Girls (also by The Cottage Mama) for my daughter.

I wanted to make the top because when we go on walks she collects rocks and flowers and stuffs them into my pockets. Now, she can carry them in hers.

The fabric is the 2013 DS Quilts Collection from Jo-Ann’s. I made the bias tape with a fat quarter from my stash. It’s a really, really light blue floral on white background. DSC_9017

This top was even more of a challenge for me because while it all started out beautifully, the serger chomped and ate about an inch off the bodice.

There was some screaming and frustration involved, but ultimately it was a good lesson for me. I decided to keep going. I figured if it wasn’t going to fit my 3 year old, then I could give it to my 1 year old! (Note: I made the size 4.)


It was quite exciting for me to use my sewing machine to make buttonholes and sew them on! I think with a bit more practice, next time I can actually get it all to line up better!  DSC_9020

But, with my crazy adjustments just being able to finish was a relief. It was an even bigger relief to see that it fit my daughter!

The nicest part is that once the top was on, it looked pretty good. You know, as long as you weren’t looking too closely! DSC_9011

I have the Round Neck A-line Dress fabric cut up and waiting for me. Let’s see what crazy adventure happens next attempting it!

The Summer Picnic Dress, Take Two

August 20, 2014

I made another The Cottage Mama’s summer picnic dress last week for my daughter:


The first one I made earlier in the year was a good challenge, and I wanted to try again. I thought I could improve my (lack of) clothing sewing skills! I like how this one turned out a lot better.

I picked up this fabric at Jo-Ann’s. It’s “Homestead” by Juliana Horner.

DSC_8945I added a pocket using this tutorial:DSC_8946I didn’t realize that I was short some fabric, so I used white as the underside part of the straps. I like how it turned out:DSC_8954

After I finished I realized how badly I ruffled the bottom:

DSC_8949One side is more “ruffly” than the other! I did searched online for gathering tips, so hopefully my next attempt will be better.  🙂

Making clothes is pretty intimidating for me. My brain can’t seem to process the 3D view. Making quilts is a lot easier because it all stays flat like a puzzle.

I’ll keep trying though!

My Evolution of Quilt Backs

August 5, 2014

Since completing my Fresh quilt top a couple of weeks ago, I have spent some time piecing the backing.

I am in love. Love, love, love this quilt top:

DSC_8836 I was content to leave the backing as simple as possible, especially since that meant I could move on to the next project!

But, my husband convinced me to do something. He suggested another quilt top so that we could flip it back and forth to use. Instead, I decided to use the remainder of the 10×10 fabric I cut up from the fat quarters and the leftover strips from cutting to piece it all together.

This is the most elaborate backing as far as time spent cutting and piecing:DSC_8832 (You might spot a stitch in green where I started my quilt label.) I am really loving how it turned out and that I have managed to use almost all my scraps!

When I first started making quilts, I would buy one print fabric for the entire back. This one was from my daughter’s quilt:


I then progressed to using more than one piece of fabric to piece it together. After I saw Elizabeth Hartman’s first book, putting backing together was much more interesting. This one is my daughter’s “baby” quilt, currently being used by her little sister:DSC_8837

Eventually I realized that I could use the leftover bits of fabric from cutting and added it to the back in patches. This one is my husband’s couch quilt:DSC_8841One of my favorite quilt backs is from the Mod Sampler, because as I was making the blocks, I loved that it would become part of the quilt back. This one is my little one’s quilt, currently too big for her to use:DSC_8843

Right now I am enjoying using a solid fabric and then using the leftover fabric from the quilt top to piece it all together. How do you piece your quilt backs?