Monday, February 14, 2011

Elephant Dress

T-shirt Dress

Another new dress for the little girl (who insists she is not little). The dress is a very basic T-shirt dress, made by modifying an out-of-print Kwik Sew pattern (2315 - actually for pajamas).

Elephant Dress and Elephant Stuffy

Inspired by her beloved stuffy, I added an appliquéd pair of elephants. I'm terrible at drawing, so this is a rather modified form of an image I found online.

Elephant Applique

The braided tails were a hit, but I think they're a little long. Also, maybe I should add eyes. I didn't think about that until looking at the picture just now. It seems I have difficulty making complete elephants.

I stitched a tear-away stabilizer to the skirt piece and fused the elephant shapes on. I opted for the raw-edge appliquéd look and stitched about 1/8" away from the edge all the way around. I stitched around each shape three times to give it a slightly bolder line.

Stripy Leggings

The fabric for the dress and leggings came from three XL adult T-shirts purchased from the clearance table at Zeller's. There are some advantages to this over cut yardage:

1.  Accessibility - Zellers is in my town, the nearest fabric store is 45 minutes away.
2.  Coordinates - The solid and the stripe match perfectly - often not the case with bolts of fabric
3.  Pre-finished - I used the hem of the shirt for both the leggings and the skirt. Hemming isn't one of my favorite parts of the sewing process, so I like to have it done already.

However, there are some disadvantages:

1.  Grainlines - These weren't exceptionally high-quality T-shirts, so there were some grainline issues that were hard for me to work around. You can see that the stripes don't match at CF of the leggings.
2.  Limited layout options - Since the T-shirt already has a certain shape, you have to work within those boundaries sometimes being creative with what you can put where.
3.  Size limitations - I was able to squeak out the leggings from one T-shirt, but had to add a separate piece for the elastic casing. The next size up would not have been an option. Making a big T-shirt into a smaller T-shirt works well, but I don't know that I'll be able to do more dresses or leggings.
4.  Waste - It seems like there was more waste compared to working with yardage - a lot of smallish, un-useable pieces leftover.

Elephant Dress and Elephant Stuffy

I continually had the tune of "Baby Elephant Walk" by Henry Mancini in my head while I was working on this project. It was subconscious at first and it took me a couple of days to even remember the name of the song and figure out why I was humming it. Funny stuff. Thankfully, it is a fun tune because it is quite tenacious and once it's there, it is hard to get rid of!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

For the Record

More angels for M's shop here in town. Nothing more to say - just posting for my future reference.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Sweater Meets Its Match

I knit this sweater for my daughter more than three years ago. It was just a wee bit big for her at the time. Finally, it fits. Mostly. Overall, it is not a great fit - too wide everywhere. But, if I wait until the width is right, the length will be far too short. That's the story for everything I make this girl - start with a small size and add a whole lot of length. I'm not adept at altering knitting patterns yet (and was really clueless three years ago).

Sweater, skirt and top

So why have her wear it if it isn't a great fit? Because I can't let a hand-knit sweater just go without wearing! Maybe that's crazy. But that's me. I actually think it looks better on her than it does in the picture, but still not great.

Top and skirt

To make it wearable, my daughter needed some coordinating clothes. She initially requested a jumper to wear with it, but I didn't find any fabric that I liked for a jumper. Instead, we went with a peasant-style skirt and surplice top.

The skirt is the Can-Can Skirt without the ruffles. You can't see it in the picture, but the very top tier (with elastic) is the same fabric as the bottom tier.

Surplice Top

The top is a modification of Kwik Sew 2918. The edges are finished with bias binding.

Truthfully, I like the outfit better without the sweater, but at least there is an option for wearing it.