Thursday, August 30, 2012

Luka Hoodie: Disaster Averted (Mostly)

This month's SFB sewalong pattern at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy was the Luka Hoodie, notably labeled as an "advanced" pattern. I don't really think it required advanced skills so much as advanced reading comprehension. Or maybe it should have just been labeled, "Don't undertake while you have small children crawling on you, pulling on your legs and crying while you're trying to understand the directions."

Luka hoodie--it almost killed me

At first I was excited about this pattern (even though the temp is still in the 90s here), imagining what nice soft knits I'd make it in. Then I read the pattern and saw it calls for wovens because it's not meant for stretchy fabric. Huh. That is not at all what I envision when I think of a hoodie. But, ok.... So, I decided to use some fabric that Will had picked out back when I bought the Backyard Michael Miller fabric for his Henry shirt. Prior to actually making that shirt, I thought I might actually make TWO Henry shirts. Bwa,ha,ha,ha! Anyway, Will's selection was a construction-themed yardage, and of course, I knew he'd say "red" if I asked him what color he wanted to go with it, so I got some burgundy corduroy from JoAnn's--the closest I could find to red. I actually really like how the color combo turned out.

So, why this thing almost killed me.... I was doing fine with this pattern, even thinking, "This isn't so bad, it must just be "advanced" because it has so many parts....." until I got to the the step just after  the front panels are sewn to the front and the lining. I read the directions (maybe not well? I'm still not sure because I still don't know exactly what the directions were saying to do in this part), and sewed from the end of my arm to the bottom of the hoodie, rt arm lining to rt arm lining and rt front arm to rt front arm. That made sense to me since that's how I've sewn jackets with lining before. I then sewed the other side incorrectly (the arm to front panel instead of to itself--who would have gussed they would match up exactly in length??). So I had to rip that out, but then got all 4 arms/sides sewed up successfully. And moved on to the next step, and couldn't make heads or tails of it. Then realized that I'd screwed something up in the previous step and wasn't supposed to sew all those arms/sides down. Hmmmm.... I thought, well, no matter. I'll just sew up the bottom and leave a hole for turning and topstitch it shut. I pin it all around as a test, and it seems like my idea will work. So I do that, and then spend a good 10-15 minutes pulling all the hoodie through my tiny hole only to realize it wasn't going to work. Because it was already sewn together at the hood, the hoodie looked like it was eating itself like an ouroboros. Arugh!

 

So, I was forced to get out the seam ripper and tear the bottom out. After pondering on it for a night, trying to figure out how I could avoid seam ripping out all those side seams I'd put in (it probably would have been easier, but I have some mental block about seam ripping, it seems), I realized I could just turn everything right side out properly and then put a band around the bottom to finish it and just turn the sleeves up and topstitch them together like I'd done for the boys' blazers.

So, I made some not-bias double-fold bias strips, and added that. I figured a little extra length wouldn't hurt anyway, since the SFB patterns tend to run so short. I then decided to add the same bands to the sleeve ends as well for a bit of contrast. They were a major pain to get sewn on since the fabric had no stretch and the band was 3/4" wide. I accidentally caught both sides of the sleeve several times and had to rip. Don't look at the inside of the bottom hem--I fouled up which side to sew on first, and ended up with my stitching showing through on the lining side--arrgh! But, as per usual, no seam ripping. I don't care enough and just wanted to get done already. But hey, the plus to  adding the bottom bands was that I did manage to make my own alteration, when I hadn't been able to think of anything. Lemons into lemonade?

So, I finally got it done with one day to spare. I really like how the whole thing turned out ultimately, though I don't like how it made me feel toward the end there. :-) I tried to make covered buttons--I mean, I did actually make some--but they were too small for this (I was just using some I had on hand from the thrift store), so I didn't use them and instead remembered these cute car buttons I'd gotten a while back. I thought they matched the wheeled-theme of the novelty fabric well.

Car buttons

I am pretty happy with how it looks, though Bil and I agree that if I did another one, it would look better to do the sleeves in the main fabric too and leave the novelty fabric just on the pocket and the hood. Time will only tell if Will will like it. He told me I needed to take off the car buttons because he didn't like the colors and wanted just red cars.

Secret pocket

Hoodie detail

How does it feel to wear a hoodie when it's 90 degrees out?
The expression you get when you bribe your child to wear a hoodie when it's 90 degrees out.

In all, I'd say I don't think this pattern is hard; I think the instructions are just not written very clearly, especially for joining everything together. Even after re-reading several times (AFTER I realized I'd screwed up), I still couldn't figure out what they were talking about. Maybe the authors will issue a revised few steps in the errata section now that they've heard the directions are less than clear. I think pretty much everyone is having the same problems. I know there were at least a couple of actual mistakes I noticed in the directions, which Stacey listed in her blog post.

Found a treasure in the yard
Found a treasure in the yard!
What should I do with this?
Hmmm....what should I do with this?
I know--the the secret pocket
I know--the secret pocket!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Starting Over

This week I had a full schedule of meetings and work needing done at school, so the boys started daycare on Monday. Soren started back with the same lady who kept him last year, and then he'll move over to CRBD with Will after Labor Day. We are thrilled to have secured him a spot there finally. Some people wait a year or more before getting in.

It was a tough week, to put it mildly. After the end of last week (which I still need to write up and post--it must go down in the repository), Soren wasn't feeling good when he started daycare, still very rashy and uncomfortable, so I'm sure that didn't help, but I think he pretty much cried the whole day. It got worse and worse at drop off as he realized what was happening after the first day. Lisa said she was finally able to put him down and he'd play for a little bit on Friday. As he has started doing "better" with her, though, he's been worse at home the last couple of nights. He goes to sleep ok, but then wakes up around 2:30 and just wants to nurse all.night.long. He usually does wake up sometime in there, but he just nurses and goes right back to sleep, no fuss, no muss. What he's done the last couple of days is nursing and tossing and turning from 2:30-6:30 or so. It's awful. He wakes up completely and fusses, disturbing everyone else, and he wallows on me constantly, meaning I can't get to sleep since he wakes me every minutes. I am hoping whatever is going on passes very quickly. This is what Will was like, and I just don't think I can handle that level of sleep deprivation again. I hope this isn't his version of reverse cycling and the new normal. I'm hoping it's just an adjustment period thing... I am trying to meditate on this Honest Toddler blog post, remembering how scary and lonely it must be for a baby who is just starting to realize that he (and I) is an individual.

Will has done OK with going back to school. He was so excited on the first day, he barely even said goodbye. He was just super-excited to be getting to see his friends, especially Mataysia and his teachers from last year. They are all his "best friends," of course. Reality started setting in on Tuesday, and he clung to me and had to be peeled off and begged to "stay home with you, Mama." Very sad. I know he's in good hands and does enjoy himself. It helps assuage my guilt to pick him up in the afternoon and see how much fun he's having. Unlike Soren, who has still been screaming when I pick him up. :-(

I had to attend a school function for the incoming students and their parents on Friday night, and the results were pretty terrible at home. Soren went to sleep soon after I left, but woke up after not-very-long and then screamed for the next couple of hours. I guess he finally gave up and quieted down just a little while before I got there. Everyone was quiet happy to see me. I'm glad I have the day off to spend time with them today. Sunday is going to involve more separation, though. Ugh.

I surely do home this stage passes quickly. Going back is so hard.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cousin Camp: Day Three

On Sunday, the crew was noticeably more grumpy, and we had some squabbles before breakfast even started. In fact, I elected to send Will on to church early with Papa to keep him and Ella separated. After church and a yummy lunch, we got to work on the kids' pillowcases. We'd planned to do hand- and footprint art with fabric paint on a pillowcase (made by me!) for each of them to leave at Granny & Papa's house. It was much harder than planned, and Ella had 3 print "bugs," Will had 2, and the babies only got one a piece. Poor Soren's pillowcase just has a bee handprint and not even his name or the year! It wasn't exactly "youngest child syndrome" so much as I had no one to help me take care of my kids since Bil didn't go to Cousin Camp.

CCDay2g

After the pillowcase art was finished, we got the kids dressed back in their Cousin Camp shirts so we could go visit Great-Granny Weaver in the nursing home. Notice Soren's onesie in the pictures above--the letters started falling off almost as soon as we put them on, and at this point, there had been massive loss.* The state of his shirt is a good reflection of the state of the kids' attitudes at this juncture in Cousin Camp 2012. Fallen apart and getting worse by the minute.

CCDay3b

We loaded up everyone in the million-degree heat and went to see Great-Granny Weaver. Poor little Aubrey fell asleep in the car and was so zonked she slept through the entire thing! I sure wish I had a heavy sleeper!! As you can tell from the pictures, everyone was pretty grumpy by this stage of the game--at least mine were--and then we said goodby to Ella and Aubrey, who left straight from the nursing home for home.

The rest of us went back home, packed up quickly, and I took off with the boys. They both konked out by the time we hit Plato Road, I think, and then slept soundly till we got home. Will woke up and was very sweet and happy to see his Daddy. I was afraid he'd be up till 11 since he'd had such a good nap, but--testament to how exhausted he was--he fell asleep about an hour after he got home!

So lots of fun times and no major catastrophes for CC 2012.We are thankful to Granny and Papa for hosting us and to Granny for taking care of all the food supplies and cooking and to Aunt Jana for planning crafts and activities.

*I don't know for sure, but I suspect what happened with Soren's shirt is that I didn't prewash the onesie before we used it. Will's bugs and letters seem to have stuck without problem, but the girls' shirts had some loss (also not prewashed), and Soren's almost didn't stick at all.

Link to Day 1 and Day 2.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cousin Camp: Day 2

Cousin Camp Day 2 kicked off with Granny's yummy oatmeal pancakes in "bug" shapes embellished with blueberries and strawberries. I put "bug" in scare quotes because our attempts at shapes required a lot of imagination on the eater's part. The batter is just too thick to come out through a squeeze bottle, so it was just a matter of pouring it into a shape. I thought my butterfly was somewhat recognizable as such (if you knew what it was supposed to be), but I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Jimmie is responsible for the caterpillar.


CCDay2a_resized

After the buggy breakfast, Aunt Jana read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the kids, they did a bug adventure hunt and brought a grasshopper in to analyze under the microscope, made butterfly marble paintings, and read about bugs with Uncle Jimmie.

After some waterplay outside, the kids were ready to lay down for a while, and they watched Diary of a Worm (or Diarrhea of a Worm, as Will called it!) and ate Worm & Dirt Pudding. Will ate the gummy worm but wouldn't touch the pudding. Ella enjoyed it for both of them and kept trying to get at Aubrey's too, but we protected it so Aubrey could have hers after her nap.

CCDay2b_resized

The kids enjoyed Granny & Papa's tiny kiddy pool more in the afternoon, as well as fighting over who got to sit in Papa's nice new captain's chair. The babies got some quality time with Granny.  And the older kids enjoyed some grape caterpillars.

CCDay2c_resized

Aside from the bloody eyes (thanks to Jana, who was cheap and brought squirt icing she already had open, which happened to be red), I thought these came out pretty cute, and fairly similar to the one we pinned on Pinterest. Will & Ella inhaled these--I think we used at least a pound of grapes, and they ate them all!

CCDay2d

Uncle Jimmie took the older kids to pick some veggies from the garden. We decided they are still a few years away from being good farmhands. We realized that we forgot to do the traditional weigh-and-measure on the door, so we got that done and then decided we better get the official Cousin Camp group picture taken before the lack of sleep started catching up to everyone, so we changed them into their newly minted Cousin Camp shirts. Getting them to stay still for the pic was very like herding cats, but we got some OK ones with everybody at least in the frame.

 CCDay2e

Jimmie, Jana, and I worked on cutting up and frying tons of okra to have for supper along with our "worms and bug burgers" (hamburgers and hotdogs). It was good, but somehow we ended with a whole cookie sheet left over!

CCDay2f

We had homemade "fly ice cream" (mini chocolate chips) for dessert. Will loved it so much he couldn't wait for a spoon. When it got dark, we gave the kids fireflies to play with--another Pinterest idea. We decorated emptied Mountain Dew bottles with wings & antenna and put glow sticks inside. They turned out pretty cute, and the kids had a good time with them. Aubrey loved hers so much she slept with it!

They had a good day of lots of fun without too many meltdowns, although I do recall that I was getting very close because I couldn't get Will or Soren to settle down and go to sleep!

Link to Day 1 and Day 3 .

Friday, August 10, 2012

More Tiny Blazers!

OwlToddlerBlazer

I ordered fabric to make fall versions of the Melly Sews Toddler Blazer for Soren & Will. Matching, of course, because I want to give them plenty to talk to their therapists about someday. I love the owl and brown corduroy combination. It looks just how I pictured it in my mind! Very fallish (and so very, very inappropriate for our current weather).

I decided to assembly-line these instead of making them individually. I think I was right that it went faster, but it was also sooooooo boring. I was really sick of working on these by the end, since I had to make everything 4 times because of the linings. Ugh.

Tiny Toddler Blazers! 3T and 18 mo

The only thing I did differently on these jackets from the first one were to add a welt pocket on Will's (sorry, Soren! If you're not big enough to use it, I'm not putting it on there!) and to conquer the buttonholer on my machine--I only put a snap on the spring one.

Thanks to Aunt Jana taking Will to the Science Museum without me last Friday, I was able to finish these up except for the buttons/holes, which I was able to do on Sunday (this time thanks to Granny Weaver, who kept Will over the weekend so he could go to VBS in Duncan).

I somehow managed to select dry-clean only buttons, but hopefully they'll hold up...

Melly Sews Toddler Blazer

Will was very displeased with me about something prior to this "photo shoot," and I only got him to agree to put on the jacket by refusing to put water in his kiddy pool till he did. Poor thing. More fodder for his therapy sessions. Also pictured is his purse, which he alternately calls his "lady purse" or his "pirate purse." It's a garage-sale purse I bought intending to use the leather to make Soren some soft-soled sandals, but Will absconded with it immediately. I asked him if it was his "man-bag" and that's when he corrected me that it was his "lady purse." Then he decided it was a pirate purse to store his "pirate stick" in (little pirate dagger someone gave him at the garage sales). Anyway, I can't blame him for the grumpiness with this awful heat!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Colette Iris: Review

So I kept seeing the Iris Colette shorts popping up during imagine gnat's Shorts on a Line competition and elsewhere, and the reviews kept mentioning how easy they were, and I am really, really hard up for shorts post-pregnancy. One thing that no one ever told me about having kids is that I would no longer be able to wear my clothes more than once (and sometimes not even for a whole day). Anything I wear inevitably ends up spit up or snotted on, used as a human napkin, or as a towel to wipe muddy hands. And those are just the less disgusting accidents my clothes see daily. All that say, I really needed some more shorts.

During the World's Largest Garage Sale, I picked up a cute button-down chambray tunic that Jana suggested would like good with red shorts. I then saw a pair of Iris shorts made up in red and decided I would give it a whirl.

Iris Shorts
Crazy eyes!

The PDF pattern: Instant gratification girl that I am, I opted for the PDF version of the pattern. I will say, this was NOT my favorite PDF to put together. You have to print 16 sheets and trim them all down and then tape the resulting rectangles together that gives you one giant sheet with all the sizes on there. Now that I've seen how Sis Boom does their PDFs (all pieces for each size given separately), I want all pattern makers to do the same. I realize there are far fewer sizes on the Sis Boom Jamie Dress, but I'm not sure why it couldn't be done like that all the time. Maybe for serious sewists, they need to be able to have the patterns overlaid so they can grade? Not sure. Anyway, putting the PDF together was a chore. I had a hard time matching up triangles when I got toward the end (when being off by a fraction starts to make a difference because all the fractions of inches are adding up). I am glad I did the pattern assembly the night before or I would have been sorely aggravated to waste probably 1.5 hours on assembly/pattern cutting.

Fabric cutting went considerably quicker, and the pattern showed me exactly how to lay out pieces. I ended up having quite a bit of fabric left over, probably the whole extra 3/8 yard the pattern calls for.

Pattern Instructions: The instructions were great. Although I still consider myself an advanced beginner sewer, I was able to follow the instructions easily. The only part I had any problems with at all were sewing the waistband pieces together. I never did figure out if the diagram was off or if I was just misreading/understanding, but it took me a couple of tries to get my waistband and facing pieces put together on the correct end. And then when I went to attach the waistband, I was confused about which long edge I should be stitching on, but I just trusted the pattern and matched notches, and it worked out great. Also, my zipper side-seam did not get finished, and I'm not sure where I missed the instruction for that--I guess I need to go back and read it. Overall, though, I was extremely impressed with the clarity and thoroughness of the instructions. The diagrams were also clear and helpful and plentiful enough.I loved the instructions for the waistband finishing--it came out looking so nice and neat!

 IrisShortsCollage
Unflattering pictures of rear and belly included for scientific purposes. My self-esteem sacrificed on the alter of a thorough review.

I used a linen/cotton blend from JoAnn's and a .25 cent silk shirt from the thrift store for the pocket linings. I'm not sure silk was a good choice, but I found  that adorable shirt in my "refashion/fabric harvest" pile as I was clearing the cutting table and wanted to use it.

Fit: These fit me very well with no changes. I measured as and cut a 10. Not too baggy and not too tight! My main "complaint," which is minor, is how short they are. I knew they were going to be shorter, I just didn't realize how short 4.5 inches apparently is. They looked longer in the pictures I'd seen online. I could already tell they were going to be shorter than I wanted, so I just serged the bottom edge and turned it under that amount and hemmed to try and save as much length as I could. Next time, I think I will try to add just a bit more length. I'm also not crazy about the pockets. It's a nice idea, but my giant man hands do not fit in the tiny pockets, so they are kind of worthless for me.

Alterations: None (except not hemming as instructed). I did use wonder-under 1/4 hem tape (I think it's called) to stick down the waistband facing instead of hand basting it. I learned that trick from the SFB Little Heartbreaker Pants, and it worked well!

Iris Shorts--invisible zip
 See my zipper?? No? Good!

New skills: Invisible zippers! I was very pleased with myself for getting it in properly on the first try (at least, I think it's in there right). I did go and read the Colette invisible zipper tutorial and watch a video or two to help out. I didn't have an invisible zip foot, but the regular one worked just fine. The waistband method was new to me, but worked great!

Next pair: I've already got another piece of natural linen (100% this time) and some stretch denim I'd like to use. My plan is to flat-fell those seams instead of using the pockets and add some welt-pockets in the rear. That will also help break up the great expanse that is my butt...

Overall: I'd definitely recommend this pattern! It was a bit pricey ($16), but the result is very good. I think anyone with a good sense of sewing basics can do this one. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

10 Months

Soren was 10 months on Saturday. I can't believe how fast time goes by--it's even faster with the second one, if that's possible. I wonder what 3 (or more!) must be like!

Granny & Papa Weaver  took Will for the weekend so he could go to HON's VBS. From all accounts he had a great time there, and we had a nice, quiet, restful weekend without him. Soren still wasn't feeling too great from his cold, but he was significantly less fussy than he was during the week, and I got to sleep in till 8:15 and 9 Saturday and Sunday, a feat that never happens with Will around.

We went to the Cheesecake Factory. It's funny how relaxing it is to go out to eat without Will. Soren is such an easy-going baby (when he's entertained by people-watching at least) that he's no bother to take. He got his own little plate of breads and bananas. He ate the bread, left the bananas. He seems to not care for them much (funny, it's one of the few things he doesn't like--guess he got that from me!).

Soren--10 mos

Hmmm....

 I forgot to take a picture of him with my decent camera, so these will have to suffice.

His current favorite food is cherries. He'd eat them all day long--who am I kidding, he does eat them all day long, except at supper, when he generally eats whatever we eat. He really likes cooked adult food, especially the spicy, creamy chicken enchiladas.

He is not only walking, he is fast, and he can pick up (from a squat) and carry lots of toys, most impressively, Will's light-sabers. They are light, but taller than he is!

He threw his first non-flushable in the toilet on his 10-month birthday--a bathcloth he found on the floor. We've got to be sure and keep the door shut all the time now, I guess. We had just gotten to be able to leave it open since Will's stopped getting into stuff in there!

I think he may be getting close to dropping one of his naps, or maybe it's just that we've been off our schedule lately, but Soren's been taking one really long one the last few days.

He's mostly a very sweet and happy little guy when he's not feeling bad (like this last week--new tooth + cold). When he's hurting, he gets super-clingy to me and also hard to put to sleep.

When Will returned Sunday night, both he and Soren scream-cried for about 30-45 mins before they finally settled down. It was nerve-wracking. Then Soren couldn't get settled to nurse to sleep, so I ended up rocking him to sleep which never happens. It was nice!


On Sunday, I was sewing and heard Soren laughing. I turned to find him holding a peice of fabric over his head, then he pulled it down and giggled. He kept doing it, and I realized he was playing peek-a-boo. So cute!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cousin Camp: Day One

Last week, we held our second annual Cousin Camp Next Generation: Jim Weaver Edition. Our theme was "A Very Buggy Cousin Camp." There was some fighting, lots of screaming, some crying, occasional meltdowns, but lots of fun and excitement and good cousin-time as well. On the whole, it went very well considering the kids were all doing their level best to get as little sleep as their little bodies would allow.

Jana and I had fun pinteresting ideas for our bug theme, and most of our little projects came out well (probably because we left off the ones that were more work intensive as we got further into the weekend).

On Friday, we started with a dinner of Bugs & Worms (spaghetti), heard from Aunt Jana about the rules of the weekend, and set the kids up with butterfly nets and bug boxes Papa made them based on "vintage" bug boxes that Papa Weaver made us for Cousin Camp original (not sure what year, but one of the early ones--'86 maybe?). I missed getting a picture of the bug boxes there--I will have to take a picture from home and post it. They are really cute!



CousinCampDay1''

After a lawn-mower ride to check out Papa's gardens (special focus on the little pumpkin plants sprouting--hopefully Papa will have some for the kids to pick come October/November!), the kids did their talent show. Will did somersaults (in the nude) while Soren walked and was adorable. Ella and Aubrey danced to "Flight of the Bumblebees"--they were so cute! Ella handpainted her shirt herself and did an excellent job and both had precious tutus. Will loved the girls' act, and when they finished, Aunt Rachel let him wear Aubrey's tutu and he got in on the spinning action. We decided that Will has an especially high tolerance for dizziness--why am I not surprised?

The (mama) adults spent the next several hours mostly fruitlessly trying to get the kids to go to bed at a reasonable hour, but none of them were having it when there were cousins and fun to be had. I think Will and Soren finally gave it up around 11:15 after I got very grouchy at them. Thus ended the first day.

Link to Day 2 and Day 3.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Jamie Dress: A Review

I saw the Jamie Dress featured on Sew Sweetness blog--she did a sewalong with it about a year ago. After browsing through the Flickr group of participants' dresses, I was sold on it. I purchased my pattern at Sew, Mama, Sew! and printed it. Love the instant gratification of PDF patterns! Here's what I thought of the experience.

Front of Jamie Dress--this is the 26" length
Wish I had better pictures, but since Will can't hold the camera yet, this was the best the grill, the timer, and I could do!

Pattern Pieces: It goes from XS to 3XL, and it seemed like it stacked up pretty similarly to RTW sizes. I was at the lower end of the size I picked on the waist and the high end on the bust in measurement. I used the "extra bust" accommodation line that each size has. Overall, I ended up with a pretty good fit. I did NOT size up as Sara at Sew Sweetness suggested as the others in the sewalong didn't seem to find this necessary. The PDF pieces went together really easily. It wasn't a chore at all to cut out. I really appreciated that each size's pieces were given on their own set of pages, so I could just pop over and print the 5 pages I needed instead of 20 or more of all the sizes, and no crazy lines to try and follow.

Jamie Dress

Pattern Directions: I found the pattern directions to be very clear, and the pictures very detailed and helpful. I don't think there was any step where I found myself confused. The only part I didn't like was the zipper. I put it in using the gluestick method, and I think I would have been better off using the regular way. I loved the graphic the instructions provide for selecting the length you want using your height so that I didn't have to do any measuring.

Back of Jamie Dress

Fit: I really like the fit. This style usually looks good on me, which is why I went for it in the first place, and it didn't disappoint. My bodice might could be a tad more fitted, but I can play around with cutting it down a bit next time. One of the best parts about this pattern is the fat strap that lets you hide (even your giant nursing) bra straps.

Time: I cut most of this out on Monday night and then sewed it together Tuesday, mostly Tuesday evening. I'd guess if I'd had uninterrupted time, it would have taken about 3-3.5 hours. 

Alterations: Based on the sewalong participants' reviews, I elected to preemptively cut some of the fullness from the skirt. I cut mine about 6" smaller on each panel than called for and had plenty of fullness. I also didn't have 3/4" elastic, so I had to use 3/8" that I had on hand. I don't think this did any favors to my straps, and I will definitely purchase the correct size next time.

Jamie Dress--wish I had contrast all the way around
Wish that contrast went all the way 'round!

Screw-ups: I also didn't have a 14" zipper on hand as called for, but I remembered that you can use a longer length and cut it off. I had a perfect vintage orange zipper that was 22." I ended up cutting it too short. Then I also had trouble getting it sewn in using the gluestick method, and it ended up looking pretty awful. So lazy am I that I'm quite sure it will never come out and be redone. Unless someone's closely inspecting my armpit, they won't be able to tell. I also cut out two big rectangles of my lining fabric thinking I was supposed to line the skirt too. I should really learn to read ALL the directions.

Uh-oh, zipper trouble!

Overall: I would definitely recommend this pattern, and I hope to make several more from it myself. It was very easy and quick. The only drawback to this pattern in my opinion, is that it doesn't give the option for an all-around contrast band. Considering that's the first thing everyone wants to do to this dress (me included), it would have been nice if the author had included it (or made it available online!).

Fabric: I used a great Alexander Henry print I've had in my stash since I lived in Houston. I  noticed it in one of my fabric bins recently and dragged it out thinking it'd make a cute skirt, but when I saw this dress, I knew it would be perfect for it. The teal is some weird mixed fabric from my stash as well. With hoarded fabric, thrifted vintage zipper, and on-hand elastic, that means the total cost of this dress was $9.95--the pattern price. Stash-busting and money saving--woot!

Love this fabric--from stash
Closeup of the fabulous fabric by Henry Alexander

Alterations for the future: Figure out how to do the contrast band. I actually cut out pieces to do it, but was a little bit confused, and with kids yelling at me, I completely forgot that I was going to try to figure it out.