Saturday, June 16, 2012

80's knit dress to Chanel-esque dress Refashion

I thrifted this big huge 80's coral cotton knit dress and jacket set last year. I thought it was a good deal of material for a few dollars. I had no idea what to do with them until I saw this:
I liked the look of the dress but I thought it looked a bit too fussy. My baby girl would surely like to yank on the front tie or the buttons. So I decided to refashion the coral dress into a simplified version of this Chanel dress.
I know it doesn't look exactly like the inspiration but I actually prefer the simpler version. The steps I used to refashion this:
1. The dress was HUGE. I first washed and tumble-dried it and it shrunk a bit in width and a lot in length. I cut off 4cm from the centre front, 4cm from the centre back, 3 cm from each side seam.
2. I sewed on a black grosgrain ribbon all the way down the centre front.
3. I redrafted the neckline and then sewed a piece of black ribbed knit to form the new neckline.
4. I ripped out the pockets from the jacket and added them to the dress. Unfortunately I damaged the pockets slightly when ripping them out. You can see that they are a bit wonky. I added black grosgrain ribbon to the top of the pockets.  I used the buttons from the jacket to add to the  pockets.

I usually wear this dress with leggings. It's super comfortable. The pockets are nice features as well as essential for a mom with 2 young kids.

As for the jacket, I have grand plans to make a tunic and pants for my baby girl for the Fall. There is still plenty of material for that.

Friday, June 15, 2012

ECing a 13 month old baby

ECing this past month has been okay. I have decided not to stress myself out too much to try to catch every pee/poo. Instead, I just focused on the poo because it's easier to see the signs when she has 'pressure'. She is pretty good now in telling me she is going to poo. She points to her butt and says 'ca-ca' (poo in French) to me. It's really cute! When I see that I quickly whisk her away to the potty, take off her diaper and sit her on it. I will then present some flyers, pamphlets for her reading pleasure. Usually within 2 minutes she would poo. I have about 80% success in catching her poo. Of course if we are out at restaurants or in the car then she would poo in her diaper. But in general I think she understands that she is supposed to poo in the potty.

I did try to hold her legs up in a public restroom but she wouldn't poo/pee. Perhaps I should remember to bring the potty everywhere I go now. It's kinda a pain because it's quite big. But I guess I shouldn't complain because she is 13 months old and pooing pretty consistently in the potty already! The next thing I need to do is to remember to catch her pees after a meal. She usually pees about 10 min and 30 min after a meal. I am usually too busy taking care of my son as well to watch her too closely for the pees. My son eats more food and more slowly than my daughter.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I took my new swimsuit for a Test-swim

I went swimming with my daughter this morning in my new me-made swimsuit. It held up well enough! Now I just have to see how well it fares after a wash. Chlorine can do a real number on swimsuits.....

Now I'm itching to make my next swimsuit! I just have to figure out how I'm going to modify the Kwik Sew 2690 pattern.....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I sewed my first Swimsuit!!! Kwik Sew 2690

I sewed my first swimsuit! I'm so happy! It's one of those milestones for us sewist, please understand. I have been reading blogs about sewists who had made their own swimsuits and I had been doing a lot of thinking and fantasizing and now I have done it!

I have never liked the RTW swimsuits. They never fit me properly because of my unusually shaped body. And now after 2 kids, there are many lumpy bits in the middle front as well as back fat. RTW are usually quite expensive and I haven't seen any that are fully lined front and back. The sewing on the RTW suits are usually quite sloppy. If I want sloppy sewing, I can do that myself!! LOL!

I used Kwik Sew 2690, a pattern that I bought a couple of years back. I used a basic black swimwear fabric that has 20% spandex in it. I didn't have any Powernet lining or anything like that so I lined it with the same swimsuit fabric. I wanted it to be snug and sturdy to hold back my lumpy bits. If I had used my body measurements, the pattern envelope would have had me make a size M. However when I compared my RTW swimsuit to the pattern pieces I found that it was more a size S. So I just made a size S to assess the fit. Good thing it's a wearable muslin.

The instructions are very good (Kwik Sew patterns are known for that). The adjustments I made include:
1. I didn't use the pattern to make a swim dress. Instead, I used the pattern pieces for the lining to make the actual body of the swimsuit.
2. I didn't gather the front tie all the way. I wanted more fabric to cover my chest area.
3. I didn't gather the straps in the front. I also cut off at least 2 inches of the length of the straps because I found them to be too long for my body. I also positioned the straps in different positions than what was suggested in the pattern.

If I were to make this suit again, I will make sure that I add more fabric to the chest area as my boobs are a bit squished. I will also add foam cups to the bodice. I messed up the elastics for the leg openings so I hope next time I will do a better job at it.

All in all I'm very happy with the fit of this suit. I will sew a few more swimsuits in the future. I don't think I'll want to buy another RTW swimsuit again!