Monday, June 11, 2012

Simply sweet jumper & prairie skirts

The past two weeks have not been good for sewing.  Too busy.  I'm in the middle of another single layer feliz right now and would love to finish it this week but I'm not too optimistic.  I thought I would share some of my recently completed projects for our upcoming trip to Disney.

This is a Simply Sweet - jumper style.  The pattern, which you can purchase here, also has a halter style.  Just a warning that, in my opinion, this pattern runs big.  I made the dress in size 3/4 and the sides are still fairly loose on the girls.  I shortened the straps by about 2 inches as well.  I designed the skirt part myself so I can't speak on how the pattern runs for that portion of the dress.


Yes, I think it would look better as an actual jumper (as in - worn over a top) but the pattern itself (and many others who sew from it) use it as a summer dress.  

I loved wearing prairie skirts when I was little so I decided to create this version for the girls.


I made the all purple one first and then changed up the size of the layers for the green one. 

(These look so much cuter on the girls versus on a hanger but we haven't had time to take pictures.)

I few of you have commented that you are interested in learning to sew and have asked some questions.  Here's my advice on starting:
  • Sewing isn't difficult.  Like most everything, it's simply a learning process.  My mom taught me to sew when I was a child - around 8 years old.  Anyone can learn to sew!
  • Don't take on difficult projects too soon.
  • Be patient.  (I don't have much patience at all if that makes you feel better.)
  • Pay attention to detail.  You want to sew in straight lines and keep sides even with each other.  If something doesn't look right, don't be afraid to take out the seam ripper and start again.
  • Measure twice.  Cut once.
  • You don't need a super fancy expensive sewing machine.  I've heard some sewers have had luck with a $200 Brother machine from Walmart.  Read online reviews if you are unsure.  Check ads such as Craig's List or communities like Free Cycle.  Some older machines were built much better than today's newer versions. 
  • Fabric hoarding is real and can happen to you.
  • You don't need every sewing/crafting supply under the sun.  I would recommend a pair of fabric scissors, pins, a bodkin, a seam ripper, a measuring tape, a fabric marker and if you are going to be sewing a lot of ruffles, a rotary cutter and mat.  The rotary cutter and mat are not necessary but make life easy.  (Wait until you have a 40% off coupon to Joann before you buy.)
  • Label your fabric scissors FOR FABRIC ONLY or your husband may take them and cut through packing tape on three boxes of cribs and then you'll have to beg your mom to pick up a new pair for you because you don't have time to go to the store.

Future sewing posts
  1. My adjustments in turning the feliz pattern to a single layer dress.
  2. My measurements for a prairie skirt and helpful tips on how to sew one.
  3. My measurements and tips for a simple tank top sundress.   


Tina said...

I always love the dresses you make for the girls! So cute!

My Mom sews and I always wish I had the time to learn. Once my girls are a bit bigger, and we have the space in our house for me to have a specific area to keep my equipment/fabric, I am definitely going to give it a try!

Deanna said...

I have just started learning to sew (from the VERY basics) since Christmas when I got a sewing machine. I love your tips...and I have one of those $200 Brother machines from Wal Mart, and it has worked fantastically so far.

One more tip to add to your list: If you're brand new, like me, thoroughly read the manual for your machine. You almost can't go wrong with the step-by-step instructions!

Love the jumpers and the skirts! So cute.

Anonymous said...

Love your sense of humor, funny lady! Thanks for the advice, I've been wanting to start sewing but no idea where to begin. Your post helps a lot!

Katie B said...

It's so cool and admirable that you sew for your girls! My mom made me a poodle skirt once for a school sock hop and I thought it was just the coolest thing that my mom made it herself.

Tracey's Life said...

Can I just say you make it look so easy with all your creativeness! I love the skirts and dresses you make for the girls and they look so pretty in them. Hopefully they will look back fondly and see all the love you poured into these projects someday.

Jessica said...

Your fabric hoarding comment made me laugh! I'm trying to bust through some of my stash this summer.

I love the dresses and skirts you make for your girls! They will cherish those memories when they are older!

Charlotte said...

I ripped my very favourite dress last week straight down the middle - briefly considered just chucking it and then decided to dust off the sewing machine I inherited from my Granny (this think must be going on 15-20 years old - spent an hour hunting online for a manual!)
I now have caught the sewing bug!! Dress looks even better than before and I've just bought a pattern and some fabric to try one from scratch :)

Tinkerbellemommy said...

So cute! My dd is a skinny minnie too...for this pattern I've reduced the size a bit by cutting off .25 to .5 inch on the front and back pattern piece that goes on the fold. This reduced the "around the body part" by 1-2 inches, without changing the length of the bodice. She's 7, but I'm still making the smaller sizes because she's so slender...and this way she can wear it as a sundress without flashing anyone from the underarm area. If this is confusing, fine me in the Disboutiquer FB area, my name is Nanci. :-)

Rachel W. said...

Hey Sarah - don't forget to let people know that they re-set the TBB votes. I don't like it when you're not in first :)

Pink Apple Rose Boutique said...

These are so cute! I learned to sew as a child too and now have my own boutique. I can't wait to see your next Feliz. I've made it before without the underdress and it's so pretty!

Melissa @ Growing Up Geeky said...


om said...

Thank you, this is awesome!