The bumblebee is complete: an Alabama Chanin inspired toddler Halloween costume…

Version 2

Last time I wrote here I was about to begin making a bumblebee Halloween costume for Mini.  I didn’t get a change to write again while working on it until a day or two ago and opted to just finish everything first instead so that I could try for a photoshoot before the weekend.

IMG_1237

 

It went as planned except for the wings.  Instead of using wire and pantyhose I ended up sandwiching super sparkly vinyl sheets together, and I am pleased with the result.  If making them again I’d probably change the design slightly, but I definitely prefer them to the wire frame sort for this particular costume.  The sparkle is great for bee wings, I think.  Anyway, the vinyl stuff had adhesive, and I stuck it to some Tyvek for extra strength.  I’d have used black craft foam sheets if I’d planned better, but I hadn’t purchased any.  For my own costume I ought to, because larger wings will droop too much otherwise.

The bodysuit and bolero were easy thanks to plenty of practice.  I’m glad I found out about Alabama Chanin in time to use the techniques for baby clothes!  I think that it makes the costume much more special.

 

Inspiration:

 

Details:

Progress and plans

I just completed the last few centimetres of binding on the poppies bodysuit, and the appliqué stitching is all done too.  Today I’ll be able to construct the bolero, and I’m still on target to complete the outfit for the last predicted nice weather which we’ll be having this weekend.  The plan is to go to a pumpkin patch for photos.

IMG_1788

Meanwhile, I’ve been considering Halloween costume ideas.  I had nothing, but yesterday I was looking at the bees on a blanket that I made for Mini recently, and the idea of a little bumblebee suddenly seemed nice.  I think it’ll be a great costume for a toddler.  I’m starting to plan it in my head and figure it may involve black and yellow tulle, some kind of black pleather for a stinger, wire and pantyhose wings, yellow and black T-shirts A. Chanin-ed into a bodysuit, pom-poms on a headband, and black tights?  Maybe a few fake flowers?  We’ll see.

This is the blanket.  It’s just one of those no-sew fleece things.  I saw the fabric and gave in to the cuteness.  :shrug:

IMG_0248

I carefully cut the two layers and then fringe strips to tie.  It was really quick, and Mini likes it a lot.

IMG_0189.JPG

IMG_0247

That same day I also impulsively grabbed a yard of cheap (97-cent/yard) vinyl that looked cute to make a little rain coat.  I’d been meaning to make a mini-cloak-coat, like mine, for her.  I tackled that and made the pattern right away.  The raincoat is all cut out, but I didn’t sew it up yet.  After all, I doubt she’ll actually use it until spring.  I’d like to make a wool version too, but I haven’t found a large enough thrift coat to cut up yet.  I’m hoping for red, but maybe I’ll find some pretty shade of some other colour.

Time now to sew a little!

 

Autumn Alabama Chanin style bolero & bodysuit set for baby…

I have such a backlog of post topics!  There are folders of photos ready for the text and plenty of text waiting for photos.  Heh.  I’m working on it.  For example, I plan a bunch of cycling review/information posts, and we had a great test yesterday by biking from northern Westchester all the way to Manhattan!  Today I’ll write about the project that has been occupying me for the last two months or longer.  Now I’m nearing the end, finally, and part of the delay has been that I worked on completing basic bodysuits also so that Mini had more to wear.  (Not to mention that I didn’t want her to outgrow what I’d cut out before I even sewed it all!)

Orange is not usually I colour I like at all, but I have been drawn to it lately and find it compliments Mini’s colouring.  I decided to get several T-shirts in oranges and yellows to use for her wardrobe.  While I did that and cut them up in the summer fall has now arrived, and the ensemble I’m working on seems perfect for the season.  I made a stencil (quite quickly and roughly) of poppy seed pods, but our maple tree now shows me that a Japanese maple leaf motif would have been wonderful.  One day I’ll take time to create stencils which seamlessly match together and work well for stitching, but in this case I could get away with a poorly thought out one for tiny pieces.  I’d first thought about using stencils I already had, but I couldn’t put off the poppies for such lovely colours.

IMG_9592

IMG_0236.jpg

 

Now I have only a little stitching left on the final piece (sleeve) before I can construct the bolero.  The matching plain lighter orange bodysuit is nearly complete with just a little binding left to sew.  I’m hoping to use the set for photos this weekend.

Here are some shots to show the other onesies:

 

In Queue

Just a quick update…

I took some time lately to simply cut out a bunch of patterns to have queued and ready for sewing.  This means I haven’t yet finished the lavender basic onesie, but once in a while I rather have a line-up to keep me focused instead of hit by too many next project ideas at once (especially the kind I cannot work on now.)

There are four wrap dresses: in Buddhist monk orange, dandelion yellow, wine red, and pale tan.  This takes a lot of “yardage,” so I needed to shorten or narrow them depending on the t-shirt.  They are the most versatile in size but cannot yet be worn, so I’ll work on them last.  One is the older a-line dress with sleeves and was cut out months ago.  That is meant to be a very embellished two-layer dress sized for later on, and it is of dark and lighter blue.  There are two basic spaghetti strap onesies: pumpkin orange and grey-heathered wine red in a current size.  I was able to fit an enlarged bolero in pumpkin too.  I’d hoped to use it over the pale tan, but there wasn’t enough.  I may find another suitable layer though.  (I sadly messed up when placing and cutting a pixie hat from the remaining pale tan.  Waaah!)  Lastly are two dress-onesies: deep red and a sky blue.

I have a lot to sew now!  It is funny to me that I have yellow and orange, because I have always disliked them strongly.  Maybe not always, because I do appreciate them on certain other people, but I avoid them myself.  Anyway, it’ll be fun to make these for Mini and see her being cute in them.

IMG_0210

I have also selected photos for queued up blog posts that I’ll get to eventually.  😉  They vary in nature from gardening, sewing, nursery items, cooking, or home improvement.  I’m working on it!

The lavender onesie:

IMG_0276

Alabama Chanin baby bolero: completed

It’s entirely complete!

IMG_4423

I’ll need to grade the pattern a bit larger now.  It fits but rather snuggly.  Gah.  She grew a lot since I began!

IMG_4392

That’s all.  I just wanted to share better photos of it.  The next few days are a tad busy for me without leaving much sewing time, but I hope to complete a few basic onesies soon before another bolero or anything else.  I’m also really thinking about some dresses and outerwear for myself, but that’s not so realistic.

Nearly done! (Progress)

I’ve been so slow with this little Alabama Chanin style baby bolero.  It was supposed to be a quick project, ha!  In reality I only pick it up for a few minutes at a time every few days if I have a chance, so I shouldn’t be surprised that it took probably a month (like everything seems to.)  Also, it has the time consuming reverse appliqué.

Soon (I hope) I’ll be done and have nice modelled photos, but for now here is a peek:

IMG_0273

Baby bolero Alabama Chanin style

I’ve also cut out some simple onesies that truly are fast to stitch.  For these the worst part is pinning on the binding and the decorative stitch for it.  Even very small T-shirts can fit this pattern until Mini grows some more, so I was able to thrift a few very nice colours.  I can carefully fit a bolero jacket too most times!  (She grew overnight from 28,5″ long to 30″ so I am afraid I may be needing new patterns again.)  With the appliqué and thickness of layers I found the bolero could use more width in the sleeves and perhaps to be lengthened too?  The pattern is a few months old and this is the first time sewn, so perhaps she is just bigger too, but I had tried to plan ahead of that.

For this bolero, which was supposed to be oh so quick, I roughly drew a design to reverse appliqué.  I’ve found a Sharpie works best for me most times and will not venture into fabric paints for a while.  This pattern did not make an ideal stencil for such stitching and cutting, but I can work with it.  I’ll improve it.  For now it was haphazard, and I also free hand drew random circles to fill the voids a little.   I tried to let loose and not plan ahead like normal.  This means I see less than ideal placement now.  Sigh.

IMG_0267

This time I felled the seams, but it becomes very bulky with the layers involved.  You may notice that the pattern pieces look wonky.  I should fix the arms?  Bleh.  So much for copying ready-made clothes for patterns.

The lavender onesie is almost as complete now as this jacket with a few minutes of stitching, hah!  I’m using pink thread for it.  The fabric colour doesn’t show well here at all, but eventually I’ll take decent photos.

That’s all for now!

 

 

Two completed dresses! (More Alabama Chanin for babies.)

IMG_2919

Look at me!  I’ve been posting and I’ve finished two little dresses!  Yesterday and today Monday and yesterday I even altered some patterns and cut out a couple more pieces to have them queued up for sewing.  (However, I probably haven’t cleaned quite as much as usual or put away any laundry all week, oops.)  So, I was working on the pink wrap dress that only had a tiny bit left to stitch, and that is done.  Let me write in more depth about it…

The pink dress was made as a test for my own, conveniently used scrap fabric, and will be nice for Mini to wear once she is done crawling.  It did work out well in jersey, and I don’t need to change anything about my pattern.  Hers could do with less width in the front panels, and I already made a new pattern piece to eliminate an inch.  Otherwise I love this little dress!  I even like the dusty pink now.

Here are some of the me-sized original versions of the dress as it progressed.  It began as a loose tunic initially, then I made a longer dress with more fullness and sometimes a belt (not shown,) and I turned it into a more fitted and flared medieval inspired dress before finally getting to a more form fitting wrap version recently.   The photos aren’t too good with wrinkled fabric and a less shapely mannequin, but they’ll have to do.

It was fun to do a more elaborate (yet simple without embellishment) dress than the a-line t-shirt style I’d been getting bored of.  I think the design is really cute and more unique and worthwhile to put the work into.  Of course it takes longer at every step and requires so much fabric that most t-shirts cannot be used to make it.  Sigh.  It seems that every shirt I grab, thinking “gorgeous colour, yes, this one!” is too small.  It’s disappointing.  I’ll need to seek out some really big shirts and can’t wait to get back to the thrift store.  Thus I also worked out a new pattern and tried it.  I completed the first of that style bodysuit-dress today  yesterday too!

I really love this one!  The grey is lovely and with the A.C. type stitching looks so interesting.  I’m looking forward to getting Mini into it and hopefully making more to fill out her wardrobe.  It’s hard to sew fast enough though.  After making this test one I’ve discovered little things to change about the shirring.  It can easily be eliminated to fit into more thrift Ts too.  This pattern eats up a lot of “yardage” too, so this is important although I prefer a little more width personally.   Upon trying it on her for a photoshoot I now know that the dress portion must be shortened more for crawling.  Drat.  I already cut out the next dress, and I hope she’ll be able to wear it before growing.  The entire point was to have things to wear now, so ugh…

I’ve cut another out in deep red and also squeezed in pieces for a matching bolero.  I used blue-grey scraps to make the bolero two layers.  Now I’m in the middle of cutting a scrolling stencil to use on it.  I’ll do a running stitch and reverse appliqué and outer felled seams?  Although, after cutting the stencil more I’m considering using a different one.  Once that is settled I’ll baste the layers together and get to the fun.  Here is the way I fit the pattern pieces onto the T-shirt:

 

I don’t have any more photos so, in the interest of actually getting to post this, that’s all for now.