2014 Handmade Pieces: Gone But Not Forgotten

Over the last week I have seen several of my favorite sewing bloggers doing a 2014 Review post, where they post a collection of the things that they’ve made for the year.  I always read them because it’s so inspiring to see a years worth of makes all together, and interesting to read different thought processes on what they liked, didn’t like, would do differently, etc.
But this isn’t one of those posts.
Ribbet collagewm
I tried a few different times last week to write a post like this on my own but I just couldn’t.  Did you know that Chris and I went away to Bath for a weekend in June?  That our family went to Disney World this summer?  That we pulled the kids out of school for a little London Christmas skip day a few weeks ago?  I have a backlog of things that I want to post about but haven’t been able to, and every time that I start to work on re-posting things I’ve already posted…my motivation just fizzles right out.  I keep my Flickr site and my I Sew Page updated, so you could check those if you’d like to see all of my creations all together. 
BUT there are several really good things that I made in 2014 and loved but didn’t blog about for one reason or another, and I LOVED pulling this list together.  

This is not an exhaustive list, but here are ten previously unseen “makes,” in chronological order.

 1.) Liberty Debbie Birthday Dress

Liberty Debbie Dress 1Liberty Debbie Dress 8

Hannah loves this sweet dress and I do too.  It is currently in the weekly rota even though it’s winter time, and Hannah affectionately calls it the “Red Dress.”  The first time that I ever went into Liberty of London I had no intention of buying, but couldn’t leave without just a smidge of fabric, so I bought just a half meter of this tiny red and pink floral.  I hoarded it for a while and then it finally found a home with this adorable vintage Debbie Birthday Dress pattern, along with this teal ticking striped fabric.  It’s lightweight and sweet and easy.

Liberty Debbie Dress 9

I busied myself this spring/summer/fall with lots of pattern testing and tours, but there was one week where I was not working on anything for anyone else, and I cranked out six different projects that had been in various stages of completion.  These Geraniums were all from that week.
2.) Piped V Geranium
Summer Geraniums 1Summer Geraniums 2
This was one of the most worn items from our summer vacation.  I can’t put my finger exactly on what seemed to make it stand out: It seemed a little more formal so it was great for church or special dinners.  The fabric is really lightweight so it was one of my first choices when it was really hot and sticky.  Plus I loved the piping and the v-back.
Summer Geraniums 73.) The Little Anna Geranium
Summer Geraniums 17This dress didn’t get as much play during the hottest part of summer because the skirt is on the longer side and I wanted her to be as comfy as possible.  We don’t have air conditioning, lots of places don’t here, and it’s only a problem for a few weeks of the year, but those weeks seem very long at the time.  🙂

Summer Geraniums 22Little Anna Dress 3

At some point in the late summer/early fall Hannah decided/realized that this looks a lot like “Young Anna” in Frozen, and it became known as the “Little Anna Dress.”  It is now in the weekly rotation as well, but in that special place where it is sometimes worn for dress up play and sometimes worn out of the house.
Summer Geraniums 20I played with woven lace on this Geranium, striping it down the bodice and using it for trim around the edge of the skirt.  I like this dress and I’m glad it finally had it’s day.
Little Anna Dress 1
Hannah rocking the “double peace sign, open-mouthed wink,” as you do.
4.) The Rose-y Geranium Romper
Geranium RomperI got a lot of love for this romper on instagram and rightly so because the fabric is just so pretty.
I kind of winged it for this, adding about 4.5 inches of length to the Geranium cap sleeve bodice and merging it with a shorts pattern.  It has an elasticated waist and pink glass buttons down to the naval.
Summer Geraniums 14Summer Geraniums 13
I love the print on the fabric SOOO much, but it is quilting cotton, and lined, and so it was a little hot for the hottest days.  Hannah didn’t like it as much as I did because it was difficult for her to get out of and she likes to change outfits multiple times a day.  I still consider this one a success, I just wish the fabric was a lighter weight.
5.) Bird Shorts
IMG 3617IMG 4160
I made these adorable Kids Prefontaine Shorts for Hannah (left) and unfortunately they were big on her in every way.  I made a second pair that did fit, here, but the only thing that I could do with these was shelve them for next year.  I had enough of this bird chambray fabric leftover to make an old favorite though, so I whipped up some Bubble Pocket Shorts (right).  Then I meshed the Bubble Pocket Shorts pattern with the Pleated Playsuit
Bubble Pocket Pleated Rompers 3Bubble Pocket Pleated Rompers 7
I liked this playsuit a lot, it was sweet and colorful.  For some reason I cut the pockets way too big and didn’t realize it until everything was all fully assembled.  (Maybe because I was trying to finish six different projects in one week?  I think that’s it.)  But Hannah dug it.
Ham ah 66.) First Day Gardenia Dress and Tunic
These didn’t make their way to the blog because they were for the first day of preschool, and that certainly did get blogged.  But they should because they are darling.  I couldn’t decide which direction to go for a first day dress, so I made two options and just figured I’d sell the other.  
 Hummingbirds 5Gardenia Tunic 2
This is more of a tunic length of the Gardenia Dress, which I have made before here.  I went with a floral block across the bodice and the back, and then added a strip of dark chambray at the bottom in the end to give it just a little more length.  I love this one, but it wasn’t the one.  Hannah has never worn it because I planned to sell it locally in a shop, but then I changed my mind, and I still have it. (Does anyone want to buy it?  It’s a size 3T.)
Gardenia Tunic 1I ended up choosing the second version of the Gardenia, mostly because I liked the bold print that was fun and bright, where the first one was more soft and sweet.  There was a good chance that a preschool dress was going to get wrecked with paint (it did) and I thought stains might be less likely to show up on a busy pattern.
Gardenia 1Gardenia Dress 5 
Plus I think it’s gorgeous! 
Gardenia Dress 7
7.) Voila Blouses
Voila 4
The left Voila Blouse was made during that one week this summer when I made the Geraniums. 
Summer Voila 7
This was another time when my fabric choice did not serve me well.  Quilting cotton, sigh.  It’s great for Geraniums but not great for something that is supposed to be breezy and floaty and summery.
Summer Voila 1Summer Voila 1
The fit was okay but I always felt like maybe it was a little shorter than I would have liked.  So when I made it again this winter I added length all around: Longer sleeves, length on the hem and to the bottom of the bodice.  Adding length to the bodice was exactly right, but I only left about two additional inches on the bottom hem because it was starting to look a little like a nightgown.  I cuffed the sleeves to see where I wanted them to fall and decided that I loved the cuffed look, so I just tacked them down.  I also included a line of piping across the front, which I will always do with this pattern from now on because it’s just so nice.
Cuffed Voila BlouseBAB 1
8.) Hummingbird Dresses
Hummingbirds 4
I made these three sweet Baby Hummingbird Dresses to sell and played around with the details just a little.  I added a slight ruffle to the edge of the straps on the floral versions, and built a bow into the construction of the the bodice on the bird version.
Hummingbirds 3Hummingbirds 1
Also there’s the Ariel Hummingbird Dress.  Sigh.
The week before Halloween I got an out-of-nowhere and severe kidney infection.  The week of Halloween I still had the infection and I didn’t know it, I just knew that I felt awful.  Actually, on Halloween evening I was at the doctor’s office while Chris and the kids were out trick or treating with our friends.
Halloween 1Grumpy Ariel 1
Why all of the backstory?  It’s because I made this costume the day before Halloween, while Hannah took her nap.  I didn’t have great fabric to work with but I just grabbed whatever I had that looked Ariel-ish, tried to gather difficult fabric and make it lay nicely, tried to get a “shell boobies” effect for the top, tried to add more pouf to the skirt, and tried to just finish it so that I could go lay down.  It’s not great, neither of us loved it, but it worked just fine for what we needed it for, and I’m proud of myself for pulling it off under the circumstances.
But frankly I would like to put it behind me. 🙂
9.) Fabric Deer Head
You guys, I love this one so much.
Deer 2Deer 3
I saw this free pattern by Charming Doodle last spring and immediately printed it off to use at Christmas time.  I am so glad that I did.
The pattern gives you pattern pieces for plush antlers, but I already had gathered up some sticks to make twig ornaments, and when I realized that a few of the branches looked like antlers… well that was it.  I simply omitted the antler part of the instructions and sewed the rest of the deer head together.  Once it was all stuffed I figured out where I wanted the antlers, unpicked a small hole on those seams, and hot glued the sticks in.  I slipped a small piece of cardboard at the base of the neck to make sure that the deer laid flat against the wall, and wound some floral twine through it and out the top for hanging.  This thing was a cinch to make and I love it.  He’s still hanging up in the kitchen.
Deer 1Deer 5
10.) Christmas Vest
I have had the pieces for this School Boy Vest cut out since early November but Etsy orders and Christmas prep kept me too busy to do any sewing for us, and it kept being put on the back burner.  On December 23, at nap time, I decided that Jayce needed to wear this for our Christmas Eve service and I needed to pull it off.  I omitted the pockets completely (even though the pieces were already cut) just to save myself a little time.  It worked out perfectly.  I did use the back ties and it gave a great fitted look, and this charcoal striped wool fabric kept my chilly guy warm.
Vest 2Christmas Eve 13
I also was able to use this fantastic gray and white plaid that was gifted to me by my sweet April at Modern Handmade.  I laughed when I was putting it together because this was obviously a case of cutting fabric late one night while I was watching something with Chris and only giving it half of my attention.  Not only did I cut one of the pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, but there was writing on the fabric (obviously near the selvedge) that I hadn’t noticed.  But I like this detail.  It doesn’t show from the outside and no one will know that it is there but me, and for some reason I like it.  Maybe it reminds me that imperfection is okay?  When I look at it I laugh and then I think, “but look how nice my edge stitching is…”  We’ll go ahead and call this a case of looking on the bright side.  🙂

Vest 3

Here’s to 2015, recognizing the hard but good work in the past, and looking forward to good things in the future. 🙂

10 thoughts on “2014 Handmade Pieces: Gone But Not Forgotten

  1. Wow! You are amazing! I love every piece you made and Hannah is a lucky girl to have so many pretty dresses. 🙂 And I love the stick antlers on the deer head. I am going to have to try that next year!

  2. Erin, I am in awe of your work! Amazing. Seriously. I just love it all and it inspires me to stop being scared and challenge myself in the area of sewing! : )
    I just LOVE that Christmas pic of the kids. Oh my goodness, that is incredibly precious and their outfits are both perfect.
    Also, I think my favorite dress on this whole post is that hummingbird dress with the yellow and white bow. Absolute perfection in my book.

  3. So many great things. Thanks for explaining how you hung that deer head. I've had that pattern printed out for a year but never made it for that reason. Another snow day today so today just may be the day to make it!

  4. This 2014 recap was so fun to read! And such a treat – getting to see 10 previously unseen creations! Love the plaid blouse especially, and it looks so sweet on your daughter! Glad to hear you're fully recovered from your kidney infection – no fun! Looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings from your sewing machine!

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