Monday, September 9, 2013

The LBLS (Little Black Lace Shirt) and Caterpillar Hunting

It's time for another season of Project Run and Play! I'm not sure I will have the time to participate every week in the Sew Along, but I'll give it my best effort. Well, maybe not my absolute best effort, I'm in the last trimester of pregnancy and a "good enough" effort is fine by me for now. Soon my energy will be back full force and I will cringe at the idea of "good enough." That's just not my personality. Ask my husband, I know I drive him crazy at times.

In addition to working full time, I have also recently opened up an Etsy shop and of course there's the pregnancy thing (such an energy sucker!). Needless to say, my life has been busy, with some definite moments of laziness thrown in there for good measure. I'm thankful for the chance Project Run and Play gives me to sit down and document a glimpse into our "Marsh Madness" lives. More like forces me to, but as you can tell from my blog, if I'm not forced to do it, the memories will go unchronicled. How sad. We have some great memories.

Good thing Kylie remembers everything... in her opinion at least. She's such her momma's child. Mom, if you are reading this, I know you are laughing and whispering "payback" to your computer monitor. Well Kylie, let me tell you, when you are my age, your memory will start failing you and you will appreciate what I've journaled in this blog!

What a mother thing for me to say.

On with Project Run and Play...

This first week, the assignment was to remix the Popover Sundress pattern from Oliver + S.  Not only is it a simple and timeless pattern with great instructions, but it is FREE! I might have to make more of these sometime, it is a fast and straightforward sew.

This is how I ended up remixing the pattern:

My first thought was Little Black Dress, I wanted to dress it up a little. I personally love casual, but my daughters love fancy. An LBD would be a good compromise in my opinion. Sophisticated with the ability to run and play in it (See what I did there?)

My oldest, Kylie, loves texture. I decided to add lace and fringe, essentially a LBLFD. (I had to google that to make sure it didn't stand for anything inappropriate.)

After sewing on several layers of lace and fringe, my reaction was that it looked just like a lamp shade you find in your average grandmother's house. I say "average" because I'm sure there are plenty of grandmas out there with fantastic taste and would never own such a lampshade. And in case my grandma is reading this, I want her to know I love all her lamps.

So I unpicked the layers with the fringe and decided to go with only the lace. Kylie was sad, she thought the fringe was so beautiful and loved how it swayed. I might have to make an all fringe dress soon.

Halfway through the project, I noticed I was out of lace. I had two choices:
           1. Convince my husband that I had to go to the fabric store 
           2. Turn it into a shirt.

Choice 2 it was. And I'm glad I did, we will get a lot of use out of shirt and it will be easy to dress up or down.

And that's the story of how my LBLFD turned into a LBLS. (I googled that too, nothing bad!)

I love how the shirt turned out! The lace adds a fun, sweetheart element to an otherwise very simple design. I also slimmed down the cut of the dress removing most of the A-line flare. I feel this was more appropriate for a shirt.

I love it when Kylie smiles like this with her mouth opened wide! It was her signature smile as a baby and still pops up every now and then.

I am not a fan of tying straps on active little girls, so I went with fixed shoulder straps instead. I just inserted the right length of elastic into a tube of fabric that was about 3 times longer tan the elastic. I love the way it gathers, but especially love that it is an easy on and off shirt with no ties, buttons or zippers. I also thought the exposed biased tape for finishing the arm holes would look a little too casual with the lace, so I opted to use double fold biased tape that it is only visible on the inside of the shirt:

I also choose to only add lace to the front piece of the shirt. The material under the lace is the same as the rest of the shirt, just with rows of lace sewn on. The lace I purchased at Hobby Lobby came slightly gathered, I loved working with it! By keeping the back plain, I felt it would be a little easier to play outside without having as much lace to worry about snagging and tearing. This girl has trees to climb!
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Just in case you were wondering what Kylie would look like with a green mustache:

And there you have it, week 1 of Project Run and Play complete! Phew!

But I need to sneak in a few more pictures of our lives lately as I have deeply neglected this blog. Let me throw some in of our outing while we were out taking pictures of the shirt. At the same time I was snapping pictures of the LBLS, we were also all working on Kylie's Kindergarten homework: hunting for monarch caterpillars.

Here we are walking the Kansas trails on our hunting expedition. Well, by "we" I mean my dad, Jason (husband), Kylie and Eve. I am not pictured, due to the fact that I was pregnant, sweating and looking miserable in the Midwest heat.

Can you see Eve's cute little legs poking out? My dad and Jason look so manly carrying the sticker covered caterpillar cage and the 4 year old, don't they?
On the way back, both girls needed to be carried. I wish someone could have carried me, I barely made it home after our adventure.

I didn't get many pictures of Eve on our caterpillar hunt, but I wanted to point out that she practically lives in this dress. It was a dress I made for her that I never documented, yet it will probably show up in a lot of pictures because she wears it as soon as it comes out in the wash. That's successful sewing right there, when your child would live in the outfit if you let them!

Although we didn't find any monarch caterpillars, we found this fuzzy brown one which Kylie named Furry. It is now in our terrarium in a cocoon. (Apparently moths make cocoons and butterflies make chrysalises.I didn't know that. My 5 year old taught me. We think this caterpillar is a moth, so I can say cocoon.)

Finally, here is Kylie telling me to stop taking pictures: