First Try Zip Fly

This has been one of the skills on my list to learn that I've been dreading, and because of that it took me over a month to finish these shorts. In the end I had no reason to dread the zip fly, but I have to give major props to James McFarland, who walked me through some of the steps and boosted my confidence. My favorite quote from him is his "ten finger pins." He is a very valuable resource!

This fabric was in my stash. I used it for my runway outfits shown here & here and please be impressed with how much my photography has improved! In the end all these shorts cost me was the price of the zipper, and a button I was saving for a coat that will probably never get made. And I love these shorts. I've been wanting to add print to my closet but I want items that made sense that can be versatile and not look overworked. These shorts meld easily with the rest of my wardrobe and look much better than the athletic shorts I've been wearing day to day.

The pattern I used was Burdastyles Lace Shorts 102 I liked that they had a pleat and no cuff at the hem. I obviously only did one layer rather than with lace & a lining but all the steps are basically the same. I did not follow their directions for the zipper or the waistband, in fact their waistband made absolutely no sense which is often the issue with some Burdastyle patterns. I even ended up having to make my own zip fly flap pattern piece that wasn't included. but can we just take a moment and check out how great my butt looks in these shorts! that is a good fit there! kudos to the burdastyle team!
I figure there is always more than just one way to a sewing technique and that's where youtube came in handy! If you start looking around for tutorials I would recommend watching a tailor vs. a blogger, I have nothing against bloggers (obviously) but a tailor is gonna show you the industrial way of doing things which is going to be faster and stronger, and if there is one thing wrong with handmade it is how well it will hold up overtime.
I love these shorts, I love the length and the relaxed fit in the thighs, I think the next pair will have welted pockets in the back but all in all I couldn't be happier with the way these fit!




Frozen Elsa Dress

This is the last week of school! Adelle's class is having their last Monster Manners Party and get to watch Frozen today. She told me about it on Friday but I put off thinking about it until um...Sunday morning! I went to Walmart, yes Walmart, for costume fabric and $10 later I had everything I needed.
Wanna know how long it took me??? 2 hours! I drafted the cape pattern after the Elsa Barbie, and then used a pattern I had on hand for the dress and just lengthened it. All hems are rolled which is what really contributed to the fast time. no ironing or folding required! I think the hardest thing about this was puff painting the snowflakes onto the cape, man did it bring back high school memories!
Adelle caught me drawing the cape so she knew about that but she had no clue about the dress underneath it!
She was rehearsing conversations in her room Kid: "cool Elsa dress!" Adelle: "Thanks! My mom made it!" Kid: "Really!?" Adelle:"yea! while I was sleeping!"
It's worth all the work to know how much she appreciates it!

Basic Embroidered Tee Tutorial

I cleaned my closet out the other day, well two weeks ago on a beautiful 80 degree day. Put the winter clothes away and got the tank tops, shorts and sandals out. I was so proud of myself and then it snowed the next day, Oh, Nebraska weather!  One of the items on my Project 31 list was embroidery. I figured that Adelle would be on the receiving side of that project or a tea towel or something but I've been admiring the embroidered detail of this shirt and this one too much to pass up a new item for myself. What can I say, I'm selfish!
What you'll need:
Jersey or lightweight cotton
A sewing machine with embroidery stitches
Stabilizer (I used Sulky Easy Tear but there is also a water soluble one if you prefer)
fabric marker, or chalk
Mark your design out. You want to have a general idea of where you are going to embroider, and mirror it on the other side. I chose to do 3 embroidered lines on each shoulder seam & then an L shape on the front. Originally I was going to have the triangles following the L shape but decided that the bib look was what I wanted.
Once you're done drawing lines, pin or iron on stabilizer, depending on the kind you have. at first I was conservative with it but if your stitch misses the stabilizer you'll end up with a seam ripper in your hand and a frustrated scowl on your face! I know! So be liberal!
Make sure to leave room for your seams and hems. After you are done with your embroidery design, stitch up your shirt as Autumn's tutorial states. I forwent the neck binding and did a simple fold and double needle stitch but the options are virtually endless. I lerve this shirt and I lerve that my sewing machine performed beautifully! I'm definitely holding onto this one and making a woven shirt in the future!

The Petit Artiste Store is Open!

I'm excited to finally get to share what I've been working on for the past few months. I've really been wanting to get back into creating and selling handmade goods and kids fashion is what I love. I had a hard time really finding items that I loved for my kids, I love simple, fun patterns adult like silhouettes. I mean kids are cute already, do they really need sequins ruffles? I'm sure that people will disagree with that until you wash that sparkly dress in with your underwear and end up with a glittery butt. 
Petit Artiste is all about style and function. What's the point of a beautiful dress if a child can't run in it and get it dirty? All of my items are machine washable! ALL! They all have subtle details to them and are made to endure. I think handmade has become synonyms with "cheaply made" at least to the main stream but anyone who has ever picked up a sewing needle or even looked at a pattern know that time and thought goes into each item. Details are stitched with care.
I want my pieces to be known for their quality, you're not gonna find these items at Target! Though I do love Target! So build your child's wardrobe with pieces that you like too. Let them pick out their outfits and cringe less when it actually matches!

Easter Party

Easter is the holiday we host and this is the first year in our new house. Brett had to work but we saved him some food! We had fun getting things ready, Adelle helped me make rice krispie treats and everyone brought great food to share. I made Adelle's Easter dress from this BurdaStyle pattern but I used this collar pattern and did a zipper instead of buttons. Adrian didn't get a handmade shirt but was content with his new firetruck that makes noise. Papa Joe & Papa Phil kept glancing towards the highway looking for the real firetruck.
Brett's mom has been really sick this past month so it was great to have her here and feeling better. All in all it was a nice relaxed holiday.

Floral Maxi Dress


I am a huge Pride & Prejudice fan, as in I own the deluxe special BBC edition and watch it at least every two months! Brett quotes every line right a long with me! He's a good man! And before anyone asks the Kiera Knightley version does not count! I've always loved that time period the clean and bright home decor, the long dresses and the country manners, "I think they're charming!" -Mr. Bingley
Well I figured I need to take advantage of this maxi dress trend and wear as much P&P inspired attire as I can! I've always loved florals but it's been really hard to find them in any other type of fabric than cotton, well this dry clean only fabric was just sitting at the fabric store begging me to buy it.
When I don't have an exact idea in mind for something I always buy 4 yards, enough to make a dress just incase that's what I decide. I'm so excited to wear this dress to an upcoming wedding. Really where else am I going to wear a floral print maxi? I love the shawl effect the pattern has and nice drape it gives in front. Burdastyle had this as a mini dress or a shirt but in my usual pattern alteration I lengthened it.
I think this is one of my favorite pieces I've made this year, It's as spring as you can get without weaving actual flowers into a dress. The dry clean only aspect has me a little worried though, I just hope I don't spill something on myself. White wine only for me, thank you!

Marco, Polo Tee

I am slowly but surely diving deeper into the stripe trend. I used to fear that it would make me look bulky on top as every fashion magazine warns but I think finding the right stripe width has changed my mind.
This pattern was originally a crop top, HAHA! yea no way will you ever see me in a crop top! The 90's can keep that trend!
I lengthened the pattern which seems to be my main alteration and of course took the shoulders in a bit. I also tacked down the ridiculously bulky collar, requiring two layers of interfacing! TWO LAYERS! I tried to do it with only one but the collar piece that didn't have it on stretched like nobodies business. The one thing I will say that I disliked immensely about this pattern is the front seam. I think there could have been a better way to do that front slit with facing perhaps and maybe it's just because I didn't match my stripes well.
My favorite part has to be the cuffed sleeves, Perfect length! I used my new machine's button foot for the first time. I didn't read the manual at first and regretted it when I had to rip out tiny zigzags. After I looked back I realized I was using one tool that wasn't necessary for my type of fabric and was amazed at how smoothly it went, again through 2 pieces of interfacing on the cuff! I admit that I hugged my sewing machine, She's my new best friend! I plan on writing a review on my Singer and share a little more about it later.
Will I sew this pattern again? I might.  It tends to ride up in front because the collar is so bulky which is annoying. Maybe I'll look for a super light weight interfacing for the next time. I used a soft flannel for this shirt so I mean, of course it's bulky. I think I would want to find a different way to do the front seam as well, We shall see. I did use my glue stick to help with the collar as Andrea from Four Square Walls suggested and man, there are just some tools that you never knew you needed until you try them.