Watercolor Floral Prefontaine Shorts

I picked up a little less than a yard of this gorgeous watercolor floral print fabric from the remnants at JoAnn Fabrics a few months ago. I had planned to make a pencil skirt with it. Though I’m sure a skirt would have been pretty, shorts are much more practical for my everyday life. I love the fabric too much to let it sit in my closet most of the year.

Watercolor Floral Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

These are made using the Prefontaine Shorts pattern from Made with Moxie. A few weeks ago I wrote a post comparing and contrasting this pattern to the City Gym Shorts pattern from Purl Soho. My first version of the Prefontaine Shorts ended up as lounge wear. I tweaked the fit and used a bottom weight fabric this time and I’m really happy with the finished shorts.

Watercolor Floral Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

On the first pair, I tried the exposed waistband option. This time, I made a casing for the waistband and added an extra line of stitching to keep the elastic from twisting. I made the size 4 again, but this time I took out about 1/2″ on the front center seam to eliminate the bunching I had on the first pair. I added a pocket facing piece to give the pocket a finished look on the inside.

Watercolor Floral Prefontaine Shorts | Radiant Home Studio

I made my own bias binding from a scrap of lightweight denim. The denim was a really dark, which would have been to much contrast for my taste, so I turned it over and used the wrong side. It looks more like a light chambray and coordinates well with the chambray top I had in mind to wear with the shorts.

Today is the last day of “Shorts on the Line” over at Imagine Gnats. I’m entering these floral Prefontaine Shorts in the contest. You can see all of the contest entries at Kollabora and vote for the ones you love by adding them to your favorites.

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Mini Southport Dress

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try the Mini Southport Dress from True Bias. I’ve been admiring all of the adult versions of the Southport Dress that have been popping up on my favorite blogs. The mini dress is just a scaled down version, designed to work with sturdier, kid-friendly fabrics.

Mini Southport Dress | Radiant Home Studio

Kelli writes patterns in pairs, first designing an adult sized garment and then a matching children’s version. I have made several Hudson Pants and Mini Hudson Pants from her patterns. The Southport Dress has been available for a few weeks, so those of you that follow True Bias have probably been anticipating the release of the mini version. Today is the day!

The Mini Southport Dress is a sleeveless, knee-length, easy-to-wear dress. The details include a button placket on the front bodice, and a combined elastic and drawstring waistband. Elastic cinches up the back waist, and the drawstring in the front adds style. The button placket construction technique is very simple, probably the easiest one I’ve ever done. After testing, Kelli made a couple of fit adjustments including lengthening the skirt (about 1/2″) and raising the neckline (just a minor amount as well).

Mini Southport Dress| Radiant Home Studio

The pattern recommends using quilting cotton, cotton voile, or linen. I was sewing from my fabric stash and decided to use some rayon challis. I’ve seen some of the adult versions sewn in rayon, so I knew it would work. The fabric drapes and gathers nicely, though it was probably harder to work with than the recommended cotton. I had to sew and press very carefully to get straight seams on the bindings and placket. Rayon can be a bit more slippery, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner.

Mini Southport Dress | Radiant Home Studio

As usual, Kelli’s instructions and illustrations are excellent. She includes plenty of information for newer sewists, while keeping the instructions clear and concise. The illustrations are clean and easy to understand.  For beginners, there is a sew-along for the adult version of the dress with step-by-step photos of the construction. There will be a couple more posts, specific to the mini dress, coming soon.

Mini Southport Dress | Radiant Home Studio

It was a pleasure to test this pattern and I highly recommend it! I’m hoping to make one for myself soon (I might copy Teresa’s classic navy version!) Check instagram #minisouthportdress to see more finished versions of the dress. Also through July 3rd, the pattern is $2 off with coupon code LAUNCHWEEK!

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Lace Wiksten Tank Dress & Leggings

This lace Wiksten Tank dress has been cut out and and sitting in my sewing room for weeks. Since we are packing up to move, I have been trying to wrap up some of the unfinished projects that are sitting around my sewing room. It took me a while to get around to buying lining material because I didn’t know exactly what I needed. I was looking for something with a little bit of stretch, like the lace. But after a couple of trips to the fabric store with no luck, I just ended up using a high quality muslin because I couldn’t find exactly what I was imagining.

Lace Wiksten Tank Dress & Leggings | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve made several Wiksten Tank tops (here an here), but this is the first time I have tried the dress length. I’ve worked out all of the fit issues around the shoulders, so the fit of the dress is great. I usually cut a small, grading down to an x-small in the shoulders. I also take about an inch out of the back neck line for my narrow shoulders. I cut this dress the same way, making two layers and binding them together at the neck and armholes. I kept the dress in two separate layers at the bottom hem. I also added a channel at the waistline and threaded through 1/4″ elastic to add some shape.

Lace Wiksten Tank Dress & Leggings | Radiant Home Studio

Though the dress fits the way I like at the arms and shoulders, it ended up being just a tiny bit too short for comfort. I’m constantly bending down to take care of kid stuff, so a couple more inches of length would be better for me. I had some brown ponte knit fabric along with a leggings pattern set aside for another day. (Pattern is McCall’s 6360.) It seemed like the perfect thing to layer under this dress, so I went ahead and made those too. The fit on the leggings is just okay. Since I only wear them as an under layer, the fit issues at the top will always be covered up.

Lace Wiksten Tank Dress & Leggings | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, I’m happy with the dress and I think it will make a great layering piece. The Wiksten dress pattern is quick and easy, and the instructions are clear. I’m still not sure how I like the leggings (I feel like they make me look shorter…maybe a lighter color would be better?), but they work for now. The pattern was fine (especially since I bought it on a $1 sale…), but I wouldn’t use it again without making some changes to the fit.

What do you think? How would you style this dress so that it is practical for a busy mom? Can I wear it with skinny jeans?

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Darling Dollies from Felt Sew Good

A few months ago, I wrote a little review of the book Felt Sew Good. I bought it for my 8 year old for Christmas. Since then, she has made dozens of gifts for her friends, starting with the smaller projects and working her way up. We have several pretty felt birds decorating our shelves, and many of her friends have received little felt animals and woven heart pouches as she has had time to make them.

Darling Dollies - Felt Sew Good | Radiant Home Studio

A couple of weeks ago, she decided to tackle one of the bigger projects—a Darling Dollies felt doll. It was beautiful when she finished and I’m so impressed with how well she managed on her own. I helped with a small bit of stitching around the hair, and I added the face. Other than that, she did everything else on her own!

Darling Dollies - Felt Sew Good | Radiant Home Studio

Darling Dollies - Felt Sew Good | Radiant Home Studio

In the process, my (almost) 5 year old daughter started coming in to the sewing room every day to admire the progress. She kept asking if we could make one for her next. Little did she know, we were planning this one as a gift for her upcoming birthday. I’m pretty sure it was her favorite gift! She hugged the doll and did a little happy dance when she opened it.

Darling Dollies - Felt Sew Good | Radiant Home Studio

I encourage you to let your children experiment with sewing. They can do a lot on their own once they have some experience. Felt is such a great material to use for practice. It is inexpensive and easy to find. I also wanted to add, please don’t be discouraged if your 8 year old isn’t ready for a project like this yet. I start my kids early, working on simple embroidery and hand stitching when they are 4 or 5. This doll is the result of 3 or 4 years of regular practice and observation, plus her natural love of making. Start with something simple and learn something new every day!

Darling Dollies - Felt Sew Good | Radiant Home Studio

P.S. If you are interested in purchasing this book, I’d appreciate it if you use my affiliate link!  Felt Sew Good: 30 Simple & Stylish Felt Projects

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Sashiko Dress & A Little Update

We’ve been busy buying a house and trying to get moved. The new house is just across town, so we have a few weeks to get things painted and updated before we move in. If my posts are more sparse than usual, now you know why! Hopefully, I’ll be back with renewed creative energy, along with some home and do-it-yourself projects in addition to the sewing posts.

We owned one other home for a short time because it was better than the available rentals. Besides that little duplex, this is the first home we’ve owned and the first space space where I have had complete creative freedom. I hope I can share some of my ideas here as I work to make a cozy, modern, handmade home.

It’s time for another tote bag upgrade post, but between the move and a poorly timed Memorial Day volleyball jammed thumb incident, I’m not really on schedule this month. I’ll have another one soon…

Free Sashiko Pattern Download | Radiant Home Studio

In the mean time, I have a post over at the Oliver + S blog to share with you! Before I injured my thumb, I finished a Sashiko stitched Hide-and-Seek Dress. I’m sharing my process and some tips for adding Sashiko to your kids clothes.

Tessellation Quilt Block | Foundation Paper Piecing | Radiant Home Studio

Also, my paper piecing tutorial was featured in a “new-to-me” digital magazine called Kindred Stitches. The June issue is all about quilting. You can download a free issue on their website, if you would like.

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