Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back to School with Simple Life Pattern Company!

Um, where did the summer go??! It's been relatively low-key around here this year, but anytime the kids are home for an extended length of time my productivity in the studio goes out the window. The kids' ability to be next to each other without physical contact has gone out the window by now, too, so we've been keeping busy. Lots of fun activities and projects around here, but back-to-school time is fast approaching.

Here in the northeast, we don't start school until Labor Day in early September, so Miss P still has about 3 weeks of summer fun before first grade begins. She's changed her mind about a dozen times already about what she'll wear for her first day, but the recent choice seems to be sticking - the Simple Life Patterns Cora has had our hearts since we tested it a few months ago. Her main criteria was that it needed to be a dress, since dress days are a bit scarce due to her 3x-per-week gym class schedule. Our public school doesn't have a particularly strict dress code, so the strappy top is acceptable and the length is perfect.

 The pleated bodice option of the Cora is a showstopper, and it wasn't very difficult to achieve. The work-to-impact ratio is solidly in our favor on this one!

Miss P loves the bodice and the dainty straps also, but her favorite feature is the bold ruffle at the bottom of the skirt. Full twirling capability is still a must in first grade!

To be honest, Miss P's closet is full of pretty dresses, but she reaches for her SLPCo dresses nearly every time there's a special occasion. She wore a Megan dress to her pre-K graduation two years ago, and then a different Megan for her school picture day last year in Kindergarten. We both love that they fit well and are comfortable enough for school but have unique details that are just perfect for a special event or celebration. <3

Please make sure to stop by all of the other stops on our Back to School Blog Tour, and enter the awesome giveaway and linkup below. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 10, 2016

Blog Tour Time: Make Laundry, Don't Do Laundry!

Ok, so it probably goes without saying that this blog tour was a perfect fit for me! Let's just say I'm not known for my housekeeping skills, shall we?? It's a good thing I've got (one or two) redeeming qualities or my family would really be out of luck.

 To be fair, I'm actually pretty good at doing the laundry. My kids brag about my stain removal skills all the time. (They should know, they test me with incredible frequency.) Where I falter is once the clothes are washed and dried. Usually I'll fold them fairly quickly, and even sort them into piles by household member. After that, it's a free-for-all; like, a grab-your-pjs-from-your-clean-clothes-pile type of free-for-all. My kids are just about old enough to put them away themselves, so maybe this won't be a problem for much longer. My husband will just have to figure it out for himself. ;)

Enter the newly released Posey Tunic and Peony Leggings from Sew Like My Mom (SLMM) Patterns. Miss P and I tested these for Melissa last week, and we both loved them immediately. My girl, at the ripe old age of 6.5, isn't a huge fan of "matching" outfits, but this is a set that's easy to coordinate. Lucky for me it's super easy to sew; lucky for my kiddo, it's easy for her to just grab and get dressed and out the door to school on time. Suffice it to say it was easier to sew up this set for her than it was to coax reasonably normal pics from her, too.

Since I had been working from the tester copy of the patterns, I decided to reprint the final version and start from scratch with the timer going. It took me *just* over 1 hour to print, tape, cut fabric, and sew up the tunic and shorts. And that included re-threading both my serger and coverstitch, and also replacing one bent needle. Not too shabby. I sewed up the tank version since Miss P needs summer clothes, but the tunic pattern also includes multiple sleeve lengths and the leggings pattern includes capri and pants lengths (and also a super cute gathered side panel option).

My kiddo wore this to school the day after we took these pics (and she did the same with the tester version we sewed last week), so clearly she'll need some more. I love when I find a great pattern (or set of patterns) that can be used over and over. It'll be on the top of my pattern pile - and the top of Miss P's laundry pile - for sure!

Thanks to all of our amazing sponsors for being a part of this tour.

A few of the designers are having sales for the duration of the tour, so here's the codes!
George & Ginger use code MAKELAUNDRY25 for 25% off her patterns

Blaverry use code MAKELAUNDRY for 25% off her patterns

Stitch Art use code MAKELAUNDRY for 30% off patterns

Paisley Roots use code MAKELAUNDRY for 25% off patterns

These codes are good through June 12th!

Then Laela Jeyne's Emily Womens T-shirt & the Deluxe Charlotte Kids Leggings are on sale through the 11th! No code needed!

I know everyone loves a good giveaway so here's the prize packages:

Link-up Prize Package
Prize Package 1
Prize Package 2
 And please take some time to check out the other stops on the tour, too - lots of great laundry being sewn up in blogland this week. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pattern Emporium Blog Tour: Featuring the Little Honeybuns Shorts

Miss P and I were recently invited to sew up a pattern from the Aussie design company Pattern Emporium, and of course we jumped at the chance! Since we're optimistic that summer will arrive here in the Northeastern US eventually, I picked the Little Honeybuns Shorts to sew for her. Miss Legs has grown a ton in the past year, and I'm really bugged by the super short inseams on all of the girls' shorts that I keep seeing in stores. The Honeybuns have a great size range (2y-12y) and three different lengths (shorties, play, and bermuda) so I knew we'd be set for awhile with these.

Based on P's measurements, I sewed up a straight size 5 in the play length, which had about a 3" finished inseam. The overall fit was fantastic. I used one of the new printed denims from Art Gallery Fabrics (purchased from PAB Fabric Shop), which really feels more like chambray than denim to me. It has a very soft hand though, and was nice and comfy for Miss P. I used quilting cotton for the pockets (LOVE the construction of those) and picot edge bias (from here) for the pocket binding. I used just a half yard of fabric for these shorts, too, including the back yoke and patch pockets - the AGF denim is a 58" bolt. So economical!

I decided to modify the Little Miss Sweetie Pie dress to be a knit top to coordinate with the shorts, and my flutter-loving girl was a huge fan. I used the center back marking on the back yoke pattern piece to cut the knit yoke on the fold, and then just used knit bias for the neckline and armscye bindings. I did end up having to take in the sides quite a bit, but that's not completely unexpected as this pattern was drafted for wovens.

I'd like to make the top as the dress it was intended to be, but first I'll be sewing up a stack of these shorts for Miss P. The construction was fantastic and the instructions were easy and straightforward. The finished product, with the yoke, topstitching, and flat front (elastic back) waistband, looks quite professional and fits very well. I may increase the height of the waistband next time as the shorts were a bit low rise on Miss P, but she has a long torso height and is also taller than the size 5 chart. Other than that, no changes are needed at all - who doesn't love a great fitting and well-constructed pattern??

Thanks again to Kate and Marnie for inviting me to participate in this blog tour - I'm so glad we got to join in the fun! The patterns were given to me in exchange for my post, but all opinions are mine (and Miss P's). Please make sure to stop by the other blogs on the tour this week and next, too. I can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to!

This is what our photoshoots have looked like lately. At least she stands still. Sort of.

Pattern Emporium Tour Schedule

5/2 Sew Sophie Lynn

5/3 Handcrafted By Red

5/4 Sprouting JubeJube

5/5 That's Sew Kari

5/6 Simple Blessed

5/9 Wally And Grace

5/10 Free Notion

5/11 Horris And Deedle

Friday, April 15, 2016

Duds for Dudes! Featuring Mabel Madison Fabrics

It's no secret that I love sewing for my boy child - he gets super excited every time I make something new for him, and wears his handmades proudly.  As an added bonus, I've got a 2-year-old nephew who gets equally excited about the hand-me-downs. AND, that nephew has a little brother on the way, so the boy clothes are getting a lot of love in our family these days. That's pretty good incentive to make sure I use quality fabrics that will withstand a lot of wear and activity.

I've been a fan of Mabel Madison fabrics since I discovered them last year, and their selection of Euro designer (and assorted US designers more recently) fabrics is worth the expense. To be honest, if you've ever ordered a yard of custom knit, you've likely spent more on fabric already. I find myself using the Stenzo knit stars pretty frequently as coordinates for my little guy's clothes, and I really love some of the other knit prints for myself - MM has a great variety of prints and plenty that are grown-up worthy too.

When Emily asked if I was interested in participating in this blog tour, I jumped at the chance. I've actually had this corduroy in my stash since the fall, planning to make a jacket for A, so this was the perfect opportunity to set a deadline for it. It didn't get done in time to be a fall jacket (obviously lol) so it landed on the spring wardrobe list instead. The corduroys that Mabel Madison stocks are a nice fine-wale and super soft. They're fairly lightweight and with a knit lining, they make a great lightweight jacket for cool weather.

I used the Starboard Jacket from Peekaboo Patterns, which is in my file of oldies but goodies. I've made it several times before, and it's a pretty quick and straightforward sew for a fully lined jacket. I love that the elastic at the wrists and in the waistband means I can leave plenty of room for growth but the sleeves and waist will still stay in place.

I made a size 4T for A, as he's nearly 4 and is moving into 4s in most of his tops now. I knew this was a roomy fit, so I didn't need to size up further. The fit was great with a long sleeve tee underneath, and I think he'll probably be able to wear this in the early fall, too. The pit stop print was a huge hit with my racecar-loving kiddo, and I love the finished look, too. Please make sure to check out the other bloggers who are joining the tour this week - so much fun inspiration for our boys!

Thanks again, Emily, for having me!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Blog Tour Time - the EYMM Capsule Skirt!

Miss P and I tested the Capsule Skirt pattern for EYMM last year when it was released, and it was a summer staple for both of us. The fit is fantastic, the drape is flattering, and it is a super quick and easy sew - what more could a pattern offer?

When I made skirts for P last summer I mainly used cotton lycra knits, and I've been itching to try something different. For these, I used a layer of glitter mesh over a slinky knit blend that served as a lining. I used cotton lycra for the waistband so it would still have great stretch and recovery - I wouldn't recommend using anything else, honestly.

Miss P's measurements put her in a size 5 for width and a size 6 for length, so I cut the size 5 waist and waistband, and then cut the size 6 length for the outer (mesh) fabric. The tutorial is very thorough and includes clear instructions for how to blend sizes if that's something you haven't done before. (Also, make sure to take advantage of the layered printing and the no-trim pages - it makes it super quick to assemble!)

I cut on the size 5 hemline for the lining, so it would end up a little shorter than the mesh. I didn't hem either fabric, so I just made sure the side seams were finished and tacked down at the hem.

The girls pattern includes a doll size, so Miss P's American Girl doll got a matching skirt. There's really no easier way to get a good quick photoshoot done - the matching dolly outfit works every time. ;)

We paired the skirts with storebought tees, and both of us loved the finished look. It's glittery and sparkly for my fancy girl, but still plenty casual for everyday wear. She's already asked what other colors of mesh I have in my stash so we can make more, and I'm hoping I can convince her to do a two-tone one next. Wouldn't it be cute to mix and match hues, like aqua and purple, or teal and navy??

Thanks to EYMM for inviting me to join this parade of skirts, and please make sure to check out the other stops on the tour - there's so much inspiration with this versatile pattern!

Make sure to check out all the other stops on the EYMM Capsule Skirt Tour. (Note: The links won't be live until the day they're scheduled, but feel free to click through and check out other blog posts any time.)
Wednesday, April 6
Thursday, April 7
Friday, April 8
Saturday, April 9
Sunday, April 10
Monday, April 11
Don't forget to pick up your copy of the pattern while it's on sale!  Use coupon code PERFECTSKIRT to save 25% on the Women's Capsule Skirt, Girl's Capsule Skirt, or Capsule Skirt Bundle until April 12 at 11:59pm PST.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Blog tour time - featuring the Naples Dress by Jennuine Design!

When Jenn from Jennuine Design asked if I'd like to join the blog tour for her recently released Naples Dress, I didn't even ask Miss P before saying yes. We tested the tunic version of this pattern and even though it's not our usual casual knits-and-leggings style, we both LOVED the finished look. A huge size range (starting at newborn and going all the way up to girls 12), multiple sleeve options (including butterfly and bell sleeves), and a-line or gathered skirt options make this a truly versatile pattern. Add in a doll sized pattern, and Miss P is sold, too. ;)

I hadn't sewn up the doll pattern until now, and it is soooo cute! I can't believe that I enjoy making these teeny little creations as much as I do, but they really are pretty fun to sew. A little fiddly at times, but totally worth it to see Miss P's excited reaction when she discovers another matching set.

That neckline is just the sweetest, even on a doll! I think the next time I sew the doll version, I'll probably extend the placket into the skirt since it was a little difficult to get onto the doll. I had the easiest time by sliding it up over her legs and waist, but since my kiddo isn't always the most gentle or careful when dressing her dolls, I'd like to give her a little extra ease to work with. 

We've had a bit of wiggly tooth drama in our house recently, and between that and the rapidly fluctuating weather, it's been tougher than usual to grab quick pics of my best girl. Apparently she's not a fan of losing teeth (I can't say I blame her, blech) but she's only lost 3 so far so she's got a ways to go. That top one is just daring someone to yank it out, but alas, it is still taunting all of us. 

Luckily for me, Miss P is a sucker for a sweet new dress and an even bigger sucker for a new PINK dress, so I'll put this one firmly into the win column. Art Gallery Fabrics was extremely generous with their sponsorship of this tour, and gave us our choice of fabrics from several upcoming lines. When I saw the Intertwill print in the Essentials II collection, all I could see was bias tape! Yards and yards of awesome, geometric bias tape. *swoon* Miss P loved it too, but wanted it for the main print, so we added a pop of the Floralism print (also in blush) for the bodice and used the Intertwill for the sleeves, skirt, and also the bias trim. We played around with the bell sleeve a bit, and although I was temped to gather the sleeve hem and add a cuff, my practical girl asked for a nice fluttery short sleeve. I used the bell sleeve, shortened it to the appropriate length, and simply hemmed. I used a chunky hem for the skirt to give it a cute vintage feel, and Miss P is ready for spring! 

Want to win a FQ bundle from AGF and your choice of 3 patterns from Jennuine Design? Enter the rafflecopter below - and we'd love it if you check out the other stops on the tour, too! Thanks for stopping by. :)