Thursday, June 1, 2017

Love Notions Bluezette Blog Tour - an old favorite reinvented!


Wait, what??! Two blog posts in one week - and I've got two dresses to share for this one, too! Miss P has been asking for a fancy dress for some time, and our casual family life just hasn't obliged. Cue a bat mitzvah invitation for my cousin's daughter, and my girl was beside herself with excitement. The Bluezette was a great choice, and was versatile enough to be easily modified for different fabric types. The light aqua dress was her "real" dress for the party, but I felt like I needed to sew up a sample before I cut into those fabrics.


Miss P and I agreed that the gathered skirt from the Bluezette needed to be amped up into a twirl-worthy circle skirt. I used the skirt from the Cartwheel Collection (also by Love Notions) and compared waistlines to make sure the widths were compatible. Lo and behold, it was nearly a perfect match! I lengthened the two edges of my skirt pattern piece along the double folds to make sure the skirt was long enough.


For my practice dress, I used about a yard of this bright coral knit and about 2 yards of the soft nylon tulle (a clearance find from Joann Fabrics) - this dress was a huge hit with Miss P and it cost me less than $12 to make! I made the underlining per the Bluezette pattern, since the tulle was sheer even with two layers. I basted the three skirt layers together at the waist, and attached to the bodice per pattern instructions. Since the waist seam was a bit bulky, I pressed it open and only sewed the bodice portion of the seam up and in place to form the elastic casing. The elastic gently gathered the waistline and there was still plenty of ease for comfort.


For Miss P's "real" dress, I found these beautiful light aqua fabrics in the Casa Collection section at Joanns - the special occasion fabrics are organized by color, and since they introduce new colors seasonally, you can often get great deals on discontinued colors.



There are always basic fabrics like the stretch taffeta that I used to line the skirt, but there are often a few exciting options in the color family. In this case, the net overlay had chiffon flowers and little swirls of sequins, and Miss P nearly lost her mind.


I used a yard each of the two skirt layers, and skipped the underskirt since the taffeta was opaque. For the bodice, I used about a half yard of stretch lace and lined it with cotton lycra. Super soft and definitely more comfortable than most of my own dressy dresses! This time I didn't add the waist elastic and just left the seam with a little more ease - since the skirt was woven and not terribly stretchy (and I was also adding a chiffon sash), I thought it would be more comfortable for Miss P that way.


She was thrilled, and the dress was perfect for the occasion. Dressy without being over-the-top or out of place, and certainly age appropriate and full of twirl. She wore it "backwards" since the weight of the skirt pulled the bodice down a little too low for our liking - so versatile!

Poor little brother got a new tie, at least. ;)
We tested the Bluezette before its release two years ago, and Miss P wore her dresses from testing a fair amount. It's a versatile pattern with a great fit, and I'm glad we could use it to make a perfect party dress, too!

If you'd like to purchase your own copy of the Bluezette (also available for ladies!), both size ranges are on sale this week. You can enter below for a chance to win a shop credit at Love Notions, too!

"Rafflecopter code: a Rafflecopter giveaway"

And last but not least, please make sure to check out the other stops on the tour this week!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fighter Tee Blog Tour - a pattern fundraiser for St. Jude's!


No better reason to dust off this ol' blog than to support the fundraising efforts of a good friend, Kelly of Handmade Boy fame! Kelly is a runner who will be running in the St. Jude Peoria run this summer, and she had the brilliant idea to combine her two loves of sewing and running for her fundraising efforts. With drafting donated by Tami Meyer of Love Notions, Kelly developed and tested the Fighter Tee, a relaxed fit tee with contrast side and sleeve panels.



The fit is awesome for my little guy - he got two tees during testing and requested this pattern for his birthday party shirt, too. We had a Japanese lunch and DIY bubble tea bar at our house for family last weekend, and the Fighter Tee was a great way to highlight this cool sushi print fabric.

              

I designed the vinyl in Silhouette Studio and after a brief debate over whether it should say "miso awesome" or "miso cute" instead, we settled on "miso cool." Cool, indeed. Also cool in this guy's book is his Flash tee from testing, which he grabs from the laundry pile to wear as soon as it's clean.


         

Want to get your own copy? The pattern is just $5 on Etsy, with all proceeds going directly to St. Jude Children's Hospital - all patients are treated at no charge, so fundraising is essential to their mission and their continued success.

Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour this week for some more Fighter Tee inspiration, too!









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!