Sunday, February 21, 2016

(Of course) Boys Can Wear Pink (if they want to!)

Last year, my boy and I participated in the first (annual!) Boys Can Wear Pink blog tour - you can see that post HERE. Kelly of Handmade Boy has brought us back for more fun (thanks Kelly!), and the kiddo and I had a good time trying to come up with our post for this year.

It was a bit of a challenge for us, I'll admit. Not because it's a stretch for us to let him wear pink (ahem, he takes ballet and still has an undying love for Skye from Paw Patrol) but because he really doesn't like it very much!

He's pretty firmly in blue and green territory these days, and is really starting to share more preferences about what he'd like to wear. I thought if I made him a shirt that had pink in it - as opposed to one that was predominantly pink - he'd like it a bit more. This guy is a big sweetheart and loves mama-made clothes, and will usually wear anything I ask him to. The challenge for me was creating something that he would WANT to wear and select himself.

(Ok, the challenge was also taking indoor pics of Mr. Perpetual Motion. I need a 10 ft x 10 ft backdrop to merely contain his limbs. At least.)

I turned to my old standby, upcycles, and found a cool graphic tee that my husband had put in my pile. It is navy blue and had blue and green screen printed graphics along with an embroidered overlay of hot pink palm trees. This was PERFECT - I love upcycling and my kiddo adores his dad so I knew he'd be thrilled. The Moto Maxx pattern from Love Notions is one of my all-time faves, and it was a great base for this project. Even the back of the original tee had cool elements that could be upcycled. (The pants were sewn previously using heavy weight supplex from Zenith and Quasar Fabrics and had the perfect vibe for these tops.)

I also looked to Euro fabrics and design, since I find that other parts of the world can be less constrained by gender norms than we are here in the US. The robot fabric was part of a remnants box from Jumping June Textiles, and was a perfect fit for this post as well.

I love that it has pink robots and portions of the background are bright purple, but it still has a pretty
masculine feel to me, too. For this one I used the Boardwalk tee from Peekaboo Patterns (another much-used favorite) with a single layer hood, and embellished the colorblocked bodice with silver heat transfer vinyl.

This face. <3

 In a few short hours, my kiddo's wardrobe got a much-needed boost - and some boldness, too. I love that I was able to work the pink and purple into his beloved blue and branch out a bit while still creating clothes that he was excited to wear. Thanks again to Kelly for having us, and please make sure to check out the other stops on the tour. Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway, too - awesome prizes up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 11, 2016

With love from Mabel Madison - a blog tour for Valentine's Day!

Two posts in one week! I'm back with another blog tour that was too cool to pass up - and this time, my sweet boy got a new outfit from the project.

I've been a huge fan of Mabel Madison since they opened shop, and have used their awesome Euro fabrics for a variety of projects. I love that Emily stocks prints that are great for adult clothing, since I find that's a bit harder to come by than the more juvenile prints and colors. I've also ordered a few different Stenzo poplins for my little guy, and I've ordered this particular one (in both colorways) several times. I'm hoarding it, people. It's A's all-time fave, and I love that I can use small patches to embellish other clothes (even RTW tees for a super quick project).

For this tour, I really wanted to make an oxford shirt for him, and I used Kelly's tutorial for modifying it to be more of a camp shirt style. How's this a V-day ensemble? Well, it honors two of my little guy's loves: cars and his mom. (He loves lots of other stuff too, but they can write about it on their own blogs. And design their own self-promoting vinyl. Ha,) Two years ago for Valentine's Day, I made a freezer-paper stencil of this design, and painted it onto the sleeve of a raglan tee for him, like a bicep tattoo. He wore the heck out of that shirt, and I've been meaning to do something similar again.

Look at that face. Such a mama's boy, and I love it.

Jeans: Old Navy skinnies High Tops: See Kai Run

He's also a total ham these days, and I knew he'd be willing to take a nearly infinite number of pics if I made a shirt for him with his favorite fabric. This poplin was seriously a perfect match for the oxford. I used the Classic Oxford from Peekaboo Patterns, which has become a staple in my pattern stash. I used Kelly's modifications to the hem and the collar stand, and used snaps instead of buttons on the placket. The fabric was a dream to sew - it holds its shape so well, and still has just a hint of stretch that makes it a cinch to ease in those sleeves.

I'm not always known for the same level of attention to detail as some of my sewing friends and inspirations, but can I brag for a minute about the pattern matching on the placket??! (Might not repeat that feat anytime soon.)

His t-shirt is a Classic Ringer (also from Peekaboo) sewn from cotton/lycra (purchased locally), reverse coverstitched for the hem detail, and vinyl-fied with HTV (heat transfer vinyl).

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be sure to check out all the awesome series participants to get lots of inspiration!

Are you crafting for Valentine's Day? Join the fun on Instagram with hashtag ‪#‎mabelmadisonmakers‬. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a $10 Mabel Madison Gift Card. It's the perfect way to be a ‪#‎mabelmadisonmaker‬!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

For the Love of Tunics and Dresses - A Love Notions blog tour!

Happy New Year! Long time, no blog, huh?! Just slogging along through the inevitable winter blahs over here and impatiently waiting for spring. In the meantime, I've got some fun projects to share - like this one, of course. ;)

Here's a super romantic story, about the time that I decided to step outside of my comfort zone (evvvvvver so slightly ;) ) and my mom (Hi, Nana!) got a cute new sweater.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Love Notions patterns. I've tested nearly every pattern that Tami has released and have sewn up multiple versions of each of them along the way, too. In fact, Tami is one of the primary reasons that I've been sewing as much for myself as I have - if she hadn't started drafting women's patterns, I'm not sure that I would have taken that leap. Her aesthetic fits with my everyday lifestyle (some might call it a mom-iform ;) ) and her dressier patterns (Willow, Sybil, Bluezette - I'm looking at you ladies!) have become my staples when I need to dress up.

My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years (yikes - that was fast!) and we're pretty firmly in that stage of our lives that involves - and revolves around - having young kids. I'm sure we'll spend Valentine's Day doing weekend errands and hanging out with the kids, so casual is the name of the game for me. He's really good about noticing (and complimenting) when I put a little extra effort into my appearance (i.e. leave my jeans on when I get home instead of immediately putting on pjs) so I thought a new sweater would be the thing for V-Day this year.

Lest you think this is *just* any La Bella Donna, I'll have you know that I bought this fabric specifically to do something for me. (Of course I was doomed lol) I don't usually wear florals, but this one caught my eye when I was in the Garment District in NYC recently. I've been trying to explore one or two new shops each time I head into the city, and this time I found my way to Metro Textiles. A bit of a hole in the wall but an awesome find - I'll be headed back there for sure. I bought both of these fabrics there - the purplish knit is a little bit of a jersey and a little bit of a sweater knit. In any case, not my usual print and not my usual type of pairing.

I'm sure you can see where this is heading. I have made several LBDs and love 'em all, but I've never made one with a cowl. So I branched out yet a bit more. Well, hubby didn't like it AT ALL, especially the cowl. Mumbled something about it not being very "me." (So much for branching out!) And then Miss P walked into the room and said, "Ooh, cute sweater, Mom. Did you make that for Nana??"

Yep, apparently I did. At least I know it'll be well-loved by my cowl-wearing, floral-loving, pattern-mixing Mom. ;)

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours, and thanks again to Tami and Kelly of Love Notions for inviting me to join in the fun this week. Please check out all of the other stops on the tour, and enter below to win your choice of 5 patterns from Love Notions AND a $50 gift card to Girl Charlee fabrics.

a Rafflecopter giveaway