Friday, September 12, 2014

September Showcase: Betty Skirt

Today we are so tickled to be featured as one of Frances & Suzanne's September Showcase. The September Showcase is the little sister to the Flip this Pattern series. It 2 solid weeks of Rising Indie Designers (designers with 5 children's patterns or less) we are blushing to be part of such a great group. Not to be missed are some great discounts available during the showcase that should not be missed (trust me we are taking advantage of these). We are offering 25% off our pattern by using the Promo Code SHOWCASE.

As part of the Showcase, 4 talented sewist have made their own versions of the Betty Skirt. They could sew it as is or do a flip or sew it as is. As a designer I love to see how the base I created became the starting point for someone else's creativity, I adore each one of these looks.

Sutures and Sandpaper did an adorable flip making the Betty Skirt to a dress. I am going to need make one of these for Boston. I know she would love it.
Sutures & Sandpaper: Flipped Dress
so-cal sewing made her Gathered placket skirt from hand embroidered fabric that is 100 years old. I love the idea of using vintage fabric.
so-cal sewing mom:Very Vintage Betty
We are happy that Jo took a chance on the Betty Skirt it the first skirt pattern featured on her blog. The bib and embroidery are such a sweet customization.
Dotta: Bib Betty
Filles à Maman shows that Betty Skirt isn't just for the little girls but also makes a great tween look. She used the gathered placket version to maxi skirt for her daughter.
Filles à Maman: Betty Skirt Maxi
If you have a Betty Skirt to share we would love if you would link it up to the September Showcase Linky Party. Before you go don't forget to enter the giveaway for free patterns, because we all need more patterns and you can't beat free!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Anna Inspired: Disney Princess Crafting Con Guest Post

I remember as a little girl being a princess for Halloween. I wore my prettiest dress and had flowers put into my hair. It was just this beautiful white dress and wasn't correlated with any princess in particular. I was simply Princess Al. I made a dress like that for Ty. She could be her own princess.
With the addition of a fuchsia cape and gloves, it was easy to make it look Anna inspired. Come check out my inspiration post at this month's Disney Princess Crafting Con! I am also giving a brief review of my newest favorite pattern (Candy Castle Princess Dress Pattern).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nursing Friendly Color Block Dress from So Sew Easy {Pattern Review}

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When I first saw the Color Blocked Dress Pattern from So Sew Easy. I knew without a doubt I needed it. I have been looking for a dress pattern with a similar silhouette for some time.

About a year ago I was home for my Grandpa's funeral and had nothing great to wear (I packed something but I didn't like it) so I raided my mom's closet and found a dress perfect for my shape. I received more compliments in one night than I had received in years.
The funny thing is that the dress was originally my mom's friend and she gave it to my mom. Then my mom gave it to me and it has continued to be one of my favorite dresses. The princess seam lines on this pattern make it perfect for elongating and give a good fit.
I had every intention of making it for myself until I thought about Al. As many of you may know Al had a sweet baby girl about 7 weeks ago. I really believe the 4th trimester can be the hardest of all, when you are no longer pregnant and your body is slowly reversing what took 9 months to happen. You are left waiting to feel "like you". I knew this dress could be the perfect celebration of the amazing journey her body has been on and hopefully get her back to feeling herself sooner.  
I did make several modifications to the pattern but they were all pretty simple to do & the great foundation of the original pattern made these very easy.  Each one was made with Al in mind and we really hashed out what would be best for each detail. The original pattern was quick and easy to follow and these modifications added a bit more time but I love the result.
1. Exposed Zipper for Nursing Access: We chose a zipper that was longer than Al's chest so that she could have access without putting any stress on the dress. Since we did a facing we opted out of the neck binding.

2. Slashing and Spreading the Skirt: The original dress pattern is quite fitted at the bottom, Al worried that with 3 children 4 and under she wouldn't have adequate movement to keep up with them. I added 2 slashes on each pattern piece cutting straight up from the bottom of the dress to the hip for each slash I spread 1/2". This was very simple adaptation to because Deby was sweet enough to have the chest, waist and hip points marked very well on each piece.
3. Replacing the cap sleeve for half sleeves: The last few weeks we have had a drastic fall in the temperatures, it seems as though fall and winter are right at our door step. I loved the awesome lines of the dress so much I didn't want to leave her looking for a jacket that would cover it all up. For this modification I used an another pattern I had on hand for a guide on the arm hole and sleeve. I trimmed the excess cap sleeve & stitched on the sleeve. With this modification I only trimmed the smallest amount from the outside pieces and several inches from the top of the middle pieces. I felt like it was easier to do this modification once the panels were sewn together.
4. Increasing the hem length by 2 inches: Al told me that she wanted to make sure that when she bent down to pick up a kid she wanted to make sure she had sufficient back coverage that she could avoid any embarrassing situations. Though Al is pretty average height (about 5'7", so about 2 inches above average) all of those extra inches are in her legs so I added the length to the bottom. If you have a long upper body you would want to adjust the height by using the chest, waist and hip lines on the pattern as your guide.
Did I accomplish my mission of making something that my sister would love and would accentuate her great shape? Yep. While taking pictures she saw her reflection in the window of the building and she said, I love how great this dress makes my butt look. Then while we were driving home she talked about how she needed to make several more. Even how she would love to make a top or tunic with similar lines.
Whether we or not we are 7 weeks postpartum, we all deserve to look our best! This is a great pattern, the simplicity makes it perfect for a beginning seamstress & a great jumping off point for an adventurous one.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Boy Bundle Up!

This is the last day to bundle so if you have considered it, act now because tomorrow it will be gone. At that point you will have to pay full price on the designers site for the patterns.
Edit: They have extended the sale to the 1st for those that have paydays on the first so you have a couple more days to work on your husband before the deal expires. 

Today, I am excited to show you my final looks that I have sewn up from Pattern Revolution's Boy's Bundle Up Sale. Lately Ryder hit a growth spurt which means absolutely everything that was in his drawers are suddenly one size too small. I ran at the chance to participate in this bundle because I knew we both needed it. I needed to work at sewing for my growing boy and the clothes he BADLY needed.
Before I talk to you about the specifics of all the patterns I am featuring here today. I want to talk to you about the awesomeness that so many of the designs featured in the Bundle Up sale go into Tween Sizing! You may think I might be jumping the gun a bit since Ryder won't be attending kindergarten until next year. But with his most recent growth spurt he is now a 7 in commercial wear. At this rate I am sure we will be half way through tween sizes wear before elementary is done.
The first pattern I am showing ya, is Letterman jacket pattern from Fairtale Patterns. The sizes go from 4T-16 (Amazing range, right?).  I made a size 5 width and a 6 Length with a 7 length on the sleeves for extra bunching. I remember when I got measured for my Letterman Jacket I remember them telling me to get the sleeves long so that it could keep me warm no matter the conditions. You determine your size by finished measurements and not pattern averages.
I like how she had the different fabric requirements broken up easily and the use of snaps make it look official. For the pattern fabric suggestions they go from stable knits to woven or even faux leather. The "R" was done with felt (white letter) and ribbing (the gray background). I downloaded the Varsity font made an R stitched it on really well only to find out I had put it too low and it looked dumb. If you are applying a  letter of better to your Letterman jacket it looked a lot better when the top of the R was parallel to the top of the center of the top snap. The first time I applied it I was a lot lower and it didn't look right. 1/2 a day later I was finally done seam ripping my dumb R. The next time I made the R huge and then did the gray background. It worked so much better the second time.
I let Ryder help me design the jacket and his two suggestions is that it be green and that it have a big "R" on it so everyone could know what his name was. We took the drawing in the pattern into Photoshop and kept designing until we got it right. All the fabric for this project came from JoAnn's. I wished they would have had a higher quality of fleece/sweatshirt in bright green. I was well satisfied with the sleeve material and baby ribbing.
The first time he put the jacket on he said it is so warm and soft. I knew I had a hit with such a snuggle bug. And the pockets make him excited. Recently he has found that if he packs coins to the grocery store (and he is good) he can get ice cream afterwards. This has made it so everything must have pockets. The welted pockets were easy for even a beginner to do.
The second pattern I chose was the Field Research pants from Scientific Seamstress, this pattern ranges in size from 3-14!
This pattern is a relaxed fit, with great top stitching and detailed instructions. I made the mistake by choosing to make the size 7/8 (what his waist was) instead of the 6 that his hips had him listed at. I was very disappointed when I got done and I couldn't make them any smaller and they were still too big. Then I had to remember that I usually get my kids sizing perfect so every once in a while to get it it big by a size isn't the worst.
I decided at that moment I would make them into shorts and we would keep them for next summer. I decided on a length by adding a little length to this years shorts. It was a little sad for me to do this because the detailing really is off the hook, that and Ryder really needed new pants.
I have never made Ryder a pair of relax fit pair of pants but they seemed to have great movement as he put them to the test on the "tall playground" by our apartment. It didn't matter if he was upside down or right side up the shorts were cool from every direction.
I look forward to making another pair at the right size and am glad that this pattern will last until he is in Size 14. It is nearly impossible until now to find many boy pants patterns that went above size 8 until this bundle. 
The pattern features a zip off pants option, shorts and a custom inseam pant leg. There is also the ability to have lots of pockets, with the option for a front slash, back cargo and side cargo pocket. There is also instructions for making belt loops.
If you need further convincing before you go over and purchase the Bundle Up check out the work of all the amazing bloggers on the tour.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Samson Sweater by Love Notions

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky to get the help of Noah, Jo's second oldest son, for nearly a week. In that time I got to test the Samson Sweater pattern. It was exciting to get to work with such an refreshing and edgy look for older boys. Plus Noah got a hip back to school look.Win-win.
 There were many things I loved about this pattern, but my very favorite thing was how it recommended up-cycling from an old sweaters. This gives the opportunity to find some really cool knit without spending an arm and a leg.
The pattern has many options to customize the exact look. These are the options I had to choose between for testing, but since then Tami has added a front snap option. That will make it perfect for Heber considering his large head and how difficult it can be to get things over it.
 I opted to make the banded hem because a size 8 sweater took most of the length of the fabric from the up-cycled long sleeved polo. I paired the main fabric with red fabric cut from a maternity shirt that has never worked for me. Besides white, I didn't have any knit on hand that matched the color scheme. Given that factor and that arm cuffs are one of the easiest places to get dirty, I thought it would be wise to use the original navy arm cuffs instead of cutting white ones.
I love everything about this sweater and to be honest, I have serious sweater envy. I wish that I fit on the sizing chart for this pattern. I don't think there's anything I would change about this pattern, except that I cut to hoods so that I could have a contrast to my hoody.
Don't just take my word for it, you should keep your eyes open for everyone that has sewn it up.
Hopefully this patterns inspires you too. Here's some details I may not have fully covered:  
Three views are included: banded bottom, shirt-tail hem and hooded jacket. Also included is an optional hood, breast pocket and elbow patches. Meant for layering in cooler weather and heavy weight knits like velour, sweatshirt fleece, french terry, etc. For the baby boys as well as the big boys! 12mths - 14yrs.
If you purchase the Boy Bundle Up from Pattern Revolution go to the Love Notion Facebook page leave a comment with you bundled and Tami will message you with a code for 50% off. Or you can get 15% off the Samson sweater with code 'samson' at Etsy checkout, good through the 29th (no code needed for Craftsy).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Captain America Inspired Jacket {Crafting Con}

Hey I am breaking the several week blogging silence today you can find me over at Friends Stitched Together as part of their Crafting Con Avengers Series.  Go check it out for all the details.
I used the P51 Jacket from Terra's Treasures which is currently available as part of the bundle up sale.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Swing the Day Away with the Sunny Top from Sew Very

For a while now Boston has had this denim skirt; it is her very favorite skirt, but I have been at a loss of what to pair it with. Getting to be a part of the Sunny Dress Pattern Tour with sewVery ended up being the perfect solution to fix this problem. This will also be a good solution in future summers if I ever find myself in the same dilemma.

Honestly, this pattern shows more of the back than I'm comfortable exposing of my little girl to stand by itself. That being said, it is perfect for layering. With a skirt, jacket, and this top she is stylin' for any kind of outing. With this top I can keep the layers as light as possible and avoid overheating my little one. I'm sure the dress pattern would probably also make a cute swimsuit cover-up.

Usually woven tops have to have a looser fit to be comfortable, but because of the elastic casing at the back of the top, the fit is good and the top is also comfortable. The straps make it possible to make the fit last a little longer by simply not pulling the straps as tight.

The pattern calls for woven and woven fabric is easy to come by. Plus it really doesn't take very much fabric to make the top. You could easily use fabric from your refashion pile and then just pair it with a fun contrast fabric for the straps.

Another pro was that I only had to print off 2 pages to have the pattern for the size and style I needed. The total sewing time was about an hour and the cut time was under ten minutes. This is a pattern that is low on the required resources, but high on the functionality.

I feel like the pattern for this top was simple enough that a beginner could do it. There's nothing too difficult about it and there's not an overwhelming amount of instructions.

I only made one modification to the pattern to better fit my needs. Instead of using loops that are sewn onto the elastic casing, I put holes on the bodice just below the casing for a more permanent fixture. The collage above shows how I went about making these holes.

I did this because eventually loops that are sewn on might fall off. I know for me that it seems that the mending pile is ever growing. I have zero motivation to get to it when I could be creating something new. This means that everything I sew has to be made as permanent as possible.

The pattern also has a second option with a ruffle at the neckline. It would be fun to experiment more with this option when I have just the right complimentary fabric to go with my main fabric.

If you're interested: All this week, August 11th - 17th, use code SUNNY20 at checkout to save 20% off the regular price when you purchase the sewVery Sunny Dress & Top Pattern.

There are two ways to purchase: 1) through ejunkie and 2) through Craftsy (no code required for the discount here).  You can find both of these links with more information on the pattern in the sewVery Pattern Shop.

You should go check out the other talented people who stitched up this pattern as well!

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