Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour {Day 3}: The Crazy Tailor

Sorry this post is coming a bit late in the day, nothing major just one exhausted momma of a 3 month old and one tired pregnant woman that had weird middle of the night insomnia that has led to total fatigue today. 

Today we have the darling Sarah from The Crazy Tailor, if you haven't been over to Sarah's website before you might have been living under a rock (or you didn't follow the 9th Season of Project Run and Play or notice her on Blank Slate Team & Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Team). Her kids have the most darling wardrobes, she mixes prints, refashioned items and never leaves out the detail work. She is a talented baker (another lady I would love to recipe swap with) and her kindness hearts makes me wish I lived a bit closer to Canada.
She did a gathered skirt with a sparkly sweater knit, and aren't the results just darling?  Click here or on the image below for the details. 
http://www.thecrazytailor.com/2014/10/29/betty-skirt-tour/
Gathered Betty Skirt with Sweater Knit
As part of the tour we are offering the Betty Skirt for 30% off with the Code BETTYTOUR.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour {Day 2}: Modern Handmade

Today we have the darling April from Modern Handmade. I haven't had a chance to meet April face to face yet but I know when that day comes we will have a great time. We will have to split our time between kitchen swapping recipes and going fabric shopping. Something that I always appreciate about her style is she is just as well versed with vintage fabrics/patterns as the modern counterparts and the results are always stunning. Click here or on the image below for the details.
http://modernfoodie.blogspot.com/2014/10/mustang-betty-skirt-betty-skirt-pattern.html
Modern Handmade: Gathered Skirt
As part of the tour we are offering the Betty Skirt for 30% off with the Code BETTYTOUR.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour {Day 1}: Sewing Mama ReaAnna & House of Estrela

We are are starting our Betty Skirt Tour. As part of the tour we are offering 30% off with the Code BETTYTOUR.
 
First up we have the wonderful Miss ReaAnna, Jo and I had the opportunity to meet her this summer for a few hours and we were pleased to report that she is just as kind and sweet as she seems online. She made a darling gathered skirt with placket. She added sweet little spenders to hers for the perfect preschooler look. Click here or on the image below for the details.
Sewing Mama RaeAnna: Gathered Skirt with Placket Option
We have the darling Magda, our sweet friend from across the pond. I think she might have been our first international reader and her stunning refashions are always so inspiring. I am always so impressed by the great creations she comes up with others would find as cast offs, all the while taking care of her sweet new baby boy. She made a Gathered Skirt with scraps from other projects. Click here or on the image below for the details.
House of Estrela: Gathered Skirt Option



Friday, October 24, 2014

Maternity Aviator Pants: Pattern Review & Coupon Code

Announcement time even though I think many of our readers might already know. In many ways this blog is the only journal-ing I really ever seem to have time for anymore, so I don't want to miss documenting this time. Slim Jim, Ryder, Boston and I are excited to announce that we will adding one more baby to our family at the first of May. The kids (Ryder especially) had been begging us for quite some time for "just one more". I had a pretty bad case of postpartum depression/mommy of a tough 3 year old depression after Boston, that really made me gun shy. After months and months of waiting I finally felt I am mentally well enough to step up to the challenge and financial state is stable enough to make it possible (though still a little tight). With that announcement behind us I can't wait to show you my new favorite pants.
I adore the darling Suzanne Winters behind Winter Wear Designs, if feel like I should disclose that in this in this review. I tend to be a bit bias with darlings as sweet as Miss Suzanne. Through years of interaction I have learned she is kind, dedicated to her creations. She is a perfectionist and a visionary. This combination of elements make her an excellent designer.  When she invited me to the tour I agreed as long as I could do a maternity adjustment because after several years and a couple of pregnancies, my maternity wardrobe is pathetic. There will be a mini tutorial on adaptions I made to the pattern that at the bottom of the post. The rest of the review will just going over pattern, because I actually only had one adjustment to make it maternity. I loved that I only had to make one adjustment for it to be maternity. Seriously isn't it amazing when your favorite regular patterns can work for those mommy transition stages.
As a mom to two young children and the aunt to 10 kids, I feel like my fashion sense has definitely morphed and changed to a comfortable mommy wardrobe. My kids are incredibly active and joyously invite me to play along. Whether it is the 100th underdoggy (I don't know if this is a universal term but it is when you push someone on a swing from the underside and then push them so high that you can run underneath) or going on a walk to the "far away park", I am expected to keep up. This has made it so only the most comfortable fitting, easy wear it is a nice bonus if it fits my style.
The Aviator Pants check off ever check on my list. They are so comfortable with not only knit legs but also waistband. Suzanne has included with great instructions for modifying the pattern to get a comfortable without being frumpy great fit. I almost didn't pay attention to this which and headed straight in head first but then I looked over the sizing section and I noticed that she said when you are between sizes choose the smaller sizes. I am so glad I did that instead of splitting the difference in the sizes. With the bottom triangles it is almost imperative to choose the closest size to the chart and run with it. I am 5'11" with really long legs so I made my legs 6 inches taller (3" for leaving off the cuff, per pattern instructions and 3" for extra length). 
I love the interest that the triangles add to the bottom of the pant leg. I had tested this version for Ryder and they very quickly became his favorite. They were so much cooler than anything we were seeing in the store. Having a pair just as comfortable and stylish for me was a no brainer. The size range is awesome on this pattern and it even goes into the higher hip measurements, which I found really nice because with another pattern similar my hips were just outside of the sizing.
I love about this pattern that it has the option for lots of pockets: hip, back welted, and side cargo. This time I only just did the hip pockets but if my fabric would have been more stable and not so slinky I would have done back zipper welted pockets. As a mom who doesn't wear a purse I always need somewhere to hold my keys, my phone and my money with these pockets I could fit all these in two.
 Excuse me while I go enjoy the next several months just doing my mom/cool aunt thing in these pants.

How to Adjust the Front Rise on Pants to make them Maternity


Step 1: Measure your front rise remember you will be adding a waistband to the top so don't measure to the top of where you want it to be about 2 inches below.
Step 2: Compare to pattern piece to figure the right mark use the following equation:
pattern rise - ((3/4”)+ your measurement) 
Step 3: Draw an upwards curving line and trim
Step 4 (only needed if including pockets): Trace the curved line trace trim line on front pocket and front pocket lining.



How to Adjust the Back Rise but not the Side Rise (not necessarily a maternity adjustment just something I do for my body to get a better fit)

Step 1: Cut on the additional length line.
Step 2: Measure your back rise remember you will be adding a waistband to the top so don't measure to the top of where you want it to be about 2 inches below.
Step 3: Compare to pattern piece to figure out how much to you need to add use the following equation:
pattern rise - ((3/4”)+ your measurement)
Step 4: Angle pattern pieces until you get that amount, then true up the line.



There have some been some other great looks on this tour you should check them out, in addition to catching the 30% discount for the whole store.
Get 15% off any pattern (excludes bundles) in her Etsy shop until 10/26 with code: AVIATORTOUR.
Or Grab both patterns for a discount of over 30% in the bundle listing!

And to encourage you to get in on the action - post anything you have made from Winter Wear Designs in the Facebook PDF Sales Group with #AviatorTour and one winner will be selected at the end of the week to win 2 patterns of their choice from WWD.

Tour Stops:
Pattern Revolution       10/20
Paisley Roots                10/21
Handmade Boy             10/22
Sew a Straight Line      10/23
Lady & the Gents         10/24
Shaffer Sisters              10/24
Additional Fun      10/25


PS. I wanted to show you Ryder's pants they were my tester versions and I didn't have some problems and with Project Run and Play I haven't made time to resew them. Though this specific pair of pants (not the pattern, just this specific pair) isn't good enough to have a full post dedicated to they really are amazing and he has worn them everywhere and loves putting them on.
 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Love Notions Sale: Happy Birthday to one of our Favorite Designers

Today is our dear talented friend Tami's Birthday. Her patterns are our among some of our favorites. Just when we think that she has topped herself she comes out with a new design that is just as amazing as the one before. The first pattern we tried of hers was the Hip Hop Top as part of the Pattern Revolutions Women Bundle Up sale. I knew then and there I had found a designer that I loved.  She is having a great deal today only where she is offering all of her patterns for 36% off.





Moto Maxx Pants & Tee (full review, coming tomorrow)

For today only, you can get any of her patterns at a discount of 36% with the code 'birthday36'. Also in honor of the newest release of her Moto Maxx set the pattern will be discounted 15% off through Saturday the 25th with the code 'motomaxx'. If you're able to, seriously consider taking advantage of this sale; I promise you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spider Costume - Speedy Gonzales Halloween Hack & Giveaway


Today we are participating in Swoonson Says Halloween Hacks Blog Tour there have been some amazing creations in this tour that you really should check it out.
http://swoodsonsays.com/halloween-hacks-pdf-patterns-halloweenified/

So I am going to set the record straight from the beginning. I am not a super mom when it comes to holiday's we nod at them as they pass by with little effort. I am a bit of an all or nothing personality. Last year our Halloween costumes all came from the kids closets or dress up bin. I believe we attended 3 different Halloween parties/activities and for each one the Ryder had a different costume; sailor, leaf monster & builder. Boston's costume was a mix of clothes that were too small for her and a silly pair of earrings. I will totally own up to my inabilities but I also have frustrations with the lack of decision making on the part of my children. It seems like for 3 months proceeding Halloween they come up with a different idea for a costume, which could be frustrating if I was in the middle of a project only to have them change their mind.
I let them choose their costumes this year but I set a two rules before we started, I know these might seem a bit unreasonable to you but I really feel like this give us a good foundation for the future:
No Characters: This gave me the power to block having to Green Ninja and a Spider Man Costume in my house that would result in broken things. It also made it so I didn't add to the number of Elsa's would be running around this Halloween. I know this makes me a very mean mom. It really boils down to I would rather my kids think of Halloween in a more creative way and not play the part of some character.
Locking in Costume ideas by October 5th: I want to raise the kids to have appreciation for me and my time. I really could whip out both their costumes in a day or so but I want to have the option to do it at my leisure.
 I thought that Boston would have a hard time coming up with a costume idea so I gave the suggestion of a princess, because there for several months she would introduce herself as such. To this suggestion she sharply answered saying, "No, something scary!....Like a 'pider, with lots of arms" Her eyes open twice as she explained it to me. After that her brother decided on a ghost. I teasingly joked that I didn't know how to make one of those so he would have to help me. I think I can handle that one but I think I am going to have him help so that he has ownership of his costume. 
Back to the spider, with lots of arms. For this costume I used a Size 3 Bimaa Sweater with a lined hood. This was originally created for her cousin but it was too tight so she got it instead. But if you don't sew or don't sew costumes you could just pick up a black hoodie. For the Pants I used the Size 3 EYMM Jocelyn Leggings. I thought about making a smaller size (18-24 M) based on her width measurements but it was my first time sewing the pattern so I didn't want them to be too small so I just made the size 3. I am a little disappointed in myself for not going down because I think it would have really helped with the slouchy crotch part. Oh well. This is another part where you could pull leggings out of your kids wardrobe or pick up from the store.
Now for the "lots of arms" part. I really was feeling lazy and I didn't want to go to the store so I shopped my stash and stitched up the bottom of a pair of Speedy Gonzales footless tights that no longer fit Boston. Then I filled the legs with batting and then cut them off at the top of the leg and stitched them close. I didn't have another pair so after looking around I found a small amount of faux suede and fashioned another set of legs to match. They ended up being the same width but were a bit longer. I decided to use these as the bottom legs since they would reach down further to her actual legs. Using the legging material I made two bands that would tie around her back and positioned the legs so they would match the position of her arms.
To giver her control of all her "arms". I used yarn to make a web on the outside. This was a pretty quick adjustment done with a few loops. I am so glad that I could something that she could love and would make her so happy, but didn't break our bank or make me crazy. If you took the short cuts in clothes I think this costume could really be a 30 minute project. Giving you more time to jump in leaves, make pumpkin cookies or just enjoy your sweet babies.

Would you like the chance to win a prize? I thought so. Here are the prize packages being offered:
Three winners will be chosen randomly (and their form completion verified) and emailed within 3 days of the hunt's closure.
A big thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes!
Pack 1 { $30 to The Ribbon Retreat +2 patterns from GYCT Designs + 1 pattern from Dog Under My Desk}
Pack 2 {$30 to The Fabric Fairy + Kids Pattern Package from imagine gnats}
Pack 3 {$30 to Fat Quarter Shop + 2 patterns from Everything Your Mama Made & More +Ramblin' Raglan Mega Pattern Pack from Muse of the Morning}

To see some truly amazing costumes visit our fellow blog tour members. These ladies have done some fabulous work and I guarantee that you won't be disappointed by what you see:
Wednesday, October 1st: Rebekah Sews & Dog Under My Desk
Thursday, October 2nd: Friends Stitched Together & Sew Pandi
Friday, October 3rd: That's What She Crafted & Everything Your Mama Made & More
Monday, October 6th: Shawnta Sews & Handmade Boy
Tuesday, October 7th: Muse of the Morning & Swoodson Says
Wednesday, October 8th: Call Ajaire & Sew McCool
Thursday, October 9th: Once Upon A Sewing Machine  & imagine gnats
Friday, October 10th: The Sewing Geek & Feather's Flights
Monday, October 13th: Get Your Crap Together & Needle and Ted
Tuesday, October 14th: The Shaffer Sisters & The Inspired Wren
Wednesday, October 15th: Pattern Revolution & Just Joshin

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cash Cab Inspired Dress

This is a was originally posted over at I'm Feelin' Crafty as part of her Sew Ready to Play series. But is coming home today.
We are so tickled to be back at Sew Ready to Play. The parameters of this series always make it easy to say yes. Despite the fact that we love it, it always takes us forever to decide on project.
I love this series because each year it gives me a great opportunity to reflect on my kids and family together time. Life with kids is like getting to see the full spectrum of colors. Without them in my life things would be much more bland and predicable, but with them there is a flooding of emotions. Moments to treasure like a first smile, or something that becomes funny just because of your child's uncontrollable laughter that leaves everyone feeling good inside.
Lately things have been crazy busy and it has been hard to notice those glorious moments in the stress of deadlines. But I was given my glimpse of heaven this week as my husband came home from school and began playing with the kids. They didn't need a special toy for entertainment, just the presence of someone they special giving them love and attention.
To be honest this dress only came after 3 failed attempts to make my son, Heber, a sweatshirt that I could make Uno themed. It was going to be witty and funny, but it didn't work out. He has a sway back and massive head so each pattern I attempted either didn't fit over his head or they had such a narrow fit that they almost looked girly.
Right now is such a busy time with real life, a new baby, and Project Run and Play that I really didn't have time for these failures. Scary offered up the idea of a Pictureka as a final backup plan and I thought that we could put the "girly sweatshirts" on Boston who is a girl and have her model it. But I was feeling so down. The option felt plausible but was also a let down to the creative process.
So I went back to the drawing board and figured out this look. Without a doubt, of all the games our little family has, Cash Cab is definitely the most used and loved. The kids don't yet get the trivia of it, but they love rolling the dice, moving the cars around to different destinations, and playing with money. I have to keep this one at the top of the closet because it is so interesting to the kids.
I love how fun and modern this look is. I feel that if you didn't have the context of cash cab you could still really like the dress. The design of the skirt was inspired by the logo on the TV version of Cash Cab. I made it by just doing a little math and planning out the exact size I wanted of my finished squares. Then I added seam allowances and cut out my pieces. It's a little complicated, but if you take the time I'm sure you can figure it out. After piecing the skirt together, I pressed open my pieces and top stitched inside each box with a coordinating thread.
I made it using the Caroline Party Dress (affiliate link) from Mouse House Creations. I thought the lines of it could read city if it was paired with the right fabric. It was a first time sew for me and I seriously loved it. The pattern (affiliate link) gives such a nice finish and fit. It's wonderful to have the capped sleeve as just part of the bodice. For the most part, I'd rather make dresses with some kind of a sleeve so I don't have to find a sweater to pair it with later.
The skirt was lined with the same mustard yellow as the squares to give it a stronger color and stability to the piecing. All the fabric was just basic colored broadcloth that you can get at about any fabric store for pretty cheap. I loved using it because I was able to go to the store with an exact plan and be in and out in about ten minutes as opposed to walking the rows of fabric debating the right one for an hour. Works better for 3 kids don't you think? Also I didn't have to spend a lot and feel guilty about it later.
P.S. I have a funny story I want to share that came up in creating this project. When the last sweatshirt didn't work out, I realized that I wouldn't be able to have Scary around to take pictures. I would have to resort to using the camera on my phone.
When I told Ty that I was making her a dress and that I would be taking her pictures, she got this confused and slightly betrayed look on her face and said, "Not Scary?!" I told her I could take pictures, but I think in her mind Scary is her own personal photographer. You can't take a model away from their photographer. I love four-year-olds!
So instead, the kids woke up at 5:50am so that we could drive to Scary and be at her house in time for good lighting and to get this blog post done.
Here is a picture with the little darling and her photographer on their way back from the photo shoot.

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