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May 30, 2014

Zipper Front Dress by Feathers Flights

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Name Heather "Feather"
Blog Name Feathers Flights
General Age mid 20s
Body Type hourglass with some extra soft spots and bulges after having two kids

What has been the biggest challenge with this project? And how did you over come it?
I needed a dress for a wedding. I would be outside in 100 degree heat for a couple of hours and I needed easy access for nursing. Luckily, I had some real silk in my stash to keep me cool, I made the dress really relaxed for air circulation, and a zipper on the front made it perfect for nursing!

Come check out this incredible exposed zipper front dress.

May 29, 2014

High Low Tank by Winter Wonderings, Wanderings, & Whatnot

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Name:  Suzanne Winter
Blog Name: Winter Wonderings, Wanderings, & Whatnot
       *You can also find me over at Pattern Revolution
Age: 32
Body Shape: Curvy... I used to be a hourglass, and then I had three babies over the span of 2 years. So now I am more of a rectangle, or a pear with wide shoulders.  Hopefully I can whittle away this middle a bit this summer and reclaim a waist! *of course this condition has NOTHING to do with my love of food......*

My Advice:  Jump in with an 'I can do it' attitude and as little investment as possible!  I am an upcycler (bed sheets, curtains, and men's clothing upcycle well for women's clothing), an avid Walmart $1 fabric buyer, and a shopper of sales (Joann's 50% off Red Tag plus % off your total purchase coupon is how I buy most fabric).  If you don't have a machine - try to borrow one first.  You'd be surprised how many women have a sewing machine sitting in their closet unused.  There are plenty of free patterns available on the internet to start off as well as tutorials.  Youtube is your friend and has a video for just about everything you could ever want to learn ;o)  My biggest advice is HAVE FUN.  It isn't worth your time if you aren't having fun - that doesn't mean there wont be learning times, or times where you spend an hour ripping out seams... but it should still be fun overall!

Come see my fun High Low Tank....
May 28, 2014

Seafarer Top by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop

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Name: Amy Hindman
Blog Name: Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop
General Age: Mid-twenties
Body Type: Back in my running days we referred to it as aerodynamic :) aka no boobs and no hips
If you could give advice to someone thinking about sewing for themselves what would it be? Analyze your wardrobe and which items you love and use that as a guide to finding the perfect pattern to start with. I'm a mom to 3 kiddos ages 4 and under so I live in tees and jeans. If I'm going to carve out a tiny bit of time to sew for myself it may as well be something that will get some use :)
Head over to out Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Blog to see Amy's Seafarer Top.
May 27, 2014

Vanessa by Scientific Seamstress

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Blog name: Scientific Seamstress
General Age: early 30's
Body type: mom... haha.
If I was to give advice to someone thinking of sewing for themselves I would say: Don't worry about making yourself a stunning pinterest worthy look! Pick a pattern you already have something like in your closet and love and buy fabric you love and SEW! I have so many pretty dresses in my closet and fancy clothes (from pre-kids) but honestly the clothes that get the most wear are the ones I feel comfortable in! My Judy Fancy pants, my Vanessa and Devon dresses/tops, etc. So I want to encourage women to start with something they know they will wear! and that is what the blog post is about today - comfy and loving it :)
Come over to The Scientific Seamstress to get the details. 
May 26, 2014

Black and White Striped Trenched Coat by Lexi Made

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Name: Alexia Sotelo
Blog Name: Lexi Made
Age: 30
Shape: Thanks to my twin daughters I would say I am now a pear shape :)
If I were to give advice to anyone wanting to sew for themselves I would tell them to just go for it!! I have only been sewing for a year and a half and I also taught myself. You can do it! The way I learned was to just go for it and not be afraid of making mistakes. By sewing for myself I have also learned to embrace my style and not be afraid to wear my hand mades. I am actually super proud now and LOVE it when people ask me where I bought my outfit and I can say "I made it!" Sewing for myself has given me so much confidence!
Come over to Lexi Made to see her awesome striped trench coat.
May 23, 2014

Post-Apocalyptic Fashion by Max California

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Name: Ari
Blog Name: Max California
General Age: 29
Body Type: Tree-stump. No really my torso is short and squat but I have legs for days!
If you could give advice to someone thinking about sewing for themselves what would it be? Just go for it. No one else is going to do it for you, so you may as well! I've been waiting a really long time to sew something inspired by post-apocalyptic fashion and I finally had the muse and the inspiration and the soundtrack and the time and the freedom to just do it! There is no wrong or right thing to sew for yourself. If YOU like it, and it makes YOU feel good then mission accomplished, babe!
Inspired by movies like Mad Max and Waterworld and just the general post-apocalyptic fashion, I made myself an outfit that is perfect for scavenging for goods to trade or sell in the aftermath of some futuristic doomsday event! Check out the full look here!
May 22, 2014

Floral Dress by Keep Calm and Carrion

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Name: Alyssa Carrion
Blog Name: Keep Calm and Carrion
General Age: Some days I feel like twice my 31 years!
Body Type: Well, even pre-kids I had hips and a tush, so add two kids onto those hips and yea....
What has been the biggest challenge with this project? And how did you over come it. I don't do a lot of sewing for myself. And I initially had ideas to sew for my mother or my sister-in-law. In case you are wondering, communicating with family/friends across the country to get input on sewing something for them, is a pain. So by the time I had all the info I needed to make what I wanted, there wasn't going to be time to get things to them and modeled... So I am making them to take home with me to visit next month. But that meant it was time to sew for me... and that started a whole new spiral of flipping through patterns! I found a tester call with something I loved, and I found a great opportunity to upcycle a couple things to fit me better and I am super excited to show them off! Come over to Keep Calm and Carrion to find out more.
May 22, 2014

Vintage Sheet Riding Dress by Dandelion Drift

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Name: Teresa
Blog Name: Dandelion Drift 
General Age: Early 30's
Body Type: Happy and healthy body (I'll explain more in my post)
My Advice: If you have never sewn for yourself before, you should give it a try. Start with an easy pattern. And I would recommend an independent pattern designer, since their instructions are usually accompanied with a lot of pictures to help hold your hand along the sewing process. Come over to Dandelion Drift to see my dress.
May 21, 2014

Beautiful Summer Dress by I'm Feelin' Crafty

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Name: Louise 
Blog Name: I'm Feelin' Crafty 
General Age: Almost 40, but we don't need to go into details, right??? 
Body Type : Honestly, I don't know! Being a plus size, I've tried to avoid the whole idea of body shape. So I'll just go with plus! 
What has been the biggest challenge with this project? And how did you over come it. My biggest challenge is taking the time for myself. I guess in a way all my sewing and blogging and photography is taking time for myself in that it's all doing things I love. But I rarely make anything for me. Mostly because those darn mirrors.... For 2 years now I've been saying that I am going to take more time and sew for myself. And I haven't done it. That is until I was asked to participate in this event! And how did I overcome it? I just did it! I had a deadline for someone else, and I just did it! Stop and do it!
Please come take a look at my outfit and more about the making it!
May 20, 2014

Lisette Traveler's Dress by Daisy Chain Creation

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Name: Sally Budge
Age: a couple of days:)
Body Type: I like to think I have the perfect body...athletic enough to let me do the things I want to do, squishy (my kids word when they were little, for my curves) enough that my kids said I was comfy to cuddle with, tall enough that I can reach the things I want on the high shelf, and an average size so I can always find clothes at the thrift shop:)
My Advice:  Just sew for yourself! It's fun! Come over and check out my thoughts on the Lissette Traveler's Dress.

May 19, 2014

Simple Stretch Denim Dress by Simple Simon & Company

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Name:  liZ
Blog Name:  Simple Simon and Company (Project Run & Play and Project Sewn)
Age:  Young enough to wear skinny jeans but old enough to remember when they were cool the first time around...back in the day....
Body Type:  I'm basically built like a 14 year old boy...straight up and down with no curves :(
If you could give advice to someone thinking about sewing for themselves what would it be? 
Buy inexpensive patterns from the thrift store (they are always less than $1) and make your first item from thrift store (or other inexpensive) fabric as well....that is how I learned (and keep learning) how to sew.  Don't risk a more expensive pattern or fabric until you are a little more confident....that way you won't feel as badly if you make a mistake (and you will...and that's ok...everyone does even if they don't want to admit it).  Then if your item turns out wonderfully perfect!  Buy that delicious fabric you've been eyeing and sew your item back up in a fabric you love.   But if not look at where things went wrong and try again...with more inexpensive fabric.  There is no shame in readjusting, learning from mistakes, and trying again.  I do it ALL THE TIME.  
Head over to Simple Simon today to see liZ's denim dress
May 16, 2014

Maritime Shorts & Scout Tee by Two Many

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Name:  Renee
Blog Name: Two-Many
Age: 31
Body Type: Pear Shape For Sure
If you could give advice to someone thinking about sewing for themselves what would it be?
It can be overwhelming to sew for yourself since we have curves that can make sewing a perfect fitting garment tiresome. Gain confidence by sewing a simple pleated or circle skirt (there are tons of tutorials out there) first. They're pretty simple and require less fabric wrangling than an entire dress.
Go check out her Maritime Shorts & Scout Tee.
May 15, 2014

Free Purse Pattern by Naptime Creations

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Name: Emily
Blog: Naptime Creations
A little about this project: 

Come over to my blog today. I'm sharing a Free Purse Pattern and tutorial because every woman needs a great bag! ;o) To me a true sign of being a women is having enough stuff to need a great purse.
May 15, 2014

Wide Leg Pants by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

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Name: Rachel
Blog Name: Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Age: 33
Body Type: a 30 something hourglass, I've heard it called a Cello
What has been the biggest challenge with this project? And how did you over come it.
Getting it finished! Pants continue to be my nemesis, which is why I chose to make a pair, I'm glad to say I managed to fully clothe myself :) Come over to my blog to see.
May 15, 2014

Ojai Wrap {Pattern Review} : Weekend Getaway or Go Play with the Kids

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I feel like often time my family know how to make me smile the biggest and make me the most comfortable.
I jumped at the opportunity to be on the Ojai Wrap Pattern Tour. I knew Slim Jim and I were going on a Romantic Weekend Getaway and it would be nice to have something comfortable but stylish to wear on the journey. Usually I am a very casual traveler (sweatpants & sweatshirt) but since it was just the two of us I wanted to look nice.....and still be comfortable of course. I was able to sew it up in a couple hours right before we left for our trip.
The Ojai is so comfortable without looking sloppy. I was going to make all of mine out of a Burnout knit that I had in my stash from Joann's but it was either off grain or cut crazy sloppy because I end up not having enough because of the unevenness. Which end up being a happy little accident because then I went to the local fabric store, Nutall's and found this fun, tiny polka-dot stretch chiffon. I love the combinations of the two fabrics for this wrap. It makes it both fun but also functional usually I get cold in the front and warm in the back.
This pattern is a really quick sew and would be a great beginner knit project. I love the band at the bottom of the sleeves, it makes easy for finishing and comfortable. I used a rolled hem on my serger for bottom since I was using two different colors of fabric, instead of the 1/2" that was called for. I plan on making a couple more for this summer playing with fabric colors and weights.
You will will have to forgive the creative photo filter it was really because it was one of my favorites from the photoshoot and when I was editing it got corrupted so the coloring went wacko but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it so I tried to bring in peach tones to balance out the weird blue green I got as a result.
Slim Jim was kind enough to help me sneak in some pictures in the 15 minutes between when he got home from work and when he had to leave for church meetings. He is such a keeper! We have worked out a system where I have him pose and then I focus the camera then we switch spots. The kids were supposed to be inside watching TV while we snapped a few pictures behind our apartment but they snuck out to photobomb and I am glad they did.
I had done a photoshoot last week which was pretty decent, but the photos didn't feel like me. So I restyled it all; my hair is braided instead of straightened (because I really do braid my hair 10 times more frequently than I straighten it), jean cut offs instead of dress pants (again probably a 10 to 1 ratio) and flip flops over heals (I wear flip flops everywhere it is socially acceptable to do so as long as it isn't snowing). I think fashion is about finding what works for your life and forgetting what anyone else thinks. For me this pattern is summer wardrobe staple. I would love to hear what your summer staple patterns are (I bet they would look pretty amazing with the Ojai Wrap :), don't you think?)

PS. Justine is giving 5 Ojai Wrap Patterns as part of her pattern tour: a Rafflecopter giveaway

PPS. I have to show you a preview of where Slim Jim and I went for our Weekend Getaway. I can't wait to tell you all about it.
May 14, 2014

Parisian Top by A Jennuine Life

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Name - Jenn
Blog Name - A Jennuine Life
General Age Turning 40 next month
Body Type formerly athletic.  Now, not so much...

The biggest challenge with this project was reducing the bulk in the sleeves.  Since I am broad-shouldered, gathered sleeve caps don't flatter me.  I tried reducing the width of the sleeve, but needed to also drop the curve of the armscye to get the look I wanted.  I solved it by ripping out just the head of each sleeve and then making an inverted box pleat on each sleeve cap.  It ended up with a look I really like and took the bulk out like I wanted.
Additionally, the photo shoot was interesting.  The first shoot didn't go so well due to communication issues with my husband, so I had my five year old daughter Arden take some new ones.  It was drizzling and my hair was all pouffy, but we had a good time!  I normally edit my photos to help my appearance some, but I did not edit these other than for exposure and cropping.  Not even to give myself some eyebrows - Ha!

Come over see to her blog today to see her Parisian Top
May 13, 2014

Knit Midi Skirt Tutorial & The Reasons Why I don't wear Maxi Skirts

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Oops I goofed again! I was so excited for Jenn to be joining us today that I published it one day early, she will be joining us tomorrow instead. Bonus for you, is that last night I took the time to finish my Knit Midi Skirt Tutorial after the kids went to bed last night.
You know that whole Maxi Skirt trend? I don't prescribe to that trend for a few reasons.
1. I am very tall, my legs make up most of that height. When I sit I am about the height of a 5'6" person and then when I stand up I am really just short of 6'. I feel like Maxi's just make me look more disproportional.

Sadly that didn't stop me from trying the trend out because they look super cozy and I love comfort.

2. I few years ago I found some great knit for a few dollars at a thrift store and I knew I would try making one. Every time I wore it I would be doing my dishes and my young children would come by want something and tug at my skirt, because of my body shape the yoga band was not tight enough to keep it on, so every time I would be catching the skirt before it hit the ground.

I decided my young children and I were not a good match for the trend. So I was ecstatic when midi skirts came into trend. Midi is probably my favorite length because it covers my 4 inch scar down my left knee.

My starting point for this skirt was Simple Simon's Easy Striped Maxi Skirt Tutorial, which is a great tutorial if you are into the maxi yoga waistband.

I kept some of the information but it is enough different that I decided give you a tutorial on how to make your own Midi Knit Skirt (here is the PDF version). The advantage of this skirt with young children is they won't be able to pull your skirt off with one tug.

Here is your cut chart: 
1. Putting the Skirt pieces together

2. Making the Waistband
3. Attaching the Waistband to the Skirt
 4. Putting the elastic in the waistband casing
5-6. Finishing the Waistband & Hemming
My favorite thing about my new skirt is how they look with my favorite Summer shoes.

Let the summer begin!

May 12, 2014

My stomach drops everytime I hear this phrase...

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So I totally spaced that I was the one supposed to be posting today until yesterday afternoon. It was full of family fun awesomeness so I didn't get my tutorial written. While I am working on finishing that I need your help with this project. This post has been an itch in my head over the last couple weeks and today feels like the right day to put it out. 

Growing up we spent a lot of time at my Grandma Twila's home. She had a laugh that filled the whole house. Her kitchen was always full of delicious country style cooking complete with a small half pint jar full of bacon grease on the stovetop. For most of my life, she was perfectly pleasantly plump; her body absolutely ideal for snuggling her 20+ grandchildren. To fight against her pleasantly plump, she was an intermittent dieter.
She would sign up for Weight Watchers for a few months at a time, with the goal to loose 15 to 20 lbs. She frequently would cheat the point system. Spending all of her points on one delicious Sunday Dinner and then she would eat celery and carrots for the remainder of the week. She would do this for a couple weeks until she was tired of all the healthy eating and then she would go back to her usual routine.
The other day I was talking to Jo about the phrase I hate most and one that I have been internally struggling with for the last couple weeks. When she reminded me that it was a refrigerator magnet at Grandma Twila's. As soon as she reminded me I could instantly see it. I knew the exact colors, the dots around the words and the cute font it was written in.  This may not seem impressive but my Grandma has been gone for 10 years now and this magnet was not more than 1/2" tall and 3" wide.
Today, this quote is everywhere; their are innumerable Pinterest Boards dedicated to this exact phrase. I find it so repulsive, I really don't want to write it (but if we are going to move past it I guess I kinda have to):
"Nothing tastes as good, as skinny feels."
I know you may not agree with me, you don't have to but hear me out before you make your judgement.
1. Skinny isn't a feeling, it is a shape.
2. Emotional eating is one of the contributing factors for being overweight and obese (I can say this because this is how I got where I am). By further perpetuating an emotional connection between the dieter and their food they will not be able to get emotionally well. It might guilt them into a different eating disorder than the one they currently have like bulimia or anorexia.
3. Taste is important to our bodies; a healthy amount of fat can tell our bodies that we are full and satisfied. We can train our bodies to seek after the taste of fresh ingredients and as we do this we can feel the benefits in energy as we seek premium fuel for our bodies, so lets not disregard this important sense.

I was out taking pictures with my mom last week, I realized how much more confident than I was just 6 months ago. My overall wellness has changed and it has nothing to do with my shape but it has everything to do with my confidence. I think I look prettier because I am not afraid to smile. I am pretty sure I am more fashionable because I am okay with not being invisible. My wish is that I could rewrite a phrase that was just as catchy, that would encourage women to take faith in who they are and their value.

Would you help me? I'll make you a deal if we find one or even a couple, I will make a cute little printable. Then we can all make refrigerator magnets and feel fabulous every time we look at it.

Here are a few that I loved that might serve as inspiration:
via Pinterest
via Pinterest

via Pinterest
Please I am begging for your help.....

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