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November 24, 2014

Father-Son Omni Tempore {Pattern Review}

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I'm so excited to share this pattern review with you. It seems I have taken quite the sweatshirt sewing journey this fall to try to make something that will work for Heber. If I include this pattern, I've tried 4 different patterns and I'm happy to say I finally had success. My first challenge was that his head was too big for one pattern. The next two patterns were too fitted for my sway back buddy. He looked like a girl. It wasn't until Scary stumbled upon the Omni Tempore could I actually have a masterpiece.
We didn't have to think twice about getting this pattern and jumped at the chance to join the Omni Tempore Family Tour and knock out two Christmas presents. If you're looking for something special for Christmas, you might take advantage of the fact that for the duration of the tour the Omni Tempore Bundle is 30% off. To buy either the child size or adult size only is 20% off. Only at is no coupon code needed.

To see the full capacity of the pattern you should keep an eye on the tour:

Monday, November 24th 

Tuesday, November 25th

Wednesday, November 26th

Thursday, November 27th

Friday, November 28th

Saturday, November 29th

Prizes list for prize pack #1 and prize pack #2

Prize Pack #1

1.5 meters of fabric from Joy Fits Fabrics
Omni Tempore Pattern Bundle by Sofilantjes
Bustle Skirt Pattern by Koda Baby Boutique
1 Pattern of choice by Filles a Maman
1 Pattern of choice by Serger Pepper
1 Pattern of choice by E+M Patterns
1 Pattern of choice by Striped Swallow Designs

Prize Pack #2

1.5 meters of fabric from Joy Fits Fabrics
Omni Tempore Pattern Bundle by Sofilantjes
Grace Pattern by Rose & Lee Designs
1 Pattern of choice by Filles a Maman
1 Pattern of choice by Madeit Patterns
1 Pattern of choice by Dandelions n' Dungarees

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The fit is great because it's actually designed to fit boys. We checked on this before purchasing. Even though a lot of patterns advertise as unisex, the designer has to choose to either fit for one gender or another. The fitted is great for girls and the roomy is awesome for boys. Sure you can probably use the fitted for a sway back boy, but to do that you may need to add a few sizes in width.
I also got to sew my very first clothing item for my husband. It's been a whole 6 years since the last time I made him something and that was a quilt. I've picked up a few paper patterns here and there, but until now I haven't had the guts to make him anything. This is probably because it takes more fabric to sew for him and if it doesn't turn out I don't know if he will wear it. He's not as starving for nice clothes as the rest of us.
He was starving for this though. We've just started in the bitter cold of winter and although there's no snow in any of these pictures, we have had it and there is nothing like a nice warm sweater to keep away the bite of winter. 
For warmth and added stretch I used cuddle soft fabric. It wasn't in the pattern guide, but I knew it would  be a hit with the men. It's kind of like a thicker two sided minky. Its soft and cuddley inside and out. Lucky for me I picked up my fabric when it was 40% off and I used a 25% off my total purchase coupon. All of which money saving I had not been expecting. If you use this for this sweater don't worry about lining the hood. It's plenty warm already and can end up a little bulking.
I think I'm going to use the pattern blocks to make my husband some t-shirts because I love how it fits him especially for a shirt application. He was borderline sizes and I wish I would have gone up a size for his muscular build and slight stretch fabric. I will also probably do just a little less on the cuffs because they were just slightly smaller than the width of the finished sleeves and waist. I'm used to there being a bigger difference in width so that the cuffs are more snug. Since that's what keeps the cold out, that will be an important modification in the future.
Those 15 years of cow milking muscles make the sleeves snug. So if you sew this and you're borderline sizes, go with the smaller size for a super stretchy fabric and the bigger size for something more stable and outwear.
That being said, I love how it turned out. It still fits him and it is a great starting point for sewing more with this pattern in the future. 
All patterns need a tester the first time and this was my go at it. I did modify the front of the hood meeting the sweater by just straightening it out. That crossover isn't exactly my husband's style.
This sweatshirt has been checked for chasing, running, jumping, and flying. The hood also fits great too, we were just so busy playing at the park that I forgot to get any pictures of it actually on his head.
I'm so excited because now I know what I can do for Heber on top that moves with his ever adventurous personality.
I really love this boy, but I can't seem to keep this 2 1/2 year old boy out of trouble. Just this morning alone he got black eye makeup all over his hands and face, the bedroom floor in the time it took me to help Ty go to the bathroom. Later he took the sewing scissors to some hoarded knit fabric as I was putting ham in the slow cooker. Then as I'm writing this last part he dumped an entire bag of rainbow fruity crisp rice all over the living room and it is now raining rainbow chunks throughout the entire living room. Please tell me this phase doesn't last forever!
With Love,

November 20, 2014

Winter Weather Belle: Issue 5 One Thimble Magazine Review

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Today we are reviewing the Issue 5 of the One Thimble. We first were first introduced to One Thimble a few months ago when Al was trying to find a particular style of dress pattern. The debate was on to buy the complete magazine with many different patterns and techniques or to just get the single pattern that had brought her to One Thimble in the first place. The single pattern was $9 and the entire magazine was $25. Given the tight budget she decided to go with the single pattern, but the magazine would have been a worthy investment when possible.

Since then we have been watching One Thimble to see with what they come out with next. When we had an opportunity to review one of their patterns we jumped at the chance and then the opportunity to review a whole magazine, we not only jumped but ran. There are so many great patterns in this magazine, I can't wait to try them all.

Today, I will be showing you only 3 of the 15 patterns that are included in the digital magazine. I tried to get through more but I am only one tired pregnant woman! The truth is I already have a couple more cut out and ready to sew for Christmas. Before I start into the individual pattern reviews I would like to give you my overall review of the Magazine.
I have never looked at an e-zine like this before but I was really impressed by the extras beyond the patterns. I loved the articles that help sharpen the sewing saw. Example, I loved the Sewing Stretch fabric that went so beyond the basics but covered things like caring for your knit creations and long term storing of Lycra. Other great articles include: Maintaining your overlocker, Trouble Shooting the Neckband (I know even as seasoned sewist I have had some neckband failures) and Overlocking around inner corners. I really learned so much.
Another great thing about buying the whole e-zine verses buying individual patterns is that you really have the ability to put together a whole outfit, verses single pieces.
SWEET GRACE RUFFLED HEADBAND by Snickerdoodle Stew Pattern
This is really a darling tutorial with a cut chart for pieces, and straight forward directions. My only struggles in sewing up this headband were because of my choice of fabrics. My cotton layer was much easier to ruffle than the foil. I am excited for using this pattern in the future for the perfect finish accessory for any girly outfit.
Flipped BONFIRE JACKET by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns

I put my own spin on the Bonfire Jacket trimming 1 inch off the inside front bodice piece/front facing to match. I wanted more of a shrug/cardigan than a jacket. So I used the shorten/lengthened line as my crop length. I used the size 1/2, which is what fit Boston's chest measurement with a size 3 length on the sleeve. This was really a simple flip and I loved using the facing pattern pieces for a very difficult fabric. The sizing was right on.
BELLS BEACH DRESS by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns

I loved the design of the dress immediately when I saw it. I love the contrasting yoke. I had struggles along the way with my shirring. For me it was easier to do the contrasting yoke by using the facing piece instead of the front bodice piece. Then I just basted the yoke and folded it over, pinned it down to the bodice piece and topstitched. I felt like the design was dynamite and the directions were really well explained but I found myself wishing that the pictures were larger/more clear. I would suggest staying close to the words, so you don't waste your time like I did. I do love how this makes a beach dress for those celebrating summer and a sweet winter party dress paired with a cardigan.

Next on my sewing table is the Reindeer Stuffy, Festival Skirt & Art Caddy.  You should see some of the other darling creations on this tour they have really inspired to try and sew was many as I possibly can. Don't miss out on this great deal for you. 
Saturday 11/15: Handmade Boy
Sunday 11/16: Mimi's MomRebekah Sews
Wednesday 11/19: Made by SaraBee Quilted Beauties

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PS. I loved this photo but the colors ended up being a bit off and pretty grainy so I bring you today's episode of photos that couldn't be on the cutting room floor because I loved it so I am changing it to black and white so it is okay.
November 18, 2014

Étage Top & Dress {Pattern Review, Giveaway & Coupon Code}

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Today is the second pattern of the Sew Straight & Gather  a month and a half ago I tested the Etage Top/Dress pattern for Terri. Even though we were right in the throngs of Project Run and Play, I knew I wanted to get in on this test. I love unique designs and I love the challenge of helping test them.
My first tester version didn't really work out, it will fit Boston next year probably but we both loved the style so much that I knew I wanted to sew it up again (really it was the only way I could get her to stop wearing the one that was too big). Out of this testing experience I really gained a lot of respect for Terri, I have seen designers that have an idea of what they want but stop short of getting it perfect because they are so set on a deadline. Terri is the type of designer tweaked and step back and re-tweaked every element of the pattern until it was perfect. I am so impressed by her work I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Let me tell you about this pattern:
Size Range from 12 M-12Y (Chest from 19 3/5"-30 7/8")
Print by Size Option
Fully illustrated instructions *They are beautiful illustrations, I really feel like in the example of this  pattern illustrations are much more helpful than pictures
Dress or Top Option
Half Sleeve, Short Sleeve and Sleeveless Instructions
I am going to admit something before I continue, I had every intention of running a rolled hem on the bottom of each layer but my serger is being silly right now and I was feeling lazy. So I decided to run with the knit does fray crowd on this one.
The way this pattern designed you end up with a beautiful neckline no matter how crazy your knits are. The stacking order is mind altering but with following her instructions you end up with a beautiful garment. I would warn this isn't a pattern that you should sew late at night or when you are too tired to focus on detail.
The movement on this pattern is really stunning. It is so stylish but a design that you aren't going to find among RTW garments. It is one of those that when your friends ask you where you got it and you answer that you made it their jaws will drop. A lot of the ladies in the tester group did prints which were stunning but I love how it looks with just a basic solid.
My favorite pattern is watching Boston move and dance in it. She just can't help do everything she can to make it move. It is classy while being still being child appropriate. You can pick up this darling design or the Uptown/Downtown dress that we showed you yesterday for 25% off this week with the coupon code UPTOWNEXPANSION25 (etsy or her shop).
Fill out the Rafflecopter below to win a copy of this pattern.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
November 17, 2014

Winter Maxi: Uptown/Downtown Dress Pattern Expansion {Pattern Review, Coupon Code & Giveaway}

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First off thank you for all the support and love during our Betty Skirt Tour.
This week we will be sharing work from other amazing designers from around the world. Today and Tomorrow you get to see the talented design work of Terri from Sew Straight Pattern Co. This summer Terri released the Uptown/Downtown Dress Pattern and she recently added 6 free add-on's to this pattern making this absolutely perfect for every season. She has all of her patterns 25% off through Saturday Nov. 22nd, by using the code UPTOWNEXPANSION25 which can be purchased on etsy or her shop.

Before I get started, this photoshoot had to be done in a prenap/post nap situation. Boston end up being so tired the first time that she just ran around and picked up leaves. She wouldn't let me take more than a few shots unless it was her sitting on the ground, examining her finds. Which doesn't work so well for showing the fit of a maxi dress. When we came in from pictures she crashed on the couch 5 minutes later. That is the reason that half of these have either fresh or fuzzy hair. 
We are heading into winter here quickly so I knew I wanted to make Boston a nice warm dress that she could wear to church. I used four of the add-ons for this dress; long sleeves, maxi skirt length, cowl neck and pockets. We both are so happy with the results.
Let me tell you a little bit about this pattern:
- It offers a print by size option (even for the add-on's)
- You can add as many add-on's as you would like, without adding much time to your sewing
- Size range is from 2-10 yrs. (Chest 21 1/4-28)
- Straight forward instructions that are easy for even a tired pregnant momma to follow
- Clear Pictures for the original dress pattern, easy to view illustrations for the add-on's
Boston is going into the imitating stage, which has been weird for me. I remember when Ryder did it with Slim Jim, but it feels a little silly but flattering. One of her favorite things in my wardrobe is my maxi dress, every time she tells me I am a pretty princess. When she saw her dress I asked her what she thought and with a huge grin as she hugged it she said, "It is a mommy dress." I even let her wear some "mommy lips" (lip gloss) for this photo shoot, I could tell with the air she walked out for pictures that she felt very grown up. Really I am not sure that I am ready for her to grow up but I guess if it will help her keep her dress down I might just go for it.
According to the sizing chart I sewed up the size 2 width (her chest measurement is 20 1/2") with the 3 length. The fit on the chest tighter end of the ease spectrum (it reminds me of the fit of the bimma) so if that is something that concerns you, I would suggest sizing up one. The way pattern is stacked this is easy to use the width of one size and the height of another. I did have to add a little extra paper to my maxi skirt add-on pattern piece, but Terri covers even this in the add-on instructions. 
This dress was made from fabric I had on hand. The dress fabric was left over from Jo's dress and the cowl fabric was made from a skirt I made for Al a decade ago. I think the weight of both made them perfect for the cold temperatures that we have on top of us now. Last time I struggled with hemming this fabric so this time I basted the fold line then stitched the hem and then pulled out the basting stitches when I was done hemming. This worked much better than last time when I tried serging and then hemming.
There are a bunch of awesome bloggers on the Pattern Expansion Tour, make sure to catch all their darling creations. I know that after you see them you won't be able to resist purchasing this pattern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We were given this Uptown/Downtown Dress Pattern in exchange for a review. We only work with companies & products that we personally believe in and agree with their quality standards. I had shown this pattern to my husband and I had every intention of purchasing this pattern, I was just waiting for pay day to make it happen when the invitation came from Terri.

PS. If your little girl is a Swifty like Miss B. just know that this is pattern perfect for shaking it off.

November 14, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour {Day 14}: Say Grr Sewing & Sew a Straight Line

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Today we have darling, Charity and Sabra.

Charity is from Say Grr Sewing. In the last year we have got to know Charity fairly well. I'm pretty sure she is our blogging cheerleader. Almost without fail, she leaves comments on almost everything we blog about. She is so down to earth. We love this lady. She made this darling pink, large pleat Betty Skirt. Click here or on the picture below for more details.
Say Grr Sewing: Large Pleat Betty Skirt

I am sure this is not the first you have heard of Sabra from Sew a Straight Line. She is sewing blog famous for making her own jeans, amazing things for her boys & darling things for her daughter Ivy. I am always in awe by her attention to detail on each sewing project she completes. Along with being crazy talented Sabra is full of quick whit and is a joy to spend time with. A few weeks ago Sabra, Christie and I got together for a nature hike with our kids; Ivy spunky personality was so fun. Boston and her were instant friends. This little denim skirt is perfect for keeping up with all that spunk, to read more about click here or on the image below.
Sew a Straight Line: Denim Betty Skirt

November 13, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour {Day 13}: Skirt Fixation, Elegance & Elephants and SewNBows

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Today we have Audrey, Heidi & Amy.

Audrey is part of the cute girls at Skirt Fixation. We were first introduced to them through sewing along with Project Run and Play. They were one of the very first purchasers of our Betty Skirt. For the last year as we've got to know them and have really come to love them. It seems we are always being encouraged and uplifted through the comments that are left. They like us, are budget friendly and find modesty important. They do quite a bit of up-cycling and as luck has it they have even refashioned a cardigan to make the Gathered Skirt with Placket option for today. Genius! Click here or on the image below to see more details.
Skirt Fixation: Gathered Skirt with Placket Option
I am sure that you all know the fabulous, Heidi from Elephants & Elegance. She took a chance on our blog when we were still baby sewing bloggers, letting us test some of her babies. And since then this blog stalking on our part has turned into a friendship. We consider her one of our sewing mentors. She is so encouraging and her patterns always have the best finishes every time I sew one I think I learn something new. I just adore the fabric that she used for her Betty Skirt, by using the directions included in the fit section of the pattern you can shorten the skirt to above knee amount of your choosing all while keeping your yoke distance perfect. Click here or on the image below to see her floral fine wale corduroy skirt.
Elegance & Elephants: Floral Corduroy Gathered Skirt
Amy, is a dear friend indeed. She has tested and made so many Betty Skirts for us. Without her and her friendship this pattern wouldn't have the full range of sizes and include doll pattern. She encouraged us to add the tween sizes after her niece was right on the bubble and helped us get the doll pattern just right. With all the self doubt that come right before releasing a pattern (or re-releasing with twice the amount of sizes and new features) her positive energy helped us push through our demons. Click here or on the image below to see her modified pleated skirt.
SewNBows: Modified Pleated Skirt

As part of the tour we are offering the Betty Skirt for 30% off with the Code BETTYTOUR.

November 12, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour {Day 12}: A Jennuine Life & That's Sew Kari

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Today we have Jenn from A Jennuine Life & Kari from That's Sew Kari and their skirts are so darling!

Jenn is a long time friend through Project Run and Play community and she has been so kind to join us while she is preparing to move her family from Michigan to New Jersey. She has been over her a couple of times as a guest contributor, I am always amazed by her talent. Al & I had a chance to have dinner with her this April. She was such a hoot to be around. So fun and real, you can tell she is a great mom from the way she talks about her girls. She is for sure Jennuine (sorry I just couldn't help myself). I am sure you have seen her darling patterns if not you should take a moment to check them out.  Click here or on the image below to see her darling mesh overlay skirt. I simply love the way she finished this.
A Jennuine Life: Gathered Skirt with Mesh Overlay

I am sure this is not the first you have heard of Kari from That's Sew Kari in addition to running her own blog she is on the Pattern Revolution team and blogging assistant to Candy Castle Patterns. Phew! It makes me exhausted just listing all that. Her little girls have such fun little attitudes that she always captures in her pictures and her creations. Beyond all that talent, is a darling sweetheart of a woman that we glad friend and look forward to growing that friendship more the future. Click here or image below to see her cheetah print skirt.
That's Sew Kari: Cheetah Print Skirt
As part of the tour we are offering the Betty Skirt for 30% off with the Code BETTYTOUR.

November 11, 2014

Betty Skirt Tour {Day 11}: Straight Stitch Designs

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Today we Kimberly from Straight Stitch Designs.

I first met Kimberly in a testing group for another designer, we were testing peers and I was really struggling with my test. She was so supportive and helpful for filling in the blanks. Since then we have been on half dozen other tests together. We are also both students in Pattern Workshop (affiliate link), it has been fun to interact with her further. True to her first impression she is always kind, helpful and encouraging. In addition to her magnetic personally she is stunning and stylish, it has been really fun to see her stunning style in her own designs. Click here or on the image below to see the darling wool skirt she made for her tall slender gal.
Straight Stitch Designs: Wool Gathered Skirt

As part of the tour we are offering the Betty Skirt for 30% off with the Code BETTYTOUR.

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