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January 27, 2015

Otium Sweater

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I had a lot of fun joining in the Otium Sweater Tour by Sofilantjes Patterns. I was finally able to use a women's knit t-shirt I had been hoarding for the last year and a half. I tried to make it as far as it would and after cutting out the front of Ty's and the bow of mine there was still enough left for a little something extra. 
When I signed up I had planned for it to just be a Ty and I look, but I ended up doing the over ambitious thing and adding baby Sally to the mix. But I'm really glad I did. I blog for the pictures and so I'm glad to have these portraits and relationships to treasure and once again the awesome photography skills of Scary. If you can't tell we're all pretty crazy about each other.
I was able to size down the 12 month a little to fit my 6 month old. Luckily I was able use the original sleeves to make new sleeves. I also dissected the front pattern piece horizontally and added seam allowances to get a color blocked look and add an extra flash of color.  The bottom part I nearly doubled the width so that it would gather nicely. Sally didn't have any pants that would work with the outfit so I whipped up a pair of the Haven Acres riding pants that are currently in testing. I also made a headband using a soft 1/4" elastic and some knit scraps.
The first thing Ty did when she put it on her Otium Sweater was to stuff her cousins' toy Giraffe and Babbit (rabbit) in the pocket together and pretended to be a mama kangaroo. We're just catching a pretty bad cold and she has also used this cozy sweater to combat the chills.
I decided to pick my colors to give it an almost fancy baseball tee styled top. I wish I would've sewn the next size up, but I probably wont always feel like that as I continue to tighten up that tummy and hopefully lose some of that extra baby weight. I'm not super busty so I measured a Medium, but no one has a stomach measurement on sizing chart which probably would of put me in a large. I moved the location of the bow and took out some of the width so that it made the back show a little less for my personal preference. I really love this shirt. It's so interesting to look at.
This was such a fun pattern to sew up for each of this because it was easy to modify for individual preferences. Ty wasn't a fan of the hole in the back with the bow, but was in love the front pocket. I loved the bow, but didn't find the pocket ideal for me. I chose the bow for Sally because I know it's essential to have easy on and off tops. There's also the option of just a simple top.
Yep, I'm pretty sure this pattern is worth dancing for, but be sure you check it out for yourself and see what the other talented seamstresses came up with and maybe take a few moments to enter the giveaway.

Sponsors:

 A total of 11 patterns will be given away to one reader when they enter the giveaway!

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Otium Blog Tour
Monday, January 26th
Huisje Boompje Boefjes - Pienkel - Straight Grain

Tuesday, January 27th
January 26, 2015

Loving the Bundle UP!

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As we mentioned before our momma always did Valentine's Day right with us kids to where it was one of our favorite holidays. We (Al & Scary) took the opportunity of participating in Girls Bundle UP! tour to show our love to our girls. Don't worry we have some boy love coming next month, but today is all about the girls.
Why bundle up? The Math...
Now let us speak honestly for a moment, we are not being paid to say any of these things we don't make any sort of a commission or affiliate sale from you purchasing the pattern. We were given the two patterns you see sewn up here for review, which is a fairly common agreement between bloggers and blog tours. But we have put our money where our mouth is and are purchasing 6 additional patterns from this bundle. Okay now that we are clear on that we can continue on with why we think if you are a mom of girls you should seriously be consider purchasing.
Over here at the Shaffer Sisters we love pattern bundles of all sorts; what an affordable way to pick up patterns. By our best estimations, over 50% of the patterns we own we have purchased through pattern bundles. Although, we think it might be closer to 60%.
Buying patterns as part of a bundle gives you a chance to snatch them up at prices you might never ever be able to see again. The full price on many of these patterns is $9-$10 in order to beat the $4.50 price tag for buying 6-7 patterns that would mean for some designers they would have to give at least a 50% sale if not higher. I don't know about you but we don't often see 50% off sales for many of these designers and we have a cunning watchful eye for picking up patterns.
Another thing we love about the Bundle UP Sale is you don't have to fall victim to the pattern you will never ever use. When we look at purchasing a traditional bundle offered by other sites we usually consider that there is always one-two throw away patterns that we will never ever sew, this brings up the total price of the patterns that we would actually sew. With the Bundle UP you have a choice of disregarding almost half of the patterns (you only have to buy 6 out of the 11 patterns to get the discounted price), so you get to pick and choose the ones that are up your alley. 
Our very favorite thing about the Bundle UP sale is the great size ranges that all these patterns have. We have passed on purchasing similar kids bundles out there because they didn't have great size ranges and though we sew all the time, sometimes it takes us a couple months (or don't tell our husbands, maybe up to a year) to get around sewing a pattern even though we are totally crushing on. These large size ranges gives you flexibility for life and the change in styles from year to year. When we consider a pattern we always try and figure the price per size. This helps us know what gives us the most bang for our buck on each pattern. To help you see what a great deal these prices/size ranges give you we have figured the price per size if you were to select from 6-7 pattern option at $4.50/pattern (if you purchase more than 7 patterns the price per size would go down).
Foo Foo Threads Adeline Knit Cardigan & Dress
13 sizes = $.35 per size

Freestyle Pants, Shorts and Capris by EYMM
19 sizes (plus bonus doll pattern)= $.24 per size

Girls Wideleg Pants by Jocole
15 sizes (plus bonus doll pattern)=$.30 per size

Lilygiggle Cecille Top & Dress
9 sizes=$.50 per size

Love Notions Jam Jams PJ's
9 sizes=$.50 per size

Penny Vintage Coat and Dress from Ellie Inspired
12 sizes=$.38 per size

Potato Chip Skirt by Tie Dye Diva
11 sizes (plus bonus doll pattern)=$.41 per size

Rachel Dress by Modkid
8 sizes=$.56 per size

Sisboom Gabriella Fae Dress & Top
13 sizes=$.35 per size

Violette Field Threads Annabelle Maxi
7 sizes=$.64 per size

Winter Wear Presh Blazer
11 sizes=$.41 per size

Annabelle Dress by Violette Field Threads
The Annabelle Maxi pattern is amazing! It's a show stopper with not too much effort and uses fabrics that everyone has access to. Most show stoppers require something more than cotton so it was exciting to see this. I found my fabric at JoAnn Fabrics, the pink floral and polka-dot fabric are part of the Keepsake Calico Collection and the white is Kona Cotton that I already had on hand. It took me at least an hour to decide on this fabric because I know Ty's preference is purple. There were no interesting purples in any of the cotton so I took a chance on this and hoped that the tiny hints of deep purple flowers would be enough to count as a success.
I was amazed how quickly it came together. The instructions are very clear about explaining how to piece it together to get get the chevron to match up perfectly. Being a quilty person, I was so excited to sew this one up. I always look forward to crossing over piecing and clothing to get a bold look. Ty's chest measurement fit on the 6T size (and somewhere between 5T and 6T on height) and so I sewed a straight up 6T dress. It ended up being too long so I put in a 1" hem. It was still dragging on the ground so I ended up shortening and moving in the sleeves. Now it's probably a little shorter than it was designed, but I find it perfect for the muddy weather that we're facing and the nearly white fabric near the ground.
Ty was in love with this dress instantly. She was only bummed that she had to wait a whole week to wear it so that we could get in the photo shoot. She calls it her Valentine Princess Dress. Now I'm sure she will only take it off for me to wash it. I'm excited about the extra length hidden in the hem because she can wear it for the next two Valentines and then pass it onto her cousin.

Jam Jam Pajamas by Love Notions
For my Valentine's Day look I chose to make Boston some Jam Jam PJ's, I went to the store with one thing in mind and came out with these light weight slinky knits that are Boston's very favorite shades of pink. I thought that it would make the most comfortable pj's on the planet. I didn't realize that this pattern called for medium stable knit. I don't know if the lightweightness (let's pretend for a second that is a word) of the fabric made my pj's much larger fitting than they should have been.
Boston recently jumped in chest measurement to 21 inches and a height of 38.5" safely putting her in the 3T sizing but they seemed to fit her cousin who is in the size 5 better than it did Boston. We have sewn lots of Love Notions patterns here and have not seen this issue with sizing on her other patterns which makes me wonder if it was a mistake in my fabric choice.
I did make two modifications to the pattern; instead of cutting the bottom ruffles straight, I used my cake dome to cut a circle ruffle for a lighter feel (I used this tutorial here as a guide). I also did not hem the bottom of the shirt because with the extra bigness I wanted to make sure that when it fit her well it would still be long enough.  I embroidered little flowers all over the front bodice randomly to match her "mine" (her one and only blanket) and Minkee sheet. I did a bunch of embroidery one night when she was in bed and when she discovered it the next day she didn't want to take it off for me to finish. Luckily I was able to retrieve it long enough to knit interface the back side of each flower so the light weight fabric could handle the weight of the embroidery floss. Overall she loves them and I think I am going to have a hard time holding on to them until they fit a bit better.
I love this picture because many nights when we send the kids to bed and I poke my head into their bedroom I see Ryder sound asleep and Boston just looking out to the hallway listening to Slim Jim and I talking away. It's like she is afraid to miss a moment of excitement. I really don't know what I would do without this little spit fire. 

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Don't forget to check out the other great patterns in the Girls Bundle UP!

January 23, 2015

New Resolutions & Willow Wrap Dress {Pattern Review}

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This post contains affiliate links. We only will affiliate with companies & products that we personally believe in and agree with their quality standards.

#findmein2015
As there was a month of silence from us sisters, I found myself able to find a little time to contemplate 2015 and what I hope to gain from it. Probably the biggest thing is that I want to find me in 2015. Since getting married in 2009, I have got to be pregnant in every year. My life is consumed with my family and I totally love it, but I want to make sure I'm being the example to my daughters of what a woman should be.
1. Be More Professional
I hope to wake up most days and get on some real clothes (not workout clothes, unless I'm actually going to workout), fix up my hair nice, and try to be that classy woman that Samson came to love. I want to treat motherhood like the professional I am. Every professional has to get up and get ready for the day before going to work and I should too.
2. Sew 2 Items for Me a Month
Part of getting out of the workout clothes and into real clothes is to make sure there's clothes in my wardrobe to wear. It's my goal to sew 2 items for me a month so that by the end of the year I will have 24 different articles of clothing in my wardrobe. This may seem excessive to you, but we've been in the poor college student status for over 5 years and had 3 kids so I'm limited on what I have left to wear that is appropriate for the life of a mom.
To start off this resolution I decided to make the Willow Wrap Dress for myself. It just came out on Wednesday and I was lucky enough to get to test it. Tami from Love Notions worked extra hard on this one and its corresponding top. There are multiple ways to mix up the neckline, but my favorite is the lower nursing accessible neckline since I'm a nursing mama and I love my dresses. The pattern includes an optional modestly panel, but I'm pretty partial to my demi top undershirt so I'll probably just stick to that.  If you can't tell from the picture below, I'm crazy about this dress.
The individual patterns get 15% off with the code 'willow' or the bundled pattern (dress & top) can be purchased for 25% off (no coupon needed for the bundle). These sales go through Sunday.
3. Happier and Healthier 
My final goal is just to "try a little harder to be a little better." Find more moments to laugh with the kids and dance with them to the princess station on Pandora. This final one probably has more to it, but I'm in the midst of figuring what it is.

What are your resolutions?

With Love,
Al
January 16, 2015

Bottoms Up Pants {Pattern Review & Discount}

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Hello, all we are finally breaking our virtual silence, the hustle and bustle of the holidays sucked us up and we got out of habit of being here. But don't worry we have some great things coming up in the next month and half. Happy 2015, hope you had a great Christmas!

We are starting the new year by reviewing awesome new pattern, "Bottoms up Pants" by If Only Designs (Pattern is available 25% off through 1/18/2015 no coupon needed). With a new addition growing in my belly I couldn't help but jump at the chance to try out this pattern. The pattern is designed to fit Cloth Diapers which is awesome because I am thinking I might give cloth diapering a go this time around. 
This pattern has a great size range for a baby/toddler pattern going from newborn to size 6T, which I can see as a real asset if your kids are as fast at growing as mine have been. It is designed to have a flat front with light/medium weight woven fabrics and can be used with a full waistband on sturdy knits such as sweatshirt fleece or interlock.
For my version of this pattern I had only a little bit of this fabric leftover from a dress I had made from Boston. I didn't want to have to worry about matching prints on the side seam so I overlapped the front and back pattern pieces and did a full elastic band. Then held my breath that I had enough as I tried to keep the chevrons level across both legs. I was exactly perfect but pretty good for off grain fabric scraps.

I was surprised that the pattern only uses a 1/4" inseam because most woven patterns that I have sewn have at least a 3/8" inseam if not a 1/2". I honestly was a little worried about such a narrow inseam but it ended up working to my advantage because I barely squeaked by with what I had on hand of the fabric. It ended up not being hard at all, I didn't find it difficult to finish the edge with a simple zig zag but it would be just as easy to serge right at the edge not cutting anything off. With the way the pattern is designed there is ample room in the seat that I am not worried about the back seam being stressed and tearing.
Silly Sally even decided to put them to the test by rolling all over the Living Room floor.

I think we better ask Sally what she thinks of her new pants?
I guess she likes them!
We are the last stop on the tour and if your on the fence about this pants pattern just look over all the other awesome pants that have been made on this tour with this pattern.  
Jan 5th --> Sarah at The Crazy Tailor 
Jan 6th --> Melissa at Sew Like My Mom 
Jan 7th --> Ari at Max California 
Jan 8th --> Marissa at RaeGun Ramblings 
Jan 9th --> Emily at Naptime Creations 
Jan 12th --> Courtney at Simple City Life 
Jan 13th --> Sabra at Sew a Straight Line 
Jan 14th --> RaeAnna at Sewing Mama Raeanna 
Jan 15th --> Kacia at Coconut Robot 
Jan 16th --> Scary at Shaffer Sisters

 

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