Tuesday, June 13

Sew What Do I Wear: Vacation Edition

Have you been loving all the inspiration so far from this blog tour? If you're just popping in and this is the first post you've seen, you should definitely check out the other bloggers and see how they style their patterns from Made for Mermaids and Pirates for Pirates for their vacation (or staycation) needs. 

As for me, I'll about versatility, comfort, practicality and style. Whether on Vacation or on the daily, I have kids so a lot of my daily activities are the same wether I'm in Mexico, the mountains, or at home. So, Mama Daphne and Timeless Tunic to the rescue!
Mama Daphne was a pattern I had been on the fence about for ages. One, because I don't wear off the shoulder, and two, it was a little shapeless for me. Both of those factors may sound hilarious since off-the-shoulder and shapeless are 100000% on trend right now. But they don't work for me. But I kept coming back to it because I liked the ruffle, the feminine flair and light air look of it. 

So I decide to use it as a base to create the perfect top. I used rayon challis from Fabrics Wholesale Direct on eBay (only $4 a yard!) and then made some changes to the pattern to get this fit. I actually didn't change very much but it kind of sounds like a lot. Its not, I promise, and it was incredibly easy, in case you want to recreate this look.  
+I added 3 inches in length: I wanted it to be longer, plus I am 5'8"
+Made it slightly longer in the back: I like shirts that swoop down and cover my bum. Don't have a problem with my bum, I just happen to like long shirts in back
+Did a curved hem: to give it some shape in the hem and added femininity 
+Lengthened the height of the ruffle by 2 inches: I wanted it to be longer because I wanted to wear it up on my shoulders and have the ruffle act like a sleeve
+Reduced the width of the ruffle for 4 inches: Since I planned on wearing it only on my shoulders and never off of them, I shortened the elastic so that it would naturally want to sit in closer on my shoulders.
+Added shaping to the side seams: I am pear and tops without waist shaping just don't look good on me.

These were super easy alterations to make as I was cutting it out. I also finished it in french seams because that is my personal preference when working with lightweight wovens. Now I have a top I love, that gets worn often and is a perfect practical top for Arizonas 117/46 degree temps this week.
I love dresses because they look put together but are only one garment. To me they mean no-fuss yet put-together. I love that I can still look good, chase kids, run errands, go out with girl friends, head the beach, hit up the snack shack, head to an outdoor movie, and hustle kids from the car, airport, and all activities in-between in just one garment. Which means no adjusting of the clothes. No pulling up your pants, pulling down your top - or up - as the case may be, tucking something in, etc., etc. 

Timeless Tunic/dress is perfect because you can make it in a variety of fabrics to get the look you're going for. Wear with wedges, sandals, casual tennies (like my go-to pink vans) and basically have an outfit for any occasion. 
For my dress I added several inches (4, I think, can't remember exactly, also I'm 5'8" for reference) to make it hit around the knee. I also finished the neck with bias tape because me and facings don't get along. I also finished it with french seams to give it a clean finish. I used this daisy chambray from Raspberry Creek Fabrics  (its still in stock!!) - and bonus! Back in this post I said I planned to make this dress out of this fabric so I feel accomplish that I actually did it!
I hope you feel inspired for ways to make M4M and P4P patterns work in for all your summer vacation needs, and check out the other bloggers who have created mini capsules, swim wear, and so much more!
Where are you going on vacation this Summer and what patterns are making their way with you???

Thursday, June 1

Art Gallery Inblue

 I have been ready for this post for months and months now and I am so excited its finally here! But the sad part is...this tour has come town end - have you seen the other blogger's posts yet? They're incredible! I've teamed up with Art Gallery and Katerina Roccella, the designer of the new In Blue line, to show off some of the most amazing fabric ever!

This line contains, cottons, viole, cotton/lycra, and canvas. I sewed up three different cottons and a knit and they are all amazing. I just really love the quality of AGF and have for years. You really get what you pay for. Their cottons are great for anything from home decor, quilting, clothes, as well as the linings of bags and accessories. 

But hey, if you know me at all, you know I am no crafter. I sew apparel, or nothing! So as soon as I got invited on this tour back in February I began hunting for the perfect patterns, something worthy of my glorious fabric. 
 I landed on 3 patterns for my daughter, and one for me. First up I made my girlie the Polina Dress by Coffee and Thread. Olga, the designer, was kind enough to gift me this pattern when she heard me raving about all at the photos I had seen of it - she's amazing! Mine doesn't quite do the pattern justice because I had the flounces pressed flat here because that's how I had them to do the top stitching, but now after a wash and steam, they are all loose and flowy again how its intended and they are so precious! I should have captured photos of that but...have you tried to take photos of a two year old? yeah.....
 I did the gathered skirt with the full flounces but there is also a circle skirt with a cute neck ruffle I need to make her next! For this dress I used the Art Gallery In Blue Weid Blue cotton. I love the simple floral pattern with only 2 colors. Its soft, feminine, whimsical, but still pretty muted and I love it. Back to the pattern again, I love love love it. It has a clean finish inside and out, fully lined bodice with the skirt waist seam enclosed in the bodice. BUT if thats not your cup of tea and you don't want to line the bodice or your short on fabric or something it also has the option for neck binding and arm hole bindings so - bonus for you!
Get ready to swoon - bikes! I love bikes. Bike prints in my house, bike t-shirts, bike fabric, I want it all. (Did you know my cake topper at my wedding was a man and a women on a tandem bike? Yep... I like bikes.) So this print was a no brainer. Its the Fietsen Dawn cotton and its hands down my favorite fabric from the collection if you're wanting something fun but not too out there. 

I made her the Jane top from Shwin Designs. This dress also has a dress option, also up soon in my sewing queue. It has a facing inside that gets sewn into the arm hole, which is my favorite type of facing. Otherwise, I hate facings. No matter how much understiching I do, those little suckers flip up and I hate that. But I love the facing in this. It also has several options for a back closure. I just this method because I had this random pink button that just so happened to match perfectly. 
It was hard to get pictures of her adorable shorts, but I used the chinoiserie cobalt print for them. this is great print as it coordinates with tons of other prints from this collection. Bonus - its great for boys and girls - totally gender neutral. Thats always awesome at my house since I also have a son...who I usually forget I can sew for....hmmm.

For her shorts I used the Made for Mermaids Evie Shorts. They also have a pants option and have suspenders, but I have never made those options. I just love these shorts so much I've never tried any other views. Why mess with perfection?! They go with everything and are easy to transition from babyhood to big girl hood and keep a little charm in her wardrobe. They have a flat front waistband with elastic in back for an easy pull on style,  pleats in the front, and elastic casing at the leg.

One warning about this pattern - it runs huge! I have made these before filling the size chart...mostly. I followed the haight measurement and the was it in that size was tiny bit too big for her but I like sewing things a little big at this age cause she's growing so fast, she grows out of things in like 2 weeks. So I made the size 3. They were so big they looked like clown pants. The hem fell below her knees without me hiking them up and the waist wouldn't even stay up on her at all. 

So I sized down 2 sizes and made her the 12 month size. They fit great! She's almost 2, will be 3 in a couple months and wears 3T but is nearing the height of a 4 year old. So just beware. They are worth the weird sizing, because I love them so much, just know about that ahead of time.
 And even though I kind of despise matching... I couldn't resist getting some bike knit for myself! I used the Tessa Sheath Dress from Love Notions for my dress. Its adorable! Great casual summer dress for park and play dates! Totally mom friendly which is a requirement in my wardrobe. This pattern is great because it has a back center seam for shaping and is also great if you need to make custom adjustments to your clothes - like me:)
In short - you need some AGF! 
Be sure to enter the rafflecopter below to win some fab prizes - including the Tessa Sheath Dress Pattern and a $20 shop credit to Made for  Mermaids where you could get the Evie Shorts!

And go see the other bloggers in this tour - because they've got some pretty incredible makes up. You'll even see AGF denim used - and several of the fabrics on boys!!

Tour Schedule






Monday, April 17

Love Notions Olympia/Hey June Union Mash Up

This fabric caused some weird battle inside of me. On one hand, I thought it was fun and bright and interesting. On the other hand, the print is enormous, its everywhere in the knit fabric sewing world, and sadly, most things I've seen made out of it and the other color ways are not my style and it kind made me think anything made out of it would be ugly. 

But then of course, Diana, at Raspberry Creek Fabrics, my favorite place ever, got it in stock and I kept adding it to my cart, and then taking it out again. Finally I decided it was such a good deal that it would be ok if I tried something with it and didn't love it. And then...it just lived in my cupboard for months. I couldn't decide what to make out of it. Since its the biggest print I've ever worked with, I wasn't sure whether I should make something small, like a t shirt, in order to not go overboard with the huge floral, or something big and just embrace the print. 

In the end I decided if I used a large scale print on a large pattern that it would feel more like it belonged there, instead really out of place. So maxi dress it was!
You've already read about my love for the Olympia dress from Love Notions, and if you know me at all you also know I love a good hack. So I decided to mash two patterns together for this dress, I used the maxi skirt from the Olympia, and the Union St Tee from Hey June for the top. I chose the crew neck and short sleeves, but there are tons other options. This mash up should work with any of your favorite t shirt patterns, and likely any maxi skirt, with a few alterations.

I added 6 inches to the maxi skirt, in 3 places, in 2 inch increments, to get it floor length on me. I'm 5'8" and am wearing flat sandals. For the Union, I sized down, and then took it in a bunch more, and obviously shortened it a lot. I also had to make the opening of the top of the skirt smaller to match the bottom of the bodice. I used clear elastic at the shoulders and the waist to help support the weight of this dress (its a fairly heavy double brushed poly). 

It turned out amazing! Plus its super comfy!Its not super practical now that were moving to Arizona, as brushed poly is not known for its breathability... But hey - at least its pretty!
What are your favorite pattern mash ups? Are you a hacker, or do you prefer a pattern for everything? I'm torn - I love patterns, but I am also known for trying a hack on pretty much every pattern I own...

If you try a mash up like this tag me on Instragram so I can see it! 


This post contains affiliate links

Thursday, April 13

Life Plans, Ruffles and the new Farrah Pattern from Chalk and Notch

 Do you have a favorite type of fabric? I do. Its called all. of. it. Haha I kid...mostly. Its rayon challis. Currently...it changes. Rayon is fluid as air and incredibly soft and smooth. I've been on a rayon kick lately with my sewing. Well actually, I haven't made anything in 2 weeks but, you get the idea. Two of the last three things I've made have been in rayon. This is one of those. This fabric is from LA Finch Fabrics (out of stock but I linked you to the rest of the rayon collection) that I snagged on Black Friday, planning ahead for Spring and Summer sewing. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story asking about which side of the fabric to use. I ended up going with the wrong side and have no regrets! I love the muted feel of it and the colors are perfect for Summer...especially summer in the desert...

Thats right. The desert. Cause news flash! We're moving! We just found out and things are moving along so quickly, its kind of terrifying. I'm sad to leave my lush green Utah, but mostly I'm sad to leave my amazing maker community and friends here. Where my Arizona sewing buddies at???

Now - onto this incredible dress!  

 Its the new Farrah Pattern from Chalk and Notch and its love! We just got back from Arizona and I brought this dress with me. It was the perfect Spring piece to bring. Also - it has a blouse option too! And a front ruffle view! I just had to make the flutter sleeve view because ruffles and me have never really gone together but the instant I saw this, I knew I needed it in my closet. 

Both the top and dress have a split hem and shorter front, longer back. There are no closures, just slides on over your head for easy sewing, even a beginner can make this. Its labeled as intermediate because you may be learning some new techniques, but none of them are hard at all! Plus, Gabriela's instructions are top notch (she puts the 'Notch' in Chalk and Notch) so you can easily handle anything this pattern throws at you.

All the other testers said the hardest/longest part is helming the ruffles. Honestly I wouldn't know because I lined mine. I did that because I used the wrong the side of the fabric, and the right side is very dark and saturated and would have looked all wrong seeing that contrasted with the rest of my dress. So I lined them, and instructions for that are also included in the pattern. My sleeves are still perfectly drapey and I love them. BUT if you don't line them, I do recommend getting a rolled hem foot. It will make the process so much easier, and especially faster. 

I have a blouse version with a hack planned next. The hack is going to be simple but amazing, and I am stoked for it. But I don't know when that will happen with the move. We are busy finding movers and cleaners and figuring out the next 14 days of our life...cause thats how soon we move...yikes!

But if you're not moving, get yourselves over to chalk and notch so you don't miss out a steal of a deal! The pattern is on sale for $9 right now so hurry!

Tuesday, March 28

Olympia Dress by Love Notions

Love Notions just released the new Olympia dress, and in all honesty, I wasn't sold on it in the beginning. Its a shape I don't usually wear and that made me nervous. But I decided it was worth a shot, and if I hated it I could turn the fabric from the skirt into something else. After all, I've been testing for Tami for quite some time, and I have yet to dislike a pattern.

Let me tell you, Tami puts her heart and soul into her patterns. I have never been a part of a test for Love Notions that went through more than 5 versions. I think this one went through 9 to get everything just absolutely perfect. She listens to all our feedback, takes it all seriously and doesn't get annoyed with us - although maybe she rolls her eyes in private ;)

The Olympia dress is a knee or maxi length dress with 5 sleeve lengths (including sleeveless),      pockets, and a v-neck shawl collar. Its meant for light to mid weight fabrics with decent drape, but you have to be careful. The bodice is not lined so you have to make sure your bodice fabric can support the weight of your skirt. I used clear elastic in the waist and shoulder seams of mine to help with this.  

I decided to use stripes as soon as she showed us the line drawings before testing. The bodice has a center seam in front so it was perfect to try out some diagonal stripes. I used navy and cream stripe double brushed poly from So Sew English

I chose to go crazy with the stripes and do diagonal on the front bodice, horizontal on the back and sleeves, and vertical on the skirt. Which meant a serious game of tetris to make sure I could fit all my pieces. I excluded the pockets because of this. But a note on the pockets anyway - the pocket piece is not separate! Its connected to the skirt with I think in genius because I usually attach my pocket pieces slightly off so they don't align perfectly. This make it so easy!! 

I was so skeptical as I was making it - but look! My husband loves it and always tell me how 'striking' it is;) I actually love that its fitted at my waist and then goes out. I've always been scared of that for some reason, preferring dresses that are blousy on top, then have a defined waist, and then flow back out again.
Naturally,  I made some adjustments, but I have to adjust nearly every pattern to fit me properly (sway back, full seat adjustment, etc.) remember every body is different! Fabric also makes a huge difference and my fabric has 100% stretch so my bodice ended up a bit big.  I took it in and then adjusted the skirt to fit. I am 5 ' 8" and did not add any length, but I did shorten the bodice an inch (my natural waist is pretty high) though
I think that this is version 5 and the bodice has been taken in and shortened since then.

I am super happy with it! I really love it and even like more the ,ore I wear it. I am so glad I took the time do the stripes all the different directions - I love the effect of the vertical stripes on the skirt!

The pattern is on sale for $8 through Sunday so go get it here and get sewing!

PS four of us testers live close so we got to do a group photo shoot - I love my sewing friends!

Saturday, March 25

Raspberry creek club line

I was lucky enough to get to get to sew up some strike offs from the new CLUB line from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. CLUB fabrics are the in house fabric line that's printed exclusively for Raspberry Creek Fabrics. They are still in preorders right now, until March 28th, which means you get them at a discounted price. They start shipping April 1st, and will still be available for retail but for a $1 more a yard. A bunch of us who sewed strike offs get together for a little group photo shoot of our kiddos in the new line. Seriously, sewing buddies are the best! There are 7 different CLUB fabrics on display in these photos,  though some are hard to see. (Like the mint and white clouds.) But there are waaaaay more  than 7 prints to chose from. Theres like...33 or something!
I sewed up this Hey June Racerback Dress (hint - its a free pattern and you need it). My girl lives in these dresses all Summer. This navy floral cotton lycra is perfect for it! All CLUB fabrics are printed in 95/5 cotton/spandex and also on 95/5 french terry - so you get to take your pick!
I also made my little guy a sweater vest for Easter. I used the Love Notions Dashing Vest (also a free pattern) and used this tutorial to hack it into a pullover instead of having buttons. I have decided that boys are not near as fun to sew for, but I wanted to make him something for Easter, and this plaid matched his little navy chinos perfectly - I love it! I also used RCF white cotton lycra for the arm and waistbands for it.
I have more of each of these fabrics and think I can get a Chalk and Notch waterfall raglan and Love Notions Leggins out of the floral hopefully. I have more plaid, too but cant decide what I will making with the rest of it. The great thing about it is its totally gender neutral so anyone can wear it and it matches several other fabrics in the new CLUb line.

Have you bought your CLUB fabrics yet? 
You get them here
What are you making with it?

Other patterns used: 
Sheath dress is in testing from Sew Straight and Gather
tank, elastic waist dress