Sunday, December 3

A Handmade Christmas

Are you someone who gives handmade gifts for the holidays? Do you ever wonder what to give? If so, we've got you covered this week! From handmade apparel, to lotions, wood crafts and more - this week the Handmade Holiday Tour probably has the perfect idea for someone on your list.

We're in full on Christmas mode over here, preparing for family to come visit for 10 days over the holidays. That means all Christmas shopping, sewing, DIY-ing and meal prepping must be be done soon! I don't typically do a ton of handmade gifts for Christmas, unless I get requests. Like last year my dad requested a hoodie, my mom requested a cardigan and my husband requested a base layer top for skiing. That was a busy Christmas!

This year though, I am simply sticking to tradition and focusing on my kids Christmas Jammies! We do them every year and have a December kick off party. We do it either the weekend after Thanksgiving or December 1st. Its fun to see them unwrap them and read a Christmas story and really get in the spirit.

Christmas jammies are a great gift because you can plan ahead and sew them in the Fall and then get them sent out to grandkids, nieces and nephews, friend's kids, and of course your own kids! This frees up November and December to focus on decorating, donating, hosting, and all the normal things of life.

We do Christmas or Winter themed prints for our jammies, but you could do non-seasonal prints as well. I always get my pj fabrics from Raspberry Creek Fabrics because of their large selection of cotton lycra fabric and their incredible prints (not to mention incredible prices and cheap crazy fast shipping.) Check out this whole collection of Christmas prints! They are phenomenal.

For my patterns I use the Love Lotions Leggins' (its free!) for my girl and the Brindille and Twig Leggings for my boy. They run a bit larger and are a perfect on boys. For the top I used the Patterns for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan but to be honest, that's just because I have it, not because its my favorite. You can use any tee and pants you want. I size up to get maximal use out of them and wear them all winter and Spring. My kids seem to outgrow pajamas faster than any other clothes for some reason....

I love how festive it makes the whole month feel being my little Christmas pajama clad littles running around. And if you want to get in on the fun - make some for you too! You could use the Love Notions Luna Loungewear set, The Carolyn Pajamas (which are gorgeous!) from Closet Case Patterns, the Reef Camisole and Shorts set by Megan Nielsen, or even some Christmas Leggings and a tee using your favorite tried and true patterns. So many options and Christmas pajama are  such a fun, festive thing for the whole family!

So - will you be sewing pajamas this Christmas season?!

Be sure to check out all the other fabulous Handmade Holiday inspiration and staring getting gifts crossed off your list!

Sunday, November 12

Special Occasion - Simple Life Pattern Co

"Special occasion" to my daughter means twirly. Anything she can twirl in is fancy and beautiful and all things wonderful in her eyes, so when I was invited to join this blog tour, my mind jumped to the Paisley dress. A full circle skirt, an open back and a smile on my girl's face? How could I say no?

We're still in Summer mode here in Arizona with temperatures in the mid 80's. I had dreams of styling this so many other ways, more typical to the way one would naturally want to in November and December in the US, but decided to just be true to where we are and embrace how she will really be wearing it. Bare legged and fancy free!

For this Paisley I used red ponte for the underlining and stretch lace for the top. Adding lace required almost no alterations for the pattern, except I finished the neck a bit differently, as I did not want a neck band which would make this look more casual. I actually wanted to fully line it for a clean finish at the neck but it would have been really bulky. 

I treated the lace and ponte as one fabric for the bodice, and at the skirt I just attached them at the waist. I used the scalloped edge from the lace on the back band, leaving it as an edge on the exposed back - I love that feminine look and think it adds a touch of elegance. 
My girl has been begging to wear this since I finished it and couldn't stop spinning once I got it on her. Safe to say its a win! The photos don't show it, but the lace has a sparkle to it, too, and I love how it looks when the light hits it as she spins. Safe to say its both mom and daughter approved, and sure to be amazing at our family Christmas gathering next month - and if she has her say, probably every Sunday at church and every day in-between until then!
There are so many other beautiful dress patterns from Simple Life Pattern Co that are sure to put a smile on your little lady's face and will be perfect for your Holiday season this year, too. Whether its a small traditional family gathering or a snazzy shindig, check out their patterns and get sewing - and then link up because theres a giveaway!

So be sure to read below about the two different ways to enter the giveaway - which is amazing - and checkout everyone else's incredible dresses because they'll blow your socks off!

November 13 - Kainara Stitches - Ammon Lane
There are TWO ways to win in this giveaway!
While both giveaways are open to everyone, contestants outside of the U.S. will be responsible for any excess shipping and fees and subject to the sponsors’ shipping guidelines.
Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win the following. One winner will be chosen at random after Rafflecopter closes.
1 winner of Rafflecopter of will receive: 5 Patterns of choice from Simple Life Pattern Co. $50 Gift Card from Cotton Coterie with FREE shipping $50 Gift Card from Little Feather
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Already sewing for the holidays with Simple Life Pattern Company? Share what you made for a chance to win the Link-Up prize! One winner will be chosen at random after the link-up closes.
1 Winner of the Link up will receive: 5 Patterns of choice from Simple Life Pattern Co. $50 Gift Card to Harts Fabric $50 Gift Card to Sincerely Rylee $30 Gift Card to Punkin Head Threads

Monday, November 6

Flutter Sleeve Hack - Sloane Sweater

I have been wanting to make a sweater with shoulder flutters for ages and the dropped shoulder of the  Sloane Sweater was the perfect candidate for this hack. This is about as warm of clothes as you need living here in the Phoenix valley so I wanted any sweaters I added to my wardrobe this autumn/winter to go above and beyond a generic sweater or hoodie. I wanted some kind of interest and femininity.  Hence - pink, cropped, and flutters! 

The Sloane Sweater by Love Notions is a loose fitting sweater with plenty of options like a back yoke, hood, pockets, banded hem, curved hem, etc., but I made the most basic version for mine so I'd have a blank canvas on which to show case those flutters.

I used muave cotton/spandex french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  I just love a good pink and this one is about as good as it gets. Its the perfect weight and texture for this, so fabulously soft and cozy. This fabric is also available in tons of colors in the shop if pink isn't your thing. 

To get a little more interest and femininity in the fit, I sized down 1 size, and shortened it 2 inches. I am 5 foot 8 so to get this length, you may need to shorten more or less than me. Although I sized down, I did not size down the band at the bottom. I usually make a large, but made a medium in this but still used the large band. I decided to do this because I didn't want it pulling the sweater in very much. I preferred it to be almost as wide as the body of the sweater since I was making it cropped and wanted more of a straight fit. 

Then I just drafted my own little shoulder flutter! I just redrew the curve of the sleeve cap to be twice as wide as the original sleeve opening and much more shallow. Then I drew a straight line about 1 centimeter down from armpit to armpit to make it essentially a very wide, shallow, short sleeve. Then I gathered it up and basted it to the sleeve, then sewed the sleeve to the bodice like normal. It worked really well but the flutter was too long, especially at the top of the shoulder, for the style I was going for so I trimmed it back to this length after it was already all sewn in.

The end result is a sweater I'm obsessed with, with all the style and femininity I wanted while still having the practicality of a sweater! Pretty sure everyone needs one of these in their closet. This pattern is packed with options and can also be hacked to your hearts content so be sure to check out everyone else on the tour this week for lots more inspiration!

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