Friday, July 11, 2014

Pattern Review: Filles à Maman's Elisa Top

Say hello to Elisa! The newest release from Filles à Maman, and Mel was sweet enough to let me test this time around! I really love this pattern. It's unique, feminine, and simple - the whole thing takes hardly any time at all to put together, maybe half an hour from start to finish. The straps are the easiest part - just grab a yard of your favorite ribbon! (The pattern calls for grosgrain, it's very easy to tie in a bow and stays in place well.)

 I wish this were a more picture-heavy post, but this one really does not like to model anymore. Since she figured out walking, all she wants to do is GO, and she certainly doesn't care if Mom needs a photograph!

Details about the pattern:

Best of all, it's on sale right now in Mel's Craftsy store for only $6! Hurry and pick it up now, it's an ideal top for the hot summer days (and there are plenty of those left!)

Case in point: our Elisa made a perfect beach top. We layered on the sunscreen and the light, breezy design kept her cool and comfortable all afternoon, playing in the sand and surf! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Little Kiwi's Closet Princess Dress Blog Tour: Day 3

I'm so excited to be part of the Little Kiwi's Closet blog tour, and show you my version of the Scalloped Princess Dress!

I've blogged about a few of Lydia's patterns before - the Beachcomber Pinny, the Bella Bolero, the Tara Tiered Sundress...all of them beautiful, unique patterns, and the Scalloped Princess Dress is no exception. There are so many options (as with any of Lydia's patterns) and any of them can be combined for a one-of-a-kind stunning look.

I chose to do a scoop neck with a princess bodice, and a straight hem. Since I planned to add piping, I had to change my original choice of a v-neck, and I love how the piping along the straight hem makes the whole skirt stand out! It's the perfect twirling skirt - or it would be, if my little was steady enough on her feet to twirl! Haha :)

I love how this dress looks in one fabric. Even if I hadn't picked such a vibrant print, there is enough detail added to this pattern to make any fabric stand out, print or solid. Any one of the four necklines (square, V, scoop, or sweetheart) and two bodice styles (princess or scalloped) is perfect for adding embellishments such as piping or pompom trim, and with a choice of three different hemlines (straight, scalloped, or high-low) and two lengths (knee and ankle) - you could make this dress many times and never have it look quite the same. (I haven't done the math, but I know it's a big number!)

I made only one change to the pattern, and that was to make the skirt fully lined instead of using the facing. The fabric I used is so light and thin, I thought it might be almost see through, and since the bodice is lined I thought it would look better to make the skirt match that. All I did was cut two skirt pieces, sew them together, and treat them as one piece - easy!

Isn't my little princess sweet in her brand new dress? Almost all my pictures are "action shots" - princesses need to toddle and crawl nonstop, too! Good thing I chose knee length over ankle length - it's just perfect for bear crawling over that tickly grass!

The Scalloped Princess Dress is a pretty quick sew, even for a "slow-er sew-er" like me, haha. I made the piping the night before, but with that time included, the dress still only took about 2 hours to put together. I think it looks like it takes more time than that - that's one of the great things about Lydia's patterns. Great fit and wonderful, professional finished looks, without taking half a day to sew!

You can pick up your copy of the pattern here on Craftsy, but make sure you enter the giveaway below as well - you can win two free patterns from Little Kiwi's Closet!

Make sure you go visit each of the wonderful bloggers on each of the tour days - so many pretty dresses to see, all made from one amazing pattern! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pattern Review: Simply Summer Racerback Tank by Gracious Threads

**I was given this pattern for free in exchange for testing; however, the post is my own idea and all thoughts and opinions are my own. I will never leave a glowing review of a product I am not happy with.**

I'm fairly new to sewing with knits - as in, I didn't touch them until just a few months ago. But as I was assured by several, the more I work with them, the more I love them! I don't know why they ever scared me. So when the testing call came up for Gracious Threads' Simply Summer Racerback, I jumped on it.

As I've mentioned before, my three year old has an alarmingly tiny summer wardrobe. Suddenly she's growing and shooting up out of her clothes, and I can't sew fast enough. Unless she lives in these tank tops, and she just might!

She's just sad that I haven't made more yet ;)
The Simply Summer is an amazingly quick sew - cutting to hemming, one takes me half an hour or less. Given the added speed of batch sewing, I could make Natalie a week's worth of tanks in half a night of sewing (for me.) And she'd be perfectly happy with that - she loves these racerbacks!

There are seven sizes (2-8) and two binding options (regular knit binding or ribbing), though I'm sure fold-over elastic could be used as well (you may need just a bit more). I used ribbing for both of mine, and attached it in the round. The pattern shows the knit binding attached flat, sewing side seams second, and the ribbing is shown attached in the round. (Obviously those can be changed up too. ;) ) I prefer to attach in the round, as I feel it leaves a cleaner finish.

This pattern can be done without a serger easily, though I will say - my serger makes it 1000x easier, and that's saying something since it's so easy to start with. Really an effortless pattern, perfect for beginners to sewing and/or knits!

The tutorial includes many clear photos of the steps so there is no room for confusion. And Jessica is always available in her Facebook group for questions should any arise!

Comfortable enough for nap time!
Also, Jessica has generously provided a copy of the Simply Summer Racerback Tank for one lucky reader to win! Just enter the giveaway below with a few easy steps, and cross your fingers! If you don't want to wait, go here or here and purchase your copy - it's the perfect summer shirt!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mimi Blog Tour - Filles à Maman

Hi! Continuing along the blog tour today - I can't wait to show you my Mimi! There is a ton of versatility in this pattern, as I'm sure you've noticed along all the stops. Mimi can be dressed up as much as you like, or down to a "simple" t-shirt - but there's nothing plain about Mimi.

I was very excited to join in this tour. I love Mel's patterns - I own all of her clothing patterns, and they all go together so well. Plus the instructions are perfectly clear, and the finished product always makes me so happy to look at it! This shirt was no exception.

The pattern was a little big to tape, but that's because of all the options. Mimi can be a shirt or dress (or tunic!) with or without a unique asymmetrical collar, a beautiful keyhole button detail, or some cute ribbon fringe. So many ways to decorate Mimi! It comes in sizes 12m to 14y, so there's a huge range - and even if you had girls in each size, they could all be made to look unique from just one pattern.

In my case, I went pretty basic. My toddler has an alarming lack of summer clothing in her size - I've grown so used to having clothing in storage for her, that I didn't realize she'd reached the ends of my stores! Something I need to remedy, quickly...and Mimi is perfect. I love it for a substitute for a basic tee - it's simple enough at its base to be a quick sew (perfect for batch sewing a few of them) and yet detailed enough to be head and shoulders above any other tee shirt out there.

That keyhole! I love it...the button itself can be another decorative embellishment - so much variety to be had there!

I made the short sleeve version, leaving the sleeves plain (there is a cuff detail that I left alone for this one). I love the hem detail - such a small change that gives such a different look. The pattern uses facings for the neckline and hemline, which intimidated me a tiny bit at first - I've never had good luck getting facings to line up just right, but these went in so easily and I think they turned out great! (I know, my inexperience is showing! ;) )

I am trying very hard to ignore those stripes. :(  This is why we baste before serging, kids! ;)

Mimi has a long sleeve version as well, so the pattern can be used year round easily! I know I'll keep sewing them for winter too - and I have to try that fringe detail next! I love it.

Go to Mel's etsy shop right now to check out the rest of her patterns, and get 20% off Mimi - use code MIMITOUR20. You know you need it!

Also, Mel is doing this awesome giveaway - you can win 5 of her spectacular patterns! Just enter this Rafflecopter giveaway, here: 

Here are the rest of the bloggers on this tour, in case you missed one and need to look them up - tons of inspiration in all of these great posts! Make sure you see them all!

Friday, May 30, 2014

CraftingCon Tour!! - Day 5

Eek! CraftingCon continues today - and It's-a-ME, with Mario and Toad (Toadette?)! CraftingCon is a monthly competition with all sorts of gloriously geeky themes, as well as tutorials, guest posts, and more! Make sure you keep watching Mae & K and Friends Stitched Together each month for all the fun!

When I saw all the themes for CraftingCon I was hooked on Mario from the start. The games my daughters will likely play will be very different from the games I grew up with, but (so far) the clothes haven't changed (much), and the classic Mario outfits are full of inspiration for fun looks for kids!

I used the Tabitha pants by Felicity Patterns - it's an elastic waist pants pattern that can be used with or without the straps, and I love the big pockets! My toddler loves the pockets too, and the straps are just so darn CUTE (even if they do fall off her shoulders!) I love how she wears them pulled up so high! So adorably geeky.

Along with the pants I made a simple red tee. I started with Jocole's knit peasant tee pattern for the basic shape, but modified it slightly, cutting it shorter to fit the tshirt I was upcycling - I cut the shirt out of one of mine, so I used the existing hems on the bottom and the sleeves. The sleeves are cut much smaller (because my shirt wasn't big enough for the pattern pieces ;) ), and I used 1/4" elastic with a casing rather than shirring the neckline. 

For the Toad/Toadette look, I made my littlest a pair of Candy Castle Butterscotch Bloomers and a Little Kiwi's Closet Summer Hi-Lo top. The bloomers are all knit, so they're super comfy, and the hi-lo top is so sweet! Also, I made a Prudent Baby reversible vest (free pattern in 12 mo. size here). The red side has white dots painted on to mimic Toad's mushroom hat.

Our playground just happened to have a slide that looks (maybe a little bit?) like the green tubes Mario gets to jump around in, and it's Natalie's favorite!

In case you missed any of the previous bloggers' posts and want to see the full range of geeky greatness, just click any of the links below!
CraftingCon Announced! {{ and}}

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pattern Tour: The Ramblin' Raglan Review

I'm thrilled to be a part of Muse of the Morning's Pattern Tour! 
Today I have the opportunity to share my interpretation of Muse of the Morning's Ramblin' Raglan with you.

The Ramblin' Raglan is a megapack pattern - 7 sleeve styles, 3 bodice styles, 3 lengths, and 2 hem options! With all that, who needs another raglan pattern?? This one encompasses tops, nighties, and dresses; long, 3/4, short, and flutter sleeves (with or without elastic bands or frills); plain bodice for tons of embellishment options or elasticized for a customized perfect fit (with two insertion methods!); and a straight hem or a pretty ruffle!


I chose to make a nightie for Natalie, with a ruffle hem, standard short sleeves gathered with elastic, and enclosed elastic in the bodice. I love the option for enclosing the elastic - my toddler is particularly, well, particular when it comes to the clothing I make her with woven fabrics, and anything I can do to make it more comfortable is a definite selling point!

My fabric blends in with my ironing board cover a bit :)
The fabric for the nightgown was Mom-chosen, Toddler-approved. As soon as she saw the sleepy owls, her eyes lit up - and when I showed her the ruffled hem, she exclaimed "Oh, PRETTY!" and demanded to put the nightie on. She also loves the pocket that I added - not especially necessary for pajamas, but the girl LOVES pockets! What toddler doesn't?

The pockets hold an ear of corn for snack perfectly!
Her favorite part.
To make the pocket, I cut a 7 inch square, then measured halfway along the bottom, 2.5 inches up the side, and cut that triangle off on both sides to shape the pocket. Then I hemmed the sides, and stitched the pocket on! Nothing fancy about the placement - I eyeballed it. ;)

This pattern is so easy to put together. There are only 3 pattern pieces (a front, a back, and whichever sleeve you choose), and measurements for the ruffle pieces. One of my favorite things about the pattern is the fact that the elastic measurements for sleeves, bodices, and the neckline are included in charts with the corresponding step, rather than being listed in a big chart at the beginning of the pattern. So much easier to cut pieces for a specific step as you go, and no forgetting those measurements!

The Ramblin' Raglan is a quick and easy sew. From cutting the fabric to the final stitches on the hem, it took me about 2 hours to put together the nightie (that's estimated actual work time - I'm easily distracted, both by self and kids. There are downsides to having the computer right next to your sewing machine, ha!) The pieces fit together well for a great look - I love the finished piece on its own, and on Natalie. She loves it too - I finished it less than a week ago, and it's already been in the wash twice! 

She wants to wear it for a day dress as well as a nightie - these pictures are from her "farm girl" shoot. The setting (in the dirt) and styling (yes, that's an ear of corn she was snacking on while posing!) are all her idea. 

We'll be seeing more of the Ramblin' Raglan around here for sure! And with all the options available, I can make her a whole closet full of different looks before coming close to exhausting the pattern. At only $10.00, this pattern is a fantastic deal, especially for all the different looks you can get with just one purchase! If you buy through the website through May 17, use the code BLOGTOUR30 to get 30% off - that means you can get the Ramblin' Raglan for only $7.00!!

 Make sure to check out Chrissy's blog and enter the giveaway! 10 people will win a pattern of their choice from Muse of the Morning. Chrissy has patterns for clothing for both boys and girls, bags, ornaments, decorations, and even toys! 

There are so many awesome bloggers sharing their beautiful interpretations of an array of great patterns from this amazing designer, and you can find all the links on the blog as well!  There's really something for everyone. Muse of the Morning's patterns can be found on EtsyCraftsy, and Muse of the Morning's website. Remember, 30% off your entire purchase until May 17 using code BLOGTOUR30 - on the website only!

*I was given this pattern for the purposes of this tour; all thoughts and opinions are my own.