Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Holiday Cutout Dress Tour: Bella Sunshine Designs

It was so fun making this Holiday Cutout Top for Bella Sunshine Designs' blog tour! The pattern features dress and top options for sizes 12 months to 10 years. Not only that, but there are 6 different cutout/applique options in 3 sizes each!

I chose the heart cutout on a top for my younger daughter. When I saw this crazy print in my stash, I knew it fit her personality perfectly - she's my goofball.

I love that the cutouts can be used for specific holidays throughout the year, making this a perfect addition to any wardrobe for any season. As you can see, it works wonderfully layered too!

The pattern also features layers, which allows you to print only the sizes you need. Plus, there is the option to print only the bodice/cutout pieces, so it's not a paper/toner/ink hog.

The bias tape makes it an easy finish, with a simple piece on the front and back and ties that go all the way around the armscye. It means easy on/off too - I cut mine short to knot them, but you can make them as long as you'd like and tie cute bows, too!

Right now you can get 20% off all patterns in the Bella Sunshine Designs shop with code BLOGTOUR! *I was given the pattern for the blog tour - but I will not endorse anything I don't love!* This top is a simple, fast addition to my girls' closets, and they'll both have one for every occasion as soon as I can sew them!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Boys Can Wear Pink (Too)!

Today is a boy sewing/ Baby Ethan day! I was so excited to get to join in on the Boys Can Wear Pink Series from Handmade Boy. Boy sewing is all new territory for me, and pink is really one of my favorite colors. No reason it has to end with the girls!

Look how handsome he is! I am so glad I can get him used to the idea from birth that all colors are for all kids. :) It's so common for people to think of pink as being a "girl" color - when actually, it didn't start out that way. I believe it was switched as part of a marketing strategy, and it worked! - but to whose benefit?

 Move over, girls. Pink isn't just for you.

This post is sponsored by Mabel Madison. I was given a yard of this beautiful multi-colored stripe Stenzo knit to use, and I was determined to use it in as many pieces as I could! It wasn't a hardship, believe me. Stenzo is a European knit, and the quality couldn't be better. A dream to sew with, with a wonderfully soft hand, and minimal shrinkage! It's so cozy and soft, I wish I had more of it to make myself something. Yes, I'm jealous of my baby's clothes. Haha!

 This jersey knit is perfect for a variety of clothing items. I made him everything a baby needs to be cute and comfortable - a bodysuit, pants, and a hat! (Not that he needs help being cute!) True to form, he grew out of the hat before I finished the post, but we squeeshed it on anyway for pictures. Darn babies and their growing!

I had some heavier blue woven fabric in my stash - a mystery, but it made perfect jeans. With a pop of color in the waistband lining, pockets, and contrast stitching, they're the perfect way to introduce color into baby's wardrobe, and doesn't he look handsome in his "big boy pants"!

I also made another bodysuit out of some blue jersey knit (again, hiding in my stash - a thrift store find). He has mix and match pieces now! I love the 4 way stretch of the Stenzo jersey - the pants and hat show that the stripes can be used vertically as well as horizontally, with equal amounts of comfort.

Want some of your own amazing fabric? Use the code PINKBOYS at Mabel Madison, good through 2/28, for 15% off your purchase. And don't forget to enter the big giveaway! Just use the Rafflecopter to leave a comment and be entered to win a huge array of prizes from all the great sponsors, including Mabel Madison! Prizes are listed below.

Stenzo Pit Stop Poplin in pink from Mabel Madison
$25 gift certificate, plus a surprise fat quarter from Phat Quarter Shop
One yard of solid cotton/lycra & one yard of coordinating fabric from Purple Seamstress 
One pattern of choice from Paisley Roots
$20 store credit from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop
One pattern of choice from Patterns for Pirates 
One pattern of choice from Mouse House Creations
Bottoms Up Pants Pattern from If Only They Would Nap 
One Pattern of choice from Titchy Threads 

 Check back with Handmade Boy every day to follow along with all the other great BCWP Series looks!

Getting Back on Track: February Mystery Challenge!

Mystery Challenge is back! Amy (Friends Stitched Together) keeps letting me play along, and I got my theme from her again! Nursery Rhymes! It's perfect, since Baby Ethan just joined us in December - the added challenge was sewing something for him. Who fits Nursery Rhymes better than a baby?

All Peekaboo Pattern Shop - 4-in-1 Sunhat, Classic Oxford, Okey Dokey Overalls

I couldn't decide on a nursery rhyme - I didn't want a costume, per se. I like to go with something the kids can actually wear, and the more versatile and classic the pieces, the better. I think Little Boy Blue is perfect - the outfit as a whole evokes the whimsical side of the rhyme, but the pieces individually can be worn and swapped with other wardrobe pieces to create other outfits.

We couldn't find his sheep, but Big Sis stepped in with a small herd of cows...

What baby doesn't need an adorable sunhat? If spring would ever get here, that is...

I did my favorite fabric weaving technique. Then I stitched straight lines up and down the weaving to hold it together, and placed the fabric right side to wrong side with the lining (the cloud print). The pattern pieces were traced onto the lining, and I basted around the outside of the pieces to hold the two fabrics together. Then I ironed lightweight interfacing to the wrong side of the weaving, and cut the pieces out. Ta-da! The fabrics stay together, and now I can treat the weaving as one piece! From there it's just following the pattern. :)

I love that the woven strips fray on the edges. To me, it adds to the "straw hat" feel.

Overalls are a staple in a baby's wardrobe. Or at least, they should be. Yes, they're a tad impractical (unless you add snaps, which I didn't ;) ) but they're oh so cute! I'm in the no-overalls-past-childhood camp, but I LOVE them on kids. Love them. This fabric has been in my stash for a while - it's thicker like a denim or twill, and has a little bit of texture to it.

Finally, the shirt. It's a bit more formal, but I love, love, love classic oxfords on little boys! Short sleeves would have fit the look better, but it's still chilly here so I had to go practical. Plus, you can always roll up a long sleeve!

He's all ready to go find his sheep - or take a nap. I think he'd rather do the latter, at least for now!

Here are the rest of the players this time around - check back here each day and see what all these creative bloggers came up with!

2/22: Amy – Friends Stitched Together – Arabian Nights
2/23: Alicia – Felt with Love Designs – Monochrome
2/24: Melissa – Rebel & Malice – Rockabilly
2/25: Jessica – The Berry Bunch – Black&White
2/26: Meriel - create3.5 - Nursery Rhymes
2/27: Tasha – Friends Stitched Together – The Great Barrier Reef
2/28: Maartje – Huisje Boompje Boefjes – Broadway
3/1: Jonie – Knot Sew Normal – French Revolution
3/1: Danica – The Sewing Sparrow – Nature
3/2: Starly – Sew Starly – Mythical Creatures
3/3: Fenna – FABulous Home Sewn – Jane Austen
3/4: Ula – Lulu & Celeste – Woodstock ’69
3/5: Maegen – Mae & K – 1970’s Cartoons
3/5: Sara – Made by Sara – Under the Big Top
3/6: Tisha – Milileke – WWII/1940’s
3/6: Roxanne – Pen Seb Rox – Paper Airplanes
3/7: Amanda - Mandy K Designs - Audrey Hepburn
3/8: Barbara – Country Bella – Steampunk

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Clothes for Dolly: Scientific Seamstress Scallop Challenge

That was the fastest November on record! 
Three weeks ago, I decided to enter the Scientific Seamstress Scallop Challenge, held in the Facebook Lab group. Take the Twirl Scallopini pattern, but use the scallop template to add scallops to any other pattern of Carla C's!

I used the doll scallops, myself. I had a vision, and I (partially) completed it. I used the Reversible Romper, modifying it just a little - I added a facing rather than making it reversible.

I attached three rows of scallops - being uncertain about how to finish the top of the first set, I added some gold scallop ribbon I found in my stash. 

If I changed one thing, I would have taken the time to find another way to attach the scallops. I don't love how they're stuck in the seams, as the seams in the pattern are on the front and back rather than the sides. While it's not the perfect manifestation of my "vision" - it's still cute! And my daughter loves it - she's very impressed with the addition to her dolly's wardrobe. :)

The buttons are from a bag of assorted hand-painted wooden buttons that I ordered from China via Amazon. They are adorable! I was so excited to get them in mail, and I love pouring them out and looking through them over and over. There are only a few matches in the whole bag, and I was happy to find a couple that were matching but crazy enough to go with the rest of my convoluted color scheme! Mixing prints isn't always my forte, but I like the playfulness of the teapots, and I think I managed to stick with a basic color scheme! (Aside from a couple of "accents".)

All in all - it's not bad for something I started last night! I couldn't believe how fast that three weeks went - before I knew it, it was the night of the 29th! Procrastination isn't always my friend! 

Onto December now - and Christmas gifts! There's always something to work on.

Friday, November 21, 2014

50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make: Book Review

I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of Deanna Csomo McCool's beautiful book to review - 50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make!

**I received the copy for free as part of this blog tour - all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own!**

I am not a bow maker. I sew, but I've never been entirely comfortable with ribbon. For some reason, it's always intimidated me a little (though I do love a hot glue gun!) But this book is so well written and photographed that it takes the intimidation factor out of ribbon and ribbon crafts for me.

First off, there are clear descriptions of multiple types of ribbons - everything from the most common grosgrains to the intricate, colorful jacquards. For me, this was extremely helpful, as grosgrain and satin are about the only types of ribbon I'd heard of. There are also tips on what projects are best for what types of ribbon, and how easy each type is to work with.

Basically, everything you want or need to know is laid out for you at the beginning. Then comes the fun part - the projects!

There is a huge variety of flowers, bows, decor, and accessories, ranging from beginner to advanced levels of difficulty. I started with the simple Whimsy Flower, a beginner project. It was so much fun, I ended up making two! The first wasn't exactly seasonal colors, so the second I had to change it up and pair with the Woven Headband (intermediate). I attached the flower to the matching headband, and I think it's going to be a perfect accessory for Natalie's Thanksgiving dress! 

I did change up the headband a bit - since one of the four ribbons I was using is a tiny bit thinner than the other three, they didn't want to lay nicely, so I ended up "weaving" as though I had two ribbons instead of four. I will definitely be making more of these - they are the cutest accessories, and so easy!

Finally, I've been thinking about Christmas ornaments, and the Finnish snowflake was perfect! I love the look of it - so delicate, and so intricate looking, though it really is very simple to make. The pictures make the steps very easy to follow. Along with this snowflake, there is also a lattice version that I'm dying to try next! I think a whole bunch of these will look great hanging up in my windows this year.

I really can't say enough about this book. Everything is spelled out so well for the "beginning-est" of beginners (read: me!), and the photographs and drawing illustrate each step. In fact, I think I'm inspired to get some pretty satin ribbon and try out the Traditional Package Bow (advanced!!) - Christmas gifts are so much more fun with that personalized touch!

I'm so happy to have this book - it's given me the inspiration and ability to do something I've wanted to do, but never knew where to start! And - one lucky reader will win a copy of their very own! Just enter the Rafflecopter below, and cross your fingers! *Giveaway is for US and Canada only*

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back Again!

It's been a crazy couple of months in create3.5 land! 3 months ago I packed up my husband's things and sent him off to Wyoming, to land a better job...2 months later I followed with the girls, and here we are, waiting for Baby Boy to join us in another two months! It took us a full month to get settled here, and boy are we all glad to be sleeping in our own beds again! (Isn't it funny how your own sheets will feel so familiar, when all they are is a big piece of fabric?)

We have some wonderful friends and family here, a good job, a beautiful apartment, and I really couldn't be happier to have landed in this state. It's full of grass and hills and coal, the wind is terrible sometimes, but I love it.

Today my sewing room has been set up, the fabric is loaded into the closets, and my machines are ready and waiting to be threaded and turned back on - it's been way too long! (Yes, I have a sewing room! Well. Kind of. It's a shared office - since we don't "need" the third bedroom yet, I've taken over most of it and hubby gets a corner for his computer ;). )

Things will be slower paced around here for a while. I'll still be coming back to blog about projects, but more than likely they'll be my own projects - I'm finally ready to pull back on testing and blog tours and enjoy working for myself, at my own speed. (Although spring might hold some surprises...)
Plus, my girls need some fall/winter clothes!!

*I was going to put some pictures on here, but they'll have to wait - I need the camera cable! Oh, how I hate moving...and finding...*

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mystery Challenge: Morocco!

So this was supposed to be an AUGUST Mystery Challenge - the mystery here is why I'm posting half a month late. :P

Lucky for you, I can answer the mystery! A few reasons: 1, I'm kind of a slacker in general lately. 2, I'm pregnant. Yep. Baby Boy will be making his debut in December!! We are so excited :) 
Unfortunately for my blogging and sewing, Baby Boy has sapped most of my energy and ambition. It's gotten better, but I really have to push myself to get stuff done these days. Not to mention - reason number 3, my MEMORY! Oh, how I miss you, memory. Please come back.

Amy from Friends Stitched Together organized the Mystery Challenge again for a group of bloggers (you may remember my last post?) and if you read to the bottom of this post you can find the list of participants if you want to see the other challenge looks! I was given the theme "Morocco" by Ashley over at Sewing Sober.

Admittedly, I know next to nothing about Morocco, so the challenge threw me a bit. Some quick Google Image searches brought up bright, bold rainbows of color, and I decided that this Michael Miller "Bazaar" print was speaking to me. When I thought about patterns, only one jumped to mind - GYCT Designs' Seaside Summer Top/Dress! The neckline and long sleeves instantly said "Morocco" to me. I found the halfway point between the dress and top lengths and turned it into a tunic, instead.

Then I wanted some wide-legged capri pants, using Jocole's Essential Pants pattern. I also added inset pockets - Natalie loves pockets, and I wanted to make sure I sewed something she would actually wear!
Still an appropriate fall outfit without being too literal or costume-y, I think! I did a little hand embroidery around the pockets with some green and orange embroidery floss, and used the MM print inside the pockets too, to tie them together - but they can still be worn separately, of course!

Overall, I had a lot of fun making this outfit, and Natalie loves it (despite her expression here, haha!) She is a clown, but her first reaction on seeing her new outfit was "Oh, PWETTY! Try on! Try on!" and she didn't take it off for the rest of day. I call that a win!

Mystery Challenge

Friends Stitched Together - History of Flight - 8/17
Felt with Love Designs - Under the Sea - 8/18
Knot Sew Normal - Fruit - 8/19
Friends Stitched Together - My Little Pony - 8/20
The Berry Bunch - Cover Up - 8/21
Pensebrox - Titanic - 8/22
Tangible Pursuits - London Dapper - 8/23
Rebel and Malice - Disco - 8/24
Sewing Sober - Espionage - 8/25
Sugaridoo - Musical Instruments - 8/26
Lulu and Celeste - Morpho Butterfly/Rainforest - 8/27
Paisley Roots - Classic Summer Movies - 8/28
Create 3.5 - Morocco - 8/29
Mae&K - Solar System - 8/30
The Sewing Sparrow - Safari - 8/31