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

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bowtique Emilee Giveaway - Denim, Yellow, and Gray!

I have the amazing opportunity to host a giveaway from Bowtique Emilee, a premium headband/accessory web store

Opinions published in this post are my own, and though I was gifted the materials for this particular headband, I received no other compensation from Bowtique Emilee for this post. My toddler, however, demanded compensation in the form of a lollipop in order to be photographed.

Handpicking all the materials was so much fun! As there is a staggering variety of elastics and bands, not to mention the adorable embellishments like butterflies, bows, and flowers in many sizes, colors, and styles, it definitely took some time to settle on a theme! Go take a look, you can find anything you need to make the perfect accessory to top off any outfit!

I chose the following materials for my headband:

1 yd skinny gray elastic
1 yd silver glitter 5/8" elastic
2 yd pale yellow chevron 5/8" elastic
3 2.5" denim chiffon flowers
2 gray 1.5" mini chiffon flowers
1 yellow 1.5" mini chiffon flower
2 gray sequin butterfly bows
1 yellow sequin butterfly bow

Before this, I'd only made a few simple headbands, so I wanted to let my creativity run wild! After browsing the site with my sister for a while, we finally came up with (I think) the perfect combination. The denim flowers caught my eye, and from there the decision to use yellow and gray came easily. I love the modern yet classic color combo!

I wanted to use the glitter and chevron elastics to add a little interest in the background, though the flowers are center stage. The butterflies were added to make the headband echo a "flower garden". Each component on the band is hand stitched, except for the band itself.

I machine stitched the two wider elastics together to make a double band - keep in mind if you do this, use a zig-zag stitch to maintain some of the stretch, and make it a bit bigger than you normally would, as sewing the elastics will make you lose a little elasticity!

I know this is a terrible photo but I think it's funny.
The denim flowers were sewn on one at a time, then the gray and yellow layered over. Finally, I secured the butterflies to varying lengths of the skinny gray elastic, trying to make that as low profile as possible! Then the other end was stitched underneath the smaller flowers.

It's the most over-the-top accessory I've made to date, and I love it! All I want to do now is go find more supplies and make one to match every outfit I've ever made her. Those tiny little flowers and all those elastic colors are addicting!

Now the best part - one reader is going to win a prize pack containing everything I listed above! Again, that's a pack from Bowtique Emilee containing the following materials:

1 yd skinny gray elastic
1 yd silver glitter 5/8" elastic
2 yd pale yellow chevron 5/8" elastic
3 2.5" denim chiffon flowers
2 gray 1.5" mini chiffon flowers
1 yellow 1.5" mini chiffon flower
2 gray sequin butterfly bows
1 yellow sequin butterfly bow

Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway - so easy! - and cross your fingers!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pattern Review: Little Kiwi's Closet Street Smart Sweatshirt Collection!

Ooh, I can't believe it's taken me so long to share this one! The options, as is typical with Lydia's patterns, go on forever...

It's the Street Smart Sweatshirt Collection! Choose from 2 lengths plus a hi-low hem option; add a kangaroo pocket or hood; use ribbing to create stretchy cuffs and a hem band, or leave them off and hem as you like! Plus, there's an option for a snap or button-up back for even easier on-off (great for newborns!)

The raglan style sleeves are so easy and quick to attach, and offer a simple way to customize this sweatshirt with a variety of animal embellishments - check out this panda! The ears are simply sewn into the shoulder seam, and the face is appliqued onto the front - so fun to embellish. (This is the sweatshirt I had to wait to finish before I could share this review - I got caught up in everything else, and the poor panda sat on my ironing board waiting and waiting...)

The eyes are fabric paint, and Natalie put her fingers in them before they dried. ;)
Natalie is thrilled with her "panda shirt". I can't get a picture of her wearing it - but then, it is typically around 80 degrees outside right now. So I guess I don't blame her for not wanting to put it on, but she loves to carry it around! Silly girl! :)

When I tested (lucky me!!) I made three different sweatshirts - one for each of my girls, and then one for my niece. While I'd been putting together the other two, my sister said she wanted a sweatshirt dress, and as I was up for three different options anyway, I said of course!

Natalie is wearing her University of Minnesota (or Harry Potter/Gryffindor, depending on your affiliation of choice) inspired hoodie! Cuffed sleeves, hem band, kangaroo pocket (nothing this girl loves more than a pocket!), and a lined hood! This one is made all from fleece, and it'll be so warm and cozy this winter!

Sam has a snap-up back (love those little heart snaps) with a hem band, cuffed sleeves, and again it's all in fleece. Some of these thinner fleeces snap back in shape really well, and work almost as well as ribbing for cuffs - though if I'd had matching ribbing, I would've rather used it!

Finally, Lia in her sweatshirt dress option! This is a favorite of mine. The fabric is a poly blend jersey knit, left over from a dress I made myself, actually! I did a hood and pocket, placing the pocket in the mid section and lining up the stripes (of course). And check out my lining up on the arms, if you can see it - best ever! /brag ;)

I love this pattern, but then I love all of Little Kiwi's Closet, so that shouldn't be a surprise. The raglan sleeves make this so fast, so easy, and with any variety of options and materials you can use, it's a wonderful value! I know there is a pile of fleece left in my closet that's just waiting to be turned into more cozies for winter coming up!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Golden Rippy Delilah Blog Tour, and a Giveaway!!

My turn, my turn!

I am so excited about Golden Rippy's Delilah top, I can't even tell you how much. Before this pattern, I'd successfully made myself a dress and a cardigan (which, actually, was semi-successful - it needs a bit of work). I'd unsuccessfully made a couple of other shirts...

btw: I received this pattern for free as part of the blog tour, but all opinions are, as always, my own

Because of the style of this pattern, I was eager to try it out! Looser fitting with dolman-esque sleeves - definitely my style, particularly right now. See, I'm at an awkward pregnancy stage, moving right along into maternity wear (at only 4.5 months, thank you third baby.) There's just not much that fits right, and I've been getting a bit anxious about the state of my pregnancy wardrobe for the remaining months.

According to the measurements, I was just going to fit an XL, at least in the chest. I figured, why not, I'll give it a shot as it is and adjust if needed! This gray top, with the half sleeves, is my "muslin" - but I'm thinking it's totally wearable for fall/winter, coming right up! (Yeah, yeah. Don't remind me either.)

I took an inch and a half off the band, because I knew I'd want it to be a little more fitted around the bottom for an ideal maternity shirt. (I'm thinking this might be a good top to try a little ruching on, too!) Other than that, I didn't change a thing the first time around - and I love it, I really do!

My fabric was a soft and comfy thrift store jersey knit sheet. ;) I imagine it's been through a few washes before, not counting the one I gave it, and wow, is that material soft. This top is just like snuggling a cozy blanket, and gray is such a comfortable color!

I look comfortable, right?
Second time around I thought I could use something a little more summer, since it's not over yet! Not to mention something a little prettier - gray is cozy and I love it, but I wouldn't call it "feminine", per se.
I found a remnant at Joann's of this beautiful floral print, and !!! - there was just barely enough for the top, and I manage to squeak out the hem band too! Perfect.

I played with adding another color for the neck/sleeves and maybe hem band, but nothing I had looked just right. So I called my twin needle into service - I had to fight with it a little bit, but the white thread blends in all right, and the only iffy spot is on the back of the neck (yay for long hair!) ;)

Simple hems on the neck and sleeves didn't take any longer than adding the bands the pattern calls for, and I still got my (slightly shortened, again) hem band in to make this shirt just as maternity friendly as the first!

That is my first baby, and she needs a Dahlia top.
Two more bloggers are up with me today on this tour, and the complete list is below if you've missed any - go check out all the posts, and all the beautiful Delilahs!

Don't forget to get all your chances in the giveaway, too - Rachel, the designer, will graciously gift two winners will each win TWO patterns from Golden Rippy! (If you have daughters, there's a matching Dahlia top available!)

Monday- July 28
A Vision To Remember
Tuesday- July 29
Cozy Cape Cottage
Gracious Threads
Wednesday- July 30
The Sewing Geek
Sprouting JubeJube
Thursday- July 31
My Taylor Made
Mimi's Mom
Rebel & Malice
Friday- Aug 1
Stitchwerx Designs
E-beth Designs
Saturday- Aug 2
Marmalade Forest
Ali Cat & Co
Sunday- Aug 3
Monday- Aug 4
Tuesday- Aug 5
Mae & K
The Crazy Tailor
Blogs Like A Mother
Wednesday- Aug 6
Bebe Lambs
Lady and the Gents

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pattern Review: E+M Patterns No 6 - Girl's Shirt and Dress

I haven't been working with knits very long, but the more I do, the more I like them. When the chance to test Allison's new pattern No. 6 came up, I had to do it! The illustrations looked so sweet and girly, and I will never turn down a good pattern for a summer shirt, when Natalie needs them so badly.

Of course, that's not to say this pattern can't be used in the fall and winter either. Take off the flutter sleeves (or don't) and it's a great layering top. There are a huge number of options in this pattern: shirt or dress? If a dress, will you make an A-line or banded middle? Hems - hi-low or straight across? Flutter sleeves or sleeveless? Will you gather the front of the top, or try your hand at pleats or pintucks?

I'd never done pintucks before, so I gave it a whirl. I LOVE them. So feminine, and so EASY - I don't know why I thought they were intimidating all this time, really. Even on knit. They add so much detail to a shirt for not a lot of work, just some patience.

I almost left off the flutter sleeves, too, but I'm so glad I decided to do them. They don't look good on everything, but they definitely go with this shirt. I don't know if I've seen a pattern I like them more with, and I'd like to try hacking some other sleeves on here as well!

My favorite detail on this shirt, though, is the keyhole. I don't know why, I just love keyholes. They're such a fun detail on children's clothing! Plus the binding on it is so simple, you'll want to make these all day.

Natalie grabbed the shirt as soon as I pulled it off the machine and said "Ohh, CUTE Mom!" - one of the very few times she's been that excited about something I've made. She wears the shirt all the time now, and I just love having something in her drawer that I've made as a staple! 

This is her best model pose ;)
Pattern No. 6 is on sale right now for $5 until Friday at midnight PST (regular price will be $8)- but if you've made it all the way to the bottom here, it's your lucky day! A chance to win a copy for yourself! Just enter the Rafflecopter and cross your fingers!

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!