Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dia De Los Muertos Blog Tour: Day 4

I feel like life has been rather hectic lately, and the end result is that I haven't been blogging a lot, BUT when I saw this tour, I really wanted to be part of it.  So, welcome to my post for the 2nd Annual Dia De Los Muertos Blog Tour hosted by Rebel and Malice

On my side of the family, Inara gets a rich Peruvian history, but from her dad, Inara gets a Mexican heritage that I'm not super familiar with.  But somehow Inara loves the music and the bright colors.  And then the movie The Book of Life came out, and on a whim, we bought it for her and she fell in love.  She's been totally obsessed with it since, and when I asked if she wanted to learn a little more about Dia de los Muertos and help make an outfit for a blog tour, she jumped on it.  So with lots of help and opinions, here is what we came up with.

She's been running around calling herself La Muerta since.  So here's how we came up with our outfit.

The top is the LittleKiwisCloset Flutterby Peasant Dress and Top.  Inara wears a size 7, but I wanted it to have a looser, flowy look, so I made the size 9, but with the size 7 sleeve elastic, and added three rows of shirring at the waist line to give it some puff at the waist. 

I used a plain white interlock for the top, but then Inara and I sat down with some fabric paint markers and added a little Day of the Dead flair to it with some brightly colored flowers and a sugar skull. 

And then it was time for the skirt.  This one was an easy choice.  As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew it was perfect for this outfit, and thankfully, Inara wholeheartedly agreed.  The skirt is the Striped Swallow Designs Festival Skirt.  (Note on the skirt fit: if your kid is like mine and wears their bottoms more on the hip than waist, you'll need to shorten this a little). 

I did the yoga waistband and the underskirt in a lightweight black knit.
In case you were curious... La Muerta does not appreciate being chased around by her small bother while trying to take pictures.  He refused to be part of the fun dressing up, but insisted on chasing her around running head first into her while declaring himself to be a bull.

This outfit immediately shot to the top of the "wear this to school" list, and she gleefully wore it (minus the makeup, despite much begging), to school the next day. 

As for the makeup...  Let's start with the fact that anyone who knows me knows that it's a miracle if I manage to find my contacts.... applying makeup is well beyond my every day scope.  And, another fun Alyssa fact... I have NO artistic abilities.  My older brother can draw decently, and my little brother could build anything when he was little... but me... I can't even draw stick figures properly. 

It only took us three tries, and me abandoning the face paint in exchange for my colored eye liners and Inara's bright red lipstick that she got for her birthday.  In the end, though, she was really happy with it, and I think it came out pretty good considering that my seven year old has more artistic talent than I have. 

I think for me, the best part of being able to be part of this tour is that it gave me a great chance to teach Inara more of her heritage, and she's loved reading through the posts so far (She thinks that Melissa is SO COOL, so she loved reading her post).  And she's been planning all sorts of outfits out with all of the great posts so far.

So thanks for coming to check out our post and I hope that it gave you some inspiration to make some fun Dia de los Muertos inspired items for yourself!  And a huge thank you to Melissa for giving us the opportunity to be part of the tour.  Make sure you check out all of the other amazing posts for the week too. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Whimsical Fabric Make It Mine Challenge

Hi! There is a seriously fantastic challenge going on right now, and you have tons of time to join in still. 

Check out those prizes!!  I'll give you a quick run down of how it works, but if you want more details, or are interested in joining in, you need to join the Whimsical Fabric & Me Facebook Group and check out all the details on the Whimsical Fabric Blog, where you can see contest rules, entry guidelines, and get a chance to learn more about the awesome contest sponsors. 

This challenge calls for using some gorgeous fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics that are carried by Whimsical Fabric.  There are also some fantastic PDF pattern designers who have joined in the fun and are offering discounts on their patterns if you choose to use them for the challenge... such as Pink Fig, Izzy & Ivy, Swoon, and Winter Wear Designs. 

So for my post.. you get to see some of the gorgeous fabrics from the Anna Elise line made into something fun using a Winter Wear Designs pattern as a base.  And here it is:

So first, let's talk fabrics.
For the knit on the top I used Art Gallery Turquoise Pure Knit
The wovens that accent the top and are on the skirt are: Anna Elise Tribal Study in Aura
and Anna Elise Let it Be in Beauty
They coordinate beautifully together and I think they are perfect colors for walking into fall. 

Then, because I have a small obsession with the stuff, I accented the top and trimmed the skirt with some Clementine Ruffle Rac

I actually used two patterns to make this dress, but let's talk about the top first.. because this is both my first time using this designer and she is one of the sponsors.  The top is the Everything But the Kitchen Sink from Winter Wear Designs.

This pattern is amazingly versatile and is fast becoming a wardrobe staple for both kids.  I've already made one more for Inara, and have 2 planned out for Connor.  I really like the clear layout of the instructions.  They are easy to follow and explain things well. And the pattern pieces all taped together easily without me having to glare at them to line up (always a plus).

Sizes: 1-14
Slim or loose fit
Short (with or without elastic), 3/4, or long sleeves with a tab option
Welt Pocket option
Standard neck, narrow Henley, V Henley, or Faux Henley
Shirt-tail or straight hem.

Wow, right? There are SO many options in this one pattern, and the fit was just fantastic on Inara.  I used the 3/4 length sleeves with tab and the Faux wide V neck.  The small bit of *pop* that neck detail adds just makes me grin.  AND, I used the woven fabrics on the detail and the fit was still great, so if you want to play around with knits and wovens.. this top is perfect for it.

Then after I finished the top, part, I knew I wanted something with some fantastic swirl to it, so I grabbed my Candy Castle Patterns Lollipop Pi Skirt and added it on to the bottom of the shirt. 

Wanna see the twirl??

She may have spun around until she fell over once or twice.  The whole look together I think gives it a really feminine, but fun look that is perfect for Inara.  AND, just because I add woven skirts to knits a lot.. I suggest you grab some Mobilon from the shop as well.  It helps give your skirt a little bit of stretch and also keeps it from dragging down the top with the extra weight.  It's really a must for me when combining knits and wovens... and Whimsical Fabric sells it in 10yd increments that I seem to blow through like crazy. 

Inara says "you NEED to get this fabric!"  She was so thrilled with her dress that she decided to wear it to school right away (this child changes like 10 times before deciding what to wear, so I was really happy to see her decide so fast!).  

There are a couple other fabric lines available for the Make it Mine Challenge as well, and Anna Elise has a really pretty set of colorways, so there is tons of room to be creative with the fabrics.. and as for me.. I can never pass up the chance to grab some great PDFs on sale!  So please, come check out the group, and the challenge.. and even if you don't enter.. take a moment to check out the designers sponsoring and the entries that people are working on... I'm finding it totally inspiring.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dandelions n' Dungarees Ruched n' Ruffled Swimsuit in The Feisty Freckle Fabrics

Let's talk Swim fabric.  Usually I just sigh loudly and get whatever Joann's has, because there isn't anywhere local that carries it, and it makes me nervous to buy it online, because you never know what you'll get, ya know?

Then I got the chance to try some fabric from Feisty Freckle Boutique.  If you're looking for really nice quality swim/dancewear fabric at good prices -- I definitely recommend this shop.   Let's start with what I made...

This is the Ruched n' Ruffled Swimsuit from Dandelions n' Dungarees
Quick notes on this patttern...
It comes in sizes 2-7.
Has two main variations, one and two piece but within that you can change up the options a bit to give it some different looks. 

I have to say, I am not an expert with swim fabric, and I would call this an intermediate pattern, since the whole suit is lined and it takes a bit of time to get it all together properly, but I think with some tenacity that an advanced beginner could pull it off well!  Especially since I find that Elise's instructions are easy to follow along and end up with this result that always looks better than I thought I could make.

I made both versions of this pattern.  For the one piece I used the fabrics I was sent from The Feisty Freckle, and for the two piece I made, I used fabrics from the local chain store.
Inara has been wearing these suits non stop for days, and here's what I've noticed.  The solids from both places are comparable in the colorfastness, but I find that the solids from The Feisty Freckle are a little thicker than the black solid I used on the two-piece, and it gives it a really nice weight and recovery. 

Now for the patterned print. We've worn the suits in salt, fresh, and chlorinated water.  The print on the two piece is sort of embossed on, if that makes sense, and it's sort of rubbed off in some spots now, though its hardly noticeable, it is a bit annoying.  The one piece, on the other hand, looks just as bright and clear as it did on the day we made it.  The weight is really nice as well.  Overall the one piece seems like it will hold up more to her constant wear and tear (she is ROUGH on her clothes lol), and I think it will do so without looking faded and stretched out even after she gets a good year of wear out of it. 

To jump over to the pattern for a moment, I just have to point this out as a mom... Inara has a bit of a tush.  The end result with bathing suits is that we have a hard time finding ones that cover her butt well but don't look all weird and saggy.  This suit totally takes care of that issue. It covers her derriere (heehee, how often do you get to use that word?) completely and stays in place through the very active play of a 6 year old.  I call this a big win.

As for the prices, I was VERY pleasantly surprised with how affordable the fabrics are for such nice quality product.   So you get nice quality fabrics and good prices, and the owner was really great about helping me match up colors to prints, which is always stressful when ordering fabrics online.  

After a summer of wear... I have to say that I am REALLY pleased with how the fabrics from The Feisty Freckle Boutique have held up.   We went to water parks, the ocean, pools, and lakes... and the suit still looks like new and fits perfectly.  I definitely recommend these fabrics for use in your swim and dancewear.  And if I can convince Inara to take gymnastics we are going to make a leotard out of this  and this!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Canadian Designer Blog Tour

Hi! Welcome to my stop on this awesome Canadian Pattern Designer Blog Tour hosted by Lulu & Celeste!

I've sewn patterns from a lot of the designers featured on this tour... E+M, Filles a Maman, Audrey & Tiffany, and Thread Theory. And I've loved all of the ones I've sewn.  There is actually a sew along this month in the Fabric Igloo B/S/T/A & Fun Stuff Group for the Thread Theory Comox Trunks if you want a fun chance to try out a great Canadian designer!

But on to my pattern for the tour... I am REALLY excited for this one.  This is the third Pattern I've made from FABulous Home Sewn.  When I saw their name as part of the tour, I decided it was a great chance to jump into more of their patterns.

 This is the Perfect Petal Purse, which is super cute and makes the cutest accent purse for Inara's flower picking escapades :)
And this is the Zippy Keepers Pattern, which I actually keep in my purse all the time.  The small size is great for coins and the larger for cards etc.  (Embroidery is Sherlock inspired from Knits and Giggles)

So, since I've made those two... I am very excited to show you my Sunburst Clutch:

This pattern is absolutely darling.  It takes less than 2 FQs to make.. and you can do the front flap details in multiple fabrics and use up scraps if you want too:
The front flap is constructed with multiple angled panels that fit perfectly together (just be very careful with your seam allowance).  This gives you a great chance to play with different fabrics to get the effect you want. 

The pouch is about 8x5".  It closes with a magentic snap closure.  Inside there is a key ring loop and a small zipper pouch. 

The pouch is the perfect size for just taking the essentials with you, and if you decided to make it in fancier fabrics -- something lacey or vinyl, maybe?  You'd have the perfect clutch for a night on the town. 

I love how bright and summery these fabrics make the clutch look.  It makes me want to attend a garden party!  I picked up the fabrics during a "Wacky Wednesday" sale in Whimsical Fabric & Me.  It was a great deal on a coordinating set of FQs and I am SO GLAD that I got them on a whim, because they work so perfectly for this pattern and I plan on taking my clutch everywhere I can get without the kids! 

The pattern is very detailed in the steps and the pattern pieces are professionally done and everything fits together perfectly.  The designer even includes a quick note on what type of interfacing she chose to use for the stability she wanted, which was a great detail to include because then I knew what to use to get more or less stability. 

I will definitely be making another one of these and if you are looking for a cute clutch that is fast to make and has that little extra detail to make it special... well this is it.  And I would definitely grab any of her patterns while they're on sale too!  Patterns are already marked down in the Craftsy Shop, but if you prefer to use Etsy, the code is "ocanada" and gets you 15% off.  Code expires midnight tomorrow, so shop while you can!!

Thank you so much for stopping by to see my creation... AND now take a moment to enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure you check out all of the other fantastic bloggers and designers that are being "sewn off" this month!:

 June 29 - 30 Lulu & Celeste: new makes and a round up post 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mystery Challenge: People and Moments in Time

Wow, this challenge totally stretched my creativity!  Hi! And welcome to my May Mystery Challenge post.

The current challenge is Moments and People Throughout History, and the very awesome Tasha from Friends Stitched Together gave me my topic... Mrs. Jackie Kennedy.  

I will freely admit, I considered asking for a different subject as I was finding myself less than inspired... but I decided that it was a great chance to get my creative juices working and that I wasn't going to back down.  I actually bought fabric three times for this challenge.  I started with a pretty black stretch taffeta, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with it, and it was just SO DARK.  So then I picked a pretty powder blue satin, but I kept staring at it with no real inspiration, so I tried one more time.... and ended up with a bright coral taffeta AND an idea.  That other fabric will find its project soon lol.

Meet my Miss Kennedy:
She may not be *quite* as elegant and graceful...

So Mrs. Kennedy... the picture perfect First Lady.  Perfectly put together and inspired a generation of fashion with her iconic looks.  So I attempted to create a child friendly version of one of her iconic dresses that has the Kennedy elegance and timeless fashionHere is where I got my Kennedy Inspiration from... (photo courtesy of the JFK library)
Now, while Mrs. Kennedy is wearing an Oleg Cassini in apricot colored silk... Inara is wearing the slightly more accessible "Calypso" taffeta made into a modified "Jackie" from Muffin Head Patterns.  And I paired it with some stretch crushed panne gloves using the Princess Plum Dress Up Gloves from Zuzzy Patterns.

In order to complete the look, we added some *pearls,* white dress shoes, and a little clutch.  

And put it all together and we have my silly Miss Kennedy, as I have been referring to her since.  She found it a ton of fun to be able to dress up and play the sophisticated girl.  She even curtsied to her friends she saw while we were in town.    
The pattern had the shape I wanted before even starting, which made the alterations easy.  The designer helped me reshape the neckline (I was worried I'd mess it up lol).  And then I used the gathered skirt that is part of the pattern and did some big pleats on the back and for the front I did a large pleat in the middleAnd then I made a narrow bow to attach to the front, though I only pinned it on, as I was worried it would get ripped off when she wore it to school.  

 I think that the dress its just a lovely look on Inara and since she is my little fashionista, even though her fashion is a bit ecclectic, I think that a Kennedy look is perfect for her!

So thank you for stopping by to check out my creation and I hope it gives you a bit of inspiration!

Make sure you check out all the other bloggers posting with their awesome categories too! I've been totally wowed by everyone so far!

5/26 │ Create 3.5 - George Sand
6/3│ Mae & K - TeslaPretty Little Blog - Moon LandingKnot Sew Normal - Lutie Eugenia Sterns

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Surprise Anniversary Tour

Hi! And welcome to Day two of the Summer Surprise Anniversary Tour for Sofilantjes.

Let me start with a huge thank you to Deb of Sprouting Jube Jube and Anne, the designer behind Sofilantjes for letting me participate.

One year ago I applied for a pattern pre-test for a new designer.  The designer seemed really friendly, and I was excited to see something new.  I even wrote a review on my blog about it.  And right then I was hooked on Anne and her way of testing.  She was sweet, involved, friendly, and over the top to make sure that the pattern fit just right.  I've loved spending the last year sewing more of her patterns and watching her style and shop grow.

So here we are, one year later, and I'm excited to tell you that Anne has revamped and updated the pattern a bit and here's what you get:
The pattern comes either bundled or in two size ranges 6mo-7 or 7-12, and the pattern has skinny sizing from 12mo - 12 that is included.
The pattern comes with three lengths - top, tunic and dress
The pattern is made for knits and has a pretty inverted pleat on the front and bow detail on the back.
Layered print option.
So elegant lol
Since this is a blog tour and Deb said to be creative... and she has 5 traditional Summer Surprises that she wears all the time (we really like this pattern lol), I decided to fancy it up a bit.  Using the pattern pieces for the top, I took a few inches off the bottom of it and added a circle skirt.

Quick interlude to tell you about the fabrics... I used the Art Gallery Petal and Plume knits from Whimsical Fabric for the dress.

 As soon as I applied for the tour, I ordered these fabrics, even though I wasn't sure yet how I planned on *hacking* the pattern. 

If you've never used Art Gallery knits before -- they are ah-mazing.  So soft and nice to work with.

 The twirl is just fantastic.  An Inara fancies herself a princess with her elegant summer dress.... which I think explains her choice of head-wear.

Seriously, the epitome of elegance.

In order to celebrate the Sofilantjes anniversary, this pattern is on sale.  The code "Anniversary" will get you 25% off on the pattern on the Sofilantjes website.  AND to make the celebration even more awesome, there is a giveaway every day for the duration of the blog tour.  Here's today's giveaway:

 Day 2 giveaway

-Serger Pepper Designs, winner's choice
-Lily Bird Studio, winner's choice
-Cole's Corner and Creations, winner's choice
-Paisley Roots, All Spice
-Kelly J Designs, winner's choice
-Laela Jeyne Patterns, winner's choice
-KB Stitch Design, winner's choice
-Sofilantjes, winner's choice

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to check out all the other awesome bloggers for more ideas on how to be creative with this pattern AND to enter all the giveaways for the week!

Congrats to Anne for such an awesome first year, and I wish you many more!