Monday, December 22, 2014

Naughty and Nice Double Pattern Release Tour: Greenstyle and EYMM

Yay for some sewing time for me!  As a last minute holiday treat, Greenstyle Creations  and Everything Your Mama Made & More are releasing two patterns that you're just going to LOVE.  I know you probably saw both of them during the Sew Fab bundle sale, and if you weren't ready to commit to all of the patterns in the bundle, I hope you're ready to grab these two when they release tomorrow (December 23rd)!

First up, the Norah Nightgown and Underwear (I apologize ahead of time for the cleavage shots, but man does this pattern totally make the girls look fantastic).  
The details:
Sizes XXS to 3XL
Two nightgown lengths
Crossover bodice option
Instructions for adding optional under-bust support band 
Gathered or bust darts
Boy short and two types of thong patterns
Approximate sew time: 90 minutes for the nightgown and 20-30 for the underwear

Let's discuss the bust for just a minute...  I am a 38DD and I did the crossover bodice with darts and the optional elastic casing under the bust. 

I am totally comfortable sleeping bra-less in this and it has enough support and the right shape that everything stays in place!

I used a ruffled elastic to bind my bodice and straps, but you can use FOE, lingerie elastic or even clear elastic.  

And I picked a length that was sort of in-between the sweet and the sassy because, well, I have a big tush, and I wanted to make sure it stayed covered lol 

The gown itself is made from a rayon/spandex print from Joann's.  

And while I won't scar you with pics of the modeled underwear, I made both the boy shorts and the thong.  I would say the boy shorts are kind of length between hipster and boyshort, but they are REALLY comfortable, and the thong is as well.  

It is a bit strange posting my "unmentionables" on the internet!  

Th thong is laying face down at the top and is edged with FOE.  The middle is made with a stretch mesh and edged with lingerie elastic and the bottom is FOE edged as well.  
And to the right here are the ones I made this weekend.. They are just stretch lace with no edging, and they stay up perfectly ;) 

AND now for the second pattern that you NEED to get yourself for a Christmas gift... The Off the Shoulder  Dress and Peplum from EYMM.

Don't mind my hair that is in desperate need of being dyed...  My winter coat is coming in (heehee).  

The details:
Sizes: XS - 5X
Long or 3/4 sleeves
Peplum or dress length
Gathered or circle skirt.
Approximate sew time: 90min-2hrs 

This top is fantastically comfortable.  I went with long sleeves and a circle peplum.  The bodice and  cowl fabric are from Joann's and the skirt fabric is a custom print from The Fabric Igloo.  

No idea what I'm doing in this picture... Probably enjoying how snuggly this shirt is.  It was like 45 out, and I wore the shirt to the store and it was just perfect without a coat.  The big oversized cowl is great, and the instructions on making have those great gathers are really clear and easy to follow.  I've decided to make myself a dress version after Christmas as well.  I'm a total sucker for a circle skirt!.  

Just showing you that the peplum covers the bum nicely!  

I have to say how excited I am that these designers are releasing these patterns for you all to snatch up as they really are fantastic in both fit and instructions.  In fact, I am wearing my Off the Shoulder top to run all my last minute Christmas errands tomorrow AND, check me out while I'm writing this post...

Totally rockin' my Norah with a cardigan and a glass of wine!  Cheers!

And make sure you check out the other bloggers as part of the mini-tour:

December 22nd

December 23rd
Heather at Boutique Birdie
Denita at HattieLu Handmade
Jessica at Gracious Threads

**Note: I was a tester for the Norah pattern and received the Off the Shoulder pattern as part of the blog tour, but all opinions are completely my own and I wouldn't blog on them if I didn't like them!**

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Sewing is more time consuming than I thought!

I had no intentions of posting in the month of December, mostly because things are hectic around here (where are they not?).  BUT I've just done so much sewing that I wanted to share some pics so if you are a last minute gift maker, like I am, you have some options...

Here is Inara in E+M Patterns Skirt No. 18

I really like Allison's patterns because I get a great serger break.  They are designed so even if you don't have a serger, you will get a garment with a totally finished look.

The sizing on the skirt is perfect and it is just so much fun to pick patterns to mix with it.

Approx Sewing time: 90 minutes
Size Range: 2 -10
Cost: $8.00
What makes it special: the lovely scalloped edge on the topskirt and the ability to sew serger free.
Get the pattern here

And after finishing Inara's outfit, I decided that I wanted a coordinating one for Connor:

Connor is wearing the Little Kiwi's Closet Panel Pants which are a wardrobe staple for him.

Approximate Sewing time: 1hr
Size Range: 2 -12
Cost: $9.00
What makes it special: works in both woven and knit fabrics; cute bow detail option for girls; and great for accenting contrast prints
Get the pattern here

This is the Bubblegum Dress from Candy Castle Patterns with the Lollipop Pi add on skirt.  The skirt is either a solid or paneled circle skirt.

Approximate sewing time: 2hours
Size Range: NB- 14
Cost: $8.00 for bubblegum pattern +$5.50 for addon
What makes it special: Really cute with great twirl factor and lots of different options and the add-on comes with pieces and instructions to make a skirt as well.
Get the pattern here and the Add on here

Awesome Slippers from Filles a Maman.  These are perfect Christmas present!

Approximate sewing time: 1 hour
Size Range: XXS-4XL (approximately ages 2 through adult male)
Cost: $9.79 (with today's conversion rate)
What makes it special: These fit the whole family and are great for using up knit and fleece scraps. And if you want some added cushion to them, add a layer of fleece inside the no slip bottom!
Get the pattern here

Little Kiwi's Closet Peek-a-boo Outerwear

Approximate sewing time: 1-2 hours depending on options you use
Size Range: NB-12
Cost: $10.00
What makes it special: SO many options! Pullover/snaps/Zipper, hooded or collar, sleeves or vest, and lots of pocket choices.  The jacket version is lined, so it is perfect for places like here where winter is mild but still cold.
Get the pattern here

Mingo and Grace Blake Dress - the second pattern from this designer and its gorgeous

Approximate sewing time: 2hours
Size Range: 2-6
Cost: $8.00 (on sale right now!)
What makes it special: Professional techniques and a gorgeous twirl - with big pleats and inset pockets.  Has a racer back and zipper closure.
Get the pattern here 

Otium Sweater from Sofilantjes - perfect for your Holiday events!

Approximate sewing time: 2hours
Size Range: XS- 3XL
Cost: $9.95 *or bundle with the girl's sizes for $15
What makes it special: Cool cross body front pocket option, bow back option, and 3 sleeve options. Also has coordinating girl's pattern that is a big hit with my daughter!
Get the pattern here 

Autumn Grace from Ellie Inspired

Approximate sewing time: Varies! If you smock the insert yourself it will take longer - this was a presmocked insert and instead of a tiered skirt I used 19" x WOF x2.
Size Range: 1- 16
Cost: $9.95
What makes it special: Insert instructions included for smocking your insert or you can use an embroidered insert or contrast print.  Pattern has instructions for shirred or elastic casing on the back, and beautiful tiered skirt.
Get the pattern here 

And last but not least... and perfect for Holiday PJs:

 The Oliver & S Sleepover Pajams

I did these as part of a sew-along with Whimsical Fabric.  I love her sew-alongs because each lesson you complete you are entered to win a prize (patterns, shop credit, etc).

Approximate sewing time: 2-3 hours (but this is my first Oliver & S pattern, so maybe faster if you're used to their style)
Size Range: two size groupings 6m-4 and 5-12
Cost: $15.95 (I know it seems spendy, but they are nice patterns and Whimsical has a discount code when you buy multiple patterns!)
What makes it special: Ruffle or not ruffled option, professionally written with great techniques and they will make perfect Christmas jammies!!
Get the pattern here 

Well if you are still madly sewing for Christmas, check these out for some ideas... if you're me, there are still more things to make... Hopefully Friday night I will get the last of the sewing done!! <cross fingers>

Happy Holidays to everyone and happy sewing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion Pack Blog Tour and Giveaway

So I am totally excited to be part of this tour, because I absolutely love this dress. Welcome to Day Three of the Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Dress Expansion Pack Blog Tour!

Make sure you check out these other ladies too.  You can get the daily roundup on the Sew Straight and Gather Blog.

I tested the original version of the dress this summer.  If you were reading me then, I didn't do much I blogging or testing over the summer because I took an extended trip to visit my parents in New York. I had followed Terri's blog though, and when she posted the tester call, I jumped on it and crossed my fingers.

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion

The dress was just perfect for the Fourth of July party we were going to, and Inara was a total hit in her cute outfit.
The basic Uptown/Downtown Dress comes with the following options:
Sizes 2 through 10
Sleeveless, cap and 3/4 sleeves
The cap sleeves are lined so you can make a cute contrast here as well.
lined bodice.

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion

The fit and flare style of this dress is extremely flattering and makes this dress work for both dress and casual occasions, depending on your print choices.  And the cute twirl that goes from the flared angle on the skirt is so much fun for my twirly kid.  Now as we move into cooler weather, the expansion pack has made me add this dress to our winter staples.

And she's even wearing at school right now with a pair of leggings!

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion
Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion

The expansion pack includes:
Cowl Neck
Long sleeves
Maxi Length
Tank Straps
Contrast band

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion

For ours we used the Long Sleeves, Cowl Neck, pockets and Contrast Band.  I had 1 yard of this cute Hey Diddle Diddle interlock and some leftover brown interlock from Connor's Halloween costume.  I wasn't sure that Inara was going to like the print, but after scouring the knit shelves and Joann's, she had found nothing.  I pulled this out of the destash pile and she just loved it, so I am really glad that I hadn't listed it!  The Interlock makes it nice and snuggly for winter while still being super soft.  

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion
 How cute is this print?  She has been walking around for the last 4 days repeating the nursery rhyme over and over.

And I made her a little headband to go with the dress using the leftover scraps and a simple blue button from the button box.
Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion

I promised her next pay day that we can order a new knit to she can have a maxi version as well.  I'm not sure who is more excited to pick out fabric, me or her!  

Inara is really into cowl necks lately for cooler weather, so she was really happy with that add-on, and of course every little kid loves pockets, right?  She even decided that she needed to find a prop for photos...

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion

Both Inara and I highly recommend this dress, and mommy and picky kid approved has to say something!

The best part of the expansion pack? It's free!  So if you already own the dress, just pop over to the Sew Straight and Gather Blog Shop and download the expansion pack.

If you don't own the pattern, the code UPTOWNEXPANSION25 will get you 25% off in the Blog Shop or the Etsy Shop.   (It also gets you 25% off the Etage Dress and Top too, so I would totally grab both while you are there!)  

And, make sure you enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of the Uptown/Downtown.  

Thanks for stopping by!  And to leave you with a funny note... Connor was jealous of how much fun Inara was having during her photo shoot:
Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown Expansion by Keep Calm and Carrion

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #7: Handbags Galore!

Good morning! Welcome to my day of this awesome round of the Perfect Pattern Parcel.  This parcel is very exciting.  To start with, this is the LAST parcel of the year, so I'd really love to see huge support of this one so the awesome people behind the parcel can meet their goal and donate tons of needs to school kids!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

If this is your first time hearing about the PPP, here is what it's all about, right from the mouth (fingers?) of the founder...

"Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year."

And you only have have FOUR MORE DAYS to get in on this awesome deal. To start with, the pattern collection of this round is just awesome. AND, because I really want to encourage you to spend enough the get the *bonus* pattern, that's the one I've chosen to sew up! Meet my Daphne:

I am totally in love with this bag.  Once in a while I get a hankering to quilt, but I am really not a very good quilter.  So this bag... totally scratched that itch

**Editing to add the pic I took on the way out the door this morning with my bag all packed**
Bag is holding: 2 diapers, wipes, extra pants for Connor, bottle of water, bottle of gatorade, various kids snacks, wallet, phone and keys... AND there is room to spare!

Before I start gushing over my bag, let me break down the patterns in this parcel... 
Parcel #7 includes:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns
BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet

What's a bonus pattern? Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #6 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's only $5.33 a pattern. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

I have to say, this pattern was so much fun to sew.  The directions were clear and easy to follow, and I really enjoyed playing around with my fabrics..

All of these fabrics came from my stash... I have these three packs of charm squares from Anthology fabrics that have been sitting on my shelf for a year now waiting for a project.. The best part? They are 40 square packs, so I can make TWO BAGS out of each pack!  The other batik's in the picture are also Anthology Fabrics batiks.

The bag has two inside pockets, as well, which are a total requirement when I make a bag... or I'm constantly losing my keys and phone (which I do anyways...).  I love how all the different pieces come together to and it was so much fun to play with the different accent prints.
Even the strap has a cool accent piece!
By the way, make sure you find your hardware in advance!  My Joann's doesn't carry the rectangles or sliders and neither does my Walmart, or either of the local quilt shops.  BUT, here's what I did and I think that if you find yourself with the same problem, this solution may help you.  Our town has this thrift store (not Goodwill, they were kind of spendy) that helps fund the local homeless shelter.  I go there every now and then and raid their sewing section for $.25 zippers (used on this purse!!) and other cool notions for super cheap.  Well, I went this time to the purse area... and bought an ugly old bag for $.99 with the slider and rectangle thing on, and cut off the strap and voila!

As for the other patterns in this parcel... when I got the pattern list, I was super excited to see two patterns that I already own... I will recommend without reservation anything that Swoon makes and I may have a few Emmaline patterns that are sitting in my *make me* file.

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

So for all the right reasons... Awesome patterns, great price, AND great cause... Go out and grab this parcel... and I know it's close to the holidays, but these prices are spectacular, and if you're still looking for Christmas gifts... these are perfect!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ellie Inspired Holiday Tour: Tinsel Party Dress

Hi!  Welcome to Day Three of the Ellie Inspired Holiday Pattern Tour.  If you haven't checked out Crazy, Crafty, Haute Mama on Day One and Knot Sew Normal on Day Two, you really should... I'm in awe of the gorgeous work these ladies do.

But today is my day! And I am really excited to show off the pattern I chose for the tour.
**I did receive the pattern for free, BUT all opinions are my own**

Meet the Tinsel Party Dress.  Possibly my new favorite Ellie Inspired Pattern (which, if you could see my embarrassingly large collection of Laura's patterns, is definitely saying something).

The details:
Sizes 1 - 16
Optional overskirt and tulle skirts
Optional split bodice option
Button back closure
Instructions included for Lattice smocked sash.

First, one of huge draws to Laura's patterns in general is the great size range.  The style of her patterns is so classic, they they work for toddlers and tweens, so you'll get lots of use out of the pattern.

Second, the small details that you can change in this dress make it so easy to customize for your child.  My daughter has issues with *itchy* fabrics... for her that seems to include anything at all sheer.  So we made our dress with a Brocade Fabric from Joanns paired with Casa Collection Satin.

I begged her to pick the red and gold Brocade, so I could pair it with some green satin and make a Christmas dress, but she was insistent on the Aqua/Pink combination.

Laying a rose at the Veteran's Memorial
 The pattern construction of the dress itself results in a gorgeous professional finish inside and out, with no seams exposed to itch Inara!  And the curved overskirt is so elegant with the dress.   For Inara's dress I did the split top bodice using the brocade for the main part and the satin as the accent piece.  I then did the overskirt in the brocade as well and the "lining" in the satin.  I left the tulle off completely as there was no way she would be able to handle it.  

With the well written and professional instructions, the dress itself can be sewn in just a few hours.

She's trying to show off her missing tooth

And then I looked at my dress, smiled at how much I loved it... and swore under my breath...  Why?  Because here is the reason that I absolutely love Ellie Inspired patterns..  Laura finds a way to constantly challenge me and make me try new things and it makes me grow as a seamstress.  

For this dress the new technique for me was the lattice smocked sash.  I had never done anything like that before, and for two days I nervously stared at what was, for all intents and purposes, a complete dress.  And then I took a deep breath, decided to stop being a wuss, and sat down with the chart and my fabric and turned on Netflix.  

If you have never lattice smocked before, here is my one bit of advice as a newbie.. I found myself having a hard time keeping my columns straight once I started, so I went back and changed every other column of dots to tiny "x"s instead.  Also, as a left-hander, I find my hand getting in my own way, so I stopped at the end of each column and started fresh at the top for the next set.  So it's not *perfect,* but I am insanely happy with it, and I just LOVE how the dress looks with the sash.

She looks totally happy right?  So this is how much she loves this dress... It was gorgeously bright and sunny for pictures.  Not a cloud in the sky.  The only problem?  It was like 40 degrees out away from the water, and colder even still on the water and with the windchill.  But she stood out there and smiled and posed like a champ, even when the wind got the best of us...

We decided our first photo location was too windy and moved away from the water, so it was still barely 40, but less windy.  And without any complaints, she jumped out of the car to show off her dress.  Connor was even excited to pose with his sister who he declared to be a "boo-tiful pin-cess."

So yet again, I've learned a gorgeous new sewing technique from one of Laura's patterns, and we have a dress that is just so stunningly pretty that I keep grinning over the fact that I made it.  

If you missed out on the deal when the new holiday patterns were released, now is the best time to grab them... with the code PARTY you get 25% off in the Ellie Inspired Pattern Shop.

And make sure to swing back through the Ellie Inspired Page to see the rest of the bloggers posting this week, and stop by and join the Ellie Inspired Patterns Group.  It is one of my favorite groups on Facebook... everyone is so helpful and friendly, and there are some insanely talented ladies there!

Before I sign off, I just want to extend a huge thank you to Laura and the Ellie Inspired team for letting me be part of this tour.  I am so glad that I stepped outside my comfort zone with this one, and so is Inara!  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pattern Review: Iridis Wrap Dress from Sofilantjes

Sometimes when I sign up to test a pattern that has lots of options I like to click the "whatever you need" square on the sign up.  If I show Inara the pattern and she likes all the versions, then for me, its already a win.  That's what I did for this dress...  Meet the Iridis Wrap Dress from Sofilantjes.

This is Inara this morning on her way to the Veteran's Day assembly at her school.  It's a special holiday for our family, and I'm pretty sure she had the cutest dress there!

My version is the woven, long sleeved version.  This dress has a couple variations, so let me lay those out first..

The Details:
Sizes 12mo through 14yrs
Woven version wit curved cutouts sewn together
Knit version with curved layers
Long or Short sleeves
Wrap style dress

I have to say, the most daunting part of this pattern is cutting out all the various pieces.  Once that is done, you'll find the dress to be an extremely fast sew, with only a tiny amount of gathering required (on the sleeves).   I think all in all the dress took about 2 - 2 1/2 hours including pattern taping/cutting and sewing.  I was a bit paranoid about cutting pieces out backwards, so I think I took longer to cut fabric than I usually would.

I do love how this came out, and Inara loves her "America dress."  I did topstitch my panels as I went, as I was a little worried that they wouldn't sit flat if I didn't.

The only other change I made was last night I took a minute to put a snap on the side where it crosses over and one on the opposite side as well.  This totally isn't necessary, as the dress fits well and covers well, BUT I was a little worried that Miss Fidgety would play with the ties and untie them, or someone at school would randomly pull on them.   If anyone wants to know where I put my snaps, I can take a picture for you.  I'm sure it is just silliness on my part, but I do this on all the wrap dresses we make, and this way I don't worry about it.

Considering how far this is from our standard color choices, I'm really happy that she loves it so much, and I think it's definitely due to the fun style of the dress, and that she got to spend all sorts of time deciding which color she wanted where.

AND, I really want to show you the knit version, because its got these really cool layers instead of the curves sewn together... so my darling friend +Kimberly Odell  made the knit version with some fun ruffle fabric...

First of all, how gorgeous is this in that fun ruffle print??  And second of all, do you see how the layers are on the knit version? It's just so pretty and whimsical... I love it.  *Note to self: must get more girly knits. (or convince Kim to make me one?), the dress is on sale for $6.25 through the weekend and then it goes up to it's regular price... so buy it while it's at this super price... Here is the Craftsy Shop and here is the Etsy Link.  If you don't have her other patterns... the Omni Tempore is pretty awesome too.  As is the Summer Surprise, but not so season friendly here in the PNW at the moment!

Now... these are terrible... from the audience, balancing a toddler photos... but here is Inara singing at her assembly today...

Would you believe her hair was just put up nicely like an hour before this photo? *sigh* I totally understand my mom's fussing about my messy hair now...  And the little pants underneath... hysterical right?  She assured me that blue matches blue, though.

This dress is so perfect to customize for any event/holiday, and with the sleeve choices is great for year round wear as well.    Huge thanks to Annemieke at Sofilantjes for allowing me to test such a fun pattern.  And check out her blog for lots of other cute tester pics!