Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pants and Pants and Pants and Shorts

I had the awesome chance to test for PetitBebeCreatioNZ.  As the name implies, she's located in New Zealand.  A friend had commented that she was in the group and there was a cute pair of pants going in for testing, and I had been searching for something just a little different for the kids as winter is coming and pants can be SO BORING.  So I asked to join and volunteered to test for both Inara and Connor (there's the first plus - any pattern that I can use for both genders is awesome).
Meet the Chapsters.  Pattern available here !
What you can't see here is her complaining MOM no one wants to see my BUTT!

 This pair was the second pair I made -- they are a combo of a cool double knit and cotton woven. -- I will say this combo removes the issue that you'll have with overhang if you don't pin properly.  Pin properly?  What could that possibly mean? First, you need to see the front... Here's the first pair I made Connor as well.
We will call this the failed modelling session.  Out of like 30 pictures, this was one of the best!
So the pants are constructed by sewing the two curved pieces together, both of which are sort of cut along the bias.  This means two things... even the wovens have a little bit of stretch, so you need to be careful not to distort as you sew, and sewing two inverted curve pieces together takes a little bit of pinning.  I usually reach for my wonder clips, but this pattern is definitely easier if you pin.  Because of the curve you need to pin both ends, the mid point of the curve, and then ease the pieces together and fill in the pins.  It sounds more confusing than it is... these pants start to finish an under two hour sew... and that includes cutting, stopping to snuggle the baby, pinning, stopping to play ABC mouse, sewing, stopping for Veggietales dance party.... etc...

**point of clarification.. that includes printing/pattern piecing/cutting/sewing (and the at least 45 minutes of interruptions)

So first note, I love this pattern. The testing process was extremely thorough - the sizes were checked, adjusted, and checked again, so the fit is great on them.  Right now they are available in NB-5yrs, but she is working on grading/testing up through 12yrs.   You all know I LOVE picking out fabrics and mixing and matching, so this pattern was right up my alley.  It can be made in knits, woven, or a combo of the two.  It also has a shorts and pants version, which is good in New Zealand, since it is summer, but here the shorts version is making some great PJs for my small children who always seem to be hot.  I made a bunch of them during testing, and more afterwards, so get ready for a TON of pictures...

 Note:  These are on a cloth diaper and the fit is still great!

 I have no idea what she's doing here...the back of these is Hello  Kitty
 These were a tester size 18-24 months which my new friend Heather volunteered her crazy cute little man to model for. 

These are RUGRATS!!!  (and Flannel) but RUGRATS!  Or as Inara calls it "the baby show."  

 These are the first round of shorts, that ended up being a little too long, so they were shortened, but the kids love them and they are Wow Wow Wubbzy (thanks Megan for the fabric!)
I have since upgraded my measuring tape... (awesome right? - this one was just stuck down with double sided tape, and held up pretty well until the kids decided to cut it in like three places...)

This set is a size 3-6mo pant and a size 6mo  Peek-a-Boo Hangout Hoodie (we all know how much I love this pattern) with a lined hood.  This is for Heather's other little cutie and I LOVE how it turned out.  I've been hoarding these skulls for like a year too! 

 ANNNDD finally here are the shorts... they are like a board short length, and made super cute jammie sets for the kids.. I just did quick appliques on a couple of $2 clearance tees from Joann's.  Inara was so sad that her's didn't glow in the dark like her brother's, but she said the print was too "boyish."  So then this last week I found a pretty glow in the dark sky print that is just stars, so now she has been BEGGING for a pair, which as soon as I can get through the PILE of stuff on my cutting table that is screaming SEW ME! SEW ME! I will get right on them, lol.

Say hello to my cutting table... it is pretty useless at the moment... and my ironing bin is full of washed stuff to iron and cut...  Okay, off to get the kids to bed so I can whittle down the to-dos!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Super girl and genetic coordination.

While I'm doing some tester talk catch-up, I wanted to talk about another pattern from Candy Castle Patterns.  I love testing for Rebecca; her patterns are always so well written and incredibly cute.  I also love having patterns that have a variety of options within them.  The pattern I tested was the Candy Waltz Collection, which you can buy as one set or the separate pieces if you only need part of it... personally, the whole set is so versatile that I don't think you can go wrong by buying all of it, especially since the sizes will fit you smaller women out there!  And really, who doesn't need some crazy cute leg warmers?!?!

So while I am pretty comfortable sewing with knits, there are a couple of fabrics that make me cringe.  First of these is fleece.  Why you ask?  Because for some insane reason, every time I sew with fleece I manage to sew THROUGH my finger.... how is that even possible?  Straight through, pull the needle out, blood on my fabric.... (which is really the most upsetting part of the ordeal, right?).  So when I was reading through the suggested fabrics for the top and saw fleece, I shuddered a little, but then by some twist of fate, when I went to the store, they didn't have the color I needed in fleece, so I decided on micro fleece.  In case you were curious, I am MUCH better at not sewing through my finger with microfleece.

So I decided to do two different sets with this test... one that was going to sort of cater to Inara's wild side, and one to highlight the sweet femininity of the set.

So here are the two fabric piles....
Here's my sweet set... a beautiful textured purple knit for the sweater, this AWESOME voile that I got from the clearance section, and some solid pink interlock.

Okay, so I was sort of unfocused when putting this set together, but I think it came together well...  

 So, the instructions, as usual, are totally clear and easy to follow, and the fit is spot on.  Inara is a pretty standard size 5, and everything fit her so nicely.  Here's the end result for the first set....

She LOVES this outfit. I think it's cool how her hair accents the outfit.  Here is the second set...

 So I did the ties on this one in yellow FOE to coordinate with the lycra I used on the waistband and legwarmers.  And I bought the embroidery design off of Etsy and did four of them and sewed them into double sided patches... Inara ran around as "Kara Zor-El" for the rest of the day, even though it is like 45 degrees out in the pictures she refused to ruin the look with a shirt.  I will say, the combination of the lycra waistband and satin skirt was probably one of the most frustrating combinations I've done... there was definitely a bit of swearing, but it worked out in the end.

And, of course... I must leave you with a giggle... If you know me, you know I am TOTALLY uncoordinated... Do we all remember the broken ankle from the foxhole incident?  Well my totally coordinated, beautifully graceful daughter stated "I'm a ballerina! Look mom!"
Totally my kid. 
Stay tuned! I have some neat crafty stuff and a cool pair of pants to show off AND a dress!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Routines and Ruffles

So the last few weeks have been crazy hectic around here.  First was Inara's 5th birthday, followed by the LMNOP Consignment sale which requires an overnight in Lacey for me, then Logan's birthday at the beginning of November.  And now we are all settled back into our routine and loving it. I've been doing lots of testing lately, and I wanted to catch up and do some showing off.

So I tested a skirt a few weeks ago and I wanted to share, because I LOVE the final look. AND I hear her second pattern is in testing now, so be on the lookout for another super classy skirt.  The Skirt is Jessicca's Elegant Skirt, and is the first pattern from Calm Boutique.  So to start with, the skirt is so stinkin' cute.  It's something different from the a-line or gathered skirts that are out there, and it works in so many fabrics that it can go from casual to fancy.  I was sort of iffy about the high waist, but Inara seemed to love it.  During the test I actually did three versions.... first ... a seersucker, non ruffle version...

She is such a ham, lol.  Anyways, this version took maybe 90 minutes, cutting to finished  product.  Which in this house, a fast, cute sew is  always a plus.

Then I decided to see how it would work up in a knit, mostly because Inara is so picky about how things feel, that I wanted to see if the softness of knit would work on this style.... Here's the result in this super cute import that I picked up.  And I only had a fat half, so even better that this skirt doesnt' take a ton of fabric!

Again, under 90 mins start to finish, and she LOVED it.... Connor even got in on the picture taking fun...

 Don't you just love that squish face??!

And then for the ruffle.  I did construct mine a little differently than the pattern calls for, but that was totally out of personal preference. 

 I used a gorgeous Batik from Anthology Fabrics and the ruffles are done in three prints from Shadowland II by Kona Bay.
Here's my doofy model showing it off...
Look at all that hair!

So now we are back in our groove, so to speak, and I have lots of testing and prettiness to catch ya'll up on!