Fringe

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Fringe

The ever so lovely and talented Gabriela of Chalk and Notch released her new women's pattern, the Fringe Blouse and Dress, last week. I can genuinely say it was an absolute pleasure working with her in testing.

The Fringe is designed for lightweight woven fabrics and accommodates sizes 0-18. There are two neckline and sleeve length variations with optional sleeve tabs. The bodice is relaxed with waist darts for gentle shaping and optional waist ties for a more fitted effect.

Gabriela's instructions are thorough, yet concise and the illustrations are clear.

I tested the button up blouse (view A), using a vintage sheet for a muslin. I cut size 12 (40" bust). The pattern pieces all went together like a dream and it was instantly one of those favorite make kind of sews. The type you want to sew over and over because they just work.

very wearable muslin

very wearable muslin

The style is the perfect balance between fitted and relaxed. The result is effortless style.

I loooovee it. The face is for my bipolar remote. This day, it was either taking no photos or 100 burst shots.

And the curve on the hem is just right.

Most of the seams end up being enclosed, requiring minimal finishing otherwise.

After I knew I loved the fit of my muslin, I made another version in a lovely rayon from LA Finch Fabrics. Truth is I had a one yard cut of this rayon in my stash for probably a year. When Fringe came along, I knew I wanted to use this, so I was really lucky to find some additional yardage. (Thanks for saving the day, Josie!)

AND I BOUGHT MYSELF A REMOTE THAT WORKS. (If you're in the market for a bluetooth remote.)

Yes, my sewing space floor is that fancy schmancy jewelry store blue. :)

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It just so happened that another awesome tester, Indu, made a stunning Fringe dress from the alternate colorway of this rayon. Seeing her perfect version made it clear that this fabric was the right pick. Check out her rendition.

I had to sew up the other neckline as well. (If you're keeping count we're on Fringe #3!) View B is completely without closures and just pops over. I'm just going to go ahead and say it's the most stylish popover I've ever sewn.

This fabric is an exclusive design printed on rayon challis by Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

I used a solid navy challis from my stash for the sleeves (which are view A's, just cuffed) and added a four inch band to the hem by extrapolating the curve of the existing skirt piece.

I had some fun with the facings on my rayon versions, using quilting cotton instead of interfacing the same rayon. This amount of stability for the facings was just right and very easy to work with.

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And then I made one more! (That makes 4!)

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Don't you love the eyelet? It was also sourced from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and can be found here.

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You can see my sleeve tab hiding in there. I wasn't sure how this modified sleeve was going to hang so I added the tab as per the usual construction, but found that I preferred this sleeve straight. I just cut those buggers out after I realized they were visible in my pics.

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So there you have my four versions of Fringe, all top length really. I haven't played with the dress yet or done any major hacking, though I've got several ideas.

If you read this far, you deserve a treat! I've got a copy of the Fringe PDF pattern to give away! (Winner can pick another Chalk and Notch pattern if they have already purchased Fringe.) Thanks so, so much, Gabriela! Enter via Rafflecopter below.

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Cosmo Tour

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Cosmo Tour

I couldn't pass up the opportunity when Suz of sewpony put a call out for folks looking to contribute to a blog tour for her new girls' dress pattern, Cosmo. While I didn't test the pattern, it's currently August and Cosmo suddenly spoke to me as being a great option for school uniforms. Lucky for me (as I discussed here), our school has a somewhat relaxed uniform policy. 

I had to reign in my initial enthusiasm a tad when I started thinking about how I was going to pull off the pattern matching of our school plaid with those lovely pockets and side panels.

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Possibly the best approach to difficult-to-match patterns is simply to throw the idea of matching across seams out the window completely. I decided to go with the most simple silhouette (the third view above) and cut the side panels on the bias.

Now, maybe you noticed that view doesn't have the awesome pockets that are one of the main design features. I know. I know. ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY LEAVE OFF THE POCKETS. But since I'm a plaid-matching wimp, I opted to do inseam pockets instead. I just borrowed the pockets from another sewpony pattern, Juliette. Actually, this is one of the awesome features of the Cosmo pattern- many of the options (sleeves, collars) from other sewpony patterns will fit. Suddenly Cosmo has even more design options.

 

I could not be happier with how it all came together! I mean, is it even possible to be in love with a school uniform?! Well, I'm in love with this one.

She found a little slug in the grass. I tried to get his mug shot.

I loved sneaking some little bird silhouette fabric in with the lining on the flutter sleeves and inside the pockets. It's a sweet touch for a little girl whose mum loves birds and a detail you wouldn't get on a store bought uniform. I also used the same accent fabric to finish the armscyes and neckline with bias. The Cosmo pattern comes with facings for a quick, clean finish. 

Inseam pockets

Inseam pockets

The piping detail is one of the things that initially turned me on to sewpony patterns. Sure, you could always add this detail to any pattern you're working with, but Suz's designs incorporate piping beautifully and her instructions will help you achieve the look if you haven't done it before.

Back features an exposed zipper with optional zip guard.

Back features an exposed zipper with optional zip guard.

I think the flutter sleeves are charming and will work with a long sleeve tee layered under as we head in to the colder months. 

We've got the first day of school outfit nailed, don't you think? Thanks for another splendid pattern, Suz!

Suz is offering a 15% off the Cosmo Dress PDF pattern with code- COSMOTOUR. (Valid now through midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday, September 1st.)

Sofie (WenSJewat) and Alex (giddyants) also have posts for the tour today and you can see the full line up of participants below. Thanks for stopping by. 

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LBG Studio Double Zip Pouch

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LBG Studio Double Zip Pouch

A little change of pace for me as far as pattern testing goes, I recently had the opportunity to test the Double Zip Pouch PDF pattern for Vanessa of LBG Studio

The Double Zip Pouch pattern offers 4 sizes from small ( 9.5" W x 6.25" H) to extra large (12.5" W x 9.25" H) and features 2 zippered compartments, with a inner pocket in the main section. The pattern also has the option for a wrist loop.

And, of course, it all comes together perfectly.

Small Double Zip Pouch

Small Double Zip Pouch

I made a second one, a medium this time, to try out these purdy gold zippers from Zipper Island. The medium happens to be a size that would work well for a diaper clutch, so I've shown it loaded up with baby supplies, but of course you can put whatever you like in your pouch.

This bright floral canvas, Watercolor Whimsy Flowers by Nikki Butler, was sourced from Spoonflower.

The pattern is on sale for $6 through July 31, but Vanessa is running a Double Zip Pouch pattern giveaway thread in her Facebook group. She's offering three chances to win for those that comment, so jump over there to enter!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Spoiler Alert- SewHere Box Bonus

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Spoiler Alert- SewHere Box Bonus

The delightful mom and daughter duo, Zede and Mallory, of SewHere have shipped their 3rd edition of their quarterly sewing notions box.  The "Knit Ninja" SewHere Box is chock full of fabric, thread, and incredibly useful notions for working with stretchy material. The ladies often include several surprises or box bonuses in these. Upon opening my box, I was incredibly surprised, well, honored really, by a special item and this post is about what I did with it.

If you ordered one of the Knit Ninja SewHere boxes, haven't received it yet, and want to save the surprise for your own unboxing, by all means DON'T READ OR SCROLL ANY FURTHER. Otherwise, carry on...

Well, a little back story before I get to the meat of this (and to give you another chance to look away). Mallory has an incredible Facebook group for the fans of their sewing podcasts, Self Sewn Wardrobe (SSW) and Sewing Out Loud. What makes the group incredible is the diversity of the members and the good-natured, yet snarky and witty tone. The group members participate in challenges set up by Mallory, congratulate one another on their sewing successes as well as commensurate in their defeats. Sometimes things derail, but it's always thought provoking and downright fun.

The group has somewhat recently started a member-driven recurring event, the SSW Happy Hour. Once a week, typically on Friday or Saturday evening, a member hosts a thread welcoming everyone to share a drink (of any variety, alcoholic or not) and something they are working on. Sometimes, the host picks a theme or suggests beverage options. Bottom line- it's a unique sewcialist opportunity and it's fun. I'm telling you about SSW Happy Hour, because you'll likely want to join the group to drink with us (if you aren't already a member!) and because this graphic I cobbled together has become the image signaling the event.

Ok, so maybe you noticed the syringe. I'll explain. I'll explain!

Around the time this event was adopted, Mallory announced she was pregnant. Part of her prenatal care included progesterone shots to prevent premature labor. So while some of us were imbibing, she was doing 'shots' of another variety.

Now back to the box bonus. LAST CHANCE TO LOOK AWAY.

LOOK! There's my masterpiece!

LOOK! There's my masterpiece!

At the time I'm writing this post, the full details for this custom printed fabric that looks to be for the purpose of making pattern weights have yet to be disclosed. While pattern weights would be great I just couldn't resist this other idea I had.

COASTERS! Simple 3 layer coasters for happy hour or anytime! Three different construction variations follow.

I started with the demerit one. Zede loves handing out demerits for whatever she chooses, typically for using sewing methods that depart from The Zede Way (and I've earned my fair share of demerits). Well, I had special plans for this coaster given how I know Zede feels about pinking sheers.

I just layered up the backing, batting, and front in the finished order and sewed all the way around, then TOOK MY PINKING SHEERS TO THE EDGE. Eat your heart out, Zede.

This is hilarious on so many levels.

Hang on. I'm still giggling.

 

Ok. I'm done. On to the next coaster-

I wanted to try another technique here. It's the "buttonhole trick" Mallory and Zede talk about for making it easier to achieve interesting shaped pockets. (Listen here. Skip to 25:45). So while this isn't a pocket, it was an opportunity to try this method.

I added a buttonhole to the back fabric (analogous to the pocket lining) before assembling.

I picked this mod floral and tried to disguise the buttonhole in a stem, using embroidery thread because that's another tip I learned from the wise Zede.

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I opened the buttonhole with this stupendous chisel. (This is one of those game-changer tools. You can't live without one.) The materials were layered up (right sides together this time) before I stitched completely around. (I went with another circle, but maybe I'll get more creative with the next one.) Again, I didn't need to leave an opening for turning because the turning is done through the buttonhole. Clever, eh? 

Oops. A little smudgey from pressing. I ought to have used a pressing cloth, me thinks.

Oops. A little smudgey from pressing. I ought to have used a pressing cloth, me thinks.

Last one. I did this one just like the first, only I finished the edge with a decorative bias trim instead of pinking. Just followed my marking all the way around, CUTTING AFTER SEWING. This is another Zede Way suggestion. Instead of cutting the circle shape out of all my fabric layers, I sewed them first and then trimmed off the excess. 

There you have my coasters, 3 ways. Just add #sewingbeer! 

Hope to see you at the next SSW Happy Hour! Cheers!

 

 

Yes, they ended up different sizes. No, I don't care.

Well, not enough to do anything about it. ;)

 

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Penny

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Penny

Maybe it's been over a month since my last post.

Yup. I told you maybe was my MO. Anyway! You're here for the sewing discussion, right?


Penny is JillyAtlanta's new release and I've got 3 versions from testing to share with you.

Back, showing traditional exposed buttons (left) and hidden fastener modification

Back, showing traditional exposed buttons (left) and hidden fastener modification

Penny buttons up the back and has a moderate fit. She was designed for and is trim enough for layering under a few of Jilly's other classic patterns, the Melbourne Romper and the Macy Pinafore, yet full enough to stand on her own. There are 5 neckline options- plain, gathered pan collar, bow and knot ties (not tested), as well as V back, which quickly became my favorite. The other style option is for sleeve flutters or sleeveless. Sizes 6-9m through 12.

During testing, I sewed up 3 tops for my 9 month old (chest measuring just under 17.5"), all with the optional sleeve flutters. The cut of the bodice was adjusted during testing, but I'm still sharing my first version so you can see the gathered pan collar and the buttons up the back.

Gathered collar option, front view

Gathered collar option, front view

Back view

Back view

Next, I gave the back neckline with a V shape a try. I instantly fell in love with this cut.

V back

V back

I really enjoyed the simplicity of the V back version. It's understated and elegant. As such, I chose to hide the snaps for the closures. I'm sharing how to achieve the hidden fasteners after the modeled shots.

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Just one button to fasten and the snaps are hidden. Clean. Easy.

Just one button to fasten and the snaps are hidden. Clean. Easy.

Keeping the back placket clean and simple with hidden snaps is straightforward and a modification you may want to consider for infants since fiddling with buttons on wiggly little squishies is not an easy task.

To hide the snaps, simply set the snaps inside the outside layer of the placket before stitching the placket closed. Just be sure to account for the hem so you don't end up with a snap in the way when you go to stitch.

Set the snaps inside the interfaced placket, instead of through all the placket layers.

Set the snaps inside the interfaced placket, instead of through all the placket layers.

Then finish stitching the placket and hem closed.

Then finish stitching the placket and hem closed.

This works for KAM snaps as well, which I used for my final version.

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This back is cut on the bias to follow the lines of the V.

This back is cut on the bias to follow the lines of the V.

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There's loads more beautiful and inspiring versions being shared by the other testers in the JillyAtlanta FB group. Head over to check out the bow and knot tie options, which I didn't test, as well as the combinations with Melbourne and Macy (which are also on sale!). Never sewn a JillyAtlanta pattern? She has 4 free patterns (Sadie Skirt, Mae Diaper Cover, Ava Collars and Lottie Bonnet) available for members to download. The link to the free downloads is in the pinned post. You won't be disappointed by Jill's attention to detail and excellent finishes. 

Penny is $5 for the release today only, June 29th.


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Headshots

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Headshots

If you're a sewcialist or following any sewcialists, you're in the midst of the parade of me-mades know as Me-Made-May. (If you aren't familiar with Me-Made-May, check Zoe's post about it this year, the 8th year!). For me, that means plenty of awkward selfies. (Is there any other kind?) The quirky pics I'm able to capture of myself are fun, but I've got some some fantastic new headshots I've been dying to show off. 

I had been in dire need of a few professional headshots for my site for several months, when I contacted a local studio in late March. 

Enter Andi Roberts. 

In addition to being a talented photographer, she's simply an incredible human. I owe many thanks to Andi and her team of other incredible humans for the incredible photos I'm sharing in this post. (Did I mention they are incredible?)

Tonya Winebrenner styled my hair and did my makeup. Such a rare and decadent treat in and of itself! (I might not have washed my hair or face for a day or 2 following. Or maybe it was 3. Pick whichever number is the biggest without being too shameful.)

We actually shot 3 outfits; one was a casual outfit consisting of some cozy double brushed poly leggings I made in a fury just before the team arrived (I happen to be wearing them while writing this) and a me-made top which ended up succumbing to a diaper malfunction (the baby's, #momlife).

But my red Les Fleurs kimono stole the show.

Fashionista extraordinaire, Courtney, is in charge of styling and helped me pull my looks together. Pop over and check out her lifestyle and fashion blog, Ran.dom.o.si.ty 7.4.0, here.

That floor!

That floor!

We also got some shots with the kids. Andi's just as good at making women feel beautiful as she is working with kids. She transitioned to taking family pictures without a hitch. 

Each of the kids wore one mama-made item and they are mismatched and barefoot because kids.

Each of the kids wore one mama-made item and they are mismatched and barefoot because kids.

We also had an intimate mini session in front of my mom's sewing machine on the other side of the attic when the baby needed to nurse. It was a spontaneous and touching moment captured with grace.

 

She also captured a few additional details from my space. Full studio tour here.

With about a week left of Me-Made-May there's probably still some more awkward selfies coming, but these headshots are here to stay. Thanks for stopping by!


Find more of Andi's stunning work on her sites, Robert's Family Photography and Hot Tomato, and if you're an MOV local just go ahead and treat yourself to a session.

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Turning 3

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Turning 3

Today came at me fast like the cliched freight train. My first daughter's third birthday. Today.


Yesterday, having done nothing to prepare for her birthday, I decided to sew her a birthday outfit. I picked a tried and true peplum pattern (Pippa by See Kate Sew). It's a style I've sewn before for my daughter and she wears without a fuss. Since we're approaching summer, I decided to make the top sleeveless. It's not something I've done with this pattern before, but I knew I could do it, if only my brain could wrap itself around the magical origami dance of fabric that's required to finish a lined sleeveless top. I sewed the neckline of the lining and main fabric together and, before stubbornly trying to sew the armsyces together in a way that I knew would result in spending too much time with a seam ripper, I did the smart thing. And I Googled. 

And the first hit saved me. It smartly described the burrito roll/sandwich technique I needed. So a big kudos to Blithe of Blithe Stitches. I'm grateful you blog, ma'am!

Anyway, not much else about making the outfit was really noteworthy. I used a circle skirt because I mostly dread gathering fabric. It often feels like a short eternity has passed during the time it takes to neatly gather a skirt. I used a few fabrics I totally loved. A popular floral and striped Art Gallery print for the leggings and an eyelet jersey in the perfect shade of coral for the peplum. And it was the color of the top that sent me back.

Coral. And my daughter. They were the reasons I started sewing. I'm just not a fan of that pale pink color that's universal for baby girl. I couldn't find any nursery sets worth buying. So back in late 2013, when I was nesting for the baby girl I was expecting, I bought a sewing machine and fabric. Coral coordinates. Not pink. Nope. Coral. And I made her nursery linens- crib sheets, changing pad covers, burp cloths, nursing pillow covers. I painted an end table coral and I lined the drawers with fabric scraps.

And thus began my current love affair with fabric and sewing. One can find a tutorial or free pattern for almost anything online. So I started sewing other simple things. Headbands. Kids' aprons. Small tote bags. I copied the simple reversible pinafore I had purchased for my daughter. A friend asked me to make something for her daughter. So I found the simplest looking tunic I could find. And I bought a real pattern. I sewed that tunic, gained confidence thanks to the thorough and detailed instructions. And just kept sewing. Buying more patterns. Sewing. Learning. That was 2015.


And now my daughter is 3. It's 2017. Three years old. I've learned a lot. Though, the more I learn, the more I realize I still have to learn. Sewing isn't a skill set you master in a year's time. It's one you hone over your lifetime.

I was anxious in showing her the outfit. She's a fickle and opinionated small being. Hubby has taken to calling her a cat. (And has recently added feral to that descriptor.) She often won't even try on the things I sew for her. Let alone model them. And so, I mostly stopped sewing for her. I started sewing for my friend's older daughter instead. Because she would wear the clothing. And she would smile while wearing it. 

So this morning, when my daughter happily agreed to wear the peplum I was thrilled. But then she put me back in my place and refused to wear the leggings. She picked a pair of rtw denim shorts instead and topped the look off with her snow boots. I know better than to argue. And I took the requisite photos on the front porch to mark the occasion. 

I marveled at how well it looked on her. The eyelets are playful and light.. She's got a little room to grow in it and it should carry her through the summer.

Like I said before, no other preparations were made for her birthday. No party planned. No gifts purchased. No cake baked. Dear Middle Child- I'm sorry. My plan was to take her to the toy store and let her pick her present this morning. But the toy store doesn't open until 10. We went to breakfast to kill time. A fast food place with a play area.

The next part gets ugly. If you don't want to read about something we all do nearly everyday, stop now. If you're eating and can't deal with talk of body fluids or semi solids, skip to the last paragraph. Because a few minutes after going in to play, my daughter needed help. She had poop-ed her pants. She says it like it's conjugated. Poop-ed. So she's standing there, barefoot, with the signs of the sort of bowel movement she had had running down the back of one of her legs. What follows, I found rather amusing. But we have 3 kids now. It's the sort of scene that makes first-time parents cry. We're nonchalant now. We don't pack much to go out. So this diaper change required a trip to the car to get the diaper bag. The diaper bag that didn't even have wipes in it. So I was insanely grateful to discover her top was completely spared and then it hit me that she had made the right choice in bottoms this morning. And the luscious Art Gallery leggings were sparred the same fate her shorts suffered. I had no spare clothes in the car. So she rocked her peplum sans pants to the car. Past the sweet employee we had to notify of the incident that had transgressed in the play area. We thanked her again on our way out and chuckled that it was a birthday we would never forget. And then this gracious woman went out of her way to get my daughter a toy from the back. 

The squeamish can join us again as this is the end of this story. My daughter turned 3 today. She's the reason I started sewing. I won't ever forget that or this birthday.

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Juliette Top

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Juliette Top

Two sewing beauties, Suz of sewpony and Jill of @kneesockandgoldilocks, have teamed up in creating the Juliette dress and top pattern for girls. You're reading this because by some stroke of luck, I got to test it. As with many of Suz's dress patterns, Juliette is suitable for woven fabric, but I believe this is the first time she's offered a top-length style. Fun! (Which fits my MO, of course.)

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The main style point is the ruffled collar, topping off the simple a-line silhouette.

I pulled this lovely border print from Art Gallery out of my stash for my first top.

I picked short sleeves and chose to add the optional faux placket, using a coordinating accent fabric for it. Given that the main fabric is fine and a bit sheer, I skipped the inseam pockets on this piece. I know what you're saying. Always do the pockets! It feels wrong to skip them, but I didn't want to weight this delicate top down.

For the closure, I opted for ties.

I don't love how the serger threads are peeking out from the underside of the collar as it floats up and down. I thought my light gray thread was neutral enough. This illustrates how subtle and light the print on this material is and also how lazy I am for not just changing my looper threads. :)

The model is 41" tall with a 22" chest, which puts her in between size 3 and 4 on the size chart. Top is a straight, unmodified size 4.

Shorts are Berry Bubble Shorts by Mummykins and Me (one of 10 patterns I picked for summer sewing for kids).

Shorts are Berry Bubble Shorts by Mummykins and Me (one of 10 patterns I picked for summer sewing for kids).

The fit is relaxed and appropriate for everyday wear or can be more dressy depending on fabric choice and styling.

I switched up the options and made another version. For my second top, I decided to really take a risk, finally cutting into this beautiful embroidered chambray.

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I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!! And the best part of using an embroidered edge fabric like this is that no hemming is required.

This top sits about an inch lower because of how I cut it to maximize use of the embroidered design and best match the pattern at the seams.

I used the other included closure option- a simple button and loop. Check out that sweet little vintage button. I use them whenever possible since they are so unique. 

This was the first time taking pictures on the roof. We moved into this house last summer, so it's almost been a year and I'm still completely enamored with the view.

Anyway, back on task...

To finish the edge on this collar, I opted to try a narrow rolled hem. I've played with my rolled hem foot a little, though I don't think I've official used it in a project before. Trying this on a curved piece likely made my task a bit more challenging. So, my rolled hem isn't perfect, but overall I'm pretty pleased and I know I'll be using this foot again.

With this sleeveless version, I chose to finish the armscye with bias. The pattern comes with sleeve facings for finishing here. I'm just not a big fan of facings for necklines or arm holes. Essentially the same technique used on the neckline can be used to finish a sleeveless version and it looks really sharp. (I actually turned the binding to the inside, so it looks like French bias binding. This tutorial series on bias binding is one I often refer back to.)

Simple leggings in wine marsala double brushed poly round out this outfit. 

Simple leggings in wine marsala double brushed poly round out this outfit. 

I skipped the pockets again. Don't shoot me!

Two other sleeve lengths, three quarter and long, are included in the pattern, as well as cut lines for dress length but I did not test those features.

Juliette comes in sizes 12m, 18m and 2-10y. You can get your copy here.

For more inspiration, check out the other testers' delightful versions introduced in Suz's post here

#juliettedressandtop

Many thanks to my pal Christy for supplying an agreeale model and helping with photos!

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Drafting Lesson: EasyT

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Drafting Lesson: EasyT

Having sewn for a couple years now, I'm pretty comfortable with making just about anything, so long as I've got a pattern. It's especially easy (usually) with an indie sewing pattern. They often have diagrams or pictures for every little step of the assembly process, as well as a social media forum where you can ask questions. But since fun is my MO, I thought I'd give drafting a try. I'm probably not going to be drafting many patterns, but I wanted to gain some insight into the process and learn something.

If you don't know already, I'm a fan of the SewHere gals. Mallory and Zede have 2 podcasts, The Self Sewn Wardrobe and Sewing Out Loud. They are as knowledgeable and experienced as they are fun and snarky. At the time I'm writing this, their course for drafting your own simple tee for wovens, or EasyT, has been out for a few months and they have a leggings course in production.

You can sign up for the video-based course on the SewHere website, OR! (through some magical friendship that I don't know the backstory of) you can get the course through LA Finch Fabrics with several yards (5, I think) of fabric. It so happens I love Josie and the LA Finch crew too, so of course, I went with the route that resulted in more fabric in my possession.  

Now, there's likely plenty of other ways to learn about drafting a shirt. Books. I imagine those things with paper pages are still being printed and sold, or even loaned out from places called libraries for free. You read them. So I hear. Craftsy. They have no less than 8 gazillion courses you can purchase. Surely they have some on drafting. But, like I said, I love Mallory and Zede. It really feels like they personally care for all the stitchers they interact with. I'm buying whatever they are selling. Ice in Alaska. Take my money.

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The course includes a printable worksheet for recording body measurements and calculating drafting points. Mallory runs through the best way to get accurate body measurements using a few simple tools.

And then comes the drafting. She makes it look so easy and straightforward. The EasyT is living up to its name. 

My trouble came when I ran out of length on my tracing paper, which really was parchment paper. Because it's what I had on hand. It wasn't ideal, but I made it work. Also, I had grabbed my small cutting mat from my sewing space and brought it down to the dining table so I could draft while the kids were up to their usual shenanigans. The small mat is only 24" long, so with a high shoulder point to hip length of 27", I ran off the end of my grid. Plan ahead!

Tracing with Ikea craft paper. Cuz kids.

Tracing with Ikea craft paper. Cuz kids.

The other aspect that wasn't clear to me was the ease. There's 2" of ease added to the calculations made on the worksheet for the bust and hip and it assumes that one's waist is smaller than both of those measurements. It's possible, if you're apple shaped that you wouldn't fit this model well.

So here's my first muslin. 

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I hope you enjoy these poorly lit fit (unhemmed) pics with goofy selfie faces. I found the fabric was dragging across my bust and there was a bit much fabric under the arm from the dolman sleeve. I double checked all my measurements. And I was off by 2 inches for the distance to my bust. That's right. My bust was 2 inches lower than yesterday. I'm doomed for these suckers to be hanging between my knees in no time at all. But in all seriousness/fairness, I wear really cozy nursing-friendly bras right now. I said cozy. Not supportive. 

Re-draft in blue.

Re-draft in blue.

So I moved a few points and re-drafted the side seam and sleeve line/underarm curve. And upon Mallory's suggestion, I adjusted the sleeve/underarm curve a bit more. There's some written material to accompany the course. I, being special, didn't find it until after I was done. If you're gonna get the course too, make sure you find the course outline. There's some extra info and diagrams in there.

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Voila! All finished and hemmed and now I have a sweet little pattern I drafted that I can play with and truly call me-made.

And here's the best blurry shot I was able to get with my tripod and the timer. Because lord only knows where my remote has run off to.

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Summer Sewing For Kids

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Summer Sewing For Kids

The weather has flipped suddenly and I've been rotating the clothes in the kids' closets and dressers and making plans for summer looks. I've got plenty of patterns to get us through the warm and hot months ahead and have chosen 10 patterns as my go-tos for this year. Half of these I've made before and the other half will be new sews for me. As such, I've shared pictures of my versions where possible and used pictures from the pattern designers for the others. You'll find links to each of the sites for the patterns for more inspiration or to purchase your own copy. And if you don't sew, you know I'd be more than happy to sew for you.

 

Rompers

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Summer Romper by Brindille & Twig

This unisex romper designed for knits has a size range from preemie to 3T.  It can also use sewn with non-stretch fabrics if you size up. Whether layered with a tee or tank or on its own, it's a great wardrobe piece when the temps really climb. Straps cross over in the back and fasten in the front.

 

Why I love it-

Perfect summer basic especially for babies and toddlers. 

(While this post is about summer sewing, I must say this one is great in fall too, with tights!)

Melbourne Romper by Jilly Atlanta

The Melbourne is a similar yet rather different romper style with a vintage feel. The legs are more like shorts on this romper (more coverage) and the straps fasten in the back. Choose to finish the legs with elastic- cased gathers or keep them straight. Other options include halter straps and strap flutters. The cotton linen version shown here was finished while putting this post together. Suitable for woven fabrics. Sizes 3-6 mo, 6-9 mo, 9-12 mo, 12-18 mo, 2T, 3T, and 4T.

 

Why I love it-

Multiple style options included in the pattern.

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Full-length

Full-length

Teatime Romper by Mummykins and Me

With a size range from newborn to 12, the Teatime Romper covers all. Two inseam lengths included- shorts and full length. It's sweet with the elastic straps as designed (shown above) or mashed with another pattern to create sleeves. It can be sewn in either woven or knit material and I've sewn both.

 

What I love-

Pattern includes detailed instructions for crotch snaps.

Short length, modified with sleeves

Short length, modified with sleeves

 

Shorts

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Berry Bubble Shorts by Mummykins and Me

It's time for a new pair of Berry Bubbles for this chunky monkey. She's sporting her newborn-sized pair and, well, she's grown over the winter. The details on this pattern are terrific. The shorts can be straight or gathered (bubble style) and feature pockets. Sizes newborn to 12.

 

Love-

In additional to having stunning details, the option for an adjustable waistband using buttonhole elastic is a great bonus.

 

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Air Balloon Shorts by Puperita

A simple and cozy shorts style for knits. This is the last pattern on my list that I've sewn before, but my pictures seem to be hiding from me. (Either that or I'm somewhat disorganized. #probablythelatter) Sizes newborn to 6.

 

Love-

Really easy and quick to sew

 


The patterns below I have yet to sew. I won't be able to tell you what I love about them just quite yet.

 
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Tree Climber Pantaloons by Twig + Tale

I was excited to snag this pattern for free as part of Twig + Tale's recent celebration for reaching 7,000 FB group members. Unisex, vintage style. Sizes 0-3m to 10.

 

Tops

Camille Tank by Violette Field Threads

Simple, flared tank for woven fabrics. Sizes 2-10.

I would pair this top with Air Balloon Shorts or Tree Climber Pantaloons.

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Pepper Pinafore by Shwin Designs

Dolman style pinnie with button closure in the back. Options include ruffles or a reversible pinafore. Sizes 6-9m through 8.

 

This is one of my #2017makeninekids (my version of #2017makenine for kiddos) picks, so I deserve a kick in the pants if I don't get one made this summer. #sewinggoals #sewingschmoals

 

Helter Skelter Tee by Shwin Designs

A basic tee with diagonal color blocking. Great for boys and girls in sizes 2T to 8. Tees are a summer staple. I probably ought to have started sewing these before Christmas.

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Baby Set

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Flora Bundle by Jilly Atlanta

Includes the pattern for both the diaper cover and the sleeveless top in sizes 0-3, 6, 9, and 12 months. 

This last pick is a bit special in that I'm planning to sew one of these sets for Baby C's 1st birthday outfit. Jilly's patterns always have impeccable finishing and I hope the set I sew will get passed down.

It also happens to be another one of the patterns from my #2017makeninekids sewing self challenge. (I'm pitifully behind on that front, bytheway. I, naturally, picked 9 sews for myself for the main challenge (#2017makenine), of which I've sewn two so far. It's just so easy to get distracted by new projects. I'm digressing...)

There you have it. Five summer looks for kids I've sewn before and five new ones I'm hoping to try.

Have you made plans for your summer sewing? I'd love to hear your plans and recommendations.

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Dulcie in Knit

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Dulcie in Knit

Suz of sewpony has an delightful FREE PATTERN, Dulcie, that you must try. It's similar to her Tic Tac Toe dress pattern in that both are designed to be made with woven fabrics and have an invisible zipper in the back. 

Tic Tac Toe dress, another sewpony pattern

Tic Tac Toe dress, another sewpony pattern

Given the loose fit and style of Dulcie, I thought it would sew up nicely in knit fabric, and well, I couldn't be happier!

Dulcie in knit

Dulcie in knit

So I made two!

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The fit is relaxed, slipping over the head easily. It's perfect for everyday wear and play or Dulcie can be dressed up depending on fabric choice. 

Dulcie is ideal for throwing rocks down at the levee

Dulcie is ideal for throwing rocks down at the levee

There are a few advantages to sewing with knits here. A) You can skip the zipper. Maybe you don't have one on hand or maybe you're scared of them. #zippersarelikespiders #theytakesomegettingusedto B) Kids tend to prefer knit clothing. It's stretchy and cozy. C) Knits typically don't need much ironing. #ironingblows D) And maybe you just have a lovely knit you want to use for this dress and there's not a woven equivalent of the print. Whatever the reason, here's all you need to do to sew Dulcie in knit-

  • Cut the back pieces (skirt, bodice, and bodice lining) on the fold (subtracting the seam allowance of 3/8").
  • After joining the shoulder seams, sew the neckline of the bodice and bodice lining together with right sides facing. (This is similar to how I made the peplum in this post, but the next 2 steps are different as that pattern has set in sleeves and this a dolman style bodice.)
  • With right sides together, close the side seams of the bodice and the bodice lining separately.
  • Close the sleeves with the lining and main right sides together, working around in a circle. (This part is a little tricky to visualize. See detail pic.) 
  • Turn the joined bodice. Gather and attach the skirt to both the main bodice and lining.

(I did use woven fabrics for the collar and the pockets for this version and those were sewn without any modifications.)

Detail on closing the sleeves. Working with the main bodice (blue print with white reverse here) and the lining bodice (solid peach here) from the wrong sides, fold the main sleeve back, creating a 1" cuff, exposing the right side. Slip the end of the lining sleeve over. Right sides will be together. Join along the raw edge of the sleeve, turning the sleeve around as you go.

Here's the finished knit Dulcie's guts (aka the finished dress as turned inside out.) 

Here's the finished knit Dulcie's guts (aka the finished dress as turned inside out.) 

It was a little windy today!

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Mummykins Mash-up

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Mummykins Mash-up

If you're a Mummykins and Me superfan like me, you likely have all of Rebecca's patterns. I recently decided to combine 2 classic Mummykins patterns to create a new look.

The basic idea is to take the Teatime Romper and mix it up with the sleeves from Olivia to create a new romper style. I also changed the style of the casings on the sleeves and legs for fun.

I made a 3-6 month romper in shorts length in a knit fabric, and "paper bag" hems. I'll run you through the modifications I made in the mash-up-

The romper was originally designed to be finished with bias, while the neckline of Olivia folds under to create a casing. As such, I added to the height of the romper bodice, so it could be turned under for the casing. I added half an inch, just eyeballing it when cutting.

Sleeve from Olivia

Sleeve from Olivia

To add a little ruffle effect at the sleeve, I moved the casing away from the edge. I turned the sleeve hem under once, approximately an inch, then sewed 2 lines of stitching. One stitch line a half inch from the folded edge and the second line a half inch inside the first line, at the raw edge.

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Inserted 1/4" elastic in the casing and secured the ends. I used 8 inches for 3-6 month size.

Attached the sleeves to the bodice and then closed the side seams and sleeves.

I smashed the front and back pant pieces together before cutting, overlapping at the middle to adjust for the seam allowance and adding a half inch to the length so I could create the same casings as the sleeves.

Repeated the same steps as the sleeves to create the elastic casing. I used 9" of 1/4" elastic for the legs. Closed each leg along the inseam, then joined them together along the full crotch seam with one leg nested inside the other and right sides together. 

Attached the bodice to the bottoms. I simply serged the raw edges together with right sides facing, then created the waist casing by stitching another line 3/4 inches from the joined edge, leaving 2 inches open to insert the waist elastic. After inserting the elastic and closing the casing, I stitched the serged edge to the bodice. This is slightly different than the construction instructions in the Teatime Romper, but worked well for knit fabric.

Inside view of completed waist casing

Inside view of completed waist casing

Finished the neckline in the same manner as the instructions for The Olivia. (Except I used 1/2 inch elastic here. Ooopsie!  I think it makes the neckline too bulky and I plan to use 1/4 inch elastic next time.)

Done! 

Done! 

Sleeve detail

Sleeve detail

Babykins approves!

Babykins approves!

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Maternity Mod of a Comfy Cowl Hoodie

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Maternity Mod of a Comfy Cowl Hoodie

The stunning over-sized combination cowl hood on Mummykins & Me's Comfy Cowl Hoodie makes it my most-requested make. The pattern comes in a huge range of sizes for kids starting at 0-3 months through the women's up to 5XL! I've sewn many different sizes in a range of fabrics from french terry, interlock, ponte, and double brushed poly. When I got a request from a first time mama to be, I was excited to make her a maternity version. I'm detailing the 2 simple adjustments I made in this post. (I also omitted the kangaroo pocket which would sit under a baby bump.)

The general approach to this maternity mod is to lengthen the front bodice. At the same time, I took out the curve of the side seam by connecting the top and bottom points of the bodice with a straight line. But! I must apologize that my pictures don't show that. They show the pattern cut along the original curve, so keep that in mind. Sew anyway, to add length to the front bodice, cut it along the shorten/lengthen line and spread the pieces apart. I like to add 6 inches. I've tried adding more (11" inches once on a different pattern) to amp up the ruching effect, but my top ended up being much too roomy up front.

Cut along the shorten/lengthen line and separate the pieces, adding 6 inches of space between them. 

Cut along the shorten/lengthen line and separate the pieces, adding 6 inches of space between them. 

I taped the pieces to another sheet of paper, 6" apart to create a new front bodice pattern piece before cutting the fabric. My cut fabric is shown below. The front (on the left) and back bodice pieces are folded and lying next to each other with the side seams lined up in the center. 

Now the front bodice needs to be gathered until its side seam is the same length as the back side seam. I ran a basting stitch from a few inches under the bottom of the armscye to the bottom of the side seam. The next picture shows pins (highlighted with the arrow) marking where I started basting.

Front bodice pinned to mark where to start basting

Front bodice pinned to mark where to start basting

After setting the sleeves, close the side seams.  The next pic shows all the gorgeous gathers on the front bodice evenly spaced and pinned right side together to the back bodice, ready to be joined.

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Here I go again apologizing, but that luscious Art Gallery striped fabric obscures the ruching a bit. Sorry! Notice the extra volume created though. That's where the bump goes. ;)

Finish the garment as per the regular assmebly instructions, adding the bands and cowl hoodie.

Here's where I'd love to share plenty of modeled pictures. Bad news- the mama delivered her baby rather prematurely (around 30 weeks). GOOD NEWS- EVERYONE IS DOING FINE and maybe I'll get to sew some itsy bitsy clothes for the little guy soon.

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Kingston Jacket Test

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Kingston Jacket Test

I jumped at the opportunity to test the Kingston Jacket by Mummykins and Me recently. I'm really glad I was chosen as I really learned a lot.

The Kingston is a classic denim jacket and, as with all of Rebecca's patterns, the instructions for construction and finishing are detailed. As much of the seaming is done with flat fells, it's a great opportunity to learn and perfect this technique.

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What's a flat fell? I've been sewing rather steadily for 2+ years, and I hadn't heard of them until recently. There's a simple description and discussion shared here with a couple great diagrams. (The site is devoted to backpacking and hiking, not sewing in particular. Cool.)

The approach to flat-felled seams described in the pattern is to stitch the fabric wrong sides together, trim one of the seam allowances, wrap the other seam allowance around the trimmed raw edge, and then top stitch the folded seam allowance down in place. The illustration above shows how the seams are wrapped around each other.

 

Fabrics-

I've had this charming medium weight stretch twill from in my stash for some time. I'm pretty sure it was purchased with the intention of making myself pants, a sewing goal I'm baby-stepping my way to. Very slowly.

For the lining pieces of the waistband and the collar, I used this sweet Dear Stella print from Raspberry Creek's Etsy shop.

 

First flat fell! Instant swoon. I used my edge stitch foot to close all the flat fell seams. It helped keep all my top stitching nice and straight, but I wish it was a wee bit closer to the edge. I'm thinking my next sewing machine will be one with more needle positions.

If I'm being completely honest, it's not the first time I've tried flat fell seams,. The seam between the yoke and main on the Madison Blouse has the option for finishing with a flat fell. Trouble, for me, was wrapping a 1/2" seam allowance (SA) around the small section with gathers. Serger to the rescue that time. On this jacket, though, the flat fell seams are perfection. But if you are a serging enthusiast, there's also instructions for finishing that way too. 

I learned some tips about top stitching in making this. If you don't have top-stitch weight thread (on hand or in the desired color), you can use 2 construction-weight or 2 embroidery-weight threads threaded together through your sewing machine needle. That would have given my top stitching a bit more oomph. You sew, you learn!

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The pattern comes with 5 sleeve options; classic long, bell, and 3/4 bell, half angel and trumpet. Those bell and trumpet sleeves make for a big wow. I kept the sleeves simple for this 3-6 month version, using the half angel option. The breast pockets are simple patch pockets; a flap piece is also included in the pattern, as well as optional inseam side pockets.

The romper is a Teatime Romper, another Mummykins and Me pattern.

As with many of Rebecca's designs, there's a separate pattern for women's sizes, and a bonus 18" doll pattern version if you get the bundle.

After testing, it's time to play. I modified the collar, switching it out for a simple, gathered ruff-style collar and I love the playful, feminine effect. 

Modified collar.

Modified collar.

The testers had lots of other great ideas for hacks and mods. I suspect we'll be seeing some fun Kingston Jackets with added flair in the form of hoods, without sleeves, with added ruffles along the yoke or armscyes, and maybe even some with skirts too.

For more inspiration, check out the other testes' posts about on their Kingston Jackets. 

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What's in the box?

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What's in the box?

Having received the shipping confirmation on a Wednesday, I decided a special unboxing of my Dressmaker's Delight SewHere Box was in order when it arrives. It's special because I waited 3 months for this box of sewing goodies. (The scissors are to blame for the hold up. I'll get to that later.)

First, you might be wondering, what's a SewHere box? It's a bundle of sewing stuffs packaged and sold by the SewHere.com. This box was the second edition and like the previous SewHere Box, some of the items are a surprise until received.

Second, maybe you're wondering who's behind SewHere? Only the coolest sewlebrities ever, Mallory Donohue and her mum, Zede. Together with their staff, they are pretty much the best thing in the internet sewing world. Yup. Super witty, crazy knowledgeable and experienced. Mallory's Self Sewn Wardrobe FB group is a tremendous amount of fun. Join. You won't regret it. But don't join if you're a dick. It's one of the last amazing spaces left on the interwebs.

But you're not a dick. You're an awesome person with a lust for sewing. JOIN.


Now it's Thursday. I'm stalking my box, obsessively checking the tracking. My box is reported to have passed through Indianapolis, IN and is scheduled to arrive Saturday.


Friday morning, the first surprise arrives! I get an email that my box is actually out for delivery a day earlier than originally scheduled. Waaaat!

It's here!!!

It's here!!!

Spoiler! It's not Gywneth's head.

Zede's FAVORITE SCISSORS. These are the buggers that held up the box a wee bit (like 2 months). Mallory had to bust some balls for these. It REQUIRED a stern email. But they were worth the wait. They feel glorious in the hand. And that sweet little charm. A lovely little surprise touch.

A personalized note came with every box. Mallory and Zede hand-wrote them all. It's those personal touches that are the icing on the cake. (Though, honestly, I'm slightly disappointed my note was so G rated. I was promised a note with explicit content. We get a little saucy in the group sometimes. Did you join yet? It's fun!) 

So the box was chock full of amazing stuff. Things I can't wait to try and things that I think will take me and the things I sew up a notch. THANKS, SewHere!


Update and funny story-

There's a few other exclusives included with the box and I completely missed the secret site. Mallory and Zede have a fabulous unboxing video and some bonus downloads as well, BUT YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT IF YOU DON'T TURN OVER THE CARD WITH THE DISCOUNT CODE.

Also, it's come to my attention that on mobile you can't see the captions for all the items in my post (that I painstakingly wrote in between catering to my children's every need this morning). So this post is a bit of a bust. Wah. Time for a #bloggingbeer.


Now that I've actually had a chance to use some of the goodies in my SewHere Box, I feel the need to gush a bit about some of my favorite things.

It goes without saying that the scissors are incredible. I never want to cut with anything else ever.

The Snap n Slide tape measure is really handy. I mean REALLY HANDY. It makes getting your own body measurements so much easier. One end snaps onto the glide, which keeps the measurement marked, even upon release. LOVE THIS THING. Don't let your kids get a hold of it. They will love it too. And you'll never see it again.

The thread ended up being perfect for the next project I sewed. HOW DID THE SEWHERE GODDESSES KNOW?

The organdy feels superb. I've yet to use it in a sewing project, but I can tell it will work well, and I'm grateful to have a large sample to try. This SewHere Box feels like a special gift from sewing experts that really care about sewists and helping them succeed. 


More goodies have been put to use!

I opened the up the flexible curve ruler. A whopping 36" of bendy awesomeness that holds its shape. Cool beans.

Here's that mysterious Hugo's stuff in action. It's a clear plastic band that sticks to itself and can be used and reused for bundling fabric or, as I've done above, keeping your thread tidily on their spools.

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Pocketful of Stars

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Pocketful of Stars

I bought the Pocketful of Posies pattern with the intention of modifying it to be nursing friendly in March 2016. Check it. It's now March 2017. So let's just say sometimes life gets in the way. Thinking back, I would have been early in my third pregnancy when I bought the pattern. Now, I've been nursing that sweet pea for 6 months and we do not plan to have any additional kiddos. IT'S NOW OR NEVER FOR NURSING MODS.

Sew anyway, I finally got the motivation I needed after Susan Katz tagged me in a thread about the mods in the Blank Slate Patterns group. I got to work. First playing with the pattern pieces and trying to decide where I would add an opening for quick access. The pattern has big pockets on the front bodice. There's facings and side panels, all coming together overlapping over the chest. Conceptually, there's room to hide a slit. I decided just to put together a muslin and see where things sit.

I don't often wear dresses. I'm more of a jeggings and leggings kind of gal, so I followed Sabra's tunic mod post when cutting the length.

Instead of stabilizing the pocket facings, I chose to use a woven fabric.

'Skies Star Black'

'Skies Star Black'

Fitting-

The bodice was really full across my hips and I wanted to bring it in a bit with the hem band. I figured I could get away with shortening the band width drastically by using brushed poly (aka stretchy fabric from heaven). I took about 8 inches off. Enough that the poly really wanted to curl when attaching the band, so I gathered the bodice first.

Gathering the bodice hem before attching the hem band. (Gah! A stray dog hair!)

Gathering the bodice hem before attching the hem band. (Gah! A stray dog hair!)

I also shortened the sleeve pattern pieces 2 inches before cutting. I made my own sleeve hem bands (2.5" x 13" for my size L, shortened sleeves).

So here's my muslin. LOVE it. The pocket facings and side pieces don't come as far in to the midline as I hoped. There's about 2 inches of overlapping fabric, but I'm worried adding a slit in here might result in some accidental wardrobe malfunctions. I want to re-draft the facings and side pieces, adding an inch (maybe more) to the midline seams to hide my nip slits. More to follow, maybe!

Peeking in one pocket. There's those stars.

Peeking in one pocket. There's those stars.

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Modified Santa Fe and Lucky Fabric

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Modified Santa Fe and Lucky Fabric

This is a story about how I'm lucky and about how I'm not as smart as I think.

Back in February, Meg Awesome Sauce of Cookin' & Craftin' posted a tee made with custom printed fabric from My Fabric Designs. Lucky Pants Me commented on her post and won the giveaway for $25 credit to My Fabric Design. (Insert happy dance.)

 
Meg rockin' her Bento

Meg rockin' her Bento

I'm no stranger to custom printed fabric. I've used Spoonflower on a few occasions because A) poo emoji fabric, B) DIY logo labels, C) celery, and D) other fun stuff.

 

My Fabric Designs is essentially the same. Choose from designers' works or upload your own design and pick a substrate.

Then...

magic...

and happy mail arrives.

FUN!

I chose this gorgeous design called Painted Herringbone (theartwerks) and chose modern jersey fabric

I chose this gorgeous design called Painted Herringbone (theartwerks) and chose modern jersey fabric

I'm very guilty of rarely having a plan for the fabric I buy. I buy fabric because it's pretty and I'm weak. Sew weak. So I didn't know when I bought this what I was gonna make with it. The modern jersey is buttery smooth and drapey. It spoke to me and said, "make a Santa Fe."

I will say I've only ever used the Santa Fe pattern once before and that time I mashed it with Shwin's Day Tripper. So I haven't actually sewn a Santa Fe as designed per the instructions. That's going to be evident here in a bit.

Image credit- Hey June Handmade 

Image credit- Hey June Handmade 

When I mashed this pattern previously, I fused the front and back sleeve pieces together, eliminating the shoulder seam, and creating a more traditional raglan. I think in doing so, I elongated the neckline a little by not accounting entirely for the seam allowances. Anyhow, my neckline came out a bit bigger than I'd love. The pattern as written uses a binding to finish the neckline as opposed to a neckband, but to compensate for the large neck opening, I went with a band.

Love the deep angle on the side insets.

Love the deep angle on the side insets.

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After hemming the sleeves, I found them a teensy bit short. Well, duh, if one actually follows the pattern, the sleeves in view F (and C) have a cuff.

So there you have it. I love this top and the dreamy fabric. It's incredibly wearable, but I made some mistakes along the way. Most sewists like to make their mistakes and adjust for fit by making a muslin. They probably also read the instructions. I just like to sew. And I learn a lot.

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Madison Blouse

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Madison Blouse

Test and overview of Madison, a new Mummykins and Me PDF pattern

Hop over to the other testers' blogs for more Madison eye candy and inspiration-

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Waterfall Raglan Uniforms

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Waterfall Raglan Uniforms

When the girls' Waterfall Raglan pattern by Chalk and Notch released in late 2016, the holiday versions in stretch velvet dominated all. my. feeds. Since then, I've seen Waterfalls sewn up in a wide range of fabrics and seen many different modifications and styles. (Check out the Make It Mine Tour on Chalk and Notch's blog if you haven't already. I would link it here, but apparently Square Space is vetoing that functionality for me EVEN THOUGH I WAS ABLE TO INSERT A HYPERLINK IN THIS SAME PARAGRAPH BEFORE. What gives? I'm digressing...)

My spin on this pattern does a 180 from dressy holiday wear to everyday staple as school uniforms.

The uniform code at our school is somewhat relaxed. Solid grey, navy or khaki apparel is allowed. (There's also a school plaid, but it seems to be a proprietary plaid and I can't find yardage to purchase, only ready to wear garments. Wah. I'm digressing again...) For girls, the hem of skirts and jumpers should fall at or below mid-knee. 

I sewed up 2 dress-length versions straight from the pattern as designed without any modifications.

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The short-sleeved Waterfall is made entirely from a navy solid mid-weight knit. It's perfect for warm weather. 

For the winter version, I used a thick, quilted knit for the long sleeves and bodice and another simple solid for the neckband, ruffles, and pocket.

The length (both dresses were left unhemmed here) is very modest and well within the school's policy.

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I think she likes it.

I think she likes it.

Detail of the quilted knit. I wish I could remember where it's from. I want to say fabric.com. At any rate, it's the stuff that heaven and hoarding are made of.

Detail of the quilted knit. I wish I could remember where it's from. I want to say fabric.com. At any rate, it's the stuff that heaven and hoarding are made of.

A comfortable and stylish alternative to traditional school uniforms, I see many a Waterfall Raglan in our future.

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To Dye For

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To Dye For

I picked up some luscious new goodies in early January from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. That white fabric with black hearts is a Riley Blake jersey from their When Skies Are Grey line. It immediately begged to be dyed, something I'd only read about and never done before. But I was dreaming of acheiving an ombre effect.

I asked for some advice in the RCF Facebook group and I was given some great tips. The two most important being to consider dyeing the fabric after construction of the garment but also to finish any hemming after dyeing as polyester (non-cotton) thread won't take the dye. 

I decided for an ombre effect it definitely made sense to construct the garment first. I made a Pippa Peplum (same garment as this post), leaving the sleeves and skirt unhemmed.

The basic procedure for dyeing is outlined here- https://www.ritstudio.com/techniques/the-basics/how-to-dye-101/

Given that it's winter and I'm impatient (sew impatient), I decided to just give it a go in my kitchen the night the dye arrived. I did experiment with the colors and some scraps first.

Just put a big ole bucket in my kitchen sink

Just put a big ole bucket in my kitchen sink

I started with the light pink powder dissolved in hot water in a big bucket, dipping the peplum in occasionally but mostly just keeping the bottom in the dye. I used some wonder clips to hold it to the side of the bucket at the desired level (wish I took a picture of those wonderful multipurpose wonder clips). Then I just added the darker pink right in the same bucket and focussed on soaking the lowest levels.

Rinsing

Rinsing

I followed the typical procedure of rinsing and washing, drying. I hemmed the sleeves the next day.

Voila!

Voila!

Overall, I'm really happy with the effect and my kitchen survived unscathed. I was trying to keep the top-most part of the top white, but I think some dye bled in the wash. I'm planning to make some blacking leggings to round out the outfit. Keep your fingers crossed that my finicky toddler will actually wear it.

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