Lace Bib Issie

We're right in the middle of sewpony's Issie tour and it's my turn to share. I'm glad Suz asked me to join in the fun. It's a great line-up of creatives-

Issie has quite a multitude of style options included and comes in children's and teen/women's sizing.

I was particularly drawn to the curved bib feature.

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And I instantly knew I wanted to use lace for the bib.

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I paired crochet lace with a modal brushed french terry, both from La Finch Fabrics. (I have so much love for their famous maker offerings!)

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I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I absolutely love wearing it.

I chose to make size 8 AUS based on the finished measurements chart with my chest measurement of 36". Having sized down, the overall fit is trim. It's very comfortable and I particularly like the long sleeve cuffs.

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It's a rather easy modification (if it even qualifies as such!) from the original pattern-

Use the curved ruffle template to transfer the bib shape to the front bodice. Add 1/4" seam allowance here. Also add a 1/4" seam allowance to the bib template. Notch the centers. Voila! Two new pattern pieces to color-block (or should I say lace-block?) your Issie tops.

(I must admit I had a couple pictures to illustrate this process, but I think I missed adding the seam allowance to the front bodice and my head is still spinning trying to reason how and why I goofed. Thankfully knits are a bit forgiving!)

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There's a 10% discount off all sewpony patterns with code WOMENSISSIE10 for the duration of the tour (through Monday, September 3rd).

What do you think, should I make an Issie to twin with my daughter next? She's wearing one made during testing last year. She's got some spunk!

Thanks for having me, Suz.

Sirena Poolside Tote

Back in June, I saw Jessica Swift's call for sewists to create and share bags showcasing Sirena.

And when Jessica calls, I answer.

I also sew all her clothes.

Ok, not ALL her clothes, but I did make her a dress once.

And that dress even got to vacation in Mexico!

Ahhhh. Sirena. It exudes summer with every fiber. Perfect for summer totes! Great idea, Jess!

I instantly knew Jessica's call was just the excuse I had been looking for to finally make a Noodlehead Poolside tote.

 Main fabric-  Jungle Heatwave

Main fabric- Jungle Heatwave

Those leaves!

 #justaddferns

#justaddferns

The handles and strap details are made from an AGF Denim Studio pick, Evening Lakeview Lovey Dobby. The texture slays me. As far as I'm concerned, dobby is synonymous with scrumptious. (I really wouldn't be upset if an entire bolt landed on my front porch. ;) ;) )

It's a generously sized bag with plenty of room inside for several towels, especially when you aren't rolling them nicely for modeling sake. 

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I used AGF solid in Grapefruit for the lining. And that splendid facing? A Squared Elements print in Lox. Everything coordinates so well!

With only one exterior pocket, this tote begged me to make it a zippered pouch companion. You can't put sunscreen on the kids if you can't find it in your enormous tote!

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Spy a little friend? That sweet mermaid enamel pin is the product of a collab between Jessica and Maker Pin Co. She's also the impetus for the fishy friend on the pouch. 'Fishy Bones' is a free foundation paper piecing pattern by unicornharts; available here.

Did you spot the other little accents of Tallinn fabric? Magija Pumpkin coordinates so well it's hard to believe it isn't part of the Sirena collection.

 Photo cred- middle child

Photo cred- middle child

So yeah. I'm not actually taking my Poolside to the pool (have you seen how many kids I have?). But I love my new summer tote, nonetheless! Thanks, Jessica!

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Blooper reel-

 

The fabric used for this post was provided by Jessica Swift and Art Gallery Fabrics.

Range Backpacks

With summer winding down, school prep is in full swing. My kids attend a school with a uniform policy, so sewing their school clothes is something I have very little desire for. I decided I'd be up for making their backpacks, though, especially since there's so many beautiful Range Backpacks on social media. I would have made one for myself already (read: I LOVE NOODLEHEAD PATTERNS), but it's just not a style I would carry.

With my son entering first grade, the teacher specified that the bookbag should be large enough to hold full-sized folders. The pic below shows the popular brand toddler backpack like my son had been using (center). A standard folder (right) fits width- and height-wise, but the folder has to be bent to close the zippered top.

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In considering the Range pattern, which is scaled for adults, I was concerned it would be too large for an elementary school kid, but I think the picture also shows it's not a huge jump. And kids only keep growing; you just have to feed and water them somewhat regularly.

I chose waxed canvas for the exterior fabrics because, hello, it's gorgeous stuff, but also it's sturdy (no need to interface it) and the wax affords some water resistance. I had no previous experience with the stuff and picked it out from fabric.com without getting swatches first. I was somewhat surprised when it came on a roll.

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I shouldn't have been surprised, though! I'd heard that waxed canvas can easily be marked by folding. You also don't want to use pins with it as the pin holes will persist. You can use pins carefully within the seam allowances or alternatively use clips. I did find clips could leave marks too, if they got dragged across the canvas, but this was generally on the inside since we typically seam with right sides together.

I found there was a wide range of weights for waxed canvas (of course there are!) and that it's rather pricey (double of course). Again, I ordered on faith, really, picking one that was 13.7oz/ sq yard (navy) for the main and an even heavier weight (27 oz!) for the contrast bottom (brown). I can happily report these were good choices and the brown is rather leather-like.

 my son's Range

my son's Range

 interior

interior

I'm so glad my son agreed to this fabric, a Spoonflower print- 'Old Friends' by lellobird. Turns out I don't have many "boy" choices in my stash. This was actually scraps from a commissioned duvet last year. 

I discovered I liked using my zipper foot for top stitching.

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I did not bother to use my walking foot, which is often recommended for bags and for working with waxed canvas. Honestly, I kinda despise that clunky thing. A denim needle worked fine and I only broke one. I think that had more to do with the coarse Spoonflower fabric than the canvas.

What else can I tell you about waxed canvas? It doesn't strike me as waxy/sticky (just stiff), but it really does seem to collect lint (and likewise, dog hair).

Ok! Here it is. The most amazing thing I've ever sewn.

 #ivepeaked

#ivepeaked

My daughter picked a print with unicorns (actually a leftover also!) by Sarah Jane.

I wanted her backpack to be extra special. This spunky kid loves expressing herself through clothing and now she's slated to wear uniforms. Extra flair was in certainly in order for her backpack. 

I found a foundation paper piecing pattern by Quiet Play, Geometric Unicorn. This block finishes at 12". Which I guessed was just right for the area on the back side I wanted to embellish. It wasn't until I made my son's Range that I realized this space was closer to 11" wide and 10" high. I scaled the unicorn down to 85%, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance at the border.

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It only looks complicated. You just take it one section at a time.

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I stabilized the panel with fusible interfacing then framed the right and left sides with waxed canvas pieces before adding the bottom contrast panel and strap reinforcement strip at the top. 

I wasn't in love with how much the lining peeked out on my son's version, so I decided to add a 1" facing on my daughter's bag. 

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What's also nice about this finishing method is that you can completely sew the lining together. No need to leave an opening to turn through and close afterwards.

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I picked apart my son's bag and gave it the same treatment.

I shortened the straps by 6 inches on both bags. At their shortest, the straps are a good length for my kids and still adjust to a comfortable length for me. The only other departure from the pattern was the closure. I wanted to use Anna's mod for a side release buckle, but I couldn't find a source for any I liked. I went with the popular alternative, swivel clasp and ring.

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 She likes it!

She likes it!

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I hope you feel inspired to sew a Range Backpack or two!

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Pixie Dress

I've got to be honest. Lately I've been feeling a bit ho hum and unmotivated with sewing. Pattern testing is a great motivator though (deadlines, camaraderie, a new pattern), so I jumped on the tester call for the Pixie Tee by Chalk and Notch.

I pretty much love all of Gabriela's patterns. She has an incredible eye for on trend and interesting design elements. Each pattern she puts out feels fresh and different. So while Pixie is a tee pattern, it's anything but basic and ordinary. 

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The shoulder is slightly dropped and there's 2 options for the hem as well as 2 sleeve options AND dress length included.

Since I was looking to add some spark to my sewing, I took myself out of my comfort zone here and sewed a dress version of Pixie. 

 knees!

knees!

I used a brushed poly found in my stash (sourced from LA Finch Fabrics, if memory serves) so in essence this dress is pretty much like wearing a dreamy cloud.

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If it weren't a billion degrees outside, I'd totally be sewing this view of Pixie in chunky sweater knit fabric, perhaps with a funnel neck modification. Oh, yes. Bring on fall.

 Modeled with a  Joy Jacket .

Modeled with a Joy Jacket.

While I haven't played with the tie hem option yet(!), I've actually been sewing a lot of Pixies since testing. I'm hoping to perfect a hack to share soon. 

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Lots of great #pixieteepattern inspiration already on The 'Gram-

This pattern was very graciously given away for free to subscribers of the Chalk and Notch newsletter in much the same way Gabriela offered the Pony tank for free last summer. If you weren't on the list before the emails with the free code went out, I'm happy to report I've got an opportunity to give away a copy of the Pixie PDF pattern. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. (But do go ahead and get yourself on the Chalk and Notch newsletter list, already. Duh.) Thanks for stopping by! 

Summer Whites

June is coming to a close and I was feeling really proud of the little collection I sewed in May for #letssewthistogether. Here's a quick summary of my makes-

  1. Foxglove tank- Only $5 when purchased straight from Baste + Gather ($12 on other sites!). I love the hi-lo silhouette. It can be sewn in knit and woven fabrics so it covers all the bases.
  2. Modified Key Largo- this simple woven top is designed with the ties at the center front seam. I moved them to the right side seam for a variation on the theme. 
  3. Pony tank with a scoop neck- Pony was offered for free last summer, but she's $12 now. At any rate, she's a great pattern and she sews up really quickly with a scoop neck
  4. Modified Matcha top (not shown above)- I was aiming for a "Roscoe" without having to pay for a new pattern. I swapped out the collar and instead finished the neckline with a long bias tie (using the marking from the collar as a guide) and voila. 
  5. Phoenix blouse- With a front and back yoke, the neckline on this top finishes beautifully without any bias. I'm looking forward to trying another version with a modified front yoke. 
  6. Jamie jeans- I didn't intend for these to be white and on theme, but I'm a very impatient person and I cannot be trusted with bleach. After several attempts to lighten some deep indigo denim that was leftover from another project I found myself completely removing all the color with Rit color remover.
  7. Lane raglan- I used woven eyelet for the back, cropped the hem and added a wide band (and even a pocket! Who am I?). Completely enamored.
  8. Union St tee- a gift for a childcare giver. I blocked a simple yoke in the back and used the same woven eyelet as above.
  9. Durango tank- completely free pattern from Hey June! You don't even have to join her facebook group or sign up for her newsletter. I think the armscye runs pretty low (it's not to hard to raise it), but I love the general style. Thanks, Adrianna!
  10. "Birkanders"- I love the general style of Lander pants, but I can't get on board with non-stretch pants, so I used the Birkin flares pattern (was actually the first pair of jeans I ever made) and just drafted some patch pockets in the style of the ones on Landers. I think these were reasonably successful (and so very comfy because spandex).

Hmmm. Five out of ten were Hey June patterns. Safe to say I'm a fan! While I managed to sew 10 garments that month, I somehow still have a very sizable stack of white fabrics. Le sigh!

 

May's #LetsSewThisTogether Inspiration

I never do this, but I got so excited about May's #letssewthistogther theme that I decided an inspiration post was in order. If you know me, you know I'm not the planning or pinterest board type. That's just how eager I am to get started sewing white pieces for my summer wardrobe.  Let's begin with these white crops from J. Crew-

White cropped Lander Pants, no!? I have so many heart eyes for these.

I don't actually own the Lander Pants pattern, but it calls for non-stretch fabric. I may sub the Birkin Flares pattern here (I've made them once before) which is designed for stretch denim and just do the slight mods for the patch pockets and straighter legs.

LA Finch Fabrics (our sponsor for May!) has 2 white stretch denims in stock. They both sound yummy.

 Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

Fashion Denim Off-White Cupro Blend Woven (sold out)

 Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Famous Maker Off-White Tencel Blend Stretch Denim

Amber (@soisewedthis)'s recent top in eyelet is completely just-go-ahead-and-copy-that-for-myself material. I mean it just screams perfection! She used Butterick 6100, but I'm tempted to use the Hey June Key Largo (again).

 

I have been known to covet eyelet so I've got a few options on that front in my stash already.

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This one is available from LA Finch-

 Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

Espana Daisy White Cotton Eyelet

While we're talking about eyelet, check out the back of this raglan sweatshirt-

I'd use the Lane Raglan pattern (sized up and boxier) since I have it in my arsenal already or the Linden Sweatshirt pattern.

I need to double check if I have some white French terry in my stash, but if not, I'll grab this one from LA Finch-

 French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

French Terry Designer Off-White Knit

How about this $278 gem from Anthropologie?!

I mean Farrah is close enough for me! (And I already own the pattern and have sewn it.)

I think I even have some white cotton lawn in my stash...

 

Check out Tami (@sewsophielynn)'s tester version of Farrah in white swiss dot!

Her blog post has lots of photos and more details on the pattern.

 

A white version of the Evergreen jacket also sounds like a fun project. I've probably already bitten off more than I can chew with the projects listed above, but just maybe!!!

 

 

I hope you'll sew some whites for your summer wardrobe with Jen and I in May. We've got a couple prizes to give away, so be sure to use the #letssewthistogether tag. Details here.

2018 Lotte Martens Blog Tour

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It's been quite a delight working with some unique textiles from Lotte Martens again. I wrote a little bit more about Lotte Martens in my previous post.

This year, Lotte Martens sent one panel of this exquisite metallic gold printed viscose/poly twill, Vurdoorn/FIREPLACE 019 and another new treat (I'll get to that in a bit). 

 

I was able to make the best use of the 24" x 58" panel and its asymmetric print by pairing it with a Cloud9 glimmer solid.

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The neckline, armholes, and hem were finished with gold raindrop bias. I've never regretted spending the extra time and effort on finishing a garment with bias.

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I absolutely love it. It's an easy to wear yet very dressy top. I just need to drop some hints to the hubby that it's about time he took me out on the town.

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I had just picked up the necklace in Columbus this past weekend from a little boutique, Red Giraffe Designs. It turned out to be the perfect accessory for this tank.

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While the Foxglove has a bit of a racer-back cut, the straps are wide enough that you don't necessarily need a special cut for any undergarments.

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Lotte Martens textiles are currently only sold in stores located Belgium and Europe so I'll keep rooting for a US vendor to partner with them.

For lots of other inspiring designs and general eye candy, check out the #lottemartens tag on Instagram.

As I mentioned back at the top, the package I received also contained something else exciting, one of Lotte Martens' DIY kits. I'm pleased to get to pass this on to a reader in the US. (Enter via the rafflecopter that follows. Ends April 1st.)

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