Friday, August 29, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel: Jet Pack

Alternately titled:  The Battle for the Bag

So, I think I’ve mentioned how much I love the newest Perfect Pattern Parcel?  The boy one?  Yes?  Well, it turns out that I love the Jet Pack Bag, by Betz White, included in the Parcel so much, that I decided mid-sew to keep it for myself.  My boys thought this was totally unfair.  They’d already all been fighting over who would get it between the three of them.  But seriously, folks, this bag is so incredibly awesome, I’m not turning it over to them.  It’s mine.  Seth was so incensed, he stepped up and challenged me to a fight.  I told him to put his skinny fists down and we’d settle things blogger style, with a photo shoot-off.  He was all in.  So, tell me…

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Seth wears the Jet Pack as a back pack. The size is smaller than a standard school pack, but still large enough to fit folders, notebooks, even a smaller lap top, and for sure a tablet or iPad.

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I sewed up the bag using Army blanket leftovers from the Jude Jacket I made for the STYLO feature a few months back.  The accent fabric is a faux leather from Jo-Ann, the same I used in the Aviator Hat a couple of weeks ago.  

jet pack bag Sew a Staight Line-6
The lining is faded black denim from the Kudzu Shorts earlier this year.  So I was able to make this bag using fabrics I had on hand, and only had to buy the hardware.  Which was nice.  And also, I really REALLY love the combination of all of it.  The green felted wool is just so awesome, especially with the faux leather.  It just seems so rugged and classic.

jet pack bag Sew a Staight Line-2
I added a zipper to my interior pocket.  The pattern has the pocket open, with a dividing seam down the center.  I wanted a larger pocket, because I knew I’d get more use out of it.  And I wanted a zipper because I lose stuff and it’s best if I can contain things.  Also, because I had this red one hanging around and thought it looked cool. 

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There are also two exterior pockets.  The one on the front is pleated and has a super rad twisty closure thingy that I could only find in shiny silver, which is too bad because the rest of my hardware is darker.  But really, I was so excited to finally find the rad twisty closure thingy in my local Jo-Ann (by the purse making stuff, not the regular notion wall. fyi.), that I was okay with its super-shinyness.  It was a beast to put in, though.  There are these tiny little screws I had to work through the leather, and then try to screw in.  And I was too lazy to go through the house trying to find an itty-bitty screw driver, so I used the tips of some little scissors that I found in the utility drawer first.  And it was really hard to hold the screws and face plate in place while setting those screws in with an open pair of sharp scissors twisting in my hands.  I should probably have just looked for the little screwdriver. 

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But I got it in eventually.  And that front pocket happens to be the perfect fit for my Kindle Paperwhite.  So the bag should totally be mine.  Even if my kid looks super handsome and collegiate with both my reader and my bag.
jet pack bag Sew a Staight Line-4 Darn it.

He actually got dressed up for this photoshoot.  He wanted to wear suspenders, too, but I vetoed that because he already looked ridiculously good looking.  It just wasn’t fair.  I knew suspenders would totally throw the contest completely in his favor.

I prefer to wear the Jet Pack as a cross-body bag.  The pattern is super clever that way, using the same strap to accommodate a back pack or a handled bag.

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Here is the  other exterior pocket, on the backside of the bag.  Look how good my latest copy of Ottobre fits inside it.  It also holds my camera, diaper changing stuff, and all my necessities super perfect.   It’s like we were made for each other.

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The handle there is where you thread the strap through to change things from strapped bag to back pack.  You unclip the strap from the top D-rings, thread it through the handle between the upper and lower x-box stitching, then clip the strap at either end to the lower D-rings.  Kind of genius, really.

Yep, this one is mine. 
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Sorry, Seth.  I know you look darned good with the Jet Pack.  But I’m keeping it, regardless of the voice of  the People.  Mom power and all that.

Maybe I’ll let you borrow it sometime.

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Go to Perfect Pattern Parcel to get your own Jet Pack pattern along with these awesome patterns:
Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs - Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns - Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado - Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads

Pattern Parcel #4

Buy Pattern Parcel #4

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My favorite “tween” pattern

Sew Cool for the Tween Scene is celebrating their one year blog anniversary by highlighting favorite tween patterns.  I’m over there today talking about one of my very favorite patterns to sew for my older boys (and my younger one, too!)  Sew Cool for the Tween Scene

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Come say hi, and for sure check out the other patterns being shared.  Three cheers for sewing for older kids!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fawn Lily for the Wee Lass

The other night I had, like, five million things I should have been doing, so it seemed as good a time as any to sew up a new dress for Ivy.  I’ve had the Fawn Lily pattern [by Rock the Stitch for Willow & Co] on my to-do list for months now.  I went through a half dozen fabric pairings before Ivy and I finally agreed on this flannel plaid and textured white.  They both came from my mom’s stash, so I don’t know where they are from originally.  It seems a bit Christmassy for August, but it did snow the other day not far from us (!! I know!!), or we could just think of this as a nod to her Scottish ancestors.

plaid fawn lilly dress Sew a Staight Line-4

I probably should have waited to do the photo shoot for another day, or at least cleaned Ivy up a bit first.  But she actually asked if we could take pictures, so I jumped on that before she changed her mind. Post-nap hair, chocolate-covered fingers, and just the hint of blueberry around her mouth: Ivy, age two.

plaid fawn lilly dress Sew a Staight Line-5
The attention to detail on this pattern is really impressive.  I love the unique lines of the bodice and sleeves, and the perfect little pleats down both the front and back.  I screwed up on my sleeves.  I was making this really late at night, and was super frustrated trying to get plaids matched up, and totally put my sleeves on wrong.  Well, not wrong, but not right, either.  If stayed on pattern, the inside is completely finished with no exposed seams on the sleeves at all.  I just sewed both layers of the sleeve on at the same time, so mine is not that pretty inside.  Thankfully, it’s still adorable on the outside.  I really want to make another Fawn Lilly, using some of the other options in the pattern, and put those sleeves in right.

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This left sleeve was also the one area I actually got the plaid sort of lined up.  And it took me  Seriously, like an hour and at least 6 tries of sewing/picking-out.  Turns out, matching plaids while sewing a curved seam isn’t the most fun thing I’ve ever done.  After this, I was like, whatever.  Lined up-schlined shlup.  You can also see the diagonal, raised weave of the white flannel in this picture.

Ivy’s new thing is twirling in her dresses.  I remember my sisters and I doing this until we wanted to throw up, every Sunday morning in our kitchen. 

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Thankfully, Ivy did not throw up.  Though, she did fall a few times.  Good thing our grass hadn’t been mowed and was long and lush, like the heather of the Scottish moor.  Or something.  Heh.

She just kept doing this and holding the pose.  When she wasn’t twirling.  It nicely shows off the chocolate on her fingers, don’t you think?

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In conclusion, the Fawn Lily is a great sew.  Not too technical, just some curved seams and pleating, depending on the options you choose, but you get a fully finished (assuming you follow the instructions…), beautiful dress with really great, unique design.  I look forward to sewing this one again.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Daily Sew Ribbon Retreat Giveaway!

For the past few months, I’ve been helping work on a really fantastic Facebook page, The Daily Sew.  The focus of The Daily Sew is, as you may guess, all sewing.  Sewing tips, tutorials, inspiration, and humor from all over the internet in one place, all day long.  We have various guest “curators” each day, pulled from among your favorite as well as up-and-coming sewing and DIY bloggers.  It’s been such a great time, we thought we should do a big ol’ celebration this weekend, a SUPER SATURDAY where all day long, into the wee hours of the night, a new giveaway is being announced each hour.  Even better news?  You have longer than that one hour to enter, and there are some incredible, awesome, super amazing prizes.  Like, really.  And a ton of them.  I’m bringing up the tail end of things with the last giveaway of the event.  And it’s pretty darned good:
trr gift

$40 to The Ribbon Retreat!!  This one is open internationally, as The Ribbon Retreat ships all over the world.  You need to jump on over to their site and check out all they have to offer.  There is SO much! Tons ribbon in so many colors, designs, and themes, including exclusive The Ribbon Retreat designs you’ll only find there.  They sell flowers, gems, resins and other gorgeous notions.  You’ll find tools and trims for all kinds of crafting.   There is an area for sale items and grab bags.  And just all kinds of fun things!  Go check them out! 

And go check out The Daily Sew and enter to win fabric, patterns and other fun things, then stick around for all the fabulousness that is The Daily Sew!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel BOYS! Maxwell Top

You guys! It’s the summer of the boy!  Perfect Pattern Parcel is releasing their newest collection TODAY!  And it is stuffed full of amazing boy patterns you and your kid are going to love!  I have a ton to show you over the next two weeks, the length of the Pattern Parcel sale.  Today, we’re going to start with Shwin Design’s Maxwell Top. 

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That’s right, sew this shirt up and your kid will be begging to pose in front of the camera. 

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Front flap pockets and that awesome cross-over tab/buckle at the top of the placket.  I messed up on my facing, deciding to do them just as a placket in spite of what the pattern says.  So I had to add some binding to the top center and it makes the collar look a bit sloppy.  Don’t do that.  Follow the instructions.

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The pattern didn’t seem long enough for Jonas to me, so I extended the length to an 8 (sewed a 6 width).  It gave me enough length to do a slightly wider hem, which I like, but still hit pretty perfect for what I wanted.  I’d recommend holding the pattern against your kid to see if it will be long enough before starting.  I put metal ring snaps on Jonas’ because he informed me he needed a shirt he could tear off like the Hulk.  Seemed a valid reason to me, so I obliged.  The back has a contrast yoke that is perfect for highlighting fun fabric. 

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So cool!  The entire Perfect Pattern Parcel is just awesome.  Like every.single.pattern is amazing and spot-on boy (and also good for girls, too, I guess. whatever)    

Pattern Parcel #4

Buy Pattern Parcel #4

Sale ends September 5th.
You only have two weeks to buy, so get on it!  I’m looking at you!
Maxwell Top Sew a Staight Line-2
Buy Pattern Parcel #4

Check out all the stops on the blog tour (these are just the official stops.  Some of us are doing extra because we love the patterns THAT much!)

Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, August 22 casa crafty || Lulu & Celeste || Keep Calm and Carrion

Saturday, August 23 Max California || Amanda Rose

Sunday, August 24 little betty sews

Monday, August 25 Kadiddlehopper || Radiant Home Studio

Tuesday, August 26 La Pantigana || Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts || Friends Stitched Together

Wednesday, August 27 Make It Perfect || Modern Handmade || GYCT Designs

Thursday, August 28 Needle and Ted || Mae & K || Mimi's Mom

Friday, August 29 Pienkel || Once Upon a Sewing Machine || Friends Stitched Together

Saturday, August 30 FABulous Home Sewn || Gray Skies || The Crazy Tailor

Sunday, August 31 Nine Stitches || Max California || Oliver's Fancy || Friends Stitched Together

Monday, September 1 a happy stitch || lady and the gents || Our Family Four || Swoodson Says

Tuesday, September 2 verypurpleperson || Things for Boys || The Crazy Tailor

Wednesday, September 3 Our Family Four || Rebekah Sews || a happy stitch

Thursday, September 4 Sew a Straight Line || la inglesita || Made by Sara || Knot Sew Normal

Friday, September 5 Knot Sew Normal || Gracious Threads || Sofilantjes || Max California

Maxwell Top Sew a Staight Line-4

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bundle Up!

It’s almost time for the Bundle Up sale!  Bundle Up is a collective of patterns that releases every few months.  The patterns are all new, and all share a common theme.  You get to mix and match the patterns you want, so you get all of and only the patterns that will work best for you.  And kids, this Bundle Up is all about BOYS!

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And not just little boys, either.  The patterns releasing in this Bundle Up have size ranges that include babies to teens.  Yep, not just tweens, even.  TEENS!  You want awesome, well-drafted patterns to sew for your 14 year old? This Bundle Up is going to have them.  And in a fantastic variety of everything from underwear to outwear, and all the in between layers, too! 

The sale starts Friday, and lasts only a week.  But today, as a special preview, I’m showing you two of the new patterns:
Ellie Inspired’s Sleepy Bear PJs & Robe and Jocole’s Tank & Boxer Set, sewn for my 11 year old son and my 12 year old nephew.

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The boys are both wearing the Sleepy Bear PJ pants.  I mashed them up just a little bit with the Jocole Boxer pattern, giving them both a functioning fly.  The Sleepy Bear pattern has instructions for a faux fly, too, if you wanted the look without the extra steps.  Even with the extra steps of a fly, these sewed up super fast.  And the fit is great.  Nice and loose, but not overly baggy.  I used a crazy soft voile for Luca’s pants.  It’s thin, which is perfect for the warmer weather we’re having now.  They are so soft and comfortable-looking, I seriously wish I had a pair for myself.  I may run back to the fabric store and grab another yard to make a pair for myself!  Kael’s are in a shirting from Jo-Ann Stores.  I love the traditional blue and white stripe. 

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Luca is wearing the Jocole Tank in a soft rayon/cotton blend jersey.  I made his tank just a touch too small for him, so it’s a bit tight.  But he said it’s comfortable anyway, and told me he wanted to just wear it for the rest of the day after our photo shoot.  Kael’s PJ top is the tee from the Sleepy Bear set.  It’s supposed to be a V-neck, which I love.  But he wanted a traditional crew-neck.  Kids! Tweens! whatever.  So crew he got.  Super simple adjustment, I just rounded off the neckline when cutting out. 

And then there is both boys’ favorite part:  The Robes.  

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The Sleepy Bear Robe pattern is so great.  It hits at the knees, so isn’t too long or too short.  Both boys loved the hood, which is lined.  Lots of room for costume and dress-up play with this one, especially with Halloween coming up.  I’m likely going to be using this pattern to make a Grim Reaper for my eight year old in a few weeks.  I did change the pattern just a tiny bit for these two.  The pattern has the belt running through three belt loops at the waist.  I skipped the belt loops and just sewed the center of the belt to the center of the robe at the back.  That way, the belt won’t get lost or fall.  And it saved me time and material when sewing.  Win win!  I do wish I had added pockets.  Both boys mentioned missing pockets, and I’m tempted to pick out the side seams and add them.  Tempted, but probably won’t because picking out is The Worst.  But when I make a Sleepy Bear Robe again, there will be pockets.  Kael’s robe is all cotton knits, and Luca’s is a super-awesome retro-red French terry from  I pretty love it the very most.

You can get the Sleepy Bear PJs and the Jocole Tank & Boxer patterns on Friday, along with your choice of TWELVE other boy patterns.  Lots of potential for girl-sewing with each of these, too.  Just lots of potential in these patterns, in general, here!  As proof, check out all the stops along the Bundle UP Blog Tour that will last the length of the sale.  And make sure to check out the Bundle UP sale itself when it starts on Friday!!
29th Beaza & Llama, Shaffer Sisters, Fabulous Home Sewn

It won’t publish until tomorrow, but seriously, you check out what Max California made!  Set a reminder for yourself or something.  You won’t be disappointed.  And set a reminder for Friday to go grab a the Boy Bundle Up!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I wanna be an Airborne Ranger

Okay, want see the cutest little aviator outfit ever?

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Now want see the cutest little aviator ever?

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I made this hat and hoodie set for my airplane-loving nephew’s second birthday.  Both patterns are from the 4/2014 issue of Ottobre, and seriously, they may be some of the cutest things I have ever made. 

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Though this was my nephew’s reaction to the aviator hat every time we tried to get it on his head.  He liked to look at it, but not so much wear it.

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And he had a similar reaction to the actual hood of the hoodie. 

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But check out the impressive pattern matching at the kangaroo pocket there, in the blurry shot of him trying to rip the hood from his head!

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For bonus points, I also lined the hood and then added binding over the neck seam inside.  As my 11 year old would say, “Totally profesh’” He’s cool like that.  Also cool?  This fabric.  It’s from Kitschy Coo, an organic cotton that is so thick and soft and easy to sew, I only ever want to sew with this and nothing else.  Ever.
 ottobre hoodie and aviator 42014 sew a straight line-2
Both patterns were typical of Ottobre: straight forward sewing, fabulous fit, great details.  The aviator hat is sewn with a faux leather from Jo-Ann Stores, found in the apparel section.  It’s actually pretty light-weight, didn’t even need a leather needle for it.  The lining is a cuddle fleece, also from Jo-Ann, and then the “goggles” are vinyl.  I tried to bind it in the same vinyl, but didn’t cut on the bias and the hat twisted horribly.  So I had to pick out all those stitches, which was super-duper fun, picking out stitches from vinyl and cuddle fleece.  (That’s a lie.  It stunk.)  I ended up binding in just some pre-cut black cotton binding.  Not as cool as the vinyl, but no twisting.
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I just want to show off the cute wrapping I gifted it in.  Because this is my blog and I can show off what I want and I really liked this.  So did Ivy.  She carried the package around with her all day before the party.  I kept finding it in her bed, because she would lay down and snuggle it.  Which was funny, because that’s pretty much what I did with the hoodie and hat the days leading up to the party.  Just took them from room to room with me, admiring them, petting them, you know, typical things all sane people do with freshly-sewn toddler clothing.

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Even if he didn’t love wearing the hat, the hoodie was a hit with my nephew.  He even treated us to some flying action.  And maybe one day he’ll come around to the hat.
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Hoodie:  Ottobre 4/2014 #3 Jersey Hoodie, size 74 cm.  Fabric is NOSH Organics purchased from Kitschy Coo
Aviator Hat:  Ottobre 4/2014 #28, size 52 cm.  Fabric is faux leather, cuddle fleece, and vinyl all from Jo-Ann Stores

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