Thursday, November 19, 2015

Woodland Creature Kensington

I sewed up a cute little dress for Ivy, photographed it, AND now I’m documenting it, all within a week. Craziness. Let’s discuss.

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First, the pattern. It’s the Kensington Dress by Hey June Handmade. It is one of my favorite patterns. I’ve made it a few times before (see two dresses HERE and a top HERE) This time, we ventured into the 3/4 size for Ivy. It’s a bit big, but she’s had a growth spurt recently and I’m anticipating more. Hopefully she’ll be able to get a few seasons of wear out of this.

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Exposed hands are overrated anyway.

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Fun fact: I had to pay her a fun-size Milky Way and an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to let me do her hair. This girl is a bargaining prodigy.

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Now the fabric. I’m about to sound like an ad for Jo-Ann, but this isn’t sponsored. I just have been really impressed with their apparel selection, especially the knits. The newest knits are so much more soft, thick, and wash/wear better than what I’ve purchased from them before. At least this particular line is. And the prints are fantastic! It’s the Doodles line, and the selvage say’s “Dot to Dot”, which doesn’t seem very fitting for this print at all. I’ve been calling it “Woodland Creatures”. Ivy’s been calling it “Woodland Cweashues”.  Makes it even cuter, huh?

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She’s good at that.

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Pattern: Kensington Dress by Hey June Handmade
Fabric: Dot to Dot by Doodles for Jo-Ann Stores

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Blank Slate Sewing Team: Bookworm Shirtdress

Come over to Melly Sews today to check out my spin on the Blank Slate Pattern’s Bookworm Button Down
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See the post HERE, get the pattern HERE (affiliate link)

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Heart Skinny Jeans

I made Ivy these little skinny jeans waaaay back in August. I photographed them last month. So, now seems like a good time to finally share them.

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The pattern is Ottobre, the Clarabella pants (#12) from issue 6/2010 (probably my most favorite issue ever). I made a few alterations, which I’ll get to in just a bit. Right now, I want to draw your attention to the incredible fit of these pants. No bum crack, no back gap.

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I traced out the 98cm for Ivy, but decided to not add seam allowances to the outseams or inseam. I also straightened out the bootcut of the pattern to a straightleg/skinnyleg fit. Ivy doesn’t seem to care that the fit on the resulting jeans is just about perfect for her little body, but I get excited about it every time she wears them.

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The perfect little skinny fit, but with enough movement and give to not slow this climbing-jumping-crazy girl down. I also had some fun with the belt loops. I really love this doubled-over one in the center back. Going to have to use it again.

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I love this picture.  She’s bracing herself on her brothers, in a split, to keep from slipping. Skinny jeans don’t have to be restrictive.

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The fabric is a heart-print denim from Jo-Ann Stores. I think it might be regular stock, as I’ve seen it in my tiny store for about a year or more now. I picked up some butterfly print denim, at Ivy’s insistence request, too.

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These have quickly become Ivy’s favorite pair of pants. They’re mine, too. I want a pair in my size!

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Pants: Ottobre 6/2010, pattern #12, Clarabella Pants. Size 98cm, with alterations and modifications.
Fabric: Heart-print denim from Jo-Ann Stores

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Lillestoff + Burda = gro├če Liebe

A few months ago, Lillestoff sent me some absolutely gorgeous cotton print.  It’s soft and striking and I completely fell in love. But I just could not find the right pattern to go with it. I started to cut out a few, got as far as laying out the pattern on the fabric, but nothing felt right.  And so, the fabric sat in my sewing room, petted and admired often, but unsewn; until I stumbled across this Burda dirndl-inspired dress while looking for lederhosen patterns for my seven year old. I purchased it, printed it, and had the fabric cut out within hours. It was one of those drop-everything-because-this-is-meant-to-be sews.
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Figures that a German pattern highlights this gorgeous German fabric so perfectly.
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Lillestoff recently launched its US website, . The listings are in English and the pricing in dollars. This is fantastic if you are a Lillestoff fan like me, especially since the US dollar is so weak compared to the Euro the last few years. Being able to shop without dealing with the exchange rate saves both money and headache. If you aren’t already a Lillestoff fan, you should be. They are the best-quality fabrics, mostly knits, but they have a fun selection of wovens, as well. And the website has a women’s section, with more sophisticated prints, like this Lightflowers Mirror

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I first fell in love with Lillestoff  because of their vibrant, top-quality knits. Their wovens are just the same. The drape is soft, but not flimsy. The colors are saturated and crisp. They would make amazing bags and quilts, and, if I do say so myself, do make incredible women’s wear.

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The Burda pattern, a cap-sleeve dress, had some great opportunities to show off the repeating pattern in the print. I paid very close attention to detail when lining up my pattern pieces, to match the patterns as much as possible. Where I couldn’t get patterns to line up at butting seams, like the sleeves, and front and back side panels, I cut each piece so its opposite side counterpart would be an exact mirror image. It ate up a lot of fabric, fussy cutting like that, but I think it was worth it.

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At all other seams, I matched that pattern as closely as I possibly could manage. The result was a fun kaleidoscope effect in some areas, like the back center seam. This fabric was just too gorgeous not to pay such close attention to detail.

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I added that center box pleat at the neck. The finished bodice gapped quite a bit on me, giving me some impressive Bavarian cleavage, but leaving me feeling very exposed, so I pulled it in. I also changed the cap-sleeves just a bit to bring them all around the arm-sythe instead of being open at the underarm.

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I have had more compliments on this dress than just about anything I’ve ever sewn. Ever. The pattern is flattering, and the fabric is so striking and just perfect. Thank you, Lillestoff! Ich liebe dich!

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Dress pattern is Cap Sleeve Dress by Burda Style, with alterations at sleeves and neckline.
Fabric is
Lightflowers Mirror by Lillestoff, in woven cotton


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Idle Wilde

Well, hello! I thought I’d pop onto this here little neglected blog for a bit to tell you about the new Idle Wild fabric release, and to show off some simply inspiring, all most in-focus photos of two of my children and myself in some new clothes. Please enjoy.

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Idle Wild is a line of knits (KNITS! oh, how I love knits) just released by Riley Blake, designed by Pattern Anthology. You know Pattern Anthology. I sewed some PA here and here, a little bit here, oh! some more here, and most recently, here. Okay, so *I* know Pattern Anthology, and you should, too. To know them is to love them. This is their first time venturing into fabric design, and, like their patterns, these prints are fabulous.

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The knits are nice and thick, and so very soft. No tissue-thin jersey here. There are four print designs in three colorways. I sewed up all four prints for myself and my two “bookend” kids to show how versatile these prints are.

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You know how hard it is to find a good, non-juvenile masculine print? That isn’t camo? Like, really hard. As soon as I saw the Idle Wild Triangles, I knew it would be perfect for my boys. I chose the black/white colorway for Kael, but I think either of the other two options would be great, too. In fact, my nine year old has requested something out of the pink/teal combo. And yes, those are fangs Kael is wearing here. I told him to leave them in the car. Somehow that didn’t happen, so I decided to just let him go with it.

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12 year olds, man.

Ivy got two Idle Wild prints because she gets pretty much everything. Three year olds, man. I had picked out this super-awesome Birds pattern for myself. But once Ivy saw it, she laid claim and suddenly she had a new dress and I had scraps. The sacrifice of mothers knows no bounds.
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I had picked out the navy Lace for some leggings for her, thinking to pair them with the black/white floral print. But when she stole chose the Birds, I was a bit perplexed because there isn’t any navy in the colorway of Birds I had ordered. Lucky for me, I had some other Riley Blake knit in navy/white stripes laying around, and was able to use the navy stripe at the yoke and neckline of her Birds dress to pull the leggings into the look. I love when fabric companies use standard colors, so you can mix and match. And I love how these prints work together! So, so cute! 

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That Ivy has good taste.

And now we come to the portion of the post where I finally apologize for the graininess and blur in the pictures. I don’t know, guys. Is it the camera? Is it me? Should I just finally take a photography class? Probably.

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But for now, let’s discuss how amazing this floral print is. Because seriously, so amazing. All three colorways are perfect. I want it in every single one. Yards and yards of it. This is the black/grey colorway. It’s cozy, feminine, and just wonderful.

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You can check out all 12 (!) fabulous Idle Wilde designs by Pattern Anthology from Riley Blake.

Finally, a completely honest shot of what it looks like doing a photo shoot with my 3- and 12 year old.  Bless them.

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Pattern and fabric information
Me: Idle Wild Main Black/White, shirt pattern is
Seafarer Top by Sew Much Ado with altered sleeves.
Kael: Idle Wild Triangles Black/White, shirt pattern is Tiger Spotting Shirt by
Ottobre Design (4/2015, #38)
Ivy: Idle Wild Birds Blue, dress pattern is Curious Rabbits Dress by
Ottobre Design (4/2015, #14)
          Idle Wild Lace Blue, leggings pattern is
Go To Leggings, with altered cuffs

I was given my choice of Idle Wild fabrics in exchange for this post. Yes, I do have the best job ever. You should go buy a bunch of Idle Wilde so they want to use me to promote their stuff again. Please and thank you ;)

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I really wish this wasn’t blurry.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unbiased Denver & Gwen

It’s autumn around here. I hear it’s spring in other parts of the world, but that just seems like craziness to me. Either way, it’s Transition Season, and that means Sewing Season. Today, I’ve got a women’s pattern collection sure to take you from each season to the next, no matter the hemisphere, weather, occasion, or your size. Yep, Pattern Anthology has a new line that is made for everybody and every body, sizes XXS - XXXL. And I sewed up two pieces to share with you: Denver Dress and Gwen Top.
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The Denver Dress. Firstly, I love Denver. We’ve discussed moving there multiple times, but it’s just so hard to commit. This dress, though? With it’s curve-enhancing and flattering seams, is easy to commit to.

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I sewed my Denver in a pointe knit from Jo-Ann. I used the reverse side of the fabric for the majority of the dress, and the right side for the side fronts. It didn’t pick up in the pictures, but the reverse has a really subtle horizontal weave-y stripe to it. Seemed too fun to hide on the inside.

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The Denver comes in two lengths: tunic and dress. It has two dress options: flared or fitted. There are two neckline options: cowl or flat, and two sleeve lengths. And, like all the patterns in this collection, the size range is fantastic. The collection really was designed to fit every body. I went with the fitted dress, long sleeve and flat collar. I extended my dress a few inches, to hit at the knee, but other than that, stayed on-pattern. It’s a very comfortable and flattering fit, and surprisingly easy to sew.

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The Gwen is an even easier sew. Or, at least, it is depending on the options you choose. Dress or top, long or short sleeve, a placket or not, and even fun sleeve and shoulder details, or not, it’s such a versatile pattern! I went with no placket, so this tee sewed up in no time.

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My Gwen has the short sleeve option. I really love the shape of these sleeves. They angle and curve just right and make me very happy. It’s the little things. Also making me happy? The length. I don’t have to pull this top down when I bend over or sit.  Since I rarely stand still and in place for extended periods, like longer than ten seconds, this length is really pretty fabulous. 

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I also love the wider neckband. I was wary of it when I first cut it out, but it totally works and looks so great!  I’m quite pleased with how the diamond pattern from the fabric runs along the neckband. Good job, me, cutting it out so awesome! Also, how fun are the simple shoulder color-blocking details? There are a few other similar options in the pattern with the sleeves. The Gwen has a very curvy shape to it. It turns out a feminine top (or dress), without being too clingy or tight. It’s just right and I have another one already in the works.

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Also in the works are the other two patterns from this collection: Adora and Diamond. I had every intention of sewing them up for this little post, but man! life is kind of kicking my trash these days and I just didn’t find the time. They are cut out and waiting for me, though, just as soon as I carve out a couple of hours. If the Adora and Diamond are anything like the Denver and Gwen, it will be well worth it to make the time for the sewing.

You can grab the entire Unbiased Collection on sale from the 18th of September through October 2nd. It is all 4 Patterns  for $29.95. With all the options included in each pattern (each one has top and dress options, plus many more, and the size ranges (xxs-xxxl!)), you are getting so many great looks in this collection. After the 2nd the patterns will remain as a collection but be back at full price $49.95 The collection also includes bonus coupons of over $200 in savings for fabric shops, sewing classes and more. Yep, sewing classes. Never sewn with knits before? Worried about plackets or gathering or whatever? You’re covered. You can buy this collection and have a whole wardrobe knocked out in no time.  Grab it from Pattern Anthology HERE 


I was given the Unbiased Collection from Pattern Anthology to sew up, show off, and share my unbiased opinions of with you. Now, go grab it because, seriously, it’s fantastic!
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Friday, September 4, 2015

Pocket Full of Posies turned tunic

Come on over to Melly Sews today to see how I made a simple change to Blank Slate Pattern’s Pocket Full of Posies Dress (affiliate links) to make it a tunic. See it HERE
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