Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dungeons and Dragons for the 21st Century

I had to play along with this week’s them over at Project Run and Play.  It’s 80’s Cartoon Inspiration.  Not costumes, but practical kids’ clothing inspired by the shows I vegged out to on Saturday mornings and after school, growing up.  Oh, yeah!  I chose a cartoon both my husband and I watched and loved as kids, Dungeons & Dragons.

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The premise of the show is six kids get on a ride at an amusement park called, can you guess? Dungeons and Dragons.  Somehow, during the ride, they’re transported into another dimension where they are met by the Dungeon Master who gives them their weapons and assignments, and then they have to go off and fight dragons and a guy with horns named Vector, all while trying to figure out how to get back to their home dimension.  Or something.  It’s been a while. 

But I loved this show as a kid!  My sisters and I all watched it together.  It’s the only cartoon I remember us all watching, since there was a total of 11 year age spread across the five of us.  My second oldest sister had a crush on the leader of the D&D gang, Hank the Ranger.  He was cool and level headed and had a longbow that shot light arrows, and feathered hair.  Total dream boat.  So that’s the look I used for my inspiration.  In the cartoon, the Ranger wears a leather tunic with what I’m guessing are studs (?), a hooded shirt, and green tights.  But what would Hank wear if he was transported to 2014? 

I’m going to go with this:

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Motorcycle jacket, green hoodie, and camo pants.  And his mom’s sunglasses he stole and then looked so good in, she decided to just go with it. 

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The hoodie is the Skyline Hoodie from Ottobre 4/2013.  It’s huge.  I knew, from looking at the sample in the magazine, that it would be an oversized fit, and it is.  It actually fits me, other than the sleeve length!  Hopefully that means Kael won’t outgrow it in the next couple of weeks.  I really love the cross-over design of the hoodie at the neckline, just like what Hank wears in the cartoon.

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I used a soft knit interlock from Nuttal’s in Salt Lake in kelly green for the hoodie.  So it’s pretty much an oversized hooded tee shirt, instead of a sweatshirt.  All the seams are fully finished, inside and out, making it reversible, in case Kael every decides he’d rather not broadcast his D&D love.

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And just how big of a nerd am I?  Well.  Instead of sleeping one night, I laid a bed and came up with a crest that would symbolize all six characters from the cartoon.  It’s pretty impressive, I know.  The wizard, the cavalier, the thief, the acrobat, the barbarian, and the archer, all rolled up into one awe-inspiring iron-on crest. 

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If  you want to be as nerdy as me, you can download my design HERE (hosted on Craftsy, affiliate link). 
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The image is already reversed for you, so be aware of that when printing.  I used TAP (affiliate link) and markers to trace out my design, then ironed it directly onto the finished hoodie. 

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I just thought this was a cool picture.

Next, the pants.
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Also Ottobre, this time from 4/2014, Willy W Pants.  I wanted a green pant, but I needed something that was practical for a kid that doesn’t really pay much attention to matching and coordinating.  Camo is a neutral, so says me, and it brought the green of Ranger’s look in nicely without the fear of my kid trying to head for school totally clashing with whatever shirt he throws on with them.  They’re just a basic pant: hip pockets, zip fly, back patch pockets.  The leg fronts are cut as three pieces, but that detail is lost in the camo print I used.  The fabric is twill from Jo-Ann, the same I used for the Urban Hoodie in my STYLO shoot.

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And then there’s the jacket.

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A motorcycle jacket in treated canvas with all the bells and whistles.  The shoulders are quilted, zippered pockets, zippered cuffs, fully lined.  It’s pretty rad.  Unfortunately, I screwed up at the waistband.  I wasn’t paying attention to the pattern while sewing, and thought I’d cut the waistband too long.  So I trimmed it to fit the bottom of the jacket.  The pattern is designed so that the waistband crossed over in front by a couple of inches.  I lost that by trimming, and am super bummed about it.  blergh.  

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Honestly, this thing was kind of a beast to sew.  The cuffs completely confused me, but I finally got them figured out.  And the end result is just so incredibly cool.

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And I think it’s a pretty good update to Hank’s leather tunic.  You know, if the Dungeon Master ever decides to send the kids back to our dimension, only 30 years after they first left.


Yep, I’d follow this Ranger into battle, or onto an inter-dimensional roller coaster.
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Jacket:  Motorcycle Jacket by Ottobre, 4/2014, pattern #40.  Size 152.  Fabric is treated outdoor canvas from an unkown eBay seller

.  Lining is from Fabric.com  Hardware is from Jo-Ann Stores
Hoodie: Skyline Hoodie by
Ottobre 4/2013, pattern #40. Size 152.  Fabric is interlock knit blend from Nuttal’s in SLC
Pants:  Willy W Pants by
Ottobre 4/2014, pattern #38.  Size 158.  Fabric is camouflage twill from Jo-Ann Stores
Palladium (affiliate link) 
Zulily (affiliate link)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Schoolboy Vest x 3

Today, let’s talk the Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado. 

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You can dress it up or down.  Every boy should have a vest in their closet.  And this pattern is fantastic.  Like, really, really good.  It has all the classic vest features:  fully lined, optional back ties, welt pockets (faux or real).

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What I like most about Sew Much Ado patterns is that I always, always learn something new in them.  They’re like mini sewing lessons, not just patterns.  Abby, the designer, knows her sewing stuff and it’s like I’m getting one-on-one instruction when I read her patterns.   I’ve made vest before.  I liked how they turned out.  But with this vest, the way you do the lining is just so cool.  I would never have figured out her technique on my own, but I am never using anything different now. 

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The fit on the vests is great.  The range is fantastic, too, going from 6m – 12 years.  You’ll get tons of life out of this pattern.

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I wanted to do the back ties on my boys’ vests.  But I totally forgot to buy the little buckle friend thing you need.  Or three of them.  So I had to skip it.  But the next time?  We’re doing back ties. 

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Also, next time, remind me not to try to do photo shoots with all three boys.  They are always going in different directions.  Always.

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But at least they look good doing…whatever they are doing.

The Schoolboy Vest is part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel, available through tomorrow only!! You name the price, get the patterns, and sew your kids up amazing clothing that totally rocks.  Sounds good, right?  Get it here:

Buy Pattern Parcel #4The Parcel includes:
Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns - Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs – Jet Pack by Betz White - Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado - Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads.  The Knight Hoodie is a bonus pattern you get at a certain price point.

Pattern Parcel #4

Buy Pattern Parcel #4

See more fabulous Parcel #4 looks:

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 schoolboy vest sew a straight line-8

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Knight Hoodie

Get ready for perhaps one of the coolest, most unique kids’ patterns to be released ever!  The Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle

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I first saw teasers of this pattern on Instagram just before its release, and I wanted it so bad!  But I had so many other things to sew, I just hadn’t gotten around to grabbing the pattern yet.  Enter Perfect Pattern Parcel #4.  I was so very excited to see that the Knight Hoodie was included as the bonus pattern.  I mean, this thing is so perfect in its details, and it’s just so fun!  Who wouldn’t want a super comfortable hoodie that also just so happens to make you look like you’re wearing a suit of armor?!

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I found this really cool, heavy, metal door that I wanted to do the photos in front of.  But it creeped Jonas out.  He refused to put his back to it at all when he was standing in front of it.  Crazy kid.  So we moved to a less threatening wall.   But seriously, how cool is that door?!

And how cool is this hoodie?
Answer: Very.

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Jonas is wearing the size smaller than the chart suggests for him (I’ll explain why in a minute), if that gives you an indication of fit.  As is, the fit is perfect on him, but he’d outgrow this in a couple of months.  So I’d definitely recommend sticking to the chart and make a roomier hoodie your kid can grow into a bit, and that you can layer. 

I love the silhouette of the hood.  That mohawk, armor plate, and face mask are all just genius and so fun.  I think next time I’ll add interfacing to all the armor pieces, so they are a bit more stiff.  The pattern calls for buttons to add as faux rivets to the hoodie, to make things even more authentic-looking.  I went with cover buttons, like you find on the notion wall in a kit, and left them uncovered.  It was a lot less money than regular metal buttons, and the look is pretty awesome.  Especially since I didn’t grab a full kit with the finishing tool, and ended up having to use pliers to close the buttons, that scuffed and dented things up.  Battle scars!

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Or at least that’s what I’m claiming.

I lined the hood and added binding around the inside seam, wanting things to look finished and clean. 

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The Knight Hoodie, like the rest of the patterns included in this package, is fantastic for boys.  But it also rocks for girls.  Truth?  This one is for my niece’s fifth birthday.  But that doesn’t happen for another week, so Jonas agreed to model it for me so we could keep it a surprise from his cousin.   I am so excited to give it to her!  Her favorite color is blue, and she has a fantastic imagination.  I know she’s going to love this.   

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Though, I may have to make one for Jonas now.

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I bound the pockets, rather than doing the turning and topstitching.  I just like the way it looks, and I think it’s easier to get uniform pockets with a nice curve.

I also added some more detailing to the back.  I found an image for a shield from Lego Knights, and sketched it out onto some of the grey knit, cut it out, then appliqu├ęd it to the jacket.  I had to shorten the shoulder armor in the back by a few inches to make it all fit, but I think it’s super cool.

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Also super cool:  Everything is stitched and topstitched with silver metallic thread.  It just seemed the right thing to do.

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The Knight Hoodie is the bonus pattern included in the Perfect Pattern Parcel, Boy Edition!.  The parcel is only available through Friday ONLY!  You name the price (really, truly), and at a certain price point, the Knight Hoodie gets thrown in with the rest of the parcel.  The package includes: Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs – Jet Pack by Betz White - Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado - Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads – Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns.  Go check it out and grab it while you can!

Pattern Parcel #4

Buy Pattern Parcel #4
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Zippy Jacket

All of you who thought Seth should get the Jet Pack (which was pretty much all of you! traitors.), sorry.  It’s just not happening.  I’ve been using it, and it is wonderful, and it is mine.  But Seth’s consolation prize for me stealing it is pretty rad, too.  Like, really.  And possibly quite a bit more comfortable.   The Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel.

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He’s worn this thing for two days straight. 

The pockets on this jacket are just fun.  I love the circular opening, the binding, and the peek-a-boo lining.   I also did some contrast stitching, following the pocket bag.  I wanted to highlight those pockets as much as I could, since they are so cool.

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  The Zippy jacket is great for fall and spring, perfect for layering.

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It’s also a really fast sew.  I lined Seth’s, which took a bit longer.  But even then, it’s a straight-forward pattern with clear instructions and good tips.  It comes together easily.  Zippy, even.

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I used a faux coverstitch/decorative stitch as topstitching throughout the jacket: outlining the pocket bags, along the shoulder seams, arm scythes, and then down the center top of the sleeves. 

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I didn’t have enough of the grey fabric to cut the sleeves as one piece, so had to cut two pieces for each sleeve and then sew those pieces together.  So there was a seam there, and the coverstitch hopefully makes it look intentional rather than an issue with too little fabric.

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The grey fabric is a baby rib knit in charcoal for the outer, and a cream interlock knit for the contrast binding and hem.  Seth had been wanting something made out of the camo thermal for a while, and it was the first fabric he pointed to in my stash when I told him to choose what he wanted.  But it’s thin, and I knew it wouldn’t work well on its own.  When I pulled the charcoal down as an alternative, he told me he wanted the charcoal on the outside and the camo on the inside.  A lined Zippy Jacket?  Why hadn’t I thought of that?!  So I made one.  I just cut the front lining the same as the front outer, only without pocket openings.  After constructing the lining, and the jacket without collar or hem/sleeve bands, I layered the two together, then proceeded with the pattern as normal, for the most part (the zipper had to be layered in).  The camo is also used as the pocket linings. 

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The lining makes it so there are no exposed seams through most of the jacket.  And then I added a strip of knit along the collar seam, fully inclosing it.  I felt like this jacket especially would benefit from this detail, since Seth doesn’t like the jacket zipped all the way up, so it hangs open at the neck.

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You can grab the Zippy Jacket directly from Blank Slate Patterns HERE

Jacket: Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns.  Size 8.  Fabric is grey baby rib knit from Material Girls in SLC, cream cotton/rayon knit from Jo-Ann Stores, and camo waffle knit from Nuttal’s in SLC
Shirt: Shirt Woot!
Pants: Desert Pants, pattern by
Ottobre.  Blogged HERE

I was given the Zippy Hoodie to sew in exchange for posting about Perfect Pattern Parcel.

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.  

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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.

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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

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