Thursday, November 27, 2014

All Spice!

Today it’s Thanksgiving for me and mine, and I have so very, very much to be thankful for.  And like my fellow Americans everywhere, I have plans to spend the day with family eating comfort food all day long.  As a special fun treat, today’s featured pattern has a culinary link:  The All Spice Dress by Paisley Roots

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If you follow Karly from Paisley Roots, you know her designs are unique and fresh.  The All Spice is right on par with everything Karly does: sweet and sassy, versatile and funky, and just really great. 
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The pattern features a squared neckline, with a fully lined bodice, sweet little pin pleats down the front, and the option of a button-down front or a zip.  A zipper front!  How cool is that?!

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I had to go with the zipper front, since it really sets this pattern apart from the crowd.  You can also choose various sleeve options.  We went with long-sleeved for the winter.

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I used a linen blend with a funky modern print I picked up from (I think) a few years ago.  I had a specific something in mind for myself when I bought it, but I have forgotten what now, and so it seemed time to use it for something else.  The All Spice dress, with its hip and modern elements seemed the perfect pairing.  I used a turquoise zipper down the front to really make things pop.

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And it’s just super cute.

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I really had ironed and pressed it well before the photoshoot.  But then we drove to this awesome building for the pictures, and by the time we got there, the linen was all wrinkly. 

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Also, my daughter is ham.  We first took pictures at this funky wall in the building.  As soon as I pulled out the camera, Ivy started striking poses.  One after the other.  Then she turned around, wagged her bum at me and yelled, “Take a picture of my bum!”, as a crowd started to gather around to watch her and her antics.  It was awesome.  She is awesome. 

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And her new All Spice dress fits her and her awesomeness pretty well, I think!

You can grab the All Spice, or any other Paisley Roots’ pattern, at a special discount through Sunday, the 30th, at 25% off with the code: BLACKFRIDAY2014 at Paisley Roots

And you can win some rad stuff as part of the All Spice Blog Tour!
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I was given the All Spice Dress in exchange for this post.   Pretty good deal!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bacon Bimaa

Two words for you:

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My middle son has long held an affinity for food-themed clothing.  When he was four he asked for “underwear with food on it” for Christmas.  His favorite, most-worn shirts have always been those with food puns.  Especially breakfast foods.  The boy loves clothes and he loves food.  Then I found Beloved Shirts; super realistic graphic prints, many of them food.  Seth sat and scrolled through the site giggling and making his wish list.  A few days later, they had a clearance sale and one of the prints Seth wanted was marked down drastically.  Only catch? It was in men’s sizes.  So we ordered men’s 2XL for my 50lb eight year old.  Of course.

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He wore it to bed as a night shirt for a few weeks, until I stole it from his drawer, hacked it up, and married it with one of my favorite patterns:  Lou Bee Clothing’s Bimaa

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Lou Bee just released the Bimaa in extended sizes, 6/12m-12 years.  I had previously made Bimaas for the younger kids, you can see HERE, and was crazy excited that the pattern now would work for my older boys, too.

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I had wanted to do the hoodie, but there just wasn’t enough fabric, so we went with the shawl collar option.  Seth says he likes it better;  the look of the hoodie in the front, without the bulk in the back. 

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The Bimaa’s fit is awesome.  It runs pretty trim, but on a skinny kid like mine, that’s perfect.  I added a kangaroo pocket to the front, as per my son’s request.

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We barely were able to get all the pieces for the pattern out of the shirt.  I had to do some piecing at the collar, but it isn’t too distracting.  And we used up almost every bit of the original shirt.  I even cut the tag from the collar of the 2XL, and sewed it into the side seam of the Bimaa, as a nod to where we started.

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And Seth now has a new favorite shirt.  Thank you Bimaa, Beloved and bacon!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vintage Kate for Christmas

Are you sewing for the holidays?  I always do. It’s one of my favorite things about this time of year, sewing special gifts and decorations.  My mom and I always make all her grandkids pajamas for Christmas Eve, and I also try to sew up new clothes for the kids and myself, if I can find the time.  This year, I’m a little ahead of the game.  At least for Ivy.  I used The Freckled Pear’s Vintage Kate Dress, and I think it turned out absolutely adorable.
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I went with a sleeveless version, because that makes total sense in the winter.  Oh, yeah.  No.  I had planned on sleeves, but as I was sewing the bodice, I just loved the look of the no-sleeves so much, I ditched them.  And now I need to make Ivy a little bolero to wear with it.  But look at those little toddler shoulders and tell me I made the wrong choice! 

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The Vintage Kate is one of a collection of dresses by The Freckled Pear.  Dana, the owner/designer has an incredible eye and talent for classic little-girl silhouettes and details.  I adore every one of her designs and have plans to make each one for Ivy.  The Vintage Kate caught my eye because of that adorable peter pan collar.  freckled pear vintage kateAnd I also seriously love those elephant appliqués.   In fact, I made two Vintage Kates!  The first one, I did almost exactly like the sample dress on the model, even down to the same colors.  I just loved it so much!  But I was lame, and, as usual, didn’t check Ivy’s measurements agianst the included size chart.  When will I ever learn? 
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So, Ivy now has a perfectly sweet, elephant-appliquéd, short-sleeved Vintage Kate dress waiting for her to grow a couple of inches and a few pounds.  Yay for planning ahead!  heh heh.      

But I enjoyed sewing the dress so much, and was so happy with the overall look, that I wanted to make one for her now.  This time, I used a stiffer plaid for the main fabric, and some black velour for the collar, all fabric from Jo-Ann Stores.  And I made a few easy, but fun changes to fancy the dress up a bit.

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I made a simple sash out of the black velour.  I still struggle with my gathering, and the sash hides my uneven gathers nicely.  Also, I think it just looks pretty fantastic.  Who doesn’t love a big bow in the back?!

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Also, I added a tulle underskirt.  I used three yards of tulle, doubled over twice (so quartered over?).  I gathered the tulle along the top, long edge.  Then I sewed the tulle directly to the skirt/bodice seam along with the skirt itself.  It was really easy.  I kept the tulle out of the zipper in the back by ending the tulle 1/2 inch from the center back on either side.  I had planned on trimming the tulle after sewing it in.  But I really loved how it peeked out below the hem of the dress. 

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I love this pattern, like all The Freckled Pear patterns, because it is sweet, age-appropriate, and classic.  The Freckled Pear dresses are Little Girl patterns.  I love that the Vintage Kate can be an every day dress or a special party dress, just by changing the fabrics, or by adding a few extra touches. 

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You can buy the Vintage Kate HERE, and be sure to check out all the sweet patterns from The Freckled Pear.   And hey!  Why not win a pattern while you’re at it?  The Freckled Pear is offering one of you a free PDF pattern from their shop!
Good luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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I was given the
Vintage Kate Dress pattern from The Freckled Pear.  How lucky am I?! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Betty Skirt Love

I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot lately with little girl sewing patterns.  It couldn’t have happened at a better time.  Ivy has very little cold-weather clothing in her closet, and I’ve been busy sewing her a fall and winter wardrobe.  Today’s pattern is the Betty Skirt by Shaffer Sisters.  And friends, I love this one.

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It’s simple and sweet, classic and fashionable. 

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First, the nitty gritty of the pattern itself.  The Betty Skirt runs in sizes infant through 16.  Huge, HUGE size range. There are four different views you can sew, with full instructions included for each.  The pattern prints nicely, goes together without a hitch, and the instructions are thorough and clear with line-drawing illustrations accompanying more steps. 

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For Ivy’s Betty, I went for the gathered-skirt-with-placket option.  I used a medium-weight denim, wanting to get as much wear out of this skirt, since denim goes with pretty much anything.  I decided to fully embrace the denim, and used gold jean topstitching thread throughout.  I also added an extra row of topstitching to the bottom of the skirt yoke and side seams, just because it seemed the right thing to do.

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The instructions also explain how to do a faux or real placket.  I went with faux.  The elastic waist is more than easy enough to get the skirt on and off without a problem at all.  Because of that elasticized waist, getting a custom fit is so easy.  This is really important for me, since Ivy is so tiny and doesn’t really fit into any standard sizing very well.  Four shiny gold shank buttons finish off the denim Betty.

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I also made the top to go with the skirt.  It’s the Kensington Top by Hey!June Patterns.  So quick and easy to sew up. I screwed up the sleeve gathers, because I’m gathering-challenged.  But I think it pairs perfectly with the Betty Skirt, which, somehow, I did a  really good job gathering.

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You can pick up a copy of the Betty Skirt HERE.  Use code BETTYTOUR for 30% off!

Check out other Betty adorableness being shared around the sewing-blog world


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Top: Kensington Dress & Top Pattern by Hey!June Handmade, size 2.  Fabric is interlock knit from Funkalicious Fabrics
Skirt: Betty Skirt Pattern by Shaffer Sisters, size 18 months.  Fabric is medium-weight denim from
Nuttal’s in SLC.
Tights: Naartjie
Shoes: Squeakers (with squeak removed, because, seriously, those things are annoying!)

I was given the Betty Skirt in exchange for my review.  My review is, I adore this skirt pattern and plan on using it for years and years to come!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Match with Me

Ready for something different?  Stacey over at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy is hosting a series, Match with Me, all about mom and son looks.  My eight year old and I are joining in today, and we had some fun with this one!
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I have had the buffalo check knit I used for Seth’s hoodie for over a year, picked it up somewhere in LA during my fabric-shopping weekend.  I thought it would be the perfect jumping-off point, and grabbed some matching buffalo check flannel from Jo-Ann Stores to make myself a button-down top.  Only, I didn’t grab enough.  One day I’ll learn to actually check with my pattern before buying fabric.  I was kind of stressing out about it.  But then I saw this Fringe Scarf tutorial over on Merrick’s Art, and my day was saved.  The tutorial was great, and the scarf was super easy to make.
I had also made myself a pair of jeans to go with my look, but when I put everything together for the photoshoot, the finish of the jeans was off.  Instead, I pulled out my white jeans I blogged about HERE, and threw on my knit/leather jacket from Project:Sewn to finish things off. 

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Seth’s hoodie is from Ottobre Designs (surprise! ), issue 4/2014, pattern #39.  It has some fun design elements, like the grommeted hood and the wide button placket that made sewing it take a bit more time than a straight-forward tee or hoodie, but it was a fun sew.  And Seth likes it so much, he wore it to bed!  His jeans are mom-made handmedowns: the jeans I made his brother for another Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy series: Scandinavian Style.  They’re probably some of my most favorite pants I’ve ever made, and I was excited they’ve held up enough to move onto another kid.

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I just love his face here.

Even though I think this is a super fun series, and the other looks shown have been great, I couldn’t help but think of Arrested Development and their “Motherboy” episodes.  I showed some of those images to Seth, and he thought it would be pretty great to try to do our photo shoot as cheesy as possible. 

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And then there is this shot, where we just look psychotic.  Or like something is falling out of the sky while we watch.  But don’t we coordinate nicely?

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Really, though, this was pretty fabulous to sew for; trying to come up with something my eight-year old and I could both wear, look good together, and not be totally creepy-matching.  And I love hanging out with this kid.  He’s smart and funny, and one of my most favorite people ever.  I’d totally match with him any time!

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Be sure to check out all the other Match with Me looks HERE

Thank you to my friend, Camilla, for being our photographer!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pretty in Peplum

If I had to list my top five indy designers, Abby with Sew Much Ado would totally make the cut.  Her patterns are flawlessly drafted, expertly explained, and completely on-trend.  I just love sewing them because I know that I’m going to end up with a great fitting, good looking item every time.  Sew Much Ado’s newest pattern, Pretty in Peplum Dress and Top fits in with the rest of the line perfectly.  I mean, really:

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This week, the Pretty in Peplum is touring the blogosphere, and I’m fortunate enough to get to tag along.  And Ivy’s fortunate enough to fit in the pattern’s 18m-12 year size range, and gets to wear the the adorable and stylish dress I made from the pattern.

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Can I be perfectly honest?  I don’t feel super comfortable sewing for my daughter like I do my sons.  With them, I feel creative and challenged.  But with Ivy, I feel at a loss and overwhelmed.  I love patterns that look fantastic from the start for her, that I can just sew right on pattern and just be told how to make her cute clothes.  I stuck totally to pattern with the Pretty in Peplum, and I love the results:  Cute clothes.

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I kept going back and forth between making her just a top or the dress.  In the end, I decided to do both, but I’ll save the top for another day and we’ll just talk about the dress today.  I made her a size larger than the size chart recommended, because I am optimistic that one day she will push past the 18m size and actually grow.  Not that I don’t love her tiny little body.  But, you know, she should probably get a little bit bigger some day. 

The pattern is made for knits, so it sews up super fast.  I love knits in kids’ clothing.  Comfortable, easy to dress, and easy to wash.  Knits are the way to go.  The Pretty in Peplum looks fancy and on-trend, but it’s totally play-accommodating, too.

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The pattern for the skirt is kind of genius (I think I say that at least once in every review I do for Sew Much Ado Patterns).  I’ve never sewn a peplum totally in the round before, and I like it!  It did mean that the back of the skirt, the horses from the super-fun directional print I used are upside down.  But I’m okay with that. 

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Speaking of the fabric, isn’t it so great?  It’s Horse Play by and from Girl Charlee.  You can find it HERE.  I love the print, but the blue really sold me on it.  Sewn with the peplum dress, I think it looks almost ‘80s, and just totally rad.

And yes, I posed my two year old in front of port-a-potties.  I loved the blue, and was hoping it wouldn’t be too obvious what they were in the pictures.  It completely is.  Whatever.  Yay for public toilets!

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And yay for great patterns!  Want even more to celebrate?  You could win $100 to spend at Girl Charlee on Horse Play or any other of their fun and trendy knits!

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Grab the Pretty in Peplum from Sew Much Ado HERE

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I was given the Pretty in Peplum pattern and a credit to choose the fabric I wanted from Girl Charlee to sew it with.  Opinions are mine.  My opinion is you need this pattern!

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