Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Busy Lizzy

I found this fun jungle panel from Alexander Henry, c. 2009 at my local Jo-Ann, of all places, in the red tag area last week.  It was just too fun to pass up, and I had the perfect pattern in mind for it. 

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I used Sew Like My Mom’s Busy Lizzy Top and Dress pattern.  Quick and easy to sew, but with some fabulous detail, the Busy Lizzy is a great pattern, and a perfect staple in your little-girl wardrobe.

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The pattern is for a top or a dress. I went with a dress.  But I made a size too big for Ivy, wanting her to wear it as long as possible.  To work around the too-long length until she grows into it, I folded the hem up and under, and did a quick blind-hem type stitch to keep things in place, and give a bubble-skirt look to the whole thing.  Love the look, and love that the dress will easily grow with my daughter.  I just have a few stitches to unpick when she is taller, and she’ll have a sweet dress that fits her for a long time.

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Other than my minor, temporary modification, I kept the dress on pattern.  There are even little in-seam pockets you can kind of see, which Ivy loves.  I love the puffy sleeves (there are also long-sleeve and sleeveless options in the pattern), with the binding around the hem.

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Binding at the neck, with a sweet buttoned closure.  I overlapped things back here by moving the button over.  As she grows, I’ll move the button back to where the pattern recommends.

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And then that pleat down the center seemed the perfect place to hide a sneaking lion

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You can pick up Sew Like My Mom patterns HERE

And I hope you do.  Melissa, of Sew Like My Mom is awesome, and designs great stuff in addition to raising four sweet kids.  She’s so awesome, that a bunch of us decided we wanted to treat her with a surprise pattern tour.  Click through the links to see the other stops on our surprise tour, and grab a pattern or two along the way!

sew like my mom

Sew a Straight Line
Rae Gun Ramblings
Andrea’s Notebook
Lemon Squeezy Home
Sew Very
If Only They Would Nap
Living With Punks
Craftiness Is Not Optional
Melly Sews

Sew Like My Mom patterns HERE

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Calling All Kids

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Looking for cool kid clothes for all kinds of boys and girls?  Have I got a series for you!

Alida Makes Presents: Calling All Kids

Calling All Kids
is dedicated to children’s design that thinks outside the box of ruffles and pink for girls and trucks and blue for boys.  It’s all about making clothes for the individual child, according to their individual personality and tastes, with no stereotypes or restrictions.  Pretty cool stuff.

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This is my eight-year-old.  When I told him I wanted to make him a shirt in his favorite color, he gasped and said, “Really?! I’ve never had a purple shirt!”  And then I couldn’t find purple fabric that didn’t have ruffles or flowers and the like.  So we had to make our own purple knit. 

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The fabric is a rayon knit from Jo-Ann Stores, in a neutral cream color.  It’s crazy soft, with a very fluid drape.  I sewed the #26 T-Shirt from Ottobre 1/2014.  Then we dip-dyed the whole thing in some awesome, deep, non ruffled purple dye.  Seth has decided that it looks like purple blood.  Which is apparently exactly the look he was hoping for. 

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The pants are also Ottobre 1/2014, the #30 Desert Jeans.  I was drawn to this pattern because of the details.  I loved that there were interesting details other than cargo pockets and flaps.  A back-button tab, tucks and bar tacks add fun, unique interest to traditional jeans.  Seth likes to wear his cropped, because he’s super cool like that.

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The fabric is also from Jo-Ann Stores, a brushed poplin that I love and have used for multiple pants now.  It’s lightweight and dries quickly, so perfect for summer.  But it also wears really well, with a nice tight weave.  The pockets hide some fun Lego-stamped fabric from the Lego shirts I made a few weeks ago.

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A simple outfit, just a tee shirt and jeans, but with details and color that you aren’t going to find in the boy department at the store. 

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Go check out all the other Calling All Kids looks, curated by Alida Creates.  And enter to win some awesomeness here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tee:  Ottobre Designs Railroad Tee Shirt, 134 cm.  Fabric is rayon blend knit from Jo-Ann Stores, dye is Dylon Violet
Jeans:  Ottobre Designs Dessert Jeans, 134 cm.  Fabric is brushed poplin from Jo-Ann Stores
Shoes:  Converse Chuck Taylors, low tops

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Showers

It’s spring! Yay!
E&E Patterns has just released a fabulous new pattern, the Spring Showers Jacket, and I was lucky enough to get to test it.

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The Spring Showers Jacket is unisex, with two view options (encased drawstring waist or not), and comes in sizes 2/3-12. 

And is awesome.

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Full of professional touches and thought-out details, this jacket is the real deal.  The back of the jacket is cut longer than the front, so that it comes down below the bum.  This is fabulous for kids who ride bikes or run through puddles or sit on things.  Plus, I think it just looks more legit. 

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Fully lined, from hood to sleeves.  I went with a flannel on the inside.  The outer fabric is super lightweight, and though waterproof, I didn’t think it would lend much warmth.  The flannel keeps things light, but adds a tiny bit of cozy.  There’s also a zipper shield, to keep rain and wind out of the inside of the jacket, when zipped. 

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There are two patch pockets, with flaps, on the front.  I added snaps to mine.

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And for bonus points, I also added a side entry to the pockets.  They’re kind of like double-decker pockets.  The side entry pocket is lined with the flannel, so it’s warmer on his hands.  As I’m typing this out, I am realizing I don’t know how to explain them.  I need to do a tutorial.  Basically, I sewed a flannel patch pocket onto the jacket front, but with the opening at the side, not the top.  Then I slapped the flapped patch pocket on top of that flannel one.  More or less.  Whatever.  Pockets!

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And a hood! 

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With visor, to help direct rain away from the face.  Also, the hood has a facing, so that the lining doesn’t come right to the edge.  I love that professional detail. 

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I chose to color block my son’s Spring Showers Jacket.  I wanted something more interesting than a solid color, and all the laminated prints I was finding were either too juvenile for an 11 year old, or too feminine for his tastes.  I went with two different types of fabric from a (sorta) local shop, Nuttal’s. 

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The brown is a garment-quality nylon ripstop.  It’s super nice.  Not super nice to sew with; very slippery and not at all forgiving.  But it’s totally waterproof and looks and feels like a good jacket fabric.  The yellow is like a taffeta.  The sales person at the fabric store showed it to me when I said I needed waterproof fabric.  The bolt said waterproof.  The color seemed very rain slickery.  I had two small children with me , and was a bit distracted.  I slapped the bolt on the cutting counter, and didn’t think much of it.  When I got home and pulled my cut piece out of the bag, I discovered it was really, really thin.  I tested it, and it was waterproof.  Just thin.  Really thin.  And so slippery.  And generally a pain to work with and I cursed its existence pretty much the whole sew.
After thinking about it long and hard, I’m guessing  that it’s really coat lining.  It looks *exactly* like the lining of pretty much every coat and jacket I’ve ever bought for myself or my children.  I’m super worried it won’t hold up as the outer part of a kid’s jacket.  But at least it’s waterproof?

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Depending on the fabric you choose, I would classify this jacket as anything from “confident beginner” to “intermediate”.  The pattern itself isn’t terribly difficult or technical.  The instructions are clear.  The only really tricky part is the zipper, since you are inserting it in between layers.  But not too horrible.  However, if you are using slick, no-stretch at all nylon, I’d bump up the technical aspect by a bit.  Nylon fabric is tricky.  It slides, holes show (from pins and picked-out stitches), and has absolutely no stretch so pieces need to be cut pretty exact.  So choose your fabric wisely.  I’m happy with my choice, and will go for it again, but just beware.

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As for the pattern itself, I’ve already told you I love the details.  The fit is also great, roomy enough for layering over sweaters and sweatshirts, but not too baggy.  Plus, there is the option for the drawstring at the waist, which I didn’t do, but which would give the jacket a more fitted look.  The pattern came together perfectly.  The instructions are clear and detailed with step-by-step pictures to walk you through.

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And it just looks cool!  You can buy the pattern HERE

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Jacket: Spring Showers Jacket by E&E patterns.  Fabric is nylon ripstop and waterproof lining for outer, flannel for lining, both from Nuttal’s at Ivy Place near SLC
Tee: Old Navy
Jeans: Small Fry Skinny Jeans by
Titchy Threads blogged HERE
Shoes:  Adidas Sambas
Umbrella: vintage, thrifted

Friday, March 28, 2014

Straight Lines & Angles: eXtreme Parsley Pants

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Fun fact:  I received a D- in 9th Grade Geometry. 

But you know what?  Today I’m coming to terms with angles, tangents and lines thanks to Jess at If Only They Would Nap and her awesome geometric-inspired series:

Straight Lines and Angles
My 11 year old is in dire need of new clothing.  Always.  The kid needs to stop growing so fast.  I’ve been needing to make him some new hiking pants, and so I thought I’d combine his need for rugged outdoor-wear with the theme of Straight Lines & Angles, and throw both of those in with Made By Rae’s Parsley Pants pattern.  What I ended up with are some eXtreme Parsley Pants. 

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See the X’s?  Get it?  eXtreme? 

Xs have both straight lines and angles.  Pythagorean Theorem that!
Yeah.  Well.
So, just your basic Parsleys on the front with patch pockets--  cut with angles instead of curves and reinforced by X bartacks!, knee patches – taken to the extreme with a trapezoidal shape with Xs running through!  But the part I’m most excited about?  The back
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This kid likes to slide down rocky mountain sides on his bum.   It’s great fun.  Unless you’re his pants and end up with holes worn through.  gah!  I wanted to make some bum patches for his Parsleys.  These are double layered. And then I thought, if I was adding a giant back patch, why not make it a giant back patch POCKET!?!

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The patch pocket is sewn into the crotch of the pants, with the back legs.  I sewed the center seam of the patch pocket on top of the center seam of the base pants, wanting it to be its own layer, and hopefully adding durability to the seat of the pants.  There is big X bartack at the top of the center, and smaller Xs at each corner, to reinforce.  The pockets are secured by velcro that runs the length of the opening, so that any treasures won’t slip out on the run.

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We are putting these babies to the test this week, hiking our way through the kids’ Spring Break.  Here’s hoping they hold up to all this kid, and the mountains he climbs, decides to put them through.  So far, they seem to be good for jumping and levitating.  So, there’s that.

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Check out all the other awesomely geometric designs in the Straight Lines and Angles series!  Thanks, Jess!

Straight Lines and Angles Bloggers
Win stuff!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Home Sewn: Rag Bag for the Kitchen

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I’m so honored to get to participate in Living with Punk’s Home Sewn Series.  A month of all kinds of fabulous ideas for your home, that you can make with your sewing machine!  Susan is so insanely talented, I just love everything she does.  Her Faux Animal Pelt she shared to launch the series is pure design genius! 

For my part, I’m going to show you how to make a Kitchen Rag Bag

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Dish rags, bibs, cloth napkins, and tea towels: these bags hold them all until you’re ready to throw in the wash.  The bag hangs from your oven door with snaps.  A waterproof lining and zipper keeps soiled items from spreading, while helping things look tidy, and reduces smells.  It’s like a cute little hamper for your kitchen cloth.  One of my most popular posts is where I showed how I make my Rolled Kitchen Towels.  We use these instead of paper towels at our house, and love them.  rolled kitchen towels sew a straight line
I’ve been meaning to share where we stash the dirties between washing for years now, so I’m excited to finally get around to showing you!  So let’s get to it!

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-1/2 yard outer fabric (some type of woven)
-1/2 yard lining (PUL, oil cloth, or laminated fabric)
-12 inch zipper
-2 complete snap sets

rag bag home sewn sew a straight line-1-2Cut your fabric. 
-13” x 18.5” (back)
-13” x 15.5 “ (lower front)
-13” x 4” (upper front)
-2.5” x 9” (straps)

-(2) 13” x 15.5”

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Fold strap pieces in half, right sides together.  Sew across one short end and the long side.  Clip corners.

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Turn straps right side out (I love my Dritz turning tool).  Press.  Set aside.

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Lay zipper across top of lower front piece, right sides facing, with the top zipper tape lined up with the top of the lower front piece.

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Lay one lining on top of the zipper/lower front, lining up all edges.  You want the shiny side down.  Pin along top, catching all three layers: lower front, zipper, lining.  Sew along the top edge, using a zipper foot, catching all layers: lower front,zipper tape, lining.

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Flip and turn so that the lining falls behind the zipper, and the unsewn zipper tape sticks out above the right side of the lower front.  Press.

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Lay upper front, right side down, on unsewn zipper tape.  Match raw edge of upper front with the unsewn zipper tape.  Pin.  Sew with zipper foot.

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Flip upper front up, exposing zipper.  Press.

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Topstitch front pieces along both sides of zipper

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Raw edges matching so the straps point downward, lay straps 1.5” in from either edge of the front.  Pin in place, then baste with longest stitch.
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3” down from the top of the back piece, pin the second lining piece, on the wrong side of the back, shiny side of lining facing down.  
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The lining should only overlap the back by the 3”, with the remaining 12.5” of lining sticking out above the back.  Pin in place, sew 1/4” from the edge of the lining.

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Flip the lining down, so that it now covers the lower 12.25” of the back, on the wrong side.  

Now you’re going to topstitch the lining in place.
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Depending on what type of material you’re using for the lining, this can be tricky.  I use a roller foot.  A Teflon foot would be good, too.  If you have neither, use tissue paper over the lining, to keep the foot gliding smoothly over the fabric.  Baby powder sprinkled along the seam allowance of the lining will also help.

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Open the zipper at least half way at this point. 

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Lay the front and back, right sides together, with straps in place pointing downward.  Pin, then sew all the way around the entire bag: top, side, bottom, side.  Again, make sure the straps are tucked facing down and away from the side seams, and that your zipper is open at least halfway.
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Turn the bag right side out through open zipper.

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Set snaps at bottom of strap and then again about 1/2” below where the straps end on the bag.

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Snap onto your oven door,

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And fill up with kitchen laundry.
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Just throw the bag in with all your rags in the washing machine, then air dry.

You can get the tutorial for my Rolled Kitchen Towels by clicking below:
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And click on over to Living with Punks to ender the Home Sewn Giveaway, and to check out all the other amazing, useful, beautiful, fun ideas that are being shared as part of the Home Sewn series.
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