Thursday, October 16, 2014

Construction Vehicle and Gingham Hanami Dress

Hello! I'm posting over at Imagine Gnats today about this adorable dress I made for Miette. Double gauze and gingham make a perfect play dress!
Visit for the full post!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Selfish Sewing Week: Tania Culottes

Selfish Sewing Week has been such fun and I'm so excited to be a featured stitcher this year. So many ladies are participating and it inspires me to sew even more than I planned! 

Let's talk culottes. I never wore culottes growing up and I know so many people have negative feeling when it comes to them. I was a little wary myself but when I saw this pattern, I changed my mind. The Tania Culottes are genius and at first (and second) glance you can't even tell that it isn't a skirt. So many amazing people were sewing these culottes last year and I thought they were cute, but didn't feel that I would be able to pull them off. My sewing skills have improved in the past year so I thought I would try them out.(Disclosure: I was planning to but this pattern but I was fortunate that Megan provided it to me to sew for SSW.) All  I am so grateful for all the sewing bloggers out there. I love being able to research a pattern fully before taking the plunge and it's so helpful to see different versions as well as being able to bypass potential errors.

The Instructions: This was my first time using a pattern from Megan Nielson and I loved it. The instructions were so clear and easy to follow. After cutting the pattern I was able to sew this up in about 1 1/2 hours.

Making a Muslin: I did my research and read a ton of wonderful blog posts about the culottes. I decided to make a muslin to check the fit and I'm so glad I did. My measurements put me in a Medium so I cut that size with a XL length. Well, the waist is just a little tight, it hit too high on my waist, even with the added length they were short and the inseam was pretty high and quite uncomfortable. So I did even more research and found how to add even more length, how to lower the inseam and made a larger size so they would sit lower on my waist.

Figuring out the Right Size: The second pair I made (this blue daisy floral) ended up being too big and too long. So I had to take in the waist quite a bit and its still too big. Its pretty hard to shorten the circle skirt once sewn so I did my best with that. For my next pair, I will try a size medium in the waist, lengthen the inseam and add 2" (instead of 4") to the XL circle skirt length. Then I may have the perfect pair!
Finding the Perfect Fabric: This fabric is a rayon challis and is great for these culottes. Lightweight with plenty of body. And I just love these tiny daisies.
Helpful Hints: After making my first pair I found a very helpful tip on how to match your pattern on the front. Make sure to line up your center seam pleat for the front pieces (and back pieces) to ensure that your seam line will match up. That way it looks more like a skirt than culottes!
Final thoughts: I love them. I'm planning to make a pair that is more appropriate for cool weather--I'm hopeful that at some point we will have some! My friend saw me wearing these and asked me if they were culottes and then promptly asked if I could make her a pair. I'd say that's a good sign

featured stitchers: Call Ajaire The Crafty Kitty Max California the quirky peach Sewbon Swoodson Says sewVery a happy stitch sew a straight line Sew Caroline Our Chez Nous Casa Crafty verypurpleperson Flamingo Toes Sewing Rabbit justmejay groovy baby and mama you & mie oona balloona sew Amy sew Idle Fancy miss matatabi Dandelion Drift Modern Handcraft Buzzmills u&mii B.Yazoo A Quilter's Table lbg studio Diary of a Chainstitcher Compagnie M. Sew Chibi la inglesita Modern Handmade Sing All You Want Cookin' and Craftin' Behind the Hedgerow Milkybeer Handmade The Charming Needle

Friday, September 26, 2014

Black and White Boatneck Tee + Jamie Jeans // Selfish Sewing Week

I've been doing a ton  of sewing lately but haven't really been in the mood to take pictures, edit pictures and blog. I set-up the tripod this morning and took 15 minutes to snap these pictures because this top is too cute not to share! I've been meaning to sew this for awhile and since it is Selfish Sewing Week now seemed like the perfect time! 

Here's the story about this shirt. I bought a boatneck tee at H&M 3 years ago and it was my most worn shirt. But with shirts that get worn a ton, they also get washed frequently. Over time it shrunk and perhaps I grew a bit ;) so I decided to try my hand at rub-off patterning. It's a technique that is used where you don't need to take apart the clothing to get pattern pieces. I used this tutorial and it worked great!
My first one was a little big so I took it in and the second try was great! I even adapted the pattern to work for this self-drafted dotty chambray dress. I made a few additional alterations for my third top and I love the fit. This is my favorite style of shirt and I'm so happy to have a pattern that is exactly what I love.
This gorgeous black and white knit is from the Michael Levine Loft DTLA and it is wonderful. On my recent trip there I took my daughter (her first time) and I left with about 20 pounds of fabric! She even chose her own very sparkly fabric and was so excited to touch and feel all the fabric.
My fall wardrobe is being planned out using all this fabric. You could say that I love black & white, gray and stripes.

The jeans are my first pair of Jamie Jeans that I made earlier this year. They are still holding up, though the fit is a bit tighter than I remember. I still need to make some revisions to the pattern and get started on another pair.
And as always, the kids love sneaking in for some pictures as well. Dirt covered faces and pajamas. Typical morning for us! I'll be back in a few days sharing another make for Selfish Sewing Week!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #4: Boys // Gingham Maxwell Top

Another Perfect Pattern Parcel is available and it is All About Boys!! I absolutely love sewing for both my kids and I get excited when there are fun boy patterns available. And this parcel definitely has some amazing patterns!
Pattern Parcel #4
Pattern Parcel #4 includes:

Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs

Zippy Jacket by Blank Slate Patterns

Schoolboy Vest by Sew Much Ado

Small Fry Jeans by Titchy Threads
Jet Pack Bag by Betz White

So many great patterns, right? I've made the Schoolboy vest and can attest to just how wonderful that pattern is. I'm excited to make the Zippy Jacket and a Jet Pack Bag for Miette! I'm focusing on the Maxwell Top for this post but I also wanted to mention his adorable herringbone jeans. 

I wrote all about my love of the Small Fry Skinnies in this post. Bottom line...the pattern is amazing and I have some awesome green denim fabric just waiting to made into another pair for H!
For this parcel, I sewed up the Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs and earlier this year I sewed these Small Fry Skinny Jeans--I keep squeezing Henri into them because I love them so much but I have to admit that they are officially too small so I need to sew him a new pair ASAP!
Now, let's talk about this adorable gingham top!

Fabric and Design:  I can't get over how cute he looks in a little button down! I was looking through my stash and stumbled across this vintage green gingham fabric and knew it would be perfect. I cut the back yoke and pocket on the bias to add a little contrast. And I love the vintage and slightly western feel it has.

And with the gingham I just had to use pearl snaps. Luckily there are three layers on the front (shirt front, interfacing and facing) so it was plenty thick for the snaps. Everything was going so well until I put the last snap on backwards! I was able to take it off and fix it, thank goodness! Since the print is a little busy I kept all the embellishments to a minimum. The Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs is a military-inspired top so there are lots of fun options to make this very unique. 

Size: Henri is wearing size 2 so that is what I made. I should have added a bit to the length so he can wear it a little longer but it is perfect for right now. It isn't a slim fitting shirt but I would rather have it loose that too tight.

Construction: This is my second time making a button down shirt and the construction was completely different than the shirt I made for my husband. It went together fairly easily but I recommend that you definitely read through the instructions completely before you begin. There are a few steps that can be confusing and its better to visualize the step before actually sewing it together--could save you a lot of seam ripping! She links to a few tutorials to help with button holes and the collar--that is so nice to have if you get stuck.

Tips: There are a few things that are assumed (how to finish your seams) and some things that aren't very specific (how far apart to place the buttons, how much to overlap the fronts) but if you are familiar with these things then it shouldn't be too difficult. I tried the shirt on Henri to see how much overlap I wanted for the front buttons and I spaced my buttons 2" apart.
When I went to put this shirt on H, he said "no, no shirt". Well, for good reason. Before I sewed the pocket I wanted to make sure of the positioning. So I pinned it down and tried it on him. He just so happened to grab the pocket and a pin pricked him. So from then on he kept telling me "no like shirt, owie". Poor guy! I hope he isn't traumatized everytime he wears it!

So, check out all the other amazing things (dates and links at the bottom of this post) being sewn from the parcel and read below to find out a bit more about Perfect Pattern Parcel!

 Buy Pattern Parcel #4

  Bonus Pattern:

Choose a price of $26 or greater for Parcel #4 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle. This pattern is a unique and fun spin on the traditional hoodie. Thorough instructions and pictures help you create an amazing and memorable hoodie that will inspire creativity in your little one.

About Pattern Parcel:

Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we've raised $9,800 towards eliminating educational inequality. 

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


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