Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Valley Blouse (Pattern Testing)

This past year I have been trying to figure out my style when it comes to sewing for myself. I get so attracted to fun prints on fabric but find that I don't wear them or feel as comfortable in them. I love color but I don't wear it that often. I'm drawn to more neutral colors, texture, and simple patterns on fabric. So with all that in mind, I've been doing a lot of sewing for myself lately and it feels good to fill the gaps in my wardrobe with new pieces that I love.

When Sarah from Cali Faye Collection posted a sneak peek of a new blouse pattern I was immediately in love with the style. And her fabric. So I quickly said yes when she asked me to test the pattern (it should be releasing later this week) and I already had the perfect fabric.
She gives fabric recommendations and I used a brown vintage swiss dot fabric (you will see it again because I also made myself a dress that I will be blogging about soon). It has small, raised white dots on the brown fabric and is lightweight.
I will admit that the first few steps took some concentration to figure out but once I sewed it then I realized how simple it was! It went together without any problems and there are so many details that I just love. All the gathers around the front and back, sleeves and wrists. The small button. The nice hem. A simple blouse but with great details. Its great for fall and I hope the weather is finally going to stay cool so that I can actually wear it.

Pattern: Valley Blouse by Cali Faye Collection
Size: Medium. I fell right in between medium and large and since this blouse is a little more on the flowy side, I decided to sew the medium and I'm glad I did because the large would have been too big.
Time commitment: About 3 hours to sew but that includes me taking breaks to make sure the kids are in bed napping/or are staying in their rooms for bedtime. And maybe 1 hour for printing, taping, cutting pattern and then cutting fabric
Alterations: None but I will lengthen the sleeves a bit on my next one. I'm one of those people who LOVES my sleeves to go past my wrist.
Changes made to pattern after tester feedback: She brought in the shoulders a bit since it had a tendency to fall off a little.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sewing for Kindergarten: Sewing Separates for School and Adventure

When Mie from Sewing Like Mad asked me to be a part of this blog series, I said YES right away.  I love Mie's style and she is just crazy talented. And the fact of Miette starting Kindergarten seemed so far away but it is here and we are having fun so far! So instead of back to school shopping, I did back to school sewing. 

Mie asked us a few fun questions and here are my answers!

Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten? Yes! Miette is our first child to be in Kindergarten.

What kind of school does your child attend? Homeschool! We have an amazing homeschool community and even though its not what I initially had planned, its something that we feel is best for our family right now. And Henri is excited that he still has his sister at home and to spend time with.

Do you feel like crying or celebrating? Both! I mean, I am respobsible for teaching my child EVERYTHING. But even though that can be intimidating, it is also exciting.

And what about your child? Miette is THRILLED to be starting school. She has been asking when she can start school and she loves learning so its a good combo. This year she wants to learn how trees grow, to sew a dress!!!, draw and paint, learn to cook and learn to read. That's a pretty good list and we will see what we can accomplish.

Question for Miette: What has been the best and worst part so far? Best: Drawing, painting, learning to read Worst: She had a hard time answering this one so will say there isn't a worst part, yet. 

On to the clothes. We are planning to follow the Charlotte Mason style of homeschool and part of it includes nature study, which we love. Each week we get together with our nature group and either go on a hike, go to a museum or something else outdoors. It is the highlight of our week and I wanted to make sure that we had some things that Miette could wear no matter what adventure we went on.

I asked her what she would like and she wanted a fabric with trees and that it be a skirt that she could climb in and that had pockets. I decided to sew a few separates that we could mix and match.

For the skirt, I used the skirt portion of the Ileana dress pattern by Compagnie M. Miette and I loved the Ileana dress so much that I knew she needed a circle skirt. I made sure to add the pockets and I also inlcuded built in shorts and a gold elastic waistband. She LOVES this skirt and I love that I don't have to remind her to put shorts on and she can wear this on a hike or to a museum or just around the house.

I also used the Ileana bodice for the top but decided to just have a button-loop closure on the back. I completely forgot to add length when cutting the pattern so I added a knit gathered skirt to the bottom. The front bodice fabric is a black and white vintage gingham and the back is Cloud 9 Organic first light forest citron.
Now, Miette doesn't really like to wear shorts or pants but I wanted her to have at least one pair of shorts. The Clover Shorts by Willow and Co (designed by Mouse House Creations) is such a cute pattern and I love how they look with this top!
And of course we needed a simple top. This black and white striped knit was perfect for my favorite knit top pattern, the Skipper Top by Sew Much Ado. I made it a little bigger because Miette is just growing so fast and I want it to last for awhile. This girl just loves listening to audio books, looking at books, "reading" books, drawing and painting.

I am excited to see what this year brings and I hope that her love of learning will always be there and that I can be a great teacher for her!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Gingham Seersucker Paneled Sunsuit

Hello! We have had a busy summer and now we are getting things organized for our first year of homeschool! I am both excited and so very nervous to start Kindergarten with my sweet Miette. I know it will be a great year and I can't wait.

I'm very excited to share my romper/sunsuit with you. When Call Ajaire first released this pattern I was so happy for her then immediately sad because I knew Miette wouldn't wear the romper version. I've found out a lot about Miette since sewing for her. She is sensitive, doesn't like anything to touch her belly button (all skirts/shorts hit under her belly), and shes not a fan of elastic around her arms or her legs. But I really wanted to make a romper so I was determined to make it work. And I did!
It is still very HOT here in SoCal so I knew that I wanted this to be lightweight. I have this beautiful light gray gingham seersucker that was just perfect. And I decided to add just a few pops of pink to add some color.

I sewed a size 6 for her and to solve the elastic touching the belly button issue, for the bodice I simply lengthened it to a size 10. It was perfect! I also added a small bow to the waist and I love how cute it looks. Then onto the legs. I decided just to hem them without adding any elastic. Next time I will take out some width towards the bottom so they have more of a straight leg instead of flared.

The overall size is great but I should have made the waist elastic slightly larger as it is a little tight when getting it over her hips. But when its on the fit is great!
 I love the pop of pink on the pockets!
Now for the straps and bodice I completely changed things around! I have a vintage toddler girl romper pattern and it has the cutest scalloped bodice and I wanted to try to make a similar one for Miette! I used the front lining bodice piece and added the scallops to that. Then cut out the lining and main bodice the same. Using the same strap pattern piece, I simply cut it on the fold to get some extra length since I wasn't exactly sure how much I would want. I attached the front of the straps to the bodice and crossed them in the back.
For the back bodice I used the main back bodice piece so it would hit lower on her back. Then I attached the straps with an exposed pink flower button. So adorable! She does need my help to unbutton the straps when she uses the bathroom but that's not a problem.

The weather will cool down sometime in November so I'm excited that she can also wear this with tights, boots and a cardigan!

During the tour, she is offering a 15% discount on her patterns!  You can use the code SUNSUIT15 both at UpCraft Club and Etsy through the 7th of September.

So many amazing versions of this versatile romper are going to be popping up in the next few weeks. Be sure to check them out!

Monday August 24th:  Max California | Filles à Maman | Hey June | House of Estrela
Tuesday August 25th: Skirt Fixation | Gracious Threads | Kimmie Sew Crazy | Shaffer Sisters
Wednesday August 26th: Kid Approved | Pinkel | Falafel and the Bee | Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Thursday August 27th: Buzzmills | Pattern Revolution | Sprouting JubeJube | Handmade Martini
Friday August 28th: That's Sew Kari | Lulu & Celeste | Paisley Roots | Modern Handmade

Monday August 31st: Sew Cool for the Tween Scene | Kadiddlehopper | Imagine Gnats | Nap Time Creations
Tuesday September 1st: My Sweet Sunshine | Straight Stitch Designs | Handmade Boy | That's What She Crafted
Wednesday September 2nd: Climbing the Willow | Rebel & Malice | GYCT Designs | Two-Many
Thursday September 3rd: The Crazy Tailor | sewVery | Just Add Fabric | Delia Creates
Friday September 4th: A Jennuine Life | Conversas de Hermanas | Made by Sara | Not Sew Fast

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ileana Dress Pattern Tour

I'm sure you aren't surprised to read that I love sewing with vintage patterns. I also love sewing with modern patterns but even better are modern patterns that have a vintage look and feel. And that is what I love about the patterns from Marte at Compagnie-M
When I saw all the amazing choices she was creating for her newest pattern, The Ileana Dress, I couldn't wait to start sewing. I knew exactly which fabric I was going to use but it took me awhile to figure out the options to sew. I debated for a very long time between the bow collar and the scalloped collar because who can resist a scalloped collar?

I eventually decided on the sleeveless bodice, half circle skirt, in seam pockets, and bow collar. How cute is this collar? There are so many variations of this dress and I love that you can also mix and match sleeves from the Louisa Dress, the Mara Blouse and the Lotta Dress!

Miette has outgrown the circle skirt dresses I've made her in the past so she was very excited to get a new one. And we are love with this one. I was lucky to get the last of both these fabrics from the Imagine Gnats shop. The pink checked is trefle by kokka and is a lovely lightweight canvas. For the collar and bow I went with midas kisses metallic cats, in mint, by kokka. The perfect combo for Miette!

While I LOVE circle skirts I am not a fan of hemming them. But Marte shows you how to use bias tape for the hem and it was so simple. And it looks great! I was putting in the invisible zipper late at night--well it was only 8pm but that is late for me--and I had to redo it 3 times.  I sewed a size 6 and the fit is perfect. She has worn it everyday since I made it and I must say that she looks so grown up in this!

Check out her blog for many more amazing variations of the Ileana Dress!


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