Friday, April 10, 2015

The Pattern Exam Undies Review



This past few months I've been busy sewing a ton of stuff that's a secret.  Secret tops, secret bottoms and secret undies.  It kill me to not be able to share what I'm working on!!

Today, I get to share one thing with you all.  FINALLY!

I made 5 pairs of undies, each from a different girls' undies pattern.  They're all green in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day (I finished these in early March), and, in conjunction with a lot of other talented sewing bloggers, we reviewed them all and posted our thoughts in one collective spot!  You can see all our posts over at The Pattern Exam.  Do forget to go like us on Facebook to keep up with themes and make suggestions for patterns to review.  We'd love it if you followed us and used us as a pattern directory to make informed buying decisions.

Thanks for looking!! You can find my post and all the details here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

I'm Sew Fancy Silhouette Raglan



I'm sew excited to share this project with you! (See what I did there?)

A couple weeks back, Zulily had a sale on the Silhouette.  (There is actually another sale going on for 2 more days!)  I called the hubs, told him, and he gave me the green light to buy whatever model I wanted.  Say what?!  I got the smaller Silhouette Portrait for a fairly deep discount, added on some heat transfer vinyl, and I waited very impatiently for it to be delivered to my door.


Before it even got here, I knew what I wanted to do for my first project.  I've always wanted a shirt that professes my love for sewing in some awesome way.  I just never wanted to spend all that time hand cutting some freezer paper to make a stencil because I'm lazy and I need sewing projects with instant gratification.  Obviously.  Insert Silhouette.

First thing's first, I'm the realest.  Drop this and let the whole world feel it. 

My Silhouette came with a $25 gift card to the Design Store so I bought this sewing machine image for a whopping $.50 and designed this shirt in the Studio software.  It was superbly simple.  Then, I used the GreenStyle Centerfield Raglan pattern and cut out a panel for the front of the shirt. (I need to review this pattern soon, it's my absolute favorite fitting women's raglan).  I weeded out all my heat transfer vinyl, ironed it to my shirt and then I promptly realized I had no more white on hand for the back of my shirt.

Excuse the grainy cell phone pic.  It was the only progress pic I took.
So, I got a little crazy with the back and used this awesome Girl Charlee fabric from the March KnitFix.  Disclaimer: I didn't actually buy the KnitFix but when I saw everyone posting this fabric in the Facebook Group, I decided I needed it and bought if from someone else who didn't love it as much as I did.



It's a brushed cotton spandex knit that's super soft and super bright.  I LOVE it!  I also added a band to the bottom of my Raglan because I'm a rebel and I like to do things like that.  (And because I'm taller than the average woman so I usually have to add 2 inches to all my tops anyway.)


Are you dying over this shirt yet?  No?  Maybe it's just me.


Do you also have a fancy Silhouette?  Do you want to sew your own fancy shirt?  Click here to download the Silhouette graphic that I designed and you can make one too!  Happy sewing friends!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Pattern Review: Brassie Joggers



If you know me then you know I'm a fake pants enthusiast. You know, yoga pants, leggings, lounge pants; pretty much anything but jeans.  Like a lot of other work/stay-at-home-mommies I live in lounge pants. I like to be comfy when I'm home cleaning, cooking, chasing kiddos, and doing other mom things.  So, in the spirit of super comfy and cute pants, I bring you the GreenStyle Creations Brassie Joggers.

This pattern has been out for a while and I've always admired it from afar, but with spring coming, I bought the pattern and whipped these bad boys up.  I needed some capris (you can make these in shorts, capri, and ankle length), and this is one of my favorite fabrics of all time.  The fabric I chose is a poly/rayon/lycra jersey (say that 5 times fast) with an amazing drape and a beautiful hand.  It's so soft and washes up perfectly.  I throw everything I make into the washer and dryer so I need my fabrics to be high quality.  I never hang dry or do any of that nonsense.  Ain't nobody got time fo dat.


You can find the fabric I used here, at Cali Fabrics.  While you're browsing, I'd also recommend these other fabrics for the Brassie Joggers too.  That black on green will totally match my running shoes and I'm digging all the modern florals that are really on trend right now.

L to R: Black on Green, Tonal Black Stripe,Colorful Feathers, Pink & Aqua Floral

I did the joggers in an XS based on my measurements and I did not have to adjust even one thing.  I just went with it as drafted and they fit perfectly.  The waistband is elastic and a drawstring so they are really comfortable and secure on the waist.  


My favorite part about these are the pockets!  The construction was super simple and I even got to whip out my coverstitch machine to give these an awesome detail.  You can, of course, make these without a coverstitch if you don't have one, I just like to kick things up a notch sometimes. :)


It's always nice to be rockin' a cute new pair of capris even when you're just at home cleaning in your mismatch socks.



Here are all the details:


Pattern

Brassie Joggers

Pattern Designer

GreenStyle Creations

Sizes Included

XXS - 3XL

Skill Level

Beginner

# of Pattern Pages

20

Attributes

YES

NO

A4 Printing

"

Fabric Requirements

"

 

Finished Measurements

 

"

Finishing Options

"

 

Labeled Pattern Pieces

"

 

Length Options

"

 

Line Drawings

"

 

Materials List

"

 

Nested Pattern Pieces

"

 

No Trim Pages

"

 

Pictures of Finished Garments

 

"

Print by Size (Layers)

 

"

Printing Guide

"

 

Rise Options

"

 

Size Chart

"

 

Suggested Fabrics

"

 

Table of Contents

"

 

Tips and Tricks

"

 

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tutorial: Displaying Kids Artwork



Source


Kids create a lot of paper.  Whether you homeschool, your kids go to public school, or your kids are not school-aged yet, they still make a lot of paper.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore all the art my own kiddos make, but I cannot stand the world of clutter.  I feel superbly guilty each time I sneak something into the trash when they're not looking.  Yeah,  I'll admit it, I totally do that.  I want to celebrate my kids' desires to create, and I love watching their drawing get better and more complicated the older they get, but I needed a better solution.  And here's what I came up with.


To do this, you'll need:

  • 3 framed cork boards (I found mine at Hobby Lobby)
  • paint
  • a computer
  • pushpins
  • scissors
  • sharpie
First, I grabbed my boards and realized that those wood frames weren't going to match the colors in my house so I painted the frames black.



Whenever I'm painting or I have the kids doing a messy project, I just lay down a trash bag on the table.  It keeps the table clean and I can still use the trash bag later. 



I knew I wanted to add a letter to each board so they were personalized to my kiddos.  I went to the computer and printed a letter n cardstock in a font I liked.  My letters are about 5 inches tall.  (It's very easy to measure the height of letters if you're using PowerPoint).  Then, I cut out all the black part of the letters leaving me with a stencil to use.  Make sure you keep the little black parts that are separate if you're doing a letter like R, you'll need it.


I put my stencil on my cork board where I wanted it and used a pencil to traced the outline of the letter.  Then I used some paint to paint the letters.  I needed two coats to cover the cork board completely.


Once the letters dried, I used a sharpie to outline them to give them a crisp finish.

I was going to stop here but I wanted to add something more so I made these little pennant pieces in PowerPoint.  I printed them on cardstock, glued them around a piece of white embroidery floss, and then wrapped the ends around two push pins at the top of the boards to make a little bunting at the top.


Here's a close up of the graphic I used for the bunting.


You can find the document for my bunting printable here for free!  Just cut on the black lines, fold, and glue.



The fun thing about these is that they change daily.  We're always adding and taking stuff down and the kids LOVE seeing their hard work on display.  Poor Gunner doesn't have a lot up there yet, but he's getting better at having an attention span for coloring ;).


Conquering the paper clutter, one cork board at a time!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pattern Review: The Katie Dress and Peplum



Source
Ah, Kate Middleton.  She's gorgeous, she's a real life Princess, and she has impeccable style.  She's far more polished and chic than this stay at home mommy could ever be, but now I can pretend!

Angelyn at GreenStyle Creations has done it again.  She's come out with a totally innovative and figure flattering pattern that'll make you feel like you've stepped your wardrobe up a notch.  I was invited to test The Katie Dress and Peplum pattern and I'm so excited I was included in the process!


I made three of these in testing and I can't wait to make more spring versions to round out my wardrobe!  This one was a Michael Miller cotton/lycra (4 way stretch).  I did size XS and the 3/4 sleeves.  (For reference I'm 5'8'' and 115 pounds).


The side ruching in this pattern is so great.  It easily flatters your shape (no matter what shape that may be), and a peplum looks amazing on anyone.  I love this pattern in a stripe, and how the stripes are gathered at an angle.



Throw your (unwashed) hair up in a top knot, add some skinny jeans and wedges for a cute spring look for day or night!


Because I couldn't just make the top and that's it, I also made the Katie Dress.  Here's I did View A (A line skirt).  I made this one out of a gray jersey sheet from Target.  I chose to leave mine with a long hem for a cute church dress, but you could also shorten it up for a more spring look.


The solid color really shows of the ruching well, and I even decided to put it on the other side this time.  (Depending on how you cut your pieces, you can put the gathering on the left or the right side).


The neck is done using knit interfacing which helps it lay perfectly flat and gives it a really professional finish.  It's especially easy if your dad sent you a Coverstitch machine for Christmas ;)


For my third shirt, I chose the peplum with the short sleeve option.  I did this one in a lightweight lace/floral print and I adore it with my white capris.  Now, I just need spring to actually show up so I can wear it!

As always, I really enjoyed working with Angelyn on this test.  She really really listens to the testers and makes adjustments based on our feedback.  She adds things to the pattern to make it easier for the sewist and her final products are such a high quality.  She even has amazing customer service and is easily accessible if you need anything at all.  Join her group on Facebook to stay up to date on everything GreenStyle.

You can get the pattern on the Greenstyle website or Etsy for only $7 for the rest of the day (it'll go up to $9 after today so act quickly!)

And, here's a handy dandy chart with all the details:
Pattern
The Katie Dress & Peplum
Pattern Designer
GreenStyle Creations
Sizes Included
XXS – 3XL
Skill Level
Beginner
Number of Pattern Pages
28
Attributes
YES
NO
A4 Printing
"
Fabric Requirements
"
Finished Measurements
"
Finishing Options
"
Labeled Pattern Pieces
"
Line Drawings
"
Materials List
"
Nested Pattern Pieces
"
No Trim Pages
"
Options for Custom Fit
"
Print by Size (layers)
"
Printing Guide
"
Size Chart
"
Sleeve Length Options
"
Suggested Fabrics
"
Table of Contents
"
Tips and Tricks
"

Friday, January 30, 2015

Patterns for Pirates: Straight Palazzo Pants

It's no secret that I test patterns for a bunch of different pattern designers and Patterns for Pirates is one of my favorites.  Judy, the brains of the operation, is really fun to work with and really works hard to get everything just right before releasing a pattern.

This time, I was asked to test her Straight Palazzo Pants.

Sugarplum Cuties: Patterns for Pirates Palazzo Pants


I chose a foil printed leopard print that was on sale for this project.  They're fleece lined on the inside so I knew the comfort and warmth factors would be working in my favor.

Sugarplum Cuties: Patterns for Pirates Palazzo Pants

The pattern is great! You can dress the pants up or down depending on the look you're going for, and you can wear them high waisted with a shirt tucked in for a more high fashion look as well.  As always, Judy's patterns are easy to assemble, and the pictures and tutorial are very clear.  This is a super quick sew that'll leave you with a cute statement piece in your wardrobe.  Highly recommend!

It was about -7 the day we took these pictures and I was FREEZING!  So I'll leave you with a little outtake.

Sugarplum Cuties: Patterns for Pirates Palazzo Pants

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Christmas Recap

I've been meaning to write this post for 2 years.  Better late than never!

Every year for the Christmas Eve festivities in our Indiana family, I make each tiny kiddo a pair of Christmas pajamas and some other kind of handmade goodie.  Last year (2013) I did jammies and a new pillowcase for all the kids.


It's literally impossible to take a good picture of 5 children ages 6 and younger.  Poor Gunner doesn't know what to do!


Then, complete chaos ensues and the bed jumping begins!  At least here you can see a full pajama shot.  For the boys and girls I used the Peek-a-Boo Patterns Alex and Anna Winter PJs and just altered the placement of the fabrics.  The baby's jammies were an Alex and Anna top with Terra's Treasures Monkey Leggings for his big cloth diapered bum.


For the pillowcases, I used t-shirt panels and knit fabrics and just make them to standard pillowcase size.  No pattern necessary.  :)  My kids still use their pillowcases every night!

This year, there were a few changes on of them being a new kiddo to sew for, making the total 6 pairs of jammies!



Pictured here is 5/6 kids.  (The littlest one was napping during the pictures).  The boys are Alex and Anna Winter PJs again this year and for the girls I used the Alex and Anna top and paired it with LilyGiggle Petunia Petal Pants.  Stripes/solids for boys and dots/snowflakes for girls this year.  Super cute.


The other handmade gift they got were capes and masks!  I used the EYMM My Little Superhero Set for the capes and masks.  (Sometimes, it's far easier to buy a pattern than it is to draft one of your own).  The girls got pink ones and the boys got superhero ones (even the babies).  They all have the first letter of their first name appliqued on the back!  My sweet sweet SIL bought all the fabric for the capes on Black Friday, and she helped me cut some of the kids' jammies out too!  She's the best in the west.


This was the only picture I could find of the back of their capes.  I took this one with my phone while I was making it.  They came out super cute.

I think that about sums up the Homemade Christmas Recap of 2013 and 2014.  I'll try and be more prompt in 2015.  :)

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