Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Twig + Tale Evergreen Bonnet

The weather has been so moody lately here in the midwest. It has been going back and forth from hot and cold all month. I have been wishing that is would just stay cold once and for all. I grew-up in New England where there was almost always snow on the ground by this time of the year and I just can't let go of the notion that is has to be cold for me to really feel like it's the holiday season. This bonnet makes me want the cold even more.

I have really admired everything I have seen released from Twig + Tale and I was really excited to be chosen to test The Evergreen Bonnet. I made two bonnets during testing, one for my littlest guy and one for my little girl. I'll share one of my fit pics of my first version too because he is just the cutest baby deer! We went through several versions during testing while the designer tweaked the pattern to perfection. I really appreciate how much work she put into this to make sure it fit just right. I am even more excited to try more of her lovely patterns knowing that she holds her work to such high standards.

So lets talk about the pattern! There are so many options. The pattern will work year round as it can be made in a range of fabrics. You can make a sun bonnet or something to keep your little one warm and cozy. It can be made for both boys and girls of course, sizes newborn to teen. It includes options for creating a Fox, Bear, Bunny, Panda, Kitty, Mouse, or Puppy bonnet. You can add a peak. You can design your own ties. You can leave the ties off all together. You and make a bonnet with a chin strap or a self-tie version. The combinations and possibilities are endless. 

For my first bonnet, I tried out the following options; chin strap with no peak and I used the Kitty ears to create my Deer ears. I used some faux suede scraps for the outer part of the bonnet and I cut up a tan t-tshirt to make my spots. I lined it with this really cute gauze with woodland animals on it, for the lining. Remember this is not the final version of the pattern and the final version may look a little different. So yeah he looks so cute in it, but he apparently hates hats. I had to give him a little treat to distract him for a few photos.

I upcycled my daughter's winter coat from a couple of years ago for my final bonnet. She wore it when she was 2 and she adored it! I have so many sweet memories of her wearing it, hence the reason it was still tucked away until now. I used a vintage pillowcase to make the lining.  This time I made a no tie version, but I mistakenly used a pattern piece from the chin strap version, but I like how it looks. I added a little hand embroidered dandelion, using the T + T Wildflower embroidery collection. I added my daughter's name next to that. She loves that it has her name on it. She excitedly said, "L-I-L-L-Y that's how you spell my name!" and it instantly became her most favorite thing ever. I also added some soft fluffy lace trim with little pearls in it around the front of the bonnet. So pretty! 

The pattern is on sale now for $5.00! Be sure to join the Twig + Tale Facebook group and check out all of the gorgeous versions from the other creative testers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Petite Stitchery & Co.:Maize Dress

I am so happy to share the dress I made with the new Maize pattern from Petite Stitchery & Co.! It is part of the Fall Collection releasing today from the brand new pattern company. Petite Stitchery & Co. is comprised of three fabulous and talented pattern designers. Laura Scaramella, Gemia Carroll, and Ashley Herrman have come together in an effort to offer us pdf pattern lovers, something a little unique. There will be a new collection released for each season that will be made up of patterns that work well together and can be mixed and matched. There will also be fun mini collection releases as well. So this excites me. A lot! Many of the patterns have different options and variations available. This is great because you can make so many different outfits using the patterns from a particular collection and really get more bang for your buck. If you have more than one little girl, I love the idea of using different variations of the patterns to suit each one while still keeping a similar style. They can coordinate without matching exactly. So fun!

The patterns include the layers feature that allows you to print only the size you need which is my favorite feature ever. The pattern pieces are nested which brings down the number of pages you have to print which just so happens to be the other thing that I get excited about when looking to buy a new pattern. The instructions in the tutorials are clear, simple, and easy to follow. 

So, lets talk about the pattern I tested! Maize can be made as a dress or tunic with several sleeve options, and two hem options. It features a keyhole button closure, gathered sleeves with bands and optional inseam pockets. I tested the dress length with the curved hem and long sleeves. The curved hem slopes up at the sides and I really love that unique feature. I had to make the pockets so that Lilly had somewhere to store the rocks and beautiful fall leaves she loves to collect. There were suggestions and instructions to add trim and details included in the pattern too. I feel like when I first started sewing, I concentrated so hard on learning new techniques that I forgot about adding in those fun details so I think this is a great feature! 

I have had this fabric in my stash for quite a while because I couldn't figure out what I wanted to make with it. The pattern just felt so boho so, I added the brown suede trim at the waist line and the crochet trim in that geo design was the perfect touch on the bodice and hem. I even used suede for the cuffs. I was a little unsure of myself when I first came up with this combo, but it worked out really well. The perfect fall dress! 

The full Fall Collection from Petite Stitchery & Co. is available now!  You are going to love them all and they will make a great addition to your pattern collection. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thread Faction: #114 Grow with Me Slim Trousers

Today I'm sharing my version of Thread Faction's #114 Grow with Me Slim Trousers with you all! As I have mentioned before, I have minimal experience sewing knits, but I have been pushing myself to keep working with them until I am more comfortable. I was excited to be able to test something in my littlest guy's size, but I have to admit that getting my tester pictures has become significantly for difficult now that he is so mobile. He just wanted to eat leaves and run around!

So, lets talk about the pattern! It comes in three sizes and as the name implies, each of the sizing options is designed to fit a range of sizes and grow with your little one. Size 1 fits Newborn to 9 months, Size 2 fits 9 months to 3 years, and Size 3 fits 3 to 6 years. Riley is 16 months old and wears 18 months in ready to wear so we tested size 2. Those of you that haven't seen a grow with me style pattern might be wondering how they could fit for so long. Well, let me explain how this genius feature works! There is a long yoga style waistband and bands at the ankle that can be folded for the kiddos on the smaller and of the range and gradually unfolded as they grow.

My guy seemed to be comfy in his new pants and he was able to climb, play, and run away from me with ease! I am a little scared to order any fun knit prints because I have a major fabric addiction as it is and well I need to be able to pay the electric bill. I actually bought a couple of knit camis from Walmart for $1.68 each to make these, so for $3.36  I have an adorable pair of pants that should fit my baby until he's not a baby anymore! They were SO easy and so fast to make. I am anxious to make some more and I think i'm feeling confident enough to try the #113 Grow with Me Skirt for my little girl!

You can get the #114 Grow with Me Slim Trouser pattern for $6 right now! Be sure to pick it up while it's on sale this week!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

JillyAtlanta: The Hastings Vest

It's officially fall here in the U.S, and we are quickly approaching the holiday season. I have such fond memories of how lovely my family would look all dressed up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I  always loved picking out a pretty dress to wear to the kids table for some pumpkin soup and turkey served up on my Grandmother's yellow dishes. She had lovely golden silverware that she only brought out for special occasions and I remember thinking it was wonderful! After dinner, the kids would be assigned jobs to help clean-up. I remember hating that part, but what I wouldn't give to be in that kitchen washing the dishes with my cousins again. When the cleaning was done, everyone would go outside in their Sunday best, for a game of football. Now that I have my own children, it's so important to me for them to have special holiday memories.

It's easy to find a nice pattern for Lilly, but it's a little more difficult for my boys. When I saw The Hastings Vest by JillyAtlanta, I knew it would be perfect for making those holiday memories! The pattern ranges from size 2 all the way to 16. It can be made with a V or Round neckline and looks great in a variety of fabrics. It has that vintage charm that I love about JillyAtlanta patterns. Those buttons down the side make it really special. The vest can easily be made reversible. How cool would it be to make one side to wear for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas?

In keeping with the theme of family, I made one for my cousin too. Isn't he handsome in it? I think it looks great on both the little guys and the older boys and would be just perfect to coordinate sibling's outfits. I'm really hoping my baby boy will be big enough to fit The Hastings for Christmas.

The pattern is set to release tonight at 6 pm! You better set a reminder on your phone because there will be a fun sale! The Hastings will be just $1 for the first minute, $3 for 3 hours, and $7 for 7 days after that! I will add the pattern link as soon as it is available.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sew September with Finch Fabrics

Happy National Sewing Month, Sew Sisters(and brothers too)! I've been busy sewing up some pretty fun stuff for my Lilly-girl using patterns by some great designers and gorgeous fabrics from LA Finch Fabrics! I have been wanting to create a mini capsule wardrobe for my little for a while so I chose a few staple pieces to make and added in some store bought items that were already in her closet and really expanded her wardrobe.

We live in the midwest and it's still pretty hot here. I decided to make things that would work now and with layering, transition into fall.

First-up are the Evie Shorts by Made for Mermaids. This is one of my absolute favorite patterns. I made a denim pair this past spring and she has worn them so much! This time, I made them in a faux leather snakeskin in mamba brown from LA Finch Fabrics. *okay pause because we need to talk about this fabric for a sec.* Um this fabric is so amazingly soft. When I got it in the mail I couldn't stop touching it and I proceeded to probably annoy my husband by making him touch it while I raved about it. Ha Ha! It is backed with apparel suede, hence the softness. I was a bit nervous that it might be hard to work with, but it wasn't too difficult. Just a little slippery. As long as you pin (or in my case wonderclip) well it stays put. For pressing, I turned my iron down and used a pressing cloth and it worked out well. The texture and the sheen just make everything you make with it look so luxurious. Anyway, there is also a pant version included in the Evie pattern as well as optional suspenders!

I paired the shorts with a sleeveless peplum top that I made using the Ayda pattern by The Simple Life Pattern company. I guess i'm a creature of habit, because this is another pattern I've used a few times, but I just love Ayda and I am totally crazy about circle skirts. I used a gorgeous pink coral lace, also from LA Finch Fabrics, for this top. The floral print of the lace is so pretty and I think that coral can be a perfect transitional color from summer to fall.

I also paired the Ayda top with a pair of jeans and I made The Phresh Blazer by Winter Wear Designs to top it all off. I have been dreaming of making this blazer all summer and I am so thrilled about the result. I made myself wait until it was closer to fall so that she didn't outgrow it too fast. It looks so good in that faux leather! This was my first time using a WWD pattern and it won't be the last. There are some other sleeve options available, so I think I will need to try those out as well. There is a sew-a-long starting up on the 16th for the women's version of this pattern, maybe I should go for a Mommy & Me look here! Anyway how pretty are those ruffles? She looks like such a little fashionista!

Oh, and I also paired the shorts with a simple denim pearl-snap button down...

...and also added a faux fur vest! I think this get-up will be really cute with cable knit tights and lace-up boots too....

I was so in love with the faux leather, that I went a little crazy and sewed all the things! I have another item made-up that I can't wait to share with you all when the pattern is out of testing. I even have plans for the scraps. moccs for my little guy...pockets and little accents on everything. Indeed.

Yay! So, now Lilly has the perfect mini capsule wardrobe. I've been thinking of lots of other combinations and other simple things to add-in to make it stretch even a little further. Hopefully, I've helped to fuel your sew- jo!

Where to buy:

LA Finch is having a ONE year anniversary sale so you get lots of goodies for a great price!

M4M Evie Shorts- www.madeformermaids,com/evie/?affiliates=12743
SLPco Ayda Top-
WWD Phresh Blazer-

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Patterns for Pirates:Tiny Timeless

I recently tested the new Tiny Timeless pattern by Patterns for Pirates. Yay! It is a super cute pattern for wovens and it is full of options. Guess what? I used more of my Magic stash and I really couldn't be happier with how this little tunic turned out.
I made this version with the curved hem in tunic length with short sleeves. It can also be made as a top or dress, sleeveless, or with 3/4 length or long sleeves. It's still going to be warm here for a bit, so I though the short sleeves would be a good choice. We can always add a cardi or jean jacket when it finally does cool down.
The back has a sweet and simple button loop closure. I used a big wooden button, well because I love them! Lilly says her new top is comfy and loves the mermaids, narwhals, and shimmery gold stars. She has already worn it to school and much to my surprise, she didn't get paint or spaghetti on it!
Tiny Timeless can be made from size 3 months up to 14.  You can also get the grown-up version, The Timeless Tunic and make something for yourself ! There is special bundle pricing if you buy both patterns too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

JL Patterns: Meraki Dress

I was thrilled at the chance to be able to test JLPatterns' debut pattern; The Meraki Dress. This designer really poured her heart into this design and the end result is just beautiful. The name of the pattern says it all. I can really relate to that feeling of passion and putting everything you've got into a piece of creative work.

I love the unique design elements in the Meraki! The sweet empire waist and the ruffles on the bodice are just so pretty. The real star of the show is that back. It is definitely my favorite part. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it, I like how the top of the front bodice curves and wraps around the back of the neck. This pattern would be perfect for special occasion dresses and I love the idea of customizing it to fit my daughter's birthday theme! 

I was really happy that I was able to get such a perfect fit the first time I made a dress with this pattern. Especially, because I used some of my favorite fabric to make it. Just in case you have been living under a rock, the skirt fabric is from the new Magic collection by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. I am crazy for everything she puts out, but this fabric is just amazing. I can't wait to get my hands on some more. Lilly will just have an entire wardrobe all made in Magic.
The pattern is set to release at the end of the week, so be sure to join the facebook group so that you can get it when it becomes available. I am so excited to see what the future holds for JLPatterns. If this is her first pattern, I can only imagine what she will come up with next!

Thanks for reading,