Jul 092012
 

You should know that I feel guilty about not sewing more often for my boys – so when I see a pattern that they would actually like (and that I actually want to make), I grab it up!  The Long Board shorts pattern from Make It Perfect was no exception.  These looked like comfortable shorts that even my 10 year old would wear!!!

 

So I grabbed the pattern as soon as I could.  There are two sizes to the pattern – I opted for the “big” (6-10) since my boys fit in that age range.  They do have a “small” available as well for sizes 0-5!  The pattern hung on my peg board, just waiting because I had to wait patiently for Lucy’s Crab Shack by Sweetwater to be released.  Taylor wanted “Hawaiian” shorts and their Aloha print would be exactly right for his long board shorts.

 

Once I had the fabric in hand, I got to work tracing the pattern onto freezer paper.  The pattern sheets are heavy white paper which makes tracing them SO much easier.  It only took about 30 minutes to get everything traced and ready to cut.  I found the pattern fabric requirements to be generous but I was happy to have some of this navy blue left over to go in my stash (which is heavy on aquas and light on darker blues.)  I opted to go up to a size 7 but keep the length of the short at a size 6.  The shorts are plenty long and the fit is generous enough that he’ll be able to wear them for a good amount of time.  (And since we can usually still wear shorts until about Thanksgiving, that is a good thing.)

The hardest part in making these shorts was finding ribbed knit for the waistband.  I have plenty of regular interlock on hand, and because you add elastic to the waistband, I considered using it instead….but I just really wanted that ribbed look at the waist (even if it’s covered by a shirt!)  I considered hacking apart a very large waistband from a thrift store or Walmart but decided to drive down to Joann’s first….and they had ribbed knit.  I bought 1/3 yard – which is actually enough for 4 waistband for my boys.

Anyway, back to the making of the shorts.  The pattern was really easy to follow and well written.  All the pieces worked together just like they are supposed to and there was no guessing as to what to do next.  The shorts also went together very quickly – I’d say about an hour the first time and even faster the second – which makes me much more likely to make them again.  My favorite detail is the angled pockets on the front.  Although I think the knee patches are fun also (and practical because my boys do wear their knees out first!)  I was pleased when I finish.  Even my husband said they are good shorts.

Long Board Shorts

The real test would be if Taylor liked them….and he more than likes them, he LOVES them.  He wore them 4 days straight before I made him pick something else to wear so I could wash them!  And best of all, when my ten year old boy saw them, he liked them and requested a pair of his own…only without Hawaiian fabric.  :-)

The Long Board shorts from Make It Perfect gets my highest recommendation!  Haley has even requested a pair.  And I think made in girly fabric and cut just a couple inches shorter so it’s at the knee (with no knee patch) they will be perfect for her also!  I’m also thinking that next summer I can use them for swim shorts (if I can find the right fabric!)  Anyway I hope to get a few more made before school starts. How do you think they’d be in grey corduroy for school?

 

-Melanie

Sep 062011
 

So you know of my love for little vicki?  As soon as Haley tried it on, I knew we had to make another – but this time as a shirt.

Which I really really really love.  Maybe even more than the dress.  Not because the dress is any less wonderful, but because my little girl has so many dresses and skirts.  I need to add more shirts to her wardrobe.  And it’s so dang cute!!!

Haley picked out the fabric for this shirt.  It’s from Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom Collection.  She must get her exceptional taste in fabric from her mother.  ;-)  ;-)  I adore this collection!  The shirt is the paisley print and the collar, hem band, and covered buttons are the ribbon lattice print.  I love the combination in the citrine colorway too but my little girl chose pink and purple…naturally.

Translating this dress into a top was not hard.

  • First, I found a shirt of Haley’s that fit and measured how long it was.  (from shoulder seam to hem)
  • Second, I measured on the pattern from the shoulder seam down and saw that her “shirt” measurement was closest to the size 2 length.
  • Third, I used the pattern I had from making the dress, adding the new cut line for a size 2 length. I folded along this line and cut out the pattern a normal.
  • I also changed the depth of the hemband to match the size 2 pattern so it would be proportional to the length of the shirt, but did not change the length because I was still making a size 6 shirt! (I actually just cut 2 strips 7 inches x the width of the fabric and sewed them together so I knew they’d be plenty long)
  • The last change that I made when sewing this pattern as a shirt was that I did not close the middle back until after I had the hemband attached.  That was because I didn’t measure ahead of time to know the length I needed for the hemband, so this allowed me to cut any excess off before putting the seam in.

And I think that it turned out soooooo cute!

So that is my Little Vicki Remix! :D  Don’t you love it?!?!?  Now I know that this top is still plenty big on her -and I could have traced the pattern and made her a smaller size – but I didn’t because #1: I already had the size 6 pattern ready to go.  #2: Going into cooler weather (hahahahahaha not so much here yet) I figured she could easily layer the shirt and it’ll definitely last her through winter.  And #3: Did I mention I didn’t want to retrace the pattern?  No regrets here.  I think it’s just perfect!

Pattern:  Little Vicki by Izzy & Ivy Designs

Fabric: Heirloom by Joel Dewberry

(Kits are available!)

Aug 292011
 

Trying to gather my thoughts here and make it more than just a bunch of rambling!  Okay, so back at quilt market, I saw this pattern at the Izzy & Ivy booth.

Super super cute dress, right?  And I saw this fabric over at the Adornit booth and I knew the two were a perfect match!  I mean how adorable are these florals? Super super fun for kids clothing! (It’s a the phone pic, but you still get the idea!)

So when Long Live Vintage arrived, I got to work! And I LOVE the dress!  Super super love it!

Haley was at school when I started this and so I didn’t measure her.  Since she is 7 years old, I made her a size 6.  The dress is plenty big and will easily be worn with a long sleeved shirt under it for winter and beyond that.  After measuring her, she fits more into the size 4 range for this pattern.  BUT I’d much rather have room to grow than be too small. :-)  The pattern goes up to a size 6…but obviously worked for my 7 year old.  Now I tell you this so if you have an older child, you know that you may be able to make this for her as well.  Remember that sewing pattern size ranges are NOT the same as store bought clothing. Look at the measurements! (And maybe I should write Haley’s down for the next time I sew while she isn’t here!)

As far as sewing the dress, I have to admit that I did freak out at one point.  You sew the lining and dress together around the arm holes, neckline and back opening. (making super nice finished edges!)  I sat there and looked at it thinking, there is no way I will be able to get this right side out.  BUT you really can! (Thanks, Jana, for calming me down!)  You just reach up through the opening (between layers) and pull the back through – and wa la – it works. :-)  I have moments like that occasionally.

The collar was super easy and fun but is also optional.  And I just love the covered buttons! (Has one on the back also)  Inspired by this version, I added a striped trim in between the hem band and the dress.  I love the accents she added! (Not part of pattern, just extras.)  I didn’t have any cording on hand which was good for me because I did not feel like messing with piping for the collar, although it’s super super cute.

And so without hesitation, I absolutely recommend this pattern. :-)  I love it so much, I even made a kit for it (with multiple fabric options of course!)

Pattern: Little Vicki by Izzy & Ivy Designs

Fabric: Long Live Vintage by Adornit

Kit available here! :D

Later this week, I’ll share a little more about this pattern and what else I did. LOVE it too!

May 092011
 

As I said, I made up the Kyoko top.  And Oh My Gosh.  I LOVE it!  It’s SUPER SUPER SUPER comfy.


I used some Knit from Michael Miller – Ta Dot in Onyx.  From the time I put the fabric into the washing machine to the time I tried it on (and fell in love) was just at 4 hours.  That’s pretty quick when you consider that includes the washing and drying!  (which you MUST do with knit because it does shrink!)  I used my serger for all of it except putting in the elastic.  My next goal is to insert the elastic with the serger so I don’t have to switch machines at all!

I want to reassure you, however, that EVEN IF you don’t own a serger, YOU CAN MAKE THIS!  With knits or wovens!  Now that I have my pattern pieces traced out and ready to go, and have made it once so I’m familiar with the steps, I figure that the assembly of this top could be cut down to about an hour.  Which is good, because I plan on making one for every single day of the week. :-)  I’ll do some 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves for winter.  I’m going to test out the dress which i just think will be so crazy comfortable for summer….even though it means I’ll have to show my legs.  I usually wear jeans…even when it’s 102 outside.

Anyway, I highly recommend the pattern!!!  It can be made in either knit or woven – and I think it will be delightful with Voile.  When buying knit- be sure to buy 1/4 yd – 1/2 yd EXTRA to allow for shrinkage. I also added a little crochet flower to the shirt just for fun.

PS. Happy belated Mother’s Day to many of you!  I hope your day was extra wonderful!

Apr 282011
 

Today Rachelle joins us for a review of the Mackenzie Skirt from Noodles & Milk.  I think this a great pattern for everyone!  Not too fussy for beginners and fast for more experienced sewists.  I know that my daughter would also wear a skirt daily….or actually 3 or 4 per day ;-)  & this way I can make up several with 1/2 yard cuts.  Fast! Fun! Fabulous!  Let’s see what Rachelle has to say!

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I was so excited about this pattern out because my little girls LOVES skirts and these are very easy to make!  (Even a beginner CAN make these!) She would wear a skirt every where if she could. We have had to say no a couple times, like when we are going on a hike or to gymnastics, but otherwise a skirt and a Tshirt is her uniform.

When I am sewing I like to mass produce things. I either make one for now and one for later or one for us and one for a friend. It just makes sense to get a few done while you are going through each step- so I decided to do a skirt for this year and a skirt for next year.

I used Limeade Chain flower with Pumpkin Paper Snowflake for one skirt and  Blush Peony Plaid with Geranium Ta Dot for next year’s skirt!

I snapped this picture right after I had cut my fabric out with plans to take pictures through out the process, but I had my sewing groove going on and before I knew it I was sewing the elastic band closed. But the pattern has great photos in it so there is no need for mine any way! I’d say it took about 45 minutes for me to get these 2 done. Quick and easy!

How is the Mackenzie Mini skirt different from any other skirt tutorial?

1. The skirt is very full and looks absolutely adorable (especially with boots. ;-) )

1. The instructions are very clear, and it has clarifying directions for beginners. It teaches you as you go why each step is there and some tricks and tips that a beginner might not know. The pattern’s “Beginner Tips” eloquently explain things.
2. You don’t have to worry about a cutting out a paper pattern. The only pieces you need are rectangles and so it just tell you the dimensions with a diagram. All you need is your fabric and measure + rotary cutter.
3. I really like the look of the top stitching along the waistband where the ruffle attaches. It makes for such a cute and finished look!

I love that it is in an ebook format because I could just have it on my iPhone right next to me open in the Books app (free) Then I didn’t have to print any thing or run back and forth from the computer.

**Changes I made**

In gathering the skirt- the pattern calls for you to baste around the entire top of the skirt and then put a pin on the each half so you can gather evenly. This is a good beginner method- but my personal preference is to baste halfway around, and then baste the other half- It just makes it more manageable when there is so much fabric to be gathered. Just a personal preference.

One other change was that I used a rolled hem on the bottom, because I heart my serger and I love how the rolled hem looks.

Here is my finished products!! Aren’t they adorable!

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Thank you, Rachelle!  I love the skirts!  And your daughter is just too cute – love the boots too!

Noodles & Milk patterns are on sale for a few more days! (aka the rest of April)

Find them all here!

Apr 262011
 
Jacqui made up the Annabeth Skirt for her little girl!   She wrote up a fun review with some cute pictures below. :-)
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If any of you are familiar with me via my blog or twitter – @jmmaxman or facebook –(well, ya gotta know me to know ‘real’ name and know me on Facebook!) then you know that I have a wee little monster that just turned two. Let me tell you, kids, TIME FLIES!
I seriously remember sitting in the hospital wishing everyone
would leave so I could snuggle my baby –
She was so tiny!
Now that she is TWO (still shocked to read that!) she loves to wear skirts with pants. HER idea. She is WAYY to smart for her own good.
In Mel’s store AboveAllFabric patterns from Noodles & Milk have been on sale during the month of April.  (SEEE?!??? I LUCKED OUT!) I chose the Annabeth skirt for the wee little monster.
I actually made two versions, but we will get to that in a bit!
The very first thing I did was read the pattern thoroughly – or so I thought. I read through it, then page by page, I followed the instructions. When I got to the VERY last part – attaching the bottom ruffle – I was stumped. How did SO much ruffle go on such a little skirt!?!?? So, I did some scrambling and re-reading.
I goofed.
Instead of cutting two main skirt panels, I only cut one.
I panicked.
Then I breathed.
Then I finished attaching the ruffle.
That next morning I tried it on the wee little monster
IT FIT! WOOHOO!
And she wouldn’t take it off.
CRAZY KID!
So the real test came on Sunday when we went to the zoo -
Would it hold up to the monster running and playing with her Aunties and Cousins at the zoo?
Lets just say that it was a HIT!
We had people stopping us to ask where I bought it -
you shoulda seen the looks on their faces when I said I made it… PRICELESS!
Would I make it again?
YES!
I actually did make two.
{Unfortunately I’m a bad mommy and forgot to grab the
camera before leaving the house to take pictures at the event}
Would I recommend for others?
YES.
The directions were well written,
Clear and Concise
The photos were INCREDIBLY helpful.
The ONLY issue I had
(well besides reading the cutting instructions incorrectly…)
was with the ruffle – it was ALOT of pressing without having a serger.
Can a beginner make this skirt?
HECK YES!
It is a super cute design that made me feel like a million bucks when I finished it!
The pattern allows for multiple sizes and it is the perfect length for wearing
with a shirt solo or with a pair of pants underneath.
We will be making more as the wee little monster grows!
Thank you again to Melanie for letting me play!!
xo,
Jacqueline
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Thank you, Jacqui!
For her Annabeth skirt, she used the Persimmon Splashy Rose Corduroy and the wonderful Tangerine Ta Dot for the waist and ruffle.
All Noodles & Milk patterns are on sale the rest of the month! :-)  And another pattern review tomorrow!

Apr 252011
 

I have been thinking about making a press page.  But I have to tell you, it’s hard for me to do. It’s the “look at me” bit that makes me uncomfortable.  But, I think the time has come for me to get over my fear and start sharing some of these accomplishments.  So I figure a press page is kinda like the artwork or spelling test that makes it on the refrigerator.

I’ve been asked to speak at a few local groups, as well as the recent handmade blogging conference, Creative Estates.  I’ve taught a couple workshops and have  also contributed to the ezine put out by the LizzieB Creative team.  And most recently, I  was asked to help judge a contest for Fat Quarterly.  In order to add to my credibility, these things should have a place on my website. Right?

Do you have a press page for your business?  I’ll let you know when I get mine up and running!  And I’ll try to make time to blog about the above items as well!  SO much to tell you about – so little time!