Sep 022010
 

Can we all agree to pretend like I never said anything about Basics week?  Okay!  Good then!  Moving forward (I will get to it, but it’s Thursday, so clearly it’s not going to happen this week!)  Rachelle sent over a review of the Lil Leggings pattern from Lil Blue Boo.  I was so happy Ashley agreed to let me carry her patterns in my shop!

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My little girl LOVES skirts, which is good for me, because I love making her cute skirts out of fabulous fabrics.  But when fall rolls around, she wants to keep wearing her skirts and its a daily battle to get her to wear anything else.

Enter “Stretchy pants”.  It always reminds me of “ Chancho. When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It’s for fun. “– Nacho Libre

She loves her stretchy pants. This year I couldn’t help but order some delicious knits  to make her some pairs. Melanie suggested the Lil Leggings pattern by Lil Blue Boo.

I ordered 1/2 yard of 3 different fabrics.

I really prefer working with ePatterns because its such instant gratification to get your pattern so quickly.  Also having it saved on the computer is a bonus. I printed my pattern and pieced it together with ease.  Just lining up the dots and taping.

Then I used the freezer paper method to trace the patterns. Since I am doing 2 different sizes- I just had to trace it twice rather than printing it out twice.  Also next fall when I want to make the next size up( and the next and the next… all the way up to 8 years!)- I don’t have to re-print and tape it all together.

Out of the half yards I was able to make 2 pairs of pants per print.  One for my daughter (3-4T) and one for my niece (24mo-2T).  The 1/2 yard was just the right height for 3T-4T.  Any longer and you’d have to get a larger cut of fabric to keep the pattern in the correct place.

The directions were very well written and I was even able to open the .pdf in the Books App on my iphone, which was very handy while I was working at my sewing machine to be able to flip through the instructions.

I used my serger for all the inside seams and to finish the edges. Then a zig zag on the bottom hem. The pieces all fit together perfectly. Sewing with the knits was very nice.  I have heard it described as sewing through butter and I agree.  It seemed to melt as I worked with it.

Now in the pattern- she calls for a ribbed knit to be used for the waistband-which seems that it would be a very comfy feel.  Well I didn’t have ribknit on hand and I just couldn’t wait to make them- so I improvised.  I had some wide band elastic that I used for the white pants.

For the Pink Striped and Blue polka pairs- I ended up using the waistband guide (piece B) with my regular knit, and then reinforcing it with an elastic band on the inside.  This added some extra steps to the original pattern, but turned out just as cute.  If you go this route- you might have to adjust the height of piece B to accommodate the width of your elastic.

I loved all the variations and tried both the rutched pair and the ruffled bottom pair.  However, decide BEFORE you start the pants what variation you are going to use.  After the leg is sewn closed its tricky to get in there to add anything.  In the instructions for the variations- it does say to add any embellishments first.  I was just hasty in putting my pieces together and then decided after to add the ruffle and the rutching.

Also, another tip.  If you are going to add the ruffle at the bottom, make sure to accommodate in the length of the leg.  Ours ended up being more of pants with the added length of the ruffle- which is just fine for winter.  But they were just a bit longer than the others.

I tried the leggings on the little girl and she was thrilled with them.  She wanted to try doing a kart-wheel in them right away! She tried on all 3 pairs without any tantrums, which is HUGE for us.  She has been wearing the striped pair all day. I really recommend this pattern to any one who wants a good starter project with knits for some “Stretchy Pants” for particular girls.

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Thanks, Rachelle!  I can’t wait to try these out for Haley too!  And I’m dying to make the Sienna dress for her as well.

You can find all Lil Blue Boo pattern downloads here!

Aug 262010
 

A goal this past year has been to make more things for myself, and I’ve done a marvelous job, if I say so myself. :-)  Having been sick recently (I’m getting my daily calories via throat lozenges…the coughing is way down but it still hurts to swallow), I wanted to take time last weekend to sew something for myself.

What to make?  What to make?  Don’t you think deciding what to make is sometimes the hardest part?  This was kinda my process:

  • It’s too hot.
  • It’s so humid
  • It’s nearing fall
  • Fall doesn’t really exist in Tucson
  • I should make a summer shirt
  • *AHA* the Cabo Halter from Amy Butler
  • But I want to kinda look fall-ish…even if it’s summery
  • I love Origins by Basic Grey

So that is how I settled on the Cabo Halter in Aromatherapy (Brown Sugar).

I used the last pattern I had in stock (Pure genius when it comes to marketing…let me tell ya!)  But I do have the beautiful fabric in stock. ;-)  And for those of you that don’t live in an oven…you could make a real fall shirt!  Plus, I do think that if you had the right shirt underneath, this would look super cute layered.

Here’s a quick review of the pattern:

Yep, I would make this pattern again!

It was a quick one day project.  The bodice is fully lined which makes for such a great finished product.  I did top stitch the bodice, because it just gives it a more finished look plus it helps the garment maintain it’s shape after you wash it!  The zipper is the only part that may be a challenge – but fear not!  The instructions are clear and don’t leave you guessing!  Don’t let a zipper scare you off!

This top is a bit more revealing and lower cut than what I imagined, so I will definitely have to wear the cami underneath for peace of mind.  The nice thing about the design, however, is that it’s not restricting at all, so it’s perfect for quilting cotton…which isn’t always the case when it comes to women’s tops. :-)

Now here is a “I’m such a squinty dork” picture for you all to enjoy!

Have you added your photos to the flickr group?  I’ll see you tomorrow with August’s last Flickr Friday…and then we’ll vote next week for the $25 gift certificate winner!

Aug 122010
 

Sarah is back again, this time sewing for one of her adorable daughters!  I love the details on the shirt and skirt!

I’m excited to share the results of my first time using the Oliver + S Music Class pattern! I used Mo Bedell’s Party Dress line by Blue Hill Fabrics for this outfit! The shirt made with is Lady Dot in Soiree and the skirt with Rambler in Soiree. I really like that these prints coordinate without being the same main color, and they each look great on their own too! The shirt would look cute worn with jeans and the skirt is perfect topped with a t-shirt.

Liesl of Oliver + S has rated this pattern with 2 out of 4 scissors (advanced beginner), but says the skirt is really a 1 scissors pattern (beginner) and I agree! The pattern is well illustrated and every step is clearly described, so there is no reason to be intimidated! If you want to ease yourself into it, start with the skirt and then move on to a short sleeve shirt. The long sleeve shirt has the additional step of sleeve plackets, so if you sew the short sleeved version first you’ll already feel comfortable with the front placket, buttonholes, and collar.

I would absolutely recommend this pattern! The Oliver + S patterns give such a professional result in a surprisingly easy way. Read through the pattern before cutting and again before sewing. Some of the pattern pieces look way too big at first, but that is because they will be folded and stitched to eliminate additional pattern pieces and hide many seam allowances inside the garment. I trace all my pattern pieces on to freezer paper and then fold those along the marks to help visualize how it will come together.


One thing to remember when you sew any Oliver + S patterns– check the Oliver + S website to see if there are any corrections/errata for the pattern. Also, if you have any difficulties you can post a question in the specific forum for each pattern and hear back from others who have sewn the pattern or Liesl herself.

When sewing the Music Class pattern, pay extra attention to the direction you press the skirt pleats and shirt pintucks. I goofed up on each this time, but will be more careful next time! I will absolutely be sewing this pattern again! The shirt is a classic design with the sweet pintucks and the choice of either a Peter Pan or Mandarin collar. I absolutely love the skirt! It is so quick to sew but it is such a polished finish! My daughter really loves the skirts’ side pockets too. I can’t wait to try it in a slightly heavier fabric like a fine corduroy or woven wool blend.

Thank you so much, Sarah for sharing this review with us!  Haley is going to love this skirt too!  I want to make it with some of the new fabric from Valori Wells.  This pasiley print would be adorable!

School week hasn’t gone exactly as planned, but I think it’s still been fun. :-)   All corduroy, voile, velveteen are still on sale the rest of the week.  See you again tomorrow for Flickr Friday!  (Have you added your pictures to the flickr group?)

Aug 092010
 

Sarah recently made the Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt and Shorts and graciously agreed to share a review of the pattern with us!  And, um, how adorable is her son!!!! (By the way, in case you don’t already know, Sarah is a digital designer and has awesome digital scrapping kits!  Check them out in her store! )


For this outfit I used the Sketchbook Shirt & Shorts pattern by Oliver + S. The fabrics used are Amy Schimler’s Lions by Robert Kaufman for the shirt and camel corduroy for the shorts. You may not typically think of corduroy for shorts but this a very fine wale (21-wale) and lightweight, so it’s a nice way to create extra interest in an outfit. (Plus it’s super soft and comfortable! When I tried the shorts on my son for the first time he didn’t want to take them off!)

(Look at the face Sarah got when she said it was time to take the outfit off!  Ha!)


Note that I intentionally sewed a bigger than recommended size of both the shirt and shorts. There are only a couple more weeks of shorts weather around here and I wanted to make sure my little guy could get a bit more wear out of his cute outfit.

Liesl of Oliver + S has rated this pattern with 2 out of 4 scissors (advanced beginner), but says the shorts are really a 1 scissors pattern (beginner) and I agree! With such a nice finish, I was a bit concerned they would be difficult but the pattern is well illustrated and every step is clearly described, so there is no reason to be intimidated!

If you want to ease yourself into it, start with the shorts and then move on to a short sleeve shirt. The long sleeve shirt has the additional step of sleeve plackets, so if you sew the short sleeved version first you’ll already feel comfortable with the front placket, buttonholes, and collar.


I would absolutely recommend this pattern! The Oliver + S patterns give such a professional result in a surprisingly easy way. Read through the pattern before cutting and again before sewing. Some of the pattern pieces look way too big at first, but that is because they will be folded and stitched to create eliminate additional pattern pieces and hide many seam allowances inside the garment. I trace all my pattern pieces on to freezer paper and then fold those along the marks to help visualize how it will come together.

One thing to remember when you sew any Oliver + S patterns– check the Oliver + S  website to see if there are any corrections/errata for the pattern. Also, if you have any difficulties you can post a question in the specific forum for each pattern and hear back from others who have sewn the pattern or Liesl herself.


I will definitely be sewing the Sketchbook Shirt & Shorts pattern again! One thing I will do differently is be a bit more careful with the placement of the front shirt panel pattern pieces on the fabric. I originally wanted one of the lions fussy-cut on the pocket, but that just didn’t look right with the print placement on the shirt front. I ended up un-sewing my original pocket and switching to a different fussy-cut pocket. Next time I make this pattern with a big print I’ll pick the design for the pocket first, then align the front panel to perfectly match up with that.

Thank you, Sarah!  These are on the list for me to make for my boys!  The shorts would be adorable in a plaid also.  Oh! Pure collection from Sweetwater (coming this month) has an awesome argyle print.  It’d be perfect for the shirt too! And the stripe from that collection would make adorable shorts as well.


Oliver + S patterns are here!

Jul 202010
 

If you don’t already know Meg from Brassy Apple, you’ll want to take some time getting to know her through her blog.  She constantly inspires me!  And not just sewing related either, she is crazy crafty plus she is an awesome mom! :-)  At quilt market last year all the cool kids were sporting Brassy Apple Bunchy Scarves.  So cute!  Meg has several other patterns as well.

Jess recently made the Lucy Apron from Brassy Apple.

This was a really fun project to make. It whipped up really quick too. I didn’t add any pockets or appliqué to mine because the fabrics I used were pretty enough on their own. (Fabrics are from Sandi Henderson’s Meadowsweet Collection…just an fyi. ;-)  )

The Directions on the pattern were very clear and I had no problems understanding them. There are nice clear illustrations on parts that need more of a visual in place of the written instructions.

The possibilities on this fun apron are endless.  This would make a perfect quick gift for that bridal shower you forgot about.  I can’t wait to make another one!

Thanks, Jess for sharing pictures with us and a review of this cute pattern!  The Lucy Apron Pattern is available in a printed booklet or an e-book. :-)  Super fun!

Find all Brassy Apple patterns here!

Jun 222010
 

When I started carrying pattern downloads,  I asked you to recommend pattern designers that you would like to see me carry.  More than one person recommended Keyka Lou patterns!  That is always a good sign. :-)  Mary made the Easy Reusable Grocery Bag and was kinda enough to share a picture and review of the pattern.

The bag is very well designed.  It is sturdy and perfect for trips to the farmers’ markets.  I had no problem printing the pattern because she has given detailed instructions on scaling and even a 1″x1″ sample square to make sure you’ve printed the handles correctly.

The pattern itself was detailed with pictures and instructions that even a beginner can master.  I made my bag exactly as the instructions said.  However, when I make it again I will increase the size of the bag and lengthen the handles a bit.  Even as a beginner, I am confident that I can alter the size according to my needs because the pattern is so simple.

I would definitely recommend this pattern to everyone.  It might be fun to try it with a laminated fabric or to add your own embellishments like a few rosettes or an maybe an applique.

Thank you, Mary!  I do think you should start a sewing blog just as a journal of your sewing journey. :-)

Find this and other Keyka Lou patterns here.