Saturday, January 18, 2014

Swizzle Sticks Sleeve Add-on

Candy Castle Patterns has done it again! First, let's look at the Princess Dress, which is one of my favorites.

Look at that gorgeous, slim-fitted sleeve. While it is beautiful, it doesn't really fit every body type. Candy Castle Patterns just released a new version of sleeves, yes, multiple sleeves! This new Swizzle Sticks Sleeves pattern will work on both the Candy Castle Princess and the Peppermint Swirl dresses.

I was lucky enough to test one of the options for the new sleeve pattern. I added the short sleeve option without elastic to the Princess dress without the top skirt. This is my daughter's Easter dress!

The sleeve options include a long sleeve with or without a ruffle and with or without shirring (and faux shirring) and then short sleeves with or without elastic. You can mix and match to your heart's content.

I know what you're thinking, $4 for a sleeve add-on? The dress patterns are priced very reasonable at $8 and each of those already has quite a few variations included. The new sleeve pattern adds MANY more options to that! It has it's own drafted, nested pattern pieces. The instructions for each option are so detailed that it would add far too many pages to each pattern to update them both. Candy Castle Patterns put many hours into drafting, designing, photographing, and revising these sleeve options that it's only natural that she would want a small compensation for it. I mean, when we sew an item to sale, we do want to get paid for our time and supplies both, right? Pattern designers only ask the same. So head on over and get your Swizzle Sticks sleeve option!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Frozen Part Two {The Elsa Dress}

My little girl is ALL over the newest Disney princess movie, Frozen. I tested the Anna dress pattern back in December. You can read about it here. Last week, I was honored with the chance to test Elsa in the Everyday Princess line. My little girl was ecstatic! {HAPPY DANCE!}

This pattern is sized for 2-8 years. You can make it with MANY fabrics. I chose cotton wovens for the bodice and skirt then added a glittery tulle overlay for that very Elsa look. You can also use chiffon, satin, silk, sheers and even knit to make this dress!

The dress does have a zipper in the back, but don't let that scare you! She's got a great tip for zippers and it's really very simple to sew. I'd rate this dress as an advanced beginner. You use single fold bias tape for the sleeve casings and he neckline but it's a very simple method.

I was afraid of using a sheer for top bodice. I've sewn with chiffon before and that's a fabric that's I've learned to leave alone. Chiffon and my machines do not get along. However, I did branch out of my little comfort zone and use TULLE for the first time. Yep... my first time. Nope, I've never made a tutu! GASP!

The skirt portion is a circle skirt. If you can get your little girl to twirl (mine would not in the cold temps when we took pics on Sunday), this is a fun dress for it! The overlay comes just short of the bottom of the dress, but you could also cut your dress and your overlay longer if you prefer. You could leave off the overlay if you're afraid it would get in the way!

The dress does have quite a few steps to it but the love and excitement in my little girl's face when she saw the dress makes all those little steps worth it! Cut to finish, I'd say this dress took me no more than three hours. It's currently $7 over at Made for Mermaids on Etsy. Be sure to pick up this pattern so your little princess can add the wonderful Elsa dress to her dress-up trunk! And if you haven't already done so, add Anna to your cart! And if you make doll size dresses... add the dolly version for $2! If you prefer to order one custom made, check out my listing.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tie Dye Diva Retirement Party!

Okay, Okay, Okay... cool your jets! Jen at Tie Dye Diva is still going to be making new patterns and designs for all of us! But she is retiring 11 patterns. As a big send-off, she's giving you one last chance to buy them all at once at one low price of $15!

So those pants third from the top on the left? I LOVE those! I love them so much that I bought the pattern and have made multiple ones! I have several of the other patterns as well, but those pants are a MUST! They have a skinny tapered leg. They have options for pockets that hide all kinds of treasures. I love the details you can add with bias tape (the pattern includes a tutorial for making your own ON THE BIAS) or ruffles on the pockets. You can add ruffles to the legs. You can make the waistband with contrasting fabric. The possibilities are endless! So here are a few of the Snazzy Pants I've made. 

First, the pants... Both of these were constructed before I started my business, so photography was minimal... this are phone pics pulled from my FB page!

Then there's the shorts... Colin LOVES this style! The pockets are his favorite. He no longer wants pants or shorts without pockets! I love the details you can add with contrasting fabrics! And the pockets only take a little bit!

So head over before the 11th so you can get the 11 pattern bundle for only $15! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Skinny Jeans and Titchy Threads!

Back in August, Titchy Threads had a huge sew along for her free Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern. The pattern only came in size 2T. Ugh. Jenna needs a 3T and she's my smallest. I REALLY wished she could fit her booty into 2T, but she's like her momma and has too much junk in her trunk. I sulked and got over it. I accepted that I'd never be able to sew my kids a pair of Small Fry Skinny Jeans.

But then... CALL FOR TESTERS! Titchy Threads is expanding the available sizes for this pattern! JACKPOT! I wanted skinny jeans for my 5 year old son! He's got skinny legs and not that many jeans in his wardrobe. I got selected! {Insert a happy dance here!}

First of all, sizing on this new pattern is fantastic! It starts at 0-3 months and goes up to 12 years! This pattern is packed with options: full or half fly, adjustable waistband (yes, button hole elastic), detailed top stitching or not, and a version for SHORTS! Summer is coming... shorts season is just around the bend!

My son has several blue denim washes in his pants drawer, so I decided to go with black (also, I already had black stretch denim in my fabric stash). This pattern tapes together beautifully! The pieces are easy to trace and include notches and grain line markings! It's a very professional pattern that both beginners and advanced sewists (I used a fancy word!) alike with enjoy.

One thing to take into account is that this pattern is not a quick sew. The details are simply amazing, but those details take TIME! The pattern comes with multiple options. You can have a full zipper fly or a half fly (mine are the half fly with no zipper). You can add inset pouch pockets with a coin pocket option or you can do front patch pockets like I did. You can do top stitching on the waistband or complete a version without it (I did without for my test pair). It has details and tutorials for flat felled seams and button hole elastic. My son is SKINNY! We don't buy pants off the rack unless they have adjustable waistbands! These pants have the adjustable waistband included! YAY! {Insert another happy dance!}

With this pattern, you can use the solid neutral fabric for the main fabric. It's safe. It matches everything. Then add those pops of color for the contrasting fabrics hidden inside the pockets and the waistband! I decided to add a pop of color with Illustration Ink's Dots in Red designed for Robert Kaufman. It adds a little super hero touch to my little man's wardrobe. You gotta love super hero allusions! You can JUST see the red peeking out from behind those front patch pockets.

 Keep watch for these pants to hit the scene some time this next week! Follow Titchy Threads or sign up to follow me by e-mail over on the right of the screen. ;) Happy Sewing!

Friday, January 3, 2014

National Month of ... W h a t ?

So I've been Googling... Yes, I know it can be dangerous. I did it anyway. I came across a blog post about creative content ideas for January. I skimmed it until I got down to the section titled "Celebrations by Month." Woah! SIXTY-FIVE items listed for January!

I read each and every one. Some were very good to raise awareness for causes: Blood Donor, Glaucoma Awareness, Braille Literacy, Poverty in America Awareness, Cervical Health Awareness, Personal Self-defense Awareness, Eye Care, Thyroid Disease, National Birth Defects Awareness and probably several more but I got tired of listing.

Then there are some others that are just plain odd. Did you know that January is also National Candy, Hot Tea, Oatmeal, Egg, Fiber Focus, Soup, Rescued Bird, Mail Ordering Gardening (I KID YOU NOT!), Meat, Apples & Apricots, Artichokes & Asparagus, Polka Music, Bread Machine Baking, Skating, Prune Breakfast, Self Love, and Walk Your Pet Month? Prune Breakfast Month? I think I'll pass on that one. I mean, I enjoy a good prune every now and then, but not for breakfast every morning for 31 days.

My favorite by far is that January is National Hobby Month. Sigh. Yes, hobby. Wait, just one hobby? What if you have more than one hobby? What if I can't even count all my hobbies? So let's see...

  • Sewing (Duh! Do people still say duh? I do, so I hope people still do!)
  • Reading (Yes, that's a wonderful hobby! Books rock!)
  • Baking (although I hate doing dishes...)
  • Knitting (I don't do near enough of this now!)
  • Crocheting (I'm still fairly new to this craft.)
  • Photography (That new DSLR camera has me loving photography!)
  • Gaming (Okay, not so much mine as my 5 year old son's, but he does make me play games with him, so it's turned into something that takes up more of my time.)
  • Listing (Is this a hobby? I tend to make more and more lists but never know what to do with them!)
  • Watching TV/Movies (Yes, it's a hobby! I love film and television!)

Wow, that's a nice list! However, now that I look at it, I think I need to add more active hobbies. I used to love going to the gym. I used to love Zumba. I used to love running. I still miss running. I want to run again. I want to love working out again. I want to be healthy again! I want to add more family things to my list of hobbies. Okay, maybe more hobbies that the family can share.

So here's to changing my list of hobbies in 2014. I'm going to check back next January and see if my list has changed. What are your hobbies?