Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Vintage Revival... The Matilda and Rosemary

Eek!!! I'm SO excited about this set! The Matilda and Rosemary patterns are To Die For! Check out my guest blog post over on Pattern Revolution to learn more about them! 

You can also purchase this dress (perfect for fall photo shoots!) from my Etsy store! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Picture Day... And A Minnie Mouse Party!

My girls LOVES princesses and Minnie Mouse. For her 5th birthday, she had a Minnie Mouse party. So while testing the Olivia Bloomers and Pantaloons for Made for Mermaids (seriously, the easiest an fastest you will ever sew), I made Jenna's party dress, the Minnie Mouse Tunic also from Made for Mermaids. She LOVES this dress. It doesn't itch one bit, which is more than we can say for the Minnie costume she has from the store... yes, we buy those too.

So here was the party. The kids helped make the gift bags and the ears. I used a tutorial from The Suburban Mom to sort of make mine. I skipped the felt and just did them all with foam. I also bought black headbands instead of covering some. Then we cut out foam bows. And do be careful with your glue gun... those suckers get hot!

So where does picture day come into this blog? I'm getting there. Jenna has picture day tomorrow. Tomorrow. I have known this since last week, but I've been busy. So I opened her closet and cheerfully suggested she choose a pretty dress for picture day tomorrow. Her face lit up! She knew just what she wanted to wear! She grabbed her Minnie Tunic and said "THIS!" Umm, not what I had in mind... but she did choose something mama made! So she's wearing outfit to school pictures. It should be interesting! And if you're in love with this dress... it's on Etsy!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back to School with SewMcCool/Birdsong

I was so thrilled to test for the very first time for Birdsong. You may know her, like myself, from the very wonderful blog SewMcCool. The best part about this test was that it's actually something my girl wants to wear, especially to school! These patterns are included in this months OneThimble, Issue 8, so be sure to head over there and check it out! If you're new to OneThimble, they are an amazing Aussie e-zine for sewists. Definitely head over to see what else they've got!

What do I look for in a school clothes pattern? Umm, it has to be knit (easy care and comfy) and something in which she can dress herself. This set of patterns hits that and more! She Swing Set Skort and Butterfly Blouse are perfect for back to school sewing! (My kids started this week! I'm FREE!)

The Butterfly Blouse features the most adorable little pleat on the front. Seriously, could that get any more adorable? The sleeves are nice and loose with a beautiful drape (a lighter weight fabric than what I used would lay even nicer). My girl can't stand tight sleeves, so this pattern was a win!

The Swing Set Skort is the best for school because it has built in shorts!!! You can do alternating panels like I did or do them all in one color. I liked the look of a cheer skirt and went with it. My girl LOVES this! She loves that she can run and jump and tumble and not show off her Minion panties (Although sometimes I think she does want to show off her Minion panties. Those were a very exciting purchase!).

The patterns are very easy follow. The skirt sews up quicker than you expect. I did use washable hem tape to get a nice, even hem without taking forever to pin perfectly. The top sews up very quickly. I was surprised when I finished it and had been working for less than 90 minutes (and it wasn't uninterrupted either!). So be sure to tell me what you think in the comments below and then head over to OneThimble to see these patterns and more!

This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Hipster Twister Dress

Okay, I confess. I hate ironing. I love handmade, boutique clothing, but I hate the laundry work that goes with it. I never follow my own care instructions... But I love knit. It's why I sew so much with knit! So when I saw Little Lizard King coming out with a new knit pattern, I jumped in on the action.

The Hipster Twister is amazing! The shoulder flutters are even knit! This is the easiest piece of clothing to wash! I love it! And it's super easy to sew! Seriously, I can't say enough good things about this pattern! Jenna loves the twirl. It comes with two other skirt options, including one for wovens (but who wants to iron those?).

This dress is comfy! With an all knit bodice and fixed straps, it's easy for little ones to dress themselves and you don't have to worry about a bow in the back bothering them while strapped into car seats! This is going to be one of our back to school staples!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sweet Summer Time...

What do you recall about your summers as a child? My Mamaw used to make sun-brewed sweet tea. We'd catch lightning bugs. We drank lemonade. We played ball. We rode bikes. We watched the sun set and then counted the stars. We helped out in the garden. We ate strawberries fresh off the vine. We ran in the sprinkler and we drank from a garden hose. We were thoroughly exhausted every night.

Now, my kids are told not to drink from the garden hose, but we run in the sprinkler. We even make our own strawberry lemonade that they enjoy making far more than drinking. I asked them what they love about summer. They love the water. They love riding their bikes and scooters all day. (I did cheat and allowed them to ride without helmets for these pictures, but we generally insist on helmets or you don't ride. I never even owned a helmet as a child.) They told me they love strawberries and how we always have them every day. They love helping me cook and grilling out with Dad. They love family meals on the back porch or picnics in the park. But most importantly, they love being home with me all day.

I'm not gonna lie, that kind of got me choked up. Sometimes I just want a real job where I can speak with adults all day and not worry about how well one of them washed their hands after using the bathroom or whether they've had enough to drink on a hot day. But to hear that they love being home with me, that makes it worthwhile.

Summer is all about fun. I love this Summer Celebration line from Riley Blake Designs. I wanted a cool and breezy summer outfit for my 4yr old, so she got the Ellie Inspired Poppy Fields Romper in shorts. She demanded lots of pockets and ruffles. She got 2 front pockets and I added the back pocket. Colin got a heavily modified Sweet Dreams PJ bottoms as shorts with scooped pockets. They both LOVE their outfits! Now I will tell you that I normally shy away from rompers because my kids don't like help in the bathroom. With these straps, Jenna can slide them down and go easily by herself. So this romper is a win! I hope you all go out and make some memories this summer!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Free Spirit Tank by Patterns for Pirates

I have once again been honored to test for Patterns for Pirates. This new pattern, the Free Spirit Tank, is loaded with options. From dress length to cropped top and everything in between, this is going to be your go to summer staple! I made myself not one but TWO tank this week! First, I did the curved hem then the hi/lo. I love the hi/lo stuff!

If you haven't worked much with knits, don't fret. This one is easy and you can even leave the bottom hem raw if you want. I tried hem tape for the first time on this one and I loved it! I will be using it more often from now on! Beginners can sew this pattern! For those well versed in sewing with knits, this one will be a quick project to add to your summer wardrobe! (the thermometer in my van hit 90 here today, so just in time!)

I love the coverage under the arm and that the neckline isn't too high or too low. Sized for XXS through Plus 3X, this pattern will fit everyone. My 16 year old can't wait some new tanks to wear to band camp this year! It comes in both a full back and racer back! And you should see this bow option! You have to head over to the Patterns for Pirates Sewing Group on FB and check out all the testers' pictures! The possibilities are endless! For a Limited time only, you can get the matching girls pattern Talor Tank by Made for Mermaids in a bundle set! TWINSIES! Head over now and grab these summer staples!

How to Serge or do a Rolled Hem with Sequin Chiffon OR How to Remove Glued Sequin

Okay, my job was to sew a dress with this lovely light fabrics... I went to the store and found this gorgeous navy chiffon with little silver metallic sequin. They were glued on. I loved it! I'd never used the stuff before, but how hard could it be? The pattern suggested using a very tiny needle for the lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, so I picked up a pack of 60/8 universal needles. I was ready...

Just to make sure my settings were correct, I picked up scraps of this sequined chiffon and started practicing my rolled hem (I don't work with chiffon on even a yearly basis... so practice is a must.). Sure enough, once that nice and tiny needle hit a sequin, my thread broke. I tried again and got the same result (definition of insanity).

Then I turned to the internet for help. I googled and searched and googled. I couldn't find anything to really help. I tried picking them off and darned things wouldn't budge. I had a deadline. I had to finish this dress. I needed a solution fast. So, I ran to the store for non-sequined chiffon. Uh-oh, they didn't have any plain navy chiffon in-stock. Crap. I've got to make this work. So I asked some sewing friends... one suggestion was to use Goo Gone. At this point, I'll try anything. I knew it was a blend of oils, so I COULD get that off the fabric if I had to. I didn't think it would eat the fabric like some more abrasive cleaners and solvents.

To my utter surprise, those suckers peeled right off! It was SO EASY! YAY!!! So I took my 2 big circles for skirt layers and I turned on the TV and grabbed a beer and dabbed and plucked and dabbed and plucked until the hemlines were clear! I gave myself at least half and inch or more just to be safe. Then I brilliantly (patting myself on the back for this one) remembered that the skirts would have to be attached to the bodice, so I better remove the sequins up at the top as well or I'd be crying again when I went to attach them. In all, I spent less than an hour sitting there removing all those little sequin (it was a LOT). Then I quickly set up my serger and finished those hemlines. Since I had so little luck finding things when I searched online, I decided to put this out there for others who land in my position! Here are the steps...

What you'll need:

  • cotton swabs or your preferred method for applying product to back of sequin
  • Goo Gone
  • glue-attached sequined fabric (I really think this will remove glued sequin from any fabric)
  • glass of wine, beer or tea (whatever floats your boat... totally optional though)
  1.  Open Goo Gone.
  2. Apply a small amount to the cotton swab.
  3. Dab the swab on the back of the sequin (wrong side of fabric).
  4. Flip fabric over to right side and peel off sequin. 
  5. Repeat until finished! (Have a drink every few sequins.)

To see my review of Maddie's Dress by Lily Bird Studio, head over to Pattern Revolution. And here's a little (very short) video of how easily they peel off compared to not using Goo Gone. I didn't even finish my drink!