Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 2: 52 Week Sewing Challenge, an upcycle, and pattern testing!

Heeyyy! Week 2 went just as well, sewing almost every day (and when I wasn't actively sewing I was prepping patterns or planning!)

First up: my week 2 pieces (yes, two!) for the 52 Week Sewing Challenge - sew something with the last fabric you bought.

I did actually buy fabric after this black/white rib knit from Miss Mollipolli, but it hadn't arrived yet, so I went with last fabric received since I hadn't bought any locally. I intended it for binding on these Pilot Caps (I love making these!), and digging through my upcycle bin I found this tie dye dress that  I just had to pair with the black and white. I love the juxtaposition of the two fabrics.

The dress is from a local thrift store here, but it originally was a blank, I believe, from Dharma Trading Co. (to my knowledge they don't sell already-dyed clothing.?) I meant to just cut it down enough to make it fit my girls, but I love this transformation even more! It was just the right amount for a 12-18m hat and size 1 MBJM Harem Pants.

Also this week I tested the Bowmont Tee for GYCT Designs. I've tested for Chelsea before, and I'm glad she's back to the sewing/pattern making world after some time off! I'm a sucker for shawl collars, and though my first tester (above, cotton lycra from Raspberry Creek) is adorable, I really feel like this sweater knit from Sincerely Rylee stole the show. The drape is perfect for that collar, and I had to make two matchy-matchy for my sweet boys. I can't get them to model together though. ;) My 3 yr old is a willing participant in a photo shoot as long as he gets candy!

He is the sweetest boy. I told him to smile "big and cute" - definitely got that!

This is his "it's cold out here, mom" pose.

Today is the last day for the Grand Opening sale at, code GRANDOPEN. The tee isn't on sale any longer, but you can get all your purchases 20% off - don't wait! Sale ends tonight.

The Bowmont includes the shawl collar option, as well as a hood or plain neckline. Long sleeves, short sleeves, or sleeveless. There is a banded hem option as well as sewn hem, and an optional kangaroo pocket. All of mine were cut at the same time, shawl, banded, sleeveless - the shawl collar has since been updated to be a bit longer and overlap just a little more in the front, but this is about a 1/2" overlap in my photos.

Some other sewing this week:

Fabric: Scuba knit from Pretty Posh Prints

Another MBJM Harem Pants and Little Lapsi Patterns Pilot Cap set for a baby gift

Fabric: Butterfly Doodles interlock knit from Joann Fabrics, cotton Lycra from Purple Seamstress

Stay tuned for my (mis)adventures with muslining - I'm doing the Make a Muslin Challenge with the Real Deal Jeans (Winter Wear Designs) along with the Sew Altered Style group!

Monday, January 8, 2018

52 Week Sewing Challenge: Week 1

2018 is starting off with a bang! I've been sewing every day (amazing), and actually finishing projects (double amazing). I've joined a couple of IG challenges; Sew Altered Style and Curvy Sewing Collective have bimonthly themes, so I've made up my 2018 #makenine list to try to fit in as many of those as I can. This year my wardrobe will get a serious overhaul if I get as much done as I'd like! Not to mention I've committed to #rtwfast2018 with Goodbye Valentino - no buying clothes, just making them! (For myself, anyway. But I'm trying with my kids' stuff, too!)

I also joined the 52 Week Sewing Challenge group on Facebook. The idea is to sew one item a week, and each week has a theme that participants can follow if they see fit. There are sponsors for giveaways, and if you post in the official thread a photo of your finished project (either "Challenge Accepted" or "Challenge Rejected" if you sewed something not fitting the theme), you're entered to win. I also have an album for my creations, that aside from the challenge item I'm posting everything else I make in 2018, to have a visual record.

Week 1 is over - the theme was "warm and soft". Easy for me in cold Wyoming! We had a week of negative temps; now it's been in the 40s, but you still need a coat. (The wind..!)
I pulled a pattern from my stash that I've intended to make myself for a few years now - the Midnight Slippers from Stitch Upon A Time. They're not on the site, but if you join their FB group there is a file with the free pattern download.

Back in December I was shopping thrift stores for an ugly sweater party, and I found a lambswool beauty from Old Navy. It wasn't the right size to wear, but I knew I had to take it home and felt it for another project! Turns out it was perfect for the slippers, and I even have enough left for some mittens or a hat! I bought the end of a bolt of Sherpa fleece at Joann a few weeks back, and used that for the lining, opting out of a "pad" layer since the two fabrics are so thick. Now that I've been wearing them a while, I wouldn't mind having another layer, but they do the job. I sew in the basement, and the tile-over-concrete floor can get COLD - not to mention the drafts.

From this...

to these!

Other First-Week-of-January sews:

Astronaut Mittens (Puperita) in anti pill fleece from Joann Fabrics and French terry from Koshtex

Little Lamb Zippy Pouch (Stubbornly Crafty) - turned cat; face is Siser vinyl and was designed by my 6 year old. Quilting cotton from Walmart; lining is a woven Lecien print, manufactured in Japan.

Summit Peak Hoodie (New Horizons Design) in Starfluffle Fabric Alphabet Tree custom French terry and red and green cotton spandex from Purple Seamstress.

*Alphabet Tree print is no longer available; this was purchased in the last reprint round, September of 2017. Check the Starfluffle BST Facebook page.

Green Tee (Greenstyle) in mulberry rayon spandex from Pretty Posh Prints.

*Pretty Posh is in the process of relaunching their website; the Green Tee is free with a code in the Greenstyle Patterns Facebook group.

Duckie Skirt (Felicity Patterns) in quilting cotton from my stash.

*The Duckie Skirt is available for free; instructions on Felicity Patterns' blog.



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Wolf & the Tree: Comfy Winter Boutique Tour

Hi! I'm showing off my "comfy winter boutique" look with patterns from The Wolf & the Tree and a super soft sweater knit from a Sincerely Rylee mystery box! The mystery boxes don't come often and don't last long so I was glad I got one when I did; this sweater knit has beautiful drape, is perfectly stretchy and comfortable, and not itchy anywhere!

Saskia Smith of The Wolf & the Tree provided bloggers with patterns for her tour, and I was really excited to try out some new ones! I made Abby's Road Trip Tunic and Abby's Knockout Socks. I love that the patterns are so simple and quick to sew - seriously, the socks took me about ten minutes (not including the flower accent, but I kind of fudged that myself and hand stitched it!) The tunic is lined, with a lot of options for different "skirts". Initially I had two satin layers underneath, but the satin was too heavy and it looked clunky. I removed the longer one (and added leggings - it was cold out today!) and I love the result!

Abby's Road Trip Tunic is made from Sincerely Rylee sweater knit, with silver double brushed poly for the lining, and a satin accent skirt. I hand stitched the hem on the sweater knit, and rolled the sleeves.

Abby's Knockout Socks are made with the simplest option, just basic tube socks. There are optional heel and top toe seam options (plus a ton of decorative options - flowers, ruching, even a cape!) These are the same Sincerely Rylee sweater knit as the tunic, with DBP cuffs (no elastic!) and satin flowers. Even with the flowers stitched on top they stay up beautifully!

I constructed everything with the serger (using my sewing machine for the satin hem, and handstitching the sweater hem and the satin flowers.) There is a French seam option on the socks as well, for sensitive feet (or sheer fabrics!)

These two patterns, along with the rest of The Wolf & the Tree store, are on sale for $5 as long as the tour continues! A great price to stock up on some beautiful boutique patterns for last minute Christmas sewing, or the rest of the winter for that matter - the socks are such a great use for small scraps, and take hardly any time!

Follow the rest of the tour for more boutique inspiration!

12/6: The Sewing Scientist  Elli and Nels in Stitches <-- that's me!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

5 out of 4 Patterns' Holiday Tour: Christmas Sparkle!

I got really excited about this tour, because I've A) never sewn a 5oo4 pattern before; B) never made my own Christmas outfit, and C) love Christmas! We have a couple of small family oriented traditions at our house - Decorating, Cookies, - and I really am trying to add "handmade clothing" to that list.

This also gave me the perfect excuse to push for getting our tree before the weekend, because I needed the husband to take some photos. He's my best photographer! ;)

Now that I have sewn a 5oo4 pattern (actually I've made a few now - you'll see two, but I've made 3 and have a 4th cut out!) I'm ready to make that a tradition. I love my Camilla dress! This sweater knit likes to cling to itself, and I can NOT capture the color, but that's indoor photography (with an iPhone) for ya. It's a very bright blue, almost cerulean. Not really my usual color - I tend to stick with more muted tones and neutrals, but my husband is a fan! I'm trying to incorporate a little more "fun" into my wardrobe and I think this did it!

The slip was sort of an "oops" - I meant to make it a full length slip (by that I mean just to my thighs, not ankle length ;) ) but got distracted while cutting my Lakeshore pattern and made a tank. So...I added an 85% width band, and it actually kinda worked in my favor. This is some mysterious athletic-type fabric from Joann, and adding a band on the bottom not only made the full-length slip happen, but I was able to cinch it in just that much around my legs and it really stays in place well! Plus it keeps the dress fabric from bunching up on itself right where I really don't want it to, but it's not so snug that I can't move freely.

I have a confession - this post is about Christmas traditions, but I don't actually decorate for Christmas in my good clothes.

Ahem. Anyway. Christmas decorating in our house usually happens right around Thanksgiving - I'm pretty sure this is actually the latest we've ever taken the decorations out! But today worked out in the schedule, so here we are. We picked up a live tree (okay, that's a first - but I'm so relieved to be rid of our old artificial one! This one smells SO good.) I had a frantic hunt around the house for our treasured ornaments, and we discovered a box of lights we just bought is defective, so we'll be exchanging those tomorrow before we finish decorating. Not everything goes according to plan!

My husband and I put up the tree, hang lights and the "big stuff", and the "nice" ornaments. He puts the tree topper on (because he's the only one who can reach), and the kids help decorate the rest of the tree! We have one of "those" trees - you can tell how high up the kids can reach when we're done. I love it! (Also they add their special touches around the room. Guess which figures I put up there.)

I usually make about 50-60% of the kids' special occasion clothing. This year I'm aiming for 95% (I'm not making their socks/underclothes), and I decided I'd add myself to the mix. I made my Easter dress this year, so why not Christmas too?? I am so pleased with how easy that cowl effect was, and how cozy those "extra long" sleeves are! I have a weird sensory thing with thumbholes and don't like them much, but I do like to be able to pull my sleeves down over my hands a little if it's cold, and these are perfect. Year by year I'm adding to my sewing traditions - maybe next year I'll be sewing for David too!

One last tradition I want to share - we've been asked to share a holiday treat recipe if we'd like, and I thought of peanut blossoms. They're not original, but they're definitely a favorite tradition around here! My hubs isn't much of a big sweets fan but these are his all time favorite cookie, and the kids never complain! I don't do a lot of Christmas baking, but I always make sure that at least one batch of sugar cookies gets made for Santa, and a couple batches of these - they never last long.

Leave me a comment about a favorite holiday tradition, or maybe a link to a favorite recipe...? And I'll pick someone randomly to receive a free 5 out of 4 pattern! Jessica graciously provided patterns for this tour, and she's giving away more to readers, so keep an eye on the rest of the bloggers for more chances! (I'll draw a winner using a random name picker at the end of the tour!)

**STEPHANIE WEBB is the winner of the free 5oo4 pattern of choice! Stephanie, contact Tasha @ with your choice and account email, and she'll get that added for you!**

Blog Tour Schedule
December 3 - Pattern Revolution
December 7 - Turtle Birdies

Friday, November 10, 2017

One Thimble: Issue 17!


One Thimble Issue 17 is out, and the theme is all about those bright colors, sassy style, and flavorful accents! Whether it's quick gift ideas or a perfect-for-embellishing denim jacket, Issue 17 is loaded up with adorable, fun patterns for everyone in your life. Make sure you watch the tour for a stunning women's dress and top, and I don't think I need to say this but taco appliques are for everyone.

So first things first. One Thimble includes a separate ZIP file with all the patterns, so you don't have to go hunting down pieces in the magazine. There are articles galore - lots of business based, such as a breakdown of social media and who/what in the handmade business each platform is most helpful for; photo editing/Insta-stories tips; podcasts (broken down by subject of interest!); and graphic design help. The podcasts article was really helpful for me. I don't think I've ever listened to any, and part of that was not knowing where to find them! The lists are perfect - now I can find some to try based on what I feel like hearing about (sewing, life in general, even parenting.) I do love to have some background noise while I'm sewing!


There are also exclusive coupons for patterns, fabric, even a handmade business - so make sure you get your copy and your discounts!

This issue includes 14 patterns. 6 are clothing, 8 non clothing. I am definitely putting the fabric wrap bracelets on my "to make" Christmas list - I love how quick and simple they are, and what's more easily customized to your recipient than fabric choice, with all the colors and prints at your disposal?
5 of the patterns are from the winners of the recent One Thimble competition, "Share a Sewn Project" that asked entrants to design a gift to sew. Those winners are the bracelet, teacher's gift set, bunny purse, fruit bags, and flower pincushion (posted here). I chose one of those gifts to sew up, as well as the Posse Cadet Cap + Visor from Apple + Fig.

I've sewn exactly one hat before, and it didn't go very well. I don't believe I kept it around very long. But the Posse cap went together so well, and the end result has everyone happy - me, because I did it! - and my girls, because My Little Pony is a must have around here, and they got to pick the fabric! I only had a half yard of the print, and didn't know what to do with it - with a simple polka dot lining, this pattern was perfect.

It comes in a large size range to fit small children up to adults, and my girls fall somewhere in the middle - this is a Large, with an elastic band on the back. It fits snugly and I'm assured it's comfortable! I used a fusible interfacing for the brim that isn't as stiff as I thought it would be (once it got bent a couple of times it gave up) but it does the job. There are interfacing suggestions in the pattern, so if you're like me and use a lightweight for everything because clothes are all you sew, don't fret! You'll know just the right ones to get, if you don't have something you "think will work" hanging around!

I love that there is a visor option, too - that'll be a fantastic option for summer, since none of us like wearing sunglasses!

The top of the hat is the perfect place to show off a favorite print (also the brim, if your print is small enough. Sam picked her favorite ponies to showcase, and they fit okay!)


The gift idea I chose to sew up is the Teacher's Gift Pack from one + two. I love these reusable coffee cozies - I'm going to make a few to keep in the car, because I never remember those cardboard ones when I make my Starbucks runs (plus, these ones are washable - and cuter!) They are such a fast sew, and the pattern also has a wine glass coaster that's just as quick and simple. I made up a couple of sets; we don't have wineglasses in our house so I can't model them, but the simple design allows the coaster to slip around the foot of the glass, keeping your tables ring-free, and if you make a bunch of different ones your guests can tell their glasses apart!

I used 1/4" elastic on my coffee cup cozies, but an even better option (and you can match colors) are elastic hair ties. They're just thin and strong enough to slip around a button.


What's next on my list? Besides the fabric bracelets, when all my Christmas sewing is caught up I'm making myself that fabric pincushion, and the denim jacket is calling my name. What pattern caught your eye?

Follow the tour (stops posted below) for all the inspiration you can get - and get your copy, so you can get sewing (plus, if you grab it this week, there's an early bird special OT calendar in it for you! Ends 13 November, so hurry!)