Tuesday, February 20, 2018

One Thimble: Issue 18 Review

One Thimble Issue 18 is here, and WOW, does it look amazing! When I first started seeing the patterns, I realized I could see fabrics in my stash for every single one of them - isn't that great? I have sewn up two of them, and have two more cut out and waiting! There are 10 patterns included in this issue; all fun, some practical, some whimsical - and even a couple for ladies!

Today I'm sharing the Origami Sweater from Misusu Patterns, which I discovered fairly recently. I have made Elles' Dia Sweater a few times, and am blown away by the precision of the piecing to get a beautiful, unique look. The Origami Sweater is designed with the same careful touches - and the result is nothing less than stunning. I used a drapey sweater knit for my base, so the collar doesn't have as much body as some, but I love how it falls on my toddler's neck and he finds it very "cozy", he says. I also used a treasured scrap of a geo panda print from L'Oiseau Fabrics, and for a pop of color added some burgundy cotton spandex from a Girl Charlee scrap pack. It takes just a tiny bit of fabric to make a huge impact! I'm very pleased with the finished result. Based on my son's measurements, I made a size 2-3Y, though he's just over 3 years. It fits beautifully - remember to measure carefully! If I had gone with a 3-4Y based on his age, it would be too big.

We have had nothing but snow here for 2 days straight, making it difficult to get outdoor photos, but I did get the pieces themselves out for a flat lay - they don't complain about the cold at least! ;)

The second pattern I have sewn up is the Super Tough Jeans pattern from Suco by Susana. I have made jeans a couple of times previously, but was still nervous about taking them on. Now I am telling you - if you are intimidated, don't be!! These jeans were one of the most fun sews I have done in a long time; all of the details are present, and the instructions guide you through so carefully that you won't notice you've done something difficult until it's done! The knee patches are such a wonderful touch (and provide a perfect spot for some fun contrast, should you be so inclined!) I went with one fabric all over; since the star print stretch twill has so much personality itself I didn't want another fabric to compete with it. For the pocket linings I used a simple off white muslin, such as you might find in RTW jeans - these are so professionally designed that of course you don't see that! ;)

Again on measurements, I made a size 4. He actually might have fit into the three based on length, and these are a bit too long - but with children growing so rapidly I would be very disappointed to spend all the time on such detailed pants, only to have him grow out of them completely in another month or so. The waist has buttonhole elastic in the back, ensuring a fit in width, and in the meantime I'll just roll these up a bit when he wears them out. ;)

He's such a sweet boy; only three years old and one of the best models I have in the house! ;)

I just love the color blocked detail on the Origami Sweater. Really takes the design up a notch and it's nothing like you'll find in stores. The Super Tough Jeans include templates for back pocket topstitching designs; E picked his own from the 5 options I showed him.

I didn't want to have to fight with hemming the sweater knit, so I added some simple cuffs to the arms. I wanted them to be about 3-4 inches long, so I cut a piece of fabric twice that (to fold over) by about 85% of the wrist width on the sleeve piece. My sweater knit is very stretchy.

Just look at all of those articles! I found so much of interest in this issue. I was very impressed with the thoroughness of the article on posture/pelvic floor exercises. Not only did it include a detailed description of the pelvic floor muscles, there are exercises laid out, places to find help, and encouragement for why this is so important (for everyone, but crafters especially!) We talk about our "sewjo" and mentally tackling projects, but we need to remember our physical health to be capable of doing all the wonderful things we do!

Speaking of sewjo, there's a fun article on "procraftinating" (and aren't we all pros at that!) Helpful tips and suggestions for things to try when you're stuck in a rut and need some creative inspiration - we all need the reminder from time to time! Looking through Issue 18 I got a ton of inspiration from the photos alone of things to try and ideas to build off of!

Another article that spoke to me was on an often-seen buzzword - hustling! It's easy to get bombarded on social media with tips, tricks, hashtags to remember, social media accounts to maintain, and it can make you a little crazy after a while. The article was a good reminder that while all of that is important, it might not ALL be important - at once. There are certainly some who can "do it all", but if  you're like me and you get overwhelmed by so many options and details, do what you can - and do it well! A positive, thoughtfully maintained presence can go a long way for a business, and that doesn't mean you have to be everywhere at once.

Finally, I want to encourage you to take a look at the article on kantha stitching! Many sewists talk of disliking hand stitching; I am one who has, over time, learned to enjoy it, and with a background of hand embroidery I really enjoy the pop that colorful thread and slow stitches can bring. Kantha stitching is something I have seen before, but didn't know what it was, and now that I have read about it and seen the example photos, I am inspired to make those cushions I've been talking about for months, and add that special detail! The photos really made me stare in awe; it's amazing what beauty our hands can bring out!

Congratulations, Jen, on another fantastic OT issue - and to all the contributors, articles and patterns, THANK YOU for sharing your genius! I am so grateful for my craft and the wonderful community built around it! Make sure you follow the tour and check all the blogs - their creations and insights are sure to inspire!








Monday, January 22, 2018

Oh Sew Kat Doll Clothing Blog Tour!


Doll clothes are kind of my weakness, but lately I've been so busy sewing up great patterns for my kids (and myself!) that I've hardly done any doll sewing at all! I was more than happy to join the Oh Sew Kat doll clothing tour - the patterns are so cute, and turn out so well!

I found the pieces to be well done, and I love the options in this Sunshine Dress. I sewed two versions - one with the included sleeves and a lace overlay, as well as a little tulle ruffle at the bottom (Valentine's Day is coming up!); the other I left sleeveless and finished the armholes with bias tape, turned to the inside (this is not in the pattern but is easy to do). I love anything with princess seams, so I had to try those!

I like the inset on this rosy version. The shape and size is perfect for a little embroidery detail (probably hand, since the pieces are so tiny!) or an overlay like I did.

She's wishing she could go out to play, I think. My girls have been bored with the cold and snow - at least they have dolls to play with (and Mom can sew them some outfits now and then!)

These fun stripes have been in my stash for way too long. I cut the center on the bias for some contrast - and I didn't have to match the stripes then! 

The third option in this pattern is a plain front bodice, so there are a lot of design options for whatever fabric/print/scale you are working with! Oh Sew Kat is on Etsy, Craftsy, and sells through Pixie Faire as well - the designs are for 18 inch, Bitty Baby, Hearts for Hearts, and Wellie Wishers, so whatever popular doll you own, you can find adorable patterns to dress them up with!

We are so excited about the Oh Sew Kat Doll Clothes Blog tour hosted by Seams Sew Lo! Please check out all the wonderful blogs on this tour below:

                                                       January 15th: Seams Sew Lo (Intro)
                                                       January 16th: Seams Sew Lo
                                                       January 17th: Kathy's Kwilts and More
                                                       January 18th: Sew Haute Blog
                                                       January 19th: Seams Like Style
                                                       January 22nd: Elli & Nels
                                                       January 23rd: Quilts by Joanne
                                                       January 24th: Granma Texas Sews
                                                       January 25th: Stitched by Jennie
                                                       January 26th: Sewing with D
                                                       January 29th: Our Play Place
                                                       January 30th: Cross Stitches Custom Clothing
                                                       January 31st: Hazelnut Handmade
                                                       February 1st: Daydream Sewing and Design
Do not forget to enter the Giveaway!!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 gyctdesigns.com, 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!