Wednesday, May 16, 2018

One Thimble Issue 19: Playtime!

It's Playtime with One Thimble Issue 19! I sewed three patterns from this issue, and I'm showing you those today along with a review of the magazine. There is so much, I hardly know where to start!

My 3 year old is named Ethan, and somehow or other since he's been a baby this has morphed to Efan (Big Sis #1), Beefin (Big Sis #2), Beeps, and Beepin. I knew I had to make him a "Beep Beep Sweatshirt" from Made by Jack's Mum, and I have a special love for cool joggers with fun details, so the Alfie Sweatpants from Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns were perfect - with their quilted knee patches, faux drawstring, and *swoon* front welt pockets, how could I resist?

The third pattern I chose was the Take and Play activity wall hanging from Kaela's Patch - there are 12 activity blocks to choose from, and I chose nine to work with materials I had (and modified here and there!) It was such a fun sew - choosing fabrics, buttons, and I even enjoyed the quilting it all together!

The Beep Beep Sweatshirt comes in sizes Prem (Premature/Preemie baby) - 12 years. At it's base, it's a simple, comfy sweatshirt, with side panels and optional pockets for a loose, easy fit - and a little playful toy storage! Along with the pattern, you get an applique file for the "road" pieces, should you decide to make the sweatshirt as featured on the pattern cover. I used half of the road piece to go just over the front of my sweatshirt, and painted "bricks" on the Yellow Brick Road. I used a fun floral interlock for the side panels and pockets, imagining the fields of flowers covering The Land of Oz (or the poppy fields that the Cowardly Lion fell asleep in!) A bright green was perfect for the rest of the sweatshirt, and I was so glad to find a photo of some perler-bead characters while googling - finger puppets would have been fun, but I didn't think I'd have time to think up a design, pattern it, and hand stitch them! Good thing I got my photos with my bead pieces right away, because they've all been loved to death in the last week! I'll have to remember to melt them better next time.

I quilted the knee patches on my Alfies just one way, using fleece as my "batting" so it would still have some stretch to it. The more I sew welt pockets, the more I love them - while they are a bit trickier in knit fabrics, these pants went together so well and the end result is just amazing. I love mustard/grey as a color combo! I made the cuffs with twice the required height, so he'll be able to wear these for a while - the waist is actually a bit bigger than he needs right now, and he seems to be on a steady track of growing up faster than out! The Alfie Sweatpants include sizes 3-12y, and have 4 different views - so you'll never be bored making them!

Finally, the Take and Play. I decided not to trim down my blocks as much as suggested, and ended up with a slightly bigger mat - instead of finding a hanging rod, I went with a quilt style so it can be floor mat! I love the different activity squares included - you can make it geared toward curious bigger fingers, learning to lace and tie, or button or zip - or toward tiny fingers that just like to feel and pull. I did a sort of blend - the felt flowers, for example, do come off of their button centers, and the zippers all work - but instead of the ties, I secured the laces and slid buttons on them, for baby fingers to grasp at and slide back and forth. I also did one Velcro activity, and lots of ribbon, felt, and ric-rac for texture exploring.

The pattern is a great jumping off point for anything else you can think of - snaps, buckles, matching colors/shapes...the possibilities are really endless and whether you go with your imagination or the pattern, you know the end result will be fun and engaging every time.

I love the sewing scrapbusters tutorials included in Issue 19. You can make a "fancy" hair scrunchie, a toy wallet (my girls are all about Littlest Pet Shop right now, and those tiny things are hard to keep track of! But no more!), and a scrappy doll quilt. These little projects are not only great for keeping your "sewjo" going when you're spinning your wheels, but they're perfectly designed for kids who want to sew. I think I might carve out some time for my 7 year old to pull her little machine out again this week!

Mr Fox's article made me laugh - I'm sure my husband would echo his views! I have an unfortunate habit of purchasing fabric to make him "something" - only to get distracted, forget about it, use "his" fabric for something more "fun" - lather, rinse, repeat every few months. As a result he really never gets anything new, but the intentions are there! Never mind the mending...

Issue 19 is a great one for beginner sewists - and beginner business owners. Some articles for beginning sewists include Tips for Sewing with Knits, Kids Can Sew!: A Guide for Teaching Children the Sewing Basics, Sew Like a Pro: A Guide to Sewing Classes and Lessons, and Their First Sewing Machine. For the beginning business owner, there are articles on Facebook Analytics, and algorithms, by editor Jen Kennedy. There is also a wonderful checklist for a beginning business owner!

Lindsey Essary of Ellie & Mac Patterns wrote an article that I had a few thoughts on - it was about adding people to her team, instead of scrambling to be everything by herself. It's a great reminder that while you're helping yourself, you can help others too - you don't have to "do it all", and you're often more productive if you know your limits! I thought to myself - This is true not only from a business standpoint but also as a hobbyist. Sometimes you need to go support another business owner, and let someone else make you that new wallet or pair of slippers! It's really easy to start thinking "I can do that, I can learn that" - and get overwhelmed very quickly. Then you risk losing yourself and your own love of whichever craft you started with!

Issue 19: Playtime! also includes 7 more patterns - a fun variety, too! A plush chicken - traffic sign cushions - a pullover sweater with different neckline options - a dress, a pinafore with some surprising details, a bag, and a felt activity board. There is something for everyone here - all kinds of crafters, all ages, can enjoy Issue 19. If you need more inspiration and fun (and of course you do!) make sure you didn't miss any posts on this tour! Links below!








Monday, May 7, 2018

Boys in Summer Blog Tour

Summer! It's finally here - well, nearly. The weather is warming up, and when that happens we're never so happy to have a backyard, ample sidewalk space for chalking, and wheeled toys to zoom around with! Summer for us means lots of playtime - and the more outside, the better! My little guys would live outside if I let them, and the dirtier they get, the happier they are.

This is a Sewing Blue blog tour, hosted by Made for Little Gents. I'm Meriel, and you're visiting Elli & Nels. Today I'm showing you a classic summer outfit for my "big boy" (all of three years old!)

Boys in Summer Blog Tour: Part of the Sewing Blue Blog Tour series hosted by Made for Little Gents

A small confession - the shorts aren't new, technically. They are actually my first pair of shorts from testing the Kayak Boardshorts (Love Notions Patterns). They turned out so well and fit him perfectly, but I hadn't shared them along with my finals. When I started thinking about summer clothes for this tour, I realized that I had the perfect bottoms - so I put together a cute top to go with!

The shorts have a nautical theme in the contrast fabric, so I played off of that and went with a casual denim/Americana feel for the top. I had a black jegging fabric I got from a friend, which I'd previously used for - well, jeggings! - for my daughter. The remnant was just enough for this adorable Hooded Vest (Brindille & Twig). The hood and pocket lining are cotton spandex from Girl Charlee (a 1/4-yd remnant pack purchased last year!)

I really liked the vest listing photos with a brightly colored snap used, and was very tempted to do yellow, but it really didn't go with the rest! I settled for white - I like how they look against the black fabric. I flipped the pocket flap to show the contrast for a tiny pop - the hood lining really isn't visible while it's up. I am a sucker for hooded vests, especially with drawstrings - and with our windy Wyoming weather, a hood is always an asset! Even on the warmest days, your ears start to beg for a covering after a while.

On chilly evenings, the vest can easily be layered - during the warm daylight hours, wearing it alone is perfect. I love the classic, easy style of the vest and shorts, both with their own stand-out details - and when there's chalk involved, easy wash and wear is where it's at! He was out for no more than 5 seconds and managed to smear the entire front of his top with chalk dust. Not the neatest model, but one of my more patient ones!

Looking for more summer boy inspiration? Follow along on the Boys in Summer Blog Tour hosted by Made by Little Gents by clicking through the links below.

Thurs. May 10 Phat Quarters | Dreams & Stitches 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Just Jeans Blog Tour: Phresh Jeggings

Thanks, Suzanne, for having me along to blog about the Phresh Jeggings today!
I've been trying to sew patterns I own for a while and use up some fabric stash while I'm at it. I've had this great black jegging knit for about a year now, and the Phresh Jeggings were perfect. Faux front pockets, real back ones, a yoke and faux fly - they're actually a pretty quick sew, especially with a knit fabric!

See, along with my stash busting I've been also trying to make sure I don't make "orphans" for the girls' know the ones. That top or crazy pair of shorts in the super fun print that you had to have - but goes with nothing. Solid color tees and leggings are just not a staple around here, though they should be, and a basic black jegging is a great place to begin for any outfit!

I made a size 10 for the waist, and as you can see, she's got some growing room in the legs. I even shortened them, but clearly not enough. ;) No matter. These are easy wearing, and can be rolled or cuffed and still look great until she grows some more (which no doubt will happen when I'm not looking!)

This pattern has a range from 18m - 14y, so you can use it for a good long time. You can use a true stretch denim (minimum 20% stretch) or jegging knit like these, and the waistband can be self fabric or comfy cotton spandex. This fabric is a good mix of the two - not quite as stretchy but just as soft as cotton spandex, but with the look of denim - they'd look great with all the topstitching/rivets bells and whistles of the real thing, too! Best of both worlds.

The Just Jeans Blog Tour starts today and goes through the week, so make sure you follow along for some fun takes on the Phresh Jeggings, Real Deal Jeans, and Sk8 Skinnies from Winter Wear Designs!

Don't miss any stops on the Just Jeans Blog Tour

Monday 4/23

Tuesday 4/24

Wednesday 4/25

Thursday 4/26

Friday 4/27
Lisa Dawson for Winter Wear Design

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Spring into Color Blog Tour

Is spring here yet? It hasn't quite shown up to Wyoming yet, although the sun did show up for a few hours! Of course, later on the same day it disappeared and a few snowflakes showed up, but it was a nice preview!

I've been having fun revamping my wardrobe, and this tour theme gave me the perfect opportunity to show some new colors. A while back, I made a Weekender Tunic (5 out of 4 Patterns) out of a white(!) base French terry, which is very out of my ordinary, but I love it. It's a wonderful spring basic, warm enough for a cool windy day (and we have a lot of those) but light enough when the sun is shining!

I started these Real Deal Jeans (Winter Wear Designs) in January. This was actually my second "muslin", but I finished them completely, details and all, and I'm really happy with them. I was pleased to see that the color of my stretch denim just happens to be similar to the "lime punch" Pantone Spring color. Yay for being done with a pair of jeans! Now I've got the bug to make a few more.

I would never have picked this shade of green myself. I tend to stay with darker autumn tones, and I was happy to "spring" into something new with this one! The jeans go with several tops I already have. I'm really looking forward to adding more of the spring colors into my wardrobe. I have some cinnamon stretch twill from Simply by Ti that is pretty close to the "chili oil", and I've got my eye on another twill at Joann that has several Spring 2018 colors in the print. It's turning out to be fun to branch out and try something new, and I hope by the end of this year I have a complete wardrobe that I really love and enjoy wearing!

Hoping for more sunny days here! The bloggers on the Spring Into Color tour are bringing the brightness, so take a look!

Thursday, March 1st: Sewing By Ti- Intro

8th: EYMM

Sunday March 18th: Mermaids Den

Sunday March 25th: Flaxfield Sewing
27th: Ma Moose
31st: Mermaids Den

Monday, March 5, 2018

GYCT Spring Dress Tour: Floral Firecracker

Spring is in the air - in my sewing room, at least, if the outdoors hasn't gotten the message yet!
After months of snow and cold I'm more than ready to welcome spring - the colors, the breezes, the way I can do that is with a fun spring dress by GYCT Designs! Introducing the Firecracker; Spring Style.

I bought the lavender floral fabric off of a Facebook destash post about a year ago; I knew that it would make an adorable dress but I never knew which one! When I started looking for inspiration for the Spring Dress Tour, my eye fell on that fabric right away - then it was just time to find a coordinate. Luckily I had just a scrap of the coral tone-on-tone print, and it just matches the flowers in the main print! I found some lavender ribbon in a box; I love the picot edging! It's so pretty and girly and springy!

Thinking about spring in Wyoming in March is a bit of a joke - just a week or so before I took these photos, we got somewhere in the neighborhood of 6" of snow. (Give or take a couple.) Some had melted by this time, but not I went hunting for layering pieces. We don't really have great indoor locations for photo shoots around here, and I usually make do with the backyard! Luckily I had made a purple tee that matched and found some store bought coral leggings. It was just warm enough to coax my "model" outside with layers on!

I love this little dress. It's simple, but well done - the bodice fully lined, the skirt is nice and full, and the straps can be tied any number of ways (I just knotted mine up, the ribbon doesn't hold a bow all that well!) I used the contrast fabric for lining as well. The only change I made was to round off the edges of the bodice - they are squared in the pattern, but I prefer the rounded look, especially with the delicate florals!

Pattern Details:

sizes 3m - 12
lined bodice
gathered skirt
ribbon or fabric straps
tunic and dress length
printing guide
body measurements
finished length table
strap tying idea photos

Doesn't the Firecracker make you think of warm days and spring breezes in these prints? If you can ignore all that white cold stuff all over the ground, maybe! ;)
Get more spring-spiration this week with the GYCT Designs' Spring Dress Blog Tour: schedule below! I can't wait to see what my fellow bloggers have done with the rest of Chelsea's beautiful dress patterns!

Sponsored By

Also, make sure you enter the giveaway!! And if you make a purchase this week at GYCT Designs' Shop, you can get 15% off your order with the code SPRINGTOUR . Time to think spring!