Tuesday, July 21, 2015

One Pattern Three Ways: Dress all the kids!

Hi! I'm here on a fun tour today, One Pattern Three Ways by Sew Not Perfect! When I saw the sign up for the tour I was intrigued, and decided I needed to get in on this. With two girls who are close in age and clothing size, it's easy to make them matching or coordinating outfits. But I had to get my baby boy in the mix, too!

1Pattern:3Ways Blog Tour

The challenge was to come up with three different ways to use one pattern that we already owned. I've been one of those people who will buy a lot of patterns rather than mash the ones I already have, because it's worth it for me to have someone else do that work - I just want to sew it! :) But lately I've been getting interested in pattern mashing and stretching my skills, and this challenge was perfect!

I chose the Deep Sea V-Neck by Patterns for Pirates. I've owned it since last October, and had never made one! So for my first one, I made the pattern as written - the only thing I changed up was to add sleeve bands rather than hemming, to add a little extra pop from that bright yellow!

The shirt is upcycled from an XL women's t-shirt, with cotton lycra from Purpleseamstress. Natalie really likes the bright colors and the softness of the knits!

For Sam, my goofball toddler, I wanted to do something a little more girly and twirly. She's getting old enough to be excited about new clothes fresh off the sewing machine, and this dress was no exception!

I started with the basic v-neck, but removed the sleeves and added bands. I used the simplest crossover v-neck option, as with Natalie's shirt. I used a striped cotton spandex blend from Girl Charlee that I bought a year or so ago, and a random polyester jersey from my stash - probably from the thrift store. I cut about 4 inches off the bodice piece, then used a fork to evenly pleat the skirt. I cut the whole width of the fabric and just pleated until it fit the bodice, nothing scientific or mathematical over here!

I sewed a length of elastic around the waist seam, to help the bodice hold up the heavier skirt - it worked perfectly, and gives the bodice a fun bloused look, too!

A narrow strip of the stripes to complete the hem, some matching sandals (ha, coincidence!) and we have the perfect playground dress! It's soft, twirly but still casual, and she loves it!

Finally, the little man. For him, I wanted to do something totally different.
I started with the Deep Sea's front bodice piece, but (as seen in the *superprofessional* drawing below) I deepened the neckline and armscye, and gave it a little quirk with a shirttail hem.

Then I cut it out of quilting cotton!

This is a knit pattern, but it makes a great little woven vest - I just went up one size, and with the above modifications, it fit great! Oops. I should also mention that I added an inch on either side of the front, and did NOT cut on the fold - to make room for the snaps, of course! 

I used a quilting cotton from my stash with a fun sneaker print, a purchased bodysuit, and the Little Star pants from Puperita for his outfit.

Isn't he handsome?? (Even when he's sneezing, or whatever he was doing on the right?)

Some quick info about the Deep Sea V-Neck:

Sizes go from 3m-14 (Natalie is wearing a size 5, no mods, Sam a size 3, shortened with skirt added, Ethan size 9 months, sized up for woven with mods)

4 sleeve lengths, 3 v-neck styles, pocket and button tab options 

PDF pattern pages do not require trimming, easy to follow photo tutorial

I really do love how easy this pattern is, and how fast I could integrate it into each kid's wardrobe - taking into account their personal styles, likes and dislikes, and even make simple modifications to make whole new looks! It's a great wardrobe staple item.

We are clearly so, SO done with photos, Mom.

Here is the rest of the tour schedule! Miss a post? Click the links and find out what patterns everyone else is showcasing - three different ways!

1Pattern:3Ways Tour Schedule & Links

July 10      Creative Counselor & Sew-Not-Perfect
July 14      Sew Starly
July 17      From-a-box
July 21      create 3.5
July 24      Rebel & Malice
July 28      Sew-Not-Perfect
July 31      Lulu & Celeste
Aug 04      Bee Quilted Beauties
Aug 07      Hattilu Handmade

Finally - for some more fun, link up your own "one pattern done three ways", and/or enter the giveaway to win pattern packages!

You can do that HERE!

Friday, July 17, 2015

S is for Sewing! : E-Book Blog Tour

Sewing with Boys is back with another wonderful e-book - just in time for school sewing! I'm hopping on the tour to show you what I made for my preschooler. So much fun in this book!

Natalie is currently in "summer preschool" - a 2 month program here, which I LOVE. She goes 4 days a week, and this fall she'll start her first official FULL year of preschool before moving on to Kindergarten. We both are loving the school days! ;)

I made the most practical (for us!) pattern from the e-book for Natalie, the Quad Tee by Addie Martindale (addieK). For a girl who loves knits and comfy clothes, as well as POCKETS - this tee has it all!

For the panda tee, I used some wonderful Stenzo knit along with an old maternity cardigan - love upcycling! I did not add a pocket with this tee, since I made her a matching skirt with pockets to complete the outfit, but she loves it all the same. 

Since that was so much fun, I had to make another - this one upcycling again, with a large yellow women's tee and an old tank top of mine. I love the crazy pattern and bright colors - and it suits her personality (on school days especially), so bubbly and fun.

Included in the ebook are some great extras - like this FAST and easy pencil pouch from GYCT (no joke, I made mine start to finish in 20 minutes!)

I used some fun polka dots with a bright orange liner to go with the sunny tee shirt.

Along with the pencil pouch is another extra that is so sweet! Michelle from Falafel and the Bee created a tutorial for a pocket lovey, for that nervous first day. Having a little piece of love to hold onto throughout the day can make the transition easier!

You can use any shape you want, but I went with Michelle's idea and made a little heart from some soft toweling (upcycled again, from an old baby towel of Natalie's! Hanging onto this stuff pays off someday, right?) I had some cute flannel heart trim in my box'o'stuff that matches perfectly.

I haven't attached it in anything yet, but I'm thinking it'll go in that pencil pouch along with some fun erasers, and this set of three will be put away for her first day (back) in September!

Also in the e-book (get your copy here, 15% off during the tour!) are some brilliant articles. Kelly from Handmade Boy has created a back-to-school inspiration wardrobe - just amazing. You don't want to miss it if you're stuck for back-to-school ideas - so many combinations for outfits, and it's really got my wheels spinning! I've started pulling fabrics from my stash and making a school wardrobe list already.

Dana from Sew Thrifty has a fun tutorial for freezer paper stenciling. This is one of my favorite ways to embellish, and her tutorial is very clear - if you've never tried it, pick up your copy of the S is for Sewing E-book and give it a go!

Did you miss a post on the tour? Click the links to go back and check out the rest of the amazing patterns in this book (4!) and more exciting extras (I think I saw an article on back-to-school photos - I love the tips! And an adorable zippered "milk money" pouch!)

 July 14th From-a-Box Lulu & Celeste 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Week to Beat The Heat! : Sweet Tea Ice Pops with Candied Lemon

Hi! Today I'm joining the Week to Beat The Heat summer blog tour with a little post about one way my kids (and I!) love to spend hot afternoons - making (and eating, of course) homemade ice pops.

Classic NatalieandSam photoshoot right here.

My girls looove ice pops - they'd eat them all day if I'd let them, and happily avoid any other food. While I have nothing against a box of Popsicles or plastic-wrapped "freezies", sometimes it's just fun to spend a half hour or so thinking up and creating your own flavors and combinations!

Originally I thought I'd do a fresh tropical fruit combination for this post, but one night Natalie (very randomly) asked me for iced tea before bed. While sweet iced tea is a favorite beverage of mine, I had no idea she liked it - and I still don't know what prompted her to ask. Anyway, it got the wheels turning - sweet tea ice pops? Why not?

A little trip through Google sent me off in the direction of candied lemon peel - after looking over a few recipes, I got the basics down.

You can find a recipe to your liking online, but here are the basics:

hot water (to blanch the lemon slices in)
ice water (to blanch the lemon slices in)
sugar water (to boil/candy the lemon slices in)

I relied heavily on Martha Stewart - I sliced a lemon very thin, dropped them in boiling water (off the heat) for a minute or so, then into an ice bath. I left them in the ice bath while I got my sugar water going (one to one ratio), then moved them to my pan.

Make sure you lay them out in an even layer, otherwise you'll have clumps of lemon candy. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's not helpful for ice pops. ;)

If it's at all possible - do this on a gas stove. If you have electric - your heat needs to be lower than you think!! (Not that I burned a whole bunch of my lemon or anything, I'm totally just guessing here...*ahem*)

Anyway. The girls helped me put a cooled lemon slice into each ice pop mold, and "helped" pour the iced tea mixture (to which I'd added some extra lemon juice, because - well, because) into the molds, and then they put the sticks in. I got a set at the store with plastic sticks - I like these, because they have the "caps" that hold everything in place, and there's no messing around with craft sticks and cling wrap. Plus, they're reusable!

I love these. I made the tea mix a little stronger than usual, because I didn't want to lose any of the flavor - and it worked. The pops are strongly tea flavored, with pops of lemon from the candied slices - so good! Candying your own fruit is fiddly, but it's worth it.

Natalie, surprisingly (or maybe not), decided she preferred her store bought pops. I don't know if she didn't like the flavor, or if the lemon slice freaked her out. I figured Sam would be the same - but minutes after I sat down with my own ice pop, she came running in to "trade" for her banana one - and ate the whole sweet tea pop, lemon slice and all! 2 out of 3 isn't bad! ;) 

Ice pops are a perfect way to keep cool, and when you make your own, you're only limited by your imagination. Any combination of fruit, sweet, sour flavors will do - whatever your family likes! Orange cream is next on my list! Until then...sweet tea, anyone?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Layered Patterns: An Evolving List

Recently I saw a post asking for a list of designers offering the layers printing option, and I realized I haven't seen one myself. So I've put together this list.

This is an evolving list - I based it first on the designers I myself own patterns from, but I'm asking for your help to keep it up to date! I don't own patterns from every single PDF designer out there (and don't know anyone who does), so if someone you know to have layers included in their patterns is missing from this list, please leave a comment and I'll update!

This list will be updated as designers add this option or as I'm informed of those that I don't own/missed! Each designer on this list has at least one pattern with the layers printing option. Many newer designers will include it automatically, and still more are going back and updating. Please be patient with designers. Updating old patterns is a lot of work!!

**If you have questions about a specific pattern, ask the designer (or their Facebook group - I've now linked the sewing groups or pages if a group doesn't exist at this time. Typically the Facebook fans of each designer are quite knowledgeable about the patterns, and quick to answer questions!)!**