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!)








Saturday, October 28, 2017

Time to Dress Up! with the Dress Up Hoodie by Mouse House Creations

I've got a really fun one today! Hayley from Mouse House Creations just released the Dress Up Hoodie, a quick raglan style hoodie. (I finished the Mickey Mouse one, cutting to final stitching, in about an hour with my serger. I had to squeeze in another before ALL my daylight left!) With sizes from 6 months up to 12 years, it can be used a long time, and with the included options (plus your imagination), you never have to make the same thing twice (unless you want to!)

In the pattern are pieces and instructions for: 


That list gives you an awesome range of ideas for costumes, dress up, or just a cute hoodie! Off the top of my head, I can imagine expanding to reindeer, zebras, a Pegasus, dragons...not to mention the fact that you can just leave off all of the extras, and you have a very quick hooded raglan style top, which is perfect for fall.

This kid hates hoods - anything on his head. But he keeps this one on! He just loves the ears, and running back and forth pretending he's flying. We had a lot of fun taking a few pictures (the promise of Smarties candy helped ;) ) and he kept his hood on the whole time. I love the scuba style hood because it stays on and seems to be a little cozier, but unlike a different one I've tried, this one still fits loosely enough that he doesn't feel smothered in it.

I used a black French terry from a recent Pretty Posh Prints preorder, as well as yellow interlock from my stash and black cotton lycra from Purple Seamstress for the logo. I've never appliqued knit-on-knit before, but with a little Wonder Under it went on very smoothly, and I only had to do a straight stitch since knit won't fray! That made the points and curves on that bat a lot simpler. ;) 

The Dress Up Hoodie has options for solid sleeves (which I used for Mickey) and split sleeves, if you're using a cape option (like the birds, butterflies, and bats.) There is also a split hood option - if you're not adding ears or antlers, you can use the lining for both the outer and inner layers, but the split is a simple dart that lets you place ears on either side of the head. There is also a split back option for scales/spikes down the back.

And here's Mickey! Last year we bought Ethan a singing Mickey toy, which he was afraid of, so it was mostly ignored until recently. He's decided now that it's his favorite, so I had to use the mouse ears in the pattern and make him a quick Mickey Mouse shirt, too. I used cotton lycra in black, red, and white (all from Purple Seamstress.) I debated changing the cuffs to thumbhole cuffs, but he wouldn't use them anyway - I think they'd make great Mickey Mouse hands that way, though! Maybe when he's a little older.

Once again I used the split hood, and I added a little batting (and felt) in the ears to make them puff up a bit. Then I split the bodice horizontally (right on the join where I taped the pattern pieces together - I think it just happened to land on the perfect spot) and added seam allowance back on. I colorblocked the bodice and used a red waistband. The hood lining is a cute Mickey Mouse print (I think it's custom, but I honestly don't know where from because I bought it in a scrap pack!) - I had JUST enough to squeeze the hood shape out of it - couldn't have planned it better!

He's very pleased - kept grabbing the ears all night and yelling "Looka mee! Mickey Noush!"

I made him a 3T both times, and the French terry has more drape so it works better as an outerwear layer. The C/L is clingier, and he wore it by itself as a shirt. The only thing I have left to fix is the lack of detail - my fault! I wanted to put buttons on the red part to mimic Mickey's clothing, and can't find two big white buttons the same! (Go figure.)

We'll definitely get a lot of use out of this pattern. I like functional clothing over occasional-use costumes, and the design of this hoodie is perfect for that. Thanks, Hayley!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sew Back to School!

I hardly find time to blog anymore, but I wanted to do the Sew Back to School tour with Lulu & Celeste and Sprouting JubeJube, especially when I saw the list of designers sponsoring patterns! While I used a couple that I owned already from Gracious Threads, I also am really grateful to Phat Quarters, Sofilantjes, Filles à Maman, and Jalie for donating patterns to me for this post! Sofilantjes and Filles à Maman were not new to me, but the other two I hadn't tried yet, and I am pleased to say I have two more companies to add to my list of "loves".

I originally planned to sew for both daughters, but when it came time for pictures I found that not only did my experimental garment (more on that in a minute) fit my younger girl better, but she's also a much more willing model. Miss 6 just wasn't feeling it. ;)

My first "outfit" kind of ended up all over the place, but trust me when I say it's right up this girl's alley. She is fun, snappy, and silly all rolled up in a ball, and loves every piece I made. The mock turtle top and pretty vest are Gracious Threads' patterns that I owned previously, and hadn't had the chance to make. When I was looking for a simpler top that would stand on its own but not outshine the beautiful Glacier Vest, the Chestnut Tee seemed the obvious choice. Mock turtlenecks are my favorite on little kids! The Chestnut has quite a few different options; I went with short sleeves because I wasn't sure how cool it would be yet, and a simple cut.  The vest is intended for fun, fancy fabrics like faux fur (how about that alliteration!), and this stashed sweater knit (I don't even remember where it came from!) and pretty beads just pop. I lined it with some rayon spandex from Pretty Posh Prints, using thin strips of the same for the ties. Threading the beads with a darning needle was a challenge, but it got done and I'm so pleased with the result.

The Poppy Peplum Pants were kind of an impulse request but I'm so glad I did. They're really so much fun, and speak to Miss 4's personality perfectly. They have a "loose legging" fit, so perfect for school, and the peplum is a great way to add some flair to not-so-ordinary pants! That amazing houndstooth pattern cotton spandex is Girl Charlee's Bolt line, and the peplum is lined with more of the luscious rayon spandex (PPP). I rarely buy purple fabrics, and I was delighted to find a few on my shelves that I could throw together! It's Sam's current favorite color, so she's more than pleased.

The second outfit is the one intended for my oldest, but here's where it got tricky. I mashed a couple of patterns that I hadn't made before, and - I didn't muslin. I know, I know. I did put a lot of thought into it, and it does fit Sam (besides being too long, but that's okay/an easy fix). Nonetheless, I'm SO happy with how it turned out. I love the idea, and I know I can (and will!) do it again, knowing what I know now. 

Recognize anything? The top is a sneaky use of the Camellia from Phat Quarters, with a simple facing added, collar removed, and button placket shortened just a bit. (I will lengthen the bodice just a touch next time I do this!) There are metal snaps in lieu of buttons. The bottom half is Jalie's Vanessa Fluid Pants pretty much in their entirety; I really didn't do much different with that pattern. The waistband is sewn as written except I used two pieces instead of a folded piece, and attached the top raw edge to the Camellia bodice! The placket makes getting this jumpsuit on and off very easy. I am so in love with drawstrings (here I used a piece of ribbon I've had for years) and the grommets make it look polished. The elastic is great for ease of fit, and my flowy rayon dot crepe (LA Finch) is the perfect fabric! So soft and dreamy, and way easier to sew up than I was expecting. I need to work with finer apparel wovens more.

The jumpsuit needs a topper, and the Aura Bolero is just right. I love (lovelovelove) princess seams; they are so attractive and take a garment "up" just a bit. A simple button/loop closure at the neckline, and this lined cardigan is a surprisingly quick but polished finish to an outfit. I was going for playful but sophisticated, and Sam's hair (a DIY, not by me either) gives it an "edge" - yeah, we'll go with that. (LOL. Kids are fun, right?? Also note that her hair was NOT "edgy" for the other outfit - I guess we "planned" that pretty well, taking the pictures at different times!

) Fabric is also LA Finch, a geo hacci knit that I could buy bolts of and never have enough. (I may or may not have snapped up 2 yards after lamenting that I really shouldn't, just to make myself a sweater once I finished this one.)

While rompers aren't the most practical things for school in general, we're now homeschooling and since Sam is in a short day preschool, I think it works! The sweater is perfect for our cooler evenings, should we be out and about, and the vest adds a layer for chilly but sunny mornings when you just can't bring yourself to put on a coat! I had so much fun with these outfits - keep following our tour to see the other "back to school" looks!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017