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