Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Scientific Seamstress Reversible A-Line Dress

I've had several different colors of chevron fabric that I purchased at a great bargain price from Ozark Fabric a while ago sitting in my stash, just waiting on the perfect pattern.  As I was looking through my patterns, I realized I've had this Reversible A-line Jumper pattern from Scientific Seamstress forever and I've never sewn it up.

I love that many pattens from Scientific Seamstress include doll sizes.  Chloe needs pretty dresses, too!  If I'm on the fence about purchasing a pattern, included doll sizes will tip me toward spending my money :-)

This pattern includes 1/4" seam allowances, so I got to use one of my favorite feet.

This is a 1/4" foot, and it helps keep my seems consistantly a quarter inch, even at tricky curves and corners.  If you're using a foot like this, make sure you're using a straight stitch!  I've made the mistake of accidentally forgetting to switch back from a zig zag and the noise my machine made was not pleasant.  

I also love using my extended table when sewing with heavy fabric or a lot of fabric.

The extended table makes life easier.  My machine came with this.  If yours didn't you can check if an extended table is available for purchase for your model.

Here are my fabrics all cut out for Jaidyn's dress and Chloe's dress.  Chloe is Jaidyn's Bitty Baby.  My husband laughs when I make them matching outfits.  He loves to tell me that Jaidyn isn't my doll.  He doesn't get it :-)  I would have loved to have matching doll dresses when I was younger, I'm thrilled to be able to make them for my daughter and her favorite doll.  

Whenever I'm making a matching doll dress, I pull out my daughters machine.  She sits in my lap and I put my hands over hers and we sew the little dress together.  She loves it!  Don't worry, she's just posing in this picture, the machine isn't plugged into the wall.  When it's not in use, this machine is up and out of reach.  She sure does love sewing with me, though.  That's Curious George in the background…Jaidyn's favorite show at the moment.  

I absolutely love that little Janome machine.  We bought it at Target for Jaidyn's 3rd birthday.  She'd seen a picture of it online while I was window shopping and asked for it just about every day for 6 months.  I figure even if she can't use it on her own now, if she's still interested in sewing, she can learn on it and use it until she's old enough to buy a bigger machine, and if we take care of this one she can pass it on to her own children.  

The dresses came together very easily, and now that I've made it once, next time will be so much quicker.  I love Scientific Seamstress patterns.  They are very detailed and I highly recommend them for beginners.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Poppy's Peekaboo Dress!  If you haven't made the Poppy's Peekaboo Dress by Create Kids Couture, I highly recommend making one. Now. Stop reading this post and go make it...well, maybe finish this post first. Lol.

The girls at CKC really designed a great dress. It's so cute, I just can't get over it!  The sweetheart bodice is different and adorable on a little girl. The double layer peekaboo skirt is just so cool. 

And the back?  I'm a fairly conservative girl. I don't show skin, I don't even like wearing shorts and I normally dress my daughter conservitavely as well. But I love this back. I don't think it shows too much, the skirt starts at the waist so she's covered pretty well. 

Luckily we are in Florida and we still have some warm weather. Our weather is so weird this year!  We had a freeze and then about two days later it was in the 80's. So strange. Point being, she'll get plenty of use out of this dress. 

This picture was taken just for fun. Of course Jaidyn wouldn't take the dress off after our impromptu photo sesh. She's such a sassy little girl!  I put my camera up and her hands went straight to her hips. I have no idea where she gets it from. 

Jaidyn picked her fabric out a while ago. I ordered the Sofia fabric from Bee Quilted and More a couple months ago and Jaidyn keeps taking it out of my fabric stash and draping it around herself. The best part?  Poppy's Peekaboo doesn't take much fabric at all so I have plenty left. I was going to make Coco's Pettiskirt, also from CKC but I think this dress is poofy enough. 

I am a new CKC fan. Everything I make from them looks so complicated when it's done but is so very easy to make. This was actually a quick sew. I had it sewn, pictures taken and my sewing area cleaned up before Landen came home from school. And that's with taking breaks to be a mommy. And Jaidyn and I had time to watch Tangled. Quicker than quick, faster than fast!

Poppy's Peekaboo Dress is available in doll sizes as well!  They are made to fit 18 inch dolls, but the patterns usually fit my daughters 15" American Girl Bitty baby (also known as Chloe). I'll have to make that next. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sassy Shorts by Ginger Baby Patterns Review

Little girl shorts...I'm always on the lookout for the perfect pattern. And I have some GREAT patterns. But when Ginger Baby Patterns was looking for a tester for her new pattern, Sassy Shorts, I knew I needed to be a tester. I feel so lucky to have been chosen.

The Sassy Shorts certainly are just that...sassy!  With a slightly lower rise and shorter inseam than you normally see (though still modest), these shorts are sweet and sassy all at once. There are so many ways to style these shorts and make them your own. And with a size range of 12m-11/12, you'll get a lot of use out of this one pattern. 

My daughters favorite part happens to be the pockets. She was trying to sneak treasures in them during our photo shoot. Ya, acorns...all that fun stuff. 

I chose to add ric rac, instructions for doing so are included in the pattern, as are instructions for adding ribbon and bows. There are lots of ways to make these shorts uniquely you. 

To make Jaidyn's shorts extra sassy, I added her monogram before I sewed it together. I love how it turned out!!

Get your own pattern for Sassy Shorts here. I highly recommend them for a quick sew and a cute, wearable item for your little girl :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday, Landen!

Nothing sewing related today, just a quick post to tell my little guy happy birthday!

 Happy Birthday, Landen Jerry!  In honor of your 7th birthday, here are 7 reasons why I love you (although it would take a gajillion and one birthdays to list even half!). 1) you really care about the environment and all the creatures in it, even the icky bugs. 2) you are so sweet with little kids, I love your big heart. 3) you love to read and learn. 4) you care about my feelings, when I'm sad, you're sad and you try your darndest to cheer me up. 5) you crack me up!  You're hilarious and you know how to make people laugh. 6) you make YouTube videos that we never put on YouTube. 7) you love my cooking, even when it's just spam with eggs and rice, you're always amazed at how good it tastes. Hope this is the best birthday yet, little heart. I love you! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs

School is in full swing in our small corner of the world, so I've been more focused on sewing new school clothes for my little man.  Last week I made him a coordinating outfit!  Something I usually do for Jaidyn.  I chose to sew a Maxwell Top by Shwin Designs and some Blank Slate Patterns Clean Slate Pants/Shorts (my go-to for Landen's pants or shorts) in the shorts version in coordinating fabrics.

Couldn't get a decent smile from him!
This turned out so dang cute!  I was worried because he's about to be 7 (in 5 days, yikes!!) and you have to be careful with being too matchy-matchy with older boys.  But the funkiness of the Maxwell Top makes this all work.

The top fits a little wide on my skinny boy, but that's okay.  His chest measured a size 4 and I still made a 6 because I second guessed myself.  Next time I'll make it smaller in width and keep the size 6 length.  If you're making this, follow the measurements provided!
I love the aqua blue against the black!  I even used this aqua blue thread to top-stitch.  I think it added some extra oomph.

The Kona Cotton I used attracts lint like crazy!!
The instructions were super easy to follow.  They have a ton of pictures and there's even a YouTube video to help you attach the collar if you need help, although I found the instructions written well enough that I didn't need the video.  Landen loves his new outfit and we've already gotten tons of compliments.  

And the shorts?  I can't rave enough about the shorts.  I've made about a gazillion pairs of these already and I've had the pattern for about 2 months now.  They aren't baggy, I LOVE that they are slim fit without being skinny jeans.  Melissa describes how to install a zipper so well that I've heard a ton of bloggers (including myself) claim that these are the pants that taught them zipper installation.  You can make these with or without the zipper, with or without the front pockets, with or without the back welt pockets, as pants, shorts, or capris, making this just about the most versatile pattern I own.  And they look great on girls and boys, so even when my son outgrows the sizes (fingers crossed that bigger sizes are coming soon!  Maybe?  Hopefully?) Jaidyn will still get a ton of use out of this pattern. 

I'd love to see your version of the Maxwell Top and/or Clean Slate Pants!  Link your blog or page in the comments :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Texas Rose by Ellie Inspired

I was thrilled to open my email and find a message from Laura over at Ellie Inspired asking if I wanted to test her new pattern. The answer was 'yes!!'  I love Ellie Inspired patterns. They are sweet and unique and well written. Plus, I had seen previews of The Texas Rose and it was already on my list of must-haves. You can download the pattern here.

The dress is gorgeous and it is loaded with options. Ruffles down the front, short or long sleeves, tunic length, The Texas Rose even comes with a ruffled pants pattern to go with the tunic option, all in a huge size range of 1-16.  What a bargain! Every little girl needs a shirt dress like this and I can't wait to make more. 

I especially like the look of the dropped waist and layered ruffle skirt. Jaidyn rocked the dress, but I couldn't get her to put the phone down. I have plans to make a few of these in the long-sleeved dress option as well as the long-sleeved tunic and pants option for fall this year. A huge thanks to Laura for letting me test this pattern, it's absolutely perfect!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blank Slate Patterns Sew-Along

Mothers of little boys, especially older little boys, know how hard it is to find good patterns that your little man will wear. That's why one of my most favorite pattern designers is Melissa from Blank Slate Patterns. She has a wide variety of patterns perfect for a trendy boy, whether they're a toddler or an older school-aged fella. She has a gorgeous pattern for moms and some adorable patterns for little girls, also (I've got a few for Jaidyn waiting on the perfect fabric).

Melissa had a sew-along on her Facebook group, Blank Slate Patterns and her blog, Melly Sews where she provides tips as she sews along. If you haven't yet, you should definitely join the Facebook Group. Melissa is on there often and is always happy to help if you have any questions. Plus you get to meet lots of fun ladies who share a love of Blank Slate's PDF's.

For the sew-along we made the Coastal Cargo's. You can purchase the pattern here. I love this pattern!  You can roll them up for a long beachy type pair of shorts and roll them back down for cool summer evenings.  They have a bias binding detail down the side and inseams that serves two looks cool and it hides the raw edges on the inside of the pant leg, so when you roll up the pants you don't see any seams.

Landen loved them so much he asked to wear them on his first day of 1st grade. 

The pattern pieces taped together perfectly once printed. The pants were so easy to sew. Melissa's patterns taught me how to install a front-fly zipper and welt pockets. Even a newby can accomplish these daunting sewing tasks with Melissa's fab instructions. 

I made my son a size 6 in the waist, and a 7 in length. I LOVE that they are long enough for him but they aren't sagging in the waist. That's the benefit of sewing your own cloths. If I buy him RTW pants, either they are baggy in the waist and long enough, or they're too short but fit him in the waist. He's tall and skinny. I'd say that these pants fit true-to-size. 

The most difficult part of the pattern is sewing the inseams, and that's just because you have to sew in a tight spot. Melissa was kind enough to shoot a video to show how to do this, for those of us that are visual learners. You can find her tutorial here

Aren't they just so cool rolled up?  I made these out of linen because it's still so hot here in Florida. I hope Landen isn't too rough on them. I love this pattern and can't wait to sew up many more!!