Wednesday, November 5, 2014

senna dolman tees for all (the girls)

last month i had the opportunity to do some pattern testing for the first time and i have to say, i loved the experience.  it really opened up the sewing community for me and the support for each others creativity....seriously, it's sistas in sewing!

it's the seena dolman tee by Gracious Threads for women and girls and the size range goes from 2T-8 and xxs-xxxl.  so essentially every female in your life could have one for Christmas.  :)  such a quick and satisfying sew, and there is a sew-a-long going on right now.  check it out!

i tested the size 8 in the girls pattern and it was an immediate hit.  in fact, it was worn 2 days and 1 night straight.  i used a cozy soft interlock knit from the fabric fairy and the trim is laguna stretch jersey from imagine gnats.



well, if you're going to make one, you may as well make 3, right?  :)




for these 2 i used some lovely organic cotton jersey from organic cotton plus that i originally bought for myself but in a stroke of 1am craziness i decided it would be perfect to try out some fabric stamping! so i grabbed some stamps and acrylic paint and, voila, personalized shirts!

i have been scouring the internets for the perfect horse fabric for my 9 year old but to no avail, so i am happy to have finally just made our own!



and a swirly butterfly pattern for her twin.  both of these have the laguna stretch jersey for the trims as well and it is holding up perfectly.  it's worth noting that this pattern can easily be made to fit those outside the size 8 measurements with some stretchier fabrics and a slight reduction in the seam allowance or adding some length.


AND i tested the women's pattern too!  i stitched up a medium and didn't change a thing from the pattern. i used an extremely light weight jersey for the body and cranberry jersey/lycra for the trim, both from girl charlee.

i am planning another in a heavier knit and experimenting with making it a long sleeve. :)


hop on over to Gracious Threads and check them out on facebook to be a part of the sew along....there's some free fabric for a lucky winner at the end of the sew along from l'oiseau fabrics too!

Melissa

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

KCW: fall edition

geared up to squeak out a bit of time to sew this week for some kiddos dear to me.  this season i have a baby who prefers not to nap during the day or truly stay asleep until after 10pm, thus the time to sew is short and precious, similar to the time my baby is a babe. but, i've spent a few weeks of prepping for kcw so my sewing time can be productive this week.  in 2 days of devoted sewing over the weekend, made possible by my awesome husband taking all 5 kids out for some daddy time, i stitched up this engineer's outfit to celebrate my nephew's 1st birthday.





I used fishstick's designs buttons and buckles overalls pattern in 18 months and some railroad stretch denim from here.  always love her patterns; straightforward construction, and her sizing and design make a truly great fit for babies and kids every time.





eeep!  i love this hat! it's from butterflytree patterns and i sewed the M since he measured at 19 inches.  a pretty quick sew and i love that the crown is just one piece instead of multiple panels to stitch together.




to make this outfit even more special for his first birthday, i found this shop to custom make him little train buttons, they are the perfect touch!  

all these beautiful photos were taken by his talented mom!



happy fall!




Monday, August 4, 2014

a ruby dress for a summer wedding

so last week it occurred to me that i had a wedding to go to and i didn't have a dress for the occasion! enter: the ruby!  i had been eyeing this pattern for it's ease, flattering fit, and i just so happened to have ordered some lovely fabrics from the miss matatabi.  two nights later, i had a new dress!


The yoke is an off white organic cotton voile.  i think it's more of a lawn than a voile though, it's not quite as silky feeling as i had thought it might be but it is still soft and lovely and i was pleased with how it worked here. i also used the voile to bias bind at the neck and arm holes and folding it all the way in to create a slightly deeper scoop and smaller straps.


i saw this fabulous eggplant double gauze cotton with the lace trim at miss matatabi and knew it would make such a sweet top or dress.  looks like she is sold out, but has it in navy.  this is the first time i have sewn with double gauze and it's a beautiful thing folks! soooo soft and comfy to wear!  please don't mind the wrinkles, these pics were taken after the wedding ceremony and on our way to the after party, and it was starting to rain!



many ladies have styled their rubies with a belt and it looks quite nice but it didn't look quite right, so to bring the dress in a bit i made some ties with the eggplant double gauze and put them right in the side seams at my natural waist line.  they bring the sides and back in just enough for my taste.

i am psyched about my new dress and am definitely planning to create a whole new wardrobe for myself with double gauze. just kidding. maybe. 





Saturday, July 26, 2014

bathing suits!

 i am a bit picky when it comes to buying bathing suits for my girls, between the fabric quality and the various cuts, each year it's tough to find a winner.  so, i grabbed this pattern, had the girls pick out the fabric they liked and went to it!



a little about the sewing....when it comes to knits i use my serger as much as possible since it usually speeds up the sewing process and allows for a sturdy, stretchy seam so that's what i used for most of this project.  but, my main machine is a vintage green Singer that only has a straight stitch so when a pattern calls for a zig zag or stretch stitch, like when you need to add elastic to your project, i just make sure i have a jersey ballpoint needle, lengthen my stitch length, and reduce my tension and it's all good.  when it came time to put in the elastic on these suits i was nervous my usual technique might not work on them or hold up to the serious stretching suits undergo....have you ever seen wicked excited kids get ready for the beach?!?!  these suits have been used at least 10 times (we live less than a minutes drive to the beach!) in the ocean and all seams and elastics are still going strong.  also, i have to say, suits are definitely cost effective. these suits only cost me $10 each, that includes shipping, plus a few hours of time...less than if i'd gone swimsuit shopping, so win-win!

what the kids say about their first mama-made suits....we like the high neck and racer back so the straps don't fall or twist and the arm openings don't chafe when you're doing your strokes cause that's no good when you're at the beach!


we like the coverage of the bottoms, cause well, that's nice when you just want to think about swimming, snorkeling, splashing, crab hunting and castle building! (fyi: both of the bottoms options on this pattern offer great, full coverage)


we like the side panel cause it's fun to be able to mix it up a bit!


i didn't sew these for kids clothes week but as the theme is kid art and the girls helped design their suits i thought i'd share it this week.

also, this lovely in her sunny day swim shorts.....


this guy in his sunny day crab shorts ready to hunt for crabs....


and this cutie ;)


yeah, it was a good day.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

kcw: sunny days for J in action

i love this kid and he loves his new shorts and tank and couldn't wait to give them a test ride.  for his orange tank i upcycled an old men's t-shirt and used the free tank pattern from fishsticks designs in a size 4.


the shorts are a colorful collection of construction vehicles on quilting cotton.  again i used the free sunny day shorts pattern in a size 4.



and i leave you with an action shot!

video





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

kcw: sunny days shorts for L

this pattern has been my go to shorts pattern this summer.  i love that it is for boys and girls, has sizes 6m-size 12, and is free at oliver + s!  miss L desperately needed new shorts and she even had a helping hand in the design cause boy does this kid love art! :)


the fit is great, nice and relaxed for summer fun.  I sewed up a size 12 even though she is usually a 10.  in patterns made with wovens i tend to size up to make sure there is enough give for my busy girl!


the fabric is kaffe fassett shot cotton i picked up in portsmouth, NH about 4 years ago, in a lovely shimmery plum.  lightweight and soft!  L did a little sketch art on the pockets with sharpies to make them truly hers and one of a kind!



for her second pair i upcycled a cotton robe from my fabric stash.  a summery blue and white pinstripe.


this time i did nice big patch pockets cut on the bias with an elastic at the top so all her treasures stay safe and secure inside!



Monday, July 21, 2014

kids clothes week: summer edition

yahoo! happy to be able to sew along with this summer kcw and the kids are happy to get a few new clothing bits for the summer.  so far some pj's, hats and tops have been completed.

i used the tumble tee pattern from imagine gnats for the tops (which happens to be on sale right now and goes from 6m-size 10!) and the runaround shorts from fishsticks designs for the bottoms (which goes from 12m-size 12!)....super fast and super comfy!  fabric is from girl charlee.


i thought i would try to do some fancy photo shoot with the kids and their new clothes and then I saw them all outside loving summer time and went with it. :)

my nine year old enjoying her smoothie pop while sporting her reversible Oliver and S bucket hat (free pattern) in the organic cotton lotus pond line (lily pond and blue diamonds), that i got here and her tumble tee in blue calico from the briar rose fabric line.  i extended the brim on these hats 1 inch for a more feminine look.



my 7 year old in her reversible bucket hat with lotus pond meadow white and lily pond, i love those little snails!!  Also from the briar rose collection, lilac strawberries, another tumble tee!  The tumble tee is 2 pieces that I serge together and then hem the neckline and arms and leave the bottom hem to roll, love that!




Melissa

Sunday, July 6, 2014

scoop top for me!

So I wear this shirt all the time.  it's the free scoop top pattern by skirtastop.  I used an organic cotton jersey from organiccottonplus.com, arctic paisley.  it is such a quick sew with only 2 pieces and a neckline and optional pocket. no sleeves to set in.  since i made it in a jersey i didn't hem the sleeves or the bottom so after i washed and dried it the hem curled up and the sleeves curled in like it hemmed itself! and that's just lovely for a casual shirt :)  
Since I am currently a nursing mama I am not really a S/M as this pattern is made to be but it is definitely flexible and the length is lovely over the mama tum tum. ;)



This picture was taken at my 4 year old's birthday party during the water balloon relay race, hence my excitement. My generous and talented sister in law took all the pictures capturing the day's celebration with so many beautiful candid shots.

Melissa

Monday, May 12, 2014

Another Top For Me!

Here's top number 2 and I am loving it!


It's the Day Tripper from Schwinn and Schwinn and it's awesome.  Super fast prep and sew, and the fit is so nice!  There are a number of options to make it your own....shoulder tabs, pockets, sleeve lengths and 3 bodice lengths.


My fabric is a lightweight jersey triangle arrow from girl charlee and the trim pieces are organic cotton interlock, embers, from NearSeaNaturals (which, by the way has just joined forces with organic cotton plus for a whole lot of organic sewing awesomeness all in one place, AND they are currently having a little re-opening sale!)  I cut the medium at the 24" length, short sleeves, and the pockets.  The only modification I will make is to stitch down the pockets to the front because they keep poofing out and I might try the 26" length next time!


This one is a total winner and I will be sewing another up for this spring and summer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spring Top Sewing

Sprucing up my wardrobe with a few new spring tops from the "Just add Jeans" collection that was out earlier this spring.  First I made this Parisian top to add a little easy elegance to my life.  Being Mama to 5 kiddos and 5 months post-partum, I felt like my clothing needed a little livening up.  This style is a comfortable fit, long (read: covers tum-tum), love the gathered sleeves, and the collar dresses it up.  I like that I can wear this with jeans or with a skirt to church.


I purchased this fabric from girl charlee cause i just love the color, but to be honest, it's thin slinkiness almost killed me!  From cutting out to lining up the seams was one headache after another.  But, i used my serger for almost the whole project so that made it a quick sew once it was all prepped.  The collar is a white embroidered cotton and adds a nice texture.  My oldest girls were kind enough to take my picture and tell me how to pose.

"Now pretend you are showing me the front."


"Now turn to the side like you're watching the little kids."



Sunday, April 13, 2014

kids clothing week: Easter Shirt for W

In a fit of spring cleaning I went through the summer clothes bins and bags and sorted out the fit from the too small, and the "clean and acceptable to wear" from the "holy dirty painty, blueberry stains batman!" clothes.  The yield was a little lacking in spring and summer wear so I have my "work" cut out for me to get my kiddos ready for Easter, spring and summer.  The kids are happy about choosing fabric and patterns and mama is happy to sew for them.  So I used Kids Clothes Week, a 7 day challenge to do some aspect of sewing for kids for one hour each day to motivate me into some serious sewing.  I did some pattern printing, taping and tracing last weekend and I had one goal in mind for sewing this week, complete Wyatt's Easter shirt.  Since my sewing time is wicked unpredictable I thought I garment was a wholly reasonable goal :).

Fabric is an upcycle of my husband's too small dress shirt. The pattern is Oliver + S, Lullaby Layette.


Wyatt is in cloth diapers and is a good sized 4 month old boy (17.12lbs, 26 in.) so I sewed up the 6-12 month size, it fits just right and will hopefully last through the summer.  It's a full and bubbly style, rather vintage.  It's sweet on its own and super cute tucked into pants as it looks just like a button down shirt!

big brother is making faces to make W smile for the camera
Here is an up close on the detail of the neck trim, I used the herringbone flannel to match his Easter pants.  I also had to use the whole sleeve for the front of the body so there is the cuff detail on his left shoulder.  I think it adds a unique touch and almost looks like a little breast pocket!



Big brother couldn't be left out of the photo shoot :)



Priceless.



Feeling very inspired and energized to keep going on my sewing list.  Big sister Easter outfit, here I come!

Melissa

Saturday, February 8, 2014

KCW Jump Start

i love sewing clothes for my kids and am excited to be making some goodies for our newest little guy.  So here is a quick run down of what I have sewn up for him in the first 11 weeks of his life....Set GO!

organic cotton baby gown and hat...BIG YAWN :)


Organic Flannel big bum baby pants for his first Christmas Jammies with the big siblings




     shoes!




Sewing for Boys R is for Romper (size 6 months) in organic cotton




Fishstick Designs lap tee coveralls (size 6-9m) in organic cotton thermal waffle weave, so cozy for sleeping





Fishstick Designs lap tee coveralls (size 6-9m) in organic cotton, so handsome!




The last two I started at the end of January during KCW and finished a few days ago.  It was a good inspiration and jump start to making more clothing the baby needs.  The combo of speedy infant growth and cloth diapers give me an excellent reason to make all the cute and cozy baby clothes I want (and can squeeze in the time for ;) )

I love this face!


Melissa