Tuesday, September 30, 2014

my baby is three!

Last Friday Mae turned three!  I don't know where those three years went, but they are gone.  I woke up on her birthday and realized that I am done with the terrible twos, although Mae wasn't really that bad :)  I know a lot of people get sad as their kids get older, but I'm not much of a baby person (hard to believe that I had six of them!) and I truly enjoy seeing my kids grow up and slowly turn into the adults they will be some day.

On Sunday we celebrated with our "family" which actually includes quite a bit more more than just family, but to Mae, they are all family since they have been part of her life since she was born!  The theme for the day was Frozen, which I'm sure comes to no surprise to any parent of a little girl :)  Although in our house, using the word theme might be a bit of a stretch.  I don't throw Pinterest parties ... not even close!  I bought a Frozen balloon, a plastic table cloth and some plates, and my mother-in-law decorated the cake with the characters from Frozen, and we called it good ;)  I figure Mae's not going to remember the decorations anyway.

But what she will remember is her presents!  We don't go overboard with gifts, but she truly loved each and every one.  I'm happy to say that she's played with all of them several times already, and I can see her using them for a long time to come.  I'm pretty sure, at least for the moment, the bubble maker is her favorite!  She wouldn't stop popping the bubbles for long enough to look at me for a picture :)

I made her shirt the night before the party, right after I remembered that I bought the fabric a couple of months ago!  I'll try to get some better pictures to share on the blog later, because last Sunday I was focused on her and not her clothes, so this is all you get for now :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

secret garden knit top

Before I start this post, I just want to note that I received this pattern for free as part of the blog tour.  However, I only do blog tours for patterns that I wanted to sew in the first place, so you can rest assured that everything I say in this review is how I actually feel about the pattern, and it is not biased due to the pattern being free :)

I love the overall look of the Secret Garden Dress pattern, but it's a bit less than practical for the Michigan winter to come :)  So I made just a few modifications while keeping the feel of the original dress.  In other words, I kept the v-back, the bow and the circle skirt because those felt like the essential components of the pattern, but then I added sleeves and shortened the length to make the dress work better for us right now. 

I started with the size two, but since I was planning to make the dress from a knit, I knew I would need to size the dress down about one size.  Unfortunately, the pattern doesn't go any smaller than a size two, so I just winged it, and I think the fit turned out pretty good!  I eliminated the side zipper (not needed with the knit) and added binding to the neckline instead of using a lining.  I also added sleeves from the knit tee pattern I used here, shortened to just below the elbow length.  I'm not sure what you call that length, but it's not quite elbow or 3/4.  I've heard people refer to 5/8 sleeves before, and although it seems like such an odd length, I'm guessing that this is what you would call a 5/8 sleeve :)

I love circle skirts because they are so much fun for twirling, but Mae really doesn't need any dresses right now, so I drafted a high-low hem to turn the dress into a top.  I didn't hem the skirt for these pictures, since my stretch twin needle broke the other day, but I think I will hem it before Mae wears it the next time so the sides hang a little neater.

The last thing I did was finish the back of the dress with a small knit bow just below the v-back.  It's not nearly as impressive as the original flounce included in the Secret Dress pattern, but it fits the scale of the top much better.  Plus it's a bit more practical for tucking into snow pants when it's -20 outside!

Red Stripe - Funkaliscious Fabrics
Bindings & Bow - Cotton/Rayon jersey from fabric.com
Leggings & Shoes - Target

If you want to buy your own Secret Garden Dress pattern, use the code "SGTOUR25" until the end of the day Saturday either in the Etsy shop or on the E+M website.  Or you can purchase through Craftsy which already reflects the discounted price.

Here are a few links for you to check out - the blog tour has so many great versions of the Secret Garden Dress!

September 22
September 23
September 24
September 25
September 26

Make sure to enter the giveaway for patterns from all these great sponsors before you go!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

pattern review - greenstyle everyday yoga pants

I'm sure you've seen plenty of blog posts lately about Perfect Pattern Parcel #5, so I will get right into the pattern review.  If you want to learn more make sure to click on the link above or scroll down to the end of this post to see all of the patterns included in the bundle.

I chose to make the Greenstyle Girl's Everyday Yoga Pants, times two :)  Originally, I was only going to make a pair for Gracie, but I loved them so much, I made an identical pair for Mae!  Gracie is in competitive gymnastics for the first time this year, and as a result, so she no longer walks around the house like a normal person.  She tumbles.  And cartwheels.  And when she does walk, it's on her hands :)  All of which calls for comfy clothes.  And it doesn't get much more comfy than yoga pants!

Gracie normally wears an 8 slim, and I never know what size to make her, so I took a quick look at the sizing chart, which said that Gracie should wear an XL!  That didn't seem quite right, but all it took was one visit to the Greenstyle Patterns Facebook page to determine that the size chart is supposed to say waist measurement, not hip measurement.  So armed with that knowledge, I referenced the chart a second time, and determined that Gracie needs a size Medium, which makes way more sense since that is a size 7-8!  I think the pattern runs more like the smaller size listed, which is great for my skinny girl, but I did have to add 1" to the length.  Since the pattern seemed to run on the smaller end I decided to use the size 4-5 (XS) to make a pair for Mae who normally wears a 2-3.  I used a 3/8" seam allowance rather than the 1/4" called for in the pattern and cut 2" off the length, and the fit is perfect.  And, best of all, Mae loves having pants that match her big sister.  Although Gracie is less than thrilled to match her little sister :)  I guess I can't win everything!

Solid Knit - Ponte from Joann's
Striped Knit - Cotton Lycra from FunkaliciousFabrics

Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

Parcel #5: Girls and Tweens includes: 
Lily Knit Blazer by Peek-a-Boo Patterns
Everyday Yoga Pant for Girls by Greenstyle
Asymmetrical Drape Top by EYMM
Playhouse Dress by Fishstick Designs
Mimi Dress and Shirt by Filles a Maman

BONUS PATTERN: Sunki Dress by Figgy’s
Choose a price of $28 or greater for Parcel #5 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the Sunki Dress by Figgy's. Fun pockets, a stylish silhouette, plus make it in knit or woven. Double bonus! The pattern includes both size runs, so you get 18 months through a 16 tween sizing. This is awesome sauce!

How Pattern Parcel Works:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity Donorschoose.org in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we've raised over $11,000 for classrooms in need!

If you have a chance, make sure to check out the other blogs participating the the Parcel #5 Inspiration Tour:

Friday, September 19 Pienkel || Cookin' and Craftin'

Saturday, September 20 Sew Busy Lizzy || The Life Of A Compulsive Crafter

Sunday, September 21 Keep Calm and Carrion || Felt With Love Designs

Monday, September 22 Radiant Home Studio || Sewing Sober

Tuesday, September 23 Sew Fishsticks || La Pantigana || Amanda Rose

Wednesday,September 24 Shawnta Sews || Sprouting JubeJube || Knot Sew Normal

Thursday, September 25 Make It Perfect || Mimi's Mom || Climbing the Willow

Friday, September 26 Needle and Ted || Our Family Four

Saturday, September 27 Froo & Boo

Sunday, September 28 Stitches by Laura || Vicky Myers creations

Monday, September 29 Cookin' and Craftin' || The Crazy Tailor

Tuesday, September 30 mama says sew || FABulous Home Sewn || The Inspired Wren

Wednesday, October 1 lady and the gents || That's-Sew-Kari || Sewing Sober

Thursday,October 2 Gracious Threads || Blogs Like A Mother || SewsNBows

Friday, October 3 sew chibi || Lulu & Celeste || Made by Sara

Thursday, September 18, 2014

sew it all series - japanese patterns: jacket

As of today, Mae's capsule wardrobe is done!  I love every single piece and I know that they will all get lots of wear, although not necessarily together.  I'm going to be honest and say that it didn't turn out exactly how I thought it would, but then again, nothing ever does :) 

Mae's cropped jacket is pattern V from this book.  I was quite impressed with the quality of this pattern.  The pattern pieces went together perfectly, and the instructions, although fairly complicated, were well illustrated.  I would not consider this a beginner pattern, but I don't think it was overly complicated either.  It just had a lot of steps and little things like grainline and precision seam allowances made a huge difference for the finished product :)

I stuck with the size 100 for the pattern since it seems to fit Mae with just a bit of room to grow, and I thought this fits true to size.  I didn't make any changes to the pattern this time, but I think I may try a longer winter version with the full length sleeves from pattern W in the book either this year or next.  I'll probably end up lining it for warmth too rather than using facings.

I'm chose to use fine wale corduroy, but I wouldn't recommend that choice to anyone.  The pleats on the front and back pieces are not lined up along the grainline due to the slight curve of the pieces, so the wale of the corduroy looks a little odd along the pleats.  It's not very noticeable (honestly, it's probably only noticeable to me!) but it was a little annoying for the simple reason that I really wanted to sew with the wale perfectly lined up along the pleat, and I knew I shouldn't :)

I usually try not to do too many posed shots with the kids, but I had to share this one.  Today is the first day that when I told Mae to smile she didn't bare her teeth like I was going to be eaten as the main course for her next meal!  She's actually smiling, you know, like a normal person :)

Fabric - Kaufman 21 wale corduroy in ginger
Snaps - Kamsnaps - Metallic Bronze
Dress - blogged here