Tuesday, February 25, 2014

free truck applique

Since my kids had no school last week, I decided to take an unplanned break from blogging (and sewing!) to simply enjoy my time with them.  And sometime during that week I remembered that I really love carefree days with no schedule and lots of time to just relax :)  But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end!

Anyway, I intended to post this last week but never quite got around to it.  Better late than never, I suppose!

*** After you click on the link for the pattern, make sure to open it with Acrobat Reader before printing.  For some reason the pattern does not print correctly directly from Dropbox in certain browsers ***

I drew this truck applique for Mae's outfit for Project Run & Play week 4 and thought I would share it with all of you!  I rarely sew anything appropriate for boys, so when I do, I try to blog about it.  And this truck applique should work for a boy, probably even better than it would for most girls :)  My girls are a bit unusual, but we come from a car loving family so I wouldn't expect anything else!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

izzy tester roundup part 2

This tester call was nothing like the first one where I worried that no one would respond.  This time I was overwhelmed by the number of women willing to test this pattern for me!  And I don't think I can ever thank everyone enough for their wonderful feedback!  But what I can do is share their beautiful creations with you :)

Made by Rachel

Made by Trinh

Made by Melissa

All Made by Gemma!!!

Made by Marnae

Made by Wyndee

Made by Kim

Made by Eulalia

Made by Casey

Made by Erin

Made by Lelania

I apologize if I missed anybody - please let me know if I did :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

pr&p week 4 - signature style

This week is the one that stumps me the most when it comes to the themes on Project Run & Play.  I just have absolutely no idea what my signature style is, especially since I'm rather fickle when it comes to what I like to sew :)  One week it may be a fancy dress and the next some basic knit pajama shorts for my boys.  So this season I decided my signature style is simply what I enjoy sewing right now ... which happens to be fun, versatile, practical, mix & match pieces.

I've had this fun mustard and cream wide stripe knit from Girl Charlee for a couple of months now, but I just hadn't found the right project for it.  Since I am currently focusing on using fabric I already have, I decided this would be my starting point.  I used pattern R from this Japanese sewing book (which I also used here) and then appliqued a truck on the front.  Why a truck, you may ask?  Because this is Mae's current favorite toy:

My favorite part of the entire outfit is the car seat poncho!  I almost didn't make this, but I'm so happy I did.  However, I don't think Mae shares my enthusiasm :)

A few weeks ago I decided Mae needs a poncho to wear while she's in her car seat.  It's such a pain to carry her out to the car, remove her coat before buckling her in (while -10 degree wind blows right through the car!) and then hurry to get her coat back on once we get where we are going.  I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted, so I looked where I always do ... Pinterest!  And I found this pin which is absolutely perfect.  I really didn't think there was a pattern anywhere so I drafted my own, minus the hood which is too bulky in the car seat.  27 pieces later and I was ready to assemble it :)

Although I knew I wanted a truck on Mae's shirt, I couldn't find a picture anywhere of exactly what I wanted.  Mae's little play farm truck is loosely based on a 1950's Ford pickup, but it has a more cartoon-y (I'm sure that's not a word!) appearance.  So I sat at my kitchen table, looking pretty silly I'm sure while I over analyzed a toy, and drew (digitally) a truck.  Then my confidence got a real boost when at least three family members told me I better keep trying :)  Art in general is not really my forte, but after more time than I care to admit to, I finally managed to draw a truck. 

Since the top is kind of busy, I wanted to keep the bottoms pretty simple.  For the shorts, I started with the Made Kid Shorts pattern.  I cut a size 4T (Mae normally wears a 2T) for a loose fit.  I added pleats to the front flat waistband and used elastic in the back.  Then I gathered the bottoms and added cuffs since they were really wide on Mae's legs.  I was going to just hem them at first, but the fabric is pretty stiff and Mae looked like she was wearing parachute shorts which wasn't quite the look I was going for :)

For the leggings, I just traced a pair that currently fits Mae to make a basic pattern.  The fabric is the wrong side of a burnout rayon knit that happened to be metallic gold.  The construction was super simple, but unfortunately I learned the hard way that you can't iron this particular metallic fabric or it won't be metallic any more!  Luckily I bought extra :)

This was a fun project, although it's more pieces than I normally make at one time so it was a bit time consuming.  However, every piece is practical, versatile and can be easily mixed and matched, so I'm calling the whole outfit a success!

Dora the Explorer has a special place in my heart after this photo shoot.  Mae was having a bunch of fun acting out some of her favorite parts and was content to take pictures for quite a bit longer than normal :)

And this picture is how I know Mae was done taking pictures and Dora would no longer work.  I'm pretty sure those fingers weren't coming out of mouth for anything short of me offering her candy or ice cream :)

Top - Girl Charlee
Shorts - Uncut corduroy from Joann's
Leggings - Gold metallic rayon jersey from Joann's
Poncho - Cotton sherpa from Nature's Fabrics
Poncho lining/Truck applique - Elsies's Kitchen by Anna Griffin for Windham Fabrics
Snaps - Kamsnaps
Boots - H&M

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

the izzy top pattern is now available in sizes 6 - 12!

I am excited to say that the Izzy Top is now available in sizes 6 - 12.  And before anyone else asks, no I don't have any intention of making this in women's sizes :)  Grading it for the sizes I did was enough for me.  Once again, I had a phenomenal group of women willing to test this pattern for me! Thank you so much everyone!  Make sure to come back in a few days to see some of their wonderful creations :)

Get the free pattern HERE

Get the sewing instructions HERE

*** After you click on the link for the Izzy Top pattern, make sure to open it with Acrobat Reader before printing.  For some reason the pattern does not print correctly directly from Dropbox in certain browsers *** 

Periodically, I may need more testers.  If you are interested, please follow me on Bloglovin' or Facebook and watch for the tester calls :)  Hopefully the next one should be sometime in March!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

pattern review - tuileries dress by sewing in no mans land

Last week I pattern tested the Tuileries Dress designed by Kelly from Sewing in No Mans Land.  If you haven't visited her blog, you really need to go take a look.  Although there are there tons of sewing tutorials (and I mean tons!), the real stars of the blog are Kelly's kids and the phenomenal pictures of some of the places she and her family have lived.  In fact, her pictures are so good that I felt really pathetic sending her pictures of Mae taken in a local shopping mall!  But our local scenery in Michigan is pretty much dreary, grey and frozen at the moment, so the photography locations are quite limited :)

One of my favorite parts of the Tuileries Dress is the pleated skirt.  I gather dresses way more often then I pleat them, and I have no idea why!  I really dislike gathering and pleats look so much more finished anyway.  The pattern also calls for two little pleats on the bodice which is a nice little extra touch.  You can't see that feature too well in my pictures, but with a different fabric I'm sure it would be more noticeable :)

I made the size 2 which fits exactly as I would expect.  The dress is a bit big at the moment but should fit perfectly this summer.  Fortunately just in time for Mae to grow into her kelly green and navy shoes that Grandma bought her :)

I did have to modify the pattern slightly since I didn't have a zipper and the arctic blast temperatures for the last week (along with my kids not having school!) prevented me from getting to the store.  Since I originally cut the pattern for a zipper, I couldn't just overlap the back so I had to add a button placket to the entire length of the dress.  I referenced my own tutorial (found here) since for the life of me I couldn't remember whether I hemmed the dress or added the placket first.  Sometimes I think it's good that I have a blog just so I don't have to rely on my memory ... it's so much easier just to go look it up :)

I also added the navy band for contrast.  All I did was treat it as part of the skirt while attaching the skirt and bodice together.  And then I added navy buttons to complete the look and called it done.  The dress really was easy to sew and I love the method of attaching the skirt to the bodice which gave both the outside and the inside a very polished finish with no topstitching.  You really should try it for yourself!

Bodice - Embroidered cotton from Joann's (several years ago)
Skirt - Robert Kaufman Essex linen blend in kelly
Navy band - Stretch poplin from Joann's
Buttons - Joann's
Snaps - Kamsnaps