Tuesday, July 28, 2015

eymm anniversary blog tour

Join EYMM and 24 fellow bloggers as we celebrate the first 24 months of our pattern shop with a huge sale and giveaway!  We will be featuring 8 different patterns for women and girls, as well as having a Manic Monday sale and a huge site-wide sale.  There is also a great giveaway at the bottom of this post. Don't wait because you don't see sales like this often from EYMM and it will be over before you know it!

*NOTE* The links below won't show the tour posts until 11am PST on their day of the tour, BUT you are welcome to click through and check their blogs out at any time.









Disclaimer - I did receive this pattern is exchange for participating in the blog tour.  I do not consider this to be an official review of the patterns because I don't think people (including me!) can actually give an unbiased review of something that they received for free.

I have never sewn an EYMM pattern before, and I have to say that I love the no trim method of assembling the pattern!  It only took a couple of minutes to print, tape together and cut.  I actually put my chicken on the grill and had my pattern ready to sew before I had to go outside and flip the chicken :)  The first pattern I made is the Carlie's Dolman Top in a size 3/4 with a modified neckline since Mae has fairly narrow shoulders.

Mae calls this her spaceship shirt :)  She doesn't really seem to care about the different between a spaceship and a UFO, although I don't really blame her since they're both ships that fly in outer space!

I couldn't really tell you why I decided to put a UFO on her shirt, other than I was bored at that particular moment and it looked like fun!  And sometimes I just like to sew something different than my usual fare for no better reason than it's different. Quite often I look at it when I'm done and wonder why I bothered ;)  But that is the beauty of kids clothes - you can get away with different, and they outgrow it pretty quickly if it's really that bad!

The second pattern I made is the Four Seasons Cardigan & Duster.  Although it no longer resembles either a cardigan or a duster :)  I started with the size 4T, and then made a whole bunch of modifications to turn it into a wrap style pool coverup.  It's pictured here as a sweatshirt since it was getting late and we weren't going swimming at the time, but you'll have to take my word for it that it's cute as a pool coverup as well!

I absolutely love this stripe fabric from Jumping June Textiles!  It's a European import lightweight sweatshirt knit.  It reminds me of a toweling material, just with a whole lot more stretch.  It's also super soft and washes beautifully!  I can't to sew with a few of the other prints that I bought :)

I had to include this last picture because Mae rarely looks at the camera and smiles at the same time.  Plus her hair is brushed which is more of a challenge that one might have imagined.  It's nice to finally have a picture of her that I can send to the Grandparents!  Although I'll probably remove the blog link first ;)

Star Print - 95/5 Cotton/Lycra knit from Jumping June Textiles on Facebook
Aqua Stripe - Lightweight sweatshit knit from Jumping June Textiles on Facebook
Solids - 1x1 cotton elastine rib knit from Ottobre Design on Etsy
Denim Skirt - Old Navy

Not only is there an AMAZING blog tour going on but 1 lucky winner that leaves a comment below between now and 8.3.15 will win a FREE EYMM pattern of their choice!!!!  Which one would you pick?

Then hop on over to EYMM to check out the awesome SALE, and an even bigger celebration giveaway with over $1000 in prizes.  There will be 40 winners in all.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

refashion month at house of estrela

I love a good refashion!  It's a great opportunity to use my creativity to make an old (and usually unwanted) item into something entirely fresh and new.  I enjoyed being part of Magda's Refashion Month last year (check out my t-shirt refashioning tutorial HERE) and loved sewing something new from something old again this year.  Can you guess which item from the (incredibly blurry!) picture I chose to refashion for the series this year?  Click over to House of Estrela to see if you are right :)

You should also take a look at the other bloggers that are participating in the series this year.  There are so many wonderful refashions to see!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

free pattern & tutorial - easy peasy baby pants

This pattern started when my girls wanted some knit pants for a few of their baby dolls so I drew up a pair of very basic baby pants.  They were so cute that I decided to go ahead and scale the pattern up to a size 24 months to make a few pairs of pajamas for Mae.  And since I took the time to scale the pattern I figured I might as well write up a tutorial to go along with the pattern!  Then, if I'm being honest, a year passed in which I did nothing with the pattern for some reason passing my understanding ;)  I've made a few more pairs since then (they make a great baby gift!) so I thought it was probably time (past time, really!) to share the pattern with you.

The picture above includes the original doll pair (newborn size) on the right and the first pair I made for Mae (24 months) on the left.  In the teeny sizes the legs are so short that it's pretty much just butt and then cuff ;)  But in the larger sizes the pattern has a narrow, semi-fitted leg.

Pattern - download HERE
Main fabric
     Newborn& 3 months - 3/8 yd
     6 months, 9 months & 12 months - 1/2 yd
     18 months & 24 months - 5/8 yd
Cuffs - less than 1/4 yd for all sizes
3/4" Elastic cut to the following measurements:
     Newborn - 15"
     3 Months - 15 3/4"
     6 Months - 16 1/2"
     9 Months - 17 1/4"
     12 Months - 18"
     18 Months - 18 3/4"
     24 Months - 19 1/2"

General Info:
  • This pattern is designed for knits with at least 30% stretch
  • Includes diaper ease in all sizes
  • When sewing knits use a stretch stitch and/or serge the seams to avoid breaking stitches 
  • The newborn size should fit most 18" dolls 
  • The sewing instructions are very basic , but there are tons of tutorials around for sewing with knits.  If you can't find what you need, email me (teri@climbingthewillow.com) and I will see if I can help :)
  • Tape the pattern together by trimming the edges and butting the grey lines against each other with the stars lined up and the letters matching.  The pattern layout is shown on page two of the pattern

Sewing Instructions:

1. Cut pattern pieces - 1 front, 1 back, 2 cuffs and elastic using the chart above.  Or you can cut the elastic 1" smaller than the baby's waist measurement.

2. Sew/Serge one side seam.  Press the seam toward the back.  Finish the top edge (optional) and sew second side seam.  Press the seam toward the back.

3. Fold the cuffs in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together and press.  Attach the cuffs to the bottom of each leg, stretching the cuff to fit.  Press the seams up toward the leg.

4. Place front and back inseams right sides together.  Sew/serge the inseam.

5. Fold the waistband down 1" and sew close to the raw edge with a stretch stitch.  Leave a 1-2" opening in the back to insert the elastic.

6. Insert the elastic through the opening.  Overlap the ends by 1" and sew together with a zigzag stitch.  Add a tag to the back (optional) and close the opening with a stretch stitch being careful not to catch the elastic while you sew.

Monday, July 13, 2015

baby bib with catch-all pocket

This tutorial was originally posted at Fort Worth Fabric Studio as part of the Oh Sew Baby Series.  It is a "catch all pocket" that can be added to my Baby Bib pattern, which you can download here and find the tutorial for here.  Although I know as well as you do that no bib is truly able to catch all of anything thrown by an enthusiastic toddler :)  The name catch all just happens to sound better than "catch significantly less than you would think possible but only if your toddler just so happens to be in the mood to eat neatly and only drop things down the front of them!"  I guess if all else fails you can hang it on a hook across the room and let your toddler aim for the bib pocket like a basketball hoop.  The mess will probably be contained about the same amount as it would be at any other meal ;)

Bib Pattern (mine can be found here)
Fat Quarter for Bib Front
Fat Quarter for Bib Backing
Approx. 12" x 5" for Pocket Front
12" x 5" Piece of Interfacing (optional)
12" Bias Binding

Creating the Pocket Pattern Piece:
  1. Cut out one complete bib pattern and an additional bottom half of the pattern.
  2. Draw a line parallel to the bottom of the bib at the desired pocket height (shown at 4" in the picture) and cut on the line.
  3. Cut the new piece down the center.
  4. Split the two halves by 1" and connect with a scrap piece of paper as shown below.  This is your new pocket pattern piece.

Cutting the fabric:
  1. Cut one front from the desired fabric - quilting cottons work quite well.
  2. Cut one backing from desired fabric - sweatshirt fleece is shown but chenille, terry cloth and flannel all work very well also.  You can also use a waterproof fabric such as PUL for the backing.
  3. Cut bib interlining for more absorbancy if needed (optional - not shown)
  4. Cut one pocket piece from quilting cotton or other contrasting fabric.
  5. Cut interfacing from pocket pattern piece if you are using a lightweight fabric.
  6. Cut 12" of bias binding

Creating the Pocket:
  1. Fuse interfacing to the back of the pocket piece using the directions provided with the interfacing.
  2. Place one edge of bias binding along the top edge of the pocket, right sides together.  Sew along the fold line of the bias binding.
  3. Turn the bias binding over the edge of the pocket piece and stitch about 1/8" away from the edge being sure to catch the back side of the bias binding in the seam.

Attaching the pocket
  1. Fold both the pocket and the bib in half vertically and mark the center of each piece.
  2. Pin the pocket to the bib with the wrong side of the pocket facing the right side of the bib front.  Baste the pocket to the bib front with a 1/4" seam matching the centers.  This line of stitching will be hidden during the final construction of the bib.

To finish constructing the bib, please head over to my blog and follow this tutorial.  Essentially you can ignore the pocket for the rest of the bib construction and just treat the front piece with the pocket the same as the front piece in the tutorial.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

summer sewing roundup

Last night I decided to take a break from the Bluebird Top and work on something else just to clear my brain.  Bad idea! Turns out swimsuit material and I don't play nice together :)  After an hour and a half (30 minutes of which was spent fighting my serger) I didn't have anything more to show for my time than I did when I started, except for perhaps a slight more healthy respect for people who can actually sew usable swimwear!  I will try again, but for now I would rather focus on something slightly more successful. So here's a roundup of what I have sewn for Mae so far this summer. And honestly, unless we have some kind of bizarre heat wave, I doubt I will sew much more. I'd rather get started on Fall sewing anyway :)  Just in case you were wondering about the lack of bottoms, she also has a couple of pairs of store bought denim skirts and shorts.  And, for full disclosure, Mae also has a few of the $4.95 knit tank dresses from H&M ;)  I can never pass those up!

Click on any picture below to go to the corresponding blog post!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

bluebird top as a dress

Here's a quick look at view b of the Bluebird Top - the dress!  This is the fourth version I've made this week, and at this point, I'm pretty sure I can sew it in my sleep.  Which is good since I plan on sewing another one tonight to test a small change to the pattern, and I'm a bit sleep deprived at the moment :)  I'm sure if I could stop reading at night I could fix the sleep deprivation, but it never quite seems worth it while I'm in the middle of a really good (or even not so good, I'm not very picky) book!

I really should sew something else soon!  I started making some undies for Mae last week, and they are still sitting next to my sewing machine half finished.  And since they only take about 20 minutes each to make, there is no excuse to not finish them!  Plus I'm pretty much done with Mae's summer clothes, and the other kids didn't really need anything this year, so I'd like to get a head start on fall sewing.  It is my favorite season with all the layering possibilities, so I tend to go a bit overboard, but it's okay because I justify it by telling myself that we have really long winters and I would get tired of seeing the same things over and over again :)

Tulip print - Joann's 

Monday, July 6, 2015

another bluebird top ... this time with tigers

A huge thanks to everyone for the great response to the Bluebird Top!!!  I made a couple of small changes to the pattern this weekend and sewed a second version, this time with tigers.  Just so you know, Mae did not like the tigers nearly as much as the bluebirds ;)  I, on the other hand, thought the fabric was absolutely lovely.  This was the first time I used fabric from Cotton & Steel, and it will definitely not be the last!

I plan to make a few edits to the pattern ... I like some things better in the first version and some in the second.  So once I'm done with that and sew one more top just to be sure everything is how I want it, I will spend some time grading the pattern (hopefully later this week!) and test out a few of the bigger sizes.  And then, if everything goes well, I'll put out a tester call on the Climbing the Willow Facebook page.  I'll mention it here too since Facebook isn't always very good about displaying posts to the News Feed :)

Please ignore Mae's weird hair and pose in this next picture ... I swear she looks like an aspiring bodybuilder.  I asked her to move her hair out of the way so I could see the back of the top, and this is what I got ;)  Reminder to self - put Mae's hair in a ponytail if you want a decent picture!

Although the inside of this top looks just like the last one, I thought I would show it anyway.  After all, who doesn't love French seams and a fully enclosed bodice!

Tiger print - Cotton & Steel Spring 2014 Collection