Thursday, May 11, 2017

Season of One Thimble!

Click here to visit One Thimble

Funny enough this Spring has really been the Season of One Thimble (affiliate link).  It started off really innocently, I signed up for a pattern test with Gracious Threads and then she announced that pattern was going to be in Issue 15.  Then I answered Winter Wear Designs call for some boy testers and bam, pattern number 2.

So I'll start with the Dax Trousers from Gracious Threads.  I tested these on my smaller boy child.  They are a slim fit dress up trouser.  For us that means they are the perfect pants for church, thats about the only place we dress up these days.  I could definitely see them even more dressed up- and you can too in the sneak peek for Issue 15 (affiliate link).

As usual, the directions and drafting from Gracious Threads is excellent.  This pattern walks you through a working fly and a bonus technique sheet is available for extra help free on the Gracious Threads site.

The pants also have a nice clean finish on the inside, big deep front pockets and classic welt pockets on the back.  

This pair here was actually made from an old pair of my husband's so I recycled the belt loops, buttons and used the existing hem.  I tried to use the zipper but ended up accidentally cutting it at the wrong spot.  He wore these on Easter Sunday with his Pete the Cat Shirt (made from a Buttericks pattern).  

So then I moved on to the big brother.  He got the new Metro Blazer from Winter Wear Designs.  It was surprisingly fun to test the blazer.  We are not blazer wearers here- even my husband has only worn one a handful of times since I've known him.  Still I thought it would be fun to see my oldest dressed up for a change.  When I went to photograph the blazer though it didn't seem natural to dress him up.  What I did end up with made my mama heart ache a little.  My baby is so grown up!

Before I show him off though, let me say a few words about the pattern.  The directions are clear and well written.  One thing, I'll admit that threw me is the sizing.  I'm so used to just sizing up when me kids are between sizes.  If you're familiar with Winter Wear patterns, then it will not be a surprise to you that you actually need to go down.  So my first version swam on my thin 12 year old.  I had to cut it down to get the right size.  Unfortunately I forgot that he was also tall so mine turned out a tad shorter than I think it should be.  There are directions in the pattern to customize the fit as well.

The finished blazer is just awesome.  It has a lining, wonderful slimming darts along the front and options for color blocking, either the large segments or just the yokes and collar like I did.  There are also welt pockets on the front.

Seriously, when did he get so big.  

Don't forget to head over to One Thimble (affiliate link), check out the magazine.  Its a super deal for all the wonderful patterns (plus for us here in the US, the poor Aussie dollar makes it an even better deal!).  If you really only want these two, you can also purchase them separately- Dax Trousers and Metro Blazer (affiliate links).

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

More Musings on the Amuse!

Okay so this was supposed to be one post but I rambled too much and felt it was better to break them up.  So if you haven't seen the first post, check it out- Amused.  I made up the Winter Wear Amuse Dress Version just as the pattern is written and loved it.

For the blog tour I really wanted to try out a knit version.  There are actually quite a few knit versions on the tour: Sweet Pea and PumpkinsIdle Sunshine and Connected by a Thread.  They are all fabulous!  In fact Brook from Middle River Studio is sharing her knit version in the same fabric I have from our fabulous fabric sponsor Fab Clique Fabric Shoppe.  How funny is that.

Well I saw Brook's version and just loved it.  So excited to make one just like it.  I decide though to try the contrast yoke with some lace over it.  Unfortunately my version did not quite work out.  Definitely not the look I was going for.  I tried the top version with the flat back so it wouldn't have as much fabric all around.  Uhm... I hadn't even had a big lunch!  Eeeeck.  So another mistake I made was to go down 2 sizes.  The knit is very thin and stretchy so I thought it would be okay.  It wasn't- the instructions do say only go down one, thats what I get.  Back to the drawing board.

 I still wanted a knit version.  I decided to flip the style- flat front gathered back.  First I marked the seam lines on the yoke and yoke opening.  I laid the yoke down on the front piece and cut off the gathered section.  You could just mark it and fold if you want.

Easy peasy.  Cut my new pieces and viola! I did go ahead and do the tunic length as the top length was just not working.  I used the same fabric for a band neckline per instructions in the pattern.

I cut the yokes and sleeve cuffs from woven rayon to add a little contrast.  Then I felt like the front was a big gaping hole so I added an appliqué.  Just love how it turned out.  It will match perfectly with my burgundy jeans or cords in the fall.  

Oh and look- no weird questions coming from this version.

Okay so flush on the success of this version, I went ahead and sewed up one more- for now.  This time I closed up the front all together and went with woven Rayon from JoAnns for the front and back yokes.  I used this knit rayon from Walmart I've had stashed, not sure how long it will last as it had small holes in it.  Oh well.  I went with bias binding for the neckline here too.  I also took off about 4 inches to make it right between the top and tunic length.  Worked out perfectly!  This one reminds me of a ready to wear top I have from Target that I just love- woven front to skim over and knit back for ease of wear.  Perfect combo.  I definitely will have more of these in my wardrobe really soon.

Don't forget to head over to the Winter Wear Designs Blog for the details on how to win a fabric bundle from Fab Clique.  While you're there you can pick up the pattern this week for 20% off with the code AMUSEME.  (Sale is over)

Check out all the stops on the tour:
Marta Glogger (guest blogger at Winter Wear Designs)


So the sure fire way to get me back on the blog is to sign up for a blog tour.  When Suzanne from Winter Wear Designs asked if anyone was interested in blogging about the Amuse Boho, it turned out that I could kill two birds with one stone- back to blogging and making the Amuse!

This tour is to welcome the Amuse Boho Top and Dress pattern on to the Winter Wear Designs site.  There are prizes and a discount code to be had, so be sure to head over to the Winter Wear site to get all the details.

Originally, as you likely know by now, the Amuse pattern was offered in the One Thimble Magazine, issue 14 (affiliate link).  I have to admit that I bought this issue secretly for this pattern.  I say secretly because the photos are clearly showing a pattern with design details I try to avoid.  There are other great patterns in this issue so it was easy to pretend I wasn't buying it for this pattern.

I am always drawn to the easy breeze style of the Amuse.  Trouble is I carry my weight in the middle and silhouettes with no waist definition just add pounds where I don't want it.  This top has gathering right at the empire line and then the option I liked the best also has fullness along the back.  Thats a lot of fabric!  Doing the plain back would eliminate some but I'd still be dealing with the gathering in the front.

That said, I still fell in love with the pattern as is and decided to make it first with no adjustments.  I picked out this wonderful rayon challis at JoAnn Fabrics and went to work.  I decided on the short sleeves for summer time and went with a dress length.  The fabric is perfect for the pattern, very drapey, gathers well and skims over the body.

When I put it on the only adjustment I ended up making was to close up the armhole a little.  I made the XL based on my measurements- 42 full bust- but the armholes ended up too low.  I just did a quickie adjustment that solved the problem.  I closed the armhole and then blended down toward the bust line.

The pattern itself is great, all the pieces fit nicely and the construction makes sense.  I did struggle to make my yoke piece on the front neat and tidy but I'll admit I was rushing.  I used bias binding on the neckline for a simple clean finish.  It is one of the options for the facing.

I love the back yoke which has the gathering sandwiched between the outer and the lining- such a nice clean finish.

I was thrilled when I put it on.  Its so comfy!  I want to put a disclaimer here before you go forward.  The Amuse Boho Pattern is wonderful.  The dress fits just as the design is intended to fit.  My size fits the shoulders and bust perfectly.  The issues I will discuss next have more to do with pattern and body mismatch.  I am always drawn to these flowy shapes.  I don't know if its a latent hippie gene or growing up too close to Santa Cruz.  They just draw me.  Unfortunately they are not my best silhouette.

So when I looked in the mirror, I was less than pleased with the overall look.  So much fabric!  From the side, I was thinking I'd be asked when the twins were due!  Oy.

So to tame the fabric I went with my old standby- a belt.  Yep, I wear belts more than I used to as my waistline seems to be disappearing.  I used to be a curvy hourglass shape with a belly but as I climb fully into my 40s, that hourglass is becoming more and more rectangle.  Time to experiment!

Which do you like?  Options 1 and 2 are definitely hugging my belly too much.  The belt in Option 2 is too loose, it might work if I punch another hole and get it to stay just a fraction higher.  Really though I'm loving Option 3.  I bloused the sides a little much in this picture but the proportions seem good to me.  

See, now I'm ready for a Summer date night!  Who wants to babysit 3 semi-feral kids?  

PS- the Amuse Boho Dress can be purchased at Winter Wear Designs, use the code AMUSEME for 20% off. (Sale is over)  Don't forget to head over to the blog, if you didn't come from there, and sign up for the give away.  

Check out all the stops on the tour:
Marta Glogger (guest blogger at Winter Wear Designs)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Shorts, Shorts, Shorts- for the little boy

Big boy doesn't need any shorts after finding a stash of REI shorts in his size at Salvation army for $3 each.  So easy.

The Little boy is a different story.  He is finally getting the whole I have to actually pee in the potty.  (We won't talk about the other part.)  I've noticed though that for a such a thin bit, his shorts are rather tight and need to be re-buttoned and zipped up when he goes.  We have a small stash of elastic but they are weekend shorts.  Yes, I'm that parent that doesn't like to send their kids to school in athletic wear.

So long story short, he needed shorts.  I was looking for something super simple and pull up but wasn't finding anything already traced out in my stash.  I did find 2 tracings in size 98 of the Aqua Shorts  #7 from Ottobre 3/08.  I obviously made them for my oldest once upon a time.

Yep, I made him these awesome soft corduroy pants.  In fact they are sitting in my youngest bottom drawer waiting for fall.  Hopefully they'll fit.

Well despite the fact they aren't exactly "whip it up" quick, I decided to go for it.  I'm so glad they are awesome!  The only change I made was to take out 2 inches in the denim and khaki pair.  I felt they were too long for my taste.  The striped pair is board short material I picked up from  Chez Ami ages ago when they were still selling fabric.  It was so much brighter than I had anticipated and has been languishing in my stash for a while.  Funny thing is I cut those out last summer and started putting them together- so they have one front pocket that was already done.  I decided to omit the rest of the pockets to make them faster.

I know I'll make a couple more to last through the summer.  Yeah!

Shorts, Shorts, Shorts- for the girl!

At least in theory.

Its sewing shorts season here.  I've been sewing shorts for my daughter, who it turns out actually has no summer clothes!  When I went to pull out the Spring/Summer clothes for the kids there was no stash for my daughter.  She had a skort from Children's place and a couple of dresses that she won't wear.  Because we did have a weird hot spell, I bought her some short sleeves shirts and shorts at the local thrift store.  Still I knew she'd need a few more.

I started with the Scientific Seamstress Skirt & Skort pattern.  I was wanting to copy the Children's place skort that they no longer sell.  Hanna Anderson one for $36.  Even though the SS pattern is for wovens I decided the style would be okay in a stable knit.  I wasn't sure about sizing down.  I did not.  I might take some width out but really the elastic holds them up and my daughter finds them really comfortable.

The first I made from an up cycled woman's t-shirt and some minky in my stash.  It was intended as a wearable muslin.   She's worn this one several times since it was made.

The second one is more like the inspiration.  This skort was made from french terry in my stash.  The top is Jalie 3245.  

After that I wanted to put together some quick and dirty shorts and tee sets for her.  I went with my old stand-by Ottobre for the t-shirts.  These are all modified versions of the standard tee in Ottobre 4/04.  The shorts took a little more thought as I didn't want to spend too much time fitting.  I ended up going with the shorts from the Modkid Zoey pattern.  The pattern is super cute, I made my daughter a darling set last year during their sew along.  I didn't have time for the whole set but the shorts were perfect for my purpose here.  

They are flat front and elastic back.  I sized up so they would last through the summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Wrap up for Me Made May

So the last week of May came so quickly- really I cannot believe how fast May went as it is!

I was able to keep up with my personal challenge of wearing a Me Made item in conjunction with the style prompts from Style Sisters on FB.  It was definitely a challenge.

Sunday, style prompt- Dots and Stripes or Stripes and Flowers.  I made this tunic 4 years ago from Ottobre 2/2012, it was just before I found out I was pregnant with my third.  I don't think I've worn it since.  I'll have to give it a few wears this summer.

Monday, style prompt- Boho.   These are my favorite summer pants- not Me Made but I did alter them last year.  I actually narrowed the leg and added a yoga waist band.  I'm wearing the red top I made during the Basics week at the end of April.  

Tuesday, style prompt- tone on tone.  My ever present Iris Shorts with a Target Tee that has seen much better days.  

Wednesday, style prompt- cropped pants.  I actually don't wear many cropped pants, find them to cut me in a weird way.  These aren't too bad though.  I will replace these, hopefully, this summer with the Morgan boyfriends as the fit on these is all sorts of bad!  The top is Buttericks 5495, great pattern, I really should find some fabric to make another.    

Thursday, style prompt- Favorite Tunic.  My tunic is actually a Salvation Army find from Land's End.  Its a wonderful voile fabric which is great in the heat and humidity we get here.  I paired it with my lengthened Iris Shorts from last summer.  

Friday, style prompt- unexpected color combinations.  Iris shorts again!  

Saturday, style prompt- flip flops or oxford.  Of course you can't actually see my flip flops but they are there.  Sorry about the washed out picture.  The top is my sleeveless Sis Boom Shana.  I have put this top in the recycle pile as it has just not been my favorite ever.  I think the fabric is just too stiff.  I've got some voile to make a new one this summer.  

Sunday, style prompt- A little bit or a lot of pattern.  Polka dots and Jalie swimwear to the rescue!  This is a prototype for my summer suit.  I love it.  I'll likely make the sleeves longer.  I also make a SUAT Brazi bra to wear under and it peeks out of the neckline.  I'm thinking I may just go with a cheap underwire bra instead- I may need a little perking up in that area.  

Monday was actually a repeat of Sunday as we spent the day at the pool.  

Tuesday, style prompt- Your signature look/formula.  This outfit is definitely my summer formula.  Tank or tee and shorts.  I'll put a long sleeve button-down on top for A/C and/or bug protection but otherwise you'll find me in some variation of this all summer.  The top is the Seamworks Aurora.  I'll definitely be making more to freshen up my tank collection.  

So thats Me Made May!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Made by Me Week 3

Yes I'm posting these both on the same day.  I didn't want one long post with both weeks.  So here we are with week 3.  The style prompts are from my friends at Style Sisters on Facebook.  Combining my two current passions- sewing and improving my style.

Sunday, style prompt- Show us a new item.  Okay, no picture.  I was sick this Sunday.  I know I was wearing something me made as most of my lounge and pjs are me made.  No pic though.

Monday, style prompt- Favorite warm weather completer piece.  Mine is this ladder necklace I bought for the GYPO Summer Style Challenge in 2014.  I hemmed and hawed since I rarely wear necklaces and was still nursing a munchkin who pulled on anything that he could grab.  I'm so glad I went ahead and bought it.  Mine is a copy cat from Zulily that has held up beautifully.  Here I'm wearing it with a long sleeve store bought t-shirt, my green Swoon cardigan and jeans.  Don't let the sunshine fool you, it was cold.

Tuesday, style prompt- Favorite Skirt.  This jean skirt was a recent- long looked for- purchase from Goodwill.  I've been searching for a jean skirt for a few years, everywhere!  Got lucky last month at Goodwill.  I paired it with my modified Day Tripper top, wool tights and rainboots!  It was a record month for rainfall.  

Wednesday, style prompt- Pattern or Favorite shoes.  Well I can safely say these are my favorite shoes.  They are shearling lined slippers from LLBean.  I'm pretty sure I spent this day in bed still recovering.  Ugh.  I am wearing a Hey June Halifax and heavily modified Sis Boom Judy sweatpants.  

Thursday, style prompt- Leapin' Leopard!  Okay, I was finally feeling better so I went all out.  I'm wearing the leopard top I made for my capsule (Ottobre pattern) with my favorite leopard Bobs and fun leopard watch.  Bright pink cardigan to call the Spring.  

Friday, style prompt- Graphic Tee.  This tank is an up cycled t-shirt using a pattern from my trusty Ottobre magazines.  

Saturday, style prompt- Feelin' the Blues, wear denim.  Rain, rain go away!!!  Its never ending.  I managed to get out to take a picture most days during the break.  No luck on Saturday.  While you can't see it well I am wearing jeans.  I topped them with an Ottobre t-shirt from the awesome sewing collage fabric and panel from Affordable Fabrics (a little bit of a misnomer!).  I think I may need to budget some $$ for another panel, I love it.  

Woo Hoo!  A week and a half to go.  I'm definitely going to be spending time culling my closet after this experience.  I want more Me Made and some days I struggled to reach for them.

Season of One Thimble!

Funny enough this Spring has really been the Season of One Thimble  (affiliate link).  It started off really innocently, I signed up for ...