Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gracious Threads' New Look Tour: Rainbow Remix and Lazy Loungin' Little

 Gracious Threads has a new look, and I'm here on the New Look tour to show you a couple "new looks" of my own - twists on familiar, fun Gracious Threads patterns.

Natalie's asked me for rainbow clothing a few different times, and I was never really inspired by anything. But as soon as I started thinking of a "new look" for the Rainbow Tee, I knew just what I wanted. I cut a solid back, and a pieced front from the same solid black jersey. I got it at the thrift store, so fiber content and all that is unknown, but it's sooo soft and comfortable feeling!

I initially wanted to do piping, but then I worried that it might be too stiff to play well with the jersey. So I just cut strips (straight across, I didn't even think about the bias) of a few different colors - not a literal interpretation of a rainbow, exactly, but enough that it's clear what I'm going for!

Piecing the front together was fun, even though I had to be careful to get the pieces lined up right! I cut the armscyes out further to make a sort of extended "built in" cap sleeve, for simplicity, and I love how it turned out. Natalie thinks it's a lot of fun too (it was COLD outside, but she was a trooper) and loves how she can flip the "stripes" up and down - a little interactive clothing never hurt anyone.

The other pattern I knew I wanted a "new look" from was the Lazy Days Lounge Pants. I've been eyeing them since they were in testing, but my boy isn't big enough for the pattern yet, and he's the one I really wanted it for! So - I took matters into my own hands, and dropped it down a couple of sizes for him!

Pants are something I can't keep enough of for him - no sooner do I make a few pairs than he's grown into the next size. I love easy, simple lounge type pants for babies, especially when it's cold out. These ones definitely fit the bill! I left the pockets off, since he's not inclined to use them anyway, and I love the simple style on him!

A whole bunch of other bloggers have been making and inspiring with new looks over the past week: if you missed any, click the links below to check them out!

Did you notice that graphic at the top? 40% off all Gracious Threads patterns right now - doesn't the new shop look amazing? (Don't forget your coupon code!) And if that's not enough, you can win a copy of any one Gracious Threads pattern of your choice - just leave a comment below, and let me know which one you'd pick! (Not sure? Go look over the shop again!)

The tour is over November 29th, so I'll pick a winner that night and notify on November 30th!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Momma Quail Pattern Tour: Sewing for Ethan!

I love, love, love my friend Amy's patterns. Boy sewing definitely isn't boring with them - each pattern is classic and timeless, but Amy adds so many little details and fun twists that the "classic" is reinvented and fresh. (Girls aren't left out, either - there are girl patterns, like I showed off here, and most of them are unisex anyway!)

When my son was born after two daughters, I had to go in an entirely different direction than I had been, sewing-wise. I told Amy she was my "boy sewing guru", and it's never been more true than now! Even though the Timmy Top doesn't go to baby sizes, I was easily able to size it down, and it's ADORABLE!

I tested the Timmy Top for my daughter, and I love it on both boys and girls. The details are so cool, with the little shoulder patches and contrast stripes (seen on Natalie's top - I left them off of Ethan's, since the shoulders were corduroy and bulkier already).

The Calvin Cargoes go to a size 18m, and that turned out to fit him quite well - they are a slim fit, and though I maybe should have shortened them, I don't mind that they're too long. They'll look cute rolled and cuffed, too, and he's busy growing as fast as he can!

Again, options - I left off all but the front pockets, since he's so little and can't enjoy the fun of the amazing little cargo pocket - with a zipper and separate velcro closure flap, kids can use the roomy pocket to keep any number of treasures safe!

The little "veterinarian" lab coat is from a little while ago, when I helped in testing the Fix It All Coveralls and Coat pattern. Intended as a costume pattern, the Fix It Alls have some of everything - lab coat, pieced or non pieced, coveralls with hood, collar, mandarin collar, a number of pocket name it, it's probably there.

I'm currently working on a snow suit using the Fix It Alls - I'm a sloooow sewist on this project, but I think some of it must be in my head - if I don't finish it, it can't snow, right? RIGHT?? I love that it's a costume pattern, but can be used for any practical application as well! (Courtney made an awesome coat during testing, if you needed convincing!)

Follow the tour this week, soak up the inspiration, and head over to the Etsy shop for 30% off (biggest sale this year!) MQPATTERNTOUR is your coupon code!


Still reading? Good! Now you can enter the giveaway for a Momma Quail pattern of your choice! There will be three lucky winners when the tour is over, so keep your eyes open!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

One Thimble Vol. 9 Tour

It's time for another One Thimble blog tour! Volume 9 is here, with 14 (!) patterns and a ton of useful, interesting, and fun articles!

So what's new in year two? The patterns are at the back of the magazine, which means no hunting through the pages for pieces. Included in this 2nd birthday issue are six children's clothing patterns:

Carnival Jacket
Ringmaster Top
Ringmaster Pants
Cross Bow Dress
Pseudo Smocked Romper
Timeless Treasures Skirt

two accessory patterns:

Statement Clutch
Good Fortune Headwrap

and six toy/feltie/applique patterns:

Vincent the Victor FMA
Trapeze Eloise FMA
Festive Felties (requires handsewing)
Cheeky Monkey Softie
Vintage Circus Sit Upons
Circus Toss Game

Wow! I chose a few clothing patterns to sew, since that's my favorite - though that Circus Toss Game may have to make an appearance for Christmas or birthday parties!

I made a matching outfit out of the Ringmaster Top and the Ringmaster Pants. I love that my girls are so close in size, because they can actually both wear the same outfit - though my oldest makes a much better model!

Rather than ruffles, I found some great yellow pompom trim and I think with the fun stripes it makes the whole outfit pop!

Then with some red corduroy, I made a Carnival Jacket. The exposed facing on the collar is a neat detail, and it was so easy to pop in some little contrasting inseam pockets as well - Natalie loves pockets! I'm working on another right now for Sam, and these jackets will be part of their Christmas gifts, for those random warm days the Wyoming winter likes to throw our direction!

I stayed up LATE reading the magazine - didn't want to put it down and go to bed! So many of the articles are things I need to learn or work on - how to insert an invisible zipper? On my to-do list! How to get perfect points with Half Square Triangles? Must learn! How to get your sew-jo back? I'm sure we all suffer from the "lack of inspiration" sewing blues - I know I do!

 There are even tutorials for I-Spy bags (super fun for kids at doctor appointments or even if you're stuck in traffic and they're kicking the back of your seat from boredom!) and a Hoop Tent.

Trending fabrics, how to photograph stunning flatlay photos for Instagram or sale posts, an article on fussy's all current, relevant, and needed for the home business owner who wants to step up their skills. With the Rafflecopter below, you can enter to win a copy of this amazing issue - or a refund, if you just couldn't wait and bought it already! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need more previews? Follow our tour as we cover the issue and give you sneak peeks of the wonderful patterns hidden in the pages - oh wait, no they're not, they're all handily in the back waiting to be printed off!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Swoodson Says Pattern Tour: Little Collector Backpack

I'm so pleased to be a part of the Swoodson Says Pattern Tour! 

My friend Stephanie designed a wonderful, useful, FUN backpack for kids, and though I primarily sew clothing (with a stuffed toy thrown in here and there) I knew I had to give it a try. Though I was intimidated by the idea, I was quickly turned around after reading through the pattern. Each step is clearly written out and illustrated with photos to leave no guesswork for the sewist - all measurements are provided up front, so there is no hunting through the pattern for anything!

I can honestly say I had a lot of fun sewing this little backpack! It went together far more quickly than I had expected, and I don't know why I waited so long to try it out! Every seam is finished inside and out so there are nothing but pretty edges showing everywhere.

The pattern is written to be made with mesh for the bottom and pocket (if you wish) but I used PUL, as it's coming on winter here and I thought a semi-water resistant bag might be nice for the bus or at the park (when we venture out!) I do have a nice piece of mesh waiting for a summertime bag, though...I'm dreaming. ;)

I love that the pattern includes professional details - the neat foldover pocket inside; enclosed seams on the bottom; a pickup handle on the top; and the straps are adjustable! They're not scary at all, either - the pattern shows you just how to put them together, and it's so easy! 

The  Little Collector Backpack is the perfect size for a box of snacks for an autumn trek, and there's plenty of room for rocks, sticks, and other treasures!

Here are all the other stops on the tour - if you missed one, go check it out! Stephanie has a great collection going of beautiful handmade toy patterns for your littles - and it's just the right timing for Christmas sewing! (If you want a preview of what you're getting with Swoodson Says patterns, Stephanie even has a couple of freebies to try first!)

Monday, November 9th: Friends Stitched Together / Sew Happily Ever After / The Crazy Tailor Tuesday, November 10th: Felt With Love Designs / Sew Not Perfect / House of Estrela Wednesday, November 11th: Lulu & Celeste / Handmade Boy / Rebel & Malice
  Thursday, November 12th: Rebel & Malice / create3.5 / Free Notion
  Friday, November 13th: Paisley Roots / The Wholesome Mama / Amazing Adventures With Bubba and Bug / Thread Riding Hood / Hugs are Fun

Annnddd, if you're feeling lucky? (Or even if you're not, you never know!) Enter to win all four Swoodson Says patterns!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

M is for Moto Joggers: Hatchlings Pattern Tour

Today I'm venturing out of my children's clothing realm a little more to show off a great women's pattern - M is for Moto Joggers by Hatchlings Patterns.

Hatchlings is a new-to-me company, with children's pants patterns and a unique "taco clutch" pattern - this is the first women's pattern, and I'm hoping there will be more!

I decided to make a pair of comfy pants for a friend's daughter - she fit just about perfectly into the small size, and I graded the hips down to XS. The pattern is drafted to have extra room around the hips, and I was after a slightly more streamlined look, like sweatpants.

She's a runner, so I wanted something that would be comfortable to run in if she wanted to, but somewhat cozy, as the weather is getting cooler. I had some fun striped sweatshirt fleece in my stash, and it was just the perfect amount! (She says she likes them, even if my stripes don't all match up so well!)

I love the waistband, with the elastic held in place with parallel rows of stitching. It's comfortable, and does such a nice job of staying up - plus you certainly don't have to worry about the waistband rolling then! The design of the pants is to give a sort of "harem" look without being overly saggy, and I think that even with the slightly slimmed down hips, that element still shows - they certainly look like something you could wear to sleep, or curl up with a book!

I love comfy cozy sweatpants, and I think next on my list is to see if I can modify enough to fit into the pattern myself - I'm just over the largest size, but I think - with just a little tweaking - I can make them work, and this pattern would be a great way to give myself some practice sewing pants (for me!) 

The instructions are clear and concise, and the pieces went together beautifully. The rise is very well drafted - no fit issues were reported, and going by measurements, my friend's girl fit in exactly where the charts said she would! Sewing for a teenager was a fun change from sewing for little kids - and a challenge, since opinions are more pronounced! There's an endorsement for you - even your teenager will like these pants! ;)

The pattern is currently on sale for $9 AUD (about $6.50 USD, a steal for a women's pattern especially!) and will remain on sale until the tour is over on the 31st - so hurry over and pick it up here! Along with the "classic sweats" look here, there are instructions in the pattern for some very cool "moto" knee detailing (hence the name, and something I might have to try for myself - not my usual style, but they look fun!)

You can keep up with the rest of the tour here, to see the different inspirations and interpretations of the wonderful M is for Moto Joggers!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Web Wednesday with Seaside Notions: The Everything Bag!

Today I'm posting about a fun little (non-clothing!) pattern from Seaside Notions. Nicola's designs are fun and playful (see my favorite of her clothing patterns, Pensacola Beach Petal Top, here). This one in particular still maintains some practicality, but the cuteness is definitely still present!

Presenting: the Everything Bag! This little sweetie is small but powerful - have you ever realized how many tiny things can end up in your purse with nowhere to go? No more! Bandages, loose change, receipts - they can all have their own little home.

The pattern is written to be used with lightweight wovens (chambray, quilting cotton, linen would all work great!) and a heavyweight stabilizer. I've made this bag before as written, and this time around I decided I wanted to change things up and experiment a little! There are four different options for the front flap on the bag, so I came up with four different fabric options to go with them.
Number 1: Kraft-Tex and quilting cotton - no stabilizer needed.

I had the bright idea to do a little embroidery on the Kraft-Tex, to give it a softer look along with the polka dots on the inside. Having never actually used it before, I quickly discovered that it's MUCH easier if you poke the holes you're going to be sewing through with a pin first. Sounds like more work, but for hand sewing, it makes the process simpler.

Turning this one out was TOUGH! Kraft-Tex, surprise surprise, doesn't like to bend. Not even a little. Which makes it ideal for things like wallets, book covers, etc, but not so much for teeny tiny little bags. Hence all the wrinkling. Still, there was a hidden bonus - the stiffness of the Kraft-Tex forced my quilting cotton inside to stretch and come around the front, producing a "faux piping" effect of sorts and adding to the color pop the heart snap and hand embroidery bring. And it does its job! I went with the basic curve of the plain flap design, and I'm glad I did. Anything more intricate would have been impossible with the Kraft-Tex.

Number 2: Quilting cottons and heavyweight stabilizer
This one I made pretty much according to the pattern. I get most of my really heavy stabilizers as remnants, and don't usually have a record of the names/numbers involved, so I couldn't tell you exactly what it is. It's stiff and heavy, almost cardboard-ish, and didn't want to fuse, so I ended up basting it in first.

This one was also a little tough to turn, but not nearly as bad as the Kraft-Tex. I do like the result here (how it's meant to be!) - it's sturdy, without being too stiff, and the stabilizer maintains the smoothness of the cotton prints for maximum aesthetic value. I used my favorite of the flap designs, an asymmetrical point. I think something like this would make an excellent gift card holder - the holidays are coming up!

Number 3 is a twist! I used knit fabric, and a fabric-backed stabilizer as my second layer. It stabilizes the knit just a bit (it was an interlock tshirt, so it wasn't difficult anyway) and looks like another layer of fabric inside. This little bag is soft, pliable, and pretty. I used the scalloped edge flap - this one is by far the "girliest", even competing with the hearts on #1. Best part about using knit? You don't have to worry about hemming or turning it - those raw edges aren't going anywhere! It's a total departure from the pattern but it was a lot of fun.

Number 4: Quilting cotton with a medium weight fusible, and decor weight lining
This bag I used a much lighter fusible interfacing - still some firmness, but the end result is still pretty pliable. The decor weight fabric adds just enough stiffness to hold the bag's shape without having to worry about stabilizing both outer and lining, so I just fused the quilting cotton outer layer and sewed them together. Of the three I had to turn, this one was by far the easiest, and I love it with the classic point of the 'V' flap design.

I used snaps on all four, for simplicity's sake, but the pattern is written with buttons and buttonhole placement marking, and I think it looks amazing with a large statement button on the front! I hope my experimenting shows even more versatility - these bags really are good for everything! (Natalie is claiming them currently to keep various little "things" she has in them - rocks, plastic animals, bits of paper...)

Watch Seaside Notions' blog for more Web Wednesday posts in the future!