Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sofilantjes "Summer Surprise" One Year Anniversary Tour!

I'm so honored to be part of Sofilantjes' Anniversary Tour! I'm fairly new to Sofilantjes Patterns, but I've made the Gemini Skirts and Otium Sweater and love the attention to detail and how neatly the patterns come together.


Today we have the very first pattern Anne released - the Summer Surprise! (Two of them, actually!) When I make something for one girl, I usually end up making one for the other, but I try to never make them exactly the same.

"A surprise? Where?"
Natalie's top is an upcycled t-shirt that formerly hung in my closet. After a few years of wear, it still had some life in it, but not for me. I gave it a facelift with some bright orange and white polka dots - I like how they add a punch to the rust of the main fabric.



For Sam, I decided to try a little mashup. I took the "sporty" version of the Gemini, and blended the two patterns into a dress. Then I added some hacked circle pockets, sketching out a quick pattern myself. They're not very deep pockets, but they're more for show than anything! 

Fabrics used: The Cottage Garden (knit) Pink Main - Riley Blake
Rust knit t-shirt - upcycled from personal closet



I love the easiness of this pattern - it's perfect for summer playtime, with a little whimsy and no fuss. The bow is ridiculously easy, yet looks like you spent a ton of time on detail! 

Through May 30th, you can get your copy of the Summer Surprise (individual) for 25% off, using code anniversary on the website. The pattern is a re-release; Anne has updated the Summer Surprise to be a layered pattern, great for saving ink! If you already have the pattern, you can download the update from your account. If you purchased on Etsy, won, or tested the pattern, and would like the layers update, email info@sofilantjes.com with "summer surprise" in the subject line. Include your receipt, or a copy of the email the pattern was sent to you in.
**Note: The pattern itself has NOT changed, just the format!**

"There's a bow back there!" "Ohhh. I guess you're right, Mom!"

Also, make sure you enter the amazing giveaway-a-day! So many sponsors have come together for this anniversary celebration, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it! Today's winners will receive one (1) pattern of their choice from EACH of the following:

Stitchwerx
Gracious Threads
Striped Swallow Designs
FABulous Home Sewn
MCM Designs
A Sparkly Baby
GYCT
Sofilantjes

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along with the rest of the tour (and catch the posts you've missed)!

Inspinration - The Craftiness in Me - Van Je Veel - Boutique Birdie - Tory Frail Designs - Wining Wife - Keep Calm and Carrion - Moon Star - Circle Meets Line - Amazing Adventures with Buba and Bug - Manning the Machine - Sugarplum Cuties - House of Estrela - Create 3.5 - Handcrafted by RED - Lulu & Celeste - Rebel & Malice - Two Novembers - From a Box - Sprouting JubeJube - Maryall Made - Phat Quarters - Knot Sew Normal - Sew Happily Ever After - All Things Katy

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mystery Challenge: George Sand


This round of Mystery Challenge has a theme: Moments and People Throughout History. I was assigned "George Sand", which took me on a different path. Usually I stick to clothing, but after doing some research, I wanted to go a quilting route. I decided to collage some of the things I learned about Sand; things that defined her.


George Sand: born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin in 1804
French author, feminist, wife, mother, lover
"cross-dresser", risk-taker, line-crosser

Sand wrote prolifically, from novels to political commentary.
She wore men's clothing, claiming it was more comfortable.
She smoked in public, scandalous for the time.


The background is inspired by the French flag. The applique was pieced from strips of two "Paris" themed fabric in the shape of the "female" symbol. I placed it in the "male" symbol's position, to denote Sand's habits of wearing men's clothing and smoking in public, both scandalous for women at the time!


The middle section is sanded twill, with black piping down the center to appear like pages from a book. I scribbled on either side of the "book" - facts about George Sand on one side, quotations attributed to her on the other.


The final piece is a "romantic" background, with the French word for "freedom" superimposed. I wanted to show the feminine side that Sand had, as well as the things she fought for for women through her writings, being a proponent of women's rights and equality.


Fabrics used:
Natural sanded twill from stash
Pepe in Paris, Riley Blake
Paris/floral print, 2011 Brother Sister Design Studio
black and white rose print from stash
solid red broadcloth from stash
navy/white ring print from stash
white tone-on-tone print from stash


"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved."

Follow the rest of the Challengers this month for more mini history lessons!

5/27│ Zoe and Ted - Suffragetes
6/3│ Mae & K - TeslaPretty Little Blog - Moon LandingKnot Sew Normal - Lutie Eugenia Sterns

Monday, May 25, 2015

CraftingCon May: Board Games

Head over to Mae & K today to check out my CraftingCon post!! I'm so excited to be competing this month, and I'm so proud of what I came up with. It was fun!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Suzuran Jacket Testing

I was given the opportunity to test something unique this past few weeks - a "no-waste" kimono jacket pattern from Tites-Mains.


The pattern pieces are cleverly shaped around each other to fit into one neat rectangle, which you can place over your folded fabric. Then you just cut around the solid lines, and there's your jacket, ready to sew! No giant, weird shaped scraps left to figure out what to do with - efficiency at its best.



The sewing process is quick and simple, and the finished results are something I haven't seen before. Suzuran comes in two size ranges (Medium and Large) that fit most sizes. The style flatters - it drapes, and there's a belt included for shaping. I personally like the sleeves a lot - wide, loose, and flowy, with a clever twist at the cuffs.

Cool, yes? The belt loops aren't your standard rectangle, and the obi belt and
arm vents are style choices pulled from real kimonos.
This pattern is on sale ($6, through May 25) - you can get it here on Craftsy already reduced, or on Etsy with code SUZURAN00.

Focus on the unique shape of the belt loops, not that I need a haircut.
Which I do.
If you're looking for a fun, fast sew, perfect for spring/fall fashion, the Suzuran Jacket should be on your list. Julia (the designer) worked hard and took all tester suggestions very seriously to come up with the best finished product possible, and it's a success! Yay Julia! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

TimmyTopTime!

I tested the Timmy Top for a friend, Amy from Friends Stitched Together. Amy has long been my "boy's sewing guru" - I love seeing all the fantastic new stuff she comes up with, and after 4 years of sewing exclusively for girls I need the inspiration for Ethan!


The Timmy Top is one of those patterns that he'll have to grow into - it has a (big) size range of 2 years to 14. (I might be working on a downsize sometime soon, though! ;) ) But - it works wonderfully for girls, too! It's a slim fit, perfect for Natalie. She's a tall slim kid, and I think the size 6 fit her beautifully.


I love when a pattern is totally unisex, don't you?

The yokes come together with a creative twist and end up fully lined (no seams on the shoulders!) and the pockets and fun shoulder details make this pattern unlike all the other button-downs out there.

I used snaps for the speed factor, but this shirt can be quickly "dressed up" with buttons (and I love a proper button down shirt!)


The long sleeves have a neat little placket, perfect for a contrast fabric - I did mine in a coordinating solid, as well as the collar stand, shoulder accents, and pocket lining. I love how this shirt lets you have little "pops" here and there!


Amy's worked really hard and I'm so happy to see this pattern come together for her. I think it's wonderful, and I'm betting you will too! It's 30% off right now til the 25th here with code TIMMYTOP, or here already marked down, so go get it!





Friday, May 1, 2015

LKC: Bow Back Beauty Blog Tour



I'm so thrilled to be joining up for another Little Kiwi's Closet blog hop! This newest pattern caught my eye from the very first sneak peek, and I had to have it.

*the pattern was offered for free to participants of the blog hop, but I'd happily purchased it beforehand, and you know I love all things LKC!*

Natalie (lucky girl) received a BBB dress from an LKC clothing swap, and I love it on her so much that I just had to make her another. Plus, she loves a twirly skirt, and the circle skirt is all that! I added cuffed short sleeves to this one (her swap one is sleeveless) - plus, there's a long sleeve option as well.


I went with short sleeves for Sam as well on her pink piggy peplum! It's a PPP BBB. ;)
I used the one piece bodysuit option for her as well, though you can't see that part. I've never been a peplum fan, but I LOVE this on her. It just suits her personality - playful and a little goofy.


As always, there are tons of options. Here I tried to lay them all out - there are also pattern pieces for the cuffs that are optional for the sleeves (you can also do a traditional or a rolled hem).


And all this in sizes NB - 12 years. With all the different options, it's a pattern that can go the distance - with the right fabric choice and style options, it can go from playful to tween elegance easily.


As always when sewing your own clothing, it's important to go by measurements - but I will say that my 4 year old fit perfectly in a 4, and my 2 year old solidly in a 2.

Fabrics used: red/purple tulip toss and pink pig toss are medium weight jersey knit from my stash; purple rib knit from stash; light pink cotton lycra from The Purple Seamstress


It was a sunny but windy/chilly day, so we took our pictures quickly (while hunting for the first of the dandelions popping up) and hustled back inside.


Natalie, who's - well, 4 - is getting more resistant to handmade clothing - but she loved her dress. Like I said, anything with a twirly skirt has her attention, and she loved the bow back! I believe "Ooohhh!" was her exact response. ;) I did a rolled hem on both skirts as well - I find it the easiest way to hem a circle skirt, and it's so fun to stretch it a little to get that pretty lettuce edge.





Lydia is offering a copy of the Bow Back Beauty pattern (or your choice of pattern, if you already own this one!) - just enter through Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post. If you just can't wait, it's available on Craftsy right now for $2 off. 



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Simple Double-Layer Skirt Tutorial

Some days it's hard to sew. The fact is, I have so many patterns and so much fabric (note: I did not say TOO much ;) ) that it's just hard to know where to start! Probably why I love testing so much - at least then I have a specific pattern and a timeline (but picking fabric is still a challenge, ha!)

Sometimes my fabric speaks to me - I'll see a piece, and suddenly a pattern will pop into my head. In this case, when I looked at this print all I could see was "pillowcase dress" - and I do NOT like pillowcase dresses.


I've already made one doll outfit from it, so I couldn't do that again. Suddenly inspiration struck - a simple skirt for Natalie! She was asking me today about Minnie Mouse, and this fabric is "inspired" but not literal. Perfect.

Except for one little thing. This fabric is nearly see-through.

All you need: two skirt rectangles, two trim pieces, 1 piece of elastic. (And, you know, a sewing machine and all.)
So here we are. A quick double-layer skirt (this tutorial will be for a size 4/5, roughly. I just measured my daughter's waist, and from her waist where I wanted it to fall (knee length) - so it's really just that easy to adjust. Just use your measurements, add half an inch for the hem (more if you're wanting a deeper hem and no trim) and 2 inches for the waistband.

My rectangles started out 10" x WOF, and 13.75" x WOF. (width of fabric - in this case, 44") I also used a piece of 1.5" waistband elastic, measured directly to my daughter's waist. No bigger, no smaller. In this case, 22.5". Finally, I cut two pieces of pre-ruffled lace trim, WOF.


Serge (don't trim) or zigzag finish one long edge on each skirt rectangle. Press it up 1/4" and attach your trim (or however deep you want your hems to be, if you're not adding trim).

Attach your two skirt rectangles at the top (I just serged the raw edges together), one on top of the other. Then sew/serge your side seams - make sure to match your hems and trims.


Sew your elastic into a loop, overlapping 1-1.5 inches. I sewed a box on the overlap with an X in the middle - it's sure to be secure that way, more than just a couple of backstitched lines.


This last bit's fiddly, but stick it out and you're done (the hemming is done already, remember?). If you have a computerized machine like I do with a start/stop button that you just love - you just might want the foot pedal for this, so you have two hands to guide and stretch the waistband. (Trivia for you - this project was the first time since I bought this machine two years ago that I've used the foot pedal!)

Divide your elastic into quarters and mark the points with pins - do the same with your skirt waist. Match the pins - fold the waist over the elastic 1/4", then pin together.


Now sew around the waistband, streeetttccchhing the elastic in between to fit. Doing this by quarters ensures it'll make it all the way around evenly!


Finally, fold the whole waistband down, fully enclosing your waistband edges and the elastic. Sew about an inch/ inch-and-a-half down, just at the bottom edge of your elastic. You'll have to stretch again as you do this. Throw a tag in there while you're at it, if you have one!


(Easy, right? This is the first tutorial I've made up and sewn myself like this, so if anything's not clear, please - please - let me know!)