Monday, May 21, 2018

Portlanders from New Horizon Designs

Things are changing around here, yet again. 

I'm going back to work this summer, meaning this last semester was my last hoorah as a stay at home mom. Naturally, I did what any other sane person would do: I let the kids sign up for ALL the activities! It was a blast, and absolute chaos at times. My idea of a good time. Seriously! I loved it.

The only sewing I have been able to do recently was for my daughter's Lion King Jr. performance. I was on the costume committee. Honestly though, I spend more time hotgluing Velcro than anything else. Not only were my fingers suffering from the burns, but I was starting to crave some real sewing time. 

And remember how I'm going back to work? And that I have been a stay at home mom for the last few years? A stay at home mom with leggings, tank tops, old college t-shirts, jeans with holes in them... you get the idea. I need work clothes. But I have been spoiled and I want to stay comfortable.

Enter the Portlanders from New Horizons. (Affiliate link: Should you choose to purchase this pattern after clicking on the link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

These pants pass all the requirements:
Comfortable ✓
Work appropriate ✓
Fast to sew ✓
Fit me well ✓
Make me feel cute ✓

I used an ITY from Simply by Ti. I had been eyeing this border print for a while and I'm so glad I finally grabbed it. It's also available in a blue colorway, which is equally gorgeous!

I seriously love the border print! I didn't use the full print as I didn't want it to look too chunky on the bottom of the pants. There was more border that I didn't cut into. I'm not sure that was the best decision or not. I would have used the whole border print if I were making a dress or skirt. I'm not a fashion expert, so I have no real reason why I felt this way. 

I was a little worried about using this fabric for this pattern, as the stretch is much greater vertically than it is horizontally. I second guessed myself and almost chickened out making these. You do need decent stretch for the hips in the Portlanders. But I wanted to give my vision a shot and I'm glad I did. They fit beautifully! 

I ended up cutting the waistband on the crossgrain, so that it would have the greatest stretch and I think that was a wise decision. I ended up wearing these pants all day, and then all night as pajamas (don't judge me) and the fit stayed perfect.

I love how versatile this pattern is. Other options in the pattern include: shorts (they are just a touch looser in the legs), front patch pockets, drawstring. I am regretting not putting pockets on these, but since they were my first pair, I wanted to go simple in case they didn't fit. 

I would love having a few pairs in a solid color. It would make a great work basic. I think I will hunt down some solid color ITY. The Portlanders work with many different fabric types, but I love the silky and wrinkle free look of the ITY for work. 

The best part? No one will know these are my secret work pajamas. 😉

Friday, May 18, 2018

Rosie Ruffled Leggings from Mamma Can Do It

This post is long overdue... 

I actually started this blog post months ago, complete with pictures, and in the drafts queue it sat. 

Back in January, I participated in a sew-along with Simply by Ti Fabrics and Mamma Can Do It. We sewed the Rosie Ruffled Leggings Pattern, which comes in two size ranges:

Now ruffles are not my thing. I'm not sure if I'm in the minority or majority with this, but if it's not your thing either it's worth noting how easy it is to leave off the ruffles. If it IS your thing, check out the listings above or join the Facebook group to admire pics of all the ruffled leggings!

But you won't find ruffles here! Here are the leggings, as simple as they can be, just our style. 

Because of the ruffles, and the fact that I already own a couple legging patterns, I probably would have skipped over this pattern. However, as a brand ambassador for Simply by Ti, I was offered some fabric and the pattern to participate in this sew-along. I love the motivation of a sew-along, so I was happy to jump in. And my second daughter, Eve, desperately needed some pants.

The fabric I used: Cotton Lycra from Simply by Ti

I am very glad that I had the extra push and motivation to sew this pattern, because it turns out that I love it! The fit is fantastic. It is just the perfect amount of tightness, in my opinion and personal preferences, for leggings. They are tight, but not so tight that the design on the fabric is stretched out. They also do not compress at all like some other legging patterns that I own. This is a subjective preference, but my daughter also agrees and her opinion is the most important here. 

I did add some length to both the rise and the inseam. There is a complete measurement chart with waist, hips, inseam lengths and height each size is drafted for. After trying it on my daughter, the only thing I would change would be to not add length to the front rise. The back rise and inseam were perfect with the added length, but the front rise does have some "frown lines" so I think not adding the extra rise the next time will help with that.

This is why I sew, I love making things that fit my hard to fit kids! Eve isn't nearly as hard to find RTW clothes as Kylie is, but this is still a hundred times better than the leggings I buy for her in the store. And better than other patterns I have made for her too. 

So yes, I am happy with these. 😄

A couple notes about the pattern:

-In the girl's pattern, there are 8 sizes included: 3T, 4-5, 5-6, 7-8, 8-10, 10-12, 12-14, 14-16.

-Because of the ruffle construction, these leggings have a side seam, as opposed to one big pattern piece that includes the front and back of the leg. There is extra shaping with this seam, so for me this was a plus. You could overlap the pattern pieces by the seam allowance to eliminate the side seam, but you would also lose the shaping. I do see the positives of both.

- The waist is finished with attaching a 1" elastic and turning the fabric over. 

-Layers are included to only print your size (s).

-For assembling the pattern, there are circles to align in the corner of each page. I would have preferred also having straight lines as a guideline, but everything did line up easily.

-The instructions were very clear and precise.

Eve is also happy with these. Like I said, she made them in January and she has worn them countless times since then. I'm also happy to report that these still look great, even with all the wear and washing.

It seems odd to post a picture of a cardigan in May (That is if I even remember to hit "publish" on this post this month), but since she wore this over the winter, Eve usually styled this like this:

This is the Love Notions Boyfriend cardigan, which I have never blogged about. I made it for Kylie, and then it was passed down to Eve. I love how well my handmade clothes hold up. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope you are wearing your green today so that you don't get pinched!

I love wearing green, but I find it so hard to photograph. Speaking of photographs, my husband insisted that I give him kudos for taking these pictures during March Madness. He had to miss 15 minutes of basketball to take pictures of his loving wife. So here are your kudos boo, I love you!

I have been wanting a hoodie dress for a while now. I love hoodies and casual style dresses, so naturally I felt like this is something that should be in my closet. I love having dresses that I can wear to the grocery store, to the park, to watch my daughter play soccer... every day life stuff. I rarely wear fancy dresses, but a casual style is another story. 

I decided to try the Ottobre Designs 'Hide Away Hoodie" pattern from issue 2/2017. 

It's number 8 in this issue:

With some olive french terry from Simply by Ti, it made a wonderfully cozy dress!

I love these solid french terry fabrics from Simply by Ti. They are a nice heavy weight in cotton lycra. I prefer cotton lycra FT to rayon blend FT because they are more structured, are heavier, and wash and wear nicer and easier in my opinion. If you need a lot of drape for a certain project, rayon FT will be the obvious choice, but overall I prefer the cotton blends. I know it's personal preference though, I'll still be your friend if you don't feel the same way. 😄

Simply by Ti actually carries both types of French Terry, so you are in luck either way! I am not hating on rayon FT blends at all, they truly do shine with the right pattern! 

This particular pattern called for a heavy sweatshirt knit without any stretch requirement. Because this fabric has a decent amount of stretch, it might not have been the perfect pattern and fabric pairing, but I still am happy with it. Due to the stretch of the fabric, it's probably a little bit bigger than intended, but the fabric has plenty of recovery so it's no big deal. It's safe to say that I will wear this a lot! It's just my style!

If you want to get your hands on some of this olive french terry, it's currently on sale for St. Patrick's Day! All green fabrics in Simply by Ti are 20% off through March 18th with the code: SAVEGREEN. Happy sewing! Or happy fabric hoarding, I won't judge.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Red, White, and Pink Tour

Welcome to my day on the Red, White, and Pink Tour hosted by Sewing by Ti. I love wearing reds and pinks, this is right up my alley!

I have been subscribing to Vinegar and Honey's Bee Box, which is a subscription that sends you a surprise two yard cut of fabric every month. I love surprises and I love fabric. 

In December, the fabric sent out was ruby colored crushed velvet. I had been wanting to purchase velvet and jump on this fad, but I couldn't justify another fabric purchase over the holidays. Especially for a fabric which might not be in style soon.

Thankfully, Vinegar and Honey read my mind and sent out this stretch velvet. And now that I have played with it, I'm regretting not buying more. I love soft textures, comfortable fabrics, but still looking like I'm put together and this fabric accomplishes all of those things. I'm hoping this fad sticks around for a little while!

I knew I wanted something casual, because I don't have too many occasions to wear anything fancy. I knew the stretch velvet could potentially make most dress patterns look "extra" and I just wouldn't have many opportunities to wear it. So I decided to make an every day sweater. 

The Sloane Sweater by Love Notions* was perfect for what I had in mind. It turned out exactly how I hoped it would. (*affiliate link)

The only change I made to the pattern was adding three inches in length. The pattern is drafted for a height of 5' 5" and is meant to be shirt length. I am 5' 7 and like my shirts to be a little longer, in between shirt and tunic length is an ideal "shirt" length for me. My extra length is all in my torso, I usually have to take length off for pants. Three extra inches was perfect for me. 

I know that some people who are dedicated to sewing hate the term "whipped something up." I get it. It can seem like a slap in the face to the time, effort, and skill that goes into making something. But the Sloane Sweater is so fast that I do feel like I was able to just "whip this up."

I sewed view B of the pattern, which is finished with a band and is a more boxy style. View A has a more defined waist and is finished with a curved hem. I love both styles, but I wasn't sure if a hem would cause me problems on the stretch velvet. The bonus is that since the sleeves are finished with a cuff as well, there is no hemming at all with view B. It really is a very fast sew.

The fabric did roll, which was manageable for the wide bands and cuffs, but I was worried about the neckline. I did something new (to me) to tackle this problem. After cutting out my neckband, sewing the short ends together, and folding it, I simply ran a zig zag stitch over the raw edges before attaching it to my neckline. It made sewing the neckline extremely manageable. I didn't have to worry about rolling or edges that wanted to slip out of my seam. 

I was also worried this fabric might not be the best idea for a neckline band, but it actually turned out great!

I just love when a project I have in mind comes out exactly like I had envisioned it AND when it goes together without any hiccups. It's safe to say that doesn't always happen. :)

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers on the tour! I love all of the inspiration. 

February 1st: Sewing By Ti (intro),  Mahlica Designs
Sunday, February 4th: Tenille's Thread
8th: EYMM
Sunday, February 11th: Our Play Place
Sunday, February 18th: Sewing Scientist
Sunday, February 25th: Twinado Alley
26th: Ma Moose