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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Thomas Track Pants by Love Notions

Love Notions just released a new pattern: the Thomas Track Pants*. I was able to help test them for my four year old, and the short story is that we both love them!

*Affiliate link

My older girls prefer skinny jeans and leggings, so I'm not sure if I will get much use out of this pattern for them. But since it goes up to size 14, maybe they will change their mind eventually. One of them currently plays soccer (but she prefers the social aspect if I'm being honest) and the other one is in drama.

I'm hoping one of them will get into track or cross country like I was, so maybe one day I will get to make them a pair of these track pants.


It probably won't be the one who is in drama. Since I'm being honest. 😆

(Keep in mind that these pants are drafted with boy's bodies in mind. For younger children, that's not a big difference, but for older children/teenagers it can be. I think, however, I can make this pattern work keeping that in mind! Usually this style of pants isn't fitted so I do not think it will make a huge difference if I'm mindful of their measurements. If my daughters ever decide they need a  pair of track pants, I will definitely give this pattern a shot. This is just my disclaimer that this was only tested on boys.)

In the meantime, I'm thinking I need to make a few more pairs for their little brother. He was so happy that I made these for him, it melted my heart. He loves new clothes and he was happy that I made them for him, win win!

He is such a cutie, I wish I could freeze this age!

But back to the pants...

There are two views in the pattern. View A is solid while view B is color blocked. There are optional side seam pockets, zippers, and lining. I did view B with lining.

I noticed he never uses pockets on his pants, so I didn't add them.

The zippers look awesome, and they serve the practical purpose of being able to take off the pants while still wearing your shoes. That would be great if you were playing a sport and had shorts on underneath and needed to take off your pant layer. But that doesn't apply to Emmett yet, so I left the zippers off. 

As for the lining option, since view B has a lot of seams, I wanted to enclose them all in a lining for a neat finish. These look great inside and out! 

I'm sure I will get some use out of the pockets and zipper options eventually. The truth is even though I have been sewing for years, I often avoid zippers. I am not a fan of sewing them and they still intimidate me. It's actually been years since I have touched a zipper! However looking at the instructions and pictures in this pattern has me convinced that it will not be a big deal to add them. The instructions seem very clear and I promise to attempt them in this pattern someday.

Zipper or no zipper, I really love the look of the colorblocking in View B. Here is the side view:

 And the back:

All the pattern pieces matched up wonderfully, making it easy to match the color blocked areas. 

Another fun thing about these pants was that I was able to use actual Under Armour fabric to make them. Simply by Ti carries Under Armour wickaway fabric and they were perfect for these! As a brand ambassador, Ti sent me some for this pattern test, and I feel like the luckiest person. This pattern and fabric were made for each other! 

This is actual overstock fabric from Under Armour (I honestly wasn't sure, so I asked!), it's the real deal. This is fantastic fabric for workout clothes that do not require a lot of stretch. It is easy to work with, has great drape, and feels silky to the touch even though it's not shiny. I lined the pants with the same fabric, and I love that the entire pants are wickaway, breathable, and comfortable. I used the purple and the grey, all of the colors in stock can be found here.
Simply by Ti also carries Nike wickaway fabric, but I have not had the chance to get my hands on it yet! From what I understand, it is stretchier and fantastic for work out clothes that require a lot of stretch and recovery. I know that there have been some photos of projects from this fabric in the Simply by Ti facebook group, if you want to have a look.

The pattern is on sale through Monday, February 5th and after that goes back to the full price of $9. You can check out the pattern here*. 

*Affiliate link. Should you choose to purchase the pattern after clicking the link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy Sewing!

Friday, January 19, 2018

New sews for the new year

Here I am writing a post about how I will be more organized this year... only I'm writing it in the 11th hour* long after I should have written it. 

*More like 13th hour

Oh well, this is life.

Today is my turn on the "New Sews for the New Year" hosted by Sewing by Ti. I do want to be more intentional about my sewing and blogging this year, so this is a good opportunity for me to reflect on that. 

The only problem is that this time of year, I often do not have much motivation. It's cold outside, the days are shorter, the kids are more restless... I think I was meant to hibernate in the winter, but my kids won't allow that to happen. Every time I sew, I feel my spirits being lifted as I create something new. The issue is just starting the project in the first place. 

So my first sewing goal this year is to plan my projects. Writing down what I want to do will help me focus. I have hundreds of projects planned in my head, but actually sitting down to plan it out will help me actually execute my projects instead of simply dreaming of them. I will probably stick to just a regular notebook for now, but if anyone has any planners or templates, they love to use for sewing purposes, I would love to hear about them.

My second goal is to get organized. I am someone who can operate in chaos, but there comes a point where I need to make my space more efficient. Right now I keep my fabric in tubs, but it is difficult to find what I am looking for. I also do not have a good system for storing my patterns once they are cut out. This means that I reprint patterns more than I should which not only wastes paper, ink, and tape but also valuable time. 

After doing some online window shopping, I have finally decided to order the following two products to help me organize my sewing area:

Modular storage cubes, I like that I should be able to organize these how I want to fit my sewing space. I sew in a finished attic and I do not have much vertical wall space due the angled attic walls. Once I organize my space better, I will take pictures. 😃

Picture from Amazon. Product can be found here.
For organizing my patterns, I decided to try hanging them on these hanger clip hooks:

Picture from Amazon. Product can be found here.

I do have a closet in my sewing room and it will be handy to be able to hang up my cut out patterns so that I can find them easily. The only problem is that the closet is full of clothes that no longer fit me and I just need to get rid of them. That will be a project in itself because I'll need to sort through them and decide what to donate and what to keep to upcycle. I'm leaning towards getting rid of almost all of them, I need to simplify and declutter.

I have a few more things I want to do in my sewing room and once I complete the project, I will share pictures. I know that it will never be the most Pinterest worthy or gorgeous sewing room out there, I just need it to be more functional and for me to like the space. 

Another goal this year is to be more intentional about the projects I want to take on. I have four kids who all need clothes, I need to keep the projects practical, not incredibly time consuming, and something they will wear on a regular basis. One of my favorite projects was the coat I made for Emmett a few years ago. It was a little time consuming, but he wore this coat every day during Winter, so it was worth it. But I don't want to take on projects that take a lot of time and supplies if they will rarely be worn.

Coat and snowpants blogged about here. 
While I do want to use the patterns I already have and use them often to maximize my prep time, I do want to try new designers this year. I do have my favorite designers that I will still use because I trust their patterns, but I want to try a few new ones this year as well.

I have been wanting a hoodie dress since I first started sewing, but just haven't found the right pattern to inspire me. However, I came across the Jasper Sweater/Dress by Paprika Patterns recently and it's exactly what I have been looking for! This is a new to me designer, and I'm excited to try it out. Hopefully posting about it here will keep me accountable. I have waited too long for a hoodie dress! 

What are your sewing goals this year? 

For more sewing inspiration, be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!

Monday, January 1st: Introduction- Sewing by Ti

Sunday, January 7th: Minn's Things

Sunday, January 14th: Sew Like a Sloth
19th Ma Moose *** You are here. 😀

Sunday January 21st: Flaxfield Sewing

Sunday January 28th: Sew Haute Blog