Friday, February 24, 2017

Self Love Sewing Challenge: Boyfriend Cardigan

When I saw that Rebel and Malice was hosting a "Self Love Sewing Challenge" for the month of February, I immediately knew that I wanted to join in on the fun. I even knew exactly what I would sew.


-Pattern: Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan, shawl option, side vents omitted, pockets omitted. 
-Fabric: French Terry Spandex from Knitpop

-Pattern: George and Ginger Tank (free in the facebook group's file section), lengthened to tunic length and with a curved hem instead of the straight hem that comes in the pattern.
-Fabric: White interlock from Joann

-Pattern: Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates (free with a coupon code if you join the facebook group)
-Fabric: Single Brushed Polyester from Knitpop. I put the brushed part on the inside of the leggings, they are soft against the skin and the outside attracts less lint, win win in my opinion. I think technically the brushed side is the right side of the fabric but sometimes I'm a rule breaker.

And I need to comment on my shoe choice... again, haha. I would not normally wear flip flops with a warm french terry cardigan, but I thought I had grabbed a different pair of shoes to take pictures in. Oh well. 

I had actually made the tank and leggings months ago and have worn them a lot already. They are both good basics and go with multiple things in my closet. 

The cardigan however, was something I had wanted to sew for a while but kept pushing it back. This self love challenge gave me the push to finally make it, woo hoo! Now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long when this would have been very useful during the colder months. 

I had bought the fabric for the leggings and cardigan at the same time and even cut out the fabric for the cardigan the same week the fabric came in. I needed the leggings more, so I made those right away and put the cardigan pieces aside. It's not that I didn't want to make it, it's just that I had lots of other projects that had deadlines. This challenge was nice because it forced me to make something that I really wanted, but kept pushing it off to deal with higher priorities. 

I'm very happy that I finally sewed it up, it is so comfy and this is exactly my style. 

I do consider this outfit a self love project: When I bought the fabric, it was at a time when we were on a spending freeze and I logically shouldn't have bought it. As the sole income earner of our household, my husband lost his job last spring. The company he was working with shut down unexpectedly without being able to pay him the full amount he was owed. He continued to work, but because of the type of work he does, wasn't able to make any money for a few months. Although he never stopped working, there was a significant time period for which he never saw a dime.  

Thankfully, we were able to make it work, and I'm not complaining about our circumstances at the time. But the point is, when I saw this fabric online, it was during the time we were not spending any money other than the bare necessities. 

I dismissed the thought of buying this fabric right away, but I couldn't get it out of my head for good. I kept picturing a boyfriend cardigan made in this plaid, and I knew I would get a lot of use out of the leggings.

Finally, I decided to just buy it anyways. I had been working hard at holding down our fort during all the chaos and I hadn't purchased anything for myself in months. I'm not advocating for reckless spending, but sometimes a little self love is ok. And this small purchase was just what I needed. No guilt here. 

This is my second Love Notion's boyfriend cardigan and I will do more of a review in a different post. The verdict: I love it, but that's all for now. 

In the meantime, I will leave you with a few pictures of my outfit that reminds me that it's ok to do something nice for yourself. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Date Night and a giveaway!

I'm very excited to be a part of the blog tour "Date Night February" hosted by Sewing by Ti!

As a mother of four kids, I love date night. It doesn't happen often enough and when it does, it usually ends with my husband and I roaming the aisles of Target... does that happen to anyone else? 

Isn't is so nice to wander through the store, holding hands with the one you love, without your sweet little children driving you crazy? I'm sure we aren't the only ones! Jason and I fall more in love under the fluorescent lights of Target every time it's just the two of us. It's magic. 

Don't tell my husband... but if there is one thing I love more than date nights, it just might be fabric. It's a tough call, but they are both up there! Which is why I'm doubly excited about this post today: one lucky person gets to win some fabric! Check out the rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter to win a $20 credit for Pretty Posh Prints. 

I love Pretty Posh Prints. The fabric is always gorgeous, and the prices can't be beat. Just a warning though: her fabric sells out fast. Although she has a website which you can check out here, joining her facebook group is the best way to go as she often posts sales directly in the group. 

I used some of her fabric to make myself this dress to wear to wander around Target... errr I mean on date nights:

I'm still loving florals and I'm so happy I was able to snag this watercolor floral fabric. It makes me feel like spring is right around the corner. 

Please ignore my boring flip flops. I'm a shoe minimalist and my one pair of "cute" summer sandals broke at the end of summer and I need to pick up a new pair. I just can't bring myself to spend money on shoes when I could be spending it on fabric instead.  So for these pictures, you get the one dollar Old Navy flip flops. But I will get nicer sandals by the time summer is here. 

The dress pattern I used is the Essential Tank by Patterns for Pirates (aff. link). I love a simple silhouette for a maxi dress which sold me on the pattern immediately. But there are also some other fun options I will try later. I need some basic tanks for the summer and this is just about the perfect shape for summer tanks. It's a slim fit but not too form fitting. You can check out the pattern and all the options here (aff. link).

The dress is pretty slim fitting as a maxi, the pattern is drafted to have either a front or back slit for more ease of motion. I decided I didn't want either slit and kept the skirt closed. If you also choose to forgo the slits, just keep in mind that you won't get a very large range of motion towards the bottom of the legs. I'm not planning on running in the dress, so it doesn't bother me. I like that it is sleek and not a voluminous maxi dress. 

The fabric is liverpool, which is essentially a textured polyester double knit. As I have heard people ask about this fabric frequently, I put together a few takeaways:

- It is a heavy weight and opaque fabric. Even the white parts of the fabric are not see through at all.

- It is very sturdy and flattering as it doesn't show many lumps or bulges or whatever. It will not work, however for patterns which require flowy or drapey fabric.

- It is very polyester-y (not a word, I know.) This doesn't bother me but if you don't like synthetic fabrics, you might not like this. It has a slight texture on the right side and is smooth, almost slick on the wrong side. As a polyester fabric, it doesn't breathe well, so I wouldn't put it on my daughter who has eczema. I think I will be fine wearing this in clothing that aren't too tight in the summer, but that is a personal preference.

-It has two way stretch. Not an extreme amount of stretch, but I was able to use it for the band of a maxi skirt without elastic (blogged here) and for the bindings of the dress in this blog post. The pattern I used has instructions for both bindings and t-shirt style bands. I did the binding as I think it's a bit more suitable for this type of fabric, but I did increase the length of the bindings just a touch (a couple inches) as it doesn't have quite the required stretch as the pattern is drafted for. It worked just fine, but it won't pull in the neckline and armscyes in as much, just FYI.

-Because of how sturdy it is, liverpool makes beautiful peplums, circle skirts... anything that needs some extra body, this fabric really shines. However, my style is more sleeker silhouettes and I plan to make some pencil skirts with it next. It's a very versatile fabric.

And speaking of Liverpool, Pretty Posh Prints is about to open a pre-sale for solid colored liverpool fabric. You can see more details in her facebook group.

I'm very happy with this dress and I think it will work well for date nights! On our last date, Jason and I went to an escape room (I mentioned that in my blog post here) and I'm happy to report that we escaped this time, woo hoo! 

Our recent dates also include the World War 1 Museum and to a museum exhibit about Pompeii. Both were a lot of fun and very interesting. One was a birthday gift and one was a Christmas gift. Jason always asks for date night (or rather date day) activities for his birthday and Christmas and I love that about him. 

We don't have anything planned soon, but I'll have this dress ready to go when we decide on our next date. 

One thing I love about this dress, is how easy it will be to style depending on the weather or occasion. Although I do love it on it's own, I'm ready in case the weather gets colder or if I need to dress it up just a little. 

Here it is paired with my Boyfriend Cardigan from Love Notions (aff. link) if I want to cozy it up:

And here it is with my jean jacket if I want to look more put together. By the way, this is my cropped jean jacket from highschool. I wore this 15 plus years ago and now that I'm noticing jean jackets everywhere, I will probably start wearing this again. I can't remember the last time I wore it!

And now, it's the moment you have all been waiting for! If you want to win some fabric, check out the rafflecopter link below. I will keep it open for a week, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, the fun doesn't end here, check out the other bloggers in the blog tour for more date night inspiration:

Wednesday, February 1st: Sewing By Ti
February 2nd: Crafty Like a Rox
February 3rd: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 5th: Embrace Everyday
February 6th: Tenille's Thread
February 7th: Robynne and the Bobbin
February 9th: Sewingly, Michelle
February 10th: Sewing By Ti

Sunday, February 12th: Embrace Every Day
February 13th: A Phoenix Risen
February 14th: Creative Counselor
February 15th: Creamer and Chaos
February 16th: Everything Your Mama Made and More
February 17th: Sewing By Ti
February 18th: Sew Like a Sloth

Sunday, February 19th: Very Blissful
February 20th: Tenille's Thread
February 21st: Mamoose Handmade
February 22nd: Rebel and Malice
February 23rd: Margarita on the Ross
February 24th: Sewing By Ti
February 25th: On Wednesday We Sew

Sunday, February 26th: The Fairy Dust Bin
February 27th: Sewing By Ti
February 28th: Sew Haute