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.