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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nessie Top(s)

I've been meaning to share with you the Nessie Top from Craftiness is Not Optional forever!  It is one of my absolute favorite of all time top patterns for girls.

Weeks (really months) ago, Jess asked me to test out the Nessie Top pattern.  I've tested her other patterns--the June Bug Dress and the Olivia Top--so I knew this one would be just as great.

The Nessie Top was so quick and easy to sew together, plus the fit is loose and comfortable which is perfect for my active little girl.  I think that is one reason why I have not blogged about these tops until now!  Every time Ella wears them, she is too busy running, playing, climbing, jumping, and avoiding the camera!

The Nessie Top pattern is for knits and is so versatile!  It offers a stylish hi-low hem along with three sleeve lengths and three bodice options:  basic, color-blocked, and a peter pan collar.  I made a fourth option (of sorts) by adding a stretch lace as an overlay to the entire front of the shirt.

I made this particular version using an ivory ponte roma and a heart design stretch lace both from Joann's.  This top was sewn back in January, and I meant to blog about it before Valentine's Day! Oops!

And in case you missed it yesterday, here is Ella wearing the Nessie Top with her Triangle Pants--another pattern test but for See Kate Sew.  Read all about the Triangle Pants HERE.

This ivory heart Nessie Top paired with her Triangle Pants, boots, and this faux fur vest I made her (I promise I'll blog about the vest very soon) is my absolute favorite outfit for Ella this season. She is so stylish!

Ok.  Back to the Nessie Top.

Another thing I did a little differently for this version of the Nessie Top is that I used Fold Over Elastic (FOE) to bind the neck and the sleeves.  This was my second attempt at using FOE, but since then, I've gone crazy over FOE and may have ordered over 50 yards of it online recently! So, expect to see it in a lot more projects here in the coming weeks!

I told you she really likes this shirt!  See how worn it is starting to look?

Here is the first Nessie Top I made using a woven fabric for the peter pan collar and ponte roma knit for the shirt.  Again, this top gets worn a lot!  This fabric is so soft, has a little bit of stretch, and is thicker than normal interlock knit.

And here is the color-blocked, 3/4 sleeve version of the Nessie Top that I made during testing.  The top is pique knit while the heart fabric is a cotton interlock knit.  This one is worn often, too!

Well, as you can see, the Nessie Top pattern is getting used over and over here.  With the beautiful sunshine teasing us that warmer weather is on its way, I think I might just need to whip up a few of these in short sleeves.  The hardest part is deciding on which fabrics to use!

Be sure to go visit Craftiness Is Not Optional and check out all her great patterns (including the Nessie Top) and tutorials!

I'd also like to invite you to stop by The Daily Sew on Facebook.  I'm the guest curator there today, where I'll be sharing a few sewing and crafting tutorials as well as some other fun sewing pictures and tips!

Thanks for stopping by, and have fun sewing!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Triangle Pants

A few weeks ago, I tested See Kate Sew's latest pattern:  the Triangle Pants pattern.  When she first asked if I wanted to test a pattern for her, I agreed sight unseen.  Coming from Kate, I knew it would be great!  (Hey, that rhymes!)

Most of the pictures you see in this post are from the day I made the Triangle Pants and took some quick photos to show Kate the fit, so please don't think that Ella has worn this shirt tucked in with these pants out in public!  

First, the details.  

For Ella's pair of Triangle Pants, I made the size 5 but used the size 6 length. Always check the sizing chart of a new pattern carefully, because there can be slight differences between designers and even patterns from the same designer in regards to fit.  Ella is roughly 46" tall and definitely needed the extra length.

Next, I used a remnant piece of stretch suiting (or it might be a stretch denim) that I bought a long time ago.  I think I had 3/4 of a yard, and it worked out perfectly!  The pockets are a stretch denim while the waistband and ankle bands are made using ribbed knit--all purchased at Joann's.

These pants make me smile!  I just can't help it!  They are so outside the norm of what I would choose to sew or even dress my daughter in, but you know what?  I absolutely love them!

Ella has worn them once to twice a week since this day, and each time she does, someone compliments her on them.  She says they are so comfortable, too, because of the knit waistband and ankle cuffs.

Per the pattern instructions, the Triangle Pants can be made with knit or woven fabrics, but in my opinion, using a woven with a bit of spandex will make these slim fitting pants wear better.

The Triangle Pants literally took me only an hour to sew together.  I'm dying to make her another pair but without the pockets.  Maybe I'll do that after I finish writing this post!

These triangular shaped pockets are definitely hip and modern (something that I'm not so much), and it was fun stepping outside my normal style comfort zone to make them.  These pants have a slightly higher waist and a more relaxed inseam than other skinny jeans/pants I've made, but those design elements contribute to the comfort of the pants making them ideal for active little children.

Plus, the tapered leg and knit band at the bottom make them perfect for wearing with boots!  Come back tomorrow when I will reveal the top half of what has become one of my favorite outfits for Ella to wear!

If you are now as in love with the Triangle Pants pattern as I am, then please go check them out more at See Kate Sew.  You might just decide to purchase your own copy of the Triangle Pants pattern plus a few other unique designs.  

Have fun sewing and see you tomorrow!

Oh, and tomorrow I'll also be the guest curator over at The Daily Sew on Facebook.  I'd love for you to stop by and say hello!  I'll be sharing some fun tutorials and sewing tips while I'm there!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Just a Friendly Reminder!

Good morning!  I'll make this post very brief!

Remember the Flip This Pattern competition at Frances Suzanne I blogged about being in yesterday?  Well, today is the day to vote for my your favorite look!

I appreciate all your support and friendship!  Click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the post to vote! Thank you so sewVery much!

And to read all about this adorable peplum top I made Ella by flipping the Violette Field Thread's Josephine pattern, click HERE.

Have fun sewing!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Flip This Pattern Look Revealed!

I'm a contestant in the Flip This Pattern competition over at Frances Suzanne today.  I've tried not to make a big deal out of it because I'm really, really nervous for some reason.

Click HERE to read about the Flip look I created using the Violette Field Threads' Josephine pattern and to see some fun photos of Ella acting all grown-up (which she just about is)!

Voting starts tomorrow!

Thanks, and have fun sewing!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Reversible Vintage Trim Fabric Belt Tutorial

Yesterday's sunshine and warmer temperatures were a welcome respite to the cold, dreary days we've had this Winter.  Feeling the warmth of the sun made me believe that Spring may be here before we know it!  It also reminded me of these bright, cheery reversible trim fabric belts that I made for Ella a few months ago.  I originally blogged about these belts over at The Cottage Mama as a guest contributor, and now I'm bringing home my tutorial to share with you!  Enjoy, and hopefully Spring will be here sooner rather than later!

If you are like me, you have a drawer full of new and vintage trims that you covet and are just waiting for that perfect project to use them on.  Well, wait no further!  It's time to empty the drawer and use those trims to make something you or your child will enjoy!  

Today, I'll show you how to use up some of those beautiful trims by making a Reversible Vintage Trim Fabric Belt! 

This is a very simple project that you can complete in about an hour.  Here's a list of things you will need to make the belt.

  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Approximately 1/8 yard fabric
  • Vintage or new trim
  • A metal or plastic belt buckle with no prong (I found a 1" metal fashion buckle by Dritz at Joann's) or a 1 1/8" to 1 1/2" inside diameter metal or plastic ring
  • Fabric glue 
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Pins or clips
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

For my daughter who is 4 1/2 and wears a size 5T pant, I used 28" as my length measurement.

Step 2: Measure the belt loop opening height and the trim width.  You'll want to be sure to use a trim that is slightly narrower than the belt loop height measurement.

I used 1 1/4" as my belt loop height measurement.

Step 3: Raid that trim drawer and look for pieces long enough to use on your belt--at least the length measured in Step 1 + 1".

Step 4: For my daughter's two belts, I cut my fabric roughly 4 times the width of the belt loop opening that I measured in Step 2 and the length I measured in Step 1 -- (4 x 1 1/4") or 5" wide by 28" long.

Step 5:

Step 7: Unfold the fabric so that the raw edges are still turned in and on the right side of the fabric.  Position the trim parallel to the center fold of the fabric as shown.  The trim should extend beyond each end of the fabric by at least ½” if not more.  If desired, use fabric glue, glue stick, pins, or clips to position the trim temporarily.

Step 8: Stitch the trim to the fabric along both long edges of the trim.

Step 9:  Fold under the edge of the trim and temporarily secure in place using glue or a clip.  Stitch across the short edge of the fabric to permanently secure the end of the trim.

Step 10: Fold the fabric in half again along the center and press from the backside.  Clip or pin the open edges together and then stitch again along the same lines you used to stitch the trim onto the fabric.

If you are feeling particularly confident, you can combine Steps 7-10 and stitch the trim on all at once!

Step 11: If desired, wrap a metal or plastic buckle that has only the center bar (no prong piece) in matching fabric or just use it as is.  On the yellow belt, I used a Dritz 1” square fashion buckle I purchased at Joann's like the one shown below:

And on the denim belt, I made a buckle using a plastic purse ring that has a roughly 1 1/8" inside diameter.  To make your own buckle, follow Parts 1-6 of Step 12.

Step 12: To make your own buckle using a ring, first create a narrow piece of double fold tape using the same steps used to make the fabric belt.  Wrap the tape over the ring and using your zipper foot, sew together.  Wrap the other end around the ring snugly and sew together.  Trim any excess fabric. For either the manufactured or fabricated buckle, begin wrapping a single-fold piece of fabric tape around buckle until no edges are exposed.  On the back of the buckle, either use fabric glue or a hot glue gun to secure the raw ends of the fabric.

Step 13: Loop the belt over the center bar of the buckle at least 1 to 1 ½” with WST.  Again, using your zipper foot, sew the end of the belt to secure the buckle.  Hand tack close to the buckle if desired.

Now your Reversible Vintage Trim Belt is complete!  Use it to spruce up an otherwise plain sweater set and pair of jeans to create an amazing, preppy ensemble!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and and will check out other tutorials I've written.

Have a great day, and have fun sewing!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Baby Sleep Sack and Giveaway!

Today I'm participating in the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop (affiliate link) Lullaby Line Pattern Tour!  Get ready to melt when you see the sweetness on my blog today!

This post contains my affiliate links for Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  All opinions are my own.

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As many of you know, I am good friends with Lindsay from Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds.  Well, Lindsay recently had a baby boy, and I needed a good excuse to go visit her so I could hold the baby! I sewed together a quick sleep sack using one of the patterns from the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Lullaby Line and then headed out the door to deliver the gift to little Elliot!

I think he likes it! Yay!

Baby Elliot is such a precious little one who is just 3 weeks old in these pictures.  He already weighs nearly 10 pounds, so I decided to sew together this 3-6 month sized sleep sack which only took about an hour to finish.  I used some left over Super Hero Shannon Fabric's Cuddle from a previous project I blogged about and added some black ribbed knit for the neck and armhole binding.

The Sleep Sack Pattern was a breeze to follow with its step-by-step written instructions and color photographs to use as a guide.  Installing the zipper was even a cinch!  The pattern even comes with a footed sleep sack option for bigger kids (sadly, my kids are already too big for that though!).

I know I will be using the Sleep Sack Pattern as well as many of the others, like the Baby Gown, Body Suit, Pants and Shorts, and Baby Hat, from the collection whenever I need a quick baby gift for a friend or one of my husband's co-workers.  The entire collection of 6 patterns is a great deal for just $35, or you can buy them individually.

Be sure to visit all the other bloggers from this past week (including my other good friend, Sewing Mama RaeAnna) to see more squishy babies and adorable little clothes for them.  You'll be glad you did!

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And don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of three $50 gift cards to Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop!  Wow!  That will buy you a lot of terrific patterns!  To keep up with all the latest pattern releases, be sure to follow the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Blog.

Thanks to Lindsay for taking pictures and allowing Elliot to be a model for me today.  I think he's already testing out the sleep sack!

Have fun sewing!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Prairie Rose Blouse

The lovely and talented Anneliese of the blog Aesthetic Nest and Wee Muses Sewing Patterns recently asked me if I wanted to try out her new pattern, The Prairie Rose.  I've followed and admired her blog for as long as I can remember, so I definitely said yes!

The Prairie Rose pdf pattern is actually a set of patterns for an entire outfit or multiple outfits! While I only sewed up a top, the pattern includes a dress, blouse, maxi skirt, and pants for sizes 18 months to 8 years.  You'll be sure to use this one pattern over and over again for years!

The blouse I made for Ella was such a quick sew.  I think it took me only a couple of hours including cutting out the fabric.  And Anneliese's pattern instructions and photographs were clear and helpful guidance in putting the blouse together.

For Ella, I decided to sew a size 5 top, and we are both pleased with the fit!  She helped me search our fabric stash for something she liked, and this pink with daisy flowers was the winner.  As soon as I finished the top, she put it on and wore it all day!  Boy, that sure does make me feel good.

If you are in search of an awesome peasant style dress or blouse, then be sure to check out The Prairie Rose pdf pattern by Wee Muses!

I'll leave you with a funny shot of Ella tasting her honey bee shaped lollipop and then deciding she didn't like it!

Have fun sewing!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Belinda Dress

I'm finally getting around to sharing with you the other favorite dress that Ella and I adore right now--the Belinda Dress pdf pattern by Go To Patterns.

Disclaimer:  The pattern designer provided me with a free copy of the pattern in exchange for my honest review.  All comments in this post are my own opinions.

Go To Patterns released this new design a few weeks ago, and I loved the look of it immediately! The Belinda Dress pattern is written for knit fabrics and is pretty simple to make.  In fact, the only time I used my sewing machine and not my serger was to attach the fold over elastic and to baste the fabric for gathering!  Total time to put it all together was roughly a couple of hours, and the fit is spot on perfect for Ella who is wearing a size 6 now!

First of all, the pattern is one of the most professional packages I've seen lately.  The designer uses excellent photos to accompany the clearly written step-by-step instructions for sewing the dress. And the pattern pieces are simple to print out and put together.

For Ella's black Belinda Dress, I used a ponte roma knit fabric from Joann Fabric and Craft Stores. Instead of binding the neckline and pockets with a knit band as shown in the pattern, I decided to add a little color to the basic black dress by using some fun florescent orange and black chevron fold over elastic.

I think I was channeling my youth from the 1980's with the use of the highlighter yellow tights and the funky blue/green headband--that's one of the reasons I like this outfit so much though!  And in case you are wondering, I did not make the headband!  We picked it up at Gymboree.

This was only my second time to use FOE, and I love it!  Now I need to find more of that fun FOE print!

The dress pattern shows you how to make the dress with or without the large kangaroo style pockets. Since I had plenty of the ponte roma fabric, I added them, and Ella is very glad I did (although she doesn't look it in the photo below (she suddenly got embarrassed as a man walking by noticed her))! Since I purchased the fabric when it was 60% off, the total cost of this dress is under $10!  Can you believe it?

The Belinda Dress pattern has lots of gathering just to warn you in case you don't like gathering! Because the ponte roma fabric is a thicker knit, the front of the skirt took a while to gather because you have two layers of fabric to draw up if you put in the pockets.  It's not difficult--just a little time consuming!  My favorite is the gathering at the top of the sleeve that produces the sweetest feminine effect.

Well, it didn't take Ella long to get over her shyness!  In fact, she had a lot of fun playing around in her Belinda Dress!

So, what are you waiting for?!  Head over to Go To Patterns and check out the Belinda Dress pattern for yourself!  Once I buy some more knit I'll definitely be making another one!

Thanks for stopping by today, and have fun sewing!