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Believer, Daughter, Wife, Mother, Sister, Aunt, Registered Nurse, Seamstress, Crafter, Housekeeper, Cook, Baker, Gardener, Reader, Keeper of the chickens, Goat Herder, Homesteader, Thrifty, Usually sane, Overworked, Mom of 3. Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate your comments! ~ Angie



Friday, May 28, 2010

Whimsy Knotty Outfits

I've been hard at work on the girls' summer wardrobes.  This week I finished 2 outfits for Mally and one top for Abby, all using patterns from Whimsy Couture.  I own most of WC's patterns and like their simplicity and style.  For the pink argyle outfit I modified the Knot Dress, using only 1/2 the width and shortened the length to make a less full top. For the bottoms I used her bloomers pattern, adding a side band and lower band of fabric and capri length.  She loves them!

I finally used these coordinating red fabrics from J. Paganelli that I've been saving for something special...For Mally I used WC's Knot Overalls pattern, lengthening the bodice by 1" and adding a bottom ruffle in shortall length.

The remainder of the red fabric made a knot top like the pink one above only this time I lengthened the bodice by 2".  Matchy-matchy sisters are so cute!

I've also sewn 4 pairs of bermuda shorts for my girls and one pair for a student of Andy's.  This pattern for Bermudas & Gauchos was from You Can Make This.com- a favorite online store of mine- and ranges in size 4-14 so I'll be sewing it for years to come.  I added the cargo pockets to the shorts - my girls like to stash things :)

The pink argyle shorts were for an 8th grade girl who likes Mally's handmade clothes.  As a joke, Andy asked her if she would wear something I made...she said "Anything!" so he promised a pair of funny pants for her to wear the last day of school.  I think they're pretty cute, but not sure how a 14 year-old would feel :)

Drew is feeling left out, so I plan to make him a few pairs of shorts too.  I'm also planning to make some upcycled tank tops & dresses using Lil Blue Boo patterns.  I've had fun using the Sienna and Hoodie patterns and highly recommend them!  Any favorite summer patterns you'd like to share?

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weekender Tote Sew-Along Results

Sew Spoiled blog is hosting a sew-along for her Weekender Tote pattern through the month of May (pattern still available free on her blog!).  I'm a little ahead of the pack and finished my bag last weekend.  It's wonderful as a hip tote or would make a fantastic diaper bag by adding another pocket. I added a burnt flower corsage and think it's great!  On the inside, I also added a little loop to hook my keys on.  No more searching for keys!

I did encounter a few problems in my sewing;  possibly my error in cutting but I thought I had them all cut correctly.  These were minor issues and no problem for intermediate sewers to remedy. 
- Top band was too large for my pleated panels.  I had to cut off about 2 inches, then it matched well.

- Lining top was smaller than my outer bag top, so I trimmed down the outer bag to make them fit nicely.

-Bottom panel:  Just a pet-peeve of mine, but I do not like sewing bag bottom panels.  I find it difficult to get the corners crisp without folds or rounding.  I would much prefer to add 2 inches to the length of the main panels and add gusset corners like I did in Mama's Ruffle Shoulder Bag (example below).  The separate bottom panel does allow you to add a contrasting fabric on the bottom if you choose, but for me gussets are faster and easier.

I would recommend this pattern for intermediate to advanced sewers.  If you've sewn a handbag before you will do fine, but this could be confusing or intimidating for a newbie.  Instructions were good and the pictures helpful.  This is a wonderful free pattern, so get it while you still can!  Other Sew Spoiled patterns are available at her Etsy shop Sew Spoiled.  Her ladybug bags are darling and I really like the Mommy & Me backpacks.  More for my Wish List!

I'm on to my next sew-along , {Make} A Bag Sew Along.  Looks like fun!
Photo from Make blog

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Round Neck Tops

 Anyone else out there loving the round neck tops for girls?  I have been wanting That Darn Kat's Round Neck Top for many months, but am sticking to my budget and won't spend $10 on a single pattern. 
 Photo from That Darn Kat
As a compromise, I had my mother pick up this little Easy Stitch & Save pattern # M6007.  I was disappointed to see that it has a zippered back, so improvised and omitted the zipper, adding a button closure to the back instead.  I was able to use this great vintage button I had won in a giveaway last year (Thank you Lora @ Eager Hands!)    I used view B, adding a band for the bottom length for extra cuteness.  I am getting more comfortable sewing collars with facings and this sewed up in about an hour.  I'll sew this one many times!  Mally was ready for bed when I finished this one but she wanted to model :) 

Recently the Snappy Toddler Top Tutorial from Prudent Baby was released that is very similar.  I like the snaps at the shoulder (same as That Darn Cat's pattern) and will try modifying my pattern like this next time. Her pattern is for 12-18 months, but can be enlarged to fit larger sizes. (I would recommend adding interfacing to one of your neck front & back pieces for extra stability for your buttons or snaps.)
Photo from Prudent Baby
I also own the Revolutions Frock from Little Print Designs/ Sweet Shop/ Indie Tutes.  This one is only $4!  I'm looking forward to making this one, but it requires 3-4 yards of fabric so I need to go shopping first.
Maybe you are sewing round necks for summer, too? 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thank You All ~ Winner!

Wow! I am overwhelmed by the 189 comments entered in the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway post. Thank you all for stopping by my little blog and I hope you will visit again soon.

And the winner is...#88 Jenna H! I've sent you an email. Looking forward to sharing this fabric with you :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

~(CLOSED) ~Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day is Here!

This year, I'm feeling a little lazy so I'll be offering 3 yards of fabric from my stash as a giveaway prize.  I had hoped to turn these calicos into a fun apron, but I'll leave the sewing to you!  Need some inspiration?  Check out this vintage utility apron from Tipnut, this Retro Fun Vintage Apron from Sew4Home (already made it!), or the Marie & Krista Aprons from Think Liz (made the Krista!).

To enter, just leave a comment.  If you follow me, add a second comment for an extra entry.  Please include your email address or make sure it is public on your blog so I can contact the winner.  Open to US residents only.  Giveaway ends May 20th at 8pm PST.  Good luck and have fun visiting all the blogs offering giveaways through Sew, Mama, Sew!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sewing Clothes Kids Love Projects

I have a new favorite sewing book, Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon, hereafter to be called The Book.  See my post from a few days ago for more details about the book and where to find the Flickr pool.  After reading this book cover to cover, I'm impressed with the detail she gives about how to measure your child, adjusting the pattern, making a kinderquin (kid-sized mannequin), and tips for embellishing each pattern.

I started today with the Brooklyn Tank Top and Riviera Leggings at Abby's request.  I had picked up this pink stretch knit at the thrift shop a few months ago and had just enough to make matching tops & bottoms for A and M.  I followed the pattern exactly for the top.  Next time, I'll add a little more length on the straps.  I made the pants capri length by shortening the pattern and added a banded cuff.  The pattern includes a cut line for shorts, but not for capris.  The girls are really happy with them, but they look like PJs because of the fabric.  Instead of a summer outfit, they got summer jammies!

What I learned:
~ Tracing a pattern - I had never actually traced a pattern before!  I used freezer paper and could faintly see though to trace the appropriate sizes for the girls. No issues.
~ Adding seam allowances- This is my first experience sewing European patterns without seam allowances added.  This is actually something I didn't mind because I often serge and don't need big seam allowances.  I just eyeballed a scant 1/4" seam where I knew I would be serging and about 1/2" where I would hem.  I will likely be more precise and measure when making more complicated patterns, but for these simple patterns with only a few pieces eyeballing it worked fine.
~ Take time to measure your body before cutting!  I just guessed which size to use based on commercial sizing, but found that the pants were way too long and the shirts too short.  If I had measured like I was supposed to, I'd have saved some time and fabric.  I ended up tailoring as I went and ended with a nice finished product but it will be easier to do it right the first time.

Up next will likely be the Dortje pants, but not until I get some more summer clothes made!

Monday, May 10, 2010

SMS Giveaway Day!

Sew, Mama, Sew's fun Giveaway Day is coming!  Monday, May 17th is the big day.  Why not offer a giveaway on your blog, too?  Head over to Sew, Mama, Sew here to find out how to get involved.  Hope you'll come visit on the big day. Any suggestions for what you'd like to win?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Reading

I was so happy to have my latest purchase in the mailbox yesterday - Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langsdon of Tantrum Studios/Fledge and Sabine Pollehn of Farbenmix.  I have my work cut out for me the next few days, browsing and studying the 144 colorful, inspiring pages.  The book includes 10 full-sized patterns, making it a great value for the price. I love all the bright fabrics and creative trims, although my fabric selections are never quite this wild.  The sizes range from 18 months - 12, so I can use them for both my girls for years to come.  Abby (my 7 year-old) looked through this book last night and picked out a tank top and leggings for my first project.  I was hoping she'd love the frilly Feliz dress or lovely Manhattan dress, but those will move over to my list for Mallory ( age 2) before she starts to protest frills!  There is a nice jacket pattern for boys, but Drew (age 8) is already in a size 14.  If you're looking for some sewing inspiration and great boutique patterns, check out this book!

Look at these beautiful pictures from the Flickr photo pool...Time to get back to reading!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No-Sew Flower Bouquet

Over the weekend, I got my craft on and made this pretty bouquet - just for me!  MADE has been 'Celebrating Mom' the past week and she re-posted this easy tutorial for No-Sew Flowers.  I pulled out by scrap bin, glue gun and BBQ skewers and ended up with these little pretties.....

I wish my mothers and grandma were closer, because they would each get a pretty bouquet for Mother's Day.  These could also be a nice Teacher's Appreciation gift this week.  I'm hoping to make some more to give as gifts to the ladies that come to my 'Girls' Night' this Sunday.  Should be fun!

What are you making for Mother's Day or for Teacher's Appreciation?
Linked to: Tip Junkie's Show & Tell Tuesday 
My Frugal Family's Talented Tuesday 
Someday Crafts Whatever Goes Wednesday 
Whimsy Couture Let's Sew Wednesday

Featured on MADE!!!!!  I'll be smiling for days :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vote For Spring Top Week

The month for selfish sewing is over and now it's time to vote!  The judges have narrowed it down from 368 to the top 60 and now it's up to us to vote for our favorites.  Head over to Made By Rae every day this week to vote for your favorites.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Girly Goodness

I'm done sewing for me, so it's back to sewing for the girls!  Mallory loves her striped overalls, but they were too small so I cut off the legs and added a skirt.  She loves it and has worn it everyday this week (with breaks to wash it!) 

Abby was invited to a birthday party, so she chose a pillowcase top, denim purse, and book as her gift.  Thankfully, the top and bag sewed up in about 2 hours total, so it was an easy job.  I love the big bow on this dress, so I used this tutorial from NaNa Kid Boutique for the top.   I had enough fabric to make a 2nd, shorter top that works as a mini-dress for Mally or top for Abby.  She can be matchy-matchy with her friend :)

I found this tute for the bag.  Cute and so easy!  I was in a hurry to get Abby to the party, so I didn't get a pic of the bag, but the jeans had embroidery on the front and back pockets so I didn't need to add any detail.
Photo from http://www.craftedition.blogspot.com/

What are you sewing these days? Any good tutorials to share?  I'd love to hear from you!