A Wyld Stallyn!!

haven-acres_0249 Please tell me you know that reference.

So I've been doing some pattern testing for the upcoming (sooooon!) Haven Acres Mini collection by Jennuine Design. It's my first time pattern testing and it's been very cool to see how the whole process works. The collection is equine inspired, with leggings similar to riding pants, a loose woven blouse, and a to die for pony eared hat. I love me some Cotton and Steel, (evidence here, here, and here) and I had this Mustang print earmarked for a skirt for Charly but I just couldn't resist pairing it with the dressage leggings. Double bonus- Caroline is suddenly really in to horses the last couple of weeks!

Enter, the Wyld Stallyn top and leggings. So named for my little horse lover, a Wyld Stallyn in her own right, who wouldn't stand still for a moment and doesn't respond to bribery like Charly does. I think this is what I get for bragging about my photography yesterday, haha! I literally took over 200 pictures of her gallivanting about the back yard today and these were the best I got, and it took some delicate editing to get them this way :)

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I'll be sharing more about the Haven Acres Mini Collection next week for the blog tour after the pattern is released, but I couldn't help but share this today since the leggings were my Kid's Clothes Week project today. The blouse was done last week, so maybe that's cheating a little, but they're a package deal, ya know!?

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I stepped outside my color comfort zone a bit on these. Pink doesn't make it in to my sewing rotation much, let alone such a bubble gummy pink, and if I'm being honest I'm still not sure the red and pink combo was a good idea. It's a little in your face for my liking. At the very least they'll be great for Valentine's day, right?

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So, a few details

Pattern: Dressage Leggings by Jennuine Design

Size: 18-24m, extra rise option

What I loved:

  • that cut is just so cute!
  • great for mixing prints (I'll have to share some funky tester versions I did with prints!)
  • generous bum coverage- that's a ginormous cloth diaper under those leggings
  • great fit

What I changed:

  • lengthened the 18-24m size to 2t length for my tall 20 month old

What I'll change next time:

  • nothing! the fit on these is fantastic!

Fabric and Notions:

  • red jersey knit from JoAnn
  • pink performance knit from Joann
  • woven elastic (the kind for pajamas and underpants- it's softer than the knit kind)

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And the top-

Pattern: Haven Acres Blouse by Jennuine Design

Size: 2t

What I loved:

  • Easy on and off design
  • no closures means easy sewing

What I changed:

  • no changes to this blouse!

What I'll change next time:

  • I'll likely lengthen next time since my daughter is fairly tall and the elastic tends to ride up
  • I'll use flat elastic rather than cord elastic in the sleeves because the cord elastic is a bit tricky to sew together

Fabric and Notions:

And that's WYLD STALLYN!!!!!

(air guitar)

Tree Hugger Top

tree-hugger-top_0109 This, my friends, is the project I was most excited about for Kid's Clothes week. I've been hoarding this plaid linen dress in my refashion box for a couple of months and man am I happy to have used it. This is the top I had in mind when I made the Colonel Mustard Skirt- and I love love how they look together!

The fabric reminds me of a lumberjack shirt, but my little gal would be the one in the tree trying to save it rather than the one cutting it down, so Tree Hugger Top it is!

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The pattern I used is the Haven Acres Blouse pattern, soon to be released by Jennuine Designs. I've been testing for her so I get an early stab at it, lucky me! I've made a couple already and I've got another one planned. I made some modifications to it for this top though, which I'll detail below. But first, a before:

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and after:

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Pattern: Haven Acres Blouse by Jennuine Designs

Size: 3t

Things I loved:

  • intuitive construction
  • simple, feminine shape
  • accurate size- her measurements landed squarely in the 3t range and it fits great!

Things I changed:

  • lengthened blouse by 3in to make it more of a tunic
  • cut the back on the button placket of the dress instead of a fold
  • cut the front bodice over top of the back panel to use the bias cut panel as a design feature
  • omitted keyhole (to feature the bias panel) and bound neckline with a clean finish on the back instead of ties
  • narrowed the sleeve by 1.5in. Since the shirt buttons down the back now less fullness is required in the sleeve for comfortable dressing. If you make this top with the original design and don't have buttons down the back be very cautious that you don't make it too hard to put on by not allowing enough ease in the sleeve!
  • omitted the sleeve elastic
  • bound the hem in bias tape

Things I'll change next time:

  • I've made it following the pattern exactly and love it that way, I'm sure I'll make another like that!
  • I'm toying with the idea of making one in the same mustard sweatshirt fleece as this skirt

Notions & Fabric

  • thrifted linen dress
  • navy single fold bias tape, ironed in half to make it a narrow double fold bias tape

I'm excited for this pattern to be released! I'll be sharing makes from this 3 piece collection soon- but I'm feeling oh so lucky to have the pattern in time for Kid's Clothes Week!

In other news, we're getting better at the whole photo taking process. Less grumpies (treats are always involved) and I'm getting better shots quicker. Plus these two hams like to pose, so there's that :)

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Goofballs. Anyway, I'm feeling good about the photography retreat I went to. Maybe I'll share some pics from that one day- although I think it will just make you all hungry:)

The Colonel Mustard Skirt

colonel-mustard-skirt It's that magical time again, friends... the time when I sew my heart out and actually blog about my projects before moving on to the next ones... it's KID'S CLOTHES WEEK! The theme this go around is up cycling. Um, yes please? If you've been around here for any length of time you know I LOVE to up cycle/refashion/scavenge. So obviously, I must OWN this Kid's Clothes Week!

I like to start the week off with a quick and easy project to help keep me motivated to make more. Enter my first project of the week- the Colonel Mustard Skirt. It had humble beginnings as a 2XL mens sweatshirt rescued from the thrift store:

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I forgot it was supposed to start on Monday, so a little Super Bowl night sewing (watching the series finale of Parenthood and not the Super Bowl because duh) and I drafted and sewed this simple skirt in an evening.

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I kind of winged it, which is something I haven't done in a while. I have so many patterns now that I usually have something similar to what I want and don't need to draft my own. This was simple enough that I thought I'd give it a try. I'm also taking the Pattern Workshop course from Lauren Dahl right now so I figure I need to get brave about drafting myself.

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It's a fairly simple skirt- a couple of rectangles, pocket cutouts, waistband and hem band from the bottom ribbing of the sweatshirt, and elastic at the waist to keep it up. I made the whole thing on my serger except for the topstitching on the pockets. Once I buy another double needle I'll topstitch the waistband and hem band, too. I did end up lowering the front waistband after trying it on her today, so for anyone thinking of drafting something like this you'll likely need to scoop that front waist down some.

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Here's the pocket lining detail. I used this fabric from Finch Sewing Studio. I had the pleasure of stopping in to their shop on Saturday and just couldn't leave empty handed!

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I always forget size labels so I made do with a simple ribbon tag and fabric pen.

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If I were to sew it again I think I'd add some pleats to the front. And the little lady? Well, she likes it alright. It isn't twirly, but I have plans for a top to go with it that will be plenty twirly, so hopefully that will redeem it!

Who else is sewing along for Kid's Clothes Week? I wanna see what you're making!!

(Details on the coat are in this post)

Kids Clothes Week Spring 2014- Days 3-7

As always, I lost some steam at the end of Kids Clothes Week. I put in the time, for sure, but my projects just didn't go as smoothly. Does anyone else have that happen- great momentum in the beginning of projects and then.... ya know? Anyway, I finished up my last two garments yesterday, so here is what I spent the last part of Kids Clothes Week working on:

The bloomers are made using the Hosh Pants pattern-and hey! Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 is still available until Friday, and the Hosh pattern is included! I got my inspiration from this post by Monica of Adirondack Inspired and decided to give the adjustable, flat front waistband a try with a bloomer style short for Caroline. I reworked the pleats a couple of times and I'm not 100% happy with these. I'm picky about bubble or bloomer shorts- I don't like too much volume, and I'd say these are borderline for me. Oh, and yeah, they were supposed to be for my 1 year old, but clearly my three year old is modeling them, so they turned out a liiiiittle big. I almost want to try again to get the proportions more to my liking , because I really do love that waistband and pleats. Anyhow, they are comfy. And perfect for transitioning from spring with tights/leggings underneath, to summer worn with a tank or tee, and all the way through fall with tights again. The fabric is a chambray bought at Joanns a couple of years ago.

And this shirt- quickly becoming my favorite make of the week- a pippa peplum with a double layered flounce and freezer paper stenciled cat face. I wanted to have something Charly could help me with as I spent some extra time on projects last week, and freezer paper stenciling is just so darn easy. This is a great tutorial, although I used screen printing ink (found at Hobby Lobby) rather than fabric paint because it softens up much better in my experience (and because my talented friend Mel told me to). Charly enjoyed it, and c'mon. Cats!

Will pose for marshmallows.

The fabric is a knit interlock remnant from Joanns. The slightly thicker knit and half sleeve make it great for cooler spring days. I think the extra layers at the waist seam are making it bow out a little at the waist despite using elastic thread in my bobbin, so I'm considering sewing some elastic right at the seam to bring it back in. I probably won't, though. I'm feeling kinda lazy after all this.

And that is that! My goal of 7 finished items wasn't met, but I can be happy with 5 in a week. As always, my head is reeling with projects I want to make. My creative juices are flowing, but time, that dastardly device, never seems to be on my side. Oh the wonderful clothes I could make for my children if I didn't have to take care of my children all day! I kid, I kid. But really.

Kids Clothes Week Spring 2014- Day 2 & 3 (and a half!)

I've done fairly well keeping up with a bit of sewing each day, and I've even managed to get outside with my kids and make dinner. Let's not talk about the state of the laundry, though. I have a goal this KCW of using stuff I have- refashioning, upcycling, or using fabric from my (small) stash- rather than buying new fabric. It is time to clear some things out and make these piles of junk into something useful! So, for day 2, I refashioned (or upcyled... I really should find out the difference) this shirt I picked up at the thrift store a while back. If you haven't seen a rhyme or reason to my thrifting yet, I'll let you in on a secret. It's all about the fabric. If I'm looking for something for me then yes, I'm looking at fit and lines and all that stuff, but if I find something with a fabric I just love I know I can usually make it into something cool. Which is exactly why I bought this shirt that I knew I'd never wear- at least not in its current state.

It had a deep scoop back that meant there wasn't enough fabric to make it a little dress, so I finally decided to lop off the bottom as is and gather it into a skirt. It was basically the easiest thing I've made in a while. I used some fabric from the top to make a flat front/elastic back waistband, gathered the bottom portion and sewed it on. Easy as pie and my little lady is in love.

But then I didn't have anything she could wear with it, so I figured for day 3 I'd take a swing at the Celestial Tee from Figgy's that is included in Parcel #2 from Perfect Pattern Parcel. I had a cream tee I bought on clearance for $5 to work with. I loved it in theory, but the pleat detail on the front did a weird something over my boobs that I just wasn't digging. The problem is, this shirt wasn't quite wide enough to fit the pattern piece. I thought I'd try doing a contrast sleeve band like this, but it wasn't even wide enough for that. So I thought and thought and wasted way too much time brainstorming (I'm an overanalyzer- like bad) and came to the conclusion that I could try making it a raglan style sleeve, using another shirt to create a contrast sleeve. I literally just cut the pattern from the armpit diagonally to the neckline and added seam allowances. I also brought the back hem up for a less dramatic hi/low hem. Once I sewed the sleeve to the main bodice I followed the pattern. I wasn't sure how the pleats would look with the raglan sleeve, but I'm actually really loving that they seem to have the same angle to them, which makes it look intentional.

I toyed with the idea of using a linen with metallic stripes, but wasn't sure how a woven would work with a knit pattern. I used a thin knit with some texture instead (from a hand me down base layer type shirt), but now that I've sewn it up I'm pretty confident this pattern is loose enough that a woven sleeve would be just fine.

I didn't have enough fabric for a neckband so I cut the original hem from the main shirt and used that. It made a more narrow band but it worked! Talk about using what you've got!

I'm wishing I would have made a size smaller, since this pattern has a lot of ease and Charly is skinny as a rail. I guess she'll get to wear this for a long time:)

I finished the hemming on the shirt this afternoon, which brings us to today. I'm currently working on a pair of bubble shorts for Caroline and have another peplum top cut for Charly. My goal is 7 items this week- fingers crossed!

In the mean time, we are enjoying some fabulous weather, and it is all I can do to not skip naps and spend the whole day outside. Once summer hits the humidity comes with it, so these nice spring days are a precious commodity! Today we managed to get out for a run this morning and spend the late afternoon doing sidewalk chalk.

This goober declared herself "a ragamuffin princess" and I'd have to agree!

Kids Clothes Week Spring 2014- Day 1

And all of the sudden I'm back! Posting for Perfect Pattern Parcel earlier today (and again tomorrow) and now Kids Clothes Week is upon us and I'm hoping to stay somewhat up to date with my projects this week. Yesterday was day 1, and since I'd done a bit of prep work by cutting a couple projects out, I managed to finish one of them.

This peplum top was made using the Pippa Peplum pattern from See Kate Sew. I used this pattern to sew a couple dresses for someone recently but this was my first time sewing up a Pippa for one of my girls. Charly gasped when she saw it this morning and immediately declared it was her Snow White dress. I have no idea why she's calling it that, but I couldn't have asked for a better reaction!

I made it using this shirt that I bought for myself at the thrift store a couple of years ago. I have no idea why I bought it. I don't usually wear those colors or that silhouette, which is why its been sitting in my dresser nearly the entire time I've owned it. Lucky for me neon is in and this bad boy was just big enough to cut a top for Charly out of. I was able to cut the bodice and sleeves out of just the fabric from the sleeves of the original shirt!

I used the bottom of the shirt as the skirt portion of the top by measuring the height of the peplum pattern piece and cutting that much off the bottom of the shirt, following the curve. Because of that the bottom has a bit more fullness than the original pattern but it saved me the pain of hemming. Hooray!

So that's day one of Kids Clothes Week for me. I've got two more patterns cut and ready to sew, and about 20 more I want to make. I'd love to make one thing each day, but I realize that may be a bit ambitious for me at this point. Can't hurt to try though, right? Wish me luck!

KCW Day 4: Cashmere Winter Bonnet

Plugging right along today, I finished up the bonnets I had in the works this afternoon when my kids should have been napping. Just in time to sneak in a quick photo shoot with my gals. Charly played the part of the unwilling assistant by being bribed with the return of toys that had been banished for being left out. It was frigid out today (finally! some fall weather!) so we kept it short and hoped for some good pictures. And surprise- they were great! Lucky day!

These bonnets (I made two- one to donate to the non-profit I used to work for to auction at their upcoming fundraiser and one for little blue eyes over here) were made using the Storybook Woods Bonnet pattern. I used it once before when I made Caroline's blessing dress, which I realize now I never posted about. Hmm. I'll put that on the list. Anyway, I've never been much of a bonnet person, but I got the hankering for one of this style when I made her blessing dress and I love that it looks a little vintage, or maybe Scandinavian... I don't know.

The fabric is a tweed that I either thrifted or managed to acquire from some kind soul. I remember it smelled a little like moth balls when I got it, so it definitely wasn't new. The lining is a cashmere sweater that had a hole in it. I've been hoarding that in my box of misfit clothes as well (anyone sensing a theme here?) so I'm happy to be able to use it up. It makes me feel justified in having such a box when I actually use stuff out of it.

The flower is my own addition to the pattern. It was made by cutting petal shapes from the tweed and machine stitching around it to prevent fray, then hand stitching each petal to the outer fabric. Both were finished off with a vintage button from a local antique store.

I'm taking a detour from my planned projects this week to work on halloween costumes. We've talked for weeks about all dressing up from the movie Tangled, but until now hadn't committed (mostly because I didn't want to make all the costumes) but now I'm on board and we are making it happen. I really only have a few items to make between the four of us, so hopefully I'll get to squeeze in at least one more item of kids clothes before the week is up. I've got Caroline's Pascal the chameleon costume partially done, so fingers crossed I'll be able to finish it up tomorrow and share!

KCW Day 2

I didn't finish any projects today, but I made good progress on a geranium dress for Caroline. No pictures of that, though. Sorry! I'm hoping to finish that up tomorrow.
I do have pictures of the leggings I managed to eke out at the end of day 1, and a cute baby wearing them.

This little lady is long and lean, making it difficult to find pants that fit her. She wears cloth diapers that manage to fill out the waist better but most leggings are baggy on the legs even, or are too short. I used the fancy pants legging pattern and it fits great! I sewed up the 6-12 month size for my almost six month old. I made them out of a stained t shirt that Matt had and used the existing hem, because why not? I also lengthened them by accident because I forgot to subtract the seam allowance for the hem when I opted to use the original hem. Happy accident, because I kinda like how they bunch at the bottom.

Here's hoping for a finished product tomorrow!