Better Late than Never Finlayson

finlayson sweater_0002 I hope everyone is enjoying a little sunshine today! It is starting to feel like Spring might be real again here and I'm just crossing my fingers and toes that it stays nice all week. I need sunshine!

The story of this Finlayson sweater is that it's a super belated Christmas gift. Yeah, Christmas, like 4 months ago. To be fair I finished it at least a month ago (which explains the lack of sunshine in these pictures)... so... better late than never? Anyway, it's the first time I've sewn clothing for Matt, and can you tell he just LOVES modeling it?! I think I should probably sew some euro trunks next and do a beach shoot. Y'know, just to make him appreciate the whole "take pictures in your bathing suit and post it for the internetz" thing I did last year, haha! 

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The rest of the story of this shirt is that I ended up taking in quite a bit of it, and not very well at that, so I'm calling this a wearable muslin. I also shortened the sleeves by like 4 inches. Based on measurements he was a solid medium, but I think a small is in order. It may be that it was meant to be a looser fit than what I was going for and I'm sure fabric is playing some part in the size issue we had, too. I'm also not happy with the way the front shawl collar turned out. Mine's a bit sloppy. Guess I need some practice:)

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Anyway, he's worn it out so it isn't a total bust- although I'm not sure why this knit is looking so crazy wrinkly?! Looks like I'll just have to make another! I've also got my eye on the Jedediah Pants and Strathcona Henley, but I don't want to get ahead of myself here:)

Pattern: Finlayson Sweater from Thread Theory

What I loved:

  • hem band and sleeve bands mean no hemming knit- hooray!
  • great tips in the pattern, particularly adding stability to the shoulder seam

What I changed:

  • took in the sides and shortened the sleeves

What I'll change next time:

  • cut a smaller size

Fabric & Notions:

Despite this being an older project, I promise I've been doing LOTS of sewing lately. I'm  nearly done with my second t-shirt quilt in a month, and I'm putting the finishing touches  on some stuff for the next issue of Stylo!! I CAN NOT WAIT to show it to you, so don't worry, if you follow me on Facebook, instagram, bloglovin, or whatever other ways there are to follow I'll be shouting it from the roof tops when the issue is out!

A Wyld Stallyn!!

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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:)

Aztec Floral Zsálya Top- Pattern Parcel #6

Another Pattern Parcel is here!! This bundle of PDF patterns from indie designers, available for two weeks, is all women's patterns and all fabulous! As always, you can choose your price when you purchase, and all profits are donated to the charity Donors Choose, which provides supplies for classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

The patterns included in Parcel #6 are: Bronte Top by Jennifer Lauren Hudson Pant by True Bias Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations Syrah Skirt by Lauren Dahl/Selvage Designs Zsálya Top and Dress by Kate and Rose

aaaand a bonus pattern, if you choose a price of $32 or greater, the Odette Dress by Bluegingerdoll! It's a star lineup of patterns, folks! Some I've been pining after for a while, some are completely new to me, but I can see myself wearing every one of them.

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win I chose to sew the Zsálya top first. This is a risky move for me, I have to admit. I have a pretty petite/narrow frame, so while I love the look of loose and drapey tops they rarely look good on me. My shoulders are narrow and generally can't balance out a voluminous top. I decided to sew it anyway and hope for the best because I love that crossover front detail so much. It reminds me of a grown up Fawn Lily pattern, which I've been eyeing for my girls.

Totally works, right?! I love to layer in fall, especially since our weather is pretty temperate. I can start the day with a cardigan over the top and take it off when things warm up in the afternoon.

The fabric is refashioned from a Laura Ashley dress I bought at the thrift store. Charly was bemoaning me for cutting it apart. Apparently 90's fashion is her jam.

I chose it because of the funky floral. The flowers have an aztec sort of styling to them that for some reason spoke to me. The dress is a lightweight cotton that doesn't wrinkle, making it the perfect mom top. Aint nobody got time for ironing. I love that it dresses up my normal t-shirt and jeans look but isn't too fussy- no closures, high neckline that can't be pulled down by tiny hands exposing me to the other parents at the children's museum... you know, all the important things. And comfy. Did I mention that?

And it looks good with my favorite boots, which is requisite for any fall staple.

Back yoke, so pretty.

You can see the aztec-ish floral on the sleeve detail here. And speaking of sleeve detail, I love the gather and the shaping of the sleeve!

I'd wanted to use piping to accentuate the crossover detail but I didn't have any and I was antsy to get started. Next time.

I cut out a small and ended up sizing it down later. I should have cut an extra small (I was on the border size wise, and should have known from past experience to size down on these sorts of tops) but I solved it by holding the taped together yoke and front bodice pieces over my sewn together top (sans sleeves), shifting them over about an inch, and literally drawing a new side seam and armysce based on that. It's a bit of an unconventional solution, but it worked like a charm and meant I didn't have to worry about changing the sleeve shape any.

As for the pattern, I'm in love. I love the pattern diagrams- very clear and easy to follow. The pattern had great pointers and explained things really well. I really loved that they gave two methods of finishing the yoke so you can choose if you want the easy way or the more polished way. It's a pattern that can teach you something while you sew, and I love that! Everything came together relatively quickly, although I did have to think through the bodice/yoke sewing method a few times before I figured it out. The sewing was made quicker by reusing the existing hem of the dress I refashioned. Hooray for up cycling!

So sewing friends, do you want these patterns? Head over to Pattern Parcel to purchase this bundle before it's gone!

Lilac Leaf Shirt

When I was buying the fabric for Candice's casserole carrier I came across this fabulous leaf fabric on the clearance rack. I picked it up as a back up in case there wasn't enough of the mustard leaf fabric for the casserole carrier. Once I was at the cutting counter the worker informed me that my purple leaf fabric was 50% off the clearance price (meaning $1.50 a yard!) I proclaimed that I needed it and bought 2 yards on the spot. I wish I would have bought more!

I instantly thought of a shirt for this print. I found a cheap pattern that I loved (New Look 6077- view C) and was able to whip this up before we went to Richmond two weekends ago. I love it! This pattern is quick and easy. It would make a great beginner project.

It is more of a summer shirt, but I wore it under a cardigan and loved the nice pattern it added to my outfit. For anyone that may make one, I suggest using fabric that is a little more flowy (is that a word?) so it will have a nicer drape than stiff quilting weight cotton. Lesson learned!

A note about sizing: Has anyone else had bad experiences with finding the correct size on a pattern? Using my body measurements had me using three different sizes- and they are so far off from normal dress sizes that I can't even guess which one will be the best fit. I ended up making this shirt a size 10. Please tell me I'm not the only one who struggles with this?!