It's time to share more of my secret testing... the 8 Days a Week collection from Pattern Anthology! After testing the kids collection, I was so excited to see what was next. I was not disappointed! It is a fun collection of very wearable clothes.
First up is the Neptune Tee. It's a basic tee with not-so-basic options for cut outs and inserts. As soon as M saw this shirt she was excited for me to make her one! She chose a great print I had bought from Girl Charlee. (I had it slated for a dress for myself, but she's small so I think I can still get my dress too!) For size reference I made her the XXS, and she is about 5'3". I also tested the pattern in my size (XL). I chose the cut out option on the sleeves only, and M chose cut outs at the sleeves and front of the tee.
Stay tuned for my makes from the other patterns in this collection. I really liked all of the patterns and have plans to make more of each. The collection has a special discounted price for a limited time... don't miss out!
How much longer do you think I'll be able to get shots like this on camera? Only about 6 more months until she's a teenager!!
Here's more information on the tour and the collection:
(Sorry about the iPhone photos... it's all I could manage on the first day of school!!)
A quick post to share my first day of school outfit. Teach 3rd grade and love teaching reading, so this fabric from Girl Charlee was one I had my eye on forever. Lots of cute scarves and such were made from it but for some reason I really wanted a dress.
Whew! School has begun, and I have a little time now to get back to this little blog. It's a great time to share this pants test I did over the summer!
I entered into a few "secret" tests this summer, which is odd for me. I'm kind of picky about what I choose to make. I chose well, though, and enjoyed all the garments I made. This one included! They are the Urbanite Pants by RabbitRabbit Creations, and are available in issue four of One Thimble e-zine.
I hadn't heard of One Thimble before, but have found that it is a great resource! You can buy the whole issue or get the patterns individually.
These pants are a great pattern for both him and I. He loves that they are roomy and have an elastic waist. I love that they look like nicer pants, even though they fit and feel like pajamas. All of the topstitching really adds great detail. The fabric I used was lightweight black denim for the main body of the pants, and the pockets are dark grey chambray. They are lightweight and will be perfect for our warm fall we are having currently.
Now that it's fall I'm sure there will be a couple more pairs of these pants for B in the sewing queue. They are great!
More testing for Love Notions Patterns! I jump at any opportunity to test for Tami, she is great to work with and her patterns are very well done! This is the Cartwheel Collection, and I haven't seen a pattern that gives you more bang for your buck! It has the shirt, shorts, and capris I tested, plus a dress and skirt too!
Those shorts, that look kind of plain, are a big win too! She loves these so much, the fit is great! They have a yoga style waistband that can be folded or worn up. She would take as many of these as I would make her.
I also tested the tunic length top and capris. The tunic length is perfect on M, as she is almost 5'3" already!!!
I bet you all forgot I even had a boy, didn't you? He doesn't show up here much, because he doesn't really like me to make him things. Crazy, I know! Fortunately I have found the secret... He doesn't mind wearing clothes I made, he just wants no part in the process. So if I don't ask him before hand (which is the best secret for working with my daughter) he's happy to wear what I made him. You can never count on what worked for now child working for the other. Oh well.
On to the show! The real reason I have made him so many clothes recently is that I was a pattern tester for the most recent Pattern Anthology bundle: Make Believe. There are four new top patterns, all of which have many options to customize for boys and girls. They are bundled until July 28th, and there are bundle options with a fun e-book and 4 pants patterns too. They are great patterns and I had so much fun making them! I see being able to make a complete back to school wardrobe with the whole bundle!
First up is the Imagine Jacket. This was the first pattern sent to me and I panicked a bit. A Jacket? What have I gotten myself into? The pattern was so great, however, that I am actually thinking about making another! The directions are great and I had no problem putting together this super cute bomber-style jacket. The fit is great on this pattern, but I have learned that my boy has extra long arms (I guess if I sewed for him more I'd already know that!) so next time I'll lengthen the sleeves.
Stay tuned... next is the Explorer Hoodie.
Here is my latest pattern test, the Trendy Tunic by Love Notions Patterns. I'm really enjoying testing patterns, maybe it's because I'm a teacher and I understand all the work that goes into giving good directions!
I love this tunic! The pockets are very cleverly incorporated into the curved side panels. This pattern is well drafted. The pieces fit together easily, which isn't always easy for all of those curves! Above is the final version of the pattern, sewn in a light weight knit from Girl Charlee (looks like they don't have this one any more, but I love their knits!). I am learning how much top stitching makes garments look better. The top stitching on the center panels really makes for a more professional look. I am getting better at the twin needle stitching!
Here is the first version of the pattern. I sewed it with a thick knit from Goodwill, with some striped knit cut from an old t-shirt for the inside of the pockets. I love this tunic, so I was surprised that I liked the revised fit even better. The final version shown at the top of the post has slimmer arms and a closer fit in the bust.
This is a quick sew with a lot of bang for the buck! The length and loose fit makes the tunic a great top for a busy day of teaching!
Last Kids Clothes Week I disappointed myself. I ran out of steam and didn't accomplish much. I've spent months battling health issues (long story very short: my thyroid hates me) and at times the fatigue was overwhelming. It was so frustrating to have ideas and no energy to carry them out. I'm getting better, but I'm also trying to be easy on myself.
Solution for this time: lower my expectations! My goal for this KCW was to "do something" every day. Not worry about the time, but just make a little progress every day. I finished two projects, and I am happy with the results!
The first project was a dress for my niece. It's Kate's Dress, from Lily Bird Studio. It's a nice pattern with easy to follow directions. The fabric is a chambray fabric (I think) that I found at Goodwill. It is a beautiful light orchid color and it is very soft. I got 2 pieces totaling over 4 yards, and I really want to make myself something out of the rest!
My new skill for this project was making my own piping. It was so easy and I LOVE the look! The piping matches the lining and the covered buttons. It's details like these that make me really love making things myself.
I am working on taking the time to finish my seams and make the inside of my garments look nice too. I serged the seam allowances and pressed carefully. Not too bad if I say so myself.
The second project was an outfit for M. She has grown at least 3 inches since last summer! I don't think the shorts I made her last year are going to fit much longer, and they are a bit too short to wear to school.
I used the MADE Kid shorts pattern and added width and length to the size 9/10. She likes the way they fit. The fabric is a sheet from Target that I got on clearance. I have a project in mind for myself for this fabric too. The bias is self made from another sheet.
The shirt is the Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan. I really love this pattern! It's an awesome unisex pattern that is great for any age. I have made the 6mo size for baby gifts, all the way up to this size for my big girl. It's easy and the fit is great. The pink fabric is from a Target sheet (I made her another shirt from the same fabric here) and the striped fabric is recycled from a shirt I was getting rid of due to some small holes. The great thing about using an old shirt is I used the hem for the sleeve hems! I hate sewing knit hems.
All in all I think this KCW went very well. I was able to keep up my momentum with small bursts of daily sewing, and it's amazing how those little bits add up!
Pattern- Kate's Dress from Lily Bird Studios
Fabric- chambray from Goodwill and floral cotton from deep stash (from JoAnn's I think?)
Wearability- not sure yet- it's a gift
Repeatability- I would make this again if I need a sweet dress for a gift.
M's Outfit Details:
Patterns- MADE Kid's Shorts, Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan
Fabric- all fabric is from sheets!
Wearability- VERY high! She didn't take these off after photos.
Repeatability- also very high- I will for sure be making many more of each of these for both M and my boy B
I had the chance again to test for the wonderful Andrea of Go To Patterns! Her patterns are so professionally done and super cute! This top, The Parisian, is no exception>
One of the great things about testing is sometimes you have to try out a style you might not normally choose for yourself. There was not a peter pan collar to be seen in my wardrobe. Puffy sleeves either. I wanted to test the pattern, and when I received it and took a look at the cover photo I was glad I went for it! To add to how much this first Parisian would stand out in my wardrobe, I decided to make the collar neon pink!
The pattern is excellent. The pieces are well drafted and it went together smoothly. I did have to add an extra line of stitching under the collar, but I think that was due to inexperience with collars. I used knit sheets for both the shirt and the collar, with some lightweight interfacing in the collar itself. One of my favorite details is that Andrea used bands at the hem and sleeve cuffs. I used my serger for everything except the collar! I love a pattern that lets me continue to avoid sewing knit hems!
I love how this feels like a t-shirt but it looks much better than one. I can wear this to teach in and feel comfortable and put together at the same time. I wore it with black skinnies and tall boots last week and received a ton of compliments. I also like it with these silver ballet flats. It's getting warm enough here to put them on again!
Forgive the daffodil water spots!!
I didn't know it at the time, but this top is part of an incredible collection from Pattern Anthology. It's called Just Add Jeans, and I love it! It has 4 tops with interesting details. I've already bought the pack and can't wait to bust it out! I love tops like these; casual, but not your average t-shirt. Now to choose!
Last week we had a wonderful couple of snow days, and I thought it was the perfect time to get photos. I love how snow transforms our landscape...so beautiful!
My first thought was to use the Victory Patterns Lola pattern, but once I played with the fabric I changed my mind. It has a relatively open knit, and is pretty heavy and very stretchy. I'm glad I did! This knit was hard for me to sew, and every seam is a bit wonky. Lola has a lot of seams so with this fabric it probably would have made me cry! I cut the back on the fold, so I only had front, back, sleeves, and cowl to deal with. It was enough!
When I was cutting, I cut the Laurel dress out, except I ignored the neckline. Then I placed the Renfrew pattern over the top at the neckline and I cut that. It took a little easing in at the shoulders, but it worked ok.
It ended up a little shorter than I wanted because of the weight of the fabric. It was too long, and I knew it was weighing itself down. I knew I had to be careful how much I chopped off the bottom, because removing the extra weight would help it spring back up. I knew it but I still underestimated. It's a good length with jeans, but almost too short for me to be comfortable in leggings. I hand sewed the hem and sleeve hems, which is unusual for me!
And, oh, the leggings! The pattern is the Cake Espresso leggings and I love it! I was very intimidated at first with all of the measuring and the dots and the crazy looking pattern, but it was very easy once I just did it. The end product is a pair of leggings custom made to fit perfectly! I need to really pay attention to the stretch factor in the fabric I choose, as this pair would be more comfortable with a bit more stretch, but the pattern itself is amazing.
Fabric- sweater knit from Girl Charlee (not currently on the site), clearance knit from Joann's
Notions- 1" elastic, hem tape to stabilize shoulders
Wearability- high for both!
Repeatability- Low for the tunic, only because I don't need lots of this style. Very high for the leggings!
My 11 year old M wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. I'm pretty sure that was one of my prospective career choices when I was that age too. She watches Project Runway and spends lots of time sketching outfit ideas.
I'd been excited to sew along with Project Run and Play this season, but it gets tricky with a "tween". I can't make whatever I envision and expect her to actually wear it. Also, she no longer wears dresses. She wore a skirt at Christmas time, but that was rare. This week it occurred to me that we can become a designing team. She can design and I can make it happen!
I explained the idea to her and she thought it was great! I told her about the first theme, "Winter Wonderland", and she was excited. She had been working on designs based on the movie Frozen, which she saw with her grandma before Christmas.
She was designing with Elsa for inspiration. She showed me two designs. The first was a dress. It was cute but we both knew she wouldn't wear it. The second one was just right.
From her sketch I decided I could use stash fabric and patterns for this look! I had some white stretch panne velvet left over from her Sailor Mercury costume two years ago (what else am I going to use it for!?!). I had to make the cuffs very large as I didn't have enough fabric to cut them whole. I also pieced the leggings because M had her heart set on that exact shade of blue and I oly had a small piece. I had used the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern before for her in a size zero, and it was the perfect choice for the top. I traced the leggings from a pair she has already.
M wanted a snowflake on the shirt. I thought about stitching with thread and beads, but as I was doing a major clean out of my craft room I found this:
My mom had given it to M and I a while ago and it was the perfect thing! I had to be very careful not to melt the fabric! It was fun to try and M loved the effect. It really lends to the "icy" effect of the shirt.
The last detail to the outfit was my idea. I crocheted this cowl from hand dyed wool yarn. I was in a hurry so it ended up with a accidental double twist to it, which I love now!
M loves her new outfit, and was excited to see her design come to life. I had a great time working with her as a team and coming up with an outfit she loves and will wear!
Patterns- Sewaholic Renfrew
Fabric- blue knit and white stretch panne velvet from deep stash
Repeatability- definitely the Renfrew