Today I have for you the Adventure Tee! It is also part of the current Pattern Anthology Make (Believe) collection. (There's still a week to take advantage of the bundle deals!!)
This is a well fitting tee, which isn't hard to find, but I haven't seen many with so many options. I chose the regular high neckline and rolled sleeves with button bands, but there's also a placket, pocket, and different sleeve lengths, and that's only the boy options! The fabric I used is grey knit from a thrifted sheet, and navy ponte knit left over from another project. I loved picking out a couple of buttons from my (rather extensive) button stash!
B really likes this shirt and I don't think he even remembers that I made it. He just knows that it's comfortable!
I will definitely be making more of these for back to school. It's nice to be able to make shirts with nice details that don't have a character or logo splashed across the front. Sometimes I'd like to be a little more subtle, you know?
See you soon for the Bookworm Button Up!
Next up in my testing of the Make (Believe) collection from Pattern Anthology was the
Explorer Hoodie. It was a fun, easy make, and the option of making the zipper slanted was a really fun detail.
I enjoyed this pattern a lot, and plan on making more for his back to school wardrobe. It fits him really well, and this pattern goes to a size 10 so I can make him more when he grows out of these! There is a ruffled hood for the girls option, which I would love to try out too. The only difference in this version I made is the sleeve and hem bands are a bit wider to account for the minimal stretch of my fabric.
This pattern (like all the ones in the collection) was very well written and produced. There are drawings for all of the steps, and they are clear and easy to understand. I had a very easy time following the directions. The only technique I added was to thread my serging tails back through my seam at the cuff bottom, instead of just cutting the threads. Since I learned to do that my cuffs have held together MUCH better!
One more shot just because for some reason he lets me take photos of him if it's photos "of the clothes and not him". He hates me taking his picture, but he modeled this collection like a champ, giving me some of the best shots of him I have gotten in a long time. I'm going to have to use this trick more often!
The Adventure Tee will be up next. See you soon!
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.
When Girl Charlee posted an Independence Day sewing contest, I took it as the perfect opportunity for M and I to collaborate again! This time instead of her drawing up inspiration, she picked fabric from the selection at Girl Charlee then chose patterns from some of my new acquisitions.
The top is the new Love Notions Patterns Hip Hop Tank and Top pattern (The girls pattern is available now, and the ladies pattern was part of the Bundle Up, and will be available soon in the Love Notions Shop on Etsy). I used the XS Ladies but I think she would fit the 12 or 14 kids size too. She chose view C, with the placket on the back. All three fabrics I used can be found here.
The shorts are the Anima Pant pattern from Papercut Patterns. I made the XXS, shorts variation with no hem because we liked the length as is. I will be making more of these shorts for sure (actually I already made a pair from shiny gold spandex, but that's for another post!!).
I'm loving that she is beginning to fit into the same patterns I am buying for myself. Both of the companies listed here offer patterns with simple shapes and clean lines, which we both like a lot.
M loves her new outfit! The day we took these pictures she ended up wearing the outfit for the rest of the day. That included my new hat-- think I'll get that back?
My latest test was the Hip Hop tank for Love Notions Patterns. It is part of the Bundle Up sale going on now through June 27. This is a great pattern! Above is one of four different back options, and there is also a cap sleeve that can be added too. The navy blue fabric is from Girl Charlee and the floral is from Goodwill.
Some of my favorite things about this pattern are the choices of finishing techniques, which make for a very clean looking garment, inside and out. The version I did uses floaty fabric for the back panels and the way it is constructed leaves for a very nice finish at the hem. The bindings at the neck and arms are finished in the nicest way I have ever sewn. Just look at the inside!
On the left is the inside and on the right is the outside of the strap.
I've really been enjoying pattern testing. The teacher in me likes checking others' work, and it's nice to get a free pattern out of the deal. Lately though, I've noticed some other benefits for me, the lazy sewist.
Above shows what I mean. If I wasn't testing this pattern, I might have just done the same type of binding I usually do because it's easy and I'm already good at it. This took more time to learn and an extra step compared to my usual way, but look at it! I'm very pleased with how it turned out and I will use the technique on many future projects, I'm sure.
Testing also forces me to slow down and do my best job. I'm learning that I can make really nice products if I take my time for the little things like added topstitching and more careful hems.
When I began testing I didn't realize this best of added benefits: testing patterns is not only helping a designer make better patterns, it's making me a better sewist.
I love it!
Here is a bit of catch-up on the knitting I've been doing this year. In no particular order...
Above is the top of my Backup Goalie hat. I'm (obviously) very enamored with how the color work decreases at the top.
I'm pretty in love with the whole hat, really. I love chevrons and geometric patterns, and even though I've been knitting for many years, I have avoided color work. Until now. Now I'm kind of obsessed. It makes me feel clever! The yarn is Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted, and it's amazing.
Believe it or not, I knit these before the hat. A little ambitious, yes (I choose to say ambitious, not crazy, because it worked out!). These mittens are the Hickory Mittens, and yes, you see SIX colors in there. As many as four per row. No big deal- ha!! I love them, but I'm not motivated to do anything that complicated (and tangly) any time soon.
The yarn is knit picks Wool of the Andes. They are beautiful on the outside. Not going to show you the inside. Yikes. I need to work on my floats.
This lovely cowl is Pei, knit in Lorna's Laces Honor. It is so soft and squishy!
This pattern is supposed to be knit in fingering weight, but I knit it in DK. I always seem to have trouble with knits like this curling on me, and this one curls like crazy too. It is so soft though, so I'm keeping it as is.
These two sets of fingerless mittens are both my own simple design. The ones on the left are a lovely cashmere and the ones on the right are from some knit picks bare I dyed myself. I'm keeping the cashmere ones and the green ones are going to be a gift.
Notice a color theme?
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
Wow! Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog! Time sure flies when you're having fun! Blogging hasn't been quite what I pictured it to be, but I am really enjoying it. Here are some lists (I love a good bulleted list!) to document my thoughts at this time:
Some ways my thinking has changed:
Some blog highlights:
Some stats about my first year of blog posts:
Some goals for my second year of blogging:
Finally, thanks so much to everyone who has read this blog... it's nice to know you're out there! I am fortunate to have many crafty friends in real life, but this great online crafty community helps me to know that we're not the only crazy ones out there!
Now... on to year two!
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!