Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Forward into Spring Fever

So this past weekend we sprung forward and the weather around here decided to get with the program - mid 50's both Saturday and Sunday, WOHOOOO!!!  *Just so we all know, 60-70degrees is my cap for comfort on the heat end, once we go past 70 I will be dying of a heat stroke on a daily basis.

We took the kids to the park both days and it was glorious just getting out of the house and seeing them smile.  Ok, baby girl may not know WHAT do do with the outdoors, and like her mother - she is not a fan of the sun, but we still had a great time.
 ok - I know the hats are comical  they are a bit small - as they are their hats from last year, but 'whatever works' right!?!?!

 my Little Red (this was her Christmas present from Nana)

 The boys' version of 'golf'

PR&P was having a sew along with Jessica's Spring Fever pattern - I had every intention of entering my simplified design, but things like a broken leg left the pattern on my cutting table until Sunday.
I went with a top: cropped the bodice a bit, took the gather out of the flutter sleeve, used a single circle peplum layer to eliminate gathering, and used KNIT - have I mentioned before that I love making my kids things out of knit?  It isn't that it is easier to sew, but it gets so much wear because it is comfy.
I tried a new technique for binding the neck line, but I think for future ones I will used my old method - I essentially made a bias tape here and it just seems too bulky to me, and I didn't switch out to a twin needle so the stitching just isn't as clean as I like - but I was going fast.  I'm still debating if I want to add a red stripe of finishing at the bottom of the peplum or if I just like it raw.
All in all this top took me about an hour to put together, so needless to say I will be making more!!!  I will probably take about an inch out of the width if not more since it is knit and has stretch to make it more fitted at the waist.  If I can find a really soft cotton with a great drape, I will probably make one out of that too ;o)

 'look mama, I'm sitting all nicely...'
 'Kneeling isn't standing... right, mama'
'Here, I'll help you with the dishes...and maybe try to stand up...'

*I would love the back even more if the stripe hadn't shifted when I was cutting it... design fail ;op*

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Coastal Cargos.... Keeping my boys COOL!

Here is the second pattern I was lucky enough to get to test in the past few weeks... the Coastal Cargo Pants from Melly Sews.  It is part of the amazing summer collection from Pattern Anthology.  The whole collection is one sale for the next two weeks, so get them now while the prices are AWESOME!

I love, love, love these pants.  They fit B so well and he just loved running all around in them (we're not going to talk about the fact he was running around barefoot outside in single digit weather ;op).  I started these pants during the final week of PR&P (yes, while I was still sewing the Gabba GA! look) - sickness and a series of unfortunate sewing events made it clear that I could not get everything done that week, and Melissa  graciously gave me an extension for my pants review deadline.  But I cut them under the deadline and decided to opt out of the optional welt pockets, cargo pockets, and front pockets.  HAHAHAHAH, so much for cargo pants ;op
But seriously the two things I LOVE about these pants are the in and out-seam bindings and the button tabs to shorten the length.  I also think the front zipper and waist band with belt loops are awesome (of course the elastic waist band allows me to still pull the pants on and off the boys for super easy diaper changes).

I went with a lightweight cotton something - that is what you get when you get when you take everyone else's cast offs, very little knowledge of what you are sewing with ;op

My only sadness is that I didn't do my tabs out of the same material as my contrasting bindings - all the sample pictures show it that way, I just didn't think about it when I was cutting.  I still love the pants though... and doing them without all the pockets makes them a little dressier.  I have plans for at least two more pairs - one is already cut and just waiting to be sewn, warmer weather on the horizon is kicking my butt in gear ;op

How can you not LOVE these pants!!!!

 (I did leave these a bit long, but the boys grow so fast and I want them to last through until fall)

*notice the photo bomber in the back - that bit of red may just be his collegiate cool red pants ;o)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Testing, testing... my first pattern for Elegance&Elephants

WoooHooooo - I know it has been quiet over here this past week, but I have been working on some pattern tests for some awesome designers and I am allowed to share the first one with you!!!

We all know Heidi's style and impeccable sewing skills from her blog Elegance&Elephants.  I fell in love with her classic designs that were always wearable and unique when I saw her on season 5 of PR&P.  So I was over the moon excited when I was selected as one of the designers to test her FIRST pattern.

This pattern is available starting TODAY - and believe me it is one you do not want to miss out on!  This is Heidi's Ruffle Top, but the pattern includes 3 variations - Tunic Top, A line Dress, and Swing Dress.  I tested the tunic top and LOVE it.  The ruffles are just too cute and the pattern is fairly quick to pull together - the top pairs perfectly with leggings or shorts, and I will probably pair it with ruffled bloomers for the summer.  I think the swing dress version would be awesome for Easter or just a fun flirty dress.

I have made two versions of the top so far, and want to do another one in a knit (I just love the ease of knits for my babies).  My first version is all one color made form a gorgeous brick red sheet (that got holes in it ;op) - the second version is two tone and I love how it accents the ruffles even more.

I made this one using 2 vintage fat quarters that my Aunt passed along to me when I started sewing for the kids this past summer.  Heidi recommends 1.25 yards for the 18 month tunic - and you should always buy based on recommendations (there is self made bias tape involved in this pattern which does eat up more yardage).  Luckily I was able to just eek out this top out of what I had.

(*this was a very quick photo shoot as it was only about 30degrees out - and baby girl had NO interest in looking at me, oh well)

(*And yes, these pictures were taken pre-breaking the leg, actually on the day she broke her leg ;op)

What I LOVE about this pattern:
-the instructions are clear and easy to follow and include a TON of photos
-the design is a little modern, a little vintage, and lends itself to tons of personalization!
-this is what I would call an advanced beginner pattern so virtually anyone can try this out.
-There are THREE variations within the pattern, 3 for 1 - what an awesome deal!
-OH, and while at the mall this weekend I saw a similar top at Gap kids for more than $25 (I don't remember the price and I couldn't find it online when I looked quick this morning)... so totally current style for a fraction of the price!!!!

Check out the pattern HERE!!!

*Here are a few snap shots of the first version I made

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Winter of Our Discontent...

I know, I know, I've been AWOL... I am so sorry!!!

I do have tutorials almost ready to share and two awesome pattern tests that I have gotten to do - one is girly one is boy-ie and you will LOVE them both!!!

SO why have I been missing?  Well, my children just can not seem to be healthy for more than a couple days.  It all started back when Hubs got the flu during PR&P and passed it along to the boys.  Then baby girl got a double ear infection - only to recover from that and knock out her front tooth.  Then all three kiddos and I got smacked with the stomach bug.  We got healthy and got it again, got healthy and got it again, and on and on - the boys were even sick on their birthday ;o(.  Until FINALLY this past weekend EVERYONE in the house was HEALTHY!!!  WOHOOOOOOOOOO!

But then.... well, baby girl has been a dare devil since day one (thus the knocked out tooth), and is now trying to climb stairs.  She made it up two stairs and fell while I was 'otherwise occupied'.  That small fall resulted in a buckle fracture of her left leg -WHAT!?!?!?!?!?
Today I was given the choice of a hip high cast (that would have meant NO pants, NO baths, NO crawling, etc.....) OR holding her as much as possible and preventing her from standing for 2-3weeks.  I went for the second option, but keeping that little girl from standing is so hard.  It isn't going to be the easiest road ahead, but I think I still made the better choice.

So I PROMISE that next week there are going to be tons of fun new posts.  I'll even share my PR&P pattern remix that is currently sitting on my cutting table -sigh.

Huge hugs, and I hope everyone can go into the weekend with big smiles and healthy families!!!