Archives for category: Uncategorized

I’m getting to that lovely stage of pregnancy where clothes stop fitting and I get the belly underdraft…so when Rebecca Page came out with the drawstring ruched Pippa Yoga Pants….I needed a comfy french terry pair.

IMG_4831 (2)

I started with Charlotte’s, so I could test it out and get through mine faster. Hers are 3/4 length from some viscose jersey. I did a 3/4 width and size 6 length. For pants length, I would have needed to add a few inches to the pants line on the pattern. Apparently, she’s growing….these will be great as beachwear and swim coverup for our cruise and Florida vacations. Ah, warm weather. In small spurts.

For my own, I used LA Finch black french terry with a waistband in double brushed poly (it’s an in house print from So Sew English). They are so comfortable. I measured my inseam against the pattern and thought I was fine, but my thighs ate some length I think…I’ll add an inch or two to the next pair. And since they take 20 minutes to make, of course there’s a next pair.

IMG_4836

The pattern also has a non-drawstring waist, but I like the added height and cinchability for pregnancy. These are just the regular version, I didn’t do any mods to make them maternity…so they should be great postpartum as well ๐Ÿ™‚

Grab the ladies pattern here, or girl’s here….there’s a doll’s version also but don’t tell my daughter… bundle of all 3 patterns isย here.

 

Affiliate Links help fund more fabric and patterns but opinions are always mine.

Advertisements

IMG_4792

New Horizons never lets me down with their fun patterns, so the Summit Peak Hoodie had to happen. My oldest has been requesting a hoodie that covers his face and cinches in for over a year, but I didn’t have a pattern in mind…I had an image of Kenny from Southpark in mind, but no pattern…luckily Terra made EXACTLY what he asked for.  And it wasn’t as comical as I pictured. Of course, had to make a second for his sister also.

IMG_4705.JPG

The pockets are in seam and the princess seams on the front make it fun for colorblocking also. It looks so sporty with those side panels. Plus raglan sleeves are always awesome for kids…way easier than set in ones to sew. Hers is scuba from So Sew English with LA Finch French terry for side panels, pockets, and inside the hood. I might be including much more mint/aqua in her capsule, apparently.

IMG_4711.JPG

His has some amazing Majapuu French Terry from Jumping June Textiles, accented with yoga brushed poly scraps from Knitpop. I used tubular binding for both as I find it holds up best for knit cuffs.

IMG_4804

I also really love the finishing on the hood so that there’s no seam visible. Yeah, I had to use a million pins…but worth it.

IMG_4823

Pattern is available here and is on sale for a bit…I can’t wait until there’s an adult version ๐Ÿ™‚

 

This post contains affiliate links but opinions are always mine.

I fell in love with the Blythe top from Sew a Little Seam from the first sneak peek and I knew I needed to make one (or a few….) for Charlotte.ย  So, first was a drop waist, tunic length, long sleeve, with faux layer option, and keyhole back with ribbon tie (can you tell the pattern has a TON of options?!?).

I used cotton lycra from Quilt Yarn Stitch with striped cotton lycra binding from Dress Fabrics, with ruffle out of lightweight viscose from Generaldiff (in Paris!). LOVE how it turned out…so sweet and girly!!

So of course I tackled another immediately, using striped french terry and chambray binding and ruffle (both from Dress Fabrics). This is the top length, also with keyhole back…but I did button closure and TRIED to do the shirt band…but attached it backwards…so let’s pretend that was a design element, shall we? I did the rolled 3/4 sleeve and love how preppy this top is. It’s tempting me to make her some white skinny jeans…

Oh, and right now there’s a discount code in the Sew a Little Seam Facebook group to get the pattern for $4.90!

I did whip up some skinny jeans out of black ponte from LA Finch to continue growing her capsule as well, they were much needed and shop options were all too wide or too short…I used the Peekaboo pattern shop Skinny Jeans with elastic for the waist.

IMG_4678.JPG

She has quite the little handmade wardrobe so far!

 

Sew a Little Seam has had the cutest kids pajamas available for awhile now (FREE with code in their facebook group) and it has now expanded to include women’s sizes as well as some new fun details. I had to make some for us all!!

I used some Girl Charlee buffalo plaid jersey. It’s a little thin and scratchy but I like that it is lightweight for pajamas and it will soften up I’m sure. For my own, I did a maternity mod on the top to help them fit through winter. I just lengthened the front bodice by 8″ by marking my pattern at a point right below the bust (ignore those boxes on the right, that was my lame attempt at pattern matching), sliding the pattern down, then continue to cut. I didn’t grade out or add belly space for front but that’s an option if you need the space ๐Ÿ™‚


Next, I cut 1/4″ elastic at 7″, tacked it down at the top pin, stretched it at around 80%, and tacked it at the end. I used a zigzag stitch and sewed it right on the edge, that way when I went to serge up the sides the elastic was completely contained in the stitching and doesn’t itch sensitive baby belly.


 I also chose the front placket scoop neck option to make them nursing friendly post baby. Mine have some metal snaps because the accent fabric I used (thick ribbing) was not cooperating with my automatic button hole. I absolutely love the fit of these. 


The pants are simply amazing; tight, but not too tight, and a yoga waist so belly friendly. I did not modify the pants at all.


IMG_3756

For the littlest guy, I did the front placket and yoga waistband as well. Dex got short sleeve shirt without a placket (he never wears shirts to bed anyway….so I made it, but it may never be worn…) and yoga waist pants.

IMG_3676 (2)

Then I ran out of fabric so Char had to get a nightgown instead of pants and a top. There’s no nightgown option for the pattern right now, but I just added some length starting at waist, grading out for hips, and adding a curved hem. I measured from her shoulder to where I wanted it to hit, added hem length, and cut the pattern to that length. 


I did the front placket for her also and gathered sleeves.

The placket fabric I used was pretty thick and my buttonholer didn’t appreciate that, so I used metal hammer in snaps for mine and plastic kam snaps on the kids. I did hammer the fabric before adding snaps to reduce the bulk and help the snaps be a bit more secure.

We of course watched a movie in them together right away ๐Ÿ™‚ Now to figure out how to get more fabric and make Doug a pair, too….

IMG_3829 - Copy

Back in Spring, Patterns for Pirates and Made for Mermaids announced a contest to sew a mini capsule using their patterns. I joined in because I love a challenge, and was intrigued by the capsule idea. I am currently sewing furiously for their fall contest so thought I’d go back and share the last one here.

So let’s back up….what’s a capsule? It’s a collection of basic pieces that are easily mixed and matched to create many looks with only a few pieces of clothing. It started as a minimalist movement really….and it would be amazing if that’s why I sew capsules….but if I’m being honest, I do it because I don’t want random pieces in my wardrobe that match nothing else. I am plagued by this problem because of sale shopping….I buy random things, don’t think about what I actually need in my closet, and then feel like I never have anything to wear. Then I started sewing for myself instead but the same thing happened….I tried a pattern using fabric I like…move on to the next….and then nothing really matches and I just have more clothes and still that dreaded nothing-to-wear feeling. By sewing a capsule, I’m forcing myself to think about what goes together and what I need to mix and match. It also streamlines shopping for shoes and accessories.

For my first capsule, I started with a print I liked (the floral for the dress) and chose coordinates from that. I then picked patterns best suited to each fabric and started sewing. All fabric was from my current stash (aside from one upcycled item) so no need to deal with shipping.

Sweet Tee (hack from a pinspiration) using double brushed poly, some striped knit from Hobby Lobby, and suede scrap, Timeless Tunic (upcycled from a dress I found at Lidl, with some modifications), Layer Me Up/Pirate Pencil Mash out of french terry, Layer Me Up Tee from So Sew English rayon spandex, Mama Isabel (hacked into a cardigan) out of Joanns French Terry, Mama Isabel Dress out of rayon spandex, Peg Legs, Peg Legs (both double brushed poly from LA Finch, and SOS Pants out of denim jegging from Hobby Lobby


For the cardi hack, I used the existing bodice from the Isabel. I wanted it to have a little more coverage in the neck so I widened the neckband an inch, and lengthened the ties so they would wrap around completely. Last, I finished it with a bottom band (cut at around 85-90% the width of the bottom of the cardi). The band is 5-6″ tall. I sewed the short sides right sides together before adding it on to the bottom ๐Ÿ™‚

I was pretty happy with how it all turned out, so I decided to make a capsule for Charlotte also. For hers, I chose a floral print once again and picked solids and a stripe to coordinate.


She ended up with a Sugar Pie Tee, Bonny Skirt, Infinity Scarf, Bonnie Leggings, Chloe Skirt, another Sugar Pie Tee, Isabel Dress, Bonnie Leggings, and a hoodie made from the Jolly Roger Raglan with add-on pack. She absolutely adores this capsule months later and loves how she can mix and match pieces and get dressed quickly…so much so that she bragged constantly to her brother about how easy it was to pick what to wear….and then I ended up making him a quick capsule also. Of course.

His was all tops because a) I didn’t have a boys pants pattern from either company and b) I chose all the tops based on a couple basic pairs of pants he has…namely some black joggers, jeans, khaki pants and mario joggers I made him previously. The idea was that he could mix these tops and hoodies with those and be all set.


He received a few Jolly Roger Raglans and Yo Ho Henleys…and I just did tons of variations for each to make them all unique. Plus, I threw in some Nintendo fabric to help him want to wear it all. He is still very much in love with each of his pieces too and that’s a HUGE win since he’s of the age and opinion that homemade is not cool.

There you have it….three mini capsules in 2 weeks. Thankfully M4M and P4P make some quick and easy patterns! I can’t wait to share the next capsule….only one this time though ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

**this post contains affiliate links to help fund future pattern and fabric purchases but all opinions are my own!

Summer in Ireland is FULL of festivals everywhere, and one of the largest in Galway is the Galway Races. It is a week solid of horse races with lots and lots of high fashion and hats. What better way to immerse ourselves than do some ridiculous family outfits?

Doug convinced me to sew up formal wear for this. He is one of my biggest sewing supporters as he doesn’t bat an eye over fabric I buy and willingly purchases machines I beg for, so I couldn’t let him down. He decided I needed to sew up a few suits however. Now, to someone who doesn’t sew it does not seem like such a monumental task. But sewing up a men’s suit?!? Uh, no. Not in my skill set. He kept begging however, and purchased all I needed (from Minerva Crafts, thanks to their cheap Ireland shipping) so I took it on. And by took it on, I mean I sewed up EVERYTHING ELSE first because I was terrified of sewing menswear.

IMG_3038

First up was the littlest guy’s suit. I thought it would be a nice introduction into how a jacket is constructed, and if I messed up beyond repair it was only a 3t amount of fabric and not a huge loss. I went with Burda 9443. When I started sewing, I used lots of paper patterns (I didn’t know PDF ones existed yet) so wasn’t too intimidated by it, but it has been so long since I’ve used one! It was a challenge, but I made it through. His suit came complete with welt pockets on the front, full lining, and welt and slant pockets on pants along with a fully functional fly. I was pretty amazed I completed it. I went with a straight 3t for the whole thing despite his measurements being ALL OVER the place on the chart (9-12m for most, 4t for belly, 2t for height…) I decided trying to figure out how to grade that many sizes on something with such complicated instructions was too hard. Fit was great though, aside from sleeves a bit long. Pants were long too but I just hemmed them up.

Next up was the oldest, since I used the same pattern for him. I whipped up the second pair of pants like a pro. I do wish I sized up on the vest, but it works. Pants fit him so well without any adjustments so I was very pleasantly surprised. He is super skinny and RTW clothes tend to be too wide and short on him…so if you have a kid with a similar build, this is a great formal wear pattern to have.

With some of the tough sews out of the way, I concentrated on Little Miss C’s look. She wanted a maxi dress, and she absolutely loves the Annie dress from Violette Field Threads, so I combined it with the Emmaline dress to do a tiered skirt. I used some of the cotton linen fabric along with some satin ribbon for the braided straps, and the paisley is a voile. Simple and straightforward to make because I’ve made her countless dresses before. Since I knew she was going to be cold in a strappy dress out of lightweight fabric, I whipped up a Seville Cardigan from New Horizons Designs to go over it. The fabric is a scuba knit and did not have good stretch for the bands, so I just hemmed the curved edges on the coverstitch.

For myself, I wanted to do an off-shoulder dress with  a flounce so immediately thought of the Mama Cassie from Made for Mermaids, with the flounce hack from the blog. I was going to mash with the Pirate Pencil from Patterns for Pirates but decided to go with something a little less fitted (reason why to come) and instead mashed it with Sew Straight and Gather Uptown Downtown dress (I didn’t want a seam at the waist). I also used the pockets from the UT/DT because when you’re making your own dress, it NEEDS pockets. Fabric is scuba (same as Char’s cardi). I just wish I had done something to weigh down the skirt somehow so that it would have been more practical for West Ireland winds!

IMG_2978

Last, and I mean very last….like I waited until the week of the races to start….was the suit for Doug. I chose Vogue 8890 and started on the pants first, thinking they would be similar enough to boy’s pants that I could handle them. I had to grade between sizes to accommodate his measurements but after 2 days, I made it through and he had nicely fitting, functional pants. So.many.pattern.pieces. I then tried to convince him that pants and a button down would be great, and maybe I’d even make him a tie….but no dice. He insisted I take on the coat. So another 2 days later, I did it. I made a men’s suit coat. That fit. I still cannot believe it.  I did do some small modifications (I didn’t have hair canvas laying around since I’m not a tailor, so used interfacing….and left out pockets in the interest of time)….but it fit. And no one would think it’s homemade from first glance. He absolutely loves it, too….so I think I’m on the hook to make him more clothes in the future.

I had to modify some storebought hats with scrap fabric and paint to coordinate (well, Doug did the painting for me), and added some coordinating ribbon to Char’s fascinator to jazz it up….but then we were off to enjoy the races! Kids had a blast picking horses to win, and taking in the excitement of being there. We had some pretty amazing weather considering it has been pretty rainy here lately (and chilly for Floridians….around 18 degrees Celsius). I even picked the winner for the last race so we ended on a good note!

In the process of making all these outfits happen, we ended up making a little something else too…..and the reason I went with a less fitted dress. Baby #4 is due to arrive in early 2018!

IMG_3006 (2)

 

**This post contains affiliate links to help fund further fabric and pattern purchases

I was recently chosen as a Brand Ambassador for Rebecca Page patterns and it’s kind of a dream job. I get to sew up lots of patterns from a designer I love before they are released?!? Yeah. I know. I’m cool.

Anyway, my first sew was the Riviera Ruffle. It comes in adult, kid, and doll size…so I went with kid because I had this awesome Michael Miller medallion fabric that is so bright and cheery….and when you live someplace where skies are pretty gray a lot, bright and cheery is nice ๐Ÿ˜‚

img_2687-2.jpg
The pattern has options to have contrast side panels, ruffle or not, and flutter sleeves or not. In order to convince little Miss Char to wear it, I let her choose every option herself. So she picked all of them. At least she has strong faith in my sewing skills?

IMG_2682 (2)
Her measurements put her in a 3/4 for width so I cut a 5/6 length and graded in the sides for a slimmer fit. Not much growing room but fits like a glove.

IMG_2712
I especially love that the sleeves and ruffle do not require gathering. Just magical sorcery to look so fluffy (or math. Whatever).
Plus, all seams on inside are French seams. So pretty and neat, no serger needed. Love it.


When I make another, I’d maybe serge the side ones instead of French seams there. I had a hard time getting those to look how I wanted. Or maybe I’d leave off the contrast…though it seems like it looks slimming for adult sizes to have them….tough call.

IMG_2733
I can’t wait to make some more awesome Rebecca Page creations!!
**this post contains affiliate links that help fund my fabric obsession.

First step to keeping my life organized is planning out my meals, so here’s the menu for the week! We are currently cleaning out the freezer to sell it before the big move, so as much as we can cook from there the better (Remember, we buy meat from local farms in bulk, by the animal, so there’s some cuts left in there to use up!)

Monday: Chicken fried cube steaks with roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes

Tuesday: Salmon with swiss chard and walnut pesto over barley

Wednesday: Grilled chicken breasts with leek and bacon risotto

Thursday: Smoker day! We will smoke all the hams and beef roasts in the freezer to have smoked meat on hand in the small freezer, and sell off the smoker. Served with whatever veg is in the fridge.

Friday: Grilled cheese bar with tomato soup (I’ll bake up some homemade bread earlier in the week)

Saturday: Raid the fridge for leftovers!

Sunday: Trunk or Treat at church so I’ll leave this open ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are you having this week?? Any tips to clean out all the food in the house before a big move without starving in the meantime??

So it’s been a few years since I have written on the blog (or accessed the dashboard to do so….holy moly it looks intimidating) but it’s time for my triumphant return. First, let’s take a look back on some things that have happened since my disappearance, shall we?

  1. A huge reason why I stepped away in the first place was a little guy I was growing. Remember that birthday party I didn’t have the heart to do much for? It was because I was so.sick all the time. Funny how I went as a house for Halloween that year…I was perhaps hiding a bit of a bump behind it all ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  After the first few weeks of the pregnancy, things did improve dramatically. Baby Heath arrived in June 2014. He’s a little firecracker now of course.img_1698
  2. While pregnant with Heath, we of course took on the kitchen renovation. And by pregnant, I mean 9 months along. I had called and asked for some shelving to organize the kitchen a little in a nesting rage…and that night the husband starting knocking outย  walls. Anyway, it turned out gorgeous.
  3. We’ve done plenty of other house projects too, including both kids rooms, front door, and backyard. Maybe I’ll write about them one day. Probably not.

    4. I’ve still been cooking and sewing and schooling nonstop throughout it all.

    5. And we have done a few ridiculous birthday parties…12238248_10107734921237651_4402035916461737501_o6. As well as epic Halloween costumes…

    The biggest news of all though is what is yet to come, and the reason for my return to the blogisphere. We are embarking on the next huge chapter of our lives–a move to IRELAND! What?!? So in an effort to document that journey, I am back!

    13590286_10108864983329161_1434909952844235204_n

I was on a cruise ship all last week so now it’s time to get back to reality!!

Here’s our plan for the week:

Monday: Beef Bolognese with Linguine (I’ll freeze leftover sauce to make a quick future meal)

Tuesday:ย ย Charlotte’s new ballet class is now in the evening, and this week is also T-Ball registration after ballet…ugh, busy night.ย  Back to the crock pot for help.ย  Pesto Ranch Chicken Thighs (as suggested by a friend)ย  with homemade ranch seasoning mix.ย  I’ll serve with steamed broccoli and golden skillet potatoes, all prepped in advance, of course.

Wednesday:ย  Mongolian Beef with Bok Choy, originally inspired by this but with tons of substitutions.ย  I should write a new version perhaps.ย  Served over brown rice.

Thursday:ย  Doug informed me that his work is having him go deep sea fishing and out to dinner.ย  Seems a bit suspicious, but elaborate enough that I’ll just go with it.ย  The kiddos and I will have Cheese Ravioli with Mushrooms and Spinach.

Friday:ย  Date night!

Saturday:ย  Lamb Meatballs with Toasted Orzo (and a vegetable to be determined by whatever farmers market I scout in the morning).ย  Side note, this is the only meal this week involving the oven on purpose since mine caught fire.ย  We are taking our time to replace it apparently…anyway, hopefully I can adapt to stovetop.

What are you having this week?