Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Coffee + Thread Pattern Review - Eleena Dress

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted here. Between life, kids, work, school, and a divorce, last year came and went so fast. Just because I haven't been posting much here doesn't mean I haven't been creating. You can stop by my Instagram and Facebook to see what I've been up to.

I started this year by jumping back into testing. I can't tell you how much I LOVE this pattern. It is the 60's inspired Eleena Dress with clean lines and the cutest collar from Coffee + Thread.

 The Basics:
  • Sizes 2 - 12
  • 3 sleeve options: Flutter, Short, and Long
  • Options for collar or no collar
  • Contrasting center inset or all one fabric

I tested the Long sleeve, size 12 with a leather collar for my very tall 8.5 year old. The only change that I made was to remove 1.5" from the length (she was that much shorter than the size 12 measurement).

I used leather for the collar to make it a little more fun but still keeping with the same awesome look that Olga designed.

The main dress fabric is from the Red Tag table at Joann's. The brown is Broad Cloth, and the Leather is a remnant from Joann's. Yay for good deals.

The long sleeve option is perfect for the cold months and is so stinkin cute as well. ;)

The back has an invisible zipper closure with the absolute best invisible zipper instructions I've ever used. This was my very first truly invisible zipper and I will never install one any different. Woohoo!

     The Eleena Dress is on sale through Friday, January 28th for $7 so don't miss your chance to get this adorable dress on sale.

Thanks for stopping by! I'll try to keep up with posting this year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Made For Mermaids - Charlotte Top and Samantha Skirt

No matter how hard I try, I think I will always be playing catchup with my blog posts. This is an outfit I tested last month for Made for Mermaids. It's the Charlotte Collar Top and Samantha Suspender Skirt. The skirt is the button front option without the buttons or suspenders. Miss Maddie loves this look. She's always had a preference towards classic and clean lines but still girly. 

These two patterns are great because the possibilities are endless. They both go from 1/2 to 14 which means we should still get a couple more years out of them. Maddie is rocking the size 10 here. The top can be made with or without a collar and the skirt has a ton of options as well. 

I have plans for the suspender version for Abby but Maddie asked that I not include them on hers. I learned years ago to take there preferences into account if I ever want them to actually wear what I make for them. ;)
For our outfit I went with a grey plaid for the skirt with light blue and magenta stripes through it. The top is a white and black polka dot with chalkboard fabric as the collar. Why? Why not, right? In reality, all the fabrics I chose were either on red tag clearance at Joann Fabrics or from the remnant big. That's where the chalkboard fabric is from. I could have swore I had some black leather in my stash but all I could find when I was making this was the chalkboard fabric. 

We did try chalkboard markers on it after school one day but I forgot to take pictures. It came right off in the wash so I know we will be adding it to other outfits in the future. 
I'm finding it more and more difficult to find patterns that fit that in-between sizes when they are growing out of the little kid phase and into the tween one.  Patterns like this are awesome to make her feel grown up while still keeping her looking like my little girl. We paired this outfit with knee high magenta socks (yes they are socks, she chooses to pull them well above her knees) and Mary Jane style shoes. 
The skirt is a flat front, elastic back. This is probably the most comfortable and stylish option for most kids. 

My Maddie will be 8 soon and I can't believe how fast she is growing. If you are like me and still love sewing for your school-ager, I have created a facebook group called School Age Sewing as a resource to find patterns and get inspired by others who sew for their 'big kids'

Happy Sewing!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Sewing Story

I have had this blog for almost 3 years now and while I post a good number of sewing projects I've never actually shared my sewing story. If you ask pretty much anyone who sews whether it be quilts or clothing or home decor they will usually tell you that they sew for the love of the craft and the ability to create something beautiful and practical. How each of us got to this point is usually different.

I'll be the first one to admit that I was that weird, nerdy kid that had to be making something all.....the.....time! Like constantly. I don't come from a crafty family so I used whatever I could get my hands on. I ripped apart old school supplies, stashed away used gift wrap like it was gold and spent hours stuck in my head where all the beautiful ideas where. If you stick around I may throw up pictures of some early projects. They are comical at best. 

When I was about 8 I went to a friends house for a sleepover. Her mom has a sewing machine and fabric and showed us how to hand stitch pillows for our barbies. I was hooked! I begged and begged for fabric when I got home and I finally got a yard of fabric with carousel horses all over it for my next birthday. In the mean time I grabbed old jeans and rags and put together barbie outfits, bedding, purses. I was an upcycler way before it became the thing to do. ;) Once I had my fabric my parents told me that they actually owned a sewing machine. WHAT!!!! They bought it when I was a baby with hopes of making clothes for my big sis and I to save money. They made exactly 1 dress for me.

I begged for them to take the old Singer out of storage and from about age 9 on I would spend hours in my room stitching away making pretty little things. I used my allowance money to but thread, needles, whatever I thought I needed. No one ever taught me about proper techniques, fabric selections that there were different needles and notions for different projects, but I LOVED sewing and giving away what I made. 

I started making and selling purses that I designed in high school for gas money. I learned to quilt pillows from pictures and altered my own clothes. Looking back they were imperfect but until I had my oldest daughter in 2007 I didn't even know patterns existed, paper or PDF. Call me naive but who was supposed to show me? 

I started out making photo prop outfits for my baby and dresses that out little one income family couldn't have afforded otherwise. I finally upgraded to a brother computerized machine in 2008 and really got into sewing for my little lady. I found out about the online sewing community in 2011 when my youngest was almost 2. I stalked a number of ladies that I still stalk today and learned a TON! I started my blog in 2012 to have a way to look back over things I made for my house and for my girls. A virtual scrapbook if you will. I started pattern testing shortly after. I got in way over my head a few times with patterns that I would find ridiculously simple now but I learned new techniques and finishes and ways to make the beautiful things that I had always pictured in my head.

Sewing is my mommy super power. I know the days of my girls walking up to me and asking for a seemingly impossible outfit or costume are limited. The look in their eyes when I hand them something I created from their vision is priceless. Both of my girls have already caught the love for sewing bug. I plan to nurture that love and encourage every crazy vision they ever come up with. 

My family may never quite get why I NEED to create but they love what I make and encourage me to continue. That is how I view the online sewing community. Like my not-so-little crazy sewing family. I want to encourage those just starting out and look up to those who have come before me. I don't want my love for the craft and my skills questioned because my story isn't your story. If you were lucky enough to have been taught the craft from a family member, friend or institution you should know how truly blessed you are. Please use that as a way to guide the rest of us not tear us down. After all, we are all just here for the same reason. 

Happy Sewing