Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back: The Top Moments of 2013

When I look back over the last year, I am amazed!!!!  I look at my children, and they have changed so greatly.   I look at my sewing and I see how much I've grown.  And I look at myself and scratch my head wondering how in the world I got this all done ;op  I am so happy to have this outlet, this place to express, this place to share, this place to make new friends.

So here is a little glimpse back at my Top 5 posts of 2013:

#1:  I kicked off 2013 with my J.Crew Ruffle Dress Knock Off:
This Dress got me into Project Run and Play and is one of the few things I've done a full tutorial for - I really need to get better at making tutorials to share!!!!

#2: My upcycling entry for PR&P: Mo Squish Le comes in as the 2nd most loved post form 2013.

  I love this outfit so much, the details, the styling, and the fact that it is UPCYCLED.  I hope that I never lose that side of my design aesthetic!!!!

#3: It makes me SOOOOOOO happy to know that Operation Project $0, 2013 came in as a very close #3!

I am so excited that I get to share my passion that sewing doesn't have to be expensive.  I had so many great contributors add into the fun and created some of my favorite outfits for the year during the month of October.

#4: Next on the list was my contribution for Pattern Anthology 

First I was so honored to get the chance to participate in this pattern tour!  I love the clothes I made, and I loved getting to share a little glimpse at my passion for photography and how even bad shooting days can still produce something magical with a bit of planning and perseverance.

#5: Knocking Off Gap

Interesting - I'm noticing that people REALLY like tutorials... and my knock offs ;o)  Well Alrighty then, I'll make sure there is more of that in the future.  Someone tell Heidi of Elegance and Elephants to have another Knock Off Series - it always gets my inspiration going!!! *And can you believe how little baby girl was!!!

Thanks for being with me through this last year - I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fly Boy: Flipping Shwin&Shwin's Number 9 Trousers into Aviator Pants

Here is my December entry to the awesome series 'Flip This Pattern' over at Frances Suzanne.  Today is VOTING DAY!!!  I would love if you voted for me, but just go check out all three of the awesome creations and vote for someone!!!

  Now, when I originally chose which month to sign up for, I purposefully made a b-line for these pants.  Not only did I desperately want to sew up a pattern by Shwin&Shwin (which did not disappoint), but I have a child with a rather interesting physique.  You know at the begining of the movie 'The Blind Side'   When Leigh Anne Tuohy is describing the perfect Left Tackle... The ideal left tackle is big, but a lot of people are big. He's wide in the butt and massive in the thighs. He has long arms, giant hands and feet as quick as a hiccup.  This is my son B to a T... and as a two and a half year old, it is making it impossible to find pants in the stores that fit.  Add to that build, the fact that he still wears diapers and any chance of a miracle just flew out the window.  I will cherish my son, and his build - and I will make sure he has the coolest pants on earth - cause his mama can SEW!

So I have flipped the Number 9 Trousers into.... well... PANTS (woah - you didn't see that one coming did ya!) 

After hours of staring at the pattern and trying to think of the most epic flip possible, I was feeling a bit lost.  So I went instead to my fabric for inspiration.  I was recently sent some samples of the new Fly Boy line by Whindham Fabric, and as soon as I saw them, it all clicked into place.  I knew that I wanted to create some epic Aviator Pants for my adventurous soul who loves watching planes in the sky and snuggles with the airplane quilt his Nana made for him every night.

The Key to Aviator Pants, I quickly discovered was pockets, pockets, and more pockets ;o)  So I kept the original slash pockets and welt pockets, then added some fun cargo pockets and half kangaroo pockets on the back of the legs.  I almost went for more... but I did still want him to be able to move and play in these pants!  I used my fabric to make these details really POP with faux piping along the slash pocket, an unexpected pop of orange in the welt pocket linings, and a mix of the pixelated camo in blue and orange on the cargo pockets to make them super cool, but also cohesive in the whole look.

I was also inspired by the diagonal cross fly I found in some older aviator pants... So I adapted the pattern to include that as well.  And no budding Aviator is fully dressed without his cap, so I whipped up a Cozy Pilot Hat by See Kate Sew to complete the look.

The most visually striking element that I changed up was creating the Chevron Color-blocking on the legs.  I simply created the shape I wanted and cut it into the pattern - added seam allowance and then cut the top and bottom halves of the legs in contrasting fabrics.  Easy Peasy, but such a cool look!  I reinforced the seams (and gave some visual interest) by sewing two rows of top stitching along each seam.

The one detail I knew from the get go that I would include was a pull tab adjustable waist in the back of the pants.  There is still elastic in the waist band underneath the pull tab, but I love how this feature allows the waistband to look like a non elastic waist band while retaining all the function and comfort of an easy on elastic waist pant.

The base of these pants are constructed of nice warm Sweat Shirt fabric.  To complete this adventure in mixed media, I couldn't help but let some of my signature Up-cycling shine through.  All of the grey is an old hooded sweatshirt that was in my stash.  The sweatshirt was my inspiration for both the half Kangaroo pockets and the rib knit cuffs of the legs.  I knew I wanted to have pants that cinched in a little at the bottom, and this was the perfect way to incorporate the look.

I am so happy with these pants - HE is so happy with this pants.... and even if he never flies an airplane - this child will SOAR!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Flip This Pattern: Flipping the Number Nine Trousers into a FLY BOY

Today I am sharing my amazing big boy B in his newest pants over at Frances Suzanne.  I was so excited to flip the Number 9 Trousers and make something special for him.
While I sewed these up weeks ago, I havn't been able to share until now since they are for the competition 'Flip This Pattern'.  Voting starts tomorrow (wink wink!!!)

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Norah Pajamas: for the Mouse House Creations Norah Tour

I am so excited to be a part of the Norah Dress Pattern Tour - the first pattern tour for Mouse House Creations.  In looking at the pattern, I wanted to do something different.  I have already sewn up the Norah twice because I LOVE it (you can read my detailed review of the pattern HERE).  Baby girl already has a long sleeve woven top version and a long sleeve knit dress hanging in her closet (and believe me, they get worn as quickly as I can get them clean)... aren't they cute!

So, I decided that this time I would make the Norah to give away.  And since I sew pajamas as gifts for Christmas, I decided that there needed to be Norah Pajamas!

(*baby girl literally had these on for 5 minutes for the pictures - I didn't want anything to happen to them before I shipped them off to a special birthday girl in the family.)

This pattern is so versatile that you can do absolutely anything with it!!!  For these pajamas, I pulled some adorable flannel from my stash.  I love the look of the contrasting sleeve and collar, and I thought that would work well for the pajamas.

In lieu of lining the top, I made a facing for the back opening and then added bias strip ties for the closure.  (The flannel bias tape is a bit thick, so I think when I make more of these, I will use a satin ribbon or cotton bias tape for the ties).

I went with the Top length because I thought it would look best with pants.  From my own experience, I think all toddlers in diapers NEED to wear bottoms over their diapers - so diaper covers in summer and leggings or pants in winter.  You just don't want to risk it!!!

I am beyond THRILLED with how these turned out - I momentarily thought of keeping them for myself, but I love my little niece and I hope she will love them!

If you don't own the pattern yet - GET IT NOW!!!  You will love the variety of things that you can do with this pattern.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Jocole Pencil Skirt - the one pattern EVERY woman needs!!!

Today I am sharing my latest selfish sew - the Jocole Pencil Skirt - you can read my full review on Pattern Revolution.

I LOVE THIS SKIRT - I feel so stylish... I actually styled it way better the second time I wore it (but I was not going to ask hubs to re-shoot ;op), and you know, I'm in mom-frump mode most of the time, so it is hard to remember what style is some days ;o)

There is an awesome discount with the review... so go check it out, or just look at this one picture of me - whatevs.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Today I am Guest Posting At Pattern Revolution with the Pocket PJ's

I'm not sure if you noticed in all the Holiday Hulabalooo that my affiliate, Blank Slate Patterns, released a brand new Pattern: The Pocket PJ's.

I absolutely love the style on these, and they give a nod to the button up look without quite so MANY buttons ;o)
Well, today I am sharing my version of them for Baby Girl as a part of the NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS series that I started at Pattern Revolution.  Go check out the cuteness and read about my favorite holiday tradition!!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday STEALS!!!

So if you are like me and completely frugal in your sewing (or not, but just like a good deal!)  You HAVE to go check out the awesome sales list on Pattern Revolution!
It is a great list of independent designers putting their awesome patterns on sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  Take a look and start making your list!!!

In the mean time, I will be sewing a second FooFoo Threads Four Season Dress for Baby Girl to wear on Thanksgiving and making my FLIP of the Number 9 Trousers by Shwin&Shwin for the December Flip This Pattern Series over at FrancesSuzanne.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Posting with Welcome To The Mouse House: Handcrafted Holidays

The Holidays are upon us!!!!  (Which translates to: You are already BEHIND for Christmas!)

Today I am sharing an awesome tutorial for how to add pockets to your Christmas Stockings!!!!
Head over to Welcome to the Mouse House to read all about it!!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Catching Up!

I feel like I am constantly going through fast forwards and lulls in my blogging - but it is mainly because I am in fast forward mode though most of my life.  When I make concrete blogging commitments I do a good job sticking with them (overall), but when the rest of life gets a little TOO crazy... the blog is the first thing I let go of to get things back on track.
But don't for a second think that means I'm not still sewing!!!  Taking a little time here or there to sew keeps me calm and makes me feel like I am doing something for me ;o)

So here is what I have been up to!

Well, I am currently teaching a sew along with Whimsical Fabric for the Oliver&S Field Trip Outfit.  There are awesome prizes along the way, so if you have the pattern and have been wanting to sew it up, join it on the fun!

I also made up the Foo Foo Threads Four Seasons Flat Front Peasant Dress (wow, a mouthful of a name) for baby girl.  This is such an adorable pattern and has tons of variations built in.  I added in the center panel of contrast fabric for the bib to match the sash.  Next time I am going to do the gathered sleeves!!!

These little cuties are heading out to a shower tomorrow.  They are made from the free Birtch Pattern for Henry&Helga.

The last thing I made recently was for ME!!!!  I made myself the Swoon Scarf Neck Cardi - OMG, I love it... and I have no pictures of me in it,  But you can read a great review HERE.  My mom saw it on my and immediately asked for one for Christmas!  WOOT!!!

This week I'll get to share over at Mouse House Creations as part of the Homemade Holiday Series, and you'll see me over at FrancesSuzanne in December for my second try at the FLIP series - Shwin&Shwin's  Number 9 Trousers.

What have you been up to?  Any big plans on the horizons for the Holidays?