Monday, June 24, 2013

Pattern Review of the Mainstreet Tee!

Hello dear readers, today I am here to share with you one of my favorite patterns of late - the Mainstreet Tee&Dress by Terra's Treasures.  It is no secret that I am a huge fan on knits - also no secret that I am a MASSIVELY HUGE FAN of upcycling.  Terra has put together a pattern that lends itself to my loves quite perfectly.  
The Mainstreet Tee and Dress is versatile, fun, modest, and perfect for summer play. 

First you get to choose whether your little darling gets a dress or a Tee - mine got a Tee, because she needs more of them desperately (I get tons of hand-me-down skirts, shorts, and pants - but almost no tops... well looking at the way baby girl plays and eats, I think I know why ;op).  So I printed out the pieces for the top.

Dear friends, it goes together like a dream - not only does she use color lines for the sizes (which those of you with color printers will love), but the dress lines are a dash and the tee lines are solid (so people like me with B&W printers can still easily find and cut out our needed size and not get confused between the tee and dress).  Each page is labeled with the Patter and Designer Name, and once you put the segments together, each pattern piece is labeled with the Pattern Name, the designer's logo, the name of the pattern piece and a grain line - nothing is left to change or guess work here!

The next choice you have in making this pattern is whether you want to do a knit neck ruffle or woven one.  I went with knit ( I used the existing hem of the T to save time, the pattern shows TWO different ways to finish your ruffles, either a pressed rolled hem on a normal sewing machine, or a serged rolled hem).  There are also options for ruffles at the bottom, but I chose to keep mine simple for play.  All of the ruffle measurements are given in charts so you can easily cut out the rectangular sections needed without printing extra pages and wasting paper.

Terra does an amazing job explaining knits and the amount of stretch needed for this garment.  She includes a stretch gauge so that you can test your upcycles and make sure they fit the bill 35-100% stretch is recommended for the main body.
This pattern includes techniques for sewing with knits, gathering, and binding the neckline and arm holes.  If you are a beginner just starting out with knits, you will love how easy this pattern is to follow - and you will LOVE your results! *I use a twin needle for my top stitching, this allows the knit to retain its ease for stretching over your child's head - doing it in the contrasting thread color is just extra fun.

I mixed two solid color jersey tops for my upcycle - if you are more classic, you could make this in all one color, and if you are more adventurous - you can mix the pieces to your heart's content!

Comfy knit - Check
Adorable neck ruffles - Check
Cute little puff sleeves - Check
Pattern Versatility - check, Check, CHECK!

I love the fit - it is snug to the body without being tight (my baby certainly has a budah belly, so it would be a bit looser on someone with a smaller frame).  
The length is also spot on - perfect for pairing with shorts to play!

One Tee down - 99 to go!!!  Hope you love it as much as I do!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Flip This Pattern: High Contrast

Hello faithful readers - in case you missed it, here is my full blog post about flipping Elegance&Elephant's Bubble Pocket Shorts.  But more IMPORTANTLY, today is the day you can start voting for your favorite!!!!  So go vote.... FOR MINE... or you know, whosever you like best... they are all seriously amazing and I had so much fun just getting to participate.
If I won - I think I could be convinced to do a free tutorial for the top.... just sayin'.....

and if you haven't already, read on and see baby girl dancing...
..... I am Heidi Kettner's biggest fan.... well maybe after her parents, and husband, and friends she actually sees in real life... well I'm somewhere in there.  I have had the privilege of testing both of Heidi's patterns, and somehow for both I used two contrasting fabrics.  Thus she dubbed me the 'Queen of Contrast'.  And it became the inspiration for my flip of the Bubble Shorts!

As a photographer, contrast is very important to me - it can make or break a photo, and you can't go further with contrast than black and white.  I wanted my flip to show off the lines of this pattern, to enhance what was already there, to be clean and classic, and something I would love.  Well, I DO LOVE THEM!!!

I went with eyelet for its summer and slightly vintage vibe, and paired it with straight black cotton.  The shorts are lined with a soft lightweight knit to make them opaque and to make them extra comfy for my baby girl to run and play in.  Because of that , there is no inner waistband, I simply top stitched around the two layers to create a casing for the elastic.

Beyond the piping, I added extra bows to the pockets - just that little extra touch of girlish charm.  And I changed the cuff.  I rounded the two edges and made them overlap at the center of the pocket for just a little detail.

I then had to make the perfect top to go with the shorts.  I decided on a knit halter with a black base and white eyelet peter pan collar - another nod to vintage meets modern.

I am so excited that I have gotten to be a part of this series and I hope you like my flip!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Romper Week!!!

It is Romper Week over at Sewing Mama RaeAnna and I'm linking up ;o)

Romper Week

I of course HAD to make Elegance and Elephant's new Playsuit Romper - first of all it is a pattern by Heidi (and she is amazing) and second of all it is FREEEEEEEE!  (did I mention she is amazing?  Cause who just gives away a detailed romper pattern in sizes 12m-9yr????).

This one is modeled on my adorable niece!  But that means I need to make another one for baby girl ;o)

Lets talk about rompers for a moment... They are the perfect play outfit.  There is no shirt to ride up when you slide down a slide; no diaper sticking out when you bend over to explore the wonders of dirt, mulch and grass; no indecent exposure of a shirt riding up when you are being picked up and cuddled in mama's arms.  Rompers are just great.  There are a ton of romper options out there... and it hit me the other day at the park that I really need to sew up a whole set - 'cause right now baby girl has NONE. 'But wait - Suzanne, what about that gorgeous creation you made form Peek-a-boo's Adelaide Romper?'   Well friends, baby girl just keeps on growing and that one was a little too short in the rise for her so it got sent home with her other cousin who has a more petite build... I'd rather someone get some more wear out of it!!!  So I need to get on making a romper for my girl.

But here's my niece enjoying hers:

Go Check out all the other awesome rompers at SewingMamaRaeAnna!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Hey everyone - go check out my flip of the bubble shorts by Elegance and Elephants over at Frances Suzanne  You are going to love seeing the pictures of baby girl dancing!!!!  Voting will start June 21st - and don't worry, I wont let you forget when that happens!!!!

See the whole thing HERE

Monday, June 3, 2013

Baby got Back...

I was so excited when RaeAnna of Sewing Mama RaeAnna allowed me to test her bloomers pattern: The Sweet and Simple Bloomers - she didn't care that I couldn't get to them right away, or that she had to wait to see them until I could create the vision in my mind of a top that should go with them.  Eventually, I got it all done ;o)

First lets talk about the adorable bloomers.  These are the simplest thing in the world to make - no lie.  If my machine hadn't decided to die mid waistband, I would have had these knocked out in about 20 minutes (including cutting time).  I love that they are just a basic bloomer - they will go with any dress, any tunic top, any shirt or onesie - or all by themselves for that matter.

look at that little belly and those chunky thighs!

You can then add embellishments to your heart's content - I added bows!  I can also envision myself adding lace trim, ruffles to the butt, or even some rhinestone bling... well maybe not, but you never know ;op

Part of what makes this pattern easy is that it is only two pieces - right side and left side.  The legs and waist have casings for elastic which makes the fit comfy and forgiving - they wont grow out of these overnight!  I made mine out of cotton; but I can just as easily imagine them out of knit for comfy play, satin for dressy occasions, and a thin light weight flannel for summer PJ's.  So many options!

Look at that cute little tushie!!!

Once I had my little bloomers done I knew that I wanted a tunic top that would show them off.  Open back seamed the perfect option.  The dilemma is that I don't currently own an open back pattern - that needs to be remedied.  I had a vision in my head of what I wanted and couldn't quite find it - I have no problem adapting a pattern, but I also knew the vision in my head would be simple enough to make on my own.  I found this image of a vintage pattern on pinterest and my fate was set.

Found Here

Not too shabby of a free hand knock off  - I think Heidi would be proud ;o)

If I make this again I am going to widen the bottom of the back panel and change the curve a bit, but overall I am so happy with it.  I used ready made bias tape which made the project lickity-split!  And of course the pocket, which is lined,  has a center pleat,  and is bound in more bias tape - and of course finished with a cute bow to match the shorts.  I can't quite decide if I love the small ruffle or wish I had gone with a wider ruffle.
So what do we think of this little creation?

More of the cuteness:

I'ma gonna run....

maybe this way....
maybe that way...

you can't catch me....

.... but I'ma gonna getcha!

The bloomers just released today - don't miss out!!!!