Thursday, March 31, 2016

Headed to the Bahamas...tankini style

Every year, when the trees start budding leaves and the grass starts turning green, I start to dread the oncoming spring season...not just for the allergies that overtake our house, but that means that swimsuit season is right around the corner.  I usually take to the covers and vow that no bathing suit will be seen on me in public.  However, I do believe this is the year that I change that!  I decided that I was going to have an adventure and applied to test the Bahama Mama Peplum Tankini and Bottoms from Peek A Boo Patterns, and can I say I feel like a swimsuit queen in this suit!

Okay, so some quick details about the pattern before I give you my two cents on it:

- Pattern sizes range from XXS-XXXL (00-24) so this covers a pretty good range of sizes
- Top has options for a fitted or full skirt
- Built in shelf bra with optional cups (there's even a tutorial on the blog on how to use an old bra for extra support)
- Bottoms have a low rise and high rise option
- These are interchangable with the Bahama Mama boy shorts and tankini top from last year
- Colorblocked racerback style top so you can mix and match up colors

I opted for the full skirt and added the cups in the shelf bra for the top for some extra support and the wind gets going pretty good here in Oklahoma and that sometimes brings a little chill on the water so, um, well, um...yeah.

For the bottoms, I did make the high rise bottoms since I like to have that added coverage if the skirt happens to float up when we're in the water.  I was a little nervous about the rear coverage, and I was over the moon that I was well covered from behind as well as in my tummy area.

Overall, the construction was pretty easy.  I did add the cups to the shelf bra, and I would definitely suggest you try that on and make sure that the cups are in the right spot on your top before sewing them down.  If you are wanting to use an old bra instead, Eleri from the Sew and Tell Project, blogged a tutorial on how she did this for her swimsuit.  I didn't do this but hers turned out awesome so if you aren't wanting to mess with individual cups, I would definitely check out how she did it.

For me, the best part of this suit is how amazing I feel in it.  I'm 5'1" and after two littles, I'm a little more curvy than I remember so I've opted for the shorts and t-shirt option until now.  Every single photo I saw from the testers was amazing, and we were a group of widely varied shapes and sizes.  I don't think there was a single tester that didn't feel ready to hop in the water after sewing this up!  In fact, as you can see above, I did decide to at least step into the water, and OODELALLY, that water was COOOOLD!  My husband was my photographer that day, and he stood there and laughed at me while he continued to click the button....

Really, if you are looking for a great swimsuit that will fit you the way you want, I would recommend you take a look at the Bahama Mama Peplum Tankini.  The beauty of this one is that you can mix and match the pieces with the Bahama Mama Tankini and Boy Shorts from last year so really the possibilities are endless!

Now for the best part!  It released today (31 March) so you can grab your copy of each pattern on sale for Thrifty Thursday for today only! After today it goes to full price.  The pieces are sold separately so you can get one or both.  The top is available here and the bottoms are available here!  Amy also has a Facebook group that you can join in case you hit a head scratch at any point.  There are a lot of ladies in there who can help you out if Amy isn't available!

So, if you've read this far, I really appreciate you sticking it out with me!  I promise you won't be sorry you picked this pattern up so head on over and grab yours today!

Happy Sewing and Blessings!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Every day can be an Easy Day!

With the start of spring, my littles are in full blown short sleeve mode, and the easy day tee from Snuggle My Baby Patterns really does make for an easy day when you're sewing it up!  My son has three of these already and is now trying to find out if I can cut his winter shirts up for this pattern! Hopefully, he doesn't start offering up his dad's shirts!!

So, as always, I like to give some pattern basics before I get into the pattern details.  For this one, here's a quick rundown:

- Sizes 2T-12 so this pattern covers a pretty large range of sizes
- Three sleeve options: short, 3/4, and long
- Two bottom hem options: regular or scooped
- Only three pattern pieces so very quick prep and sew
- Very clear concise directions and a lot of photos (for those of us who work better with pictures to go with the words)

Now for this one, the pattern calls for at least 50% stretch on the knit...make sure you verify that on your knit before you buy it or cut into it!  I learned the hard way on the Katie crop top that if you don't, you will have a funky fit for the shirt.  This one is designed to be pretty loose fitting so it's perfect for my two tree climbing, on the go kids.  They spent the day at their Grandpa Greg and Grandma Julie's collecting treasures and running around all over the yard with no issues at all!

I like that this one is a looser fit so that my nephew was able to have himself a shirt to hang out in. He's 12 and is very tall and wiry so it's hard to fit him with clothes, and this shirt was perfecto on him!  For my niece, I had a panel that I got from Zenith and Quasar, and I loved it so much for her...BUT it was a tad smaller than the pattern piece so I did some color blocking to make it fit.  This feature does NOT come as part of the pattern tutorial, but there are a bajillionty tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube to help you out if you decide you want to color block these!
I did also make a couple of shirts from upcycled adult shirts.  If you do this, be very careful about the print on the front.  I would even suggest you take the pattern pieces with you so that you can see if any design element will get cut off when you cut the shirts down to size.  I ended up using the front and backs from some XXL shirts for my son and daughter, but I did different fabric for the sleeves...still knit, though! I'd totally add photos of them if they weren't in the wash again.  They seem to be the going favorites at the moment so I don't even have a chance to fold them before they are zhoop, right out of the basket and back on the kiddos.  I guess that's better than the standard which is clothing optional when in the house! (Not this mom's preference, for the record)

These shirts came together so fast that I can't even tell you...I think it took longer to pick out the fabric and piece together the pattern than it did to sew them.  I did all four shirts in an afternoon...I'd say about 45 minutes a shirt, and it only took that long because I had Downton Abbey on the telly so I kept stopping to stare at the screen.

If you need a quick and easy tee for your littles (or not so littles) as the weather starts to give promise of warmer days to come, this is the perfect pattern for you! AND, to celebrate the release of this pattern, you can grab it for $5 from now until the 28th of March!  It will only be on sale at Jennifer's Etsy store for a limited time, though, so don't miss out!  Also, you can hop on her FB group to keep up with her happenings at Snuggle My Baby patterns or to ask questions if you hit a head scratch while working with her patterns!

If you've read this far, thanks so much for sticking it out with me!  Don't forget, the Easy Day Tee pattern is on sale right now so hop on over and get your copy!  Thanks again for reading along and Blessings!

Happy sewing,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Headed to Dakota

North or South, East or West...doesn't matter.  We're talking blazers here.   Specifically, we're talking about the Dakota from Laela Jeyne Patterns!  This blazer is amazing.  I am usually not terribly excited about blazers in general because they never fit right on the arms, and if they fit right on the arms the rest of it is big.  However, this blazer is the bomb-diggity!  I didn't have to alter the pattern in any way, and everything fit perfectly!

Alrighty, I like to start with a few basics about the pattern: 
- Pattern ranges from XS to XXL so it covers a wide range of sizes
- There are 3 sleeve options: long, 3/4, and short
- Options for scalloped or straight cuff
- Options for hi-lo front and back or straight back
- Fully lined
- The design makes this suitable for maternity wear
- The instructions are very concise and straightforward.  There are also tons of photo and illustrations for those of us who do better with the visuals.  

As far as the pattern, it was very easy to follow along.  I read it a few times through to make sure that I understood everything.  I would recommend this pattern to someone with a bit of experience with sewing.  There are areas where you will have front and back darts and there is a little trick to lining the arms to make sure they don't end up wonky so I did read that a few times.  I did find the part where I connect the neck seams a bit tricky so I would highly recommend looking at the directions and asking questions in Marisa's FB group if you hit a head scratch.

I needed blazers for a business convention that I'm going to in a few weeks so I made two of these. My first one was a suiting material, and my second one was a cotton woven Tardis material that I had purchased a couple of months ago.  I absolutely will be wearing that during one of the convention days...I caution you to definitely press your pieces as you sew and make the lining first so you can try that on for fit as I know that the different materials sat differently for me so it was essential to have the lining right.  Don't skip the pressing part whatever you do.

I found this blazer to be really forgiving on the fit.  I usually struggle with either the sleeves or the main fit.  I have so many issues with proper fit, and this blazer fit me from the get-go.  I did the hi-lo option for mine, and I really loved that the back came down and covered my tush.  I slipped these on, and I'm pretty sure the theme song to "Rocky" started playing in the background.

AND, the best news of all, Marisa is offering the pattern at a special release price!  You can grab your copy of the pattern for $6.50 from now until March 14th!  After that, it goes up to the regular price of $9.

You can also shop all of Marisa's patterns at her Laela Jeyne Patterns webstore!  Remember, the Dakota blazer is on sale for a limited time to celebrate the release of this have to have pattern!

If you want to skip on over to the Facebook group, you can find it here.  Marisa posts all of her happenings here so you won't miss out on new releases or special events!  

Now, if you've read this far, then I really do appreciate you for sticking with me!  Now head on over and pick up your copy of the Dakota!

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kicking it with Katie

I love this panel that we got from Zenith and Quasar!

When the tester call came for the Katie Crop Top, I told myself, “Do NOT apply.  You do NOT have time!”  BUT, sometimes, you just know in your gut that you need to do something.  That’s what happened with Katie’s crop top sweater. I found myself telling Jennifer that I would love to test this pattern…even though I told myself not to.  And I am so, so glad that I did.  This pattern is amazingly fast to sew and so versatile that I see myself making these year round. 
This was one of the ones that I made with too little stretch.
Still awesome looking but a squeeze to get on.
As always, I like to give you some basics up front about the pattern:
- Pattern ranges from 2T to 12 (which makes me happy as my little bug is nearing the very top of the size range for a lot of the patterns I have)
- Only three pattern pieces to cut so very quick prep
- Can be used with a variety of knits to cover all four seasons!
- No buttons and zippers so my girl can put this one on and off on her own with no muss and no fuss.
- As with all of Jennifer’s patterns, the instructions are very concise and straightforward.  There are also tons of pictures for those of us who do better with the visuals. 

As far as the pattern, it was extremely easy to follow along, and I really do think this is a great pattern for anyone wanting to delve into the world of knits.  It really is a happy place to be, and knit sometimes gets a bad rap…My daughter was loving the crop part because she could “show off her fashion underneath, too”…
Another one with too little stretch but we made it work!
I will caution you that you really do want to check the stretch on your knit to make sure it has at least 50% stretch.  For those who are wondering what that means, here’s a quick example:  I cut a 6” piece of fabric and stretch it.  I measure how far it stretches.   The equation to figure out the stretch is:

Amount past the original size the fabric stretched / original length = % stretch.

So for the 6” piece, if it stretches to 9” then it stretched 3” past the original length so:

3/6 = .5 (multiply this by 100 and you get 50%). 
Did I confuse you completely?  I hope not. :/!

SO, as I was saying, you want to get something that is at least 50% stretch.  VERY IMPORTANT!!  I didn’t do that with the first ones I made, and it was a fight and a half to get that over the girls’ heads.  We did it, but they looked like something out of Total Recall as I was pulling it on them.  As long as you have the right stretch fabric, you will be golden as far as the neck fit.  As far as the overall fit, I found it to be true to RTW.  Little Miss wears a size 6 RTW, and I made this in a size 6.  Same with my niece.  She is a size 9 and perfection…

All in all, we really do love Katie a lot here, and I am already envisioning some more for the upcoming spring weather! Now for the best news...It’s on sale for a special release price at Jennifer’s shop starting today!  You can get your copy of Katie’s for $5.  After that, it goes up to $7.95.

Grab your copy of Katie’s here at her Snuggle My Baby Patterns Etsy shop!  Remember, the Katie’s Crop Top Sweater is on sale for a limited time only to celebrate the release of this simple but very versatile pattern!  

If you want to skip on over to the Facebook group, you can find it here.  Jennifer posts all of her happenings here so you won't miss out on new releases or special events!  

Now, if you've read this far, then I really do appreciate you for sticking with me!  Now head on over and pick up your copy of the Katie’s today!

Happy Sewing,