Monday, May 30, 2016

It's time to potty (training undies from Snuggle My Baby)

Photo found on Etsy
Who remembers Underoos?  I remember having Big Bird and Shazam underoos that I LOVED.  I lived in those things, and I was so sad when they got too small!  The new training undies from Snuggle My Baby made me think of underoos for little roos!  We are well past the potty training phase in our house, but we have a LOT of friends who are just now entering that phase of life with littles.  Originally, I had passed on the pattern because pfft, I won't need those (secretly happy about that)...then, someone asked me if I can make her kiddo some trainers.  It was almost as if the sewing fairies were granting me the green light to get this pattern, and well, I can't ignore my sewing fairies or they turn into gremlins and make bad things happen to my sewing machine.  Go with it, it's the story I'm telling my husband.

Okay, so some basics about the pattern:

- Sizes 2T-4T to cover a few years of the potty training adventure
- Uses Zorb for the two layers of absorbency (Jennifer has a link to a place on Etsy that sells if for$8/yd)
- Doesn't use a lot of fabric so perfect for scrap busting!
- Very clear step by step directions and photos for those of us who use those for reference

Alright, so I made two of these to get a gauge for fit.  Both of mine were in size 2T, and they were a perfect fit!  I wish I could post photos of them, but I promised my friend there would be no photos of her little one in just undies!

I think from start to finish, it took me about 45 minutes to make both sets of undies!  This includes cut time, and I think the toughest part for me was lining stuff up so not a hard sew at all!  My favorite thing is that there are no side seams.  Construction is essentially three pieces that wrap around so there aren't any niggly seams on the sides.   You do want to make sure that you pick a fabric with really good stretch recovery, though.  These are meant to sit pretty snug against the child's body so you don't want something that will end up sagging and bagging as the day wears on or you'll lose the hold in wetness factor.  When I asked Jennifer for some ideas on good fabrics to use, she advised that the higher the cotton content the better they work for these.

Now, while I'm glad that we are no longer going through potty training, I will admit that these will get some really good mileage as we have a lot of little ones in our world who are getting ready to start their potty training journey!

Okay, so here's the great news...the pattern is still on sale for a bit longer, and you can get your copy for the release price of $3!  Regular price will be $5.  Head over to Jennifer's Etsy shop to grab your copy today to get your copy of the pattern, AND there's a Memorial Day sale going on until May 31st.  Use the code MEMORIAL16 to take 35% off your entire purchase and Shazam!! :)!

I appreciate you following along if you're still here reading this.  Now go grab yourself some awesome patterns and Happy Sewing!


Friday, May 20, 2016

Say hello to la Isla bonita (from Laela Jeyne Patterns)

Two words...swimsuit season.  I seriously want to dig a hole and crawl in it every year when the swimsuits start coming out because I can never find anything that I like or that fits me well enough to wear it in public.  I'm well beyond dental floss bikinis and not quite ready for full body coverups sooo, when Marisa from Laela Jeyne Patterns put out the call for her new bikini, I loved the look of it but wasn't so sure about the look of it on me.  However, we're in a year of getting out of our comfort zones here in our household so, I took the plunge.  AND I LOVE IT!!!!

Okay, okay...before I start telling you what I love, let's do some basics about the pattern:

- Available in sizes 0-22
- Faux cross over top with a sweetheart neckline
- Ties in the back so you don't have to worry about clips
- 3 bottom rise options: bikini, high, ultra high
- 2 bottom options: standard, ruched
- Skirt overlay option
- Detailed instructions to fit to different body types
- Layered, no trip pattern pages
- Clear, concise directions with photos and illustrations

For my test suit, I made two different tops to wear with the same bottoms.  I did add the optional cup inserts, but I didn't do the power net on these.  I still felt like all of my bits were appropriately supported, but I do have another set on the cutting table that's waiting for me to find time to give it some attention.  That one I will try some power net on.  :/!  Hopefully that happens before the summer is over.  Be aware that power net and power mesh are completely different. Power net is sturdier and provides extra support in your suit.  I found some online at both Spandex World and Fabric World.

I love the fit of the entire suit. The top offers me plenty of support and still maintains that vintage feel to it.  I made the high waist rise on this suit and went with the ruched bottoms to keep the yesteryear flow going, and they are so comfortable.  The waist is finished with a band while the legs have elastic to keep the bottoms on your bottom, and overall bum coverage is fantastic.  I wasn't constantly yanking at myself while we were doing photos!

The cups were a little tricky to get right at first, and I ended up taping the cups to the lining while holding it up to my body.  Then I lined it up with the center of each side while still making sure to have adequate support.  I love the tie back on the top because it lets me adjust how tight I have the top on my body without me having to move hardware or measure where to put buckles and adjusters.

The beauty of this pattern is that it works well for both nursing mama's and soon to be mama's.  One of the testers made hers in the bikini rise, and it was perfect for her as a maternity bikini while another tester was able to easily nurse her little while wearing her Isla.  We had a wide variety of body types and cup sizes in the test group, and this top offered great support for everyone from cup sizes A-G. There are also pretty extensive directions on how to do a full bust adjustment if needed.
Pretty much everyone who tested looked rockstar amazing in this suit.  I told my husband that, "Thunderbirds are go!" for me wearing this suit to the lake (which happens to be called Lake Thunderbird...)
Pretending that it was really warm out
so you wouldn't notice the goose pimples!  HA!
I told everyone that I am seriously going to put swimsuit model on my taxes this year because I feel amazing in this bikini.  It had been almost 20 years since my last bikini, and I had pretty much decided that I will just stick to shorts and a tee...then this happened.  I want to make me a whole week's worth of Isla's so that I don't have to worry about having a suit to wear at the lake this summer.  I just wish it would get warm enough soon!  We went to the lake for photos, and it was 50 something degrees out so I was in sweatpants and a coat as we walked to the shore...soon, though. Soon...the wind did catch me by surprise while we were out there, and my husband just laughed and kept clicking the camera.  Really, he prides himself on being funny, but I have my doubts.
Yup, that wind is chilly!!
Now, get this...there is also a kimono that you get for free when you grab your own copy of the Isla Bikini!  The Isla is available now and will be on sale until the 24th of May for a special release price of $8.50!  After that, it goes up to full price.  Just head over to Laela Jeyne Patterns here! Marisa also has a FB group where you can keep up with her goings on and get some help if you hit a bump when you're sewing up any of your LJ patterns!

Thanks so much for sticking it out with me and reading along!  Now go grab your copy of the Isla Bikini set and make yourself a bathing suit of your own!

Happy Sewing and Blessings,

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Simply Susan's from Snuggle My Baby Patterns

We're currently going through a transition from ruffles and over the top to simply classic, vintage inspired clothing here in our household.  Part of me is sad because that means my little girl isn't so little anymore and part of me is elated because I love vintage inspired anything!  SOO, when Susan's came up for testing, my daughter was absolutely in for this one.

We spent forever in my sewing room staring at what felt like miles of fabric before my daughter finally settled on some napping foxes from the Tula Pink Chipper Line and some purple Modern Solids from In the Beginning (both purchased from Ozark Fabrics on Facebook).

Okay, so as usual, some basics about the pattern:

- Sizes range from 2T - 12 so this pattern can be used for a pretty long chunk of time
- Two length options: tunic or knee length
- Simple bodice construction for endless embellishment opportunity
- Top to bottom buttons for the tunic
- Two closure options for the dress: all buttons or half length buttons
- Clear, concise directions and photos for each step
Tunic in 2T, made in linen and Luminous Lace from Quilting Treasures
(both purchased from Ozark Fabrics on Facebook)
For the test, I made two tunics in a size 2T and a size 6.  For both sizes, we were spot on for ready to wear sizes.  Both times, I paired the top with leggings, but this would be so easy to dress up for special occasions or keep it simple for everyday wear.  My daughter isn't big on fancy so we did an everyday wear top to start with, but I am TOTALLY going to sneak in some sort of chiffon overlay top here in the near future.  And she's going to wear it and love it. :)!  That's my vision, anyway!  She has already picked out some Wonder Woman fabric for her next top so we are going to be getting some serious mileage out of this pattern.

From start to finish, I think each tunic took about an hour and a half to put together!  The construction was so simple, but the result was such an amazingly beautiful garment.  When you're putting this together, the lining will be smaller than the main fabric so don't panic when you put the dress together, and it seems like it's "off".  It really isn't.  The lining is smaller to lessen the bulk once constructed.

I used snaps for both of my tops, but you have the option of either snaps or buttons.  It's really a matter of preference or fabric choice that will decide for you what you want to do when it comes time to get the closures put on!

I really do love the overall design and look of this pattern!  The tunic is perfect with jeans, leggings, shorts...pretty much anything, and the dress can easily be dressed up for special occasions!  One of the testers trimmed her tunic with lace, and it turned out so, so precious!  I'm kind of wanting to do one in denim...

Okay, so now for some great news!  This pattern is currently available at a special release sale price of $5!  You can grab your copy over at the Snuggle My Baby Etsy store today, but that sale price is for a limited time so don't miss out!  Jennifer also has a Facebook page where you can follow her happenings and keep up to date on what's going on at Snuggle My Baby patterns!  This is also a great place to ask questions if you hit a head scratch while sewing up your SMB patterns!  Jennifer is so great about getting back on questions and is super sweet to work with!

If you've read along this far, I really appreciate you!  Seriously, don't miss out on this pattern!  Head over to grab your copy and get started on your own Susan top or dress today!

Happy Sewing and Blessings,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Back in time with Clarissa (MCM Studio Designs)

My daughter is continuing to move further and further away from ruffles and over the top
crazy dresses, and she’s starting to turn her eyes to simple, classic designs soooo when the tester call came for the Clarissa dress from MCM Studio Designs, I was all in!  Once they were done, she was over the moon with her dresses.  This is very rare that she will wear anything I make because she loves the idea and process, but by the time the wearing part comes around she’s moved on so this one was a WIN!!!

Okay, let’s talk about some basics for the pattern:

- Sizes 2T through 10 so you have a pretty large size range
Center pleated front bodice
- Button up back so NO zippers (bonus for me!)
2 sleeve options: short sleeve and long sleeve
- Illustrations for those of us who sometimes need the visual to doublecheck ourselves
- Clear, concise directions for each step

My daughter’s measurements fell perfectly in a size 6 for this dress, and it was spot on with ready to wear clothing!  She had plenty of room to move and play in the bodice, and the length of the skirt was just right that she could run around and chase after her bubba with no issues.

The front of the bodice has a really simple but perfect set of pleats that run down the center front, and I keep envisioning this dress in a velvet with some lace.  I really am going to make one in long sleeves for when the winter rolls around again because I’m itching to do it. I love that the long sleeve version has a very elegant look to it that reminds me of the French dresses that I see in movies…or even a dress that Ann Boleyn might have worn. 

For my dresses, I used snaps down the backs so that my daughter could maneuver them easier.  The pattern is written so that you can use either buttons or snaps.  The pattern itself is rated Intermediate, and I would absolutely agree with that given the pleating, the sleeve construction on the long sleeve version, the back placket for the skirt, and the collar.   None of these make the pattern some sort of impossible dream for the beginner sewist, but it does help to have some experience with sewing for this pattern.  There is some understitching for the collar and working with the fabric to help it to lie flat, and when it says to use interfacing, definitely do that!  I didn't do it on the first dress because I was in such a rush to get it done that I didn't want to wait until the next day to go buy some, and well, yeah...I would just like to say, please save yourself the desire to swear at a runaway collar and interface the heck out of that sucker.  It will help to keep everything sitting where it should when all of the pieces are sewn together.  

I also love the waist on this dress.  It has an empire waist that curves along the bodice to give the dress a unique look.  It's such a great pattern for either dressing up for a special occasion or making in a simple cotton for everyday wear.  My daughter and I spent a fair deal in "Mom's store" (aka my fabric stash...I probably do have more fabric than my local quilt shop, to be honest.  If anyone repeats that to my husband, I'll deny it with all that is in me...)

I really do look at this dress and think that I could make a period piece for my daughter if I could just get my act together.  The Clarissa is such a classically beautiful design, and it really does make me think of walking through the halls of an old castle back in the day!  

So, now for the best news, the Clarissa will be on sale from May 12-21.  You can grab it for a special release price of $5.  After the 21st, it goes up to its full price of $10.  You have a few options for where you can buy the pattern, too!  Linda has a website, an Etsy store, and a Craftsy store where you can buy the pattern.  Just remember, it's only on sale for a limited time so if you think you might need this pattern...well, you really do.  

If you've read along this far, I really do appreciate you!  Don't forget, special release sale price, and you can follow along with Linda's happenings over at her MCM Studio Designs FB page!  

Happy Sewing and Blessings,