Saturday, August 27, 2016

Are you a krill?

Photo source:
Last night, the kids decided they wanted to watch Happy Feet 2...again.  I was sitting there watching the movie, and for those who haven't seen the movie, let me ruin it for you.  Essentially, the Emperor penguin nation is at risk of complete annihilation due to a freak incident.  The main character, Mumble, and three little penguin chicks are the only ones left on the surface, and it falls on them to save the Emperor nation.

The penguins face starvation, hawk attacks, and death.  Mumble goes to the ends of the Earth to enlist help.  He calls on penguin friends and elephant seals to try to make a way for the trapped penguins, including his wife, to get back to the surface.  We're talking powerhouses in their world.  If you've never seen an elephant seal, those suckers are HUGE!

Now, there is a side story about Will and Bill Krill.  They're best friends.  Will, I think?, is called to a life outside the hive (sorry, I don't know much about krill so that might not even be what they are called).   He has a calling to be more than just another krill waiting to be whale food. So, he sets out to find his destiny, and Bill follows because that's what friends do.

Well, if you've ever seen Happy Feet, Mumble had taught the entire colony how to dance, and that carries on through the second movie.  Bill ends up in the middle of the trapped colony during part of the movie, and he witnesses this dancing thing.
Photo soure:
Okay, so fast forward to the end of the movie, and there is a dancing/singing number where the powerhouses are at the surface dancing to get the ice to drop and create a path for the trapped penguins to climb up.  At this point, Will, the prodigal son, has returned to the rest of the collective and hears the dancing above them.  He starts to dance on the ice under the water, telling  Bill that it "brings out his happy".  SOOO, the rest of the krill join him in dancing.  It's a pretty neat little scene, to be honest...probably my favorite part of the movie.  As the dance ends, Will stomps his foot and his one little stomp cracks the ice in just the right way that it travels the distance of the iceberg and cracks it, causing the ice to break and come crashing down to create this path that the penguins can climb up.

So, as I'm watching this, I think to myself that just one tiny, seemingly insignificant step saved a nation.  It was an act that nobody on the surface knew about.  In fact, they didn't even know that this little krill even existed.  However, his one little step saved a nation.  Think about that!!!

Every day, we go through life and live out our days.  We meet people, we do things, and we affect people in small, seemingly insignificant ways.  To us, most of the stuff we do is just stuff .  We never know how our actions can impact others, and oftentimes, we don't even see the results of our actions. What would happen if YOU, a tiny little krill, touched someone's life so deeply that they then take up the cross and save a nation.  What if your one little act changes something so significantly that you save a nation without even knowing it?  We hear that small voice speaking to us:

"The Lord said, "Go out.  Stand on the mountain in front of me. I am going to pass by.  As the Lord approached, a very powerful wind tore the mountains apart.  It broke up the rocks.  But the Lord wasn't in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake.  But the Lord wasn't in the earthquake.  After the earthquake a fire came.  But the Lord wasn't in the fire. And after the fire there was only a gentle whisper." (1 Kings 19:11-12, NIrV).

What if we stopped, listened, and heeded that still, small voice urging us to action?  That still, small voice that is the foundation of our very being.  What if we obeyed the words whispered in our ears?  Could we then save a nation?  So, tell me, are you a krill?

Back to School, Bugs! (Lulu & Celeste, Sprouting Jube Jube Back to School Tour)

My kids don't get excited about back to school clothes because they wear uniforms, and there is NOTHING exciting about going to the uniform store to pick out khaki slacks and embroidered polos. However, this year, as part of the Lulu and Celeste, Sprouting Jube Jube productions "Back to School" blog tour, I made them clothes for those few casual clothes days they have so there was a tiny spark on the excitement train. I'm just glad that they are still willing to wear the things that I make for them...most of the time!

So, for my stop on the tour, I knew that the newly released Emmy t-shirt from Laela Jeyne Patterns was perfect for both of my kids, and my daughter also got a pair of  Little Birdy pants to go with one of her tops, also a Laela Jeyne Pattern!  One of my favorite parts about this pattern is that it can also be made for boys up to size 6.  The pattern itself goes up to a size 14, and it's unisex through size 6 so my son got a new shirt as well.  I feel so bad that my little guy kind of gets left out a lot so he was over the moon trying to pick out his fabric from "Momb's store".  I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry that he thinks my fabric collection qualifies as a store...I probably do have more fabric than Jo-Ann's, though.

The top is designed to be a fitted t-shirt so it's not quite as loose as a standard tee, which my daughter loved!  She won't wear about two-thirds of the tee shirts in her dresser because they're "too flowy".  I also opted for a hood with two of their shirts because the weather does get nippy here in Oklahoma, but there are options for a standard neck and a cowl neck (which might not be a bad idea either since it covers the neck...another project maybe?).  I also made my girl a top with a standard neckline.

The Emmy comes with a lot of options so you can make a ton of these and no two would look the same.  You have three different neck options, three elbow patch templates, four sleeve cuff options to include thumb holes, an optional accent triangle on the side...endless combinations.  I personally like that because my daughter will find something she likes and request 10 of them in different colors. With this pattern I can have a little different twist on each top. 

My son, Ash, is crazy about all things boy.  He likes superheroes, cars, construction vehicles, getting dirty, breaking things...He is, however, very particular about his clothes so I let him pick out his own fabric.  He opted for a hood with folded over sleeves.   He did ask for pockets so that might be a future hack!  He landed on a two way race car knit that I got from Ozark Fabrics and some black and white checkered fabric that I bought from Sincerely Rylee.  It fit like a glove and was spot on for a size 5 ready to wear.

For my daughter's first shirt, I went with a Like A Girl panel from Zenith and Quasar.  It wasn't quite big enough so I did some blocking on it to make it the right size.  I also made her a pair of Little Birdy pants to go with the top.  The loose flared fit of the pants were a perfect match.  My daughter also doesn't like jeans so we decided on these as her comfy pants to wear with her new shirt.  For this top, she chose a standard neck and regular sleeves.  She's pretty tall so I had to extend the armscye to a size up (common problem with her shirts) but everything else was a standard size 7 which is her ready to wear size.  Again, spot on only better because we could fit the armscye for her frame.

The hooded shirt I made her was from a Liverpool that I got at Hancock's.  She shares my obsession with florals so this was going to happen as soon as she saw the fabric.  I wasn't sure on the Liverpool because it tends to have a little less give, but this was perfect for this tee...we also did thumb cuffs, and she now wants them on every tee she has so that's a win in my book!  I love thumb cuffs and these are so easy to make that I might just add them to all of our tee shirts!!  The instructions are extremely easy to follow along and even with the hood, gathered sleeves, and thumb cuffs, I was able to crank it out in about an hour.  The others were even quicker than that to make!

Nini and Ash were so completely ready to start their new adventures as first and second graders. They have adventurous spirits and a love for discovery, and I am so excited for what this year holds for them...even if they don't want me to walk them to class anymore.

So, as I was saying, I am just one of the stops on the Lulu & Celeste/Sprouting Jube Jube productions back to school tour.  There have been a lot of wonderful giveaways throughout the tour from our lovely sponsors and a lot of posts from fellow sewists who have been sharing their creations this week:
Check out this post from Lulu & Celeste to see what special sales are available during this tour! You can also head here to find out more about who is sharing their creations today!  Don't forget that you can also enter TODAY'S GIVEAWAY through this rafflecopter link.  Enter by August 29th at 11:59PM EDT, and you could win 1 PDF pattern from Big Little Patterns and 1 PDF pattern from Sofilantjes Patterns (*excludes bundles).

If you sewed up any back to school projects between the 1st of August through the 4th of September (when the link up closes) you can link them up and be eligible to win a pretty amazing grand prize package.  Just make sure you leave your email address so that you can be contacted if you win!  Here are the grand prize details:

3 yards of fabric from Mabel Madison
1 Tie Die Wire Headband, custome made to your size from 421 Myers Design Studio
1 PDF pattern of choice* from SisBoom
Nana's insulated totes PDF pattern from Sew Happily Ever After
1 PDF pattern of choice* from E+M Patterns
$15 gift card to BLAVERRY
(*excludes bundles)

Remember, don't miss out on the rest of today's tour stops:

If you would like to stop by the other stops on the tour, please follow the links below:

Day 1:  Call Ajaire * The Wholesome Mama * Sew and Tell Project * DIY Crush * Blaverry
Day 2: Phat Quarters * Mahlica Designs * Handmade Boy * Kaleidothought * The Berry Bunch
Day 3: Filles A Maman * Tales of a Tester * Sew Happily Ever After * 5 out of 4 Patterns * The Crafting Fiend * Lulu & Celeste
Day 4:  Create 3.5 * Sew Sophie Lyn * Sweeter Than Cupcakes * The Eli Monster * Paisley Roots
Day 5:  Cindy Parrett Blog * Sew Starly * Sew and Tell Project * Elegantine * Gracious Threads

And the complete tour of blogs here:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Just Emmy and me (Emmy Tee Shirt from Laela Jeyne Patterns

A few months ago, my daughter saw a top I had tested for Laela Jeyne Patterns.  Ever since then, she has been begging me to make one for her so when Marisa announced that the Emmy was ready for testing, SHE decided that I needed to apply to test so I was very excited that Marisa chose me to be part of her Emmy pattern testing team...I think the boo was maybe a little more excited, though!  She loves this shirt and wants one for every day of the week...or month.

Let's go over some pattern details real quick so you can see some specifics:

- Wide range of sizes: 6M-14 and unisex up to size 6
- Three neck options: standard, cowl, hood
- Two sleeve cap options: standard, gathered
- Three elbow patch templates
- Three cuff options: hemmed, banded, thumb cuff
- Three sleeve options: short, elbow, long
- Optional side seam triangle accent
- Layered printing
- Clear concised instructions with illustrations for those of us who like the visual references

So, really, this shirt is a great pattern that covers all types of style preferences!  My kids don't get excited about school clothes at the beginning of the year because their school has uniforms, but when they do get to wear "real" clothes, they always ask me to make something for them.  It was perfect timing that the Emmy is being released.  We're starting to see some cooler weather here, in the mornings at least, so I definitely see fall coming on soon for us!

I made my daughter two different tops for the test.  The first one was with a standard neck, standard sleeve.  I used a panel from the "Like a Girl" series that Lily Himrod ran at Zenith and Quasar.  It was just a teeny bit small for the size 7 so I colorblocked some black knit with it to make it big enough, and I kind of loved how it turned out.  Nini is pretty tall and sits in the 97th percentile for height so I used a size 8 armscye to give some extra ease in the armpits, but the rest of the shirt was spot on for a size 7 which is her ready to wear size.

My son, however, is in the 17th percentile for height so he's a short stack like me.  Thankfully, being super tiny is one of his favorite things about himself!  I was a little worried that the shirt would be a little long on him, but it was actually perfect length!  He's a size 5 in store bought clothes, and this fit perfectly on him!  I did cut this one straight across because I wasn't paying attention and cut into the bottom curve so this was my "salvage my mistake" mod.  He was so excited about getting a new shirt that he agonized over the fabric he wanted.  He finally settled on a race car knit that I got from Ozark Fabrics and a checkered flag knit from Sincerely Rylee.

Nini's second shirt HAD to have a hood.  AND it needed gathered sleeves and thumb holes.  AND, it HAD to be flowery.  She shares my obsession for florals...I had some liverpool that a friend picked up for me from Hancock's (so sad that I can't get more of this awesomeness), and when she saw it, that was the one she got stuck on.  The instructions are so easy to follow for the thumb cuffs that I seriously want to put thumb cuffs on EVERY shirt from now on!  These were all long sleeve shirts but I do intend to make some more of these in the other sleeve versions when the temperature starts climbing back up in the spring and summer...

Now, let's get you some info on how to get your copy of the Emmy T-shirt pattern and, if you want to make some Mommy and Me shirts, the Emily T-shirt pattern!  The Emmy is available right now at Marisa's webstore, and it is on sale right now for $6 (all single patterns are on sale for 30% as part of the last storewide sale that Marisa will be doing with a pattern release!).  This sale is good until the 29th of August.  There is also and Emily and Emmy bundle that you can get for $10.50 as part of the sale going on!!  There is also a Laela Jeyne Patterns Group on Facebook where you can keep up to date on Marisa's happenings and see what others have created using Laela Jeyne patterns.  It's also a great place to ask for help if you hit a bump!

This pattern really is perfect for every season, and with so many options, the possibilities are endless! So, don't miss out on the release sale and go grab your copy of this and the Emily today!!  Thanks so much for reading along!
We were a little done with photos by this point!  HA!

Blessings and Happy Sewing,

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Very Sporty Summer (V-Neck Sports Jersey by Snuggle My Baby Patterns)


This was the summer of great adventures for my two littles.  They learned to ride their bikes without training wheels, learned to roller skate, made friends with the neighborhood kids, and learned what it means to paddle through the water and "not even touch the bottom!".  They climbed trees and came home with skinned knees.  They learned what it means when I say, if the street lamp is on, you're in the front yard...I grew up racing the setting sun so that I could make sure at least one toe was on the front yard by the time the street lamp came on or I have no idea what would have happened because I was too chicken to test it!  They both lived in athletic shorts, and my daughter decided she needed a matching shirt right about the time that Jenn Gunn from Snuggle My Baby Patterns announced her testing call for the V-Neck Sports Jersey.  Hello?!?  It was a sign from the sewing fairies that I was all in for this test, and I was so excited when I was chosen to be part of the test team.

Okay, so before I get too far into the summer recap, let's do some pattern specifics:

- Large size range to include teens (2T-16)
- Two shirt styles: color blocked or solid
- Two sleeve options: sleeveless or short sleeve
- Can be unlined, partially lined, or fully lined
- Unique v-neck finishing method (this made for a really crisp v on the neck when it was done!)
- Your usual concise pattern instructions and photos for those of us who use them for reference

We made two different types of shirts for the test.  My first run was with some performance knit that I got from JoAnn's, and it was a little tricky to work with the fabric.  Just had to move slow and focus. People used to call me magpie because I was easily distracted by shiny objects so focus and me...ehhh.  HOWEVER, the kids love these shirts and usually beeline it to them right after they come out of the wash.  I went a couple weeks where I didn't realize they were taking them from the basket as soon as they were coming out of the dryer so I thought they had fed them to the monsters under their bed...

My daughter is all about anything that has pink so her first top had hot pink and yellow.  It really is very hot pink, too!  I'm fairly certain that you would see this shirt from space.  She opted for the sleeveless on the first one.  My son prefers sleeveless shirts and actually asks me to butcher the sleeves off his all of his t-shirts so he can have a drawer full of tank tops so a sleeveless top was a no-brainer for him.  He went with a bright blue and red for his first top...again very bright.  Both tops fit the kids like a glove, and they weren't happy about taking them off at the end of the night.  My kids wear sizes 5 and 7 in ready to wear clothes, and these were spot on for RTW clothing.

For the second shirt, I actually ordered in athletic mesh from Denver Fabrics.  My daughter is a little more conservative so she asked that I line hers while my son opted to "let his muscles and chi chi's breathe" ...I don't ask anymore. It saves me stress if I don't his was unlined.  For these, I used mesh for everything to include the neck binding.  My son calls it his holey shirt and loves it because "the wind goes right through it, Momb"; a fact which happens to be pretty key here in OK during the summer months.

The v-neck seems a lot harder than it actually is.  I made this so tough for myself and ended up almost in tears when my machine ate the fabric and wouldn't cough it up.  Jenn made a video for us that shows us how she did it, and really. just. really.  It was so simple to do.  It just requires that you go slowly which isn't really my strong suit, but if you go slowly and take it easy, the process really does work. The final product really is a clean, crisp v-neck.  I even had a lady at Hobby Lobby ask me where I got the shirts because her daughter really needs some.  Hmm, I happen to know a lady who can make her some...

Now, if you've read this far, I sure do appreciate you for following along!  Let's get you some info on how you can get your copy of the V-Neck Sports Jersey!  The pattern was released this week and is available here at Jenn's webstore!  As an added bonus, Jenn also has some back to school bundles on sale, AND if you go to the Snuggle My Baby Patterns Facebook group she has a code you can use to get an additional 25% all patterns, including this one and the bundles!  Yeah, it's a pretty sweet head on over and join the group to get your sale code, then go to the webstore and stock up on this and the other really great patterns that Jenn has available!

Blessings and Happy Sewing,

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I love Boston (boatneck dress pattern from Peek A Boo Pattern Shop)

Oh, how I love Boston!  I went to college about 2 hours from there, and I spent a lot of time in that city!  When Amy posted a preliminary photo of this dress in her pattern group, I loved the simplicity of it, and it was called the Boston Boatneck so I started feeling nostalgic for my college days. HA!  I know, it's kind of silly, but I did.  I signed up to test the dress, and I was so excited about how fast it was to sew up and how well it fit me when I tried it on!

Alright, let's get to some details about the pattern first so you know what you are getting with this pattern:

- Large pattern range: XXS - XXXL (sizes 00 - 24)
- Two length options: dress or top
- Two sleeve lengths: short or 3/4 length
- Faux or functional drawstring options
- Optional triangle accent on the neck
- Optional side pockets
- Your usual clear, concise directions with photos for those of us who need a visual reference

Okay, so this pattern calls for knits with at least 30% stretch so you can use jersey, interlock, french terry...pretty much any knit with 30% stretch.  It was so comfortable to wear, and it stood up to all day kid chasing!  Definite bonus in my book...

I personally love that this has a boatneck collar.  I have this "thing" about stuff that sits too close to my neck, and this collar gave me a lot of ease at the neck so I didn't feel like I was constantly tugging at it to get it off my neck.  I did pull my fabric a bit when I was sewing mine so that part does require some careful attention as you sew along the collar.  Nothing difficult at all, but it will require you to slow down just a little at the top.

I originally tried the top of the dress on before adding the skirt to check for fit, and I loved how it felts as a shirt.  It didn't come up too high so I felt like it would cover my belly if I had to raise my arms over my head.  I added the skirt, but I plan to make a couple of tops to wear with jeans when the weather starts to cool down here in Oklahoma.

I forgot to put the drawstring in at the end, but I went back and added it after the fact so my photos don't have the drawstring.  I also managed to somehow flip my skirt sideways when I did the button holes for the drawstring, so I have two little button holes on the side of mine.  I haven't figure out what I want to do to cover them yet so they're just kind of chilling out on the side of my dress.  My husband told me to leave it and use it as a pen holder.  He was trying to be helpful. HA!  So word of advice, check the skirt pieces before doing the button holes.  You'll have a slight curve at the top of the skirt to tell you which way is the top.

I loved that the waistline was a little lower on this dress because it helped me with my mommy belly.  A lot of the dresses of this same style that I've tried on have a higher waist so I was a little uncomfortable in them.   I am also a little bit short statured at 5'1", and I loved that I didn't need to mod the length any at the bottom.  I paired with some boots, and we were off on date night!

The dress is also a really quick sew.  I think this one came together in about an hour from start to finish.  With little helpers hanging around during the summer, I was thankful that I was able to finish this during their mommy mandated quiet time!

Okay, so if you've read this far, I appreciate you greatly!  Let's get some information on how you can pick up your copy!  The pattern is on sale today (11 August) at Amy's webstore for a special release price of $8.50!  Amy also has a Facebook group you can join and ask questions about any of her patterns or to see other people's creations using her patterns!  You can also see what some of the other testers created at the pattern listing!  Thanks so much for reading along!  Now go grab your copy and sew yourself up some love!!

Blessings and Happy Sewing,

Friday, August 5, 2016

Rocking the dog days with the Talia from Laela Jeyne Patterns

The dog days of summer have started here in Oklahoma, and anything with no sleeves is at the top of my wardrobe list right now.  When Marisa from Laela Jeyne Patterns released the technicals for her new Talia and Tula dresses, I was right there.  Using light weight, drapey fabrics, these patterns are perfect for the heat we are feeling here right now!  I made the Talia during testing so I’ll give you a quick review of the Talia!

Alright, before I get too far into what is so awesome about this pattern, let's go over some details about the dress:

- Covers a large range of sizes: 00-26
- Two neckline options: rounded or v-neck
- 8 (yes, 8!) skirt/bottom options: tunic, shark bite tunic, mini, knee, sharkbite knee, midi, maxi, faux wrap maxi
- Can be used with a wide variety of lightweight fabrics.  I used charmeuse and chiffon for my Tala, but you could also use rayon challis, double gauze, lace…pretty much anything with a good drape to it
- Fitted bodice for a more streamlined silhouette
- Full breast adjustment instructions for those who need them
- Your usual concise, detailed directions and illustrations that come with every Laela Jeyne pattern

This dress looks so much more complicated to make than it really is.  I was surprised at how quickly it came together.  There is a zipper on the side but I promise, that is really not as scary as everyone thinks when they see a zipper. I am the queen of zipper avoidance tactics when it comes to clothing, but I took the leap on this dress and was so excited that it was so easy to do. Marisa walks through the zipper installation step by step and makes it very easy to understand.

So for my dress, I used a charmeuse for the outer bodice and the skirt lining.  The outer skirt is made with a butterfly printed chiffon that I found at my local JoAnn Fabrics.  Chiffon was a little tricky to work with but lots and lots of clips.  If you think you have too many clips, just clip some more.  Once I figured out that more is more with this fabric, I had no issues at all with it!
The wind snuck up on me just as my photographer snapped the photo
Now, I’m not usually a fitted bodice type of girl, but this one slipped on like a glove when I was done!  There are darts along the front and side to help get the perfect fitted look.  I love the way it makes me look, and the soft drapey skirt was so comfortable around my legs.  The day that we did our photo shoot, it was over 100 degrees out, and I was scared it would be clinging to me by the time we walked to the lake.  It held up so well, and I actually had to hold down the skirt when the wind picked up.  Oh, yes, we have crazy wind here in Oklahoma, too!

I chose the faux wrap maxi for the bottom, and being 5’1” on a good day, I was a little worried about the length.  However, it was the perfect length on my frame with no modifications.  I think I looked a little taller in it, to be honest.  I seriously love any pattern that requires little or no modification, and Marisa goes to great lengths to make sure that her patterns work with every body type.  Having a pretty low waist and short legs, I sure do appreciate that she does that!

Okay so if you've read this far and stuck with me, I appreciate you greatly!  The great news is that the Talia is available now and is on sale $7 (full price will be $9.95)!  You can snag your copy here at at Marisa’s Laela Jeyne Patterns webstore.  You can also get the Talia and Tula bundle here for $12 (full price will be $15).  Marisa also has a FB group where we can share our LJ creations and ask questions if we hit a head scratch when we're sewing!  You can find her group here. Everyone in the group is really supportive and helpful if you ever have any questions, and Marisa is very responsive to messages if you need to contact her directly!

If you're wondering if you need this pattern, my vote would be absolutely, you do!  It’s perfect for special occasions (Marisa made a little black dress with the Talia that turned out ahh-mazing!) or for casual every day wear.  Sometimes, it's just nice for us to have a go-to pattern that we can use for when we need to do some self care sewing!  Don't forget, it's available right now on sale so go grab it today!

Blessings and Happy Sewing,