Super Hero Day!

DSC00902We got sort of a last minute notice that there would be “Super Hero” day at school tomorrow.  I say last minute as in, not a lot of time for me to sew.  For those picking up a shirt at Target that is plenty of time…but I can’t buy something at the store!

Lucky for me that today is the day that Modkid released their newest knit dress pattern the Aubrey Dress.  I can never pass up buying a Modkid pattern so I jumped right on it.  Even better was that she was running a special sale today to celebrate so I got the pattern for 40% off.  I didn’t purchase the dress on Etsy until 2:30pm.  By 7pm I was all finished.  I did take time to cook dinner and do the dishes in between there too.

The pattern printed off very easily in true Modkid fashion.  She does not create a huge sheet to tape together like most pdf pattern designers do.  You can just cut out your pieces and put them together seperately.  The layers function is not utilized, but it is very simple to find your size to cut out even when printing in black and white as I do.  I had my pattern pieces printed and pieced together very quickly for this one.  It did not take very much fabric at all for my size 5.  I was able to even cut a pair of capri leggings from my second fabric and still have left overs.DSC00903

The pattern is very easy to follow.  Sometimes curved seams can be tricky for beginners.  Patty included notches on the curve to help you line up your seam properly.  Sadly not enough pdf pattern designers do this!  The best part of this pattern is the sweet hidden pocket in the front of the dress.  My daughter was instantly smitten with it.  It one big pocket…just like the pocket on the front of a hoodie…but hidden inside the dress!  Such a clever feature!  I chose to do the shortest sleeve on the pattern.  This version is simply a band added to the short dolman sleeve.  You can also chose an elbow length sleeve or a long sleeve for this dress.

Overall I am so happy with how this dress came out.  It will be so perfect for her to wear for Super Hero Day at school tomorrow.  If you are searching for a simple, comfy dress to showcase some fun fabrics this would be the perfect dress.  And if you hurry you can catch it on sale too!

The leggings I used to match the dress are the Bonny Leggings by Made for Mermaids.  These are a free pattern you can get a code for in their facebook group.  They come in 4 different lengths (boy shorts, bike shorts, capri and full length) as well as two different waistband styles (regular and fold over).  So cute and easy to whip up!

The fabric for this outfit all came from Print Knit Studio.  You can find these fabrics and many more for a great price in their facebook group.

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Who gets the butterflies?

DSC00901I had one yard of a really cute burn-out butterfly knit from Print Knit Studio that both girls staked a claim on.  They both had very different ideas but most important was that they not match!  They both helped with the fabric and pattern selections.  I think they did a great job!  So let’s look at what they picked out.

First up are the tops.  Both of the tops are made from the Tessa Swing Tank by Funktional Threads.  This little tank is a great wardrobe staple for my girls.  The pattern only cost $1 and goes up to size 16.  Such a great bargain.  My oldest daughter is wearing a size 10 Tessa with no alterations.  She is very slender and I did not take in the tank, despite that we aren’t having issues with gaping armholes or the straps falling off her shoulders like we usually do.  She really enjoys this style and finds it very comfortable.  DSC00899My youngest is wearing an altered Tessa.  She does not care for the high-low hem style and wanting something a little more slim.  To do this all I did was to continue the straight side down instead of flaring out at the waist.  Then I lined up the front and back at the armscye edge and simply cut it off at the bottom straight across at the highest point on the front piece.  I really like the was this fits her.  It is not snug or baggy.  Just the right fit.
When you print out the Tessa Tank it is layed out so nicely, especially for a pattern with so many sizes included.  The layers feature is not used for this pattern, but I had no difficulty finding my lines to cut out the tops.  I print in black and white.  The pattern pieces line up perfectly.  The neckbands are a great length and width as well.  They weren’t overly stretched and lay flat after being sewn in and coverstitched down.  I can’t recommend this pattern enough.

DSC00895The skirt and pants are both patterns by Sofilantjes.  The Domi Sweat Pants and the Liv Skirt are both long time favorites of ours.  The Liv Skirt is actually a free pattern in the Sofilantjes facebook group.  There are very few pattern pieces to this cute little skirt.  Easy to print and put together.  It doesn’t require elastic and uses very little fabric.  I like to add shorts under the Liv skirt to make a a skort.  I posted a tutorial on the process here.  It is the perfect pattern for small cuts of fabric or using up scraps.  My oldest daughter doesn’t care for skirts anymore.  I was so glad when the Domi Sweat Pants pattern came out since it had the same pockets on the front.  Many times I have still been able to coordinate the girls somewhat with one in shorts and one in a skirt!  There are 3 lengths to the Domis (shorts, 3/4, and full length).  The shorts are just about knee length which is perfect for my long legged daughter.  The 3/4 and full length both include cuffs.  This is the first time we have tried the 3/4 length and it just might be her favorite.  She says they are so comfortable and already has requested another pair!

For both these fun outfits I only used 1 yard of the butterfly burnout, less than 1 yard of the purple (the shorts under the Liv skirt are also made from the purple) and a fat half of the pastel stripes.  All the fabrics were from Print Knit Studio.  You can find out more information in their facebook group.

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The Emily Flounce Dress by Funktional Threads

DSC00888The Emily Flounce Dress is an adorable knit dress pattern with tons of options.  There are two different skirt styles (asymetrical or hi-low), a regular and slim fit and 4 different neckline variations (ruffle, plain, flutter sleeve, or double layer flutter sleeve).  You can also mix up the flouce layers on the skirt.  You can just sew the bottom layer for a simple dress, use all three or any combination in between.

This dress is View B the asymetrical hemline.  I sewed a slim size 6 for my almost 6 year old.  I used all three layers of the flounce skirt and used the regular neck flounce ruffle.  I have also made View A with the hi-low hemline for both my girls several years ago.  Both styles have been a big hit in our house!

DSC00889I really love how easy this dress goes together.  It is one of those outfits with a big wow factor that looks much more complicated than it really is.  I love that it has the slim option so I don’t have to adjust the pattern for my thin daughters.  I love how the pattern is pieced together.  This pattern is not one you have to lay out on your kitchen floor and piece together in one huge sheet.  You can sit at a normal table and put the pieces together as you go along.  There are no layers for this pattern.  I print in black and white and had no problem tracing off the size I needed.  There is a printing guide that allows you to only print the pages you need for each option.  Finally, I love how easy this dress wears.

The fabric I used for this dress was purchased from Print Knit Studios.  Both prints were a nice medium weight cotton lycra knit.  Even though both had red, neither print ran or bled in the wash.  I would highly recommend this two prints.

The embroidery design was not done with an embroidery machine.  I simply traced a picture from a coloring book and hand pieced the applique.  It was sewn with a zig zag stitch on my regular sewing machine.

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Chi Town Chinos by Alina Sewing + Design Co

chinosChinos and tank tops are wardrobe staples for me during the warm months.  And now that we are back in FL it will worn year round.  This is the 3rd pattern I have attempted since last summer to achieve this style.  The first pattern was just not big enough in the backside.  I needed to add some significant rise and probably some more material in general back there.  Other reviewers had made similar comments and were actually using 1 size larger for the back pieces than the front.  The second pattern fit my rear well but had too long of a rise in the front.  I had a saggy, bunchy crotch once I moved around some.  They also did not have any front pockets.  I could make one of these patterns work with some alterations, but I had just been too lazy to take out my patterns and actually do that just yet.  I was very excited a few weeks ago when someone mentioned that a new designer had put out a new pattern for chino shorts.  All the tester photos just looked perfect so I purchased the pattern and gave it a whirl.

Alina Sewing + Design Co is a new pattern designer.  This pattern is her first release.  Typically I am pretty cautious when it comes to a new designer, but it is clear that she really took her time and put out a great product for her first run.  The “Chi Town Chinos” pattern includes two views.  The first view is a pair of shorts with a fly zipper.  The second view is of a skirt with a fly zipper.  Both views include sizes 0-18 (24-36 1/2″ waist).  The pattern is available for purchase on her website.

The pattern pdf is very well designed.  The diagrams are all very clean.  No real photos are used in the directions, which I prefer.  Sewing a pair of shorts with a fly zipper is not exactly “beginner” level stuff.  When the designer mentions a new technique to use a clear definition follows explaining that technique in detail.  Links are also offered for even more information.

chinos_2The pattern features size layers, so you will only print the sizes you need.  I print in black and white and had no issues seeing where to cut for my size. All the pages lined up very easily.  There is a printing guide for you that explains which file to use for how you plan to print and what pages you will print for the view and size you are making.  My only issue with printing was that one of the notches for the back dart on size 8 just happens to land right in that tiny area that nothing prints on…those who are familiar with pdf patterns know what I am talking about.  It was easy enough to figure out but I just wanted to mention it here as I thought I was going crazy and not finding it at first until I went back to my computer screen and zoomed in!

Sewing the shorts took a little longer than my recent projects have taken.  Since this was my first time making this pattern I followed every single step exactly as the pattern called for.  My favorite part of this pattern is that she has you do a muslin first.  Once I saw I was getting a pretty good fit on the muslin I went ahead and cut my size out of my royal blue Rodeo fabric from Joann’s.  Not to shabby for around $5.  I was easily able to get all my pieces cut from the recommended 1 1/8 yards for 42″ width fabric.  My pocket bags and binding were from my very last scrap of Jennifer Paganelli fabric I had been holding ontoDSC00850.

I started sewing the shorts yesterday late in the afternoon.  I made it through the zipper installation before calling it a day.  I have quite a bit of experience installing a fly zipper, but even so the directions made it very easy to do.  The tough part for me is always the waistband and facings.  I can always get my zipper in, and have the most perfect skirt or shorts in front of me and totally screw up the waist and ruin them.  For me it is just a nightmare catching the facing down neatly while top stitching the front.  I have pinned, used tape, glue, you name it.  It just looks ugly.  I was glad to see I would not have to fight with that in this pattern.  You can do it the other way or you can put a pretty bias binding along the bottom edge of your facing.  That way you don’t have to worry about that facing coming unfolded while you topstitch it down.  See how pretty the inside looks?

Overall, I am extremely pleased with how my shorts came out.  Considering these were made from cheap fabric as a “wearable muslin” I think they came out very well.  Now I plan on buying some proper twill and making every shade of the rainbow!  I also will be making a skirt soon too.  Who doesn’t need a denim skirt in their wardrobe?  I am very excited to have found Alina Sewing + Design Co and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

The top I am wearing in the pictures is the Essential Tank by Patterns for Pirates.  I will have a seperate blog post reviewing this pattern, as I have already sewn up 10 versions of it this summer…lol!

***I am not affiliated with Alina Sewing + Design in anyway.  I paid for this pattern and was not a pattern tester***

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Greetings from the Sunshine State!

Hello out there.  It is good to be back after a long break.  Our family has once again made a cross country move.  We are back in the Sunshine State!  I have been busy getting the household back in order, getting the kids into school before it ended for the summer, and sewing them some summer clothing.  Summer was so short in Massachusetts that I avoided sewing summer clothes because they barely wore them before the season was over and then had outgrown them before the next summer arrived.  My kids got here with very few articles of summer clothing!  They didn’t even have swimsuits!  The first sewn outfit in FL was officially the Home Grown Tank by Little Lizard King.

DSC00703The Home Grown Tank is going to quickly be a staple for my youngest daughter’s wardrobe.  She is a typical 5 year old who loves the largest, wildest fabric prints that the store carries.  This dress uses stretch knits for the bodice and woven non stretch fabrics for the skirt.  I was able to use my last piece of Batgirl fabric for this dress.  I added the applique with my regular machine by tracing the shape onto heat n bond lite, fusing it to the bodice, and using a zig zag stitch on my regular machine to attach it.  The waist band on the pattern is a traditional tied waistband with woven, non stretch fabrics.  However, I much prefer the knit waist band that is used on Little Lizard King’s other pattern The Blue Ribbon Dress.  My daughter’s both prefer this waist band since they hate having a knot on their backs!

DSC00706There are very few pattern pieces to cut out for this pattern.  Just the bodice.  The rest of the pieces are rectangular pieces that you are given measurements for in a chart.  You can make this as a tunic or dress, with or without a contrast band at the bottom of the skirt.  At first I was intimidated by the bindings.  I will admit that the first time it was a challenge, even for an experienced seamstress familiar with sewing with knits.  Most of the time when I sew bindings I at least sew one edge down before folding the fabric over….this makes it easy to catch both sides.  Because of the top part of the strap not being attached to anything sewing down one side first becomes very difficult.  This means you have to fold the binding over both sides and attach in one swoop.  I admit to not catching the backside of the binding in a few spots the first time.  After doing the second strap I felt much more confident.

DSC00704Overall, I was very happy with this pattern.  I do plan on making several more.  I had avoided purchasing this pattern because it is so similar to their other pattern The Blue Ribbon Dress, and it was one of the more pricey pdf patterns I have purchased.  However, I am very glad I did.  Even though the skirt is basically the same I do appreciate the style of the bodice and feel we will get good use out of it here in FL.

**Please note that I was not a tester for this pattern or compensated in anyway for this review.  I purchased and made the pattern on my own just like everyone else!**

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Snowed in With the Laundry Day Tee

laundrytee_blogtourWelcome to day 5 of the Love Notions “For the Love of Tunics and Dresses” blog tour!  Today I will be featuring the Laundry Day Tunic.  Ever since the Laundry Day pattern has been released it seems to be my go to knit top pattern.  I probably have enough at this point to wear one each day of the week!  I really wanted to change it up for my blog post and show just how diverse of a pattern it really is.  I had planned on mashing the Sloane Sweater, also by Love Notions, to achieve a color blocked yoke.  But as you can probably guess by my title, we have been snowed in!  We did not have power for a fDSC00579ew days and that meant no printing.  I had to get creative with my well loved Laundry Day Tee patterns pieces I already had and a pencil.  I will be walking you threw my process below.

First off, if you don’t already have a copy of the Laundry Day Tee you will need to visit the Love Notions website and download your copy.  I highly advise you join the Love Notions facebook group before you download for a very special coupon code!  Once you have your pattern downloaded print out all our patter pieces.  You can chose to print only the size you need using the layers feature in the pattern.  Tape the pieces together and cut them all out.

DSC00580Here is where I deviated from the pattern.  First of all I took some paper and traced the top of the back pattern piece.  I extened it 1/2″ beyond the edge of the armscye, but you can draw your line for where ever you chose.  Then I added a seam allowance below that so I can sew it to the bottom part of the shirt later.  Next I draw the seam line on the top where the shoulder seam will go.  I then laid the front of the shirt on my tracing paper so that it’s seam line also lines up.  I then trace around the front piece.  I decided to extend the color blocking about halfway down the front of the neckline.  Don’t forget to add your seam allowance!  Now you will have one piece that you will cut on the fold that will extend from the back of the top to the front.

For the bottom of the shirt on both the front and the back I was able to just fold down the top part of the pattern I didn’t need but remembering to include that seam allowance!DSC00570

Now that you have your pattern pieces all created you are ready to cut your fabric.  For my color blocking insert I used a red cotton lycra with a piece of black stretch lace over it.  I cut both pieces exactly the same from my 1 continuous clolor blocked piece.  Next I cut my sleeves, neckband, bottom front and the back piece all from a medium weight black cotton lyca.  Once I had all my fabric cut I carefully pinned the back top to the back bottom piece and sewed them together.  I then DSC00581topstitched the seam with my cover stitch.  Flip your tunic over and now sew the front top pieces to the front bottom piece and top stitch them down.  Now you can continue on with the pattern instructions for adding the sleeves, neckband and hems.

I really love how the color blocking gave my pattern a totally new look.  I can’t wait to experiment some more with color blocking my favorite tee.

Please take some time to check out some of the other great stops on the blog tour.  Also make sure you enter the a a Rafflecopter giveaway  for a chance to win 5 Love Notions patterns of your choice and a $50 Girl Charlee gift card!



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Nivalis Dress by Sofilantjes

Sofilantjes has done it yet again!  Just released is her new pattern titled Nivalis.  Nivalis is a very sweet tunic and dress with 3 collar options.  You can chose a regular neckband, a fold down collar or a hood.  The sleeves lengths include cap, 3/4 and long sleeve.  The size range is from 12m all the way through 14yr.  For the next two days you can get the pattern for only $5 to celebrate it’s release.  The regular price of the pattern will be $8.95.DSC00545

For my dress I chose to use the regular neckband, long sleeves, and the dress length.  My daughter wears a size 5 and fits the pattern sizing exactly for this size.  I made no alterations to the pattern at all, sewing it exactly as the pattern called for.

To start, I opened the pattern in Adobe and only selected the size I was printing, which was size 5.  This hid all the other layers so I was able to save both my ink and my eyes!  My pattern pieces fit together easily and I was able to print only the pieces I needed by following the included printing guide.  For my dress there were very few pieces needed.  A dress front, back, sleeve, neckband and the side tabs.  I was able to get my pattern pieces cut quickly and was ready to sew in no time.DSC00546

The pattern uses clear vector diagrams to help explain the steps in the pattern.  This is personally my preferred illustration method over real photos.  I just find them much clearer.  The pattern directions are available in both English and Dutch.  I was able to have my dress together very quickly.

I found the fit to be good.  The length of both the sleeves and the bottom hem hit where I would expect them too.  The dress hits right at the top of her knees.  The body of the dress from the waist up is fitted, so if your child is in between sizes for the chest or waist I would either size up or grade out.DSC00549

I really like the way this dress turned out.  It is a very classic style that is perfect to showcase a busy print.  With the side tabs and clean lines you could also easily dress this up with solid colors for a more formal dress as well.  Even my oldest daughter has requested one, but in a solid color, to wear over her leggings.  I definitely plan on sewing up another Nivalis soon.  I can’t wait to try the fold over collar next!

The Nivalis pattern is available at the Sofilantjes website.  Take a look around and check out her other lovely patterns while you are there!

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