Mama Ella by Made for Mermaids

dsc00932Yes, still sewing for warm weather here in Florida!  After spending 30 months in New England (not like I was counting or anything) I have been in deserate need of tank tops this summer.  I have made maybe 6 Essential Tanks (Patterns for Pirates) and was starting to wonder how I could change things up right about the time Mama Ella was released.  What drew me initially to the pattern were all the variations on the back neckline.  It was just an added bonus that the lengths included a dress and a tie front option as well.

This was the first women’s top pattern that I have made from this pattern designer.  I was a little unsure on how the fit would be.  After downloading the pattern I pulled it up on my computer to review the pattern layout.  The one thing that bothers me about this designer is the lack traditional size names.  Instead of being a Medium or a number you are given a color.  And I can not remember my color for the life of me.  If I don’t write it down I ended up back at my computer checking again each time.  My measurements put my chest and hips into “purple” and my waist into “blue”.  I printed out both sizes with the layers option and graded out for my waist and back in again for my hips.  I shortened the length of the top by 2″.  I also lowered the armhole by 1/2″  and recalculated the arm bands.  These are my usual alterations for tank tops.

dsc00934I went with the top length with a straight hem and the higher back for my first try.  I used some very soft cotton lycra jersey from Print Knit Studios that worked out perfectly for this top.  The entire tank easily fit on a one yard cut with some to spare.

While reviewing the instructions, I decided I didn’t want to use the binding technique that was used.  I do not like the way a binding feels under my arms for tanks.  I cut my bands just the same as the pattern and sewed them as traditional bands instead.  I was able to attach my horizontal back band before top stiching around the neckband.  I was very pleased with the outcome.

Just out of curiosity I compared my Ella Tank to my Essential Tank that I know fits well.  The Ella is a bit wider than the Essential Tank.  It is not however as drapey as the Free Spirit Tank (also by Patterns for Pirates) or the Laundry Day Tee (by Love Notions).  This was a relief since neither of those tops really work for my body.  The Ella was similar enough to the Essential tank that I made the same pattern adjustments to the length and underarm for both patterns.  I also would like to note that the higher of the two backs was plenty high enough for wearing a regular bra and not have the band show.

I was so pleased with my new Ella tank.  I already have my next one planned.  I am saving some Riley Blake knit for a ruffle version next.

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Tessa by Modkid

dsc00960It is always such a pleasant experience doing a pattern test with Modkid.  I was very excited to have another opportunity to test her new pattern Tessa.

Tessa is a jogging suit pattern.  Included is patterns for both the top and the pants.  The top is similar to a traditional crew neck sweatshirt at the top.  The bottom hem features a unique pleating pattern and is slightly raised higher than the back.  The pants have inseam pockets and are a cropped length.  They are designed to hit mid calf.  This pattern is designed for your heavier weight knits.  Sizes 2t-12 are included in this pattern.

dsc00957Printing the pattern was a breeze.  I always appreciate how Modkid creates her pdf pattern pieces.  You don’t have to fit together a giant sheet of paper that takes up your entire living room floor.  You can simply cut your pieces out as you go and tape or glue them together individually.  This is how I was able to cut and tape my pattern together in the carpool line last week!  All the pattern pieces are clearly marked with notches for lining up your pockets and where to fold your pleats.  Both the front of the top and front of the pants have pleats.

I made the size 10 for my oldest daughter.  The top is made from cotton interlock that was purchased from Joanns.  The pants are made from stretch french terry from Purple Seamstress.  All the bands were cut from knit ribbing with lycra.  The drawstring is cording I pulled out from another pair of pants at the last second!

dsc00953The pattern sewed up very quick for me, just an afternoon of sewing.  The directions are very clear and easy to follow.  The lack of hems is perfect for anyone who is new to knits or who has a phobia of hemming knits.  I would also like to mention that I made no alterations to the pattern except for shortening the elastic in the waistband.  Even though her waist is significantly smaller than the size 10 in the pattern, the pants do not look too bunched up with a shorter elastic…which can sometimes be a problem.

Overall, both my daughter and I are very pleased with our Tessa jogging suit.  She has been wearing hers around since I finished them and it is still in the 90’s here so that should say a lot!  We will surely get a lot of use out of this set this winter when our temperatures cool off a bit.

The Tessa will be available for the next 24 hours for 40% with the coupon code TESSA2016 in the Modkid Etsy shop.  Hurry and get your copy and start sewing for fall!

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School’s in, Mom’s hitting the gym!

EYMM’s Back to School Tour: Moms Edition Day 3dsc00968

During the summer while the kids are home it is so easy to get settled into their schedule.  We spent our time having a blast at the zoo, swim lessons, basketball practice, and at the Twistee Treat.  It was so easy for me to hit the snooze on my alarm when it went off at 6am so I could run before they woke up!  Now that they are back in school there are no more excuses…mom is hitting the gym!

I am usually a runner.  My workout wardrobe consists of very short running skirts and shorts.  Just last week I noticed a major deficiency in my workout wardrobe.  What happened was that I failed to do laundry mid week between my Monday and Friday Spin Classes.  My 1 pair of knee length bike shorts was dirty and I had to wear a running skirt.  It was awful!  My legs kept sticking to the seat and I almost quit mid way.  On the way home I realized I desperately need some “Get Moving” bottoms in my life and I needed them fast.

EYMM’s Get Moving Bottoms are such a great pattern.  You get 5 different lengths of pants in one pattern!  There is a short shorts, bike shorts, knee length capri, calf length capri and full length option on this pattern.  You can also chose from having a regular or fold over “yoga style” waistband.  Pattern is sized XS-5X.  I live where it is hot year round.  I typically have no need for full length workout pants…even calf length is too hot most of the time.  For this tour I chose to go with the regular waistband and knee length capri.

dsc00965As with all of EYMM’s patterns they are very easy to print out and put together.  The sizes are divided into two groups.  There is a nice printing guide included in this pattern so you know whice pages you need to print.  My measurements put me in a size Medium for these pants.  I was able to only print the pages I needed which just happened to be pages 13-24.  This printed the entire pattern from the top to the full length cutting line.  This is actually perfect since the leg becomes more narrow as you reach the ankle, it is very easy to simply keep the entire pattern intact and fold it up on the cutting line you need!  Then you only need to print the pattern once.  The waist band is not included as a pattern piece, but rather listed in a cutting chart.  Unlike some patterns, the cutting chart is not printed on the leggings.   I printed the waistband measurements for both options in my size on the actual pattern piece for future reference.

The fabric I used for my leggings was a medium weight athletic knit I found at Hobby Lobby in July of this year.  I was amazed to find this in the clearance bin for $5!  I was out of town and had limited space or I would have purchased more for sure.  When you chose your fabric for the leggings make sure they have good stretch in both directions or they will not fit.  These pants are made to fit very snug.  I highly recommend printing out the handy stretch guide by EYMM to take with you to insure you find the right material!

dsc00966The pants are cut with one pattern piece, there are no side seams.  This is perfect for wearing to workout since less seams means less opportuinties to chafe and be uncomfortable!  It also makes for a quick project.  All you need to cut is two pants legs and 1 waistband and you are ready to sew.  I used my serger for all the seams and my coverstich for the hems.  I was able to make my leggings in less than 30 minutes from printing the pattern to hemming.

The fit of this pattern is great.  I like how the waistband sits higher on me.  Most other legging patterns I have tried require me to add length to the rise.  I did not have to alter these in any way.  I also love the addition of the knee length capri.  For my needs, pants for spin class, I don’t need pants to my calf.  That is just too hot.  I just need pants long enough so that none of my skin touches that bike seat when I am either sitting or standing on the bike.  I have not seen another leggings pattern offered at this length.14242312_10103146300231214_8428175988212118582_o

I realize that there are a lot of patterns for leggings available right now.  But for me, these are the only ones I don’t have to alter to fit me properly.  You can pick up the pattern here.  What a great time to pick them up for 50% off with the coupon code below.

The leggings have officially past the “spin” test!  Mike’s 9:30am spin class is no joke.  My leggings stayed put the entire 50 minutes with no chafing or irritation.  This photo is post class, so as you can guess I am wiped out!

Be sure to check out the other stops on this week’s Back to School Tour with EYMM!

 

Back-to-School-Tour-web

Don’t miss any of the posts on EYMM’s Back to School Tour: Mom’s Edition! (Note: the links below will not work until their scheduled day, but feel free to click through and check out the rest of their blogs anytime!)

September 7
Sewing by Ti and Sprouting JubeJube and Call Ajaire

September 8
Inspinration and Idlesunshine

September 9
Boutique Birdie and Needles to Say

September 10
Capture, Craft, and Cook and Kelly’s Sewing Creations and Lulu & Celeste

September 11
Adventures with Bubba and Bug and Pretty & Precious and MeMade

September 12
Five Blessings and House of Estrela and Rebel & Malice

September 13
Recap at EYMM

The kids are back in school and parents and caregivers everywhere are excited to catch up after summer break! Use coupon code PARENTSROCK to save 50% off any adult-size patterns for men and women now through 11:59pm PST Tuesday 9/13/2016. This offer may NOT be combined with other offers including bundles.

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Preparing For Fall

DSC00928Even though we don’t get very cool here in Florida, it is hard not to want to sew up some cozy clothing as September rolls around.  Today I worked with two patterns by Sofilantes to create a cute ensemble.

The tunic is the Nivalis pattern.  I used the plain bodice option, 3/4 length sleeves and the tunic length.  The fabric is a lovely cotton lycra print from Print Knit Studios.  I love how quick this tunic worked up.  Everything printed out easily and all the pattern pieces matched up perfectly.  I love that the hem is trued on the pattern, this is not usually the case with pdf designs!

DSC00927The pants are the Domi Sweat Pants pattern.  I used the full length option with no pockets.  I added cute little heart shaped patches at her knees.  To place the patches I sewed up the side leg seams and the crotch seams but left the inseam unsewn.  I put the waist band on the pants and had my daughter try them on.  I was able to mark exactly where her knee caps would be this way and still have the pants open enough to applique the hearts on!.  I did not use an embroidery machine for the patches.  I simply drew a heart shape and traced that shape onto Heat ‘n Bond Lite.  I then ironed that to the back of a scrap of the light pink velour.  Once it cooled I cut out the heart shape, peeled the back off and fused them onto the knees of the pants.  I pressed from the back of the pants as not to damage the velour!  I then placed a tear away stabilizer on the back of the design and used an zig zag stitch on my machine to go around the edges of the heart.  I know that every machine is different, but my preferred stitch width for applique is 3.0 and stitch lenght 0.8.  Once I went around both hearts I removed the excess stabilizer and completed the pants.  The hot pink velour is also from Print Knit Studio.

There you have it, two great patterns by one great designer for the perfect fall ensemble!

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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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