May 21, 2015

The Pattern Exam: Leggings PDF Patterns Reviewed

We just want to take a quick minute to let you know that this month we reviewed PDF Patterns for Leggings over at The Pattern Exam. There are 10 different patterns that we as a group have been working hard to assemble garments from and review. These reviews are not only about fit but also about the components included in each pattern. We hope that The Pattern Exam can become a very useful research tool for PDF Pattern consumers. Come check it out and let me know what you think!

May 20, 2015

OUSM Cecilia Puff Tee Review

Recently I was invited to test a new pattern for Once Upon a Sewing Machine:
The Cecilia Puff Tee is a cute, simple, & perfectly girly knit top for everyday wear. The pattern was a clear & well-written, with line drawing illustrations depicting each step.  I love that I could use the layers option to save paper & print just the size I needed.  The sizing for this pattern is 12 months to 8 years, so I know I'll get plenty of use out of it for my newborn (in a few months) & for my rambunctious pre-schooler as they continue to grow.

From start to finish, it took less than an hour, which is perfect for this busy mama! I especially love the detail of the puffed sleeve. It's not too poofy for my petite girl, yet it adds the perfect touch of femininity.

This little firecracker adores her new shirt & I am looking forward to sewing a bunch more for her summer wardrobe! We also have a ton of new knits in our SHOP to choose from.

Jump in & add this pattern to your collection. I am sure you'll come back to it time & again. The best part is... Once Upon a Sewing Machine is graciously offering this pattern for FREE to their newsletter subscribers! Don't forget to head over there and say hi and then stop by our SHOP for a selection of great knits to get stitching right away!
- Leah

May 18, 2015

One Thimble Issue 7: Alice and Everest

It's my turn to share my creations from One Thimble's Issue #7. This enchanting issue is filled with 10 patterns and 25 articles related to sewing, techniques and handmade businesses. I promise that this is an issue that you will read time and time again!

I have two patterns that I completed from this magazine to share with you. The first is a new pair of pants from Gracious Threads, called the Everest Pants. I adore Jessica from Gracious Threads and am so happy for her to be part of this Issue. The Everest Pants are a loose fitting pant that can be constructed with either a bottom weight fabric or a knit. My little man is 4 and so I choose to use bottom weight fabric. I have had a yard of Premier Prints Vintage Air that I had been hoarding for the perfect project and decided now was the time to cut into it.

What makes these pants so unique and fun is the bottom front panel of each leg which can be made in a coordinating fabric for a bit of contrast.

If you look closely at this front panel you will also notice that there are a few pleats and some decorative stitching. These details are simple, well explained in the tutorial, and will take your sewing to the next level.

The pattern also includes pockets, an elastic back waistband with a faux front tie, and can be fully lined for cold weather or extra durability. It is a pattern that can be unisex, used over and over and completed in a few uninterrupted hours of sewing bliss. I am very happy with the overall fit, the look, and the ease of this pattern.

I also decided that I was going to try something outside of my comfort zone by attempting to recreate Ric-Rac & Retro's "Down the Rabbit Hole Alice Applique". I absolutely swoon over Ric-Rac & Retros many creations and this pattern made me feel like one of the cool kids! I wanted to do something different with the applique. So rather than putting it on to a piece of clothing...

I made a pocket pillow! My ladies love to read in bed and so  I thought this would be a great addition to their bedroom. I wanted it to look as if Alice was falling down the rabbit hole so i left a large negative space on the right and used scraps of fabric to create the right side of the pillow and the pocket. I use Jann Newton' Custom Bedding class on Craftsy to create the whimsical knife pleats ruffles and to form a pillow without the dreaded dog-ears!

I could not be happier with the pillow, but the highlight is the adorable Alice applique on the left. Making this applique was a great use of my scraps. It is so fun to see some of my favorite fabrics come together to create this whimsical character! I do not have a darning foot (although I am now thinking about purchasing one) so I used my clear foot to sew my 'sketch lines' on. The great thing is that it is supposed to look like a sketch, so you don't have to be perfect. I worked slowly and did one layer at a time.

My only concern about this project is how much I enjoyed myself! I really want to make more and hope that they will be releasing more patterns soon! I hope that you have enjoyed seeing my creations and I thank you for visiting with me today. I love One Thimble's previous issues and this Issue, #7, is just as good! I can not wait to see what is to come for One Thimble in Issue #8. Until then, follow along with the blog tour by using the links below:

May 7, 2015

Patttern Revolution's Women's PDF Pattern Bundle: Jocole A-Line Shift Dress Tunic

It is time to Bundle UP again! The best part is that this time you can justify it as a Mother's Day gift to yourself - because you are worth it!

While I love to make clothing for my children I find that I rarely take the time to make anything proper for me. I do, however spend plenty of time standing in my closet looking at all the clothes hanging there and muse about what I could possibly wear to make myself feel a bit more beautiful, more put together, or even plain ol' comfy. I have now entered the stage of life where I know there will be no more babies and so I can mentally justify spending the time and money to make my wardrobe more of a priority. So when I heard that the next bundle put together by Pattern Revolution was for Women I was thrilled. I choose to make the A-Line Shift Dress Tunic by Jocole. I had some fabrics from Cotton & Steel that I have been hoarding for months and so I figured it was time to put them to use.

This is my first time using a PDF Pattern by Jocole and I was thrilled to finally get the chance! The pattern is packed with information. Not only does it include tips on how to size your amazing womanly body, but it also has links to tutorials about how to alter the pattern to get the best fit on your body.
Creating a muslin is a must for this pattern. By doing this you will be able to ensure that your breast darts fall on a flattering line and allows the front bodice to fit smoothly. I happen to be small chested (I am a 36B with a bit of empty room in there) and so I had to adjust the beast dart a few times to get the lines in the right spot.
Next comes the neck line. Jocoles A-Line Shift dress has two neck line options; a boatneck and scoopneck. I LOVE boatnecks, but they always extend way off my shoulders, which is a style that I am not comfortable with. So I choose to make a scoop neck. This style however, at first, made the collar stand up around my neck in a very unflattering way. So it was back to the pattern to see what I could do to fix this. I ended up having to blend the Large and Medium on the neck line to accommodate for my narrow shoulders. I also had the attach the shoulder on an angle. This is a great little trick that I learned from this experience. In the picture below you can see my basting lines as I fussed to get the right fit
So I discovered that I have narrow and square shoulders. Why does this matter?  Well, patterns are just a base that can be used to make a garment that fits your body. Sometimes that means that your body is perfect for a particular style. Other times it means that your body and the style you are working. No fear all you need to do is make a few adjustments -to the pattern of course (because you are awesome the way you are) and also accept the limitations of your beautiful shape. To complete my custom fit I also had to work on the width of the shirt in general. I again had to size down. I began with an XL and for the side seams came in just under a large. I used this article from Threads to help me in my alterations.

Knowing what your body type is like will help you as you use PDF Patterns to create a garment that fits your exact shape. This is something that you can not get from a store bought outfit and one of the reasons that I am so excited to spend a little time and money on myself and my wardrobe.

The Women's Bundle that Pattern Revolution has created for you this time is a great place to start! There are shorts and pants, a few dress, and great tops. You can mix and match these to add some style to your summer wardrobe or just to help you feel as beautiful as you truly are. Remember the more patterns you add to your cart, the bigger your discount will be and the better your clothes will fit you! You can keep in contact with us on Facebook and head over to our SHOP to chose from some great fabrics to use with your new Bundle Patterns. Happy Sewing and thanks for stopping by today.

May 3, 2015

Star Wars Roundup - May the 4th Be With You!

If there is one thing that you need to know about me, it's that I am and always have been a Star Wars nerd. However I am not the kind to leave toys pristine in their boxes. Oh, no! I love to play with my toys, pretending that Luke is walking through the deserts on Tatooine or that Han & Leia are walking on the forest moon of Endor. Leah and her family are huge fans as well, so it should come as no surprise that we we are here today to say....May the 4th be with you...or for a more purest approach...

To honor and celebrate Star Wars, in all its amazing glory, we have compiled a round up of some of our favorite Star Wars clothing creations from our blogging friends. You can also follow our Pinterest boards, Gemia's Star Wars Nerd Board or Leah's Star Wars Board for all the Star Wars inspiration that you will ever need! And here is the link to the Star Wars inspired fonts that we used as well.

We are also holding a SALE for the next four days in our SHOP! We have set up a section dedicated to Star Wars Fabrics ONLY and have included some amazing Custom Bundles in limited quantities. If you go check it out you might even find a few surprises to brighten your day! You also can have free shipping (US domestic shipping only) on any purchase that includes Star Wars fabrics, just enter the coupon code 'HYPERSPACE' at checkout. Hold on to your lightsabers because that's not it, with any purchase of $40.00 USD or more (before shipping costs) you will receive a Half Yard Cut of Star Wars III Rebel Ships Space for FREE! Be sure to click on the links for this roundup and read the stories behind the pictures, because.....


If you have any fun Star Wars crafts, decorations, clothing items, or costumes that you would like to share with us, feel free to add them to the comments below and remember

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