Sep 5, 2014

Back to School Clothes, Patterns, and Fabric

I spent a bunch of time this summer playing with my kids but I also spent some time testing patterns and thus creating a great collection of Back to School clothes! It was so much fun to work with so many great designers and to continue to develop my skills. Today I want to share with you my collection so far; yes I have one or two more in the works. I will link the pictures to the patterns which they came from and the fabric that I used. Please take a minute to check a few out and tell me which ones are your favorites.
So many people say that it is easier and cheaper to just go buy your clothes. Well, it might be, but let me take a minute to tell you why I like to sew clothes for my kids. 

(1) I like to be in control of what my kids are wearing and what those clothes say about our family. Sound rude? Sorry, but I really feel like clothing choices say a lot about your style and who you are. I want my kids to be just that, kids! They are just beginning to figure out what style is and how to create it for themselves, but while they will still give me control I will take it. 

(2) I need my clothes to last! While it might be 'cheaper' to go over to a department store and just pick something out (and trust me we do this), I know what I am paying for. The clothes I make are durable. I need them to be, because they need to survive through more than one child and more than one summer. I am not going to make every shirt, dress, and pair of undies that my children wear, but the items I make, survive. 

(3) Making my own clothes also teaches me how to repair and mend store bought clothes so that I can use them for more than one summer. I am a use it until the wheels pop off and the engine falls out kinda girl. If I can fix it you better be sure that I will and the skill of sewing and mending is a great skill to have!
(4) It's fun! It keeps me thinking and learning new things. It makes me prioritize my time and guess what, I ENJOY IT! 
Frolicking Forest - Blue Fox by Camelot Fabrics

(5) I LOVE FABRIC and color and mixing & matching textures. Sewing clothes gives me a very particle and necessary reason to use fabric, which means I have an excuse to buy fabric; Yes, I know this is woman's logic, but when it works it works.
If you want to more about these patterns before you buy them check out or Phat Reviews. But I will say right here and now, that all of these patterns are fantastic! The designers are amazing and of course the fabrics come from this great little shop, called Phat Quarters, that I would highly recommend and they happen to be running a Back 2 School Sale right now!

Aug 26, 2014

The Henday Zip-Up Hoodie by Gracious Threads - A Review

The sun is beginning to set just a bit earlier up her in the PNW and school is right around the corner. So to round off the items on my school 'To-Make' list I just had to throw in this amazing hoodie by Jessica DeWitt at Gracious Threads. The Henday Zip-Up Hoodie.

This is yet another pattern that has been put into my must-make-again drawer. (To be quite honest I already have 2 more cut out for my other ladies and then I also bought fleece to make 5 more...I know, I have problems!) The Henday Zip-Up Hoodie is a pattern that you can use for the little ladies in your lives and for the little men too! Check out the one that Joanna McAlister made for her little man at her blog Gal Originals Creations. It also is diversital in the fact that it has two length options; Crop and Regular. I choose the Crop version and am delighted with the results!
Not only does this pattern have two length version but it also has the option to include welted pockets. What is nice about having options is that you do not have to include them. If you are a beginner with fabric and a sewing machine stick to a pocket-less version, like I did. But, if you want to challenge yourself a little then try the welted pocket. They really are fun and can be used on all sorts of clothing pieces and with Jessica's instructions you will be sure to figure it out.
Also included in the pattern, are the lovely details of a bands. I love how they create 'the look' and yet it are very practical up here in the north come fall and winter when you want to keep the cold air away from you little ones' body. The simple band around the wrist on the sleeves keep the crisp air out and traps the body heat in and looks so stylish; a definite win-win!
 As always Jessica has created another pattern that is easy to follow with detailed instructions and clear visual images. Using any of her patterns you are sure to stitch up fun and exciting pieces of clothing that your kids want to wear! So zip on over to Gracious Threads and grab this awesome pattern and then come hop over to our shop, Phat Quarters for some great fabric and get those sewing machines working!

Aug 11, 2014

Elastic to the Rescue!

One of the things that my family enjoys in the summer is swimming in the pool! My mother and father in-law have a great pool that is warm, clean, and always crowded with family and friends. My in-laws have a bucket filled with old-school snorkeling goggles for the kids to use when swimming. But after a long summer of swimming with 15 grandkids, it is rare to find a pair of goggles that are not on the brink of destruction!
And so it was the other day when we had our official last family swim party of the summer. My 7 year old lady pulled on her goggles and the plastic band that secures it, snapped. This resulted in pure devastation for her. The "WHOLE SUMMER" was ruined! Ahhh what is a mother to do?

Refer to the  matriarch of the family of course. And Grandma to the rescue it was! She ran into her sewing room and came out with a scrap piece of banded elastic. Off came the sun-dried broken plastic band and on went the elastic; the "WHOLE SUMMER" was saved by grandma's ingenuity and elastic! 

The elastic worked wonderfully! I was worried about it pulling out of the clasps but once it was wet it swelled up and never budged. It was supper stretchy which made it easy to swap between the kids with out having to adjust it and it was much cheaper than running out to the store to find yet another pair of goggles.

Does your sewing room ever come to your rescue? We would love to hear your stories in the comments below. Enjoy the last days of summer!

Aug 8, 2014


I have just finished a new dress for my oldest little lady and I am in LOVE with how it came out! The pattern still has a few tweaks that the amazing designer is figuring out but it will be well worth the wait.

I choose to use the some of the newest fabric in our shop, Agave Field and Apricot from Art Gallery's Arizona line. This fabric is rich in color and so soft to the touch! It is a summer dream come true. So, even though I have to wait to share the pattern with you I don't have to wait to share the fabric. That can be yours right now! Starting right now (8/8/14) until tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 9th at midnight PST, or until our supplies run out, you can purchase Art Gallery's, Agave Field for $9 a yard! In addition to this great price, for every yard that you purchase you will be entered into our Phat Friday GIVEAWAY for a fat quarter of a different fabric (of our choice) also from in the Arizona line. The winner will be chosen on Monday and the fat quarter will be shipped with their original purchase.

Head over to our SHOP to see all the new fabric that we have from Art Gallery!

Jul 24, 2014

E&M Shirt No.6 Review

Allison at E+M Patterns has created a closet staple with her newest pattern, Shirt No.6! You can get yours at her SHOP for the debut price of $5 until Midnight (PST) on Friday July 25th. After that it will be available for $8, still a great deal for an awesome shirt! Thanks to Allison, you can also enter to WIN a pattern at the end of this post! Whoot-Whoot!!
So I must admit, this was my first real knit project outside of a few maternity skirts that I made for myself a few years ago. I LOVE knits. There are so many different weaves and styles. I love how soft a feather weight jersey dress can be in the summer breeze, how vibrant the colors are on a simple tee-shirt knit, the comforting weight of an interlock knit shall on my shoulders on a cold winter morning. I love jersey, BUT I am scared to death to sew with it. My ever growing belly hid the many mistakes in the maternity skirts that I made and my scarfs are to simple to truly be called masterpieces. So I was so excited when I stumbled across the tester call for E&M Patterns and jersey shirt.
While I do not feel I can yet claim victory over my fear of jersey projects, I can definitely report that this was much easier than I feared! I must say that in part I think it was all the little tips and feedback that I got from Allison at E&M Patterns during the process. It is funny how you think that something is 'so, not doable' until you can see and read exactly how it all works. I must have tried to bind this adorable key-hole on the back neck piece about 5 times. Then I discovered the joy of stay-tape, yahoo!

I ended up making two of these shirts using different types of fabric for each. I started off with a great neon-pink polka-dot feather-weight jersey that screamed pre-teen and 80's flashbacks. But when I started to make my shirt I realized it also screamed 'see-through'....whoops. So I jumped in my car and ran over to Walmart and picked up an XL neon pink tee-shirt from the crafting section for $2.50. Then I came home and cut that bad-boy into pieces, pattern pieces that is. I still wanted to use the neon pink polka-dots so I used it as an over-lay on the front of the shirt and alone for the flutter sleeves.
I choose the Hi/Low hem option and created with the actual hemming by using the hem of the shirt. I think when I do the next one using and overlay I will not attach the overlay to the bottom hem as I did this time, but rather hem it alone so it will flow better. Yet, I am super happy with this shirt. My Ansley is in-love with it says it makes her feel special. There is not much better than that!
With my second attempt I used a heavier jersey, that had yet more neon-colors in really fun patterns with in the little pin-stripes. It is so bright and fun! I love flutter sleeves for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is that for my family we always wear sleeves and in the summer my girls have a tendency to feel burdened by them. A great little flutter sleeve covers enough of the shoulder and yet is light and breezy for hot summer days. A win-win for my family.
With all the options that this pattern has, from a Hi/Low Hem Shirt to a fun little dress, with sleeves or without; this is definitely a pattern that I will be coming back to time and time again! So click on over to E&M Patterns on Etsy and grab your own.


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