Aqua Lawn Zippy Top

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ok guys don't freak out.... But I finally sewed something! It feels so good to get behind my machine after a week of complete crazy. Life really happened over the past week, and to be honest, I lost total motivation to make anything for the girls, or even myself. I let life get me down, which is not like me whatsoever. This lead me to put total trust in God and allow Him to take full control of the situation. Once I did that, everything fell in place. Funny how He works right?

Now onto what I sewed. I am beyond excited to say that "For the first time in FOREVER", I sewed a shirt for myself. Say what??? Yup, I did, and I am pretty impressed. Kate from the amazing See Kate Sew is holding Zippy Top sewalong that will end on April 30th. I had planned on making this top for Easter to coordinate with the girls, but again, life happened and it was pushed to the back burner. 

Disclaimer: I have not wanted to sew/post for my post Cora body because I saw myself as "unattractive, large and not worthy of being seen". But I had such a misconception of myself. As Psalm 139:14 says "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

Kate makes sewing the Zippy Top so easy. Her instructions are spot on. My favorite part of the top is the zipper. Ah, I love an exposed zipper. The way she shows you how to insert it is perfectly simple. Some tutorials make it sound way confusing, but Kate lays it out for you very well.  

The Zippy Top has an option to make it a crop top. I opted out of this due to being self conscious in the tummy area, but I obviously had a brain lapse because it would make it so much easier to nurse lol oh well! Still thinking I might chop it a little higher to allow for that. 

I used this fabric from Joann's and it was a dream to work with! The fabric is an aqua lawn from their Lisette Collection. I have never sewn with lawn before, but I see more of it in my future. 

Another really great thing with this top is that Kate has a couple awesome hacks to turn it into a completely different top or dress. The next one I am going to make is the zippy top front hack. If you'd like to add a decorative pocket, you can click here. And if you would like to make it into a super cute dress, she shows you how to do that here too!

This little girl was worth EVERY pound that I gained. I have realized that my inner beauty more than matches  my outer, even if it isn't what it was before. Sewing the Zippy Top for myself has given me a new found outlook on accepting how my baby body is now, at the current time. I know that in a year I will look completely different, so it is better to stay in today, and just enjoy this little peanut instead of obsessing about not being back to model status!

Kate, wonderful pattern you have here dear. I LOVE my Zippy Top!

And to my darling Ryan, thank you for taking the photos. I love you <3

Easter Caroline Party Dress

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Perfect Pattern Parcel has came and went; did you get yours?! There were so many wonderful patterns included, all of which I did not have in my pattern stash. Win! If you missed it, Kollabora and the Perfect Pattern Parcel are teaming up together to continue the fun in a sewalong! What is Kollabora you say? Kollabora is a hub for makers by makers to share their fantastic creations with the crafting world. Anyone from knitters to DIY'ers are welcome! So if you haven't joined the Kollabora band wagon, jump on! In order to sew along with the pattern party, all you need to do is put "Pattern Parcel #2" in the "Supplies" box, and it will show up in the PPP feed. How easy was that?! You can follow me on Kollabora here :)

Alright, now onto the dress! The Caroline Party Dress is designed by Hayley over at Welcome to the Mouse House. This lovely little number was included in the PPP. But don't fret! You can still purchase the dress over in her shop. I decided to sew up a size 4T, only because the 3T I sewed in the Persimmon was just a little snug. She has some room to grown that's for sure! Not extremely huge... but just a tad big.

I am head over heals in love with this dress! Just look at the fullness and body it has. Any little girl would feel like a princess wearing this. A nice option that is offered in the Caroline is that you can choose to make a fully lined dress with tulle, or opt out of it entirely. You can also have hidden pockets and a darling Peter Pan collar. I chose to make a fully lined dress with tulle and the collar. Though I love the finished product, tulle is such a pain in the rear to work with! My problem with tulle in general is that the cut edges blend in withone another due to the mesh consistency of it. Where you think one end starts, another begins. But again, the finished dress looks awesome and the tulle is much needed to give it that "bounce".

Oh the fabric... my over the top and very loud plaid. I found this crazy print at Wal-Mart while we were browsing for light bulbs about 3 months ago. I know its kind of out there, but it screamed Easter. I never buy fabric from there, but it was an opportune time. I purchased two yards... then it sat in my stash for quite a while until Easter rolled around.  How I eeked the Caroline out of two yards is beyond me. I sewed up a remnant of it to make the lining lol because I had nothing big enough that I was willing to cut into for it. But I think it's a cute print, and matches Madison's personality perfectly.

Since I'm immobile, time was not on our side for me to hit Joann's and purchase a zipper. I dug into my stash and found a neon one that was 5" long. I mean, its not HORRIBLE, but the recommended zipper length would have been ideal. Sometimes you just have to work with what you got! The back bodice lines also don't match up exactly, but I'm not so worried about it, you know? What I love about sewing is that it's a learning experience, and if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

All in all this dress is such a fun sew. The instructions are perfect, and it came together with much ease. This one is most definitely a little time consuming, taking a little over three hours to complete. I will say that I cannot wait to sew up another one for a different occasion! See you over on Kollabora!

Willow & Co. "Clover Shorts"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

As you all know, I have had the pleasure of testing two fabulous patterns for the pattern collective called "Wanderlust" by Willow & Co. Let me say that I am in love with both of these patterns, and I cannot wait for the release of the collection next Tuesday, April 22nd! Be sure to stop by Willow & Co.'s website to check out all of the wonderful patterns and their designers. 

The Clover Shorts are designed by Hayley from Mouse House Creations. Being a tester for Hayley was such a wonderful experience. Man that woman is simply amazing! And her shorts show off her keen eye for detail too.

One of my favorite details in these shorts are the inverted pleats. Can you see how obsessed I am with pleating lol.  The shorts also have a sash included in the pattern, but I opted out of this due to the clean look I wanted to achieve. It is removable, so I don't want you to think that it is sewed in or anything :). 

The size we sewed up are a 2T, and the fit is absolutely perfect. The only thing I changed was taking in the elastic two inches because she is such a tiny little girl. We have some slight bunching in the front area, but this can be altered by sewing down the pleats an inch or so.  I decided to go for the more "bubble" effect. These small details are included in the pattern as well.

The instructions are super simple to follow. You wouldn't believe that this was my first time ever making shorts AND adding pockets would you?! That is how detailed the directions are when sewing up these shorts. Plus, they come together quickly, and you could most definitely finish them up in a naptime. 

Ah that face! I am in love with her... and the shorts too of course <3

I think we have a rockstar in the making don't you think?? 

Later on in the week before the release I will show you the first pair of shorts I made in size 6mo, but my other model was way too small to fit into them. Maybe in a couple months. Be sure to check out Willow & Co. next Tuesday for the release of the "Wanderlust" collection!

Willow & Co. "Persimmon Dress"

Monday, April 14, 2014

The big day has arrived my friends!  If you would have told me last month that I would be testing two patterns in the Willow & Co. spring/summer collection called "Wanderlust", I would have most likely shook my head and said, "Shut the front door!!! A little blog like me helping to test and critique a pattern from an awesome indie designer? Ha, never in a million years sister!". Well... to my surprise I was completely wrong.

I had the pleasure of testing not one, but two patterns for the amazing and kind Hayley from Mouse House Creations. I'm still in awe over this lol! Hayley is one of the ten designers in the Willow & Co. pattern collective called "Wanderlust- a glamping collection", that is set to debut next Tuesdsay, April 22nd. This collection is full of beautiful patterns that will become a staple in your little ones wardrobe for seasons to come. Be sure to head on over to Willow & Co. to purchase the bundle or separates next Tuesday!

Today I will be showing you the Persimmon Dress. One of the coolest things about this pattern is that Hayley leaves room for endless customization. You can really let your imagination run free with all of the options like the ruffles, pockets, center panel and bias tape. 

I have always been afraid of bias tape, and the Persimmon Dress has ties made up of it, so I knew there was no way to avoid this. Hayley includes some really great tutorials within the pattern that you can look at to achieve awesome handmade bias tape. These helped so much and I am less intimidated now! I mean come on, once you learn how to make your own you won't go back to store bought. I am officially hooked on doing it myself!

Those pleats! I think I am officially hooked on pleating things :) What I love is how simplistic the all around design of the dress is. It has such modern and dainty elements to it, that it immediately becomes a classic article of clothing. 

I made the common mistake of bringing Madison to Joann's to purchase fabric hehe. Kidding on the mistake part, but bringing a 5yr old "wanna-be-princess-everyday" to a fabric store makes for "Mom, it must be pink and sparkly!" We bickered back and forth about the main color of this dress, and since I know how much she likes to help, I couldn't deny making her a pink and sparkly Persimmon Dress. But of course we reached a happy medium with the center panel. 

I chose to sew up the 3T option because my little girl is very petite for her age. The fit was wonderful, as she has a 21" chest. I saw no need to make it a size longer. I could have, but I really like the idea of it being a "mod/shift" dress. The end result is something that Madison is so in love with, and I am always eager to make a piece that we both enjoy!

Hayley was such an awesome woman to work for and I can't thank her enough for letting me partake in testing her patterns for this super awesome pattern collective!  I met some wonderful ladies within the group, and now have a couple new blogs to read and follow. 

I hope you all enjoyed this dress just as much as I did! Don't forget to head over to Willow & Co. next Tuesday when they debut their wonderful spring/summer pattern collection. Thank you again Hayley! I look forward to helping you out again if you ever need!

Come back on Wednesday to see the other amazing pattern I tested in this collection!

KCW Day 6: September Tunic

Saturday, April 12, 2014

KCW ends tomorrow, and I can say that I am very pleased with how I did!! This experience has been wonderful for more reasons than one. What I am taking from KCW is a new found discipline to sit behind my machine for an hour a day and create something beautiful. Being a mom can become so overwhelming, and like how I need meetings to keep me sane, I also benefit from doing something that I love everyday as well. It's very rewarding.

Let's talk patterns: 
This is the "September Tunic" that is in an amazing bundle called the Perfect Pattern Parcel. Perfect Pattern Parcel is created by a group of indie designers that put together 5 patterns and allow you to name your price.  But would you like to know the best part? All proceeds are donated to support children's education; it provides pencils, microscopes, crayons ect. The PPP stands for a wonderful cause and I am more than willing to donate to help our education system! But hurry, there are only a couple days left to buy, so get on it! 

Let me start off by saying that I am in love with this pattern. It is like a mix between Soho gypsy and a princess... Which means it screamed Madison! Too Sweet Patterns is the designer of this top. She gives you an option to make a dress or tunic, and since we have been accumulating a plethora of dresses, I opted for the tunic.

The fabric you may ask? My fiancĂ© described it as "Madison looks like she puked up a gumball machine!!!" I beg to differ sir hehe. 

My grandparents spent a year in Ghana quite some time ago (I must have been maybe 7???) and came back with all of these wonderful outfits. They recently moved, and she was going through some of her old things and offered me this box of "fabric gold". She told me I could use the fabric anyway I wanted. So, I took her offer and came across an old dress of mine from Africa, and couldn't resist making the tunic out of it. Hope you love it Omi!!

The button down back is simple yet flattering. I chose some green buttons and paired it with some hot pink thread. I think it makes the top just pop! 

This pattern was very easy to sew and came with some good pictorial instructions. I can't wait till Madison comes home on Monday and can try it on! 

KCW Day 4: Two pairs of leggings

Friday, April 11, 2014

Since I was working on a super secret testing project all day Wednesday (that I am so thrilled to finally be sharing with you on Monday!!!) I quickly whipped these simple leggings for Cora. Nothing extravagant, but I wanted to show a nice little something for KCW. 

The blue knit was from a big order I had purchased from Denver Fabrics a couple months back. It was a dream to sew with! There was enough stability to where I could use my knit stitch settings on my machine and not worry about it getting eaten up. 

The tribal print... Eh not so much! I loved the print, but when I ordered it from Girl Charlee back in October, they had recently ran out of the thick fabric that it had originally been printed on. I didn't think much of it and purchased it anyway thinking that I could manipulate the fabric. Well I can, but it made me work for it! This knit is soooo thin and almost sheer. Super duper stretchy too. Next time I order I will make sure it is a much more stable material to work with.

They together took less than an hour, so I was able to make them while little miss C took one of her infamous cat naps. At least she looked super cute at our family gathering last night :) 

Hoping to whip up something from this month's "Perfect Pattern Parcel" sometime today! 

KCW Day 2: Peplum Dress

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

So day two of KCW has came and went. Only 5 more left! Boy, oh boy, do I have high aspirations for my next couple of pieces. One of them will be Madison's Easter dress, so don't be surprised if I do not post anything tomorrow, as I am still doing some super secret pattern testing that will be released on Monday the 14th! If you don't want to miss a thing, you can click here to follow me on Instagram where I am constantly posting updates on the current projects I am doing. 

I focused mainly on Cora the first couple of days because little baby clothing is super easy to construct. She also has not been feeling too great, so getting the first two dresses out of the way rather than how I planned to debut them in the end has worked out rather nice. 

For this dress I basically did an extension of a peplum top. Instead of cut it off half way down the shirt, I extended it 3 extra inches then attached the skirt piece. 

The fabric is from an Aeropostale top that never quite fit me just right. I ended up buying two of them (the other in shades of blue) but you will see that one in the coming weeks. The flowers are my absolute favorite. I love how they almost look like water color and painted right onto the fabric. Plus, the colors are perfect for spring.

It's always fun to cut up clothes and make something new. This KCW is really keeping me busy, and I am so excited to be sharing it with you! 

KCW Day 1: Ruffle Dress

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ok you guys,  Kids Clothes Week is here! KCW is a week of sewing for your children, but for only one hour per day for the next seven days. This sewalong has been on my list since Spring of 2013. I just love the rush of only having one hour to sew. It's pure madness! Throw in two kids and the craziness quadruples.... seriously lol. 

The theme for this season's competition is "Mini Me". We were allowed to interpret this in whichever way we saw suit. Upcycling is going to play a big role in my first KCW. I wanted to show that I can take something that was in my goodwill pile and turn it into something that the girls can wear; something that is going to be very unique. So, here is my first article of clothing: The Ruffle Dress. 

The main fabric was from one of my most coveted shirts... that I found at Wal-Mart hehe. I couldn't resist cutting it up. It had been waiting in my recycle pile for quite some time and I had sketched a design similar to the dress I made. The pink fabric is also from another shirt I had hanging out in that pile. I was originally supposed to have two ruffles, but they both ended up being a little too short and thought it was best to combine and make one big one. 

The beauty of reusing something that was once yours is that you can use the hem that is already in place. That saved sooooo much time in sewing up the dress and allows for a clean finish. I mean you have one hour... gotta use it to the best of your abilities! I had a timer set to my phone for one hour, but every time my machine wasn't running, I paused it. Today was real tough with getting the kids to cooperate while I attempted to sew for what little time I could. I began around 10 AM and throughout the day was able to breakaway for 5 minutes here and there. I only used 40 of the allotted 60 minutes. So that felt good!

I self drafted the pattern from a dress that Cora had worn a couple days prior. The body of the dress was fairly simple, but the sleeves... that was a different story. Originally I had wanted to have them angled, but for the life of me I just could not figure out how to achieve that. Next time right? 

I am very pleased with how the Ruffle Dress turned out. Day one of KCW has been a success, and I will post tomorrow on what I have in store! Fingers crossed that my little, little one wants to cooperate! 

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