Willow & Co. Floral and Seersucker Clover Shorts

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Top of the morning to ya! I had this vision in my mind of creating a certain pair of Clover Shorts for Madison. One that emulates style yet femininity. For those of you who don't know, the Clover Shorts are just one of the fabulous patterns in the Willow & Co. "Wanderlust- A Glamping Collection". If you would like more information, you can click on the link HERE

I had the pleasure of testing this pattern by Hayley of MHC and was in a group of some great testers. You can read about it HERE. It was really neat getting up close and personal with the designer, as well as the pattern itself. The Clover is a breeze to sew once you make a pair or two!

Those pleats make me grin every single time :) You can really tailor these shorts to fit any style; girl or boy. I opted out of the sash only because I wanted to focus on the stripes and floral together. Plus, belts are a rare thing in our household. 

For the main short pieces, I was able to eek them out of a fat quarter I had laying around. I couldn't tell you what I had planned on using the fat quarter for, but it shouted "Ashley, make some lovely Clovers from this fabric!", so I listened and obeyed. And voila! These happened. Obviously the floral would not take me all the way, so I paired it with some black and white seersucker. I have seen the floral and stripe combo all over the place and wanted to jump in on the train too!

Hehe... knee highs and a salt shaker tattoo! She's too much this girl. 

One thing I wasn't paying attention to was the lining of the stripes with the pocket and the waistband. But what do you know? They magically matched. Just my luck! 

I thought showing the pictures rather than talk about the shorts would showcase them better. If you read my first post about the Clover Shorts, then you already know I am hooked on this pattern :). If you haven't gotten yours, I suggest you do! Thanks for reading!

4 Months Old: Koi Orange Chevron Pippa Peplum

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ok so time is officially flying by way too fast! Cora Jean turned 4 months old on Tuesday, and I am just trying to savor these younger years as much as possible. To think that Madison is going into Kindergarten in less than three months is mind blowing. Just yesterday it seems like she was a toddler. Man, craziness for sure. I was sitting in a meeting last night and someone had shared "Funny how when we make the decision to turn our life over to God and work the program we get to show up to our own lives, right?" Answer: Yes, you're not kidding! I wouldn't want my life any other way. 

 None the less, I've been making Cora's monthly outfits to coordinate with these super cute stickers that I purchased from Lucy Darling on Etsy. They have a wonderful array of stickers for each type of parent, as well as very delicate wall prints too. I am just in love!

Oh look, another Pippa Peplum from See Kate Sew :) I cannot tell you how easy yet versatile this pattern is. With only 6 main pattern pieces this top comes together in less than 2 hours. I sewed up a size 3-6mo and it fits Cora nicely with some room to grow. You can see the other versions I made here and here

I had to pat myself on the back when the side seams matched up pretty darn close. Progress people!!

When I was cutting out the pattern, I payed close attention to getting the lines to match as close as possible. But when it came to cutting the skirt piece out, I wasn't ready to cut into more of this gorgeous fabric than needed so I didn't stress too much.

I've been spending some quality time with my machine lately, and really trying to get to know it better than I think I do. Since playing around I have come to the conclusion that I do not like my stretch stitch setting... AT ALL! Anyone else realize this? I always change my needles to a ballpoint for knits, and ect, but I have been finding mini holes in the garments I've made using the stretch stitch. Needless to say I am retiring the stretch stitch for now and will be using my regular setting with a little less tension and a ballpoint needle. 

The fabric used was this dreamy "Koi Linear Chevron" cotton jersey blend knit from Girl Charlee (that is no longer available). I have bought cotton jersey in the past, but for some reason this one exceeded my expectations; maybe because it's a "blend"? It is so soft, yet very stretchy. It's like a super knit!!! Good thing I purchased 3 yards when I did because my mum wants a top made out of this, and I don't blame her!

Ah, Cuties :) I am so happy to be sharing these moments with you! As I grown as a blogger, I am beyond blessed to have a space where I can express myself and use as a creative outlet. I encourage all of you to go out into the world and find your "niche", because everyone deserves a hobby or past-time that makes them feel good. Thanks for letting me share with you!

One last cheesy photo from my girl hehe.  

Sew-a-bration of Womanhood: Stepford Dress

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Monday friends! Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you a dress I made for Call Ajaire and the Shaffer Sisters wonderful collaboration called the "Sew-a-bration of Womanhood". This blog tour features a whole bunch of amazing ladies who are either sewing for themselves or someone they love by "honoring our common threads".

I don't know about you, but I love having the chance to sew for myself. It's funny because even though I am much larger than I was a year ago (thank you Cora!), it feels so nice to make something that is flattering and looks nice on my ever changing body. 

The dress I made is called the Stepford Dress, which right now is only available to patterns members on The Sewing Rabbit site. Jess did such a great job designing this dress. I love it! Can I just say that this is the best deal in town ya'll? For $10 a month, you get three really amazing patterns. The patterns range anywhere from ladies to accessories. This month we have the Stepford Dress, Tilly Skirt by Sewing Mama RaeAnn and the Sidekick Suitcase. If you would like more information, you can click here!

This dress has such wonderful attributes. I really like the front bust darts, and the slightly off the shoulder neckline. It is a classic for sure. It also makes me feel like I should be baking a cake in a 50's movie. 

The bodice fits in all the right places after I made some adjustments. I had to take in the shoulders almost 2" each because it was way too large up there. Where the gathering sits is perfect because it hides my infamous "baby tire" that has been challenging to get rid of.

I really appreciate the meaning behind the Sew-a-bration of Womanhood blog tour. I think as women we often judge ourselves way too much. We see how the media portrays what women should look like, and at times it is quite unrealistic. Weight has always been an issue for me. I gained 80lbs with my first daughter, and 5 years later gained almost 60lbs with Cora. It was devastating. I had gone from a 32" bust to a 42". My waist went from 27" to 36"... seriously I was heart broken. But when I look at my girls, I see what a beautiful gift I was given. God allowed me to carry these babies, and though I gained some weight, I know in time I will get back to what I once was. Life is too short for us to worry about how thin we are, or how clear our skin is, or how perfect our hair looks. When I took these photos I had just stepped out of the shower, and only had time to put on mascara. So there you have it, Ashley in her most natural form. 

Onto the invisible zipper...


I tried so hard!!!! I could not get the zipper to flatten out. I was so worried about melting the teeth... Oh well! I think I should spend some quality time with zipper installation. At least invisible ones.  And I also have a hard time getting the gathers to match. So maybe some time should be spent with that too!

The back darts were great, but I had to take them out and re-sew with a smaller seam allowance to fit my back.

The fabric used was a green polka dot cotton from Joann's. I bought it when they were having that crazy sale two weeks ago where everything was 40%-50% off. Ryan loves polka dots, so when I saw this for $2.50 a yard I could not pass it up! The lining was just some white muslin; nothing too fancy. 

The Stepford Dress was so wonderful to sew. Jess did an amazing job on the pattern and the tutorial. It was easy and very well thought out. If you are looking for a summer staple, this is it!

I want to thank the Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire for allowing me to participate in this wonderful cause! I hope many of you ladies are inspired to go and sew for yourself no matter what your size is :)


If you like what you read, come check out the other talented ladies in the Sew-a-bration!!!

Lulu Dress

Monday, May 5, 2014

Good afternoon my lovelies! Today I get to share with you the Lulu Dress and Top by Jess, who sews and creates over at Craftiness is not Optional

Let me start by saying, I was over the moon when she chose me to help test out this awesome little number. I have been reading her blog for sometime now, and to actually have the opportunity to help her out... It was like winning the lottery, but in the sewing world! I am beyond grateful to have had this chance to work with Jess and all the other ladies in the testing group. She was so thankful for all of our hardwork, that she even posted about our Lulu's here. Such an awesome experience. Though I have never met Jess in person, getting to know her a little bit while we were testing was very cool. She is such a sweetie and had very encouraging words, plus compliments galore on our finished Lulu's. Go check out her new pattern and some of her others, like the ever so sweet Bapron!  

Onto the Lulu!

The Lulu is all about comfort and endless customization. I sewed up the dress version with pockets. What makes the Lulu so unique is that the bodice is made of knit, and the skirt has the option to be made with a woven OR a knit. Genius right? I am patiently waiting for Jess to release a women's version of this... "hint, hint" lol!!!!

Pockets are always a plus in our household. Madison loooooooves having a place to hide her treasures, or place the freshly picked flowers (weeds) deep into her pockets. Oh to be 5 and carefree!

I used a navy spandex cotton knit from Girl Charlee for the bodice. Though it is somewhat thin, it sewed up quite nice! It definitely adds some extra stretch when Madison sticks her hands into the pockets. The skirt is made from an article of clothing that my grandparents got while they were in Ghana. It is a woven of some sorts, and it is also dyed. I had to wash it twice so the color would stop bleeding. But isn't is gorgeous? I'm thinking about sizing the dress down for Cora, and making her a matching one with the extra fabric. It is just too lovely to go to waste!

Another thing that I love about the Lulu is how easy it came together. Seriously, no joke! It took a total of 1.5 hours for me sew, and that is from cut to finish. How sweet is that?? A dress or top that I can finish in a nap time? Total fave in my book. I was able to sew up three for the test... that is how awesome the Lulu is!

Jess makes the instructions simple to follow. I would highly suggest this pattern for the beginning seamstress as well. She clearly instructs you on how to make everything; from the elastic casing all the way down to hemming the skirt and binding the collar and arms. I am confident that you can sew one too :)

Madison is in love with her Lulu, and I can't wait to show you the others I have made. Jess, you did such a great job!! Thanks for allowing me to test this beauty before it was released. You never cease to amaze me with your pattern  making skills!

And in case you didn't know, Vintage May is right around the corner! The fun will begin May 12th, so get ready to sew up some amazing vintage creations!

Simple Chevron and Leather Bracelet Tutorial

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hey you guys! So I stumbled across this really cute bracelet on Etsy, and knew that I just had to do a tutorial on how to make one. It will most definitely become a staple in your soon to be summer wardrobe!

*I have no clue if a tutorial has been done on this; I have searched and cannot find, so I do not want to take credit if this has been done before!!!* 

Threading is something I have been doing for quite some time, and once you get the hang of it, you can make bracelets with ease!! Lets get started shall we?

  • clipboard
  • scissors
  • pinch clip (if needed)
  • embroidery floss -cut three pieces 62" long (these measurements are appx.)
  • strip of leather or suede cord - 8" long (I purchased my leather from this awesome shop!!)

Step 1: 
Fold your thread in half, leaving about a 5" piece at the end to tie bracelet when finished. 

Step 2:
Start by separating your strings. You will have three on the left, and three on the right. 

Step 3:
If you do not know how to tie double knots or make a chevron, you can click here for a video tutorial on how to make a chevron, double knot bracelet.

Step 4:
Continue with making your chevron until it is appx. 5.5" long and tie off with a single knot. (again, these are just measurements for my wrist, all measurements can be tailored to fit your wrist as well )

Step 5:
Tie one end of your leather to the outside of the finished bracelet. 

Step 6: 
Tie the other end to finish the bracelet. 

I prefer my leather to be a little bit looser than the chevron, but make it whichever way you feel comfortable. 

Step 7:
Admire your finished product!

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