"Espionage" Mystery Challenge

Monday, August 25, 2014

I was asked to be a part of this fun Mystery Challenge held by Amy and Tasha of Friends Stitched Together, where ladies gave each other a "Mystery" theme and had to sew an outfit contingent on what they were assigned. The theme I was given was "Espionage", aka: spy. At first, I was stumped. That word is soooo vast, and I was having a hard time deciding on what I wanted to make for M. It had to be tasteful; some things associated with espionage are pretty out there you  know? Lara Croft came to mind, as did Lana from Archer. Since I am sewing my stash, I was just a tad limited on what I could use. In the end, I went with the portrayal of the bond girl in "Goldfinger", the third Bond film back in 1964. I think you guys will enjoy it!

Let me start by saying Madison had a blast doing this shoot! Again, I struggled picking props due to the fact that I did not see using guns as an appropriate thing for a 5yr old, but to each is own right? Instead, we decided on the "12 & 12" which for us is more suiting :) In this set, Madison is reading a book, but in reality she is checking out the enemy, watching their every move from a distance. 

The pattern we used was the oh so darling Charlie, the first pattern released by Mingo & Grace. I love the dropped waist and flounce skirt. Plus it's sleeveless which means it is perfect for living in Florida. We sewed up a size 4, and the fit was spot on. The dress is meant to be a little airy and not so fitted through the waist. I think it adds to the vintage feel I was trying to achieve. Charlie was available in the July patterns over on The Sewing Rabbit pattern members site. In usual Ashley fashion, I did not get a chance to sew it up until after the month of July. Oh well!!!

The fabric was some sort of woven. I think it might have been an upholstery kind of sorts, only because my Omi gave me the rest of it after she had sewn herself some drapes a couple years ago. I loooooove it though. The gold is perfect on Madison's skin tone, and it was suiting for my "Goldfinger" theme. 

In the scene with the sunglasses Madison is out and about on the town doing some window shopping. She spots her enemy dining on brunch and decides to peruse past with a wandering eye, taking note on what they are talking about. (Madison loved acting this out, she is such a funny gal! She wanted me to make sure you guys knew what she was doing.) 

I hope you guys enjoyed my take on this "Espionage" challenge. Madison and I thoroughly enjoyed playing the part today. There are some super talented ladies in the line up, so please go take a look on what they created!!!

Mystery Challenge
Friends Stitched Together - History of Flight - 8/17
Felt with Love Designs - Under the Sea - 8/18
Knot Sew Normal - Fruit - 8/19
Friends Stitched Together - My Little Pony - 8/20
The Berry Bunch - Cover Up - 8/21
Pensebrox - Titanic - 8/22
Tangible Pursuits - London Dapper - 8/23
Rebel and Malice - Disco - 8/24
Sewing Sober - Espionage - 8/25
Sugaridoo - Musical Instruments - 8/26
Lulu and Celeste - Morpho Butterfly/Rainforest - 8/27
Paisley Roots - Classic Summer Movies - 8/28
Create 3.5 - Morocco - 8/29
Mae&K - Solar System - 8/30
The Sewing Sparrow - Safari - 8/31

Alley Cat Romper Blog Tour

Friday, August 22, 2014

I am sooooo excited to be sharing this gorgeous little number with you today! Let me start by saying if you haven't heard of Lil Luxe Collection (affiliate link) by Jessica Bustos, then you might want to take a glimpse at this up and coming pattern designer. Her style is modern and practical, yet super trendy too. When I saw the Alley Cat Romper, I wanted in and knew I just had to test. Needless to say I was quite please when I was asked to join in on the fun!!!

I fell in love with this romper when I saw the back. Isn't it perfect? The shoulder blades peek out just enough. I seriously can't take the cuteness!!! Jessica's instructions on how to construct the bodice were pretty amazing. I had never done this technique before, but she guides you through it with ease. There is also a pretty awesome pictorial to go with it too. (I am a sucker for pictorials lol)

Lets talk fabric for a second shall we? I am in LOVE with this knit from Girl Charlee. It is a cotton jersey rayon blend knit, in a beautiful floral with hints of cream, mint and pink. They have they same style fabric here, but with more red hues. The knits I have purchased have been spot on, so way to go GC! I don't know about you, but I feel like Madison should be the cat lady... hoarding like 50 cats in her condo :) I just love the look of this romper. Pair it with some vintage-ish floral and you'll have cat lady status for days!

The Alley Cat Romper is equipped with a sloped bodice, a gathered waist, and a dropped crotch which adds to that urban flair. You can also push the ankle cuffs up to give the romper a more cropped look. The size I sewed up for Madison was a 4T with no mods and  the fit was absolutely perfect. She did NOT want to take it off. If I'm not mistaken she even played in the rain with it on!

I highly advise that you guys head on over to Lil Luxe Collection (affiliate link) and see all of Jessica's beautiful designs. Until then, she and a few sponsors have a great giveaway of fabric and patterns, so enter the rafflecopter below :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rock-A-Bye Bundle by Giggles & Beans

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good morning you guys! Today we have a new FREE release by So Tweet Patterns from Shelly over at Giggles & Beans. This is also her first pattern, and it's a bundle of must have baby accessories! Did I mention that you can snag it for free? How cool is that! The bundle includes a contoured burp cloth, two sizes of bibs and a pair of strap covers. Go show some love on her site and check out the other ladies in the blog tour!

The bundle has a focus on sewing with "minky" fabric (the soft dotted side) which was something I hadn't sewn with before. Since I am sewing my stash and not buying any more fabric for the remainder of the year, I was able to reuse one of Madison's baby blankets that I hadn't used in years. I think it came in super handy! The minky sewed up real nice to my surprise too.   

I didn't have enough minky to make the burp cloth and bib solid, so I was able to use some flannel I had just hanging in my stash. Shelly also suggests using Velcro for the straps and bib, but I too did not have any of that on hand, and my KAM snaps came to save the day. It was the first time using them (I'm not going to tell you how long that had been sitting in my drawer....) and I LOVE them! Why have I avoided this genius tool for so long?!?!? I cannot wait to make some onesies for Cora now :)

This was such a fun little bundle to sew! Thank you Shelly for having me on the tour! If you have a little one on the way or a friend who is expecting, the Rock-A-Bye bundle will make a great gift. I will be back on Tuesday to show you all Cora's 7 month outfit. Until then, have a blessed and safe weekend!

Back "Tulle" School Big Bow Tutorial

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So today I have a little back to school tutorial to share with you. I was playing around with some tulle and leather the other day, and thought this would be a fun idea to share with you guys since school is right around the corner! But before we begin, Madison will be starting Kindergarten on Tuesday, August 19th... yes ya'll, KINDERGARTEN! I am freaking out a little. Ok I lied; ALOT. In sobriety, letting go is a tool that I have used quite frequently. And personally, it has helped me out many times in the last couple years. Letting go can be used in an array of things, especially with people, places and things. I have experienced a lot of loss recently, and I am so blessed to have the ability to let go and give all of my worries, issues and trouble to the good Lord above. And like with Miss Madison, I am going to be letting go of my first born, my petite fireball, my love, and releasing her into this intimidating and vast world we live in. Kind of wild right? I will be letting go of her, and trusting that God will guide and keep her safe always. It is such a relief to know that in the end, she is in great hands. Now that I've gotten this off my chest, lets make a super cute tulle bow!

Begin by measuring your little ones head. Starting at the base of the neck, come up behind the ears and meet at the hairline of the forehead; write down this number. Take the measurement you just wrote and subtract an inch. For example: Madison measures 20"-1"=19". Cut your 1/4" elastic the length of your final measurement. This will be your headband. Next, we are going to cut 4 pieces of tulle 7.5"x3.5" (length x width). I found that the more layers of tulle, the better. Lastly, cut a strip of leather (or any other sturdy material you have on hand) that measures 2"x.5". This will be used to wrap the center of the bow. Onto the construction!

1. Take the tulle and layer them on top of one another. Then fold them in to meet in the middle.

2. With a wide zig-zag stitch the center of the tulle to secure where the ends meet.

3. With your pointer finger and thumb, pinch the tulle to make it like a "hot dog" bun.

4. Then take the raw edges and fold them down to create the bow.

5. With a narrow zig-zag stitch, "stitch in the pinch" to secure the middle of the bow. 

6. Take the piece of leather and fold with right sides together. 

7. Stitch the end of the leather with a .5" seam allowance. 

8. Press the seam open with your fingers or very lightly with an iron. 

9. Turn the leather right side out, making sure the seam is still pressed open. 

10. Take one end of the tulle bow and fold it in to pass through the loop of leather.

11. Pull the bow through and place the back seam of the loop towards the back of the bow. 

12. Take your piece of elastic and place it through the bow middle.

13. Sew the elastic with right sides together and bring the secured end through the back of the bow. I am so sorry I do not have a photo for this step :( 
***At this point, feel free to secure elastic and leather the tulle by placing a dab of hot glue inside the bow.

And voila! You now have a simple and fun back to school bow that can compliment any outfit. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I wish all your little ones a safe a fun school year!
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