Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jolie Skirt by FAM {Testing}

Let me proudly introduce a lovely skirt pattern that I helped test...

The Jolie Skirt by Filles á Maman

Currently the pattern is only available in the Australian-based digital magazine of One-Thimble. Be sure to check it out!

The Jolie can be made in knits or woven, which makes it so versatile! You can also choose to have the front pleat or to have a plain front. It has an elastic waistband with fun topstitching. I used a purple plaid from my stash; I believe it is a wool or a wool blend.

I picked up the fabric at a thrift store when we lived in Montana. Even after cutting out two skirts, the hat, the scarf and the hair bow, I still have quite a bit left. I love this skirt so much (and E has even asked to wear it a few times - score!) that I will probably end up making another one next year :)

I had a lot of fun planning this photo shoot. Of course, the week of testing was super cold, but I was still thankful for the snow so it didn't look too brownish-blah out. E did a fabulous job! As you can tell by her pink nose, she was pretty cold, but she smiled all the same - I think she was just thankful to be outside and stomping in the snow (she always asks to go outside "bys mysshelfs," but I don't let her go out when it's too cold outside like it was that week).

Because of the cold, I wasn't sure how I was going to style the skirt right away. Her nice church coat would cover the skirt completely, and her puffy snow coat wouldn't look very nice with the pretty skirt! And I definitely didn't have a nice winter hat for her to wear.... so I made the matching accessories and layered her with long sleeves and sweaters and tights and pants :)

The testing process was a lot of fun. Melanie did a great job at listening to the testing group and updated the pattern multiple times to make sure it was just right. She even changed the shape of the skirt pattern from rectangular to a-line... that is a lot of work for her! The testers just get the fun of sewing, sewing and sewing :) 

I always appreciate the opportunity to test as it always pushes me to explore new techniques. While this time around I worked with wool for the first time, the waistband was the main new technique. I've never topstitched over an elastic waistband like this before, and I was pretty nervous! However, it turned out so well! I love how professional it makes the finished product!

*Skirt (Jolie Skirt by FAM)  *Hat (The Blue Beret - Free! by Lil Blue Boo)  *Hair Bow (Original Design)  *Scarf (Loosely based on the infinity scarf pattern - free from M4M)  *Purple Plaid Wool of unknown content (Montana Thrift Store)  *Black Cotton Waistband (Joann's Remnant) *Black Knit for the Beret (Cotton/Lycra from Purpleseamstress on FB)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Birthday Presents for Lolo

My niece turns 1 today! I was very excited to try out a few new (and a few well-loved) patterns out for her birthday gift. 

 Patterns: M4M Talor (somewhere between dress and tunic length)... SMA Skipper Top... M4M Riley Racer Back Tunic... M4M Bonny Shorties

Fabrics: Riley Blake Vivid Fireworks (Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy), Pink Ruffle Stripe from JoAnns, Riley Blake Idlewild Main (Peekaboo Pattern Shop), Denim-look Knit from Walmart, Solid Cotton Lycras from a local fabric shop

I love the combination of the Idlewild fabric with the denim-like peplum. I have no patience to thread a double needle, so the hem on the skirt is just two separate lines of stitching to make it appear like a double needle :) Don't you think the shorties will add a fun touch of pink under the skirt?!

I have used the skirt pattern of the Riley before when I made the Brooklyn/Riley mash-up for E's Christmas dress, but this was my first time making the Riley Racerback top. I may add a touch of length to the bands... and I will definitely pin/sew the bands on separately instead of pinning all of them and then trying to sew with all those pins!

I won the Talor pattern by participating in a month-long Instagram activity that Made for Mermaids organized. It is such a easy and simple pattern, but so perfect for warm weather!

I had a bit of fun and used a decorative stitch to hem it. I look forward to making more Rileys and Talors for E's summer wardrobe. The recipient of these lives in a much warmer climate, so I enjoyed dreaming of warmer weather while it was snowy and cold here :) 

Happy Birthday Lolo! We love you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Mermaid's Christmas

E has this little pink mermaid toy that she received as a prize at the library. So, when Made for Mermaids came out with a free pattern for a Mermaid's Tail blanket, I knew that I needed to make one for Christmas!

The fabric is from JoAnns and the pattern can be found here. It is a very quick sew - I even made the doll blanket along with it. E has wore it/played with it a few times, but I suspect that she will enjoy it more in another year or two. I could have waited to make it, but I had time this year, and I have learned that if I want to make something eventually, it's better just to get it done when I have time - no waiting around or else something else will move ahead of it on the to-do list!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Family Pictures and another Skipper Top

We took family pictures with Dan's family last fall. We chose a color scheme about a week before everyone was coming to our house with plans on heading the park with a tripod and a camera...

She already had the red skirt, the cream tights and the jean jacket but no shirt to go under the jacket. The Skipper Top by Sew Much Ado came to the rescue! Thankfully I had the fabric on hand and even had the lace in my old hat box of trims. She may not have worn it once since picture day, but it was a necessary make none-the-less! 

The weather was perfect on picture day! There were just enough cloud cover to defuse the brightness of the sun and there were still quite a few trees holding on to their fall foliage to provide wonderful backgrounds. Like I said before, we headed to a nearby park and just used a tripod with my camera. My brother-in-law used his graphic designing expertise to help set up all of us.

Gotta love this outtake... guess she was proud of her mommy-made shirt :) 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Goal

A friend is having a baby this month... time for another baby quilt!

While I have several tops all made up, I wanted a special I-Spy quilt for this baby. I like the idea that the quilt can help entertain the toddler big brother a little during nursing and rocking sessions :)

My goal is to finish this by the end of the month! I also hope to have one onesie made to send with it... wish me luck!


WIP (works in progress) List
  • Pattern Testing a Dress for E 
  • Several dresses/tops/etc for E and me (patterns and fabric chosen... need to cut and sew) - up next are the birthday and Easter dresses, but I have a bit of time before they are needed :)
  • Baby Quilt for a friend ~ the top is finished, now to baste, quilt and bind
  • Baste a baby quilt for another friend... then quilt and bind
  • Onesies! 

UFO (unfinished objects) List
  • Twin size quilt top needing a border then quilting and binding
  • A quilt top from my grandma needing quilting and binding
  • 6 baby quilt tops needing quilting and binding - will need 2 done in February (see above)
  • A pile of Christmas half-square triangles that need to be trimmed and then organized into a table runner/table topper/pillow/etc

Monday, February 1, 2016

My First PAB Bodysuit

Right after high school graduation, I starting making a t-shirt quilt. It didn't use as many t-shirts as I had saved, but I couldn't make myself throw out the extras. I finally took them from my parents' house and have been hoping to upcycle them. High school sweethearts and good friends of mine from my class recently had their second baby - a little boy, so it was the perfect time to start using up my old shirts!

I use Peekaboo Pattern Shop's Bodysuit from the Lullaby Line. I used a heathered grey cotton lycra for the back and the bands while the sleeves came from a scrap piece of blue interlock. I used blue thread to accent the top stitching and match the Kam snaps. I made several mistakes, but I still think it turned out pretty well. The pattern itself is very easy to follow, and I look forward to making more!

I just cut out several more front panels from t-shirts... now to cut out the accent pieces... soon I'll be ready for all the upcoming babies that will be arriving over the next couple of months!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January Goal Post {End of the Month}

My January Goal was to make 3 Hope Dresses for Violette Field Threads' Give Hope Campaign that they hosted during the month of January. 

Time ran short, however, since a few other sewing gift projects popped up, so I only finished one Hope dress. This fabric is from my mother-in-law when she downgraded her stash several years ago. It came in handy - don't the fabrics make such a sweet size 4 dress?

The pattern itself is very easy to follow, and yet this dress takes up a lot of fabric... and because it's reversible the hemline takes a little extra work than I usually enjoy putting into dresses (I can be quite lazy when it comes to tedious steps like ironing hems and such!).

I love being able to use my sewing skills to help out wonderful causes. This dress has already arrived to the VFT headquarters where it will wait with the other donations before being shipped to the Casa Guatemala orphanage. I hope that the little girl who receives this dress enjoys it!


WIP (works in progress) List
  • Pattern Testing a Skirt for E ~ Finished
  • 3 Hope Dresses for donation ~ Only 1 done... the other 2 scrapped
  • Several dresses/tops/etc for E and me (patterns and fabric chosen... need to cut and sew) - namely a Valentine's Dress ~ VDay dress is done!
  • Baby Quilt for a friend ~ fabrics chosen, need to iron and then sew ~ layout chosen, now to sew the squares together
  • Baste a baby quilt for another friend... then quilt and bind
  • Onesies! I have fabric chosen and the pattern pieces ready to cut out... I'm so excited about this one! ~ 1 done... many more to go!

UFO (unfinished objects) List
  • Twin size quilt top needing a border then quilting and binding
  • A quilt top from my grandma needing quilting and binding
  • 6 baby quilt tops needing quilting and binding - will need 2 done by February (see above)
  • A pile of Christmas half-square triangles that need to be trimmed and then organized into a table runner/table topper/pillow/etc