Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Holiday Time is the Perfect Time for Cozy Sparkle

I am so happy it is Winter holiday time! We have been teaching our third and sixth graders  virtually while we work from home since the start of the pandemic. We did not opt for the on-campus learning option for our school district thinking it was the safer choice. Throughout the semester, there have been weekly notifications of new Covid-19 cases among students and staff in both of their schools. It is unfortunate, but reinforced our decision to teach them at home. We are grateful for the opportunity to have them at home and keep them kids safe. That being said, since Spring, it has been a lot! 

We are all at home on Christmas vacation relishing the opportunity to spend good time together. We are enjoying holiday fun, activities and relaxing. For me, relaxing self-care includes taking advantage of every opportunity to sleep in. I love a cute pair of pajama shorts and needed to make a few new pair. This wonderful Sparkle Basics from Riley Blake was a perfect opportunity to come up with a new sleep ensemble.

I chose the Drawstring Lounge Shorts from the Sew Quick + Easy pattern collection I edited for Sew News. It is a fast and easy pattern with an elastic waist and drawstring casing. It is perfect for beginners but also great for a quick and easy project for someone with more advanced skills.

I whipped up a pair in the Text Rose Gold  and the Small Stripe Rose Gold prints. I layered both fabrics for fast and easy batch cutting and sewing. I was delighted to see how the fabric matched my Strong Women Pattern Weights.

I topped them both with ready to wear tops already in my wardrobe. I added a cute pocket to the tank top version and left the V-neck, as is.

I added a cute self-drafted sleep mask to trick my body and kids, into maybe, one more hour of sleep.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I hope you find time to rest, recharge and relax in a way that brings you joy and peace.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Season for Plaid

Fall and Winter are the seasons for plaid and I wanted to add some, in the form of pants, to my wardrobe.

When I was deciding on my plaid choice for those available from Riley Blake Designs, my heart was drawn to the All About Plaids Tartan Blue Green. I had nostalgic feelings reminding me of my childhood days. This print is similar to my grammar and high school uniforms. Girls were required to wear dresses and skirts, but much to my chagrin, never pants. This was my chance to rebel. 

Plaid matching requires a bit of time, concentration and extra yardage to get it right. When done correctly, it is always worth the effort to me. With this fabric, I did not want to make a complicated project, just an everyday pair of pants.

The no-side seam pants by McCalls is a great no fuss pattern. It consists of two pant legs and waistband facings, that is all.

The simplicity of the pattern means the plaid only needs to be matched at the inner leg. It's a great pattern for those hesitant  to try plaids for fear of getting it wrong.

The fit is easy and relaxed and the fabric is comfortable. The cotton is slightly lighter weight than standard quilting cotton so it falls nicely without being stiff. 


These pants fill a hole in my wardrobe and I love that they pair easily with my other memades.

If you have been reluctant to sew plaids because of the complexity of matching, don't be. Start with a simple pattern, fabric you love and go for it.

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Liberty Florence Palazzo Pant Suit in Solstice

If you have been here before, you know I love a bold print and love to use them in fabulous maxi dresses. Dresses for me are an easy go-to choice for no-fuss dressing. They are usually my default choice when deciding what to sew. When I deviate to separates, it is usually toward pants with my favorite style being the wide-leg variety. 

I discovered Austin-based Morris Textiles at QuiltCon in March. I was delighted to find a relatively local source for Liberty of London fabrics and patterns. The Liberty Florence Palazzo Pant Suit immediately excited me and was added to my sewing queue.

View B, with the long sleeve wrap top and yoked wide-leg pants was just my style.   

I had plans to make this set with an upcoming Liberty  of London print. While I waited for it's release, Leisa shared the new Sally Kelly Fabrics that she was stocking. The prints in the new collection are fabulous and I knew I wanted to use one of them for this project.

 I chose the Prince Paisley lightweight canvas from the Solstice line.

The first time I made a Liberty of London pattern was the Beatrix dress I made earlier this year. The construction of that dress was straight forward and the sizing corresponded to that of commercial patterns. I found that to be true for this pattern as well. I made the wrap top straight except where I doubled the length of the ties because I thought they were too short. If I make it again, I will lengthen the bodice for a bit more coverage at the waistline.

I made the pants with no modifications. I love the fit, length and fact that they have side seam pockets. This pattern will be making an appearance again; I think this is my new go-to pants pattern.

I love this set. I am however, on the fence about whether wearing both pieces together is too much of a good thing. I like that it is separates so I can mix and match each for a more subdued ensemble. 

I found very few projects made using this pattern on social media or review sites. I think in part due to the fact that the pattern is not size inclusive. The largest bust measurement for this is 44in. and the widest hip measurement is 46in. If you need to make fit adjustments, the simple lines of each makes it a good candidate.

I am glad I waited on this fabric for this pattern. It is just the look and feel I was hoping to achieve.

Happy Sewing,

Monday, November 23, 2020

He Says "It's Equally Important for Boys to Support Girl Power!"

My family enjoyed watching the NBC show Making it. We watched Amber Kemp-Grestel  and enjoyed her progression through the series. Little Miss loved her hair and loved seeing someone who looks like her. When I saw that Amber had a new fabric collection with Riley Blake Designs, I was excited to be a part for the blog tour hoping to surprise Little Miss with Mama and Me outfits.

I chose: Girl Power Put Your Hands Up, Multi

and Girl Power Put Your Hands Up, Pink

When the fabric arrived, I excitedly shared the prints with Little Miss and we began to plan our outfits. Little Man entered the room and was immediately drawn to the Hands Up, Multi fabric. He is usually indifferent and stunned me when he asked for a project for himself. Little Miss sweetly smiled and told him he may want to reconsider because the collection is called "Girl Power". Without missing a beat, he said he was cool with it because, "It's equally important for boys to support Girl Power." 

With a joyfully  bursting heart, Little Miss decided to give him her fabric for this project. She declined my fabric choice in favor of a "Mama and He" collaboration. (I am so proud of these little people.) He decided on a button-up shirt with a front pocket. I used a vintage McCalls 2394 pattern for him. I cut the front panels first, then I used the side seam notches to align the striped pattern for the back. I took care so the print continues around his body. 

I also took special care to match up the print on the pocket so it almost appears camouflaged.

He is nine and loves all things superhero. The idea of bursting out of his shirt for a quick change appealed to him. I opted for plastic snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes.

For my dress I went for a super casual lazy day style. It is the same pattern I used to make my plunging On Safari dress with a few modifications.

I made the sleeves three-quarter length with no elastic casing. I added side-seam pockets and chose a grommet lace-up front with contrast ties for modesty.

As with his shirt, I took special care to align my print so the stripes continue around the body.

I omitted the back zipper because the neckline was wide enough to go over my head. I also added back darts to pull in the fullness a bit while keeping wearable ease. 

We love our new outfits and I am so proud to call this kid mine. 

We love our mommy and me outfits! 

  He gives me much hope for the future.   


Happy Sewing,

Monday, November 16, 2020

Craving a Day at the Beach

Like most of the world, this pandemic is taking a toll on me. Hubby and I are working from home and both kids are learning virtually. We are doing all we can to stay safe and healthy and will continue to do so until we don't have to any longer. That being said, it is a lot with 24-hour peopling (introverts you hear me?) and few places to retreat and regroup. Before Covid-19, when we wanted a break we would take a quick day trip to a nearby city or drive down to the beach.

Nature's Fabric has a new range of print fabrics and the Abalone bamboo spandex knit immediately caught my eye. The fabric is full of colors, movement and reminded me of oyster shells, lobster bisque and a day at the wharf.

The prints are available in several colorways and I chose the blue.

I wanted to choose a pattern with few pieces so as not to break up the flow of the lovely print. I had Mccalls 7471 in my stash and I went with the cowl neck tunic in  view D.
I was recently gifted some Wonderfil Rayon threads  and used them in the construction of this dress. I don't usually think about threads beyond the matching of the color to my fabric of  choice. I was intentional with this one thinking about how it worked. My overall experience with it can be summarized in a word, smooth. Winding, threading, stitching with it was all smooth and easy. I like the sheen, vibrant color and even stitching in my serger and coverstitch machines.

The fabric drapes beautifully and clings nicely where it is meant to. 

I like the flow of the cowl into the sleeves and the tapering to the narrower skirt.

This was not a straight out the package make for me. I cut my usual size, but it was too wide in the hips. There are defined hip curves that made me look like I was packing a set of hip-shooters. 

It was a simple fix to straighten them out reducing them down by about 1/2in. on each side of the skirt.

I kept the length as defined by the pattern and like where it falls. 

To combat my cabin fever, I am try to make the most of beautiful days with sunny skies and light breezes outdoors. It is not the total freedom I crave, but it helps. How are you finding ways to stay grounded and seek peace in these difficult times? 

Happy Sewing,