Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mini Tania Culottes by Megan Nielsen

For the third bottoms that I made for our blog tour I used Megan Nielsen’s Mini Tania Culottes pattern. To put it mildly, I am in love with this pattern. I used a unknown fabric that I had picked up on sale from a local sewing store, I wish I knew what it was because it worked so beautifully with this pattern.

For the picture above I used the shorts length. I have a knee length version planned for my daughter soon! The pattern is drafted very well and the instructions were awesome. I wish my enthusiasm about this could pop off this page, instead I’ll just photobomb this post with cute pics!

PS - Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a free pattern, more here.

Written by: Shawna

Lilly Shorts by Violette Field Threads

I recently sewed up some sweet outfits for three little girls I know as part of a blog tour we participated in for Sis Boom, you can read more about that here. Preparing for that post was a lot of fun, I sewed all the girls’ clothes and I wanted to show the additional pieces created to make these outfits.

This outfit was my favorite out of all the ones that I sewed. It just came together so well! I used Violette Field Threads Lilly shorts to complete the look. These shorts were a quick and easy and have so much potential for creativity! For the short’s fabric I used a sage green lawn from Miss Matatabi that is no longer available and a pink quilting cotton for the lining. The lace is from  Mood (and as of today is still in stock and on sale).

Besides the design lines of this pattern, I really like the fact that it is lined. The sage lawn used as the main fabric was the strangest lawn I’ve ever used. It acted like a leather because every hole stayed, I couldn’t baste out of the seam allowance because it damaged the fabric. On top of that it wrinkled like linen. Having the lining helped to make this fabric work for the shorts, since it helps to decrease the crazy wrinkles.

I foresee many Lilly shorts in our future!

PS - Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a free pattern, more here.

Written by: Shawna

Monday, August 29, 2016

At School And Play With Sis Boom Patterns

In my house we are about to send our first child off to school this year, albeit preschool but still she’ll be somewhere else besides at home with me. Little E is extremely excited for the next chapter of her life, and I am too - but also a little sad.

In preparation for her going to school I’ve slowly been working on her school clothes all summer. In the midst of all this Jeanine from Sis Boom offered me the opportunity to join their blog tour featuring Sis Boom's patterns and to GIVEAWAY a free pattern of theirs on our blog. Sis Boom is also having a sale on their patterns in their Etsy shop, 40% off with code BACK2SCHOOL, I have a few of their patterns on my wish list so I'm super excited! On top of all this they opened up a Facebook Album for you to post your makes with Sis Boom Co Patterns for a chance to win a free pattern of your choice.

For my little miss and I, it was a lot of fun going through their patterns, we finally decided on the Maddie top/dress. This pattern seems simple, but it is extremely versatile. After I finished making her dress my headed started bursting with ideas of how I could have fun with the pattern. Does that happen to you?

With all these ideas floating around in my head I decided to call in some reinforcements. Luckily my daughter has two friends and more importantly they have two awesome moms! All it took was one mention of a back-to-school photo shoot to mom Elaine and her head was bursting with ideas too! She was my cheerleader through this process, I kept sending her pictures and bouncing ideas off her, it was great having her along for this ride!

With everything working out with the girls, I was able to focus on solidifying my ideas by designing their Maddie tops with each of their personalities in mind.

But first, I want to share how Sis Boom’s patterns are different than other PDF patterns I’ve used in the past. For the Maddie, each pattern piece is cut out individually and then any over-sized pieces are combined by overlapping them with a shaded area with the other pattern pieces.



The way the PDF file is designed you are able to print exactly what size is needed, it’s not layered but instead each size is given its own pattern pieces. There is a helpful chart that tells you which pages will need to be printed. The instructions given with the Maddie are really great for a beginner. Lots of pictures and very clear and detailed instructions are given to help put the garment together. In regards to options there are plenty. Numerous lengths are provided for each size, ranging from a crop top to a dress. With the sleeves there is an option to have flutter sleeves or not. Lastly two different methods are given to sew the sleeves (if the flutter option isn’t chosen) one for a beginner and a “clean” version given to help push your sewing skills.

The first Maddie I made was Little E’s (my daughter). We decided on a fabric that I had used to make myself a dress earlier in the summer. I wanted a tunic length for her, something she could wear with leggings plus the added benefit of being able to tuck it into a skirt for a more put together look! I also used the flutter sleeve option.

The next shirt I sewed up was for Miss K (Elaine’s daughter). Miss K is a sweet shy child, until she gets to know you. I think I have only ever seen her give her mother a hard time once - though I am sure her mother would say otherwise. With this sweetness in mind I wanted to use lace to accent Miss K’s top. To accentuate the sage green that I used for the sleeve bands, I drafted an applique using a pocket pattern as my template.  I sewed the curved appliques along the sides of the shirt (I really wanted to make patch pockets, but didn’t have enough fabric) and trimmed them with lace. To keep with the simple and sweet design of the top I sewed a pair of shorts that were trimmed with the same lace. When sewing the sleeve bands I chose the “clean” method, this results in all the raw edges being hidden. It was a little tricky but I love the result.

For Miss L, the word spunky comes to mind. She is a clever girl with a lot going on in her head. I sewed her a crop top version of the Maddie and to keep everything modest made some high-waisted culottes. I drafted a facing for the hem, something to give the hemline more bulk and structure and then attached the facing to the shirt using a hemstitch needle and decorative stitch. Drafting a facing piece is very simple, especially since the hem allowance on the Maddie is very small. I also used Sis Boom’s free Beatrice Bow pattern, attaching it to the back.

One of the places we took pictures was at the Clara Barton School House in Bordentown. Clara Barton created the first free school here in New Jersey, along with founding the American Red Cross several years later. The one room school was perfect for our photos, it had benches, white picket fence, and a lamp post. Coordinating with the Bordentown Historical Society was great too, if you are in the area I recommend dropping by. We got a personal tour of the inside of the school and learned a lot about the era, Clara Barton and education.

This was such a fun tour to do. I really enjoyed making the clothes for the three girls and getting them together to take pictures. Even coordinating and discussing the details with the moms was exciting, though getting three little girls who are best friends together made things difficult, all they wanted to do was play! Or it could have been the 90 degree weather with 100% humidity that morning that made things a little hard :)

Thanks to Sis Boom Patterns for providing me with the Maddie pattern and allowing us to join in this awesome blog tour. You can find the Maddie pattern and more here at Sis Boom's Shop! Sis Boom has also provided us with a Maddie Pattern to giveaway to our readers!! Leave us a comment about how you would get creative with your Maddie pattern to enter, we will close the contest on Sept 2 after the blog tour ends!!

There are some awesome sewers with At School and Play Blog Tour, you can check out the bloggers and their dates below! And don't forget to check out Sis Boom's Facebook Group.

Welcome to the Sis Boom Blog tour!

We are excitied to announce that our bloggers EACH have a pattern giveaway on their posts! Everyday something new; so be sure to follow along with this tour!

August 22 Paisley Roots / August 23 Cookies n' Bees  /  August 24 Tina Sew Tiny  /  August 25 Screeching Dinosaur  /  August 26 PearBerry Lane  /  August 29 Troosp To Tots  /  August 30 A Crazy Craft Lady  /  August 31 Glitter in My Coffee  /  September 1 Sunflower Seams  /  September 2 Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Written by: Shawna

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Coat Dress from "Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids"

Continuing with the monthly challenge of sewing one Japanese pattern a month I decided to make the "Coat Dress" from book "Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids" by Akiko Mano. I’ve be participating in Mie’s challenge since February (I think). With the project that I had planned for this  month, it was nice to be able to see what others had made with this pattern, I don’t usually have that luxury with Japanese patterns. Sew Shelly Sew created a beautiful red buffalo print version, Rachel from Making The Toss has the cutest photo of her creation, and lastly Sanae from Sanae Ishida made a wonderful coat out of boucle wool. She also has an awesome post about the many creations she made using “Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids” that can be seen here. With all these inspiring coat dresses to stir my imagination I really enjoyed the process of creating something I would love.

With this garment I wanted to use embellishments and I finally decided on a lace with velvet ribbon weaved through the holes. For fabric I used a wool suiting that I had purchased this past Christmas for my son and two nephews for their Christmas outfits. Somehow I miscalculated the yardage needed and ended up with a lot of leftover fabric, but upside is that it is such a nice fabric that I enjoy sewing with.

One of the major design changes I made to the pattern was to line the coat. As written this coat does not have a lining but rather a few facings, and I’ve never drafted my own lining that incorporated facings too. It was a little interesting and I learned a lot, like the fact that the lining attaches to the facing and not the jacket, sew and learn!

The instructions for the coat are minimal, but for me they were enough - which was a great feeling. One of the larger errors I made was to accidentally sew the pleats on one side of the front in the wrong direction, but the sew fairies were looking out for me. When I ordered the lace and ribbon I saw a pin that coordinated well with the design of the jacket, well the lovely pin is quite large, but it hides the direction of pleats so this pin was an awesome addition to the coat. I didn’t even notice the pleats were going the wrong direction until after I was looking at pictures of the completed coat - so I don’t think anyone else is going to notice either.

Other than that this coat was a joy to make and my daughter calls it her princess coat (because the pin has a diamond on it). I took Little E out to the local gardens to get some pictures of her “Princess Coat Dress”, she was a good trooper. It was about 85 degrees with some humidity - so not the more pleasant weather to be wearing a coat!

And lastly a picture of Little E with one of her favorite friends, Miss R!

Thanks for reading this post!

Written by: Shawna

Monday, August 22, 2016

DIY Felt City Car Mat

DIY Felt City Car Mat
By Angela
I’m not sure if it is just a boy thing, but my one and two year old boys LOVE playing with little cars. I decided to make them a little felt city to drive their cars on. These are super easy, though a little time consuming due to the detail. You can do as little detail or as much detail as you want! I made two of them so far, and one was a gift for Shawna’s son. I made his like a little New Jersey town, since they live in New Jersey. Go crazy with it though! I have basic instructions below with some ideas to make your very own!
Large green felt square (mine was 3x3 feet)- Michael’s or even Walmart
Various colors of felt
Fabric glue (something strong that won’t allow for easy removal)
Let’s get started!
I started with my roads by using black strips of felt, making some roads straight and others curvy. I cut out small white rectangles for lane separators. Starting with your road makes it easy to see the layout of your town and where all your town businesses should go.
Ideas for car stops include: a farm, playground, gas station, the woods, a beach, hospital, church, fire department, police station, construction zone, the pool, the zoo, an airport, a downtown, a bridge, a parking lot, a neighborhood, and much more!
We used extra toys, like a farmer at the farm or the bulldozer at the construction site above, to add more character to the mat!