Monday, October 28, 2013

The Olivia Top: Pattern Review & Giveaway!

Oh snap. What is this cuteness going on?! You guys. Olivia has her very own top named after her! Ok, ok. So maybe Jess wasn't thinking of my Olivia when she named her new pattern The Olivia Top & Dress, but probably she would have if she knew how awesome it was going to look on this child of mine. Because, well, look at her! I kind of want her to wear this every single day. Or never wear it so it will never get stained and stay just as adorable as the day I made it. (Am I the only one who struggles with this internal dilemma over handmade goodies?)

But back to the point. Which is that The Olivia Top & Dress pattern is awesome. And I will tell you why. First of all, Jess of Craftiness Is Not Optional wrote & designed it. And if you know Jess, then that should be reason enough. But in case you don't know Jess (though I'm not sure how that's possible unless you're one of my family members who doesn't actually follow sewing blogs and only reads my blog for occasional pictures of your granddaughter/niece) I'll tell you some other reasons this pattern rocks...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cozy Flannel PJ Pants

Last night Olivia wore pj shorts and a t-shirt to bed. This morning we woke up to snow. Today's Kids Clothes Week project: these cozy flannel pj pants.

I found this soft, comfy flannel in the remnant bin at Jo-Ann's today and it was the perfect amount for a pair of pj pants. I used the simple Kid Pants pattern from MADE. I've used this free pattern several times in the past (mostly for lots of other pj's) and it's really fast and easy. ...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bandanna Bib Tutorial

Whoop whoop! Kids Clothes Week is in full swing and I'm back with another fast & easy tutorial. Today's project is this classic Bandanna Bib. All you need is a fat quarter of fabric or two and you'll be ready to make one for your own little goober.

Our own little baby boy model won't be arriving until January, so Charles the bear was kind enough to be our stand-in today. :) No special closures necessary, just tie it on your babe and then untie it when you're through. If you've got a drooler, these bibs are cuter than regular bibs and just as easy to switch out and throw in the wash when you're ready for a fresh one.

Get the full how-to below!...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Quick Skirt Tutorial

Hi friends! Are you participating in the radness that is Kids Clothes Week? I know I am. I've joined in on the KCW fun as often as I could for the past few years and it's always such a positive and productive experience.

I have several KCW projects in the works this week and, with any luck, I'll have a few more fun and easy tutorials to share with you before the end of the week. First up, though, this sweet and simple little Quick Skirt!

This skirt is perfect for little girls. It moves really well, but it isn't so full that it flies up and shows off their, you know, tights. ;) It can be made from a wide variety of fabrics and is perfect for church, everyday play, or upcoming holiday parties. And did I mention it's quick?

You know I love a good pattern, but sometimes I just need a quick project to rev my engines. This fun little Quick Skirt does just that! Don't be fooled by the fact that it has fully-enclosed seams and looks like a first rate piece of clothing, this little baby is faaaast. And easy as pie! Get the full how-to below...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Skipper Top (Pattern Review)

I was thrilled when Abby of Sew Much Ado asked me to be a part of the pattern tour for her new pattern, The Skipper Top.* It's a fun girls t-shirt pattern for sizes 6M-10. Having tested a couple of Abby's patterns in the past, I know what high quality work she does. Her patterns are well-written, clearly photographed/illustrated, and always result in a truly wonderful finished product.

Several months ago she had sent me a copy of her pattern for The Seafarer Top, which is the women's version of The Skipper Top. I basically live in t-shirts and jeans, so I was super excited to give her easy (and so cute!) pattern a try. But I put it off for a few weeks too long... and then found out I was pregnant... and then laid on the couch feeling sick for what felt like months... and then my belly was too big to fit into a regular size t-shirt. Booooo.

My Seafarer days will have to wait until after the little Mr. graces us with his presence, but, in the mean time, I was able to get a feel for just how quick, satisfying, and flattering these t-shirts are by sewing up a couple different versions for Olivia.

See more below...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DIY Infinity Scarf Tutorial

Hi friends! Guess what?! It's tutorial day! Yay! Are you ready for another fun, fast, and easy project? In today's lesson we will learn how to make this super comfy infinity scarf. I don't know about you, but I looove me a good infinity scarf. They look cute and fun, they never fall off, and you don't have to be a tying ninja to make them look awesome.

Also, for those of you with your Christmas planning caps on, you can tuck this little tutorial away as a great go-to gift for the women on your list this year. Since it takes only one piece of fabric (no cutting!) and two seams, you could have gifts for all the ladies on your list taken care of in less than an hour. Boo-yah!

Let's get to it!...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The next few months

First off, I want to say a big thank to all of you who purchased one of the Sew Fab pattern bundles. THANK YOU! I hope you enjoy creating the things from those patterns and maybe even take the time to snap some pictures and share your creations with the world. From what I've heard, the sale was a huge success overall and I definitely felt that way about it here on my blog.

I know it can sometimes get a little tiresome and even (often) feel a little un-authentic to have someone trying to sell you something for a week straight. And for those of you who follow several of us who were participating in the sale, well, let's face it, you probably got a little weary of hearing about it after a while. But I want to say, as a person, a mom, a creator, a girl on a budget who's doing the best she can, it meant a lot to me personally to feel your support as you commented on my posts throughout the week last week. I know several of you said you felt inspired by the things I made from the pattern bundle and I just want to reach back and tell you how much that meant to my little heart. I know something silly like a pattern sale can seem insignificant and impersonal, but, to quote You've Got Mail, "It was personal to me. [And] whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal." Thank you, friends. 

And if you'll excuse me talking about money for a little bit, well, I'm going to talk about money. :) One of the reasons I was so thrilled with the success of the sale (you know, aside from you all getting your hands on some truly wonderful patterns) was the fact that the money I earned from it is going to help me re-invest in both myself and in you. I know a lot of bloggers run their mini-businesses a lot of different ways, but for the past year or more I've been running my blog and funding my projects (including everything it took to write my book) from my own revenue. While I'm not at a place yet financially to really contribute anything to our family budget, I do try my best to keep from taking away from our family budget for my own projects and creative pursuits. In other words, the money I earn from selling patterns and printables from my shop, the few ads I host, and the occasional rockin' pattern sale goes right back into buying fabric and other materials for projects and tutorials that I share here with you.

Still, in spite of my best intentions, my creative budget has been a bit in the red since some necessary book-writing purchases and I've been trying to do a few extra things to help pay back what I owe to our family budget. I don't share this to sound pitiful (although maybe that's the effect it's having--haha), but because I think it's important to share what it's really like to be a blogger and an author and the wife of grad student all at the same time. It's not just pretty pictures and gorgeous fabric growing on trees. It's a lot of work. And even though it's work that I love and that I pour my heart and soul into, it rarely leaves me with piles of money. (Uhh... and by rarely I mean never.) I've laughed a handful of times in these past few months as I've seen the way others glamorize my becoming an published author. I can just see the money signs in their eyes and feel the way they assume I'll be appearing on television and becoming this really famous person all of a sudden. Ha. If only. :) The truth is that I'm still just sketching out projects in 50 cent notebooks and working on projects in my little basement studio and fighting the daily battle of "no, you really should wear something other than yoga pants today." 

But can I also tell you how amazingly happy I am?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ghostie Garland Tutorial

This fun and easy ghostie garland is sure to spookify your house and charm your guests this Halloween. Make it into a garland or hang your ghosties individually! (Oooh, a little morbid? How appropriate.) Get the full how-to below! ...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Last Day!

Hi friends! Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to purchase your Sew Fab pattern bundle! If you haven't had a chance to buy the bundle yet, click HERE or on the button below (affiliate links) to buy the bundle and get all 26 of these great patterns for only $29.95. The sale ends TOMORROW (Oct. 8) morning at 8 am so hurry and buy your bundle while you can!

See this post for a full round up of all of the great clothes I made using a few of the patterns in this bundle and see below a link to the huge giveaway and for all of the Sew Fab pattern bundle details...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Week of Sew Fab Goodness

It's been quite the fun week around here with so many great patterns from the Sew Fab pattern bundle (affiliate link) to try and share. Thanks so much for all of your enthusiasm and support throughout the week as I've been sharing all of my recent creations with you! I always love reading your comments and hearing how excited you are to make your own.

If you haven't had a chance to buy the bundle for yourself yet, click HERE or on the button below (affiliate links) to buy the bundle and get all 26 of these great patterns for only $29.95. The sale ends at 8 am on Tuesday morning (Oct. 8) so hurry and buy your bundle while you can!

In celebration of the fun and busy week we've had here on the blog, I thought I'd do a quick round-up of all of the things I sewed this week from the bundle. Let's get to it!

On Monday I shared this cute and comfy sweater and leggings ensemble, perfect for these chilly fall and winter months. You can see this outfit and get all the details in the original post here.

On Tuesday I shared these extra cute undies plus a quick how-to for using fold over elastic (FOE) around the waistband and leg holes. This method gives a great finish and saves a lot of time. Get all the details in the original post here.

Also on Tuesday...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Itty Bitty Pants for Baby Brother

It was kind of inevitable, right? Matchy-matchy red pants for Olivia and the baby?

The Sew Fab pattern bundle sale (affiliate link) is open through Monday morning at 8 am, but this is the last thing I made from the Sew Fab patterns that I have to share with you all (for now). :)

After making the sweater and pants (both here and here) for Olivia, I still had a bunch of this cozy red knit left over, so of course I had to make some itty bitty pants for baby brother too. ...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pockets, Pants, and Twirls

Hi friends! How's your day been? Good? Full of laughing and playing and spinning around in a twirly, fun dress? I hope so.

This outfit was perhaps the hardest one to photograph because Olivia loved to move in it so much. I just couldn't get the girl to stand still for two whole seconds in a row. Which I guess is saying some pretty good things about these patterns which I might not have been able to share with you otherwise. They're just plain fun to wear!

Both patterns are from the Sew Fab pattern bundle (affiliate link) which *hint! hint!* is only available through the end of this week. So snap them up while you can!

Want to learn more about these two fun pieces? Well then, come with me! ...

20% off Simple Sewing: 30 Fast & Easy Projects for Beginners by Katie Lewis

Hey friends! Remember that contest you helped me win on Facebook a while back? Well I finally have the coupon code to share with you! Yay!

Now through Oct. 16, use the code SS20 and receive 20% off when you pre-order my book from Cedar Fort or Books & Things.

Already placed your pre-order elsewhere?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Little Heart Skinnies & A Red Greenpoint

Hang on a minute.

Almost done.

There. Ta-da!

What do you think? You likey the new digs?

These delicious little goodies are more products of the wonderful patterns in the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle (affiliate link) that's available this week. For $29.95 you get 26 awesome patterns that you'll use again and again. Because, really, who doesn't need a pair of heart skinnies? (I know I do.)

The Greenpoint Cardigan pattern (reg price $12.00) was unbelievably quick. The instructions were super straightforward and easy to follow and the result was, well, you can see for yourself. It's a winner.

Also, I would like to recognize this momentous occasion. I received my sewing machine as a wedding gift from my parents, grandparents, and aunt and uncle nearly 6 years ago now, thanks to this cardigan... (drum roll please...)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Little Red Chicken Legs

Hola, friends.

Are you starting to get your Halloween costumes ready? I'm not. I'm done! Oh snap.

Olivia's actually worn this cute little chicken costume for Halloween for the past couple of years. It's a 4T costume (originally from Old Navy) that I bought from the thrift store when Olivia was 2. It was a little longer on her then. I've heard from friends who have the same costume (bought brand new) that it came with a pair of orange tights or leggings, but since ours didn't come with that from the thrift store, we just find a new pair of leggings to wear with it every year. After trying out the fancy pants leggings for the first time, I knew they'd be perfect for this year's chicken legs.

The Fancy Pants Leggings pattern (reg price $9.00) is part of the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle (affiliate link) available for sale this week only. When you buy the bundle you get 26 great patterns for only $29.95. Basically, you're getting 26 patterns for a little more than $1 a piece. Boo-yah.

I made these fancy pants in size 4T with the regular waistband and ankle cuffs. They're a little long on her, which is exactly what I was hoping for because it means she'll be able to wear them all fall and winter. I made them from a slightly thicker knit (closer to a sweater knit) that I found at Jo-Ann's. Because of the cuff at the ankle, the extra length doesn't get in her way, which I really like.

And, as I mentioned the other day, this pattern is one of my new favorites from the bundle (affiliate link). It's super fast, super easy, has minimal pattern pieces to cut out, and ends is a really clean, comfy finished set of pants. We'll use these ones for her chicken legs, but they'll also be great for regular leggings and thick tights under her dresses. Have I told you yet how much I love this pattern? :)

Here's a back view of that cute little bum. Well, the bum of the pants. :) The extra bum panel in the back makes for a great fit and keeps them from falling down and showing off her actual little bum. Always a bonus.

She loves the pants. The only thing she's not so sure about?

Undies Pattern (with FOE update)

My own pattern being offered in the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle (affiliate link) is my Undies Pattern (reg price $10.00). I first created this pattern because I simply couldn't find any undies small enough to fit my tiny girl when we first started trying to potty train her. The pattern runs sizes 12-18 months to size 6, so we're still putting it to good use.

This pattern has always been a favorite of mine (okay, okay, so maybe I'm a little biased), but this time around I tried finishing off the edges with fold over elastic (FOE) and now I love it even more.

Okay, confession time first. Even though this pattern is really straight forward and easy to follow (and--hello! even though I wrote it), I messed it up when I was making this pair by sewing the casing on one of the leg holes on backwards. Boo to dumb mistakes. But the strawberry print (from my favorite local shop, Sew to Speak) was too cute to throw in the scrap pile, so I decided to try and salvage them by finishing off the leg holes with FOE instead. That's why the leg hole on the left looks wider than the right leg hole. I was too lazy to unpick a million zigzag stitches, so I just trimmed off my mistake and covered it with FOE instead. Sometimes you just gotta loosen up and live a little. And I'm so glad I did! Because this is my new favorite way to make these fun little undies.

Here's a quick how-to: