Friday, January 13, 2017

Ombre and Coral Rag Quilts

So my Dear Friend Jenny has the most beautiful, loving, caring, heart and is raising her children to care as much as she does.  Not only to care, but to do something too.  Recently a friend of theirs was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and Jenny's kids (on their own) decided to hold a handmade sale to raise money for their friend's medical expenses. 

These rag quilts have been on my to-sew list for a very long time.  I've even had the squares cut out sitting in a box waiting for me to actually assemble the blankets.  Jenny's call for donations for her kid's Handmade Sale bumped this project to the top of my sewing list so I could send some over to be part of their sale.

I LOVE the colors in these quilts.  Coral is my favorite shade of pink and I love combining it with darker and lighter shades.  It screams girl and love and Valentine's day instead of Pepto Bismol.  And WARMTH.

I love these rag blankets for how cozy they are.  The fraying flannel is soft and inviting.  These are so nice for wrapping around babies to snuggle, tucking in car seats, and carrying in diaper bags for adventures outside.  And the colors...they just call to me! I keep looking at them wishing I had enough fabric left to make a lap sized one for my living room.  I don't have babies, but we all love cuddling with blankets and these ones are just my kind of Valentine decor.

Want one for your baby or a baby you know?  The good news is you can buy one at Jenny's Handmade Sale if you are lucky enough to know her and live close by.  Beautiful Blanket for a Beautiful Cause.

If you can't buy from the Handmade Sale, there is still good news!  I have a couple listed for sale online!   Head over to my Etsy Shop to see the full listings.  Oh, I need another baby girl so these can stay in my home...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Graphic Pieced Baby Quilt or Wall Hanging

This beautiful quilt was just posted in my Etsy Shop!  Head on over if you'd like to buy it.

The quilt is made using a pattern called Pattern Play by   I love that it feels like a herringbone pattern, but is unique.  The braided squares create a stunning visual!  It is graphic, abstract, and mesmerizing-a bit busy, but in a way that draws you in! 

This quilt features a beautiful combination of gray, mustard, navy and slate inspired by the beautiful Cloud9 fabric used for the backing and is approximately 40" square.  It's just the right size for a baby blanket or for a small wall hanging.

Love the pattern but have a different color scheme in mind?  Get inspiration from other quilts I have made Here and Here with the same pattern but slightly different colors and sizes.  I'd love to make you a custom quilt just the way you want!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Rainbow Sprinkle Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Nut-Nut turned 3 the end of November and wanted a rainbow cake for her birthday.  I thought about making on of those cool cakes where each layer is a different color, but I don't have the right kind of pans to do that without making a giant cake that my family would never be able to finish.  

Then I decided a cake with sprinkles all over would be rainbow-but I couldn't wrap my head around rolling an entire cake in sprinkles to get it covered.

So last I decided sprinkle cupcakes would do just fine.  I don't remember how the cones got added in.  I think I just wanted to try it out.  

So I present rainbow sprinkle ice cream cone cupcakes.  They were pretty fun...

Monday, December 26, 2016

Teacher Gift-Infinity Scarves

This year I made some infinity scarves for my kids teachers.  I sewed up two thinking I had all the teachers covered.  Then I looked at Nut#3 the next morning a realized-he's in Kindergarten!  And not only does he have a teacher, but he has a teacher's aid who helps in the class every day!  I only had half the gifts done when I though I had them all done.

Luckily these scarves are really fast to sew.  I added a tag when I sewed them up and called it good!  Merry Christmas!

Don't judge my inability to take a selfie...focus on the scarves...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pattern Review: Love Notions Moto Max/Maxxine Pants

I've put off doing this review for a long time because I really wanted to like this pattern, and figure out how to fit these pants.  But I guess I just need to document where I am since I'm forgetting details.

I bought the Maxxine Pants pattern in the 2015 Black Friday Sale and then didn't sew them up until Fall 2016.  I was hoping to be able to make pants for my very 'particular' Nut#2, who has never been a kid to pick anything out of the drawer and wear it, but who has been extra difficult to dress now that I require real pants (not leggings) for school.  At one point, all of her pants were 'uncomfortable' and she could not get dressed in less than 30 minutes as she tried on every single pair in her drawer, crying along the way.  

Pattern: Maxxine Pants
Designer: Love Notions
Style:Slim fit Pants-Elastic Waist-I omitted the ankle zippers but sometimes made the pockets.
Fabric: Various fabrics for various versions-all were recommended fabrics-Stretch Denims, Stretch Sateen, Ponte
Size Range: 2T-14
Size made: I mostly made 6 graded to 7 length-other versions in other sizes
Lengths: 2 Long and cropped
Sleeve lengths:N/A
Sleeves cut on Fold:N/A
Alterations/Hacks: Yes-notes made in my descriptions-sometimes I adjusted the pattern to use 1" elastic instead of 2" as well as various changes to try to improve the fit and preferences of my daughter.
Clear Instructions: Easy to follow with illustrations
Seam Allowance: 3/8"
Layers: yes
Trimless: Yes 
Dislikes or desired changes? They have a bagginess around the crotch I don't like.  I also felt like they were baggy around the thighs even though my daughter said they are tight on her bum.
Sew again?  I will probably try another version with 2" elastic, increased crotch width, and try slimming the outside seam
Would you recommend it to others? On the fence. They are okay-just not crazy about them. 

Pair 1 was size 6 with 7 length made out of a knit Ponte Roma.  She didn't like them because the were cutting into her crotch so I scooped them out some in the front and lowered the front rise because it looked bunchy too.  Bunchy and yet cutting into her crotch.

Pair 2 was 6 width 7 length made out of a stretch denim. I messed up when lowering the rise and lowered the back.  They are salvageable but too short in the crotch all around.  Oops.

Pair #3 was pants for Nut#3's Oshawott Halloween Costume made out of cotton lycra knit.  Size 4 graded to 5 length.  It seemed to do well for him. 

Pair #4 was pants for Nut-Nut's Purrloin Halloween costume re-purposed from a knit dress of mine.  Size 2T.  The fabric is a sturdy knit and has good recovery.  Her pants seem to fit her just fine.

Both #3 and #4 I altered the pattern for 1" elastic instead of 2".  Both of those pairs seemed to end up really long.  Probably because of the cuffs.  I was told the Moto Maxx and Maxxine pants were exactly the same so I didn't print out the pattern for the Moto Maxx-I just used the Maxxine pattern I already had printed.  The Moto Maxx instruction did not say I needed to cut any length off for doing cuffs, but since I didn't print the pattern out I guess I don't know if the only difference between the two patterns is the length to compensate for the cuffs.

Pair #5 was squeezed out of stretch sateen.  Nut#2 complained that Pairs 1, 2, and 5 were all tight on her bum even though on pair 5 I added width to the side seams.

Pair #6 is another one out of Stretch denim.  #6 had more adjustments than other pairs.  I was out of 2" elastic, so I used 1" elastic, adding an inch to the height of the main pants and taking out 2' in the waistband to compensate.  After reading This post I decided the crotch width was too small and may be what was making her uncomfortable.  So I added almost an inch to the back crotch length so the crotch width was in the suggested range for kid's pants.  Then I took off some of the front length from the top and ended up taking off more from the back too.  They seem to fall down on her and she's still pulling them up all the time.  It may have been better if I had been able to use the 2 " elastic.

So overall, I'm not sure about the pants.  The two I made for Halloween costumes are out of knit and are being worn by Nut#3 and Nut-Nut as pajamas without problems.  They are slim without being skin tight like leggings.  The crotch doesn't seem to be a big deal (even though it looks really baggy on my son) because they are out of knit.

Nut#2 still does not seem to like any of her pants.  And all of the ones made from this pattern have a funny bunching around the crotch-like the crotch length in front is too long.  Shortening the crotch length in front did not seem to solve the problem.  It's the same funny bunching I saw in the pants I made for myself.  I don't know how to fix them.  (If by chance you do know how to fix this, please contact me and help a girl out!)  The crotch in the front just looks funny (well, for girls it is funny-it doesn't bug me so much on my boy)-even some of the tester photos look funny to me-but the most attractive looking pants in the tester photos are black and you can't see any details of the crotch area because of the color.  I can't decide if my problems are fitting problems or with the pattern itself.

Also, some of the drafting seemed a bit off.  I had to square up the front and back rise at the waist-where the elastic attaches to the pants.  The crotch seam also needed to be squared up.  The side seams did not match up perfectly and when I measured the pattern pieces, varied widely from small sizes to big sizes.  Big sizes had a large difference while small sizes were a small difference.  I ended up needing to even up the bottom by about 1/2 inch on the size 6/7.  The angle of the pockets do not always match the angle for them on the front pattern piece.  I mentioned that in the group but have not heard of any fixes.  The back pockets are annoying to sew.  Because they are angled, when folding them under you sometimes get little flaps that will hang over the edge and can't always be hidden by the next side you fold under.  It would be nice if the pattern pieces took that into account and were shaped so when you fold them under nothing hangs beyond the edge.

And some pictures.  I didn't get pictures of all the versions

Pant #5

 Pant #4

Pant #3

Pant #6

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pattern Test: Maggie Knit Top and Dress

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope everyone has enjoyed time with family and friends and been able to do a bit of reflecting on the good things in your lives.  Top in my list are my husband, my kids, my faith, and my sewing machine.

That last one was a bit tongue in cheek, but I am grateful to be able to sew-for the challenge and satisfaction I get from tackling and completing a project.  And seeing those projects be used and loved!

Anyways...time for another pattern test!  A slim fit knit top, tunic, and dress.

I decided I wanted to test this pattern even though I kind of have a go-to t-shirt pattern because I thought some comparison might do me good.  

The Maggie top doesn't have many bells and whistles, but is a solid pattern.  I helped in the pre-testing phase as well as the testing phase.  Here are some specs about the pattern.

Pattern: Maggie Knit Top and Dress
Designer: Bellan Sunshine Designs
Style: Slim fit t-shirt
Fabric: Knit (Doodles collection from a year ago)
Size Range: 6 mo.-12
Size made: 5 blended to 6 for length
Lengths: 3 (shirt, tunic, dress) shirt length pictured
Sleeve lengths: 3 (short, 3/4, long) long sleeve pictured
Sleeves cut on Fold: yes
Alterations/Hacks: No
Clear Instructions: Easy to follow with illustrations
Seam Allowance: 3/8"
Layers: yes
Trimless: No

I really like Bella Sunshine Design patterns.  Melissa Pendergast (the designer) really tries to get a good fit and is very open to feedback.  Melissa's design aesthetic is vintage/retro-modern.  Which translates into dress hems hitting slightly above the knee.  I did not make the dress option, but know that is where it is intended to hit.

This shirt fits and is drafted well.  Hems have angles accounting for folding up and seams match up.  Shoulder seams at the neckline are not trued which generally gets evened out when you put on the binding-but is a personal pet peeve of mine.  I have not printed out the final pattern but in testing I felt like the neckline needed to a bit higher and more trued (if that's how to say it-approach the fold at perpendicular angle for longer to create less of a 'v' and more of a rounded neckline)  I'm not sure if that feedback was incorporated into the final pattern but are easy for me to adjust on my own for my personal preferences.

All-in-all, a solid pattern I plan to use over and over again!  It may become by go-to for a basic t instead of the Hibernis Cowl Shirt because of the slim fit-which I like for my girls.  Time will tell...

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pattern Test: Deer Creek Tunic and Dress

I finally got to test another pattern for Terra of New Horizons!  (She changed her name from Terra's Treasures since I last tested for her.)  As I anticipated, this pattern is really well put together.

Specs for this pattern

Pattern:Deer Creek Tunic and Dress
Designer: New Horizons
Style: Dolman style top 
Fabric: light to medium weight knit-I used lightweight jersey
Size Range: 6 mo.-16
Size made: 6
Top Lengths: 3-Tunic (curved hem), dress (curved hem), dress (straight hem)
Sleeve lengths:3-short, long, and 3/4
Sleeves cut on Fold: technically no, because the pattern piece is flat, but yes the front and back are the   same shape-it's a dolman...
Alterations/hacks: no
Clear Instructions: Instructions were not complete during testing so I can't fully comment.  
Seam Allowance: 3/8"
Layers: yes
Trimless: yes
Sew Again: Yes!
Recommend: Yes

There are notches for matching up pieces correctly.  The pieces all fit together perfectly.  The techniques are good-and taught me something new.  I don't love sewing curved hems, but I learned a trick that helped it come out pretty well!

But my favorite thing is the style of this tunic-easy and comfortable but has some shape.  I bought this fabric intending to make a dolman for me out if it and then saw the test for this.  I decided to use it for the pattern test and make one for myself in the size 16 (cause I'm really close to the measurements and thought this would be forgiving.)  Unfortunately, matching up the stripes didn't allow for me to cut out a top for me too.  Boo.  But I did use the rest to make myself a scarf.  I should share that...

Nut#2 probably won't be wearing this until summer because of how lightweight the fabric is.  Hopefully she will still fit because I think it is adorable!  I can't wait to make my own!  There is a coordinating women's pattern, but if I can fit into the 16 why buy another pattern?  :)