Monday, December 22, 2014

Naughty and Nice Blog Tour


I had the privilege of being part of the naughty and nice blog tour!  Green Style and EYMM are releasing two wonderful patterns just in time for some quick pre-Christmas selfish sewing.  I have decided that I love sewing for myself.  Let's face it as a mother of five kiddos shopping for myself just doesn't happen.  Last time I had the ridiculous idea of shopping for myself it went like in the fitting room with a 2 and a 3 year old.  My son "ewwww I see your butt"  in the loudest voice possible, my daughter "mommy you have cute underwear, I don't have a bra, you're naked" me, "no honey I'm not naked I'm just changing clothes"  then sword fighting with hangers starts and before I have even tried on one complete outfit my daughter, "mommmmmmy I have to go PEE!"  and that was the end of my shopping.   So I have found "selfish sewing" to work a lot better for me.  I can pick the colors of what I'm making, get the fit right and stitch it up when the kids are in bed.  In fact that is what I did with these two patterns.  They are both incredibly fast to sew, I stitched up both of these last night.

First I made the Norah nightgown by Green Style.  This was my Christmas present to my husband. Yay for multitasking -blog done and Christmas present done!   When I tried it on he couldn't believe that I had made it including the panties (which fit so perfectly).   He's always nagging me to sew more "practical" things, I think this might qualify as practical enough for him ;)  I used a very light weight knit with a burnout pattern on it, making it comfortable and sexy all at the same time.  This is can be made in three different lengths and has a boyshort or thong pantie version.  It's available in sizes XXS-3XL.  There's something pretty exciting about making something so special for yourself.  If I have enough time my husband wants a red stretch velvet one with white trim for Christmas hehe.....
A lightweight knit that is not see through could also be used to make this more of an everyday nightie.


Next I stitched up the Off the Shoulder Dress Peplum by EYMM.  I had the opportunity to test this pattern so I have already made a couple for myself, check out my blog for those versions.  I also made a beautiful one for my mom.  Since I've made this pattern a few times I decided to alter this one a little this time around.  I went down one size to make it more fitted and lengthened the bodice portion.  This resulted in a drop waist look.  I used the circle skirt and just finished the edges with my serger.  I wanted it to look more casual and comfy.  I used a french terry so that it's pretty warm and perfect to throw on for last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, or sipping on coffee Christmas morning while watching my crazy kids create a tornado of wrapping paper.
This pattern is availabe in sizes XS-5X and has the option of a circle or gathered peplum or skirt.

The one I made for my Mom out of a sheer light weight sweater knit.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and don't forget to take care of yourself!  It's such a busy time of the year that it can be easy to forget about taking care of ourselves as wives and mothers but if we don't then believe everybody around us suffers.  A happy mom and wife equals a happy home :)

Make sure you check out the other stops on this blog tour for some more selfish sewing inspiration.



Saturday, December 6, 2014

EYMM does it again! The off the shoulder dress/tunic

I love EYMM patterns the directions are very easy to follow and the designs are always right on trend.  Kymy, the designer of EYMM patterns, definitely did not disappoint on her latest creation, the off the shoulder cowl neck dress or tunic.  You know you have a winner when you're husband loves it and your mom, sister and brother's girlfriend all see it and ask for one.
Let's start with the basics:  the pattern is available in a broad size range  XS-5X, it's designed for knits although the skirt/ flounce portion can be made from woven.  Options, the best part, you can make this in either peplum or dress length.
Don't be scared at the thought of a peplum, I was at first.  Personally, I usually avoid peplums, love the look but hate the way they look on me.  With the beautiful cowl neckline and the length of the bodice to flounce portion this peplum works!  No longer do I look like a pear in a peplum :)
Anyway, I digress, back to options....the peplum flounce or the skirt portion can be made either as a circle skirt or a gathered skirt depending on the look you want.  In addition the bottom portion can be made from a variety of fabrics making the looks you can get from this pattern endless.
 I chose to do one in all knit and another one with a knit bodice and chiffon flounce.  I really want to do a dress version in velour and another shirt version in french terry, oh if only I had all day to sew......
A couple of the testers did the dress version and then put a pettiskirt under and oh my goodness it was amazing looking!  Perfect for holiday parties.
If I haven't convinced you yet that you need this pattern then this might help-this gorgeous pattern is part of the Sew Fab bundle available here.  You get 10 brand new, previously unreleased patterns for only $29.95, that's an amazing deal!

Flounce circle skirt in chiffon


Gathered flounce

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and please follow me on my adventures in sewing

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Miss Audrey Dress

First let me say how excited I am to be part of my first ever blog tour.  Even more exciting is the dress I get to tell you about! Oh and bonus the dress and I have the same name!!!! :)

 I had the privilege of testing the Miss Audrey dress by 1 Puddle Lane.  Let's start off with the basics....this is a princess seam bodice with the option of gathered or pleated skirt and side seam pockets.  The back has an invisible zipper and you have the option of making the dress fully lined or not.  The pattern is available in sizes 2-16 U.S. (6-20 UK/AUS sizes).  First you find your size based on your bust measurement, then your waist measurement and finally your bra cup size.  You can easily blend two sizes together to ensure and perfect fitting bodice. The PDF pattern has layers incorporated so you can choose to print only your size (I love this feature).  This is such a versatile dress and can be made out of almost any woven fabric, think quilting cotton, linen, satin, lace, gabardine, basically it's all up to the look you want and your imagination.  Take a minute to look through some of the other blog posts at the bottom of this post and see all of the beautiful variations.

I decided to go with the fully lined version with the pleated skirt in a striped cotton with some stretch to it.  Honestly I'm not sure what kind of fabric I would call it, I found it on the clearance section of my local Hancock's. I love the almost men's dress shirt look of it in contrast with the classic style of the Miss Audrey dress.  I was going for a 1950's housewife meets Wall Street.....I'm not sure if I achieved it but regardless I love the way the dress turned out LOL!

My Mom saw it and immediately wanted one, she was disappointed the fabric was clearance but I'm sure I can find something else she'll love.  Or I could purchase one of the fabric kits that are available through 1 Puddle Lane, it includes the necessary fabric for the Miss Audrey dress along with all of the notions.  How convenient is that??!!

Ann, the designer, is so extremely helpful if you ever get stuck on part of the pattern, even better she will be hosting a sew-a-long starting Monday December 1st for the Miss Audrey dress so that you can make a new dress in time for Christmas and have help and support while you do it.

Don't be intimidated by the zipper, the princess seams, or the lined bodice, believe me this pattern is so well written and Ann is always quick to answer questions with clear precise answers that I'm sure you can accomplish this dress.  It's definitely a dress that when you wear it people go "WOW, YOU made THAT?!?!"  Hehe I love hearing that!

Check her out on Facebook

Oh my goodness I love the pleats,  I'm very into pleats right now.  I love the simple classic feel of them!

Um yeah I probably should have ironed the back again :/

Thanks for reading my blog feel free to share and follow me, Audrey 

Take a minute to explore the other posts on the Blog Tour for some beautiful dresses and inspiration:

Wednesday, 26th Nov (today)
Abbie Daniels - Tigerlily Patterns

Thursday, 27th Nov
Debbie Cameron - Stitch It Now
Stacey Clements - All Sewn Up by Stacey

Friday, 28th Nov
Audrey Bottine - Pretty Precious Clothing
Lesley Fletcher - Cherub's Kiss

Saturday, 29th Nov
Natalie Williams - Sew Outnumbered
Leanne Benson - TBA

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rohan Hoodie modification

My son loves to pick out fabric.  He also loves tractors.  Hence I have yards and yards of bright big print tractor fabric.  The question is what do you do with it?  You can only make so many button down shirts and honestly some of the fabric he picks is a little garish (in my adult opinion) for button down shirts.  Yes you can add accent pockets with it but up until yesterday I hadn't found a pattern for wovens for my son that I totally loved that would work for all of this fabulous tractor fabric I have.  Then I was doing pattern research on Pinterest (ok actually wasting time and avoiding my dishes) when I stumbled upon the Rohan Hoodie by Crafty Kitty.   It was the answer!  Now my poor neglected son, neglected when it comes to mommy sewing for him, can have a fun sweatshirt.  The pattern is not originally fully lined but I went up one size and fully lined it with fleece.  In addition I added some cool yellow and grey FOE I had found on clearance to the neckline and cuffs.  This wasn't necessary just a fun touch.  He loves it!  It's cozy and covered in construction emblems what more could a three year old ask for!  I'm so pleased with the outcome!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Beach to School Knit Pants by Plucky Butterfly

I have tested quite a few patterns but this one in particular is a labor of love.  Pam, the designer, put so much effort and time into this pattern and it definitely shows in the fit of these shorts, capris, pants...  The pattern goes from sizes 2-12 and has five (yes five!) different lengths along with three (yes three!) different fits.  All in one pattern!  In addition it has the option of adding a flounce or a regular ruffle to the shorts, pants, capris.   This pattern is designed for knits and I found through my various tests that basically if it has stretch to it you can use it for these pants although I did get better results with knit that had a better recovery and if it doesn't have much stretch probably don't do the skinny fit (I might have possibly made my two year old a pair in denim that had very minimal stretch and had a bit of a time getting them over her booty :)  )   I had great sucess in making a pair for my three year old in stretch twill.  I added an elastic waist to his instead of the yoga style waistband I did for the girls.  He loves them, he thinks they're sweats and I love them because they aren't sweats.  Haha tricked the three year old!  
Warning I tested quite a few pairs of these so there's a lot of pictures to follow and as a side note some of these versions may differ slightly from the final pattern.  I wanted to share them though so you can get an idea of how amazingly versatile this pattern is.
 Jegging type of material slim fit
 French terry with reverse appliques loose fit
 Thin knit slim fit
 Velour slim fit on both girls and dolly
 Thin knit slim fit with grosgrain ribbon added to the top of the flounce
 4 way stretch knit slim fit with lace flounce
 French terry with contrast panels added on the sides, knee length loose fit
 4 way stretch knit (shorty short length)  perfect for beach wear or under dresses
4 way stretch knit, slim fit with flounce

As you can see the possibilities are nearly endless, these are such a quick sew and has quickly become my go to pattern whenever I need a pair of pants to go with a top, tunic or dress.  I love that the slim fit isn't completely fitted.  They're not leggings, instead they are just a bit looser.  A little more modest that way and very comfortable for playing.  In addition this pattern is unisex so believe you will get your money out of it!  Be creative with it and embellish away or use fun prints!  The Beach to School Knit Pants by Plucky Butterfly are only $5.95 through Sunday so hurry up and catch the introductory price!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Serger Pepper Everyday Tank and Dress

I had the privilege of testing the Everyday Tank and Dress for Serger Pepper.  It's part of the Aspiring Designers Challenge.  This pattern is for knits and is available in a broad range of sizes 3-14.  It is perfect for up cycling, I used a grown out of shirt for part of mine.  I could totally imagine using a large clearance printed shirt for the front panel.   You can make it in three different lengths, tank, midi or maxi.  I did the midi in size 6.  This dress came together so quickly and almost effortlessly.   I used an old shirt for the side panels and pockets and new material for the overlay material on the side panels and the front and back of the dress.  I've had this super sheer white knit laying around in my stash forever.  I loved the way it looked but being that it had an animal print on it and it was so sheer I just wasn't sure what to do with it.  Finally I found the perfect use!  I layered over an up cycled orange shirt for the side panels and combined it with some beautiful peach fabric for the front and back panels.  I went with the pocket option and decided to do those out of the orange for a little pop of color.  I was really happy with the results.  It's a fun comfortable dress.  Perfect for school and dress code approved.  Easy to wear and easy to sew, perfect for this busy mom!
I see many more of these in my future!  I'm thinking a stretch lace overlay on the side panels for my next one- my 3rd grader has a slight obsession with all things lace ;).

Available on Etsy and in Serger Pepper's shop (affiliate link).  Use the coupon code EVERYDAYTANK25 through September 6th.

Friday, August 22, 2014

One for the boys!

I had the fun opportunity to test the Zander Hoodie and Hoodie vest pattern for Kymy of EYMM.  Let me start by saying I have almost every pattern of her's and every one that I've had the chance to make so far has been amazing.  They come together beautifully and are always spot on when it come to the latest trends.  For my older kids finding patterns that have store bought looks is important.  The latest pattern is no different.  I will say that it is more of an intermediate pattern than a beginner.  The directions must be followed carefully, no speed reading :)  In addition there is a zipper in this pattern.  Before testing this pattern I had done three zippers so I wasn't a complete novice and I found the directions on installing the zipper to be very straightforward.  I originally tested the pattern in size 4/5 and then again in size 16/18.  I was more pleased with the larger size only because of my personal learning curve lol!  Of course my 16 year old son was a little stunned by the fact that I was sewing something for him and then that he had to model it.  He was a very good sport about it though.  This is a fun hooded sweatshirt with an asymmetrical zipper up the front, long sleeve or vest option and a pocket option in the front.  It is recommended to be made out of french terry, lightweight sweatshirt material or fleece with a knit lining.  The result is a mid-weight sweatshirt that is perfect for fall and spring wear, winter wear under a coat or if you're lucky enough to live in California all year around.  This pattern is available in sizes NB-18 and can be purchased right now through Pattern Revolution's BundleUp sale right now.

Look at that handsome kid!  I think he actually had fun modeling LOL!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Matching Outfits!

Soooo, I've become "that" mom, who put my daughter and I in matching outfits lol!  Actually though, I saw this fabric and loved it and decided it would work perfect for both of us and I had just gotten done testing the Sloan pattern for Bebelambs and Bebelambs has the Cassandra pattern for little girls, so why not! 
Technically I'm on vacation right now in California and supposed to be taking a break from sewing.  I couldn't help myself though and packed this dress and top which weren't quite finished thinking I might need a sewing fix.  Of course I did, so I borrowed my mom's sewing machine and finished them up.  The plus side to taking pictures in California is the beautiful scenery, much more interesting than the desert in Nevada. 
I used a beautiful cotton voile and lined the top and dress both in a lightweight cotton.  There's a small silver stripe  in the fabric although it's hard to see in the pictures.  I must mention, since of course I didn't think about it until after I had made the dress, if you decide to omit the ruffle on the Cassandra, make sure to add the additional length to the dress part when you cut it.  Oh well, Emma's dress is a little short but my justification is that I'll have her wear it with leggings or jeans come this winter.  The top I'm wearing is the Sloan pattern, made in the top/tunic length with a lining added.  The pattern has instructions on how to do this.  Is a very quick pattern with adorable results.  Miss Emma is wearing the Cassandra pattern without the ruffle.  This pattern also includes instructions on how to line it.  Both have a shirred bodice and tie straps.  I love both of these patterns for their simplicity and versatility.  An extra bonus-no pattern pieces to print (YAY!!!) just measurements for the fabric pieces to cut.

 Spinning in circles
 Playing on the Redwoods
An old abandoned house in the Santa Cruz mountains, thankfully the steps didn't break :/
   Sloan                                     Cassandra
 Eating blackberries=end of the photo shoot :)
Such a fun photo shoot and sew!!!!! I would recommend doing at least one matching outfit with your daughter because before you know it she'll be a teenager and barely even want to acknowledge your presence, (believe me I know, I have one).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Elle Belle by Bebelambs

I had the opportunity to test another amazing pattern from Bebelambs, the Elle Belle romper.  This is such a fun pattern.  There are so many amazing options that enable you to be creative and personalize it to fit your style and come up with a different look each time you use the pattern. The pant portion can be done in bloomer or regular length, with a standard hem, shirred bottom or ruffle bottom.  The bodice accommodates every child's different body sizes by including a short, medium or long torso option.  The back is shirred (don't worry the pattern includes very easy to follow instructions on how to shir) or if you dislike shirring or don't want to tackle it you can do the elastic casing option in the back.  The straps go through a buttonhole in the back and tie in an adorable bow.  Also included in the pattern is a template for a knot pocket.  This pattern is available in sizes NB-10.  This pattern is available for only $ 5 through Friday.
Long pant style with shirred bottoms
Miss Emma had so much fun running around in this romper!
I know I'm her mom, but seriously the cuteness of her and the outfit!  :)
Ruffle bottom pant style with lace trim added to the straps and bottom ruffle.
Cheesy smile, she's loving the pockets and fun ruffles :) 

Look at that adorable bow in the back!