Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Springtime State of Mind (Get Ready for Spring with Ellie and Mac)

So, just as we were getting used to the mild winter here in Oklahoma, February hits and we’re down to the teens some days.  I’m going to ignore it for now and focus on spring wardrobes!!  The Get Ready for Spring with Ellie and Mac tour that Seams Sew Lo is sponsoring was the perfect fix to my winter blah’s.  I am so excited to be today’s stop on the tour, and I’m so glad that you’ve stopped in to visit!  

My kids were all over it when I told them to pick out some fabrics for spring outfits.  My son went straight for the knits and found himself some cat fabric for his Conner shorts and Half Pipe tee.  My daughter decided to go a little more spring-y and chose a green with butterflies and hummingbirds for her Be Curious dress.  We originally planned for green to go with it, but she later decided on yellow because “pops more” (wiping away a little tear of pride here).

So, let’s start with the Conner shorts and Half Pipe tee that my son chose.  These are both knit patterns, and they are perfect for any kiddo who’s always on the move.  They are both pretty easy to sew up so these would be perfect for someone who’s ready to give knits a try and wants something quick and simple to make! 

The Conner shorts come in sizes 6-12mos through 10 while the Half Pipe (which happens to be unisex) ranges from 12mos to 14.  You’ll get some pretty good mileage from both of these patterns given the size range.  My son is a size 6 RTW, and the 6 in these patterns fit him perfectly.

He looks like he's up to no good here, but I promise he isn't!!
Both patterns are super quick to sew with the Conner having one pattern piece and the Half Pipe having 4.  I think the whole outfit took me about an hour to sew, and that’s only because I had to re-do the back of the shirt when I sewed one of the pieces inside out.  I used a Doodles fabric from JoAnn’s and a smoother, lighter yellow that I have no idea the source.  It was in my stash.  My son told me the best part is that he can wear the shorts either way since they don’t have a front or back on them…always thinking about how he can avoid changing his clothes if he doesn’t have to…

As I said, the Half Pipe is unisex so you can absolutely make this shirt for girls as well!  You have both long and short sleeve options, a solid or piece back , and optional applique sets if you want to do some cool stuff to showcase the colorblocked pieces.  I even saw some photos where ladies had used panels to mix and match for some really amazing results.

My son was over the moon in love with this outfit and had planned to wear it to church tonight until he found out it’s going to be freezing by 7PM.

Now, my daughter took more time to figure out what she wanted.  She’s kind of torn between totally tomboy to mostly tomboy with a dash of girl.  In the end, she went all the way to girly and chose the Be Curious Dress.  I personally LOVE this pattern.  It’s a gorgeous dress, and it’s perfect as a dressier outfit or as just a cute dress for everyday play.

The Be Curious is designed for cotton woven fabric, and it comes in sizes 12mos-12.  My daughter is in an 8 right now so I’m glad that I have a few more years with this dress.  She picked the flounce for the sleeves and asked if I could do a band on the bottom instead of a ruffle.  I used the ruffle piece to cut the bands and just modified the length to match the skirt bottom.  The end result ended up being the vintage length dress that made my daughter’s day. 

The pattern itself does not include instructions for the band, but it’s easy enough to do if you decide you want to go that route.  If you don't want the vintage look with the band, I would definitely suggest adding length to the skirt…or making a wider band.  I just folded the ruffle piece in half to make mine.

The dress took me a little bit longer because of the lined bodice and gathered skirt, but a confident beginner could easily take on this project.  I personally loved the button up back and the sleeve flounces.   I had intended to make some fabric covered buttons to match the dress, but I’ll just admit it now, I got lazy and went with little clear buttons instead.  I even used the sewing machine to put the buttons on because I didn’t want to find my hand sewing needles.  Super lazy, I know.  BUT, I loved the way it looked on the dress so I’m claiming that was intentional.  My daughter loved the length.  It was a happy accident that it was vintage length, but I'm also claiming that as intentional.

I was only going to do the two outfits for my kiddos, but I decided to add a dress that I made last week for me.  The Sunset Dreams Dress is probably one of my favorite makes for myself.  It’s a knit pattern, and it comes in sizes XXS to 4XL.  I made mine in a L graded to an XL, and it was oh so comfortable.  The fabric is a really light weight drapey fabric so I used a little heavier knit to line the bodice. 

I love that I have options…who doesn’t love options?  The pattern has 5 length options:  mini, mid thigh, petite, regular, and tall.  I made the petite because I’m 5’1 on a good day.  By ready to wear standards, 5’3 is petite so I’m shorter than a petite.  If I ever need a reminder that I’m short, putting on petite pants that are too long does it every time.  However, in this dress, the petite came to right above the knee.  YESSS!!  Perfect length. 

I used fabric straps with elastic, but you also have the option of using decorative elastic instead of fabric.  I ended up cutting about 4 ½” off my straps so definitely try the bodice on and pin the straps to it before you sew it together to get an idea of where to attach the straps.  I would also recommend putting it on with your bra so that you can move the straps around to where they will cover your straps.  I didn’t even think about that when I put my straps on so every once in a while my straps peek out. 

I really do love this dress, and as soon as I get the chance, I’m going to order some more knit to make me a few more of these before the warm weather hits again!

Now, let’s get some info here on how to get your copy of the patterns (patterns are 35% off all February. Automatically applies when you add them to your cart so no coupon code needed!) and how you can enter the giveaway that’s going on right now!  Please note that all pattern links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that I may receive a commission (at no cost to you) from your purchase of these patterns using the links I provide.  Just click on the pattern name and you’ll go straight to the pattern link:

Boys Conner Shorts:  Sizes 6-12mos through 10, designed for knit, one pattern piece, great for mixing and matching prints/colors, fast easy sew

Unisex Half Pipe Tee: Sizes 12mos through 14, designed for knit, pieced front bodice, short or long sleeves, optional hand applique sets, options for solid or pieced back bodice

Be Curious Dress: Sizes 12mos through 12, designed for cotton woven, vintage or knee length, ruffled or straight hem, four sleeve optons: long, flounced long, flounce only, sleeveless.

Sunset Dreams Dress: Sizes XXS to 4XL, designed for knit, 5 dress lengths: mini, mid thigh, petite, regular, tall, two strap options: fabric or decorative elastic

Don’t forget to head over to the rafflecopter giveaway to enter yourself for a chance to win a $35 store credit to Ellie and Mac!  Special thanks to Lo from Seams Sew Lo for sponsoring this blog tour and to Lindsay from Ellie and Mac for the awesome patterns and giveaway prize!  I appreciate you joining me today and please stop in with the rest of the tour to see what all of us have put together to get you in a springtime state of mind.  The link to the rafflecopter giveaway is at the bottom of the schedule!  
  1. February 3rd: Seams Sew Lo (Intro)
  2. February 4th: Seams Sew Lo
  3. February 5th: Violets and Jewels
  4. February 6th: Threadistry
  5. February 7th: Mama Can Make it
  6. February 8th: My Crazy Crafty Beautiful Life
  7. February 9th: Aurora Designs
  8. February 10th: Flaxfield Sewing
  9. February 11th: Floral and Flannel
  10. February 12th: FABulous Home Sewn
  11. February 13th: Minns Things
  12. February 14th: Our Play Place
  13. February 15th: Tenille's Thread
  14. February 16th: Seams Like Style
  15. February 17th: Hutsepruts
  16. February 18th: Candi Couture Designs
  17. February 19th: My Sewing Roots
  18. February 20th: Manning the Machine
  19. February 21st: Stitched by Jennie
  20. February 22nd: Kathy's Kwilts and More
  21. February 23rd: Sewjourns
  22. February 24th: Mermaid Mama Designs
  23. February 25th: Fee Bricolo
  24. February 26th: Oak Blue Designs
  25. February 27th: Big Fly Notions
  26. February 28th: Sewing Blue
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blessings and Happy Sewing,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Wandering through the Reed's (Laela Jeyne Wanderlust Collection Reed Trousers)

My husband is such a bear when it comes to clothes shopping.  Either the arms are too short, the legs are too long, the rear is too tight…the list goes on and on.  When Marisa from Laela Jeyne Patterns opened a test call for the new Wanderlust Collection, I was super excited to see that there is a men’s pants pattern in the mix.   We’ve been searching for the elusive perfect pants for an age, and now that he’s slimmed down, it’s even harder because he’s a mixture of two or three different sizes.  However, the Reed Trousers…these pants…there is so much perfect going on here that I am almost excited to an unhealthy level of enthusiasm. 

Hi there, everyone, Kim here from Nini and Ash, and I am so excited to be one of the stops on the Wanderlust Collection Blog tour.  This season, Marisa focused on pants, and I fully intend to sew up a few of the women’s and girl’s pants at some point.  For today’s stop, though, I focused on the Reed trousers for men and paired it with the Emmett top (which happens to be one of my husband’s favorites).

So, first, let’s get some pattern details going so you know what you are getting:
  • Sizing from 32” to 56” so there’s a wide range of sizes that these pants can fit
  • Clear, concise instructions with photos/drawings for each step in case you’re like me and use the reference photos while you’re sewing
  • Layered printing so you only print what you want/need
  • Detailed adjustment instructions so you can get the exact right fit for your (or your model’s) body type
  • No trim pages so you don’t have to cut off any edges to make the pattern pieces line up

Since the start of the year, we’ve embarked on a journey to get ourselves trimmed down, and my husband has lost over 20 lbs so far.  This means pretty much all of his pants don’t fit, but it also means that he’s kind of in that weird "in between sizes" phase.  I made these pants in a straight size 40, and I cut a wedge in the back of the pants to make the waist smaller while still fitting the rest of him.  Really simple little fix, and it was perfect for getting a comfortable, smooth fit everywhere on the pants.

My favorite part on the pants was the welt pocket.  Usually my least favorite part to make, but these ones were actually really easy to do.  He picked a suiting fabric that was so easy to work with, and the instructions for the welt pockets made for easy sewing.  He opted against a button to close them because he never uses it.  He also didn’t want belt loops (which was happy news for me since I forgot about them until he asked if I had put them on). 

The pants overall took a bit of time to complete, but when you think about the welt pockets, the front pockets, the fly and fly extension...the extra time is well worth it because the end result is a sharp looking pair of pants that look even better than any pants you would grab off the rack at a store!  I will admit part of the extra time to complete was my fault.  I had to re-do the zipper when I didn't pay attention to what I was doing.  

The inseam for all sizes is 34” so it was super easy to shorten the pant length to his measurements.  I ended up shaving 2” off the length and using a 1” hem allowance.  He has a really long torso and arms, but he usually needs a shorter inseam on his pants.  The length on these hit him in a really nice spot, and the fit was relaxed but slimming on him.  I really love how they sat on him once he tried them on, and he was more than willing to pose for some photos with them...even if he took a business call just as the camera came out. :/!  I'll take what I can get considering how much I didn't pay him to go out in the cold and act like he was enjoying a spring day.

I paired this with the Emmett and went with the simple top with no buttons.  I did lengthen the arms because, again, he has really long arms.  This was a thermal knit that I got from Sincerely Rylee and was perfect to complement the light color that he chose for the pants. 

All in all, it's pretty much love around here when it comes to the Reed Trousers and the Emmett top!  He's already talked about his next pair of pants...if that means a trip to the fabric store for me, then I will absolutely make you another pair of pants, sweetie!!! :)!

As I said earlier, I am only one of the stops on the Wanderlust tour.  There are a lot of talented ladies who have sewn up each of the different pieces in the collection, and we'd love for you to stop in and see all of the collection pieces and the amazing creations that everyone has come up with.  THEN, you can head over to Laela Jeyne Patterns and buy the whole collection because I'm pretty sure you will "need" all of them once you see how beautiful all of these pants are.  My daughter has already asked for a pair of the Wren Skinny Jeans, and well, I need some new pants so I will have to grab the women's pants for myself!!

Take a tour with us and visit with some of our bloggers from the past few days:

Laela Jeyne Patterns Wanderlust Collection Blog Tour

January 30
January 31
February 1
February 2

Now, head over to Laela Jeyne Patterns to get your copy of the patterns!  Here are the individual links to each of the patterns in the collection and a little big about each of them. All patterns in the Wanderlust Collection are currently on sale for $5 each.  That's a pretty phenomenal price for four staple pieces in any family's wardrobe!  *Please note that all links provided are affiliate links:

Reed Trousers: men's classic chinos, fits hip sizes 32"-56, slim fitting and relaxed through the legs, designed for non stretch woven

Willow Pleated Trousers: paper bag pleated paper bag style, fits sizes 00-26, 3 lengths (shorts, cropped or long), designed for non stretch woven

Ivy Trousers: classic chino style, fits sizes 00-26, slim fitting and relaxed through the legs, 3 lengths (shorts, cropped, and long), designed for non stretch woven

Wren Skinny Jeans: skinny jeans, fits sizes 12mos-10, slim fitting through the legs, designed for cotton woven

Thanks so much for stopping along the Wanderlust Collection Tour!  We appreciate you spending some time learning a little bit about the collection and letting us share our creations with you!  Now, grab your copy of these patterns and share your creations with us on the Laela Jeyne Patterns Facebook group!  

Blessings and Happy Sewing,

OH!  I can't believe I almost forgot!  Laela Jeyne Patterns is also celebrating a 3rd birthday so Marisa also has a sale on ALL patterns in the store (bundles excluded)!  $5 for all individual patterns and $6 for all swim patterns...the sale ends tomorrow (3 Feb) at midnight EST, and you don't want to miss out on some fantastic patterns...check them out

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Summer Sewing beats Winter Blues (Sunshine Romper from Ellie and Mac)

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  I received the Girl’s Sunshine Romper as part of the test team, but all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.

Well, it has been a very long while since I have blogged about pretty much anything.  However, new year, new goals, and I’m going to start my goal of being more consistent with a quick review of the new Girl’s Sunshine Romper from Ellie and Mac!  I know, I know…it’s the beginning of January and we’re suffering 20 something degree weather here in OK, but I couldn’t pass on this sweet little romper when I saw it!  My daughter is over the moon in love with it.  

She did mention that she’s not a fan of her stuff “just being out there” if she has to go potty so I did add snaps to one of the rompers. This isn’t actually part of the pattern, but it was pretty easy to do.   I’ll give you the quick how to for how I did it in this post as well!

First, let’s talk pattern specifics:
  • Large size range (starts at 12-18 months and goes to size 12)
  • Two bodice options: with or without shoulder strap
  • Two waistband options:  gathered or flat
  • Layered pattern pieces so you only print the sizes you want or need
  • No trim pages

The romper itself is such a super quick sew.  I think I made three of them in about 2 hours.  My daughter loved the bubble shorts, and was looking for a way that she can wear these out now.  Sadly for her, it was about 20 degrees when she wanted to wear them so no dice.  We’re looking for some cute panels that we can use to make a few more when summer gets close.  She was so excited about her new rompers that she almost couldn’t stand still for pictures.  For me, I love that it was a quick sew and gives her a lot of room to run around so she isn’t yanking at herself while she’s playing!

As I said, my daughter was not really loving that she had to undress to use the restroom so I decided to add snaps to the last set that I made her.  It was a super simple process and didn’t require any changes to the pattern pieces themselves so I was super stoked about that.  If you are interested in seeing how I did the snaps, here we go!  If you just wanna get to the info on where to get your copy of the Sunshine Romper (and MAAAYBE info about some extra savings), skip all the way to the last few paragraphs!

For the bottoms, I sewed them up per the instructions, BUT I didn’t sew the crotch closed.  I measured the length of the crotch.  For me, it was 8”.  I then cut two rectangles of fabric 2” x length of crotch + ½” (that ended up being 2” x 8 ½” for my romper).  I also cut two pieces of interfacing the same size.  I pressed the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  You’ll want to do this part because you’ll be adding snaps to them, and this helps with the pull on the fabric.

Here are the rectangles with the interfacing fused to them
For each of the fused rectangles, I turned the fabric right sides facing along the long edge.  Then, I sewed along the short ends using a ¼” seam allowance to create a placket.  Turn right sides out and press to get a sharp crease on the folded edge.  Set these aside.

I actually clipped the little corner at the bottom to take out some of the bulk. 
Just don't cut through your stitches.

Pressed along the folded edge.
I then folded up the bottoms 1” and sewed a casing on each leg.  I measured my daughter’s leg to get the elastic length and added ½” (for me the elastic ended up being 14”).  When I fed the elastic through, I left ¼” poking out on each side and secured each side with a few stitches.

Finished casing

After the elastic was in the legs, I lined up the raw edges of the placket to the raw edges of the crotch with right sides facing. Well, really, either side of the placket can be the right side at this point, but as long as the right side of the crotch is facing the placket, you’re good.  Sew this on using a ¼” seam allowance. 

I finished the raw edge using a serger, but you could also use a zigzag stitch on a regular machine.  Then, I turned the placket down and topstitched with the seam facing toward the top of the romper.

This was before I topstitched the placket down.
This next bit is really scientific.  I eyeballed the placket and decided to go with five snaps.  I marked the center of the crotch and each end.  Then, I marked half way between each the center and edge on each side. 

Attach the snaps and DONE!

Soo, now that you know that you can add a snap crotch to the romper, there’s no excuse for not getting this summer perfect pattern!  It’s still on sale, and you get an extra 20% off when you add it to your cart…so, you’re getting a summer staple for less than $4!  Head on over to Lindsey’s webstore, Ellie and Mac, and add the Sunshine Romper *affiliate links* (or any other pattern you might discover you NEED), to your cart!  There's also an Ellie and Mac Facebook group where you can share your creations, exchange ideas, or get help if you hit a headscratch when you're sewing up your Ellie and Mac patterns.

Thanks so much for reading along, and I hope this helped out a little on how you might be able to add a snap crotch to your Sunshine Romper!  Don't forget to head to the FB group and share your makes with everyone so we can see what your creations.

Blessings and Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Falling into Family Photos (Laela Jeyne Family Photos Collection)

Welcome to Day 2 of the Laela Jeyne Family Photo Collection blog tour!  Fall is hands down my favorite time of the year!  I love the crisp air, pumpkin patches, fall festivals, Thanksgiving…and the list goes on and on.  I REALLY love that with the arrival of fall, we get to pull out the boots and cold weather clothes!  It’s also when we start thinking about family photos for Christmas cards, and Laela Jeyne’s Fall Collection released at the perfect time!  She designed an entire wardrobe for the family, and it’s pretty amazing.  My husband got a couple of shirts from the collection so he was super excited to see this come out.

The collection includes a men’s shirt, dresses for mom and the girls, and a wrap for mom!  I made three of the four pieces as part of the test team for the collection, and I’m so elated with how each piece came out.  I’m going to give a little bit of an overview on each of the items I made and then give you a link to get yourself the collection after you realize you need these patterns in your life!

So here we go!!

Emmett T-Shirt

Pattern features:
- Large size range: XS-3X
-  Relaxed fit t-shirt silhouette
- Three collar styles: crew neck, polo collar, Henley collar
- No trim pages
- Layered pattern pieces so you only print what you need

My husband’s measurements fell right in between the medium and the large so I made one of each to see which he preferred.  In the end, he like both so I guess I’ll take my pick of which size to make when he needs a new shirt! 😊!  I made both of these in looser weave knits because my husband tends to gravitate toward shirts that have a fair amount of give.

The Henley in a sweater knit from JoAnn’s.  It had A LOT of stretch so it was tricky to work with, but it turned out ah-mazing.  It was a little tighter fitting than what he’s used to wearing, but after wearing it for a few hours, I do believe he puffed his chest out just a little as he strutted around 😊!.  He actually wears this one with a pair of slacks when he’s showing houses. 

The maroon Henley is a size large using a thermal knit from Sincerely Rylee.  This one is a looser fit, and my husband usually pairs it  with some jeans when we’re out and about on the weekends.  
These shirts were amazingly quick to sew.  It took me about 45 minutes from start to finish for each shirt, and the pieces came together perfectly!  The only part that I fiddled with a little was the placket.  If you just take it slow and pay close attention to the directions, you’ll breeze right through construction of this shirt! 

Juliette Dress

I’m not usually a dress type of gal, but sometimes, it’s nice to know that there’s one there if you need it.  And the Juliette is much more than a nice dress.  Even my husband commented on how amazing it is!

Pattern details:
- Large size range: 00-26
- Cup size pieces ranging from A-E for a perfect fit in the bust
- Two bodice styles: strapless or sleeved
- Four neckline options: Queen Anne, Scoop, Round, or strapless
- Two back options: scoop or round
- Four sleeve options: cap, short, ¾, or long
- Back zipper closure
- No trim pages
- Layered pattern pieces

I chose the Queen Anne bodice for my dress and opted for a cotton woven that I bought from Ozark Fabrics a few months ago.  I blended from a 16 to 18 in the hips, and it was a great fit!  I do definitely recommend measuring yourself or the wearer before sewing.  With this being a fitted bodice, it’s really important to get the right size or you’ll end up with a crazy looking top.  I have large upper arms so I also did a “full arm adjustment” to have some room to move my arms, and it was perfect!  I love how this dress turned out, and I’m kind of on a floral craze right now so this dress was right up my alley! 

I’m kind of limited when it comes to the “girls” so I didn’t try the strapless…this time.  Marisa did include adding boning to the bodice for the strapless so I’m going to get brave the next go round!  I love the silhouette on this dress because the fit and flare style is so flattering on just about everyone. 

The pattern is rated intermediate, and I do agree with that 100%.  There are princess seams and an invisible zipper so this dress is a little more challenging that some.  There is also a very small amount of handsewing needed to finish off the seams on the bodice.  The Juliette took a little longer to sew this one up, but it’s worth the extra time that you need to take. 

Now, while I said I’m not a dress kinda gal, this dress may have me rethinking my stance on that.

Julie Dress

My daughter was a little put out when she saw my dress and asked me where her’s was.  Just so happens, that her dress was already in the making, and she was in love when she finally saw it.  She takes after me in the dress department.  Her first comment was, “Oh yeah, I’ll actually wear this one in public.”  I’d have to say that’s a rave review if I ever heard one. 😊

I used a red velvet for our version of the Julie, and I opted for the lower back because my daughter has a “thing” about clothes that are too close to her neck.  Let’s talk about the features of the Julie really quick:

- Large size range: 12M – 10
- Two neck options: round or scoop
- Zipper back closure
- No trim pages
- Layered pattern pieces

The overall fit of the dress is loose enough that my daughter could easily run around and play in it.  We used some ribbon to make a quick sash for her, but she only wore it for a few minutes before she decided that she didn’t want it anymore.  This one is also rated intermediate, and again, I do agree with that with the zipper closure and some small amount of handsewing to enclose the bodice seams.
My daughter really loves the circle skirt.  She couldn’t stop twirling around in circles when I was trying to get some good pictures of it!

This really is a great collection, and it’s perfect timing for anyone looking to get family photos taken before we start rushing into the season of sending cards and visiting with loved ones.  All of these patterns are so classic and are easily customized to your family’s photo theme!  Best yet, the collection is on sale right now!  Just hop on over to Laela Jeyne’s familyphoto collection to grab all or some of the patterns!  Then, join us in the Laela Jeyne Patterns group on Facebook to share your makes with us!

Blessings and Happy Sewing!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Back to School with Lulu and Celeste, Sprouting Jube Jube Productions

Back to school around here always brings up moans and groans about going back to uniforms every day. I used new outfits for "casual day" to gen up excitement about school, but it was met with lukewarm reception so I threw in some new backpacks and hoodies to try and sweeten the deal a little.  I was already starting to dread back to school when Deb Zaleski announced the dates of the Lulu and Celeste, Sprouting Jube Jube Productionsback to school tour.  Even the kids were excited to jump on board this year!  I made several items for the tour since I was already thinking about school clothes and how to get the kids motivated.  I’m going to break them up into sections to keep myself from rambling aimlessly through my own “purple crayon world”.  I do want to apologize in advance, this post is going to be long. :/!  Sorry, but I got so excited that I sewed up a whole bunch of stuff!

Star Student Backpack

Every year for the past three years now, the kids get to trade in their old backpacks for new ones.  Every year, without fail, they pick a theme that I am NOT going to find in the stores so I make their backpacks and lunch sacks.   This year, my son wanted something with astronomy while my daughter (who is obsessed with Dino Dan) asked for dinosaurs.  I went with the Star Student Backpack from PeekABoo Pattern Shop.  This backpack is the perfect size for my 2nd and 3rd graders.  There’s a main bag area with a smaller zippered pocket on the outside.  I also chose to do the mesh water bottle holder since they are now allowed to have water bottles in class (this was a big deal because only the “big kids” get to have those in class). 

I will admit that it would have been cheaper to run to the store to get them the standard store bought packs, but these bags have lasted the kids through the entire school year every time so I figured the intial cost up front is well worth not having to replace them midyear.  I did use regular quilting cotton for the entire bag so I used interfacing to strengthen the pieces that called for a heavier weight fabric.

The pattern includes very clear instructions and photos with every step (which I like because I’m more of a visual person).  I would definitely recommend some experience with sewing before taking on this project because of the zippers and all of the little pieces that need to be placed on the pack during construction. 

Waste Free Lunch Bag*

We scoured patterns for a lunch bag that both of them agreed on, and we landed on the Waste Free Lunch Bag from Ginger Cake Patterns.  The original pattern calls for a flap that you close with Velcro, but both kids asked for zippers so that nobody could sneak in and steal their food.  Is that even a thing?!?  I think there's actually a tutorial that shows you how to make this a zipper closure.

Construction was essentially the same for the bags except that I sewed a zipper in between the main and lining layers to accommodate their request...again, if I would have looked there is already a tutorial on the Ginger Cake blog for how to do this.  They really love the divider on the inside of the bag, and I used PUL for the inside to prevent leakage if something busted.  We’ve already had a couple of mandarin orange or apple sauce blow outs that were so easy to clean up when they got home.

The instructions on these were so easy to follow along (with photos if you’re like me), but I do recommend you label the pieces as you cut them so that you don’t end up wondering what this little square thingie is (ask me how I know that might happen :/)!  Virginia also includes a cutting layout diagram that shows exactly what pieces you should have once all of the cutting is done.  Again, really appreciate the visual because I need those when I’m sewing.

My son even makes his own lunches because, well, that’s HIS lunch bag so he wants to fill it.  Score!!  He also really likes that nobody has one like it so he can always find his lunch on the shelf.

Knight hoodie

The kids’ school is pretty strict on what color hoodies/jackets they can wear while they are in class.  This makes it a little difficult for us because the classrooms get cold enough to hang meat in them, and we can't just pack any old sweatshirt.  This year, they decided that they want to do something different from the standard hoodies that you can buy from the school so I went with the Knight Hoodie from Charming Doodle.  The pattern calls for sweatshirt knit, but we were kind of limited on what we could find around here so I got some fleece from JoAnn’s and tried that.  Perfect!!  I didn’t size up on either size, and they still fit perfectly. 

This pattern has a very large size range starting at 2T and going to a size 10.  This gives us a little bit of mileage, and when they outgrow those, Elisa designed an adult version of the hoodie!  I think I’m going to buy that one and make myself one with sparkles! HA! 

Again, a great pattern.  It’s so well written, and as daunting as I thought it would be to take on this project, it came together like a dream.  It looks as if it would be terribly complicated but it really isn’t.  I was so excited by how quickly and easily it came together. 

I decided that doing the accessorizing parts in fleece would be too bulky so we used regular quilting cotton for those.  The buttons are decorative on this so my daughter chose some fairy style buttons while my son decided that he wanted shields on his because that was more “manly”, and he’s a big man now. 

If you decide to take on this hoodie, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to lining up the two sides to make sure they are even when the hoodie is zipped up.  I was a little bit off on my son’s, but he didn’t even notice so I pretended it never happened.   A few of his classmates told him that they are going to ask their parents for a knight hoodie for Christmas, and he was so mad that they might have the same one that he told them the stores don’t make them anymore.  That kid makes me laugh with the stuff he comes up with. 

Domi Sweatpants*

Right now, my son is all about sweatpants and knit wear so I chose the Domi Sweatpants from Sofilantjes for his pants.  My version of the pattern was in English, but you also have the option of getting the pattern in French.  My son is pretty short statured for his age so we made a size 5 length and a size 6 waist for him, and they fit him perfectly.  He’s a collector so he also loved the pockets.  I loved the contrast of the pocket to the pants. 

I did the round pocket for him, and it’s a little shallow so that might be something to remember if your little likes to stuff a lot of things in their pockets.  He was a little put out that he wouldn’t be able to put a frog in them, but this momma was pretty happy about that revelation.

You’ll get a large size range on these pants, starting at 12 months and topping out at a 14.  To be honest, that means my son will be able to have Domi Pants through his entire school career if he continues the trend of being a little shorter for his age, and I appreciate that greatly because he wears these every chance he gets. 

The pattern also includes three lengths: Bermuda shorts, ¾ length, and long length.   My daughter loves capri anything so these will be perfect for when she needs some quick sweats in a little shorter length.  The circle pocket version was so quick and easy to make, and I was able to knock them out from cutting to construction in about 45 minutes. 

I didn’t put a drawstring on the ones I made my boy because he would end up pulling them off somehow, but you do have that option on the front of the waist.  The tutorial includes both illustrations and photos, and the directions are very clear and easy to understand. 

Marc Shirt*

I chose the Marc Shirt from Filles A Maman (this pattern is also available in French), and it’s rated as an intermediate pattern.  I absolutely agree with that because the shirt is a mixture of cotton woven and knit with a placket at the shoulder.  This pattern, like the Domi, starts at 12 months and tops out at 14, so we’re pretty happy that this shirt will carry some mileage with it as well.  My son chose his own fabrics and beelined it for a pretty colorful knit that I got from Sincerely Rylee.  It was a relatively lightweight knit, and turned out perfect for this top. 

You also have a choice of long or short sleeve on this pattern.  The pieces are layered so you only have to print the ones that you need if you are wanting to cut down on ink usage.  I would definitely read through the instructions at least once before starting to make sure you understand everything. 

I would also definitely recommend not skipping the interfacing on this one.   I will admit that there have been times when I’ve been lazy or impatient and skipped them on some things, but save yourself some stress and definitely take the time for this shirt.  I feel like it gives the shirt some added structure and support because you are using two different fabric types that tend to act very different when you’re sewing them up.

Beatrice Dress

My daughter is so iffy about clothes so I was really surprised when she chose dresses for her back to school outfits.  The first one we picked was the Beatrice Dress from Handmaiden’s Cottage.  I love, love, love the neckline on this dress.  Actually, I love the bow in the back and the princess seams as well so really, I love this dress all around.  I let her pick the fabrics she wanted, and I have to admit, she did an amazing job matching fabrics.  

I made a straight sz 8 for her, and it fit like a glove.  The pattern starts at 2T and goes through size 12 so we have a chance to make a few more of these.  There’s also a bloomer pattern if you want to make something to go under the dress, but we didn’t make those for my daughter.

You have the option of sort puff sleeves or long sleeves, and we did the short sleeve version.  I kind of celebrated a little inside because I love the puff sleeves.  I worked myself up into a worry about doing them because of the gathering (I am terrible at getting my gathers even), but man oh man, it was so easy to do! 

The pattern came as a ZIP file, and you can either open the file with all of the pieces on it or you can use the individual size files to only have the one that you need.   As with all of the patterns so far, the instructions were so clear and concise and made it so easy when it came to construction.  Plus, photos!  Still one of my favorite parts about PDF tutorials!  The Beatrice is also currently 40% off at the Handmaiden's Cottage website and Etsy shop! (Just sayin'...)

This dress did take me a while to finish, but it was so worth it when it was done because it’s beautiful!  AND, buttons in the back!  I don’t mind zippers, but I really do love when the pattern has buttons because I’m uber lazy.  My daughter loved the twirl factor on this dress.  She said she felt like she was in a fairy tale because she could twirl her fancy dress.  For a kid who likes to skip rocks and climb trees, the fact that she wanted a dress was pretty huge.  And she’s already worn it several times so #winning!

Duchess Dress*

I somehow ended up signing up twice for the tour, and that meant the bonus of the Duchess Dress from JillyAtlanta!  I have loved this dress forever, and this was absolutely a momma pick when the tour came up.  I was actually biting my fingernails just a little that she wouldn’t wear this, but she loved it.  We used sunflowers for this one, and she was all about her special fall dress.  She told me that it was perfect because she has a fall dress to go with her winter dress (I’m guessing she dubbed the Beatrice her winter dress?). 

This dress has the classic A-line silhouette that never goes out of style.  I didn’t add bows to the sides like the pattern calls for but I did add a removable ribbon bow to the front in a completely different color than anything on the dress, and I really liked the contrast once it was done!  There are some little side pleats that add a little extra sophistication to the overall dress. 

I was so taken with the unique bodice and really loved how it came up to a point at the front and back.   My girl is at that age where she doesn’t want anything that makes her look too young, but she’s not quite ready for too grown up so this dress fit the bill like it was specifically designed for her. 

Like the other patterns, this one has a very large size range of 2T to 12.   It is also a button closure with one sweet little button at the top of the neck.  When putting the bodice together, definitely take your time because you want to make sure that you get the points really sharp on the front and back.  Jill does a phenomenal job at walking us through what we need to do to make sure that we get that part right, and she has photos of every step so we can see what she’s wanting us to do.

My daughter was so excited that she can still run along the lake and skip rocks with her brother.  I guess you can put her in a dress, but you can make her stop being a little bit tomboy.  I’m actually okay with that, to be honest. 

I really had a blast sewing up things for this tour!  The kids are enjoying their new duds and cannot wait to wear them to school, and I had the chance to work with Lulu and Celeste, Sprouting Jube Jube Productions again!  We’ll be having stops along the tour all week, and we’d love for you to stop by and let us all know what you think of our back to school creations!  If you’re wanting to see who’s on deck for the rest of the week, take a quick look at the schedule.  Stop on by and show all of the designers some love!

Monday, September 25, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017

Also, I do want to say thank you so much to the lovely pattern designers who donated patterns and sponsored this tour so that we could share some of our back to school outfits with all of you!  I do want to post a disclaimer here that the patterns marked with a * were provided to me free of charge, but the opinions expressed in this blog are completely my own.  This was such a fun tour to sew for, and I’m so excited to see what you think of everyone’s creations!

Thanks so much for reading along!  Now go grab  yourself some patterns, stop by some of the other stops, and show us your creations if you decide to sew up some happiness of your own!

Blessings and Happy Sewing,