Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pattern Review: Grainline Studios Tiny Pocket Tank (minus the pocket)

So after reading this post at Cirque du Bebe, I decided to try my hand at a top for myself! I bought this pattern from Grainline Studios. I am lucky to have a fabric warehouse outlet store about 10 minutes away that stocks fabrics at $3.99 yard. If it's a good day, I can find remnants of Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and the like, but if it's a great day I can find voile! It's upwards of $17-18 a yard, so getting it for $3.99 is a steal! I had found the Wrenly voile a few months back, and while it's not my usual style, I figured at such a great price it could be my muslin!
A few notes on this pattern: The bust darts were a bit high for me. Like 2 full inches. I made the size 4, and in general the bust and arm-pit area were snug. Next time I make this top (and I will!), I will make the size 6. Also, I am a bit long in the torso, and I made the pattern true, and it was probably 2 inches too short for me. Another major issue I had was the neck binding was several inches too short! I had to stop and insert another piece in the middle! I used the measurements provided with the pattern, so something didn't translate right.  
Ugly! I also used store bought binding as this was my tester, and frankly, I hate making binding. It was a bit bulky for the voile, and caused it to not lay quite flat (although you can't really tell when it's on). I have some lovely Anna Maria Horner Little Folks voile that I will make my next one out of, and I will make the binding for that one. Plus, I have a bias tape maker- I should use it!

Overall the pattern was easy to use, and the instructions were clear. It took me just about an hour to sew, so a great weekend afternoon project! The price of the pattern is only $4.50, a bargain! The fit is a bit A-line, and would be so cute with those colored denim leggings I am seeing everywhere.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flashback Tee Pattern Test - by MadebyRae

I was recently chosen to test out Rae of MadebyRae's Flashback Tee pattern for Big Kids!

 I made the 7/8 size for Miss A. She turned 7 in March, but is very healthy! One thing I like is the pattern is broken up into sizes, so you don't have to print every single page to make just your size. Much more economical! I didn't want to stray from the pattern as originally written, so I went ahead and made the long-sleeves (even thought it was up to 110 here this week!Gah!)
See baby sister photobombing?

 It has cutting lines on the sleeves for options: no cuff, 1" cuff, or 2"  cuff. I left them full length, and forgot to trim before adding the 1" cuff option. So, the sleeves were too long (although I like my longsleeve tees that way!). One thing I did change about my sleeves is that the pattern calls for cutting the sleeve cuffs the same width as the sleeves, but I found that my rib knit stretched a lot, and caused the sleeves to bell out. So when I altered to short sleeves, I cut the sleeve cuffs one inch less than the sidth of the sleeves. They fit perfect!
 She asked me if I could make it short-sleeved, and since I had to alter the too-long sleeves, I agreed. I used the recommended neck measurements, not the method described of figuring out your own neck measurement.
 Overall, this pattern came together quick (less than an hour, even with the sleeve alteration!) I didn't hem the bottom, because my knit sits well, but this would be cute with a baseball tee type curved bottom hem. The fit through the chest and torso are perfect, as in the shoulders and neck! Well written, and easy to follow! Well done!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mama's Cookin- Picnic Brussels Sprout salad

So this is a shameless Trader Joe's knock-off (In their lunch section! Who knew!? Well, I did, obvs...)

I love all things cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts are no exception. Plus, there's bacon. Everything is better with bacon. And butter.

This salad is great because it needs no refrigeration. And I even find my kids eating it! There is something about the combination of salty and sweet that is just so yummy!

2 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved if they are huge (mine weren't)
Bacon bits (from Costco, these are truly the LLOML {love of my life})
Newman's Own light balsamic

I roast my brussels in 400 degree oven with EVOO and kosher salt for about 45 minutes.

After they've come to room temp I throw in a handful of all the good stuff, and a healthy squirt of dressing, toss it all together, and...

Voila! Picnic yumminess! (best let sit overnight, serve cold or room temp)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In which I may or may not return to blogging...

Ummm, hello? Been awhile, eh?

I'll just say that the last 2 years have kicked my butt. Adding a third chiclet is crazy! We finally have our bearings, and pretend like we know what we are doing. (psh..)

So, school lets out tomorrow, and all 3 kids will be home all summer long! Wah! Oh, I mean, Yah! Really, I'm ambivelant about it. On the one hand, they can be really great together, and keep eachother entertained for hours, on the other hand, it's easy to see them shanking eachother. We shall see how it plays out. Bets, anyone?
{chevron ruffle pants available in my shop}

I'm still sewing about 10-12 hours a week. The biz has grown a bit, and is steady now. Which leaves less time for sewing frivolous projects, but means more "mad money", so I'll take it!

I've got some exciting projects coming up this summer, so I'll try to post, but I'm not feeling any pressure, since I've abandoned you all long ago! (crickets chirping) I also plan on reviewing some patterns that I've sewn up recently, so that should be fun!

Peace out!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Holy Hiatus!

Life's been marching on! Little Miss will be one in 6 days. The last year has gone by in a whirl...
It's hard to believe a year ago she was a round ball of pumpkin inside my tummy!

She's so independent, agile and daring. We adore her...

Having her party tomorrow! With a spooky theme. Should be fun!
I'll take pics (we got a new camera- thanks, in-laws!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Snack bags...snack bags... and more snack bags...

A little over a year ago, I bought a snack bag pattern off of Etsy. It was fairly easy to read and use, and I found myself making these reusable snack bags for my girls'. And my girls' friends. And the lady at the park's kids. And then the entire preschool! They are quickish to make- but require Ripstop Nylon (not available in all fabric stores). I put out a little flyer for back to school season this year, and have made not less than 30 sets in the past few weeks. I'm SO ready to move on. Still haven't made any for my kids this season, though. And the orders are still pouring in. Eesh. I have so much other fun sewing I want to do...
Got this lovely half yard set of Jennifer Pagnelli Poodle in Aqua. From my favorite etsy shop SewLoveFabrics. Love. Every. Single. Listing.
Want to move into her fabric studio and bury myself in the fabricky goodness. Yes, I just said fabricky.
More about poodles later this week. Lots more.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whew- what a break!

Wow- has it really been over 2 weeks! Time has flown by here. Girl #1 started kindergarten. We love it. She even takes the school bus. She's growing up so quick! I know how fast it goes, so I'm really trying to enjoy the baby stage with #3. She's all over the place, crawling, standing, couch cruising. It's exhausting, and really putting a damper on the sewing. My machines are in the "studio" aka guest room, which is through our laundry room. Totally not within arms reach of our very mobile baby.

I've been sew busy lately, too! I finished this custom quilt for the preschool director.
It's for her first grandbaby, and I sewed it with so much love. She had been hanging on to the Alexander Henry "Dick and Jane" fabric for ten years! Her daughter loved it so much, that she commissioned me to do a crib bumper and sheets to match- such a fun project!
It's hand tied with pretty pink crochet thread on all of the joints.
This is a poor picture of the back, but it's white minky with a focus strip of the "Dick and Jane" fabric.
In other sewing news- I'm teaching 2 classes at Quiltz this fall! The first one is the Hippy Chick Skirt pattern by Pink Fig, and the second is Serger Basics. I'm super excited about it- if you live in the Phx area- stop by and say "Hi!"