Cali Faye Gardenia

There once was a time when I wore stilettos with everything, but these days I need flats to chase a curious toddler around. I care more about comfort these days, but I still want to look polished while I crawl around and explore the world with Lo.

As fall approached, I started searching for new patterns that would work with this new stage in life, and that’s how I discovered Cali Faye Collection. I read various blogs posts that showcased the Perri Pullover for women, and I instantly fell in love with all of Sarah’s patterns. I love the timeless look of each piece, and I got excited when I saw designs for girls and women. So, when she had a call for testers, I eagerly applied.

I used a knit remnant I had in my stash for the tester version, but am working on another with long sleeves using the final pattern version. I love the look and fit of this dress! The dress was rather quick to sew, and it has pockets! (I really love pockets, so please ignore my weird expression; I didn’t believe J when he told me the spider I had just seen didn’t hitch a ride on my back. It was apparent he lied because it decided to crawl down my arm as we headed home, and I’m sure it was quite a scene for the neighbors. Ha!) The instructions were clearly written and includes graphics for those who need pictures. Also, Sarah is great at answering any questions you may have. I think an advanced beginner with basic knowledge on sewing with knits could make this without too much difficulty. The pattern pieces are easy to piece together and include lines for lengthening and shortening all bodice and skirt pieces. There are even instructions on how to make a sleeveless version for those warm summer months! Who doesn’t love a versatile pattern?!

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Now, I do want to disclose that she has modified the pattern since I made this tester version. She slimmed the sides a bit and adjusted the shoulders and neckline a as well. I shortened the front and back bodice pieces about an inch, took off about a couple of inches from the skirt, and shortened the sleeves about three inches.

So, are you ready to sew your own? Go here to buy the pattern and use code GARDENIA20  to receive 20% off your entire purchase until 11:59 EST, Sunday, October 12th! Can’t wait to see what you made!

 

Linked up on Inspiration Gallery, Catch as Catch Can and I’m Lovin’ It.
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Camo Aviators

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I mentioned that I tested a couple of patterns that are releasing over the next few weeks, and I am thrilled to finally share the first pattern with you! I can’t tell you how much I love these Women’s Aviator Pants designed by Suzanne Winter from Winter Wear Designs; they’re so on trend!

I really wanted to give these a try after seeing how versatile this pattern is. I am seeing various types of joggers in every store I walk into, and I really like that this pattern has so many options for me to recreate some. Isn’t it great when you can find a pattern that is exactly what you need to recreate something you saw at your favorite store? I love that I can just throw them on with a cute top and run out the door within a few minutes.

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You guys probably know by now that I love pockets, and these pants have lots of them. Each step has a picture to help guide you while constructing the pants, pockets and waistband. I do plan on going back and adding buttons and buttonholes to the flaps on the cargo and welt pockets, but wouldn’t change anything else about them. You can also opt to add a triangle contrast trim, but I omitted that on this pair.

I found these a surprisingly quick sew once I got into a groove, but it’s definitely not a pattern for beginners. I think it’s more of an intermediate level pattern since there aren’t any instructions for using any sort of interfacing or stabilizer which is a must for sewing with knits, especially if you’re adding pockets or diagonal seams.

You can buy the pattern here and see what else Suzanne has in the works on her Facebook page here. I’m looking forward to seeing the crossover top and trench coat she’s working on. Can’t wait to see your creations!

 

 

Linked up on Inspire Mondays, Catch as Catch Can, and Inspiration Gallery.

Fall Inspiration

I have been testing a couple of new patterns these past couple of weeks, and I am in love! I mentioned that I wanted to make some pieces to take with me on vacation, and these definitely fit the bill. I can not wait to show you what I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks, but unfortunately, I can’t share what I have been making with you until the designers officially release the patterns, so I’ll share some fall inspiration in the meantime.

Lo and I visit various shops pretty often since we live near, not one, but three malls and various other shopping districts. I love getting out and seeing what’s in stores, and since it’s extremely hot here, the mall’s indoor playground make it a fun outing for both of us. Admittedly, I have always had more of a preppy, classic look, but now that I am sewing more of my wardrobe, I find that I love experimenting with more prints and colors.

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Every time I walk into a store, I’m inspired  by all the floral prints and bright colors, and I want to recreate some of it to incorporate into my handmade wardrobe. I’m digging how vibrant these are and how great they would look layered as the temperatures slowly drop. I seriously want to buy everything when I walk into Anthropologie.

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My closet is full of dresses, but they’re not really suited for fall or winter. I have several pairs of boots in need of cute dresses during the cooler months, and these would be so cute to throw on and still look put together. They’re simple enough that I can easily modify patterns I already own to recreate a similar look.

So, what’s inspiring you this fall? Are you inspired by the print or construction of a garment? Where do you usually find your inspiration?

The Continental Blouse

We’re visiting family later this fall, so I have a few things I want to make to wear for the trip. We’re traveling to Florida, so I think a few pieces that I can layer and are comfortable enough to chase Lo on the beach will be perfect. I am looking forward to this vacation!

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While organizing my patterns last week, I stumbled on this Lisette 2059 pattern by Liesl and Co for Simplicity and decided to make the top. After participating in Me Made May this spring, I realized I need to make more staple pieces for my wardrobe. I like that this shirt is pretty basic, but has a subtle ruffle on the back to make it special on its own.

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I lengthened the top about two inches to make it a tunic so I could wear it with leggings or skinny jeans. I accidentally made it a size bigger (size 12), but took it in a bit before adding the sleeves. After seeing how much more ease there is than it stated on the pattern piece, I’ll probably size down to an 8 the next time I make this. The envelope and pattern give different measurements for final measurement with ease; go with the envelope because it’s more accurate.

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Another one issue I found while making the top is that the neckline rested uncomfortably high on me. I lowered the neckline an inch and added six pleats. The pleats gave the front a bit of shape, pulled in the shoulders (since I made it too big) and kept it loose. Other than that, this was a quick sew and took about two hours (with the modifications and cutting the fabric) for me to make.

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I think this will get a good amount of wear this fall and possibly spring if it’s breezy. This fabric has been in my stash for about a year, and I can’t recall who gave it to me; it’s a poly cotton blend. I crocheted the infinity scarf and will be posting more about that in the next couple of weeks.

So, are you sewing for fall? Are there any trends you’re loving? I’d love to see what’s inspiring you!

 

Linked up on Show Off Saturday and Friday Finds.

September 2014 Giveaways

I came across a few giveaways this week and wanted to share the news. Good luck!

Check out the giveaway over at StraightGrain? An’s sponsor, Modes4u, is giving away 3 meters of Japanese fabric on her blog.

SewCanShe.com is also hosting a giveaway for fabric. Enter here to win a half-yard cut bundle from Maigo.

The Spoonflower Blog is giving away a copy of We Love to Sew Bedrooms and 3 yards of faux suede. Go here to enter.

Lastly, head over to Thread Riding Hood to win patterns from various designers. See the newly released Secret Garden Dress and enter while you’re there.

Pleated Simplicity

Have you heard it is Selfish Sewing Week? Rachael is also having a giveaway, so make sure you go enter for your chance to win a pattern from one of forty indie designers. She also has posts from various bloggers reviewing the pattern they were given.

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I didn’t realize it was Selfish Sewing Week, but I had already planned on making a few things for myself- including a women’s pants pattern! They’re in testing at the moment, but once the designer gives the okay to share, I’ll let you guys know what I think. For now, I’m sharing my version of Lisette 1419 by Liesl and Co for Simplicity.

 

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I found this fabric on sale at Joann this summer, and I knew I wanted to make a classic, simple dress with it; it’s a linen blend with great drape. I tried searching for it online, but it appears it’s sold out. I bought this pattern awhile ago, but never made anything from it.

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This was such a quick and easy dress to sew, I am planning on making a few more. There are so many things I love about the dress, but I think my favorite detail are the pleats! I generally don’t care for pleats, but with the drape of this fabric, I can’t get enough of them on this dress. I also love the waist and princess darts on the front and back bodice, and of course, the pockets! I omitted the keyhole, but will add it to the next one, and I may shorten the length, so that it’s above the knee. I made narrow hems for both the sleeves and skirt, but you could also do a rolled hem on the skirt.

The most challenging part of making this dress is the zipper, so I think an advanced beginner could make this dress without any trouble.

So, what are you working on this week? Did you make yourself something? I’d love to see!

Linked up on I’m Lovin It, Show Off Saturday, Friday Finds and Party Palooza.

Pixie and Bears

 

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I crocheted Lo several hats  while I was pregnant, and my favorite hat is this coral bear beanie she wore all last winter. She looked so cute in it, her cousin wanted one too! Sadly, it must have been intercepted through the mail because he never received it, so I made him another this week. I omitted the braids, but left the ear flaps for his.

I made Lo’s hat with Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima Cotton, and Declan’s hat is made with Bernat’s Roving yarn. The Bernat yarn has 20% wool and is much thicker than the Cascade yarn, but I wanted to make sure it would keep him warm in the middle of a Maryland winter. I don’t have a pattern to share since I made it up as I went along, but there are tons of tutorials out there for both.

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As I mentioned earlier this week, J and I discussed the possibility of a move within the next year, so I am going throughout the house and seeing what we can throw out or donate. While going through old magazines, I came across an old copy of Simply Crochet, Issue 10. I remembered I wanted to make Lo the pixie cap on page 51, so I went through my yarn stash and found this Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky yarn in Spice, and grabbed a hook. It’s an easy pattern to follow , works up quickly, and I definitely plan on making a few more for baby gifts this winter- once I master making the pom pom!

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Now, I’m off to practice my knitting skills and make Lo an ear warmer. I love the look of this yarn! Is there a hat pattern you love to gift to the tots in your life? I’d love to see what you’ve made!

Linked to Friday Finds and Link Party Palooza.

Ghostly Alba

After J and I discussed a possible move within a year, I decided I needed to start stash busting some of my fabric and yarn. In doing this, I came across this forgotten ribbed Halloween knit I purchased last year from a local fabric store. It was more of a pain to sew with than I expected, but I love how this dress turned out.

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I chose the Alba Cowl Neck Dress by Violette Field Threads because I wanted something that could be layered. Although it’s technically summer, I had to pull out our winter coats last week for a couple of days, so I am planning for whatever weather we are having next month! It’s warmed up again, but it’s cooler now than it was before the rain.

Okay, back to the dress! I made a few revisions and shortened it by two inches. I used interfacing, which wasn’t mentioned in the pattern, for the neckline and cowl. I wanted to make sure the neckline would keep its shape, and I liked the stiffer cowl neck in the cover photo, but I knew my knit needed a little help for more structure. I also modified the keyhole in the back and omitted the pockets and buttons on the back of the cowl.

Overall, it was pretty easy to sew up, and I will definitely make more of these for Lo. I’m considering making the next one with a lightweight corduroy I found awhile back on sale. I have a few other things I’m working on that I’ll be showing you guys soon, along with the culottes I made earlier this summer!

So, have you been sewing any new patterns lately? Where do you go for your patterns? Is there a designer you absolutely love? Please share! I love discovering new designers and seeing others creations.

Linked with Party Palooza and Friday Finds.

Hallow Cricket

Hey there! This summer has flown by for us! Thankfully, we are finally settling into our groove, and I have begun prepping for the holidays! I have my fabric picked out, but I’m still unsure which patterns to use on each. I did, however, decide on a Halloween dress for Lo last night, and I finished it tonight!

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I purchased a couple of yards of Bella Blvd’s Too Cute To Spook awhile back and decided to make Lo a dress using the Cricket pattern by Brownie Goose. I fell in love with the simple A-line shape and curved hem, so I purchased the pattern during a sale last month. To be honest, I had read several bad reviews from various groups and sites, so I was expecting a poorly written pattern with usable pattern pieces.

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With that said, I was pleasantly surprised to see clear instructions and some great tips for sewing this dress. Personally, I didn’t care for the banter in the instructions, but I know there are those who appreciate it. I did change the facing pieces in the pattern and fully lined the inside for this version. Lastly, I modified the sleeves a bit in order to remove some of the volume since I used a quilter’s cotton since it doesn’t have much drape. I also deviated from her instructions by enclosing the gathered sleeves into the band.

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One last note regarding the pattern is, although it states that you can use woven fabric, I think this pattern is best for knit, especially if you make this for a girl without knowing her measurements. I had to go up a size from the usual size I make Lo, and it’s still a bit more snug than I would like. Overall, I think this will be a pattern I use often with the minor tweaks.

So, what have you been sewing up lately? Any holiday sewing on your table? Or any other crafting projects?

Linked up on Nifty Thrifty Sunday and Link Party Palooza.