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Saturday, January 18, 2014

BOYS Leopard Tree Climber Trousers

To say I am a huge fan of Go To Patterns would be a severe understatement!  I am a Taurus and therefore a "creature of habit" and Andrea's patterns were among my first sewing patterns so I am, as they say, a repeat offender.  I just love how easy to put together her patterns are with both the PDF pieces and also by the instructions.  When the Tree Climber Trousers were released I just knew I had to put them on my to buy list and I am SO glad I did!

I have two (nearly 2 1/2--where did the time go?!) year old twins so my debate came in with which one of them was I going to sew for, boy or girl?  I decided that since there are a GAZILLION-and one cute girly patterns out there, the winner of this prize would be my boy twin--Baby B, as he is affectionately referred to (totally kidding!).  Right now, per Instagram, there is a HUGE surge in animal prints for boys and this Mama is insanely in love (almost unhealthily) with leopard print so...

My fabric choices were dark blue chambray for a jean effect and leopard printed cotton for the TOTALLY COOL knee pads, back waist band and why not the back pockets?  Hello?!!!!  Super cute, if only to me!


Now I have never, ever, ever quilted anything in my life before but I thought how cute would the knee pads be if they were quilted in a diamond fashion with actual batting to make the knees both A. more durable and B. warmer?!!  BRILLIANCE (patting myself on the back!).

I scoured the internet to find a good quilting tutorial but didn't really find anything.  I figured, it can't be that difficult--just sandwich the top fabric (leopard) with another fabric (i chose flannel--think NORTHEAST!) and sandwich same size batting in between.  I then drew on the backside, of course (haha) my diamond pattern using diagonal lines evenly spaced apart and then cross hatched them basically drawing diagonal lines the opposite way evenly spaced apart.  Then with my machine I straight stitched the lines starting from center and WALLAH!  Lots and lots of threads to cut, LOL!  But really, it came out very nice, especially for a first timer like me!

I also originally cut flannel to line them but in my sheer excitement to get them done I left that out :-(  There's always a next time, and there will be because this pattern is FAB-YOUUUUU-LOUS!!  I'm thinking of doing a little hack on it for the future, we'll see!  If you don't have this  pattern you NEED it, so get it here:  Tree Climber Trousers and be sure to post what you make on Andrea's Facebook page, I'm sure she'd love to see your creation.

Happy (Therapy), I mean, Sewing!

Tara

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Project Run & Play

Puff Polka Dot Popover Remix-PR&P Season 7
I submitted my sew along entry just shy of an hour before "closing time!!"  Talk about stressful-whewww! I sewed along a couple weeks of last season for the first time ever and apart from my time management skills needing a tweak I really enjoyed it so I thought why not try to do what I can this season?

This week was the infamous "Remix" week and the pattern is The Popover Sundress by Oliver+S! I had a million ideas pop up in my head, I'm always trying to be original hoping to stand out in the sea of entries. But I'm also a stalker of the PR&P so as I was brainstorming I would feel secure with an idea, check the site and see someone had submitted one just like I was thinking so I'd scratch it and try to come up with another.  All of that contemplating cost me precious sewing time-lesson learned (I think ;-) 

I decided first which fabric I'd use which came from my stash as I'm not planning on buying anything new to sew along.  This is what I came up with:
A lovely polka dot quilting cotton that for whatever reason looks black in pictures, however I assure you it is Navy & White. I bought this from Joann's scrap bin a while back "just waiting for the perfect project" as everyone says.  And the yellow was an upcycle:
A jacket I bought myself about 3-4 years ago with the tags STILL on it!!  You guessed it-bought and never worn so what was I "hoarding" it for?  PR&P that's what!! 

Immediately I knew the yellow sleeves would be leggings, how could I resist that ruffle?
The navy & yellow, in my opinion is a stunning combination. I also knew to remix the popover I wanted to make a tunic with leggings so I added a more defined strap with armsyce to the existing design along with a puff sleeve.  The puff sleeves have elastic cuffs.  I also shortened the length of the dress 2 inches to make it a tunic and added a little patch pocket in the yellow to tie the pieces together. I love love love personalization because I'm "preppy" like that so I drafted an "L" applique for the pocket-my daughter is London-and here is my completed look sans the model because she was sleeping when I finished down to the wire!!

 
 Just made it into PR&P Week 1!! I think I will start week 2 now! Stay tuned-it's all about candy!! Mmmmm

Happy Sewing!!

Tara

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blogtember!!!

I am late to the party but in my defense I just found out about 'Blogtember!!'  It is a month long pledge to basically post to your blog more actively and it is a "challenge" issued by Story of My Life.  Who am I to see a challenge and just turn a blind eye?  NEVER!  So although it is now September 11th (NEVER forget!), I am going to start now and of course I am going to start with the "assignment" from a day or so ago which is to Take this short personality test and respond to your results.  This assignment was referred to as "day 5" of Blogtember and I believe they are now on Day 7--oops!  Better late than never!

So I took the test, yesterday actually and could not blog about it until today.  My results?  Are you at the edge of your seat to find out what is going on with THIS here personality? 

The First Shall Be Last
ENFJ- Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling & Judging

ENFJ's are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity.  They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes.  Global learners, see the big picture, focus is expansive, can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities (twins!!) or projects simultaneously.  ENFJ's know and appreciate people.  They are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others and have thinner psychological boundaries than most making them at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people.

Breakdown...What is ENFJ?

Extroverted Feeling:  These folks are predisposed to closure in matters pertaining to people, and especially on behalf of their beloved.  Their contacts are wide ranging.  Face to face relationships are intense, personable, warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare.

Intuition:  Blessed through introverted intuition with clarity of perception in the inner, unconscious world.  Dominant feeling prefers to the find the silver lining in even the most beggarly perceptions of those in their expanding circle of friends and of course in themselves. 

Sensing:  ENFJ's can manage details, particularly those necessary to implement the prevailing vision. 

Judging:  (also classified here as Introverted Thinking--i like that!)  Planners that carefully work out all the details and plan things in advance.

I personally love taking tests of ANY kind so there was no arm twisting with this one!  As for the results, I was not really surprised other than the extrovert part but when you actually read it and break down the characteristics of such persons, it is really me!  The test gives you percentages of each of the traits and my extrovert level I think was 33% so it wasn't a dominate trait, just more a swing of the pendulum away from being severely introverted and yet far from an EXTREME Extrovert!  I would definitely recommend this test to others as both a way to facilitate difficulties in relationships of any kind or if you are an employer to find out how to effectively work with and utilize your employees!  On to the next day of BLOGTEMBER friends!  

ENJOY YOUR DAY!!

Tara

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fabulous Knock Off

So i haven't written in such a long time! its as if I've taken the entire summer off from blogging and from organized sew-a-long type sewing. Although I stopped writing, I never stopped reading and I've been noticing some nice new blogs popping up and quickly gaining momentum-maybe I can hitch a ride in that direction if I get back to it now-haha!

Today I want to share my first completed 'knock off'!  A few weeks ago I saw a post on Instagram, someone was searching for this beautiful leopard bubble skirt by Baby Gap from their "Bryant Park" line.  As soon as I saw it I was in LOVE!! And like any other mom that can sew I said, "I can make that!!" And for WELL less than the almost $30 asking price!  Here she is:

For construction I used An of Straight Grain's Bubble Skirt pattern here:  http://www.straight-grain.com/2013/01/bubble-skirt-free-pattern-and-tutorial.html?m=1
I've used her patterns before with my bubble dress so it was a no brainer!  The pattern was pretty easy to follow and as she always does An converts the cm to inches for you so there's no guessing. This is a pretty quick sew. Here's how mine turned out:

The fabric is a sale priced cotton from Joann's and I bought 3/4 black grosgrain ribbon for the waist detail.  For the lining i used the same fabric, my thought was just in case theres movement and the lining shows it won't be different.  I LOVE the way this turned out!!  I actually like mine better but don't tell Baby Gap!!  Now I'm confident to approach another Knock Off in the future!

Have you ever done a Knock Off?  If so what did you make and how spot on was it?  Did you end up liking yours or the original better?  Let me know!  

Happy Sewing/Creating!!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Long Time-Does Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder?

Good Morning!! It has been a long time since I've updated this blog and there were a variety of reasons behind that, one being that I have two toddlers nearly at their 2nd birthday and that my friends in itself is a full time job! I've had no "efficient" time to sew at all meaning if I find a small space of time I'm too exhausted usually to have that time amount to something productive.

  Thankfully, over the last few days I've decided to commit to a new lifestyle plan and I'm hoping among other things it will renew my energy. I'm looking forward to getting back to my machine and starting to participate again in the sew alongside around the blog world! It seems in my absence I've lost some of the fellow blogger cyber 'friends' I worked so hard to acquire :-( without even explanation. Oh well I guess everything happens for a reason and for the good so I'll just use it as my motivation to climb higher!

So be on the lookout for new, more regular posts and spread the word to bring some attention to this blog as I try to revive it with a little TLC and CPR!!

Happy Sewing!!
"Don't make others feel important at the expense of yourself!"

Tara

Sunday, April 28, 2013

KCW Spring 2013- Days 4, 5 &6

Day 6 of KCW Spring 2013 is coming to a close.  This week has FLOWN by and for me, in my particular circumstances I think it's been pretty productive.  Of course we all hit bumps in the road and things that "glitch" and make us not as efficient as we'd sometimes like to be.  With that being said though, I think for me, I did my personal best.  So let's see what I've been doing the last few days.  ONE project last over the three days and I am quite happy with the result:


After about 3 days of pure slaving (LOL!) here they are, the Coastal Cargos, pattern by Melissa of Melly Sews.  You can find the pattern here at Blank Slate Patterns.  It is WON-DER-FUL to say the least.  I tend to stick with firsts and I bought my very first pattern from Melissa (Basic Blazer) and I loved it so I am a repeat customer and with this pattern she did not disappoint!

I used this brown twill type of fabric with a cute tree & apple tree pattern I bought at Joann's a while back (long while).  I was saving it for proverbial "perfect project" which I was thinking at the time would have been a jumper type of dress for Miss. L, but never came to fruition.  So when I decided I wanted to attempt these cargos for KCW I decided the fabric MUST be special, different, outside the box and far from boring to stand out in the FLICKR pool (here) to maybe  draw attention to "this here blog"-haha!  Enter this "tree fabric". 

The pattern allows for several 'options' for which I chose to do pretty much ALL of them because I'm a sucker for details, especially on little people!  The tuxedo stripe down the sides (which by the way I used foldover elastic for, rather than bias tape), the cargo pockets, welt pockets in the back and regular slash pockets in the front are all some of the details that are optional.  This pattern also includes belt loops, special tabs to raise the pants to almost a short, and a 1/2 elastic/flat front waistband.  Also there is a functioning zipper (my FIRST one!!  successful too, I might add) 




This pattern was extraordinary and helped me to learn new skills (my first machine done buttonholes & working zip fly) and work on mastering old skills like the welt pockets.  The details make the pants SO worthwhile and SO much better than any store bought pair out there.  If you don't have it, this pattern is a MUST buy!!

As I mentioned, for the tuxedo stripes I actually used a neon/lime-ish green foldover elastic that I bought originally for necklines for pajamas a long time ago.  I also used a contrasting green fabric for the cargo pocket covers which is just a simple cotton.  I would have done more of this fabric throughout but I did not have enough.  The belt loops, welt pocket and slash pocket linings were done with a stripe fabric that I bought at Walmart last summer to complete a baby blanket.  It incorporates several of the colors of the pants and with a punch of color and pop of another pattern.  The buttons were just simple plastic buttons I bought also at Walmart.  I used plain orange buttons for the cargo pocket tabs and a striped orange button for the pants closure.  There is a working zipper, as mentioned and I just LOVE these pants!

For the shirt I used Made by Rae's "Flashback Skinny Tee" pattern, which you can find here: Flashback Skinny Tee.  This was actually an "upcycling" from a shirt I bought at a thrift store that was I think a size 6 in boys--my son is not even 2 yet, and he is the 'younger' of the twins so he is the smaller one.'  This pattern was GREAT also!  Very self explanatory, short instructions and would not take too long on an average day when certain twins nap for their full time but on this day it took a little longer.  I highly recommend this pattern though as a staple base for so many things, I can see remixing it into a bunch of different versions (maybe a dress in future?? hmmmm stay tuned!)  Anyway the upcycled shirt was a polo, so it was a pique knit and I mistakenly used the same fabric for the color which did/did not work out so well.  My babies have big heads so for that it worked great but for wearability it kind of looks stretched.  However, after some wear it looked really cute.  I will FOR SURE be making more of these!  Here are pics of all the details:



Do you know how temperamental some models can be?


Hahaha, I think I need to pay him better!

KCW is winding down (I'm getting sad actually!)  Because I'm not really in the blogging "loop" I don't know what I will be doing next, I'm thinking of sewing along with Elegance & Elephants Knock it Off series which I think begins in a few days on May 1st!  But let's survive KCW Spring 2013 FIRST!

What are you up to in these final days?  Leave a comment and a link to your blog so I can stop by and check it out!

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Sewing!
 
Tara

Thursday, April 25, 2013

KCW-Spring 2013! Days 2 & 3 combined!

So...this post comes on the morning of KCW Day 4--notice anything suspicious about my title here?  Hmmmm...

Did you know that KCW Spring 2013 has it's own Flickr Group?  You can go here KCW Spring 2013-FLICKR to check out what everyone is up to.  There are some AMAZING creations and unbelievably a LOT of finished items.  You can find everything from Submarine Pullovers to Geranium dresses, from the soon to be released Parsley Pants (can't wait!) to lots of adorable bubble shorts--stop by and check it out, inspiration overflowing for sure!

Days 2 and 3 were not really as productive as I'd have liked them to be, but they are gone so here is what I have so far:


First up is the 'Ruffle Top' A Line Dress, pattern by Elegance & Elephants!  I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it and knew I had to get it right away.  Purple is my favorite color so I decided I would use some of this great purple fabric I've had in my stash for about a year now just waiting, crying for something spectacular to be used for!  The fabric itself is just a regular quilting cotton one purple with a white flower pattern and the other white with purple dots, I bought it also on EBay in a lot together so they perfectly matched already. 

I also did a search in google to find out what others have done with the pattern during testing, etc. and I did not see too much mixing of fabrics, prints, colors, etc.  Although great creations, it seems most people used only one uniform fabric throughout.  I knew I wanted to (in my own opinion) add excitement to the already AWESOME pattern and utilize the different 'canvases' between the princess seams.  I also know that most people shy away from using two different prints and will use a solid to kind of calm the eye from the busyness of prints everywhere, but you know just like everything else--if you do it right the sky is the limit.  I believe the flower print paired with the polka dots is DIVINE!  And if all else fails, it's a GORGEOUS purple and I'm in LOVVVVVVE!


I made my own polka dot bias tape to use around the neckline and for the button loop, and used the polka dots for the back ties as well.  This was my FIRST bias tape experience EVER!!  So excited it went so smoothly.  And did you see my button???!!


I bought this button on EBay as part of a lot of vintage buttons on the card and it arrived the same day I was completing the dress--how perfect was that?  I just KNEW this button had to belong to this dress, the color match was if I had personally handpicked it in the store myself.  I just love it when things work out like that. 

The Ruffle Dress pattern created from Heidi over at Elegance & Elephants was great to work with, easy to follow and few pattern pieces which is always a win!  I opted not to use the optional armhole bias tape and instead just finished with a regular hem fashion and I used the A-line dress pattern but this pattern is also versatile in that you can make a top, an A-line dress or a swing dress too--the possibilities and variations are endless!  If you would like the pattern, you can purchase it here:  E&E Ruffle Top Pattern--well worth the money!

We had an assistant on our photo shoot that I'd like to thank as well, without him we may have had a rough time.  He supplied the much needed kisses to set the tone and vibe to POSITIVE!  :-) 
 
Who DOESN'T love Elmo???!!!
 
So here is the rest of my day 2/3 "progress":


 
And I'm about half way through a project that I did not take pics of--maybe in my day 4 post, which should actually be today.  How are your projects coming along?  Leave me a comment!

Thanks for stopping by!
 
Tara