April 15, 2014

Ugly Pattern Series: Anne of Green Gables Pattern

When the ladies over at Simple Simon and Co asked me to sew up something as part of their Ugly Pattern Series, I said "Sure, as long as I can find something." Well, I found one. It's not as completely awful as this one, but just look at that little girl's face. She, at least, is not happy. And the sleeves on this pattern totally reminded me of Marilla when Anne finally gets the dress of her dreams in Anne of Green Gables. Puffed sleeves!! How did anyone ever think these were cute? (Of course, I remember in the early 90s wearing a dress or two with pretty big sleeves, so I'm not really one to talk.) Ahem. Moving on.

So I didn't have much time to adapt a pattern (cough, cough, liZ and Elizabeth), which meant I went with something simple. The bagginess of the shorts and ridiculously high rise made them perfect for adapting into some paper bag shorts. I added a little length at the top for the paper bag detail, and a little at the bottom, so I could have a nice deep hem, and viola! That was it. 

I also threw on a couple of belt loops and a little tie belt at the end.

 And there you go. The whole thing was pretty quick to sew up, and it passes the little girl approval test. It's getting harder to get pictures out of her though. I don't know where she comes up with these poses. 

There we go!

Hop on over to Simple Simon and Co to see some more Ugly Duckling patterns and to link up your own for a chance to win some prizes!

April 04, 2014

Spring Showers Jacket Pattern from E&E

This is the Spring Showers Jacket Pattern from Elegance & Elephants.  It is scheduled for release today. I was able to test it, and I really like it. 

It goes from size 2/3 to 12, and you can make it for either a boy or a girl. It also included a drawstring option to cinch the coat in at the waist.

This coat has some features that make it perfect for spring. The hood has a brim to help keep rain off little faces and a curved hem in back to keep the rain out.

I wanted to use the green fabric for the jacket, but I only had a yard of it. So I made my own fabric! I cut out rectangles wide enough for the front, back and sleeve pattern pieces. Then I sewed on some of the navy fabric at the bottom to make it long enough for the pattern pieces. After that, I just cut it out as I normally would. Easy color-blocking!

He was so excited to be outside after a cold winter that he couldn't help jumping! It made for some blurry pictures.

There is a lot of top-stitching and other details in this pattern (like the hood and pockets) that make it a little bit of a time investment to make. The zipper is a separating zipper, which (in my opinion) is one of the easier zippers to insert. I would say this is a confident beginner to intermediate pattern, mostly because of the time and attention to detail the pattern calls for.

April 01, 2014

Freezer Paper Stencils using a Silhouette Cameo

I made these stenciled boxer briefs for my son using freezer paper and an exacto knife. My husband got me a Silhouette for Christmas, and I've been experimenting with it. It makes making freezer paper stencils so much easier! No more exacto knives!

These stencils came from Spray Paint Stencils. They offer a pretty good variety of free stencils.

1. Save the stencil to your computer.

2. Open the file in Silhouette Studio.

3. Use the eraser tool to erase anything you don't want to show up in your final stencil.

4. Open the trace tool. It is in the upper right hand corner and looks like a little blue butterfly outlined in yellow.

5. Select "trace outer edge".

6. And that's it! Move the original out of the way and delete it. The red outline is where your Silhouette will cut.

7. You can manipulate the image as you would any other image in Silhouette Studio. To cut, choose the print paper settings. According to Silhouette, you can reduce the blade depth to 1 if your blade is still sharp.

Don't forget to save your new image to your library!

March 27, 2014

My Little Plumcake Spring Line: Addie Spring Shorts

These are the Addie Spring Shorts from My Little Plumcake. I tested them, and I think they are adorable. They have a cute paper-bag top, a belt, pockets, and button tabs on the sides. 

My daughter is on a pink kick lately, so when she saw they were yellow, she wasn't that excited. But when I told her she could wear them with a pink shirt, she put them on and wouldn't take them off. For days.

The pattern has good, detailed instructions, so I'd say this pattern would probably be good for the confident beginner. You can get this pattern (or any of the others from the spring line) for 15% off with the code Spring14.

And here's the whole spring line! Isn't it beautiful? You can get the whole line as a bundle for only $21 with the code Collection2014.

March 24, 2014

April Fools! Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting

I was looking for ideas last year to trick my kids for April Fools' Day. I kept coming across things that looked like something you would have as part of the main meal, but were actually dessert, like the grilled cheese that's really cake and the eggs that are whipped cream and peaches. I wanted to trick them for dinner.

So they thought they were getting cupcakes and kool-aid for dinner. But they got meatloaf and mashed potatoes with red gelatin. Bwahahaha!

Seriously, though, I didn't expect them to be as fooled as they were. I thought once they looked more closely, they would realize it wasn't cupcakes. But they didn't. Their reactions were hilarious. And my daughter is still asking me when April Fools Day is. She still is determined to get me back a whole year later.

So the gelatin drink is pretty straightforward. Just pour your gelatin into glasses and stick a straw in it before it sets up.

For the "cupcakes" I made meatloaf and then put it in muffin tins. I had a hard time getting it out of the muffin tins, so I'd recommend non-stick cooking spray, or maybe some foil cupcake liners. I made instant mashed potatoes for the frosting, and then piped it onto the cupcakes. Careful-it's hot!!

For the sprinkles, I colored some salt with food coloring. Look for the non-toxic glitter recipe. It doesn't really look like glitter, but it sure can look like cupcake sprinkles!

And there you go! Dinner that looks like dessert. Don't blame me if your kids are mad at you the rest of the day, haha!

Monkey Leggings Pattern from Terra's Treasures

So, these leggings from Terra's Treasures just look like a basic pair of leggings right? Well, look again!

They have a cute little bum panel! The pattern also includes full length leggings, and instructions for a regular hem or cuffs.

My little girl really likes them. She wanted purple fabric, and they grey ruffle knit was the only thing I had in my stash to match, but I love the way the ruffled fabric looks!

The pattern goes from size 0-3 months to 5T. There are two different listings-one is sized to accommodate a cloth diaper, and one is sized for a regular diaper, so make sure you're purchasing the correct sizing for what you use.

March 21, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #1-Lady Skater Dress

Parcel 1 Collage
Have you heard about the Perfect Pattern Parcel #1 yet? It is a really cool idea. You get five different patterns from some of your favorite Indie Designers. And part of what you spend on the pattern package goes to benefit children's education. The retail value of all these patterns is $48. But guess how much you pay? Wait for it....

Whatever you want! You can choose to pay the full retail price, or another amount of your choice (the minimum is $10, or you can go all the way up to $200). You can also choose how much of your purchase price goes to support children's education, how much to PPP, and how much goes to the independent pattern designers. Great right?

But I signed up for the last day of the blog tour because I'm a procrastinator like that, so if you want to buy the bundle, get it today because the sale ends at 8PM EST.

I was excited to sew up something for me. I am expecting a little bundle of joy this summer, and none of these are maternity patterns, but I was easily able to adapt one that I hope should last me well into this pregnancy.

I made the Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo. I kept the bodice the same, except I cut the sleeves to be half sleeves and shortened it a couple of inches. I wanted a gathered skirt, so there would be plenty of room for my growing belly. I decided to make it maxi length, so when the skirt gets shorter as my belly grows, it won't be quite so obvious!

 It's hard to see from the pictures, but the bodice is made from white stretch lace over a white knit. I accessorized with a belt, and the dress is good to go. Dresses have always been associated with fancy for me, but really, they are super comfortable, especially when they're made with knit, like this one.

I really love how it turned out! The skirt is really simple to change. If you want one like this, just cut out two rectangles. Mine were about 30 inches wide, and I just used a maxi dress I already had to guesstimate the length. Then just sew the two rectangles right sides together, gather the top of the skirt to fit the bodice, sew them together, and hem the bottom!

Easy peasy Lady Skater maternity style!

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