Holiday Ready, Introducing the Laela Jeyne Juliette Dress

I am one who plans months in advance but I don’t actually start anything until 3 days before I need it.  So when I planned to have mommy and me Christmas outfits with my princess I knew I had to give myself extra time. I had to find a pattern for something for myself that was smart, sexy, classic and beautiful, that was easy enough to make while stressing about other stuff in my life.

I had no idea where to start so when the Laela Jeyne Juliette pattern came out to be tested I jumped on board. After proper fitting and adjusting to my measurements I have a dress that I am wearing  to a fundraising fashion show, and to hubby’s Christmas party, and any dinners we host or get invited to over the holidays.  Best of all I had enough of the fabric to make princess a matching skirt.

I love this pattern. It was so simple. I measured in 3 size categories, but it was so simple to grade from one size to the next. The top is stretch velvet, now the pattern called for woven fabric but I wanted the softness so my lining is woven to help hold the shape and still has the softness I wanted. The skirt is made from a tapestry fabric, and it’s so pretty, unfortunately it is also very stiff and scratchy so I had to line my skirt as well. Little miss has a tutu under hers so no worries about her itching. Usually I write about all the silly little things that went wrong while I was making something, I can’t do that this time because once I was sure of my sizes it went together really quickly and without incident. Shocking I know, I mean this is me after all!!

This dress can be made so many different ways. I have seen ladies make it in a big bold print, or colour block it. I have seen people make the top one fabric and the skirt another. I am even willing to bet I can make a high waisted skirt from this pattern. Easily. I have a lovely plaid that made with this pattern in the Long sleeve option will be a lovely fall dress. In summer I can make the sleeveless in a light flowy fabric and it will be just as lovely.

The options for this pattern are the scoop neck, the round neck or the Queen Anne, and the options for the back are a round back or scoop back. Sleeve lengths are:
•Cap
• Short Sleeve
• 3/4
• Long
With all those options what more can you ask for? Strapless you say? Of course there is an option to make this as a strapless as well. The instructions include great graphics for inserting the boning in the strapless bodice

The only thing left to do is choose my shoes, accessories and  decide on which Jams I’m going to put on.

blog tour accessories

 

I encourage you to explore all the stops on the testers blog tour. These ladies have amazing talent and inspired style. Enjoy! Then go to the website and pick up the pattern which is available at a sale price right now!  https://www.laelajeynepatterns.com/product/womens-juliette-dress-pdf-pattern/ or if you don’t feel right buying a pattern just for you, there is a sale price on the collection sold as a bundle, you’ll be able to make something for the whole family!
https://www.laelajeynepatterns.com/product-category/pdf-patterns/fall-2017-collection-family-photos/

 

Monday

Sew Sew IlseKutti CoutureSea of EstrogenLunatiekFlaxfield Sewing

Tuesday

Tip StitchedLunatiekNini and AshMargarita on the RossSew You Think You Can Sew

Wednesday

Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing Kelly’s Sewing CreationsFlaxfield Sewing Katie Sews ThingsMy Little Lady and GentlemanSweet Meadow Threads

Advertisements

EYMM’s Everyday Essentials Valentines Day

I am so excited to be able to be a part of this blog tour. I have been sleeping in a lightweight cross over bra since my first pregnancy, and it was so comfortable I couldn’t image sleeping without one. My big guy is 11, to say I was due for a new bra is an understatement. The bra component of this pattern is the exact style that I have been wearing, so when I got the chance to make something fun, that I’d use all the time and share it with you wonderful people, it was exciting. The ideas were flowing ideas faster than I could write them down, in the end I decided that I couldn’t bring myself to put pictures of myself in naught but a bra on the internet. So I decided in the direction of a slip, or a nighty.

I was so excited to make myself something that would make me feel special, not for my husband but for me. It’s been a very long time since I have felt good in my own skin…. I may never have really been comfortable, I loved me during my pregnancies, but with all the pressure these days to look a certain way, to be a certain size and if you don’t fit those parameters then you are not only not good enough but you shouldn’t be putting yourself out there for others to see. I have fought with this post since I got the nighty made, because once made I actually had to put it on and take pictures. I practiced posing for hours to make sure that I only got the best angles and that I didn’t let any pudgy show, and then I realized, wait I am only perpetuating the problem. One of my very bestest friends got mad at me last night because I was making myself sick thinking about posting the pictures, she said “Do you really not see how far you’ve come?” my answer was “Sure I do, but I have so much farther to go”. Why? I have lost 78 pounds why am I stressing about getting to 80? I have muscles in places I didn’t know existed but I am not happy because they don’t show, why am I not just happy with the fact that there is muscle where once there was fat. As someone who loves to sew for herself I have to measure each time I print out a pattern, I have seen how much those numbers have changed in 18 months. Still I am wary. All the fuss that people are making about Lady Gaga having a less than perfect 6 pack, I mean really? I would kill for a midsection that looked like that. It won’t ever happen, I have to work hard to, someday, get great shoulders and a strong pretty back.

Less about what’s wrong with the world and back to this pattern. It’s an amazing pattern. Simple, straightforward and fast. I started with a sleep bra just to make sure I had chosen the right size, because God love it, it has different cup options. The options don’t stop there, oh no. It has options to be a bra, a tank or a full slip, plus if you don’t want the one piece slip there is an option for making the bra or tank and a separate slip, with several length options.

In the end I knew I wanted red, I wanted lace and I wanted soft. So I opted for a red poly spandex blend that was stretchy but the softest thing I have ever felt. The lace was the prettiest one I could find at Fabricville. I have never worked with lace before so there was a bit of a learning curve with it, but all in all I am happy with how it turned out. After the initial sleep bra I realized that I wanted more support, but not just support, I wanted more shape, of course that meant giving up some of the comfort but let’s face it Lingerie isn’t supposed to be comfy like old flannel pj’s. I repurposed an old VS bra and put it in between the lining layer and the outer layer of the bodice. I learned that when you do something like that you need to up-size the bodice to accommodate the extra fabric, I know for next time. For this time, well I guess I just have to be happy with a little bit more boost that I had bargained for.

I was only going to do pictures that showed little snip its of skin at a time but let’s face it, we all need to feel pretty in our skin, and about our skin. So as much as I am not overly comfortable posting these pictures, I am going ahead and doing it, so that in 5, 15 or 30 years my princess isn’t questioning whether or not she is good enough. So that you ladies reading this aren’t left feeling like you shouldn’t like to show off the skin you’ve got. You should, those memes about how to have a bikini body…. “have body, wear bikini”… we really should all just wear what we want and not worry about what others are going to say or think. We should be kinder to ourselves, and to each other, stop with all the criticism, instead of saying ” Did you see Sally? She’s looking like she enjoyed a little too much of her Christmas baking” say  ” Did you see Sally? That red top really looks great on her”. We need to stop putting ourselves and each other down, and instead learn how to build ourselves, and each other up. We deserve it.  So here it is, winter white legs and all. Ignore the bruises, half of them are because I am getting Varicose vein treatment, and the rest are because I’m a powerlifter, and you don’t deadlift crazy weights without ending up with some crazy bruises.

Scroll to the end for links to the other amazing blog stops along the tour and for a coupon code for this pattern! 🙂

img_9930img_9907img_9932img_9910

valentine-essentials-tour-web

Make sure to visit all the stops on the Valentine Essentials Blog Tour! (Keep in mind that the links below won’t work until their scheduled date.)

Feb. 3 – Sewing by Ti

Feb. 4 – Joelle at EYMM

Feb. 5 – Embrace Everyday

Feb. 6 – Sprouting JubeJube and Capture, Craft, and Cook

Feb. 7 – Call Ajaire and Blessed x Five

Feb. 8 – Rebel & Malice and Sew Haute Blog

Feb. 9 – Kelly’s Sewing Creations and Sew Far North

Feb. 10 – Roundup at EYMM

During the tour, the Everyday Essentials pattern is on sale for half off! Use code VDAYTOUR on the EYMM site to save 50% on the Women’s Everyday Essentials pattern until February 12 at 11:59pm PST.

EYMM Back to school (time to sew) Blog tour.

calla-kids

I am so fortunate to participate in the EYMM Back to School Tour: Mom’s Edition, and it isn’t what you think. This tour isn’t about what we’ve all made our little darlings for back to school, it’s about what we get to make for us now that they are back in school and we have some time to sew again.  I love all the EYMM (Everything Your Mama Made and More) patterns but I wanted to step away from the norm and try something different and super fun. So I chose the Calla Lily, wrap front high low skirt. It looks so nice in the listing pictures, well you know what… it looks even better in person 🙂

I love skirts, flowy, romantic, whimsical skirts.  Somewhere deep down, I have repressed my inner princess for far too long.  It has manifested in an addiction to Steampunk fashion. One of the things I love about this skirt is that it is so versatile. I can wear it with my chunky boots, a trench coat with a holster, a lacy petticoat, a funky hat and voila I’m ready for Comicon. If I pair it with fun suede ballerina flats and a warm fall sweater I can fit in with every other mom at school drop off.  With the right heels and top it can also make a dressy party outfit.

Ladies day out.jpg

I have been holding on to this fabric for just the right project for a very long time, like 4 or more years long. It looks like suede, but it is buttery soft and light weight so it breaths and flows nicely. Every serious sewist has that one fabric that, although they love it to death, they never cut. We all have our reasons, but mostly it’s never the right pattern for the vision we had for that fabric when we bought it. This pattern wasn’t even in my online shopping cart yet and I could hear the suede calling me from the sewing room. All the while I was cutting and pinning, I could see the finished garment, that happens very rarely, well for me at least. I didn’t even need to sew it together to see what it looked like. I wrapped it around myself and secured it with clover clips, and poof! gorgeous, flowy skirt.  We were an hour from home and as I looked in the mirror at my half finished skirt, I could hear other fabric calling from the sewing room at home. I knew exactly what I was going to use for an encore.

fall-fun

This pattern is just amazing, from print to finished it took me less than a day, and that’s with kid and husband interruptions, as well as having to stop to cook and clean up. It is easy to follow and doesn’t make you want to tear your hair out. I have had patterns that I have had to set aside because they were simple to read but not to execute. The only issue I ran into with this one was that my fabric wasn’t wide enough for the pattern piece. The solution came from the most unlikely source. My dad was sitting in his chair as I was lining it up on the floor and he said, “can’t you fold the fabric the other way and line it up?” My answer, because he’s never sewn anything and I am SO smart, “No Dad, the stretch only goes one way, it’s always better to have the stretch going around instead of up and down”  he shrugged and went back to his paper. An hour later, I am still trying to decide how to readjust the pattern without compromising the length, and then I see it, in big letters no less, “Direction of stretch does not matter for this particular pattern” Wait, what??? Really?  So I hung my head in shame and apologized to dad for thinking I knew it all. He laughed at me and asked what did he know? He just knew that if it had been plywood, he would have had to turn the pattern the other way, plain and simple.  Go figure. Once we got home, the weekend wasn’t quite over so I spent Labour Day Monday finishing my 2 new skirts, yes 2, because in the end I couldn’t just make one 🙂 And there are other fabrics begging to be this skirt, in different lengths, and with a different drape. I can’t wait for it to be autumn here so I can actually wear these with tights and boots 🙂

Chilly day.jpg

As I proof read this post, all I can think is how good the pictures came out, considering I was on my own to take them, and I only had the timer function on my camera. Let me tell you, 10 seconds isn’t very long to get from the button to the wall AND pose. This was harder than I thought because I was trying to get fun fall shots, in 35 degree Celsius heat, with really high humidity. I am amazed that I don’t look like I’m melting. For these few pictures that worked, there were twice as many that didn’t work. Like this one, oops.

Oops.jpg

I wore the grey skirt to pick up the kids the day I made it, and received 2 requests for it before I even got back to my car. It’s a great skirt, a great pattern and a great sew.  If you are looking for something fast and fun for fall, this is it.

There are many other bloggers who took part in this tour, please feel free to follow the links below and check out what amazing things they have made up.

Back-to-School-Tour-web

Don’t miss any of the posts on EYMM’s Back to School Tour: Mom’s Edition! (Note: the links below will not work until their scheduled day, but feel free to click through and check out the rest of their blogs anytime!)

September 7
Sewing by Ti and Sprouting JubeJube and Call Ajaire

September 8
Inspinration and Idlesunshine

September 9
Boutique Birdie and Needles to Say

September 10
Capture, Craft, and Cook and Kelly’s Sewing Creations and Lulu & Celeste

September 11
Adventures with Bubba and Bug and Pretty & Precious and MeMade

September 12
Five Blessings and House of Estrela and Rebel & Malice

September 13
Recap at EYMM

The kids are back in school and parents and caregivers everywhere are excited to catch up after summer break! Use coupon code PARENTSROCK to save 50% off any adult-size patterns for men and women now through 11:59pm PST Tuesday 9/13/2016. This offer may NOT be combined with other offers including bundles.

I wish you all a colourful (not too chilly) autumn, filled with sewing, baking, crafting and, if it’s your thing, Pumpkin Spice everything.

Thanks for checking out my stop on the tour.

Signature Blog

 

Angie is that you?

I have been in love with Sisboom patterns since I made my first Shana,  I decided it was time to sew outside my comfort zone. I was lucky enough to test Sally, which is the children’s version of Angie. Here’s my princess rocking her Sally dress.

Sally1

It’s beautiful and she loves it, which is great since we made it a tad too big, so it’ll still fit for next Christmas.

I thought I should try an Angie for myself, it’s so pretty, so straight forward, with no zippers or buttons, it’s a pull over! I bought the pattern months ago, and then chickened out and made another Shana instead. But then I came across a picture while perusing Pinterest, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head, and I knew I had to make it. After a little Q & A on the Scientific Seamstress Facebook group, the consensus was I could do anything I wanted to with Angie.  Here’s the picture from the pattern cover, just so you know what she usually looks like.

Angie

I knew I wanted sleeves, and a boat neck front, but then I thought “How fun would it be to put a little party in there somewhere?” so the back is where I had a little extra fun. I found this knit, it’s really soft, yet thick enough to hold it’s shape, at my local Fabricville. With the after Christmas sales, I got enough fabric for this dress, and then some, for $14.99!! The skirt was going to be a circle skirt but being that there is a little more of me and I wanted a little more length, I wasn’t going to have enough fabric. I needed a mathematician to help me figure that one out, seeing as I don’t have access to one of those, I enlisted the help of the resident engineer. After looking into all options he declared it wouldn’t work with out more fabric. I had a great idea, and after a huge discussion about hypotenuse vs diameter and radius (I admit he was talking to himself, I tuned out as soon as he said hypotenuse), he found a way to make my skirt. It’s a cone skirt more than a circle but it falls so well I don’t care what it is, I just love it. Enough talk on to the pictures.

Angieweb

Angieweb2

I love the shape of this dress, and my shape in this dress. I have every intention of making a ton more Angie’s in time for summer.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and see how versatile this pattern can be. All the Sisboom patterns can be found in their Etsy shop.  I hope you like my version of Angie.

 

The many faces of Shana

For my part in the Capsule Sew-Along blog tour I knew I had to do the SisBoom Shana by The Scientific Seamstress.
shana1 Pattern cover photo borrowed from The Scientific Seamstress 

I LOVE this pattern. It was one of the first things I tried to make for myself, and I made as part of the January challenge in the Scientific Seamstress Lab group. I took one look at the pattern directions and almost died. I mean really “the collar pieces are separate AND I have to figure out how to get them on there?” Well I needn’t have worried, it was a wonderful pattern to put together, and Carla Crim​, the lovely lady behind the pattern, explained out the collar in such a way that even a newbie could figure it out. Oh to make things even more complicated, I decided to make it out of ponte de roma knit. I have never made anything out of knit before this one, and let me tell you between the girls in the SS group, and the girls in the other main sewing group I follow, there was a lot of hand holding. I cut the sleeves a little differently from the pattern so that they fell more like my inspiration piece, and I will be making alot more the same way, I love the sleeves this way.

Voila, my first Shana.

IMG_6880

It’s longer than I had planned but with leggings in the fall I just love it. I would love to make another one without the band at the bottom and maybe about 4 inches shorter,  this one is a 3x and I am in a 2x now, so I may just need to make that adjustment too 🙂 I figure it will turn out looking something like this……

IMG_6879

I am also going to make the sleeves more fitted than they are here. The beauty of the Shana is that the more you play around with it, the more confidence you gain to make changes that suit you and your needs. I love that for this pattern I could choose the size, the length of the tunic, the length of the sleeves and everything was clearly explained, there was no guess work at all.
My mom wanted me to have a lovely dress for the spring, Easter, and Mothers day. I couldn’t find a single one that I liked and then I remembered Shana. I loved the neck line, I loved the fit and the comfort, as well as how quick and easy she was to put together, but mostly I will admit, the part I liked best was that she was already cut out. I found some nice lightweight linen, and set to work on making her into a spring dress. I knew I wanted long, so I measured that out from the bottom of the pattern piece, and I knew I didn’t want the bell sleeve, so I cut the sleeve at the line where the bell piece attached.  It’s so light and comfortable, and I decided, “this is my favorite!” of course that was April.

Here she is, my Shana dress….

IMG_6884

Summer came and the kids were home and all sewing went out the window. But now summer is over, the kids are back in school and I am dreaming in Shana’s. I knew I wanted to try making her into a sleeveless blouse. So I cut her out without the sleeves and, you know it,  I have a new favorite. I think I could make a new and different Shana every week and every one of them would be my new favorite. I have SO many ideas for this and I will be making as many as I can, to see if I ever run out of ideas or variations.

Here is my sleeveless blouse.IMG_6881

Tomorrow’s Shana? A jersey knit racer back tank for the gym, I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Shana’s. If you need a versatile pattern with great instructions you should stop by the Etsy store Sisboom Pattern company and check out Shana and all her sisters, I am sure you will find one that is just what you’re looking for.

Where did the summer go?

I haven’t been publishing as many posts as I had hoped to over the summer, but that’s because I haven’t sewn as much as I had hoped to either.  I had a plan, I was going to make a bunch of new clothes for the kids to have for back to school. Yeah well, they haven’t even given me time to go through what they have and figure out what fits and what is too small. Luckily for me I have most of September to work on warm clothes before it gets too cold to be out in shorts and t shirts. I have a new system that I am hoping helps me to keep track of the patterns I have and not buy something from a designer that I already have from a different designer. I am hoping to learn how to use fabric paint to make stencils on tee shirts for the boy as well as some fun girly stuff for the princess.  So here I sit trying to figure out where to fit sewing into my schedule, a schedule that at the moment also includes cleaning the house and sorting the camping stuff to be put away for the summer, buying school supplies and first and foremost getting the sewing room back to a state I can sew in. Over the summer the kids stuff and the hubby’s stuff have randomly landed in my space, so I need to get through that before I lose my marbles. I have made 2 cute things, an Orbit skirt in the adult size for myself and a quick sew sundress for the princess, I will post some pictures of those when I get time to take some good pictures 🙂 I plan on getting one to two things done per week, if I put my mind to it I think it can be done without stressing too much. Todays plan, go through the dressers and pull out all the things I know don’t fit, and all the things that are questionable, the kids will have a fit fashion show tonight. I might take pictures to show how much they’ve grown in the past year 🙂 The Princess has grown enough that her waist is finally the same size as her required length in pants, finally. On the down side her feet that have always been puny, have finally decided to catch up and she has gone from a size 10 to an 12 in 2 months. I think she needs to cut it out with the salad 😉

Mystery Challenge Blog tour- Steampunk Mary Queen of Scots

may 2015 challenge

I learned of the Mystery Challenge late in the game but it sounded like a wonderful challenge. One of my fellow sewing bloggers, Patricia of Sew Far North, was paired with me and knowing my interests and my love of my family history, challenged me to create something that embraced Mary Queen of Scots and my love of Steampunk. It sounded like the coolest and most thought provoking subject ever, I had so many ideas. Unfortunately, most of my marvelous ideas are beyond my skills. I thought I could make a corset befitting a 16th Century Queen, and yet funky enough to be steampunk, well after many attempts I have given up on finishing the corset in time for this challenge, I am determined to have it done for next year’s comi-con though. That left me with no project. I have toyed around with quite a few ideas but in the end I decided that I needed to change gears, step away from the sewing machine and turn back to another of my passions which has fallen by the wayside, I would make something with beads. That brought on the next big question, what to make?

Mary Queen of Scots was far more impressive than I realized, she was a catholic, but loved her people and her country so much that she did not allow any fighting over religious beliefs. She believed that people should honour god in whatever way satisfied their conscience. During her reign, Scotland saw its time of greatest peace, even if they didn’t realize it until years later. At one time she was the Queen of Scotland, France, England and Ireland. She was hated and feared by Queen Elizabeth I, as many English Catholics felt she was the rightful Queen of England. In the long run this fear ultimately led to her execution.

“Perceiving her as a threat, Elizabeth had her confined in various castles and manor houses in the interior of England. After eighteen and a half years in custody, Mary was found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth, and was subsequently executed.” – Wikipedia

In many portraits, she is shown to be wearing her pearls, or her golden rosary. Just before she was executed she handed her companions her rosary, bible, and Agnus Dei. She refused to renounce Catholicism, and although the last rights and prayers were started in English, she prayed loudly in Latin, and continued to do so until her execution was completed.

after Nicholas Hilliard, oil on panel, circa 1610 (1578?)
after Nicholas Hilliard, oil on panel, circa 1610 (1578?)

How in the world was I suppose to come up with something that would do her justice? Sunday night I decided that the time had come to make something, befitting a Queen or not. When I went to bed I asked her what she thought I should make. This question led to the most amazing dream I have ever had. I met Mary and watched, as though attending a play, her life unfold. She had one true love, Francis II of France (her first husband) who passed away two years after they were married. She stayed alone into her 20’s when she decided she needed to produce an heir. This decision led to a lifetime of horrible, treacherous, power hungry men, all of whom betrayed her. The only “person” who never betrayed her was God. As I sat watching her life, she turned, looked right at me and said “Make me a Rosary, something that embraces what was so important to me, and honours me. My faith is, and always was, that which I held closest to my heart” and then I woke up.

Monday morning once I got the kids to school I set to work on a Rosary fit for a Queen. I did a bunch of research, seeing as I am protestant and we don’t use the Rosary, I wasn’t sure what elements I needed and what had to be absolutely exact. Remembering the Steampunk aspect of my challenge I decided I needed to use materials that were from an era before plastics, nylon and polymer clay. I have a (very messy) cupboard full of supplies for making jewelry, so the hardest part was choosing what to use. I knew I needed metals, stone and precious gems. In the end I found that I had everything I needed including the leather cord to lace it.

IMG_6245 IMG_6237

I really like the end result, I think she would approve. I plan to make an authentic, period, velvet carrying pouch to protect it. When I get that done I will post it as an update to this post.  It was suggested, if I were ever to get to Scotland,  I should take the rosary with me and present it as a gift at her family home. I love that idea and will do just that as soon as I am able. As a bonus, I remembered how much I loved making jewelry, and have decided, once my summer capsule is done, I should make a few coordinating accessories, I can’t wait to get started.

IMG_6249

If you liked this and would like to see other projects from this challenge, Here is a list of the uber talented bloggers who are taking part in this tour please feel free to go visit them:

5/25 The Berry Bunch – Frank Lloyd Wright │ Sew Not PerfectLucille Ball, I Love Lucy

6/3 Mae & KTeslaPretty Little BlogMoon LandingKnot Sew Normal – Lutie Eugenia Sterns
 I hope you enjoy the rest of the blog tour 🙂 Thanks for visiting mine.
****Disclaimer. This project was not undertaken lightly. I hope no one finds this project inappropriate. It was not my intention to offend anyone, my intention was simply to celebrate the life of a strong woman, a mighty queen, who embraced her faith until the very end.

2014 Recap….. finally!

Well my plan of posting a recap of 2014 and then keeping up to date in 2015 has gone completely out the window hasn’t it? Darn. Well there is no time like the present to fix that.

As fall of 2013 neared,  I decided that Princess needed a new fall jacket, and try as I may I couldn’t find one that we both loved that wasn’t 100$. So I went on Pinterest. I found a darling little jacket, but it was a cropped length and it had a one button closure, not practical at all for Canada. What’s a girl to do? I decided I loved it, but it needed to be Canadianized. So I printed the pattern (love free tutorials), I added seam allowance to the pattern pieces and cut lining out in the size given. I added 10 inches of length, and figured out how to add a 2 way zipper. I loved it and decided that this was what I was going to do. I was going to make things from my own ideas. Well that didn’t work because I can’t grade patterns…. yet. Here’s the jacket, she just loved it.

IMG_3427IMG_3438IMG_3428

So seeing as I can’t design for myself yet, I will start with the dress that kicked off the adventure into PDF patterns. I discovered The Cottage Mama blog last March and fell in love. She had a free pattern on her blog and I had to make it, it screamed Princess. Well it was not the easiest thing (for someone who forgets to follow pattern instructions) to get made, but I did it. The result was not what I expected but it was fun, cute and it passed the twirl test. Princess loved it and that’s what mattered.  I have since made 3 more, one of which you have to wait to see because it’s part of the 2015 photo collection.

IMG_4412 IMG_4542Party Dress #3- The Cottage Mama

After that I kept seeing tester photo’s all over the place and thought, Tester? How do I get to become one of those?? So I spent a lot of time searching Facebook until one day a new designer came on with a tester call. I applied, figuring it would take months of applying before someone would actually let me test for them. I was wrong, Boom first try!! So I tested Odette for Sunday Girl Designs, and before it was done I thought, many times, that I was not ready for this. Here’s the result, I was thrilled beyond words. I had never done sleeves, pleats, tucks, collars or fancy cuffs but it turned out better than I could have hoped for.

Odette FB5Odette FB3Odette FB8

From here I applied for every tester call that came up. I tested for women and for girls. The following are things I tested through out the summer.

20140621_100247 This is the Ella by Made for Mermaids 20140621_100311

After the Ella, I tested for Fresh Stitch Patterns. The black and red is the Playgroup dress  and the pink one is the Banksia. Princess chose the fabrics and in the end they were just too cute for words 🙂

IMG_5800 Banksia Dress

I have tested two more patterns for this designer in 2015…. but I’m saving those for the next post 🙂

Somewhere in there I did a sew along with Ellie Inspired, The Best Friends dress. Can you tell my girl likes to jump?

Best Friends DressKellyIMG_5787 IMG_5784

It is super cute, bonus, I learned how to watermark my pictures… some of them.

Then I found fabric that still had a pattern pinned to it, and it was already cut out. My mom had started it for me in 1979, 30 years before princess was born. So I made it for her, and for mom so she could see it done.  I cut off some jeans for shorts and made a sash belt out of what was left of the fabric.

IMG_4778IMG_4790IMG_4780

Then life got hectic and I made a few things but never took pictures. Here are some pictures that I forgot about. I can’t remember in what month or what order I made them, lol.

IMG_4803 IMG_5753 IMG_4535IMG_5823

October came around and the kids were back to school, and it was time to start planning Christmas outfits. And the mother of all testing calls came up. My Treasured Heirlooms had a 2 piece dress set that I needed to make for Christmas, and she let me test it. Presenting the Sweet Innocence! The over dress is magnificent, and the peasant is so comfy she hates to take it off.

IMG_5585    Sweet Innocence 6Sweet Innocence 5 Sweet Innocence 1

Of course I mentioned how comfy the peasant was for a reason……

IMG_5733 IMG_6087 IMG_5725

The purple was a birthday present for a friend (in 2015.. oops). Oh and now she wants a sleeveless one, or two, for the summer 🙂

Fall turned to winter and I was selected to test for Ellie Inspired, which was a HUGE shock, and honor.  Here is my Sugar Plum sweater dress, and my moms Sugar Plum house coat.

IMG_5821IMG_5644

Whew, now this is why people blog more than once every quarter. It’s exhausting, complicated if you don’t remember in what order you made things, and torture for those reading it. I do apologize for the length. I am writing my next one right now, and setting it to post next Tuesday, so there is a chance for continuity.

Thank you for reading my blog and for sticking with me.

Spring is springing up all over.

After a very long, very cold and very dreary couple of months, March has arrived and brought with it the warmth and the magical melting powers of the sun. And put me in the mood to sew. Of course, right now I can’t sew, because I ripped apart the sewing room to turn it into a calm, joyful, inspiring place to work. Right now it looks like the dreaded junk drawer that everyone has but wishes would disappear.  One thing I have learned from this whole experience is that I have WAY too much fabric, if that’s even possible. I am slowly getting it folded onto comic book boards and placed on shelves, and it’s a long slow process. In the middle of this I decided to make the other end of the sewing room into a mom cave and tie it all in together,  a place where I can just be me. Of course with my little getting her own machine for Christmas that has put a kink in my plan because now I am making a Mommy & Me cave/ sewing studio, and is she ever a diva about it 🙂 So for the month of March I have given up sewing, I am blaming it on lent but let’s face facts, I have never given anything up for lent before except last year when I gave up going to the gym. So the task at hand is looking like a never ending ladder and I am starting to get discouraged, it happens to everyone. To give myself more of an incentive, I have picked a project to do when I finally get the room done. I am going to participate in the Spring edition of Kids clothes week. Over 6 days you take an hour a day and dedicate it to sewing something for the kids. There are fun prizes awarded and some really inspired pieces that people make. What talent!! The theme for this edition is Wild Things, I am pretty sure I can come up with something fantastic for that. The week it’s on is April 20-26. That should give me time to get everything done in the studio/cave. I will be taking short breaks between now and Easter to get the littles Easter dress made, but I have even delegated some of that, the hubby will be cutting out the fabric for me so that all I have to do is pin and sew.  Now back to the folding and sorting. I can’t wait to show you some sneak peeks of the studio.

Welcome to 2015!

Wow, I can’t believe that it is already January the 4th. The kids go back to school tomorrow after a great 2 weeks home, and what a busy 2 weeks those were. I sewed up a lot of things to be ready for Christmas, the joke is they were all for the princess. She was the Christmas princess this year. I am so excited for a new year in sewing, a year where I am going to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and try things that I don’t think I can do. I am learning that I can do them if I take my time and apply myself. Of course my mother and every teacher I have ever had are all sighing in unison at this point. My mother keeps reminding me that she told me so 🙂 She’s right, she did. But up until this point I have never found anything that makes me as happy as sewing does. Even when I try something new and screw it up miserably, I can never imagine giving up on sewing. Which is saying something because as a young single person that’s all I ever did, I quit.

Being a mommy has made me buck up and push through hard things, and I am a better person for it. My kids are so excited about my new year in sewing, of course they are, they will both be getting some really fun new clothes from it. The princess got a Janome Orange Blaze machine for Christmas and although I am leery about letting a 5 year old have a sewing machine, I have heard nothing but good things about it. She and I will be learning together, the safety things she needs to know and how fast I should be giving in to her independent nature. I found a great teaching series on Welcome to the Mouse House. Hayley has lots of great ideas and printouts, as well as tutorials for us both to follow together. You can find that post here http://www.welcometothemousehouse.com/2013/12/little-stitchers-weekly-sewing-series.html it’s really helpful.

On top of that I am going to learn how to use my serger for more than the 4 thread overlock, which is what I know at this point. I am also going to use it more often. But the big excitement in the sewing room is the lovely NEW, yes NEW Janome Juno computerized machine that I got for Christmas. It is lovely, a thing of beauty, a thing that scares me to death, but I will figure it out and we will be the very best of friends, eventually.  I have a ton of classes on Craftsy just waiting for me to have the time to sit down and listen to them. So for that I have dedicated an hour a day. I have Beginner Serging, Create a Size Pattern grading for sewers, and sewing Knits that fit are the first ones I am going to tackle.

I have signed on for a few tests already, 2 on Ellie Inspired, Laura is doing more lovely’s in women’s sizes, yeah clothes for me! As well as with Kylie at Fresh Stitch Patterns, for the Princess. I love Kylie’s patterns they are really straight forward and easy to follow. Particularly awesome if you are new to sewing or new to PDF patterns. I have signed up with the girls over at The Scientific Seamstress for Just for Me January, a month of sewing just for me, 4 weeks 4 themes and prizes!! We all need to pamper ourselves sometimes right? Well I went a step further and joined the Facebook group Sew your (pattern) Stash 2015, where we will be spending the entire year trying to sew up as many of our old unused patterns as we can. Each month has a theme and it looks like it is going to be really fun as well. You can find more information on that here: http://sew-not-perfect.blogspot.ca/2015/01/january-link-up-party-sew-your-pattern.html

I am not usually one to write long blogs, but this one is just so exciting for me it goes on and on.

I think before I get to far into 2015 I should tie up the loose ends in 2014. I am going to sign this post off here, and go do some photo editing. I will be back with a photo montage (and links) of all the things that I sewed and tested in 2014 🙂

Thanks for visiting.

Kelly.

The Scientific Seamstress: https://www.facebook.com/scientificseamstress

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/scientificseamstress

Ellie Inspired: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellie-Inspired/156440471045583

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/EllieInspiredClothes

Fresh Stitch Patterns: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Freshstitchpatterns?ref=ss_profile