Sweet Peas Spring Mini Capsule

With spring comes the melting of the dreaded snow, and a return to shoes and light sweaters instead of snow suits. My little one, is not so little this spring, apparently the “new growth” isn’t restricted to nature. She has outgrown all her pants, height wise, waist is still tiny. So she needs pants, and if I am making pants then I might as well make shirts, and if I am going to make shirts, I might as well go ahead and make sets, a whole mini capsule. What better designer to make a whole mini capsule from than Pickle Toes Patterns! Everything I planned I already have the pattern for. I can’t wait to show you all the pretty things.

I wrote that first paragraph when I signed up for the blog tour. What was I thinking? It’s early April, in Canada. The day I made the sleeveless shirt, it snowed. The day I was going to start taking pictures, 18 hours of freezing rain. So I made a really cute mini capsule, that will probably not be worn much before late May, because this, is Canada.

I love the patterns designed by Kellie at Pickle Toes Patterns  , it always amazes me that she knows exactly what the Princess wants the day she decides she wants it. I am also very lucky to be one of Kellie’s regular testers, I have so much fun with her designs. I mean I have a shirt in this capsule that is simply that, a hooded shirt, but I fiddled with it a bit and there will be a zipper front hoodie made from it too, not in time for today’s post but maybe in time for Monday. There are always a ton of options to go with each pattern that is released so you really don’t need to jump from one designer to another to be able to make a full wardrobe for your kiddos, just play around with the patterns you pick up from Pickle Toes and I guarantee that you will have a collection worthy of a fashion magazine.  You’ll get a better fit than those clothes you’d buy off the rack,  clothes that don’t fall apart, because you made them. And my favorite part, clothes are extra special to the person wearing them because you put a whole lotta love into every stitch.

Enough yammering, on to the capsule! Oh and how lucky am I that her rain coat just happens to match the colour palette perfectly?! So this whole colour scheme came about because I joined a sew along for the Daisy Pinafore, it’s so cute and I needed it for her for the summer. I let her pick the fabric and this is what she came up with.

She loves it. The straps, the open back, the pockets. The pockets were originally supposed to be these dainty little pouch pockets, but seeing as Sweet Pea really likes collecting rocks I knew we needed rock picking pockets. I was lucky in that every fabric I picked out this year matched with the main fabric, which by the way has got to be 4 years old.

The pants are the Pickle Toes Polliwogs. I have never been very good at getting leggings to work, these were pretty close, almost perfect. She’s is pleased about all but the elastic waist band that I managed to make too tight, but only a little. So I will open that up and try it again.

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Seeing as I had the pants and the pinafore I thought we may never see summer, she’d better have a hoodie, enter the Sweet Pickles T shirt. It was a simple, quick sew, and I was so pleased with it, I made the unicorn one, just for fun. Oh the plans I had for this mini capsule, only to be foiled but the weather. I am not giving up though, I am planning capris and play shorts, tank tops and more tees and if I can figure out how to change the Sweet Pickles to accommodate a front zipper, there will be another hoodie too.

Of course it is literacy week at school this week and once I got my blog pics taken she reminds me that tomorrow is character day. She is going to be Hermione. So back to the machine I went and using the Sweet Pickle Tee and the circle skirt add on to the Gigi Bowtiful Top, I made her a Hermione outfit.  Thank goodness the big guy wanted to be Percy Jackson, easy peasy, cardboard sword.

There are so many great patterns and I can only sew a few, go check out the other stops on our the blog tour and maybe even win a prize.  While your looking around, go over to Pickle Toes Patterns and get to day dreaming about all the pretty things you could be making.

 

Welcome to Sew into Spring with Pickle Toes Patterns. Join us for 5 days of sewing our patterns as we prep for the transition from winter to spring. We were lucky enough to have 10 bloggers join us sewing up lovely creations and to have Evelyn at Seweird Fabric sponsor our bloggers and offer us a store credit for one of our lovely readers. You can find Evelyn on Facebook here. At the end of the tour join us for a rafflecopter giveaway featuring a $20 credit from Seweird and a $20 shop credit from us.

Monday

Pickle Toes Patterns

Liza Azman Miinomastudio

Tuesday

Brittni Harris PBJ* Boutique
Chelsea Newey Momma Newey’s Makes

Wednesday

Kathy Bruckman Kathy’s Kwilts and more

Thursday

Kelly Keith Kelly’s Sewing Creations
Jessica Cotriss Jot Designs,
Nadine Feebricolo

Friday

Laurie Roberts Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier,
Becca Olsen, Turtle Trax Too
Tee Bee, Fairytale B&T

As a thank you for joining us for our Sew into Spring with PTP, make sure to enter the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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She’s tickled pink over the Pickled Tink!

Pickled Tink Easter

March was a month that was full of all things sewing. I was so excited to get to test for Kellie over at Pickle Toes Patterns again. This time we tested the most adorable little dress with a cropped bolero, the Pickled Tink. It was so much fun to make and turned out so sweet. I thought little miss was going to explode waiting for me to get it finished. The first one we made, I used a random fabric for, and because it was not planned, there wasn’t enough of it for a knee length skirt, and so it was a little shorter than I like for a dress, so we will be using that as a tunic to go with leggings or capris. Little Miss loves it.

Pickled Tink, Muslin

It’s so cute on her and she says that it is super comfortable. The only thing she asked that I change is the puffiness of the skirt. So I decided to go ahead and change that for the Easter version. When I checked the measurements the gathered skirt called for, I realized that if I cut that measurement in half it would still be big enough to be comfortable, without being a full skirt. I am so in love with the Easter version. This fabric is some I picked up when we were at JoAnn Fabric in Malone, about 4 years ago. I picked it up because of the owls, she loves owls, but I could never bring myself to cut into it. I am so glad I saved it. She is so happy with it and she enjoyed her day of egg hunting and spending time with her family.

 

As much as I love this dress, the crowning glory of it is the 4, yes 4, perfect button holes. My good machine will do button holes by itself, but that one is at the shop so I had to fall back on my old machine that only likes to do one button hole a day, and it has to be sideways instead of with the direction of the opening. After a bit of begging and some convincing, it actually let me do 4 button holes, without much argument. Not only are they the same size, they are the same shape, which with this machine is also a hit or miss situation.

Pickled Tink Easter buttons

With spring seemingly here, and summer on it’s way (hopefully), this is the perfect little dress. I plan to make a few more in the tunic length to go with leggings, capris and maybe even some shorties for the really hot days of summer. You can get your Pickled Tink right here. Don’t forget to go over to the Pickle Toes Patterns group to show us pictures of what you make.

Kd and Gigi a match made in heaven.

I have been lucky enough to test patterns for Pickle Toes Patterns before, and I love every thing I have ever made. This one takes the cake. Gigi’s Bowtiful Top is a pattern that takes kids shirts a step farther. There are so many options for it. There are the standard options like sleeve length but then there is the option for closed back or open back, and if you have a great imagination…. or an mini fashionista, the options are limited only to her imagination.

Seeing as we are still in the clutches of a colder than usual winter, I didn’t want to start with an open back with short sleeves, I wanted her to be able to wear it now. So we went with long sleeve, bow back, but with a closed in back piece. It fits her so nicely, and it’s comfortable because it is made with knit so it moves with her.  We have been holding on to the pink fabric for about 2 years, I never could decide what to use it for, add to that I am not one for colour blocking and it made this a tiny step out of my comfort zone, which was a goal for this year so hurray for that.

The second one I made was, instead of regular length, it’s tunic length, just enough to cover up that booty a bit. The grey is a super soft cotton lycra, with a little bit of sparkle through out, I think it’s one that I got on my trip to Osgoods Fabric Warehouse (Think the Costco of Fabrics) in Springfield, MA, and that was 2 or 3 summers ago now, but we will be IN Springfield on our 6 Flags road trip this summer so I may just have to make another stop, no choice in the matter.  She loves it because it is so soft and flowy. I needed a contrast fabric for the bow that did justice to the main fabric, enter the white ruffles, I had no idea how I was going to sew those, it took me 2 days to get the guts to cut into it at all.  I got it 90% finished and she spotted it. Well the bow never got finished because she won’t give it back to me for that long. So we now have another option, a contrasting back that isn’t a bow. She wants a tank top for summer open back with the flat panel, and an open back tank dress with the bow back.  Of course she wants all of that yesterday, lol.

Now after looking at the pattern I think there is a way to make a mommy one, using one of my tanks and the same idea for the bow back piece. By the time I get around to figuring it out though I wouldn’t be surprised if Kellie already has a pattern for it.

This is a great pattern, not difficult, but it ends up looking like a million bucks. If you love it as much as I do then you need to get it, there is a bonus to picking it up today,  there is a sew along starting today in the Pickle Toes Patterns Sew Along  group.  When you join the sew along there is a coupon code, so you can go buy the pattern! Don’t have time this week to join the sew along?  You can go see all the amazing tester photos and get your own copy of the pattern here Here

If you make one don’t forget to post pictures in the Pickle Toes Patterns group, and tag me so I can see what cuteness you came up with 🙂

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

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! 🙂

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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.

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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……

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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….

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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.

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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.

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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.