handmade

Fall Favorites Giveaway!

Today I’m joining up with my friend Alyson and bringing you an awesome fall giveaway. Fall is definitely my favorite season. Between my birthday and boot-scarf-cardigan-wearing weather and the changing of the leaves, I’m one happy girl. Just don’t ask me how I feel about winter, okay? ;)

Take a look at all the amazing prizes –  a $55 Gift Card for Starbucks (um, y’all know I’m a coffee girl!), a scarf, a zipper pouch & key fob, a fall print, an arrow clutch, and a fall sign! I love teaming up with and supporting handmade shops, so hopefully you’ll meet a few new makers that you can check out for some of your holiday shopping. These lovelies are super talented.

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Happy Fall Y’all, print from This Girls Doodles

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Arrow Clutch from The Barefoot Seamstress

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Navy Blue Infinity Scarf from Forgotten Cotton

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Fall Sign from Prim & Proper Signs

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Fun Zipper Pouch & Key Fob from Little Ms Fancy Pants

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I really wish I could win, because, wow! Lots of really great stuff. And, $55 to Starbucks?! That’s a LOT of coffee & tea, or some super cute mugs. A total value of over $150. 

Good luck!!

click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Striped Neptune Tee

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know my love of all things Pattern Anthology. Four of my favorite designers put out a collection of patterns together for a limited time discount, then the patterns go to their individual shops at regular retail price. Every single time a new Pattern Anthology collection comes out, I’m so impressed. There’s usually some squealing involved. (You can see a few of the things I’ve sewn from previous collections here) The ladies have just come out with another fabulous women’s collection, 8 Days a Week, and I sewed up the Neptune Tee.

Neptune Tee

I sewed the simple version, but the pattern comes with these amazing triangle cutouts.

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A T-shirt and jeans is pretty much my mom uniform, and I love the fit of this tee. I brought mine in around the hips a little bit, but made no other alterations and it fits perfectly.

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The pattern comes together super quickly – a naptime sew (yay!) So basically it’s quicker to make myself a new shirt than to wash one that’s dirty. Hmmm….

DSC_0102I especially like the armbands. … and this fabulous GLITTER striped fabric that I’ve been hoarding (from either JoAnn’s or Hancock Fabrics a couple years ago) Since my life is all superheroes and Thomas trains, a boy mama needs a little glitter fabric in her life, am I right?

DSC_0027While you’re looking at this gorgeous tee, you can also notice that I have to remove my stove knobs … life with a toddler, my friends.

DSC_0054I was given the Neptune Tee pattern in exchange for testing, but I always stand by my reviews – and I super love this shirt. You can get yours along with the rest of the 8 Days a Week collection until October 6th, or from See Kate Sew after that date.

Happy sewing, friends!

Kudzu Coveralls Dress

Last weekend, I went to my cousin’s baby shower and she’s having a GIRL! Since my world is all boy sewing, I was a little giddy with excitement at the idea of sewing a dress – the Kudzu Coveralls Dress from Sew Like My Mom!

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Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking these links, I receive a small percentage at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting this site!

I picked up this butterfly corduroy at JoAnn’s in the remnant section awhile back. Since I don’t have a big need for girly fabrics, I like to scour the remnants and find smaller pieces that hide out in my stash for just these situations.

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The sweet little gathers in corduroy! Is there anything cuter?

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I lined the bodice with a vintage floral and used Kam Snaps. Just like the overalls, the dress version of the Kudzu is super easy to follow and comes together so quickly. And the itty bitty dress that comes out is freaking adorable.

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I also made a little headband, using some fold over elastic and this super easy flower tutorial.

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I can’t wait to see this little cousin wearing this sweet little dress! (wait, if she’s my cousin’s daughter, what does that make her to me… once removed? second cousin? I truly have no idea..)

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This, my friends, is more pink than my sewing machine usually sees.

Happy sewing!

DIY Boxy Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Zipper pouches are perfect for basically everything… and a boxy pouch that can stand up? Better than perfect. It’s easily a naptime sew (you know how I love those), so let’s get making!
Make your own boxy zipper pouch

Supplies:

  • outer fabric
  • lining fabric
  • zipper

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1. Cut two outer fabrics and two linings. I made mine 8in x 8in x 8in x 10in. to make a trapezoid – but you can adjust the size as needed.

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2. Sandwich your zipper (mine is 7in) between one of the outer and lining, right sides together, and sew using your zipper foot. The outer fabric should be on the top of the zipper.

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3. Flip the fabrics back, press carefully (without melting your zipper!) and topstitch.

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4. Now repeat with the other set of fabric.

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5. Open the zipper (don’t skip this step!)

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6. Lay the lining and outer fabrics right sides together. Carefully pin together. Sew along the edges, leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining.

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7. Flatten the bottom of the lining and the outer fabrics. Sew across the corners and cut off the leftover triangle.

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The bottom should look like this when you’re done.

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8. Turn the pouch right side out, using the hole in the bottom of the lining. Then sew the lining shut. I like to hand sew this with a blind stitch, because I think it looks cleaner, but you can also straight stitch along the entire bottom seam with your machine.

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Then rejoice in your beautiful standing zipper pouch!

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Fill it with make up or hand sewing projects or throw it in your purse to hold all that random junk that doesn’t have a place.

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Happy sewing, friends!

Oakley Shorts Pattern Review

Awhile back, my lovely and wonderful friend Melissa from Sew Like My Mom sent me her newest pattern, the Oakley Shorts and Capris. Since I loved her Kudzu Coveralls, I knew that I was going to love this pattern too.

Oakley Shorts

Being the fourth boy, this little peanut has gotten his fair share of hand-me-downs. But sometimes they don’t quite make it that far.

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Like all of Melissa’s patterns, this one comes together beautifully. It comes in sizes 12months – 8years, and has some adorable capri options for girls!

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I made the 12month size, and the fit on my little man is perfect. He’s wearing disposables here, and they are a little tight when he wears cloth. If you’re a cloth diapering family, I would size up or add a couple of inches to the rise.

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These are the absolute perfect summer shorts!

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You can find the Oakleys (and the rest of the Sew Like My Mom patterns) here. Come back tomorrow when I’m going to share some secrets about this photo shoot… including what the first one looked like, and the tips I used to improve it!

Happy sewing, friends!

Adelaide Top

I’ve kind of switched gears a little bit in my sewing and have been sewing a lot more for myself. And it is so fabulous! I had the super honor of being an early tester for one of See Kate Sew‘s new pattern – Adelaide. Friends, I’m in looooove.
The Adelaide TopThis pattern is oh so lovely. It is a really fast sew, and like every one of Kate’s patterns, it’s incredibly well put together.

adelaide3This yoke detail is so fantastic. The pattern comes with a ruffle piece for the yoke, or you can use a pre-made trim like I did. I used a vintage eyelet trim and these fabulous vintage yellow buttons. The fabric is also vintage – a linen that I found at a thrift store awhile back. I basically love everything about this top.

adelaide2The darts on this early test version are a little high, and they’ve been adjusted in the final pattern.

adeladie4I hand sewed the hem with a blind stitch … and my six-year-old photographer got this excellent shot of it. ;) I am seriously addicted to sewing for myself now. And between this one and the rest of Kate’s new Garden Party line, I could be busy for awhile.

adelaideYou will adore this pattern as much as I do. The sleeves, the yoke… sigh. Perfection.

Sew-a-bration of Women: shoreline boatneck tunic (take two)

When I’m shopping and I find something like a t-shirt or a cardigan that fits my body and I feel great in, I like to buy more than one. The same thing goes for a handmade wardrobe, which is why this is take two of this gathered tunic.

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The first gathered tunic I made was a modified Shoreline Boatneck (affiliate link) from Blank Slates, and this one is too. (Though the pattern is fantastic without modification, as all Blank Slates Patterns are :)

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Today I’m posting as a part of the Sew-a-bration of Women at the Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire. It’s an awesome celebration of sewing for women – no matter your body type or age. Celebrating YOU!

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I’m still carrying a little post-baby love around my middle from my sweet baby number four, and this style of tunic is super flattering and hides that problem area better than some others. If you’re hesitant to sew for yourself because you haven’t lost the last ten pounds or are still nursing or whatever… just think of it as practice. Try out different styles to see what works for you, and the more you try, the better you’ll get.

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This tunic is long enough to wear with leggings (because leggings are not pants, my friends… cover up the booty is all I have to say), and the fabric from Girl Charlee is the perfect weight for summer, even with 3/4 sleeves. And pasty white legs, but you know, it’s spring in Wisconsin, these things happen..

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You can find the full tutorial for this tunic here and can use it to alter any shirt pattern to this style of tunic.

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You can gather it more if you like a fuller skirt, but I love just a little bit – and also, I hate gathering fabric. It’s a good thing I live in a house full of boys. ;)

Check out some more Sew-a-bration inspiration at these other blogs and get excited to sew for yourself!

Sharp as a Shark – Project Run and Play week one

Friends! Today is the day! Project Run and Play season 9 is starting today! (let’s just pause a moment while I squeal a little and try to catch my breath!)

The theme for week one is “Put me in the zoo” – looks inspired by animals. I pretty much knew immediately that my inspiration animal would be a shark.

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I’m not going to lie – I love every.single.thing. about this look.

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My goal with this outfit was to have pieces that were very wearable and that could be worn separately. I also didn’t want to be super obvious with my inspiration. The hood of the jacket, of course, is the most obvious – shark’s teeth! – but there are hints of inspiration throughout the whole look.

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Boy looks are all about the details – especially if you aren’t using a lot of prints.

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Since we’re right in the middle of the Straight Lines and Angles series, I had the geometric trend on the brain. So I used some iron-on vinyl to add these triangles. They also reminded me of fins or shark’s teeth.

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The jacket is made from a black denim that has some stretch. I based the jacket very loosely off of the shape of a raincoat we have in our house. There are a lot of pieces in this jacket, and a lot of seams. It was definitely a labor of love!

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The jacket is fully lined, and because of the stretch in the denim, I cut the lining on the bias, matching the stripes to match the lines of the fins.. or the waves. Or both. The pockets are set in the front seams, and peak out just a little.

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I love the contrast of the front zip.

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Speaking of zippers. How pretty is this zipper fly?? So pretty. After my last zipper fly (or should I say my only other zipper fly!), I might be addicted to making them. My pants are never going to be the same!

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The pants were drafted from a pair of ready-to-wear pants, with a lot of changes in the fit and style. The grey twill is super comfy, and I love how it looks with the red piping and top stitching. There also seemed to be something fitting about using red with a shark look…. am I right??

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In addition to the zipper fly, the pants have an elastic back waist, inset front pockets (with a super fun whale print, just because I could!), and back patch pockets (some of those aforementioned details!)

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The tee is made of a super stretchy and comfy knit, self-drafted to be more fitted and with longer short sleeves, because I love that 70s T-shirt look.

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Funny photo shoot story: I took the kids to a park on Lake Michigan to play and take pictures (because you have to take shark inspired pictures by the water, obviously!) I wish someone was taking pictures of me, because I’m sure it was hilarious. Picture me with a baby strapped to my chest, chasing my two-year-old out of the water, all while taking pictures. Sounds fun, right? :)

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It was a little bit, actually :) He really loves this outfit, and he had no problem running and playing on the beach (well, as much as you can do in 40F weather). And I really love this look too. It really is exactly what I wanted it to be!

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Okay, now run – don’t walk – over to the Project Run and Play blog to vote for my look!
Please and thank you :)

 

Fabric sources:

grey twill/black stretch denim: JoAnn Fabrics
blue and white stripes: thrifted
white knit: JoAnn Fabrics
ribbing: upcycled

Alter a shirt pattern to a gathered tunic [a tutorial]

One of the great things about sewing your own clothes is that you can make them how YOU want them to be. Have a great shirt pattern? You can make a tunic from it really easily!

Alter a shirt pattern to a gathered tunic  If Only They Would Nap
When Melissa of Blank Slates Patterns offered to send me her Shoreline Boatneck Top and Dress  [affiliate link] pattern, I was super excited. I love her children’s patterns, but I have yet to sew one of her women’s patterns. This pattern has both shirt and dress options… but I’m a girl who likes to have it all ;) so I decided to make it into a tunic.

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You can do this with pretty much any shirt or dress pattern you own [or you can even alter a shirt you have in your closet!], and it doesn’t take much.

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1. You’re going to cut the front and back bodice into two pieces. Firs, cut the top portion, both the front and the back bodice piece – but cut them about where you want the gathering to hit. Measure down from your armpit. The Shoreline Boatneck has a line on the pattern piece to lengthen/shorten, and I cut my bodice piece about an inch lower than that. The front and back bodice pieces should be the same length.

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2. Cut the bottom of the back bodice the same width as the pattern piece, but slightly longer. Measure down from where your gathering will hit down to where you want the tunic to end. [I ended up shortening mine after trying it on.]

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3. Now cut the bottom of the bodice front. You want it to be longer [the same length as you cut the back piece] and wider, to account for the gathers. I made mine about five inches wider, cut on the fold.

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4. Gather that front lower bodice piece you just cut. There are several different ways to gather. In this picture, I stitched a basting stitch and pulled on the bobbin thread to gather it. It’s more “proper” to use two lines of stitching.. but I tend to break the rules. ;)

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5. Gather your lower bodice piece to match the top of the front bodice. You want them to be the same width.

6. Sew the two front pieces together, then sew the two back pieces together.

7. Continue to follow the rest of the pattern instructions to complete your tunic!

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This mint green and cream striped Ponte de Roma fabric from Girl Charlee is amazing. I may or may not have snuggled with it after it arrived, it’s that soft. Don’t judge… you’ll do it too. It drapes really well and has a great weight. It has pretty quickly become one of my favorite knits to work with, I think.

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One of the things I love about Melissa’s patterns is her sleeves. They’re always perfect! I also added pockets to the tunic – because everything is better with pockets.

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Now excuse me while I go fill my entire wardrobe with Ponte de Roma tunics… :)

This post is sponsored by Girl Charlee, who provided the fabric for this tutorial. [Thanks, Girl Charlee!] All opinions are my own.

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Counting Stars and adding a tuxedo stripe to pants

The lovely Melissa and Stacey, fellow boy mamas from Melly Sews and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy are in the middle of their Sew in Tune series. It’s super fun – sewing that’s inspired by music!

Confession: I don’t listen to a lot of pop music. I get a lot of my modern day musical education from The Voice. Or random songs I hear on Pandora. Which is actually where I found this one: Counting Stars, by One Republic.

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This song has a really catchy tune, and I find myself singing it throughout the day. Okay, and dancing in my kitchen with my boys. When I first heard this song, it made me think of my oldest, because he loves – I mean LOVES – anything that has to do with stars and planets.

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One of my favorite lines of the song says “I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be.” And that’s one of the best things about my boy – he dreams big.

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The pants are self-drafted, with this super soft neon green corduroy [I believe it's Limeade 21 Wale from Robert Kaufman] and tuxedo stripes out of a fabric that looks just like a sky full of stars.

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They have a slight flare to them and are flat front, with pockets in the back.

how to add a tuxedo stripe to pants

I added tuxedo stripes to the pants, which is really easy to do to any pants pattern.

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1. Sew each pant leg together at the outer seam. Cut a long rectangular strip of fabric the length of your seam. How wide you cut the strip depends on the size of your pants and how wide you want the stripe to be. Remember to leave room for your seam allowance.

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2. Fold over and press the long sides of the strip. I folded mine over about 3/8 in.

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3. Pin the fabric along the seam and sew in place with a straight stitch on either side. So easy!

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I used the Bond Top from Beatnik Kids for the shirt, modified without a collar and with an exposed zip. This is my third Bond Top now, and I really love this pattern.

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I upcycled a black tee and used a fabric that reminded me of planets.

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This was his “make my mouth the same shape as a planet” face. :)

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An outfit perfect for dreaming about all your future could hold… like jumping on the moon.

Make sure you check out all the other amazing looks in the Sew in Tune series at Melly Sews and Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy!

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