shirt

Duds for Dudes Tour

Today I’m joining up with the Duds for Dudes Tour with Mabel Madison fabric shop! If you’ve never purchased from Mabel Madison, you are truly missing out!Duds for Dudes If Only They Would Nap

Disclaimer: I was given a discount for my purchases for being part of this blog tour, but all opinions are my own.

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Sometimes finding boy-friendly fabrics can be tricky. But what I love about Mabel Madison is they have such a wide selection!DSC_6312 copyLet’s talk first about this knit. Sewing knits is my jam, and ohmygoodness I’m in love with this Adorable Animals Euroknit! It is luscious. The perfect thickness, and this print! I can’t even handle who much I love it.

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This print is available in a pink colorway too, and if I had a girl, I would totally buy them both. The tee is self-drafted, and is my favorite style of tee to make for my littles.

DSC_6295 copyNow onto the pants! I adore these pants. I used the same self-drafted pattern for the pants I made for Project Run and Play  (you can also see I made the same style shirt… see? I told you how much I love it!). I adore flared pants on little boys.

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The denim twill in fire red from Mabel Madison is absolutely amazing. I often find twill to be stiff, even after it’s been washed, but that is NOT the case with this twill. It’s soft – but not too soft – and sturdy.

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It’s perfect for pants! My little guy loves to run and jump and climb and play in the woods around our house, and these do not hold him back. They’ll definitely take awhile before the knees bust out (which is an inevitability in our house).

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Psst: the pockets have some Spiderman fabric from my stash in the pockets… that was a big hit. ;)DSC_6372 copy

The vintage piping is the perfect touch. I really do love piping on pants. :)

DSC_6380 copyBoth the shirt and pants will eventually be patterns – I have about five in my queue right now. Moving threw me off schedule a bit, but I have some coming soon. Make sure to join my Facebook group, because I’ll be looking for testers for my next patterns within the next few weeks!
DSC_6321 copyI’m so glad to have been a part of the Duds for Dudes tour! I love supporting indie fabric shops, and Mabel Madison carries such high quality fabrics and have such fabulous customer service that I can put my firm stamp of approval on their brand.

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Make sure you check out all the other stops on the Mabel Madison week-long blog tour focused on sewing for BOYS!

Sew Happily Ever After

handcrafted by RED

If Only They Would Nap… (you’re here!)

Mabel Madison

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Greenwood Tank: a wardrobe staple

I’ve been thinking to myself lately how much I needed a good knit tank pattern. Luckily for me, Straight Stitch Designs (affiliate link) is releasing the Greenwood Tank today!
Greenwood TankWarning: if you sew one Greenwood Tank, you will be unable to stop and will need to sew more. As part of the testing team, I’ve already sewn three! It’s such a fast sew, pretty soon I’m going to have one for every day of the week.

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The Greenwood Tank comes with options for a regular high back or a low back that mirrors the front of the tank. I chose the low back option (even though I failed to actually take a picture of the back!).

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I shortened the straps a bit, but this is something I have to do quite often with ready-to-wear clothing and PDF patterns. Once I did that, the fit was fantastic. Also fantastic? This knit from JoAnn’s. I’m in loooove with this floral!

DSC_6510I had a little bit of this luscious Anna Maria Horner knit left from this dress, and it was perfect for this tank! This will definitely be an everyday wear this summer.

DSC_6559This tank really is a wardrobe staple. Depending on your fabric, you can dress it up or down. The knit binding on this tank is one of my favorite ways to do binding. Kimberly has a great video to walk you through this if you’ve never done it before.

DSC_6497I loved the Capitol Hill and the Ballard, so I knew right away I would love the Greenwood. Kimberly’s pattern instructions were easy to follow, as always, and it came out with a superb garment!DSC_6352So what are you waiting for?! Hop on over and check out the newly released Greenwood Tank! It’s 30% off through Sunday, and if you’re anything like me, once you start sewing them, you won’t be able to stop :)

Happy sewing, friends!

Disclosure: I received this pattern as part of the pattern testing group, in exchange for my feedback.

Ballard Top

When I posted recently about how I’m not holding back and waiting for the perfect circumstances to sew more for myself anymore, I was overwhelmed by the amazing response. I’m obviously not alone in this. Too many of us are waiting until things are “just right” before we jump in and sew for ourselves.

So when my new friend Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs (affiliate link) asked if I would join the blog tour for her newest pattern release, the Ballard, how could I say no?

Ballard Top

The Ballard top is a comfy knit top that is easily dressed up or down. It’s all “hey, I’m a super cute shirt!” in the front, and then “well heeeeeyyyy, I’m super sassy!” in the back.

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The front has a sweet gathered, scoop neckline that I am loving. It hits in the perfect spot – not too low, not too high. And it adds a nice detail when you’re using a solid colored fabric.

DSC_0194I’m on the petite side (under 5’4), so this top is more like a tunic on me. I could maybe get away with wearing it with leggings as is, but I’d prefer to lengthen it just a teeny bit (because I’m in the leggings are not pants camp, and I like to keep the booty covered) It would also be very easy to shorten it, but I actually like the length as is.

DSC_0188The open back detail is so fun! It adds something really unique, but you could easily make the opening smaller if you’re not crazy about it being so open. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the open back at first, but after wearing it a bit (and getting quite a few compliments ;) I decided it’s too fun not to like, and I think it’s a great way to show a pop of color with a tank underneath.

DSC_0210From cut to sew, it probably came together in an hour or so. The pattern is super straightforward, though you should know going into it that this pattern has the fantastic feature of being able to print only the size you want to use. I really recommend this, because I completely missed this (because I didn’t read through the pattern until after I printed), and it would have been nice, as there were a lot of size lines crossing and it got a bit confusing which line to cut. So print only your size, and you won’t have this problem (and read the directions before you print… also a good lesson learned ;)

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I wish you could see this fabric in person. I picked it up at JoAnn’s, it has a great weight… and it’s sparkly. We all know I love a good glitter fabric, in my land of boys over here. :)

I’ll definitely be sewing more Ballards! The pattern is being sold exclusively on Indie Sew for the next week, but will be sold at Straight Stitch Designs after that. You can check out all the other lovely versions of the Ballard being sewn up for the tour!ballard-tourgraphic

And just to keep it real… this is how photo shoots really look:

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Happy sewing, friends!

Disclosure: I received this pattern as part of the blog tour, but all opinions are my own.

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.

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.

step 1
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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Bond Top Pattern Tour [a pattern review]

Recently, my lovely friend Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy [and my partner in crime for Handmade Gifts for Boys] launched her pattern shop Beatnik Kids! She has three super adorable boys, so she has a passion for unique boy designs.

I had the privilege of testing and now touring [if I say it like that, it kinda makes me sound famous, right?] with her very first pattern release – which can be for boys or girls – the Bond Top!

Bond Top // if only they would nap

This pattern is so unique, it combines knits and wovens, so it’s comfy but the collar and bib front dress it up a little.
Bond Top // if only they would nap

I lengthened the sleeves for the striped top, but kept the 3/4 length for the Star Wars top. [yes, even the two-year-old knows who Darth Vader is!]

Bond Top // if only they would nap

Because of the button placket, I wouldn’t suggest this pattern as your first foray into garment sewing. But I think even a confident beginner could handle it, as Stacey’s instructions and pictures are super clear. And once you get the hang of a button placket, the top comes together really quickly.

Bond Top // if only they would nap

I rounded the edges on one bib and kept the sharper corners on the other. Which way do you like better? I can’t decide..

Bond Top // if only they would nap

Pay close attention to the head circumference chart that’s provided in the pattern. My large-noggined kiddo may or may have contributed to her decision to put that in there… [have you ever tried to squeeze a too-tight shirt over a two-year-old’s head? no? it’s not pretty]

Bond Top // if only they would nap

I used one large vintage button on my six-year-old’s top, and I really love the added detail.
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We’re obviously Bond Top super-fans. :)

I am just LOVING all the Bond Tops [and Bond dresses!] that are on the tour. There’s so much you can do with this pattern! Hop over to Happy Stitch to check out her version today too, and all the other stops:

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If you want your own copy of the pattern [which of course you do] you can get it here for $2 off until Friday with the code BONDTOP

Disclosure: I was given this pattern in exchange for my honest review. And I honestly recommend it. :)

Charlie Shirt: a pattern review

Not too long ago, I came across the European pattern designer Zonen09. When I saw her patterns, I seriously could not peel myself away from her site. Not only are her patterns unique and stylish, but she designs for BOYS!

So when I contacted the oh-so-sweet Sharon who is the designer behind Zonen09, she was so gracious and sent me two of her patterns to review!
Charlie Shirt // If Only They Would Nap

The first one I sewed was Charlie. This was the first of her patterns that caught my eye, actually. The style reminds me of the vintage clothing that I tend to gravitate toward at the thrift store, that late 70s/early 80s style that my brothers used to wear.

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This collar!

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The cuffs and waistband, well, I always love a shirt with those features. When you sew for boys, you aren’t going to be adding ruffles or lace, so contrasting fabrics give your garments interest.

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The main body of the shirt is lined, so it’s nice and sturdy. All of the pattern instructions and pictures were really clear and easy to follow, so I really think that if you’ve sewn a couple of things with knits [or like to challenge yourself a bit!], you could easily graduate to this pattern.

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Also, argyle. I mean, seriously. [I don’t know where the fabric is from, sorry to say. I got it from my lovely friend Alida, who has amazing style and taste in fabrics] photo DSC_0482_zps1594bdda.jpg

The only thing challenging about this pattern that a beginner might balk at is that seam allowance is not included. So keep that in mind if you don’t want to go through that extra step. This pattern and Jacob [which I’ll be blogging about soon!] are both on my list of 15 must-have patterns for boys. These are also the only two patterns she currently has in English – so know that before you buy! Two of her patterns are currently only in Dutch.

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I’ll add a bit of length to mine next time, as my two-year-old seems to have gone through a recent growth spurt. If your kiddo has a longer torso, I’d recommend that. But other than that, the fit was spot-on and was a really quick sew… you know, other than my forty zillion interruptions.

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You can find Zonen09 here or on Facebook.

Purple and Pink – Calling All Kids

Today I’m bringing home a post that was a part of Alida Makes‘ Calling All Kids series. If you didn’t see it the first time around, be sure you pop over to check out all the posts – Alida challenged us all to rethink our kids’ wardrobes and not let gender define how they dress. It was a really cool series to be a part of!

When you ask my five-year-old what his favorite colors are, he will tell you “blue, red, purple, and pink.” I love that he doesn’t think that purple and pink are colors just for girls.

DSC_0886And since blue and red are pretty prevalent in his wardrobe already, I added a bit of purple and pink in a not-so-girly way.DSC_0914When I gave him the clothes, he said, “Did you make these because you know purple and pink are some of my favorite colors?!” Mom win right there, my friends.DSC_0932There are some little hedgehogs that peek out from the pocket of the purple cords, which is just a fun detail that I love.DSC_0920As the mom of a bunch of boy boys who love cars and trains and superheroes and being loud and getting dirty, we don’t have a lot of pink or purple in our house. But we also play with baby dolls and cook together… so who says boys can’t wear pink?DSC_0929A little blue steel…DSC_0908Kids are so much more confident when they wear what they love.DSC_0888

And while he’s already outgrown the shirt since I originally posted this [and the pants aren’t far behind!], the pants are still a particular favorite.

Do your kids wear anything that’s a little out of the box? I’d love to hear about it!

Classic Oxford Button-Up [Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Tour!]

Thanks for stopping by today! If you’re here from Naptime Crafters and the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop tour, welcome!

Peek-a-Boo Patterns has such a wide variety of kid patterns – for boys and girls. [Hooray for boy patterns!] When I got the chance to be part of Amy’s fall tour, I knew I had to try out the Classic Oxford.

Classic Oxford // If Only They Would Nap

I’m not going to lie… I was a little nervous. It looked a little complicated, but I was up for the challenge.

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It turned out so.darn.cuuuuuute.

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This pattern is definitely not for beginners. There were a few times I got frustrated with it [the sleeves just did not want to fit properly into the armhole – but Amy has tweaked the pattern pieces, so hopefully the next time it will go much smoother] and it wasn’t a quick sew, but I really love how it looks in the end. And the fit is spot on.

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I used this ridiculously fabulous fabric [Weekends by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit – purchased from Drawstring Studio], paired with some oh-so-lovely green linen fabric to accent.

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My machine and I were in a fight while I was sewing [which I was losing…], so I decided to forgo the button holes and use KAM Snaps And hellooo, buttons + a three-year-old who doesn’t like to dress himself = my nightmare.

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Overall, the pattern gives you a super professional looking shirt. And there are so many ways you can personalize it. [recognize the Rockstar Pants from jeggings fabric? Tutorial found here]

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Seriously, how adorable is he in this shirt? I definitely need to make more of these. Hmm, I’m thinking some coordinating Christmas button-ups for all the boys?

Make sure you pop over to Naptime Crafters and check out all the other stops on the fall tour.

fall 2013 tour

On Saturday, head back to Naptime Crafters to enter for a 10-pattern pack giveaway! [free patterns!! lots of exclamation points!!!] Plus, you can vote for your favorite look on the tour. The winning look gets a prize, so obviously you want to vote for me. Please. ;)

And, as if that wasn’t enough excitement, the Hang Time Basketball Shorts are on sale for only $4 today.

Hang Time Basketball Shorts

Happy sewing, friends!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. I receive a teeny percentage of any purchases you make through these links. I received this pattern in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Once, twice, three times a [Casual] Lady…

I’m in love. Is it okay to be in love with a pattern? Don’t tell me if it’s not. Because I totally am. And what’s that? You want more awkward selfies? Well I aim to please.DSC_0398

This pattern, the Casual Lady [affiliate link] from Go To Patterns is fantastic. I’ve made three already, and there’s no end in sight to my casual-loving madness.

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Since I have a nursing babe still, I’ve only made the top version. But the pattern comes with both a dress and top version.DSC_0365

This shirt is seriously comfortable. I love me a good T-shirt, and this one is my new favorite.
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I used different types of knit for each top – it’s really perfect for whatever you have in your stash.

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Dress it up, dress it down. I love a pattern with possibilities!DSC_0426
This face right here? You’re welcome.DSC_0421

Pretty soon I will have a closet full of Casual Ladies. [yeah… that definitely sounded better in my head]

Have you been sewing for yourself lately? I’d love to see! Leave me a link in the comments!

Fabric:
blue stripes – Girl Charlee
white subtle stripes – Fabric.com
floral – Joann Fabrics