Posted in Girl's Clothing, How To, Sewing

All the different types of machines…

I love sewing. It’s therapeutic, from getting an idea in your head, to selecting fabric combos, to cutting, to seeing the garment slowly take form, to stitching the final stitches. Knowing that I have an original.

My daughter turned 6 a few days ago and I got it in my head to make her a fancy dress. She LOVES my dresses I make for her, so while looking through old photos, I got it in my head to follow one of the first patterns I ever made for her, but in her current size, the CKC Larkin. This was at the beginning of my sewing journeys, when I was first learning and really had no clue what I was doing! I remember reading the directions and thinking to myself, there sure seems like a lot of pointless steps (finishing the seams) and I skipped a lot of stuff.

(click link here to purchase this pattern)

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I learned the hard way that finishing seams is so important, as I was constantly cutting loose threads afterwards! I LOVED this dress and was so sad to see it go 😦

 

Let’s fast forward to last week. I made that dress in March of 2015, so my daughter was about to turn 2. Since then, I’ve kept the same sewing machine, but now own a serger and a coverstitch machine. And they are game changers for woven fabrics!

So this dress began with some ideas. I started by picking some fabrics and texting my mom and sisters for some opinions.

They voted gold and this dress had began!

I construct all garments with my sewing machine. I’ve tried using my serger to construct, but I just prefer constructing and then using my serger and coverstitch to finish.

So here are my extra machines:

Both are Janome and both were bought used. The left one is my serger and the right is my coverstitch.

If you aren’t familiar with what those do, then you are really missing out! So my serger cuts the fabric with a blade, and then stitches along the edge, to prevent unraveling of the fabric. Here is an example of one of my ruffles from the dress.

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I serge FIRST to finish the seams, then I fold up .5″ and use my coverstitch to sew the hem.

I use wonder clips and my fingers to memory press the hem. I fold over, measure .5″, pinch that spot with my fingers, clip it, then continue on (about a knees width) and repeat, then once I have the next clip, I go back and press the hem between the 2 clips with my fingers. Once I get back to where I started, it’s time for the coverstitch machine to go to work!

I bought the clear foot (did not come with my machine) and it’s wonderful for meeting the seams. I think my favorite part about this machine is that I don’t have to back stitch! Just make it back to where you started and go a little over the first stitches and bam, you are done!

Here is my machine at work:

And here are the results. The top is a double stitch that looks professional and the bottom is the mix of the serger stitches and the coverstich stitches.

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Here are the other ruffles finished:

All are done with the exact same cream thread cones. Aren’t they pretty 🙂

Now, for the big reveal, the final product! My daughter LOVED it!!!

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One thing I really love about this dress is that the ruffles are attached to connector pieces, so the skirt seam isn’t so bulky. I love this pattern and I’m so glad I was able to show it some love!

*There are NO affiliate links on this page, but feel free to check out any of my other posts and use my affiliate links to purchase other awesome patterns!

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Posted in Giveaway, Women's Clothing

Back to School – Teacher Edition

As much as it pains my heart to be writing this, I know it’s important to plan ahead, because we all know once school starts, free time gets to be very limited!

I’m a high school math teacher. I like to look as professional as possible because I look young and I’m super short! We do have a teacher dress code, which is mostly butt covered and no shoulders showing.

So let’s get right down to it!

Up first:

1. New Horizon’s Cascade Top – LINK

I like this top because the flounce makes it dressy. I made the left one with a lace overlay in the center. I plan to wear this one with dress pants. I modified the pattern just a little bit by shortening the sleeve length. I usually get cold in my classroom, so I like 3/4 sleeves. The right one was with the cap sleeve.

2. True Beauty by Ellie and Mac – LINK

I love this pattern! It’s an off the shoulder dress with a lot of length options. But I simply pulled it up over my shoulders! I like maxi dresses for school because I don’t want to worry about accidentally flashing kids, lol.

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3. Ellie and Mac Sharkbite Top – LINK

I like this one because it’s long. I went with short sleeves, because of the no shoulder policy.

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4. Pattern for Pirates Sweetheart Dress – LINK

I love this dress! It’s a circle skirt, so it twirls 🙂 For the mint green one, I simply put on a cardigan and then I’m good to go! My kids LOVED my Wheel of Fortune Dress.

5. Ellie and Mac’s I Love the 90’s Dress – LINK

Can you tell how much I love dresses! I’ll probably wear leggings with this one 🙂

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6. Pickled Toe Pattern’s Bread and Butter Top – Link to Blog Post

I wrote a blog post on this one last summer. I used a lace overlay on the bodice and lace for the sleeves. The band really helps with this one because it stays in place!

7. Annelaine Pattern’s Tamara Top and Dress – SHOP LINK

This is a fun top! I love the back part. The strap helps keep it in place. It’s not too revealing, so it’s a great top or dress!

8. CKC Kimber Dress – LINK

This was from my early days of sewing. I really like this dress because it is flattering! I use the baby doll bodice for all of them. It’s a circle skirt, so it has the twirl. I wear mine with leggings.

9. Halla Carefree Dress – LINK

I put on a cardigan with this one and it’s perfect for school. I LOVE maxis 🙂

10. George and Ginger Super Sleeve Top – LINK

This top comes with 9 sleeve options! This is the only one I’ve tried so far and I love it! I didn’t shortened the pattern because I like my tops longer

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11. George and Ginger Swagger Sweater – LINK

This is a great top! I kept the length and it has good butt coverage! I went with the short sleeve version.

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12. My Golden Thimble’s Dahlia Dress – LINK

So I’m from KY and I teach in Big Orange UT territory. I get crap for being a UK fan, so I like being able to covertly support my team! I really like this dress and the seams help hide my mommy tummy!

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13. Ellie and Mac’s Going Home Sweater – LINK

This is my FAVORITE fall outfit! Butt coverage is perfect for school!

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14. CKC’s Sydney Raglan – LINK

This one is all about the fabric! I got this on sale from Hobby Lobby during the Christmas season. AND I went slow and didn’t break a single needle 🙂 This one has great butt coverage!

15. CKC’s Esthers – LINK

Another great dress!

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16. Ellie and Mac’s 24/7 Top – LINK

This is my latest sew! And again, GREAT butt coverage! This top releases Monday night and I will update with a link then 🙂

That it! And that’s just the ones I have sewn! I hope you find something you can use for back to school!

Now, for the best part!!! I have some store credit to Ellie and Mac that I want to give away to a fellow teacher! Simply comment below with what you teach or the grade level and which of the above mentioned patterns you think you’ll sew up for the school year or have already sewn up for school! This is for a $5 store credit. Thanks for checking out my blog!!!

Note: Some of the above links contain affiliate links. I only recommend patterns that I love 😀

Posted in Girl's Clothing, New Release - Tester

Felicia by Karrington Paige Design

Karrington Paige Design’s is making its debut with the Felicia Dress! This classic dress is stunning. I loved it to much that I made 2! In version 1, I used yellow linen and made the long sleeve version and my version 2 is a Cotten woven and short sleeves. My daughter loves both of them! I love the collar and the shirred sleeves on this dress! It includes a zipper for closure and a double hem at the bottom. This dress is a must for your little princess 🙂

Click here to purchase the pattern: Felicia

Please note, link provided is an affiliate link! Love this pattern and you will too!

Posted in New Release - Tester, Women's Clothing

Patterns for Pirates’s Walk the Plank PJ Pants

Patterns for Pirates recently had a tester competition and I decided to participate! The pattern I tested was Walk the Plank PJ pants. They can be downloaded for free by going to the Pattern for Pirates Website here.

I made the shorts version and it was quick and the directions were easy to follow. Then I got to do a photo shoot at my friend’s lake house! It was a great experience.  Here are my modeled photos.

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Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe in.

Posted in Girl's Clothing, New Release - Tester

Annelaine’s Villeta Top

Releasing to is Annelaine’s new pattern, the Villeta Top. This is an original top that includes a ruffle on the front and back. The instructions are perfect and easy to follow! Click this link to purchase this or any Annelaine patterns!

Here are our modeled photos:

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Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe in.

Posted in Women's Clothing

Back to School

Pickle Toes Patterns is celebrating Back to School with a blog tour and giveaway! Click here: Giveaway

I am so excited to help launch their new Back to School Blog Tour! I’m up first and I want to show you a pattern that is perfect for teachers! I decided to make the Bread N Butter Top, with the scoop neck and bottom bands. Pattern can be found here: Bread N Butter Top.  I wanted to dress mine up a little, so I decided to make a solid white top with a pretty mint green overlay. I love the results and can’t wait to wear it to school!

To purchase the top at a discounted price, please use the code TEACHERS for 25% off (minimum purchase of $7.50). This code will be until August 5.
Here are close ups of the fabrics I used:

 

I want to share a tip for working with stretch lace.  It takes a little more time, but will save you a headache in the end! Before each sewing step that involved the lace overlay, I basted my lace edge to the white solid. This really helps with the lace NOT moving.  Nothing would be worse than putting all of that work into a cute top and then finding out in some places that the lace didn’t stay in the seam allowance.  Basting is done by adjusting your machine’s stitch length to the longest setting (mine is a 4) and using a small seam allowance (I used 1/8). Do NOT back stitch at the end or the beginning.  Also, this is very important: after each step that you stretch stitch, you’ll need to remove the basted stitches! They don’t stretch as well as the stretch stitches you should use when working with knits. If you need some help with that, I recommend going to the beginning of your stitch, finding the top of the stitches, and gently gathering the fabric until you get to the end, then pulling the thread completely out.

Other than basting, I followed the wonderful pattern instructions. Here are the results:

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I finished the bands with my coverstitch machine. This can also be done using a double needle on a regular sewing machine:

 

Posted in Girl's Clothing, New Release - Tester

New Release: The Rivier Dress

I was so fortunate to get to test this unique and beautiful dress! This is The Rivier Dress by Eli Monster. Click this link to purchase: The Eli Monster This beautiful dress is on sale until Saturday July 22. There are a few options to pick: Sleeveless or Cap Sleeve and also Neck ruffle or basic.  For my test version, I wanted to go all out and I made the sleeveless with the neck ruffle. I did modify one thing on this pattern. Instead of just hemming the bottom, I used bias tape in a contrasting color.  I am so happy with the results! I also really like testing for the owner because she addressed all of the tester issue during testing.  Here are some more shots of the dress. Get your copy today!

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Posted in New Release - Tester

New Horizon’s (girls) Bayside Romper (Tester Post)

Up next in my week of testing is this adorable Romper.  I have fallen in love with New Horizon’s Portlander Pants and I saw a tester call in the group and knew I would love this one too! It’s perfect for my daughter and I see one in my future too 🙂 Here is a link to the pattern: New Horizon’s Patterns

Terra does a great job of her instructions. She also did many versions during testing, in fact, she would fix things as soon as issues showed up.  I loved testing for her because of this.

This pattern has quite a few options! The options I chose are: short sleeves and the shorts. You can also choose from flutter sleeves or a tank with bands, and different bottoms, such as mini skirt, knee length skirt, maxi skirt, and pants. My next one with be a tank with shorts.

As I said before, Terra’s instructions are AMAZING! She includes drawings instead of fabric pictures, which is great because you can clearly see what is the right/wrong side of the fabric piece you are working with.

I got my fabric from Hobby Lobby and I will NEVER purchase this particular fabric again. It was horrible to work with and curled like crazy. I tried ironing it and that just stretch it out. So I won’t link to the fabric!

Here are the final results. I chose to take these photos at The Cove and Concord Park. It was the perfect backdrop!

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“Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.”

Posted in Girl's Clothing, How To

Hacking the New Horizons Portlanders Shorts

I needed a pair of shorts for my daughter for a photo shoot for a pattern I was testing.  I got the idea to do a lace overlay on the New Horizon’s Portlanders Pants and Shorts.  Click here to purchase the pattern.  They turned out perfect for the photo shoot! Here’s how I did it.

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Step 1: Arrange pages and cut out the shorts line in your size. Make sure you use the layers feature to easily see what you need to cut.  You need to follow the flaired out lines for the shorts (the shorts are wider at the ends then the pants)

Step 2: Using stretch lace, cut out the mirrored shorts front and back pieces. Don’t cut out the band with the lace.

Step 3: Go back to your paper pattern pieces.  Cut off the flaired parts of the shorts.  This will leave you with the pants width (but the shorts length line won’t change)

Step 4: using a solid knit fabric, cut out the mirrored shorts front and back pieces, and this time, cut out the band as well (being sure to cut on the fold.

Step 5: Using only the lace, stitch the pattern as the directions say, stopping when you get to the band.  The only thing I changed was on the lace, I used a 1/4″ seam allowance, instead of the recommended 3/8″ because I wanted the lace to fit over the solid knit. Once you have the lace finished, put it aside. I did NOT hem the lace because it doesn’t fray 🙂

Step 6: Using the solid knit, assemble just the shorts pieces.  Don’t do the band just yet! Use the correct seam allowance of 3/8″. I didn’t hem this pair, but I plan in doing a little hem in the future so the solid is a little shorter than the lace.

Step 7: Flip the lace and solid shorts right sides out. Place the lace shorts over the solid shorts (the wrong side of the lace should be on top of the correct side of the solid). At this point, I stitched the top of the shorts together to baste the lace and solid layers, but this isn’t necessary.

Step 8: LAST STEP! Now add the band as directed. The instructions are perfect for evenly spacing out the bands.

Now enjoy your amazing hacked shorts 🙂

Here is my daughter wearing them in her photo shoot. For the top pattern info and link, check out my blog post I did on it here.

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“Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.”

Posted in New Release - Tester

Annelaine Pattern’s Firecracker Tunic/Dress (Tester Post)

I have been busy testing for the past 2 weeks! I saw a tester call for this dress and knew I would love it for my daughter
This tunic is called The Firecracker Top/Dress by Annelaine Patterns. It can be purchased using this link.  It and all the patterns in her store are 50% off through 7/7/17 using the code FREEDOM2017 😉

This dress only has 7 pieces (front bodice, back bodice and the neck and arm bindings), so it goes together quickly. The longest part (which isn’t difficult) is the arm and neck bindings. During testing, a ruffle option was added, and I LOVE ruffles on my daughter, so of course I added that option! The directions are well written and very easy to follow. I’ll be making another soon! I also just got a cover stitch machine and easily hemmed with it 🙂

One of the cool things about this dress is the fabric. I did a give away of a pair of pants I made and a few days later, I won a box of free fabric in a facebook post. This is one of the fabrics that I won. It’s super soft and perfect for my active daughter. Check out their awesome fabrics here: Sly Fox Fabrics.  I have a hoodie coming up soon that I can’t wait to share, using their amazing fabric. Their fabric is VERY reasonably priced (and no, I have no affiliation with them, I just like their products!)

Also, if you are interested in the shorts she is wearing, I’ll be doing a blog post on them as well. I’ll link it here when it’s ready 🙂

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“Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.”