Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Batgirrrl, Batgirl!

Batgirrrl, Batgirl!
Batgirrrl, Batgirl!
The Bug has been requesting a Batgirl Halloween costume for about three years. For two of those years, I was able to talk her out of it. This year I decided to go for it.

She specifically requested a "real" Batgirl which meant no tutu to soften things up.
 Her cape was made from one of daddy's old tee shirts. I cut off the front of the shirt, leaving the neck binding for her to slip over her head. None of the edges are finished since knit won't fray. This was a super easy way to make a cape.
 She had a lot of fun with this photo shoot--pretending to fly and fight crime is right up her alley.
 I used a leotard pattern from Mountain Ash that I've sewn up several times now. It's surprisingly a quick and easy sew if you are comfortable with knits. The pants are the Go To Leggings pattern--also a very very quick and easy sew.
 The fabric is a silvery knit that I ordered from It didn't work for the project I intended it for but it works well for this application.
All of the accessories were made from felt. She requested a pink mask so I made the belt buckle bat pink too to help tie it in.

She loves it. I love that she loves it.

We are both excited for Trick or Treat!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Little Betty Top

I recently acquired the Little Betty top pattern from SewPony Vintage.
It's one of those patterns I know the Bug would have loved about 3 years ago.
She is 7 now and usually ruffles are not approved.
I was taking a risk but I wanted to see if I could make the ruffles grown up enough that she'd be into it.  The top was interesting to me, I'd never made anything like it so I wanted to give it a try. 

Forgive the squirrely hair. It was a crazy windy day and keeping it out of her face and looking neat was near impossible.
 So as to give it the best chance for success I used this nice buttery knit from Eurogirls in two of her favorite colors.
I'm not sure why the button in the back since it's knit I don't think it really needed it, but it sure is cute.  My loop could be a bit smaller, eh? I'm just now noticing that.
She says she likes it. So far, she has worn it a grand total of one time. For this photo shoot.  So I don't know that I'd count that a smashing success but it was fun to sew and I think it's super cute.
It's a nice addition to the Fall wardrobe... if you girl is less ruffle adverse.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Etage Pattern Test

I had a chance to test the Etage Dress and Top PDF pattern by Sew Straight and Gather.
Now that the pattern has released I can blog about it!
This top was a bit more involved of a project than I usually do for the Bug. Typically she likes simple, simple, simple and comfortable. But I thought perhaps this style with the tiered swirly ruffles might do the trick.  It is knit after all and very comfy.
This top was made from the first tester version of the pattern. Some of the angles have been changed but the essence is still the same.
The pattern itself is very well written.
If you sew with PDF patterns, you really should do at least one pattern test for a designer if only to appreciate the process they go through to make sure everything about their design and tutorial are perfect.  This pattern is no exception. It went through several pattern revisions and few different layouts before being good to go.
She says the shirt is very comfortable.  I think that's due in part to the fabric. These are lovely mid-weight knits I bought from EuroGirls Boutique. It was my first purchase from them but it will not be my last. The knit is such high quality, so soft and easy to sew with.

That said, I think personally, I would have preferred this particular top done in a knit with a bit less weight and perhaps more of a solid color. I really loved some of the other tester photos that made theirs of up-cycled tee shirts.  The ruffles seemed to lay a bit better.  After I took these  photos, I trimmed off my hems and left them all raw. That helped a bit.  All one color would be nice too. This is a bit busy for my liking. With those tweaks I think this would really be a fun top or dress.

As always, I'm so thankful for the opportunity to test.  I love trying new things and new designers and testing gives me the chance to do that. Not to mention learning from all of the other pattern testers. Some of those ladies are pretty amazing.

So go get your Etage top or dress pattern. I can see some adorable (and comfortable!) holiday outfits coming from this pattern!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

All Spice Dress pattern test

I had the opportunity to test the new All Spice Dress pattern by Paisley Roots.
It's a lovely dress with lots of options.  I tested the flutter sleeve and sleeveless but there is also a cap sleeve and long sleeve--truly making this a dress for all seasons.
The real focal point of this dress is the bodice. I chose a zipper closure because I felt a front zipper was really fun, unique and unexpected.  If the Bug were younger, I probably would have chosen the button option since she liked to unzip things!
For the fabric I chose this really soft, lightweight poly cotton blend. It's so silky and smooth on the inside while the right side has nice texture from those raised dots.
Here you can see the detail of the bodice. I love the square neckline. Three pleats on either side accent the zipper nicely.  I did my top stitching in the same green as the zipper. I think it adds a fun punch of color.
It's such a lovely combination.  There was a bit of a fit issue for some people with the first version of the pattern so it went through several edits.  This grey dress was an early version. The fit for the Bug was fine but I totally appreciate all of the tweaking to get things just right.
When the last of the pattern updates had been made, I sewed up another version to test out the final fit.  The Bug is just a hair bigger than the chest measurement for the size 6 so I went with the size 7.  You can see she has a bit of room to grow but it's not excessive.  I'm hoping it will still fit next Spring.
This time I skipped the sleeves altogether and just went sleeveless.  I think it works with this print. A flutter sleeve would have been too frilly with all those flowers.
The fabric is from a thrifted sheet so it's super soft.  I was also able to reuse the sheet hem for the bottom of the dress.  Hooray for shortcuts! I hate hemming.  I did cut the skirt panels shorter than the tutorial required to account for the pre-done hem so the skirts final measurement would be the same.
We have another hit on our hands. I took a big risk with both of these dresses. They are not in the Bug's typical color scheme (Pink, Purple and Blue) so I knew I was pushing it. But so far, she really likes them.  She likes that they spin (of course) but she also thought the front zipper was pretty neat.  I was surprised but one of the first things she noticed and commented on was the pleating detail.  It does my heart good that she is learning to spot and appreciate those details!

The All Spice Dress pattern should release today! I'll update my links here as soon as it does. You're going to want to get this pattern.  With so many options, you'll sew the All Spice again and again.

Edit--This just in! The All Spice Pattern is now available and if you get it before Sunday it's 25% off with the code ALLSPICE


Rio Racerback

I have been terrible about keeping up with this blog this summer. I'm so sorry. 

I've still been sewing though!  About a month ago I decided to make a fun, casual summer play dress for the Bug.

Peek a Boo pattern shop was hosting a sew a long for the Rio Racerback which was just the push I needed.
This coral striped fabric was a remnant I bought somewhere ages ago. I made another dress from it three years ago and it was one of the Bug's favorites.  It's a bit thin on it's own though.
So I made the dress reversible! It's an easy pattern hack since the neck and the arms are finished with binding.
I love this doodle landscape fabric. It's a much more recent purchase from Girl Charlee.  I really like the contrast of the coral stripe with this blue too.
Hand a girl a paper fan and she becomes a model. I fully intended to do a "real" photo shoot for this dress but she was so in to this quick one I didn't.
I love this version of the dress best. That pop of color from the binding really makes the dress for me. 
The Bug loves that she has options. She is a girly girl after all and sometimes she's feeling the stripe, sometimes the blue!

It really is the perfect summer play dress!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


We do have a bit of summer left, right?
Four weeks until school starts in these parts... but who's counting?
After sewing the Bug a suit last summer I've kind of been hooked. It's such a fun and unique thing to make and it makes me happy that the Bug has a one of a kind suit. 

I actually had a bit of trouble with fit this time so I made three variations of this suit this summer.  We passed the two versions that didn't quite work for the Bug on to two of her friends and they are all just tickled to coordinate on their Boys and Girls Club field trip days to the pool. Seven year olds do not apparently appreciate originality as much as I do.  But that's o.k.  I'm just glad she loves it so much she wanted to share!

I won the fabric in a blog contest. It came from the Fabric Fairy and is super great quality.  I loved it as soon as I saw it.  They still have some here.
The top of this tankini is from the Coney Island tankini pattern from Peek a Boo pattern shop.  The ruching is super cute and I love the band at the bottom that adds just a little bit more coverage.

I made the tankini bottoms from the Coco Cay tankini pattern.  Most of the fit issues were with the bottoms.  They were too tight so I went up a size which kind helped. Even so they seem a little small but I just told The Bug they need to be tight so they don't fall off in the pool. That seemed to work.  They don't look tight at all so I'm wondering if less leg elastic would have been better.
At any rate, the suit is adorable and well loved and that's really all I can ask.

Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Serger sewing

Oh dear, it's been well over a month since I've posted hasn't it?
Well that's summer for you.

Recently at my day job (at our public library) I was empowered to purchase a serger and sewing machine for our patron to use.  The machines came with free new user lessons so I spent a day learning to use a serger!  I'm so excited to use it more.
After my class I decided that I should practice a little bit in a real life situation so I tested out the Peri Pullover from Cali Faye.  Holy smokes.  I am in love with both the serger and the pattern.
This top is so slouchy and comfortable. I think it will make for a great start to the back to school wardrobe.

I love the high low hem. It's one of the Bug's favorite parts too.
She also loves the wide neck that sometimes goes off the shoulder and the in seam pockets.  I love that she chose to pair this purple tribal print (from Girl Charlee--looks like they are sold out of the violet) with a neon orange tank top.  She has style all her own.
She asked for a matching pair of leggings and I was happy to oblige.  These are the Go To Leggings in their most basic form.  I've used this pattern a bunch.  They always sew up quickly and sizing is spot on.
The verdict is, I'm hoping to start saving for a serger soon. Until then, I'm happy I can rent out time on one at the library.  I think I may make more of these pullovers as well.  What do you think?


Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Sidekick Suitcase

Is it possible to be in love with a suitcase?
Because I think I am.

This sweet little suitcase was made from the Sidekick Suitcase pattern from Sew Fearless.
The Bug directed her own photo shoot for this one. Can you tell? She was very "in character".  That darn train is late and she has places to be!
I was a bit nervous starting this bag. I knew it was going to be labor intensive and potentially tear inducing.  But it was cute enough I thought it was worth any potential strain. 

I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't break a single needle or shed a single tear.  I worked on this bag for a total of about 6 hrs. over the course of a weekend. That's start to finish from pattern and fabric cutting to the final finishing stitches.
The pattern tutorial was written like no pattern tutorial I've seen before, in comic book style. It took a while for my very linear brain to adapt to the creative approach but the content of the tutorial was so thorough and well done that by the end it didn't matter in the slightest how it was formatted.  She walks you through the difficult part and truly does make this a "Sew Fearless" project.
The main exterior fabric is an amazing twill I found at the tail end of a super frustrating trip to JoAnns.  I was calling into question the wisdom of their fabric buyer but when I came across this all was forgiven.  
It doesn't hurt that it was on sale.  Hello beautiful.

The orange patches and handle are made from a quilting cotton also found at JoAnns.  I used green zippers and piping around the edges.  I really love all of the fun colors and how this pops!
The lining is a blue chevron quilting cotton that the lady at JoAnn's said "everybody wants".  Welcome to Northern Indiana chevron trend... we are so on top of things around here.

The sides of the bottom of the bag are stiffened with some heavy Pellon interfacing that is attached to plastic canvas (yes the rug hooking stuff) inside of a casing.  Slipping that stiffener through the casing was the hardest part of the whole bag. It's a super snug fit but it really does the trick to give the bag that suitcase shape.

I feel like I learned a lot making this suitcase. I love that. It was a challenging and fun sew.
Tired of waiting on the train, our little traveler gives up and decides to take the bus instead.  Thankfully, her Sidekick Suitcase is versatile, easy to carry and game to go where ever she may go.


P.S. The suitcase took it's first trip this past weekend and it held up wonderfully!
Skip To My Lou