Made for Mermaids Back to School Tour

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School is quickly approaching!  I cannot believe how fast the summer has gone by.  We’ve had a lot of fun this summer, traveled, gone swimming, and done lots of other fun things together.  This year, my so is starting Kindergarten and my daughter is starting pre-school.  I feel like there’s no way it’s time for her to start school already, but I’m really excited to see her grow and learn.  So, today I made her a dress for starting school.  She is very particular about her clothes lately and only wears dresses that spin.  Appropriately, I made her a twirly dress.  Made for Mermaids has several patterns that have circle skirts, but I knew that I wanted a simple skirt to go with a more detailed bodice.  I just love the sleeves of the Charlotte pattern, so I knew that I wanted to include them too.  btsblog2

After looking through my fabric, I found this gorgeous windowpane double brushed polyester from Raspberry Creek Fabrics that really had a school look to me.  At first, I thought about mashing the Charlotte sleeves with the Brooklyn bodice and the Riley skirt.  Once I decided on this fabric though, I knew that it needed a cute black collar.  I decided to use the sleeves, neckline, and armscye of the Charlotte and mash it to the waist of the Riley so that I could use the circle skirt.  btsblog3

The final result couldn’t look more classic to me, and I just love it!  She looks so grown up, which she’s doing all too quickly, but having her look so cute for her first day of school has me so excited.  It also made her happy that she could twirl in it too! btsblog5

Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour this week as the Made for Mermaids team shows off their new school looks!

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Love Notions Summer Lace Tour

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I’m joining Love Notions this week with the Summer Lace Blog Tour.  This was my first time sewing lace into a garment, and I wasn’t sure quite what I might want to sew.  After scouring several stores that carried lace, and looking at inspiration, I came across a top in my own closet that I wanted to recreate.  It has eyelash lace on the sleeves with a solid body.  I really like the top and enjoy that I can have a lace top and still wear my regular bra (which for me is very important ;)).

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Tami released the Classic tee recently and I found some stretch double galloon eyelash lace at Fabric Bistro on Etsy.  I grabbed a few that I found in different colors and styles.  When they arrived, one of the white ones stood out, and I had some white double brushed polyester in my stash.  When I cut out my fabrics, the only modification that I made was to remove the 1″ hem on the sleeves since I knew that I wouldn’t need to hem them now.

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Sewing the top was a breeze, and I didn’t have any issues with the lace.  I followed the instructions for the classic tee, since I didn’t make any changes.  I made sure to leave my serger tails long enough to tuck them in at the end of the sleeve, so the seam wouldn’t unravel.

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Making this shirt was so easy, and turned out so cute!  I hope that I inspired you to grab some lace and use it in your garments!  It add such great delicate details to your clothes!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts this week!  You’ll find the links below:

 

lace tourMonday: Sewing Curves SewSophieLynn Kainara Stitches
Tuesday: doodlenumber5 My Heart Will Sew On Third Shift Creations
Wednesday: Princesse et tresors Phat Quarters
Thursday: All Things Katy! Back40life
Friday: Sew Like a Sloth Very Blissful Seamly Behaviour

 

New Horizons Bayside romper and Deer Creek hack

Recently I was looking for inspiration on Boden’s site.  They always have some cute girl clothes, and I love browsing their site for inspiration.  I came across a romper that I knew would be perfect for summer play.  It had a dolman style sleeve and attached shorts.  Knowing the patterns that are in my pattern library, I thought the Deer Creek and the Bayside would work perfectly!  I had to do some mashing of the patterns for the top to get the length and the bottom to match and line up to the bayside shorts.  baysidemash2

After I printed my patterns, I lined up the shoulder at the neckline.  I made sure to have my grain line arrows parallel to each other.  For the front pattern piece, I could easily line up the fold line.  I then graded my side seam from the chest of the Deer Creek pattern down to the bottom of the bayside pattern.  I knew that the Deer Creek elastic hits around the natural waist, so it needed to be lengthened to get the correct length for the lower elastic.  I followed the same process for the back piece, only I could only used the grain line arrow as a guide, since the back of the Bayside isn’t cut on the fold.  After getting my top of the pattern pieces mashed together, I double checked the side seam length to make sure that they matched as well.  I ended up lengthening the front side seam, as it didn’t match up to the back.  Next, I needed to make sure that the back of the Bayside shorts, and my new back pattern piece were going to be the same width.  The shorts have a center seam, and aren’t cut on the fold like the back top piece.  The seam allowance is 3/8″, for a total of 3/4″ that will be removed from the back shorts.  I then measured both the back top and bottom and added 1/8″ width to the top to make sure when sewn they would match perfectly.baysidemash4

The only other thing that I ran into that needed to be addressed was how was she going to get it off.  The Boden romper has snaps/buttons at the shoulders.  I really didn’t want to have to mess with the shoulders and neckline to get it correct.  I ended up making a placket and adding it to the crotch to have snaps in the crotch so she could remove the romper easily for changes or restroom breaks.  baysidemash10

I constructed the top using the Deer Creek tutorial.  I sewed the shoulder and then added the neck binding.  Since I didn’t adjust the neckline width, I just used the neckline binding from the Deer Creek pattern.  I sewed the side seams and then hemmed the sleeves according to the tutorial.  I then constructed the shorts by sewing the pockets onto the front first, using the Bayside tutorial for the instructions for the pocket construction.  After I added the pockets, I sewed the front and back rise.  The side seams were next.  Following the side seams of the shorts, I then hemmed the bottom of the shorts.  Now I could measure the crotch width to determine how wide I needed to make my placket.  I made the length 2.25,” and the width was the width of the crotch plus 3/4″ for the seam allowance.  I ironed in all of the sides by 3/8″, then the length was folded in half to make it 3/4″ wide for the snaps to go in.  I then sewed this on with a 3/8″ seam allowance and top stitched around the placket.  Finally, I added the snaps and finished sewing the shorts onto the top using the Bayside as the guide to making the casing and adding the elastic in the waist.  baysidemash5

I just love how it turned out!  It will make great play clothing for her this summer.  I’m excited to make more for her, and hopefully I can update this post with some pictures for a proper tutorial on mashing these two patterns to make a fun romper.  Fabric is from Raspberry Creek Fabricsbaysidemash7baysidemash8baysidemash

 

Dolly Dress using the Cricut Maker

Now that I have my new Cricut Maker, I figured I’d have to try out all it’s cool features using one of the sewing patterns that’s in Cricut Design Space.  My daughter got one of the 18″ dolls for Christmas, and I’ve been sewing some clothes for it lately.  When I saw that there were a few doll clothes patterns for the Maker, I wanted to try one out.  I found a cute doll dress in the pattern, and got started.  Design Space tells you exactly how big to cut your fabric and how to lay the grainlines on the mat.  It also tells you which fabrics to put on which mats.  For this particular pattern, there were three different cuts that needed to be done.  I cut out my squares of fabric, and set up my Maker. cricutsew

The Cricut Maker has the capabilities of cutting out and marking your pattern pieces for you, so that there’s no guesswork.  After loading my mat, rotary blade, and fabric marking pen, I started with my first mat which cut out and mark the skirt pieces.  cricutsew2cricutsew3

After cutting and marking all of the pieces, I downloaded the sewing instructions from Cricut Design Space.  The first step has you sew down the center seams of both the main and the lining pieces of the bodice.  Next you line up the main and the lining with right sides together, after ironing down 1/4″ on the shoulders of the lining, with wrong sides together. cricutsew6

The armscyes and necklines are then sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance. cricutsew7

After clipping the curves, the bodice is turned right side out.  The shoulders of the main fabric are then placed right sides together and sewn with 1/4″ seam allowance, without catching the lining in the seam.  The fabric is then pushed in between the two bodices and the lining is hand sewn together. cricutsew8

Next, the two skirt pieces were sewn together with the right sides together, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. The back center seam was sewn up to the notches, and then left unsewn at the top.  cricutsew9

At this point, the bodice and the skirt are sewn together.  The skirt and bodice are aligned right sides together and sewn with a 5/8″ seam allowance.  The main bodice and the skirt fabric seam are trimmed down.  cricutsew10

The lining is then hemmed at 1/4″ and top stitched down to create a casing for the elastic at the waist. cricutsew12

1/4″ elastic is then threaded through the casing and sewn down at the ends to create a cinched waist.  cricutsew13

1/2″ hook and loop is then sewn on the back to create the closure.  Both are attached right up against the raw edge.  The left side is then folded under to allow the hook and loop to keep the dress closed.  cricutsew15

Lastly, the dress is hemmed 1/4″ and then another 1/4″.  I added the cording by hand sewing it to the center, and tying it in a bow.  cricutsew18

I loved that my Cricut cut all of the pieces and marked them for me.  It made putting this dress together so simple.  The only thing that I wasn’t too fond of were the instructions.  I’ve never been a huge fan of only having written instructions with hard to follow illustrations.  These instructions weren’t too hard to follow, but I did struggle in a couple of areas.  cricutsew19cricutsew20

I love the final product, and I know my daughter will have a fun time putting it on her doll.  I can’t attest to all the sewing patterns in the Cricut Design Space, but this one was a winner!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Cricut Maker Review

Several years ago, my Sister-in-law was really into the Cricut machine craze.  She used to scrapbook, and had several kids.  At the time, I didn’t have any kids, and scrapbooking was something that I just wasn’t into.  Fast forward to a couple of years ago and I started sewing, I mean really sewing.  I saw people customizing their makes with iron-on vinyl.  I loved seeing the cute sayings or shapes that were being placed just about anywhere.  Then fast forward to a few weeks ago.  One of my friends contacted me about the Cricut Maker.  Now that I’ve been using mine for a couple of months, I thought I’d sit down and give it a review.  cricut

I think the main thing that people notice, or talk about, with the Maker is the fact that it has a rotary cutter.  This is such a neat feature!  It can cut through a multitude of different fabrics and materials.  Quilting cotton, knit, leather, felt, silk, cashmere, tulle, you name it.  The other Cricut machines could cut through fabrics too, but they had to be bonded, meaning they had to have a backing, like heat and bond.  Because the dragging motion of the blade didn’t allow for the fabric to just sit on the mat without the backing.  With the rotary blade, it doesn’t drag like the regular blades, but rather rolls and then completely lifts up to change directions.  This allows the rotary blade to cut through all the fibers rather than dragging across the fibers.cricut9cricut4

I could see several applications in which the rotary cutter would come in very handy.  If you were a quilter, and needed to cut out several of the same size and shape pieces out of the same fabric, then the Maker could easily do the job for you.  One hundred hexagons, forty cresents, or even fifty diamonds.  I could see how this could come in very handy.  Below, I used it to cut out a heart on a polyester blend knit fabric. cricut10

Despite being very cool, there are a few disadvantages.  You’re limited to a 12″ wide cutting space.  For someone that does smaller crafts, or quilting, this might not be all that bad.  For someone like me that does apparel sewing, this really limits what I can use the rotary blade for in my sewing.  I could see cutting out an appliqué to sew on, especially for the perfectionist that I am.  Another disadvantage is that you can’t cut anything on the fold.  It has to be lying flat on the cutting mat, in a single layer.  Many of the sewing patterns that I use have several pieces that are cut on the fold, so it’s not advantageous for me to use it to cut out my sewing pattern pieces.

Another thing that I noticed about the Maker is just the sheer weight of the machine.  It’s actually quite heavy.  It’s slated to start using a knife blade as another blade later this year.  This means that the Maker could cut materials up to 2.4mm thick.  Because it can cut such thick materials, it needs to be able to apply more pressure than your regular die cut machine. The Maker is up to ten times more powerful than other cutting machines, and they can typically only cut a thickness up to 0.8mm.

The Cricut Maker doesn’t just use the rotary blade to cut, but can also use the regular blades and the deep cut blades.  I’ve honestly used the regular blade more than I have the rotary blade.  I use it constantly to cut out iron-on vinyl for shirts, or other projects.  I’ve also used it to cut vinyl sayings or decals for use around our house, like our “No Soliciting” sign that I put on our door.  Using these blades, you can cut a multitude of different vinyls and papers, like tissue paper, printable vinyl, flocked iron-on, etc.  I used my Cricut Maker and Cricut EasyPress to make my son his shirt, using this design from Thread & Grain. gamer

Did you know that the Maker has the ability to detect color so you can print and then cut?  You can also connect your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, so there’s no wires to deal with.  There’s also a handy docking slot at the top so your device can rest at the top while you’re working.  The convenient storage tray at the bottom of the Maker helps to hold additional blades or the washable fabric marker.  Speaking of markers, did you know the Maker will hold a regular marker in the slot?  It doesn’t need an adapter to hold a pen or marker for writing. cricut5cricut7cricut6

Overall, the Cricut Maker is way ahead of the competition when it comes to the materials that this thing can cut.  With the new knife blade that’s set to release, the rotary cutter, regular blade, deep cut blade, and bonded fabric blade, the Maker just has so many possibilities for the at home crafter.  You really can’t go wrong with this innovative machine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Made for Mermaids Bridgette and Victoria

I’ve always been a weird size when it comes to bras.  Anytime I was younger and would go into Victoria’s Secret and get measured, the bra that I bought would fit for a couple of weeks and then just get too big.  I’ve always had a small underbust (29-30″) and then a bigger full bust.  They would always just measure around my full bust and then my upper bust.  Well come to find out, I’ve recently discovered that I have very broad shoulders meaning that my upper bust measurement is very large compared to most “normal” people.  This is part of the reason why getting measured at VS never really worked out for me.  After much discovery and getting measured and fitted the correct way (for me), I usually wear a 32DDD-G/H in a RTW bra.bridgette8

While in testing for the new Bridgette pattern, I went off of my measurements and used the size chart.  I measured into a 36A.  You might see my problem here, but since my upper bust measurement is so large (because of my broad shoulders) the chart didn’t really work well for me.  I made the 36A, but I needed WAY more cup than an A.  I had about 2″ from the bottom of the cup to the bottom of my breast that wasn’t covered.  After some help from Judy and Megan, I decided to make a 36D which was very close, but I still needed a little more coverage.  I then went back and went up to the 36F which came out perfect!  I also realized that I preferred to have my cups lined.  I didn’t like having any of my breasts poking out of any of the holes on the lace.  I lined all of my cups with cotton lycra to match, and I just like the softer feeling of the lining too.   I’m so in love with the fact that I can now make a bralette that actually fits.  There’s no way that I would be able to get one in a store. bridgetteflat

The Bridgette pattern goes from size 30-50″ for the full bust measurement, and cups from A-G.  There’s a full back, racer back, and cross back option.  The Victoria has cheekies or thong options.  I made all of my cheekies 6″ high on the rise, as I just preferred that rise height better.  I finished the top of the undies with picot elastic and just top stitched it down.  The patterns can be bought in a bundle ($13.00), or individually ($7.50).  Both of my lace fabrics came from Surge Fabrics.  Cream colored lace is here and the teal and coral is sold out sadly. bridgetteflat2bridgetteflat3

Full disclosure pictures below:

 

 

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Love Notions Trendy Tunic

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The look of this cute tunic couldn’t be more perfect!  My daughter loves pockets so that she can put her toys in her pockets, not just her hands.  She just loves carrying around anything that she can, so pockets are always a win.  This Trendy Tunic from Love Notions got an update.  Previously it didn’t include some of the smaller or bigger sizes, and it now goes from 2T to 16.  She also added a cowl and hood option!trendy6

I chose to make the new cowl neckline, since it’s finally getting cold enough here.  This french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics worked out perfectly, and I just love bright and bold colors on her.  I used their eggplant solid and the eggplant dots on oatmealtrendy8

Although it might look like a complicated pattern, I was happy that it came together quickly.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow for adding the pocket.  Grab the Trendy Tunic while it’s on sale until January 30, 2018 for $7.00. trendy2trendy7

Phat Quarters Camas Top and Tunic

camas4My daughter is growing so fast!  I realized the other day that she’s grown out of most of her plain, every day tops.  I love having a pattern that has lots of options for different finishes.  Then I know that if she wants something just a little different, then it’s easy to use the same pattern to make something a little different.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this thinking.  The Camas knit top and tunic has lots of different finishing options.  It can be a great plain top, or add some ruching to the sleeves or hem to give it a cute finish.  There’s also the option of a thumbhole cuff.  I made the plain top with a curved hem.  There’s a neckline facing and although it takes a little longer than a neckband, I love this finished look.  I feel like a binding or a facing always gives a cute, and more polished look to tops.  camas

I also just love this Eggplant color on her.  Her red hair can really go great with some fun colors.  Anything in the blue or green shades tend to do wonders, and I just love it!  This was a cotton lycra that I grabbed at Simply by Ti fabrics.  It’s Ti’s Eggplant cotton lycra, and like I said in my post yesterday, I also grabbed this in her $5/yard cotton lycra sale she had a bit ago.  camas5

This cute Camas top and tunic pattern can be short, 3/4, or long sleeved.  It can have a curved hem, or a straight hem.  It can have a banded hem too with the ruching in the sides.  Grab this cute top pattern today!

Wardrobe by Me Draper Polo

I love sewing for my husband, because he’s usually very grateful for whatever I make for him.  He also says though that I never make him anything.  I beg to differ, but if you look at how much I make for my kids and myself, as compared to him then yes I rarely make anything for him.  Wardrobe by Me lately has been doing more men’s patterns, and I love it.  My husband is finally getting some clothes that he likes, and will actually wear.  The most recent addition to her pattern line-up is the Draper Polodraper4

There’s another great thing about this pattern, and that is you can make a plain t-shirt instead too.  Since the placket and collar are separate pieces, there’s the option of just making it a t-shirt with a banded neckline instead.  You can do the placket with or without buttons, I went without only because I didn’t have any buttons that I liked at the time.  draper7

I used some lovely olive green cotton lycra from Simply by Ti Fabrics.  She has some wonderful prices on her cotton lycra, and it’s a good weight.  A few months ago she had a Friday sale and all of her solid cotton lycra was only $5 a yard, so I scooped up a bunch.  Boy am I glad that I did, because I’ve been on a solids kick lately.  My husband is excited to have another great fitting shirt in his wardrobe.  The Draper Polo is on sale now until January 26 for $10. draper5draper6

New Horizons Riviera Raglan

What an amazing holiday break!  I hope you all had a great time with family and friends. I’m back at it today, after a short break from blogging, with the Riviera Raglan from New Horizons Designs.  I bought the pattern some time ago, but I just hadn’t gotten the chance to sew one up.  This pattern is the ultimate raglan pattern.  It has anything you ever wanted in a raglan.  You can make a sweatshirt, one with a hood, a placket, a swing top, you name it.  With all of these options available, I decided to sew up 3 different styles all stemming from the same pattern.  First, I made a comfy, cozy sweatshirt out of quilted knit. riviera10

This pattern comes with two different sleeve cut lines.  There’s the standard cut, that goes from the collar bone and cuts down to under the arm.  There’s also a high cut sleeve.  The high cut goes from where the neck and the top of the shoulder meet down to under the arm.  This is with the banded hem and the cuffed sleeves.  I used the standard cut sleeves for this version.  I got this gorgeous fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics last year.  Quilted knit is so in right now, and I love that I can make a sweatshirt look with this pattern.  Next, I made a more swing style top.  I used the high cut sleeve line on this one.  You can see that the sleeve starts much higher on the neck, giving a deeper angle to the sleeve.  I did the handkerchief hem, and made it in rayon spandex.  I knew that I wanted a more flowy top with this hem style. riviera16riviera20

Right before Christmas, we went to see the new Star Wars movie.  I just had to make this last shirt to wear when we went to see it.  I made your typical raglan.  I used some cotton lycra for this one from my stash.  I got the Star Wars fabric from So Sew English last year when they had it.  I added the saying using my new Cricut Maker (blog post to come) and EasyPress.  riviera11

Below, I’ve added the line drawing from the pattern to show all the different options that are available with the Riviera pattern.  I’ve collected raglan patterns, but who knows why when I’ve had this pattern in my stash.  womens raglanriviera15riviera13riviera12