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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sofilantjes Foras Dress

I just love Sofilantjes patterns. They are absolutely adorable, functional, and always in style. The instructions are so thorough so that I never have to wonder what I should be doing at any step in the process. I recently got the opportunity to test out Sofilantjes' newest pattern, the Foras Dress, and I made 3 dresses in testing! This is a dress with multiple sleeve lengths for any season and the option of a gathered skirt or a circle skirt. The size range goes from 12 months to 14 years. And, pockets. BIG pockets with beautiful color blocking.  

The first Foras Dress I want to show you is the gathered skirt option and was made with cotton lycra. The print is from Jaded Threads and the solids are from Made Whimsy. I love Made Whimsy solids! They are such a nice weight and stay soft. The grape was 75 inches wide, which means I got an entire size 10 gathered skirt out of only half of a  yard! The pink can be found here and the grape here.

This is such a fun dress. Abby's new hobby lately has been roller skating. She is so cute and does not get discouraged by falling. She said her roller skates are "vintage" and wanted to wear them for photos with her dress. The colors in her dress show perfectly all the joy this child has!

Next up is a circle skirt in the Mia double brushed polyester from KnitpopI just love this dress on Abby and how beautiful the drape is on the circle skirt. The twirl factor on the circle skirt definitely met her seal of approval. I think she twirled during this photo session until she was dizzy! 

Knitpop currently has an entire section of double brushed poly florals marked down to $6.50 a yard. There are so many just like this one that I have my eye on! They make the perfect spring dresses.


Abby told me this is her favorite dress and will be wearing it to a wedding that we will be attending in April. I can see why she loves it so much. I may just need a dress with the side details like the Foras has. It is so flattering!

Last but not least is the first dress that I made in testing. It is a 3/4 length sleeve dress with a gathered skirt in a cotton lycra. After this dress, I knew I needed to stick to making short sleeved dresses because it is already warming up here in Texas. The main print on this dress is from Wherehouse Fabrics in Dallas. The penguins in her pockets are Riley Blake and can be found here. The black solid is from Made Whimsy

Details. It is the details that really make a difference in a pattern to me. The lines, the shape. The attention to how what we wear can make us feel special. I hope that in sewing for my little ones they always feel special. Thanks for such a great pattern, Anne!

You can grab a copy of the Foras pattern in English here. It is on sale now through Sunday at 4:00 p.m. CST (22:00 CET). The pattern is also available in French and Dutch.

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Jessie Top and Dress by 5 out of 4 Patterns

You know I wish that I had Jessie's girl. I wish that I had Jessie's girl. Where can I find a woman like that?  You know the song, right? I think this song was released before I was born, but somehow I have heard it enough that the chorus got stuck in my head while I have been excitedly making Jessie tops over the past few weeks. I think in my head, though, the lyrics sounded more like - I want to make all the Jessie tops. Where can I find the time to do that? Well, God was gracious to me because I found the time to sew up 3 tops! I am so excited to share with you all the details of this fun pattern. 

When Rachelle from 5 out of 4 patterns initially showed a preview of the back of the new Jessie top, I am sure my jaw dropped. I am such a sucker for a well fitting tee, and I just loved the fun back details. The Jessie pattern is a slim fitting pattern that can be made into a top, tunic, or dress. There is one neckline included in the pattern for the front, and the back has 4 options to choose from - high, low, strappy, or racer back. There are also 4 different sleeve lengths so the pattern works for all seasons. You need to use a light to medium weight fabric with at least 50% horizontal stretch. I chose a rayon spandex for all 3 of my tops.

The Muslin Top

My first Jessie top was a high back top so that I could quickly assess fit to see if any changes were needed. I used a wide stripe fabric that I found in my stash and have no memory of buying. The wide stripe made it easier to pinpoint exactly where my bra strap hit on this pattern. I saw that my bra line was at the fourth stripe. When I took my top off, I transferred this to the pattern and knew that I needed to raise the low back by 1.75 inches for my next top. I liked the way everything else fit so I was good to go for my first top with a fun back.

Sizing: I made a straight XSmall without any adjustments. I chose the size to make by selecting my overbust + 2 inches. My overbust is 32 inches, and my full bust ranges from 34-36 depending on when the last time that I fed the baby. Waist is 27.5 to 28 inches and hips are at 36.5 inches. 

The Floral Top 

Fabric: I immediately thought of the rayon spandex that Ti carries at Simply by Ti. It is such a great weight and is perfect for summer. The floral that I used on this first top can be found here.  

Adjustments: I lowered the neckline on this top 1.5 inches so that I could easily pull down to breastfeed. I marked a place 1.5 inches lower and then just smoothed the curve out, keeping the shoulders the same. This is a very easy adjustment to make after making an initial top to see just how much you need to remove. One thing to keep in mind when lowering the neckline on this pattern is that you probably also do not want to have a low back that is open. You need a racerback, straps, applique or something to keep the shoulders of your top up. If you choose a lower back neckline and a lower front neckline, you may have a wardrobe malfunction or constantly have to readjust your shoulders to keep them in place. Even a simple strap at the back will help you if you choose to lower your front neckline.

I just love the back on this top. Since I had raised the back by 1.75 inches, I only used 4 straps and re-measured my placement marks to make sure they were even. The pants I am wearing with this are my ever faithful Brassie joggers in a distressed knit.

The Mustard Capsule Top

I love the look of appliques but had never used them because I did not quite have a top pattern that screamed "I need an applique!" Well, this Jessie top is perfect for appliques! For this top, I wanted a simple solid top that would coordinate well with lots of pants in my closet. I am not always very capsule minded, but I am trying to slowly add versatile garments that work well with many outfits.

Fabric: I also used Simply by Ti Rayon Spandex on this top. They had the exact color of mustard I wanted. It is just dark enough that I don't feel washed out in it. This color can be found here. The applique came from Wherehouse Fabrics in Dallas. My fabric is a tad wrinkled in the back because I breastfed right before this photoshoot! I did not lower the neckline on this top because it was early in testing and I did not want to make personal alterations yet. I didn't notice that I had not pulled my top down very well in the back before shooting photos. Whoops! 

Now, let's talk about my pants! These are the Portlander Pants by New Horizons. These are quite my favorite because they went from pregnancy to postpartum feeling oh so nice. They are like secret pajama pants. One day, they will get their own blogpost when I finish making more. The fabric is French Terry Nala by Sincerely Rylee

You can purchase the Jessie pattern here. I can't wait to see what you make! 

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: My sweet oldest daughter, Abigail. 

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

You Down with EPP? Yeah you know me!

I finished a quilt!! All of these little hexagons were sewn together by hand using English Paper Piecing (EPP). It is always such an exciting day when I get to share the end result of my vision. If you have seen me over the past two years, you might have seen me carrying around a bag of scraps, some hexagon papers, glue, scissors, a needle, and some thread. It went everywhere with me. It kept my hands busy while I watched the kids at gymnastics, while I went on trips in the car, and pretty much any other time that I knew I would have a space to wait. It kept my hands busy. I had wanted a project like this for some time, and my friend Lyssa, who works at my local quilt shop Stitched with Love, sat down with me one day and showed me just how to do English Paper Piecing (EPP). That day, I went home and started this quilt. 

Each quilt that I make has a story. This quilt is full of tiny scraps from other projects that I have worked on. Each little fabric has a memory. I also made a lot of these flowers when chatting it up with some of my sweetest friends. I didn't draw out a pattern for this quilt, but rather, just let it evolve until I felt done. Today, I want to talk about memories, triggers, experiences, and all the fun things that I believe art work inspires in us. Isn't it amazing how just from one sense, an entire memory and all of its accompanying emotions can come flooding back into our head? I can be going about my day, happily going about what I have on my to do list. Then, I hear a song, and I am in another world. Or, a certain scent reminds me of an event, and my brain is just overtaken with memories. Some memories, however, can be a trigger from times of grief, loss, pain, or disappointment. Grief is just so not kind. It can come out of nowhere and sideline your entire day. How you deal with your memories and come out of times of grief can be a huge part of your success in life, your enjoyment, and the impact you make on those around you, especially if you are dealing with loss on a daily basis. I am definitely no expert, but I would like to give some ways that I get out of a funk when a "trigger" or memory brings up stuff that can suck the life out of my day if I let it.

Find joy. Somewhere around you there is something you can choose to do or to be happy about. You have breath in your lungs. I grab a baby or one of my kids and smell and hug them. I think about something funny they have said to me. Reach out and call someone you love. There is someone on this planet who would love to hear your voice. Grab a cup of tea with a friend. I love tea, and it makes me feel so happy. Sometimes I just need a massage to release tension or the physical touch from someone around me. Get a hobby. Unless you are living the dream and have a job that you feel is a hobby, you need something you consider as playtime. I think this is the secret of us quilters, seamstress, fabric curator, or whatever you call yourself. It is like therapy! It is a happy place we can escape to, feel productive in, and express ourselves. Music. Ah, rap music can make me dance for some reason. Don't listen to sad music. It just brings on all the waterworks and does nothing for pulling you out of that pit.

Don't overwhelm yourself with expectations of what you should be or should be doing. I always have this idea that I should be able to do a million things in one day. I notice, though, that having a super clean house with everything checked off my list means that at the end of the day, I am utterly exhausted. Also, when I am tired or hungry, I am not nice. I have this ongoing checklist in my head for my kids when they cry - are they tired, hungry, thirsty, need to potty, or hurt? It's amazing that as adults, we can forget basic needs or get busy, and then wonder why we feel off later.

What do you do to gather yourself out of a funk? When bad memories wash over you, how do you pull yourself out? 

To me this quilt glows! I hope its story allows you to glow just a bit brighter. The back of it was pieced with Tula Pink fabric. One of the fabrics was a gift from my sweet friend Aimee. So, now that my hands no longer have a small project to carry around, I need to find another EPP project. What is your favorite paper pieced quilt block? 

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Greenstyle Super G Tights

Leggings are such a staple. As a stay at home mom, I could live in leggings and joggers. Today, I am talking about leggings for working out, and let me tell you, the Super G Tights pattern that just released from Greenstyle is a pattern that you can't quite pass up.

After trying many leggings patterns, I have not quite found a pattern intended for movement - running, jumping, kicking, squatting ... You get the idea. The dynamic stuff. So, what had a not quite found? A gusset! Not just a small diamond shape at my crotch. I've tried those. I needed a gusset that went from one calf to the next. So, you can understand my excitement when I saw the design for the Super G Tights. They have a big, long gusset. I am super comfortable. And the amazing design means I can move!

The leggings come in 2 views - View A (no pockets) and View B (pockets). These are BIG pockets that keep my IPhone 6 in them. The pockets also have such a cool construction because they have no seam at the top of the pocket.

There are also 2 rises - a high rise and a lower midrise. I made 4 pairs of leggings during testing. The first pair shown is a midrise View B in Heavy Supplex from Zenith and Quasar. This stuff is heavenly and oh so soft. It has such a great weight to keep your leggings from being see-through and the right amount of compression to keep you in. This is a combination of their New Navy and New Rose colors. 

You can't really see the awesome gusset when I use the same fabric for the main legs as the gusset; so, I had to make at least one pair with a contrasting gusset. On my next pair, I used more of the Zenith and Quasar New Rose Supplex and paired it with an athletic fabric from Made Whimsy. This pair is also the midrise View B. I love how you can use the contrast fabric to really show off the gusset. Look at that inside stripe. I should have done a cartwheel in the street to fully show it off. We may save that for Instagram stories. 

I'm wearing my Xpress tanks, blogged about here with all my leggings. I just love how simple it is to sew and how nicely it pairs with my tights. My Xpress tanks are so breezy so I stay nice and cool.  

Next up is probably my favorite pair. I just love the bright colors. These are View B in the 21 inch inseam length provided in the pattern. All of my other leggings have a 26 inch inseam. She also includes a 29 and 32 inch inseam for those of y'all with longer legs. 

The orange fabric is a thick supplex that my friend Aimee Wilson found at Golden D'ior in their sale section. What a find! It is squishy soft, compressive, and bright! The strawberry supplex that I paired with it was a remnant she had from Zenith and Quasar. I made these in the higher waist cut line provided in the pattern, and they feel so nice on my tummy and are really helping a girl out with looking trimmer. Thanks Angelyn for the awesome waistband!

My final pair is a View A (no pockets) in the higher rise. The fun looking fabric is a swim fabric from Wherehouse Fabrics in Dallas. This is where we talk about fabric choices.  Not all fabrics are created equal, obviously. They have different weights, feel, spandex contents, etc. The Super G Tights pattern calls for fabric with at least 75% four way stretch. This means your custom cotton lycra with right at 50% stretch is not going to cut it. You need the very stretchy stuff with awesome recovery. This swim fabric met the bill perfect, but there was one thing I did not factor in and that is how slippery it is, which means I feel compressed but not in a comforting way, and they just don't have the "I feel hugged by my pants" feeling. It is more of a "I feel assaulted by my pants" feeling. Don't get me wrong. I will still wear them loud and proud, but they just won't bring up the same emotions as my supplex pants. 

This fabric was perfect to use for my first pair. It helped me to know if I needed to make any adjustments. After this pair, I knew I needed to grade from an XS everywhere else to a S in the calf. My measurements are waist - 28, hips 36.5, thigh 19.5, and calf 14 inches. My calf is just a bit bigger than is comfortable in an XS. Also, having the pants too tight in the calf pulls them down towards my calf. I am glad I used inexpensive fabric to find this out.

You can grab a copy of the Super G Tights pattern here.

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson 

Ah, and let's not forget the outtakes of the three year old and me!

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.