Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pajamas and some sisterly love!

Hello again and thanks so much for stopping by!

A few months ago, I made these pajamas as part of the Bundle Up sale through Pattern Revolution (I do pattern reviews over there; if you haven't checked them out, you should!) They were doing an all boys bundle, but I girled it up a bit for my munchkins and designed an iron-on transfer (available below) to go along with their outfits.  I have been meaning to blog about them ever since, but you know how that goes...

As I have probably mentioned before, we are pretty big fans of Frozen around here and that doesn't seem to be coming to an end anytime soon.  So I thought these little short and tank top PJ's were a perfect time to bust out some of my hoarded carefully collected frozen fabric and put it to use.  

I simply made the tops and shorts out of some more girl friendly fabric, skipped the fly on the shorts and added a little ruffle to the bottom.  Voila! Boys boxer set changed to girls short set!

I think they worked out really well and they were super easy and comfortable.  I have another set for each girl (in the opposite fabrics) already cut out and sitting in my "too-due" pile so they each have 2 matching sets.  I think these will go in the suitcases when we take our Disney cruise next year!

One thing I love to do to my shirts is to embellish them with iron on transfers.  I used my much loved  (affiliate link) 
Silhouette CAMEO Electronic Cutting Tool with Silhouette Studio Designer Edition Software
to design the emblems and then print them on printable iron-on transfer paper.  I really like the versatility that I have making shirts this way.  It is super easy to use and I can make a shirt in minutes once the emblem is designed.  I've done these for birthday parties and holidays.  It is a nice alternative to embroidering a shirt if you don't own an embroidery machine too.  All you really need is a printer, the iron on transfer paper and an iron.  

I like to use this product (affiliate link)
and have used it tons of times with great success.  I ran out one time and, in a pinch, ran to my local craft store and bought a different brand.  That brand turned bright yellow after washing and parts of the transfer peeled off.  Now I keep lots of Jet-Opaque on hand and only use that.  Lesson learned the hard way :(

I think the outfits turned out great, and the girls were thrilled to take pictures in them because I let them jump on the bed (a rare treat) while I was taking pictures.

One thing I wanted to do with the emblems was make the "frozen-esque" without being over the top (or violating any copyright stuff).  I love the underlying story and how it honors sisterly love so I decided to incorporate that into the shirts.  And with my Olaf shorts...well of course I had to say something about hugs!

I think my girls are both about sisterly bonds and hugs, so they shirts were especially fitting :)

If you would like to make your own shirts for a set of Pj's or just use the emblems for something else, I am including the link to the dropbox file for them today! I included both the cameo file for those of you who have one, and a PDF for those of you who don't.  You can just download the PDF file, print it out on the printable iron-on transfer paper and cut around the edge of the circle. Easy Peasy! 

***A couple notes***

I changed the snowflake on the downloadable one linked below because I wanted to make sure all of the graphics and fonts I used were open market and allowed for this type of use.  But it is still just as cute!

I also changed the pink lettering on the warm hugs file to red and included that for those of you who have boys and maybe don't want the pink letters :) Both the red and pink are included below.  

Warm Hugs Pink PDF
Warm Hugs Pink Studio File
Warm Hugs Red PDF
Warm Hugs Red Studio File
Sister PDF
Sister Studio File

If you have any questions or issues, you can comment below or email me at and I will try to help!  Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stylizing a Christmas Photo Shoot

Hello and thanks for stopping by today! I am doing something a little different than my normal sewing related posts with todays post; I am going to talk about stylizing a photo session!  Photography is another one of my obsessions hobbies and I have always intended for my blog to include it as a topic area but, alas, I tend to have great intentions and not a ton of time to carry them out.  Well, that ends today!

A few months ago a friend of mine (Jenn from Candid Moments Wedding Photography) approached me about doing a few stylized sessions with her and I was thrilled, flattered and terrified...all at the same time.  Although I aspire to be an accomplished photographer, I still have some ways to go, so a chance to work with a real life pro (who I also happen to like and respect-double bonus!) was just too good to pass up.  We met at a really fancy office (local coffee shop) and hashed out the idea of what we wanted to do.  I am a list writer and storyboarder, so I drew out our plan in my Big Book of Fabulous Ideas; which is a notebook I carry around and scratch my kindergartner-esque drawings of ideas I have for projects.

We did a lot of pinterest searching and brainstorming, a lot of digging through our houses and a little shopping for the perfect accessories...but I think we pulled it off!

The center of our session was a hot chocolate stand that Jenn had built and added a chalkboard sign to.  It was adorable with hand lettered "hot chocolate" across it and turned out just perfectly.  The girls at the shoot had a blast drinking their hot chocolate in the stand.  

With the exception of a few small items, all of the props were items we had around our houses or in our christmas stashes.  We brainstormed various items we wanted to bring (and brought way more than we ended up using) and filled in around the center stand with a reclaimed chalkboard, a bench and stool, and wooden crates and stands.  Then we added authentic hot chocolate fix-in's and some fresh baked goods for beautiful and delicious bribes treats for the girls.  

Mason jars filled with peppermint chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate chips, peppermint sticks and colorful straws were added as filler around jars of marshmallows and hot chocolate mix.  I made little spice cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting and added chocolate filled cookie straws to make them look like little whipped cream topped hot chocolates.  Not lying-I had to buy the cookies at a local coffee shop on the way to the shoot because I ran out of time to make them, but they fit in beautifully and the kids certainly did not mind.  The adorable sweater clad mugs were one of my only purchases because they were just too cute to pass up.  

The location we found was beautiful and had huge evergreen trees in the background, so we just filled in with a few other trees, wreaths and garland to give it a little more seasonal greenery. 

Of course, for me, no photoshoot is complete without a few handmade clothing items in it, so I sewed up the skirt and knickers my girls are wearing. I talk more about the patterns and clothes over at the Pattern Revolution Blog.  

We took some posed shots and some candids. I adore this shot of the girls behind the stand, but I also just love the candid photos of the girls grabbing their treats and just having a good time.  

I had such a great time collaborating with Jenn and all of the fabulous little ones who volunteered to come out and let us try the set up on them.  They were troopers and did a great job as little models.  We plan to offer some more stylized sessions in the future with various themes and I cannot wait to help come up with different scenes and ideas for those!  

Photo sessions certainly don't have to be as propped out as this one is, but adding some themed props and coordinated items to a shoot definitely gives it a whole different feel.  I loved doing this and will branch a little more out of my comfort zone to find new locations and props for my shoots in the future!

Thanks again for stopping by...until next time...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Greenstyle Favorite Things

Today I am so excited to be teaming up with a talented group of bloggers to present a holiday tour of some of our favorite patterns from a powerhouse group of designers.  This team represents some of the biggest names in PDF pattern design and I am thrilled to be representing Greenstyle Creations on the tour of our favorite things.

When we first started kicking around the idea of a theme for this tour, we immediately thought of a holiday collection.  I love the holidays and especially Christmas.  Unfortunately where we live in California (I know, poor me!) we don't get snow, but that doesn't stop us from getting into the spirit of the season.  I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get us all decked out for the upcoming festivities and parties.

Even though it looks a lot more like fall than winter here, we are in full throttle holiday prep around here.  Christmas tree hunting, hanging lights and decorations, baking cookies, and of course writing our gift lists! So in the midst of all of that, of course I thought it would be a good idea to make outfits not only for the girls, but for myself too.  :)

We teamed up with Riley Blake Designs (who generously supplied the fabric for all of my outfits) and I was immediately drawn to the Hollywood Sparkle Collection because it is sparkly and perfect for dressing up our outfits.  I loved the silver on black and decided that would be the central theme of my collection.  I paired that with the one-inch black and white stripe knit and solid black knit from their knit basics collection.  The addition of the knit into the ensembles makes them really comfy and completely everyday wearable.

For my older daughter, I used the Greenstyle Lil Miss Finnley pants that are so new they are just now getting ready to go into testing!  They are so cute and can totally be dressed up or down. I paired those with a dressed up version of one of my favorite patterns, the Greenstyle easy options t-shirt.  I lengthened the bodice and then added a double layer of long ruffles to the bottom and another long ruffle to the sleeves.  I used my trusty Silhouette software and machine (another favorite thing) to add a little more sparkle with the iron-on sparkle vinyl letters.

For the little one, I again used the easy options t-shirt (it's such a great base pattern!) to make an adorable high/low top.  

I adjusted the bodice to the shape I wanted and added a full ruffle to the bottom.  I also added ruching to the bottom of the sleeve as a little extra detail.  It turned out adorable, even though she is still refusing to wear long sleeves and has already told me I need to cut them off.  Ugh. I made another glitter vinyl iron-on and she was thrilled when I told her what it said.  I paired the top with leggings that I bought at my local Target (one of my favorite places to shop!).  

For my outfit, I used another one of my favorite Greenstyle patterns, the centerfield raglan. I added a cowl to it, but ended up wearing a scarf for the pictures so you can't really see the cowl I added. You'll have to my word for it; it's really cute.  For my pants, I used the black knit to make a pair of the Finnley Pants that Greenstyle is releasing on Monday (yes, tomorrow!!!) and are destined to become some of my most worn/best loved pants.  They have a comfortable yoga type flat waist band and adorable rings around the legs that are cute and totally comfortable.  I can't wait to make more!

Now, for the fun part...if you are inspired to make some of your own holiday fashions, you can win all 4 of the patterns I used from Greenstyle Creations!  How fun is that?  You can enter using the rafflecopter below.

If you want some additional inspiration, you should check out the other fabulous blogger who participated in the tour.  You won't be sorry, they have some fabulous outfits made up!

Picking out the perfect tree to go with their holiday outfits!

Thanks again to the wonderful ladies that blogged along with me this week; your work inspires me! Thanks also to Riley Blake Designs for supplying the fabric for my outfits and to Greenstyle Creations for supplying the patterns for my outfits and for the prizes!  What a great group of people I have the pleasure of working with!  

Until next time, sparkle and shine!

And that's a wrap!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pattern Parcel #7-Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns

Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by! Today I am very excited to be part of the Pattern Parcel #7; the bag edition.

Parcel # 7 is the final parcel of the year and the first ALL BAG parcel, so it's kind of a big deal.  The list of patterns for this parcel are:

Barcelona Bag and Wallet by Pat Bravo
Butterfly Sling Purse by Emmaline Patterns
Evelyn Hangbag by ChrisW Designs
Midtown Messenger Bag by Betz White
Betty Bowler by Swoon Sewing Patterns
BONUS PATTERN: Daphne Bag by Clover & Violet

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!

Bonus Pattern:
Choose a price of $32 or greater for Parcel #7 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! That's just over $5 a pattern. The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the brand new Daphne Bag pattern from Clover & Violet. The Daphne is a slouchy satchel that can be worn cross body or as a shoulder bag. The zip top keeps your gear secure and the internal pockets keep your accessories where you need them. This is a brand new, never been seen before pattern and is an exclusive opportunity for Parcel #7 customers!

How Pattern Parcel Works:
Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Its our goal to raise over $20,000 for Donors Choose this year.

Ok, so with all of the formalities out of the way, let's talk about my bag :)

I chose the Betty Bowler Bag by Swoon Sewing Patterns because I wanted a really roomy bag. We are taking a Disney Cruise after the first of the year and I thought the Betty would make a great carry along for my trip. And I think I was totally right...

I used a filagree Mickey Mouse fabric that I found at JoAnn Fabric and I think it is a perfectly elegant and Disney Cruise worthy carry along bag.  

The Betty has some great features and I added a few personalized touches to make it exactly what I wanted (because why else do we make things if not to get them exactly how we want them?)

The instructions to make fabric straps are included in the pattern, but I used a pre-made set I also picked up at JoAnns.  I am not great at making handles (or bags for that matter) so I decided to go the easy route.  WRONG! I ended up having to hand sew them onto the bag because I couldn't get them under my presser foot.  There is a possibility I will be striding along the gangway onto the ship and the handles will fall right off the bag due to my inadequate hand sewing, but I think they look adorable and I am so happy I went with them.

I also skipped the center stripe the pattern includes for the front of the bag so I could add a monogram.  Nothing says "special" like a monogram and I am from the South (where we monogram our underwear) so of course I needed one of those.  Since I wanted it big enough for the scale of the bag, it wouldn't fit on the narrower center stripe.  I included the center stripe on the back of the bag in an adorable coordinating Mickey outline print.

I also included 2 extra pocket on the inside, feet on the bottom and a little lobster clasp to hook my keys onto in the inside.  It is something a few of my bags have and I really love it.  

The pattern has instructions and pattern pieces for large pockets on one side of the interior; I added smaller pockets on the opposite side because I like a lot of pockets and I need a smaller pocket for my cell phone. The pattern also has a zippered pocket on one exterior panel. I have those on a few other bags and love them for keeping my headphones and room keys handy and easy to reach without digging in my purse.

The Betty took me several evenings to make. I am not normally a bag maker and I am not fast nor very good at it. The instructions are great and I also followed a sew-along that the fabulous Ali Cat & Co did with Swoon Patterns. Still my bag has a lot of blood, sweat and tears in it (only the tears is not true, lol) and it is far from perfect. Yet, I still love it. It is kind of like tried really hard and isn't quite right, but still very loved.

One thing I struggle with a lot when looking at patterns for bag is the scale. It is really hard for me to translate the finished measurements to how big it will be when it is actually finished. So I took a couple of scale pictures for y'all :)

And this is what you end up with when you rely on the hubs for pictures. Head chopped off, blurry pictures and one almost useable one in the middle. BUT it does the trick to show you what it looks like when you are carrying it (which is about the only way it makes sense to me to think about the size of the bag).

If you are inspired to make your own bag, you can grab the Pattern Parcel here. There are many other great patterns in there, so you will be happily bag making for a while with this set!

Pattern Parcel #7: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
You should also check out these fabulous stops on the Pattern Parcel tour for some more serious 
bag-speration (I was going to say purse-peration, but...) 
On that note,
Thanks so much for stopping by!
 Like A Mother

Parcel #4 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, November 7 Stitched || Sew Exhausted

Saturday, November 8 Made by Sara ||Oliver's Fancy || Strawberry Patch Ramblings

Sunday, November 9 from a box || Mia's Creations || MOMENTS

Monday, November 10 owen's olivia || While she was sleeping

Tuesday, November 11 Nutta || Radiant Home Studio || La Pantigana

Wednesday, November 12 Sew Fishsticks || Stacy Sews || Stitching Insane || GnomeAngel

Thursday, November 13 Needle and Ted || Patchouli Moon Studio || Sprouting JubeJube || The Crazy Tailor

Friday, November 14 Casa Crafty || A Jennuine Life || 'So, Zo... What do you know?'

Saturday, November 15 Stitches by Laura || Rebekah Sews || Serger Pepper

Sunday, November 16 Blogs Like A Mother || Vicky Myers creations || Blossom Heart Quilts

Monday, November 17 Shanni Loves || So Sew Easy || GYCT Designs || Tiger In A Tornado

Tuesday, November 18 The Nosy Pepper || Keep Calm and Carrion || There & Back || Sewing Sober

Wednesday, November 19 Sew Like My Mom || Knot Sew Normal || Stacy Sews || sewVery

Thursday, November 20 Mimi's Mom || Our Family Four || shades of BOLD || Modern Handcraft

Friday, November 21 Shawnta Sews || Lulu & Celeste || Amanda Rose || Robin's Fabric Nest || House of Pinheiro

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Greenstyle Creations Focus on Fall Blog Tour Wrap Up Post

Wow! What a fabulous 2 weeks of blog posts!  I cannot get over all of the wonderful items all of the bloggers made and posted.  It has been a great time and I have enjoyed seeing everyones creations.  I hope you have too!

A HUGE thank you to Riley Blake Designs for providing the fabric for this tour; their fabrics are a dream to sew up and I have been very spoiled over my last few projects by getting to work with it.

While everyone else was taking their turn on the blog tour, I took the opportunity to sew up two more outfits for my girls.  In my last post, I showed my little ones frozen inspired Greenstyle Creations Bella shirt paired with a Savannah skirt.  I intended on making the same shirt for my older daughter but my machine ate my shirt front half way through embroidering (boo!) Then my daughter saw another design she liked better anyway, serendipity I guess!

I made the Bella/Savannah super combo again.  I love these two patterns and they are super quick to make.  I just did the outer bubble again this time, so it is more of a ruffle bottom than bubble.  

I used the Riley Blake Aqua Houndstooth knit for the main part of the skirt, and the half inch Aqua Stripe for the waistband, ruffle sleeves and neckband.  For the shirt, I used the Solid White Knit.  

It turned out so cute!  I told her I had made her the shirt and that I had something to match. She asked me if it was pants and when I told her it was not, that it was a skirt, she lit up.  Even though she is growing up way too fast, deep down she's still a little girl who loves skirts!

For my younger daughter, I used one of Greenstyle Creations newest girls patterns, the Laurelette.  For the Laureltte, I did the binding in lieu of the cowl (which I love, but she decided she didn't want) and did a three quarter length sleeve (since she is still on her long sleeve strike).  It is the perfect play dress; in fact, she wore it to her tumbling class after we took pictures in it.  

I used the Riley Blake Small Girl Chevron for the skirt portion and the Hot Pink Small Dots for the bodice.  

I added a little heart out of the Hot Pink Dot to the skirt.  I just cut the shape out using the same fold-in-half-and-cut method that I used to cut out hearts in elementary school and then did a quick zig-zag around the edge.  Easy-Peasy and adds a cute little touch to it.  

I love this dress on her and it is so simple to put together.  This one took less than an hour including cutting time.  Can't ask for quicker than that!

She hearts it! 

And that is a perfect note to end this great tour on.  Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, Riley Blake Designs and Whimsical Fabrics (where you can buy some of these great fabrics).  And, of course, Greenstyle Creations for continuing to design fashionable and wearable patterns! 

Another HUGE thanks to all of the wonderful ladies who took part in the blog tour.  If you missed any of their posts, you can find them here: 

October 13- Kick off Post by Blogs Like A Mother
October 15- Handmade Boy
October 18- Snickerdoodle Stew
October 19- The Sewing Sparrow
October 21- Babyfish Designs
October 22- FABulous Home-Sewn
October 23- Gracious Threads
October 24- Wrap Up Post by Blogs Like A Mother

There is one more day to enter the giveaway here: 

Thanks for stopping by!