Friday, April 25, 2014

The Waikiki and the water table

What the what? I made a SWIMSUIT! 

I have been sewing for almost 20 years (I'm not *really* that old, I just started sewing as a newborn...) and one of the first big projects I tackled was a wedding gown.  Not just a wedding gown, but a full pattern resizing on said wedding gown.  So to say I am not easily intimidated by sewing projects is an understatement.  Don't get me wrong, they don't always turn out as a wearable item, but I'm willing to tackle just about anything.  Anything that is except, until up to this point, a swimming suit.  


Then I was asked to preview a couple of the patterns from the Pattern Revolution Bundle Up  pattern bundle that's due to release on April 26, 2014.  The Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Waikiki One Piece suit is part of that 11 pattern bundle and I decided it was high time to give one a whirl.  

I have resisted these in the past mainly because of the fabric.  I had visions of myself frantically chanting "stretchy and slinky and slick, oh my!" the entire time I was sewing. 

Even with my stretchy fabric, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of this suit.  Two pattern pieces and binding and ruffle pieces were all I needed to cut.   

I used swim fabric from Chez Ami and swimsuit lining from Joann's.  The pattern calls for lining and walks you through the lining and binding.  I loved how the binding was done; super simple! 

I made what I could of the suit on my serger and did the rest on my sewing machine, but you could easily do the whole thing on the sewing machine.  I found the best way (for my machine) was a good old zigzag stitch.  Once we got that settled (we argued for a bit before I decided to let the sewing machine decide what it wanted) the suit was really quick to assemble.  

It's spring here and we lucked out with a really warm day to try out the suit.  She loved it, despite the fact that it wasn't pink.  

The only change I made from the pattern was to cross the straps and attach them, rather than the tie at the neck straps it calls for.  My kids play hard in their suits and I thought it would be a better option for them.  

I love the little ruffle bum.  It's so cute! I cut one out for my older daughter too and left them off for hers for a "big girl" version of the suit.    With a size range of 3months-12 years, the pattern is versatile enough to make many versions for the girls in future summers.  

This is just one of the patterns available in the Bundle Up deal.  There are 11 patterns you can mix and match, plus you save more as you buy more (as low as $4.00 each!). Head over and build your bundle! 

If you are interested in seeing another pattern in the bundle, check out my Beverly Belle too! 

*Like A Mother*

The Beverly Belle and the Bundle Up Sale

Hello there! Today I am so excited to showcase one of the patterns in the Pattern Revolution Bundle Up  pattern bundle; the Beverly Belle.  This is a pattern from Izzy & Ivy that was a paper pattern in a previous life and is being re-released as a PDF pattern (yay!). 

This top is super twirly and my little one was leaping and dancing as soon as she put it on.  

This lovely little top pattern has a size range of 12 months to 14.  That is a crazy big range, and great for me since I have kiddos in both toddler and big girl sizes.  When her big sis saw the top, she said "she's lucky". As usual, I should have made a second one :)

There is one pattern piece to assemble and cut, with measurements given for the straps and bodice lining piece.  I can totally get behind only taping together one piece!

The bottom edge of the top is finished with bias tape.  I love that.  It gives the bottom edge a lot of body and makes the ripple shaped edge really hold its shape.  The pattern even shows the proper way to connect the edges together when you're applying the bias around the edge.  It turns out, you aren't supposed to just tuck one edge inside the other and go with it, like I *might* have done in the past...

So, funny story about the fabric in this dress.  I was shopping at my local Target store about a week ago and happened upon a brand new rack of fabric that had appeared in the little sewing area of my store.  You know I had to buy some, and this top is what I made with it! Life, as we know it, will never be the same now that Target has fabric; but I digress...

We ended up going to a local Japanese garden and a little local zoo the day she wore her dress.  It was super wearable, she ran and played all day in it.  

I paired the top with the Greenstyle Lucy Leggings that I cut as capris.  They were the perfect coordinate to make a playful little outfit.  

This is just one of the patterns available in the Bundle Up deal.  There are 11 patterns that you can mix and match, plus you save more as you buy more (as low as $4.00 each!). Head over and build your bundle! 

Just a few more pictures because I can't resist how cute this is!!!

If you are interested in seeing another pattern available in the bundle, check out my Waikiki One Piece too!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Essential Greenstyle Blog Tour Day 5

Hello and welcome!  I am finishing out the last day of the Essential Greenstyle Wardrobe Tour.  What a great tour it has been! 5 bloggers were given 4 patterns and asked to make outfits to fit into their wardrobes.  Well, here is my take...

I am no stranger to Greenstyle Patterns.  I have been admining the Greenstyle Facebook group and working with the genius behind Greenstyle, Angie, for several months.  I started buying her patterns well before I started admining with the group, but at that time I only bought her children's line.  That totally changed a few months ago when I took the plunge and sewed up a few self-care sewing items for myself.  Now I am hooked. Those kids may never get another outfit sewn for them! (ok, I am kidding, but I will be more fair in the future and I'll work in more for myself!) 

I have a few favorites in the Greenstyle line, and for this tour I decided to try to step out of my comfort zone a bit and try some new patterns.  I couldn't be happier that I did.  Now I have several items that are everyday wearable, comfortable and cute (if I do say so myself!) that are a great boost to my spring and summer wardrobe.  

The first pattern that I picked was the Greenstyle Studio Tunic.  This also comes with a maxi and short dress option, but since I am not a big dress wearer, I did the tunic length.

This pattern has an option for a hood or cowl neckline (I did the cowl) and for short or long, and wide or narrow sleeves (I did the short).  I love the look of a scarf and with the cowl, I get that look without the choking hazard from my kids pulling on my scarves...

I used this Digital Chevron Knit which was very generously donated by The Fabric Fairy for the tour.  It is amazing to work with and I think it turned out beautifully.

I am going to try one with a hood next.  Because everyone who lives in California needs hooded tops for summer, right? ;)

The next pattern I chose was the Greenstyle Amy Skirt.  As I said above, I am not much of a dress wearer.  But I thought maybe a skirt would be a good option to give me something a little dressier in my closet for the times I just can't get away with capris.

Boy am I glad I did.  I LOVE this skirt.  It was super fast to make.  I mean less than 30 minutes to sew it up and hem (not including putting together the pattern and cutting).  I have a obsession deep love for striped knits and when I got this piece, I could immediately see it as a maxi.  With the narrow stripes, I don't even mind wearing them horizontal across my not-so-smallest parts.  

I paired the skirt with one of my absolute favorite Greenstyle patterns, the Bella Bubble Sleeve Tee Shirt.  I am not kidding when I say it's a favorite.  This is the fifth one I have made for myself and I have made them for my girls as well.  This pattern comes with a dress option as well. 

I think this outfit is totally flattering and I just feel good in it.  Plus, it goes with flip-flops (but then, what doesn't?) Can't ask for much more than that!

For another casual summer outfit, I also made a pair of Willow Ruffle Pants (sans ruffle) and paired them with the Centerfield Raglan T-shirt.

I love the casual comfort of this one and can already see it being worn to swimming practice and dance lessons.  I cut the willows into capris and left off the ruffles for a more streamlined look, but the pattern includes full length pants with up to 3 ruffles.  

For the centerfield raglan, I cut the sleeves just above the elbow, which is my favorite length for a sleeve.   The centerfield comes with short, long and 3/4 length sleeve options; a straight and a curved hem option (I did the straight one), a scoop and regular neckline (I did the regular one) and optional elbow patches and sleeve ruching.  

Just hanging out on a miniature picnic table.  Normal day in my backyard...

These two pieces sew up very quickly and I love the beachy feel of it.  My daughter says the top is made out of mermaid fabric, so I guess she agrees with the beach feel of it :) 

To say that I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to make for the tour is an understatement.  I had so many ideas that I kind of just kept sewing until I ran out of time....

So, since I wasn't out of time yet, I whipped up a pair of the Greenstyle Lucy Leggings. I prefer fitted capri leggings to work out in, but they are hard to find and expensive.  Plus, I am tall (5'11") so I have a hard time finding ones that come down low enough on my calves.  I made these out of some heavier spandex material and they are truly awesome.  I cut them at the capri length that I wanted and I love the fit.  They are a higher-waisted fit, so it helps to holding some of the not-so-small parts while still begin comfortable to move in.  

The pattern comes in full length as well, with a ruffle option for the bottom.  I think my next pair or running capris will have ruffles too.  Maybe that will draw attention to my ankles and not to my heaving, out of breath, barely moving pace...

At the last minute (like last night) I decided to add a Greenstyle Jenn's Poolside Dress to the mix.  It was a super quick sew and I was easily able to finish it in one evening after the kiddos went to bed.  As you can see, it is great for lounging casually around the pool and enjoying a book...

...And then reality sets in.  All we have is a kiddie pool and there's no way I can lounge long enough to read a book.  Plus, my kid was upset because I borrowed her pool and didn't put water in it.  

But, now I have a cover up for the next time we go to the actual beach (obviously I need a little sun!) and the pattern includes children's sizes, so I can make one for the kiddos too.  

The final piece I made was a pair of Aspen pants.  Although I have made 2 other pairs of these, I had not tried them in knit before.  

Holy awesome lounge pants batman!  They are super comfortable and cute enough to wear out in public.  

The wide leg is really flattering, drawing attention away from the not-so-small area, but remaining cute and comfortable.  They have a yoga waist band and can be made in both wovens and knits.  

These were so comfortable that I ended up wearing them the rest of the evening after I took the pictures!

And that wraps up my portion of the tour!

Thanks so much for stopping by! And if you haven't already, don't forget to enter the giveaway to win one of five amazing prize packs from the tours awesome sponsors below.  

Thank you to all of the sponsors of the Essential Greenstyle Wardrobe Blog Tour:

And our wonderful bloggers!  Please visit their blogs this week to see their Greenstyle Creations:
April 7, 2014 Swoodson Says
April 8, 2014 Keep Calm and Carrion
 April 9, 2014 Shawnta Sews
April 10, 2014 Becca Duval Photography
April 11, 2014 Blogs Like A Mother