Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Linky Party Wrap Up

For this month's wrap up of the linky party, I just wanted to give a shout out to those that personalized their clothes, with their tween in mind. Three of the ones linked up, made simple articles of clothing, but made them "special" with their tween's personality coming through. Here they are:
Over at Sunny Sewing she made 3 custom-made t-shirts for her son using the freezer paper stencil technique.

This shirt is from DeVita...a Russian blogger, who makes some amazing stuff. On the back of the shirt is an appliqued dragon!

And over at Sonika Made, she was able to make her daughter's ideas come to life and add a little bling as well.

If you notice, they were all relatively simple articles of clothing that now have personality added to them to make them special for their tween. Great ideas!

As for great ideas, we would love it if you could spread the word! The linky party is all about sharing ideas so that we can all come away with something new to help in our endeavors to keep sewing for our tweens. So please pass it on...the more the merrier!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Up-cycled Color-blocked Celestial Pullover--With a Review

 Can I just say that I love to up-cycle/refashion/reuse?  I love going to thrift stores and clearance racks imagining the possibilities all for pennies on the dollar when it comes to fabric. It's a thrill. Needless to say, I love this challenge and interestingly enough my outfit looks VERY similar to the last go around of this challenge. And interestingly enough that dress still fits and it is one of her favorites. So why not go with the same color scheme again? 
Since Figgy's generously let us try one of their patterns that they have extended up to tween sizes (YEAH!), I thought that would be a great starting place.

May I present the Celestial Pullover Refashion of a Dress with an Up-cycled layering T to go with it.
It started with a dress of mine that I picked up from Target for 75% off. I liked the color and pattern of the fabric, but the dress itself was not very flattering.
From the dress I was able to cut the main part of the pullover (with a little extra piecing to get the cowl the right size). However, Sophia was hoping it would be a little longer. That's when we came up with the red color blocking on the bottom. I found some left over interlock knit I had laying around and it was perfect...color-wise and also because it was a little heavier than the gray which helped it to hang better. To add the length I just traced the curve of the bottom of the pattern and then measured equally all the way around to get the block. The tie from the dress can also be used now that the pullover is more tunic length, which she kind of liked.
Major Mama has already done a great review and covered the basics of what you need and the likes, so I won't go over that again. But I did want to share my thoughts with you about the Celestial Pullover by Figgy's.
 This was an amazingly easy pattern to put together. 2 pieces plus the cowl and the pockets (which you could omit if you wanted to throw together something really fast), but with great lines. What more could you ask for? Well the fact that Sophia LOVED it is just icing on the cake. She's already asked for a couple more and she wore it all day after I had her try it on. As she's gotten pickier with age, that is saying something.
The cowl is just perfect, not too tight around the neck, but not too loose that it looks too grown up on a 10 year old.  There is the high/low hem line that makes it look stylish (ignore the seam on my back piece--that's a result of using the dress. It had 2 side seams and then a seam at the back of the skirt part of...go figure, so I just had to make do).
But the nice thing is that with such a simple and basic pattern, you have more room to add your own personality...just look at the difference between mine and Major Mama's.
I didn't have the printing problem that Major Mama had, but I did have problems with the pockets hanging too low past the bottom hem. That could have been a result of the super stretchy knit I was using though and my daughter cramming her hands in too far.
My opinion...this pattern is definitely a 5 bolt one!
As for the layering t-shirt...I've been wanting to try this technique of making little hand warmers at the end of the sleeve for a while now. I used an old white t-shirt of mine that had gotten kind of stretched funny and just used one of Sophia's shirts as a pattern. I actually used the sleeves from the original shirt, just cutting them off where I needed as well as the bottom hem. Then I added some of the red knit on to the sleeves, following this tutorial of sorts (It's in Dutch, but that's what google translate if for, right?).
And there you have my Up-cycled look for this week at Project Run and Play.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pattern Review: Burdastyle leather trousers, but not in leather

On Monday I (Major Moma) shared an outfit I recently made Abi that had a comfortable 80s vibe.  She wanted a sweatsuit, but I wanted to class it up a bit.  I used Figgy's Celestial Pullover for the top but then had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do for the pants.

Abi let me know that she wanted more "pull on pants" because they are more comfortable.  So after looking at a lot of my patterns that I had not yet sewn, I settled on a pair in the November 2012 burdastyle magazine.

Name of the pattern: This pattern is named 2012/#155 Leather trousers for girls.
Pattern Source:  You can buy the magazine that has this pattern included in the pattern sheet or you can simply go to the burdastyle website and download it.

Sizes available:  It comes in European sizes of 128-152.  These are basically the full range of pre-teen sizes.
Special materials required:  If you were actually to make these pants out of leather, you need at least two skins of lamb nappa leather.  Who does that for their 10 year old?  Well, I thought grey sweatshirt fabric would work nicely.  But you could try other pant weight options.  Also, a zipper is necessary.
Skill level required:  With the modifications I made (see below) this pattern is an intermediate level.  However, if you were to use the leather, I would say it is an advanced project.

Did you deviate from the pattern?  Yes.  In order to fit Abi's request for pull up pants, I made a couple adjustments.  First, I eliminated a pleat.  The pattern has two pleats on each side of the front but since I was not going to insert a zipper and then add elastic, I needed more ease in the waist.  Then, I sewed the pants' side seams normally.  I sewed the waist facing almost normally.  I sewed it on to the top seam but then left a space to insert the elastic.  I then top-stitched the asymmetric fly down flat.  That seemed to do the trick.
Good:  It is a cute pair of pants with an interesting front.
Bad:  The fly is quite different and I felt awkward trying to figure out the instructions.

Overall pattern rating:  
I give this pair of pants a 3 bolt rating.  It is a difficult pattern and I am not sure yet if I am a fan.  On the other hand, it is interesting and quite trendy looking.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pattern Review: Figgy's Celestial Pullover

A couple months ago, I bought a bunch of grey sweatshirt fabric.  I originally was going to make zip-up hoodies for the kids, but that project sort of got tossed to the side.  But, my oldest daughter said she wanted a sweatsuit, so this would be perfect use of that fabric.

But why would I want to make a baggy, shapeless outfit that I could go spend $5 on?

So I took some creative liberties in making her a sweatsuit using two very cute patterns.

The top is Figgy's Celestial pullover and the bottoms are a modified version of Burdastyle's Leather Trousers for girls (155).  As I was making these, I kept on remembering the image of Flashdance ... though this outfit looks nothing really like an off-the shoulder sweatshirt, I think it has a definite 80's vibe.   So, I am dubbing this my movie look for Project Run and Play ... though I will admit, it is a stretch.  And, the movie is not exactly one I would have Abi watch.

And on to the review:

Name of the pattern:  Celestial Pullover
Pattern Source: Figgy's;  Figgy's is an online pattern shop with very hip patterns for kids ... and just recently tweens!  Really, if you are looking for something more fashion forward, this is the place to go.

Sizes available:  The Celestial Pullover comes in child (18 mo - 9yr) and tween (xxs-xl) sizes.  And actually, I wear a 4/6 in women's and I was able to make an xl for me.  I made Abi's an xs and she is a slim size 12.  Unfortunately, I am away for work for a couple months so I will have to mail her the outfit.  When I get pictures of it on her, I will update the post.

Special materials required:  The pattern calls for a knit. Because of the looseness of the fit, my sweatshirt material (with very little stretch) worked for the body.  But the neckline definitely needs a fabric that will stretch over your head.  But there are no other closures or special tools needed.  I added some trim to the shoulders, but that was just me having some fun.

Skill level required:  Oh, this is a super easy and quick pattern.  There are three main pieces + a pocket if you want.  The sleeves are built into the front and back pieces and it has a high/lo hem that is so popular right now.  I did not hem the sleeves or bottom because of the look I wanted, but it does come with hem allowances built into the pattern.

How you came to choose the pattern:  Figgy's gave us this pattern when they launched their tween line so we could check it out.  So, we do have to admit, we got it for free.  But, in all honesty, I love it.  The shape is very cool and the instructions were clear.    .... I made one for myself, so that says something.

Good:  The pattern is wonderfully written and has a great size range.
Bad:  Some of my lines did not match exactly on the printed PDF, but that could be the funky hotel printer I used and the deviation was so slight as to really not matter.

Overall pattern rating:  
I give this pattern a top rating (5 of 5). 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Infinity Scarf Tutorial Review

If you want a quick and easy accent piece to add to your wardrobe, you should try your hand at an infinity scarf. Seriously, this was so easy!
I found this tutorial over at the Simplicity site (they have a bunch of free things, but not many garments or sewing related ones). 
The tutorial was easy to follow and everything came together really quickly (thanks to a serger). The knit was from JoAnn's, but Sophia has already requested some more (and I want some more too), so we have plans to use some old T-shirts as well.
What you need: The pattern says 3/4 of a yard of fabric, but I used 12 inch for Sophia's and 1/2 a yard for mine and am pleased with how they turned out.
Skill Level: Very beginner--just 2 seams and a little hand sewing to finish it.
I give this one 5 lightening bolts because of how easy it is and how much I like scarves.