Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Guest Post--Spring Showers Jacket

Today we have Rachel from nest full of eggs here to share an newly released pattern.  This one is on my to buy list, because I've heard nothing but good things about it. So scroll through to see some pictures and then hop over to see what else Rachel has to say!
Spring Showers Jacket by nest full of eggs
 Hello, this is Rachel from nest full of eggs. I wanted to let you know that there is a new awesome sewing pattern that fits tweens.
Spring Showers Jacket by nest full of eggs
 It's called Spring Showers Jacket and it's by Elegance & Elephants.
Spring Showers Jacket by nest full of eggs
 The jacket is a very practical item of clothing and goes up to size 12.
Spring Showers Jacket by nest full of eggs
To learn more about the pattern and get a discount code ($1.00 off through May 1st) click HERE.

Happy sewing!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Making old patterns new

Normally, I (Major Moma) like to buy a pattern that I think I can make over and over again.  There is just so much that you can do by changing up fabrics or trims that you can really make a fresh garment every time.   Yet, since starting Sew Cool with Sally, I have been buying a lot more patterns in order to be able to review new patterns that all of you may be interested in.  And as much as I like to pattern shop and support pre-teen patternmakers, it does get expensive.

So, when I wanted to whip up a couple of shorts for the summer, I realized I only had one pattern in my daughter's size and that I did not want to purchase another one just right now.  So, I took out that old, and well used pattern and figured out how to use it for this season.

In October 2013 I wrote a pattern review of this pattern; Simplicity 3813.  The pattern has multiple views and I had not yet sewn all of them, but I have been slowly through the years working my way through them and have sewn view A a couple times.  This was my first time sewing view E.

bubble shorts

The shorts are a bubble style, which seems to be quite popular right now and and this view the other shorts view have some nice details.  They do have a zipper fly and my daughter opted for a snap instead of a button closure.

bubble shorts

Even with all the details and zipper, it remains a moderately easy sew.  I think an adventurous beginner would do just great on these shorts.

I did make a few changes to make them suit my daughter.  And I think this is key.  When you have an old pattern like this, there are several adjustments, big and small, that you can do to make it fresh.  Because let's face it, we can't always go buy a new pattern.

The embroidery is from urbanthreads.com.

So what changes did I make?  First, I used adjustable waist elastic in the back so that they will fit her better and yet have room to grow.  Also, I changed up the pockets a bit borrowing from view G.  And, Abi likes her shorts longer (and I do too) so I lengthened the pink ones quite a bit and the brown ones just a little.

bubble shorts

The trims were some fun ribbons I bought in the $1 section at Target.  I am always looking for good deals on trims and when I saw these cute ribbons I grabbed them up even though I am sure they are for paper crafting.  Fun trims can really change up an old pattern too.

How do you change up your old patterns?  We would love to hear your tips!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Linky Party Wrap Up

Thank you all for linking up for April party! It is so much fun to see what everyone is creating for their tweens! There were some great tips and ideas as well as some new-to-me patterns! That's what is great about the link up...the sharing.
Here's what we picked to highlight this go around though:

Check out the great jackets and outfits made by the Amy, part of the duo over at Friends Stitched Together! She also links to a great new clothing line that has some classic looks for tweens.
Spring Break Week {{FriendsStitchedTogether.Wordpress.com}}

And the second look you need to check out, is Stacy's shirt (from Land of K.A.) with fabric that she designed using a pretty cool technique. And if you read through her post, you'll find a great mantra...that's actually worthy of printing and hanging in your sewing room if you are sewing for tweens.

There you have it for this month...stay tuned for next months party and please pass on the word. It's through the sharing that we get a lot of our inspiration!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Fashion--Last Minute Ideas

Just thought I'd throw out some last minute ideas for some Easter fashion.  Do you sew a special Easter outfit? My girls still ask for an Easter dress, but I've never done anything special for my boys. If it's too much of a time crunch, these would all make a nice "special occasions" type outfit for those up coming like "graduations" (my daughter will be finishing elementary school and moving on to middle school) and weddings.

All of these dresses could be made into something comfortable and more causal or with a different fabric choice something more fancy and elegant looking...yet they are all seemingly easy designs that should sew together rather quickly (I can't tell you that for sure as I've not sewn any of these, but from reading the descriptions and looking at them I think that is the case).
Update:  We now have a couple of affiliations (i.e. Peek-a-boo Patterns).  One of our missions has always been to help people find the the patterns they want. Always, the round-ups are just our thoughts and ideas and are just put them out there to make it easier for you.  But, affiliates assist us buy the patterns we review.

Image of Savannah Pleated Party Dress

Mayfair top, dress and spats pattern 12-18m 18-24m 2t 3t 4t 5t 6 7 8 10 12 14 INSTANT DOWNLOAD  

Miss Mary 5yr-12yr

Vintage Apron Dress Sewing Pattern for Girls

Ethereal Dress & Blouse

Little Wrap Dress--for the life of me, I couldn't get this picture to post, but it really looks like a great dress.

Now for the boys:


Hope this gives you some ideas and that you are able to get some Spring sewing done. Does anyone else feel that this time of year is rather crazy? As my kids have gotten older and more involved, this time of year is filled with recitals and concerts as well as end of school year activities.  It's all kind of time consuming, but fun at the same time. But if you are managing to get some sewing done, please link up!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pattern Review: Rose Skirt

Recently I was given the opportunity test a new pattern that I really did not have time to sew, and it was for something my daughter really did not need.

But, I said yes any way because the pictures looked cute and this pattern goes up to size 16!  I thought, if this is a good one, I know those that read Sew Cool should know about it.  And if you read to the end of the review, you will see that there is an extra treat for you all too.

The Rose Skirt by Filles a Maman is a basic knit skirt with some great pleating details in the front.

The pattern is available via PDF at Filles a Maman's etsy store and sells for $9.  You can purchase this pattern in English or French.

Yes, that is snow.  We live in Alaska and this is what spring looks like.

Sizes available:  It is available in sizes 12 months to 16 girls so this is a pattern that could fit just about any girl in your life.

Special materials required:  For best results, you should use a medium to heavy weight knit for this skirt.  But, I have seen some bloggers sew it up in a woven fabric with lots of success.  There is elastic in the waist band and you should have a 1 1/2 or 2 inch wide elastic.  I used a one inch wide elastic because that is what I had on hand, but I know a wider elastic would be better.

Skill level required:  A complete beginner could complete this skirt.  It is a fast sew and not complicated in the slightest.  The instructions told me to set the pleats and sew the pocket in a way I was not used to and I started to second guess the pattern.  But, since I was testing, I felt obligated to complete it as instructed.  Guess what, the instructions made it look perfect.  Imagine that.
The only changes I made to the pattern is that I cut out a size 10 for the width and a size 12 for the length to accommodate the shape of my girl.  I also cut the elastic to fit her waist size instead of the recommend length.  This worked out great for her.

Good:  This is a very trendy looking and comfortable skirt.  My daughter wasted no time in finding an occasion to wear it.

Bad:  As I was sewing the pleats and the pockets, I  was concerned that it would be too bulky in the front with all the layers of fabric.  My worries were unfounded and the front hangs nicely.  However, if you are using a bulky knit fabric, you may need to be careful about bulk.  But again, I may be worrying for no reason.

Overall pattern rating:  I really liked this pattern but I am not sure how many times I will sew it up.  It is cute and trendy which made it a winner for my daughter.  It also only took a couple hours to sew and would be a great last minute project.  I give it (4) bolts.

Just so you know, the skirt waistband sits on the natural waist.  I think that is lovely for this style but my daughter found it to be odd.  She is used to pants that have a mid rise (waist band at her belly button) and was uncomfortable with this waist band sitting so high.  I am sure she will just pull it down lower, and that is just fine with me.

And guess what???  Filles a Maman was kind enough to give us a discount code for any pattern in her shop!  If you are interested in this skirt or any of her other patterns just use the coupon code  BLOG10 for a 10% on everything on the ETSY shop .

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter Dress with a Review

It's 'Design Your Own Fabric' Week over at Project Run and Play, so I thought I'd play along and make Sophia an Easter dress to boot. As for how I designed the fabric, I tried two new things--ombre dying and detailing by sewing down embroidery thread.
The pattern is Simplicity 3510, but it's apparently out of print. 
And it only went up to a size 8...but it is a really easy pattern to alter up a size or two.
Even so it's a great pattern. Easy to follow instructions and lots of options. If you ever have a chance to get your hands on this pattern, it would be one worth having.
Here's my finished look and you kind of see the ombre a little better. It didn't turn out quite as I envisioned, but I do like it. But what I like the best is the thread detail on the bodice.
As for the pattern, it is an easy sew, with no buttons or zippers.  It works great with wovens of any kind and would be a great beginner pattern for someone that wants just a little more detail to follow.
I would give this pattern 5 bolts if it were available...in larger sizes.
 As for the changes I made, I added a little to the side seams as well as to the lengths of the bodice and skirt. And to make it a little less "little girl" like I did pleats where it said gathers. 
To get the detailing on the top, I first drew out my design with water soluble pen. Then I put a little glue (simple Elmer's) on the line and laid the embroidery thread down. Once it was dried, I just did a small zigzag in a lighter shade of green.
 A close up look of the embroidery thread detailing.
 I really like it with this vintage orange trim, tied at the waist. She didn't like it so much.
 What's your opinion?

April Linky Party

It's that time again! Show us what you have been up to this past month. We'd love to see what you've been creating for Spring and Easter!

Here are the rules:
1. Show us something you have created (sewn, knit, crafted...you get the idea) that your tween can wear or accessorize with.
2. Make sure it's something for the ages of 9-13.
3. Grab a link and spread the love...we really do want to see what others are making for their tweens!
So link away!