Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Color of the Year: Marsala

Every year Pantone, self described as "the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries" announces the color of the year. Basically, it is the company that says what the colors are and which ones are IT. The last few years of colors have been bold and bright, but 2015's color, Marsala, is more subdued and deeper.
Marsala looks to me like a wine color, but not quite.  It appears to me as a creamy, rich color and I hope to sew something in it this year.

If you google marsala on the runway, you can see an amazing variety of looks created in this color.  Trends this year include slim cut suits, crop tops and moto jackets along with feminine pops of tulle and organza and they all can be seen in marsala.  

I especially like it on pants.  I simply love a colored pant in order to escape the constant blue jean.


And I guess I am not the only one that feels that way.  Here is a look worn by Taylor Swift that gives an idea of how to wear marsala off the runway.


And since we cannot have a wardrobe completely of one color, what colors can be paired with marsala?  Clearly Miss Swift picked navy blue.  And I loved the bright teal up in the runway look picture.  Pantone recommends cooler and softer hues for spring/summer 2015 and has an extensive list of supporting colors and how to wear them (click HERE to see them).

Color Pairings (source)
Here are several other options of palates to play with.  So, will your tween be receiving a hand made garment in marsala this year?  And what colors will you pair it with?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bubble skirt et all

There is nothing quite so easy to sew as a skirt. The fitting is fairly simple and you can often get away with two side seams and a waist band.

And when you want more variety, there are a ton of great tutorials to help you create this wardrobe staple. 

Project Run and Play is doing something different this year by having a linky party each month for a pattern remix. January is Alida Makes' Bubble Skirt/Dress.  When I saw the theme, I thought it was the perfect time to review the tutorial and highlight other great skirt tutorials. 
In order to avoid the shirring requirement in Alida's skirt, I used a knit (an old shirt belonging to my son before he out grew it.). I simply stretched it while sewing it to the main fabric the way you would ribbing on a tee shirt. 

For the waist band I used the technique described on Made in this great circle skirt tutorial.


On our Pinterest site we collect all sorts of tutorials we like that you can check out but here are a couple other great skirt tutorials for you to try:


The cardi that is in this picture is from last year. She actually has barely worn it because she was not a fan of the ruffles. Tweens can be so fickle. But I think they pair beautifully and much better than the jeans she insisted on wearing with the skirt. 

There is also a very fun event at Friends Stitched Together; a series called CraftingCon and this month's theme is Dr. Who. My daughter loves the show and I thought I could style her up as a tardis for a photo shoot. But she was not in the mood. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pattern Review: Sleeping Bear PJs

Name of the pattern: Sleepy Bear PJs by Ellie Inspired.

 The pajamas include a “V”-neck t-shirt to be made of knit and pants/shorts with an elastic waistband that can be made from woven fabrics.  A hooded robe with a belt is also included and that is what I will be sharing today.  I have not yet made the pajamas but will review them when I get a chance to try them out.

Clearly, PJs and robes are unisex and thus a pattern you can use for boys and girls.

Pattern Source:  The Sleepy Bear PJs are a pdf downloadable pattern that you can buy at DIY Crush and other PDF pattern retailers.  I don't know why, but I could not find them at the Ellie Inspired website.

Sizes available:    The pattern will fit all your kids because it includes sizes 1-16 and 15″ & 18″ doll pattern.  So, if you tween is still into American Girl dolls, you can make matching bedtime outfits.

Ellie Inspired Sleepy Bear PJ

Special materials required:  For the robe, I used fleece, but I think if you want a lighter version, flannel would work.  And for a luxurious model, minky would be ideal.  I lined the hood with satin to keep her hair from getting to much static build-up.

Skill level required: Beginner.  There are no fancy closures ... actually no closures and this great pattern to learn to sew on. The instructions are easy to understand and there are a lot of pictures to guide you through.  Honestly, the pictures were enough to guide me through the whole robe.

I added the pockets.

How you came to choose the pattern:  I bought this pattern as part of the boy pattern bundle at Pattern Revolution.
My daughter has been begging me to make her a robe for years.  Yes, years.  I made her one when she was a size 5 and she out grew it a long time ago.  So, when I saw the great sale at the Pattern Revolution, I had grab it up.

Good:  As I said, the robe was a quick and easy sew.  The hood had a nice shape and size.

Bad:  I the robe runs a little short for my tastes.  I made a size 12 and it hits above her knees.  I thought it was too short, but then I looked at the pictures and it is supposed to be that short.  But if you want a below the knee robe, cut it longer according to measurements of your child.

Ugly:  Nothing

Overall pattern rating:  I give this pattern 3 bolts. 
Ellie Inspired Sleepy Bear PJ

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pattern Review: Skinny Jeans

Today we have Mona from SewMona giving a review for the Skinny Jean by Peek-a-Boo patterns.  This pattern comes in the lower tween sizes, but since good pant patterns are few and far between, we thought we would share.

My name is Mona and I blog at about sewing, homeschooling, camping, and living in Florida.  I also have an etsy shop where I sell footie pants.  I started sewing for my Barbie dolls when was a little girl around 10 years old.  My mom sewed and she taught me.  I’m pretty good if I do say so myself.  I made my prom dress in 12th grade and four years later, my wedding dress.  Few things have stumped me.  I love making clothes for my kids and occasionally my husband (I can make casual button-up shirts) and myself.  I made my first pair of two piece footie pajamas for my daughter when she was about 4.  When they wore out, I made her another pair.  At that point I realized there might be a market for them, and SewMona was born.

Name of the pattern: Skinny Jeans
Pattern Source: Peek-a-boo pattern shop (affiliate link) sells this .pdf pattern for download.
Sizes available: 12M – 10 years, 18” doll

Special materials required: Buttonhole elastic if you choose to do an adjustable waist or just regular elastic (you can make your own buttonhole elastic too), a button, denim needle if you’re using denim

Skill level required: Some sewing experience helps, but the directions and pictures are excellent.  There’s also a Facebook group that’s very helpful if you get stuck.

How you came to choose the pattern: I was looking for a jean/pants pattern for my kids that wasn't just a basic elastic waist pull-on style.  I also didn't want something too complicated!  This pattern was just what I was looking for.

Pattern Review: PAB Skinny Jeans

Did you deviate from the pattern?  If yes, how? The front is low rise, I made it just a little higher (she likes her pants just under her belly button).  I also cut them a little long and a little bit bigger all around (I made a size 10) as my daughter seems to be sprouting up!

Pattern Review: PAB Skinny Jeans

Good: I love that these look like jeans!  Five pockets, a “fly” with a button, the top-stitching.  There are so many options here so you can customize the look – adjustable waist or not, belt loops, small pocket in the front pocket, the button can be working or just for looks (mine is just for looks).  I also love that all sizes are included in one pattern. 

Pattern Review: PAB Skinny Jeans

Bad: Even though it’s a faux fly, it was still a little confusing to me.  After looking at the pictures and a pair of my jeans, it made sense.

Ugly: Nothing!

Overall pattern rating:  4 bolts

Thank you Mona for giving this review!  We love to hear new voices and share experiences.

affiliate link

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pattern Review: Boardwalk Henley

Today I am reviewing a Peek-a-boo pattern that has variations for boys and girls.  The Boardwalk Henley/Hoodie.  I have sewn a couple for my son who loves his.  I have blogged about them at Without Directions HERE.

Name of the pattern: Boardwalk Henley/Hoodie
Pattern Source:  It can be bought at the Peek-a-boo pattern shop as a .pdf downloadable file. (affiliate link)

pattern review: PAB boardwalk henley

Sizes available:  The Henley comes in a whole wide range of sizes from 3 months to 12 years.  

pattern review: PAB boardwalk henley

Special materials required:  The pattern calls for knit fabric but I have made versions with a woven for the hood.  The button placket makes a stretchy neckline unnecessary so you are safe to use a woven at that part.  Which brings me to the other special material ... buttons/snaps; you will need two.
pattern review: PAB boardwalk henley

Skill level required:  This pattern is super easy and if you are a beginner sewer, please feel free to take this project on.  If you have never sewn a button, I think this is a great project to start.  I highly recommend that you do not skip interfacing the placket in order to keep it stable when sewing the button holes.
pattern review: PAB boardwalk henley

How you came to choose the pattern: My church was having a Christmas Eve service where the children were invited to dress as their favorite nativity character.  My 3 year old was an angel, the 6 year old a shepherd, and the 11 year old (she just had a birthday) a sheep.  I was surprised that she decided to dress up at all, but she still thinks of herself as a little kid and has told me she is not ready to grow up just yet.  

So, I decided to make something that can easily be converted to a useful piece for her wardrobe.  Not ready for a new purchase I decided on this top and of course, white fleece is the perfect thing to be a sheep.  I made some ears and a tail to pin on just for the night.

using everyday clothes for a fun and easy costume

Did you deviate from the pattern?  Yes I did.  I used fleece which if you are at all familiar fabric, has no stretch.  I counted on my daughter being much thinner than the average 12 year old to buy me some wearing ease that would compensate for the lack of stretch in my fabric choice.  I also lined the hood with a satin fabric to keep the static from messing her hair.

pattern review: PAB boardwalk henley

Good:  The pattern is designed with elements for many ages and both boys and girls.  You can add a hood or have a simple henley neckline.  I have not yet tried the gathered front or dress version, but they may be coming in the spring and if it does... I will share the results.

Bad:  I don't have any complaints.  It was a nice easy sew with great details.

Ugly:  Nothing.

Overall pattern rating:  5 out of 5 bolts

pattern review: PAB boardwalk henley

affiliate link