Sew-Mojo

Sorry for the absence of posts lately.

On both Instagram and the blog.

You see….

I’d lost my sew-mojo.

Something that hadn’t happened to me since I started sewing about 2 years ago.

Granted, I have a really good excuse!

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Expecting a new member of our family to arrive on Dec 30, 2017!!

Striped Bamboo Jersey and Black Cotton Lycra from Kiss My Stash Fabric Co

I don’t tend to get sick when I am pregnant. But I do get very, very tired and loose all motivation to do ANYTHING!

And in the case of sewing, it almost became like my morning sickness!

The thought of sitting by my machine in the precious time I could be resting (when Little Mister A was napping or after he was in bed), just made me nauseated.

Because of that, I haven’t been taking on any new pattern testing and had only been doing obligation sewing (strike offs).

I am very happy to say that as I am rounding the 3month mark I am slowly getting my sew-mojo back and starting to love sewing again!

The very first clothing I ever made for Little Mister A was this sleeping gown (also first time I sewed with knit fabric).

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It only seemed fitting that this be the first thing I also sew for our precious new bundle!

Funny thing is, even though I am way more experienced sewing with knits now, I am not sure this version turned out any better than my first one did! Ha ha!

The only real question left is….

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Floral Double Brushed Poly from Blended Threads and Royal Antler French Terry from Northern Rose Fabrics (on preorder now until July 3).

Mommy and Me Set

I will go against the grain and say – boys are NOT hard to sew for!

While I would love to sew some frilly pink dresses, I really enjoy sewing for and dressing my boy!

The only thing I find harder, is finding prints that I can make Mommy and Me sets from!

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This neutral Black and White Plaid from Barncat Knit Fabrics was the perfect print for my first attempt at a set!

I used the free Slim Dolman top from Halla Patterns for my shirt (first time sewing it up).

And I used the free Ringer Tee from Brindille & Twig for Little Mister A’s shirt.

To be honest, I picked these patterns largely in part because I already had them cut and assembled in the correct sizes and wanted to cheat that step.

I think they look pretty cute as a set together though!

The fabric is a polyester spandex blend with 4 way stretch. It is niiiiiice and smooth! But was super easy to line up and cut straight – the fabric didn’t shift around on itself!

Haven’t never sewn with fabric quite like this before so my sewing machine and I fought a little bit to get the right flow, but we settled on a short, narrow zigzag stitch and successfully sewed both shirts with relative ease! (And a 1/4″ seam allowance on both to boot!)

If you haven’t heard of Barncat Knit Fabrics before you should go check them out! It is an America group but she was able to ship to me for an okay price AND I wasn’t charged duty when it arrived! (Might just be coincidence) Also, it came way faster than I expected seeing as it had to make it through customs!

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Ladies Bubble Shorts by Mummykins and Me

Phew!

I feel like this has been a very busy blogging week!

It just so happens that two patterns I had tested a few weeks ago were released a day apart on top of other projects that I have more currently be working on!

And now yesterday’s release was the Ladies Bubble Shorts by Mummykins and Me! (affiliate link)

This was to match their Unisex Bubble Shorts pattern that has already been a hit for the last little while.

And what is a bundle without a doll pattern?!

So now you can get all three!

Personally, I hate shorts on myself. But I loved the last Mummykins and Me pattern so much that I had to give these ones a shot and boy am I glad that I did!

The shorts come with three different length options, a binding or cuff option, and bubble or straight leg.

I made a size 3XL with the shortest length, binding, straight leg. I LOVE this length!

Now please forgive the pictures… the only time we had to do them was when Little Mister A was just down right sick and miserable!!!

Despite that, I hope you can tell how awesome these shorts are. I can’t wait to make a few more pairs!

I think I will actually pull the fast, crappy stitches out of my muslin and sew them up proper with a lining because the bad sheet I used actually sewed up really cute! (Not cute enough to show you though, they are see through without a lining in them!)

All the fabric and notions used for my shorts were from my local thrift shop!

I love being able to upcycle, re-purpose, and reuse things that might other wise end up in a landfill somewhere!

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Be sure to check out some other BLOG-SPIRATION of the other lovely testers:

Hooded Tanktop Hack

When I finally received my beautiful CARS fabric from Northern Rose Fabrics (Canadian) in the mail I knew that it had to become a hooded tanktop for my son.

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I even had the perfect matching red stashed away to upcycle for it! (Originally was a cardigan of my moms – this is one way I keep my fabrics costs low)

I didn’t have any off the rack patterns that would fit the bill so I decided to hack the Brindille and Twig free Raglan Hoodie pattern (since I LOVE the hood on it!).

In retrospect, I should have sized down cause while the cotton/lycra is a DREAM to sew with, it is a lot thinner than the sweater material I used last time – duh! Silly mistake on my part!

Seeing as I had never attempted a hack like this I didn’t properly cut the sleeves….

So… happy mistake?

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I could cut a bit more off the sleeves to make it into a true tanktop but the conscious I am getting from people is that it is cute as is (and since I’m lazy I’ll probably just leave it!).

And now that we are coming into some warmer weather, I also had enough fabric left over to try a pair of the harem shorts from Made by Jack’s Mum.

They really look adorable on Little Mister A! (But the British Farm thought they were pants and kept trying to pull the legs down…)

Either way he is bound to get a few more pairs at least!

This CARS fabric and a host of others are available now on preorder at Northern Rose Fabrics until May 21!

Every order this round is also entered into a contest to win 5 free fat halves of this rounds prints!

I love being able to support national, Canadian fabric companies!

Wild Things Hottie Covers by Twig & Tale

I am forever in awe of the Twig & Tale patterns and their ability to turn me back into an adventurous child.

While I have yet to purchase their Traveller Cape pattern, I have been eying it up for quite some time.

Part of me is waiting till I find the perfect fabric to make it with, the other part of me is hoping I can get it on sale (I know, I’m such a mennonite!).

(**EDIT** Since writing this post back while testing the Hottie Cover pattern I HAVE purchased the Traveller Cape pattern and I even found the perfect fabric for it!)

In the mean time, I drool over their patterns and imagine Little Mister A wearing all things Twig & Tale and going on grand adventures through the fields at the farm.

(Side note: he IS fully 100% walking on his own so this adventurous state is about to become the new reality!)

One day, while I was drooling over patterns, I came across a tester call! (Clearly my favorite thing to do these days is to test patterns)

And in enters my latest love affair – the Hottie covers!

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Aren’t they just to DIE.FOR?!

So far I have only made the fox (not due to desire to make more, just my project list is too long at the moment)…. But I have seen dozens of other cute covers made by my fellow testers!

The possibilities are just endless!

And they are the perfect size to use upcycled fabric! (All fabric (minus the red) used was thrift store finds)

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It is a shame so few people (in Canada) still use hot water bottles.

Who am I going to make all the cute covers for?!?!

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Now, if you are wondering why I had to keep this CUTE pattern hush hush from back when there was still snow on the ground it is because three versions – the Panda, Kitty, and Owl – were featured in One Thimble Issue 14 (affiliate link). You can also find the individual pattern here (affiliate link).

On the Twig & Tale website, you will be able to purchase ALL of the animal Hottie Cover options together – Kitty, Fox, Bear, Owl, Panda, Fawn and Raccoon! If you already purchased from One Thimble you will be able to get the other 4 animals at a discounted price (just contact the T&T admin with a copy of your receipt)!

Dax Trousers by Gracious Threads

I am so excited to share this pattern with all of you! It was a huge accomplishment for me and the wait for it to be released has been KILLING.ME!

Now… look out!!

Here comes another pattern I just finished testing!

(Can you tell that this has become a new hobby of mine?)

If anyone is wondering HOW to become a pattern tester, this is what I did: join every sewing group on Facebook that you can possibly think of (this is also a massive ENABLER cause it makes you want to buy ALL.THE.PATTERNS)! Over time, I started seeing designers putting out testing calls. One by one, I started applying, and over the short span of a few months I have already tested for: Thread Riding Hood, Blank Slate Patterns, Twig & Tale, Goober Pea Pattern Designs and now Gracious Threads!

The compensation for testing is always slightly different but at the very least you get a free pattern out of the deal! So if you are looking for a way unique way to build your pattern collection this could be it!

You also get to  meet some awesome, helpful designers along the way!

Testing patterns has really started to stretch my abilities.

Prior to this pattern I would have considered myself an adventurous intermediate, but while I tackled this pattern I sure felt like a beginner!

This pattern is not for the faint of heart, beginner seamstress (unless you are like me who likes to pick a pattern and dive in head first – throw caution to the wind!). It is actually labeled as an intermediate/advanced pattern which I would agree with!

New skills that I had to attempt for this pattern:

  • Sewing pockets
  • Sewing welt pockets
  • Adding a zipper fly

If you have never added a zipper fly before, there is a great tutorial here at Liana Jeans Sew Along. (I only messed mine up once, I was very proud!)

The welt pockets on the other hand… lets just say I should have practiced them a few times before sewing them on my pants. Please don’t look at them too closely! (Everyone has to start somewhere, right?!)

Oh but my pockets turned out great! I think next time it would be fun to make the back piece of the pocket in a contrasting color for a nice little POP!

Over all I am extremely happy with how my pants turned out and OH.SO.PROUD that I was able to pull them off!

I will definitely be making more in the future and add the cuff option to make them easily folded up! The good news is Little Mister A just fits into the smallest size of this patterns (size 2) so I can continue to make it for years to come (up to size 12!).

And I always love have a couple good WOVEN patterns to use!

Thinking about the next pair in a cute quilting cotton cause…. why not?!?!

Fun fact about these pants: after the testing period was over we found out the pattern was being showcased in the One Thimble Magazine! (affiliate link) Head on over to get your copy of the magazine or just the individual pattern!! Available starting on May 12!

Side note: they DO fit over Little Mister A’s cloth diapers, but the rise it a little low because of all the junk in his trunk (a very common problem for him and pants). They would fit better over disposables (which we rarely use) but as long as I put him in a onesie the low rise at the back isn’t an issue!

(The first original round of pictures was taken way back when it was snowy out. Now that it is finally spring we were able to get a couple action shots outside too!)

P.S. All the fabric for these pants was purchased from my local thrift shop! I even got the zipper for a whopping $0.10!!

A good upcycle just makes my heart sing! (And my wallet!)

Epic Fails

Have you ever had an epic fail?

Well I’ve been having a boat load of them this past week!

If anyone of you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my post the other day for Day 1& 2 of my sew-a-long for the Tami Revolution Hoodie by New Horizons Designs.

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The sew-a-long was being hosted by Kiss My Stash, and as an admin, I felt obligated to join along!

Who doesn’t love a good hoodie, though?

And after Kristen mentioned it had a nursing hack I was completely sold!

I was doing good for the first two days getting my pattern together and the fabric cut out.

But then life happened and I fell a few days behind….

On Saturday, I finally had the time to focus on figuring the nursing hack out so I pulled out my fabric pieces.

I was at a loss for words!

I wouldn’t figure out what was what!

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I think these two are SUPPOSED to be sleeves.

And if anyone has any idea of how the heck this happened please let me know cause all I can do it cry looking at that pretty fabric that I just wrecked.

I don’t have enough fabric to re-cut the sleeves and the fabric came from my USA trip back in February, so I can’t just pop to the shop and get more.

Sigh.

I think I will be bowing out of the sew-a-long and revisiting the project later.

…..

But now it is Sunday night and I have a few hours to try sewing again.

So I pulled out a pattern I am testing for Goober Pea Designs and for the life of me I can’t get the hood to fit the pattern.

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I’ve tried like 5 times!

I have completely written this weekend off as an epic fail.

Who wants to pass me a glass of wine?!

(Crappy epic fails didn’t deserve good photography so just excuse the badly lite snap shots! You get the idea!)

Carefree Dress by Halla

Were you one of those people that was hitting the refresh button every 10minutes all day until this pattern (Carefree Dress) was released?!?!

I was!

Despite that fact, it took me until the week before Easter to finally get around to sewing it!

Funny how projects pile up, and how priorities get shuffled!

This dress was actually supposed to be finished earlier in the week but I hit a snag on attaching the top to the waist band and had to stitch rip the whole thing.

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I have to say, my favorite thing about the Halla patterns that have been coming out lately is that they are nursing friendly!

As soon as I say that I made a nursing friendly dress everyone asks if I am expecting again.

The answer is “No”.

BUT, we are planning to have more kids, and with Little Mister A it drove me crazy how inconvenient both pregnancy and nursing was in half of my wardrobe.

With that in mind I am trying to only sew things that will last me through at least two out of the three coming seasons of my life (over the next five years ish): normal size, maternity, and nursing!

This Carefree dress works all three seasons!

Therefore it is a HUGE success in my books!

I have received so many compliments about it today (and my sister in law was jumping on me to make her one the instant I showed her it was nursing friendly)!

Originally I wasn’t a huge fan of the skirt being grey (I knew I wanted the floral top) but I couldn’t think of what color to use, and this is what I had on hand.

Over all, I’m so happy with it and really liking the color combination!!!

Next up I might just make the skirt for myself and try to mix and match it with some of the Stardust Tanktops!

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P.S.  I forgot to add that it also has POCKETS!!

Campbell Jacket by Goober Pea Designs

Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods!

Or at least it is trying to.

The grass still isn’t green…

The day I got accepted to test the Campbell Jacket pattern for Goober Pea Designs was the same day that my grandmother handed me a bag of cloth from the local MCC thrift store.

Bless her!

Now that my grandparents live in a condo, right around the corner from the thrift shop, every few weeks I get a bag of fabric from her.

I love it!

The thrift store is one of my FAVORITE places to find fabric and cloth items to upcycle!

Back to my story….

In this particular bag, right on top, sat this FANTASTIC umbrella print!

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Immediately, I knew it was becoming my Campbell Jacket!

The cotton was a very, very thin weave, so it needed something warmer on the inside.

My options were a nice off white flannel, or this blue argyle flannel. Since the jacket is fully reversible I didn’t really want Little Mister A to have a WHITE jacket….

Cause lets be honest, it wouldn’t STAY white!

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Argyle for the win!

While the two don’t go together perfectly, I hope you don’t think they clash. I think they turned out cute together.

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(All this make me think of is ‘it’s a rainy day in London town’)

If I can whip something up in an afternoon and the British Farmer likes it then I know I am on the right track (he is my biggest critic!).

The British Farm told me that at first the thought it was a jacket we had been given or bought, then realized I must have made it when he recognized the flannel!

Little Mister A is styling a 3T (due to the girth of his tummy). I actually like the additional length of the body on him, and although the sleeves are long, he will grow into it and I think they are cute rolled up!

The longest part of this pattern was cutting and assembling it!

Am I the only one who feels like they are back in elementary school when they are assembling patterns?!

Unlike the last jacket I sewed, there were very few pieces doing the basic version. It was fast to trace the pattern and cut out the fabric.

In general, the pattern sewed up like a breeze and the only hiccup I had was when I tried to continue on without reading the steps and sewed the reversible sleeves together wrong! In total, it took me an hour and 45min (would have been an hour and a half had I not needed to stitch rip).

This is a nice basic pattern with plenty of different options from zippers to snaps to velcro to trim! You can totally customize it! (Personally I just love snaps, it makes everything so easily reversible!)

I can see myself sewing up a bunch of these for nice, light summer jackets at the lake!

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Color Blocked Laundry Day Tee by Love Notions

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This shirt is full of firsts….

First time working with double brushed poly (I’ve been scared to cut into the pretty fabric).

First time color blocking (not in pattern).

First time going rouge on a pattern (the color blocking).

And second time sewing up a LDT.

Over all I think I am fairly happy with it. The stripes made me want to drink a bottle of wine… and even in the end they are wonky on the front of the shirt at the top (but the sides match!).

Note to self, next time sewing small stripes, DO.NOT.CUT.ON.FOLD! Take the time to trace out a proper whole shirt. Cutting on the fold and trying to get the stripes to line up… forget it! I wish I had thought of this before I cut – Inset crying face here!

I am debating adding a black breast pocket on the right hand side to cover up some of the wonkiness…. But I am going to wait till my black jersey arrives from Midnight Mountain Fabrics. (Should be here any day now!)

And personally I think I should have stopped the color blocking a little higher so that it didn’t cut across my boob so much. But you live and learn!!!

It is a totally wearable, comfortable shirt, which will get a lot of use now coming into spring and summer!