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!)

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Kleefeld Honey Festival

When I think of it, I like to pop into local thrifts stores.

Heck – sometimes I make a day of it!

I’m pretty sure we called it an MCC marathon last time when my friend and I hit up the three MCC stores that are within a 20minute radius of my house.

A couple months ago when I was there I found an adult size small volunteer shirt for the Kleefeld Honey Festival (our towns annual summer festival).

Right away my head starting spinning on how I could make it toddler sized for my son to wear this summer!

I let the shirt sit in my “upcycle” heap for a few weeks before I dove in.

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Since there were some stains on the shirt I couldn’t get a full panel out of it so the Roller Coaster Tee from Duck Butt Designs was perfect for the color blocking. (Can you tell that I LOVE this pattern?!) And in the end I still had to cover a few stains with some “patches”.

The black fabric was also from an upcycled t-shirt bought on the same MCC trip. I haven’t figured out how I want to use that panel yet – so stay tuned!

Since Kleefeld is the Land of Milk and Honey, it was only fitting to used some gorgeous milk bottle cotton that I recently picked up…… somewhere online! (I blame mommy brain) And added a cute little milk bottle applique on the back! The Cream knit and Wink Orange fabric were both from the Fabric Snob when they were having their boxing day sales.

I am so over the moon thrilled with how this shirt came out!

It is totally what I had envisioned in my head!

It is a 2T size, so it will definitely fit Little Mister A this summer, and maybe even next summer if I am lucky!

I will be sure to get some pictures on him at the festival this summer and do another post but I just couldn’t wait to share this cuteness!!

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P.S. Adding the cotton to the front panel of the RCT was a breeze! It definitely works better than using the cotton for the top/back panel like I did a few weeks ago!

Maggie’s Stay On Booties by BeautifulPieShop

TheBritishFarmer works every other weekend.

Last weekend was his weekend off.

Usually, this means I have a bit of extra time to catch up on a few things around the house and work on some projects while he gets in some one-on-one time with Little Mister A.

At the top of my list was MAKE.FIVE.PAIRS.OF.BOOTIES!

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Five pairs of Maggie’s Stay On Booties

In preparation for the weekend I even went so far as to sort, collect, and cut out all the fabric I would need – thinking it then would be a quick sew.

Well one thing led to another, and to top I off I felt down right miserable for most of the weekend…. So my weekend project turned into the WEEK.LONG.NEVER.ENDING.TASK! (At least it felt that way, guess it is only the middle of the week)

I am happy to announce the at 9pm on Wednesday night I FINALLY put in my last elastic and tied a knot!

One pair is bound for a baby shower gift this coming weekend.

Two pairs are for my nephews (one for each for their first birthdays).

And the last two are for Little Mister A who is quickly outgrowing his 12-18m sized ones (he is only 14m!).

I used an old pair of jeans and upcycled the denim to see how they would look. Gosh darn it they turned out cuter than I expected! With just a little pop of color inside with the flannel lining! Next time I think I will try the toe in a colored print…..

Each time I make a pair of these I fall a little more in love with just how CUTE they are! Seeing as how Little Mister A is now wearing the last size in the baby booties I suppose I am going to have to cave and buy the kids sizes too!

Roller Coast Tee by Duck Butt Designs

I got this fantastic farm fabric from the Fabric Snob on sale last week!

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Problem: its cotton woven and I wanted to use it for a shirt….

In the past I had asked around and a few people had reassured me that can CAN use a woven fabric for the FRONT.AND.BACK. of a raglan shirt.

Perfect! I thought.

So I grabbed my copy of the RCT (I love me some color blocking!) and grabbed some matching solid knits. The royal blue is also from the Fabric Snob, the green and brown are upcycled from old shirts, and the grey is some left over cotton from another project.

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The shirt more of less came together quickly, and just as easily as when I had used all knit, until…….

I was practically done. All that was left was to add the neck band.

Nope. That head hole would NEVER be big enough….

So why not try to add a packet with snaps?” I thought.

I found this tutorial here and figured I had nothing to loose. How hard could it be?

HARD!

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If you don’t look on the inside…. it turned out alright. I definitely need some more practice with packets (this was my second attempt at one ever).

When Little Mister A woke up from his nap I slipped it on his for a few quick model shots! I think it works but next time I think I will just save the woven cotton for the pocket panel that doesn’t require much stretch!!

No-fuss Grocery Bag

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag Tutorial by BritishFarmWifeInTraining

Plastic bags have a place in my house.

I have a bag holder FULL. OF. THEM.

They make great garbage bags, throw away lunch bags, etc. But I hate using them in the grocery store. They can hold enough and always feel like they shall break.

Enters stage left: reusable bags!

A few years ago I bought three for $2 a piece. Since then, they have been put through the wringer and only one survives to tell the tale… I have tried buying others, but have never found any that compare to those first three.

Enters stage right: my sewing machine!

When I got my sewing machine, 2 years ago, I bought some trial and error fabric at the MCC thrift store (still my favorite place to buy fabric). Some of it felt like my shopping bags! (A woven, polyester of sorts)

Enter center stage: an idea to make my own shopping bags!

Those bags are still going strong after two years. Now I was asked to make a few more as a gift! Of course, I couldn’t find my self drafted pattern anywhere so it was back to the drawing board.

Just remember, this is a no fuss pattern.

Its a bag.

Your groceries go into it.

Your parcels aren’t going to complain if you alter the size, shape, or choose not to finish your seams!

(I won’t tell anyone either!)

Here is the new pattern I came up with: (sorry no PDF – yet)

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No- Fuss Grocery Bag Pattern

Grab a piece of parchment paper, news paper, or something else of the like. Draw a rectangle 10(width)x15(height)”. Add another rectangle to the top, 10×2″. From the top of the first rectangle, make a mark 2″ in and 10″ height. Draw a curve up. (Mark this side of the pattern to be cut on a fold). At the top of the curve, draw a straight line 2.5″ across. Then create another curve down to the top of the second rectangle that was drawn (it is nice to “flatten” the curve out for the last 3″ so it is touching the second rectangle top).

Materials:

  • Pattern
  • Approx 1 yard fabric (Polyester is what I use, but any woven should be suitable)
  • Typical sewing supplies (machine, thread, scissors, etc)
  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance (or so)
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The photo-bombing toddler

To assemble:

One color – Cut out two pieces of the pattern on the fold

Two colors (color blocked) – Cut the pattern in half an inch or two below the handle. Cut out two rectangles on the fold (for the bottom), cut out two of the top in a contrasting color/pattern on the fold.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

If color blocking…. Take one top and one bottom piece. Match up with the right sides of the fabric together. Stitch together. Repeat with other two pieces. Finish seams with a zigzag stitch or serger. Fold seam up and top stitch in place (optional).

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Match both pieces of the bag, right sides together. Start on one side of the rectangle (under the curve) and stitch along the side, bottom, and up the other side. Finished seams with a zigzag stitch or serger.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Match up tops of handles. Stitch across the top of each handle. Finish seams with zigzag stitch or serger.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Now, (if you aren’t lazy like me) you can use bias tape to finish off the handles/tops of the bags. Or, (if you ARE lazy like me) you can create a rolled hem around the edge as you go and stitch into place.

(Optional) Mark 3″ in on each side of the bottom of the bag. Folder each corner inwards the 3″. Stitch into place. (This makes the sides on the bag fold inward)

Lastly, the BEST thing about these bags is that they fold up teeny tiny to fit into your purse. So to make the bag holder…. (I have not perfected this part so if someone can think of a better way to sew it please let me know!)

Cut a piece of fabric 13″x6″. Finish the seams (zigzag stitch, serge, rolled hem, sheer, or just leave them be!).

Mark the center of the length on both side. Fold the top down 0.5″ past the center mark and pin in place (wrong side of fabric facing out). Fold the bottom up 0.5″ past the center mark and pin in place. (The fabrics will over lap). Stitch down both sides to create a pocket.

With pocket still folded with fabric wrong side out, stitch pocket to the inside of the bags top seam.

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No-Fuss Reusable Grocery Bag

Then fold it all up and you are done!

Fat Quarter Skirt by Thread Riding Hood

Shortly after I started sewing I stumbled upon the blog Thread Riding Hood. I’m 99% sure it was because I was looking for online Canadian fabric stores (remember this from the last post?!).

Since then, it has been a blog I visit and visit and revisit again! So last week when I saw her put out a call for pattern testers for her new Fat Quarter Skirt, well I just had to apply!

Now I never thought I would be chosen (since no one in the sewing world knows me from any other door knob). But I really had nothing to loose!

To my shock. Surprise. And horror (just kidding!). I got the GREEN TICKET email with a copy of the coveted Fat Quarter Skirt pattern.

Problem is…. I only have a son…. and I don’t think theBritishFarmer would be too happy if I started putting Little Mister A in skirts even if it was JUST. TO. TRY. IT. ON.

Solution! I have a beautiful niece that is the perfect age to be my tester (insert snicker here).

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Fat Quarter Skirt pattern by Thread Riding Hood
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Fat Quarter Skirt pattern by Thread Riding Hood

Now, lets go through why this is such an awesome pattern:

  • It uses TWO fat quarters (which is great if you are like me and initially you build your fabric stash with cotton)
  • It is for KIDS size (not babies as most fat quarter patterns are)
  • There are no paper pieces to print off
  • The PDF pattern is colorful, interactive, and just fun to look at
  • It is beginner level (so everyone can make one (or hundreds)!)
  • It sews up within one nap time (always a bonus in my books!)

And doesn’t it look cute on?! Its a bit chilly here right now so we opted to throw on some tights underneath.

It is also TWIRL-TASTIC!! (Niece S approves!!)

The pink heart fat quarter I picked up spur of the moment a while ago at Walmart (with my nieces in mind) and the light pink cotton linen…….. I’m thinking I must have picked it up at Artjunktion and I cut it into a fat quarter before starting on the skirt.

Now… I’m not EXACTLY sure when this pattern is getting released…. But it is soon! So keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Off I go to sew a few more up — I’m seeing birthday presents dancing in my head!

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Coming up…. Fat Quarter Skirt new fabric combo!