Friday, September 19, 2014

the Marc Shirt - a pattern test

Those of you who are familiar with the pattern designer Filles a Maman may be scratching your heads right now - "Didn't the Marc Shirt pattern release months ago?" Well, yes, but somehow I never blogged about my pattern test. That surprises me though, because it was swoon at first sight with this handsome guy... the pattern that is. Of course I think the model is handsome too, but being his mom may make me a little bias ;)

Obviously this post is loooong overdue! So let me tell you about the Marc Shirt now.

As you can see the pattern features this great asymmetrical collar and button placket. It was what first caught my attention with this design. I love it! These simple and unique features are a trademark for patterns by Filles a Maman. And yes, I said simple. There is no reason to be scared of collars and plackets. The way this one attaches along the shoulder line makes it much easier to install than the traditional designs.

The pattern uses both knits and woven. The collar and shoulder accents are both from woven fabric. I took the opportunity to use more of this yummy gray chambray. Then I paired it with a super cool lightning bolt cotton jersey fabric. 

(Let me throw in this disclaimer here - I could not get him to change those shorts for these pictures. I even tried bribery. Ugh!)

The facings across the bottom hem and inside of the collar can be made with woven or knit fabric. I used the gray chambray in mine, but when I make this shirt again I will probably use knits. I know knits like to slide around more but I think it would flex with his body more too. As you can see across the back, along the bottom of the collar facing, the knit is flexing but the facing isn't. No big deal, but it might be prevented.

 Another awesome thing about this pattern is the size range. It goes from 12 months all the way up to a 14. And the keen eye may have noticed that the picture above is a different model. My boys are only 18 months apart in age and their sizes overlap a little. They are getting so big though that many indie patterns aren't made big enough for them anymore. So I get really excited when I see a pattern that goes to a 14!

My younger son was a little ambivalent about this shirt when he first saw it. But after wearing it I think it is safe to say he loves it as much as I do.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flip this Pattern - September Showcase: Jack & Jill Color Block Shirt + a super GIVEAWAY

I have always loved the Flip this Pattern series. Some of my earliest blog posts were sew-alongs for this series. So, naturally, I am quite excited to have been invited to be part of the September Showcase.
 This month is all about featuring patterns from new designers who have 5 or less patterns released. Yep, that's me! But this post isn't about me. Instead, I had the chance to join in and sew up a pattern from another designer. I chose the Jack & Jill Color Block Shirt from Peaches and Peanuts - created by the blogger Shannon from Little Kids Grow. I have always admired Shannon's sewing creations. And the Jack & Jill pattern comes with lots of different options. I never sew enough for my boys either. All these factors made the Jack & Jill pattern an easy choice for me.

The Jack & Jill Color Block Shirt was created to be worn over another shirt. So my first thought was that it could easily be modified into a jacket. But, though the mornings are getting chilly, the afternoons are still quite warm. With that in mind, I decided to make a vest instead. But not just any vest; this one is REVERSIBLE!

One side is made with a navy colored cotton twill fabric. It has the front patch pocket with flap that comes with the pattern, but the length of the pocket was adjusted. I also added in-seam pockets.

Both sides were made with a back yoke that extends just over the shoulder. The twill side I kept simple - all pieces were made with the same fabric.  I color blocked the yoke on the opposite side with a modern plaid-like print.

The other side of the vest is made with cotton shirting fabric that I quilted to a layer of bamboo/cotton batting. The vest is still pretty thin, but oh, so warm :)  The upper pockets on this side are welt pockets (so I wouldn't cover up all that beautiful stitching I did) with flaps. And, of course, in-seam pockets on this side too. A boy could hide all kinds of goodies in this vest. Hahaha!

Alright tough guy; I was just joking. Hehe!

With all the different options this pattern offers, I think it makes a good starting to point lots of different kinds of shirts and/or jackets. In fact, I already have a girl version all modified... I just have to sew it up. You may see it make an appearance soon.

 This vest idea just came up last minute before I started working on this pattern. And I am so happy it did. I really love the layered look. And even better, you get two different layered looks. The twill side is simple, clean, modern looking while the quilted side is outdoorsy. (Yes, that is totally a word. You know what I mean.)

Snaps make the perfect closure for this vest because they can easily be used from either side. Plus, I just love the brushed metal finish of the snaps.

I had SO MUCH fun "flipping" this pattern. Thank you so much Ashley and Emily for inviting me!

Later this month, you will see the Fawn Lily make its appearance. Some of my favorite peeps are sewing it up! I can't wait to see what they make. And, in celebration, the Fawn Lily is on sale for 20% off through Sept. 20th - use coupon code SHOWCASE20

But that isn't all the goodness...
Readers, head over to Frances Suzanne to link up ANY pattern from a designer with 5 or less patterns released. That's right, testers, blog tour participants, loyal sewists, you can link up any of your Fawn Lily or other creations from a new designer.

Don't forget to take advantage of all the discounts being offered:

Sewpony Vintage: 20% off all patterns {SHOWCASE20}
Jennuine Design: 20% off all patterns {SHOWCASE}
Sew Like My Mom: 25% off all patterns {SHOWCASE}
Peaches and Peanuts: 25% off all patterns {SHOWCASE}
Shaffer Sisters: 25% off all patterns {SHOWCASE}
LouBeeClothing: 20% off all patterns {SHOWCASE20}
Rock the Stitch: 20% off Fawn Lily Dress {SHOWCASE20}
imagine gnats: 20% off all retail patterns {SHOWCASE}
Sewlosophy: 15% off all patterns {SHOWCASE}
Mouse House Creations: 20% off all patterns {SHOWCASE20}
SewVery: 20% off all patterns {SHOWCASE}

And ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! I am pitching in a copy of the Fawn Lily, but, just in case the winner already owns it, they can receive a copy of my next pattern instead. Woot!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sewing for Kindergarten 2014

It is time for Sewing Like Mad's return of the series SEWING for KINDERGARTEN. Aw, yeah!

Back to school is more than just an event that marks the end of summer, for many of us it is the bittersweet event that means our babies are growing up. And for me, this is the year that my baby girl starts kindergarten. Looking at her here you'd never know, right? In so many ways she seems so much older, but still it is hard for me to believe she is so big now.

A fun little way we are all sharing about our experience this year is to answer a little questionnaire. 

Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten?
- Nope.
If not, what number child is this?
- Number 3... and the last. Gasp!

Do you feel like crying or celebrating?
- BOTH!!! On one hand it is a bit of relief, and, perhaps, selfishly, it might mean more time for me to sew ;) But on the other it is quite sad to realize my baby girl is not a baby anymore.
And what about your child? 
- She is so excited! In our school the kindergarteners start a week after the rest of the students. Her brothers eagerly made a lunch for themselves last night, picked out their outfits, etc. Well, Keilana was not going to miss out on all the excitement, she made a lunch for herself too (with a little help, of course). It was so cute!

What type of school (public, private, homeschool) will your child attend?
- My kids attend a nice public school just a few blocks from our house. Lots of families are very active in our school. It is a relief knowing they are in good hands.

What was your own first day of school like (if you remember ;-)?
- I don't remember my first day of school. I just remember being much like Keilana: eager and excited.

Back to school really snuck up on me. In the mad rush to prepare all these thought were swarming through my head (I imagine Keilana acting out the dialog in these pictures) - "Hmmm? What to wear?... What to MAKE!?... Aha! I know! Let me write this down..." 
LOL. In reality, her thoughts in these pictures probably went more like - "What should I draw?... how about some a picture of mama, and a flowers, and HEARTS!"
Then she discovered that the sleeve tab doubles a pen holder.

 Always so curious, that girl. And silly!

Back to school also tends to be a transitional time of year for the weather here in Oregon. We have cool, brisk mornings and warm, sunny afternoons. So when deciding what to make for Keilana I thought transitional clothes would be most appropriate. A trendy pair of crops and comfy tee... both of which the patterns I designed myself :)

This tee has a wrap around style with a center triangular shape. It also has a sweet, slightly gathered shoulder, sleeve tabs to raise the center of the sleeve up, and a little front pocket. It is made from a super soft bamboo/cotton thermal knit. Though it is hard to see, the triangular piece in the front was sewn on using the reverse side of the fabric to add a subtle texture play.

I think I might just have my next pattern to release here ;)

And then there's the crops. They are skinny leg style, with a back yoke, front slash pockets, and a folded hem. When Keilana saw this material in the fabric store she exclaimed, "Oooooh, I love SO much!". My reply was, " Really??...", as I put it back on the shelf. But before making my way to the cutting counter I picked it up again. Why not, right? It is fun! You only live once.

 For the second outfit I sewed up an Ash Jumpsuit. This one was long overdue. I have been drooling over all the awesome Ashes for months now.

 Of course I made a few modifications. Not that it needed any... I just can't help myself sometimes. I am a pattern hack junkie. First I adjusted the length of the pants to make capris. Then I adjusted the halter to work without gathers. And lastly, I made the halter, waistband, and leg cuffs with knit spandex fabric. The woven fabric print was another of Keilana's picks. Though I wasn't sure how I'd like it for this pattern at first, all said and done I really love it. The knit pieces gives a nice contrast and helps break up the bold print. 

An unplanned bonus - it looks great with the Aster Cardigan I made a few months back (blogged about here). Perfect for those chilly mornings. Woot!

Then I catch this shot of my baby girl, sitting there all pensive and seeming so grown up. :'(

But then she turns around... with that gummy bear in her teeth.

For a moment I am not sure if I should laugh or cry tears of joy - she may be growing up, but she is still just my sweet, silly little girl! 

Thank you so much for letting me sew along on this series Mie! And, um, sorry if I "talked your ear off". I am still just blown away at how fast our little ones grow up!

Also, you all MUST stop by the other blogs on the tour and see what everyone else is making for their kindergarteners. It is just a series full of kindergarten cuties!!!