Today I’m over at Project Run & Play sharing photos, stories, and organization tips of my sewing space! This is my happy place, and I’d love for you to visit!
As we’ve done for several years, we thought we’d give a state of the blog summary for 2016. This year had some highs and a few lows. By a rough count, we sewed at least 44 skirts this year! And we sewed 14 Oliver + S patterns. Craftsy has changed the way they report information, but we know that many, many, many of our free skirt patterns were downloaded. This includes both the Dollhouse Skirt and The Pegasus Skirt.
One thing we got burnt out on this year was all the series we had going on! At 1 point we were trying to keep up with at least 9 different series mostly relating to skirts. So we’ve reassessed and some are going away completely, some will be semi-occasional instead of monthly, and we’ve also got a few new ideas up our sleeves.
Instagram is our social media outlet of choice, and you can see our top 9 Instagram posts of the year here. Follow us on Instagram here.
Each of us have evaluated our goals and sewing endeavors from 2016 and have a little summary for you.
It turned out that 2016 was all about trying new things! To start the year, I stated 2 goals which were both new and terrifying to me! The first was to meet at least 3 sewing bloggers in person, and I made that goal by meeting 4 terrific ladies through the year! My 2nd goal was to sew something for Mr. Skirt Fixation, and although not one of them has been blogged, I sewed 12 garments for him!
Another new thing for me was attempting (and succeeding at 50%!) sewing jeans for my boys.
In 2016 I dabbled in fabric design which was fun, but didn’t hold my interest for long, unfortunately. I may revisit it sometime.
The kind of design that really lit me up I found out is pattern design! And I’m really excited to have launched my 1st pattern (a skirt, of course) and set up the Savvy Patterns shop to go with it.
A highlight of the year was participating in Project Sew It and sewing up something for each of my 8 nieces and nephews for their birthdays.
I really love my work as a Virtual Assistant for Project Run & Play. It is so inspiring to be part of a very active sewing community.
Looking back over my goals from last year, I realized that my interests changed a lot over the course of a year! Last year I set the goals of sewing a softie, and making more handmade gifts for my family. I accomplished the handmade gift goal – at least a little, by putting more effort into homemade gifts for my family.
I didn’t complete the softie goal, which disappoints me, but I did do a lot of other crafting-related things. For instance, I learned wreath-making from a wonderful little lady, and made mom a new wreath. I think that the number of buttons I sewed on for mom this year make up for any discrepancies in the rest of my performance ;). Also, as part of my last year of 4-H, I won Grand Champion on my embroidery of this butterfly.
Last year, I wanted to continue working on my quilt and make a softie. I did work on my quilt a little, but with a busy summer and then school, I haven’t had much time to do either.
However, I did make myself an entire outfit, and start on a softie! I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m sure I will eventually! I have sort of scrapped the quilt idea for now, owing to my busyness and the difficulty of making a hexagon quilt a first quilt, but I do have an idea for a different one!
Today I’m over at Project Run & Play sharing my favorite sewing things! And also I’m revealing what is my favorite make from 2016 for my kids. Plus there are a couple of giveaways and a link party! See you there!
I know it’s been awfully quite around here, but for a good reason! And it involves skirts. So come back tomorrow when I can finally reveal what I’ve been working so hard on. See you then!
When my friend Courtney (from Sweeter Than Cupcakes) asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a Modkid pattern, you can bet I jumped at the opportunity! And then she offered to sweeten the deal with some Riley Blake fabric designed by Patty Young, the creator of the Modkid patterns. Wow, was I ever honored! The only problem was I had to decide which pattern to choose!
With the help of my daughter who would be wearing the dress, I finally settled on the Rachel dress.
The Rachel dress can be made in 8 sizes from 2T to 10. I made a size 8/9 with size 10 length for Annie. The illustrations are drawn in the Rachel dress pattern. The Rachel dress features a dropped waistband and a tulip style ruffle skirt. We made view B with short sleeves and plain neck binding.
If you’ve never sewn with knits, the Rachel dress includes many helpful tips for sewing with knits. Just as a side note, I do not have a serger, and made this entire dress with my entry level Husqvarna Emerald sewing machine. It’s not every pattern that will help you achieve a neckband this good!
As you’ve probably learned by now about me and hemming, only the sleeves on the Rachel dress need hemming! Such a happy side effect of that sweet little ruffle! Even so, there is a whole page of hemming options for knits. I think I’m going to pin it on my wall to use with other patterns.
This fabric is designed by Patty Young and produced by Riley Blake Designs. It is called Granite Vivid Leilani, and yes, it’s just as buttery soft as everyone raves about! Plus, no pilling and excellent recovery.
For the accent ruffles, I was going to use a navy blue, but Allegra insisted a white would be perfect for a summer dress, and once again, she was right!
Annie sighed in happiness as she slipped this dress over her head, told me at least 30 times how much she loves it and it’s her new favorite dress. I’ll bet when I go to tuck her into bed tonight she’ll still have it on!
Before I made this dress for her, I did make her promise to stop wearing this dress and this dress which I made for her last summer and are both much too small now! She resisted until she put the Rachel dress on. And then she happily agreed.
Because of a miscommunication, I ended up with quite a lot of the BB8 fabric leftover when I made the Peekaboo Pepper Ruffle Skirt.
Now an excess of fabric that cute is not a bad thing!
So I pondered what should be done about the situation. I decided to sew up a cute BB8 clutch or two. Or five.
Since the skirt was such a hit, I decided to use the same combination of fabrics from the BB8 bundle which includes Star Wars BB8 print by Camelot Fabric, Tangerine Plus Sign print by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Red Houndstooth by Maywood Studio, White Triangles on Black print by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman.
I’ve seen some pretty cute Star Wars themed weddings on the internet, and with that in mind, I sewed 5 of these pouches. One for each of the bridal party! They’d be cute party favors at any Star Wars themed event.
I had some exposed zippers that added the perfect girly touch to the top of each BB8 clutch. I have not seen the Force Awakens (new Star Wars movie) but I was assured that BB8 would love this clutch!
Each BB8 clutch is similar, but has unique features. The inside fabric varies. So does accent fabric and the trim beneath the accent fabric.
I had fun making each clutch and choosing the fabrics and trims.
I’ve listed these clutches individually in our Esty shop, but stated in the listing I’d do a discount if someone wants them all. If you’re interested or know someone who is, click through to our Etsy shop.
Once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid’s music?
-Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream excerpt)
You might not think a mother and a mermaid have much in common. A mermaid is a mythical creature and a mother is a creature so common everyone has one. However, I think there is a little mermaid in each mother. A mother is not floating along in a boat on the seas of life, she is swimming in the water. She is tossed by the waves but does not sink. Her children are in the boat and she is guiding it. Her song can coax the seas into gently rocking the boat, lulling her children to sleep. She stays afloat for her family.
Today is my stop on the Love Of Legends blog tour. All the previous stops have showcased children’s clothing, but a mermaid can do what she wants, right? Even a mermaid mother needs clothing while on land, so I sewed myself some summer clothes. Of course they had to be mermaid worthy.
I refashioned 2 skirts (using my tutorial found here) into a mermaid shape skirt. A mermaid mother needs comfort and flexibility, and a mermaid skirt does that while keeping her stylish too.
While on land, a mermaid mother needs to be covered in more than seashells on top, so I sewed up a Seafarer Top and a Sailor Top. The Seafarer Top is a pattern by Sew Much Ado. I used Art Gallery Fleet & Flourish Jersey Knit Swifting Flora Fond Fabric (affiliate link) designed by Maureen Craknell. This shirt is so very comfortable a mermaid might even wear it after she had returned to the sea!
The Sailor Top pattern is by Fancy Tiger. I used fabric designed by Liesl Gibson for Moda called Ladies Stitching Club. I purchased it from Urban Sew a while back, and now it’s sold out. She does have quite a bit of Liesl’s new line of fabric, but I digress.
Since I didn’t make a muslin (sorry Becca!) I had quite a bit of trouble with this top. It turned out way too tight across the shoulders. I know I have very broad shoulders, but thought it would be okay with the raglan sleeves. Lesson learned. I made this one work by taking apart all the seams and resewing them at 1/4” instead of 5/8”. Next time I will use a bigger sleeve size, and of course, muslin it first!
I must give full credit to Mr. Skirt Fixation for the lovely photography. I begged him to photograph these garments for me because I’m so tired of feeling awkward in front of the camera and he makes me feel gorgeous; like a mermaid! He told me just to forget I was being photographed and turned off the sound on the iPhone so I didn’t know when he was taking pictures.
Alright, enough! Please visit the other stops on the Love of Legends blog tour and enter the giveaways too. Thanks to Phat Quarters and Crafting Con for hosting this tour.
The Wholesome Mama•Skirt Fixation•Amazing Adventures Of Bubba and Bug•Bella Sunshine Designs•From-a-Box
Wild + Wanderful•The Fairy Dust Bin•GYCT Designs•The Kisses Co.•Call Ajaire
Handmade Boy•Mae & K•create3.5•Pear Berry Lane•Sewing Mama RaeAnna
The Inspired Wren•Rebel & Malice•Sew Starly•XO Jessica•Falafel and the Bee
PenSeb&Rox•Knot Sew Normal•Beatnik Kids•Lulu & Celeste•Swoodson Says•Friends Stitched Together
And be sure to check out our giveaway sponsors and enter below!
Prize Package 1:
Phat Quarters: $20 Gift Card
Momma Quail Patterns: 1 Pattern of Choice*
Bella Sunshine Designs: 1 Pattern of Choice*
Handmade Escapade: 3 Digital Downloads of Choice
Sewing Mamma RaeAnna: 1 Pattern of Choice*
XO Jessica: 1 Custom Shirt
Knot Sew Normal: 1 Pattern of choice*
Prize Package 2:
Phat Quarters: Legendary Pattern with 3 piece FQ Bundle
One Thimble: 1 Magazine Issue
Modern Yardage: Paul Bunyan FQ
Love Notions: 1 Pattern of Choice*
Beatnik Kids: 1 Pattern of Choice*
Swoodson Says: 1 Pattern of Choice*
GYCT: 1 Pattern of Choice*
Call Ajaire: 1 Pattern of choice*
Skirt Fixation: 2 Yards of Fabric
We will draw a random link-up to win an issue of One Thimble Magazine!
The first skirt in our All The Skirts series with Simple Life Pattern Company (or SLPco) is Pepper’s Peekaboo Skirt. This skirt is as fun as it’s name, and of course we had to choose a very fun fabric to sew it up!
Pepper’s Peekaboo Skirt is a fun skirt with 3 layers of ruffles, ties, pick ups and sheer girlyness. Pepper’s Peekaboo Skirt for girls comes in 9 sizes from 2t to 12. We made size 8 width and size 12 length, according to our usual measurements for our model, Annie. The pattern states this is a beginner level sewing project. Making Pepper’s Peekaboo Skirt for girls takes a little time due to the ruffles, gathering and layers, but of course you can see why it’s worth it!
There are no paper pattern pieces to assemble and cut out, measurements are given for the 8 needed pieces. The tips include instructions to finish all the inside seams of this girl’s skirt professionally. Although we did not include a photo of the inside, this skirt is very clean on the inside also.
The sewing instructions for Pepper’s Peekaboo Skirt is illustrated with photographs. They are very simple to follow and easy to understand. We did find a small error in the instructions which Katie, the owner of SLPco will probably fix in future versions. If you have Version 1, just note that in step 8 the ruffle is attached to the underskirt, not the to skirt.
One really neat feature of Pepper’s Peekaboo Skirt is the tie casing with a little tie to make a little pickup on the front of the skirt. It’s such an adorable feature and allows you to show off several different fabrics in this skirt. Or you can un-scrunch the tie and even take it out for a second look.
Speaking of fabrics, we can’t really take credit for putting this group of perfectly complementing fabrics together. This combination was put together by Phat Quarters and is available in their shop.
With Star Wars fabric being such a hot commodity right now, you’ll be excited to know Phat Quarters has a whole section of their shop devoted to Star Wars fabrics. This combination is the BB8 bundle which includes Star Wars BB8 print by Camelot Fabric, Tangerine Plus Sign print by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman, Red Houndstooth by Maywood Studio, and White Triangles on Black print by Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman.
Of course Annie had to give Pepper’s Peekaboo Skirt the twirl test. And it passed! So a little Star Wars loving girl can be girly and geeky at the same time.
Alright, now do you know what it’s time for? It’s time for you to get involved! There are going to be 2 winners, one random winner from the Rafflecopter giveaway, and one (crowd favorite) from the Inlinkz link up. Each winner will receive $30 to spend in the Simple Life Pattern Company store, AND $20 to spend in the Phat Quarters Etsy shop.
So the first thing you need to do is get shopping at Phat Quarters with the exclusive discount code PHATSKIRTS at checkout for a 10% discount. Then add your creation (or anything you’ve made in 2016 with a SLPco pattern or fabric from Phat Quarters) in the link up below.
I’ve got one other garment from our Signature Style look that I want to tell you about in detail. There were so many items I made for that look, maybe you can put up with another blog post.
The coat I made for Baby is actually a sweater refashion. I was on the fence for a long time about what material to use for the outer layer of his jacket. I’d already settled on the suede backed sherpa vest for the inner layer. Since I was going for solid colors I wanted to make the jacket interesting by incorporating textures. Finally inspiration hit, and I went to the thrift store on the hunt for the perfect garment with chunky cables. I found this sweater that was close enough, and bought it.
The main problem I could not figure out was how to get my front, back and sleeve pieces from the sweater. I wanted the front and back of the coat to be cable knit fabric, but the front and sleeves of the sweater were cable knit. The back was a ribbed fabric. With Allegra’s help I finally solved the sweater refashion jigsaw puzzle. The front of the sweater became the back of the coat. (I sewed the vent shut above the button. The button hides under the hood, only visible when the hood is up; it’s really cute!) The back of the sweater became the sleeves of the coat. And the sleeves of the sweater became the front pieces of the jacket. The hood is from the same twill fabric as the coat lining, and the hood lining is fleece leftover from Annie’s quilt. Half of the sweater’s collar became the trim on the coat hood.
You might notice in several of the photos that Baby is grabbing the jacket near the top of the zipper. Well after he wore it several times, complaining each time we discovered a sharp piece of plastic protruding out of the edge of the zipper! Poor Baby, one snip took care of the problem, and now he wears the coat joyfully.
Be sure to catch the tutorial in this blog post for the reversible sherpa vest that snaps in and out of this coat. I think I want to go
buy rescue aaaaallll the chunky cable knit sweaters from the thrift store now!
Sweater Refashion details:
Coat Pattern: Downton Duffle Coat
Coat Fabric (outer): Upcycled Sweater with large cables
Coat Fabric (inner): Sew Classic Bottomweight Classic Twill Solid Fabric – Black
Vest Fabric: Luxury Faux Fur-Sherpa Suede Gray
Hat Pattern: Free newsboy cap pattern
Hat Fabric: Wool plaid remnant from the stash
Oh, and if you’ve got your eye on that stunning dress fabric, right now My Fabric Designs is having an unheard of 35% off sale! Here’s the direct link to that dress fabric I designed. Use the promo code QUILT35 until March 31st. Hurry!