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Where the Wild Things Play {Twig & Tale Blog Tour}

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Wild Thing vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Sometimes you get to be part of something that is just plain fun!  That’s what today’s sewing is about…Where The Wild Things Play.  Warning: it’s a picture heavy post, but I think you’ll see why.  And if you make it to the end, reward yourself by entering the giveaway!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Recently an Indie sewing company decided to change it’s name.  The former Big Little pattern company changed their name to Twig + Tale.  It perfectly describes what this company is about.  Fun, nature, wild things, upcycling, and did I mention fun?  You simply must go over and check them out.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

To celebrate the name change, Twig + Tale decided to host a blog tour.  We chose to use the Pathfinder Vest pattern and use the Wild Things upgrade to embellish the vest.  You can buy these two pattens bundled here.  We ended up sewing 4 Wild Thing vests.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

There are 14 different animals you can make using the Wild Things pattern.  Of the 3 different wild thing vests the kids chose, only 1 of them has specific instructions, so that gives you an idea of how good this pattern is!  Only the panda is included, so we used the fox to create 2 wolves and the dinosaur to create a dragon.  Let’s go over the dragon first.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

There is a free dragon upgrade, but it wasn’t released yet when we made the dragon as part of our Sewing For Kindergarten mini wardrobe.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

If you look at this photo, you can see the horns were originally made from heavier weight leather.  But they flopped over, and so I changed them out for faux leather that matched the dragon’s spikes.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Then I added the wings, of course, as soon as they were released.  Since I was adding them after the vest was already sewn, I added some pipe cleaners in the “bones” of the wings to give them structure.  Then I turned under the part of the wings by the spikes and stitched them down there and at the shoulders.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

When I showed David all the animal choices he wanted to be a dragon, so a dragon it was.  The outside of this dragon vest is some green fuzzy fleece from our stash, and the lining is Luminaries Gold by Maureen Cracknell’s Nightfall line for Art Gallery Fabrics.  This was a nod to the “Reach for the Stars” theme of the mini wardrobe.  I added a zipper to this vest instead of using the button and loops at the top.  There is a tutorial for how to do this here.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

David had so much fun during the photo shoot playing the part of a dragon wild thing.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The original plan was to sew a wolf vest for Baby to go with David’s dragon vest.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

These boys love the book “Where The Wild Things Are” and Max (the main character) puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief.  So Baby had to be a wolf.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The outside of this wolf vest is Golden Husky Faux Fur from Cali Fabrics.  In a nod to the line from the book, “That night in Max’s room a forest grew, and grew, and grew!”  We used Mystical Woods fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics designed by Maureen Cracknell.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Every time Baby put on this vest for a fitting and then for the photo shoot, he would begin to howl like a wolf.  A very cute, baby wolf.  Serious cuteness to see Baby trying to act tough and scary like a wolf.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

I used the fox ears and tail to create the wolf vest.  I inserted pipe cleaners into the ears to try to make them stiffer and stand up better.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Also, the pockets were omitted from this vest, simply because the sewing with faux fur was complex enough without trying to figure out pockets!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Because I ordered a yard of the wolf fur, Thomas asked, and I acquiesced to making him wolf vest.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Simply because wolves travel in packs, I had enough to make them both, and making two was about as easy as making one.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

This was not the original plan, so I didn’t have any fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics for the lining.  But Thomas just wanted black anyway, so a black lining fabric from the stash (leftover from a skirt refasion!) it was.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Even though I put pipe cleaners inside the ears, they are larger than the small wolf ears and ended up a little floppy, probably due to the heavy weight of the faux fur.  Thomas is cool with it, deciding at times to be a bear, a wolf, or various other creatures!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

He’s just pleased to have gotten a vest out of the deal.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

At his request, Thomas’s wolf tail is detachable.  It attaches to the lining with a snap.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Also, he is much more realistic at playing the part of a scary wolf!  I used a toggle button and some hair elastic to make closures for both the wolf wild thing vests.  Buttons or zippers just weren’t an option with fur that has this long of a pile.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Sewing with faux fur was a learning experience for me, and I’m sharing 30+ tips (so you don’t have to make the mistakes I did!) over on the Cali Fabrics blog.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Probably because there were so many cute options, and I had the outer fabric in my stash, I decided to sew a 4th wild thing vest for Annie.  She was overjoyed when she discovered she was getting a Wild Things vest too.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

After looking for the options, she decided to be a panda.  I knew there was only one possible fabric to use for the lining, so at the last minute, and relying on her notorious super fast shipping, I ordered some Pandalings Pod Shadow knit fabric (designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics) from Imagine Gnats.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Wild Things add on (which by the way is meant to be added onto a coat, but it’s very easy to add onto a vest, obviously!) included instructions and all the pattern pieces for a panda.  It was pretty easy to make.   Annie made the pom pom tail herself by following the directions included in the pattern.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The pockets have a fun paw print detail on them.  Using knit for the lining is not one of the recommended fabrics, but it worked out fine.  I just made sure to keep the knit fabric against the feed dogs when sewing the lining to the vest, to help pull along the knit fabric.  The knit fabric also makes this a very, very soft vest inside and out!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Instead of the button loops and buttons recommended in the pattern, I made actual buttonholes since the fur I was using has a low pile and isn’t too thick.  For the photo shoot, Annie wore her Uptown Downtown maxi dress made from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

She didn’t think panda bears are very vicious, so had fun playing the part of a more gentle wild thing.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Here is a closer look at each of the fun linings.  It was really fun and rewarding to sew these Wild Things vests.  The dragon and smaller wolf vests are the same size, and so the boys will be able to interchange them.  Then when they outgrow them, they will have the opportunity to play panda, and wolf all over again!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

As for me, I think it’s time to retire from the Wild Thing sewing business.  For a while, anyway, at least until I get all the fur cleaned up out of my sewing room!  Although there are still quite a few animal variations I haven’t sewn yet.  Which one would you make?

 

What would a Blog Tour be without a giveaway!

Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.
International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.
Enter using the rafflecopter below.
(The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Bethiouas for Everyone!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

I’ve been on a mission to sew everyone sweaters for fall.  And I’m getting pretty close!  First I sewed one for myself, then I made David one as part of his Future Explorer look for Sewing For Kindergarten.  I used leftover Beckery Cable Knit Fabric from my cardigan to make his, but a different pattern.   As I was sewing it, I just fell in love with the clever details of this simple raglan that I knew I had to sew another, and another, and then another!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

The Bethioua is another German pattern made possible by Annika from Naeh Connection.  If you were here Tuesday, you remember me raving about how she’s pretty much singlehandedly making sewing a universal language by translating English patterns for German seamstresses and German patterns for English seamstresses.  She currently has 17 patterns available in her Naeh Connection English shop, and rumor has it there are many more to come!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

We took note of the Bethioua when it was first published, but didn’t purchase it because I already had a raglan pattern that I loved and didn’t need another pattern.  Or so I told myself.  But now that I’ve sewn the Bethioua, I’ve realized how silly my delay was…I will continue to sew BOTH of my raglan patterns…often!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

 

The Bethioua pattern comes is women AND children’s sizes.  It is created by Elle Puls.  One of our favorite things about the Bethioua pattern is the back.  That curved seam is just too pretty!  And the seam on the back of the sleeves offers a really unique opportunity for stripe pattern matching (photo tutorial included in the kid’s pattern.)

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Allegra loves the batwing sleeves due, which make the Bethioua pattern perfect for layering.  This pattern can be made in sizes 34-54 for women, and sizes 104-134 for kids.  (Don’t worry about not knowing your European size, the pattern has handy measurement charts to figure out your size in both centimeters and inches.)  The largest sizes in the women’s pattern have optional bust darts.  Another unique feature of the Bethioua pattern is the darts at the top of the sleeve.  This makes the shoulders lay sooooo perfectly, even in thicker fabrics like I was using.  The instructions are short and sweet with drawn illustrations.  Both patterns have options for a straight hem, a curved hem, and a hem band.  The sleeves can be finished with a cuff or simply hemmed.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

I tried to include different elements of the Bethioua patterns in each of the Bethioua sweaters I sewed.  David’s was sewn first, as part of his Future Explorer look.  His has a straight hem and hemmed sleeves.  Here’s the nitty gritty on that Future Explorer look:

Shirt:

Pattern: Kids Bethioua Pattern from the Naeh Connection Shop

Fabric: Nautica Beckery Cable Knit from Cali Fabrics  and Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric-Navy from JoAnn Fabrics.  Jersey is used for the neckband due to sweatshirt fleece not having enough stretch for a neckband.
Sweatpants:
Pattern: Parachute Sweatpants from Oliver + S
Fabric: Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric – Light Gray Heathered from JoAnn Fabrics

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Next I made the Women’s Bethioua Aria is modeling.  But a  disclaimer here, the Bethioua is not hers, it is a gift for someone a few sizes larger than her, just so you know about the way it fits accurately.  The women’s Bethioua pattern can be found here in the Naeh Connection shop.  The top part of the sweater is athletic french terry, and the bottom is argyle sweater fleece, bought at the Hancock Fabrics going out of business sale.  There are 2 similar at JoAnn Fabrics, one green and navy and one pink and navy.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

This Bethioua has a curved back hem and cuffed sleeves.  The argyle was a bit tricky to make the pattern match across the side seams, but I came close enough to be happy with the end result!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Next I cut out the other Women’s Bethioua pattern that Allegra is wearing.  The top part of her sweater is fabric leftover from making this skirt, and the bottom is sweater fleece, also from Hancock Fabrics.  These stripes were much easy to pattern match across the side seams than the argyle!  This Bethioua has a curved hem in back and cuffed sleeves.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

After I cut out Allegra’s Bethioua pattern I saw that I would have just enough fabric left to make a kids Bethioua for Baby!  I made both the boys the smallest size of the kid’s pattern…which means I’ll be able to sew this pattern for them for years to come!  The top of his sweater is Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric-Black from JoAnn Fabrics also.  I made his with a curved back hem, and hemmed sleeves.  I used black jersey fabric for the neckband since sweatshirt fleece doesn’t have good stretch.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

And then we had one of the cutest, most crowded photo shoots ever!  I just snapped away as quickly as I could trying to capture that laughter, playfulness and delight of my children in their new sweaters!

Now don’t be silly like I was and delay buying this fantastic pattern… naeh-connection-opening

Affiliate links are used in this post because I love fabric, and fabric isn’t FREE!  If you click on an affiliate link, I might make a couple of pennies on a sale.  Heavy emphasis on the might…

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Ethan Shirts and Classic Chinos

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Yesterday I promised to show you the other garments I sewed assembly line style when I made the Future Professional outfit for my kindergartener.  When you have 4 sons, it really does end up easier sewing like an assembly line to keep them in clothes!

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Thomas also needed some new dress clothes.  I grabbed the same tried and true patterns in different sizes than the kindergartener, of course, and set to work.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

His shirt pattern is the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom Patterns .  I picked up two shirting fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, Plaid Shirting Checkered Fabric Blue and a saturated blue shirting not on their website.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

There are 2 changes I made to the Ethan Shirt Pattern.  I added collar buttons, as I usually do because my boys prefer them.  And I made his shirts short sleeve because it was so hot when I sewed them for him.  With a sweater or jacket they’ll easily extend in to fall and winter wear.  And to give credit where credit is due, Allegra sewed on all the buttons on these shirts!

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Pants Pattern is Classic Chinos by Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  I sewed him two pairs, one in Sew Classic Bottomweight Stretch Sateen Fabric – Medieval Blue  from JoAnn Fabrics and the other a classic khaki twill, also not on their website.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Beside the standard size adjustments I make for Thomas’s tall and skinny frame (size 8 width, size 12 length) I did make one other small adjustment to the Classic Chinos pattern; changing the position of the belt loops.  As you can see in this photo, when centered directly over the pockets they cause some pulling open of the pockets while standing and even more while sitting.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

So as you can see in this photo, we adjusted the belt loops to be on the outside of the pockets, and no more pulling.  You can also see wrinkles on these pants due to being worn for several hours before photographing, but when you can get a tween boy to stand still and agree to pictures, you take what you can get!

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

The khaki pants were not sewn assembly line style with the two blue pairs of pants, because I decided it would be easier to sew them separately than to change the thread color at every step.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Thomas is delighted to have some new dress clothes.  His belt is his own creation, a leather working project for 4H this year.  He received high honors for it and wears it with pride, a blue ribbon and a reserve champion ribbon.

Affiliate links are used in this post so that our bank account has a fighting chance at keeping up with our fabric spending habit!  So far, one has vastly outpaced the other, but we’ll leave you to guess which one!

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Boy PJs for (almost) FREE!

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

The other day I was at JoAnn Fabrics because I had a little time to spare.  (What, don’t you spend your spare time there?)  I needed a couple of zippers and some elastic, so had a good reason/excuse to be there.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

On my way to the zippers I spotted a sign that read 70% off.  So I made a detour.  It turned out that flannel was on sale for 70% off, and since my boys had outgrown the boy pjs I made them in February, it was perfectly reasonable for me to grab a bolt.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

After all, $6.99 a yard at 70% off brought the price way down to $2.10 per yard.  When I got up to the cutting counter, there were only 2 yard left on the bolt which meant the 2nd yard was considered a remnant and was available for an additional 50% off, did I want it?  $1.04 per yard, yes please!  That brought my total up to $3.15 for two yards of flannel.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation
Pretend like you’re sleeping!

At the checkout I pulled up my weekly coupons and found one for 25% off my total purchase.  So I ended up paying $2.36 for 2 yards of flannel.  Totally doable.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

After that, it only took me about an hour to whip up each of these boys a pair of pajama pants.  It would have taken even less time if I’d have used a pattern instead of trying to draft my own and messing up.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

I originally intended these boy pjs for my middle two boys, but mistakes happen, so the two youngest boys are the delighted recipients.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

Sometimes we’re asked if it’s cheaper to sew, and while it’s not always true, we sure do love it when we find good deals like this.  Other examples of cheap sewing can be found in our Buy or DIY Skirt series.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation
Okay boys, thanks for letting Mommy take your picture. Who wants another cookie?

How about you, got any good fabric sale stories?  Share them with us below!

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Matching Polo Shirts {KCW Day 4}

Oliver+S parachute polo shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

Oliver+S parachute polo shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

My final sewing for Kids Clothes Week was for my two youngest boys.  Well, I actually did some more secret kids sewing, but I can’t blog about it just yet!

Oliver+S parachute polo shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

I’ve made these two boys Oliver+S Parachute polo shirts in coordinating fabrics before, and they have worn them to death.  But I wanted to make some more for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I wanted to get the collars right this time.  Last time they were off center; totally wearable, but totally annoying to me.

Oliver+S parachute polo shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

Secondly, the weather is growing cooler and I wanted to make them long sleeve versions.  And last of all, are they not so adorable?  I mean just look at them!

Oliver+S parachute polo shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

I found this fabric at Hancock Fabrics.  It is just a little thin to be sufficient for winter, but for fall it’s perfect.  For the collar and placket, I used black twill fabric leftover from this pair of pants I made for their bigger brother.

Oliver+S parachute polo shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I got a new sewing machine.  Since I’m just learning the ins and outs of this new machine (an Emerald by Husqvarna Viking) the automatic buttonhole feature and I aren’t best friends just yet.  But there’s also a manual buttonhole version while I experiment with the automatic foot, and so these came out alright.

Oliver+S parachute polo shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

Just look at these two boys!  This could totally be an entry in the Top Stitchers sewing contest, Thick As Thieves!  Oh yeah, be sure to check out my post over there today about the prize package (#3 of 4 huge packages!) and how to win BIG!

 

Oliver+S parachute polos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Anyway, I’m very happy about these versions of the Oliver+S Parachute Polo shirts and forsee quite a few more for these two boys of mine in the future.

Oliver+S parachute polos sewn by Skirt Fixation