Sunday, December 31, 2017

Family Photo Time!!

December was family photo time for the Aguilars! I previously dreaded family photo time because my children did not get the concept that they needed to cooperate. In previous years, the photos turned out fine, but my face always showed my frustrations with trying to get the kids to stand still! This year I knew it would be different because my sweet friend Aimee was doing the photography and my kids just adore her. Their behavior was not exactly perfect for the shoot, but they actually tried!! I was even able to laugh in some of the photos from their silliness! 


New Years Eve is a great day to spend reflecting on the year. I use the day to review the year with the whole family and make goals for the upcoming year. For example, on New Years Eve 2014, Abby told me her favorite experience was Aaron being born and that her goals for the year were to go on a water slide and to stop falling on her knees! I usually find a free printable and the whole family sits together and each person works on their own worksheet with the smaller people getting help from Mom and Dad. I have used forms that I found online from Modern Parents Messy Kids and from 30 Handmade Days in previous years. 

This year Abby told me that her favorite activity was to ride her bike and that next year she wants to get better at bowling. She told me that her favorite books to read were American Girl Doll books. I told her to wear her favorite dress for photos and was so excited that she picked a mommy made dress! I made this dress about a year ago using the Boheme Sky pattern from Striped Swallows. Despite all the wear and play it has gotten this brushed poly fabric from Sly Fox Fabrics has held up wonderfully and is so soft! It is getting a little short, but I made some shorts using the Bonny Leggings pattern from Made for Mermaids in the same fabric to keep her modest. The Bonny Leggings pattern is free if you use a code found in the pinned post of the M4M facebook group

Tabitha told me that her goal for the year was to get better at ballet and at loving her family. She also told me her favorite food was tomato soup! This came as a surprise to me so I will need to do better about making it more often next year. Her favorite dress came as a gift from Dario's Aunt Cecilia, who purchased it at Janie and Jack. She just loves this dress! 

I am so enjoying this age with the girls! Despite how different in personality they are, they do so much together! They love to play Barbie's, ride bikes, and have fun watching the same tv shows and movies. I am so enjoying watching their friendship grow, and I pray God continues to help them get a long!

Next up, my sweet sons!! My babies are becoming little boys. Luke's goal for 2018 is to learn to ride his bike without training wheels and to get better at tennis. Aaron told me he wants to learn to paint and that his favorite food was donuts. 

We love to take family walks together. On our walks, the boys love to throw sticks and rocks, hit the trees, climb and chase everything, and do all the fun parts of being a boy. They are also still so incredibly sweet. Luke loves to give everyone hugs and kisses and is incredibly kind to all his siblings. If I use a harsh tone with Aaron, he immediately asks me "Are you mad at me?" He also loves to smile when Aimee is taking his photo. I don't know how she does it!

Aaron is still light enough to throw up in the air and is super fun for all his siblings to play with. He is a pretty fast runner and loves to wrestle

And now, onto the happy couple. In June, we celebrated 11 years of marriage. This year we have taken more time to go on dates (thanks to our awesome babysitter Shekinah!!) and continue to grow in our friendship and love for each other. I am so grateful for the loving and kind husband he is to me and love watching how he fathers the children. 

Finally, we are excited all very excited about the new addition we will have VERY SOON! As I write this post, I am 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant with a baby girl. We still go back and forth on her name, but hopefully, when we meet her, we will just know!

In these photos, I am wearing my Greenstyle Scarlet Swing Dress that I made before pregnancy and blogged about here. The bump makes it a tad short, but I love how well this style transitions to maternity wear without any adjustments.

Of course, my goals for the year include lots of sewing, blogging, and homeschooling. I also want to do better about documenting my favorite recipes in my cookbook. More importantly, I would love to balance all of this with a newborn while staying spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy!

The whole family agreed in our 2017 year in review that our favorite memory was our family vacation to Florida in February. Here is to a happy and healthy 2018!!

Thank you for reading my blog! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook.

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter Wear Designs Twin Peaks Cardigan Patch Pocket Tutorial

I recently got the opportunity to test the Twin Peaks Cardigan by Winter Wear Designs. I initially was drawn to the cardigan because I loved the design of the back yoke. The first cardigan that I made had the "Twin Peaks" back yoke and was made at thigh length. I used the optional inseam pockets because everything is better with pockets. I was so excited to make myself something so cozy that works during the end of pregnancy and when I am no longer pregnant.

I used a rib knit from my stash that I probably found in the Dallas Fabric District. It was super stretchy horizontally (100%+) and had a small amount of vertical stretch (barely 25%). This back yoke took some patience, but I love the way the stripes look on the back yoke. My tip for getting good points on the yoke is to use the same sewing technique as when you sew a V-neck.

Next, I made a hip length cardigan with the regular back yoke out of sweater knit from Sincerely Rylee. I love that Suzanne included a plain yoke version with a lining so that I could use some of my more unstable sweater knits and not have to fuss with the points of the peaks if I wanted a quicker project. The particular sweater knit had a very loose weave and was super stretchy in both directions. 

The hip length cardigan does not have optional pockets included in the pattern because an inseam pocket would hang past the hem. I still wanted pockets because I think it is so comforting to shove your hands in a warm pocket when wearing a cardigan; so, I added a patch pocket to this one. I think they turned out great! 

Patch Pocket Tutorial

WWD Twin Peaks Cardigan
(1) When cutting out all your pattern pieces, take the pattern piece for the front of the cardigan and make your pocket pattern piece by cutting the bottom of the pattern at 8.5 inches above the bottom of this piece. You will want to cut two pockets that are mirror images. 
(2) Hem the top of the pocket by 3/4 of an inch. I used my twin needle, but you can also use a stretch stitch on your sewing machine or your coverstitch.
(3) Match the pocket piece with where it will ultimately go. Then, flip the pocket to the back of the front panel so that the right side of the pocket faces the wrong side of that front panel. Sew or serge the bottoms together. Your seam allowance should be the same as the hem allowance. Flip the pocket back to the right side of the cardigan and press. Now, you should have right side of cardigan facing the wrong side (or inside) of your pocket. 
(4) Pin (or use wonder clips or stay stitch) your pocket sides to the front so that it does not flop around during the rest of construction. 
(5) Follow the rest of the instructions in the pattern to construct your cardigan. Notice that you will only need to hem the back of the cardigan during the hemming instructions and will want to catch the side seam in your hemming if any of it is showing on the right side of the finished cardigan.

You can grab a copy of the Twin Peaks cardigan pattern here.

Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook.

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sofilantjes Regina Tunic Pattern Review

My second oldest daughter, Tabitha, just turned 7 last month. She has always been into dresses, purses, hairbows, and all things girly. Thank God we live in a milder climate because she refused to wear any type of pants for so long. It was a constant battle when we did have our colder days. She thought that even leggings did not go with her beautiful dresses! Well, about 6 months ago, she started riding her bike without training wheels. She has since been riding her bike every day, and she quickly learned how nice it is to wear jeans or leggings. It took one fall in a dress, and she was sold on the idea of wearing pants!

I was so excited when I was chosen to test the newest pattern by Sofilantjes, the Regina Dress and Tunic. I made the tunic version with a pleated skirt and 3/4 length sleeves. The sleeve length is perfect for our mild winters, and the adorable tunic length gives my dress loving girl a top that works perfect for wearing pants but has the dressy feel that she loves. 

"Pockets!!" She squealed with delight when she found out the tunic had pockets. I made her a size 7 and graded in the chest area for her more lean frame. The pattern came together very easy and had superb instructions. The bodice is the same for the front and back, and the sleeves are cut on the fold. 

This tunic is made out of double brushed polyester from Syncerely Rylee. It is such a soft print and has a great weight to it. 

PDF Sewing Pattern for Girls Tunic

The next Regina Tunic that I made for Tabitha was in a cotton lycra that came from my friend Aimee's stash. Isn't she an awesome friend!?! I just adore this fabric! I was able to get each tunic out of less than a yard of fabric.

Tabitha has been wearing both tunics as soon as they come out of the laundry and begging me to wash them again! The pattern comes in sizes 12 months to 14 years so I can see myself making many tunics and dresses for all my girls in the coming years. Thanks Anne Jacobs for all your hard work on this pattern!

PDF Pattern for Girls Tunic

You can grab a copy of the Regina pattern in English here. It is on sale now through Monday, December 4th, at 4:55 p.m. CST (23:55 CET). The pattern is also available in French and Dutch.

Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook.

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Simplicity 2147 Pattern Review

In September 2016, on a shopping trip to the Dallas Fabric District, I found this wonderful rayon challis fabric from Steve at Super Textiles. The fabric just screamed dress to me because of its wonderful drape. I used Simplicity 2147 as my pattern base because it is such an easy pattern that would help me deal with the slippery and unstable nature of rayon challis. The pattern has dolman sleeves and the bottom of the bodice lands over the bust.

I posted a photo of my finished dress to Instagram when I initially made the dress and have since worn it so many times that it deserves its own blogpost as a tried and true pattern. I had no idea this would be a wardrobe staple when I made it! Fast forward to now, at almost 35 weeks pregnant and feeling rather large, I still wear my favorite dress... well, now it is a tunic, but I still feel so confident and happy when I wear it. 

Never mind my face, I was telling Aimee (my amazing friend behind the camera lens) that I had not brushed my hair nor had I ironed my dress before photos. I had worn the dress all day and had not planned on taking photos of it that evening when I saw her, but she encouraged me to document one of my favorite makes to share with ya'll.

Pattern Alterations:

I made view B in a size 10, which fell in line with my bust measurement back in September of 2016 (32.5 inches). My bust is 36 inches now and the fit still has plenty of room. My waist and hips were a size 12 when I made the dress (and they are far from that now!), but I did not grade out due to the ease of the pattern in those areas. I also did not follow the pattern directions. The pattern calls for binding the arms and neckline with bias tape, but I knew that I could get a better finish with just doing a lined bodice. So, I cut two fronts and two backs and used the burrito method to line the bodice.

Also, view D of the pattern is a belt piece to give the waist some definition. I did not particularly like the style of the belt so I made a waist tie instead. For the tie, I used a piece of fabric that was 2 yards long and 1.25 inches wide. Since the fabric was not wide enough for 2 yards, I cut two 1 yard pieces and sewed the short ends together. Next, I sewed the strip into a tube (right sides together sewn on the length) and turned it right side out with a chopstick. This gave me a finished tie that was about 71 inches long and .75 inches wide. When I was not pregnant, I tied the waist tie at my natural waist. Now that I am pregnant, I can tie it right under my bust for that perfect baby bump definition. 

Of course, you need to see flashback photos of how it looked on me when I first made it. These photos were taken in September 2016 with my IPhone, and for some reason, I did not think to smile! I'm amazed at the difference in the photography skills of my IPhone versus Aimee's skills! Also, I love the shaping the bodice of this pattern gives to the bust! I find it super flattering even when my bust was small before pregnancy.

This pattern is a rather quick sew and is very beginner friendly (especially if you choose not to bind with bias tape). The key to this pattern is finding fabric with wonderful drape and cinching the waist with a tie or belt. If you use stiffer fabric, it will look like a bag and not be flattering at all. Also, if you are average height or taller, you may want to add length if you intend to wear it as a dress. I am 5"2' and feel it is at a perfect length for me.

The black capris I am wearing with my tunic when it was too short to be a dress are my Hey June Mountain Pose pants, blogged about here

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook.

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

Disclosures: This post does not contain affiliate links. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

LaVitality Wrap Top Pattern Review

I have reached that point in pregnancy where I am starting to sew clothes that will work for breastfeeding when the baby arrives. Today, I am reviewing a LAVitality top pattern that is advertised as a V-neck, but it is constructed as a wrap top; so, I know it will give great breastfeeding access. The LAVitality Wrap Top is a pattern I found on Etsy. Prior to purchasing this pattern, I was not familiar with LAVitality or their patterns. I was quite surprised at how very inexpensive they were (less than $3 at regular price!) and thought I would give the pattern a try! 

Fabric: Both shirts were made with cotton lycra from Made Whimsy. The navy knit can be found here, and the cream solid can be found here.

Size Sewn and Pattern Adjustments - I was in between sizes on the size chart and ended up going with a Small. My bust is at 36 inches so I was a little over the range for small. The pattern comes in a shorter length and a long length. I chose the long length and added an inch to the bottom of both front pieces so I could have extra room in the belly. I am only 5'2" so I would not have done this if I was not going to wear it for maternity as well.

Panache Profundo Knit by Art GalleryPDF Pattern for Breastfeeding

Pattern review - I really liked how both shirts turned out. They will be very easy to nurse in and yet the neckline is modest enough that I do not need to wear a cami underneath. All the points in the pattern matched up very nicely. The neckband had notches and was very easy to put on. I love a pattern that I can get the band right without having to measure my own! The instructions and pattern photos were very clear and easy to follow. The pattern came together pretty quickly. The only warning I have about this pattern is the sleeve length. I normally need to take out several inches on sleeves due to my height, but these fit me perfectly. If you are average height or tall, you will need to compare the sleeve pattern to another long sleeve pattern that you already own and add length. 

Breastfeeding Wrap Top PDF Pattern

These photos were taken in September when I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was trying to plan for cooler fall weather, but it ended up being a very hot day! As a maternity top, both shirts still fit me at 33 weeks pregnant, and the bottom band still falls under my bump. It is starting to get snug, though, so I may not wear it in the very last month of pregnancy because I do not like clothes to be too tight on my stomach when I feel huge. If you are making this pattern mainly for maternity, I would size up for the belly and choose a fabric with a lot of stretch (like rayon spandex).

The pants I am wearing with my tops are my oh so comfortable Brassie joggers (blogged about here) made in distressed knit from Mily Mae Fabric.

Thanks for reading my blog. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook.

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

Disclosures: This post does not contain affiliate links.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sofilantjes Regem Shirt Pattern Review

Zenith and Quasar Vibrant VaporsToday, I am excited to share with you the release of a new pattern from Sofilantjes - the Regem Shirt. I tested the pattern on my oldest daughter, Abby, and she loves the way her shirts turned out. The pattern is a unisex child's long or short sleeved shirt that comes with two options - a simple shirt or a color blocked shirt. I chose the size to make based on her chest measurement, which made her a size 8. The only adjustment that I made to the pattern was to add 3/4 inches in length to the body because her height fit a size 9. The shirt pattern is straight down from the armpit; so, I did not grade for waist or hips. I am so happy with the fit on this shirt!

Her first shirt is Option A in long sleeves and the fabric is the vibrant vapors plush brushed poly from Zenith and Quasar. This fabric is super soft and has a great weight for a warm shirt. As you can tell, she thinks the shirt and fabric are pretty awesome!

 Next, I made her another simple Regem Shirt using cotton lycra. The main fabric is from Pink Zeppelin Fabrics. The coordinating solid black for the sleeves and neckband are from Made Whimsy. Made Whimsy is my favorite supplier for solids.

Finally, I had to make a Regem Shirt using the color blocking option. The color blocking is so fun to play around with and lets me use up some pretty small scraps. The main fabric for this shirt is from Zenith and Quasar, and the pink is some mystery blend that I had in my stash that was leftover from a shirt that I made for myself.

The Regem Shirt pattern is on sale for the pattern release until midnight Sunday (CET), which is 5 p.m. Sunday for Central Standard Time.

Thanks for reading my blog. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook.

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson

Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.