Monday, October 30, 2017

Rainbow Baby Quilt - A Patchwork Prism Quilt

Today, I get to share with you my most recent quilt finish - a Patchwork Prism Quilt made out of only Anna Maria Horner fabric. I decided to join some fellow quilters on Instagram in an Anna Maria Horner sew-along at the beginning of September. I was so excited because the rules were very relaxed. We just needed to finish a quilt (or quilt top) by the end of October that was made entirely in Anna Maria Horner fabric. Since she is one of my favorite fabric designers, I was excited to join them. I found this as a great opportunity to actually finish a baby quilt for the baby we are expecting. The Patchwork Prism pattern that I took inspiration from is by Anna Maria Horner and is available for free here. Instead of using the templates in the pattern, I used my Accuquilt die cutter. I also added an extra row around the edges to make it the size I wanted, which is 42 square inches.

The Rainbow Baby

The quilt pattern is just perfect for the rainbow baby we are expecting! A rainbow baby is a baby born after a loss of a previous child. The beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages or pain of the storm; however, it focuses on the beauty and promise that God provides in the form of a rainbow after the storm. After having four normal, healthy pregnancies, I lost 2 pregnancies in 2016. One was a missed miscarriage and the other was a partial molar pregnancy. This was a part of my story that I never imagined. After the year was over, I really did not think I was ready for pregnancy again and was very happy (and busy) with my four other children. Much to my surprise, I found out I was expecting again in early May 2017! With all the excitement also came a lot of anxiety about the pregnancy. I had no idea the emotions that would come up! I was right back in the same situation where I had previously experienced so much heartache. I emotionally did not feel ready for the task. At first, I dealt with it by just not telling anyone. This did not work out very long, though, because I began showing so early!

When ignoring the obvious no longer worked for coping with anxiety, I decided to choose JOY. A fellow blogger that I follow, Rachel at Stitched in Color, wrote this blogpost at the end of May that spoke mountains to me and really changed my perspective from that point on. In her blogpost, she wrote about how she was able to go on and have another child after losing a young baby. She knew it was alright to seek happiness again. Rachel wrote about how it is our love, and not our sorrow, that blesses others. I realized in that moment that I could in no way be a blessing to this baby growing in my womb without first choosing happiness. My past did not have to predict my future, but I could enjoy the moment  (and pregnancy!) I have right now. Allowing fear in would provide no help. 

I can't wait to show you all a picture of the quilt with a little baby playing on top of it! I now have about 2 months before her arrival and am enjoying getting to make her lots of cute little things and do all the things that normal nesting mommies do. I just have an entirely new perspective this time around. I still have to fight feelings of anxiety, but I am so glad that I made the choice from so early on in the pregnancy to not give in to fear. I can take care of myself, pray, and expect the best. My worry will in no way help me or those around me. 

The Rainbow Quilt

Now, back to the quilt. I am so excited to actually have a quilt that is finished. Summers are so hot in Texas that I start a ton of quilts, but I usually have no desire to finish them because of the heat. With that first taste of cold weather, though, I somehow regain my energy to finish some of the quilt projects I have been working on.

For the back of the quilt, I used Anna Maria Horner's Pretty Potent Echinacea Flannel. This print is no longer available in flannel but was recently reprinted on quilting cotton in other colorways.  

I just love how the binding turned out on this quilt! I used this fabric from her Fibs and Fables collection for the binding. It was as if Anna Maria made this fabric just for binding this quilt. I love how her collections all go together so well! My favorite tutorial for binding a quilt is from Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Company. After attaching the binding to the front, I hand stitch it to the back because I just love how nice it looks finished. I also get to watch a good movie and maybe some football while I do it, so it is a very relaxing process that I look forward to. 

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope I have inspired or encouraged you in some way! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook.

Disclosures: The pattern to this quilt is a free pattern. This post also 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, October 21, 2017

5 out of 4 Diane Joggers Pattern Review

Hello, third trimester! To formally welcome the third trimester, today's post will be all about the comfy pants, a.k.a joggers. Over the past several months of blogging for maternity, I think my most used word is comfortable. My key to dressing for maternity is comfort, and it is always an added bonus if I look put together at the same time. I love to look good while feeling like I am wearing pajamas, and I am so happy that jogging pants are in style!

I am really excited to share with you today about 5 out of 4 patterns newest release, the Diane joggers, and how wonderful they are for maternity. I tested their low rise/maternity option, and I couldn't be more happy with how well this pattern fits and the options it includes!

To begin the test, I made a pair of shorts in a size Small. My hips measure 38 inches now, which puts me in between the XS and Small. The small will give me more wiggle room if my hips expand anymore in this final stretch of pregnancy. I made a pair of shorts first to check crotch fit on me and see if I needed adjustments before making pants.

Making a muslin is very important to check fit, and I loved all the detailed help in this pattern to get the perfect, wedgie-free fit for everyone. The only adjustment I noticed that I needed after my first pair was to go down to the XS in my legs when making pants. My leg measurements fit right into the XS size chart anyways so this adjustment made sense.  I also turned the hem up so that I could see the pretty contrast of the wrong side.

Fabric choice: I used a French terry remnant that I found at Super Textiles in the fabric district. The owner Steve is such a wonderful guy, and I always enjoy getting to visit him and all of his beautiful fabric. I used cotton lycra from Made Whimsy for the waistband on this pair.

One of the great features of the Diane joggers pattern is that it has a back yoke that does wonderful things for the bum area!

Next, I made a pants version that may be the most comfortable pair of pants I own. I need Texas to bring some cooler weather just so that I can wear them all the time! These are the full pants version of the Diane joggers that are hemmed and do not have cuffs. I used a navy cotton sweatshirt fleece that I got from Aimee Wilson. She made a pair of jogging pants last winter out of it that she loved and shared her left over fabric with me. What a treat! I used a coordinating cotton lycra from Made Whimsy for the waistband. This pattern is great for knits without vertical stretch. This means, however, that the rise will turn out higher in the back if you are using a knit with a lot of vertical stretch. 

I have a 27 inch inseam so I needed to shorten this pattern. There is one lengthen/shorten line, but I knew that it may not be as smooth if I took so much out in just one spot. So, I took out 1-1.5 inches at a time in 3 different spots, for a total of 3.75 inches of length removed. The first line I made to take out length was in the thigh, the second was at the actual lengthen/shorten line, and the third was about 4 inches below that.

For my next pair of Diane Joggers, I wanted a pair that would work for the gym since I try to stay active throughout my pregnancy. I used some athletic brushed poly from Zenith and Quasar that is so soft and works great for joggers. 

The pockets on this pattern are patch pockets and are very deep. I can fit my entire IPhone 6 in them, and it is completely covered and not falling out. Total win! I have yet to find store-bought clothes for women with functional pockets!

My final pair of joggers were in the capri length. This pair was made from Zenith and Quasar's plush brushed poly. This fabric is so incredibly soft. 

Big pockets!!

Capri length is one of my favorite because I get so much use out of them Fall through Spring. There are so many winter days that are not quite cold enough for pants where I live. Here is one of my favorite way to wear them, though, when we do have an actual cold day - with a sweater and fleece lined boots.

The only alteration I have made to this pattern since the testing period is to change the patch pockets to a pocket bag. Yes, that is right, I am already making another pair of joggers since taking these photos! 

Thanks for reading my blog! You can grab your pattern for the Diane Joggers here

Photo Credit: My wonderful friend, Aimee Wilson of Capture, Craft, and Cook

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, October 3, 2017

Greenstyle Chelsea Pants Pattern Review and Maternity Tutorial

Today, Greenstyle is releasing their new pattern - the Chelsea Pants. These pants are drafted for stable fabrics that have at least 25% stretch. This means that stretch denims and stretch wovens work for this pattern as well as stable knits like ponte, velvet, French terry, and double knits. The Chelsea pants also work great for maternity! I will be giving my tips at the end of this blogpost if you need to make adjustments for maternity like I did.

It is hard to pick a favorite when it comes to jeans that are comfortable, but I think this pink stretch denim pair might just be it! This was a remnant from Joann that is no longer listed on their website, but you can find other 7 oz stretch denims just like it here. For the waistband, I used cotton lycra from Made Whimsy

Next, I wanted to see how these pants looked in a French terry. This pattern is not intended for fabrics with drape; rather, you want a fabric that holds its shape so that it bells out at the bottom. Light weight French terries with rayon will not work for this pattern. The green French terry I used is a pretty stable thicker cotton one I found at Wherehouse Fabrics in Dallas. These turned out super comfortable!

I also made a pair of Chelsea pants out of a stretch terry performance fabric that is in the loungeletics section at Joann Fabrics. This fabric is smooth on the outside but has a diamond terry pattern on the inside. These will be very warm pants and perfect for this upcoming winter!

The black tank modeled with my pink, green, and blue pants above is my Lago tank that I made very early in my pregnancy. I made no adjustments to it for maternity. I had just found out I was pregnant while making that top! The rayon fabric that I used has had the perfect stretch to accommodate my growing belly and is still holding on at 26 weeks. It is a free tank pattern and has been in heavy rotation in my closet this entire summer. 

Lastly, I made a pair of Chelsea pants out of Ponte. Ponte is a great fabric for this pattern, and I am really happy with how these turned out. I am wearing them with my Cheyenne Tunic from Hey June Patterns. I made this top in testing during the winter of 2015 and think it is going to be a wonderful button down for breastfeeding my new baby this winter. 

Hey June Cheyenne TunicHey June Cheyenne Tunic

Of course, one of my favorite parts of pattern testing and taking photos is when I get to do it with one of my sweetest friends, Aimee of Capture, Craft, and Cook

Maternity Tutorial

Before attaching the waistband, you will need to try on your pants and see where the top of the pant meets the bottom of your belly. Fabric with a lot of vertical stretch will be higher up on your waist than fabric with little to no vertical stretch. You will want to take out any excess fabric that rises over your belly. Here is a photo of me doing this with the ponte fabric. I needed to take 1/2 an inch out of the rise where I have clipped. I only took out of the front of the pants, not the back. I did not need to take out any with the stretch denim because it had very little vertical stretch and landed right under my belly.

The Chelsea pant pattern comes with the option of three different rises on the waistband piece - low, mid, and high. I did not need to make any adjustments to the waistband piece when I made the low rise. My pants were a size medium, so I used the medium waist band exactly as written on the pattern. The pattern does, however, allow you to use whichever fabric you used for the body of the pants on the outer waistband piece. I only did this if the fabric had at least 50% horizontal stretch. If it had less than this (which was the case with the stretch denim), I used a cotton lycra for both the inner and outer waistband.

Low rise waistband with ponte on the outer waistband and brushed poly on the inner waistband
Medium waistband graded to a large for the top
If you are using the mid or high rise waistbands during pregnancy, you will need to grade up a size or two to give your belly room. The bottom of the waistband that attaches to the top of your pants needs to be the same size as the pant that you made because the waistband is not stretched as you attach it. To grade up in your waistband, simply draw a line from the bottom of the waistband starting at the size of pant you made and draw the line to the size you need to grade up to at the top of the waistband. You need to do this on both the front and back waistband pieces. Also, the type of fabric you use will make a huge difference in how comfortable your waistband feel on your stomach. Stretchy fabrics with good recovery are key. I like to use cotton lycra or  nylon lycra for waistbands. 

Always try on your waistband before attaching it to your pants!! You will save yourself many ripped stitches if you get a comfortable fit prior to attaching. When pregnant, I usually go for bands that do just enough to hold my pants up without putting pressure on my stomach. Your personal preference may be a higher rise with more compression. The waistband is very easy to modify on this pattern. If you need extra height in the rise, simply add the amount of inches you need at the top.

You can purchase the pattern for the Chelsea Pants here. It is on sale until Friday, October 6. I hope you enjoy making yours as much as I do. I was surprised at how quickly they came together!

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 of Capture, Craft, and Cook

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.