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Friday, April 27, 2018

Sewing Boxer Briefs for Boys - Greenstyle Walbrook Boxer Brief PDF Pattern Review

My middle child has been growing like a weed lately and needed some new boxers. So, today, I whipped up a few pairs of new boxer briefs just for him. I always  have a ton of scraps from other projects so I would much rather sew undies than buy them. I gave him a pile of scrap fabric and let him pick his favorite. He chose a solid grey (his favorite color), dinos, and sharks! Making little boy briefs is a great scrap buster!


The Pattern 


I used the Greenstyle Creations Walbrook Boxer Briefs pattern. This pattern comes in sizes 2T to 14 years old. A Men's version is also available for those outside of this size range. The pattern is only $5, and they are super quick to sew up! The pattern comes with the option of a high rise or a regular rise. The waist elastic can be enclosed or exposed. The fly can be functioning or non-functioning. My favorite part is the gusset in the legs. It reminded me of the Super G Tights pattern that Greenstyle makes for women that are so comfortable. 

I made a size 5/6, which is where his measurements put him. He is currently 5 and will turn 6 in three months. The size was spot on. I did not need to make any alterations to the pattern to fit him.

 Regular Rise with Short Length 


The first pair was made with the regular rise and the shorter length. I used enclose elastic. The print for this pair is a cotton lycra knit by Riley Blake. The coordinating grey on the fly and gusset is interlock. I think this is my favorite rise and cut length of all. I used 1 inch enclosed elastic.

Do you see that grey gusset sticking out? This makes these underwear super comfortable. It puts seams right where they should be and gives so much more movement. 


Regular Rise with Long Length


I love that this pattern works just as well for interlock as it does for cotton lycra. On this next pair, I used a Robert Kaufman interlock in steel grey. This boy loves plain grey. It is so hard for me to buy solids, but it sure makes him smile. 



High Rise with Longer Length


Finally, I made a pair with a cotton lycra shark fabric that came from Made Whimsy. On this pair, I used exposed elastic that I found in the Dallas Fabric District at Super Textiles. This particular elastic is super plush and soft against the skin. I am not sure what "Med Couture" means, but I am sure it was some overstock Steve (the owner) found. If you are ever in Dallas and love fabric, buttons, or random finds, go visit Steve!





  Here is a side-by-side comparison of all three pairs.



You can purchase your copy of the boy's Walbrook Boxer Brief pattern here. You can get a copy of the men's version of the pattern here


That's it for now, and thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.



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, April 24, 2018

A Fun Liverpool Dress Mash Up

I LOVE Liverpool. It is squishy like a baby, stable to work with, has wonderful stretch, drapes well, has great recovery, and comes in fantastic prints. It has such a cool texture! Recently, my friend Aimee had some she got from Made Whimsy, and she just thought the print had too much pink. I took one look and thought it had just the right amount of pink! I loved it, and I was so excited to make something with it!


Last week, my cousin got married. I knew I needed to make myself a dress that had easy nursing access but kept putting it off. I started the night before at 10 p.m. I know, last minute. I also used a pattern that was new to me. I know, bad idea when combined with starting at the last minute. I used the Ellie and Mac Be Captivating Dress. I finished the bodice and the skirt that night.  I think I was tired because I had to cut out the bodice twice. Whoops. I decided to wait until the morning to try it on, and then I would make fit adjustments, attach the skirt, and hem.


After showering the next morning, I tried everything on. I LOVED the bodice. It was perfect for nursing and not too revealing. I had lined the bodice with a navy cotton lycra from Made Whimsy. It felt so supportive and fit without needing alteration. The skirt was another story. It was a pencil skirt that hugged more curves than I needed it to. I just couldn't  bring myself to attach the skirt to the bodice, but I needed to leave for the wedding in just a few hours! I frantically grabbed the scrap of fabric left from making my dress and knew there was not enough for any type of circle skirt. UGH. I started looking through some of my patterns and saw Asta! Oh, Asta! I had already made her out of Liverpool. You can see that blogpost here.

I unfolded the Asta skirt pattern, and to my excited surprise, it matched the bodice for my dress!! I did not have a huge amount of fabric to work with so I had to cut the skirt a bit short, but it was perfect! Disaster averted!  I can't tell you how happy I was to finish. And, I have a super comfortable dress that will get a ton of wear this summer. I also was not late to the wedding and had plenty of time to eat lunch. Whew!


The only thing left for this dress is to (a) give it pockets and (b) make more! I was crunched for time when making it so did not have a chance to give it pockets. I prefer inseam pockets so I will only need to rip a few stitches if I have time to add them at another time. 




I went ahead and hemmed the pencil skirt and will make some flowy tops to wear with it. What does Liverpool work for? It works for pencil skirts, loose skirts, bomber jackets, dresses, and anything else you need a fabric with a great weight. I wouldn't use it for a tank top or something that needs a lighter weight fabric. I think my next Liverpool project will be in a Greenstyle Midway bomber!



Thanks for reading my blog! I hope that I have inspired you. I also hope that you do not wait until the last minute to make things like I sometimes do :).

You can find the fabric that I used on my dress and skirt here. You can find the pattern for the top of my dress here. You can find the pattern for the bottom of my dress here.



You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

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, April 17, 2018

Striped Swallow Designs Girls Coachella Shorts


I recently got the opportunity to test out a new, revised version of the Coachella Shorts by Striped Swallow Designs. I volunteered to test the shorts on baby Hannah, but after I made her a pair, I had to make her sisters some as well. They were just too cute, and I know they will get a ton of wear in our hot summers. The Coachella Shorts was the first pattern that Striped Swallow released, and they decided it needed a little bit of an update with an improved fit. I am very happy with the fit on all three of my models.


Sizing


For baby girl I chose 6 month size. She is 3 months in this photo and wearing a cloth diaper. I chose her size by measuring her WITH a cloth diaper on so that the shorts fit her bigger cloth diaper bum. For my 7 year old daughter, I made a size 7, which is exactly where her measurements fell. For my oldest daughter who is 9, I made a size 12 width with a size 10 height. The pattern gives very simple instructions on how to adjust when measurements don't fit exactly into the chart. I felt the shorts run true to size. They had plenty of room to play around. You wouldn't know it by these photos, but trust me, the outtakes were many!


Fabric


I used quilting cotton on all of my shorts. The red shorts on my 9 year old were from the Alexander Henry Fairyland collection. The gold shorts on my 7 year old are from my favorite pattern designer Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party Collection. Baby girl's shorts are made with a scrap I had of Michael Miller Lavinia in the Aqua colorway.



I almost got a smile out of this one!! She is such a sweetheart. I loved how helpful her sisters were in this photo shoot.


These two older girls are 22 months apart and the best of friends lately. They play Barbies, make slime, ride bikes and scooters, watch their favorite shows, and giggle all the time. They also know how to get under each others skin pretty quickly! I am so glad they have each other!


They are also super helpful with this little girl and have made having a 5th child not as stressful as I had thought it would be. They are so happy to have another sister and usually grab her up quickly if she asks to be held.





I know this may be photo overload, but I just couldn't get enough of how cute all three of them looked! You can get a copy of the pattern 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. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.




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.



Monday, April 16, 2018

Sewing a Woven Button Up Shirt - Wardrobe by Me Anna Shirt

One of the sewing projects I have wanted to tackle for quite some time has been a classic button up shirt. As an attorney, my closet should be full of these, but I only have maybe one ready to wear button up shirt that I really like enough that it has survived when I purged my closet. If I need a professional look, I normally wear a sleeveless woven tank with a blazer and no one is the wiser. It also helped me survive Texas summers in a dress suit. The problem was that I am too tall for petite sizes but too short for a standard size. I hate it when sleeves are too long or too short. I knew the answer would be to make my own, and I finally have been patient enough to make myself one!! It took a pattern by Wardrobe by Me to convince me to tackle the project. I knew that Christina Albeck, the designer, always drafts top notch patterns. So, I cast my fears aside and got started. 


The Pattern


The Wardrobe by Me Anna Shirt sewing pattern is for bust sizes 30 to 48. The pattern includes three sleeve options (long and two different short sleeved lengths). You can also select a pointed collar, round collar, or just a collar stand. I chose a pointe collar for both of my shirts. I went by my measurements and made a size 6. There is enough ease in the waist and hips that there is no reason to grade if you are a bit bigger there. Pick your size by your bust measurement. I made no adjustments to the shirt length. I took 3 inches off the sleeve. I measured where I wanted the sleeve to hit to find out how much to take off. I was so nervous they were going to be too short. I think my nervousness made me finish even faster because you really don't know that your sleeve length adjustments are going to be perfect until you are almost finished! (Don't feel sorry for me, though, I could have properly muslined and known ahead of time too!) I can't tell you how happy I am with the finished product! 


The pattern includes an option for a pleat in the back under the yoke. I chose no pleat to hopefully reduce fullness in my back. 


Fabric


For my first shirt, I used a Tula Pink peached poplin in her Bumble collection called Cotton Candy Clouds. I used the Sorbet colorway, but this fabric also comes in blue and green. I have never sewn with peached poplin before. It is similar to a quilting cotton but incredibly soft with a little bit more drape and better suited for garments than quilting cotton. I think the peaching process means they weave the fibers in a way that makes them come out awesome. I am obviously not sure of what that process is, but I am going to need them to start printing more fabric on peached poplin! My google search only turned up a very old extinct Heather Ross line that I wished I had collected all of. It works so nice for a top because it is very easy to press and get nice finishes, and I can still use my scraps on a quilt. It was only 44 inches wide, though, so I felt like I was playing fabric chicken trying to fit an entire shirt on 2 yards. I seriously had only the tiniest of scraps leftover. There was zero room for mistakes!




A Breezy Short Sleeved Anna


After finishing with our first shirts, many of us testers asked for a short sleeved version of the pattern so we could have a button up shirt for the warmer months ahead. Christina was so gracious to listen to us and provided two different short sleeved cut lines. I made a second shirt in the shorter of the two short sleeve lengths. 

  

Fabric


For my second shirt, I used a lyocell/linen blend from Joann Fabrics. I could not find it on their website, but it is from Nicole Miller and is 74% lyocell and 26% linen. It only came in solid colors. At my Joanns, they had turquoise, purple, and black. I was hoping I could find some in pink or white! This is also buttery soft like that peached poplin, except the lyocell/linen has one factor that the peached poplin does not have - slipperiness. Not sure that is an exact term, but it is a bit more difficult to work with so I had to use wonder tape so that the collar pieces behaved and stayed where I needed them to. Since it is a natural fiber, it was very easy to press, though. 



I love the summery feel of this shirt and think it looks super cute tied. I made a pair of Haute Skinny Pants in a stretch twill (97% cotton/ 3% spandex) to go with the shirt. Joann Fabrics had an entire section of florals and every color in stretch twill so I had to make a fun pair of pants to go with my shirt. I am knew to sewing pants and still have a few adjustments to make them perfect, but I am happy with them for now. My problem with pants is that my calves are not the same size as my waist. I sized up 2 sizes for my calves but know I still need to do more tweaking to eliminate some of those wrinkles around my knees. Knock need? Bow legged? I've done a lot of reading but haven't quite finished diagnosing what I need to do. That will be for another blogpost on another day.


Let me tell you a little secret. My buttons are not black!! Yikes. In my sewing room, they were totally black. Even under a flashlight to double check. NOPE. They are Navy. In the bright sunlight while taking photos of my shirt, I look down and see NAVY buttons. I shrieked. So, no close ups of my awesome buttons for now. Maybe I should go with silver or wood? Thank God buttons are easy to change. Tell me what color you think I should pick because black is obviously too hard for me!
  

You can purchase your copy of the Anna Shirt sewing pattern here.

That's it for now, and thank you so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you!You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: My awesome friend, who is such a wonderful photographer, 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.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Twig and Tale Petal Wrap Dress PDF Pattern

I am so excited to share with ya'll this blogpost today. Twig + Tale is releasing the sweetest reversible wrap dress pattern today - The Petal Wrap Dress. Baby Hannah got to be my model, and I think she did a pretty great job for her first time posing. She is 3 months old, and I tested the 3-6 month size on her. This dress is perfect for all those woven fabrics that come in so many beautiful prints - quilting cottons, linens, voile, corduroy, wool, and even upcycled clothes. The size range goes from preemie to size 4 and works for all seasons. This pattern is great for a beginner or for a more seasoned seamstress who wants a quick, satisfying project. 


Let me tell you the best detail of all - IT IS FREE. It will only be free for a limited time, and to get it for free, you need to join the Twig + Tale sewing community on Facebook, located here. Once you join this wonderful group of talented women who enjoy sewing and are from all around the world, you will see the code to get the pattern in the group discussion. You are going to love making this dress for your little ones or to give as a gift at baby showers! 

Now, let's get into the details of the dress and tunic I have made from this pattern for Hannah. First up is the dress length.


Fabric - The first dress is made using fabric from my FAVORITE fabric designer - Anna Maria Horner. I seriously try to buy all of her prints. I love her choice of colors, saturations, and use of florals. If you have seen my quilts, they are chalked full of her fabric. On one side of the dress I used the Waltz quilting cotton print from her Garden Party collection that was released many years ago. On the reverse of the dress I used a silky soft cotton voile from her Little Folks collection, which also was from several years ago.


Isn't that reverse so sweet? 


Hannah has the sweetest fat cheeks that sometimes eat up necklines on clothing, but this photo shows off that beautiful neckline on this dress.


The second item that I made Hannah is the tunic view of the Petal Wrap Dress. This one is perfect for pairing with your favorite pair of bummies, bubble shorts, or a wool diaper cover (like Hannah is wearing here). Twig and Tale also has the Tree Climber Pantaloons that would be so cute with the tunic view of this dress.


Fabric - I used a linen/cotton blend print from Heather Ross's (now OOP) Nursery Versary that has the "Itsy Itsy Spider" children's song on it. The reverse side has the Cell Structure quilting cotton print from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study line. 




I love sleeveless tops on babies to show off those chubby baby arms.


Here is the reverse side showing. You can use buttons or snaps on each side of the dress to keep it together. I chose snaps on both of mine.


The hardest part of writing this post was narrowing down the photos! So, please forgive me for the photo overload! I just want to freeze time and remember how sweet this one is. The baby days can feel so long and yet pass so quickly at the same time. 



 Here is the reverse of her tunic. I just love both sides of it on her. 



You can grab your copy of the Petal Wrap Dress pattern 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. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: My awesome friend, who is such a wonderful photographer, 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.






Friday, April 6, 2018

Greenstyle Pacific Pullover PDF Sewing Pattern Review

The Greenstyle team has been hard at work on their newest pattern, the Pacific PulloverI was excited to get to take part in the process as a tester. It seems like winter is not quite ready to leave so this pullover has been perfect for our cooler mornings and evenings. The Pacific Pullover features beautiful color blocking on the bodice and on the back sleeve. It has an optional hidden kangaroo pocket or a pocket on the side front color blocked piece. The sleeves can be long or made as a tank with a facing. The Pullover has an optional 1/4 zip that works with any 8 or 9 inch zippers and can be finished with a hood, a collar, or a neckband. The sleeves and bottom of the pullover can be hemmed or have cuffs. There are also directions for thumbhole cuffs. It works perfect with knit fabric that has at least 50% 4 way stretch. Whoo! That was a mouthful of options. Now, let's get into my three versions that were all made in the XS size.

The Collared Kale


The first version I want to show you was made with the final version of the Pacific Pullover pattern. This one is a collared pullover with a hidden Kangaroo pocket that has a place to feed my earbuds through. This will be perfect for working out or to just quickly pull on if I notice the weather is too cool in the morning. I used Fabric Fairy's DryFlex Poly Lycra in Kale, which can be found here, for the main part of the body. It feels like a heavier weight, super soft double brushed poly. On the accents, I used the Dri-Fit Midweight in Black, which can be found here. It is a bit cooler to the touch and is a good deep black. 


I used a 9 inch zipper on this pullover, and it was a much easier install than my first. My tips for an easy zipper install - (1) Don't skip the stay stitching. (2) Go slow, and (3) use your zipper foot.


Here is what it looks like all zipped up when it is extra chilly.


It is definitely running approved. 




I paired it with my Super Gs and have lots of pockets. You can't really have enough pockets.  



Little Red Riding Hood


My next jacket was made with an earlier testing version of the pattern that had more ease in the sleeves. She slimmed the sleeves up for the final one and added a little bit of length to the bodice, but I still really love the way this one came out and will be wearing it a lot. This one also has the hidden Kangaroo pocket and cuffs, just with a hood. 


For this pullover, I used this fun fabric I had bought at Joann's last year that was a soft poly based reversible knit. The right side of the fabric is red and feels brushed while the back is smooth and has black and white stripes. I bought it thinking it would be perfect for a hood so that the inside was just as pretty as the outside. This pattern was perfect to play with using the stripes to contrast the red. 



This one is also very much running approved. 



The Heavy Pullover Top


The last Pacific Pullover that I have to show you is using the neckband feature in the pattern without a zipper, collar, or hood. This is a very quick pullover to whip up when you are crunched on time or to make a quick muslin. On this one, I used Fabric Fairy Supplex in Cherry, which is thick and soft. This pullover feels thick and more like a sweater due to the fabric that I chose. I used the same black dri-fit on the accents that I used with my Kale Pullover. 


For the top version, I used the pocket that is featured in the side stripe. I put a pocket on each stripe so that I can have one for my phone and the other for keys. I was glad that the stripe was just wide enough for my I-Phone. 


You can grab your copy of the Pacific Pullover pattern 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. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: My sweet daughter, Abigail, took some of the photos and my awesome friend, Aimee Wilson, took the rest.


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.