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Monday, October 22, 2018

Greenstyle Warrior Pants


Sometimes I have projects that I am working on that I get so excited to share. It's usually the projects where I learned something new or that challenged me in some way. I always struggle with how much I should share my "sewing fails" so that ya'll could really appreciate how exciting my good projects are!! Well, anyways, today's project is so good, and I hope I inspire you to keep challenging yourself to make things that you feel good in and confident to say that you made what you are wearing.

 

Greenstyle Creations has just released it's latest pattern, the Warrior Pants. For today's post, I will be reviewing the pattern and talking about the top that I made to go with my pants. I will also be chatting with you about my personal style.


The Pattern - The Warrior Pants 

The Warrior pants come in 3 lengths - capri, ankle, or full length. The pattern has a comfortable knit waistband, an overlapping side seam, the most genius pockets you will ever construct, and a side slit that can go as high or low as you prefer. I have never seen pockets constructed this way, and the sewing nerd in me absolutely geeked out about how fun the pockets were to sew. You can watch me sew them here if you need any help along the way.

The pants also look so good in a variety of fabrics - double brushed poly, French terry, ITY, cotton spandex, rayon spandex, and the list goes on. You just need a knit fabric with at least 25% stretch. It took 2 yards of fabric for each of the pairs of pants that I made (3 total!) so these definitely take more fabric than my regular skinny pants or leggings. 

This floral pair was made with double brushed polyester from Knitpop. I used the ankle length cutline on the pattern. 


Here I am trying to be athletic in my pants. I think this pose makes it obvious that I no longer practice yoga, but I do remember this being one of my favorite poses when I did prenatal yoga many years ago. The Warrior Pants pattern is named after the Warrior Pose in Yoga. My mind does drift off into thoughts of what being a warrior means to me as a Christian. The Bible tells us that we do not fight against flesh and blood but against forces and authorities and rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world (Eph 6.12). Even if someone is different than me, my weapon is to love them and to be kind to them. You never know what battle other people are fighting in their own personal life, so I try to be slow to take offense or to take things personal.

One of my techniques with my children is that when I am at my most angry, I try to purposely lower my voice and use a soft voice. This one is so hard, but it is so effective. The Bible says that a soft or gentle answer turns away wrath (Prov 15:1). I notice that if I just start yelling (no matter how justified) that it just makes the situation worse, shuts my kids down, and I get no response. If I get down on my kids level, lower my voice, and speak in a kind way, I am usually able to get them to calm down and respond to me. I know my weapons may seem so weak and nothing to be proud of, but let me tell you, that I feel like God's love and kindness is a force that has changed me and sets the tone for those around me. I always feel awful too if I let my emotions get the best of me and I yell. I think my weapons are also very fitting for my blog "Sweet Mama." 


I also snuck in a green top to see how it looked with a regular length top.


This next pair of Warrior pants is a capri pair made in a dark navy polyester blend fabric. I love the drape it has and how insanely comfortable these pants are. I took one inch out of the length of these pants at the lengthen/shorten line to account for my shortness (5"2'). 


Let's Warm Up

I am sure you are wondering by now what my challenge was with this project. Well, it was style! When Angelyn (the genius engineer and designer behind Greenstyle) started working on the Warrior Pants pattern, I couldn't imagine myself in the style. I took to Pinterest and started looking for inspiration to warm myself up to the idea. You can see my Pinterest board here if you are curious about that. 

In my head I had defined my personal style as always having a fitted bottom (leggings, skinny pants, etc.) with various types of tops. But, you guys, I started falling in love with these wide leg styles. I am probably so late to the party, but I am so glad to be here now. The biggest part of the challenge: I also REALLY loved the way crop tops looked with the wide leg pants. It changed the silhouette in a way that I just couldn't achieve with any other top. 

I knew the look I wanted now, but then, my thoughts wandered down the rabbit hole of - I have had 5 kids, my stomach has been stretched too crazy and no one wants to see that. Even if they did, I am 36. I am too old for that. You get the idea. So, in the middle of my thoughts, my little sister came over ROCKING a crop top. Guys, she looked good. So, all these words to say, I am EMBRACING the style. I made my first one (read on for pattern details), and I love it! I know I will totally be baring my tummy for date nights, but I also can see myself throwing this over my tight fitting tank tops that I wear to the gym and using it as a pullover as well. I am sure I will get curious looks with all 5 of my kids at the grocery store in a crop top. We will see how brave I really get. 


The Top Pattern - The Open Back Pullover

The Pattern that I used to make my top is the Greenstyle Open Back Pullover. I chose this top because I love the loose fitting comfortable shape and that it works great with fabrics that I don't have only 25% horizontal stretch and no spandex. I wanted to use my super soft organic bamboo fleece and knew it would work on this pattern. Even though the fun of the Open Back Pullover is the high or low scoop back, for this top, I wanted a plain solid back. I used the low front scoop neckline, and I cut the front and back pieces at a straight line 7.5 inches below where the armscye ends. The result was a super quick top that I am so excited about. 


The last pair of Warrior Pants I have to show you is a double brushed polyester pair that I made in pretesting with arrow fabric. I thought the fabric was very fitting for the pants and plan to wear these as lounge pants at home. 

 

Resources
  1. The Warrior Pants pattern can be found here
  2. The Open Back Pullover pattern can be found here
  3. Pants Fabric - The Floral DBP came from Knitpop. The other two came from the local DFW Fabric District. 
  4. Top Fabric - The organic bamboo fleece came from Simplifi Fabric

Thanks 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. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the 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.

Photo Credit: My sweet 9 year old daughter, Abigail. Do you see the rain in the background?! It had rained for almost a week when she took these photos so we took them in a parking garage. The lighting was so hard from a photography perspective. 





Sunday, October 21, 2018

Greenstyle Green Tee Take Two


Exciting news! The FREE Greenstyle Green Tee pattern now has a long sleeve update! This means that I can now wear my favorite T shirt year around! We had our first cold spell of rain and 40 degree weather this past week so this update came at the perfect time for me. I can't wait to fill my closet with more of this wardrobe staple! 



The Pattern

The Green Tee is my favorite T shirt pattern that I blogged about here (and included video resources if you need help sewing one!) earlier in the  month. Since that blog post, the pattern has been updated to have the option of long sleeves! Nothing has changed in the bodice or fit. If you already have the pattern printed out, you will only need to print the long sleeve pattern piece to get a long sleeved top. 

Fabric

I used double brushed polyester from So Sew English for this top. It is warm, soft and so comfortable. My husband could not stop petting my shirt and telling me how nice it felt. What a win! Did you notice that my shirt also has sewing machines all over it? Pink, purple, and sewing machines.... I think I have a new favorite top!

Be mindful of fabric requirements for long sleeves. Sometimes when I find fabric I like that is a bit more expensive, I just buy a yard. I normally can get a Green Tee out of a yard of fabric so I know that I can always make at least one tee or a tank out of a yard. However, when the colder months roll in, I have to remember to buy in larger quantities. I need at least a yard and a half of fabric to get a long sleeve shirt so I have to make a mental shift to start buying at least 2 yards. 

I think my next Green Tee needs to be in a sweater knit, which means I need to start buying more sweater knit!! (and yes, that is exciting, I love a good sweater knit and also love buying fabric!) Maybe you will beat me to it? If you do, post it in the Greenstyle Facebook group so that I can see! 


Size and Adjustments

I made my usual size of an XS on this top. I shortened the sleeves by 1.75 inches and did not make any adjustments to the body of the top. This is a normal adjustment for me. When I adjusted the sleeves, I took 1 inch out at the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern and then another .75 inches out in a random place that looked like the forearm so that I could divide my shortening more evenly along the pattern. I really like where the sleeve length ended up on me. 


I think the sleeves have the perfect amount of ease to be slimming on my arms, but they do not feel snug at all. I don't like overly tight sleeves, and I don't like baggy sleeves on a semi-fitted top. 


When I went to grab photos at my usual spot so that I could show off my new Green Tee, there just happened to be a Wine and Music Festival going on. There was a band that was pretty entertaining and lots of people having a great time.


I headed for the food trucks first, but they were closing up shop. I was so sad that I had missed the day of fun. I was able to visit a few vendors and grab the boys some honey sticks. I think it ended up being a great day, and I am marking my calendar so that I do not miss it next year! 


I hope you have a great weekend too and enjoy a fall festivity with your family. I also hope you get a chance to sew up a stack of Green Tees!

Resources
  1. The Fabric for my shirt is from So Sew English Fabrics.
  2. I blogged about the Green Tee here and gave video resources for help with sewing the neckbands on. Check it out if you are intimidated at all by neckbands. 
  3. Grab your pattern here and join the Greenstyle Facebook group to get the code to make the pattern FREE. The Long Sleeve Add On is also available for FREE here

Thanks 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. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received this pattern for free because it 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.



Friday, October 19, 2018

Sofilantjes Sylva Onesie PDF Pattern Review


A onesie is such a staple in every baby's wardrobe, and I got the chance over the past week to make my 9 month old two onesies to add to her wardrobe. I tested the Sylva onesie pattern by Sofilantjes and made her a short sleeved and long sleeved version. For today's post, I will be reviewing the pattern, giving some tips for fitting a tall and skinny baby, and then, talking all about my sweet little cruious girl who seems to be growing so fast. 


The Pattern

The Sylva Onesie covers sizes Newborn through 18 months and has an overlapping neckline that forms a beautiful V. The neckline is the same on the front and the back. The lapped style of neckline is easy to construct and allows you to get the onesie over the baby's head easily just like the traditional onesie does with the openings at the shoulders. I think having the lap in the front and back is much easier to sew because the cross over is on a straight seam. When I have made onesies with the cross over at the shoulder, I have always inadvertently needed to rip stitches! I think it is the curve and keeping all the edges lined up that make it harder on a shoulder than on the front/back. 



Fitting a Baby

My little one is 9 months old but is as active and can be and is tall and skinny for her age. Based on her measurements, I made a 6 month for her width, but her height put her in a 12 month. For my first onesie, I printed a straight 6 month and added the length needed by cutting a line straight through the front and back of the pattern and adding an inch. The fit was perfect once I got the onesie on her, but it was a little difficult to get over her head because her head size is not 6 months. The pattern comes with layers to make it easy to select your size. So, for the next onesie that I made her, I printed both the 6 month and 12 month size. I used all the 6 month lines for width and all the 12 month lines for height AND added 1 inch to both the font and back bodies as I had done before. This means I used the armhole and neckline for the 12 month size. The 6 month size was purely for the width of the body and the width of the front upper bodice pieces. This gave her more room in the armpit and more room in the neck and made getting her onesie on and off so much easier. It also means she will have a bit more growing room so she will get to wear the onesie for longer. 



She does not have very chubby arms, though, so her arms turned out a bit baggier than the intended pattern because I did not reduce the width of the arms to 6 months. Instead, I left them the same size as the armhole at 12 months. After trying it on her, I was happy with the growing room and left them on the baggy side. I did take out an inch of length in the arm on the long sleeved onesie so that it was not too long on her. 


I used a soft cotton lycra on both of her onesies and for her bindings. I love how well both of her onesies will coordinate with all the other clothes I have been making her. 


The Sylva Onesie pattern also has the same wonderful diaper coverage for a cloth diapered baby as the ADV Onesie. She is wearing a pocket-style cloth diaper that is stuffed with two inserts. Even with the bulk, her diaper is completely covered by this onesie. I love that the bands are over her upper thigh and do not show any of her diaper. 


Sofilantjes releases their patterns at a discounted price. I have learned after several releases that they never offer a sale as good as the release price. So, if you plan to get this onesie, do so now! The pattern can be found here. It will be on sale until Sunday night at midnight CET.


My Sweet Girl

Her chubby thighs. Her crinkled nose. Her fat fingers. Her two teeth. Her hair. This girl makes me so happy. She has the sweetest spirit. Already talks with her hands like her mama. Snorts and crinkles her nose and laughs. I adore her. She can put up a fight at naptime but is so happy to be cuddled with and nurse. She plays with her siblings so sweet. She squeals and pulls her brothers hair and wants to be kissed and talked to by her sisters. I feel like the baby days are racing by, and I just want to take it all in and cherish each moment. I did not have my blog when my other children were little so I regret that I don't have all the memories written down like I have been able to with her. 



I am so thankful to God for this sweet rainbow baby of mine who brings so much joy into my heart and into our home. 


Thank you so much for reading my blog! 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 PinterestFollow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the 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, and it allows me to continue to tell you all about my latest favorite sewing finds.  

The hardest part of this post was picking which photos to use. Here are more that I just couldn't delete! She had so much fun crawling all over the place during our little photo session.




Thursday, October 18, 2018

Striped Swallow Designs Girls Lost Coast Cardigan

I recently got the opportunity to test a cardigan for Striped Swallow Designs for my daughter Tabitha. She will be turning 8 next month and has such a sweet spirit. For today's post, I will review the pattern and also chat a little about parenting. I hope you find something encouraging from my post. 


The Pattern

The Lost Coast Cardigan is a children's cardigan pattern with raglan sleeves. The size range covers sizes 2T to 14. A women's pattern is also available separately.  There are optional belt loops and a belt tie as well as pockets. The arms are finished with a cuff, and the bottom is finished with a simple hem. I think it has the perfect amount of ease to use to layer over long sleeves. 

The pattern has the option of a shawl collar or a hood. I made the shawl collar and lined the reverse with a pink contrast.  The instructions have you tack part of the collar down to create the shawl affect. I made a size 7 for my daughter based on her measurements. Tabitha did not want a belt or pockets on it, so it was a rather quick sew for me. The pattern came together really easily and has gotten a lot of use already. 

 

I used a soft French terry from a Knitpop auction box that feels like a rayon blend with spandex. If I made the pattern again, I would make it all solid so that she could wear it with some of her floral dresses. I feel that making it out of one of my pretty florals limits how many outfits it will go with. She still loves it though and has been wearing it with all her patterned clothes. 


She paired it for the photoshoot with her unicorn Greenstyle Slope Tank (a free kids pattern that I blogged about here). 


Notes from Mom Life

She cut her hair. Many kids do this at some point in their lives. BUT she did not want to cut her hair. She got slime stuck in it, and instead of asking for help, she took care of it. BIG SIGH. She wore a hat the first day, which I remember thinking was strange. Her sister later told me what happened. When I went to inspect and found just how much she had cut, which was most of the top, I cried again. She cried too and was so embarrassed and scared to tell me. 

We got to have one of those long talks. The ones where I pray that I am saying the right words in a way that she understands and remembers. I really wasn't sad about the hair. I was more sad about realizing that she did not run to me when she needed help. She has told me for the last several years how she wanted to have long hair. It took quite a long time to grow out as a baby and was very short for so long. She had finally gotten it to a length that she loved. BUT She felt in that moment that cutting off her hair was easier than telling mom that she got slime stuck in it.

So my long mom talk, which included lots of hugs, told her that she will find herself throughout her life in situations that are hard and that she can always ask for help without judgment. I am not here to punish her for every bad thing happening, rather I am here to help her and pick her up when life gets messy. She never has to make a choice so drastic and hide her problems. I told her that mom's arms will always be open and ready no matter how difficult the situation may feel at the time. 

Maybe I over-reacted and over-dealt with the situation, but I knew what a big deal this was to her. I also really felt like it was such a teaching moment that I will need when she is a teenager. I really want to have already set the tone that she doesn't need to hide whatever crazy thing comes her way in life (even by her own doing). 


I am so glad she has a stash of big bows. It has been a few weeks since she cut it so it is starting to grow. You can see the short bangs poking out under her bows. I am not sure how it is going to look when the short top underneath the bow starts to show more. Hopefully a very talented stylist can give me some pointers. Surely she isn't the first girl to cut all the top of her hair. 

I was also so happy that after our talk she was so willing to let me sign her up for a pattern test and get her right back in front of the camera. It made me feel like all of my words reassuring her of her beauty sunk in. She was so concerned that she looked like a boy. This parenting gig is the most important and hardest thing I have done in my life. I feel so blessed and happy to get to walk alongside my children and try to use every moment to teach them and plant words in their hearts for their future. 


Thanks so much for reading my blog! I hope I have inspired you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. 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. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the 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.


Resources
  1. The free tank pattern that she is wearing under her cardigan can be found here.
  2. The pattern for her cardigan can be found here.
  3. The fabric I used for her cardigan came from Knitpop