Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Not Everything New is Scary!

I am so excited to share my week two entry, or in this case entries, for The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month Contest, New To Me Week. I meticulously thought out all my entries for this event, except this week. I was really nervous to go outside my comfort zone that I had already built up to. The designer's I use regularly are familiar and I know well any alterations I need to make as I am sewing. After staring blankly at the endless list of Indie Pattern Designer's, I settled on Little Lizzard King and 5 out of 4 Patterns. Fair warning this has to be my longest post to date and none of these links are affiliate links, this is simply my experience with both patterns.

I started with my top, the Elia by Little Lizzard King from their Bohemian Spirit Collection. I love the cold shoulder style that is all the rage now, and purchased this pattern what seems ages ago, but really only back in May during a sale when I first saw it posted in a facebook group. I had every intention of sewing it up right away, but kept getting busy and soon the Elia, all printed was collecting dust on my crafting table. I fell in love with the pattern right away, but I am alway leary of any pattern with a peplum, for some reason I feel it makes my hips seem wider.

This weeks IPM submission was the perfect reason to give this gorgeous top a try. I cannot only share my successes though, I orinionally intended to use a lightweight knit I picked up at Joann's specifically for this top. Turns out, I didnt think I would have any issues, but my sewing ego was quickly reminded why I still consider myself a beginner. No fault of the pattern at all, but my lovely knit stretched in the neckline while sewing. I tried to fix it by adding some clear elastic, it worked but not good enough for a contest entry. I do intend on adding the skirt and finishing this knit version, just after the contest. I may have found out why this happened, and address it again in just a moment.

While trying on the failed knit, I noticed I had a enough room to make the whole top out of a Nicole Miller Silky print I grabbed at Joann's months ago. One goal for the summer has been use the fabric I have first, especially since I have enough to open a fabric store, who doesn't? Another goal for the summer is to change every pattern I make, even just a little bit. While this was a new pattern and designer, I was going to keep this goal one way or another. I thought it could be made sleeveless, and that idea was confirmed when I saw a beautiful example of just that on the Little Lizzard King Facebook Support page. I knew it could be done so I decided to push myself and give it a shot.

I printed the pages for my size Large. There are only four pieces to tape, the front and back bodice, the back of the skirt, and sleeve. Since I took the sleeveless route, I didn't bother with the sleeve. What about the skirt front? There is a square piece you are given the dimensions to in tje instructions. I had an idea, and probably not the only one to have this thought, I folded the skirt back up making a rectangle that happened to be the exact measurements needed for the front. I cannot say this works for all sizes, but it did mine,  and saved me some cutting time. The instructions. Speaking of instruction, they are simple and clear. I love the details in the photos where arrows and lines is a bright visible color show exactly what each step in referring to. The instructions for the burrito roll necessary to complete the bodice and lining were a relief. Most times I have had to YouTube how each time, but the photos are so clear I did not need a video refresher.

I did learn one valuable lesson while writing this post. The Little Lizzard King has a 24 hour download policy. Somehow I lost almost all my patterns purchased that day, but have no fear there is a form that can be completed on their Facebook group where you can request the order again. It does take 7 to 10 days though. I found this out because, I noticed in the girls pattern that it refers to a zipper addition in the woven version. I did not recall seeing that mentioned in the Ladies version, but since I cannot find my downloaded copy anywhere, I cannot confirm or deny that I missed something important in the steps. It could even be why its a little loose in the neckline, it would totally make sense. This is still clearly operator error and absolutely no fault of the designer.

I needed bottoms to go with this top, but since this is New To Me week I had to find an alternative to what I normally would use. I stumbled upon 5 out of 4 Patterns and their Ninja Pants which would be perfect to go with this top. The Ninja Pants are a free design available at their site via a code from their Facebook Support page in the pinned post.

Immediately I was impressed with the options in this free pattern. You have multiple waistlines, multiple lengths, a gusset, pocket, and so much more. I had a hard time believing this was really free. On top of all the options in the bottoms, the no trim pages are printed in layers. Assembly was super simple with the use of a thick line used to guide placement.

I had to once again stick to my revise all the patterns theme and decided to add a little lace that closely resembles the print of my top. I had no clue at all how to do it so I did what I do best and guess. After deciding on the pedal pusher length, I folded the pattern in half using the hemline to help determine the halfway mark. I cut out each side and subtracted 1 1/2 inches from each side. It was at that point I realized I  needed to add back the seam allowances or this wasn't going to fit. I decided to just cut the difference when I was cutting the fabric. I took the two 1 1/2 pieces cut off each side and taped them together to make a pattern piece for the inset, again realizing I needed to include the SA wjen cutting to avoid fit issues. I purposely left the inset all the way to the waistline because I was only making these to be worn under long tops. Another first, the gusset, I have never added one before and was surprised how easy it came together. With the extra room, I probably did not need the high waist, and my next pair will be mid rise.

Obviously the fabric choice for my new Ninja Pants had to have great stretch and recovery. I used what I had on hand, a Cotton Lycra from Joann's. The inset fabric I have had for so long I can only say it came from Joann's, as does most of my stuff, during a half off clearance sale over a year ago. It has a little stretch to it also, not nearly as much as the CL does. I have a ton of tops and too short dresses I had this in mind for, but wanted this fabric combination mainly because it closely resembles the print in the top.

I am really impressed with both the Elia and Ninja and how they turned out. The fit test for me is always wearing it to my karaoke job because I am constantly moving, lifting, carrying vs just normal day wear. I has no issues. My Ninja Pants never fell down once, and the Elia top didn't pull anywhere along the night. I received more compliments on the combination than any one thing I have made to date. I need to go back and make each again as they were inteded. I highly recommend both patterns for beginner's or advanced alike.

Next weeks Hack It Up challange goes with my summer theme of revising all patterns. I cannot wait to share how cute this outfit turned out, but I have to be patient. In the mean time, make sure you vote for your favorites from Week 1 Dresses!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bayside for my Mini

I tested the Women's Bayside a while ago. Ever since my daughter had been asking for one as well. She is big enough for the smallest sized woman's, but it takes a little alterations to the pattern to make it fit right. I am glad I postponed because New Horizons came out with the adorable Girl's Bayside. Perfect timing!

I can assemble the woman's version in my sleep, and the girl's is basically the same but smaller. You still need the clear elastic for the back and where the bodice joins whatever bottom you are making, or if you are feeling adventurous, you can try a banded waist and make a top like I did here.

I used a Doodles knit from Joann's for my fabric this time around. My daughter insisted on the narwhal print, I didn't even know she knew what they were, our kids never cease to amaze us! Any way, I made her a 16 shorts romper with a 14 length in the bodice and shorts. No other changes were made.

If you do not have the benefit of already knowing how to assemble this design, I have made several already. Rest assured this is a really easy pattern to follow. The instructions are clear and show the steps as described. There is even a little extra information available on how to do the casing, which by the way I use on any pattern needing elastic.

Make sure to take advantage of the Girl's Bayside while it is on sale. The Mommie and Me Bundle is also on sale. This is a great warm weather pattern, which I just realized I am actually wearing as I write this up in our 100+ heat.

If you have questions or need some inspiration, make sure to stop in to the New Horizons Support Page on Facebook.

If you missed it, the links to my Woman's Bayside, and my Revised Bayside are here.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will get paid a small portion of that purchase

Sweeping up with my new broom!

I recently moved into a home that has absolutely no carpet. I always figured it would be easier, having two kids, a cat, and dog, but I have never been more wrong. I almost miss my carpet, until now! Once we were all settled in, I had to find a broom and fast. My little zoo can drag in every speck of dirt quickly. I tried using my old broom, but it would take forever because of such a small area, not to mention the constant back and forth sweeping motion became tiresome.

 I ran to the store and picked up a push broom with a microfiber head thinking that would make life easier, and it did for a bit. Then one day epic fail when my daughter decided to bring out glitter. My floors looked like Tinker bell was trying to get the house to fly. My new great broom missed every spec of glitter.

Almost giving up, I scoured my faithful friend Amazon, and stumbled upon the answer to my sweeping issues. A commercial grade 24 inch dust mop sold by OSO Clean. I wasn't sure at first since I could not see it in person, but knowing Amazon's policies I decided to give it a try.

It arrived in a tall skinny box, with both pieces wrapped in plastic. Since this was designed for commercial use I figured putting this together would be a challenge. It took 3 seconds to attach the head with a clip already attached to the base of the handle.  I was off and sweeping quickly.

Let's talk about the handle. It's a 50 inch long Aluminum handle, rust proof too. This dust mop it so light, my kids have no excuse to not help sweep as a newly added chore.

The head of the dust mop is a bunch of 4-ply cotton fibers designed to trap dirt. Remember that glitter, it picked up every remaining spec I missed with the dust buster. When it's time to wash it, there is a zipper right on top to remove it quickly and toss it in the wash.

If you happen to be in the market for a new broom, I highly suggest this one. It has been an important addition to our cleaning supplies.

Friday, July 7, 2017

My Bayside lost it's Romp!

Back in May, I was able to test The New Horizon Designs Bayside for Women Romper. I ended up with two great mini dress rompers, seen here in my review, that have been a summer staple. During the test, I tried on the bodice before adding my skirt and realized this would make an adorable top as well.

Of course I needed the test to end before I could start working on how to execute this image in my head. There were a few options on how. I could shorten the bodice some and make a wider band, leave the bodice length and band from
there, no band at all, open front, open back, or both. The combinations seemed endless.

I began on the bodice, folllowing the instructions as they were written. The clear elastic is still necessary to maintain structure in the crossover back. I decided to keep the bodice length and add a band. In the end, the top is just about tunic length and prefect for work or date night. If you are inspired to make your own Bayside Top after this, if not going for tunic length, you will want to shorten the bodice or risk it being too loose on the crossover.

To measure the band, I calculated 85% of the bodice, and rounded down to the nearest inch because this fabric is incredibly stretchy. I didn't want the band too thin, so I cut 14 inches and folded it over for a band width of 7 inches, minus the seam allowance of course. I did not see a need to add elastic where the bodice and band meet as you would with the romper in any version.

I love this variation of the Bayside, and with the release of the Girls Bayside as well, I plan on making one for my daughter too. She loves when we have matching Mommy and Me clothing. You can take advantage of the girls release with a sale on the bundle for both Women's and Girl's Bayside here. You can grab your Women's Bayside Romper only here.

While you are at the website, make sure to grab the latest free cut file too!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will get paid a small portion of that purchase

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

DesignerStitch Remix Featuring Ella and Gypsy

Lately I have been all about changing patterns that I already have for a new look. It's not that I do not love the pattern created by the designer, it is more of a personal challange to expand on my growing talent. I was part of the test group for the Ella Cami and The Gypsy, both designed by Ann Grose at DesignerStitch. It was during the Ella test, blog post here, that inspiration hit and I decided to try my first attempt at combining two great patterns.

I had no clue where to start on this since I had never done this before. I measured the bodice of the Ella and the skirt of the Gypsy, and found that in my size 4 unaltered it was almost an exact match. There was very little modification if any. I did decide to keep the pockets from Gypsy skirt.

The directions for both patterns are super easy to follow, as all the DesignerStitch patterns are. I started sewing the bodice of Ella up to the point of adding the ruffle. Instead I cut and attached the Gypsy, using the high low front for the entire length.

My fabric is just a woven blend from Joann's Fall Apparel Collection. It was something I fell in love with at the start of the fall season, I just wasn't inspired to see anything with it until now. I joined in on the Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month 2017 and felt this was a great opportunity to use this beautiful fabric.

The Ella, which was recently released, and the Gypsy which was released the fall of last year both are available for purchase at the DesignerStitch shop. Both are available in multi-sized patterns, and are printed in layers to save ink. There is also have a great Facebook Support Group if you are looking for a little inspiration or even have a few questions.

Next week's challange is based on a new to me designer. I am torn between two designers that I have followed but never sewn anything from as if yet. Hopefully I decide soon or I may just end up with two entries.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will get paid a small portion of that purchase