Category Archives: Reviews

Matinee Dress Pattern Tour and Giveaway!

I am so honored to be a part of Jenn’s (from A Jennuine life) Matinee Dress Pattern Tour. I love our online sewing community. There is so much talent to be shared, and Jenn is no exception! This pattern is so well done.

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One of the best parts of this dress is the unique back. It has a button closure with a strap that goes all the way around. It also has two smaller buttons a little lower.

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I chose this fun zebra print and actually did some pattern matching. Seriously. I went all out. The back of the skirt part of the dress is two pieces. I got the patterns matched up so that you can barely tell! Excuse me while I pat myself on the back. *patpat*

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I call this her “safari” dress, BTW.

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Lately, when I sew up patterns for my petite nut, I use the measurements instead of the size, and I tell you, it hasn’t failed me yet! I made a 4T width with a 6 length, and it is a perfect fit! Almost like it was made for her. Ha!

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The pattern comes with a few options, such as making it sleeveless. I opted to add the cap sleeves and really love the way they look. Jenn walks you through the process of making every part of this dress so beautifully. I love her thoroughness.

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I only made a few slight changes (cause that is what I do). I added a lining for the skirt. It makes the very full (I added some inches) skirt portion of the dress puff out a bit more. We are a puff loving family, you know.

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I honestly wasn’t sure how Falafel would feel about the open back, but it turns out that is her favorite part! It gives this dress a bit more fancy. And everyone needs more fancy….even on safari.

Thank you so much for including me on your fabulous Pattern Tour!

*Jenn is offering a special discount of 20% off the pattern price. Just use the code : matineetour20 and if you use my special affiliate link, I get a little something too.

But Wait! IT GETS EVEN BETTER!!! If you would like to enter to win this prize package, use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

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Aaaaaaand Don’t forget to also check out the other sewists on the Tour cause they are full of awesome!

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Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Testing the Sleepover Pajamas

I just got to test a pajama pattern for Blank Slate Patterns (all her patterns are all excellent) called the Sleepover Pajamas which have changed nighttime around here!

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Falafel absolutely loves these so much that she has worn them every night since I have made them. I just carved out some time yesterday to make her another pair so that she can wear one while I wash the other.

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OK details. I used a super soft knit from Joann’s and some grey ribbing I had in my stash. I didn’t bother to hem the sleeves or the bottom on the shirt because this fabric will not fray and I am lazy like that.

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I love how simple and comfortable the top is. No closures. Easy on and off for my girl.

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The bottoms are a great length and are finished nicely with that grey ribbing.

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I originally signed up to test a size 7 for my little nut (even though she is 8 years old and actually wears a size 6- I thought I would make them a bit big to grow into), when I saw the size chart, I asked if I could go by her measurements which were 4T width and size 6 length!

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They are perfect!

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As a rule, I usually go by the measurements for a pattern. It just makes sense. These fit her beautifully because of that. I know that her body isn’t typical, so it is great that this pattern allows for customization.

Thank you Melissa for another fabulous pattern!

Spring Showers Jacket Pattern Tour

 I was so tickled that Heidi from Elegance and Elephants asked me to be a part of the Spring Showers Jacket pattern tour!

Yes, yes, and more yes!

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This pattern is lovely. It is all the little details that make it special. The back is slightly longer to act as a mud splash. It is fully lined and the pattern allows a little extra length for rolling the sleeves up to show your cute lining too. Oh and that visor! I love that she takes the time to walk you through all the top stitching and all the construction.

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I have never put in a separating zipper before this!! If I knew how very easy it was, I would have been doing this the whole time. Seriously. I sewed up a size 6/7 and the fit is great. I will say that I bought a metal 20″ zip and it was too long. I totally didn’t know how to trim a metal zip without impaling myself in some way, so I just got an 18″ one to replace it, and it fit perfectly.

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On to my fabric choice. As you all may know, we live in the Pacific NorthWET, and consequently, our bones do not thoroughly dry out until the beginning of August. So taking that into consideration, I decided NOT to make a raincoat. Really, what is the point? We are already pretty saturated, right? You will rarely ever see a resident of WA using an umbrella. There’s a certain point you can’t get any wetter.

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But the WIND. Now that is something we need covering from. We are surrounded by water on all sides, so the wind can get pretty fierce. Combine that with the dampness, and you get downright chilled.

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All that to say that I opted for using Twill fabric. At Joann’s, they had three color choices of twill. THREE. Green, brown, and white.

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That is it. So green it is.

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I let Falafel choose the liner from my stash (she also chose the fabric for the skirt that she requested to go with the jacket).

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Look at those sweet tigers peeking out.

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I added snaps on the pockets (which isn’t part of the pattern). These gave me a headache and a half. I just haven’t found good snaps, yet. They pop off and bend and are difficult to secure. My poor husband got roped into it and was hammering away at one point to help me out. Pretty sure I heard some grumbling as he was doing it. So next time, I think I would leave them off…or find better snaps.

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I just couldn’t resist the gold to go with the gold zip. It looks cute, doesn’t it? Thanks, Honey.

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I am so glad she now has a really sturdy spring jacket to wear!

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And for all my lovely readers, Elegance and Elephants is giving you $1.00 off the pattern price! Just use the discount code: TOUR

Check out the other jackets on the tour!

Elegance & Elephants

 Thanks Heidi for including me on your fantastically fabulous pattern tour!

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Oh and Z is for zipper!

Test the Schoolboy Vest

I got to test this fabulous pattern by Abby of Sew Much Ado, recently.

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The Schoolboy Vest

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It’s totally not just for boys!

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BTW: Yes, I had my child do the photo shoot in the rain. Cause we live in the Pacific Northwest…and it rains more than not.

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 I was assigned the welt pockets, but the pattern also has an option for faux welts. It also can be reversible. AND one of the best things is a buttonhole guide so you know where they go!

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The back even has a back tie (belt).

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For this vest, I over-dyed a cream-colored sheet (on purpose) this golden color and lined it with a beautiful dark blue fabric (I think Michael Miller?) that I had been saving for something special.

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I also whipped up a matching skirt.

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*Ignore the slouchy tights leg.

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This is such a well written, easy-to-follow pattern. I love the details that make this vest really professional looking. And did I mention that buttonhole guide? I will tell you again because it is so great to have something to space the buttonholes for me! I never seem to get them evenly spaced, and now they are.

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As always, it was pleasure testing such a wonderful pattern for Sew Much Ado patterns.

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Thanks Abby! The pattern is so good that we willingly stood in freezing downpour for it!

Oh~ and Y is for YELLOW!

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I’m linking to:

Mentioning Unmentionables

I am feeling better. I think I needed a day of rest.

So, today, I am sharing my underwear.

Under where?

Heh. I make myself giggle.

Actually this is the very first pair of girls’ underwear (for my youngest) that I have ever made!!

undies There are things that I learned from doing this. Like what parts need to have more stretch and what material works best. I actually started with the bands cut out from an old t-shirt, but they had less elasticity than the main fabric, so it didn’t work.

I used The Classic Panties pattern from Peek a Boo Patterns. She makes it very easy to whip these up. Seriously. Have you ever bought underwear and thought to yourself “WOW I am paying “x” amount for these and there is barely anything to them? I bet I could make them!“.

And you can.

These are not the prettiest or the neatest thing I have sewn, but definitely the most practical and the most appreciated! Falafel came home from school and instantly put them on. They are her most favorite pair now.

I love that. I honestly just sewed them up to see if I could. Falafel happens to be very allergic to the exposed elastic that is found in most pairs of underwear. To find ones she can wear can be difficult, and the ones we have found are expensive. These are perfect! Hooray for trying something new and loving it!

What have YOU sewn today?

PS- I was not asked to review this pattern. I just like to share things I find, with you, as always:)

U is for Unmentionable Underwear

Skinny Jeans review

Today you can find me over on the Go to Sew blog giving my review of the Skinny Jeans pattern!

skinnyjeanssillym See you there!

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Testing The Caroline Party Dress

I had the opportunity to test a pattern for Haley over at Mouse House Creations this week.

caroline11mm I decided to really go for it and do an fancy dress with this pattern.

eowynsleepingm I was watching the Return of the King the other night (*ahem* again), and Eowyn’s robe struck me as being the perfect palette for this dress. I love the combination of using fur trim, and textured fabric, and hints of pale gold. *sigh*

This inspiration led me on a fabric hunt at Joanns, and I found the perfect blue, only, it was knit. Meh. So I looked some more (and on that note, a special “Thank You” to my husband for his tower of patience while helping me at the fabric store. I love that he comes with me and more importantly-gives me input!.) and found this beautiful textured rose-pink satin-like fabric with a sparkle that unfortunately doesn’t show up in the photos. It is gorgeous. I paired that with some super soft minky fur, and light gold tulle. And voila….

caroline12m We also found a light gold belt at Goodwill later that day and cut it down to fit miss petite. Perfect!

carolinefeetm Anyhow, back to the pattern. This dress is classic design with faux cap sleeves. I think this may be my favorite feature! The bodice and sleeves are all one pattern. It would have been a quick sew, but I chose many slippery fabrics to work with, and that made me very careful. I think woven cottons would be really easy to manage and make it go way faster. Even with my slowness, it only took a few hours to sew this one up.

caroline8m There are so many options. I chose to do them all! I did the collar, the belt loops, the underskirt with tulle, AND in seam pockets.

carolineopocketm I also asked my sweet girl to stand outside in freezing 30 degree temps to get these photos. As a prize for being a trooper, I made her a bolero and let her put it on for a few more.

carolinebolero3m This was an easy sew. I just used an existing sweater as a pattern, and then curved and shortened the front. I also made some pompoms.

carolineboleropomsm Because let’s face it, everything is better with pompoms.

carolinevoleroheadm I say she is covered for New years now.

caroline3m Thanks for choosing me to test this one. It was a pleasure.

If you are looking for a great new pattern, it will be released some time next week. Check out Haley’s blog for more details!

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PS- “M” is for minky!

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I’m linking to:

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Tested Pocket PJ’s

It has been a Falafel sewing week!

I tested another pattern for Melly Sews by Blank Slate Patterns. This one was for pajamas!

testerwidem Since we have had cold weather and lots of sickness around here, these really fit the bill.

testerheadm *You’ll notice in all these photos her head cocked to one side. We took these when she had toricollis.

tester6m Anyhow, the pattern can be used for cotton or flannel. I chose flannel with cotton trim. I think next time I will make them all flannel because my cotton was a little too light to work the curves.

testerfeetm I made the size 7 even though my girl wear a 6, so she can hopefully grow into them, Her bunny slippers like them that way.

tester3m These are a nice cozy pair of pj’s that have a little flair.

What have you made today?

Travels with Gannon and Wyatt review AND a Giveaway!

I was chosen to review this new middle-grade adventure series called Travels with Gannon and Wyatt written by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet. There are three books in the series, so far. Although they are geared for ages 9-12 (you know that tween set), my almost 8 year old AND the almost 14 year old LOVED them! And to tell you the truth, I enjoyed reading them too.

All the books are written as journal entries from the twin boys (Gannon and Wyatt) which make the sections short and sweet. They each have distinct personalities and write as such. Wyatt is the science-loving practical observer, while Gannon seems to emotionally survey the scene. This allows the reader to really get a very good picture of what they are experiencing as a whole. What made it even more engaging for us, is that they are loosely based on real adventures of these actual twin boys.

The books arrived, and as soon as I unwrapped them, the girls were super excited. Books in this house are like candy. The Bee actually read all three in two days (because she is a book reading machine, I tell you!). She liked the second and the third book the best (and the fact that the boys were so cute~a little insight into what teen girls look for in books. *ahem*). We noticed that each book (although all contained interesting facts) were written slightly different from each other. The first had a lot of the adventure part with near misses and action. The second book was written with a mystery incorporated into the adventure (which appealed to us all). And the third involved a lot of history with the adventure all about Egypt.

Travels with Gannon and Wyatt_ Great Bear RainforestFalafel and I chose this one as our favorite. We could really connect to the fact that it took place in Canada, since we just took a trip there this Summer. The terrain described in the book is very similar to what we have in Washington which she could relate to. I loved the Native Culture and Mythology woven into the story. There was a good message in there too.

The books, as a whole, are chock full of factual information cleverly disguised in the words of teen boys. And there is space in back of each book to write your very own travel journal. That was a happy surprise.

And here’s something for you:

A chance to win all three books (total value $38.85)Travels with Gannon and Wyatt series. To enter the giveaway just leave a comment, on this post, telling me what your all time favorite book was when you were a pre-teen/teen. That is it! Oh and this giveaway is only open to US residents (all 50 states). Sorry to my Canadian and overseas friends.

I will use random number generator and choose a winner on Friday.

Good Luck!

Winner is #3! Congrats Eleanor!

For a chance to enter another giveaway, Three Kindle Fires are being given away on the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt Facebook page in November.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

THOR: The Dark World review

Sorry, did I shout??

My good friend Lisa and I had the opportunity to preview the new Thor movie, last night!

thor2m This is kind of our “thing”. We like Superhero movies. Like here and here. So much. Especially those involving a certain Asgardian god. And Lisa is super fun to see them with.

Good ol’ Gal time.

lisaadme I will not give any of the plot away (you can watch plenty of trailers for that), but I will say that this movie was even better than the first! The acting, costuming, plot, action sequences, and even the story were so incredible. The comedic timing was impeccable as we have come to expect from these brilliant Marvel films.

And Thor is my favorite.

This movie was thoroughly enjoyable on all levels, and really surprised us a few times with plot twists. Oh and the “Man candy” as my friend says. There is a gratuitous shirtless shot in there, I think meant just for us. It didn’t affect the plot, but it sure did affect the experience.

It was a good night out at the movies.

I will say that I still am not a fan of 3D. It just makes me dizzy. Maybe it’s the bifocals underneath the 3D glasses, or that fast motion in my face the older I get makes me sick. Whatever it is, I prefer good ol’ fashioned 2D films. With that said, even with the added dimension, this film was awesome.

What kinds of movies do you like?