Category Archives: Sewing

Unitard Pattern Review

My Falafel does gymnastics and loves it. The only outfit she is comfortable wearing, though, is a unitard. They are made of spandex like a leotard, but unlike a leotard, they don’t ride up while you are tumbling around because there are shorts attached!

So naturally I decided I should make these, because they are not cheap, and that way they could be customizable for my little flipper. But when I searched, I couldn’t find a good pattern! Seriously.

Then I stumbled upon the tumblentwirl Etsy shop for Mountain Ash Designs. Emma has such a wide variety of patterns there, it was like I struck gold. She not only had one unitard pattern, but several to choose from… and they all looked great!

I chose the Casey Unitard Biketard pattern to try out. And it did not disappoint!

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First let me tell you, this pattern goes from size 2 up to 14! AND it comes with two different options. This one that I sewed up, and one with a thinner spaghetti-type strap.

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This pattern was super quick and easy and gives you a really professional look. In fact, when The Bee got home from school, Falafel was wearing her unitard and when I told her that I made it, she said “Wow I thought that was store-bought!”. Falafel even said that it was EVEN BETTER than her store bought one! It doesn’t get better than that.

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 I sewed up a size 6 based on her measurements, and it really fits perfectly.

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The spandex I bought at Joanns. I found that the requirements she gave in the pattern allows for more than enough fabric to make this, and because of how I folded it, I think I can even make another. And it was only about a yard total!

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I had enough to make a matching hair scrunchy (which she likes to wear on her wrist) out of the scraps.

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I am so very happy with this pattern and I will be getting plenty of use out of it! I highly recommend it.

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Do your kids do gymnastics? Do you sew their outfits?

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*I contacted Emma about this pattern and she graciously gave me a copy in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own, as always. I just wanted to share my fantastic findings with you. And when I find a good business, it is totally worth sharing.*

If you haven’t check out Mountain Ash designs Etsy shop, be sure to!

Procrastination: Take Two

I did manage to begin a few projects that have deadlines, yesterday between all the phone calls I had to make, and taking The Bee to the doctor. She has a fever and nasal congestion and a sore throat, and general ick. Turned out to be a sinus infection. This child rarely ever gets sick, so I told her to relax, watch some DVD’s.  and let her body heal. She has totally embraced it.

The temps here have dropped severely and it has been lower than 32 degrees (which is mighty cold around these parts). Falafel and I each enjoy a good warm rice pack on our feet when it is bedtime. The night before last, when she took hers to bed, it had a hole and rice poured everywhere. I grabbed one for my bed, and the same thing happened. I decided that it was time to make some new ones.

So as The Bee lay convalescing, I whipped up some more warmies (as we call them). Just like these, these, these, and these. Yup we love our rice packs.

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I usually make these from any sturdy material I have in my stash. The last couple were made from old jeans. This time I used some corduroy I had left over (that I didn’t dye) from this project.

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With these cold temps, and a hard-to-heat house, I am so thankful for these buggers.

And they totally helped me procrastinate once again.

You know what you are looking at? It starts with a “P”

That “P” is for one of my favorite words lately:

PROCRASTINATION

Yup, you’re looking at it.

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I have, literally. piles of sewing to do, and yesterday all I could think about was making Falafel’s doll a gymnastics leotard. (??!!) And really, when your mind will not stop thinking of a project, I have found that it is just better all around to get it out of there and into reality. Then you can move on.

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I have the Coco Cay Colorblock tankini pattern by Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop which I haven’t gotten a chance to sew up until now, and it comes with an 18″ doll pattern! I just fused together the top and bottom parts and created a one piece pattern. I also just cut out two fronts and sewed them together instead of using the racerback piece. As for the fabric, I used the liner from an old bathing suit of hers.

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I skipped the elastic and left the edges unfinished. How’s that for simple?

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It makes my girl happy, and it freed up some brain space for me.

What have you procrastinated with today?

Jumping ahead

I am breaking one of my own rules today. I usually do not allow anything Christmas-sy around here (or our home) before Thanksgiving. We still have Birthdays to celebrate too. My mind can only handle so much at once.

Falafel, on the other hand, has ideas of her own. That girl is all about Christmas. All. The. Time. She has been singing carols, making gifts, and playing Christmas every minute she can.

When I was sitting at machine the other day, sewing Nutcracker costumes (speaking of Christmas), Falafel came to me and asked if I could sew a few mini stockings for her tiny dolls in her doll house. She decorated it so thoughtfully, I felt like I shouldn’t refuse. I love encouraging her imagination, even if it is a holiday early.

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*BTW: I apologize for the quality of these photos. The temps have dropped all of a sudden and the light is less predicable than it usually is.

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These took me literally minutes to sew up out of scrap fleece. I just free-handed them. They are about 2.5 inches tall and far from perfect. But you know, she LOVES them. She was so grateful and appreciative, I went a step further and whipped one up, slightly larger, for her American Girl doll.

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Once I started, it was actually fun.

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I suppose it is OK if the dolls all celebrate Christmas now, even if we are only on Thanksgiving.

What about you? Do you allow anything Holiday related to come into your house before Thanksgiving??

Up to my eyes in tutus and satin

The sewing for the Nutcracker is in full swing.

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I have a few dresses on my table now. I am adding embellishments to all of them. Honestly, I think that may be a more difficult task than sewing a whole dress from scratch! When a dress it put together and you try to add trim, it gets tricky. Or even pushing a full tutu through my machine to get to a seam in the bodice. More than tricky, I would say. Wish me luck!

What is on YOUR table?

EveryDay Tank pattern Tour

I was honored when Mama Nene from Serger Pepper asked me to be a part of her pattern tour. I love making friends across the pond!

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She asked us to sew up her pattern either as is, or flip it as we see fit.

Since all my youngest will wear is fleece, lately, I decided to make her a cozy dress with sleeves using the tank pattern.

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I love the inset pockets that are in the front and how very versatile this pattern is. I actually used a piece of woven cotton for the pockets. It adds just the right amount of color, I think.

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I made some obvious changes to turn this into a winter garment. I raised the neckline just a little bit. Then I added sleeves.

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To do this I traced the armholes of the pattern and added about 1/2 inch to allow for seam allowances. Then I used a sweatshirt that fits her to trace the rest of the shape of the sleeves.

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Fleece is so forgiving and easy to trim. No need to finish seams (although I did hem the sleeves) because it won’t fray. How great is that?

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*If you want your own copy of the pattern, Mama Nene (Irene) is offering you 40% off anything you buy from her Shop or her Etsy shop (offer expires Sunday Nov. 9th).

Just use the coupon code: BLOGTOUR40

You can also enter to win 2 patterns from Serger Pepper by Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**If you purchase one of her patterns and then win the raffle for the same pattern, then you will have the choice between having another pattern or a $10 coupon code for a future purchase (expiring by the end of the next year 2015)!

Be sure to check out the other incredible versions on this tour!

Monday, 3rd

Veronica @ Sew Very – Karly @ Paisley Roots -

Tuesday, 4th

Scary/Al @ Shaffer Sisters – Amy @ Sews N Bows – Melissa @ Rebel and Malice
Deanna @ Sew Mc Cool – Lisa @ Cucicucicoo
Wednesday, 5th
Terra @ Mama Says Sew  – Nichole @ Bluebird and the Boy – Ajaire @ Call Ajaire
Sara @ Made By Sara – Annemieke @ Sofilantjes

Thursday, 6th

Bethany @ Two Novembers – Joy @ xoxo Grandma – Courtney @ Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Friday, 7th

Becka @ Probably Crafting  – Nienke @ Pienkel – Renee @ Two Many
Shelly @ Coral and Co.

Saturday, 8th

- Bethany @ Wildflower Child Create – Jennifer @ Diary of a MadMama – Sabra @ Sew a Straight Line
Daniela @ On The Cutting Floor – Suzanne @ Winter Wonderings

Sunday, 9th

Magda @ House of Estrela – Shino @ Nutta – Jonie @ Knot Sew Normal – Kara @ Sweeter Than It Seams

Betty Skirt Tour and a coupon code

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I am completely thrilled to be included on the Shaffer Sisters’ pattern tour! Three sisters who blog together. How wonderful is that? I have never met these lovely ladies in person, but always enjoy reading their posts and seeing what they create. You can absolutely feel the love they have for each other on there.

Now they have created a skirt pattern!

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OK pattern details. They present a couple of ways for you to make one of four different skirts that come in the PDF pattern. First, you can go off measurements for those of you who like that, and skip the printing. Or you can actually print out the pattern and use it.

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I chose to make the gathered skirt, but there is also a pleated one (either with large pleats or small pleats) and there is also another version of the gathered skirt with a placket. SO MANY CHOICES!!!

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I won some fabric a little while ago, and have been saving this Heather Ross Far far away unicorn fabric for a special project. When I asked her, Falafel immediately knew which one she wanted for this skirt. I am glad she chose this one. It is so bright and happy. I added a piece of bias tape to add another pop of color, along with a cute little bow and flower button. It isn’t part of the pattern, but I love that I could add it very easily.

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If you are a beginner, this is a great pattern to show you step-by step how to sew a very professional looking skirt. And for those intermediate sewers out there, this pattern makes it super easy and convenient to whip up an adorable skirt in any size from newborn to size 16x with plus sizes AND a bonus 18″ doll skirt pattern!

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If you want to grab your own pattern, they are offering you a 30% off coupon to their Etsy shop just use the code BETTYTOUR

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Be sure to check out the other skirts on tour!

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Cozy time of year

It has been dark and rainy here, which means Falafel (and I for that matter) have been gravitating toward fleece garments. Especially when choosing what to wear for the day in the dark and cold that have been our mornings as of late.

Falafel only has two fleece tunics (one that I will share with you on Friday) that she switches off every other day wearing. So I decided that she needs a third.

Remember this one? I used the same pattern, but since she grew out of it, I extended the arm length and the tunic length, but kept the width of the size 6.

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I also used embroidery thread and did a blanket stitch around the hem line and sleeves and neckline.

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Since there isn’t great light anymore (BOO) the color of this tunic looks more purple in the photos, but IRL it is much more of a plum/wine color. Oh well. Moving on.

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I used the same pattern by Peek-a-Boo patterns: The Janey Jump Around Dress that I love. It is such a quick and easy sew. Especially if you use fleece!

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The only difficult part was the hand sewing (because frankly, I suck at it) and that wasn’t actually part of the pattern. Apparently, I like a challenge. I did have my friend Kirsten sew on the buttons because they stay on when she sews them. And I guess I don’t like that much of a challenge. Ha! Kirsten took me to see Mozart’s Requiem performed by the Seattle Symphony  (it was fantastic, BTW), and we worked on the hand sewing part together on the ferry. It was surprisingly fun.

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So at the end of the day, my little has another cozy tunic to keep her snug and warm when she is out and about in the world.

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It was a day well spent.

What have YOU made today?

Ballet Sewing

This year our oldest is an actress in the local production of the Nutcracker ballet. When she got the part, we knew this was a huge commitment, not only for her but for me! Every parent needs to volunteer, and since I sew, I am on the costume committee.

This is the very first time I have ever been behind the scenes making the costumes.

This is my first project.

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Wish me luck!

What has this week got in store for you?

Day of the Dead

We had a full week of celebrations, ending with Halloween mayhem all day at school and after school yesterday.

This past week, though, both girls also celebrated the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) too. They both wanted to wear something special to school on Thursday in honor of it. Falafel wore this dress that I made for her a while ago. The Bee requested a simple skirt made from some Day of the Dead fabric that I had in my stash (I mean, doesn’t everyone have that in their fabric stashes?). I love these requests and never seem to say no. I am happy to whip something up that will bring my girls joy. So….

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One quick, below-the-knee (her specifications) Day of the Dead skirt for my oldest.

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I actually made this with French seams because I find that it makes them hold up longer, and that little extra effort really makes it look so much more professional.

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She made a bunch of skull jewelry to match.

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She is wearing the shirt that I made for me (which looks better on her now).

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Then, upon seeing this skirt, Falafel decided that her doll needed one too.

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OK this one also has French seams, but seriously took a few minutes to sew up and barely any material.

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It was so easy and fun to sew that I really would like to make a whole bunch of these. I just need to think of a good reason now, because after all, how many skirts does one doll need?

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I feel like we just started the season of celebrating. I am limbering up for the next ones.

How about you? Have you made anything this week?