Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sis Boom's Ethan Shirt Flipped

The lovely ladies over at Frances Suzanne are doing their FLIP series again and this month was for a pattern that I've been eyeing for some time.
So with the incentive of a discount code, I bought myself the pattern, Ethan Shirt for Boys by Sis Boom and...
flipped it into something much more girly.
Here is my FLIP of the Ethan Shirt...a collared tunic in a mix of fabrics.
The blue is poplin, with red with white polka dots cotton woven for the pocket and inside the collar stand and then a very soft, cherry printed knit for the tunic skirt and sleeves. The buttons are these really cool vintage ones from my stash.
As for the changes, I made the bodice by the pattern, chopping it off at the chest, just below the pocket placement.
I rounded off the collar, to make it a little more feminine and added some red stitching around the edge before attaching it, for some contrast.
I cut the inside of the collar stand out of some contrasting fabric as well for a fun pop of color.
The big change was adding the 'skirt' and making it tunic length. I made the skirt all one piece and over lapped it in the back. To do this I measured the front and back width, adding the back width in again to get the overlap. Then before I attached it I lettuce ruffled the edge of the knit in red thread and rounded the back corners.
The sleeves are out of the knit as well. I used the sleeve pattern piece and just cut them the length I wanted and lettuce ruffled the edge in red thread. I had originally planned on making a cuff at the upper arm out of the blue and the red, but I just didn't like the way it busy for a comfy tunic.
This was the first time I sewed a Sis Boom pattern and I was impressed with the way it was written and how the shirt came together. The pattern had some new to me techniques/way of doing things, which was a fun change of pace and I learned something new.
I love how the tunic turned out and Clara loves how comfortable it is. It's perfect to wear with shorts and will be great to wear with leggings in the winter.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Deliah Top for Ladies Blog Tour

I had the lovely opportunity to sew something for myself and be a part of the Deliah Top Blog Tour.  It's a pattern sold by Golden Rippy and it's not only easy and fast to make, but it is a WINNER. How do I know that? Well not only did all 4 of my kids compliment me on it, but my husband came home and said what a nice top it was too.  That's on top of the fact that it is SUPER comfortable and super flattering.
The Deliah Top comes with great detailed instructions, including a printing guide, 2 sleeve options, embellishment options and goes from XXS to XL. Oh and it's meant to be made out of knit (I got mine from JoAnn's), and if you are new to knit, this would be a great pattern to learn to sew with it.
I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, so this top even seems a little fancy to me. Both the arms and the bottom hems are banded, making for a little more flattering fit. I chose the short sleeve option and then kept it simple without adding the embellishments. I was actually going to add some sort of embellishment using just the circle from the flower pattern included, but realized when I held it up to the shirt that with the business of the print you couldn't even see the embellishment.  Maybe if I stumble across a good contrasting fabric I'll still add.
Like I said though, even without the embellishments, I felt kind of fancy in the Deliah Top. Not only will it go well with jeans, but I could easily wear it with a skirt as well. Just to let you know how much I love it, I already have another one cut out and ready to sew!
So if I've convinced you that just need to get this pattern, Golden Rippy is having a give away:

And here are some gratuitous dragon fly pictures...this little guy was flying around while my son took some pictures of me (hence the faint blurriness). 

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Great PJ Pattern

If you are looking for a new pajama pattern with lots of options...look no further. GYCT Designs has a new one, released today, that has now become my girl's favorite pajamas.
 It's for knits and it has lots of options. 2 different tops, short sleeve or long, color block or not and shorts or pants.  I'm telling you, this pattern has it covered for year round pjs!
 If you are interested, first you should check out the blog post over at GYCT because she is giving away 2 copies!
 But if you don't want to wait, it will be on sale until Wednesday too.
 So go check it out HERE or HERE.
It really is a great pattern and would be a perfect pattern to jump into sewing with knits.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Skirting the Issue with an A-Line Skirt

The lovely ladies over at Simple Simon & Co have a wonderful thing they do every year called Skirting the Issue (read more about it here). Basically, they are encouraging us all to make skirts and donate them for girls in foster care who might not get to go clothes shopping for back to school. To do this they are having a month of skirt tutorials over on their blogs. Here is my little addition of how to make a great skirt for a tween or teen.
So I love the easiness of making a simple elastic waistband skirt, but I think girls get to a certain age and want to look a little more grown up and a little less girly. That's why I love the simplicity of an A-Line skirt. All it takes is a simple side zipper (I'm partial to an invisible one...but any would work) and length of fabric needed to reach the right length of your girl.
Here's a quick rundown of how to figure out an A line skirt. Get a low waist line measurement...about an inch below the belly button (since you are adding a waistband) and a hip measurement (the biggest measurement around the hips area) and then I add a couple of inches to each because I don't like my clothes too snug. Take a waist to hip measurement...that would be from your waist line to just where you took the hip measurement. 
Now you are set to "draw" your pattern out on your fabric. 
I'm making one for each of my daughters. The one on the right is cut out according to measurements and the one on the left you can kind of see my marks before soluble pen is running out of ink. And I was actually able to get 2 skirts (size 10 and 7 out of a yard of fabric!
Make sure you take your fabric and fold it in half twice (you need the front and back piece). Take your  low waist + 2 inches (blue line) and hip + 2 inches (red line) measurements and 1/2 them (remember your fabric is folded...). Now take the number you now have for your waist and measure and then mark it on the top of your fabric (blue line).  Take your waist to hip measurement (green line) and mark it down from your waist measurement. From the fold take your hip measurement number and mark it at the bottom of your waist to hip line (this becomes the red line).
With me so far?
Now just figure out how long you want your skirt(purple line) and mark that, measuring from your waist. Then all I do is gradually extend the line from the end of your waist measurement line to the hip line and then to the edge of the fabric or however far out you want it to go...for someone smaller you wouldn't go out too far.  This is what becomes the bottom of the skirt so it depends really on how full you want it to be.  I also cut out a 3 inch in width and natural waist measurement + 2 inches in length waistband (all one piece if I can get it out to the fabric).
  Once I get it cut out, I add the zipper to the left side,
 finish off the left side,
 check to make sure the size is about right and then finish off the right side.
 After that I add the waistband and finish it off.
First pin the waist band right side to the wrong side of the top of the skirt, leaving about 2-3 inch over hang off of the front of the skirt (really depends on how big your button is). Sew together.
Then press the band up, and press 3/8ths inch under on the top of the band.  You also want to fold in the ends. For the end that will get the button hole, if you leave a little extra you can fold a little extra under which will make it stronger and so you really don't need interfacing.
You can see in this picture that you don't want the zipper stop all the way at the top of the skirt need room for a seam allowance.
For the other end you want it flat with the zipper, just fold to enclose the rough edge.
Now you fold down the waistband, making sure to cover the stitching line from before. Pin in place and iron the top of the waistband.
Finish off the skirt by top stitching the entire rectangle of the waist band, adding the button and button hole and hemming to your desired length.
If you want to see the skirts I've made following this principle you look: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE
And for another more "grown up" looking skirt, check out my tutorial HERE

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Loving Where You Live: World Bird Sanctuary St. Louis

So in efforts to explore our new hometown, I thought I'd link up to the 'Love the Place You Live' link-up over at Design Mom. Our first outing in St. Louis was to the World Bird Sanctuary. It's close by and it's FREE!
 Most of their time and effort is spent on rehabilitating birds that have been injured, educating the public and taking care of birds that are too injured to be released back in the wild. They have quite a collection.
Our first stop was their interactive show:
We got to watch this Tawny Owl while we learned some interesting facts about the fact that owls really can't turn their head all the way around.
It's always fun to see your kids enjoying the show.
 One of the other things they do here is raise Barn owls from eggs to release back into the wild. They happen to be the most endangered of the American owls and are actually very useful. They really are the best mousers around. And did you know, they don't actually 'whoot'? This guy flew around for us and at one point the person doing the show asked us to close our eyes. This owl flew right over our heads and you couldn't even hear it!
 Then we met Mischief, who was being a little shy and didn't want to share what he could say. He's an African White Neck (Banded?) Raven and is super intelligent.
 They have Mischief trained to take the donation, put it in the slot and then give you a magnet. 
 Besides the show, they have the Nature Center with non-avian animals in there as well, a great education center where you can see different kinds of eggs (always fun to compare a humming birds egg to an ostrich egg) and you can peek into their hospital to see who they are taking care of at the moment.
Then you can walk around and see some of their guests:
This guy was some kind of Condor (wish I took notes...) I just liked the way the picture turned out and the look in his eyes. 
 Here the girls are in a replica of an Bald Eagles nest. They return to the same ones every year and just keep adding to them. They can get up to 9 feet wide!
 Then of course there are the photo ops:
 And here are some more birds we saw on the walk:
Peregrine Falcon--They like to nest on cliffs and eat small birds, so cities are actually a good habitat for them. They nest on the skyscrapers and there are plenty of pigeons.
 One of the many injured Bald Eagles
 Our own little Bald Eagle
 A bird my daughter dubbed "Rock star of the chicken world", a Polish Chicken.
 Another photo op:
 And a cute fluffy tawny owl that is very well camouflaged and my daughter wondered which owl in Harry Potter this one could have been.
So if you are ever in St Louis and need another free thing to do (there are so many free things to do here in St. Louis, so this might be low on your list) you should really check out the World Bird's worth your time.


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