September 18, 2014

Ruffled Cupcake Backpack

I came across the Cozy Cakes Backpack Pattern when it was on sale, and on an impulse, decided to buy it. Later, I was looking for something for my daughter for her birthday and remembered this pattern. So I decided to get all the supplies and make it. Oh, did I mention that her birthday was the next day? And it was already 8 o'clock at night? Yeah. Probably not the smartest idea.

I decided to make the frosting in different shades of pink. The cupcake wrapper fabric I already had, and as a bonus, it was similar to the cupcake wrappers I used for her birthday cupcakes. In fact, the whole thing looks a lot like her birthday cupcakes, complete with the cherry on top.

See? Almost an exact replica. Almost.

This pattern calls for a LOT of notions. I couldn't find D-rings, so I used parachute buckles, which I think turned out better. They're a little more secure. Also, this pattern took me about seven hours from cutting to finish. And I started at 9 PM. So I was pretty tired by the time I finished it. 

I love how it turned out. My daughter loves it too! She puts her little treasures in there and carries them everywhere.

As far as the pattern goes, it was pretty well written. I didn't have any major issues, even though I was making it in the middle of the night, and my vision was starting to blur. Literally. 
And that cupcake design was amazingly cute. I also really liked how the straps were constructed. They are padded to make it more comfortable to wear. The zipper instructions were great too. There's also a little pocket on the inside. And the cherry on top is just icing on the cake. Ha, ha.

There were a couple of things about the pattern that were a little odd. There were several times during the construction process where I was like, Huh, I've never done that before. It is a unique design, and so I guess it calls for unique ways of doing things. 
The inside is unlined, so it looks a little messy. If you have a serger, I'd recommend serging the edges. I only have a regular sewing machine, so there is a lot of zig zag stitches that look messy on the inside. The tutorial does say you can finish those edges with bias tape, but that would make an already lengthy process even lengthy-er. 
The cupcake ruffles aren't finished on the ends. Unless I missed that step, which is entirely possible. I think it looks better, but I am a little worried about how well the ruffles will wear, since the raw edges are just folded under.

Also, keep in mind that this is a pretty small backpack. Great for a preschooler, maybe not so much for an older girl.

Bottom line: I love the uniqueness and all around adorableness of this backpack. I would definitely make it again, and I recommend the pattern if you're willing to make the time commitment.

September 12, 2014

Town Square Dress and Top

I made a Town Square top for my daughter for back to school. I also made her a dress. Both were part of testing the pattern. The dress is a little lower in the front than the finished pattern, so just keep that in mind. I ended up adding an extra piece at the top to raise the neckline.

It's a really cute design that comes with quite a few options. You can make a dress or top. You can make the top with or without the peplum. You can make the dress or the top with short sleeves or long sleeves. 

And she loves how it twirls! I made her a pair of shorts to wear under it so that she can safely wear it at recess.

It's kind of hard to see in the pictures, but there is a band at the top made of the same striped fabric as the skirt. I really love how all the different pieces of this top/dress allow you to create a completely custom look.

September 08, 2014

Cosi Swimsuit for the September ShowcaseCosi Swimsuit

Disclousure: I received this pattern at no charge in exchange for my participation in this series. All opinions are my own.

I am exited to be posting today as part of the September Showcase Series over at Frances Suzanne. It's a series that highlights indie designers with fewer than 5 patterns for sale. I'm sharing the Cosi Swimsuit by SewPony Vintage.

I made it with this Hello Kitty fabric from The Fabric Fairy because my daughter loves Hello Kitty. It was my first time making a swimsuit, and I'm so glad I finally did. It really wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I made sure to use a stretch needle and swimsuit elastic, and followed the pattern instructions and it turned out great. It's lasted through the summer really well (much better than her other, store bought suit). 

The instructions were pretty easy to follow. The pattern does jump around some because there are so many options with this suit, but I just made sure to follow the chart at the top that tells you what order to go in for your chosen design, and it worked perfectly. It's so nice to have a swimsuit that fits my tall, skinny girl well. And she loves it! She especially loves the ruffle skirt detail.

I did have a problem with the front turning down the first time she wore it. I stitched the straps in place along the top of the elastic casing and we haven't had that problem since. I also wish there was a guide for measuring the elastic in the legs. It just says to measure on the child, but since this was for her birthday, I didn't. I ended up just cutting the elastic a little shorter than the leg openings on the swimsuit, which worked fine.

I really love this pattern, and I am sure there are lots more Cosi Swimsuits in our future, for all three of my girls!

September 03, 2014

Back to School Sewing for Girls

Disclosure: The links to Peek-a-Boo pattern shop are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I receive a portion of the price. Thanks for helping support this blog!

I've been doing a lot of sewing for my girls for back to school. I've been using PDF patterns from several designers to get the looks I  my girls wanted for new school clothes.

I made them several pairs of Skinny Jeans from Peek-a-Boo pattern shop. This is one of my go to patterns. I think it's the only pattern I've ever actually paid full price for, but it gets used all the time. Even my new baby has a pair (although they won't fit her for awhile!) And yes, the pink skinnies are full length pants. Sorry about the weird cropping.

I made some tops to go with the pants. This raglan sleeve tee is from Stitchwerx. I just cut out an extra front and back piece from stretch lace. I just laid the lace on top of the knit, but it would be much easier if you basted them together and treated them like one piece. That lace tended to slip around. Also, the lace puckered a bunch in the dryer on low heat, so I'd recommend air drying.

The peplum top is from Terra's Treasures. I've seen a lot of upcycles done with it, but I used fabric that was in my stash to create this blue and yellow peplum top. I love how it pairs with the yellow skinnies.

August 29, 2014

The Offbeat Oxford from Terra's Treasures

I tested this pattern for Terra's Treasures, but since I was assigned the long sleeve style, I decided to save it for back to school. It's the Offbeat Oxford. It's constructed like a regular Oxford shirt, with a few unique twists.

I've been trying to use my stash before I buy more fabric, and this was the only fabric I had that was boy appropriate and I had enough of it. It's pretty crazy, but I like the way it turned out.

Both the placket and the pocket have an asymmetrical wave. I also did the cuffs and the inner collar stand in a contrasting fabric.

I used snaps instead of buttons, which was much faster. Not that this shirt was a fast sew. But the details in it really make it look nice when you're done. 

Right now, all Terra's patterns are on sale for Labor Day. Check out her facebook page to get 40% off.

August 25, 2014

Sewing for Baby with a Rolled Hem Foot

My sewing machine came with a bunch of feet. I really only use the regular one, the zipper one, and the button hole one. Over a year ago, I looked them all up to see what the heck they were called. And that was as far as I got. Until now....

I made this bodysuit with the pattern from Stitchwerx. I thought it was cute, but a little too gender neutral. I wanted to girlie it up a little.

So I made a pair of Stitchwerx Essential Leggings with the ruffle hem to go with them. I don't have a serger, but that's where my rolled hem foot came in. I finished the ruffle bottom with my rolled hem foot. I couldn't find the link the tutorial I used, but just google ruffled hem foot tutorial and take your pick.

It's definitely not perfect, but it worked much better than it would have without the rolled hem foot.

I was on a roll (ha, ha), so I went to the Anytime at All Tee from Shwin Designs next. I added three rows of ruffles to the back, again finishing the edges with my rolled foot. This fabric was a heavier weight, and it worked really well if I do say so myself.

I didn't realize I could get edges like this with a regular sewing machine. Maybe I can go a little longer without that serger....

August 15, 2014

Baja Hoodie Take 2

So this is probably a little late in the summer to be posting this project. I finished them a little later than I originally planned to. Just in time for swimming lessons. But right now is a good time to find beach towels on clearance, so grab some now and save them for next year. This is a great way to use them!

I first made the Baja Hoodie for my son. This year I decided to make a couple for my girls. I decided to go up a size, so that they would last through next summer for them. This bigger size is perfect for when they're really cold. See below. Just don't try to walk when it's like that!

It's also great for playing with any dogs that happen to be around.

Since I made them out of the same towels, I used different colors of bias binding so I wouldn't have to constantly compare them to see which one was the bigger/smaller one. I also cut the bottom of the hoodie right on the hem of the towel to save time. That way, I didn't have to use the bias tape there.

Fabric: Towels from Wal-Mart

Binding: I made my own