Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sewing Clean Slate Pants

I don't like to buy sewing patterns...there are so many amazing ones you can get for free...but sometimes you just have to.  A quality sewing pattern can make or break a project...and also make or break the joy of sewing.  

I've been quite disappointed with inexpensive paper patterns -- they never seem to be the right size!  I bought an "easy sew" elastic waist jeans pattern to make Ruthie some pants when she was 4 (she was a size 4 waist and a size 5 length).  I measured her and according to the pattern envelope I should make her a size 4 waist and just lengthen to a size that is what I did...and they were HUGE!  Super disappointing!  They fit her now (a size 6), so at least she eventually got to wear them.

Thankfully, I've had great luck with digital download patterns from sewing bloggers...maybe it's because they are actually sewing the same patterns for their kids!  Asher is tough on pants...he runs holes through the knees fast!  I wanted to make him some pants with enforced knees.  He also wants a pant with an elastic waist -- who has time to bother with snaps and zippers!?  After much searching, I bought the Clean Slate Pants Pattern.  It was what I was looking for...elastic waist, pocket options, easy sew...and it did not disappoint!


Fabric added inside to the knees
I have already made this pattern three times!  I made the size 5 and it is a bit big...but I think he would have quickly outgrown the size 4.  He likes them but says he will wear them when he is bigger  "because they are too long. The pants touch the tops of my feet!"  If his current pants get much shorter, he is going to have to wear them and deal with it!

They are a bit slimmer than I expected (but not near "skinny") so I may make the next pair a bit baggier, just sew they will roll up better until he is a bit taller.

I also really like that the pattern goes up to size 8!  Ruthie will be getting some of these too!  

Would you sew pants for your kids?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sewing for Me -- Plantain T

I pretty much live in t-shirts (or some variety of a knit top).  They are comfortable, easy and depending on the style, can be dressed up or down (to an extent).  I've been on the lookout for a great t-shirt pattern.  I've made this pattern several time and really like it but it has dolmen sleeves and I've been looking for one with regular set-in sleeves.  I've seriously thought about buying this pattern but haven't yet...still might someday.  Then I stumbled across the Plantain T pattern by Deer & Doe.  You do have to create an account in order to download the pattern but the pattern is free!  It was a nice, easy sew and fits perfectly according to the pattern measurements.  (I sewed the size according to my bust measurement.)

Here it is!

Cotton Lycra Knit from
Can't wait to wear it this spring!  (Which will be three more months here in Minnesota...) I was inspired by this shirt:
Do you see now why I still might buy this pattern!

What are you dreaming of for spring?

Lilla Rose 12 hour sale!

Friday, January 23, 2015
Lilla Rose Sale!
25% off 
12 hours only
8am-8pm (pacific standard time)

this is my everyday wear favorite!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bubble Tunic for Project Run and Play

I like sewing blogs...I've learned some great techniques, been inspired and found some awesome free patterns!

Project Run and Play is a sewing blog that sets sewing blogger against sewing blogger to design and make kids clothes.  It has been fun seeing what people make and getting ideas for what to make my own kids.  This year they have changed their format and are doing a monthly contest that is open to all!  This month's theme is to make a bubble dress.  

I harbor no expectations to win anything but thought it would be a fun to participate as well as make more clothes for my kids this year.  And I'm excited for the monthly challenges to keep my creativity alive.

Here is Ruthie's bubble tunic!
I used the Cottage Mama's free party dress pattern (size 7) for the bodice and just shortened the skirt and turned it into a bubble skirt.  I added red bias tape around the waist instead of the wide sash...I wanted a more casual fun, twirly tunic for summer playing...but she will probably wear it some this winter too:
This tunic falls mid-thigh and it is great with skinny jeans and a sweater now and will be perfect for the summer with cut-offs (probably those pants, notice the patched knees!).  I've made this pattern as a dress before and loved also fit for two years so I'm hopeful that we might get two summer's out of this one too!  And it really does twirl nicely:

I'm also loving how this mini flexi clip holds her baby fine hair so well:

What have you sewn lately?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Creating Capsule Wardrobes for the Kids

I really like the idea of capsule wardrobes. There is tons all over blog land about what they are and how to create one.  I've dabbled with Project 333 for over a year (here & here too).  And I've come to not worry about the number in my wardrobe but to only keep things that I love and wear often (this seems to be around 30 for each season, although many things overlap between seasons).

I've tried to keeps the kids clothes fairly simple also but this next year I want to be much more intentional about it.  I've gotten most of the kids clothes from garage sales and thrift store (and from generous family members--thanks!).  Sometimes this means I end up with more clothing than we need for each season...and it doesn't mix and match very well.  So I put all the clothes in their "drawers" and watch them really only wear some of it.

Now I think I'm pretty set for them for this summer...and I'm using up extra fabric to fill in some holes...and then I won't have much for the next season in the right size.  I've decided to choose a color pallet for each kid and to be very intentional about what I buy and make.  I'm also planning on making more of their clothes.

My reasons for choosing to make their clothes:
1. I enjoy it!  The creativity process is fun for me.
2. I can make clothes the right size and add extra length where needed.
3. My kids run holes into their knees quickly...I can add an extra layer to their pants.
4. I don't want them to wear "trendy" clothes.  I want them to look like kids, not mini-adults.  Some of the "trends" are fun and easily work in some ways for kids, but I've noticed that especially for Ruthie (6), it is getting harder to find "kid clothes" for her.

So, here is my plan for winter 2015-2016:

Ruthie (6): Cranberry, Green, Navy

Asher (4): Red, White, Blue, Khaki

Hannah (2): Aqua, Lavender, Grey
Everyday Pants -- 3 for the girls, 4 for Asher
Nice pants (for church) -- 1 pair for Asher
Long Sleeved Shirts -- 4-5 for all
Short Sleeved Shirts -- 3-4 for all
Skirts with leggings -- 1 or 2 for the girls
Dresses -- 2 or 3 for the girls
     (skirts with tops or dresses can be worn for church)
Button down shirts -- 2 or 3 for Asher
Shoes -- 2 pairs each, 1 dress pair and 1 tennis shoe

So, under 20 articles of clothing for each kid...I think this will work!  I also do laundry twice a week, so it should work fine for us.

I'm not planning to have many clothes last beyond the time they fit...they will probably wear them out!  This also means I won't have much to store as hand-me-downs for another child.  For the summer, I will probably have to add a few more things for each kids because they seem to get dirtier in the summer...but we'll see!

What do you think? Would this work for your family?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?...and Why You Should Make One

My typical daily outfit: jeans, neutral-ish top, add a scarf if leaving the house!
 There is TONS of information all over blogland about creating a capsule wardrobe:
* A 37 piece mini wardrobe full of really versatile pieces that you love to wear. Accessories don't count. (source)
* A 33 piece mini wardrobe.  Accessories do count. (source)
* About 10 items, that you love and are high quality.  Outerwear, accessories, and layering pieces (T-shirts/tanks) do not count. (source)

So, I'm not going to "re-invent" it all for your; I'm just going to say...try it!  Basically, get rid of everything in your closet that you don't LOVE wearing (box it up and hide it for three months).  See what is left and go from there.  Hopefully you still have some clothes to wear.  If you need to shop, only buy items you LOVE and that FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE.  

I've done this slowly, over the last year or so but finally have a closet of clothes that I love to wear!  Now, instead of looking at my closet and saying, "I have nothing to wear!" I have to ask, "what do I want to wear today?"  

My clothes are pretty casual, as I'm a SAHM with young children, and I'm OK with that.  I don't wear much for accessories at home (I love scarves but they get in the way when washing dishes and helping kids use the potty!)  Everything has to be WASHABLE!  I don't spend a lot on my clothes (no silk or cashmere or merino wool for me!) because I will probably wear it out with in a season or two.  But it is important to me to have clothes that fit well and are in good condition.

Just look at what your kids choose to wear each day...their favorites!  Next I need to clean out my kids clothes and make a plan for the next season and I'm happy with how they look and they have only "favorites" to wear!

So, would you have anything left to wear if you got rid of everything you didn't LOVE?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Why I Sew

I've been sewing  more this past year and I plan to continue sewing in this new year.  Sewing doesn't make sense to some people...why pay for fabric (it's often expensive) and still have to take the time to make something!?  Everyone's reason's for sewing are are mine:

1. It's fun!  I enjoy the creative process and being able to make something my own.

2. I can't find what I want for a price I am willing to pay.  Sometimes I can find something similar to what I want...but usually it is not a price I'm willing to pay!  While sewing my own might cost more than a cheap version, I know that I will be happier to spend a little more money and make something "perfect".

3. I can sew clothes for my kids the way I want them -- not too "trendy", long enough, triple re-enforced knees...and often for less than buying them (sometimes even the cheap version).

Here is my latest sewing project:
 I've wanted a sweatshirt with a lace overlay for a while, but haven't found one that I liked for a price I was willing to pay (I saw one I liked at a department store for $50...on sale!) So I used some Christmas money and ordered fabric (  I'm really happy with how it turned out!  And I love the teal peeking through the blue!
Do you sew?  Why do you sew?
The free pattern I used is HERE.
Fabric Here and Here.
Linking to Modest Monday at the Modest Mom.