Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Nessie Top - Everyday Styling.

As promised in yesterday's post you are getting another version of Craftiness is not Optional's newest pattern The Nessie Top in a more everyday styling with dark jeans.

You were also suppose to see the cool high-low effect the hem has but I am just realizing that my photos hardly show that at all.
Gah, sorry!

I think I said what needed to be said about this patterns in yesterday's post so today you are just getting the photos.

A little scarf action.

Now I just need to whip up an extended-length version to Wilma so you can see those too.

Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Nessie Top by CINO and lace skirts that twirls - woohoo!

With a Winter Storm Threat (as the media calls it here in the South, ha) hanging over my head, I am writing this post to try to induce some spring feelings into the blogosphere.
And no matter if I succeed or not, you can't come and say this post isn't colorful, okay!

Jess from Craftiness is not Optional sent me her latest pattern The Nessie Top and told me I could blog about it whenever I wanted. I like non-deadline assignments like that - even though deadlines usually helps with the production speed, ahem (it is like mooonths ago she sent it to me! BUT so far I have been sewing 5 items from this pattern and today you are seeing the first two. Noooo, I don't want to spill al the beans in one post. 
By the way you know it is a good pattern when you immediately cuts another when you finished the first one and then just keeps on going.

The pattern is made for knits, has a great high-low hem (sorry, you have to wait for tomorrow's post to see that one), a front color block version (Wilma's in blue and dots is the original color block version and Evelyn's has an extra sleeve color block that I added), a Peter Pan color and three different sleeve lengths.
I have also made a version where I simply added 10 cm/ 4 inches to the length of a size 4T and it is the perfect tunic/dress for tights or leggings for Evelyn. You will also have to wait to see that one because Wilma requested one too, so I thought it would make most sense  to make that one too and show you both, riiiiiiight!
Patience patience! Yeah I know, life is hard, ha.

The pattern is super easy to work with and sew. The only thing I would change in this pattern, if I could, would be the seam allowance. It has 1 cm / 3/8 inches seam allowance and I use less when I just overlock it together like I do with all knits. But as long as you know (and Jess gives clear information about it - I know she prefers a different way to sew knits that uses the 1 cm / 3/8 inches) you can either cut the extra off the pattern before cutting or as I did simply counting on them being a big larger/looser than meant from the designer's side. And when I for example sewed the two color block front pieces together, I simply cut the extra seam allowance off with my serger (otherwise the front and back side seam would not end up having the same lengths, right!) So you just have to look at bit ahead in your sewing process if you are doing it that way. But because the whole process is so simple it is really not a big problem.

Another thing I would love to change, which is my own fault, was choosing some fairly loose almost rib-like knits and then not stabilize the shoulder seams. As you can see they are stretching and the sleeve seam is falling down over the shoulder. I did not even think about it until I saw these photos....oh, well 6th time is the charm, ha.

And then we have the skirts......
They are ultra simple gathered rectangles, sewn to a waistband and with an elastic in the waist. I ended up only putting an elastic in the top casing of the waistband which give a cute subtle color block effect.
I am obsessed with this tulle fabric with flower embroideries from Hancock Fabrics. I still have a yard of beige/nude left from my shopping spree. Maybe I need one myself? 
I purposely made them below knee-length....not quite sure why, but that was the vision I had for these skirts, and I like the result. 
And so does the girls!

Sooooo do you feel spring is a bit closer or are you buried in polar vortex ultra freezing temperatures and knee high snow?
Well, I did my best!

Thank you so much Jess for the pattern!!
You will all see much more from that pattern here on the blog.
Come back tomorrow for another top for Wilma and a more everyday styling.

Buy the Nessie Top HERE.

Thank you!

Monday, January 20, 2014

STYLO Magazine Contribution.

Ohhhh, what an exciting day it is today.
The launch of Stylo Magazine.

A fashion forward eMagazine about sewing for kids created by two amazing ladies that I am so lucky to call my friends, Celina and Jessica. And to be asked to be a contributing editor to the first edition was definitely one of my proudest moments and quite frankly a dream come true. I have always had a thing for magazines - e or paper version does not matter.

So the segment I am part of includes 5 sewing bloggers with each their unique style who all have been sent this crazy cool mint cotton fabric with big gold dots printed on from Michael Miller. I have never opened an envelope as quickly as when I saw the name Michael Miller outside and wow, did the contents not disappoint. I am absolutely in love with this fabric. Gold and mint...yes please!! 

BUT you know me....I LOVE mixing fabrics so I have paired it with this golden viscose.

I got the inspiration for a dress watching Fashion Police on E! (Love that show btw). They were talking about trends for 2014, lowered waists dresses for women was one of them, and showed this red and white amazing dress. Bingo, I immediately knew that the shape would be perfect for this project. You can see the dress on my Instagram feed HERE.

So if you are back from Instagram you will notice that I did not totally copy the dress. My neckline is different and I added a front button placket with big brass gold snaps.

The starting point for the pattern is from a Japanese pattern but I added the flounce, button placket,  color blocking and fold up on the sleeves. In other words there is not much left of the original pattern.

Here is a close up of the neckline. I am pretty proud of the color matching bias tape. I have a tutorial HERE if you want to do the same.

And because all the previous photos have been so serious and wonderfully editorial I thought is was time to finish off with a bit of silly.
There you go!

Now hurry off to see the whole magazine.
A click on the photo below will take you there.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sewing Machine Monologues - guest post.

Just a quick post to tell you that I am over at Sewistry today for the first post in a new series called Sewing Machine Monologues. It is hosted by my sweet friend and ex-Sewing Rabbit colleague Palak and features bloggers and their sewing machines.

So if you are on the market for a new machine or just like to see what is out there, this is the series for you.

I am also showing you a bit of my sewing room but you have to jump over the the actual post to see that.
Click on the button below to go to the post.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good bye 2013. Hello 2014!

2013 was my first full year with a blog. It was also the year where I tried to live out my blogging dream and realized it was not what I dreamed of. Or let me specify.....if I had all the time in the world I would be the happiest lady in the world. When I started my blog in spring 2012 I enviously followed other blogs that participated in competitions, series and pattern testing or tours or did their own series. 
This year I got to do all those things....and it was fun, really! with so many other things in life....everything in moderation. I had the luxury problem of getting so many amazing and exciting offers and requests, and I was like a kid in a candy store, saying yes to them all. The result was of course that I ended up being way too busy and I did not have time to enjoy the ride. And since this blog is still mostly a hobby thing for me there is really no need for that much stress and Mommy guilt.

So what are my plans for a less stressful 2014?
I will tell you in the end of the post.

A LOT of good things did come out of this year's craziness though.
A ton of new and good friends. 
A lot of practice with photography, editing and graphics - improving is always fun! I will certainly keep working on that in 2014 since there is plenty of room for improvement.
Oh, and a ton of posts of course.

Let's take a look at some of the things that has been going on, shall we!

Above is a recap of the series I have participated in this year. After I finished the photo collage I realized that I forgot one - Flip This Pattern at FrancesSuzanne. You can see it HERE.
Participating in another blogger's series is always fun and it definitely pushed me to do some of my best work because, well, it is not just going on my own blog.

In June did the lovely Jess from Me Sew Crazy gather a contributing 2013 Sewing Rabbit Creative Team and I was lucky to be selected together with 7 other AMAZING ladies. Every month did we each contribute with a tutorial on her blog. I can't even begin to explain how much it have meant to me to meet Jess and the other ladies on the team and how much I have learned making these tutorials every month. But having that deadline over my head every month was definitely also stressful for me. I wish I was more relaxed with deadlines, ugh! I am determined to keep up doing tutorials but maybe not huge ones every month.
A click HERE will take you to my tutorial page which will have the links to each post/tutorial.
The new 2014 Sewing Rabbit Team is being introduced one of these days so keep an eye on Me Sew Crazy.

And then when things were really busy I got an offer I could not say no to.....Project Run & Play, season 7!
Holy smokes, that competition was the way I discovered this community of sewing blogs and even though I was not sure how I would fit in, I was certainly ready to give it a go.
I am sort of a competitive person, understood in the way that when I decide to do something I give it my all....and when I give it my all, I also want to be in win, ha. Anyone else know that feeling too?
Participating was a bit of an emotional roller coaster - mainly because of my own expectations - but I made it to the finale, ended up as number three and is overall very proud of the products I put out there. I made some amazing friendships along the way, existing friendships got stronger, learned a ton of new things and I got LOTS of help and support and honestly I am not sure I would have made it through without.
HERE is the link to all the individual posts.

I organized my first blog series this year.

That idea might have been inspired by the fact that my oldest daughter started Kindergarten this year, ha.
So I gathered a bunch of talented bloggers that all had kids starting in Kindergarten this summer and they all showed us what they had made them for their school start. So fun.
Links to top row posts: Petit a Petit & Family, Chelise Patterson
I did not have room to show them all here but I can guarantee that they were all amazing and you can find links to all the posts HERE!

I also arranged a sew along divided into three groups, preschool, elementary and middle/high school.
You can see the winners of each group HERE.

I was also lucky to be invited to test patterns and participate in pattern's release tours. It is always an honor to me to be chosen to do these things. Testing because well the designer trust the testers' ability to find any mistakes before the release. And the pattern tours because the designer  is interested in seeing your version of their pattern.
There is a lot of talented pattern designers out there as you can see above.
Most of the photos have a title with their info. But here is the info to the ones without. The top left photo is the Darling Daisy Dress from Sew Like my Mama. Below that dress The Ruffle Top and the Bubble Pocket Shorts both by E&E Patterns. The middle dress in the bottom row is the Hanimi Dress by Straight Grain. 
HERE is the link to all the testing posts. And HERE is the link to the tour/reviews. 

And last some of the posts that does not fit into the above categories. The collage has the title 'the rest'....the proper title would have been 'a bit of the rest', ha.
I tried, and instantly got obsessed with, Japanese Pattern Books - even though the fun of figuring it out is going away now that they are being translated to English.
HERE is the link to my Japanese Pattern posts. I still need to try to sew something to myself from a Japanese pattern. In 2014 maybe?
Here is the individual links to the rest of the posts: 
Top row: Leggings.
Middle row: Red Dress, Tinny

And I promised to give a few hints on the direction of this blog for 2014.
Okay, so my plan is (and let's see on my 2014 recap how that holds up) is to probably have fewer posts. The posts will be a mix of lighter one that will just show an item I have sewed for me or the kids and heavier posts with tutorials of different kinds.
I still hope to be invited to series, testing and tours but there will be fewer posts with such kind next year....and not because I don't enjoy making them but simply because I don't have time for it all.
Sounds good?!

In 2013 did me and nine other ladies also introduce Willow & Co. You will for sure see more to that project in 2014. You can sign up for the newsletter HERE and you will be the first to know more. And do you know we have a blog? You can read all our introductions HERE.

I think all there is left to say is:

HELLO 2014

Happy happy New Year and thank you for all the support and sweet comments you have showed me the last year.