Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Bag Tutorial - Guest Post at Reasons to Skip The Housework

Hey all!  Happy SUMMER!  Things have been sparse here as I've been soaking up the sun and fun with my littles.  Are your kids crossing books off of their summer reading lists and begging to hit the library like mine are?  If so - you need a book bag!

Check out my tutorial for this one over at Reasons To Skip The Housework!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

HUGE American Girl Doll Summer Wardrobe GIVEAWAY!

You guys! Have I got an AMAZING Giveaway for you!!

You've been waiting for it and the time has arrived for our third American Girl Doll Handcrafted Wardrobe Giveaway. This time the contributors have outdone themselves and created an incredible summer wardrobe. You are going to love it!! This fabulous giveaway is brought to you by the following co-hosts, sponsors, & contributors~
1. Diana of Diana Rambles - Diana aka FreeStyleMama, the coordinator of this giveaway, is a self-described creative crafty mama of 3 who blogs about food, crafts, family & fun. She also is a blog designer & seamstress.
2. Amy of SewsNBows - Amy is a fabric hoarder and sewing pattern collector who enjoys sewing children's clothing and accessories. Her beautiful creations are showcased on her blog.
3. Millie & Kristina of 2 Crochet Hooks - Millie and Kristina, a Mother and Daughter team of Fiber Crafters, Entrepreneurs and Environmentally Concerned Parents. Blogging about Crochet, Crafts, Recycling, and Fun!
4. Stephanie of The Tip Toe Fairy - Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to 3.  She blogs about crafting, cupcakes, book reviews, and more.
5. KC of The Real Thing with the Coake Family - KC is a stay at home mom of two cuties who are 11 and 7. She blogs at The Real Thing with the Coake Family which is about living the creative life with her family, while keeping it real along the way.
6. Debbie of Heartbeats~ Soul Stains - Debbie is a wife, mother of 7 and a nurse that has survived many obstacles. She share stories about her life living in controlled chaos.
7. Janell of Saving you Dinero - Janell is a stay-at-home mom and blogger at Saving You Dinero, a blog dedicated to "saving you time and money, from kitchen to store and so much more." Janell enjoys baking, shopping online, and saving money by scouring the internet for the best deals and coupon codes.
8. Lynn of Turnips 2 Tangerines - Turnips 2 Tangerines is Lynn's Little Kitchen in the Big Woods of Northern WI is where she shares with you, her family tested and approved recipes, kitchen tips and many adventures traveling throughout Wisconsin.
9. Emily of Naptime Creations - Emily is an adventure loving mom who lives in Hong Kong with her husband and two boys. When she's not with her family or friends you can find her sewing, cooking, taking photos and blogging.
10. Jenny of Learning and Growing the Piwi Way - Jenny is a proud wife and mama who enjoys blogging about teaching her kids, the books she reads and food. With another job relocation always just over the horizon most of the projects she writes about are an attempt to distract her from packing.
11. Laura of Laura Kelly's INKlings - Laura Kelly is a licensed artist and creative project designer for ilovetocreate.com. She blogs her journey with hopes of inspiring and stimulating creativity in others.
12. Stephanie of A Geek in Glasses - Stephanie loves all things Vintage and crafty and her house shows it. She just got AG Doll Molly McIntire for Christmas because she wants to have a Victory Garden and loves all things 1940's!!!
13. Lisa of Crazy Adventures in Parenting - Lisa Douglas is an Army wife raising seven kids sharing humorous parental war-stories, yummy homemade family-friendly recipes, craft tutorials, hilarious family videos, and much more at CrazyAdventuresinParenting.com. Lisa's on a journey to savor every "small" moment, finding the humor in the joy in everything (even diapers and laundry).
14. Char of Doll Diaries - Char is the founder and blogger at Doll Diaries where girls of all ages are inspired to create, play and share doll related activities. She is excited for the second summer of Camp Doll Diaries - a free, online summer camp with new themed activities for girls of all ages each day.
15. Ayelet of The Graceful Rose - Ayelet is the owner of The Graceful Rose shop, is a wife and mama to two adorable girls. Her blog is a bit about her daily life, with tips and tricks that she's learned along the way.
16. Anna of Doll It Up - Anna shares projects and inspiration to sew, craft and create for dolls. From easy to advanced projects come and create, repurpose and PLAY!
17. Rachel & Donna of Once Upon a Sewing Machine - The sewing machine has always been a place for us to come together as mother and daughter team. It is a place where we can brainstorm, laugh, cry, catch up after being apart and share new projects.
18. Michelle of Crafty Little Me - Michelle is wife and mother to two cats and one playful pup. Her site is a way for her to document and share her passion for big projects, events, etc., and more importantly, planning and organizing these things and seeing everything come together in the end.

Sonnet of SohoSonnet Creative Living   Becky of Plushie Patterns
Allison of Dream a Little Bigger   Lizzy of The Muddle-Headed Momma
Lindsay of My Creative Days   Harriet of Posh on a Budget
 Lisa of Chronically Content   Carmody of Paper & Fox
FreeStyleMama - Hawaiian Collection & Embroidered Tote Bag
Naptime Creations - Mushroom Outfit   Doll Diaries - T-shirt & Pajamas
Laura Kelly's INKlings - Patriotic Outfit   SewsNBows - Pet Set & Outfit
Darlin Girl Creations - Snoopy Outfit   Tickie's Treasures - Vintage Outfit
123 Mulberry Street - Outfit & Hat   A Bee Line - Beez Shoes
Jazzy Doll Duds - Romper Outfit   Karen Mom of 3 - Floral Outfit
  Gina's Craft Corner - 4 Bags   Aunt Sissy Originals - Patriotic Outfit
Once Upon a Sewing Machine - 2 Outfits   2 Crochet Hooks - Bedding Set
  GiGi's Doll Creations - Patriotic Outfit   Jessie's Girl Clothing - Polo Outfit 
Pickled Okra - Reversible Outfit   Meatloaf and Melodrama - Flower Outfit
Doll It Up - Tutu Set   The Graceful Rose - 2 Dresses
Cats Meow - Floral Dress   The Real Thing with the Coake Family - Dress Form
The Tip Toe Fairy - Skirt Set   Camelot's Treasures - Shorts Outfit
Enter the giveaway using the Giveaway Tools entry form below.
18+ yrs, US & Canada Only. Official Rules at bottom of the entry form.
Bonus entries unlocked after required entry.
The more entries, the better chance you have of winning.
This giveaway was coordinated by Diana of Diana Rambles.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Some Doll Sewing!

When summer vacation comes in just a few short weeks (!!!), our family will be doing what most families do - summer camps, swim lessons, and traveling.  My girls love to bring their American Girl Dolls with them wherever we go, and I like to let them take a few outfits to change their dolls into along the way.

I just sewed up a few of these adorable Bow Dresses - this is one of my favorite doll patterns and it's from Ruby Jean's Closet (the girl version is a great sew as well!  You can see a few in my shop here).  I love this pattern - the bow is just too cute, and I love that it's interchangeable - you can change the whole look just by adding a new bow!

I love these fabrics, from Micheal Miller's Bella Butterfly line.  So sweet and summery.

I'm giving these two dresses away as part of another HUGE American Girl Doll Wardrobe Giveaway that starts in a few weeks, so stay tuned for details.  There are some seriously adorable items donated by some very talented sewists!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Tried and Tested - The Lulu Top by Craftiness Is NOT Optional

You guys have maybe heard of Jess?  You know, that completely unknown famous sewing blogger and now pattern designer?  Ha!  Jess's blog is one of the first I started following when I got back into sewing, and with good reason - she's got amazing taste and she really is one of the rock stars of the sewing world!  Also, she bakes some seriously amazing looking desserts.  I only wish we were neighbors...well, maybe my hips are glad that we're not ;-) 

When she asked me to test her newest pattern, The Lulu Top and Dress, of course, I said YES!  This is seriously such a great pattern!  There are tons of options and details to really make it your own, and if you have more than one little girl, you can coordinate without them being too matchy-matchy.

The Lulu can be made with all knit or knit and woven together.  I chose to sew up the top with cap sleeves and a cute little pocket.  I used this adorable knit from the fabulous Girl Charlee (ooooh, there's some left!  Go buy it!) and some chambray that I think I picked up at Joann.

Including taping the pattern together and cutting it all out, this literally took me less than an hour to finish.  I love the way the binding goes on the neck and arm holes - super duper easy and it has a nice clean look.  The gathered waist is actually a casing for elastic - I think it would be fun to change it up and make a casing for a drawstring, too!

I made the Lulu Top in a size 6 and it fits my petite 6 year old perfectly.  I did shorten the elastic, since my daughter's chest size is closer to a size 4, but the length and everything else fit her perfectly.

I wanted to add the faux placket to this top, but didn't really like any of my button choices, so I went with the pocket instead.  It's so cute!

The instructions for the Lulu are very clear, and the illustrations are great.  It's a very straightforward design, and I think it would be a great choice for an advanced beginner who wants to start working with knits.  You definitely don't need a serger for this one, but I do think you should know how to use a twin needle.

Thanks Jess, for having me test for you, and for knocking it out of the park with your Lulu Top and Dress Pattern!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Matinee Dress Blog Tour

 Remember this sneak peak that I posted during Kids' Clothes Week?  

I was able to test The Matinee Dress, designed by the fabulous Jenn of Jennuine Design.  You guys, this is such a great pattern!  There are several options - dress or peplum length, sleeveless or cap sleeves, skirt band or plain.  I sewed the dress with cap sleeves and skirt band out of this gorgeous Amy Butler fabric in a size 8. 

I love the band across the chest - it adds some detail to the sweet neckline.

The band buttons over the open back for a darling back view!  My daughter loves how different this dress is from all of the others in her closet.

My daughter's favorite part of The Matinee Dress - the skirt is nice and full - perfect for twirling!  I love the band at the bottom and it's my favorite way to do a cheater hem (no burning your fingers pressing the hem under!)

The seams on the bodice are fully encased in the lining, and the whole thing took only a few hours to cut and sew.  I can't wait to sew up the peplum version for my youngest!

The Matinee Dress can be purchased on Craftsy or Etsy.

The Details:
Pattern: The Matinee Dress by Jennuine Design
Size: 8
Fit: true to size
Fabric Used: quilting cotton by Amy Butler, Kona Cotton for the bodice and skirt bands, both purchased at my LQS.
Verdict: This is a great pattern for an advanced beginner - you'll learn some new tricks and make a stylish dress that is so different from any pattern out there!

Be sure to check out Jenn's blog, A Jennuine Life, for some more write ups from the other testers of the Matinee Dress!

Friday, April 11, 2014

More Tops for Kids' Clothes Week!

Can I confess something?  Now that my biggest girl is nearly 9 (!!!), she's not as into the girly dresses and twirly skirts as she once was.  Sure, she loves to dress up for parties and occasions, but day to day, she really just loves her jeans and t shirts.  

So, it's really nice to be able to have some great patterns for casual clothes in my library!

Here's the Viewfinder Tee by See Kate Sew.  I tested this one in the fall and my oldest loves it.  I think these shirts are about the fifth or sixth time I've made a batch for her!

Here, I used this adorable deer fabric from Girl Charlee.  It doesn't have a ton of stretch to it, so I just left hem raw.  

Here, I used a lightweight hacci knit from a local store.  I love the neon stripes! 

The Viewfinder is a great pattern - I literally cut these and sewed them together while watching Scandal!  Super duper fast, and a great pattern for someone who is new to sewing with knits.

I've got a few other things up my sleeve, but they'll have to wait until next week!  Here's a sneak peek though:

Did you have fun sewing for Kids' Clothes Week?