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kcw summer 2014: in the thick of it

23 Jul

it’s summer kids clothes week!  and i have definitely been sewing.  i’ve probably logged about 7 or 8 hours since sunday, but it’s one of those “secret projects” that i can’t show you yet, and sewing has taken precedence over blogging because DEADLINES.  i’m actually pattern testing two new Oliver + S fall patterns!  it’s very exciting, but high stakes, meticulous sewing.

and of course, all i can show you are super close up photos that show nothing, really.


i know.  super annoying of me.  i got to sew with some pretty amazing cotton + steel fabric (first time i’d seen any in person – it lives up to the hype) aaaaand some pretty frustrating super-stretchy waffle knit.  i did learn a few new tricks to get the knit to behave itself that i’ll talk about when i can post about what i made, so that’s good.  always nice to add new skillz to the mix.


so as of 11:30pm tonight my pattern testing garments are sewn, and now i can move onto sewing a few things my kids need to round out the summer.  both big kids are taking swim lessons i’ve got to make E another swimsuit (her first one has been getting heavy use).  plus both she and O need shorts!

this season’s KCW has a “kid art” theme, and the kids had a great time painting on fabric which i’ll also show you soon – but for now, i’ve got to get some sleep!  sleep is always the first thing to go during KCW.

no wait.  laundry is.

no wait.  my laundry is rarely under control.  who am i kidding?

kid's clothes week

cropped hudson pant

3 Jul

aaaand i’m back with more self sewing!  pattern testing this time, for my friend Kelli of True Bias.  I’m a big fan of Kelli’s – i was fortunate to have her as a guest for vintage may this year, and my intro for her links to my many favorite past Kelli projects.  she has a comfortable yet fashionable style that i enjoy very much, so when she asked if i’d test her hudson pant pattern, i was totally in.

cropped hudson pants

the hudson pant is a stylish lounge pant, which you can make ankle or calf length.  it being summer, i made the calf-length, though for some reason i made them in a somewhat heavy sweatshirt knit (?).  haha they’re multi seasonal, right? Continue reading

seersucker bodysuit

4 Apr

are you ready for a generous friday serving of chubby baby legs?  thought so.

lullaby layette bodysuit

those adorable gams belong to my nephew, who is once again modeling a pattern i tested for Oliver + S – the bodysuit from the Lullaby Layette Set.

lullaby layette bodysuit

the pattern recommends light to medium weight woven material (though it can also be sewn in knit too as Tara shows!).  i knew i wanted it in a lightweight fabric, so i used an orange and gray plaid seersucker from Hancock Fabrics (with Jess again!) and tried to cut carefully because I still want to make a shirt for O with it too.  it’s a great summerweight shirting.

lullaby layette bodysuit

i made size 3-6 months for my 4 month nephew (just like with the jacket) and it fit him pretty loosely.  in my opinion the tester version’s shape was a bit too bubbly for boy babies and think it may have been slimmed down a bit in the final version, but i’m not sure.  it still looks mighty cute with pants!

lullaby layette bodysuit

all the snaps (6 here, 3 on the jacket) got me pretty comfortable with those even though snaps have been a dreaded technique of mine forever.  i think the fact that i sprang for these pliers (affiliate link) made a huge difference – they work way better for me than the plastic snap set you have to hit with a hammer and just feel more accurate, too.

lullaby layette bodysuit

while i always seem to take forever to sew plackets, the instructions on this one were clean and clear (of course) and the elastic casings at the legs were frustration-free too.

i think this bodysuit would be super cute sleeveless in stripes for summertime like a little old timey strong boy, or with a little peter pan collar added (for girls, obviously).  also if you didn’t catch Cherie’s tutorial for adding ruffle sleeves, go check it out!  so cute.

hey spring kids clothes week is next week!  did you sign up yet?  i can never help myself and always end up sewing for KCW, even when my sewing time is super scarce like it is these days.  might just need to keep it simple again.  O had a growth spurt which has made getting him dressed in the mornings a bit difficult, so he’s sort of my priority #1, though it’s always hard to resist pretty dress sewing too!!

lullaby layette tiny man jacket

21 Mar

i made this little jacket so long ago!  before christmas!  but now that the Lullaby Layette Pattern has been released, it’s bloggin’ time.

lullaby layette jacket

i was so excited to hear that Oliver + S was working on a layette pattern.  most of their patterns start for slightly older babies, so it’s fun to have options for the little ones now.  the pattern contains FOUR different cute little baby things to sew – a bodysuit, a shirt, pants, and this jacket.  the sizing starts at 0-3 months and goes up to 24 months, so it’ll last quite a while and would make for great baby shower gift sewing, too.

lullaby layette jacket

i actually pattern tested the jacket and bodysuit, the first time i’ve pattern tested for Oliver + S, and it was a great experience.  the reason i love pattern testing is i get to see the behind the scenes process of patternmaking, and with Oliver + S it was especially fun to get previews of the upcoming patterns, since they tend to be pretty hush hush until release.  i was totally flattered to be asked and took the responsibility seriously – i know a lot of work goes into making patterns as good as theirs.  the pattern was already pretty darn solid though – i didn’t have to do too much.  ;)

lullaby layette jacket

i sewed the 3-6 month size for my (at the time) 4 month old nephew, shown here.  my own baby boy was still in my belly!  i wanted it to be a “manly” baby jacket, so i upcycled my husband’s khaki shorts for the body.  i lined it with a pair of flannel pajama pants that were also my husband’s and added a little twill tape loop at the back neck.  the jacket can be totally reversible if you want it to be, and the lining of the sleeves is very cleverly done.

lullaby layette jacket

please disregard the plaid mismatch – i didn’t try to match it but apparently on one side i matched it perfectly!  not so on the other.  drat.  but i do love how the plaid peeks out when you fold up the sleeves.

lullaby layette jacket

i used store-bought double fold bias tape and size 16 snaps to finish the jacket (both larger than recommended by the pattern).  now that i look at these photos, i want to make another for my own little guy (or see if my nephew has grown out of this one yet…).

lullaby layette jacket

a couple of my bloggy friends have sewn adorable versions of the Lullaby Layette jacket – you have to check out Tara’s tiny sherpa boy (that hat!  Tara’s styling is always so good!) and Cherie’s awesome girl version that had me beelining it to the store for neon bias tape.  both of those gals also happen to have ridiculously adorable babies, which helps matters.

i’ll show you the bodysuit in a bit!  gotta do everything in small chunks of time these days.

rainbow loom road trip case

6 Feb

recently i got to pattern test my friend Anna’s newest offering, the Road Trip Case!  I decided to make the “Rainbow Loom” version for Em.

rainbow loom road trip case

rainbow loom road trip case

Em got a Rainbow Loom (affiliate link) from her aunt and uncle for Christmas, and immediately became obsessed.  i helped her look up how-to videos on YouTube, we found this one, and she’d just play it on repeat while fishtail looming to her heart’s content.

rainbow loom road trip case

it was actually kind of amazing how quickly she picked up on it – i wasn’t sure if she’d be too young, but she seemed to have zero trouble.  like i’d leave the room, come back, and she’d have a bracelet “cast on” and well on its way.  crafting must be in her blood.  ;)

rainbow loom road trip case

and of course, when a new hobby is started, there’s all sorts of new gear and a storage solution becomes necessary.  that’s where the Road Trip Case comes in.

rainbow loom road trip case

this was such a fun pattern to pick fabrics for!  i went sort of “modern granny floral mashup” with it, mixing a fat quarter from heather ross’ briar rose (i got it at Bolt, you can get it here) with some pink kona solid, a vintage sheet from my stash, and some awesome purple floral bias tape that Jess gave me.  it was a project for Em and only for her, so i just went with what i thought would make her happy.

rainbow loom road trip case

the pattern instructs you to make a see-through vinyl pocket.  i’d never sewn with vinyl before but it was super fun, not painful (just use scotch tape on your presser foot/the strike plate if it’s sticking), and the result is so cool.  the zipper was pretty much the easiest zipper i’ve ever inserted, too.

rainbow loom road trip case

there is an elastic loop for your hook, elasticized pockets for you loom(s), and the pattern includes an alternate option for flap pockets to use for more general art/craft supplies.  i love the one Anna adapted to make into a travel sewing case – if it’s ever in the cards for me to go to one of those awesome sewing retreats that keeps popping up, you know i’ll be making a case for it!

rainbow loom road trip case

i really enjoy small quilting projects like this – not sure if you can see it too well, but the case is quilted together and it gives it such a nice sturdiness and structure (much like my hospital bag, also a Noodlehead pattern).  the pattern itself is great, too – Anna is great at listening to testers and an advanced beginner could  definitely tackle it.  it’s fun to bring all the components together for such a utilitarian (and cute!) case.

rainbow loom road trip case

and of course it folds up all tidy too (i poached a few of Em’s mini elastic hair bands).

rainbow loom road trip case


get your Road Trip Case pattern over at Noodlehead and thanks for letting me test it for ya, Anna!

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P.S.  Em’s star star dress is blogged HERE, and her hair is in braids because these photos happened to be taken the same day as THIS post!  


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