Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sneak Peek and big news!

I hope you are all having the best Holiday break with your families. I am soaking up the holidays way busier than I even thought. After hosting and attending several family Christmas parties, caring for 2 children who took turns coming down with the flu and the cough of death, I was shorter on time than I thought. My husband has also had the week leading up to Christmas and this week off work so we have had lots of family time. So Monday will be back to sewing, crafting and blogging as usual but it has been a great little break. 

 I have been up to a few projects lately and have taken the break to finalize some of the new patterns for the Spring line (hopefully due out in February) So I thought I would share some sneak peeks of the things I am working on.

While sharing some "big news" with you. The new year is coming to an end, which is also the end of our first full year of blogging. So for the year 2012 we are adding a few fun things. We will be having a weekly link party. We love to party, and see all the creative things you guys do so let's party together! Starting Every Tuesday we will party it up!

We are also opening up the Sewing 101. initially it was 20 lessons (only I only did 19 oops.) However we have gotten a lot of emails asking sewing questions so we are re-visiting sewing 101 and we have lots of tips including working with knits, neckline openings, plackets, and many more.

We also have some fun events in mind for the year. We can't wait for all the fun things! We will be making announcements on facebook for pattern testers for the Spring line for anyone interested. There will be 5 (maybe more) patterns released so I will need lots of testers with boys and girls.

Our last announcement, is that after learning a lot from our first pattern release this fall, we have decided to increase our prices come the new year. It was a hard decision to make but, creating the patterns and keeping up with the shop takes a lot more time than expected to the prices will go up to 6.95 (except the super hero dolls which will stay at 3.95) We will still offer specials, and deals from time to time, and the half off special is still good until Saturday night. Use the code holiday at checkout and save!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Super Hero Dolls, and a sale!

 So I made some dolls for Jude for Christmas. Jude like playing with dolls and although I am sure he "likes" pretending his little bunny doll is a super hero I thought it was time for some actual super hero dolls. All of which were sold out everywhere. So I made some for him.
 All of his favorite "guys" I can't wait until he opens them up Christmas morning and sees that he can ditch his bunnies and play with some real super heros. They are all made from fleece so they are soft and cuddly, which is nice since a lot of his toys end up "flying" around.

 I think Captain America ended up being my favorite but, Spider-man, Thor, and Thing are all fine too.

I even made a PDF pattern for the super hero dolls. (incase you find yourself wanting some) Of course for copyright issues the pattern is not specifically for any of the super heros, but just a generic super hero. All of the pieces would be really easy to customize into any of the super heros above or any other favorites. (pretty sure Jude would love the Hulk but I didn't have any green fleece on hand) I think Jude will even like playing with "super Jude" right along with his super heros.

Looking to stock up? We just added Pattern Bundle prices!
Buy 2 patterns for $12  Use the code: BUY2
Buy 3 patterns for $15  Use the code: BUY3
Buy 4 Patterns for $20  Use the code: BUY4
Buy 5 Patterns for $25  Use the code: BUY5

Codes can be used in BigCartel shop only

We will be spending time with family over the next 2 weeks so while we may pop in here or there it will be pretty quite, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Bubble Skirt

 Today you can find us over at Sewing in no man's land, where Kelly is putting on a great event called the 12 skirts of Christmas. Not only is Kelly one of the most talented ladies out there, but she has quite the line up of guests. I am pretty honored to have been invited. The skirt I made for the event is a super full bubble skirt with a nice wide waist band.
 Perfect for the casual holiday dress up. And she got to sport her new hat, my first ever crocheted hat! I have to admit I don't really know what I am doing when it comes to knitting and crocheting I have no idea how to read a pattern, or for that matter make a pattern but when I winged it it came together how I wanted it to, so maybe one of these days I will figure out how to share a how-to with crocheting.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fabric Envy Winner and a sneak peek...

First things first. The Fabric Envy Giveaway has come to an end and we have a winner! choose lucky number 43!! 
That happened to be Katy!
Who said:

See, it totally pays to get in those extra entries! So congratulations Katy! I will be sending you an email shortly.

Also if you are sad that you didn't win, then you are in luck because you can still get 15% off your orders from now until the end of the month
Just enter the code shwin15 at checkout.

Also I have been a bit busy lately but I thought I would give you a sneak peek at a project coming soon. (you know when I finish the rest of them and put together the tutorial)

I made Jude some super hero dolls for his stocking this year. He is kind of "into" playing with dolls, which is fine, but let's make them cool. This is my version of "thing" and "Thor" characters I honestly don't know much about but they are Jude's favorites.
Still to come, Captain America and Spider-man. His 4 favorite "guys"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide {stocking Stuffers} and a tutorial

It's that time of year... for me anyway, all the major presents are bought and either on their way here or wrapped and under the tree. This may surprise you but I don't make many gifts. Every year I tend to make at least one home made gift for someone, but the holidays get a little too crazy and busy if I start making something for everyone on my list. I do however like to make a few stocking stuffers for my kids. Stocking gifts are from Santa, and Santa has a workshop and little elves that make things so I love making, or buying homemade, so when my kids see the gifts they think of the little elves that made them. So I have some ideas to share with you after the tutorial, since I thought I would share the super easy and quick little doll clothes I whipped up for Abbey's stocking. (Jude's stocking stuffers will likely be shared after Christmas due to time, but they are pretty awesome) 

 Abbey is getting a little dolly wardrobe this year. She is really into dolls and it's fun to see her play with them and dress them up.
 I grabbed these two dolls from her stash they are just a simple baby doll but you could follow this to make doll clothes for any baby.
 You will just need a stash of scraps. This is why I never throw away scraps from something I make, since now Abbey can have clothes for her babies that match her clothes. (she likes that)
 To make a little pattern lay the baby flat on some paper. Then trace the arm and body. Remember that you will need to add seam allowance. Also I recommend making the pattern a little fatter than the baby all around so it is easy for little ones to get on and off.
 Then for a little design I cut the pattern across the top. (add an extra seam allowance) Then I cut out a top and bottom piece. I did one for the front and one for the back I cut the back down the middle to have two pieces. I also made the skirt piece wider than I needed it so I could add some little pleats.
 Then sew the top and bottom pieces together. You can't see really well but I added little pleats to the skirt piece.
Then you should have the front and back pieces done.
 Sew the front and back together along the black lines in the picture.
 Then hem the bottom. I also made some super tiny bias tape (you could use pre-made stuff) and I sewed it around the neckline and back edge.
 Lastly I attached some little velcro dots to the back to fasten it. Super easy for a little girl to use.
 Then done. Now her little baby has a cute little dress that matches her Mixed Print Top.
 For another variation I made a few layers out of folded strips. Each one gets longer.
 Then I made the top part the same way I did the first one. So I had a tiny little cropped top.
 Then I sewed the slightly ruffled layers to the top. I finished it the same way with a little bias tape around the neck and back sides then I added velcro.
Dolly number 2 has a cute little top. (she just needs some pants) Hopefully Abbey will be so excited Christmas morning to find a whole slew of clothing for her little dolls in her stocking.

If you are short on time for making things this year there is probably still time to get orders in on some super cute handmade goodies from Etsy:

Here are some things I found that I liked:
1: Wooden Numbers Puzzle.
2: Felted Owl Pillow (get 15% off with code SHWIN at checkout)
3: Elephant Pull toy
4:Wooden Train

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sodee Naturals winner and a deal!

So I had a little bit of an MIA weekend. We got really busy, so the Holiday gift guide got skipped, but I will try and put the last ones together this week for stocking stuffers! Which may actually be the last one since the holidays are just around the corner and so time is running out... Then the blog will be pretty quite during the holiday season. We love spending time with our families, so we may pop in here and there but this week will be the last full week. Now on to the good stuff! The Sodee Naturals giveaway has come to an end. selected lucky number 48!!

Congrats Momentary Lapse! You will get an email from me today! 

If you are sad that you didn't win (as I imagine you may) There is good news for you! Sodee Naturals is offering Shwin&Shwin readers 10% off from now until December 31st! 
Enter code: Shwin  as check out. (you may have to register to use the code) 

Also some added perks from the company...
Become a facebook fan for special offers (they are offering one right now found on the "welcome page" 
They are also offering Free Shipping anywhere in the U.S. and flat rate shipping to other countries. So if you are looking for that perfect gift or stocking stuffer, they have great products you should check out!

Hello Neutral (dress)

 I LOVE bright colors on kids, I love them in my house, I love them in my wardrobe. They make me happy, but I always find myself coming back to the neutrals. My favorite cardigan in the whole world is tan and cream stripes, I wear it with everything. A neutral color palette is just so pleasing to the eye. So when Fabric Envy asked me which fabrics I would love to sew with from her shop. I knew right away that I HAD to have the neutral stripe. It was the stripe I was dreaming of. I knew just what I wanted to make with it.
 A little twist on the peasant dress. With a cute little belt (that can be changed out for different colors if you want a pop, or worn with other things, like this top here) Simple, and neutral, and lovely. Would you like to make your own?
 Start with a peasant dress. I tend to just "free hand" my patterns now, but you of course don't have to there are a million and one patterns out there for a peasant dress, or you can follow the free tutorial I linked to last year for this dress. Either way you want to make a peasant dress (front back and sleeve) Then I made a front and back neck facing (cut two front on a fold and 4 back not on a fold.) You will want the back facing to be a little longer than the front so they will overlap a little. I followed a regular tee to make the facing since the neckline would be different than the peasant top. If you need help drafting the facing pieces check out the tutorial for that here. I also cut a slit down a few inches of the back piece and made a slit facing (a rectangle) that was about 4 inches wide and about 1 inch longer than the slit down the back was. The slit makes it possible for you to get the dress on and off over the head. So when you are done all the pieces should look about like the picture above.
 Then you will start by sewing the sleeves to the front. Sew right sides together.
 Then you should have both sewn on like so.
 Next with right sides together sew the back piece to the sleeves as well. Then fold the dress so the right sides are together and sew the sleeves and sides of the dress together.
 Next sew the rectangle centered on the slit in the back. Just sew a "U" shape around the slit. Then cut a slit down the rectangle as well and turn the flap to the back.
 Now, I will try to explain this the best I can but hopefully it will make more sense as you do it. Take one side of the flap in the back and simply turn the edge under. Then press it flat.
 For the other side you are going to turn under the edge just a little and then kind of accordion fold the flap so that the fabric covers the slit. (it will make sense why in a moment) Then top stitch all the flaps in place. So top stitch around the slit.
 See that way from the outside the slit shows fabric and not just an opening. Make sense? Hopefully. You could of course just have a slit if you wanted.
 Then run a basting stitch along the neckline, and pull to gather.
 Next you want to take your facings and sew them together at the shoulders. You will have two identical pieces here.
 Then sew one right sides together to the neckline. (you will be sewing along the outside edge of the neck facing)
 Then with right sides together sew the neck facings together along the flap in the back and the neckline. Then turn the facing to the inside and topstitch in place. Now you have a nice finished neckline. With the flaps in back, I forgot to get a picture of it but you will sew a button on one side and button hole on the other then when the flaps over lap the slit in the back should look closed. Hem the bottom of the dress and the sleeves. Then you are done with the dress.
 Now for the belt. I started by cutting a strip of linen that was two inches wider than my daughters chest. (wider since it will overlap) Then I folded the strip in half and sewed around the edges leaving an opening so I could turn it right side out. I turned it right side out and sewed up the opening. Sorry no pictures of those steps. Then to add a little puffy detail. I cut some thin long strips of tulle. Wrapped it around my hand several times.
 Then I pinched it all together in the middle and wrapped the thread around it tightly.
 Then cut through the loops on either end and "fluff" the tulle it will look like a little puff ball.
 Then sew it to the belt. I made a few sewing them in clusters and I added one or two out of a cream lace as well. Then add a button to one end of the belt and a button hole to the other end and you have a very simple belt.
 That's all there is to it, for a peasant dress with a twist.
 I love the look of the neckline on the dress. and the cute little puffy belt, which to me is a must since other wise peasant dresses have a way of looking like a mu-mu or something...
I just can't get enough of the soft color palette! SO glad to of found the perfect stripe!

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