Friday, March 29, 2013

The Modern Artist

It is time for the week one challenge of Project Run and Play All Stars! I honestly can't get over the fact that someone out there thinks I am an all star but this has been the most fun I have had sewing in a long time and I am so honored that I am sewing amongst friends. To say I "needed" this may be a little crazy but really, I needed this. It was so fun to challenge myself, to think out side the box and to stretch my creativity, and really to just sew freely. When I first saw the themes that the girls were kind enough to give us back in December, I was pretty stumped by the Art Challenge. That is until I googled "art". 

The first piece that came up was a piece I remember seeing in the Art Museum when I was a little girl. It was my favorite piece and really I have always been drawn to the modern art movement. I always felt empowered when I saw squares, lines, and splatters hanging in famous museums, because I would think "I can do that!" In fact if it wasn't for modern art I would feel like art was unattainable. (if you saw me draw a sorry excuse for a stick figure you would understand) I took the challenge fairly literal.
I made the dress a solid white canvas with a color blocked pieced peplum. The collar which is made by shaping bias tape is intended to look drawn on. I also added a short bubble sleeve to play with shapes and silhouettes.
I made the dress back in December and had Abbey try it on, it fit like a glove and I did a happy dance, so happy I guess that I started having contractions and we went into labor and delivery. It was a false alarm, and we had a really fun waiting game back and forth until Penny was born and the dress waited patiently in Abbey's closet until a few weeks ago when we were ready to go take pictures. Do you know what happens in a few months time? Kids grow. So the once perfect dress was now too short. However as Tim Gunn would say "make it work" so the dress, became a tunic and I whipped up a pair of leggings to wear underneath. Honestly I love it even more as a tunic than I did as a dress, and so does Abbey because she loves any chance she can have to wear leggings.
The back has an exposed zipper in bright green. The splash of color that pulls from the peplum added an industrial feel to the modern art piece, and I love the pop of interest to the back.

I love the shape of the peplum, which I have a mini tutorial for later next week. It has a few pleats that help give it shape and form and add to the flair. 
I used a stretch poplin for the dress so it has comfortable easy fit for an active little girl.
She was quite pleased with the dress and thats all that really matters.

So head on over to Project Run and Play and vote for your favorite look.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Project Run and Play All Stars

Project Run and Play All Stars started up this week! Tomorrow is the big day for week one looks! I am beyond excited! We have been sharing behind the scenes sneak peeks on instagram using the hashtag #prapallstars (follow along @shwinpics) I thought I would share the sneak peeks here for those of you who are not on Instagram. I have been having a lot of fun! Sewing, and taking pictures. Even stepping out of my comfort zone (sorry back yard fence, you will be missed) 
 Using fabrics and supplies I have never used before, and some that are old favorites. It's been a fun mix.

 And with everything a LOT of trial and error. I have officially started 10 looks so far, and I have finished 5 and used 4. Some I will share here but honestly I have been having so much fun "free sewing" I don't have a lot of tutorials, just some mini tutorials, or a few "this is how I did it"

 Some new techniques have been a lot of fun to try out even if they have been time consuming.

Abbey has even been very involved in the design process, I wanted to make sure she truly loved everything which is partly why so many things are being scrapped... she is picky! 

Here is the only sneak peek I have for tomorrows look. In case you are sewing along it's inspired by art and it's fun!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nowhere Man Pants Pattern

 As you know I am updating all of my old patterns and adding new sizes to many of them. It's a fun under taking, since I am loving the chance to sew them all up again, and add some fun new details when I can. Of course when I add new sizes or new details I am also offering a discount code to those of you who purchased the pattern already. (I am not however offering a code on the patterns that don't have added sizes or style options like the Maggie Mae and the soon to be re-released Abbey Jacket and Prudence Jacket) Today is the day for the Nowhere Man Pants. They are Jude's favorite pants. He told me so :)
 A year ago when I first released the pattern I made him some awesome green linen pants in a 4T (he was just a little guy) Only a year has past and he is already in a 6! We went with a light weight light colored denim that I used the reverse side as the right side. My husband thinks they are 70's but hey, I guess I have a thing for the 70's.
 I love the Nowhere Man Pants because kids are free to move and be kids without the pants restricting them in anyway. Jude thinks they feel like sweatpants, but they look like real pants so it's a win win over here. (he has been forbidden from wearing sweatpants out of the house) The new pattern also includes a back yoke option so they can be like real jeans, and a faux fly option. They can also be the cute and basic pant if you are just starting out. Nothing tricky here.
 Just comfortable cool relaxed pants. Perfect really for a boy or girl, but I make them mainly for my little guy.
And for these ones I even added an extra two inches to the hem so they can be let out as he grows, which seems to be all to quickly these days.
You can find the new updated pattern in the shop HERE

And if you purchased the Nowhere Man Pants already send me an email with the paypal email address, order number or a forward of the download email and I will send you a discount code so you can upgrade your pattern if you would like.

Monday, March 25, 2013


 Well friends the Sun&Surf collection has come to an end. Thanks so much to all of you for the excitement and overwhelming response! We are already busy planning and dreaming our Back to School collection and all I can say is it's going to be good! So the patterns from the collection have been released in all of our own shops now, which means if you sadly missed out on the collection or were waiting to snag up just one or two patterns you can do that now. I thought I would blog about the two patterns I shared that are now in my shop. The Sunshine Dress is seriously one of my favorite dresses.
 Even though we have had a very snowy Winter and Spring (don't worry she was only standing in the cold for a few min.) The dress brings a certain amount of sunshine with it, and would make a perfect Easter Dress if you are like me and still haven't started them yet. (I still have time till the day of right?)
 Buttons down the back, big bubble skirt, and draw string hem are just the start of why I love this dress. 
I also love the curved bodice, pleated front and little peeks of trim. In case you are wondering I used a Mustard Linen for the bodice, because I love linen, and I pieced the skirt (the instructions include how to do that) I used a lightweight denim and cream colored shirting fabric, I love all the texture from the 3 different fabrics. You can find the Sunshine Dress HERE
You know I love sewing for my little guy. I kind of love the challenge of coming up with something "different" since boys styles don't seem to change as much as girls do. So with the Submarine Pullover I added lots of fun pockets, convertible sleeve and and extra large placket. Not only are extra large plackets a little easier to sew especially if it is your first, but it's a fun statement especially since you can use extra large buttons :)
 It has elastic at the waist but I have made Jude several now and skipped the elastic in a few and I love it just as much. The pockets are fun to mix and match, with this one I reversed the denim on the pocket, and added a rivet to the corner. It was a fun and easy thing to make it just a little more special.
 The sleeves can be worn up or down with button tabs that hold them in place and the hood is a cute detail that is fully lined so it adds a fun place to stick a pop of color, or a cool lining, like super heros, bicycles or animals, you know all the things boys love without having an entire shirt made out of it. (by the way he is also wear the #9 trousers in the pictures)

This pullover is made from a light weight denim, but I have also made this in linen (a favorite) and a shirting fabric, it can be made in nearly nay fabric, it could also be made in a sweatshirt material for a more traditional hoodie.
You can find the pattern HERE

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sun&Surf Pattern Tour Looks

It's your last chance today to buy the Sun & Surf Collection by Pattern Anthology . After today these patterns will be available individually in the individual designers' shops at full retail price, but they will never again be available in this discounted bundle. In case you're still not convinced that you need them, here's another roundup of what sewists around blogland are doing with these patterns. Click on any picture to go to the complete post.

Coastal Cargos by Delica Creates Coastal Cargos by Delica Creates

Surfer Slacks and Beachy Boatneck by The Sewing Rabbit at Me Sew Crazy Surfer Slacks and Beachy Boatneck by The Sewing Rabbit at Me Sew Crazy

Submarine Pullover by Skirt as top Submarine Pullover by Skirt as top

Carousel Top by Craftiness is Not Optional Carousel Top by Craftiness is Not Optional

Beachy Boatneck and Santa Monica Cinch by The Cottage Mama Beachy Boatneck and Santa Monica Cinch by The Cottage Mama

Andrea, in addition to designing two of these patterns, has been sharing several additional looks: Beachy Boatneck by The Train to Crazy at Alida Makes Beachy Boatneck by The Train to Crazy at Alida MakesBoardwalk Skirt at The Train to Crazy
Boardwalk Skirt at The Train to Crazy
Carousel Top at The Train to Crazy
Carousel Top at The Train to CrazyBeachy Boatnecks at The Train to Crazy Beachy Boatnecks at The Train to Crazyboardwalk skirt by Crafty Tammie via Flickr
boardwalk skirt by Crafty Tammie via FlickrSurfer Slacks at Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Surfer Slacks at Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Sunshine Dress by The Crafting Fiend
Sunshine Dress by The Crafting Fiend
 If you've made a version of one of these patterns, we'd love to see it in our Flickr pool, so we can pin it to Pattern Anthology on Pinterest.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3 Months Old

 My dear sweet Penny is 3 months old today. The three months have both gone by in the blink of an eye and they have been some of the longest months of my life. Penny is a sweet little girl, with a smile that will melt your heart in an instant.
 She is my tiny little peanut, 3 months old and just now approaching 10 pounds. I appreciate her staying small, I feel like it is prolonging her squishy little baby stage. Like she knows that I needed this. She has brought a joy to our home and I simply love seeing how Jude and Abbey care for her.
 Having three kids hasn't been easy, some days its been downright hard. Meeting the needs of a school kid, a preschooler, and an infant can seem impossible when they all come at you at once. Finding the balance in life has been challenging, figuring out how to "do it all" is proving to be a difficult task. Like with most things the addition of something new means the subtraction of something old.
 In this case the new addition is far better than the things I have had to give up, like blogging late into the evenings, that time is now spent feeding and rocking a baby, stealing some cuddles, and then getting a little rest before I do it again and again every couple hours that follow. We are just finally getting on a nap schedule, which helps. Nap time means sewing time, and me time.
 The days are not perfect, the schedule is not yet consistent, and there are still plenty of moments where tears are shed, and breakdowns occur. (both mine and the kids) yet with all the colic, chaos and adjustments being made, 3 months in and I simply can't imagine or remember life without our dear sweet Penny.

 A little while back on a particularly challenging day a sweet package arrived in the mail. It was the type of mail that turns your whole day around. A pair of beautifully packaged, hand embroidered loveys. My lovely sponsor Dolce Dreams, sent me two loveys for little miss Penny. One with the ultra soft Minky backing with Penny lovingly hand embroidered in the middle. The other with the new Organic backing which is soft and cuddly and had a hand embroidered P in the center, clean and classy looking.
The loveys are soft, and sized perfectly for little babies to love. The little ribbons are easy for babies to hold on to. Nathalie delivers a perfect and gorgeous product. Her hand embroidery is perfection and makes the lovey a cherished belonging. She pairs fabrics together perfectly. I am absolutely in love with the loveys and I know Penny will love them forever.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sun&Surf Pattern Tour

Ok this post was going to go up Saturday... the Sunday...Then Monday... clearly it did not, I feel like I am holding out some awesomeness on you, but life with a newborn can be like that. Sometimes I feel like I am in some kind of coma and I wake up wondering what day (and year) it is, like time has passed without me knowing or allowing it to do so. I don't remember it being that way with the other two kids but maybe 3 is the magic time sucking number? Any way I digress, on the all the awesomeness that I have been holding back. The Sun&Surf tour is well underway which means you only have 6 more days to buy the full collection! So let me show you all the great things that have been made: 

Starting with Costal Cargos, Sabra rocked out this pair, as well as the very "costal worthy" pictures. She is awesome.
Elsie Marley also knocked it out of the park with this hip version of costal cargos
Mama Says Sew made theses great costal cargos and the boardwalk skirt. I love them both and they totally go together!
A Girl and a Glue Gun also made a boardwalk skirt, with some lovely lace detail.
The girl inspired made the most perfect carousel top that makes me want one in my size.
The Cottage Mama made the Beachy Boatneck and the Santa Monica Cinch Jacket. I just love them both especially how she completes the looks.
Last but not least the adorable Sunshine Dresses, first It's Always Autumn made this adorable plaid version
Grovvy baby and mama made two I love the floral top with the solid fabric she did for this one

We have also had testers, and others share the thing they made using the patterns and they are all so great! (click on the pictures to check out more details)

good news!
Jessica from The Sewing Rabbit put together a simply amazing Spring Giveaway and it includes the chance to win a copy of the whole collection! Click Here for More Details