Giant Gold Tote

Let’s just acknowledge the mess in my room and then move on.

Okay, done.

I needed a large bag to take all my stuff (and kids’ stuff) to church in.  I’m madly in love with the fabulous leather tote by Madewell, but it is outside my budget, so I used the measurements to make a giant gold faux leather tote.  It used up the last of my gold pleather so you shall be saved from any future gold pleather posts.  At least for awhile.

My goal for this bag was to make it out of the materials I already had on hand.  Lining it was a little tricky because I didn’t have many pieces of material that were large enough and not a horrible match for the gold.  I ended up piecing together this pretty black and white floral to make it big enough.  This bag definitely isn’t perfect, but it is very useful and I’m happy enough with it.

Easter Stuffies

I’ve been finding time to make stuff, but it’s been in little spurts and fits and then I forget to blog any of it.  I think a little catch-up is in order.  First off are several stuffies.  I try to make something for each of my kids’ Easter baskets every year.  Sometimes it is the basket, sometimes the bunny and sometimes it’s something else entirely.  This year they each got a little stuffie.  My youngest got a simple bunny in plaid flannel.  I sketched out a shape and then sewed it up.

My fourth child got a mermaid with purple yarn hair.  I was in too much of a hurry to sketch anything out properly so this one is a little wonky, but my little girl loves her to pieces so I’m willing to overlook her faults.  I tried a new technique for attaching the hair and I hand-painted the face.  I think with some work I could make a pretty cute mermaid.

My third child got an Easter wookie.  Nothing says Easter like wookies right?  I found my inspiration from some adorable stuffies on Pinterest.  I used felt and a little fleece for the details.

Next up was a Wampa because my other son is also in love with Star Wars.  I love this one.  He just makes me laugh.  Found the inspiration on Pinterest which linked to some Etsy shop if I remember right.  I kinda did my own take on it, leaving the arms unstuffed so they would be floppy.

Lastly, (I’ve got 5 kids in case you were counting.) is this adorable narwhal.  I think it’s my favorite.  It’s pink and has a flowered tummy!  Oh and the horn.  I searched the great wide Google to find a pattern and came up with a template on some obscure crafting board.  The directions were confusing, but I was able to figure it out enough to make this little guy.  My oldest was thoroughly pleased.

My Wildflower Top

I finished up the last of the four Just Add Jeans tops from Pattern Anthology.  This one is the Wildflower Top from Melly Sews.

I think this pattern was the trickiest of the four, though I think a beginner could still tackle it.  It’s only tricky because it offers quite a few variations based on your bust size and depending on what you pick you may have to alter the pattern.

It’s more intimidating than difficult.

When I saw this pattern I knew that I wanted to make it into a dress.  I just extended the bodice pieces until I had the length that I wanted.

I was certain that I wanted this to be a full-length, floor sweeping dress, but when I tried it on before hemming it… well, it looked like a nightie.  I chopped it off just below the knee and now it’s perfect.

I love sewing for myself!  I can make clothes that actually fit my body.  I can also find patterns and materials that are on trend without feeling like I am dressing the same as everyone else.  I like a little originality.  🙂

Sewing for kids is fun and takes less material, but then I always run the risk that they’ll hate the finished project and never wear it.

My Day Tripper Top

Another day, another Pattern Anthology top from the Just Add Jeans collection!  This one is the Day Tripper Top by Shwin & Shwin.  This is a great piece for customization, with several different length options, two sleeve lengths, optional tabs for the shoulders, and pockets.  I went with long sleeves and the mid length.  I cut out material for pockets but ultimately left them off because I was afraid it would add bulk.

It has an easy feel to it that makes it really comfortable to wear.  I think this top would look great with color blocking.  I’d also love to try a sweater knit.

The back has a high low hem which would be good paired with leggings.  If I were to go that route I’d use the longer length so my backside was covered.

My City Girl Frock

This is the second top I tackled in from the Just Add Jeans collection.  It’s called the City Girl Frock and it’s by See Kate Sew.

I chose to do the tunic length with a half sleeve (you can also do a shirt or dress) and then I panicked when I realized halfway through cutting that I did not have enough material for the cowl.  I briefly considered swapping in an all white fabric for the cowl, but the material I had was a different weight so I skipped it and hoped for the best.  I’m so glad I did.

The top ended up having such a beautiful ballet neckline.  It really is flattering and very comfortable to wear.  This pattern was also easy to sew and I used my serger to finish the seams even though it’s optional.

I’d like to make another and try out the cowl.  I could see it looking great in a stripe of some sort.  Then again, I love stripes.

My Parisian Top

I bought a collection of patterns called Just Add Jeans from Pattern Anthology.  There are four patterns designed for knit fabric and meant to be worn with jeans.  I tackled the Parisian Top by Go To Patterns first.

I love it.

The pattern was quick and easy to sew and the finished top was definitely true to size.  The fit is perfect.  I used a thicker knit called Ponte de Roma from Girl Charlee and it feels so soft and comfortable.

The Peter Pan collar is a scrap of chevron knit that I had leftover from other projects.  At first I was nervous about mixing the prints, but I think it gives it a more modern feel.

Little Moccs

I’ve been sewing up little pairs of baby shoes using the Lil’ Papoose Moccasin pattern by Peek-a-Boo Patterns.  It’s a darling pattern and it comes together so quickly and I’ve had lucky using it with a variety of materials.  These gold moccs were made with animal-friendly leather (read faux leather) and they turned out great.

The silver faux-leather I wanted was on back-order and I couldn’t wait any longer so I sewed up this pair using an old purse of mine.  The vinly is super soft and has a great feel.

This little red pair is made from an upcycled leather jacket in a beautiful ruby red.  It was my first time working with real leather and it was a little finicky.  I had to play with needle size, thread weight and stitch tension to find the right combination.  Definitely not as easy as working with the vinyl.  The leather was also a little on the thin side so I’m not sure how it will hold up.

I just purchased another piece of real leather, this time in a thicker weight and I’m eager to give it another goal.  I’d also love to give this pattern a little bit more of my own spin so that it’s not just a copy of someone else’s design.

My Penelope Peplum Dress

I love this dress!  The pattern is the awesome Penelope Peplum from See Kate Sew.  I opted to purchase the add-on pack so that I could make the circle dress variation.

I used a heavy weight Ponte Roma knit from Girl Charlee and it drapes so beautifully.

I made the XS and it fits like a glove.  I feel like the pattern fits true to size.  This is the first pattern I’ve purchased from See Kate Sew and I was so impressed.  I really liked the way the pieces were laid out.  I felt like it wasted a lot less paper than some of the other instant downloads I’ve printed.  The directions were really clear and simple and I was able to sew up the entire dress really quickly.

I can’t say enough good things about this dress!

Mouse Dress

Oh goodness I like this dress.  I used a free pattern by Fresh Off the Bolt and adorable mouse sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee.

I had a little trouble figuring out some of the pattern pieces (I honestly couldn’t tell that the pieces had to be taped together) so I ended up using some color blocking to add the straps mid-way through construction.  I don’t recommend going that route.  It was a pain in the tush.

I really like the little ruffled insert in the front of the bodice.  It adds a little bit of fancy.

There is a zipper in the back which helps it to be a more fitted dress.

To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of the construction.  I feel like there could have been a simpler way to put everything together, however that could just be personal preference.  What do I know, anyway.  I’m just grateful that she generously shared the pattern for free.

Mermaid Costume

I could not find a tutorial for a mermaid costume in my time of need, so I had to come up with something on my own.  It was a last minute kind of deal, but it turned out great.

I started by cutting out a skirt shape that flared out slightly at the hips and tapered in at the ankle.  I used a pair of pants as a guide, adding about 1.5″ to the top for a waist band and bringing the bottom down to the ankle.

Then I layered the fabric and cut out a fin.

The fin is essentially an upside down mustache shape.  I made the top part several inches wider than the leg opening so that I could gather it to add ruffling.

I sewed the sides of the skirt first and then the sides of the fin clear down to halfway across the bottom so that there would be an opening for the feet.  Then I gathered the top of the fin and attached it to the skirt.

I used a stretchy green sequined fabric so I didn’t need to hem the raw opening.  (This was for my daughter who is a size 4-5T and I used about 1 yard of fabric with a little left over.)

Looking back, I think it would have been easier to attach the fin to the bottom of the skirt and sew up the sides all at once.  It worked fine though.

For the top, I made a simple tube of flesh colored material using a t-shirt as a pattern.  Before sewing up the sides, I made a quick bikini/shell type top and stitched it to the front panel.  Then I attached two flesh colored elastic strips to the top.

I am so pleased with how it turned out.  The skirt is long enough to hide her feet, but doesn’t prohibit walking.  The tops helps her to feel like a mermaid without sacrificing every shred of her modesty.

I love it.