17 Apr 2014

Around Here: Spring Break and Kid's Clothes Week

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It's been spring break around here for Jayce the past few weeks.  He gets a mind-boggling 20 days off for spring break.  Seriously, 20 days.  That is why we're in school until the 3rd week of July.
This huge break begs the question, "What will we DO with all of this time off?"  Chris and Chelsea still need to work.  But will we go somewhere?  Do something special?  Do nothing?  Do everything?  There are just so many options.
PicMonkey CollageThis year Jayce's first week of break coincided with Kid's Clothes Week, which you may remember I am contributing to (because I keep talking about it) so I felt some extra pressure to be involved and crank out some projects that have been on my to do list.  Once I saw it was taking place during Jayce's spring break, I tried to give myself a little breathing room by pretending like the week before KCW was KCW and doing all of my sewing then.  I didn't want to spend Jayce's first week at home with me trying to squeeze productivity into every spare minute and ignoring him in the process.  So that is what I did.  (You can see all of my projects here.)IMG 3067
This worked pretty well, although admittedly I still spent plenty of time taking and editing photos, and writing up the corresponding blog posts.  So, while the "week before" thing did take some of the pressure off, it didn't take all of it off.  I was also contacted by 2 different designers to pattern test (insert me squealing!) so I still ended up doing some sewing.  But it was all good.
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Despite the busyness I have still managed to have a nice few weeks with Jayce around.Easterfun 3
We've had a modest but fun to do list, and several of the items could be as big and grand or small as we want them to be. 
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 I've been able to gauge each day how tired or bored we all are and what would be the best use of our time, energy, and money, and for the most part it's been going pretty well.  It always surprises me the first few days when Jayce is off, how difficult it is to keep them both happy/entertained/off of each other, but after a few days we all get into a good groove.  We spend some days with friends, some days out, and some days entirely at home.  Even though we don't have a yard or drive per se, we still make good use of the area around our flat for playing and climbing and running and sidewalk chalking.
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Chris and I decided that we wouldn't go away for any major trips right now because last week we bought tickets to come home this summer for almost a month!  So it was a little bit easier to decide not to go anywhere right now on the heels of anticipating a big trip for the summer.  We can't wait.

13 Apr 2014

Pindar Paisley Retro Tank

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I first found this adorable Retro Tank Pattern from Amelie Clothing when I was writing my Kids Clothes Week plans post.  I fell in love with this Netherlands-based shop and the whimsical style of their children's clothing designs.  
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The thing I loved the most about this pattern was the ADORABLE side tail detail.  As I've said a million times before, I am a sucker for a swingy shape on a girl's shirt or dress.  I cannot resist patterns with this element.  But this one has the swing shape plus that side tail, and a button and loop back closure, and that sealed the deal for me.  Absolutely adorable.
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I think Hannah likes it too,  because she kept reaching down to grab the edge of the shirt and then spinning around.  What little girl doesn't like a nice "spinny" shirt when given the option?
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Actually, I laughed when I was editing these photos because she is holding onto the edge of the shirt in almost all of the pictures.  It's a shirt and a security blanket all in one. :)
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I thought a special pattern like this deserved a special fabric and I had one that I had been saving for just the right thing.  I got this Alexander Henry Pindar Paisley from the shop Sew Deja Vu in Stow Ohio, where my aunt Cindi works.  (Hi Aunt Cindi!!)  The print has a large elaborate floral pattern throughout the whole panel, and I wanted a pattern with no gathers or pleats so that it would really showcase the design.  I think this top worked out perfectly.
Retro Tunic 15Also, it's great for running.
Retro Tunic 8You can see my other sewing projects by clicking on the i sew button here or on the right-hand side of the blog. 
I'm linking this project up at Kid's Clothes Week.  Come over and prepare to be inspired!
kid's clothes week

12 Apr 2014

Shandiin Tops and Tunic

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I was lucky enough to be a tester for Lou Bee Clothing's latest pattern, the Shandiig Top and Tunic, which basically means that I got a short head start on assembling a Lou Bee Trio, as I seem to do with Sarah's patterns.  (You can see my autumnal triple Bimaa obsession here.) 
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Shandiin #1 is this pink and blue feathered tunic.  
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Feathers or leaves?  I don't know.  
I got this fabric when I was pregnant with her, just after I found out she was a girl.  It seems a little funny to me that this fabric does the gender neutral thing by using both pink and blue, but with gray, and even though she's obviously a girl I decided to accent with blue.  Maybe that's just a little indication as to my feelings about pink.  Although i guess the rest of her wardrobe is some indication of that as well.  Anyway...
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I love the length of this, just below the butt with a swingy shape.  I added a cinch-able bias tape through the bottom hem for options, but while it's this length on her I just love it loose.  It's great for sidewalk chalk and running as well.
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Shandiin #2 is a top as opposed to a tunic, with a front button closure and plackets on the outside for extra detail.  
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It is so perfect and delicious.  I love it.  The cutout is just so so fun, and paired with that swing hem, and this retro fabric…sigh.  Love.Shandiinbutton 3
Shandiin #3 is basically summertime in the form of a top.
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  I put this on her and asked her to hold her arms out so I could check the fit, and she said,
"Oh, that's okay mom.  I'm going to the beach." 
Yeah Hannah.  Me too.  No problem.
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Instead she worked on the chalkboard, which is the next best thing to the beach.  
I did a solid front, like Shandiin #1, but the top length, like Shandiin #2, but an elastic waist, which is unique to Shandiin #3.  There will not be a quiz.
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I was so excited that this worked out because it let me get in my last scrap of this beautiful floral fabric that I used on a dress for her last year, and that dress was almost immediately too small for her.  I had a little bit left and the color-blocking on this top let me use it. 
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Whew!  Great pattern, right?  I've done 3 of these babies in a week, and I still have more ideas.  But my hands are a little numb, so I'm going to stop just for a few.  
Keep an eye out at Lou Bee Clothing for the release of this pattern soon.
You can see my other sewing projects by clicking on the i sew button here or on the right-hand side of the blog.  
Ribbet+collage4I'm linking this project up at Kid's Clothes Week.  Come over and prepare to be inspired!
kid's clothes week

11 Apr 2014

Oasis Sally Dress

Sally 1Last summer when the Sally Dress came out I was obsessed.  It's just so darn cute, right?  Right.  It's amazing.
Meadow Sally Dress 10Now that I've actually made one, I'm beyond obsessed. 
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That little pointy squared edge on the shoulder just kills me!   Hannah has very chunky little shoulders and upper arms, so generally I'm a fan of anything that really puts them on display.  
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I have to admit, it took some concentration to put this pattern together.  The instructions aren't overly complex, it's just that putting together the fully-lined top bodice required a few new methods that I've never used in constructing a dress, and I just didn't get it at first.  I put the sides of that baby together the wrong way, and then I tried to put it together the way that I normally do a bodice and ended up seam ripping out the sides a second time.  All the while I was telling myself, "This is why you listen to the pattern designers Erin!  Don't try to modify it before you understand it!"  Sometimes I'm just such a terrible listener.
But once I followed the directions one step at a time I was there.  And the result is lovely.
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I was dying to use this amazing Leah Duncan fabric, but I didn't have quite as much on hand as the pattern called for for the skirt.  I ended up adding 4 pleats to the front and the back of the skirt until it fit the width of the bodice, and then sewed it up.  If you're thinking it's much less full than the other Sally Dresses you've seen you'd be right, but I still love it.
Even in a sweater, and even on a seesaw, it's just so great. 
It's the official Easter Sunday dress, no doubt.
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You can see my other sewing projects by clicking on the i sew button here or on the right-hand side of the blog.  

I'm linking this project up at Kid's Clothes Week.  Come over and prepare to be inspired!

kid's clothes week


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