Project Run and Play Week Four: Signature Style

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It’s the final week of Project Run and Play and I can’t believe I’m here at the end.  It’s been such an amazing experience full of so many ups and downs.  To be here with Cassie of Pear Berry Lane and Gemia of Phat Quarters is truly the icing on the cake.  These two ladies have been with me on my sewing journey from my early pattern tester days and I’ll be thrilled no matter what the outcome of this contest is.  These women are so incredibly talented and both deserve all the prizes in the world for their hard work and determination these last few weeks!  It’s been an honor to compete with all five ladies and I know they make this sewing community a better place.

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The theme this week is Signature Style- my favorite week yet!  The pressure was off and I got to sew what I felt really expresses our styles.  I wanted to highlight my own design aesthetic but also play up the girl’s tastes and personalities too.  These two outfits really are such a great mix of the three of us and I love how they turned out.  I lean towards classic styles with clean lines and simple silhouettes but I love to give them a contemporary twist.  These pieces will integrate easily into their wardrobes, will get lots of wear, and really showcase who we are style-wise.

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This dress is the highlight of our look.  I’ve had this fabric for years and have just been waiting for the right project.  This competition has been just what I needed to cut into all my beloved stash fabrics!  This particular fabric came from Hancock Fabrics in their clearance section (that was always my favorite local place for unique, inexpensive apparel fabrics).  I absolutely love the colors as I’m all over anything blush, olive, grey, or black these days.  I’m usually drawn to stripes and florals but this bold geometric print is different and so incredible.  Sometimes the design comes first and sometimes the fabric just knows what it needs to become.  This fabric screamed to become a classic pleated dress so of course I had to oblige.

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I used a favorite pattern of ours as the starting point, the Blake Dress from Mingo and Grace.  I used this pattern for our Pokemon look in our first trip to PRP and it just seemed so right to used it for our final look as well.  This time around I added sleeves and a peter pan collar.  I always look for dresses with sleeves to make them more church appropriate and to give it more wearability in our ever-changing Utah weather.  I used the sleeve and armscye of another pattern and was surprised at how easy an alteration it was.  I will definitely be doing it more often in the future!  There was a ton of hand sewing involved with this dress from the fully lined bodice to the hand tacked hem.  All things that make this dress one that will be worn and cherished for as long as possible

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One of my favorite features of this pattern and one I needed to keep were the hidden pockets.  I love this design element and while it’s a little tricky to figure out it’s always a happy little surprise for my girls.

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The collar is made from the same pleather as last week’s pants.  I love the edge it gives the dress and knew she would too.  She adores her pants from last week and thinks this collar is pretty cool.  Little rockstar touches are always welcome with this girly.  I wanted to add a little ribbon belt and this leather trim was too perfect.

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I finished the dress with a lace exposed zipper.  I had this one in my stash and loved the feminine feel it brings to an otherwise modern look.  It suits my daughter so well.  She’s full of spunk and sass but still sweet and girly too.  It’s always so fun when you can sum up their eclectic personalities in one garment!

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My older daughter is a mini me through and through.  I always apologize to her for all the little things she’s inherited from me from my quiet personality to my funny teeth.  Good or bad, she’s just like her mom.  I know when I sew for her that if I would wear it she’ll love it too.  I wanted to recreate one of my favorite makes for myself because I knew she’d adore it too.  This top is my take on my own gingham Willamette Top from Hey June Handmade.  We paired it with a classic blush twill skirt for a simply chic look!

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For this top I started with Simplicity 1043, a pajama pattern.  I used the wide collar but then almost completely redrafted it.  I wanted it to be as close to the original inspiration as possible.  I made a dolman sleeve and cuff, added a back yolk and pleat, and added in all the seam details.

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The Willamette is such an on-trend top and I love all the unique features it has.  That back pleat is just lovely in gingham!  This fabric is a beautiful Robert Kaufman one inch gingham I picked up at my local quilt shop but is readily available online (in case you need some for yourself, hint hint!).

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The seaming makes it so fun to play with the directions of the gingham.  I cut the yoke, cuffs, collar, and bottom pieces all on the bias.  I love the effect!  I used all the same clean finishes of the Willamette pattern to create a garment that’s as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside.  French seams, a magic burrito rolled yoke and hidden seams in the cuff make this top look so high end.

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I used the Linden Shorts and Skirt pattern for the skirt changing up a few things for this look.  I slimmed it down a bit and did my own slash pockets.  I also drafted my own waistband and used an invisible side zipper for closure.  This skirt is a prime example of why I sew for this girl.  She measured an 8 waist and 12 length and I still needed to bring in the back middle seam a couple of inches and customize the width even more.  Ready to wear bottoms are always so short on her and skirts are near impossible to get in a decent length! So glad we can create a garment that fits her tall, tiny frame!

This fabric is a shiny sateen I got in LA but I chose to use the wrong side of the fabric for everything but the pocket bag.  She’s seriously lacking in skirts and this color will work so well with her existing wardrobe.  I was happy to create a great basic piece that will get worn and loved!

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This week’s looks are simple and timeless with fun details that bring them into the present day.  It was so rewarding making garments that not only highlight my own style but also bring out my daughter’s unique personalities as well.  Isn’t that why we sew moms?  After a long month of sewing, this week’s pieces truly reflect who we are and why I sew.

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For this week’s shoot we headed to my favorite location, a quaint old town street not too far from us.  I love the dirty alleys, gorgeous wood wall, and aged brick buildings.  So many options for amazing backdrops in one easy location.  We were racing the sunset and these girls have become experts these last few weeks at nailing poses and hamming it up as quickly as possible.  For once, the sun was shining and I didn’t need to edit out goosebumps, lol!  These two have earned a good break from blog pictures that’s for sure!

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Thanks so much for bringing us this far in the competition.  I’m so grateful for the sewing community and all my real life family and friends who have been cheering me on through this adventure!  Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play to see all the looks and to vote for your favorite.  I’m sure you’re in for some serious eye candy!

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Project Run and Play Week Three: Shine Bright

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It’s week three! What a ride it’s been!  I’m thrilled to have made it this far in the competition and have been loving my competitors creation’s each week.  Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play to check out their looks and to vote for your favorite.

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The theme for this week is “Astronomical Proportions’.   I really, really struggled with this one.  I love that this competition pushes me to try new things and to be adventurous but I also want to be true to my own design aesthetic and style.  As designers we pondered the double meaning of the theme; outer space and also big dramatic proportions or style elements.   Trying to go with both meanings and stay practical and wearable was my big hang up.  I decided to go ‘big’ in my own way.

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I kept thinking of the stars- both in the sky and on the silver screen.  We are channeling the bright, shining stars in the sky and also our favorite Hollywood movie stars.  It made for a fun week sewing and an especially fun photo shoot.

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Fabric played a huge part in this week’s look.  I used mostly fabric I’ve had forever and that I picked up for a steal.  The sequins, lining knit, and neon pink scuba knit are from LA that I grabbed last year.  The sequins were a screaming deal at $5/yard and the scuba was a remnant that I got to dig for ;).  The faux leather knit came from a local home decor warehouse for $3/yard and the space knit was a Joann remnant for a couple of dollars as well.  Serious savings!  While it was amazing finding just the right fabrics in my stash it also meant I had to work with the yardage I had.  It proved a bit challenging on the main pieces but worked out in the end.

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This dress was such a learning experience.  It was only my second time working with sequins and my first big project with them.  I only broke ten needles in the process- haha!  The sparkle and shine are so worth it though!

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The real showstopper is that skirt!  I added fairy lights for extra wow factor and love the results.

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I wanted this dress to be both playful and sophisticated and to really suit her style.  I loved this dress and this one as well and wanted to use elements of them in our look.  I love the blouson top and wanted a circle skirt to really showcase those twinkling lights.  I love the bishop sleeve of the second dress but unfortunately didn’t have enough fabric for long sleeves.  The slight flutter sleeve is my compromise!

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The dress is lined in a super soft grey rayon jersey knit.  It’s comfortable and helps retain the drapiness of the sequins.  I did an elastic casing on the bodice lining only to avoid an extra seam on the sequins.  The elastic had to be nice and snug to hold up the weight of the sequins and battery pack.

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The lights are removable and took a lot of time to figure out.

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I created a zipper pouch in the pocket to hold the battery pack.  There is a buttonhole on the other side of the pocket for the light strand to feed out of.  The lights are hand tacked to the inside of the sequins and are just loose enough that they can be removed easily.

If I were to create this dress again (hello, future me!) I’d do a couple of things differently.  This was my first time making a light up sequin dress after all!  Hopefully someone else can use these tips to make their little princess’s dreams come true.  The battery pack is a little too heavy and bulky in her pocket and I think I’d either do a separate pocket in the back of the bodice or since I knew she’d be wearing shorts underneath it would be ideal to put the battery pack in a pocket there then do a buttonhole on the skirt lining for the lights to feed through.  The fairy lights were lightweight and the wire was pliable and worked well with the weight of the sequins.  The lights add just a bit of fullness to the skirt which worked well for this application.  How fun would a light up dress be for a night of fireworks at your favorite theme park?  I think there are lots of possibilities with these fun lights!

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The spin factor with the lights is our favorite! I love that she picked Chucks to really play up the playfulness of this look.  Perfectly suits my soccer loving, book-worm, old soul of a daughter!

sophie4.1I used the Nina Blouse from Coffee + Threads as my basic bodice pattern again.  I eliminated all closures and did a slight boatneck to fit over her head.  I redrafted the sleeve to have as much flutter as I could fit on my remaining fabric.  I just love that drape!

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I used the Love Notions Leggins’ pattern to make a pair of shorties to wear underneath to allow her to spin to her heart’s content!  I added height to the waistband and cut them to hit mid-thigh for coverage but to stay hidden too.  This fun space print was perfect for the theme and I love when they peek out a bit as she twirls!

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Overall, I’m so happy for the push Project Run and Play gave me to cut into my beloved sequins.  It was worth all the broken needles in the world to see this little miss feel like a star!

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This girl is my little sassy one.  She’s full of spunk and I wanted an outfit that captured that.  A neon pink top with faux leather leggings sure did the trick!

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For her blouse I used the Hey June City Park tee as my base.  I sized up and redrafted the body for a boxy, loose fit.  I added wide blouson sleeves for our take on ‘astronomical proportions’.  I love the drama of the sleeves and finishing them with an elastic cuff keeps them a little more practical.

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Just about as puffy as this simple mama gets 😉  She’s in love though!

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I did a slight high low hem to add to the dramatic feel.

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Gold foil stars add the finishing touch.  My Cricut and I are becoming BFF’s this competition too.  As I searched for star fabric all over the internet it hit me that my Cricut could give me just the look I wanted.  I was able to use the bright fabric I wanted and add just a spattering of stars to tie it in with the theme.

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Her pants are simple leggings with a few modifications for a sleek fit.  I used the Peony Leggings from Sew Like My Mom.  I slimmed the legs even more for a second skin close fit.  I added height to the waistband for a high-waisted silhouette.

payton19.1They’re cropped just at the ankle for a retro feel.  Really wishing I could rock the pleather pants like this girl!

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Our shoot day was another one for the books.  After six soccer games and a birthday party, we had a fun shoot planned in front of this cool wall.   Mother Nature had other plans as the skies turned grey and it started raining then turned to slushy snow.  Perfect photo conditions!

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Luckily I had a backup plan and we headed to a ‘fancy’ parking garage for a high fashion photo shoot- complete with natural wind machines and an audience.  These girls loved getting glammed up and really turned on their inner movie stars.  A little makeup and a rocking hairdo go a long way in making them feel confident and really bring them out of their shells.  Yet again, the photo shoot turned out to be my favorite part of the process.  These girls crack me up and we just have a blast each time!

Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play to vote for your favorite look!  Voting is open until 8pm EST Thursday, March 29th.

Project Run and Play Week Two: Charlotte’s Web

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Week two is here and I’m so thrilled to be back again.  I can’t thank you guys enough for all the love and support last week!  What an amazing week it was and I know you’re going to be amazed at what my competitors have to offer this week as well.  So much crazy talent! Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play to vote!

The theme this week is Crafting a Story, weaving elements of your favorite story book into this weeks project.  So fun, right?!!  My kids and I sat down and came up with a huge list of all of our favorite books and characters.  We kept coming back to Charlotte’s Web, a book I’d read as a child and read to my oldest boys years ago and again just last summer to these two cuties.  We loved it a ton and so much of the story resonated with us.  The character’s friendship is inspiring and teaches us to look past our physical differences.   The message that a tiny spider can bring about great things is so important for our kids to hear.  I want them to know that they can do anything and that simply being a good friend can make all the difference in the world.

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For our looks this week, I really wanted something classic and keeping with the charm of the book.  I used a ton of our favorite patterns and created looks that are reminiscent of Charlotte and her friends but that will also get worn in heavy rotation long after the competition is over.

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All of my fabric this week was provided by Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  I love that I was able to grab the linen for the overalls and pants and the perfect knit solids and prints all in one stop.  I knew I wanted to use the spider-web print from their CLUB line and built the rest of the look around that.  The fabrics were so perfect for creating just the look I was after!

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I knew we needed to do overalls but wanted to do a little twist on the classic denim pair.  I used a soft rayon linen blend for a modern take.  I used the Linville Romper pants from Hey June Handmade.  I went down a size and slimmed them a bit more for a straight leg fit.  I trimmed the waist to hit at her hips and added a wide waistband.  The pockets are lined in the same fun polka dot print used for her headband.  We played around with the bib to get just the size we both liked and added a pocket to the front.

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My favorite feature of the overalls is the drawstring tie in the back.  I did buttonholes on the inside of the waistband and a pair of buttonholes on the outside as well.  The straps go in through the inside holes, crossover and come out the outside to be tied in a bow.  It was a fun construction element that will also let these grow with her since they’re so easy to adjust.

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The clean lines and topstitching make me so happy.  She needed a slim, simple top to wear underneath so we did a sleek bodysuit to layer under.

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This pretty Riley Blake print just ties the looks together and is reminiscent of spring- when Wilbur was born!

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For the bodysuit I mashed two patterns- the Camilla Swimsuit from Made for Mermaids with the Boo! Designs Sleeved Leotard.  I love the modest cut of the legs and fit through the body of the Camilla.  Combined with the sleeves and neckline of the Boo! leotard it’s the perfect fit!  I did knit bands instead of elastic in the legs for comfort.

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I finished off the look with a self drafted knotted headband.  The perfect accessory for this vintage inspired outfit.

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My little guy got an outfit just perfect for him!  I went with clean lines and colors so the pieces will get worn easily with the rest of his wardrobe.  I tried to stick with the old fashioned vibe with a bit of a modern feel.  His look features a bomber jacket, ringer tee, and woven joggers in comfortable fabrics like jersey, french terry, and rayon linen.

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For the jacket I used my favorite raglan sweatshirt pattern, the Samson Sweater from Love Notions.  I used the construction techniques from the Ollie Bomber jacket from Sew A Little Seam to create this fully lined, cozy layering piece.  Those welt pockets are a must and I love how this turned out!

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The inside is lined in a spider web print jersey and I couldn’t help but add a little secret pocket with the saying, “With the right words, you can change the world.”  Charlotte sure taught us that!

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I used the Oliver + S School Bus tee pattern for his shirt.  I love the slim fit and it was super easy to modify for this retro look.  I added white rib knit to the neckline and sleeves (I trimmed off a couple inches for this sleeve length).

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I wanted a 70’s feel for the graphic and created that by using strips of vinyl in white, goldenrod, orange, and charcoal and cutting it with my Cricut.  We did ‘Terrific”, one of the words Charlotte wrote in her web, because this kid is pretty terrific in my book!

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These pants are seriously my favorite thing I’ve made him!  So simple but so him too!  He HATES jeans and only wear ‘soft pants’ if he can help it so these are just too perfect for him.  I used the True Bias Hudson pants with just a few modifications since they’re made for knit fabrics.

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I sized up one size but took in the crotch area quite a bit to keep the slim look.  I love the pocket detail the pattern uses and used a longer piece cut on the bias to get it to fit.  I skipped the real drawstring but added a faux piece that won’t come out in the wash (seriously, why does that happen EVERY time!).

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I drafted cargo pockets to hold even more treasures.    The topstitching on these pants really helps these pants feel more ready-to-wear.  I’m adding a version of these pants to my selfish sewing list because I know I’d wear them just as much as he does!

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These kiddos were troopers again, braving the chilly Utah temperatures for this fun photo shoot.  We have to plan around snowstorms and they are so good at humoring their mama as I try to get ‘the shot’.  My girly cracked me up as I told her to do a closed mouth smile and she replied, “Hashtag Mona Lisa!”.  These shoots are my favorite part of the competition as we laugh and I get to see their cute personalities shine through.  Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t forget to head back to vote for your favorite look at Project Run and Play!

 

Project Run and Play Week One: Modern Mayan

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It’s week one of Season 15 of Project Run and Play and I’m thrilled to be back!  I had so much fun last time and learned so much.  This go around I’m so happy to be joining some of my favorite seamstresses and know you’re going to be blown away by their creations.

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The theme for this week is the 7 Wonders of the World.  I hit the internet and was immediately drawn to one of our favorite sites we’ve ever visited- Chichen Itza, Mexico.  If you’ve followed me for very long you know we have a huge place in our hearts for Mexico and love our vacations there.  We love learning about the culture and people and I wanted to celebrate that in our look this week.

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Our first vacation post kids was with my husband’s family to Cancun, Mexico (that’s me with the bob kneeling in front- we were so young!).  We toured the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza and it was such an amazing experience.  Back then you could climb to the top of El Castillo, the iconic pyramid.  It was at the top that my fear of heights kicked in and I seriously contemplated what life would be like living in that big stone room since there was no way in the world I was going back down those steeeeeeeeep stairs!  Lucky for you I conquered my fears so I could be here today to share with you our first look!

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I love the bright colors of Mexico, from the turquoise ocean waters, to the lush green jungles and the clear blue skies.  The vibrant colors really bring our look to life.  I did three different pieces and topped it all off with a fun felt floral headband.

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My main piece is a woven front bodice dress, designed to mimic the stairs of El Castillo.  To create this look I used a reverse applique technique and fabric weaving.  A little geometry came in handy to get this just right.  I love that this dress is perfect for the theme but also totally wearable and not too costume-y.

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I brought the same staircase look to the back of the bodice too.  I love the subtle detail!

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I did a split sleeve with a built in bow because I simply can’t get enough of the statement sleeves!

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A hi-low hemmed skirt and pockets finish off the dress.  I used the Lil Luxe Collection Lil Luxe Dress as a base for the bodice then drafted a new neckline, sleeve, skirt and pockets.  The fabric for this dress came from our sponsor CaliFabrics.  This ocean blue chambray was just perfect for this dress.

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Little sis is rocking my take on tourist chic.  I wanted to bring in the vibrant greens of the jungles that surround Chichen Itza and also wanted to use a print that would be reminiscent of the gorgeous flowers that you find there too.  This floral was a LA find and the twill for the shorts was a Joann’s score.  I really want this outfit for myself!

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I used the Nina Blouse from Coffee + Thread as my base for the top.  I cut the front on the fold and added facings instead of the collar and bias binding.  I added a flounce to the sleeve and chose to keep the hem raw to preserve the movement of the fabric.  This fabric is pure heaven- it has the drape of a rayon with quite a bit of stretch and doesn’t fray when cut.  I’d buy a million more yards if I could!

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I added a big bold exposed zipper to the back.  I’m always drawn to exposed zippers and try to keep a bunch of pretty ones on hand just so I can bring a bit of drama to a garment.  The bias bound hem adds a little stability to the hem and I love the contrast it gives too.

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I used the Linden Shorts from Sew A Little Seam for the shorts.  I drafted a new waistband and added a ruffle to the top.  I also used a side invisible zipper as closure.

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I drafted new, longer and wider pockets and brought the angle closer to the side seam.  I lined the pockets with sarape stripe fabric that I wanted to incorporate into our look somehow.

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I did a longer gaucho style length so hopefully she’ll get to wear these to school and through the summer.  My kids and their crazy long legs make buying shorts near impossible so I know I’ll be making many more of these this year!

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The felt floral headband was just the right finishing touch.  I used wool felt from Etsy and had a blast trying out different flowers.  The bold colors and big flowers are such a fun addition to this look.  Their shoes were Target finds and couldn’t be more perfect!

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These girls made this shoot so much fun!  It wasn’t easy to find a ‘Mayan-looking’ backdrop in the middle of a Utah winter.  We headed to our State Capital Building and these girls did their best pretending it was a balmy 80 degrees instead of the frigid 30 degrees it was the evening of our pictures.

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Thanks for stopping by and make sure you head back to Project Run and Play to check out the other looks and to vote for your favorite!  Voting ends Thursday at 8pm EST so run on over!

 

Monaluna Journey Fabric Tour

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When I heard Monaluna had a new fabric line coming out I had to jump on the tour as fast as I could!  Monaluna fabric is some of the best quality I have ever worked with and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some more!

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I love the new Journey Line and picked the Dry Garden Lawn and Paintbrush Lawn for our projects.  The Lawn is such a great weight.  It has structure but is so soft and works great for so many projects.

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These prints just needed to be blouses and I love a good peasant style top.  I used the Driftwood Blouse pattern from Twig and Tale available in both women’s and girl’s.

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The construction is so quick and there are so many options with this pattern!  There are multiple neck closures.  I did a tie neckline for my daughter and chose a button closure for me.  Add in multiple sleeve lengths and dress or tunic lengths and you could sew up a slew of new garments with all the options.

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I love this cactus print.  It’s all my favorite colors and this print feels subtle and perfect for spring and summer.  I’m always worried with light background fabrics being too sheer but it’s definitely not an issue with this fabric.   I know I’ll wear this top a TON this summer!

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This Paintbrush print is so simple and cute.  I love it so much I almost stole it for myself.  It’s a great basic print that will go so well with everything in her closet.  She’s already worn it multiple times despite our cold temps!

This line just screams warm weather and sunshine!

Now if only Utah would get on that!  We’re ready for spring!

Make sure you check out all the other great bloggers joining in the tour.  I’ve decided I need ALL the prints after seeing their creations!  If you want to grab some fabric of your own head to Phat Quarters for all the pretties!

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Boys Can Wear Pink Blog Tour 2018

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It’s season 4 of Boys Can Wear Pink and we’re excited to be joining in for our second year.

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This kiddo rocked his look last year but then refused to wear it.  The whole point of this blog tour is to bridge gender stereotypes and encourage our boys to embrace what they love, no matter what society deems boyish or girlish.  I felt like a failure and reevaluated what we’re teaching our kids in our home.  He has two older brothers who are a huge influence on him and we are working as a family to help blur the lines of gender stereotypes.  My boys sew, bake, and help with all the household chores and my girls are tough amazing athletes.  Not ground breaking but a start I hope in raising little humans who can make a difference in this world.

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For this look we headed to our local fabric shop with his best buddy in tow.  They oohed and awed over all the fun prints and settled on this cool Jeep print from Riley Blake.  He loves cars and trucks and this was just perfect for him.  His little BFF is a snappy dresser and loves to wear suits and ties to school.  Charlie has picked up on his style and will usually reach for a button up and tie a few days a week now.  It’s too cute and I love letting him explore his style and try to find his own along the way.  A Jeep print button-up is just the perfect blend of all his current obsessions.

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I used the ever versatile Birch Button Up from Sew A Little Seam.  If you want a big bang for your buck then you NEED to check out Kelly’s patterns.  They are all loaded with options and so many of them are unisex making them even more of a steal.  I love when I can use a pattern for multiple kids!

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I did the basic collar, full placket, short sleeve version and it was about as easy as a woven top can be.  I love the placket construction- quick and painless 😉

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We just HAD to do a tee for underneath too.  I used the Oliver and S School Bus Tee pattern.  The fit just can’t be beat.  We did a Jeep iron-on because you know we can’t have any boring, plain tees in our house.  I love the tone on tone look of the silver on grey- sleek and simple!

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A huge shout out to Kelly of Handmade Boy for hosting the tour.  She’s one crazy busy, amazing lady!

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He’s just blown away by the other cute boys and their mama’s joining us this season.  Make sure to check out all their stories and handsome boys in their new pink clothes!

 

 

The New Cricut Maker

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If you’ve been a follower for very long you know I love my Cricut.  I recently upgraded from the Explore Air 2 to a Cricut Maker and I’m here to answer any questions you might have about the two.

This post is sponsored by Cricut.  I received the Cricut Maker, Easy Press, and Bright Pad in exchange for promotion.  While I received these products for free all thoughts and reviews on these products are my own.  I’ll do my best to highlight the pros and cons of all these products.

 

First, let me say that I’m a sucker for heat transfer vinyl or as Cricut calls it Iron On.  I’d say that’s what I use my machine for 90% of the time.  As a sewist, I’m all about personalizing our wardrobe.  That’s part of why I sew, to create unique, one of a kind clothing for me and my children.  The skies the limit with what we can design and iron on and the fact that it takes just minutes makes it so fun and easy.

If you’re like me and use your cutting machine primarily for vinyl then honestly the Maker just isn’t necessary.   It has lots of bells and whistles that I’ll address further down this post and the potential it has is huge.  I’m excited by what I can create knowing all the possibilities this machine has but if I was sticking with vinyl my Explore Air 2 was amazing too.

The biggest game changer for me was getting an Easy Press.

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I have a normal inexpensive iron that I was using to iron on my projects.  While it worked fine I would notice peeling after a couple of washes every now and then.  It was frustrating and always made me nervous to gift personalized tees because I was worried about the quality.  I never considered a heat press- too big and bulky, expensive, and unsafe.  My craft space is small and open so my kids are always in and out of it, just not ideal for a heat press.

The Easy Press has seriously been such a huge upgrade.  It’s so portable and easy to use.  The surface heats quickly and evenly and the temperature control and timer take all the guess-work out of it.  It comes with a handy Quick Reference Chart that I keep with it that details the exact temperature and time for your vinyl/fabric combination.

 

The weekend I got my Easy Press we set to work making some quick, cute Christmas presents for my daughter’s and their bff’s.  They helped me design their projects in Design Space then I had them do the rest.  They quickly weeded their sheets using the Bright Pad and I supervised as they pressed the designs to the tees.

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The Easy Press is easy to handle and the flat design makes it easy to slide from the cradle to the project.   We picked up a few tips along the way (most of these are mentioned in the user manual but I think they’re essential to getting a good result).  First, use a towel between your project and the hard surface beneath it.  The towel will absorb any moisture and protects your surface.  Second, preheat your area where you’ll be placing your vinyl with a quick press.  This will get rid of any lingering moisture and help the vinyl adhere best.  And lastly, make sure to flip your project inside out and iron from the backside as well.  This just makes it adhere even better!  Even following all these steps, you’ll have a great finished product in minutes!  I can’t say enough good things about the Easy Press and the great results you get when using it.

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Let’s talk about the Maker.  It gets ALOT of use in our house.  We use our cutting machine a few times a week.  We have a big built-in desk in our main living space that the Maker sits on next to our computer making it convenient to use.  We use it for school projects, bulletin boards, Valentine’s boxes, decorations, and more, using it to cut all kinds of paper and fabric.

 

The Maker has so many unique features.  It is heavy-duty, with up to 10x more cutting power than other machines.  It has an Adaptive Tool System that allows you to switch between blades easily and has the potential for more tools to be added.  The Rotary Blade is what sets this machine apart from others on the market.  The Rotary Blade acts just like a rotary cutter, gliding over the surface and pivoting to make even the most intricate cuts.  It can cut anything from thin, delicate tissue paper to thick denim.  It’s amazing to watch and I was in awe as it easily cut through thick glittered felt.  My son is so excited for the knife blade to hit the market.  He had the idea to make a chipboard puzzle as a gift this Christmas and I had to tell him that the Maker would soon be able to make it happen for him.  The possibilities of this machine are what sold me.  I hate getting a product only to feel like it’s ‘old technology’ within months (hello- how many gaming consoles have we gone through?!).  The fact that this machine can grow and expand is a huge selling point.

As an apparel sewist, I have yet to really use my Maker for garment sewing.  The small cutting space (you can use a 12×24 mat) just doesn’t make it practical.  BUT I can think of a ton of small projects that will be great for it.  My daughters have been sewing and enjoy quick little makes.  Design Space is full of projects that will be perfect for them.  I know when spring break and summer vacation roll around our Maker will be busy.  They love doll clothes, small bags, hair bows, accessories, and decorations.  Design Space continues to add more of these type of projects and I’m excited to get my craft on with them!

Our Cricut products are well-loved and have become a natural part of our lives.  We love to create and are grateful to have our Maker, Easy Press, and Bright Pad to help our dreams come to live.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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