Favorite Patterns Valentine Style

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I’ve been loving stocking my kids closets with warm, comfy sweatshirts.  They are the first things they reach for all winter long.

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This guy outgrew his beloved flannel front Samson Sweater and it was about time he got a new version.  The Samson Sweater (affiliate link- I get a small kickback if you purchase through Love Notions links in this post) has tons of options- crewneck, hoodie, button-front cardigan.  This simple relaxed raglan style is such a great fit.  I absolutely love this Mammoth Plaid Flannel/charcoal french terry combo (all fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics).  I didn’t make any modifications to use this woven as the front piece and the fit is fantastic!

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My oldest daughter got another Sloane Sweater (affl. link) because we can’t get enough cute sweatshirts!  I took the same plaid flannel and cut a simple heart.  I serged the edges then edgestitched it on.  It was looking a little too plain jane so my Cricut came to the rescue.  In five minutes flat we had the ‘love’ cut and ironed on!  I think it’s the perfect finishing touch!

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This cute fabric combo just jumped into my arms during my last trip into Raspberry Creek.  I sewed up a new Toaster Sweater for me in this pretty quilted knit (coming soon to the blog too!) and I couldn’t waste any of it!  I sewed up another favorite pattern- the Hey June Hatteras Hoodie view B.  It’s one of my go-to patterns when I want to do a little color-blocking.  I mixed in the Salmon Dots in french terry and Light grey french terry for bands and I’m loving this fun fabric mix!  I modified the pattern just a bit by doing an extended cowl neckline.  I simply used the band length and widened the width to 6″ to give it a cute slouchy turtleneck look.  It’s an extra cozy addition!

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A little girl in pink polka dots just kills me!

My kids should be set in the sweatshirt department for awhile!

Valentine’s Sewing with Raspberry Creek Fabrics

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I’ve been sewing a ton for my kiddos lately and it’s about time they all made it to the ol’ blog.  Today I’ll share all the lovely, cozy goodies that I’ve done with some of the newest fabrics to hit Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

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I hope you’re planning on sewing a couple of projects for Valentine’s because Raspberry Creek has got your fabric needs covered!

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This pretty floral french terry was so fun to pair with other coordinates in the shop.  I used the Metro Pullover from Sew Straight and Gather.  I love the cowl option and all the opportunities it has for color blocking.  I paired it with the mint stripes, mint dots, and light grey french terry.

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Big sis fell in love with this fun springy gingham.  I used the Janie Dress from Mouse House Creations and love, love this darling dress!

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Little Bro was loving this ‘Tic Tac Toe’ fabric- I loved how convinced he was that it’s not just x’s and o’s!  With a little solid white and black jersey and a darling cut file from Thread and Grain, this basic Jolly Roger Raglan turned out too cute!

Such a fun line right?!!  And in true RCF fashion the new prints just keep coming…

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The newest Minimalist line is simple and clean in black and white.  These two cute cousins love their new tops.

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Cute Hank buddy is wearing a School Bus Tee in handrawn triangle jersey.  I’d say it’s a winner!

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Charlie got another Jolly Roger Raglan- this time I sized up and did a crossover hood and kangaroo pocket.  This pattern is just about all I need to keep this kid in tops- cozy sweatshirt, fun tee, it does it all! In plush french terry it’s too good!

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This little miss is sporting another Janie Dress in Paint Splatter jersey.

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And how cute is this print paired with the red polka dots on this sweetie?!!

That’s a lot of cute kids and fabric!  Sorry if you’re sweet tooth is aching!  Make sure to stop by tomorrow for a few more kid project!

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Hank and Clementine Fabric Blog Tour

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I’m excited to be sharing a fun new fabric collection with you today!  I’m joining in the Hank and Clementine fabric tour, designed by Susan Emory of Swirly Girl Designs for Michael Miller Fabrics, hosted by my pal Gemia Carroll of Phat Quaters Fabric.  This collection is so bright and totally darling!  It brings hope of warm spring days, mornings in the garden, and afternoons in the sun.  I was so happy I got to bring this cute dress along with us on our own little trip to the sunshine and sand!

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I was excited when I realized that I could skip the dreary winter pictures and get these fabrics where they belonged.  That crystal clear turquoise water was the perfect backdrop to really make them pop!  The color palette of this line is so bright and happy- photographing them in my happy place was only suiting.

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I used the Sullivan Dress Pattern from Sew Much Ado.  I’ve been wanting to sew it up ever since it released and this tour was just the push I needed.  Make sure you check out all of Abby’s beautiful versions.  I’m dying to recreate her gorgeous black and white stripe version for my oldest.

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That scallop bodice and those sleeves are just the most darling details!

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This fabric collection has two color ways.  I picked these two from the coral color scheme.  This little miss sat down with me and we seriously had the hardest time picking.  All the florals are so pretty, the scallops are darling, and don’t get me started on those gnomes!  She’s a sucker for florals and I’m always eyeing the plaids so this combination won us over.  I’m excited for you guys to see the rest of the projects on this tour though- soooo many cute prints coming your way!

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Day 1
SewSophieLynn -and- Crafting in the Rain -and- Phat Quarters

Day 2
Thread & Grain -and- Handmade Boy

Day 3
Phat Quarters -and- GYCT Designs

Day 4
Mamma Sew Savvy -and- Lulu & Celeste -and- Sprouting Jube Jube

Day 5
Pattern Revolution -and- Sewing With Sarah  -and- Phat Quarters

You guys are in for a treat this week! There are two giveaways you won’t want to miss too! Enter below for your chance at two big pattern prize packs perfect for you Hank and Clementine fabrics.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Striped Swallow Hideaway

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I’m always on the hunt for quick, cozy top patterns and was excited to try out the Hideaway from Striped Swallow Designs.  I think it took longer to decide on fabric than it did to sew up this cute top!

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This pattern is meant to be off the shoulder but I used a simple hack Mandalynn posted on her Instagram.  I simply skipped cutting the neckline and hemmed the neck opening 1/2″ before sewing up the shoulder seams.  Since it’s a dolman top and only four pieces, it came together in a heartbeat!

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This reverse french terry I picked up in LA was perfect.  It has excellent drape and I love the muted camo print.  Funny story and bonus for all you local peeps: I wore this top out running errands and stopped in to my local fabric shop, Fabric Center on Redwood Rd.  They totally  have this exact fabric in stock!  It felt a little like when you’re shopping at Target and walk past the display only to realize you’re wearing the same top as the mannequin- doh!

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I love the silhouette of this top and that it’s a bit out of my comfort zone.  I already want to sew up a few more to get me through our cold winter months.  I’d love a cozy sweater knit version and you can never have too much french terry!

New Years Eve in style and comfort

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I’ve had this yard of blue sequins just waiting for the perfect project and occasion.  I picked it up for a steal from Fabric Merchants during our last trip to LA.  I kept thinking I’d use it for my girls but man, they get all the fun fabric.  A quiet morning and the perfect pattern and now I’m the proud owner of my very own sparkly top!

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Pair it with my luxe stretch velvet Hudson pants and I’m feeling fabulous!

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I’ve been pinning sequin tops and really wanted to recreate this beauty.  I thought about using the Striped Swallow Hideaway to achieve it but knew I’d have to modify it for my tastes.  And alas I only had a yard of this pretty fabric.  I turned to my favorite woven tee pattern- the Shoreline Boatneck from Blank Slate patterns.  I squeezed it out of my yard of fabric and knew it was meant to be!

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The only modifications I made was to use a knit facing for the neck and sleeve hem.  It helps to not have the sequins against your skin and adds more stability too.  This was my first time working with sequins and I’m happy to say I only broke two needles in the process.  I sewed all the seams on my regular machine and finished them on my serger, which also covers any sequins on the inside making this really comfortable to wear.

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I love that I can dress it up if the occasion arises (hubby totally wanted to hit the town after seeing this outfit!).

I think it will get the most wear layered under a cardigan (I can totally wear sequins to church, right?) or a denim jacket for a more casual cool look.

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Here’s the obligatory back shot for ya’ll 😉

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I absolutely love this outfit!  I’m ringing in the New Year in style.  We spend the evening with my parents, the kids, and cousins.  It’s usually a night of good food, movies, games, and great times- one of my favorite nights of the year.  I hope you all had a great 2017 and here’s to a fantastic new year!

2017 Hits and Misses- Women’s Edition

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2017 has flown by and like everyone we’ve had our share of ups and downs around here.  It’s so nice to sit back and reflect on all our blessings, everything we’ve accomplished, and also the mistakes and trials we’ve had and how we have grown because of them.  For the first time, I’m sitting down and really analyzing this little ‘hobby’ of mine and what I’ve learned this year.  There are a few super memorable makes and a lot of forgotten ones too.  Let’s start with the good things shall we,

1- Velvet Wrap Dress

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This project was one of those that I had in my head for months and it came out even better than my vision.  It was out of comfort zone in many ways.  It was my first wrap dress- I’d never even tried one on, so I was nervous the style just wouldn’t be my thing.  It’s also a much trendier look than I tend to gravitate to.  Despite my trepidation it turned out to be one of my favorite things I’ve ever sewn.  Being able to customize the fit just how I wanted it made this dress perfection in my book.

2- Willamette Shirt

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This Willamette Shirt from Hey June turned into my most worn piece all summer.  I can’t wait to sew up a couple more for spring.  It was a game changer for me.  After sewing this up and seeing how much more flattering this top is compared to my knit tees I realized that woven tops were where it’s at.  I love button ups all fall/winter so it makes sense to want to wear something similar in warmer weather.  I need to fill my closet with these, Key Largos, and Shoreline Boatnecks.  Bonus that they’re pretty quick and easy sews too!

3- Cardigans

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I’m embarrassed to admit that this simple piece is easily my most worn handmade item.  A simple Boyfriend Cardigan in the coziest french terry ever just doesn’t get much better.  It’s a year-round staple and looks great with jeans, joggers, even a cute knee-length dress.

These two new cardigans have quickly become go-tos also.  They are oversized and cozy without looking sloppy- a fine line I feel like I’m always walking.  These three cardigan patterns are essentials in my book and will continue to be must have layering pieces in my wardrobe.

4- Love Notions Bluezette

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While I love to make dresses for my girls, I feel like I struggle finding the right style and fit for myself.  I’ve made dozens of dresses this year and while I still wear a lot of them, many just sit in the back of my closet.  Finding a flattering fit on my body type has proved to be a challenge.  The Bluezette from Love Notions is pretty darn near perfect for me though.  With an elastic casing at my natural waist, a tiny bit of blousiness in the bodice, multiple sleeve lengths, and a pocket modification this dress just gets me.  It’s comfort and style all in one.  This is one I can’t wait to sew up again in the coming year.

5- Camila Swimsuit

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In all my swimwear sewing this year, I made myself four suits and this was by far my favorite.  I can’t say it’s the most flattering (let’s face it though, no swimsuit is going to magically make all my flaws disappear) but it’s the suit that I feel the best in.  The on trend style, amazing fabric, and the option to wear the ruffle off the shoulder or under the arms makes this suit the first one I grab.  It’s such a quick sew too and the first pattern I’d recommend to anyone wanting to venture into swimwear sewing for themselves.

 

You might have noticed I’ve left off all my hoodies and tees from this list.  It’s no question that I’m a HUGE lover of all things french terry, brushed poly and cozy and they are left off the list because they are just too obvious.  Nothing groundbreaking and learned by making my tenth Halifax or Sloane Sweater.  If YOU haven’t made one though I challenge you to add it to your 2018 line-up stat!

 

Ok, are we ready for the misses?  These are things that just aren’t getting the love they deserve.  They linger in my closet, unworn for various reasons.  Some are just not that practical for me.  Some are too far out of my comfort zone.  I will tell you that these are all fantastic patterns from amazing designers but they just don’t work for me.

1- Dresses

I mentioned above how much I struggle with dresses.  I love, love to sew them up and I’m always game to try a new pattern and style.  These dresses in theory should work for me.  Like the Bluezette, the top two dresses feature an elastic waist with a loose fitting bodice.   The Catalina Dress on the upper left is just a matter of fit on me.  The loose, wide neck and arms just don’t work with my modest style.  I wear it with a undershirt and it’s fine but not ideal and so it’s not one I reach for.  The Timeless Dress on the upper right is just a matter of wrong fabric choice I think.  I had visions of chambray and lace but it quickly turned too ‘Little House on the Prairie’ for me and I just can’t get over it.

That Olympia on the lower left is stunning in real life too.  This dress is a matter of tester girl problems.  This was a test dress that has a slight issue in the shoulders that was addressed and fixed in the final pattern.  During testing it’s our job to point out any and all weird fit issues and then when you wear those garments it’s hard to ignore those issues however minor they may be.  The solid color makes the issue harder for me to ignore and also makes any body issues more difficult to hide.  This is a sad one for me to see sitting unworn because it’s a beaut!

The Cadence in the lower right is just a matter of not being my style.  It’s super cute and an easy to wear silhouette but falls into the too casual for church category.  Like my girls, I always think I’ll wear dresses during the week but rarely actually do.  Every single tee-shirt dress I own just sits in my closet reminding me that no matter how much I want to be the cute mom in sneakers and a dress- it’s just not me.  This little rayon dress is a step above the knit dresses I own so I thought it’d be worn but alas, I reach for my other dresses first everytime.  This could be more of a matter of having too many other choices too 😉

2- Tallinn Sweaters

Guys, these two Tallinn Sweaters are so, so good!  Like, I look at these pictures and totally want to wear them everyday.  It’s such a cute style and the pattern is so well done. That pretty cream sweater though brings out my inner toddler.  The turtleneck is buggy and itchy, the sleeves seem too tight and the open flap means I feel the need to wear an undershirt and another too warm layer.  Totally my own issues and not the patterns and I still drool over every Tallinn Sweater I see.  I’m hopeful that lovely blush version will get worn this spring though.   Without the turtleneck and added width in the sleeves it’s comfortable and so cute- problem is it’s a little ‘too cute’ for me.  Not too crazy girly though so I’m not giving up on her yet!

3- Farrah Blouse

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This is another AMAZING pattern by an amazing designer.  The Farrah is one of those patterns that the more I see it the more I love it too.  It taught me a lot though.  It’s so hard to see everyone looking stunning in their garments only to realize it just doesn’t work for you.  I will still wear this cute top but thought I’d share my thoughts on it with you.  First, it’s not very practical for me.  I need to wear sleeves for modesty issues and these cute flutters just don’t cut it.  I wear a cap sleeve undershirt with this and it works but it’s just not comfortable.  My other issue with this top is completely my own body issue.  I struggle with my upper arms and my small chest just accentuates my larger than normal guns (haha- if only it was all muscle ;).  If you notice, I tend to gravitate towards elbow sleeves and shy away from any kind of puff shoulder or cap sleeve.  Add in the fact that the ruffles make it hard to layer with this top and it’s just not a piece I wear.  Sad, huh?!  It’s so hard to not want to sew up every hot new pattern but this has taught me to really think about my pattern choices.  Does it work for my body type and lifestyle?  What I’m really asking is, “Will a lazy, stay-at-home middle age mom really wear this?”

4- Quilting Cotton and Cotton/Lycra Tops

Tell me I’m not the only one that falls for all the cute prints available in quilting cotton?  Whenever a new fabric tour rolls around I always want to sew up the pretty prints for myself.  I think what I’ve learned with the thicker quilting cotton is that they need structure and clean simple lines.  That darling Shoreline Boatneck in the upper left would make a great maternity top judging by the fact that it totally makes me look six months pregnant.  The fabric is just a too stiff for a gathered peplum style.  The Beatrix in the upper right needs just a couple tweaks to really work.  My main issue is where the sleeves hit and that the fabric is too thick at the elbows making it super uncomfortable.

Now onto cotton/lycra.  I really love the feel of it.  Raspberry Creek Fabrics makes some of the best and it’s like the softest stuff ever.  Art Gallery fabrics prints are so beautiful too!  It’s a dream to sew with- nice and thick, doesn’t curl, and presses well.  It makes a perfect fitted tee, problem is I don’t like wearing fitted tees.  My preferred loose boyfriend tee style just doesn’t work well with the thickness of cotton/lycra.  This is a sad thing for me to come to grips with but those unworn tees in my closet just can’t be ignored.  I will continue to sew up ALL the cotton/lycra for my kiddos and I’ll be on the lookout for the perfect top pattern for me too.  Do you have any suggestions?  What’s your favorite adult pattern to use up all those pretty cotton/lycra prints?

5- Floral Jumpsuit

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Oh man!  This outfit may possibly be the most comfortable thing I’ve never actually worn 😉  I’d been wanting to make a jumpsuit and thought a simple knit version was the perfect place to start.  It’s just too much guys- just looking at these pictures makes me cringe.  I was super sick and just couldn’t hide it too.  Maybe that’s why the outfit is tainted for me.  Dressing up and heading outside in freezing temps while feeling icky and out of my comfort zone was probably too much for me.  This print is fantastic but I know I should have stuck with a simple solid when trying out something so new to me.  Jumpsuits looks incredible on the young and hip but this just made me feel old and so uncool.

This is another lesson learned.  It’s so fun to try new things and push our boundaries.  Nothing was really lost in this failure and I get a good laugh when I think about this day.  That’s what sewing is to me- A chance to learn and grow, to find what works for me, to really learn about myself and my own individual style, to try new designers and silhouettes, and to really increase my sewing knowledge.  With every success, I get more confidence.  Every failure, brings lessons too.  Thanks for joining me on this journey and I can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!

2017 Hits and Misses: Kid Edition

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I get so much pure JOY from sewing for my children.  I love creating unique, fun clothing that suits their personalities and body types.  In 2017 I sewed more for my kids than ever.  I thought it’d be fun to share some of our favorite most worn pieces as well as those that just didn’t work for us.  Let’s start with the good stuff!

PS- I’ve left off affiliate links in the post because I want you to know I honestly love and use these patterns.  Links to the blog posts describing each piece may contain affiliate links though since I’m not going back and editing them 😉

1- A Tie for the oldest

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I rarely sew for my oldest but this tie was too perfect for him.  Floral ties are a huge trend here and he’s worn this tie constantly.  This Cotton + Steel print was the perfect scale too.  Anytime he actually wears something I made him, I do a little happy dance inside.

(I used this free pattern from Purl Soho for this tie.)

2- Love Notions Sloane Sweaters

These basic tops just get worn- simple as that.  I let them pick the fabric 95% of the time and this time it paid off.  That camo/blush sweater is one of my favorite combos ever!  The options with this pattern are amazing and I will continue to fill their closets with them!

3- Raglans

 

Raglans are such a staple around here- like I feel like a make a new one at least once a week.  My go-to patterns are the Jolly Roger Raglan from Patterns for Pirates (with the add-on pack for extra cuteness!) and the Camden Raglan from Hey June for my girls.  They are so quick to sew and perfect for all the Raspberry Creek knits I love so much.  Add in the fact that they’re perfect for adding a little vinyl to the front and these are the best tops for really showcasing their personalities and style.  Looking at this fun collage gives me the itch to sew up a couple of more- the fact that these are almost instant gratification means I just might too!

4- Dresses

My favorite thing to sew my girls are dresses.  There are just so many different patterns out there and I feel like I want to try them all!   Whether I’m looking for a quick sew or want to take my time and really enjoy the sewing process, there’s a dress for that.  These were our favorites from this year:

Clockwise from Top left: Polina Dress, Avenue Dress, Adelyn, Wendy, Isabel, Larkspur, and Joy.

Do you see a bit of a theme?  Looks to me like we like things simple and sweet.  Tiny details like jewels, ruffles, and bows take them to the next level while still keeping things clean and classic.

5- Swimsuits

Oh swimsuits, how I love thee!  Just looking at these pictures makes me miss the sunshine and lazy days at the pool.  In the slew of suits that I sewed this year, these were the ones that they reached for again and again.  The Mermaid Shores collection just blew my mind- so many darling options!  And that men’s suit for my oldest- labor of love that truly paid off.

Misses

I hate sharing these because it does feel like broadcasting my failures for all to see.  For the most part these are not pattern issues, just things that didn’t really fit into our lifestyle or sizing/fabric choices were off.  It’s great for me to look back on these to really see what gets worn, what designers fit my kids best, and what to sew in the future.

1- Camo Overalls

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Guys, I love these and her styling here.  This is the one and only time she wore them… Not girly enough for this princess.  She’s all about comfort so I was hopeful but these were definitely not her style.  These are already in the donation pile.

2- Knit Dresses/Skirts for the oldest

These have nothing to do with fabric choice or patterns and everything to do with what she likes to wear.  She swears she will wear dresses to school but never truly does.  These knit pieces just sit in her closet sadly.  I’m convinced the dress on the right will get worn again come spring (hello, it’s a raglan!) because she does really love it but she has too much of her mom in her.  I make knit dresses all the time thinking how cute I’ll be wearing them everyday but guess what?  They’re sitting at the back of my closet too!

3- Fiesta too much Fun

This dress was born with the photoshoot in mind.  I’ve decided that those garments are usually the ones that don’t get worn.  When my photographer side takes over the practical sewist side, dresses like this happen.  It’s a super fun dress and I think it pairs well with the fabric but it’s just not all that wearable.  It’s too over the top for church and she’s not invited to too many fiestas at age eight…  Pieces like this are what I want to avoid in the future.  I really started to analyze my projects, especially for blog tours.  I get caught up in the pretty fabrics and pictures and need to focus more on wear-ability.

Do you like to look back on your past sewing projects?  It’s so nice to learn what actually works and where you can improve.  It’s great to find the designers that you gravitate too and what fabrics work for your lifestyle.

Stay tuned for my own highs and lows next week!