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 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!

 

Simple Life Pattern Co. Aria

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Raspberry Creek Fabrics has just released their newest Spring CLUB line and it’s absolutely amazing.   My kids instantly claimed their favorite prints and I fell madly in love with these Coral Umbrella Flowers and knew I had to sew it up stat.  Corinne Wells, the designer behind this line, just nails it every…single…time.

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I knew I wanted a pattern that would really let this fabric shine and the new Aria Dress from Simple Life Pattern Co. was just what I was after.  It’s a classic silhouette with a sweet bow back.  I had to run it by this cutie and she was as smitten as I was.

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We chose to do the full back coverage so she could wear it to school.  The bows made it so fun to throw in a coordinating fabric, navy polka dots.  Nothing like a little party in the back!

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I love sewing for this girl because she’s so hard to fit in ready-to-wear.  I did an 8 chest graded to a 10 waist with a 12 length.  Talk about a custom fit!  We chose a half sleeve hack to hopefully make this wearable now and then well into spring and summer.

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We did the full circle skirt option for maximum twirl factor.  I don’t think a good twirl ever gets old!

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She’s been wanting rain boots forever and these vibrant, fun yellow ones were just made for this fabric.  They will surely brighten even the gloomiest of rainy days!

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The Aria features a darling neckline that I managed to botch.  Yep, sometimes you just gotta make do and this was one of those times.  Just means I’ll need to make another one to redeem myself 😉  Good thing little sis is already in line for her version!

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After a couple of intense sews, this was my reward.  A quick, fun beautiful knit sew always cleanses the palate and gets me ready for the next big project!  Make sure you head over to Raspberry Creek Fabrics and check out the newest prints- they’re on sale through 2/14 for $1 off/yard.  Simple Life Pattern Company is celebrating three years of business with one of the biggest sales ever.  Head over to shop all the darling patterns for 40% off!  We’re big SLPCo fans around here and they pair fabulously with our favorite RCF fabrics!

 

Nina Blouse from Coffee + Thread

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I’ve been trying to cut back on pattern testing and it takes something pretty special to pull me into a test.  The Nina Blouse from Coffee + Thread was one of those patterns!

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A sweet peter pan collar, shoulder pleats and multiple sleeve options make this a classic pattern that can work year round.  It’s so feminine and sweet!

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The optional neck ties add such a charming touch.

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This pattern is beginner friendly and is great for those like me that are a bit timid when it comes to sewing button-up shirts.  I’m always nervous to tackle what I think are intimidating projects but this pattern really was a fun sew.  Not too difficult and the tutorial was excellent.  There’s nothing better than the feeling of accomplishing something that scares you!  These tops are some of my favorite makes because I pushed myself a bit out of my comfort zone.  Easy knit projects are great but these blouses took just a little longer and the reward is so satisfying!

The list of recommended fabrics for this top is long.  Light to mid weight woven fabric such as lawn, rayon, linen, and quilting cotton are all great choices.  I used a pretty rayon challis from Raspberry Creek Fabrics for the long sleeve version and a light swiss dot from LA for the cap sleeve blouse.  Different looks to bring us into spring.  I’m excited to use my favorite quilting cotton prints too!

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You’ll also be happy to know that the size range is amazing! 12 months to 12 years- hallelujah!   It’s absolutely adorable on the littlest ones and still chic and classic on the oldest girls.  It’s such a timeless pattern you’ll turn to again and again.

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My biggest critic absolutely loves her new tops!  She was so excited to wear it to school the next day.  It looked great with jeans and know it will be darling paired with a skirt and knee highs for church too.

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The pattern is on sale through Tuesday, February 13th for $6.50.  I know you’ll love it as much as we do!

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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