Love Notions Sloane Sweater

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Fall is here and that means sweaters and sweatshirts are taking over our closets!  The newest Love Notions patterns are perfect!  The Women’s Sloane got a revamp and while she was at it she added a girls version too! (affl. links)

This post contains affiliate links.  I became a Love Notions Affiliate AFTER falling in love with her patterns, testing process, and attention to details.  Purchasing through the links provides me with a little kick back that of course gets spent on more fabric 😉

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There are two different views- view A is a relaxed fit, curved hem top and view B is a boxy fit with bands (similar to your favorite sweatshirt).  There are tons of options too!  You can add a contrast yoke, elbow patches, kangaroo pocket and a hood.  You’ll want to sew up a handful just to try them all!

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I sewed up this version pre-revision and blogged about it over on the CaliFabrics blog.  This super soft french terry version is one of my favorite makes!  The fit didn’t change much during testing but many of the options are new including extended sizing and a FBA piece (so nice to have the work done for you!).  This is a simple view B with lace added to the yoke seams.

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I had just enough left of the rose french terry for this fun top for my girl.  She picked some camo french terry (from LA) as a coordinate and I love this combo sooooo much.  Pink and camo is just a sweet little match!

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I love that these tops coordinate but aren’t exact copies.  I’m sure we won’t wear them at the same time but it was pretty fun to get pics with my mini me!

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Of course lil sis needed one too!  Are you scrambling to fill in all the gaps in your kids cold weather wardrobe?  I was shocked to see this girly had outgrown most of her long sleeved tops.  A plain view B was a quick and easy solution!  This is a quilted knit from Hobby Lobby last year.  It’s a bit thicker than the recommended fabric but I love the boxier fit.  The perfect loose fitting sweatshirt without being sloppy!

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The grey and flannel version was an early tester version.  The final pattern is a bit more slim but we still love this one!  I can’t get enough of plaid flannel and french terry together- especially this mustard and grey combo.  You might recognize it from this rad Halifax of mine 🙂

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That yoke and those elbow patches are pretty fantastic!

This will be such a staple pattern for us.  There are so many possibilities, such a great basic pattern that can be hacked to fit your needs.

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I’ve got a little sneak peek of an easy hack that I’ll be sharing with you on the CaliFabrics blog real soon.  I’ll link it here when it’s up!

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Make sure to grab your copies on sale through Thursday, October 19th!  (bundle, girls, women’s– affl. links)

 

A couple new favorites for ME

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With all the kids back in school I now have a couple of hours each day to myself.  I’ve been looking forward to this time for YEARS!  Little did I know that those two hours would fly by and seem like mere minutes each afternoon.  In that short time, I try my best to clean the house, run errands, help in the classroom, and all the other mom duties we have.  I had dreamed that every afternoon would be spent at my sewing machines!  In the last couple weeks I was able to squeeze in a bit of sewing just for me!

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The Key Largo Top from Hey June Handmade has been on my to-sew list since it went into testing!  All summer long I’ve been longing to cut into one and I finally moved it up my list as soon as I got my hands on this gorgeous Lecien fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  It’s so soft and I needed it made into a top stat!  I tell you, it’s dangerous when your bestie has one of the best fabric shops EVER!  A quick stop to visit and I inevitably leave with a stack of beautiful new fabric.  She’s the best I tell ya’!

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I’m all over relaxed, loose tops and am thanking the style gods who have made them so in fashion.  I think women everywhere are rejoicing with me!  The Key Largo has that perfect fit through the shoulders and chest and then just skims all the other bits.  It’s meant to be a bit more cropped but I added a couple of inches to mine.  I’ve got to be able to do the little half front tuck!

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My other make was with another GORGEOUS fabric- this time from Stylish Fabric.  I had won a gift certificate through Project Run and Play and waited to use it for my fall wardrobe planning.  This Old Rose Stretch Velvet is joining my closet full of all things blush/mauve/dusty pink.  It’s such a pretty color- not too pastel-y or nude.

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This pretty velvet tee was my inspiration.  I loved the cuff sleeves and relaxed fit.

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I used my go-to relaxed fit tee pattern- the Mama Ava from Made for Mermaids.  I trim an inch or two from the length and have raised the neckline a couple of inches to be more crew neck than scoop.  I think I have half a dozen of these tees in my closet now which is saying a ton coming from a pattern hoarding like myself.  I rarely reuse my patterns since there’s always a new one to try!

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Those cuffs proved to be my nemesis.  I tried a few different methods to get the look I wanted and seriously struggled.  It was one of those projects that usually takes thirty minutes but dragged into days because I had to walk away from the issue out of frustration!  I really wanted to do a cuff like the Hey June Santa Fe- a band that is sewn on the inside and flipped out and tacked on the outside.  The issue came with this velvet sticking to itself and becoming super stiff when trying to use the underside of the fabric for a contrasting look.  After multiple attempts I decided a thin, simple roll-over hem would just have to do.  I serged the edge first to keep it from sticking to itself and then just had to call it ‘good enough’.  I think lately ‘good enough’ has won over my need for perfection.  Call me lazy- I’m calling it keeping my sanity 😉

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What have you been sewing lately?  Anyone else super excited to get their sewing time back after summer (however little or long it may be!)?

 

 

Fall Sewing with Raspberry Creek Fabrics

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My sewing time this summer was pretty much non-existent.  I love having my kids home all summer and tried really hard to focus on just being with them as much as possible.  The crazy busy-ness of school and sports and dance and singing has already started and I’m longing to get those lazy days back!  The end of our summer break coincided with the release of Raspberry Creek Fabrics newest CLUB fabrics line.  I snuck in a couple of sewing days to sew strike offs and counted it as our ‘back to school shopping’- new school clothes for kids + sewing time for mom= win, win, win!

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Today’s post will just be a photo explosion of my love for all the new CLUB prints.  All fabric is from Raspberry Creek (including coordinates) and should be around until the new year.  I love that I was able to find something that each member of the family fell in love with.  This guy right here is super picky and let me tell you that this tee is worn at least once a week- cool enough for high school, wahoo!

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Patterns used: Hey June Camden Raglan and Chalk and Notch Waterfall Raglan (minus the ruffle)

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Patterns used: Hey June Morrison Tee, Sew Straight and Gather Andromeda Top

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Patterns: Hey June Camden extended to dress length, Hey June Halifax Hoodie

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Patterns: Hey June Camden (are you sensing a theme here?), Hey June Lane Raglan, and Love Notions Maggie Peplum (affl. link)

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Patterns:  Patterns For Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan, Made For Mermaids Mama Ava (modified neckline)

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Patterns:  Made For Mermaids Rowan Raglan, Liesl + Co Men’s Metro T-shirt

If you can’t tell we all absolutely love our new duds.  I’m always so impressed with the quality and feel of RCF fabrics.  These things get worn and worn and quickly become favorites because of how soft they feel and how cute they look!

Elofex Thread Blog Tour

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If you’re anything like me you’re always on the hunt for products that make will make your sewing experience better.  When Coats approached me about trying out their newest product, Eloflex Thread, I was totally intrigued.  I jumped at the opportunity and I can’t wait to share this revolutionary thread with you guys!  Read to the end for two chances to win your own stash of this amazing product.

Eloflex Thread is designed to be used when sewing stretch fabrics.  It has just the right amount of stretch making it super easy to sew those pesky knits and stretch wovens with ease.  I honestly struggled a bit with how I would actually use this thread.  I am constantly sewing knits for my kids and myself but do 90% of it on my serger.  This new thread is meant to be used in your regular sewing machine which is a huge plus for those that don’t have a serger/overlock machine.  Now, for those of us that are attached at the hip with our sergers how does this new thread help?

Well, I’ve had my thread for almost a month now and I’m constantly reaching for it!  I’m so glad I had the time to really work it into my sewing routine so I can give you an honest, real life review.  I’ve used it on dozens of garments and had the chance to see how it wears and stretches in many different applications.  As I sewed my kids back to school requests it came in handy for topstitching knit pockets onto tees and finishing knit neckbands.  The fact that it stretches means you can use your standard lengthened straight stitch for beautiful topstitching that retains the garments stretch!  Game changer right there!  I’ve almost always skipped the topstitching around necklines because I wasn’t a huge fan of the zig-zag finish my regular machine does.  With this thread in both the bobbin and top, my stitch length lengthened just a touch, my neckbands have never looked better.  This cute pair of undies was done by serging the elastic on then topstitching it down with Eloflex and a zig-zag stitch.  So easy and I know it’ll last wash after wash.

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I don’t have a Coverstitch machine and this thread is making it less and less a priority for me.  I played around with my double needle and this thread and think I have the perfect combination to keep me happy for a long time.  I have a Brother sewing machine and I use Eloflex in my bobbin with a stretch double needle and regular thread up top.  I did try using all Eloflex and with my machine it was actually too much stretch, resulting in a bit more tunneling than normal.  Even on this drapey poly rayon, my hems look great!

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When thinking about what project I wanted to make to really highlight this thread I knew this gorgeous quilted knit would be perfect.  Because of the quilting I wanted to use single stitch topstitching throughout the garment and this thread was just what I needed.  With this thread in the top and bobbin I was able to use my regular straight stitch to hem the sleeves and bottom, sew the pleats, and topstitch the pockets and neckband for such a nice finish.

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It has honestly changed my sewing habits.  I will continue to use this thread for all my finishing needs on my stretch garments.  I’m so wishing I had had this for all the swimsuits I sewed this summer and can’t wait to use it for next years.  I know I will keep coming up with different uses for it too- workout gear, undergarments, socks/tights, Halloween costumes… I think the list will grow and grow!

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Have I converted you yet?  Are you ready to win your own pack to get you started?  Just follow me on Instagram and leave a comment for me here once you have to be entered to win this fun rainbow pack of 10 colors that will get you hooked just like me.  I’ll close comments and draw a winner next Thursday, September 7th. *Giveaway is now closed and winner has been notified.  If you weren’t the lucky one head on over to your local Joann’s or Hobby Lobby to try it for yourself!!

 

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Head to the Coats blog and enter here to win the grand prize too- it’s easy, I promise!

This thread was provided to me by Coats & Clark.  The opinions stated here are my own.

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Fabric in this post from Raspberry Creek Fabric  (except yellow plaid that was gifted to me by my cute sister 😉

Patterns used:  Men’s Metro Tee from Liesl and Co., Mama Ava Tee from Made for Mermaids, Unders (free pattern) from Winter Wear Designs, and Joy Dress from Made for Mermaids

 

 

Hey June Sandbridge Skirt

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I’m here to introduce you to the newest member of my wardrobe- The Sandbridge Skirt from Hey June Handmade.  I really can’t believe this came off my sewing machine.  It’s way up there with my proudest accomplishments- you know graduating from high school, giving birth to five kids, and sewing a denim skirt; all high up there on best moments in life!

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When I saw Adrianna was working on a denim skirt I knew it was the perfect pattern to conquer my fears and learn from the best.  She made this a simple sew, no swearing involved 😉  The details are so authentic and I really do feel like the finished project looks straight off the rack.  This is not patting myself on the back but is a total shout out to Adrianna.  Every single tester version was brilliant (you can check them all our here for yourself!).

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I used a dark stretch denim I picked up from my local quilt shop- it was a steal and has been sitting in my stash just waiting for me to get the courage to cut into it.  The rest of the notions I picked up at Hobby Lobby- the jeans button, zipper, leather patch, and rivets (found in the leather section), even the topstitching thread.  I love that I didn’t have to order a fancy kit or wait for an online order- I’m sure your local JoAnn’s carries everything you need too.  No excuses!

sandbeidge4.1A skirt was a great way to ease into jean sewing.  You tackle all the essentials: zipper fly, bartacks, topstitching, etc. but without all the fit issues of pants.  If you’re like me and hesitant at all, this is the pattern for you.  Adrianna’s instructions are thorough without being too wordy and her sew-a-long coming next week will be such a great tool too.   It wasn’t a difficult sew but one that did require a bit more time.  I worked on it over a few days here and there and it was so relaxing.  Sometimes a good, intermediate sew just makes my sewing heart so happy!  I loved learning new things and stretching my skills too.  I skipped the double top stitching lines because I wasn’t confident enough in my ability to keep the lines even.  I like it as is and feel like I could tackle them on my next one though!

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The raw hem detailing makes it feel so on trend right now and makes me feel on point!  I really do feel like a million bucks when I wear it.  Something about creating such an awesome garment has me on top of the world.  I created a little secret tag on the inside to commemorate how much I love this thing!

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I also love how easy it is to style.  It’s so hip and casual with a tee and sandals but I also can’t wait to wear it with boots and a cardigan when cooler weather hits.  The relaxed fit means that it’s so comfortable too!  I easily chase kids in it all day but still feel a little more put together than normal.  Such a mom wardrobe win!

You can pick up your copy here.  Make sure to check out the sew-a-long coming to Hey June too to help you along your way!

 

 

Cricut Sewing Blog Tour

This is a sponsored paid post courtesy of Cricut.  All thoughts and projects are my own!

I’ve got a new addiction folks!  Me and My Cricut Explore Air 2 are now joined at the hip.  I’m excited to share what we’ve made so far and a simple-but-oh-so-useful tutorial that just may change your life (ok, maybe not truly but it certainly will make laundry day a bit easier).

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I’m lucky enough to be joining the Cricut Sewing Blogger Tour.   Cricut generously set us up with EVERYTHING we’d need to create to our hearts content.  Our package included the Cricut Explore Air 2, the Essential Tool Kit, a mat multi-pack, and the most gorgeous assortment of heat transfer vinyl ever!

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You only get a quickie cell phone shot because I didn’t waste any time before digging in to all this good stuff.  My kids and I spent the evening perusing all the designs available on Cricut Design Space.  We had a stack of tees from good ‘ol Target just waiting to be spiffed up. The hardest part was narrowing down our choices- with over 60,000 images at our fingertips, you can imagine that the possibilities seemed endless.  It was so fun finding images to match their personalities and current obsessions (just look at all these cute flamingo images!).  My son was also able to easily create a graphic tee featuring his newfound favorite tv show, The Office.

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Let’s just say we sufficiently broke in our new machine and got comfortable with how easy it is!

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I had a little ah-ha moment a couple weeks ago.  How fantastic would it be to make vinyl size tags for all our handmades?!! My kids just might not put their tees on backwards anymore and Dad will be able to tell front from back too!  Our handmades are starting to be passed down to cousins and it would sure be nice for them to have a size inside.

After playing around just a bit, I knew this would be an easy, fun solution and save my sanity while sorting laundry and outgrown clothes too!  I’ve got an easy tutorial on how to make your own and all my tips I’ve learned in the process.

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Setting up your cut file is a breeze.  I found it easiest to type each number and letter in it’s own text box, placing at least one space between each character.  So all my S’s are in one text box, etc.  Try to pick a thicker font since we will be cutting these fairly small, you can always ‘BOLD’ a font to thicken it up.  I like them between 3/4″ and 1″ tall.  I spaced each line at least 1/4″ apart also.  Once you’ve got each line how you’d like it, select all and attach the lines together.  This will keep your spacing as is when you go to cut.  You can also easily duplicate your lines and groups this way too.

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For my file, I cut my kids current sizes, my current size, and my girls initials.  My girls wear the same size in many things and can be super picky about sharing all their things.  This helps me so much at laundry time when I’m sorting their clean clothes.  I put their initials on their ready-to-wear things too- think underwear, pj’s, you name it!

I cut each line with my portable trimmer then roughly cut out each character.  You’ll want to leave each piece fairly big- this will make it easier to stick it on your garment later.

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I found a plastic jewelry organizer that works perfectly for sorting and storing all my tags.  It’s clear and easy to see exactly what I’m looking for.

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I love how easy it is to apply these.  I always do one last good press when I finish a sewing project and that’s the perfect time to take the 20 seconds to apply the tag.  I love that they melt right into the fabric leaving it soft and smooth.  Hooray for no itchy woven tags!

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I have a few patterns that I use in multiple sizes depending on fabric and the fit I’m after.  I can never remember which size I used for each garment though and this will be a huge help later on when I go to remake a pattern.

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I think my favorite tag I did was this little hidden ‘Rock Star’ tag in my first ever denim project.  I feel like this was such a huge, fun accomplishment and wanted to celebrate that in my own little way.  I think it’ll be fun to do this in future projects- a little personalized tag for special makes.  Maybe that special first day of school outfit, Halloween costumes, Holiday dresses- it’s just a cute way to commemorate and remember why and when each piece was made.

There are so many amazing sewing bloggers joining in this fun tour.  I have been blown away by their creativity and my list of projects has grown with each post I read.  You won’t want to miss a single one!  Make sure you enter to win your very own Cricut Explore Air 2.  It’s been so fun having one of my own and I can’t wait for you to get one too!

Enter to Win a Cricut Explore Air 2 HERE

Week One: July 19th

Week Two: July 26th

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Thanks for joining us and thank you Cricut for making our lives easier, more colorful, and definitely more fun!

I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.

This experience is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.

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

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My New Fav Halifax Hoodie

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I feel like everyone has that one pattern that just speaks to them.  The Hey June Halifax Hoodie is that pattern for me.  I made a handful during testing and just after but seasons change and my other sewing commitments have kept me from pulling it out again.  When I got my hands on this gorgeous french terry from Cali Fabrics I struggled with what it should become.  Joggers were high on the list until I remembered this view A of the Halifax.  Duh- it really was meant to be a cozy, relaxed hoodie, just perfect for after the pool and those cool summer nights!

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Shockingly, I had never made view A for me!  One of my favorite little Hatteras Hoodies for my girls is a woven view A that I’ve had serious envy for.  Like in that version, I left off the bands to give it more of the beach poncho look.  It’s such a quick sew and I absolutely love this style.  I really, really want a couple more to transition to fall.

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I’m always lost without a good kangaroo pocket!

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This fabric is so amazing!  It’s a soft, stretch rayon blend french terry.  I had been on the hunt for leafy palm print and threw this in my cart as soon as I saw it.  It sold out super fast so I know I’m not the only one obsessed with this print!

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After a busy few months, okay more like a busy blogging year, I was so happy to sew up a project just for fun.  No deadlines, tour promoting, etc.- just picking a pattern I love and being able to really enjoy the process.  It sure made getting these pics more relaxed too.  I set up the tripod and had my little eight-year-old manning the buttons.  She cracks me up and was loving her job as photographer.  She thinks she’s a super model herself so she gave me lots of direction too 😉

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This is her mouth open, hip pop move!

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I love when the whole process is such a joy.  I think we sewing bloggers need reminders every now and then as to why we do this gig.  It’s all about doing what we love and having fun while we do it!  I’m so lucky to be able to share that with people that feel the same way!