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!

 

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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Cricut Be Mine Blog Hop

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Yep, I’m here again with more Valentine’s goodness!  I can’t stop guys!

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I love Valentine’s day for so many reasons.  I’ll take any excuse I can get to tell my favorite people how much I love them.  I love being able to put up my few Valentine’s decorations after the excess of Christmas.  Glittery hearts, pretty garlands, and bright pillows sure do brighten up the mood on a dreary winter day.  And let’s talk about the food… chocolates, candies, and a delicious meal are all Valentine staples.  What’s not to love?!!

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I’ve made my girls a few ‘valentine’ theme tops this year.  We love using our Cricut to make custom tees each holiday but I usually limit it to one or two per kid since they only get to wear them for such a short time.  Valentine’s things on the other hand can easily be worn all year if you keep them pretty basic.

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My oldest is awesome at coming home from school with a new request at least once a week.  She’ll see someone wearing one of the latest trends and ask me to just ‘whip it up’ for her.  Not too long ago she asked for a tee with stripes on the sleeves and I was happy to hook her up with one.

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I was planning on using the Camden Raglan from Hey June since it comes with sleeve stripes as an option.  I had a lightbulb moment though when I realized I could do those stripes in vinyl in just a fraction of the time.  Seriously sooooo much easier!  I grabbed my other trusty Hey Juniors pattern- the City Park Tee and had a finished garment in no time!  The only alterations I made for this was to lengthen it 1.5″ for her height and I widened the sleeve a bit to give it a more ‘boyfriend’ feel.  The stripes are simply .5″x 12″ strips of vinyl that I applied before sewing up the sleeves.  The 12″ was just barely enough to fit on the size 10 sleeve, you’d want to use a longer piece of vinyl for any tee bigger than that (if you buy the 24″ rolls of vinyl you’re golden but I thought it was worth mentioning if you usually grab smaller sheets).

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The ‘Love’ cut file is just from Cricut Design Space.  I get sucked into all the fun choices and suddenly need to make a million different tees!  So…many…cute…options!  All the fabric in this post is from the lovely Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  I just love all the cotton lycra solid choices and this pretty dusty pink just looks too fabulous on this little miss.

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Little sis is still totally girly and loves anything sparkly and pink.  This outfit is just too her!

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For her I used the Jolly Roger Raglan with the cowl add-on and the free Love Notions Leggins.   These two patterns certainly get a workout around here.  I know if I’m looking for something comfy with a little kick- the JRR is my man.  C’mon, that cowl just takes it over the top!  And when it comes to quick the Leggins with the yoga waistband can’t be beat (even when stripe matching ;)!

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I just love how I was able to take this outfit from boring to brilliant with a little glitter vinyl.  I knew I wanted to do a little play on fabric printing with vinyl.  I cut a ton of mini hearts out of the pink glitter vinyl and scattered them at random on the sleeve and cowl pieces.  The Cricut Easy Press made adhering them a cinch.  I could lay them on the pieces and easily move the Press around without messing them up. It takes just a few seconds and they melt right into the fabric.  I designed the cute little saying in Design Space.  I love how easy it is to do your own text in the program.  So many fonts to chose from and it’s simple to manipulate the letters to get it just right.  Throw in a couple of heart knee patches and this outfit is adorable!

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Kinda makes you want your own, huh?!  I always feel that way when I sew for my kiddos.  Too darn cute!

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Cricut makes holidays so much more fun! This week promises so much darling Cricut inspiration from some of my favorite sewing and crafting bloggers.  Make sure to check them all out! A big shout out to Shelly from Coral and Co. for putting this all together!

Cricut ❤ Be Mine ❤ Valentine’s Day Blog Hop

Monday 1/29 Sweet Red Poppy * Amber Simmons * Sew Sophielynn

Wednesday 1/31 The Intrepid Thread

Thursday 2/1 Heather Handmade * Paisley Roots * Coral + Co

Friday 2/2 That’s Sew Kari * Maytime Moms * Swoodson Says

 

Love Notions Cadence Top and Dress

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I love when designers give little sneak peeks of what they’re dreaming up.  The second I saw Tami’s vision for this pattern I knew I NEEDED it in my life!  The Cadence Dress and Top (affl. link) is totally my thang- a loose a-line fit with a ton of sleeve options and optional drawstring waist.  It’s love, my friends!

This post contains affiliate links- I joined the Love Notions Affiliate program AFTER falling in love with her patterns and going through her rigorous testing progress.  I’m confident in recommending Love Notions patterns and in return I get a little fabric money to keep this little hobby going 😉

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I’ve been taking a much needed blogging and testing break this summer- trying to spend as much time as possible with my kiddos before they head back to school.  That said, I couldn’t pass up joining in this test.  I bought this fabric way back when I saw the sneak peek and knew it really was destined to be this pattern.  It’s a flowy rayon challis and the big, bold print just needed to become a dress.  I got it from Pretty Posh Prints and she currently has a similar print in stock.

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Are you ready for the options with this pattern?!  There are three lengths- shirt, knee, and maxi.  Two neckline options- scoop and notched.  Five, yes five, sleeve choices- sleeveless, short, 3/4, flared, and bishop.  There is also an optional drawstring waist option if you’d like a little more definition.

I did the scoop neck, knee length, with bishop sleeves in a size small.  I know this dress will transition well into the fall.  I think it’ll look great with tights, boots and a Boyfriend Cardigan!  I love this silhouette- fitted through the shoulders and chest with the a-line flare starting near the natural waist.  Such a flattering fit on so many body types (the listing is FULL of gorgeous tester versions).  I’m a rectangle body type and always gravitate towards this style!

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Some of my favorite features of this pattern are the neckline facing (I’m still not confident in my bias neck skills ;), simple construction, and back center seam.  That back seam makes it easy to fit and adjust any sway back issues you might have.

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The bishop sleeves are easy and really dress up this look.  I love the 60’s vibe they give too!

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You can grab your copy on sale through Saturday!  It’s such a great staple pattern to have and will easily bring you from summer into cooler weather too.  I can’t wait to see what you make!

 

Oceanside Pants with CaliFabrics

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This post originally appeared on Cali Fabrics blog.

The weather is turning hot, hot, hot and my wardrobe needed some serious help! I’ve been wanting to make the Oceanside Pants from Blank Slate Patterns for ages. They are a breezy, relaxed fit drawstring waist pant or short that look amazing in lightweight fabrics such as linen or chambray. I snatched up this perfect lightweight indigo tencel denim and it was exactly the look I wanted.

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Several of us Cali Bloggers have fallen in love with this gorgeous fabric. It’s a great weight for summer heat. I wore these to a concert on a sweltering night and was just as comfortable as those there in tiny shorts! I’m always on the hunt for fabrics that breathe well that I can use for pieces like this that offer a bit more sun coverage. This tencel denim is just perfect. It works amazing for pants but I think you could use it well for a loose button-up, a flowy sundress, a light skirt or lightweight jacket. I’m kinda wishing I had bought yards and yards like Gillian!

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One of my favorite features of these pants are the pockets. They are nice and big and easily hold my phone. I also love the fold over flap- a great place for a little fun fabric accent. For my pockets I simply used the backside of the fabric. I’m almost tempted to make a pair of shorts using the backside as the main- it’s light and doesn’t have the slight sheen that the main side has. I wanted these pants to be as versatile as possible so I used a cream twill tape as my drawstring and big tortoiseshell buttons on the pockets.

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I fell in love with double brushed poly this winter and was anxious to see how it worked for summer. I used this pretty double brushed poly floral for a loose fitting tee that I absolutely love! I turned to my go-to tee pattern, the Union St. Tee from Hey June Handmade. It’s a simple tee pattern that lends itself to so many different looks. For this one, I sized up one size for a bit more room. This will be a tee I live in all summer. I think if you want to continue your love affair with double brushed poly into the heat of summer the key will be sticking with loose silhouettes. Flowy skirts, loose tees and tanks, breezy maxi dresses all work great.

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This is great news for me because Cali Fabrics has a huge selection of gorgeous double brushed poly. I’m all for clothing that can be worn year round and this tee will look great come fall layered under a cardigan too!

What’s on your summer sewing list? I’m thinking you better join in the fun and get yourself some lovely tencel denim!