The Retro Cool Mingo and Grace Crop Set

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I have been impatiently waiting the release of this pattern! I discovered Mingo and Grace after she was featured in the children’s fashion e-magazine Stylo.  I loved her contemporary style and her daughters curls made my heart swoon.

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When I was picked to test her newest pattern I was elated.  This pattern features a darling, boxy crop top with short, 3/4 quarter, or sleeveless options.  The cute skirt can have a full elastic waistband or a flat front/elastic back.

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I loved the retro feel of this pattern.  I used some black and white gingham (another LA score) and Payton’s fabric combo is from Hobby Lobby (they totally stepped up their fabric game with this new collection!).  I did the flat front skirt option and added pleats to Payton’s to change it up a bit.

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That last pic of Sophie is why I sew, see those legs?!!! That girl is so tall and skinny and has such a hard time finding clothes that fit. Thank goodness I can help the girl out 😉

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How ’bout those buttons up the back? So cute, right?!

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Paired with jeans, the top is perfect for school or play.  The mix and match options with this set are endless.

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I made the top out of floral ponte and it’s so chic too! It’s perfect with a tank underneath and jeans.  I think these pieces will get mixed and matched and worn over and over.  I love the simplicity and elegance of this pattern.  Pick up your copy as fast as you can- I can’t get enough of it! Head on over before 9/7/15 and use code LABORDAY20 for 20% off or join her Facebook Group for even more savings!

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To check out more tester picks head over to Candice Ayala.  Her version is so preppy cute and shows how versatile this pattern can be!

Hey June Hatteras Hoodie X3

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I’ve been pattern testing a lot lately and while I enjoy it, I’ve gotten more selective on what projects I’ll undertake and sign up for.  I rarely will sew anything that takes more than a couple of hours- I try my hardest to sew only during naptime and I hate leaving unfinished projects.  That said, there are still certain designers I jump at the chance to test for and Adrianna of Hey June is one of them.  Her latest pattern is really three patterns in one and it is fantastic!

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I made view C in a size 12 for my eleven-year-old.  We both love, love this hoodie.  He picked out the french terry and it was perfect for this pattern.  I sew a ton but there are still so many techniques that I’ve never done (meaning I’ve avoided them as long as possible ).  This was my first zippered jacket and Adrianna walks you through it beautifully and the finish on the inside is so profesh!

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I proudly held up the finished sweatshirt to my husband and said, “You’ve got to see this!” To which he said. “Oh yeah, I saw that.  I totally thought you bought that so I didn’t say anything.”  I’ll take that as “that-sweatshirt-is-incredibly-well-made-and-looks-like-a-million-bucks” and all the glory goes to Adrianna’s impeccable finishing techniques that make the inside as clean and pretty as the outside.

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Sophie got view A in a size 7 out of yummy sweater knit from LA.  It’s got a touch of my favorite knock-off Liberty print as the facing.  With Sophie, I’ve decided that if I would wear it then she would love it too.  She is my mini-me in so many ways and I love that we share almost the exact taste in clothes.  I’ll live it up while I can.

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I love this picture I caught of the two of them- totally their personalities.  Alex is always a crack-up and Soph has got this model thing down.

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After the two I tested I couldn’t wait to recreate a hoodie I’d seen on Pinterest.

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My version-

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I used view A and sized up two sizes for ease, leaving off the bands.  I used a mystery gauzy-linen that had some give to it and it was exactly what I was going for.

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It just reminds me so much of growing up in Southern California.  It’s made for bonfires at the beach and cool summer nights. This one is my favorite and I want it in my size so badly! We’re twisting Adrianna’s arm to get a ladies version out pronto!

The Ladies Uptown/Downtown Dress

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I’ve already professed my adoration for Terri of Sew Straight and Gather.  Her patterns are the bomb and I am thrilled that she is now working on ladies patterns!  I had the chance to test for her again on her latest project, The Ladies Uptown/Downtown Dress.

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This pattern is another winner- lots of sleeve options, knee and maxi lengths, and tank and sleeveless choices too.  There is also a cowl neck that I adore!  My girls have a few bimaa sweaters that I love and now I get to join in on the cowl fun.

I have to admit I was worried how this dress would skim my i-had-five-kids-belly.  The cut was way more flattering than I expected and I loved seeing how it flattered all body types on the other testers.  It really looks amazing on every shape and size- magic pattern, I swear.

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I fell in love with this gorgeous jersey knit from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  The drape and flow was perfect for this dress.  Another great fabric/pattern combination!

Call Ajaire’s Ruffled Arch Skirt

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I had a chance to test for Ajaire again so of course I jumped on it.  With summer winding down I knew my sewing time was limited so I choose to do the simple version of her newest pattern, the Ruffled Arch Skirt.  I had a remnant of this striped twill that fit the pieces perfectly with no room to spare.  It was a sign that it just had to become this skirt, I couldn’t ignore it.

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The view of the pattern I did was simple and quick to sew.  The skirt is a cute a-line with a waistband facing and elastic in the back, creating a sleek front.  This version will be a wardrobe staple for sure.

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The main view of this pattern is so darling with a cute little ruffle back.  The other testers versions were so adorable.  I love patterns that offer multiple views so you can use them again and again.  You can check out Ajaire’s and get the link to the pattern here.

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Sometimes I catch this one on a good day and she kills these little photo shoots.  She’s just started first grade and it has been torture not having my partner in crime with me in the afternoons.  She has the best giggle and just is always so happy.  She’s missing so many teeth and I can’t stop taking pictures of that cute smile.  She just got a ‘first grade’ haircut that I’m sure will be making it’s debut on here real soon.  Love this girl of mine!

Summer Sewing- Why is it so hard?

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With five kids, sewing time is precious.  When they are all home for the summer, it’s even more sparse.  Here are a few of the projects I eeked out this summer.

I had the pleasure of testing for Striped Swallow Designs again this summer.  Her Wildflower kimono is so unique and simple to sew.  I sewed one up for Soph in a cute striped knit and Payton got a cozy french terry version (from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, of course).

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I also had the pleasure of testing for Terri from Sew Straight and Gather.  Her Cousu Collection was kinda groundbreaking for me, pushing me to try new techniques and totally taking me to a new level.  This time I tested her versatile Urban Garden Dress and Tank.  It’s such a cute pattern and her tutorials are THE BEST!  If you haven’t tried one of her patterns you are totally missing out.  Beware though that once  you do, all other patterns will be lacking in comparison.

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This summer my quest for myself was to make the perfect pants and shorts.  I tried a gazillion patterns and I think my quest is still on…

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Jocole’s Wide Leg Pants
True Bias Hudson Pants
True Bias Hudson Pants

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Jocole Skinny Pants
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IMG_8784 Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Summer Lovin’ Shorts

School starts this week and it’s always a little bittersweet.  I adore having my kids home and the adventures we get to do every day.  For the most part, they get along great and we spend a lot of time laughing and just being together.  BUT… we are together ALL THE TIME.  I feel guilty stealing away for an hour or two to create.  So the sweet part of back to school is that I will have every afternoon to myself (thanks to a cute three year old that still naps)! I’m so excited to be able to sew without the guilt of negletting the kiddos. Oh, the project list… 🙂

Paneled Sunsuit for the win!

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I had the pleasure of testing Call Ajaire’s first pattern, the Paneled Sunsuit.  Sometimes designers rush their patterns out to consumers and take shortcuts on the finished product.  Ajaire was just the opposite- thorough, detailed, and the final pattern shows all her hard work.  My girls couldn’t get enough of this pattern!

I did the Maxi version for my oldest in a gorgeous Art Gallery cotton from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  It was pure perfection!  I think my Sophie should have a wardrobe full of that brilliant blue color and the silhouette was so cute on her tiny frame.  The fitted waist and flared skirt make the dress seem so fancy and sophisticated.  She declared it her favorite thing I’ve ever made her! Win, win, win!!

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Payton got the darling pantsuit version.  It is so adorable in a light chambray with floral details.  The pantsuit is easy on and off with the cute elastic shoulder straps but it stays snug against the bodice with the simple elastic casing in the back.  So cute and classic!

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