Monarch Jacket in Riley Blake Wool

monarch4

When the Monarch Jacket from Allie Olson released I just had to have it.   I love the easy, classic style and knew I had to sew one up stat.

monarch1

When it came time to pick a project for this sponsored Riley Blake post, I kept going back to a bomber jacket.  The Monarch was the perfect silhouette but is meant for knits.  Did I dare hack it?!! You know how much I love having all the work done for me 😉  With a little deliberation with my sewing peeps I was convinced I could tackle this project and I’m so glad I did.

monarch6

Before I dive into the alterations I did, let’s talk fabric.  I ordered this cuff ribbing in the fall and have been looking for the right project to really highlight it.  I used it as my starting point and picked the fabric to coordinate.  There are 33, yes 33!, colors of wool to choose from at Riley Blake.  I stuck with a classic Navy then felt like the sky was the limit with a coordinate.  I wanted something seasonless since I was sewing this in the spring but wanted to be able to wear it in the fall as well.  I waffled between Mint, Beehive, Holly, or a classic Gray.  In the end, I surprised even myself and picked Lipstick, a pretty coral-pink that looks equally suited for sunny spring or the jewel tones of fall.  It’s got a bit of a rust tint that I really love.

monarch9

This was my first time sewing with wool.  I washed and dried my fabrics a couple of times to shrink them up and felt them a bit.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to the dry cleaners, so I wanted to be able to throw this jacket in the wash.   Hopefully, I’ll be good to wash on cold and hang it to dry when needed.

The fabrics softened when washed and I love the nubby texture they took on.  It’s a nice medium weight and was not too thick to sew up or add my snaps to.  It’s nice and structured without being too stiff.

monarch5

Ready for my easy alterations.  I fell into a size 4 chest and 6 waist but sized up to a straight size 8 to make sure there was enough ease.  I probably could have stayed with the 6 bodice but definitely need the extra room in the arms.  I lengthened the sleeve piece in an oh-so-technical way.  I laid my cuff fabric on the cuff pattern piece and determined how much width I was loosing and added that to the sleeve piece length.  It worked out lovely.  I  lined the sleeves in a super soft double brushed poly knit so I could easily wear a short-sleeved shirt and not be bothered if the wool was too itchy.  I basted the lining to the sleeve piece and treated them as one piece when sewing up the jacket.  The sleeve seam is a bit bulky and I was glad I used a thinner knit to keep it from being too terribly thick.

monarch7

The collar was the most intimidating part for me.  The collar pattern piece is angled and folded and I was working with a rectangular single piece of ribbing.  I angled the ribbing onto the jacket neckline and basted it according to the pattern directions.  I was pleasantly surprised it worked out so easily and I was able to finish the jacket according to the tutorial.  It’s so nice having that soft ribbing on my neck!

The pattern does not have pockets which I totally get if you wear it as a light layering piece but I’m really missing them on this jacket.  I’m contemplating adding patch or welt pockets to this to make it more functional.  It didn’t help that these jeans are sans front pockets as well- a girl needs

her pockets!  Any suggestions for me?

monarch3

I used the pattern suggestion and finished the placket with a little bias tape.  This fabric is another Riley Blake print coming soon, Edie Jane (I can’t wait to share my makes from that collection!) and I love the subtle feminine touch it adds.

monarch8monarch10

Overall, I’m thrilled with how this project turned out.  It’s a classic piece that I’m sure will be the first jacket I grab on those cold mornings or chilly soccer game days.  I’d love to make a comfy knit version too and have already scoured my stash for fabric options.

My first go at working with wool might have spoiled me for the future.  My confidence is high that I just might be able to tackle a real coat come fall.  This Riley Blake wool was so nice to work with.  The hardest part just might be picking a color!

monarch2

Riley Blake Linen Pants

linen2

We had our first real taste of spring this week and I couldn’t be happier.  Warm sunshine, green grass, and the world blooming around me just makes me so happy for what lies ahead.  It was the perfect time to make some new comfy and casual pants to see me into summer.

linen5

I was excited to get to work with yummy Riley Blake Linen for this project.  I’d used it once before for one of my favorite dresses for my daughter and have been eager ever since to have some in my closet!  It’s a great weight for clothing, not too heavy but still nice and structured.  It sews up so easily without curling or shifting and I loved working with it.  I picked the navy color so I’d have a good basic pant to mix and match with so many of my tees and tops.  It’s just the right deep color and really works great with my stash of stripe and floral tees.

linen6

I used the Allegro Pants from Love Notions (affiliate link).  I have a few pairs of pants from H&M that are similar to this look that I lived in last summer.  I love the relaxed fit that tapers through the leg.  They’re easy to wear and look a little nicer than my other summer staple of cut-off jeans 😉  The Allegro pattern also has multiple short length options as well as two skirt choices too.  It’s a great pattern to add some summer basics to your wardrobe.

linen3linen1

I sewed up the pattern in a size small grading out to a medium for my calves.  I love that calf measurements are included in the pattern because I tend to have to grade out for mine.  I also did a faux drawstring since I hate losing them in the wash!

linen7

I think I’m going to need a few more easy, breezy linen pieces this summer.  I think this fabric would work well for a pretty dress, a structured woven tee, or some casual summer shorts.  Here’s to hoping spring is here to stay!

Riley Blake Sharks Novelty

blue5

Sometimes a quick sew can be so, so rewarding.  Like sewing up a set up shark pj’s for my shark-obsessed kiddo.  His reaction when he came home from school to hot off the machine pajamas was priceless!  Bonus, it’s pajama day at school today so this kid is set!

light1

He was all in for taking photos too!  He excitedly ratteled off fact after fact about sharks.  Did you know that the Bull Shark can kill a person in the least amount of bites?  Or that the Whale Shark is the biggest shark?  As he read this book to me he kept telling me little bits of info followed by “But I already knew that”.  I love that he is so passionate about learning all that he can!

blue1

On our trip to Monterey last summer, he was in awe of all the sharks at the aquarium and used his precious souvenier money for this giant hammerhead shark.  His big brothers continue to tease him to this day about his splurge but let me tell you, that shark is one of his most prized possessions.  It was well worth it and has been so well-loved.  (Here he’s telling me all about how the hammerhead can see in all directions to look for food and how there are plates in it’s head for ramming into predators.)

blue2light2

For these pajamas I used Riley Blake’s Sharks Novelty Blue and Fins Novelty Light Blue paired with Grey 1/2″ knit stripes.  I love the stripes with the shark prints for a boy look that’s not too babyish.

light3blue4

For these quick and easy pajamas, I used the FREE Walk the Plank pajama pants from Patterns for Pirates paired with the Oliver + S School Bus T-shirt (sized up one for a looser fit).  I sewed up a size 5 waist with a 7 length for the pants and a straight size 5 for the knee-length shorts.  The pajama pants are available for the whole family and are a great wardrobe staple.  They are loose fitting but not too huge and I always find the fit pretty spot on.  They make a great project for anyone just learning to sew too!

blue3

crazy

Make sure to check out your local quilt and fabric shops for this cute fabric.  If you have a little shark lover you will make their day! No scary sharks here, just one happy little man!

main

Fabric was sponsored by Riley Blake Designs but all opinions and shark facts are my own 😉

 

Riley Blake Bliss

bliss5.1

Riley Blake has done it again!  Bliss from My  Mind’s Eye is just about the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen!

blissmain

The soft blush, mint and blacks are such a stunning color palette.  Throw in that gorgeous rose gold shimmer and I’m dead!  So. Darn. Brilliant.

bliss8.1

I used three prints from the collection for a pair of dresses that they’ve sworn will be their new Easter dresses.  This pretty mint floral is paired with a simple mint honeycomb.  My oldest is in heaven in the rose gold sparkle stripes– sweet and sophisticated at the same time.

bliss2.1

I pulled out a couple of our favorite patterns for these prints.  First I used my go-to Pixie Dress from Violette Field Threads.  I LOVE this pattern!  It’s great for mixing prints or playing with stripes.  It’s easy to wear and isn’t too childish for this tween.  (You can see our other versions here and here.)

bliss4.1

bliss12.1

With no closures, it’s a simple sew with wonderful results.  I added pockets to this version (note to self ‘pockets are ALWAYS a good idea’)!

bliss1.1bliss3.1

Little sis got a Polina Dress from Coffee and Thread.  Those ruffles just kill me!

bliss7.1bliss10.1bliss11.1bliss13.1bliss6.1

We’re thrilled with our new dresses and can’t wait for warmer weather to wear these dresses in!  My girls are my heroes.  They braved the chilly temps for pics in exchange for a yummy treat from the bakery.  Cheesecake makes it all worthwhile!  Happy momma, happy kids!

Riley Blake Woven Gingham

ginghamtextGingham is one of those classic prints I just can’t get enough of.  I love it in classic colors like navy, red, and black but it also signals spring to me in bright bold hues too.  I was excited to get to play with Riley Blake Designs line of woven ginghammainWith so many cute colors and sizes to choose from, I had a tough choice when it came to picking fabrics.  I imagined button-ups, sundresses, casual skirts, and fun summer totes.  I picked fabric with plans for my first Hey June Cheyenne Top but once it arrived my head went spinning again into all the possibilities!  Did I want to share it with my kids?  Did I want tops or bottoms pieces?  What about home decor pieces?  Pillows, table runners, a cute valance for my sewing room?  I tell you, gingham is just WAY too versatile!gingham7.1For my first project I settled on a simple woven tee.  I think this will be amazing to have in my wardrobe as we move into spring.  It looks incredible layered under a cardigan and pairs so great with jeans or dressed up with a skirt.gingham10.1I used the Hey June Key Largo Top in the basic view B.  It’s got classic tee shaping, fitted through the shoulders and relaxed through the waist and hips.  gingham9.1I busted out the white jeans for these pics for the first time in forever and can’t wait until it’s warm enough to wear this outfit in real life.  It just screams warm weather chic!gingham4.1For my next project I just had to make my second Justine Skirt from Ready to Sew.  I sewed one up in a Raspberry Creek rayon challis and couldn’t stop at just one.  The simple lines and understated style make this pattern a wardrobe staple.  The best part?  It’s FREE!gingham3.1Second best part?  Giant pockets!!! Hello! Those babies hold my cell phone, chapstick, and keys with room to spare.  So so good!gingham2.1I paired it with my standard v-neck tee and sandals for a casual take.  I wore it to church after these pics with a sleek fitted tee, cardigan, and statement jewelry for a more polished look.  I’m seriously giddy with all the outfit possibilities with this piece.  I love navy with so many coordinating colors- mint, coral, red, fuchsia, mustard, kelly green, you name it!  I’ll apologize in advance to all my real life friends for how much you’ll be seeing this skirt come summer.gingham8.1gingham1.1

gingham6.1These fabrics were so nice to work with.  Using a woven gingham means no fading, no printing off grain, and lining up the print was easy peasy!  It’s a great weight too, not too sheer or light but still has a bit of drape to it.  It come in 1/4″ and 1/2″ wide prints to fit all your needs.  I’ve already got a huge list going of all the gingham projects for spring and summer!  How much gingham is too much gingham, you know, asking for a friend ;)?

 

Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs

pair2

Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs is here and it’ll have your heart swooning!  We love the darling retro feel and it has us gearing up for Valentine’s.  It’s such a sweet collection full of bright colors and playful prints.

sophie2

The Gradient Heart is black was such a great choice for my oldest.  It’s got a modern edge to it that was so well suited for one of our favorite dress patterns.

sophie5

I love the clean lines of the Blake Dress from Mingo and Grace (you can see our other versions here, here, and here).  Those big box pleats and hidden inseam pockets are the stuff that makes me giddy!

sophie8

Can you even stand those ombre hearts?!!  The colors are just so fun!

sophie4

For this dress, I made a size 8 width with a 12 length in the skirt.  She actually measures into a 7 width but I was hoping by sizing up it’d fit a bit longer.  The problem is this girly keeps growing up and not out so I’m pretty sure it’ll be too short the next time I blink!  Little sister is already patiently waiting for her to outgrow it 😉

payton2

Speaking of litttle sis- she got a Samantha Skirt from Made for Mermaids paired with an Ocotillo Leotard from Honeydew Kisses with handmade suspenders.

payton4

This floral print is just too cute!  It reminds me so much of some of my favorite art when I was growing up.  Definitely brings me back to the early 90’s with fond memories!  Paired with Riley Blake black and white striped knit gives it a fun, contemporary twist.  This combo is just so adorable!

payton3She loves anything with pockets and thanked me profusely the minute she tried on this skirt.  Both patterns were new to me and I really liked them both.  The Samantha skirt pattern uses the same fabric for suspenders but I left them off this version.  It features an elastic back waistband so hopefully she’ll get to wear this awhile too.  I had to do some grading for the leo using a size 8 width and a 10 length.  It worked out really well and both girls have requested more (a sure sign of a great pattern!).

pair3We picked the warmest day we could for pics and it was a balmy 40 degrees when we did our shoot.  The sodas were both props and bribes for these two troopers!  The things these girls put up with for their dear old mum!

pair1payton5sophie6main1

Thanks for joining us today on our stop on the Hello Sweetheart Blog Tour.  Riley Blake provided us the fabric to sew up but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rose Garden Fabrics Tour for Riley Blake Designs

pair1.1

I’m sharing another gorgeous fabric collection today from Riley Blake Designs, Rose Garden by Gerri Robinson.   The subtle pinks, greys, taupes, and creams of this line are just beautiful!

pair3.1

I immediately envisioned a sweet spring brother/sister look the minute I saw this fabric.  The Rose Garden Main in cream really shines on big sis and the Rose Garden Paisley pink is the perfect compliment.

charlie2.1

My little guy really loves to wear a tie each week to church and usually reaches for one of his floral ties.  This paisley and floral print is an upgrade to his collection.  I used the free Totally Terrific Tie tutorial from Hem Me In.  It was a fun, quick sew and I know I’ll turn to it often.

payton1.1

I used the Georgia Dress pattern from Violette Fields Threads for this classic dress.  The simple silhouette and ruffle neck and sleeves just let this fabric shine.   It’s such a beautiful pattern that I’m anxious to sew up again too!

charlie1.1payton2.1pair2.1

These prints are just so, so pretty!  I’m thinking I can be WAY ahead of the game and call these their Easter looks, right?!  They’re too precious not to.