Rose Garden Fabrics Tour for Riley Blake Designs

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Abbie from Riley Blake Designs

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I feel so incredibly lucky to have gotten my hands on the newest line from Sue Daley for Riley Blake Designs, Abbie.   The soft colors, dusty blue, coral, pinks and greys, are so pretty together and made it so hard to choose which fabrics to work with.

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I immediately knew I needed the Text print for my book loving daughter.  I went with the Cream background for a sophisticated, classic look.  My younger daughter looks darling in blues and pinks and I really had a hard time deciding what to pick for her.  The main print in this collection features a darling girl and her pup and was really tempting- it’s so darn cute!  I just couldn’t get this pretty large floral out of my head though and knew it’d pair so perfectly with the smaller scale Garden print.  They’re such a great combo!

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I knew I wanted to do a simple style dress to really highlight this fabric.  I turned to one of my favorite patterns, the Hey June Larkspur.  It’s a simple shift dress that always looks so chic and classic.  I added sleeve ruffles to the elbow sleeve for a little sass.  Paired with tights and booties this is a look I’d love to wear myself!

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Of course, I did an exposed metal zipper to give it a little edge.  Statement sleeves and exposed zippers just might be my ‘thing’ right now.

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This picture suddenly had me flash forwarding five years and seeing her sweet sixteen and headed off to her first dance.  Can we please slow things down?!!  She did bring me back to reality by sitting in church the next day trying to read the script on this print and giggling like the little girl that she is.  I’ll take all those moments I can get!

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Little sis got a Violette Fields Threads Pixie Dress, one of my favorite dress patterns to use for quilting cottons.   The bodice is also a great place to use those cute trims you’ve been hoarding (this lace is from Hobby Lobby, my go-to for trims).

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The evening of this photo shoot was one of the first real fall days we’d had and temperatures were hovering around 40 degrees.  These kiddos were such troopers!  I love this shot because she nailed the pose but I see the clenched teeth “Mom, can we please be done already?!” frozen look on her face.  True pro right there!

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Make sure you check out ALL the cute prints and colorways with this darling line.  I think this line would make the cutest nursery or little girl bedding and decor, spring dresses, and gorgeous quilts.

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Thanks for stopping by my little stop on the Abbie Blog tour.  Thanks to Riley Blake Designs and Sue Daley for the chance to share this darling fabric will you all!

Jubilee Fabric Tour with Riley Blake Designs

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It’s my stop on the Riley Blake Jubilee Blog Tour today!  This fabric collection is absolutely darling and I’m excited to be sharing it will you guys.

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I always let my girls help pick fabric for their makes but they struggled this time because they seriously wanted them all.   You know my oldest will always pick red if given the choice and she was crushing on the main prints in this line bad.  I was surprised when she settled on the navy colorway but secretly thrilled to be adding a little different color to her wardrobe.  My younger daughter looks darling in blues and loved the dainty print of this ditzy floral.  Together they coordinate but aren’t too matchy for these sisters.

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If I could pick my favorite color combinations of the moment these would be it.  I love navy, yellow, seafoam, and pink together.  They are perfect colors for fall but also work really well for this weird warm transition season we’re in too.

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The floral prints work so well with this season too.  The hint of summer brights and warm fall colors make these fabrics something I think they’ll wear year-round.

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Let’s talk about these dresses.  My oldest daughter is quickly sizing out of many of our favorite patterns.  I’m grateful for companies like Violette Fields Threads and Hey June Handmade who are now branching into tween pattern size lines.  This is the Zoey Dress from Violette Fields Threads.  My daughter still isn’t quite in a 10 width but she’s at least a 12 or 14 height so I struggle choosing between the tween and child patterns.  In this case, the extra ease in the bodice works with this style and the tween sizing looks great on her.

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I love the boho-feel of this pattern and think it’s perfect for this print.  The cute puff sleeve, elastic cuff and bias bound neckline are pretty features that add to the free spirit look of this dress.

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Little sister got a Sutton Dress from Made for Mermaids.  I wanted something that had a similar vibe as her sister’s and the Sutton was a great choice.  I wanted this print to really shine but knew it needed a little trim and buttons to make it pop.

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I absolutely adore those sleeves!  Such a sweet touch.  I did modify this pattern to use a gathered rectangle skirt (the width of the fabric) instead of the gathered circle skirt the pattern calls for.  This was not really a style choice as it was a lack of fabric choice (that’s what I get for changing my plan for this fabric at the last minute!).

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Make sure to check out your favorite local fabric shops to grab your own Jubilee fabrics.  They’ll brighten your days just as they’ve done ours!

Monterey Romper in Floral Hues by Riley Blake

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This project was a fun one!  It combined so many of my favorite things:  This girl, great fabric, a new pattern, and a totally fun photo shoot.

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This project started with the fabric.  Riley Blake let us pick fabric from the new Floral Hues collection.  This girl has such a huge love of all things red and immediately loved the simplicity of this print.  We paired the Floral Hues Daisies in Red with a tiny bit of the Dots in Red.  It’s such a sweet combo and the whole Floral Hues line has a great classic vintage vibe.

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This is a lovely cotton lawn and it feels amazing!  I love the softness of Riley Blake’s lawn and think it’s perfect for so many apparel projects.  This picture just shows the weight and lightness of this fabric so well.   It’s so breezy and light but I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this without a lining either.  The lighting hit her just right and you get just a peek of her silhouette.

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We used the Little Lizard King Monterey Romper to really highlight this fabric.  This girl absolutely loves rompers and I love to make them for her.  She loves all the options with this pattern but has been wanting the split sleeve version since it released.  I’m known to ask my girls if they like a pattern when it releases and then sit on it for months and months until they finally break down and beg me to sew it up!  I guess I’m a tease like that 😉

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I was able to easily blend sizes to make it work perfectly for my tall slim girly.  The construction was actually really quick and I’d highly recommend this pattern.  It’s easy to get on and off which is a big deal with rompers.  Overall, I’m sure we’ll make more of these cute one pieces.

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Very little sewing this summer has meant very few photo shoots as well.  I MISS being behind the camera so much!  This shoot and the time I got to spend editing it were actually my favorite parts of the whole process.  We hit a little trail just a couple of miles from our house and loved just wandering and exploring.  It was a gorgeous summer evening and I couldn’t get enough of this sweet girl.

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I just love these little moments I get to squeeze in with my kiddos.  Being able to capture them as they grow and mature is something I’m so grateful for.  Lucky you that you get to see it right along with me, lol!

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Thank you Riley Blake for the pretty fabric and the push it gave us to create these great memories!

Movie Night Pj’s and a Lesson Learned

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Is there anything better than new pajamas?!! I don’t think so!  I love my kids in fresh pj’s but chances are you’ll catch them sleeping in old tees and thread bare bottoms (if they even manage to change out of their clothes they wore that day).  New pajamas are almost irresistible and I can guarantee they’ll reach for them any chance they’re clean.

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This kiddo was especially in need of summer sleepwear as he’s had a major growth spurt and none of his fit from last year.  The free Movie Night Pajamas from Sew A Little Seam (grab the code in the Facebook Group) were exactly what I was looking for.  I decided to sew up a batch all at once and knew I could count on Kelly’s pattern to come together great.  Here’s where I learned my lesson…

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I have been sewing PDF patterns for about 5 years now and it’s about time I made this mistake.  As the school year was coming close to an end I wanted to pack in as many projects as I could into my last few afternoons alone.  I printed off about 8 patterns and assembled a handful to be ready for some serious sewing time.  I cut and sewed two sets of pajamas and couldn’t figure out why they were so big!  He tried on the yoga waistband mid-sew and it was huge.  I naively thought it was just his little waist and took in the band a couple of inches.  I completed both sets and just thought the pattern must run a little on the loose side.

It wasn’t until a day later as I was assembling another pattern from a different designer that it dawned on me how unusual the pattern had printed, leaving almost nothing to trim off the edges.  I FINALLY got my ruler out to see that everything I’d printed had been printed to fit the page, not actual size like they should be.  Duh!!!  I rarely check to make sure the correct settings are selected because I’m the primary user of our printer.  You better believe I’ll do it every time now.  My 1 inch square was just 1/16th off, not a big deal, right?!!  Well, now I know exactly how much that 1/16th can affect the body of a pattern piece.

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I just had to go back and do another set so I could get a true sense for how it was supposed to fit and to see just how much it had affected the final product.  I’m super happy I caught it before I had assembled the rest of the stack of patterns I’d printed and so glad I made the mistake on pajamas, a garment that is still totally wearable even if it’s a little big.  You will see in this post the difference in fit between the planes and bears, the ‘bad’ versions, and the mustard stripes, the correct fit.

You can see that the fit of the planes isn’t terrible just looser and wider than expected.  The stripe pj’s fit him like his favorite ready-to-wear ones, close but not too snug.

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Don’t you just love them though!  These fabrics from Raspberry Creek and Riley Blake are just so soft, they make the perfect pajamas!  My kids reach for their RCF pj’s over and over and I feel like they never get worn out.  I also love that they can pick cute novelty prints for them that I might not be drawn to for everyday clothes.  This little guy has been wanting that bear fabric ever since it released so he’s one happy camper!

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Please tell me I’m not alone in getting all the way through constructing a garment before figuring out my error.  What has been your biggest “Doh” moment while sewing?  I know we all make mistakes (What would we do without out our handy seam rippers?) and I’d love to hear your stories.  I love that through our mistakes we can learn and turn those ‘What was I thinking?’ instances into ‘I’ll never do that again!’ lessons.

 

Sewing WITH Kids

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As my kids get older they’ve caught the sewing bug.  They get an idea in their heads then just have to get it sewn up right then- sound familiar sewists?!  Today I’m going to share a few of their favorite makes and our tips for a happy sewing experience.

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This guy just dives right into each project with absolutely no fear.  I never really taught him how to sew and remember the day when he was about 8-years-old and I caught him mending his socks with my serger.  No intimidation with this kid!

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My older kids are not really interested in sewing up pillowcases, bags, or other standard beginner projects.  I think since I sew primarily clothing, that’s what they want to sew too.  He really wanted a hoodie like his older brothers and we sewed this up in an afternoon.  Hoodies are a go-to for me when teaching my kids to sew.  My oldest has made a couple of Greenstyle Hudson Hoodies and my younger kids love the Hey June Hatteras Hoodie.  The bands make it easy to finish with no knit hems and I think a hood can be even easier to do than a tricky knit neckband.  For the most part hoodies can be done on a serger which makes for a more professional finish that they’ll be proud of.  Another bonus with hoodies is that french terry is a great fabric to work with.  It’s nice and thick and doesn’t curl as easily as thinner knits.

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He made this last fall and wore this constantly all winter long!  A couple other easy projects I’ve made with my older boys are t shirts (this one from Jalie or the Jolly Roger Raglan from P4P are favorites), joggers (Boxwoods from Sew Like My Mom and Mini Hudson Pants from True Bias), and pajamas (the free Walk the Plank bottoms from P4P).

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This sweet girly loves to sew as well.  She took a sewing class last summer with her best friend and I’ve been super grateful she did.  She was able to learn all the proper techniques and gain the confidence to really tackle projects on her own.  During her class she used a regular sewing machine and made bags, pillows, and pajamas.  They taught her how to cut out patterns and which stitches to use.  For her first big project at home she also sewed up a Hatteras Hoodie with her brother.  It was so fun having them working side by side!

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She loves to sew birthday gifts for her friends.  She makes backpacks, sleeping masks, and hair things.  We love the Made for Mermaids HUGE collection of Free Patterns– there are tons of great beginner projects and loads of things perfect for gifting.

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Her latest sew was a fun one!  We sewed the Mainland Collection from Striped Swallow Designs together.  She sewed the Rhapsody Joggers and I did the Highlander Dolman.    She picked these darling fabrics from our Project Run and Play winnings from Riley Blake Designs.  They are so cute together and such a great weight, making them easy to work with.

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The top is also another great beginner project that I think she could do on her own next time.  We changed a few things with the patterns to make them even quicker, easier sews.

We did a wide yoga waistband on the joggers and a wide band on the bottom of the top.  She plans to wear this set primarily as lounge wear so comfort was key!  It also made construction even easier.

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The pocket construction on these pants is super fun and quite easy for her to figure out.  I love the oversized look of them too!

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I changed the sleeves to have a wide cuff, one of my favorite features on tops lately.  I think it adds a cute detail to this top.

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I think the most difficult part of this top is the bound neckline and optional ties.  It’s such a nice finish and she’s so meticulous that I’m sure she could handle it next time.  It’s definitely my favorite thing about this pattern!

mainland5Here’s a breakdown of some of my tips for sewing with older kids:

1- Let them pick their project.  They’re more likely to finish a project they’ve picked themselves and will be proud to wear the finished garment if it’s something they’ve been eyeing in stores.

2- Pick fabrics that are easy to sew with.  I like thick knits like cotton/lycra (Raspberry Creek, Art Gallery, and Riley Blake are perfect!) or french terry (Raspberry Creek has you covered!).  For wovens, I love Robert Kaufman Mammoth flannels for pj’s or quilting cottons for household projects.  Good quality fabric might be hard on the wallet but it’ll make all the difference in how easy it is to sew and how well the finished project will hold up.

3- If you’d use a serger on the project, let your kids use it also.  I know that blade is scary but I’ve found my kids are cautious and careful around it.  We use clips to hold pieces together and they work great at making sure they sew nice and slow too!

4- Go easy on them but also make them unpick when necessary.  When I learned to sew as a teen I was so resentful of my seam ripper.  My mom made me unpick things until they were perfect.  Guess what I’ve learned- perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!  If it’s close enough and won’t cause problems further in the construction, let it be.  Sometimes though a little seam ripping just needs to be done.  When sewing these joggers my daughter sewed a cuff on with the seam on the outside.  She quickly ripped the seam out and had it sewn on correctly in no time.  Lesson learned!  We grow the most from our mistakes so don’t deny them that opportunity, lol!

5- Have fun!  It’s hard not to think that you could probably finish the project in half the time but sit back and enjoy those moments with your kiddos.  They go too quickly!

 

 

Blue Carolina Blog Tour

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It’s no secret that I love fabric.   So you better believe I’ve been crushing hard on the new fabric line from Christopher Thompson, aka The Tattooed Quilter.  Pretty florals in my favorite blues with a dash of pink- hello!  Blue Carolina for Riley Blake Designs just speaks to the preppy, classic girly girl in me.   I jumped on this fun blog tour in a heartbeat!

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I had such a hard time settling on prints for this tour- so many gorgeous florals, fun pup prints, and I still need to grab me some of this ‘cut, sew, repeat’ fabric!

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I knew I wanted to make something for me but I just had to do a coordinating top for my mini me too!  I love her developing sense of style and it’s a bonus that it’s so much like my own.  I know that if I’d wear it, she’ll love it too!  The fabrics were just perfect for both of us!  I went with the Carolina Lace Navy and for hers I used the Carolina Ditz Blue.   Lace prints get me e-ver-y time!  I’m also loving this ditzy floral- with all the huge floral prints out there this sweet small-scale print is so refreshing.

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Her blouse is a Patricia Top from Simple Life Pattern Company (you totally need to check out Katie’s stop on the tour here!).  I did the dramatic hi-low version and a modified half sleeve.  I can’t get over how much I love that hemline!

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That scoop back makes for easy assembling and super easy on/off!  I went with my daughters measurements on this but I think I would size down next time.  She’s a mini me in almost every way, including my rectangle body type.  Her narrow shoulders make fitting a bit more difficult but it also makes me so glad I can sew for her petite frame!  I think this loose style still works for her and think it’ll look darling layered under a cardigan for fall too.

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This print, actually this whole line really transitions well for every season.  The colors are timeless and classic and I can see it working equally as well for a long sleeve button up top as it does for a summer sundress.

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For my top I used my go-to woven tee pattern, the Shoreline Boatneck from Blank Slate Patterns.   I did a simple hack to add a gathered peplum to the bodice.  I wanted a little more feminine look and this was perfect!

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There is a hack pack included with the pattern that includes a similar look.  Since I already had my regular pattern ready to go I chose to do the hack my own way.  I simply cut my bodice pieces at my natural waistline plus seam allowances.  I sewed my bodice together per the pattern (I lengthened my sleeves a couple of inches) then added a gathered skirt.  My skirt pieces measured 13″ by 1.5x the width of the bottom of the bodice pattern piece.  I didn’t want a super full skirt and this worked just as I had planned.

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I really love a pattern that can be added to and mixed up in a million ways.  I’m dying to try Kim’s gathered statement sleeves on this pattern too!

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Make sure you check out all the other fabulous ladies joining the tour- they’re simply some of the most stylish women I know!

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A huge shout out to Christopher and Riley Blake for letting me join in on this par-tay!

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