Back to School Tour 2019

sophie14I love a good blog tour filled with friends, awesome giveaways, and any excuse to get behind my sewing machines.  The Back to School Blog Tour hosted by Karly of Paisley Roots was the perfect reason to drop everything and sew up a few back to school pieces.

sophie5This little miss starts middle school this year, sob sob.  Her actual first day is TODAY and while you are reading this I just might be having a mini-meltdown.  Middle School!  How did that happen?!  She’s so ready and I know she’ll rock it but when did my little girl get to be such an amazing young woman?!

titleShe’s getting to be very picky and very particular about what she wears.  She definitely follows teenage trends.  She’s such a shy girl that she likes to fit right in and not be too flashy.  For her back to school wardrobe, she shopped at her favorite stores, Tilly’s and H&M, and then we threw in three handmade pieces that would really compliment and work well with her store-bought items.   What resulted is a cute mix and match mini capsule wardrobe that she loves!

 

I used three patterns from my favorite pattern designers that cater to tween and teen sizing.  Modkid Boutique has an ever expanding catalog of tween patterns that are so on-trend.  Hey June Handmades Hey Junior line is a collection of basic pieces that can be hacked into a million different looks.  It’s a great starting point for classic patterns you can use again and again.  I also turn to Love Notions Patterns because their patterns go from size 2t-16 which means I can use them for my girls and my nieces.  I love a great size range!

sophie7The first handmade piece is a hacked Brooklyn from Modkid in a super fun Retro Stripe from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  For this look, I took the dress piece and just shortened it to top length.  She loves mock necks and this pattern fits her well.  It’s slim fitting and has multiple sleeve options.  I used the long sleeve pattern piece and shortened it to hit mid bicep.

sophie8Her leggings are our go-to Love Notions Leggins’.  They are a nice slim cut and always fit her so well.  I used a mid-weight cotton lycra from CaliFabrics.  I absolutely love the weight of this fabric for leggings.  I’ve been on the quest for great leggings fabrics since this girl would live in them and I will be ordering more colors of this for sure!

sophie13Her last handmade item is a Morrison Tee from Hey June Handmade in a yummy modal stripe from CaliFabrics.  This fabric is my absolute favorite for tees and if it looks familiar it could be because I’ve made a handful of other tops out of it in multiple colorways for her and I.  It’s so soft and that drape is amazing!

The Morrison Tee is another pattern that I turn to over and over again.  That back curved hem and the oversized fit just make me happy!  I did an extra-wide cuff and folded it up and tacked it in multiple places.  I just love a cuffed sleeve.

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Her store-bought pieces:

Mustard Jeggings from H&M

Black Jacket from Tilly’s

Yellow Vans

White Slip-Ons

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Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure you head to the other stops on the tour for some adorable back to school looks.  Head to the end of this post for a super fun giveaway too!

Giveaway!
10% off all patterns from DIBY Club with code: B2Sblogtour (expires Aug 25, 2019)
2 patterns of choice from DIBY Club (bundles excluded)
 2 patterns of choice from Rad Patterns
2 patterns of choice from Paisley Roots
1 pattern of choice from Sisboom
1 pattern of choice from Little Lizard King
1 pattern of choice from Titchy Threads
1 pattern of choice from New Horizons Designs 


 

 

Riley Blake Stripes

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I’m not shy about my love of all things striped.  I will pick striped fabric any day!  Of course, I would jump at the chance to sew up some of Riley Blake Designs yummy stripes.

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The toughest question was just which stripes to choose.  With 1/8″, 1/4″, and 1/2″ widths to choose from in a wide array of colors, I was truly stumped.  I love a classic black and white pairing and I knew my oldest would dig them as well.  I got 1/2″ and 1/4″ so I could do a little playing around.  My younger daughter is all about color and boy did I struggle to pick one.  It was a tight race between mint, grey, aqua, and mustard before I finally settled on this baby pink 1/4″.

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I used the Gwen Dress from Violette Fields Threads.  I’ve been loving this style and went with this particular pattern because I loved the back elastic casings and nice big pockets.

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That tie back is so adorable!

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I mixed up the prints throughout the dress, playing with direction as I wanted.  It made it so fun and stripe matching was a breeze.

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She fit the size 8 waist and chest measurements but was off the children’s size chart for height.  I added length to the skirt and button placket.  Next time I will size up one and add a little length to the bodice as well.  Combining sizes for width and length can be tricky!  You’d think after all my practice I’d have it down to an art.  As is, this dress is still adorable and will get her through this summer for sure before it’s passed on to little sis.

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Speaking of little sis, she got a pair of paper bag waist shorts.  They’re everywhere these days too and I’d been dying to hack some for ages.  She got to be my guinea pig and the result is darling!

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I used a shorts pattern I had handy (the Linden Romper shorts from Hey June).  Since this was my first go at it I’ll tell you what I did, then tell you what I should have done.  Live and learn baby!

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First, I added a little width to them to make them more full using the slash and spread method.  I also added length to the rise (about 1.5″).  Now, this is what I’d do differently.  I would actually shorten the rise and add a separate waistband.  The way I did it the waist actually tapered a bit and didn’t want to fold down the full 2″.  With a separate waistband you wouldn’t have that problem.  No brainer for most of you I’m sure but I was flying by the seat of my pants as I sewed these up.  Up until the moment I cut into them I had planned to do a button-front midi skirt but realized shorts would be way more practical.  So I grabbed the nearest shorts pattern and went with it!  Anyone else experience that rush of creativity and joy just letting go?!

For the paperbag style, I couldn’t believe how simple it was.  I folded over the waistband an extra inch, creating a two-inch casing, leaving a small opening to insert your elastic.  Then I sewed another row of stitching 1″ down from the top of the waistband.  This creates the ruffle top.  Insert your elastic into the bottom casing and finish your seam.  I added a wide fabric sash and two small belt loops.  The sash totally completes the look!

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I’d say it was a great call!  She loves them almost as much as I do and now I know just how to make my own pair!

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A huge thank you to Riley Blake for providing the fabric for this post.

MadeIt Strip Tee Challenge

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We are so excited to be part of the MadeIt Patterns Stripe Tee Challenge this week.  The premise is so fun.  We got to sew up the Strip Tee Adult  and teen pattern and put our own little twist on them.  We will be competing against 7 other mother/daughter teams to see who made it best.  The girls had to sew their tops on their own but the mom’s were able to guide and help them along the way.  Super cool, right?!

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It was such a great excuse to get my girly behind the machines and to spend a fun afternoon together.  My daughter is still a beginner sewist but loves the chance to create.  She took a sewing class two summers ago that taught her the basics.  I wanted her to learn the correct principles and I knew having someone else teach her would give her a foundation that would serve her well into the future.  She made bags, pillows, and pajama pants that summer.  Since then she’s made a hoodie, leggings, and a few other things.  We struggle to find the time to sew together so this challenge was a great push to get us together in the sewing room.

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We started with a trip to our favorite shop, Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  She fell in love with this pretty burgundy windowpane sweater knit and I knew it’d be a great choice for her.  I love the vibrant color and immediately thought of the faux leather in my stash as an accent for the strip in back.  She loved the idea!  This fabric is also fairly stable and easy to sew which I wanted for her (I steered her clear of all the lovely rayon spandex for this first one!).

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For my version, I kept going back to this ‘boring’ medium grey french terry.  I wanted to add sleeves to mine and the weight and drape of this blend is so good!  I wear grey too much I know but I think you can never have enough of it.  It’s a great basic that provides the perfect backdrop to add accessories or in this case a little bling!

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I love that these tops are all business in the front.  Just your classic tee and sweatshirt, right?

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But there’s a little party in the back!  The leather adds such an edge and those sequins are brilliant.

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The sequins are a remnant from one of my favorite Project Run and Play looks for my daughter and it was super sentimental using them for this piece.  We shot that weeks look in this same location too, bringing us full circle.

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I added long sleeves to my top to be able to wear it as we head into our cold season.  I measured the sleeve opening, my wrist, and my arm length.  I used those measurement to make an angled rectangle.  It’s very basic and probably not the ‘correct’ way but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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It’s such a cozy top and I love the little extra pop that back strip brings.

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For my daughters look, she sewed up the smallest teen size although her chest is still a couple of inches shy of the charts (teeny girl!).  At eleven she has a 26″ chest and is 60″ tall putting her in an XXS chest and S height so we went with an XXS and then added 2 inches to the length.

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She did all of the work and sewing on this herself and I’m super proud of how it turned out.  I gave her a little plaid matching lesson on the side seams but apparently forgot to check the back, oops!  Design element?! She’s such a pro at topstitching though.  Like so good I should hire her out to do all mine, lol!  I showed her how to use soft and stretch hem tape for the hems and that sure helped make that step a breeze.

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This top is just five pieces (four pattern pieces) which makes it a great beginner project.  It took my daughter about two hours from print to hemming (mine was done in under an hour if you’re more experienced).  I love that it’s such a blank canvas that she can now use to customize tees to her liking.  I think she’ll be able to sew them on her own from now on and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.  We may need to add a sleeve piece to her pattern so she can wear them all winter long too.  She’s requested a long sleeve black tee or turtleneck to layer with this one so she can get more wear out of it as our days get chillier.  Don’t you just love that happy face?!

Make sure you head over to Instagram to see all the competitors this week.  You can vote for our look by simply liking our post (easy peasy).  Follow the hashtag #stripteeteamchallenge to see all the other looks this week.  I have a feeling we’ll be in great company!  So many amazing seamstresses and their daughter are participating!

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Make sure to head over to Madeit Patterns to pick up your Strip Tee patterns for 20% off this week!  I’m sure you’ll love them as much as we do!

 

 

Modkid Sage Dress and Top

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I love when pattern designers read my mind.  My daughter and I have been doing lots of back to school shopping and we both fell in love with this style of dress.  It was one of those styles that just kept popping up in every store we looked in and on strangers and friends too!  Dresses are one of the hardest things to buy this girly because they never fit properly so we were just waiting for the perfect pattern to appear.  Imagine our excitement when we saw the newest design from the gals at ModKid.  I jumped in to test this darling dress and top without a second thought!

sage4.1The Sage Dress and Top is a button-front dress, jumper, peplum, or top with options for a bottom flounce and either straight or cross back straps in tween and teen sizes 10-18.  The bodice is straight and features princess seams as well.  AND there’s pockets!  It wouldn’t be complete without them.  The tutorial is thorough and I’m a huge fan of the ModKid methods of construction and patterns.  If you’re looking for quality, you’ll love ModKid.

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I used a tencel chambray I picked up in LA ages.  The pattern calls for anything from quilting cotton to linen and corduroy.  I love having options and this style looks great in all of them!  To finish it off I used brushed gold buttons I picked up at the CaliFabrics brick and mortar shop in San Francisco.  The fact that the materials for this dress all came from California vacations adds so much sentimental value to it.

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This sweet girly is so hard to fit.  For this dress as a tester, I sewed it up per the pattern and her measurements.  She is a size 10 chest with a 12 height.  She’s at the bottom end of the sizing and I was actually worried she was too small still for it.  The measurement chart is for the finished garment which is nice to see how much ease you will have but had me a little concerned since she measures 1.5″-2″ smaller in parts.  Patty recommends 1″ of ease so keep that in mind when looking at the fit of this dress.  I love this on her and like that she has a little growing room too!

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Most of my summer sewing is quick and easy and can be finished in a short afternoon.  This project did take several days of sporadic sewing but was well worth it.  It felt so good to sew on that last button!  It wasn’t a difficult sew by any means but a more thoughtful one with great finishing techniques and a beautiful result.  I love these kind of projects and can’t wait to do more of them now that school is about to start!

One of my favorite things about sewing with pdf patterns is how on trend designers can be.  They follow fashion and streetwear style and stay so up to date on the latest trends.  If it’s selling in your favorite clothing store whether it’s Target or a trendy boutique, you can probably find a pdf pattern for it.  It’s pretty amazing if you ask me!

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I am so thrilled with how this dress turned out and know you’ll love this pattern too!  You can grab your copy and any other patterns that just might hop into your cart for 40% off during ModKid’s Back to School Sale, now through Sunday August 19th with coupon code BTS2018.

 

Love Notions Summer Caye Pants

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Oh, Summer Caye’s, I love you!

*This post contains affiliate links.  I get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, which I will then use to buy more fabric and sew up more beauties to convince you to buy more patterns (isn’t that how it works 😉 ).  I am also a paid tester for Love Notions and got on board AFTER falling in love with the patterns.

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The newest pattern from Love Notions is simply divine!

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With tons of options for women and girls, you can wear this pattern everyday if you wanted to.

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I know me and my girls will definitely have a closetful.

There are multiple length options.  You can choose 4″ or 6″ shorts for girls or 6″ and 9″ inseam length for women.  There are also capri and full length choices.  The girl’s pattern comes in sizes 2T- 16 and 8P-16P.  The women’s pattern will fit sizes 0-28 (waist sizes 24.5″-45.5″).

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All my versions feature a simple hem but there are a handful of options there too.  You can add a cuff, split-hem, and a gorgeous tulip-hem.

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And pockets… these are genius in construction!  Super cute without the bulk.

The ladies version has two width options- wide leg (a bit narrower) on the left and palazzo on the right.

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So many choices… one for every day of the week.  I’m excited to try some shorts for myself next!

This is a size 8 pant length out of linen from Joann’s.  They are so unlike her normal skinny jeans and we both love these!

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I love these pants with a denim jacket!

You might recognize her shorts fabric from this Naples top.  I had just enough fabric left for these shorts.  You better believe I wasn’t wasting a scrap of this lusciousness!

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My gorgeous rayon challis came from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  This particular print sold-out in a heartbeat but there are still quite a few to pick from.  I think the tie dye would be awesome for these.  Head over to the Love Notions Blog for a sweet RCF coupon code.

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This rayon challis was a Hancock fabric score (oh, how I will miss my Hancock’s!).

You can grab the Ladies and Girls patterns separately or pick up the bundle for even more savings.  They are on sale through 5/6 and you won’t want to miss it!

Gracious Threads New Look Blog Tour

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I’m super excited to be on my first blog tour today.  Jess at Gracious Threads has a new storefront with a whole new look and feel to her website and blog.  To celebrate I’ve joined with other bloggers to showcase a ‘New Look” for us.

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I had a hard time picking which kid needed a new look until I realized this boy has already started creating his own fresh look the past few months.  He started middle school this year and it’s been fun to see his wardrobe go from comfy sport pants and tees to skinny jeans and button-up shirts.

He is just barely hitting a size 12 and I knew the Jasper Jogger pattern would be a great choice.  We headed over to Pinterest for some inspiration before we started.

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These are made with grey stretch denim from Joann’s.  I used the wrong side of the fabric for the main pants because it felt more lived-in and less dressy.  I used the right side as contrast on all the pockets and waistband.

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This is the one bum shot I was allowed 😉  I made a couple alterations to the pattern to get the right fit for my skinny guy.  I tapered the waist and hips about an inch and cut off three inches from the length.  I added a drawstring and grommets to the waistband too.

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We headed to his school one night to get some pics and loved our little shoot.  He brought a buddy along because what is middle school without your best friends?!!

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I love the casual look of these pants but he loves how comfortable they are too.

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Ready for the best part?  To celebrate head on over to the new Gracious Threads Shop and use code ‘ANEWLOOK’ to get 40% off all patterns (offer good from November 16-29)!  See how excited he is…

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Make sure to check out the other great looks on the tour from some amazing bloggers.

Nov 16 – Handmade Boy * From A Box * Inspinration * Blessed X 5

Nov 17 – Sew Starly * Sewing by Ti * Climbing the Willow * Kopy Kat Kidz

Nov 18 – Rebel and Malice * Willow and Stitch * Tales of a Tester

Nov 19 – Sew Happily Ever AfterLulu and Celeste * Sew Sophie Lynn

Nov 20 – Handcrafted by Red * Just Add Fabric * Made by Sara

Nov 21 – Create Three Point Five * Lacasa Cactus * The Wholesome Mama

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