Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Swimsuit Catch Up

Thanks to my fabulous in-laws we were able to spend a week at the beach with my husband's side of the family.  His parents weren't able to come down until Tuesday because his father had been in the hospital with pneumonia.  Luckily, my father-in-law's health improved enough that he could fly down and spend the rest of the week with his 3 kids (+ 3 spouses), 12 grandchildren (+ 5 spouses), and 6 great-grandchildren!

meinen group 2014

The little girls needed wanted new swimsuits for the beach house so I pulled out all my swimsuit patterns and fabrics and let them choose.

tankini beach week 2

BK really wanted another one piece but I convinced her to go with a tankini to make it easier for bathroom breaks. 

patterns:  top- Ottobre Design 03/09 #38 "Seahorse" swimsuit  bottoms- Kwik Sew 3998, view B
sizes:  top-128  bottoms- M 7/8
mods:  a bunch!  see below

tankini beach week 1

Since BK is so enamored by Kwik Sew 3998 I modified the pattern to make the bottoms.  I used pattern pieces 15, 16, and 17 and then added a waist band with elastic.  I could have made the tankini top with the same pattern but I wanted to use an old favorite...Ottobre Design "Seahorse".   Last time I sewed this BK was in a 110!  I cut the pattern off right above the leg openings to make it into a top.  The straps are also applied a bit differently than the pattern calls for.

tankini beach week

BK chose a pink/white polka dot tactel/nylon from my stash and I paired it with a solid pink that Rachel Le Grand from Nest Full of Eggs so kindly sent me.  Thanks, Rachel!

bikini beach week

patterns:  top- Jalie 2564, view B  bottoms- Kwik Sew 3605, view C
fabric:  swimsuit fabric from Hancock Fabrics
sizes:  top- I  bottoms- small
mods:  didn't do the adjustable straps on the top

bikini beach week 2

Jalie 2564 is out of print but it includes a long camisole with shelf bra, double front pull on bra, and bikini or brief underwear.  I originally purchased this for the long camisole but the pattern sat and sat until I this past year when I pulled it out to make underwear for the little girls.  I've made 11 pairs (I think!) and the girls love them.:)  Back to the bikini, MG requested a bikini top that was straight across.  I debated drafting one but then realized that I could use the Jalie pull on bra pattern.  I did add elastic to the binding to ensure a snug fit.

bikini beach week 1

I added a little green tie to the front of the bottoms so that they tied in with the top better.  If I had had more time while sewing these, I would have added a green waistband.  MG loves the Kwik Sew boy wedgies when you jump into the pool! 

pool jumping 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Captivating Comino Cap Top & Dress


Comino Cap Top
Amanda, the guru behind Kitschy Coo, has released another fabulous knit pattern! This one is called the Comino Cap Top & Dress.  There are 4 different variations:  a sweetheart seamed top, a single piece cap sleeved top, sweetheart seamed bodice + a-line skirt dress, and a single piece bodice + a-line skirt dress. 
comino cap top
I always look at pattern testing as an opportunity to try new fabric combinations.  K has a lace back white t-shirt that she dearly loves but it was showing it's age.  So, my first size 1 try was a sweetheart seamed top with lace for the upper bodice and back.  Sadly, that one didn't fit K (luckily it fit her friend) so no pictures for the blog.  When it came time for me to sew one of the last pattern revisions, I pulled out some of the stretch lace and paired it with a black cotton/poly interlock.  I love the finished top!  It's a dressier version, something my wardrobe was lacking.

Comino Cap Top
This one was my first Comino Cap Top in a size 4 and one of the earlier versions of the pattern.  The flower print interlock was leftover from a birthday gift I sewed a few months ago.  Not my usual style...I definitely wear more solids...but it makes a cute summer top!
Day 29 #madeforkidsmonth
While digging through my fabric stash, I came across this interlock print that I had picked up several years ago from Hancock Fabrics.  It was on the clearance rack and a steal at $1.99/yard.  K asked for a dress from it so I did the single piece bodice + a-line skirt dress.
comino cap dress
I may be a bit biased but I think she looks gorgeous in this dress!  I sewed a size 1 for her. 
sweetheart dress back

I really like the Comino Cap dress and tops that I sewed.  I'm sure they will become a staple in both mine and K's wardrobes.  I'm looking forward to experimenting with the pattern and doing a bit of customizing.  Maybe even try a maxi dress length like some of the other testers.  You can get your own copy of the pattern at Kitschy Coo's online shop
*I was a pattern tester so I received a copy of the pattern for free.  However, I fully endorse this pattern and would absolutely buy it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

First Set of Swimsuits for 2014

It's a summer tradition for me to sew new swimsuits for the girls.  This year, MG chose a bikini with boy shorts and BK chose a one piece with a skirt. 

pattern:  Kwik Sew 3605
size:  small (6)
fabric:  Tactel-Nylon from Chez Ami (these 2 prints are no longer available)
I've sewn this pattern many, many times but this was the first time making the boy shorts and bikini top.  The top closes in the back with a swimsuit hook which was a new to me.  MG loves it and it stays in, win!

pattern:  Kwik Sew 3998
size:  8
fabric:  tactel-nylon from Chez Ami (no longer available)
mods:  added an inch in length to bodice fronts and back
I've sewn this pattern one time before for MG last summer.  I added an inch to the bodice length since BK is so tall but I think I would have been fine with out it. 
I can't say enough good things regarding Kwik Sew swimsuit patterns.  I've even used an adult one to make K a tankini top to wear to Daytona Beach (no pictures yet, I'll have to have her wear it around here sometime).   The instructions are clear, the construction methods give a good finish, and the fit is always spot on. 
I tried a Jalie pattern to make boy shorts for me this morning and have to say, it's giving Kwik Sew a run for the money.  I didn't follow their instructions (or even read them for that matter) since I was changing them up a bit.  But the fit is really good.  I'll have to get one of the kids to take a picture next time we're at the beach or waterpark!
Sewing swimsuits is one of my favorite things to sew!  It's nice to be able to get a spot on fit especially since my girls never seem to quite fit in to what's available in RTW. ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breeze Top Tour

Breeze Blog Tour Pic
I recently had the opportunity to try out* a new tween/teen pattern called the Breeze Top designed by Shannon from Little Kids Grow.  Shannon has older kids herself and knows how hard it can be to find sewing patterns for that age group!  Scroll on down to the bottom of the post for a coupon code and a chance to win your very own copy of the Breeze Top.
While MG is a tween by age she still fits into children's patterns so K (my 15 year old) was the guinea pig this time.

size:  12
fabric:  cotton/lycra rib knit and Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush voile
mods:  due to lack of yardage the top is shorter, I didn't cover the elastic in the back

The Breeze Top can be made out of a knit, woven, or a combo of the two.  I chose to sew a knit bodice and a woven 'skirt'.   Per the pattern, there's a back band that you insert 2 cuts of elastic in to gather the back on either side of the racer back.  But I had this soft elastic in the perfect width that was teal.  I couldn't bear to cover it with fabric!
I serged the bottom of the racer back and the top of the back 'skirt'.  To attach those to the elastic, I laid the elastic on top of the serged edges and used a zig zag stitch to sew it on.  The zig zag stitch stretches with the elastic and doesn't pop like a straight stitch would have. 
 A cotton/lycra jersey would be a better choice than the hefty rib knit I used.  But there again, the color was spot on so I couldn't resist using it.  Shannon recommends sewing a muslin of the bodice to double check fit.  Tweens (and teens) body shapes can vary so much even if their measurements are the same.  I confess, I didn't make a muslin....and I really should have.  The shoulder seam doesn't hit on the top of K's shoulder like it should.  If I had made a muslin, I could have corrected that before cutting into my good fabric.  Live and learn! 

I love how light and airy the voile is.  It's the perfect fabric for summer time and hot weather.  It also gathers effortlessly. 
Be sure to check out the other bloggers that are participating in the pattern tour.  There are so many other fabulous versions of the Breeze Top.  Pockets, ruffle fabric, dresses, swim coverups, lattice back, piping...there are all kinds of creative customizations!  Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win a free copy of the Breeze Top, Shannon has graciously provided a discount code.  Use "BREEZETOUR" for 25% off the pattern.  The code is good through 6/27/2014 at 11:59 pm.:) 
*I received the pattern for free but as always all opinions are my own

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Over Half Way Through

Day 16 Made for Kids Month

pattern:  Ottobre Design 03/2014 #33 'Grey Stripes' sun top
size:  128
fabric:  Chez Ami striped jersey
This top was actually sewn for BK but MG thought it was hers and while putting laundry away, put it in her dresser.  At least that's her story....;)

It's a cute top for summer.  I have another one cut out that is intended for MG in yellow and grey stripes.  Perhaps, BK will accidentally put that one away in her dresser!

I've really been enjoying participating in Made for Kids Month.  Most of my pictures are ones that I took real quick with my iPhone.  Not pulling my DSLR out means quick and easy uploading to flickr and instagram.  Though, the picture quality isn't always the best.  All the kids have worn something handmade this month.  And there was only one day (June 13) that no one wore clothes that I (or grandma) sewed.  Not bad! 
It's been a lot of fun seeing candid pictures of everyone's kids wearing their handmades.  It's nice to see the clothes being worn for everyday and not only for staged blog pictures.  I hope Made for Kids Month becomes an annual event!
More than Half Way Through
1. LouBeeClothing Hosh Pants (shorts) on MG and Shandiin Tank on BK #madeforkidsmonth, 2. Day 2 #madeforkidsmonth : chambray button down for my oldest #ottobredesign, 3. Day 3 #madeforkidsmonth, 4. Day 4: #madeforkidsmonth I didn't think any of the kids were wearing handmade today but then I realized BK had on a @gotopatterns #studyhalljacket at the bus stop., 5. Day 5 #madeforkidsmonth : Top is #celestialtee from @figgysstudio and shorts are #sketchbookshorts from @oliverands, 6. Day 6 #madeforkidsmonth : #littlelisette maxi dress and #ottobredesign button down. Told you she loves that shirt!, 7. Day 7: Almost didn't have a #madeforkidsmonth picture for today but MG wore a nightgown I made a few years ago to bed tonight #kwiksew, 8. Day 8 #madeforkidsmonth : #ottobredesign knit shorts, 9. Day 9 #madeforkidsmonth, 10. #madeforkidsmonth Day 9, 11. madeforkidsmonth 10 IG, 12. Day 11 #madeforkidsmonth: ottobre design boxer/pj shorts, 13. Day 12 #madeforkidsmonth and BK is wearing her @gotopatterns #studyhalljacket and @thatmoxiegirl #prefontaineshorts, 14. Day 14 #madeforkidsmonth and K is wearing some flannel pj pants that Grandma D made, 15. Post beach #shandiin tops #madeforkidsmonth, 16. Day 16 Made for Kids Month, 17. Day 17 #madeforkidsmonth and it's MG again wearing #clevercharlotte #sandpipertop and #peekaboopatternshop #coastalcraze shorts, 18. Day 18 #madeforkidsmonth and today we have BK wearing a #clevercharlotte sandpiper top and #oliverands #classpicnicshorts, 19. Another day 18 #madeforkidsmonth since the girls needed new swimsuits for the birthday pool party tonight! #kwiksew


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Almost Time for Summer Vacation

The school year is winding down, not a moment too soon!  Only 8 more days of school and I get my kids back for the summer.  This will be the last summer that the majority of the kids won't have other obligations.  I want to make the most of this time so I'll be cutting back on being online.:)

June is Made for Kids Month.  The above outfit is from day 3.  This is one of those projects that I could be legalistic about but I'm curbing those tendencies and rolling with it.  If one (or more) of the kids wears something handmade, I'll take a picture and post it to the flickr group and instagram with the hashtag #madeforkidsmonth.  The kids all put away their own laundry and get dressed with no input from me (except on Sundays, sometimes) so it'll be interesting to see how often they choose handmade.  P has the smallest amount of handmade clothes (a pair of shorts and pjs) while the little girls have the most.  But even their wardrobes are only about 25% handmade. 

pattern:  Ottobre Design 03/2012 #24 "Tooth Troll" t-shirt
size: 122
fabric:  Cotton Jersey from Chez Ami
I had traced this pattern off right before we went to Florida but didn't sew one up until last week.  It's a pretty simple t-shirt with a v-neck.  This one is too small on BK (luckily it fits MG) as the cotton jersey doesn't have much stretch.  I'll have to trace off #35 which is the same pattern in a larger size range for her. 
And to catch up, I finally got around to making P some summer pajama bottoms...
pattern:  Ottobre Design 06/2011 #37 "Green Check" boxer shorts
size:  152
fabric:  Green Bay Packer quilting cotton from Jo-ann Fabrics
This is my preferred pattern for pajama bottoms for P.  I lengthen it for flannel pants in the winter and sew it as is for summer.  I left off the buttons on the fly this time as he wanted the boxer shorts straight away. 
He's not so keen on posing for pictures anymore so I have to take them when I can get them.  Even if it means that he's wearing a shirt that absolutely does not go well with the shorts and he's wearing socks with flip flops!  In his defense, he had just tried on the boxers to see if they fit when his big sister begged him to come outside and longboard with her as her birthday present (Stella longboard skateboard) had just arrived via FedEx.;)


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shandiin Tank & Tunic!

I've been wanting to share about these tops for forever and now I can!  Back in April, I was pattern testing an incredible new pattern from Sarah of LouBeeClothing.  It's called the Shandiin and is the perfect top for summer!

The yellow knit and butterfly print is one of the earlier versions, the final pattern has shorter straps and is a bit wider in the front.

The Shandiin Tank & Tunic comes in sizes 12/18 months - 8 years old (21" to 28" chest diameter).  Sarah includes some helpful hints on getting the perfect fit.  You really need to go off of the chest measurement, not age for this pattern.

Case in point...if you have a tall, slender teenager you might just be able to make the size 8 for her.  I'm loving the look of the white knit with the plaid woven!   

I mixed and matched knits and wovens for the first 3 tops but this one is all woven.  It's just as cute in one fabric as it is using prints and solids together.  The pattern comes with a button front version and also a puff hem option.  But it's that crescent cut-out in the back that first caught my eye and keeps me wanting to make even more Shandiin tops.:)

Shandiin Tank
Want to make your own Shandiin?  The pattern is available at the LouBeeClothing Etsy Shop and on Kollabora.