Breaking Ground Tour 2019

Here we are, year 2 of my participation in the Breaking Ground Tour (you can find last year’s post here [Week 11: Breaking Ground with Something with Green.]

This year again I will be using a sponsor’s pattern the Rosemary Crop Top from Phat Quarters***. It’s an adorable pattern that will see us through the winter to spring as well as the fall transitions in New England.

I chose the pattern because of it’s versatility. It offers 3 collar types, 2 different lengths and sleeves and is reversible. Sizing rund 2t-12 so my daughter has plenty of time to enjoy the pattern.

The sizing on this pattern is a little more generous on the height side than some of the other brands I have sewn for my daughter. Which will be very nice for her long torso, I typically have to add 2-3 inches because she’s so long!

Since this was a first time for me with both the designer and the pattern, I opted for the reversible crop with simple collar and cuffs.

The pattern is well written and I found a new technique in the instructions for creating the ability to be reversible, I love when a pattern teaches me new techniques. And I really loved being able to sew and complete a project during an episode of Hells Kitchen, so that makes it a great sew for a quick gift or instant gratification sew.

It’s a perfect sew for the upcoming spring where weather can be unpredictable in New England. And I am very excited about checking out more patterns at Phat Quarters!

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2019 hosted by mahlicadesigns. This year over 25 bloggers from around the world are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves.

(Read on for Giveaway info)
The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:
Monday March 11That’s Sew Lily, Sewing A La Carte, Mijn 11jes & ik
Tuesday March 12mahlicadesigns, Embrace Everyday, Jot Designs, auschick sews, Raising Stripling Warriors
Wednesday March 13Musings of A Seamstress, Very Blissful, Sew4Five, Just Sew Something, Hazelnut Handmade, Crafting Through Time, Tales From A Southern Mom
Thursday March 14Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Ronda B Handmade, SequioaLynn Sews, Sewing with D, The Sewing Goatherd, OOYAmade, My Golden Thimble, Custom Made by Laura
Friday March 15Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Sewing Novice, Ronda B Handmade, Momma Bear Sews, MeMade, My Golden Thimble, Lulu & Celeste

Breaking News: our tour sponsor Phat Quarters is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

***

We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2019 across social media.

****I recieved this pattern for free to be able to write this post.

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Week 9: Sew Something Green or Environmentally Friendly

Chugging right along into the 9th week of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge. I was very excited to check into the group to post my sew for the week and saw that my kiddos made the cover photo for the week from last week’s sew (sew with knits.)

This week is sewing something green or environmentally friendly. I went with using some fun Minecraft snaps from Kimmy Snabric and fabric my son had picked out a while ago that matched.

After asking a friend which pattern I should go with, I decided on the Menta Bootie Pattern Bundle.

I really like this pattern. It has very easy to follow instructions, add on packs to create fun slippers and is a really quick sew! Start to finish (and photoing/editing photod) both booties took 3hrs total. So this makes a wonderful gifting pattern.

Week 8 : Sew with Knits

Rolling right along into the 52 Week Sewing Challenge! As we head into the final stretch of winter here in New England, this week’s challenge is Sewing with Knits. This is something I regularly work with so a challenge easily accepted!

I got some fabulous strike offs from Run Amok Custom Fabrics and I was off to figure out which patterns to use for the challenge. I love Emily Harkness’ commitment to inclusivity. In this round, she focused on PBS and added something very fun to some of the panels.

We were lucky enough she supported Sweet Pea’s low vision/blind community with adding Braille to some of the panels. I started with trying to use French knots but since the fabric is cotton lycra, I was not happy with the puckering the embroidery caused. I ended up using black dimensional fabric paint which kept the fabric soft and flexible but raised the Braille enough my daughter can still easily feel the dots to recognize what she is grabbing from her closet.

One of the things I just adore about Emily is that she supports my children’s relationship with modeling and loves including both my children in modeling. No easy task, I may add, because Baby Bear is a tween has ADHD and SPD and with Sweet Pea, being a preschooler, we deal with her blindness and low hearing. To be able to find prints that speak to both of them is amazing

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Sweet Pea got to have Daniel Tiger, and the Big Boy got Mr. Rogers (both favorites in our house!) Isn’t that coordinate fabric beautiful.

I had to look through several patterns to figure out which way to go with showcasing these beautiful fabrics.

For Sweet Pea, I tried a new pattern by an International pattern designer, Zuckerwolkenfabrik. I went with the Sweatie, which has tons of options. Scroll down to the end to see some fun construction photos. This is a pattern that is not offered in English but has a ton of photos to guide during construction. It is cut more generous (probably because it is a gender neutral pattern) and more like a wider sweatshirt, rather than the slimmer cut as you typically see in European patterns.

I went with a favorite pattern for Baby Bear. One that is one of his few favorite colorblocked patterns- Sofilantjes’ Regem pattern. Sizing runs 12mo-14 yrs but is European sizing, so my son who typically wears 18/20 is able to still fit in patterns from this designer. Even though he is not a huge fan of colorblocking in general, as the seams can provide bulk that rubs and irritates him. The colorblocking on this pattern hits in a place that is not irritating to him.

These fabrics are amazing and so fun!

I also was lucky enough to get a cuddle blanket topper. My son quickly claimed it for himself  (though I did promise Sweet Pea she could get a blanket topper the next round) because he loves ultra soft fabrics. He said he didnt care how I finished it and initially thought purple binding because it’shis favorite color, but when I was at the store found this lovely rainbow binding and couldn’t resist it with the message on the blanket topper.

Everything came out just perfect. My kids are in love with everything about these projects for them.

Week 6: Sew Something to Make Sewing Easier

So last week I didnt post my week 5 make, may be I will get around to blogging it later (I did sew something, I just want feeling blogging about it🤷‍♀️.)

This week over at the 52 Week Sewing Challenge was to sew something to make sewing easier. And while I really wanted to do a sewing apron for me, time ticked down quickly on me and I couldn’t decide on a fabric from the ones I had at home. So I decided a crafting project to make Hubby’s life easier was both more functional AND less time consuming😂

A while ago I made a Flosstyle Hip Aid for a swap gift and my husband had commented that it would be a great thing for him to have for drill and router bits, screws and nails that he often goes back and forth to to his work bench for.

But he of course wanted several changes to meet his needs better. No zipper because that pocket is useless for his needs and he didn’t care for the small pockets being differing sizes. So I set about making the small changes he asked for.

I went digging through my fabric to find a suitable choice for him. This fabric was gifted for an apron (which I am sewing later) and I knew had plenty extra to make the hip aid.

I had a complicated time picking thread. But ended on the bottom color above.

I think it turned out great! The first time I made this project it was a long and slow process, this time it was a project that cutting to handing over to husband took 45 minutes total (I imagine adding the zippered pockets would have added maybe 15 minutes). So that makes my list of quick gift items list.

What are your 1hr and under gifts you like to make?

ReSEWlutions Sewing: Placket

OOOHHH what a busy out of sorts month it has been! Finally my husband got to go back to work which means I end up with me time again. But then we had the polar vortex that happened and so my kids were out a school or had late starts to the day several times. And Sweet Pea has been sick off and on. But now that things are getting back to normal its time for my first blog tour of the year.

Suzanne Winter with Winter Wear Designs decided that this month she would focus her tour on plackets, I was very nervous about timing of taking on plackets because trying to sew in such chaos is complicated at best. I chose Hepburn Henley because I tend to wear lots of tunic length tops and as a mom, I have a tendency to buy and make for the kids over making for me.

I had never made a placket for a ladies top (I have installed many on skirts and made 1 henley for Baby Bear), but I am always happy to try something new with Suzanne’s patterns because they have such great instructions. This was my first time using this kind of rib knit too so this sew was an adventure all the way around.

Doesn’t that placket look pretty. I went with a tunic length with a v-neckline and 3/4 sleeve. As always, Suzanne did not disappoint on the instructions- there are multiple views for the actual placket installation, which I found very helpful. I really love how the top feels on and will be making more for me because this henley makes a perfect everyday top!

Week 4: Sew Something Red

Week 4 already! This week I had to really think on what to make this week. The man cub was in need of undies, the girl child needed something to wear for Valentine’s day, plus princess dresses for her and her friend from school for her birthday tea party in about 5 weeks, I also need to make pillowcases and chair book bags for each of the kids to keep track of library books. Sooo much sewing so little time and with the shut down continuing on, I have very little me time!

In the end, I went with a sample sew of the ABC Chair bag from Flosstyle Patterns because I knew I needed a stress free sew that would be simple and functional.

There are 2 sizes you can sew the Junior (up to 30″) and Senior (up to 34″). I knew I needed to see how it would actually fit on the chair to determine which one to make so I was stuck doing a muslin. I started with the Junior size thinking that our dining room chairs are fairly narrow since they are Shaker style. Unfortunately, that size was just a hair too small to work on the dining room chairs (each child has their own chair and thus figured it would be easiest for their chair bags to be in a general area for easy access). So I was on the hunt for other chairs we have in the house. Finally settling on this rainbow Ikea chair for these photos.

The Junior size is a tad big on this Ikea chair but it does look cute. Sweet pea chose that moment to let me know she hates it because there is no green in it and she doesn’t want it for her little chair. I promised I would make a new one for her to fit on the dining room chair that has lots of green.

The 52 Week Sewing Challenge theme was sewing with red, and I had gotten this fabric last year around this time last year from Kimmy Snabric and though it would be so pretty as a chair bag. It is adorable even if Sweet Pea isn’t a huge fan of it.

The cherry hearts are bright and cheery.

Long story short, I will make more of these. It was quick to assemble, the pattern is free and tutorial style so no pattern pieces. If you are looking for a quick gift or sew, this is a great one to go with!

Week 3: Sew a Pattern You Own But Have Never Sewn

This week started off with so many small projects! All of which were tutorial or self drafted patterns because my husband had asked for stuff specifically around the house. A tutorial I am currently working on for a remote control holder, will be posted in the next few weeks on Kimmy Snabric. Plus made Sweet Pea a cute purse (that still isn’t finished since she ran off with it before I could complete it😂.)

For the 52 Week Sewing Challenge, I decided my entry would be a cute little scissor/thread nipper pouch. We Sew All had a cute tutorial for Bernina early December. I printed the free pattern but realized it was way too big for thread nippers and more for the size of children’s scissors. Because of this I ended up sizing the pattern at about 88% and found that it fit my thread nippers well.

I AM NOT A QUILTER. So when stuff requires quilting, I usually hard pass but this actually wasn’t terrible.

I will say, I did not draw on the piece I quilted (I couldn’t find my water soluble pen) and for a first time, its fine. But in the future, I will be drawing guides so everything is evenly spaced. (The only saving grace is it will be folded and sewn so some of the unevenness won’t be noticed.)

I love how this smaller size fits my scissors.

And I think this size will make a fun gift for any crafters in your life (as will larger versions.) Since I am going to a dressmaking class in September, I will need to make a full size one just for me to travel with!

What are some fun travel sewing items you have made?

Week 2: sew an UFO (Unfinished Object)

So here we are rumbling into the 2nd week of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge and this week has been rough. The shutdown lumbers on making it hard for me to be motivated, and now we are at the point where financial stress is making it hard on me.

But I looked through my stack of unfinished stuff and found this skirt from a pattern test that I never used. I may have run out of time with a sick kiddo😂

It is the skirt from the Tammy from Eunoia Patterns. Since Joseph still hasn’t gone back to work, I couldn’t reprint the top to finish it. So many cute options with this fully woven dress. I think this was supposed to be the tunic length skirt. (Isn’t that fabric adorable!)

After thinking most of the week on how I would finish it, I decided to sew one of Sweet Pea’s favorite tshirt patterns the Loxie Eagans from Rain City Patterns since I have it printed and ready to go.

I love how the fit of this is slimmer and works well with Sweet Pea’s narrow little body. I ended up sizing up for her so she will get lots of wear out of this dress.

In the end I feel like it turned out pretty cute!

Some day soon I will take professional photos of Sweet Pea in it but for now these will have to do.

Sewing Forward While Looking Back at 2018

Last year saw lots of changes for me. I started off really strong with the 52 Week Sewing Challenge but I ended with 21 posts not getting published (I sewed every week within the challenge suggested guideline but just didn’t feel the urge to actually blog or even enter my sewing into the weekly contests). I dealt with depression and anxiety issues, a government move to a different state, getting the kids settled at new schools, setting up completely different IEPs, all while trying some days to keep my head above water.

I am actually quite happy I only missed publishing 21 posts (maybe I will go back and publish them later) but I had a few extra posts as I joined blog tours (17 of them and only a few met the 52 week sewing challenge criteria to count as included posts.)

This year, I will say, is off to a tad bit of a rough start with the government shutdown of 2019 being in it’s 9th day already but this coming year I am endeavoring to still similtaneously work on the 52 Week Sewing Challenge while trying to focus on sewing for me, Joseph and for items needed for the house. I spent a bulk of last year’s challenge sewing for my children, which is fine but I really want to learn new techniques and how to sew for my tall, plus sized body.

I joined an amazing group of women who blog about the glorious curves they have, check out House of Curves for curvy and plus sized sewing hacks, tips and tours. I am super excited because sewing for a good fit is complicated for a body that isn’t in ASTM standards or having patterns being well drafted for plus sized bodies are slim picking. I was tickled to be added to the collaboration and cannot wait to jump in on the tours (though the first will be this month and with the government shut down, I am not sure about participating since having Hubs home with me means it’s hard to get away to sew since he is finding all those small projects we need to complete- he needs to go back to work😂.)

I also was gifted a series of books throughout the year from my loving partner that I am excited about jumping into. Plus my husband encouraged me to take a sewing class with the books’ author Gretchen Hirsch. Unfortunately, it won’t be until September, but can you imagine 3 full days of working in a class of 5 with Gretchen and not a child of mine in sight😱. I am soo excited.

I have to arrive with a completed muslin bodice for individual fitting advice, so now to decide if I want to work on a dress from one of the books I have:

  1. Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 40s and 50s
  2. Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Vintage Techniques
  3. Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Style

Or the new book coming out in April

Or if maybe I need one of the new Charmed patterns like the Night and Day Dress with all its amazing options.

Decisions, decisions….

But anyway, I digress. This year I’ll also be working on learning to sew tailored dress shirts for the Hubs so we can make him lovely custom shirts and maybe if there is time, I’ll tackle dress pants!

This year I will also try to participate in the 100 Item Challenge on Facebook. Last year I did complete 100 items but fell way short of posting in the group. I think I posted well for the first 3 months so I am hoping to follow through with posting all 100 this year!

So it’s going to be a fun and busy sewing year. With that said Welcome to Week 1 of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge! First up- organize your sewing space 😱🤦‍♀️

Organizing is not my strong suit😂 but let’s see where this takes us!

I’ll check back in with (maybe a before and) an after progress pic but until then Happy 1st day of the New Year, happy crafting and Make it Sew!

******update here is the completion of my 52 Week Sewing Challenge entry!

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